“Big Twenty” – Eragon’s Lackluster Love Life: A Future of Doom?

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.

Eragon’s love was prophesied to revolve around one of noble birth and heritage, said to be a powerful, wise, and beautiful woman. However, Eragon hasn’t been the luckiest courter following his failed advances on Arya, princess of the Ellesmera. Does Eragon still have a chance to win over the powerful warrior, or does Eragon’s future love life lay elsewhere?

Our fourth Big Twenty article will explore Eragon’s love life, largely missing from the series so far, and whether or not our hero stands a chance at finding true love.

Remember to keep a copy of The Inheritance Almanac – the official companion guide to Inheritance, approved by Christopher Paolini himself – by your side as we work through the books, stories, tales, and theories leading up to Book 4! The Inheritance Almanac has everything you need to know about the people, places, and things in Alagaësia including unknown facts, exclusive information, and exciting tidbits. You can pick the book up through Amazon (or any local book dealer) for only $10 – and it’s rated 4.5 stars!

A Love Story Foretold and Seemingly Forgotten

Eragon’s romantic future was seemingly set-in-stone early on in the series during our first encounter with Angela the herbalist. Angela offers Eragon a glimpse into his own future by reading his fortune from magic-imbued dragon bones. Many of the witch’s predictions have since come true, yet the outcome of the foretold romance remains unresolved:

“An epic romance is in your future, extraordinary, as the moon indicates – for that is the magical symbol – strong enough to outlast empires. I cannot say if this passion will end happily, but your love is of noble birth and heritage. She is powerful, wise, and beautiful beyond compare.”

This prediction hinges on two major points:

This passion – not love affair – may only be one-way. This prediction does not state that the receiver of Eragon’s love will ever love him back. In fact, “I cannot say if this passion will end happily” doesn’t seem to bode well for the Rider.

The prediction’s description of his “love target” is spot-on for Arya. “Noble birth and heritage” – check. “Powerful” – check. “Wise” – check. “Beautiful beyond compare” – Eragon sure seems to think so!

A Dream – But is it Just That?

Another indicator of a set-in-stone romantic future for our young hero is his early dream of two Riders – himself and another mysterious female – leaving Alagaësia forever.

“A strange, fair ship waited for them, shining under a bright moon. The figures slowly boarded the vessel; two of them, taller than the rest, walked arm in arm. Their faces were obscured by cowls, but he could tell that one was a woman. They stood on the deck of the ship and faced the shore. A man stood alone on the pebble beach, the only one who had no boarded the ship. He threw back his head and let out a long, aching cry. As it faded, the ship glided down the river, without a breeze or oars, out into the flat, empty land. The vision clouded, but just before it disappeared, Eragon glimpsed two dragons in the sky.”

It is widely believed that this dream was a vision into one of Eragon’s possible futures – a future where he will leave Alagaësia forever, arm in arm with his soul mate: a female Rider.

A Lackluster Love Life During Hard Times

Many would argue that the hope of an entire continent and the survival of multiple races rests on the shoulders of Eragon and Saphira. These individuals feel that the young Rider should set aside his personal wants and desires – relationships included – for the betterment of Alagaësia and its people. This is a large order for such a young boy, even considering the circumstances.

While Eragon has grown and matured substantially over a short period of time, it is unfair to ignore his need to withdraw from the conflict when there is time in order to maintain his own personal wellbeing and sanity. Casting aside these core feelings and emotions would lead to a withdrawn and bitter version of Eragon, taking our hero down a path that is both self-destructive and destructive to those around him.

However, we cannot argue that Eragon has attempted to cast aside these desires for the betterment of Alagaësia. In fact, throughout all three books, we see Eragon’s initial “crush” on Arya bloom into full swooning, and eventually take form in multiple advances on the elven royal… all, while flattering, have been awkwardly declined. We see him fail time after time to court Arya, causing momentary strife between the elf and Rider, all leading nowhere.

Brisingr is in the past and Inheritance is on the horizon. The final pages of the third installment left fans with a lingering feeling of resignation and despair: Eragon appears to have finally given up on chasing the woman of his dreams – Arya – possibly for the final time. She has declined his advances, he has made a fool of himself, and love seems lost.

What is set in stone? Eragon has clearly said that he remains uneasy about taking a mortal mate; the idea of watching his love grow old and die as he never ages is too much for him to bear. Should Eragon stay true to this “rule”, his options are limited: he may search for love among the elves, a race which ages as slowly as he does, or he can hold out hope that the last (green) Rider is a female with whom he may one day find a mutual interest.

Exploring Potential Suitors

Many people believe that “celebrity” status is something reserved for our generation, where people idolize and adore those in a position of power and awe; however, we fully believe this not to be the case. While Alagaësia’s citizens certainly face some monumental issues in the form of tyrant leaders, warring nations, dwindling supplies, and attacks, they must seek comfort in objects or people they can idolize and enjoy in their spare time. It’s likely that hundreds, if not thousands, will take to “tempting” Eragon during and after the war. Young women will idolize him as a hero, hoping to spend their days with him. There will be no end to the women Eragon can choose from, but the real question is – will he want any of them?

We seem to believe that there are only a few potential individuals who truly stand a chance at winning Eragon’s heart:

  • Arya – Princess of the elves and once-protector of Saphira’s egg. Maybe she’ll come around?
  • Nasuada – Leader of the Varden and passionate voice for freedom in Alagaësia.
  • Future Rider – Should the “Green Rider” be female, it’s likely that Eragon will bond with this individual, leading down a potential “path to love”
  • An unknown noble –Whether from Surda or a rightful female heir to the Broddring Nation, there are likely other females of noble birth in Alagaësia.
Arya – From a Story Standpoint, Most Likely

Most fans will argue that Arya is the only true and logical choice for Eragon’s potential life mate. This theory is certainly backed by three books’ history… though the same history also seems to indicate that while Eragon has strong and passionate feelings for the elf princess, she simply cannot reciprocate. Despite Eragon’s constant advances (which have begun to wane as the series progresses), Arya wishes for their relationship to sit in the dreaded “friend zone”.

Eragon has made an extraordinary effort to take his relationship with Arya past friendship. He has offered his feelings on a silver platter and has been denied each time. Yet, despite all of this, we feel as though there might still be hope for the two as a couple in the future. Once the war is in the past, the two may have time to get to know each other on a more personal level, offering new ways for the couple to bond beyond friendship. It is possible that Arya is incapable of seeing anything more than a friend within Eragon due to the dire circumstances the pair faces; once these circumstances are eliminated, Arya may be able to look past a friendship toward something more.

Fan theories point to Arya becoming the final “Green Rider” in the series. Should this be the case – again, this is not confirmed – more avenues may open between Eragon and Arya. The elf princess will find herself in a vulnerable situation with few to relate to and will turn to Eragon for support and guidance. Having faced a very similar situation himself, it is likely that Eragon will find it easier to bond with a more open-minded Arya. Becoming a Rider in Alagaësia is a rare and powerful feat and the few remaining Riders need to stick together. This possible circumstance would likely ignite a relationship between the two – the relationship Eragon has been seeking since first encountering the elf in his dreams.

While the pair’s future seems rocky at best, we still have an entire book’s plot left to either drive the pair together… or apart.

Nasuada – Less Likely, But Possibly Fits

Nasuada is an unlikely option for Eragon’s future love, yet she cannot be ignored. Our hero’s prophecy clearly states that his future love will be “of noble birth and heritage”; Nasuada, in her own way, falls within this category. Her mother remains unknown, yet she was the daughter of one of the most powerful men in Alagaësia before ascending to the “throne” – an elected position, in her case – to lead Alagaësia’s most powerful rebel group. The prophecy also states that his love will be beautiful, powerful, and wise – three qualities we know Nasuada possesses and are alluded to throughout all three books.

We know that chemistry exists between Eragon and Nasuada, but we haven’t seen a single sign indicating that the chemistry will extend past the “working friendship” the pair share now as de facto leaders of the rebel movement.

This could happen, but it’s very unlikely. No plot threads have existed in the first three books which could be indicative of a budding relationship between the Rider and Varden leader, yet the option has never been ruled out. One thing is for certain: Eragon and Nasuada ending up together may annoy Murtagh just a bit!

Future Green Rider: Future Possibility?

As mentioned above, Eragon hasn’t had the best luck finding love with currently-known characters. Because of this, we feel the most likely path for Eragon’s love rests with whomever ends up bonding with Alagaesia’s final dragon egg… if that person is a female. We are shown through Eragon’s Guide to Alagaesia (which takes place after the events of Book 4) that Eragon has survived the war. This leaves room for Eragon to finally explore his love life, which may mean bonding with the new Rider to create a new generation of Riders, dragons, and hilariously pointy-eared offspring.

Another Beautiful, Powerful and Wise Female is Out There Somewhere

Alagaësia is certainly home to many beautiful, powerful and wise females willing to sit at Eragon’s side. The boy is relatively new to the world and has many adventures ahead of him – assuming he doesn’t meet his demise in Book 4. We cannot rule out the possibility of his future life-mate being someone we haven’t yet encountered. We also cannot ignore the fact that we may never receive closure in this field. It’s possible that with all the action in Alagaësia, Eragon may cast aside his own needs and deal with them following the war. Should this happen, it’s likely that it would be “after Book 4” – an unwritten story left up to the fans’ own minds.

To please the prophecy at the back of all of our minds, one needs only to consider that the Broddring Nation’s original bloodlines flow throughout Palancar Valley. Could Eragon have already met a young, beautiful descendant of the original kings? Could his future love be waiting for him back home?

Questions to Consider (Answer in the Comments Below!)

  • Do you think Eragon’s love life is as cut and dry as everyone assumes (aka, he’ll end up with Arya)?
  • Do you think Christopher has a surprise in store for us regarding Eragon’s future life mate?
  • Do you think that Christopher may choose to ignore Eragon’s love life due to all that is going on in Alagaesia during Book 4?
  • Did the Menoa tree take Eragon’s ability to love?
  • Who do you feel will be Eragon’s true love and why?