Encyclopedia Alagaësia: Birgit

Hopfen1-croppedBirgit and her husband, farmer/brewer Quimby, settled in Carvahall to raise their offspring (Nolfavrell and several other children not named in the Inheritance Cycle). Things irrevocably changed when Quimby intervened in a bar fight between two soldiers arguing over who should be served next. One soldier struck him on the head with a pitcher, ending his life instantly.

The troops were in town under the command of two mysterious strangers (later revealed to be the Ra’zac) seeking Roran in connection with Eragon’s disappearance. The villagers had said that Roran was out hunting and that it was unclear when he would return. So the soldiers waited…and they drank…and Quimby died.

Carvahall’s residents demanded justice, but to no avail. The Ra’zac stole the body from the tavern right after the incident and would not return it until the next morning. All that Birgit received was a pile of bones, nibbled clean of any flesh and cracked open for the marrow. Still no justice was offered.

A few days later another drunken soldier set a fire that burned down a barn, as well as Delwin and Fisk’s houses. Again, the perpetrator wasn’t punished and no compensation was made for damages. It was enough. Roran and a group of men, including Nolfavrell (presumably with his mother’s consent), ambushed the strangers’ camp and drove them away for a brief time.

The Ra’zac and soldiers retaliated shortly thereafter, killing Parr and nine other villagers. Outnumbered, the Empire forces retreated. Knowing that their foes would return, the residents of Carvahall reinforced the perimeter of the town. Roran placed Birgit in charge of the women and children, who helped dig a trench as part of the defenses. Her leadership facilitated the efficient completion of the task.

Though Birgit backed Roran in his endeavor to protect the village, she made sure to let him know that she would never forget his and his family’s involvement in Quimby’s death, that she too hungered to find the Ra’zac and extract revenge, and that she would have her compensation from Roran following the creatures’ demise. Animosity aside, Birgit was a forceful, intelligent ally who quickly developed into a fearsome warrior in her own right.

The residents defeated the soldiers yet again, but not without cost. Young Elmund was killed in the scuffle. Thereafter, most of the women and children were sent to hide in the Spine.

But betrayal was imminent. Sloan, the local butcher, made a deal with the Ra’zac that in exchange for Roran, the creatures would leave the village alone. Sloan murdered Byrd to allow them access into Carvahall, but they captured only Katrina, Sloan’s daughter, not Roran, who was their objective. The Ra’zac cut their losses and escaped with Sloan and Katrina.

Lethrblaka Sketch by Christopher Paolini

Lethrblaka Sketch by Christopher Paolini


 
There were no options left. It was already clear that the villagers faced slavery or death for their actions. And there would always be more soldiers. Roran set about trying to convince the inhabitants to pack their belongings and set out for Surda, where they would join with the Varden. Birgit’s support helped him persuade nearly all of the residents to leave.

The refugees eventually made their way over the Spine to Narda, where Roran and a few others were able to secure passage to Teirm on three barges, in part by cheating Clovis, captain of the vessels, of half the agreed upon sum.

Rather than announce their presence on arrival, Roran, Birgit, Nolfavrell, and a few others left the boats out of view of Teirm and entered the city to see if they could rent a proper ship. Birgit used the alias Mardra (after her mother) for the excursion. They eventually allied with Jeod and set out to pirate the Empire’s boat, the Dragon Wing. The sailors commissioned to pilot the commandeered ship objected to a woman’s presence on the vessel, which they viewed as inviting bad luck. Birgit kicked one of the sailors between the legs and held a knife to another’s throat, wondering aloud if there were any further questions. No one made another comment.

The plan proceeded with minimal difficulty: while Birgit distracted the Dragon Wing’s guards, the other townspeople boarded the ship from behind. Birgit captured two men on her own and the others took care of the rest. Before all the villagers could board the ship, however, an alert went up in Teirm. Desperate to flee, the refugees fired flaming javelins at the dock, setting the harbor ablaze and thereby securing their escape.

Shortly after they were out to sea, a Ra’zac mounted on a Lethrblaka appeared. Baldor was able to exploit the Ra’zac’s fear of the sea and shoot an arrow into the mount’s flank, sending it careening away.

Several days later, three sloops—swift enough to nearly overtake the Dragon Wing—pursued them, though a fortuitous two day long storm interrupted the onslaught for a time. Jeod recommended that they sail through the Boar’s Eye, in a desperate attempt to lose the three ships. A hair’s breadth away from being trapped by the strong currents of the whirlpool, the villagers alternated with each other at the oars, rowing for their lives. The Dragon Wing ultimately made it across to the other side, but the three enemy vessels were swallowed into the sea.

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The refugees finally arrived in Dauth, Surda, where they were given a hearty welcome by the governor, Lady Alarice. But even as much as everyone wanted to settle and rest, Roran convinced them that the only way they would ever be safe in Surda was to aid the Varden to defeat Galbatorix. So up the Jiet River they sailed just in time to join the Battle of the Burning Plains, a victorious confrontation with the Empire.

Roran and Eragon traveled to Helgrind where they killed the last of the Ra’zac…or so they thought. Shortly after their triumphant return, Birgit thanked Eragon. Then she confronted Roran, reminding him of his debt and that she would exact revenge at some point in the future. However, despite her anger, she did participate in Roran and Katrina’s wedding preparations, even going so far as to represent Katrina’s interests during the ceremony. Birgit and Horst successfully negotiated the material contributions each newlywed would bring to the union: Katrina’s dowry (courtesy Nasuada) in exchange for Roran’s promise of a farm in Carvahall.

Birgit fought against the Empire in combat, including during the Battle of Urû’baen. After the death of Galbatorix, she did not forget her oath of vengeance and challenged Roran to a duel. He refused to engage but acknowledged her right to demand blood price from him for his unintentional part in Quimby’s murder. Birgit raised her sword to his chest but then merely cut his palm, saying the debt was settled.

It’s not clear whether Birgit and her children returned to Palancar Valley to rebuild Carvahall or if they made their home elsewhere. All that is certain is that she is more than capable of taking care of herself and those she cares for.
Chrisdesign_Axe_of_War


 
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Immanuela Meijer

About Immanuela Meijer

Immanuela is the Paolinis' executive assistant.