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Avatar Book 1, Disc 4 – spoiler-friendly reaction post - A Sorta Fairytale
October 2013
 
 
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hymnia
hymnia
Joie
Mon, Nov. 24th, 2008 01:24 am
Avatar Book 1, Disc 4 – spoiler-friendly reaction post

This post is for commentary with SPOILERS for episodes beyond Book 1, Disc 4.


Chapter 13: The Blue Spirit

I seem to have a bit of an answer to my previous question about the Fire Nation military: they clearly employ archers who do not appear to be fire benders.


Chapter 14: The Fortuneteller

So I think this was the episode where I first started to ponder the question: Kataang or Zutara? Of course, Aang's crush gets a huge boost. But Katara's pretty darn clueless. When I first watched this, at the end, when Katara looks at Aang and remembers Aunt Wu's prediction that she would end up with "a powerful bender," I admit I couldn’t help thinking that could apply to Zuko, too. And there were several other tempting reasons to ship them together at this point—the polarity between the characters, and the little hints that Zuko might walk a path to redemption. Meanwhile, Aang seemed like such a kid. And Aunt Wu's prediction for him made me wonder if he would need to forgo romantic attachment for the sake of his duty. So that's where I was leaning at this point in the series. In retrospect, Katara's reaction to the revelation that Aang might be her future mate makes it look like she is open to the idea. So that might be construed as a Katara-->Aang hint. Oh, and I remembered that I forgot one in an earlier episode, too: In "The Warriors of Kyoshi", Katara's annoyance at Aang's fangirls seems a bit suspicious.


Chapter 15: Bato of the Water Tribe

Okay, I know he might prefer Jun, but right now I'm kinda feeling like flying the Aunt Wu/Uncle Iroh flag. LOL, I forgot they had a little exchange in this episode. Of course, Iroh brushed her off pretty soundly, BUT IT WAS ONLY B/C HE WAS SO INTOXICATED WITH THAT FLOOSY JUN AT THE TIME.[/deranged shipper] Anyway, somehow I feel their personalities are a good match, and there is the whole "aunt" and "uncle" thing. Maybe one day they will meet again under more favorable circumstances. <3


Chapter 16: The Deserter

This episode explores the nature of bending in greater depth. We get the first hints of the dual nature of fire in some of Jeong Jeong's ramblings. Also, we see the first instance of water healing.

"It forces us burdened with its care to walk a razor's edge between humanity and savagery. Eventually, it will tear us apart." Cynical words from the wise master--but is he right? What does that mean for the Fire Nation—and for Zuko—in the long run?

Joie

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peachespig
peachespig
peachespig
Mon, Nov. 24th, 2008 06:55 am (UTC)

when Katara looks at Aang and remembers Aunt Wu's prediction that she would end up with "a powerful bender," I admit I couldn’t help thinking that could apply to Zuko, too.

There was totally some Nick promotional thing at some point (the magazine maybe?) that referred to Katara's fated love, and it explicitly said "Will she end up with Aang, or go in a more fiery direction? I always thought it was a bit disingenuous for Bryke to act like people pulled Zutara out of nowhere, when Avatar was obviously playing with it quite deliberately.

Okay, I know he might prefer Jun, but right now I'm kinda feeling like flying the Aunt Wu/Uncle Iroh flag.

I have only one non-canon ship in this Universe: URSA/HAKODA OMG. It is meant to be!

"It forces us burdened with its care to walk a razor's edge between humanity and savagery. Eventually, it will tear us apart." Cynical words from the wise master--but is he right? What does that mean for the Fire Nation—and for Zuko—in the long run?

Jeong Jeong, for all his talents, has not met the Masters and seen revealed the true nature of Firebending. Zuko has, as has Aang, and together I think they will spread among the people a whole new way of thinking about firebending.


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hymnia
hymnia
Joie
Mon, Nov. 24th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)

I always thought it was a bit disingenuous for Bryke to act like people pulled Zutara out of nowhere, when Avatar was obviously playing with it quite deliberately.

Yes, it didn't come from no where. But knowing what I know about shipping and fan entitlement, I have to wonder if some of their not-so-nice reactions to Zutara were more reactions to bad fan behavior than the ship itself.

URSA/HAKODA OMG. It is meant to be!

Yes! I'll jump on board that ship. Bonus: Zuko could be Katara and Sokka's stepbrother. <333


ReplyThread Parent
orcapotter
orcapotter
Orca キンバリー
Mon, Nov. 24th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)

Aang seemed like such a kid.

This was my beef. Though I saw a lot of Aang/Katara clues too, it just felt forced to me. Like they were doing that simply because he was the main character and she the main female one. With the story as dynamic as it was, I was really hoping they'd break the mold and eventually develop the relationship between her and Zuko more. Because even though Aang does grow, I didn't think he was mature enough. It's a lot to ask from what is still essentially a show written for 8-13 year olds to explore that side of characterization. That's why it's so refreshing that it does as much as it does.


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hymnia
hymnia
Joie
Mon, Nov. 24th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)

Yeah. I think the ship would have worked better for me had Aang been a little older to begin with or had the series covered a longer period of time. Or if the show only had them get together in an epilogue that was further out in the future, more like the one in HP. Even in a pre-industrial society where people might believably marry in their teens, 12 is still a little young to find your one true love, I think.


ReplyThread Parent
spin1978
spin1978
Kyouraku Shunsui
Mon, Nov. 24th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)

I seem to have a bit of an answer to my previous question about the Fire Nation military: they clearly employ archers who do not appear to be fire benders.

I wouldn't be surprised if I were to revise my previous statement about Fire Nation conscription policies - maybe they just mandate military service for *everyone* - and found out they were accurate. Maybe non-firebenders mostly end up in units where their lack of bending isn't a hindrance (for instance, archery units) or in support roles.

The conceit that sparked my thoughts originally were about Azula's fate - I didn't see Aang removing her bending powers on top of having done so to Ozai - and that she had to be restrained in a place where her prodigious Firebending abilities were inhibited as much as possible. I was thinking of a "Swiss Guard" made up of Earthbenders (just speculation, but there seem to be more Earthbenders than Waterbenders left in the Avatar universe) and non-bending Fire Nation personnel.

Cynical words from the wise master--but is he right? What does that mean for the Fire Nation—and for Zuko—in the long run?

Fire has always had that mythological duality - being both the breath of life and the consuming flames of death, caught in an unending cycle, where the past must be shed and burned away for life to grow anew. Practically every culture has a firebird or phoenix myth of some note, after all. Since I know peachespig will appreciate the mention, just look at Jean Grey in the X-Men comics. As Phoenix, a practically-divine being of essentially unlimited power, she proclaims in a classic panel she is fire and life incarnate. At the peak of her power when she's good, she can prevent a dark future from ever occurring by holding a universe in the palm of her hand and changing what people in the past did; when she's bad, she can wipe out an entire star system in the blink of an eye.

I think the idea is to understand the nature of fire, and, correspondingly, of life - both need to be nourished and maintained, but with the knowledge that it can go out of control and be a force of destruction if neglected or unattended. Zuko knows that he needs to breathe life anew into the Fire Nation and to help - as appropriate - elsewhere, given that his ancestors did a horrific job of laying waste to so much. Now that he and Aang know where Firebending truly comes from, he can carry on in the tradition of his other great-grandfather, Avatar Roku, and show that the Fire Nation can be a source of life and not just death.

Geez, that was long....


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hymnia
hymnia
Joie
Mon, Nov. 24th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)

The conceit that sparked my thoughts originally were about Azula's fate - I didn't see Aang removing her bending powers on top of having done so to Ozai - and that she had to be restrained in a place where her prodigious Firebending abilities were inhibited as much as possible. I was thinking of a "Swiss Guard" made up of Earthbenders (just speculation, but there seem to be more Earthbenders than Waterbenders left in the Avatar universe) and non-bending Fire Nation personnel.

The question of Azula's fate perplexes me. I have a hard time imagining an effective way to restrain her without removing her powers like Aang did to Ozai. But I doubt Aang would have done that to her as well. OTOH, my impression that she would be impossible to contain is based on her pre-Boiling Rock level of capability. Perhaps with her broken mind, she is less of a threat, and some type of cooling prison with a "Swiss Guard" would be enough to hold her.

Fire has always had that mythological duality - being both the breath of life and the consuming flames of death, caught in an unending cycle, where the past must be shed and burned away for life to grow anew.

It strikes me now how ironic it is that Ozai declared himself "The Phoenix King"; instead, it's Zuko who truly resembles the phoenix.


ReplyThread Parent
spin1978
spin1978
Kyouraku Shunsui
Mon, Nov. 24th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)

Perhaps with her broken mind, she is less of a threat, and some type of cooling prison with a "Swiss Guard" would be enough to hold her.

Well, if you put her underground (where it can get pretty cold), you have her surrounded by tons of cold, heavy earth. This would act as insulation, for lack of a better term, as well as being a natural environment for Earthbenders to have a tremendous advantage in battle. Yes, I probably did think about this too much, heh.

It strikes me now how ironic it is that Ozai declared himself "The Phoenix King"; instead, it's Zuko who truly resembles the phoenix.

Completely agreed! I hadn't even thought about this when I was writing about the phoenix motif, but you're absolutely right. Outcast crown prince to enemy of the Fire Nation to Fire Lord.


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