The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


Alphabetical index

Browse topics


Other editions

Tolkien news and resources

Sponsors and associates

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.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd and myDISCprofile.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1997-2017. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Latest entries and updates

See more...

Featured Entry

Water of Awakening

A name for Cuiviénen

After the fall of the Lamp Illuin, a great circular inland sea, the Sea of Helcar, formed where its roots had been. On the eastern shores of that sea was the bay that came to be known as Cuiviénen, the Water of Awakening, because this was the place where the Elves later awoke in Middle-earth.

The great mere lay in the eastern parts of Middle-earth, somewhat to the north. This was a time long before the making of the Sun or Moon, so its surface reflected a permanent starlight. On its eastern edge, the lake met and cut into a range of red mountains, the Orocarni, and formed an immense cliff down which a single narrow waterfall fell into its waters. The lands that spread widely around this bay and cliff were rugged and rocky, and it was fed by many other streams running down from the highlands of the Orocarni to the east.

The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda