Q&As with Christopher: Dr. Seuss Reading, Freezing Magic, Elves as the Ideal Race, and a Passing Stranger

Christopher loves doing dramatic readings, especially of children’s stories (the hammier, the better!), so he was delighted to participate in a Barnes and Noble celebration of the new Dr. Seuss book, What Pet Should I Get?. Afterward, fans asked their most pressing questions and we were there to record his responses. Check it out!

And we wouldn’t dream of leaving our online community’s queries out of this month’s Q&A! Thank you to everyone who participated.

David V. on Facebook: I have recently been thinking about the rules of the magic in Eragon after re-reading the book. If you use the magic to freeze something, does it take energy from you or do you get the energy you took away from the thing you freeze?

Unless you make a specific effort to absorb the energy from the object you’re freezing, the energy gets released into the environment as waste heat, much the same as air conditioners and refrigerators do.

Russell T. on Facebook: I’ve found that in almost every fantasy world that contains a multitude of races, that the elves were portrayed as the ideal version of humanity. Did you write the elven culture as you see humanity or even more close to home, America, going towards? To an atheistic, humanist, open relationship, lower birth rates, highly socially conscious, type of culture, and/or is this the culture you personally would like us to strive towards?

There’s certainly an element of idealization in how most authors conceptualize and present elves. I indulged in some of that myself. However, much of the reason was to provide a contrast not with humans, but with dwarves. Also, although the elves are certainly wise and powerful and good-looking, in the final analysis, I think they’d be pretty boring to hang out with. Sure, the elves have magical and mysterious celebrations, but the dwarves?—the dwarves know how to party!

David S. on Facebook: I have a theory about an unnamed character in the series. The woman who Eragon saw gathering her fortune told by Angela, then gave his blessing to, and the same woman who referred to herself as a “passing stranger” after helping Roran in Urû’baen. Could she possibly be Selena?

Good question. No one’s ever actually asked that before. However, I’m afraid I have to disappoint you. No, she isn’t Selena. (Ha! For once I didn’t answer, “No comment!”)

Glenn R.H. on Facebook: How much has Norway and its scene and language inspired Inheritance? Also, have you ever been to/planning to visit Norway since there is many resemblances to the country?

I’ve never visited Norway or anywhere else in Scandinavia, but it’s high on my list of places I’d like to go. The myths and legends of the area definitely inspired me, though, especially because of the similarity between the landscape there and here, where I live in the Rocky Mountains. Also, I’ve lived in Alaska twice, so I have even more affinity for stories set in the cold north.

Toluwaniyi A. on Facebook: At some point could you write an “althistory” of what would have happened if Brom hadn’t been killed but had survived to see Eragon depart at the end?

Hmm. I think perhaps that is best left as an imaginative exercise for readers. If Brom had lived . . . it would have changed the whole course of the series.

Toluwaniyi A. on Facebook: Did Eragon tell the Carvahall villagers of his parentage and if so, how did they react?

Eragon told Roran, and — if nothing else — Roran would have told the rest of the villagers. So yes, they know that Brom was Eragon’s true father.

Callie M.B. on Facebook: Could it be Elva? In other words, in one of your Q&As I noticed a comment by you concerning your fifth book. “Everyone has overlooked a crucial thing concerning the peace of Alagaësia.” (Paraphrased!) Therefore! Could Elva turn evil? She was happy when she resisted helping others be shielded from pain, which could be interpreted as an evil mentality, and, should that portion of her personality grow larger, could be detrimental to the country.

Heh. No comment.

Fans searching for more may be interested in our Q&A archive, in addition to our comprehensive FAQ page. You can also find Christopher on his official Facebook and Twitter pages.

Immanuela Meijer and Mike Macauley

Mike and Immanuela

Mike Macauley runs Shurtugal.com, and Immanuela is the Paolinis' assistant.