Eldest Chapters 43 & 44

These chapters are called ‘the obliterator’ and ‘narda’. More long chapters, ugh.

Whoa, I feel dizzy. Reading through the first bit, Chris starts to sum up the training. ‘He learned about poisons and how to cook and how to imbue stuff.’ Which is just great. I mean, if Eragon is going to be the irritating douche that he is, I’d rather not sit around reading while he becomes even douchier. Let’s just skip that part and I’ll assume he’s gotten worse.

Eragon asks if the elves ever use their spells to change themselves. Oromis smirks and goes ‘uh, duh.’ Apparently that’s why they all look good. They learn how to change themselves with magic and then make themselves look however they want. Some even do the whole body mod thing and look more like animals than elves.

That’s interesting because it makes you wonder how the elves identify themselves. I mean, if you can make yourself look anyhow you choose then what’s to stop you from looking like, say, the queen? Sure, the elves are all good and not one of them has ever dreamed of ruling them. I mean, it’s not like the current queen could have killed the previous, took her appearance and then killed the king because he realized something was wrong. Nope, they’re all just a bunch of happy, shining fairies living in the woods, communing with the animals and drinking Tranya for all eternity.

Eragon reads a bunch of scrolls and find he likes to learn. Sure, because he’s given us every indication of being an inquisitive sort. The way he asks questions constantly. Or rather how he asks a question or two and then goes back to whining about his sciatica/loneliness/being so awesome. The reading like, opens his eyes man. Here’s a tidbit from a particularly egregious paragraph.

They challenged his beliefs and forced him to reexamine his assumptions about everything from the rights of an individual within society to what caused the sun to move across the sky.

What beliefs? What assumptions? Not once have we ever heard what Eragon believes. Whether he has a religion or thought the sun was a flaming baseball thrown across the sky each morning by Babe Ruth was never something we addressed, Chris. And he has not questioned the role of the individual in society. Eragon knows it’s their job to shower him with praise. Oh, and feed him.

No doubt this takes less than a year to accomplish. That’s because Eragon is just so special and wonderful. Because it’s just so easy to find time to read and pick up new skills while going through intense physical training. It would be terrible if Eragon hurt himself in the process.

Chris uses the term nonfiction when Eragon talks about getting something other than poems and tales to read. That’s a nice, jarring word to be bandying about in a medieval setting. Especially considering that’s a word from the twentieth century. Why not just slip ‘well duh’ in there and other stupid anachronisms?

Eragon says that, because of the mind link, he’s watching Saphira learn as well. She’s doing some strength training and learning to breathe fire for hours. Wait, I thought that was a rare skill only accomplished by the strongest and elder dragons? Also, Glaedr shares knowledge about the dragon race because Saphira’s racial memory is suffering from racial Alzheimer’s. ‘Eragon? Is that you?’ ‘I’m right here Saphira.’ ‘Oh, good. We have to stop the dragon war from destroying your people. Their splintery bones hurt coming out the other end and it’s killing us.’ ‘Uh, Saphira. The Dragon Wars have been over for thousands of years.’ ‘Then who are you and where’s my dwarf dumpling soup?’

Conveniently, Saphira hides a bunch of the history from him. That way Chris never has to write it out and he can instead focus on how perfect the elves are. Oh and Saphira is proud of her parents because her mother was a wild dragon who only gave one egg ever to the riders. She was killed during the ‘fall’. I guess she shattered her hip and you know how that’s practically death during that age.

Wait, Chris, just wait. There were the dragons with the riders, and plenty of them from the sounds of things, and wild dragons? Let’s see, two to three eggs given to the riders per year equals minimum of two thousand dragons in a thousand years. Given the amount Saphira eats just how the hell did Alagaësia support all of them? Don’t forget you said they keep growing and they’re immortal. Unless they were importing Urgals from across the pond to…gasp! Soylent mutton is made from Urgals!

Eragon practices more with the elf who beats him and then insults him. His name is Vanir, in case you need someone to root for like I do. Eragon throws magic at him and Vanir does the same then they stalk off like children knowing they’ve each screwed up. I’d like Vanir if I didn’t suspect that he’ll turn around and praise Eragon as soon as he gets better. Because author forbid that an elf could ever be wrong or even a jerk.

Eragon wants to know how Vanir slapped him around when he couldn’t talk. Get ready for this, magic isn’t about the spoken words, it’s about thinking them. Oromis claims they don’t teach this to young magicians because otherwise stray thoughts could interfere. Right, and I don’t take my dog outside lest it see a squirrel and explode from the excitement.

Some long dead race called the Grey Ones cast an enchantment back in the day which made magic go from doing whatever as long as you think of it, to it needs language based power. Okay, fine but how can Saphira use magic then? She just does, because it’s maaaagic. Wiggle your fingers for effect and repeat after me. Maaaagic.

Eragon complains more about his back. That’s it Eragon, I’m grabbing a scalpel, a copy of Grey’s anatomy and we’re fixing your back, one way or the other. He almost gives up but Oromis coaxes him back to training. Eraogn asks why Oromis can’t just magic him strong. Good question Chris, why? Uh, because, uh, no shortcuts are permitted. Yes, Oromis just says because rather than providing good grounds. You’re digging yourself deep, Chris.

Now that I’m thoroughly burnt out on the whining of Eragon, we go now live to Roran. Roran, how are you doing? ‘Not so good, I’m an inbred, halfwit in charge of a town that’s marching away from our troubles but accruing more as we go. Not the least of which is diseases we’ve never encountered, scurvy, and something we call dragon squirts.’ That’s great, I hope you choke to death on irony. Now, for the weather.

The big news is the cold snap coming in form the Spine. Three people from Carphall died due to the weather and a fourth fell into a stream. People are freezing but they still like Roran anyway in spite of the fact that Chris has given him a new beard. Combined with the hammer it’s more likely than ever that he’s meant as a carbon copy of Perrin from the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Robert Jordan was seen crawling back out of his grave and had this to say. ‘Chris’s brains will sate Shai’tan’s hunger!’ Ha ha, those crazy authors. Back to you Ted.

Alright, not sure what that had to do with the weather but onto the news. Roran and some other townsfolk go into Narda and talk with the gatekeeper. They have a brilliant conversation that hurts to read and more to relate. ‘Duh, where you from?’ ‘Bur? About that way.’ ‘What you want?’ ‘Chickens.’ ‘Oooohhh, chickens be good. Me want chickens too!’

Roran spots a wanted poster drawn of him without a beard. Holdup again, Chris. Who drew that? Do all of Gabby’s soldiers have liberal arts degrees? Is that why they’re so useless? ‘You want me to swing a sword? Nah, I’d rather sketch that guy over there. Get me my sketch pad and some charcoal. I want to capture these amazing shadows. I majored in Art History and minored in ignoring the screams of my comrades in arms.’

Oh, and there’s a poster for Eragon. That makes sense because he was imprisoned for awhile, people saw him and remembered. Who saw Roran? It turns out Saphira was just gossiping with some of the paparazzi while watching him draw. ‘No, no, no. Dumber, dumber! The eyes are beadier and sunk in. And that nose is too heroic, it’s more hatchet like. There’s a sense that if you could see into his head you’d see dirty elven thoughts.’

Roran is looking for ships to carry them across to Terim and he finds a guy with some grain barges. Huzzah! Except everyone is complaining about it. They’re willing to walk over the Spine and risk bear attacks but to travel on Barges? That’s just undignified! Couldn’t you at least arrange a Carnival Cruise or something?

Marching to the forefront of the group, Loring raised his arms for attention. “Barges?” said the cobbler. “Barges? We don’t want no stinking barges!” He spat by his foot as people clamored with agreement.

Sweet dead popsicle rabbits, did you just make a terribly dated, misquoted reference to the Treasure of the Sierra Madre? Or were you referring to Blazing Saddles? That’s just wonderful, Chris. Why don’t you just borrow some Family Guy jokes wholesale next time? That way you can show us what a razor wit you possess.

Roran tells them it’s this or walk. Have I mentioned that they’re planning on stealing the barges and skipping out on paying the owner? They don’t like it but when faced with the prospect of walking they’d rather rip off an old man who scrapes by delivering grain and fishing. ‘To hell with his livelihood, my feet are sore!’

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6 Responses to Eldest Chapters 43 & 44

  1. Finally I have something to comment on that’s not the Ra’zac! Here’s a link to an ImpishIdea article all about ecology in general, how to build the ecology of fantasy creatures, and I think there’s a little bit of talking about how Paolini’s fantasy biology FAILS.
    Click here: http://impishidea.com/writing/22/basic-fantasy-ecology-and-making-animals
    Feel free to browse around that site. Other than here, it’s one of the best Internet havens for an Anti-fan of the Eragon books.

    And while I’m posting links, here’s something for giggles: http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=eragon&order=9&offset=24&offset=24#/dqk113

    And also, could someone do me a favor and teach me how to make links without the whole URL appearing? You know, disguise the link as a single word? 😐

  2. Vanessa says:

    Why the hell would he do a movie reference? Did he even realize what he was doing? I doubt he’s watched anything older than 10 years that wasn’t made by Dreamworks. Perhaps later Eragon can get help from some beavers and as they destroy the dams to drown the enemy he can turn to Saphira and say “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a dam”, tear off his glasses and wink at the audience. It will be brilliant!!!

    • vivisector says:

      Or maybe he’ll meet a talking donkey, turn to Saphira and say ‘well, he was an ass’. Then a Scottish ogre will knock him out.

      • Vanessa says:

        Haha. So true. They keep going on how she’s the last dragon and blah blah (well the only WHOLE dragon) and she could just screw a donkey to reproduce.

    • maeverin says:

      did his target audience even get that?
      i suspect dad looked over Chris’s shoulder and said “hey, hey boy, put this in! it’ll be funny!”

      • vivisector says:

        That or his dad kept saying it and Chris thought it was hilarious. Of course I imagine him as the kind of kid that stared at ceiling fans in rapt attention.

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