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 1997-2020. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Camp of the Faithful

The refuge on the Bald Hill

The rocky summit of Amon Rûdh, the Bald Hill, had long held a hidden refuge reached by secret ways. It was the home of Mîm the Petty-dwarf, but it was ransomed to Túrin and his outlaw band. When the outlaws were joined by Beleg of Doriath, a small autonomous land began to grow up around the hill: Dor-Cúarthol, the Land of Bow and Helm.

As the deeds of Túrin and Beleg against the forces of Morgoth became known, others came to the new land and its numbers grew. These newcomers settled the woods and plains around the Bald Hill, but the ways to the stronghold at its top remained a secret entrusted only to Túrin's original band, now known as the Old Company. At this time the hidden refuge of Túrin's faithful followers became known as Echad i Sedryn, the Camp of the Faithful.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda