So, you remember that chapter where we spent a godly amount of time traveling? Paolini takes care of it in the first sentence of this chapter, "On the fourth day after leaving Farthen Dur, Eragon and Saphira arrived in Ellesmera." Thus rendering the entire Among the Clouds chapter pointless as he just summed up in one sentence what happened in that chapter. And he did it much more efficiently. Save a hell of a lot of trees at least. The next two pages are of Eragon flying over the elf land with lots of description. He gets permission to pass into the city from "Gilderien the Wise" wielder of the "White Flame of Vandil". Which is not at all like Gandalf wielder of the white flame of Anur.
Nope. Not at all.
I like how they have the gatekeeper to the city way inside the forest instead of you know, at the gates.
Because that's like having the boarder control people inside the city of San Diego, instead of you know, at the border. It doesn't really do any good to try and stop the dragon at the gates once you've let him into the city.
As long as they keep the peace they're allowed inside the city.
Description of trees. Description of houses. Description of Saphira flapping her wings twice. Yes, it does say twice, because we really need to know how many times she flapped her wings to gain more altitude.
Finally, after two pages, we get to where Yoda and his dragon are. Eragon tumbles off Saphira, exhausted and has yellow foam drying on the corners of her mouth.
SHE'S FOAMING AT THE MOUTH! SHE'S RABID! QUICK GET THE SHOT GUN! PUT HER OUT OF OUR... I MEAN HER MISERY! IT'S THE KINDEST THING TO DO!!!
Eragon does not get yelled at for letting her get to that state. Instead Glaedr breathes fire on her. She does not burn up and die, sadly. Instead it gives her an energy boost and she gets to go and shuffle off to eat Glaedr's leftovers. Eragon gets something to eat as well. Yoda says they're not going to talk about what's brought Eragon there until Saphira joins them.
Yoda also informs him that he knows everything that's been happening at the Varden because Arya has been telling her mother and then every three days the queen has sent a runner back to the forest. I guess they can't use the magical scrying water bowls? Oh wait, now I remember, they can't scry into the forest, if I recall correctly.
Silly. Silly elves. Trying to be secure, but not doing a very good job at it.
They get on the topic of Elva. Yoda says that Eragon has paid his debt to her, even though she still feels people's pain. See, now Eragon's magic doesn't force her to feel other people's pain, so he paid his debt to her. Um...
I thought it was to remove the curse entirely.
But why should Eragon be bothered by such silly things as responsibilities to people. Or completing them even? He made an effort and that's what counts!
I think this is a great insight into Paolini's mind and how he thinks. And even how he's raised. Oromis is a parental figure for Eragon, his teacher even. Someone who teaches him right from wrong, etc. etc. etc. He's just told Eragon that it's okay to just do something half assed. As long as you make the effort and try your hardest that's what matters. Not actually finishing the job or you know, re-editing and stuff. Or doing it right, doing it over again until you get it right.
Just because you tried means you did right.
He then moves on to learn what is in Eragon's heart. Why it is so heavy. He promises to answer all the questions the best he can.
"What," Eragon said, "If I don't know the right questions to ask?"
A twinkle appeared in Oromis's gray eyes. "Ah, you begin to think like an elf. You must trust us as your mentors to teach you and Saphira those things of which you are ignorant. And you must also trust us to decide when it is appropriate to broach those subjects, for there are many elements of your training that should not be spoken of out of turn."
Is it just me or did that sound like Yoda telling Eragon to not ask questions and just take whatever he got fed with the idea that Teacher Knows Best? Reinforcing the previous actions of not exploring or examining things, because if it's important someone will tell him. He doesn't have to work for answers, they'll be given to him. And if he doesn't get the information, clearly it wasn't important. Which is a terrible way to live your life, at least I think so.
From there, Eragon throws a snit fit, with an actual sort of reasonable response, even though it comes out of nowhere at Oromis. He's pissed off that Oromis knew who his father was but never told him. However, we haven't even seen Eragon brooding over that fact except since he talked to Jeod waaaaaay back in Gifts of Gold. He's never even mentioned or thought of Oromis knowing about who his parents were, who his father was. It comes completely out of the blue.
So Paolini can drop the Big Revelation.
A big revelation that they couldn't tell Eragon unless his life was in danger by the identity of one of his relatives or he figured it out on his own. Sadly Eragon is too dumb to figure it out on his own.
Our big reveal?
Brom is Eragon's father.
The problem is, it comes completely out nowhere. There's no reason for us to think that Brom is Eragons' father. There's no reason for him to be Eragon's father. His father being Morzan is fine enough. It adds character angst for Eragon of will I be like my father. Can I over come my father's past and blood, etc etc etc. There's no lead up. All of a sudden Eragon is pissed off at Oromis. He's never said anything about needing to get Answers from him in regards to this subject. He's never thought about it. It's not crossed his mind once.
This makes the entire reveal feel forced.
Paolini wanted to make the reveal. He wanted Brom to be Eragon's father, but he had no idea how to put it in to the narrative in a coherent and concise manner. So, like everything else, he ham-handedly dropped it in. Dropped it in a way he thought would be dramatic and have emotional impact. Except you can't have emotional impact if you don't lead up to it.
Eragon has this entire rant about how he can't trust Oromis any more even,
"Is that why you and Brom trained me, to be nothing more than a weapon against Galbatorix so that I may atone for the villainy of my father? Is that all I am to you, a balancing of the scales?" Before Oromis could respond, Eragon swore and said, "My whole life has been a lie! Since the moment I was born, no one but Saphira has wanted me: not my mother, not Garrow, not Aunt Marian, not even Brom. Brom showed interest in me only because of Morzan and Saphira. I have always been an inconvenience. Whatever you think of me, though, I am not my father, nor my brother, and I refuse to follow in their footsteps." Placing his hands on the edge of the trable, Eragon leaned foreward. "I 'm not about to betray the elves or the dwarves or the Varden to Galbatorix, if that's what you are worried about. I will do what I must, but from now on, you have neither my loyalty nor my trust. I will not -"
First off, I don't recall Eragon ever expressing any sort of angst about not being wanted. Not in two and eight tenths worth of books has Eragon ever expressed any sort of hint or desire thinking that he was an inconvenience. He even calls Garrow his father figure. The same with Brom, who also appeared to have paid attention to him in the beginning, even before he had Saphira. Eragon is the one who called Brom the crazy old story teller and felt weird around him. So, this entire outburst of angst is completely wrong and contradicting what's happened before. However, it needs to be there for the dramatic reveal to have impact.
It's as if Paolini writes these scenes with what they need to have and then drops them in without bridging them together.
Next. We get to know how Eragon Was Conceived.
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