Moving on to another movie that highly disappointed me, and many others, was Eragon, with Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Rachel Weisz, and John Malkovich to name a few. Wow did this one miss far from the mark.
I finished the books series several years ago, maybe in 2011 if my memory serves me correctly (who knows). I thought the series ended very well, and I came to admire Eragon as a character. I think Christopher Paolini’s book is imaginative and memorable, though I have my issues with it. Still, my friends and I were excited to see the film. It was at this time in my life when I learned that you really shouldn’t get your hopes too high, especially when it comes to Hollywood. The film itself is a decent fantasy film but not as memorable as the book, nor as logical.
There was a big change made that I don’t have an issue with, and that was the dragon Saphira, voiced by Rachel Weisz, growing up in one day instead of over time. Movies have to be paced a certain way, and while a mini series or show could probably take the time to show time passing, I forgave the writers for that change. Also, I think they handled Brom’s death so well, that the part affected me in the film more so than in the book. That being said, there were some other changes that made me wonder if the director/writers actually read Eragon.
Here is Something extra: (The author’s take on the movie.)
Many of the characters did not look anything like the book described. And Christopher Paolini held nothing back with his descriptions, which attempted to compete with Tolkien-style writing. So there is no excuse for making the characters look the way they did. The main love interest for Eragon is an elf with raven-black hair. Somebody apparently said, “That’s nice, let’s make her hair blond.” There is a witch that Eragon meets with dark curly hair and a quirky personality. Someone else said, “That’s nice, let’s make her also blond and unforgettable and nothing at all like her character in the book.” Those changes were so baffling to me. To mess up something so simple, and one you could get right with something called effort. The movie did not fail at the box office financially, though critically, let’s just say RIP. The only thing I can say about the changes were that, they may have been trying to get away from the very obvious echoes of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Because to be honest, that is one of the main criticisms of the original Eragon book series.
I do not fault the author for borrowing ideas. We all need something to inspire us. However, I would say that the books really came across as, “I want to be the next Lord of the Rings!” The dwarves are just like Tolkein’s dwarves, and the elves are very similar as well. And unfortunately, a lot of fantasy works have suffered the same overuse of stereotypes. Almost like they think they have to follow this formula or else it’s not really fantasy. Dwarves are minors and elves live in the forest! Also, the sky is blue. Give me something else. I’m getting off topic a bit, but that’s okay. If anything, it shows that even a terrible adaptation like Eragon can open up a discussion about writing, characters, and books. It’s a discussion I love having, and one that maybe the people who made the film should have had in the first place.