Avatarverse and the Superman Problem

Lokgifsandmusings’ recap of the LoK Book 2 finale made me think about how the franchise as a whole deals with what I refer to here as “Superman Problem”, which means - what do you do when the protagonist if your story is literally the most powerful person in the world?

The first series establishes firmly that a fully realized Avatar is a nigh-unstoppable force. If they go into the Avatar State and wield all four elements, it’s hard to even slow them down. So, how do the series deal with it?

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Book Commentary - Book #1 - The Dream Giver/Intro 2

The next part I will analyzed is the second part. It turns out what I feared was true. This is meant for people to wake up to God’s dream and will help by telling you of “timeless truths” in the bible stories. The author tells us that we can relate to Ordinary because we feel ordinary. I feel people of all kind feel ordinary and Ordinary’s challenges are challenges everyone faces, from Nobodies to Somebodies. The author said “ours, it’s easy to feel like a Nobody, isn’t it?” I have to agree, but people can feel like they are a Somebody and everyone else is a Nobody., as if they are the main character, and everyone else are subcharacters. I’ve done that before, many times and Ordinary, when he recalls the two Nobodies returning, he doesn’t think about their potential, but only that they failed what they were fighting for and should be shamed. He doesn’t think about how much better their story could be as they return, but if they didn’t do it the way he did, they were wrong. In the end, the 7 chapter is to make Ordinary’s journey to match with the journey of the men in the Bible. I am ready to read an analyze these pages. I may not enjoy it as much, but I’ll reach the end and tell my thoughts regardless.

Book Commentary - Book #1 - The Dream Giver/Chapter 7

Ordinary Thrives in the Land of Promise

Ordinary passed through the Anybody city gates. He’s saw all the miserable Anybodies in the city. The Dream Giver asked Ordinary what he saw, Ordinary said, anybodies in need. The Dream Giver asked what else and Ordinary realized he had reached his dream. His dream was to rebuild this city to match the city of his dreams about. Ordinary started to help all the Anybody out there as much as possible. There were Dreamers who arrived at the city who knew that they had reached their dream. They too helped the anybodies. An anybody came up to Ordinary and told him how he was discontent with his own work.Ordinary asked what he wishes to do. The Anybody wished for a work that isn’t available in this city. The Anybody wished he was blessed with a big dream. Ordinary realized that Anybodies are blessed with a Dream and it was his duty to tell them. He gathered all the Anybodies and told them that they are meant to be Somebodies. The Anybodies soon realized their dreams and some set out to the unknown, while others remained for their dream was within the city. Ordinary, whose dream is reaching to a close, was set aside by the Dream Giver. The Dream Giver is proud of Ordinary. He also told Ordinary that it is not over and that Ordinary must leave the city. Ordinary was wondering why, then the Dream Giver showed Ordinary many Land of Promises awaits him with many more challenges. Ordinary gets ready to set off for his new dream. That concludes the story.

Well, I’ll leave the fist half of the story with a good note. I didn’t like the constant use of faith in this book, but I enjoyed the journey. I’ve many issues when it got halfway through several chapter, but I enjoyed the setup. I also felt the setup of several chapter could be improved, but nothing I disagree with. I have to say, I felt a connection withe all the chapter except chapter 6. I admit I started to get angry at chapter 4 for the use of faith, and remained angry for the same reason in chapter 5 and 6. Chapter 6, as intense as it was, made no sense to me. I honestly felt like I was reading a different book. In this chapter, we are led back into the book, better than when we left off in chapter 5. Ordinary has finally reached his dream.

This chapter is about Ordinary building his dream, the other chapters were about Ordinary preparing his dream. It made me feel weird when some Anybodies stayed to achieve their dreams in the city. This is what I thought about several chapters ago about Familiar. It had a controlling landlord and I mentioned how the landlord will remain in power as long as the people who disagreed with the landlord leave Familiar. I wanted to know why no one dreamed of staying in Familiar and work from there. This also brings me back to the returning Nobodies, if they can safely reach back to Familiar, they can create change to Familiar because they’ve reached far in their journey and will remain discontent with their reality more so by having the knowledge that they were close to their dreams, but chickened out.

After every chapter, Ordinary writes in his journal and the last journal entry was a letter to his father. This letter expressed hope for his father to fulfill his dream and tell of his mother too has a dream, but doesn’t know it. I find it strange that these conclusion in the final chapter was reached only in the final chapter, many conclusion I’ve concluded beforehand is through living vicariously through my sibling. The things they experienced and the things I experience as a result. This brings me back to the setup, Ordinary is alone in his journey, that is not true in real life, there are many who’re on their journey as you make it through your journey. I understand it’s a personal journey, but it is shared by others. That is where the 6th chapter shine, but merely a small glimpse. I guess it’s better late than never to reach the many conclusions that Ordinary has reached when in this final chapter.

It was nice, I enjoyed the journey, I even enjoyed the ending. There are many problems I saw with this story, but it is mainly because I see the world differently than the author. I am glad it ended well after, what I feel to be, a poorly made chapter. There isn’t much else to think about in the chapter except of how much Ordinary had changed throughout the book, he travelled a long way from Familiar, he gained confidence, learned to follow his dream, and trust other. (the Dream Giver). This is it for Part 1, now I’m nervous for part two because it is where Wilkinson explains how to achieve your dream. I feel if I ever need a dream coach, he really won’t be the right one for me, unless I make large interpretation of his word, but if that’s so, I wouldn’t need his help to begin with. I also fear the day I finish. That day my sister will ask me what I think of it, and it isn’t lying to say I did enjoy the story, but that doesn’t mean I felt like there weren’t large flaws in it.

Book Commentary - Book #1 - The Dream Giver/Chapter 6

Ordinary Reaches the Valley of the Giants

In the start of the chapter, Ordinary reached the Valley of the Giants. He was scared to know that giants are real. He then resolve that giants aren’t so scary as long as there’s the Dream Giver, until he saw the Mighty Being. His name is Commander, and he was sent by the Dream Giver to help Ordinary with some encouraging words. He tells Ordinary to not fear the giants. He told Ordinary that his trials that led him to The Valley of the Giants are all the weapon and armor Ordinary need and to fight against giants. He also said that unbelief is his worst enemy and assured Ordinary that he is a Warrior for getting that far. His first Giant was Moneyless. He asked the Dream Giver’s help, and was given knowledge of how to beat Moneyless. Ordinary attacked Moneyless and after a while, he defeated Moneyless. At this point, he realized that the Commander was right, he is a warrior. He fought several other giants and met other Dreamers. He met a Wounded Warrior who’s on death row. They both had the same dream. She told him death was her victory. He buried her. He met Anybodies who were living in tents and told of how their city was captured by the Giant of Darkness. A few of the Anybodies believed in the Dream Giver when asked. He challenged the giant and got weaker in battle to the point of retreating in order to think things through. The Dream Giver was told Ordinary to leave his sword behind and bring his feather. He was filled with unbelief, but he remembered that the Dream Giver had been good to him and so he took the challenge and to take a Great Risk for the Dream Giver. He brought the feather to the giant and was taunted, but he used the feather to kill the giant by stabbing him in the heart through a miracle. The Anybodies knew it was a miracle and praised the Dream Giver for freeing their city.

I used to think chapter 4 and 5 was bad toward the end of the chapters, but I didn’t understand this chapter very well. I got the gist of it, but the situations seemed so different from the rest of the book. This chapter is where all the magic seems to appear. I mean the book started out as a normal person from a town, going to fulfill his dream by leaving his comfort zone, being confident about his decision to others, travelled through a desert with the help of someone who’ve been through it, to reaching a point of enlightenment and meaning. Now that he reached the Valley of the Giants, he’s given a sword, with no knowledge of how to wield it. That’s not the most weird part, the weird part is how did he get his sword and armor? I don’t recall him being given it. I might need to read it again, but if memory serve me well, it is all the thing he learned and I imagine they materialized into weapons and armor. I thought when he fought Moneyless, it was mere wordplay that got him to win, until Wounded Warrior died. At that point I thought, “were they actually fighting with swords?” It was strange to me because I was imagining the battlefield as some strange Norse allusion with a true warrior will die honorably at the battlefield and will be brought to Valhalla as their reward. Then they did the whole David and Goliath analogy (which is what the whole chapter is about) when he fights the Giant of Darkness. He takes on the giant and when he reach the giant, he is carrying something that the giant ridicule, he then shows the giant by dealing a blow that was sure to end the giant’s fate.

What strikes me silly in this book is knowledge of Malcolm Gladwell’s book “David and Goliath”. My brother was really interested in this book and wasn’t hesitant to talk of it’s stories. One of the major theme of that book was that it was a situation that was bound to happen. David had an advantage over Goliath, not because of God'a miracle (even though Gladwell is a Christian), but by his skill as a slinger. He goes off to say how deadly a slinger can be and how slow Goliath was. He also mentioned that a slinger had an advantage over someone with a sword, so Goliath is at a disadvantage. He also mention that the cause of Goliath’s size is a condition that leads to double vision, which means Goliath im had a visual impairment, which is why he said sticks rather than stick. So basically the miracle of David and Goliath wasn’t too miraculous unlike the Dream Giver. I mean when Ordinary killed the giant with a feather, light was emitted by the feather and apparently sharp enough to puncture the giant’s heart. I do understand that this book was released way before Gladwell’s book, so the miracles may have been understood that way.

I really have not much to say about this chapter other than how little sense it made compared to the rest of the book. I actually was hoping for a more real take on life. The previous chapters were better at it than this chapter. I know, Ordinary talks to and experience the Dream Giver, but his journey was mostly by himself and his interaction with the Dream Giver was when he was alone. I guess my biggest issue is that there wasn’t much explanation for this chapter, in fact I feel like this chapter had too much going on and not enough learning. What was this supposed to teach Ordinary, how to trust the Dream Giver? Or is it to take a Big Risk, because it didn’t seem too much of a risk since he had so much faith, and the Dream Giver’s power is strong to his believers. Isn’t there other ways to fight giants outside of faith? Seriously.

Book Commentary - Book #1 - The Dream Giver/Chapter 5

Ordinary Finds Sancuary

Away from the WasteLand, Ordinary reached a mountain forest. He was told by the Dream Giver to come closer to the sanctuary. He reached a leveled area, he saw a bright light and found that he was in a beautiful place. He felt the presence of the Dream Giver. There was a pool of water in which Ordinary dipped into. After bathing, he was shown the Dream Giver’s light. When shown the light, all he remember are his failures and darkness and how he isn’t worthy of the dream. He ask for relief and the Dream Giver did so. The Dream Giver told Ordinary to ascend even higher, when he did, Ordinary saw the Land of Promise in the distance. He was close and at this point, the Dream Giver then ask Ordinary to give up his Dream. He was conflicted and had to make a decision. He picked up a stone that said remember. He remembered all the people who came before him, Champion, Faith, even two Nobody returning to Familiar. The two Nobodies made him angry for their lack of trust in the Dream Giver. With that, he decided to give his Dream back to the Dream Giver. He walked away only to find himself back where he walked from. He had written in his journal about giving up his dream to find the journal had the Dream Giver leaving a message that he gives Ordinary’s dream back. Ordinary believes he’s now a part of some grander scheme out there. He saw a memorial of stones like his stacked in a grand monument. He added his stone to it and goes forward with his dream.

Being the first time I read this chapter, I didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed the first half because it’s a nice moment where Ordinary reached enlightenment and ascension. His symbol of this is his baptism, he had risen to a new level of consciousness. I enjoy it as a sense of enlightenment. Having been a previous believer in the Christian God, I understand the feeling of wanting to renew your baptism. My sister renewed her’s this year and I attended her baptism. She puts her trust in me so I returned by being trustworthy. I didn’t like the part where he saw his darkness. It made him feel unworthy again. I can go off talking about how he’s off to fulfill the Dream Giver’s dream and not his that’s the reason why he feels unworthy, but I’ve done it already.

What surprised me was the part the Dream Giver said to give up his dream. This part reminded me of two things, Odysseus’s encounter with the siren, and God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son Issac. It turns out to be the latter, but I was so hoping for the former. His journey led him the difficult task of choosing what he fought for vs who he fought for. The Dream Giver gave him his dream and therefore Ordinary had no power over what he does with his dream. As he made the decision, he got angry at those who returned to Familiar in chapter 4. This got me angry at him because he accused that they wouldn’t trust the Dream Giver. To me, their actions are fine. What happens is that they had to go through rigorous training. Did they fail? Yes they lacked the particular motivation they needed to accomplish their dreams, but they must’ve learned so much from their journey that they are never the same as the used to be. I imagine that they will go back to Familiar and remain discontented enough that they feel they need to create changes in Familiar. They could even start a group together with all the other fail dreamers and create a brand new dream. Their trails should never go to waste.

I was so hoping the Dream Giver in this chapter was one that was trying to disguise himself as the Dream Giver, but is really a Dream Taker. This would be a great representation of trauma caused by the idea that Satan is always ready to deceive you. He is like a lion ready to pounce and what better time to do so than when Ordinary is at his most vulnerable state? Oh well, it wasn’t, Ordinary’s dream to start with so giving up his dream was really the only right answer. This is why I’m more in favor of people creating a dream for themselves rather than having someone else do it for you.

I can’t believe how this one came, I really like the whole reaching enlightenment deal of the chapter. I knew this book was about a Christian’s take on living your dreams, but when I found out it is merely to glorify their god, I felt betrayed. This makes me think of the many times my brother and sister said that they are doing their dreams for God and denying their dream is to deny them and go against God. God came to them and gave them their dreams. I feel like they aren’t fulfilling their own dream, but someone else’s. I had to define myself a dream. I am open to change it as I get further on. If my dream had changed, I won’t feel like I backed away, but I will have learned many new skills that will be better for a new dream that I will create or reshape from the old.

Book Commentary - Book #1 - The Dream Giver/Chapter 3

Ordinary Meets Bullies in the BorderLand

Leaving off with what chapter two had left off, Ordinary had just summed up the courage to cross the Comfort Zone. As soon as he was able to pay attention to his surroundings, he saw familiar Nobodies. They were his Mother, Best Friend, and Uncle. They all had one reason or another to want Ordinary to stay. Ordinary soon realized that these people are his Border Bullies who will prevent him from going out to pursue his dreams. Then a Somebody, once a Nobody, came to help Ordinary break free from the BorderLand. He was what you call a Border Buster. His name is Champion. Champion told Ordinary to convince them by focusing on their concerns and find a reason to not fret about it. This helps define his Dream even further. He also said that you can’t please them all and it’s all about who you decide to please. He manage to convince his Mother and Best Friend, but not his Uncle. His Mother said his Father would be proud. He then reached to the bridge and the Landlord is blocking his path. He owns all of Familiar and wants Ordinary back at his Usual Job. Ordinary, not quitting his dream decided an alternate way. He finds a boat with a note from Champion saying it was good of Ordinary to choose to please the Dream Giver.

Like the last chapter, I wish there was another Nobody with Ordinary. It could’ve made a more interesting story. I’m not saying him having to face the closest people to him isn’t interesting, but it sure only paints the picture of one way, the Dreamers vs the Nobodies. If there was another Dreamer, I’d make sure to have Dreamer vs Dreamer. I would do that because it would speak more to me personally. My brother and sister would most likely view what I want to pursue as unsustainable and I view what they want to pursue as unsustainable. We hold different beliefs and some extremely polarized to each other, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pursue our individual dreams, nor that we can’t support each other. I just wish they had a different method.

I don’t like how his mother said how his father would be proud. In the first chapter, Ordinary learns that everyone is born with a dream. That includes his mother, yet it is his father who seemed to have a more important dream because of the feather he was given. I’ve spoken my opinion of where dreams come from, but it seems inconsistent with the story unless his mother is one of those who haven’t embraced a dream. Why did she not include herself to being proud of Ordinary?

I wish Champion had a different name because it makes his life seem easier. I’m not saying he doesn’t have challenges, but with a name like that, you’d expect him to learn to take challenges head-on. I imagine the other Nobodies would look at him and say he is a Somebody born a Nobody. His name just doesn’t give me enough belief to say that he understood Ordinary well enough to relate with him. I’m surprised his words meant anything to Ordinary. It may be that Ordinary either knew Champion well, or admired him a lot, or both.

It was clear Champion wanted Ordinary to please the Dream Giver. I still don’t like the idea that Ordinary is doing it to please the Dream Giver, but that’s how the story’s going to go. I’d prefer Ordinary to please himself by accomplishing his Dream. I’d like to see Ordinary feel an accomplishment for fulfilling his Dream rather than making someone else proud by doing it.

The last challenge, to me, is the strangeness of the Landlord. The Landlord is, I guess, a Somebody, I mean he owns all of Familiar. He seems to be a paradox to me because he block everyone from getting further in their lives. Doesn’t that lead people to do poorly at work? Does he even have a sustainable business plan? He’s basically running a sweatshop. He has a monopoly of everything in town and he has no regard to the inhabitant’s feelings. If it weren’t for the Nobodies being perfectly content with their lives, they could find many ways to rebel. If the Nobodies understand his power was given to him by an agreement of the people they could just as easily agree to not give him power and will be rendered powerless. A revolution is bound to happen against a man like that. It’s sad to see that the author makes the Nobodies seem pathetic because they are absolutely content with their lives. When they aren’t, they go off in the distant to fulfill their dreams apart from their hometown. The problem with this strategy is that there will never be Dreamers in Familiar, and it will never prosper because all the people willing to make changes, leave.

So in this chapter they had Ordinary face those who wanted him to remain in Familiar and he must convince everyone enough to allow him to leave. He must burn his bridges from his past so that he may move forward. He also must define more what he’s fighting for to persuade better. The one big thing I didn’t like are the characters aside from Ordinary because their purpose seems to be to help or challenge him and nothing else. We also learn how screwed up Familiar is . But I digress, this story was probably meant to be a simplistic story as to give more reason to achieve your dreams.

Book Commentary - Book #1 - The Dream Giver/Chapter 4

Ordinary Visits the WasteLand

Ordinary, who had ridden the boat in chapter three and has found on the other side is a WasteLand. He goes out to venture into the WasteLand, following a path. He had hoped his Dream was right around the corner, but it wasn’t.he ate and drank when he needed. One day he ran out of food, two days later, he ran out of water. He asked the Dream Giver for help each time, but there was no reply. He found water then food. At this point, he wanted to get to his dream as soon as possible that he attempted to find shortcuts. In his frustration, the wind blew so that the path was missing. Ordinary blamed the Dream Giver for his situation and lost his dream at the same time.he slept on a tree and was awaken to a Somebody named Faith who wished to help him. Having lost his dream, Ordinary dismissed her. He changed his mind about her after she was a good whiles away, but not far enough to not find when he climbed the tree. This lead to a process for him to climb a tree to find her, follow her and stop for water and food, and repeat. It even was given a little three line poem:
Food enough for the day.
Water, when he needed to drink.
A path to follow that led to Faith. He had a suitcase the whole travel, but as he followed Faith, he eventually left it. In the end he crossed paths with some Dreamers returning back to Familiar. They had to face giants that frightened them. Ordinary, having the epiphany, shown in the poem above, had realized these Dreamers has put there back on Faith.

I read my commentary for chapter 3 and I felt like I may have been too harsh with the chapter. My biggest issue was only the characters, but it was a nice situation and solution that could’ve been better. This chapter, though admittedly I like the setup better than the last, made me angry. I probably shouldn’t have written the about the last chapter after reading this chapter. I liked the first half of the chapter when he was alone, not the second half of the chapter when he met Faith. What this chapter did well was set Ordinary up for a long, harsh journey into the unknown. He had to learn what he was getting into was unrelenting and long. He attempted many shortcut, but each led to a setback. With each setback, he got frustrated and lost sight of the clear path to his destination, hence the wind storm.

What I believe the chapter did poorly is the answer to his problem, a Somebody named Faith. Now I’m not saying he was wrong to receive help from others, it’s just I don’t agree with the metaphor that is used. I don’t agree that one must have faith nor let faith guide your path. In fact using this metaphor makes the first half look terrible because it goes to show that the only reason Ordinary had a terrible journey by himself was because he believed in his own abilities that he needn’t anyone’s help, until he ran out of food and water supplies, of course. This, in my opinion, goes against what was learned in chapter 2, where he must learn to trust himself and not put his strength in the Dream Giver. Which didn’t fully happen because he blamed the Dream Giver in this chapter. A note, I have read up to this chapter so I knew that Ordinary had blamed the Dream Giver halfway through. Chapter 2 seemed to be about believing in yourself and chapter 4 seemed to be about having faith in god. This particular faith is the one that is synonymous to trust. Ironic because when Ordinary blamed the Dream Giver, he exclaimed that he trusted him. I notice the poem was meant to be a very powerful part of the chapter. With its meaning, I wasn’t moved, but I could see how it would move others.

This chapter showed that one needs to be fully prepared for anything, but generally, no one is, so it’s good to have someone else also prepared. Ever since I analyzed chapter 2, I’ve been thinking of Lord of the Ring movies. I been thinking how great the story would be with a duo traveling to the great unknown like Frodo and Sam. This chapter would be one of the most moving chapters because they would need to have full trust in each other if they are to make it out of there alive. Each person would have their own skill that will help them survive, but not enough to rely on it alone, which means they need the help each other out. Like I said, the chapter has a great setup, I just don’t like where it lead to.