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

Last of the Seven

The Ring of Thrór

One of the Seven Rings of the Dwarves, forged in Eregion and said to have been unique in that it was a gift of the Elves to the Dwarves (the other six were presented to their holders by Sauron). Originally given by Celebrimbor to his friend Durin III of Khazad-dûm in the middle of the Second Age, it remained in the keeping of the royal line of Durin's Folk throughout that Age and into the closing centuries of the Third.

As the years passed, Sauron sought to reclaim the Seven Rings, and by about III 2790 six of them were back in his grasp, or known to have been destroyed. The Ring of Durin's line was the last to remain in the hands of the Dwarves. It was held at that time by Thrór, rebuilder of the Kingdom under the Mountain, and thus was commonly known as the Ring of Thrór.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda