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 1997-2018. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Ered Lómin

The western mountains of Hithlum

The grey mountain range that marched north to south between the land of Hithlum and the Great Sea. It was broken by the inlet of the Firth of Drengist, a passage through which Fëanor led his followers among the Noldor back into Middle-earth. In the south of Dor-lómin, the Ered Lómin met the range of the Ered Wethrin, and so walled off Hithlum and its lesser lands from Beleriand to the south.

The name Ered Lómin means 'Echoing Mountains', but the origin of the name is uncertain. According to some sources, it refers to the echoes of the great cry of Morgoth as he returned into Middle-earth with Ungoliant before Fëanor's own return. According to others, it was merely in the nature of these mountains to produce great echoes. Whatever the origin of the name, it was clearly shared by the land of Dor-lómin, that lay to the southeast of these mountains.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda