Saturday, August 15, 2015

Eragon Chapter 6

So Eragon and Roran go trotting into Carvahall, and Eragon goes to Brom's house. I have no idea what the house looks like, because we don't hear about it. And because Brom is a Mysterious Old Man, he pops up behind Eragon rather than answering the door like a quasi normal person.

He also apparently looks like Gandalf. Because, y'know, he's a wise old mentor and they all look like him.

Brom leaned on a twisted staff embellished with strange carvings. He wore a brown hooded robe like a friar. A pouch hung from the scuffed leather belt clasped around his waist. Above his white beard, a proud eagle nose hooked over his mouth and dominated his face. He peered at Eragon with deep-set eyes shadowed by a gnarled brow and waited for his reply.

  1. Why does he have a staff embellished with strange carvings? Usually this sort of thing is reserved for wizards and the like, so they can do magical stuff with their staffs. Yet we later find that Dragon Riders and other magic users don't NEED staffs for their magic.
  2. Maybe it's a fun reminder of the local pasttime, which is to carve random staves for no reason?
  3. Woooowww, a brown hooded robe... just like Ben Kenobi. Who was also a mysterious wise old mentor. Must be coincidence.
  4. Interesting that he talks about the robe being like a friar's. As I said before, the human population of this world is essentially atheistic and doesn't seem to have any religious organizations except a few insane cults. Certainly nothing as organized and humble as friars or monks.
  5. That thing is called a scrip, for your information. Just one of the fascinating facts I gleaned from the Cadfael TV show.
  6. The way it's written, it sounds like his nose is between his mouth and his beard.
  7. Gnarled brow? Is Brom a Neanderthal?
  8. Thank God in the movie Brom was played by Jeremy Irons, and not a Neanderthal Gandalf/Kenobi clone. I feel for you, Jeremy Irons. First Dungeons and Dragons and then Eragon - The Movie.

The old man grunted and reached for the door. Eragon noticed a gold ring on his right hand. Light glinted off a sapphire, highlighting a strange symbol carved on its face.

.... and NOBODY wonders why a weird old storyteller in the butt end of nowhere has a golden ring with a sapphire in it? What's more, Eragon has never noticed it before?!

Anyway, I'm sure that the ring has deep significance. Wanna bet it's connected to.... the DragonRiders?

Brom's house is pitch black and so he lights a fire... at which point we find out that medieval storytellers' huts apparently look like 18th-century libraries with lots of books and leather chairs. The floor is covered in scrolls and loose papers, and apparently it hasn't occurred to Brom to put them on his desk.

Again, Eragon doesn't seem to wonder about this. Peasants are traditionally illiterate, and the whole point of having a resident storyteller would seem to be to preserve local oral traditions. So what's up with the books?

Brom bent down and lit the fire with his candle. “Good! Nothing like sitting by a fire for conversation.”

... especially when surrounded by flammables.

So he asks Eragon what he wants, and Eragon rather obliquely asks about the origins of the Dragonriders and their dragons. This is actually a pretty good question, but it's odd that he's never asked it before since Brom claims he's always pelting the old dude with questions.

“A vast subject to tell about,” grumbled Brom. He peered at Eragon alertly. “If I told you their whole story, we would still be sitting here when winter comes again. It will have to be reduced to a manageable length."

Dude, he didn't ask for their day-to-day history with footnotes and diary entries. He just asked a couple of questions about their origins.

And then Gandalfian Characteristic #2: he smokes a pipe while talking to the hobbits. I mean, villagers.

He liked Brom. The old man was irascible at times, but he never seemed to mind taking time for Eragon.

Cuz Eragon is speshul. And so Brom is an Angry Old Man?

Eragon had once asked him where he came from, and Brom had laughed, saying, “A village much like Carvahall, only not quite as interesting.” Curiosity aroused, Eragon asked his uncle.

Okay, I do not see why that explanation would arouse his curiosity. It's a straightforward and very mundane explanation, and there's no sign that Brom is actually lying. It should make Eragon LESS curious to find out that Brom apparently comes from the most boring place on Earth.

But Garrow could only tell him that Brom had bought a house in Carvahall nearly fifteen years ago and had lived there quietly ever since.

.... through Ye Olde Medieval Fantasie Real Estate, doubtlessly. Good thing there was somebody in a medieval village who was inexplicably SELLING their hut.

Also, note how he arrived right around the time Eragon was born. Just... like... Ben Kenobi. Think there's a connection, padawans?

Totally a different character.

Brom used a tinderbox to light the pipe.

Hold on a second. First he lit a candle, and then he lit a fire. Now instead of using either one to light his pipe, he goes to the trouble of using his tinderbox to light a PIPE? Does Paolini even know what tinderboxes are for?

“There . . . we won’t have to stop, except for the tea."

So... they WILL have to stop. Not that it matters, because most people do manage to converse while doing other things like lighting a fire or pouring tea.

"They spanned countless years and, at the height of their power, held sway over twice the Empire’s lands."

So basically they were dictators over everybody else, and dictators over a larger area than Galbatorix is now. Yay. Remind me why I'm supposed to like these guys? How are they better?

"Numerous stories have been told about them, most nonsense. If you believed everything said, you would expect them to have the powers of a lesser god."

So guess what Eragon will develop in relatively short order. And wanna bet that those amazing stories are all surpassed by his awesomeness?

Anyway, he basically starts lecturing Eragon about how scholars have spent their entire lives trying to figure out the facts... which sounds kind of silly when one considers that the Dragon Riders have been gone for... a century. One piddling century. Scholars must not live very long.

If these scholars spent entire "lifetimes" working on the Dragon Riders' fact vs. fiction, why wouldn't they have gone to the sources themselves and ASKED about them? Why not find a friendly Dragon Rider and ask, "Hey, is it true you guys can split stone by staring at it?" Sure, they couldn't do it in the LAST century, but in the centuries preceding it there was nothing to keep people from asking the Dragon Riders about this stuff.

... unless the Dragon Riders were such dictatorial douches that they wouldn't permit the commonfolk to talk to them. Yay them.

"However, it isn’t an impossible task if we confine ourselves to the three areas you specified: how the Riders began, why they were so highly regarded, and where dragons came from."

This guy is sounding more and more like a really boring, really pompous college professor. Except he apparently has a "mesmerizing voice" which would automatically make up for his boringness.

“Dragons have no beginning, unless it lies with the creation of AlagaĆ«sia itself."

BULLCRAP. Sorry, but EVERYTHING has a beginning. I know Paolini is a bit sketchy on basic natural laws, but does he expect us to believe that the dragons somehow predate the universe itself? Imagine dragons floating around in a giant abyss, waiting for the Big Bang.

It would have made a lot more sense to just write, "The dragons' origins are lost in time," or "None living now know where the dragons came from."

Also, what does he mean, "the creation of Alagaesia"?

  1. First of all, is Alagaesia a country, continent or world? I'm confused here.
  2. Second, who created it? This is an atheistic world Paolini has set up, and yet apparently somebody created it.
  3. Don't use words that imply design if you're going to insist, "Gods? Pshaw, such stupidity."

"And if they have an end, it will be when this world perishes, for they suffer as the land does."

For the record, this is the very last we ever hear/see of this concept. There is no evidence that they actually suffer as the land does.

"They, the dwarves, and a few others are the true inhabitants of this land."

So basically everybody invaded the dwarves? Wow, and we're supposed to like these other people? VIVA LA DWARVES!

"They lived here before all others, strong and proud in their elemental glory."

Nah, apparently the dwarves don't matter because they don't have sparkly superpowers. So the dragons are the only ones who matter.

"Their world was unchanging until the first elves sailed over the sea on their silver ships.”

DING. Blatant Tolkien ripoff. That's a demerit.

I guess in Paoliniland, elves can only come from "across the sea" because they're too sparkly and speshul for this mundane world.

“Where did the elves come from?” interrupted Eragon. “And why are they called the fair folk? Do they really exist?”

  1. They come from the vast store of Tolkien ripoffs that populate "epic" fantasy.
  2. Presumably it's because they're pretty and speshul.
  3. Of course they exist, silly person. First of all, any fantasy series where elves are even MENTIONED must have some, and they must have a major role.
  4. And for another matter, a couple chapters ago Kenobi/Gandalf clone was telling the story of how the Riders got their asses kicked by fourteen guys. And guess who he mentioned as fighting Galby? ELVES. Apparently Eragon wasn't paying attention to that story.

I can only assume that Eragon asking this stuff is because Tolkien had Samwise Gamgee, an elfophile who hadn't seen elves before and was fascinated by them. This made sense, because there weren't a lot of elves in the Shire (certainly not in Hobbiton) and the hobbits really didn't know or hear much about them. In Eragon's case, they were off flying around in dragons until a mere century ago... and he definitely DOES hear about them. So WTF?

Brom scowled. “Do you want your original questions answered or not? They won’t be if you want to explore every obscure piece of knowledge.”

What's obscure about it? It's not like he asked if elves have hairless groins... whoops, spoiler. Okay, it's not as if he asked what the elves were doing at Location X in Year Y. He just wanted to know if they existed and where they came from.

"They come from what they call Alalea, though none but they know what, or even where, it is."

Cuz it's a speshul sparkly Sueland that grubby humans/dwarves don't even get to look at. And it will never be important.

“the elves were a proud race then, and strong in magic."

So they're not a proud race now, and they're now weak in magic? What does that mean, they do magic tricks for children's birthday parties?

Anyway, apparently being a "proud race" means that you're an idiot douchebag (much like Eragon) who automatically assumes that a dragon is just basically a dog with scales. So some elf kid went off and hunted a dragon, the dragons killed him, and then they attacked all the elves and started trying to kill them all.

I honestly don't know why we're supposed to think the dragons are so speshul if their reaction to ONE bad elf is mass genocide. If it had been an army, it would make sense... but one elven teenager? Frankly, it sounds like something you'd expect from creatures that ARE animals, or not too far above them.

Anyway, since Elves Crap Gold, they of course realized that it was all just a big misunderstanding - and apparently they somehow magically knew JUST what had enraged the dragons so. Never mind that without anyone to tell them what had sparked off the trouble, it would just seem like the dragons suddenly went on a rampage. But since Elves Fart Perfume, they Understood Perfectly and tried to end the war... except that they couldn't talk to the dragons. For the record, it seems that the dragons don't actually have a language or anything. You can only communicate with them through a Sue Mindlink.

Anyway there was a long miserable war, and since Elves Are Perfect they only fought defensively at first, and only attacked because they'd die otherwise. Cuz they're Suetifully Perfect. But then! An elf called Eragon (SIGNIFICANT NAME ALERT) found a dragon egg. Of course, our brickbrained hero is named after him, which of course means that he too is SUPER SPESHUL. After all, a kid named after Alexander the Great will obviously conquer most of Asia. It's only logical.

Anyway, Eragon is a bit curious about this, but he just sort of sits there burning his tongue on tea.

“No one knows why that egg was abandoned. Some say the parents were killed in an elven attack. Others believe the dragons purposefully left it there."

... okay, I could buy the first. But why the HELL would dragons abandon an egg out in the middle of nowhere for no reason? I mean, why would they?

"Either way, Eragon saw the value of raising a friendly dragon."

Like a dog, huh? What did he think would happen if he raised a dragon, the other dragons would see them cuddling and happy, and automatically think, "Hey, maybe the elves aren't so bad. Let's end the war"? It might make them even madder, having one of their kids being raised by the enemy.

"He cared for it secretly and, in the custom of the ancient language, named him Bid’Daum."



OH NO HE DIDN'T. HE DID. Did he just give the dragon the name "Muad'Dib" backwards?! Complete with apostrophe? OH HELL. Couldn't he at least jumble the letters?!

And what language has "customs"? Cultures have customs; languages do not.

"When Bid’Daum had grown to a good size, they traveled together among the dragons and convinced them to live in peace with the elves."

... which is pretty impressive considering that they didn't speak the same language. Just how did they make this mutual decision when, from Muad'Dumb's perspective, Eragon The SueElf might as well be making the trombone "grown-up" noises from Charlie Brown?

"To ensure that war would never break out again, they decided that it was necessary to establish the Riders."

..... yeah, that makes a LOT of sense. As soon as a massive, bloody, multigenerational war ends, the best thing to do is to have people from both sides permanently attach themselves to each other forever. That will obviously work wonders and everybody's angry feelings will magically evaporate.

“At first the Riders were intended merely as a means of communication between the elves and dragons."

.... so why the hell were they called "Riders" then? I mean, if they were just diplomatic go-betweens? the name kind of implies... riding. Doing stuff.

"However, as time passed, their worth was recognized and they were given ever more authority."

What worth? We haven't heard about them doing anything. Or are we talking about Sue Worth, in which you get rewarded for existing?

And who recognized it? Kings? We don't hear of any of any real importance.

"Before Galbatorix overthrew them, the Riders held more power than all the kings in Alagaƫsia."

... and yeah, that doesn't sound like a recipe for tyranny and corruption. These guys basically ruled the entire country just by virtue of being Automatically Awesome, didn't answer to anybody, and yet were so pathetic and arrogant that they got their asses handed to them by FOURTEEN PEOPLE.

Honestly, it's sounding more and more like Galby had the right idea.

Anyway, Eragon seems to have lost interest in all this boring chitchat, because as usual he's focusing on himself - specifically, how SUPER-INCREDIBLE it is that he was named after the first Rider evah. Wow, think he's a super special rider himself?!

“I doubt anyone remembers except the elves, and fortune would have to smile greatly before you talked with one."

... thus making sure that SueBoy will talk with more elves than anybody else.

Also, the Varden HAVE AN ELF living with them. Previously, they had more than one. In the future, they will have a whole bunch. THIS MAKES NO SENSE.

"It is a good name to have, though; you should be proud of it. Not everyone has one so honorable.”

... why be proud of it? It's not as if he gained it through his own efforts, and it's not like he was given it by Eragon The Elf Sue.

And if this Eragon The Elf Sue is so important, I'm surprised more people don't have his name. When someone superfamous and superimportant has a distinctive name, it's more likely that other people will start using that name. You'd think some elf women would name their babies after him, or something like that.

But then, it has to be a super rare and speshul name to single out our Designated Hero as a special and rare person, who must be at LEAST as awesome as Eragon The Elf Sue.

Anyway, Eragon then actually brings up a semi-intelligent question: where were humans during all this? The surprising answer is that the humans only came to Alagaesia about three hundred years after the Sue Elves. That's actually kind of an interesting idea, especially since it implies that the humans were at least as advanced as the Sue Elves.

“That can’t be,” protested Eragon. “We’ve always lived in Palancar Valley.”

This sounds even stupider than I'm sure Paolini meant for it to, mainly because Eragon doesn't have any thoughts on where the people there DID come from. Apparently he thinks human beings have ALWAYS existed and there was NO beginning to the human race or the universe... because then Paolini would have to come up with an explanation for it. And that would either provide ridiculous anachronisms (medieval belief in evolution!) or (GASP OF HORROR) a system of religious belief.

He also apparently wasn't listening when Brom specifically said that dragons and dwarves were native to Alagaesia, and everybody else was NOT.

Anyway, Brom tells him as nicely as possible that he's a huge idiot and nobody around there has actually been there for long, and that Eragon's daddy wasn't even from there.

“This valley is old and hasn’t always belonged to us.”

.... and others will live here long after you are gone. Yes, Mr. Paolini, I DID read Gildor's talk with the hobbits.

For some reason, this pisses Eragon off makes him all defensive. So he changes the subject and asks what happened to the dwarves when the Riders went bye-bye. I honestly don't see how it affects them, since they were excluded from that group on the account of being short, stocky and ungorgeous.

“No one really knows. They fought with the Riders through the first few battles, but when it became clear Galbatorix was going to win, they sealed all the known entrances to their tunnels and disappeared underground."

Presumably we're supposed to dislike the dwarves for this but... really, what business is it of theirs? They didn't get to be Riders because they are unSuey, and so they have... what reason to hate Galby? He didn't do anything to any of their people.

What's more, Galby doesn't seem to have earned their emnity because he's pretty much left them alone. Again, more evidence that he's doing a decent job.

“And the dragons?” he asked. “What of them? Surely they weren’t all killed.”

A valid question, especially since complete extermination of a ginormous magical Sue species that can breathe FIRE seems rather unlikely. Especially if your only weapon against them is other ginormous magical fire-breathers.

So Brom says that nobody really knows how many dragons survived, because Galby only spared the ones who said they'd serve him. And because ALL members of a species will automatically be noble, good, self-sacrificing and all that crap, none of them would agree to.

Also, where are the wild dragons? Did ALL of them decide it would be fun to bond with a Rider which would kill them if the Rider was ever killed?

"only the twisted dragons of the Forsworn would assist his madness."

And pray, what is twisted about them? Does being the dragon of a Designated Villain automatically make the dragon evil? Does that mean that Designated Villain dragons don't get any free will in what their personalities will be, or were the Dragon Riders smart enough to pair Designated Evil dragons with Designated Evil riders?

And yes, it's eventually revealed how they are "twisted"... and it makes even less sense.

"If any dragons aside from Shruikan are still alive,"

Er, didn't he say that the Forsworn dragons helped him? There seems to be a sentence missing here...

Since apparently Paolini feels he HAS to lay out all this crappy backstory, Eragon then asks (completely out of the blue) where the Urgals came from.

"Guys, it's our turn! Yay!"

“No, they followed the elves across the sea, like ticks seeking blood."

  1. ... huh? Aren't the Evil Grunts of the Designated Villain usually supposed to be really stupid and primitive, because that makes them easier to control?
  2. The few Urgals we've seen seem to be barely sentient, let alone smart enough to create large boats capable of going across an ocean.
  3. Does this mean that the ugly beastly Urgals came from the Sparkle Sueland of the Elves across the sea? Usually when A follows B, it's because they came from roughly the same location. Wow. So much for the superspeshulness of the smelly Elves.
  4. Or... maybe they are supposed to be horribly warped Elves... wow, that wouldn't seem like anything derivative.
  5. Brom sucks at metaphors, okay? Ticks don't "seek" blood by following their prey around. In fact, they don't "seek" it at all - they wait for creatures to walk by and allow them the chance to hop on board and suck blood. And they definitely don't go... across... large bodies of water.

"They were one of the reasons the Riders became valued for their battle prowess and ability to keep the peace. . . ."

So what Brom is saying is that the main reason the Riders became important at all is because some convenient Designated Villains arrived just in time for them to show off for the masses. Are we sure the Dragon Riders didn't hire the Urgals to come over and make them look good?

Then Brom throws a temper tantrum because Eragon referred to his story earlier in the book as... a story. Apparently Paolini thinks that "story" only applies to fiction. Finally Eragon asks how big dragons got to be.

“Larger than a house. Even the small ones had wingspans over a hundred feet; they never stopped growing. Some of the ancient ones, before the Empire killed them, could have passed for large hills.”

I'm sorry, but how the hell would creatures that huge and heavy be able to MOVE? How much food would they consume, and how massive would the resulting crap be? They're supposed to be immortal, so by all rights Alagaesia should be devoid of all life because the dragons ate it all.

It's one of those things that SOUNDS cool, but if you actually think about it, it turns out to be absolute crap.

Eragon gets all angry and "dismayed" because he doesn't know how he's gonna be able to hide his dragon in the following years. Of course, since he claimed he was gonna come clean to Roran and Garrow in the previous chapter, his angst seemed kinda contrived. So he asks other questions that blatantly point to "hey, I have a pet dragon hiding in the woods!"

“Well,” said Brom, scratching his chin, “they couldn’t breathe fire until they were around five to six months old, which was about when they could mate."

So an IMMORTAL species matures faster than many large mammals who are definitely mortal? Am I the only one to whom that makes NO sense whatsoever? Especially when this apparently happens over a matter of WEEKS instead of YEARS?

Brom also verifies that: "They came in every color and shade. It was said that a group of them looked like a living rainbow, constantly shifting and shimmering.”


Rainbow dragons. We can shelve them next to the sparkly vampires as "least intimidating creatures ever" and "supernatural dangers dreamed up by a seven-year-old girl who loves unicorns."

Brom finally asks where the hell Eragon heard about dragons. Clearly our genius hero failed to anticipate that anyone would ask about this, because he just blurts out that a trader told him. Understandably, Brom wants to know who the hell it was, so Eragon lies about it.

“He also said a Rider could hear his dragon’s thoughts,” said Eragon quickly, hoping that the fictitious trader would protect him from suspicion.

Why doesn't he pull out the time-worn "My friend has a problem"? It's about as believable as this, "I met a random trader who told me all sort of very detailed information about dragons!" crap.

Anyway, Brom is obviously not buying this crap, so he just said that the story isn't true and he demands to know more about Fictional Trader. So Eragon pretends to be very casual about these highly specific questions and asks if a dragon lives a long time.

“Sorry, my mind was elsewhere. Yes, a dragon will live for quite a while, forever, in fact, as long as it isn’t killed and its Rider doesn’t die.”

... this doesn't seem like a fair or logical arrangement to me. If the Rider dies, the dragon expires with it - but if the dragon dies, the Rider is vaguely sad and stuff.

  1. Why do the animal companions always get shafted?
  2. What sense does it make for ONLY the more populous species to survive if the other dies? I imagine there are a lot more humans than dragons. Why can't a dragon move on and find another rider?

Anyway, Eragon starts asking a semi-intelligent question: how come dragons and their Riders live for hundreds of years?

It troubled him to think of outliving his family and friends.

Eragon doesn't seem terribly concerned about his family. And what friends? We've heard no mention of actual friends... you know, people you spend time with. And no, your cousin's girlfriend does not count.

A quiet smile curled Brom’s lips as he said slyly, “What is possible is subjective. Some would say that you cannot travel through the Spine and live, yet you do."

I don't think anyone has claimed anything of the sort. The only anti-Spine people we've seen only either say that it's DANGEROUS, or that they don't want anything to do with weird unbreakable shit that comes out of it. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if the whole "Spine is super-dangerous!" stuff is all in Eragon's head, along with the meat shortage. After all, it's yet another method of showing HOW SUPER SPESHUL he is.

"It’s a matter of perspective. You must be very wise to know so much at such a young age.”

... wha? What the hell?

  1. Wisdom and knowledge aren't the same thing.
  2. You can know a lot of stuff and still be a moron. Similarly, an illiterate person can be wise.
  3. I can't even tell what he's saying. Is he saying Eragon is wise to know a lot about dragons, or the Spine?
  4. So according to Paolini, you can become wise just by sitting in a bar and listening to some guy yack about the fine points of motorcycle stunt driving. Because you've learned a lot. That means you're wise.

"You forget that the dragons were magical—they affected everything around them in strange ways."

Holy crap, the dragons are living deus machinas. They're also sparkly rainbow telepathic creatures. Run for the hills! And make sure those hills aren't giant dragons!

"The Riders were closest to them and experienced this the most. The most common side effect was an extended life."

... and I bet having a dragon makes YOU magical too, and it makes you pretty and Suey and smart. I have to throw up now.

"Our king has lived long enough to make that apparent, but most people attribute it to his own magical abilities."

Or maybe the minor fact that he seems to be one of the few people in the country smart enough to not step on a hoe and kill himself with the handle.

And WHAT magical abilities? All we've heard is that he had a dragon and he apparently tripped over an Evil Magic Book so he could tutor Morzan. Or something like that.

"All the Riders were stronger of body, keener of mind, and truer of sight than normal men."

Yep, they are totally Sues. And I'm not sure why sitting on a giant magical Sue-reptile's back would suddenly make you smart and strong and Suey.

"Along with this, a human Rider would slowly acquire pointed ears, though they were never as prominent as an elf’s.”

... wha? WTF? What logical sense does that make, aside from the reflection that in Paolini's world, elves are everything that is awesome?

I'm especially unsure about this bizarre idea because apparently it doesn't contribute to anything. Their hearing doesn't improve from this change, it seems - they just randomly get pointy ears. It might make sense if they bonded with ELVES or something, but why would bonding members of race X with race Y make them more like race Z?

Eragon had to stop his hand from reaching up to feel the tips of his ears. How else will this dragon change my life? Not only has it gotten inside my head, but it’s altering my body as well!

This is a pretty realistic reaction, in that you'd expect people to freak out at the prospect of random changes just because they found a baby dragon.

Because this is Eragon, of course, this brief moment of realistic characterization is immediately forgotten. He starts quizzing Brom about dragon intellect instead of worrying about the weird shit happening to him.

“How could the elves form agreements and peace treaties with dumb brutes? They were as intelligent as you or I.”

So basically they're dumb brutes. Not only can they apparently not communicate except telepathically, but they're as smart as Eragon. Nuff zed.

“But they were animals,” persisted Eragon.

Open-minded bastard, ain't he? Don't you wish YOU were his partner?

“They were no more animals than we are. For some reason people praise everything the Riders did, yet ignore the dragons, assuming that they were nothing more than an exotic means to get from one town to another."

This would be a more valid point if it weren't for the fact that Paolini's already shafted the Magical Sue Lizards by announcing that they croak if their Rider does and by comparing their brains to Eragon's. Hell, they don't even get capitalized species names, while the Riders get capitalized titles.

"They weren’t. The Riders’ great deeds were only possible because of the dragons."

It sorta stands to reason. Without the dragons, they wouldn't be Riders. What the hell would they do then? Run around clacking coconuts and debating the air velocity of an unladen swallow?

"How many men would draw their swords if they knew a giant fire-breathing lizard—one with more natural cunning and wisdom than even a king could hope for—would soon be there to stop the violence? Hmm?”

Brom actually has a valid point here... which is somewhat undermined for the rest of the series because everyone is dribbling in awe of ERAGON, the RIDER, because he's so super-awesome and influential.... and not because they're scared of the giant fire-breathing lizard.

And now for a name. “I’ve been trying to recall the name of a certain dragon, but it keeps eluding me. I think I heard it when the traders were in Carvahall, but I’m not sure. Could you help me?”

  1. Is it so hard to just give the damn dragon a name?
  2. Why does it have to be the same name as some dead dragon from a century ago? Eragon reminds me of the pretentious teens in the Temeraire series who gave their dragons ridiculous Latin names.
  3. Brom is a moron if he is buying all this "I heard all this very detailed info from a random trader" crap. Eragon is blatantly lying, and apparently he's gobbling up all the fake "a friend told me" garbage.
  4. For one thing, would some guy rambling about dragons - even to the point of NAME-DROPPING - around the countryside go unnoticed by the Rider-killing Designated Villain?
  5. How would a random trader find out this shit if almost nobody in the world knows anything about dragons, elves or their own recent history? WHERE would he find it out from?

A slightly smarter Aged Mentor would bust Eragon for lying to him all this time at this point, but Brom just rattles off a bunch of random, often awkward-sounding names for dragons. None of them are important or will ever be heard again, so I won't bother listing them.

At the very end, he uttered so softly Eragon almost did not hear, “. . . and Saphira.”

Wanna bet this is the name the dragon gets, since it's BLUE and the name has such unspoken significance? OOOOOOO, THIS IS SO AWESOME.

Anyway, Eragon then goes, "Realcoolgottagobyekthnx." and basically says he's got to go meet with Roran.

“No queries about dragon battle tactics or requests for descriptions of breathtaking aerial combat? Are we done?”

Nah, I'm sure he'll inform Eragon about those particular things later... and being a Stu, Eragon will immediately become an expert in it.

“Goodbye. Take care. And don’t forget, if you remember who that trader was, tell me.”

You would think that the hero of a story would feel even a tiny smidge of guilt about misleading a nice old man like this. But Eragon just wanders out and thinks about himself. Our hero, ladies and gents.

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