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


One of the companions of Eärendil

One of three mariners who sailed with Eärendil on his great voyages in the closing years of the First Age. With his companions Aerandir and Falathar, Erellont sailed with Eärendil on his ship Vingilot from the Havens at the Mouths of Sirion in the year I 534. Their quest was to find a way into the West and come to the Valar, but all their efforts were frustrated, and their captain Eärendil had portentous dreams that persuaded him to set course back to Middle-earth after four years at sea.

As they approached the coasts of their home, the mariners saw what seemed to be a star flying across the waves to meet them, but reaching their deck, the star transformed into Eärendil's wife Elwing. The Havens of Sirion had been assaulted by the Sons of Fëanor, seeking the Silmaril that was held there, but by the power of Ulmo Elwing had escaped with the shining jewel and flown in the form of a white bird across the ocean.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda