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


Alphabetical index

Browse topics


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.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1997-2017. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry


The steed of Fingolfin

The great horse of High King Fingolfin. We know almost nothing for sure about Rochallor, other than the fact that Fingolfin rode the horse across the desert of Anfauglith after the Dagor Bragollach to the Doors of Angband, where in final despair he challenged Morgoth to single combat. We have a little more information in The Grey Annals (in volume 11 of The History of Middle-earth) where we're told that Rochallor remained beside Fingolfin until his final defeat. Afterwards the steed was attacked by Morgoth's wolves and fled from the battlefield into the land of Hithlum, and there died.

We do not know the origins of Rochallor, but we are told that after the Return of the Noldor centuries earlier, Maedhros had given Fingolfin horses out of Valinor, and that many of the later steeds of Fingolfin's people were bred from these. The High King would surely have ridden such a horse, and so it is reasonable to trace Rochallor's line back to sires out of the West, perhaps even those of Oromë himself. (This story indeed may hold the seed of the legend later told in Rohan, that the mearas had descended from the great horses of Oromë.)

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda