“She might make an excellent queen, but she’s so devious, it’s impossible to know whether she would support the Varden once she was enthroned.”
~ Eragon

Íorûnn was chief of dwarven clan Vrenshrrgn and considered a great beauty. She excelled at politics, using her cleverness and cunning to manipulate her way to the top of the heap. Readers first meet her during deliberations to elect the next dwarf monarch following King Hrothgar’s death.

Íorûnn, Siberian Woman, Vasily Surikov
Concept of Íorûnn. Siberian Woman (1909), by Vasily Surikov, Public Domain

She was interested in the throne sheerly because of the power it would give her. Eragon thought she could have made an excellent queen, the only caveat being that it would be impossible to know whether she would support the Varden following her election.

Íorûnn delighted in flirting with Eragon in each conversation they had by making obscure references to dwarf history and mythology, much to the great amusement of those present. The young Rider didn’t understand the cultural subtext well enough to know precisely what she meant with her comments, only that they made him uncomfortable.

None of the candidates had enough support to be elected outright, so days of deliberations commenced, during which everyone tried to secure the votes needed to win. While this process was ongoing, grimstborith Vermûnd, of Dûrgrimst Az Sweldn rak Anhuin, orchestrated an attack on Eragon and nearly succeeded in killing him. Orik investigated the incident in secret and brought his findings to the clanmeet. Íorünn and other leaders ultimately agreed to banish Vermûnd and all the members of Az Sweldn rak Anhuin, though the clan could come into good graces again—if they replaced their forever-banished chief.

That left two main candidates: Orik and Nado. Orik’s skilled handling of the attempted assassination secured him the allegiance of Hadfala, Manndrâth, Thordris, Havard, Hreidamar . . . and Íorûnn. Hreidamar was loyal to Íorûnn, and while she would have then had two votes for herself including her own, she knew there was no long term benefit to delaying the proceedings with a forced re-tally. So she decided to elect Orik because he was committed to helping alter the fate of Alagaësia by joining the Varden against Galbatorix, instead of hiding in the tunnels of the Beor Mountains like Nado proposed.

Orik knew it was prudent to reward her actions with a place on his council, at the very least. Íorûnn’s bid for the throne would have to wait—for now.

* Like this article? Check out the rest of the Encyclopedia Alagaësia series here.

Immanuela Meijer

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