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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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry

First House of the Edain

The House of Bëor

One of the houses of Men that had travelled westward in the First Age, through the lands that would later be called Eriador. For much of the journey, they followed the people of Marach, but they overtook that more numerous people to become the first of Men to cross the Blue Mountains. It was in the western glens of those Mountains that Bëor and his companions became the first of mortal Men to encounter one of the Eldar, and he later entered the service of the High Elves.

The Men of the First House dwelt mainly in the northern lands of Dorthonion, ruling the fief of Ladros under the lordship of Finrod Felagund. The greatest hero of the House was Beren son of Barahir, who journeyed with Lúthien to recover a Silmaril from Morgoth's Crown, and later dwelt with her for a time on Tol Galen.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda