The Terror Wiki

HMS Terror was a Royal Navy polar exploration vessel, formerly a bomb vessel. She was one of the ships on Sir John Franklin's expedition to find the Northwest Passage, under the command of Francis Crozier.

A fictionalized version of the exploits of the HMS Terror is the subject of the first season of AMC's The Terror.

The HMS Terror is also featured in the miniseries True Terror With George Takei as the subject of the short "The Curse Of The HMS Terror.


HMS Terror was launched in 1813, in Topsham, Devon. She participated in several battles during the War of 1812, with her most notable battle being the Battle of Baltimore. After being decommissioned for a period of time, she was used in George Back's 1836 Arctic expedition, and later participated in Sir James Clark Ross' Antarctic expedition from 1839 to 1843, alongside the newer HMS Erebus.

In the show[]

The Terror naturally appears in the first episode of the show. When Erebus becomes crippled after a chunk of ice is lodged in her rudder, the Terror takes the lead and both ships are ice-locked in September, 1846. They remain stuck there until both ships are abandoned in April, 1848 with a small skeleton crew led by John Lane to stay on the Terror and both sink sometime before 1850.

In the book[]

In the novel Crozier destroys the ship by setting it on fire at the end of the novel.


  • Until 2016 when the wreck was discovered, it was unknown where the Terror had ended up.
    • According to historical advisor Matthew Betts, the original script had the Tuunbaq destroy the ship around Episode 5 when Thomas Blanky is attacked.
  • When the Franklin expedition was launched, the Terror had been experienced in traveling to both the Arctic and the Antarctic.
  • The wreck of the Terror is located in Terror Bay, which was named in her honor in 1910, many years before her discovery.
  • It is likely HMS Terror was sailed again after abandonment, say some historians.

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