Brisingr Chapters 31 & 32

So just where did all these zombie soldiers come from? They showed up about a third of the way through this book and they’re starting to become rather common so it stands to reason that they don’t take a lot of effort on Gabby’s part to make. So just who’s signing up for all this in the first place? Something like that would require lots of testing and people would start noticing how people are disappearing.

And speaking of testing, that’s the kind of thing Gabby would have been working on for a long time. That would have taken at least a couple of years and numerous subject just to make sure it worked across the board then there would be the matter of streamlining it so it could be done relatively quickly.

Even if this particular type of soldier, we’ll call them the painless for now, were somewhat rare they’re incredibly useful. You’d think Gabby would have a large elite unit of painless marching about and putting down any serious resistance. That seems like the kind of thing you’d do if you had successfully killed all the dragons and dragon riders. Otherwise it would just seem like they’d just been invented because the author needed something dangerous and he couldn’t use the Urgals.

These chapters are called ‘blood on the rocks’ and ‘a matter of perspective’.

Eragon storms into his room in a hissy fit. Great way to start off the chapter Chris. Just have to make sure we remember he’s a whiny, immature jackass eh? Like we could possibly forget it. Oh, and the second paragraph has a lovely gem.

Eragon stood with his hands on his hips in the middle of the arched corridor outside the chamber and glared at the floor, which was tessellated with rectangles of agate and jade. Since he and Orik had arrived in Tronjheim, three days ago, the thirteen chiefs of the dwarf clans had done nothing but argue about issues that Eragon considered inconsequential, such as which clans had the right to graze their flocks in certain disputed pastures. As he listened to the clan chiefs debate obscure points of their legal code, Eragon often felt like shouting that they were being blind fools who were going to doom all of Alagaësia to Galbatorix’s rule unless they put aside their petty concerns and chose a new ruler without further delay.

See, this would be the time for Eragon to learn that the petty squabbles that people sometimes have, aren’t always that petty. When leaders argue over smaller points there’s usually a larger reason behind it. Maybe in these cases one clan has a feud with another because of a war they had long ago or perhaps some chief’s son fathers bastard children on another’s daughter and they’re still a bit sore about that. But no, it’ll be just as simple and flat as Chris just painted it. They’re just being petty for no reason and surely Eragon will have to fix them by talking at them.

Eragon lists the bidders for dwarven royalty and their clans. Each one has one(ping!) thing they’re good at and only one. Oh and one of them is the clan that declared Eragon blood enemies. Remember that? Of course you did, why that whole scene from the last book was just so damned memorable I’m sure it ranks up there with the scene from Fellowship of the Ring where the hobbits order ale at the Prancing Pony.

Eragon, being the aimless bastard that he is, wanders around like an idiot. ‘Hum deed um deed um, just walking the halls of Tronjheim and making everyone see it. Hurp de derp, is that the giant sapphire that Arya and Saphira broke? Let’s strike up a conversation with the dwarves who are working on it, derp da derp.’

They’re trying to rush the reconstruction so that it can be ready for Saphira to fix in time for the crowning of limbo winner. Barring that maybe they’ll have it done by the time the king, or queen, is crowned.

There’s another thing I don’t understand. Authors always, always, have the dwarves, or some other long lived race, act like getting things done in a timely manner is foreign to them. They always refer to humans as hasty and they take their time. But why? It especially makes no sense for dwarves. Considering they’re supposed to be masters of metal and such. Metal has to be worked quickly once it’s been heated, you can’t just heat it up and then come back to work on in a week because you “don’t want to be too hasty now”.

Eragon sits through some talks and then goes back to wandering around for no reason. He runs into some dwarf assassins down in some empty tunnels. His falchion breaks and he kills a bunch of short people, one of which by having a dwarf lantern explode. I guess the dwarves pack their lanterns full of dynamite in case they feel the need take out a wall or two.

Eragon says he’ll find out who’s responsible for the attack. Sure you will David Caruso. Maybe you’ll pull out the old fingerprint kit and scan the place for stray fibers. What he means is that the person responsible will fall into his lap with a folder labeled ‘Failed Assassination Attempt on Eragon.’ Hey, while you’re making promises you don’t intend to keep why not vow to make the dwarves into dragon riders as well?

Oh and Eragon decides he needs another sword but this time it has to be a rider’s sword. You know, the kind that’s magical and unbreakable. Otherwise he’s just some schmuck with nearly limitless power and a dragon.

And we switch perspectives again, this time to Saphira. And we start off with a long love letter to Saphira as written by the author describing how beautiful she is and how she knows she’s perfect. Oh and Thorn and Shruikan? They’re not pretty because they’re males.

Interesting take, Chris. Because last I checked, it’s not uncommon for males in the animal kingdom to be bright and flashy to attract mates while females are more plain. Wouldn’t it be a little more interesting if Saphira was larger and less attractive while, say, Thorn was smaller and prettier? It might be interesting to shake things up and have the humans mistake the genders of dragons because they have preconceived notions which deserve questioning. But then again, this is Chris. ‘Dragons are pretty! I’m going to make a love pillow with Saphira on it!’ You go do that, mister Paolini.

Saphira flies overhead, looks at stuff and then whines about Eragon not being around. Geez, even when he’s not in a scene he’s ruining it. He’s got the same power as Shia Lebouf does and it’s remote. Then Saphira lands and lays down in front of Eragon’s tent.

This is a very telling chapter because Saphira is, apparently, functionally retarded. See, she uses these joined-by-hyphens-phrases when referring to stuff like horses-she-can’t-eat and big-round-fire-in-the-sky(I wish I made that up). The worst offender is man-with-round-ears. What, as opposed to the Vulcan hybrids you’ve got running around?

And why does Sahpira think like this? She uses language perfectly when talking to Eragon. Never once has she been like ‘hey, Eragon. I just got yelled at again.’ ‘What for?’ ‘I ate one of those short-screaming-things-that-run-away again.’ ‘Those are called children, Saphira. Yes, we generally frown on that.’ ‘Humph. You humans have strange rules.’

Roran and the unit comes back. The big surprise here is that Nasuada removes Martland, the guy who lost his hand, from command and decides to pick another captain and it’s not Roran.

Nasuada asks Roran’s opinion about the painless, whom she just calls men who don’t feel pain. Ah, isn’t that cute, she’s pretending to get him involved. Roran says the painless may look dangerous but they’re not really. All they have to do is keep their morale up and use tactics. Were the Varden not doing that before? Sounds like the chief officer of morale needs to be fired and the head tactician needs to be replaced.

Then Saphira, showing the same tact and grace as her owner, forces her way into Roran’s mind while he’s busy playing hide-the-salami with Katrina. She’s amused that she caught him at a bad time but doesn’t care. She’s bored and wants to hear some stories about Eragon from before she was hatched. Roran says sure if she’ll just get out of his head right now.

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5 Responses to Brisingr Chapters 31 & 32

  1. Link time!

    Four articles dedicated to Paolini failing at warfare.

  2. maeverin says:

    Chris actually touched on something interesting that he will again ignore, i’m sure. the idea that without the rider, the dragon will become more feral and start to lose its more human qualities like refined speech. Like how a farm pig will take on more wild aspects (tusks, coarser hair)relatively quickly if it escapes.
    the thought that this would only take a couple of days/weeks to take effect would be off, but it would be interesting, especially as she starts to forget not to eat the short-screaming-things-that-run-away.

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