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

Sons of Elrond

The twin sons of the Lord of Rivendell

In the hundred and thirtieth year of the Third Age, Celebrían gave birth to twin Elf-children, the brothers Elladan and Elrohir, each with the dark hair and grey eyes of their father. As the sons of Elrond Half-elven, they inherited their father's ancestry, being descended from both the High Elves and the Edain. As such they were given the choice to sail into the West with the Elves, or remain as Mortals in Middle-earth. They took neither of these choices while the Third Age lasted, choosing instead to aid their father and his allies in the war against the Shadow.

In III 2509 their mother Celebrían was captured by Orcs in the Misty Mountains, and the Sons of Elrond rode to rescue her from the Orcs' dens. They succeeded, but she had been poisoned and tortured. Though Elrond healed her, she had lost all will to remain in Middle-earth, and soon took a ship from the Havens into the West.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda