element-of-change:

Water to End the War

The symbolic import of Water in both the series finale of Avatar and the Book Two finale of Korra is by no means lost on me. As each Avatar faces an insurmountable threat in the only conceivable opponents equipped to match Aang and Korra’s powers, there comes a moment where no other element can achieve what Water can.

The import here is twofold.

First, in the surprisingly similar maneuvers of Aang’s full-body Water hold and Korra’s redirected, locked Water whip, the Avatar proves that only Water has the adaptability and control to pin down an opponent so effectively. Water adheres, persists, changes to match the enemy. Each of these moments occur before a final development; they signify, respectively, the Avatar’s final, decisive hold in two very different games of give and take.

Second, and certainly more poetic, Korra and Aang bear unto the world the true blessing of Water: its convalescence.

Of no small significance is Aang’s first act as a fully-realized Avatar. Wielding the Avatar State, he draws the sea inland towards the point of his last stand, the point where all violence ends. Only Water can act as a balm to soothe the sins of Fire.

Korra’s act of resolution parallels this quite well. Even in the absence of Fire and its destructive forces, evil takes hold in a more amorphous, changing form. This is the evil in its essence of Vaatu, borne out to such ends by Unalaq, abuser of knowledge and wielder of change. It was he who instructed the Avatar for his own gain, yet it was he who met his defeat in that very instruction. Korra is able to heal the world of this unseemly distortion of evil, incarnate in Vaatu and manipulated by Unalaq, only by dint of the knowledge, the spiritual knowledge of Unalaq, which first cast the world into shadows.

In each instance, on a grand scale, Water assumes the agency of change, in the first comparison, and of healing, in the second comparison. We see, in each Avatar’s brilliant use of it, how Water lives out its purpose as the essentially benevolent Element of Change.

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element-of-change:

Defending the Sky Bison

While their maneuvers differ expressly, their techniques are just the same.

I get really worked up about Katara restoring the lost martial discipline of her culture. From her chance encounter with the very last natively inculcated Southern Waterbender, Hama (in all her batshit glory), Katara gives new form to the art of Southern style Waterbending with such flourish and grace. Though Katara received her only formal training from Pakku, strict as can be, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to characterize this example, and countless others past the midpoint of Book 2, as one in which Katara displays how much she has cultivated and claimed her craft.

Obviously Kya is more aggressive than Katara here. Their objectives couldn’t be more different: to shield and to strike. Yet, there’s a flow to their forms that connects them obviously. Each recenters with ease, redirecting with simple, direct stances. Their hands strike me as most similar: open and relaxed.

Southern style is much more humble and human and, thereby, diverse than its Northern counterpart. Affectation and precision of the North yield to wild, emotional, forcible or pure and reduced interpretations of the art. The full range of human experience flows through the blood of the people and through their power of Waterbending. In the South all melts and reforms. The martial art is no longer so institutional or disciplined, but communal, striking me as far more quintessentially Water Tribe.

By no means do I imagine Katara wielding some of the more aggressive instantiations of Waterbending in the South, as exhibited by Tonraq and Korra, most notably. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied Katara singlehandedly regenerated the more amenable aesthetic of the South, thus giving birth to this lost tradition in a new age.

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element-of-change:

The Power to Rend Spirits

"Then you could do this."

The glorious return of Studio Mir

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element-of-change:

The Element of Change

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element-of-change:

Air into Water

Favorite Waterbending move hitherto demonstrated by my boo, Korra.

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element-of-change:

Korra + Water + Peacekeepers

Going for some color contrast here…

I adored Korra’s scenes on the seas, and I must say her ostensibly ineffectual Spiritbending still has my interests piqued. How and why!?

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element-of-change:

The control of this maneuver is UNBELIEVABLE!
If she can pull this off, predicting the trajectory of the snow mobile and the necessary curvature of her ice formation to perfectly drop these two, who she presumes is her father with her kidnapped uncle, onto the ground without injury…Korra’s got a greater understanding of physics than I ever will!!!!
A changed Korra you see here, folks! No longer so brash and brutish, but expedient and cognizant of complex objectives.

element-of-change:

The control of this maneuver is UNBELIEVABLE!

If she can pull this off, predicting the trajectory of the snow mobile and the necessary curvature of her ice formation to perfectly drop these two, who she presumes is her father with her kidnapped uncle, onto the ground without injury…Korra’s got a greater understanding of physics than I ever will!!!!

A changed Korra you see here, folks! No longer so brash and brutish, but expedient and cognizant of complex objectives.

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element-of-change:

here have some Northern Water Tribe soldiers endlessly attack you as you blog

element-of-change:

here have some Northern Water Tribe soldiers endlessly attack you as you blog

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element-of-change:

Tonraq: Master Waterbender

As I read and reviewed the probably dubious character bios from nick.com, I couldn’t help but harken back to the unfolding drama, the prefigured conflict between Tonraq and Unalaq.

Disinterred for Korra characters and viewers alike, Tonraq’s past spurted new conspiracies of Unalaq’s hand in his brother’s fall from grace; it all screamed machinations!

So, with canonical corroboration of Tonraq’s banishment, I await to witness demonstration of Unalaq’s purportedly peerless Waterbending (same holds for Desna and Eska, for that matter). As far as I can fathom, Tonraq has the physical edge on Unalaq. Spiritual affinities, his precious gifts aside, I’d cast bets with Tonraq, and I hope I get the chance to when it comes to fisticuffs between the two.

Here’s a study of Tonraq’s Waterbending mastery demonstrated thus far.

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(Source: korrastoe)

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