The Tree of Life Edit

So, they figure that brightsteel is what Serious Ass was talking about when it came to the weapon under the tree, they just have to find it.

But first they go off to Oromis.

Saphira and Glaedr hang out together, "Enjoying the pleasure of each other's presence" up in the sky. If you know what I mean.

Meanwhile Oromis teaches Eragon how to teleport an object. If you know what I mean.

As Oromis says.

"Most forms of magic," said Oromis, "Require ever more energy to sustain as the distance between you and your target increases. However, that is not the case in this particular instance. It would require the same amount of energy to send the rock in my hand to the other side of that stream as it would to send it all the way to the Southern Isles. For that reason, the spell is most useful when you need to transport an item with magic across a distance so vast, it would kill you to move it normally through space. Even so, it is a demanding spell, and you should only resort to it if all else has failed. To shift something as large as Saphira's egg, for example, would leave you too exhausted to move."

It still has to be safer than riding across the continent with an egg where someone can ambush you. If you know what I mean.

I'm just saying. If you know what I mean.

If you start somewhere safe and can send the object anywhere you want over any amount of distance to somewhere else safe there's less chance of the egg ending up in the wrong hands. If you know what I mean. I just don't think Paolini figured that part out when he wrote the first book or it just wouldn't be as dramatic if he did it that way, if you know what I mean.

The rest of the lesson is trunchated into two paragraphs. If you know what I mean. Eragon is to busy trying to figure out what to do about the tree while he pays attention to the lesson. If you... I think I'm going to stop that.

When they're done Oromis wants to know if he and Saphira will stay much longer since Lord Fiolr's sword doesn't work for them.

If we recall, the entire reason why they -Eragon and Saphira- came to the elves this time around, was to finish their training. They needed to learn more so that they can defeat Galby. They needed to get more information. More magic spells. Etc. etc. etc. Sword? Not so much. Yet now the sword is the most important reason why Eragon is there. My guess is that Paolini couldn't figure out exactly what sort of things he needed to show to have a training sequence but needed to have him go back to the elves so that we could see Oromis, much like Luke went back to Dagobah to see Yoda to finish his training. Other than that, there doesn't seem to be any reason for this entire section. It could be said that there's Serious Ass's prophecy or needing to get a new sword, but those could have been handled in different ways.

And besides, what is continuity from several chapters ago have to do with anything? The important things were accomplished: Eragon learned that Brom was his father, he learned the teleport spell and he's going to get his new sword. What else does he need? Clearly he has everything he needs to defeat Galby. He doesn't need any other training. Or something. I don't know. He says there's one more thing he'd like to do before leaving. Oromis says, fine come back here before you leave.

They then go back to the menoa tree. This time Eragon is going to try and commune with the tree and ask it to give him stuff.

Summoning all his resources, Eragon flung a mental shout at the Menoa tree. Please, listen to me, O great tree! I need your help! The entire land is at war, the elves have left the safety of DuWeldenvarden, and I do not have a sword to fight with! The werecat Solembum told me to look under the Menoa tree when I needed a weapon. Well, that time has come! Please, listen to me, O mother of the forest! Help me in my quest! While he spoke, Eragon pressed against the tree's consciousness images of Thorn and Murtagh and the armies of the Empire. Adding several more memories to the mix, Saphira bolstered his efforts with the force of her own mind.

You know what? This reminds me of those kids standing outside the toy stores with their noses pressed up against the windows saying 'I want I want I want OOOH SHINY GIMMIE!!!" Notice that Eragon never says who he is or why he deserves the weapon under the tree? For all the tree knows he's just some random elf or something. What makes him worthy of the weapon? What does the tree know of the Empire or Murtagh? It's a tree. It hasn't been touched, as far as I know.

And it's a tree.

I might as well go stand out in front of Random House books and call out to it, "Please, listen to me O great book publisher! I need to be published! The entire land is filled with bad books and worse and I do not have an agent! I was told to come to you so that you might publish my book when I was ready! Well the time has come! Please, listen to me, O publisher of books! Help me get published!" Besides likely getting myself arrested, I don't think it would do much good.

They continue to plead with the tree.

It's a tree. It does nothing.

Then Saphira gets frustrated. She declares that she will not be ignored, not even by a tree.

She then breathes fire on it.

Just a few pages ago, Saphira says that if any creature tried to harm the tree they probably wouldn't live long afterward.

Now she breathes fire on it.

Which, I would say, is harming the tree.

Clearly she doesn't remember her own advice. Or she doesn't have any respect for this tree, this great big wonderful holy type object of the elves who protected her while she was in her egg and are now protecting her. Clearly her wants are more important than respecting things around her because she doesn't have the patience to try and figure out another way.

What this scene is supposed to be, I think, is the scene where the hero is fighting against something and declares "I won't let this puny XYZ stop me!!!" And pull out some magnificent piece of strength or feat of magic and succeed at whatever it is they were doing. Usually it doesn't involve destroying a national treasure of an ally though. Or the protection of a forest. Or you know, something good. Unless you're evil.

Though, if you think about it, technically Saphira is only about two years old, if that. And this is something that a two year old would do. Throw a temper tantrum when they don't get what they want.

So, Saphira harms an ancient and respected living artifact of the elves because it won't talk to her. The idea of using a spell to find the brightsteel or weapon never occurs to them. You know like a dosuing rod or a find me spell or Accio Brightsteel!. That way they wouldn't have to you know attack the tree with the murdering elf spirit inside of it!

Of course it is incredibly less dramatic that way.

The two of them are captured in the Tree's roots and it wants to know who bit and burned it so it can know the names of those that it killed.Why does it care? Does it keep a list somewhere? Well Eragon gives the tree their names, "Eragon Shadeslayer and Saphira Brightscales"

On a tangent, why do they call her brightscales. Don't all dragons have bright scales? Maybe it's like Smith.

The Tree is Okay, nice knowing you. Eragon is all "WAIT I'm not done naming us!" He doesn't name them any more though. Instead he says that he's the last free dragon rider and she's the last female dragon and the only ones who can destroy Galby. The tree wants to know why Saphira hurt it. But it sighs as it asks it. "Why did you hurt me, dragon?" the voice sighed. Why is the tree sighing? What in that statement would require sighing? I think it's more of a demanding than a sighing statement. Unless the tree is trying to roll its eyes.

Can a tree roll its eyes. Maybe knots in its trunk?

Saphria says that she attacked the tree because it wasn't answering them and they needed the weapon from under it. Tree says that there isn't a weapon. Eragon says we think it means brightsteel. The tree checks, moving its roots all around and causing all the elves to come running. Because apparently no one noticed when the dragon started breathing fire on the tree. They're all staring at Eragon and Saphira but not moving to help them.

Maybe they're hoping that the tree will kill them?

Anyway, There is a piece of brightsteel in the edge of the tree roots, but Eragon and Saphria ain't going to get it because they attacked the tree. Eragon pleads with the tree not to kill them and to give them the metal. The tree says its going to kill them because Saphira breathes fire and fires must be extinguished. Eragon's all But she's the last female dragon! And if we can't stop Galby he'll come and destroy your forests! The tree says he can't destroy an entire forest and if he tries, it'll kill him.

For some reason Eragon wants to know if the energy they gave the tree is enough to repair its wounds.

The tree instead probes Eragon's thoughts.

It finds nothing.

Okay. No it wants to know what Eragon is because it's never seen anything like him before. He says that he's neither an elf nor a human but something in between.

So, he's a half elf?

The tree hasn't seen those before? Apparently not.

Okay then.

The tree wants to know why the blood oath celebration changed him. So he can become more of a Gary Stu so he can better defeat Galby. He then says they'll heal the trunk and wound if they can have the brightsteel. I would have said, you can not die if you heal it. The tree does not. It asks if Eragon will give it what it wants in exchange for the brightsteel. He says yes. It doesn't say what it wants. It never does. It just gives him the brightsteel and tells him to bugger off.

That's another pretty piss poor deal going here.

What if it's his life the tree wants when he's done with everything? Mmm? I mean what sort of idiot agrees to such a deal without knowing what's on the other end of it.

... wait. Sorry. I forgot. This is Eragon. He does this all the time. Terminal Plot stupidity. Anyway, they got the stone, all the elves are staring at them and Saphira is all, "Maybe attacking the tree wasn't such a good idea."

Ya think?

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