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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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry

Rochon Methestel

Rider of Last Hope

A song that commemorated the deeds of the rider Borondir of Gondor, the messenger who brought Eorl and the Men of the Éothéod to the aid of the South-kingdom.

In III 2509, Gondor was beset on all sides, and an army of Balchoth came out of the East through the forest of Mirkwood. Unable to raise an army of his own to meet them, Steward Cirion resolved to seek the aid of the Éothéod, the descendants of his old allies who now dwelt in the far north. The way northward lay along the borders of the Forest, and was fraught with danger, so Cirion sent out three pairs of riders to take his message, in the hope that one would succeed. The first two pairs were lost, and of the final pair one was shot with arrows. After fifteen days of riding, the last messenger, Borondir, succeeded in reaching Eorl and conveying Cirion's plea for help.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda