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

The Deathless

Title of the long-lived Durin I

After the Elves had awoken, the first of the Dwarves also awoke from their long sleep. Durin was the eldest of the Seven Fathers of that race, and it was he who discovered a network of caves in the Misty Mountains above the lake of Kheled-zarâm, and there founded the great Dwarf-city of Khazad-dûm. There he ruled for an astonishingly long time, so long indeed that he became known as Durin the Deathless. In fact he was not deathless: he died before the end of the First Age, and was entombed within Khazad-dûm.

As the Ages passed, the Dwarves believed that Durin would return at times, reincarnated among his descendants, or at least that Dwarves would be born so like the original Durin that they were given his name. There were six of these descendants of Durin in total; according to legend the last of them reclaimed Khazad-dûm and ruled there as his ancient ancestor had done.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda