Study Guide

Eragon Chapter 48

By Christopher Paolini

Chapter 48

Flight Through the Valley

  • The next morning, Eragon hops on Saphira and brings Arya's unconscious body along for the ride. He needs some space from Murtagh, as he still can't process him beheading Torkenbrand.
  • Saphira urges Eragon to forgive him, at least.
  • As they are flying, they spot Urgals following close behind them through the mountains. Time to skedaddle.
  • Back at camp, Murtagh helpfully points out that they're beyond exhaustion, and that includes the horses. Still, he'll make sure they reach the Varden. Eragon can't help but like this dude.
  • They hustle through the mountains, sleeping in turn on their horses.
  • They manage to make some ground on the Urgals, but Arya is dangerously hot.
  • Finally, they spot the valley that Arya showed Eragon in their mind-meld. They pass through a dense and spooky old forest.
  • As they move deeper into the valley, Murtagh wonders how he'll be able to get out once they find the Varden. 
  • Eragon jumps onto Saphira for a bit of reconnaissance, looking for an escape route for Murtagh. 
  • A dove with a white band on its leg flutters by. Saphira snaps at it, but she misses.
  • She flies higher into the clouds, so high in fact that Eragon passes out. Looks like Saphira's not equipped with one of those yellow oxygen masks that fall from the airplane ceiling in the event of a sudden loss of pressure.
  • Saphira dives back down below the clouds, and Eragon regains consciousness. He's thankful that Saphira didn't pass out, too. It looks like flying out the valley is not an option.
  • They go to check on the Urgals, who are coming on stronger than ever. They look to be even bigger and nastier (and stinkier?) than the regular Urgals. 
  • Eragon conjures up a wall of mist to block their path. The Urgals stop for a minute, but then they figure out that, hey, mist can't hurt you. They shoulder forward.
  • Eragon is severely weakened, since he had to cast that spell from a distance. Saphira chides him for not remembering Brom's lessons.
  • They make it back to Murtagh. In the meantime, he's come across some giant wolf tracks. Joy.
  • They tell him about the equally giant Urgals that are chasing them. 
  • Murtagh knows these guys. They're called Kull (not to be confused with the awesome sci-fi movie Krull). They are a super-tough brand of Urgal.
  • In the meantime, Arya's not looking so good. It's just a bowl of good news for everyone, isn't it?
  • Murtagh suggests they take Arya to the Varden now, but Eragon won't leave him. 
  • Saphira has another idea: attack first. It's just crazy enough to work.
  • Saphira and Eragon scoop up a bunch of rocks, then glide over the Urgals' position. At just the right moment, they let the rocks go. Bombs away.
  • They hear some howling, so they figure it's working. They continue to harass the Urgals as Murtagh presses on ahead.
  • Night descends on the valley. Saphira is circling with Eragon, looking for the waterfall that will indicate the Varden's hideout. They think they see it.
  • The two return to Murtagh, who is busy crashing through the forest on foot. 
  • Arya's still alive, but barely. 
  • Eragon gives Murtagh the good news: the waterfall is nearby.
  • Murtagh wants to know if they found an escape route for him. That would be a… no.
  • Murtagh is mighty peeved at this turn of events. Now what will he do?
  • Eragon doesn't get what he has against the Varden. They start to fight again.
  • Saphira tries to intervene: uh, guys, remember the scary Urgals that are hot on our heels?
  • Finally, Murtagh explains why he can't go the Varden: Murtagh is the son of Morzan, last of the Forsworn.