Barliman's Chat This weekend, Hall of Fire will focus on the stewards of Middle-earth.

“…the rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I also am a steward. Did you not know?”

Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings.

Stewards of Middle-earth. Who? What? Why?

Many characters seem to fill the role of stewards in Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Some are obvious: rulers such as Denethor and Theoden, members of the council of the wise like Elrond and Garadriel, the Istari and the Valar.

Treebeard, and even Tom Bombadil and the Entwives can also be examined in the same light. Others such as Samwise and Eowyn are more subtly portrayed.

But what are the defining traits of a steward in Tolkien’s milieu?

And, apart from a great love for their individual ‘stewardships’, what do they have in common? What traits set them apart from others?

Was Sauron ever a steward? More, what exactly is the distinction between stewarding something and seeking to dominate it, and what can we learn from the example of Saruman about just how easy (or hard) it is to tip from one into the other?

These are just a few of the things we’ll discuss this weekend on Saturday July 6 at 6.00pm EDT in The Hall of Fire.

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 handy Event Announcer over on Time and Date for the correct time in your area.

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 from an hour to ninety minutes, 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