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 1997-2018. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Buckland Gate

The North Gate of the Bucklanders

The land of Buckland east of the Brandywine was protected on its landward side by the great Hedge of the High Hay, running along its eastern flank and bending back westward to meet the river at its northern end. Where the Hedge came down to the Brandywine, near the eastern end of the Brandywine Bridge, there was a Gate that allowed travellers on the East-West Road to enter the land of the Brandybucks and their people. This was the Buckland Gate, also called the Hay Gate or the North Gate.

The Buckland Gate was guarded at all times. Those who were familiar to the guards could pass into Buckland without hindrance, but strangers might be refused entrance, especially during the night. Thus the Hobbits of Buckland enjoyed some protection against trouble-makers, though there were other ways into and out of Buckland. On the west, the Bucklebury Ferry ran across the Brandywine some twenty miles southward of the Gate. On the east, we know of at least one gated tunnel, near Crickhollow, that ran under the Hedge and provided a way into the Old Forest.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda