SHADOW OF DOOMEdit
- thunder sounds in the distance *
Eragon spots Arya coming into the keep's courtyard with the rest of the Varden and calls her over while ignoring his entourage of elves. Arya has acquired armor because she was stupid enough to not go into the city without wearing any and now looks like Eowyn from Lord of the rings wearing a full sized helm, a shield and mail hauberk. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. He asks if she wants to come with him to capture Lady Lorana and she says yes.
They take off leaving his peeved guards down below. Arya whispers in his ear while wrapping her sword arm ... okay that is not at all dirty ... yes it is. shut up. :D
Arya says that he shouldn't leave his guards so easily. A smart thing to say. The thing that bothers me the most however is why is it her sword arm she's using to hold on. Wouldn't it be safer to have that arm free to use? To, you know, stabby things with if need be? It's also an odd thing to mention. Does she spread peanut butter with her writing hand? Kick people with her favorite foot she likes to hop on? Look at flowers with her winking eye? Nothing would have been lost if Paolini had just said "her left arm" or even "her arm". The fact that it's her sword arm adds nothing to the story and is just a distracting detail.
Before we get to go anywhere with this, we're distracted by Eragon getting brain beamed what's happening with Glaedr, because his hearts of hearts is in his pocket, so obviously he'll suddenly get random images of him whenever it's the most exciting.
Glaedr also talks in funny-random-noun-giving descriptions. Like "burnt-wood-cooked-meat-spilled-blood" or "Little-stinging-hornet-arrows" or "broken-anthill-city" and "small-angry-rip-claw-Thorn". This is annoying. All we learn is that they're above Gil'ead and he wishes he didn't have to kill Thorn and Murtagh. You know, a lot of people don't wish they have to kill people right before they kill them in this book.
While Saphira and Eragon saw that scene Arya did not. I don't know why. There doesn't seem to be any reason why the Heart would be broadcasting this to them. He's not trying to send a message, so if it is just randomly broadcasting shit to people in the area, Arya should have gotten it too. But then we don't get things like "How do you know Glaedr and Oromis are about to fight Murtagh?" "I'll tell you later"
They land on a spot on the highest tower because .... I dunno. Especially since the window is too small for Saphira to get into. Quite frankly, I don't see how a dragon of her size could fit in a keep made for humans without getting stuck in a corridor. The room they go into, which I might add is on the highest tower, is full of crossbows and quarrels. Which is a brilliant place to put your weapons. All the way up to where it's hard to get them. Yup.
Also, why do they need to get off here and meet Saphira down below? Why can't they all just get off where she can? What purpose does it serve for them to separate like this? Especially since nothing happens along the way. Instead they get to a chamber below with no problems except for bad artwork to look at along the way. I don't care about it, so I'm skipping it. They get inside a chamber that I think is... well I don't know what it is, but there are chairs and tables and urns with dried flowers. There's also a balcony and shuttered windows.
A woman is sitting in a chair doing nothing. She looks like some of the people in the paintings so we're going to assume she's the one in charge.
There are three wizards chanting a spell in the "ancient language". It's unfamiliar to Eragon. Really? I would think it would be quite obvious what it was they were trying to do since they ahve to say exactly what they want to achieve in the spell to cause it to happen. I could understand maybe he didn't understand some of the words they're using but I think the basic gist would be obvious. In this case they're trying to create a Shade. So I would think it would be something like "HEY SPIRITS COME HERE AND POSSESSES THIS BODY SO WE CAN HAVE A SHADE. KTHANKS." Maybe in LOLCat.
LOLcat would be funny.
In any case, my point still stands. If the language you use to cast spells basically requires you to say what you want to make it happen, you're not really going to have any unfamiliar spells.
They try to attack one by invading his mind, but it doesn't work. So, they can't attack him using magic. Arya also doesn't know what they're doing, even though she's spoken the Ancient Language her entire life. While they're being dumb, the woman in the chair just sitting there beckons them over putting her fingers to her lips to tell them to come quietly. They wonder if it's a trap. After agreeing that it most likely is, they decide that since Saphira is almost there (why didn't she just fly down to the balcony...) they'll go say hi. As opposed to .. waiting for Saphira to show up. If she's almost there.
Wait. Sorry. Using tactics. My bad.
They go over to talk to the woman who is, in fact, Lady Lorana. She's happy to see them. She wants them to stop the wizards from doing whatever it is they're doing. Making a Shade, as we all know. She can't stop them because they only answer to Galby. And she has sworn her self to Gably so not having a choice in the matter either. So she can't raise a hand in their destruction or she would have done so already. But by telling Arya and Eragon about this, isn't she going betraying her oath? By saying "I can't destroy them so you have to" is effectively the same thing as having them destroyed yourself. It's just a matter of who is weiling the weapon. Surely she could of had her people you know, stab them in their sleep or something. If she can ask Eragon to do so, then her other people can do so.
If she was really not allowed to do anything against Galby and his men, she would have called alarm or not called them over to tell them these things. Or she could have looked like she was having problems with telling them what she's telling them as she struggles against the oath she swore in the ancient language. Instead she's just all "Well, you know, I can't do it becuase you know like I said I wouldn't," hair twirl and chews gum, "so, like why don't you do it?"
See, if I were a tricky sort of person I would have said what she said in the hopes that Eragon and Arya would get themselves killed while attacking the mages. And that the mages would get themselves killed as well. It'd be a win - win situation for me. I'd go to Galby say "Hey, I killed Eragon for you. Leave me alone." And they would all say Yay. I would say yay because the book would be over and there wouldn't be a fourth book.
Lady Lorana tells them that they're making a shade and that the two of them have to stop them.
Saphira shows up at that moment, landing on the balcony outside.
Why did it take her so long to land on the balcony when she was flying and Eragon and Arya only went down one level?
Where the fuck was she this entire time?
So, with that, they go and start towards the wizards when he gets hit by a Glaedr flash.
Blah, blah, blah, getting attacked. Switch back to Eragon lying flat his back. It's a good thing those wizards are too busy doing something else or they could have stomped on him. Arya is worried and wants to know how he knows what's happening with Glaedr. She touched his thoughts. Hehhehe. But he'll tell her how he can do that later.
They all pick and hit a wizard, Eragon and Arya hit theirs with a sword and Saphira tries to scratch one.
As opposed to breathe fire on it. Or bite it.
Anyway, it doesn't matter, they all hit solid air around it.
Apparently hitting the guy without magic is safer than hitting the guy with magic because they might get killed by a ward they were ignorant of. Or as Paolini puts it.
Eragon or Arya could have attempted to circumvent or deplete the spellcasters's wards with spells of their own, but using magic against another magician was always a perilous proposition unless the magician's mind was under your control. Neither Eragon nor Arya wanted to risk being killed b a ward they were as yet ignorant of.
SO you can use your shields to protect against magical attacks because your attackers will be to afraid to use magic against them in case they missed something, but you're not going to protect yourself against people hitting you with swords or claws beyond making it hard for them to hit you. No feed back or anything? I mean..
Now our hero and his chick and magnificent dragon are standing around like idiots taking turns attacking this one guy to wear his shields down and then kill him. Then they do the next guy. And they get no magical retaliation. In fact the wizards don't even stop what they're doing. They just stand there chanting and letting Eragon and the others slowly chew down their defenses. They're committing suicide. That's what they're doing. They want to get out of this book as soon as I do and they want to make the protagonist look like a complete idiot while they do it.
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