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

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Featured Entry

Eastfarthing of the Shire

The lands east of the Three-Farthing Stone

The eastern quarter of the Shire, whose border in that direction ran along the wide river Brandywine. From the river, the Eastfarthing stretched westward for some forty miles to the Three Farthing Stone, and was at least twice that distance from its northern to southern extents. The farthing was divided into two by the East Road, which ran directly from the Brandywine Bridge to the Three Farthing Stone, passing through the towns of Whitfurrows and Frogmorton on the way.

The northern parts of the Eastfarthing were an upland region of rocky hills and outcrops. Three villages lay in this part of the farthing: Brockenbores, Dwaling and Scary, and in the hills to the east of Scary was a quarry extracting stone from the rocky hills of the region. Southward from these hills, the land became less elevated as it fell towards the valley of the Water, a stream that ran eastward across the middle of the Eastfarthing.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda