The Legend of Korra - Book One: Air

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Agent Richard07, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It has been stated by the producers that all Air Nomads were airbenders. They were unique in that respect.


    Well, yeah, but would nomads have villages at all? More like temporary encampments, or way stations that they periodically returned to as part of a seasonal migration (though I always figured that's what the air temples were and why there were four of them).

    The Air Nomads were always the smallest of the four populations anyway, and Sozin and his heirs had a hundred years to hunt down any stragglers no matter where they fled.
     
  2. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Interesting. At some point in history, I wonder if all benders lived together before splitting off into different nations. The Airbenders may have all flown away together, and because nobody besides airbenders could follow, there would be no non-benders to "corrupt" the gene pool...until, of course, Aang and Katara started having kids.
     
  3. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The impression I got was that the nations were formed independently of one another, each as they developed their own form of bending. This is implied in the way each nations' founders discovered their bending forms; the air nomads and the sky bison, the water tribe with the moon & sea spirits, Oma & Shu with the badger moles and the sun warriors with the dragons. One assumes the avatar cycle begun some time later, after the four nations ran into each other.

    Of course this does beg the question as to what kind of culture the air nomads had before they learned to bend from the sky bison?
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, again, it's not so much about genetics as about the spirit and character of a people, since this is a fantasy world. Nomads are loose and mobile with few bonds, so they'd all pretty much have an affinity for air as a metaphysical element.
     
  5. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    The Air Nomads always struck me as a nation that simply moved around the other three nations' territory, but I noticed a while back that they do seem to have territory of their own. I don't even remember if this was mentioned on the show. I've only seen and read about the air temples.

    Click the tag below to see a world map.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Well, one would imagine that the air temples are located within those territories. It's not like the temples are flying around in the sky. They're on the tops of mountains (or underneath cliffs, in the case of that one temple from Season 3).
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, and the territories in the Air Nomad color are all crags and mountains, probably too forbidding for anyone else to use.

    Also, note there are only three such regions, in the south, east, and west. The Northern Air Temple is actually on the northern coast of the Earth Kingdom's continent, no doubt in those high mountains northwest of Ba Sing Se.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Another example in the previous episode: When Lin and the Fire Ferrets were escaping from the Equalist prison on the tram car, Lin evaded the waiting Equalists by first metalbending an overhead rail down as a ramp, and then by earthbending a hole in the tunnel roof so they could pass through it -- actually two holes, since there were two "stories" of underground to pass through before they reached the surface.
     
  9. SG-17

    SG-17 Commodore Commodore

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    I can't express in words how amazing that episode was or how happy it made me at the ending there.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It was effective, but there were a couple of points where I again felt things were a bit too rushed or convenient, like Amon's exposure and Korra getting "cured" at the end. And I can't believe that Korra and Mako didn't have a better plan than "Let's just announce who Amon really is without offering any proof and hope they take our word for it." I would've thought they'd try to provoke him into using bloodbending in public instead.

    Also, how could the audience hear them and Amon so clearly? They weren't miked. Are the acoustics really that good in the pro-bending arena?

    I also would've liked some more flashbacks to flesh out just how Noatok/Amon developed bloodbending into bending removal, and how he developed such a hatred of benders. Although I can guess about the latter. Noatok probably hated what Yakone had made him. Yakone had taught him to see bending as a tool of dominance over others, and he hated the way his cruel father dominated him and his brother, so he came to see bending as a tool of oppression and cruelty, and saw what he did as using the enemy's tools against them. Yet on the other hand, Tarrlok may have learned to resent non-benders because his father was one (after Aang got done with him). After all, he had to live with Yakone for a few more years after Noatok left, and he would've had no defense against his father's cruelty except by learning to embrace the one advantage he had left, his bending.

    Anyway, looking back, I can see the clues to who Amon really was. Korra first started getting the visions about Yakone when she was attacked by Amon. I should've realized that Aang wouldn't have been sending her those visions just to warn her about Tarrlok. That did seem odd to me when she said it in "Out of the Past," but I didn't follow that line of thought. I should've realized that Aang was trying to warn her about Amon, about his connection to Yakone and bloodbending. There's also the fact that Amon was able to resist Tarrlok's bloodbending, something only another bloodbender (or an Avatar in the State) can do.

    For a while there toward the end, I was thinking maybe Book 2 would be about Korra searching for a way to reconnect with her bending, perhaps by gradually exploring her spiritual side, and maybe recapitulating Aang's world-tour training along the way. Just as well that they didn't go that route; as I've said, I don't want this show to repeat what the original did. Plus I guess they already had this finale written before they got a second-season order, so it had to work as a conclusion.

    And though it may have been a bit abrupt, it was a great moment when the Avatars past restored Korra's bending and she entered the Avatar State for the first time, with the A:TLA theme music accompanying triumphantly. I think the only other times we've heard that melody were in the opening titles to episode 1 and in the "Out of the Past" flashbacks of Aang battling Yakone.

    It's weird seeing an Avatar enter the State and only have the eyes glow, nothing else. Of course, Korra doesn't have any tattoos (none visible, anyway) so there isn't really anything else that would glow, I guess.

    It's also surprising that she was able to master the State so quickly, apparently able to enter it at will in order to energybend people and heal what Amon did to them. It took Aang a lot longer to gain voluntary control over the State.

    I suppose it's fitting that her inability to airbend before now was the thing that saved her. I wouldn't mind a little more explanation for why Amon could only take away the abilities she'd previously used, but I can accept it. And it makes me wonder if her inability to airbend before was ordained by fate, so that she would have it in reserve when she needed it. Also, her ability to tap into it at her most desperate fits with what Aang's spirit said later about making a spiritual connection at her lowest point, and what Tenzin said in an earlier episode about airbending being the most spiritual of the bending arts.

    Hmm, I wonder if that's it. Amon's anti-bending technique was strictly physical in its basis, after all. And he never actually got around to "purifying" an airbender. So we don't really know if it would've worked on Tenzin and the kids anyway. Seems a stretch, though.

    I wonder if the Lieutenant is dead. It seems likely, since we didn't see him after Amon bloodbent him, and it stands to reason that Amon would kill him to keep him from exposing the truth.

    For me the most shocking moment (no pun intended) was what Tarrlok did on the speedboat. I can't really see it as a heroic act, since it was so cold-blooded, but Tarrlok was trying to redeem himself in his way, I guess.

    (And I had a tangential thought about that. Who, if anyone, would be able to bend gasoline? I'd guess an earthbender, since petroleum is a mineral product and is made of hydrocarbons, which are one of the major constituents of bituminous coal. On the other hand, it's an organic compound, and of biological origin if you go back far enough, and there are no benders that can bend organic matter; even bloodbenders and plantbenders are only manipulating the water inside organisms. Maybe it's like metal -- all the "earth" in crude oil has been refined out when it becomes gasoline, so there'd be nothing left for an earthbender to get a grip on.)

    I feel sorry for Asami. Not only did she lose Mako to Korra, but she lost any hope of ever reconciling with her father. She's basically got nothing left -- except maybe her father's business and gobs of money, depending on what the legal system decides to do with Hiroshi's assets, but that's cold comfort if you're alone. I'm kinda hoping she and Bolin get together.

    Now I'm wondering what Book 2 will be about. I guess there's a lot of aftermath to deal with. Even with Amon exposed, there's still a lot of resentment between benders and non-benders in Republic City, and it'll be hard work to restore balance there, which is Korra's primary mission. For starters, they should put at least a couple of non-benders on the council. The councillors are supposed to represent the five nations (counting Northern and Southern Water Tribes separately), and there are non-benders in all nations now (since I figure we can count people like Pema and the Air Acolytes as part of the new Air nation). So there's no legitimate reason why all the councillors should be benders, and the fact that they were is part of what created the social unrest that Amon exploited.
     
  11. SG-17

    SG-17 Commodore Commodore

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    I am really surprised that Nick allowed a murder-suicide to be shown without making it much more ambiguous. Also, I loved how the last thing we see of Amon is him tearing up.
     
  12. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The characters in the order of importance and story coverage:

    Korra > Amon > Asami >Iroh > Tenzin > Bolin & Mako

    Looks like the Bending Bros really dragged the finale. And what little purpose for Mako seemed to be solely for shipping him with Korra . Bolin didn't really do anything, but be the muscle.

    I guess my chief complaint for much of the latter half of LoK is that character development was sacrificed for the purpose of shipping.

    For the eventual season 2, I hope they get an actual writer maybe Aaron Ehasz to write the episodes. The world building and the characters really suffered because of Mike and Bryan's lack of training in regards to actual writing and story construction. And there was certainly a lack of emphasis on the spiritual aspects of bending and the Avatar world.

    One lingering question is how Amon/Tarrok/Yakone was able to bloodbend without the moon.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  13. Kaijima

    Kaijima Captain Captain

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    The current theory going around about why Amon couldn't take away Korra's air bending is that when he de-bended her, she had not yet activated her air bending. Never used it, so the chakra involved, and the nerve points in her body relating to air bending motions, where cloaked to Amon. He couldn't feel them to single them out and block them.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But Mako was a lot more important than that. He was right there with Korra the whole time, and it was the danger to him that catalyzed her to draw on her airbending at last. As for Bolin, he was the one who saved Asami. They both did a lot more than Tenzin, whose only role in the action was to be a hostage and then get his kids to safety.


    Huh? Romance and relationships are part of character development. Maybe it's not your favorite part, maybe it's been given a bad reputation by the fanatical "shippers" in fandom, but it's pretty odd to claim it's therefore not even connected to character development. How characters relate to each other, how they navigate and negotiate their relationships, can reveal a lot about them and have a lot of impact on how they grow and evolve.


    The full Moon doesn't really give waterbenders any new abilities, it just amplifies what they already have, makes them a lot more powerful, in the same way that comets make firebenders more powerful (never mind that real comets are made of ice and rock, not fire). It gives them heightened sensitivity that allows them to detect the water inside people's bodies, heightened precision to let them manipulate it in a way that can control people's muscles, and heightened power to overcome those people's resistance to being moved or perhaps some kind of interference from their own flesh and/or chi. So it essentially comes down to a question of power and control. And as Yakone said here, his family was the most powerful line of waterbenders in history. So evidently their normal abilities were on a par with other waterbenders' Moon-amplified abilities.


    But Korra has been training in airbending moves for months. So the neural conditioning, muscle memory, etc. would already be there. It's just the spiritual connection that hadn't kicked in yet, the actual affinity for the element that enabled her to use her chi to control it.

    All I can figure is that once her connection to the other three elements was severed, that left all her chi free to tap into that latent connection she had to the element of air. She'd just never quite figured out how to direct it that way, but now it was the only option. That still doesn't explain why Amon didn't block that potential along with the rest, though.


    And I still question the assumption that chakras are involved with bending. As I said earlier in the thread, there's no canonical evidence for that. Chakras have only been discussed in the context of spiritual exploration and entering the Avatar State. Aang was able to bend multiple elements even when his chakras were blocked, even before he knew what chakras were.
     
  15. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I frickin' loved that finale. I am very satisfied with the way things ended, though I think it would have been very interesting if Korra had NOT regained her bending abilities. That would have been a neat thing to explore in Season 2 -- Korra trying to connect with her spiritual side and restore bending to the herself and the world.
     
  16. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Loved it! I actually cheered when Korra entered the Avatar state and demonstrated all four bending abilities. Just an awesome series.
     
  17. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    One thing I do want to say is that I am always impressed by the battles in these shows. The use of the elements is so interesting to watch, and every fight is unique. Korra was waterbending missiles, for Pete's sake!
     
  18. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Really really enjoyed this episode. I think most of my thoughts have already been covered here. I was shocked that they actually showed Tarrlok blowing up the boat, I would have thought Nik would have nixed that.
     
  19. SG-17

    SG-17 Commodore Commodore

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    She used a torpedo to take out a biplane, that was amazing. I also loved how they made fire cannons where two or three firebenders could focus and hit targets with pinpoint accuracy at a much greater range than regular firebending.

    Also I was surprised that Iroh could fly without Sozin's comet. I mean the most we've seen before is just Azula push herself towards a cliff wall, not actual flight until the comet. But Iroh was playing an Ironman with those fist rockets. He must be a very powerful bender. Being Zuko's grandson I don't doubt it. I hope that we see more of him (and Bumi) in season 2.
     
  20. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The moon is the source of their abilities. No moon (like in final of atla book 1) means no waterbending. Full moon means they are at the apex of their power. Both Katara and Hama who were master waterbenders required the full moon to bloodbend. Why were Yakone/Amon/Tarrok were able to do it out in the sun? There is no established precedent of genetics giving unique bending abilities other than determining the type of bender they are especially since we have an example of twins with one bender and one non-bender.

    Combustion Man's abilities seems to be due to his unique control of the chakra on his forehead and the damage to that chakra via boomerang proves ultimately to be his undoing.