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

Search of the Ents

The quest for the lost Entwives

In the long ages before the War of the Last Alliance, the Ents wandered the forests of Middle-earth, while the Entwives tended their gardens in the lands beyond Anduin. During the War, the Entwives' gardens were withered by Sauron, turning them into the desolate Brown Lands, and when the Ents came in search of their Entwives they found nothing but an empty and barren land. In the early years of the Third Age, the Ents would wander far and wide, calling the names of the lost Entwives and searching for them across Middle-earth.

As time passed the searchers grew fewer and wandered less often, and by the close of the Third Age the Search of the Ents was little more than a forlorn memory, and a topic of song for the Elves. Still at times the Ents would recite the names of their lost Entwives, but they no longer travelled the lands in search of them.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda