The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien

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Reference

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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

Dwarves of the Iron Hills

The eastern branch of Durin's Folk

A people of the Dwarves belonging to the clan of the Longbeards, otherwise known as Durin's Folk. About half a millennium before the War of the Ring, the Dwarves of this clan dwelt in the northern Grey Mountains, but they were greatly troubled by dragons in that region. After King Dáin I was slain by one of these dragons, his surviving sons led an exodus into the east. Dáin's elder son Thrór recreated the Kingdom under the Mountain at Erebor, while his younger brother Grór led a part of the people further into the east, to settle among the Iron Hills.

It seems that the two related peoples remained on friendly terms with one another. Years later, when Thrór's descendant Thorin Oakenshield sent to the Iron Hills for aid in restoring Erebor, Grór's grandson Dáin Ironfoot (named after his illustrious ancestor Dáin I) sent many armoured Dwarves. As events developed, the Dwarves of the Iron Hills proved crucial in winning the ensuing Battle of Five Armies. Thorin died in that battle, and with him the royal line of Thrór. Through his ancestor Grór, the Kingship of Durin's Folk then fell on Dáin. As Dáin II, he removed from the Iron Hills, and re-established a kingdom under the Lonely Mountain.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda