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

Contents

Alphabetical index

Browse topics

Reference

Other editions

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.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1997-2021. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

House of Elendil

The line of the Kings of Gondor and Arnor

Elendil the son of Amandil was one of the greatest heroes of Tolkien's tales. With his two sons Isildur and Anárion, he escaped the Downfall of Númenor and founded two kingdoms in Middle-earth; Arnor in the north, and Gondor in the south. He ruled both of these as High King, and from his descendants came the line of Kings in both the North- and the South-kingdoms.

Elendil himself was lost in the Siege of Barad-dûr, and his elder son Isildur inherited the High Kingship. Two years later, Isildur himself, together with his three elder heirs, was lost in the Disaster of the Gladden Fields. His only remaining heir, Valandil, was only a boy, and so Arnor was effectively left without a King. Thus, the House of Elendil split into two lines. In the south, Isildur's nephew Meneldil had been left to rule Gondor in his uncle's name. Meneldil now took up the full Kingship of Gondor, and it was ruled by his descendants for more than two thousand years.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda