Chapters Gifts, the Maw of the Ocean


Previously, Eragon scried on the Varden and discovered that he was needed. So, he decided to go to them. Now he packs himself up and goes to tell Dwarf that he's leaving, and to see if he wants to come. Dwarf, of course, wants to come, though he's not too happy that they're flying. Saying that dwarves don't do well with heights. Yet they live in the mountains. Though I suppose mountain living is different than flying. I think it would be better to have said, dwarves don't do well flying. Eragon then goes off to say goodbye to Yoda.

Apparently, Yoda knew about the Varden's problem, which upsets Eragon. He wants to know why no one told him as if it was his right to know everything. Yoda tells him that they just learned about it. Eragon wants to know why the elves aren't doing anything about it. And Yoda tells him that the queen is mobilizing the army. Yoda then tells him that he also didn't tell Eragon because he wanted Eragon to finish his training. Which goes against what he said a few chapters ago when he said that Eragon had finished his training already.

In any case, Eragon promises to come back, in the ancient language.

Then Yoda has gifts for Eragon. First of all, he gives Eragon a random magic potion. "First, some faelnirv I augmented with my own enchantments. This potion can sustain you when all else fails, and you may find its properties useful in other circumstances as well. Drink it sparingly, for I only had time to prepare a few mouthfuls." (page 555) Which is basically a random magical potion. We don't know exactly what it does, or what it is for. It's a random Dues Ex Machina potion. Something will happen sometime in the future when Eragon needs some sort of random boost of some sort and he'll drink the potion and able to conquer all. It sounds almost like Miruvor from Lord of the Rings, but this is just some random potion of stuff like thing.

Then there is the Belt of Deus Ex Machina:

The belt felt unusually thick and heavy to Eragon when he ran it through his hands. It was made of cloth threads woven together in an interlocking pattern that depicted a coiling Liani Vine. At Oromis's instruction, Eragon pulled at a tassel at the end of the belt and gasped as a strip in its center slid back to expose twelve diamonds, each an inch across. Four diamonds were white, four were black and the remainder were red, blue, yellow, and brown. They glittered cold and brilliant, like ice in the dawn, casting a rainbow of multicolored specks onto Eragon's hands.

"Master..." Eragon shook his head, at a loss of words for several breaths. "Is it safe to give this to me?"

"Guard it well so that none are tempted to steal it. This is the belt of Beloth the Wise -who you read of in your history of the Year of Darkness- and is one of the greatest treasures of the Riders. There are the most perfect gems the Riders could find. Some we traded for with the dwarves. Others we won in battle or mined ourselves. The stones have no magic of their own, but you may use them as repositories for your power and draw upon that reserve when in need. This, in addition to the ruby set in Za'roc will allow you to amass a store of energy so that you do not become unduly exhausted casting spells in battle, or even when confronting enemy magicians." (page 554).

So now we have the random potion and the random belt of magic power. Paolini is just piling up the magic items on Eragon, making him even more powerful than he was before. So now he's all-powerful with all-powerful weapons. He has become unstoppable, at least as far as we can tell. By doing this, Paolini is slowly putting himself in a corner. After all, if Eragon is so powerful, who can stand against him? The worry about his safety is gone. Nothing can stop him, he's got everything to go on a rampage.

The final gift is a scroll of Eragon's poem all prettied up.

Afterward, Eragon goes to visit and say goodbye to the Queen. Eragon tells her that he is in her debt, she says no I'm in your debt and gives him a shiny new bow. The Queen then offers Saphira something, and she says that they have no need for material possessions. Which is different than what has been mentioned earlier when she said that they liked shiny objects. But, it's nobler for her to not need things and be happy with the kindness she had been shown. The Queen also asks Eragon to give her regards to Arya and tells him that she's sending her twelve best magic weavers to Sudra for him to command if he survives. Which of course is supposed to give us doubt that Eragon might not survive, but we all know that he will, because there's another book after this one.

They say their goodbyes and then they pick up Dwarf, who was playing with his ax. Dwarf gets on the dragon. And they fly off. And either Eragon's hearing is really, really, really good or this elf is really, really loud, because he hears her singing, despite "the wind being loud in Eragon's ears". It's supposed to be dramatic and melancholy, but it's really just silly.

We then go back to Roran. They're on the boat. It's stormy out. They're being chased by three sloops with black sails. They think it's the government that's after them, however, I think it's pirates because pirates are more likely to sail with black sails, rather like the Black Pearl did. So, it's raining a lot. It's stormy for two days. And then the storm goes away, after knocking down the mizzen mast.

And the black-sailed sloops are still on their tail. So, they're trying to figure out what to do, Roran eventually saying that he's "chary of battle". When I first read that, I thought it said, "Cherry" and I was wondering, what does fruit have to do with battles? Then I realized that it was Paolini, once again, confusing the reader with one of his special thesaurus words. In any case, leaders and the sailors are trying to figure out what to do, and they're looking at the map, trying to find places to land or hide.

Finally, Jeod mentions something called the Boar's Eye. The Boar's Eye is a giant whirlpool of doom. It'd be foolish to try and cross it, but it is their best hope to getting rid of those sloops. Of course, the ENTIRE point of this is probably because Paolini thought something along these lines, "You know what would be cool? A whirlpool of DOOM!" There's absolutely no reason for this whirlpool to be there, or for them to be chased. Or for these chapters to be there. It distracts us from what should be the main thrust of the story right now, Eragon getting to Sudra and preparing for war. Anything else is inconsequential and breaks the tension that should be building, pulling the reader into an entirely different direction and making them forget what is happening with Eragon, who is supposed to be the main focus of the story. Instead, we're going to get another chapter of Roran and his jolly crew getting through the whirlpool without any major problems, because we know that he has to survive to rescue Katrina and deliver his people to the Varden.

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