Celebrate ‘ERAGON’ day! Today marks the book’s 11th anniversary!

shurtugal-eragon-daybooks-mid-eragonIt’s hard to believe that today marks eleven years since the release of Eragon! That’s over a decade of dragons. Last year, a special 10th anniversary collector’s edition of Eragon was released to celebrate the book’s milestone. The book, which is still available, features a faux textured blue leather cover and binding complete with a new gold-plated book cover design and text. The interior of the book features a letter from Christopher discussing the journey to and after the release of Eragon, his influences, and the impact the series has had on his life. Perhaps most exciting, the book features six stunning illustrations from five world renowned fantasy artists as well as Christopher Paolini himself. You can learn more about the book on our special 10th anniversary collector’s edition page!

Eragon was originally self-published in 2002 by the Paolini family, but the widely-recognized edition of the book was first published by Random House Children’s Books in 2003. Random House first discovered Eragon thanks to the stepson of Carl Hiaasen, who purchased, read, and enjoyed the self-published edition of Eragon while vacationing in Montana. Hiassen’s stepson shared the book with the author who then shared the book with his editor at Random House. The rest is history.

The book’s early success and traction within the young adult community has been attributed to two things: the young age at which Christopher wrote Eragon and the inclusive and original style in which Eragon was written. Fan communities started popping up all over the internet shortly after the book’s launch, with Shur’tugal releasing not far after in March, 2004 (an earlier Shur’tugal release at the end of 2003 was scrapped following technical issues).

Because Shur’tugal launched shortly after the book’s release, we don’t have many pre-launch news stories to share with you. Instead, we have a preview of what Shur’tugal and the community looked like one decade ago:

To help you journey back in time to get a feel for what the Inheritance community used to be like, here are some highlighted news posts from the website’s early days (just a few months after the release of Eragon):

To celebrate today’s milestone, here are some interesting facts about Eragon and the Inheritance Cycle:

  • Plans to create the infamous Eragon movie were first announced in 2004 with a subsequent release in December, 2006.
  • Despite being an unknown author and completely new to the young adult market, Eragon was the third best-selling children’s hardcover book in 2003 and the second best-selling children’s paperback in 2005.
  • The book spent over 121 weeks on the best seller list. Because of the New York Times’ best seller list rules, series with more than two books are combined into one listing, leading Eragon‘s tracking to end prematurely. Eragon achieved many bestselling milestones, including:
    • #1 New York Times Bestseller
    • #1 Publishers Weekly Bestseller
    • Wall Street Journal Bestseller
    • USA Today Bestseller
    • Book Sense Bestseller
  • Eragon has won a number of awards, including (but not limited to) Texas Lone Star Reading List, 2004-5; Book Sense Book of the Year, 2004; Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award, 2006; The New York Times Best Seller, No. 1; USA Today Best Seller; Publishers Weekly Best Seller; Wall Street Journal Best Seller, 2005
  • Mike Macauley, owner of Shurtugal.com, launched the website at the age of 14, a year younger than Christopher when he first wrote Eragon!

We invite you to join us in celebrating the eleven year anniversary of the release of Eragon on this special day!

Now we ask: When did you first read Eragon? What is your favorite scene from Eragon? Do you remember your biggest theory for what would happen in Eldest? Let us know in the comments!

  • Jose

    My first time with Eragon was in 2009..I was a happy kid and always looking at the adventures on books. Then, i saw Eragon at a market…. After three days, I finished Eragon! My favorite scene of Eragon its a part of when Erahon goes away with Brom…

  • Alan Bean

    I first found out about Eragon when I was in elementary school. A few of my friends were talking about a red-covered book that, from a distance, I could not tell what it was (It turned out to be Eldest). I began doing as much digging as I could on the books at the time, and when I found out the name of the first book, it immediately went on my christmas list.

    Needless to say, I got hooked immediately. As a kid with an already wild imagination, I finished the books rapid fire. I actually attribute these books to me wanting to read more, since at the time I was not a fan of reading. I began to scheme, and plot out my own fantasy worlds, maps, languages, governments, politics, the whole nine yards. And then I began writing.

    I have since graduated with a B.A. in English Writing, and I attribute this series to putting me on the path to becoming a writer.

  • Medwyn

    I guess I read Eragon after Eldest was released because I remember seeing both of them at Costco. My mom knew that I loved dragons and pointed it out to me. I borrowed it from the library the first time I read it, and then I must have either borrowed or bought Eldest before I even bought Eragon. I have read the first two several times each, but need to work on rereading Brisingr and Inheritance again!
    So, I guess I didn’t have theories about Eldest at the time.
    I was also working on writing my own fantasy story back then, which I have abandoned since. I should get back to writing…

  • thomas14

    I think you’re right. I just reread that fragment and it is actually exactly the same as the fourth book’s ending. It’s amazing that Paolini knew the ending of the books when he started writing them!

  • chris855

    hello,iam chris from greece i first read eragon at the age of 12 it was a gift from a friend.i got amzed by the book so i got the other ones too.
    i want to say something and i want someone to tell me his oppinion at the first book at the start when the farm got destroyed and eragon flew with shaphira and got injured,when he was at the bed resting he had a dream of one ship and two dragons wasent that the scene at the end of the fourth book?plz tell me if u agree
    At last,i want to thank u for the books that taught me alot of things and i hope u continue writting more books maby for eragon and shapira about their adventures!.

    • Medwyn

      When I was in Greece in 2006, I think I saw a guy with a cart of books on the street and Eragon was one of them.

  • Alon Shalev

    My then 9-year-old son was so into the series, we went at midnight to buy the launch of Brisingr at Borders. He literally fell asleep on his feet as we stood in line and he received the one signed copy in the box. He went to sleep that night hugging the book.

    Five years ago, when I suggested that he and I write an epic fantasy novel, he said that Eragon had set the bar that we needed to emulate (my words). Four novels later (one award-winning), I still reread this series to remind myself how far I still have to go.

    Thank you,
    Alon Shalev
    http://www.alonshalev.com

    • Alan Bean

      As a fellow writer, good luck! I love hearing about the writing other people are undertaking. The more ambitious the better. After all, nothing ventured nothing gained.

  • Qx An

    first of all, no one gives a fuck about all of your dumbass alter egos, or how you love the series.

    • Noname

      Troll

  • Eric Wilhite

    I read Eragon way back in 2003, right when it was released for the first time! I still have the copy that I have read many times. I still remember picking up the book from the “New Releases” section in Barnes and Noble, in no way ready for the journey on which it would take me. Eragon inspired me to follow my dreams and to never give up. Chris is such an inspiration, he has always followed his gut, written great material, and always done what was best for the characters (no matter how angry some of the people who used to frequent the forums seemed to be at the end.) I will always hold a special place in my heart for the series that is, to this day, still one of my all time favorite reads. I still get excited every time I read that first sentence.

    “Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world.”

    Sé onr sverdar sitja hvass!

  • Emily Pettingill

    I read Eragon in 2013 and kept on reading it over and over again! I imagined myself as a rider. Emily, a beautiful elf, having a midnight blue (with purple veins) dragon egg hatch for her. She names the dragon Midnight and goes to train with Eragon on the island Vroengard.
    Christopher Paolini is my own personal role model. I have actually started to write ever since I read the book series. I am still continuing to read the book series. Thank you so much Christopher Paolini for creating this magnificent book series!

  • michael

    “Paolini eh? Must be Italian”. earliest thought I can remember of the series.

  • Megan Steadman

    I read Eragon shortly after it came out, when I was eight. Someone had given to my mom as a gift, and I discovered it in the bathroom. Out of curiosity for the cover illustration, I read it. My passion immediately switched from dinosaurs to dragons. It led me to create a dragon rider fantasy alter ego for myself, as well as a dragon named Juniper. Eldest was released while I was reading Eragon, so I didn’t have to wait.
    Christopher Paolini inspired me to start writing in third grade, and I haven’t stopped since. He is my biggest inspiration today.
    I remember well my countdown to Inheritance. In celebration of the day, I wrote Eragon-related words all over my left arm and hand during school. When I finished the last book, I honestly didn’t know what to do with my life.

  • Christian Jaramillo Parra

    I first read Eragon in July 2013 and I finished reading Inheritance in February this year. It was a really brilliant history.

    The most memorable scene is from Yazuac and the mountain of dead bodies with the baby on top of it.

    When the book was about to end I suspected there had to be a Rider alive (who turned our to be Oromis) but I never thought of another dragon (Glaedr )

  • I first read Eragon in 2006 or 2007, during the whole month of January. I finished it by the end of the month.
    It was weird. The same person who verbally and mentally abused me for 9 years as a kid was the same person who introduced me to the world that would help me through the abuse. My aunt (but I have 4 of them; the others are nice).
    At first, I wasn’t sure about reading the series. At Barnes and Noble, I’d see tall stacks of the overflowing amount of Eragon and Eldest books (the shelves didn’t have room for them, so they were stacked on the floor in the middle of the aisles), the covers beautiful and inspiring, but I was daunted by how big the books were. I was normally one who’d only read short books. Several times I was encouraged, and I finally convinced her I didn’t want to read them. But still, I’d always curiously pass by them, feeling as though the books were calling for me.
    Finally, I got Eragon, tired of being frustrated by the staring of the dragons’ eyes drawing me in. I read it, and I instantly fell in love with the story.
    …Gosh. I can’t decide on my favorite scene. When the egg appears, when Roran is embarrassed about Eragon passing on his private message to Katrina through Horst, when Saphira hatches, when she grows up in the woods, when Eragon first uses magic, when he meets Jeod, when Brom takes his last dragon ride on Saphira, when Saphira turns limestone to diamond, the rescue at the jail, the rush to the Varden to save Arya, the waterfall, the dragon keep at Farthen Dur, when Saphira gets drunk on mead, when she breathes fire, and when Eragon kills Durza at the cost of the back wound (when it struck him, I felt it!).
    …And I can’t remember my theories.

  • Cloud

    During middle school, my English teacher mentioned the book, and it caught my attention because it was colored blue and the picture of Saphira. Months later I found a copy of the deluxe edition and I brought it, and I couldn’t stop reading. Definitely one of my favorite book series tied to Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings

  • LittleWolfy

    I was browsing through the book section at a store when Eragon first came out. At the time I was looking a Star Wars book that seemed pretty interesting, but my mom pointed Eragon out saying that it was thicker and would last longer. (I’m a reader and finish books pretty quickly.) I’m glad she pointed it out, because it was an amazing series, and I often re-read the books and thinking how cool it would be if things in the series actually happened. I.E. Being a dragon rider.

  • I first read Eragon when I was 8 or 9 years old. I remember that everyone was kind of amazed because the german version of Eragon is a quite thick book (The english one probably too, but everything get’s longer when it’s translated into german, you know.) and such a young kid read it. It was the first book I got really passionate about and the book that got me into reading fantasy. Now, about 9 years later, I still love the Inheritance Cycle and have a shelve full of fantasy books. I don’t remember if Eragon was a present or if I picked it myself, but I can’t express how thankful I am for it’s existence. (Sorry for my bad english. :D)

  • Atila Keresturi

    School library, 3rd grade. I held the book like it was somekind of a relic while I was bringin it home. It was a cold and a rainy day so I sat beside the furnace while reading. The first chapter mesmerized me. After a couple days, i cam eo the half of the book, and then Brom died. I remember feeling down about it. Anyway, I continued reading. It was a December sunday afernoon, and I had my table lamp turned on in the complete and utter darkness silence and darkness in my room with the blindfolds on the windows down and the fire crackling. I was reading the chapters from the rescue from Gilead through the Hadarak desert into the Beor mountains. It was magical. You have no idea how obsessed I was at the time. It was my first epic fantasy book, and for that I’ll always love it. Theory for Eldest – I thought that it will turn out that there’s another rider somewhere. Favorite scene – I don’t know, there are many… The ones with bursting tension are the scenes with Angela’s bone readings, the battle in Gi’lead, the whole scene of traveling through the Hadarak desert, the fight between Eragon and Arya and the scene when Arya broke the Isidar Mitrim during Eragon’s fight with the Shade. The most emotional ones – Garou’s death and Eragon’s escape, Brom’s death and funeral, Murtagh’s confession and his meeting with Eragon a little bit later.
    There were points in time where I relied on the characters from the book so heavily that they were my star guides that would help me to get through a tough situation in my life.
    All in all, I’m gonna love the whole cycle ’till I die, and even after.

  • Calypso

    I saw the movie first and i loved it…being the 12 year old kid i was, once i saw it was a book my next step was to read it…and i loved it! from that day on i hated the movie with a burning passion and eagerly awaited the release of Brisingr once i devoured Eldest as well!

  • Bulmak

    I saw the movie and I remember thinking “This movie is horrible” because it seem it was based on a book and everything that was happening was going too fast, I didn’t enjoy the movie at all. I waited for the credits to say: Based on Book:ERAGON, aand it did, I was really happy and highly hoping that the book was an amazing work, I bought it right away… Its been years since I read them but I still have dreams about it. In the last dream I had I was a Rider… it was so cool.
    I love the books, all of them, I suffered waiting for the last book it was such a long wait. There is one part from the book where Eragon’s cousin says “I didn’t choose to be a fighter but I am gonna be the best one” or something like that, that’s one of my favorite parts because is something that happened to me, I had different plans for my life of what I am now, but I decided to be the best at it. I also liked how elf cann’t lie but will be very careful with their words so they won’t have to make promises that they can’t keep or tell the whole truth, I also like how words can bring beautiful things or terrrible curses if the person who speaks the elf’s language doesn’t do it right. I tried to live my life like that, by being careful as if I were speaking in the elf’s language. When I make promises, tell the truth or wish for blessing upon someone.
    Is amazing how book can alter your life, and teach you new ways to live. Thank you 😀 oh and Hello from Costa Rica. 😀

  • Kaite1211

    I was first exposed to the Inheritance Cycle through the movie on a flight when I was 10, but given that I had a short attention span, and had no idea as to what was going on during the first few minutes, I promptly switched to another form of entertainment. I gave the series another try three years later, but in a literary format; I ended up falling in love with it. Several years later have found me using the book as a learning tool for reading comprehension when learning foreign languages.

    I cannot recall a specific favorite scene, as I thoroughly enjoyed the book as a whole, but I do favor certain sections such as when Eragon was raising Saphira, and when he preformed his first spell…

  • Amy Harris

    My Inheritance Cycle journey began when I was about eight or so and liked three things above all else: books, dragons, and the color blue. You can imagine my reaction when a kind relative handed me a fat blue book with a dragon on the cover.

  • Zach

    It was back in 2006 that I first read Eragon! I was 11. I had really never read books for fun before and I was stuck at a book store and found it and couldn’t put it down. Eight years later it is still my favorite book series by far!!

  • Ruben Amador

    I read Eragon in 2010, I was looking E-books and saw the book in a reader’s blog and I devore it. My favourite part was the first time Eragon use Brisingr spell.
    I don’t have a theory about what will happend at Brisingr

    • Ruben Amador

      At eldest *facepalm*

  • Michael Burns

    I remember I picked up Eragon after almost buying Eldest first! Saw the red book in a store and didn’t notice that it said “Book Two”, and was only a few minutes away from paying for it before I realised my mistake. So happy that I went back and found the REAL first book in the series and bought it, don’t think I’d be the reader that I am today had I not bought that book when I was 13. I’ve read a lot and changed a lot in those 7 years, but everything for me leads back to Eragon!

  • Lauren Heaslip

    I was eleven when I started reading the Inheritance Cycle. I had always wanted to be a writer so when I found out Paolini was 15 he became my hero and eight years later the books are still my favourites.

  • Ariel

    I started reading the cycle when i was around 11 (I am now 14) when my mom first introduced it to me in middle school. I love the concept of the story and i can really visualize what is happening. I would love to live in the world of magic and dragons. Out of all the book series i have read since then, this is my absolute favorite of all time (and i cannot describe the love for this cycle in writing) I’ve read the cycle 5 times ever since and i am currently reading Eragon right now for the 6th time. I cant stop loving this cycle. My favorite scene of Eragon would definitely be when he first discovers magic while battling the Urgals in Yazuac. It marks an important time in his life of being a Rider. Love the Inheritance Cycle!!

  • Cristina

    I never really heard about it actually. Not till I saw the previews of it. I saw the movie then read the books. So I was pissed that the movie revealed that Arya was a princess :/ Because if they just did the first book only I would be guessing what Eldest would be about. Now, favourite scenes from Eragon….Has to be when Murtagh and Eragon were fighting and pretty much all the funny scenes 🙂

  • I remember I found the book while browsing through the library. I’d never been much of a dragon person but I decided to give it a try. It is still my favorite book. That was years ago. I wanted to be a part of that universe so bad that I created this RP sight: http://argetlam01.proboards.com/ Pretty nerdy, I know, but the site has been around since 2006 and is still active. 🙂

    • Wow, since 2006 – that’s dedication! Not nerdy at all in my opinion, although I might be slightly biased. 🙂

  • I first read Eragon in November, 2003, two months after the book’s release. I immediately wanted to start a “fan site” following my not-so-successful attempts at launching both a Harry Potter fan site (Hogwartz.net … yeah…) and a Holes fan site (not much of an audience there). I loved Eragon, loved the fact that Christopher wrote the book at (close to) my age, and really wanted to help grow the community. And what a strange and exciting journey it has been!

  • Kelly Palmer

    I first read Eragon in late 2003. My mother had seen an article about a young author who’d be doing a signing at a local book store…knowing that I was interested in becoming a writer she suggested I read the book and attend the signing. I finished reading it in a matter of days and could not wait to meet the brilliant person who’d written it. I have been in love with the series ever since.

    Shur’tugal layout 2.0 is the version I came to back then. 🙂

    • So cool to know that you’ve been with us for that long! Thanks for sticking around! 🙂