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 1997-2023. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry


A shoreland fief of Gondor

The coastlands of Gondor running westward from the Mouths of Anduin were divided into two stretches, divided at the point where the rivers Morthond and Ringló flowed into the Bay of Belfalas. The coasts eastward of this point belonged to the region of Belfalas, and were known as the 'short beach' or 'short shore', thenfalas in Elvish. Beyond Morthond's mouth, the coasts ran on to form an unbroken shoreline some two hundred and fifty miles in length. This coast was known as the Anfalas, the 'long beach' or 'long shore' (commonly rendered into English in the archaic form 'Langstrand').

Behind the long shore lay a narrow hinterland, rising up into the heights of Pinnath Gelin, the Green Hills. The inhabitants of this narrow land were a rustic people, living far from the great cities of eastern Gondor. For the most part, they lived in small villages (we know of no significant settlement in this region) earning a living by hunting or herding. Despite their pastoral existence, they did follow a lord and acknowledge the power of the Stewards, and would march to war for Gondor when duty called on them.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda