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 1997-2018. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

King of the North

A title of the rulers of Hithlum

A title given to Fingolfin, in addition to his full rank as High King of the Noldor. It referred to his direct rule over the land of Hithlum to the north of Beleriand from his seat at Barad Eithel. Fingolfin took on the rule of Hithlum soon after the return of the Noldor to Middle-earth, and held it until the time of the Dagor Bragollach, when he rode to challenge Morgoth and was slain.

After the loss of Fingolfin, his son Fingon ruled Hithlum in his father's stead, and so doubtless the title 'King of the North' would have descended to him. Fingon himself was slain in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, after which Hithlum fell under the power of Morgoth; so Fingon would have been the last of the brief line of the Kings of the North.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda