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

Contents

Alphabetical index

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Reference

Other editions

Tolkien news and resources

Sponsors and associates

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 1997-2019. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Balrogs

Dread Servants of Melkor

The Balrogs originated as Maiar, beings of the same kind as Sauron himself. They were primordial spirits of fire that had allied themselves with Melkor in ancient times, and became the most feared of his servants, especially during the Wars of Beleriand in the First Age. Details of their numbers are hard to state with certainty, but there seem to have been relatively few of them - probably no more than seven.

In appearance, the Balrogs were man-like, though huge, and could appear cloaked in shadow as an impenetrable darkness, or burst into a fiery form that streamed flame. They carried whips of flame and moved with great speed, inducing terror in friends and foes alike. In the War of Wrath, Morgoth was assailed by the forces of the Valar. Most of the Balrogs were destroyed in that War, but some few escaped over the Blue Mountains and hid in Middle-earth. Durin's Bane, the creature that drove the Dwarves from Moria, was one of these.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda