In Brisingr, Rhunön crafts Eragon a sword from an ore of Brightsteel located underneath the Menoa Tree. She told him that that amount was enough to make several swords. Instead of swords, could Rhunön have made Eragon armor along with his sword Brisingr? Maybe Rhunön wasn't specialized in making armor. But Eragon described Brisingr as "light", so the armor may not have been that heavy for him.

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Were the Dragon Riders obligated to use a sword or could they choose another type of weapon to be forged for them?

Christopher Paolini: That is a great question. They weren’t obligated. I think swords have always been considered one of the highest forms of weaponry and have enormous symbolic value. If Brom, for example, had chosen to use a staff instead as his weapon, I’m sure that Rhunön or some other elf would have been happy to craft him a weapon of equal strength and power as one of the swords. So no, it wasn’t obligated, and actually, I’m sure there were a couple of Riders who probably preferred a bow or a spear, especially from fighting on the back of a dragon—having a bow to shoot or a long lance you could use. And now we’re talking about dragon lances!
SDCC 2010 Interview

Were there shields made of brightsteel, as well?

Christopher Paolini: Maybe. I’d have to think about it. It wouldn’t have been common. It wouldn’t have been common.

And what about armor?

Christopher Paolini: Yes, there might have been some chainmail made from brightsteel, but elves don’t really wear plate armor so… maybe some small pieces of armor made from brightsteel.

2019 Books-A-Million Facebook live Q&A [48:15 - 48:45]

Did any rider ever choose to wield a weapon other than a sword? Did Rhunon make these weapons? Given that dwarves seem to prefer axes and hammers, would a dwarf rider wield an axe/hammer? Would Rhunon be able to smith it out if Brightsteel for them as a “tool” instead of a “weapon”?

Christopher Paolini: Some Riders did, but it was rather frowned upon, as swords were seen as a more sophisticated/elegant choice than, say, an ax or a spear. Rhunon could make any weapon she wanted out of Brightsteel.
2023 Reddit AMA

  • 1
    Straight from the horse's mouth. Can't argue with that
    – Valorum
    Commented May 25, 2023 at 22:12

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