A Matter of perspective. Edit
This chapter is a pointless waste of words and my time. It's a chapter from Saphira's perspective, but it's not necessary and doesn't add anything to anything. I mean, sure it's neat that we get to see the world from her perspective, but it doesn't really work.
The wind-of-morning-heat-above-flat-land, which was different from the wind-of-morning-heat-above-hills, shifted. Saphira adjusted the angle of her wings to compensate for the changes in the speed and pressure of the air that supported her weight thousands of feet above the sun-bathed land below. She closed her double eyelids for a moment, luxuriating in the soft bed of the wind, as well as the warmth of the morning rays beating down upon her sinewy length. She imagined how the light must make her scales sparkle and how those who saw her circling in the sky must marvel at the sight, and she hummed with pleasure, content in the knowledge that she was the most beautiful creature in Alagaësia, for who could hope to match the glory of her scales; and her long, tapering tail; and her wings, so fair and well formed; and her curved claws; and her long white fangs, with which she could sever the neck of a wild ox with a single bite? Not Glaedr-of-the-gold-scales, who had lost a leg during the fall of the Riders. Nor could Thorn or Shruikan, for they were both slaves to Galbatorix, and their forced servitude had twisted their minds. A dragon who was not free to do as he or she wished was not a dragon at all. Besides, they were males, and while males might appear majestic, they could not embody the beauty she did. No, she was the most stunning creature in Alagaësia, and that was as it should be.
The first sentence is completely meaningless. We don't know what a wind-of-morning-heat-above-hills is like, so to compare it against a wind-of-morning-heat-above-flat-land is like comparing snoogles to blitts. There's descriptive words, but they're being used as a noun instead of a description. We don't know what makes the two winds feel different. We don't know where she feels the winds so that she knows they're different. Or even what they feel like. It seems like she hiccup hyphenates proper nouns, but she doesn't hiccup hyphenate every proper noun. And there's no reason for her to hiccup hyphenate. In the three
bricks books which we've heard her converse with Eragon and others she's never hiccup hyphenated.
But this is not the point of the chapter. The point of this chapter is to explore Saphira's alien mind.
Now, Saphira is a large predator that can fly but has at least human level intelligence, if not higher. She's also a highly magical creature so that should effect the way she sees and understands the world too.
So far? She sounds like a cat. Or a teenage girl. Very vain at least.
Cat, I guess then.
Or maybe teenage girl.
... I am not sure.
Teenage cat girl?
Anyway, our large serpentine cat girl wiggles satisfactorily at her life in general. Except that Eragon her partner-of-her-mind-and-heart-Eragon is not with her and that makes her sad. And she wants to go to the mountains-higher-than-she-could-fly, and be with him, even if she told him to obey Nasuada (she-who-does-not-get-a-hiccup-hypenated-name). Despite having no loyalties, as previously mentioned, Saphira doesn't run off and leave even though she knows that both Eragon and her would like to be back together.
She turns, I'm sorry Tilting on the wind and swinging her tail in the opposite direction to facilitate her turn, she wheeled around, and looks at the world below her. She can count feathers on a sparrow hawk and see rabbits running on the ground. Everything trembles in fear around her which is what food should do. And if she were to tremble before her food then she might as well die.
Then there's a bit of a strange thought. Remember, that Saphira is a highly intelligent individual.
The army moved so slowly, she sometimes wondered how humans ever had time to do anything other than travel, considering how short their lives were. It would be much more convenient if they could fly, she thought, and wondered why they did not choose to. Flying was so easy, it never ceased to puzzle her why any creature would remain earthbound. Even Eragon retained his attachment to the soft-hard-ground, when she knew he could join her in the sky at any time merely by uttering a few words in the ancient language. But then, she did not always understand the actions of those who tottered about on two legs, whether they had round ears, pointed ears, or horns or were so short she could squash them under her feet.
You would think that a creature that is supposed to be as intelligent as a human adult would realize that while the creatures would love to be able to fly, they were incapable of doing so because they lacked the necessary equipment. That she would know that wings were needed to fly, for she could see that winged creatures were the only things that could fly. Bird, insects, herself. Also that humans and others were not built for flying. This sounds more like something a child would say. Also she's never mentioned flying by himself to Eragon before. Now I admit that they could have in conversations not noted in the text, but I've always gotten the feeling from the books that if we don't see it, it didn't happen. There has been no indication that the ancient language could make you fly either, beyond the fact that it can do anything, of course. I wonder if we'll see Eragon fly by the time the books are over. She could wish that they could fly like her, but the idea that she can't understand why they don't makes her feel not as intelligent and more child-like. Child-like, but not alien. Very self-centered.
She sees a group of people coming on horseback with a lot of horses riderless, and though she is supposed to be on watch it takes her a half hour after noticing them to realize that it's Roran's group. Great watching job Saphira. Especially since it said earlier in the chapter that she was doing the all important job of keeping watch for enemies.
After letting Arya know, (black-blue-wolf-hair)Weiner Dog lets her know that she's been gone to long and that she needs to come back home. Which makes her cranky, but she goes. Again still sounding like a teenage girl.
A thousand feet above the water, she flared her wings and felt the strain in her flight membranes as the wind pressed against them with immense force. She slowed to a near standstill, then spilled air from her wings and accelerated once more, gliding to within a hundred feet of the brown not-good-to-drink-water. With an occasional flap to maintain her altitude, she flew up the Jiet River, alert for the sudden changes of pressure that plagued cool-air-above-flowing-water and that could push her in an unexpected direction or, worse, into sharp-pointy-trees or the break-bone-ground.
What she has to do now is hang out and nap in front of Eragon's empty tent, just like if he were there. She doesn't like this as it is boring. Again, not seening anything different here. Though she would like to go and fight things and burn down forests.
When the sun, I mean the the big-round-fire-in-the-sky is ... GOD why the hell does he do that? I mean really? She never uses this in conversation or anything like that. I'm sure she's said things like sun before. Why does she feel the need to think it? It's just flavor. But not good flavor. Yes, okay, it's supposed to be from her point of view but the parts about her thinking how wonderful she is and so beautiful and everything like that give us more insight into who she is and how she thinks than these damn hyphen-hiccups. Instead they're just annoying the fuck out of me. They're completely unnecessary. It makes her sound like some stereotypical Indian or primitive person or ... well... you know.
- gnaws on Paolini's head*
Right, so when the big-round-fire-in-the-sky is near the horizion (as opposed to maybe the flat-edge-line-of-the-world) Roran and his folks come back and there is much cheering. Here Paolini actually does something a little bit clever and has hairy-weiner-elf create an apperation of Eragon to get onto Saphira as they go to see the peoples. It's perfectly flawless (which shouldn't be too hard to make as it is Eragon we're talking about here. *rimshot!*) except that it has no brains. I fail to see the difference between this and the real Eragon. Going through the camp they go to Nasuada she-who-doesn'ta-get-a-hyphen-hiccup-name's tent and the Eragon apperation gets off her back and vanishes once inside.
Roran, Martland and man-with-round-ears-who-was-Ulhart, tell Nasuada what happened. Or as Saphira sees it.
She continued licking her foot, restoring every scale to pristine brilliance, while first Martland, then the man-with-round-ears-who-was-Ulhart, then Roran, told a tale of blood and fire and of laughing men who refused to die at their allotted times but insisted upon continuing to fight long past when Angvard had called their names.
Wait. Whut? Who is Angvard? I'm guessing, from the context, Angvard is the god of the dead? But do dragons believe in gods? Do they have a religion? Where would she have learned about the gods? From the elves and Glaedr? But why would the dragon of an elf believe in gods? I don't understand! It's too complicated! Make it stop!! Why does everything have to be so contradictory and debased of logic?!
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Well, I guess it was too much for me to expect consistancy, wasn't it? I really should stop that. Really. Must. Stop. That.
Stop expecting logic.
Must stop expecting logic.
Anyway, after this is done, Nasuada dismisses Martland and man-with-round-ears-who-was-Ulhart having Roran stay. She tells Roran that she's pleased with his progress and Roran is all "Can I have my own command now?" but she says no, not yet. GASP she does something intelligent. Then she regulates Martland to a desk job because he's missing a hand. Saying that she will make him a battle advisor. However, it is not Martland she asks for battle advice, but Roran. After telling him that she still doesn't trust him to follow orders, she asks if he thinks having their men being under the spell as the zombie men would be a good thing. Because Roran would naturally be the best person to ask as he is the PC and not Martland who is just an NPC even though he's the one with the battle experince and going to be one of her advisors.
Roran doesn't think it would be a good idea because apparently not being able to feel pain automatically takes away your sense of self preservation. I'm not really sure how that works, but apparently this is what he thinks. And apparently what does happen becuase the zombie soliders have no self preservation for no good reason.
When Roran leaves, Saphira asks if Nasuada has heard anything from Eragon. She has not, which is worrying her. She says that if they don't hear from them soon, she won't be able to count on the dwarves as allies for the battles to come. Because if they don't make the deadline that they don't know about they're ... I don't know. Not allowed to join the club later? Bah.
After this, Saphira goes back to Eragon's tent with the Eragon Apperation (sorry, colored-shadow-Eragon) on her back. When she's settled down she contacts Roran who's uh-busy- with his wife. She tells him she's glad he's back safe and would like to see him tomorrow. He says he's honored.
She goes to sleep.
Looking at this, I can't say I've gotten a feel of how Saphira is any different in thought that humans. Beyond the wanting to snack on people bits. She's just a whiny teenage girl who thinks in hyphen hiccups.
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