Chapters Exodus, On the Crags of Tel'Naeir
I'm kinda annoyed right now. I bought an MP3 player and tried to install it and it refused to install properly. I am apparently completely covered with Technology Gremlins. I can not get any piece of tech to work by myself and I require my dad's help to do it. Even when I follow the instructions. So if I sound kinda bitchy during this, that's why.
Our first chapter begins with Roran. He's still going around talking to people seeing if they're coming or not. He's talking to Morn the tavern owner. Looking at the name Morn, I'm reminded of another Morn who is associated with drinking establishments. This would be Morn the alien from Star Trek Deep Space Nine who was found often in Quark's Bar, sitting silently on a stool drinking. With all of Paolini's other plagiarisms I find it hard to believe that this is just mere coincidence. Morn is bemoaning the loss of his liquor. Or what will happen to it if he leave? When Morn's wife, Tara, scolds Roran for stirring everyone up, Roran says that he always considered them friends and he doesn't want them killed by the Empire.
He then goes to the well and drinks, where he's met by Birgit, Quimby's widow. They talk for a moment and Birgit tells him that after the Ra'zac are killed, she will have her compensation from Roran for her husband's death. So that's three mentions of Quimby's death. After she leaves Roran has this lovely thought of, "Afterward though -if an afterward existed - he would have to pay her price or kill her. That was the only way to resolve such matters." (page 261) I'm sorry what? He's going to kill Quimby's widow because he can't do what's needed to be done to make reparations? There isn't a third option here? It's either satisfy her needs or kill her? What about her children? Is he going to be responsible for them after killing their mother? And Roran is supposed to be upset at all the killing he's been doing, yet here he is, thinking 'oh, I may have to kill her' and not feeling bad about it at all.
There's more talk about how they're going to feed all the people and that they're going to have to bring the flocks. So we're having about three hundred people, a bunch of sheep and goats all traveling through the Spine down to Sudra, while trying not to be noticed by the army that's sure to be following them once they discover that Carvahall has been abandoned. I'm not sure exactly how this is going to be done, but I'm sure I'll be horribly surprised.
The next morning people are ready to be off. Not everyone is leaving. Three families are staying behind, but the rest of the village is going. So, say that's about two hundred and fifty people at the most. When someone asks one of the people who are staying what they're going to do when the soldiers arrive they reply, "give them a fight they'll remember". Which is basically a suicide mission. Better that they go up into the Spine and let the soldiers have the village. That way, at least, they'd survive.
In any case, Roran is give a mighty staff to lead his people off into the wilderness with. Putting aside the obvious um phallic imagery here, Roran is now Moses, leading his oppressed people out into the wilderness to escape the evil King and take them to the promised land of Sudra. He'll probably part water somehow at one point. And since Roran is now Moses, Eragon will probably end up as Jesus at some point.
Moses and the Israelites Roran and the Villagers then head out into the great unknown.
Meanwhile back in the land of the Happy Stoned Elf Hippies there is a large gold dragon (and they're not hallucinating either). The large gold dragon, however, is missing his right foreleg. The dragon's rider is an elf. Elf's proper name is Oromis, but for purposes of this analysis we shall call him Yoda, because that's who he really is. Elf queen is upset that Yoda knew of Eragon's existence before she did. She bitches at him about withholding information and he tells her that she wasn't ready to hear it and wouldn't believe it anyway. He says that she's been blind to the world and if she really wanted to, could have scryed upon Arya (not that it would have done her much good, because it wouldn't have told her where Arya was, just that she was alive). After Yoda is done scolding her, Elf Queen's "anger drained away, leaving her face pale and her shoulders slumped. "I am diminished," she whispered." (page 268) This echo's Galadirel's comment from the Lord of the Rings after Frodo offered her the One Ring, where she said,"'I am diminished, and will go into the West, and remain Galadriel'". Now with Galadriel it makes sense what she's saying. She's no longer going to be this great powerful elven lady, but instead she's willingly relinquishing her power and leaving Middle Earth. Elf Queen however, is not giving up any power. She's not gotten any smaller and she's certainly not a body part that has gotten smaller because of disease. There is no reason for her to be diminished. But Paolini obviously wants to draw a parallel between her and Galadriel and so uses this line, even though it makes no sense in context.
Gold Dragon's name is Glaedr and here Eragon can obviously tell that the voice is male. Which is unusual, because previously Eragon has been unable to tell the difference between the voices in his head. He couldn't tell if Saphira was male or female, then later unable to tell that it was Brom speaking to him, and after that he wasn't able to tell the difference between Solomnbum's voice and Saphira's. And yet suddenly he's able to tell. There is no explanation for this sudden change. In fact if I didn't know better, I would have assumed that Paolini forgot about Eragon's inability to tell who's talking to him.
Glaedr tells Saphira the dragon that she has the heart of a true dragon. One would certainly hope that Saphria the dragon has the heart of a true dragon, because otherwise I'm wondering whose heart she has. It makes no sense to tell the dragon that they have the true heart of a dragon, because anything a dragon does with their heart is true to being a dragon because they're a dragon and it's their heart. This is supposed to let Saphira know that she has been doing the right things even though she has been raised alone without any dragons to shepherd her, but the way it's said is ridiculous and makes no sense. Unless he means that she has an actual heart in a jar somewhere.
Dwarf then asks why Yoda has been in hiding all this time and not defying Galby. The obvious answer is that if Yoda was defying Galby then Eragon couldn't be the last dragon rider to defy and defeat Galby. The story reason is that he couldn't risk being killed because otherwise there would be no one to train the new riders. And because Yoda and Glaedr cannot fight, Glaedr because of his leg and Yoda because of a head injury that makes it impossible for him to do big magic. The head injury happened when he was a captive of the Forsworn. Now, one must wonder, why would the dragon rider killing Forsworn take Yoda captive? The answer is so that way he can escape and while becoming injured in the process go back to the elves and wait around for Eragon to show up and be trained.
Yoda and Eragon then go off to contemplate their navels. They sit around at Yoda's hut and just sort of sit there for several hours enjoying the day. This is to show that Eragon has learned patience. Yoda does a palm reading for Eragon, telling him what weapons he's used and that he hasn't written or drawn very much at all. They talk about how Eragon likes overcoming challenges and about the silver hammer that Eragon got from the dwarf priest.
After talking about why Eragon is here (to learn more about himself and what he's capable of doing) Yoda has a sort of spasm. When Eragon asks about it, he's told that Yoda is basically being held together by a bunch of spells and that he's not long for this world. Obviously he'll die in a scene rather similar to what happens to Yoda in Star Wars. In the mean time he bitches Eragon out when Eragon says that he too is infirm because of his pain. It's rather nice to see. Except that he doesn't really bitch him out as he says it sympathetically. Still, it's nice to see Eragon being told that he shouldn't wallow in pity. Eragon, of course, immediately ruins it by thinking, that yes the pain is worth it because he is the only hope the people have for defeating Galby. With out really a second's selfish thought.
Yoda then has Eragon take off his shirt. But there is absolutely nothing sexual in nature about this at all. Yoda just wants to take a look at Eragon's scars. Really. However Saphira interrupts Yoda's peepfest by asking if Brom knew him.
Brom knew him and so did Morzan. Yoda taught them both.
Then the shirt comes off and Yoda spends a lot of time looking at the scar. He then has Eragon do some stretching exercises to see how flexible he is. There is nothing sexual about that. Saphira also has to do some stretching exercises. There's nothing sexual about that either.
When they break for lunch, Paolini takes the opportunity of Eragon's ignorance to infodump us about the world around them and then tell us about Brom and Morzan. It's amazingly shippy. First we learn that the Dragon Riders were really a bunch of cruel snot nosed kids because they used to tease Brom for some of his superstitious habits. Because everyone knows that superstitions are for the foolish and god believing people and the smart ones don't do that. See, this is the reason why Brom died a failure, he gave up his religious beliefs and the gods punished him.
"Morzan was my greatest failure. Brom idolized him. He never left his side, never contradicted him, and never believed that he could best Morzan in any venture. Morzan, I'm ashamed to admit- for it was within my power to stop- was aware of this and took advantage of Brom's devotion in a hundred different ways. He grew up so proud and cruel that I considered separating him from Brom. But before I could, Morzan helped Galbatorix to steal a dragon hatchling, Shurikan, to replace the one Galbatorix had lost, killing the dragon's original Rider in the process. Morzan and Galbatorix then fled together, sealing our doom.
"You cannot begin to fathom the effect of Morzan's betrayal had on Brom until you understand the depth of Brom's affection for him. And when Galbatorix at least revealed himself and the Forsworn killed Brom's dragon, Brom focused all his anger and pain on the one he felt responsible for the destruction of his world: Morzan." (page 280)
Now that sounds like a lover's spat to me. Now Paolini may have been trying to show deep brotherly affection between the two of them, but it comes off as sounding extremely sexual. Especially of Brom's reaction to Morzan's betrayal. The fact that Morzan is the one person he focused on seems to indicate that it was more than friendship.
Saphira, meanwhile, is flirting with Glaedr, which surprises Eragon. Yoda tells him not to worry about it and that she'll get over it in a few months. He doesn't seem to think about her wanting to maybe continue the dragonic race with his dragon. Because that would probably mean that Eragon and him would be in bed together at some point. Which of course Paolini would never allow. Even though his subtext seems to indicate otherwise.
When Eragon asks about why elves don't eat meat, Yoda tells him that they can get whatever they need from the plants and trees and it's barbaric to hunt for animals just for an extra course on the dinner table. Eragon then points out that the dragons have to eat meat and Yoda then replies that he doesn't needlessly inflict pain. This reminds me of keeping Kosher. One of the important parts about a Kosher animal is that when it is killed it cannot feel any pain and cannot know that it's going to die. The Kosher butcher has a knife so sharp that it can cut a piece of paper dropped on it. And that knife has to be kept in pristine condition. Kosher slaughter is considered one of the kindest ways to kill an animal. If it was the needlessly inflicting of pain that the elves were worried about, they could have developed similar methods to killing their animals. Or Paolini could have just taking Kosher Slaughter and given it another name. But instead, Paolini is so focused on his Vegetarian agenda that he ignores what he says in favor of pushing it.
After lunch Yoda tells Eragon that he needs to bathe every day. When Eragon complains, saying that the water is too cold for that, Yoda says that he needs to make the water warmer. Eragon says that he can't warm the entire spring. We then learn that the elves have invented the shower and have put them in their tree houses. There is no explanation as to how the water is piped in or kept hot or anything like that. The elves are just that good. They've used magic for technology. Yoda also tells Eragon that he needs to shave. Being told this is apparently a blow to Eraogn's pride. I'm not sure why it's a blow to Eragon's pride, we're just told that. So it must be.
They're then told they can leave, but they have to come back in the morning, an hour after sunrise. (If they have no clocks, I'm not certain how he'll know when it's been an hour, but that's besides the point).
Our next chapters have the Hairless Groin Scene!
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