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 1997-2019. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry


Refuge of the Grey-elves of Mithrim

After the disaster of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the northern land of Dor-lómin was overrun by Easterlings in the service of Morgoth. The Grey-elves who dwelt in Mithrim took shelter in the hills, and their leader Annael brought them to the caves of Androth, where they survived in secret for many years. With them was a young Tuor, whom Annael had fostered, and he grew to the age of sixteen hiding with the Elves among the caverns.

At last, Annael determined to leave Androth, planning to lead his people into the south, to the Havens at the Mouths of Sirion. His plan was foiled when the Easterlings attacked and defeated the Elves, and took Tuor into servitude. After three years, he escaped, and fled back to his old home in the caves of Androth, which were now deserted and empty. He lived there alone as an outlaw for four more years, but at last he left the caves of Androth behind him, and set out westwards across Dor-lómin to meet his destiny.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda