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Small Rebellions

We’re still with Nasuada.

Make her go away.

She wants Murtagh to come back to free her from her agony…

Instead we get her jailer.

Her jailer and his goddamn fucking shiny nails. In fact he makes a point of showing her his very shiny nails which she compliments him on. “instead, she contented herself with thanking the man for his help and, for the second time, complimenting him on his nails, which were even shiner that before and which he quite obviously wanted her to see, for he kept holding his hands where she could not help but look at them.”

Is this some sort of fingernail fetish we’re suddenly seeing?

Murtagh shows up again after the random interlude with the jailer and his shiny nails. And he gives her a light healing. Then we get this description: "...she spotted what looked like several cuts in the undersides of his sleeves. She wondered if he had been fighting."

Why would cuts on the underside of someone’s sleeves make you think someone was fighting? I’m focusing on the weirdest things, aren’t I? Mostly to keep myself sane, I think.

Anyway, we learn that Galby is even more evil than we thought - he has CONCUBINES. Not even one concubine… but MULTIPLE.

Clearly that makes him evil. Good people don’t have concubines. They have TRU LOVES. They don’t have lots of random sex with people. They hold themselves for someone who will be their one true only. How dare Galbatorix enjoy himself?

But being himself with concubines is why he won’t notice Murtagh chatting with Nasuada. Concubines or asleep.

It’s funny, Murtagh says that Nasuda is stronger than him because she has no one Galby can threaten. Like… friends? Her people? Everything she worked for? Nah, nothing to threaten. Okay, so she doesn’t have any family left or a dragon, but … she does have other things.

But what do I know…?

Nasuada tries to convince him to let her go, but it doesn’t work. Galby’s got lots of wards and things to let him know if the prisoner escapes. And Murtagh’s oaths won’t let him use magic against Galby.

But it really is possible to use magic without using it against him, isn’t it? Like would hiding someone be using magic against him? Or does using magic against him mean even tricking any of the magic he’s casted? Couldn’t use magic on just yourself…masking things… I don’t know… there should be something clever he could do.

But that would be intelligent, wouldn’t it? And we can’t have that.

However he does release her from her bonds and let her get off the slab before sitting back on the ground in his corner. They talk about how Murtagh initially escaped and how Murtagh wanted to be respected for being himself and not because of his father. Nasuada wondered if he had anyone he cared about in the court but doesn’t ask. How he escaped and why Galby didn’t do anything. (Because Galby could grab him at any time so he didn’t see him as a threat.)

Nausada also tries to encourage him to make small rebellions. Which is actually sensible for once. However Murtagh is convinced that it’s all futile and so resists the idea. Eventually she badgers him enough that he ties her back up - but he also makes it so that she won’t feel as much pain, casting a shield. He claims that Galby won’t discover what he’s done unless she doesn’t act like she’s still in a lot of pain, but I’m just wondering - if Galby is such a fantastic and amazing wizard/magic user/whatever and has to be ages better than Murtagh, what makes Murtagh think that his spells would be able to hide from Galby?

While she’s alone she tries to figure out what sort of person Murtagh is: Good or bad? Eventually she comes to the decision that she’ll ignore his past and just focus on what he does now to her…. that sounded wrong.

I don’t care.

But she needs to judge to see if he’ll be a good ally or not. I suppose he could be a really good liar and trick her, but that honestly hasn’t seemed to be in character for Murtagh. On the other hand, since when has previous characterization ever matter for Paolini?

Eventually her pretty nailed jailer returns and she tricks him so she’s able to get a spoon, which she ties to her leg with some hair. I’m not really sure how plausible that is. Especially in the amount of time she has to do so. And so I tied a spoon to some hair of mine, which is pretty long - Yes, the things I do for you people - and it managed to hang after several tries and it was kinda strong but then I did manage to break it and I seriously don’t think it’d be able to be remained tied to my leg if I bothered to do so.

She gets the spoon tied to her leg and comes out. The pretty nail guy who mashes words “with his tongue as if it were a piece of overcooked parsnip”... I … have no idea what to say to that one. You don’t even use your tongue very much when saying the word spoon. It doesn’t make any sense.

It’s just… ugh.

She does feel bad about tricking him into thinking she threw the spoon in the privy because she’s been kind to him. How exactly has she been kind to him, I’m not sure? Not called him names and kicked him in the balls? Perhaps. But shouldn’t it be she felt bad about it because he’d been kind to her?

Isn’t that how it goes. The jailor is supposed to be kind to the prisoner to garner sympathy. The most she’s done is told him she liked his nails.

Anyway. The Jailor is a complete nincompoop. When he takes her to tie her back down he searches her for the missing spoon. Reasonable. Where does he search her? In her hair.




Not the rest of her body.




It’s almost like Paolini doesn’t want creepy people touching his women’s bodies. So they don’t get a full pat down. Instead the jailor, just runs his fingers through her hair finds nothing, is sad, and ties her back up again.

But she’s happy because she has a weapon: her spoon.


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Kippur Critiques Bad Books

January 2016


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