Barliman's Chat This Saturday at 6pm EST, Hall of Fire returns to the Fellowship of The Ring as the hobbits take refuge in the house of Tom Bombadil and try to put their horror encounter with Old Man Willow behind them.

“I kept [Tom] in, and as he was, because he represents certain things otherwise left out.” — JRR Tolkien, Letter 153.

FoTR Book 1, Chapter 7: The House of Tom Bombadil

Tom’s wife, Goldberry, moves Frodo in a way similar to that of the Elves, but in a homier, less rarefied fashion. Frodo asks Goldberry who Tom is, and she replies mysteriously that Tom is “master of wood, water and hill.”

Tom himself proves scarcely less enigmatic, yet is oddly knowledgable about Frodo’s quest.

When Frodo lets Bombadil take the Ring, it has no effect on Tom. Annoyed, Frodo puts it on, but Tom seems to see through whatever magic makes the hobbit invisible, and tells him to stop playing.

What sort of place is Tom’s house? How does the response of the hobbits to this odd pair differ from their regard for Gildor’s band of elves?

And what does Tom represent that Tolkien did not with to omit from the Lord of the Rings? Perhaps thinking in this way could allow us to better grapple with the long-standing question of who Tom Bombadil might be.

And what of Frodo’s strange dream?

Join us at 6pm ET this Saturday (January 6) when we’ll explore all these questions and more as we discuss A Conspiracy Unmasked!

The House of Tom Bombadil by Alan LeeThe House of Tom Bombadil by Alan Lee.

Time zone conversions

Not sure what time the chat will be where you are? Our handy conversion table can help! Alternatively, this event announcement on Time and Date will tell you when it’s on in your city.

6.00pm ET (New York)
5.00pm CT (Chicago)
4.00pm MT (Denver)
3.00pm PT (Los Angeles)

11.00pm GMT (London)
Midnight CEST (Paris)
1.00am EEST (Helsinki)

9.00am AEST (Sunday) Brisbane,
10.00am AEDT (Sunday) Sydney, Melbourne
Midday 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

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Port: 6667
Channel: #thehalloffire