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

Lost Realm

Arnor, North-kingdom of the Dúnedain

Founded in the closing years of the Second Age, Arnor was at first the seat of the High King of the Dúnedain in Middle-earth. Annúminas on the lake of Nenuial was the royal city in the North, from which Elendil ruled both the North-kingdom and (through his sons) the South-kingdom of Gondor. It remained the pre-eminent state of the Dúnedain for more than a century, but after both Elendil and Isildur his heir were lost, Arnor was left with a King who was no more than a child, and Gondor in the south became an independent realm.

Though it no longer ruled over Gondor, the North-kingdom survived as a realm for nearly nine further centuries. It was after the death of its last King, Eárendur, that Arnor became the Lost Realm; Eärendur's sons fell into dispute over his inheritance, and the land was divided into three parts. It was in the westernmost of these, Arthedain, that Eärendur's true heir Amlaith ruled, so while Arnor itself had been lost, the line of its Kings survived to rule a lesser land.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda