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Footprints of ShadowEdit

Eragon and Saphira go and visit Roran and Katrina to tell them of their impending departure. Eragon makes sure that they won't tell anyone that he's gone.

“No matter how slighted they feel because I supposedly refuse to see them, you cannot reveal the truth to them, not even to Horst orElain. Let them think I have become a rude and ungrateful lout before you so much as utter a word about Nasuada’s scheme. This I ask of you, for the sake of everyone who has pitted themselves against the Empire. Will you do it?”

I don't think that would work very well because eventually someone will notice that he's not around, going to see Nasuada for meetings or hanging out with his elves and Saphira. And in theory that would start the rumor mill going. And the next thing you know everyone in the camp thinks that Eragon has defected to the enemy's side to make mad passionate love to Murtagh.

Well, they should at least.

I'd like them to.

It'd be interesting.

Roran and Katrina promise, of course, to keep his secret no matter what. We're then told that Roran is also going away. And I do mean we're told. Then Roran said that he too was leaving. We don't get to see how he says it. Is it a "oh by the way" or a "Um, I have to say something to" or "While I have you here now,Eragon..." How Roran says it, how he brings it up, is important to his character. It's a tiny bit of information that we can use to judge how he deals with situations. Information that we don't get.

They have a group hug.

No, seriously. After looking at each other and saying things like 'be careful' Saphira pulls them all into a hug with her wings. With a rustle of skin and scales, Saphira unfolded her wings and enveloped Roran, Katrina, and Eragon in a warm embrace, isolating them from the world. I know this is supposed to be sentimental and heartfelt but I just keep on thinking "Group Hug!!!!"

Eragon and Saphira go off to get something to eat and bully around a NPC. Our poor NPC is Quoth Merrinsson. He's the man in charge of the food. He comes over to try and help Saphira and Eragon. He offers Eragon food, thinking that's the reason why they're there. It turns out that no, they're there for Saphira. They apparently don't have time for her to hunt as she normally does. I'm not sure why, exactly, after all she's not the one leaving and she doesn't needEragon's help to hunt....

Trying to be accommodating, Quoth offers her some prepared meat, to which Saphira growls at threateningly ...

Quoth looked past him and eyed Saphira’s bulk, and his face grew pale. “How much does she normally . . . Ah, that is, how much do you normally eat, Saphira? I can have six sides of roast beef brought over immediately, and another six will be ready in about fifteen minutes. Will that be enough, or . . . ?” The knob in his throat jumped as he swallowed.

Saphira emitted a soft, rippling growl, which caused Quoth to squeak and hop backward. “She would prefer a live animal, if that’s convenient,”Eragon said.

In a high-pitched voice, Quoth said, “Convenient? Oh yes, it’s convenient.” He bobbed his head, twisting at his apron with his grease-stained hands. “Most convenient indeed,Shadeslayer, Dragon Saphira. King Orrin’s table will not be lacking this afternoon, then, oh no.”

And a barrel of mead,Saphira said to Eragon.

White circles appeared around Quoth’s irises as Eragon repeated her request. “I—I am afraid that the dwarves have purchased most of our stocks of m-m-mead. We have only a few barrels left, and those are reserved for King—” Quoth flinched as a four-foot-long flame leaped out ofSaphira’s nostrils and singed the grass in front of him. Snarled lines of smoke drifted up from the blackened stalks. “I—I—I will have a barrel brought to you at once. If you will f-follow me, I will take y-you to the livestock, where you may have whatever beast you like.”

She's not bargaining here, or saying then we should go visit the dwarves for the mead, or anything thing like that, Saphira is actively confiscating property that's not hers. Not only that but she's really extorts it because of the way she's taking it. The man says they're reserved for the king and by threatening him, she steals it. With force; four foot flames are a bit unnecessary to get a barrel of mead. She doesn't even stay thank you.

Saphira has no reason to threaten Quoth. He's not said no, he's been perfectly polite and nothing in his body language indicates that he's not going to help them. He nervous, sure, but who wouldn't be when confronted with a hungry dragon who growls at you in a threatening manner. What makes this even worse is that we don't get to see Eragon's reactions to her behavior. We don't know if he thought it was good, bad, funny, frustrating, annoying, anything like that. He doesn't have a single emotional reaction in that section.Eragon stands there like my stuffed dragon stands on a book to hold down the pages at work when I catalog. Quoth is the one who's having enough reactions for everyone. He stammers and flinches and bobs and twists. Eragon does nothing. The only way we know he's there is because Paolini tells us he is.

How is Eragon standing? Is he leaning against Saphira, arms crossed with a smile as he watched the little man jump around in fear? Does he have a chagrined look on his face at her behavior, making a note to talk to her later about such things? Does it make him uncomfortable, upset, happy, silly, like a little panda? I mean, seriously, this bottle of white out on my desk has more emotional range thanEragon does.

It's not even that he doesn't care what she's doing, because that require a reaction. He's an utter blank slate.

This reminds me of a discussion from the previous post I made where it came about that Eragon was like the Twilight for boys because the readers were able to project their emotional desires into Eragon, much like Twilight readers can do for Bella, since neither of them have any sort of emotional capabilities. No, that's not right. Neither of them have any emotional expressions. They never express an emotion or give descriptive body language. I think it's because of their author avatar status. As Paolini is Eragon , he already knows how he feels about a certain situation so he doesn't need to put it down. He isn't reacting emotionally to the events because they're not real so Eragon doesn't need to either. To him, it would be stating the obvious. Which is one of the big problems that writers have. They forget that just because they the author knows it doesn't mean their readers know it. In this case it's Paolini knows how Eragon feels so he forgets that his readers don't, or he can't see why they don't. This leaves Eragon blank enough that people can put in their own interpretations. Being able to submerge themselves into the character so blankly they're able to make the fantasy out for themselves, projecting their own emotional wants. The reader can find it funny as Eragon or annoying or anything else. They aren't guided.

Now this sounds like a good thing, except that I don't think it really is. Eraogn is supposed to be a real person, but by leaving him so emotionally blank he's just a puppet. And for me I don't want to read about puppets having adventures, I want to read about people having adventures.

Having threatened and extorted the poor man, they go and get Saphira's cow. Quoth rubs his hands with nervous dexterity. I tried rubbing my hand with dexterity and found nothing particularly dexterous about the exercise. Perhaps people in Paolini's world have trouble with such simple tasks? If they're all zombies, that might explain the problem.

Naturally, Saphira finds the cows of inferior quality than those she gets hunting. Which is rather backwards. Wild animals wouldn't be taken care of and thus not have the regular nutrition of domesticated animals. It seems like whenever a dragon is offered food to eat, it's always inferior. I don't know why. Perhaps dragons are just really picky? She also isn't really that hungry, but Eragon insists. It turns out that he has a reason for it.

Eragon is going to suck up the life energy of the dying animals around them to fill his magic belt. It's a grim job but he has to do it. He can feel all the critters dying and their confusion and fear. Heangsts about it briefly, but then Saphira fixes it for him again. It seems like he's never allowed to dwell on bad feelings, everything just gets fixed for him and he doesn't get to have any emotional development. I wonder if this is like characters in video games who get the "don't feel bad" talks by their companions and then they're able to go on. I wouldn't really know for sure as I don't play video games though.

Saphira then asks Eragon to take some of her energy, but he refuses. She gives up and asks for her mead to drink. She drinks the mead, hiccups fire and they go back toEragon's tent. That's pretty much it.

At the tent, they share emotions. How do I know. I'm told this. He slid off her, then stood looking up at Saphira. For a time, they said nothing, allowing their shared emotions to speak for them. What emotions though? I have no idea. We're not told. Emotions is far to broad of a word to be meaningful in any way.

It's funny. When he needs to be specific, Paolini is vague and when he doesn't have to be, he's down right specific. I don't know what to make of this really.

After their non-emotional bonding Eragon severs the bond between the two of them and goes into his tent. There's a passage that works, as he reacts to it.

They would soon be too far apart to sense each other’s minds anyway, and he had no desire to prolong the agony of their parting. He stood where he was for a moment, gripping the hilt of the falchion and swaying as if he were dizzy. Already the dull ache of loneliness suffused him, and he felt small and isolated without the comforting presence of Saphira’s consciousness. I did this before, and I can do this again, he thought, and forced himself to square his shoulders and lift his chin.

Now while I'm not sure why he needs to cut himself off if it will fade away gradually, and he never did seem to mind it really before. At least it was never mentioned, this passage gives a bit of a feeling of what he should be feeling.

Eragon packs. He takes his book, his scroll with his Epic Poem of Epicness, a shiny box, his armor, a cloak and a pair of gloves. He decides against taking clothing because the dwarves should give him clothes when he gets there.

Yes, that's exactly what he thinks. If I really am a member of Dûrgrimst Ingeitum, he thought, they will clothe me properly when I arrive at Bregan Hold . Not only is he going to reek to the high sky heavens by the time he gets there (unless when he turned into an elf he sweats in the smell of pine trees) it is the hight of arrogance to assume that they will give him clothes. Or even that they would have clothes his size to give him.

Then. He turns himself invisible.

Yes. He turns himself invisible. It takes him all of three seconds.

And he's invisible.

Yet for some reason, when he had an ENTIRE BLOODY HOUR, EVEN MORE, HE WAS INCAPABLE OF BECOMING INVISIBLE THUS NOT NEEDING TO KILL ALL THOSE SOLDIERS IN THAT BLOODY FUCKING RANDOM ENCOUNTER. THEY WOULDN'T EVEN HAVE SEEN HIM AND YET FOR SOME REASON HE COULDN'T BECOME INVISIBLE. I GUESS IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN FOR DRAHMA'S SAKE BUT REALLY THERE WAS NO FUCKING REASON WHY HE COULDN'T HAVE BEEN COME INVISIBLE. THIS IS UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. IF YOU CAN BECOME INVISIBLE FOR ONE REASON THEN YOU CAN BECOME INVISIBLE FOR OTHER MORE PRACTICAL REASONS. LIKE AVOIDING A FIGHT AND THUS NOT NEEDING TO KILL ALL THOSE POOR INNOCENT SOLDIERS. OH WAIT I FORGOT THEY WORKED FOR THE EMPIRE AND SO THEY WERE AUTOMATICALLY EVIL AND OKAY TO KILL EVEN THOUGH THEY MIGHT HAVE TIPPED OFF THE EMPIRE THAT THEY WERE THERE. PLUS IT WAS A RANDOM ENCOUNTER AND YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO KILL THE THINGS YOU MEET IN A RANDOM ENCOUNTER FOR MORE XP.

  • HEADDESKHEADDESKHEADDESK*

GARHHAGHGHGAHGHKAERUIOAEJKRKVNA;LSD90A;REUAOND;A'POQLLDKAOEINGALSDKJKA E





I hate Paolini, I do. Seriously. I hate him with all the passion of a burning lust for chocolate.

  • deep breaths*

Becoming invisible he cuts his way of his tent (for some godforsaken reason) and starts going through the camp trying not to be noticed, by leaving things like footprints. Yes, he's worried about leaving footprints on a dusty path that is used by hundreds of people. Also, apparently being invisible makes it hard for him to keep his balance.

To his surprise, being invisible degraded his sense of balance; without the ability to see where his hands or his feet were, he kept misjudging distances and bumping into things, almost as if he had consumed too much ale.

I closed my eyes and tried walking around a bit. Didn't have any problems. I don't think blind people have any balance problems either. Does anyone look at their hands and feet while they're walking? IsEragon that impaired that he needs to see where he puts his feet and swings his arms to keep his balance? (it would explain a lot.) I would think his super-elf senses would compensate for that. I guess they're just conditional.

He finds it necessary to jump over the defenses of the camp instead of walking through what must be one of the well trodden entrances to the camp. More dramatic that way? I dunno. He runs off and finds the Kull he's supposed to run off into the wilderness with and have mad passionate ... sorry, wandered off there for a moment. Anyway, the Kull is Garzhvog (or cat on the keyboard, hence forth known as Gurgle) leader of the Urgals. Though apparently their real name is "Urgralgra". I'm not exactly sure how you pronounce that one. It looks like how I think I sound when I'm coughing up flem. Not a pleasant thing.

The leader is coming with Eragon because he must be protected. He is the Firesword and without him they can't have their revenge against Galby. Gurgle is the best of the fighters because he defeated fourty two rams in single combat. Hurray? He leaves his blood brother in charge even though he is not a Kull he has good horns and a thick neck. How exactly is that relevant to being a leader... oh wait they lead by whoever is the best at beating someone up. Right then.

And off they run!

Brisingr
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