In our continuing series of Eragon starts getting emotional development and then it is dashed and pulverized onto the ground like grain being sent through a mill, we have the following scene:

Late that night, visions of death and violence gathered along the edges of Eragon’s dreams, threatening to overwhelm him with panic. He stirred with unease, wanting to break free but unable to do so. Brief, disjointed images of stabbing swords and screaming men and Murtagh’s angry face flashed before his eyes.

Then Eragon felt Saphira enter his mind. She swept through his dreams like a great wind, brushing aside his looming nightmare. In the silence that followed, she whispered, All is well, little one. Rest easy; you are safe, and I am with you. . . . Rest easy .

A sense of profound peace crept over Eragon. He rolled over and drifted off into happier memories, comforted by his awareness of Saphira’s presence.

And that's the end of that. Saphira takes away all the bad stuff, all the things that were bothering him and he sleeps happily. When he wakes up he has no memory of the dreams or of the soldiers who gave their well being for him. Instead he takes a bath, shaves with magic... this random use of magic is irritating me, not that he shouldn't use magic to shave, but for somethings he uses it for and other things he doesn't and there doesn't seem to be a rhyme nor reason to it... and dresses before going to visit Nasuada.

Nasuada has a Very Important Mission for him. But first! She explains the Varden's plans.

“I did, and I do,” said Nasuada. “Please, be seated.” She indicated a folding chair next to Eragon. Tilting the sword at his waist so it would not catch, he settled into the chair. “As you know, Galbatorix has sent battalions to the cities of Aroughs, Feinster, and Belatona in an attempt to prevent us from taking them by siege or, failing that, to slow our progress and force us to divide our own troops so we would be more vulnerable to the depredations of the soldiers who were camped north of us. After yesterday’s battle, our scouts reported that the last of Galbatorix’s men withdrew to parts unknown. I was going to strike at those soldiers days ago, but I had to refrain since you were absent. Without you, Murtagh and Thorn could have slaughtered our warriors with impunity, and we had no way of discovering whether the two of them were among the soldiers. Now that you are with us again, our position is somewhat improved, although not as much as I had hoped, given that we must now also contend with Galbatorix’s latest artifice, these men without pain. Our only encouragement is that the two of you, along with Islanzadí’s spellcasters, have proved you can fend off Murtagh and Thorn. Upon that hope depends our plan for victory.”

Let's see here. One: there are three cities that belong to Gably that he sent troops to protect. And to try and prevent a siege. Apparently. Though that wouldn't really work, I don't think. Sieges are when you sit around and try to starve a city out. Extra troops wouldn't really help much. Sieges are also long term things generally. Though they do have siege weapons (which they used on their own troops in the last book) which could end one a lot sooner And if their wizards could throw fireballs that would help too. Also, there's no reason why they have to attack all three cities at the same time.

We also see that Eragon is the center of the Varden's universe once again, because they couldn't attack the soliders unless he was there. I guess they were incapable? Or ... something? I don't know.

This being said, Nasuada then moves on to say exactly what she does plan on doing.

“I have decided upon several courses, and we must undertake them all simultaneously if any are to be successful. First, we cannot push farther into the Empire, leaving cities behind us that Galbatorix still controls. To do that would be to expose ourselves to attacks from both the front and the rear and to invite Galbatorix to invade and seize Surda while we were absent. So I have already ordered the Varden to march north, to the nearest place where we can safely cross the Jiet River. Once we are on the other side of the river, I will send warriors south to capture Aroughs while King Orrin and I continue with the remainder of our forces to Feinster, which, with your help and Saphira’s, should fall before us without too much trouble. “While we are engaged in the tedious business of tramping across the countryside, I have other responsibilities for you, Eragon.” She leaned forward in her seat. “We need the full help of the dwarves. The elves are fighting for us in the north of Alagaësia, the Surdans have joined with us body and mind, and even the Urgals have allied themselves with us. But we need the dwarves. We cannot succeed without them. Especially now that we must contend with soldiers who cannot feel pain.”

we cannot push farther into the Empire, leaving cities behind us that Galbatorix still controls The fact that this even needs to be brought up makes me wonder about the intelligence of Nasuada's advisers. I've looked at the map of Alagnesiac and Aroughs is pretty south of their position while Feinster is further north. They're about right in the middle, I think. I would suggested going to Aroughs, which is near the ocean, take that with the full forces and then move up the river thus ensuring a protected food supply line. Splitting their forces is a bad idea.

Wait. Map. I has it!

Okay so Aroughs is down south near the grouping of islands off the coast. You know, looking at this map I come to the realization that they have no good way of getting food and supplies across the mountains if the Spine is as Dangerous as They Say. Let's see, the Jiet river does a weird loopy-loop thing... it makes a sharp right turn for a while before going north and um... so Feinster isn't really on the coast of the river, but on ocean coast. I think....

Wait... sharp right... Rivers can't do that... oh ... kadsfdhs \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/

Also, why do the dwarves have a better chance of helping with our zombie soldiers than the others? Why, if the dwarves are so important, haven't they been using them in combat? And didn't the dwarves already join with them? They were the cavalry at Burning Plains, I recall. I guess they need more dwarves to stand around and be short.

The mind and body part is just creepy. I'm just saying.

The dwarves have not chosen a new king or queen yet and it make take them a while for their idea of expeditious is a lot slower than the human idea of expeditious which means months of deliberations. So, she wants to send Eragon off to speed things along. After all he got adopted into the clan and is there for a dwarf. Carrot is a better dwarf. Anyway Eragon doesn't want to do this as he and Saphira are the only ones who can fight off an attack if Murtagh and Thorn reappear.

Ah! But this is the Cunning Plan™ see she's sending Eragon and not Eragon and Saphira.

So she spent all this time waiting for Eragon to show up so they can Do Things and now that he's there she's sending him away again without Saprhira who is the help for Eragon when he needs to cast magic. The battery as it was (because you know he's not going to remember the ring). Also the entire point of Eragon and Saphira is that they do things together. They're a team. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. They only function best when they're together. Etc. etc. etc. Also Saprhia isn't beholden to Eragon. Which again is strange, you would think that if they are a working team then both would be beholden. It's dangerous not to have Saphira beholden to her, because what if one day Saphria decides not to do what she wants which will leave Eragon divided... and wait never mind, Saphira would always do what she's told to do. She's a good puppy.

Nasuada informs our inseperatable pair that Arya will be riding on Saphira, treating her like a horse that can have different riders as opposed to someone who has a very special bond. She's also not even asking Saphira, she's saying this is what she'll do.

“In order for the ruse to work, however, Blödhgarm and his companions will have to stay here as well, both to avoid arousing suspicion and for reasons of defense. If Murtagh and Thorn reappear while you are gone, Arya can take your place on Saphira. Between her, lödhgarm’s spellcasters, and the magicians of Du Vrangr Gata, we should have a fair chance of thwarting Murtagh.”

Wait... I thought that they only had a chance of thwarting with Eragon. Didn't they just barely fight them off with Eragon?

Logic, I sees it not.

This also takes away the importance that Paolini stressed in the first book about the dragon and their rider. Again, as I said before, they were supposed to be an inseperatable team. Now they're being treated like a horse and rider. Of course Eragon always treated Saphria like a mode of transportation, but now the 'awe' that everyone else had over her is gone and they're treating her like a flying horse.

It gets sillier. With the "logic".

Eragon wants to know how he'll get there then.

“By running. You told me yourself you ran much of the distance from Helgrind. I expect that without having to hide from soldiers or peasants you can traverse many more leagues each day on the way to Farthen Dûr than you were able to in the Empire.” Again Nasuada drummed the polished wood of her chair. “Of course, it would be foolish to go alone. Even a powerful magician can die of a simple accident in the far reaches of the wilderness if he has no one to help him. Shepherding you through the Beor Mountains would be a waste of Arya’s talents, and people would notice if one of Blödhgarm’s elves disappeared without explanation. Therefore, I have decided that a Kull should accompany you, as they are the only other creatures capable of matching your pace."

Why wouldn't Eragon's disapperance cause anyone to notice? I mean he is a bigger celebrity than the elves are. Cause HE CAN CURE CANCER. Why couldn't they explain that the elf was going with Eragon to keep him safe, isn't that their jobs after all?

The reason why the Kull is going? DRAMAH. The dwarves don't like Urgals after all and so ...

My God, that has got to be the stupidest politcal move Nasuada could do. It'd be like sending a terroist to safe-gaurd your represenative to the country they terrorized. That's a good way to show you want their support. I don't respect your feelings enough that I'm going to send someone you would respect and not want to kill to try and get you on my side.

Eragon does bring this idea up about how dwarves dislike Kulls and all so Nasuada brushes it off with “I am well aware of that,” said Nasuada. “Which is why you will not go directly to Farthen Dûr. Instead, you will first stop at Bregan Hold on Mount Thardûr, which is the ancestral home of the Ingeitum. There you will find Orik, and there you can leave the Kull while you continue on to Farthen Dûr in Orik’s company.”

He's still bringing a Kull into Dwarf territory. Into a dwarf home.


Might as well bring Murtagh while they're at it.

Eragon thinks it's a stupid idea and says that he wants time to come up with better ideas. He can't think of any off the cuff, but he'll think of something. Nasauda says that she has tried to think of something better but couldn't. He refuses to go.

This obviously means that Eragon is going to have to take command of the Varden. Because either he disobeys his liegelord and gets punished or... um... takes over.


He says that she should punish him. She says that would undermine her authority because she could only give him a few stripes with the whip which he could heal in an instant. And she can't execute him like she would for any one else would would disobey a superior.

Wait. What?

What is this... these are the good guys?

Wasn't Darth Vader the one who choked the guy to death for disagreeing with him?

So, our good guys are killing people who are insubordinate and the bad guys are just punishing them.

That makes perfect sense.

Why are we rooting for them again?

To make things even better Nasuada asks Eragon if he's going to listen to her orders or " or if you will set yourself up as a mirror image of Galbatorix.”

Too late.

That's all I have to say on that score.

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