I’ve noticed Chris keeps emphasizing the importance of Murtagh’s father. Everyone in this book is gets bent out of shape at thinking that his dad was a Forsworn. And that’s fine, if everyone in this world is obsessed with parental lineage that could be just part of their culture. In fact, that has a little bit of historical precedence so it’s not overly unfamiliar to us, the readers.
Chris, as usual, handles it in the clumsiest way possible. So far everyone is stuck on Murtagh and Murtagh alone. What about Eragon? He’s a bastard without a clear parent. Shouldn’t people dislike him, even just a little, for that? Shouldn’t someone be shoveling crap at him on a constant basis for being a dictionary definition of bastard?
No, of course not. Chris can’t let anyone bruise the ego of his avatar. The only people who are even a little suspicious of Eragon are just mean people who suck. They’re either supposed to have a change of heart once they realize Eragon is the messiah or they stay blinded by their lack of faith and get comeuppance later. In the case of Ergaz, I imagine that he’s supposed to be an adult who once yelled at Chris to keep off the grass. One of the few that he ever had to deal with outside of his parents.
This chapter is called the ‘glory of tronjheim’. That’s a rather complicated and almost insulting euphemism for Arya’s lady parts, isn’t it? ‘I will have the glory of Tronjheim!’ ‘Yes, we’ll give you much gold and honor if you fend off the Urgals, Eragon.’ ‘Er, I’ll accept that in addition. What? Don’t give me that look, Arya.’
Eragon Wakes: 26
Eragon jolted upright as a growl sounded in his ear. Saphira was still asleep, her eyes wandering sightlessly under her eyelids, and her upper lip trembled, as if she were going to snarl. He smiled, then jerked as she growled again.
That would be adorable if Saphira was like a big scaly puppy. If she were more like the dragons from “How to Train Your Dragon”. Otherwise it’s kind of creepy. I think that’s how Chris should have gone, with a mute dragon companion that doesn’t speak or use words, just thoughts and images. She could even learn English slowly through the story. That would make at least one character somewhat dynamic.
They all get up and wonder about food. Ergaz, who no longer gets named because he’s a dick, shows up and says they’ve been summoned by Ajihad. Eragon wants his horse and weapons and gets a little indignant when Ergaz refuses. Silly me. Of course you can be armed for your meeting with the leader of the Varden. Don’t let my concern for his safety inconvenience you.
Eragon asks how Arya is and Ergaz says he doesn’t know. He attempts to climb on top of Saphira but she shrugs him off and says he’s not getting on while he’s got an elven induced erection going on. Or Ergaz tells him that he’ll ride the horse until he says he can ride his dragon in a couple of paragraphs.
As they proceeded, Eragon’s anticipation about meeting Ajihad increased. The leader of the Varden was a shadowy figure to the people within the Empire. He had risen to power nearly twenty years ago and since then had waged a fierce war against King Galbatorix. No one knew where he came from or even what he looked like. It was rumored that he was a master strategist, a brutal fighter. With such a reputation, Eragon worried about how they would be received. Still, knowing that Brom had trusted the Varden enough to serve them helped to allay his fears.
Again we’re treated to someone who’s legendary and talked about by everyone except before now. Which must mean this person just sprung into existence around this chapter, complete with legendary status granted by the author. I know you might not have had this character in mind during your first pass Chris, but you could have fixed that during a revision. Have Eragon ask if Brom knows Ajihad when Brom mentioned the Varden. That would establish that he’s known to Eragon and make you look smarter than you truly are.
They end up in the crater of a volcano, the top of which ‘might be’ twelve miles high. Sitting in the center of that is a smaller white mountain. It turns out that the father of all dwarves found it while digging for gold and decided they should build the city of Tronjheim there. The entire place is carved of marble.
While marching up towards the city, Eragon notices people. Something he hasn’t done since he was five and decided that the world revolved around him. The idea that other people can and do exist without him stuns him stupid, more than usual, until Saphira reminds him that, hello, he’s riding a dragon. He gives them a little wave and they cheer.
I’m starting to think Eragon lives in a fantasy world. I mean, apart from the one populated with elves, dwarves and dragons. I’m saying that he’s living in a delusional state. I bet the people were booing and throwing fruit or even just staring at him in silence. ‘What’s with the redneck riding the stuffed lizard?’ ‘Apparently he can use magic so they’re humoring him until they get him to the dungeon.’
The Varden had found the perfect hiding place. Farthen Dûr’s walls were too high for a dragon to fly over, and no army could break through the entranceway, even if it managed to find the hidden doors.
Well that’s convenient. Of course, and pardon me if I’m nitpicking here, but that’s not much of a defense. First off, that many people moving into the volcano had to draw some notice, someone saw and is perfectly willing to let king Moron know about it. Secondly, stone isn’t much of a deterent. After all, Eragon shaped a sandstone tomb around Brom without much effort. Ol’ Gabs is, presumably, better and stronger. He could just open a tunnel directly into Tronjheim and send in the army. That would mean he’d have to get up and stop watching Lost reruns for five minutes while he deals with the Varden.
They get to the city, they go inside, the gates close behind them, Chris describes the city. Tronjheim might as well be pulled from any generic RPG. You know, frescos and bas-reliefs of battles and heroes, seemingly blank tapestries and lots of pillars. All we need now is someone who repeats their dialogue endlessly and a mage could feel right at home. ‘Welcome to Tronjheim!’ ‘Yes, glad to be here.’ ‘Welcome to Tronjheim!’ ‘Thanks again, I think.’ ‘Welcome to Tronjheim!’ ‘Alright, I get it. I’m in Tronjheim.’ ‘Welcome to Tronjheim!’ ‘Dmanit Eragon, shut it!’ ‘Huh? Oh, sorry Saphira. I don’t know what came over me.’
The get deeper in and Eragon dismounts. They get to the center of the city, where a twenty yard wide ruby hangs above, and Ergaz leads him on. They walk along to a door where everyone goes inside, except for the guards. Again, I would think you’d want your guards to go wherever the dangerous folks do but I’m kind of old fashioned that way. I don’t assume that once we’ve got the idiots to my leader that they’ll be incapable of assassinating the King/President/Chicken Czar.
Ajihad? What’s next, Crusaden? Holorost?
Auschwitzan, Nankingrad, and possibly Apartheidian.
and don’t forget Span’sh Inquisititad.
I keep reading the place as “Trojanheim.”