Eragon, Chapter 38: Diamond Tomb
Eragon wakes up alone and goes to deal with Brom’s death the only way he knows how – by indulging in self-centered whining.
So the witch Angela was right – there was a death in my future, he thought, staring bleakly at the land.
There’s death in everyone’s future because people die all the time. It would be a lot more impressive if she’d predicted that no one else would die. Either she’d be dead wrong, or everyone would have gained immortality.
A tear slid down his listless face and evaporated in the sunlight, leaving a salty crust on his skin. He closed his eyes and absorbed the warmth, emptying his mind. With a fingernail, he aimlessly scratched the sandstone. When he looked, he saw that he had written Why me?
That’s the second single emo tear we’ve seen from Eragon this book, and it’s even more goofy than the last one. How does aimless scratching turn into a coherent message? Wouldn’t he have to look to see what he’s writing? Would it even be legible considering he’s not paying attention and he only just learned to read a couple months ago? And could he have picked a more melodramatic phrase?
Why not you? You are not the only person who’s lost someone close to them. Did you think you were special? Did you think being a Rider made you immune to having loved ones die? Did this really affect you more than your uncle’s death? Or your aunt’s? (Oh, wait, I forgot, Marian doesn’t count. She’s only mentioned because Garrow had to have a wife in order to have a son.)
Murtagh comes back to camp with some food and asks if Brom was “the Brom” who stole a dragon egg from the king and killed Morzan. Okay, if Brom’s well-known enough that people can hear his name and ask if he’s that guy, then why did he never change his name? Even Obi Wan changed his name (though I have to say “Old Ben Kenobi” is probably the laziest attempt to hide one’s identity I’ve ever heard).
Murtagh tells us that he’s on the run and not aligned with the Varden, the Empire, or anyone else, and that he was curious about the tales of a new Rider so he followed the Ra’zac to see if they were true. Eragon tries to reach into his mind to see if he’s trustworthy, only to find that he can’t get in – Murtagh’s got some pretty solid defenses. Then Eragon pulls out his sword, deciding that he doesn’t care if people see it. Murtagh, however, gets pretty upset when he sees the sword, telling him that it belonged to Morzan.
Eragon stared at Zar’roc with shock. He realized that Brom must have taken it from Morzan after they fought in Gil’ead. “Brom never told me where it came from,” he said truthfully. “I had no idea it was Morzan’s.”
“He never told you?” asked Murtagh, a note of disbelief in his voice. Eragon shook his head. “That’s strange. I can think of no reason for him to have concealed it.”
“Neither can I. But then, he kept many secrets,” said Eragon.
Yeah, Brom never told Eragon a lot of things. I’m three books into the series by now and I’m still finding out important shit that Brom never told Eragon. After agreeing that Murtagh can travel with them, Eragon tells Saphira about the sword and asks why she never told him that Brom was a Rider.
He asked me not to, she said simply.
Eragon grew angry. Why did he trust you, but not me, with all this knowledge?
Her scales rustled over the dry rock as she stood above him, eyes profound. After we left Teirm and were attacked by the Urgals, he told me many things, some of which I will not speak of unless necessary.
Translation: the author needs an excuse to retcon important information that the hero should already know about. I’m not going to talk about it now – not because it’s not “necessary”, but because if I bring it up now, I’ll only be repeating myself when we reach that point in the story. And I already repeat myself a lot.
Anyway, Saphira is at least allowed to tell Eragon where to find a guy who can get them to
the next plot point the Varden, and Eragon tells her about the dream he had.
What I saw disturbed me. I feel that time is running out for her; something dreadful is going to happen soon. She’s in mortal danger – I’m sure of it – but I don’t know how to find her! She could be anywhere.
What does your heart say? asked Saphira.
My heart died a while back, said Eragon with a hint of black humor.
Oh for fuck’s sake.
However, I think we should go north to Gil’ead. With any luck, one of the towns or cities along our path is where this woman is being held. I’m afraid that my next dream of her will show a grave. I couldn’t stand that.
I’m not sure, he said, shrugging. It’s just that when I see her, I feel as if she’s precious and shouldn’t be lost. . . . It’s very strange. Saphira opened her long mouth and laughed silently, fangs gleaming. What is it? snapped Eragon. She shook her head and quietly padded away.
Even with how melodramatic he’s being, I can’t really figure out why Saphira is laughing at Eragon here. I mean, yeah, it sounds kind of silly for him to call this random woman he’s never met “precious,” but it’s not really all that funny either.
They finally get ready to leave, with Murtagh mentioning that he plans to leave when they meet up with Brom’s Varden contact. He then goes ahead, leaving Eragon and Saphira to say one last goodbye to Brom:
As Eragon turned to depart, Saphira snaked out her long neck to touch the tomb with the tip of her nose. Her sides vibrated as a low humming filled the air.
The sandstone around her nose shimmered like gilded dew, turning clear with dancing silver highlights. Eragon watched in wonder as tendrils of white diamond twisted over the tomb’s surface in a web of priceless filigree. Sparkling shadows were cast on the ground, reflecting splashes of brilliant colors that shifted dazzlingly as the sandstone continued to change. With a satisfied snort, Saphira stepped back and examined her handiwork.
The sculpted sandstone mausoleum of moments before had transformed into a sparkling gemstone vault – under which Brom’s untouched face was visible. Eragon gazed with yearning at the old man, who seemed to be only sleeping. “What did you do?” he asked Saphira with awe.
I gave him the only gift I could. Now time will not ravage him. He can rest in peace for eternity.
On the one hand, this is kind of sweet of her. On the other hand, who wants to bet on how long it’ll take before someone comes by and tries to steal parts of the giant unguarded diamond (which will undoubtedly destroy whatever enchantment is keeping Brom preserved)? Unless she’s added some sort of anti-theft charm, I don’t think that tomb’s going to last long.
“Murtagh’s eyes became inscrutable orbs.” (pg 279) This might just be a side effect of all the fanfic I read as a kid, but I can’t stand “orbs” being used as a synonym for eyes.