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

Ring of Adamant

A name for Galadriel’s Ring, Nenya

One of the Three Rings of the Elves, the Ring of Adamant was the last of the Three to be forged and, at least according to some sources, the greatest of the Elven-rings. It took the name 'Ring of Adamant' from the gemstone it bore ('adamant' being an old word for 'diamond'): in the same mode, the other two Rings were the Ring of Sapphire and the Ring of Ruby (though the latter term is not in fact recorded). The Elvish name of the Ring of Adamant was Nenya, the Ring of Water, and it was also known as the White Ring.

The Ring of Adamant was formed as a band of mithril, set with a single diamond that was said to shine like the Evening Star. It was made by the Mírdain of Eregion at the height of their powers, using knowledge they had gained from Sauron but untouched by him. When Sauron's plot to use the Rings of Power against the Elves was revealed, each of the Three Rings was sent into hiding. The Ring of Adamant was passed to Galadriel, who was dwelling in Lórien beyond the Misty Mountains. From that time - dated II 1693 in the Tale of Years - Galadriel bore the Ring of Adamant in secret until the end of the Third Age.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda