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Saphira

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Saphira is Eragon's dragon from the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. She is the last female dragon in Alagaësia outside of the Eldunari kept by Galbatorix. She is the daughter of a Rider's dragon named Iormungr and a wild female dragon named Vervada and is a descendent of Belgabad, the largest dragon of his time.

Appearance

Saphira's scales and eyes were the color of sapphires, often described in the book as an intense blue that refracted the light. The radiating blue tones of her scales resulted the nickname given to her by the elves, Saphira Brightscales, or as she was known in the Ancient Language, as Saphira Bjartskular. She was also known as Flametongue to the Urgals. She was possessed of enhanced vision, for she was able to see blues more clearly and vibrantly than reds and greens, an ability she showed Eragon when she allowed him to see the world through her eyes. The talons and spikes on her neck, back, as well as her tail were bone-white and all were very sharp. She had two serrated fangs that jutted out of her upper jaw onto her bottom lip slightly, and like all dragons, she had white, sharp, knife-like, meat-shearing teeth. Her tongue was barbed like a rasp, allowing her to strip meat from bone, and she once threatened to lick Eragon with it should he ever put her through enough worry. Her head was roughly triangular and she also possessed four cheek spines, slightly curved horns and forehead spines between her horns.

Her body stature was very aerodynamic and built for flying, and in Eldest, her and Eragon's mentor, Oromis said that he had never seen a dragon so skilled at flying and so naturally suited to the sky. Despite her young age she is one of the strongest dragons ever seen. She was named Saphira after Eragon went to Brom for names of past dragons when he decided to find a name for her. It was the only one that Saphira liked, given that Eragon presented her with mostly male names and those of other female dragons did not suit her. Eragon and Saphira later found out that her name was also the name of Brom's own dragon.

Personality

Though Saphira was a young dragon, she was very wise and often comforted and guided Eragon, as well as sometimes others, when they were upset or needed advice. Saphira was very proud and it has been mentioned that she had never bowed to anyone except Queen Islanzadí and several dwarves ( the latter of which occurred when she was drunk). She also felt she was bending her pride slightly by calling Oromis and Glaedr "Master".

Saphira was quite vain, thinking herself the most beautiful and magnificent creature in the world. While in Ellesmera, Saphira submitted to Glaedr, Oromis' dragon and her and Eragon's fellow mentor. After he refused to mate with her, she attacked him, injuring both of them and becoming depressed. Eragon found her huddled up in a cave on the Stone of Broken Eggs after the fight, upset because she thought Glaedr didn't find her comely enough, though Eragon proved that this was not true.

Saphira would not hesitate to give people her blunt opinion and even threatened Ajihad by telling him that if he had tried to kill Eragon, she would have destroyed Farthen Dûr and torn him apart. Saphira also enjoyed fighting, but claimed that it was a good thing that Eragon didn't share her taste of fighting, as they balanced each other out. In battle she was ferocious and Eragon once told her that he was very glad they weren't enemies. It is likely that her ferocity came from her mother, Vervada.

As Eragon's dragon, Saphira had a deep emotional bond with him. As such, she would do anything to keep him alive and out of harm's way if she could. As a result, she went with him in most ventures, though not always agreeing with them. Her main goal was to keep Eragon safe, even stating that should Eragon be captured, she would go so far as to give herself up to Galbatorix, dooming Alagaësia, just to save Eragon. She was very protective of him and always looks out for his needs. In addition, Saphira's bond to Eragon was so strong that it could go to the point where sometimes Eragon and Saphira consider themselves as not as two beings but one, such as during the Battle of the Burning Plains. Saphira often calls her rider "little one" to show affection.

As shown Brisingr, Saphira and Eragon's bond was eventually developed to point where they were able to finish the others' sentences and to be able to anticipate what each other would say. Most of the time, they did this without even realizing it and it could occasionally overwhelm the minds of people unaccustomed to it, such as Roran Stronghammer, Eragon's cousin.

History

Saphira's egg, along with two others (Thorn and Firnen's eggs respectively) were found and taken by Galbatorix during the Fall, when Galbatorix and the Thirteen Forsworn wiped out the Dragon Riders and most of the other Dragons. Galbatorix tried desperately to find a Rider for whom the eggs would hatch, but was unsuccessful as a century passed. None of the dragons within their eggs responded to the touch of anyone in the Broddring Empire. Later in Galbatorix's reign, a former Rider known as Brom and a scholar named Jeod who worked for the resistance against Galbatorix, known as the Varden, discovered a secret entrance into Galbatorix's capital city of Urû'baen. The Varden appointed a thief, Hefring, to steal the eggs. However, he only took one egg (Saphira's egg) and he kept it, all the while, running simultaneously from Brom and Galbatorix's lieutenant, Morzan. Unbeknownst to all, the free Eldunari hidden from Galbatorix (Umaroth, Valdr, Cuaroc and many others), was inadvertently helping Hefring and accidentally pushed too far, alerting him to their presence, causing the thief to panic and run. The egg was later taken from him by Morzan, who probably slew Hefring. Brom eventually tracked down and killed Morzan and his Dragon, thus recovering the egg for the Varden. The egg was then transported back and forth from the Varden to the kingdom of the elves Du Weldenvarden, in the hope that the Dragon would eventually hatch. The egg-courier was Arya, daughter of Islanzadí, the Elf queen. Unfortunately, the egg didn't hatch for anyone in the Varden either.

After fifteen years of searching, Galbatorix sent the Shade Durza, his lieutenant in the face of Morzan's demise, to ambush Arya. Arya was captured and her two companions Faolin and Glenwing were murdered, but not before she successfully teleported the egg towards Carvahall, where she hoped it would reach Brom. However, the Eldunarí in the Vault of Souls, hidden in the city of Doru Araeba on the island of Vroengard, changed the flow of magic so that Saphira's egg would appear to Eragon instead—the dragons thought that Saphira might hatch for Eragon and they were growing restless waiting for Galbatorix to be overthrown.

The egg was found by Eragon while he was hunting in the mysterious and feared mountain range known as the Spine. Eragon first mistook Saphira's egg for a blue stone of great value. A few days later, Saphira hatched for him, to the boy's incredible shock. When Eragon touched the newborn dragon, his right palm burned suddenly and sent an icy feeling through out him. This gave him the gedwëy ignasia, the mark of a Dragon Rider. Their minds were linked mentally and almost immediately they were able to communicate with images and feelings.

Saphira and Eragon's bond grew stronger with time as they escaped from Carvahall with Brom to hunt the creatures known as the Ra'zac for vengeance after the murder of Garrow, Eragon's uncle. Brom was killed in the hunt for the Ra'zac when he took a knife for Eragon. Later, with help from the son of Morzan, Murtagh, Saphira rescued Eragon from an Imperial prison in Gil'ead when he was. During his time in Gil'ead, Eragon found the elf whom he had seen in his sleep, Arya herself. They then fled to the Beor Mountains in search of the Varden, as it was the only place Arya could be saved from the poison Durza had given her. After a long journey through the Hadarac Desert and being chased by giant Urgals known as Kull, they arrived at Farthen Dûr: capital of the Dwarves and hiding place of the Varden. There, Saphira and Eragon met Ajihad, leader of the Varden, who offered them shelter from the Broddring Empire. Soon after, a legion of Urgals under Durza's command attacked Farthen Dûr, hoping to wipe out the resistance. After a long battle, the Varden were victorious, with Saphira and Arya helping Eragon to slay Durza, though Eragon was wounded in the back during the fight.

After the battle, Saphira and Eragon travel to Du Weldenvarden to continue their training. Because of the guilt the elves felt due to the Fall of the Dragon Riders, Saphira was treasured amongst the elves. She and Eragon were there taught by Glaedr, the only other surviving dragon and his Rider Oromis (Known as The Mourning Sage and The Cripple Who is Whole) Some of the elves however, such as the young elf Vanir, were spiteful and mean towards Eragon, saying that they thought a man not a boy would save them. However, with the advent of the Agaetí Blödhren, the Blood-Oath Celebration that marked the bonding between Elves, Humans and Dragons, Eragon was healed of his wounds when the magic of the celebration was touched by the Hidden Eldunari on Vroengard, transforming him into a Half-Elf. Afterwards, their training was interrupted when Eragon and Saphira flew to the aid of the Varden and fought in the Battle of the Burning Plains. During the battle, Eragon and Saphira met and were defeated by the new Rider and Dragon, revealed to be Murtagh and the recently hatched Thorn. Exploiting a loophole of Galbatorix's orders, Murtagh spared Eragon and Saphira, on account of their former friendship and family ties. He did however kill Hrothgar, the dwarf King, and cause Eragon a great deal of anguish. Then he reclaimed Zar'roc since it was rightfully his by birth before departing with Thorn. Saphira comforted Eragon after the battle, and would go on to aid Eragon in helping his cousin, Roran, rescue his fiancee Katrina from the Ra'zac.

Saphira, Eragon and Roran then flew to the mountain of Helgrind to kill the Ra'zac and their parents, the Lethrblaka, as well as rescue Roran's beloved, Katrina. During the fight, Saphira successfully battled and killed both Lethrblaka while Eargon and Roran killed the Ra'zac. Saphira was unfortunately forced to separate from Eragon when he found Sloan and decided to spare his life. Saphira then flew Roran and Katrina back to the Varden, while Eragon traveled across a significant portion of Alagaësia. Upon returning to the Varden, Nasuada sent Eragon to Farthen Dûr to help oversee the appointment of the new dwarven monarch. After Orik was appointed king by the Clanmeet, Saphira joined Eragon in Farthen Dûr to honour Orik as king in the public ceremony and give the dwarves the gift that she owed them: repairing the Isidar Mithrim ( the star rose) which she and Arya had shattered when they flew to Eragon's aid in his battle with the Shade, Durza. Saphira and Eragon then flew to Du Weldenvarden to complete their training with Oromis and Glaedr. Here, Glaedr revealed that dragons possessed a heart of hearts, also known as an Eldunarí, and that Dragons could place their consciousness in it if they so chose. Saphira also revealed to Eragon that Brom was his father, not Morzan, and helped Eragon gather a rare metal called brightsteel from under the Menoa Tree (by attacking it) so he and the Elven smith Rhunön could forge Brisingr, Eragon's new sword. Before they left Du WeldenVarden, Glaedr gave Saphira and Eragon his heart of hearts, which they promised to safeguard. Saphira and Eragon joined the Varden's Siege at Feinster, aiding the Varden in their victory and helped in killing a Shade named Varaug. During a separate battle at Gil'ead, Glaedr and Oromis were killed by Murtagh and Thorn, who were possessed by Galbatorix through use of his collected Eldunari. After mourning for their loss, Eragon and Saphira, now the last free Rider and Dragon, readied for what was to come in the hope that they could kill Galbatorix.

In the Battle of Belatona, Saphira was almost fatally wounded by a Dauthdaert, a weapon created by Elves eons ago specifically to kill Dragons. She later carried Eragon and Glaedr to the island of Vroengard through a fierce storm, using a special Breathing Spell to survive the high altitude and another to avoid being poisoned by the magically induced radiation from the battle between the Riders and Galbatorix's Forsworn a century before. On the island, she, together with Eragon, found their true names and entered the Rock of Kuthian with Glaedr. Saphira was overjoyed by the revelation of and meeting the secret Eldunarí and finding surviving dragon eggs and everything they had done for her and Eragon.

She took part in the battle against Galbatorix, battling Shruikan alongside Thorn so that Arya could utilize the Dauthdaert and kill the monstrous black dragon. She gave energy to Eragon when he cast the spell to defeat Galbatorix, and helped shield him when the dying Galbatorix destroyed himself in an attempt to take his enemies with him.

Afterwards, Saphira and Eragon helped to restore order in the chaos after Galbatorix's death but eventually decided that the best course of action would be to take eggs and Eldunarí with them, away from Alagaësia for protection. After Fírnen, the emerald green dragon and last of Galbitorix's eggs, hatched for Arya, he and Saphira fell in love. Saphira mated with Fírnen after engaging in a courtship ritual. Saphira also carried Roran, Katrina, as well as their infant daughter to Ellesméra as part of a farewell celebration to say goodbye to her and Eragon and then left Alagaësia with Eragon to rebuild the Dragon Riders, though parting with Firnen pained her.

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