From WikiSummaries, free book summaries
|Cover to Eragon|
|Cover Artist||John Jude Palencar|
|Genre(s)||Young Adult[br] Fantasy|
|Publisher||Alfred A. Knopf|
|Released||August 26, 2003|
|Media Type||Print (hardcover and paperback) and audio-CD|
|Pages||509 pp (Knopf) 544 pp (Paolini LLC)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-375-82668-8 (First Knopf edition) ISBN 0-9666213-3-6 (Paolini LLC)|
Eragon Plot summary
The 15 year old resident of Carvahall, Eragon, starts the book by finding a strange blue stone while traversing The Spine, a mountainous area outside his home. The world in which this novel takes place is known as Alagaësia, under the control of Galbatorix, a fallen Dragon Rider, now evil. These dragon riders used to be the peace keepers of the world, but when his dragon died, Galbatorix went mad and killed his fellow riders.
Eragon’s blue stone hatches eventually and from it emerges a dragon. Because of the rarity of the birth (dragons are supposed to be extinct), Eragon keeps his find secret and raises his dragon away from prying eyes, until two dark Ra’zac enter the town looking for the stone.The dragon, named Saphira, leaves the town with Eragon to hide in the forest. While Eragon is away, the Ra’zac kill Eragon’s Uncle Garrow and burn his house down. In response, Eragon declares himself a new Dragon Rider in the vain of those past, the peace keepers, before Galbatorix betrayed them. Eragon takes with him on his journeys Brom, a weaver of stories from his town with knowledge on everything Eragon needs to protect himself and defeat the Ra’zac.
The three finally reach the town of Teirm where Brom learns that the Ra’zac are in Helgrind, the four-peaked mountain near the city of Dras-Leona. The three travel there and are lured into a trap set by the Ra’zac, failing to find the revenge that Eragon so desparately seeks. Rescued by Murtagh, an unknown stranger, Eragon and Saphira survive, but his mentor Bram is hurt and soon dies. He reveals before his death though that he was once a Dragon Rider, betrayed by Gaslbatorix like the others, his dragon murdered. After Galbatorix’s coup, Brom became a member of Varden, and sniped the unhatched egg that Eragon eventually found, Saphira’s blue stone.
Along with Murtagh, Eragon and Saphira set out to find Varden to help them. Along their journey, Eragon begins to have odd dreams of a mysterious female elf in trouble. When Eragon is captured, he finally meets her, both of them imprisoned together. Murtagh and Saphira strike the prison though and manage to resuce both Eragon and the elf. During the rescue, the three encounter Shade, a horrible creature that should not be awake. The revalation of such a horrible creature loose upon the world causes the three to assume that Galbatorix is in league with darker forces yet.
On the way to the Varden, Eragon must deal with an immense influx of foes and dangers, including an army of Urgals chasing them all the way there. The Vardens’ fortress, located in the depths of the Beor Mountains, is host to groups of dwarves, elves, and Varden, who are in league, having sent Saphira’s egg to The Spine where Eragon found it. Given a short rest, the three along with the Varden and their allies must prepare for the arrival of the Urgal as the approach the mountain. They learn for sure that Galbatorix is in league with the dark forces from a stolen messenge and soon they are in a battle with the Urgal. During the battle, the Urgals are close to defeating the Varden until Eragon defeats the Shade they encountered earlier. However, the battle with the Shade leaves him horribly disfigured and in pain. When the battle ends, closing the first chapter in the Inheritance trilogy, Eragon is preparing to go study with the elves.
Growing up under the care of his Uncle Garrow and Cousin Roran, Eragon is a 15 year old farm hand in Carvahall, named for the very first Dragon Rider. He finds a dragon egg while hunting in the local mountain rages and trains his dragon in secret. When the Ra’zac attack and kill his family looking for Saphira, he takes to training with Brom and grows into a man while chasing down the Ra’zac. He is very prone to overreaction and anger over injustices and must learn to control the gifts he’s been given by his teachers.
The dragon found in the Spine by Eragon, Saphira was born of an egg stolen by the Varden from the wicked king and kept hidden until Eragon found and raised her. Her wisdom is paramount to Eragon’s growth and via telepathy, she communicates with Eragon, a link created when they first touched. Ironically, her name is the same as Brom’s dragon before she was killed. The two become close friends and confidants in their journies.
At first a storyteller who helps Eragon as they flee Carvahall, Brom is revealed to be a former Dragon Rider who fled when his dragon was killed. He looks out for Eragon and his new found powers and tries to protect the young new dragon rider. Brom is killed by the Ra’zac when they are tricked in the Beor Mountains.
At first only his dreams, Eragon sees Arya. He then meets her when he is captured and taken to the prison where she is kept by the Shade. She was responsible for keeping Saphira’s egg safe and fleeing from Galbitorix to the Spine. Poisoned on a daily basis, she is kept barely alive until Murtagh arrive and save her. Still unconscious, she manages to give directions to reach the Varden and get her and her rescuers to safety. Later, Arya continues to train Eragon in dueling and during the final battle, rides Saphira to Eragon’s rescue, long enough for him to kill the Shade. Eragon falls in love with her eventually, to which Saphira takes delight in teasing. When Eragon’s training with the elves is announced, we know that they will spend more time together in the future.
The strange, unknown rescuer of Eragon and Saphira in the Beor Mountains, Murtagh arrives just in time to get them away from the Ra’zac. He is extremely tough and when he beheads a slaver and angers Eragon with his brutality, he has no regrets. Having lived under the rule of Galbatorix, possibly having become a general over time, Murtagh escapes and finds Eragon, the rumored next dragon rider. He is reluctant to join the Varden as Brom killed his father and his relation to the king keeps the Varden from trusting him until he proves himself in battle.
As the fortune teller who foretells future hardships and Brom’s death for Eragon, Angela eventually joins Eragon with the Varden to fight the Urgals. She saves his life at one point and nurses him to health after his final battle with the Shade.
Angela’s werecat Solembum is as close a companion to her as Saphira is to Eragon. Eragon is able to communicate with the werecat and later Solembum disguise himself and warns Eragon to help him escape from soldiers.
A merchant and scholar, Jeod is an old friend of Brom’s who welcomes the three to Teirm. He supplies them with a map and helps them decide where to go to find the Ra’zac.
Durza, also known as the Shade is sent by the wicked king to retrieve Saphira’s egg. He fails, but does manage to capture Arya and take her prisoner. He is considered the most dangerous enemy, one who has given his life to evil to control the Urgals and retain such power. Eragon, while fighting him is able to tap into his memories through the mountain and learn that Durza’s family was outcast and he was taken in by an evil man. When Arya rides Saphira through the glass ceiling above them, Durza is distracted long enough to be stabbed through the heart by Eragon, killed in the only way a Shade can be killed.
The dwarf nephew of King Hrothgar and guide to Eragon and his companions while they are in Farthen Dûr. As a warrior of some report, he provides armor to both Eragon and Saphira that saves their lives in the battle with the Urgals.
The leader of the Varden, Ajihad welcomes the three to Farthen Dûr and allows Murtagh to be set free without being punished. He is a ruthless fighter, but a good leader, protecting the mountain through means such as boiling pitch.
As Eragon’s uncle, Garrow is a quiet and gruff man, but shows pride in both his son and his nephew. He teaches his nephew well, to be independent and free spirited no matter what. He is killed by the Ra’zac as they search Eragon and Saphira’s egg.
Roran is Eragon’s cousin, working in a mill and betrothed to Katrina. Through a vision, Angela mentions a family member betraying Eragon and when Eragon looks in on Roran, he sees him not working in a mill. The matter is left open for further exploration.
Eragon Chapter Summaries
Prologue: Shade of Fear
The prologue is a scene that will make significantly more sense later in the novel. It opens with a Shade, a nearly human creature of the dark, sensing danger and urging his Urgal companions to be quiet. The group sits quietly as a trio of elves ride – two men and a woman – fully armed with bows and swords.
The Shade and Urgals attack the three elves, shooting down the two male elves with bow shots. The female escapes temporarily, Urgals making chase and the Shade chanting a magical phrase that sets the woods on fire from above on a giant rock.
The Shade jumps from his roost and catches the female elf, trapping her between himself and the Urgals. She quickly removes a blue stone and before the Shade can cast the necessary magic to snag the rock, it disappears. Angered by the interaction, the Shade kills his Urgal companions and takes the elf captive before riding away.
Chapter 1: Discovery
Hunting in the woods of The Spine, in the vast land of Alagaësia, Eragon is a 15 year old boy, only a year from official “manhood”. While sighting a female deer with his bow to gather food for his family, Eragon is rocked by an explosion throughout the woods.
A circle of dead grass forms around the blast center with hundreds of trees ripped clean. Eragon walks toward the explosion point and notices the presence of a stone, cautious but for a moment before picking it up. The polished blue stone is very hard yet smooth and colorful. Eragon is unsure of it other than that it might be valuable, so he packs it up and sleeps for the night.
Chapter 2: Palancar Valley
The next day Eragon hikes his way back out of the woods to return home without any game. It takes him nearly two days to reach the Palancar Valley where Carvahall – his home – is located. Before heading home he decides to stop at the butcher shop and pick up some meat for his family.
Because Eragon has no money, he attempts to sell the blue stone for the meat, but the butcher – Sloan – will not take it because its value is unknown. The small amount he’s willing to offer is too little for Eragon, so he advises him to wait for a merchant to arrive in town to appraise it. When Eragon finally takes the money, he admits he found the stone in the Spine, to which Sloan angrily refuses the trade. He threatens Eragon and tells him to leave.
Horst enters, the town’s blacksmith and calms the butcher, eventually buying a selection of meats for Eragon and sending him on his way, happy to have humiliated the butcher. Confused by the butcher’s reaction, Eragon is advised to ask his uncle about it for more details. Eragon remembers that he must pass along a message of love to the butcher’s daughter Katrina from his cousin Roran.
After completing his business in town, Eragon leaves for his uncle’s farm, a mere 10 miles away. Eragon’s Uncle Garrow greets him gruffly and grows angry at the meat received in charity. Eragon reassures him that he is to work the meat off as an assistant to the blacksmith in the spring and that he will juggle the work between his uncle’s farm and blacksmithing.
After Eragon shows his uncle the stone, Garrow explains that Sloan’s wife was killed in the Spine and that it is indeed odd for him to react quite so harshly, even with such history.
Chapter 3: Dragon Tales
The following chapter describes the life of a farm boy with Eragon readjusting to his life on his uncle’s farm with his uncle and his cousin Roran. Working to harvest their crops before a blizzard works through and covers thearea in snow, Garrow worries about the traders making their way through. A bit later, Eragon notes their tracks and everyone packs up and readies for them.
They arrive in town and Eragon begins looking for a merchant to value his stone, noticing how wary everyone appears. When he finds Merlock, a jewel merchant, he and Garrow enter a private tent to observe the tone. Unable to value the stone, he comments on how hard it is and that it is oddly hollow. After offering them what little information he can about the stone, Merlock shares what he knows of the world, the illness, fights, and bad luck of Alagaësia. Urgals are attacking villages in the desert, so the king has sent his own armies to fight them.
Later in a tavern, Eragon hears more of the world, of the rebel Vardens fighting with the Urgals against the King. The traders speak highly of the king, to which the villagers disagree. The villagers continue to argue with the traders about the empire, displaying their hatred for the king and the empire, going way back, wary of his intentions.
Brom, the storyteller, later weaves stories of the Dragon Riders, protectors of the king and allies of elves and dwarves. Everyone was happy until one day a certain rider named Galbatorix’s dragon was killed, sending him into madness, searching everywhere for a new dragon. The other riders denied him one as he was now evil. There were two riders though who helped Galbatorix sneak in and steal a young dragon though, and with Morzan at his side fought the Riders. There were 13 evil riders in all at the end and they killed all of the other riders and defeated King Vrael to place Galbatorix on the throne.
Chapter 4: Fate's Gift
Returning from the village, Eragon tests the hollowness of his stone with various items, beating on it repeatedly until it produces a mild squeak. Later that night while sleeping he is awoken by another squeak, this time much louder coming from the stone. After hiding the stone under his bed he goes back to sleep for the night, intent on dealing with it in the morning.
When the stone moves about under his bed, Eragon wakes once more and decides to bury it. However, it falls and cracks as he’s leaving and soon enough a dragon breaks its way through the shell.
Chapter 5: Awakening
The dragon itself is small and covered in blue sapphires, revealing the stone as an egg. The dragon watches him for a moment, but then begins to explore. When Eragon reaches to touch the dragon he feels a jolt of energy course through him, extremely painful in its abruptness. An oval then appears on his hand. When he touches the dragon a second time, nothing happens nearly so violent. However, a small charge runs through him and he feels emotions that are not his own. The dragon is hungry, so he feeds it and decides to hide the dragon, knowing he cannot kill it but that the dragon could bring pain and worry to his family.
The next day, Eragon takes the dragon to the woods and builds a small shelter for her, telling her to stay through their new telepathic link. The dragon survives well on her own and Eragon begins to spend a great deal of time with her. The dragon quickly begins to grow and the two begin to communicate much better. Stretching to longer distances, their link is almost complete and the dragon begins to grow large dagger like teeth and heavy scales. Worried for the safety of the dragon, Eragon covers her tracks often, keeping her secret.
Chapter 6: Tea for Two
Because he doesn’t understand dragons as well as he’d like, Eragon heads to Brom to learn more. Brom tells Eragon the story of the Dragon Riders and their origins, how dragons arrived with the creation of Algalsia and that early on elves and dragons fought vehemently. One day an elf named Eragon found an egg and raised his dragon in secret. The two later made the case for peace and Eragon became the first dragon rider. Brom also tells Ergaon that dwarves have disappeared in recent years, hiding underground to escape the reach of the empire.
Brom tells Eragon that some dragons can reach a wingspan of up to 100 feet, and when Eragon tells Brom that he’s heard the scales of dragons are gem like, Brom demands to know from where the information was heard. Dragons can not only live for hundreds of years but have a magical impact on other living things. Because of this link, Dragon Riders become smarter and stronger than other humans. The last thing the two discuss is names for dragons, Eragon seeking a name for his new dragon. The last name given to him is Saphira.
Chapter 7: A Name of Power
Roran and Eragon are leaving Carvahall to return home and Roran reveals that he’s been offerd a job in a mill very far from Carvahall. He also announces that he will propose to Katrina. Eragon for his part is worried that his father will not accept the decision, worried about the work that needs to be done on the farm.
Now that Eragon knows that dragons are as intelligent as human beings, he sees his in a different light. Even with her reaching out to him, Eragon is in a fowl mood, something that she can also feel through their link. He begins listing names for the dragon, at first turned down because he’s listing male names for a female dragon and then just turned down because she doesn’t like them. Eventually, he says Saphira and she accepts the name, happy with the sound of it.
Chapter 8: Miller-to-Be
Despite his worries that he wouldn’t, Garrow accepts Roran’s plans and they decide he will be leaving in two weeks. Eragon is worried about the upcoming changes and discusses them at length with Saphira. The two become much closer as they have intelligent conversations and Saphira displays her wisdom. Wanting to reveal her to his family, Eragon is cautioned to be wary by Saphira because of how they might react. On the night Roran is to leave, Eragon almost tells his cousin about Saphira, but decides against it, worried about how busy his cousin already is with his packing.
Chapter 9: Strangers in Carvahall
The next morning, Roran and Eragon leave for Carvahall, waving goodbye to Garrow as he offers words of wisdom for Eragon and money for Roran. They meet Dempton, Roran’s new boss as the blacksmiths and Eragon takes a dislike to him immediately. The blacksmith pulls Eragon aside and asks him about the blue stone, warning him that two odd men were looking for a similar stone and that Eragon should be rid of it.
Horst tells Eragon that no one betrayed him for having the stone but that he should be wary as the strangers gave him a bad feeling. After hugging his cousin and waving goodbye, Eragon overhears Sloan speaking to two hissing voices about an incidence that happened 3 months ago. After some threats by the two voices and reassurances by Sloan, the two turn to see Eragon and begin approaching them with their swords unsheathing. Brom enters the scene at the last minute, calling Eragon’s name and scaring off the strangers.
Brom accepts Eragon’s excuses of dizziness and urges him to return him. He asks one more time about the trader who offered so much information about dragons. Eragon is unable to answer any questions though. As Eragon leaves, he shakes Brom’s hand and his glove comes off, revealing the oval shaped mark on his palm. He runs off before Brom can say anything.
Chapter 10: Flight of Destiny
Eragon runs home quickly and finds his uncle outside, near the barn. He decides to go to Saphira first, to show his uncle and make sure he believes him. As he approaches her, she becomes agitated by the news of the strangers and the smell of blood. Eragon climbs on her back and she flies away, unable to calm down.
Eragon clings for his life as she flies high above the woods, making him sick. He tries to get her to return but in her fright, she refuses angrily. She flies all the way to the Spine and when he finally falls to the snow from her back, he is in horrible pain. When he questions why she took him away, she tells him the strangers were killers and he becomes angry that his uncle is in danger. As night approaches, Eragon sleeps within Saphira’s wings, realizing that he might be too late to help his uncle.
Chapter 11: The Doom of Innocence
Waking in the Spine, Eragon realizes they are in the spot where he found Saphira’s egg. Tired and hungry, Eragon asks to be returned home. She is still frightened, but his angry accusations force her to take him back. When they finally return, the farm is in ruins and Saphira immediately sense the horrors that have occurred.
In Eragon’s anger, he blames Saphira for the destruction, though she claims she has saved his life. They dig through the rubble and finally find Garrow, unearthing him of the rubble. His body is horribly burned and oozing. Saphira takes the two and flies to Carvahall, throwing Saphira’s secrecy to the wind. She drops him off near the town and Eragon begins to drag Garrow toward the town. Finally Brom arrives, running towards them, and Eragon collapses.
Chapter 12: Deathwatch
While still passed out Eragon sees silver haired men with lances boarding a ship and dragons flying above. He wakes from his dream to find he’s in the Gertrude, the town healer’s hut. Garrow is not getting any better and Eragon has been unconscious himself for more than 2 days.
She presses Eragon for answers about what happened on the farm, the entire village being curious about it as well as asking about his scar from the egg. He lies to her and goes to visit Garrow instead, being kept at Horst’s house. Horst’s family greets Eragon and show him to Garrow who is covered with unhealable burns, causing Eragon to feel that much more helpless. As Horst begins to question him as well, he hears Saphira’s shouts in his mind, finally able to get through after his recovery. They are going to have to leave the village for a while.
Chapter 13: The Madness of Life
Eragon wakes in the middle of the night with the sensation that something horrible has happened only to find that Garrow is dead. His grief is overwhelming and he cries and thinks on his losses in life, comforted by Elain.
Chapter 14: A Rider's Blade
Eragon decides that he must do something to avenge his uncle’s death. Overhearing Horst say to someone that Eragon is hiding things from him, he decides to leave to purse the killers. He steals leather for a saddle for Saphira and then steals meat from Sloan’s shop. Brom chases after him though, catching him and revealing that he knows about Eragon’s dragon.
Brom reveals that the scar undid Eragon’s secret and that he has already spoken to Saphira. It’s decided that he will go with Eragon and Saphira on their journey. Sneaking out of Carvahall, Eragon begins grilling Brom for information, wanting to know more about his uncle’s killers. Brom supplies Eragon with a sword previously used by a dragon rider, Zar’roc, after it’s decided that he would go with him.
Brom also announces that he will train Eragon the ways of dragons and other magical creatures, telling Eragon that his uncle was killed by Ra’zac, an inhuman enemy. Brom explains that the Ra’zac attacked once before and that Brom drove them away, once again not revealing how he did so. Eragon figures that Brom is someone other than a storyteller, but cannot get more information from him.
Chapter 15: Saddlemaking
The next day, Brom takes it upon himself to cut and measure a saddle for Saphira. When he finishes they decide to leave the next day and find horses as they cannot both ride Saphira. Brom tells Eragon of how they must travel in secret as opposed to the Ra’zac who have freedom to go where they please, while serving the king.
Chapter 16: Therinsford
The next morning, Eragon and Brom leave the Carvahall area and begin following the Ra’zac prints in the snow, though they are hard to follow. With no horses, it is slow going though and the two argue over Brom’s refusal to reveal more of his secrets. Brom begins training Eragon as well, attacking him with a stick and knocking him out, as Eragon is completely unprepared for the attack.
When the three finally reach Therinsford, they buy horses and learn that the Ra’zac have been through town buying their own horses and leaving quickly. They direct them to follow them to the Palancar Valley where the Ra’zac headed. The two continue traveling, passing the mountain range on the outskirts of Therinsford and settling down to camp outside the village for the evening, practicing swordfighting more.
Chapter 17: Thunder Roar and Lightning Crackle
The next day, the three set out across the plains, putting Saphira high into the air to stay hidden. They decide to travel to Yazuac along the split in the trail and they experience the heat and dry wind of the plains. On the third day, the three encounter a massive storm heading their way, knocking Saphira about with its powerful wind. She is thrown to the ground, nearly injuring Eragon. Saphira is uninjured by the storm, but before they are fully recovered another cloud is upon them, bringing rain and lightning.
Chapter 18: Revelation at Yazuac
Eragon and Brom arrive at and enter the village of Yazuac, leaving Saphira outside to hide (something she does not appreciate). The village is silent when they arrive though, setting both men on edge. In the center of the village are piled the dead bodies of all of the townspeople, including babies. Eragon vomits in disgust and Brom relates his own thoughts, that it must have been done by Urgals.
After checking the prints in the ground, Brom urges them to leave, telling Eragon to run. As they flee, Eragon is knocked from his horse and dragged to the ground by an Urgal. Another one attacks Brom who does a decent job of fighting it off, urging Eragon to run. Running from the Urgal, Eragon tries to shoot him with his bow, but the arrow is knocked away. In the ensuing chase, Eragon is knocked down repeatedly but still manages to escape, grabbing Brom along the way, who has been shot in the arm. After saving Brom from another Urgal, Eragon is stuck in an alley, faced by two of the creatures. In his anger, Eragon lifts his bow again and without knowing how releases a magical charge with his shot, scorching the arrow as it pierces the Urgal’s head.
Chapter 19: Admonishments
Eragon finds Brom bleeding from his wound and Saphira arrives, angry at the attack. They immediately leave the village, fearful of more Urgals, with Brom on Saphira’s back. Later on, after ruminating on the magic he has used, the three discuss what was done wrong. Saphira is angry that she wasn’t there and Brom asks Eragon about his knowledge of magic. Brom is reticent again to share any more secrets, but Eragon’s impatience and the fact that he has already used magic force him to share the words and manner in which they work.
He explains that “brisingr” the word used to fire the arrow is Elfin for fire and that language is powerful. Brom reveals that he does in fact know some magic himself. Brom tells Eragon not to mess with magic on his own though, that it is dangerous and will harm him if musused. If a powerful word is used by a weak user, it will kill them.
Chapter 20: Magic Is the Simplest Thing
As the three continue to travel through the woods, Brom explains that he will have to teach Eragon himself the ways of the Dragon Rider as there is no more formal training. Though no rider as young as Eragon has used magic before, Brom will hand him tasks to solve that require magic, in the same manner as Dragon Riders that came before. He explains the workings of the words used to invoke magic as well, how they are very specific and must be used properly.
Eragon quizzes Brom about the capabilities of magic, with Brom reassuring him of the dangers of overreaching with his power. The first task is to keep a pebble floating in the air. His scar glows and he is able to keep the pebble floating. Magic is also apparently affected by the distance a rider is from the target. The rest of the day is spent with the pebble and at the end of the day, Brom gives him more words to memorize and they spar more with their sticks.
As time passes, Eragon continues to study and practice and grow stronger, while Saphira grows bigger and more powerful. Eragon also has more dreams, this time of his uncle turning into a Ra’zac.
Chapter 21: Daret
The next village they approach, they do so much more cautiously. Daret is on the Ninor River and when they enter it, it is also empty. However, as they are leaving, they are accosted by sixty men with bows. The man who stops them, named Trevor, tells them how the Urgals threaten them and request Brom to carry a message that they need help from the empire.
Brom reveals to Eragon after they leave the man that he can read thoughts and that they are okay in Daret. He gives Eragon the task of trying the same trick. Eragon can hear any being’s thoughts it appears, including animals, as Brom asks him to try it on a cat. Brom tells him that he will also need to learn the ability to block others from reading his thoughts. They get their supplies and return to Saphira who is annoyed that they keep getting in trouble. The night ends once more with the two sparring and Brom soundly thrashing Eragon.
Chapter 22: Through A Dragon's Eye
The next day Eragon decides to take Saphira for a ride. Brom advises him to use his mind and hold on carefully. She is not only stronger than before but has more maneuvers and does them without him telling her. He finally relaxes and is able to enjoy the ride. In the air, Eragon doesn’t want to land and ignores the buzzing of Brom trying to communicate with him. However, Saphira eventually lands to eat and Brom angrily relays that he has found more Ra’zac prints that approach a stopping point.
The Ra’zac took off on birds or dragons from that spot as Brom relays and Eragon searches the woods for clues, finding a canister of caustic silver liquid. The oil is deadly when magicked and was used to kill Eragon’s uncle. He realizes that it must have come from far away, so they decide to travel to a coastal town to ask around. Brom tells him that they must travel to Teirm, with Eragon riding Saphira on alternating days during the trip.
Chapter 23: A Song for the Road
During the trip Brom teaches even more to Eragon, including information about where they are headed, how to kill something with magic by shooting a rock, as well as more of the Elfin language and information to help care for Saphira. It takes another two days of traveling the woods near the Spine before the two reach the coast, only days from Teirm. The climate and area there are different as the ground turns to moss and mud. Eragon stops riding Saphira and rides the horse instead as they approach civilization and the two take on adopted names – Neal for Brom and Evan for Eragon. Brom will meet up with an old friend, Jeod when they reach Teirm.
Chapter 24: A Taste of Teirm
The city of Teirm is guarded and walled in, and Saphira must wait far outside the city while they go inside. Eragon tells an elaborate lie to get them into the city, after which they search for information regarding Jeod, Brom’s old friend. A man in the bar they visit, Martin, speaks up with information though before they are forced to pay for it. He informs them of the attacks on the shipping vessels and everyone being on edge. He also informs them of Jeod and where to find him. They soon leave the tavern and head to the better half of the city.
Chapter 25: An Old Friend
They continue on towards Jeod’s house and encounter Angela, a local healer and fortune teller who converses with Brom for a bit before directing them to Jeod’s home. She appears mentally unbalanced at first, raving about toads. After a brief encounter with Jeod’s rude wife, Jeod himself appears, surprised to see Brom, having thought him dead after 20 years without a word between them.
The two men are very vague about the past, not revealing anything to Eragon as he eavesdrops on the conversation. They talk cryptically about “friends” before going on to talk about the oil that brough them to Teirm. Brom decides they will rest before searching further and soon they send Eragon outside so they can discuss what are likely more secret matters. Remembering that he can magically enhance his hearing, Eragon listens in on their conversation, learning that Jeod’s shipping business is a front to move goods to Surda, though he has been having trouble moving goods of late.
Brom tells Jeod about Saphira as well, and Jeod tells Brom that his services are needed by his employers. They discuss the dwarves and their hiding place, and that there must be a traitor in their midst giving up information about the goods.
Despite everything he hears, Eragon is still confused, and keeps his eavesdropping secret. The three men later go to a tavern and sit for a while, enjoying the evening before he returns to Saphira outside the city. She is unhappy that he left her alone for so long. After returning to Jeod’s house Eragon reveals that he cannot read and will not be able to help with the shipping records. Brom decides to add the task of literacy to his training while in Teirm.
Before bed, Eragon asks if he can conjure images of places far away, wanting to see his cousin Roran. Brom reveals the words for ‘scrying’ and they discuss how Roran will need to learn to protect himself as Brom cannot possibly do any more to help him in his current situation. Brom tells Eragon that the King will want Eragon’s help, not his death, as he has a new dragon.
Chapter 26: The Witch and the Werecat
When Brom and Jeod leave early the next morning without him, Eragon decides to explore the city before he stops at Angela, the healer next door’s house. He enters the shop and runs into Solembum, a werecat who he can communicate with. The cat knows he is a rider and the two are confrontational until Angel arrives. Angela decides to tell Eragon’s fortune despite his declination of her offer. She reveals that she has only ever read the bones for one other person, a Selena (Eragon’s mother’s name).
She decides Eragon’s future is too cloudy, though she shares that his life will be long and filled with many battles. She sense immediate danger in his future as well though and imminent death, as well as an epic romance. She warns of a betrayal from within his family, though Eragon is unsure why Roran would betray him. Solembum gives him another message as he leaves, to look for a weapon under the roots of a Menoa tree, as well as directions to a rock of Kuthian to regain his powers (should they disappear). Saphira reinstills Solembum’s words, saying they sound important.
Brom is upset later because he was unable to gain access to the records, so decides that he has only one week to teach Eragon how to read and return.
Chapter 27: On Reading and Plots
The following days are spent learning the alphabet and letter sounds; the evenings filled with sparring. During their stay, they learn of more missing ships and murders in the city. After a week of practicing, Brom decides Eragon knows enough to help him with the shipping records. That night, while sleeping, Eragon has a dream of a young woman in a cell, crying and in pain. He wakes himself in tears and upset by the dream.
Chapter 28: Thieves in the Castle
The next day, the three men leave for the government castle. They succeed this time with lies and reach the room consisting of the scrolls they need to study. As they search through the records, Solembum appears to Eragon as a small boy and asks whether they need help. He reveals that the guard that let them in has told others about their presence and they’re on the way. They arrive and question them about being near the records and they once again lie, saying they are lost. The guards escort them from the castle, though they stole a map of Alagaësia on the way. They pore over the map and decide that the most possible place for the Ra’zac to be is the city of Dras-Leona where some Seithr oil was sent.
Chapter 29: A Costly Mistake
They leave the next morning, and Eragon reveals that he had been eavesdropping, asking about Brom and Jeod’s “friends”. Eragon points out that Brom has been near him every step of the way since finding Saphira’s egg, to which Brom responds that the knowledge is dangerous. He finally reveals the information Eragon seeks though, telling him that there is a war and that Brom is an agent for the Varden, the rebel group fighting against the Empire. Both sides want control over the next dragon rider, which happens to be Eragon. There are two more dragon eggs, each held by the evil King, and that the next two riders will be loyal to the king. The Varden stole Saphira’s egg and it was lost in the flight from the King’s forces, Morzan and the Ra’zac.
Brom reveals how he fought and killed Morzan, the last of the forsworn Dragon Riders to get the egg and how he promised to train the future rider of the dragon that would hatch. Brom reveals that he’s told the Varden about Eragon’s existence though he doesn’t want him to be used by them, that it should be Eragon’s choice to join them or not.
While trying to cross a stream, Eragon cracks his wrist and calls Saphira to him. He notices an Urgal footprint though and as Saphira and Brom arrive, they hear the Urgal’s start chasing them. Eragon flees on Saphira and Brom rides below. With the Urgals closing on Brom, Eragon swoops in and cuts them off, and they try to convince him to meet with their master (who they will not reveal the identity of). Eragon tells them he would never think of it and they attack him. With a magic word, he attacks them with lightning, taking down all but one and draining himself. Saphira kills the final Urgal at the last minute and flies Eragon to safety.
Chapter 30: Vision of Perfection
After a long sleep, Eragon wakes up sore and tired. He is alone for hours, and scryes to see Brom riding Saphira. He tries the same technique to see his cousin, and finds him in an odd place, not the mill he expected. He also tries with the girl from his dreams, and finds her in a cell, collapsed in pain. A few minutes later, Brom and Saphira return with a bloody sword. Brom is angry by Eragon’s brash actions and tells him he was out hunting down the last of the Urgals, that there should be no mercy for creatures such as those.
Eragon tells Brom of the Urgals’ words to him about their master and Brom is even angrier that Eragon insulted their leader, enraging them further. He is curious now as to who could control such creatures. He scolds Eragon even more for his misuse of the magic, and vows to teach him better to not only control magic but to know when to properly use it.
Chapter 31: Master of the Blade
Brom and Eragon discuss the young woman in the cell that Eragon scryed. Brom is surprised as it is odd to be able to scry from a dream, while Eragon reveals how much he wants to find her. Brom continues to test Eragon profusely, forcing him to use only his left hand because of the broken right wrist. Eragon eventually becomes more skilled than Brom and can finally defeat him, ending their sword training. He does warn him though that elves are much stronger than humans and that wizards can fight by entering an opponent’s mind. This kind of dueling requires a strong understanding of the opponent as well as your own strength.
Chapter 32: The Mire of Dras-Leona
They arrive near Dras-Leona and Eragon betrays his eagerness to fight the Ra’zac. Saphira is more cautious though, warning him against such rash behavior. The city is unplanned and harder to get around than Teirm and the residents are much less civilized, drinking blood and eating flesh during religious ceremonies.
Though Eragon is disgusted by their religion, Brom warns him against saying any such things to one of them. When they arrive, they witness many poor and hungry beggars and children. At the center of the city, where the wealthy live, they find an inn to rest in, deciding to stay for a few days.
Chapter 33: Trail of Oil
The two drank too much the night before and when they wake they can feel it. Searching the city, Brom warns Eragon to be wary and not do anything rash. Brom quickly uncovers the information they need about the oil and Eragon suggest they go undercover as slaves to carry the oil and use their cover to fight and kill the Ra’zac. Brom is intrigued but takes a couple of more days to gather information before they carry out their plan.
Chapter 34: Worshipers of Helgrind
Brom leaves the inn early, telling Eragon to be careful, but to enjoy the city as much as he can. Eragon witnesses the slave auction and barely contains in anger, then takes to the cathedra, where he witnesses the Ra’Zac waiting for him. He fires arrows at them immediately, which they dodge. They soon have the assistance of a line of soldiers and march upon him.
The Ra’zac give chase and Eragon wends his way throught the cathedral, destroying doors and surprising priests. Still running from them, Eragon scales a wall and hides in a nearby market, calling for Saphira to talk to Brom. They decide to all meet at the inn. They quickly pack and head for the gates, already half closed and guarded by soldiers. The two both utter magic words, taking down soldiers and stalling the gates. They slip free of the gates and escape as a crowd of people watch, astonished. Saphira admonishes Eragon for having chased the Ra’zac for nothing and he wonders how they were caught, presumedly through the aid of a spy. While talking in the camp that night, a roar in his head causes Eragon to collapse, unconscious.
Chapter 35: The Ra'zac's Revenge
Upon waking, Eragon is tied up beside Brom, bound by the Ra’zac. He cannot summon any magic words and finds that he has been drugged. By threatening Eragon, the Ra’zac were also able to subdue Saphira and wrap her in chains and a muzzle. The Ra’zac tear through Eragon’s things and question him as he threatens them, unsure what to do with their captives.
As a Ra’zac threatens to kill Brom, an arrow tears through his shoulder. Arrows rain in from the dark and an unseen enemy scares the Ra’zac away. Before leavin though a Ra’zac kicks Eragon in the ribs and moves to throw a dagger to his ribs. Brom jumps in front of him though and takes the throw.
Chapter 36: Murtagh
After waking, Eragon clears his mind and asks Saphira how she is doing, and who it is that has helped them. He sees the man who rescued them by the fire and learns that his name is Murtagh. Murtagh has apparently been tracking the Ra’zac himself. Still in pain from the kick to his ribs, Eragon cannot quite stand. Apparently Brom is much worse off though, and when Eragon and Saphira try to heal his wound they find they cannot because the wound is too deep.
Eragon decides to make a litter to carry Brom with them and tries to tell Murtagh to leave them, but Murtagh refuses and it’s agreed that he will travel with them. Saphira carries Brom with the other two men on horses. Soon enough they must stop because Brom is too ill, resting in a cave for the night where Brom cannot drink any water.
Chapter 37: Legacy of a Rider
When Eragon wakes, Brom is in severe pain with a horrible fever and crying for wine. He asks Eragon to wash his hand with it, revealing the same scar that Eragon has on his own hand. Brom reveals that he was a Dragon Rider himself in the past whose dragon was killed by Galbatorix and that her name was also Saphira.
Brom reveals that the information was not needed before and that Eragon should care for his dragon with his life. He declares that he cannot fight the wound and that he will die soon, offering his blessing to Eragon before he does, giving him seven more Elfin words before he does. He dies a few hours later.
Eragon insists that they dig a grave and bury Brom, using his magic words to do so in stone. He dreams once again that night of the woman in the cell, unconscious and bleeding.
Chapter 38: Diamond Tomb
After a hard night’s sleep Murtogh wakes Eragon with the fruits of his hunt, asking whether Brom was the legendary killer of Morzan. He goes on to explain that he was interested in finding the rumored new dragon rider and followed the Ra’zac to do so. Eragon cannot probe Murtagh’s thoughts either, blocked as they are, though murtogh reveals that the sword Brom gave him was Morzan’s.
Eragon decides he needs Murtagh with him, and that he should travel with them. Saphira arrives as well and reveals the secrets that Brom shared with her, including Brom’s confidence in Eragon’s abilities. Saphira tells Eragon the name of their next contact to find the Varden, a man named Dormnad. Their next stop then is to travel to Gil’ead where the woman from Eragon’s dreams is likely located. Saphira covers Brom’s tomb with diamond before they leave.
Chapter 39: Capture at Gil'ead
The following days are spent traveling by horse to Gil’ead. Eragon disguises himself after witnessing the many wanted posters with his likeness and name on them. He keeps his birthday to himself and they travel in silence mostly. He continues to spar with Murtagh, practicing daily, but are evenly matched. The night before they reach Gil’ead, he is kept awake with an odd sensation that reveals nothing.
In the morning however, an Urgal attacks followed by many more. He kills many of them before they manage to capture him and drag him away, unconscious. He cries to Saphira to run before doing so though.
Chapter 40: Du Sundavar Freohr
When he wakes, Eragon is covered in dried blood and is dizzy. Behind an iron door, he is once again imprisoned and drugged, he cannot use his magic either. He remembers that the Urgals caught him and wonders at the man who brings him food and water. He sees the woman from his dreams however being carried from an adjacent cell and is excited by it.
A pointy toothed fellow enters her cell, turning out to be a Shade and Eragon wonders at the cooperation of the soldiers with such a dark creature. When he wakes up next time he realizes the drug is wearing thin and that his food and water are drugged to keep him under that influence, so he stops eating the food. He devises a plan to deal with his situation for when the drug wears off. The Shade arrives soon enough and argues with the jailer to see Eragon. Pretending to still be drugged, Eragon asks the Shade for his identity, to which the Shade asks the same question. He however asks for Eragon’s true name so as he can control him easier. He makes up a name, pretending to be afraid, calling himself Du Sundavar Freohr. Happy with his victory, the Shade leaves and tells the jailer to drug Eragon further.
Chapter 41: Fighting Shadows
In a few hours, with his magic returning, Eragon unlocks the doors and starts to leave the cell. He feels the strength that he has gained and calls for Saphira’s help. She relays that Murtogh is on his way to rescue him and that he shouldn’t move. Soldiers spot him though and begin to charge, to which he replies with a magical attack. An arrow appears and strikes another soldier, whom Eragon questions about the location of his sword and the elf woman.
Eragon gets the information he wanted and finds that the arrows are being fired by Murtogh in a disguise. Instead of leaving though, Eragon must rescue the elf first. They carry her to a banquet hall where he eats and drinks quickly to regain his strength. Murtogh goes to get their weapons and they decide to leave. The Shade arrives though and Eragon rises to fight him. They fight for a bit and the Shade is much stronger than he appears, having fun with Eragon who he is much stronger than. When a couple of arrows hit him, the Shade is distracted and when Saphira crashes through the ceiling above, the soldiers scatter. Saphira flies the three to safety but takes a few arrows to her wings in the process.
Chapter 42: A Warrior and a Healer
After escaping, Eragon removes the arrows from Saphira and the group sets out again, with the elf on Saphira’s back and the men on the horses. Eragon assumes she must have been drugged much heavier than he was while captured. After discussing the Urgals and the Shade, they decide that the King is in league with dark forces and that people will want to rebel at such knowledge. They discuss the politics of such a revelation and how the king still has enough control to keep such a thing from occurring in his own kingdom, but that outside the empire, the King has very limited power. Worried that they will never find Dormnad and the location of the Varden, they are unhappy with the proceedings.
After some discussion, Eragon decides to try and heal the elf himself, using up all of his energy in the process, barely able to move afterwards. They continue on though.
Chapter 43: Water from Sand
When Murtagh suggest Eragon go on ahead, Eragon refuses, stating that someone who saved his life couldn’t be left behind. So they continue on together, unsure of where to go. Eragon suggest they seek out the elves, though they are unsure of how to reach the elves. They finally decide they must travel across the Hadarac Desert to reach the Beor Mountains where the Varden could be, outside the Empire’s reach.
Because water and food will be an issue in the desert, Eragon practices turning sand into water. He fails at first, until he focuses his emotions into it and the sadness of feeling homesick. The previous energy he needed to perform the task isn’t needed and he is able to make water rise to the surface of sand. Rather than creating it, he draws it out of the sand, making the decision to travel through the desert final.
Chapter 44: The Ramr River
Traveling through the terrain as quickly as possible, the group finally reaches the Ramr River, which they find to be half a mile wide. Saphira must carry the horses to the other side and when they finally reach the other side, everyone is exhausted, though they continue on.
Chapter 45: The Hadarac Desert
When they finally arrive at the Hadarac Desert, they notice that there is enough brush to feed the horses along the way. While the humans are exhausted by the heat, Saphira immediately enjoys it. They continue to cross the desert, Eragon drawing water from the sand, the elf sleeping, and Murtagh pondering where the soldiers might be. They finally finish crossing the desert and arrive at the Beor Mountains, a monstrous range beyond all possible belief. In awe over the size of the mountains they push forward through their exhaustion until they reach the end of the desert and find cooler weather and animals once again.
Chapter 46: A Path Revealed
While pondering his new role as a Dragon Rider, whose job it is to right the wrongs of the Empire instead of merely avenging those he loved, Eragon decides to try and reach out to the elf’s thoughts. When he does though, she is suspicious and her defense attack him, leaving him in great pain. As he protests that he is a friend though, she finally relents and allows him access. He learns that her name is Arya and that she was drugged with Skilna Bragh, a severe poison and her powers were stopped by another drug. She stays unconscious to fend off the effects of the poison which would otherwise kill her. She needs the antitode to wake from her coma. She reveals that only the elves and the Varden have the antidote. She reveals the location of the Varden and makes him promise to keep it secret and be wary, not to contact her unless she(the elf) is at risk of dying.
Eragon shares what he learned with Saphira and Murtagh and he begins to argue with Murtagh about joining the Varden. Murtagh is not happy at being taken for granted and they begin to physically fight which Saphira breaks up. She plays the part of the peace keeper and they begin to talk civily. He doesn’ have a chance to relay why he doesn’t want to join the Varden other than that they will not be happy to see him and that his father has something to do with it. They witness the Urgals marching though and decide they must flee, that Murtagh can depart before they reach the Varden if he likes.
Chapter 47: A Clash of Wills
While stopping to drink and rest, the group comes across a man with a mace and his fellow horsemen. They surround Eragon and Murtagh and reveal that they are slavers, commenting on how horrible the two look. They comment on how much money they could get from Arya, sparking Eragon’s anger and an attack by him and Murtagh. They attack with magic, dragon, and physical might, scaring off the slavers. Knocked down by his own men, the leader of the slavers is on the ground when Murtagh strides over and beheads him, horrifying Eragon. Murtagh defends his actions while Eragon struggles with his feelings over the viciousness of the attack.
Chapter 48: Flight Through the Valley
While flying Saphira, Eragon witnesses the Urgal closing in on them. They decide to push even harder, with Eragon flying on Saphira as they flee. They escape to an ancient forest, which offers an earie feeling to Eragon as they traipse through it. The Urgals continue to make up ground as they reach the valley that leads to the Varden. Eragon attempts to stall the Urgal with a magical mist, but it only temporarily works and it drains the rest of Eragon’s energy. He was too far away for the magic to be effective, which Saphira once again reprimands him for.
The Urgals come even closer as Eragon flees and Arya begins to writhe with her fever. Saphira drops rocks on the Urgals to slow them, but they remain close to Murtagh, deciding not to fly ahead. They arrive at the waterfall that is the secret entrance to the Varden and Murtagh looks frantically for somewhere to escape to, but they cannot find anything. Murtagh is angry but has no choice but to press into the Varden territory for safety. He reveals at last that he is the son of Morzan, the reason he will be rejected by the Varden.
Chapter 49: The Horns of a Dilemma
Because of his admition, Murtagh is seen in a new light by Eragon and he’s not sure whether the man might be working for the King or not. Murtagh denies it, saying his father’s choices are not his own and that his father was a horrible man. Eragon doesn’t accept these excuses right away, but Saphira convinces him that Murtagh would have already betrayed him if that were his goal. The Urgals arrive and Saphira begins to attack them, holding them off so as they can escape to the Varden entrance at the falls. It turns out however that they are at the wrong side of the lake, and when they move, more Urgals move in.
He falls into the falls and is pummeled by the water until an unknown hand pulls him free. The Urgals are being attacked by unseen archers from above and Eragon and is pulled safely free of the water. The hand belongs to a dwarf who leads them into a tunnel where others are watching the battle. A purple robed man is holding Murtagh hostage with a knife to his throat and they decide they must follow him.
Chapter 50: Hunting for Answers
The men lead Eragon through the tunnels, telling him to release his mental blocks so they can probe his mind. Not willing to do so, Eragon insists on saving Arya’s life first, in need of the antitode. The dwarf argues for Eragon and they soon realize who Arya is and let her go to the healer. It is then that the man begins to probe Eragon to discern who he is. Eragon attempts to defend but it only makes the probe more painful. However, he is able to, with the help of Saphira, stop the man from reaching the deeper, darker secrets he doesn’t want to share.
The purple robed man finishes with Eragon after finding he is trustworthy and violently attempts to probe Murtagh, who resists. Orik, the dwarf, stands up to him as well and angers the man, pushing him to argue back that the dwarf should not have let them into the mountain at all. When they finally learn that Murtagh does not have magical ability they decide he is not a major threat and they leave him be, putting them all in a cell together. Murtagh thanks Eragon for protecting his identity and Eragon grills him for more answers about his father and his own identity.
Murtagh explains the horrors his father committed against his mother, and how he was raised in the palace after his mother died and coerced to serve the king. When the King asked him to massacre innocent villagers, Murtahg escaped and hid from him until he decided to follow the Ra’zac and find the new Rider. Eragon decides that Murtagh has no reason to lie to them. For his part, Murtagh doesn’t agree with the Varden either.
Chapter 51: The Glory of Tronjheim
Orik arrives after they wake and requests that Eragon wait upont the leader of the Varden, Ajihad. He is given his horse and rides through the great tunnel of the underground city. At the end of the tunnel is a giant chamber, 12 miles high. Eragon mounts Saphira and follows another path to a mountain within the crate atop the underground tunnel. Here he finds the marble city of Tronjheim and a large sum of people waiting to see him, cheering excitedly. They are greeted by many cheering people, looking upon the magnificent archways and carvings as they make their way through the city. They continue along admiring the worksmanship of the dwarves before being brought to a large wood door.
Chapter 52: Ajihad
They finally meet Ajihad in the wood paneled library in Tronjheim, learning that the bald men are actually twins. He asks to see the scar on Murtagh’s back, left by his father and angrily turns on the Twins for not knowing he was the son of Morzan. Angrily, he threatens Murtagh to let them into his mind, but Murtagh remains stubborn in his refusal.
After telling everyone else to leave, Ajihad addresses Eragon directly about Arya and asks for the whole story about Eragon’s journey, filling in the blanks from Brom’s communications. He reveals that the Shade’s name is Durza and that the only way to kill him is to shoot him through the heart, that he is likely still alive. Hearing that the King has allied with Urgals convinces Ajihad that he is truly insane now.
When Brom brought the egg to the Varden they had decided to take it to the elves to find its rightful owner, but while Arya was transporting it, it was lost, to where Eragon found it. Ajihad also reveals where the Elves reside in the forest of Du Weldenvarden. They were angry and cut off contact to Ajihad after Arya disappeared. He ponders that they might be appeased with Eragon’s rescue of her. He also mentions that Eragon will be tested for his abilities.
Eragon asks his own questions, wondering if his powers will be used by the Varden. Ajihad rebukes him for his tone but tells him that he is special as a Dragon Rider and will be expected to perform specially. He hands Eragon Brom’s ring but refuses his request to free Murtagh. Because he was insolent to the Twins, regardless of the reason for it, Orik is given the task of guiding Eragon and Saphira during their stay in Tronjheim.
Chapter 53: Bless the Child, Argetlam
Orik guides the two as they settle in their new home in Tronjheim. He shows them where the original caves of the Dragon Riders and bestows Saphira with her own cave to call home. Orik explains to Eragon as they eat the fate of the dwarves, how they are cut off and their supplies are hard to get. It is a central and secure spot that makes defense easy, but support hard. Orik calls Eragon by the name Argetlam, an Elfin word for “silver hand”, what they call Dragon Riders.
After bathing and receiving new clothing, Eragon is shown how to move about the city, with staircases and slides and the lanterns along the paths. A random woman grabs his foot after Orik leaves and requests a blessing for her child. He uses some of the magic words taught to him and Saphira kisses the baby’s forehead, leaving a star shaped scar.
Chapter 54: Mandrake Root and Newt's Tongue
Upon waking, Eragon finally feels safe in the crater. He worries for Murtagh though. He sees Solembum above him upon waking who leads him to see Angela after he is awake, the witch from before. He tells her about Brom’s death, which she had loosely seen before. She mentions his one success in killing Morzan and many failings, in his training, his protection of the egg, and in life. She speaks of the Shades and their horrible magic and how they are the worst enemies of the Varden. She describes how they are formed, giving their bodies over to evil spirits.
Chapter 55: Hall of the Mountain King
When Eragon wakes, he dons his sword and is greeted by Orik, there on behalf of King Hrothgar of the dwarves seeking his presence. Eragon is allowed to speak on even terms with the King but that many of the Dwarven clan leaders do not want to offer Eragon safe haven. He describes the history of the dwarves and how they came to the mountain. Eragon requests sanctuary in their mountain, but reveals that he wishes to fight the empire.
The King then asks Saphira what she wants to do and she replies angrily that she wants to fight and drink her enemies’ blood, those that hold her brethren still in the eggs. When he suggest that Eragon would be a better king, Eragon responds that he has no wish to be a King and that no King should live forever like Galbatorix.
Hrothgar announces that Eragon must prove himself to the Dwarves and that he hopes his nephew (Orik is the king’s nephew) will serve him well. Eragon observes after leaving that the king seemed displeased with Saphira to which she jokes that he is no bigger than her knee. Orik finds them and tells him that many mothers are now seeking him out for a blessing on their own children, sending them to the library to hide.
In the library, the Twins appear, searching for Eragon so as to apologize, but they do so mockingly and Saphira warns him as they do. Keeping his anger in check at their mockery, he rejects their offer to teach him more magic. They then threaten him and demand he accept their offer. He puts off his answer for another day. He then enters the dragon hold and sees Nasuada, Ajihad’s daughter, who warns him about blessing children and asks about his testing, which will be the next day. She asks him to visit Murtagh who is lonely in his cell.
Chapter 56: Arya's Test
The next day Eragon flies to the practice grounds to be tested on his weapons fighting skills, but is interrupted again by the Twins with their request that he train with them for magic. He refuses again and they begin to test him then and their on his magical skills. They try to wear him out before his actual physical test and contantly interfere with his actions as he takes his test. He passes every test they give him though until they ask him to summon silver.
He figures it out, but is stopped by Arya before he can summon silver as she chides the Twins for testing him on something he already knows. She speaks her own magic words and draws silver from Eragon’s ring, causing the Twins to turn and leave. She requests that Eragon duel with her and though he starts by softening his strikes, she is faster and stronger than him.
They fight for a long time and Eragon barely keeps up with her, but he passes and Saphira teases him for his thoughts about Arya as they fought. Arya thanks Eragon for saving her life and she relays how she lost Saphira’s egg and was captured by the Shade. She tells him that he will need to train with the elves soon.
Eragon goes to visit Murtagh and finds that his friend is actually being treated rather well with large meals and books to read. He had been worried about him in a cell somewhere. They relate the past couple days’ events to each other.
Chapter 57: The Shadows Lengthen
Woken by a dwarf summoning him to see Ajihad, Eragon soon learns that an army of Urgals is on its way to Tronjheim, using the tunnels to arrive underneath the mountain. They could not have known of the invasion because of the amount of tunnels that exist and have not been used for years. They are going to collapse tunnels to stall the Urgals and keep them from running loose in the city. Arya and Eragon are given the task with their magic. They must keep the Urgal in Farthen Dûr, away from the majority of the dwarves and refugees.
Eragon uses his magic to find weak spots and collapse the tunnels, but the work is exhausting. As he prepares for battle, Hrothgar gifts him with dragon armor for Saphira and Orik give him chain mail for himself. Elsewhere, warriors prepare hot pitch to pour down other tunnels to kill the Urgal. Murtagh arrives as well, fully dressed and ready for battle. Ajihad asks Eragon to keep in touch with the Twins and to minimize his risks during battle as they need him as a Dragon Rider. Arya arrives as well, ready for battle, explaining that Elven women are trained as much as the men for battle. They must wait through the night for the battle to begin.
Chapter 58: Battle Under Farthen Dûr
Eragon awakes to find that the Urgals are invading. The warriors quickly pour the pitch and Eragon is sickened by the sight. The number of the Urgals is disturbing all by itself and Eragon watches as the archers take aim. They reappear faster than they can be killed though. They finally break through the line of pikes and attack the warriors behind, bringing Eragon and Saphira into the battle.
Using both magic and sword, Eragon kills dozens of Urgals, working together with Saphira to keep each other safe from them. They work in tandem, Saphira surprising them and Eragon swooping into kill them. From above, Eragon notes the lack of communication between the Urgals and tells the Twins his thoughts. They send him to fight with Hrothgar where the battle is going poorly, scaring the Urgals as Saphira swoops in and setting the dwarves upon them. An Urgal manages to hit Eragon in the back of the head though and is about to kill him when Angela kills it with a double-sided sword of her own, Solembum at her side as a boy.
The Twins contact Eragon and tell him to collapse another tunnel as the Urgals continue to dig up through them to reach Tronjheim. They start to leave as an Urgal thumps Saphira in the chest with an ax. Arya manages to kill the Urgal, but Saphira is severely hurt. She continues to fight though, even after Eragon asks how she is doing.
After landing, Eragon grabs a leather pad and slides for ten minutes down the tunnel to reach where he must collapse it. The Urgals are already breaking through the tunnels and he is unsure of what to do as the Shade, Durza approaches him. He is dressed in all black armor and has a battle worn sword and a snakeskin cloak. He knows right away that he must pierce the Shade through the heart.
The two face off and Durza tries to threaten and intimidate Eragon. Eragon is unable to get help from Saphira as she is too far away, and Durza attacks, throwing his sword and attacking mentally at the same time. Eragon manages to deflect the physical attack but is knocked from his feet by the Shade’s magic. Eragon manages to strike from the ground and push back the Shade. He weakens the Shade and attacks with his mind, reaching in and seeing the Shade’s memories from childhood.
It turns out that Durza was the young boy of outcasts, named Carsaib. The Shade is in great pain and Eragon is forced back by the power of those memories. He sees Durza walk away from his parents’ graves and is charged by Durza, knocked to the ground in pain once again. A moment later, Arya and Saphira descend through the glass ceiling and distract Durza long enough for Eragon to utter his first magic word again and pierce Durza’s heart with a flaming sword plunge. He manages to kill the Shade and collapses, once again unconscious.
Chapter 59: The Mourning Sage
While still unconscious, Eragon is confronted with many horrible, painful memories of things that have happened throughout the novel. He also sees the Mourning Sage in his dream, who tells him to go to him with Arya’s assistance, to meet him in Ellesméra, the land of the elves.
When he finally wakes up, Angela is there telling him that he slept too long. Tired and sore, he asks about Saphira and Arya. They are waiting outside for him to wake, worried for him. He learns from his friends when he leaves his room that the Shade’s death release the Urgal from a spell that caused the many Urgal clans to start fighting each other. The Varden and Dwarves then quickly finished them off.
Arya relates how she and Saphira broke the ceiling to distract Durza and Murtagh offers his congratulations for Eragon’s heroism. He learns that he has been in Angela’s care for a full day and a half, and finds that he now has a large knot-shaped scar on his back where Durzas knocked him down. He remembers afterwards his dreams and the Mourning Sage’s words, deciding that he will go to him and continue to learn.
Farm boy hatches dragon, learns magic.