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


Alphabetical index

Browse topics


Other editions

Tolkien news and resources

Sponsors and associates

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 1997-2021. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Discus from Axiom Software Ltd.
Discus is a powerful, flexible DISC profile solution - find out much more in our free guide.

Latest entries and updates

See more...

Featured Entry

Ride of Eorl

The rescue of Gondor by the Men of the Éothéod

In the year III 2510, a rider named Borondir arrived at the court of Eorl, the young ruler of the Éothéod in the far north of Middle-earth. Borondir was the last survivor of six riders sent out by Steward Cirion to seek Eorl's aid against an imminent assault on Gondor.

Gondor and the Éothéod had been friends and allies in the past, when the Men of the Éothéod dwelt further to the south, but since their move into the north few messengers had passed between the two realms. Nonetheless Eorl agreed to Cirion's desperate request, and he gathered almost his entire force into a great éoherë consisting of some seven thousand horsemen, and a few hundred archers. Taking Borondir as a guide, the Ride of Eorl set out to cover the hundreds of miles into the south. The Ride proceeded from Framsburg through the eastern Vales of Anduin. As they approached the southern parts of Mirkwood, they kept as far to the west as they could to avoid the darkness of Dol Guldur, and Galadriel sent a white mist across the Great River to protect them as they passed her land.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda