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 1997-2020. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry

Amon Rûdh

The Bald Hill

A prominent hill that stood amid the wild moorlands south of Brethil and west of Doriath. Its crown was steep bare rock - apart from the red-flowering seregon plant that grew there - and this feature gave it its name: Amon Rûdh means 'the Bald Hill'. It long held a hidden dwelling of the Petty-dwarves, exiles from the eastern Dwarf-cities, who settled secretly among the lands of Beleriand. Hidden paths and entrances around the hill's crown led down into a subterranean lair known originally as Bar-en-Nibin-noeg, the House of the Petty-dwarves.

The race of Petty-dwarves dwindled in numbers as Elves and Men spread across Beleriand and took over the lands for themselves. In the hard times after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, only three remained in Bar-en-Nibin-noeg, Mîm and his two sons Khîm and Ibun. When Mîm was captured by Túrin's desperate outlaws, he ransomed his life by guiding them to his secret home within the hill, which became known as Bar-en-Danwedh, the House of Ransom.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda