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 1997-2021. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Ernil i Pheriannath

Prince of the Halflings

At sunrise on 9 March III 3019, the people of Minas Tirith saw a strange sight: the grey figure of Mithrandir (their name for Gandalf) mounted on Shadowfax and accompanied by a figure out of legend: a perian or Halfling. They rode immediately to the Citadel to confer with Denethor, and after their passing rumours began to spring up about Mithrandir's mysterious companion. Since he was in the company of a Wizard, and went directly into long counsel with the Steward, the people assumed that the Halfling must be a noble, and entitled him Ernil i Pheriannath, 'Prince of the Halflings'. Even more rumours sprang up around the 'prince', and by the time he emerged from Denethor's audience chamber, it was being said that he would bring five thousand more of his kind to Gondor's aid, or that the Rohirrim would ride to Minas Tirith each carrying a Halfling warrior.

The mysterious Halfling prince was Peregrin Took, and he countered the rumours, explaining that he was not a leader of his people, nor were armies of Hobbit warriors on their way to relieve the city. Nonetheless the people of Minas Tirith took him to their hearts, and even after discovering the truth, they still used the title they had given him: Ernil i Pheriannath, 'Prince of the Halflings'.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda