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

Unrest of the Noldor

Disquiet in the Blessed Realm

At the time of the coming of the first Elves, the Valar went in force against Melkor to protect the newly awakened Children of Ilúvatar. In the Battle of the Powers they captured the Dark Lord, and bound him with the chain Angainor in the depths of Mandos for three ages. While Melkor languished in Mandos, many of the Elves made the Great Journey across the Sea to Aman, and dwelt in bliss in the company of the Valar and Maiar.

When the term of his imprisonment was completed, Melkor sued for release and promised to aid the Valar in their works, and Manwë agreed. Melkor's repentance, though, was far from sincere; he hated the Elves for the part they had played in bringing about his downfall, and began to plot their destruction. Once he saw the Silmarils, he was filled with lust for the Jewels, and his hatred fixed especially on their creator Fëanor.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda