or beginning of book 3

why zuko had to screw up at ba sing se

[ or: all hail cognitive-dissonance-lord zuko ]

When I watched Avatar for the first time, I did it totally out of order. The first episode I saw was Cave of Two Lovers, I watched the finale before Western Air Temple, and the first episode was one of the last I saw. I was mostly at the mercy of the whims of Nickelodeon’s Saturday morning marathons.

So I knew from almost the beginning that Zuko (spoiler alert) was going to grow his hair out and switch sides, and I knew it happened mid book 3. Watching Crossroads of Destiny, then, was a totally different experience. When Azula gave him the ultimatum, I knew which side he’d choose, and I was so frustrated and angry. I wanted Zuko to be good already, dammit. After all of the development and the “metamorphosis” he’d gone through only a few episodes ago, I was convinced that his mistake in CoD was in there purely for shock value (and for me, knowing how it ended, I didn’t even get to experience that) and to draw out the angst. I was bitter because I felt cheated out of a half season’s worth of Redeemed!Zuko hanging out with the gaang. (It’s also worth mentioning that I was like 12.)

But now I know I was completely wrong. Whenever I try to think about what would have happened with the rest of the series if Zuko had sided with Aang instead of Azula, it just doesn’t work. Zuko needed to make that mistake in the crystal catacombs, and I can’t imagine his story without it.

Zuko developed a lot as a character through his travels in the Earth Kingdom up until his moment of truth under Ba Sing Se. He was rejected by his father, who sent Azula to imprison him and put out wanted posters that permitted anyone to kill him on site. He experienced true poverty and saw first-hand the horrible effects of the Fire Nation’s war. He’s been on his own. And, at last, he even gave up his search for the Avatar for a little while– not because realized it was wrong, but because realized it was hopeless.

But let’s think for a minute about what it would have meant for Zuko to side with the Avatar and fight Azula in Ba Sing Se. It would have made him a traitor. To side with Aang would be not only to acknowledge that the war was unjust and the fire nation the oppressor, but it would also be to actively fight against his own nation. And, implicitly, it would mean acknowledging the truth that his father did not and would never want him back. Zuko, at the end of Book 2, has had many experiences that point directly to these truths and in light of them, Zuko siding with the Avatar doesn’t seem that far-fetched. In fact, it was what a lot of people watching for the first time expected.

Here’s the catch: even though Zuko had had all of these experiences, he hadn’t yet processed them and fit them all together to form their logical conclusions. Sure, he knew the horrors the Fire Nation had committed in its war for prosperity, but he still wouldn’t have denounced his nation ; he knew that his father had declared him a traitor and sent Azula to lock him up, but he wouldn’t have admitted at that point that his father would never love or accept him and preferred him dead. Zuko pre-redemption is the king of cognitive dissonance. He has a lot at stake with the processing of all of these experiences—basically, his entire world-view. Somewhere in his mind, he knew that trying to reconcile what he saw in the Earth Kingdom with his current world-view could easily bring everything he knew and considered sacred crashing down around him. And there was one thing in particular that Zuko would protect at all costs; one truth that has been at the center of his world and forefront of his mind ever since his banishment — that he had a home to return to and there was a place for him within it, that if he just didn’t screw up for once everything would be okay again. This is the one thing Zuko clings to throughout his entire banishment, despite all the evidence and logic to the contrary, because if this one truth falls away what does he have left?

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(Book) Jaime appreciation post (I)

After being extremely pissed at what D&D have done to Jaime in the show (especially after 7x03), here comes a post to remind everyone about that amazing character development that we should be witnessing since season 3. We really can’t understand what’s the whole point of stopping a redemption arc of one of the most interesting and complex characters of this story, a character you begin hating and despising but end up admiring and loving (for most people) because of the person he’s becoming/become. We think we’re gonna leave the ranting here because we had finally managed to (kind of) cool down since yesterday and we don’t want to get salty again.

So, here goes our appreciation/comparison post of (book) Jaime/Season 3 Jaime, showing the beginning of that redemption arc (when book Jaime and show Jaime still had something in common). Hope you enjoy it!

Part I:

Jaime ran his fingers through his hair. “Walton,” he said, “saddle the horses. I want to go back.”

“Back?” Steelshanks regarded him dubiously. He thinks I’ve gone mad. And perhaps I have. “I left something at Harrenhal.”

Jaime’s head jerked round at the sound of a distant roar, faint but ferocious. It echoed off the walls of Harrenhal, and the laughter swelled up like the sea.

All of a sudden, he knew what was happening. Have we come too late? His stomach did a lurch, and he slammed his spurs into his horse, galloping across the outer ward, beneath an arched stone bridge, around the  Wailing Tower, and through the Flowstone Yard.

They had her in the bear pit.

Brienne wore the same ill-fitting gown she’d worn to supper with Roose Bolton. No shield, no breastplate, no chainmail, not even boiled leather, only pink satin and Myrish lace. Maybe the goat thought she was more amusing when dressed as a woman. Half her gown was hanging off in tatters, and her left arm dripped blood where the bear had raked her.

At least they gave her a sword. The wench held it one-handed, moving sideways, trying to put some distance between her and the bear. That’s no good, the ring’s too small. She needed to attack, to make a quick end to it. Good steel was a match for any bear. But the wench seemed afraid to close. The Mummers showered her with insults and obscene suggestions. “This is none of our concern,” Steelshanks warned Jaime. “Lord Bolton said the wench was theirs, to do with as they liked.”
“Her name’s Brienne.”

“Pull her out of there.”

Bellowing in fury, the bear showed a mouth full of great yellow teeth, then fell back to all fours and went straight at Brienne. There’s your chance, Jaime thought. Strike! Now!

She moved around the pit, keeping the wall at her back. Too close. If the bear pins her by the wall…
The beast turned clumsily, too far and too fast. Quick as a cat, Brienne changed direction. There’s the wench I remember.

Where’s the blood? Then suddenly he understood. Jaime rounded on Hoat. “You gave her a tourney sword.”

“I’ll pay her bloody ransom. Gold, sapphires, whatever you want. Pull her out of there.”

“You want her? Go get her.”

So he did.

Jaime VI, ASOIAF A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin.

The Avatar and the Firelord: Storyline Parallels

Avatar: The Last Airbender gives us two juxtaposed storylines.

The first storyline, focusing on Aang, tells the story of an Air Nomad monk who, at the age of 12, finds out that he’s the Avatar. Faced with this burden, Aang runs away and accidentally freezes himself, eventually waking up one hundred years later in a world that has been ravished by the Fire Nation. With the coming of Sozin’s Comet less than a year away, Aang goes on an epic adventure as he tries to master all four elements so he can defeat Firelord Ozai. 

Alongside this storyline we have the story of Ozai’s son Zuko who, at the age of 13, is burned and banished for speaking out of turn at a war meeting. Exiled from his home, Zuko is told that he can’t return until he finds the Avatar. When the Avatar finally reveals himself, Zuko begins chasing him, and we see how these two characters interact as the series progresses until Zuko ultimately joins Aang to defeat his father. 

With that said, despite being two very different storylines, the experiences that these two characters go through have parallels and connections that help tie them together. Thus, this post will look at these two characters, as well as multiple Avatar episodes, to demonstrate the parallels between them.

But, before we get started, let me explain how I plan to go about this meta because, let’s be real, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that we have a lot of ground to cover. 

Therefore, I’m going to start by going over some of the general themes, parallels, and contrasts that follow Aang and Zuko through their adventures, as well as going over some of the thematic trends that follow them too. 

With that out of the way, I’ll get into the specifics—talking about the parallels that take place episode-by-episode and season-by-season. I won’t go through everything, since not all the parallels are important plot wise (like this one) but, I’ll go through the really important ones that help establish the storyline of each character. 

So, with that said, let’s begin!

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Unlike Cassie, unlike Tobias perhaps, I’m ruthless at times. But even I have enough sense to know the words “we have to win” are the first four steps on the road to hell.

Animorphs #17, The Underground


 I was Jake’s insurance policy. He thought maybe he wouldn’t have to use me. He hoped, anyway. But down deep he knew, and I knew, and we both hid the truth from the others because Cassie couldn’t let Jake make that decision, and Tobias couldn’t let me, and those two, by loving us, would have screwed everything up.

It was a war, after all. A war we had to win.

 Animorphs #54, The Beginning


Spirits telling the Avatar not to give up.

I was making a gif for a different post when Yue’s quote suddenly sounded very familiar…

Aang: I’m not gonna make it. I failed. Roku?
Avatar Roku: You haven’t failed, Aang.
Aang: But everyone thinks I’m dead again. They think I’ve abandoned them and I’m losing this war. I’m letting the whole world down.
Roku: If anyone is to blame for the state of the world, it is me. I should have seen this war coming and prevented it. You inherited my problems, and my mistakes. But, I believe you are destined to redeem me and save the world.
Aang: I don’t know.
Princess Yue: You already saved the world, and you’ll save the world again. But, you can’t give up.
Aang: You’re right. I won’t give up.

Avatar Wan: I’m sorry, Raava. I failed to bring peace. Even with Vaatu locked away, darkness still surrounds humanity. There wasn’t enough time.
Raava: Don’t worry. We will be together for all of your lifetimes. And we will never give up.

Study Buddy (Part 2)

Part one

Summary: Jim Kirk is a bad influence but you can give as good as you get (Jim Kirk x Reader)

Words 1,368

Warnings: Implied sex, language.

A/N: I wimped out on explicit smut so have some nice implied sex. Also thanks for the great response on part 1, maybe in future I’ll do a bit more of Academy!Jim.

You were hot, your hairline wet from sweat, your body aching. Jim moved closer to you, he was in a similar state, downing his glass of water in one fluid movement. The remains of breathlessness played on both of your voices.

“You’re so hot” Jim whispered in your ear “You have no idea what I’d like to do to you right now”

“I think I have a good idea” you whispered back, “but this is the lunch hall… and I think that’s illegal” you continued, picking up your tray from the food station and turning to find a table.

“Details. Thanks for being my gym buddy by the way, certainly makes exercise enjoyable” Jim said leading the way to a table in the back corner of the large, packed room.

“I don’t think anything could make circuits fun, even if I do like seeing you in a little bit of pain now and then” you winked at your friend, sliding into an empty chair.

“And you have the gall to call me the kinky one”

“Can you two please keep your weird shit to yourselves? I’m losing my appetite” Leonard McCoy grumbled from the seat across the table.

“Oh come on Bones, don’t pretend you’re not jealous of our working relationship” Jim said to his friend. He turned to you, smirking “Speaking of, we got that test coming up soon fancy having a study session later?” he asked, placing his hand on the back of your chair, his thumb gently resting on your back.

“Study my ass” Leonard mumbled to no one in particular.

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japanese sign gag from the beginning of book 3! (plus the english version for comparison)

“karubona-ra supagetii  tomato no omurettsu  hakusai to ingen no sarada” -> “onara supagetii  kusai toire no sarada

tl: “Carbonara Spaghetti, Tomato Omelettes, Cabbage and Bean Salad” -> “Fart Spaghetti, Stinky Toilet Salad

Hair, Symbolism, and Azula's Descent into Madness

Not my hair! Father always loved my hair!

One of Bryke’s favorite forms of symbolism has to do with hair. We see it with Zuko (both with him cutting his hair in “The Avatar State,” and growing out his hair as  symbol of his gaining wisdom as the series progresses); we see it with Korra when she cuts her hair in “Korra Alone”; with Tarrlok as he adds more and more braids to his hair until he has as many braids as the man that he never wanted to become; we see it with Kuvira whenever she loses control of a situation which causes her hair to become unkempt; and, most notably, we see it with Azula.

The same principle used for Kuvira’s hair symbolism (unkempt hair whenever they lose control) can also be applied to Azula. However, with Azula, it’s not just about control–it’s about perfection. It’s about living up to her father’s standards. After all, shes a prodigy, and Ozai would expect nothing less.  

Azula grew up in a world where she was held up on a pedestal as her father’s prodigy. As such, she was forced not only to surpass her brother in the art of firebending, but to be perfect in every way in order to meet her father’s absurdly high expectations. This caused Azula to be obsessed with perfection and control. Consequently, to be anything but perfect and to lose control would mean falling short of those high standards set by her father.

And that’s precisely what happened. Her plans began to fail, pawns began acting on their own. She was no longer in control. She was no longer perfect. Her world began to fall apart around her, and she was left with nothing but her hallucinations.

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Chapter 131: The Thinking Pig

Feel free to copy and paste my summaries to other sites as long as you give me credit.  Please keep in mind when copying and pasting that I may continue to correct errors and tweak details after it is posted.

Pg 1: The ghoul children ask Kaneki where Touka is because they want her to read a book to them. Kaneki says that she might be doing an errand and asks if they want him to read to them instead. They say that Touka told them that it’s taboo for him to do it so Kaneki says they can go look for her. Kaneki thinks to himself that he hopes Touka isn’t angry that he read her memo (regarding her pregnancy due date in December). They find Touka.

Pg 2: Touka sits at the top of a large steel tower. Kaneki and the children climb up and the children ask her to read them the book. Touka begins to read it and Kaneki watches her.

Pg 3: The scene changes to Kaneki approaching the cell where Hajime is being held. Hajime sings to himself but stops when he sees Kaneki. Kaneki says that he wants to talk to him and Hajime screams his name at the sight of him.

Pg 4: Hajime excitedly tells Kaneki that he is a fan of his strength and has watched his video file many times. Kaneki says that he wants to talk about the letter that Hajime delivered to him. Hajime says that he doesn’t know anything about the letter, he was just sent to be a spy. Kaneki realizes that he may need to meet with Mutsuki directly.

Pg 5: Kaneki turns away from the cell and Hajime tells Kaneki that if he is going to the surface to take him with him. Kaneki thinks that Yoriko’s execution date is getting closer and he wonders how he can save her. He thinks that there are a number of places that she could possibly be held and he might need to rely on Mutsuki for that information. His eye begins to drip black liquid. Kaneki looks at and thinks that he isn’t a miracle human, he’s just a person. The scene changes to Kaneki and Nishio sitting on top of a metal structure talking about telomeres.

Pg 6: Nishio explains that telomeres are found at the end of DNA and every time that a cell divides the telomeres shorten until they can’t divide anymore. He says that the RC cells may contain enzymes that increase the length of telomeres so that ghouls can withstand the high rate of multiplication that they have in their kagune. He says that because Kaneki is using his kagune for regeneration his body is going through the cell cycle faster, therefore Kaneki is aging at a rapid rate.

Pg 7:  Nishio tells him that it’s just a theory but Kaneki says that he thinks that he’s right. Nishio asks Kaneki when he started to have black tears and Kaneki replies that it started about a month ago. Nishio says that he won’t be able to continue fighting because he’s not a ghoul. Kaneki asks if he’s able to stop the aging and Nishio tells him to stop using his kagune, avoid fatal wounds, and cannibalize other ghouls.

Pg 8: The scene changes to Kaneki lying alone on his cot. He wonders how much time he has left to live. He reaches for the paper under his pillow and notices that the letter is facing a different direction, meaning that Touka saw it.  The scene changes to hooded ghouls wandering deep underground.

Pg 9:  Ayato looks at the rubble and thinks that there’s nobody there, not even ghosts.

Pg 10: A ghoul jumps out, attempting to startle Ayato with a surprise attack.  Ayato dodges the attack. He forms his kagune quickly and fires projectiles at the attacking ghoul, knocking it back.

Pg 11: Another ghoul approaches and attacks Ayato with a kagune. Ayato takes the blow with his leg and kicks the ghoul back, telling it that he can’t be cut with a blade that thick. Ayato stabs the hood of one of the ghouls and tells them that it’s game over for them. He thinks to himself that there are three in total.

Pg 12: Ayato and the other hooded ghouls look at the ghouls that they found. The ghouls angerly tell Ayato that if they are going to eat them to just hurry up and do it. Ayato thinks that he can hardly understand them because of their accent. He says that they aren’t going to eat them and they act surprised. He asks them if they are part of the 24th ward and asks them what happened to the other ghouls. They ask him what a ghoul is.

Pg 13: Ayato says that they are ghouls because they used kagune. They ask if a kagune is what they call a “tsumamushi” and tell him that they are humans in Tokyo. Ayato asks them how the town came to be and they say that the “Nagaraj” (Snake King) destroyed it. A large serpent-like figure is shown throughout the rubble.

Pg 14: The scene changes to Touka and Kaneki sitting on a cot. Touka tells Kaneki that the kids were happy she read to them and then tells Kaneki that he’s making a face. Kaneki apologizes. He thinks that he wants to ask her if she saw the notice in his room about Yoriko’s execution.

Pg 15:  He wonders if he told Touka that he was going to rescue her if Touka would try to stop him. Touka asks if it’s something that’s hard to say and he agrees. She asks if he fell in love with another woman and he says that he didn’t. She asks if he wants her to talk and they look at one another.

Pg 16: Touka says that she thinks that she’s pregnant and apologizes for not telling him. She says that she wanted to wait until she was sure that it was going to be born healthy. Kaneki looks at Touka and wonders if she is trying to overlook the fact that Yoriko is going to be executed (she also knows that Kaneki is weak/sick at the moment and will not fare well if he tries to rescue her, meaning that she is choosing to ignore the fact that Yoriko will be executed in order to not endanger Kaneki).

Pg 17: Kaneki asks when it will be born and Touka says in December. Kaneki says that he’s happy. He asks Touka how ghouls get married. They hold hands and Kaneki says that he wants to leave proof (that they are a couple/married) behind on each other’s bodies.

Pg 18: Kaneki leaves a bite mark on Touka’s shoulder, proof that won’t fade away after they die (recall that Touka has already bitten Kaneki’s neck, during the fight with Tsukiyama in the original Tokyo Ghoul).

Japanese Denim Pt. 1

Synopsis: He never waited for anything to just come or happen to him. It wasn’t until he saw you reading alone at the public library that he realized the best things in life come on their own. 

Warnings: Fluff, Vulgar Language, Slight Mention of Past Abuse

Genre: Romance, Librarian!Namjoon, Gang!AU

Word Count: 5,095

Pairing: Namjoon x Reader

Originally posted by choke-me-namjoon

“My blue jeans will last me all my life, so should we. I’m spending all this time.”

Namjoon was a relatively satisfied person with a relatively satisfying life and a relatively wonderful job. 

He was a library, the lead librarian in a rather big city named Los Angeles. His library was his passion. Despite his parents’ protest of him majoring in library science, he went on to pursue his dream. He was an underground rapper at night in clubs and when he wasn’t busy, Namjoon would write his thoughts and feelings that would become songs. But what was the highlight of his days, was the girl in the corner of the library, sitting on the floor oddly, with paranormal romance books piled around her. It wasn’t that he necessarily judged you for your teen taste in books, but it was strange to see you, he estimated that the girl was in her early 20’s maybe late teens, on the floor seated with books around her as if they were skyscrapers. His colleagues would approach you, asking you to not rearrange so many books as towers around you because it was a bit tiresome for them to put them back in their corresponding places. But you never listened, and if you did, the girl never indicated that she paid any attention. 

Namjoon would sit there, in his seat behind the check out counter and watch you subtly. Some days the girl was wearing all black, sleeves adorning your arms and he wondered what exactly was inked on those arms of yours. You would walk in sometimes with a backpack and a motorcycle helmet hung from your fingertips. There was an obvious attraction he felt towards you. It felt weird how despite your combat boots, the inked arms, and the typical bad boy clothes you wore, you had such long almost mermaid like hair and the sharpest wings adorned the ends of your eyes with perfectly filled and cleaned eyebrows. It was as if the face didn’t match the body.That was the first thing that drew him to you. 

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Yall mind if I rant: The Sequel Nobody Wanted

The newest comic got me to question my stance on Korra/sami yet again (the dashes here exist to keep it out of the tags, just in case that’s still a problem). The short version of this is that my stance really hasn’t changed. (Also, just a headsup, I haven’t read my old anti k/s post in a long time, but it’s probably full of logical fallacies and the lot, so…what I’m getting at here is please don’t judge me based on what I’ve written in the past). 

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anonymous asked:

Hi honey, I'm interested in maybe getting into witchcraft but I lack the confidence and motivation. I also barely have any of the ingredients needed to perform a lot of the spells I see on Tumblr. Do you have any advice for getting started? Thank you so much x

bonjour, sweet friend! i absolutely recommend checking out this link: click here :-) it’s a post with several of my favourite references for beginner witches. and don’t worry about supplies right away - if there’s one thing i can tell you, it’s that you absolutely don’t need anything physical but yourself to start out. lots of soul-searching, self-discovery, and exploring your own unique, personal powers/strengths will be all you need to begin! wishing you the absolute best of luck ☺️✨🌕🤞🏻

yuknoomyichakkahk  asked:

The Dai Li survived the Hundred Year War and they were still active in the age of Korra. What do you think about the decision of the writers of LoK regarding the survival of the Dai Li? Did the comics mention some sort of prosecution against them for high treason? What did the writers tell us about how the Earth King and Aang dealt with impunity?, since the King and the Avatar had the authority to dissolve the Dai Li, prosecute and condemn them, but apparently nothing of this happened.

It isn’t surprising to me at all that the Dai Li survived—they are very keen on self-preservation, as we know from the last half of Book 2 and their coup over the Earth King (and later, the Earth Kingdom itself). The Dai Li seek power and control, but they don’t like being in the spotlight, and they tend to gravitate to whoever is the strongest player on the board—hence their allegiance to Azula.

I don’t remember anything in the comics about the Dai Li at all, but then, I am sure large swaths of the comics have been purged from my memory.

Aang never tried to kill Zuko in the Avatar State.

Katara never became arm candy.

Sokka never reverted to a comic buffoon.

The Earth King shouldn’t have been put back on the throne of Ba Sing Se. He was a weak incompetent who never really had to govern. Heck, he happily traveled the world with Bosco at the beginning of Book 3! Realistically, I think what would have happened after Sozin’s Comet is that, if Bumi did not immediately take charge of Ba Sing Se, there would have been a military coup, with the generals who were on the side of the Earth King grabbing power, only for the newly banished Dai Li to return from the Fire Nation in secret and start taking their city back street by street. 

King Kuei does not have the know-how or the willpower to be an absolute ruler. Or any kind of ruler, really. His assassination is even more likely than Zuko’s. As for the Dai Li being prosecuted and all locked away, that simply isn’t practical. Controlling as they were, the Dai Li ran Ba Sing Se. The city would continue to function under Azula’s nominal rule—after all, she is known for keeping order among her subordinates—but without a strong head of state in the aftermath of the war, Ba Sing Se would need not only new leadership, but an entirely new government infrastructure. And none of the other three nations are in a good position to implement anything like that, especially since it would be considered a hostile invasion. No, the Dai Li at the end of Book 3 were in a good position to take and keep power for a long time to come.

Thoughts on The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars (Part One)

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything original on my blog about The Legend of Korra (or just anything original period). I’ve reblogged several Avatar related posts and art (as well as things from other fandoms), but I haven’t posted hardly anything myself since the Book 4 finale! I’ll just take a moment to wave hello to anyone still following this blog and my fellow Avatar buddies (Waves enthusiastically!). S’up Peeps! OH and if you’ve yet to read the Comic, don’t read any further than this because SPOILERS! I’m pretty sure most in the fandom have read them but just in case.

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