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Mike Macauley: Phoenix asked, “Had Oromis not had a seizure, could he have captured or killed Murtagh?”
Christopher Paolini: There’s no doubt in my mind that Oromis and Glaedr vastly, vastly out-class Murtagh and Thorn in terms in sheer size when it comes to the dragons, and sheer skill when it comes to magic and sword fighting. Of course, Murtagh had the advantage of a great number of dragons’ Eldunari – the heart of hearts – feeding his strength, so assuming Galbatorix had not interfered, Oromis would – I think – have at least held his own, and I think there was at least a good chance that he might have beaten and captured or killed Murtagh and Thorn.
M: Will you ever go into greater detail on the presumed deaths of the first Eragon and his own dragon?
C: No comment.
M: Well that was easy. When Oromis taught Eragon how to draw energy from the surroundings to make spells, he said that this “was a secret for the Riders”. However, the boat made of grass by Arya draws energy from the surroundings to fly. How did she know a spell reserved for Riders?
C: Arya is a special case; she was given guardianship over Saphira’s egg for almost twenty years and I think she would have been—I think Oromis would have taught her this to help her protect Saphira’s egg. I mean, there was no playing around here; this was do-or-die with Saphira protecting her egg and everything and that’s something he would have taught her.
M: Now can you say how much training she would have received from Oromis?
C: I think Arya has a level of training far exceeding Eragon’s quite honestly, mainly because she has had far more time to learn and just the fact that she grew up with the ancient language means that she is always going to be more facile and fluent with it than Eragon and more adept at thinking up interesting ways of using the ancient language and thus spells.
I would not want to be on her bad side, let’s put it that way.
M: Yeah, I think she’s shown that at a few points now. She does not seem like she is a good person to mess with. JD[bunchofnumbers] – there’s a lot of numbers there – asked, “In Eldest, Eragon, Saphira, Arya and the rest of the gang were traveling to Ellesmera when Eragon’s necklace, which was imbued with a spell to ward off scrying went off while they were in Du Weldenvarden. How is this possible when the wards the elves erected prevent all magical items, thoughts, and spells from entering its boundaries?”
C: That’s a really good question. That is a great question! And I did think of it… it’s… my thought on that was a little complicated so bear with me. I think that scrying isn’t necessarily an intrusive process, although I’m sure that the elves’ wards would have been set up to prevent it. The like their secrecy. But I also thought that even if—let’s say that Galbatorix was trying to scry on Eragon—no, no it was Murtagh I believe. If Murtagh is trying to scry on Eragon, the spell is directed at Eragon and the spell is going to expend a certain amount of energy. That energy would have to be blocked or dissipated from some source otherwise Murtagh would have been able to see Eragon. I figured that both the wards surrounding Du Weldenvarden and Eragon’s necklace activated at the same time; they were both doing the same purpose. So if Eragon didn’t have the necklace, he still would have been protected as long as he was in the forest, but since that process was happening at that point he felt the draining of the energy as his necklace performed its allotted task.