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In the Inheritance Cycle during the confrontation in the throne room, Murtagh yells the Word. This causes twelve orbs of light to appear behind Galbatorix's head and fly outward.

The air around Galbatorix flashed red and black, and for an instant, his body appeared to be wreathed in flames. There was a sound like that of a high summer wind stirring the branches of an evergreen forest. Then Eragon heard a series of thin shrieks as twelve orbs of light appeared around Galbatorix’s head and fled outward from him and passed through the walls of the chamber and thus vanished. They looked like spirits, but Eragon saw them for such a brief span, he could not be certain.

Are those spirits and what are orbs doing near Galbatorix?

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They are spirits that were under Galbatorix's control

When Murtagh begins the fight with Galbatorix 12 orbs fly away from him, what were they?

Spirits

May 2016 Reddit AMA

Was Durza a willing servant or was under Galbatorix's control? If he was under Galbatorix's control, how did Galbatorix control him? Was Durza ever planning on rebelling against the king if he indeed was under his control?

Durza had some control over Galbatorix also. It wasn't entirely one-sided. They were linked in some interesting ways (and yes, those were spirits we saw flying out of Galbatorix at the end). That said, Galby controlled Durza with a huge number of spells. It was a precarious control, though, as G. never guessed D.'s true name. And as a Shade, D. was always looking for ways to undermine the king (as evidenced by Durza's behavior in Gil'ead with Eragon).

April 2018 Reddit AMA

Near the end of Inheritance, twelve lights emerge out of Galbatorix. ... How did Galbatorix gain the control of spirits, and that many, without becoming corrupt like a Shade? What advantages did it provide him that he didn't already have from the Eldunarya, numerous wards, a gigantic dragon, and the True Name of the Ancient Language? Did it give him augmented speed and strength?

Who said those twelve spirits won't have a role to play later on? :D As for your question, Galbatorix controlled the spirits the same way any sorcerer would: with lots of spells. The king had an advantage over most sorcerers, though, which was the Eldunarí he had at his disposal. Their mental energy made it easy for him to keep the twelve spirits subjugated. Advantages for Galby was that he didn't have to worry about physically hauling around Eldunarí with him wherever he went (although he did). The spirits were his ultimate backup weapon. They also made him physically much harder to kill, same as most Shades.

April 2018 Reddit AMA

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