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.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd and myDISCprofile.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1997-2018. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Chronology of the Westlands

The Tale of Years

The long and detailed chronicle describing the events of at least the Second and Third Ages of the history of Middle-earth, as well as some of the early events of the Fourth. The annals of the Chronology are generally associated with the Westlands (that is, the northwestern parts of Middle-earth) though the history of Númenor is also described. The Chronology's origin is not established with certainty, but it appears to have been compiled in Great Smials under the direction of Peregrin Took, with assistance from Meriadoc Brandybuck and drawing on the knowledge held at Rivendell.

The Chronology starts with a relatively brief summary of the history of the Second Age from the foundation of Lindon in II 1 to the end of the War of the Last Alliance in II 3441. The chronicle for the Third Age is considerably more detailed, especially for the centuries leading up the War of the Ring at the end of that Age. For significant parts of the years III 3018 to III 3021, the closing years of the Age, the document moves from a chronicle of years to a day-by-day account.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda