Chapter Four: Divergence. Edit
Now, okay, I shall admit that the last chapter had a decent
hangover cliffhanger. The problem with it is that there hasn't been any build up. We don't know really who Sloan is to Eragon. The few times he's mentioned it's obscured with things like, "Do you think he will be there?" or "the last person he hoped was there". That could be any million of people. We had a brief dump in the first chapter about Sloan but it wasn't more than a he betrayed Roran but it didn't work so they took his daughter and him. It had no emotion attached to it. It was merely dry facts. When I read it was, "Okay, yay, but what does he mean to you? Why are you so upset about seeing him?" \~/
Paolini gives us another beautiful first line.: The butcher sat slumped against the left-hand wall, both arms chained to an iron ring above his head.
My brain is so wired into the gutter. I don't know if I should find that dirty or not. \~/
After a vivid description of Sloan:
His ragged clothes barely covered his pale, emaciated body; the corners of his bones stood out in sharp relief underneath his translucent skin. His blue veins were also prominent. Sores had formed on his wrists where the manacles chafed. The ulcers oozed a mixture of clear fluid and blood. What remained of his hair had turned gray or white and hung in lank, greasy ropes over his pockmarked face.
Where we also learn that his eyes have been pecked out, Eragon faces a conundrum where I come to the conclusion that he has no concept of Mercy.
What he then should do, Eragon could not decide. The butcher had told the Ra’zac that Eragon had found Saphira’s egg. Further -more, Sloan had murdered the watchman, Byrd, and had betrayed Carvahall to the Empire. If he were brought before his fellow villagers, they would undoubtedly find Sloan guilty and condemn him to death by hanging.
It seemed only right, to Eragon, that the butcher should die for his crimes. That was not the source of his uncertainty. Rather, it arose from the fact that Roran loved Katrina, and Katrina, whatever Sloan had done, must still harbor a certain degree of affection for her father. Watching an arbitraor publicly denounce Sloan’s offenses and then hang him would be no easy thing for her or, by extension, Roran. Such hardship might even create enough ill will between them to end their engagement. Either way, Eragon was convinced that taking Sloan back with them would sow discord between him, Roran, Katrina, and the other villagers, and might engender enough anger to distract them from their struggle against the Empire.
The easiest solution,thought Eragon, would be to kill him and say that I found him dead in the cell . . . . His lips trembled, one of the death-words heavy upon his tongue.
These are his first thoughts, perhaps they're okay, putting Sloan out of his misery and saving his family the trouble of a trial and the things it would sow. I'm not sure I would do that. Taking justice into my own hands, but that's just me, and it seems like fantasy heroes have a knack for doing that. Except Vimes, because Vimes is awesome like that. But it's not terribly horrible, in the grand scheme of things. It's just fairly typical. \~/
He even starts to feel guilty about it because of The butcher might be a despicable person, but the wealth of memories and experiences Eragon shared with him bred a sense of intimacy that troubled Eragon’s conscience. Beyond the hysterical giggles I get with the "sense of intimacy" phrase, \~/ it seems to be that Paolini is saying that Eragon shouldn't feel guilty about this. That it's a bad thing that he doesn't want to kill him. Yes, he is a despicable person but yes he is also someone that Eragon grew up with, of course he shouldn't want to kill Sloan! He's actually trying to Eragon a reasonable human being, something that all normal people would hopefully feel. But it doesn't sound right. It's rather, like, "I should feel like this" and it's very objective, almost as if he's trying to decide if he wants Sloan's meat or not.
Eragon even remembers the time when Murtagh killed a slaver in cold blood and he'd objected. He admits to himself that he'd never killed anyone except in battle (not quite true...) and wonders how he's come to this.
The humanity? It doesn't last.
Roran finally breaks Katrina free, and wants Eragon's help with getting the door away so it doesn't hurt her (something that could have been avoided if Eragon just unlocked it...) \~/ Unsure of what to do -kill him or bring him to the Varden where he'd get killed - Eragon decides to find a third path. He puts the butcher to sleep and locks the door, going to help Roran.
Roran asks what was in the cell and Eragon tells him it was Sloan, dead by the Ra'zac's hands. Roran just shrugs with a "Well it's better that way". They open the door and the Ra'zac were kind enough to leave a taper for Katrina. I don't know why... except that's what you're supposed to find in dungeon cells \~/? Yes. So, taper in the cell for no particular reason except that it's a taper in a cell to give enough light for them to see Katrina. Roran rushes over to her and they have this heart warming exchange:
Never taking her eyes off Roran, Katrina stood and, with a shaking hand, touched his cheek.
\~/ \~/ \~/
I honestly can't make this shit up. I can't. Even if I tried! I ... just am constantly amazed at the amount of unintentional innuendo that is found in these books.
There is a touching reunion scene where there is hugs and OHMGAWD ERAGON'S A RIDER?! Katrina then, naturally, wants to know what happened to her father.
“Wait! What about my father? Did you find him?”
Roran looked at Eragon, then returned his gaze to Katrina and gently said, “We were too late.”
A shiver ran through Katrina. She closed her eyes, and a solitary tear leaked down the side of her face. “So be it.”
I am sorry but a single tear? Her father is DEAD. The man who RAISED HER BY HIMSELF AND MADE SURE SHE HAD FOOD, CLOTHES AND A ROOF OVER HER HEAD IS DEAD!! You do NOT cry a single tear for that person's death. You do NOT shrug it off with a "So be it". No matter how bad of a man Sloan was, he was trying to PROTECT his daughter (if not in the best way). He cared about her THAT much that he was willing to risk his life for her, for what he thought he was doing to save her. \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/
What sort of heartless bitch just cries a single tear and shrug it off with a "so be it"?
Family members of murders still cry like babies when the murder is sent to death. They'll go and visit them in jail. It's not something that they go "Oh well" and then abandon them. She doesn't even ask to see the body to say good bye to this man not this man, her father. The man she knew her entire life. Who protected her from monsters and tended to her while she was sick... she was his LIFE. And she just leaves him. Just like that. Uncaring. Unfeeling.
What Paolini is trying to convey here is that she is sad -single tear- for what happened but is having the fortitude to move on and accepting it-so be it-. This is not how you express sorry. This is how you pretend to express sorrow, it's a token showing. \~/ \~/ \~/
While they walk back to where Saphira is, Eragon contemplates ways of handling Sloan. He comes up with an idea, "It was an outlandish concept, fraught with danger and uncertainty, but it was the only viable path, given the circumstances.</i> I can not wait to see this one. It's gonna be great to see what he thinks is the "only viable path". \~/ \~/
So they unchain Katrina from her shackles and Eragon needs to make sure she wasn't forced to swear anything in the ancient language that would hurt them, so he reads her mind. We get this interesting bit.
That was the first time Eragon had a reason to use the spells Oromis had taught him for detecting the work of another spellcaster, and he had difficulty remembering every word from the scrolls in Ellesméra. The gaps in his memory were so serious that on three different instances he had to rely upon a synonym to complete an incantation.
There is something odd here. I'm supposed to feel worried, but I'm not. Okay, so there were gaps in his memory. He managed to fix it with a synonym (something that I'm sure he's very good at) but we're not shown what might happen if it was done incorrectly or what he fears might happen if he screwed up so badly. It's more, "Oh, I couldn't remember the word for shiny so I used glittering". There's no tension here, I should be feeling it, but I'm not. It should be more, "the gaps in his memories were so serious he didn't know if he'd done the spells correctly and what it might do to her if he messed up" but in a more flowery language. \~/ \~/
Paolni seems to be unable to create any sort of tension. And I don't see anything I should care about. Big deal, he had to use another word. Why should I care? \~/
Because if he screws up in the ancient language like he did with the creepy girl child, then something bad will happen. Paolini knows this. He forgot to tell the readers this. So, we don't know why he mentioned it and I don't really care. Remember! Just because you know something doesn't mean your readers know it, unless you've put it down in the text. \~/
He finds her clear and clean and Roran is all of course she is! And they walk out, Eragon plotting and planning and putting shields and protections on Katrina. As he listens to them sweet talk it roused a dull ache of longing inside Eragon. \~/ \~/ ehhhehhe... Sorry... that's all I have to say there. ehhehheee...
Katrina does finally cry.
But not over daddy. They reach the entrance of the cave and the light hurts her eyes and she cries because she thinks she might be blind.
Her tears surprised Eragon. He remembered her as someone of great strength and fortitude. But then, she had spent many weeks locked in the dark, fearing for her life. I might not be myself either, if I were in her place .
Notice finding out her father is dead isn't on that list.
I'm sorry, but she is not coming off as a sympathetic character I want to empathize with. I'm more worried about Sloan and the fate that Eragon has in store for him. I mean he went through some bad shit and Katrina? She's relatively okay. She wasn't tortured or anything. She's perfectly unharmed. He's been tortured, his eyes pecked out, he doesn't know what's happening to him... he's still chained to the damn wall. And Eragon is deciding his fate for him. Eragon is the last person I'd want to decide my fate.
So, Katrina is introduced to Saphira. And then... and then we get this exchange.
Saphira inclined her head in return. Then she faced Eragon.I searched the Lethrblaka’s nest, but all I found was bones, bones, and more bones, including several that smelled of fresh meat. The Ra’zac must have eaten the slaves last night .
I wish we could have rescued them.
I know, but we cannot protect everyone in this war.
AOUOIF:JA"FUOIDFJ ASUFOH"ASKIU FJ:AFJSASLJJFKJHKGAJSAJFKAFSKJ"AEAEJASF:LKJASF AKFGIOKASFKJJKJG GAAAAAAAAGFFFFFFHFHHHAHAHAHHHHAAAAAGFFF
AAHHGHA HHEGHAS GHHA:JFUHA
HE HAD A FUCKING CHANCE TO RESCUE THEM HE HAD A WHOLE LONG TIME OF A FUCKING CHANCE TO RESCUE THEM!! WISHING DOESN'T MAKE YOU A HERO!! OH GEE WIZ!! YES YOU COULD HAVE RESCUED THEM YOU GREAT BIG FUCKING IDIOT OF A NON-HERO
MY HATRED FOR YOU SEETHES LIKE THE ROTTEN UNDERBELLY OF A BLOATED ZOMBIE CORPSE FLOATING IN THE MUCK OF A SWAMP AFTER A THREE DAY TORRENTIAL RAIN.
... Ladies and Gentlemen? Our hero.
I'm going to go to Montana now and practice Moose Hunting. [~]
Eragon then heals up Saphira's internal bleeding wounds with magic. Eragon certainly seems to have a lot of energy for someone who was complaining he was going to be exhausted magically the next day. I would expect him to be acting a bit more tired. He only slumps.
It's time to go! Eragon refuses to go, as he tells Saphira he has to deal with Sloan.
Saphira does not take this well at all and lunges at him, trying to grab him and make him go with her. Paolini manages to abuse another metaphor here by dragging it out to long, "He understood then how a rabbit must feel when it cowers in its den while a wolf digs after it."
And then something weird happens... in a Paolini forgot to explain what the fuck he was doing way. Eragon shouts the word, "Gánga!" Which makes Saphira leave. I don't know what this word means but it makes Saphira terribly upset. He keeps on repeating it too, saying that she needs to go away, that she shouldn't come back for him.
She's all sad like a kitten, but leaves him, and he is all sad and agonizing because of this. Paralyzing him in anguish. Saphira leaves, because of this word he keeps on shouting over and over again, promising she'll be back in a week, no matter what.
As for Eragon? How is he going to get back? He's going to run.
Okay. I'm done.
Drinks: 25 & bottle
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