Barliman's Chat This weekend Hall of Fire returns to The Hobbit as we examine the events of Chapter 6: Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire.

“I brought him, and I don’t bring things that are of no use. Either you help me to look for him, or I go and leave you here to get out of the mess as best you can yourselves. If we can only find him again, you will thank me before all is over.”

Chapter 6: Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire

Having escaped both Gollum and the goblins, Bilbo finds himself lost in the vastness of Middle-Earth. More good fortune sees him soon re-united with his friends. Yet, as he describes Gollum, he seems disinclined to reveal his new prize. The Company quickly moves on, but ill-luck soon puts them in another tight spot.

Considering what Bilbo does and says in this chapter, do we believe the Ring already starting its work? Or is it merely a Hobbit’s nature to be secretive? How does his tale change the way the dwarves perceive him? What exactly might have Gandalf guessed or thought?

And what does it mean that, yet again, it’s Gandalf’s ingenuity to the rescue when the Company ends up stranded in some pine trees surrounded by a host of foes?

Join us this Saturday April 11 at 6pm EDT in #thehalloffire on our IRC server ( when we’ll discuss all these questions, plus wargs, eagles and much more.

Hobbit Eagle
Eagle illustration by Tolkien for 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)
Midnight CST (Paris)
1am EEST (Helsinki)

8.00am AEST (Sunday) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne
10.00am NZST (Sunday) Wellington

How long do your topic chats go for?

Our chats usually last about an hour, 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
* Mibbit direct (as opposed to the widget above, this allows you to see others joining and leaving)

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)
* mIRC: (Windoze PC. 30-day trial)
* AndChat: (Android app for mobile. Free)
* Colloquy: (Mac OS and Apple mobile devices. Free)

Our server details:
IRC server name:
Channel/room name:
Port: 6667 (6697 for SSL connections)