Monday, November 27, 2006

Reading Eragon

I picked up Eragon from the bookstore yesterday because I was intrigued by the movie tie-in. For some reason, I'd assumed it was going to be different from your standard fantasy stereotypes, but disappointingly, it seems to be sticking firmly to the conventions so far.

Standard human/elven/dwarven/orc racial mix - check
(though taking the place of Orcs are "Urgals". They're nasty, brutish, and have horns. Aside from the horns: Orcs)

Naive farmboy - check
... with mysterious birthright/ancestry/lineage - check
... who discovers mysterious object of power - check
... who is catapulted (unwillingly) from bucolic rural life to the centre of political intrigue in his world – check
Bonus: adoptive parents/family killed by evil minions of Dark Lord, providing impetus for beginning of epic journey (aka "Uncle Ben and Aunt Beru Buy the Farm")

Old man - check
... who guides, teaches and mentors the boy - check
... who knows magic/is a wizard - check
... who gives the boy a magical sword - check

Journey of growth and self-discovery, from adolescence into manhood – check
Evil Dark Lord – check (in this case, a King – but he knows magic! Dark magic, of course)
... with an army of Darkness – check (aforementioned Urgals, plus other nasties)
Rebel Army of Freedom Fighters opposed to Evil Dark Lord – check

I'm only at page 256 now (where The Tavern Where Many Important Meetings Will Occur, aka The Prancing Pony/Mos Eisley Cantina, has just made its appearance) but I'm sure the other usual suspects will appear:
- The Princess (who marries Boy eventually)
- The Sidekicks/Companions to the Boy (one of whom will die, heroically, thus providing another Learning Experience on his path to adulthood)
- Death of Mentor (aka "Obi Wan Kenobi Becomes More Powerful Than You Could Possibly Imagine")
- A Prophecy (of which the Boy is the fulfillment)
- Climatic Battle Between Forces of Good and Evil (of which the deciding factor will be some coup de grace/deus ex machina, rather than, say, actual hard work, or sensible strategy)

Any more tropes I missed?

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