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

House of Anárion

Descendants of the younger son of Elendil

Elendil had two sons, Isildur and Anárion, who escaped with their father from the Downfall of Númenor. After the Two Kingdoms were established in Middle-earth, Elendil became High King in the North, while the South-kingdom was jointly ruled in Elendil's name by his two sons.

In the War of the Last Alliance, Elendil fell, and so did his younger son Anárion. Thus Isildur the elder son inherited the High Kingship, and the rule of Gondor was granted to Anárion's son Meneldil. As Isildur travelled back to his capital at Annúminas, he was attacked by Orcs and slain, along with his three elder sons. His only surviving heir was Valandil, then just thirteen years old and incapable of taking up the rule of the Two Kingdoms. From that time onward, Gondor effectively became independent, and Anárion's son Meneldil ruled it in his own right as a separate kingdom. The Kingship descended to his heirs through many centuries, and long after the North-kingdom of Arnor had dissolved, the South-kingdom of Gondor was still under the rule of the House of Anárion.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda