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 1997-2020. 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


The Ring of Air

One of the Three Rings of the Elves, created outside the influence of Sauron, Vilya was described as a golden ring set with a brilliant blue sapphire. For this reason it was also known as the Blue Ring and the Ring of Sapphire, and it was also named the Ring of Air. Vilya was said to the have been the greatest of the Three Rings.

Soon after the making of the Three Rings in Eregion in about II 1590, Celebrimbor and his Jewel-smiths became aware that Sauron had forged a Ruling Ring to subjugate all those who bore Rings of Power, including the Three Rings. On the advice of Galadriel, both Vilya and its companion Narya were sent north from Eregion at this time to hide them from Sauron (the third Ring, Nenya, was concealed by Galadriel herself). There they were kept safe by Gil-galad, as Sauron ravaged Eriador and laid waste Eregion, claiming the surviving Rings of Power for himself.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda