Standing beside the tomb of Balin in the Chamber of Records, the Fellowship find themself in the heart of the Mines of Moria, a dread and horror in their hearts as they read the demise of Balin’s company. Suddenly, doom boom boom goes a drum in the darkness, and the Fellowship make a hasty retreat through the flame filled lower levels of Moria. Just as it looks like they have escaped, suddenly a horrible spectre of fire and darkness emerges as the source of the flames themselves, and a stand off is made between Gandalf and the fearsome Balrog, one which neither wins. This weekend, the Hall of Fire Chapter by Chapter discussions reach arguably the most important chapter in the Fellowship of the Ring;

Book II Chapter V: The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

For a lot of people, this is their favourite chapter of the Fellowship of the Ring, and for obvious reasons. From start to finish, the chapter manages to always hint at something evil lurking in the shadows, from the book on Balin’s last few moments drawing breath, to the drumming in the dark, to the tapping of feet as the Fellowship hastily retreat, to the climax of the chapter where the ultimate evil in Moria is revealed: The Balrog.

A fearsome beast, much has been made of the ambiguous way its features have been described by Tolkien: a speared pointed tail or an actual whip, a creature of shadow or just one that portrays endless darkness, and even the dreaded discussion…..wings or no wings? Whatever about it’s appearance, even Gandalf seems to be afraid of the creature, and makes the ultimate sacrifice so that the Fellowship may complete their quest. With Gandalf lost, the Fellowship are thrown into despair, their leader gone and their path no longer clear.

This weekend should be a fantastic debate, and we want Tolkien fans of every kind to join our discussions this weekend, as we talk about each and every aspect to this fantastic chapter…even wings!

Upcoming Discussions:
Oct 20 & 21: FotR Movie Discussion – The Cast
Oct 27 & 28: FotR Chapter Discussion – Lothlórien

#thehalloffire on server; come to’s chat room Barliman’s and then type /join #thehalloffire .

Saturday Chat: 7:00 pm ET (19:00) [also 12:00 am Sunday (0:00) BST and 9:00 am Sunday (09:00) AET]

Sunday Chat: 5:00 pm (17:00) AET [also 08:00 am (08:00) BST and 3:00 am (03:00) ET]

Sunday Chat: 6:00 pm (18:00) BST [also 1:00 pm (13:00) ET and 3:00 am (03:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA’s East Coast
BST = British Summer Time, GMT +1 hour
AET = Australian Eastern Time, Australia’s East Coast

Questions? Topics? Send ‘em here.