Subgrain boundaries revealed as shallow sublimation grooves on ice sample surfaces are a direct and easily observable feature of intracrystalline deformation and recrystallization. Statistical data obtained from the EPICA Dronning Maud Land (EDML) deep ice core drilled in East Antarctica cannot detect a depth region of increased subgrain-boundary formation. Grain-boundary morphologies show a strong influence of internal strain energy on the microstructure at all depths. The data do not support the classical view of a change of dominating recrystallization regimes with depth. Three major types of subgrain boundaries, reflecting high mechanical anisotropy, are specified in combination with crystal-orientation analysis.