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


The younger sister of Thorin Oakenshield

The third child of Thráin II of Durin's Folk, and thus a direct descendant of the royal line of the House of Durin. Dís was born in the last days of the Kingdom under the Mountain, and had two elder brothers, Thorin (later famed as Thorin Oakenshield) and Frerin. She was just ten years old when the Dragon Smaug appeared out of the North to sack the Lonely Mountain, but she was able to escape with her family into the wilds of Middle-earth.

The exiles of Durin's Folk wandered southwards from Erebor, settling for a time with their few followers in Dunland, under the western feet of the Misty Mountains near their southern end. It was during this time that the great War of the Dwarves and the Orcs was fought, and in its climactic Battle of Azanulbizar Dís lost her brother Frerin. After the War, Dís' father Thráin abandoned Dunland and led his family northward again, eventually settling in the Blue Mountains on the western edge of Eriador.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda