Question: What … or who … the heck is Angela the Herbalist?!

angela the herbalistAngela the witch. Angela the herbalist. Angela the justwhattheheckisshe. Angela is a character of many names, faces, and abilities; and for all of her mysteries, two certainties remain: Angela will always sit atop fans’ favorite characters list, just as she will always top the lists of favorite Inheritance moments.

We first encounter the witch and her werecat companion in Teirm at the start of Eragon. The pair showcase their abilities of foresight by offering Eragon a unique glimpse into his own future. Angela explores the love and peril ahead of him, whereas Solembum offers Eragon several prophecies – some which have yet to come to fruition. The pair have made various appearances in the books since their grand entrance in Eragon, ranging from their room at Farthen Dûr to the battle of the Burning Plains.

But the events of Inheritance — from whispering her true name to the priests of Helgrind and being called Mooneater, to Tinkledeath and her disappearance after Inheritance — lead us to ask one major question:

What … or who … the heck is Angela the Herbalist?!

We want to hear your theories, thoughts, and ideas in the comments!

*Angela and Solembum artwork by crystalskye on DeviantArt!

  • Selena

    Possibly a dragon-less Rider. Or….. SELENA FAKED HER DEATH!

  • Randall Buckheit

    I totally think that she is one of the grey folk, and a dragon rider, except that her dragon died. It would explain her long life, her obsession with interesting events, her werecat companion (because of her interesting lifestyle), and her EXTREMELY vast knowledge, her interesting collection of weapons, and how she knows all about the weapons and the people she got them from.

  • Greg H

    Angela……Most likely, a Decendent of the Grey Folk, and the Soothesayer. Another Theory, She’s an Indlvarn!! . Or maybe Angela is really Mani. “Mani’s Well” was mentioned as one of the inexplicable magics which appear throughout Alagaesia. Mani’s Well, could be the fissure which the gases permeate the Hall of the Soothesayer. Arya would know about it, from her Father, or the Lords in Elesmera. Mani, could be the name of the soothesayer even. So Angela—-just an alias of Mani’s!!

  • William

    SHE IS THE ORACLE *_*

  • RC

    Then again, the Gray Folk theory might be right too….

  • RC

    This is in support of the Doctor Who theory, but in one of the episodes (The Doctor’s Daughter) The Doctor gets cloned and VUALA! End result? Renegade female Time Lord on the loose- What if?

  • Whitecrisco

    She is a member of the Grey Folk. She was born after the great enchantment that caused the Grey Folk’s magical powers to erode. This explains why she has special abilities such as being able to defeat the High Priest of Helgrind and also explains why she is not as powerful as Tenga. A really interesting story thread would be if Tenga had other students other than Angela that are still living in Alagaesia. If there is one of them who did not have Angela’s innate goodness they would make for a very interesting antagonist.

  • xjess95

    Angela is a Timelord.

    • Selena

      That explains EVERYTHING. 0_0

  • Betusta Morla

    I think she is one of the Grey Folk, after all she used magic without speaking in the tunnels of Dras-Leona.

  • Gilby

    time lady (female time lord) or gallifreyan
    nuff said

  • Whippersnapper

    Angela is the Seer that used to be in Galbatorixes torture room where he kept Nasuada. A hallucinogenic gas with vision giving properties seeped into the room from the ground, so the elves put Angela (an elf?) in there. Later she left when the gases effect weakened. It’s probably why the Ra’zac priest freaked when Angela told him her name. He knew she was super powerful.

    • Whippersnapper

      There are various hints about this. Galbatorix tells Nasuada the story of the room. Arya and others call Angela “Seer” from time to time. There were other hints, but I don’t remember. These were all loose ends purposely left by Paolini, as he intended to write another book based on the world of Alagasia (not about Eragon).

    • FrederikkeEfryd

      That’s my theory as well 🙂

  • jacob

    Angela is Selena is disguise. Think about it: It is never directly said what she died from, and we don’t know if Brom even saw her body. Selena may have faked her death and appearance. And Angela has said she is older than she is, and we would expect Selena to at least be in her fifties by the time of Inheritance. It would also explain how the High Priest recognized her name; they were both servants of the empire at one point and may have met on several occasions.

    • Krakyn

      This is definately a cool theory, but what would her reasons be for not revealing her identity to Eragon?

      Also, there is no evidence to show that she had an extended lifespan like that of an Elf/Rider.

      Nifty theory, but I don’t think it’s the case.

      • Abigail

        It would be great if Christopher gave Eragon and Murtagh to opportunity to reunite with their mother… I don’t believe it’s Angela, but maybe Selena is not death after all

      • Jura

        Angela threw Eragon off by saying that, or maybe she had another mentor who taught her those things, and got her fortune told by the mentor.

    • Jura

      I agree 100%!

  • FrederikkeEfryd

    I am possitive Angela’s the oracle, whom Galbatorix speaks of in Inheritance 🙂 The one he mentions to Nisuada – might explain how she knows so much

    • Whippersnapper

      Bingo! I wrote a longer version above.

      • FrederikkeEfryd

        Just saw it 🙂 It just makes the most sense to me 🙂

  • Sol

    The question should not only be, who’s Angela? But, who’s Tenga? as well. Whatever one is, the other one is also.

    Still, it keeps disconcerting me how Angela feels (or has) the need to be in the middle of whatever is happening in Alagaesia, while Tenga is more of an outcast. Maybe they are connected with the Grey Folk somehow, and they are theirs vertion of Riders. Angela watches and trails all the events in Alagaesia according to Tenga’s vision of what the outcome should be. That would explain why Solembum is with her, to discretly learn about her moves. At least that fits with Christopher’s idea of the werecats…

  • Krakyn

    A little off topic, but I just finished yet another re-read of the entire series.
    I will, unfortunately, be crying myself to sleep tonight 🙁

    • Zack

      Why? Because it’s over or because it makes you sad??

      • Krakyn

        Because the ending is so sad, and because I know it will be a long time before we get to see more of Eragon.

        • Randall Buckheit

          I feel the same way. I always get this super depressed feeling when I finish re-reading the series.

          • Eeben

            I feel sad because I wasted years waiting for a shitty book like Inheritance

  • Razgriz 1

    Personally I think she either is one of the grey folk or is directly and closely descended from one. She’s very knowledgeable about magic and the world in general. It also says that she doesnt have much pure magical ability herself, instead relying on potions and ways to store magical energy in some form or another. It says in one of the books that when the grey folk bound the ancient language to magic, the spell and the massive amounts of energy it took drained their race of most of their magical ability.

    She could be a grey folk/elf hybrid, but you would think that the elf heritage would increase her magical ability to that of an elf, or close to that point, while instead she is described as being fairly weak.

    As for the one scene where she manipulates time, the explanation she gave seems to make perfect sense, given the nature of magic. That is, not always precise and often relying very much on the intent, especially if the ancient language is not used as a focus, such as in this case.

  • Laura Spann

    What/ who ever Angela is she seems to be having way to much fun messing with everyones minds lol.

    • Randall Buckheit

      Ikr

  • Chris Howell

    I think she is the elven Queen that stepped down before Arya’s father. In Eldest they talk about the Queen as if she is still alive but is not in Du Weldenvarden.

  • Trelathon Stormrage

    I think Angela was the soothsayer in Ileria and her and Tanga are both children on Angvar as Tanga said that was his father.

  • Sarah Gael

    Even before I had scrolled down to look at the comments I was thinking Doctor Who wise. Anglea as a ‘Time Lady’ is such a cool theory.
    I think she is the Soothsayer too.
    Going through the books in my head I can’t actually think of any other theories. The elves have had encounters with her, as have the dwarves and the humans and Urgals. So she’s been around a while and been everywhere, and let’s face it only a Time Lord knows how to be where all the excitement/action is happening!

  • Ashley Steinhauer

    I am definitely a subscriber to the “Time Lady” theory. Not only is there extensive evidence in the books (especially the final book), but we also know that C.P. is a major Doctor Who fan. It was obvious that the TARDIS was on his mind when he wrote the line about a room that’s bigger on the inside than the outside. And then there is the inclusion of Raxacoricofallapatorious in the final book, which is a word taken directly from the Doctor Who universe.
    At first, I thought this theory was a laugh. Very interesting, but silly too. The fourth book changed my mind completely.

  • Nicole Tooley

    I’m guessing she’s a Time Lady from Gallifrey, there’s a lot of stuff I can find in the fourth book, that seem to make sense to me. First off, while Solembum was talking about the strange things he’s seen, he comments about a room bigger on the inside than the outside. Angela is always where something’s happening. In the fourth book, when Eragon asks her what the writing on what she’s knitting means, she begins to say Raxacoricofallapatorious, a planet mentioned in one of the 9th Doctor’s episodes. She seems to be a lot older than she looks too. To me, all this points to the Time Lady theory.

    • TheUnseenTerror

      What if she’s River song?

  • Krakyn

    Yeah, she’s definitely the Soothsayer; It was also believed that the Soothsayer was a descendant of the Grey Folk, so that knocks out two theories with one stone.

  • Anonymous

    She’s a renegade Time Lord, of course. That, or she knows the Doctor.
    In all seriousness, I think she’s either one of the Grey Folk or Sindri, the dwarf goddess of earth.

  • ringo

    she has to be the soothesayer. it would explain many things, such as her long life, the fact that she is welcomed in elvandar, and the fact that she always knows where the interesting events are.

  • The Grey Rider

    Going by ‘From the Author’s mouth,’ Angela is a Time Lord.
    That’s CP’s pet theory at any rate, citing what he said during a Q&A at his presentation in Melbourne in June 2012.

    • imstillhungry95

      I wouldn’t call it his ‘pet’ theory. He just said it was his favorite. He never actually said it was correct. It would be awesome if it turned out to be true, though

  • Anonymous

    There’s no precedent for any evidence, from the Inheritance Cycle, to support any certain claim. What we do know about her doesn’t help too much either. That’s one of the frustrating things about it Paolini. Not much can be discussed further beyond that.

    Here’s a list of what who she likely is or what she might be. This ideas having merit in the text yet no supporting evidence to rule one out over another. All are possible and none are.

    -She’s the Soothsayer that Galbatorix spoke of.

    -A member or roots in her geneology of the ancient-mysterious species known as the Grey-Folk.
    -She’s an Inare. Whatever that happens to be. Taken from Jeod speculation in his letter at the end of deluxe edition of Inheritance.

    -Unlikely, though I’d be remissed not to mention it, she’s a Time Lord from Gallifrey who happened to the universe of the Inheritance Cycle through her T.A.R.D.I.S.

    -She’s none of these and we’ll find out whenever Christopher Paolini decides to write about her mystereis.

  • Zack

    I think she is the soothsayer galbatorix references when he tells nasuada about the room she is being tortured in. The woman who lived in the room for hundreds of years or whatever and dreamed about the future.

  • KikiGurl720

    A secret Dragon Rider, and one who has the dragon named Mooneater…possibly?

    • Dark_Void

      i agree.

    • ringo

      not much likely hood of that. The urgals named HER mooneater and she replied that she ate the moon. whats more likely is that she performed some small feat of magic that made the moon disappear.

    • Randall Buckheit

      I had almost the exact same thought! I didn’t think about the dragon being called mooneater, but I thought that maybe she was dragon rider.