nicholasbloom said: some fans think jinora's role was a deus ex machina but what did you consider her role as in book 2

element-of-change:

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I don’t like to see it this way, as deus ex machina. Jinora was an empowered and influential agent throughout Book Two: Spirits. She alone had Spiritual affinity enough to guide the Avatar into the Spirit World. It made so much sense to me that during the greatest Spiritual and celestial occurrence of ten millennia all the most powerful Spiritual beings alive would take action. Unalaq and Korra waged war of the essential Spirits of Dark and Light. Jinora, gifted as she was, intervened as a consummate Spiritual agent on behalf of her dear friend and ally.
Deus ex machina, meaning “god from the machine” essentially, has to do with a new character, plot device, force, ability, etc. suddenly appearing to solve the primary conflict at hand. Was Jinora’s manifestation of Spiritual power never-before-seen in this instance? Yes! Was it unprecedented? No. Jinora’s Spirit powers are prefigured from the second episode when she detects some spirits at play in the Hall of Statues and later when she witnesses Wan’s Avatar statue communicate to her when Korra unlocked the Souther Portal during the Winter Solstice. They are furthered in episode 209, “The Guide” when her regular communication with Light Spirits is unveiled, and in episode 210 “A New Spiritual Age,” despite Korra’s disruption of the energy there, Jinora is able to freely navigate the Spirit World by means of this communication and by dint of her own Spiritual powers.
Unlike the Lion Turtle in the finale of ATLA (I have an essay analysis of that posted here), Jinora’s capacity for Spiritual intervention seems to be well-prefigured in episodes prior to her intervention. (I personally think they could have done a bit more to explain or ground it, say we see Jinora one more time in the Spirit World convening with the Light Spirits and perhaps seeking advice from Iroh before she manifests as the restoration of Raava in the Material World.)
Thus said, Jinora’s act cannot be true deus ex machina. Does it seem to be? Yes, of course it does. Nonetheless, I like to conceive of her act as one of clear character agency and not as one of writers’ contrivance.
If you’re looking for an explanation of exactly what Jinora accomplished during the finale, one that has been essentially corroborated by the Creators’ DVD commentary, look no further! Check this post of mine out!
I’d also like to laud the writers for refusing to abandon this vein of character development for Jinora! They have averred that Jinora’s astral projection during the Harmonic Convergence is, in essence, the advanced Airbending technique of “entering the void” and “projecting the Spirit.”
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Book Two: Spirits, Chapter Thirteen: Darkness Falls

"Don’t let them escape this time!"

Location: Souther Spirit Portal, South Pole, Southern Water Tribe

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Book Two: Spirits, Chapter Thirteen: Darkness Falls

The Powers That Be

Location: Unknown Spirit Wilds, Spirit World

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Hybrid Animal Headcannon

element-of-change:

The hybrids were created when Spirits of some animals possessed actual animals and distorted their appearance like what the Aye Aye Spirit did to the Firebending hunter in Beginnings.

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Book Two: Spirits, Chapter Twelve: Harmonic Convergence

What’s in its pocketsess

Location: Snow Fields, South Pole, Southern Water Tribe

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Book Two: Spirits, Chapter Twelve: Harmonic Convergence

Stinky-Nasty

Location: Northern Water Tribe Encampment, Southern Spirit Portal, South Pole, Southern Water Tribe

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Book Two: Spirits, Chapter Twelve: Harmonic Convergence

To Pale in Comparison

Location: Northern Water Tribe Encampment, Southern Spirit Portal, South Pole, Southern Water Tribe

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Book Two: Spirits, Chapter Twelve: Harmonic Convergence

Recap

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Book Two: Spirits, Chapter Ten: A New Spiritual Age

Lost Little Ones

Location: Forest, Spirit World

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element-of-change:

Reaper of Souls

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