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 1997-2023. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Lord of the Éothéod

Leader of the ancestors of the Rohirrim

The Éothéod were a people descended from the Northmen, who had at one time dwelt in the lands south of the Carrock, but who later travelled into the far North, and settled in the regions where the Anduin had its sources. Of their Lords, the names of only four are recorded: Frumgar (who led them into the north), Fram (slayer of Scatha), Léod and his son Eorl. Léod was killed while attempting to tame a wild horse (the horse later named Felaróf), and so Eorl became Lord of the Éothéod at the age of just sixteen. For this reason, he became known to history as Eorl the Young.

The distant ancestors of the Éothéod had been allies of the people of Gondor, and soon after he became Lord, Eorl received one Borondir, a desperate messenger of Gondor. Borondir brought messages from Steward Cirion recalling their old alliance, and asking for Eorl's aid against an overwhelming assault. The young Lord led the Men of the Éothéod to answer the summons, and they defeated Gondor's invaders at the Battle of the Field of Celebrant. In reward, Cirion granted Eorl's people the land of Calenardhon to dwell in, and they slowly removed from the North to their new home. Eorl was therefore the last Lord of the Éothéod: after his time, his people became known as the Rohirrim, and his descendants, rather than being Lords of the Éothéod, were known instead as the Kings of Rohan.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda