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Sea of Helcar

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The Sea of Helcar (also spelled Helkar) was a great lake or inland sea which existed in the north of Middle-earth during the Years of the Trees and the First Age.

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[edit] History

In the beginning of Arda, the Valar created the Two Lamps and two great towers on which to place them. Due to Melkor's deceit these were destroyed, and where Illuin (the northern tower) had stood, an inland sea was formed. This became known as the Sea of Helcar. Cuiviénen, where the Elves first awoke, was a bay in the Sea of Helcar. Later, during the Great Journey, the Elves travelled north of the Sea on their way to Beleriand.

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In the Ambarkanta, the Sea of Helcar was depicted as an enormous body of water that originally stretched from the Red Mountains in the east to the Blue Mountains in the west.[1] After Middle-earth's landscape changed in the War for Sake of the Elves, the western end of the Sea was depicted as being separated from the Great Gulf only by a narrow strip of mountainous land called the Straits of the World.[2] However, these depictions predate Tolkien's conception of the wide lands of Eriador, Gondor, and Mordor that lay east of the Great Gulf.

[edit] Theories

Christopher Tolkien and others have speculated whether or not the Sea of Rhûn can "...be identified with the Sea of Helkar, vastly shrunken" [3]. In The Atlas of Middle-earth, Karen Wynn Fonstad assumed that the lands of Mordor, Khand, and Rhûn in the Second and Third Ages lay where the Sea of Helcar had been in the First Age, and that the Sea of Rhûn and Sea of Núrnen were its remnants. However, in The Peoples of Middle-earth, there are references to the Sea of Rhûn and its surrounding geographical landmarks existing as far back as the Years of the Trees at the time of the Great Journey[4] Additionally, it is told in Unfinished Tales that the migration of the Drúedain from Hildórien brought them westward through lands south of Mordor.[5]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion" p. 174
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Last Writings" p. 391-392 (note 29).
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", pp. 339-340.