The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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About the Encyclopedia of Arda

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.

Finding Entries

The quickest way to find what you're looking for is just to use the site search feature. If you're searching for an accented name, you don't need to worry about the accents, so (for example) if you want to find the entry for Eárrámë, just search for 'earrame'.

You'll also find the entries on the site arranged in indexes, both alphabetically and broken down by subject matter: races, places and other miscellaneous categories.

Other Resources

There are lots of other tools, guides and articles available on the site. Some of the most popular are:

There's plenty more to find as well; just look through the various menus and options to see what else you can find.

Date Conventions

Years are shown preceded by their Age in Roman numerals (for example, III 2941 represents the year 2941 of the Third Age - the year in which The Hobbit is set). Dates like this are always connected to the interactive Chronicle of Arda: click on a date to see the events of the century around it. There is no definitive chronology of the First Age, so years are extrapolated from events within the Silmarillion, supplemented by other sources - see the entry for 'First Age' for more details.


Where possible, pronunciation guides represent the sounds of a name as it would be rendered in natural English. There are a few exceptions (such as ch or y) where the sounds required don't exist in English, and in these cases, further explanation is provided. Stress is shown by the use of a stress-mark (') after the stressed vowel sound.

Legal Bit

Please remember that all the images, maps and text on this site are subject to copyright. If you'd like to make use of any of the contents of the site, please refer to the Site FAQ for conditions of use.

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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