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

Battle of the Hornburg

The battle between Rohan and Isengard beneath Helm’s Deep

A decisive battle between the invading forces of Saruman and the Riders of Rohan. It was fought in the valley of the Deeping-comb, with the defenders holding the ancient fastness of Helm's Deep with its castle of the Hornburg against Saruman's attacking forces. The battle took place on the stormy night of 3 March III 3019.

By the time of the War of the Ring, Saruman had been planning an attack on Rohan for many years. He spent most of this time arranging matters to his own advantage, especially through the machinations of his spy Gríma Wormtongue. Gríma had held a powerful influence over King Théoden since at least III 3014, and for five years had been undermining the policies of Rohan in preparation for Saruman's invasion. In the meantime, Saruman himself filled Isengard with armies of Orcs, Half-orcs and Men ready to overrun the lands of the Rohirrim when the time came.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda