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


The Battle-under-Stars

The Second Battle of the Wars of Beleriand, fought between the followers of Fëanor and Morgoth's armies in the Noldor's first days in Middle-earth. The battle was fought so soon after Fëanor's return that the Moon had not yet risen for the first time, hence the name Dagor-nuin-Giliath, meaning 'Battle-under-Stars'.

After their return, Fëanor had led his people up the Firth of Drengist, and then eastward to Lake Mithrim, on whose shore they camped. Morgoth saw an opportunity to wipe out his enemies, and sent a vast army of Orcs to launch a surprise attack on the Noldor. Though the Orcs greatly outnumbered the Elves, and had the advantage of surprise, the Noldor quickly turned the tide and routed their enemy. Many Orcs fled back over the Mountains, where they joined with reinforcing armies, but still they were no match for the Elves. Celegorm and his hunters chased them across Ard-galen and into the Fen of Serech, where they were destroyed.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda