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YMMV: Inheritance Cycle
  • Acceptable Targets: Humans are this for elves.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Paolini's accidental erotica is infamous.
    Murtagh: Death will take me before I'll expose myself to their probing!
    Narration: When they finished, Eragon flopped on his blankets and groaned. He hurt everywhere – Brom had not been gentle with his stick.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Anti-fans of the series love to find new interpretations that subvert the good/evil conflict. So far, sites such as anti-shurtugal.com have concluded that Eragon is a sociopath, the Varden are terrorists and the original Dragonriders were a racist military junta.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Eragon in Eldest. It is revealed to him that his father was The Dragon to the Big Bad, and to put it lightly, not a nice person. He gets over this in three paragraphs (although, in fairness, he does revisit it later). He does, however, angst when his uncle dies (for a few chapters, after which he gets over it), when he is told that his father was really his mentor, Brom, and when Murtagh joins the enemy.
    • There's also Arya in Eragon: in spite of having been, by her own admission, beaten, tortured, and very nearly raped for weeks on end, the biggest reaction we get out of her thereafter is a paragraph of her clenching her jaw a bit as she recounts the events... and after that everything's just peachy, although that may be a racial thing for her.
    • Well, it has more to do with Arya being a Stoic person in general.
  • Ass Pull: The series features a big 'un in the shape of magical elf twins, never previously mentioned who cure Eragon's achy back scar, allowing him to fight properly again. They turn up once more in the fourth book make it so Dwarfs and Urgals can become Riders as well, thus solving all racism forever.
  • Cliché Storm: One of the most common criticisms.
  • Critical Research Failure: Oromis' explanation of the Ancient Language gets basic points about language wrong: "The suffix o forms the past tense of verbs ending with r and i. Sköliro means shielded, but skölir means shield. What you said was ‘May luck and happiness follow you and may you be a shield from misfortune.’" Unfortunately, "a shield" is a noun, not a verb, so it can't have a past tense. Also, Eragon wasn't using the active past tense, but the passive future imperative ("may you be shielded" is an imperative pertaining to something that is to happen, not something that has happened).
  • Dancing Bear: The first book was sold on the basis of having been written by a 15-year-old.
  • Designated Hero / Designated Villain: As you may have seen elsewhere on this page, a great many fans actually perceive Eragon as a villain and Galbatorix as an antihero.
  • Ending Aversion: Some fans of this series hated how the fourth book ended, due to the fact that it left too much hanging.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Murtagh: even some of the anti-Eragon fans like him.
    • The latter part may be because some fans left the series at his Face-Heel Turn, since he was the Ensemble Dark Horse and it seemed like an attempt to get more fans behind Eragon.
    • Roran holds this position, too, largely due to many people finding his parts in Book 2 to be more enjoyable then Eragon's parts.
    • Carn from Brisingr and Inheritance is fairly popular, too.
  • Fridge Logic: Galbatorix uses the rules of the Ancient Language to force people to do things for what he thinks is the greater good. When Sloan (a his cousin Roran's traitorous father in law) shows up. Eragon tells Roran that Sloan dead. Then he uses the rules of the Ancient language and forces Sloan to never see his daughter again. All for the good of Roran's marriage, of course.
    • The big difference is that, in Galbatorix's view, he would have considered himself rightful to take Sloan's life, a view which even Islanzadí supports. Eragon gave him an infinitely less inhuman punishment, including the opportunity to partially undoing it by repenting his acts. Which Sloan does.
  • Follow the Leader: A rare positive example - alongside Harry Potter, it was one of those books that helped tell publishers that yes, young adults do in fact have the attention span to read long books, especially ones that span multiple installments.
  • Growing the Beard: Brisingr is considered by some readers to be an improvement over the first two books. Inheritance took the changes further, although the third book is the most seen as the series's peak.
  • Ho Yay: The books are worth reading for this alone. See the main page for more.
  • Internet Backdraft: Fans of the Inheritance trilogy have their hands full defending the object of their fandom from a gigantic number of anti-fans. Anti-fans have to defend their criticism from a gigantic number of fans.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Sorry", - apologised Brom".
  • Narm: Has one of the largest entries on that trope's page. Highlights include:
    • The very first line of the entire series: "Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world."
    • The description of Eragon post his transformation at the Agaeti Bloedhren as "more beautiful than any man, more rugged than any elf" is somewhat overdone.
    • The High Priest of Helgrind, who has no arms or legs, reminded some readers of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
    • Durza, Galbatorix's dragon (his henchman, not his literal dragon) in Book I, is described as having pale white skin and red hair. Like a certain fast food mascot.
    • Galbatorix's name. It's a name you'd expect to find in Astérix, and as a result, a number of people find it hard to take the character seriously. Moreover, if you are a bit into history, you will probably see it as Roman emperor Galba's name mixed with a Gaulish one.
    • The Film of the Book gives us Galbatorix's infamous line:
    Galbatorix: I suffer without my stone. Do not. Prolong. My suffering.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Incredibly common. It doesn't help that the book concedes that most of the people living in The Empire are happy and at peace, giving the impression that if the Varden would just stop fighting everyone would be fine. And though the emperor is a douche, his evil actions all seem to be about fighting the Varden so, again, his rule would probably be much less tyrannical if the Varden didn't keep going at him. It doesn't help matters that the main character is widely considered to be a Designated Hero with a lot of Kick the Dog moments.
  • Snark Bait: This is one of the biggest examples, primarily due to accusations of being unoriginal.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The series is a borderline case, either falling into this or Guilty Pleasures.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Galbatorix can be seen as this. While later books established him as being thoroughly evil and tyrannical, his depiction in early books left him looking pretty good for many readers. His rise to power (in which he won humanity's superiority over the elves and killed the all-powerful dragon riders) is portrayed as a Moral Event Horizon, and he wants to stomp out the urgals, a warlike species whose rite of passage is to find something, anything, and kill it. He's done plenty of unsavory things and isn't to be praised, but he's made humanity safe and superior, and even his enemies acknowledge that his batshit insanity doesn't touch most of his subjects. And he is the established power, with a clear-cut law, as opposed to the Varden, who will gladly accept you into their group provided you A.) follow your flawed and suicidal orders to the letter, and B.) be sure to always shower praise on Eragon, the elves, and your visionary leader, Nasuada. In the end it isn't so much that the Strawman Has A Point, but that the other side is so self-righteous and annoying the reader finds it hard to root for them. Interestingly, at the end of the fourth book, even Eragon seems to come to this opinion at seeing Nasuada adpting some of the Galbatorix directives about magic and people.
  • They Just Didn't Care: No, the author himself put his all into his series. In this case it was the editor who was lazy. Aside from making sure that nothing was misspelled there are tons of minor and major continuity mistakes, Purple Prose abound, and somehow didn't notice that a sentence containing the words "descended upwards" doesn't make any sense.
    • The publishing company that picked up the series. Basically the CEO gave his kid a copy of the book, the kid said it was "the best book he’d ever read, that was written by a young adult" and instantly published the book as-is (and made sure it was released before the latest Harry Potter book).
  • Villain Decay: Murtagh. When he is first seen in Eldest, he's sympathetic but his actions are well-justified and believable. But by Brisingr, he's decayed into Galbatorix's minion complete with an evil cackle.
  • Villain Has a Point: Galbatorix is of course an evil tyrant, but his concerns about how easily those with magic can manipulate and abuse those without it are entirely valid. Even after he is gone, Nasuada struggles with the exact same issue.
  • What an Idiot: Eragon. "Huh. That perfectly smooth, round rock seems to be squeaking. Do rocks usually do that? Weird. Oh well, it's probably nothing. It's definitely just a regular rock. I'll just leave it on the shelf and go to bed, and not tell anybody."


Assorted character YMMVs

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Eragon: A hero or sociopath?
    • Murtagh: a Jerkass reveling in his new power, or someone making the best out of his situation?
    • Arya: Badass Lady of War, or Jerkass?
    • Galbatorix: Evil tyrant, but to some, a Draco in Leather Pants.
    • The Varden: Idealistic freedom fighters or ruthless terrorists?
    • The elven Lord Dathedr gets a few of these - despite being nothing more than an adviser to Queen Islanzadi in the series, some fanfics have portrayed him as an elf behind the she-elf, Magnificent Bastard type who is manipulating events for his own ends. On the basis of a somewhat over-flowery compliment he pays Eragon (which some have argued is sarcastic), some anti-fanfics have portrayed him as an Only Sane Man, Surrounded by Idiots. Bizarre, given he has perhaps ten lines of dialogue across the whole series (although he does pierce Galbatorix's anti-scrying spells, which is a Moment Of Awesome in itself).
  • Base Breaker: Nasuada, following her decision to have Roran whipped for insubordination in Brisingr.
  • Canon Sue: Eragon (and arguably Murtagh) can easily get a score of over 100 on the Mary Sue Litmus Test. Eragon appears on the lists of Canon Sues at Fanlore and the PPC and also "The 7 Biggest Mary Sues in Pop Culture". He is a random boy who suddenly becomes The Chosen One and gets an immense amount of power, despite acting like a jerk.
    • However, he is also shown to be naive on multiple occasions, is constantly on the lower end of Always Someone Better, is actually called out on his Jerkassery several times and learns from his mistakes (even he realises how wrong his one-dimensional view of the Urgals was). Not only that, but his quick rise to power is Deconstructed since having to cram months worth of training into weeks and rely on "quick fix" Deus Ex Machinas means he's much less experienced than those who HAVE been training their whole lives.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Galbatorix, in Inheritance. He hijacks the magical language itself in the final battle such that only he can use it, effectively depowering nearly every other character. The only reason he lost was that Murtagh was not as loyal as he thought.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Murtagh
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Nasuada with Murtagh, since she seems to like him. Seeing as Inheritance deals with their relationship directly, don't be surprised if it becomes even more Fan Preferred.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Several times throughout the series.
    • In Eragon, Eragon, Murtagh, and an unconscious Arya are accosted by some slavers, who try to collect the bounty on Arya's head. Although they are quickly dispersed when Eragon reveals his magical powers, Murtagh captures, disarms, and kills the leader of the slaver band. Eragon views this as unnecessarily cruel and vicious, even for an Asshole Victim. However, Murtagh's argument - that by letting them live, they are free to spread information throughout the Empire of the location of a Rider and a wanted elf princess - seems harsher but more pragmatic given the situation.
    • In Brisingr, Nasuada has Roran publicly flogged as punishment for insubordination despite his heroism in battle. It seems pretty harsh, but given her very delicate position as Varden leader and her importance in their alliance between the dwarves, the elves, the Surdans, and her own followers, anyone openly defying her leadership could be seen as a potential threat.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Galbatorix. By Inheritance, it's clear that his cunning and manipulation go much deeper than anyone would previously have guessed.
  • Marty Stu: Eragon, see above entry for Canon Sue.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses:
    • Arya shows disdain for human women, who she considers to be weak and helpless. She briefly wears a dress in Brisingr, and when Eragon comments on it, she says that she never really understood why humans insist on separating their men and women in these ways.
    • Subverted by Nasuada, who is never seen outside of a dress, thinks it's sketchy that Arya wears pants, and finances the war by selling fine lace.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Sloan.
  • The Woobie:
    • Murtagh. Also an Iron Woobie and Jerkass Woobie. His father was physically abusive, his mother was distant, by the age of five both of his parents were dead, he grew up in the shadow of his father with Galbatorix possibly expecting him to become Morzan 2.0, and this was all before he was eighteen. When he finally escaped Galbatorix's clutches, his mentor/friend was killed, he was beaten up by Urgals, dragged halfway around Alagaesia with Eragon, imprisoned, captured and misused by the Twins to the point where he was happy to watch them die, tortured by Galbatorix, forced into swearing allegiance, and unwillingly molded into the person Galbatorix wanted him to be. And this is only the first two books.
    • Thorn.
    • Eragon at the end of the series. At around 16, he's facing complete isolation for years, having to explore a vast new continent that is extremely difficult to reach, and establish a new order of dragon riders there virtually by himself. He does not expect to see any of his loved ones alive again (which a certain prediction makes explicit), and has given up all thoughts of romance or pleasurable company. Kind of harsh for a band of grown men, let alone a single teenager.
    • King Orrin - after years of busting a gut for the Varden (in Eragon Orik flat out says: "The Varden couldn't exist without Orrin,"), living in terror that Galbatorix is going to roll over and crush his kingdom and enslave his people, and sheltering the Varden's noncombatants, he is completely supplanted in La Résistance by Nasuada, insulted by Roran and seems destined to spend the post-war period as a "second-fiddle" nation to the Empire. No wonder he takes to the drink.
    • Durza - Carsaib never wanted to become a Shade.

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