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


A village of the Tookland

The smaller of the two main settlements of the Tookland, about seven miles to the west of Tuckborough, which was the larger of the two towns in the region. The name 'Tookbank' is clearly derived from the Tooks, in whose folkland it lay, combined with the word 'bank', meaning 'hillside'.

Tookbank is geographically curious in that it does not appear to have been connected by road with its much larger neighbouring town of Tuckborough - indeed the only overland access to Tuckborough would involve a significant detour through Stock, far to the east. The Tooks may have made this arrangement intentionally, so that traders or other visitors to the Tookland would do their business through Tookbank and thus avoid their main township. Alternatively, it may be that the two villages were in fact connected, but by tunnel rather than by road; a seven-mile underground passage seems rather implausible, but was perhaps not beyond the renowned tunnelling capabilities of the Hobbits.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda