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Biographical information
Died 8001 AC
Physical description
Species Human (formerly)


Gender Male
Hair Color Crimson
Eye Color Maroon (White in film)
Chronological and political information
Affiliation Spirit in Durza, Broddring Empire
Family Unknown
Film Portrayer Robert Carlyle

Durza (born as the human Carsaib) was a Shade in the service of Galbatorix. He was one of Eragon's primary adversaries. He was one of two Shades in Alagaësia during Eragon's time: the other being Varaug, though they were not alive at the same time. He was the main antagonist in Eragon.

Description Edit

Durza was tall, with crimson hair and maroon eyes. His face was deathly white, with the appearance of a death mask or a polished skull that had its skin pulled back to give the appearance of life. His body was thin and compact, like that of a runner, though he was quite strong. He often wore a cape. His teeth were filed to points and he had narrow lips. During most of Eragon, he wore a maroon robe, but near the Battle of Farthen Dur, he was described as "tall, garbed entirely in black armor." He wore a snake-skin cape and a richly decorated helmet, like a general's. As a weapon, he wielded a thin but extremely sharp sword that bore a long scratch from a previous battle with Ajihad.

Personality Edit

Durza was cruel and short-tempered, he was also intelligent, commanding, as well as a bit overconfident. He liked to gloat. He was known to sneer at Eragon and seemed to underestimate him. An example of this is when Eragon first met Durza in Gil'ead. As Eragon tried escape with Murtagh, he sneered, "Do you really think to defeat me, Du Sundavar Freohr? What a pitfiful name. I would have expected something more subtle from you, but I suppose that's all you're capable of."

He was able to strike fear in many, and being a Shade, he was quite powerful. There were also a few hints that he was not as loyal to Galbatorix as the king might have thought. An example was when Durza said to Eragon, "I must attend to certain matters, but while I am gone you would do well to think on who you would rather serve: a Dragon Rider who betrayed your own order or a fellow man like me, though one skilled in arcane arts. When the time comes to choose, there will be no middle ground." It is, however, unknown if this was a lie to trick Eragon into joining them, or if Durza actually planned to overthrow Galbatorix and set himself up as ruler of Alagaësia.

In the film adaption of Eragon, Durza is depicted as arrogant, cruel, psychopathic and highly intelligent, comparable to JK Rowling's "Voldemort". He was callous, psychologically insane and egotistical, except in the presence of Galbatorix. He was extremely sadistic and rather narcissistic, gleefully torturing Arya to discover the location of Saphira's egg.

History Edit

Early life Edit

The child who would become Durza was born into a nomadic tribe and was given the name "Carsaib". His family was banished and abandoned by the tribe after his father was accused of oath-breaking. Later, both of his parents were murdered by bandits and Carsaib wandered blindly into the desert, wishing that he could be dead as well. He was found by a sorcerer named Haeg, who took him in and began to teach him the art of controlling spirits.

After a few years, Haeg was murdered by a group of bandits and in a rage, Carsaib summoned up avenging spirits that were too powerful for him to control. They turned on him and possessed his mind and body, as well as therefore transformed him into the Shade Durza. He, later taught Galbatorix dark magic that helped him to overthrow the Riders.

Service to Galbatorix Edit


Galbatorix (left) and Durza (right)

Durza grew more and more powerful, as well as was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocents (both on Galbatorix's orders and for his own twisted, cruel pleasure). At one point, he even dueled with Ajihad, leader of the Varden. Ajihad was able to mar the Shade's sword, leaving a wire-thin scratch upon the blade, but failed to kill the Shade.

Durza commanded the Urgal tribes in the Battle Under Farthen Dûr through a combination of force, deception and the use of sorcery to bend the will of the Urgals. Although a magically powerful being, he did serve Galbatorix, which we can assume means that he was not as powerful as Galbatorix.

Role in Eragon Edit

Durza was sent to ambush the dragon egg courier, Arya. He was successful in capturing the elf, but the primary objective - to recapture the egg - was unsuccessful. Through his magical cunning, he was able to kill Arya's companions. The dragon egg was teleported into the Spine, where it was found by Eragon. Galbatorix then charged the Shade with recovering the information of the egg's location from the elf: Durza promptly set to work and tortured Arya to the brink of madness and death, both for information and his own pleasure.

Durza encountered Eragon in Gil'ead, when Urgals captured Eragon and imprisoned him at the same prison as Arya. As Galbatorix desired both the Rider and his dragon, Durza tried to inquire about his true name. However, Eragon didn't know, bluffing that it was "Du Súndavar Freohr" (Death of the Shadows). With the help of Murtagh and Saphira, Eragon escaped, rescuing Arya in the process. Murtagh incapacitated Durza by shooting him first in the shoulder, then between the eyes. It was revealed later, however, that a Shade can only be killed by piercing him through the heart (any other seemingly fatal wound simply causes a Shade to regenerate itself).

Durza led an army of Urgals at the Battle under Farthen Dûr. Durza and Eragon eventually fought at the end of the battle, as Urgal forces from Ithrö Zhâda penetrated the Varden's refuge. At first, the Shade demonstrated his superior strength and maintained the upper hand, giving Eragon a serious wound. However, Durza eventually became distracted by the breaking of the Isidar Mithrim: as he turned away to deal with the attacking Arya and Saphira, Durza left himself open to Eragon's final, desperate blow, and Zar'roc plunged into his heart. He was finally destroyed but Eragon was almost killed by the explosion that resulted of killing a shade, being saved by the intervention of Oromis. Eragon was given the honorary title "Shadeslayer".

After Durza's death, the magic controlling the Urgals was broken. The Urgals fell into disarray and confusion, as well as turned on one another, heedlessly slaughtering their own forces. This fighting and confusion led to victory for the Varden.

The prologue of the book, Prologue: Shade of Fear, is told out of Durza's point of view. However, his name is never mentioned.

Role in Eldest Edit

Despite his death, Durza still affected events in Eldest. The wound Durza inflicted on Eragon haunted the young Dragon Rider throughout his journey. The wound was described as Eragon being "sawed in half" until he was healed by the dragons at the Blood-Oath Celebration. Eragon composed a poem about The Land Of Durza, which received much acclaim by the elves, for the Blood-Oath Celebration. To Eragon, Durza became a representative of everything that is evil, though he didn’t consider Durza himself to be evil but the spirits controlling him.

Role in the Eragon movie Edit

In the movie, Durza's role was similar to his role in the book, however he was neither tall nor slim, but the cruel portrayal of him in the movie matched the book's description. He also summoned the Ra'zac and rode "the Beast". He killed Brom when he dueled Eragon in Gil'ead (Eragon was weakened by use of magic while Durza flung a spear at him). Brom jumped in front of Eragon to save him and consequently died. Eragon shot Durza with his bow like Murtagh did in the book, but Durza did not seem to feel any pain. During the invasion of Farthen Dûr in the movie, he also became deformed, this is probably because this is the first time he is seen in sun light throughout the movie. Also, in the film, he had long black fingernails that were sharp enough to kill someone and he tortured Arya by making a wound on her sternum and later dripping poison into the fire and supposedly doing voodoo poison on her. The movies didn't show Arya having any physical signs of torture, save for the wound Durza poisoned her with. In the movie, Durza did manage to break into Arya's mind and glean the pieces of information that betrayed Eragon's location.

Real-universe connections Edit

Comparison with "Star Wars" Edit

Durza quite strongly parallels the villain Grand Moff Tarkin from the Star Wars saga. Both were high ranking officials for their respective Empires. They also served as the lead antagonists of the installments of the series' they appear in (Eragon and A New Hope, both being the first installments of their respective sagas released). Both for most of those installments have key princesses who oppose the empires (Arya and Leia) as their hostages in large key fortresses used by the forces of evil (Gil'ead and the Death Star). They tried to force information out of both of them (to the extent of using torture) until the heroes managed to rescue them. They later appear leading the forces of evil in a battle against the rebels when attacking their bases and in the end are both killed by Eragon and Luke. Eragon directly killed Durza, while Grand Moff Tarkin was killed in the explosion that destroyed the Death Star that was caused by Luke. Personality wise both are very cruel and quite overconfident.

Comparison with "The Lord of the Rings" Edit

Durza could aptly be compared to either the wizard Saruman or The Witch-King of Angmar . As each was corrupted by the dark forces and serves as one of the top ranking servants of the dark lord of their story (Galbatorix and Sauron) Like the former he is a notably powerful sorcerer who has great power/influence in manipulating the weak minded and had many of the legions of darkness under his control. His army being the group that attacks the heroes in one of their key strongholds, serving as one of the most important battles of their respective stories. (Farthen Dûr and Helm's Deep) However like the Witch-King (beyond the fact that he too had command over vast legion) he completely lost his original self/identity in his transformation and was turned into some spectral breed of creature. (A shade and a wraith) And both gave the hero a severe wound in an earlier part of their adventures that would go on to haunt them. (Durza slashed Eragon's back during the Battle of Farthen Dûr which would go on to cause him future pain whilst the Witch-King stabbed Frodo during the confrontation at Amon Sûl aka the Weathertop which threatened to turn him into a wraith himself and never fully healed). However whilst the Witch-King is a complete slave to his master's will, Durza like Saruman seems to be for lack of a better term more independent/in control of himself.


  • Durza is portrayed by Scottish actor Robert Carlyle, who also plays Dracula in Castlevania Lords of Shadow.
    • He also plays Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin in ABC's Once Upon a Time, who is also a similar character to Dracula
Preceded By Position Succeeded By
Morzan Galbatorix's Right-Hand Man Murtagh

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