For the final Big Twenty article, we theorize on what could possibly be the most debated topic in all of the Inheritance Cycle: who is the Green Rider?
Mike is busy in New York City, hobnobbing with Random House and Christopher and getting ready for the final book release, so he wasn’t able to give his two cents. However, the rest of us podcasters have a few favorite theories, and of course we couldn’t leave out you, the fans!
Without any more delay, let’s take them one at a time:
Chris’s thoughts: Obviously, she is the fan favorite for the green rider. Her magic is green. She has even more extensive training than Eragon, and at the hands of one of the last dragon riders that lived after the fall of the riders. She is an elven princess who has already hinted that she would not have to take the throne. This leads me to believe that her destiny lies outside of the mundane role of queen and is instead as a ruler of the sky. Perhaps she will accompany Eragon on his foretold exodus from Alagaesia?
Lauren’s Thoughts: My guess for the green rider is Arya. I know, boring, expected guess, but I am going with the masses with this one. It just feels right; it has always felt right.
Let’s look at the facts. CP has confirmed that it is someone we have known throughout the books. Granted, that could be many different beings, but she counts in with that. She is an elf, and though above the age where they are usually selected, Saphira loves and trusts her, so the dragon(s) overall approve of her.
Also her magic is green. Yes, magic color can change, but that seems a bit handy and might be a clue planted from the start of Eragon. Add to this the fact that she has the choice to opt out of becoming the next leader of the elves, if she should want to. I think if Islanzadi was to die right at the beginning of Inheritance she’d probably do that anyway, because of her free spirit and love of traveling, but the fact that it is even an option for her removes a huge obstacle for the elven princess.
And can we forget the Eragon-Arya love-affair? The thought of him being with someone who will grow old and die saddens him immensely. Plus, he’s irrevocably in love with her, and as Brisingr has shown us, she might be starting to warm to the idea of him.
Here are a few fan theories:
Tim K: Arya. The next rider won’t have the time or the ability to undergo the Blood-Oath Celebration like Eragon, and therefore we should assume, in the best interest of Alagaesia and the war against Galbatorix, that the fourth rider is elven. Also, this would take Eragon and Arya’s relationship from being so unbalanced and put them on the same ‘level’ so to speak, finally allowing them to be together.
Brandon P: The new Rider will be Arya, because just as Eragon his magic is blue influenced by his bond with Saphira, but there are sudden hints like Arya has green eyes, and her magic is green. It would not be a far out of the box idea to conclude that she is the fourth rider… Arya has emotions for Eragon and, as Saphira is the last female, he might be tilted to forge a bond with her so Eragon can have his mate, as well as Saphira, seeing as how each one of them is necessary so that dragons will not go extinct.
Kaitlyn B: Personally, I think the Green Rider will be Arya. In the main, I think this due to her constant affiliation with the color green, i.e.: green magic, pine needles (which, at their most potent scent wise, are green), and the numerous other depictions of “green.”
Secondly, I think Arya due to the fact that status as a dragon rider would put her on even footing with Eragon (both immortal, Shadeslayers, ambassadors of their races, etc) and close the gap between them so that their romance may flourish. Thirdly, I think Arya due to the fact that the greatest feats each of them have accomplished, such as killing the shades, was accomplished together. In my mind it makes sense that the greatest accomplishment of the series, presumably killing Galbatorix, would be a joint effort between the two as a means of keeping symmetry in the series. Finally, I think Arya due to the fact that she is the most likely candidate as she is affiliated and accustomed to all the prominent races (human, elf, dwarf), most experienced with magic, most privy to the lives and ways of dragons from being Saphira’s guardian, and most experienced in battle and weapon skill.
Justin F: Arya, because as many people have already stated, it’s just common sense. Already skilled in magic, swordsmanship, and very knowledgeable. She will ‘inherit’ her own responsibilities when her mother passes on, and then you add in her own green-colored magic. It’s been stated earlier that Christopher doesn’t talk about Arya being the next rider so much because everyone thinks it will be her. There’s a reason ‘everyone’ thinks it will be her.
Arya being the green rider would tie things up in a neat little bow.
However, since Christopher isn’t the type of author who seems to like to tie things into neat little bows, I want to explore some of the other fan favorites.
Lauren’s Thoughts: Though I think Roran will become king (that’s another discussion, but Mike covered it brilliantly in his Big Twenty article on the future king of Alagaesia, so check it out!), there is the chance he could score the last remaining egg. As relative of Eragon, he already has a reputation as someone who is loyal, influential, and a fierce warrior, all things that a dragon would love and respect in its riding mate. And you know something big is going to happen to him, whether it is leader of the Varden, leader of Alagaesia, or the last rider. CP wouldn’t set us up to let us down, you know? (That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway. I’ll know tomorrow!)
Amol G: I have a slight feeling that the next dragon rider would be Roran… In this way, there would be a relation between all dragon riders. Roran has also gone through considerable turmoil to reach Eragon and Katrina.
Lindsey R: I think it’s Roran. Inheritance has been a series about growing up, coming into your own and forging paths for yourself. Furthermore it’s turned into a story of three brothers (half brother is still a brother!) and how they each find themselves through events that occur around dragons. After how we’ve watched Roran mature through book 3, he is the green rider.
Lauren’s Thoughts: I wasn’t really going to write about Nasuada as a potential rider, but knowing Chris’s strong hate for her, and Mike seeing everything in black and white with no wiggle room, I thought I should take a stab at it and try to do her justice, if I can.
I find this idea to be highly implausible. She loves the Varden, and it is her own Inheritance, in a way. She has done things, terrible things (whipping post, anyone?) for the sake of bettering them as a group and getting them to beat Galbatorix, which is the ultimate goal in the end. So why would she ever give that up?
The only thing I could see happening is if the egg hatched for her and she had no other choice, because there’s no way she could be a rider and lead the Varden, there’s just too much to do. She has a lot of great traits that would make for a great rider, including bravery and a cunning mind. She stands by what she thinks is important, regardless of the cost, and with a dragon sharing that mindset they would make quite a pair. And I wouldn’t put it past Christopher to shake us all up as readers and make something like this happen. However, for now I’m sticking with my original theory. I know the story is going to be amazing regardless, so I’ll happily be proven wrong come Tuesday the 8th!
Matt P: You know, I’ve been thinking about this for a bit. As much as I would like to say that the new rider will be Arya, I’m leaning a bit more towards Angela on this one. Solembum seems to take an interest in people who are going to shape the future of Alagaesia, and Angela so far seems to be at the center of a lot of things. Plus, the green armor that she dons when she goes to battle is generally a good indicator as well 🙂
Skyler S: I am willing to bet that the Green Rider will be Angela. I think this because she already occupies a Dragon Rider-like position within the Varden. She can do whatever she wants, even slap Eragon, and she is included in many of the highest meetings. Also there is an eerie coincidence between Solembum’s eyes and the covers of the next book. Solembum’s eyes in Eragon were red, in Eldest they were golden, and in Brisingr they were yellow. Ironically the green dragon’s eyes are yellow, and he is the only dragon we have seen who has different colored eyes. Also, I think Angela is a half-elf!
Chris’s thoughts: Christopher Paolini was surprised at the fervor of attention Vanir received. It does not seem likely that he would make him a dragon rider. While he may be skilled with the sword, he is also older than Arya, and has little presence in the story after Eragon defeats him. Bringing him back in a largely prominent role would make no sense at this point.
Lauren’s Thoughts: I think Elva as a rider would be fierce to behold. Frankly, she scares the crap out of me, now that Eragon released her from her burden but left her with her powers. I don’t know if I would ever fully trust her as a rider, because a dragon that would hatch for her would know her heart and feel a kinship with it. That doesn’t make me feel safer, and it seems like they’d be an extremely powerful duo. Eragon would have his hands full with that one, especially because Elva at this point isn’t exactly sure how she feels about him because of the curse and everything that went with it. Plus, in episode 20, CP pretty much nixed this as an option, and since he’s the final say in everything Alagaesia, I believe him.
Jesse H: Elva will be the new green dragon rider in my opinion. Think of it, the dragons are anything but predictable and are very different from humans. The fact that Elva has already been touched by a dragon will probably mean a lot to the dragons for starters, and in general is a very strong character that I believe the dragons could relate to, with her being wild now because she can block out her ability to sense other’s pain.
Horace P: If not Arya or Nolfavrell, then I’m going with the wildcard Elva. She is an orphan, as would be the final dragon, is young and her blood runs with magic. I think that the dragon would pick her because she has no family and can relate to the dragon. She already has a gedway ignasia and is sensitive to magic. I also think that her accelerated growth could be linked to Greenie’s and allow Greenie to take a part in the final battle. Elva has spent a significant amount of time with Angela, a powerful person in Alagaesia, Eragon spent time with Brom, and Murtagh spent time with Galbatorix. Finally, she has been in all three books.
Lauren’s Thoughts: This is actually my favorite theory, though I don’t think it will ever happen. I love his character, and I think he would make an amazing rider. He is skills with an ax are unparalleled, and he has always been fair, as a leader and a friend. Also, he’s not afraid to put Eragon in his place (a trait he actually also shares with Roran, which I forgot to mention), which I can imagine will be a skill important for the green rider to have. Plus, he’s actually ridden on Saphira, which I believe was the first time that a dwarf ever took to the air on dragon-back. Granted, I know that dwarves aren’t included in the original rider contract, but so much is changing in Alagaesia, why can’t this?
Clark F: Despite what everybody is saying about it can’t be a dwarf, we still don’t know what the Rock of Kuthian and the Vaults of Souls will do. Could they somehow allow Orik or another dwarf to be the rider?
Bladesinger or Wolfeyes
Chris’s Thoughts: Another duo that was only introduced to us, but once again, their importance is conveyed in only a couple of pages. Angela casting the dragon knuckle bones to tell their future is a sure sign that they will help to shape the future of Alagaesia. Perhaps the younger of the two is young enough to be considered to be the new rider; no doubt they will play some part in the final book of the series though.
Paulina Ł: Remember the two women Eragon met in Brisingr? Yes, I think that the younger one will become the dragon rider of the green dragon because Angela the herbalist said that they are going on a very dangerous adventure. I think that they are going to steal the dragon egg from Galbatorix!
The Elf Children
Chris’s Thoughts: Though we did not see much of the elf children in the story, their raw power is conveyed most convincingly. Most people in Alagaesia consider full grown elves to be something to fear, but these children could do magic that older elves couldn’t dream of. If one of them was made a rider, then their power would be a formidable obstacle for Galbatorix to overcome. Since they are still young, they are at an ideal age for a dragon to choose them to be a rider.
Bob’s Thoughts: The possibility of one of the elf children becoming the Green Rider is an interesting prospect. One of the biggest reasons why is because they are the correct age for becoming a dragon rider. They are also extremely powerful elves which could make them an extremely formidable enemy for the king. Another thing these elves have going for them is that they are elves and as such speak the ancient language as a first language and would be very proficient in spells. The extent of their current knowledge is unknown, however, and any lack of knowledge would hinder the progress of the Varden as any training would delay their usefulness.
Bob’s Thoughts: The reasons for saying Sloan could be the Green Rider are purely fun and not logical in any way. One of the cool aspects of this strange pairing would be the fact that Sloan is blind. Can you imagine anything cooler than a rider having to see the world through the eyes of his dragon? The pairing would have to be very strong to support the handicap that Sloan brings along with him. It would also be a great way for this broken man to redeem himself. One problem (only one?) with this pairing would be that Sloan would require a huge amount of training in the Ancient Language and the use of magic and most likely wouldn’t be useful to the Varden for a very long time. Then again, I guess the elves could fix his eyesight. Then this entire paragraph wouldn’t make any sense. Oh well!
Chris K: I think it will be Sloan. I feel CP would not have let him live if he won’t be used again. We also learned that his eyesight can be fixed and he is in Ellesmera and the egg is likely going to go there and he has been in all the books. Plus Tamalin was made for someone with his build.
Rebekah T: I personally fancy it to be Sloan because of his yet-to-be-resolved plot concerning his “curse.” The life-changing event of becoming a Dragon Rider could alter his true name, releasing him from the oaths. Anyway, he needs a happy ending. 🙂
Horace P: If not Arya, then I think Nolfavrell. Christopher said in the podcast that he wasn’t sure if he said the rider would be in all 3 books so far, or just one or two of them. Nolfavrell has been in Eldest and Brisingr and he is about the right age for a rider. Also he lost his father Quimby recently, which I think has something to do with who a dragon chooses. Just look at the last two riders; Eragon (mother at very young age, then father) and Murtagh (mother and father at young age).
Jack P: My theory is that the green dragon egg must have already hatched simply because a new born dragon wouldn’t be able play an effective role in the final book (unless the green dragon is under Galbatorix command and he has manipulated his growth like Thorn’s). If the green egg shell in Ellesméra was from the hatched green dragon then maybe one of the elf children though the question is how did the elves steal the last egg?
David L: Katrina- Pretty good twist, albeit extremely unlikely. Imagine having a little baby rolling around with a baby dragon, because of their strong connection to Katrina. Roran’s whole character is based on being a normal person without magic, so it would contrast well with a family full of magic-users.
We could go on and on with theories, but these are some of the best thoughts on the various subjects. What do you think? Who is your pick for the coveted spot of rider to the green dragon? What’s your favorite theory?
Regardless, we don’t have long to wait!