These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: The Belgariad
Alternate Character Interpretation: The entire series has a bad case of Protagonist-Centered Morality, and the past crimes of characters are quickly forgotten as soon as they join the heroes. A reader might well be quite surprised at the portrayal of Zakath as a decent guy who made some bad mistakes late in the Malloreon, considering that this is the guy who tried and nearly damn succeeded in wiping out an entire race because of something their king did, and used to call himself 'Kal Zakath' ('Kal' meaning 'King and God'- i.e. the title that Torak used to use.) Yeah.
Foe Yay: The paedophiliac undertones to Garion and Chamdar's relationship may or may not have been intentional, but they were effective.
Fridge Brilliance: After a while, you suddenly realise that the Planet of Hats arrangements serve a vital purpose — most of the characters who are walking stereotypes of their cultures need to be those stereotypes to fulfil their roles in the prophecy, for either side. Mimbrates aren't heavily into armoured knights just because they think jousting is awesome — they were deliberately kept in that state for thousands of years just so Mandorallen would come out the other end. The same is true of Algarian horsemanship, Drasnian guile, Cherek barbarism, Asturian archery, Ulgo religiosity and so on.
Fridge Horror: Sorcerers are implied to subconciously choose their appearance, which is why Belgarath looks like a wise old man, and Polgara an attractive young woman. So what does that say about Ctuchik, who looks like the very archetype of the Evil Sorcerer? Likely that he's fully aware of how evil he is, and either doesn't care, or is proud of it.
Zedar is portrayed as having passed this when he kills Durnik. He said was the one thing above all else that he didn't want to do, and it pushed Belgarath's Berserk Button something fierce.
Ctuchik crosses it the second he opens his mouth, confirming all the horrible things we've heard about him up to this point. Zandramas crosses it when they find the bones of the men whose legs she broke so that she could leave them for the lions.
Trapped by Mountain Lions: In The Malloreon, the Big Guy Band from the first series (Barak, Hettar, Relg, Mandorallen, and Lleldorin) spends a significant portion of the story having mainly irrelevant adventures as they try to catch up with the heroes despite Cyradis' warning that it would be fatal to the prophecy. Of course, Fate washaving a fun time with them, as situations seemed to conspire to keep them as far away from the heroes as possible until just after it was all over, at which point they were reunited completely unexpectedly.
The "evil races" have oriental features. The "good races" tend to be much more European. The Malloreon lessens this by revealing that the Eastern races are much more nuanced than the West believes; it's mainly their God that sucks. That last bit is still unfortunate, given that Eddings lists Islam as one of the influences on the Angarak Fantasy Counterpart Cultures.
Also, Durnik is given sorcery so that he will be Polgara's equal, because apparently that's necessary for a relationship (which may or may not be true). However, no mention is made of giving Ce'Nedra sorcery so that she will not be inferior to Garion (and let's not go into the fact that Garion is presumably immortal whereas she will live up to a few centuries, if that long). Of course, Durnik, being Durnik, is highly unlikely to cause problems, whereas giving Ce'Nedra sorcery might not be the smartest idea, but still.
Ce'Nedra's much less bothered about the sorcery than about political power, and she does get an upgrade in that area to match Garion. And then shortly thereafter starts using that power. Also, the other dryads are still young at a few centuries. They may last a lot longer, though sorcerers apparently lack any expiration date at all. This just delays the problem, rather than fixing it.
Belgarath does say that even sorcerers die, in the end, implying that it's connected to the purpose they have to serve. Given that Garion's accomplished his, maybe his life won't have to be that much longer than Ce'Nedra's.
We know that a dryad lives as long as her tree. Now, go check what is the symbol of Ce'Nedra's locket. The Tree in the Vale of Aldur, known to be immortal
The Untwist: Garion being the Rivan King. It's blatantly obvious to everyone except him, intentionally. It's where a lot of the humour in series comes from.
Wangst: Happens all the time to Garion in this series, complete with his Catch Phrase, which becomes a Running Gag: "Why me?" It's intentional, though — he's a teenager, and there's a lot of questions he has that Belgarath and Polgara simply won't answer. The other characters frequently tell him he needs to get over himself. In the sequel series, which takes place ten years later, he has. He even explains it to Zakath, when he starts in with the same questions, on being told that he'll join the group or die before the end of the year.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: An in-universe example: Belgarath, in the guise of a wandering storyteller, tells a ghost story about a group of greedy miners sneaking into Maragor and eaten by the ghosts therein. Everyone looks horrified until Faldor laughs and handwaves the story as a sermon against greed and fear. This ends up becoming Harsher in Hindsight when the protagonists actually travel to Maragor, which really is filled with the ghosts of the Marags, slaughtered by the Tolnedrans ages ago for the massive gold deposits there, though the excuse was the ritualized cannibalism they performed.
Vordai's purpose in the books is to be a sympathetic character who manages to break through Belgarath's Jerkass Fašade. The Arendish serf Lammer serves a similar purpose with respect to making Ce'Nedra and Lleldorin appreciate the plight of the serfs. And then there's the brain-damaged boy with the flute. Zedar is set up to appear as this to an extent, as his only real mistake was in daring to think he could outwit Torak, and the punishment for it was milennia of enslavement to the God's Compelling Voice and, at the end, eternal imprisonment in solid rock.
Zedar — period. Manipulated by both prophecies to serve their ends his reward for finding Errand/Eriond, not to mention allowing the light side to win the EVENT at the end of The Belgariad, (if he hadn't (in self defense) killed Durnik, Polgara would've submitted to Torak and Garion would've lost the fight), is eternal entombment in solid rock - and Durnik got better. The prequels give him lots of Out of CharacterKick the Dog moments to try and justify this but it still comes off as harsh, especially considering Belgarath, who entombs him, has done some seriously questionable things himself. It's also implied that he's little more than Torak's puppet - his will so totally overwhelmed by the insane evil god's that he wasn't in control of his own actions. None of that matters, Belgarath happily condemns him to an And I Must Scream fate without a qualm.