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 1997-2023. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Arwen Evenstar

Noble Queen to Aragorn Elessar

The daughter and youngest child of Elrond and Celebrían, born in the third century of the Third Age. She lived out her long life at her father's House at Rivendell, and also at times among her mother's people in Lórien. In the year III 2951, when she was 2,710 years old, she returned to Rivendell after a time in Lórien and there she encountered the young Aragorn, who was at that time being fostered by her father Elrond.

Soon after that encounter, Aragorn left to adventure in the Wild, but Arwen met him again in Lórien some twenty-nine years later. On the mound of Cerin Amroth, the two plighted their troth. Aragorn's horse Roheryn was a gift from Arwen, and when he went to war at the end of the Third Age, Arwen made a jewelled banner for him. It was this banner that he flew from the captured ships of the Corsairs at the Battle of the Pelennor.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda