I think in the event that I finally finish this series, I will make a separate post about my thoughts on Eragon and another of the series as a whole. As in, a blog post to summarise how I feel about each individual book and then one for how I feel about the whole thing.
The Doom of Innocence
This is possibly the most dramatic title in the entire series. If I come across a more dramatic one I’ll note it but I honestly think this is it. It’s a bit cheesy.
Anyway, we open with Eragon waking up after his flight. Again, Eragon is vulnerable. His legs are a wreck from the flight and he pretty clearly doesn’t want to move. We discover that Saphira brought him to the clearing where he first found her egg. I think this raises more questions than it answers. How does Saphira know this place? Was it coincidence? Later in the series we get some hint that Saphira was vaguely aware of goings on while she was in her egg but I wonder how or why she realised this random tidbit of information. She then proceeds to use the word “wyrds” which I believe is the elven word for fates. Again, how does she know this? If she picked up individual words from being ferried around by Arya, then why does she not have any useful information she might have picked up from Galbatorix? Or do dragons have some kind of hive mind/ancestral memory like I speculated on in the last chapter? It just seems like an odd way to create mystery or depth where there doesn’t need to be any.
They then have a pretty uneventful flight back to the farm, apart from Eragon ripping his legs open again. I do like that dragon riding is this painful and traumatic experience for the first few flights, rather than the typically magical experience you’d expect. While Eragon is busy searching the wreck of the only home he’s ever known for his uncle who is probably dead, Saphira makes the extremely appropriate comment that “sorrow breeds here.” I mean, are they not supposed to have this incredibly intimate link? Surely she should feel a similar sort of devastation at this. Eragon makes the point earlier that Garrow raised Eragon and through Eragon, Saphira, but I feel like it should be more than a debt. They are so intimately linked so surely some of Eragon’s sadness should be affecting Saphira more than this. Instead, Saphira is being reasonable and completely logical in the situation whilst Eragon is going mad with despair – some of this despair ought to bleed into Saphira’s mind!
“Blood dripped down his fingers as he stalked out of the house.“ What’s Eragon doing stalking when he was practically crippled earlier? ‘Staggered’ would have worked better.
Saphira then tries to comfort him and forces Eragon to focus and try and find Garrow. This is a bit nicer, as instead of being totally cold and detached, she’s trying to help.
Eragon also stars moving furniture and pieces of debris with strength he didn’t know he had. This is probably meant to be the adrenaline coursing through him as he tries to find his uncle, but I like to think that it’s an early manifestation of his increased strength or possibly even the actual first instance of him using magic.
We also get our first instance of seithr oil (my autocorrect had a field day with that one) and the injuries it can cause. Garrow’s burns are caused by this vary rare oil, which we won’t discover until later. I think it’s a shame that seithr oil doesn’t factor more into the endgame. It’s pretty much only present in Eragon. It would have been interesting to see it reappear; perhaps during Nasuada’s capture in Inheritance or worked somehow into the dwarven (spelling?) election in Brisingr.
Eragon gets his craft on and fashions a litter to get Garrow into town. Once again I am not sure how long it takes to get there. She flies until she’s about a league away (don’t know what that is mind you) and can’t make it any further.
Okay, so looks like I need to do some studying on medieval/fantasy units of measurement. Next time!