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• 5/19/2017

Musings on King Orrin

I have a feeling that he was intentionally displayed as childish near the end of the series, petulantly asking why the Elves favored Nasuada over him, as a rushed way to make the readers conclude that he was an unfit ruler. Despite his demeanor, he & Surda really were the group most appropriately poised to take command of the empire imo. The Varden was effectively a rag-tag army of revolutionaries, terrorists even, that happened to be at the forefront of most battles; while on the other hand, Surda was an established nation that not only supplied most of the Varden, but risked the most for the downfall of Galbatorix & then received a raw deal afterward. In fact, you might consider them a last remnant of the original Broddring Kingdom that resisted the Empire, which should’ve rightfully been restored to its rulership, & certainly would’ve enjoyed more support from the Broddring Empire’s citizenry than the Varden (consider that it was not Surda who had harassed the Empire’s subjects for so long or initiated the upheaval).

So with this is mind, I wonder how things would’ve turned out if Orrin had become king in Ilirea? Or if he’d married Nasuada? Even with his personality, he was an able leader & certainly intelligent, so I don’t think the outcome would’ve been so bleak. I definitely don’t think he would’ve let Teirm stay independent, especially when they were completely surrounded & without any allies. What do you think? Do you think Orrin would’ve been better than Nasuada?
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• 10/17/2017
It was said in Inheritance that Galbatrox had spied higher ranked than they would believe. I suspect that Orrin was one of them, and his behavior was in part because they were getting closer to victory when he was sworn into ensure their failure. It was also said in a Q&A that everyone overlooked a massive problem to overcoming the new peace in the empire now that Galbatorix is gone as a response to a question about remaining servants and spies for Galbatorix. I suspect that Orrin being held to an oath of service will split the kingdom again for book 5, resulting in the challenges to the new peace. It seems the only likely event given that Eragon would have had no reason to free him of an oath with the name of the ancient language as he didn't know that Orrin was in his service. Now that the elves have retreated into their Forrest, this may remove them from the fighting given Orrin isn't actually a threat to them.
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• 10/17/2017
It’s…possible, the theory would explain his behavior, but it wouldn’t explain using Orrin to give supplies to the Varden. Surda is an independent country that didn’t have to support the Varden, & even while doing so it didn’t give Galbatorix any more intelligence than the Twins did. Why send Urgal to attack the Varden when you could just cut their supply lines & let them starve to death?
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• 10/18/2017
i don't really think he cared enough about the varden to cut off their supplies, and he only kept an eye on them so that if saphira hatched he could take action, but until then they were irrelevant.
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• 10/18/2017
That logic is backward. He would have to care about them enough to send supplies at all, otherwise he could simply stop sending them & forget the Varden. It was made pretty clear that it was a massive drain on the country.
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• 10/18/2017
The more i think about it the more it does fit. When he used the intel from the twins to shut down the supplies from Joed and co was a couple of months before Eragon and Brom arrived in Tierm. That is about the same time as Eragon got the egg. If the only reason galbatorix wanted the varden to exist was so they might get the egg to hatch, then bring the rider and dragon to him, that he could then subjugate, then that would be about when he did start to cut them off. Also I don't think he sent the supplies, I think he just didnt try that hard to stop them from getting them.
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• 10/18/2017
It doesn’t make sense if you think about it; the egg had lain dormant for years, & all Galbatorix knew from Durza was that it had escaped his grasp, for all he knew it would continue to lay dormant for years more. He only became somewhat aware of it when the Ra’zac saw Brom in Carvahall & heard about the stone from the traders, but even then he still didn’t know if it had hatched.

Another issue with your theory is that it was said that Galbatorix didn’t conquer Surda or wipe out the Varden because he was busy; he became a recluse for 40 years breaking the minds of the Eldunarí, then reasserted his dominance for a while, but then became a recluse again while searching for the name of the Ancient Language.

In regards to Orrin; he did send supplies, & he mentioned it many times as a sacrifice his country made for the Varden. That brings up yet another hole in the theory; if Galbatorix indeed somehow knew immediately when the egg hatched, & he really was intent upon goading the Varden out through king Orrin, why didn’t he just get Orrin to stop sending supplies at the same time? With the elves, the Varden’s contacts in the Empire, & the Surdans all dropping support for the Varden, they would have no choice but to get up & go immediately, much earlier than they actually did. Yet Orrin continued to support them throughout this time, & Nasuada eventually regained the support of the elves, & with Eragon they had a banner that more & more members would flock to in order to replace the lost Empire contacts, so she very well could have sat tight & waited for Eragon to hone his skills in Ellesméra; it was only by her own choice that they moved out, not Galbatorix.
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