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 magical rings of the Elves of Eregion

The magical rings made by Celebrimbor and the Mírdain of Eregion in the middle years of the Second Age, made unwittingly under the secret guidance and tutelage of Sauron. Most famous among them were the Three Rings of the Elves, Narya, Nenya and Vilya, the Rings of Fire, Water and Air. These were the only three made outside the influence of Sauron, though they too fell under the power of his One Ring.

After Sauron made his Ring, he invaded the lands of the Mírdain for the recovery of the Elven-rings. His armies overwhelmed Eregion, and he gathered most of the rings to himself, but four of the Great Rings were lost to him. One (later known as the Ring of Thrór) was held by Durin III, King of the impregnable Dwarf-city of Khazad-dûm in the Misty Mountains. Nenya the Ring of Water was carried eastward from Eregion by Galadriel, who crossed the mountains and settled in the land of Lórien. Narya and Vilya had already been sent into the north by Celebrimbor, and were in the safekeeping of High King Gil-galad.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda