Chapters Truth among friends, Roran
So, the council scene continues. Ayra offers her people's support to Nasuada. And Nasuada kicks the council out, wanting to talk to Eragon alone. Eragon continues his odd way of speaking, he casts a spell to prevent eavesdropping and then says, "There, now we may speak without being overheard by man, dwarf or elf". It'd be a lot easier to have said "Now we may speak without being overheard by anyone." It's another example of Eragon being superfluous. Nasuada's way of speaking goes from formal to informal from sentence to sentence.
Then we get to an interesting bit. When Ajihad died he charged Eragon with keeping the Varden from falling into chaos. Eragon decided to keep those words a secret, because Eragon doesn't know what he meant.
Hi. Me again. Alec? You all remember me, I'm sure. Now, let us look at what has happened here. Eragon has been given a job to do. Keep the Varden from falling into chaos. He doesn't tell anyone this because he's afraid people will think that he's supposed to be the one in charge. However, this is not the case. If he were intelligent, he would do the following. He would let people - the council of elders- know what Ajihad's last words were and say something like, "We must do what Ajihad said and keep the Varden strong and together. We mustn't let our petty rivalries and desires for power cloud our vision from the real problem, the king Galbatorix. We must keep this goal and mind and do what Ajihad wanted us to do, keep the Varden together!" Or some sort of bullshit like that. But that's just what this Stu would do. But since he hasn't done this, we create this false need for secrecy and who can we trust thread where he's trying to build tension but is failing.
Thank you Alec. Back to the story.
Nasuada and Eragon talk about what to do and she says that he should go with Arya to train with the elves. Nasuada also says that Eragon should keep Ajihad's secret. This isn't such a big secret. I don't know why it's being kept a secret, except as Alec mentioned. She also cries a single tear while talking about her father and his plans. This is the second time this happens in the book. Eragon trusts her because she speaks from her heart, according to Saphria. Which I think is a pretty flimsy reason to trust someone. Especially in a business transaction, which is basically what this conversation is. Nasuada and he are talking about what his position in the Varden is going to be and he has an idea, which he trusts with her because she speaks from her heart.
His idea is to swear fealty to Nasuada in private. And there's this lovely scene where they talk about her being his master... which if you were dirty minded enough could lead you into interesting places. Then there's dialog exchange:
"Good, that will take care of the council. Now, until then, leave me. I have much planning to do and I must prepare for the funeral... Remember, Eragon, the bond we have just created is equally binding; I am responsible for your actions as you are required to serve me. Do not dishonor me."
"Nor I you." (page 24)
Which makes absolutely no sense. What is he saying "Nor I you" to? And what is "I am responsible for your actions as your are required to serve me" mean? These are words, but they don't make any sense, together or in context. I'm not even sure what it means. It's as if something in the conversation got cut.
Eragon leaves her emotionally drained. He then goes and talks to Arya but not before getting scorched by Saphria who has trouble controlling her flame. She says, "I didn't expect it to happen. I keep on forgetting that fire will come out if I'm not careful. Imagine that every time you raised your arm, lightening struck the ground. It would be easy to make a careless motion and destroy something unintentionally." (page 25)
Verra says this is very sloppy and that if she were any sort of proper dragon she wouldn't be randomly exhaling fire as this is dangerous and any smart species would have evolved so that they don't randomly set things on fire when they're not paying attention.
Saphira then tells Eragon that she will break his promises if she feels it's necessary, because she's not bound by it. Which basically means that she has no sense of honor or care about what Eragon has said. Which then goes against the fact that they're supposed to be partners and equals. They aren't partners, I don't know what they are, but they aren't equals or partners.
Also Saphira now appears to have no trouble going anywhere within the Dwarf City, where before there were places where she couldn't fit.
Arya is not happy with Eragon and lets him know. Eragon also finds out that Arya is over seventy years old. He thinks about this instead of paying attention to what she's saying. He thinks that she looks good for her age. We get our second mention of the color of her eyes. I should start keeping track of this. They talk and we learn that Arya has "Not lived in [her] family's house since [she] left for the Varden, when the walls and windows were draped with spring's first flowers. The times [she'd] returned were only fleeting stays, vanishing flecks by our measurement." (page 27). Now, this sentence doesn't tell us anything except that she left home in the spring. But it doesn't have anything to do with how long she's been away. It's pretty sounding, but she could have only been gone for a year by that sentence. If she really wanted to prove how long how long she had been gone she should have said something like, about a tree being small is now tall or something. But talking about flowers in the spring only indicates a year or a season.
Eragon then goes on to prove that he's even more detached from humanity and reality when he makes it seem like he's not apart of the human race any more by saying to Arya, "It must be hard to live among all these dwarves and humans without any of your kind."
"She cocked her head. "You speak of humans as if you weren't one."
"Perhaps..." he hesitated, "perhaps I'm something else -a mixture of two races..." (page 27)
He's obviously no longer thinking that he's human. If he's not human then he's not apart of the people around him. And he doesn't have to empathize with them. He's not one of them. He's detached, they aren't him, he doesn't have to care about them. They're below him, obviously.
Arya, then leaves him with a blessing.
We then switch chapters.
The next chapter begins as thus.
"Roran trudged up the hill." (page 29)
Now this is a perfectly legitimate sentence, so why do I call it out? Because it is not, as much as I hate to admit it, in the same style as the rest of the book. Paolini tends to use long overblown language with extraneous thesaurus stolen words. This sentence looks like he was channeling Ernest Hemingway for a moment and pulls the reader out of the story by the sudden change in tone. A better sentence might have been, "Eragon's cousin, Roran trudged up the hill by his home." or something longer, because that fits more with Paolini's style. Roran is visiting his old homestead that's now burnt to the ground and pondering about his life and future. For about three paragraphs he thinks about how this is all Eragon's fault, but then he forgives Eragon within the train of thought. Eragon is once again the center of attention even when he's not there. Roran then angsts about not being able to marry Katrina because Sloan doesn't like him and he doesn't have the means to support himself. Except for rebuilding the farm.
However he's been living with Horst apparently. If we recall from the first book, Horst was looking for someone to help him in the forge because one of his sons were leaving. He offered that job to Eragon. However he doesn't offer that job to Roran, even though Roran has been helping him in the forge. It would be logical that Roran take the job at the forge and get money that way. But this opportunity seems to have vanished and he gets to angst about not being able to marry his girl.
Theres a weird bit about one of Horst's kids being mistaken for someone who stole an scythe. There would be no reason for him to steal an scythe because he's obviously a blacksmith and would never need a scythe.
Roran goes to the local tavarn and hears some rumors about what's been happening outside the world. He laughs heartily at the idea of there being another dragon rider. This is, of course, Paolini going "hee hee aren't I clever, Roran doesn't know what his cousin is really up to" which is of course obvious and well... obvious.
He and Katrina then meet and cuddle and she gives him an ultimatum. Talk to my father or else.
This of course makes him sad.
What we've learned in these two chapters is several things. First of all that Poalini is trying for a different Point of View by using Roran. Though he's angsty and seems to be running through the motions as opposed to actually doing anything.
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