The journey across the Helcaraxë was difficult and perilous, but how long did it take to reach Beleriand?

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    Fingolfin, you should know, surely? – Rand al'Thor Nov 4 '15 at 11:38

Around twenty years.

In the earlier version of the Annals of Aman in History of Middle-Earth V, where it is noted that each Valian Year (VY) "is as ten years of the Sun now are", we have:

VY 2998-3000: Now Fingolfin [...] won their way at last with grievous losses and with minished might into the North of Middle-earth.

So it took two Valian years, or twenty years in the usual reckoning.

  • 2
    It seems like Fingolfin had very poor navigational skills. Then again, the Old Testament tribes of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years, so I suppose there are other precedents. – Royal Canadian Bandit Nov 4 '15 at 11:30
  • 20 years?! It certainly makes the Fellowship's journey seem like a nice, leisurely stroll – Mat Cauthon Jul 5 '17 at 10:01
  • It probably wasn't a matter of everyone walking straightforward for 20 years. Given that any food you needed for the trip had to be carried from the eastern edge of Aman, imagine how long it would take to carry the necessary supplies out onto the ice so that once you did start moving forward, you didn't have to do all the way back to Aman for more. Something of a 2-miles-forward-1-1/2-miles-back kind of trip. – chepner Sep 11 '19 at 20:28

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