Today is Election Day in the United States, with federal, state, and local offices up for grabs! Before participating in this post, if you’re a US resident, please go out and vote! Your right to vote is one that many wish they had, and one that we should all cherish!
Election Day has provided the inspiration for this post: At the end of Inheritance, we learn that Nasuada, leader of the Varden, becomes leader of the Empire – replacing Galbatorix’s tyrannical reign with a government more fair and just (we hope).
But what if the citizens of Alagaësia had the right to vote on their new leader? What if you, the reader, could vote on who will take up the mantle as leader of the new Empire? Well, now you can! After reading about your nominees, vote in our poll at the bottom of the article and voice your opinion in the comments!
Nasuada, Leader of the Varden
Pros: Nasuada’s leadership of the Varden was unquestionably sound: she united various races and factions and marched against the most evil force Alagaësia had ever seen. Against all odds, the Varden, under her leadership, succeeded in overthrowing Galbatorix. She has proven herself as a strong and capable leader, who is both just and fair while also remaining decisive and intimidating. Nasuada’s willingness to heed the council of others and work alongside her allies shows promise for a more unified Alagaësia.
Cons: Nasuada’s young age and diplomatic inexperience could present issues as she transitions to life as a ruler of an empire in shambles. Her fear of magic and the crackdown she’s hoping to impose may cause more issues than it’ll solve, further dividing factions and races.
Eragon, Leader of the Riders
Pros: Eragon has proven himself as a noble – albeit young – warrior, diplomat, and leader, who is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. His leadership throughout the war, in addition to his close allegiance to Nasuada, the elves, and the dwarves, demonstrated the making of a good political warrior. His preference for reason over bloodshed is a great trait for a political leader. We’ve seen time and again his willingness to grow, learn, and understand as a person.
Cons: Like Galbatorix, Eragon is a Rider with a near-immortal lifespan. Together with Saphira and the Eldunari, Eragon is virtually unstoppable. Every leader should have their limits – both in term length and in power. Eragon’s focus is elsewhere, as the leader of the Riders, and splitting his duty between the Empire and the Shur’tugal would make him ineffective in both positions. The young Rider is also infamous for making hasty decisions in the heat of the moment – some of which may not be for the best.
Roran Stronghammer, Leader of Palancar Valley
Pros: Roran’s clear head and willingness to lead his people at their darkest hour shows his capability as a ruler. Though he found himself struggling to follow controversial orders while fighting on behalf of the Varden, his willingness to do what’s right – even when it is unpopular or goes against orders – shows the temperament needed to be a ruler. Few people could lead dozens of country folk across country, against all odds, to flee an oppressive government and join a rebel movement. Roran accomplished all of this, while at the same time courting a wife and having a daughter. His cool, calm, and collected demeanor, coupled with his strong leadership and sense of what’s right, would make Roran an excellent candidate for ruler of the Empire.
Cons: After leading his people from the confines of the Spine to the war against the Empire, Roran wants nothing more than to bring his family home and resettle in Palancar Valley. The simple life he led prior to the exodus of Carvahall was a humble one, free of politics, war, and diplomacy. While Roran did prove himself capable in a number of ways as a member of the Varden, his inexperience in all of the aforementioned areas would hinder his ability to lead a large nation.
King Orrin of Surda
Pros: Orrin has proven himself as an experienced ruler, leading Surda as a peaceful nation in a time of war and upheaval. He remained neutral from Galbatorix throughout his reign and openly joined the Varden as a key ally after their emergence from the Beor Mountains. Orrin’s position as head of Surda was gained by ascension, not by overthrowing a government, meaning that he may be more entitled to rule than others.
Cons: King Orrin may be a bit too science-focused and narrow-minded to see the greater picture: all lands and people of Alagaësia working together to forge a new path. His lack of understanding of the cultures of other races would present a major roadblock in his path to uniting the continent. His people may also see the reunification of Surda with the Empire as a betrayal of their nation. Surda has been cut off from the Empire for decades, and many humans are unfamiliar with the leader and his rule, which could pose issues.
King Orik of the Dwarves
Pros: As leader of the Empire, Orik could see the human and dwarf nations united as one. His relatively young age (by dwarf standards) and proximity to the humans of the Varden may help him adapt to a unified nation faster than others. His ascension to leader of the dwarves after Hrothgar’s death, and his subsequent command of their army in the war against Galbatorix, proved his qualifications for such a position. He is a close ally of each race’s leader, further aiding his potential to rule.
Cons: Dwarves are a notoriously withdrawn people, having voluntarily cut themselves off from the rest of Alagaësia after the fall of the Riders. Though the dwarves, led by Orik, participated in the war alongside humans and elves, their culture and beliefs are vastly different from those of the humans who inhabit the Empire. Those same people are unfamiliar with the dwarves, likely only having believed they were myths and legends until their emergence from the Beor Mountains to help overthrow Galbatorix. It’s unlikely that both races would be able to peacefully live and work together as one nation any time soon.
Queen Arya of the Elves
Pros: While considered young for an elf, Arya’s decades of experience as a diplomat between the elves and the Varden offer her a unique position to govern the people of Alagaësia. Additionally, her her combat leadership and close partnership with the resistance’s varying leaders show that she’s capable of working with and uniting all races of Alagaësia. As the daughter of the former queen of the elves, Arya was in a unique position to observe and understand the politics of leadership and the sacrifices that must be made for the greater good.
Cons: Arya’s primary obligation is to her people – we saw this demonstrated by her decision to remain behind in Ellesmera at the end of Inheritance. Her immortality as an elven Rider presents another obstacle, as the Empire’s prior leader used those traits to rule unchallenged for decades. As a proud and somewhat-snobby people, it’s nearly impossible to imagine the elves willing to live and work alongside the humans as equals.
Now that you’ve considered each possible leader and their merits, it’s time for you to cast your vote!
Once you’ve cast your vote, let us know in the comments why you believe your nominee is the best leader for Alagaësia!