Barliman's Chat This Saturday at 6pm ET, Hall of Fire examines one of Tolkien’s more mysterious creations — the Drúedain. If you’re somewhat mystified as to who these people are, the name Ghân-buri-Ghân (who appears to help the Rohirrim in The Return of the King) may ring a few bells.

There sat Théoden and Éomer, and before them on the ground sat a strange squat shape of a man, gnarled as an old stone, and the hairs of his scanty beard straggled on his lumpy chin like dry moss. He was short-legged and fat-armed, thick and stumpy, and clad only with grass about his waist.

Merry felt that he had seen him before somewhere, and suddenly he remembered the Púkel-men of Dunharrow. Here was one of those old images brought to life, or maybe a creature descended in true line through endless years from the models used by the forgotten craftsmen long ago.

Who are the Drúedain?

Just who are the Drúedain? Why are they so intensely clannish (just likie dwarves, in fact)? And what might have inspired the creation of this “unlovely” and secretive people? A forest people with no writing system and “guttural languange”, they seem uniquely placed among the Free Peoples of Middle Earth.

Yet they were neither a breed of orcs nor had been corrupted by Morgoth. In fact they seem much more attuned to — and, perhaps, respectful of — Arda than their fellow Edain.

The Drúedain were also one of the tribes of Edain that they went to Numenor at the end of the First Age. But how did did they make their way back to Middle-earth and, eventually, to Drúadan Forest? What is their connection with the strange Púkel statues of Dunharrow? And were they really in an ongoing conflict with the Rohirrim?

Join this weekend in the Hall of Fire chat as we investigate one of Tolkien’s most intriguing enigmas.

Suggested Reading:
Unfinished Tales — The Druedain
The story of the Faithful Stone
The Drúedain on Tolkien Gateway
The Return of the King — The Passing of the Grey Company
The Return of the King — The Muster of Rohan
The Return of the King — The Ride of the Rohirrim

Druedain Woses Pukel-men The Drúedain by Ted Nasmith

Upcoming discussions:

April 12: The Pyre of Denethor
April 19: Morgoth and Sauron: similarities and differences

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)

10.00pm GMT (London)
11.00pm CST (Paris)
Midnight EEST (Helsinki)

8.00am AEST (Sunday) Brisbane
9.00am AEDT (Sunday) Sydney, Melbourne
11.00am NZDT (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