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 1997-2021. 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


Beacon-hill of Gondor

One of the seven beacon-hills of Gondor, on the northern flanks of the White Mountains. With Amon Dín and Eilenach, Min-Rimmon was one of the oldest beacons and originally the last of the line. It was set in place before the foundation of Rohan as a means for Minas Tirith to send warnings to the people of Anórien, in which it stood almost centrally along the mountain range. With the coming of the Rohirrim, the beacon system was expanded to stretch as far as the borders of Rohan, and in this later period two further beacons were added westward of Min-Rimmon: Calenhad and finally the Halifirien in the Firien Wood.

Min-Rimmon was not a solitary peak, but lay among a cluster of forested ridges and crags that stood out from the flanks of the White Mountains. These crags were collectively known as Rimmon, and the forests that covered them were Taur-Rimmon, the 'forest of Rimmon'. Min-Rimmon gained its name as the most prominent mountain among the crags (Min- in this context means 'prominent mountain peak', so Min-Rimmon was the 'peak of Rimmon'). The name Rimmon itself was an ancient one, dating back to before the founding of Gondor, and its meaning had been lost to memory. This perhaps explains the fact that the spelling of the name is not completely regularised: Min-Rimmon is the most common variant, but the name is also sometimes spelt Min-rimmon or Minrimmon.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda