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Flight of Destiny
Argh, this chapter is painful to read because it seems like Garrow’s death could be so preventable. Of course, Eragon’s bond with Saphira is so strong that he needs to see to her safety. I suppose it’s quite good how pointless Garrow’s death is – it’s pretty much the spark that ignites Eragon and Roran’s quests, this pointless death, so it kind of highlights why they fight the empire. I don’t see why Eragon thinks that Garrow won’t believe him unless Saphira is there; the stone was pretty clearly magical.
I’m also not really sure what’s going on with Saphira’s thoughts when Eragon goes to get her. Did Brom go and speak to her before this happened? I don’t think so, because he probably would have got her to behave rationally. Is there some kind of dragon hive mind that’s causing this? Or maybe it’s a natural reaction from dragons to ra’zac. Except because dragons are intelligent, instead of hissing at them or whatever, she screams out these thoughts.
That is the theory I’m going with. Saphira is having a natural visceral reaction to the presence of the ra’zac which is so strong that Eragon can’t break through it.
We then get our first flight! We’re also introduced to our first instance of someone trying to break into a mind. Eragon is trying to break into Saphira’s, but she’s so focused on her reaction to the ra’zac that he can’t. It’s actually done quite well; instead of outright saying that this is why Eragon can’t get through, it’s just implied.
There’s a bit of cringe description: “Blue glaciers sat between the summits like frozen rivers.” Aren’t glaciers basically just frozen rivers? I feel like Paolini has this awful need to insert a simile into every paragraph.
I do, however, like how horrifying this first flight is shown to be. Eragon is tossed about, hit and bruised by the ordeal. It’s not presented as magical like you’d probably expect it to be. It’s horrible, and emerges from it with shredded thighs and cramped muscles.
We also get our first glimpse at Saphira’s pride. She’s regrets hurting Eragon, but not her actions. Saphira is stubborn and throughout the series tends to think of herself as always right, and this is our first example of that. When I think about it, Eragon and Saphira really are a terrible pair of decision makers. Eragon is reckless and stupid and Saphira is proud and vain. No wonder they get up to so much nonsense.
At the end of this chapter, we’re shown how vulnerable Eragon is. It was made clear that Galbatorix is incredibly powerful in Dragon Tales, when we learnt how he destroyed the riders, and now we know that his servants are after Eragon. He’s trapped in the Spine, injured and in danger, and the weight of this finally hits him.
We also get another annoying thing that will reoccur throughout the whole series: the single tear. People cry! Like, multiple tears!