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Eragon is a high fantasy novel and the first novel in the Inheritance Cycle, published on August 26, 2003, though first self-published in 2002 by the Paolini family. It was written by Christopher Paolini. The story follows Eragon, the early stages of him being a Dragon Rider, and his adventures around the fictional land of Alagaesia.


Christopher Paolini grew up reading fantasy novels, and when he was younger, he often wrote short stories and poems. Eragon began as his daydreams, and he started writing the story as a hobby, never intending to have it published. He imagined up all of the characters, except for Angela, who is loosely based on his sister. He finished the first draft when he was fifteen, and took the next year to rewrite it, where he then showed it to his parents, who were impressed by it. They spent the next year promoting it, self publishing it in 2002. Eventually, the book caught the attention Knopf who published it in the year of 2003.


Thousands of years ago before the events of this book, when the elves first came to the land of Alagaësia, they fought a long and hard with the dragons. Then, Eragon I, became the first Dragon Riders and started the riders. Then around a hundred years before the book, a rider named Galbatorix goes mad after his dragon are called by Urgals, and after demanding a new dragon, is banished from the ranks of the Riders. Later, after getting a new dragon named Shruikan, he gathers with him thirteen powerful riders called the Forsworn, and with them, he is able to destroy the Riders, and establishes himself king over the Empire. Eventually the Forsworn are all killed and Galbatorix is left alone, with only three dragon eggs remaining. However, one of the eggs is able to be stolen and is brought to the elves, who pass it between the elves and humans, trying to find a rider for the dragon.


The book starts with a prologue. In it, a shade (which is a sorcerer that is possessed with a spirit that was too powerful for him to control) named Durza is with a bunch of Urgals, waiting to ambush the convoy with the dragon egg. The convoy is that of three elves, the elf princess Arya, and two elf guards. Everything is going well for Durza, until the wind gives away the Urgals through their scent. Their cover blown, Durza kills the two elves and stuns Arya. But before Arya is stunned, she transports the dragon egg to another location.

The book proper begins with a fifteen year old named Ergaon who is hunting in the Spine, a mountain range near his home of Carvahall in Palancar Valley. Eragon is an orphan who lives with his uncle Garrow and seventeen year old cousin Roran, who consider each other brothers instead of cousins. His mother Selena, who is also Garrow's sister, left him there and never returned. His father is unknown. He is about to kill a dear when the egg appears in a flash. Thinking that the egg is a stone which would be worth a lot of money, he picks it up, and starts heading back home. He first goes to Sloan, the butcher, where he tries to buy meat with the egg. However, Sloan has a prejudice against the stone because he had lost his wife there, and so he rejects Eragon. Horst, the blacksmith, then comes and buys meat and gives it to Eragon. Eragon goes back home where he shows the stone to his uncle who decides that they should sell it when the traders come that year.

Eventually the traders come and they take it to them. But it turns out that it isn't a stone since it is hollow.

Later one night, the egg starts making weird noises, waking Eragon up. Eventually the egg hatches and a baby dragon comes out. Eragon wearily touches the dragon, which makes a strange white mark on his palm. He keeps the dragon secret, hiding it in the forest, feeding it food. He even goes to the town story teller named Brom, who, when asked, tells Eragon all about dragons and the Dragon Riders. As the dragon grows up, Eragon learns that he has a telepathic connection to it. He eventually names it Saphira, when it turns out to be a she. While the dragon is growing up, his cousin Roran goes to a neighboring village to work there so that he can support his love Katrina, who is the daughter of Sloan.

One day, two hooded figures come into the village, wanting the blue egg that Eragon found. Saphira kidnaps Eragon by flying off with him when she senses danger from the hooded figures. They land in a clearing, and when they do, Eragon finds that his legs have been stripped of skin by Saphira's scales. Since it is night, she covers him with her wing, and they go to sleep together. The next morning, they go back to the house where they fined it destroyed. Eragon finds Garrow's body, and ties him to a piece of wood, which he tries to drag to the village. On the way there, Brom finds him as he passes out. As he is passed out, he has a dream which is a possible reference to the end of Inheritance.

Eragon wakes up, and he is being cured by the village's nurse named Gertrude. They go to Horst's house where Garrow is being tended to. Eragon stays, and over the night Garrow dies. He overhears Horst and his wife talking about letting Eragon stay with them, and with that, Eragon decides to go away after his uncle's killers.

He is running away with Saphira when he is caught by Brom. However, Brom goes with him. He teaches Eragon about the invaders, who are insect humanoids called Ra'zac, and how in the land where humanity originally dwelt, the Ra'zac would hunt and eat them, and when humans came to Alagaësia, the Ra'zac followed them. He gives Eragon the sword Zaroc, which originally belonged to Morzan, who was one of the forsworn, teaches him about magic, and teaches him on how to make a saddle for Saphira.

The trio arrive at the village of Yazuac, whose inhabitants have been slaughtered by Urgals. While looking around, Eragon is ambushed by a group of Urgals. Trapped and without weapons, Eragon uses the true word for fire, brisingr, which causes the Urgals to disintegrate in a burst of flame. He later meets up with Brom and Saphira. When Brom learns that Eragon learns magic, he decides to help him with it.

Now, magic is used by saying words in the ancient language, a language that all living beings used to speak, and one where one can never lie while speaking in it. Only certain people can use magic. All elves and riders can use magic. Non-rider humans who can use magic are called magicians. It is possible to use magic without the ancient language, but it is considered very dangerous to do so. There is another way of doing magic, which is done by summoning spirits and making them do your bidding. People who do this are called sorcerer. However, this is very dangerous as one might summon up a spirit too powerful for you to control which will then control you and turn you into a shade like Durza.

When walking alone in the woods as he found Ra'zac tracks which just ended, Eragon comes across a bottle with liquid. Curious, he drops some of it on his hand which turns out to be acid. He takes it to Brom who determines that it belonged to the Ra'zac, and that they must go to the seaport city Teirm to determine who bought it.

They arrive at Teirm where they go to Brom's old friend Jeod. They make a plan together to go into the city's records to find out who bought the poison. It turns out that Eragon can't read, so Brom teaches him how to. While there, Eragon walks into a shop where he finds a were-cat named Solembum who talks to him. Angela the herbalist comes in and gives Eragon a fortune using the ancient language and dragon bones. The fortune is that he will love one of noble birth, live for a very long time (or forever), and will leave Alagaësia never to return. As he leaves, Solembum gives him advice:

'Listen closely and I will tell you two things. When the time comes and you need a weapon, look under the roots of the Menoa tree. Then, when all seems lost and your power is insufficient, go to the Rock of Kuthian and speak your name to open the Vault of Souls.'

Later, Brom, Eragon and Jeod sneak into the city's records to try and find the buyers of the poison. Solembum in his human form (which resembles a little boy) comes and warns Eragon that guards are coming. Eragon tells the other two and they leave. Through their research, they conclude that the Ra'zac live in the four peaked mountain of Helgrind, which is next to the city of Dras-Leona.

Brom, Eragon and Saphira travel to Dras-Leona. When they get there, Brom tells Eragon of the religion of Dras-Leona, which is where these priests, headed by a high priest, cut various parts of their body to appease their god, whom they worship in a citadel. While there, Eragon goes to the citadel. While there, the Ra'zac ambush him. Eragon, Brom, and Saphira escape the ambush, but not before Brom is critically injured. Outside the city, Brom dies, revealing his past to Eragon as having been a rider before his dragon (also named Saphira) had died when he had joined the Varden, which is a resistance against Galbatorix. Afterwards, Brom helped rescued Saphira's egg from Galbatorix. Eragon lays Brom in a tomb, and with dragon magic, Saphira makes the tomb clear and prevents Brom's body from decaying. The stranger who rescued them is a man named Murtagh, who then starts to travel with Eragon and Saphira.

The three then start to travel to find the Varden. While they are traveling to Gil'ead, Eragon has a reoccurring dream of an elf woman who seems to be in great pain, and turns sixteen, and is now officially considered a man. At Gil'ead, Eragon is imprisoned by the shade Durza. In the prison, is the elf woman that Eragon saw in his dreams. He escapes with the elf woman with the help of Saphira and Murtagh, who winds up battling Durza, who defeats but doesn't kill him.

Eragon communicates with the elf woman named Arya through telepathy. Arya tells him that she has been poisoned with a poison called Skilna Bragh, which Durza used on her so she couldn't use her magic while they tortured her. She says that only a special plant called Tunivor's Nectar can save her, which is located near the same mountain that the Varden is hiding out in. She then gives Eragon the directions to the Varden, and tells him the password to enter the Varden's hinding place. They must reach the Varden within a matter of days, or she could die. Murtagh is reluctant to go, and revels the reason why to Eragon by reveling that he is the son of Morzan, one of the Forsworn, whom Brom killed when he was rescuing Saphira's egg. Murtagh's mother is also dead. However, Eragon convinces him to stay with them.

The four of them travel through the Hadarac Desert and into the Beor Mountains. When they reach the Varden's hiding place, they are attacked by Kull, larger versions of Urgals. Eragon keeps saying the password, but nothing happens. At the last second though, they are saved by a dwarf named Orik and a bald man, who takes them inside the Varden's fortress called Farthen Dûr. There, Eragon learns about the Varden, and meets their leader, Ajihad, who introduces Eragon to The Twins, which includes the bald man, who look exactly alike and don't have independent names. An intercepted from Galbatorix makes it known that a Urgal invasion on Farthen Dûr is imminent. Orik is assigned to be Eragon and Saphira's guide throughout Farthen Dûr. On the tour, Eragon blesses a baby girl in the ancient language. Orik shows them the Isidar Mithrim, a gigantic red gem that was carved to resemble a rose in a ceiling, and is considered a crowing achievement of dwarven archietecture. Eragon also meets the king of the dwarves, Horthgar, and Ajihad's daughter Nasuada. Eragon also finds Angela and Solembum there.

Eventually, the Urgal invasion happens, and all the warriors fight, including Angela. Murtagh is allowed to fight also. As the fight wears on, Eragon realize that the army is being lead by the shade Durza. He meets the shade in the hall where the Isidar Mithrim is. The two fight, and Druza is gaining the upper hand. While assaulting Durza's mind, Eragon finds memories of Durza when he was young, before he was possessed and when he was a young nomad boy named Carsaib. But then, Arya riding Saphira come in by shattering the Isidar Mithrim and distract Durza long enough for Eragon to kill him by stabbing him through the heart with the sword Zaroc, while saying brisingr, which had made the sword burst into flames. Durza dies, but the three spirits who possessed him go out and try to possess Eragon.

Eragon fights the spirits, and with the help of a mysterious being called the Mourning Sage. The Mourning Sage tells Eragon to trust Arya and to go to the elf forest of Ellesméra. Eragon wakes up in a hospital bed surrounded by Murtagh and Arya. Eragon will be alright, except that he now has an injury across his back which he got from Durza during their fights, which resembles the one Murtagh got from his father when he was young.

The book ends by saying that the story will be continued in Eldest.


In 2006, an adaptation of the book was made and was directed by Stefan Fangmeier. There was a lot of scenes and details either deleted and changed, making it a loose adaptation at best. It was supposed to be the first film in the Inheritance Film Trilogy (before the book series was split into four parts), but no announcemnt has been made about any future adaptations. It grossed $249,488,115 worldwide, $75,030,163 domestic, compared to a $100 million budget. It currently has a 16% critical ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 5.1 rating on IMDb. Christopher Paolini stated that he enjoyed the film.

A video game was released on November 17, 2006, by Vivendi Universal Games, and was based on the movie and the book. The video game currently has a 2.5 rating on Metacritic.