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 1997-2021. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Elves of the Falas

The coastland Elves of Beleriand

In ancient days, the Telerin Elves dwelt for long years in Beleriand, and they learned much from Ossë, a Maia of the Sea. When Ossë's master Ulmo conducted the most part of the Teleri into the West, Ossë persuaded some few to remain behind. They settled on Beleriand's western shores, building themselves Havens at Brithombar and Eglarest. Círdan was their leader, and they were known as the Falathrim, or Elves of the Falas, the first builders and sailors of ships in Middle-earth's history.

After the Return of the Noldor, the Elves of the Falas became fast in friendship with the Deep Elves. With Finrod's aid, the Havens of the Falas were strengthened and rebuilt. They fought beside the Noldor, too: in the Dagor Bragollach, their mariners rescued High King Fingon from overwhelming hordes in Hithlum, and they went to the aid of Fingon again at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda