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


The lords of the Eldar

After the Eldar split from the Avari and began the Great Journey, they had many kings in many lands. Above all of these was Ingwë of the Vanyar, the High King of the Elves, whose seat was beneath the mansions of Manwë on the White Mountain of Taniquetil. The other main branches of the Eldar - the Noldor and the Teleri - also took kings of their own, but because those branches became split between Aman and Middle-earth, their arrangements were more involved.

The kingship of the Teleri was split between the brothers Olwë and Elwë. Olwë ruled from his pearl-city of Alqualondë on the shores of the Bay of Eldamar, but his brother Elwë had been left behind in Beleriand with many of his people. There, Elwë founded a new realm in the forested heart of that land, and became the King of Doriath and Lord of Beleriand, known as Elu Thingol in the Sindarin tongue.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda