At last Christopher Paolini answers some questions
Answers by Christopher Paolini
Did Tornac teach Murtagh just to fight with his sword or also the mind defense and the ancient language? If yes, why did Galbatorix tolerate such a powerful companion with Morzan’s son? If no, who taught Murtagh speak the ancient language correctly so quickly?
In regard to mind defense, in Alagaësia many people who don’t use magic have learned to defend their minds, to shield their thoughts from unwanted intrusion. This is not a matter of ability but of will power. Since Murtagh grew up around Galbatorix, Morzan, and other magicians, it was inevitable that he learned things about the inner workings of the empire. So Morzan and others taught Murtagh to shield himself. This was more to protect themselves than for Murtagh’s benefit.
I’m sure Murtagh picked up a few words of the ancient language from the magicians when he was growing up. However, he learned the majority of it from Eragon when they were traveling from Brom’s tomb to Gil’ead. Also, Galbatorix would have trained Murtagh in the ancient language after Thorn hatched.
Where did Ajihad come from? Was his home country the same as the country where the Ra’zak came from? If yes, why was Ajihad black and King Palancar’s people white?
Ajihad was born in Alagaësia; his people have lived there for many generations. I will reveal more of his back story in the third book. As for the origin of people with dark skin in Alagaësia, see the “Concise History of Alagaësia” in the Limited Edition of Eldest.
When and how did the woman Brom loved and to whom his love had been her downfall die?
Ahh, for that you must wait until Book Three.
How did Ismira die? Did she commit suicide or someone/something killed her?
Ismira loved walking. One day she went to collect wild flowers in the Spine. There, she slipped and fell at the top of Igualda Falls. It was an accident, a tragedy of life.
Who originally stole Saphira’s egg from Galbatorix and why did he/she succeed to take only one of the three?
I may tell this story more fully in the future, but what I can say is that it was taken by an agent the Varden had placed within Galbatorix’s castle. Only one egg was taken because he or she botched the job and, as I said in Eragon, the thief did not take the egg to the Varden, as originally planned, but fled with it. This led to the great dragon egg hunt among Morzan, Brom, and Jeod.
How did the first Rider Eragon and Bid’Darm die?
That is a story for another time.
Will there be additional races in the Book 3 (hobits, trolls, …)? Do they live in Alagaësia even if we will not encounter them in the course of the Inheritance trilogy?
I don’t think so, but then I never planned on having Feldûnost, so you never know what may show up. Yes, there may very well be additional races in Alagaësia that Eragon has yet to encounter.
Why are Elva’s eyes purple? Is it the natural colour of her eyes or has it been affected by Eragon’s blessing/curse?
Elva’s eyes have been affected by Eragon’s actions. The color of her eyes is the physical manifestation of the magic that flows through her, just as Durza’s maroon eyes and crimson hair reflected the amount of energy that coursed through him.
How large is Alagaësia in comparison to continents on Earth?
Alagaësia is the larger portion of an even larger continent.
Did Eragon already acquire the weapon mentioned by Solembum in the first book?
No. Trust me, when he gets it, I’ll make a big deal of it.
How many Dragon Riders were there between the first and last Eragon? How long did they usually live or serve their duty in peaceful and difficult times?
There were many hundreds of Dragon Riders over the course of the centuries. They tended to have very long lives, but much shorter than the average elf’s because their occupation was so dangerous.
What is the principle of werecats’ and Bladgen’s abilities to foretell the future? Is there a difference between the werecats and the raven? Do they sense the future of a person who they meet or do they have a general awareness of the future of Alagaësia in a wider context?
Many people and creatures who have magic in their blood, even beyond the levels of an elf, can sense, at least vaguely, the direction events may take in the near future. This ability is linked to the very nature of magic and is something that the magicians of Alagaësia do not fully understand.
The werecats are an ancient race. Blagden, in contrast, was endowed with his abilities by the elf king, Evandar. Also, Blagden can’t shapeshift.
What happened with Brom’s blue sword?
Brom’s sword was presumed lost or destroyed in the battle where the Forsworn killed his dragon, Saphira.
Please, tell us more about the culture of dwarfs.
Gladly, in Book Three!
Where did the dragons come from? If they are native to Alagaësia, did they evolve there or were they created together with the land? How?
Dragons evolved in the land of Alagaësia from a common ancestor they share with the Fanghur, the dragonettes that Eragon and Saphira encountered in the Beor Mountains.
Are elves capable of loving another person after their partner dies? In other words, is it in nature of Arya to love ever again in her life?
Elves are very loyal once they give their heart to someone, and they will mourn for a long time if they lose a partner. Although it may take them decades to recover, they certainly can have other relationships and truly love again. More of Arya’s story will be revealed in Book Three.