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

Ruler of Gondor

Title of Kings and Stewards

The general term for one of the Men of the Dúnedain who ruled over Gondor from its foundation in II 3320 to the restoration after the War of the Ring and beyond. Broadly the term 'Ruler' includes two classes: the Kings who ruled until III 2050, and the Ruling Stewards who led the realm from that point until III 3019, when the Kingship was restored.

The first Rulers of Gondor were not independent Kings in their own right: Isildur and Anárion ruled the kingdom jointly under the authority of their father and High King, Elendil. After the War of the Last Alliance and the loss of Elendil, this system quickly broke down. His direct heir Isildur was slain soon afterwards, and Meneldil son of Anárion became the first King to rule an independent Gondor.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda