The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien

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Alphabetical index

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Reference

Other editions

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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

Denethor I

The Steward who saw the end of the Watchful Peace

Denethor I was the tenth Steward to rule Gondor, in whose time the realm suffered perhaps the most calamitous upheaval in its history. When Denethor succeeded his childless uncle Dior in III 2435, Gondor had known peace for many generations. Nearly four hundred years earlier, during the Stewardship of Denethor's noble ancestor Mardil, Gandalf had gone to Dol Guldur and forced Sauron to withdraw into the east of Middle-earth. Though it was known that the Nazgûl still infested Minas Morgul, they offered no threat to the South-kingdom, and Denethor had every reason to hope that this time of Watchful Peace would continue in his time.

He was wrong. III 2460, the twenty-fifth year of Denethor's rule, would be the last year to see Gondor fully at peace for nearly six centuries. In that year, Sauron gave up his exile and returned to his fortress of Dol Guldur in Mirkwood. Just a few years later, it was seen that the Nazgûl had not been idle in the years of the Peace - they unleashed a force of hideous soldier-orcs on Gondor, of the kind that would become known as the Uruk-hai. These Orcs ravaged Ithilien and took Osgiliath, but Denethor's heir Boromir fought them back and recovered Gondor's holdings east of the River, though he was dreadfully wounded. These were the first skirmishes in a conflict that would not truly end until the time of the War of the Ring.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda