Eragon by Christopher Paolini – Planning Overview

Written by Dan

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Are you an educator looking for a captivating adventure novel to teach in your classroom? Eragon by Christopher Paolini is a perfect choice! This book provides readers a fascinating world filled with exciting plot twists and an epic coming-of-age story.

Not only will your students be entranced by this engaging plot, but they’ll also learn valuable lessons about loyalty, bravery and perseverance throughout their journey. Here’s an overview of how to plan each class when teaching Eragon in the classroom!

Related: For more, check out our Planning Overview of Treason by Berlie Doherty  here.

planning a writing unit

The Storyline of Eragon

When Eragon discovers a polished blue stone in the depths of the forest, he expects it to be a lucky discovery that could provide his family with much-needed meat for the winter. To Eragon’s surprise, the stone is a dragon egg that hatches into a small yet mighty dragon.

With this unexpected turn of events, Eragon’s everyday life is suddenly thrust into chaos, and he is forced to take part in an ancient legacy of power and destiny.

Armed with only an old sword and the wisdom of an elderly storyteller, Eragon must rise as one of the legendary Dragon Riders to protect his newfound kingdom from an empire ruled by an evil king whose bounds have no limits. Can Eragon succeed in his quest and save his Empire? The fate of many might rest in his hands.

Key Themes in ‘Eragon’


From the outset of Eragon’s journey, he is forced to confront the power dynamics within his kingdom. With the help of his dragon, he must navigate an empire ruled by a tyrannical king while striving to become one of the legendary Dragon Riders whose strength was once regarded as powerful enough to protect an entire kingdom.


Throughout Eragon’s journey, he must discover and accept his destiny with courage and bravery. His future is intertwined with those of others despite needing to understand what lies ahead. He knows his choices will have far-reaching consequences beyond himself, so he must choose his course wisely.


Eragon is constantly surrounded by people with different motivations for forming companionship, but all share a common goal – protecting their kingdom from evil forces. He has strong bonds with allies such as Arya and Saphira, whose friendship helps him become a better version of himself and ultimately take up the role of a Dragon Rider.

Characters in ‘Eragon’


Eragon is a young farmboy who discovers a mysterious blue stone in the forest. His life is changed forever when the stone hatches into a small dragon, which helps him find out his destiny as one of the legendary Dragon Riders. He must use his courage and bravery to fight evil forces and protect his kingdom from an empire ruled by an evil king.


Saphira is Eragon’s dragon companion. She provides him with strength, courage, and companionship on his quest. Her intelligence and wit help them face many dangers on their journey.


Arya is an elf who joins Eragon on his quest to become one of the Dragon Riders. She has her mission to take up–the rescue of her kidnapped people–, and she uses her expertise to assist Eragon through difficult times.


Brom is an old storyteller who gives Eragon advice and guidance throughout his journey. He acts as a mentor figure for Eragon, helping him understand his destiny and hone his skills as a Dragon Rider.

Teaching Opportunities Through ‘Eragon’

Power Dynamics

The power dynamics within Eragon’s kingdom provide a great teaching opportunity to explore the implications of different forms of power. How does one wield their power responsibly? How does one respond when in a situation with unequal levels of energy?

Understanding Destiny

Eragon’s journey is full of moments where he must confront his destiny and make decisions based on what he believes he should do. This allows students to explore what it means to think about and understand future and accept its consequences.

Friendships and Companionship

Throughout Eragon’s journey, he is accompanied by friends who help him become a better version of himself and protect the kingdom from evil forces. Students can consider the importance of positive relationships and friendships and how these companionships can be used to overcome difficult times.

Lesson Plans for ‘Eragon’

Lesson Plan 1: Power Dynamics

Learning Objectives

At the end of the lesson, students should be able to:

  • Describe the power dynamics in Eragon’s kingdom.
  • Discuss how one can appropriately wield their power.
  • Explore what it means to respond in a situation with unequal power levels.


Begin by asking students questions such as, what is power? Who or what might have an ability? How can we use this power responsibly? These questions will allow students to share their thoughts on the topic and give context for exploring further through characters in ‘Eragon and the Dragon Riders’.

Main Teaching Points

In the story, Eragon must confront his destiny while navigating many situations where he must utilize or respond to different forms of power. Through examples from the text and class discussions, explore problems where other characters are presented with opportunities to wield their power responsibly or situations that require them to respond in a way that balances unequal power levels.

Have students discuss possible solutions as a class or develop individual reflections on these ideas, depending on age and level of understanding.


At closure, discuss how all forms of power – even small ones – can impact our surroundings. Ask each student for one takeaway from their discussions about using one’s abilities responsibly and responding appropriately to unequal power levels. Finally, ask students if they think Eragon made good decisions regarding understanding his destiny through his journey.

Key Questions

What is power? Who or what might have it? How do we use it responsibly? What did you learn from discussions around this topic today? How did Eragon respond to his destiny throughout his journey?

Lesson Plan 2: Understanding Destiny

Learning Objectives

At the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Describe why understanding destiny is essential.
  • Analyze how Eragon understands his destiny throughout his journey and compare/contrast with their own experiences.
  • Articulate lessons learned through these understandings about fate and being true to oneself.


Share a brief description of Eragon’s quest through ‘Eragon and the Dragon Riders’–the novel’s hero fighting evil forces on a quest towards becoming one of seven legendary Dragon Riders–and ask why understanding destiny is essential for him during this journey.

This discussion should provide structure for exploring further through examples from the text and other personal experiences outside of the school curriculum, such as family traditions, stories shared at home etc.

Have each student come prepared with one example they would like to share during class discussion periods surrounding this topic; alternatively, provide examples yourself if necessary, depending on student comprehension skills (e.g. younger kids).

Main Teaching Points                                                                                                                                      

Have students look closely at specific moments within Eragon’s journey where he confronts his destiny- for example when confronting enemy forces- and articulate his responsibilities when making decisions based on believing in something greater than himself (e.g. protecting those who cannot fight, preserving justice).

In addition, encourage discussions rooted in personal experience by having each student elaborate more on examples previously shared in class, dig deeper into reasons behind why understanding destiny may look different across cultures etc.


Ask each student for one takeaway from their discussions about understanding destiny today; encourage them to describe how they may apply lessons learned relatedly through examples or contexts beyond the literature curriculum, such as family responsibilities/traditions.

Finally, discuss key messages surrounding fate vs free will–How do we remain true to our individual beliefs while taking responsibility for our actions when being tested against something more significant than us, e.g. justice, fate etc.?

Do we genuinely shape our destinies or acquiesce various factors around us that lay out specific paths ahead?

Key Questions

What does it mean to understand your destiny?

Are there moments within Eragon’s story that serve as excellent examples surrounding this concept?

How have you experienced similar moments outside the literature curriculum (examples could include but are not limited too…family traditions/responsibilities; cultural significance)?

What lessons are learned from these experiences regarding fate vs free will?

10 Books with Similar Themes to ‘Eragon.’

  1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
  3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  4. The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
  5. Guardians of Ga’Hoole by Kathryn Lasky
  6. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
  7. Wings of Fire: The Lost Heir by Tui Sutherland
  8. The Fire Within by Chris d’Lacey
  9. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis
  10. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman

Website Resources

The first resource, , offers a range of teaching materials based on Christopher Paolini’s book series. It contains audio files, discussion guides, and lesson plans designed to help educators bring the world of Alagaësia into their classrooms.

The second resource, Eragon Reading Comprehension, is a set of reading comprehension questions for students who have read Eragon and the Dragon Riders in full. It includes critical thinking questions about characters, plot points, and themes from the novel that are intended to challenge readers’ understanding of the story.

Finally, TeachingBooks provides resources for teachers, such as an audio recording of Christopher Paolini discussing his life and work and videos featuring him talking about writing in general and his books in particular. There are also reviews of Eragon and other works by Paolini, along with interviews he has done with other authors in which they discuss fantasy literature more broadly.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.

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