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

Seat of Seeing

The high seat on the hill of Amon Hen

Above the Falls of Rauros, where the hills of Emyn Muil were broken by the river Anduin, two heights rose above the river on either side. These heights were known as Amon Hen and Amon Lhaw, the Hills of Sight and Hearing, and on each of them the ancient Gondorians raised a seat. The hill on Anduin's western bank was the Hill of Sight, and on its summit stood the Seat of Seeing.

At the time it was built, the Seat of Seeing was used as watch-post by the Gondorians to guard their northern borders. It was surrounded by a battlement, which enclosed a circular paved area around the Seat. The Seat itself was raised high above the hill on four pillars, with a flight of steps leading to it. To reach the Seat of Seeing on Amon Hen, a road ran up the hill from the green lawn of Parth Galen at its base, though by the end of the Third Age the Seat and its road had been long abandoned to the elements.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda