Horst Ostrecsson was a male human and the blacksmith of the village of Carvahall. He was a friend of Eragon and Roran. He was married to Elain and together, they had two sons, Albriech, Baldor, as well as a daughter Hope. Eragon, with his uncle Garrow and cousin Roran would occasionally have dinner at Horst’s house. Horst had built his own two-story house in Carvahall overlooking the mountains: he lavished all of his skill on it. Horst is not very fond of the village butcher, Sloan.
Horst is a tall, hulking man with a wild mane of black hair. His arms are usually bare to the elbow and has a hairy muscular chest.
Although Horst is a kind man, he is also hard working. Horst considered it against his fiber to cheat a man out of honest work. He considered Sloan a troublemaker and threatened Sloan once by telling him that it would be a bad idea not to sell to him. After Garrow's death he served as something of a father figure to Eragon and Roran: he stood in for Garrow as Roran's father during Roran's wedding to Katrina.
Horst's father was Ostrec. When Horst was fifteen, his mentor, Bartram, died. Since Horst’s training to become a smith was not yet complete, Horst went in search of another blacksmith, who would be willing to finish his training. He eventually went to Ceunon and met Kelton, who agreed to finish his training. Kelton seemed to be involved with Horst’s marriage to Elain.
Role in Eragon
When Eragon found a dragon egg in the Spine and tried to trade it with Sloan for food, Sloan would not take it, so Horst bought the food for Eragon. In order to pay off Horst for buying the food for him, Eragon was offered and accepted the opportunity to work for Horst to pay off his debt. Later, when the Ra'zac came into Carvahall searching for the egg, Horst warned Eragon and told him to head back home.
After Garrow’s farm was destroyed by the Ra’zac, Horst let the town healer, Gertrude, take care of the dying Garrow at his house and let Eragon stay there as well until he healed, as well as even considered letting Eragon move in with his family. However, Eragon eventually decided to pursue the Ra'zac. Eragon and Saphira fled Carvahall in the company of Brom, rather than reveal Saphira's existence to Horst and the other villagers.
After the destruction of Garrow's homestead, Albriech wanted to pursue the Ra’zac, a course of action which Horst considered both foolish and dangerous. Eragon's unexpected departure from Carvahall left Horst and Elain searching Carvahall to try to find where Eragon went, while his sons were sent to tell Roran of his father's death.
Role in Eldest
When Roran returned to Carvahall, having quit his job in Therinsford, Horst allowed him to stay at his house until he had rebuilt Garrow's house and farm. He also gave Roran a job at his forge. Roran helped Horst's family by hunting for food during his stay. His wife had become pregnant with their third child during this time. They had a little trouble with Thane who believed that Albriech had taken his scythe. During this time, Horst was working on Quimby's wagon, but had trouble getting the frame to sit square. While Horst was working on Quimby's wagon Roran burst into his forge and informed him that the Ra'zac had returned and this time with an army. Horst allowed Roran to use his horse which was currently with Ivor and sent him to get food from his house then hide in the mountains. Horst told Roran he would cover for him by telling the Ra'zac that Roran was out hunting and that they would not know when he would return, as well as that he would send one of his sons out to tell Roran what they wanted. Later Horst fought against the Ra'zac at the Battle of Carvahall. Horst and his family joined Roran in the evacuation of Carvahall and made it safely to Surda.
Role in the Eragon movie
In the movie, almost all of Horst's role is cut: he is reduced to making a cameo at the bar. In the movie, he tells of how his sons were taken by the soldiers to join the Broddring Empire's army, when in fact they played a significant role in the books.