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Old October 19 2013, 03:08 PM   #222
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Re: The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Scaredface wrote: View Post
- I wasn't totally clear on one thing… Did Wan possess 3 elements with Raava holding onto air until she merged with him?
Wan only had fire at first, given to him by the lion-turtle of his home city. Then he found the airbender community and asked its lion-turtle to give him airbending, but it explained that Raava would need to hold the ability until he trained enough to be ready for it. Once that happened, he had fire and air. It was later on that we saw him gain waterbending and earthbending the same way, one at a time.

- Now we know a little more about how bending works. The lion turtles granted the humans an element for a short time, then when they left for good, the humans who were already benders kept their bending but passed them on to their children through their genes (or whatever else gets passed on). This had me thinking about the discussion we had a few weeks ago about whether or not bending could be acquired by non-benders. Could people appeal to the spirits or a spiritual force to get an ability afterall?
Maybe, but it's possible that only lion-turtles have the ability. Yet it's worth noting that each l-t only gave one element. Maybe this is the basis of the Four Nations -- each l-t had a particular elemental affinity, and this affected the character of the people living atop it -- or perhaps people with that character were drawn to the appropriate l-t. Maybe Wan was able to acquire multiple elements because he was an outsider, a renegade. And it was only after a couple of years living among the spirits, outside of any one l-t's influence, that he gained his second element. You could say that he became unique among humans in that his affinity was with the spirits -- the fifth element, the quintessence -- rather than with any of the four material elements. And that's what made him capable of assimilating multiple elements.

Hey, I just realized -- Wan gained his elements in the same order as the Avatar cycle. After fire comes air, then water, then earth. That must be why the cycle goes in that order.

- We also know a little more about how the avatar works. Wan was successful in appealing to many lion turtles in order to get more elmements. Then he merged with Raava who looks to be serving as a source of power we now know as the avatar spirit. I wonder… Could others do this as well? Could something like this happen again once the spirit door opens? You know, appeal for some bending then get yourself a spirit guide and voila! You're just like the avatar!
That seems unlikely. As I said, Wan went on a long journey that entailed living among the spirits for years and acquiring elemental abilities from lion-turtles. As far as we know, there's only one lion-turtle left in the world, and the spirits no longer inhabit the material plane (although they clearly do have means of crossing over aside from the polar portals). Plus, Raava seemed to be a uniquely powerful spirit -- with one exception:

Or at least, could we see a "dark avatar" if someone merges with Vaatu?
Now, that's possible, and it might well be Unalaq's goal for himself.

- I wondered if the avatar could access any lifetime no matter how far back, but here it almost looked as if these first few lives are so deep that concentration on that level might be difficult. That could explain why Aang only went back to Roku mostly, along with the next three or why Korra's look back stopped with the last water tribe avatar.
Actually I was thinking that this is probably something that every Avatar must experience at some point, in order to learn the whole story of who they are and where they began. But you're probably right that it takes a lot of mental/spiritual effort to achieve, a deep communion with the Avatar Spirit.

- One more thing... Some of what we saw in this episode didn't totally mesh with what we've heard about bending. Supposedly people learned bending from badger moles, dragons, the moon and sky bisons but here, they were given bending. The only way I can reconcile this is maybe they simply honed their existing skills by watching the nature and the rest became folklore.
As I mentioned in that earlier discussion, there's a difference between having the ability and mastering it. I mean, most of us have fingers, but it's only with training that we can play the piano or guitar with them. As we saw here, Wan's training with the dragons gave him the ability to control his fire much better than the other humans could. So they were fire-users, but he was the first firebender, the first one who could manipulate it and use it as an extension of his body and will rather than just generating and throwing it. Similarly, the other humans who'd been given their abilities by the lion-turtles still needed to learn how to master those abilities by studying the animals that shared them.
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Last edited by Christopher; October 19 2013 at 04:56 PM.
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