Just as I was heading to the panel with Ken, we bumped into Nightwing, who was comming out of the ladies room. So she went to the panel with us.
No one showed up to moderate the panel, so the attendies tried to turn it into a chat session. But that was not working, to many conversations were breaking out. Some people were talking a lot, while others were not speaking at all, but I could see in their faces that they wanted to speak. I kept wishing that someone whould step up and organize the panel. In fact, I kept trying to send mental messages to Ken, who I figured as an experience moderater would take over.
I finally realized that if I was that upset at the colapse of the panel, that I should do something. So I did, I got up and took over the panel.
I told everyone that I did not want to control the thoughts, only the process, so that everyone would get their turn to speak. This was a 10:30 or so, and I asked everyone at midnight if it was alright to end now. But I think that we could have continued for far longer. People even came up to me after wards and thank me for doing it. And I was even told that I did a good job running the discussion.
My favorite part of the panel was when we taked about or favorite part of the books, and our favorite character. Everyone was on agreement with Tolkien that Samwise was the hero of the story.
My favorite scene in the books covers a span of time, I like to compaire the early scenes of the trip, when Sam tells Frodo that he hopes to see an elephant on the trip, then the person that Sam has become when he see's the elephant. I compare those two events to how Tolkien himself must have felt before and after the war.
He went in to his 'adventure' a niave young man, and returned much harder, just as Sam does.