Over Hill and Mountain is the 27th chapter of Brisingr. It takes place from the view of Eragon.


Having run for nearly two days, Eragon and Nar Garzhvog find themselves tired and stop to have a rest and something to eat. Eragon offers to help Garzhvog hunt, but Garzhvog states that it is not necessary and tells Eragon to make a fire instead. Garzhvog strides off and Eragon removes his armor, lamenting how sore the heavy weight of it makes him. He begins gathering what he needs for a fire and contemplates his and Garzhvog's progress, unhappy that they have to hide and take detours, a difficulty that Nasuada did not foresee.

Garzhvog returns an hour later, carrying the carcass of a plump doe, which he killed with his sling. "Do you intend to cook it on a spit?" asks Eragon. "Or do Urgals eat their meat raw?" Garzhvog seems offended by the question, telling Eragon "We are not beasts." He says that they can stew the deer, providing a bag-shaped container that he explains is the stomach of a cave bear that he killed the year he first got his horns. By filling it with water and hot stones, it can be used to create a tasty stew. Eragon asks if Garzhvog killed the bear with his sling also and Garzhvog explains that he choked it with his hands, as no weapons are allowed when you come of age and must prove your courage. He became war chief specifically because he chose to hunt a cave bear rather than something smaller, such as a wolf or mountain goat. They prepare and eat the food, Eragon consuming twice as much as he thought he ever had before, with Garzhvog eating the rest, enough for six large men.

Following the meal, Eragon notices that Garzhvog has seven toes on each foot, like the dwarves. He points this out, but Garzhvog is not impressed, stating that Urgals "share no blood with those hornless mountain rats" and that it simply pleased the gods to shape them both that way. Eragon asks Garzhvog to tell him a story that his race is fond of. Garzhvog tells him a story of an Urgralga (female Urgal) named Maghara who had many positive attributes, but was not pretty. She desired the love of a particular Urgal who could not see past her ugliness, so she went to Rahna, the mother of all Urgals, and asked her to make her pretty. Rahna tried to convince Maghara that she would do best with a ram who was not so foolish to look only at a female's face, but Maghara insisted that she must have this ram. Rahna asked Maghara how she would repay her for the favor and Maghara replied that she would give her anything that she wanted. Rahna granted Maghara's request and using the beauty that she was given, Maghara wooed the ram that she wanted and lived in happiness for seven years with many children. After seven years, Rahna came to collect her payment, seizing Maghara's eldest son and declaring that she would have him. Maghara begged her not to take him and when she was not successful, she seized the club of her brood-mate and tried to strike at Rahna, only for the club to shatter in her hands. Rahna then stripped Maghara's beauty from her, then took Maghara's son to her hall and named him Hegraz, raising him to be a mighty warrior. Garzhvog says that the lesson of the story is to not fight one's fate, or you shall lose that which you hold dear.

Eragon then asks him to tell him something about Urgal villages. Garzhvog relates several facts, such as that that they carve faces of animals in logs to frighten away the spirits of the wild. Eragon notes that he's never seen an Urgal village, so they must be well-hidden. Garzhvog agrees, noting that few who see Urgal homes ever live to tell of it. Eragon asks how Garzhvog learned the Human Language and Garzhvog states that he tore it from the minds of men he fought and shared it with his tribe. Eragon and Garzhvog discuss atrocities that they have seen committed by humans and Urgals respectively, coming to the agreement that it is no good to dwell upon past wrongs. Eragon asks how humans should treat Urgals if they should revert to their old ways after the Empire is defeated. Garzhvog replies that they will have to hope there are other, wiser Urgals across the sea, as there will be no more in this land.

The two rest the night and then proceed the next day, finally coming into sight of the Beor Mountains. They continue to run with only short rest, Eragon uncomfortably reminded of his flight from Gil'ead to Farthen Dûr. Parts of the journey begin to blur together to Eragon, due to his exhaustion and the general sameness of the scenery. One night, while camping, a Shrrg wanders near Eragon and Garzhvog's camp. Garzhvog bellows a challenge, but Eragon speaks to the wolf in the Ancient Language, telling it his pack rests and does not hunt, and that is welcome to share their food and warmth until morning. The wolf eats some scraps of a buck butchered by Garzhvog, then continues on its way. The next day, the two enter the valley leading to Mount Thardûr. In the afternoon, they hear a series of terrible roars, which turn out to be coming from a fight between a cave bear and a group of Nagra. Eragon is awed by the fight, in which the cave bear manages to fend off a pack of several Nagra. He states that he thinks that even Saphira might not be able to overcome such a monster, but Garzhvog notes that Saphira can breathe fire and a bear cannot. The two continue their journey till late afternoon, when they spot three dwarf children playing, throwing sticks at each other. Garzhvog stops, telling Eragon that this is where they part. He explains that he will not accompany Eragon to Bregan Hold because then the dwarves would not trust him and Eragon should be safe from here on. Eragon asks if he will run all the way back to the Varden. Garzhvog states that he will, but perhaps not so fast as they did in getting to the mountain. Eragon tells Garzhvog to not let a Shrrg or bear eat him, as then he'd have to hunt it down, and he doesn't have the time for that. Garzhvog tells Eragon "May your enemies cower before you, Firesword," then lopes away. Eragon reveals himself to the dwarf children and declares himself, but they do not understand his language. They finally recognize him when he utters the word "Argetlam," and begin to chatter excitedly, pulling him along the path to Bregan Hold. A girl holds her arm out toward him. He picks her up and places her on his shoulders and she laughs merrily as Eragon makes his way towards his foster brother, Orik.


1. The Gates of Death | 2. Around the Campfire | 3. Assault on Helgrind | 4. Divergence | 5. Rider and Ra'zac | 6. To Walk the Land Alone | 7. The Trial of the Long Knives | 8. Winged Tidings | 9. Escape and Evasion | 10. A Delicate Matter | 11. Bloodwolf | 12. Mercy, Dragon Rider | 13. Shadows of the Past | 14. Amid the Restless Crowd | 15. To Answer a King | 16. A Feast with Friends | 17. Intersecting Sagas | 18. Making Amends | 19. Gifts of Gold | 20. I Need a Sword! | 21. Unexpected Guests | 22. Fire in the Sky | 23. Man and Wife | 24. Whispers in the Night | 25. Orders | 26. Footprints of Shadow | 27. Over Hill and Mountain | 28. For My Love | 29. A Forest of Stone | 30. The Laughing Dead | 31. Blood on the Rocks | 32. A Matter of Perspective | 33. Kiss me Sweet | 34. Glûmra | 35. Clanmeet | 36. Insubordination | 37. Message in a Mirror | 38. Four Strokes upon the Drum | 39. Reunion | 40. Ascension | 41. Words of Wisdom | 42. The Whipping Post | 43. Among the Clouds | 44. Butting Heads | 45. Genealogy | 46. Two Lovers Doomed | 47. Inheritance | 48. Souls of Stone | 49. Hands of a Warrior | 50. The Tree of Life | 51. Mind over Metal | 52. A Rider in Full | 53. Greaves and Bracers | 54. Leave-taking | 55. Flight | 56. Brisingr! | 57. Shadow of Doom | 58. Sunrise

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