For thousands of years, dragon riders maintained peace in the kingdom of Alagaesia. Then they were betrayed by one of their own, Galbatorix (John Malkovich), who slaughtered all of the dragon riders along with their dragons before proclaiming himself King of Alagaesia.
While hunting in the mountains, Eragon (Ed Speleers), a 17-year-old farm boy, stumbles upon a large blue dragon’s egg, which has been magically transported there by the elvan warrior Arya (Sienna Guillory). Eragon takes the egg home where it hatches a baby dragon named Saphira (voiced by Rachel Weisz). When Eragon releases the young dragon for its first flight, it transforms into a fully fledged adult dragon able to communicate telepathically with him.
Eragon meets Brom (Jeremy Irons), a fallen ex-dragon rider, who convinces him to take his dragon and seek out the Varden, a group of rebels. But Eragon receives a dream message from Arya, who is being held prisoner by an evil sorcerer called Durza (Robert Carlyle). Eragon must free Arya and continue in his attempts to overthrow King Galbatorix.
There is considerable violence in this movie. For example:
- There is a battle with dragons, swords impaling soldiers, soldiers being struck by axes; some blood spurting and trickling from wounds.
- A soldier is shot in the chest with an arrow.
- A soldier leaps at Arya and knocks her from her horse.
- Village youths are dragged off against their will to join the King’s army.
- Eragon is burned on the hand by the dragon’s egg.
- Arya is held prisoner by Durza, who uses invisible forces to torture her.
- An Urgal says that he will ‘find the boy and kill him before he becomes a man’.
- Durza stabs an Urgal in the foot with a spear. The Urgal screams in pain.
- Guards bully and threaten Brom.
- Razacs (demonic creatures) kill Eragon’s uncle by appearing to cut his throat although no blood is depicted.
- There are sounds of women screaming and people being attacked, but images of the attack are not shown.
- Eragon is attacked by an Urgal, which is stabbed in the back by Brom.
- Brom bashes an Urgal in the head with a flaming torch and another across the face.
- Eragon shoots an arrow at a group of Urgals. The arrow bursts into flames and exploding as it hits the Urgals, flinging them in all directions.
- A Razac leaps from a tree, pulling Eragon from his dragon. Eragon uses magic to bring a tree vine to life, which wraps itself around the Razac’s throat, lifting it up into the trees while strangling it.
- Brom impales a Razac through the chest with his sword.
- Eragon and Brom fight with staffs with Brom knocking Eragon down.
- Brom tells Eragon how he killed a man in revenge and how the man’s dragon died as a result.
- Durza kills an Urgal by touching a long black fingernail to the Urgal’s temple. A trickle of blood runs down the side of the Urgal’s face.
- Durza uses his fingernail to touch Arya on the side of her face. A black web-like bruise appears on Arya’s chest and begins to spread.
- When Eragon attempts to rescue Arya he fights Urgals and Durza. Violent images in this scene include Eragon shooting Durza in the forehead with an arrow, Eragon shooting several guards in the forehead with arrows, a stranger (youth) shooting guards with arrows, Brom getting speared in the shoulder, and the dragon bitting off the head of a guard.
- Brom slowly dies from his spear wound.
- An Urgal grabs a Varden by the throat and breaks his neck.
- A large battle scene erupts when the Urgals attack the Varden stronghold. In this scene, a wall explodes as hundreds of Urgals storm through wielding weapons attacking the Varden. There are images of weapons being wielded, swords impaling chests, and cut throats (there is minimal blood and gore).
- A dragon spews fire over hundreds of Urgals, setting them on fire.
- A dragon picks up a man in her mouth and throws him some distance.
- Durza uses dark magic to create a demonic dragon to attack Eragon and his dragon. Eragon is told to rip Durza’s heart out of his chest.
- Good and evil Dragons do battle in the sky with the evil dragon viciously biting the good dragon on the head and neck. The good dragon falls to the ground badly wounded with large bloody bites taken from the dragon’s neck.
- Durza hurls fireballs at Eragon and a good dragon. Eragon jumps from his dragon to land on the evil dragon.
- Eragon spears Durza through his heart with a spear, which makes Durza and the evil dragon explode in flames.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of eight. For example:
- Durza is a sorcerer possessed with demonic spirits. At the start of the film, Durza is seen as tall handsome, pale man with red hair and maroon eyes while commanding an intimidating and threatening presence. As Durza uses more and more of his demonic powers, he gradually transforms until he is left looking evil and inhuman, complete with black teeth and a corpse-like mouth.
- The Urgals are bald headed, tattoo faced, sharp teethed, brutish looking men.
- A butcher chops up pieces of raw meat, and dead rabbits are shown hanging in the window.
- A sorcerer walks through a wall of fire.
- Brom sets fire to Eragon’s uncle’s body and his house.
- Durza uses dark magic to resurrect Razacs, which burst from the ground, accompanied by bats. Razacs are scary, demonic creatures with maggots crawling over their faces.
- When Saphira hatches, she is friendly and looks like a puppy with wings. As an adult she has a definite feminine appearance to her face, but can take on a scary, threatening appearance.
- The King’s dragon revealed at the end of the film is scary and evil in appearance.
- The dragon-like creature created by Durza’s dark magic is completely evil in appearance, very dark and scary.
- The scenes when Eragon is learning to ride his dragon look reckless and dangerous and may scare younger children.
- Eragon has the ability to see through his dragon’s eyes. When this happens Eragon’s eyes become reptilian in appearance.
Many children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the scenes described above.
Many children over the age of 13 can probably cope with the violence and images presented throughout the film. Be aware, though, of your own child’s level of susceptibility and previous exposure to films depicting fantasy and frightening images.
Nudity and sexual activity
None of concern
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Although this movie contains no coarse language, it does include infrequent put-downs.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Eragon is a fantasy action adventure based on books written by Christopher Paolini, which targets a younger adolescent audience. Children in this age group would be able to talk with you about themes such as the triumph of good over evil, the masses rising up to overthrow tyranny, youth overpowering corrupt evil adults and youth recognising their destiny. The film emphasises the message: ‘without fear there can be no courage’.
In your discussion, you might wish to focus on values in the movie such as the self-sacrifices made by several of the film’s characters on behalf of others. You could also talk about the real-life effects and consequences of war and violent acts, and how these acts have a negative impact on the families of victims.