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.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd and myDISCprofile.

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

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Featured Entry

Stones of Arnor

The palantíri of the North-kingdom

The three Seeing-stones held within the borders of Arnor, the North-kingdom of the Dúnedain. One of these, the Elendil Stone, was held in Elostirion on the Tower Hills, and was permanently attuned to the distant West, so it could not be used for communicating with the other Stones. The other two were suitable for more general communication and observation, being sited originally at Annúminas and in the Tower of Amon Sûl.

As Arnor broke into three states, and was overrun by war, the Stones of Annúminas and Amon Súl were both ultimately removed to Fornost. When Fornost itself was assaulted, Arvedui attempted to rescue the Stones by fleeing with them into the North, but they were lost when his ship sank in the Icebay of Forochel. The Elendil Stone survived these troubles and remained in its tower until the end of the Third Age, when it was taken aboard the White Ship and returned into the West.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda