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.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd and myDISCprofile.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1997-2018. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Black Stone

The Stone on the Hill of Erech

An immense globe of black stone, more than three metres (ten feet) in diameter, that was sunk into the ground at the summit of the Hill of Erech near the head of the Blackroot Vale. It was brought by Isildur from Númenor and set on the Hill as a mark of his lordship over the lands around Erech (though its alien appearance caused some to speculate - wrongly - that it had fallen from the sky).

It was on this stone that the King of the Mountains swore allegiance to Isildur in the closing years of the Second Age. When he refused to fulfil that oath in the War of the Last Alliance, Isildur cursed him and his people to dwell as Shadow-men beneath the White Mountains. The ghostly forms of these Dead Men would gather at times around the Black Stone, and it was there that Aragorn brought them in the War of the Ring, granting them the chance to finally fulfil their allegiance to Isildur's Heir and be released from Isildur's ancient curse.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda