Q&As with Christopher: The First Eragon, the Mysterious Angela, and the Final Battle

Siege by PredatoryApe via DeviantArt, first Eragon
Siege by PredatoryApe via DeviantArt.

Our latest Q&A is a collection of the most interesting Inheritance Cycle tidbits shared by Christopher in his recent Reddit AMA. Our next round-up will include Book Five hints and Eragon movie reboot wishes! Don’t forget you can ask your most pressing questions on Christopher’s Twitter and Facebook accounts!

Prosigal358: Whatever happened to the first Eragon and his dragon?

That’s an excellent question. Funny how none of the characters ever brought it up. . . . Hmm. Why could that be?

ShadowXjr: I once read a fan theory that the spine was the first Eragon’s dragon, who’d been sleeping for ages, and each mountain was a spike on his back. What’s your opinion on that?

My opinion is that would make for one BIG dragon. 😀

ibid-11962: Can you give us any new (non plot-important) tidbits about Angela and/or Tenga? Like their favorite food or their opinions on proper map projections?

Angela is of the opinion that distances in Alagaësia vary according to the urgency of your trip. Of course, this would only be true if one were living in a story. . . .

Sir_sekarBoN: If there was one thing in the Cycle that you could change/redo/retcon, what would it be?

Two things actually. I’d add in a bit more time with Saphira and Eragon when Saphira was still a baby, back in Palencar valley. And possibly a POV chapter with Nasuada when the Varden were traveling from Farthen Dûr to Surda.

Kitbixby: In Eldest, why did you have Eragon waste the Faelnirv that Oromis gave him on scrying Katrina?

Eragon poured the faelnirv back into the flask.

Kitbixby: What are some other rare animals, like the nïdhwal, that we haven’t seen?

I’d rather not say at the moment, but there are a few other rare and interesting creatures lurking around in the corners of Alagaësia. 😀

Aco62: Why didn’t Eragon have Rhunön remake Támerlein to suit his style of sword-fighting if she was able to do so for Arya?

When I said that Rhunön remade Támerlein, I didn’t imagine that she did that much work on it. That is — the sword was already close enough to what Arya needed that Rhunön could make it work just by rebalancing it, tweaking the crossguard, etc. Whereas to make it work for Eragon would have necessitated melting down the blade and forging a new sword from scratch, which would have been extraordinarily difficult given the spells Rhunön wove into the weapons she made.

Felaya99: What would Elva have said to Galbatorix in the final battle, had she been able to speak?

She would have spoken to his secret fears and pains, and she would have talked him into killing himself — much the way he actually did — but because of his inner torments and not from any understanding of the suffering he had caused. Imagine all the late-night thoughts that sometimes torment you. That’s what having Elva speak to you with malicious intent would be like. Only worse.

kvth: Do you think Murtagh he is interested in restoring a good name for himself in the eyes of the public (and his family!), or would he be content just to keep to himself and explore the wilderness with Thorn?

Yes. Even though Murtagh and Thorn are used to being looked upon with disapproval — in the long-term, I think they would both like to prove themselves to the larger world.

theryzeng: Is Angela your sister who you trapped inside of a fantasy world, giving her inconceivable powers and knowledge but without too much influence over the actual story, just to mess with her?

Ahaha. I like that theory. I’ll mention it to my sister the next time I talk with her.

SukuiShurTugal: Which were the names of the Forsworn? We know Kialandí, Formora, Glaerun, Enduriel and, of course, Morzan. But there would still be 8 Forsworn that we don’t know! Which were their names?

Those are the only ones I named in the series. When and if I need to, I’ll name the others.

Gannel: How did you come up with the idea of the werecats?

My sister actually came up with the idea for werecats one day, when we were talking. So it seemed only fitting to give her character a werecat in turn.

HeirOfEgypt526: Is a benign Shade possible? (paraphrased)

Spirits possess a host, and the combination of spirits and host create a Shade. Technically, if the spirits were friendly (and the host as well), it would be possible to have a benign Shade, although no instance of this has ever been recorded in the history of Alagaësia.

beastmodeJN: Just because a benign Shade hasn’t been recorded doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened? Right?

No comment. 😀

DestinyWielder: Was Durza a willing servant or was he under Galbatorix’s control? If he was under Galbatorix’s control, how did Galbatorix control him? Was Durza ever planning on rebelling against the king if he indeed was under his control?

Durza had some control over Galbatorix also. It wasn’t entirely one-sided. They were linked in some interesting ways (and yes, those were spirits we saw flying out of Galbatorix at the end). That said, Galbatorix controlled Durza with a huge number of spells. It was a precarious control, though, as Galbatorix never guessed Durza’s true name. And as a Shade, Durza was always looking for ways to undermine the king (as evidenced by Durza’s behavior in Gil’ead with Eragon).

DestinyWielder: Did anything magical or otherwise force Eragon and Saphira to leave Alagaësia and is preventing them from returning? Eragon and Saphira chose to leave voluntary and can return anytime they wish? Nothing is preventing their return? It has nothing to do with the true name of Alagaësia changing?

The wording of prophesy is often open to many interpretations. But no, there is no actual, physical force that would prevent Eragon or Saphira from returning to Alagaësia. Has nothing to do with the true name of the land (although that would have been a clever way to get around this little obstacle).

DestinyWielder: Did Galbatorix know about wordless magic and he was just too arrogant to guard against it?

It was a combination of arrogance and ignorance. Galbatorix did know of some wordless magic. He was aware, for example, that dragons could sometimes work magic without words and the same for spirits. However, I don’t think he considered it much of a threat or even that serious of a technique (he certainly wouldn’t have believed that the elves might teach it to a Rider as young as Eragon). From Galbatorix’s point of view, the risk was essentially zero, because wards to protect him against worded spells would also protect against unworded spells. It was the effect of the spells he had to guard against, not the cause. On top of that, Galbatorix never thought to protect himself against a spell (worded or otherwise) that sought to help him, not harm him. Otherwise, Eragon’s enchantment would have had no effect on the king, no matter how it was cast. Hopefully this answers your question!

DestinyWielder: Did Murtgah removing Galbatorix’s wards in the final battle have a significant impact on Galbatorix’s defeat? What I’m asking here is if Eragon fired off the empathy spell anyways, would it have mattered one way or another that this event happened? There have been debates about whether or not this action really helped Eragon at all in defeating Galbatorix. I think it did and allowed Eragon to actually pull off a victory.

Yes. Murtagh’s and Thorn’s true names changed during the battle (I REALLY wanted to write this from Murtagh’s POV, but didn’t), which allowed them to strike at the king with all the power at their disposal. This in turn stripped the wards that would have otherwise stopped Eragon’s spell as mentioned above. Without Murtagh, Eragon/Saphira would have never succeeded. Not even close.

DestinyWielder: How did Murtagh know the True Name of the Ancient Language anyway?

The only reason Eragon and company couldn’t remember the Word when Galbatorix uttered it was because of the king’s magic. As soon as Murtagh was free of the king’s control, he was able to recall and use the Word (Murtagh had heard the king use it before).

As for Murtagh and TNOTAL — as I recall, he was present when Galbatorix used it (at least once) during the final confrontation. If I’m mistaken, then Murtagh definitely heard it from the king at some other point. When Murtagh’s true name changed, that threw off Galbatorix’s preventative spells, and Murtagh was able to remember the Word.

DestinyWielder: How come Galbatroix didn’t use Nasuada as leverage against Eragon and his friends in their final confrontation?

He didn’t feel it was needed. The threat against Nasuada was implied in any case.

derpdude9: Grey folk, what did they look like, were they hominid, etc.?

Hominid yes. And they did tend to be grey. Other than that, no comment.

derpdude9: What is North of Du WeldenVarden?

Ice and snow.

Darth_Acheron: Was Shruikan capable of speaking?

Shruikan could speak but rarely did.

CosmosController: Who was Galbatorix’s spy?

We never did find out for sure, did we? The obvious answer would be the Twins (and Galbatorix was bluffing later on about his sources in the Varden). But perhaps he did also have high-up intelligence from within the Varden.

androidorb: Are there other nations or people’s across the sea that might be as advanced as Alagaesia? If so will they ever be mentioned or encountered in your books or will you keep it mysterious?

Could be. We don’t know at the moment. (I mean, Eragon & co. don’t know. I know, of course. :D)

SuitableMidnight: Is it possible for Sloan to be free of Eragon’s spell?

Yes. Not likely but possible.

Srk4ever: Is Angela the daughter of Tenga?


Srk4ever: Would Brom and Selena disapprove of Eragon’s relationship with Arya (if they had one) and would Arya’s parents disapprove of Eragon?

Brom and Selena wouldn’t disapprove of Eragon and Arya (although they might worry about his happiness). Arya’s parents most definitely would disapprove. At least at first.

Enjoy this article? View the rest in our Q&As with Christopher series!

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.