Thanks to Bilbo, Thorin and company have escaped from the dungeons of the Elf-king of Mirkwood. But to what end? Do the dwarves finally consider Bilbo a worthy member of their company? The journey down the river is an unpleasant one for the dwarves, but the end makes up for it — or does it?

Are the men of Lake-Town as friendly and accommodating as they seem, or do they have a more sinister purpose? What of the legends of rivers running with gold? Do they realize what assisting Thorin’s group might cost them? This is our first look at a village of men in Tolkien’s world, does he present them with the same loving and realistic attention to detail as his more fantastic creations?

These and other thought-provoking questions will be discussed when you join us at this week s in #thehalloffire as we look at The Hobbit, Chapter 10: A Warm Welcome.

Upcoming topics:

July 10-11 — Magic in Middle Earth
July 17-18 — Powerful Objects in Middle Earth’s History
July 24-25 — Gandalf’s Involvement with the Hobbits
August 7-8 — Middle Earth’s Greatest Cities
August 14-15 — The Hobbit: Chapter 11: On the Doorstep

Chat Times:

Saturday Chat:
5:30pm ET (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 9:30am Sunday (07:30) AET]

Sunday Chat:
7:00 pm (19:00) CET
[also 1:00pm (13:00) ET and 5:00am (03:00) Monday morning AET]

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