Chapter Requiem, Fealty


Our last chapter ended with Eragon fainting. This, if we remember from Eragon is Paoini's way of changing scenes when he doesn't know a good way to do it naturally. He didn't even faint because of drinking too much. He just did... because his back started to hurt. Since he's unconscious he has to be woken up. Dwarf does this. Apparently Dwarf isn't very good at waking people up because it takes him an hour to do so. It doesn't say how he tried to wake up Eragon, but it doesn't look like he tried very hard. After all a good way to wake someone up is to shake them or dumping water on them which is always classic. Dwarf apparently just yells at him, and perhaps not very loudly because of how long it takes him to wake up Eragon.

Dwarf then gives Eragon new clothes to wear to the funeral . In traditional Sue fashion we have a description of the fancy clothes, "a billowy white shirt with ties at the cuffs, a red vest decorated with gold braiding and embroidery, dark pants, shiny black boots that clacked on the floor, and a swirling cape that fastened under his throat with a studded brooch. In place of the usual plain leather band, Zar'roc was fastened to an ornate belt." (page 54) We also have Paolini's usual sense of word placement with a "swirling cape". Capes do not swirl as an adjective. Capes may swirl as an action, but not as an adjective. As it is placed here, the cape swirls by itself.

When Dwarf tells Eragon and Saphira about their funeral customs Saphira remarks that it is, "An odd custom". Saphira has been alive for six months. She has never seen a funeral before. She has nothing to judge odd from. There's nothing for her to base her knowledge on odd. She has never expressed funeral customs. And there's nothing in the dwarf customs that seem odd. It's not like they dance the bodies around while naked and singing bawdy songs and then painting it like a clown and sitting it on the top of a cone before pissing on it. See, that would be an odd funeral custom. Having a procession that doesn't stop or else the dead person's spirit cannot rest is not odd. It actually sounds like a legitimate belief. Eragon, of course, agrees with her. In Carvahall, we learn that when the dead are buried lines from certain ballads are recited and a feast is held afterwards. This makes no sense, as usually when you recite something at a funeral it has to with religious significance. Ballads generally speaking are not religious in content. They're stories told in narrative form. It's not something that would be recited at a funeral. This is an odd custom. It's as if Paolini is trying to come up with a non-religious but folksy sort of custom that the folk of Carvahall would do.

Ajihad is laid out on a marble bier that's held up by six men. Let me repeat that. A MARBLE BIER. Lifted up by six men. They've got to be really strong men. To lift a marble bier. Especially in while they're wearing armor. In any case, they have to carry this marble bier a half a mile to its resting place. Which they do, they must be zombies to do it.

The group around Ajihad are all wearing "suitably remorseful expressions". Why they need to wear suitably remorseful ones, as opposed to just remorseful expressions, I don't know. The funeral progresses with the beating of drums. They lay him to rest in a chamber near where all the dwarves are buried.

After the funeral they go and chose the leader of the Varden. The Varden, apparently, are a rebellion group that has leaders like kings. At least, they get crown. One of the people in the crowd thinks that Eragon should do it. Nasuada gets it instead. There is approbation for ten minutes. I'm told it means approval. I don't like looking up words in the dictionary.

Eragon then offers his fealty to Nasuada. Apparently this is a shocking thing and is going to cause a lot of problems. I'm not sure why it is. After all Nasuada is the leader of the Varden and he's basically saying that he's going to serve the Varden, and this is what the council wanted him to do several chapters back. Apparently they forgot this and are now livid. People tell Eragon that he did a drastic and dramatic thing and he now has to watch out because he's made enemies. It is as if Paolini is trying to create political turmoil, but is forgetting what he's already said in an effort to create a web of political ... stuff. When there really isn't any. But Eragon has to be opposed to the council or at least at odds with them, because he's the rebel without a cause who does what he wants and will not conform to the council's wishes. Even though he just did. Obviously Paolini needs to learn how to write political intrigue.

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