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Brisingr Part Twenty Eight

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Gifts of Gold pt.2Edit

Eragon continues on his quest to give away absurdly large amounts of money by going to visit Jeod. There he runs into his wife Helen, who is not happy to see him. Helen, if we recall, is generally shrew like. She dislikes Jeod because he lost all of his money trying to help the Varden, even though they've been married for many years. She's non supportive just because she doesn't have money to do stuff. Or something.

We learn that Nasuada is showing favoritism, again, because he and Helen get an extra ration. Nasuada gives us an extra ration, so Nasuada gives us an extra ration, so do not restrain yourself for fear that we will go hungry on your account. It is poor fare compared with what we served you in Teirm, but then no one should go to war and expect to eat well, not even a king.” do not restrain yourself for fear that we will go hungry on your account. It is poor fare compared with what we served you in Teirm, but then no one should go to war and expect to eat well, not even a king.” I don't know exactly what Jeod and his wife did to earn extra rations especially when we find out that they're not that important.

Helen irritably makes tea while Eragon and Jeod stare at anything but her. Then Jeod tries to explain why she's so irritable after she's stormed out.

Jeod spread his hands. “My position with the Varden is not as prominent as she had hoped, and she blames me for the fact. She agreed to flee Teirm with me, expecting, or so I believe, that Nasuada would vault me into the inner circle of her advisers, or grant me lands and riches fit for a lord, or some other extravagant reward for my help stealing Saphira’s egg those many years ago. What Helen did not bargain on was the unglamorous life of a common swordsman: sleeping in a tent, fixing her own food, washing her own clothes, and so on. It’s not that wealth and status are her only concerns, but you have to understand, she was born into one of the richest shipping families of Teirm, and for most of our marriage, I was not unsuccessful in my own ventures. She is unused to such privations as these, and she has yet to reconcile herself to them.” His shoulders rose and fell a fraction of an inch. “My own hope was that this adventure—if it deserves such a romantic term—would narrow the rifts that have opened between us in recent years, but as always, nothing is ever as simple as it seems.”

I think that's a bit of a good reason to be cranky. Perhaps not as cranky as she is being portrayed as being, but still a good reason to be cranky. Her general hatred of everything is important for later in the chapter. Jeod is worried about his wife's happiness and how he wishes it to be some other way so she could be happy.

Jeod has been given the task of looking for secret entrances into other cities because he found the one that let them sneak into Galby's city and get Saphira's egg out. However, he's not doing it by scouting.

Nope, he's doing it by looking at papers.

“Everywhere I can.” Jeod brushed back the lock of hair that was hanging over his forehead. “Histories; myths; legends; poems; songs; religious tracts; the writings of Riders, magicians, wanderers, madmen, obscure potentates, various generals, anyone who might have knowledge of a hidden door or a secret mechanism or something of that ilk that we might turn to our advantage. The amount of material I have to sift through is immense, for all of the cities have stood for hundreds of years, and some antedate the arrival of humans in Alagaësia.”

Oh hay! Religious tracts! Where'd those come from? And why do I think they're like Chick Tracts?

Faceless Rider on a Throne with Dragon behind him: You have not accepted the teachings of the Dragon Riders and now you must suffer the consequences!

Person: No! I didn't know! I thought it was okay to believe in the gods!!

FRoaTwDbh: You were WRONG!!!

Person:*gets dragged off to a place that isn't hell because there isn't a hell but it sure looks like hell*

Little note on the bottom: Don't let this happen to you! Give up your religion and follow the teachings of the dragon riders! No, it's nothing at all like a religion, stop that.

Um. Anyway. I'm not really sure how some of those would help. And I think actually sending someone to the cities would be of better help. There's always someone who knows something for the right price. And it would give the Varden more recent information than myths and legends. The cities might be ancient but things change.

They then do small chit chat until Helen comes back with the tea. She seems less angry, and [Eragon] wondered if she had been listening outside to what Jeod had said about her. I would think so, knowing that your husband wishes he could make it some other way and realizes it's hard for her.

Eragon then gets to the meat of the matter. He came to tell Jeod how Brom died, like he promised to. Telling the story, Eragon gets emotional.

Eragon’s throat constricted as he spoke of Brom’s last hours, of the cool sandstone cave where he had lain, of the feelings of helplessness that had assailed Eragon as he watched Brom slipping away, of the smell of death that had pervaded the dry air, of Brom’s final words, of the sandstone tomb Eragon had made with magic, and of how Saphira had transformed it into pure diamond.

“If only I had known what I know now,” Eragon said, “then I could have saved him. Instead . . .” Unable to summon words past the tightness in his throat, he wiped his eyes and gulped at his tea. He wished it were something stronger.

I think it might have been nice to actually hear his words. And it is a reaction of what someone would do if recounting hard memories.

But he gets over it. Instead the conversation drifts to Jeod and Brom's adventures and then they start talking about Morzan, Eragon's dad. Eragon wants to know about him, what he was like, what he looked like. Jeod tells him that he was a terribly fierce warrior, one you didn't want to face. When Jeod asks why Eragon wants to know so much about him, Eragon says this: Eragon blinked once. “I’m curious. He was the last of the Forsworn to die, and Brom was the one who slew him. And now Morzan’s son is my mortal enemy.”

I thought Galby was. And I didn't think Murtagh really wanted to fight him. It sounds good though.

Morzan was a speshul puppy in how he looked.

“Let me see, then,” said Jeod. “He was tall, he had broad shoulders, his hair was dark like a raven’s feathers, and his eyes were different colors. One was blue and one was black. His chin was bare, and he was missing the tip of one of his fingers; I forget which. Handsome he was, in a cruel, haughty manner, and when he spoke, he was most charismatic. His armor was always polished bright, whether mail or a breastplate, as if he had no fear of being spotted by his enemies, which I suppose he hadn’t. When he laughed, it sounded as if he were in pain.”

Yup. Speshul puppy, because you can't have EVIL looking normal. And he kept his armor clean. Missing the tip of one of his fingers reminds me of the six-fingered man, who was much cooler. I wonder if there's some symbolism in that. I do know that the two different colored eyes either are put in because Paolini thought that was cool or because he stole it from somewhere.

Then we get to the important part. Selena, Eragon's mum. Selena is apparently EVUL. Really Really Evul. Mara Jade Evil.

...in fact Mara Jade Evil and having her title almost as Morzan's Black Hand.

Oh and how Evil was Mara Jade Selena?

Jeod laughed. “If I had, I would not be here today. Morzan may have been a fearsome swordsman, a formidable magician, and a murderous traitor, but it was that woman of his who inspired the most terror in people. Morzan only used her for missions that were so repugnant, difficult, or secretive that no one else would agree to undertake them. She was his Black Hand, and her presence always signaled imminent death, torture, betrayal, or some other horror.” Eragon felt sick hearing his mother described thusly. “She was utterly ruthless, devoid of either pity or compassion. It was said that when she asked Morzan to enter his service, he tested her by teaching her the word for heal in the ancient language—for she was a spellcaster as well as a common fighter—and then pitting her against twelve of his finest swordsmen.”

Yeah. So Evil. In Star Wars the Emperor's Hands were his personal assassins, sounds kinda familiar, doesn't it? Not only that it seems like such a random thing to have happened. After all Selena grew up in Carvahall as Garrow was her brother. It looked like no one really left there. The time line also feels screwy.

Murtagh is about two or three years older than Eragon so, put him at eighteen. Morzan obviously had to be alive at the time to raise him, as he threw his sword at him at around age... three I think. Eragon had to have been born by then. Since Brom watched over Eragon since he was a baby I don't know when he could have left to have killed Morzan. Unless it happened right after Eragon was conceived.

I'm not sure anymore.

Anyway, so Eragon is unhappy to learn that both his parents are evil. (Because if your parents are evil, you are evil. It's genetic, you know. Like being gay or something. )

Soon after Morzan died, so did Selena. For apparently she couldn't live without him. And that reminds me of when Padame died after giving birth to Luke and Leia.

Yeeesh.


Hokay.

More later.

Brisingr
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