The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


Alphabetical index

Browse topics


Other editions

Tolkien news and resources

Sponsors and associates

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.

Website services kindly sponsored by Discus from Axiom Software Ltd.
Discus is a powerful, flexible DISC profile solution - find out much more in our free guide.

Latest entries and updates

See more...

Featured Entry

Argeleb I

The seventh King of Arthedain

Argeleb's father was Malvegil, during whose reign the Nazgûl reappeared in Middle-earth, and the realm of Angmar was founded in opposition to the fractured remnant of Arnor. When Argeleb succeeded his father, he sought to reunify the three kingdoms, since his own realm of Arthedain was the only one in which an heir of Isildur's House still ruled. His purpose was forcefully opposed by Rhudaur, which was at that time ruled by Hill-men who (as was only later discovered) had forged an alliance with the Witch-king's realm of Angmar.

Faced with this threat from the east, Argeleb built fortifications on his eastern border, along the Weather Hills northward from the ancient Tower of Amon Sûl. The confrontation soon broke out into open war, the first direct conflict between the Dúnedain and Angmar, and in that war Argeleb himself was slain just seven years after becoming King. He was succeeded by his son, Arveleg I, who drove the enemy back from the Weather Hills and saved the realm, at least for a time.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda