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Love, both platonic and romantic, is a force that drove many characters within Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle. Love proved a key motivation in the decisions of many of the most major characters of the series, including its main protagonist, Eragon. It can be seen to have many consequences, both positive and negative, based largely in part on the way in which the characters choose to act on these feelings.
Love can take many forms. One of the most common is romantic love - a powerful attraction that leads one to feel the desire to mate and to share one's life with a person. This is often consummated by marriage and the birth of children. Another form of love is that felt between a parent and child, very close friends, or a special bond between people or creatures, an example being the bond between dragons and their riders.
Galbatorix, the main antagonist of the series, is not known to have any love other than a love of domination of others and a possible narcissistic love of himself, as well as also lust towards his favorite concubines, quite probably violated or seduced by him.
Elves do not practice the Human custom of marriage, but do take relationships very seriously. Children were rare and the conception of children was considered an ultimate symbol of love. Urgals are known to fall in love and form a bond that is akin to marriage.
- Roran and Katrina - Wedded, Child- Ismira
- Sloan and Katrina - Overbearing protection on Sloan's part (Father of Katrina)
- Eragon Bromsson and Arya - infatuation and unrequited feelings from Eragon directed towards Arya initially. Arya begins to reveal potential feelings at end of the Cycle
- Arya and Fäolin - Strong friendship and then boyfriend/girlfriend (confirmed by Paolini in a randombuzzer's Q&A), ended due to death of Fäolin
- Jeod Longshanks and Helen - Married, some resentment on Helen's part
- Selena and Brom - Unofficially Married, child - Eragon
- Selena and Morzan - Unmarried, child - Murtagh
- Love is a key theme of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The fifth book reveals that within the wizarding world, love is studied in a room within The Department of Mysteries. Like Galbatorix, the main antagonist of The Inheritance Cycle, Voldemort (considered a manifestation of near pure evil) feels no love and even goes so far as to display an open contempt for the concept. Harry Potter's ability to feel love, on the other hand, proves a driving force in Voldemort's defeat.
- Love is also a key concept in the Star Wars series, particularly in the saga of Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader. Love, or attachments of any sort, are forbidden to members of the Jedi Order, but Skywalker defies these rules by taking the senator Padme Amidala as his wife. His love is later poisoned by fear and jealousy, leading him to turn to the Dark Side of the Force, assume the role of Darth Vader and inadvertently kill Amidala, but not before she gives birth to the twins Luke and Leia. These two then go on to form a New Jedi Order in which romantic relationships are permitted.