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 1997-2021. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Havens of Sirion

Last refuge of the Elves of Beleriand

The sandy reed-beds of the Mouths of Sirion had been home to settlements of the Sindar from their earliest days in Beleriand, and though Círdan ruled his seafaring Falathrim from the Havens of the Falas further north along the coasts, he long maintained a secret outpost and fleet of small vessels among the tall reeds of Sirion's delta. These were the first beginnings of the Havens of Sirion.

It was after the Dagor Bragollach that Círdan's hidden outpost began to gain in importance. Turgon sent envoys from Gondolin there to sail into the West in search of Valinor, though none succeeded. Soon after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Círdan's Havens to the north were overrun and destroyed. His ships fled south with many of his people aboard, and they settled at the Havens of Sirion and on the Isle of Balar to the southwest. Turgon again sent mariners from the Havens of Sirion to seek the aid of the Valar, but again they failed.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda