I am no longer working two jobs so I actually have more time to write these!! Woo. Although I think when I undertook this task I forgot how long this book series actually is. Like, it goes on forever. I am not even halfway through the first book.
Capture at Gil’ead
First of all, from what I remember of the pronunciation guide without actually looking at it, Gil’ead is pronounced like ‘Gill-ee-id’. Or maybe more like ‘Gilly-id’. I don’t know if there’s any real structure as to how the places are named in Inheritance. I think my favourite place name is quite possibly Dras-Leona, because it actually suggests a sort of naming convention. Like ‘dras’ means ‘on’ or something, so the name means ‘On Leona Lake.’
Anyway. Eragon is finding riding painful. The writing mentions that “Saphira flew close by, her mind linked with his for solace and strength.” While this is all that is said about how Saphira is helping Eragon through this pain, I am going to draw my own conclusions. I like the idea that because of their bond as Rider and dragon, Saphira is able to draw parts or Eragon’s consciousness into her own mind. Saphira is using the ability to separate Eragon’s mind from the pain of his body. I think she actually does do this in Eldest, so this is possibly a suggestion as to what is to come.
Eragon feels sad about selling his horse for a grand total on one short paragraph. This is totally fine, because it’s nice and concise; “It was difficult to relinquish Cadoc after crossing half of Alagaesia – and outracing urgals – on him,” but the fact that so much irrelevant stuff is described for much longer than this makes it seem a bit rushed.
We get a throwaway sentence that isn’t expanded on too much: “[Murtagh] seemed to know what every noble and courtier was doing and how it affected everyone else.” This is mentioned just as a way to show that Murtagh has a mysterious past that Eragon doesn’t know about, and is basically hinting as to who his father is, but I wish it was expanded on more. We don’t really learn anything about the other nobles in Alagaesia. We know about the existence of Marcus Tabor, the mayor (?) of Dras-Leona, but we don’t know much about him. We know a similar amount of information about Lord… Rishart (?) of Teirm. There’s also Lord… Bast (the fact that I have to constantly question the information I do know about these characters says everything, really) who gets mentioned in Brisingr I think, but we don’t learn loads about him, and he’s mostly only talked about in Inheritance. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that it would be nice if we learned more about the nobility and their drama throughout the series. We know about political drama in the Varden/Surda and amongst the dwarves, but it would be interesting if there were some sub-plots involving the nobility of Alagaesia. Not that there aren’t a lot of sub-plots already, but maybe we could just get rid of some of the excessive nonsense present in Brisingr or something.
Remember a few posts ago when Eragon first started dreaming about Arya? Remember when he suggested he should visit every jail in Alagaesia to find her? Remember when Brom said it was stupid and for once I agreed with him? Well, he is literally doing that now. He is disguising himself and visiting every jail he passes to se if she is there. It is never mentioned if Murtagh objects to this. He should. It’s stupid. This isn’t necessarily bad writing or anything because Eragon is stupid, but oh my God. I couldn’t help but mention it.
Okay, so it’s Eragon’s birthday and he mentions that it’s been six months since Saphira hatched. I gave up on my timeline a long time ago (mostly I just wanted to keep track of the snow) but I think I said something about it being November. This means it’s May. Obviously this has no significance but I should try and remember my made up timeline if I can.
“In an earlier one he would have smiled, but after Brom’s death, such expressions did not come easily.” Okay, so ‘deep’ lines like this are just hilarious to me. I think it’s because instead of actually trying to show Eragon’s loss of innocence, Paolini just throws in cheesy, pseudo-dark lines like this to tell the reader hey, this character is DARK and MYSTERIOUS now. So instead of seeming like a genuinely sad development for the character, it comes off as cheesy.
Anyway Eragon and Murtagh spar a bit and they’re pretty much equally matched. I hate to say this cause I love these books but I’m kind of skimming a bit. These chapters drag on a little bit.
We arrive at Gil’ead. Murtagh advises Eragon that it would be stupid to go in there himself in case he gets captured. He has a point. Eragon would definitely get himself captured. Not much happens for a few paragraphs, but I do like the building of tension when Murtagh leaves Gil’ead. Even though Eragon immediately comments that he doesn’t like it, an uneasy feeling is still built up. I think this is because it starts small; Murtagh is riding his horse very quickly towards Eragon like something major went wrong, but what happened was that he was recognised. As we don’t know Murtagh’s history, we don’t know how serious this is. Eragon pretty much brushes it off straight away. As I’m coming into this scene on a reread, I can see it’s more serious as I know that Murtagh was in fact fairly close to Galbatorix and would be seriously hunted down.
When Eragon wakes up the next morning, Saphira smells something weird. I’m not sure what it is as she says that she can “smell horses nearby, but they’re not moving. They reek with an unfamiliar stench.” Saphira has encountered urgals by now so it can’t be them. I’m assuming it’s Durza.
Anyway, they’re all attacked by urgals and we end the chapter cheaply when Eragon goes unconscious.