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Cover to Eragon
Author Christopher Paolini
Cover Artist John Jude Palencar
Country United States
Language English
Series Inheritance Cycle
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)
Followed by Eldest

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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.

Eragon Characters


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.

Extreme Summary

Farm boy hatches dragon, learns magic.