Barliman's Chat This weekend, Hall of Fire shifts back to our chapter-by-chapter discussion of Lord of the Rings as we as we arrive at one of the most enchanting chapters of The Two Towers.

‘Yes,’ said Pippin; ‘I’m afraid this is only a passing gleam, and it will all go grey again. What a pity! This shaggy old forest looked so different in the sunlight. I almost felt I liked the place.’

‘Almost felt you liked the Forest! That’s good! That’s uncommonly kind of you,’ said a strange voice. ‘Turn round and let me have a look at your faces. I almost feel that I dislike you both, but do not let us be hasty. Turn round!’

The Two Towers: Book III, Chapter IV — Treebeard

There’s something about this chapter that just sets Middle-earth apart from stock fantasy settings. But what?

Is it just the fact of the invention of the Ents? Is it the way Tolkien invests Treebeard and Quickbeam with a distinct humour and personality, injecting levity at a point where the quest is turning grim? Is it the unusual way Tolkien positions the Ents as a third separate, and often-neglected force?

As Merry and Pippin soon discover, the patience of the Ents is legendary, but not inexhaustible. Yet they also prove gracious and benevolent hosts, a distinct contrast to the handling the hobbits received at the hands of the orcs.

Join us tomorrow, Saturday April 20 at 6pm EDT (New York time) in Hall of Fire as we discuss the Two Towers chapter Treebeard!

Time zone conversions

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