Christopher Paolini at Comic-Con 2011: Day One Write-up/Summary!

Christopher Paolini took Comic-Con 2011 by storm during his final year at the convention to promote the Inheritance cycle – and Shur’tugal was at his side updating fans on his events, activities, and more! Our summary includes a detailed look at the highlights from Christopher’s panel, including some possible exciting information on Book 4, as well as a look at his signing and sketching!

Christopher’s day started out early on the “Putting the Epic in Epic Fantasy”, featuring a host of the most prominent current fantasy authors including Christopher Paolini, George R R Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Peter Orullian, KJ Taylor, and Kevin J. Anderson.

As we’re sure our fans have inferred, the panel – one which Christopher has guest spoken on two years in a row – was a discussion revolving around the writing of epic or high fantasy. The authors were posed a series of questions by the discussion moderator before fans were allowed to ask their questions.

The core and perhaps most interesting discussion at this year’s panel focused on world building and whether or not to outline a story before writing. The panelists were nearly evenly divided on both topics – half enjoyed character building over world building (and vice versa), and were also divided on plot outlines vs. writing a story without prior outlines.

Some of our favorite quotes from the panel include:

“Within an epic story you can tell many small stories” – CP

“I think that it’s become very clear that everyone tackles world building with a different focus. Everyone’s heart sits in a different place.” – CP

“All you want to do is write about big battles and action sequences. If you’re honest about how those effect your characters, you’ll start delving far into their psychology and build on them from there.” – CP

“There are tons of half-finished books where I have a great character with no world for him to live in, or a great world with no good characters to populate it” – Brandon Sanderson

“World building needs to go hand in hand with storytelling, the focus needs to be on both equally” – George RR Martin

“Dammnnnnn! Damn! I’m an outliner!” – Patrick Rothfuss (after once dogging on story outliners) “We’ll have to discuss that afterward!” – CP

Christopher also (possibly) alluded to some major plot twists in Book 4 with the following quote:

“That said, you have to have the ability and courage to recognize when the outline is ruining your story. They grow and change in ways you don’t expect. You have to have honest with yourself to acknowledge that. ‘The guy I had intended to marry so or so, or kill the king, that just doesn’t fit now’ (MIKE’S NOTE: HINT FOR THE FUTURE??) ‘So okay, how do I work out the rest of the story?’ Without exception, I found that this process led to a much better story. I’m a big believer of outlining, but you have to be willing to throw it away when the story demands it.”

Following the panel, Christopher and the panelists headed to the autographing area to begin a 90 minute long autographing session. The line was so long that a second autographing area was used to for the second queue… and then a third. Sadly people were turned away by security once it ran nearly 20 minutes over, but Christopher later signed books for those fans at the Random House booth (always a gentleman!).

Christopher’s “official” final event of the day was the beginning of his sketching at the Random House booth. Christopher began what appears to be a dragon flying over the land below (from above) at the booth. Dozens of fans crowded around to watch the author draw and to throw questions his way. We humored Christopher by asking how much of a role Murtagh will physically play in Book 4… to which he replied: “It’s safe to say that Murtagh’s physical role will be much more prominent in the last book.”

Christopher returns to the convention center tomorrow for a solo autographing session (where he is signing copies of Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr as well as beautiful Inheritance Cycle posters) and will sit at the Random House booth for a large period of time in an attempt to finish his sketch. The completed drawing will be raffled off to fans in attendance!

We will of course have more questions and answers from Christopher next week when we release our official Comic Con 2011 interview.

Be sure to check out the gallery of Christopher’s events, signings, and sketching here on Shur’tugal!

  • Eve

    Bigger PHYSICAL role?
    Oh, Chris, now don’t get the fangirls too excited. 

  • Eve

    Bigger PHYSICAL role?
    Oh, Chris, now don’t get the fangirls too excited. 

  • 123

    Previously intended marriage:
    Murtagh and Arya.

    Reason: 
    Star Wars plot; protagonist (Luke/Eregon) saves princess (Leia/Arya) with help of rugged loner (Han Solo/Murtagh) and at first it looks like protagonist and princess will end up together, but in the end, they realize it’s not meant to be (siblings/want to stay friends) and she falls for the rugged loner.

  • some person

    I  was thinking about this, and its pretty illogical, but i think it MAY be right. On Brisingr’s cover, Gleadr has some semi-crinkled scales, and he was rather old. On the Inheritances cover, nearly the entire dragon is crinkled. I’m thinking it may be possible that this new dragon is actually rather old and its coming from the outside. Possibly a rider who stumbled upon the egg during the early fighting, and decided to flee instead of risk going to the elves and being killed. Its just a errant thought, highly unlikely, but im deeply fascinated by the different appearances of the dragons. Even Thorn, a young dragon had smooth scales. 

    • Kaitymarx

       That’s a really cool thought! I think you may be onto something there, but possibly not what you think. You’re dead right about the scales. Thorn and Saphira, no crinkles. Glaedr and Greenie, definitely rocking the fringe-y look. But then I noticed the little spikes on the tops of their heads. Saphira and Thorn’s spikes are both longer and thinner than Greenie’s, who has little nubby spikes- like a baby dragon logically might. So, what if the crinkly scales aren’t an age thing, but a genetic thing? What if we’re about to find out that Greenie and Glaedr are actually related, like father and son? We don’t know anything about Glaedr’s personal life (or Oromis’, for that matter). All we know is that he and Oromis were mentor to new Riders. Glaedr could’ve had a mate, and it most likely wouldn’t have been something he’d have shared with his last pupils. Plus, we already know Paolini is all about surprise parents and “inheritances”. Greenie needs SOME kinda back-story.

      Just saying, it’s a cool idea. Thanks for pointing that out to us, Some Person! You just got me thinking 🙂

      ~Kaity

  • some dude

    For the people theorising over who kills galby, what about how Roran was injured by the oxen despite having a shield (could have that slightly wrong – not read the books in a while). I am sure there was a foreshadowing there somewhere of how a ward may not protect against some type of attack (dragon tail smash ftw).

  • Well I was maybe thinking that the King would kill Murtagh, and Thorn would turn agents the man that killed his rider. Or seance the King stole his second dragon (the black one he has now) his dragon would turn agents him for some reason, maybe he breaks a spell that the King has him under.

  • murtagon

    So hes not going to follow his original outline aka Star Wars by having to change the King Killer so that Darth Vader (Murtagh) no longer kills emperor Galbatine.

    Did I read into that correctly? 

    • If Murtagh is Vader, then Eragon would be Mutragh’s son, because Eragon is the Luke (if you are going by Star Wars 4) but Inheritance IS NOT copying the Star Wars Saga, they are both simply stories called ‘The Hero’s Tale’

      • CP’s dragon

        Your right hes not the son… hes the brother of the dark lords main apprentice who was turned to the dark side but whom we still believe has good in him.

        CP first wrote the Eragon intended to be “Trilogy” to be movies. The young kid outlined his favorite movies (star wars) and then devoloped his story based on that outline…. 

  • RogerLairdWriting

    Honestly I wouldnt be a bit surprised if Christopher himself fell into alegasia and ended up killing galbatorix. Bet galby wouldnt have put a ward up in prediction of that and with the way christopher writes it would all be plausable.

  • RogerLairdWriting

    Honestly I wouldnt be a bit surprised if Christopher himself fell into alegasia and ended up killing galbatorix. Bet galby wouldnt have put a ward up in prediction of that and with the way christopher writes it would all be plausable.

  • RogerLairdWriting

    Honestly I wouldnt be a bit surprised if Christopher himself fell into alegasia and ended up killing galbatorix. Bet galby wouldnt have put a ward up in prediction of that and with the way christopher writes it would all be plausable.

  • Tulkas Astaldo

    I wonder if the marrying person and the king-killer are the same… but as Roran is already married, Eragon is not going to marry who he considered at first. Perhaps Arya…

  • RogerLairdWriting

    Please visit RogerLairdWriting.wordpress.com for an updated version of Roger’s most recent short story Zombie High.

  • Nicole

    he just revealed that the king dies

    • It’s more he revealed that he was going to kill the king, but it just won’t work with the original person. Maybe, once he realized that, he completely changed it so Galby doesn’t die. I’m pretty sure though, that he would have to kill Galby.

      • BigFan

        In Eragons Guıde to Alagaesia, Eragon says that he had to leave alagaesia in search of a Shadow… Maybe Galbatorix escaped and Eragon is chasing him

        • Myaim

          ahhh to much like Earthsea!

        • AvaAnnaZ

          Or the shadow of the dwindling race of the dragons?

  • R.E.L.

    A part of me really wants it to be Shruikan that kills Galbatorix. It would just seem fitting (not that Eragon kills Galbatorix wouldn’t be satisfying either). I guess I’m just wishing that Arya will be the new rider (which would be obvious), but to make up for that obvious-ness, Paolini let’s Shruikan do the honors and kill Galbatorix. Here’s to hoping! 😛

  • R.E.L.

    A part of me really wants it to be Shruikan that kills Galbatorix. It would just seem fitting (not that Eragon kills Galbatorix wouldn’t be satisfying either). I guess I’m just wishing that Arya will be the new rider (which would be obvious), but to make up for that obvious-ness, Paolini let’s Shruikan do the honors and kill Galbatorix. Here’s to hoping! 😛

  • Noone

    When does book 4 come out come on that’s all I want to know

    • WE MAY NEVER KNOW!

      All kidding aside (not), it came out yesterday. You didn’t see it on bookshelves of your local Borders? Whoops, I mean Barnes and Noble.

      • The Clockwork Angel

        Awww! Don’t make this poor soul suffer more than necessary! 

      • RIP Borders! You will be missed by the few out there that actually likes selection at their book stores

    • Lil Uhura

      november 8th

    • RogerLairdWriting

      November 11th

      • RogerLairdWriting

        Oh ya the 8th nevermind, my library gets it on the 11th

  • Jjerzeybrown

    shruiken kills galby

  • RogerLairdWriting

    I really want to know who kills Galbitorix. Christopher has created many eligible characters to do this. Murhtag, Angela, Arya, Elva, Rorhan, Eragon, Tenga, Saphira, Blodgarm, and a few others that have fleeted around the edge of the story. Not to mention it could be a whole new character. I can’t wait. I still think that the Minoah tree took sperm from Eragon to create elf children before she gave him the sky metal. Nar gashvags strory elludes to something of that sort happening. Or maybe I am just crazy.

    RogerLairdWriting.wordpress.com

    • RogerLairdWriting

      Oh and sorry about any misspellings, I listened to the unabridged audiobook versions so I don’t know if all the names are spelled correctly.

      • The only one that is misspelled is Roran. Not bad for listening to the audiobook

        • Lantern13

          blohdgarm or something like that
          nar garzhvog (i’m pretty sure there’s a z)
          galbatorix
          murhtag looks wrong…

          I’m not sure about my spelling, but I’m pretty sure those are spelled wrong.

    • The Clockwork Angel

      That’d be really cool. 

  • Jackal

    If Eragon doesn’t kill Galbutorix, then the new Rider (probably Arya, working together like against Vraug, the shade) will, working with Eragon. It can’t be Roran, galby would just crush him. Like a fly. If the Werecat King or Solembum killed him by a flaw in his wards if galby specified ‘No Human, Dwarf, Rider, Elf or Urgal’ shall come near me without, i dunno, blowing up or something, and as they are werecats it wouldn’t apply. They are the only good guys I can think of who galby might have overlooked, can you think of more? 

  • I wouldn’t be suprised if the book ends with the final dragons leaving Alagaesia forever; think about it. Eragon is going to leave Alagaesia anyway, and he has the final female dragon. Someone will kill Galby, then the people of Alagaesia will probably banish them. Not because Eragon is/becomes evil, but to stop another Galbatorix from happening.

    Plus we’d all like to see that seeminly evil land where humans came from, now don’t we? 😉

    • The Clockwork Angel

      I was also thinking that Eragon and Arya (the new Rider, in my eyes) will team up against Galbatorix. But, as Galbatorix dies, he curses them, saying they are banished from Alagaesia forever. When Eragon was fighting the Ra’zac, the one said “May you leave Alagaesia and never return.” This was right before Eragon killed him. I think that was supposed to foreshadow the situation with Galbatorix. 

    • The Clockwork Angel

      I was also thinking that Eragon and Arya (the new Rider, in my eyes) will team up against Galbatorix. But, as Galbatorix dies, he curses them, saying they are banished from Alagaesia forever. When Eragon was fighting the Ra’zac, the one said “May you leave Alagaesia and never return.” This was right before Eragon killed him. I think that was supposed to foreshadow the situation with Galbatorix. 

    • The Clockwork Angel

      I was also thinking that Eragon and Arya (the new Rider, in my eyes) will team up against Galbatorix. But, as Galbatorix dies, he curses them, saying they are banished from Alagaesia forever. When Eragon was fighting the Ra’zac, the one said “May you leave Alagaesia and never return.” This was right before Eragon killed him. I think that was supposed to foreshadow the situation with Galbatorix. 

    • BigFan

      i dont think eragon will leave with all the dragons, because ın the books it has always been said that the dragons are a part of alagaesia, and the dragons are conected with the elves and humans… so i dont thınk they will all leave. Saphira could leave an egg behind ..

  • Jeriah

    Hmm…I can see several different people potentially killing Galbatorix: Eragon is the most obvious, but there is also Murtagh, Saphira, Nasuada, Roran, and Arya. Assuming Roran lives past the first chapter…I think it would be fun to see a tag-team between him and Eragon, where Eragon is facing off Galby so that all his attention is on him, and then Roran sneaks up behind the king and bashes his head in with his hammer like he did to the Twins.

    • I don’t know if it would be that EASY but hey anything can happen I like your theory

  • DuSkulblakaEbrithil

    Wow! What a great guy and awesome author! You rock CP! 😀

  • DuSkulblakaEbrithil

    Wow! What a great guy and awesome author! You rock CP! 😀

    •  After Inheritance I am looking forward to his next books

  • The Clockwork Angel

    The only person I can see killing the king is Eragon. The entire series is based upon him getting powerful enough to defeat Galbatorix. So if he doesn’t kill him, then the entire series would have been a waste. 

    • wild no one

      what about Shruikan,Galbatorix’s dragon? He was forced to hatch for Galby so he’s not a bad dragon. Maybe he’ll end up as the hero.

      • The Clockwork Angel

        That’s also a possibility. 

      • XEldest

        My thoughts exactly

    • Feisty-fitz

      And also, when Brisingr was forged it was done with the sole purpose of going into Galby’s heart….

      • Arya<3

        Or his head.

      • The Clockwork Angel

        That’s true also. I think CP just geared too much of the series towards Eragon killing Galbatorix personally to change it last second. I mean, WAY too much of the series would have to be thrown away or changed for someone else to do it. And it’s the last book. 

    • Guest

      Agreed. But still fun to read…

    • Guest

      Agreed. But still fun to read…

  • Hey!!! Can we have a video of him drawing the scene in high speed??? would love that and it would also be good for people who were not able to visit comic-con

  • Alexis27

    he is soooo amazing

  • alucard

    I would have loved to see him draw…can you imagine doing nothing for nearly 2 hours but autographing books??

    • Jeriah

      Hey, I’m a checker at a grocery store, and I do nothing for seven hours straight but stand there and slide various packages of food over a scanner, or otherwise wait for someone to approach my register. I think I would rather just get a hand cramp from writing my name over and over again for tons of people who love my work. 🙂 Answer to your question: yes, I can imagine doing that. lol