The Grishaverse
The Grishaverse

Hellgate is a Kerch prison located on the tiny island Terrenjel outside of Ketterdam.


Hellgate is a fortress of high black towers on the southwestern portion of Terrenjel. The main prison tower is connected to the old prison tower via a high stone walkway. The kitchen in the main tower is kept clean, with huge vats for cooking the prisoners' meals. Hellgate's prison guards wear blue-and-grey uniforms and carry rifles.[1]

Old Tower[]

The rough-hewn stone walls of the old tower are blackened by smoking torches, and the area is unclean and smelly. The staircases are steep, without banisters, and the passageways are tight. The left portion of the old tower was gutted to create an arena for the Hellshow, and the roof was either destroyed or had fallen in. Crudely made terraced ledges provide space for Hellshow's audience. Connected to the fighting pit is a tunnel containing old cells where the fighting animals of the Hellshow are kept.

The worst prisoners, as well as the best fighters in the Hellshow, are kept in the old tower. These cells have solid iron doors, broken only by a narrow slot for the prisoner's meals. The Hellshow fighters' cells are cold but private, and contain blankets and buckets for waste and water.


Several years prior to the events of Six of Crows, Pekka Rollins created the Hellshow, a weekly event at the prison.

Matthias Helvar was sentenced to Hellgate after Nina Zenik claimed he was a slaver. At some point, he began to fight in the Hellshow for the privileges of a clean, private cell and better food. Unwilling to leave Matthias in prison, Nina paid a fisherman to take her to Terrenjel. He refused to get close to the prison, however, arguing the sharks that circle the island are accustomed to eating Hellgate's convicts.[1]

Six of Crows[]

Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, Muzzen, and Nina arrive at Hellgate and watch the Hellshow. After Matthias's fight against the wolves, they sneak away from the amphitheater into Matthias's cell, where Nina heals Matthias and tailors Muzzen to take his place. As a distraction, Jesper Fahey opens the cages containing the feral animals for the Hellshow, which attack the audience and cause chaos. Kaz, Inej, Nina, and Matthias run through the tunnel and out of the tower, then escape in a small boat back to Ketterdam. A month later, Muzzen is killed in the infirmary by Fjerdans looking for Matthias.

Before he meets with Jan Van Eck on Vellgeluk, Kaz sends Specht, Nina, and Kuwei Yul-Bo to hide in the abandoned cages below the old prison tower. After the disaster at the Hellshow, the cages were flooded to purge them of beasts and bodies and remained empty.

Jellen Radmakker threatens to throw Jan Van Eck in Hellgate after Van Eck is revealed to be involved with a false fund that swindled the Merchant Council.[2] Heleen Van Houden also threatened to throw Inej Ghafa in Hellgate for breach of her indenture contract after she tried to run away from the Menagerie.[3]

Gert Van Verent, a former member of the Merchant Council, is sentenced to two years in Hellgate after being found guilty of involvement in the illegal slave trade.[4]


Hellgate is a dangerous and inhumane prison. Matthias bears physical and psychological scars from his year at Hellgate. He learned to sleep with his back to the wall, since sleep was a dangerous luxury,[5] and says that in Hellgate, instinct was everything.[6] He also became more violent and willing to compromise his beliefs for survival.

According to Matthias, the prisoners discussed the Queen's Lady Plague[7] and the actions of Kaz Brekker,[6] but their favorite topic of conversation was the girls of West Stave.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Six of Crows, Chapter 6
  2. Crooked Kingdom, Chapter 41
  3. Six of Crows, Chapter 25
  4. Rule of Wolves, Chapter 27
  5. 5.0 5.1 Six of Crows, Chapter 14
  6. 6.0 6.1 Six of Crows, Chapter 7
  7. Crooked Kingdom, Chapter 33


v  d  e
Main Characters Kaz BrekkerInej GhafaJesper FaheyNina ZenikMatthias HelvarWylan Van EckKuwei Yul-BoJan Van EckPekka Rollins
Minor Characters JoostAnyaEmil RetvenkoCouncilman HoedeGeelsBo Yul-BayurPer HaskellTante HeleenJordie RietveldSpechtRottyJarl BrumCornelis SmeetAdem BajanColm FaheyAditi HilliAlys Van EckMarya HendriksZoya NazyalenskySturmhondGenya SafinDunyasha LazarevaAnikaPimKeegRoederKarl DrydenJellen Radmakker
Locations KetterdamThe BarrelHellgateIce CourtDjerholmBlack Veil IslandKerchFjerdaRavkaNovyi ZemShu HanWandering Isle
Groups The DregsDime LionsBlack TipsStadwatchGrishaDrüskelleThe MenagerieHouse of the White RoseMerchant CouncilCouncil of TidesKhergud Soldiers
Events HringkällaHellshowQueen's Lady PlagueKomedie Brute
Miscellaneous JurdaJurda paremKeftaIndentureDjelGhezen