Characters: Inheritance Cycle
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The main protagonist, a poor farmboy who becomes the first new Dragon Rider in over a century. Initially wanting merely to survive and get vengeance on the Ra'zac, he gradually becomes more and more involved with the war between the Empire and the Varden.
- Anti-Magic: In Inheritance he becomes one of only three practitioners. After using it extensively to break curses, he's probably the most prolific user by the end of the book.
- Author Avatar: By the author's own admission, series protagonist Eragon was initially written as a reflection of himself doing the things he would like to do, but Eragon has become more of his own character as the series has progressed.
- BFS: In earlier publications he had a sword that was as long as he was tall.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Eragon fights with a sword for melee combat and before he becomes proficient in magic uses a bow for ranged.
- A Boy And His Dragon: The series chronologies his adventures with his dragon, Saphira.
- Butt Monkey: He tends to suffer a lot of injuries.
- Cain and Abel: His relationship with Murtagh. Who is who depends on your personal interpretation.
- Character Development: Eragon slowly shifts away from a bland Audience Surrogate to...well, YMMV:
- Eragon's world view regarding religion is touched upon. At first he's drawn in by rather simplistic Hollywood Atheism, but decides not to rule anything out when he meets something that seemed to qualify as a "god". At the end, he falls firmly on the side of agnosticism, of the "If he's out there, he'd better have a good excuse" type.
- He grows more obviously bloodthirsty and vicious in battle as the series goes on, either due to Saphira's influence, or becoming desensitized due to war. Notably, he doesn't actually seem to realize it happening.
- Cool Sword: Zar'roc, a longsword with a blood-red blade forged from indestructible metal. Later he forges his own blue sword, Brisingr.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: It doesn't show up very often, but he has a seven-year-old's fascination with Squick which slowly morphs into a rather dark Nightmare Fetishism
- Did Not Get the Girl: In Inheritence, he and Arya decide that they can't be together at the end of Inheritance mostly due to their ages and responsibilites. Prior to that, though, Arya had admitted to being open to the idea when he's older. Eragon shoots that down by revealing that he'll be leaving Alagaesia "forever", and Arya couldn't reasonably join him.
- Constantly Curious: Eragon is constantly curious, which gets him into trouble on a lot of occasions.
- Dragon Rider: He is the first of a new generation after Galbatorix tried to wipe out all the others.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: For a while in Eldest, Durza's scar gives him seizures at inopportune times thanks to its magical nature, having been inflicted by a Shade.
- Farm Boy: He starts out working as a farmhand on his uncle's farm.
- Fatal Flaw: Arrogance, according to him. While it shows up in spots throughout the stories, Eragon fears its corrupting influence in the future and lets that inform his decisions later in the series.
- Flaming Sword: His sword, Brisingr, bursts into flames whenever he says its name. Comes back to bite him in the butt, as he can't use his favorite magic while holding it.
- Full Potential Upgrade: An inversion of sorts. Because Eragon learned to fight with an unbreakable weapon, he has a bad habit of blocking attacks with the edge of the blade rather than the flat, which leads to him quickly ruining any normal weapon.
- Genre Savvy: While not especially savvy in general, in Inheritance, he's very much aware of Pride Before a Fall regarding his own flaws, and takes some impressive steps to avert it.
- A God I Am Not: In Inheritance, after accepting his fatal flaws, Eragon realizes that while he does possess godlike power, if he became king he could easily become corrupted by that power and the pain of being an immortal while his loved ones grew old and died. As such, he adamantly refuses any position of authority at the end of the series.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: In the final battle, he turns the tide against Galbatorix when he makes the king feel the agony of everyone he's ever caused pain.
- Nonverbal magic is so ridiculously dangerous that even the most powerful magicians only use it for the smallest of spells, since those are low risk. It's a party trick, for those who know it. Galbatorix doesn't know that it exists, so Eragon is able to incapacitate him with it. He then uses it to instantaneously shield himself and his friends from Galbatorix's atomic Rage Quit, where normal spellwork would have been far too slow.
- Humble Hero: He tries to play the part, even making plans to return and rebuild his hometown as per The Hero's Journey. Eventually he decides that humility isn't in his character, and after all he'd seen and done, he'd never be satisfied with something so mundane as settling down again.
- Idiot Hero: He gets better about it, but traits remain all through the series, as he's struggling to learn everything he needs to know to be a Dragon Rider. Their training usually takes DECADES.
- Instant Expert: In less than a year, he masters sword-fighting, learns how to read, and becomes fluent in the Ancient Language. While it's not as difficult as some may claim he is explicitly noted to be an abnormally fast learner.
- Reality Ensues: It's explicitly shown that it's nowhere near enough to match any experienced Rider or elf, and inferior to learning over decades like he normally should have been doing.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: In a moment of Properly Paranoid, Eragon decides that this would be way, way too easy for him to do so he automatically shuts down any offers of Kingship or long term authority.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: This becomes a vague plot point in Brisingr, when Eragon realizes he has become immortal. Instead of angsting about it, he decides to look for a wife among the elves because they are all immortal. Good thing he's already head over heels for Arya.
- Magic Knight: He supplements and augments his swordplay with magic.
- Moral Dissonance: He's very brutal in battle, and has moments of untoward viciousness. Other moments, such as his judgment of Sloan, remain Base Breakers among much of the fandom.
- Necessarily Evil: In his mind, all of his lapses and killings are justified because he's fighting an immortal Evil Overlord, and no amount of slaughter or mayhem that he causes could be worse than what Galbatorix would cause. He still angsts over this, which becomes a major plot point early on in Brisingr.
- Nightmare Fetishist: At one point fantasizes without much irony about having an apple tree planted over his grave, so that his family would partake of his corpse every time they ate from it. Yum. Similar examples abound throughout the books.
- Not So Different: Elva points out to Eragon that some of his actions aren't so different from the kind Galbatorix would take. “That way lies the depraved pleasure of controlling others for your own pleasure. Galbatorix would approve.”
- Notably, Eragon specifically avoids (or at least tries to) any positions of power in the new government because he's afraid he would end up like Galbatorix.
- Eragon isn't so different from Murtagh either. Eragon denies this when Murtagh mentions it at the end of Eldest, but in Brisingr, Eragon coldly terminates the life of a young, conscripted soldier who was begging for mercy with the same emotionless justification that Murtagh used after killing the slaver Torkenbrand in the first book. "He was a threat."
- Parental Abandonment: Well, his mom died soon after giving birth to him, His father, Brom dared not reveal his identity...
- Power Strain Blackout: Prone to fainting after using magic, at least at first.
- Simple Staff: Uses one in Brisingr for a while, but soon becomes frustrated with it.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: In the first book, he goes out of his way to avoid killing humans, limiting his violence to urgals. In Eldest, however, he drops the policy and starts killing any human associated with the Empire without mercy.
- Too Dumb to Live: At the end of Brisingr, he and Arya abandon King Orrin's elven guard and go see the queen themselves. Naturally, they end up badly outmatched.
- Took a Level in Badass: Considering he plans to take out old man Galbatorix himself only a few years after becoming a Rider himself...
- He takes quite a few after he discovers the hidden Eldunari cache under Vroengard, gaining enormous magical power. What's more important is that he's learned how to use it..
- Walking the Earth: Eragon decides that the best course of action is to leave Alagaesia at the end of Inheritance, due to needing a more suitable place to raise the cache of dragon eggs found on Vroengard and to remove the temptation for him (now the most powerful being alive on the continent) to become another Galbatorix. He has no plans to return and doesn't expect to be able to see his loved ones in person.
- What Have I Become?: Has a few of these moments now and then.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He is on the receiving end of it twice in Eldest and three times in Brisingr.
Eragon's cousin, initially a farmboy. Later, after his betrothed, Katrina, is kidnapped by the Empire and his village condemned, he becomes determined to lead his people to safety and fight Galbatorix.
- And This Is for...: When he kills the Ra'zac.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: A combination of asskicking and charisma turns him into the unofficial leader of Carvahall, and later gains him a position in the Varden. He commands an entire battalion by the story's end, and gets to be earl of Palancar Valley.
- Atop a Mountain of Corpses: In Brisingr, after single-handedly killing nearly 200 men in battle.
- Badass Beard
- Badass Normal: He makes a name for himself in battle alongside Dragon Riders, elves, and other magically enhanced beings.
- Bad Dreams: The (many) men that he's killed continue to haunt him.
- Beard of Sorrow: He grows this after Katrina is kidnapped and it qualifies as this up until her rescue.
- Charles Atlas Super Power: Seems to be the physically strongest un-enchanted human in the story. Strong and fast enough that he can duel with a fencer with a warhammer and wards. And in fact faster than that, since his general strategy is to outdraw his opponent and break his arm or wrist.
- Despair Event Horizon: Crosses it when he watches Eragon leave the continent, for what is probably forever.
- The Determinator: How else do you slay almost 200 soldiers single-handedly?
- The specifics of the feat are pretty relevant. Roran and his men retreat into an alley when Roran goes into a berserk rage. Since Roran's other soldiers couldn't get Roran to move away, they just sit on the roofs as the enemy soldiers follow them into the alley in ones and twos and are met with Roran just continuously bashing away with his hammer. Roran's friends pick off any soldiers who might sneak around or kill Roran by luck with bow and arrows, and make Roran getting angry into their entire strategy.
- Cranked Up to Eleven when he kills Barst, Galbatorix's greatest general after everyone else had tried and failed.
- Drop the Hammer: Becomes his favored weapon in Eldest, based on inspiration he took from one of Brom's stories, that of a reluctant warrior who was forced to take up arms, and went into battle armed only with a hammer. He also appreciates its simplicity. No complex parrying, just bash their faces in!
- Farm Boy: Initially, but like Eragon, he moves away from it.
- Genius Bruiser: He shows cunning, intelligence, leadership abilities, and charisma as well as skill in battle. Eragon praises Roran over himself for his ability to lead the villagers of Carvahall over the ominous Spine.
- Good Is Not Nice: Roran starts out a decent man looking to get married to his girlfriend, but he becomes a Pragmatic Hero.
- Gray Eyes: Emphasizing his strong-willed personality.
- Heroes Want Redheads: His girlfriend - and later wife - Katrina, has red hair.
- Heroic Resolve: He has a lot of it, and needs every bit of it.
- Hero Insurance: Averted in that Roran is well aware of the damage he is doing to probably innocent people along the way, and tries to avoid doing more damage than he has to.
- Lightning Bruiser: He seems to be faster than most swordsmen with his hammer, which would mean he would win any duel by default.
- Made of Iron: He survives a ton.
- Never Learned to Read: His father considered learning to read a waste of time.
- Psychic Static: He focuses on his memories of Katrina, making his mind impenetrable to psychics, though sudden sounds prove to be a weakness of his.
- Rousing Speech: Apparently this guy's talent is leadership.
- Shoot the Dog: Burning the docks at Teirm, while creating one hell of a diversion for the villager's escape, resulted in the destruction of the property of countless innocent people.
- Simple Staff: Has one, which he eventually gives to Eragon.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Eldest he takes charge and leads the villagers of Carvahall all the way to the rebel camp.
- The Unfettered: He'll do anything to save Katrina, and, to a lesser extent, defeat Galbatorix.
- Wartime Wedding: To Katrina, although they were already engaged beforehand.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He doesn't particularly approve of Eragon's actions in the first book, and partially blames him for the death of his father, Garrow. This is particularly apparent when they finally meet back up in Eldest.
An old storyteller in Carvahall and a friend of Eragon's, who finds out about Saphira and asks to accompany them on their journeys. Later revealed to be a Dragon Rider whose dragon was killed during the Fall. He founded the Varden in the years following Galbatorix's rise to power and is determined to bring Galbatorix down.
- Came Back Wrong: Discussed. Eragon wants to use the Eldunari to resurrect him at the end of Inheritance but they warn him that they will probably never be able to restore his mind. He decides that it's not meant to be and just carves a new epitaph for him. They also make the very good point that they aren't neurologists and would probably fry his brain in the process.
- Cool Old Guy: He's far older than he looks, but still possesses supernatural powers from when he was a Dragon Rider.
- Constantly Curious: Oromis says that Brom was this way when he was young.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: At first glance he's just an eccentric old man. But Eragon soon finds out that he's a master swordsman, magic-user, and former Dragon Rider.
- Dragon Rider: He is one of the last true Dragon Riders of the old generation.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Not revealed until long after he's dead and buried.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He sacrifices himself saving Eragon from the Ra'zac.
- Prequel: Paolini has expressed interest in writing a fifth book which would tell his and Jeod's backstory, as well as detailing the Fall of the Riders.
- Retired Badass: Losing his wife, after already having lost his dragon, Saphira (the elder), means two lost soul mates. It's remarkable (as per Arya) that he even survived such losses.
- The Storyteller: While living in Carvahall.
- Tragic Hero: Destiny made sure that he failed in nearly everything important in his life, except for killing Morzan.
- You Killed My Father: He is motivated to kill Galbatorix because he is responsible for the death of Brom's dragon. Brom himself later becomes this sort of motivation to Eragon.
- He also killed Morzan, Murtagh's father. Despite this, Murtagh bore no ill will towards Brom for the action, given that his father was a very abusive one (having received a large scar from his sword) and acknowledged that Morzan fully deserved to die.
A solitary, traveling young man that does not give his loyalty to either the Empire or the Varden, disdaining both. He meets Eragon on the road and becomes a traveling companion. Later revealed to be the son of Morzan, first and last of the Forsworn, and the destined partner of the red dragon egg still in Galbatorix's possession.
- Abusive Father: He had one, as the scar on his back will attest to.
- Ancestral Weapon: In the second book, he takes Zar'roc from Eragon, claiming that it's his inheritance. Technically he's right, it belonged to his father.
- Anti-Hero: Type III. His willingness to kill is a sharp contrast with Eragon in the first book.
- Anti-Magic: The second to figure it out, after Galbatorix. Later teaches it to Eragon, in a moment of cameraderie.
- Anti-Villain: As Galbatroix's vassal, Murtagh doesn't necessarily want to commit atrocities, but he has no choice.
- Badass Normal: He's Eragon's equal in swordfighting (and later becomes his superior), an excellent archer, and he even manages to temporarily destroy Durza. He turns into a Empowered Badass Normal later on.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Like Eragon he fights with a sword and a bow.
- Cain and Abel: His relationship with Eragon. Who is who depends on your personal interpretation.
- Dating Catwoman: As he and Nasuada are trapped on opposite sides of the war and he later becomes an outlaw, they never actually get to the 'dating' part.
- Determinator: During their final sword fight, Eragon tries to figure him out, and realizes that he can't possibly defeat Murtagh in a fair fight, because Murtagh not only outclasses him in swordsmanship, but is so driven and determined that winning the fight could never mean as much to Eragon as to Murtagh, even if his life is on the line.
- The Dragon: After his Face-Heel Turn he becomes Galbatorix's right hand.
- Dragon Rider: He bonds with a male red dragon named Thorn.
- Face-Heel Turn: He's abducted by traitors in the Varden and taken to Galbatorix, who forces him to become his slave. It never took.
- Fatal Flaw: An unwillingness to face his problems.
- Generation Xerox: He becomes one to his father, Morzan, but eventually averts it.
- Genius Bruiser: When traveling with Eragon, he often suggests plans and maneuvers that even Saphira admits are smarter than Eragon's, spends his leisure time reading in Tronjheim, and all in all is a very intelligent character in addition to his deadly combat skills.
- Hero Killer: He's able to defeat Eragon once, kill the king of the dwarves (even when he was protected by a whole cadre of magicians), fight Oromis on an even footing even when the latter had saved up enough energy to move an entire mountain, and come within an inch of actually killing Eragon in Inheritance, only stopped by Galbatorix's intervention.
- In the Blood: The reason the Varden doesn't trust him is because he's the son of an evil Dragon Rider.
- Love Redeems: It is his feelings for Nasuada that allow him to change his True Name, and thus turn against Galbatorix.
- Magic Knight: As a Dragon Rider he surpasses Eragon for a time.
- Missing Mom: She died when he was a child.
- Parental Substitute: Tornac played this role to him.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Eldunari are the only thing that allows him to physically match Eragon, and his were taken from rather young dragons.
- Punch Clock Villain: Even after having clashed with Eragon, resented Eragon for having things easier, and at times genuinely wanted to kill Eragon, when free of his bonds one of the first things he does is to teach Eragon the very valuable and dangerous Name Of Magic and take his leave as a brother.
- Psychic Block Defense: It's very hard to get into his mind. Only Galbatorix ever succeeded.
- Redemption Earns Life: He goes into self-imposed exile.
- Scars Are Forever: Has a huge one on his back.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the end of Inheritance, he effectively says this to the Empire, the Varden, and the whole continent. Considering what he's been through, the loner probably deserves the time to himself.
- Shoot the Dog: He will not hesitate to.
- Spanner in the Works: Managed to learn the Name of Magic, which ended up giving Eragon an opening.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Nasuada, but unfortunately Murtagh must leave. As he is technically-war-criminal.
- Stronger Sibling: Even at the end of the story, Eragon believes him to be a better fighter.
- Walking the Earth: His ultimate fate. He and Thorn leave for an unknown destination, resolving that they might return when the world is a less hateful place.
A former Dragon Rider who rose up against the others and overthrew them, now the King of the former Broddring Kingdom, and the Empire he formed from it.
- 0% Approval Rating: Averted, he has some very loyal subjects who do like him because he made humans, rather than elves, the dominant race in Alagaesia. His general corruption means most people do hate him.
- Affably Evil: He speaks to Oromis through Murtagh in Brisingr, and seems quite polite and sane. At least until Oromis tells him where to shove his talk. Then he loses the Affable part. In Inheritance, he's back to being affable again.
- Ax-Crazy: While he seems to have settled down the axe since his wars against the Riders, and his late goals make him pass for a wise if strict ruler, he is still definitely nuts, and he shows it occasionally.
- Beard of Evil: This is one of his few distinguishing physical characteristics.
- Fantastic Nuke: Literally. He tries to pull a Taking You with Me after Arya kills Shruikan and Eragon forces him to feel each of his subjects' agony from his rule, so he pulls the same trick that was used on Vroengard. It's powerful enough to render the entire underground section of Uru'baen uninhabitable for a long period of time.
- Genre Savvy: We learn in Inheritance that he took loyalty oaths in the Ancient Language not just from his officials and soldiers but from a random swath of peasants as well, making any occupation of Imperial territory a very problematic affair tying up a large number of troops.
- The Ghost: Despite being the Big Bad, he doesn't appear in person until Inheritance.
- Groin Attack: How he killed Vrael, the last leader of the Dragon Riders.
- Immortality: Due to being a Dragon Rider, he is immune to aging and disease.
- Kick the Dog: Torturing Nasuada by having Murtagh burn her with hot irons, tormenting her with illusions (that could cause pain), and allowing his miniature Eldritch Abominations to feed on her.
- Also heavily tortured Murtagh both mentally and physically. Nasuada believes Murtagh's tortures to be worse than her own.
- Light Is Not Good: He uses Vrael's Rider sword, and Umaroth, Vrael's dragon, was white. The sword's original name fits Light Is Good, but Galbatorix gives it a new, more sinister name. Eragon thinks the new name fits it better.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Ultimately defeated when Eragon and the Eldunari backing him force him to feel the agony of all his victims. "What have you done? What have you done?
- Orcus on His Throne: Justified, as he is trying to find the name of the ancient language. It's also noted in Inheritance that he wanted to fight the Varden at their weakest, so letting them pull an All Your Base Are Belong to Us was intentional.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: According to him, he was spending most of his time trying to enchant currency to defeat counterfeiting. Apparently, the counterfeiters were really damn tenacious. He claims that administrative issues like that took up way more time than being evil ever could.
- Textual Celebrity Resemblance: Although probably unintentional, Galbatorix's physical description from the books strongly echoes a young and more corpulent Christopher Lee.
- Ultimate Evil: See The Ghost above, except when the he appeared in the movie which proved the presense of this trope in action. The fact that his most trusted servants tend to be the most reviled creatures in universe in their own right, and seem to have chosen for precisely that reason, doesn't hurt either.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: His favourite argument to persuade people to obey him.
- Villainous Breakdown/Villainous BSOD: See Fantastic Nuke and Rage Quit, or even My God, What Have I Done?.
- Villainous Valor: As he points out, it is the Varden who are attacking him, and he is merely defending his domain.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He can be argued as such. He believes that magicians need to be restricted by law, as otherwise they have any normal person at their mercy. A good intention to start from, but...
- Weak Sauce Weakness: Had no idea that non-verbal magic was possible. Eragon just so happens to be competent at it. To his credit, however, the sheer amount of power and wards he had set up were making it really difficult to exploit.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: He also claims that the Riders were holding back Alagaesia by suppressing all technological and magical discoveries in order to preserve their own power base.
- His insanity initially came from the death of his dragon, which would've weakened him considerably at the time, so... Yeah.
The leader of the Varden.
Ajihad's daughter, heir, and eventual successor.
- Action Girl
- Angst? What Angst?: Comes back from horrific torture in Galbatorix's lair and seems completely fine.
- Badass Normal
- Dating Catwoman: Her feelings for Murtagh, though they both realize they can't act on them.
- Damsel in Distress: In the fourth book.
- The Determinator: Demonstrated in the Trial of the Long Knives.
- Lady of War
- Please Don't Leave Me: To Eragon, one of her closest friends and lieutenants. She's absolutely desperate to get him to stay, but ultimately fails. Also to Murtagh when she's imprisoned by Galbatorix. He doesn't.
- Post Modern Magic: She is trying to find ways to make magic work within civilized society. For instance, using magic to make lace, which normally takes massive amounts of work and thus fetches a high price. Instant war funds. (Also instant economic collapse, but desperate times...)
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Notably, she never abuses the oaths of absolute loyalty Eragon has sword to her, on the several occasions she could benefit from doing so - although Saphira was likely more than enough reason not to even if she wanted to.
- Rebel Leader
- The Stoic: In public.
- Ship Tease: With both Eragon and Murtagh. The latter is very overt later in the series, while the former more subtle. Notably, she's very protective of her friendship with Eragon, nominating him as her Number Two. When he tells her he's leaving Alagaesia she attempts to bribe him with just about everything under the sun to stay, finally breaking down when she realizes there's nothing she can do.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Murtagh. Unfortunately, she's a queen (by the end), and Murtagh has way too many people hating him for it to ever work.
- Token Minority: She's black in a fantasy world that seems to be based on Viking society. Brisingr eventually explains this by having tribes of "dark-skinned" people living in Surda.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Technically not a queen, but it fits her situation nicely.
A herbalist, fortune teller, and witch who always seems to know what is happening, and where things are going to be happening.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: In Inheritance, Angela's sword Tinkledeath, a blade which embodies the essence of sharpness, literally allowing it to cut through anything non-magical without even creating friction or resistance, it just slides through. It is never specified whether it's simply a blade made from Unobtainium or enchanted. Angela isn't talking.
- Alchemy: Her type of magic relies mostly on herbs and potions.
- Ambiguously Human: There's more textual evidence suggesting she isn't human than is otherwise.
- Badass Bookworm
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's fairly polite, if brutally honest, but perfectly willing to poison the Empire's soldiers.
- Blade on a Stick / Double Weapon: She won it in a game with a dwarf priest.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: About as eccentric as they come, but still highly valued by the Varden for her skills and power.
- Cloud Cuckoolander
- Combat Pragmatist: She's not above poisoning the enemy's food supply.
- The Dreaded: When the Twins see her coming and cower, you know Angela is one of these. Made even more obvious when she absolutely terrifies the high priest of Helgrind when she tells him who she is. The reader mostly doesn't find out why.
- Fortune Teller
- Frogs and Toads: She tries to prove that toads do not exist, only frogs.
- I Just Like Saying The Word: She tends to like playing with words such as "flaccid".
- Improbable Weapon User: When the Varden were ambushed at night, she fought off soldiers in her nightwear with a pair of giant wool combs.
- Inexplicably Awesome: Apparently she needs to keep some secrets for herself, but damn it woman can't you at least reveal SOMETHING about why you're so damn awesome at everything!?
- In the afterwords of Inheritance Christopher Paolini admits that no matter what he revealed about Angela, it would only detract from her awesomeness, but if you're curious you can always ask his sister, Angela, if she can reveal something about the herbalist.
- One fan theory is that Angela is none other than the Soothsayer. If this is true then she is neither Elf nor Dwarf. This means that she very well could be human, or descended from the Grey Folk.
- Joss Stone: In the movie.
- Minored in Asskicking
- Older Than They Look: She's hinted at this.
- Plucky Comic Relief
- Third-Person Person: In the movie.
- Wild Mass Guessing: Due to her mysterious origin, she elicits quite a lot.
- The most popular one seems to be that she's the Soothsayer and a descendant of the Grey Folk (according to Paolini, pure-blooded Grey Folk do not exist anymore, while it was said that some took mates among other races). This would explain her affinity for nonverbal magic and long life span.
- Write Who You Know: She's based on the author's sister.
An orphaned baby girl who Eragon blessed in Tronjheim. However, due to a mistake in grammar
, she ended up being cursed to feel all the pain around her and try to protect others.
- Big Eater: Her powers take a toll on her energy. Both before Eragon modified them, when resisting them made her physically ill, and afterward, see Cast from Hit Points. Also, feeling others' pain wears her out, even if she isn't compelled to help them. Being forced to grow up so quickly probably has something to do with it, too.
- Blessed with Suck: Eragon's intended blessing ends up as a torturous curse...which eventually turns into Cursed with Awesome once Eragon removes her compulsion to help people.
- Cast from Hit Points: As of Brisingr, Elva has permanently sacrificed part of her physical stamina in order to never have to feel the urge to help anyone ever again.
- Character Development: After Eragon gets the courage to stand up to her, she becomes less self-obsessed.
- Creepy Child
- Creepy Good: She is an infant with violet eyes and an adult's voice in a child's body, which scares the hell out of many adults. She is (ostensibly) on the good side, but she isn't above using her power of knowing what someone's future pain is, someone's fears, or hopes for manipulation of powerful people for her own benefit.
- Cursed with Awesome: She can foretell the actions of her enemies, and knows exactly what to do to cause them the most pain. After Eragon makes an alteration to the spell to remove her need to sacrifice herself for others, she finds that knowing exactly what is going to hurt someone can be a handy ability to have.
- Deadpan Snarker
- The Empath
- Facial Marking: A silver mark on her forehead that Saphira gave to her.
- Freudian Excuse: She already has it, but hasn't gone against Eragon or the Varden.
- Good Is Not Nice
- Little Miss Badass
- Little Miss Snarker
- Manipulative Bastard
- Mind Rape: What she's been going through every day, with most of the people around her not aware of how much pain their everyday lives are causing her.
- My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: She's aware of Eragon's feelings for Arya and how much he hates it that she rejects him, thanks to her powers.
- "No. Just... No" Reaction: Her reaction when Nasuada tries to convince her to keep her curse for the good of the Varden.
- No Sell The strategy proposed in the earlier books for using her to anticipate Galbatorix every move in the final battle proves moot because he knows the name of the Ancient Language
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Her curse compels her to help people, and she couldn't help people as an infant, so the curse made her grow until she could help people.
- Purple Eyes
- Super Empowering: Eragon used the ancient language to bless her; her powers came from a grammatical error in the phrasing he used.
- Took a Level in Badass: Goes from a defenseless baby to a Badass Adorable with empathetic powers in the span of a few months.
- Vocal Dissonance
- What the Hell, Hero?: When she meets Eragon, she makes very clear that she isn't too pleased with his actions in turning her into what she is, though she also tells him that she knows he didn't mean any harm. Does it again to Eragon when he tries to forcibly remove her powers.
- Wise Beyond Their Years
- Younger Than They Look
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Invoked by her against Eragon, when she tells him that Galbatorix would approve of his actions.
A scholar and friend of Brom.
King of Surda, a supporter of the Varden.
- Drowning My Sorrows: In Inheritance, he starts drinking more under the stress of the war, including during important meetings.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Asks this of the Varden in Inheritance.
- Eccentric Millionaire: A relatively mild example — he uses his wealth as king to fund the many scientific experiments that are his hobbies.
- Too Dumb to Live: In Inheritance, King he takes this Up to Eleven with his plan to send an envoy to Galbatorix, try to negotiate a peace agreement, and tell him the Varden's position. Because to do otherwise would be discourteous.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Inheritance.
Carvahall's butcher, and father of Katrina.
- Anti-Villain: He may be a self-centered Jerkass, but he at least is shown to care about his daughter.
- And I Must Scream: Eragon's punishment of Sloan is... pretty harsh.
- Eye Scream: The Ra'zac pecked out his eyes.
- Face-Heel Turn: He betrays Carvahall to the Ra'zac.
- Knight Templar Parent
- Overprotective Dad: Where matters of dating are concerned. Also isn't thrilled about her traveling into the Spine, but that's Justified since her mother died there.
- Papa Wolf: Does NOT want anything to hurt his daughter.
"They’ll never get Katrina. Never, even if I must skin the lot of them, or fight a thousand Urgals and the king to boot. I’d tear the sky itself down and let the Empire drown in its own blood before she suffers so much as a scratch."
Two bald and rather nasty magicians who have served the Varden for many years. They are actually spies for the Empire, and later turn on their former comrades.
He was an Imperial general known for his cunning and prowess in battle.
A reclusive hermit who lives and studies magic at a deserted elven outpost. Angela remembers him as her mentor.
- Badass: He wields magic that Eragon considers extremely dangerous, such as casting magic without the Ancient Language, casually.
- Badass Bookworm: He owns several compendiums of the Ancient Language, which are considered to be rare and a great treasure.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: To Eragon's surprise.
- Fantastic Science: Several of the questions that he preoccupies himself with answering are implied to involve this.
- The Hermit
- Mundane Utility: Being able to cast magic without the Ancient Language means he can easily light his cookfires with a twitch of his hand. Tenga also uses an abandoned elven outpost as his hermit cabin, and grows vegetables in the soil around it.
- Older Than They Look: He looks fairly old, but he would have to be near to immortal to have taught Angela.
- The Professor
- Wacky Wayside Tribe
- Wizard Beard: A particularly long and impressive one.
Eragon's dragon. After being held in Galbatorix's treasury for many years, she was stolen by the Varden and eventually ended up in Eragon's hands.
- The Ace: Is considered naturally talented for a Dragon.
- Blasphemous Boast: When flying, she occasionally dares "whatever gods there might be" to challenge her, because she sees herself as just that awesome. Eragon notes that dragons are susceptible to flattery, even wise, ancient ones like Glaedr.
- Badass: Is considered as such, even for a dragon. For instance, all her training and experience is in open air combat, but she proves to be just as much, if not more dangerous on the ground.
- Bond Creature
- Breath Weapon
- Egg McGuffin: Spends some time as one in the first book.
- Fourth Date Marriage: Or rather, First Date Mating With Fírnen, Arya's dragon.
- Intellectual Animal
- Our Dragons Are Different
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: In the movie, she inexplicably grows from the size of a dog to a fully-grown dragon literally in a matter of seconds.
- Sapient Steed
- Sociopathic Hero: She ultimately displays a fondness for killing, and prefers killing live prey over eating plain meat. She claims that if Eragon were more like her then everybody would be scared to death of them, and is probably right.
- Soul Jar: Her Eldunari, like that of all dragons, although it was never used.
- Telepathy: Her main form of communication.
A red dragon bonded to Murtagh.
- Anti-Villain: In the same way as Murtagh.
- The Chew Toy: A non-humourous example, as Eragon notes. Of the major characters, Thorn is likely more The Woobie than anyone else.
- Hidden Depths: The one time Eragon communicates with him, he seems to be gentle and soft-spoken, with a "musical" voice.
- Lightning Bruiser: He continually grows stronger and faster very quickly, as Glaedr discovers.
- Mighty Glacier: Compared to Saphira, however, he's slower and less graceful, but has thicker, stronger limbs.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Eldunari again.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Ship Tease: With Saphira in Inheritance He survives, but it doesn't happen.
- Younger Than They Look: He has physically matured beyond his young age due to Galbatorix's magic.
An ancient gold dragon bonded to Oromis.
Galbatorix's black dragon, stolen from the Riders.
- Ax-Crazy: As a result of a hundred years of abuse, he's gone completely insane. His eyeballs are literally shuddering with insanity.
- Breath Weapon: During his debut in Inheritance, he breathes a jet of flames as wide as a river and several kilometers long.
- The Brute
- Creepy Blue Eyes/Icy Blue Eyes
- Dark Is Evil: Subverted. It's rather implied that he was a benevolent dragon before Galbatorix drove him insane.
- Eye Scream: Courtesy of Arya wielding the Dauthdert.
- Kaiju: Shruikan is ENORMOUS, and the narration shows this surprisingly well. Eragon at first mistakes smaller portions of his body (neck, hind foot, wing fold) for larger parts (main body, shin, entire wing).
- Giant Flyer: And easily the biggest one that's appeared in the series.
- Mercy Kill
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The dragon has heavily suffered under his enslavement under Galbatorix, with his sanity having been so depleted that, should he be allowed to, he would destroy the entire planet simply because of his pain and anger. In fact, Elva heavily suggests that the only way to "help" Shruikan is to put him out of his misery.
BEYOND THIS POINT LIE SPOILERS. You probably shouldn't read about the following dragons until you have finished Inheritance.
The dragon bonded to Vrael, who was the leader of the dragon riders before they fell. Revealed in the fourth book to be one of the Eldunaris hidden in Vroengard and accompanies Eragon to the final showdown.
Fírnen The third dragon egg in Galbatorix's possession, he becomes Arya's dragon and Saphira's mate for the short time she and Eragon remain in Alagaesia.
An ancient wild dragon, who's among the Eldunaris in the Vault of Souls. Distinct for being the oldest dragon among them.
The elf ambassador
and the guardian of Saphira's egg for fifteen years. Also secretly the daughter of the elven queen, and thus a princess.
- Action Girl: She's held up as this incredibly powerful warrior, is shown to take on urgals, and with some help from Eragon and Saphira, kills a shade at the end Brisingr. She's also Eragon's technical superior in swordsmanship.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Her movie incarnation had reddish gold hair, while the Arya in the books is dark haired.
- Authority Equals Asskicking. On the other hand, she is an elf, and admits the elves have some individuals who are more skilled.
- Badass Princess
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: She is heavily bruised and injured after her torture in Gil'ead, but is still beautiful, and Eragon heals her shortly after.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord
- Determinator: More of a female version of this than a Plucky Girl, given her utter grimness in personality and complete lack of emotional warmth, at least initially.
- Damsel in Distress: Spends much of Eragon as one. She seems to resent the label.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Has this effect on Eragon, and she deliberately plays on this when sparring with him.
- Does Not Like Shoes: She likes going around barefoot in Ellesmera.
- Dragon Rider: The last of the three dragon eggs, the green one, does in fact hatch for her. His name is Fírnen.
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Eragon has this reaction while Arya is unconscious.
- Elves VS Dwarves: She has a lot of disputes with the dwarves, especially since her position means she has to travel among them quite often.
- Emotionless Girl: Of the repressed variety. To be fair, even when she does open up, she seems to be naturally restrained.
- Everything's Better with Princesses
- Good Is Not Nice: She definitely isn't.
- Green Eyes
- Hair-Trigger Temper: She's very easy to tick off or offend, so Eragon has to walk on eggshells while talking to her.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Black leather.
- Heroic Resolve
- Lady of War
- Letting Her Hair Down: When she arrives in Ellesmera, she takes the leather band out of her hair, starts wearing dresses, relaxes, and becomes quite a bit less tense and cold. (But still is.) This trend inches along a bit as the series continues.
- Lightning Bruiser
- Love Interest: for Eragon
- May-December Romance: With Eragon. The main reason why she doesn't initially want to have a relationship with him is because he hasn't lived to anywhere near her lifespan yet, although his life expentancy is just as high.
- It's eventually clear that she is in fact interested in Eragon. But she still considers him a child, and seems to be disgusted (or mildly disturbed) at herself. As such...
- Jail Bait Wait: What she imposes on both of them. 10-20 years or so. Unfortunately Eragon doesn't plan on being able to see her then.
- Moral Dissonance: She's a vegetarian, because she finds it cruel to kill an animal to eat it, yet she's wearing a leather Spy Catsuit. And that's just the most poignant example.
- Really 700 Years Old: Just over a hundred. Looks like she's in her early twenties.
- Rebellious Princess
- Single Tear: When Eragon dreams of her in her cell, she sheds a single shining tear.
- The High Queen: Succeeds her late mother after several months of political debate.
- Sociopathic Hero: She calls out Eragon for being too merciful and not displaying enough ruthlessness towards the enemy.
- Statuesque Stunner
- There Is Another: Guess who gets to become Dragon Rider #3?
- The Southpaw: She seems to favour her left hand for fighting.
- The Stoic: She is never not restrained. It seems to be a fundamental part of her identity.
- Sugar and Ice Personality
- Too Dumb to Live: At the end of Brisingr, she and Eragon abandon Orrin's elven guard and go see the queen themselves. Naturally, they end up badly outmatched.
Also known as the Mourning Sage and the Cripple-Who-Is-Whole, Oromis is a mysterious and powerful individual who reaches out to Eragon and encourages him to go to the elves for further training. Oromis is the last of the old riders, still alive, but severely crippled and no longer the rider that he once was.
The greatest elven smith, who forged the swords that were presented to the Riders. Rhunön is one of the very oldest of all elves, still remembering the time before the Dragon Riders, before elves were even immortal.
- Awesome, yet Impractical: She strongly advises against such designs, as a weapon that looks awesome but doesn't fulfill it's purpose is ugly to her eyes.
- The Blacksmith
- Brutal Honesty: She is, and seems to approve of this from others. She mentioned that she rather liked Brom when he was a young trainee because "he was a rude one" who "said what he meant and wasted no words."
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: She's very eccentric by elven standards, but as Arya points out, her eccentricities are well tolerated on account of her being the greatest smith who has ever lived.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Elemental Crafting: Brightsteel > all other metals. She won't even consider making a Rider's sword from anything less.
- Elves VS Dwarves: Inverted. Rhunön actually seems to really like dwarves; she first learned smithing from them, can speak their language fluently, and remembers a legendary dwarf as her mentor. When she first sees Orik, she immediately greets him in dwarvish and invites him to her house to discuss metal working. In fact, given her disgust with the rest of her race, she can sometimes seem more like you'd expect a dwarf to be portrayed than an elf.
- Forging Scene
- Grumpy Old Woman
- I Gave My Word: To never make a weapon again. It goes to show how she views things when her oath, to her, really meant that her hands would never make another weapon.
- Magic Knight: In addition to being a smith and a warrior, she is also powerful in magic. She prefers to use her powers as little as possible, however, as she sees fulfilling tasks with magic makes life meaningless and robs her of the pleasure of it.
- My Greatest Failure: Galbatorix's use of one of her blades.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: She does not fit the mold of the traditional elf. She is one of the few who lived before the elves gained their immortality.
- The Napoleon: Shorter and ruder than other elves.
- Never Mess with Granny: She may be older than the oaks, but she is still fit and skilled enough to stand toe-to-toe with Eragon in a sword fight.
- People Puppets: How she forges Eragon's new sword; she possesses him and makes his body do the forging.
- Polyglot: She can speak the Ancient Language, the human language, and the dwarvish language.
- That only makes her trilingual, not a polyglot. Additionally, she's had unknown hundreds of years to learn those three languages, that's perfectly reasonable. Most elves speak the Ancient language and several have been shown to speak english-I mean 'human'. She personally made the swords of every dragon rider, it would've made her job easier to be able to communicate with said riders. Plus she likes dwarves better than elves and learned smithing from one why the heck wouldn't she learn Dwarf (Dwarvish? Dwarfish? Dwarven?)?
- Really 700 Years Old: Really over 2700 years old.
- Restraining Bolt: She can no longer forge weapons because of her oath. This does not extend to controlling someone else to let them make their own with her expertise and methods.
- Screw You, Elves!: A really rare instance where the person calling out the elves is an elf themselves. Rhunön does not approve of what her race has become, and thinks that they were better off before they became ageless and refined.
- The Stoic: Defied by her. She criticizes the rest of the elves for acting like they have "no more emotion than a marble statue!"
- Time Abyss: One of, if not THE oldest living elf. She even predates the war between the elves and the dragons.
- Ultimate Blacksmith
- Ye Goode Olde Days: She bemoans the end of the days when elves used to act like humans and other normal beings. She is one of the last elves alive who is old enough to have lived in that time.
Queen of the Elves, and Arya's mother.
The leader of a group of twelve spellcasters who were sent to help Eragon.
The dwarf prince, nephew of King Hrothgar, and a friend to Eragon.
The king of the dwarves and an ally of the Varden.
A Shade, once a nomadic orphan who learned sorcery, now a powerful ally of Galbatorix.
The last of a nearly extinct species who preyed on humans for food, now serving as the king's personal dragon hunters.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Their species are human predators, apparently.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Those Giant Flyers they ride? The next stage in their life cycle.
- Black Cloak
- Cassandra Truth: The last adult Ra'zac to die tries to tell Eragon that Galbatorix has nearly found the name of the Ancient Language.
- Dying Curse
- Female Monster Surprise: One of them is revealed to be female, while the other's gender is not disclosed (but presumably male).
- Giant Flyer: They ride huge winged creatures called Lethrblaka, which are their parents and adult form.
- Hero Killer: Their official job is to hunt dragons and dragon riders for King Galbatorix.
- Humanoid Abomination: They aren't very natural, and don't seem to fit with anything in any of the fantasy mythos that Inheritance draws from. They are humanoid enough to pass for men when heavily disguised, but they upgrade to Animalistic Abominations when they mature.
- I Have Your Wife: They abduct Katrina and her unborn child, but she's rescued.
- They are themselves enslaved by Galbatorix by means of him holding their eggs hostage.
- In the Hood
- Karmic Death
- Last Of Their Kind
- Averted. The cult of Helgrind uses several of their spawn to attack Eragon and Arya in Inheritance and Galbatorix claims that there were more. They are never found by the end of the book, leaving a possible Sequel Hook.
- Lightning Bruiser
- Monster Is a Mommy The Lethrblaka are the parents of the humanoid Ra'zac and the Ra'zac themselves are the parents of a clutch of eggs in Galbatorix's possession.
- Poisoned Weapons: They coat their arrows and blades in Seithr Oil, which dissolves living flesh.
- Precursor Killers: Oromis states that it may have been the Ra'zac and Lethrblaka that destroyed so much of the humans' ancient homelands that they decided to flee across the sea from war and plague.
- Punctuation Shaker
- Snake Talk: One of them.
A werecat, and companion to Angela.
An Urgal chieftain who joins the Varden with much of his race.