Study Guide

Eragon The Home

By Christopher Paolini

The Home

Eragon swayed blearily and said, "It's good to be back." […] Home. For the first time since before the hunt, he relaxed completely as sleep overtook him. (2.86)

You know how when you go away from home for a while, it just feels really good to be back? Things seem to make more sense to you, you know where everything is, and you just feel more relaxed. Well, that's how Eragon feels when he gets back from the hunt. Just imagine how he feels, then, when he loses his home in the Ra'zac attack.

"This is a small village hidden by mountains. It's not surprising that you've escaped notice. However, I wouldn't expect that to last." (3.53)

As Merlock points out here, Eragon's home is sheltered from the wider world. But not for long—the world comes knocking, and he's forced to leave that shelter behind.

Mother, aunt, uncle—he had lost them all. The weight of his grief was crushing, a monstrous force that left him tottering. (13.5)

After Garrow dies, we're reminded, through Eragon's grief, how much our sense of home is due to the people that inhabit it. If that tired old saying has any truth, and home is indeed "where the heart is," then a large part of Eragon's heart is with his family members who he's tragically lost.

"Your fate will be to leave this land forever. Where you will end up, I know not, but you will never again stand in Alagaësia." (26.55)

Gee, thanks, Angela. Here she gives Eragon a grim bit of news about his fortune: he's fated to leave his homeland, never to return again. Does that sound like he's doomed to you, or does it sound like he's liberated? Probably depends on how you see your home, right? For Eragon, it's the source of some major anxiety.

I don't want to leave Teirm, he suddenly realized. The time I've spent here has been—almost normal. What I would give not to keep uprooting myself. (27.14)

The routine Eragon establishes in the port city of Teirm—honing his fighting and magic skills, learning to read—gives him a sense of consistency and, well, a sense of home. But alas, putting down roots is not in the hero's cards.

What is it you want? she asked, suddenly sour. To go back to your previous life? You know that won't happen, so stop mooning after it! (33.43)

Good ol' Saphira—she's always good for a kick in Eragon's pants. When he gets down or mopey, she's there with a big bucket of ice cold reality to dump on his head. In this case, she tells Eragon to accept the loss of his home and prior life. He needs to accept his fate, including the loss of his home life, if he's going to be a successful Rider. Does that strike you as good advice?

"I do not belong to either the Varden or the Empire. Nor do I owe allegiance to any man but myself." (38.8)

Murtagh: loner extraordinaire. Though we get more of Murtagh's back-story later in the novel, he appears initially as a man who is utterly without a home, save for himself. Like a snail, he seems to carry his home with him wherever he goes. He's way more deadly than your average snail, though. Do you think Murtagh's independence, not being tied to a home, is a benefit or a drawback for him?

Their surroundings were so foreign—it struck him for the first time exactly how far he was from home. A destroyed home, but still where his heart lay. (53.85)

In Tronjheim, surrounded by strangers, Eragon is struck full force by how far he's come. Even though his home is nothing more than matchsticks, thanks to those creepy Ra'zac, he still longs for it. What do you think Eragon misses, exactly? Is it the people? The scenery? Customs? All of it?

Durza as a young boy living as a nomad with his parents on the empty plains. […] Only it was not Durza then, but Carsaib. (58.67)

Just before he plunges his sword into his heart, Eragon is granted access to the Shade's memories via mental link. Does Durza the Shade's memories of home somehow make him less of a monster in your eyes? Does his fond attachment to home make him more human? Do you pity him in this moment? Or do you still wish the creep would get his just desserts?

Come to me Eragon, for I have answers to all you ask. You will not be safe until you find me. (59.11)

At the end of the novel, as Eragon recovers from the battle of Farthen Dûr, the Cripple Who is Whole enters Eragon's mind, promising safety and answers. What do you make of this invitation? Isn't his voice essentially promising the comforts of home to Eragon? The fact that Eragon's entire time has been spent on the road, fighting hostile forces, seems to make this invitation all the more…well, inviting. Eragon's final words in the book then, seem to suggest that he's off to seek the home that he lost at the book's very beginning.