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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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry

Grey-elves of Mithrim

A northern branch of the Sindar

The Grey-elves of Beleriand were a Telerin people, followers of Thingol who had remained in Middle-earth when their fellow Teleri set out across the Sea into the West. As the starlit ages passed, some of these Sindar spread northwards across Ered Wethrin, settling in the lands beyond the mountains. By the time the Noldor returned to Middle-earth, we know that there were Grey-elves dwelling in Nevrast, and a little to the east in the mountain-walled land of Mithrim.

These people would have seen the great Dagor-nuin-Giliath, the first battle between the Noldor and the Orcs, which was fought in their land. These were the first of the Sindar to converse with the returned Noldor, and it was they who brought the first news of the momentous events in the North to the ears of Thingol and Círdan.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda