It's Arya that wakes Eragon. The battle is about to begin.
Everything is still for a moment, then the Urgals start to come out of the tunnels.
The defenders have set up flaming cauldrons of hot tar at the openings. They now pour it onto the emerging Urgals, who scream out in pain.
And it doesn't end there. Somebody tosses a torch onto the pitch-covered Urgals, and they go from being burnt to being fully crisped, bursting into flames.
Into the confused mass of flaming Urgals, Eragon and the others begin firing their arrows. This also takes a toll, until the Urgals get behind their shields. In the meantime, more and more of them are pouring out of the tunnels.
Eragon is a bit relieved to see no sign of Galbatorix's army among them, but then he hears a familiar, ominous horn. The Urgals charge.
They're at first repelled by the sharpened spikes placed in front of the defenders, not to mention the sharp spears and pikes being thrusted at them
Soon, though, they overwhelm the defenses by sheer force of numbers.
Now it's hand-to-hand combat, as the two armies come together in a mighty clash.
Saphira and Eragon jump into the fray, smashing and slashing as many Urgals as they can.
Eragon is separated from Saphira, though, when his sword gets stuck in an Urgal's horns. (This is a bummer for Eragon, but just imagine how the Urgal felt.)
Eragon uses magic to try to get back to Saphira, but there are too many Urgals in the way. Luckily, Murtagh swings by and helps Eragon onto his horse. They head toward Saphira, who is surrounded by spear-wielding Urgals.
Eragon makes it to Saphira. Murtagh rides off to kick more Urgal butt, while Eragon and Saphira take off into the air.
They fly around to the back side of the army, where the archers are hanging out, firing arrows. They dive down and knock off a few archers, then try the same strategy on other parts of the Urgal force. It works well; Eragon fires arrows from Saphira's back until he runs out. He's got some magic left, but he wants to keep it in reserve.
From Saphira's vantage, they can see how the battle is turning out. The Urgals seem disorganized, without a clear leader, but even so they're forcing the defenders back toward Tronjheim.
Eragon mentally sends this update to the Twins, who tell him that he needs to go help Hrothgar's section of the army. It's not doing too well.
They land near Hrothgar and get to work on the Urgals, "mixing brains with metal and bone" (58.29). Well that's a winning combo.
Hrothgar, meanwhile, is kicking crazy butt with his hammer. No Urgal can stand up to him.
Eragon gets a little too excited by the dwarf king's display and overreaches trying to stab an Urgal. He ducks under Eragon's defenses and gives him a whap on the helmet. Stunned, Eragon is out of position to defend himself from the Urgal's next blow. Is this it for our hero?
Of course not. Just as it readies the death blow, a little blade pops out the Urgal's chest from behind. It's Angela!
She's armed with a staff that sports a blade sticking from each end. She gives Eragon a wink, then goes spinning off to wreak more havoc. Close on her heels is Solembum, in boy form, snarling and holding a dagger.
Eragon and Saphira take off into the air to give him time to clear his head. He can see that now all three armies are having a bad time of it, with more and more Urgals pressing in.
The battle goes on and on, but then Eragon is contacted by the Twins. It looks like Urgals are trying to tunnel their way up from under Tronjheim. They need Arya and Eragon to collapse the tunnels there.
Eragon and Saphira grab Arya, but just as all three are about to take off, an Urgal comes running up and smashes Saphira in the chest with an axe. She takes off anyway, and Arya kills the Urgal, but Saphira's armor has been pinched together by the blow and she'll need some attention.
Arya offers to help her, once they land up at the dragonhold.
They arrive high above Tronjheim, where the Twins are meant to be stationed to oversee the battle. They aren't there, though. Hmm, go figure.
Eragon tells Saphira to take care, then heads for the tunnels under Tronjheim. One problem, though: he's way up above the city. How will he get under it quickly?
That's right—it's spiral slide time. He jumps onto a leather cushion and starts zipping down the slide channel that's been cut out of the staircase for just such an emergency.
Whee! Eragon lays flat on his back to stabilize himself as he picks up speed. It's kind of like street luge but, you know, without the helmet, and the hay bales, and well, okay it's nothing like street luge.
When he gets to the bottom of the staircase, Eragon goes skidding across the floor. He's nauseous, but otherwise okay. He takes a minute to recover.
The Twins are nowhere to be seen.
What is to be seen is a big explosion. Urgals start pouring out of a fresh hole in the ground.
Eragon's not sure if he should seal up the hole, or go unseal the city's gates to let the defenders back in.
Before he can make up his mind, Durza the Shade pops up out of the hole.
Eragon warns Saphira, but knows that she's too far away to help.
The Urgals form a perimeter around Eragon, and the Shade advances. He wants to know where Saphira is. Eragon says no way.
The Shade throws a sword at Eragon, but it's only a diversion. As Eragon blocks it with his shield, the Shade assaults him with a mental attack.
Eragon tries his own mental attack, but can't break through the Shade's defenses. He tries attacking with his sword, but that doesn't work either.
Then the Shade counters with a sword attack of his own, narrowly missing Eragon's ribs. The near-hit gives him an opening in Eragon's mental defenses. He starts to control his mind.
Eragon dives at the Shade and they wrestle with one another. It's enough of a distraction that at last Eragon is able to breach Durza's mental defenses.
Eragon gets access to Durza's memories: his troubled boyhood as a nomad son of an outcast father; the old man Haeg who rescued and trained him; the murder of Haeg and the evil spirits that he conjured to avenge the old man's death.
Then the Shade strikes Eragon in the back. He's laid low by the blow, barely conscious. It seems that the Shade has won, that all is lost.
Eragon looks up to the heavens in anguish.
What he sees, though, is the giant star sapphire exploding. A million shards rain down upon him and the Shade.
Through the hole in the ceiling comes Saphira, with Arya on her back. Saphira breathes a stream of blue-yellow flame.
Eragon sees Durza's attention drawn to Saphira. Just as the Shade readies some magic to hurl at her, Eragon sees his opening.
He grabs his sword, says the magic word "Brisingr!", and shoves the flaming blade into the Shade's heart.
Durza collapses, howls, and then disintegrates into three black spirits who fly out of the city. R.I.P. Slim Shady. And don't come back!
Eragon passes out. The vision of Arya on Saphira's back, frozen in time, is the last thing he sees.