I do love how quickly people communicate in Chris’s series. For example, someone mentioned in the last chapter how they’re already singing songs about Roran and Katrina. I guess Alagaësia was lacking in poster children for birth control and bad decisions made while under the influence of hormones.
This of course begs two questions. One, just what the hell about Roran and Katrina was worthy of songs before they got back? They got engaged then, shortly after, she got kidnapped. That’s worthy of a sad pop tune that charts for a couple of weeks but it’s not legendary.
Secondly, how in the hell does everyone already know about it? Does everyone own a smartphone and have access to headline news? Is the Flash the land’s only town crier? Or all they all members of the videogame hive mind collective like in RPG’s where word of your deeds gets spread the second you turn in your quest?
These Chapters are called ‘escape and evasion’ and ‘a delicate matter’.
We start of with Eragon running. His doctor said his cholesterol levels still haven’t dropped after he changed his diet so Eragon has to try exercise before they’ll put him on statins. Some soldiers think they spot him but Eragon hides in the bushes, having had a lot of practice back in elfland spying on Arya, and hides himself with an illusion.
Then suddenly he’s waking up from a nightmare and freaks out. Chris doesn’t say what it was about so I’m assuming it was the one where Eragon was being chased by a giant, disembodied spatula as he sprints across a hot griddle. He faffs about for a bit and complains that he’s a wuss.
Then suddenly, yet again, Eragon is out walking along and sees some structures. He figures they must have been elven because he became an expert on elven architecture during his six month stay with them. He investigates and runs into a hermit doing some light gardening.
Being the mentally deficient chinchilla he is, Eragon helps out because the man offers him a meal. The man uses magic to light a fire which puts Eragon on guard. Then he starts gabbing on about finding the true answer to the question and Eragon declares him mad and ducks out when he’s distracted by some action figures.
Oh come on, Chris. The most interesting character you’ve stolen in awhile and you dismiss him in a few seconds? Even though he was pretty tame for a mad hermit, being only obsessed with the search for the “truth” and “the question”, he just babbled a bit.
Chris knows as much about madness as he does about storytelling which just makes the attempt funny. Madness doesn’t always mean the trees are talking or that the world is out to get them and it doesn’t always manifest in making someone just a little quirky. But if you’re going to go that route and use the store brand “mad” character you could at least make them funny or keep them around to drive the plot.
Eragon comes to a village and someone gives him a look, thinking he’s familiar, but then forgets about it and directs him to the nearest flophouse, I mean inn. It’s funny that no one takes note of the man who looks startlingly like an elf being as elves haven’t been seen on about a century. A good thing no one notices the Vulcan ears he’s sporting, he tied a bandana about his head, or else Eragon might be in trouble.
While he’s waiting for the innkeep to wander down and offer him a room, Eragon spots a woman sitting in the corner. She’s hot like Arya but doesn’t look like an elf. Eragon does the only natural thing and sticks his mind probe into her head only to find it is Arya.
‘Well, Arya. Funny, us running into each other at the same Motel 6.’ ‘I was going to say the same thing. What brings you here?’ ‘I was just looking for a safe place to stay. I certainly wasn’t out in search of some good ol’ fashioned wood alcohol and whores. That’s exactly the last thing I want.’ ‘Oh good, because I was looking for you. Luckily I can listen to the land because dragon riders leave impressions in the land that are easy to track by the magically sensitive, something I forgot to mention a long time ago but is totally true. It’s a pity good thing that other dragon riders aren’t sensitive in magic or else Murtagh could follow your trail to your current location.’
They stay in the room together and Eragon can’t stop watching her sleep. They sneak out of the room before morning comes, for reasons that aren’t really clear, and flee the small town. They contact Nasuada via magic and Eragon has Nasuada do a relay call between him and Saphira. After which Eragon says he wants to run back to the Varden and not stop until her gets home and can play with his big blue flying dog who is in no way related to a big red dog.
The next chapter opens up with Roran doing his workout, wonderful. I guess Chris got tired of getting beaten up by the other fantasy authors so he sent away for his Charles Atlas booklet. Oh and Roran is stronger than most everybody in the Varden.
Roran goes and has a bath then meets up with Katrina. They make some veiled references to intercourse which was shocking as I was pretty sure Chris was only going to allow Eragon to get laid while the other characters were to be satisfied with spontaneously appearing children.
The two go to Nasuada’s tent, probably to gawk at her like the couple of country bumpkins they are. She says that Roran has put her in a difficult position. Not yet he hasn’t. Let him get out the cuffs and the ball gag first. Then she explains how.
“One of character, and one of politics. Your deeds in Palancar Valley and during your flight thence with your fellow villagers are nigh on incredible. They tell me that you have a daring mind and that you are skilled at combat, strategy, and inspiring people to follow you with unquestioning loyalty.”
Really? So is Roran just another part of Chris or does he represent his one and only friend? I’m just curious because most of that isn’t true. Roran used no strategy other than running headlong into combat, he only killed the “twins” because they were distracted and his inspiration consists of telling people to do things and them being obligated to do so because otherwise the god in the sky wielding the word processor would turn them into Ra’zac snacks or blind outcasts.
Nasuada has a mission lined up for Roran. Don’t worry though, it’s a tutorial mission that will only prove that yes he’s just the kind of man Nasuada wants in charge of soldiers. Roran wants to wait until Eragon comes back so he can shout “Eeeyyy Cuuussin!” and wheedle him about going bowling, drinking or to the strip club. Or it’s because he wants Eragon to marry him and Katrina so they can get medieval on each other. Nasuada says that’ll have to wait until after he does this mission.
This is pretty stupid. Seriously, if Eragon wanted to he could get laid a hundred times (even if he is a socially awkward r,etarded boy). So what if Arya won’t sleep with him, he could get some random elf chick to help him “tame his dragon”. Perhaps if he weren’t obsessing over her, Arya would show some interest. But knowing Eragon, he’d knock up the poor elf girl and she’d “accidently” be pushed down a flight of stairs to end that.
all for the good of Alagaesia, of course.
Eragon not fathering a horde of retarded offspring is definitely for the good of Alagaesia.
I think madness is also Chris’s Deus ex Machina for Galbatorix’s motivation. Why did he want to destroy the dragon riders, burn down a library, and slaughter Yazuac? Ummmm, he was mad! Seriously, though, add mental illness to the list of things that Paolini doesn’t know how to handle.
Ha… Roran is only one letter away from “Roman”. But the Bellic cousins are far cooler than these guys