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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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry

Mountain Kingdom

The Dwarf-kingdom of Erebor

An occasional name for Erebor, the Lonely Mountain to the northeast of Mirkwood. It first became the seat of the Kings of the Longbeard Dwarves after the fall of Khazad-dûm, when Thrán I led many of the survivors of Durin's Bane out of the Misty Mountains. They found their way to the Lonely Mountain, a single tall northern peak, and beneath it they founded a new kingdom, commonly called the Kingdom under the Mountain.

That first settlement of the Mountain Kingdom did not last for long. Many of the other Longbeards had gathered in the Grey Mountains to the west, and Thráin's successor Thorin I left Erebor to join them there. After that time the Mountain Kingdom had no King for nearly four hundred years, until Thráin's descendant Thrór led his people back to the Lonely Mountain and refounded the Dwarf-kingdom there. The riches of the new King under the Mountain became famous far and wide, and they reached the ears of the Dragon Smaug, who descended on Erebor and sacked it in III 2770.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda