Barliman's Chat This weekend the Hall of Fire will be taking a zig-zagging from books to film as we examine one of the great unknowns of The Desolation of Smaug — Dol Guldur and the PJ plan.

Radagast: But what if it is a trap?
Gandalf: It is undoubtedly a trap.

Dol Guldur. What is the PJ plan?

Dol Guldur is, of course, Sauron’s “older and lesser dwelling”, as Gandalf describes it to Boromir in The Fellowship of the Ring. In his guise as The Necromancer, it is the place where Sauron secretly rebuilds his power after being overthrown by the Last alliance. Until he finally dares to return to Mordor openly and in strength.

But how will this sequence play out in The Desolation of Smaug?

Will Dol Guldur be a relatively minor affair involving only Gandalf and his fellow wizards? Or will other key actors of The Hobbit be somehow drawn into a gigantic struggle in the south of Mirkwood that culminates in a giant battle for the fortress itself?

And what is the role of Sauron in the wider story? Is he responsible for the survival of Azog, is it Sauron driving Azog to destroy the Beornings and to pursue Thorin?

Join us this Saturday at 6pm EST (New York time) in #thehalloffire on the TORn chat server for what’s sure to be a lively and spoiler-filled discussion!

Suggested reading:

Analysing the role of the Necromancer in The Hobbit

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