From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
Saphira's snoring wakes Eragon. Murtagh is already up.
Things are kind of boring in the room until Orik and the bald man show back up. It's time to meet Ajihad, leader of the Varden. If they want to eat, they can do it on the way.
They're marched out of the room and put on their horses. Not Saphira, though—she has to walk herself.
The soldiers surround them as they march.
As they move along, Eragon admires the handiwork that went into building such a seamless tunnel. It must be the work of dwarves, he reasons.
After about an hour, they see soft white glow in the distance.
The light gets brighter and they come to the end of the hallway and stop before two massive doors. The bald guy orders Eragon to hop on Saphira, and it looks like they're going to be shown off to whomever is on the other side of the door.
They walk through the doors and see a giant volcanic crater stretch out before them. High above, massive icicles hang down from the volcano's opening. Dead ahead of them, though, lies Tronjheim, a city fashioned entirely from marble, smack dab in the middle of a volcano.
So that's cool.
Eragon now notices that this city is not deserted. A bunch of folks, humans and dwarves, crowd around and stare at him and Saphira. Nobody says anything.
Eragon tries waving at them, but at first all he gets is the sound of crickets. Eventually, though, a cheer goes up and, before they know it, the newest Rider and his dragon are being wildly applauded.
It looks like the humans here are pretty tough and ready for battle. It also looks like they couldn't have built a better place to hide out from the Empire.
Their procession reaches the gates of Tronjheim, which open slowly for them. The crowds here are cheering, too, though Eragon notices that many of the dwarves don't look too pleased.
They head down a massive hallway and into a gigantic circular room whose "ceiling [is] capped by a dawn-red star sapphire of monstrous size" (51.63).
From here, everyone has to travel by foot. They head down a smaller corridor and are ushered through a massive cedar door.