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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.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the books, Eragon has brown hair and eyes. In the film, he has blond hair and blue eyes.
- Anti-Magic: In Inheritance he becomes one of only three practitioners of this. 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 and their physical descriptions are similar, 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.
- Blue Is Heroic: He tends to be associated with the color blue; his dragon has blue scales and he later gets a blue sword that bursts into blue flames.
- 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. The bow gets broken in the second book.
- A Boy and His X: The relationship between Eragon and Saphira is the central focus of the books, especially since they're literally joined at the mind.
- Butt-Monkey: A recurring theme is that he tends to suffer a lot of injuries over the course of the books, although this is somewhat toned down by the third book. Lampshaded by Saphira, who grows more insistent over time that Eragon never leave her side for fear of what might happen without her protection.
- 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 - however, it is several times mentioned that Riders and dragons influence each other, so perhaps some of Saphira's bloodlust was rubbing off.
- 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.
- Cool Sword: Zar'roc, a longsword with a blood-red blade forged from indestructible metal. Later he forges his own blue sword, Brisingr.
- Death Is Such an Odd Thing: He is morbidly amused by death, expressing to Arya that he wonders who or what it is that determines that they get to live while others are dead.
- Did Not Get the Girl: In Inheritance, he and Arya decide that they can't be together, mostly due to their ages and responsibilities. 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.
- Et Tu, Brute?: His reaction when he learns Murtagh has become The Dragon to Galbatorix. Murtagh points out he was forced into it via torture and magic.
- Expy: Of Luke Skywalker, though it lessens in later books. A teenager living a simple life on a farm, raised by his uncle after his parents died/disappeared, who gets caught up in a war between rebels an an evil Empire after finding an important Macguffin accidentally sent to him by a princess. He finds out he's destined to become a member of a group of nearly-extinct magic-using guardians. He rescues the princess from earlier with help from a roguish Anti-Hero and loses his mentor/father figure in the process, then proves vital to saving the rebels when the Empire attacks their base. He then goes to seek out further training from another mentor after receiving a vision to do so, cuts his training short to help his friends, has to make himself a new Cool Sword after losing his Ancestral Weapon to The Dragon and finds out he is secretly related to a few characters, including a villain. Now, are we talking about Luke or Eragon?
- Fantastic Racism: He absolutely hates Urgals, to the point of arguing that they should be killed to the last child. He gets over this at the end of Eldest after meeting Nar Garzhvog.
- 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. In Inheritance, he's very much aware of Pride Before a Fall, and takes some impressive steps to avert it.
- 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. Oddly enough, this was a completely unintended effect that is presumably unique to his sword. He dropped it out of surprise the first time he did it by accident.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: He absorbs the elves' atheism while training with Oromis and never lets it go. So much so that when he comes face-to-face with the Top God of the Dwarven Pantheon, the best he can manage is polite skepticism.
- 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.
- 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. He also realizes, partially through watching Galbatorix's reign, that an immortal and powerful magic user has no place being king of subjects who are neither of those things. 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.
- Heroic Ambidexterity: In the first book, he learns to fight with his left hand while his right wrist is broken.
- Heroic Bastard: At first. He even introduces himself as Eragon Son of None. Averted when it turns out that Brom is his father, and he starts using the name Bromsson proudly.
- Hollywood Atheist: Glaedr's assertions on the subject are all it takes to make Eragon completely uncomfortable with the idea of religion. Saphira also influences him in this regard, mainly because she can't conceive of anything greater than a dragon. Eragon irritates enough people by constantly bringing this up that he learns to confine his thoughts on the matter to interior dialogues with Saphira.
- 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: Understandable since he began his journey as an uneducated farm boy with no combat experience. 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. Saphira's youth probably helps, as while Eragon's mind is past that kind of developmental stage, hers is well-suited to gleaning new information and actively supplementing Eragon's learning.
- 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.
- Meaningful Name:
- He shares his name with the first Dragon Rider, which Brom says can't be a coincidence. Eragon is the first of the new Dragon Riders.
- His name is also one letter off from "dragon", which Christopher Paolini stated was how he came up with the name.
- Men Don't Cry: Averted. He cried sixteen times in the first book.
- Moral Dissonance: He's very brutal in battle, and has moments of untoward viciousness.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Presumably after the first Eragon, who was the first Dragon Rider.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Eldunarí 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.
- World's Strongest Man: Effectively ends up as this at the end of the series, which he points out to Nasauda as part of the reason he needs to leave forever. Put simply, Eragon is now so powerful that he threatens the balance between the different peoples. With Galbatorix dead, theres no one single person who can challenge Eragon in the event he decides to take over. Considering he's one of the few people who knows the Name of Names, has the most mature of the two dragons active in the land, and has over 136 Eldunarí (and considering he gains access to those that Galbatorix had, this number can still grow by a tremendous amount), no one really manages to argue with his decision.
- You Are in Command Now: In Inheritance, he temporarily takes control of the Varden after Nasuada gets kidnapped.
- Youngest Child Wins: He's the younger of his mother's sons and got the better deal. While Murtagh is technically the better fighter, his life has been a near-constant Trauma Conga Line (abusive father, dead mother, raised in a Decadent Court, forced to run away from home, mistrusted by everyone for his parentage, gets Forced into Evil and so on). Eragon, in comparison, had a happy and peaceful upbringing with his loving aunt and uncle, becomes a champion of the Varden and is widely viewed as a hero for toppling Galbatorix (although he also experiences the trauma of fighting in a war, needing to ask Arya for advice on how to cope with it). He ends the series setting out to rebuild the Dragon Riders, while Murtagh ends it going into exile to deal with his trauma.
Eragon's cousin, initially a farmboy. 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.
Sloan's daughter, and Roran's girlfriend and later wife.
- Arranged Marriage: Not to anyone specific, but she mentions to Roran that her father is pressuring her to marry someone he approves of.
- Damsel in Distress: She is kidnapped by the Ra'zac in Eldest. Thankfully she doesn't seem to have endured the horrific tortures that Arya and Nasuada endure during their captivities.
- Dating What Daddy Hates: She gets engaged to Roran behind her father's back. He is not happy when he finds out. Roran himself isn't really a bad guy and treats Katrina well, but he isn't able to provide for her financially and Sloan also has a beef with his family, which worsens after Carvahall gets attacked.
- Did They or Didn't They?: It's implied she may have slept with Roran in Eldest. Later confirmed when she is pregnant in the next book.
- Happily Married: To Roran as of Brisingr.
- Missing Mom: Her mother died in an accident in the Spine when she was a baby, which causes her father to be overprotective of her.
- My Girl Back Home: For Roran when he joins the Varden.
- Nice Girl: She's generally a sweet girl with no glaring negative traits.
- Satellite Love Interest: To Roran; pretty much her entire character revolves around her relationship with him.
- Secret Relationship: She's initially in one with Roran because Sloan wouldn't approve; he hopes that if he can get a good job to provide for her, then Sloan will give them his blessing to marry.
- Teen Pregnancy: She's revealed to be a few months pregnant in Brisingr and would be seventeen, at the most.
- What the Hell, Hero?: She is furious at Nasuada for sentencing Roran to be whipped fifty times for insubordination, even though he did it to ensure the Varden won. She only softens towards her when Nasuada promotes Roran to commander for his feats.
Carvahall's butcher, and Katrina's father.
- Anti-Villain: He may be a self-centered Jerkass, but he at least is shown to care about his daughter.
- Blood Knight: When he actually gets in a fight, he's clearly enjoying himself as shown when he finds himself facing a soldier attacking Carvahall, he laughingly asks "Shall I gut and hamstring you?"
- Eye Scream: The Ra'zac pecked out his eyes. Eragon tells him that if he rehabilitates himself, the elves will heal him.
- FaceHeel Turn: He betrays Carvahall to the Ra'zac.
- Jerkass: He's antagonistic towards Eragon and Roran, to the point of selling out the village to the Empire in exchange for his daughter's safety. The Ra'zac screw him over.
- Knight Templar Parent: He was willing to sell out his fellow villagers to the Empire to protect his daughter. It backfired horribly.
- 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: He does not want anything to hurt his daughter, and is willing to kill people to make sure this doesn't happen.
"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."
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He's terrified of the Spine mountain range, mostly because his wife fell to her death in the mountains.
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 Eldunarí 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.
- Character Tics: Brom had a couple strange habits while young, like knocking on a door frame while entering/exiting a room.
- Constantly Curious: Oromis says that Brom was this way when he was young.
- Cool Old Guy: He's far older than he looks, but still possesses supernatural powers from when he was a Dragon Rider.
- 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.
- Deathbed Confession: His status as a Rider is not revealed until he is dying.
- Despair Event Horizon: At first, he's so driven to get revenge on Morzan that he doesn't realized he's crossed it. Once he's killed Morzan, he spends the rest of his life consumed by grief.
- Dragon Rider: He is one of the last true Dragon Riders of the old generation.
- Expy: He's basically Obi-Wan Kenobi; a former Dragon Rider/Jedi who was best buds with Morzan/Anakin until he betrayed them, goes into hiding in a backwater town to watch over Eragon/Luke where he's regarded as an oddity, introduces Eragon/Luke to the ways of the Dragon Rider/Jedi, then dies protecting him as they're trying to rescue a princess shortly before the climax. One of the only major differences is that it turns out Brom is Eragon's real father after having an affair with his late mother; funnily enough, in Revenge of the Sith it's implied via subtext that Anakin thinks Obi-Wan and Padmé were having an affair, though this isn't actually the case.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He sacrifices himself saving Eragon from the Ra'zac.
- Hurting Hero: The poor guy is carrying a lot of baggage from his time as a Dragon Rider. He's driven against Galbatorix almost entirely out of spite, having lost his resolve decades before the story starts.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: It turns out that he's Eragon's biological father, though it's not revealed until long after he's dead and buried; Brom knew Eragon was his son all along, but only confided in Saphira and told her not tell Eragon until the time was right.
- Magic Knight: Brom is a former Dragon Rider, and thus a skilled swordsman as well as a magic-user.
- The Mentor: He travels with Eragon while teaching him magic and swordplay. Plus how to read.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Ends up getting killed by the Ra'zac.
- Off Screen Moment Of Awesome: He's personally responsible for the deaths of more than half of the Forsworn. He killed three of them in single combat. Without a dragon.
- Old Master: An elder Dragon Rider who serves as Eragon's first teacher in swordsmanship and magic.
- 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.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: He kills Morzan to avenge his dragon, but this ends the days of the Dragon Riders and he comes to Eragon's village with the shame of it.
- Weak, but Skilled: Brom believed in the value of intelligence over strength and typically beat opponents because he was smarter than them.
- 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 bears no ill will towards Brom for the action, given that his father was very abusive (Murtagh's scar, for instance, comes a sword blow his father gave him) and acknowledges that Morzan fully deserved to die.
The leader of the Varden.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The leader of the Varden and, from what we're shown, the most capable fighter among them by far.
- Badass Beard: A short goatee. Especially noteworthy, as facial hair of any kind is said to be rare amongst his people.
- Badass Normal: We mostly get impressions of his fighting ability secondhand, but he very notably came close to killing Durza, a feat which is said to be all but impossible for an ordinary human.
- Bald, Black Leader Guy: He comes from Alagaesia's cognate of Africa, and was the leader of the Varden.
- Bald of Awesome: He was bald, but a competent and well-loved leader.
- Black Dude Dies First: Not the first death in the series, but the first death in the second book.
- Defector from Decadence: A former vassal of one of the Forsworn before breaking his magical bonds and joining the Varden..
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: A sudden Urgal ambush takes him out. He goes out swinging, though, killing all of his attackers before he dies.
- Rebel Leader: He was the leader of the Varden.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: He dies at the beginning of the second book.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Unceremoniously killed off after only being around for the last act of the first book.
Ajihad's daughter, heir, and eventual successor.
- Action Girl: She's constantly underestimated because she's a teenage girl, only to constantly prove that she's got the nerve of a hardened battle commander and the skill to back it up.
- Badass Normal: Not a mage, not a Dragon Rider, just a normal human girl who kicks a lot of ass.
- Dating Catwoman: Her feelings for Murtagh, though they both realize they can't act on them.
- Damsel in Distress: In the fourth book she is captured by Galbatorix.
- The Determinator: Demonstrated in the Trial of the Long Knives.
- Lady of War: She is both elegant and fierce, which she proves in single-handedly devising a way to up the Varden's finances and by completing the Trial of the Long Knives.
- Made of Iron: In order to maintain her leadership position, she participated in and won The Trial of the Long Knives, a competition requiring opponents to cut their arms with knives until one of them can no longer continue. Later, with Murtagh's help, she is able to avoid breaking under torture while imprisoned by Galbatorix.
- 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: She's the second leader of the Varden.
- 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.
- The Stoic: In public she keeps her emotions hidden.
- 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.
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.
- Cousin Oliver: A rare sinster example.
- Creepy Child: She's eerie and goes out of her way to creep people out.
- 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: She's developed a morose sense of humor as a result of her curse.
- The Empath: She can sense the pain of others as though she herself was experiencing it, and trying to suppress it makes her ill.
- Facial Markings: She has 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: She's acerbic towards everyone and not afraid to use her powers to manipulate people into giving her what she wants.
- Little Miss Badass: She may only look like a child, but she can handle herself in a fight by literally talking her enemies into surrendering.
- Little Miss Snarker: Despite her childlike appearance she has a macabre sense of humour and isn't afraid to verbally lambaste people who annoy her.
- Manipulative Bastard: She not above using her powers to sense what causes people emotional pain, then using it to blackmail them.
- Mark of the Supernatural: Her violet eyes and the silver mark on her forehead signify her mystical nature.
- 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.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Elva is left a sobbing wreck after Eragon rips into her over the fact that her refusal to help them scout a secret tunnel into Dras-Leona got one of his elven guards, Wyrden, killed by a booby trap in the tunnel and nearly got him and Arya torn apart by Ra'zac hatchlings. Elva is completely broken when Eragon bluntly tells her Wyrden's blood is on her hands, since her abilities could have forewarned them of the trap.
- "No. Just... No" Reaction: Her reaction when Nasuada tries to convince her to keep her curse for the good of the Varden.
- Non-Indicative Name: She is human.
- No-Sell: The strategy proposed in the earlier books was 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.
- Super Empowering: Eragon used the ancient language to bless her; her powers came from a grammatical error in the phrasing he used.
- Supernatural Is Purple: She has purple eyes, which emphasize her mystical nature.
- Took a Level in Badass: Goes from a defenseless baby to a Creepy Child with empathetic powers in the span of a few months.
- Vocal Dissonance: She has the voice of an adult (the voice of an adult's pain and experience), although it's implied this eventually goes away.
- 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: As a result of her curse, she has the mentality of a world-weary and somewhat nihilistic adult.
- Younger Than They Look: She's technically a baby, though her curse caused her to age up.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Invoked by her against Eragon, when she tells him that Galbatorix would approve of his actions.
The king of Surda and a supporter of the Varden.
- Cynicism Catalyst: In Inheritance, the death of one of his childhood friends at the hands of an Imperial civilian motivated by hatred of the Varden's alliance with the Urgals makes Oriin a lot harder and colder.
- 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.
- Honor Before Reason: In Inheritance, King Orrin 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.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- He raises the issue that the Varden's alliance with the Urgals is doing more harm than good. The age-old hatred and distrust of Urgals is allowing Galbatorix to frame the Varden in a negative light and Imperial cities choose to fight to the bitter end rather than surrender to forces allied with what they see as monsters, so Orrin has a point.
- He's also got a point that Nasauda is frequently excluding him from meetings and withholding information that he has a right to know.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Played with. He leads his subjects in battle, but also has a tendency to shirk his duties as king because he'd rather be studying natural philosophy.
- Science Hero: He tries for this, claiming that his experiments have the potential to be useful against the Empire. However, none of his tinkering has any apparent practical application; he's just looking for an excuse to slack off.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Inheritance the stress of war causes him to become increasingly dissatisfied with and antagonistic towards the Varden.
- Warrior Prince: Not by choice, since he loathes war and was reluctant to join forces with the Varden. Once he does take to the field, however, he acquits himself extremely well as a battle commander.
Two bald magicians who have served the Varden for many years. They are actually spies for the Empire, and later turn on their former comrades.
- Adapted Out: They don't appear in the film proper, but appear in deleted scenes.
- Ax-Crazy: When Eragon sees them on the side of Galbatorix in Eldest, they seem to get a kick out of gleefully killing those they once fought alongside.
- Bald of Evil: Both of them are bald and malicious. It later turns out they were spies for the Empire.
- Black Magic: Like most of the Emperor's servants, they're particularly skilled in Dark Magic.
- Character Death: They're both beaten to death by Roran.
- Creepy Twins: They're twins, and they're exceedingly creepy.
- The Dividual: Absolutely nothing distinguishes one twin from the other, to the point that it's explicitly stated that they don't even have names.
- Double Agent: They're actually Imperial magicians working undercover.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: They're given the task of interrogating people, and they make sure to cause as much discomfort as possible.
- Evil Genius: To Galbatorix, as they appear to be his chief magicians.
- Jerkass: Even when they're ostensibly on the side of good, they're complete assholes to everyone who will let them get away with it.
- Manipulative Bastard: No one in the Varden is any the wiser about their true loyalties. They get so far into the organization they their in charge of all of the group's magic users and are permitted to invade the minds of anyone they wish.
- Mind Probe: They are tasked with interrogating prisoners by reading their minds.
- Mind Rape: When interrogating people, they go out of their way to cause discomfort and pain.
- The Mole: They're spies for the Empire.
- No Name Given: They're just "the Twins" because, bizarrely enough, they have no individual name (nor collective one, duh).
- Power Levels: Stronger than most magicians in the Varden and the Empire, but still not as strong as Eragon, Arya, Murtagh, or one of the other major players in the setting.
- Single-Minded Twins: They act as though they were one person.
- Small Name, Big Ego: They're a pair of relatively minor magicians, but from the way they act, you'd think they were God's gift to magic.
- Smug Snake: They treat Eragon with contempt, despite the fact that he's already more skilled with magic than they are when he shows up.
- Synchronization The mirror each other's movements exactly.
- Token Evil Teammate: Within the Varden. They later reveal their true colors and allegiance to the Empire.
- Twin Telepathy: Their appears to be some kind of mental link between the two of them, such that when one dies, it seriously pains the other.
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: Played straight amongst the Varden, but averted amongst the general populace; 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.
- Action Bomb: At the climax of the series, he casts a spell that makes him go boom. It converts his entire mass into energy, given that the direct translation of the spell is "be not" and 200+ pounds of supervillain has to go somewhere, which equals a five kiloton detonation.
- 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.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Between being stabbed in the gut by Eragon and being besieged by all the bad feelings he caused, he casts a self-destruct spell rather than fall in battle.
- Big Bad: His actions and desire for power drive the main conflict of the series and caused most of the backstory as well.
- The Chessmaster: His war with the Varden has mostly been a plan to manuovre them into a vulnerable position.
- Combat Pragmatist: The ends justify the means in his book. Not only does he use every dirty trick in the book against the Varden, but the whole reason he's king in the first place is because he doesn't mind hitting below the belt in a fight.
- Death Seeker: In his backstory, Galbatorix traveled months to return to the Dragon Riders after his dragon was killed and would blindly attack any creature he came across, but was too skilled to be defeated and became so terrifying that all fled from him.
- Dragon Rider: A Rider who turned against the rest.
- Dystopia Is Hard: We rarely see him because he's so busy doing boring things like protecting the realm's currency and keeping magicians under control. He could make his life easier by loosening his grip over the Empire, but he's too much of a megalomaniac to even consider this.
- The Emperor: He rules over most of the western lands with an iron fist.
- Evil Is Hammy: In the movie. In the books, when he finally shows his face, he moves back and forth between this and Cold Ham.
- Evil Overlord: He established his empire by force.
- 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.
- Faux Affably Evil: According to Murtagh, he's extremely suave, charismatic, and alluring when he wants to be, but it merely serves to barely hide his true nature, which is dangerously insane and volatile.
- The Ghost: Despite being the Big Bad, he doesn't appear in person until Inheritance.
- Groin Attack: This is how he killed Vrael, the last leader of the Dragon Riders. Kicked him in the crotch, then beheaded him.
- Immortality: Due to being a Dragon Rider, he is immune to aging and disease.
- Immortal Ruler: It's cited as one of the reasons why the elves decided to actively rebel against him. They couldn't just wait for him to die like other tyrants; as a Rider, he is immune to anything outside of being killed in battle or poison.
- Kick the Dog:
- One of his long list of achievements is 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.
- He heavily tortured Murtagh both mentally and physically. Nasuada believes Murtagh's tortures to be worse than her own.
- Ordered an entire village destroyed and its population massacred just because it was the closest settlement to the site of an ambush of his troops, and there were rumours (nothing concrete) that the villagers had supplied the rebels.
- Light Is Not Good: When finally confronted, 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.
- Magic Knight: Like all Dragon Riders, he's a skilled swordsman and magic-user.
- Meaningful Name: His name means "big king" in Welsh.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Galbatorix is ultimately defeated when Eragon and the Eldunarí 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.
- The Paragon Always Rebels: As a young Dragon Rider, he was accomplished in all manners of using spells and combat, making him prideful and arrogant. This, combined with the loss of his dragon and convincing himself that the Riders had caused her death, led to the fall of the Riders.
- 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.
- Secret Keeper: He was one of the few among the Broddring Empire who knew of Murtaugh's existence.
- Sorcerous Overlord: He's a powerful Dragon Rider who rules over the Broddring Empire.
- Taking You with Me: He attempts to kill his enemies with a Fantastic Nuke spell at the end.
- 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.
- Unseen No More: He's frequently mentioned, but he never makes an appearance until the end of the final book.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: His favourite argument to persuade people to obey him.
- Villainous BSoD: He suffers a mental breakdown after being magically forced to experience all the pain and grief caused by actions.
- Villainous Valor: Even when he's surrounded and on the brink of defeat by Varden forces, he pulls a Taking You with Me rather than surrender.
- Visionary Villain: Galbatorix. He has grand plans for ushering Alagaesia into an era of peace and prosperity. Too bad he uses such brutal means to achieve his ends...
- 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 belief that Nasuada comes to share. A good intention to start from, but...
- Weak Sauce Weakness: He 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: On the one hand, his insanity comes from the loss of his dragon, which weakened him considerably. On the other hand, he wouldn't have snapped as hard as he did had he not fallen from the pinnacle of power that he did, and conslidating his power over the continent has only continued to erode his sanity.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: This is implied to be why Galbatorix allied with the Urgals in Book I: when Eragon later questions why he would ally with the creatures who killed his beloved first dragon, Oromis speculates that Galbatorix probably intended to use the Urgals to destroy his enemies like the dwarves and elves, then annihilate the Urgals when they'd broken themselves fighting for him.
The first of the Forsworn and Galbatorix's right-hand man before the story started.
- Abusive Parents: He threw his sword at Murtaugh's back, leaving him permanently scarred.
- The Alcoholic: Had a bit of a drinking problem and was drunk when he threw his sword at Murtaugh.
- Bling of War: Known for wearing very shiny armor, as if he wanted people to know who and where he was.
- Broken Pedestal: For Brom. Brom looked up to him when they were Oromis' students and was angrier than most when Morzan turned traitor.
- The Bully: According to Oromis, Morzan mistreated Brom in all sorts of ways while under his tutelege.
- Cool Sword: He was the first wielder of Zar'roc.
- Didn't Think This Through: Oromis mentions that while he could devise the most cunning of spells, he would leave a crucial detail out. He also never considered that his abusive treatment of Selena and their son might cause her to fall out of love with him and be willing to start undermining him.
- The Dragon: He was Galbatorix's first right-hand man.
- Dragon Rider: He rode an unnamable dragon; both were killed in Brom's final duel with Morzan.
- Dumb Muscle: He's described as being "strong in body, but weak of mind".
- Evil Laugh: Sounded like he was in pain whenever he laughed.
- Eviler Than Thou: Discussed in his article on The Wiki; it's suggested that Morzan was more evil than Galbatorix because he chose evil of his own volition rather than being driven mad by grief like Galbatorix was.
- FaceHeel Turn: Was persuaded to turn to Galbatorix's side very early on in the latter's quest for power.
- Fingore: He lost the tip of one of his fingers at one point.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Icy Blue Eye, that is; he had Mismatched Eyes, with one eye being blue and the other black, and he had the cold and ruthless personality to match.
- Jerkass: Even before joining Galbatorix he wasn't a nice guy by any means, constantly bullying Brom.
- Luke, I Might Be Your Father: Near the end of Eldest, Murtaugh reveals that he (Murtaugh) and Eragon have the same mother Selena, suggesting that Morzan is Eragon's father, a revelation so devastating that Eragon refers to himself as "Son of None" for most of the third book. Plus, given that one of the Inheritance Cycle's primary criticisms is that it's so derivative of Star Wars, this could have well been the case until The Reveal late in the third book that Brom was Eragon's father.
- Posthumous Character: He's been dead for some fifteen years by the start of the books.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Galbatorix says he strongly resembles Murtaugh, his son.
An Imperial general known for his cunning and prowess in battle.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Lord Barst. Justified because Galbatorix magically increased his asskicking powers due to his authority.
- Carry a Big Stick: He wields a hefty mace in combat, and kills Queen Islanzadí by breaking her neck with it.
- Genius Bruiser: In addition to his immense battle prowess, he's known as one of Galbatorix's most cunning generals.
- Hero Killer: In his case, he kills the elf queen.
- The Juggernaut: It takes literally hundreds of soldiers just to slow him down. And even then, they have to use siege engines and the combined power of some of the Varden's heaviest heroes to bring him down.
- One-Man Army: The assault on the imperial capital grinds to a halt because Barst is destroying the attacking army all by himself.
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.
- Ambiguously Human: There's more textual evidence suggesting she isn't human than is otherwise.
- Badass Bookworm: Skilled with magic and fighting.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's fairly polite, if brutally honest, but perfectly willing to poison the Empire's soldiers.
- Blade on a Stick: Also a 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: She's highly eccentric, but that augments her prowess and adds to her mystique.
- Combat Pragmatist: She's not above poisoning the enemy's food supply.
- Delighting in Riddles: In Inheritance, she basically admits that she's being cryptic for the sake of being cryptic:
"Really, you ought to pay better attention to whats going on around you. Otherwise, someones liable to stick a knife in you when youre not looking. And then whom would I exchange cryptic remarks with? Go on, ask me another question. Im rather enjoying this game."
- 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: Her occupation when Eragon first meets her. She still dabbles in it later on in the series.
- 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.
- Minored in Ass-Kicking: She's a capable physical fighter if need be.
- Older Than They Look: She's hinted to be far older than she looks.
- Plucky Comic Relief: One of her major roles is to lighten the mood with her eccentricity.
- 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.
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. He's later revealed to be Morzan's son, first and last of the Forsworn, and the destined partner of the red dragon egg still in Galbatorix's possession.
- Abusive Parents: His father was 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, as it belonged to his father.
- Anti-Hero: His willingness to kill is a sharp contrast with Eragon in the first book.
- Anti-Magic: The second to figure it out, after Galbatorix. He later teaches it to Eragon in a moment of camaraderie.
- Anti-Villain: As Galbatorix's vassal, Murtagh doesn't necessarily want to commit atrocities, but being sworn into the king's service through magic leaves him little choice.
- Badass Normal: He's Eragon's equal in swordfighting (and later proves 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.
- Combat Pragmatist: In combat, Murtagh goes straight for the kill, which is a key reason why he's more deadly than Eragon.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Grew up with Morzan as his father and ended up running away from home.
- 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.
- Distressed Dude: In Eldest, he is kidnapped and taken to Galbatorix, who his True Name to enslave him. He doesn't actually manage to break free until the third act of Inheritance.
- The Dragon: After his FaceHeel Turn he becomes Galbatorix's right hand.
- Dragon Rider: He bonds with a male red dragon named Thorn.
- Drowning My Sorrows: It's implied he's taken to doing this in Inheritance, as Nasuada mentions that when he comes to visit her, he's sometimes drunk and confides in her about his Dark and Troubled Past.
- FaceHeel 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.
- Forced into Evil: Galbatorix uses his and Thorn's True Names to force him to swear an oath of loyalty to him. It's later also implied that Galbatorix threatened to harm Thorn unless he caved. The result leaves little choice but to serve Galbatorix. In some moments, he uses use loopholes in Galbatorix's orders to get out of committing villainy. When he manages to change his True Name he is quick to turn on Galbatorix and helps the protagonists to defeat him.
- Generation Xerox: Eragon claims he's "become his father" when he ends up as Galbatorix's lieutenant, but unlike Morzan Murtagh isn't doing so willingly and switches sides the moment he's able to. He takes after his mother quite a bit though; both reluctantly served the Empire, got redeemed by love, managed to change their True Names and promptly took advantage of this to screw over the Empire.
- 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.
- Good All Along: He never actually does turn to villany, he's just resigned himself to being Galbatorix's slave because he doesn't see any way out. Once an opportunity to get free presents itself, he takes it.
- Hero Killer: He's able to defeat several powerful characters during his tenure as Galbatorix's servant, though this is later revealed to be due to the Eldunarí (gem stones that contain the souls of deceased dragons and greatly enhance power) that Galbatorix gives him to use.
- In the Blood: The reason the Varden don't trust him is because he's the son of an evil Dragon Rider. He does end up becoming Galbatorix's right-hand man, but not by choice and he's never truly evil.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: He doesn't warn the Twins Roran is about to kill them from behind, in retaliation for when they took him captive to take to Galbatorix.
- King Incognito: Being Morzan's son, he's technically the highest ranking nobleman in the country short of Galbatorix himself. Unfortunately, that status comes with being a virtual slave to the king, so he's on the run from it.
- Like Father, Unlike Son: Despite their physical resemblance and the claims of some other characters that they're similar, Murtagh isn't overtly cruel like Morzan.
- Lima Syndrome: He casts spells that prevent Nasuada from feeling pain during her torture while in Galbatorix's prison. It's strongly indicated his growing affection for her helps him to change his True Name and make a HeelFace Turn.
- Long Lost Sibling: Neither of them knew they had a sibling. He has the same mother as Eragon. While they initially believe that they share the same father as well, it turns out they don't.
- 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.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Very reluctantly agrees to go to the Varden with Eragon, Saphira, and Arya in order to get the antidote for Arya's poisoning.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Eldunarí are the only thing that allows him to physically match Eragon, and his were taken from rather young dragons.
- Pragmatic Hero: He's pragmatic to the point of ruthlessness, which causes a bit of tension between him and Eragon when Murtagh callously executes a defenseless enemy.
- 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.
- Redemption Earns Life: He goes into self-imposed exile after his HeelFace Turn.
- Scars Are Forever: Has a huge one on his back where his father threw his sword at him when he was three.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
- In his backstory, upon learning just how Ax-Crazy Galbatorix really is, he refused to serve him and fled the capital. Eragon and co meet him while he's on the run.
- At the end of Inheritance, he effectively says this to the Empire, the Varden, and the whole continent.
- Shoot the Dog: He will not hesitate to, initially contrasting him with Eragon until the latter's Character Development.
- Sins of Our Fathers: He is treated with suspicion and derision by the Varden for being the son of Morzan, even though by his own admission he despised his father and was abused by him.
- Spanner in the Works: Managed to learn the Name of Magic, which ended up giving Eragon an opening.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: By the end of the series he has this dynamic with Nasuada, but unfortunately Murtagh must leave as he is technically a war criminal.
- Stronger Sibling: Even at the end of the story, Eragon believes him to be a better fighter.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Described as such.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: As a villain he treats Eragon with much more contempt.
- Tragic Villain: He's forced into serving the Empire and is filled with self-loathing over it, especially as he had been doing everything he could to avoid having to serve Galbatorix in the first place.
- Troubled, but Cute: He's said to be "strikingly handsome" and has a fair amount of emotional baggage and unresolved personal issues.
- The Unfavorite: Upon learning that he and Eragon have the same mother, Murtagh thinks that Selena liked Eragon better because it was him she took away to be raised in a safe and loving home by Garrow and his family, while Murtagh was left stuck with an abusive father and Galbatorix, who attempted to corrupt him. However, given that Morzan rarely let Selena see Murtagh without his permission and it was his birth that reportedly changed her for the better, it's clear how this wasn't the true: when Selena found out who Brom truly was and fell in love with him, she had the chance to escape with him, but refused to do so immediatly, in part because she wanted to redeem her actions as Morzan's Hand by helping the Varden, but especially because she refused to leave Murtagh behind; the reason Murtagh was not saved as well was only because neither Serena nor Brom had the chance to do so in time.
- Walking the Earth: His ultimate fate. He and Thorn leave for an unknown destination, resolving that they might return when the world will appear as a less hateful place to them.
A scholar and friend of Brom's.
- Adapted Out: He was cut out of the film.
- Badass Bookworm: He's a scholar, but can fight and has a rapier.
- Hidden Depths: The end of Eldest reveals he knows the Ancient Language.
- MayDecember Romance: His wife's age is not known, but at least, she looks much younger than him.
- Out of Focus: After Eldest, he falls out of focus as a supporting character.
- Retired Badass: He's had his share of adventures with Brom before the series started.
- Royal Rapier: His signature weapon, which he stands by despite Brom deriding it.
- The Smart Guy: He's a merchant with a keen eye for business, though he hit a spell of bad luck.
A reclusive hermit who lives and studies magic at a deserted elven outpost. Angela remembers him as her mentor.
- 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: Lives by himself in the middle of the plains.
- 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: Of magic, which he taught to Angela.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: Eragon encounters him while travelling. The encounter has no bearing on the plot other than a bit of comic relief.
- Wizard Beard: A particularly long and impressive one.
Eragon's mother, sister to his uncle Garrow and aunt to Roran. She left Eragon with her brother shortly after he was born and disappeared, never to be heard from again. It's later revealed she was Morzan's wife and personal spy and assassin, known as the Black Hand, before switching allegiance to Varden, and Murtagh's mother as well.
- Adult Fear: It's strongly indicated that Morzan used Murtagh to control Selena after her love for him faded; he only rarely let her see her son and may have threatened to harm him unless she obeyed him.
- Aerith and Bob: Out of all her family members, she has the most normal-sounding name (for comparison, her brother's name is Garrow, her nephew's name is Roran and her son's name is Eragon).
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: She became infatuated with Morzan when he visited Carvahall and left with him, seeing him as a chance to get away from her boring life as a farmer. However, she started to go off him when she realized just how bad he could be.
- Awful Wedded Life: Her marriage to Morzan became increasingly unbearable, especially after their son was born. Her husband took him away from her shortly after his birth and only rarely let her see him, using him to control her. It's implied he did other things to control her as well and her love for him was soon eroded, though he was apparently unaware of this.
- Connected All Along: It's revealed at the end of Eldest that she is Murtagh's mother as well as Eragon's, and was Morzan's wife. Brisingr reveals that she was also Brom's lover.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: It turns out she left Eragon with his aunt and uncle because she needed to return home to be with Murtagh and to prevent Morzan from growing suspicious of her whereabouts. She presumably intended to come back for Eragon, but she fell deathly ill on the road home and died a few weeks later.
- Dark Action Girl: She was reportedly well-trained in combat and described as wearing bracers on her arms and carrying blades on her waist.
- Defecting for Love: After falling in love with her, Brom revealed his true identity to Selena. Having fallen for him too, Selena chose to ally herself with the Varden and worked as one of their spies.
- Deliver Us from Evil: It's believed by a few characters that the birth of her son Murtagh was the catalyst for her becoming a kinder and more moral person.
- Double Agent: She was Morzan's spy until she secretly switched sides and began spying on him for the Varden.
- The Dreaded: She had quite a fearsome reputation amongst the Varden; Jeod even claims he was more afraid of her than Morzan.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: She went from a farmer's daughter living a simple life in Carvahall to one of Morzan's most feared and deadly agents and a formidable mage.
- HeelFace Turn: She eventually turned against Morzan and secretly began feeding top secret intel about him and the Empire to the Varden.
- High-HeelFace Turn: She was the only prominent female villain allied with the Forsworn and the only one who turned good.
- The Lost Lenore: She's revealed to be this for Brom.
- Love Makes You Evil: She became Morzan's Black Hand in order to prove her love and devotion to him.
- Love Redeems: Giving birth to her son Murtagh reportedly triggered a Heel Realization in her and she began to see the error of her ways and turn against Morzan. After falling in love with Brom, her True Name changed and she made a full HeelFace Turn, spying on Morzan for the Varden.
- My Secret Pregnancy: Both her pregnancies were this. When he learned she was pregnant with Murtagh, Morzan had Selena spirited away to his castle to give birth in secret and then gave Murtagh to nursemaids so his enemies could never use his son against him. Upon learning she was pregnant with Eragon, who was fathered by Brom, Selena secretly returned to Carvahall to give birth and gave Eragon to her brother and sister-in-law to raise.
- Parental Abandonment: She left Eragon with his uncle Garrow and aunt Marian soon after he was born for unknown reasons and left, never to return. It later turns out that she did this to protect him from the Empire and died before she ever had a chance to come back.
- Parental Favoritism: Upon learning that Eragon is his brother, Murtagh comes to believe that Selena liked Eragon better because she took him away and let him grow up in a warm and loving home with her family, while he was left with his abusive father Morzan and the manipulative Galbatorix. However, given that Selena had only limited access to Murtagh thanks to Morzan and that it's believed it was in fact Murtagh's birth that saw her start to become a better person, it's unclear how true this is.
- Posthumous Character: It's presumed she is dead after being absent from Carvahall for fifteen years and it's later confirmed she died not long after Eragon was born.
- The Red Baron: During her tenure as Morzan's spy and assassin, she was known as the Black Hand.
- Secret Relationship: She had one with Brom, resulting in her falling pregnant with Eragon.
- Sympathetic Adulterer: She was still married to Morzan when she had a relationship with Brom. Given that this is Morzan, and that it's implied he was abusive to her — and was definitely abusive to their son — she's presented sympathetically.
- Take Care of the Kids: The last thing she told Garrow was to look after her son.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Brom and Jeod's descriptions of her character are quite different, with Brom describing her as a very compassionate and dignified woman who always helped those less fortunate, while Jeod describes her as being "utterly ruthless, devoid of either pity or compassion". Brom didn't meet Selena until after she'd given birth to Murtagh, at which point she had begun to despise Morzan and her relationship with Brom changed her further, so we can assume she developed into a much kinder and more selfless person.
- Unholy Matrimony: She was Happily Married to Morzan and was his loyal right-hand woman... for a time.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: She ended up falling in love with Brom and had a HeelFace Turn after learning he was a former Dragon Rider and the leader of the Varden.
- Walking Spoiler: Her character is very spoiler-heavy in regards to certain revelations about Eragon and Murtagh.
Teenage girl and Woman
A wandering teenage girl and woman whom Eragon blesses.
- The Cameo: They're briefly seen in Inheritance at the battle, unharmed. The blessing really worked.
- Hero of Another Story: Angela is reading their fortune when Eragon meets them. She calls them "pilgrims on their own quest", but refuses to elaborate any further.
- No Name Given: They choose not to give their names, as names have power.
As a Whole
Ancient, powerful and nearly-extinct winged reptiles.
- The Ageless: Dragons never die of old age, and can live potentially forever if they aren't killed.
- Breath Weapon: They can breathe fire.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The typical fantasy version — four-legged, bat-winged, highly intelligent fire-breathing reptiles. They can perform unpredictable and potent magical feats in times of high emotion. Bonded dragons can psychically talk to their partners. Wild dragons are intelligent, but have no civilization. Their eggs normally remain dormant until conditions are favorable for hatching, but the ones given to the Riders are enchanted so that they only hatch when they contact the person who they will bond with. A bonded dragon becomes gentler and more civilized, even as the rider becomes more fierce. They also have a type of crystalline Soul Jar in their chests.
- Pride: Dragons tend to be incredibly arrogant, both in terms of physical vanity and in regards to seeing themselves as better than other beings.
- Soul Jar: Dragons naturally grow a crystalline organ, named an Eldunarí, within their chests. If this organ is regurgitated while the dragon is alive, then when they die their consciousness becomes stored within it, allowing them to live on after their bodily death.
- Stronger with Age: Dragons never enter decrepitude, instead growing stronger and bigger as they age — and since they live until they're killed, they can grow very big and very strong.
- That's No Moon!: The oldest dragons grew so large that they could be mistaken for hills.
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.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: From our perspective, she's a Sociopathic Hero, but that's largely because she's a predatory beast who happens to have human intelligence. What human morality she does have is gleaned from Eragon's mind.
- Blue Is Heroic: She has blue eyes and scales, and is bonded to The Hero, Eragon.
- Bond Creature: She is mystically connected to Eragon.
- Breath Weapon: Like all dragons, she can spit a jet of magical fire.
- 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: She has an intellect that matches humans, but is in every other way a large carnivorous animal.
- Mama Bear: She often flies into a rage whenever Eragon is hurt or in danger.
- MayflyDecember Romance: She has a one-sided attraction to Glaedr, who is over 800 years older than her.
- Meaningful Name: Her name sounds rather like "sapphire" and she has blue scales.
- Not Good with Rejection: She attacks Glaedr when he rejects her romantically, though she feels bad later.
- Our Dragons Are Different: She's symbiotically bonded to a human, and has random bursts of reality-warping magic.
- 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: She's sentient and serves as Eragon's mount.
- Satellite Character: She's mostly this to Eragon; the only subplot she has that doesn't directly involve or revolve around her rider is her ill-fated infatuation with Glaedr.
- Smug Super: Knows she's one of the most powerful creatures on the continent and isn't afraid to remind people about it. About the only time she shows worry for herself in a fight is against another dragon.
- 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 Eldunarí, like that of all dragons, although it was never used.
- Teacher/Student Romance: She develops a one-sided crush on Glaedr almost immediately after meeting him. He never return her affections, though.
- Telepathy: Her main form of communication.
A red dragon bonded to Murtagh.
- Anti-Villain: In the same way as Murtagh. He was born in Galbatorix's castle and both he and Murtagh are forced to serve Galby through magic and torture, even though they hate it.
- Butt-Monkey: A non-humourous example, as Eragon notes. Of the major characters, Thorn is likely more The Woobie than anyone else. It is noted that Galbatorix uses magic to make him grow much more rapidly than is natural, giving him the body of a mature dragon while his mind is still that of a hatchling.
- 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. Compared to Saphira, however, he's slower and less graceful, but has thicker, stronger limbs.
- Meaningful Name: Murtagh names him Thorn as he will "be a thorn in the side of all [their] enemies". He certainly proves to be this for the Varden.
- Only Friend: To Murtagh after he's Forced into Evil. Murtagh clearly loves Thorn and only submitted to Galbatorix because he couldn't bear him harming his dragon. Thorn is Murtagh's only true companion and comfort during this time, and vice versa.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Eldunarí again. They give him power comparable to Saphira, despite only being a few days old.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: His eyes are the same colour as his scales, and he is antagonistic for the majority of the series.
- 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.
- First Love: To Saphira, though unfortunately for her, he doesn't return her feelings.
- Handicapped Badass: He's missing a leg.
- Heroic BSoD: He spends much of Inheritance in the grips of depression, unwilling to talk due to the death of Oromis.
- MayDecember Romance: What Saphira wants with him, but he isn't so enthusiastic.
- Old Master: He's the oldest surviving dragon aside from Shruikan, who is in no condition to mentor anyone.
- Soul Jar: He resides in one because of his physical death by the end of Brisingr.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: They match his golden scales.
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: His mind's been twisted by magic, so he's nothing more than a mindless powerhouse.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: Most shown dragons usually have eyes close to the color of their skins, but Eragon is surprised to see that Shruikan's aren't Black Eyes of Evil but instead a piercing blue. Which arguably makes it even worse when he gets a full look at them and sees the Ax-Crazy within.
- Dark Is Evil: Subverted. He has black scales, but it's rather implied that he was a benevolent dragon before Galbatorix drove him insane and he's only a villain because of Galby.
- Eye Scream: In the final battle, courtesy of Arya wielding the Dauthdert.
- Giant Flyer: And easily the biggest one that's appeared in the series.
- 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).
- Meaningful Name: His name is similar to "shuriken", Japanese weapons also known as throwing stars or ninja stars.
- Mercy Kill: Receives one after Galbatorix's death.
- 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.
Umaroth (major spoilers for 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 Eldunarí hidden in Vroengard and accompanies Eragon to the final showdown.
- Big Good: When he was Vrael's dragon. And again as an Elundari
- Light Is Good: Was white and was the leader of the original Dragon Riders' dragons.
- Mentor Archetype: Not as much as Glaedr, but it's still there
- Mr. Exposition: Gives Eragon all the information he needs about the Vault of Souls and what's hidden there.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He would not have hesitated to let Galbatorix kill the two child hostages had Eragon not stopped him.
Fírnen (major spoilers for Inheritance)
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.
- Fourth Date Marriage: With Saphira, although not for life and actually only a few months before she and Eragon depart.
- Second Love: He becomes this to Saphira.
- There Is Another: His is the last unhatched egg, and serves as a backup plan for both the Varden and Galbatorix in case their respective dragons should fall in battle.
- Vocal Dissonance: He has a surprisingly deep voice for such a young dragon, even deeper than Glaedr and the Eldunarí.
- Walking Spoiler: To a greater extent than any of the other dragons listed here, as he only hatches at the very end of the main series, radically altering the context of several character's relationships with one another.
Valdr (major spoilers for Inheritance)
An ancient wild dragon, who's among the Eldunarí in the Vault of Souls. He's the oldest dragon among them.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: This seems to be the case with most old dragons. It's not that they're insane, but the time they've had to reflect on so many things leaves what they say nearly impenetrable, along with the fact that they're mostly senile leaving what is understandable behind winding Rambling Old Man Monologue. For example, he gives Eragon some advice that sounds close to just rambling about butterflies, but circumstances unfold so that Eragon understands Valdr's actually very useful advice.
- Mentor Archetype: He frequently gives advice to Eragon, although the latter has trouble deciphering it.
As a Whole
Highly reclusive humanoids who live in Du Weldenvarden, a great forest in the north.
- The Ageless: Elves never die of old age, and can live potentially forever if they aren't killed. This isn't an innate trait for them, notably — they used to be as mortal as anyone else, and only became immortal after their magical alliance to the dragons.
- Hypocrite: It has been stated multiple times that elves don't trust humans anymore after Galbatorix's betrayal, however they conveniently forget that many of the Forsworn were elves.
- Our Elves Are Different: They're largely the modern fantasy kind, being immortal, wiser, faster, stronger and more beautiful than the other races, highly skilled at magic, and native to an isolationist forest kingdom.
The elf ambassador
and the guardian of Saphira's egg for fifteen years.
- The Ace: She's a skilled warrior, magic user and ambassador.
- 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.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Arya rejects Eragon's romantic interest in her for most of the series. Somewhat justified, as her previous romantic partner was killed at the beginning of the first book.
- Aloof Darkhaired Girl: She has dark hair and comes across as quite haughty and cold, even by elf standards. In the third book, it is noted that much of this is due to the trauma of her capture and torture at the beginning of the series.
- Ambadassador: Quickly proves herself one of the strongest fighters around.
- "Ass" in Ambassador: From the perspective of the dwarves, for being chronically tardy and often arguing with their high priest about the dwarves' religion when she visits their cities.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The princess of the elves and an extremely powerful combatant. On the other hand, she is an elf, and admits the elves have some individuals who are more skilled.
- Badass in Distress: She spends much of Eragon locked up in a cell or unconscious after being captured and tortured by Durza. She seems to resent the Damsel in Distress label.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: She is heavily bruised and injured after her torture in Gil'ead, but is still regarded as beautiful by Eragon.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: She fights using both a bow and a sword, and is superhumanly proficient with both.
- Determinator: Saphira calls her "dragon-blood-elf-Arya" in reference to her overall tenacity. In the first book, Durza tortures her daily for information, nearly to the point of insanity, but she refuses to speak. After she is rescued, she continues to participate in dangerous assignments alongside Eragon.
- 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.
- First Love: To Eragon. Make that only love, as well.
- Girl of My Dreams: Eragon first sees her in a dream while she's imprisoned and soon becomes infatuated with her.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It is noted that she becomes quite tense and irascible while preparing to meet with her estranged mother, so Eragon has to walk on eggshells while talking to her.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Most of her clothes are made of black leather.
- Heroic Resolve: Durza does his utmost to break her, but she refuses to reveal so much as a single piece of information even when she's beginning to hallucinate from endless torture.
- The High Queen: Succeeds her late mother after several months of political debate.
- Jail Bait Wait: In the last book is willing to consider a romantic relationship with Eragon, but after 5-10 years.
- Lady of War: She's a graceful fighter.
- Letting Her Hair Down: When she arrives in Ellesmera, she takes the leather band out of her hair, starts wearing clothes that aren't just black, and relaxes a bit. However, it's not until the third book that she starts being nicer to Eragon.
- Lightning Bruiser: As an elf, she is faster and far more durable than a human.
- Love Interest: Eragon falls in love with her, though she turns him down initially.
- MayDecember 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 is uncomfortable with their age differences- while he is considered an adult by human standards, elves age much more slowly and still consider him to be little more than a child.
- Moral Dissonance: Like all elves, she is a vegetarian. However, the elves don't seem to have a problem with wearing leather or feathers as long as the animal was not killed for it.
- Peerless Love Interest: To Eragon. She's a stunningly beautiful and powerful elf princess, while he's a teenage Farm Boy turned Dragon Rider in-training. He becomes infatuated with her after seeing her in a dream and goes to a lot of effort to rescue her in the first book. He also doggedly pursues her affections in the second book. This is actually deconstructed to an extent, as Arya rather brutally dismisses Eragon's feelings as a childish crush; she is decades older than him (though she doesn't look it) and so thinks of him as little more than a child, they barely know each other and she detests the way he idealizes her, (including putting her on a pedestal and focusing only on her beauty). It's not until they spend some more time together and Eragon matures a bit that she starts reciprocating his feelings, though even then she suggests they wait until he's older before attempting a relationship.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: She has raven black hair, fair skin and is incredibly beautiful.
- Really 700 Years Old: Just over a hundred. Looks like she's in her early twenties.
- Rebellious Princess: She became the ambassador of her people against her mother's disapproval, to the point of being estranged from her for seventy years.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Daughter of the queen and a formidable fighter, as well as the elven ambassador. She actually invokes this intentionally, as she tells Eragon that the elves do not choose leaders who are unwilling to put themselves in danger for the sake of their people.
- Single Tear: When Eragon dreams of her in her cell, she sheds a single shining tear. It's not until the third book that she actually really cries.
- Statuesque Stunner: She's taller than most human men.
- The Stoic: She is never not restrained. It seems to be a fundamental part of her identity.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Initially cold and stoic, she softens and opens up some by the third book.
- There Is Another: Guess who gets to become Dragon Rider #3? Downplayed in that it doesn't actually happen until after the main fight is over.
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.
- Adapted Out: He never appears in the film, probably because the films became a Stillborn Franchise.
- Berserk Button: While he's very difficult to anger, he becomes absolutely furious when he learns that Eragon and Saphira aren't keeping their minds linked at all times, like they're supposed to. He reacts similarly when Eragon seriously argues for wiping out the entire Urgal race and says that they'd do the same to humans or elves if the situation was reversed.
- Color-Coded Eyes: His gray eyes are of a more mystical variety than Roran, as he's an elf, hermit, magician, and philosopher.
- Cool Sword: His Rider Sword is known as Naegling, and is gold like his dragon Glaedr. Oromis stored whatever magic he could spare into the gem at the pommel.
- Don't Call Me "Sir": He insists on Eragon calling him "master" during his apprenticeship instead of "elda", even though the latter is a term of respect. He's remains patient when Eragon makes the mistake, though, and is fine when other characters refer to him as "elda".
- Dragon Rider: His dragon is Glaedr.
- Handicapped Badass: He has somehow been crippled so that he can't use powerful spells, and giving him an illness which causes him sudden and intense bouts of pain, momentarily incapacitating him.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: He eventually emerges from seclusion to help the elves, but runs afoul of Murtagh, who's possessed by Galbatorix during their duel.
- Old Master: He's the last surviving Dragon Rider of the old guard, and he was a mentor to them as well.
- Really 700 Years Old: A staple of his race.
- Retired Badass: Before he was crippled (right before, actually), he managed to, within a fraction of a second, deconstruct his and Glaedr's entire physical selves and reform them outside of the magical barriers holding them in place.
- Warrior Poet: He's a retired Dragon Rider who spends his days in retirement writing poetry.
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, but 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: She forged the swords wielded by the Dragon Riders.
- 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: The only time she's not giving Eragon cheek is when she's explaining how to smith a sword, and even then she's pretty snarky about it.
- 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 metalworking. 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: When she and Eragon forge his sword.
- Grumpy Old Man: She's very cantankerous and considers it her right to be grouchy.
- 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.
- Loophole Abuse: She gets around a magic oath never to forge another sword by possessing Eragon and having him do it. She tells off Eragon for asking too many questions about it, because it only works if she herself believes that it doesn't count.
- 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.
- 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 herself 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: She's one of the oldest living elves, and even predates the war between the elves and the dragons.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: She is the one who forged the magical swords wielded by the Dragon Riders.
- 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.
The Queen of the Elves, and Arya's mother.
- Achilles in His Tent: She's completely cut off the elves from the outside world out of spite after the Fall of the Riders. Oromis calls her out on this, asking how many thousands of people have died just because the elves sat around and did nothing to stop Galbatorix. And Arya's decision to actually pitch in with the war effort ruins their relationship.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: She holds her own against Lord Barst for longer than anyone else.
- Can't Argue with Elves: She has the attitude more than just about every elf in the books, which rubs a lot of people — even other elves — the wrong way.
- Death Equals Redemption: Arya doesn't fully forgive her mother for her banishment until Islanzadí receives a fatal blow from Barst.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Her reaction in the first book when she believes that Arya has been killed before they could reconcile.
- Neutral No Longer: From Eldest onward, she and the elves are fully engaged in the war against Galbatorix.
- Parents as People: Her spiteful treatment of Arya is what caused their 70-year estrangement. The first thing she does when they meet again is acknowledge this and beg for Arya's forgiveness.
- Parental Abandonment: She opposed Arya's decision to join the Varden, so much so that she banished her from Ellesmera. She regretted the decision immediately, but couldn't take it back.
- Really 700 Years Old: Like all elves, she is ancient.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: She heads off to the front lines to fight alongside her people.
- Sacrificial Lion: Her death is a major Oh, Crap! moment for the Varden, the biggest hint they have that Lord Barst is not fucking around.
- Widow Woman: Her husband Evandar was slain during the war where Galbatorix seized power.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Eragon happens to think she wears it a little too well; she's a highly competent ruler, but is also fickle, callous, and supercilious.
The leader of a group of twelve spellcasters who were sent to help Eragon.
- Beast Man: He transformed himself into an anthropomorphic felid creature.
- Loincloth: The only clothing he wears.
- Smells Sexy: He emits pheromones that cause women to become attracted to him.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: His eyes are yellow, emphasizing both his magical nature and bestial appearance.
- Unfortunate Name: Likely unintentional, but "blöd" means stupid in German.
As a Whole
Mildly reclusive humanoids who live beneath the Beor Mountains.
- Our Dwarves Are Different: Short, proud, bearded, mountain-dwelling, fond of hammers and axes, masters of crafts and creators of grandly decorated cities, as is usual. They have a few. quirks beyond that, however: they're a polytheistic and devoutly religious people, have some cities underground and also some aboveground — even with a Lampshade Hanging when Eragon is surprised to find that dwarves have open surface cities and a dwarf tells him that they like the open air as much as anyone else — and have seven toes, and two dwarves hold a bet on whether or not humans actually have only five. According to history, they are the oldest sapient race, and lived in Alagaësia before the elves or humans arrived. Interestingly, when Eragon asks Orik how dwarves know the language of humans, Orik reveals that the Common Tongue is actually the dwarven language.
- Underground City: Downplayed. Some dwarf cities are built underground, either as tunnel systems or within large underground spaces. Others, however, are out in the open air.
The dwarf prince, nephew of King Hrothgar, and a friend to Eragon.
- Adapted Out: He does not appear in the film.
- An Axe to Grind: His primary weapon is an axe, as is tradition for fantasy dwarves.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's an eager fighter who's free with his passions, says what's on his mind, and loves his mead.
- Drop the Hammer: He eventually inherits Volund, the hammer of the dwarven kings.
- Manly Tears: He cries when Hrothgar is killed.
- Parental Abandonment: They died of an illness when he was young.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: He's betrothed to Hvedra, who manages his clan's affairs. The two are absolutely enamoured with one another, to the point where Eragon finds it a bit difficult to watch.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Seems more proactive and willing to compromise compared to other dwarves, and is in general a lot more level-headed than he seems.
- Royal Blood: He's related to King Hrothgar, and eventually becomes king himself.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: His first action in the entire series is to open the doors to Farthen Dur to allow Eragon, Murtaugh, Saphira and Arya to enter, against the Twins' orders.
- True Companions: Eragon considers him to be his brother. By dwarven law, they are adopted family.
- You Killed My Father: He has this vendetta towards Murtagh, who killed Orik's uncle and foster father, Hrothgar.
The king of the dwarves and an ally of the Varden.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: For the movie, where his white hair and beard become brown.
- Badass Beard: Has a very long beard gone white with age, but is still as strong on the battlefield as ever.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Gets blasted by Murtagh at the end of Eldest, making way for the next dwarven king.
- Drop the Hammer: He wields Volund, the hammer passed down through the dwarven kings for thousands of years.
- Parental Substitute: To Orik, his nephew and adopted son.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's the voice of reason among the leaders of the dwarves, doing everything he can to hold the more extreme clan chiefs in line, even going as far as to stop them from expelling Eragon from Tronjheim before even meeting him.
Durza, born Carsaib, is a Shade — a sorcerer whose body is possessed by evil spirits. The main antagonist of the first book, he hunts Eragon and captures and tortures Arya while under Galbatorix's command.
- Black Speech: Occasionally (mostly for swearing) speaks in "a wretched language only he knew," likely Demonic.
- Climax Boss: He's the main antagonist of the first book.
- Composite Character: In the film, he takes the Ra'zac's role as the character who kills Brom.
- Curtains Match the Window: Is an Evil Redhead with red eyes.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Lost his parents, then his foster father, and tried to avenge his death by summoning powerful spirits to kill the bandits responsible of it. Only for the spirits to prove to powerful for him to handle and take control of his body.
- Disc-One Final Boss: He's the main antagonist of the first book, and is killed by the end of it.
- The Dragon: He was Galbatoix's lieutenant following his loss of Morzan, but is the Big Bad of the first book and the movie.
- Evil Redhead: He has red hair, and is possessed by evil spirits.
- Evil Wears Black: Wears black clothes when meeting Eragon in Gilead, and his final appearance has him wearing black armour.
- Freudian Excuse: Was once a normal boy. His parents were killed by bandits after the family was chased from their village. He was taken in by Haeg, a sorcerer. But Haeg was later killed by bandits and, while trying to avenge him, Carsaib summoned spirits that were too powerful for him to handle. They turned on him and took over his body, turning him into a human shell for them to possess.
- The Heavy: The main villain for the first book/the film while his master Galbatorix stays behind the scenes.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Became a Shade after summoning spirits that he was ultimately unable to control.
- Humanoid Abomination: Like all Shades, he's a human shell possessed by spirits.
- Lean and Mean: He's a tall thin man who is a Humanoid Abomination.
- Lightning Bruiser: He's far faster and stronger than a normal human.
- Magic Knight: He's a skilled sorcerer, as well as proficient with a cursed sword.
- Many Spirits Inside of One: "Durza" is a group of powerful spirits inhabiting the body of the sorcerer Carsaib.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: He's described as having a lean runner's build, but is much stronger then he would appear.
- Not Quite Dead: When lethally wounded, he'll just respawn somewhere else, unless you stab him in the heart.
- Obviously Evil: Has red eyes, pale skin, and dresses in black. Eragon even wonders why the soldiers of Gilead didn't kill him the moment they saw him.
- Our Vampires Are Different: It might just be a rumor, but he's rumored to drink blood.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: As a result of being an Evil Redhead with red eyes who is always shown wearing black.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Has red eyes, which indicates that he's not really human anymore.
- The Starscream: When he has Eragon imprisoned in Gilead, he subtly implies he'd like to join forces to overthrow Galbatorix. Nothing ultimately comes of it, and he may have simply been trying to lull Eragon into a false sense of security.
- Torture Is Ineffective: Tortures Arya over a period of about six months, both for information and for the enjoyment of the evil spirits that inhabit him. He nearly drives her insane in the process, but fails to extract any useful information.
- Villain Protagonist: He is the viewpoint chapter for the prologue.
A Shade created by the Imperial defenders of the city of Feinster as a last ditch attempt to drive back the Varden besieging the city.
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: The Giant Flyers they ride are revealed to be next stage in their life cycle.
- Black Cloak: They wear black cloaks to disguise their true appearances when among humans.
- BrotherSister Incest: The Ra'zac are the offspring of the Lethrblaka, and they themselves have offspring.
- Captain Ersatz: They're very heavily based on the Nazgûl. Far-ranging minions of the Big Bad, poisonous breath, Black Cloak outfits, even Giant Flyer mounts. However, rather than being wraiths, they're more like anthropomorphic weevils.
- 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: The last Ra'zac curses Eragon shortly before their final duel, screaming for him to find no home or peace of mind and leaving his land of birth forever.
- 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.
- Insectoid Aliens: Think a creature that looks like a humanoid weevil or weta and you're in the ballpark.
- In the Hood: They wear hooded cloaks when around people.
- It Can Think: The Lethrblaka are said to be as intelligent and cunning as a dragon, albeit a cruel, sociopathic one.
- Karmic Death: They're killed off by the son and the cousin of the man they killed and the survivors of the village they destroyed. It also exterminates their race.
- Last of His Kind: They are presumed to be the last of their kind, as Oromis states the Riders did their best to exterminate the Ra'zac when they realised how great a threat the creatures were to Alagaesia's human population. This is ultimately averted when 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: They are stronger than humans, which are implied to be their natural prey.
- 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.
- Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër: The name of the juvenile form of the species. Interestingly, the adult form, which are even more disturbingly alien by comparison, lack this. It's not clear if this is intentional.
- Scam Religion: Presumably they started the religion at Helgrind, which gives them a regular source of food without them having to hunt.
- Stock Dinosaurs: Artistic depictions of their adult form resemble a Pteranodon crossed with a dragon.
- Sinister Schnoz: Their beaks.
- Snake Talk: One of them speaks with a sibilant affliction.
- To Serve Man: They prey on humans. It's stated that they evolved specifically to hunt humans, with Oromis likening it to how an osprey is perfectly evolved to hunt fish.
- Ultimate Life Form: What the cultists of Helgrind consider them to be.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The Ra'zac cannot swim and are thus terrified of deep water.
A werecat, and companion to Angela.
An Urgal chieftain who joins the Varden with much of his race.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He got to become chief by doing one thing no one else in his tribe could do: killing a massive cave bear. He's got the job until someone can best him in combat, which isn't likely to happen anytime soon.