Chapters the Glory of Tronjheim, Ajihad
They sleep. They wake up. Eragon feels bond to Murtagh -or we're told that he feels bound- to Murtagh because he carries Morzan's sword. And he wonders about how they've had such different up bringings but they're so alike. I imagine this is foreshadowing. *Eldest Spoiler!* Murtagh and Eragon are Siblings. *End Spoiler* Then we get a lovely and long description of a lamp. A paragraph description of a lamp. We get to know this lamp very, very well. We know this lamp better than we know what Elf Sue looks like. He finds it attractive.
Mr. Paolini needs to work on his pacing.
He slows the entire narrative down. To describe a lamp. One single lamp. We never see this lamp again. But we get an entire paragraph of description of it. This has frustrated me so much that I have slowed down my own narrative to talk about this.
But I digress.
Murtagh and Eragon are then let out of the room by Baldy and Dwarf. For some reason they let Eragon and Murtagh on their horses. You do not let the people who are not trusted on their horses. They could use those horses to do damage. You make them walk. And you have their horses already stored so that way the people you are guarding don't have a chance to break away and get their horses. They had all night to get rid of the horses. Eragon and Murtagh aren't going to leave without their horses. So... why are they riding their horses? Just because.
They walk. They look at the walls. They walk. Eragon muses about the Varden and dwarves. They walk. It looks like they're in a well lit Khazad-dum. The walls don't get as much description as that lamp.
Then for some reason, Baldy has Eragon ride Saphira. They walk through some doors and they see Tronjheim a city made of marble. I'm not really sure of the practicality of that. And where would you get all that marble from anyway...but it certainly does sound impressive. They walk some more. Most of this chapter is of walking. And they walk through some more doors and there are people around.
What do these people do? They cheer Saphira and Eragon. Why do they cheer Saphira and Eragon when they haven't done anything? Paolini only knows, but I can make some guesses. Eragon and Saphira are the Heroes. The Varden are the oppressed. The Oppressed people see the Heroes and cheer because now their time of oppression is over. The Hero is here so therefor victory is at hand. Never mind the fact that they don't know if he can do anything except sit pretty on the dragon. Hell, never mind the fact that the last time people checked all the dragons worked for the Evil King... so why isn't this guy evil? They don't know this. He's an unknown quantity. If anything they should be watching him warily wondering if he'll be a savior or destroyer. No, they automatically know that he's the Hero and therefor must be cheered.
The building is apparently big enough to be ridden in as Eragon rides in with no problem. Which then leaves the question, why would a dwarf city be built for human heads? The ceilings comfortable enough for the humans to walk around without bumping their heads. What it should be like is what happened to Captain Carrot who had to walk with a slouch because the ceilings in the dwarf mines where he grew up in are made for dwarves and not humans. But the humans seem to have no head space problems whatsoever. And even after Eragon has to get down from Saphira, the large dragon has no problems following them down their corridors.
Baldy lets Eragon and Murtagh into a room that looks like it was made by humans for humans. Nothing very dwarf like about this two story study. In fact there is no indication that they are in a dwarf city at all. Except for Paolini telling us that we're in a Dwarf City. We meet another bald man. His name is Ajihad. Someone already mentioned that this was rather like A Jihad. As his name is weird, we know that he's important. And he's the leader of the Varden. How much more important could that be?
Baldy apparently has a twin brother. Who is also bald. They are known as the Twins. (How original) and apparently don't have names. Saphria doesn't like them. But they're on the good guy's side, how could Saphira not like them? Well... apparently Eldest Spoilersaccording to Wiki the Twins are spies for GalbyEnd Eldest Spoilers. Yes. So Paolini had, once again, the opportunity to buck the strict black and white rules of good and evil that he had created and maybe create a sort of Snape like character... but instead falls back into the stereotypes that good is good and evil is evil and good must like good and can always tell good and evil smells funny or else how would Saphira know that she doesn't like these people. Or could she just not like these people because of their personality. I imagine in Eldest there will be a line where Saphira or Eragon say something to the effect "They knew that they couldn't trust the Twins."
Murtagh apparently sounds like Morzan. For Ajihad recognizes his voice. And for some reason knows about the scar on Murtagh's back. Now if we remember Murtagh's story correctly he was basically raised in hiding. No one knew about his existence except for Daddy, Mommy, some servants and Galby. When he got that scar no would have known of its existence because he got it when he was still in hiding and for the scar to be revealed would basically reveal his existence and then when he got older I don't think he'd be showing off his back to random people. Especially since he seems to be rather ashamed of it and everything. So, the question is, how does Ajihad know about the scar.
He just does.
Murtagh refuses to be probed. His mind is his sanctuary. Ajihad has to have Murtagh locked up for his own safety. Because apparently they don't know the Paolini laws that say if you like Eragon and are good looking you're not evil. So, he's dragged off and promptly forgotten about. Eragon tells Ajihad everything.
Ajihad is surprised that the Urgals are aligned with the empire. Everyone seems surprised about this. Why? Hasn't anyone paid attention to how the world works here? Or are they all just dense as rocks. We then learn that Durza (remember him, the Shade?) is not dead because the only way to kill one is through a thrust in the heart.
Eragon is then told he is an enigma because no one knows what he wants but everyone wants him.
We then learn the history of Saphira's egg. Apparently both the Varden and the Elves wanted the baby dragon inside and neither side wanted the other to have. The dwarves weren't allowed in this conversation because everyone knows that dwarves can't become Riders. Brom, in his brilliance proposes that the egg travel between the Varden and the Elf lands every year and children are allowed to touch it
which sounds really dirty... hey kid, wanna touch my egg?. Apparently this was thought to be a good plan.
Let us look at this plan more carefully. They're going to take their valuable object and ferry it across enemy territory so that children can touch it. Let me make a point very clear here. Across enemy territory. Shall I repeat that? No? You've got it? Good. What I would have done is found a neutral spot put the egg there. Put all my best wizards, sorcerers, mages, witches what have you around the egg with lots of defensive spells no one can get in with out a triple verification check very well hidden and then bring the kids there once a year and have a go like that. Egg is safe and secure no chance for it to get stolen (like what happened) and everyone's happy. But of course, if they did that, there wouldn't be a story.
Somehow Ajihad has rich eyes.
For some bizzare reason Elf Sue was able to transport the egg to Carvahall which was closer than back to the Varden. I say bizzare reason because looking at the map Carvahall is no where near any route that I would take to get the egg safely back and forth. Right then.
We get a politics info dump. Clan chiefs don't like Eragon. Elves will want Eragon to train. Apparently the elves were suppling the Varden. Apparently there has long been an enmity between dwarves and dragons. Dragons apparently find dwarves tasty and like their gold. Which makes no sense because Saphira hasn't shown a single bit of interest in anything shiny up until this point and appeared to be taking the Anne McCaffery dragon route of not having a shiny object fetish, in fact I do believe I mentioned that earlier. Yet all of a sudden dragons have a shiny object fetish. It seems rather contrived to me, just to give a reason for the dwarves not trusting dragons. (Beyond the fact that dragon ate them). And actually now that I think about it, if the dragons are such enlightened individuals (such as Saphira) why would they be eating fellow intelligent individuals.
Unless they were EVIL!
Right. Galby isn't strong enough to take on the elves but apparently he was strong enough to take on the dragon riders with a small force. Okay then. His power is increasing, apparently he's taking steroids because that's the only way he could have his power increase since his body limits the amount of power he can have. So if that's so how is it that scrawny teenaged Eragon boy is able to command such power?
Galby is called father by the Uragls. Blah blah. Rehashing. How does Galby know how to ambush people? We have a traitor but some how they've been able to escape our decite detectors.
Eragon acts like a snot and says well... what if I don't want to do what ever it is you tell me to? But then it's forgotten and he's listening to Ajihad again. Apparently since he's a dragon rider people are going to forget that he's a sixteen year old boy and come to them with their problems. He's going to be a leader. Why? Because he has a dragon. That's his only qualification.
Ajihad tells him to rest because he's traveled 180 leagues in eight days. That's 540 miles, sixty eight miles per day. Zombie horses. Yes. Zombie horses. Only way. There is no way you can get me to give up this theory. There is no proof that you can hand me that will make me think any differently.
Saphira threatens to tear the marble city apart if something happens to Eragon and Ajihad calls her noble. I would call that violent.
Dwarf gets called back and gets reprimanded for rescuing Eragon and the others. Because he disobeyed orders. Dwarf apparently likes Riders despite earlier mention that dwarves didn't like Dragons and didn't trust Riders. Dwarf gets sentence of death mitigated for doing the right thing and instead becomes Eragon's guide.
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