In the Inheritance Cycle, when

Brom dies,

he tells Eragon seven words in the ancient language, adjuring him only to use them in a time of great need.

“It is the way of things . . . I must. Will you take my blessing?” Eragon bowed his head and nodded, overcome. Brom placed a trembling hand on his brow. “Then I give it to you. May the coming years bring you great happiness.” He motioned for Eragon to bend closer. Very quietly, he whispered seven words from the ancient language, then even more softly told him what they meant. “That is all I can give you.... Use them only in great need.”

Now, Eragon obtains significantly better instruction in magic later on, compared to what he received from Brom. So he might already have learned these words. He also has had what could be considered many "times of great need," with no mention of the words.

Nonetheless, is there any in-story evidence or authorial confirmation as to what those words might be?

3 Answers 3


We don't know, but Paolini plans to write a cash-in book to tell us.

Paolini answered this in an online interview:

What were the seven words in ancient language Brom said to Eragon when he was dying?

They’re the centerpiece of a short story/novella that I’ve been wanting to write for ages. Hopefully I can get to it before too long.

  • Any update since 2016?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 20:27
  • @Valorum Not as far as I can find from searching the internet. ibid might know.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 20:50
  • @Valorum - Still plans to write a cash-in book, though with what we know we can presume his plan is to it in his new Tales from Alagaësia series.
    – ibid
    Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 21:06

Subject of a future side-book / short story; one of the words has already appeared in the series.

Back in 2010, before the final book was written, Paolini said the book would feature them.

How will Brom’s seven words to Eragon show up in the fourth book, also I think Solumbum’s riddle will come in again, right?

Christopher Paolini: You’ll have to read Book Four in order to find out what happens with Brom’s seven words and Solembum’s riddle.

Random Buzzers Q&A with Christopher Paolini 2010

However he didn't end up fitting them in and so decided he would tackle it in a short story.

Let’s talk about Brom’s “seven words”. There are fan theories on both sides of the aisle here — they’re either seven regular words of no real importance, given to Eragon to help him survive the next few weeks (my personal favorite) or they were seven powerful words that Eragon never got around to using. Were these included in the books without mention, or something else entirely?

Christopher Paolini: There is a mention of one of the words (a death word) in either Eldest or Brisingr. However, the words didn’t have a role to play in this series. I tried to find a place to fit them in, but there wasn’t any. Eragon doesn’t use words to defeat Galbatorix, and the one place where it might have made sense to draw upon them (the hallway going into the throne room) Eragon uses what Oromis taught him about teleportation to defeat Galbatorix’s traps. So, a long time ago, I decided to address the seven words separately, in a short story aside from the main series. Again, as I said before, Eragon is going to live a very long time, and the events in the cycle are only at the very beginning of his life.

Shurtugal.com - First Post-Inheritance Interview with Christopher

In 2018 he confirmed that this will not appear in Book V, but in one of the spin-off books.

Before Brom died he whispered 7 words at Eragon. Will they be mentioned in book V?

Christopher Paolini: They're a subject of another book (not Book V, lol).

Reddit AMA

Currently, Christopher is publishing his short stories through a spin-off series titled "Tales from Alagaësia". It wasn't in the first volume and isn't one of the two stories he's said will be in the second volume, so we can assume it'll be in the third volume or later.

To recap:

  • We don't know
  • It wasn't mentioned in any of the published books
  • It will not be covered in Book V
  • There will be a short story written about it, probably in one of the Tales from Alagaësia volumes, (#3 or later)
  • One of the words was already mentioned in print, as a death word in Eldest or Brisingr.
  • Any update since Jan?
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 6, 2020 at 16:03
  • @Valorum - I found this nice quote from 2017, but it doesn't add anything not already in the answer.
    – ibid
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 11:28

I think it has something to do with 1. The Name of Names 2. the Great Eldunarí. The logic for the Name of Names lies in Inheritance when Eragon first hears the Name of Names he describes it like this:

The word reverberated within Eragon's mind, and every part of him seemed to strum in response, as if he were an instrument in which the bard struck the chord

so that means he already knew the name. Also in another book Eragon brings up the Name of Names, but Brom dismisses it saying that it is just a forgotten word.

Then my proof for the Eldunarí is many times in all the books they mention something about what eventually becomes dragon when they die. If you read Inheritance you will know that when he meets the six great Eldunarí they say that everything that happened to him they helped with. They also say that they used both Brom and Morzan as tools to try and defeat Galbatorix so I think that the Eldunarí made Brom say those words to help Eragon along his way. So I think that they were hinting at him to come find them before it was to late.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. This is more of an answer to what the words mean than what was actually said. It also seems to be largely speculation, since it doesn't quote anything about the speaking or remembering of the words themselves.
    – DavidW
    Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 20:26
  • What you say is true but if you read all the books you will find proof of these answers Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 20:08

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