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Article  •  17 October 2023


Everything you need to know about the Inheritance Cycle series

An Inheritance Cycle summary, covering everything from the Ancient Language to the new book.

The Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini follows a fifteen-year-old boy named Eragon who becomes a Dragon Rider after finding a dragon egg in the mountains. With his dragon, Saphira, Eragon learns The Ways of the Rider from a storyteller and former Dragon Rider named Brom.

As the pair's skills improve, they join the fight against the evil King Galbatorix whose ruthless, terrorising leadership threatens Eragon’s fellow people, the Alagaësians.

The series consists of five books: Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance and Murtagh


Inheritance Cycle new book: Murtagh

The new Inheritance Cycle book, Murtagh, follows a Dragon Rider named Murtagh and his Dragon, Thorn. After Galbatorix’s defeat, Murtagh must face the consequences of his reluctant support for the evil king. Hated and alone, he and his dragon are forced to the outskirts of society.

Sensing that something wicked lurks in the shadows of Alagaësia, Murtagh takes off on an epic journey into unfamiliar lands. Along the way, he and Thorn will use every weapon in their arsenal, from brains to brawn, to find (and outwit) a mysterious witch.


What is the Ancient Language in the Inheritance Cycle?

The Ancient Language is a crucial part of the series, as it’s what Eragon uses to speak with his dragon, Saphira. In the books, the elves are fluent in the Ancient Language and have been using it for thousands of years.

Eragon learns the Ancient Language from an elf and subsequently teaches it to Saphira to allow them to communicate. However, they are not the only non-elves who know the Ancient Language, and while Eragon uses it for good, others use it for evil.

Galbatorix uses the Ancient language to cast forbidden spells, such as controlling people and gaining power from captured dragons.

While the language is fictitious, Paolini has said that it was inspired by Old Norse and Celtic.



In the world of the Inheritance Cycle, it’s impossible to separate the Ancient Language from the elves. As in other fantasy novels, the elves are a magical race who live closely in tune with nature.

In the Inheritance Cycle, the elves act as brave warriors who help Eragon and the Varden defeat Galbatorix. In addition to fighting alongside Eragon and his comrades, they also use their magic to further the cause of bringing peace to Alagaësia.


Inheritance Cycle characters

The most important characters in the Inheritance Cycle include:

  • Eragon: Eragon is the primary protagonist in the series who becomes a dragon rider after finding a dragon egg.  
  • Galbatorix: Galbatorix is the primary antagonist of the series and the evil King of Alagaësia.
  • Saphira: Saphira is Eragon’s dragon who also acts as his courageous battle partner and loyal friend.
  • Murtagh: Murtagh was once a friend of Eragon but becomes a servant to the evil King Galbatorix.
  • Arya: Arya is a queen of the elves and a Dragon rider who befriends Eragon in the effort to defeat the evil king.
  • Roran: Roran is a human Varden leader who spearheads the war against Galbatorix.


Dragons in the Inheritance Cycle

Dragons are central to the plotline of the Inheritance Cycle, and without them, it’s impossible to imagine how Eragon’s story would unfold.

A few of the most notable dragons from the books include:

  • Saphira:
    • Partner: Eragon
    • Colour: Blue
    • Size: the size of a small house
  • Shruikan:
    • Partner: Galbatorix
    • Colour: Black
    • Size: about twice as big as Saphira
  • Glaedr:
    • Partner: Oromis
    • Colour: Gold
    • Size: the size of a small house
  • Thorn:
    • Partner: Murtagh
    • Colour: Red
    • Size: the size of a small house


Some of the best quotes from Inheritance Cycle

  • Books are my friends, my companions. They make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life. – Eragon
  • Live in the present, remember the past, and fear not the future, for it doesn't exist and never shall. There is only now. – Eldest 
  • Perhaps not one religion contains all of the truth of the world. Perhaps every religion contains fragments of the truth, and it is our responsibility to identify those fragments and piece them together. – Brisingr 
  • It's impossible to go through life unscathed. Nor should you want to. By the hurts we accumulate, we measure both our follies and our accomplishments. – Inheritance 


Want more? Learn more about the series here!

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An epic new fantasy from the internationally bestselling author of ERAGON
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