Q&As with CP: Solutions and Questions

After reading through the piles of feedback left for us regarding possible solutions for our Q&A dilemma, we’ve reached a conclusion. We also chose some great new questions from the questions submitted and plan to ask them during this Q&A. Join us after the break for a full breakdown of our solution for the Q&As, information on when this Q&A will take place, and a list of questions we plan on asking!Going forward, we will hold new Question and Answers with Christopher Paolini on a per-case basis following the below process:

  • We will continue to ask for questions once per month and assume that we will be doing one Q&A per month.
  • If a month comes along where there is a small amount of quality questions to ask, we will open questions for a second round. Because this takes up extra time, it may delay that month’s Q&A (like it has for this month).
  • If, even after our second attempt, we do not have enough questions for a quality Q&A that month, the Q&A will be postponed until the next month.
  • Months that have plenty of quality questions will go ahead as planned.

Just remember that whether or not we hold a Q&A is entirely up to you guys! We rely on you guys to submit great questions for us to pick from.

As for the 6th Q&A, this dilemma has obviously delayed us. We’re still aiming to get it out in April. We’re going to be sending the questions to Christopher for his answers and as soon as we hear back, we’ll get them posted on the website.

We went through each and every comment left for us in our feedback thread and although we didn’t call for new questions, many fans submitted questions for Christopher. We found a number of great questions in that bunch and have added them to our list of questions to ask in this Q&A. However, please note that we will only ask 10 questions in this round. The extra questions will carry over to future Q&As.

Here are the questions we’ll be asking in this round (any spelling or grammar errors are those of the question submitters):

  • Could you ask Christopher Paolini what are all the different elf houses and what do their names mean? I know of 6 houses (Drottning which means queen), Rilvenar, Miolandra, Trandurin, (Haldthin which means thornapple), and Valtharos.
    – JosephShadeslayer
  • Why was Sloan’s true name ommitted from the book?
    – Paraphrased question from Adza153
  • Last time Christopher Paolini said there would be complications if someone touched a hatched dragon before the chosen person did. I want to ask what kind of complications? Can they be fixed?
    How would the dragon react?
    – bumbumcat
  • In the chapter -Among the Clouds- in Brisingr when Eragon and Saphira stop at the edge of Fernoth-Merna Eragon notices the ruins of an abandoned castle across the way and gets an ominous feeling about it the exact quote is “The abandoned building seemed gloomy, ominous, as if it were the decaying carcass of some foul beast” Why does he get such a feeling about that castle? Who’s castle was it?
    – Guest123
  • If a dragon riders dragon dies dose the dragon rider remain immortal?
    – Priffarandas
  • I was wondering how people get the ability to use magic in these books? I know that Roran is trying at various times to get a pebble to float but cant seem to. Is it a gift given at birth? Does one have to inherit it from lineage?
    – Theendispossible
  • Shades. So far the have only been two Shades in the IC. Durza and Varuag. I’ve noticed that both were formerly human males and I though if any of the previous Shades had been something else other than a human male. More importantly, is it possible for a female human or both genders of the dwarves, elves and urgals to become Shades?
    – ShadowOfTheMoon
  • In Eldest on page 216, Arya tells Lifaen and Nari to enter Silthrim and inform Captain Damitha that “…that which she once hoped for – and feared – has occured; the wyrm has bitten its own tail.” What did she mean?
    – Valbrandr94
  • Of all the Urgal warriors (or clans) that exist in Alagaesia, how many (or what percentage) are currently allied with the Varden?
    – Baboo
  • Was there ever a case of a dragon hatching for someone who didn’t want to be a Rider?
    – Karan
  • Solembum has had multiple eye colors throughout the book, including black, gold, and red. Is it possible that this was in error, or do werecats have the ability to change the color of their eyes?
    – Paraphrashed question from Karan
  • Are you able to explain what the Floating Crystal on the island of Eom, as well as the dream well in Mani’s Caves, are and what they do?
    – Paraphrased question from JosephShadeslayer (among others)
  • When magic users store energy in an object (like the riders swords or other gems), is there somthing preventing other magic users from using that magic against them?
    – number1eragonfan
  • What happened to Tornac (the horse) after Murtagh was taken by the twins?
    – Roberttherider
  • How old was Brom when he died?
    – Feedme24601
  • Who were the three fighters who could defeat Brom, he mentioned in Eragon when Eragon beat him while sparring near Dras Leona?
    – KVSDheeraj
  • In Eldest Oromis said that Brom came from a family of illuminators. What is an illuminator?
    – AryaxEragon
  • Where does the energy that Wards Du Weldenvarden come from?
    – Tulkas
  • When Arya and Eragon were returning to the Varden after Eragon left Helgrind, a soldier said, ‘Unless we be searching for Murtagh. You heard what Morzan’s spawn said well as I did.’ What did Murtagh say?
    – Many people asked this question
  • Is Longshanks Jeod’s nickname or surname?
    – Multiple people asked this question.

Do not post any questions for future Q&As in the comments section. We are no longer taking questions. Any questions posted will be ignored.

  • aryaprincess

    @Dragonrider360 (Guest): served your friend right!!

  • Were176cRider

    @emerald (Guest): Interesting theory, although I’m not so sure about Saphira having enemies that defeat her.

  • emerald

    I think that since Saphira needed to keep secrets from eragon in book 4 eragon may have to keep secrets from her. Futhermore Saphira needs to have enemies that defeat her!

  • Were176cRider

    Great point EmeraldDragonRider! Way to use your resources!

  • Were176cRider

    For anyone who cares, check out my posts and beliefs on: Book 4 Analysis, Theories, and More!

  • EmeraldDragonRider

    Well, there are some interesting questions amongst those (although I doubt all will be answered 😉 ). But I don’t understand the sense of the question about illuminators. Despite English is not my mother tongue and I’m not an adult, I know that an illuminator is someone who does paintings and drawings for books. In former times, books were expensive, as mass production was impossible. The most expensive books were the illuminated ones, because it took so much time to do all the (colored) drawings.
    Btw, in the German Edition of Brisingr, “illuminator” is translated as what I would literally translate as “bookpainter”.

  • Johnathan

    If you were to ever write a prequel or sequel to the Inheritance Cycle, would you consider writing “The Dominance of Fate”?

  • yo.blagden

    Will the 7 words brom told eragon before he died come in use in book 4?

  • IDC

    The reason why shruikan kept his name is because the dragons thought it wasnt his fault because galby twisted his mind.

  • rain

    I was just going to say that the question asked by AryaxEragon
    i.e. “In Eldest Oromis said that Brom came from a family of illuminators. What is an illuminator?”
    is easily answerable without asking Christopher.

    Before the invention of the printing press books often took years to write and were very elegant and written completely in calligraphy with ornate decorations added to the first letter of every chapter/page, etc. The people who drew these ornate letter decorations and such were called illuminators. Their job was very similar to that of a scribe except that they were more focused on the art of drawing a letter and making it beautiful for a book.

    I just thought that it would be better to ask Christopher a different question than one that could be answered by someone else.


  • Zaid

    I was wondering about the movie. i think it ruined the book, i mena i liked the actors but the script was horrible and the plot was too good to let it get ruined. Instead, is there a way Christopher could influence the movie producers into breaking Eragon into seperate episodes,so that the plot could be more accurate?

  • Dragonrider360

    How do you normallly post questions for monthly Q&As? Do I have to be a member?

    I have sOOOO many questions!!!!!

  • Were176cRider

    Christopher, can you just answer these questions? I know you won’t answer them anymore, but can you please just tell us who the Grey Folk’s descendants are?

  • Dragonrider360

    PLEASE MAY I POST MORE QUESTIONS??????? MY QUESTIONS NEVER END!!!! I’m reading Eragon for the fith time and I dogtagged some key pionts and questions. I seek knowledge!

  • Were176cRider

    Actually, Galbatorix’s dragon does have a name, Shruikan.

  • myself

    So the dragons got together and made the forsworn’s dragons’ names vanish. So Galbatorix’s dragon doesn’t have a name anymore right? Anyway, my actual question is: couldn’t Galbatorix just make up another name for him?

  • Dragonrider360

    To comment that last comment(that’s redundant!) I just wanted to say the Galbatorix does rule, but not in the good way(like he rules the Emprie). This is probably a stupid question but is that a beard on Glaedr? Just curious. I misspelled groovy once.

  • Were176cRider

    I have a theory about the next book. It said in Brisingr that the Ra’zac ride on their parents, so I believe that either the Lethrblaka are descendants of dragons, or vice versa. I also think that riders came from Ra’zac riding on their flying parents, or vice versa.

  • Dragonrider360

    Sup peoples!

    This is not a question, it’s more like a theory or just something for people to consider:

    On page 809 of Eldest, Eragon asks Oromis if he could use the forces of nature to fuel a spell. Oromis answers that no one has devised a spell that could do that. Instead of the name of the ancieint language(this was another theory), the seven words that Brom spoke before he died could be the spell that could use the elements. Just sayn’.

    PS: My friend said that Galbatorix rules so I slapped him on the head.

  • Dragonrider360

    Hi again! I just got another question:

    Can we know a teeny bit more about Vroengard and the Spine? Do they have any sort of relashonship with each other?

    I’ll proably have more guestions. I got a 59 on a Spelling Test

  • WerecatRider

    Are elves the descendents of the Grey Folk? It was said that the Grey Folk created the essence of magic, and the elves have the best spellweavers, so would they be related?

  • Dragonrider360

    I have a question:

    Are there any living decendants of the Grey Folk?

    If this actualy gets onto an interview of some sort, love the books!

    Forgive me, I’m bad at spelling. 🙂

  • Surdan

    In Eldest, on page 584, when eragon spared the sentinels, why did CP mention ”undying loyalty”? I mean, it’s not like their going to save his life in book 4,or are they?

  • aryalover

    a question for the author when your finished with the fourth book would you consider writing a series on either the elvish vs dragons war or the fall of the riders just asking because i think it would be great to find more about what happened

  • phoenix323264

    Can you let us post questions longer? Every time i get on the posts are disabled. I’ve been trying to post for months.

  • Joanna<3

    whoops *an* illuminator 🙂
    sorry for double post

  • Joanna<3

    aren’t you only like 17 or something?? How on earth did you come to get such a wonderful privilege as that already?? thats awesome!
    And yes, generally and illuminator is a person who illustrates books and manuscripts. Though, I don’t know if that’s what CP meant by illuminator…

  • NobodyXD


  • LadyLuck

    How exactly are we supposed to submit questions anyway?

  • Carvahallian

    Marco, I like your idea of a fanart competition. It will increase the amount of good fanart. Maybe we could ask people’s permission and add it to the wiki? (Ideally Inheriwiki, but that will never happen, no offense.)

  • Cee

    Good solution, but im confused you said you were asking only 10 questions, but you posted around 20?

  • ShurtugalLiam

    I can’t help but get the feeling the Trianna is going to become a shade …… it just seems TOO much a coincidence she’s a sorceress lol 🙂

  • Marco

    To increase web activity on here, perhaps we should have a fan art competition. The general theme would be announced, or perhaps a chapter in one of the books and we would have two weeks to make an entry. The winner gets to be featured in that fan-made book for CP that we were talking about…

  • adza153

    when will the interview be roughly??

  • blake

    will tenga be making more of an appearance? he seemed like a part of the book that was kind of just skipped over

  • Chris

    I’ve been thinking we need to hold another contest soon. We’ll try brainstorming ideas and see what comes up.

  • Tulkas

    Avantir- A contest? I remember the one contest years ago when you had to answer three questions to win a ticket to the Eragon movie. The first one and last one I found easily, but the middle one, “What is the elvish name for the tailbone of the Spine” stumped me. Unlike the others, I had no idea of where it was or where to find it. I kept rereading Eragon and Eldest, searching for the answer, but I kept skipping over the Roran parts, because Roran didn’t know the AL, did he? Little did I relize that the answer was to be found in the Roran section, because Jeod knew. I mailed in the thing, but I didn’t win. But I was one of the first to see the movie. We could have a competition like that one?

  • Chris

    Just click on my name. It has my email linked.

  • Glorfindel

    My questions never get asked. Ah well…
    Chris, where can I email you?

  • Eldest13Ireallyamhernotaguest

    K heads up, my computer is being stupid i am really Eldest13, but it will not let me on.

    Anyhow I have a question.

    It is mentioned (I think in Eldest) that when all the dragon’s died (Most) that there was a decline of Elfs and Humans. It also said that the Human’s lost a lot of their culture, could you tell us about some of the culture we lost?

  • Chris

    If you keep submitting a question and don’t know why it isn’t being asked, feel free to email it to me and I’ll try to get back to you in a timely manner about it. And Mike and I visit Shurtugal multiple times a day to keep up with everything.

  • Avantir

    How about contests where players have to look up a certain described event in the series (Like vaguely described) and everyone who got it right had their names entered in a draw with a prize for the winner. This would promote people to look through the books and possibly develop questions.

  • Teiresias

    Thanks, guys. A faiur and noble solution, and an excellent set of questions for the next Q&A. mI especially like Karan’s question.

  • Baboo

    Benzy19, obviously questions aren’t being taken at this time, but if they were you have to ask yourself “if you were CP, would you answer this question?”

    In the case of your first question (about Brom’s parents) he probably could, but if you refer to the May 2009 Q&A it is unlikely that they were Riders.

    As for the next 2 questions (re: Brom’s siblings/children), I personally wouldn’t answer that question if I were him. If they do exist then they’re probably secret characters for Book 4, so he’s forced to say “no comment” either way.

    Finally the Eldunari question is pondered by Eragon himself in Brisingr and obviously has importance to Book 4. There’s no way that he’ll answer that question.

    Sorry if I’m coming off as harsh (in the written from), I don’t mean to, but if you seriously consider this advice then you will come up with better questions that might be accepted next time around.

  • *Doodles*

    This is irrelevant to the subject, but I ‘ve been trying to submit a picture on the ‘Fan Art’ page, but it hasn’t been working. I’m pretty sure my picture isn’t the problem, so I just though you should check it out.

  • Benzy19

    In Eldest, when Eragon was fighting Murtagh, he had some Eldunari. But Murtagh didn’t have anywhere to put it, on him or Thorn. Where were they?

  • Benzy19

    Was any of Broms parents dragon riders?
    Did Brom have any other children? (other than Eragon)
    Did Brom have any brothers or sisters?

  • bina52

    Please, Please, Please can I ask him a question!?!?!?!?!??! I LOVE THE INHERITANCE CYCLE!!!!!

  • Ganon:RiderofArgorok

    Ahhh, I see. Yeah, sounds like a long job hehe. I think my questions are alright, so I’ll ask again when the next submissions post opens.
    One of the past ones was about female Shades and Elven/Dwarven Shades so I’m happy that that should be asked soon :).

  • Mike

    @Ganon:RiderofArgorok – We simply do not have the time to reply to each question that is rejected to tell the person why. The average Q&A question submission process gets over 400 comments, usually totaling over 600 individual questions. We can’t reply to each one.

  • ShurtugalLiam

    concerning the question about the gems in which energy can be stored, i would presume the magician would have a ward of some description? I wouldn’t say they CAN’T draw from it, because Eragon could reach into Aren and utilise Brom’s stored energy. 🙂

    Most them questions are awesome 😛 can’t wait for the answers!

  • sirsimon

    Indeed, an illuminator was a person whom decorated manuscripts and coloured the text.

    This is why colourful medieval books dating around the early period are known as illuminated manuscripts.

    Why do I know this? I’m an archaeologist and I have studied a few of them, very beautiful pieces.

  • Ganon:RiderofArgorok

    I was just wondering how often the mods come on this website, because if it were often enough I have an idea (I know you’ve sorted it, but ya know).
    Is there any way that you could give people feedback on questions? i.e. if a question wouldn’t be asked because it’s about a plot-point, you could say that. That would mean pointless questions aren’t getting posted every time. I myself would like to know whether questions I have submitted are askable, and whether they were omitted because they were bad or because you already had enough questions.
    Just an idea, but I dunno how you’d do it.

  • greatguy

    someone who illistrates books by hand, that would be more likely yes.

    As for making fireworks, how fun childhood wouldn’t brom have had then 😉

  • memememe!

    Thanks everyone who took the time to read questions and post new and old ones.
    I think everyone is looking forward to this Q&A and with these questions it should be very interesting!
    So thank you very much!

  • Firestone

    As for Brom’s age, he had to have been at least 111, because he was chosen at 10 years of age, his training had to have been at least five years, so if the war with the Forsworn started when he was 11, the first year he was a dragon rider, at the youngest, he would have been 111 when he died. But of course, he had to have been older than 11 during the war with the forsworn, I would place him right at 120 when he died. Remember the century that passed since the time of the forsworn and the time of Eragon.

  • Baboo

    Guest123: You’re right, the question could have been worded differently, hoepfully the point still gets across. I submitted it a few times in previous Q&As and it was probably worded a bit better, this time I accompanied it with a big long explaination, which is where I put most of my effort.

    dragonfury999: Out of curiousity where did you find the 400 number? Originally it was 100 (at the Burning Plains) and I assumed more had joined but couldn’t find evidence of it.

    Regarding the question about Brom’s age, the Inheritance Wiki puts him at 124-129, although I don’t know exactly how they derived that.

  • Guest123

    Illuminator Depends where he got the idea from, In the wheel of time series an Illuminator is a fireworks maker, but Ive seen it be a reference to light makers and book makers.

  • Billy

    Actualy an Illuminator is someone who illistrates books by hand

  • greatguy

    – AryaxEragon

    In Eldest Oromis said that Brom came from a family of illuminators. What is an illuminator?

    A illuminator is someone who make lights, or at least illuminati means enlightened, hope this answers a little 🙂

  • Chris

    We don’t look at past Q&A questions when we start a new one. The only time an old one would be asked is if it had been selected and not asked for that interview, in which case we would probably be using it at a later date. Feel free to re-ask your question, but if you ask it a few times and it is not selected, it probably will not be.

  • Guest123

    dragonfury999: I think more what there trying to figure out is the number or % of Urgals not with the Varden, Not how many are there. I think the question should be how many are not allied with the Varden. Thats just my thoughts on it though.

  • dragonfury999

    i just wanted to say that the question about urgals has been answered in the book. There were 400 Urgals with the Varden but after the battel with the painless men 150 of them were killed to there are about 250 urgals currently with the Varden.

  • Ganon:RiderofArgorok

    Looking forward to the QandA this month – though my question wasn’t chosen 🙁 – but hehe I’m not bitter. I was just wondering, do you check submissions from earlier QandA’s for good questions that just didn’t make it, or do you only search that months, because if so I have a few I’d like to re-ask when it opens up again. Thanks for these wonderful QandA’s.

  • adza153

    wooo, first question i ever posted and its on the list for the next Q,A thanks for taking the time to read 🙂 i will have more for next time

  • theendispossible

    Shurtugal staff was wondering was my question too long? Is that why it was cut down? Just curious, but thanks for gettng mine asked to CP this is the first time for me. ; )

  • IronAngel

    About the dream well question:

    Ok, I’m going to go out on a limb here and put out a theory about this. (It has evidence to back it up!)
    In the glossary of Eragon, it details the words Angela used to cast Eragon’s fortune.
    One of these words was ‘Manin’ or ‘memory’.
    The dream well is located in ‘Mani’s cave’;
    Now if I had to bet on this, I’d say that the dream well, allows someone who drinks from it, (assuming it has magical water) to relive a memory while asleep.

    I could be wrong, but it sounds right on paper.

  • Guest123

    Wow awesome my question was chosen 😀

  • Baboo

    I just noticed a minor error in my own question (on the list), groups of Urgals are called “tribes” not “clans”. Sorry, I don’t know how I botched that one.

    Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read through all of the posts, I know there were a lot of them. Hopefully this enthusiasm amonst the fans will carry over for a few more Q&As. Some of the questions that were selected seem really good … I can’t wait to hear the responses.