Brisingr Chapter 3
ASSAULT ON HELGRIND Edit
You know, I just noticed something Helgrind is sort of like "Hell Grind". And the worshipers are "grinding" themselves to avoid Hell. Of course that could just be me reading too much into it.
Anyway, Eragon has a remarkable internal clock. He's able to wake up exactly fifteen minutes before day break. Daybreak was fifteen minutes away when Eragon rolled upright. He snapped his fingers twice to wake Roran and then scooped up his blankets and knotted them into a tight bundle. In today's world finding the exact moment when daybreak hits has become a science. In the newspapers it's printed up in the weather sections. But they require a clock to know what the specific time is. I could know that sunset is at 5:45 pm, but unless I have a clock with me it will pass me by. When there weren't clocks, or at least when they weren't widely available people used estimated times. For example, in Judaism, which is on a lunar calendar we know when a given holiday is over if we can see three stars in the sky. This is a fairly safe way to know that it's sunset. \~/ \~/
But here, it's also not necessary for us to know the exact time it is before sunset. It would have been much more realistic if it were to have begun, "Eragon woke up just before daybreak..." Just before daybreak gives us the same exact time as fifteen minutes, but it's more realistic as Eragon has no way of knowing what the exact time is. So, how does he know this? Because he's Just That Special. \~/\~/
Once they're up, Roran asks Eragon to do something for him.
They looked at each other and shivered with excitement.
“If I die,” said Roran, “you will see to Katrina?” \ “I shall.”
“Tell her then that I went into battle with joy in my heart and her name upon my lips.”
For today is a good day to die! Sorry, it reminded me of the Klingons. Personally I prefer Cohen the Barbarian's version, "Today is a good day for someone else to die". But seriously, Roran's speech is so contradictory to his previous way of speaking in the chapter before. It feels stilted and forced. Also, if Roran isn't the sort who likes violence and killing people, why would he go into battle with "joy in his heart"? Finally, the "See to Katrina" bit kinda makes me think Roran is asking Eragon to marry her if he dies. \~/\~/
Continuing Paolini's setting Eragon up for failure and making him look stupid, we learn that Eragon didn't clean off his armor before leaving.
From his bags, Eragon removed his shirt of mail and unwrapped the length of sackcloth he had stored it in. Blood from the fight on the Burning Plains still encrusted the once-shining corselet, and the combination of dried gore, sweat, and neglect had allowed blotches of rust to creep across the rings. The mail was, however, free of tears, as Eragon had repaired them before they had departed for the Empire.
Corselet reminds me of corset. But it is apparently a legitimate word for armor. Of course, when has Paolini never used a legitimate word for armor. Anyway, Eragon didn't clean off his armor and allowed it to rust. You don't do that. If it rusts, then it becomes weak and if it becomes weak it can break and if it breaks well you can die. Why did he neglect his armor? I believe so that it feels like there's one more risk for Eragon. But instead it feels like Eragon is thoughtless and neglectful. That he doesn't know what he's doing because he didn't take the time to take care of his armor which is important. It'd be one thing if he went from the Burning Plains battle and the next day straight to another battle, but there were several days where Eragon could have cleaned it. He obviously had time to repair it, why not clean it? \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/
Likely to set Eragon up for failure.
They finish getting dressed in their armor
Eragon also puts on the bow and quiver that Galadriel... sorry Queen Islanzadí gave him. The bow which bares no resemblance to the bow that Galadriel gave to Legolas. \~/
They get all suited up and on to Saphira who then takes them up into the misty sky with silly phrases like The thin membranes thrummed as Saphira raised them toward the sky , He allowed all of his anger and grief over the events of that day—as well as Garrow’s murder and the destruction of their farm—to surge forth and give him the courage, nay, the desire, to face the Ra’zac in combat. Honestly, if he didn't have the desire to face the Ra'zac in combat what was he doing there? \~/
And then there's this overwrought bit.
A fan of golden light flared into existence as the top of the sun crested the horizon. In an instant, the full spectrum of colors enlivened the previously drab world: the mist glowed white, the water becme a rich blue, the daubed-mud wall that encircled the center of Dras-Leona revealed its dingy yellow sides, the trees cloaked themselves in every shade of green, and the soil blushed red and orange. Helgrind, however, remained as it always was—black.
Finally they get to the altar where the slaves were chained up. The slaves aren't there. Do they feel compassion or cry or even feel sorrow at the fact that these two people were unwilling taken to be horribly eaten? No.
Diving toward the base of Helgrind, Saphira tilted so far to her left, Eragon and Roran would have fallen if they had not already strapped their legs to the saddle. Then she whipped around the apron of scree and over the altar where the priests of Helgrind observed their ceremonies. The lip of Eragon’s helm caught the wind from her passage and produced a howl that almost deafened him.
“Well?” shouted Roran. He could not see in front of them.
“The slaves are gone!”
A great weight seemed to press Eragon into his seat as Saphira pulled out of her dive and spiraled up around Helgrind, searching for an entrance to the Ra’zac’s hideout.
That's it. That's Eragon's ONLY reaction to the slaves being gone. He CRIES over the death of two birds and a snake, but when two people are cruelly left chained to a stone knowing that in the morning they were going to die he cares nothing. He has not a single emotion, or regret or thought about the fact that they are dead. That he could have prevented their deaths. There is nothing. He left these people to die and when the are dead he cares nothing. He is as cold-hearted as any villain I've seen. And we're supposed to root for these people who don't care about two suffering humans?
No. I have no like or respect for Eragon except for that of a sociopath. That is the only thing that I have seen about him. And right now, I doubt there is anything he could do to redeem himself. \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/
Oh wait, the slaves get one more mention. But it's not a good one. Casting his mind outward, Eragon confirmed the presence of the two people whom he had discovered imprisoned within Helgrind the previous day, but he felt nothing of the slaves, and to his concern, he still could not locate the Ra’zac or the Lethrblaka. People there? Check. Slaves gone? Check. Ra'zac there... um... dunno. \~/ \~/ Oh well, too bad about those slaves, let's go rescue the important people who have names.
The three of them get up to the Bloody Mountain and discover that the entrance has been hidden. They actually discover this in a pretty clever way. Eragon senses that there's a flower living in a place where it shouldn't be able to. Checking this out they find that the cave is hidden by a hologram for lack of a better word. Which is actually a kinda cool way, which I will fully admit.
Once inside Saphira becomes the great disco dragon. Saphira’s scales refracted the light, casting thousands of shifting blue flecks across the rock. Twisting around, Eragon saw no wall behind them, only the mouth of the cave and a sweeping view of the landscape beyond. Funny how she's never done that before. I think it would be something important to notice, especially since it would kinda make her easy to spot. It's likely in there because Paolini thought it would be cool. Or he read Twilight. \~/ \~/
Saphira is a VAMPIRE!!! She eats animals even though she wouldn't mind eating humans! She's strong, fast and sparkles! Why didn't I see this before?! Everything now is so much clearer! The reason why both Twilight and Eragon suck is because they're really written by one person!! Think about it! Eragon's soul-mate is someone that he'll be with for the rest of his life that he met accidentally and then obsessed over. He only met her because of some random circumstances that put him in the right place at the right time. Bella only met Edward because of random circumstances at the right place at the right time and they're soul mates! Saphira and Edward are both psychopathic killers who can read minds!
AMAZING!! there it is, indisputable proof that Meyer and Paolini are the same person!!
\~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/
ehhehhhe... hey, it makes as much sense as the books.
The two of them get off Sparkle's back and try to look around but it's dark. Eragon attacks the darkness, by thrusting his mind quickly into the cave. Eragon examined the tunnels carefully, but they were pitch-black and appeared vacant, a fact he confirmed with quick thrusts of his mind. Yes. He is thrusting his mind into a dark cave where there are Strange, disjointed murmurs echoed from within Helgrind’s innards. So yes, Eragon is thrusting into a dark cave where there are murmurs. \~/ \~/ \~/
I can't make this stuff up. Paolini needs to be banned from using the word thrust.
The only thing all this thrusting is doing is reminding me about the lack of sex in my life. Which is really depressing. \~/
Then the fight scene begins. It goes on for several pages, eight pages to be exact. It's basically the fight between Eragon, Roran and Saphria vs the Ra'zac and their parents in exacting detail. Very exacting detail. Detail so exacting that there is no way Eragon should be able to notice it all. Especially in regards to other people. It kind of reminds me a DM describing a fight for his PCs in lovingly rendered detail.
And when I say lovingly rendered detail, I mean lovingly rendered detail:
The smell now, with both Lethrblaka present, resembled the sort of overpowering stench one would get from tossing a half-dozen pounds of rancid meat into a barrel of sewage and allowing the mixture to ferment for a week in summer.
\~/ \~/ Eight pages.
During this eight page fight, Eragon is aware of what's happening to Saphira
The amount of force contained within each of the Lethrblaka’s terrible blows had already depleted the wards against physical danger that Eragon had placed around Saphira. Without them, the Lethrblaka had inflicted several rows of scratches—long but shallow—along her thighs and had managed to stab her three times with their beaks; those wounds were short but deep and caused her a great deal of pain.
In return, Saphira had laid open the ribs of one Lethrblaka and had bitten off the last three feet of the other’s tail. The Lethrblaka’s blood, to Eragon’s astonishment, was a metallic blue-green, not unlike the verdigris that forms on aged copper.
I'm sorry. Eragon's fighting for his life here. He shouldn't have time to consider the color of something's blood much less the fact that it's the "verdigris that forms on aged copper" especially not from creatures he's not fighting! These sentences are long and cumbersome, they slow down the action. Fight scenes need to be told quickly as the action goes. The swiping of the swords and the clashing of ear ringing metal. \~/ \~/ \~/
In my recent LARP experience I played several monsters (RARRAAR I'm a MONSTER) and when I was getting attacked by the other players I didn't have time to think of the type of weapons they had beyond, "Sword", "Knife" "ARGH LONG POINTY THING". I could only focus on the people attacking me and trying to hit them back. I didn't know where the other people were. I didn't have time to look. My thoughts were very "Strike! Strike! ARGH I think I'm Dead!" Really, there wasn't time for poetic thoughts. There's a reason why you get a bonus when you flank an opponent, they can't divide their attention. Or it's exceptionally hard to.
Who ever thought LARP would be good for literature?
Thus it's highly unrealistic if Eragon's able to take in everything he sees. Like Roran getting attacked, especially since Roran is behind him! Behind him, Roran shouted, “Yah!” An instant later, a sword thudded against his shield, followed by the tinkle of rippling mail and the bell-like peal of a second sword bouncing off Roran’s helm. \~/ \~/
Eragon continues on his fancy magic word streak which does nothing. So instead he tries to blind one with a quick and crude spell. Which works. Probably should have done something like that earlier. Fighting dirty is always a good thing. And sometimes simple is the best. Alas, he doesn't get to blind the others as a Ra'zac tries to lyrically kill him.
Remember our obvious bit of Foreshadowing from Chapter two when Eragon was complaining about his lack of a sword?
If Eragon had been wielding Zar’roc, he would have killed the Ra’zac then and there. As it was, something cracked inside the Ra’zac, and the creature went rolling across the cave for a dozen or more paces. It immediately popped up again, leaving a smear of blue gore on the uneven rock.
I need a sword,thought Eragon.
Gee. Who didn't see that coming? \~/ \~/ \~/
It would have been nice to have cut the fight short instead of letting it drag on and on and on. Where we have to know that Eragon gets cut not just on his left leg but on the outside of his left knee. \~/
Blah, blah, blah, more fighting, blah and then the Ra'zac flee. Good stopping point!
Drinks: 42 The meaning of life!
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