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


The mother of Eldacar of Gondor

The daughter of Vidugavia, King of Rhovanion, a Northman who ruled over wide lands eastward of Mirkwood. Vidumavi (whose name meant 'wood maiden' in the language of her people) was said to be fair and noble, and also remarkably courageous. Her father had earned the trust and respect of the King of Gondor, Rómendacil II, and in the year III 1250 Rómendacil sent his son Valacar as ambassador to Vidugavia's court. It was there that Vidumavi met Valacar, and within a few years the two had married.

News of the wedding caused disquiet among some in Gondor, who were concerned that the King's son had married outside his own people and thus potentially reduced the long lifespans of those with true Númenórean heritage. In III 1255 Vidumavi gave birth to a son - a grandson to the ruling King of Gondor - whom she named Vinitharya after the tradition of her people.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda