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 1997-2018. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Star of Elendil

The royal symbol of the Northern Dúnedain

The name given to either of two noble gems, both of which were also known by the Elvish name Elendilmir. The first dated back to the early centuries of Númenor, and belonged to Silmariën, the daughter of King Tar-Elendil. From her, it passed to her descendants the Lords of Andúnië. The last Lord was Elendil, who escaped the Downfall of Númenor and became High King of the Dúnedain in Middle-earth. He wore the Star of Elendil on his brow in place of a crown, as did his son Isildur after him.

Isildur had only been King for two years before he was waylaid by Orcs and lost in the Great River. The original Elendilmir was lost with him, and so another was made for his descendants the Kings of Arnor. This second Star of Elendil became the royal symbol of the North-kingdom, and after that kingdom's fall it remained an heirloom of the Heirs of Isildur. It remained in Isildur's line down to the time of Aragorn, who wore it during the Battle of the Pelennor.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda