Eragon (character)

Eragon (character)

Eragon Shadeslayer is a character from the book Eragon, and subsequent sequels, written by Christopher Paolini. Eragon is a male human, the first in a new generation of Dragon Riders. He was trained by Brom, Oromis, and was chosen by Saphira, a blue dragon, to be her Rider.

Eragon grew up as an orphan, without any real knowledge of his parentage except his mother's name, Selena, but later discovered, while on a hunting trip into the Spine mountains, a large blue stone. The stone later hatches back at his farm into a small Blue Dragon. He later names the Dragon Saphira. The dreaded Ra'zac who have been tracking the dragon egg turn up at Eragon's farm, killing his uncle and forcing Eragon on a journey with the story teller Brom where he learns and trains to become a Dragon Rider.


Early life

For the first fifteen years of his life, Eragon lived on a farm in the small village of Carvahall. His mother, Selena, had vanished soon after he was born, leaving him in the care of her brother, Garrow, and Garrow's wife, Marian. Eragon did not know the identity of his father. However it was revealed by Murtagh (Eragon's brother) that they shared the same mother, Selena, and therefore Eragon was the son of Morzan, the first rider that Galbatorix converted to his side. In Brisingr it was revealed by Glaedr to Eragon that it is in fact Brom who is Eragon's real father.

Quest for Vengeance

Eragon, Saphira, and the cryptic story-teller Brom resolved to hunt down the Ra'zac and avenge Garrow. As they traveled, Brom taught Eragon swordsmanship, and more about the history of the Dragon Riders. To his surprise, Eragon learned that he was named after the very first Dragon Rider, Eragon I.

When he later while trying to defend himself and Brom from an Urgal ambush in Yazuac, he discovered that he was able to use magic. When he questioned Brom about it, he learned that all Dragon Riders possess magical abilities, and Brom took it upon himself to instruct Eragon in the proper use of the talent.

Eragon and Brom eventually lost the Ra'zac's trail, but were able to track the flask of dangerous Seithr oil the Ra'zac dropped, the substance used by the Ra'zac to torture Garrow, to the port city of Teirm. With the assistance of Brom's close friend Jeoda former acomplice of the varden, they used the annals in the city's record room to discover that the Ra'zac lair was located in the mountain Helgrind near the city Dras'leona.

During this hiatus in Teirm, Eragon learned to read and write - abilities which Garrow had considered unnecessary - and also to scry. He eavesdropped on a conversation between Brom and Jeod via magic, learning, to his surprise, that both men were members of the Varden, a rebel group that opposed the rule of King Galbatorix.

Eragon visited a shop owned by Angela, a herbalist, where he met an intelligent and cryptic werecat named Solembum, and Angela herself. She told his fortune, revealing that he would have a long lifespan, the great powers of the land would struggle to control him, he would fall in love with a lady of noble birth, he would someday leave Alagaësia forever, and that he would face betrayal from within his own family. As Eragon was about to leave, Solembum told him that when he was in need of a weapon to look under the roots of the Menoa Tree, and to speak his name at the Rock of Kuthian and open the Vault of Souls when his power seemed insignificant.

On the way to Helgrind, Eragon was contacted by a beautiful elf in a dream. Seeing that she was in a prison, and, spellbound by her beauty, decided to rescue her. She continued appearing in his dreams for some time.

Outside of Helgrind, Eragon and Brom were ambushed by the Ra'zac. A mysterious young man named Murtagh rescued them, but not before Brom was fatally wounded by a Ra'zac dagger. Brom died shortly afterwards, after revealing to Eragon that he was once a Rider. Eragon laid Brom to rest, and Saphira used her magic to turn the tomb to diamond. Eragon and Saphira decided to let Murtagh travel with them as they journeyed to Gil'ead in search of a contact who could lead them the hidden rebels, the Varden.

At Gil'ead, Urgals under the command of Durza captured Eragon and imprisoned him in the same prison where the maiden, an elf, was being held. Murtagh and Saphira staged a daring rescue. Eragon, Saphira, and Murtagh were confronted by Durza. The struggle ended when Murtagh shot Durza between his eyes, throwing the Shade into a painful disembodiment. Eragon insisted on rescuing the elf, as well. She remained unconscious, but he was eventually able to speak with her mentally. She revealed to him that her name was Arya, and gave him the location of the Varden. She told him that they must reach the Varden if she was to survive, for she had been poisoned in prison, and would die without the antidote. He then forgets about killing the Ra'zac and rushes to save her.

Journey to the Varden

Eragon, Saphira, Murtagh, and Arya crossed the Hadarac Desert, racing to reach Farthen Dûr, the Dwarven mountains that housed the Varden, in time to save Arya. They were pursued by the Empire and the empire's allies, a small army of Kull. Before they reached Farthen Dûr, Murtagh, who had been reluctant to go to the Varden all along, revealed that he was the son of Morzan, first and last of the Forsworn. The Kull force the group to flee the place they were resting, and Farthen Dûr opened to allow the group in. Ajihad, leader of the Varden, imprisoned Murtagh when Ajihad learned of Murtagh's heritage. Arya was treated for her injuries; Eragon and Saphira were welcomed to Tronjheim, the dwarven city in Farthen Dûr.

Eragon was introduced both to Ajihad and to Hrothgar, the King of the Dwarves. He also met up again with Angela and Solembum who had left Tierm to aid the Varden. Ajihad wished to send Eragon to Ellesméra to complete his training; therefore, two magicians known as the Twins assessed his magic abilities. The Twins were cruel to Eragon, and attempted to use him to further their knowledge of the Ancient Language. A partially-healed Arya intervened, however, and took the task of assessing Eragon upon herself, sparring with him. Eragon, although being soundly defeated, passed the test in Arya's eyes. He began to fall in love with her.

The Varden respected and even revered Eragon. Soon after he arrived in Tronjheim, he was approached by an elderly woman and an orphaned child, Elva, who was the woman's charge. The woman asked Eragon's blessing upon Elva, which he gave readily, using the Ancient Language: Atra gülai un ilian tauthr ono un atra ono waíse skölir frá rauthr, which he thought meant, "Let luck and happiness follow you and may you be shielded from misfortune." It is later revealed in Eldest that he made a mistake and said "Let luck and happiness follow you and may you be a shield from misfortune," which cursed her instead of the intended blessing. Saphira gave the child her own special gift: a silver star, similar to Eragon's gedwey ignasia, on her forehead. Saphira told Eragon that the child would have a significant future.

Not long after, war became imminent. Ajihad informed Saphira and Eragon of an impending threat: an intercepted message revealed that a legion of Urgals and Kull was marching steadily towards the Varden through the tunnels under the mountain range.

In the battle that followed, a seemingly endless tide of Urgals and Kull was poised to take the city. Within Tronjheim, Eragon was confronted once again by the menacing Shade, Durza. Eragon was greatly outmatched by the Shade, but, thanks to a sudden distraction from Saphira and Arya, Durza's attention was diverted long enough for Eragon to stab him through the heart. Eragon paid a terrible price for his deed: his back was sliced, and the scar, which carried remnants of Durza's magic, would trouble him greatly over the course of the next few months.

Following Durza's demise, the controlling link the Shade held on the Urgals' minds snapped, causing the remainder of them to flee. Eragon fainted and fell into a healing trance; he was watched over by the mental presence of the Mourning Sage/The Cripple Who Is Whole, who urged him to follow Arya to Ellesméra, the capital of the Elves.

North to Ellesméra

Eragon decided to accept the advice of the Mourning Sage, and, accompanied by Orik and Arya, traveled northward through eastern Alagaësia to Ellesméra, in order to complete his training as a Rider. Before the journey north, Eragon was asked by Hrothgar, king of the dwarves, (through Orik) to become a member of Dûrgrimst Ingeitum, the his clan and family. Eragon donned the helmet (that marked him part of that clan) and Orik helped him complete the ritual to make him a true member of the clan. This was the first time in history that a human would join a Dwarf Clan. After a long journey north, He met with Islanzadí, the Elven queen, and the enigmatic raven Blagden, who spouted riddles concerning Eragon's past and future. Eragon was surprised to learn that Arya was Islanzadí's daughter, and a princess.

The Training of a Rider

Eragon's training began almost at once. His instructor was an ancient Elvish Rider named Oromis, who had managed to prolong his life by means of countless tiny spells binding his weak body. Eragon's exercises with Oromis were frustrating at first, but gradually Eragon learned what it means to be a true Rider, guided by principles and making responsible choices, and came to understand that his "training" was an ongoing process that would last his entire life. He learned other things, as well, such as history, art, and politics. His knowledge of magic and the Ancient Language expanded tremendously.

To his horror, however, he learned from Oromis that he had cursed Elva instead of blessing her due to a mistake in his wording (having accidentally said "may you be a shield from misfortune", thus dooming her to constantly save others from suffering by enduring it herself.) He resolved to revoke the curse, although such a feat would require tremendous magical ability.

Eragon's training also honed his fighting skills. He developed an intense rivalry with an elf named Vanir, and their mutual dislike came to a head during their sparring sessions. Eragon was defeated multiple times, often suffering bouts of agonizing pain from the scar on his back.

Tutored by Oromis, Eragon composed a poem to present at the Blood-Oath Celebration, a traditional Elvish ceremony commemorating the pact between the Elves and the Dragons. During the festivities, a magical gift from the Dragons healed Eragon of his wound, and he was physically transformed, acquiring the features and abilities of an Elf. Only after this transformation was he able to beat Vanir. The two made amends. After this transformation, Eragon was able to cast much more powerful magic, he could read and write more easily and was now as fit as the fittest elf in Alagaësia.

The Burning Plains

Upon hearing that Galbatorix was mustering his army in order to attack the Varden in Surda, Eragon and Orik departed from Ellesméra and flew south on Saphira. They joined up with the combined forces of Surda and the Varden on The Burning Plains.

With his new skills, Eragon easily killed many of the Empire's soldiers. But his skills were not enough. He began to tire out--the Empire's army was too large. Hrothgar came just in time with a huge dwarf army, turning the battle in the Varden's favor. Unexpectedly, another Rider appeared, mounted on a red dragon. He killed Hrothgar. Eragon attacked him. Wearied by the battle, Eragon was easily outmatched and driven onto the ground with Saphira, though he managed to hamstring the opposing dragon as he went down. He and his opponent then faced off with swords. Eragon recognized the other Rider's manner of fighting. Eragon managed to pull off his opponent's helm, revealing Murtagh, who had been thought dead. Murtagh revealed that he had been taken to Urû'baen by the Twins, and, when the red Dragon, Thorn, had hatched for him, he had been forced to swear allegiance to Galbatorix in the Ancient Language. He also revealed that Galbatorix knew his true name, so he owned him in mind and body. His orders from Galbatorix were to try to capture Saphira because she was the last female dragon in existence. Galbatorix needed her to fulfill his goal of rebuilding the order of the Riders. Murtagh decided to have mercy on them this one time, but he claimed Zar'roc as his own, and revealed another terrible truth: Eragon and Murtagh were brothers.

Haunted by this turn of events, Eragon imparted his newfound knowledge to Roran (who had come to the Burning Plains to with the rest of Carvahall to find safe haven with the Varden), Nasuada, and Arya. He then agreed to aid Roran in rescuing Katrina from the clutches of the Ra'zac.


Eragon slays the second Ra'zac after defying Saphira's wishes and remaining behind to both kill the Ra'zac and decide what to do with Sloan. He gains some information from the Ra'zac before killing it. Eragon rescues Sloan before consulting Islanzadi for her permission for Sloan to enter Ellesmera and for advice. He discovers Sloan's true name by weaving together his values etcetera, which is a trio of words from the Ancient Language. He compels Sloan with his true name to travel towards Du Weldenvarden, along with his staff and enchantments to stop Sloan from being harmed on his journey. He dosen't mention to Sloan that if he reforms his values, his true name would change, and he would no longer be bound. The elves would also restore his visions, but he dosen't tell this to him on the reason that Sloan may trick the elves into restoring his eyesight prematurely.

During this time Eragon consumed some meat as he was in dire need for food. After realizing that he enjoyed the meal, after overcoming his intial revulsion, he decided that he would furthermore eat meat, as he figured moderation was best than zealously holding on to not consuming meat unless in true need.


Eragon was a human, originally with intense brown eyes, light brown hair, and bushy eyebrows. After being influenced by dragon magic at the Blood-Oath Celebration he attended in Ellesméra, however, he then resembled an elf; his face became more angular, smooth, and pale, his eyes and eyebrows became slanted, and his ears became as pointed as an elf's. All blemishes on his body were healed, including the scar on his back he received from Durza. He did retain some human qualities, including the need to shave.

He wielded Zar'roc, a crimson sword once belonging to Morzan, though this was taken from him by Murtagh during a battle on the burning plains. He also has a longbow, sung from a yew tree by Islanzadi, with a quiver of magic swan-fletched arrows that never miss. Later, the Elf blacksmith Rhunon forged him his own sword, which he named Brisingr.

Love interests


Eragon first sees Arya (in Eragon) in his dreams and is able to scry her, even before he meets her. He becomes intent on saving her and eventually succeeds in finding Arya, and saves Arya by bringing her to the Varden. Eragon is clearly attracted to Arya in Eldest, and is willing to risk his life for her. She rebuffs him because of the age gap and she states that she only has friendly feelings toward Eragon. Arya thinks of him as a child since she's over 100 years old. However, she is still considered young as elves are immortal.

Real-world connections


Real life

Author Christopher Paolini states that Eragon originally started out as an autobiographical character. Paolini started writing Eragon at the age of fifteen, which is his protagonist's age at the beginning of the novel.

When I first invented Eragon, he was me. Writing about yourself is probably one of the easiest things for a fifteen-year-old author to do. However, I found that as the story progressed and Eragon did things that I've never done—such as fighting monsters and flying a dragon—he evolved into his own character, which I'm very happy about.



Christopher Paolini has stated that he came up with the name Eragon by replacing the 'd' in 'dragon' with an 'e'. Paolini also noted that Eragon sounds like 'Era Gone', as in one era gone by, another starting.


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