Barliman's Chat This weekend, Hall of Fire will be focusing on mortality and immortality in Tolkien’s legendarium. A lot of people seem to feel that immortality is superior. But is that truly the case?

But the Lords of Valinor forbade [the Dúnedain] to sail so far westward that the coasts of Númenor could no longer be seen; and for long the Dúnedain were content, though they did not fully understand the purpose of this ban.

But the design of Manwë was that the Númenóreans should not be tempted to seek for the Blessed Realm, nor desire to overpass the limits set to their bliss, becoming enamoured of the immortality of the Valar and the Eldar and the lands where all things endure.

Mortality and Immortality. Is one really better than the other?

We see repeatedly in Tolkien’s works that Men envy the immortality of elves (interestingly, neither Dwarves nor Hobbits seem be prey to the same covetousness of long life) — usually to their downfall.

Why do Men want what they can’t have? Is the grass really greener over n the side of immortality? What do you think elves surrender by being immortal? Conversely, what do Men gain through their mortality?

And do you think that elves exhibit a similar envy of the brief lives of Men?

Join us at 6pm EDT this Saturday (April 18) when we’ll talk about all this and more as we examine mortality and immortality in the Tolkien legendarium.

Beren and Luthien by breathing2004.

Useful reading:

LOTR: The Tale of Arwen and Aragorn
The Silmarillion: Of Beren and Luthien
The Silmarillion: Akallabeth
The History of Middle-earth: Finrod and Andreth

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)
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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
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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.

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