Hullo Hall of Fire fans, it’s time to update you on some changes with The Hall of Fire. Thanks to your great suggestions we’ve put our thinking caps on and have come up with a few new things, including a new time for our Saturday chat. But first… our next topic!

Fate vs Free Will in Middle-earth

In the work of JRR Tolkien, one can argue that fate plays a part in everything and is the driving force behind the history of Middle-earth. One can cite examples throughout The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings: Turin’s doom, the prophecies of Mandos; the finding of the Ring by Bilbo; the forsight of Elrond and Gandalf that beings weaker than themselves would end up dealing with the One Ring; Malbeth the Seer’s little ditty that predicted Aragorn would walk the Paths of the Dead.

On the other hand you could argue that it is free will which dominates the history of Middle-earth. Again, from the Silmarillion to the Return of the King, one can site examples where free will plays a decisive roll: the actions of Feanor in not healing the Two Trees and compelling his sons and followers to desert Aman; Bilbo’s resolve to enter Smaug’s lair and discover his weak spot; Frodo volunteering (volunteering!) to take the Ring, and Sam’s groundshaking determination.

So what do you think? Is it Free Will or Fate which drives the history of Middle-earth? Come over to The Hall of Fire this weekend for the great debate, and argue your case or decide for yourself. Please feel free to bring references, and arm yourself with quotes!

Our talk will be at 7:00 EST, a new time. Please note this change so you don’t miss our talk. A special thanks to Melian for the topic suggestion.

Saturday Chat: 7:00 EDT [12:00 GMT] +++NOTE THIS IS A NEW TIME+++
Sunday Chat: 6:00 GMT [1:00 EDT]
Place: #thehalloffire on server; come to our chatroom Barliman’s and then type /join #thehalloffire. If you are unable to reach our chats, or have topic suggestions or feedback, please email us here

You can be a Hall of Fire Moderator!

That’s right folks, you can run a Hall of Fire! How you ask???

Send us your topics! If we pick your idea for discussion, you will be our guest co-moderator for that weekend. You can help us run the Saturday or Sunday chat, or both! Of course, you will not be required to work the chat; this is our way of honoring those of you who take the time to put a topic together.

Questions? Topics? Send ‘em here!!

I’d like to personally thank the following folks for their replies to the mailing list inquiry: Leon, Orome, Leowyn, N.S., master_toe, Melian, and Vaire.