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Brisingr Part Fifty One

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Blood on the Rocks Edit

IT'S THE INFAMOUS NINJA DWARVES CHAPTER!

It takes us a bit to get to it, but this is the Chapter. Whee!


But first, we go through dwarf politics.

Eragon is rather frustrated with the dwarves as they're acting like congress. The clan chiefs are discussing things like grazing rights when Eragon feels like they should be worried about, I don't know, Galby. Eragon often felt like shouting that they were being blind fools who were going to doom all of Alagaësia to Galbatorix’s rule unless they put aside their petty concerns and chose a new ruler without further delay. After all it's not like Galbatorix hasn't been ruling all of Alagaësia for the past hundred years or so without much interest in expanding his territory into dwarven lands. The fact that they were attacked by Galby recently is only because the Varden were there as was Eragon and now they're not so they should be fine. I am reminded of the saying, "An emergency on your part does not constitute one on mine". That being said, I don't mind seeing Eragon's frustration at the dwarves. It is reasonable from his point of view. He sees a great anvil hanging over his head with a fraying rope and the dwarves do not. This is, perhaps, one of the first logical responses I've seen from Eragon as well as another culture from Paolini. The dwarves do not see Galbatorix as an immediate threat and so while they do need to elect a clan chief they feel they have the time to choose. And they don't necessarily have to make a choice that goes withEragon's view.

The only problem with this is that Eragon is going to be right. His opinions are always right. He has the right view of the world as he's the hero and he just knows these things. In the mean time, I'll pretend and enjoy the delusion that Eragon might not be right. Frustrated with life, the universe and everything, Eragon goes for a walk, followed by his guards. Eragon has four dwarf guards because... he needs four dwarf guards to protect him. I guess. I'm not sure what, but they follow him around like he's an important person. While he walks, he ruminates on several of the clan leaders.

The worst one is Íorûnn, Eragon decided. The dwarf woman was the grimstborith of Dûrgrimst Vrenshrrgn, a powerful, warlike clan, and she had made it clear, from the very beginning of the deliberations, that she intended to have the throne for herself. Only one other clan, the Urzhad , had openly pledged themselves to her cause, but as she had demonstrated on multiple occasions during the meetings between the clan chiefs, she was clever, cunning, and able to twist most any situation to her advantage. She might make an excellent queen,Eragon admitted to himself, but she’s so devious, it’s impossible to know whether she would support the Varden once she was enthroned . He allowed himself a wry smile. Talking with Íorûnn was always awkward for him. The dwarves considered her a great beauty, and even by the standards of humans, she cut a striking figure. Besides which, she seemed to have developed a fascination with Eragon that he was unable to fathom. In every conversation they had, she insisted upon making allusions to the dwarves’ history and mythology that Eragon did not understand but that seemed to amuse Orik and the other dwarves to no end.

This is an informed ability here. We are told that Íorûnn is cunning and clever, able to twist things to her advantage, but not given any examples. I don't know if we'll actually get to see this ability in action. Probably not. He can't seem to understand why she has a fascination with him, but has already said that she is devious and cunning. Likely she is trying to take things to her advantage and make friends with him, or at least be friendly with him, just in case having his support is something she needed. She's playing him.

As for the history and mythology thing... I think she's going for sexual innuendo... but I'm not sure. Examples would have been nice.

He continues walking and pondering. And turning into Galby.

Eragon knew that many of the other, lesser clan chiefs who shared his views would leap up to take his place. Az Sweldn rak Anhûin, for example—whom Galbatorix and the Forsworn had nearly obliterated during their uprising—had declared themselves Eragon’s blood enemies during his visit to the city of Tarnag and, in every action of theirs at the clan meet, had demonstrated their implacable hatred of Eragon, Saphira, and all things to do with dragons and those who rode them. They had objected to Eragon’s very presence at the meetings of the clan chiefs, even though it was perfectly legal by dwarf law, and forced a vote on the issue, thereby delaying the proceedings another six unnecessary hours.

One of these days, thought Eragon, I will have to find a way to make peace with them. That or I’ll have to finish what Galbatorix started. I refuse to live my entire life in fear of Az Sweldn rak Anhûin. Again, as he had done so often in the past few days, he waited a moment for Saphira’s response, and when it was not forthcoming, a familiar pang of unhappiness lanced his heart.

Now this is an interesting bit here. We don't know why this particular dwarf clan was so decimated by Galby. Most of the dwarves are apparently hanging around the Beor mountains and not leaving it as a matter of course. The uprising of what? I'm not sure. Did the dwarves uprise against Galby? Is it the uprising when Galby killed off all the other Dragon riders, but there aren't any dwarf dragon riders... What up rising is he talking about?! I don'tknooooow! And then, of course, we've gotten the response from Eragon. Galby only has killed these dwarves for warfare purposes. Eragon is thinking of wiping them out because they annoy him. Genocide is okay if you're the hero! Which is something we've already learned with the Ra'zac. The mere fact that Eragon considers violence -not only that but out right murder - as a viable option makes him as abhorrent as Galbatorix. Perhaps even more so for we don't know the reason for why Galbatorix attacked these dwarves.

Seriously though. Eragon seems to be going through a personality shift, of sorts. Over the course of the three books, he's started as a naive farm boy and moved into the realm of terrorist. This would be an interesting character story arc and discussion of perhaps the idea of absolute power corrupts absolutely. The problem is thatPaolini has stated that Eragon is supposed to be a traditional hero. This causes the main issue I have with the books. Eragon is not acting like a traditional hero. So then, do I take the author's ideas of what is and isn't supposed to be for his books or do I ignore them and look as the books as they are. This is something that has plagued critics over the many years that they've been being academic about books. In my particular part I've decided to see how well the books match up to Paolini's vision. But I digress.

And Eragon meanders, he ends up in a room that May Be Significant. Why? Look at the description:

As he pondered the situation, Eragon wandered aimlessly through the warren of chambers below Tronjheim until he found himself in a dry, dusty room lined with five black arches on one side and a bas-relief carving of a snarling bear twenty feet high on the other. The bear had gold teeth and round, faceted rubies for eyes.

When Eragon asks about what this room was for, the dwarf guide shrugs his shoulders. He says that it was built long time ago, when the original city was being made and that they don't use it much any more. Yet it seems like a rather significant thing, nothing else in the dwarf city has such a relief, or at least has been described to us as having it. It's rather alien to what has normally been considered dwarf architecture. So what could it mean? What does the bear mean?

Does Eragon care? Is he even curious as to what's beyond those arches? Does he want to check for traps? Or search the room for treasure? Nope. He just wants to know if his guide can get him back to the surface. He doesn't even think about exploring and deciding not to. It's Just. There. It's not even Just There. It's Just There in a Scenery sort of way brought up to be Scenery and so that the Author can Foreshadow something that May Be Significant. But the Designated Hero doesn't even Care enough about this Special Room. He just treats it like it was the Janitor's Closet.

Oh great I've started abusing the Caps Key.


As they go back to the surface they see bunches of dwarves including some of those Az Sweldn rak Anhûin. The Az dwarves always wear purple veils in public. What possible reason could these dwarves have to wear purple veils in public? The first thing that pops into mind is Terry Prattchet's deep down dwarves. The ones who wear veils and hoods so that they won't ever see the sun. They feel that no dwarf should ever see the sun as it is an ambonination. These guys... don't seem to have any reason for it except that it sounds kinda ... cool?

But now I have a picture of Gimli in a harem outfit. It's not a pleasant picture.

Rather hairy, and he's carrying axes and wearing the helmet at the same time.

Oh. And the beard. That completely doesn't help matters at all.

Someone should draw this.

Clearly.

Anyway, they enter a hall that is a thousand feet wide. I have no idea how big that is. *checks Wikipedia* It's about the size of three football fields. The problem with a thousand feet is that numbers that big are sort of meaningless. Here would be a good place for some comparative description, like so big it felt like sixteen dragons could nap in there comfortably or something like that. The number doesn't mean anything to me. I can't picture it. The top of the chamber is a mile high. There are lots of shiny lights.

This is the chamber where the Last Battle between Eragon and Durza took place. It is here that the great star sapphire got shredded to bits when Arywn ... ahahhaaha... I wrote Arywn and not Arya ... oh boy. I haven't even been thinking anything really Lord of the Rings lately either. Oh my. That just slipped out of my fingers as I wrote. Well then.

It is here that the great star sapphire got shredded to bits when Arya and Saphira broke through it in a fantastic display of might and distracted Durza enough that Eragon was able to stabbity him dead. Saphira, in apology, said she would try to fix the jewel, but first they had to put it back together again so she could meld it together. To do this the dwarves have build a giant scaffolding sixty feet in diameter and are fitting it back together like a jig-saw puzzle. There are perhaps three hundred dwarves working on this, sorting out pieces and trying to figure out where they go. I am amazed that they can do that.

I mean, really. Last Passover I was helping to clean the fridge shelves. The shelves are made of glass. I'd finished washing it, picked it up and it shattered into a gazillion pieces. Thankfully I didn't get hurt beyond a minor scratch. But if you were to ask us to put the glass back together, I don't think that would be possible. Especially not if we needed to have all the pieces. These dwarves are doing it with something that's sixty feet in diameter and high enough to need lots of scaffolding. How is that possible?!

I don't think it is.

But you know what? It sounds cool.

Unless this is like some sort of dwarf ability. Even then, how would they know they got all the pieces and how would the know how they fit together? This is a three-dimensional object that they're building, one that's not even hollow. Take an apple. Chop it to bits. Toss it around in a bowl and now put it back together. That my dear pigeons is what the dwarves are doing.

The best thing is, they're not treating it as if it's an unusual thing to do.

And even then, they've not been working on it for a year and they could have it done by the end of the week. Hell, I think they've been working on it for less than six months.

Amazing. Truly amazing.

As for the end of the week bit, Eragon asks if they can have it done in time for the coronation. The dwarf overseeing the reconstruction says not in three days, but by the end of the week.

So. Yeah.

And after that Eragon goes and walks off to have lunch.

Brisingr
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