The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Agent Richard07, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Not "just because he can." Because he had to for the survival of his people and the future balance of the entire world. That balance only survives if airbenders survive, and they're a critically endangered breed. With Aang as the only living airbender, the risk of extinction for the whole nation was monumental. Even 71 years later, there are only five living airbenders, and Amon came close to nullifying all of their powers, if not killing them, in one fell swoop. That's simply an unacceptable situation. Anything that could be done to replenish the airbender population was something that had to be done for the sake of the entire world, because there's no telling what would happen to the world if the balance were permanently lost by the extinction of one nation. Aang had a moral duty to create more airbenders any way he could, whether by spirit-bending them into existence or just by knocking up hundreds of women. Granted, he didn't do the latter, even though he really should have, because this is a kids' show. But that wouldn't have kept him from doing the former, if it were possible. Thus, the most probable conclusion is that he tried it and it failed.
     
  2. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Even then, I could still see him saying no.

    Maybe he did try and fail. Who knows?

    So here's a question: why didn't he just have the Lion Turtle do it for him? :p
     
  3. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    'Future balance of the entire world'? Profound sounding words with no clear meaning. Care to define what this means, exactly? And what the consequences are of no airbenders existing? Beyond unspecified 'bad things'?

    Aang's children are not 'his people' if they can't airbend? That's cold.
    I guess that explains why Aang had no time for them - not even bothering to take them along with his favourite for a vacation.
    After all, his favourite would be no less of an airbender if Aang would have bestowed less paternal love on him and more on his siblings.

    I see you're still claiming your vision of the avatar-verse (consisting mainly in avoiding any 'western' influence - and you're using an over-simplified caricature as western mentality) is the only valid one. With few arguments that don't consist of hand-waving, that is.

    Teaching a non-bender to bend may be beyond the avatar's possibilities - but a non-bender becoming a bender may be possible, if the relevant spirit approves the application, as happened to the first avatar. etc, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  4. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the fact that he didn't do it it pretty solid proof that he either couldn't or wouldn't because judging by the number of air acolytes, I doubt he would be left wanting for volunteers.

    Maybe he could but didn't think it was his place to play god. Maybe the Lion Turtle specifically told him not to. Or his past lives for that matter. Hell, for all we know his energy bending can only sever or restore that which was there to begin with, not create something entirely new. Actually when you think about it that's pretty consistent with the normal bending disciplines.

    Maybe energy bending can't create energy just as water benders can't create water, earth benders don't make the land, not can an air bender spontaneously generate air. Fire benders are a bit of an anomaly in that regard but IIRC it's not that they create fire so much as they draw on their body's internal heat and electricity then channel and focus it to make fire and lightning....Yeah, I know. :/
     
  5. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Besides, I have believe that the Avatar spirit knows what it's doing. Even if Aang was unable to spawn some new Airbenders, I figure that down the road, once Korra dies and her Earth-bending predecessor dies and then his/her Fire-bending predecessor dies, the Avatar spirit would simply be reborn into a brand new Airbender.

    Being the Avatar ties you to all of the elements. Korra is the Avatar; I imagine her offspring could potentially be Benders of any kind, even if she was originally from the Water tribe. How many Avatars do we know of that actually had kids?
     
  6. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not too fond of that reasoning. One thing I like about eastern philosophy is the idea that anyone can reach enlightenment or develop themselves. The idea that power is something that only special people should have seems more consistent with western theology. This is where my earlier thoughts about anyone becoming a bender or avatar came from.

    Interesting thought. Could an avatar have kids with any of the bending abilities or are they limited to whatever element the avatar was born into?
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Off the top of my head just Aang (obviously) and Roku (Zuko's maternal ancestor.) I don't think there's any mention of Kyoshi even having a husband and while it's possible Kuruk had kids before his wife/lover had her face stolen, I don't think any are mentioned.

    Based on that admittedly limited sample size, we can conclude that no Avatar we know of has produced offspring that has shown a bending talent other than that of their or their partner's birth nation.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    We don't know that. We have been told that the Avatar spirit is not invulnerable; in the episode "The Avatar State," Roku told Aang: "If you are killed in the Avatar State, the reincarnation cycle will be broken and the Avatar will cease to exist." So there are limits to what the Avatar spirit can do, circumstances that can destroy it. It's not a Western-style omnipotent god that can rewrite the rules of the universe for its convenience. So if a Fire Nation Avatar died and there were no more airbenders for the Avatar spirit to reincarnate into, the cycle would most likely end.

    Really, that was the whole driving idea behind A:TLA: That the Fire Nation had disrupted the balance of the world by trying to wipe out the benders of other nations, and that the Avatar could only restore that balance by averting that genocide and ensuring that all Four Nations continued to exist. If there were magic reset button guaranteeing that an extinct variety of bender would spontaneously come back into existence, then that removes the urgency from Aang's mission. The whole point was that the cycle itself was in danger, that the whole future of the world was at stake if Ozai wasn't stopped and the balance restored.


    I don't think it's supposed to work that way. Avatars have access to all the elements, but each one is part of his or her nation, which is part of the point of the cycle. If every Avatar were "element-neutral," that would kind of eliminate the need for the cycle where each successive Avatar is part of a different nation, each one bringing their people's own distinct elemental character to the cycle and being different from the Avatars that came before.

    Essentially an Avatar is a blend of two spirits, the innate spirit of the individual, including their nation's distinct elemental character or volksgeist, and the Avatar spirit which leaps from nation to nation in a set cycle. The former gives every Avatar a strong affinity to their own nation, while the latter gives them the ability to move beyond that. And as I've said, there is evidence of a more physical, hereditary component to bending ability as well. So when it comes to procreation, I'd assume they'd follow the same rules as everyone else and could only produce heirs of their own inborn nation/bending affinity.

    http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Avatar#Trivia

    Still, those are the past three consecutive Avatars, so it would be rather a large coincidence if they were the only ones. It suggests that it's fairly routine for Avatars to marry and have children.
     
  9. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Myabe that's why Bumi is a "Squib"? He looks like an Earthbender, but, has no bending abilities, maybe because he doesn't come from Earthbending parents?
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Bumi does not look like an Earthbender (i.e. basically Chinese in appearance with green or brown eyes). He has the same gray eyes and complexion as Tenzin, and much the same facial structure:

    http://images.wikia.com/avatar/images/a/af/Bumi_teasing_Tenzin.png

    Basically he looks a lot like Tenzin would look with a full head of hair and a more unruly personality.
     
  11. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    eh, looks reminiscint of his namesake to me.
     
  12. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think Bumi being a non-bender probably just means he has the same latent gene as Sokka and Hakoda. As for his face, if you look at the design of older Sokka, you'll see much more of a resemblance. It may also be relevant that just like Kya, Bumi has inherited Katara's darker skin tone while Tenzin has Aang's lighter skin.
     
  13. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Perhaps, but as the Avatar universe starts to blend together, how will that affect the Avatar itself? For example, in TLoK, we've already seen Bolin and Mako, brothers who were born with different bending abilities, as well as Tenzin and his sister. What happens if the next Avatar is born right in the middle of Republic City? The world is changing, and the different nations are not as separate as they once were. What happens to the Avatar spirit as the "pure" bending lines become corrupted?

    Perhaps the Airbenders never really went extinct. Perhaps there were a bunch of Airbenders running around the Fire Nation, but because they grew up in the Fire Nation, none of them ever discovered their talents. Where did the Air Nomads come from anyway? Nomads have to start from somewhere.

    I realize this is all just speculation, but it's fun to think about.


    On a totally unrelated note, I have been rewatching Season One of A:TLA, and I just watched the Winter Solstice two-parter. This is the episode where Aang first enters the Spirit World and meets Roku. An interesting thing I observed that I never noticed the first time around is that when Aang enters the Spirit World, he meets up with Roku's dragon. The dragon and Aang fly to Roku's Island, but on the way they fly over General Iroh and a bunch of Earthbenders. Iroh sees them! They're in the Spirit World; nobody should see them, but Iroh does.

    It's a story thread I feel must have later been dropped, but I wonder what the original intention of that was.
     
  14. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    BTW I just re-watched all of Season Two with my friend and in the clip show that opens 2X1 they mention that the Republic Council was dissolved and a President was elected. So that beats my complaint about a President coming out of nowhere.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It wasn't dropped, as you'll see when you get to "The Firebending Masters" in Book Three.
     
  16. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I'm not sure how there's a connection. Iroh learned firebending from the Masters, the last of the dragons, but that doesn't explain how he'd be able to see into the Spirit World.
     
  17. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^It's more of an implied connection that an explicit one. One of many things that indicate Iroh knows a lot more than he lets on and is not the fool he pretends to be.

    I think a better explanation than his lesson from the dragons is the implication that at some point he'd been to the spirit world. It's been a while and I don't recall where that was but I think it might been in one of the north pole episodes.
     
  18. Vendikarr

    Vendikarr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Crap. I bet my TiVo didn't catch it. Nick is horrible about reporting scheduling changes to the programming services in a timely manner.
     
  19. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I believe Iroh says something about being to the spirit world to Zhao in "Siege of the North"...?
     
  20. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Just watched this one, and Zhao is actually the one who mentions "rumors of Iroh's trip into the Spirit World," but Iroh doesn't confirm or deny anything.

    I'd love to see more of that story, if true.


    Back to how this relates to Korra, what's the deal with the Spirit Portal? Korra opened the one in the South in the season premiere, and we have been told there is another one in the North. I'm intrigued by how this might relate to the Spirit Oasis in the North Pole where the Water and Moon Spirits reside. According to Yue, that is the most spiritual place in all of the North Pole. Does it really make sense for there to be another major spiritual place in the North Pole?