Chapter The Doom of Innocence, Deathwatch, the Madness of Life I love the title, Doom of innocence. It's so full of portents. Sorry. My bad. I shouldn't be making fun of the chapter titles like this
Characters Who aren't in these chapters?
Shiny Magical objects in Eragon's possession Bloody legs, fever. Guess they aren't really special shiny magical objects... but...
So, Saphira and Eragon spend the night together. Which sounds horribly wrong. But isn't. And I'm not going to go down this bestiality track any longer. Anyway, it turns out that the clearing that Saphira took Eragon too is the same clearing that he found her egg in. Now, there is not story purpose for this to happen. It's just remarked upon. But there's no reason for this to be. He doesn't find anything else there, nor does he look for something else that could have shown up. It just is. Now, since there was no reason for him to be there, nor does he find anything, there was no reason why Paolini should have had them go there. It's just a completely wasted moment. If you are going to have something where you return to a point of origin, you should have a reason for it. Otherwise it just feels false and unnecessary. It's a very... okay that was nice, but why does it matter? There was no story point for this to happen. It doesn't advance the plot in anyway.
In any case, Eragon and Saphira return to the farm and oh Noes it's all destroyed! If only Eragon had gone to Garrow first before getting Saphira he might still be alive! Instead, Saphira and Eragon went on a completely random side trip and left him to die! But wait! Garrow is NOT DEAD! YAY! Now, they have to get Garrow to town. They have Saphira who is a big and strong creature. Obviously they should build some sort of contraption so that she could drag Garrow through the snow to the village. Or... they could have Saphira fly with him... when she's not strong enough and then get tired half way there and then have the injured Eragon drag him the rest of the way. Which is certainly more dramatic, if not practical. Guess which Eragon chooses?
Eragon does choice "B" and lucky for him, Brom, who has a strange and mysterious head injury, catches him when he collapses.
Then Eragon has some strange and mysterious dreams. I'm sure they're full portents of things to come or things from the past. People with silver hair boarding a ship. One guy misses the boat and howls sadly. He does, really, after all isn't that what "a long, aching cry" is? The ship is magical because it floats away without oars or sail (either that or they had a motor). He then wakes up and we learn that he has been asleep for two days with fever sleeping in the healer's hut.
Horst, the blacksmith, is a very rich man. He can afford to have a two story house. Though I'm not sure what sort of skill a blacksmith would have in building a house. But apparently he has lavished all his skill on it. After all gargoyles are usually made of stone, not iron, because then they'd rust horribly. And carving is usually done in wood. Both things are not a blacksmith's skill. Perhaps he means Horst's skill with spending money.
In a bizzare (though not in Eragon land) turn of events, it seems that the more injured Garrow is staying with Horst while the less injured Eragon is staying with the healer. And it also turns out that Horst has enough room for both Eragon and Garrow to stay in. The intelligent thing would have been to either have both of them at Horst's house (which almost begs the question why does he need such a big house in such a small village) or Garrow at the healer's house. Such things are not considered, however. Perhaps it is more dramatic to have him wake up in the healer's hut and have to walk to Horst's place.
On an interesting side note, now that I think about it, Paolini has a very odd naming convention. He uses regular names for everyone, except for the people who are going to be important. Eragon is the hero. Garrow is his uncle and dies, which gives Eragon desire for revenge, Brom is going to be the Mentor Figure. But everyone else has names like Helen, Katrina, and Sloan. I bring this up merely because it brings an uneveness to the world and makes it difficult to believe in. After all why would you have some people named Bob and then other people named Gorbax in the same society? Names in fantasy should either be all "familiar" for a society or all different, unless there's a good reason for them not to. Anyway, I'm sure that the naming theory that I have stated, being "if they have a normal name, they aren't important", will hold throughout the book.
Eragon lies about what happened to his legs (though how digging through rubble rubs all your skin off your legs is beyond me) and what happened at the farm. They don't call him on this. But, in a good point, they don't actually believe him either.
That night, Eragon wakes up just after Garrow dies. He cries mightly to to the heavens that this is unfair, but they don't answer him. He then cries himself to sleep. At this point I should be feeling horrible for what happened to Eragon and his uncle, but I don't have any emotional investment in Eragon as a character. He's a stupid boy who makes poor decisions and believes that the world revolves around him. He doesn't seem to have any likable characteristics. Sure he has a dragon, but that's not enough to make me like him. He's just there. I don't care about him or what happens to him.
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