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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Featured Entry

Thorin III Stonehelm

King of Durin’s Folk after the Battle of Dale

The son of Dáin Ironfoot, lord of the Dwarves of the Iron Hills. As a young Dwarf, he would have been raised in the home of his father, among the Iron Hills far to the east of Erebor. A turning point in his life came in III 2941, when a message was received by his father from Thorin II Oakenshield, then the King of Durin's Folk. That elder Thorin had reclaimed Erebor from Smaug, but found himself besieged by the Men and Elves who lived nearby.

Dáin set out with an army of Dwarves to the aid of his royal cousin. It is uncertain whether Dáin's son Thorin accompanied that army (he was certainly old enough to do so by that time, but he may have remained behind to ensure the survival of the line of lords; at the very least, no mention is made of him in the annals of those events). At Erebor, Dáin fought in the Battle of Five Armies against an unforeseen incursion of Orcs, and though the Orcs were defeated, Thorin II was slain in that battle, as were both the remaining heirs of his line, Fíli and Kíli.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda