In the 3rd book of Inheritance Cycle (Brisingr) , Eragon gets the nodule of Brightsteel from the Menoa Tree. And in return, the tree took something from Eragon:

" ... felt a tinge in his lower belly ... "

But even until the end of Inheritance, it is not mentioned what the tree took from Eragon. Can anyone let me know what it took from Eragon?

  • 15
    I always chose to assume it was his appendix, because appendixes are as useless as this plot point was.
    – user31178
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 17:01
  • @WebHead - Looks like it wasn't that. See the recent edit to my answer.
    – ibid
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 9:33

6 Answers 6


From Brisingr, hardback ed. p. 659 (emphasis not mine):

Will you give me what I want in return [for the brightsteel], Dragon Rider?

I will, Eragon said without hesitation. Whatever the price, he would gladly pay it for a Rider's sword.

The canopy of the Menoa tree grew still, and for several minutes, all was quiet in the clearing. Then the ground began to shake and the roots in front of Eragon began to twist and grind, shedding flakes of bark as they pulled aside to reveal a bare patch of dirt, out of which emerged what appeared to be a lump of corroded iron roughly two feet long and and a foot and a half wide. As the ore came to rest on the surface of the rich black soil, Eragon felt a slight twinge in his lower belly. He winced and rubbed at the spot, but the momentary flare of discomfort had already vanished. Then the root around his ankle loosened and retreated into the ground, as did those that had been holding Saphira in place.

Here is your metal, whispered the Menoa tree. Take it and go....

But-- Eragon started to ask.

Go...said the Menoa tree, its voice fading away. Go...And the tree's consciousness withdrew from him and Saphira, receding deeper and deeper into itself until Eragon could barely sense its presence. Around them, looming pines relaxed and resumed their usual position.

"But...," Eragon said out loud, puzzled that the Menoa tree had not told him what she wanted.

[....] (skip a couple paragraphs)

At least we got the brightsteel, said Eragon, and the Menoa tree ... well, I don't know what she got, but we have what we came for, and that's what matters.

This is one of the biggest unanswered questions in the entire cycle. It is never explicitly answered, but the most common thought is that the tree was telling Eragon to "Go" - to leave Alagaesia forever. Eragon did in fact visit the Menoa tree again in Inheritance to ask what she wanted from him, but again the only answer he got was "Go." Source here and here.

The other commonly proposed theory is that it took Eragon's ability to have children (due to the twinge in his lower belly). However, this theory was popular mainly before the release of the fourth book. While it is possible, the lack of any sort of mention of anything related to children of Eragon in the final book makes this unlikely.

  • Sad Paolini didn't mention it :/ I would have loved to know what he was thinking about when he wrote that part. Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 5:37
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    Yeah, unfortunately there are a lot of things he didn't address. Overall, I was pleased with the book but there were things that I would like to have answered.
    – The Fallen
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 15:57
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    It didn't take his ability to have children (twitter.com/paolini/status/801129329446916097) Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 18:31

Christopher Paolini has often been asked this in interviews. His Word of God answer is usually No Comment.

Going back to when Eragon and Saphira coaxed the Menoa tree into giving them the Brightsteel – does the momentary pain in Eragon’s stomach have anything (or everything) to do with what the Menoa tree wanted from them?
Whatever the Menoa tree did or didn’t do, her plans are as long, intricate, and slow-moving as her consciousness.

What did the Menoa Tree take from Eragon?
The Menoa tree did take something from Eragon, but I can’t say what without spoiling my next book set within Alagaësia.

Please, please, please, share your knowledge... What did the Menoa Tree take from Eragon?! Or is that a "No comment" question?
No comment. :-)

I think this might have been answered, but did the tree take something physical, magical, or metaphorical?
No comment.

But he does say that we will eventually find out in the later books, specifically book V.

Will we ever find out affirmatively what the Elf tree took from Eragon?

Before Inheritance came out, you always answered spoiler questions like "Go read Book Four" for such questions like "What did the Menoa Tree take?" It was never revealed what the tree took in that book. When you answer such questions with "Book Five" do you really mean that these questions will be answered in Book Five?
Yes. Those questions will be answered in Book V. (smart of you to ask!)

Paolini also has confirmed that "Go" meant "leave Alagaesia"...

Fix me if i'm wrong-the Menoa Tree told Eragon to go..so she had probably meant that she wants him to leave Alagaesia, right?
That's exactly right.

...but the tree did not take away or contribute to the prophecy of Eragon leaving Alagaesia.

Did the Menoa tree take the prophecy of leaving Alagaesia and never returning away from Eragon?
Good guess but no. source

Was the Menona Tree’s price for Eragon to leave forever?

Whatever it was that she took, it wasn't his or Saphira's ability to have children.

Can Eragon have children? Or did the Menoa tree take that?
Eragon can still have children (though given the changes from the Blood-Oath Celebration, might be difficult w/human or elf)

Can Saphira still have children?
Of course. Dragon eggs for all.

Did the Menona Tree’s price to take Saphira’s ability to have eggs?

Whatever was taken only affected Eragon, not Saphira.

Was Saphira affected by whatever the Menoa Tree took?

It also wasn't his moral regard for life.

I think I've figured out what the Menoa Tree took from Eragon. -a small part of his moral in regarding life (or maybe Eragon's regard for life is just disappearing slowly in general.)
Alas, no -- but it would certainly make for a great metaphor! You should be proud of your idea; it's one of the best I've heard so far.

It wasn't death.

Did the Menoa Tree take death from Eragon (as in a incurable disease)?

It wasn't his or Saphira's Heart of Hearts.

There was an interesting theory that Eragon got a heart of hearts during the blood earth celebration and that the Menoa Tree took it. Can you confirm this isn't the case?
I can confirm that isn't the case. But that said, it's a COOL theory. Makes sense too: being given the heart of a dragon.

Is it possible that the Menoa Tree took Saphira's Eldunari or does a dragon notices it if its Eldunari mysteriously disappears?
A dragon would DEFINITELY notice if their Eldunarí were snatched away.

It wasn't even his appendix.

I vaguely remember that it was a twinge in his lower belly that happened when the Menoa Tree took something from him. Nowadays I'd have guessed it was his ability to have kids, but as a kid reading the book, I had just learned about how useless your appendix is, so I kind of assumed it was his appendix. Maybe useless to him, and food for it, or maybe has some other use that he'll have to compensate for later. Are either of those correct?
Ahaha. No comment. (It's not his appendix, though.)

Paolini says the answer is possible to find out by reading the books, but he's so far only seen one person actually get it.

Has any fan guessed correctly what the Meona Tree took from Eragon? If not, is it just not possible to guess based on the books?
Someone may have correctly guessed what the Menoa Tree took (I haven't read every theory out there), but as of yet, I haven't seen a correct guess myself. Some readers have gotten really close to the truth, though. It's certainly possible to guess based off the books.

Update here: I saw someone post a correct guess recently. Won't tell you where, won't tell you what the guess was, but someone finally got it. (Folks might have gotten it earlier, but this is the first time I've seen it written out correctly.) :D


I've read several posts regarding this question, and what most people seem to overlook is the connection between Eragon and Saphira. Their ability to share experiences transcends merely emotional events and encompasses the physical as well. In light of this, it is plausible to consider the "slight twinge in his lower belly" a pain arising from Saphira's body, not Eragon's. Considering the degree to which they bonded over the course of the series, it is possible that Eragon would have been unable to distinguish between his own pain and Saphira's, leaving him ignorant of the cause of his pain. In light of this, I believe the Menoa tree took Saphira's Eldunari, in part because Saphira was the aggressor in their altercation with the Menoa tree, but also because her Eldunari would give the Menoa tree more power to protect the forest with. I don't wish to speculate as to the Menoa tree's reasons for doing so, since they are likely inscrutable, but it seems the most likely explanation for Eragon's pain.

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    This is actually a clever answer!
    – Adamant
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 2:19
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    I strongly disagree. I think it is such a fundamental part of her essence that she couldn't not know it was gone. Its removal, in fact would cripple her, and restrict its own eventual strength so as to be nearly useless in comparison. In dragon age - she is an infant. In dragon power, while she is an admirable infant, she is still young and not remotely near her maximum strength. The tree gains no benefit from harming him in that way. It would be a fundamentally parasitic entity to do such a thing to what was arguably the last female. It would also transform both of their true-names. Commented Feb 5, 2018 at 22:42

I think the best answer is not that the tree took his ability to have children, but instead, some of Eragon's sperm. CP speaks repeatedly of the reverence all elves have for children, and I doubt that Linnea would be any different. Therefore, taking Eragon's fertility- something the elves prize beyond all else, would be abhorrent to her. I find it far more likely that she took his sperm, which she could use to create a child of her own, something that every elf desires above all else.

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    ...the tree took his seed. that's an awesome way to look at it.
    – acolyte
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 20:11
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    I'm not sure you fully understand human biology - I've done a thorough examination, and the part where my sperm is stored definitely isn't in my lower abdomen.
    – Jon Story
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 12:23

I can't believe no one mentioned this part, but the tree asks him

"What manner of creature are you?"

The tree took a part of him because of its curiosity of his species, after he said:

"I am neither elf nor man but something in between".


I believe it is an allusion to a shamanic tradition. In ancient cultures, the shaman goes through a ritual before he takes on the responsibility of caretaker. During one of their spirit journeys, the shaman will feel "torn apart," reassembled, and a stine inserted into their abdomen. Upon waking from this journey, the shaman will have been initiated as a care taker of the people. In this case, Eragon becomes caretaker of the dragon eggs. This is shown in the book Shamanism and/or 'supernatural" by Graham Hancock.

  • While interesting, I don't find anything that supports this. The mere fact that he feels a pain in his abdomen and becomes a caretaker are coincidental
    – The Fallen
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 16:45

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