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

Great Echo

The land of Lammoth northward of Drengist

After Melkor and Ungoliant had destroyed the Two Trees and fled back to Middle-earth, they came to a narrow land running between the mountains and the sea north of the Firth of Drengist. There Ungoliant demanded the payment she had been promised, and began to consume the many jewels and gems that Melkor had brought out of Aman. Still he kept back the Silmarils, until in her fury Ungoliant enmeshed him with her webs, and Melkor let out an dreadful cry of anguish.

That cry echoed from the mountains and spread across the North, and was heard by the Balrogs lurking in Angband. They sped to their master's aid, and drove Ungoliant off. So Melkor escaped with the three Jewels of Fëanor, but he left a lasting legacy in the land of his struggle. The mountains running down its eastward border held the memory of his cry, so that any loud sound would reawaken that memory and fill the mountains with echoing voices crying out in pain.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda