Over Hill Land and Mountain Edit
Eragon and the Kull go running for about two days, stopping only to piss and drink. The fact that they are capable of doing this without keeling over makes me go back to my thoughts of the Hippie Budding Elves. Maybe they're photosynthetic as well and that's how they can run for so long. They get their nutrients from the sun. Though, they still need chlorophyll and none of them look green, or at least were described as green to me. Maybe they have special magic cells that allow them to absorb and process sunlight. Finally at the end of the day they stop because they need to you know, do things like eating and sleeping. Logically speaking I should be surprised that they managed to do this without sleeping for two days, but that would have been something that surprised me back in book one. Now it's just of course they could do that. They don't need to follow the laws of biology, just do what Paolini thinks is cool.
Once they stop Eragon says that he'll help Kull hunt.
... Wait a second, I thought Eragon was a vegetarian. Didn't he, in the last chapter even, agonize about having to feel all those poor critter's deaths? But here he just volunteered to hunt. And I quote: "I will help you hunt,” he said. He said. He didn't say reluctantly, or because he knew he needed the protein or whatever. He just said, without a thought to the animal's life. Which he was just agonizing about two days ago. But knowKull says he'll hunt and Eragon should build a fire.
Oh and here's something that'll make all the map stickler's furious:
He and Garzhvog were somewhere just east of the southern tip of Lake Tüdosten. The land was wet and lush, with fields of grass that stood six feet high, through which there roamed herds of deer, gazelles, and wild oxen with black hides and wide,backswept horns. The riches of the area were due, Eragon knew, to the Beor Mountains, which caused the formation of huge banks of clouds that drifted for many leagues over the plains beyond, bringing rain to places that would otherwise have been as dry as the Hadarac Desert.
Map time again!
Now, the red is where I believe Eragon and the Kull started off from. The yellow is where I believe they are. Two days running has brought them over half way across the country. Which is further than the seven days that it was supposed to take them to get the Varden with the sick Arya, but instead took them three days on zombie horseback But I digress. The green line is the edge of the Beor mountains which doesn't look like it has the length to cover the area that it's supposed to. Or at least, it's pointing in the wrong direction. The blue line is the border of the Hadarac desert. My guess, from looking at the mountains, it should bounce the clouds off towards the desert and not to where Eragon and Kull are currently. But I don't know weather and geography relationships very well. I should probably find some resources on that.
Instead of the poor critter that Kull is off to kill, Eragon complains about the pain he's feeling from running and carrying all that armor.
As Garzhvog strode off toward a thicket of beech trees north of them, Eragon untied the strap around his waist and, with a sigh of relief, dropped his pack next to the stump. “Blasted armor,” he muttered. Even in the Empire, he had not run so far while carrying such a load. He had not anticipated how arduous it would be. His feet hurt, his legs hurt, his back hurt, and when he tried to crouch, his knees refused to bend properly.
I am reminded here of an Anne McCaffery short story called the Runner's of Pern. The story dealt with the runner's "hall" where messengers would run across Pern to deliver messages. The Hall was founded before fire-lizards were rediscovered to take messages. One of the things that the story discussed was how the runners prepared themselves, how they paced themselves and made sure they didn't cramp up or anything. Here they just stop running and it's okay. Never mind they should both be cramping up like a woman on her period. They shouldn't be able to run any more. However the next morning they get up and continue running.
Before hand we get to learn about Urgals and Kull culture as Eragon plays twenty questions. How else are we supposed to learn about their culture? It begins when Kull gets back with a deer. Eragon wants to know how the deer was killed. By a sling. How are they going to eat the meat as it will take to long to cook on a spit, so does Kull eat it raw. No, they're not animals. Instead they'll make a stew. How? Kull has a stomach of a cave bear they can use as a pot. He killed the bear with his bare hands because weapons aren't allowed in their coming of age hunt.
Hrm. So Kulls must live in the mountains near where there are caves. But they've been seen roaming around the country no where near mountains. The only mountains on the maps being the Beor and the Spine. I would think that if they lived in the Spine Roran would have encountered them when he took the village through the mountains. And I can't really recall the dwarves having any issues with them. Also, if they're mountain people, I don't think they'd be built for running, but instead for climbing and things like that. I mean, Eragon didn't have any experiences with Urgals until he left home.
Wait. Sorry, thinking about this logically. My bad.
Clearly what is going on here is that Paolini is introducing us to a fine and great culture of a strange species that previously thought to be evil and learning their ways and customs. Despite being strange to us and Eragon they are somewhat civilized. (They can't be too civilized because they're not pretty). Paolini wants to show us the depth and breadth of the world he's created and all those special and unique civilizations that live in it.
Something interest does show up in this. Dwarves and Urgals have fourteen toes. Humans and elves have ten. So pretty people have the "normal" amount of toes and ugly people don't. I wonder if dwarves and urgals have fourteen fingers too. Likely not because otherwise it would have been mentioned before. I think that mammals have the same amount of digits on the ends of both front and back limbs. I'm not sure how physically possible it is to have seven toes on each foot. I suppose they have really big feet then.
“The dwarves have the same number of toes as you do,” he said.
Garzhvog spat a piece of meat into the coals of the fire. “I did not know that. I have never wanted to look at the feet of a dwarf.”
“Don’t you find it curious that Urgals and dwarves should both have fourteen toes, while elves and humans have ten?”
Garzhvog’s thick lips lifted in a snarl. “We share no blood with those hornless mountain rats, Firesword. They have fourteen toes, and we have fourteen toes. It pleased the gods to shape us so when they created the world. There is no other explanation.”
What else we're being shown here is that urgals have no curiosity about the world around them. They accept the world as it is and don't wonder about things like humans (in theory) and elves do. When elves want to know something they try to find the answer to it. While dwarves and urgals accept it as something from gods and they are content with that. They don't feel the need to explore the world around them because they have religion. The thing is, they should have some sort of 'creation myth' about how the other races were created. In the beginning of Thud by Terry Pratchett there is a troll myth about how all the races were created, including the dwarves . The trolls were considered perfection, of course, but it included everyone they encounter. I checked the Inheritance wiki and it says that urgals and elves came from the same place. It would be interesting if the urgals said something like "another god tried to copy the perfection that their god created but failed and that is where the dwarves came from" or "dwarves were disgraced and cowardly urgals who fled urgal society and went into hiding because they were so ashamed". Something like that, because the gods felt like it isn't ever used in proper myths. At least, that's never the end of it, it's only the beginning of the story.
I'm putting way to much thought into this.
I skipped a part.
As he's eating, Eragon starts thinking about Arya and Saphira and how he misses them, but only for two sentences. He gets distracted by Kull's toes. Here is a perfect chance for character development and Paolini completely tosses it away. He's thinking about Arya. How does he feel about her and Saphira riding together? How does he feel about her, about the latest developments in how she treats him? What does he think they're doing now? Were they in a battle? Anything could have been an insight into his mind, but instead we get toes. Toes are boring.
I'm going to stop here for right now, because the next section is about urgal culture and I want to get a good separate look at it.
I found this picture on the inheritance wiki. It's supposedly Eragon.
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