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 1997-2022. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry


Radagast’s dwelling on the edge of Mirkwood

The fenced home of Radagast the Brown on the western edge of Mirkwood. Radagast appears to have dwelt there as late as the time of the Quest of Erebor, but by the time of the War of the Ring some eighty years later he was known to have abandoned his old home. We have no definite information to explain when or why he left, or under what circumstances, and indeed it is implied that he had not completely abandoned Rhosgobel even then. After the Council of Elrond, searchers were sent to seek Radagast at Rhosgobel; they were unsuccessful, but the fact that they tried shows that there must have been at least some expectation that he might be found in the area.

Evidence for Rhosgobel's exact location is open to interpretation. There is support for it standing in the southern part of the Forest, about a hundred miles north from Sauron's fortress of Dol Guldur, but other sources place it farther north, much closer to the Carrock and the home of Beorn. The journey of Elrond's scouts to seek Radagast took them to the southern parts of Mirkwood, so, on what little evidence we have, the former location seems to be better supported.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda