Chapters A Sorceress, a snake and a scroll; Hrothgar's gift
Our chapter begins with Eragon meeting a girl. Actually it is a woman of indeterminate age. We know that she is tall has dark hair and startling blue eyes. But as to her age we are left guessing. This is of course important as we'll see in a bit. Her name is Trianna and she is a Sorceress. She wants Eragon to join the Du Vrangr Gata (which sounds like Paolini was hitting the keyboard to come up with that name) the magic users of the Varden. She tells him that she wants him to take control of the group and Eragon thinks that she's friendly and charming. Nothing about her indicates friendly or charming. Polite maybe, but nothing in her speech indicates that she's trying to be charming.
"And battle mage and spy and anything else the Varden deem necessary. There aren't enough magic users, so we each end up with a half-dozen tasks." Displaying even, white teeth, "That's why I came today. We would be honored to have you take charge of our group. You're the only one who can replace the Twins." (page 64)
That bit of dialog is followed by Eragon think that she's friendly and charming. Nothing in that paragraph indicates friendliness or charm. Unless we are to consider that smiling and displaying teeth is such an indication. If she had smiled charmingly or invitingly or any number of different adjectives then we could have had reason for her to be considered charming and friendly. However as it is presented here, it is merely business like. Still, Eragon gets all hot and bothered by their conversation.
We also have a classic example of when the Stu gets undo praise during their conversation. Eragon does the equivalent of aw shucks I haven't done anything great and Trianna feeds his ego by saying that he's too modest and that he should be proud of his accomplishments. She even tells him that the Varden have made up songs about him and sing them every night. There are also rumors that Eragon's going to take the throne from Galbatorix. Which he denies and told that this is the right thing for him to do. So, still, he's doing nothing wrong and no one is disagreeing with him.
Trianna then gets a little bit too friendly by asking if he's betrothed. And then changes the conversation for some bizzare reason to show off her bracelet that can turn into a snake. I think the only reason that this little section in here is so that Paolini can say, "look, she has a bracelet that can turn into a snake, innit neat?" It completely disrupts the flow of conversation and is utterly pointless. They talk a bit more and then Eragon offers to go and eat with her.
Saphira disapproves of this greatly and scares the sorceress off with a very long threatening growl. We then devolve into bestiality and lots of innuendo that really shouldn't be between man and dragon. Saphira calls Trianna names like "slattern" and then tells Eragon this:
You don't understand. She refused to meet his eyes. Don't understand! Will you prevent me from ever having a wife and children? What of a family? Eragon. She finally fixed one great eye on him. We are intimately linked.
And if you purse a relationship, with or without my blessing, and become... attached... to someone, my feelings will become engaged as well. You should know that. Therefore- and I warn you only once - be careful who you choose, because it will involve both of us. (page 67)
If we look at this conversation carefully, it is insinuating that Eragon can not be in any relationship unless it will be "the One". He's not allowed to have any sort of fling or even a relationship with someone who is not the one, because Saphira will be involved. It's not like he can get into a relationship with someone and then later on discover that they're just not right for each other. No, he has to make one choice and that's it. This goes back to the idea of One True Love, and Eragon's destined lover that was prophicised by Angela. He's not allowed to discover what it means to love, or have a bad relationship or even what it's like to be with another woman. He's not even allowed to discover how to find a woman he likes. He's just supposed to know who to choose. And he's not allowed to chose more than one person. This is forcing Eragon into a corner because he's not allowed to grow and learn about people, about women about relationships. He is going to be in one relationship and somehow he's just going to know who the right person is before getting to know them. He doesn't even get to discover if he's gay or not. Not that he would be. This would be an affront to Paolini's masculinity. He has to be a big macho hero type which means that being gay is completely out of the question. Archetypal Heroes are not gay at all. They meet their Designated Love Interest and that's the end of that.
After this lovers spat, and yes, I declare it a lovers spat because Eragon goes and sleeps on the metaphorical couch because he doesn't want to be near Saphira, the two of them make up and avoid the subject all together. While they're eating lunch a boy, Jarsha, comes and tells Eragon that Nasuada wants to see him. Now while this seems innocuous enough, I've been thinking about something. They're staying in a city, as has been constantly stated. It may be in a marble mountain but it's still a city. Eragon has been given free rein to walk all over the city as he pleases. How utterly difficult would it be to find one person in a city? Especially if you don't know where they are? I'm just saying, that's all.
It takes a half an hour for Eragon to get to Nasuada's office. I feel sorry for that kid who had to find Eragon in the first place. Nasuada and Eragon talk. The Varden are leaving the dwarves and going to Surda. Eragon is going to Elf land. Elf land has a name besides Elf land but it is long and has interesting accents so I'm not going to bother to reproduce it here. Arya is going with Eragon to Elf land to make sure he can get in. He's to leave in the morning. They talk some more about the Varden and what they're going to do. It's all exposition and nothing really happens.
' Eragon and Saphira then go flying. Why do they go flying? So they can run into Angela. They have a conversation about toadstools. Or frogstools, as she calls them. This goes back to her earlier argument that there are no such things as toads only frogs. Of course the fact that toadstools have nothing to do with toads is besides the point. This is Paolini trying to be clever, of course. However they do point out a certain kind of mushroom, "Fricai Andlar" where the stalk is instant death and the cap cures most poisons. This will probably be brought up later. It's highly unlikely that Paolini would put this in without it having some sort of meaning or use later on. Then Angela just leaves, thus ending the entirely pointless chapter.
Our next chapter begins with the Fellowship of the Ring leaving Rivendell Oh wait.. my bad... wrong book. Our next chapter begins with Eragon, Dwarf and Elf Sue leaving the Dwarf City. Before they do that, Dwarf gives Eragon back his armor. It's all nice and shiny now. And there's something special about the helm. It has the King Dwarf's family symbol on it. If Eragon wears the helm he's agreeing to be adopted into the King Dwarf's clan. This has never happened to a human before, but he's just that special that he gets this honor.
Today's special word is Otho. It is used in this sentence, spoken by Saphira, "It may be intended as a gift, though, another sign of Otho, not a trap." Otho, at first, I thought was Paolini abusing the thesaurus again. But Dictionary.Com defines it as the name of a pope from almost 1000 years ago. This of course makes no sense in context. So after some discussion with other people it is discovered that Otho means faith in dwarf. It's in the back of the book under the dwarf language. Since it is a dwarf word, one has to wonder, Why is Saphira, a dragon who has never used any sort of dwarf word before, suddenly using it? How does she even know what it means? And why does she use it instead of faith? The answers to this, we will probably never know, but it could just be that Paolini is once again, trying to be clever and go, "Look! I have my own language!" Unfortunately the word has absolutely no context and instead of showing how clever he is, merely confuses the reader and pulls them out of the story as they wonder, WTF could that possibly mean? Since it is spoken by Saphira they will probably not think to go to the back of the book and look in the language section but instead go to the dictionary and not find it's meaning at all, thus leaving them in a state of confusion.
Eragon, of course, joins the dwarf club. In joining the club he gains the right to give voice on every issue that is brought before the council. This is probably important and will come into play later on in this book or the next one. Eragon is now Dwarf's foster brother. Dwarf is coming along because the King Dwarf thinks it's only fair that a dwarf be present at the training of Eragon. If we recall correctly from the previous book the dwarves wanted little to do with dragons and their riders. But apparently all of this is forgotten because this is Eragon and everyone wants a piece of him. In fact Nasuada even remarks on this fact when she learns that Eragon is now part of the dwarf club, saying that all three races have a hold on him. I suppose we're supposed to feel sorry for Eragon because he's caught in the middle of all these manipulating forces. But it honestly doesn't feel like that.
As they leave Elf Sue says, "“Come,” said Arya, gliding past them into the darkness of Farthen
It is time to leave. Aiedail has set, and we have far to go.” Looking up the word "Aiedail" we discover that it means morning star. So I speculate that the morning star must be the Sun, however this makes no sense because they're supposed to be leaving at dawn. So what this morning star is... I don't know.
The chapter ends with the
Fellowship the group leaving through the mountains and Eragon musing to himself that he is "abandoning the few things he had grown accustomed to among the Varden in exchange for an uncertain destiny" (page 82). But he's only been with the Varden for less than two weeks, that's hardly enough time to grow accustomed to anything, especially since he spent most of the time by himself. But it's probably just Paolini trying to make the upcoming journey sound foreboding and dangerous.
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