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 1997-2021. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

The Ring

Sauron’s One Ring to bind all Rings

The powerful artefact of Sauron more properly called the One Ring or the Ruling Ring.

The Ring was born out of a plan Sauron devised to enslave the peoples of Middle-earth. He took on the form of a wise adviser, under the name Annatar, and offered great knowledge to the Elves. Many rejected him, but Celebrimbor and the Elves of Eregion accepted his offer, and he schooled them in the making of Rings of Power. At last, Annatar and the Elves made sixteen jewelled Rings that would in time become the Seven Rings of the Dwarves and the Nine Rings of Men.

Now Sauron put his scheme into motion. Returning to his land of Mordor, to the forges of Sammath Naur in the heart of Mount Doom, he began the secret making of another Ring. He filled it with his own power and malice, to wield power over all the other Rings of Power, and bind their wearers to his will.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda