As the release of Murtagh (the next novel in the World of Eragon) approaches, new excerpts, art, and more is headed our way!
A book retailer revealed a sneak peek of their special edition of Murtagh, and the announcement contained a new illustration which offers a glimpse of a mysterious creature in a part of Alagaësia we’ve never visited!
Under the sea
The Inheritance Cycle took us across the land, through the skies, and even beneath the earth… but aside from a quick dip in Leona Lake, Eragon and Saphira never journeyed underwater.
The Bay of Fundor
It’s unclear what location this illustration shows, but our first guess is the Bay of Fundor. Murtagh and Thorn are in this area at the start of the book:
The land sloped away beneath him until, after several miles, it arrived at the Bay of Fundor. There, at the water’s edge, lay the city of Ceunon: a rough-walled collection of buildings, dark with shadow, save for the occasional lamp or candle—warm gems set against the encroaching night. Rows of fishing boats with furled sails floated alongside the stone wharves and, with them, three deep-sea vessels with tall masts and broad hulls, ships capable of surviving passage around the northern tip of the peninsula that separated the bay from the open ocean.
(From Chapter 1: Maddentide in Murtagh)
The Bay of Fundor is named after the dragon Fundor, known for fighting and killing a Nïdhwal in the area. The massive body of water is located in northwestern Alagaësia and connects to the sea (off the map):
A massive creature… the Nïdhwal?
Because the sea hasn’t (yet) played a major role in the World of Eragon, we’ve only encountered one underwater creature: the Nïdhwal. The massive sea serpents live off the coast of Alagaësia. These creatures, which are around the size of a blue whale, are cousins of the dragons. Like Fanghur, they’re intelligent and dangerous, and are known to have hunted and killed dragons before the Fall.
“The head was long and angular. A bony crest jutted out over the eyes, and from the outer part of each crest grew a ropy tendril that Eragon guessed to be over six feet in length. The neck of the creature reminded him of a giant, rippling snake. What was visible of the creature’s torso was smooth and powerfully built and looked incredibly dense. A pair of oar- shaped flippers extended from the sides of its chest, flailing helplessly in the air.”
However, the size of a Nïdhwal doesn’t match the creature in the illustration, unless it’s a young Nïdhwal (which we know nothing about).
A new creature?
Christopher Paolini has teased that there are some special creatures we have yet to encounter in Alagaësia, so it’s entirely possible this creature is new to readers.
Is that Murtagh?
We can’t ignore the other major focus of the illustration: the human. He appears to have shoulder-length hair, like Murtagh, and it isn’t a stretch to imagine an illustration featured in the book would depict its main character.
The big questions: How did Murtagh end up underwater? Is he unconscious? Most importantly – how will he get out of this sticky situation?
Dragons can swim
We know that dragons are capable swimmers. We saw Saphira swimming in Leona Lake in Eragon:
“Saphira folded her wings and dived into the lake, her head and neck entering it like a lance. … Saphira twisted and turned in fantastic shapes, slipping through the water like an eel.”
Here’s the full piece:
We won’t know exactly how this scene plays out until we read Murtagh, which releases on November 7th! You can learn more about the book, read three excerpts, and see more art on our Everything we know about Murtagh page!