You think you’re any different from me, or your friends, or this tree? If you listen hard enough, you can hear every living thing breathing together. You can feel everything growing. We’re all living together, even if most folks don’t act like it. We all have the same roots, and we are all branches of the same tree.
Since you just quoted Iroh's song, do you think the "four loves" part has a special meaning? Sorry for this random question ^^'
No need to apologize. It’s a very good question. I’m inclined to believe that there is a special meaning. I think some of the other songs have a special meaning, too. I should do a meta on them. But for now, I will focus on the song, “Four Seasons”
“Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, Four seasons, Four loves. Four seasons, For love.”
Immediately prior to the scene where Iroh sings this song, a crescent moon is shown above. In astrology, the phases of the Moon have a symbolic meaning associated with certain emotional states. The lunar cycle is said to affect the planet’s energy, as well as people’s subconscious thoughts. I think the lyrics of the song were meant to foreshadow the four future romances of the series. During the course of Avatar’s story, there is one relationship with Moon symbolism that occurs during each Book, each of which takes place during one season.
Winter (Book One: Water)
The first romance is Sokka and Princess Yue. They share their kiss under a WaningCrescent Moon. This phase is said to symbolize the end of an old cycle, and the beginning of a new one. It is a time for the release of negative energy and renewal. It is the ideal time to focus on new hopes and wishes that you desire, such as a relationship. Symbolically, this moon phase suggests that the inner world is more important than the outer world.
Their final kiss takes place after Zhao destroys the moon, completely erasing it from the sky. Yue becomes the Moon Spirit and her sacrifice returns the Full Moon to the sky. The Full Moon appears when the Sun and the Moon are on opposite sides of the Earth (like Zuko and Katara clashing as enemies). Emotions tend to be high during a Full Moon, as energies are at their peak. The Full Moon also represents a time when hidden emotions are put out in the open.
Spring (Book Two: Earth)
Sokka and Suki nearly kiss under a Last Quarter Moon. This phase symbolizes spiritual healing, and the time to let go of past hurts and feelings regarding people and things. Although Sokka is unable to at first, he reciprocates her feelings the next day, finally having moved on from his past pain with Yue.
Summer (Book Three: Fire)
The New Moon has no illumination. It appears dark and not visible (except during a solar eclipse). As it is dark, it denotes beginnings. Energy from the New Moon up to the Full Moon gradually builds in strength and intensity, so the New Moon is the ideal time to set clear intentions and goals, start new projects and give rise to new ideas and ventures.
When there is a Full Moon, the planet’s energetic frequencies are much more active, and so there is heightened activity and intensity. Intense thoughts, feelings and behavioral patterns emerge. Its profound connection to water represents our emotions and the innate depths of our subconscious mind. Emotions tend to peak one way or the other. The downside of full moon energy includes tension, polarity and intense thoughts and emotional behavior.
Fall (Book Four: Air)
Each Book so far has had one major moon-related relationship as the focus. Winter had Sokka’s ill-fated relationship with Yue. Spring had the blossoming of Sokka and Suki’s love. Summer was originally going to be the period for Aang to let go of his attachment to Katara, unlocking his final chakra. So if I had to guess, much like the first episode where they spend time together under less romantic circumstances…
…Zuko and Katara were probably going to have a special romantic scene, perhaps a first kiss, underneath the moonlight during the Fall in Book 4: Air. Damn, that’s actually kind of sad…
Thank you for your book recs tag. So many good books that I now need to read. Are there any new books you'd desperately recommend?
I’m gonna choose to interpret “new books” as “new to me” i.e. books I’ve read in the last few months, adored, and haven’t YELLED ABOUT a lot yet, sooo:
- SIX OF CROWS BY LEIGH BARDUGO – I haven’t read the Grisha trilogy so for the first 100 or so pages of this I was pleasantly “???” about everything, but then it TOOK TF OFF and didn’t slow down again and YO, I AM IN LOVE. the tagline is “six dangerous outcasts, one impossible heist” but honestly I think “my six morally grey kids flirt dreadfully and have shenanigans” is far more fitting. shenanigans and clutch-your-heart painful backstories. (alternately: “five dangerous outcasts, and Wylan”.) CAN’T WAIT FOR ALL THE ADRENALINE-FUELLED, TORTURED SNOGGING WE’RE GONNA GET IN THE NEXT BOOK! BRING IT ON!
- FANS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE LIFE BY KATE SCELSA – this was a very lovely, very cute, very well written little sort-of-polyamory book. it’s basically about three kids (two boys who ID as gay and one straight girl) who’re obsessed with each other, and it ACTUALLY GOES THERE. like, they take it TO THE BONE ZONE. sort of. more like the Unambiguous Oral Zone, which is preceded by the boys being like “I thought you didn’t like to kiss girls?” “I thought YOU didn’t like to kiss girls!” and then finger-gunsing each other. AAAAANYWAY, I liked it a lot. and the author replied to my tweet with a winking smiley, so she’s golden.
- HORRORSTÖR BY GRADY HENDRIX – two words: HAUNTED IKEA. (technically it’s haunted ‘Orsk’. and Ikea actually exists in their universe, which took me out of it slightly – I think Grady should have played it like Orsk Is Ikea, not “oh, Orsk is just a rip-off Ikea!” kind of like that ONE Harry Potter mention in Fangirl that gives you whiplash. BUT, OTHER THAN THAT: BRILLOPADS, AND GENUINELY VERY SCARY.)
- WHEN EVERYTHING FEELS LIKE THE MOVIES BY RAZIEL REID – okay, this book is an ACQUIRED TASTE. three pages in I was like “wow, this is absolutely not for me”, but I just… didn’t put it down. I devoured the whole thing in one sitting because I needed to know what was going to happen. it was very nihilistic, super fucked up, sexually explicit, but DAMN, JUDE. A CHARACTER FOR OUR TIME. queer af, genderfluid (? possibly?), he belongs in an early ‘90s New Queer Cinema flick starring Andreja Pejic and directed by Gregg Araki.
- SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA BY BECKY ALBERTELLI – hoooo boy, this was a cute book. A CUTE BOOK. I read it immediately after finishing When Everything Feels Like The Movies, because I knew I needed something sweet and nice and Uplifting Teen Movieish before going to bed, AND THIS BOOK WAS IT. such a great premise, really great protagonist, big ol’ heart eyes in my face all the way through.
- THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE BY PATRICK NESS – I’ve yelled about this book once before, but it bears repeating: it’s incredible and I am highkey in love with it. buncha teenagers trying to live their lives while residing in the same town as myriad YA SF/F Chosen Ones, who keep trying to Save the World at inopportune times and ruining graduation, etc. etc.
I rewatched episode seven of Book Two, “Zuko Alone,” to analyze Azula’s character a bit better. When I was younger, I thought the disturbing way she talked was to characterize her as a little bit evil from the start, but now that I’m older, I see it a bit differently.
Azula is pretty young here, and while young children can certainly say creepy and disturbing things on their own accord, I think it’s more than that. Every time she taunts Zuko, she appears to be parroting something she has heard, probably from her father. Azula sees how much power her father holds, and he’s never been shown being incredibly kind to his children, even though he’s clearly favored Azula from the start. Azula most likely believes that by mimicking and taking on her father’s opinions, she can stay in his good graces.
Azula knows she’s gifted and she also knows her father has high standards. She can see how Zuko, who doesn’t meet those standards, is treated. It’s no secret Azula is a perfectionist, and this shows even at such an early age.
The moment when Azulon asks her and Zuko a history question and she is able to recite exactly what Azulon wants to hear shows both how she’s a perfectionist and how she’s learned to parrot people. Like I said before, she’s most likely doing this to survive, to stay in her father’s good graces.
This isn’t to say that Azula isn’t brilliant. She’s my favorite female character of the show for a reason–– she’s incredibly talented, smart, and cunning. She achieves things nobody––no man–– in her family was able to achieve. But it’s important to understood what brought her to that point. Sure, she grew up in a palace with every luxury imaginable, but her father was abusive and controlling. She knew the mold she had to fit, so she fit it, even, arguably, surpassing her father once she grew older. Everyone seems to recognize that Zuko has a tragic backstory, but I would argue that Azula does, too. They both grew up under Ozai, they simply handled his abuses in vastly different ways.