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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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry

Curse of Mandos

The dreadful foretelling of the fate of the Noldor

After following a long northward road out of Valinor and along the empty coastlands of Aman, Fëanor and the Noldor who followed him found a strange figure standing high in the rocks above them, who spoke a prophecy sent by the Valar. Though it is not known for certain who this figure was, it is generally thought to have been Mandos himself, and so the words he spoke are variously known as the Curse or Doom of Mandos, or as the Prophecy of the North.

The curse was laid most strongly on Fëanor and the others who had taken the Oath to recover the Silmarils, but it foretold a dark future for all the Noldor, filled with treachery, tragedy and death. Even for those that survived, nothing was promised but a fading to emptiness beside the Younger Children - Men - who were even then awakening in Middle-earth.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda