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 1997-2024. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Arathorn II

Father to Aragorn Elessar

The son of Chieftain Arador of the Dúnedain, and a descendant through many generations of Isildur himself. Of Arathorn's early life, little is known. He first appears in annals at the age of fifty-six, seeking the hand of Gilraen as his wife. Gilraen at that time was just twenty-two years old, and though the wedding was at first opposed by her father Dírhael, she became Arathorn's wife.

The following year, Arathorn's father Arador was slain by trolls, and Arathorn took on the title of Chieftain of the Dúnedain. Gilraen bore him a son, who was given the name Aragorn. Aragorn would not know his father for long - when he was just two years old, Arathorn went hunting Orcs, and was shot through the eye by an arrow. After Arathorn's loss, Gilraen took their son to Rivendell to be fostered by Elrond.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda