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 1997-2020. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

King of Rhovanion

A title claimed by Vidugavia

At the beginning of the second millennium of the Third Age, the wide lands of Rhovanion were peopled by scattered clans and tribes of Northmen. Among these the most powerful were the people led by Vidugavia, who extended his domain across the lands between the darkening forest of Mirkwood to the west and the long river Celduin, or Running, to the east and north. Though not truly the ruler of all Rhovanion, the peoples and lands under Vidugavia's control were great enough that he came to style himself 'King of Rhovanion'.

During the reign of Narmacil I in Gondor, certain of the lesser rulers in this region began to stir against his kingdom, joining with Easterling raiders against the South-kingdom. Vidugavia himself remained loyal to Gondor, and allied himself with Narmacil's regent Minalcar. Together these two allies won a great victory against the Easterlings and rebellious Northmen westward of the Sea of Rhûn, and ranged eastward beyond the Sea, destroying enemy encampments and settlements. Thus Gondor secured itself against the raiders out of the East, while Vidugavia entrenched his position as King of Rhovanion.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda