The Gathering of the Fellowship Tolkien Fan Community


The Gathering of the Fellowship is very pleased to have made arrangements with Heren Istarion, the North East Tolkien Society, to be responsible for all of the Programming at the 2006 Convention.

Visit the Heren Istarion Website
Founded in September 2000 by Anthony Burdge, Heren Istarion is officially registered with the Tolkien Society UK as a smial or subsidiary/affiliate organization. Heren Istarion is a literary group dedicated to celebrating the life and works of Professor J.R.R. Tolkien. Heren Istarion is also an academic society centered on the promotion and enjoyment of the fantastic, in literature and myth. As such, Heren Istarion is a charter member of The Mythopoeic Society, a literary society devoted to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.

In its five-year history, Heren Istarion has become one of the most active Tolkien Societies in North America. It was awarded "Smial of The Year" at The Tolkien Society's Oxonmoot 2002, and successfully organized and hosted all of the academic programming at "The Gathering of the Fellowship 2003" in Toronto, Canada. Its membership ranges both nationally and internationally. The Society develops and hosts Tolkien events around the New York City Area, and publishes a bimonthly journal Parma Nole. The name Heren Istarion, inspired by Tolkien's Unfinished Tales, means "Order of Wizards" in Sindarin, one of Tolkien's invented Elvish languages.

Anthony S. Burdge and Jessica Burke are the Chairman and Co-chair, respectively, of Heren Istarion. They regularly collaborate on a range of academic and critical pieces about the life and works of Professor J.R.R Tolkien.

The Gathering of the Fellowship will have a wide variety of programming, to suit all fans of J.R.R. Tolkien. We've divided this area of the Convention website into the following sections, to make it easier for you to explore our event:

We believe that we have created a world class line up of special guests, from all fields of Tolkien study, fandom, expression, gaming, etc. We will be adding to this line up as the months pass, so be sure to come back often and check for updates! Go to this section to view our current guest line up and to read their biographies.
This section is a comprehensive listing of all the programming sessions currently set or in development. This list will be continuously updated as new Programming is added. Here you will be able to search for your preferred Tolkien topics, and locate your favourite Guests.
We will be accepting item donations for our Silent Charity Auction, the proceeds of which will go directly to ProLiteracy Worldwide. As the items are known, they will be listed in this section, along with details about the actual Auction.
"Fellowship" is what the Gathering is all about, and recognizing this, we have put together a series of very special events that will be available to our attendees over the four days of the convention. This section outlines each of these events, along with dates and details as they are determined. We will strive to accommodate every fan's obsession, from food to costuming, from music to movies, and from immersion in Middle-earth to hobnobbing with celebrities—it's all here!
This section contains details about the Gathering's Masquerade competition, including the rules, the weapons policy, contest entry requirments, and prizes information.
This page contains the Programming Schedule, during its late development and through to the final version. Keep in mind that this is a document that is always been changed, so check back often, even until the last few days before the event!


There are no positions available at this time. More will become available as we approach the event, especially as we begin planning the Opening and Closing Ceremonies!

If you wish to submit a picture of yourself in costume for future consideration, please do so! Please send it to

Call for Programming:

The goal of Programming Directors Anthony Burdge and Jessica Burke for The Gathering of the Fellowship 2006 is to present a schedule of events that would balance all the myriad branches of Tolkien appreciation, from academia to art to music and beyond. We have found that throughout the world Tolkien fans express their interest in Middle-earth and its stories in varying ways.  Below you will find a listing of programming tracks dedicated to all aspects of the celebration of Tolkien.  This is certainly not a final list, and may change or expand as programming is submitted to us. At the last Gathering of the Fellowship, we celebrated the release of New Line Cinema's The Return of the King and the preceding films, as presented by Peter Jackson. In 2006 we seek to bring to fans not only an academic conference, with the top scholars in the field of Tolkien Studies, but also to celebrate how each and every one of us who love his work expresses our love for Tolkien’s work.

If you are a fan who has a love for Tolkien’s work, and expresses it in academic study, art, costuming, gaming, arms & armour, music, re-enactment, or otherwise, help us make this conference a truly unique experience.  Send us a submission for programming, including full details of what you wish to present, any ideas for ways of incorporating your idea, any experience you may have in presenting your program or paper in the form of a résumé, and any needs you may have (i.e. audio/visual, etc).

Please send all proposals to Anthony Burdge and Jessica Burke at

Current programming topics for The Gathering of the Fellowship 2006 (updated March 11, 2006)*:

  1. Scholarship, Languages & Writing, and Inkling Study: Academic papers  and critical discussion of the works of Tolkien and Lewis and their literary circle The Inklings, as well as panel discussions, presentations on the languages of Tolkien & Reamilyan (developed for Ancanar film and history), with attendee workshops and involvement in writing the languages.
  2. Stage and Screen Interpretations: This topic will focus on the influence that Tolkien and Lewis have had on film (i.e. Peter Jackson's movies, The Chronicles of Narnia, Ancanar), and other interpretations of The Lord of the Rings, from stage musical to radio to animation.
  3. Art: Presentations by our professional artists, and discussions of the influence of Tolkien and Lewis on fantasy art.
  4. Music: Presentations on the influence of Tolkien and Lewis on the realm of music.
  5. Costuming and Armour: A topic dedicated to costuming, weaponry, and armour. This includes presentations from Kropserkel, as well as presentations by The Ringlord, one of the nation’s leading crafters of chainmail, and a talk from The Lonely Mountain Forge.
*This topic list is not final and may be changed at any time without notice, at the sole discretion of the Programming Directors of the Gathering of the Fellowship.

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