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 1997-2018. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry


The mountain-field of Dunharrow

A wide, flat field of grassland high in the White Mountains. It lay to the south of Edoras, above the stream of the river Snowbourn, and was surrounded by mountain-peaks: the Starkhorn to the south, the Dwimorberg to the east, and the Irensaga to the north. Across the field marched a double row of ancient and worn standing stones, marking the road that led eastwards into the Dimholt forest, and on to the Dwimorberg, the Haunted Mountain.

The only road leading to the Firienfeld was a steep and difficult path leading up the face of a cliff, making it a highly defensible location. After the foundation of Rohan, the Firienfeld was used as a mountain refuge, known as Dunharrow. The field's name in fact comes from the language of the Rohirrim (ultimately deriving from the Old English word for 'mountain').

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda