Chapters The Dagshelgr Invocation, the Pinewood City
So, while we did escape with our lives and didn't have to see what a sex scene written by Paolini was like, we do get some other fun stuff in these chapters.
We begin with Eragon trying to catch the elves waking up. Apparently he's never seen them asleep or even with their eyes closed. I'm going to assume that the elves do blink however. Elf one and Elf Two talk in tandem. They don't have any sort of personality that makes them different from one another. Paolini has always referenced them as having the same reactions to everything. People on drugs don't really have much on personality either. Du Weldenvarden is starting to sound like Mirkwood, "magic permeates the air, the water, and the earth. In places it has affected the animals. Sometimes strange creatures are found roaming the forest, and not all of them friendly." (208). Or any sort of generic fantasy forest while we're at it. Nothing really special.
Before we can get too deep into what sort of creatures are there, someone is scrying on Eragon. His hammer gets hot. That would be the silver hammer pendent that Gannel gave him to prevent people scrying on him. And if someone is scrying on him, it'll heat up. Now, the hammer runs on Eragon's magical powers, which seems rather silly. Gannel said that if it gets to hot or starts to drain his powers he has to take it off. Which means that it's no longer protecting him. Which means that some one can scry on him. Which defeats the purpose of the anti-scrying device.
Eragon tells Ayra and the two elves and Ayra says something portant which include "Events in Alageisia move apace," which I could swear is from somewhere. Anyway after that small interlude they go on until they run into a waterfall. They have to carry their supplies up a path. Saphira suggests taking them all by herself to which one of the elves says oh no that would be dishonorable! She does it anyway and we get Ayra laughing for the first time. She sounds like a mockingbird. Not quite the thing I would want to be compared to. I've heard mockingbirds and they don't really trill. It's a sort of harsh hacking noise. I think he was trying for Nightingale, sort of bird but picked the wrong bird.
Wikipedia describes the mocking bird's cry as such, "The Northern Mockingbird, in addition to being a good mimic, is also one of the loudest and most constantly vocal of birds. It often sings through the night, especially unmated males, or when the moon is full. It sings year-round except sometimes for the late-summer moulting season. Individual males have repertoires of 50 to 200 songs; females sing as well, but more quietly and less often than males. Mockingbirds usually sing the loudest in the twilight of the early morning when the sun is on the horizon.
In addition to its well-known song, the Northern Mockingbird utilizes a variety of calls to communicate specific information. As with its song, these calls are among some of the louder sounds produced by birds of its size. Mockingbirds make a harsh, raspy noise when chasing other birds out of their territory. A similar but distinct call is used when defending against predators like a hawk or falcon. Other calls include a wheezing noise, a "chuck" note, and a very piercing series of notes "high low" repeated twice."
Not really something pleasant. I have a friend who hates the mockingbirds around his house because of their cry. Eragon loves it. Obviously Paolini's desire to have Ayra compared to Luthien kinda fell wrong.
So, they go up the cliff and walked to where they meet up with Saphira again. Ayra then tells Eragon and Saphira that they have to keep hidden until they meet with the queen, because they're going past an elf city. Saphira is loathed to leave him because of his crippled back. Eragon's back is not crippled. His back has a scar on it. The scar randomly hurts... but he's not crippled. If his back was crippled he wouldn't be able to get up and walk around straight.
They make camp for the night. There are a lot of mosquitoes. And then Eragon starts hearing singing. It's apparently a holy night... um... wait... not holy night, that would indicate a religion. It is a saturnalias. Which according to Dictionary.com means " unrestrained revelry; orgy." It also means, "the festival of Saturn, celebrated in December in ancient Rome as a time of unrestrained merrymaking." So, basically the stoned hippie elves are having an orgy. "We sing in the ancient language, and the lyrics weave spells of passion and longing that are difficult to resist, even for us." (page 213)
"It is to keep the forests healthy and fertile. Every spring we sing for the trees, we sing for the plants and we sing for the animals. Without us, Du Weldenvarden would be half its size." As if to emphasize her point, birds, deer, squirrels -red and gray- striped batgers, foxes, rabbits, wolves, frogs, toads and tortoises, and every other near by animal forsook their hiding and began to rush madly about with a cacophony of yelps and cries. "They are searching for mates," explained Arya. "All across Du Weldenvarden, in each of our cities, elves are singing this song. The more the participate, the stronger the spell, and the greater Du Weldenvarden will be this year." (page 214)
Now, I'm fairly certain that's not proper forest management, making all the animals hot and horny at the same time. Animals have natural cycles and different times of the year that they do the mating thing. Forcing them to get all hot and bothered on one night of the season or something would throw them out of whack. Plus, it might not be a good thing to have all the animals giving lots of birth if the forest can't sustain the life, say because it's a drought season or something. After all it takes more than just magic words to make a forest grow.
Ayra protects Eragon and Dwarf by putting a spell on them. Eragon and Dwarf have a sleepless night because of all the hot and heavy sex going on. The two elves react the same way to not being able to join the song. They pace in circles. They really don't have distinct personalities. They're cardboard cut outs with pointy ears.
Then Saphira shows up, all hot and bothered. No, really.
"The forestshe said, is alive. And I am alive. My blood burns like never before. It burns as yours burns when you think of Ayra. I... understand!" (Page 215)
Now, before I get to this actual line, in it's context, let us remember that Eragon and Saphira are supposed to be more like one mind than two. (Isn't that what Eragon told us many pages ago?)So, shouldn't Eragon be feeling all hot and bothered too? With his blood burning and jumping with Ayra. Mrr... now I have the image of Saphira jumping Ayra and molesting her. Actually, that's all I can think of to say about this line. But I'll get to it more later.
Eragon, instead of having Ayra put a spell on her so she's not affected, just sort of stands there with her. And Ayra stands with her on the other side. It's symbolic, you see. Saphira in the midst of her sexual desires is connecting Eragon and Ayra, thus showing that they will eventually become sexually involved.
The next morning Saphira is no longer horny and she needs to think about what she just felt. Ayra tells one of the cardboard elves to go ahead and get them horses. The horses are like unicorns without the horns. All of them are proud stallions. There appear to be no geldings or mares in Algeisia. So, that only leaves the possibility of Male Pregnant Horses. Male pregnant zombie horses.
Our Mpreg Zombie Elf horses respond to commands in the ancient language and you will not fall unless you deliberately throw yourself off. They bare a rider only as long as they consent to. They're perfect and wonderful.
Saphira then gets mopey about not having a mate. She says some doleful things like, "Every creature, no matter how pure or monstrous, has a mate of their own kind. Yet I have none." (page 217). It's very sad and Eragon feels sad for her, reminding her that there are two more dragon eggs in existence. She then gets even more whiny saying well what if they don't hatch or what if they're not male or if they'd be fit mates.
But then instead of dwelling in such emotional and potentially character developing thoughts she stops saying she shouldn't be feeling such things. Eragon gives her some platitudes and they're off. When Eragon mentions it to Ayra she says something deep and meaningful. "It is one of Galbatorix's greatest crimes. I do not know if a solution exists, but we can hope. We must hope." (218)
We then get some meaningless description of the really big forest. Which is really big and green and Eragon gets confused as to which way is which. There's time passing but I don't know how much time has past. So, they could have been in the forest for days, weeks, or a couple of hours. From looking at the map, I would guess a couple of weeks. But knowing Paolini's odd way of doing things and abuse of horses I could be wrong. And probably am.
In any case they ride, it's green and mystical feeling. And then they run into an elf. In the late afternoon, the gloom lifted to reveal an elf standing before them, sheathed in a brilliant ray of light that slanted down from the ceiling. He was garbed in flowing robes, with a circlet of silver upon his brow. His face was old, noble and serene.
"Eragon," murmured Ayra. "Show him your palm and your ring."
Baring his right hand, Eragon raised it so that first Brom's ring and then the dedwey igasia was visible. The elf smiled, closed his eyes, and spread his arms in a gesture of welcome. He held the posture.
"The way is clear," Said Arya. At a soft command, her steed moved forward. They rode around the elf -like water parting at the base of a weathered boulder- and when they had all passed, he straighted, clasped his hands, and vanished as the light that illuminated him ceased to exist.
Who is he? asked Saphira.
Ayra said, "He is Gilderien the Wise, Prince of House Miolandra, wielder of the White Flame of Vandil, and the guardian of Ellesmera since the days of Du Fyrn Skulblaka, our war with the dragons. None may enter the city unless he permits it." (page 221)
Now, besides the fact that Paolini has just put a ceiling in a forest this passage confuses me greatly. This elf shows up out of nowhere and vanishes just as suddenly. Was he really there? Did he teleport? Or was it an illusion? And how does he know where people are going to show up? He must be a really busy elf always popping in and out whenever someone shows up to enter. And the city is in the middle of a forest. It wouldn't be too difficult to, I don't know, ride around somewhere else and enter it that way. I mean there are no walls that are baring their entry. (It kinda reminds me of that wall the French built to keep the Nazis out). The elf appeared to be unarmed (and kinda stoned). If I were an invading force, I'd just take with me a bunch of men with me and charge. Unless there are other protections around him. Eragon should have asked about that.
And then there's the whole "wielder of the White Flame of Vandil" that sounds suspiciously like a religious sort of thing. Vandil being a god. But we know that the elves don't believe in gods. So, who is Vandil and why would Gilderien be wielding his flame. (Unless we were to take it into a sexual connotation, then it would make sense.) But Paolini has dropped a pseudo-religious sounding concept into his non-religous elves, much like the stars watching over people. It's almost as if he's trying to give his elves a deep and mythical heritage which contradicts their supposed atheist beliefs.
Then, as a parting note, there's that simile that he put in there, the one about water parting around a boulder. Which was completely superfluous. That didn't need to be there and completely jarred me out of the story.
They enter the city. It's amazing. All the trees and houses seem to be melded into one. The elves are happy and singing and dancing and stoned. They praise Saphira (somehow knowing that she's female, despite the fact that Eragon didn't). The party goes to a particular tree and climb up it to meet the queen. There's a white raven that can speak. And a long sueish description of the queen. They all kneel to her and it turns out that Ayra is the queen's daughter.
Anyone see that coming?
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