The Big Twenty is Shur’tugal’s twenty week long series of in depth discussion and theorizing, all centered around twenty core questions, loose ends, and theories in the Inheritance universe. The Big Twenty is the ultimate fan guide to happenings in Book 4 — and we hope you’ll join us for the adventure! To learn more about the Big Twenty, view our announcement article.
Du Fyrn Skulblaka, or The Dragon War, was the terrible war which ultimately led to the formation of the Dragon Riders – a sacred and magical pact originally between elves and dragons to ensure peace between the once-warring races. The legend of Du Fyrn Skulblaka continues to live through the years as a tale of caution to future generations of Alagaesia’s residents. However, with the Fall of the Riders and the rise of Galbatorix, it appears that the lessons of the devastating war have been disregarded.
Legend of the first Eragon, an elf, and his dragon Bid’Duam remains a great inspiration to Alagaësia’s people. Although the race of Dragon Riders has since fallen – Galbatorix and his twisted dragon Shruikan having tarnished all that the sacred bond between dragon and Rider – a glimmer of hope lives on within a young Rider and his dragon who follow paths parallel to Eragon and Bid’Duam: Eragon and Saphira.
Our third Big Twenty article will explore the original Eragon and his dragon, Bid’Duam, as well as their possible deaths and the role they will play – dead or alive – in Inheritance (Book 4).
Christopher Paolini has confirmed that Eragon 1 and Bid’Duam will be involved in Book 4 in some way. His confirmation has left tremendous room for speculation. Fans are polarized: will Eragon 1 and Bid’Duam simply be mentioned in the final book, or will they actually make an appearance?
“Some history or knowledge pertaining to the original Eragon and his dragon, Bid’Duam, will appear in Book 4.”
The fate of Alagaësia’s original dragon and Rider remains unknown; their deaths have never been addressed or confirmed. The role they will play – if not by appearing, by possibly revealing information – will likely remain a mystery until the final book releases. However, speculation may lead us to likely outcomes.
Who were Eragon and Bid’Duam, and what role did they play in Alagaësia?
Eragon 1 and Bid’Duam were the first Rider and dragon in Alagaësia and are singlehandedly credited with ending Du Fyrn Skulblaka, or The Dragon War. This war was ignited by a young and naïve elf who hunted and killed a dragon for sport – enraging the dragons, who immediately retaliated by attacking the elves. Without the means to communicate – dragons do not speak – the elves were unable to ease the growing tension between the races and were forced to defend themselves in war.
The two powerful groups fought long and hard, slowly dooming themselves and each other to extinction, taking Alagaësia with them. It was not until Eragon, a young elf, happened upon an abandoned dragon’s egg that a miracle happened: the egg hatched for Eragon and the pair bonded. Once Bid’Duam was mature enough, Eragon and his dragon traveled together across Alagaësia in an attempt to bring peace between the elves and the dragons.
Destiny saw that the two were responsible for the end of the war after a peace agreement was reached between the leaders of both races. The core of this agreement lead to the creation of the Dragon Riders, an pairing of one elf and one dragon responsible for watching over Alagaësia and ensuring that Alagaësia would not fall to war in the future.
Are the original Rider and his dragon dead or alive?
It is very unlikely that the Eragon 1 and Bid’Duam remain physically alive. Du Fyrn Skulblaka took place many centuries ago, and we know that dragons grow with age. A dragon as old as Bid’Duam (if the dragon were still alive) would likely be the size of an entire continent – and impossible to hide.
As for Eragon 1, it is likely that a being of his importance, stature, and rank would be an incredibly powerful ally in a war such as the one Alagaësia currently faces. Would the original Eragon – the elf responsible for brokering piece among warring factions on his home continent – sit by idly while Galbatorix destroys the peace he worked so hard to ensure for Alagaesia? Very unlikely.
However, it could be possible (though improbable) that Eragon 1 has survived, and if so, would be so ancient that he is physically incapable of much. If this were the case, Eragon 1 would be able to offer valuable wisdom to his allies – the elves, the Varden, and Eragon. But if Eragon 1 was still alive, he certainly would have already shown himself. The longer he waits, the more hostile the conflict grows and the less likely he would be able to help. If the elves were hiding Eragon 1, or if he himself were hiding, it is likely that he would have come out of hiding to aid in the effort or instruct Eragon. His lack of involvement
Some fans have speculated that Tenga may be Eragon 1. While there is no supporting evidence for this theory, readers cite the following qualities as potential evidence:
Old, apparently wise
In-depth knowledge of the ancient language
Ability to cast spells without speaking words of power (rare)
This theory holds no merit in our eyes. While interesting to ponder, we simply feel that it is too far-fetched to be true.
Our conclusion (speculation): Eragon 1 is dead, Bid’Duam lives on… as an Eldunari
It is our belief that Eragon 1 and Bid’Duam passed away years ago, living on only through tales of their bravery. However, we believe that Bid’Duam’s Eldunari remains on Alagaësia – either under Galbatorix’s control or lost/hidden. It is possible that Eragon will come to find the Eldunari.
What role will they play in Book 4?
Given the information we have now and time constrictions with Book 4, it’s likely that the role Eragon 1 and Bid’Duam play will be relatively tame and minor. We feel that the most likely scenario revolves around Eragon and Saphira receiving items, knowledge, or communication (passed on throughout the years) from the original dragon and Rider which will aid them in their journey to the gates of Urû’baen. This information could be as simple as advice or as elaborate as hidden spells or the locations of powerful weapons (Vault of Souls?).
It is also certainly possible that Bid’Duam’s Eldunari remains, though its whereabouts – if it exists at all – are clearly unknown. Such an ancient, wise, and important Heart of Hearts would be an invaluable tool in the war. The power that Bid’Duam would be able to contribute through the Eldunari would be incomprehensible. Is this weapon already in Galbatorix’s possession? Could this be hidden, perhaps in the Vault of Souls?
We believe it to be highly unlikely that Eragon or Bid’Duam will make physical appearances in Book 4.
Christopher has informed fans that we will learn more about Eragon and Bid’Duam in Book 4. It is safe to say that the knowledge we learn will be of use to Eragon or the resistance in some way, rather than simple history or facts. At this point, Eragon and Saphira need all of the assistance they can get their hands on; the odds against them grow by the day. Who better to help – directly or indirectly – than the first Rider and dragon, both directly responsible for restoring peace to Alagaësia?
We want to hear from you! Answer these questions in the comments below:
Is Eragon 1 dead or alive?
Is Bid’Duam dead or alive?
If Bid’Duam is dead, do you believe the Eldunari remains?
What role rill Eragon 1 and Bid’Duam play in Book 4?
Is there any merit to the “Tenga is Eragon 1” theory?
Do Bid’Duam and Eragon 1 have anything to do with the Vault of Souls?
Be sure to share your own Eragon 1 and Bid’Duam theories should they not match our own!