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 lost heir of Ondoher

The elder son and heir of King Ondoher of Gondor, who marched with his father to war with the Wainriders. Ondoher's force met with a surprise assault beneath the Black Gate of the Morannon, where the King and his son Artamir were slain. It was later discovered that Artamir's younger brother Faramir had also ridden to war, against the laws and customs of Gondor, and had himself been lost in the battle, leaving Gondor without a King.

A political crisis ensued, in which Arvedui the northern King of Arthedain pressed a strong claim to the Crown of Gondor. Arvedui's claim was rejected by Steward Pelendur and the Council of Gondor, who instead gave the Kingship to Eärnil, the victorious Captain who also belonged to the Royal House. Eärnil's line was short-lived, however, and ended with the presumed loss of his son Eärnur in Minas Morgul.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda