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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Featured Entry


The Lord of Moria

A Dwarf of Durin's Folk descended from King Náin II, and thus closely related to the royal house of the Longbeards. He had many adventures in his long life, beginning at the age of just thirty-six, when he fought in the Battle of Azanulbizar beneath the East-gate of Moria. It was in that battle that the young Balin's father Fundin was slain.

After the battle, he followed Thráin and Thorin back to their settlements in Dunland, and soon afterwards travelled into the north with his people to find new dwellings in the Blue Mountains. The Longbeards dwelt in peace in Ered Luin for many years, but at last a longing to return to Erebor overcame King Thráin. He set out into the wild, with the brothers Balin and Dwalin among his travelling companions. After a difficult journey of four years, one rain-drenched night they camped under the trees at the edge of Mirkwood, and Thráin vanished into the darkness. It was only later discovered that he had been captured by the spies of the Necromancer.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda