Laurelin hobbits have met Green Dragon almost every Friday since May 23 2008. Time to celebrate the 12th anniversary!
What is Green Dragon Friday?
Green Dragon Friday, or GDF, is a weekly, player-run event for hobbit roleplayers on the Laurelin server of Lord of the Rings Online. Here, hobbits meet at the end of the week to celebrate a day off from their daily chores. They gossip, drink ales, dance, forge friendships, bicker over trivialities and have a jolly good time together. Now we celebrate the 12th anniversary of GDF, and yer are invited!
Why party on Fridays? Friday, or Highday, is a special day in the Shire hobbit calendar. It is the seventh and last day of the week, and after noon hobbits celebrate a weekly holiday with an evening feast. Significant days in the Shire calendar, like 1 Lithe (midsummer eve) and 1 Yule (new year’s eve), always fall on Fridays.
As far as I know, Green Dragon Friday is the oldest recurring player-run event in LOTRO. It has now been steadily chugging along more or less every week for twelve years (apart from the odd Christmas Day Friday break), perhaps a little bit outside of the public eye of folks in Bree and players on other servers.
The event is a mix of free roleplaying and fixed traditions. Typically, the event starts by the bar, where new arrivals are greeted and ale mugs are filled. Eventually, most will head over to the fireplace in the corner for entertainment, dancing and (for some) grumbling. At the start of every GDF, though, the only really sure thing is that there will be a host there to keep things moving along, there will be a segment discussing the latest Shire news, and the evening will close with the sing-along of Home Sweet Home. Apart from that, how the evening develops depends on the actions of those there.
The first Green Dragon Friday was held on May 23 2008. I managed to dig out the original event listing from the Grand Order calendar from back then:
Date: May 23, 2008
Time: 08:00 PM
Posted by: Rowana
There is going to be a regular Friday meeting at the Green Dragon in Bywater. Each week there will be a ‘loose’ theme such as Story Telling, Riddling… anyone wishing to play and new songs or pieces of music will be most welcome too. (This will be a loose social gathering with no obligation to attend, with folks dropping in when they can and is something we have developed with the other hobbits of the Shire and the help of the LRPA). Arrive: 20.00 – 21.00 [BST]
Theme: Riddling (Please bring one riddle with you, try to keep it in-lore, ie no modern references)
The originator of the event was Lotti/Lothilia, who in the early years was the local lute-player at the Dragon (playing a mean free-hand lute as well). From late 2009/early 2010, there was a gradual changing of the guards, after which I have been a recurring figure in organizing the event. Many others have helped over the years, though, by hosting, entertaining, attending and adding to the fun. That has all been very much appreciated!
While members from the Grand Order have been central in organizing GDF over the last decade, we try to keep this going as a community event, open for input and efforts from players all across the Shire hobbit RP community. The event works best if it is a natural place for Shire hobbits to visit and take part in, no matter if they belong to a kinship or not.
A hobbit event
The fact that the event is hobbit-only (besides visiting dwarves, who are always welcome) has likely contributed to GDF being slightly less visible than many other events. Remember, though: The hobbit rule is not aimed at excluding players from taking part, or a result of the organizers hating players of other races.
The rule is simply a tool that helps keep a small but friendly community of hobbit roleplayers together, enabling them to play on their own terms and pursue their own interests, away from troubled brooding mysterious rangers, exiled Gondorian knights and sulking 1000s-year old elves plotting to leave these lands. It is also a rule that helps create an atmosphere closer to what you see of hobbits in The Shire in the LOTR books (at least in the early chapters, before Saruman comes along to destroy the land). In Tolkien’s works, men and elves were rare sights in the hobbit lands, and they hardly ever visited the inns. Sam Gamgee had spent his life dreaming of seeing an elf. You can bet he never saw one dancing on the tables in the Green Dragon.
So, if you would like to take part or come see what the event is all about, please don’t hesitate. Roll up a hobbit character, stay in-character (which generally means, don’t talk about stuff that doesn’t belong in Middle-Earth) and be friendly with the other players there, and you’ll be greeted a warm welcome.
The 12th anniversary party
Plans for the main party are still being sorted out, but here are some things to look forward to:
- The Grand GDF Brew Biscuit Bake-off – win prizes by baking biscuits! The recipe must include one of the drinks sold by Barmy, the Green Dragon innkeeper! See rules below and sign up in advance!
- The Grand GDF Mini-play – we’ll have a short play performance!
- The Grand GDF Wear Green Competition – wear a fine green outfit, you might win a prize!
- The Grand GDF Anniversary Meal – food and drink aplenty!
- The Grand GDF Anniversary Speech – yer not getting away from it…
- The Grand GDF Raffle – win fun prizes!
- The Grand GDF Anniversary Song – turn it up to eleven!
- The Grand GDF Three-Farthing Stone Fireworks Display – we’ll boom even closer to the Cotton farm this time!
- GDF-related entertainment – sign up in advance if yer have some!
The biscuit Bake-off
We’ll have a biscuit baking competition this year. The aim of the competition is to find out who bakes the best biscuits which includes one of the drinks sold by Barmy at the Green Dragon, as well as have some fun on the way!
Obviously, there is no way to have a jury eat your biscuits and judge the quality of it in-game. That’s why we will ask the participants to describe the basics of their baked biscuits. The jury will then choose the biscuit they think sound the best. It will be subjective, but then again, most matters of taste are.
How to enter
To enter the biscuit bake-off, please do the following:
- Be (or create) a hobbit on the Laurelin server
- Contact me and say that you’d like to enter the competition. Provide the name of the character you’ll enter with. You must sign up in advance to participate. By signing up, we’ll act as if you have also sent a sample of 20 biscuits in advance to the jury.
- Check the rules below.
- Come to the Green Dragon for the anniversary party on Friday May 22 and be prepared to join the bake-off.
During the party, be prepared to do the following when called up by the jury:
- Present the name of your biscuit. The name should indicate what kind of biscuit this is. For instance, “This is Ma Willowwood’s sticky honey oat biscuits”.
- Describe what your biscuits look like, by a single emote text. This could be the shape, colour, appearance or any other interesting information about the visuals of your biscuit. For instance, “/e holds up a pale round sticky-looking biscuit, slightly burned on top”. Short and sweet does it.
- Answer two questions in /say when prompted by the jury.
- What are the main ingredients in your biscuit recipe?
Remember, you must include at least one Barmy-bought drink in the biscuit batter, see list below.
- What is your best serving suggestion for this biscuit?
Give us an example of the best way to enjoy your biscuit. Does it work well with other food and drink, on special occasions, for special meals, etc.?
- What are the main ingredients in your biscuit recipe?
Include one of the following drinks in the batter:
- 1404 Vintage Reserve. Red Wine (flagon). White Wine (flagon). Ale (frothy pint). Green Dragon’s Breath Ale. Hard cider. Mead. Beer (small).
Keep your answers fitting to your character and the LOTRO universe, yet most of all short and simple in case there are many participants! Avoid power-emoting (for instance, variations of “this is clearly the best and most fabulous biscuit you have ever laid your eyes on” won’t do at all, since there’s no wriggle room for the judges).
Try to tempt the judges and be creative, but don’t go overboard either! Short and simple is sweet! Finally, remember that all biscuits should be edible and not poisonous, but they don’t necessarily have to taste good…
After all biscuits have been presented, the jury will deliberate a bit and vote on the winner.
All participants will get a reward. The top baker will also win fine prizes, as well as be awarded a title and likely get honourable mentions in the Bramblebury Gazette. There may also be special prizes given for particularly fun or clever entries.
The judges are currently kept as a secret, to avoid the danger of bribes!
Congratulations on the anniversary! Now I know why I’ve not heard of this event before… it occurs at 11:30am for those hobbits that live on the western edge of Eriador! We’re all still at work in the fields while you’re off having a grand time. I’ll be sure to try to make it if they ever give us a Friday off…
Yer warmly welcome if yer manage it one day!