Study Guide

Eragon Chapter 53

By Christopher Paolini

Chapter 53

Bless the Child, Argetlam

  • Eragon says he's sorry that Orik got into trouble on his behalf, but Orik is cool with it. In fact, Ajihad did him a favor. He's still got high standing among the dwarves, and now he doesn't have to listen to the Varden commanders—most especially the Twins.
  • They walk around Tronjheim, attracting stares.
  • Orik points out a good place for Saphira to get some shut-eye: high above the city in a series of caves designed for dragons.
  • Eragon wants to go with her, but Orik says that it's impractical to bring him meals and stuff if he's way up in one of the dragon caves.
  • Saphira says that it's okay, Eragon should get some sleep down in Tronjheim. Still, he should keep his bow handy, just in case.
  • Eragon goes and eats with Orik: fish and mushrooms. 
  • After their meal, Orik gives him a bit more info on Tronjheim: 
  • It can hold the entire dwarven nation if need be, though most dwarves prefer to live in caverns deeper underground. There are about 4,000 humans that live there, but many more who oppose the Empire live in the land of Surda, which is south of the Empire, under King Orrin.
  • Orik tells Eragon not to worry, though, since more dwarves and elves can help to swell the humans' ranks.
  • Eragon asks about the symbol on Orik's cap: a hammer surrounded by twelve stars. It's the personal crest of Korgan, his clan's founder, the same clan as King Hrothgar.
  • They take their leave, and another passing dwarf calls Eragon "Argetlam." Orik explains that it means "silver hand" in the elven language. Eragon remembers his gedwëy ignasia.
  • Bath time! Eragon realizes that he's pretty ripe, so Orik sets him up with a nice bath and change of clothes. 
  • When he's changed, Eragon asks Orik about how they can communicate with the upper levels of Tronjheim. It turns out that there's a giant staircase that runs all the way up in a massive spiral. They can hoof it up the steps, or use lanterns to flash signals, or, if it's a real emergency, there's a slide cut into one side of the stairs that they can slide down. Wheee! But the slide is dwarf-sized, so it's too dangerous for a human to try it. Aw man.
  • Saphira lands nearby, finished with her own meal. People start to crowd around, and Orik advises them to take off. 
  • Eragon hops on Saphira but, before they can take off, an old woman latches on to Eragon's foot. She thrusts a bundle in his face. It's a baby. She asks Eragon to bless the child, since she (the baby) has no parents and just the old lady to look after her.
  • Eragon hesitates, then says some ancient words after placing his hand on the baby's brow. He's weakened as if he's casted a spell.
  • Then Saphira presses her nose to the baby's head. 
  • The crowd gasps; where Saphira touched the baby is a star-shaped mark, much like Eragon's gedwëy ignasia. 
  • As they take off, Saphira says that she has given the baby hope, and Eragon's given her a future.
  • Eragon is feeling a bit overwhelmed. Not too long ago, he was a simple farm boy, but now he's a powerful Dragon Rider, able to inspire others and tasked with repelling evil. Is he up to the task? Does he even have a choice?
  • Saphira says that there's no answer to such questions, so he should put them out of his mind.
  • They land on the top of the giant star sapphire, in the dragonhold, and make their way to a shared sleeping chamber.
  • Eragon asks for Saphira's impression of Tronjheim so far. She says that the best play is to find out who is in power and make friends with them. Quickly.