The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien

Contents

Alphabetical index

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Reference

Other editions

Tolkien news and resources

Sponsors and associates

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

Mordor

Sauron's Black Land

After the destruction of the strongholds of evil in the north of Middle-earth at the end of the First Age, Sauron fled southwards seeking new lands. At the end of the first millennium of the Second Age, he chose a land walled by mountains, and there built his great fortress of Barad-dûr. After Sauron settled there, the land became known as Mordor (the Black Land) - no record of an earlier name for this region exists.

After the defeat of Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance, Mordor was taken under the control of Gondor, and the Gondorians built fortifications around it to prevent the return of evil things. As Gondor's power faded, however, Mordor once again fell into the hands of the Enemy, and after two thousand years of relative peace, the Nazgûl returned and claimed the land once again in the name of Sauron. Sauron himself, however, dwelt at Dol Guldur in Mirkwood, and did not himself return openly to Barad-dûr until some seventy years before the War of the Ring.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda