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


A Dwarf of the royal line of Durin’s Folk

The second son of Thráin II, and thus younger brother of Thorin Oakenshield. He was born in Erebor during the time that his grandfather Thrór ruled as King under the Mountain, and grew up during a time of peace and prosperity. In his nineteenth year, disaster struck the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain: the Dragon Smaug descended from the North and drove out the Dwarves. Frerin and the royal family survived, but they were left as dispossessed wanderers in Middle-earth.

They travelled southward and westward, and settled for a time in Dunland beneath the Misty Mountains. After a time, Thrór became restless and set out into Middle-earth, finding his way northward to Moria, where he was slain by the Orc Azog. Thus began the War of the Dwarves and the Orcs, and the young Frerin was swept up into that conflict. He fought in the climactic Battle of Azanulbizar, and was slain there at the age of just forty-eight.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda