Fire in the Sky pt.1 Edit

Watching the incoming army plus the apparently not so angry Murtagh and Thorn, Arya says that their defenses won't hold and that they need to meet the soldiers on the battle field. Which is funny because I thought a minute ago they said their defenses were fine. Apparently Murtagh's presence in fighting Eragon will make it so that the soldiers will be able beat their defenses. Even though Murtagh will be busy fighting Eragon. This sudden change of tactics is probably so Paolini can write himself a nice battle with Orrin's Calvary attacking and things like that. We'll have to see, of course. Arya's reasoning for attacking them is the following:

The lines of Arya’s face tightened. “Your prowess is without compare, Your Majesty. I do not doubt it. But listen: this is a trap set for Eragon and Saphira. They ”—she flung an arm toward the rising figures of Thorn and Murtagh—“have come to capture Eragon and Saphira and spirit them away to Urû’baen.Galbatorix would not have sent so few men unless he was confident they could keep the Varden occupied long enough for Murtagh to overwhelm Eragon. Galbatorix must have placed spells on those men, spells to aid them in their mission. What those enchantments might be, I do not know, but of this I am certain: the soldiers are more than they appear, and we must prevent them from entering this camp.”

So they're going to send their men into the battle field with a force that is likely much stronger than theirs so that they could get slaughtered instead of holding their position where they know their enemy will strike and they have protections and they maybe could fireball the forces with those mages they have, even the non-elf ones. Really, I think they should just lob fireballs at the group.

I've said that before, haven't I?

There is some discussion of why they're being attacked and it not being a surprise attack and whether or not Eragon should go fight Murtagh. It's kinda hard to surprise someone with a fairly large group of people so I don't think there would be any way to make it a surprise attack. Unless they were all invisible. That'd be kinda cool actually. An invisible army that manages to get inside your defenses and then bam! attack!

They decide to have Eragon meet Murtagh because they've got the elf spell casters to back him up. King Orrin is to lead a Calvary charge while the Urguls help. Finally she sends swordsmen, spear-men and archers. This is after the Calvary and the Urgals have taken into the field. So the archers will be firing on friendly forces. It's not very easy to shot and not hit a friendly in a large battle. I'm not sure of the statistics of it, but it's probably high. Especially if you're trying to overwhelm the enemy forces.

Once again, Nasuada isn't very good at this thing.

But we knew this already.

The dwarves get to stand around the perimeter of the camp and hold the line if anyone gets through. So, they get to stand around and do nothing. And they get pissed about it too when they heard the battle raging. Nasuada refuses for the most patronizing of reasons.

“No!” exclaimed Nasuada. “No, no, and no! I have given you my orders, and I expect you to abide by them. This is a battle of horses and men and Urgals and perhaps even dragons. It is not a fit place for dwarves. You would be trampled like children.” At Narheim’s outraged oath, she raised a hand. “I am well aware you are fearsome warriors. No one knows that better than I, who fought beside you in Farthen Dûr. However, not to put too fine a point on it, you are short by our standards, and I would rather not risk your warriors in a fray such as this, where your stature might be your undoing. Better to wait here, on the high ground, where you stand taller than anyone who tries to climb this berm, and let the soldiers come to you. If any soldiers do reach us, they shall be warriors of such tremendous skill, I want you and your people there to repel them, for one might as well try to uproot a mountain as defeat a dwarf.”

Emphasis mine. She obviously thinks that they aren't good enough warriors that they can't figure out how not to get trampled. And that she thinks of them as children. Children don't know how to fight and she figures that the dwarves would be like that otherwise she would allow them into the fray. The thing is, in the Battle of the Burning Plains the dwarves did fight and were instrumental in turning the tide of battle. What makes this battle different from the other one? Being short certainly didn't hinder Gimli in the battles. The dwarves of the Discworld are feared in part because of their stature (right height to hit where it hurts) and they take on trolls. I believe this is here for twofold reasons. One to make Nasuada look like a good leader and tactician -she refuses to send people out into battle when they'll get slaughtered - and two reinforcing Paolini's belief that dwarves just aren't good enough. They aren't warrior enough. And she is being down right patronizing. you are short by our standards. It makes me want to call  the Campaign for Equal Heightsand send them in. Or Captain Carrot. Let's see Nasuada say that he's to short to be in the battle. But I digress. Nasuada is showing here that she's an ineffective leader as she patronizes one of her staunchest allies.

As this happens they all get a mind blast from one of the wizards out in the battle: A moment later, a mental shout of incredible strength overwhelmed Eragon’s defenses and tore through his consciousness, filling him with agony as he heard a man say,Ah, no, help me! They won’t die! Angvard take them, they won’t die!"

Clearly they have been sent into overwhelming forces. However we don't get to see how it's dealt with or Nasuada's reactions because Murtagh shows up and calls Eragon out.

Which we shall deal with next time.

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