Throughout the entirety of the Inheritance Cycle, there may have been no soul more tormented than Murtagh’s. Condemned from birth, the son of betrayer Morzan spent his life shackled in both body and mind leading up to the culmination of Inheritance and the Varden’s victory against Galbatorix.
Whether it was torment suffered as a child at the hands of his ruthless father, imprisonment by the Varden, or having an oath of servitude forced upon him by Galbatorix, Murtagh never truly experienced freedom to live his life on his own accord. The same can be said for his dragon, Thorn, whom Galbatorix used as a pawn to bring Murtagh into service as a Rider.
It wasn’t until Murtagh helped Eragon defeat Galbatorix once and for all that he and Thorn were able to finally choose their own path and begin anew. Perhaps this new sense of freedom was most telling when Murtagh offered no definite plans for his future at the end of the series, taking to the northbound skies towards new horizons.
Below you’ll find a piece of fan art by artist “Ticcy”, of DeviantArt, offering us a glimpse into what “Murtagh and Thorn” might be up to following the liberation of Alagaësia. With smiles on their faces, the pair look wholly content as they huddle next to a warm fire amidst a blanket of snow.
From Inheritance, Murtagh shares his thoughts towards the future in a conversation with Eragon:
“Thorn and I need time alone; we need time to heal. If we stay, we’d be too busy to figure things out for ourselves.”
“Good company and staying busy are often the best cure for a sickness of the soul.”
“Not for what Galbatorix did to us….Besides, it would be painful to be around Nasuada right now, for both her and me. No, we have to leave.”
“How long do you think you’ll be gone?
“Until the world no longer seems quite so hateful and we no longer feel like tearing down mountains and filling the sea with blood.”
To that, Eragon had no response. They stood looking at the river, where it lay behind a line of low willow trees. The rustling of the nettles grew louder, stirred by the westward wind.
Then Eragon said, “When you no longer wish to be alone, come find us. You’ll always be welcome at our hearth, wherever that may be.”
“We will. I promise.”
Now we ask: How will Murtagh find a way to restore his faith in the goodness of humanity and be able to return to Alagaësia and to Eragon? After the events of Inheritance, what else do you think lies in store for Murtagh and Thorn? Will they rejoin their companions from the Varden like Murtagh promises? Or is Alagaësia even the best place for this Rider and Dragon to call home?