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 Green-elves of Ossiriand

As they reached the Misty Mountains on the Great Journey from Cuiviénen, the great Elf-clan of the Teleri became divided. Some went forward, and either passed across the Great Sea to Aman, or remained beyond the Mountains as the Sindar. Another group remained behind in the Vales of Anduin, and became known as the Nandor. After a time, though, a lord of the Nandor named Denethor persuaded some of his people to follow him across the Misty Mountains, and the Blue Mountains beyond, and come at last into Beleriand. Denethor and his followers settled in Ossiriand, the Land of Seven Rivers beneath the western feet of Ered Luin.

After centuries of peace, Morgoth returned to Middle-earth and unleashed his armies against Thingol. Denethor led his Elves to Thingol's aid, but after their long peaceful existence, they were unready for war. They fought valiantly, and Denethor himself was slain, but at last his followers defeated the Orcs. In the aftermath of the battle, many of the Nandor of Beleriand abandoned Ossiriand, and travelled north and west to settle in Thingol's protected realm of Doriath.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda