Barliman's Chat Tomorrow, Hall of Fire will examine what is arguably the most enigmatic of Tolkien’s three great unions of elves and men — the story of Idril and Tuor.

In those days Tuor felt old age creep upon him, and ever a longing for the deeps of the Sea grew stronger in his heart. Therefore he built a great ship, and he named it Eärrámë, which is Sea-Wing; and with Idril Celebrindal he set sail into the sunset and the West, and came no more into any tale or song. But in after days it was sung that Tuor alone of mortal Men was numbered among the elder race, and was joined with the Noldor, whom he loved; and his fate is sundered from the fate of Men.

The enigma of Idril and Tuor

Set against Beren and Luthien, Idril and Tuor offer an interesting contrast. They don’t make the same vein of heroic strike against Morgoth. Tuor — due to the intransigence of Turgon — is in fact unable to save Gondolin from its doom.

Yet their renown must be more than “merely” their famous offspring? Is it that Ulmo chooses Tuor as his personal messenger? Is it Idril’s foresight in digging the secret escape? Is it their care of Gondolin’s ragtag of survivors on the long journey to the mouths of the Sirion?

And what of their ultimate fate? Tolkien himself wrote in Letter #153:

Túor weds Idril the daughter of Turgon King of Gondolin; and ‘it is supposed’ (not stated) that he as an unique exception receives the Elvish limited ‘immortality’: an exception either way.

Immortality and Mortality being the special gifts of God to the Eruhini (in whose conception and creation the Valar had no part at all) it must be assumed that no alteration of their fundamental kind could be effected by the Valar even in one case: the cases of Lúthien (and Túor) and the position of their descendants was a direct act of God.

What are we to make of this exception — the reverse of Luthien’s divestment of her immortality? Perhaps it is, after all, just a story?

Join us in the Hall of Fire on Saturday April 13 at 6pm EDT (New York time) as we discuss the enigma of Idril and Tuor!

Time zone conversions

Not sure what time the chat will be where you are? Check this little conversion table out for some help. Alternatively, check our Event Announcer over on Time and Date for the correct time for your timezone.

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

11.00pm BST (London)
11.00pm CST (Paris)
1.00am EEST (Helsinki)

8.00am AEST (Sunday) Brisbane
8.00am AEST (Sunday) 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