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


Alphabetical index

Browse topics


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 1997-2023. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Discus from Axiom Software Ltd.
Discus is a powerful, flexible DISC profile solution - find out much more in our free guide.

Latest entries and updates

See more...

Featured Entry


Royal grandson of Elendil

The son of Anárion and grandson of Elendil, the first King of Gondor to rule in his own name. He was succeeded by his son Cemendur.

Of Meneldil's life before the War of the Last Alliance we know almost nothing, but it is possible to deduce some of the most important incidents in that time. He was born in the very last years of Númenor, and was at most twenty years old at the time of the Downfall. He would have seen the drowning of the island with his own eyes, from the deck of one of his father's ships, before he was propelled by the rushing water to the shores of Middle-earth.

What part he took in the building of the Realms in Exile is a mystery. During this time, he would have been considered a relatively minor nobleman. As the fourth child of Elendil's younger son, he was at best seventh in line of succession, and the prospect of his becoming King was remote. After more than a century, Sauron rose again in the east, triggering the great events of the War of the Last Alliance. It is to be presumed that Meneldil played his part in that War - a war in which he lost his father Anárion - but we have no specific details of his deeds.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda