Vote for your choice as the new leader of the Empire! Nasuada? Roran? Eragon? You decide!

vote-alagaesiaToday 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!

Your nominees:

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!

  • Pseudononymous

    I voted for Nasuada because I can’t see Orrin doing a good job, and also, two kingdoms would be too much, so Arya and Orik are out. Murtagh said he needed some time to calm down, and Eragon left. Roran is too inexperienced at politics, even if he did lead in the varden. So, Nasuada.

  • Drottingu47

    I voted for Nasuada because she is the most capable a ruler and is of the human race. Humans often hate and despise other races, and being placed under one’s rule would anger many people. Eragon could become Galbatorix in time (which he himself said) , so as an option he’s out. King Orrin has been proven drunk, so he may do things that shall stop the functioning of the Empire. Roran, though a good leader, is young and inexperienced, unable of handling a vast empire. No mistakes can be made, he isn’t an option. That leaves Nasuada. She is capable ruler, and though young is not naive or inexperienced.

  • Eragon_Zaroc

    I voted for Nasuada because Orrin has Surda so doesn’t have the time to rule another kingdom. Orik has the dwarf kingdoms keeping him busy and Arya has the elf kingdoms. Eragon has left the kingdom to train the new riders. Roran has Carvahal and i just can’t see either him or Murtagh ruling the kingdom. While yes Nasuada has the Varden it is no longer needed and will most likely disband leaving her with nothing and through out the series she has shown us that her skills in ruling as a leader are impressive and she has much more experience in this area than most of the other candidates. The only one who has is Orrin who once again already has a kingdom of his own and yes it is small but it puts just as must pressure on him as it would on Nasuada there fore I beleive that Nasuada would be the best choice for the kingdom to make.

  • kayli_the_werecat44

    Kvetha Friacai, I voted Nasuada, though wasn’t she already crowned queen in Inheritance?

    • Ebrithil

      Yes, but this was “what if” question.

      • kayli_the_werecat44

        yes i see, thank you master

  • Morgoth of Thardszvul

    I vote Nasuada.
    Be cause she led the varden well though out the series.

  • Eric Osborn

    While Nasuada’s plan for magic users is a bit over-much she is a quite capable leader. I do believe she made a good decision with the Urgralgra and the Surdans to give them more land I do not think the decision to unite every race and kingdom in Alegasia under her rule as high queen was wrong. She should have set up a meeting between each leader to happen every month to discuss things they should do together and discuss things to ensure peace across the land rather than her ruling it all. Other than that she is best out of those choices her goals in life was to defeat Galbatorix and bring peace to the land and those goals are what will make her a determined leader to keep the peace and she is smart enough to solve most if not all problems that will arise. As for the other leaders Orik and Arya are and will continue to be good leaders for their own people, I think it would be unfair for them to lead the humans because themselves are not humans. Orrin is just a fine king of Surda but would not be a good king over the whole of the nation especially toward the end of the war with his drinking and constant challenge of every decision just because they didn’t suit him like he would have wanted. He would always favor the Surdans over the empire’s people so no he would not be a good leader over all. Eragon he would make an ok leader but he never aspired to lead and he could play the political game but hes not the best at it, that’s proven during the dwarves decision process with selecting Orik as their new leader. Plus being the leader of the riders is going to acquire most of his attention because others could train the new riders but he is the only one who was trained by riders themselves them being Brom, Orimis, and Glader three of the most powerful and wise riders ever. I believe that to be one of the reasons Orimis was not king of the elves because he was the leader of the Riders at the time. That’s also why Arya is not leader of the Riders because at the end of the series Eragon is the oldest living rider with a living dragon not in their eldunari. That’s good because with her being queen of the elves she would be more devoted to them and she as I said before was not properly trained by the riders. She is however a powerful fighter and her being an elf knows a lot about dragons and magic so after training with Eragon new riders can come to her for instruction and wisdom and questions so with those obligations is another reason Ayra would not make a good leader over all of Alegasisa. With all that training Eragon is doing and upholding the dragon rider customs he is far away so the young dragons and riders don’t muck up Alagasia he is far away so if it wasn’t because of duties which he would be to busy to lead because of those duties he is to far away to lead with any amount of authority. Murtagh is to confused because of Galbatorix and too angry and everybody would hate him because of what Galbatorix made him do so no for those and other reasons he wouldn’t be a good leader. Roran would be good leader rival to that of Nasuada because he would make and makes the correct decisions in any circumstance no matter what consequence are to happen to him because he doesn’t fight or lead for himself but for the well being of his family and his land. That would make him a good leader he would ensure that everybody he cares about is off well and not in danger but he never aspired to rule or to even fight he did it because he had to. He would be an unhappy ruler and that is why Nasuada beats him out. She is one out of these candidates that will rule to what she believes to be fair and just no matter what.

    • Incredibly well thought out, thanks for taking the time to leave such a great comment!

      I agree with your reasoning for ruling out each candidate but Nasuada and Roran. You excellently explained why each disqualifies themselves, and while I did vote for Roran, I know that realistically, for the reasons you listed, Nasuada is better suited as leader.

      • Eric Osborn


  • The13Inquisitor

    Orrin’s grief and alcoholism throughout book four was a way to basically quietly shuffle him aside to make Nasuada a better candidate. He’s the most experienced ruler on the list as well.

    • Interesting perspective, but I’m not sure I agree. In terms of experience, Orrin is fairly young and ruled a small, neutral nation during most of Galbatorix’s reign. I think, while she wasn’t leader for long, Nasuada has more experience both politically and as a war-time leader.

      • The13Inquisitor

        A war-time leader transitioning to peace isn’t necessarily a good thing.

        Especially with Nasuada’s views on magic.

        Like I’ve already said, her push to recruit mage hunters gave me Dragon Age vibes for all the wrong reasons.

        A ruler that discriminates against a minority like magic-usrs runs the risk of seeing their kingdom destroyed if they push too hard.

        Nasuada looked to be taking the first steps down that road at the end of book four.

        Orik and Arya aren’t good picks because of their lifespan.

        Eragon and Murtagh are also immortal, so they’re not a good pick either.

        Roran lacks the political experience and never really wanted anything to do with power.

        Nasuada kind of had alarm bells ringing in my head by the end of Inheritance, like I said.

        And this might be my own sense of plot as a writer talking, but Orrin’s plunge into alcoholism was a little too heavy handed in making him an unsuitable candidate.

        Even then, he was raising halfway decent arguments throughout Inheritance as to why he should be made king.

        In terms of political experience, I’d have put him and Nasuada on about even footing.

        Orrin took his throne earlier in the piece than Nasuada, he had to rule with the Empire on his border and his kingdom was fairly prosperous despite that.

        Nasuada adapted quickly, but she had more than a few moments where she made bad calls.

        Offending Orrin by going behind his back about the trial of the long knives and trying to talk Elva into keeping her curse, for instance.

        The whole Elva arc in Brisingr really makes you question Nasuada’s morals as well.

  • pookiebear364

    Orrin”s a drunk whines of his family long rule and would be gulîty of genocide with the ergals. I voted for Nasuada but worry about the magic issue

    • Looks like a lot of folks agree with you about Orrin – he’s currently in last place!

    • Morgoth of Thardszvul

      bad spelling

  • Chuck Rock

    I feel Orrin or Roran would be best. Orrin because he is already a king, plus I believe he would embrace both science and magic to build a better world. But Roran would also be good he has charisma and amazing leadership skills.

    I feel Nasuda was a war time leader but NOT one to lead a country. She is watching every move a magic user does with or without their knowledge or consent. Which I believe is wrong and even she knew it was wrong in the book. I would have made a magic police force for towns that works like gaurds but for magic users. Instead of making a group to spy on them. Like Captain America said: “This is not freedom. It’s fear”

    Both arya and orik should not rule humans any more than a human rule the Dwarves or elfs.

    and Murtagh is a broken person right now and would not be able to lead a country and deal with what happened to him.

    • Your thoughts on Nasuada are interesting. I wonder if we’ll see the potential fallout of having a war-time leader take over during a war-to-peace transition highlighted in Book 5?

  • Eline Fransen

    First of all why is Murthag an option/in the poll but not someone who was with an pro/con list?

    Nasuda was the one i voted for still a bit doubtful about her magic standpoint, but i guess she has shown a lot of flexibility and with the right partner and/or some resistance she could find an better solution than the one she has now.

    Ultimately i think Roran might have been better, if he didn’t want to settle down for an simple farmers life. Cause he would need to learn some real negotiating skills, and if he isn’t willing to, that could case some serius problems. More than Naduda with her magic point of view who only effect an “small” group of people after all.

    • Interesting perspective!

      And thanks for catching the Murtagh inclusion – I was originally intended to include him but as I wrote the article, I found that I really couldn’t justify keeping him as a contender, so I cut him from the article.

  • I voted for Roran! Those who used to listen to the Shur’tugal Inheritance Cycle Book Club Podcast (boy that’s a mouthful) may remember my anti-Nasuada stance. There’s just something off there… and I think it’s the whole crackdown on magic users thing!

    Anyway, I wrote the post so my pros and cons, especially for Roran, accurately summarize how I feel about Roran becoming leader. Ultimately I understand why Christopher (and Roran, as a character) decided for him to go back home to Palancar Valley to rebuild and settle there with his family, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking “What if…?”

    • The13Inquisitor

      Nasuada’s stance on magic is very Dragon Age and anyone who’s played that series knows how well that went.