This Saturday at 6pm EDT (New York time), Hall of Fire returns to our read-through of The Fellowship of the Ring. We rejoin our questing Hobbits as they grapple without the fall-out from Frodo’s inadvertent disappearing act in the Prancing Pony’s common room, and try to work out the motivations of the mysterious ranger, Strider. (Details on how to join the chat are found down below)

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.

FoTR Book 1, Chapter 10: Strider

Strider hints that he knows much about Frodo and his business. He knows that Frodo’s name is not Underhill, but Baggins. He knows of the Black Riders. He knows they are seeking Baggins — and, Strider tells Frodo, so is he.

He offers to help — for a reward. Frodo fears he fallen in with a vagabond until Barliman offers accidental proof of Strider’s good intentions with a long-lost letter from Gandalf. Sam remains suspicious until Strider tells them he could take the Ring if wanted.

How does Strider transform from shifty rogue to trustable companion in this chapter? What are the elements that win the Hobbits over? Why does he inspire suspicion rather than confidence? How important is the delivery of Butterbur’s letter in swaying the Hobbits? And how critical was the delay in getting it to Frodo?

And what of Merry’s encoutner with the Nazgul? Do they now seem even more frightening? Is he fearless here, or foolish?

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, July 28 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)

11.00pm GMT (London)
Midnight CET (Paris)
1.00am EET (Helsinki)

8.00am AEST (Sunday) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne
10.00am NZST (Sunday) Wellington

How long do your topic chats go for?

Our chats usually last 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