Butting Heads Edit
Roran is not dead.
Despite the fact that it's only been about four days since the flogging he's still up and around, even killing soldiers. He is only stiff and sore from the flogging he had endured and he did not want to exert himself any more than necessary, for fear of cracking the mat of scabs that covered his back. In fact it seems like his biggest problem is not the fact that he should be dead but instead that the urgals and the humans are being stiff with each other. They haven't broken out into a fight, just yet. Mind you, there hasn't been any indication that Roran is on any sort of pain medication or well, anything to indicated that he nearly got flogged to death. In fact it just sounds like he got a really massive scraping on his back. Kind of like what you get when you fall down and skin your knee. I mean, stories are that sailors who got flogged half as long died even while resting. I say stories because I'm too lazy to look up actual sources.
Clearly, Roran is a zombie.
It's the only explanation.
How else do we explain the fact that he's up and shambling around when he should be dead? Nasuada must be a necromancer and realizing that having Roran dead was a bad idea and so raised him from the dead.
They had just ambushed a supply caravan - the urgals in front and the Varden coming over a ridge in a way that I bet was rather like Eomer's return in the Helm's Deep battle in Paolini's head.
Things were going well until Roran discovers that the four of the urgals are playing poke the prisoner.
Yes, they took prisoners.
Why? So that the urgals can poke them and then Roran can make a Big Speech. (A big speech after he puts the prisoner out of his misery
From between clenched teeth, Roran said, "So long as you are under my command, you will not torture captives without cause. A I understood? Many of these soldiers have been forced to serve Galbatorix against their will. Many of them are our friends or family or neighbors, and while we must fight them, I will not have you treat them with unnecessary cruelty. If not for the whims of fate, any one of us humans might be standing in their place. They are not our enemy; Galbatorix is, as he is yours."
That is certainly a lot more compassion than Eragon "I'll just snap your neck because it's too much trouble to deal with you, don't worry it hurts me than it hurts you" Shadeslayer ever showed. But the only reason why Roran gives this righteous speech is to A. Show how much better he is than the urgals. B. To probably make a point about what's going on in Gauntanimo/torture in general C. Because that's what Military Heroes Do.
Also, so that the urgal can challenge Roran for leadership of the tribe - because the urgals are so dumb they can't understand what a military unit is. They think of everything in terms of tribes, clearly this is what this is. Because... um.
Yeah. I've got no good reason for why they wouldn't understand what a military unit is. If they have warriors and things like that and scouts and are a Military Fighting Type People. Surely they would understand how things work.
Oh, wait, I forgot they gain 'rank' by killing/defeating whoever is in charge ahead of them.
Also, if the urgal didn't we couldn't have Roran fighting it
Roran "he who has been flogged nearly to death and shouldn't be even walking around much less fighting and leading a raid and is really a zombie" is going to fight an urgal.
Because that's how you do it apparently.
Oh I forgot.
They're also going to be covered in bear grease.
They apparently carry bear grease around with them on the off chance that they'll need to get naked and wrestle with each other to the death or to the 'say uncle'.
There is nothing at all homoerotic about that.
Especially when the fight lasts for four pages.
Sadly there doesn't seem to be any 'good bits' but Roran and the urgal do end up locked together in a tight embrace for a good ten minutes, the urgal flexing underneath Roran, struggling and writhing and flopping.
The urgal eventually gives up. He wants Roran to kill him, but Roran refuses saying that he will be able to say he was beaten by Roran, Eragon's cousin and there's no shame in that. I wonder if there would be shame in getting defeated by Eragon's socks?
Does he wear socks?
But you know what I mean.
Apparently greatness is all relative. As in who your relatives are. In this case it's Eragon. And it will pan out too, later.
As for Roran and his back?
He's fine. Even though he got banged around all over the place for who knows how long, at least an hour, he's fine. He's not even writing in agony or asking for pain killers. I don't think I've seen anyone around here ask for pain killers. No one needs them! Slice up your arm? Just bandage it up! Tear up your back? Just bandage it up! Pain killers?! Who needs them?
Bah. So Roran's traumatic Whipping has absolutely no lasting effect on him beyond making his back itch and sore. He's not crippled in anyway from having to leave his bed to early or anything.
Next chapter we learn about Eragon's Traumatic Past.
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