Q&As with Christopher: Scrying, Telepathy, and Other Information


Fans searching for more than Christopher’s answers below (in gray) may be interested in last month’s Q&A, in addition to our comprehensive FAQ page. You can also find Christopher on his official Facebook and Twitter pages.

How did you invent the spells used in the Inheritance Cycle?

I think about what needs to be accomplished by the spell and then find the words for it. I begin with the verbs and nouns in the sentence, and then fill in other words from the structure I have set up for that language. Sometimes I invent words; other times I draw from Old Norse or Germanic words.

Could you elaborate on the limitations and “rules” of scrying?

Scrying is both an art and a science. Success depends on the innate talent and skill of the practitioner and varies with each person, so what I tell you are general rules that may be superseded by an extraordinary individual.

First, if you had seen something, such as Brom’s ring, you would be able to see an identical object worn by another person. If someone is wearing clothes like you’ve seen them wear before, the garments should be visible. If the clothes are uncommon, they are unlikely to show.

Scrying someone you’ve not seen since he or she was a child depends on several things. If a person’s appearance changes too much, you can’t see him. But if you have intimate knowledge of the essence of that person (for example, if you had touched his mind), you would have a greater chance of success. Likewise, if the person had a distinguishing physical feature or striking personality, contact would be easier.

The chapter’s written from Saphira’s point of view are unique. How did you invent Saphira’s vision?

I based Saphira’s sight on how I see. I am somewhat colorblind: purples look blue, reds are muted, and some greens look brown—or so I am told. Yet how I perceive the world is normal to me. As with Saphira, the world is awash with a blue tint, and strong blues really pop out.

Why did you choose to have dragons communicate telepathically?

I decided to have my dragons be telepathic because I wanted them to be as smart or smarter than any human. But I didn’t want them talking with their lips; that just seemed silly. So, telepathy it was.

Could you explain the runes on the map of Alagaësia?

The runes around the map compass are the first letters of the words in Eragon’s language that mean North, South, East, and West. However, the letters themselves do not refer to the letters N, S, E, and W, since the people of Alagaësia have different words for those directions.

Why did Saphira call Arya “dragon-blood-elf-Arya”?

When Saphira called referred to Arya in this way, she was alluding to the fact that Arya was destined to become a dragon Rider. It was also a comment on her overall ferocity and tenacity.

What are Eldunarí made of?

Eldunarí are made of the same substance as dragon scales.