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

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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry

King of Angmar

The Lord of the Nazgûl in the North

A title given to the Lord of the Nazgûl during the centuries when he ruled over the northern kingdom of Angmar, and made war on the surviving Dúnedain of the divided realm of Arnor. 'King of Angmar' is a rare abbreviated form of the more common title associated with this time: the Nazgûl ruler of this northern land is more usually called the 'Witch-king of Angmar'.

The Lord of the Nazgûl established himself as King of Angmar in about the year III 1300. More than four centuries earlier, The North-kingdom of the Dúnedain had broken into three minor lands, and Sauron saw hope of victory in the disunity of these Northern Dúnedain. He therefore sent his chief servant into the North, where the Witch-king established himself at Carn Dûm and built up the land of Angmar in the northern reaches of the Misty Mountains.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda