You probably know we’re bookworms and movie boffins in this house. So you won’t be surprised to learn that I was hungrily hunting for a book to read a few weeks ago.
I turned to my daughter (who has her own small library collection!) and saw that she has all 4 Eragon books (Inheritance cycle). There are cute dragons on the front of each book and I vaguely remember seeing the film once.
Mild spoilers from here on in, you’ve been warned:
So the book first book was written by Christopher Paolini when he was just 15! The story on the surface is about magic and dragons and heroes and battles. All of that is great but the beautiful writing gives so much more than that:
It is essentially a book about relationships. Eragon and his family, his teachers, authorities, seemingly insignificant people and- of course- his dragon. Their journey teaches us the elders’ backstory, Eragon’s growth and knowledge and a hundred other things; it’s a real journey of a story.
Fantasy and adventure books are a great for escaping from the mundane and this is no exception; the gorgeous descriptions of the scenery in this book makes you believe you’re there. Especially for the bibliophiles among you because there are multiple libraries and studies in this story that are described in such a way that you can feel the joy of picking up a rare book with our young hero.
The adorable dragon, Saphira, has the history, wisdom and strength you would expect from a dragon but her young age and her teen-aged rider allow us to experience some of their moments of humour, sarcasm and genuine joy.
I loved the book and am already halfway through the second one, so I thought I’d watch the film. (I think I saw it when it came out in 2006 but wasn’t sure…I watch a lot of dragon films!)
They tried. It’s not a bad film in it’s own right (if you haven’t read the books). Their version of Saphira was pretty spot on and the baby one is just adorable!
The adult Saphira is voiced be Rachel Weisz, who gives just the right amount of emotion and sass to the character. (Much like her role in The Mummy.)
Jeremy Irons plays Eragon’s trainer, Brom. If you saw the beginning of the Meg where Jason Statham was a washed-up drunk… that’s kinda how it was played. He did it well, but it did not match up to my idea of Brom from the books. I know the book said people rarely lived past 40 in their society so the Jeremy Irons version could be considered an ‘old storyteller’ but in my head I was picturing the cupid guy from Tangled.
Also, his gorgeous speaking voice is that of Scar in The Lion King…and I just can’t reconcile that with Brom (who is a good guy)!
The forest setting and such are lovely and I have no real problem with the general themes of the film, but the feeling is missing. Everything that stood out about the book comes from the relationships formed and they are glossed over or eliminated completely. The journey that Brom and Eragon take together shows the full range of human emotion and learning and holds those beautiful descriptions… that’s just lost in the film to fit it into an hour and a half.
Basically, the film is OK but the book is a whole other level (as is
often always the case). Not a bad effort and I don’t hate it, but my advice would be read the book!
Let me know if you’ve seen or read Eragon and what you thought.
Have a great day!