“Eragon”: Not Just a Novel

This review is a part of our continuing series comparing a novel and its movie version.

Jacquelyn Northcutt and Cassidy Womack

WARNING!!! SPOILERS!!!

In 2002, Eragon, written by Christopher Paolini, was published and soon became a huge hit. Naturally, when you have a book that is read by millions of people and contains a lot of action and adventure, you end up with a new movie in theaters. So, in 2006, “Eragon” the movie was released, and fans were ecstatic and couldn’t wait to see it. Yet, when they watched it, those who didn’t read the book thought that it was a cool, new adventure movie, while those who read the book stared at the screen in horror and wondered what happened to the storyline.

The story takes place in Alagaesia, an ancient land that is full of magic and mythical creatures. The land was once ruled by Dragon Riders, which were humans and elves that flew on dragons and kept peace throughout the whole of Alagaesia. However, a Rider-turned-bad named Galbatorix convinced other Riders to turn against the rest. The Dragon Riders were overthrown, all the Riders and dragons were destroyed, the elves were forced into hiding, and the land fell into shadow. All hope seemed to be lost for Alagaesia until one fateful day.

The character, Eragon (played by Ed Speleers), is a young, 15-year old (not 17), brown-haired, brown-eyed (not blue eyes and blonde hair like the movie) boy who discovers a pretty rock while hunting for his family in the beginning of winter (in the movie it was spring). He realizes that the rock could be sold for money for his family, but no one wants to buy it. He soon attracts the attention of the local storyteller Brom, who tells Eragon about the Riders, and hints that they may soon return. Eragon’s world is toppled when he discovers that the rock is actually one of the last dragon eggs. After the murder of his Uncle Garrow, Eragon, along with Brom and his new dragon Saphira, sets off on a journey to avenge his uncle and find his destiny.

When I read the book, I couldn’t put it down. I was so excited to watch the movie, but I couldn’t help but point out some of the major changes that made me scream into a pillow until I thought “Alright, I’m okay”. Then they would ruin another crucial part of the plot and I’d be screaming again. For example, in the book, Brom and Eragon travel across all of Alagaesia. They stop in cities like Daret, Dras-Leona, and Yazuac. However, in the movie, we only see them go to Daret. This really bugged me because we missed so much. Another crucial part of the book that was left out in the movie is when Eragon and Brom visit Brom’s friend Jeod in Teirm. This was important because it gave Eragon information about the Ra’zac who killed his Uncle. Eragon’s main goal was to kill the Ra’zac and avenge his uncle, but in the movie Eragon’s main goal is to defeat Galbatorix.

Personally, I don’t think the movie has an argument to be better than the novel. It left out crucial parts of the book, and messed up almost every character with both looks and personality. I was extremely disappointed because Paolini gave the screenwriters a beautiful plot, and they just ruined it. Hopefully, someone decides to remake the movie, and maybe they’ll read the book first and know what to do. When Paolini wrote the book, he put such a clear picture into the reader’s mind that the directors should have been able to depict it perfectly in the movie. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and I ended up leaving the movie depressed because of how different the movie was from the book.

So, I think we can all agree that the book is far superior. If you have something else we should write about, or if you disagree with our opinion, comment in the box below. We would love to hear from you!