Arda

Mňns Bj÷rkman

1 The name of the Tengwa that in Quenya is pronounced "rd" and in Sindarin "rh". See also Tengwar.


2 The Quenya name of the kingdom of ManwŰ, often translated as the "World". The word has not been quite consistently used, and often seems to mean the earth itself, though the most probable correspondence is the universe.


The word arda is derived from Proto-Eldarin *gard and literally means "region". The Sindarin equivalent is gardh, though this word seems never to have been used in the sense of the "World". The use of arda in this sense is said to be derived from Valarin Atharaphelun, which means "appointed dwelling" (which of course is exactly what Arda is to the Valar). {1}

Also called: Kingdom of Arda, Little World, Little Kingdom. {2}

Arda's principal part is the earth (Ambar or Imbar). In the Second Age (when all the continents of the legendarium were present) there were five continents: Aman, the westernmost continent where Valinor lies; Endor, or Middle-earth: the midmost region; N˙menor, the great island between Aman and Endor; the Dark Lands, south of Endor; and the eastern lands mostly known as the Walls of the Sun. Two oceans were prominent: Belegaer (the widest) and the East Sea.


HistoryOriginally, the earth was flat. Above the surface the Vista (breathable air) was vaulted, but did not extend to the outmost western and eastern edges. Surrounding Vista was Ilmen, where the stars, the Sun and the Moon go. Mortals could not endure here without the aid of the Valar. Ilmen covered also the eastern and western borders of the earth, and was surrounded by Ekkaia or Vaiya (the Outer Sea), which extended below the earth, thus forming a globe around it. In the lower hemisphere of this globe Ulmo abode. Below the surface of the earth were the Roots of the World, consisting of rock mined with caves. Through the Veins of the World, tunnels going from the Outer Sea below to the surface of the earth, Ulmo refreshed the waters on the surface and kept himself informed on what happened. The extent of Ekkaia is unknown, but outside of it lies K˙ma, the Void, which is not a part of Arda. Here is Il˙vatar, and from K˙ma the Valar once came. Figure 1.

When the Valar first came to Arda, the earth was probably quite featureless. (Except, maybe, the Iron Mountains in the north. It is not clear whether Melkor raised these for his protection, or they existed from the beginning.) {3} The first geographic features to be created were the Great Lake with the Isle of Almaren in its centre, and the two Lamps that stood on high pillars to the north and south of the lake (Figure 2). After a long time Melkor cast down the Lamps, and in the fall the whole geography of the earth was changed {4}. At the former positions of the Lamps, two great lakes were formed: Helcar and Ringil (Figure 3). A number of mountain-ranges were raised: in the north the Blue Mountains, the Hithaeglir (or Misty Mountains), and the Red Mountains, all extending south from the Iron mountains; between the eastern shores of the two lakes the Mountains of the World rose; and in the south were the Grey and the Yellow Mountains.

Two oceans were also formed in the east and west, leaving two strips of land at the edges so the original continent was split into three. The western ocean was called Belegaer, and in the land beyond it the Valar created their new abode, and rose a mountain-range to protect them: the Pelˇri, the highest mountains in the world. Figure 3.

At the coming of the Elves the Valar went to war to capture Melkor, and the war caused the shape of the world to change once more. The western ocean was expanded eastward and a great bay was formed on the western coast of Middle-earth (the midmost continent). The Sea of Ringil was expanded to the east and west and connected the two oceans, causing the south land to become separated from the rest. After the rebellion of the Noldor the Valar developed their protection further by creating the Enchanted Isles off the cost of Aman. {3} Figure 4.

At the end of the First Age the final battle against Melkor was fought. This time a large portion of northern Middle-earth sunk under the ocean, and the Sea of Helcar was dried up. At its former western shore the Ash Mountains and the Shadowy Mountains rose, closing off the land of Mordor. Possibly the only remains of Helcar was the sea of N˙rnen in the midst of the land. Also the great island of N˙menor was raised in the western sea. Figure 5.

The last greater change to the shape of the earth came at the fall of N˙menor, when the world was made spherical. At this time the western continent of Aman was removed from the earth and new, unknown lands were formed. At this time was also created the Straight Road that goes from the western sea to Aman, following the old surface of the sea. (Figures 1 and 6.) The world made spherical marks also the end of the ages of the Eldar and the beginning of the dominion of Men. {5}

References

{1} HME vol. 11 Quendi and Eldar
{2} Sil. Ainulindale {3} HME vol. 4 The Ambarkanta
{4} Sil. Of the Beginning of Days
{5} Sil. Of the Voyage of Eńrendil and the War of Wrath; Akallabŕth


Statistics:

Mountain Chains


Name                             Length in miles   In kilometres
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Iron Mountains...........................Unknown..........Unknown
The Pelˇri...............................Unknown..........Unknown
Mountains of Mordor........................1,282..............796
     Ash Mountains..................498..............309
     Southern Ephel D˙ath...........501..............311
     Western Ephel D˙ath............283..............175
White Mountains..............................852..............529
Misty Mountains..............................702..............436
Grey Mountains...............................580..............360
Blue Mountains (First Age)...................928..............576
Blue Mountains (Third Age)...................559..............347

Inland Water Bodies


Name                               Size in miles2   Inkilometres2-----------------------------------------------------------------Inla nd Sea of Helcar...................1,025,000..........395,923Sea of Rhűn...............................17,898............6,913Sea of Nurnen..............................5,718............2,208Lake Nenuial.................................639..............246Lake Linaewen................................407..............157Lake Mithrim.................................256...............98Nen Hithoel..................................244...............94Lake Helevorn................................105...............40Long Lake.....................................93...............35Rivers


Name                             Length in miles   In kilometres
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Anduin.....................................1,388..............862
Forest River/River Running...................835..............518Gelion.......................................780............. .484
Hoarwell/Greyflood...........................689..............428
Brandywine...................................573..............356
Isen.........................................395..............245
Sirion.......................................390..............242
Lefnui.......................................382..............237
Lune.........................................307..............190

Political Decisions


Name                               Size in miles2   Inkilometres2-----------------------------------------------------------------Reu nited Kingdom (Fourth Age)............909,510..........351,313Gondor (greatest extent).................716,426..........276,731   South Kingdom..............471,158..........181,992    (including Harondor)    Eastern Territories........206,511...........79,768    Umbar.......................38,757...........14,970Harad....................................486,776 ..........188,025Arnor....................................245,847...........94,962   Arthedain..................113,957...........44,017    Cardolan....................83,299...........32,175    Rhudaur.....................48,880...........18,880N˙menor..................................167,9 61...........64,877Rohan.....................................52,763...........20,380The Shire.................................21,400............8,266Reference: Fonstad, Karen Wynn, Atlas of Middle-earth Appendix


Arda Marred

Also called: Quenya: Arda Hastaina or Arda Sahta, Valarin: Atharaphelun Dusamanudhan {1}. Of the same sense is the "Shadow upon Arda" {2}.

The conception of the world as influenced by Melkor's evil. The opposite was the idea of Arda without Melkor: Arda Unmarred. Arda Marred, according to the Eldar, will eventually be restored to Arda Unmarred by Il˙vatar; this idea the Eldar call Arda Healed. {3}

References:

{1} HME vol. 11 Quendi and Eldar
{2} HME vol. 10 The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Laws and Customs among the Eldar.
{3} HME vol. 10 Myths Transformed


Arda UnmarredAlso called: New Arda, Arda Healed (when referring to the unmarring or rebuilding of Arda that will one day come) {1}; Quenya: Arda Alahasta, Valarin: Atharaphelun Amanaisal {2}.

The idea of the world as it was originally planned, uninfluenced by Melkor's evil {3}. This idea will be fulfilled by Il˙vatar in the end, either by healing Arda, or by making a new Arda. See also Arda Marred.

References:

{1} HME vol. 10 Laws and Customs among the Eldar
{2} HME vol. 11 Quendi and Eldar
{3} HME vol. 10 Myths Transformed


Peace of Arda

The long peace before the Wars of Beleriand.

Reference: HME vol. 11 The Grey Annals


Spring of Arda

The time before the fall of the Lamps, when there was much growth.

Reference: HME vol. 11 The Grey Annals


Second Spring of Arda

The time following the rising of the Sun. All changing and aging and growth of living things was extremely swift during this time.

Reference: HME vol. 11 The Grey Annals


Tale of Arda

The history of Arda, from its beginning to its end. The Tale of Arda is constantly "unfolding".

Reference: HME vol. 10 Laws and Customs among the Eldar


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