It may be deceptive upon first glance, but critics of the Inheritance series know exactly what a “Paolinism” is. In the span of three books, starting in Eragon, continuing in Eldest and reaching new heights (or lows, arguably) in Brisingr, Paolini has attempted to shove down the throats of his readers an obscene amount of inconsistent, illogical, and ridiculous things.

Oh, I admit that in the realm of fantasy anything is possible. But just because readers open up a fantasy book giving an author the benefit of the doubt that doesn’t mean the term “fantasy” and the genre can be abused to the point that Paolini abuses it. If an author doesn’t explain to a degree WHY this or that breaks the rules of physics, logic, and common experience they will lose the trust of their readers. Belief will be suspended and then you get walls of text like this systematically ripping your work apart with so much pleasure it borders on cruelty.

The “fantastical” events Paolini has attempted to casually pass off to readers as possible and plausible, with little or no justification, had me screaming obscenities of my own and bashing my head against the surface of my desk more times than I can count. Only on Paolini’s little planet, in his own little galaxy located in a far off distant corner of the universe, does much of what happens in the Inheritance Cycle books make any sense at all. Yet he continues to shovel more of it faster and faster into the readers as the Cycle progresses.

Thus the term “Paolinism”. Properly defined, a Paolinism is “something that is ordinarily unacceptable (even in a fantasy story) that becomes true, logical, irrefutable, and believable in the Inheritance series without any justification other than Because Paolini Said So”. Remember this, kids and aspiring authors: Where truth, logic, and proper justification of fantastic elements fail in a novel, the following Paolinisms are applicable. Let’s review.


Problem: “I’m writing an archetypal hero story and I need my teenage, farm boy protagonist[s] to become super powerful super quick so he/they can start defeating evil and being awesome ASAP! WWPD?”

Solution: Paolinism #1 states, “Swords are weapons that can be mastered within a few weeks.”

Proof: In a few weeks of diligently practicing swordplay for an hour or two every night Eragon can best a considerably older and more experienced Brom. Even Oromis, an elf several hundred years old and one of the highest ranked amongst the Dragon Riders of old says that he has naught to teach and that all is left is for Eragon to maintain his current level of skill. How is this feat of arms possible? Because Paolini Said So.

Furthermore, Paolinism #1.a, collateral to Paolinism #1 states, “Hammers, like swords, are weapons that can be mastered within a few weeks but unlike swords, without the need for training.”

Proof: Roran, also a farmboy with no previous fighting experience whatsoever, picks up a hammer and wields it so effectively that he is able to take down every trained, professional Imperial soldier he encounters. Unlike Eragon, there is no evidence that Roran himself trained (even semi-formally) in the use of bludgeoning weapons. He’s just that naturally skilled Because Paolini Said So.

And still furthermore, Paolinism #1.b, collateral to Paolinism #1 states, “All weapons are the same. As soon as one is mastered, any other weapon is instantly mastered as well.”

Proof: Eragon, in the first few chapters of Brisingr, shows that he is just as masterfully skilled with a staff as he is with a sword. He acquired the staff only a few days after losing Zar’roc and has never before been shown to wield a staff prior to the assault on Helgrind. Therefore, sword mastery is the equivalent of mastery of any other weapon. Roran, in his 193 killing spree (beat that Master Chief!) can wield a spear just as effectively as a hammer, if not more so. Therefore, if someone can wield a hammer, they can wield a spear too. Because Paolini Said So, it is so in the speshul world of Alagaësia.

Paolinism #2 states, “The acquisition of a warhorse means that the owner attains instant skill in mounted fighting.”

Proof: Roran, who again has his origins in farming, is given Snowfire, and because Snowfire is such a finely bred warhorse, Roran has no need to train for years and years and years (like real knights) in the art of fighting in armor on horseback. Yes, this makes complete sense to me, Because Paolini Said So.

Problem: “I want someone who isn’t speshul or cheating with magic to be amazing at fighting too! WWPD?”

Solution: Paolinism #3 states, “Any ordinary human can kill 200 trained soldiers in a row.”

Proof: Roran, an ordinary human who cannot wield magic, instead gets OVER 9,000 in Charisma, Military Tactics, Strength, Stamina, Endurance, and Toughness. Each. With them he unites a Varden company under his banner, then proceeds to improvise a strategy during a battle that allows him to single-handedly kill 193 men in a row. Roran has amazing charisma, is born rivaling the strategic genius of Sun Tzu, and there is no such thing as overly unrealistic when demonstrating the battle prowess of a protagonist, Because Paolini Said So.

Problem: “I want to show that my main protagonist’s liege lord and leader of the entire good-guy opposition party deserves her post and titles. WWPD?”

Solution: Paolinism #5 states, “Self-mutilation is the surest way of convincing your critics that you’re right for the job.”

Proof: Nasuada prevents the apparently delicate coalition that makes up the Varden from falling apart by cutting up her arms. She wins unanimous admiration, eternal loyalty, and forevermore the support of all factions of the Varden. Come to think of it, Paolini has always asserted that Nasuada maintained her leadership over the Varden because she was a cunning, clever, and charismatic woman who diligently thinks through every decision before she makes it. Then she goes and does something like ditching her not-so-Secret Service unit, causing them to look incompetent in front of everyone. But inconsistencies like that are made null and void by the previously rendered act of self-mutilation, Because Paolini Said So.

Paolinism #6 states, “The ideal leader is one who believes a disparate group of rebels are held together because all individuals acknowledge that their first and foremost priority is adherence to the law.”

Proof: Nasuada has Roran publicly flogged after he disobeys orders from a commanding officer, even though Roran’s actions gave them victory and saved Varden lives. On the surface it seems logical. Nasuada keeps respect, loyalty, and leadership of the Varden because she holds the law above the whims of all individuals, herself included.

There’s a myriad of problems with the way this situation unfolds but to point out the most relevant, Paolini forgets that while it’s nice to be idealistic, the individuals in the rebel coalitions aren’t in for it because they care about keeping things nice and equal according to the rules. They’re cooperating with each other because they hold the common goal of destroying the Empire. They are keeping Nasuada as their leader because they believe she can get the job done. So what is this crap about making adherence to military law more important than Empire ass-kicking? Rather than being outraged when a man gets punished for actually getting results, the Varden watch and are even more impressed with Nasuada. Apparently, that’s the way the Varden (and human nature, too) works, not because it makes any sense whatsoever, but Because Paolini Said So.

Problem: “HELP! My magic system is dependent on knowledge of a foreign language and my protagonist who needs to be a master spell caster doesn’t know it! WWPD?”

Solution: Paolinism #7 states, “Complete mastery in a foreign language can be attained within a matter of weeks and months.”

Proof: Eragon goes from knowing nothing about the ancient language in Eragon to fluent enough to be able to communicate effectively with it upon setting foot in Du Weldenvarden to complete poetic mastery after before the end of Eldest. Let’s not even talk about how Murtagh manages even greater mastery over the ancient language in a shorter amount of time. Academics estimates that even through the most intense programs, a minimum of a year and half of complete immersion in a foreign country with at least 3-6 months of study at home will be needed before FLUENCY in speaking and reading/writing can be achieved. Poetic mastery is not often achieved with even a lifetime of work by NATIVE speakers. But what do linguistic experts and personal experience of anyone who has tried to learn a foreign language know compared to the irrefutable “a few months, Because Paolini Said So”?

Problem: “My main protagonist is a Gary Stu! I realize this is Bad but I like his perfection and godliness so much I don’t want to make him a mere human being! WWPD?”

Solution: Paolinism #8 states, “The addition of inconsequential slip-ups and shallow moral quandaries will suffice in confusing readers enough that they can be tricked into believing that your Gary Stu has character flaws.”

Proof: This has already been brought up on numerous occasions on ImpishIdea but I might as well formally address it. The psychological impact of becoming a mass murderer was never addressed in the first or second books and when it finally is in the third, it’s not so much addressed as it is glossed over with fantasy clichés like “We have to kill because the Imperials are evil.” Wow, what an amazingly elegant solution to a complicated moral quandary, no?

As for mistakes, yes Eragon makes them. But unlike the kind of mistakes human beings make, Eragon’s mess-ups never have any sort of negative, irreversible, or disastrous consequences for others, his cause, and least of all himself. All of Eragon’s so-called “flaws” add no depth whatsoever to his character because they’re contrived, artificial, and included for the sole purpose of demonstrating after he fixed them that there is no godlier being in all of imaginary or real existence than Eragon. But Because Paolini Said So, pointless mistakes and a brief and fleeting semblance of a guilty conscience make Eragon not-a-Gary Stu.

Problem: “I want my antagonist to be a super evil overlord with power overwhelming. He also needs to be smart, cunning, and good at conquering and oppressing people. BUT I don’t want to have to actually have him make any in-person appearances in the first three books. How can I convince my readers of his multitalented evil genius in spite of that? WWPD?”

Solution: Paolinisms #9 and #10 state, respectively, “A bad guy is bad if I have enough of the good guys go around saying he’s bad” and “All plot snags that arise due to lack of forethought can be overcome using magic as a loophole.”

Proof: Galbatorix. He’s evil. He’s powerful. He singlehandedly led a movement that destroyed the most powerful good guy organization in Alagaesia, the Dragon Riders. He carved himself an Empire and ruled as a feared and hated tyrannical dictator for the better part of a century. All this was accomplished long before the start of the novels, so we readers are told through the mouthpieces of the good guy characters. Then constantly throughout the first two novels, we are told that Galbatorix is evil and must be overthrown because he killed dragons and elves, he burned libraries, he oppresses commoners, he forcefully conscripts peasants into the army, he makes a point of wallowing in wealth while everyone else suffers in abject poverty, and he lords over Alagaesia with an iron fist. Then we find out in Brisingr that he is doing all of the above while simultaneously locked in his tower, never bothering to make an appearance anywhere in person because he’s wholly distracted by pet projects like breaking the souls of dead dragons to his will. Great. This makes total sense, Because Paolini Said So.

Which brings me to Paolinism #10. Exactly how Galbatorix manages to keep control over his Empire is obviously something that wasn’t entirely thought through beforehand. Oops! But Paolini asserts anyway in the first and second books that Galbatorix manages to keep control by forcing the population (I assume this means peasants and foot soldiers) to swear allegiance to him in the ancient language.

Wow, what a nice loophole! Rather than having to really sit down and spend time thinking through the intricacies of how an unpopular monarch manages to keep his hold on a very, very populous empire, Paolini sidesteps this problem with his magical catch-all. Fine, fine, I’ll give him that. It’s fantasy story after all.

Just two rather massive problems.

1) Commoners are clearly not made to take an oath of allegiance to Galbatorix. Eragon and Roran (along with the entire town of Carvahall) rebels and flees to Surda. Then there’s Jeod and everyone else who were and are secretly working for the Varden from within the Empire too.

You would think that if it were as easy as teaching people a few phrases (I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, ring a bell anyone?) to guarantee lifelong loyalty, after a hundred years as king Galbatorix would have implemented a system to make all his subjects swear binding oaths to him.

2) Soldiers aren’t made to swear oaths either, apparently. The Urgals were able to defect to the Varden. Even if the Urgals are a special case, by the end of Brisingr it’s clear that even human soldiers aren’t forced to swear fealty to him.

Take the soldiers of Feinster. They hate Galbatorix too and aren’t loyal to him, but they love their feudal lords, four of them, right down to this Lorana person. At this point, I naturally assumed puppet ruler. Good! Very good. It’s a classic tactic used by ruthless dictators that has historically shown encouraging results in keeping a native population freshly conquered under control. Except… puppet governments only work if they are actually loyal to the real ruler.

Look at Lady Lorana. Sure, she can’t take any action to defy Galbatorix but she has the option to not take action and defy him anyway. Last time I checked, that was basically the same thing. And it clearly proves that Lady Lorana isn’t really loyal to Galbatorix anyway. Four generations of puppets who Galbatorix never truly had under his control in charge of a major city. You would think that if Galbatorix was so awesome at discovering true names and too lazy to directly rule his people himself, he would at least install puppets who were under his complete control.

Well, so much for taking advantage of the magic loophole so far. But wait, there’s more. I haven’t gotten to the part about how Galbatorix manages to keep control of his important servants yet. Again, magic. Magic of the true names sort. By uncovering a person’s true name, Galbatorix can dominate them wholly and utterly and make them do whatever he wants. There are only two such people worth noting in the span of the series, Durza and Murtagh/Thorn.

Wait, Galbatorix control Durza? Never happened. Sure, Durza worked for Galbatorix but when Eragon was taken captive by Durza in the first book it was hinted that Durza had ambitions of his own. Ambitions that didn’t include staying a faithful servant of the king. Apparently, true names magic didn’t work for Shades. Or maybe Galbatorix just forgot to break into Durza’s mind and extract an oath or something. Right.

Then there’s Murtagh and Thorn, the only ones who have been shown to really be controlled by Galbatorix in this way. Or are they? Every time Murtagh encounters Eragon, he’s defying Galbatorix. The first time, at the end of Eldest he lets Eragon go by purposely ‘misinterpreting’ his orders. The second time they meet in Brisingr, Eragon and Murtagh have a long conversation about how Murtagh can change his true name to defy Galbatorix before they fight. When Murtagh fights Oromis, Murtagh is pissed first and foremost because Oromis didn’t help Murtagh defy Galbatorix. Not exactly the epitome of ‘loyal servant’ you’ve got there, Galby.

With so many failures as a monarch going on, which is dangerously indicative of the fact that Galbatorix clearly is just that inept (despite what Paolini constantly has good guys saying), how the hell does he hold onto his power and stay king for so long? No one knows. He just does. Because Paolini Said So.


So there it is. Of course I’ve exaggerated to keep the reading light and humorous, but in essence all those “Problems” are storytelling issues that any author can be and most likely will be confronted with. The way in which Paolini decided to solve those problems, with “Paolinisms”, is unbelievably retarded. I only list ten of the most immediate examples that come to mind here, but the amount of unjustified ridiculousness riddling the Inheritance books that occur for no other reason than “Because Paolini Said So” is just amazing. If I wanted to get nit-picky or had Lord Snow’s patience to go through the books and list every single “Because Paolini Said So” moment, this article might become lengthier than the novels themselves.

For aspiring authors reading this and looking at the Inheritance series as a learning tool, remember that despite the fact that you’re writing fantasy, don’t abuse the genre’s nature and take for granted the reader’s willingness to suspend their disbelief for you. You don’t have to explain everything that’s reality-defying but neither can you patch gaping holes that an element or event your story creates in reader sensibility with “because the author says so”. Take care to avoid creating Paolinisms of your own.

For younger readers and Inheritance fans, this article is for you especially. I hope that I’ve demonstrated that the books aren’t the work of a prodigal genius, but one that just knows how to take advantage of his target market group: Young Adults. Paolini took shortcuts, slapped “for teens” on it, then hoped that his selected audience wouldn’t be bright enough to notice all the flaws, inconsistencies, and gaps in logic. Paolini and his publishers know that the majority of those who read and will subsequently enjoy Inheritance aren’t the ones who will be stopping to consider if what the author is saying actually makes sense or not then write an article about it. But don’t believe everything that happens in a story and accept it as credible just because The Author Said So. Make Paolini work for your respect and admiration, and his place among the greats of fantasy fiction he so often compares himself to.


  1. LiquidNitrogen on 11 November 2008, 02:35 said:

    “Rivaling Sun Tzu”. Laugh-out-loud!

  2. SlyShy on 11 November 2008, 03:11 said:

    Again, a great mix of humor and valid points. Great article.

  3. Rand on 11 November 2008, 20:18 said:

    I’d love to have Paolinism number seven by my side. I need to write a Spanish essay.

  4. Tiefling on 11 November 2008, 21:09 said:

    Maybe I’m being extra-thin skinned but since today is Remembrance Day I am extra annoyed at Paolini’s depiction of war and killing as glorious. I’ve lost relatives to war, and I know friends currently out there still fighting. So giving his characters 1001 l33t fighting skills to better kill other humans is, well, f-ing depressing to say the least.

  5. Legion on 11 November 2008, 21:33 said:

    Yes, Paolini romanticizes war as an author writing in 18th century pre-WWI would do. Unfortunately, with the advent of photography and especially television in the late 19th and early-mid 20th centuries, the common people discovered that war isn’t just about a valiant shining white knight going to glorious battle in the name of his lord and lady. Death in war is horrendous, gruesome, brutal, and the prospect of dying brings out the shameful, despicable side of human beings that we all wish to hide.

    Unfortunately, Paolini is still stuck on 18th century romantic notions of war and hasn’t quite realized that no one today who doesn’t have psychotic serial murderer tendencies would look and war and killing and think it’s something that should be glorified.

  6. Virgil on 11 November 2008, 22:09 said:

    He is seeing war the way he wants to, an unstoppable magical super being.

  7. SubStandardDeviation on 11 November 2008, 23:40 said:

    Ha, a nice laundry list indeed. But where’s #4?

    #1, 2, 7, 9 and 10 just make me sigh sadly.

    #3 and #8 grate on my nerves.

    Regarding #6, if I were Roran, I’d be trying to get Nasuada and General Incompetent usurped ASAP. After all, aren’t I a capable leader too? Who would you rather follow, Miss Daddy-Gave-Me-The-Job-So-I’ll-Cut-My-Wrists (#5) or the ordinary Joe who’s been risking life, limb, and 40(1)k to liberate those oppressed by the Empire?

    As for swearing an oath to Galby, would it work if the speaker couldn’t do magic? Or if he changed his mind later? Or if he mispronounced the words (not terribly hard)? Besides, Galby doesn’t even have a bureaucracy. I seriously doubt he knows how many people are in his Empire.

    @ Tiefling: Canadian? :)

    @ Legion: Well, he’s spent his whole life sheltered in Paradise Valley. Even if he does have a TV, our country likes to censor the ugly parts of war.

    Paolini treats battle scenes like a TBS/RPG, where your merry band of heroes can slaughter an enemy force multiple times their number and no one, not even your brain-dead NPC allies, will die. Afterwards, everyone in your party, even the teenage girls who have never picked up a weapon in their lives, may suffer no ill effects whatsoever from having slaughtered 100 men apiece in the span of about a year. Real war is like an RTS if anything, except that of course real soldiers aren’t replaceable or interchangeable. And commanders stand in the back and muse philosophically about the futility of war. (Hannibal says it a lot better than I can.)

  8. Virgil on 11 November 2008, 23:55 said:

    That was a good AS article… that battle was horrible.

  9. Robert on 12 November 2008, 01:16 said:

    Yeah, I definitely agree. Everyone hails him as a genius…when I was sixteen, I wrote about like that. And I knew better than to publish.

    I disagree with some of the comments though. The eighteenth century was kind of a spasm. Read earlier literature. They knew what war was about before television, and to be honest, our current age is kind of a spasm the other way in response to the eighteenth century. I think that, as in a lot of things, the real truth lies somewhere between the two poles.

    This article hits the nail on the head though.

  10. Zahano on 12 November 2008, 01:25 said:

    Not bad. If you want to expand the language bit, you should probably consult/hire EI.

  11. Tiefling on 12 November 2008, 10:24 said:

    actually i laughed while reading this article. these Paolinisms are so true, not just for his writing but for a lot of writing (amateur and published) that uses these little “—Isms” to get over those sticky problems like “plot” and “characters”.
    and yeah, SubStandardDivision, I’m a Canuck.
    It’s the skating over the ugliness of killing that really bugs me. I don’t consider our media to be the most truthful and forthright but I have (or had) an education that made me painfully aware of the costs of war. And it’s not out of the ordinary. All I did was go to a news website and there were tons of easy-access archival footage and pics of trenches and bodies and horrors so, unless Paolini shelters himself he can’t ignore it forever. That’s not how the world works.

  12. Artimaeus on 13 November 2008, 00:28 said:

    I’m not sure I agree. As unrealistic as it may be, Inheritance is set in the middle ages, when war WAS romanticized. If this is a problem, then it’s a problem with the entire genre. I’m not trying to excuse Paolini here. Being forced to kill people should have a meaningful impact a character (and a few paragraphs of internal monologue that ultimately leave the character unfazed isn’t a “meaningful impact”). I just think it’s a bit extreme to demand that fantasy warriors cope with PTSD, which seems to be what some people here are suggesting. If I want to read about the toll war takes on foot soldiers, I don’t pick up a book with a dragon on the cover.

  13. Tiefling on 13 November 2008, 17:48 said:

    actually, from what I understood about medieval war it was 1/3 politics, 2/3 avoiding pitched battle with the (usually superiorly armed or better trained) enemy and a sliver of actual fighting, in spats, over the course of the declared conflict. and while I know PTSD is a symptom of modern times Paolini isn’t writing in Earth’s Middle Ages. he’s writing in Alagaesia where there’s a whole society of vegan hippies who refuse to take the lives of bunny rabbits because it’s inhumane but are free to murder and dominate humans, Ra’Zac, dwarves and urgals. And he’s also quick to show the horror Eragon feels at eating meat, and the horror that the Elves feel at such killings. and then has Eragon massacre people, with no remorse. That’s not Medieval Romanticism, that’s plain old hypocrisy. (Besides even in the Middle Ages I’m sure there were knights who got sweaty palms over their first conflict)

  14. Doofy on 13 November 2008, 20:30 said:

    I think soldiers in medieval times got PTSD, just as modern ones do. Yes, war was more romanticized, but that didn’t mean that people weren’t really effed up after the crusades and such.

    And PTSD doesn’t just come from war, either coughAryaisarobotcough.

    Not that I would want a book to be all about someone angsting over PTSD, but I don’t think it would have little to no effect on a person.

  15. CWB on 13 November 2008, 23:34 said:

    I believe it should be Paoliniism.

  16. Artimaeus on 15 November 2008, 21:42 said:

    Yea, you’d think after so much anguish over eating a bunny, Eragon’d be a little more reluctant to kill actual people. But my point is that in the middle ages there was this idea that battles were fought by noble knights in shining armor who embodied valor and chivalry. Look at King Arthur, say, or Boromir. This is a genre that tends to make light of murder. I mean, look at the Redwall series. You’ve got anthropomorphic rodents killing each other left and right with hardly any remorse at all.

    Of course, other authors in the genre don’t make their chivalrous warriors vegans. Go figure.

  17. Snow White Queen on 15 November 2008, 23:45 said:

    Admittedly, Eragon has no Samwise Gamgee to make a delicious herbs and rabbit stew for him.


  18. Morvius on 16 November 2008, 12:17 said:

    Okay, if he wants to romanticize killing and battles, then he should not bother with all the moral quandaries that come with killing. He just randomly inserts paragraphs in which Eragon laments about the deaths he has caused but it does not affect him at all. It is as though CP is just trying to humanise Eragon with one or two paragraphs but that is not consistent. (Eragon only started having this problem in Brisingr, go figure)

    Well, at least in other books they don’t make the guilty conscience of these chivalrous knights pop out of nowhere to disturb them and disappear the moment it is not needed.

  19. Parthenon on 16 November 2008, 12:45 said:

    The problem with the lamentations is they feel tacked on, like he wrote and went back through later and added a few blocks of ‘oh gosh I feel bad’ to make him more dimensional. It doesn’t really feel woven together as a single unit.

    You can’t have your character be a good guy and all of a sudden kick a cat without warning and call him a complex, well-written protaganist, which Eragon is not. No surprise. Why must all the fantasy authors with crossover broad appeal be from the junior varsity? Doesn’t exactly do my genre proud.

  20. Tiefling on 16 November 2008, 16:49 said:

    And you forgot one very important difference between real Medieval Knights and bad fantasy characters; knights were all technically bound by their faith, they had something they answered to for their killings, and not just a social or historical precedent for killing, but a deeply spiritual one, that said that they were doing their god’s work, and that as horrible as it was they could be forgiven after death as long as they kept faith. Their Church always maintained the wrongness of killing except as a way of keeping the faith safe. How many cheesy warrior-“heroes” in fantasy have that spiritual net? How many know that they have to make atonement as part of their order? How many of them are aware that it’s their faith that makes their actions “romantic” and “justifiable”, not their magical ability or their intelligence, but the fact that they “keep the faith”? Eragon, being an atheist, and believing that there is only one life to live, is an even bigger hypocrite by being forced into artificial moral quandries. He has no spiritual precedent that forces him to atone. Instead he should be viewing all life as sacred and worth preserving, since this is the only life any man (whether bad or good) will have. And he is not setting himself up as some Moral Arbiter that can decide who deserves to live and die because that’s a traditionally “Divine” position. Eragon has no excuse for being a killer, not a faith, not a moral base, and his actions are basically psychotic murders dressed up in Paolini’s rhetoric.

  21. NaivivTheRed on 21 November 2008, 22:06 said:

    I believe you mean corollary, not collateral. Also, full stop goes inside the quotation marks. ;)

  22. Legion on 22 November 2008, 01:05 said:

    Lol, technically, yes you are correct. But I used “collateral” on purpose. As in “collateral damage”. Because it amused me to think about it in terms of how much damage Paolini’s lack of logic does to his books.

    Thanks for pointing out the second error though. .

  23. Homer on 22 November 2008, 21:22 said:

    HAHAHAHA I love the reference to DragonBall Z. Over 9000. HAHAHAHA

  24. Abby on 2 March 2009, 23:51 said:

    I think that we are a sad bunch of people that really could be crittiqeing something like Gone with the wind or Scarlett or War and Peace
    just thought i would put that out there

  25. SlyShy on 3 March 2009, 00:57 said:

    I think that we are a sad bunch of people that really could be crittiqeing something like Gone with the wind or Scarlett or War and Peace
    just thought i would put that out there

    You really did just “put it out there”, with no concession to the form, style, or convention that one would expect in a written English sentence.

    As for “crittiqeing” Gone With the Wind or War and Peace, I’ll admit, a lot could be learned from dissecting skilled and talented writers; in the old days, artists would learn exclusively by copying the masters. That said, I’m sure that wasn’t the intended meaning of your comment.

    Rather, you are expressing a disdain and boredom with a number of books that are long and dense, and are stereotypically dense.

    I’ve become convinced of a single hypothesis.

    Inheritance fans—and by this I mean people who consider Inheritance to be a meaningful work of written art—have a sixth grade reading level, because had they had any higher, they would have read better books, and hence, stop thinking Inheritance is good literature.

    This is not to say Inheritance has no entertainment value, or that reading shouldn’t be enjoyable, but should be a dry duty of philosophizing. Reading is magnificent and should be by all means fun. The question at hand, though, isn’t whether Paolini is an entertaining writer, but whether Paolini is a good writer in a technical and intellectual sense.

  26. Kitty on 3 March 2009, 01:00 said:

    I think that we are a sad bunch of people that really could be crittiqeing something like Gone with the wind or Scarlett or War and Peace
    just thought i would put that out there

    Disguising yourself as one of us will never work. We know our own kind, and your use of “we” isn’t fooling anyone.

  27. SlyShy on 3 March 2009, 01:10 said:

    Plus, had she really been a member of our fine and established enclave, she would have said:

    We think that we are a sad bunch of people that really could be crittiqeing something like Gone with the wind or Scarlett or War and Peace

  28. Snow White Queen on 1 May 2010, 16:53 said:

    But to be fair, Scarlett really does suck.

  29. Neil on 6 January 2011, 15:47 said:

    ‘why is paolini such an incompetent writer i mean four years for gods sake, to write such simple books’

    My google search to find this blog

  30. swenson on 9 January 2011, 15:04 said:

    Ha! Nice one, Neil.

    Now that you’ve found us, though, I hope you stick around!

  31. Hekateras on 4 September 2011, 08:48 said:

    Wonderful article. The only complaint I have is that #8 is missing specifics and examples of Eragon’s “inconsequential slip-ups”, which keeps the article from standing on its own as well as it could.

  32. Mike Guarino on 27 November 2011, 16:24 said:

    I have been a fan of the Inheritance cycle for a while now and have felt that the story didn’t quite flow properly for one reason or another. I hadn’t put this amount of thought and organization into it, but I always did wonder how Galby could care perceive Eragon as a threat and at the same time still be too lazy to fly out and crush the Varden once and for all. Murtagh even mentioned once to Eragon how Galby was in a terrible rage over something the Varden had done, yet if he has the strength to hold a many-ton dragon (Glaedr) in the air all the way from his capital, many leagues away, then why can’t he crush the rebels at his whim? I agree that the series does have its flaws, but at the same time so do many other works of literature admired by many. Shakespeare, for example, made up any bullshit he wanted about human nature and even educated people today take stock in his drivel. The “I knew someone who died so now I’m just going to go insane and wander around wailing” excuse used in his plays comes off just as rude to the reader as Paolini’s plot holes. I’m not claiming he is a brilliant author, but his story is interesting, his writing style is easy to read while eloquent, and hell, I know I couldn’t write what he has.

  33. Fireshark on 27 November 2011, 19:31 said:

    I kind of agree with you on this. Many stories have things where it has to be one way, or the story breaks. I think the best writers can hide that so that no one notices, which Paolini failed at. In Inheritance, he blatantly admits that Galbatorix could fly out and win at any time. While he was working on the name of the ancient language, but he could easily have taken a little break before finishing his plans.

    With Shakespeare, it’s worth noting that his plays weren’t considered “high art” in their day. They were meant to be enjoyed. I’d give Paolini more credit if that was all he thought of his work, but he talks about striving for “lyrical beauty” and “Tolkien at his best” and such. He clearly thinks his work is much better than it is. So, I think he has less of an excuse than many in his position would.

  34. Luciamaria on 2 January 2012, 07:43 said:

    I printed out this article, took it to my bedroom, stayed up until one in the morning reading it giggling to myself, and emerged from the bedroom a happier person – with all respect to Paolini, of course, but I was so frustrated with some things about the Inheritance series that reading this article was a wave of relief for me – I’m not alone in criticizing it.

    Lyrical beauty? Tolkien at his best? Did Paolini really say that? Is he putting his books in that category? I am very sorry, Paolini, but as much as your writing is nice, I wrote with your logic at age eleven and Tolkien by far outshines you like Sirius outshines Helios.

    I couldn’t write anything quite like that, but still… This article made me laugh with glee at some points. No really. You made my day. Thank you, Paolini, for writing such books.

    Yes, I did feel some amount of revulsion at the glories in war. And Eragon’s character is rather – non-fluent. Poor, dear Eragon… Whose name is a rip-off of Aragorn, Brom is Gandalf… It seems a lot like Paolini was trying to make some characters toooo likable. In books, one wants to have a rising arc in character goodness. The story should start out where the character has a flaw – a real flaw – and then, by the end, has overcome it. That’s good. Ah well.

  35. Darsaan on 9 October 2012, 09:20 said:

    What a great article! So glad to see an organized group who so clearly see and make known the terrible mistakes Paolini makes with his books (I refuse to call it literature). Keep up the great work.