Q&As with Christopher: Murtagh’s Popularity, Ra’zac Swords, and Galbatorix’s Bond with Shruikan

misty island, Ra'zac Swords
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In Eldest, Arya told Islanzadí and her court that she did not reveal the location of the elven cities to Galbatorix. Why didn’t the members of the Forsworn who were elves tell Galbatorix the location of these cities?

The magic that protects Ellesméra makes the city very hard to find if you mean it harm.

What was Galbatorix and Shruikan’s bond like? Was it a perverse sort of attachment since it was forced, or did Galbatorix and Shruikan ever develop some sort of “fondness” for the other?

I don’t think Shruikan was ever fond of Galbatorix, but I think that the king did have a twisted sort of affection for the dragon. After all, everything he did started because he loved his original dragon so much.

Did Thorn and Fírnen choose their names?


Were all of the Forsworn humans?

Kialandí, Formora, Glaerun, and Enduriel were all elves.

Could a Rider have asked Rhunön to make their blade a different color than their dragon?

Yes, although I’m not sure if she would have agreed.

Murtagh has been very well received – did you expect this? What do you think made the character so popular?

No, I didn’t expect it. People seem to empathize and respond to Murtagh far more than I anticipated in the first three books. I understand it in Inheritance — I think Murtagh got some of the best scenes in the book — but early on, no. I think it’s because he’s the dark, troubled anti-hero, and it’s easy for readers to relate to how he’s forced into doing things he doesn’t want to.

Has a dragon ever grown up never being able to breathe fire?

Yes. And it caused much gnashing of teeth.

Can two people have the same true name? Do humans/elves/Urgals/dwarves have a species-wide true name?

No, because no two people/creatures have exactly the same body. Thus, they can’t be the same person, no matter how alike they are.

If a Rider were to lose his dragon on their first day that they bonded or vice versa, would they still go mad with loss?

Hmm. Good question. Probably not. If they hadn’t gotten to know each other as well as Eragon and Saphira, then I can’t imagine that either Rider or dragon would be overly affected. Sad yes, but not driven insane.

How come Galbatorix is called king when he is ruling an empire?

For the same reason that monarchs of the British Empire were still called kings and queens, because the core of their territory is still a kingdom/queendom. In the case of Galbatorix, he’s technically ruler of the Broddring Kingdom, which he stole from the rightful rulers after the fall of the Riders.

What swords do the Ra’zac use?

Old, old swords they stole from elves long ago.

Did Selena die of childbirth?

She died of complications + fatigue from traveling + heartsickness.

Did Galbatorix have any siblings?

Yes, but they’re all dead now.

You said there would be complications if someone touched a hatched dragon before the chosen person. What kind of complications? Can they be fixed? How would the dragon react?

A person not chosen by a hatchling who touched said hatchling before their intended Rider would interfere with the proper functioning of the spell that forges the bond between Riders and dragons. Would the damage be irreparable? Not necessarily, but it would depend on whether other spellcasters were close at hand, spellcasters who had a close knowledge of the spell between Riders and dragons and who could, in essence, reset it so as to allow the proper bonding to take place. Even if that happened, the person who originally touched the dragon would still have a gedwëy ignasia, and he or she would always share a connection with the dragon along with the dragon’s actual Rider. If any of this happened maliciously, I wouldn’t put it past the dragon to kill the intruder at some point. Dragons don’t look kindly on meddlers.

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Immanuela Meijer

Immanuela is the Paolinis' webmaster, archivist, and all around "make-things-go" Renaissance woman.