Eragon, a young adult fantasy novel, is the first book in the Inheritance Cycle. It tells the story of a young boy named Eragon who hatches a dragon, Saphira, out of a mysterious stone he finds in the woods. Eragon bonds closely with Saphira and becomes a dragon rider, drawing the attention of the evil king Galbatorix, who sends his servants, the Ra'zac, to kill him. While escaping from the Ra'zac, Eragon and his mentor Brom become embroiled in plots against the evil king.
Growing up under the care of his Uncle Garrow and Cousin Roran, Eragon is a 15 year old farm hand in Carvahall, named for the very first Dragon Rider. He finds a dragon egg while hunting in the local mountain rages and trains his dragon in secret. When the Ra’zac attack and kill his family looking for Saphira, he takes to training with Brom and grows into a man while chasing down the Ra’zac. He is very prone to overreaction and anger over injustices and must learn to control the gifts he’s been given by his teachers.
The dragon found in the Spine by Eragon, Saphira was born of an egg stolen by the Varden from the wicked king and kept hidden until Eragon found and raised her. Her wisdom is paramount to Eragon’s growth and via telepathy, she communicates with Eragon, a link created when they first touched. Ironically, her name is the same as Brom’s dragon before she was killed. The two become close friends and confidants in their journies.
At first a storyteller who helps Eragon as they flee Carvahall, Brom is revealed to be a former Dragon Rider who fled when his dragon was killed. He looks out for Eragon and his new found powers and tries to protect the young new dragon rider. Brom is killed by the Ra’zac when they are tricked in the Beor Mountains.
At first only his dreams, Eragon sees Arya. He then meets her when he is captured and taken to the prison where she is kept by the Shade. She was responsible for keeping Saphira’s egg safe and fleeing from Galbitorix to the Spine. Poisoned on a daily basis, she is kept barely alive until Murtagh arrive and save her. Still unconscious, she manages to give directions to reach the Varden and get her and her rescuers to safety. Later, Arya continues to train Eragon in dueling and during the final battle, rides Saphira to Eragon’s rescue, long enough for him to kill the Shade. Eragon falls in love with her eventually, to which Saphira takes delight in teasing. When Eragon’s training with the elves is announced, we know that they will spend more time together in thefuture.
The strange, unknown rescuer of Eragon and Saphira in the Beor Mountains, Murtagh arrives just in time to get them away from the Ra’zac. He is extremely tough and when he beheads a slaver and angers Eragon with his brutality, he has no regrets. Having lived under the rule of Galbatorix, possibly having become a general over time, Murtagh escapes and finds Eragon, the rumored next dragon rider. He is reluctant to join the Varden as Brom killed his father and his relation to the king keeps the Varden from trusting him until he proves himself in battle.
As the fortune teller who foretells future hardships and Brom’s death for Eragon, Angela eventually joins Eragon with the Varden to fight the Urgals. She saves his life at one point and nurses him to health after his final battle with the Shade.
Angela’s werecat Solembum is as close a companion to her as Saphira is to Eragon. Eragon is able to communicate with the werecat and later Solembum disguise himself and warns Eragon to help him escape from soldiers.
A merchant and scholar, Jeod is an old friend of Brom’s who welcomes the three to Teirm. He supplies them with a map and helps them decide where to go to find the Ra’zac.
Durza, also known as the Shade is sent by the wicked king to retrieve Saphira’s egg. He fails, but does manage to capture Arya and take her prisoner. He is considered the most dangerous enemy, one who has given his life to evil to control the Urgals and retain such power. Eragon, while fighting him is able to tap into his memories through the mountain and learn that Durza’s family was outcast and he was taken in by an evil man. When Arya rides Saphira through the glass ceiling above them, Durza is distracted long enough to be stabbed through the heart by Eragon, killed in the only way a Shade can be killed.
The dwarf nephew of King Hrothgar and guide to Eragon and his companions while they are in Farthen Dûr. As a warrior of some report, he provides armor to both Eragon and Saphira that saves their lives in the battle with the Urgals.
The leader of the Varden, Ajihad welcomes the three to Farthen Dûr and allows Murtagh to be set free without being punished. He is a ruthless fighter, but a good leader, protecting the mountain through means such as boiling pitch.
As Eragon’s uncle, Garrow is a quiet and gruff man, but shows pride in both his son and his nephew. He teaches his nephew well, to be independent and free spirited no matter what. He is killed by the Ra’zac as they search Eragon and Saphira’s egg.
Roran is Eragon’s cousin, working in a mill and betrothed to Katrina. Through a vision, Angela mentions a family member betraying Eragon and when Eragon looks in on Roran, he sees him not working in a mill. The matter is left open for further exploration.