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

Thorin I

The King who led Durin’s Folk into the Grey Mountains

The son of Thráin I, born after his father had led many of Durin's Folk away from Khazad-dûm to found a new home at Erebor. Thorin was thus the first of Durin's line to be born after their exile from their ancient mansions.

On the death of Thráin in III 2190 Thorin succeeded him to become the second King under the Mountain, and there he ruled for twenty years. At this time many of his scattered people had begun to settle among the Grey Mountains to the west of Erebor, and in III 2210 Thorin abandoned the Lonely Mountain, taking his young son Glóin to join his people among the rich mountains to the west. After his time there was no King under the Mountain for nearly four hundred years, until the Lonely Mountain was resettled by Thorin's descendant Thrór in III 2590.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda