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 1997-2019. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry


The younger brother of King Dáin I

A Dwarf of the Folk of Durin, born and raised during the time when that people were dwelling in the Grey Mountains. Borin was of royal blood, the second son of King Náin II, and after Náin's time Borin's elder brother Dáin took up the Kingship. Dáin's rule ended in disaster when a Cold-drake attacked the halls of the Dwarves, killing the King and his second son Frór.

Borin's nephew Thrór now became King of Durin's Folk, and led his people away from the perils of the Grey Mountains. Many of his people settled in the Iron Hills at this time, but Borin followed his new King to Erebor, where they refounded the Kingdom under the Mountain and grew prosperous once again. Years later, the Dwarves of Erebor would again be driven from their home by a Dragon, but Borin did not live to see that; he died while the new Kingdom was still at the height of its wealth and power, long before the coming of Smaug.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda