Battle It Out: Vote for – and defend – your favorite dragons, Riders, villains and more!

characters-from-eragon-poster-1What’s wrong with a bit of competitive fandom fun? We thought it would be exciting to ask fans to vote on and determine their favorites – from dragons and Riders to races and bad guys – to see where the community stands on who is in and who is out.

After one week, we’ll compile all of the votes and reveal the results for each category! We will then discuss why the fandom leans the way the polls indicate and what implications it may have for the series and future books.

This week, we’re asking our community to vote on five different categories: Dragons, Dragon Riders, Race, Leader, and Villain. Cast your vote to defend your favorites! For added excitement, we’ve hidden the results, saving them for the “big reveal” post coming one week from today.

Favorite Race

While each race has its own strengths and weaknesses, each holds their own when it comes to history, culture, and capabilities.

Favorite Dragon

Choosing your favorite dragon is like picking your favorite cat: no matter who you pick, you may get your head bitten off (by those you do not chooses, of course).

Favorite Dragon Rider

We chose to limit this list to Riders encountered only in the Inheritance Cycle itself. Besides, adding more Riders to the mix would have made this nearly-impossible decision that more difficult.

Favorite Leader

From the current and former leaders of Alagaesia’s various races to the first leader of the Riders in a century (Eragon) and the de facto leader of Carvahall (Roran), there are many worthy winners here.

Favorite Villain

You don’t necessarily have to vote based on power alone. Who do you see as the most deep, complex, despicable, unique, or even just pure bad-ass villain?

Defend your choices in the comments below! We’d love to hear your predictions as to who will win each category. Winners will be revealed in one week.

  • Ashley

    I was torn with the best leader! It is either Roran or Nasuada

  • Margaret Ann

    villian is by far ra’zac. they are the most power hungry, do-whatever-it-takes-to-win type.

  • Maxilos

    Murtaugh was THE BEST character, period

    • Lady Valentine

      I completely agree!!

  • Mina

    Race: ELVES! Reason: BECAUSE THEY’RE ELVES. Their culture is amazing. Just imagine living in Ellesmera! My god, it’s my dream!
    Dragon: GLAEDR! Reason: I had a strong attachment to him from the beginnning. He would be the mighty dragon I would be truly honoured to meet.
    Rider: OROMIS! Reason: Again, I became attached to him from the beginning. His patience and compassion for Eragon and his back pains just warmed my heart. I bawled my eyes out when he died…
    Leader: ISLANZADI! Reason: My complete obsession over the elves. GAH, SHE’S AMAZING.
    Villain: SHRUIKAN! Reason: He. Is. A. Massive. Dragon. What could possibly be more terrifying? Oh yea, he also wants to tear apart everything he sees. His potential was not shown in the book though. How unfortunate.

  • Derek_anny

    Race: Werecats As a culture, they’re totally Paolini, and that’s cool. Ra’zac second place for the same reason.
    Dragon: Saphira She stands out as a character.
    Rider: Murtagh I have a paternal spot for damaged-but-good characters.
    Leader: Roran Because he’s awesome.
    Villain: Ra’zac. Consolation prize for not getting best race.

  • Natalie Dottle

    my favorite villian was/is Durza….hes so evil but cool!!! i would have gone with Angela as my favorite *whatever she is* if she were on this poll…… what is she anyway??????

    • Derek_anny

      For me, it’s a tie. Best Whatever is either Angela or Gonzo.

  • Nevermore Poe

    My favorite dragon was Saphira, because she was the dragon we had the most time with and so was the most devoloped.
    Favorite race was the Dragons, mainly because they are one of the few original races to Alegesia, and there is so much about them to learn about how the race will fare now that they have a second chance.
    My choice of leader was Ronan, He alone seemed to have earned the trust and respect that was given to him. Everyone else just had it handed to them from what we saw. Nausuada would be my vote for WORST leader. Heck if I suddenly found myself her subject I would gladly pull a Tenga and leave for places unknown

  • Arlen

    I think Shruikan is OK, but it seems his death was a bit too sudden. My opinion. We’d hardly seen much of him, and when we do, he dies? Really?

  • Nathan Allnatt

    I love Shruikan. His story is a sad one, and he could have been so much, especially at his largest size. Amazing dragon, too bad he got stuck with galbatorix… 🙁

    • Nobody

      Shruikan does nothing of importance in this story. He doesn’t even speak. Whatever potential might have existed was wasted.

  • Ze End

    Favorite leader is galby. If you have studied soviet/chinese/n-korea history, you know how hard (mostly econimcally) it is to rule over people, with fear, and he was able to do it for over 100 years. Got to give credit where credit is due.

    • Nobody

      Expect it’s never shown that he rules with fear. Oromis even says that the people of the empire live happy productive lives under Galabatorix.

      • Ze End

        the people in N-korea and China (for the most part) are happy and productive, doesn’t mean it right.

        • Nobody

          Whether or not those people are happy/unhappy is besides the point. If anything the comparison shows how inept the Inheritance Cycle is at showing complexity in such issues. You have evidence in these books that most of the Empire’s citizens live happy go lucky lives away. Mostly, he seems content to run things from afar and let locales do there own thing.

          The main characters travel around cities and literally see no oppression. Were talking about a world were it would be easy for Galbatorix to manipulate via magic.

  • Gustavo Carneiro

    I simply love Roran as a leader, ’cause e really use is intelligence in battle and to convince others to follow him, like he did with the people from Carvahall.

    My favourite dragon is definitely Glaedr for his amazing experience and wisdom and his natural beauty and greatness!

    Lord Barst is the most outstanding villain for me , although he has used the Eldunari to help him in battle he’s still a fearsome opponent.

  • Aaron Mills II

    My favorite race is human – we have the most to learn but we pride ourselves on our passion and our beliefs. My favorite dragon is Thorn – I love the color red and his mysterious character is valued in dragons (Saphira is a close 2nd). My favorite Dragon Rider is Eragon – he’s been my hero since I can remember and it was a privilege to go on this journey with him. He possesses one of the greatest swords ever made and saved Alagaesia. Eragon is also my favorite leader – one who understands the position of others, like Roran as well; Eragon is powerful, yet seeks no bloodshed for the sake of bloodshed. My favorite villain is Morzan – like Thorn, we know little about him, besides being one of the strongest Dragon Riders in history. His brutality being defeated by Brom is one aspect of the history of Alagaesia I wish we could have read about. Morzan also seems like a complex character, being torn between his allegiance to Galbatorix and the “love” for lack of a better term, for Selena – did he truly respect Galbatorix? What were his personal ambitions? To me, the mysterious characters make out to be some of the best ones. Really glad I took part in this discussion!

  • Nate

    Greatest rider I’m going to have to say is Brom. He fights and kills several riders and dragons by himself. He also starts the Varden and is is because of him that Eragon exists. Eragon is what he is because of Brom. Brom may have not been the most powerful rider but he was the greatest.

    • Ajay

      Too right, Brom setup pretty much the whole sequence of events leading to Galbatorix’s demise.

    • Drottnigu

      Brom is a LEGEND, period

  • Nate

    Roran was the greatest leader in the series. He led the villagers from Carvahall to the Varden through methods no one else could ever think of. He has no powers and no magic yet he manages to literally kill hundreds of people with his hammer for the people he leads, 193 at one time.. If that’s not enough he conquers the city of Aroughs in a week and diverts an entire army by playing a game on a table. He faces impossible odds throughout the series an still beats them all the while leading his people with literally not one failure. Not one.

    • Ajay

      Which, no offence to Paolini, begs the question: ‘Was he really a realistic leader or just another overpowered human?’ An example: Islanzadi falls to Barst… and then Roran somehow comes bundling in and beats the crap out of and kills him. Makes you wonder how a master elf warrior and leader fell, yet Roran (a normal human) beat Barst. He just has success after success; it seems too good to be true or realistic in this case. Just my thoughts.

      • Ho

        Islanzadi couldn’t match the power of Barst and his Eldunari combined. But Roran did as he had a plan, launch rocks on him and fight him wiht the combined might of urgals, werecats elves. Roran shattered his Eldunari, he couldn’t match Barst in combat.

        • Ajay

          So why couldn’t Roran have come in and helped Islanzadi earlier and shattered the eldunari? Why didn’t Islanzadi, a competent, intelligent leader, not think of doing that/call for aid to help in doing that? Why did she have to die before Roran jumped in? All just part of Arya having to become Queen and Roran being shown as some cliché badass once again.

          • Perry Israel Benard II

            Because islanzadi(like all elves) has a level of pride about her, just as her troops did. She did not want help because barst had slayed droves of her kind and she wanted to dispatch him herself. She was driven by emotion and a desire of revenge. Which also explains why she slapped him. Roran wasn’t driven by emotions. He was being strategic. That’s why he succeeded (or barely scraped by) where islanzadi didn’t

          • Dave

            Actually, Islanzadi went into the battle with several elves also on horseback, and at one point she had other elves launch a volley of arrows at Barst. I won’t speculate as to why she continued to fight alone (discounting Blagden) after the elves she went into battle with were killed, but it’s not like she went up to Barst alone to fight him. As to why Roran didn’t jump into the fight before she died, he and many of the fighters surrounding the battle between Islanzadi and Barst were mesmerized by the intensity of it, and most other battles fell silent during this conflict. Also, Roran didn’t create his strategy to fight Barst knowing that he would shatter the eldunari. He was only trying to have the eldunari use up as much energy as he could drain out of it through boulders, urgals, werecats,etc. It wasn’t until he saw the shard of eldunari on the ground that the idea of smashing the eldunari came to him. As to why it was written that way is another matter that I won’t go into here.

          • Ajay

            Fair enough, I am more trying to argue/figure out why Paolini wrote it as he did. I agree completely: elves are prideful which led to Islanzadi’s downfall (still a plot device for Arya to become queen 100% in my mind and others I’m sure) and Roran’s strategic analysis did help him defeat Barst. Again, I just wish she didn’t have to die… marred the ending of the last book for me (Arya becoming queen and all, with Firnen being ‘chained/trapped’ to the throne as well…)

      • Nate

        That’s true to some degree but, Roran fights and defeated an Urgle earlier in the series. He is described as large and muscular so he is very strong, I picture him looking something like Rambo with a beard. Now it’s true that elves are very strong, and certainly stronger than Roran, but I have to believe that the reason Barst was able to kill many people and then Islanzadi is because of the eldunari. That being said, eldunari have their limits so I believe that the eldunari which would have been a small one, because Galbatorix would not let Barst have a powerful one, ran out of energy to give. In the fight you can see Barst becoming exhausted and then Roran squeezes Barst’s body and breaks the thoroughly drained eldunari. Then when it’s just man to man, poor Barst did not stand a chance. All that said If you want realism beyond that you need to read a history book. You don’t get to enjoy dragons fighting and elvish magic and then discuss realism.

        • Nobody

          A lot of Roran’s success in the Inheritance Cycle is due contrivances than being organic.

          • Nobody

            oran is a normal human that should have normal human limitations. That
            way the audience can relate to his limitations in a world full of
            super-strength supernatural entities and magic. Paolini destroys any
            connection and suspension of disbelief by making him an
            unrealistic-contrived badass than anything organic. It’s bad writing,
            plain and simple.

          • Fae

            Roran is a normal human that should have normal human limitations. That way the audience can relate to his limitations in a world full of super-strength supernatural entities and magic. Paolini destroys any connection and suspension of disbelief by making him an unrealistic-contrived badass than anything organic. It’s bad writing, plain and simple.

        • Ajay

          I’m not discussing realism: I’m discussing how it just makes no sense. The only reason he made Islanzadi die was so Arya could take the throne (another peeve of mine, she’s a dragon rider and now she’s a monarch? *cough* No one liked Galby as a rider monarch *cough*). It would have been better if Roran and Islanzadi worked together to kill Barst i.e. show humans and elves working together. After all, isn’t that what really the last battle was about? All the races working together to overthrow this tyrant.

          And it’s a bit coincidental/very typical that Barst gets tired/the eldunari drains when he kills Islanzadi and Roran just comes in for an easy kill. Boring. As guest user ‘nobody’ has said, he just destroys human limitations in the book. It would have been great to see how a human with limitations can still have a great input in a world of magic, super races, etc. But no, Roran somehow solos these powerful enemies rather than being shown working with others to defeat them (thereby keeping him within his human limitations but still being seen as a vital leader/person/etc).

          I’m not bashing CP or anything, I just have these pet peeves I wish he hadn’t written in.

  • HeeHaw

    Hrothgar was the best leader by far

  • Melie

    Murthag all the way!

  • NinaGa

    Murthag is such a complex villain, even when Eragkn kind of saved him he still was somehow not friendly to him. He is the son of the greatest enemy of Eragons father, but still bis brother. He was forced by Galbatorix because of Eragon, but still decides not to kill him. And being Eragons (half-)brother makes him to bis natural enemy 😀

    • NinaGa

      Sry for the spelling mistakes, but having a German auto correct makes it even Mord difficult to write correct English.

      • Martin Nikolov

        It becomes obvious especially from your second comment. 😛

  • Adam Stillabower

    You should do another poll, favorite weapon!!

    • Perry Israel Benard II

      I second that notion!