and season 2 is about the avatar spirit

Voltron/Avatar AU

Okay, okay, okay, so I know this has been done a million times by now, but I wanted to tackle the idea from my own personal narrative perspective. So, here we go –


 Characters:

 Shiro – Gifted earthbender that was raised inside Ba Sing Se and was being trained as a member of the Dai Li before he was abducted by firebenders and taken prisoner. His abduction was a result of a plan by the Fire Nation to secretly infiltrate the Earth Kingdom and take down its most gifted benders. Before he was realized as being talented and brought in to train for the Dai Li, he lived in the lower ring of the city with Keith, who’d he’d long since adopted as a younger brother. They found out during their youth, however, that Keith was a firebender, which Shiro told Keith had to be kept secret. He encouraged Keith to learn his talents nonetheless, if only for self-defense. After he’s kidnapped, he loses his arm and his tortured, etc, and eventually develops metalbending out of sheer desperation to escape. Metalbending is what allowed him to create and use a metal arm as replacement for the one he lost. He eventually gets away—after learning that the Dai Li has been corrupted and secretly overtaken by firebenders—and goes back to the city to find Keith. But when he returns to Ba Sing Se, he comes home to find that Keith is gone and clearly has been for some time.

 Keith – Firebender. A very good firebender, in fact, but too ashamed of his talents to really do much with them. He grew up with Shiro in the lower ring of Ba Sing Se—basically poor—and grows so distressed when Shiro disappears that he lashes out at the Ba Sing Se law enforcers. His status as a firebender is revealed and he has no choice but to flee the city. He’d planned on leaving anyway to go looking for Shiro, and so it becomes his mission to find his older brother—even if he has to search the entire world. Unbeknownst to Keith, however, he was tossed out of the Fire Nation palace as a baby because he was an unwanted bastard son to the Fire Lord. Also, spoilers, he’s the Avatar as well, but is unaware of the fact due to how subdued he’s been forced to keep his talents his whole life. Lots of drama for Keith, haha. Poor child just wants his brother back. Oh well.  

 Lance – Waterbender from the Northern Water Tribe. Prince, though he’s nowhere near being in line to become chief. Still, there are plenty of responsibilities he has, but he decides to run away in search of adventure instead, wanting—more than anything—to be a hero and stand out, basically. He’s had this plan since he was a child—was his dream to see the world—and so he spent a lot of time not only mastering waterbending, but the spiritual connection and teachings of the Northern Water Tribe, as well as healing despite the fact that, as a male, he wouldn’t normally know how to heal. Though he wasn’t the most gifted waterbender, he spent most of his youth studying and practicing in preparation for his big leap out into the world. As a result of being a healer and having studied the spirits extensively, he’s very knowledgeable, but generally keeps these things to himself (wants to be a lady’s man, not a nerd, basically). He is a bit spoiled nonetheless, and doesn’t have a real realistic idea of what’s going on in the world. He and Keith are both opposites and foils as a result of their upbringing and positions.

 Pidge – Waterbender from the Foggy Swamp Tribe. Her father was an inventor from the Earth Kingdom, however, who found himself studying the energy levels of the swamp area before meeting her mother and promptly falling in love. Her brother and father are earthbenders, while she and her mother are waterbenders. And while she is trained in the techniques of swamp people waterbending, Pidge is far more interested in technology and the things her father studies. Her father and brother make regular trips into the earth kingdom—for research supplies, etc—and eventually end up abducted by the Fire Nation for being meddlers or something. Which inspires Pidge to leave her home in search of them, determined to rescue them much like Keith is aiming to rescue Shiro. She isn’t one to be trifled with, however. While she doesn’t have much interest in bending, she is trained and is more than capable of defending herself, as well as using the plants around her to her advantage. She and Lance practice very different types of waterbending as a result, but this doesn’t come between them or anything. They probably bond over it, actually.  

 Hunk – Earthbender. He’s from a small village to the north that is occupied by the Fire Nation and generally has no interest in getting involved with business outside of it. However, when Lance shows up and causes a ruckus (no doubt by accident), he gets caught up in it and ends up wanted by the fire nation and unable to return home because, if he did, he’d be putting his family in danger (they’re already in danger from the Fire Nation, but Hunk is kind of sheltered and naïve). So he ends up tagging along with Lance, deciding that he’d simply go to the Fire Nation higher ups and explain the misunderstanding, thus clearing his name and allowing him to go home. Obviously, he learns that this isn’t really going to work and that the conflict is much larger than he and Lance really realized. Upon seeing how people are suffering because of the Fire Nation, Hunk vows to do all he can to stop it.

 Allura and Coran – The last two airbenders in the world. They were originally part of a secret society that—after the airbenders were basically destroyed—vowed to find the new avatar (who was murdered during the airbender raids) and return balance to the world. However, the society has basically died out and so Allura and Coran are all that’s left. They’re still going around the world, searching, but to say the mission has kind of become hopeless is a bit of an understatement. Still, they’re determined, convinced that if they can find the Avatar, they can stop the Fire Nation.

Story:

 And so we have our misfit team of heroes whose paths eventually cross. Lance and Hunk come together first, and then probably end up with Pidge as a result of trying to help her (likely when she doesn’t need help), before those three maybe meet Keith in a prison where he’s searching for Shiro (they’re there because Pidge is looking for her family in the same place). Meanwhile, Shiro is hunting for Keith, knowing more about him than he realizes (Shiro knows Keith is the avatar, which is half the reason he was so protective over him. He probably saw him accidentally bend earth or something, but then lied and said he’d done it instead). He meets up with Allura and Coran, and as they have a shared interest in finding the avatar, they team up. Likely the two teams meet up as the finale of season 1 or something, where it’s revealed during a dramatic battle or something that Keith is the avatar before they all make a break for it.

 Hunk and Shiro end up as Keith’s earthbending teachers, Allura is his airbending teacher, and Lance is his waterbending teacher (though neither are happy about it. Pidge doesn’t really have the knowledge to teach waterbending, or so she claims, though she does end up teaching Keith a thing or two as well). Water ends up being the element Keith has the most trouble with, which of course spurs antagonism between him and Lance. And when it’s revealed that Keith is actually a bastard prince from the fire nation, this makes things between him and Allura rather tense as well. While all this is happening, Lotor is around causing trouble like Azula did and we’re getting a more in-depth look at what Fire Lord Zarkon is really aiming to do. Basically he not only wants to take over the world, but the spirit world as well (which Haggar, his right hand lady and spiritual expert, thinks is silly—he should be content with the normal world, obv). Zarkon is looking for the avatar not to kill them, but to somehow remove the spirit of Raava and merge with it himself. This is becoming increasingly more difficult for him to do, however—especially with Keith getting stronger—and so he learns instead (maybe from the owl library that he forced his way into) about Vaatu being imprisoned and decides to instead merge with that spirit. Which is kind of what brings us to the season 2 finale. Probably the main group has split up because they’re fighting and they all get reunited in the end, where Keith tries to fight Zarkon and fails. And it’s Lance, who maybe shows up last, that uses his knowledge of spirits (which has basically been lost to Allura and Coran, despite them being airbenders) to separate Vaatu from Zarkon before a dark avatar can really be created. But as a result, he, Lance, ends up attached to Vaatu. Why? Because he and Keith were painted as foils for a reason, that’s why.

 So basically Lance is all sorts of fucked up now, and is dealing with some pretty dark shit that Keith has to help him with, which kind of allows a friendship to form between them where there previously hadn’t been one. Through a lot of interaction and development between all the characters, they eventually come to understand that Vaatu being attached to a human is similar to having him imprisoned and that, so long as Lance remains uncorrupted, he should be able to function as a second avatar. After all, it’s about balance in the end, dark and light, yin and yang, and so while Keith and Lance seemingly oppose each other, they also complement each other. Thus Lance is the first Dark Avatar, a new avatar that will be reborn along with the original and will need to be trained in how to master the evil inside them or something like that. He gets to learn all the elements too, but probably isn’t a master by the time we reach the end of season 3, unlike Keith. Meanwhile, Zarkon is pissed and is like, fine, I don’t get an avatar spirit, I’ll create my own and he basically uses secrets taught to him by Haggar to harness raw spirit power for his own gain. Now he’s really dangerous and threatens all the worlds with potential destruction. And yeah, all of team avatar(s) have to work together to stop him!

I can’t decide if I should do a more in-depth outline for this or not. Like, one that reflects the importance of all the other characters, not just Lance and Keith, haha! Because, obv, they’re all crucial. I mean, clearly Shiro needs to have a personal connection to Zarkon, maybe even some kind of connection to the spirit world. And, like, I was thinking of trying to incorporate the lions as spirits of some kind too. I dunno–we’ll see XD

Originally posted by planced

oh yeah so winter solstice part 1 and 2 is a great two-parter and they’re episode 7 and 8 of book 1, not 10 and 11 like you would expect for the “middle” of the season since atla seasons are 20 episodes long. but we know that atla was originally only picked up for 13 episodes (the blue spirit being the last episode they were guaranteed so they wanted to make it special in case the show didn’t continue), and i find this interesting because that’s the same length as the lok seasons (well, 12 14 13 13 close enough). (i mean, 13/26 is the standard industry episode order afaik, atla’s 20/21 was special)

what’s really interesting is that in season 2 if you look at episode 12 and 13 it’s the big “mid-season finale” two-parter the serpents’ pass and the drill, collectively referred to as the secret of the fire nation. (it wasn’t until book 3 that they split the season in half and put the mid-season two-parter as episode 10 and 11 (day of black sun part 1 and 2))

so basically atla book 1 and 2 were pretty much written as 13-episode seasons followed by an extra 7-episode miniseries afterwards, this is especially evident in book 2 when the extra 7 episodes are all a very tight ba sing se story arc.

i feel like this realization enhances my understanding of atla/lok’s writing, like

  • atla book 1 first 13 episodes vs lok book 2 all 14 episodes
    • 2-part opening in southern water tribe, something spiritually important (aang/spirit portal) is unlocked
    • 2-part mid-season (episode 7&8) where the avatar meets the previous/first avatar for the first time and finds out the impending event– sozin’s comet/harmonic convergence– that ozai/unalaq will use to destroy the world and must be stopped before
  • atla book 2 first 13 episodes vs lok book 3 all 13 episodes
    • first 3 episodes are journey to omashu/ba sing se to learn earthbending/find airbenders
    • mid-season episode 6&7 is beifongs and zuko/lin flashback
    • episode 10/11 has them discover something about the fire nation/red lotus as well as set in the si wong desert and misty palms oasis
    • episode 12/13 is a two-part finale mostly fight scenes

like their choices for structuring lok were so weird, you guys already know i will forever be mad at them for making each season a different plot, but i feel like this similarity to atla wasn’t a smart move. like this is why book 2 and 3 are so weirdly paced, with book 2 i love the plot, worldbuilding, korra’s arc, etc, but i really can’t praise the structure/pacing. like when i’m cutting my lok book 2 edit i keep finding little changes that make it magically flow sooo much better, it’s great. they basically took the first half of atla book 1 and then stuck sozin’s comet on the end lmaoo. if you tighten it up it works really well as a standalone story, but the way they did it is kind of too slow and too fast at the same time

and then with book 3 i feel like this explains why i always found it underwhelming and anti-climactic, like it’s basically a carbon copy of the first 13 episodes of atla book 2– this is why everyone was soo in love with how atla it felt– BUT it doesn’t have the next 7 episodes… it worked in atla book 2 because episode 12 and 13 were the mid-season finale which fed into the climactic ba sing se arc, whereas in lok book 3 it doesn’t develop any ideas and then just ends the season– with a bang, yes, the finale is good, but the whole season doesn’t tell a story.

oh the curse of book 2 and 3, one has difficult times for the characters but tells a great story, the other one has fun times for the characters but doesn’t tell a story at all.

book 1 and 4 don’t really have direct comparisons to atla. like book 1 i think the structure/pacing are EXCELLENT and i think it’s because it’s its own thing. and then there’s book 4 which is just a huge disaster that is neither good on its own nor is it modeled on atla. makes ya think

Reasons why I loved 'The Calling'

1. The Toph and Avatar hug

2. Korra finds the strength within herself to deal with her fears and connects with her spirit on her own. No short-cuts like season 1 finale.

3. They finally shine some light on Ikki

4. Another reminder that soldiers, even on the other side, are still humans. Everyone isn’t a villain.

5. And finally because it was a Meelo expression galore!

I mean

why

isn’t

everyone

talking

about

Meelo’s

face

in

this

episode?

It

is

pure

gold!

Any

one

of

these

expresions

is

worth

a million

dollars!

Book 3 Storyline [SPOILERS]

Here we are, waiting for the sixth episode of Book 3, and we still don’t have a clue about Zaheer’s motives. A recent post of Avatar Legends revealed that the four criminals are called “The Red Lotus”, so that’s how I’m going to refer them from now on.

Basically, there’s a pattern of storyline that repeats in each one of the books: There’s a villain, and he has a plan. He partially fulfills his plan whereas Korra fails to stop him. Korra then regains her powers and prevents him from completing his plan with the help of her allies.

In Book 1, Amon’s desire was to rid the world of benders. He took control of Republic City and later, after Korra revealed his true identity, he took her bending. Korra then gained her airbending abilities, ended the revolution and Amon was killed by Tarrlok.

In Book 2, Unalaq’s intent was to fuse with Vaatu and start a new era of a Dark Avatar. He managed to do so, after destroying Raava, but was eventually defeated when Korra connected to her inner spirit.

Now, in Book 3, the Red Lotus, are planning to kidnap Korra. Assuming the pattern I mentioned is right, Korra WILL be kidnapped this season (most likely in Ep. 9 “The Stakeout”), so don’t be too surprised. As for the question regarding why they want Korra, the answer is probably that they need her for something.

However, this becomes unlikely when you recall Tenzin telling Korra about how the Red Lotus tried to kidnap her when she was 4 y/o. What could four powerful criminals possibly need from a 4 y/o untrained Avatar? Perhaps they wanted to prevent her from becoming who she is now and “put an end to the Avatar”, but that is simply what the previous books were about. Alternatively, they might seek for revenge, but what for?

To be continued…

I'm really worried about Tenzin

I know just about everyone in this fandom is afraid about what’s going to happen to him since watching the last episode, but… man, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fictional death with the potential to serve so many arcs and purposes.  D=

1. Tenzin himself

Tenzin’s story revolves around his need to let go of his idea of himself as a great spiritual leader and “the hope for future generations of airbenders."  He had to come to terms with that at the end of Book 2, and he’s been wrestling with it ever since, holding on all too tightly to his expectations for the new Air Nation as a result.

Outside of that, the part of him we see the most of is his deep personal love and concern for Korra.  We’ve already seen him put his own family and the new airbenders at risk to save her; a sacrifice for her sake might be a powerful ending to his arc, especially if it’s paired with his recognition that the Air Nation will go on without him.

2. Korra

Korra’s story this season has been revolving around the idea of balancing the needs of the world and the needs of individuals – Republic City’s spirit problems vs. the rebirth of airbending, the freedom of Ba Sing Se’s airbenders vs. the inevitability of a dangerous response from the Earth Queen, figuring out what the Red Lotus wants vs. keeping the Avatar safe, ending tyranny vs. preserving order, saving the Air Nation vs. ensuring the continued existence of the Avatar.

As things stand now, Korra has convinced herself that her personal interests (the safety of the people she cares about) and the interests of the world (the preservation of the Air Nation) coincide.  But it seems inevitable that things will come to a head, and putting Tenzin himself in the role of personal interests would ensure that decision was as difficult as it could possibly be.  =(

3. Jinora

Jinora is the next in line after Tenzin to pick up the responsibility of teaching the new airbenders.  If her claim in Original Airbenders is to be believed, she knows all the forms and techniques that he does, even if she has a whole lot less practice with them.

She is, however, a much different figure than he is.  Whereas Tenzin is constantly beholden to the past, she’s something of a hybrid between tradition and modernity – she has a greater connection to the spirits than Tenzin does, but she’s also interested enough in technology to explain the inner workings of radios to Wan Shi Tong.

If there’s one person who best represents the nature of the new Air Nation, it’s her… and she still has an outstanding plot-line about claiming she deserves her master tattoos that has yet to be followed up on.

4. Bumi

Bumi is also someone who’s been coming into his own as a leader of the new Air Nation.  He was the one who rallied the airbenders together to save Jinora, and he’s the one who’s best able to form that band of strangers into a cohesive unit.

Like Jinora, I think he’d end up in a position to put those talents to use if Tenzin were gone.  (He’d also probably be the one to develop an Air Nation military, because Meelo’s been hinting at it for a while, and if there’s one group of people most in need of military protection, it’s the one that’s suffered two existential threats in under a year =P )

5. The Air Nation

"New growth cannot exist without first the destruction of the old.”

Tenzin has spent the last season trying to turn the new Air Nation into a recreation of the old Air Nomads.  He’s the last fully-traditional link between those two cultures; Jinora respects tradition but didn’t let it define her in the same way.

If that line is what we’re meant to take away from the bad guys’ philosophy this season, Tenzin will need to either change or die.  D=

6. Devastating the audience

This isn’t really an arc, just a fact – nothing the show could do would be as painful to both Korra and the audience as killing off Tenzin.

The relationship between Tenzin and Korra is one of the best and most unique mentor-student dynamics I’ve ever seen.  There’s so much genuine love and concern between the two, and their relationship is never just a matter of Tenzin teaching and Korra learning.  He has to learn from her just as much as she has to learn from him; they both support each other rather than Tenzin offering wisdom and Korra coming to understand how to use it.

Tenzin is also built into the DNA of the show.  He narrates the introduction to every episode; if he dies, every single element of that introduction will reference something that’s gone (Aang, the past Avatars, and possibly Tenzin himself).  He’s more deuteragonist than mentor, with the second-best development arc in the entire show (after Korra’s own).

Killing him would be, in a lot of ways, like killing Zuko would have been back in A:tLA.  But Zuko couldn’t die; he was always being built up to inherit the throne so order could be maintained.  Tenzin doesn’t have that luxury.  =(

8

Izumicon 2014: Janet Varney.

This being her first visit to Oklahoma, her boyfriend sent her a text containing the official state song, which she played through the mic to prove he had really done that.

She worked the whole room during the panel, getting right in with the attendees regardless of where they sat, to the delight of all.

Particularly Notable Things:

  • When she was selected for the voice of Korra, one of the reasons given was that Bryke felt her voice was tough yet “with a broken quality” of emotional vulnerability.
  • She had much good to say about the series’ villains and the writing behind them, particularly Kuvira, but she couldn’t elaborate on the unaired part of Book 4 because of Reasons.
  • Her favorite character is Varrick, partly because she just loves watching his actor in the booth.
  • She was so enthused about working with J.K. Simmons that, when the voice director cued them for the first scene between Korra and Tenzin, she asked for it to be introduced as the first scene “with Janet Varney and J.K. Simmons,” just to hear their names in proximity.
  • Her favorite season is Book 2 and her favorite episodes involved Avatar Wan. She was very impressed by all the unique designs of the spirits.
  • She loved doing callbacks to the old series for how important they were to Korra – how emotionally heavy they were in-character as connections to her past life.
  • Korrasami. Genuinely. While she signed a few of my things, she noted how she liked that Korra’s hair on the Book 2 DVD cover resembled Asami’s, and spared some words against people who might consider that pairing “salacious” to any degree. It really is her favorite. People forget that actors can ship their own characters too!
  • But between Mako and Bolin, she would go for Bolin, for his sense of humor.

Audience members also suggested local places to eat because her grocery runners were having difficulty finding snack items at Whole Foods.

She had never heard of Taco Bueno, because nobody outside Oklahoma has heard of Taco Bueno, but she did know of – my suggestion – Sonic drive-ins. It seemed that she had done some work with Sonic in the past and gotten sugar-giddy off their drinks.

One more thing.

Not pictured, because I wasn’t fast enough: Dante Basco in full Blue Spirit cosplay.

I happened to be at the front of the autograph line, which gave me the best view inside the then-empty autograph room. While I waited, up walked a perfect Blue Spirit, mask and all. He spoke to the door-manning staffer.

“This is Dante,” he said.

“No, this line is for Janet Varney,” the staffer said.

“No, this is Dante,” he said, leaning in, pushing his mask closer to his face. “I want to surprise her.”

So the staffer showed him in, and he waited around the corner out of my line of sight.

A few minutes later, another staffer approached, holding a ukulele and wearing one of those harmonica harnesses across his shoulders. He stepped inside the door and waited.

At last Janet Varney approached. She stepped in the door as the musical staffer played his harmonica and ukulele simultaneously, she looked with happy surprise in the direction where Basco was waiting – and the first staffer shut the door.

It was the best surprise greeting I’ve ever partially seen.

Korra Book 3

thewindbeneathyourweavesaid: ooh what are they?

Mainly the almost…. sorta lackluster writing?

I guess we are upset that while a little scenes here and there and characters (like Jinora or Asami) really shone this season – the actual conflict this season just felt… not there?

Sylar and I were scared by Amon. He was introduced to us as an idea, a meaning. He was a threat that took us to the edge of our seats each episode. We knew the fear Korra knew when she saw Amon. Not only was the idea of not being able to bend scary – but it was also scary because Amon had valid points for wanting a world that way.

The scariest thing about Amon is that he made Korra (and us) question what was right and wrong. In an extreme way – but enough to get a lot of good people on his side. Oppressed people, people with actual problems that we saw in the Avatar world and environment. And his ideal was very threatening and real thing. (I mean, the ending kinda jipped that whole nuance but it was still an effective story)

We didn’t get that with the Red Lotus. We actually…. didn’t really get anything. On screen they either fought, made a joke, or Zahere preached so fanatically it just wasn’t relate-able. And despite them pulling some crazy stunts like killing the earth queen they just didn’t scare us. We felt no attachment to Korra’s right way (which wasn’t a way, it was just against them) and theirs (Which was just causing chaos for balance?). 

We had no back story to any of the villains and no real explanations for their motives. They were just bad because they were is what it felt like. And their individual appearances and powers didn’t seem to matter. You could change all of them to be just water benders or just airbenders or gave them no special powers and it would have made no difference to the story. 

It seemed like they had cool bending powers to excuse cool fight scenes. Which just isn’t… great writing. 

So with no conflict to care about there’s no drama. And no drama in a pointedly Drama genre show… Everything else sorta falls flat. 


Not to mention there just wasn’t any resolution with some of the random things introduced. No pay offs. You learn in writing and cinematic storytelling that every scene should progress the story or character development somehow. And that just didn’t show. 

Bolin seemed to have a character arc building with Opal — only for her to be sent off screen halfway through the season. Her presence didn’t even effect his confidence either way… so why exactly was it set up?

Lin and Sue had an interesting conflict between each other… that was solved in two episodes. And afterwards they fight together… but would they not have otherwise? Their new resolve with each other wasn’t really mentioned again. 

Mako found his family?  We were introduced to his grandmother, which could have posed a great arc for him except that it doesn’t in any way. Aside from giving Mako and Bolin something to do on screen when they aren’t with Korra.

And while we love Korra and her character – she doesn’t really have development of any kind. We’re just watching Korra react to bad things happening to her. Nothing happens that makes her make choices she wouldn’t already make. (Not that this has to happen – but not even this happened). And its upsetting to see her hurt and put into tragedy – but beating up a character isn’t an arc, its a set up to one. (We’re hoping this pays off next season.) 

This is all not mentioning the big fact of Book 2.  Wasn’t opening the spirit world suppose to change everything dramatically? All we saw were some overgrown vines and shooing spirits off doorsteps. 

We wouldn’t be surprised at this point if the chaos in the Earth Kingdom was side commented about and forgotten about in Book 4

The only characters who seemed to have a consistent and meaningful arc throughout this season (and all the books) was Jinora and Tenzin. Who wanted to become a better master and wanted to restore the Airbenders respectfully. That’s why everyone seems to be reacting most to them, we think. 

Just our two cents. We still love Avatar, and its always beautiful to watch. We wouldn’t be harsh on it if we didn’t care, I don’t think. 


P.S. I mean, we even saw Zhu-li and Varrick working on a machine to combat metal bending… and then never heard from or saw them again. So where was the pay off to showing them at all?

Things like that make us feel like a lot of things were thrown in for a ‘hey look at this cool/funny/nostalgic things’ sake and not for the sake of the story.