Barliman's ChatLater today, Hall of Fire returns to chatting about the Lord of the Rings with the second chapter of the Two Towers.

The three hunters — Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas — pursue the Orcs. First, though, they come across an Éored of Rohirrim on the move.

‘Riders!’ cried Aragorn, springing to his feet. ‘Many riders on swift steeds are coming towards us!’

‘Yes,’ said Legolas, ‘there are one hundred and five. Yellow is their hair, and bright are their spears. Their leader is very tall.’

The Two Towers: Book III, Chapter II — The Riders of Rohan

Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas track the Orcs that have Merry and Pippin. The gaps is enormous, but the trio refuse to despair, buoyed not only by signs that the Orcs quarelled, but by the discovery of Pippin’s Lorien brooch.

They travel 135 miles in only four days until they encounter Éomer’s Rohirrim. Tensions run high — both riders and trio wary of the servants of the Enemy. What does such distrust say about the tense political situation between races and peoples in Middle-earth?

Eventually satisfied the trio are not a threat, Éomer reveals the Orcs have been slain — but that the Rohirrim found nothing like a Hobbit.

The three learn at Fangorn Forest that Éomer spoke true — the Orcs are dead. But they find signs that a Hobbit or Hobbits escaped the slaughter. As they camp on the edge of the forest, an old man appears and seemingly scares off their horses, then vanishes. Is it Saruman, or someone else?

Join us later today, Saturday March 23 at 6pm EDT (New York time) as we delve into these questions and more as we discuss The Riders of Rohan!

NB: please note the time change due to the start of daylight savings in some areas — particularly in the USA!

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