Study Guide

Eragon Chapter 49

By Christopher Paolini

Chapter 49

The Horns of a Dilemma

  • Eragon is shocked at this revelation. Is this some elaborate trap?
  • Murtagh assures him that he's not in league with the bad guys. To prove it, he shows Eragon a really nasty scar on his back. His father Morzan gave it to him when he was only three. (We guess if your title is "last of the Forsworn," you won't be a model parent, but that's just terrible.)
  • Eragon realizes that Brom is responsible for killing Murtagh's dad.
  • An Urgal horn sounds in behind them. Less talking, more running for your life.
  • As they run, Eragon tries to determine for certain if Murtagh is with the Empire, or with them. Saphira trusts him, but she's worried that he'll do something foolish when they reach the Varden.
  • Finally they reach the waterfall and the lake it spills into. They walk along the lake's edge toward the falls.
  • Suddenly, the Urgals show up. They start to spread out around the lake shore to encircle Murtagh, Eragon, and Saphira (and, we guess, Arya, is who still in sleepyland). Bad times.
  • They run toward the falls, but Saphira turns around to cover their escape. She starts shredding major Urgalage, but they return fire with arrows and pierce her wings. She dives into the lake, then shoots up out of the water, snapping at the Urgals and trapping them on one side.
  • Murtagh and Eragon, meanwhile, are almost to the falls. 
  • They make it. Whew.
  • Eragon says the magic words that Arya told him and…
  • …nothing happens. Maybe try "open sesame"?
  • Meanwhile, Saphira has retreated to join them. Now they're all trapped with the Urgals closing in.
  • Murtagh uses his sword and Eragon uses his magic to push them back, but they can't hold out forever.
  • Suddenly, Saphira realizes the problem: they're on the wrong side of the lake.
  • They tie Arya onto Saphira's back, and Eragon mentally encourages the horses. They have to push through the waterfall to get to the other side.
  • Everyone dives in, with the Urgals close behind. Eragon struggles to surface, but the force of the water pushes him back down. His heavy, metal sword is not helping him stay afloat.
  • Suddenly, a strong hand pulls Eragon out of the water. The Urgals are being forced back under a hail of arrows coming from the cliff.
  • Eragon collects himself and realizes that it's a dwarf who has saved him. 
  • The dwarf would rather be fighting Urgals, but instead he ushers Eragon into a tunnel in the rock. 
  • When they step inside, Eragon sees a bald man in a purple and gold robe. Totally normal. 
  • He's got a dagger to Murtagh's throat. That's not good.
  • The man says that Murtagh will die if Eragon doesn't do exactly as he says. Saphira is there, and she suggests that Eragon listen to the guy with the knife.
  • They step further into the tunnel and it shuts seamlessly behind them. Dun dun dun.