Chapter 5: The King of Omashu
Here we have the first appearance of the cabbage seller. Poor guy.
Chapter 6: Imprisoned
Haru is hotter clean-shaven, I think. And he's one of two characters in the show whose name drives me crazy because of expectations based on my anime/Japanese culture obsession. I feel like his name should be pronounced HA-ru rather than ha-RU because of Haru Sohma in Fruits Basket. (The other character whose name bothers me is Mai. It's not a big deal, but I would be happier if her name were spelled Mei. Oh well.)
Chapter 7: Winter Solstice Part 1: The Spirit World
The scorched swath of earth that the kids find in the beginning of this episode reminds me of when Katara meets the blood bender and she demonstrates dehydrating the flowers. I like the sense of balance in the mythos of Avatar: that all the elements can either create or destroy, depending on how they are used.
So, on some comment thread somewhere I saw the suggestion that Iroh may have been deliberately hindering Zuko in his search for the Avatar. What do you think? Is this a possibility? While that may be true later on, I can't really think of a good motivation for him to do so this early in the series. Yet, his behavior in this episode does seem to fit the idea that he really is trying to slow Zuko down.
OOOOH, this is where Zuko gets his uncle's sandal that he uses to find him in the finale. I'd forgotten that's where it came from.
The spirit world…it seems like there's still a lot of room for interpretation/speculation on how it works and how one gets there. It's interesting to note that Iroh alone is able to see Aang in the spirit world. peachespig mentioned that in a later episode Iroh is revealed to have made a trip there in the past, so it seems clear that other people besides the Avatar can visit it and make use of its mysteries. I want to know MOAR.
The way the dragon touches Aang's forehead to show him memories/images is rather like spirit bending, ne?
Chapter 8: Winter Solstice Part 2: Avatar Roku
Now begins my quest to find Katara-->Aang hints in the series, since I admit I missed most of them the first time through. First one: "The world can't afford to lose you to the Fire Nation. Neither can I."
So Avatar Roku sets Aang an appropriately impossible task: master all the elements and defeat Fire Lord Ozai before the comet returns. Does anyone else find it funny that Aang didn't really end up doing that? I mean, he mastered the elements and defeated the Fire Lord, but he didn't do it before the comet arrived. He did it while extra-special-supa!Fire bending was still in effect. How cool is that?