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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Latest entries and updates

Featured Entry

Tomb of Elendil

The secret of the Halifirien

Elendil was the first High King of the realms of the Dúnedain in Middle-earth, who was lost in the War of the Last Alliance in the final battle with Sauron. After that war was over, his son Isildur selected a mountain in the centre of Gondor to be his father's final resting place, and there he created a secret hallow where he raised a green mound and placed Elendil's remains within. The mountain he chose to hold the Tomb of Elendil was originally known as Eilenaer, but later came to be called Amon Anwar by the Gondorians, and the Halifirien by the Rohirrim.

Long after Isildur's time, that part of Gondor that lay to the west of the Tomb of Elendil had become an empty and unpeopled plain. After the Northmen of the Éothéod aided Gondor in battle, Steward Cirion resolved to grant them that province, known as Calenardhon, as a new home (this was the land that later came to be called Rohan). He chose Elendil's hallow on Amon Anwar as the place where this gift should be granted, and Cirion and Eorl of the Éothéod swore eternal friendship beside Elendil's grave-mound.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda