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

Mound of Elendil

Elendil’s grave on the Halifirien

The grave-mound of Elendil, father of Isildur and Anárion, and first ruler of Arnor and Gondor. It stood on the hill later called the Halifirien, in the midst of the Firien Wood, which at the time of his burial stood near the mid-point of the South-kingdom of Gondor. Elendil's Mound remained a secret place, made in a hallow on the hillside, and it brought such a sense of awe over the surrounding woods so that even those that did not know of it felt a need to speak in a whisper when they were nearby.

The secret of the Mound of Elendil was maintained for more than two and a half millennia. After Eorl and his Men of the Éothéod rode to Gondor's aid in battle, Steward Cirion chose the hallow of the Mound as the place to swear a solemn Oath of friendship between the two peoples. As part of the Oath, Cirion gifted the northern land of Calenardhon to Eorl (thus laying the foundations of Rohan) and leaving the Mound of Elendil on the borders of his diminished realm. After this time the mortal remains of Elendil were removed from the Mound and taken to the Hallows of Minas Tirith, the place that held the tombs of his descendants.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda