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Brisingr Part Eighty Five

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Brisingr! Edit

Yes. With the exclamation mark.

Because ...

Yes.

It's EXCITING!


Paolini tries to describe the feeling of flight on dragon back with the phrase, "Eragon's limbs grew heavy as Saphira pulled out of the dive. Then she leveled out and the weight pressing down on him vanished. I think this would be an apt time for a metaphor. As long as it wasn't over done. How heavy is heavy after all? Did he feel like he was so heavy he'd fall off or crush Saphira.

Anyway, she's flying so that she can avoid the ballistae that the defending town has.

Yup. He's got ballistae firing into melee. Again.

Sure, it'll hurt like a bitch for those caught in it, but they're not really made for that sort of thing. They're made for taking down walls. But, they are weapons of war. So!

Eragon spots Arya and furry elf trying to fight off a group of soldiers. A hundred or so.

That's just counter productive. Or at least... I mean, you get a bunch of pikes, corner them and SKEWER. Dead elves. Easy.

But that would be intelligent and wouldn't allow for a rescue.

Saphira slaughters lots of people.

Saphira leaped down from the parapet and landed in the midst of the soldiers, crushing several men beneath her feet. The rest scattered, screaming with fear and surprise.Saphira roared, frustrated that her prey was escaping, and whipped her tail across the dirt, flattening a dozen more soldiers. A man tried to rush past her. Fast as striking snake, she caught him between her jaws and shook her head, snapping his spine. She disposed of another four in a similar manner.

YAY.

Arya and Fuzzy Elf are okay despite all that combat. They're just out of breath. They were trying to open the gate because they're impervious to magic and the battering ram hasn't worked. So they were going in themselves to open it.

When Arya paused to regain her breath, Blödhgarm picked up the thread of her narrative. “Arya convinced Nasuada to stage tonight’s attack so that we could sneak into Feinster without being noticed and open the gates from within. Unfortunately, we encountered a trio of spellcasters. They engaged us with their minds and prevented us from using magic while they summoned soldiers to overwhelm us with sheer numbers.”

Engaged their minds. Really. This is just one of those silly things that just I don't know, gets my goat up every time I hear about them using that whole engage the minds thing I just want to engage my head against the desk. What's the point, really, of being a spell caster if you never cast any spells because you're too busy trying to prevent someone else from casting a spell.

It's sort of like the equivalent of two kids not poking each other in the back seat of the car making it hard for the driver to drive. They keep on not poking each other and going "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you!" I think it's supposed to be like epic battle of wills and feints and bluffs and things like that but.. it's just like... you're always trying to prevent contingencies that you never actually do anything.

Let's see I've protected myself against sixteen different ways of being caught on fire... what happens if they know a seventeenth, I better figure out another seventy two, just in case.

Oh no! Someone is trying to figure out what protections I have!!! What should I do!? *runs around like a chicken with its head cut off*

It's not very exciting, is it?

Arya notices Eragon's new sword and fuzzy elf wants to know what it's called. In what becomes a 'running gag' of the chapter, every time Eragon tries to say its name something interupts him. In this case it's four guys with spears coming out of the alley at them. In a very weird movement, I'm not sure how he does it, perhaps some sort of weird contortion, Eragon cuts off the haft of the lowered spear and then the head of the bearer in one movement. Which means he some how got close enough and... I just... can't they're at two different angles. In a single, smooth motion, he drew Brisingr from its sheath and slashed through the haft of the lead man’s spear and, continuing with the blow, decapitated the soldier See, it's one motion, but it's not physically possible, I think.

Brisingr is bloodthirsty, "shimmering with savage delight".

Yes. And the sword has, maybe, bits of Eragon's psyche/being in it. Not at all ... a man who wants peace, is he? It shows up through out the rest of the chapter too.

Anyway, the four soldiers are slaughtered. Arya gets two of them. Fuzzy elf gets one. With a dagger. Why is he just carrying a dagger? Isn't that like bringing a knife to a gun fight? Wait. No, he kills the guy with his own dagger.

Oh.. and Eragon takes the remaining life force of a dying soldier and transfers it into Saphira. Little birds he cries over. Slaughtered animals make him feel sick. This is done without comment.

Value of human life? He has none.

The four of them, after this, go charging towards the gate killing people in their path. When they reach the gates fifty soldiers in gleaming armor come out of the towers and stand in front of the gate.

Wow. This city has enough guards - no soldiers - that they can spare fifty of them just to sit around and do nothing? And I say nothing because they're wearing gleaming armor. If they were doing something likely they wouldn't be in gleaming armor any more.

I believe he's using the word 'gleaming' to indicate that these men are threatening. Like a gleaming sword. But if armor is able to gleam then it hasn't been in use lately. Unless it's some sort of special armor that doesn't get stuck with dirt. Unlikely though.

Saphira wants to jump and crunch them all. Eragon tells her to wait. He wants to talk to them.

Now this scene has the feeling that it's from somewhere. I'm not sure where, but it just feels like it.

As he walks over to them one of them shoots an arrow at him. It stops three feet away from his chest and drops. He then introduces himself.

"My name is Eragon Shadeslayer! Perhaps you've heard of me, and perhaps not. In either case know this: I am a dragon rider, and I have sworn to help the Varden remove Galbatorix from his throne. Tell me, have any of you sworn fealty in the ancient language to Galbatorix or the Empire? ... Well, have you?"

The same man who had spoken before, said, "We would not swear fealty to the king even if he held a sword to our necks! Our loyalty belongs to Lady Lorana. She and her family have ruled us for four generations, and they've done a fine job of it too!" The other soldiers muttered in agreement.

"The join us!" cried Eragon. "Lay down your weapons, and I promise no harm shall come to you or your families. You cannot hope to hold Feinster against the combined might of the Varden, Sudra, the dwarves and the elves."

It's interesting here. He's only saying this to the fifty soldiers in front of the gate. What about all the other soldiers around? Why don't they get this offer? What if some of those are family of these men? How are you going to pick them out. Second of all, four generations doesn't seem like a long time. I mean you can have four living generations in a family after all. I think 'untold' generations might have been more impressive or 'since our city was founded'.

He says that Murtagh is no match for him and the Varden. This is the reply that the captain gives.

The captain of the soldiers said, "We may not have pledged ourselves to the king, but Lady Lorana has. What will you do to her, then? Kill her? Imprison her? No, we will not betray our trust and allow you to pass, nor the monsters clawing at our walls. You and the Varden hold nothing but the promise of death for those who have been forced to serve the Empire!"

"Why couldn't you have left well enough alone, eh, Dragon Rider? Why couldn't you have kept your head down so the rest of us could live in peace? But no, the lure of fame and glory and riches was too great. You had to bring wrack and ruin to our homes so that you could satisfy your ambitions. Well, I curse you, Dragon Rider! I curse you with all my heart! May you leave Alagesia and never return!


Okay. Talk about a tone change between paragraph one and paragraph two. This feels like the captain is giving the Crispin Day's speech from Henry V by Shakespeare and then moving to ... well... then a scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Like this:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, Or close the wall up with our English dead! In peace there 's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility; But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger: Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage; Then lend the eye a terrible aspect.

You don't frighten us, English French pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person! I blow my nose at you, so-called Ah-thoor Keeng, you and all your silly English French K-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-niggits!

I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough water! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries! Now leave before I am forced to taunt you a second time!


Wow.

I'm just staring at this and realized I just mixed Shakespeare and Monty Python. Is this a first? Has anyone ever done this before? Well, it's not exactly mixing but it's putting the two styles in juxtaposition to each other which exaggerates what I'm talking about to the ridiculous extreme. Normally, I imagine, it's not something you would notice. But it's a definite switch in tone. Which is jarring. It wouldn't be so bad if it were two different people speaking it, but when it's the same person, it's just doesn't flow well. The character gains a split personality.

The curse gives Eragon the willies because everyone keeps on telling him that he's going to leave Alagaesia and never return. (And they all rejoiced. Yay) And this pisses him off so he says that he doesn't wish to kill them but he will if he has to.

The Captain taunts him a second time.

The captain of the soldiers spat on the ground by Eragon's feet. "You don't even look human yourself! You're a traitor to your race, you are!" And with that, the man raised his shield and hefted his sword and walked slowly walked toward Eragon. "Shadeslayer," growled the soldier. "Ha! I'd as soon believe my brother's twelve-year-old son had killed a Shade as a youth like you."

I really like this guy. We know he has a nephew (why he had to say brother's twelve-year-old son, I don't know) that he's clearly fond of. And that means family. He has at least a brother and a sister in law. Also, notice, the guy is walking towards Eragon, but not attacking. He's being defensive because, well, Eragon's a scary fuck. Shame it doesn't do him any good.

Eragon waited until the captain was only a few feet away. Then he took a single step forward and stabbed Brisingr through the center of the man's embossed shield, through his arm underneath, and then through the man's chest and out his back. The man convulsed once and was still. As Eragon pulled his blade free of the corpse, there was a discordant clamor from with in the guard towers as gears and chains began to turn and the massive beams that held closed the city gates began to withdraw.

"Lay down yor weapons or die!" Eragon shouted.

Damn. He died. He wasn't even threatening Eragon. Well, he could have been considered threatening, but it looked like he was being cautious and not wanting to strike first. I think if he wanted to strike first he would have charged screaming wildly. In this case I believe he was trying to test Eragon's resolve in not wanting to kill them.

Clearly this did not work. Poor guy. He was only trying to protect his home and the people he loved and be loyal to his lady.

Twenty soldiers then rush Eragon (I like how he's able to count them all) the others ran away or dropped their weapons and "knelt by the side of the street with their hands on their knees".

... This is a sign of surrender I've never heard of. Isn't it usually with their hands behind their heads? Now it looks like they're kneeling in worship to Eragon.

Eragon kills the soldiers in such away that he causes a 'fine mist of blood' around him. I would think he'd be getting splurts of blood with all the hacking and slashing he's doing. Fine mists I would place with blowing people up. Blood doesn't mist very well when you're cutting them apart. See the Black Knight from the Holy Grail. His final blow caused the man to topple into two pieces. Exciting!

The gates open and the Varden spills in, because they obviously knew when the gates were going to open. Everyone is happy to see Eragon. Nicely he points out the soldiers who surrendered are his prisoners.

He sees Roran and other Carvahall folks and has a brief chat. Roran wants to know where he got the sword from. The Elves. What’s it called? Eragon gets interrupted in saying its name as the other elves show up. Guy from the Emo Chicken match shows up and tells Eragon that he should try and get to the keep. Before Roran takes off again, Eragon tells him that Brom is his father not Morzan.

Arya and Roran are surprised to learn this. After all it’s kind of a stupid plot device. But Eragon says that he’s thrilled to be rid of Morzan’s name

Arya tries to go again when Eragon tells her that “The Cripple Who Is Whole” has gone off to fight. The Elves are all WTF? And wow this is amazing news.

Eragon goes off on Saphira to get to the keep, stalling whenever they saw a huge clump of men so they could try and convince them to surrender. Sometimes it didn’t work, sometimes it did. But “he felt better for having tried, for many of the men who thronged the streets were ordinary citizens of Feinster, and not trained soldiers.” I guess once you become a trained soldier you automatically become evil. See that poor kid who got his neck snapped.

Obviously they are having trouble fighting in close quarters like the city because he’s on a dragon who is big and not going to fit in the streets. She does a lot of damage because of this, like wrecking the front of houses.

The constant street gorilla fighting finally pisses –enrages - Eragon off that he decides he’s going to kill every last one of them. He follows them into a millinery shop and they attack him… destroying his shield.

Wait.

What?

What shield?

  • flips back through the chapter.*

Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Oh My! Apparently Paolini forgot that Eragon never picked up a shield. So one just materialized on him just to get destroyed by a hammer before Eragon kills a bunch of people. The remaining soldiers rush up the stairs and Eragon follows them into the shop owner’s quarters. They apparently have a maze of small rooms.

Maybe it’s like the TARDIS?

He kills four people in the sitting room… because they would have enough room to have a sitting room and realizes that it would probably be rude to leave the bodies there.




. . .

So… he tosses them out the window.


All right then.

Sure.

I’ll… go with that. Why not? It makes about as much sense as anything else in this book.

Someone unexpected stabs Eragon and just before he cuts the guy’s head off he realizes it’s just this kid, about thirteen years old. About two years younger than Eragon. But hes’ describe as a “thin boy of no more than thirteen”. Obviously if you’re thin you’re a callow youth and don’t get to have your head chopped off. Past the boy are his parents clutching each other in terror in their nightclothes.

Eragon feels ashamed he tells them to stay inside, apologizes and leaves.

He sees a bunch of King Orrin’s men taking time off from fighting for some looting things from silverware to sofas. Note that they are King Orrin’s men and not the Varden because the Varden are too Kind and Noble to do this. Eragon yells at them.

Eragon dashed a pile of rugs from the arms of one man. “Put these things back!” he shouted at the entire group. “We’re here to help these people, not steal from them! They are our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers. I’ll let you off this once, but spread the word that if you or anyone else goes looting, I’ll have you strung up and whipped as the thieves you are!” Saphira growled, emphasizing his point. Under their watchful gaze, the chastened warriors returned the spoils to the marble-clad mansion.

Generally speaking, aren’t you supposed to wait until after you’re done fighting to loot? And I guess stealing is bad, but it’s okay to kill them mercilessly. Especially since they’re family. Who hasn’t wanted to kill family once in a while? I know I have.

I’m starting to wonder why they didn’t negotiate with the Lady of the city first. This becomes important later. I skimmed ahead. Of course if they did, then there wouldn’t be this awesome battle where Eragon gets to slaughter everything in his sight. Except small children.

They’re then sent off to go and kill more people, Saphira killing some people gruesomely. Eragon mentions that he’s very glad she’s on their side.

Brisingr
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