Sam wakes up by the Under-gate to the orc stronghold in Cirith Ungol. He leaves Shelobs lair and makes his way up the cleft towards the tower. Crossing over the highest ridge of the Ephel Duath he is treated to his first fearful view of the Land of Shadow.

The ring now close to the place where it was forged tempts Sam greatly, but the little gardener shows a remarkable resistance to the ring and casts temptation aside and goes in search for Frodo in the Tower of Cirith Ungol. There the true spirit of Mordor reveals itself in all its horror.

How does the One Ring temp Sam, and how does he face up to the challenge? As a reader; what was your first impression of Mordor like?

We shall also look at how Sams masters his ordeals in the tower, and debate if this chapter is an example of Deus ex Machina or not. And what exactly is the nature of the sinister Watchers?

Join us this weekend in #thehallofire as we explore chapter I of Book 6 of The Lord of the Rings.

Upcoming Topics:
August 9-10: Tolkien and Canon
August 16-17: Colours in Tolkien’s World
August 23-24: RoTK, Book 6, Chapter 2: The Land of Shadow:


Saturday Chat:
5:30pm ET (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 7:30am Sunday (07:30) AET]

Sunday Chat:
7:00 pm (19:00) CET
[also 1:00pm (13:00) ET and 3:00am (03:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA’s East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe
AET = Australian East Coast

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Do you have a possible topic for Hall of Fire? Drop us a line at And don’t forget that you can check out previous chats here.