Chapters A Miller-to-Be, Strangers in Carvahall
Characters Eragon, Garrow, Roran, Saphira, Hurst, Sloan, 2 Mysterious Strangers, Brom
Shiny Magical Objects in Eragon's Possession Saphira.
A Miller-To-Be is a very short chapter. In it's entire three pages we learn that Garrow is not, as Eragon would suppose that he would be, upset with Roran leaving to become a Miller, but instead happy for his son, because he's growing up into a nice fine young man who will soon be able to have a wife. Yay. Apparently there is supposed to be some sort of tension going on because of this. Garrow says, "It's life's natural course." And then Eragon and Roran helped him wash the dishes in silence. However, this is the sort of reaction one would assume to be having if Garrow was unhappy with Roran's decision to become a Miller. BUT Garrow is not upset. There's even a twinkle in his eye when he tells Roran that he's happy for him.
Only Eragon is unhappy for Roran. He stops talking to his uncle and cousin and then wonders why there is a distance between him and Roran. There's really nothing more I can say to that.
In the mean time Eragon and Saphira bond. Paolini tells us that Saphira's personality "was eclectic and at times completely alien, yet they understood each other on a profound level". These are all very pretty words, but what do they mean exactly? It's all very vague and there are no examples of this to make it clearer. But it does sound profound doesn't it? Using the word profound usually indicates that there is a profoundness. But better would have been to show and not tell us that they have a deep profound understanding. (Though how you would do that, is up in the air. But it's not something you should just say.)
Garrow, on the morn of Roran's leaving, gives Roran and Eragon some advice. It sounds like the Sunscreen song but less amusing. I believe it's supposed to be good advice, but it sounds trite. He says things like, "...Let no one rule your mind or body. Take special care that your thoughts remain unfettered. One may be a free man yet be bound tighter than a slave. Give men your ear, but not your heart. Show respect for those in power, but don't follow them blindly. Judge with logic and reason, but comment not." (page 64). Very... trite, but it sounds good and wise, doesn't it? I doubt that Eragon will follow it. But it sounds good.
In town Eragon learns that two strangers are looking for his stone. They are, of course, very bad news. Horst tells him to leave town and get rid of the stone. Eragon, instead, eavesdrops on Sloan talking to the Mysterious Strangers. He decides that he's going to punch Sloan the next time he sees him, because Sloan tells them about the stone. We don't know what Sloan is feeling or even if he's the only one who's told them. The mysterious strangers are definitely threatening. Sloan has no loyalty to Eragon, but he may feel that these strangers are a danger to his daughter. Sloan has no reason to be loyal to Eragon, yet Eragon feels that he should be silent. Sloan has been slated to be the enemy since we first met him. And this is why he's the enemy. So he can betray Eragon to the enemy. It couldn't be a good person who does it by accident, or one that was coerced because then they wouldn't be good. We need a bad person to do a bad thing. In this case betray Eragon to the bad guys. It would be more tense and dramatic if these mysterious strangers were to threaten or get a good person to betray Eragon by accident. Or even if Sloan were to not betray Eragon. But since Sloan is the bad guy he has to be the one who betrays Eragon.
The Mysterious Strangers notice Eragon and he freezes up. This is supposed to be strange and mysterious but instead it could just be explained as being scared witless. Brom rescues him and mugs off his mit to see the silvery mark on his hand. How does Brom know which hand has the mark, we really don't know. But we know that he was looking for the mark because he asked about the trader that Eragon said told him about dragon things. And Brom of course knows a bit too much about dragons than an ordinary storyteller should. And this is Stranger and Mysterious.
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