Inheritance Spork, Chapter 10 – A Cradle Song…
So boys and girls, welcome to another episode of ‘Spork the Green Brick!’ I’ll be doing Chapter 10: ‘A Cradle Song’. In which Eragon performs plastic surgery, learns how to breastfeed without having breasts and makes a lame pun about the baby’s name.
First off, I’d like to apologize for any mistakes I made here, as English is not my first language. Now then, let’s get on with the sporkings!
Faint light from the dying sun seeped into Eragon’s tent. Everything within was gray, as if it were carved from granite.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen light do that. But hell, I’ve never seen a super nova before. On that note, Alagaësia, you might want to start developing spacecraft if you don’t want to fall prey to your dying sun. Either that, or Paolini needs to learn how to use adjectives properly.
It’s probably more fruitful to put your money on spacecraft.
With his elf vision, Eragon could see the shape of objects easily enough, but he knew that Gertrude would have trouble, so for her sake he said, “Naina hvitr un böllr,” and set a small, glowing werelight floating in the air by the peak of the tent.
How very thoughtful of the great and mighty Eragon! To consider the lowly humans who can’t see like those amazing elves. Luckily though, our hero hasn’t changed so much from that simple illiterate idiot. Gertrude however, disagrees and for some reason, it troubles Eragon. This would maybe be a fine time for character development. The moment when he realizes, hang on, what’s happened to me? How did I become this stranger? But no, it’s just glossed over and before you know it, he’s back to the task at hand.
“What do you intend to do?” asked Gertrude as she sat on the lone stool near the tent wall. “How will you heal her?”
“I’m not sure.”
So, here’s a guy who is about to perform the equivalent of a major reconstructive operation, but hasn’t a clue where to start 10 seconds before he’s going to do it…
Yeah, I’d trust the life of a newborn to him as well.
And to finish it off:
Eragon frowned slightly. He had counted on having her close at hand during the procedure, to help him where he was ignorant and to correct him if he made any mistake. ‘Well, no matter. I can still ask her questions if I want to.’
Our surgeon doesn’t need the help of his superiors. Nope, he can just wing it all the way through. But as it is, Arya has to stay outside because apparently people don’t like the freaky elves near their kids, lest they get infected by their weird cooties. It’s very convenient that the people start hating on them now, so that Eragon can step in, play the hero and save the girl, instead of an elven healer.
Arya, in a rare moment of empathy, decides to stay away from the cleft lipped baby. Which, naturally, leads Eragon to wonder if his best friend hasn’t been accused of stealing babies in the past. I’m not sure which of them is more disturbed: Eragon, for immediately assuming that a bit of compassion from Arya means she was accused of a serious crime. Or Arya, for showing so little compassion that even the slightest hint of it is interpreted as an act of caution instead of kindness.
Then after a long period of blah blah blah and the dynamic dragon duo using their five braincells to figure out what to do next, Eragon hesitating for a split second, because again, he has no idea how to start. Finally he decides to sing a lullaby from his childhood, a cradle song. Alright, so there’s your title.
The infant’s bones, like those of every newborn child, were soft and cartilaginous, different from those of an adult and thus different from all of the bones he had mended during his time with the Varden.
Wow, okay, backtrack. Most of the bones in a baby’s body are just that, regular bones. Yes, the process of ossification (the bone-ification of bones, I googled it, I admit) continues until they’re about 20 or so, but we’re talking about small bones here. Like kneecaps. So, Paolini let’s get one thing straight first: BABIES ARE NOT MADE OF CARTILAGE. If you drop them, you break them.
He had to be careful not to fill the gap in her mouth with the bone, flesh, and skin of an adult, or those areas would not grow properly along with the rest of her body.
Of course that kid is going to grow, of course her bones are going to grow. But…Eragon? Didn’t you heal your own growing body at times? Didn’t you heal young soldiers? Or Arya, who is…if I recall correctly…pretty young in elven standards?
If this is the first time you worry about it…shouldn’t the some of the things you healed before look hideously out of shape by now?
I know this isn’t your average healing spell, but it’s not like the guy is creating stuff that the baby doesn’t already have. Can’t he just copy the bones, flesh and skin that are already on the edges of the gap?
Also, when he repaired the gap in her upper palate and gums, he would have to move, straighten, and make symmetrical the roots of what would become her two front teeth.
Apparently, this dragon rider is a dentist as well. Because he knows that teeth grow from roots…This, in a medieval society is quite a bit of knowledge. I suppose he must’ve learned it from the elves, who are known for their anatomical studies, you know, cutting up dead bodies and such.
It’s probably magic though, magic is the reason for everything. Paolini doesn’t have to explain anything because he’s writing a fantasy novel. Fantasy novels don’t need logic.
*le sigh* I’m just going to continue now.
The werelight brightened and dimmed in accordance with the volume of her humming, a phenomenon that Eragon found exceedingly curious. He resolved to ask Saphira about it later.
I don’t know what the point of this piece is, because we never hear about again. It has no significance whatsoever. Is the author’s fetish for strange lights returning? Anyone remember that entire page in Eragon about a lamp?
When the girl cried from hunger, he fed her with a trickle of energy.
Magic can do anything, including breastfeeding! Never mind the fact that energy isn’t going to make her stomach feel full. Kid’s probably going to scream even louder now that she has the energy for it but still feels hungry.
Does Magic also change diapers?
Most babies start pooping within 12 hours of birth. That means it should happen in the time she was with Eragon. Actually, if she doesn’t do it within 24 hours, it could indicate serious complications that would make the cleft lip pale in comparison.
But it’s not cool to write about changing diapers, so Paolini doesn’t.
He does however, write prose. Oh the prose!
A thrashing sea of unmoderated emotions that reduced everything else in the world to insignificance.
Is it just me, or do a lot of things in Alagaësia ‘reduce everthing in the world to insignificance’. I haven’t made notes of how many times I’ve come across this sort of thing, but I vaguely remember seeing it a lot in these books.
Let’s put in some more prose, just for good measure.
Her skin flowing like liquid—and her upper lip gradually formed a pink bow free of flaws.
There, the kid is whole, our mighty hero has made a perfect lip. It says so above. No flaws, baby’s going to be the prettiest gal in all the land.
Eragon fiddled and tweaked and worried over the shape of her lip for the longest while, until at last Saphira said, It is done. Leave it , and he was forced to admit that he could not improve the girl’s appearance any more, only make it worse.
So. When he fixed the upper lip, it was perfect. Then he started to mess around with it until he was forced to admit that it was only getting uglier. Mind you, if Saphira hadn’t said anything, he would’ve just kept screwing with it. God knows what it would’ve looked like then.
Eragon gets up and realizes that he’s been doing this all night. Obviously, he’s sore, bent over like that for about 12 hours and fought before that. I’m sure Eragon’s done weirder things without getting back-trouble in the past three books, but I commend Paolini for putting in a normal, tired response. Except, that’s when the dragon starts to complain as well.
And what about me? said Saphira. My bones ache as much as yours . Her admission surprised him; she rarely acknowledged her own discomfort, no matter how extreme. The fighting must have taken a greater toll on her than had first been apparent.
I find it very hard to believe that a dragon who has been sitting in a relaxed position for the entire night, a position she’s well used too, could have so much aching. She didn’t complain after Durza, after the fight with Thorn, after fixing that star sapphire but NOW she complains?
It makes no sense. Even Eragon thinks it’s strange. You would almost think it’d be some kind of plot point. Perhaps getting hurt by the magical dragon-slaying weapon did more than we first assumed?
Again, this is simply glossed over.
Gertrude stood and hobbled over to the cot. “Never did I think to see such a thing,” she said. “Least of all from you, Eragon Bromsson.” She peered at him inquiringly. “Brom was your father, wasn’t he?”
Eragon nodded, then croaked, “That he was.”
“It seems fitting, somehow.”
Wasn’t Brom just some old storyteller to Getrude? Why would she find it fitting that he was Eragon’s father? why would she relate him to the situation at all? No-one knew the guy was a rider, or even a sorcerer for that matter.
Paolini probably just thought it’d be cool to compare Eragon to his dead father once more.
Eragon was not inclined to discuss the topic further, so he merely grunted and extinguished the werelight with a glance and a thought. Instantly, all went dark, save for the predawn glow. His eyes adjusted to the change faster than Gertrude’s; she blinked and frowned and swung her head from side to side, as if unsure of where he stood.
Nice dude, real nice. You don’t want to talk to the old lady anymore? Just switch of the lights, walk away with your x-ray vision and leave her to stumble around in the dark.
What a class act!
He gazed down at the girl and, feeling suddenly protective, murmured, “Sé ono waíse ilia.” May you be happy. It was not a spell, not properly, but he hoped that maybe it could help her avoid some of the misery that afflicted so many people. Failing that, he hoped it would make her smile.
It did. A wide smile spread across her diminutive face, and with great enthusiasm, she said,“Gahh!”
This is exactly what went wrong with Elva…
He wanted to bless a baby girl, not use a spell. What happened? He accidently enchanted her. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you say something in the ancient language, it has to be true. Eragon commented on this in the last chapter. So by all means, the baby has no choice but to be happy. It’s not a proper spell, but it’s a blessing in the language of truth.
Newborn babies can’t laugh. Yet this kid does. Did Eragon just create another Elva? Will this kid spend the rest of her life being forcefully happy?
Eragon smiled as well, then turned and strode outside.
That sentence just got a hell of a lot creepier.
Either way, when he steps out of the tent, half of Carvahall and the varden are standing there; because no-one has anything better to do than wait for Eragon to finish his little magic trick.
Elva is there too. Hiding her face behind a black lace veil. Poor girl, my heart goes out to her.
The group, Eragon realized, must have been waiting for hours, and he had not sensed anything of their presence. He had been safe enough with Saphira and the elves keeping watch, but that was no excuse for allowing himself to become so complacent.
Why wouldn’t Eragon feel safe with the people from his own village (some of whom he’s known his whole life), or his allies? Why would he trust the elves more than the humans?
Because elves are better than humans, that’s why.
Paolini, you racist pig.
What follows is part where the family expresses how glad they are that their baby isn’t ugly anymore. Because it’s better to be dead than ugly in this world, as my esteemed colleague mentioned in the last spork.
They name the baby Hope.
Can someone pass me a bucket please? I think I’m gonna vomit. Of all the clichéd names he could give a kid, Paolini had to pick that one?
It gets worse.
“Hope … A good name, that.” And don’t we need some hope in our lives?
Excuse me while I get reacquainted with my breakfast.
The elves then go and have their turn to stare at the kid, the villagers don’t like this. Look at those silly humans, they’re so dumb, they hate on the elves. It’s becoming a theme.
Elva follows in the baby-watch parade, Eragon is very nervous about this. She nods at him to tell him that…Hope isn’t feeling any pain? Because honestly, how would she know if the spell went wrong? As long as baby isn’t in pain, and kids are very good at expressing pain, she can’t see anything.
Dear reader, be warned for the next part. It contains high levels of Gary-Stuness.
Arya sidled up to him. “You should be proud of what you have accomplished,” she murmured. “The child is sound and well formed. Not even our most skilled enchanters could improve on your gramarye.
You’re so great, Eragon! You’re as good as our experts who had hundreds of years to practice! It must be a pretty crap skill then, if it only takes you two years or so to become as good as a master.
Eragon saw that she and all the elves were regarding him with a look of newfound respect—
Oh Eragon, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow our minds! Hey Eragon! Hey Eragon!
And with that, we close this chapter in true Inheritance style:
His breathing slowed, his mind began to wander, and soon the strange sights and sounds of his waking dreams enveloped him—real, yet imaginary; vivid, yet transparent, as if the visions were made of colored glass—and, for a time, he was able to forget his responsibilities and the harrowing events of the past day.
Purple prose and…
And all through his dreams, there wound the cradle song, like a whisper of wind, half heard, half forgotten, and it lulled him, with memories of his home, into a childlike peace.
a loss of consciousness.