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

Contents

Alphabetical index

Browse topics

Reference

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.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1997-2017. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Orodruin

Mount Doom

The fire-mountain in the northern parts of Mordor, in which Sauron forged the One Ring during the Second Age, and into which the same Ring fell thousands of years later to bring about the Dark Lord's downfall.

When Sauron chose the land of Mordor as his dwelling-place in the Second Age, Orodruin was the reason for his choice. He 'used the fire that welled there from the heart of the earth in his sorceries and his forging' (from Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age); the most famous result of his forging, and in fact the only one we know of for sure, was the One Ring, made in about the year II 1600. So powerful was the sorcery used in the making of the Ring that it could not be unmade, except by casting it back into the same fire that had forged it.