Roran Garrowsson, nicknamed "Stronghammer", was a human warrior and Varden leader during the final years of the war against Galbatorix. The son of Garrow and Marian, paternal grandson of Cadoc, he was a first cousin to both Eragon and Murtagh. He was about a year younger than Murtagh but two years older than Eragon, but he and the latter were both so close, however, that they considered each other brothers.
Little was known about Roran's early life. He was born and raised in Carvahall by his father Garrow. His mother, Marian , died when Roran was young. His paternal aunt Selena and her husband Morzan died when he was under three years old. His only other living relatives were his cousins Eragon and Murtagh (the latter of whom he did not know), as well as his De Facto Uncle Brom (by being Eragon's father- though neither knew of such until both were in their late teens).
It was revealed that he was in love with Katrina, daughter of Sloan, the butcher. Roran even said that she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. However, Sloan had never liked Garrow nor his son and would have disapproved of the relationship. Therefore, Roran and Katrina kept their love a secret (except from Eragon) and planned to do so until Roran earned enough money to build a house. This plan never did work out, as Eragon fled Carvahall with Brom and with Garrow's death, Roran needed to return to Carvahall.
Job in TherinsfordEdit
In the BookEdit
Early in Eragon (book), Roran had taken a job in Therinsford working for the miller, Dempton, in order to support Katrina. Roran knew that Sloan wouldn't let him marry his daughter if he was jobless and without a farm and livelihood. Despite his discomfort in leaving his father and Eragon to care for the farm alone, Roran departed for Therinsford soon after being offered the job. His employment was cut short, however, when he received news of his father's murder and the disappearance of his cousin soon after he began the job. He returned to Carvahall to mourn and bury his father, staying at Horst's house temporarily.
In the movieEdit
Instead of going to Dempton's mill to support Katrina he went to avoid being conscripted by the Broddring Empire's Imperial Army. Though a deleted scene featured on the DVD shows him leaving Carvahall with Katrina. This implies it was for both those reasons.
Battle of CarvahallEdit
Some time later, the Ra'zac were dispatched to Carvahall with about thirty soldiers to take Roran hostage. Roran and Baldor spotted the Ra'zac and returned to Carvahall undetected. Roran fled into The Spine as the loyal townspeople claimed he was away on a hunting trip. Over the next few days, the Ra'zac and their soldiers became impatient and in their arrogance, started harming the villagers and their property. One of the soldiers threw a pitcher at Quimby while the farmer was trying to break up a fight, killing him. The Ra'zac took his body and ate the meat and drank the marrow. All his wife Birgit got back were his bones, most of them broken from where the marrow was sucked out. Another soldier got drunk and set the village's hay barn ablaze, consuming a number of other buildings in the process. Following this abuse, the villagers came to a consensus to drive the Ra'zac out of Carvahall. After Parr and Roran ambushed the sentinels, the villagers initially caught the Ra'zac and soldiers off guard and drove them from their camp. However, the Ra'zac retaliated shortly afterwards, murdering Parr and eight other villagers before they were forced to retreat by sheer weight of numbers. It was in this battle that Roran first took a life, killing two men with his newly acquired hammer
In the aftermath of the first skirmish, the villagers of Carvahall realized that by attacking the Broddring Empire's soldiers, they would either be enslaved or killed. Most villagers concluded that surrendering Roran to the Ra'zac would no longer accomplish anything. Others, such as Birgit, felt Roran was responsible for the appearance of the Ra'zac. The villagers built defenses around Carvahall to protect them in the event of a second attack. During this time, Roran became engaged to Katrina without Sloan's knowledge. The Ra'zac and the soldiers returned but were repelled by the villagers again. Roran and Sloan managed to repel the Ra'zac and a group of breaching soldiers between them, however Roran far from identified with Sloan: he found the butcher to be almost maniacal in his defence of Katrina.
After the second attack on Carvahall, Roran pushed to have the women and children temporarily relocated to Igualda Falls at the base of the Spine. Sloan vehemently disagreed with Roran's plan, but most other villagers supported it. Roran talked Katrina into going there with the other women and children, during which she made him promise, no matter what, to never ask that of her again, even if they were before Galbatorix himself.
As Katrina prepared to leave, Sloan spotted her and tried to keep her from going. Roran came to Katrina's aid and revealed to Sloan that the two of them were engaged. Sloan was beside himself with rage and this forced Katrina to choose between her father and her fiance. Katrina told Sloan that she intended to marry Roran. When Sloan lunged for her, Roran knocked him down with a single blow. Enraged and grief-stricken, Sloan disowned Katrina, denied her Ismira's (Katrina's mother) inheritance and barricaded himself in his home.
On the advice of Horst's wife Elain, Roran was prepared to beg for Sloan's forgiveness to avoid bad blood. However, unbeknownst to the villagers, Sloan tried to strike a deal with the Ra'zac in order to rid himself of Roran and save the town and Katrina from the Broddring Empire. Sloan murdered the town's nightwatchman Byrd and allowed the Ra'zac in to take Roran. Roran awoke when the Ra'zac and soldiers breached his room. He was quickly taken captive, but at the intervention of Katrina, was able to arm himself and kill or mortally wound nearly every one of the soldiers. Realising their predicament, the Ra'zac seized Katrina and fled with her. Charging in pursuit, Roran was terribly wounded when a Ra'zac bit his shoulder with its monstrous beak, doing severe damage to the muscle. Horst was able to prevent Roran from being captured, but despite his wounds, Roran convinced Horst, his sons, Ivor and the other villagers to pursue the Ra'zac.
Upon reaching the soldiers' camp, Roran watched the Ra'zac and Lethrblaka leave Carvahall. Utterly destroyed, he prepared to attack the soldiers, but passed out from blood loss before he could charge.
Realising how little was left in life and that Carvahall was doomed, Roran gave a great oration in which he pleaded for the villagers to see their situation and to leave the Broddring Empire and to join the Varden in order to overthrow the Empire, with some great arguments. At last, some families followed him, whilst some families scorned him, he led most of the village on an exodus through the Spine to Narda. Throughout this journey, he grew a beard and managed to recover most of his strength despite the Ra'zac's wound.
Upon arriving in Narda, Roran, Baldor and Horst negotiated passage to Teirm on a trio of barges belonging to Clovis. By this point, Carvahall had been razed to the ground and the Broddring Empire had discovered that Roran and the villagers were on the run. The villagers discovered reward posters for Roran and Eragon, worth ten thousand crowns and an earldom respectively. Roran finally realised that Eragon was still alive and that there was more to his disappearance than it seemed.
On the day of departure, Roran was forced to kill two watchmen who saw through his deceit and recognised him, bringing his total killings to ten. These men in particular haunted Roran in the months to come.
Through Roran's leadership and some intimidation, the villagers reached Teirm safely. At this point Roran, held the position, as the true leader of the villagers and was consulted by Felda what to do regarding Mandel, hers and the late Byrd's son, who was gambling and cavorting with Clovis' sailors. Roran spoke sternly to Mandel and asked him to join the party in Teirm.
In Teirm, Roran and the others discovered Jeod and his wife Helen as a potential avenue for cheap goods, considering that Clovis' barge voyage had consumed much of their coin. After some time bantering, Nolfavrell let slip Gertrude's name, which combined with Jeod's other pieced together information and allowed the merchant to deduce Roran's identity. However, given that he knew Roran as Garrow's son, rather than the Broddring Empire's wanted man, Roran allowed him to speak.
Jeod revealed that Eragon was the next Dragon Rider and all the circumstances that had led to the Ra'zac attacking Carvahall. He then enlisted Uthar and his fellow sailors to pirate the Dragon Wing and transport the entire village in one ship. After reprimanding and winning the respect and loyalty of Mandel, Roran conveyed a message to Horst and managed to seize the Dragon Wing and stow the villagers aboard in one swift strike. The villagers razed Teirm's docks to cover their escape. But even with the destruction of the docks, three black sail sloops were gaining on the ship. The made the risky decision to travel across the Boar's Eye, a giant whirlpool that had destroyed many ships. Having enough men to keep the oars rowing, they escaped the whirlpool's clutches, but the sloops did not. This weighed heavily on Roran's mind losing count of how many he had killed.
Battle of The Burning PlainsEdit
After navigating the Boar's Eye and landing in Dauth, Roran convinced the villagers to join the Battle of The Burning Plains. Roran discovered Eragon and beheld Saphira for the first time, before ordering the men to ground the ship and prepare to alter the fate of Alagaesia.
This won Roran personal favour with Lady Nasuada, as The Twins had betrayed and murdered her father, Ajihad. Afterwards, Roran punched Eragon in the face and reconciled with Eragon on the condition that he join him in killing the Ra'zac and freeing Katrina.
Assault on HelgrindEdit
Early on in Brisingr, Roran accompanied Eragon and Saphira to Helgrind to rescue Katrina. Eragon fought the Ra'zac in the initial fight while Saphira battled the two Lethrblaka. In the battle, the Ra'zac were wounded and forced to retreat into the depths of Helgrind.
After Saphira killed the two Lethrblaka, Eragon and Roran went deeper into Helgrind, where they fought the Ra'zac again. This time, with a fury of blows from his hammer, Roran killed one of the Ra'zac. Afterwards, they found Katrina in a cell and rescued her. Roran and Katrina left on Saphira while Eragon stayed behind to finish off the last of the Ra'zac.
After he returned, Roran requested that he and Katrina be married immediately, for the sake of Katrina's honor. Nasuada understood Roran's meaning and allowed the marriage to commence. However, just hours before the wedding took place, Murtagh and Thorn came to the Varden camp. With the help of twelve elven spellcasters and Arya, Eragon and Saphira managed to best Murtagh and Thorn. Roran and Katrina were married shortly thereafter.
Warrior of the VardenEdit
After marrying Katrina and training in the Varden, Roran was placed under the command of Martland Redbeard. During this time, Roran became friends with Carn, a magician in the Varden. During a fierce skirmish along a riverbank with the painless soldiers, Martland lost a hand. Roran was then transferred to the command of Edric.
Roran disliked Edric for his abrasive personality and micromanagement style. During a battle, Roran and his company faced overwhelming odds, yet the battle was won when Roran employed a different strategy than commanded. This resulted in Roran single-handedly defeating nearly 200 soldiers (193 to be exact) with hammer and spear. His men hailed him as a hero, but Roran was disarmed and bound by Edric for his insubordination. Edric then commanded him to Nasuada.
When the company returned to the Varden, Roran was presented with a choice of punishments for disobedience by Nasuada: he could receive thirty lashes and be dispelled from the Varden or he could receive fifty lashes. He chose fifty, saying the physical pain would not compare to being dispelled.
Before the whipping, Jörmundur provided Roran with a piece of leather to bite down on during the ordeal to prevent him from biting his tongue and afterwards told Katrina that Roran displayed impressive fortitude. (Because Roran requested her not be there and Katrina stayed in their tent.) Roran refused to show his pain and bore the fifty lashes without uttering a scream.
Afterward, Roran was partially healed by Trianna and Angela only because Roran was a strong soldier, a skilled tactician in battle, and cousin to Eragon. Nasuada promoted him and gave him his own command.
Despite the immense pain and injury he had suffered, Roran was ordered to lead a force of both Urgals and Humans against the Broddring Empire. His missions were successful, but after one, Roran's command was challenged by an Urgal ram named Yarbog. Roran defeated Yarbog with his bare hands while covered in oil, forcing the Urgal to submit to him as the rightful leader.
Roran led the front lines of the Varden in the Battle of Feinster. He learned during the battle that Brom was Eragon's father, not Morzan.
As mentioned in the excerpt of the first chapter, Into the Breach, Roran survived the Battle of Feinster. He later fought with the Varden in Belatona and was in terrible danger when the front wall of the keep fell outwards towards him. Realizing he could not escape, Roran seemed to accept his fate. The excerpt ends with that.
In a later excerpt, it is revealed Roran survived this incident because of his positioning under an archway as the wall collapsed. He was later present during the making of an alliance between the Varden and the Werecats. Roran was present in the many battles later, including Dras-Leona and Urû'baen. He is known as the Hero of Aroughs, as he and his army of only 800 men took the heavily fortified city of Aroughs from a much larger force. Roran also confronted the mighty Barst and stopped his rampage during the Battle of Urû'baen. Barst was the commander in Urû'baen protected by Galbatorix's Magic and Eldunarí. Roran crushing his Armor inward, winning the battle.
As a reward for his services, Queen Nasuada ennobled Roran, giving him the earldom of Palancar Valley. Roran planned to build a castle on a hill in Carvahall.
Roran was older than Eragon but younger than Murtagh. He had shaggy brown hair, gray eyes, as well as a muscular and sturdy build. During Eldest, he grew a beard to make it more difficult for his enemies to recognize him. He carried a hammer with him almost everywhere, though he occasionally also used a sword, spear, and shield.
Roran was initially inexperienced in combat, but because of his life on the farm, plowing and doing manual labor for hours every day, he had a natural strength and stamina that few could match. Roran gradually became more and more experienced as a fighter, although his initial lesson to "do whatever it takes to win" never left his head. His preferred weapon was a hammer, although there were several battles where he utilized a spear for long periods of time. He came to be considered one of the greatest warriors in the land by slaying 193 men in one battle single-handedly, ending the battle on a huge hill of corpses. He also killed one of the deadly Ra'zac himself: albeit, he attacked the Ra'zac whilst it was distracted.
Roran also had a talent for recognizing telepathy when used upon him. He could sense it when Eragon touched his mind before he started to talk with him, even though he had no training in sensing the minds of others prior to this. When Eragon taught him how to defend his mind from enemy magicians, Roran used his love and devotion to Katrina as his mental barrier. However, his concentration was flawed, as his focus quickly faltered the moment his mind wondered. Roran also expressed an interest in learning magic, which he felt was a necessity to have in battle. However, despite his efforts, his attempts at magic were fruitless. Additionally, Roran considered himself a skilled hunter and woodsman - enough that he could find food this way - but not as skilled as Eragon. Roran believed that a man's fate should be in his skills with sword and shield, rather than whether or not the enemy has someone acquainted with magic.
Roran was a practical, straightforward, as well as down-to-earth character. Originally, he was narrow-minded, but became more open-minded as the series progressed. After his farm was razed, he began to think about things more than ever before.
Roran had incredible determination and fortitude. He was always willing to go to any lengths for the villagers and his love, Katrina, often rushing into danger regardless of the risks to himself and enduring the most intense hardships and ordeals (such as being whipped near to death) gladly and without complaint, so long as it advanced his goals. He promised Katrina that he would rebuild his farm by hand to secure his future with her, despite the huge amounts of work it would take. He later commented to Eragon that his determination drove him to lengths ordinary men would not follow.
He was also a natural leader, making fiery speeches, convincing large groups of people to rally to his cause and leading the people of Carvahall across The Spine all the way to Surda to escape Galbatorix's Imperial Army. This power of oration was not seen in any other character with the exceptions of Elva and the dark king himself. He was willing to make somewhat controversial and often risky decisions, such as attacking Galbatorix's troops, stealing the Dragon Wing and going against the orders of his superiors in order to accomplish his goals, which came out as a success.
Lackhammer (mocking)- For having no hammer when he fought Barst
Garrowsson- For being Garrow's son
Hero of Aroughs- For capturing Aroughs with a small force
Bane of the Ra'zac- For killing the Ra'zac
Earl- For killing Lord Barst and given rule over Palancar Valley.
- ↑ Eldest, p.132