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 1997-2023. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Star of the North Kingdom

The shining royal emblem of Arnor

The name given to two symbols of royalty among the Dúnedain. The first of these held a glistening white Elven gem, bound to the brow by a fillet of mithril. This was originally borne by Silmariën, the eldest daughter of Tar-Elendil of Númenor, and from her it passed down through the line of her descendants, the Lords of Andúnië. The last of the Lords was Elendil, who became the first King of Arnor. So the shining gem became known as the Star of the North Kingdom (and also as the Elendilmir, 'Elendil jewel', from the first King to wear it).

Elendil was slain in the War of the Last Alliance that ended the Second Age, and his son Isildur inherited the Star. As he returned from Gondor to take up the rule the North-kingdom, he was set upon by Orcs, and the priceless Star (which he was wearing at the time) was lost in the waters of Anduin. The Elves of Rivendell created a replacement, less perfect than the original, and bound with a fillet of silver rather than mithril. This was worn in place of a crown by all the Kings of Arnor after Isildur's time, and also by their successors the Kings of Arthedain.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda