Souls of Stone Edit

Eragon's apparently finished his soup because he's pushing away his empty bow. Oromis asks if he'd like to see a fairth of his mother. If we remember, a fairth is a picture of someone made with magic that shows exactly how a person percieves whatever it is they're looking at. It's put on pieces of slate. Actually it's on a shingle of slate. A shingle being a piece of something -in this case slate- that is used to roof things. It is also slang in Australia, according to, for being crazy. Now, I have to explanations for why the word shingle is used. One: Brom used an actual shingle to make the picture on, because it was what he had at hand. Two; Paolini used the word shingle because it's almost exactly what he wants to describe and he doesn't want to actually use an ordinary word to describe what it is. A piece of slate. It's more than that. It's a shingle of slate.

Here's what he sees.

With an effort, he turned the slate over and beheld an image - clear as a vision seen through a window- of a garden of red and white roses lit by the pale rays of dawn. A gravel path ran through the beds of roses. And in the middle of the path was a woman, kneeling, cupping a white rose between her hands and spelling the flower, her eyes closed and a faint smile upon her lips. She was very beautiful, Eragon thought. Her expression was soft and tender, yet she wore clothes of padded leather, with blackened bracers upon her forearms and greaves upon her shins and a sword and dagger hanging from her waist. In the shape of her face, Eragon could detect a hint of his own features, as well as a certain resemblance to Garrow, her brother.

Minor nitpick: How does he know if it's sunset or sunrise? Second minor nitpick: Usually looking through windows - if there is glass- isn't so clear. Is there glass?

What? No long lengthy description of her hair? Or her eyes? The color of her skin? Exacting details of her clothes? The exact size of her boobs. How she's sitting? It's not even a fool paragraph of description! How disappointing. I bet if she were a man we would have gotten much more detail.

Then again, if she were a man, there'd be some very interesting things to wonder about. I bet it would explain a lot.

There's a an actual sort of tender moment when Eragon reaches out to touch the picture, wishing that he could reach into it and touch her arm.

The fairth is put away and Eragon asks, in a round about way, how come Murtagh is more powerful than him. Well, what he actually says, "The two times we have fought Murtagh and Thorn, Murtagh has been more powerful than any human ought to be"

What does that make Roran? Is killing two hundred soldiers something that normal humans can do? And what about learning all that stuff that Eragon did in the first book?

But basically this is him whining, "Why is Murtagh more powerful than me! Give me something to level up!!!"

It turns out that Murtagh and Galby have a serious power source. The hearts of dragons.

See a bunch of dragons have become liches. But without being able to reform their bodies.

Unlike with most creatures, he said,A dragon's consciousness does not reside solely within our skulls. There is in our chests a hard, gemlike object, similar in composition to our scales, called the Eldunari, which means "the heart of hearts". When a dragon hatches, their Eldunari is clear and lusterless. Usually it remains so all through a dragon's life and dissolves along with the dragon's corpse when they die. However, if we wish, we can transfer our consciousness into the Eldunari. Then it will acquire the same color as our scales and begin to glow like a coal. If a dragon has done this, the Eldunari will outlast the decay of their flesh, and a dragon's essence may live on indefinitely. Also, a dragon can disgorge their Eldunari while they are still alive. By this means, a dragon's body and a dragon's consciousness can exist separately and yet still be linked, which can be most useful in certain circumstances. But to do this exposes us to great danger, for whosoever hold our Eldunari holds our very soul in their hands. With it, they could force us to do their bidding, no matter how vile.

Now, I clearly have been watching too much Mythbusters while reading this, because the first thing that popped into my head was, "Today on Mythbusters! Is the mysterious Heart of Hearts really clear and lusterless before you impart your consciousness into it?" Adam revs up a chainsaw, "Let's find out!"

But seriously this is a very interesting thing that is being stated. Dragons have either dissected each other or have some sort of magical who-si-what-sit to know what's going on in their bodies. They must have experimented on it some how. Saphira says she never mentioned it because it would be like mentioning she had a liver or a stomach. (Or because Paolini just made it up. =D ) So it's clearly something that had to be studied at some point. It's what sets humanity apart from other creatures. The desire to poke things with a stick and see what happens. How do we know what the heart does? We poked it with a stick. What parts of the brain does what? We're poking it with a stick.

Hamsters? They know they have cheek pouches. But what they look like? I doubt they know. Humans? Have poked it with a stick. Dragons also must have poked it with a stick because Gladaer says that wild dragons teach young dragons about the thingy in the wild. How did they learn so much about it?

Well, like I said, either they poked it with a stick or magically know about it. The problem here is that the intelligence level of wild dragons seems to be horribly inconsistent. At times they were wild animals with no language that waged warfare with the elves until Eragon (the first) bonded with a dragon. And other times they're clearly sophisticated enough to have poked their innards with a stick, even though their still called wild dragons.

Which makes me start to wonder, if the non-ridered dragons are "wild" what are the dragons with riders? Civilized? Captive? Enslaved? "Wild' is a very loaded word in this situation. Especially since not all dragons had riders. They willingly gave up their eggs to bond with the elves and humans. So that would make them captive? Or enslaved? Domesticated? Was a wild dragon's egg better than a domesticated dragon's egg?

Another interesting thing is that Saphira did not think that her thingy was anything of note, again like her stomach, until Glaedr mentioned it. So, how did the first dragons realize it was special until they poked it with a stick. Which likely means they must have either experimented on themselves or each other, as it is an organ unique to dragon-kind. They couldn't use rats or humans. Which makes me wonder how they got dragons to volunteer.

The reason why no one told Eragon about them is that they -the riders- keep it hidden from the younger riders and dragons so that the dragons don't foolishly give up their hearts to their riders to impress them or something.

The dragons, before they made their pact with the elves, used to keep their hearts in the center of the Hadarac desert, in the mountains there.

There are mountains there?

  • checks map*

Yes. There are mountains. Tiny ones, that don't even get names.

Why would they take their hearts out of themselves and keep them in a cave before they had riders?

I'm just so confused as to the purpose of this organ.

What possible purpose would an organ have that when taken out leaves you completely vulnerable to any sort of evil that touches it? And why would you even ... disgorge it then. Especially if you don't think it's worth anything. Which is apparently as noteworthy as a stomach or an appendix.

A humming bird shows up and drinks the juice of a crushed berry on the table.

It then flies off.

This incident stops all conversation for a moment.

  • twiddles thumbs*

They don't comment on it or anything. Eragon doesn't ponder how ... I have no idea... it's just there. And gone.

Oromis says that Galby went about collecting these hearts and bending them to his will. Lots of dragons and their riders would carry the hearts of other dragons becuase they get bored sitting around in a shelf all day for hundreds of years, so they would get to go on field trips.

Right, so again, what purpose does it serve?

Sometimes, apparently they do it by accident.

The ones who chose to do it were older than beyond measure and the problems of the flesh didn't bother them any more. Which happens when you get old and wise I guess. It seems like that happens to a lot of creatures when they get old they don't get bothered by the fleshy problems. Like aching joints, lack of teeth, weakness, being unable to see well, being unable to hear well. None of that bothers them. They just decide that they're going to become a gem and sit around unable to do anything. They can't see unless they're being touched by someone with eyes...etc. They can't do magic. They exist as advice dispensers.

And they're stuck like this forever. Unless some sort of inspiration to use magic to set themselves free over comes them, or they convince someone to break the heart of hearts for them. Which is why dragons are wary of putting themselves in it.

... but... I ...

Again why would you do it then?

What purpose does it even serve!?

I mean besides as Energizer batteries for Galby.

I don't know.

My head hurts.

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