The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien

Contents

Alphabetical index

Browse topics

Reference

Other editions

Tolkien news and resources

Sponsors and associates

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

Misty Mountains

The backbone of Middle-earth

The longest and most significant of the mountain ranges of Middle-earth, the Misty Mountains ran in a shallow arc for more than a thousand miles from Carn Dûm in the cold north to Methedras above the Gap of Rohan in the south. Crossed only by a few difficult passes, the range divided the lands of Eriador to the west from the Vales of Anduin and Rhovanion to the east.

In the most ancient times of Middle-earth, the first Dark Lord Melkor raised the Misty Mountains as a barrier to the Vala Oromë in his journeys across the Great Lands. Those primordial mountains were rows of immense jagged peaks, even more forbidding than in later ages. The peaks within the range remained sharp and narrow (hence the Elvish name for the Misty Mountains, Hithaeglir, meaning 'misty sharp peaks').

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda