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

Stoors of the Angle

An early settlement of Hobbits

Through the early years of the Third Age, the branch of Hobbits known as the Stoors dwelt in the Vales of Anduin. As the numbers of Men increased in that region, and the Shadow fell on Mirkwood, the Stoors elected to leave their homes by the Anduin. In about the year III 1150, they travelled through the Redhorn Pass to cross the Misty Mountains into the west. Some settled along the northern borders of Dunland, but most made their way to the Angle, the place where the Loudwater and Hoarwell rivers met.

The Stoors of the Angle seem to have dwelt in relative peace for about a hundred and fifty years, but around the year III 1300 the influence of the power of Dol Guldur began to be felt west of the Misty Mountains, with Orcs increasing rapidly in numbers, and the evil realm of Angmar emerging in the north. Some fifty more years passed, but at last the Stoors chose to move on again, and at this time they became divided. Some went west, and joined other Hobbits at Bree; it was from these Bree-hobbits that the first settlers of the Shire would eventually descend.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda