Barliman's Chat This Saturday at 6pm ET, we’ll be turning our attention back to The Return of the King in The Hall of Fire as the hobbits embark on the final leg of their journey back to The Shire.

‘There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same; for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting, and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?’

The Return of the King: Book VI, Chapter VII: Homeward Bound

Gandalf and the Hobbits finally reach Bree after a long but uneventful journey. There they find Butterbur largely unchanged… but the news is that things just aren’t quite right in this part of Middle-earth. The companions don’t stay long; they’re anxious to return to The Shire and get to the bottom of things. Frodo also realises that, regardless, The Shire will never again be the same for him.

Informing the hobbits that they have the capacity and wisdom to settle The Shire’s affairs themselves, Gandalf leaves to catch up with Bombadil,and the company is reduced to four Hobbits that set out from the Shire more than 12 months ago.

“It seems almost like a dream that has slowly faded.” Merry says. “Not to me,” Frodo answers “it feels more like falling asleep again.”

What do you think about how Butterbur reacts to the news that the companions bring? What do you think Gandalf wants to talk to Bombadil about? What does Frodo mean when he says it feels like falling asleep again?

Join us in #thehalloffire at 6pm ET as we take a look at the events of Homeward Bound.

At the Sign of The Prancing Pony, by Ted Nasmith

At the Sign of the Prancing Pony by Ted Nasmith.

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)
Midnight CEST (Paris)
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8.00am AEST (Sunday) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne
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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. It is based on internet relay chat technology (that means it’s hella old skool). It’s a text-only, moderated chat room full of eccentric Tolkien fans. We’re open 24/7 (although some times are busier and more active than others).

There are many ways to connect to the chat server. However, the easiest is generally to use a browser-based client. We usually direct folks to Mibbit:

* TORn Mibbit Widget
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If you’re more oldschool or technically adept, you can install one of the scores of standalone chat clients that available for desktop and mobile devices. Just plug in our server details (see bottom) into the client and connect.

* Xchat: (Windoze PC and Linux. Free)
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* AndChat: (Android app for mobile. Free)
* Colloquy: (Mac OS and Apple mobile devices. Free)

Our server details:
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