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

Contents

Alphabetical index

Browse topics

Reference

Other editions

Tolkien news and resources

Sponsors and associates

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

Queen of Doriath

Melian the Maia

In the long years before the beginning of the First Age, the Telerin lord Elwë Singollo came upon Melian the Maia in the woods of Nan Elmoth. So Melian became the first and only of the Ainur to wed one of the Children of Ilúvatar, and together Thingol (as Elwë became known) and Melian founded a kingdom among the forests in the heart of Beleriand, and ruled it as King and Queen.

Throughout much of its existence, the forest-kingdom was known as Eglador. When Morgoth returned to Middle-earth, he sent his Orc-armies to ravage Beleriand. They were beaten back, but only at great cost, and so Melian put out her power to protect her country. She surrounded the forests of her home with a bewildering maze of powerful enchantments, the so-called Girdle of Melian. From that time, the land she ruled with Thingol was no longer known as Eglador, but took a new name, Doriath, the 'fenced land'.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda