The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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Welcome to The Encyclopedia of Arda

The Encyclopedia of Arda is a personal project - a tribute to and a celebration of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The site is evolving into an illustrated hypertext encyclopedia of Tolkien's realms and peoples. It already contains about four thousand entries, and we're constantly adding new entries and expanding existing ones.

Inside the encyclopedia

The Encyclopedia of Arda contains thousands of articles covering topics from J.R.R. Tolkien's world, some brief, some lengthy and some containing detailed essays and discussions.

You'll also find a selection of interactive tools, including a chronicle to help you explore Tolkien's fictional history, and calendar to translate dates and events, a lexicon of names, a glossary of old and rare words, and much more.

Context and approach

The content of the Encyclopedia is written in the same context as Tolkien himself used; he presented himself simply as a translator, rather than originator of the tales. Hence, we try to describe his world from a 'historical' rather than a literary perspective, though sometimes it's useful to explore ideas in their wider context. Where relevant, therefore, you'll also find a few references to Tolkien's life or opinions, or to real historical or mythological parallels to events in his universe.

About the name Arda

Arda was the name given by the Elves to their World and all it contained, and so 'Encyclopedia of Arda' seemed a peculiarly apt title for this project.

Special thanks

Thanks to all those who've e-mailed us over the years with their suggestions, corrections, ideas and just general support.

But the real Special Thanks, though, belong to the memory of J.R.R. Tolkien for his extraordinary and unparalleled creation.

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1997-2020. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry

Fastred of Greenholm

Son-in-law to Sam Gamgee

Fastred was a Shire-hobbit of the Westfarthing, who lived originally at Greenholm on the Far Downs, on the very western edge of the Shire. He married Elanor the daughter of Samwise Gamgee, and together they had at least three children, including a son named Elfstan and a daughter named Fíriel.

Shortly after their marriage, King Elessar granted the lands west of the Far Downs to the Shire, forming a new Westmarch to which many Hobbits removed. Ten years after this grant, at the request of Mayor Samwise, Thain Peregrin appointed Fastred as the new Warden of Westmarch. With his family, he moved westward and settled at Undertowers on the Tower Hills. There he remained until the end of his life, when he was succeeded by his son Elfstan Fairbairn as Warden, and thus laid the foundations of the important Fairbairn family of Undertowers.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda