Eragon in Other Media: Could Eragon work as an anime, graphic novel, or video game? (Part two)

From successful fantasy/dragon television shows such as Game of Thrones to anime such as Avatar: The Last Airbender to the rise of comics and graphic novels, we think there’s a lot of potential for Eragon to work in other media. Our first article discussed television shows, miniseries, and animated films. In our second article, we explore anime, comics/graphic novels, and a video game!

eragon-in-other-media-animeAnime

Anime has enjoyed tremendous popularity in Japan for decades and spread to the United States thanks to popular shows such as Naruto and Bleach, and critically acclaimed Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. Series such as Full Metal AlchemistDeathnote, and Attack on Titan continue to grow in popularity even beyond the traditional American crowd and closer to the mainstream.

Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel series, The Legend of Korra, brought millions into the wonderful world of anime-inspired shows, art style, and immersive storytelling. Avatar utilizes an fantastical magic system (“Bending” the elements), features many fantastical beasts, and manages to maintain compelling, involved story lines that pull the reader in and avoid the cheesiness occasionally seen in traditional anime. The shows manage to successfully incorporate tremendous character depth and development, rich and always-advancing plots, and relatable stories, captivating audiences for the better part of a decade.

Eragon and the world of Alagaësia may be a perfect fit for an anime series. Its rich world, endless adventures, detailed magic system, and a host of fantastical creatures could play well in the medium. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Fairy Tale (both highly recommended and available on Netflix) manage their rich magic systems incredibly well, as do our Avatar and Korra examples from above. The exaggerated animation style popular in anime would allow for the inclusion of incredible magic effects found throughout the Cycle and may even offer an easier time funding the regular inclusion of dragons, magic, and epic battles. Additionally, things that simply wouldn’t be possible in live-action films or shows can be done within anime, and while we saw them attempt Eragon and Saphira’s telepathic relationship in the Eragon movie, we think that experience would better translated in an animated show.

Many would argue that Eragon’s universe isn’t suited for the anime style. Can an anime series manage to capture the gritty, dark, and real aspects of the universe? We think so! Detractors may claim that anime doesn’t have a wide enough appeal, or can be too goofy for a story such as the Inheritance Cycle, but exploring the anime examples from above may help ease those fears.

eragon-in-other-media-comicsComics and Graphic Novels

Fans have been clamoring for a graphic novel interpretation of the Inheritance Cycle for years. We’ve even seen fan artists tackle the series in a comic fashion, illustrating their take on the prologue and several other memorable events from the Cycle, including Durza’s death and Eragon and Saphira’s visit to Vroengard:

However awesome these fan creations are, they aren’t official, and none contain more than a few strips. Christopher’s brilliant writing in the Inheritance Cycle easily helps readers conjure up their own images and character appearances as they follow Eragon, Saphira, Roran, and Nasuada on their adventures through Alagaësia. How great would it be to have a graphic novel that took it one step further, actually providing official imagery along with Christopher’s narrative?

We’ve asked Christopher about the potential of publishing a comic or graphic novel based on the series or set within the universe, and while he did say the concept is intriguing, there are no current plans to release such content. If Christopher or his publisher ever did decide to go this route, there are a few options to explore:

– Reimagine the series as a series of graphic novels, tackling the Cycle and its events in chronological order. Side releases could tell the tales of characters whose points of view aren’t featured in the books, such as Murtagh and Galbatorix
– A story outside of the series’ four books, such as the Fall of the Riders told from Brom’s prospective
– An entirely new post-Cycle adventure featuring old or new characters, such as the new dwarf and Urgal Riders, or even following Eragon and Saphira’s attempts to train the new generation of Riders

The possibilities are endless! The heaps of fan art available online demonstrates the community’s interest in seeing Alagaësia brought to life in such a way. The 10th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of Eragon took this one step further by commissioning renowned artists to interpret scenes from the book, with the final illustrations published within the novel. Christopher himself has dabbled in comics, as seen in an art gallery on Paolini.net (note: they aren’t Inheritance Cycle comics).

While not the best alternative to a film, it’s a medium we would love to see the Inheritance Cycle featured in, complimenting the books and potential movies.

eragon-in-other-media-video-gamesVideo Game

With a new generation of consoles, PC gaming at an all-time high, and mobile gaming entering the arena, we think it’s time for the Inheritance Cycle to be brought to life as a video game!

Fox attempted to release several Eragon video games in 2006 alongside the film, and like the movie, it failed to impress critics and gamers. The game never stood a chance, having been developed for Xbox and Playstation 2 when those were no longer current-generation consoles. The release of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 months before the game’s release resulted in the title being largely ignored, and the negative publicity from the movie didn’t help its reputation. Sub-par graphics, cheesy gameplay, and a story line similar to the film all but doomed the console game. An RPG-style Game Boy Advanced game was also released but suffered a similar fate (although the game impressed some book fans, who stated that it was generally better than the console release).

Not content with the official offerings, Inheritance Cycle fans took it upon themselves to bring Alagaësia to life in a variety of ways: two groups have worked on building Alagaësia in Minecraft, a popular building and adventuring game, while a third group worked on and supported the Minecraft Shur’tugal Mod, allowing players the ability to discover and raise dragons, becoming Riders. Other groups attempted to create Eragon-inspired Skyrim modifications, and many have participated in ongoing text-based RPGs.

Many fans have expressed interest in an Alagaësia-based MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game), similar to games such as EverQuestWorld of Warcraft, and Guild Wars. MMORPGs allow gamers to create, customize, and play a character of their own in a massive world filled with thousands of other players, with virtually endless progression options for the player and their companions. An Eragon MMO could allow players to choose their race, abilities (warrior, archer, caster), and once the player reaches a certain level, the possibility of becoming a Rider would unlock, offering a chance to discover a dragon egg, bond with the dragon, and become a Rider. Frequent updates to MMOs, called “patches,” would allow for a fluid, ever-growing story, and wouldn’t necessarily have to take place during the series – instead, it could be based either before the Riders’ Fall or after the events of Inheritance, once the new Riders have been repopulated.

If not an online game, a standard roleplaying game could work just as well. While an MMO allows players to game with thousands of other players, such an environment could run the risk of feeling as though the world has too many Riders, taking away from the magic and wonder of being one of a select few. Instead, a single player game would allow the player to take on the role of an entirely new Rider, chosen by a dragon’s egg and training alongside their new companion, growing, fighting, and forging a new future for Alagaësia.

Advances in graphics and storytelling within video games offer a unique opportunity to bring Alagaësia to life, rehashing the books’ plot or crafting an entirely new story within the universe. This would truly allowing the reader/gamer to immerse themselves into the world in the way that a book, movie, or television show can’t. Being able to explore the world shape its future would be the ultimate way to enjoy Christopher’s universe.

The first part of our “Eragon in other media” article discussed television shows, animated movies, and a television miniseries! Don’t miss out on exploring those ideas.

Now we ask: Of all of our ideas (excluding a film), which media would you choose for Eragon to appear in? Do you have any ideas we didn’t cover? Let us know in the comments!

  • Gm Bodily

    A app based game would be great like school of dragons (HTTYD) it’s a Multiplayer one or a game still app based but single player that allows you to fly the dragons and fight on foot fighting the Urgals or Murtagh or the Ridderbl… App based would mean as long as you have wifi you could play it anywhere

  • bwnary

    An anime, a MMORPG, or RPG would be great

    • Thomas Maher

      ya and i watn saphira and i really want some lvoe between saphira and eragon maybe eragon can turn into dragon?

  • Malina

    ERAGON ANIME!!! YASSS!!!!!! MAKE IT FAST PLEASE!!!

    • Thomas Maher

      so much better more action

  • Andres

    i believe an inheritance cycle RPG game can be successful as in the form of The Witcher Series. The Series had quite a low budget and started off from books. I think that would be a great example as the game caught all kinds of emotions and tones for the player to fully immerse themselves, it all kind of reminds me of eragon except for the dragons as both contain magic and endless amounts of exploration, creatures, spells, potions, deep emotional moments, and a beautiful storyline.

  • pollypeggy

    A WOW style Eragon game. My brain can barely comprehend the epicness. I don’t have much of a life at the moment but if that came out I would have absolutely no life at all, I would spend that much time on it.

    Other than that an Eragon anime would be amazing, as long as it kept to the book I think it would be hard to go wrong in that format.

  • Sara Smedberg

    I think you should check out the Dragon Age RPG series if you want to create a RPG based game, and make something along that. I myself is a huge fan of RPGs and I know it has been growing quite a lot through the years. It could be set after the book were you start off as a new dragon rider a few years after Galbatorix’s death. We already know what happens during the fall of the riders and, though it would be interesting to visit Morzan and all that, it’s better to start all new to gain attention to those who are yet not Inheritance fans and wish to play the game. If the first game is a success that could always be the plot of the second game. I think most would want to follow along Eragon and Saphira and see what they’re up to. I wouldn’t put much effort into a comic, not every country has the possiblity to access a comic book store so you would have to make it a digital download. I’m sure it could work but I don’t think the fanbase is big enough for that to kick off right at this very moment.

  • Brandon Caplan

    I think eragon would make a fantastic tv series!

  • Stephen K

    I think a game similar to White Knight Chronicles II would work great. In the original game, only certain characters had access to the Knights, but in the sequel, after a certain point in the story, the player character was able to create their own Knight, including being able to customize its armor and color scheme. I think something like that would be amazing as an Inheritance RPG.

  • Justin Martin

    RPG Adventure 1-4 players at most different classes of rider talents as well as gender charecter choices and i have to say the dragon needs to be dynamicaly linked too the riders charcter creation such as eye and magical aura color it has to stick to the lore PEOPLE

  • Timeheart

    If they went and made a Game for Eragon and Alagaesia, I’d hope it’s one that finds a basis in the new world after the last book. Where new riders are emerging. An MMO would lose a lot of story telling though. I’d say something more like an RPG Adventure. And if they did make it multiplayer, they could possibly have it like they each have just been initiated, and converged as a group after becoming riders. Then they could explore the world almost the same as they would in a single player game.

  • jacob

    I’ve spent enough of my time in world of warcraft, if they made an alagaesia MMO i don’t think id leave my house. Me and a friend once designed a strategy game based on alagaesia though, Originally we thought a mod for total war or something like that, but then we turned it into a board game, didn’t really work but i think i still have some designs for it somewhere.

  • Ariel Moore

    i would love a game about it. that way it’s available as a one time thing to allow people to get more story on this amazing world. Tv shows can be missed or sometimes have to be waited for on dvd or things like netflix because not everyone has tv. and a comic is expensive, issues can be missed and not every store might have the comics in stock. a game is available to anyone on a computer at least.

  • Emmanuel Comte

    I want an Inheritance video game! I don’t care much for MMO but I’d really like to try it!
    (and also the anime is written Fairy Tail not Tale 😉 )

  • Gaurav Rao

    MMORG just like star wars the old republic

  • hopolopo

    Hello fellow Eragon fans! We all know how bad the movie was compared to
    the books! So why don’t you sign this petition? Shurtugal.com has opened
    it! We are almost 50k who would like a remake of Eragon including the
    three franchises! http://www.change.org/p/fox-2000-cons… 🙂

  • Doc

    Fox may have more luck getting this right by turning Eragon into a Television series. With the success that the Game of Thrones franchise has been experiencing, Many authors are considering this route over Films and Miniseries productions. Another option would be to try the route the DUNE franchise is experimenting with, referred to as VideoBooks. Using slightly abridged narration, it’s basically like listening to an audiobook with voice acting while watching it all being animated before your eyes. Even Orson Scott Card has expressed an interest in this concept.

  • Julia Marks

    The anime idea is brilliant. There are plenty of darker anime that aren’t light-hearted, funny kid stuff. (Attack on Titan? Tokyo Ghoul? Elfen Lied? to name a few). It could totally work and be awesome!

  • Aaron Johnson

    Animation is a very good idea as long as its done RIGHT! this is a dark teen – young adult movie/cycle there is blood and gore not a kids cheese and spread, with the graphic’s that we can pull off now a anime would be great and have a lot of potential yes some people are not into a animated approach but that’s mostly because they haven’t seen good anime and what they have seen is for kids. with anime as a option the area’s in the Eragon world could come alive in ways no readers are even thinking about. the mountains that are suppose to be higher than anything present on earth can look that way not just a set in a mountain area, you can have the character look the way their suppose to with out fighting to find people to fit the role so well like the dwarves, in the mountain the are 1000’s of them not dozens and few humans and only human warriors, flying with dragons in the sky can be far more entertaining in a anime than a normal movie just because of the view and feel that can be present and what about magic effect, its already been said yes but its a hugh part of this world and anime’s lead in this area of having a effect or “magic” look amazing, also what about other characters like the urgals who can look like their suppose to not weak like they protrade them to be their is just so much that anime could do with this.
    the games for a Eragon world have a little but not as much potential as an anime yes it sounds great but dragons and magic its skyrim all over again not that I would complain about that but a rpg with a large world and quests is good but don’t over do it with mmo or something like that I don’t want to play that type of game with a so many people maybe a friend or to just to raid and share in quests and groups make more interesting questing but the campaign is what would have to sell it in a way that you want to do it again with choices and roles that go different ways look at dragon age a game that came out not very long ago

  • Devin Ripley

    Okay, first off, it’s Fairy Tail not Fairy Tale. Just a common mistake that many people make.

    The animation ideas are the best for any type of magical universe in my opinion precisely because of how they aren’t bound by CGI in a live-action movie. Animation in the United States has had the reputation of being ‘Cartoons’ but that has been shifting in the past few years. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a wonderful example of a compelling story in animated form that is appealing for a broad audience – not just children.

    Anime is also beginning to shrug off the cliche stereotypes quite a bit more often than previously as well. You think anime can’t communicate the gritty details of Inheritance as well as needed? Watch Corpse Party, Tokyo Ghoul, Cross Ange (writing can be all over the place but the darkness is always in your face), or Akame ga Kill and state that again with a straight face. Some of the most gruesome and/or awesome story-lines I’ve ever encountered were based on a Japanese anime (Code Geass is the one anime I will always recommend to anyone no matter your thoughts on anime).

    To me, I honestly don’t care about the series getting a reboot all that much, but if it were to be redone then I would rather it be as a animated television series if they were going to include every single Point of View or an animated movie if they focus on Eragon’s story with a sprinkle of Roran and Nasuada in it. It doesn’t matter much to me because I still own the books and can read them at any time I so desire, and as I’ve grown in age so too has the scope of my imagination.

    The only problem with that, however, is the amount of source material. Eragon, if they included everything, wouldn’t be enough on its own to cover a complete first season television series without the writers expounding on other characters’ stories that Eragon didn’t go into detail. I would love to see the Ra’zac actually arriving and their interrogation of Garrow so that we can see just how demented those creatures really were, as well as it would finally get the series a chance to illustrate the Lethrblaka in detail for the viewers. Another issue could become the actual Ancient Language itself for the voice actors to learn to pronounce and get the required feeling behind each spell used.

  • Joseph Clymer

    Video Game Response:

    As a long time gamer, I’d have to say that it sounds like a horrible idea. Out of the Video Games that have been taken from Books, the only one that really comes to mind are either the Lord of the Rings games or The Witcher.

    Now the LOTR Games were generally pretty good and they sold well too, but at the same time- We’re talking about a movie series to where each movie is in the Top 100 Highest Grossing Films of All Time so it already has hundreds of thousands of people available to buy their merchandise. Even when games came out after like “Shadows of Mordor”, they were still working off the fan-base so whether or not the game was “good” they knew it would at the very least sell.

    So over all I would say that trying to make the Inheritance Series a video-game is silly at best. Not only for the lack of a large fan-base, but also because it’s so easy to fail in the Video Game… Game… And something you should all check out if you don’t believe me is, “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning”. Now this game was relatively hyped up before it’s release and it even got good ratings by IGN and Metacritic, but shortly there after the company went bankrupt and I’m pretty sure nothing is being done to further the series at this point in time. It proved to be a waste of time, money and resources for many people.

    Anime Response:

    As a long time watcher of dozens of anime, I’d like to say how horrible of an idea this would be. Now lets think about this, I’m not just being a debbie downer about it- I’m trying to show you my thought process so you can see what I’m talking about.

    So since in the above picture it shows an image of “Avatar: The Legend of Korra” lets take that as an example. First off, the first series did really well on Nickelodeon, but the movie that M. Night did really sucked- so that hurt the series over all. Now after all of this The Legend of Korra came out and it had strong numbers for the first couple seasons, but as it’s last two seasons came and went the ratings went down ever so slowly- And needless to say, but the show isn’t planning on coming out with another Avatar.

    So based on Avatar’s life, if The Inheritance Series was made into an “anime”, it would most likely get into the Eldest book, before rating and viewers dropped, leaving us at whatever the last episode ended up being.

    And lets face it, the Airbender series isn’t really an anime, but inspired by them. It’s an American cartoon in the style of Japanese animation.

    Comics Response:

    Now, comics could possibly be a good way to show more of the Inheritance Series and give the visuals that Paolini wants his readers to see. Whether it’s the sheer size of an army, or the exquisite look of the dragons and elves, thing of that nature.

    Something though that should be remembered is the Comic Book World isn’t easy to get into. There are plenty of comic-book shops that are closing due to lack of sales, etc.

    Not only should you keep that in mind, but you should also ask:

    -“Who’s going to draw this?”
    -“Which company is going to publish this?”
    -“How am I going to sell this?”

    All are questions that are very real that need to be answered.

    —– —–

    Now I don’t say this to be harsh and inconsiderate of others, but that’s how it is- Each of the mediums that was chosen in this article don’t seem very thought out, sure they make for a good read, but this fan-base isn’t as strong as it once was and we need to see it.

    The last thing I want, is to see a series I love take a “wrong” road and break down.

    • I love the amount of time, effort, and passion that went into writing this response, and while I don’t agree with many of your viewpoints, I think it’s great that you took the time to share your thoughts on each.

      Regarding the video game idea – I am a long time gamer as well and have spent many years (close to a decade) in the world of MMOs. EverQuest, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, and Wildstar are some of the many games I’ve sunk way too many hours into, and there are a few in there that I think could work with Alagaësia as a setting. It isn’t to say that the game itself would need to follow the books’ plot, just that it would be set within the universe. Maybe it wouldn’t succeed, but I definitely disagree that there wouldn’t be a market for it.

      Regarding anime – this is another one that I disagree with. I think the best route to success would be with an Americanized anime such as Avatar. (To note: I never claimed Avatar was true anime and did clarify that it’s Americanized anime in the article). I’m not sure where you got the ratings information, but the original Avatar series did incredibly well on air, on DVD, and in streaming (and even piracy). Nick scored a mega-contract with Amazon Prime to stream the show, and the Dark Horse comic series following the books and the gang’s new adventures continues to hit the best seller charts release after release.

      Korra also did well. The problem with Korra wasn’t that it was a bad show, but that it aired on the wrong network. Nick is skewed to a younger audience and Korra was a bit more adult than any of their other offerings. Nick also horribly marketed the show, and it was plagued by poor promotions, bad air time, and massive multi-episode leaks. However, despite all of that, its legal streaming numbers were astronomical, and its piracy levels were off the charts (profit-wise, not a good thing, but it shows that there was a hunger for the show). I don’t think the bad live action movie had any negative impact on the show (and there’s no data on ratings to support it either). The Inheritance Cycle continued to grow exponentially after the Eragon movie failed. A failed movie does not always tank the source material.

      The final three comic questions are a lot more unimportant than you think. There are millions of talented artists, thousands of them qualified to illustrate a fantasy comic series, and many would jump at the opportunity. There are many large publishers who would dream of getting their hands on an already-established mega-property with a proven record of moving millions of units. As for “How am I going to sell this?” … the same way you’d sell a book or any of the other hundreds of comics selling every week, of course! Comic shops may be closing, but the comic market is stronger than ever (largely thanks to the success of Marvel films). The problem that is hitting comic shops is also hitting bookstores: the internet and eReaders. People can get comics cheaper through stores like Amazon, and instantly delivered to their devices with ereader apps.

  • anmol13111993

    Someone please make an anime out of Eragon – the Japanese are making animes out of novels (especially the so called Light novels and Visual novels) every other day , and , in most cases , the quality of the storytelling is below par (also they have an almost sick obsession with what can only be described “fanservice”) An anime is the best option to portray a story like the Inheritance Cycle because it can deal with both the marvelous magic and the very mature atmosphere in the best possible way

  • Greg

    I made a copyright on a MMORPG idea based on the Alagaesia universe back in Undergrad and have been pushing to contact Paolini ever since. I have an edgy concept which would really bring the Eragon books to life in a way in which the game could compete with modern MMO’s and also be practical to create. I’m a couple weeks from graduating law school and need to update the idea, but does anyone know a forum I could post my 90-slide presentation for community input? Also, if anyone who knows the author sees this post, please have them contact me – I’d love to help

  • Skolir Ramr

    I, personally, fully support the idea of an Eragon Anime. The books went so deeply into the story, filled with endless magical possibilities, deep character development and history, and a vast world filled with wonders and mysteries to explore. Anime has always been extremely successful in describing and using these kinds of things to the fullest to bring out the best story possible. Everything we as fans would want in some kind of motion picture for Eragon, could be done perfectly in an anime.

    An Eragon comic, I like the idea, but I don’t think it would attract as many other people to it as much as a motion picture of some sort. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely support it and would suggest going through with it, but I just don’t think it would be as popular as the other ideas.

    Now, an Eragon video game. I love it. I absolutely love it and it’s my favorite of all the other ideas. Whether it’s an MMO or single player, doesn’t matter to me. I’d play it either way and I think I speak for a lot of us gamers when I say that I’d pay a lot to make this happen. The ever expansive world of Alagaesia completely open and ready to be explored by You! You could see everything for yourself and make your own story in the history of Alagaesia. I guarantee that 90% of all Eragon fantics have at one time or another imagined themselves in this world talking to Eragon or Arya, exploring the depths of the Spine, or fighting off a band of the laughing dead. In a video game, you could actually do this. Relive all the dreams you had before bed at night reading, for real this time though.

    Anyone else care to leave your thoughts?

  • Nicholas Ryan Sandhop

    Any concerns about being dark and gritty are silly. Watch Berserk. (Or read the rest… Damn cliffhanger…) It can’t get any darker than that.

    • anmol13111993

      Damn straight !! A lot of anime are dark and gritty , often tragic – it is a media that has something for everyone

  • kaylalynn10

    I think a new movie is out of the question. No one would pay for that to be made. A TV show though… its possible. And I think more people are forgiving with TV shows. Game of thrones barely follows the books, and people still love it. If they can give the show a similar feeling and atmosphere as the show Merlin, then I think it could be great. Graphics don’t need to be super impressive, just a good story line (that follows the books).

    • Movie studios are practically drooling for new mega-franchises, and Inheritance still stands among the other big ones. There’s no competition for fantasy/dragon films (unlike the over-saturated dystopian market), so I think you underestimate the room for a movie a bit too much. 😛

  • Lobeon

    I would love to play an
    “Alagaësia-based MMORPG” “after the events of Inheritance, once
    the new Riders have been repopulated”.

    In that part, the game could have 4
    races (humans, elves, dwarfs and urgals), choosing the race determine in which
    city the player will start.

    After character creation and in the
    game, starts a tutorial to show how the game works and what can the player do
    and ends with him/her being chosen by a dragon egg (and some dragon
    customization), and after the egg hatches start a new tutorial about the
    dragon.

    In classes, I think the player can
    be all of them at the same time (warrior, archer, caster), because all dragon
    riders need to know magic, melee and ranged combat. And the player can level up
    these classes by using them, (if it use magic, level up caster, if it uses
    melee weapons, level up warrior and if it uses ranged weapons, level up archer)
    and level up the character by playing.

    The dragon can be leveled in the
    same way (with some classes too), and by leveling the dragon it grow up, after
    a certain level (depending the player class) it can be mounted.

    The game can have special quests
    chains to tell the story about Alagaësia (like the Cycle, where players can
    play as legendary heroes like Eragon and others).

    The game can have crafting but not like
    an item-based game, just to create variety for players and not power, so the
    combat must be action oriented and skill-based.

    The game can have professions, farms,
    houses… and the characters need to eat and drink, so it can be more realistic.

    If you think the game needs to be
    18+ to tell the story correctly, some extra functions can be added, like
    players can have sex with each other or with some NPCs and the dragons can
    interact with the other player dragons and sometimes the females can have eggs.

    What do you think? What more can be
    added?

    • Some really great ideas here! Thanks for sharing!