Barliman's Chat This Saturday (October 21) at 6pm ET, Hall of Fire returns to our chapter-by-chapter read-through and discussion of Fellowship of The Ring.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time.”

Frodo Baggins is the new master of Bag End. And, to the enduring curiosity of his fellow-Hobbits, over the next 17 years he proves as “well-preserved” and eccentric — and as much of topic of gossip — as Bilbo ever was.

FoTR Book 1, Chapter 2: The Shadow of the Past

Odd news from the outside world begin to circulate. Most “sensible” Hobbits laugh off the rumours of dark times as mere folk tales, but Frodo’s gardener, Samwise, is fascinated. Then, one evening, Gandalf returns bearing terrible news. Biilbo’s ring — now in the hands of Frodo — is far more powerful, and perilous, than anyone had guessed.

What key things do we learn about the history of Middle-earth in this chapter? How does this chapter change everything that we thought we understood about the world Tolkien had introduced us to?

And what of Frodo? What does his response say about his character? What do you think Gandalf might have expected him to do? Why does he not urge Frodo to flee Bag End immediately? And what does this chapter tell us about Sam?

Join us this Saturday in #thehalloffire as we continue our Fellowship of the Ring read-through. Whether you’re a first-time reader of Tolkien, a first-time chatter who’s never visited TORn’s chatrooms, or an experienced hand who’s done one of our LOTR read-throughs, we’d love you to see you!

Gandalf the Grey. Artist: John Howe.

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