Brisingr Chapters 37 & 38

These chapters are called ‘message in a mirror’ and ‘four strokes upon the drum’.

And we’re back with Saphira and right off the bat we get a retarded quote from her.

She lay basking on a smooth shelf of stone several feet above Eragon’s empty cloth-shell-tent.

As opposed to the empty macaroni-salad-shell-tent? Is Saphira retarded or are you Chris? Because, last I checked, tents were implicitly made of cloth. In fact, the number one definition as given by Merriam-Webster’s is, “a collapsible shelter of fabric (as nylon or canvas) stretched and sustained by poles and used for camping outdoors or as a temporary building”.

So if Saphira knows the word tent then she should know it’s made of cloth. Or is she supposed to be just barely capable of thought? I don’t care either way Chris but some damned consistency would be nice. Oh, and I’d really like to know what author you stole the noun-adjective-hyphen-noun crap from.

Her pointless language is very telling of how Chris really see Saphira though. To him, she’s just a low functioning retard that need to be driven around like a horse and swatted with a riding crop when she doesn’t do what she’s told. She’s worse than a horse because she can make some decisions and then carry out actions to bring a goal about. Like say that she wants a casket of mead but someone doesn’t want to share. Without Eragon constantly whacking her on the nose, once for no twice for yes, she’ll just go ahead and barbecue a room full of orphans if no ones brings it to her.

Again, this is fine I suppose but Chris tries to make her out as a perfectly intelligent creature on par with the rest of us. Oh please, a sea sponge is more sentient than Saphira. And in a bit of irony she refers to Thorn as stunted-thoughts. Project much, do we Saphira?

How the hell does she know that he’s got stunted thoughts? Didn’t people have to give permission for a dragon to get inside their head? Shouldn’t other dragons? Why the hell would Thorn let her root around in his skull? Did she return the favor? Is it kind of like dogs sniffing butts and Eragon and Murtagh just politely ignore what their dragons are doing as they shout melodrama at one another across the battlefield.

Saphira whines about Murtagh and Thorn hanging out at the edge of things, forcing her to fly around with an illusion of Eragon on her back. She worries that they’ll attack and the elfwolf, who’s clearly a member of team Jacob, will want to ride around on her and she’ll have no damned elves climbing up on her even if there is a battle.

She goes to sleep, she wakes up and complains that there’s noise in the camp waking her up. Then Nasuada shows up and even Saphira has to groan knowing that some stupid minor plot arc is going to be vomited all over her.

It turns out all the noise in the camp is because a Varden soldier went and killed three Urgals and snuck back out. Supposedly he did this with no provocation, he’s never lost anyone to an Urgal attack for example, and he bragged about it later. I get where Chris thinks he’s going with this. He’s trying to have his characters tackle racism by copying a couple of racist caricatures from the civil rights movement and pasting them into his universe after a trip to Fantasy Outfitters.

The problem with this is it’s completely incongruous with everything else. So there was just one guy who hates the Urgals? Surely there’s at least one other soldier who has an actual grievance with them for stomping through his village and massacring his old school chums while he was off fighting for freedom. And why’d he wait until now to start showing his true colors? Shouldn’t he have been griping from the get go about having to fight with Urgals? And why the hell is Nasuada getting Saphira involved? If the answer is anything besides that they’re going to feed him to her as punishment I’m going to scream.

Apparently Nasuada wanted to consult with the wise dragon. You mean the wise dragon who doesn’t know what tent means? I think you’re about as well off as asking for dating advice from Ted Bundy. Saphira solves the problem and then takes off when Nasuda tells her that Eragon called.

And we go back to Eragon. I guess Chris was tired of all the crap people were giving him for being so damn slow and dull. He must have figured that if he broke it up every chapter or so it would seem exciting. Wrong again, Paolini.

Chris attempts to drop us off in the middle of something exciting. Can you guess what it is? Is Eragon wrestling a bear near the edge of a cliff as a forest fire creeps closer? Is he sliding a presidential mask over his face as he prepares to rob the First National Bank of dwarves? Nah, even better. We’re at the dwarf meeting and they’re voting for the next leader.

After a gruelingly long scene, Orik wins by one vote. Conveniently it’s the very last one. Why did that take multiple pages? Because we had to stop and talk, and talk. The dwarves have to explain their votes for no good reason and Eragon has to analyze every goddamned thing. No one cares Chris! Why should the audience care about the dwarves? You certainly didn’t.

All the other leaders pledge loyalty and they beat some stupid drums four times to announce the new king. I was shocked that they didn’t indicate that a new king had been chosen with white smoke. Especially considering there was a Papal Conclave around the time Chris was working on this and we all know how much sway the media holds over him.

Eragon runs off to work on the giant sapphire and leaves his guards behind. They ask him, in the most convoluted way possible, if he can slow down a bit. Being the impudent douche he is, Eragon says no.

Yeah, who needs guards? It’s not like someone would try and kill while you’re in the city of Tronjheim, right? Nah. Not unless you’d done something to embarrass someone, or maybe even an entire clan, who had nothing left to lose and might want to get some vengeance. And besides, you’ve got that sturdy weapon with you that’s proven effective against any would be attackers, I’m sure you’ll be fine, Eragon.

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4 Responses to Brisingr Chapters 37 & 38

  1. I always wondered what kind of job Paolini could do if he wasn’t a published author. I assumed he’d keep living in his parent’s basement forever but apparently he’s a shoo-in for the Redundant Department of Redundancy Department.

    • vivisector says:

      I was thinking he could submit himself to human testing. They always need a really dumb human to test out the mazes before handing them over to the rats.

  2. maeverin says:

    gah, why is Nasuada leader of the varden again? was she elected or born into it? she seems too damned incompetent to lead in wartime, especially if she has to consult the big-scaley-grillmaster-that-flies on something like unprovoked murder.
    “um…um, there’s this guy? an’ he doesn’t like the urgals, i guess, but he um…guess what?

    • vivisector says:

      And I don’t get why Saphira’s advice is always “sage”. She’s a dragon, shouldn’t she try solving problems like a dragon? ‘What should I do Saphira?’ ‘Eat him.’ ‘You always say that. How does that help?’ ‘Easy, he dies and you’re not hungry. That’s what we dragons call a win-win.’

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