Character Sketch - Eragon

by Christopher Paolini | 23 March Reading Response

Character Sketch

We as humans sometimes create characters that are assigned very intricate qualities. We do this naturally as an extension of ourselves. And sometimes, when we delve too far into these characters, we may even assign them a few negative aspects, which create interest in the stories in which we implement them. This happens is the book Eragon by Christopher Paolini. No good quality nor bad quality goes unnoticed when written in a book, and when it comes to Eragon, these qualities can be discerned and analyzed almost as easily as in any other story.

In Eragon, the main character named Eragon learns to cope with his dragon, Saphira, and to telepathically communicate with her, which is an extremely rare quality. A dragon rider, who knows most there is to know about dragons, had never heard of happening before when consulted. This bond is very sacred between a dragon rider and his or her dragon, espaecially because of its rarity. This shows not only that Eragon was destined to form a bond with his dragon, but that he is a person who is very worthy of greatness. However, he has one very large chink in his armor: his mind is easily bent. One night, when he is sleeping, it is said that "dreams owned his consciousness, twisting and directing it to their whims" (211). These are only dreams, however, and this happens to many of us many nights. But then he receives a much clearer dream that depicts:

a young woman, bent over by sorrow, chained in a cold, hard cell. A beam of moonlight shone through a barred window set high in the wall and fell on her face. A single tear rolled down her cheek, like a fluid diamond (212).

This "dream" was actually a vision of an elf named Arya who was imprisoned in a place called Gil-ead. This leads Eragon on a journey and into a trap that he eventually escapes from, but just barely. So while Eragon is strong at heart and strong at soul, his mind is rather weak. This is not in the intellectual sense; Eragon's mind is simply more pliable than most. And that plays a rather large part in the story as a constant advancement of the plot, though it is not so apparent in some parts of the book. This causes one to wonder if Christopher Paolini planned to do this when he began to write, or if he simply did what humans naturally do and delved a bit farther into his character than expected.