Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Emotional Connections and its Results throughout Eragon
In the following paper, V.R.D. analyzes the importance of friendship and the connection between two beings, and how this emotional binding results in better performance in a task (ex. fighting), in mental stability, and happiness for the characters involved. This is a literary criticism of the first book in the Eragon Series, Eragon.
Eragon Garrowson was a normal 15 year old guy, living and working on the family farm. Eragon lived and worked closely with his father, Garrow, and his brother, Roran. It was these people who Eragon shares a strong emotional connection with in the beginning of the novel. These men are Eragon’s family, friends, and companions. They share a strong bond and deep love for one another despite their differences. The love these men share for each other demonstrate the importance of family closeness. Living on the farm, each family member works and shares a load to contribute to the overall success of the family. Together, the work of all family members allows for a greater production at the farm, and a greater chance of success. Garrow is getting old, and Eragon and Roran need to take on more of the workload. Eragon helps sustain his family because of the respect he has for Garrow and Roran, and because he trusts they will also do their jobs. Eragon tries to support the family by hunting for deer in order to get food. This mutual respect and trust leads to a larger output on the farm. The companionship and intimacy these men share allow for mental stability and happiness.
While hunting a deer in the Spine, (mountain range of wilderness) Eragon hears an explosion and finds a small blue object that he at first perceives to be a stone. He brings this stone home to sell it in order to get money for food, but it turns out to be a rare and priceless item: a dragon egg! After finding the dragon egg, Eragon forms three important bonds outside his family. These bonds are with two humans, and one dragon. These bonds and relationships function later throughout the novel. Eragon forms relationships with Saphira (his dragon), Brom (a local storyteller and mentor), and Murtagh (an eventual companion of Eragon’s). Saphira functions as his companion and lifeline, Brom as his father figure and mentor, and Murtagh as his friend, rival, and savior. Trust and comradery is built throughout the novel between these characters. As they overcome obstacles and fight together, their relationships grow. The longer time spent together, the greater their relationship.
A little blue dragon emerges from its egg and goes to Eragon. Eragon touches the creature and instantly feels pain shoot in his hand and up his arm. “It was as if an unbreakable pact were being sealed. He started at the dragon and a cold tingle ran down his arm” (Paolini). This is the first sign of connection between Eragon and his dragon. The initial touch binds the two together, and they have a mental connection from here on out. "Something brushed against his consciousness, like a finger trailing over his skin. It was as if an invisible wall surrounding his thoughts had fallen away, and he was now free to reach out with his mind" (Paolini). This quote describes how their connection is fantastic. Eragon is left with a white scar on his right hand as a residual effect on the binding between the two: man and beast. This physical scar is a sign into the mental connection the two have, and it brands Eragon as a Dragon Rider. Eragon hides his dragon in the woods, and communicates with it through their mental connection, telling it to stay put in the shelter he made for it. A Dragon Rider and their Dragon have the deepest connection possible, and they share their thoughts with each other. Eragon finds out his Dragon is a female, and as time passes, their connection grows. This is applicable with any relationship. The more time spent together, the closer the bond will become. This is due the becoming more comfortable as time passes and experiences are shared. Trust in relationships is built through shared experiences, specifically in the relationship between Saphira and Eragon, and the other relationships Eragon has. This is because a magical force binds the two together, and they are forever connected, physically through the scar and emotionally through their mental telepathy. Eragon and Saphira share connections through casting spells and using magic, flying together, fighting together, talking together telepathically, sharing strength, and talking to each other and looking for emotional support. When Eragon and Saphira work together, they can accomplish so much more than if they worked alone, and they each keep each other company and give each other happiness. A specific example of when Saphira and Eragon share power is when they try to heal Brom’s wounds after a fight. “As her mind joined his, new strength infused his body. Eragon drew upon their combined power” (Paolini). This task is extremely difficult for the both of them combined, so alone they would not be able to achieve this feat. Only their combined strength is enough to heal Brom’s wounds. An example of when the two talk to each other and give advice is when Eragon’s father dies and Saphira tells Eragon that "the only true guide is your heart" (Paolini). Eragon then follows his gut instinct and chooses to pursue his father’s killers. When he is getting ready to pursue them, Brom stops him and tells him he is not prepared.
Now that Eragon’s parents are dead, he has no mentor, and no role model. Being only 15 years of age, this is very important. Brom, the local storyteller takes on the role of being Eragon’s mentor. Brom fills an emotional void left by Eragon’s dead parents.
“HERE LIES BROM /Who was a Dragon Rider/And like a father/To me/May his name live on in glory” (Paolini). Eragon looks up to Brom for advice, and they form a deep connection and bond. Brom, being a storyteller, is always giving Eragon valuable information. Brom teaches Eragon many things, such as magic, swordsmanship, military strategies, facts about dragons, and how to be a Dragon Rider. His influence on Eragon will be apparent in every aspect of Eragon’s future as a Dragon Rider. Brom gives Eragon all the tools that he needs in order to become a successful Dragon Rider. The first tool the Brom gives Eragon is the name of his dragon. Eragon inquires about dragon names, and chooses one of the names Brom mentions. Eragon and Brom are connected on a deep level also because Eragon is a Dragon Rider, and Brom was one. Brom’s dragon was also named Saphira, so they are connected again by an ironic similarity. Brom feels strongly about helping Eragon because he can strongly relate to him, and there are similarities in their personalities. Brom sees himself in Eragon, and yearns to be with a dragon, (Brom’s died) so he spends a lot of time with Eragon. Just as Brom is filling an emotional void in Eragon’s mind, Eragon’s dragon Saphira is filling an emotional void in Brom’s mind. This relationship works both ways, and both parties benefit. Brom and Eragon share a strong connection, and Eragon learns a lot from him, and they both fill a gap in their lives. Without his dragon, Brom is missing a part of his life. With the new Saphira, Brom has a chance to experience what he misses so much-a connection with a dragon.
Murtagh first comes across Eragon and is filled with curiosity and is interested in seeing what happens to a Dragon Rider on a day to day basis. Murtagh follows Eragon and joins the group. He is mysterious, and leaves Eragon not fully trusting of him. This lack of trust is overwhelmed however, when Murtagh saves Eragon on multiple occasions, like from the Ra’zac. He also saves him from prison in Gil'ead. “’You risked your life to rescue me; I owe you for that.’ There was a bond between them now, welded in the brotherhood of battle and tempered by the loyalty Murtagh had shown” (Paolini). Eragon likes Murtagh, but he is not sure if that is a good thing because even though Murtagh saves Eragon’s life, he does not connect with him on an emotional level. In order for complete trust to be formed, there must be an emotional connection. Murtagh refuses to engage in heavy emotional connections, and instead prefers to remain mysterious. “He was unsure if he wanted Murtagh to stay. I like him, Eragon confessed to himself, but I'm no longer certain if that's a good thing” (Paolini). The relationship that Eragon and Murtagh share can be confusing for Eragon, but when they fight together, they can achieve so much more. They are both equally proficient at swordsmanship, making them perfect combat partners. Murtagh’s function is to act as a rival, friend, savior, and foil to Eragon. The friendship they have seems to be superficial, and Murtagh is foreshadowed to contain some evil aspects, while Eragon is all good. The relationship between Murtagh and Eragon causes Eragon to learn more about himself, and what he eventually wants to become.
The skills we discussed during class are being able to read a text closely and be able to make comparisons and draw conclusions from it. In this case, the theme of friendship and companionship is traced throughout the novel Eragon. Dialogue, tone, and diction were the most important literary devices in drawing these specific conclusions.
There are many similarities between Eragon and Star Wars. The parallels are Eragon being Luke Skywalker, Brom being Obi Wan Kenobi, and Murtagh being Anakin Skywalker. In pop culture, the hero usually has a mentor, and a rival. This is exactly how Eragon is formatted.
(V.R.D., 2015)



Christopher Paolini


Eragon’s Transformation and its Significance in Eldest

(June 14, 2013) In this essay, I will discuss how Eragon Garrowsson's physical transformation from a human to a half-elf contributes to his personal development and maturity.

“I have become what I was meant to be” (Paolini 471). This quote is significant because throughout Eragon’s life, he believed that he never belonged in the role that he was destined for. Being one of the last Dragon Riders, a powerful magician that has a connection with a dragon, he struggles with the fact that he is alone and must defeat an evil king, Galbatorix, who happens to be a Dragon Rider himself. Through his transformation, he gains new abilities and a new perspective on life.

Before Eragon arrived in Ellesmera, the elven capital, he was just a teenage boy that had just endured a crippling strike to his back, causing him to have frequent seizures and leaving him helpless. He says, “The worst part was that he could do nothing to end his suffering but wait….and wait…” (Paolini 343). This shows that his mental state is very disparaging and his physical limitations are evident because of his scar.

Eragon’s emotions are also affected by his injury. He has recurring outbursts and moments where he loses control. His first incident was when he and Oromis were sparring, but Oromis suffered a seizure of his own. Instead of helping his master, he let his frustration take the better of him and prepared to strike, just for the satisfaction of marking his master. Another event was where he almost landed a killing blow on an elf who was mocking Eragon. Finally, in another dispute with the same elf, Eragon used magic to immobilize the elf, but ended up injuring himself and learning why the elves didn’t respect him. The elf, Vanir, says, “…how was our patience rewarded? With another human like Galbatorix. Worse…a cripple. You doomed us all, Eragon, the instead you touched Saphira’s egg. Do not expect us to welcome your presence” (Paolini 396). All of these events ultimately lowers Eragon’s self-esteem and makes him doubt his decisions. The zenith of his insecurity is when he names his own definition of pain. He calls it the Obliterator because he believes that when one is in pain, nothing else matters but escape. He says, “I’m falling apart, Saphira, like an old horse that’s plowed too many fields. Keep hold of me with your mind, or I may drift apart and forget who I am” (Paolini 401). Despite Oromis giving Eragon a boost of confidence, he still questions his predicament and feels like he losing himself.

“It was if the numerous physical changes that, over time, alter the appearance of a human Rider…had been completed while he was unconscious” (Paolini 471). After the Agaeti Blodhren, a special elven ceremony which celebrates the bonding of elves and dragons, Eragon undergoes a physical transformation, turning into a hybrid breed of both a human and an elf. This change removed his scar and he says, “He knew that his back would never trouble him again” (Paolini 471). In addition, Eragon now has the strength, speed, and intelligence of an elf. He was able to solve a tricky puzzle ring which he couldn’t when he was a human. Also, when he was a human, he would lose to Vanir during their sparring, but managed to defeat him with his newfound skills.

This transformation contributed to Eragon’s personal development and maturity because Eragon is now thankful and appreciative of the things bestowed upon him. “No, my only response is gratitude” (Paolini 536). Although he still struggled with his elven body, he welcomed his poor balance and flexibility, seeing them as improvements and showing his maturity by allowing him to accept his flaws and better them. He has also matured by asking questions that are more engaging, such as religion, and shows a deeper respect for his master because he sees how truly crippled Oromis is. Eragon now has a positive outlook on life and says, “He still found Oromis’s lessons challenging, but he no longer felt as if he were drowning in a sea of his own inadequacy” (Paolini 537).

Eragon Garrowsson is the epitome of a character whose physical transformation assisted his character development and maturity. As a human, he was a boy marked with a curse, but now, as an elf, is a man with a new outlook on life.

(BL, 2013)

Objects That Give False Hope vs. Objects of Efficacy in Inheritance

(June 11 2013) In this essay, I will discuss various items that are either misleading, and are ultimately insignificant in assisting the characters, and the helpful ones that contribute to the success of the characters.

Many tools and weapons are found throughout Eragon’s quest to defeat the evil king Galbatorix; however, many of them prove to be ineffective while some are more helpful than others.

The first item they find is the Dauthdaert, one of twelve powerful elven spears that are used to kill dragons. After finding this valuable item, they store it away in their treasury saying “It would be foolish to store so many treasures in one place” (Paolini 41). Despite its powerful potential and the fact that it was well-carved by elves, this weapon was useless during many of Eragon’s battles. After being invaded by Eragon’s half-brother Murtagh, the elf Arya couldn’t even get near Murtagh’s dragon with the Dauthdaert and ended up losing their leader. One of Eragon’s allies, King Orrin, said, “It didn’t help you stop Thorn, and I can’t imagine that Galbatorix will let you come anywhere near him…” (Paolini 365). This weapon is portrayed as a glimmer of hope for Eragon and the Varden because with a weapon specifically designed for killing the evil king’s dragon; they feel prepared to end Galbatorix’s reign. However, none of them know how to use the elven spear properly, except for Arya, who is an elf. This creates a sense of false hope to Eragon because he can’t really do anything with the item. Eragon says, “He’ll be wary of it. Because of that, we can force him to do what we want, perhaps just a bit” (Paolini 367). Even though he tries to lift everyone’s spirits by saying Galbatorix will be cautious, there is indication that he doubts the item will be effective and is trying to convince himself more than anyone.

The second “item” they find is actually an ally in the form of a cat. They meet King Halfpaw, who is known to be the king of the werecats. King Halfpaw ends up become a valuable asset to the Varden because of their numbers and fighting style. Eragon says, “…the werecats could prove to be incredibly valuable” (Paolini 50). In the final battle, the werecats contributed to the death of a rampaging, unstoppable man named Barst. The werecats were evidentially useful because they boosted morale just by joining the Varden’s ranks.

“And then there is you, Elva. The girl with the sigil of a Rider upon her brow. Dragon-marked and blessed with the wherewithal to perceive all that pain a person and all that will pain them” (Paolini 661). Elva is a young girl who was blessed and cursed by Eragon. His blessing required Elva to protect people from pain and absorb their troubles. Her skill has been useful because it allows her to detect when misfortune falls upon a person. While Eragon and Arya are traveling through Galbatorix’s castle, Elva allows the group to be aware of deadly traps and warns them. She is extremely valuable because she is similar to an angel and cannot be harmed. She even attracts the attention of Galbatorix, saying, “I may have need of your skill…” (Paolini 661). This comes to show how important she is and how significant she is to the downfall of the evil king.

Finally, the last objects that Eragon encounters are the Eldurnari, the spirits of dead dragons. He discovers them while traveling to a barren island and learns that many of the Riders stored eggs and their dragon’s spirits so that they could assist a future dragon rider. With these several dozen Eldurnari, Eragon gains access to lifetimes of information and energy. However, they prove to be rather insignificant when compared to other items. Although they do give Eragon power and knowledge, they were helpless under Galbatorix’s spell and didn’t affect the outcome of their battle except for distracting Galbatorix. Paolini maximizes the quality of these spirits because they are known to be one of the deepest secrets to Dragon Riders, however, they contribute little to Eragon’s predicament and only give him a false sense of hope when going into battle

These items either help Eragon and the Varden, or end up failing him because they give him a false sense of security and even some bravado. The ones that do assist him help him eventually defeat the evil king.

(BL, 2013)