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 1997-2024. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry


Lord of Belegost

A noble Dwarf, the Lord of Belegost in the later First Age. The great smith Telchar made for him a helm of steel and gold, with the head of Glaurung as its crest. While travelling the roads of East Beleriand, Azaghâl and his party were set upon by Orcs, but Maedhros and his people came to their rescue. In gratitude, Azaghâl gave Maedhros the helm of Telchar, and thus it passed on by circuitous routes to ultimately become an heirloom of the House of Hador: the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin.

When his friend Maedhros created a Union to challenge Morgoth, Azaghâl and the Dwarves of Belegost allied themselves with his forces. In the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, they faced Glaurung himself, and set about him with their axes. Enraged, the Dragon struck down Azaghâl, and began to crawl across his body. As his final act, the Dwarf-lord took a knife and thrust it into Glaurung's belly, causing such a wound that the Dragon left the battle.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda