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Eragon

The main protagonist, a poor farmboy who becomes the first new Dragon Rider in over a century. Initially wanting merely to survive and get vengeance on the Ra'zac, he gradually becomes more and more involved with the war between the Empire and the Varden.
  • Anti-Magic: In Inheritance he becomes one of only three practitioners 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, but Eragon has become more of his own character as the series has progressed.
  • BFS: In earlier publications he had a sword that was as long as he was tall.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Eragon fights with a sword for melee combat and before he becomes proficient in magic uses a bow for ranged. 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, especialy 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 responsibilites. Prior to that, though, Arya had admitted to being open to the idea when he's older. Eragon shoots that down by revealing that he'll be leaving Alagaesia "forever", and Arya couldn't reasonably join him.
  • Constantly Curious: Eragon is constantly curious, which gets him into trouble on a lot of occasions.
  • Dragon Rider: He is the first of a new generation after Galbatorix tried to wipe out all the others.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: For a while in Eldest, Durza's scar gives him seizures at inopportune times thanks to its magical nature, having been inflicted by a Shade.
  • 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.
  • 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. Eragon isn't so different from Murtagh either. Eragon denies this when Murtagh mentions it at the end of Eldest, but in Brisingr, Eragon coldly terminates the life of a young, conscripted soldier who was begging for mercy with the same emotionless justification that Murtagh used after killing the slaver Torkenbrand in the first book. "He was a threat."
  • Parental Abandonment: Well, his mom died soon after giving birth to him, His father, Brom dared not reveal his identity...
  • Power-Strain Blackout: Prone to fainting after using magic, at least at first.
  • Simple Staff: Uses one in Brisingr for a while, but soon becomes frustrated with it.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: In the first book, he goes out of his way to avoid killing humans, limiting his violence to urgals. In Eldest, however, he drops the policy and starts killing any human associated with the Empire without mercy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Considering he plans to take out old man Galbatorix himself only a few years after becoming a Rider himself. He takes quite a few after he discovers the hidden Eldunari cache under Vroengard, gaining enormous magical power. What's more important is that he's learned how to use it..
  • Walking the Earth: Eragon decides that the best course of action is to leave Alagaesia at the end of Inheritance, due to needing a more suitable place to raise the cache of dragon eggs found on Vroengard and to remove the temptation for him (now the most powerful being alive on the continent) to become another Galbatorix. He has no plans to return and doesn't expect to be able to see his loved ones in person.
  • What Have I Become?: Has a few of these moments now and then.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He is on the receiving end of it twice in Eldest and three times in Brisingr.

Roran

Eragon's cousin, initially a farmboy. Later, after his betrothed, Katrina, is kidnapped by the Empire and his village condemned, he becomes determined to lead his people to safety and fight Galbatorix.
  • And This Is for...: When he kills the Ra'zac, he gives them a list of reasons why they deserve to die.
    "For our father! [crunch] For our home! [crunch] For Carvahall! [crunch]
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: A combination of asskicking and charisma turns him into the unofficial leader of Carvahall, and later gains him a position in the Varden. He commands an entire battalion by the story's end, and gets to be earl of Palancar Valley.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: In Brisingr, after single-handedly killing nearly 200 men in battle.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He's a badass normal to be sure, but if he didn't have brains, he'd be dead a thousand times over with everything he faces. One of the big reasons why he lasts so long and why he gets to promoted to captain is precisely because he's this, even if it does occasionally cause him trouble because he won't obey the orders of some of the rockheads around him. During one otherwise ill-fated battle, he manages to save the majority of his troops from his commander's awful strategy and later accomplishes the siege of an entire town in just days that Galbatorix's Empire had been flummoxing the Varden with for months. He is noted for being bold and willing to take risks, but has an uncanny knack of just how to analyze and unbalance the enemy.
  • Badass Beard: By the time he Takes A Level In Badass, he's stopped shaving his beard.
  • Badass Normal: He makes a name for himself in battle alongside Dragon Riders, elves, and other magically enhanced beings.
  • Bad Dreams: The (many) men that he's killed continue to haunt him.
  • Beard of Sorrow: He grows this after Katrina is kidnapped and it qualifies as this up until her rescue.
  • The Bus Came Back: After being absent for most of Eragon after the first ten chapters, he returns in Eldest with his own storyline.
  • Charles Atlas Super Power: Seems to be the physically strongest un-enchanted human in the story. Strong and fast enough that he can duel with a fencer with a warhammer and wards. And in fact faster than that, since his general strategy is to outdraw his opponent and break his arm or wrist.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Crosses it when he watches Eragon leave the continent, for what is probably forever.
  • The Determinator: How else do you slay almost 200 soldiers single-handedly? The specifics of the feat are pretty relevant. Roran and his men retreat into an alley when Roran goes into a berserk rage. Since Roran's other soldiers couldn't get Roran to move away, they just sit on the roofs as the enemy soldiers follow them into the alley in ones and twos and are met with Roran just continuously bashing away with his hammer. Roran's friends pick off any soldiers who might sneak around or kill Roran by luck with bow and arrows, and make Roran getting angry into their entire strategy. Cranked Up to Eleven when he kills Barst, Galbatorix's greatest general after everyone else had tried and failed.
  • Drop the Hammer: Becomes his favored weapon in Eldest, based on inspiration he took from one of Brom's stories, that of a reluctant warrior who was forced to take up arms, and went into battle armed only with a hammer. He also appreciates its simplicity. No complex parrying, just bash their faces in!
  • Farm Boy: Initially, but like Eragon, he moves away from it because he had to.
  • Genius Bruiser: He shows cunning, intelligence, leadership abilities, and charisma as well as skill in battle. Eragon praises Roran over himself for his ability to lead the villagers of Carvahall over the ominous Spine.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Roran starts out a decent man looking to get married to his girlfriend, but he becomes a Pragmatic Hero.
  • Gray Eyes: Emphasizing his strong-willed personality.
  • Handicapped Badass: After one of the Ra'zac severs the muscle in one of his shoulders, his ability to move his arm in certain ways in significantly hampered until he gets it healed by magic in the next book.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: His girlfriend - and later wife - Katrina, has red hair.
  • Heroic Resolve: He has a lot of it, and needs every bit of it.
  • Hero Insurance: Averted in that Roran is well aware of the damage he is doing to probably innocent people along the way, and tries to avoid doing more damage than he has to.
  • Indy Ploy: Roran is extremely good at coming up with effective strategies on the fly. Turns into Batman Gambit and Xanatos Speed Chess if you give him more than twenty minutes to plan.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He seems to be faster than most swordsmen with his hammer, which would mean he would win any duel by default.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: He gets a shield just before leaving Carvahal to supplement his hammer-based fighting style.
  • Made of Iron: The amount of horrific injuries he survives from Eldest onward are too long to list. And yet he claims nothing can be more painful than the death of his father and the loss of his home.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Big time. The wiki for the site actually describes in his template that he is "handsome" and has "big muscles".
  • Never Learned to Read: His father considered learning to read a waste of time. He indicates some desires to try to learn later on in the series because it's holding him back in advancing ranks in the Varden, yet it never really seems to come up again.
  • Nice Guy: In the first book, and only the first book. After that, the death of his father, loss of his home, and the war turn him into a grade-A example of Good Is Not Nice.
  • Psychic Static: He focuses on his memories of Katrina, making his mind impenetrable to psychics, though sudden sounds prove to be a weakness of his.
  • Put on a Bus: He takes a job in Therinsford early on in Eragon and isn't seen in person for the rest of the novel. He becomes a POV character in Eldest and remains one for the rest of the series.
  • Rousing Speech: Apparently this guy's talent is leadership. He delivers at least three of these throughout the series. Played for laughs, though, in one instance in which the villagers of Carvahall expect him to give him one of these after a group of them try to rebel against traveling on barges, only for him to declare simply "It's this or walk" and then go to bed.
  • Shirtless Scene: He gets several.
  • Shoot the Dog: Burning the docks at Teirm, while creating one hell of a diversion for the villager's escape, resulted in the destruction of the property of countless innocent people.
  • Simple Staff: Has one, which he eventually gives to Eragon.
  • Supporting Leader: He's the secondary POV in Eldest, where he becomes a leader to the people of Carvahall.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Eldest he takes charge and leads the villagers of Carvahall all the way to the rebel camp.
  • The Unfettered: He'll do anything to save Katrina, and, to a lesser extent, defeat Galbatorix.
  • Wartime Wedding: To Katrina, although they were already engaged beforehand.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He doesn't particularly approve of Eragon's actions in the first book, and partially blames him for the death of his father, Garrow. This is particularly apparent when they finally meet back up in Eldest, upon which he punches Eragon in the face. To be fair, Saphira is to blame, too, for encouraging Eragon to keep her a secret, yet doesn't get called out on it.

Brom

An old storyteller in Carvahall and a friend of Eragon's, who finds out about Saphira and asks to accompany them on their journeys. Later revealed to be a Dragon Rider whose dragon was killed during the Fall. He founded the Varden in the years following Galbatorix's rise to power and is determined to bring Galbatorix down.
  • Came Back Wrong: Discussed. Eragon wants to use the Eldunari to resurrect him at the end of Inheritance but they warn him that they will probably never be able to restore his mind. He decides that it's not meant to be and just carves a new epitaph for him. They also make the very good point that they aren't neurologists and would probably fry his brain in the process.
  • 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.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Not revealed until long after he's dead and buried.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He sacrifices himself saving Eragon from the Ra'zac.
  • 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.
  • Magic Knight: Brom is a former Dragon Rider, and thus a skilled swordsman as well as 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.
  • The Obi-Wan: He's a pretty obvious expy of the the man himself, the only real difference being that he's actually the farm boy's father.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Murtagh

A solitary, traveling young man that does not give his loyalty to either the Empire or the Varden, disdaining both. He meets Eragon on the road and becomes a traveling companion. Later revealed to be the son of Morzan, first and last of the Forsworn, and the destined partner of the red dragon egg still in Galbatorix's possession.
  • Abusive 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, it belonged to his father.
  • Anti-Hero: His willingness to kill is a sharp contrast with Eragon in the first book. By the third book, it's not so clear, anymore.
  • 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 he has no 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 uses magic and torture (or magical torture) to enslave him. He doesn't actually manage to break free until the third act of Inheritance.
  • The Dragon: After his Face–Heel Turn he becomes Galbatorix's right hand.
  • Dragon Rider: He bonds with a male red dragon named Thorn.
  • Face–Heel Turn: He's abducted by traitors in the Varden and taken to Galbatorix, who forces him to become his slave. It never took.
  • Fatal Flaw: An unwillingness to face his problems.
  • Foil: To Eragon
  • Forced into Evil: Galbatorix mentally and physically tortures him until he breaks and uses his True Name 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. Murtagh hates every minute of it, but has little choice but to serve Galbatorix. There are even moments when he attempts to 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: He becomes one to his father, Morzan, but eventually averts it. 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 oppoturnity to get free presents itself, he jumps at it without hesitation.
  • Hero Killer: He's able to defeat Eragon once, kill the king of the dwarves (even when he was protected by a whole cadre of magicians), fight Oromis on an even footing even when the latter had saved up enough energy to move an entire mountain, and come within an inch of actually killing Eragon in Inheritance, only stopped by Galbatorix's intervention.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: After sparring with him, Eragon thinks they're about equal in skill. He gets a rude awakening when he has to fight Murtagh for real, and realizes that Murtagh would've easily killed him if Galbatorix hadn't stopped the fatal blow.
  • In the Blood: The reason the Varden doesn't trust him is because he's the son of an evil Dragon Rider.
  • 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 really anything like Morzan. While Morzan was cruel, abusive and willingly sided with Galbatorix, Murtagh is forced to join Galbatorix against his will and is far more compassionate, sometimes going out of his way to help or spare people even if they're his enemy, and usually only kills people if he feels he has no other option. If anything, he appears to have far more in common with his mother.
  • Lima Syndrome: Big time in regards to Nasuada. He sneaks into her cell to keep her company, comfort her and heal her injuries, and gives her tips on how to endure Galbatorix's tortures. It's strongly indicated his growing affection for her helps him to change his True Name and make a Heel–Face 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.
  • Morality Pet: To his mother. She was Morzan's Black Hand, one of his most devoted and ruthless agents, but she genuinely loved her son and it's believed that giving birth to Murtagh is what triggered a Heel Realization in her eventually leading to her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: During his time with the Varden, he makes it very clear he's not there by choice; he only reluctantly agrees to go to them to help out Eragon, Saphira and Arya and then gets held there against his will. Although he hates Galbatorix, he doesn't agree with the Varden's goals of completely dismantling the Empire via warfare, feeling their methods are too extreme and will result in anarchy.
  • Parental Substitute: Tornac played this role to him.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Eldunari are the only thing that allows him to physically match Eragon, and his were taken from rather young dragons.
  • 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 defenceless enemy (although said defenceless enemy was a jerkass slaver who had tried to capture him and Eragon).
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Even after having clashed with Eragon, resented Eragon for having things easier, and at times genuinely wanted to kill Eragon, when free of his bonds one of the first things he does is to teach Eragon the very valuable and dangerous Name Of Magic and take his leave as a brother.
  • Psychic Block Defense: It's very hard to get into his mind. Only Galbatorix ever succeeded.
  • Redemption Earns Life: He goes into self-imposed exile.
  • Scars Are Forever: Has a huge one on his back 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. Considering what he's been through, the loner probably deserves the time to himself.
  • 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-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 contempt. Given the situation he's in, it's not all that surprising he's not in the mood for social niceties.
  • 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 his 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 unclear how true this is.
  • Walking the Earth: His ultimate fate. He and Thorn leave for an unknown destination, resolving that they might return when the world is a less hateful place.

King Galbatorix

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: Drives the main conflict of the series through his empire.
  • 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: 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.
  • The Ghost: Despite being the Big Bad, he doesn't appear in person until Inheritance.
  • Groin Attack: How he killed Vrael, the last leader of the Dragon Riders. Kicked him in the crotch, then beheaded him.
  • Immortality: Due to being a Dragon Rider, he is immune to aging and disease.
  • 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.
  • Immortal Ruler: 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Galbatorix is ultimately defeated when Eragon and the Eldunari backing him force him to feel the agony of all his victims. "What have you done? What have you done?
  • Orcus on His Throne: Justified, as he is trying to find the name of the Ancient Language. It's also noted in Inheritance that he wanted to fight the Varden at their weakest, so letting them pull an All Your Base Are Belong to Us was intentional.
  • 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.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: He's a powerful Dragon Rider who rules over the Broddring Empire.
  • Textual Celebrity Resemblance: Although probably unintentional, Galbatorix's physical description from the books strongly echoes a young and more corpulent Christopher Lee.
  • Ultimate Evil: See The Ghost above, except when the he appeared in the movie which proved the presense of this trope in action. The fact that his most trusted servants tend to be the most reviled creatures in universe in their own right, and seem to have chosen for precisely that reason, doesn't hurt either.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: His favourite argument to persuade people to obey him.
  • Villainous Breakdown/Villainous BSoD: See Fantastic Nuke and Rage Quit, or even My God, What Have I Done?.
  • Villainous Valor: As he points out, it is the Varden who are attacking him, and he is merely defending his domain.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He can be argued as such. He believes that magicians need to be restricted by law, as otherwise they have any normal person at their mercy, a belief that Nasuada comes to share. A good intention to start from, but...
  • Weak Sauce Weakness: Had no idea that non-verbal magic was possible. Eragon just so happens to be competent at it. To his credit, however, the sheer amount of power and wards he had set up were making it really difficult to exploit.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: 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.

Ajihad

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.

Nasuada

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: Good god, the torture she endures in book 4. While altogether Roran probably suffers the most throughout the series, the amount Nasuada suffers during her captivity is enough to make a grown man cry just reading it! Not to mention during the Trial of the Long Knives.
  • 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.
  • The Stoic: In public she keeps her emotions hidden.
  • Ship Tease: With both Eragon and Murtagh. The latter is very overt later in the series, while the former more subtle. Notably, she's very protective of her friendship with Eragon, nominating him as her Number Two. When he tells her he's leaving Alagaesia she attempts to bribe him with just about everything under the sun to stay, finally breaking down when she realizes there's nothing she can do.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Murtagh. Unfortunately, she's a queen (by the end), and Murtagh has way too many people hating him for it to ever work.
  • Token Minority: She's black in a fantasy world that seems to be based on Viking society. Brisingr eventually explains this by having tribes of "dark-skinned" people living in Surda.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Technically not a queen, but it fits her situation nicely.

Angela

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: She definitely seems to enjoy confusing everyone with her cryptic remarks.
  • 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.

Elva

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.
  • Mind Rape: What she's been going through every day, with most of the people around her not aware of how much pain their everyday lives are causing her.
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: She's aware of Eragon's feelings for Arya and how much he hates it that she rejects him, thanks to her powers.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: Her reaction when Nasuada tries to convince her to keep her curse for the good of the Varden.
  • 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.
  • Purple Eyes: She has purple eyes, which emphasize her mystical nature.
  • Super Empowering: Eragon used the ancient language to bless her; her powers came from a grammatical error in the phrasing he used.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Goes from a defenseless baby to a 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 expierience), 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.

Jeod

A scholar and friend of Brom's.
  • Adapted Out: He was never in the film.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's a scholar, but can fight and has a rapier.
  • Hidden Depths: The end of book 2 reveals he knows the Ancient Language.
  • May–December Romance: His wife's age is not known, but at least, she looks much younger than him.
  • Out of Focus: After book 2 he falls out of focus as a supporting character.
  • Retired Badass: He's had quite his share of adventures with Brom.
  • 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.

King Orrin

The king of Surda and a supporter of the Varden.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: In Inheritance, he starts drinking more under the stress of the war, including during important meetings.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Asks this of the Varden in Inheritance.
  • Eccentric Millionaire: A relatively mild example — he uses his wealth as king to fund the many scientific experiments that are his hobbies.
  • 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.
  • The 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.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Inheritance the stress of war causes him to become increasingly dissatisfied with and antagonistic towards the Varden.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Sloan

Carvahall's butcher, and father of Katrina.
  • Anti-Villain: He may be a self-centered Jerkass, but he at least is shown to care about his daughter.
  • And I Must Scream: Some consider Eragon's punishment of Sloan is... pretty harsh: Eragon uses his True Name - which is a form of Mind Rape in and of itself - to force him to march to Du Weldenvarden, and swear in the Ancient Language to never see his beloved daughter again. They only way to escape this punishment would be to change his True Name, which can be extremely difficult. That said, Sloan did betray his fellow villagers to the Empire, which resulted in the deaths of several innocent people.
  • Eye Scream: The Ra'zac pecked out his eyes. Eragon tells him that if he rehabilitates himself, the elves will heal him.
  • Face–Heel 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: Does NOT want anything to hurt his daughter.
    "They’ll never get Katrina. Never, even if I must skin the lot of them, or fight a thousand Urgals and the king to boot. I’d tear the sky itself down and let the Empire drown in its own blood before she suffers so much as a scratch."

Katrina

Sloan's daughter, and Roran's girlfriend (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 Razac in book 2. Thankfully she doesn't seem to have endured the horrific tortures that Arya and especially 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 which is possibly when she got pregnant.
  • 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.

The Twins

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.
  • 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 Teammates: 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.

Lord Barst

He was an Imperial general known for his cunning and prowess in battle.
  • Achilles' Heel: For bonus points in Irony, it's his own Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: Roran finally kills him when he cracks the Eldunarí stored within Barst's armour.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: His Eldunarí.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Lord Barst. Justified because Galbatorix magically increased his asskicking powers due to his authority.
  • 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 killed 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 absolutely destroying the entire army all by himself.

Tenga

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.

The teenage girl and woman

A wandering teenage girl and woman whom Eragon blesses.
  • The Cameo: They're briefly seen in book 4 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.

Morzan

The first of the Forsworn and Galbatorix’s right-hand man before the story started.

Selena

Eragon's mother, sister to his uncle Garrow and aunt of 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 the wife and personal spy/assassin of Morzan, known as the Black Hand, before switching allegiance to Varden, and the mother of Murtagh.
  • 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, especially when he began turning his cruelty towards her and their son.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Her marriage to Morzan became increasingly unbearable, especially after their son was born. Her husband took Murtagh 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 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 is 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.
  • Heel–Face Turn: She eventually turned against Morzan and secretly began feeding top secret intel about him and the Empire to the Varden.
  • High-Heel–Face 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 apparently became Morzan's Black Hand in order to prove her love and devotion to him. That being said...
  • 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 Heel–Face 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 she did this to protect him from the Empire and died before she ever had a chance to come back.
  • Parental Favoritism: Upon learning Eragon is his brother, Murtagh comes to believe Selena liked Eragon better because she took him away and let him grow up in a warm and loving home with her family, while Murtagh 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 is 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 we're talking about and 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 Heel–Face 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.

    Dragons 

Saphira

Eragon's dragon. After being held in Galbatorix's treasury for many years, she was stolen by the Varden and eventually ended up in Eragon's hands.
  • The Ace: Is considered naturally talented for a Dragon.
  • Blasphemous Boast: When flying, she occasionally dares "whatever gods there might be" to challenge her, because she sees herself as just that awesome. Eragon notes that dragons are susceptible to flattery, even wise, ancient ones like Glaedr.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sociopathic Hero: She ultimately displays a fondness for killing, and prefers killing live prey over eating plain meat. She claims that if Eragon were more like her then everybody would be scared to death of them, and is probably right.
  • Soul Jar: Her Eldunari, like that of all dragons, although it was never used.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: She develops a one-sided crush on Glaedr almost immediately after meeting him.
  • Telepathy: Her main form of communication.

Thorn

A red dragon bonded to Murtagh.
  • Anti-Villain: In the same way as Murtagh.
  • The Chew Toy: A non-humourous example, as Eragon notes. Of the major characters, Thorn is likely more The Woobie than anyone else.
  • Hidden Depths: The one time Eragon communicates with him, he seems to be gentle and soft-spoken, with a "musical" voice.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He continually grows stronger and faster very quickly, as Glaedr discovers. Compared to Saphira, however, he's slower and less graceful, but has thicker, stronger limbs.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Eldunari 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.

Glaedr

An ancient gold dragon bonded to Oromis.
  • 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.
  • May–December 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.

Shruikan

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/Icy 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. Which arguably makes it even worse when he gets a full look at them and sees the Ax-Crazy within.
  • Dark Is Evil: Subverted. It's rather implied that he was a benevolent dragon before Galbatorix drove him insane.
  • Eye Scream: In the final battle, courtesy of Arya wielding the Dauthdert.
  • Kaiju: Shruikan is ENORMOUS, and the narration shows this surprisingly well. Eragon at first mistakes smaller portions of his body (neck, hind foot, wing fold) for larger parts (main body, shin, entire wing).
  • Giant Flyer: And easily the biggest one that's appeared in the series.
  • Mercy Kill: 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.

BEYOND THIS POINT LIE SPOILERS. You probably shouldn't read about the following dragons until you have finished Inheritance.

Umaroth

The dragon bonded to Vrael, who was the leader of the dragon riders before they fell. Revealed in the fourth book to be one of the Eldunaris hidden in Vroengard and accompanies Eragon to the final showdown.
  • 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.
  • Soul Jar: Being an Eldunari.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He would not have hesitated to kill the two child hostages had Eragon not stopped him.

Fírnen

The third dragon egg in Galbatorix's possession, he becomes Arya's dragon and Saphira's mate for the short time she and Eragon remain in Alagaesia.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: With Saphira, although not for life and actually only a few months before she and Eragon depart.
  • There Is Another: The last unhatched egg, and the backup plan for both the Varden and Galbatorix.
  • Vocal Dissonance: He has a surprisingly deep voice, even deeper than Glaedr and the Eldunari.
  • Walking Spoiler: To a greater extent than any of the other dragons listed here.

Valdr

An ancient wild dragon, who's among the Eldunaris in the Vault of Souls. Distinct for being the oldest dragon among them.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: 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, Valdr 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 he has trouble deciphering it.

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    Elves 

Arya

The elf ambassador and the guardian of Saphira's egg for fifteen years.
  • The Ace: Very much, to the point of being labled Mary Sue by many.
  • 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. Fans hated this.
  • Ambadassador: Quickly proves herself one of the strongest fighters around.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: From the perspective of the dwarves, as she argues with them and repeatedly insults their 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.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: She is heavily bruised and injured after her torture in Gil'ead, but is still beautiful, and Eragon heals her shortly after.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: She fights using both a bow and a sword, and is superhumanly proficient with both.
  • Determinator: More of a female version of this than a Plucky Girl, given her utter grimness in personality and complete lack of emotional warmth, at least initially.
  • Damsel in Distress: Spends much of Eragon as one. She seems to resent the label.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Has this effect on Eragon, and she deliberately plays on this when sparring with him.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: She likes going around barefoot in Ellesmera.
  • Dragon Rider: The last of the three dragon eggs, the green one, does in fact hatch for her. His name is Fírnen.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Eragon has this reaction while Arya is unconscious.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: She has a lot of disputes with the dwarves, especially since her position means she has to travel among them quite often.
  • Emotionless Girl: Of the repressed variety. To be fair, even when she does open up, she seems to be naturally restrained.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: She's the daughter of the Queen of the Elves
  • Good Is Not Nice: She definitely isn't a nice person, but she's on the side of the Varden.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: She's very easy to tick off or offend, so Eragon has to walk on eggshells while talking to her.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: 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.
  • Jail Bait Wait: What she imposes on herself and Eragon. 10-20 years or so. Unfortunately Eragon doesn't plan on being able to see her then.
  • 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.
  • May–December Romance: With Eragon. The main reason why she doesn't initially want to have a relationship with him is because he hasn't lived to anywhere near her lifespan yet, although his life expentancy is just as high. It's eventually clear that she is in fact interested in Eragon. But she still considers him a child, and seems to be disgusted (or mildly disturbed) at herself.
  • Moral Dissonance: She's a vegetarian, because she finds it cruel to kill an animal to eat it, yet she's wearing a leather Spy Catsuit. And that's just the most poignant example.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Just over a hundred. Looks like she's in her early twenties.
  • Rebellious Princess: 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. She actually invokes this intentionally, as she explicitly became the Elvish ambassador so she'd have an excuse to get out of Ellesmera once in a while.
  • 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.
  • The High Queen: Succeeds her late mother after several months of political debate.
  • Sociopathic Hero: She calls out Eragon for being too merciful and not displaying enough ruthlessness towards the enemy.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's taller than most human men.
  • 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.
  • The Southpaw: She seems to favour her left hand for fighting.
  • The Stoic: She is never not restrained. It seems to be a fundamental part of her identity.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Initially cold and stoic, she softens and opens up some by the third book.
  • Too Dumb to Live: At the end of Brisingr, she and Eragon abandon Islanzadi's elven guard and go see the queen themselves. Naturally, they end up badly outmatched.

Oromis

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gray Eyes: Of a more mystical variety than Roran, as he's an elf, hermit, magician, and philosopher.
  • 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.

Rhunön

The greatest elven smith, who forged the swords that were presented to the Riders. Rhunön is one of the very oldest of all elves, still remembering the time before the Dragon Riders, before elves were even immortal.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: She strongly advises against such designs, as a weapon that looks awesome but doesn't fulfill it's purpose is ugly to her eyes.
  • The Blacksmith: 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.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Really over 2700 years old.
  • Restraining Bolt: She can no longer forge weapons because of her oath. This does not extend to controlling someone else to let them make their own with her expertise and methods.
  • Screw You, Elves!: A really rare instance where the person calling out the elves is an elf themselves. Rhunön does not approve of what her race has become, and thinks that they were better off before they became ageless and refined.
  • The Stoic: Defied by her. She criticizes the rest of the elves for acting like they have "no more emotion than a marble statue!"
  • Time Abyss: One of the, if not THE, oldest living elves. She 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.

Queen Islanzadi

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 Islanzadi recieves a fatal blow from Barst.
  • The High Queen: She is the matriarch of the elves.
  • 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.
  • Neutral No Longer: From Eldest onward, she and the elves are fully engaged in the war against Galbatorix.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Blödhgarm

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.

    Dwarves 

Orik

The dwarf prince, nephew of King Hrothgar, and a friend to Eragon.
  • An Axe to Grind: His weapon is an axe.
  • 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 later inherits Volund, the hammer of the dwarven kings.
  • Manly Tears: He cried when Hrothgar was 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.
  • 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.

King 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.

    Others 

Durza/Carsaib

A Shade, once a nomadic orphan who learned sorcery from a sorcerer, but when Haeg was killed he became a shade. A powerful ally of Galbatorix.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: He dies just after Eragon discovers he was a Tragic Monster and Eragon later admits that he wasn't evil by choice.
  • And I Must Scream: As a shade, his body is enslaved by evil spirits and his mind is still there, but helpless.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: His heart is his only weak point.
  • Big Bad: Of the first book and the movie.
  • Climax Boss: He's the main antagonist of the first book.
  • 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.
  • The Dragon: He was Galbatoix's lieutenant following his loss of Morzan, but is the Big Bad of the first book and the movie.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: He's the main antagonist of the first book, and is killed by the end of it.
  • Evil Redhead: He has red hair, and is possessed by evil spirits.
  • 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.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: This is the reason why he is a Shade: when he was a boy named Carsaib, his parents were killed by some bandits, and the magician who trained him was later killed by bandits. Haeg was implied to be a foster father to him, and as revenge Carsaib attempted to summon spirits to destroy the bandits. Unfortunately, the spirits he summoned were a bit above his weight class(as he hadn't finished his training), so he wasn't able to control them, and they turned on him.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Like all Shades, he's a human shell possessed by spirits.
  • 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.
  • Monster Sob Story: He was an orphan named Carsaib whose parents and mentor was murdered. He summoned powerful evil spirits in order to avenge him, but they possessed him instead.
  • Not Quite Dead: When lethally wounded, he'll just respawn somewhere else, unless you stab him in the heart.
  • 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.
  • Tragic Monster: See Freudian Excuse for more details.

The Ra'zac

The last of a nearly extinct species who preyed on humans for food, now serving as the king's personal dragon hunters.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Their species are human predators, apparently.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Those Giant Flyers they ride? The next stage in their life cycle.
  • Black Cloak: They wear black cloaks to disguise their true appearances when among humans.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: The Ra'zac are noted to be the offspring of the Lethrblaka, and they themselves have offspring.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lastof 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.
  • Scam Religion: Presumably they started the religion at Helgrind, which gives them a regular source of food without them having to hunt.
  • 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.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Their beaks.
  • Snake Talk: One of them speaks with a sibilant affliction.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The Ra'zac cannot swim and are thus terrified of deep water.

Solembum

A werecat, and companion to Angela.

Nar Garzhvog

An Urgal chieftain who joins the Varden with much of his race.

Alternative Title(s): The Inheritance Cycle

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