Nasuada is the daughter of Ajihad and a member of the Varden. Upon her father's death at the beginning of Eldest, she becomes the leader of the Varden. After Galbatorix's death, she becomes High Queen of Alagaësia and monarch of the Broddring Empire.
Nasuada is described as being dark-skinned, like her father, with dark "moss-like hair", She often wore her hair styled up in elaborate braids and curls. She had brown eyes. She is apparently rather beautiful: in Eragon, Murtagh says "I've seen earls and counts who had wives, compared to her, were more fitted for life as a hog than of nobility," to describe her.
Battle under Farthen Dur Edit
When the King's Urgals invaded the dwarf tunnels and nearly destroyed the city in the battle, Nasuada secretly defied her father's orders to stay hidden and being skilled with the bow, instead chose to fight alongside the archers. She was unperturbed by Ajihad's rage, when he discovered she had disobeyed him.
Queen of the Varden Edit
Eragon has a sense of foreboding, remembering the prophecy of his epic romance with one of aristocratic birth: he initially believes Nasuada could be the subject of the prophecy (though this is later revealed to be untrue, as his true love is actually the elf princess Arya). When Ajihad is killed at the beginning of the novel, Nasuada becomes the new leader of the Varden. Due to limitation of resources in the Varden's stronghold in Farthen Dûr, she leads the Varden to Surda, a rebel country to the south of Alagaësia, separate from the Broddring Empire, that holds a secret allegiance to the Varden. Nasuada convinces King Orrin to become open in their allegiance. She persuades Trianna the sorceress to devise a means of creating lace by magic, which could be sold to raise funds for the Varden, as lace is very expensive, rare, and valued in these books. Nasuada commands Surda and the Varden's forces at the Battle of the Burning Plains. At that battle, she also declares Eragon her successor as leader to the Varden in case of her death.
Trial of the Long Knives Edit
Nasuada leads the Varden to capture the city of Feinster from the Broddring Empire. She informs Eragon that the Varden plan to march to Belatona, then to Dras-Leona and finally to Urû'baen, where they plan to kill Galbatorix (though they don't know how they will do this). She also reveals how much she cares for the Varden by taking part in a ritual against Fadawar leader of one of the "Wandering Tribes" called "The Trial of the Long Knives", wherein a contestant cuts his or her own arms until one of the two surrenders, which she wins, cutting herself nine times (six on one arm and three on the other), more than any other contestant in the trial of the Long Knives has endured before.
One night, Murtagh and Thorn broke into the Varden's camp and kidnapped Nasuada. They brought her to Uru'baen, where Galbatorix asked if she would join him. She refused multiple times and each time she did, Galbatorix made Murtagh burn her with hot iron. Later, Galbatorix did many more forms of torture to her, like the gruesome Burrow Grubs and causing her to hallucinate horrible things, like the Ra'zac. Despite her torture, Murtagh's growing love for Nasuada would allow him to protect her to the best of his ability against the king's torturous implements. Although disgusted with him at first, she later warmed to him and started to reciprocate his feelings as he became her only companion. He also put a spell on her so that she will, most of the time, feel no pain to Galbatorix's torture.
Nasuada was a witness to the final battle in Galbatorix's throne room as she had been chained to a slab of rock by the king. She also witnessed the duel between Eragon and Murtagh which ended in Murtagh's defeat at Eragon's hands and the former's defection to the Varden to save her life. After Galbatorix's death, she was released and saved by Murtagh and Thorn who healed her from her wounds suffered during her long torture. However, Murtagh decided that it would be best if he put himself into a self-imposed exile so that he and Thorn could recover from what Galbatorix did to them. Nasuada was saddened by his decision but accepted it. Upon Galbatorix's death, Nasuada becomes the new ruler of the Broddring Empire and would undoubtedly prove to be a far more just and benevolent ruler than the old king.
- Dagger: She had a jeweled sheathed dagger. In Eragon, it was strapped to her waist; in Eldest, it was strapped to her forearm; and in Brisingr it was hidden in the folds of her dress.
- Smaller Knife: She kept an additional smaller 4-inch knife hidden in the bodice of her undergarments.
- Bow and Arrows: She fought as an archer in the Battle of Farthen Dûr and continued honing her archery in Brisingr.
- Armor: She wore a suit of metal armor and had the skill of mental armor, as taught to her by a one-legged man by the name of Hargrove.
- Horse: Nasuada's stallion was named Battle-storm.
- Sharpened spoon: During her imprisonment in Uru'baen, she had managed to sharpen a spoon and kill her jailer and two soldiers before being taken back to her room.
Nasuada had a very determined and strong-willed personality: she utterly refused to join Galbatorix even when he subjected her to horrific tortures, which few other people would've been able to withstand. Even though she was very young (a year or so older than Eragon), she soon earned the respect of the Varden's people and army alike. She was witty and intelligent, often using her elf-like capability to present the truth as it suited her needs in order to convince people. Despite of all these, she sometimes enjoyed herself and acted her own age, such as the "Feast with Friends" chapter in Brisingr and during her conversations with Murtagh in Uru'baen. She is shown in Inheritance to have a desire for a loving husband and children.
Nasuada did consider Orrin as a potential partner, but did not harbor any romatic feelings for him, instead thinking that if they did marry than it would be due to politics, not love.
She soon developed a strong trust and attachment for Murtagh, during her captivity in Uru'baen. She allowed him to embrace her and comfort her, which she would never have allowed any other person. Nothing came of their feelings towards one another however, while Christopher Paolini has implied that any feelings Nasuada had for Murtagh would've been undermined by the various atrocities he committed while enslaved by Galbatorix; in Nasuada's own words, "I cannot forgive, but I understand." In her role as Alagaesia's queen, it would also pose a challenge to retain the people's love and respect if she had begun a relationship with Murtagh, due to his actions.