This one was written by me.
Well, here we are. The last section of the Eragon sporking. Except for the appendix and glossaries, I suppose. Holy god it’s taken a long time. I wasn’t sure, so I went back and checked, I posted part 1 of this spork back on November 11th, 2011. It’s been going on for nearly 21 months!
Alright. Enough about all that.
Chapter Seventy-Seven – Promises, New and Old
Blodhgarm and his entourage are packing the Eldunari for transport. Most of the elves are coming with him.
As Blodhgarm had said, “We cannot abandon the Eldunari. They need our help, as will the younglings once they hatch.” (page 827)
…why, exactly? The Eldunari have been existing just fine without elven influence for some time now. As for the younglings, why would they need help? They’re only going to hatch if their Rider is among the small group of Elves there, which is a rather arrogant supposition, and besides, Saphira hatched for a mindless peasant and got along quite swimmingly without help.
Eragon feels sad.
“As she flew, a sadness fell upon Eragon.” (page 827)
“he gazed upon the land with renewed appreciation, knowing that he would likely never see it again.” (page 828)
Here’s where some examples would really come in handy. He could see a landmark, and it could remind him of a memory that he could look back upon with fondness, which would help us understand his character. Instead, we don’t get any examples. We get words. Sadness and Appreciation. We don’t get to know why.
They land at an Urgal village which throws an awesome party for him and Saphira, who gets wasted on Urgal wine. I think she may be an alcoholic. Anyway:
All that evening, Eragon and Saphira caroused with Garzhvog (page 829).
In the morning, Eragon found himself blotched with a dozen or more bruises (page 829).
Next day Eragon meets with the twelve dams (female Urgals) who more or less rule the Urgals, and explains his plan: every few years they’ll basically hold Olympic games which will allow male Urgals to win prestige and glory so they can mate with females. This will keep them from needing to make war on other tribes so the males can win glory in battle. The dams think this is a pretty good idea, but not foolproof, so Eragon unveils the second part of his plan: find an Urgal dragonrider. Not explicitly; in the text it says “he explained” and you have to figure it out from information that comes later. This is the kind of literary tactic that is acceptable if you’re writing a detective novel, or a thriller, but in this doorstopper it just seems pointless. Anyway, the Urgals are in love with the idea and say that if this works Eragon will pretty much be the greatest thing since sliced bread and they will always be in his debt.
From here they head to Vroengard Island, get inside the Rock, and drop off some eggs, caskets, and Eldunari. They pick up Cuaroc, the shiny metal protector of the eggs, for no real reason (seriously) and head to Ellesmera, where Arya and Roran and Katrina and Firnen are waiting for them. Immediately after landing, Saphira and Firnen take off for some Alone Time, which would be kinda cool since Saphira is getting laid, but we don’t really know anything about her frame of mind and how she feels about him since Saphira is nothing more than a supporting character.
Later, Eragon goes to visit the Menoa tree. It told them about the brightsteel, so Eragon explains that since he’s about to leave Middle-Earth, whatever the Menoa tree wants in return, it needs to ask for now.
So it tells him to go, and that is that.
So either Paolini didn’t have a good idea of what the Menoa tree wanted when he first wrote about it, or SequelBait!
Eragon spends the next three days reading books and scrolls and not doing anything else.
On the fourth day, when he had learned all he could from his reading (page 835).
Wait. Eragon is leaving Alagaesia. More or less permanently. Yeah, we all know he’s going to come back and hook up with Arya, but he’s planning on a very long exile. I’m not really sure why he’s reading all these books, but presumably it’s to get up to speed on things he wants/needs to know. And he is able to get every piece of knowledge that he will need for the rest of his life in a matter of just three days? Dude, there’s not much of a rush. Galbatorix was defeated. You won. Nasuada is enslaving everyone. Take a couple months, I’m sure the elves have pretty extensive libraries that might be worth checking out.
Or maybe he was just spending the time getting ready for the spell he’s about to cast. In which case….same point, really. He’s rewriting more or less the entire history of the world and it has the possibility to affect millions of lives. He might want to spend more than three days finalizing his grammar.
Afterwards, he, Arya, the elves’ spellcasters and the dragons circle up around the Menoa tree. The two tattooed naked elven lesbian tarts strip down and perform their dance until a spectral deus ex machina dragon appears to ask what he wants. Eragon explains his plan. The spectral dragon thinks it’s awesome. So Eragon speaks his spell that he has spent days perfecting, the first of its kind for a millennium, and forges a new contract with the dragons and the Riders. Now, the dwarves and the Urgals can be Riders as well! Because of this new contract.
It’s pretty well-established that the dragons will only hatch for the Right person. And that those two, Rider and Dragon, are basically Destined for each other. And that dragons have spent a thousand plus years waiting for the right person to be their rider. How does a magical contract just change that? If a dragon has been destined for the past 2000+ years to only end up with one individual, that dragon already knows who that right person is going to be, right? Or you could say the universe knows, if that’s more your cup of tea. The point is, that one person of destiny doesn’t change. But now it does change, because Eragon’s rewritten the rules so that dwarves and Urgals are allowed to be members of the club.
Anyway. It’s momentous. He feels great.
A sense of elation filled him, and he knew that he had accomplished a great good, the greatest, perhaps, of his entire life (page 836).
I actually don’t have a problem with this. I cordially despise Eragon and pretty much everything he’s ever done, but this is actually a good thing. It spreads equality, it might promote peace, it will cut those fucking elves down a few pegs…it’s a good thing. Nice job, Eragon! Pity about deposing the king and installing an inexperienced, power-hungry tyrant-in-training in his stead!
There’s a feast afterward, but Eragon leaves and wanders around a bit until he runs into Sloan, who is crying. Eragon introduces himself and Sloan isn’t particularly happy. See, he can hear Katrina, but he can’t see her or try to talk to her. Eragon isn’t sure what to say, since yeah, it was kind of a dick move to sentence Sloan to his fate without a fair trial or due process. Sloan then points out that Eragon really had to rub salt into the wound by bringing Katrina there, as if being blind in Lothlorien wasn’t bad enough. Eragon feels guilty about this, so he casts a new spell which grows Sloan’s eyes back. He stares at them, and comments on how beautiful and happy they and Roran look.
Eragon explains that Sloan can look on them, but he still can’t talk to them or show himself to them or contact them. Because what would forgiveness be if you still weren’t being unspeakably cruel? After all, in another day or so, Roran and Katrina and child will head back to Carvahall to start their new lives, leaving Sloan alone in Ellesmera, now with his eyes back, but conveniently without the only thing in his life that he truly loves and will now never see again for the rest of his miserable life. How does Sloan respond?
His jaw worked up and down for a few seconds, as if he were chewing on something, and then he said, “Thank you.” (page 840)
So Eragon is still an asshole, but now he can live guilt-free because of this little episode. Hooray!
Chapter Seventy-Eight – Leave Taking
Finally the time comes to head out. Roran comes with them, riding behind Eragon, and Arya on Firnen. At Silthrim they meet up with the rest of the elves. Eragon takes two eggs and gives them to the elves who will take one to visit the Urgals and one to the dwarves in the hopes that the dragons will pick someone. Out of everyone who exists and will exist over four separate races of people spread across a continent.
If not, then they would swap places, and if the still did not find Riders for themselves … well, Eragon was not quite sure what to do then, but he was confident Arya would figure something out (page 842).
Our hero, ladies and gentlemen.
They sail down the river and nothing happens. Eventually they end up near the dwarf-mountains since rivers flow towards mountains and there they meet a group of dwarves and Orik and there’s a big feast and Saphira gets a magic ring that will not serve any purpose in this story.
Eventually he has to say goodbye to Roran so he gives him all his gold and jewels and says goodbye, conveniently leaving him and the far opposite side of the continent from where he needs to go. He asks Arya to stay with him until the first curve in the river, and off they go. Roran watches them leave and them screams because he’s upset. And then, at long last, it finally happens:
At last, Eragon turned to her, and he pushed the cowl away from her face, so that he could see her eyes.
“Arya,” he said. And he whispered her true name. A tremor of recognition ran through her.
She whispered his true name in response, and he too shivered at hearing the fullness of his being.
He opened his mouth to speak again, but Arya forestalled him by placing three of her fingers upon his lips. She stepped back from him then and raised one arm over her head.
“Farewell, Eragon Shadeslayer,” she said (page 848).
That’s it. Still. After all this time. After being denied countless times. After being told no in every possible way. After everything, Eragon still wants to plant one on her, and is unwilling to realize that Arya isn’t him. Don’t get me wrong, I actually kinda like this in that Eragon and Arya *don’t* end up together, which was refreshing, but I’m getting sick of Eragon refusing to accept it. She doesn’t like you. Grow up.
Firnen swoops down and snatches Arya and they fly away. Eragon cries for a bit and Saphira is also sad as they mourn “what could never be”. Barring the inevitable sequel, I guess. They calm down, remember that they’re not alone, Eragon smiles, and the ship sails out past the Grey Havens and into the west.
Where have I seen this ending before?