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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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry


The Dwarvish name for the Redhorn

The name given by the Dwarves to the northernmost of the three Mountains of Moria in the central reaches of the Misty Mountains. It stood above the Dwarf-city of Khazad-dûm, and below its peak was a difficult and dangerous pass that led from the western side of the Mountains down into the vale of Azanulbizar on the east.

Beneath Barazinbar the Dwarves mined for precious mithril. It was under Barazinbar, in the year III 1980, that the miners of Khazad-dûm discovered an ancient horror: a Balrog that had been dormant beneath the mountain since the end of the First Age. The Balrog - known as Durin's Bane for King Durin VI, who was among its first victims - drove the Dwarves out of their home and made Moria a place of darkness and dread.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda