Q&As with Christopher: Future of Eragon/Arya, Lord Barst, Saphira’s Size, and More

Saphira's size, Matt Gaser

Christopher regularly answers fan questions about his latest projects and future works on Twitter and in interviews. This month, we’re catching you up on some of the exciting information he’s shared:


How was the original bond between dragons and Riders affected by Eragon changing the bond to include dwarves and Urgals?

If anything, the bond between dragons and the other races has now been strengthened, as Eragon had the Word to help him, which the elves didn’t when they first cast it.

How big is Saphira by the end of Inheritance?

Big. Bigger than most average houses.

Why did you chose to have Galbatorix defeated in a way that involves more thought (making him understand his crimes) and less action?

Because, logically, physical force wouldn’t work. He’s too strong. And he had to stay stronger than Eragon right up until the end, or there would never be any question whether or not Eragon would win. Also, I wanted Eragon to win because of who Eragon was. I wanted it to be so that if anyone else had been in Eragon’s place, they would have failed. No one but Eragon would have thought to cast the spell. Among my characters, no one else had the same curiosity, the same concern for what was right and what was wrong, and the same empathy. And I wanted to do something a bit unexpected. I had plenty of big battles throughout the series, and even in Inheritance. We’d seen dragons fighting with Saphira and Thorn (and even with Thorn and Glaedr). So again, I felt something else was required. And as I said, the internal logic of the world dictated that Eragon couldn’t beat Galbatorix through martial means. He beat Murtagh in a swordfight, but Galbatorix had to be defeated mentally/emotionally.

When the elves were fighting Lord Barst, how could all of them not overcome the just one Eldunarí he had in his armor?

Most, but not all of them. The Eldunarí given to Barst was an extremely powerful one.

You have to keep in mind the enormous difference in strength between a dragon and a human or an elf. Just as an example, I once saw a video of an elephant playing tug-of-war with a hundred humans. And the elephant won. Now, imagine a much, much larger creature, one imbued with magic and far stronger than ordinary creature. One elf, two elves, fifty elves; in terms of sheer strength, they wouldn’t stand a chance. That’s one reason the war between the elves and the dragons was so desperate and hard-fought.

When Eldunarí break, do they discharge so much energy that they kill whoever is touching it? Is that what happened to Lord Barst?

Yup. It’s like a bomb going off.

When Islanzadí didn’t want Arya to confront Galbatorix, as said on page 595 of Inheritance, did she know that Eragon had strong feelings for Arya?

I’m sure she suspected.

Do you know that amount of elves that died in the fighting at Urû‘baen?


Did Arya have to convince Rhunön to change Támerlein for her? She didn’t seem happy when Eragon was considering using it, so I can’t imagine that she’d be pleased to rework it for Arya. And was that in violation of her oath?

I think Rhunön was much less reluctant to change Támerlein now that Galbatorix is dead. And no, it wasn’t a violation, since she wasn’t making a new weapon.

What made Saphira choose Fírnen as a “mate”?

The shape of his tail? . . . No, seriously, I think it was that he was male, handsome (in a scaly sort of way), and free and unbroken, unlike Thorn.


In book 5, will there be instances of ‘high level magic’? Like converting matter to energy? Is that what Angela did with the soldiers under Dras Leona?

No comment. And no, it’s not what Angela did. Read what she said again. The explanation is there.

Will Arya/Eragon know if Eragon/Arya speaks her/his true name no matter how far apart they are?


Does Angela have any siblings? A brother perhaps?

No comment.

You’ve previously mentioned that there may be more in store for Eragon and Arya in the future. Can you elaborate on this?

I really don’t want to say much more about this; it would spoil what I have planned for the future. Rest assured, however, we *will* see Eragon and Arya again at some point.

By including the Urgals in the pact to become Dragon Riders, don’t you think they would grow to be even more ferocious and dangerous than before?

No. Both the dragons and the elves have become less aggressive since they were bonded together. This is something that’s discussed in passing in both Eragon and Eldest. Even the humans have, as a race, been affected by their link with the dragons, although there hasn’t been quite as much time for it to take effect. Hopefully, the long-term effect of bringing the Urgals into the Riders will be to temper their overall bloodthirstiness.

After Galbatorix died and Eragon was on his errands, Eragon stopped to pay his respects to Brom. Eragon asked Umaroth if he could bring Brom back. Umaroth said it was possible but very hard, so if Brom might be brought back to life, will Garrow?

Nope. The only reason Eragon can even consider the possibility of bringing back Brom is because Brom’s body has been preserved. Garrow, however, was buried, and the worms have already had a go at him.


If I were sucked through a portal into Alagaësia, what tips would you give me to stay alive?

Stay away from the humans and Urgals; most of the bloodshed occurs in their land. Learn magic as fast as possible, so that you can protect yourself from spellcasters. Try to become a Dragon Rider, for the same reason. The elves’ forest Du Weldenvarden is the safest place (at least in the cities), but you’ll probably go out of your mind with boredom after the first twenty years. Don’t anger spirits. And if you see Angela the Herbalist, run the other way, for there’s sure to be trouble close at hand.

If Galby faced Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars, who would win?

Galby. I think the combined strength of hundreds of dragons totally overpowers any one Sith.

To what extent and with what degree of clarity do you visualize the world you are creating? Is it like a hazy daydream, or can you practically see it as reality when you close your eyes? Do you use drawing to help visualize and create your world?

I visualize the world in such obsessive detail, a lot of my editing ends up being an attempt to strip out unneeded descriptions. I can’t help it; that’s how my brain works. Drawings are helpful, but for the most part, I just try to put myself into my characters’ heads as fully as I can and then describe everything they’re experiencing.

What’s one fictional world you wish you could visit?

The world/universe of Dune always felt immersive to me. Also that of Lord of the Rings, the Gormenghast series, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, and many others.

Honestly, I really wouldn’t want to visit any fictional world. Most fictional worlds are dangerous, dangerous places (even more so than ours), and while I enjoy reading about them, I’d rather observe them from a distance. For example, while I love dragons, I’m very glad they don’t actually exist, because we humans are small and soft and deliciously crunchy.

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.

Mike Macauley

Mike Macauley is the founder of Shurtugal.com, editor in chief of Lytherus.com, and author of The Inheritance Almanac. Mike can be found on Twitter at @mikemacauley.