Barliman's Chat This weekend in The Hall of Fire, we’ll be turning our attention back to the prologue of The Lord of the Rings, examining the information presented to us about Hobbits.

“I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us.”

The Lord of the Rings: Prologue: Concerning Hobbits

In his introduction, Tolkien makes clear to us that Hobbits are like human beings. Yet, in some ways, that raises even more questions. In what way are they related to “the big people”? Why don’t they understand anything more complicated than a forge-bellows or a water-mill? And if they came to Eriador (and The Shire) from The Wilderland, where did they come from before that?

But, if the ultimate origins of Hobbits remain stubbornly vague, Tolkien is much more forthcoming about their recent history, their rural traditions and a mode of governance that blends elements of hierarchical clan-control and utopian hands-off democracy. At the surface, they seem to possess the modern society in Middle-earth, yet the least ambition of any of the free peoples.

If you’ve ever had a question you’ve wanted to ask about “the little people”, this is probably thew place to raise it.

Join us tomorrow in #thehalloffire when we will explore the world of the Halflings as we look at the Prologue of The Lord of the Rings: Concerning Hobbits.

The Shire: a view of Hobbiton from The Hill. Artist: 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, this event announcement on Time and Date will tell you when it’s on in your city.

6.00pm EDT (New York)
5.00pm CDT (Chicago)
4.00pm MDT (Denver)
3.00pm PDT (Los Angeles)

11.00pm GMT (London)
Midnight CEST (Paris)
1.00am 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 45 mins to 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. You can connect instantly using our 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