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 1997-2022. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry


Easterling enemies of Gondor

A confederation of Easterlings that descended upon Gondor and its allies, some two centuries after the time of the Great Plague, and remained a dire threat to the South-kingdom for nearly a hundred years. The Wainriders, who took their name from the wagons and chariots in which they rode to war, quickly overran Rhovanion and soon came to battle with Gondor itself. Narmacil II was lost in battle, and for a time all of Gondor's possessions east of Anduin were lost to it. Narmacil's son Calimehtar won a temporary reprieve when he defeated the Wainriders on the plain of Dagorlad.

After that defeat, the Wainriders planned a crushing revenge. Allying themselves with the Men of Harad and Khand, they orchestrated a simultaneous assault on Gondor from the north and the south, and the South-kingdom came close to destruction. King Ondoher was lost in the northern battles, but his general Eärnil defeated the southern invaders. The victorious Wainrider army in the north, celebrating their victory over Ondoher, suddenly found themselves set upon by Eärnil. In an encounter that became known as the Battle of the Camp, the Wainriders were put to rout, and those that survived fled back to their eastern domains.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda