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“Ha! You're confusing appearances with age. You ought to have more sense than that after being around Arya so long.”
Angela was a witch and herbalist. She owned a shop in the city of Teirm, but, as an ally of the Varden, she spent considerable time with the rebels in Farthen Dûr and in Surda. She was often accompanied by a werecat named Solembum. She said that she liked to be wherever big events were happening. She was widely respected, even by the elves.
Angela wore green and black armor that, based on descriptions from Eragon, appears to be metal. Angela's armor has been described as "outlandish flanged armor enameled black and green" (the colors of witches are said to be green, brown, and black). As it would seem to be impossible to enamel leather, all evidence points to Angela's armor having been metal, probably steel. Angela also wore a red cape over her armor during the Battle under Farthen Dûr.
Angela's past is largely a mystery. She claimed to be older than she looked and Oromis speculated that she had stayed in Du Weldenvarden at some point in her life. However, it is never made entirely clear if she is Human or not. Angela had the uncanny ability of showing up wherever significant events were taking place. Furthermore, she obtained a Hûthvír from a member of Dûrgrimst Quan in a game of riddles. Angela was able to speak the Urgal language and had a limited vocabulary in The Ancient Language. It was revealed in Brisingr (book) that, at some point, she was cheated out of a piece of enchanted crystal in a game of Knucklebones by a man with a donkey with a bald patch of fur that resembles a rooster's head, while, ironically, she was also trying to cheat him. Angela was hinted at being uncomfortable with using magic; however, she was occasionally able to cast spells of incredible ingenuity, and she was the only person able to ward herself against Elva. Also, she was notably able to remain unaffected while Arya, Solembum and Eragon were held in place at the same time while in mental combat. In addition, while infiltrating the tunnels beneath Dras-Leona with Eragon, Arya and Solembum, she expended energy through magic to move extraordinarily fast and to stop time momentarily, killing a large group of Helgrind worshippers with her poniard within the span of less than a second.
Angela admitted that she was the apprentice of Tenga for an "unfortunate number of years". It is unknown how or why she parted ways with Tenga, but when Eragon recounted his meeting him to her, she was surprised because she believed him to be dead. She also liked carving figures out of wood: when Eragon visited Tenga and noticed the wood figures on the shelf, Tenga mentioned that Angela was always carving things before she left. Notably, that was also an Urgal custom, as was described by Nar Garzhvog in Brisingr.
It is quite possible that she is a descendant of the Grey Folk. It is also possible that she is a Half-elf or a werecat. Some speculate that she is a hybrid of all the races or perhaps an unknown race altogether. This theory is supported by the fact that she knows the customs of most all of the races. In Brisingr, Arya said "if we judge by years and not wisdom, no human would be considered an adult among my kind. Except Galbatorix". Angela implies that she is human by responding "And me", however this comment could have been due to her being aware of the other characters' assumption that Angela is human or due to Angela possibly being partly human rather than actually being fully human.
Angela owned a shop next to Jeod's house in Teirm. She first encountered Eragon there, when he and Brom asked directions to Jeod's house. She told them how she was trying to prove that the toad in her hand was really a frog, since there was no such thing as toads, only frogs, therefore concluding that toads cannot be used for anything bad, for example; making teeth fall out, causing warts, poisoning or killing people, as well as also preventing witches from using them in any spells. Using a dragon's knucklebones, she read Eragon's fortune. Although she was able to discern almost everything, she claimed that it was the most complicated fortune that she had ever seen. She did predict that he will love one of aristocratic birth, as well as that he will live for a very long time or forever and that he will leave Alagaësia never to return. Later on, in Eldest, Gertrude says that she has heard of Angela as "a remarkable herbalist, Angela by name, who lives here and is supposed to work the most amazing cures, perhaps a touch of magic".
Assisting the Varden Edit
Eragon saw Angela with the Varden when he first arrived there. Angela also fought during the Battle under Farthen Dûr. Angela accompanied the Varden when Nasuada led them to Surda, becoming Nasuada's unofficial adviser. Before the Battle of The Burning Plains, Angela infiltrated the Broddring Empire's camp and poisoned many of the soldiers. This act, though rebuked by Orik, greatly aided the Varden in their victory. Angela did not seem to be proud of her tactics though. Also, Orik said that she had been welcomed in the Varden "for decades". She was one of the very few who were allowed to stay with the Varden without their mind being inspected by the Twins. She met the Werecat King Grimrr Halfpaw, though there was some animosity between the two. Angela reveals her name, although not necessarily her true name, to the High Priest of Helgrind who was horrified, showing she was known among some as being powerful.
However, it is notable that Angela was never under the command of any monarch or faction. She refused to allow the Varden to inspect her thoughts, as she had been with them long before they started the practice. However, she was certainly in favour of the idea of Galbatorix being overthrown and supported the Varden, albeit somewhat half-heartedly at times. Rather than submit to Nasuada's plans for the regulation of magic, Angela again disappeared, though Jeod advised other members of the Arcaena to keep watch for her.
While not directly said, there is some speculation that Angela could be the oracle that lived in the Hall of the Soothsayer mentioned by King Galbatorix while he was torturing Nasuada. He explained she was neither human, dwarf, nor elf. In book three, she is referred to as "seer." Angela has been shown to have lived a very, very long time, although it is unknown how long. While confronting the High Priest in Dras-Leona, she was much more powerful than it and said that they would not have dared confront her if they knew who she really was. She then proceeded to whisper her true identity to the disfigured priest. The High Priest was utterly terrified when she did so. This theory is also supported by the fact that she has predicted the fortunes of others and has predicted Eragon's fate, albeit somewhat vaguely. She also commands great respect from the elves. They bowed down to her and greeted her first, showing their respect for her.
Angela's age is not known, but in Brisingr Angela stated that she would be considered an adult by elf standards (which is very old, considering that Arya was just a century old, which is depicted as young)—much to the bewilderment of Nasuada, who believed the fortuneteller to be around the same age as herself based upon her appearance. She herself claims in Eragon that her youthful appearance is due to eating her own wares when business is slow, although this is most likely not true. In Inheritance, Angela speaks of witnessing a "thunder of dragons," - a flock of ten or more bonded or wild dragons, implying that she's older than the time of the Forsworn and the establishment of the Broddring Empire.
Film version Edit
In the Eragon movie, Angela was portrayed very differently from in the book, being significantly more "mystical," to the point that some viewers felt she was little more than a stereotype of a fortune-teller. She was covered in bangles and only appeared in the scene telling Eragon's future. There was also criticism of this scene as it did not include Solembum. In the film, she tells Eragon's fortune in Daret, rather than Teirm.
On many occasions when she met others, she was known to be eccentric, witty, as well as filled with knowledge. On the whole, she approved of the Varden's motives, but her basis for joining them was still unknown, though said that she liked to be where things were happening.
Angela fought using the Hûthvír she obtained from a member of Dûrgrimst Quan in a game of riddles. Angela could speak the Urgal language and at least a small amount of the Ancient Language (though because Oromis mentioned that she had spent time in Du Weldenvarden, it is possible she could be fluent). She enjoyed knitting, particularly as she could create items of clothing useful to her specifically (for example, the sweater with Dvalar's ward against mad rabbits). King Halfpaw (the Werecat King) feared and despised her, though many Werecats didn't seem to share his views. She was known for having quarrels with the sorcerer Trianna. She also carried the sword she calls Tinkledeath (because of the sound it makes when she taps it), which is a transparent blade made of enchanted diamond. The blade is capable of storing energy, like all jewels, and is the sharpest blade in all of existence.
Angela was described by Oromis as "A woman of short stature with thick, curly brown hair, flashing eyes, and a wit that is as sharp as it is odd." To which Eragon replied: "You have described her perfectly."
Angela's sword was named "Albitr" (pronounced "All-Bite-er"). Angela however liked to call it "Tinkledeath", which she demonstrated by tapping it with her fingernail. It was a diamond sword, considering it could cut through just about anything. Angela let Eragon borrow it for a short amount of time. However, Eragon was uncomfortable with the weapon. Albitr was transparent in color and could easily cut through rock.
Although Angela did not appear intimidating or powerful, she had shown to be extremely adept in magic and surprisingly a skilled fighter: she protected herself from Elva's mental abilities (something even Eragon was not immune to), stated that the Twins would be driven mad if they even tried to breach her mind and killed Kull and Urgals in hand-to-hand combat. She also managed to kill a number of soldiers in Dras-Leona by manipulating the physical bounds of space with a clever spell she learned from Tenga.
During Brisingr, Nasuada had Garven look into the minds of Blödhgarm and several other elves to ensure they were trustworthy, an experience which changed him. Angela immediately objected to this, stating said she should have been the one to probe the elves' minds as "It would have been safer", perhaps suggesting she has a way to resist the effects of doing this.
In the battle of Urû'baen, during Lord Barst's attack on the invading Varden, Roran asked Angela if she could kill Barst, to which she replied that she could, but at the cost of all the lives in Urû'baen, save for Galbatorix's.
Real-world connections Edit
- Christopher Paolini based Angela on and named the character after his sister, Angela Paolini.
- Joss Stone plays Angela in the Eragon movie.
- Angela is a subject of speculation among fans. Because her past is so vague, there have been many theories and fanfictions on the subject.
Angela is comparable to the Oracle from the Matrix Series. Both of them make predictions regarding the main character (Angela makes her prediction regarding Eragon which is very much comparable to the oracle predicting to about Neo). Also the origin of both the characters is unknown and left open for speculation.
There is also significant evidence to suggest that Angela is meant as an homage to the long-running science fiction series Doctor Who. After Brisingr, Christopher Paolini admits to including at least one Doctor Who reference in-story (specifically, the line about the 'Lonely God adrift upon the Sea of Time') and several more appear in connection to Angela. The main character of Doctor Who is the Doctor, a man whose real name is unknown and who belongs to a quasi-immortal race known as the Time Lords. Solembum mentions to Eragon that he has seen many strange things with Angela, including rooms that are "bigger on the inside" than the outside would suggest, a quality ascribed verbatim to the Doctor's TARDIS or space-time ship. Angela is also shown to have control over at least her own passage through time, a technique she uses against soldiers in Dras-Leona. Like the Doctor, she is exceedingly eccentric and effervescent and often makes seemingly random statements in a completely matter-of-fact way. She also has a youthful appearance despite an age on par with or exceeding that of the average elf, a quality shared with the Time Lords. She speaks nearly every language in Alagaesia, the Doctor himself being able to speak almost every language in the universe, is another quality they both share.
In the battle to escape the priests of Helgrind, she says to the chief priest that he wouldn't have dared face her if he had known who she was. She leans in and whispers something (presumably her real name) in his ear. He is horrified. In Doctor Who, the fact that the Doctor's name is a secret is a recurring theme and it's implied that his name reveals him to be someone horrible.
Finally, at the end of Inheritence, Angela is knitting a hat with the beginnings of a word on it, the letters "Raxacori". Raxacoricofallapatorius is the name of a planet in Doctor Who.