Chapters Diamond Tomb,Capture at Gil'ead
Eragon wakes up the next day and angsts about Brom's death. Lots of Why me? He even writes that out in the dirt. He's being whiny and self pitying. And apparently sick. I don't know why he's sick. Perhaps it has to do with that fainting spell he had earlier. Murtagh brings Eragon meat, a pair of rabbits. Which, for some reason, reminds me of that scene in LotRs where Gollum brings Sam and Frodo rabbits. There isn't anything similar to it, it just reminds me of that scene.
Apparently every one knows that Brom stole the egg. Murtagh certainly does. He claims no allegiance to either the Varden or the Empire. It sounds like he's on the run from the Empire. From what I've seen of him so far, he's rich and on the run, so he's probably a nobleman or nobleman's son who killed the wrong person. Probably someone that Galby likes. Or something.
Now that Brom is dead, Eragon decides that he's going to wear Za'roc (of Doom), with this nice little mental speech, "From this moment on, I'll live by the sword. Let the whole world see what I am. I have no fear. I am a Rider now, fully and completely." (281) What has happened with Brom's death to make him no longer fear? What has changed that has made him a Rider? Or any different than before. There isn't anything. He hasn't changed emotionally from before Brom died. He's exactly the same. Emotionally. If not physically (for some reason he's ill, we don't know why though, he just is. Oh wait, his ribs are hurt, never mind, I must have missed that.)
Apparently, we learn, also that Za'Roc belonged to Morzan, Morzan being Galby's first minion and first of the forsworn and quite dead as Brom had killed him in a duel to get Saphira's egg. I imagine there's symbolism there. Haven't quite found it yet. But I imagine it's there. Maybe there's supposed to be irony.
Eragon decides to sell his horse because Brom promised to keep care of Snowfire. So now Eragon has an uber horse. He then, to Saphira, says he never suspected that Brom was a rider. Thus proving that he's a completely and utterly dense dolt. Saphira tells him that she knew Brom's secret but that Brom had told her not to tell him. Apparently Brom told her a lot of things that she wasn't supposed to tell him. Like how to reach the Varden. Oh and this lovely piece of drivel, "Of all the people in Alagaesia, he believed you were the best suited to inherit the Rider's legacy." (282). Eragon just randomly happened to stumble upon the egg, by chance, but somehow, despite that, he's the best person to inherit the legacy? What of the odds of that happening? I mean really.
Just before they leave the safety of the caves that they've been hiding in Eragon goes and says good bye to Brom one last time. And Saphira turns his sandstone tomb into "a sparkling gemstone vault - under which Brom's untouched face was visible." (Then there's this lovely slashy line "Eragon gazed with yearning at the old man, who seemed to be only sleeping. But I digress.) How does she do this? She doesn't say, she just does. It's magic.
Eragon and Murtagh compare mounts. Apparently an untrained stallion workhorse is just as equal to that of a trained warhorse. As they ride to Gil'ead where their Varden contact is, the two boys bond. Murtagh knows a lot about the king's court and the power struggle. Eragon is amazed at how he knows this but never thinks that he must have been from the courts.
We learn that Saphira is six months old at one point. She was three months old when they left Cavahall. That means that Eragon must have become a master swordsman in less than three months, or Paolini isn't keeping his time line straight. Actually I don't think he is keeping his time line straight. It takes maybe about a month for them to get to Tirem. Eragon breaks his wrist about two days out of Tirem. It takes them...maybe another two weeks to get to the Evil City. Or longer, but if we're using Saphira's age as a time marker then it must be two weeks, and by the time he's at the Evil City his wrist is healed. It takes about three to eight weeks for a wrist to heal. They've barely been gone from Tirem for three weeks, his wrist should still be broken. And then his ribs are broken which take about the same amount of time to heal... but it never says how long they're riding. Just that Saphira passes the six month mark while they ride.
In any case, finally Eragon's ribs heal. So, what do the boys do? They decided to spar. Murtagh at one point exclaims that he's studied sword play all his life and he's never met someone who can fight like Eragon. So, Eragon, having known how to use the sword for all of maybe four months is suddenly good enough to be the King's weapon's master. And this is with his right hand which should still be weak from his broken wrist. But that doesn't seem to bother him at all. In fact he doesn't even mention it. At all. It's like it never happened. So, the question is, why did it happen in the first place? No reason, except to make Eragon look good when he beats Brom with his off hand. And why does Eragon need to be that good with his off hand? Because he's just that special.
We then learn it takes them nearly a month to reach Gil'ead. So, looking back at our time line, Eragon's ribs heal in less than three weeks. Paolini really isn't keeping his time line straight at all. I think I'm going to need to diagram this out some time. Not only that but there seems to be a lot of towns and villages around, because Eragon keeps on stopping in them to look for our mystery elf. Though why she would be kept in a regular town jail as opposed to somewhere highly secure, as it seems like she would be a valuable prisoner and not something that the town sheriff would randomly lock up.
But that's not important at all, is it? Eragon's uber super healing isn't a problem. Nope. Nor is the time line bending itself backwards trying to make sense.
Murtagh goes into Gil'ead and makes contact with Brom's contact. The two of them camp outside the city, preparing to meet the contact the next day. But then that night they're ambushed by Urgals. Murtagh and Eragon fight bravely but eventually Eragon is knocked unconscious ... again.
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