Chapters Conviction, Repercussions


It seems that Paolini's way of introducing Roran's chapters after dealing with Eragon's is to begin them with a short sentence beginning with "Roran did something or another." It's almost as if Paolini is uncertain that we won't know who's POV we're in unless we get Roran's name right off. It's not like we wouldn't be able to tell by the change of scenery or the mention at someone else in Carvahall.

Roran is back in Horst's house. He's been patched up and is upset that the people didn't attack the soldiers as opposed to you know, saving themselves and not fighting with the Ra'zac and their giant Nazgul flying monster like things. Horst tells him that he can go and kill people when he's well.

Roran then broods. He thinks about how his family is dead or gone, his farm has been destroyed and his betrothed has been kidnapped. He wants to go after the Ra'zac but he doesn't know how to find them. And he can't leave the village either, because that would be abandoning his people. He cries a lot. More than a single tear too.

He then tries to think of what to do. He thinks and thinks. And decides well, he should go to the Varden. But he doesn't know where the Varden are. So, then there's always Sudra, which apparently everyone knows likes the Varden and not the king, even if it's a big secret. So, he comes up with the brilliant idea of taking everyone with him to Sudra. As he thinks, "Also by bringing the villagers to them, he would earn the Varden's confidence, so that they would trust him with the location of the Ra'zac. Maybe they can explain why Galbatorix is so desperate to capture me." (page248) Now while more bodies are good thing for, the Varden have been doing their thing for a long time. And it's not likely they'll want to trust Roran so quickly. And having all those people suddenly show up would cause problems. It's three hundred people that they suddenly have to take care of.

So, on the strength of his vision, Roran gets out of bed after nearly dying and bleeding the day before and staggers out. With one word, "come" he gathers people around him. For a moment Carvahall turns into a town, when Roran goes to "the center of town" (page 249) but then with the village all around him he starts getting very elegant in his speaking abilities. Really, Shakespearian actors should take notes from him. When most of Carvahall stood before him, Roran fell silent, tightening his left fist until his fingernails cut into his palm. Katrina. Raising his hand, he opened it and showed it to everyone the crimson tears that dripped down his arm. "This," he said, "is my pain. Look well, for it will be yours unless we defeat the curse wanton fate has set upon us. Your friends and family will be bound in chains, destined for slavery in foreign lands, or slain before your eyes, hewn open by soldiers' merciless blades. Galbatorix will sow our land with salt so it lies forever fallow. This I have seen. This I know." He paced like a caged wolf, glowering and swinging his head. He had their attention. Now he had to stroke them into a frenzy to match his own.

"My father was killed by the desecrators. My cousin has fled. My farm was razed. And my bride-to-be was kidnapped by her own father, who murdered Byrd and betrayed us all! Quimby eaten, the hay barn burned along with Fisk's and Delwin's houses. Parr, Wyglif, Ged, Bardrick, Farold, Hale, Garner, Kelby, Melkof, Albem and Elmund: all slain. Many of you have been injured, like me, so that you can no longer support your family. Isn't it enough that we toil to the whims of nature? Isn't it enough that we are forced to pay Galbatorix's iron taxes, without having to endure these senseless torments?" Roran laughed manically, howling at the sky and hearing the madness in his own voice. No one stirred in the crowd.

Very stirring. Though, there are some problems with his speech. For starters, if you salt a field it's not going to lay fallow, it's going to be barren. A farmer, like Roran claims to be, should know that. Then the slavery in foreign lands. What foreign lands? Sudra? But Sudra is the good kingdom and probably doesn't have any slavery because its good. There's the land of the evil mountain, but that's part of the empire. Not really foreign land either. They don't appear to have any contact with anyone else, so Roran's just being overly dramatic here and stirring pots that shouldn't be stirred. And the iron taxes bit. They're part of a kingdom. They have to pay taxes. They should begrudge the king money to pay for an army that's been protecting their borders and letting them live in peace for a hundred years? The only wars have been with the Varden, who's attacked the kingdom and not the other way around. Then there's Roran laughing manically. Manically means insanity. Non stable. Not the sort of person you'd want to follow around and have lead you off away from your homes. No, maniacal laughter is usually reserved for the Evil Kings, not the Farm Boy Hero.

He talks some more, being very dramatic, about rather having his eyes plucked out and hands chopped off than seeing Galby triumph. He talks about the epics that will be sung of their village the only one that was brave enough to defy the Empire. Of course, my idea is that, if no one has protested this before then there probably isn't a problem with the empire or the king.

Then the culmination of Roran's speech, Tears of pride flooded Roran's eyes. "What could be more noble than cleansing Galbatorix's stain from Alagesia? No more would we live in fear of having our farms destroyed, or being killed and eaten. The grain we harvest would be ours to keep, save for any extra that we might send as a gift to the rightful king. The rivers and streams would run thick with gold. We would be safe and happy and fat!

"It is our destiny."(page 251)

What we have here is the Right of Kings. That is, the Right King will make everything Right. Because everyone knows that the Right King is always Right and Good. He's never a bad person because he's the one who's family was king and bloodline determines everything in making a good king. The Right King (who is not Galby) will never have taxes, abuse his power or have costly wars to land grab, he won't be power hungry or evil. He will be Good. Because he is the Right King. And everyone will be happy to serve him because he is the Right King. And the king will be happy to take what his people give him (as opposed to demanding it in taxes) because he is the Right King. It will be a golden age, much like the time before Galby because he is the Right King. (I'm not sure where the rivers running with gold comes from though. I know that kings can heal people with their toenails or something but making rivers run with gold is a new one for me. And isn't that a bad thing, rivers of gold? Because you can't really drink gold... I'm just saying.) This bothers me a lot. It's like an instant band aid. Have a problem? No worries, you've just got an Evil King. Get the Right King and everything will be fine! Being born of royal stock doesn't mean that you will be a good king. It just means that your ancestors were brutal enough to get into the top position and stay there.

But! Let us not forget that the blood of kings flows through those who live in Carvahall. Roran is obviously being set up as the Right King. He has the Right Ideas. He already has the kingly name of Stronghammer. He has the Right Ideas. And this is a Right Obvious Set Up. Paolini couldn't be any more blunter if he wrote in on Roran's forehead.

When Roran is done speaking, several other people come up and say, yeah, you know what, I don't like the idea, but I'm going to do it.

As Roran is walking back Horst says that he could have convinced an Urgal to become a farmer. Another power of a king is mysterious charismatic speaking powers. Which Roran suddenly posses. So that's another check in the "he's going to be king" column.

The next chapter is pretty uneventful. People are getting ready to leave Carvahall. Roran kind of wanders around helping. Then he gets his shoulder looked at and Gertrude the healer makes this lovely comment, "Your family heals at the most extraordinary rate. I could hardly believe my eyes when Eragon started walking about after having his legs skinned and spending two days in bed." (page 257). Yes, it's been confirmed. Eragon is Wolverine in disguise.

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