This Saturday, Hall of Fire returns to the Fellowship of The Ring as the hobbits abandon the false safety of The Shire and plunge into The Old Forest.

“There,” said Merry. “You have left the Shire and are now outside, on the edge of the Old Forest.”

FoTR Book 1, Chapter 6: The Old Forest

The Hobbits venture deeper into the forest, but it fights there progress at every turn with an almost-sentient wilfulness and disdain for living, moving creatures. Unwillingly, they are turned toward the strangest part of the Old Forest — the Withywindle.

There, among lilies and willows, the trees of the Old Forest entrap the Hobbits. The quest stands on the edge of foundering until a strange man in yellow boots and a battered old hat rescues the four halflings.

What exactly is this force animating the Forest? Is it evil, malevolent or just motivated to protect itself because of a long and fraught relationship with the Hobbits of Buckland? And what does it say that Tom Bombadil can control it?

Also, what of our four heroes? Were they prepared enough? And what does it mean that, Of them all, it’s Sam who shows the most resilience and inventiveness in a tough situation…

Whether you’re a first-time reader of Tolkien, a first-time chatter who’s never visited TORn’s chatrooms, or an experienced hand who was with us when we began our first read-through back in 2001, we’d love you to join us. (Be prepared for a few spoilers along the way, though!)

So join us this Saturday, May 26 at 6.00pm EDT (New York time), when we’ll discuss all this and much more as we continue our Fellowship of the Ring read-through!

Time zone conversions

Not sure what time the chat will be where you are? Check this little conversion table out for some help.

6.00pm EDT (New York)
5.00pm CDT (Chicago)
4.00pm MDT (Denver)
3.00pm PDT (Los Angeles)

10.00pm GMT (London)
11.00pm CET (Paris)
Midnight EET (Helsinki)

8.00am AEST (Sunday) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne
11.00am NZDT (Sunday) Wellington

How long do your topic chats go for?

Our chats usually last around an hour, and are very newbie friendly. Simply drop in and join the conversation! However, our main room, is open 24 hours a day. We don’t always talk Tolkien there, but if you have a burning question, you’ll usually find one or two of “the regulars” up for a chat!

Where — connection details

Chat happens on #thehalloffire on — the TORn IRC server. You can connect instantly via our embedded Mibbit client that works inside your web browser.

Alternatively, you can install a dedicated chat program such as mIRC on your computer and just plug in the following connection details.

Port: 6667
Channel: #thehalloffire


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