Eragon – Another Book Murdered by a Movie

This article is going to seem severely off-topic from the rest of my content because it delves into the realm of fantasy where I usually cover more science fiction. There are some people who feel that the two genres cannot mix, some people swear by Sci-Fi and despise fantasy and others love fantasy and want nothing to do with Sci-Fi. Then there are people like me who love them both and like a parent with two children are simply unable to choose one that we love more. It is out of this love for my other child the fantasy genre that I want to briefly discuss the Inheritance series written by Christopher Paolini.

eragoncov.gifIf you are not a fantasy novel reader then you might recognize these books because the first book was made into a move titled “Eragon“. About a young boy who finds himself thrust into the world of magic, war and love when he is chosen to become a Dragon Rider.

I recently finished reading the first two books in this series. The first titled Eragon and the second titled Eldest. Now I have read enough books that were eventually turned into movies to know that the movie will always disappoint. Normally I would not even flinch at the injustice that a movie does to a novel (read: the Harry Potter series) however, this was probably the worst movie adaptation I have ever seen.

The first novel in the series, Eragon, is almost 700 pages long. The movie version covers about the first 50 pages and the last 50 pages. The 600 pages in the middle are completely steamrolled out of the movie, unashamedly so. The relationship between the boy Eragon and some of the other characters is misrepresented and integral plot-lines are left out. So much of this book is butchered in the movie, that if/when they make a sequel they are probably going to have to separate even more from the novels in order to keep consistency in the story lines that are playing out in the film.

The second novel in the series Eldest, is another great book which expands on the world of Alagaesia that Paolini has created and is just as enveloping as the first novel.
If you don’t know, the first novel was written by Christopher Paolini when he was 15 or 16 years old. He continues to work on finishing what is now going to be a 4 book series. The next book due to be released in September of 2008.

I am not going to go into an in depth comparison of the two at the moment, to be honest I need to go see the movie one more time before I do that. In addition, I don’t want to spoil any parts of the book if you plan on reading it. So I will give you all one month to read the book and then if time permits I will do an in depth comparison of the books to the movie, hopefully by then some of you will have read the book and will be able to comment. I suppose for the moment I am just venting my frustration.

If you are a fantasy genre fan, I highly recommend the series if you have not already read it. If you are a Sci-Fi fan who is willing to try something new this might be a good place to start.

If you have seen the movie, for the love of God, don’t think you know anything about the book. You will find the novels supremely more enjoyable than the 2 hours perversion of this story that you might have seen in the theater.

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13 Responses to Eragon – Another Book Murdered by a Movie

  1. Vicky says:

    I can not agree more with you about the movie. The book was way beond better. Movie are just a way of killing the book.

  2. bc3263827 says:

    Vicky,
    One of the things that blew me away was the complete dismissal of the Ra’Zac (probably spelled wrong) in the movie when it was the focus of the first and much of the second book. I am a Star Wars geek so I equate it to watching the original Star Wars trilogy and leaving out the Death Star, yes, you still have Darth Vader but you leave out a huge component of plot in the trilogy.

  3. Tracy Falbe says:

    I also had the displeasure of seeing the movie Eragon. It was an appalling mess with total disregard for the book, for film audiences, for narrative, for anything except a shameless quick grab cash in.

    Of everything that the movie got wrong, I really was annoyed at how Arya the elf kissed Eragon a little in the movie. I mean she does not even really like him in the book. At best, she is conflicted about her feelings for him, which usually focus on her contempt for him.

  4. bc3263827 says:

    Tracy,
    I have to agree. My wife has not yet read the books, while I was reading through them, I kept telling her, you are not going to believe how badly this movie screwed up. Like you said Arya’s relationship with Eragon is nothing like the book. I found the relationship in the book to be even more interesting if for no other reason than it kept you interested over the course of two books. The movie, like you said, needed to cash in on the token love story element of the movie and butchered a very complex relationship and made it seem flippant.

  5. pooperman says:

    Eragon is a terrible story to begin with, so the movie did not fall far in my mind. It was entertaining, had a dragon and some fighting who cares if it did not live up to some story written by a fifteen year old boy. The book is too one-dimensional in the resolution of conflicts with in the plot, and the whole idea is taken from the Dragonriders of Pern an infinitely better series of novels, why they didn’t make that into a movie and made Eragon I will never understand. All in all Eragon entertained me and in this mindless world of today, can we really expect anything more.

  6. sleepyfrog76 says:

    I read the book and hated it. However, I am not a fan of fantasy. Or Sci-Fi. Those types of books generally don’t interest me, but I tend to like the movies a lot. For example, I love the Lord of the Rings on film, but can’t make it through any of the books. I love to watch the Star Trek movies, but I just can’t gather up the interest in the printed words of Gene Rodenberry.

    I read Eragon and suffered through it. I found it long and tedious, with very little action. I figured I’d like the movie a lot better. My husband is a huge fantasy fan, so he enjoyed the book. We finally got the movie, and I’ve only watch the beginning. So far, I find myself kind of disappointed because of the changes made to the basic plot as well as the actual characters. Anyway…

    I can’t wait to read what you have to say in more depth about the movie vs. the book. (When do movies EVER live up to the books though, really???)

  7. Vicky says:

    I find it sad that there are many movie that are murder by movies.

  8. Vicky says:

    I feel that the book was much better and I enjoyed the book so much more the the movie.I did not enjoy the movie reallyant all.

  9. Vicky says:

    In the movie they change around what happens in the book. Like you sayed with Arya and Eragon.I is change and I did not like it.

  10. Vicky says:

    Also,I read the books A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket and when they made it in to a movie I was very happy about it, and then when I saw it I was discusted by the movie. They had changed the order of the book in the movie.

  11. bc3263827 says:

    Vicky,
    It is a common problem that Hollywood faces when they try and make movies based on books. How do you take what should be a 6-8 hour movie and compress it into less than 3 hours. Obviously they have absolutely no chance of satisfying the people who have actually read the books; however, sometimes they at least manage to do it justice. I felt like they didn’t even do it justice.
    I have not read the Lemony Snicket books, but when I saw the movie in the theater, there were a number of people who had and after the movie ended they were all talking about how disappointing it was. Apparently they tried to cram a number of books into one movie.

  12. Drew says:

    the movie is terrible and completely wrong fo example angela the spell caster is in Teirm not daret. And the razac don’t even play a part in the movie

  13. Lily says:

    AAARRRGGG!!! the movie absolutely sucked!!! they did everything wrong! they didn’t include important lots and worst of all they made Arya, my favorite character wrong! again, AAARRRGGG!!!

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