Chapter 74: Firnen
Okay only a few more to go and I think this is my last one for the group. Most of these should have been resolved with single sentences or no mention at all. But anyway, I can’t believe how much is wrong with this one.
Eragon goes to meet Arya. We get a page or so of build up before he goes to see Arya as if there is suspense about what is going to come next. Anyone can guess she will have the green dragon. I guessed from like book 2 she would get that dragon egg. But of course Paolini feels like there is more drama to be milked from… keeping the readers from getting to the obvious conclusion he has in store, I guess. Eragon doesn’t even ponder the state of his relationship with the pretty girl like any teenage boy would but instead “grinds a thumb-sized flake into the shape of an arrowhead.” and grinding a larger piece into a dagger.
I was being sarcastic before but again Paolini shows how his characters are emotionless and wastes readers time literally having the main character play in the dirt.
Eventually we get to Saphira looking into the distance and “Her body stiffened against his, and he felt a strange emotion within her: a sense of impending momentousness.” Wow I forgot how bad the prose was in this book. Sigh.
He sees a “wink of green fire” and then… oh wait here’s a redundant simile. “like an emerald glimmering in the sun” and then …. No wait that wasn’t enough description of a speck! “The point of light arced through the blue mantle of the heavens, approaching at a rapid pace, bright as a star at night.”
After the spark “proliferated” he sees it is a dragon! Who would have guessed! I mean we definitely needed a page of build up because you know how many other possibilities there could have been for a green flying object! (Again Paolini messed up by using the word green as the first adjective in the list, ruining any chance at petty drama.)
They fly up to meet it so we get some description. It isn’t too bad. The dragon is smaller than Saphira and scrany looking. Presumably it’s pretty young. How long was it for Saphira to learn to fly? I’m guessing it can’t be much older than that.
He sees a rider on the dragon that looks like Arya and “The sight filled Eragon’s heart with joy, and the emptiness he had labored under for so long vanished like the darkness of night before the rising sun.”
(Paolini : OH YEAH MY CHARACTERS ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE EMOTIONS BETTER PUT THAT IN THERE!) Apparently that emptiness translates to playing aimlessly with rocks but we were supposed to know that. It’s not like he had a chance to mention this crushing emptiness earlier when he is telling us how bored they were.
Oh it’s Arya on the dragon! Oh it’s Arya’s Dragon! Again this is played off like the reader should be surprised, maybe they didn’t get a copy of the book with the jacket with the grass dragon on it. After they pass in midair Eragon considers the chance it could be “attempting to gain the advantage before attacking.” Seriously? Worrying about an attack at this moment? I guess if you think everything is trying to kill you maybe but no the very next line is: “He grinned and shouted into the wind” So I guess a train of thought isn’t really a thing for these characters.
They land and walk toward each other. We get a big paragraph of details on Arya’s appearance. She’s wearing a crown and has a green sword. Actually he didn’t describe her, just the crown and sword.
Eragon is astonished and realizes she has been made the queen. They say some gibberish and no translation is provided so I guess Paolini assumes we are fluent in gibberish by this point. The dragon’s sniff each other. The dragon is named Firnen. Dragon has that weird-word-mush-habit too. Some flow of thoughts emotions and sensation go between the few dragons. I’m afraid of where this is heading. Arya says they seem to have taken to each other so “a mutual understanding’ guide the two humaniods away. Yeah this is going there. I guess dragons are into the meet-and-bang scene. More on this later.
The book then spends way too long justifying her becoming the ruler as if monarchies aren’t allowed. They awkwardly sit in silence for awhile then they talk about how Arya didn’t respond to his letter and she was afraid Galby’s agents could do something before “he was large enough to defend himself” and we are already heading into exposition. They had not a single word of “I missed you” or “Glad to see you” Nope Paolini’s gotta make sure and save as much space as possible for useless exposition about impossible scenarios.
Seriously, we are over the hill, passed the climax, no need to bring up so many random potential sideplots. Oh my, maybe this is his way of editing out another arc.
They got on for a page about the politics of Arya being chosen for queen. I don’t get why monarchies are never mentioned but somehow still exactly what happens in this world. Both Nausada and Arya are only Queens due to their parents and “main character” status when BOTH were literally hostages and potentially brain washed by Galbatorix. How did no one object to this? I mean if we want to write our fanfic of how the new world fails miserably there’s another plot idea for you. Aryatorix and Nasuadatorix, it was all part of his cunning plan. Hahaha.
Oh, I guess I’m distracting myself from the exposition. More about her and the egg and it hatching. And oh yeah, they had to beg her to be their queen. Like they pestered her for weeks about how perfect she was. More politics, my favorite! A couple more pages of “How can you be a rider and queen?” Silly Eragon, a Sue’s gotta do what a Sue’s gotta do, even if it is everything all at once. Also even Arya thinks Eragon leaving is stupid.
And now for the main attractive. The dragons circle each other and “it looked almost as if they were going to attack each other, which worried him, but the feeling from Saphira was not one of anger or fear. It was—“ So yeah I don’t really know what to say about this so here’s the rest of the exchange while I try to put together a thought other than ewwww.
“I want to test him, said Saphira. She slapped her tail against the ground, causing Fírnen to pause.
Test him? How? For what?
To find out if he has the iron in his bones and the fire in his belly to match me.
Are you sure? he asked, understanding her intent.
She again slapped her tail against the ground, and he felt her certainty and the strength of her desire. I know everything about him—everything but this. Besides —she displayed a flash of amusement—it’s not as if dragons mate for life.
Very well…. But be careful.”
Nope, all I can think of is eww. THEY JUST MET!! Am I the only one who has a problem with this? Eragon is like some creepy proud father in this moment and no one questions this. I mean are we supposed to be happy or excited to read about dragon sex? Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t even think he even implied Roran and his wife had sex, AND THEY HAD A BABY! ( I guess there was that one flirty/rapey line of dialogue from Roran)
So to start the festivities Saphira bites Firnen. I guess that’s what dragon’s are into. But it turns out Firnen DOESN’T EVEN GET WHAT SAPHIRA IS DOING.
Arya did not seem upset. To Fírnen, and to Eragon as well, she said, If you want her to respect you, then you have to bite her in return.” (Why is there mention of her saying this to Eragon? I imagine him now considering biting Arya to show his love, apparently love is a zombie-like a disease.)
Unless I’m reading this wrong, Firnen doesn’t even understand what is going on. I just have this picture of a woman hitting on a little boy and it’s all kinds of weird. I mean how old is this dragon? We haven’t had much indication about how much time has passed and I get if you were the last of your kind (which Paolini decided they weren’t) you’d be keen on getting down to business but this is a bit much. Firnen bites her back. “The pain Saphira felt was not pain.” good one Paolini.
They bite each other more and, shoot I got like half a chapter left.
“The courting of dragons is no gentle affair,” he said to Arya. And them obserivng this whole thing is also weirding me out. They are like the parents. They moved away earlier like they were giving them privatcy but clearly they are watching and communicating with them throughout. Firnen breathes fire for the first time. (Age indication?) They fly way up out of sight and the squick just keeps on coming.
“Eragon still received a few flashes of thoughts and feelings from Saphira.” “his cheeks grew hot, as did the tips of his ears, and he found himself unable to look directly at Arya.”
Double indirect vicarious sex, nice. Also if this is how they drag the two characters into a relationship I will die even more inside. “She too seemed affected by the dragons’ emotions, although differently than he”
More awkward dialogue and awkward silence. He looks at her and remembers what they have been through. Supposedly this makes him feel connected to her. So instead of profesing his undying love lust he plays in the dirt again. He creates an image of her. Didn’t he do something like this before and it was creepy and ill-recieved then? He doesn’t even give it to her but intended to break it, but she magics it away from him. They call it a fairth and I don’t think that’s a real word. So without ever really communicating anything about their feelings she says she wants to tell him her true name.
So I guess they get to have namesex. Earlier in the book several descriptions of exchanging names are parallels to people having sex in a “it’s a really big deal” “do it with someone special” kind of way. He’s dumbstruck aparently by this. She tells him and he ponders some of it or whatever. Eragon/Paolini then tells us qualities about her character of course we don’t have time to show anything it’s like the last book. Glad we’re still establishing the second most important character.
He tells her his name and she says something about his name having changed since he started his journey. Not going to hurt myself on that concept again. The relationship between them has always been strange and forces, and so that tradition shall continue.
“The exchange of names had formed a bond between them, but of what sort he was unsure, and his uncertainty left him with a sense of vulnerability. She had seen him with all his flaws and she had not recoiled, but had accepted him as he was, even as he accepted her.” Either this is really strong innuendo or hilariously unfortunate.
He asks what is to become of them and she says she doesn’t know, she thinks humans are apt to change. (so why did you open up to him?) She is giving him a chance to get over his crazy crush and hoping to avoid hurting him since he’s being silly. She’s trying to push him away gently. His response:
“My feelings won’t change,” he said with utter certainty.
This is incredibly immature. Mind you he’s still planning to leave the country and never see or talk to her that often. If this is true, it proves his obsession. He doesn’t seem to care about her feelings and thinks the way to win her over is just to be more overbearing. If it’s not true he’s irrational as ever.
She says “perhaps in time” encouraging the crazy, or maybe just afraid of going against it.
He tried to smile, but it came out more as a grimace. “But … we don’t have time,” he said, his voice choked. He felt sick to his stomach. Arya’s brow furrowed, and she lowered her hand. “What do you mean?”
So his next move seems to be trying to guilt trip her into a relationship. He somehow is still deadset on leaving the country to do whatever even though with the knowledge of the name of names he can basically manipulate the fabric of the frikken universe.
Leaving the country is just forcing more plot when we don’t need or want any. Also now he tries to convince HER to go with HIM! So you want all 3 of the ONLY dragon riders to leave the new country!? You want to take the queen of a nation away?! You think you know best and should take the eggs and eldunari with you?!
I don’t get what Paolini hopes to accomplish with this here. Eragon is basically looking to suffer, looking for adventure when there is none to be found. Again with the fanfic ideas, he basically wants to be a hero when the world has finally run out of use for one. Eragon can’t handle a normal life and has become so vain he must stir up his own drama to keep him from facing reality! Maybe this is meant to a real flaw but if so it is being handled worse than ever. Eragon doesn’t know what to do without destiny bossing him around. His discontent with a mundane life is causing him to ruin his relationships with others due to his glory-seeking streak. (Another side note: This is all tied back to Angela’s random prophecy, which hasn’t been infallible, that said he would leave the country and never come back. Eragon in these last chapters is implying he can come back so idk what’s going on with him in his mind The prophecy mentioned some great romance. I think Paolini is just retconning all over the place)
He’s sooooo sure of himself even while every other main character has tried to talk him out of it. He touches her cheek and asks her to ruin everything with him. Arya says she can’t go with him, forming tears in her eyes. A more appropriate reaction would be a blank stare of confusion. He moves away and also almost cries. Again are readers supposed to find this tragic. I just see Eragon being extremely selfish to the point of dooming the world. They discuss the bizarre setup of how future dragon riders are to be trained and some other pointless details.
So he says he’s not leaving immediately so they have sometime together. They hold hands as Saphira and Firnen return. Again not bothering to say much of anything about the state of their relationship. “It helped dull the ache in his heart”
Public service announcement: This is not how relationships ever work. Eragon is all demands and no compromise. He doesn’t listen to anyone’s advice. He is incredibly selfish and terrible at communicating. I’m in a long distance relationship that has worked out incredible well and the foundation is communication. Finding a person that complements your personality and traits is very important. Eragon has been a creep from the start and barely changed over the series. Arya has been distant enough to show Paolini has a bit of restraint, but she still shouldn’t even be entertaining this madman’s delusions.
Final footnote: I think there are over 100 pages after Galby gets killed. Too much!