I spent a good deal of time some while ago writing a my long blog "Book IV Predictions", which I regret closing comments on. None the matter though. Since writing that blog, I have not only read and reread it, but read and reread other fans blogs/predictions as well. As you can see, I wrote that blog in 2009. It is now 2011. My thoughts have changed.
Let me begin by saying that upon rereading my old blog, I realize how concerned with detail I was, when in fact I should be more concerned with concept. After Paolini released the title for Book IV, "Inheritance", I began reflecting on my old blog, and other fans' blogs, and realized how naive we all were. "Inheritance" is truly the simplest title for the book, and the best title for the book at that. The whole cycle is called "Inheritance" yet I've noticed that almost everything I've read has neglected the word "inheritance," whether realizing it or not. Let me explain what I mean. In my blog, I wrote a lot about how Eragon could inherit Undbitr, or Naegling. I talked about how he had already inherited Aren. A large magnitude of people talked about Eragon inheriting his Wyrda, or fate, although I argued against that because your fate already belongs to you, and so you can't inherit what is already yours. Nonetheless, it was a massive topic of discussion amongst all the "inheritance" arguments. People talked about Eragon inheriting the empire.... although that made no sense, because no one above Eragon owned it. I could go on about this, but the point is simple: people (myself included) talked about the inheritances of Eragon on a specific note.
In this blog, I intend to change that. I will stay broad. In fact, the blog below may actually be shorter than this introduction. I guess I won't really know until I write it.
The Magnitude of Inheritance
Inheritance can apply to this series on so many levels. We already know about the general idea that a younger generation is stepping in to inherit the roles of their parents (Mike Macauley). But what are we overlooking? Ironically, considering the time I spent above deflating my old blog (which some of the details I still agree with, mind you, I just don't like the direction in which I wrote it), I would like to point to an entry in my old blog about the direct plot connections between Inheritance and Star Wars:
A poor farm boy (Luke/Eragon) becomes gifted with a magical power (Jedi/Rider), and then his uncle (Owen/Garrow) is killed. With no uncle, he embarks with an old mysterious man (Ben/Brom) on a journey to get revenge on the people (Empire/Empire) who killed his uncle. Along the way it is discovered that this old mysterious man was once a mighty warrior, of the same kind that the young farm boy is just beginning! Then, the old man dies, leaving the farm boy alone and without guidance. The farm boy partners with a wanted man (Han/Murtagh), who saved his life, and travels to a lone rebel group (The Rebel Alliance/The Varden). Then, the boy becomes a hero by winning a major victory (blows up Death Star/Kills Durza) for the rebels! The farm-boy-turned-hero then travels to a mysterious forest (Degobah/Ellesmera) and meets an old warrior, the same as him, in hiding (Yoda/Oromis). This old warrior trains him, and then the hero-farm boy leaves despite his master's will (To save Han and Leia/To go to the Burning Plains) and encounters a family member that has been turned evil (Darth Vader/Murtagh)! Then after this confrontation, the hero-boy returns to his master, who then dies, leaving the hero and the evil family member, and the emperor/king, of course, the only warriors of the old order remaining.
This is where the Inheritance series stops. So, to predict how the empire will end, I continued with the Star Wars plot. Here is my prediction, as taken from the Return of the Jedi:
As Luke (Eragon) is about to die, he calls upon his family member, Darth Vader (Murtagh), to save him. Suddenly, the family member has a change in heart (Murtagh's true name changes) and the emperor's (king's) greatest servant of all ends up killing him in the end.
Now, it was after rereading this that I began to really see the connections and how the title "Inheritance" truly applies to all the characters.
It started with my realizing that Murtagh would inherit the empire, or at least, sort of. What I mean by 'sort of' is that, in my mind, there are two possible outcomes for Murtagh/Thorn: 1) They live and Murtaugh becomes the new King; and 2) They die killing Galbatorix. In my old blog, I would have picked one or the other and supported it with any evidence I could dig up. Now, however, I find myself saying... does it matter which? Well, yes, it does, but does it matter for us to try to predict? No! That is for us to find out by reading the books! But what I can say is that in either circumstance, Murtagh inherits something that belonged to him. He either gets the Empire, which would rightfully belong to him, as Galbatorix has no known heirs, and Murtagh is the only offspring of Morzan, the second in command to Galbatorix, which would rightfully make him the closest thing to an heir. In the other case, he accomplishes what his father could not, and inherits his fathers true destiny or his new true name, or something of the like.
In Eragon's case, he would Inherit the role of his father, Brom, in leading the Riders. It was Brom's last job, to secure the future of the Riders, and after the defeat of the Empire that job would belong to Eragon. Eragon would also inherit the role of a master from Oromis, making it his job to train new Riders under him.
In Arya's case, she would most likely inherit her mothers kingdom. It only seems logical. She is a princess, and only heir to a throne. Paolini has practically told us her Inheritance. If this seems a little bit too obvious to you, remind yourself that none of us could guess the title "Inheritance".
In the case of all the dragons, they would inherit the role of their forefathers - they would be tasked with keeping the dragon race alive.
As for Roran - he had already received his Inheritance, and had used it to create a new life for himself with the Varden. However, I still find it entirely possible that he could be Alagaesia's next King, should the instance occur in which Murtagh dies, which I think is very likely.
Let me paint a picture for you, slightly how I envision "Inheritance":
Eragon and Arya part from the Varden, which continues doing it's own thing. Murtagh changes his true name and steals the green egg which he gives to Arya who returns to the Varden. Eragon, Murtagh, Saphira, and Thorn take on Galbatorix and Shruikan. Eragon finds himself injured or something and Murtaguh kills Galbatorix and Shruikan. All the while Arya and newly hatched Greeni are off with the Varden and the elves fighting, during which Islansadi (spelling?) dies. Possibly, after peace is restored, Roran returns to Palancar.
Now look at the inheritance's that line up:
Eragon - master rider and teacher
Murtagh - the empire
Arya - The elf kingdom
Roran - Returns to Palancar and takes up Garrow's profession, thus receiving inheritance from Garrow.
This is just one small idea of many possible outcomes, but in each case (with the exception of Roran) the characters keep the same inheritances from their fathers before them.