I am diminished.— Islanzadí
Islanzadí Dröttning, the mother of Arya, was the elven Queen at the time of the Rider War, having ascended the throne following the death of her mate, Evandar, at the hands of Galbatorix during the Battle of Ilirea.
Islanzadí (pronounced iss-lan-ZAH-dee) was similar in appearance to her daughter Arya, with Raven-black hair and stunning beauty. Eragon noted that she was the model for some of the art in his home in Ellesméra. She was famous for wearing a red tunic and a mantle made of Swan feathers, though in Brisingr, when Eragon contacted her, she wore lustrous Golden Armor during times of war. Eragon also noted that Islanzadí was erratic and very judgmental and that if he was forced to choose a leader to follow, Islanzadí would not be his first choice.
Role in the Cycle
After Arya pledged herself to serving Alagaësia and the Varden, the relationship between Islanzadí and Arya was strained, even to the point where she banned Arya from her presence. Though they made up when Arya returned with Eragon to Ellesméra, they had not been on good terms for over seventy years. She also held a great respect for the Dragon Rider, Brom, gifting him with the honour of "Elf-Friend" and presenting him with Aren as a symbol of her respect. Islanzadí apparently knew or at least knew of Saphira I, recognizing her name when Saphira's predecessor introduced herself.
When her daughter vanished at the edge of Du Weldenvarden while transporting Saphira's egg, Islanzadí withdrew her support to the Varden due to depression. When Arya returned, Islanzadí used the pressure of all the watching aristocrats to manipulate Arya into publicly forgiving her.
Islanzadí later joined with the Varden and was involved in the capture of Ceunon and Gil'ead. However, she died in combat at Urû'baen when she was overpowered by Barst, an Eldunarí-fuelled Imperial lord. Before she died, she cursed Barst, but what she cursed him with or why is unknown. Arya was chosen to succeed her by the elves.
There are several similarities between Islanzadí and J. R. R. Tolkien's character Galadriel: Both are elven women, both rule a forest kingdom, both are more prominent in the stories than their husband/mate and both are related to a central character's love interest (Islanzadí being Arya's mother, Galadriel being Arwen's grandmother in The Lord of the Rings). Islanzadí's gifts to Eragon are also similar to Galadriel's gifts to the members of the Fellowship of the Ring. Also, Islanzadí made a statement similar to Galadriel when she said, "I am diminished" after Oromis chided her for not scrying the land as was her duty.
She also shows similarities to Padmé Amidala of Star Wars in their roles as leaders of their people. Padme having been Princess of Theed, Queen of Naboo and later Senator of Naboo while Islanzadí was Queen of the Elves after the death of her mate and before her own. Also just as Islanzadi was the mother of Arya, Padme was the mother of Leia Organa Solo (born Leia Amidala Skywalker), both of whom would follow in their mother's footsteps.
- Evandar, mate (deceased), former king of the elves
- Arya, daughter and heiress
- Dellanir, mother of mate and paternal grandmother of daughter, former queen of the elves