This is a fun chapter. Believe me.
We shift into Nasuada's POV here, just after Roran leaves and I in the first paragraph start laughing my head off.
What a proud man,thought Nasuada as she watched Roran leave the pavilion.It’s interesting; he and Eragon are alike in so many ways, and yet their personalities are fundamentally different. Eragon may be one of the most deadly warriors in Alagaësia, but he isn’t a hard or cruel person. Roran,however, is made of sterner stuff. I hope that he never crosses me; I would have to destroy him in order to stop him .Bolding mine.
I'm sorry, I haven't seen ANY evidence to back up that statement in THREE books. THREE!! In fact this latest book puts that sentence to utter lie. \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ That is now my most favorite sentence in the entire series.
Now then. What I believe Paolini is trying to do here is make Roran a loose canon, someone with great power but isn't as... morally good *sniggers* as Eragon is. Perhaps Eragon being Lawful Good *sniggers* and Roran Chaotic Good. The thing however is that Roran has already crossed her by saying "I'm not going to listen to your orders unless it pleases me to do so", in the previous chapter and she just rolled over and took it. She is supposed to be the leader, so she should lead and said, "I'm sorry, no". If I was her, I'd keep him as far away from actually important stuff as possible. But as Roran is a main character that's not allowed. He gets a free pass to doing whatever he wants. \~/
Finally, that "I will have to destroy him in order to stop him" line is so cliche. I believe Roran used a similar version of that line in Eldest in regards to Bridget. \~/
Then we have two short paragraphs of Nasuada doing Boring Business Things. She eats breakfast - sorry has her mid-morning repast - with Elva, goes through some bills, gets on her stallion (once again proving my theory that the only horses around are stallions) Battle-Storm and checks on someone interrogating a spy from Galby's spy network the Black Hand *sniggers*. \~/
You would think this would get some examination, after all they have a SPY!! What is going with the spy?! 'Fraid not.
Then, with Elva at her side, Nasuada rode out on her stallion, Battle-storm, and met with Trianna, who had captured and was busy interrogating a member of Galbatorix’s spy network, the Black Hand.
As she and Elva left Trianna’s tent, Nasuada became aware of a commotion to the north.
Yes. That's it. I believe that the spy is actually being tortured. It's obvious that the spy has been there for a while, because we didn't hear about his capture. Also, if I remember correctly, Trianna is a magic user. I would like to know more about this prisoner. Instead... it gets nothing. Just a toss off line. To make it seem like Nasuada is busy and has lots to do. Pay the bills, check on the spy getting tortured, blah blah blah. \~/ \~/ \~/
No, the important thing here is the Elves are coming! The Elves are coming! The spell casters that the elf queen sent to help Eragon have finally arrived. She leaps back onto Battle-Storm and rides him out to the edge of the camp, some how knowing which direction they're coming from... though I suppose there could just be a certain way for them to come. Angela is there. She's always there. She has an amazing ability to always be there and be strangely with her talking, like "Besides, people always leave out important pieces of information, like whether someone’s ring finger is longer than their index finger, or whether they have magical shields protecting them, or whether the donkey they are riding happens to have a bald patch in the shape of a rooster’s head. Don’t you agree?” Quirky character is quirky. Sometimes a bit too much. \~/ The two of them banter for a bit, Nasuada complaining about Angela being mysterious and Angela being mysterious about why she's being mysterious.
Then her guards catch up with her and they're cranky. They are apparently on foot. Nasuada was on horseback. If the person you're trying to protect is on a horse, you should be on a horse. There isn't a reason for her to be on a horse in the first place. The other day when she went to see Saphira returning she didn't use a horse. But the horse running through the camp is cool and allows for this following scene. \~/
Oh... wait... apparently the Black Hand guy? Has only been there an hour. See, now THAT is definitely something we should have lingered on. That's important! But, we don't even find out it was a recent attack until we've forgotten about it since it was a throwaway line. \~/\~/ \~/
The captain, Garven, yells at her for leaving without her guard. She brushes this off. However he continues saying that even if she is safe by mysterious means, she still needs to appear safe and her Nighthawks won't be effective if she's running around without them. Which is true.
Flicking his eyes toward Elva, Garven said, “We have suspected as much, Lady.” A pause followed, as if he were hoping she would volunteer more information. When she remained silent, he forged onward: “If you were actually safe, then I was wrong to accuse you of recklessness, and I apologize. Still, safety and the appearance of safety are two different things. For the Nighthawks to be effective, we have to be the smartest, toughest, meanest warriors in the land, and people have to believe that we’re the smartest, the toughest, and the meanest. They have to believe that if they try to stab you or shoot you with a crossbow or use magic against you, that we will stop them. If they believe they have about as much chance of killing you as a mouse does a dragon, then they may very well give up the idea as hopeless, and we will have averted an attack without ever having to lift a finger.
“We cannot fight all your enemies, Lady Nasuada. That would take an army. Even Eragon couldn’t save you if all who want you dead had the courage to act upon their hatred. You might survive a hundred “We cannot fight all your enemies, Lady Nasuada. That would take an army. Even Eragon couldn’t save you if all who want you dead had the courage to act upon their hatred. You might survive a hundred attempts on your life or a thousand, but eventually one would succeed. The only way to keep that from happening is to convince the majority of your enemies that they will never get past the Nighthawks. Our reputation can protect you just as surely as our swords and our armor. It does us no good, then, for people to see you riding off without us. No doubt we looked a right bunch of fools back there, frantically trying to catch up. After all, if you do not respect us, Lady, why should anyone else?”
I like that. It sounds reasonable, for once. This is one of the reasons to have guards to prevent attacks as well as to stop them once they have them. I can't believe we have something reasonable here! Not only that, but Nasuada agrees with him! Amazing!
See, I wish more logical things like this happened in the book. Nasuada and him talk about a motto for the Nighthawks, "The smartest, toughest and meanest" though it's thought to be a vulgar but they're going to come up with something nice. After all they're going to be hanging out with all sorts of dignitaries so they don't want to frighten them and give them the wrong impression. Even though they're guards trying to protect her and frighten people.
Also, Garven is apparently "eloquent". Everyone is eloquent in Eragon land! Really. It's annoying. \~/
And then the elves arrive.
The one in charge? Is a furry. \~/ \~/ \~/
When he was still several hundred feet away, the lead elf appeared soot-black from head to toe. At first Nasuada assumed he was dark-skinned, like herself, and wearing dark attire, but as he drew closer, she saw that the elf wore only a loincloth and a braided fabric belt with a small pouch attached. The rest of him was covered with midnight-blue fur that glistened with a healthy sheen under the glare of the sun. On average, the fur was a quarter-inch long—a smooth, flexible armor that mirrored the shape and movement of the underlying muscles—but on his ankles and the undersides of his forearms, it extended a full two inches, and between his shoulder blades, there was a ruffled mane that stuck out a hands breadth from his body and tapered down along his back to the base of his spine. Jagged bangs shadowed his brow, and catlike tufts sprouted from the tips of his pointed ears, but otherwise the fur on his face was so short and flat, only its color betrayed its presence. His eyes were bright yellow. Instead of fingernails, a claw protruded from each of his middle fingers. And as he slowed to a stop before her, Nasuada noticed that a certain odor surrounded him: a salty musk reminiscent of dry juniper wood, oiled leather, and smoke. It was such a strong smell, and so obviously masculine, Nasuada felt her skin go hot and cold and crawl with anticipation, and she blushed and was glad it would not show.
Ehheheeeheeee... eheeheeheee....hheeeeheee.... *snrks*
Pheromones. eheeeheee...heheeee... heeheee...eee And he only has two claws, one on each middle finger... *sniggers* And... and... he's BLUE... heee...eheheeehee... healthy sheen... *giggles* Kitty Elf! *giggles*
Manly musk. *giggles* \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/
Where was I...? Right. Furry Elf. Notice that Furry has a pheromone coming off of him that attracts a woman to him. It's not his good looks *sniggers* or his charm or his personality that draws Nasuada to him, but his pheromones. \~/ \~/ He smells good. \~/ And it's a reaction that Nasuada can't control so it's not like she has a choice in being attracted to him, the musk *sniggers* \~/ grabs her and makes her attracted to him. Which gives him an unfair advantage. Likely he'll be able to get any woman he wants because of his smell. No one ever seems to be getting any action because of personality or just "clicking". They all seem to have some sort of magic draw power or they're forced together (Roran and Katrina). Since they are all flat characters, they don't have a chance to actually form relationships and instead are given things that bypass normal relationship building, which is tedious and boring.
Furry's name is "Blödhgarm, son of Ildrid the Beautiful". The last part of the name- "hgarm"- reminds me of the sound my cat makes before hacking something unpleasant up on the floor. \~/ Continuing, if all elves can change the way they look, what makes one get the appellation, "beautiful"? Especially if they can end up looking like one another, I'm sure. But these addendums to names is very common in fantasy land, so obviously, even if it doesn't make any sense with the culture, there have to be someone. \~/
The peace loving, vegan, hippie elves have taken over that human city the queen was talking about. Furry promises that any resistance will be futile and dealt with harshly, like the wind blowing away leaves in a storm. There is a hurrah there. \~/
We learn that with the twelve elves, Eragon and Saphira nothing should be able to stand in their way except Galby. There's an issue with these sort of statements, like well, what do we do when they're proven to be wrong? And if twelve are so powerful? What about twenty? If the elves are so powerful then why did they allow Galby to takeover? Lots of fun questions like that. \~/ \~/ Of course, I still haven't figured out how Galby managed to take out the entire Dragon Rider society with just thirteen other people.
I mean, in Star Wars, the Emperor had been planning it for years! Long before Anakin was born. And when he did finally attack the Jedi, he made sure they were completely overwhelmed with no real opportunity to fight back. But here, Galby was out-numbered hugely and he managed to win. And THEN the forsworn some how managed to die, for undisclosed reasons, so the power structures and levels are seriously out of whack. Among other things. \~/
Nasuada then has Captain Garven mind-meld with the elves to see if they are who they say they are. Because normal people would want to run around as a furry. She does not, let it be noted, have one of her trained magicians or Angela do it, but instead one of her guards. The captain of her guards. When Angela calls her on this, Nasuada says, well, maybe I shouldn't have. Her reasons for not wanting Angela to do it? Because she doesn't like relying on her for official business. If that's the case, Angela should be no where near there, as greeting dignitaries is official business. \~/ \~/ Nasuada is a terrible leader with no control over any of her special subjects.
The mind meld leaves Garven addled in the head which makes her sorrowful for her loss and (utterly unnecessary) sacrifice, for which she bitches out Furry for. And he's "Well, I told you so". Which he did... in typical elf metaphorical round about fashion. "Our trees have needles and tend to prick or something or another..." \~/ She's going to have to get Garven on short bus job duty until -if -he recovers. She actually says something to that effect.
The pheromones attack Nasuada again, and Elva tells her to think of horehound, a type of candy. Some reason this works. I'm not sure why. \~/ We then learn why Furry is a furry.
A shiny ripple flowed through Blödhgarm’s fur as he shrugged. “This shape pleased me,” he said. “Some write poems about the sun and the moon, others grow flowers or build great structures or compose music. As much as I appreciate those various art forms, I believe that true beauty only exists in the fang of a wolf, in the pelt of the forest cat, in the eye of an eagle. So I adopted those attributes for myself. In another hundred years, I may lose interest in the beasts of the land and instead decide that the beasts of the sea embody all that is good, and then I will cover myself with scales, transform my hands into fins and my feet into a tail, and I will vanish beneath the surface of the waves and never again be seen in Alagaësia
Translation: "I thought it looked cool". \~/ \~/ \~/
Second: I hope he does turn into a fishy. \~/
Third: I wonder if he'll be attracting all sorts of fish with his pheromones if he does go fishy. \~/
Fourth: Are there any mermaids...\~/
Fifth: Why did I even think that one? \~/
Nasuada cracks a small joke about how she hopes he doesn't decide to become a fish soon and all the elves laugh. And the whole world laughs with them.
Without warning, the twelve elves filled the air with their clear, bright laughter, and birds for over a mile in every direction burst into song. The sound of their mirth was like water falling on crystal. Nasuada smiled without meaning to, and around her she saw similar expressions on the faces of her guards. Even the two Urgals seemed giddy with joy. And when the elves fell silent and the world became mundane again, Nasuada felt the sadness of a fading dream. A film of tears obscured her vision for a clutch of heartbeats, and then that too was gone.
The water falling on crystal imagery? Doesn't work. I get "plink plink plink" noises. I wonder if Paolini has ever even heard water falling on crystal. Second, it's an entire race of SUES!!! The land sings when they do and it's so beautiful that people cry when it stops. I get a vague impression for just a fleeting moment of everyone laughing when the elves do because they don't want to piss the elves off and have them do bad things to them. Just my thought. \~/ \~/
Furry offers to teach Nasuada a game called, cleverly, Runes saying she'd make a wonderful opponent. Paolini may have been reading Pratchett for Nasuada adds this thought in regards to the elves:
The elves’ sudden shift in behavior reminded her of a word she had occasionally heard the dwarves use to describe them:capricious . It had seemed a harmless enough description when she was a girl—it reinforced her concept of the elves as creatures who flitted from one delight to another, like fairies in a garden of flowers—but she now recognized that what the dwarves really meant was Beware! Beware, for you never know what an elf will do.
Elves are terrific, they create terror. The elves are no longer hippies but instead... militant hippies. That bud. \~/
A bunch of other people, including Saphira and King Orrin with his lackeys suddenly decide to show up and oogle the elves. Nasuada says they've never seen so many before.
Her last thought in the chapter is that she may have put guards around Furry to keep women from tearing him apart. Or she could ask him to turn down the pheromones. But it's just made for point because it's cool and it gives Furry "character". Honestly, though, it's just physical qualities that used here to give him personality, as opposed to an actual personality. And the other eleven elves? They don't even get names, move or anything. They just stand there why Furry talks. They're even described as looking like normal elves. Thus Paolini is creating the great redshirt divide. They're nameless, they don't get much description beyond they all looked the same, and they don't get any lines. THUS we automatically know they're NPCs and don't have to worry about them. In fact Gavren only had trouble with Furry's mind, the others being much easier, truly proving that they are, in fact, not important and just there for show. \~/ \~/ \~/ \~/
They'll probably die. \~/
|Previous ~*~ Home ~*~ Next|