How many posts have I done today? Feeling very productive.
An Old Friend
Ugh. I know I said I couldn’t wait until Eragon and Brom reached Teirm but I forgot that Teirm included Angela. I hate Angela. Angela is the worst character in Inheritance by far. She’s just awful and there are no redeeming aspects of her character. I’m pretty sure I read once that Paolini based her on his sister or something? It’s so obvious that she’s supposed to be ‘weird’ and ‘quirky’ but it’s just annoying and awful. I don’t think I can think of a single instance where she is well written. She’s awful in Eragon, Brisingr and especially Inheritance. She is a little more acceptable in Eldest, but only really when she’s with Nasuada.
God. So Eragon and Brom approach Angela outside her house and ask where Jeod lives. Angela says something ‘quirky’ and stupid and pointless. I won’t go into it more than that. She spends what appears to be almost two pages (on my kindle version) behaving stupidly.
They go to Jeod’s house and he immediately recognises Brom. Given that Brom was pretty much the Empire’s greatest enemy at this point, you’d think that he would have tried to disguise himself a bit.
Eragon has definitely clocked on to the fact that Brom never reveals as much as he knows because he is immediately determined to discover as much about Brom’s past as he can. I really like Eragon’s character in Eragon. He always seems to behave realistically like a stubborn teenager, and that’s great.
They head out of Jeod’s house and go to the castle within the city, where Jeod has an office. I don’t know why this is safer from prying eyes than his house. Brom tells Jeod of how he ended up finding Saphira’s egg in a roundabout way so as not to let Eragon know what he’s talking about. He also tells Jeod about the ra’zac and their plans on how they’re going to track them.
Brom then tells Eragon to go and check on the horses. Eragon uses magic to eavesdrop because of course he does. He mostly hears stuff about how people are going to try and influence him. I do wonder though, how would they have avoided this problem even if everything had gone according to plan with the Varden? As in, surely this would still be a problem even if Saphira had hatched for an elf child or a child in the Varden?
Anyway all this stuff that Eragon overhears is basically just stuff that won’t all be understood until you’ve finished Eldest. In my opinion, it just feels like Paolini trying to make the world feel bigger. Brom also remarks that Eragon is bound to get into trouble if left alone for too long, which is painfully true.
The next few pages are just a bit of conversation and finding a place to eat. When they eat, Eragon is most thankful for the vegetables since all they’ve been eating is meat. Well, maybe if you’d stole some from Carvahall instead of just pinching steaks from Sloan, you wouldn’t be having this problem.
Eragon goes to find Saphira an in typical reckless Eragon fashion, he decided to climb up a cliff face to go and see her instead of letting her come and get him. Predictably, this goes badly and Saphira has to come and rescue him. I do like their relationship throughout Inheritance, particularly early on in Eragon. They have a great chemistry together and their conversations rarely feel forced. They also generally have quite humorous exchanges, which is always nice.
When Eragon returns we discover that he can’t read. Jesus, Eragon really is surrounded by rubbish father figures in his life. Brom’s awful in general and Garrow was able to read but didn’t bother teaching Eragon and Roran. During the winter they get trapped for days at a time in their house, so surely reading would have been a useful skill during that time to keep them occupied?
Eragon picks up, seemingly at random, a book called Domia abr Wyrda. This is definitely the eldunari at work! This book is crucial in understanding the werecat prophecy in Inheritance, so Eragon needs to pick it up now because it will prompt Jeod to give it to him as a gift later. He didn’t pick it up at random; he was being unknowingly prompted to. Wait, I think that this is the book. Brom describes it as “an elven poem that tells of the years they fought the dragons.” I think he’s just talking about this particular section that Eragon is looking at but I really hope this is the correct book I’m speculating about.
Eragon tries to talk to Brom, and Brom uses a spell to make sure no one is listening. Good job you didn’t use that one in Jeod’s office, eh Brom?
Brom proceeds to tell Eragon about scrying. We get a fair bit of information about this, which is good because throughout the series it is often brought up casually so the reader needs to have a decent knowledge of this. Eragon wants to scry Roran and check that he’s safe and that the ra’zac haven’t gone after him. Brom basically tells Eragon that there’s nothing he can do to protect Roran and that Roran is “going to have to learn how to defend himself.” He most definitely will do that. Brom also mentions that no matter what, before killing Eragon, Galbatorix will offer him the chance to serve him. He does do exactly this as well, so it’s quite good that Brom mentions it so early on.
This chapter ends with Brom saying this: “The real courage is in living and suffering for what you believe.” While he is referring to fighting Galbatorix here, I think that this is applicable to Eragon’s quest in general. At the end of Inheritance, Eragon believes that it is best for the future of Riders and dragons as a whole for him to leave Alagaesia. So despite everything he stands to lose, he leaves. This sentence gives us a hint towards that – before Angela’s prophecy.