kippurbird: (Octopus)
Title Rumors
Fandom Eragon/Inheritance series
Summary The Rumor Mill at work
Notes No Meat involved.
Notes the second So... what is the other side thinking about Eragon. In a rational world.

It started before Fienster )
kippurbird: (O_o)

Here lies the last chapter of Brisingr. The final chapter. The ending. The summing up and preparing us for the last book (hopefully). This is it. Done. Done. Done. No more. And you can't make me go back.

I dun wanna.

Lady Lorana gets to live. Why? Because .... she's the leader. And... um... well.. You know... she has to be treated with dignity and respect even though she's the enemy.

Before we get to that Eragon's party of elves show up, they were worried cause they heard Saphira's 'lament' for Oromis and Glaedr. Eragon tells them about the death and they are shocked. They want to know everything but Arya tells them to "Keep [their] sorrow hidden within [their] hearts until we are safe and secure."

Eragon apologizes for running off like he did to his elf keepers. Saying that the battle made him over confident and foolish. Of course, fuzzy elf says that he doesn't need to apologize becuase they too made mistakes. And not only that but "from now on, we will fight alongside you and the Varden without reserve." Soooo... they haven't been doing their job this entire time? What have they been doing and why haven't they been doing what they're supposed to do.

Not only that, but by admitting that they were in the wrong and being less than zealous in their duities, they make it so that Eragon was more in the right because at least he was doing his job willingly and putting in the entire full effort. There for he's okay and the elves have to go to the corner of shame.

The Varden take Lady Lorana in custody, as mention before, after this. She is told that they -the Varden - are still civilized men. She wants to talk to Nasuada about what will happen with her people and thanks Eragon for killing the Shade and that he's very brave and has a lot of prowess. What prowess?

Apparently Nasuada wants to talk to Lorana too. Which is nice except that if I were the Lady and I was under an oath of fealty to Galbatorix, which made me loyal in a sense, I would think that there might be some sort of "if you get near Nasuada kill her" clause. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, all the way at the end of the book. Didn't Galby need to know your true name to make you swear oaths of loyalty? And wasn't he making everyone swear oaths of loyalty to him? So, basically the reason why he hasn't been doing anything evil is because he's had to find every single soldier's true name before making them swear an oath fealty to him and having to have every solider swear that oath by binding them through their true name.

Yeeeah. That's not practical at all.

But it's too late for that to be thought of now. We're at the end of the book.

Eragon, Arya, and the elves go looking for Nasuada. They find her and tell her that they want to talk to her in private.

They find an abandoned house, protect from eavesdroppers.

Then Eragon tells her that Oromis and Glaedr have died. She figured that they - as in a dragon and a rider - must exist to teach Eragon. Tears come to his eyes as he tells her that they are dead now and that Galbatorix used Murtagh to kill them.

Nasuada reacts as if she's known them all her life.

The excitement drained from Nasuada's face, replaced by a dull, empty expression. She sank into the nearest chair and stared at the cinders in the cold fireplace. The kitchen was silent. At last she stirred and said, "Are you sure they are dead?"


Nasuada wiped her eyes on the hem of her sleeve. "Tell me about them, Eragon. Would you please?"

See, now, if I were Nasuada, I would say, "I'm sorry for your loss, but we have other things we need to work on now. We have wounded and dead to deal with, prisoners and trying to figure out what to do next. Now isn't the time to discuss your mentor."

Nah. Instead, let's have them kill an entire half hour to talk about the life and death of Oromis and Glaedr. Someone that has no effect currently on the immediate situation of Oh Hey we just finished a battle and need to clean up and do important things like that.

This is just to try and make their death have more of an impact than it does. It would have had more of an impact if, for example, he had died over the Varden's battle and Eragon had failed to save him. Then people would have seen the dragon and have something to wonder about. But then again, if Glaedr did fall in battle over the Varden then people's spirits would be crushed. Which is probably why he went with the elves. Can't have the Varden losing moral, now can we?

Eragon tells them about the dragon's heart of hearts which I believe was supposed to be kept secret to prevent 'low minded scoundrels' from stealing them and using them to their advantage. Something that only dragons and their riders should know. But... it's less dramatic that way. Anyway, they agree that if Eragon had known about the heart of hearts they would have been more prepared when he fought Murtagh. and other things.

Blah, blah.

Oh, now we might have a fighting chance of killing him! Nasuada thinks, because if they separate him from the hearts, they'll weaken him. Let us remind ourselves that Galbatorix was able to kill off a lot of the dragon riders, with years of training before hand, without all the hearts that he had. Now, Galbatorix has had a hundred years to learn how to use magic, and use the hearts and maybe he doesn't even need them on him physically any more. Or well... I think that removing his hearts may weaken him, but Eragon a kid who's been a dragon rider for less than two years shouldn't have a chance in surviving in space with nothing on to defeat him. Especially since he hasn't hand any training.

Looking back at Star Wars, it wasn't Luke Skywalker who defeated the Emperor, but, instead Darth Vader. It was Luke's entreaties to Vader that got him to turn on the Emperor. Which would maybe perhaps, make it so that Eragon's entreaties to Murtagh will destroy Galbatorix. Except that Murtagh's been bound to Galbatorix's service and shouldn't be able to turn against him. But the holes in this plan we've already discovered are numerous and Eragon has to be the one who destroys Galbatorix anyway. Maybe with a cry of "THIS IS FOR EVERYONE" blah blah.

Nasuada decrees that Eragon shall do nothing else but look into how to do so. Nothing else is important.

Arya then states perhaps one of the more stupider things in the books (and that's saying something)

"I always wondered," said Arya, "why Saphra's egg appeared to you, and not somewhere in an empty field. It seemed to great a coincidence to have occurred purely by chance, but I could not thing of any plausible explanation. Now I understand. I should have guessed you were Brom's son. I did not know Brom well, but I did know him, and you share a certain resemblance."

Yup. That's right. It wasn't chance that made Eragon a dragon rider, it was DESTINY. DESTINY that brought the egg to Eragon. Because he's Brom's son and though he just found out about it a week ago or so, that automatically means that he's an egg magnet, or because of random chance. Nope there's no such thing as random chance. The egg had to come to him. - Never mind that it was supposed to be going to Brom and Arya over-shot. I mean, how was she supposed to know that he would be in that part of the forest? The only resemblance that they would have is purely physical. Eragon wasn't brought up with Brom, barely knowing him. It was Garrow who he considered his father and influenced his moral structures.

But then again, we've already proven that this world works more on nature vs nurture. Murtagh is evil because his father is evil. Eragon is good because his father is good. It's not experiences that make the man but their genetics. Though, since Saphira has no connection to Brom there's no reason why she would want to go to Brom or make herself go to Brom. She wasn't even stolen by Brom, but instead by some random thief. For all we know she never met Brom so she wouldn't be attracted to him through the egg or be able to mistake him for his son.

It was random happenstance.

And not only that but by taking away the random happenstance it takes away some of the 'well fuck me how did I get into this mess' that Eragon had. He's no longer just that poor farm boy who happened to get swept into this war. But instead he was destined to get swept into the war and never had any choice in the matter. Of course this would have required Eragon having reservations about being a part of this mess and the war. Which he doesn't.

He just accepts it.

Nasuada tells him that he should be proud to have Brom as a father. I don't know why they keep on telling Eragon that he should be proud at having Brom as a father. Eragon is already proud of having Brom as a father. It's not like he's upset about it or whining about how come Brom was his father and didn't tell him and etc etc. But there's none of that on Eragon's end. He's just "Oh yeah, Brom's my dad. Lah lah lah."

Continuing to kill time as if they had nothing important to do, Arya asks to see Glaedr's heart of hearts. Because that's something they need to do right now.

Nothing much is happening in the stone. It's not as bright and shiny as it was when it came out as Glaedr is in shock of losing Oromis and not interested in talking. Even though Nasuada would like talk to him.

Eragon apparently knows that the elves had taken Gil'ead when last we saw them they were in the midst of battle, lost their greatest asset, and had Murtagh flying over them while being possessed by Galbatorix. But obviously they must have won because they're elves and the good guys so they automatically win.

The Varden, Nasuada says, are now going to seize Dras-Leona and go to Uru'baen and take down Galbatorix or die trying.

*looks at map*

They started off at the river... went away from the river to the ocean to take Feinster. Looks like they're going up the river and skipping Belatona. Or did they send people ahead to capture it? I don't know. Or remember. Or care. Anyway, looking at the map it would have been far easier to have headed east in the first place before chucking up north got Uru'baen.


As you do.

Anyway, Eragon and Saphira go back to camp to get some sleep. As they walk, they mull on the fact that they are the last free rider and dragon. And they're all alone Eragon actually thinks that htey're not ready for this and Saphira agrees, their combined anxiety nearly incpacitating him.

They get to the gates and Eragon doesn't want to push through the crowds of people fleeing Feinster. It's too bad he doesn't have a dragon to ride on.

Oh, Wait.

Anyway, suddenly he wants to see the city in the day light. So he runs up a stair case to the top of the walls to watch the sunrise.

They stood together on the battlements for the better part of an hour and watched as the sun rose. One by one, rays of pale gold light streaked across the verdant fields from the east, illuminating the countless motes of dust that drifted through the air. Where the rays struck a column of smoke, the smoke glowed orange and red and billowed with renewed urgency. The fires among the hovels outside the city walls had mostly died out, although since Eragon and Saphira had arrived, the fighting had set a score of houses within Fiinster ablaze, and the pillars of flame that leaped up from the disintegrating houses lent the cityscape an eerie beauty. Behind Fienster, the shimmering sea stretched out to the far, flat horizon where the sails of a ship plowing its way northward were just visible.

I'm not sure the fields would be verdant any more after having an army tromp through them. Nor am I sure how sunlight makes smoke billow with more urgency. Also the description here is remarkably unemotional. There is all this destruction abounding and he's just watching it calmly not upset or feeling sorrowful for all the homes people have lost or how long it'll take before the city was able to function again. Living in Los Angeles, as I do, I have a lot of familiarity with large billowing smoke. It tends to make the air around me choking and hard to breath. The motes that fall around aren't dust but ash. And the smoke should cover the sky so that it's impossible to see anything, like the verdant fields outside the city or the ocean. The columns of smoke should only be visible at a distance. Being so close it should be raining like snow, coating everything in its wake. It should also be very warm. Warm enough that the sun doesn't have to do any warming of Eragon's armor, which it does in the next paragraph. I mean, he's in the bleeding city! That's burning! That's got to be hot! He should be sweating like a mandrake... okay, I don't know if mandrakes actually sweat but that was the first thing that popped into my head. I am ashamed.

Still, the point stands. He shouldn't be waiting for the sun to warm his armor because he should be so warm he'd be wanting to take it off. Anyway, the sun washes away all the trepidation and fears and worries he has. He says that they're not alone they have lots of others like Nasuada and Orik and Arya and many others, sadly Roran doesn't get mentioned but Orik does...? That's silly. Well, I guess Orik had to get some sort of mention again.

This is sort of like the reversal that he had at the end of Eldest where he decided well, Garrow and Brom were more his father than Morzan was, so it was okay. Nothing more to fret or worry about. It just was a momentary lapse of confidence. Not something that should linger over but dispersed with the mists of darkness as the sun comes over the horizon.

Eragon then makes a declaration that Galby isn't invulnerable and they can defeat him. They think that the heart of hearts are his weakness but we haven't seen any proof to indicate that removing the heart of hearts would make him weak enough to kill. But that would cause him worry and you know maybe plot or characterization. Or you know, they could have been trying to find a way to stop Galbatorix the entire book which wouldn't make it a waste of trees and space.

In what is supposed to be a dramatic gesture but is rather silly, Eragon then holds up Glaedr's Eldunari over his head to present it to the sun.

Eragon lifted Glaedr's Eldunari over his head, presenting it to the sun and the new day, and he smiled, eager for the battles yet to come, so that he and Spahira might finally confront Galbatorix and kill the dark king.

As Glaedr is currently deep in mourning and not home right then, presenting it to the sun doesn't do much. But it is a symbolic and bold gesture. The sort that you give at a moment of triumph to greet the new day and give hope to the masses. Or even trying to give Glaedr a bit of hope, see there is a new day and new hope and promise and that with his help they'll destroy Galbatorix.

Notice here too, in this last sentence of the book, we get a hint of Eragon's character. He's eager for the battles so that he could kill Galbatorix. He smiles in anticipation. He's bloodthirsty. He's not waiting for the battles to be over so that they can have peace again. No it's so that he can kill someone. And while he's waiting to kill someone he gets to kill more people. This concludes the thoughts that he is, in fact a mindless killer out for his next kick.

And thus ends Brisingr or the seven promises of Eragon Shadeslayer and Sphaira Bjartskular.

I think I've been working on this for over two years now. Wow. Longest spork ever.

To paraphrase Mark Twain: A tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere. But "Brisingr" accomplishes nothing and arrives in air.

Which is the best way to sum up this so called novel.
kippurbird: (Chibi Greywolf)
I saw Deathly Hallows pt.1 Sunday night. I quite liked it. It was very tense from the first scenes making me squirm in my seat as I wondered what was going to happen. I mean, I knew what was going to happen, but I still squirmed in the tension. I liked Bill, but there was no Charlie. I hope he shows up in the next installment - if at all.

One of the things that I was thinking about in the aftermath was the difference between the villain(s) in the Harry Potter series and the one(s) in the Inheritance series. In the Harry Potter books the villain is actually present. In every book. There's always some sort of presence of Voldemort, even if it's just as simple as "he who should not be named".

In the first two books we only get a hint of it. Harry is new to the world - so the touch of Voldemort is light. Just a face and the whispers from students and others who grew up with the hanging fear over them. In book two we get a hint of who Voldemort could have been, book three what he did to people and friendships through Wormtail and the others. And so on. Each book reveals a little bit more about him leading up to the final confrontation in book seven. While Harry wins the confrontations, he loses a bit of something important to him each time once Voldemort has fully returned. It's a constant give and take over the books. In many ways Voldemort takes Harry's innocence.

However in the Eragon books what we get instead is more like a series of boss battles. Sure, each time he 'loses' something but it's soon repaired. In book one he hurt his back in the fight with the Shade, in book two he got Magical Dragon Healinz, leaving no lingering effects. In book two he lost his sword and found out that Morzan is his father. Book three he finds out that no, Morzan isn't his father and he got a new sword. Everything taken away is replaced. He doesn't permanently lose anything important to him. Every final battle he has is like killing time until he reaches enough levels to fight the big bad.

Harry loses Cedric a classmate, Sirius his godfather, Dumbledore his mentor/ father figure and a whole slew of people in the last book. None of these are replaced.

Eragon doesn't permanently lose anything important to him.

Every final battle he has is like killing time until he reaches enough levels to fight the big bad. Galbatorix never confronts him, never tries to get rid of him personally. Why? Because Eragon isn't allowed to lose his big battle against him and once they have their big battle what would be left for the rest of the books? He's not allowed to have small but uneven victories against his enemy as they test each other. Galbatorix isn't allowed to learn that hey, maybe Eragon isn't as nonthreatening as he thought he would be. He's just going to come down on Eragon like a ton of bricks at the end of the last book.

There will likely be no build up. It'll just happen randomly, much like the end of Brisingr and its final battle. I refuse to say climax because that would indicate that there was building up to that particular battle.

I'm reminded a little of Inigo Montoya and his search for the six fingered man. He too only meets up with him at the climax of the film/book. However they long ago had a confrontation when he was just a boy. And he makes sure that people know he is hunting this man down. With his constant "And when I meet him I shall say 'Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die'." This is his driving urge. His quest. He makes this his driving force for his life. We see his disappointment when he meets the Dread Pirate Roberts and discovers that he's not the six fingered man. We have seen the same man and his evilness and know that there will be a confrontation. However it's not a driving force of the story.

Eragon doesn't even have that. His father died of wounds and he killed the man who did it before he even knew about it. Even then there was no 'revenge' in his motives when he killed Durza. Harry has revenge in his eyes, but must learn how to overcome it in book six. But Eragon has been denied any sort of personal motivation.

He doesn't have to save Murtagh, because he's dismissed him easily as evil for enjoying killing and fighting and therefor does not deserve redemption. He has no personal stake and this is what makes the story drag and wander aimlessly. While the Deathly Hallows is mocked about the constant wandering that the main characters do in the first half of the book, there is a goal in mind, they're just unable to obtain it: Find the Horcuxes.

And this is why Brisingr goes no where and arrives at nothing while Harry Potter actually does something.

Longer piece to follow. Plans to finish book over Thanksgiving.
kippurbird: (Abandon hope)

This is actually an exciting part, for a given value of exciting, in that we - for the first time - get to see Galbatorix speak. Sort of. He doesn't speak to Eragon, nor does he speak in person. He uses Murtagh as his megaphone. But it is his first appearance for cliched villainy. Or any sort of villainy.

Glaedr and Oromis are fighting Thorn and Murtagh. Murtagh apparently maybe trying to commit suicide and being very unhappy at Glaedr and Oromis' existence. The dragon is uncertain because apparently after being bonded for Oromis for probably hundreds of years he still has trouble reading human facial expressions.

The clanging of metal ceased, and Murtagh shouted, "Curse you for not showing yourself sooner! Curse you! You could have helped us! You could have-

A legitimate complaint on Murtagh's end, I think. He could have had a fighting chance if he'd known that there was somewhere safe to go to. Not that it would have helped much as he is Morzan's son so that automatically makes him evil.or at least doomed to evil. Glaedr does show some concern however or at least wondering why he's doing it.

It doesn't matter! For Galby takes over Murtagh and Glaedr felt the scales on his shoulders crawl as he recognized the voice of their ancient foe.


Ancient foe?


If I were to have to pick an ancient foe for Glaedr and the dragons, it would have been the original elves, or maybe even the dwarves. After all they and the dragons had been fighting on and off long before the elves or humans got to the continent. Then there are the elves who actually did have a war with the dragons but they made up and got better. Humans, I think, were always snacky food.

The thing is, if you're going to have an ancient foe they have to be at least as old as you are and have been fighting against you for a good amount of time to create a sense of ancientness. This is like saying that the annoying kid down the street is your ancient foe. Admittedly Galby is a bit more dangerous than some kid down the street. But they have the same age relationship. Glaedr and Oromis are that old cranky dude with the cane screaming "You kids keep off my lawn!" while Galby is the one TPing the house. With death. There's no real ancient foe in this relationship. The conflict is too new, the players are too old.

It just sounds more dramatic to say "ancient foe" than "foe". Ancient foe brings a lot of weight to the contest before them. The problem is that the conflict, such as it is, isn't much that should garner an ancient foe. The two of them haven't clashed over the years trying to kill each other. In fact I don't think they have clashed at all. In fact Galby thought he was dead even, so how much of an ancient foe are you if the foe isn't even worried about your existence cause he thinks you're dead. That's even worse than the old guy and the kid metaphor. That's paranoia right there. Or over conceitedness.

If I were to list some good ancient foes I would go with things like: the Jedi and the Sith, Gandalf and Sauron, Vulcans and Romulans, Ruin and Preservation from the Mistborn series, Thor and Loki, the Amazons and Hercules... Lucifer and Michael etc. The Slayer verses vampires.

Galbatorix and Oromis are more like Dumbledore and Voldemort. With Eragon as Harry Potter.

Galby expounds about how Oromis was a wise old elf in convincing the others to not let him have another chance at an egg. ...

Wait, I just realized something. The council had nothing to lose by letting Galby try for another egg.

Dragons will only hatch for the person that's right for them. If none of the dragon eggs were right for Galby then none of them would have hatched for him. Then the council could have said, "Well looks like you're shit out of luck, sorry." Then Galby couldn't say they didn't give him a chance. It also makes me wonder, what sort of therapy they had for the poor riders that occasionally lost their dragon. Or at least care for them.

In the Dragon Riders of Pern, when a rider lost his or her dragon the others will take care of the rider, trying to get them stable and give them what they need to learn to live or at least exist without their dragon. In one case they even tried to let a rider who lost her dragon take another shot at impressing a dragon, despite the discomfort at others. It didn't end well at all, except in the case that it snapped the girl out of her stupor and helped her live again.

Since Oromis is the one who said that they shouldn't help Galby, it's all his fault that he went mad, stole the dragon's egg, killed all the other riders and 'took over the world'. Nice one there.

Anyway, Galby then says that he knows he did wrong.

A brief pause marked Galbatorix's speech. "There is no need to continue fighting me. I freely admit tat I committed terrible crimes in my youth, but those days are long pas, and when I refelct upon the blood I have shed, it torments my conscience. Still, what would you have of me? I cannot undo my deeds. Now, my greater concern is ensuring the peace and prosperity of the empire over which I find myself lord and master. Cannot you see see that I have lost my thirst for vengeance? The rage that drove me for so many years has burned itself to ashes. Ask youself this, Oromis: who is responsible for the war that has swept across Alagaesia? Not I. The Vaden were the ones who provoked this conflict. I would have been content to rule my people and leave the elves and the dwarves and the Surdans to their own devices. But the Varden could not leave well enough alone. It was they who chose to steal Saphira's egg., and they who covered the earth with mountains of corpses. Not I. You were wise once before, Oromis, and you can become wise again. Give up your hatred and join me in Ilirea. With you by my side, we can bring an end to this conflict and usher in an era of peace that will endure for a thousand years or more.

First off, this speech should be given to Eragon. The join me part, the Varden were the ones who started the war, the I am content to leave them all in peace. To tell this to Oromis isn't going to do much good.l He's already set in his ways. He's already made his judgment calls. He already believes that Galby, rightly or wrongly, is evil and unchangeable, all the way back before this mess even started.

What would have been more interesting is if Oromis did believe Galby and decided to join with him. Or believe that maybe if he did he could help Murtagh and Thorn come back from the brink and maybe help stop the war. It would have been a plot twist. And a dilemma for Eragon to deal with. An actual moral dilemma. But we can't have Yoda joining the dark side.

Rebuffed like a jilted lover, Galbatorix goes into the spitting rage. ... You know there maybe something there. *coughs. Kicks plot bunny*

“Bah! You are a senile old fool,” said Galbatorix, and his voice acquired a harsh, angry cast. “You should have accepted my offer; you would have been first and foremost among my slaves. I will make you regret your mindless devotion to your so-called justice. And you are wrong. I can keep you thus as long as I want, for I have become as powerful as a god, and there are none who can stop me!”

MWHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!! /end evil cackling.

But seriously, doesn't it sound like a jilted lover? First and foremost of my slaves? Keep you thus as long as I want? Fuck you and the dragon you rode in on?

Also," his voice acquired a harsh, angry cast" should be instead "his voice became harsh and angry".

So after the stand up and posturing, continuing with the jilted lover theme, after all, he swears that he'll have Glaerdr's hearts of hearts for ever and kill them all. If Galby were intelligent he would have continued on the theme of "I reformed". But the fact that he turns to anger so quickly indicates perhaps, other deeper and hidden emotions.

*kicks plot bunny*

Or that he's just stuck in cliched villainy territory.

Sadly more likely the latter than the former.

Anyway, Murtgah gains the advantage on Oromis when the elf has a seizure (he has those, remember?) that bone-blight-nerve-rot which they couldn't heal (but Eragon can cure cancer!) and loses his sword. Murtagh cuts him from shoulder to him and he starts bleeding heavily. Glaedr tries to make it back to the spell casters and the elves, but he's too late. Oromis asks him not to mourn him as he dies.

Glaedr goes after Thorn in a bloody rage and bites off the poor dragon's tail as the red dragon tries to flank him. Now, my understanding of flanking comes completely from D&D terms where upon you try to get to the side of your enemy as he's blocked by another ally thus giving you an advantage in combat because he's surrounded on two sides by attackers. Great fun if you're a rogue. However, with one dragon, I'm not sure if that works. I could see trying to strike his flank or do a strafing attack, but not flanking him.

Not that it works. Thorn lands a killing blow and the Glaedr realizes that he fucked up.

He was alone and in the dark, and he could not move or see.

He could feel the minds of other creatures close by, but they were not the minds of Thorn and Murtagh but of Arya, Eragon, and Saphira.

And then Glaedr realized where he was, and the true horror of the situation broke upon him, and he howled into the darkness. He howled and he howled, and he abandoned himself to his agony, not caring what the future might bring, for Oromis was dead, and he was alone.

Yeah, so why again is putting yourself in your heart of hearts a good idea?

I think the dragons stuck in their hearts tell the other dragons that it's an awesome thing and that way they can have other dragons share in their misery.

Anyway, as Eragon wakes up on the ground crying we missed the transformation of the man into the Shade because that would be interesting. Instead we get the Shade holding Arya by the neck.

Arya: Kicks at Shade. It has No Effect!

Shade (Varaug): Randomly speaks in plural unlike Durza! It sounds stupid! He tries to get into Eragon and Saphira's minds! It's super effective!

Saphira: Sits like a statue snarling under the attack; She looks stupid and is ineffective!

Arya: Can break the Shade's elbow but apparently kicking is useless! Not that it matters! The elbow heals!

Shade (Varaug): Is pissy that he's stuck in the human body and blames it on Eragon and the others! It's super convenient!

Eragon: Strips himself of every emotion except determination! He tries to isolate the Shade's mind Not the Spirit's! It's super confusing! After all, isn't the Shade just a bunch of spirits stuck in a body and there isn't a one mind?

Battle: It's super boring! It takes place in the mind.

Eragon: Gets controlled by the Shade: He just stands there!

Arya: Manages to break free! She goes for her sword!

Eragon: Contines fighting the Shade with his mind. It's super undramatic!

Shade: (Varaug): Wrestles with Arya for the Sword. It's Super Suggestive! There is pouncing!

Eragon: continues attacking the Shade with his mind! It's still Super Stupid!

Arya: Lands the killing blow! Killing the Shade instead of the Hero! It's Why the Hell Did She Do It And Not Eragon.

Eragon: Continues standing around! He doesn't kill the Boss for this level book.

Shade (Varaug): Apparently has bellies in his muscles! The spirits break through them!

Yeah. So, that's pretty much the final battle. Eragon and Saphira stand around doing nothing and I don't at all want anyone to say OH But they battled in the MINDS because I've already covered the utter inanity of the mind battles of you need to control the mind before you can do magic stuff as Arya kills the bad guy who wasn't even much of a threat because he just showed up and vanished. The real battle happened to other people.

Saphira starts to keen because Oromis and Glaedr are dead. Arya starts to cry when she finds out. Eragon tries not to. Eragon says he'll tell them what happened when he talks to Nasuada because he doesn't want to say it twice.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (*headdesk*)

*thunder sounds in the distance *

Eragon spots Arya coming into the keep's courtyard with the rest of the Varden and calls her over while ignoring his entourage of elves. Arya has acquired armor because she was stupid enough to not go into the city without wearing any and now looks like Eowyn from Lord of the rings wearing a full sized helm, a shield and mail hauberk. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. He asks if she wants to come with him to capture Lady Lorana and she says yes.

They take off leaving his peeved guards down below. Arya whispers in his ear while wrapping her sword arm ... okay that is not at all dirty ... yes it is. shut up. :D

Arya says that he shouldn't leave his guards so easily. A smart thing to say. The thing that bothers me the most however is why is it her sword arm she's using to hold on. Wouldn't it be safer to have that arm free to use? To, you know, stabby things with if need be? It's also an odd thing to mention. Does she spread peanut butter with her writing hand? Kick people with her favorite foot she likes to hop on? Look at flowers with her winking eye? Nothing would have been lost if Paolini had just said "her left arm" or even "her arm". The fact that it's her sword arm adds nothing to the story and is just a distracting detail.

Before we get to go anywhere with this, we're distracted by Eragon getting brain beamed what's happening with Glaedr, because his hearts of hearts is in his pocket, so obviously he'll suddenly get random images of him whenever it's the most exciting.

Glaedr also talks in funny-random-noun-giving descriptions. Like "burnt-wood-cooked-meat-spilled-blood" or "Little-stinging-hornet-arrows" or "broken-anthill-city" and "small-angry-rip-claw-Thorn". This is annoying. All we learn is that they're above Gil'ead and he wishes he didn't have to kill Thorn and Murtagh. You know, a lot of people don't wish they have to kill people right before they kill them in this book.

While Saphira and Eragon saw that scene Arya did not. I don't know why. There doesn't seem to be any reason why the Heart would be broadcasting this to them. He's not trying to send a message, so if it is just randomly broadcasting shit to people in the area, Arya should have gotten it too. But then we don't get things like "How do you know Glaedr and Oromis are about to fight Murtagh?" "I'll tell you later"

They land on a spot on the highest tower because .... I dunno. Especially since the window is too small for Saphira to get into. Quite frankly, I don't see how a dragon of her size could fit in a keep made for humans without getting stuck in a corridor. The room they go into, which I might add is on the highest tower, is full of crossbows and quarrels. Which is a brilliant place to put your weapons. All the way up to where it's hard to get them. Yup.

Also, why do they need to get off here and meet Saphira down below? Why can't they all just get off where she can? What purpose does it serve for them to separate like this? Especially since nothing happens along the way. Instead they get to a chamber below with no problems except for bad artwork to look at along the way. I don't care about it, so I'm skipping it. They get inside a chamber that I think is... well I don't know what it is, but there are chairs and tables and urns with dried flowers. There's also a balcony and shuttered windows.

A woman is sitting in a chair doing nothing. She looks like some of the people in the paintings so we're going to assume she's the one in charge.

There are three wizards chanting a spell in the "ancient language". It's unfamiliar to Eragon. Really? I would think it would be quite obvious what it was they were trying to do since they ahve to say exactly what they want to achieve in the spell to cause it to happen. I could understand maybe he didn't understand some of the words they're using but I think the basic gist would be obvious. In this case they're trying to create a Shade. So I would think it would be something like "HEY SPIRITS COME HERE AND POSSESSES THIS BODY SO WE CAN HAVE A SHADE. KTHANKS." Maybe in LOLCat.

LOLcat would be funny.

In any case, my point still stands. If the language you use to cast spells basically requires you to say what you want to make it happen, you're not really going to have any unfamiliar spells.

They try to attack one by invading his mind, but it doesn't work. So, they can't attack him using magic. Arya also doesn't know what they're doing, even though she's spoken the Ancient Language her entire life. While they're being dumb, the woman in the chair just sitting there beckons them over putting her fingers to her lips to tell them to come quietly. They wonder if it's a trap. After agreeing that it most likely is, they decide that since Saphira is almost there (why didn't she just fly down to the balcony...) they'll go say hi. As opposed to .. waiting for Saphira to show up. If she's almost there.

Wait. Sorry. Using tactics. My bad.

They go over to talk to the woman who is, in fact, Lady Lorana. She's happy to see them. She wants them to stop the wizards from doing whatever it is they're doing. Making a Shade, as we all know. She can't stop them because they only answer to Galby. And she has sworn her self to Gably so not having a choice in the matter either. So she can't raise a hand in their destruction or she would have done so already. But by telling Arya and Eragon about this, isn't she going betraying her oath? By saying "I can't destroy them so you have to" is effectively the same thing as having them destroyed yourself. It's just a matter of who is weiling the weapon. Surely she could of had her people you know, stab them in their sleep or something. If she can ask Eragon to do so, then her other people can do so.

If she was really not allowed to do anything against Galby and his men, she would have called alarm or not called them over to tell them these things. Or she could have looked like she was having problems with telling them what she's telling them as she struggles against the oath she swore in the ancient language. Instead she's just all "Well, you know, I can't do it becuase you know like I said I wouldn't," hair twirl and chews gum, "so, like why don't you do it?"

See, if I were a tricky sort of person I would have said what she said in the hopes that Eragon and Arya would get themselves killed while attacking the mages. And that the mages would get themselves killed as well. It'd be a win - win situation for me. I'd go to Galby say "Hey, I killed Eragon for you. Leave me alone." And they would all say Yay. I would say yay because the book would be over and there wouldn't be a fourth book.

Lady Lorana tells them that they're making a shade and that the two of them have to stop them.

Saphira shows up at that moment, landing on the balcony outside.

Why did it take her so long to land on the balcony when she was flying and Eragon and Arya only went down one level?

Where the fuck was she this entire time?

So, with that, they go and start towards the wizards when he gets hit by a Glaedr flash.

Blah, blah, blah, getting attacked. Switch back to Eragon lying flat his back. It's a good thing those wizards are too busy doing something else or they could have stomped on him. Arya is worried and wants to know how he knows what's happening with Glaedr. She touched his thoughts. Hehhehe. But he'll tell her how he can do that later.

They all pick and hit a wizard, Eragon and Arya hit theirs with a sword and Saphira tries to scratch one.

As opposed to breathe fire on it. Or bite it.

Anyway, it doesn't matter, they all hit solid air around it.

Apparently hitting the guy without magic is safer than hitting the guy with magic because they might get killed by a ward they were ignorant of. Or as Paolini puts it.

Eragon or Arya could have attempted to circumvent or deplete the spellcasters's wards with spells of their own, but using magic against another magician was always a perilous proposition unless the magician's mind was under your control. Neither Eragon nor Arya wanted to risk being killed b a ward they were as yet ignorant of.

SO you can use your shields to protect against magical attacks because your attackers will be to afraid to use magic against them in case they missed something, but you're not going to protect yourself against people hitting you with swords or claws beyond making it hard for them to hit you. No feed back or anything? I mean..

Now our hero and his chick and magnificent dragon are standing around like idiots taking turns attacking this one guy to wear his shields down and then kill him. Then they do the next guy. And they get no magical retaliation. In fact the wizards don't even stop what they're doing. They just stand there chanting and letting Eragon and the others slowly chew down their defenses. They're committing suicide. That's what they're doing. They want to get out of this book as soon as I do and they want to make the protagonist look like a complete idiot while they do it.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (What goes on in Kippur's head)
Two more chapters left.

And there's no build up to any final conflict. No tension. No we have to get this done or else... two chapters left to the end of the book.

Nothing happens.

I was flicking through it, got to the end and went "wait, what? That's the end? That can't be right."

There was no climax, no denouncement. At least no real one. There was a climax to a fight scene which may or may not be dramatic (as you'll see) and then the clean up from it. But it has absolutely nothing to do with what Eragon was working for the entire book.

Of course, that's the problem: Eragon wasn't working for anything the entire book. He had no over all goal. There was no build up to anything, no build up to Eragon needing to get to the town to help with the siege or being conflicted if he should go with Oromis or go and help the Varden or... any sort of choices. The entire book was just a series of interconnected scenes that only had bits to do with each other.

Thus the ending of the book is unsatisfying because it doesn't end so much as stop and roll credits. Randomly.

I should be able to finish this by the end of the month.

kippurbird: (Fish Fish Fish Fish)

The people of the city fought hard against the Varden making them work for it all night and not being able to get to the keep until dawn.

They fought in the city, during the night?

I don't remember it being dark or night. Wait. No... people in night clothes. Right. Right.

So, um... why are they fighting at night? I mean why hasn't there been any sort of disability mentioned for fighting at night? It's just as if they were fighting during the day. Why would you attack a city, do a city battle, in an unfamiliar city, with people who would have the home field advantage at night? That's suicide right there. No, that's more than suicide, that should have been a down right rout. For the defenders.

I mean, seriously, how stupid do ...

Oh. Wait. Sorry. This is the Varden I'm talking about. They chose their leader through Emo Chicken.

Carry on.

They finally get to the keep. It is very keep like. There are catapults in the courtyard.

Why are there catapults in the courtyard?

I don't know. But there are. Four of them.

Several thous.... how many fucking people do the Varden have?! And how can you fit several thousand of them in the area near where they're going to break the portcullis. Several hundred, sure! But several thousand, just lolligaging about? In a tight area? Where's the FIRE!? Seriously, that's a trap right there. They're all boxed it waiting for the battering ram to get through. And that number... and it's just





I mean... that's how many people should be attacking the city all together. How many people do the Varden have? And why are they all lolligaging about at the keep as opposed to securing the rest of the city? It looks like they're having a battle of Healm's Deep in the middle of the.

Several thousand of the Varden stood pressed against the curtain wall, striving to break through the portcullis with the battering arm they had brought from the main gate of the city or else to surmount the walls with grappling hooks and ladders, which the defenders kept pushing away. Flocks of whining arrows arched back and forth over the wall. Neither side seemed to have the advantage."

Where for art thy burning cauldrons of oil? Where do you have the room for the archers in the area between the city and the wall? How is this bloody keep situated with in the city? How is it that the defenders, with the high ground up there and aren't actually sitting around like cows waiting for the slaughter not having the advantage? Where is Paolini's diagram of this bloody fight? I want to see it.

Eragon and Saphira show up.

Saphira goes to take care of the catapults which apparently have just been sitting there because they haven't started lobbing rocks at the Varden yet. Eragon goes to take care of the gate. It's magically enforced. The elves haven't taken care of it because it would take up a lot of strength.

You know that seems to be the number one reason that they don't use magic. It'll use up their strength. But what are they saving their strength for? I don't know. They're too busy saving it. Wait they don't want to use it because they're trying to save it to protect Saphira and Eragon. If they're trying to protect Saphira and Eragon why don't they stick with him?



My bad.


Eragon says that he'll deal with the portcullis.

He takes Brisingr, says its name so it catches on fire and starts to hack away at the gate. The counter magic spells on the sword counter the magic on the portcullis. Why didn't the elves use a counter magic spell on the portcullis? Why don't they use counter magic spells on anything!? This would save so much time and trouble!?

Eragon gets a bit drained from using Brisingr, because he decided to set the thing on fire.

The chapter ends with Angela showing up. She wants to know what he named the sword and berates him like an idiot for naming it fire and setting it on fire to cut the gate. He admits he did it because it was cool. She calls him an idiot again.

My guess is that this little scene was put in there as a tongue in cheek thing. Paolini probably showed it to his sister and she gave him a similar reaction that her namesake did.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (Zombies! The answer to everything!)

Yes. With the exclamation mark.

Because ...



Paolini tries to describe the feeling of flight on dragon back with the phrase, "Eragon's limbs grew heavy as Saphira pulled out of the dive. Then she leveled out and the weight pressing down on him vanished. I think this would be an apt time for a metaphor. As long as it wasn't over done. How heavy is heavy after all? Did he feel like he was so heavy he'd fall off or crush Saphira.

Anyway, she's flying so that she can avoid the ballistae that the defending town has.

Yup. He's got ballistae firing into melee. Again.

Sure, it'll hurt like a bitch for those caught in it, but they're not really made for that sort of thing. They're made for taking down walls. But, they are weapons of war. So!

Eragon spots Arya and furry elf trying to fight off a group of soldiers. A hundred or so.

That's just counter productive. Or at least... I mean, you get a bunch of pikes, corner them and SKEWER. Dead elves. Easy.

But that would be intelligent and wouldn't allow for a rescue.

Saphira slaughters lots of people.

Saphira leaped down from the parapet and landed in the midst of the soldiers, crushing several men beneath her feet. The rest scattered, screaming with fear and surprise.Saphira roared, frustrated that her prey was escaping, and whipped her tail across the dirt, flattening a dozen more soldiers. A man tried to rush past her. Fast as striking snake, she caught him between her jaws and shook her head, snapping his spine. She disposed of another four in a similar manner.


Arya and Fuzzy Elf are okay despite all that combat. They're just out of breath. They were trying to open the gate because they're impervious to magic and the battering ram hasn't worked. So they were going in themselves to open it.

When Arya paused to regain her breath, Blödhgarm picked up the thread of her narrative. “Arya convinced Nasuada to stage tonight’s attack so that we could sneak into Feinster without being noticed and open the gates from within. Unfortunately, we encountered a trio of spellcasters. They engaged us
with their minds and prevented us from using magic while they summoned soldiers to overwhelm us with sheer numbers.”

Engaged their minds. Really. This is just one of those silly things that just I don't know, gets my goat up every time I hear about them using that whole engage the minds thing I just want to engage my head against the desk. What's the point, really, of being a spell caster if you never cast any spells because you're too busy trying to prevent someone else from casting a spell.

It's sort of like the equivalent of two kids not poking each other in the back seat of the car making it hard for the driver to drive. They keep on not poking each other and going "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you!" I think it's supposed to be like epic battle of wills and feints and bluffs and things like that but.. it's just like... you're always trying to prevent contingencies that you never actually do anything.

Let's see I've protected myself against sixteen different ways of being caught on fire... what happens if they know a seventeenth, I better figure out another seventy two, just in case.

Oh no! Someone is trying to figure out what protections I have!!! What should I do!? *runs around like a chicken with its head cut off*

It's not very exciting, is it?

Arya notices Eragon's new sword and fuzzy elf wants to know what it's called. In what becomes a 'running gag' of the chapter, every time Eragon tries to say its name something interupts him. In this case it's four guys with spears coming out of the alley at them. In a very weird movement, I'm not sure how he does it, perhaps some sort of weird contortion, Eragon cuts off the haft of the lowered spear and then the head of the bearer in one movement. Which means he some how got close enough and... I just... can't they're at two different angles. In a single, smooth motion, he drew Brisingr from its sheath and slashed through the haft of the lead man’s spear and, continuing with the blow, decapitated the soldier See, it's one motion, but it's not physically possible, I think.

Brisingr is bloodthirsty, "shimmering with savage delight".

Yes. And the sword has, maybe, bits of Eragon's psyche/being in it. Not at all ... a man who wants peace, is he? It shows up through out the rest of the chapter too.

Anyway, the four soldiers are slaughtered. Arya gets two of them. Fuzzy elf gets one. With a dagger. Why is he just carrying a dagger? Isn't that like bringing a knife to a gun fight? Wait. No, he kills the guy with his own dagger.

Oh.. and Eragon takes the remaining life force of a dying soldier and transfers it into Saphira. Little birds he cries over. Slaughtered animals make him feel sick. This is done without comment.

Value of human life? He has none.

The four of them, after this, go charging towards the gate killing people in their path. When they reach the gates fifty soldiers in gleaming armor come out of the towers and stand in front of the gate.

Wow. This city has enough guards - no soldiers - that they can spare fifty of them just to sit around and do nothing? And I say nothing because they're wearing gleaming armor. If they were doing something likely they wouldn't be in gleaming armor any more.

I believe he's using the word 'gleaming' to indicate that these men are threatening. Like a gleaming sword. But if armor is able to gleam then it hasn't been in use lately. Unless it's some sort of special armor that doesn't get stuck with dirt. Unlikely though.

Saphira wants to jump and crunch them all. Eragon tells her to wait. He wants to talk to them.

Now this scene has the feeling that it's from somewhere. I'm not sure where, but it just feels like it.

As he walks over to them one of them shoots an arrow at him. It stops three feet away from his chest and drops. He then introduces himself.

"My name is Eragon Shadeslayer! Perhaps you've heard of me, and perhaps not. In either case know this: I am a dragon rider, and I have sworn to help the Varden remove Galbatorix from his throne. Tell me, have any of you sworn fealty in the ancient language to Galbatorix or the Empire? ... Well, have you?"

The same man who had spoken before, said, "We would not swear fealty to the king even if he held a sword to our necks! Our loyalty belongs to Lady Lorana. She and her family have ruled us for four generations, and they've done a fine job of it too!" The other soldiers muttered in agreement.

"The join us!" cried Eragon. "Lay down your weapons, and I promise no harm shall come to you or your families. You cannot hope to hold Feinster against the combined might of the Varden, Sudra, the dwarves and the elves."

It's interesting here. He's only saying this to the fifty soldiers in front of the gate. What about all the other soldiers around? Why don't they get this offer? What if some of those are family of these men? How are you going to pick them out. Second of all, four generations doesn't seem like a long time. I mean you can have four living generations in a family after all. I think 'untold' generations might have been more impressive or 'since our city was founded'.

He says that Murtagh is no match for him and the Varden. This is the reply that the captain gives.

The captain of the soldiers said, "We may not have pledged ourselves to the king, but Lady Lorana has. What will you do to her, then? Kill her? Imprison her? No, we will not betray our trust and allow you to pass, nor the monsters clawing at our walls. You and the Varden hold nothing but the promise of death for those who have been forced to serve the Empire!"

"Why couldn't you have left well enough alone, eh, Dragon Rider? Why couldn't you have kept your head down so the rest of us could live in peace? But no, the lure of fame and glory and riches was too great. You had to bring wrack and ruin to our homes so that you could satisfy your ambitions. Well, I curse you, Dragon Rider! I curse you with all my heart! May you leave Alagesia and never return!

Okay. Talk about a tone change between paragraph one and paragraph two. This feels like the captain is giving the Crispin Day's speech from Henry V by Shakespeare and then moving to ... well... then a scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Like this:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace there 's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger:
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect.

You don't frighten us, English French pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person! I blow my nose at you, so-called Ah-thoor Keeng, you and all your silly English French K-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-niggits!

I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough water! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries! Now leave before I am forced to taunt you a second time!


I'm just staring at this and realized I just mixed Shakespeare and Monty Python. Is this a first? Has anyone ever done this before? Well, it's not exactly mixing but it's putting the two styles in juxtaposition to each other which exaggerates what I'm talking about to the ridiculous extreme. Normally, I imagine, it's not something you would notice. But it's a definite switch in tone. Which is jarring. It wouldn't be so bad if it were two different people speaking it, but when it's the same person, it's just doesn't flow well. The character gains a split personality.

The curse gives Eragon the willies because everyone keeps on telling him that he's going to leave Alagaesia and never return. (And they all rejoiced. Yay) And this pisses him off so he says that he doesn't wish to kill them but he will if he has to.

The Captain taunts him a second time.

The captain of the soldiers spat on the ground by Eragon's feet. "You don't even look human yourself! You're a traitor to your race, you are!" And with that, the man raised his shield and hefted his sword and walked slowly walked toward Eragon. "Shadeslayer," growled the soldier. "Ha! I'd as soon believe my brother's twelve-year-old son had killed a Shade as a youth like you."

I really like this guy. We know he has a nephew (why he had to say brother's twelve-year-old son, I don't know) that he's clearly fond of. And that means family. He has at least a brother and a sister in law. Also, notice, the guy is walking towards Eragon, but not attacking. He's being defensive because, well, Eragon's a scary fuck. Shame it doesn't do him any good.

Eragon waited until the captain was only a few feet away. Then he took a single step forward and stabbed Brisingr through the center of the man's embossed shield, through his arm underneath, and then through the man's chest and out his back. The man convulsed once and was still. As Eragon pulled his blade free of the corpse, there was a discordant clamor from with in the guard towers as gears and chains began to turn and the massive beams that held closed the city gates began to withdraw.

"Lay down yor weapons or die!" Eragon shouted.

Damn. He died. He wasn't even threatening Eragon. Well, he could have been considered threatening, but it looked like he was being cautious and not wanting to strike first. I think if he wanted to strike first he would have charged screaming wildly. In this case I believe he was trying to test Eragon's resolve in not wanting to kill them.

Clearly this did not work. Poor guy. He was only trying to protect his home and the people he loved and be loyal to his lady.

Twenty soldiers then rush Eragon (I like how he's able to count them all) the others ran away or dropped their weapons and "knelt by the side of the street with their hands on their knees".

... This is a sign of surrender I've never heard of. Isn't it usually with their hands behind their heads? Now it looks like they're kneeling in worship to Eragon.

Eragon kills the soldiers in such away that he causes a 'fine mist of blood' around him. I would think he'd be getting splurts of blood with all the hacking and slashing he's doing. Fine mists I would place with blowing people up. Blood doesn't mist very well when you're cutting them apart. See the Black Knight from the Holy Grail. His final blow caused the man to topple into two pieces. Exciting!

The gates open and the Varden spills in, because they obviously knew when the gates were going to open. Everyone is happy to see Eragon. Nicely he points out the soldiers who surrendered are his prisoners.

He sees Roran and other Carvahall folks and has a brief chat. Roran wants to know where he got the sword from. The Elves. What’s it called? Eragon gets interrupted in saying its name as the other elves show up. Guy from the Emo Chicken match shows up and tells Eragon that he should try and get to the keep. Before Roran takes off again, Eragon tells him that Brom is his father not Morzan.

Arya and Roran are surprised to learn this. After all it’s kind of a stupid plot device. But Eragon says that he’s thrilled to be rid of Morzan’s name

Arya tries to go again when Eragon tells her that “The Cripple Who Is Whole” has gone off to fight. The Elves are all WTF? And wow this is amazing news.

Eragon goes off on Saphira to get to the keep, stalling whenever they saw a huge clump of men so they could try and convince them to surrender. Sometimes it didn’t work, sometimes it did. But “he felt better for having tried, for many of the men who thronged the streets were ordinary citizens of Feinster, and not trained soldiers.” I guess once you become a trained soldier you automatically become evil. See that poor kid who got his neck snapped.

Obviously they are having trouble fighting in close quarters like the city because he’s on a dragon who is big and not going to fit in the streets. She does a lot of damage because of this, like wrecking the front of houses.

The constant street gorilla fighting finally pisses –enrages - Eragon off that he decides he’s going to kill every last one of them. He follows them into a millinery shop and they attack him… destroying his shield.



What shield?

*flips back through the chapter.*

Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Oh My! Apparently Paolini forgot that Eragon never picked up a shield. So one just materialized on him just to get destroyed by a hammer before Eragon kills a bunch of people. The remaining soldiers rush up the stairs and Eragon follows them into the shop owner’s quarters. They apparently have a maze of small rooms.

Maybe it’s like the TARDIS?

He kills four people in the sitting room… because they would have enough room to have a sitting room and realizes that it would probably be rude to leave the bodies there.

. . .

So… he tosses them out the window.

All right then.


I’ll… go with that. Why not? It makes about as much sense as anything else in this book.

Someone unexpected stabs Eragon and just before he cuts the guy’s head off he realizes it’s just this kid, about thirteen years old. About two years younger than Eragon. But hes’ describe as a “thin boy of no more than thirteen”. Obviously if you’re thin you’re a callow youth and don’t get to have your head chopped off. Past the boy are his parents clutching each other in terror in their nightclothes.

Eragon feels ashamed he tells them to stay inside, apologizes and leaves.

He sees a bunch of King Orrin’s men taking time off from fighting for some looting things from silverware to sofas. Note that they are King Orrin’s men and not the Varden because the Varden are too Kind and Noble to do this. Eragon yells at them.

Eragon dashed a pile of rugs from the arms of one man. “Put these things back!” he shouted at the entire group. “We’re here to help these people, not steal from them! They are our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers. I’ll let you off this once, but spread the word that if you or anyone else goes looting, I’ll have you strung up and whipped as the thieves you are!” Saphira growled, emphasizing his point. Under their watchful gaze, the chastened warriors returned the spoils to the marble-clad mansion.

Generally speaking, aren’t you supposed to wait until after you’re done fighting to loot? And I guess stealing is bad, but it’s okay to kill them mercilessly. Especially since they’re family. Who hasn’t wanted to kill family once in a while? I know I have.

I’m starting to wonder why they didn’t negotiate with the Lady of the city first. This becomes important later. I skimmed ahead. Of course if they did, then there wouldn’t be this awesome battle where Eragon gets to slaughter everything in his sight. Except small children.

They’re then sent off to go and kill more people, Saphira killing some people gruesomely. Eragon mentions that he’s very glad she’s on their side.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (._.; ... Yeah..)

With a title like Flight, can we guess what this chapter is about? Could it be a dull and boring chapter about Eragon flying back to the Varden?

Why, yes, I think it is.

Eragon and Oromis fly to the border with Yoda practicing with Eragon all the words in the ancient language he knows. Then they go on their separate ways.

Saphira flies through the night stopping only once so she can get a drink of water and so Eragon can pee. Riveting.

Second night they stop and Eragon practices his sword work while Saphira sleeps.

Eragon starts getting uneasy about the whole bloodshed thing. He starts feeling dread about going into battle and the whole chopping off of limbs and stuff. He doesn't like seeing the wanton destruction and Saphira says he shouldn't allow it to disturb him. He says he wishes he could enjoy fighting as much as she did. She says that it's good that he doesn't so that they balance each other out. Apart we are incomplete, but together we are whole. And what the hell does that have to do with enjoying killing things or not. It's not one of those things that people have two sides of. You either do or you don't. It's rather like bananas. Their either the spawn of Satan and the most evil fruits ever devised or they're okay to eat. Now I suppose she could be saying that his lack of blood lust keeps her from going mad across people... but I think Eragon has something worse than lack of blood lust.

He just doesn't care.

Oh, he says he cares, but he doesn't. If he cared he would try and avoid bloodshed as much as possible. And, we've already seen that he doesn't.

In fact he willingly allows himself to be distracted from the subject and tell Saphira some bad riddles.

I am colored red and blue and yellow and every other hue of the rainbow. I am long and short, thick and thing, and I often rest coiled up. I can eat a hundred sheep in a row and still be hungry. What am I?

Saphira guesses dragon.

The answer: A woolen rug.

Third day passes by slowly. Saphira is apparently straining herself and refuses to take energy from Eragon because he'll need it when they get there.

Of course if Saphira just drops dead in mid flight, it won't do either of them any good. And if they're a two parts of a whole what good is Eragon without her? And if she's too exhausted (which she won't be) when they get there, what good is she? Of course this is just to make us feel sorry for her and to worry about her.

But, I'm bored.

They keep flying as they reach their destination and some how Eragon manages to get his armor on, while flying, and sitting on the saddle without dropping anything. Then he takes some faelnirv, just a sip, and he feels restored. Does he offer any to Saphira? No. Would she take any? No, likely not. She has no survival instincts.

When they reach the camps they announced their arrival with a huge roar and a sheet of fire. Somehow he's able to hear the groan of despair from the people in the city that are still far off and between the noise of Saphira's roar. It also blinds Eragon.

Ha! Ha!

When they land, Eragon wants to get Saphira some food, and she starts to say he doesn't have to.

Of course.

But Trianna (the sorceress) lets Eragon know that Arya and another elf have been trapped by a group of soldiers and won't survive unless someone helps them.



Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (Feanor Hates You)

After getting his sword, Eragon gets his stuff and goes to see Sloan. Forewarning. This is going to hurt your soul. Even if you don't have one.

Saphira doesn't want to go see Sloan, but Eragon says he won't be content until he does. How ... noble of him.

We get a nice description of where Sloan is living.

...Eragon and Saphira continued through the woods until the arrived at a small one-room house grown out of the bole of a fir tree that stood out at an acute angle, as if a constant wind pressed against it.

To the left of the house was a soft bank of earth taller by several feet than Eragon. A rivulet of water tumbled over the edge of the bank and poured itself into a limpid pool before meandering off into the dim recesses of the forest. White orchids lined the pool. A bulbous root protruded out of the ground from among the slender flowers that grow along near the shore, and sitting cross-legged upon the root was Sloan.

Beyond the phrasing "acute angle" which doesn't fit in with the rest of the 'soft' words in the description and the fact that my brain kinda went "ORCHIDS MEANS BALLS". I swear I am never going to be able to have orchids (TESTICLES) in my stories because of the vet-tech anatomy class I had. We were learning body parts! And yes this is one of the things we learned about. The fact that there is a bulbous root doesn't really help matters. Other than those two caveats, it's fairly nice description. Not overly long and overly blown. I wouldn't mind seeing it. (BALLS)

Eragon doesn't want to let Sloan know he's there so he leaves Saphira behind and is very quiet. They've gotten Sloan dressed in elf robes with a black cloth around his eyes. He's whittling a length of wood in his lap with a small curved knife.

That is not at all sexual.




Sloan tells him to go away he doesn't want to listen to some bards or he just wants to be left alone. So, Eragon asks him if he's okay, in elvish. Which Sloan doesn't understand and he bitches at Eragon about how he knows that he doesn't understand him so stop it.

He then says, "You were right; having something to do with my hands calms my thoughts. Sometimes ... sometimes I can almost forget what I have lost, but the memories always return, and I feel as if I am joking on them... I am glad you sharpened the knife. A man's knives should always be sharp.

Eragon watches him for a minute more and then goes back to Saphira upset that Sloan didn't want to repent his crimes.

And that's it.

This is a huge opportunity missed like the Willy Coyote trying to get the Road Runner.

First of all. Sloan is carving. We're only told he's carving "something". Eragon obviously doesn't care enough to know. But it would show an important part of Sloan's inner workings and thoughts. It could tell him if he really is feeling repentant. He could have been carving animals. Or his wife. Or his daughter. What would have happened (if Eragon had emotional responses) if Eragon saw a carving of Katrina. Or him lovingly try and carve her, only from his memory? I mean that would be a seriously emotional scene (if done right). How would Eragon feel? Would he feel guilty about what he did to Sloan? (Not likely).

This could have been a major turning point in the story, emotionally. If there had been any emotion in it. The idea of forgiveness and love and maybe ... who knows.

It should have been a much more in depth section. The summarized lesson of this section shouldn't be. If he does not wish to acknowledge his mistakes, Eragon , nothing can force him to. In any event, you have done all you can for him. Now he must find a way to reconcile himself with his lot. If he cannot, then let him seek the solace of the everlasting grave.

















I want cookies.

As clearly in the right...

I can't say that.

After that amazing display of huma...

Eragon and Saphira then go off and find Yoda. Yoda is off and ready to leave as well. They're going off to Gil'ead to help the elves siege the city. This confuses Eragon and Saphira because aren't they supposed to be trying to keep their existence secret? Yoda says well yeah, but now let me give you this pitiful excuse so I can go off and get killed and leave you with some angst.

Oromis closed his eyes for a moment, his expression withdrawn and enigmatic. "The time for hiding has passed, Saphira. Glaedr and I have taught the two of you everything we could in the brief while you were able to study under us. It was a paltry education compared with what you would have recieved of old, but given how events press on us, we are fortunate to have been able to teach you as much as we did. Glaedr and I are satisfied that you now know everything that might help you defeat Galbatorix.

"Therefore, since it seems unlikely that either of you will have a chance to remain here for further instruction before the conclusion of this war, and since it seems even more unlikely that there shall be another dragon and Rider for us to instruct while Galbatorix still bestrides the warm earth, we have decided that we no longer have any reason to remain sequestered in Du Weldenvarden. It is more important that we help Islanzadi and the Varden overthrow Galbatorix that we tarry here in idle comfort while we wait for another Rider and dragon to seek us out.

"While Galbatorix learns that we are still alive, it shall undermine his confidence, for he shall not know if other dragons Riders have survived his attempt to exterminate them. Also, knowledge of our existence shall bolster the spirits of the dwarves and the Varden and counteract any adverse effects Murtagh and Thorn's appearance on the Burning Plains may have had upon the resolution of the warriors. And it may well increase the number of recruits Nasuada receives from the Empire."

Okay. So. Let us deconstruct this.

1. Oromis has apparently taught Eragon everything he can to defeat Galby but not everything that a dragon rider needs to be a dragon rider, therefor he's not needed anymore.

BUT... What about after the war? Who is going to teach Eragon all the other things about being a dragon rider if Oromis is dead? Here is an example of Paolini's lack of thought. He's gotten WAR but not what happens after the WAR. Right now the War is the Be ALL END ALL and so everyone must focus on that instead of what may come afterward.

2. There won't be another dragon and Rider to seek him out for instruction before the end of the war.

BUT... Eragon did not seek Oromis out. Oromis sought him out and said YO DUDE COME HERE. Also, there is a chance that Murtagh may get free and/or the last dragon egg may be rescued. If Oromis goes off into battle and dies who will give the green egg/ Murtagh and Thorn training?

3. Oromis being alive will undermine Galby's confidence.

BUT... Galby's killed of hundreds of dragons and riders by himself. What's one more weaker dragon and Rider?

4. Knowing that Oromis and Glaedr are still around will bolster the Varden's efforts.

BUT... they're going to help the elves, not the Varden. The hasn't been much communication between the two groups. And then only in the higher echelons. The lay Varden wouldn't know about the gold dragon, so there wouldn't be any spirits risen. Also the dwarves don't like the elves and likely they'll be "Why have you been hiding this dragon and Rider instead of using them to help our effort, you lazy sodding podding bastards?"

Blah, blah, blah, more excuses.

Eragon brings up what about the last egg? Oromis is "You can do it even though you know nothing, don't worry we'll get the scholars to help you even though they won't have practical experience and there's all this stuff that us dragon riders hide from the normal people and wouldn't have written down."

Blah blah, your sword is unique and awesome. Brisingr is an awesome name for the sword.

Blah blah. We may not survive so here, have Glaedr's heart of hearts.

Glaedr then throws up his heart of hearts and gives it to Eragon.

This is supposed to be awe inspiring and touching that Glaedr entrusts such a thing to Eragon. I'm just bored now.

Don't tell anyone about the heart, except those elves you're helping, but after you've sworn them to secrecy. Don't tell Arya though. Because too many people who know a secret makes it not a secret at all.

And they fly off!

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (What would Eragon Do?)
Greaves and Bracers.

To sum up this chapter: Katrina helps Roran put his armor on. Roran doesn't die from pain of his wounds which seem to have been forgotten. I'm not really sure exactly what to make of this chapter. It's two and a quarter pages long. It doesn't advance the story in anyway (more so than usual).I think it's supposed to be sensual by the way Katrina puts on Roran's armor, but it might have worked better if she was taking it off. Though I suppose some argument could be said to the romance of her protecting him. It's full of very... odd lines.

She cupped the curve of his calf with her hand as she secured the second piece of armor, her flesh warm against his through the fabric of his trousers.

Roran held out his arms to her and stared into her eyes, even as she stared into hers.

Her waist is thickening from her pregnancy. Elain still hasn't given birth. (what? they can't cut the baby out with a healer on hand? I mean if Eragon can cure cancer, surely they can get the baby out of there). She wants to know why he has to be on the front line. Because he's the Hero, obviously. Or because someone has to.

She gives him a favor, a red kerchief which she kept in her boobs... I mean bodice and ties it to his sword belt. But not his sword. Which is sad, because I would have liked to have seen which sword she tied it to.

He then takes his spear and shield, because it's always important to have protection when going out to use your spear, and leaves.

Katrina is not at all satisfied with this.

He goes out to the battle field. The horn sounds. They charge to siege Feinster. For some reason they're having mixed ranks. In this instance I would think that would be a liablity. Each race has its own fighting styles and likely won't work well together. It'd be like mixing your cavalry with your infantry. Of course this is Paolini we're talking about. He's having his men charge into battle while the archer's are firing at them.

And there you go.

Click some dragons:

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (May the Trashcan....)
A Rider in Full

For some reason, whenever a hero needs a weapon they go to a weapon smith who then goes ahead and manages to forge them the Best Sword Evah. It's a big important scene and reveal. This is a sort of lead up moment for a small part of the book. The Hero has to convince the sword smith to create the weapon. They have to find the smith in the first place. They may have to do small quests to get the things needed to make the sword. They may have to prove themselves worthy to the sword maker. The sword smith then has to spend ages making the weapon or something. It's a pretty big thing leading up to the final battle. Or the Hero will find the weapon and go to the smith to discover more about its history. In any case, there is often a scene where the weapon is revealed and the smith declares that it is the finest weapon that they've ever made.



It's dramatic.

It makes the sword special.

It makes the hero special.

It makes the hero know that they have the best possible weapon to go after the Big Bad. It gives the smith a chance for a crowning moment of awesome. It's a sort of punch scene of Now we have everything we need, let's go kill the bad guy.

We don't have that here.

Indeed. There was no real quest to find the metal for the sword. It wasn't even really a chapter's worth. There was no judging to see if Eragon was worthy. There was no how do I get around the oath thing really much. Like getting absolution or something.

What we have here is the scene, because the scene is apparently important, without the substance and build up to it, so it means a lot less.

Saphira gets Eragon up in the morning, waking him up from his waking dreams. again. Why the hell does he have waking dreams!? What the hell are they!? Why can't he just have regular dreams!?


WHY! WHY WHY!!!!!!

Seriously. This is really starting to irk me.


Maybe it's really 'wet dream' and not 'waking dream'.

So, Eragon goes to the forge and sees Rhunon again. She's got the sword under a white sheet. Because...

They stand before her and she speaks The Speech. (I'm sure there's a trope for this, but I'm not going over to TvTropes to look.)

"I have done the impossible," she said, the worse hoarse and broken. "I made a sword when I swore I would not. What more, I made it in less than a day and with hands that were not my own. Yet the sword is not crude or shoddy. No! It is the finest sword I have ever forged. I would have preferred to use less magic during the process, but that is my only qualm, and it is a small one compared with the perfection of the results. Behold!"

Grasping the corner of the cloth, Rhunon pulled it aside, revealing the sword.

Like I said. The Speech. "I don't have the tools I normally use but some how I made something awesome! In fact it is more awesome than anything I've made with my normal means because I'm just awesome like that... or something."

It's sort of backwards though.

I'm suddenly reminded of the Ironman movie where Tony Stark, being as awesome as he is, manages to build the first suit out of scraps. In a cave. It works. It is awesome. But when he's back home in America, he has time and builds another suit that is more awesome. Why? Because he has the time. He has the materials. And he has the brains. When he comes out with the final suit, it's amazing. Here he went from a good design to something even better.

In theory there's no real way that Rhunon should have been able to make the sword as amazing as she does. I think it would have been more interesting if the sword wasn't the best she'd ever made. It was the best she could do in the circumstances. It would serve, but that's all. Eragon would have to learn to deal with an 'inferior' product and then later learn that it's not the sword that makes a rider a rider, but the Rider and his actions that do. The sword should have a chance to fail, but Eragon has to risk it. He has to take a risk. Which is something that he generally doesn't do in these books. At least not real risks.

But back to the sword. Let's describe it!

He had thought that in the handful of hours since he had left her, Rhunon would only have time enough to fabricate a plain hilt and crossguard for the sword, and maybe a simple wooden scabbard. Instead, the sword Eragon saw on the bench was as magnificent as Zar'roc, Naegling, and Tamerlein and, in his opinion, more beautiful than any of them.

Covering the blade was a glossy scabbard of the same dark blue as the scales on Saphira's back. The color displayed a slight variegation, like the mottled light at the bottom of a clear forest pond. A piece of blued bright carved into the shape of leaf capped the end of the scabbard while a collar decorated with stylized vines encircled the mouth. The curved crossgaurd was also made of blued bright steel, as were the four ribs that held in place the large sapphire that formed the pommel. The hand-and-a- half hilt was made of hard black wood.


Like the rest of the sword, the blade was blue, but of a slightly lighter shade; it was the blue of the scales in the hollow of Saphira's throat rather than the blue of those on her back. And as it was on the Zar'roc, the color was iridescent; as Eragon moved the sword about, the color would shimmer and shift, displaying any of the many tones of blue present of Saphira herself. Through the wash of color, the cable-like patterns within the brightsteel and the pale bands along the edges were still visible.

OooOoooooooo Shinny.


He tries out the sword by slashing through a bundle of three iron rods. Cuts clean.

They are all happy with the results. All that is needed is the name.

They go through several names. Saphria would name it something like "Blue-gem-tooth or Blue-claw-red." There's also, "Reaver or Gutripper, Battleclaw or Glitterthor or Limbhacker, Terror, Pain, Armbiter, Eversharp, Ripplescale, Tongue of Death, Elfsteel and Starmetal."

Eragon suggests Kingkiller. And she doesn't think it's a good idea because "Will [he] do nothing else of worth with [his] sword"? Well he could stick it up his ass. XD

He then suggests Hope in the Ancient Language. Since Zar'roc means misery it would be neat to have a sword that counteracts misery. This Saphira doesn't like because Do you really want to give your enemies hope. Do you want to stab Galbatorix with hope?

I dunno.

There's some deep thoughts on his end.

As he gazed into the depths of the steel, his eye chanced up on the flamelike pattern that marked the transition between the softer steel of the spine and that of the edges, and he recalled the word Brom had used to light his pipe during the memory Saphira had shared with him. Then Eragon thought of Yazuac, where he had first used magic, and also of his duel with Durza in Farthen Dur, and in that instant he knew without a doubt that he had found the right name for his sword.

Dues Ex Machina?

Well, no, as we all know it's Brisingr. But because that's hardly an appropriate name, I'm going to call the sword Dues Ex Machina.

Anyway when Eragon says the name of the sword out loud, it bursts in to flames. Sadly it does not melt into goo. However Eragon is so startled at the fact that it bursts into flames he drops the sword. He's confused as to how it lit on fire without him casting a spell. Rhunon on the other hand is pissed that he dropped the sword. He might have scratched the guard.

It's a sword.

He's going to be using it in battle. He's going to be hacking things with it. And it's going to be getting banged around and everything. It's going to get scratched. That's what happens when it gets used.

Fortunately she protected the sword against damage like scratches.

This sort of goes back to the whole idea that surface looks are more important than other things in the Eragon universe. Rhunon wasn't worried about the fact that the sword mysteriously caught on fire, but instead that it might have gotten scratched. Instead she tells him that he should never drop the sword again, even if it turns into a snake or she'll take it away from him.

Um. Yeah.

Rhunon wants to know if he did it on purpose.

He did not.

She makes him say "brisingr" again. It catches on fire again. This time he makes sure not to drop it. It turns on every time he says the word Brisingr, but it doesn't when Rhunon tries to.

Rhunon says she has two theories for why it does that.

"I can think of two explanations for this marvel. One is that because you were involved with the forging, you imbued the blade with a portion of your personality and therefore it has become attuned to your wishes. My other explanation is that you have discovered the true name of your sword. Perhaps both those things are what has happened. In any event, you have chosen well, Shadslayer. Brisingr! Yes, I like it. It is a good name for a sword."

I'm not really sure how a sword's true name could be fire. Especially since Eragon wasn't even thinking about those sort of things when they were forging the sword. I think that would have made the sword forging scene a bit more tolerable, is if he actually had thoughts about the sword he was making. That I think would be the only way it could get some of Eragon's personality it in. After all, Rhunon had a hand in making the sword and it doesn't respond to her.

But I forget. Eragon is just that special.

Eragon then thanks her for the sword and leaves.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (*headdesk*)
Mind over Metal Part Two

They go to the smelter and Saphira takes the glop of bright steel from the trough and breaks it in to fist sized pieces. Then they go back into the forge and sort the metal according to its hardness, which she call tell by the color and texture of the metal. Harder metal will be used for the outside for a sharp edge, softer steel for the inside so it can absorb and bend. This done, Rhunon enters Eragon's mind. She should find it pretty roomy.

The first thing Eragon noticed about Rhunon as their minds met was the low chords that echoed through the dark and tangled landscape of her thoughts. The music was slow and deliberate and cast in a strange and unsettling key that scraped on his nerves. What it implied about Rhunon's character, Eragon was not sure, but the eerie melody caused him to reconsider the wisdom of allowing her to control his flesh. But then he thought of Saphira sitting next to the forge, watching over him, and his trepidation receded, and he lowered the last of his defenses around his consciousness.

It felt to Eragon like a piece of raw wool sliding over his skin as Rhunon enveloped his mind with hers, insinuating herself into the most private areas of his being. He shivered at the contact and almost withdrew from it, but then Rhunon's rough voice sounded with in his skull: Relax, Shadeslayer, and all shall be well.

There is nothing sexual about that last paragraph at all. Not at all, with any sort of enveloping of skin, insinuating into private areas and rough voices insisting he relax. Nope. Not at all.

Nothing sexual.



If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. Paolini really missed his calling. He should have been a Harlequin Romance novelist.

However, the first paragraph is mostly a reasonable example of trepidation and fear that I would think someone should feel if they were going to be invaded in their most private of places. IfyouknowwhatImean. I'm not sure exactly what good having Saphira near by is, but if it makes him feel better... all right then.

For some reason they need to wait until dark to start forging... I don't know why, but there you go. In the mean time Rhunon works out working in Eragon's body until she's got him moving in a comfortable manner for both of them. Then they start to forge the sword.

Saphira heats up the metal again and Rhunon beats them flat into metal sheets. She checks the metal over again and is highly displeased with it. So she breaks the metal into bits and has Saphira heat them up into melting point until it turned white. Then she started to make the sword by folding metal.

Rushing Eragon forward, Rhunon had him transport the glowing brick of clay covered steel to the anvil, where she seized a hammer and welded the disparate flakes of brightsteel into a cohesive whole. She continued to pound onto the metal, elongating it out into a bar, then made a cut in the middle, folded the metal back on itself, and welded the two pieces together. The bell-like peals of ringing metal echoed off the ancient trees that surrounded the atrium.

Rhunon had Eragon return the brightsteel to the forge once its color had faded from white to yellow, and again Saphira bathed the metal with the fire from her belly. Six times Rhunon heated and folded the brightsteel, and each time the metal became smoother and more flexible, until it could bend without tearing.

And this, I believe is the katana making technique for the hand and a half sword.

As they work, Ruhnon sings magic into the sword, spells of making, sharpening and binding.

What she does next is to do the same with another bar of the harder brightsteel and then for the softer steel she makes a shorter heavier wedge. Then... well, I'm not really sure.

Next, Rhunon had Saphira reheat the two bars of harder steel. Rhunon lay the shining rods side by side on her anvil, grasped both of them at either end with a pair of tongs, and then twisted the rods around each other seven times. Sparks shot inot the air as she hammered upon the twists to weld them into a single piece of metal. The resulting mass of brightsteel Rhunon folded, welded, and pounded back out to length another six times. When she was pleased with the quality of the metal, Rhunon flattened the brightsteel into a thick rectangular sheet, cut the sheet in half lengthwise with a sharp chisel, and bent each of the two halves down their middle, so they were in the shape of long shallow V's.

We then get a short interlude of elf children. There are two elf kids, the only two in the city conceived twelve years ago. Yes, conceived as opposed to born. I dunno, I guess elves count it important when they're conceived as opposed to born.. Which is not entirely unreasonable. They have tear drop faces that "seemed wise and innocent in equal measure". You know, that's really a Sue trait that is. I mean we already know that elves are the Mary Sue race but this idea of something being innocent and wise at the same time is a classic trait. It's a contradiction that Mary Sues are so fond of having. They have to be wise beyond their years so that they can be uber-smart and everyone can marvel at their wisdom, but they also have to be innocent because it'll attract the protective interests of the guy they're trying to catch. And no guy wants a slut, there for they have to be innocent. Men like innocent women, or something. I think I'll leave it on the or something. At least, virginity is a key part of the innocence. Even if they're harden killers who killed millions of people with just an evil eye, they're still innocent in the ways of the world and of luuuuurv.

But I'm getting sidetracked. The elf children are innocent and wise and they are special with special powers which go away as they age. This was mentioned before. I believe it was stolen from the young wizards series if I recall correctly. Anyway they're remarked upon and then they go back to making the sword.

The wedge of brightsteel is put into the V of one of the longer pieces and makes a sandwich. She smashes it together until it is all one piece and makes it all sword like. She files it and scrubs it and grinds it. She paints a mixture of slurry on it made of dark, fine grained clay, ash, powdered pumice and crystallized juniper sap. Thicker coating in the middle so it'll cool slower and keep the center softer. More blade making. Blah. blah. Quenching of blade. More polishing and filing and shiny blade becomes shiny.

Finally, his body gives out on him and Rhunon sends him to bed. She says that since the blade is done, it won't bother her oath to finish the sword.


I'm fairly certain that just making the blade isn't the entirety of making - of forging - a sword. There's more to it, and so she should still be bound by her oath not to make a sword. She shouldn't be able to do it. After all, a blade alone does not make a sword. If it did, then people wouldn't use them very much for they would cut their hands a lot. So, she shouldn't be able to make the rest of the sword without Eragon's help. But... if she did that, then we couldn't have the sword reveal in the next chapter.

That's very important, you know. Where the smith says to the hero, "here is your sword. Isn't it awesome!" generally followed by "This is the best I've ever made." The hero then gets to look in awe and stuff. Which happens in the next chapter. So, what we have here is a breaking of continuity in order to fit in the 'important' cliche found in the 'traditional' hero's story.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (O_o)
Mind over Metal

This is the sword making chapter. I claim absolutely no ability on knowing how to make a sword. But I'll get to that in a little while. First I'd like to look a bit at Rhunon's oath and what she does. It goes to the idea of the letter of the oath and the spirit of the oath.

The letter of the oath is that she will not make a sword ever ever again. She gets around this by using Eragon as a puppet to make the sword. She doesn't physically make the sword, she just sticks her mind into Eragon's body and uses his body. This lets her get around the oath. But she still is making a sword, isn't she? She's not instructing Eragon how to do it, but instead just using a different body. Did her oath then mean just her body couldn't make it? Or her mind. After all, I think the mind and spirit is what is making the oath. Not her body. Not only that, but she's also violating the spirit of her oath. She said she did not wish to make anymore swords because ... I can't find the reason. I think it so that she doesn't allow another Galby out into the world. By making a sword? I don't know.

In any case, the breaking of the spirit of the law and sticking to the letter is something that tricksters often do. A great and favorite example of mine is in Gargoyles. Demona, a gargoyle who dislikes humans, has summoned Puck. Yes, the Puck from Shakespeare, and demands that he get rid of "that human", Eliza Maza. Clearly what she meant was that Puck should wipe her from the face of the earth. What he did instead is to turn Eliza into a gargoyle and make her think that she was always a gargoyle. When Demona ask if he did it, Puck says yes, he did. But he doesn't tell her what exactly he did do. Delighted Demona wants him to do the same to every human in the city. Puck does what she asks. He turns all the humans into gargoyles. This, of course, pisses Demona off. She didn't want the humans to be gargoyles. So she demands that Puck turns the gargoyles into humans. Puck does that. He turns the original gargoyles into humans. Of course, hilarity ensues the entire episode. In the end everyone is pretty much restored as to how they started before the mess started.

This is Puck following the letter of what Demona wanted instead of the spirit of what she wanted. He was playing around with her and doing it because it was fun. He was a fey and you don't fuck around with the fey. Puck is also, of course, a trickster. This is what Tricksters do. Rhunon, on the other hand, is not a trickster. She is presented as an honorable smith, one who values her work and honestly feels pain that her work was used for the slaughter of dragon and dragon rider kind. I would say that her oath in spirit, still binds her, because Eragon plans to use the sword on Galby and Murtagh, thus enforucing the circle of death and violence that she turned away from. Galby may be evil, but he is still a dragon rider and still a bearer of her sword. Murtagh is an innocent victim in this and if Eragon were to kill him, it would also break her oath. Thus making the sword would break the spirit of the oath. However, the word of her oath, the exact letter of it, is hard to know if she's breaking it, because we don't know what it is. We're not told, so we can only speculate.

Still, Rhunon should be, seems like to be, the sort that would follow the spirit and the letter of the oath, no matter how much she wishes to make a new sword. There should be other options given besides a sword. Perhaps instead of a sword, a different weapon? Who knows. The problem is that Paiolini has written himself into a corner with this inviolate oath and now has to hack around it. And the way he comes up with it is, is rather... unpleasent.

To the chapter itself!

Rhunon is rather surprised to see the bright steel. I almost put star metal which is from Conan the Adventurer. Fun cartoon. When she learns, she says that Eragon was very foolish or brave. There is, however, enough to make several swords. Which is a yay for Eragon. When he asks how she's going to make a sword without violating her oath, she says that he shouldn't worry about it for now. Instead they have to make the sword! And they have to make it by tomrrow. Normally it would take weeks, but they're going to use maaaagic. So, all is well.

Eragon takes off his shirt and gets an apron that was treated so that it was impervious to fire. The thing is, it's just an apron. What happens if the fire hits your other bits? Just saying. They don't use gloves because gloves are for clumsy blacksmiths. I don't know the veracity of this statement. Personally, I think gloves would be useful to protect your hands from the hot stuff, but the pictures I've found on google search shows a lot of them without gloves.

Now wearing aprons to protect themselves from fire they go and .... build a smelter. Because a smith like Rhunon who works in the forge all the time wants to spend time building and taking apart her smelter...

*walks over to the wall.*






Ooowww.... I think I'm stuck.

Feanor has developed a nervous tick and his sharpening his Mithril Spork of Eru's Doom right now in response to this so called "elf smith".

However the one big thing that a lot of this chapter reminds me of is Moby Dick. And not in the good god it's literature sort of way, but in the why is he giving me every nuanced detail about whaling? In this case we're building a smelter so that Paolini can show off that he knows how to build a smelter. Want to see?

Of course you don't!

Too bad.

Then Rhunon led him to a low, grotto-like chamber set within the trunk of one of the trees out of which her house was grown. Inside the chamber were bags of charcoal and loose piles of whitish clay bricks. By means of a spell, Eragon and Rhunon lifted several hundred bricks and carried them outside, next to the open-walled forge,then did the same with the bags of charcoal, each of which was as large as a man.

Once the supplies were arranged to Rhunon's satisfaction, she and Eragon built a smelter for the ore. The smelter was a complex structure, and Rhunon refused to use magic to construct it, so the project took them most of the afternoon. First they dug a rectangular pit five feet deep, which they filled with layers of sand, gravel, clay and charcoal, and which they embedded a number of chambers and channels to wick away moisture that would other wise dampen the heat of the smelting fire. When the contents of the pit were level with the ground, they assembled a trough of bricks on top of the layers below, using water and unfired clay as their mortar. Ducking inside her house, Rhunon returned with a pair of bellows which they attached at the base of the trough.

Aren't you glad you read that? I know I am.

Yes. There you go. How to make a smelter. However, I would suggest waiting for the clay to dry before setting fire to it. Otherwise it might crack and fall apart on you, which is never good.

Of course, they don't. They have lunch - sorry a brief repast - and they start to to melt the ore.

As it will take a while for the ore to be a proper consistency to shape into a sword they have some time on their hands and they work on what sort of sword Eragon wants.

First we learn that Eragon prefers to fight with a shield if possible.

Clearly this is news to me, because I can't recall him ever using a shield to fight with. Maybe he just got the shield proficiency feat recently? He doesn't want a two handed sword because it would be too big for fighting indoors. I like how this is a consideration for him. It's not something I would think of when getting a sword for me. Instead they go for a hand and a half sword, because Murtagh used to carry one. I think Eragon is making fun of him. Eragon wants the blade to be wider at the gaurd than Zar'roc because it would look better. Rhunon laughs at him saying he should never make a change to a sword to make it look pretty.

"Never ask me to alter a weapon merely in order to improve its appearance," admonished Rhunon. "A weapon is a tool, and if it is beautiful, then it is beautiful because it is useful. A sword that could not fulfill its function would be ugly to my eyes no matter how fair its shape, not even if it were adorned with the finest jewels and the most intricate engraving." The elf woman pursed her lips, pushing them out as she thought. "So, a sword equally suited for the unrestrained bloodshed of a battle field as it is for defending yourself in the narrow tunnels under Farthen Dur. A sword for all occasions, of middling length, but for a hilt, which shall be longer than average."

*wanders off to go and look at a screwdriver. (Not the sonic or laser one)*

Um. Not seeing it.

A sword only fulfills its function when it's going around hacking things into bits. So that would mean she would find the sword she made that's on display by one of the elf families ugly, yes? The idea that she is going for, I think, is that of form and function. If its form is suitable for its function then it is a beautiful object. However, that is not what she says. It's what I'm thinking she says. Because what she is saying doesn't quite make any sense.

She measures him around and then they spar with pokers so that she can see how he fights. I'm not sure how this is supposed to help, nor how is using a poker a sufficient way to tell as it has completely different handling, weight, balance, purpose, than that of a sword. But what do I know? It sounds cool.

And then Eragon learns how she plans to make the sword:

A twinkle of amusement appeared in Rhunon's eyes. I won't. You shall make the sword instead of me, Shadeslayer."

Eragon gaped at her for a moment, then sputtered and said, "Me! But I was never apprenticed to a blacksmith or a blade smith. I have not the skill to forge even a common brush knife."

The twinkle in Rhunon's eyes brightened. "Nevertheless, you shall be the one to make this sword."

"But how? Will you stand beside me and give me orders as I hammer the metal?"

"Hardly," Said Rhunon. "No, I shall guide your actions from within your mind, so that your hands may do what mine cannot. It is not a perfect solution, but I can think of no other means of evading my oath that will also allow me to ply my craft."

Eragon frowned. "If you move my hands for me, how is that any different than making the sword yourself?"

Rhunon's expression darkened and, in a brusque voice, she said, "Do you want this sword or not, Shadeslayer?"

I don't know about you, but I think my first reaction to someone saying they're going into my mind and using my body as a puppet would not be "Isn't that going to break your oath?" but more along the lines of OHMIGAWD WHAT?! HOW NO!!! YOU'RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT!!! THAT'S A COMPLETE INVASION OF MYSELF AND ALMOST LIKE RAPE!!!! HOW COULD YOU EVEN SUGGEST SUCH A THING!? DON'T YOU HAVE AN APPRENTICE WHO COULD DO IT INSTEAD OF TAKING OVER MY BODY!?

And then I'd back away very slowly from the person until I could run far far far away. But we've already long established that Eragon does not have normal reactions to things. So, instead, he shows 'worry' over her breaking her oath more than worry over her suggesting she invade his mind and being freaked out about it, even for a little bit. Just a sentence would have been nice.

I'm going to stop here for now. Next is the actual forging.
kippurbird: (*headdesk*)
The Tree of Life

So, they figure that brightsteel is what Serious Ass was talking about when it came to the weapon under the tree, they just have to find it.

But first they go off to Oromis.

Saphira and Glaedr hang out together, "Enjoying the pleasure of each other's presence" up in the sky. If you know what I mean.

Meanwhile Oromis teaches Eragon how to teleport an object. If you know what I mean.

As Oromis says.

"Most forms of magic," said Oromis, "Require ever more energy to sustain as the distance between you and your target increases. However, that is not the case in this particular instance. It would require the same amount of energy to send the rock in my hand to the other side of that stream as it would to send it all the way to the Southern Isles. For that reason, the spell is most useful when you need to transport an item with magic across a distance so vast, it would kill you to move it normally through space. Even so, it is a demanding spell, and you should only resort to it if all else has failed. To shift something as large as Saphira's egg, for example, would leave you too exhausted to move."

It still has to be safer than riding across the continent with an egg where someone can ambush you. If you know what I mean.

I'm just saying. If you know what I mean.

If you start somewhere safe and can send the object anywhere you want over any amount of distance to somewhere else safe there's less chance of the egg ending up in the wrong hands. If you know what I mean. I just don't think Paolini figured that part out when he wrote the first book or it just wouldn't be as dramatic if he did it that way, if you know what I mean.

The rest of the lesson is trunchated into two paragraphs. If you know what I mean. Eragon is to busy trying to figure out what to do about the tree while he pays attention to the lesson. If you... I think I'm going to stop that.

When they're done Oromis wants to know if he and Saphira will stay much longer since Lord Fiolr's sword doesn't work for them.

If we recall, the entire reason why they -Eragon and Saphira- came to the elves this time around, was to finish their training. They needed to learn more so that they can defeat Galby. They needed to get more information. More magic spells. Etc. etc. etc. Sword? Not so much. Yet now the sword is the most important reason why Eragon is there. My guess is that Paolini couldn't figure out exactly what sort of things he needed to show to have a training sequence but needed to have him go back to the elves so that we could see Oromis, much like Luke went back to Dagobah to see Yoda to finish his training. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be any reason for this entire section. It could be said that there's Serious Ass's prophecy or needing to get a new sword, but those could have been handled in different ways.

And besides, what is continuity from several chapters ago have to do with anything? The important things were accomplished: Eragon learned that Brom was his father, he learned the teleport spell and he's going to get his new sword. What else does he need? Clearly he has everything he needs to defeat Galby. He doesn't need any other training. Or something. I don't know. He says there's one more thing he'd like to do before leaving. Oromis says, fine come back here before you leave.

They then go back to the menoa tree. This time Eragon is going to try and commune with the tree and ask it to give him stuff.

Summoning all his resources, Eragon flung a mental shout at the Menoa tree. Please, listen to me, O great tree! I need your help! The entire land is at war, the elves have left the safety of DuWeldenvarden, and I do not have a sword to fight with! The werecat Solembum told me to look under the Menoa tree when I needed a weapon. Well, that time has come! Please, listen to me, O mother of the forest! Help me in my quest! While he spoke, Eragon pressed against the tree's consciousness images of Thorn and Murtagh and the armies of the Empire. Adding several more memories to the mix, Saphira bolstered his efforts with the force of her own mind.

You know what? This reminds me of those kids standing outside the toy stores with their noses pressed up against the windows saying 'I want I want I want OOOH SHINY GIMMIE!!!" Notice that Eragon never says who he is or why he deserves the weapon under the tree? For all the tree knows he's just some random elf or something. What makes him worthy of the weapon? What does the tree know of the Empire or Murtagh? It's a tree. It hasn't been touched, as far as I know.

And it's a tree.

I might as well go stand out in front of Random House books and call out to it, "Please, listen to me O great book publisher! I need to be published! The entire land is filled with bad books and worse and I do not have an agent! I was told to come to you so that you might publish my book when I was ready! Well the time has come! Please, listen to me, O publisher of books! Help me get published!" Besides likely getting myself arrested, I don't think it would do much good.

They continue to plead with the tree.

It's a tree. It does nothing.

Then Saphira gets frustrated. She declares that she will not be ignored, not even by a tree.

She then breathes fire on it.

Just a few pages ago, Saphira says that if any creature tried to harm the tree they probably wouldn't live long afterward.

Now she breathes fire on it.

Which, I would say, is harming the tree.

Clearly she doesn't remember her own advice. Or she doesn't have any respect for this tree, this great big wonderful holy type object of the elves who protected her while she was in her egg and are now protecting her. Clearly her wants are more important than respecting things around her because she doesn't have the patience to try and figure out another way.

What this scene is supposed to be, I think, is the scene where the hero is fighting against something and declares "I won't let this puny XYZ stop me!!!" And pull out some magnificent piece of strength or feat of magic and succeed at whatever it is they were doing. Usually it doesn't involve destroying a national treasure of an ally though. Or the protection of a forest. Or you know, something good. Unless you're evil.

Though, if you think about it, technically Saphira is only about two years old, if that. And this is something that a two year old would do. Throw a temper tantrum when they don't get what they want.

So, Saphira harms an ancient and respected living artifact of the elves because it won't talk to her. The idea of using a spell to find the brightsteel or weapon never occurs to them. You know like a dosuing rod or a find me spell or Accio Brightsteel!. That way they wouldn't have to you know attack the tree with the murdering elf spirit inside of it!

Of course it is incredibly less dramatic that way.

The two of them are captured in the Tree's roots and it wants to know who bit and burned it so it can know the names of those that it killed.Why does it care? Does it keep a list somewhere? Well Eragon gives the tree their names, "Eragon Shadeslayer and Saphira Brightscales"

On a tangent, why do they call her brightscales. Don't all dragons have bright scales? Maybe it's like Smith.

The Tree is Okay, nice knowing you. Eragon is all "WAIT I'm not done naming us!" He doesn't name them any more though. Instead he says that he's the last free dragon rider and she's the last female dragon and the only ones who can destroy Galby. The tree wants to know why Saphira hurt it. But it sighs as it asks it. "Why did you hurt me, dragon?" the voice sighed. Why is the tree sighing? What in that statement would require sighing? I think it's more of a demanding than a sighing statement. Unless the tree is trying to roll its eyes.

Can a tree roll its eyes. Maybe knots in its trunk?

Saphria says that she attacked the tree because it wasn't answering them and they needed the weapon from under it. Tree says that there isn't a weapon. Eragon says we think it means brightsteel. The tree checks, moving its roots all around and causing all the elves to come running. Because apparently no one noticed when the dragon started breathing fire on the tree. They're all staring at Eragon and Saphira but not moving to help them.

Maybe they're hoping that the tree will kill them?

Anyway, There is a piece of brightsteel in the edge of the tree roots, but Eragon and Saphria ain't going to get it because they attacked the tree. Eragon pleads with the tree not to kill them and to give them the metal. The tree says its going to kill them because Saphira breathes fire and fires must be extinguished. Eragon's all But she's the last female dragon! And if we can't stop Galby he'll come and destroy your forests! The tree says he can't destroy an entire forest and if he tries, it'll kill him.

For some reason Eragon wants to know if the energy they gave the tree is enough to repair its wounds.

The tree instead probes Eragon's thoughts.

It finds nothing.

Okay. No it wants to know what Eragon is because it's never seen anything like him before. He says that he's neither an elf nor a human but something in between.

So, he's a half elf?

The tree hasn't seen those before? Apparently not.

Okay then.

The tree wants to know why the blood oath celebration changed him. So he can become more of a Gary Stu so he can better defeat Galby. He then says they'll heal the trunk and wound if they can have the brightsteel. I would have said, you can not die if you heal it. The tree does not. It asks if Eragon will give it what it wants in exchange for the brightsteel. He says yes. It doesn't say what it wants. It never does. It just gives him the brightsteel and tells him to bugger off.

That's another pretty piss poor deal going here.

What if it's his life the tree wants when he's done with everything? Mmm? I mean what sort of idiot agrees to such a deal without knowing what's on the other end of it.

... wait. Sorry. I forgot. This is Eragon. He does this all the time. Terminal Plot stupidity. Anyway, they got the stone, all the elves are staring at them and Saphira is all, "Maybe attacking the tree wasn't such a good idea."

Ya think?
kippurbird: (lightsaber)
The Tree of Life pt. one

There's a song I used to sing in Hebrew School with the lyric "It's the Tree of Life to those who hold fast to it and all of those who do so are happy!" It's a reference to the Torah and it was a fun little son to sing. This is what is now stuck in my head as I'm reading this chapter. Hurray!

This tree of life is the Menoa tree. It's very big.

Thicker than a hundred of the giant pines that encircled it, the Menoa tree rose toward the sky like a mighty pillar, its arching canopy thousands of feet across. The gnarled net of its roots radiated outward from the massive, moss-bound trunk, covering more than ten acres of forest floor before the roots delved deeper into the soft soil and vanished beneath those of lesser trees. Close to the Menoa tree, the air was moist and cool, and a faint but constant mist driffed down from the mesh of needles above, watering the broad ferns clustered about the base of its trunk. Red squirrels raced along the branches of the ancient tree, and the bright calls and chirrups of hundreds of birds burst forth from the bramble-like depths of its folliage. And throughout the clearling,t he sense of a watchful presence pervaded, for the tree contained within it the remnants of the elf once known as Linnea, whose consciousness now guided the growth of the tree and that of the forest beyond.

That is one damn huge tree.

Now there are two possibilities on this tree. One it is a world tree. One of those trees that hold up the world and without it the world will die. The tree in Norse Mythology is such a tree. And then there's the Paolini really has no idea how big big is. From the description of how the Menoa tree was 'created' I'm going with the second option instead of the first. It does not appear to be a world tree, as in the entire world would fall apart if it did. Instead it's just a really big tree with a really big botany fail. The amount of nutrients a tree that size would require is staggering. There couldn't be anything living in miles of that tree. At least not other trees. Unless they were parasites, which there don't seem to be.

The Menoa tree, for those who have forgotten, like I did, was created when an old elf lady killed her lover when he cheated on her with another elf. So distraught was she that she sang herself into the tree and um... yeah. The thing is, I thought elves were okay with lots of love and stuff and not getting attached and um... things like that. Hippies, remember? Free love?

Course, I guess everyone gets jealous now and again.

Eragon and Saphira land and he starts to look for any sign of a weapon in the tangled mass of roots. Because it would be easy to find a weapon in a ten acre field filled with bramble, roots, ferns and what not. A quick glance could do it.

After not finding anything, he takes a piece of bark and wonders if he could turn it into a weapon. Saphria tells him he could make even a blade of grass deadly but it wouldn't do much good against Murtagh or Galby. They try to figure out what serious ass meant realizing that it may not actually be a weapon but a book or a staff carved from the tree. Saphira says that cutting a branch from the tree would be a worthy weapon, not as good as a sword, but still a worthy weapon. But that anyone who cut off or hurt the tree would be in for some dire consequences. As she says, If any creature tried to harm the Menoa tree... I doubt they would live long enough to regret their mistake. <--- This is important. You'll see why later.

They search for a couple of hours and not find anything treasure like. Eragon then tries to get the tree's attention, but doesn't. After all it's a tree and has deep deep thoughts and can't be concerned with the little voices tickling in its little tree mind. Not finding anything he goes to his tree house and sleeps. Or actually, falls into a trancelike state of his waking dreams, and there spoke with his parents I still wish I knew what that meant. Anyway, his parents are proud of him and stuff and they love him and stuff.

The next morning they go to visit Lord Fiolr, he who has the dragon sword. Things get a bit woogie here. From what I know, Galby has only in been in charge for about a hundred years. Which is pretty minuscule as elf lives go. So when Fiolr says "Long has Tamerlein been a prized possession of my family..." it makes it sound like it's been in the family for generations, when it has only been in his poession for less than a hundred years. It belonged to his mate's brother.

Here's the thing, if I recall correctly, elves don't marry. They take 'mates' and they're rather short lived relationships so they can go on to have multiple mates. But, the way Fiolr speaks of his mate he makes it sound like they were married. Also there are few elf children so the likelihood of there being elf siblings seems even rarer, since no one sticks around with anyone long enough to have more than one kid with each other. His mate is - was - "the most wise and fair Naudra". And I'm wondering as opposed to the most wise and fair ex why zee? It seems like all the elves have that sort of title.

So, either they collect mates like Mormons collect wives, or Paolini is having a problem between saying what the elf culture is like and what the text actually says.

Anyway, Eragon promises to give Fiolr the sword back if he or any of his heirs (multiple? From where?) ask for it back. After doing that he can see the sword. Fiolr has a wand in his hand which he strokes with a finger and causes it to glow. Well, the pearl at the tip of the wand glows as he strokes it. I don't know why he's carrying the wand. At least he doesn't seem to wave it around as he talks. Eragon gets to see the sword and realizes that it's not good for him.

He still thinks about taking the sword, but Saphira says that he shouldn't. For two reasons. One because if he doesn't think it'll be proper for him, he shouldn't take it. He shouldn't have his life depend on a weapon he's not sure of. Second she doesn't like the conditions that Fiolr put on the gift. However Fiolr didn't say it was a gift, he said that Eragon could borrow it.

Borrowing is not a gift.

You borrow things with the intent of giving it back. Like from a library. There's a due date.

Gifts you can keep.

Eragon did promise to give the sword back, likely in the ancient language too, since that's all that elves use to speak in.

Saphira is being rather entitled when she assumes that Eragon should be able to keep the sword instead of giving it back gracefully. This of course does continue some of her previous characterization of a selfish, spoiled, entitled princess. See her food and beer demands earlier in the book for more proof on that end. Eragon even tells Fiolr that he can't keep the sword is one of the reasons why he's not using it. The elf doesn't seem to mind at all.

I don't blame him.

Ungrateful brats they are.

Strike two.

They go over to Rhunon's cave to see what they can do there. Rhunon doesn't get any description. Neither did the elf maid that took Eragon to see Fiolr. On the other hand Fiolr got a nice paragraph of description, comparing him to a spear head. *winkwinknudgenudge* Again continuing on the oddness of men having more description than women in the book.

Eragon wants to know if he could use Brom's sword, which is called Undbitr, or as I shall call it Underbite. Rhunon wants to know why he would want Brom's. Eragon tells her.

Rhunon is all "Ah yes, I can see now. I liked him he was rude." Rhunon apparently has been around since before the dragons and elves were nice to each other. Apparently elves were more normal back then. They laughed and fought instead of being all emotionless. I dunno about that one, but whatever. I mean that party they had when Eragon got all healed seemed to be pretty wild. As did a few other other things that happened in the first book. Maybe Rhunon has been in her caves too long.

She tells him the only way to make a good blade is to put the spells into it as the blade is being forged and not afterward. She won't make him a sword because of her oath never to make a sword again. And since she swore it in the ancient language she can't undo it.

Slight tangent. It's near the Jewish High Holy Days right now. Two weeks until Rosh Hashana and then Yom Kippur. One of the things that happens during Yom Kippur is that Jews ask for absolution from oaths they've made to G'd during the year. One of the reasons why we do this is because sometimes we can't fulfill the oath. This frees us from such a problem. We're supposed to, of course, try and do what we said we'd do, but circumstances change sometimes and so sometimes it no longer becomes viable.

I bring this up because it doesn't seem fair that Rhunon should be tied to her oath when it's so necessary for her to make a new sword. It seems like a false problem. And one that should be able to be fixed with another oath or something or another. After all, as it is proved, you never know when you need to break it. Especially since I would think she'd want to do whatever is necessary to defeat Galby.

Unless she doesn't..... hurm...

It's a moot point anyway. She needs brightsteel, or metal that comes from meteorites. Of course. Because elf techniques aren't special enough. The metal has to be special too. What really amazes me is that Rhunon found enough metal to make all of those swords just by wandering around the forest. After all there were hundreds of dragons and riders over two thousand or so years. The amount of metal found in the meteorites mustn't at all be that big because if it was large, the falling meteor would have left a huge crater and been a significant event. What I think would have been more plausible would be something like Mirthril that was mined by the dwarves. That would give the elves a special metal to use and a reasonable source for all of the weapons needed to be made.

As Eragon and Saphira take their leave they figure that brightsteel is what Serious Ass must have meant and that it must be under the tree ... somewhere.

Adopt one today!Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!Adopt one today!
kippurbird: (*headdesk*)
Hands of a Warrior

This chapter opens up with Eragon eating a strawberry and then pushing the stem into just the right spot on the tray. I'm not sure exactly what the right spot on the tray is and for what is it the right spot for, but apparently it is the right spot, for the strawberry stem. If a strawberry stem needs a right spot on a tray. To put it shortly, this paragraph makes no sense whatsoever. There's an idea there of Eragon placing the strawberry stem in a place that he likes, but it's presented incorrectly. We need to know more information beyond 'the right spot' to make that phrase make sense.

Not that it matters. Instead we get to learn how much more awesome Angela is. See, Eragon tells Oromis about his side trip to Angela's shop and the fortune she told him. Oriomis says that he's been hearing a lot about her and how she shows up at all these significant places. That and she reminds him of another woman who he describes as having, among other things, " A wit that is as sharp as it is odd". So, Angela has been around long enough that Arya doesn't remember her, even though she looks the same as she did when she came in what must have been many years ago. So perhaps she is not a human spell caster at all? And Oromis doesn't seem to be at all interested in knowing more about her, dismissing her with a flick of his hand and saying that Eragon shouldn't worry about her prophecies because either they will or they won't come true "and without knowing more, none of us can influence the outcome".

Isn't that the point of prophecy, that you can't influence the outcome? Or that trying to influence the outcome may or may not work and so why bother? Or that you should seize your destiny given in the prophecy and try to fulfill it. It's seems to be one of those sorts of things that continue to reoccur in the books, the idea that fate is undecidable or uncontrollable so why bother trying to do anything about the future. Why bother trying to figure out what it means?

Meanwhile Serious Ass's words are more important to considered. Oromis doesn't know what the Vault of Souls is and he vaguely remembers hearing about Rock of Kuthian, but he doesn't remember from where. He also doesn't think there is a weapon under the Menoa tree. But he'll ask around to the few other elves that know more than he does in regards to the forest. However in regards to sharp pointy dragon rider swords, there are two others in the elf kingdom. If Eragon asks really nicely the elf in Ellesmera might let him have it.

If not then he should go to Rhunon and see what advice she will give him. Also if for some reason he does get the sword it will need to be "refurbished" since it hasn't been used in a hundred years.

It needs new upholstery?

I have this image now of a carpet covered sword. o_O The carpet is plaid and there's a little tassel hanging off of one end.

I don't know the exact word he's looking for, I can't think of it off the top of my head, but I do believe that he's looking for a word that means "make sure it's in good working condition and fix it if it's not".

Of course this being one of the famous Dragon Rider sword of magic that never need sharpening and stuff, I can't figure out why it would need to be refurbished and how not using it for a hundred years would require it to be fixed in anyway. Especially since the elf who owned the sword certainly should keep it in good condition if it is so awesome and special.


Eragon then wants to know what he and Oriomis should do between now and tomorrow.

Yes. My brain did wander down to dirty places, now shut up.

However, it's interesting to note that Eragon appears to have forgotten about the fact that he just learned that Brom was his father. I would think that he'd want to know more and more about Brom, like what was he like as a child, who was he friends with, what was his Saphira like, was he in love with anyone (besides Morzan), when was he chosen to be a rider, where was he from, did he have any family, any siblings, what about his parents. There are a hundred and one million questions that should be brimming through Eragon's head right now, he shouldn't be asking, "So, now what?" He should be interrogating the hell out of Oromis and his dragon to find out this information.

Instead he gets to ask Oromis to teach him any use of magic he wishes in the time that they're there.

First try: Spirit summoning. Oromis vetoes it. Well, he says he'll teach Eragon it, but will he please not make him.
Second try: Teach him his true name. Oromis says that while he may be able to guess Eragon's true name (Gary Stu) it's not actually a spell and so he doesn't have to. So there. neh.
Third try: how to teleport things, like Arya did with Saphira's egg. This is acceptable.

Then we learn that Sloan is here! Poor Sloan, he has a nice hut by a stream, but he can't leave the woods. He's tried twice but Eragon's compulsion makes him stay. The elves feed, clothe and read to him, but they haven't fixed his eyes. Why? The weeping man is broken inside," Glaedr said. He cannot see clearly enough for his eyes to be of any use

Um... he can't see because you won't fix his eyes. His ability to see "reason" has nothing to do with his ability to physically see. If they want to be kind and generous like the elves should be they should - you know - fix his eyes. This is kinda like Eragon fixing scars but not healing seriously injured.

Eragon wants to know if he should go see him, Oromis says its up to him, but whatever he does, he shouldn't forget Sloan's existence.

Fiiiinnnnaaaaalllly we get to the bit about why this chapter is called "Hands of a Warrior". Oromis wants to see Eragon's hands before he goes to sleep. He looks at them and declares that they are hands of a warrior but he should be careful that, "they do not become the hands of a man who revels in the carnage of war". That took four paragraphs of the entire chapter and have absolutely no impact on anything else we've read in the chapter.

Where's me cutting knife, eh?
kippurbird: (*headdesk*)
Souls of Stone

Eragon's apparently finished his soup because he's pushing away his empty bow. Oromis asks if he'd like to see a fairth of his mother. If we remember, a fairth is a picture of someone made with magic that shows exactly how a person percieves whatever it is they're looking at. It's put on pieces of slate. Actually it's on a shingle of slate. A shingle being a piece of something -in this case slate- that is used to roof things. It is also slang in Australia, according to, for being crazy. Now, I have to explanations for why the word shingle is used. One: Brom used an actual shingle to make the picture on, because it was what he had at hand. Two; Paolini used the word shingle because it's almost exactly what he wants to describe and he doesn't want to actually use an ordinary word to describe what it is. A piece of slate. It's more than that. It's a shingle of slate.

Here's what he sees.

With an effort, he turned the slate over and beheld an image - clear as a vision seen through a window- of a garden of red and white roses lit by the pale rays of dawn. A gravel path ran through the beds of roses. And in the middle of the path was a woman, kneeling, cupping a white rose between her hands and spelling the flower, her eyes closed and a faint smile upon her lips. She was very beautiful, Eragon thought. Her expression was soft and tender, yet she wore clothes of padded leather, with blackened bracers upon her forearms and greaves upon her shins and a sword and dagger hanging from her waist. In the shape of her face, Eragon could detect a hint of his own features, as well as a certain resemblance to Garrow, her brother.

Minor nitpick: How does he know if it's sunset or sunrise?
Second minor nitpick: Usually looking through windows - if there is glass- isn't so clear. Is there glass?

What? No long lengthy description of her hair? Or her eyes? The color of her skin? Exacting details of her clothes? The exact size of her boobs. How she's sitting? It's not even a fool paragraph of description! How disappointing. I bet if she were a man we would have gotten much more detail.

Then again, if she were a man, there'd be some very interesting things to wonder about. I bet it would explain a lot.

There's a an actual sort of tender moment when Eragon reaches out to touch the picture, wishing that he could reach into it and touch her arm.

The fairth is put away and Eragon asks, in a round about way, how come Murtagh is more powerful than him. Well, what he actually says, "The two times we have fought Murtagh and Thorn, Murtagh has been more powerful than any human ought to be"

What does that make Roran? Is killing two hundred soldiers something that normal humans can do? And what about learning all that stuff that Eragon did in the first book?

But basically this is him whining, "Why is Murtagh more powerful than me! Give me something to level up!!!"

It turns out that Murtagh and Galby have a serious power source. The hearts of dragons.

See a bunch of dragons have become liches. But without being able to reform their bodies.

Unlike with most creatures, he said,A dragon's consciousness does not reside solely within our skulls. There is in our chests a hard, gemlike object, similar in composition to our scales, called the Eldunari, which means "the heart of hearts". When a dragon hatches, their Eldunari is clear and lusterless. Usually it remains so all through a dragon's life and dissolves along with the dragon's corpse when they die. However, if we wish, we can transfer our consciousness into the Eldunari. Then it will acquire the same color as our scales and begin to glow like a coal. If a dragon has done this, the Eldunari will outlast the decay of their flesh, and a dragon's essence may live on indefinitely. Also, a dragon can disgorge their Eldunari while they are still alive. By this means, a dragon's body and a dragon's consciousness can exist separately and yet still be linked, which can be most useful in certain circumstances. But to do this exposes us to great danger, for whosoever hold our Eldunari holds our very soul in their hands. With it, they could force us to do their bidding, no matter how vile.

Now, I clearly have been watching too much Mythbusters while reading this, because the first thing that popped into my head was, "Today on Mythbusters! Is the mysterious Heart of Hearts really clear and lusterless before you impart your consciousness into it?" Adam revs up a chainsaw, "Let's find out!"

But seriously this is a very interesting thing that is being stated. Dragons have either dissected each other or have some sort of magical who-si-what-sit to know what's going on in their bodies. They must have experimented on it some how. Saphira says she never mentioned it because it would be like mentioning she had a liver or a stomach. (Or because Paolini just made it up. =D ) So it's clearly something that had to be studied at some point. It's what sets humanity apart from other creatures. The desire to poke things with a stick and see what happens. How do we know what the heart does? We poked it with a stick. What parts of the brain does what? We're poking it with a stick.

Hamsters? They know they have cheek pouches. But what they look like? I doubt they know. Humans? Have poked it with a stick. Dragons also must have poked it with a stick because Gladaer says that wild dragons teach young dragons about the thingy in the wild. How did they learn so much about it?

Well, like I said, either they poked it with a stick or magically know about it. The problem here is that the intelligence level of wild dragons seems to be horribly inconsistent. At times they were wild animals with no language that waged warfare with the elves until Eragon (the first) bonded with a dragon. And other times they're clearly sophisticated enough to have poked their innards with a stick, even though their still called wild dragons.

Which makes me start to wonder, if the non-ridered dragons are "wild" what are the dragons with riders? Civilized? Captive? Enslaved? "Wild' is a very loaded word in this situation. Especially since not all dragons had riders. They willingly gave up their eggs to bond with the elves and humans. So that would make them captive? Or enslaved? Domesticated? Was a wild dragon's egg better than a domesticated dragon's egg?

Another interesting thing is that Saphira did not think that her thingy was anything of note, again like her stomach, until Glaedr mentioned it. So, how did the first dragons realize it was special until they poked it with a stick. Which likely means they must have either experimented on themselves or each other, as it is an organ unique to dragon-kind. They couldn't use rats or humans. Which makes me wonder how they got dragons to volunteer.

The reason why no one told Eragon about them is that they -the riders- keep it hidden from the younger riders and dragons so that the dragons don't foolishly give up their hearts to their riders to impress them or something.

The dragons, before they made their pact with the elves, used to keep their hearts in the center of the Hadarac desert, in the mountains there.

There are mountains there?

*checks map*

Yes. There are mountains. Tiny ones, that don't even get names.

Why would they take their hearts out of themselves and keep them in a cave before they had riders?

I'm just so confused as to the purpose of this organ.

What possible purpose would an organ have that when taken out leaves you completely vulnerable to any sort of evil that touches it? And why would you even ... disgorge it then. Especially if you don't think it's worth anything. Which is apparently as noteworthy as a stomach or an appendix.

A humming bird shows up and drinks the juice of a crushed berry on the table.

It then flies off.

This incident stops all conversation for a moment.

*twiddles thumbs*

They don't comment on it or anything. Eragon doesn't ponder how ... I have no idea... it's just there. And gone.

Oromis says that Galby went about collecting these hearts and bending them to his will. Lots of dragons and their riders would carry the hearts of other dragons becuase they get bored sitting around in a shelf all day for hundreds of years, so they would get to go on field trips.

Right, so again, what purpose does it serve?

Sometimes, apparently they do it by accident.

The ones who chose to do it were older than beyond measure and the problems of the flesh didn't bother them any more. Which happens when you get old and wise I guess. It seems like that happens to a lot of creatures when they get old they don't get bothered by the fleshy problems. Like aching joints, lack of teeth, weakness, being unable to see well, being unable to hear well. None of that bothers them. They just decide that they're going to become a gem and sit around unable to do anything. They can't see unless they're being touched by someone with eyes...etc. They can't do magic. They exist as advice dispensers.

And they're stuck like this forever. Unless some sort of inspiration to use magic to set themselves free over comes them, or they convince someone to break the heart of hearts for them. Which is why dragons are wary of putting themselves in it.

... but... I ...

Again why would you do it then?

What purpose does it even serve!?

I mean besides as Energizer batteries for Galby.

I don't know.

My head hurts.
kippurbird: (._.; ... Yeah..)

If you thought last chapter was bad, this one is even worse. It's a completely talking head chapter. Brom gives his "I wish I could have told you this when I was alive" speech to Eragon.

It starts off with Eragon going to stare over a cliff. Saphira comes over and asks him how he's feeling. In an effort to be deep we get this conversation.

She swung her head toward him. And how do you feel, Eragon?

You know as well as I do.

A few minutes ago, I did, but not now. You have grown still, and looking into your mind is like peering into a lake so deep, I cannot see the bottom. What is in you, little one? Is it rage? Is it happiness? Or have you no emotions to give me?

What is in me is acceptance,
he said, and turned to face her. I cannot change who my parents are; I reconciled myself with that after the Burning Plains. What is is, and no amount of gnashing teeth on my part will change that. I am... gland, I think, to consider Brom my father. But I'm not sure ... It's all too much to grasp all at once.

He is so deep that even his life mate can't ... bond mate can't feel what he feels. Except that he never feels any sort of emotion anyway. He's always numb and distant. He just watches the world go by without any sort of emotional input, so this not being able to feel anything doesn't have any impact. Mostly because it's nothing new. There has been no change from the status-quo.

Saphira then beams Brom's final message into Eragon's brain. Okay, that might not exactly be it, but I can't think of any other way to describe it. I mean what else would you call being able to perfectly recall, with sight, sound and smell a message someone gave to you like you were a video camera. I mean, I would find it much easier to believe that Brom spoke into a crystal or put the message in the ring than for Saphira to be turned into a webcam. The fact that Brom is basically Obi-Wan Kenobi doesn't help me any because I keep on thinking of the scene from A New Hope where Luke gets that message from Leia while cleaning out R2-D2.

"Help me Brom-Kenobi, you're my only hope..."

Actually, what we get is the Lion King.

Brom said, "Ever the sun traces its path from horizon to horizon, and ever the moon follows, and ever the days roll past without care for the lives they grind away, one by one." Lowering his eyes, Brom gazed straight at Saphira and, through her, Eragon. "Try though they might, no being escapes death forever, not even the elves or the spirits. To all, there is an end. To every thing, turn, turn turn, there is a season, turn, turn turn.... If you are watching me, Eragon, then my end has come and I am dead and you know that I am your father."

Eragon: NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Wait. No. Sorry. That was for Morzan.


No, wait, that requires emotional responses.

Eragon: Whatever.

Brom: Blah blah blah. I give you advice for you life. Blah. I wish I could have been there for you. Blah don't be stupid. too late. Blah blah let's retcon scramble up the magic system even more.

The way to defeat another magician is not by battering blindly against his mind. No! In order to ensure victory, you have to figure out how your enemy interprets information and reacts to the world. Then you will know his weaknesses, and there you strike. The trick isn't inventing a spell no one else has ever thought of before; the trick is finding a spell your enemy has over looked and using it against them. The trick isn't plowing your way through the barriers in someone's mind; the trick is slipping under or around the barriers.

Um. Okay then. I'm suddenly seeing the wizards going through a list of spells and throwing it at them at each other until something sticks. Who ever loses all their hit points first dies.

Another interesting thing. Brom says to Eragon, "May the stars watch over you..." Which makes no sense.

Why would the stars watch over you if the stars are just great big balls of gas. If they have no importance, no spirit or being alive. What good is having stars watching over you? And where the hell did that come from in the first place? Paolini's throwing religious things into Brisingr right and left with no real foundation. I wouldn't have a problem with the phrase if B. Brom had used it before and B.if there had been some sort of indication SOMEWHERE in the previous two and most of this third book about the stars having some sort of cultural significance to humans, elves or dragons or dragonriders or ANYTHING. He's blessing Eragon but without anything behind it. It'd be like if I were to say, "may the trashcan watch over you".

Of course the stars are going to watch over him! They're stars. They're in the sky! They... look down... and stuff.

May my cat watch over you makes much more sense. (If only because that's what he's likely doing.)

Why do Jedi say, "may the Force be with you"? because they believe that the Force is the all of life and is in everything. As long as it's there you're alive. Which is sort of what I think Paolini was going for.

But failed.

Annnnnny way, Saphira says that he is lucky to have gotten to spend time with Brom like that. All she has of her parents are a few 'hazy memories' from Gladear.

Which makes no sense. How come she can perfectly recall Brom's message, but Gladear can't recall her parents?


Oromis shows up and has soup.

kippurbird: (meat!)
Two Lovers Doomed pt. two




Doom. Doom. Doom. Doom. Doom.



Sooo, blah blah.

Brom runs off to meet Jeod who apparently has discovered a secret entrance into Galby's castle. Eragon's mom has run off, I mean left, a month before. Eventually Brom is running around trying to get Saphira's egg, because the guy who stole it from Galby ran off to keep it for himself. I like this guy. His name was Hefring of Furnost. It's nice that Oromis knows, remembers, whatever, this all. In any case, Hefring is my new hero. If he succeeded we wouldn't have this book to deal with at all. He must have known what was going to happen.

Momma has gone off and given birth to the spawn of the devil and runs off again while Brom kills Morzan.

Brom barely makes it back to the castle where he learns that mom died just hours before. I'm sorry, she passed into the void. They never saw each other again.


Brom goes around and does other stuff that I don't care about.

Don't know what happened to Murtagh though.

Yes, Eragon, Brom really is your father.


Not really.

It's all really plot hole patching. And boring plot hole patching too. Basically, Paolini is trying to put in all the foreshadowing that should have been in the first book in the first place to indicate that Eragon and he were related.

Eragon wants to know if his parents were ever married.

Let's see. Mom is supposedly in love with Morzan and has his child. Brom is a gardener in Morzan's house hold trying to keep a low profile.

No, I don't think they were married.

But they considered themselves husband and wife.

aaaaaawww... so romantic.


And then Brom revealed himself to the Varden as a hey I'm not dead, let me take care of the egg by transporting it through the evil bad guy's territory. Which is rehashing what we already know. Blah blah blah.

Then Eragon starts angsting about who to believe, because Brom said that his mom was good and Jeod said that his mom was evil and he HAS TO KNOW!!! He can't handle having a non-black and white reality.

Oromis just says that "accounts of past atrocities are often exaggerated and distorted. That much you should keep in mind. No one but your mother knows what she did, nor why, nor how she felt about it, and she is not still among the living to explain herself

Ten bucks says in the next book Eragon will get to talk to his mom and she'll explain herself. And it'll a wall banger.

He then says that Eragon should trust what Brom said and eventually she became good. So, past atrocities don't matter.

A spider floats by and Eragon looks at it.

No. Seriously.

Propelled by the breeze, a spider hanging from a gossamer strand of silk drifted past Eragon, rising and falling on the invisible eddies of air.

I think I know what Paolini is trying to do. It's to avoid having the talking heads syndrome. However the best way to do that is to have the characters doing something, not some outside source. Or at least start it off with, "Eragon noticed a spider hanging from a gossamer strand of silk..."

Eragon then brings up the white raven that gave him the riddle about the two brothers. Apparently the raven has 'sporadic fits of foresight'. How... convenient.

After that, Oromis goes and gets soup from the hut.

You know, after reading this chapter, it really puts my meat stories in a whole new prospective, doesn't it?

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

February 2016

7891011 1213


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 06:42 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios