Fox officially called Saphira’s wings “sceathers,” feathered tail, and hairy mane

The Eragon movie is as good as dead and buried. (“What Eragon movie? There was no Eragon movie.” – most Inheritance Cycle fans.) However, we’ve never stopped digging for gems in the mud, many of which we’ve found and shared, including some good deleted scenes that should’ve made it in (Katrina, for example) and some that definitely should’ve been scrapped entirely (Eragon milking a cow). In this case, we’re highlighting another monumental mistake.

The Eragon movie was controversial with fans from the get-go, starting with the first leak of “Urgal” photos from the film’s Hungary set, shortly followed by the first teaser trailer. Reality didn’t truly hit until we saw the first full-length trailer, and that’s when we really knew what we were in for. An onslaught of bizarre marketing materials (one of which is the subject of this article) only added fuel to the fire.

A few months prior to the film’s release, we received an official marketing shot of a “blueprint” of Saphira, labeled and filled with explanation of the CGI dragon’s various features. Among those was an explanation of one of the film’s biggest controversies: Saphira’s wings being made of feathers. Sceathers.


Saphira’s feather-filled wings didn’t go over well with fans. Dragons don’t have feathers! Dragons have scales. This is universal knowledge. This is feather-free fantasy fact.

So why does she have feathered wings?

Well, it turns out they weren’t feathers after all. They were a “scale and feather hybrid providing lift and strength to the wing” and are “made from plated scales,” whatever that means – “sceathers” for short (their word, not ours). It gets worse: “Wing feathers spread during glides. Added flutter for wind dynamics.” A dragon is not an eagle (or any bird, for that matter). Saphira – the true Saphira – would not be happy right now!

Other Bizarre Features

Equally bizarre: the blueprint points out Saphira’s “feathered tail” (???). As if that and sceathers weren’t enough, the team also included (and happily labeled) the following features:

  • Feathers on the tip of the tail “for in flight stability”
  • Saphira goes into “Delta wing formation”
  • Two large inward-facing horns are “for ramming” (how?)
  • Her feathered mane (???) length displays Saphira’s age (imagine the length of Shruikan’s feathered mane?!)

There’s even more. You can view the full blueprint for yourself:

In Conclusion…

The way this blueprint was composed seems to indicate that they wanted to offer a detailed scientific explanation for why dragons can fly. We’d understand this philosophy if they were trying to fit the creature within our world. But they weren’t. They were creating a dragon for a fantasy world, where you can kill people with your mind, light your sword on fire by speaking a word, and do so much more – all of which is perfectly implausible with no basis in science or fact. And that’s okay, because it’s fantasy!

With this in mind, is it really much of a leap to go with the “every other dragon in existence is this way, including the ones in the book you’re adapting, so stick with it” option? No logic needed – dragons can fly because magic!

On a serious note, bizarre and needless changes/additions like these, however big or small, came together to form the disaster that was the Eragon movie. Had those behind the film respected the source material more, we’d never have been stuck with sceathers, WWE Urgal wrestlers, the nightmare that was Angela the Blinged-Out Herbalist, and countless other travesties.

There’s still hope that we’ll see the series rebooted. Stay tuned!

What can we do to help get a reboot? Let Fox’s new CEO/chairman Stacey Snider know how much we want to see Eragon’s adventures come to life! Write to her at Every fan’s voice counts!