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

Kingdom of Dáin

Erebor refounded

Before Smaug sacked the Kingdom under the Mountain, its lord had been Thrór son of Dáin I, and Thrór escaped the Dragon's assault with his heirs Thráin and Thráin's son Thorin. Many decades later it was Thorin who recovered the Lonely Mountain after Smaug was slain. Almost immediately, the Battle of Five Armies was fought, in which Thorin was slain, along with his nephews Fíli and Kíli, leaving no direct heir to the Dwarf-kingdom.

The next in line to the throne was Dáin Ironfoot of the Iron Hills, a great-grandson of King Dáin I. Dáin Ironfoot, who had come to Thorin's aid and fought in the battle, was thus made King under the Mountain, becoming King Dáin II of Durin's Folk, and founding a prosperous realm known as the Kingdom of Dáin.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda