Chapter Sixty: A Matter Of Duty
Once again, Paolini’s insistent overuse of chapter breaks sees us rejoin the ten members of the ‘War Council’ as they continue chatting for another hour once Eragon has them all (well, nearly) on his side. Apparently Rent-A-Conflict Orrin still isn’t happy and plus there are extra details about the plan – as yet unexplained to us readers – to work out.
Arya asks to tag along with Eragon. Mama Elf freaks out at this:
“Blodgharm and the other spellcasters I assigned to Saphira and Eragon are more skilled at magic than you and more experienced in battle as well… It would be selfish to insist upon going when there are others better suited for the task who are willing and close at hand.”
Damn, Islanzadi, you can kind of be a bitch sometimes.
Eragon speaks up in Arya’s defense, which is a pretty piss poor effort at trying to convince her – considering we all know he wants nothing more than to get into her tight leather pants and see whether girl elves are hairless too. What makes this all the more hilarious is that Izlanzadi lampshades this very fact:
“You are still young, Shadeslayer, and you are allowing your emotions to cloud your judgement.”
In other words, you’re a horny boy and I don’t want my daughter anywhere near you. Of course, Paolini probably meant to insinuate that Izzy can totally tell he’s in LURVE (and not lust, OH NO), but considering canon!Eragon really gets off on juices running down his chin, I’m pretty sure this alternate interpretation is still pretty valid even though the author probably doesn’t realise any of it.
HOWEVER (all sexual innuendo and digressions aside) Arya turns the argument back on Izzy with a NO U. The pair argue gently for a while; all graceful steps, hands on cheeks, soft expressions and lowered gazes. Eventually, Izzy gets misty-eyed. Aren’t elves allowed raise their voices and get angry when they’re upset with and worried about each other? PLEASE, Paolini, the way mother and daughter are going on at the moment I can’t for one moment imagine they’re real people (well, elves, but you get the idea). Nothing about this is real. The dialogue is stilted and forced. The silly actions in between dialogue tags are ridiculous. Has he never heard of trying out your written dialogue by actually speaking it to see if it sounds real? Arya’s and Izzy’s discussion here might as well be out of Troll 2 thanks to how awkward it sounds out aloud.
And then, things get odd:
“And I must go with Eragon and Saphira. But I promise you, I shall not die.” Arya placed her hand on Islanzadi’s face even as her mother had done to her. “I shall not die.” Once more Arya repeated the phrase, but this time in the ancient language.
Arya’s determination impressed Eragon; to say what she had in the ancient language meant that she believed it without qualification. Islanzadi also appeared impressed, and proud too.
Did… wait – what? Huh? Did Arya just freaking MAGIC HERSELF INTO INVINCIBILITY?! SINCE SAYING SHIT IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE MAKES IT COME TRUE? AS IN SPEAKING A FREAKING MAGIC SPELL? And since it’s impossible to lie in the ancient language, doesn’t this mean Arya now knows she actually won’t die?
*brain melts out of nose due to lack of continuity*
Orik joins Eragon once the party’s over and people are slowly leaving.
“Ah, I wish I were going with the two of you,” he said, his eyes solemn above his beard.
I don’t know why you would describe his face like this. It makes it sound like Orik’s beard goes all the way up to his eyes, which looks pretty darn disturbing in my head.
Random fact which is annoying but not important or interesting in the slightest: Orik’s father is called Thrifk. (How does one properly pronounce that?) I find myself saying “thrif-kah”.
Orik leaves. Arya’s hanging around with Jormunder until he leaves too, leaving Eragon and Arya and Saphira still there. Arya asks Eragon if anything else happened on Wrongard that wasn’t mentioned in the meeting; since she can feel they’ve changed*. Arya doesn’t know if it’s the Eldunari or the storm-flying.
Eragon smiled at her perception. He consulted with Saphira, and when she approved, he said, “We learned our true names.”
*Quick question – how changed are they? If learning your true name – the essence of who you truly are – makes you change, is that change enough to potentially change your true name slightly as well? Is the knowledge of your true name an important enough factor to alter things? Am I thinking about this too much?
Arya’s surprised, yada yada, Eragon talks more about his recent adventures, etc… and here again the innuendo comes hard and fast yet again: (inspired by swankivy’s Inheritance essay)
As Eragon spoke, an idea occurred to him, one that resonated within him too strongly to ignore.
[I want to have sex with her.]
He explained it to Saphira, and once again she granted him her permission, although somewhat more reluctantly than before.
Must you? she asked.
Then do as you will, but only if she agrees.
When they had finished speaking of Vroengard, he looked Arya in the eyes and said, “Would you like to [see] my [penis]? I would like to share it with you.”
The offer seemed to shock her. “No! You shouldn’t [show] it to me or anyone else. Especially not when we’re so close to Galbatorix… Besides, you should only give your [penis] to… to one whom you trust above all others.”
Yes I did change a few bits here and there – but hey, this is honestly comparable stuff! It (somewhat) works in context. Arya goes on to insist that when elves trade their true names it’s only after years and years because it puts great trust in each other.
“It is the most precious thing one person can give another.” […] A shiver ran through Arya, and then she seemed to withdraw within herself. After a time, she said, “No one has ever offered me such a gift before. . . . (yes, Paolini does use four dots) I’m honored by your trust, Eragon, and I understand how much this means to you, but no, I must decline. It would be wrong for you to do this and wrong for me to accept just because tomorrow we may be killed or enslaved.[“]
Eragon takes the hint and backs off. He then asks if she’s a true-name virgin.
“Not even your mother?”
Her mouth twisted. “No.”
Oh. Ok. This just got a tad weird.
“Do you know what it is?”
“Of course. Why would you think otherwise?”
He half shrugged. “I didn’t. I just wasn’t sure.” Silence came between them. Then, “When . . . how did you learn your true name?”
Arya tells a story of her exploring Tronjheim when she was in the Varden and discovering herself in the process – as well as finding a room with a pedestal and flower growing on it. I really don’t know where Paolini’s going with this – bit of a BLAM, I think.
“The petals were purple, but the center of the blossom was like a drop of blood. There were thorns upon the stem, and the flower exuded the most wonderful scent and seemed to hum with a music all its own[…] I stayed in the room, staring at the flower longer than I can remember, and it was then and there that I was finally able to put words to who I was and who I am.”
Ignoring the obvious drug trip that Arya took, didn’t Paolini mention in a previous book that elves grow up knowing their true names from birth? Hmmmm….?
Arya scoots off pretty quickly after that, yet with a few passing words of praise about how she’s happy Saphira chose him as a Rider, etc etc. I guess she feels a little bad about turning him down and feels she has to stroke his ego a little to make it better.