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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Featured Entry

Lake Mithrim

The lake to the north of the land of Mithrim

A long, narrow lake that ran west to east across the northern parts of the land of Mithrim, separating it from the plains of Hithlum beyond. The lake lay between two ranges of mountains - the Mountains of Mithrim to the west and the Mountains of Shadow to the east - and was fed by four rivers flowing out of these mountains.

The lake's greatest importance in history was as the location of the first camps of the Noldor after their return to Middle-earth. First to arrive there was Fëanor, and he set his camp on the lake's northern shores, but before it could be completed a horde of Orcs descended on the Elves. There followed the Battle-under-Stars, the Dagor-nuin-Giliath, in which the Noldor utterly defeated the Orcs, but Fëanor himself was mortally wounded.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda