Child's Play is the 55th chapter of Eldest. It takes the point of view of Nasuada.


Trianna shows Nasuada the latest lace workings of the Varden's spellcasters of which Nasuada is very pleased. They're interrupted by a disturbance outside of Nasuada's office door. They hear the guards crow in pain and swear. Nasuada pulls her dagger out while Trianna positions herself in front of Nasuada and prepares to use magic. Suddenly the doors burst open and a small figure tackles Nasuada's legs, bringing her to the ground. A silvery object shoots through the space Nasuada occupied but a second ago.

The guards enter and pull the assailant off of Nasuada. When she stands up she sees the guards holding Elva. Elva smiles then doubles over and throws up on the floor. She tells Nasuada to have Trianna examine the wall and see that Elva fulfilled her oath. Trianna goes to wall, utters a spell, and returns carrying a metal dart. They see Nasuada's window is open and deduce it must have come from outside. Elva tells them it was an assassin trained in dark magic by Galbatorix. Elva says the man hates Nasuada and would have killed her if it hadn't been for Elva. Nasuada gags with revulsion as Elva again disgorges. Elva tells them where they can find the man and urges Nasuada to hurry before Eragon's blessing causes her to try and stop Nasuada.

Nasuada tells Trianna to inform Jörmundur of what's happened and take their strongest magicians to hunt down the assassin, ideally to capture. Trianna leaves and Nasuada sees the cuts riddling her guards legs and she conceives what it must have cost Elva to save her. The guards refuse medical attention, insisitng they will guard Nasuada. Nasuada paces and contemplates the gravity of what her death would mean for the Varden and scolds herself for not arranging a successor. Nasuada tells Elva that she indebted to her and says she should have told her guards to let Elva pass anytime. Elva responds somewhat mockingly. Elva also explains how she eluded her caretaker and that Angela was gone. Nasuada tells Elva she can have any desire within Nasuada's power. Elva asks only for food.

1. A Twin Disaster | 2. The Council of Elders | 3. Truth Among Friends | 4. Roran | 5. The Hunted Hunters | 6. Saphira's Promise | 7. Requiem | 8. Fealty | 9. A Sorceress, a Snake, and a Scroll | 10. Hrothgar's Gift | 11. Hammer and Tongs | 12. Retaliation | 13. Az Sweldn rak Anhûin | 14. Celbedeil | 15. Diamonds in the Night | 16. Under a Darkling Sky | 17. Down the Rushing Mere-Wash | 18. Drifting | 19. Arya Svit-kona | 20. Ceris | 21. Wounds of the Past | 22. Wounds of the Present | 23. His Enemy's Face | 24. Arrow to the Heart | 25. The Dagshelgr Invocation | 26. The Pinewood City | 27. Queen Islanzadí | 28. Out of the Past | 29. Conviction | 30. Repercussions | 31. Exodus | 32. On the Crags of Tel'naeír | 33. The Secret Lives of Ants | 34. Under the Menoa Tree | 35. A Maze of Opposition | 36. Hanging by a Thread | 37. Elva | 38. Resurgence | 39. Why Do You Fight? | 40. Black Morning Glory | 41. The Nature of Evil | 42. Image of Perfection | 43. The Obliterator | 44. Narda | 45. The Hammer Falls | 46. The Beginning of Wisdom | 47. Broken Egg and Scattered Nest | 48. The Gift of Dragons | 49. In a Starry Glade | 50. Landfall | 51. Teirm | 52. Jeod Longshanks | 53. An Unexpected Ally | 54. Escape | 55. Child's Play | 56. Premonition of War | 57. Red Blade, White Blade | 58. Visions Near and Far | 59. Gifts | 60. The Maw of the Ocean | 61. Running the Boar's Eye | 62. To Aberon | 63. The Burning Plains | 64. The Clouds of War | 65. Nar Garzhvog | 66. Witch's Brew | 67. The Storm Breaks | 68. Convergence | 69. Eldest | 70. Inheritance | 71. Reunion