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 1997-2022. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry


The son of Grór of the royal line of Durin’s Folk

A Dwarf descended from the royal line of Durin's Folk, Náin was the grandson of King Dáin I. After King Dáin was slain by a Dragon, the Longbeards abandoned their homes in the Grey Mountains. Many followed Náin's uncle Thrór to Erebor, but Náin's father Grór led his people farther east, and became the lord of the Dwarves of the Iron Hills.

As Grór's son, Náin was the natural heir to the lordship of the Iron Hills, but he would never rule in his father's place. In III 2990, when Náin was 125 years old, the old King Thrór was murdered in Moria by the Orc Azog, and Thrór's son Thráin II called on the Dwarves to war to avenge his father. The War of the Dwarves and the Orcs that followed lasted for nine years, until the climactic Battle of Azanulbizar before the East-gate of Moria.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda