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.
I wish I had Korra and Avatar-universe drawing skillz. (This is not false modesty, I just don’t do any of this cool ass art a lot of you people do.) Because I can PICTURE something I want really, really badly, but can’t bring it to completion. Unless I were to somehow convince a bunch of people to chip in art for something. (Ha - I am a good director of things.)
can u keep it down i am trying 2 reed
Animals with corrective lenses on their heads.
Animals with crap on their heads is my new favorite tumblr (also, wow, famous Samson).
My secret talent: making friends with tumblr famous dogs and their owners.
Your resistance to change is your fear of the death of who you think you are. Actually, change destroys who you are not, so who you are can emerge.
It may be hard to believe since Book 3 hasn’t even aired yet (SOON!), but we just had the final Korra animatic meeting this afternoon for the Book 4 series finale episode. It’s been bittersweet saying goodbye to so many amazing crew members as their teams have rolled off the production these last few weeks. Pictured here, left to right: Melchior Zwyer (director), Lauren Montgomery (supervising producer), Joaquim Dos Santos (co-executive producer), Ki-Hyun Ryu (supervising producer), me, Owen Sullivan (assistant director), and Mike. In hindsight, I wish we had lined up this shot so it looked like the Mac desktop tiger’s ears were sprouting from Mike’s head.
P.S. Though we had the animatic meeting, that still means there’s a TON of work left to do on Book 4. That is still part of the pre-production process.