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 1997-2021. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry


The successor to Amlaith as King of Arthedain

Beleg was born in Arnor's closing years as a united kingdom. When his grandfather Eärendur died, the old King's sons became divided over the succession. Beleg was fifty years old at this time, and thus it seems likely that he would have been involved to this political dispute (surely taking the part of his father Amlaith, the true heir). Ultimately the North-kingdom was divided into three, with Amlaith becoming King of the reduced realm of Arthedain.

Amlaith ruled over Arthedain for eighty-five years, and on his death Beleg became the new land's second King. During his reign, momentous events took place in Middle-earth. Towards the end of his rule, the Istari or Wizards first appeared. As King of the greatest nation of Men in northern Middle-earth, it seems likely that Beleg was one of the first to encounter them (if this is so, however, the event is not recorded).

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda