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 1997-2021. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

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Featured Entry

Folk under the Mountain

The Dwarves of Erebor

Náin I was the last King of Durin's Folk to rule in Khazad-dûm after the awakening of the Balrog beneath the Misty Mountains. Náin was slain by that Balrog, and his son Thráin I abandoned his ancient mansions and led his people out into Middle-earth. They journeyed far to the north and east until they come upon a single peak standing out from the surrounding plains. This was the Lonely Mountain, and in III 1999 Thráin founded a new kingdom of Dwarves beneath it. Thráin's new realm became known as the Kingdom under the Mountain, and its people were the Folk under the Mountain.

This first occupation of Erebor (as the Lonely Mountain was known in the Elvish tongue) lasted a little over two centuries. In III 2210, Thráin's son Thorin I sought out a new home for his numerous people, leaving the Lonely Mountain behind to settle in the Grey Mountains to the west.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda