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.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1997-2017. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry

Arkenstone

The Heart of the Mountain of Erebor

The great jewel discovered beneath the roots of Erebor by Thráin I soon after the establishment of the Dwarf-kingdom there, and prized by his descendants as the Heart of the Mountain. The Dwarves used all their skill to work the gem into a shimmering multi-faceted jewel that not only shone by its own pale light, but when light fell upon it, the stone '...changed it into ten thousand sparks of white radiance shot with glints of the rainbow.' (The Hobbit 13, Not at Home). It was a heavy gem, small enough for Bilbo to hold in one hand, yet not so small that he could close his own small hand around it.

In the centuries after its discovery, the Arkenstone became an heirloom of the Kings of Durin's Folk. It was carried away into the Grey Mountains by Thráin's son, and in time brought back to the Great Hall of Thráin under the Mountain by his descendant Thrór. When Smaug sacked Erebor, the Arkenstone was lost to the Dwarves of Durin's Folk - it lay among Smaug's booty in the halls of Erebor.