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 1997-2019. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry


The Land of Bow and Helm

In Doriath, Túrin Turambar and Beleg Strongbow were great friends and comrades in arms. Through a tragic mistake, Túrin caused the death of one of King Thingol's courtiers, and fled the land where he had grown up. After many adventures in the wild, he joined himself to an outlaw band who eventually came to the occupy the hill known as Amon Rûdh. This was the old home of a family of Petty-dwarves, Mîm and his sons, who gave his home over to the outlaws in ransom for his life.

One day in the midst of winter, Beleg sought out his old friend Túrin, and they formed an alliance to defend that region against the Orcs of Morgoth. Túrin took a new name, Gorthol, from the dreadful helm of his ancestors that Beleg had brought to him. Together with Túrin's outlaws, they commanded a land that stretched from the River Teiglin in the north to the edges of Doriath in the south and east. This land was given the name Dor-Cúarthol, the Land of Bow and Helm; the name comes from Beleg's great bow and the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin borne by Túrin.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda