Inheritance Chapter 37

This chapter is called “conclave of kings”. It would have to be either a meeting of kings or a meeting about kings. Why do I have a feeling that title won’t make any sense in context and Chris just called it that because he thought it sounded cool?

Chris, having just spent his one action scene for the day, has to load us down with boring detail. Eragon lands and puts Arya on the ground because everyone knows the dirt is the best place for the wounded. She asks where Thorn is and Eragon says gone and then she asks if they saved Nasuada and Eragon can only shake his head..

Sorrow passed over Arya’s face. She coughed and winced, then started to sit up. A thread of blood trickled from the corner of her mouth.

Ah, yes. The trickle of blood from the mouth. I’m not going to pick on Chris too much for using it. That’s one of those things that a lot of writers use and it really needs to stop because it’s something copied from movies. Movies use it because they can hint at serious injuries without showing graphic wounds which would earn them a higher rating. Not all injuries result in people spitting up blood. In fact, people can suffer all sorts of trauma without leaking blood from their mouth. So please, at least think about the kind of beating your characters take before writing about the trickle of blood from the mouth.

Eragon says he’ll get help, Arya says her magic cushioned the blow, Eragon doubts it but doesn’t argue. Then Saphira asks what now? Well now we’re going to spend a whole chapter dicking around. Ergon kills some zombies, some elves come over and heal Saphira. Eragon says he would have preferred to do it himself but with the same sarcasm of people who wait for you to do the dishes before feigning disappointment. ‘Oh, well if you’re going to get it…’

Eragon wanders over to Nasuada’s tent where there are four Imperial mages just sort of hanging out. One is dead and two are still fighting elves while one is just sitting there. He decides that he should screw with them because they had the ill fortune of being born human and not finding a dragon egg.

The remaining magician was kneeling on the ground, his brow pressed against his knees and his arms wrapped around the nape of his neck. Instead of adding his thoughts to the invisible fray, Eragon strode over to the magician, tapped him on the shoulder, and shouted, “Ha!”

Again with the strode. That word has been showing up more and more though this is only the second time I’ve remarked on it. Stop it, Chris. And why not just kill him in cold blood like you’re wont to do, Eragon? Or do you prefer to play with your kills before draining them of life?

The man shivers, rolls his eyes and then dies as the elf fighting him gets into his head. Eragon watches this all and is completely bored by it. Sorry, dude. Eragon might have stepped in and save your life if you were an elf. Why do they have to kill the magicians, again? Is there no way to take them prisoner or are they simply condemned because they have round ears?

Now Eragon feels depressed and he goes on and on about feeling like a failure. You are, Eragon, it’s just that you haven’t been allowed to feel it. Glaedr rubs it in by telling him that it wouldn’t have happened if they’d listened to him. Eragon retorts that killing Thorn wasn’t the only solution and he shouldn’t be so quick to want another dragon dead. This pisses Glaedr off.

Do not think to lecture me, youngling!snapped Glaedr. You cannot begin to understand what I have lost.

See, now would be a good time to reveal that Eragon has some mixed feelings about killing Murtagh. Maybe he still thinks of him as his friend or maybe he’s not sure if he wants to kill the last of his immediate family. Real people would probably have those kinds of doubts and weaknesses and adding it to a character would make them more relatable. Why it would give us insight into their mind and start fleshing them out.

Instead, Eragon snaps back at Glaedr and they stop talking. Yeah, that’s much better than my idea, Chris. Then Roran shows up and pretends to be extremely concerned about Eragon and vice versa.

Relief swept through Eragon as he saw his cousin alive and well.

Relief? From what? Not once in the entire battle did Eragon feel any concern for Roran. His cousin didn’t cross his mind in the slightest. The only person Eragon was worried about was Arya and maybe Nasuada. The only reason I’m relieved that Roran’s alive is because I can’t stand reading through Chris’s boring funerals.

Roran wants to know what’s going on and Eragon takes him to the side and tells him about Nasuada but says he can’t tell anyone. I think everyone might already know. Thorn did land in the middle of the camp and start killing people while Imperials attacked right next to Nasuada’s tent. Between all that and her bodyguards I’m sure everyone’s already figured it out.

Eragon ignores that and tell Roran to stay close because he might need him. Roran asks why and Eragon says that the army all respect him, because the author made them, and he might be needed to keep them from deserting. They keep looking for soldiers and, being as this is the Varden camp and the Imperials are dead they don’t find any. Then a runner, as opposed to a creeper, gives Eragon a message to meet in Orik’s tent.

“There is no choice,” said Jörmundur. “Nasuada made her wishes perfectly clear. You, Eragon, must take her place and lead the Varden in her stead.”

Oh darn, now Eragon is king of everything. I can just picture Eragon now, trying to act coy while dancing inside. ‘Yes! Uh, I mean I can’t believe it.’ Must hide joy. Must hide joy. ‘This was the last thing I could have wanted.’ Okay, so far so good. Just gotta stop grinning. Now it’s time for the big lie. ‘Nasuada was such a great leader and completely irreplaceable. I’ll do my best until she returns. Unless Thorn “accidentally” kills her. Wait, did I say that out loud?’

“I never wanted this,” said Eragon, staring down at the map of Alagaësia stretched out on the table in the center of the pavilion.

“None of us did,” said King Orrin in a biting tone.

Nice false modesty there, Eragon. And an unexpected burn from king Orrin, good show. And it follows exactly as I predicted. Eragon repeats how he didn’t want this and how he’ll try to live up to Nasuada’s example. Orrin asks if Eragon would continue to consult with them just like Nasuada did. Eragon says yes while making sure his fingers are crossed.

Then we get blindsided by sudden racism. Orrin begins complaining that they can’t be sure Eragon won’t be showing any favoritism to one race or another. This would be a valid concern if he was talking about the elves but he seems to be worried about the dwarves because Eragon is “foster brothers” with Orrik who’s the dwarf king, lest we forget. Orrin wants Eragon to think about everyone not just one race.

Let’s back that the hell up, Chris. Orrin knows that Eragon was in training with the elves and Eragon actually spent a sizable, within the book’s timeline, time with the elves. He received numerous gifts including jewelry and a magic sword, a set of bodyguards and the  queen treats him with deference. Combined with the fact he came back looking like an elf, what would a regular human start wondering?

Might they start asking if the elves did something to him? Maybe they’d start to worry that the elves replaced Eragon with someone else. After all, they can alter their appearance however they want. Maybe they couldn’t quite mimic him so they came up with an excuse why one of their people looks kind of but not quite Eragon. And even if they didn’t why did the elves change him? What are they planning?

Eragon gets huffy saying yeah, yeah he’ll do whatever is in everyone’s interest so please stop bothering him. His concern is Gabby and the empire and everything is directed at taking them out. So stop bothering him and only question his judgment but never his motives. Then

“Enough of this nonsense!” exclaimed Orik, glowering. “You worry about a crack in the floor while the whole mountain is about to come down upon us!”

Yeah, stop questioning the man/elf/thing who stands before you. Just elect him grand master of the Varden already and don’t concern yourselves with the details. Nasuada’s been gone for less than a day and everyone’s just accepting Eragon. Orrin is the only dissenting voice and we know he’s going to lose or buckle. The best royal successions don’t move this smoothly let alone in a semi democratic organization.

Everyone agrees that they should just keep heading to the capital as fast as they can go. You mean instead of stopping every couple of miles to siege some strategically meaningless city? Why change your plans now just when they’re getting stupid?

Orrin raises a few more points as to why Eragon sucks. Namely that the dauthdaert didn’t help him stop Thorn and he can’t beat his own brother at being a dragon rider in spite of being one longer. He says they entered the war under the belief Eragon would win then Eragon says it’s the only chance they have. Orrin replies by saying they don’t have a chance because they’ve all been dancing like puppets at Gabby’s whim.

Really, Chris? Are you really going to try and make Gabby out to be a puppet master villain? Because it doesn’t work at all. To even try and convince us of that one, you have to show us a lot more of the villain than you have. At the bare minimum we need to know or get a sense of his ultimate plan. You’re far better off just pretending he’s evil just because and making him into a caricature at this point.

Orrin starts lamenting that now Gabby is going to know about the dragon lance and Eragon counters by saying they won’t know what it is but then Orrin says Gabby will when he examines their memories. Then Grimy mentions the spear by name and says it has an infamous history, though not infamous enough to have heard anything about it until just now. Eragon makes them all swear an oath in the “ancient language” that they can’t talk about the spear without permission. Eragon then says that Gabby isn’t invincible and there are spells that can kill him if only they can come up with them. Then Roran asks to speak.

“It is this: too much blood and too many tears have been shed for us to turn back now. It would be disrespectful, both to the dead and to those who remember the dead. This may be a battle between gods”—he appeared perfectly serious to Eragon as he said this—“but I for one will keep fighting until the gods strike me down, or until I strike them down. A dragon might kill ten thousand wolves one at a time, but ten thousand wolves together can kill a dragon.”

Saphira laughs at this notion and suddenly I want to see her gutted. But I do love Roran’s attitude. ‘Sure the odds suck but we’ve killed too many people to turn back now. So to hell with it, let’s do this thing.’ And I like how Roran casually mentions the “gods” but we’ve still never heard them mentioned by name except for the dwarves. Funny how that works.

Everyone agrees that they’ll just keep on doing what they doing because the author will drop another blessing or two from the sky. Then Orrik starts quaffing, because drinking is for pansies, and restates that they’re heading for the capital. Hurray for filler.

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2 Responses to Inheritance Chapter 37

  1. Oculus_Reparo says:

    In movies, it always seems as though blood trickles from the lips just before, or at the point of, death. I seem to remember hearing that this means the internal organs have been damaged, which means Arya might be bleeding from inside . . . ?

    • vivisector says:

      We could only hope. I was honestly surprised that Arya didn’t have some special colored blood because elves have to be different from the lowly humans.

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