How many posts have I done today!? Sunday is a good day.
The Witch and the Werecat
I have to be honest, this post will be really short because of how much Angela is in this chapter, and how much I hate Angela.
Eragon sees himself in a mirror for the first time in ages and notices he’s starting to change. This is him slowly beginning to look more like an elf, as most riders do. Actually, I find it interesting that Galbatorix is never described as looking elf-like. You’d think that as he’s over a century old, he’d look a bit different.
Eragon wanders into Angela’s shop. She sells a lot of herbs and stuff. I’d imagine she supplies healers and witches mostly, as well as herself. We meet a werecat, and I can never quite grasp how big they’re supposed to be. Solembum is described as ‘oversized’, but in Inheritance they frequently pass for ordinary cats. Maybe some are more catlike and some look more like wildcats or lynxes?
Solembum starts communicating with Eragon with his mind. Eragon thinks it’s Saphira at first and then thinks that he’s being attacked. I like this because there is no reason for Eragon to suspect anyone or anything in Teirm would be able to talk with him this way.
Solembum vaguely explains what a werecat is and that they exist. Eragon thought they were myths, so that gives us a nice little insight into some lore of this world.
Eragon was randomly holding onto some rod that was electrocuting him, and when he asks Solembum what is it he tells him that it’s “a common and boring artefact, unlike myself.” I really like this sentence. It’s quite funny and makes Solembum out to be vain and kind of similar to Saphira. In a later book (Eldest or Brisingr, I forget which) Eragon comments that they’ll probably get along because they have similar personalities.
Angela appears and after a bit of waffle tells Eragon’s fortune. I refuse to look at any other part of what she does or says because I hate this character with a passion for being so jarring and stupid. She does not behave like any other character in this universe and it’s awful. But I will look at the prophecy since that’s what I do. I won’t quote the whole thing because it’s broken up into parts so I’ll just look at each piece of the prophecy separately. I also don’t give a damn about Angela’s comments on the prophecy that aren’t just her saying what the prophecy is.
“Infinity or long life.” This is obviously because Eragon is a rider; even Eragon picks up on this.
“The wandering path shows that there are many choices in your future, some of which you face even now.” The choices he faces now are what to do once he’s caught the ra’zac; whether to join the Varden or Galbatorix or go back to Palancar Valley. He also faces the choice of what to do about Roran.
“I see great battles raging around you, some of them fought for your sake.” Obviously this is all the battles that will take part, but let’s focus on the ones fought specifically for Eragon’s sake. I believe that there are two of these. The first is when Saphira fights Thorn in Dras-Leona, which is fought entirely to keep Murtagh occupied which Eragon sneaks in to open the gates. The second is pretty much the entire battle at Uru-Baen, which is fought largely to give Eragon a chance to take out Galbatorix. Even though the Varden was going to try and take Uru-Baen anyway, I’d argue that the way in which it was fought is to provide Eragon with a shot at Galbatorix.
“I see the mighty powers of this land struggling to control your will and destiny.” Everyone fights over Eragon. He swears fealty to Nasuada, he’s adopted by Hrothgar, and he’s trained by the elves.
“Countless possible futures await you – all of the filled with blood and conflict – but only one will bring you happiness and peace.” Basically, Eragon makes every correct decision and if he did anything differently it would end in blood. He does have an awful lot of close calls so this makes sense.
“Beware of losing your way, for you are one of the few who are truly free to choose their own fate.” This seems to be that because nobody can truly control him as a Rider, he is free. However i find it kind of funny because he is partially controlled at all times by the eldunari.
“That freedom is a gift, but it is also a responsibility more binding than chains.” This is how Eragon has to try and please every faction at once.
“There is a doom upon you, but of what sort I know not. Part of it lies in a death – one that rapidly approaches and will cause you much grief. But the rest awaits you in a journey.” Brom’s death and leaving Alagaesia.
“Your fate will be to leave this land forever.” This does indeed happen.
“An epic romance is in your future, extraordinary, as the moon indicates – for that is a magical symbol – and strong enough to outlast empires. I cannot say if this passion will end happily, but your love is of noble birth and heritage. She is powerful, wise and beautiful beyond compare.” Obviously this is supposed to be Arya but they never really have a romance, do they? It’s Eragon being a whiny man child and pursuing her when she isn’t interested. At the end of Inheritance she seems vaguely interested in him but it never feels particular romantic. Being fifteen/sixteen when he wrote this bit and probably a similar age when writing Eldest, Paolini’s writing of Eragon’s behaviour towards Arya would probably seem romantic but it really isn’t. Eragon has a crush and Arya is shockingly tolerant of his stupid behaviour.
I am going to present a counter argument. This definitely isn’t what the prophecy is supposed to refer to but it’s what I’m choosing to believe because the notion of Eragon and Arya’s ‘relationship’ as an epic romance is complete and utter nonsense. I would argue that there are two possible couples this refers to. Maybe it refers to both, and that’s why it’s a bit confused. I’d argue that this part of the prophecy refers to Roran and Katrina, and Nasuada and Murtagh.
It refers to Roran and Katrina because man, they are the definition of epic romance in this series. Their romance becomes a legend amongst the people of Surda and the Varden. When Katrina is finally rescued, there is a crowd of people waiting for her because they want to see the woman who inspired Roran to fight the ra’zac and soldiers of the Empire, move an entire village across a continent and cause massive amounts of destruction every step of the way. That is an epic romance. It does end happily, thank goodness. However, Katrina is not of noble birth and heritage, though I’d say that this could be argued with he fact that this part of the prophecy refers to multiple people and therefore gets confused. Katrina is indeed powerful – she’s the motivation behind literally everything Roran does. She’s wise – she gives plenty of advice to Roran and Eragon. Every point of view character describes her as beautiful.
Now, the prophecy also refers to Nasuada and Murtagh. Not necessarily as epic as Roran and Katrina but that could be because the prophecy is confused.To be fair, Murtagh changes his true name because of love for Nasuada, so that is pretty epic. It does not end happily, and that’s why Angela cannot say if it does or doesn’t end happily. Nasuada is indeed of noble birth and heritage, and frequently described as beautiful.
As for why this prophecy about Eragon refers to other people, it’s simple. He’s related to the both of them. Thats what I’m going with.
“Betrayal is clear. And it will come from within your family.” Murtagh, obviously.
Anyway. I don’t care about the rest of the rubbish Angela has to say. Solembum gives his prophecy but that doesn’t need to be analysed. There is steel under the Menoa tree and eldunari and dragon eggs in the rock of Kuthian.
Eragon leaves Angela and I have no idea if she says anything else because I literally do not even read her parts of the books because they are that atrocious.
This post isn’t even that short. Imagine how long it would have been if I read the crap Angela comes out with.