This Saturday at 6pm EDT (New York time), we’ll be resuming our regular chapter discussions of The Hobbit in Hall of Fire, joining Thorin and Company as they finally reach their destination — the Lonely Mountain.

“They were at the end of their journey, but as far as ever, it seemed, from the end of their quest.”

The Hobbit Chapter 11 — On the Doorstep

The journey is over, the real adventure is about to begin. But why is the party so dispirited? Where is Smaug, the terrible guardian of the treasures of Erebor? Why does Thorin begin by exploring the front gate, and what does it say about the dwarves that they start thinking of sending Bilbo in through the front entrance when the side door initially proves difficult to open?

Things look grim, but would Gandalf have ever allowed the company to set out on a doomed Quest?

Join us tomorrow (Saturday June 27 at 6pm EDT) in #thehalloffire on when we’ll discuss these questions and many others as we look at Chapter 11 of ‘The Hobbit’ — On The Doorstep.

Upcoming discussions

Saturday July 4: Sauron
Saturday July 11: The Hobbit Chapter 12
Saturday July 18: The Nazgul

The Front Gate by J.R.R. Tolkien

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)