This chapter is called “the gift of knowledge” which is a perfect oxymoron. There’s no way that Chris could give that if he was regifting.
Eragon and Murtagh begin circling one another. We get a description of their armor and Chris tries to tell us it’s the same. Then he starts talking about their swords because they’re important, they have names after all. Chris says that Eragon’s sword is longer while Murtagh’s is thicker and weightier.
As for their swords, Brisingr, with its hand-and-a-half hilt, had the advantage of length, while Zar’roc, with its wider blade, had the advantage of weight.
Though I don’t see how a weightier blade could help Murtagh. They both have super human strength so I doubt a couple of ounces will really make that much of an impact. Chris has forgotten that he made both these characters strong enough to move boulders around. But then they get close and start whispering to each other.
Murtagh starts arguing with Eragon, saying that their fight is stupid. Yeah, but then again so is this series. You never let any of that stop you before. Eragon says he’s buying time and Murtagh tells him he would have freed Nasuada if he’d only had one more day. Then Murtagh swings at him and it’s a swing and a miss for both of them as Eragon tries to retaliate.
They go back to circling again and Eragon whines about Murtagh getting to keep the magic that makes him faster when Gabby specifically said no magic. He says he can understand though as it wouldn’t be fair. I think Eragon just resents having to face someone that he can’t just overpower without blinking. Where are those damn zombie mooks he loved chopping through so much? There’s a short blow by blow section and then Chris gets tired of that and switches to the gist of the thing.
Murtagh then turns around and goads Eragon into attacking him by turning around. Murtagh shoves him back and almost stabs Eragon in the throat but Gabby stops him. Gabby tells him to calm down and restrain himself or he’ll do it before telling them to get back at it.
The realization that Murtagh had just tried to kill him—and that he would have succeeded if not for Galbatorix’s intervention—shocked Eragon. He searched Murtagh’s face for an explanation, but Murtagh remained stubbornly expressionless, as if Eragon meant little or nothing to him.
Who knows why Murtagh would try that. Maybe Gabby is controlling him with his mind and you only think he tried to kill you. Or maybe he hates your stupid, dumb, spoiled elvish face. Eragon keeps saying that Murtagh is playing “the game” differently before. Which only seems odd when you consider that Eragon has never referred to swordplay with Murtagh as “the game”.
Somehow knowing that Murtagh is just screwing with him makes Eragon feel bad. He says he’s never confronted death in such a stark manner and blah blah blah I’ve completely tuned the book out. Some time after a self inflicted head injury, I manage to come back right as everyone is telling Eragon that it’s not his fault Murtagh looks like he’s doing better in the fight. Don’t worry, though, they’re using their telepathy so Murtagh doesn’t hear them. So they slash at each other for “what felt like hours” and cut each other up.
The first wound was a cut Murtagh gave Eragon on his right thigh, in the gap between the edge of his hauberk and the upper part of his greave. It was a shallow cut, but exceedingly painful, and every time Eragon put his weight on the leg, blood surged from the wound.
You know, Chris. I don’t need to know exactly where Eragon’s wound is to believe it. Unless it’s plot related, you can spare us the dull details of every single scratch your figure gets. But Chris isn’t listening and so he dedicates paragraphs to individual cuts. Yeah, that happens. Then they beat each other until the wards on their shields fail and they break.
They both work on delivering death by a thousand cuts to each other and Eragon is getting tired. He decides that he should beat Murtagh before he hasn’t the energy to fight Gabby. As if all you need to win is to decide to do it. But being as Eragon is an author’s avatar, this determination is exactly what he needs. He remembers what Glaedr told him about looking at things and really seeing them.
So he looks at Murtagh the same way he looked at Arya back in Dras-Leona. Is it an extremely juvenile lust that has yet to be tempered with disappointment? Oh, no. The kind of magical examination that reveals all their weak spots, causing them to light up like the big red flashing area on the boss’s forehead. Eragon also learns all about Murtagh because just looking at people can tell you everything about them.
What did Eragon learn from his piercing gaze? That there must be something pushing him to fight Eragon and even be willing to kill his own half brother. That’s a nice parlor trick, Eragon. Do you also guess people’s weight? Eragon decides he’ll concede defeat then kill Murtagh. Saphira says that there must be another way while Glaedr and Saphira growl at each other for reasons only they know.
To lure Murtagh in, Eragon lets his arm sag a little knowing that Murtagh will pick up on the tiny cue. You know, rather than ignore it like a real person and keep wailing on him. And, of course Murtagh attacks exactly as Eragon’s expects. He turns “neither fast nor slow but at just the right speed the situation required” which is beyond magic if you ask me. It all works out because Eragon takes the sword directly in the chest.
Instead of striking him in the gut, as Murtagh had intended, Zar’roc struck Eragon in the muscles along his right side, directly below his ribcage. The impact felt like a hammerblow, and there was a steely slither as Zar’roc slid past the broken links of his mail and into his flesh. The coldness of the metal made Eragon gasp more than the pain itself.
Right, the temperature of the blade had more effect on him than the pain. Does Eragon have congenital analgesia or does Chris? Maybe Chris is just an idiot. If you didn’t feel the pain first from being stabbed right below the lungs, you’d probably have the wind knocked out of you then the shock would wear off and the pain would hit. So with a sword embedded in Eragon’s chest, he then stabs Murtagh.
Before Murtagh could recover, Eragon drew back his arm and thrust Brisingr into Murtagh’s abdomen, close to his navel: a far worse wound than the one Eragon had just received.
I see that Chris has not only started the Wheel of Time series but had made it through the second book while he was writing this. For those who haven’t read, the main character, Rand, is taught a concept early in the second book that sometimes you have to let your opponent wound you in order to defeat them. Much later, towards the very end of the book, he charges Ishmael during their fight in a wide open move which gets him stabbed in the gut and allowing Rand to kill his opponent.
The reason it works in WOT is because Rand realizes there’s no way he can match Ishmael in sword skill because he’s only been training a year. More importantly, Rand believes he’s fighting the big bad and not merely a sub boss who dresses in black and appears in bursts of smoke. So Rand making such a rash move fits both with his personality and the context of the story. Plus it was nicely hinted at early on.
Eragon on the other hand has never shown any weakness in sword fighting. Since the very beginning, Murtagh has said he’s better than a master swordsman and he’s only gotten better from there. Not once has Eragon ever had to sacrifice anything in order to get closer to Gabby.
All Eragon has ever done is gain things and skills, at least until the magic belt disappeared. That broke the pattern for a moment before he went right back to collecting more magical artifacts. And because that’s how Chris has been writing it, the scene of Eragon letting himself get stabbed just doesn’t fit. It’d be like if Roran started arranging flowers right after getting punched.
Now that Murtagh is good and stabbed, he falls to the floor and drops his sword. Don’t think Chris spares us any description for either the of those things. Never mind that Eragon should also be doubled over in pain so great that his ancestors can feel it. He just calmly watches as Gabby congratulates him on winning and lights up the place to show that Nasuada is chained up nearby like the good damsel in distress she is.
Murtagh start whining about how Eragon just had to beat him but he can’t beat Gabby. Mind you, Eragon has a sword in him and Murtagh has just got a large gauge belly piercing. Unless someone applies healing magic soon, they’re going to die of blood loss. Eragon falls to his knees and they continue to bicker like children. Ok, so their motions say they’re wounded but the way they’re talking you’d think it was just another day in the life. Their babble goes on for far too long for two men who are leaking blood out their abdomen in addition to severe organ damage.
Gabby tells them that’s enough and the duel is over and Eragon won. Now it’s time for the oaths of fealty after the healing. So Gabby tells them to come closer or he’ll let them suffer. Murtagh tells him to stay put and then shouts “the word” along with more spells Eragon doesn’t know. It’s amazing how Eragon’s knowledge of magic waxes and wanes depending on whether the author wants to describe it or not.
Apparently “the word” is a sort of boss unmaking spell from the sounds of things. The air around Gabby flashes red and black and then there’s sort of wind. Then this happens.
Then Eragon heard a series of thin shrieks as twelve orbs of light appeared around Galbatorix’s head and fled outward from him and passed through the walls of the chamber and thus vanished. They looked like spirits, but Eragon saw them for such a brief span, he could not be certain.
Been watching a bit of anime have we Chris? Are those the dragon balls of Alagaesia or what? Thorn then jumps on Shruikan and Elva mutters something to herself and there’s dragon blood flying everywhere. Saphira seems to be taking the moment to have a cup of coffee and relax. Gabby comes to his senses and freezes everyone with more magic which causes Eragon to whine. Eragon then decides they have to mentally assault Gabby and Eragon embraces the darkside.
Along with Saphira and Arya and the Eldunarí they had brought with them, Eragon stabbed outward with his consciousness toward the king, pouring all his hate, anger, and pain into the single, burning ray that he drove into the center of Galbatorix’s being.
Bet you thought I was joking. Eragon feels Gabby’s mind and it’s, surprise surprise, a cold empty wasteland with portions under heavy guard. Elva goes to speak again and Gabby shuts her up once more—thank you, Gabby. The “mad” dragons drive Eragon out of Gabby’s head and Murtagh shouts about how he stripped Gabby of his wards. And Gabby says he has plenty of wards while the “mad” dragons try to take control of Eragon. Don’t they know all they need to do is to show him a picture of an elf?
So the Gabby gets mad and throws off his cape. He berates Eragon for daring to challenge him and explains how he made that cape from the wings of Belgabad—NO! BELGA GOOD!—as well as his gloves. And he took his sword from Vrael and if Eragon thinks he’s better than him and blah blah blah. Most of Gabby’s speech is ‘You don’t know me!’ and ‘Oh no you di’nt!’. Then Gabby burrows into Eragon’s mind.
Funny thing about that, Gabby’s mind probe hurts Eragon more than taking a sword through his abs. Which seriously makes me wonder if Chris has ever had more than a paper cut. Eragon retaliates and Gabby doesn’t guard his mind—which is a merely insignificant detail I’m sure—but he’s not holding his own.
Gabby tells Eragon to submit and Eraogn says they’ve lost. Which just means that Eragon needs to come up with some last minute spell or trick which will lead to Gabby’s downfall. Eragon complains about how sad it is that so many have given their lives in the fight and that they’re going to lose. I have news for you Chris, that’s what’s supposed to make things tense. You don’t need to point it out.
Eragon reaches out to Saphira and the eldunari—which sounds like a swing band—and casts a wordless spell. This one makes Gabby feel all the sadness that Eragon feels plus that of the eldunari. Which is basically the fantasy of every angsting teen in the world. So they flood Gabby with a century of sadness and blah blah blah. Eragon says that it makes Gabby experience all the feelings good and bad that “he had aroused” ever.
Yeah, having to feel every emotion you’ve ever incited or even been tangentially related to shoved into your head is a clear path to mental sanity. Oh, wait, I got the wrong word again. I meant there’s no faster way to drive someone into a gibbering hell which they won’t ever escape. Of course, this leads Gabby to a moment of realization rather than motivating him to destroy the world by blasting the atmosphere off of the planet.
“What have you done!”
With an effort, Eragon said, “Made you understand.”
Liar. You made Gabby feel how you wanted him to, Eragon. You and all the other eldunari were just hoping he’d be so depressed he’d kill himself. To his credit, Gabby fights it and starts clumsily attacking Eragon with his sword. Eragon rolls and dodges, still with a gaping wound mind you, and manages to stab Gabby in the armpit. There’s some roaring and the children are screaming in the background and then they stop.
They stare into each others eyes while Gabby begs him to make it stop. Thorn and Saphira are fighting Shruikan and keeping him busy in spite of his size. Eragon doesn’t think they’ll be do much more than scratch him though until Arya runs forward with the dauthdaert , jumps through a shot of fire breath and stabs Shruikan in the eye. Which means that while Eragon’s sword got more time than the dragon of the villain.
Gabby and Eragon continue to slash at each other like stage actors with prop swords. Gabby complains about the voices and the pain and blah blah blah. We get it Chris, your character mind raped Gabby into feeling bad by forcing the emotions and thoughts of dragons into his head. It doesn’t make any sense as to why he’s bothered by it. He only spent the last century or so with hundred of eldunari bound to his mind “gibbering” madly. I’d think that would have built up a tolerance to mental assaults after that long. But I’m wrong and Gabby is broken up inside. Suddenly his eyes open and he’s staring far off which sharing the same mental plane as private Pyle.
Two things happened at once, then. Elva let out a shriek and fainted, and Galbatorix shouted, “Waíse
Ok. Using the rules of magic as established thus far, this spell should attempt to make Gabby not exist at all. Chris has belabored the point numerous times how magic in Eragon’s world is a fickle beast and must be talked to just so or else it will kill you and/or have unpleasant side effects. According to Chris’s rules, a spell so simple would try to erase Gabby from all of existence and make Gabby never have been. Instead Gabby explodes.
They were only halfway to the block when Galbatorix vanished in a flash of light brighter than the sun. Then all went black and silent as Eragon’s protective spell took effect.
How I wish I had been joking. I do have to wonder if that was the same spell that elf used to go nuclear on Vroengard. Probably not, but I would have like to see Eragon responsible for creating an irradiated wasteland and rendering the capital useless for generations to come.
if i were reading this book, this would be the point where i threw the book so hard it dented my wall.
they defeated the evil mad king by MAKING HIM FEEL BAD.
I’m going to go sit in the corner and read Blade of the Immortal GNs.
Not to mention that we’ve got eleven chapters left and now there’s no antagonist. It’ll just be Chris sitting playing in his verbal filth with his avatar.
This book always makes me think of better books. Perhaps I’m feeling longing?
Specifically, I’m thinking of when Granny Weatherwax tried that Forcing-you-to-remember-all-the-pain-you-ever-caused thing with Lady Felmet. It appears to work for a moment… then she shrugs it off and triumphantly says she’d do it all again.
Then Nanny Ogg hits her over the head with a cauldron.
I did love that part and that’s what I would have expected from Gabby, especially as he was fighting for what he considered an ideal society. He had the attitude that the ends justifies the means, which doesn’t gel with the sudden suicide because he realizes that he hurt people. I have to believe Chris knew he couldn’t write an actual showdown between the two and decided to borrow something far easier.
Do you have an email address so you can be contacted directly? No, this isn’t for hate mall or anything. What say you?
I do and I’ve updated the about page with it.
Okay, Okay, one more…
Eragon: Haha, Tyrant! I’ve cast a spell on you to make all the pain you’ve ever caused!
Gabby: AUGH! IT HURTS! IT HURTS SO MUCH! I … I…
It’s over already?
Gabby: Huh. Guess I haven’t been that bad of a king after all. I mainly got the pain I caused when my mother gave birth to me… when I got into a fight with my brother and hit him… some people whose feelings I inadvertently hurt in adolescence… and, oh yeah, those Dragon Riders I killed. That hurt quite a bit, but I haven’t stopped believing in the wonderful kingdom I’m going to build, free of the tyranny of elves.
Eragon: How can that be?!? You’re the most evil king who ever lived!
Gabby: Says the elves. Alagaesia has been living in peace all these years. I just haven’t directly caused that much pain to the people.
…I wonder how much you’ve caused.
Gabby: *casts le spell*
Eragon: Oh…Oh god… AHHHHHHHHHH!
*falls over in a gibbering heap, foaming at the mouth, convulsing*
Gabby: Good lord, what’s he been doing all this time?!? Genocide??
Ha! I don’t think Eragon would survive the spell being cast on him but the few glorious seconds of pain he’d experience would be awesome.
I prefer your ending.
maby when galbatorix was erased from the world the white light seen was the magic takeing effect.
Wait, couldn’t just gaby use a counterspell?
He knows the “name of name” so he can basically cast anythink he want, right?
It would then come down to who got the more magic between him and eragon.
And we know that it’s gaby
Basically Gabby can warp reality at his will so you’d think he would have done more with it. But he’s evil which comes with a thirty point penalty to his intelligence score.
To be honest, I expected much more of the ending. The three books and so many of the fourth hoping to see Galbatorix, who at least is presented as someone likable, to have him defeated so fastly.
I honestly thought Chris would have packed in a huge and extensive fight scene between Eragon and Gabby. One that spanned chapters before ol’ Gabs was punched in the physical/emotional/magical weak spot which would cause him to explode. Perhaps the most offensive part was that a number of things that got whole chapters of focus turned out to be useless. Eragon didn’t need an enchanted sword to win, nor did he need to be an elf hybrid nor even cured of his back spasms.
I found your review quite by accident, and while you do bring up a few good points (sword weight, making Galbatorix feel bad), you otherwise write as a cynic and make fun of everything, a classic case of a person attacking another to cover their own feelings of inadequacy. I would list the numerous baseless attacks on the book you’ve made (And this is considering that I too thought the book didn’t live up to its promise) but then you would make up reasons to refute those reasons I gave and feel superior, and I don’t have the time to make an exhaustive list that would truly show you the error of your narcissistic and pedantic ways.
Yawn! “Narcissistic and pedantic”, eh? Look in the mirror, friend! vivisector’s dissections are hilarious and spot on. Way more fun than the original. So there!
Your opinions are bad and you should feel bad.