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This is a list of characters in the Inheritance Cycle, a fantasy series by Christopher Paolini. Many of the names Paolini has used originate from Old Norse, German, Old English, and Russian sources, as well as the invented languages.
Eragon, also known as Eragon Shadeslayer, Argetlam, Shur'tugal, Firesword and Kingkiller, originally began as an autobiographical character of Christopher Paolini. Eragon is the son of Selena and Brom, although Eragon's relationship to Brom is not revealed until Brisingr, the third novel, until which time he is thought to be the son of Morzan. Eragon is the cousin of Roran Garrowsson. He was raised as a farm-boy for fifteen years under the care of his uncle Garrow, then got a dragon. Eragon was portrayed by Edward Speleers in the film adaptation of Eragon.
Saphira Bjartskular (meaning "Brightscales" in the Ancient Language) is a female blue dragon who hatches from an egg stolen from Galbatorix by Brom and Jeod. She is mentioned in the novels to be the last female dragon in all of Alagaësia. In Eragon, her egg was ferried between the Elves and the Varden by the elf, Arya, in an attempt to find the person destined to be her Rider. Saphira was voiced by Rachel Weisz in the film.
Arya Dröttning is a female elf in the Inheritance Cycle and the only love-interest of Eragon. She is the daughter of King Evandar and Queen Islanzadí and is the queen of the elves after the death of her mother at the hand of Lord Barst at the Battle of Uru'baen. She is shown throughout the series to be both beautiful and wise as well as possessing inhuman speed, strength, grace, and superior fighting and magical skills in keeping with the rest of her kind. She has long black hair, slanted cat-like green eyes, and pointed ears like all elves. Arya was portrayed by Sienna Guillory in the film.
Galbatorix is the traitor who brought about the destruction of the Riders before the series began. When his first dragon, Jarnunvösk, is killed by Urgals, and he is not allowed another one, the enraged Galbatorix turns against the Riders. He recruits Morzan, first of the thirteen Forsworn, to his cause, and with his help steals a dragon hatchling and uses dark magic to bring the dragon, Shruikan, under his control. He recruits more members of the Forsworn as he sets out to destroy the Riders, and derives his growing magical strength from the captured souls of dead dragons, the Eldunarí. Galbatorix and the Forsworn destroy the old order of Riders, including their leader Vrael, and Galbatorix anoints himself King of Alagaesia, enslaving hundreds of Eldunari and using their vast magical reserves to stay in power. The destruction of the Riders spreads war, madness, and chaos throughout Alagaësia. Galbatorix's name means "The Big King" in Gallican language; he was played by John Malkovich in the film adaptation of Eragon.
Nasuada is the daughter of Ajihad and Nadara. In Eragon, Murtagh says "I've seen earls and counts who had wives, compared to her, were more fitted for life as a hog than of nobility," to describe Nasuada. Eragon has a sense of foreboding, remembering the prophecy of his epic romance with one of noble birth. Upon her father's death at the beginning of Eldest, Nasuada becomes leader of the Varden. Nasuada was played by Caroline Chikezie in the film version of Eragon.
Roran, popularly known by the surnames Garrowsson and Stronghammer, is Garrow's son and Eragon's cousin, and also Murtagh's cousin (Nasuada remarks that most of her time she is busy with things concerning their family whether it's Roran, Eragon or Murtagh). Roran grew up in Carvahall with Eragon. He is married to Katrina by the end of Brisingr. Roran was played by Chris Egan in the film Eragon.
Murtagh is the son of Morzan and Selena, and half-brother of Eragon. In Eldest, Murtagh is kidnapped by the Twins who secretly serve Galbatorix. He is taken to Urû'baen where he is tortured for a time before the red dragon Thorn hatches for him. He tells Nasuada in Inheritance that Thorn was "his downfall", as he could not withstand Galbatorix's attack on his dragon. Galbatorix manages to learn Murtagh and Thorn's true names, and forces them to swear fealty to him. Murtagh was played by Garrett Hedlund in the film.
Thorn is the red male dragon that Galbatorix twisted and bound to Murtagh. He has been magically grown to large proportions.
Orik is a dwarf, a member of the clan Dûrgrimst Ingeitum, and the adopted heir and nephew of King Hrothgar (his parents "died of the pox" when he was "young"). He is a smith, a warrior, and a guide to Eragon and Saphira.
Brom is a former Dragon rider in the Inheritance Cycle and Eragon's first mentor. In addition, Brom is later (in Brisingr) revealed to be Eragon's father. He is known for his formidable battle skills and his intelligence. Brom was also the founder of the Varden. Brom was played by Jeremy Irons in the film adaption of Eragon.
Ajihad is the leader of the Varden and Nasuada's father. He is in power for around fifteen years, leading the Varden to victory in many battles. He lives in Tronjheim in the Beor Mountains, depending on the dwarves who assist them in their fight against Galbatorix. Shortly after the Battle of Farthen Dûr, at the beginning of Eldest, he is killed by Urgals. He is betrayed by his personal guards, the Twins, who recruited the Urgals to slay him. Ajihad was played by Djimon Hounsou in the film version of Eragon.
Orrin is the King of Surda. He is an enthusiastic, if unsystematic scientist whose interest is mostly in the conduction of curious experiments. Nasuada has often considered asking him to marry her for political reasons, but has never been able to work up the courage (because she doesn't have any romantic feelings toward him). In Eragon, he secretly supports the Varden, and he allows them to move to his country in Eldest when the resources of Farthen Dûr become scarce.
Elva is an orphaned baby who, in the first book of the Inheritance Cycle, Eragon attempts to bless, but accidentally curses. (Eragon intends to say 'May you be shielded from misfortune', but accidentally says 'May you be a shield from misfortune'.) As a result, Elva is compelled to protect other people from misfortune at the cost of her own peace of mind.
The Twins were powerful human magicians who claimed to support the Varden. Little about them is revealed; their names are unknown and are called 'the Twins' throughout, as they are identical twins. They are responsible for mentally probing all who come to Tronjheim. They show animosity towards Eragon as he essentially thwarts their plans to learn more of the ancient language from him.
Trianna is one of the few magic users that serve the Varden and is also a sorceress. After the disappearance of the Twins in Eldest, Trianna leads Du Vrangr Gata, a group of magicians. Trianna is put in charge of Nasuada's plan to use the making of lace to finance the Varden's war efforts. She leads the magicians in the Battle of the Burning Plains.
Jörmundur is second-in-command of the Varden troops. He commands a battalion in the Battle of Farthen Dûr. His skill and wisdom in battle make him valued by the Varden. He is also a member of the Varden's Council of Elders. The Varden's leader, Ajihad, appointed him second in command (military wise). In "Eldest", he is the only member of the Council of Elders who does not try to control Nasuada politically.
Angela is a fortune teller, herbalist, witch, and a friend of Eragon's. Her character is loosely based on Paolini's sister. She is accompanied by a werecat named Solembum. She makes most of her living by fortune-telling for the richer people of Teirm and selling potions. Angela is portrayed by Joss Stone in the film Eragon.
Solembum is a werecat who spends his time with Angela. In Eragon, during the visit to Teirm, he tells Eragon "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". Solembum has only ever spoken to two other people that entered Angela's shop, a blind beggar and Eragon's mother, Selena. Solembum has red (sometimes blue or yellow) eyes and his ears are tipped with black tufts.
Jeod Longshanks is a wealthy merchant and scholar of Teirm and a good friend of Brom's. He is an agent of the Varden, whom he supported with his business by smuggling various supplies until he was exposed to the Empire, causing him to suffer heavy losses. He and Brom stole Saphira's egg from the Empire.
Carn is a spellcaster who serves with Roran throughout the missions in Brisingr and remains a close friend of his. Not thought to be a particularly strong magician, he compensates by inventing extraordinarily clever spells and excelling at worming his way into his opponents' minds. Carn is killed in a Wizard's Duel in Inheritance by an enemy magician, though not before casting a spell to drain him (the enemy magician) of moisture, killing him as well.
Martland Redbeard is Roran's commander during his first mission into the Empire when they ambush a caravan and is admired by his men as a tactical genius who saved his servants and others in his house from Galbatorix's men. By this time it can be assumed as he is getting old as his famed red beard is going grey.
Edric is the commander of one of Roran's missions with the Varden. Edric and Roran are sent to fight off a group of soldiers attacking Surda while the army is away. Edric is described as being a competent commander but one who dislikes straying from a set course. This is described by Roran as a style that undermines creativity.
Captain Brigman is a Varden officer who was sent by Nasuada to conquer the city of Aroughs. After an extended siege, Nasuada, wanting to conquer the city quickly, sent Roran to replace him as commander.
Irwin is the Prime Minister of Surda. While it is unclear what role the Prime Minister plays in Surda's government, he is quite influential in Orrin's government and has opposed the Varden on numerous occasions in an attempt to express Surda's dominance over them. While King Orrin has dismissed his council on numerous occasions, Irwin is still in a position of power relative to Orrin, just as the Council of Elders are in a position of power compared to Nasuada.
Fredric is the Varden's main weapon master and an accomplished fighter as well. He aids Eragon in finding a new sword, a falchion, but Eragon eventually destroys it by accident and ends up with Brisingr. Fredric holds a position of authority amongst the Varden and has survived both the fighting at Tronjheim and the Battle of the Burning Plains. He routinely wears a suit of ox hide armor, which Eragon has often stated as having a pungent odor, and wields a massive two-handed sword, which is over five feet long.
Shruikan* is Galbatorix's black dragon, the largest of all the dragons to appear in the series, larger than even Glaedr.
The Forsworn were a group of 13 corrupt Dragon Riders and dragons who joined Galbatorix during "The Fall". When the dragons learned that thirteen of their kind had willingly joined Galbatorix and were helping to exterminate the rest of their race, every dragon not of the Forsworn banded together and, through their strange magic, caused their names to be exterminated, an event known as The Banishing of the Names.
Morzan was a Dragon Rider, long dead by the start of Eragon. He was described as "strong of body, but weak of mind" by Brom.
Kialandí was a Dragon Rider, long dead by the start of Eragon. Nothing has been mentioned about his looks or personality.
Formora was an elven Dragon Rider, long dead by the start of Eragon. Little is known about her.
Glaerun was a Dragon Rider and one of the Forsworn. He died during a nuclear-like explosion caused by the elven Rider, Thuviel sacrificing himself at Doru Areba when the battle was lost.
Enduriel was a Dragon Rider and one of the Forsworn. It's implied that Enduriel died after the event of the destruction of Ilirea and Vroengard. He may have been killed by Brom or by the Varden, planned by Brom.
The Ra'zac are extremely powerful beings of indeterminate origins who work for Galbatorix, in exchange for a supply of human flesh. They arrived in Alagaesia from the land the humans had migrated from; the Riders tried but failed to exterminate them. Similar to insects, the Ra'zac have a three staged life: first as eggs, then as humanoid youngsters and finally, after the first full moon of their twentieth year, they shed their skin and become huge beasts called the Lethrblaka.
Lord Barst was a general who was known for his power in battle, said to be just as ruthless as Galbatorix.
Durza is a Shade, a sorcerer possessed by the spirits he summoned.
Varaug is the Shade created by three magicians using the body of a soldier during the siege on the city of Feinster.
Garrow is Roran's father, Eragon and Murtagh's uncle and Selena's brother. He had a wife, Marian, but she is dead at the time the story is set. He lives on a farm, away from the rest of the village. After giving birth to Eragon, Selena left Eragon in the hands of Garrow and his wife, but gave them no explanation. Garrow raises Eragon alongside his own son Roran. He suggested Eragon sell the "stone" (actually Saphira's egg.) He is killed by the Ra'zac near the beginning of the first book, dying of a rare poison called Seithr Oil that causes very severe burns and an unbreakable fever.
Sloan is Carvahall's butcher and Katrina's father. Sloan dotes upon his daughter and is highly possessive of her.
Katrina is the daughter of Sloan and Ismira. When she got engaged to Roran without her father's blessing, Sloan was so enraged he tried to strike at Roran and denied Katrina of her mother's inheritance and his dowry. When Garrow died, Eragon overheard that she had wished to call him father someday. Eragon was upset by this because he could not even call Garrow that. Katrina is portrayed by Tamsin Egerton in the film adaptation.
Horst is the blacksmith of Carvahall. Roran leaves his house and moves in with Horst in Eragon. He lives there until the migration of the villagers of Carvahall in Eldest. He travels with the other villagers to Surda, where he joins the Varden as a metalworker. Horst is the husband of Elain and the father of Baldor, Albriech and Hope.
Selena was the mother of Eragon and Murtagh, the consort of Morzan, and the sister of Garrow and aunt to Roran. She was also known to many people as The Black Hand. Selena fell in love with Morzan, who trained her in magic and other warrior arts. He later turned her into his spy and assassin, serving under Galbatorix. She gave birth to Murtagh, and kept his existence a secret from all but Morzan and Galbatorix, however, Morzan showed no compassion toward their son.
Birgit Mardasdaughter, the mother of Nolfavrell, is a young woman who assists Roran during the village's flight from the Empire to Surda. Her husband was Quimby, the village brewer, who was accidentally killed by Imperial soldiers when he tried to break up an argument in the village's tavern, then eaten by the Ra'zac.
Oromis is Eragon's second teacher after Brom. He is an elf and the last remaining Dragon Rider of the old order. He is also known as "Osthato Chetowa, the Mourning Sage" and "Togira Ikonoka, the Cripple Who is Whole".
Lord Fiolr is Arya's friend and leader of Sílthrim. He is well trained in magic. It is implied that he fought at Ceunon and Gil'ead. He lives in the House of Valtharos. He is the owner of Támerlein, one of the last swords of the Dragon Riders that was his wife's brothers sword.
Glaedr is the gold dragon bonded to Oromis. He is described as being at least three times as large as Saphira and a skilled fighter. After escaping from the clutches of the Forsworn, during which Glaedr had his left leg cut off by Formora, Glaedr and Oromis went into hiding in Du Weldenvarden to teach the first of the new generation of Riders.
Fírnen was one of the eggs that was captured by Galbatorix. His egg was green, and he didn't hatch until Arya brought him to the Crags of Tael'neir when the war with the Empire had finished. He became the dragon of Arya. Fírnen and Saphira mated, but Saphira had to leave Alagaesia.
The Menoa Tree is one of the oldest and largest trees in Du Weldenvarden. The tree has the spirit of the elf Linnëa, who imbued her consciousness into the tree by magically singing for three days, and has since watched over the forest.
Islanzadí is queen of the elves. She lives in the elven capital Ellesméra. She is the widow of the former king of the elves, Evandar, and the mother of Arya.
Evandar was the mate of Islanzadí and Arya's father. He was ruler of Du Weldenvarden before Islanzadí was. It is said that he died while making a final stand against Galbatorix when he led the elven army and the remaining free Riders in a siege of Urû'baen.
Vanir is a (comparatively) young elf, who is Eragon's sparring partner during his training in Eldest. He is a skilled but arrogant swordsman and says "dead" every time he lands a potentially deadly blow to Eragon.
Rhunön is an ancient elf who created all of the Dragon Riders' swords. After the betrayal of the Forsworn, Rhunön swore never to make another sword. In Brisingr, Eragon requests that she make him a Rider's sword.
Maud is a werecat that lives in Ellesméra. She knows of Solembum, and is assumed to be much older than he. She is even more mysterious than Solembum and seems to have a place among Islanzadí's advisers. Maud is also seen caring for Alanna and Dusan, two elf children, while Eragon was creating his new sword, Brisingr.
Blödhgarm (translated in an appendix as "Bloodwolf") is a blue-furred wolf elf, and has a musky scent that attracts females. He is the leader of a small group sent to protect Eragon and Saphira on the orders of Islanzadí ("our twelve finest spell weavers," of whom Blödhgarm is the leader).
Wyrden was a powerful elven spellcaster under Blödhgarm. He first appeared in Inheritance at the battle of Belatona where he helped to heal Saphira after she was injured by the Dauthdaert. He later acts as Eragon's sparring partner.
Blagden is a raven blessed by Evandar after pecking out an Urgal's eyes when the elf king stumbled during a fight, thus allowing Evandar to recover and defeat the Urgal. The magic gave Blagden intelligence and the ability of speech (though he primarily speaks in riddles and doggerel), but also unintentionally turned his feathers pure white.
Arva was an elven Rider who was at Ilirea when the Forsworn attacked the city. He fought Kialandí, one of the Forsworn, an elven male rider who subsequently dealt him with a mortal blow during the battle, but managed to pass his sword Támerlein to his sister, Naudra, who was Lord Fiolr's mate so she can use it as a weapon to free herself from the battle.
Hrothgar was the King of the dwarves, controlling the thirteen dwarf clans and Tronjheim, the city within Farthen Dûr. He admits Eragon as a member of Dûrgrimst Ingeitum, an honor that had never previously been bestowed upon a non-dwarf. He is killed by magic from Murtagh in the Battle of the Burning Plains. His name is derived from "Hroðgar", the name of a legendary Danish king who lived in the 6th century and who appears as a character in the Anglo-Saxon epics Beowulf and Widsith. He is succeeded by his nephew Orik.
Gannel is Grimstborith ("clan chief") of Dûrgrimst Quan, the religious clan of the dwarves. He is also the head priest of the dwarves. He gives Eragon a necklace that will prevent anyone from scrying him. He supports Grimstborith Nado for the dwarven kingship, and later summons the chief dwarf god, Gûntera.
Vermûnd is the Grimstborith of Az Sweldn rak Anhûin, a small and mysterious clan. Vermûnd orders the assassination of Eragon when he stays in Tronjheim during Brisingr. Because of his crime, Az Sweldn rak Anhûin are banished from the dwarves by Orik and the other clan chiefs, until Vermûnd is replaced. Vermûnd himself is branded a traitor and shall be ignored until he dies.
Fanghur are creatures that resemble dragons, though not as large or intelligent as their cousins, and are unable to breathe fire. They are considered to be the most deadly of the native Beor creatures through the way they hunt, by letting out piercing screams or to attack their victim's minds to paralyse them while they go in for the kill. In Eldest, Eragon and Saphira encounter three Fanghur that they mistake for dragons at first, and are attacked by them until Saphira frightens them off with her fire.
Feldûnost are large goat-like creatures that are sometimes ridden upon by dwarves. Their name means "frostbeard" in the dwarf language. Feldûnost appear in Eldest when Eragon and Saphira enter Tarnag.
Nagra are giant boar creatures that are feasted upon by dwarves. Their meat is rich in taste, and few dwarves are able to catch a nagra. Nagra are shown in both Eldest and Brisingr. In Eldest, a nagra is served in a grand feast at Tarnag. In Brisingr a group of Nagra are shown in a confrontation with an Urzhad. A Nagra is killed by the massive bear in the fight.
A shrrg is a giant wolf creature. They are mentioned by Orik in Eldest, saying that they can catch both Feldunost and Nagra.
Urzhad (called Beorn by the elves) are massive cave bears that grow to a large size. Urzhad are larger than most Beor creatures, about as big as a small house. They are known to be brutal creatures that can kill a Nagra with ease.
Nar Garzhvog is a Kull (an Urgal that can grow to be eight feet tall) commander who joins the Varden, becoming the first of his kind to fight in an alliance with another race while not enslaved in history. He fights in the Battle of the Burning Plains and accompanies Eragon on a later journey to the foot of the Beor Mountains.
Yarbog is an Urgal who challenges the authority of Roran (his commander) during a mission. Roran defeats him in an unarmed combat wrestling match and earns his respect.
Eragon was the first of the old order of the Dragon Riders.
Bid'daum's egg was found by the first Eragon during the time of the war between the elves and dragons.
Linnëa was an elf who lived before the war between elves and dragons, when they first migrated to the new land.
Vrael was the last leader of the Riders of Old and was bonded to the male white dragon Umaroth.
Queen Dellanir was queen of the elves when Anurin decided to add humans to the pact so that there would be human Dragon Riders.
Queen Tamunora was the elven queen who worked with the dragons to create the pact that would lead to the formation of the Dragon Riders, ending Du Fyrn Skulblaka.
Anurin was an elven Dragon Rider, and leader of the Dragon Riders before Vrael.
Palancar was the king of the humans when they first migrated and established a settlement in Alagaësia. He founded the Broddring Kingdom, but was defeated by the Dragon Riders when he attempted to annex elvish territory.
Korgan was the first dwarf king. He discovered Farthen Dûr while tunneling for gold.
Thuviel was an elven Dragon Rider.
Umaroth (pronounced "oo-MAR-oth") was the white dragon bonded to Vrael, leader of the dragon riders of old before their fall.
Valdr was an ancient wild male dragon in his Eldunarí form.
Belgabad was an ancient, wild dragon who lived alone in the northern region of Alagaësia.
Raugmar The Black was an ancient wild male dragon whose color was black and he was a distant descendent of Belgabad. Raugmar was a great-great-great grandsire of Vervada, Saphira's mother.