Inheritance Spork, Chapter 9: Rudely Into the Light…
Hello Humans. This is the chapter on which Elain unhealthy-overly-long pregnancy ends. Since the Chapter is named Rudely into the Light odds are good that the baby is okay but she dies a horribly death, so Paolini could say “See, It’s rudely into the light because the child was born rudely and the mother died rudely, aren’t I clever?” and because then Eragon would angst about the mother’s death and
cursebless the child. Indeed odds are good that Eragon will show off his specialness by saving the child in some way. Perhaps she has cancer. Or something more dramatic, whatever.
The actual chapter starts with the sentence:
“A scream rang out: high, jagged, and piercing, almost inhuman in pitch and volume.”
The almost inhuman thing rubs me the wrong way. I mean, how can a human being do something inhuman? Isn’t everything that a human does, human? How can something human be almost inhuman? Or is it that entering in labor makes you inhuman in Eragonland? Not to mention that the jagged thing doesn’t fit a scream description very well. I am sure that he could find a better word in the Thesaurus, and he doesn’t have the excuse of not using it.
And then Eragon tenses “as if someone had stabbed him with a needle.“. I just stabbed myself with a needle, and while it hurt I tensed just a little. Obviously he isn’t that tense, is only trying to be tense. He then wonders that he killed scores of people and saw a thousand others die and the wonders if Elain will survive delivering. Note that he doesn’t show any feelings about it, just wonders about the life and death of sentient beings as you and me wonder about the climate. But obviously he is the Traditional Hero, Paragon of Virtue and Savior of All.
The we get some description about the people waiting outside the tent where Elain is. Her two sons, Albriech and Baldor, are there, as are Roran and a bunch of unnamed male NPCs that are either friends of Horst or men whose wives are helping the midwife. And Saphira who is, apparently playing with her tail.
“And towering behind them was Saphira. Her neck was arched like a drawn bow, the tip of her tail twitched as if she were hunting, and she kept flicking her ruby-red tongue in and out of her mouth, tasting the air for any scents that might provide information about Elain or her unborn child.”
Well, since her neck is arched like a drawn bow I’m picturing her head looking backwards, perhaps into her back. I mean a drawn bow is like this (>, so the bow part is her neck and her head going like the string attached on the top part of the bow. Her tail is motionless and her tongue made of stone is flicking in and out of her mouth, so obviously she is trying to bite her tail while moving only her head and neck. And it makes more sense than her being tensed about the childbirth of a random human that she doesn’t even know, so she obviously is just hanging out while playing with her tail.
Bad description does this to your prose.
Blah, More description, a Scream rent the silence, It was 10 bucks. Eragon uses his uber-super-special-stuish senses to eavesdrop the people talking. They say that she should give birth soon, that it was all the ra’zac fault and that Arya is a elf and they are evil or something.
” “She’s an elf, not a human,” said the carpenter Fisk. “She ought to stick with her own kind, she should, and not go around meddling where she’s not wanted. Who knows what it is she really wants, eh?”
Where did that come from? Since when did the humans stopped worshiping the elfs and started hating them? It doesn’t make any sense! I mean, why… Wait, special senses tingling… Heavy handed retconning/foreshadowing detected. Nevermind then.
Eragon eavesdrop it and all more, and doesn’t say a thing because
he doesn’t care about othersthe others will become uncomfortable if they discover that he is eavesdropping and not telling.
And then Katrina come out of the tent. No one goes talk to her, because obviously the labor is still going and they don’t want to take her attention way from her job of carrying soiled rags to where some NPCs are boiling said rags to reuse. Not even Roran moves, because everything is tense. Or something, I’m not really sure.
Then Arya comes out, talks with some random chick of Eragon’s elven guard that just got named and will probably die a horribly death, and Eragon goes and talk to Arya. Even though no one talked with Katrina for some reason.
Apparently the people are afraid of magic, even though everyone was okay until the end of Brisingr, and Arya cannot magic the kid out of the womb in less than a hour. Eragon say that she should say stuff in the ancient language because “they’ll have no choice but to believe you.”. Arya says no, but not because bending people to your will is wrong and sociopathic behavior, but because they will be scared and would send her way. Also apparently Katrina doesn’t have the prejudice against elfs, even though she should have, being of the same village in the same village and all, and without long term exposure to elfs.
Eragon then decides to use force to make things the right way. Arya then says:
” “Don’t,” she said. “These are customs older than time itself. If you interfere, you will anger and embarrass Gertrude and turn many of the females from your village against you.”
Wait, how can something be older than time itself? By definition, nothing can exist before time, except perhaps god-like beings outside logic. Childbirth is not a god-like being outside logic, so its not older than time itself.
Eragon then goes and breaks character by saying that he can’t wait and let her suffer. Even though he killed scores of men that morning without any empathy. I think that he just got tired of waiting and wants to go back to his tent to think about Arya.
He then makes Arya promise that no harm will come to the children, the guys come and ask how are things going, Eragon says that they are doing what they can, blah, boring, blah. Elain’s cries became weak and suddenly the sun drops ad kill everyone.
“When the sun touched the earth, it spread out along the horizon, like a giant yolk oozing free of its skin.”
Sun falls, everyone dies.
After the end of the world a lot of bats come out of nowhere so Paolini have something to describe, and then Elain give a shriek higher that everything, what means that the baby is here. Indeed 6 words later a overly long description about the baby crying, that apparently is a age-old fanfare, perhaps like the one on RPGs after you win a battle, starts.
And then everyone starts crying, as if tragedy of the worst kind happened. Eragon says that the woman can’t be dead because Arya promised. And obviously Arya is a goddess of death and has control over life and death, so if she promised then it can’t be.
Then Arya the goddess of death come out of the tent and fetch Eragon. One of Elain’s sons ask what is going on, and Arya twist his arm behind his back for some reason and say that only The AuthorEragon can save his sister now. Apparently the child was born with a cat lip. And then we get this:
“Children cursed with a cat lip were rarely allowed to live; they were difficult to feed, and even if the parents could feed them, such children would suffer a miserable lot: shunned, ridiculed, and unable to make a suitable match for marriage. In most cases, it would have been better for all if the child had been stillborn.”
It’s better to be dead than ugly.
It’s better to be dead than ugly.
It’s better to be dead than ugly.
Paolini will die tonight. He surely will.
I mean, it’s not that she will starve to death because of the cat lip, the narration quickly fix it, but say that even then, they would be ugly, shunned, ridiculed and unable to make a suitable match to marriage. Because that is what woman are good for, to look pretty and marry. If they don’t look pretty and marry it’s better if they were stillborn.
I’m off to kill Paolini. I’ll just finish the sporking, since my cat doesn’t want to take over the sporking.
Apparently Arya can’t heal the girl because suddenly humans say that elfs kidnap children and put changelings in place, tl;dr, because the Author Want His Hero To Do The Heroic Thing.
Blah, description, blah, people tearing clothes and hair having a naked fest, blah, Elain bleed a lot, blah, Horst acts as if Eragon is Christ and ask if he can do something, and Eragon says maybe.
He picks the child and goes to his tent to heal her there, Gertrude come with him so she can say the people that the girl is the same and not a changeling. But apparently the same can’t be done if Arya is the one doing the healing.
The girl smells like a forest in some oddly specific situation, i.e. forest floor on warm summer day.
Before arriving the tent Eragon meets Elva, and is afraid of her becoming his enemy, because being able to feel pain makes her a dangerous being, instead of a woobie one. And he muses about it instead of how it could harm the baby, and that perhaps he could even kill a 10 minutes old child if he messes up with her. He thinks about how Elva will kill him if he fails, instead of how devastated the parents of the baby will be. But obviously he is the Traditional Hero Of Good.
And the chapter end just like it:
“Whatever happens, Eragon thought as he entered his dark tent, I don’t want to hurt this child. And he felt a renewed determination to give her a chance to live the life that circumstances would have denied her.”
Because being ugly means that you don’t have a chance to live.
Paolini will die tonight.
On others notes the word Rudely is used three times in the book. One in the chapter title in the index, other in the chapter title in the actual chapter and other time in the text. Just a random nitpick though.