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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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry


A village of Buckland

A large village of Buckland, about three miles to the north of Bucklebury and Brandy Hall, standing close to the Hedge that protected Buckland from the Old Forest. The village's name implies that it was more recent than other settlements of the Bucklanders, but nonetheless it was clearly of considerable age. The line of the Hedge followed an arc around the village, showing that it was already established when the High Hay was created, generations before the end of the Third Age.

Newbury was close to Crickhollow, and its southern outskirts were a mile or less from the place where Frodo Baggins bought a house to disguise his departure from the Shire. As Frodo and his companions set out from Crickhollow to find a way under the Hedge, they turned north for a short distance, and so came extremely close to Newbury. Indeed, the cutting and gate they used to pass out of Buckland was likely the work of the Hobbits that lived in that larger village, rather than tiny Crickhollow to the south.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda