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.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd and myDISCprofile.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1997-2018. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry


The Gondorian noble who became Rómendacil II

Hyarmendacil I was a mighty King, and his reign during the eleventh and twelfth centuries of the Third Age saw Gondor grow into a huge and powerful kingdom, stretching east to the Sea of Rhûn, and south to Umbar. Hyarmendacil's immediate descendants were not so vigorous. His son Atanatar, and grandsons Narmacil and Calmacil, were content to live a life of ease in the splendour of Gondor's royal courts.

Fortunately, Hyarmendacil's great-grandson Minalcar inherited more of his forefather's strength of mind. Born in the last years of Hyarmendacil's long reign, Minalcar became active in matters political and military, to the extent that, not long after his uncle Narmacil became King, he handed effective control of the South-kingdom to his nephew. Minalcar took up the challenge, and managed to rebuild some of the power that Gondor had lost in the reigns of his grandfather Atanatar and uncle Narmacil. In particular, Gondor's eastern borders had become victim to Easterling incursions. Minalcar built a great army and wiped out the invaders from the lands west of the Sea of Rhûn.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda