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If Saphira chose Eragon, why did it take the dragon so long to hatch for him?

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Christopher Paolini answered this question on his recent Facebook AMA.

Why didn't Saphira hatch as soon as Eragon touched the egg?
After so long spent in Galbatorix's clutches -- and after having endured many, many attempts to force her into hatching, Saphira was in no hurry to emerge until she was absolutely sure it was the right choice.

Upon further research, it seems he answered this back in 2010 as well:

I was wondering why Saphira’s egg did not hatch for Eragon for more than a week?
Usually it didn’t take so long for a dragon egg to hatch. However, (and I believe I said this in one of the books) Saphira had been Galbatorix’s captive for so long, she was afraid that Eragon’s presence might have been just another trick. So, she waited just to make sure. Also, I think that, after a century of waiting, Saphira decided to take charge of the situation herself. She wasn’t about to leave her fate solely in the hands of this young farmboy who had found her.

Further research yet shows it answered as far back as 2005.

What took Saphira so long to hatch? She was in Eragon's presence for a while.
She was afraid that it still might be a trap by Galbatorix, who had try to trick her many times before.

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  • Why then would Thorn have hatched for Murtagh?
    – David
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 2:33
  • @David - For all we know Thorne may have also taken a few days to hatch. Or he could have just been more rash than Saphira was.
    – ibid
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 3:25
  • I mean couldn't he still sense Galbatorix
    – David
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 23:24
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    @David - I was thinking that he needed the right "guy". That Murtagh was the right person likely forced Galbatorix into using him as a dragon rider. I get the sense that he wasn't "#1" before that. It might even be the characteristics of Eragon informed Galbatorix's selection of Murtagh. Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 2:13
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    My next edit will probably be to find an answer from before the book was published.
    – ibid
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 6:30

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