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Beginnings, Part 2

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"The spirits must stop fighting the humans and return to their home in the Spirit World. I will teach men to respect the spirits so that balance will be maintained. I will be the bridge between our two worlds."
Wan.

"Beginnings, Part 2" is the eighth episode of Book Two: Spirits of The Legend of Korra and the 20th episode of the overall series. It was aired on October 12, 2013, for select cosplayers chosen among the attendees of the The Legend of Korra panel at the New York Comic-Con and premiered on Nickelodeon alongside "Beginnings, Part 1" on October 18, 2013.

Overview

Wan's spiritual reflection shows Korra how he learned the other three elements and the reason why he eventually merged with Raava and became the first Avatar. His story makes Korra realize what she must do to restore balance to the physical and spirit worlds.

Synopsis

Wan realizes his mistake

After freeing Vaatu, Wan realizes the error of his ways as Raava explains who she is and what she does.

Korra, still submerged in the subterranean pool of spirit water, becomes the topic of discussion as a Bhanti Tribesman questions if she should be pulled up, to which the shaman responds that she is connecting with her deepest Avatar memories and that she must confront her own past. Korra returns her attention to Wan's story, where he is debating with Raava about humans interfering with spirit matters.

Wan fighting a spirit

Wan uses his firebending to fight off enraged spirits threatening the village atop the air lion turtle.

Later, Wan discovered some people with the ability to airbend and was thrilled to see other humans for the first time in two years. Frightened, the airbenders fled and Wan tried to follow them until he approached a cliff which he could not traverse. He noticed one airbender running toward him, but was surprised when he saw the nomad floating toward a lion turtle that was floating in the air. Wan eventually made his way onto the lion turtle and introduced himself to the Nomads. Vaatu gained control the spirits on the island and began to terrorize the inhabitants, before revealing his presence, which the airbenders questioned due to the absence of Raava. Wan tried to fight off the spirits with firebending, when Raava arrived. After gloating how he would destroy Raava at Harmonic Convergence, Vaatu fled with the dark spirits. Confused, the people living atop the air lion turtle asked why the spirits attacked. Wan explained himself and wishes he could undo his mistake. Raava warned Wan that every time Vaatu gained power, her strength waned, threatening to cover the world in darkness. Wan resolved to beat Vaatu by asking the lion turtle to grant him the power of air. Initially, the lion turtle was hesitant, as no human had ever been able to bend more than one element at the same time but Wan was determined to undo the damage he had done. The lion turtle agreed to grant Wan the power of air, but Raava would have to hold it until he had mastered it. The light spirit questioned why she should aid the very human who caused this mess in the first place but relented when Wan reasons that neither of them can defeat Vaatu alone.

Spirits versus men

Wan combines his energy with Raava in hopes that he will be able to stop the battle between spirits and mankind.

As they set off to master airbending, Raava explains that Harmonic Convergence is an event in which she and Vaatu battle for the fate of the world. With only a year to prepare, they experiment by combining their energies via Raava passing through Wan, granting him airbending. As Wan practices with the element, he asks Raava why she and Vaatu have not destroyed one another after ten thousand years. The light spirit explains that light and darkness cannot exist without each other; even if she were to defeat Vaatu in this encounter, darkness would grow inside her until her counterpart emerges and vice versa. Since Wan believes that it is not disastrous if Vaatu wins due to Raava eventually being reborn, the light spirit points out that Vaatu intends to destroy the entire world, plunging it into darkness for ten thousand years. Realizing what is at stake, Wan decides to seek out more lion turtles in order to receive more elements.

Near the end of the year, Wan and Raava find a ravaged section of forest; it is discovered that Wan's friends had left their city to create their own, but several were killed off by spirits, so they attack in vengeance. Raava admonishes them for rash behavior, stating that it would only exacerbate the situation. Suddenly, a crowd of spirits, some of whom Wan recognizes from the oasis, arrive to drive out the humans for burning down the forest. Wan attempts to meditate the conflict, but Vaatu appears, corrupting the spirits and feeding off their anger. The humans provoke the dark spirits with firebending, but Wan keeps both groups from clashing with airbending. He and Raava subsequently combine their energies, allowing the young man to bend all four elements. The fighting briefly stops and the spirits turn normal, but the strain of Raava possessing him was too much, causing him to pass out. Raava carries an unconscious Wan away as the battle reignites. When Wan comes to, Vaatu appears, revealing that all the humans have been annihilated. The dark spirit promptly departs, promising that the end will come soon.

Vaatu trapped

Vaatu is sealed inside the Tree of Time by Wan.

Raava, in a severely weakened state, asked Wan to travel to the Southern portal for the convergence. In the final battle with Vaatu, Wan is severely beaten despite his bending abilities and fusing with Raava. Though her presence puts a great strain on his body, Wan refuses to give up. As the convergence begins, Wan, in a desperate gamble, touches the Southern portal, absorbing the spiritual energy, and permanently fusing his energy and essence with Raava, thus creating the Avatar Spirit. After beating Vaatu back and imprisoning him inside the Tree of Time with the use of all four elements, Wan makes it his mission to bring peace to the world while acting as the bridge between spirits and humans to avoid another disaster. To do so, he has all of the spirits leave the physical world and return to the Spirit World, at which point he closes the spirit portal to ensure that no human would be able to physically enter the Spirit World and release the dark spirit.

The lion turtles declare that the world had entered a new age and decide to renounce their position as protectors of humanity and will no longer grant humans bending. Wars between cultures of respective bending elements ignite and Wan attempts to mediate them. Many years later, an elderly, dying Wan sits against a large earth coin, amidst a war-torn battlefield. He apologizes to Raava for failing to bring peace and balance to the world and laments that despite all his best efforts, chaos and destruction still exist in the world, even with Vaatu locked away. Raava comforts him and tells him that she will always be with him for all his lifetimes and that they would never give up. As Wan exhales his last breath, a golden light exits his body and disintegrates in little sparks. As the scene fades to white, his newborn reincarnation is heard crying and Korra's vision ends.

Flying bison herd

Korra is led to a herd of flying bison that the shaman has kept since the Hundred Year War.

Korra opens her eyes while in the Avatar State and shoots up, gasping for air as the glow subsides. The elderly shaman asks her who she is. Korra replies, saying her name is Korra and that she is the Avatar. The shaman takes Korra outside to a herd of flying bison that were saved since the Hundred Year War, musing over the fact that she never thought she would be able to offer one to the Avatar. When Korra wonders how long she has been out, the shaman cannot answer her, though urges her to take action as the Harmonic Convergence will be upon them in just a few weeks. Determined, Korra states that she has to close the spirit portal before the celestial event occurs. Taking one of the sky bison, she leaves the island.

Credits

Production notes

Transcript

Main article: Transcript:Beginnings, Part 2

Series continuity

  • The whale spirit in the group that fights Jaya and the other humans first appeared in "Beginnings, Part 1", as one of the spirits fleeing from Raava and Vaatu's fight. A whale spirit also appears when Korra and Jinora enter the Spirit World in "A New Spiritual Age".

Goofs

  • Throughout the fight between Wan and Vaatu, the contours of the details of Vaatu's "head" change back and forth between two different designs.
  • Before confronting Vaatu, Wan places his teapot onto Mula's back without fastening it, but when Raava flies out of it, it is strapped down to the cat deer.
  • After Vaatu tells Wan to "prepare to face oblivion", he turns purple upon firing an energy beam. However, when the shot changes to show Wan fleeing, Vaatu has his normal color scheme, despite the energy beam still being fired.

Trivia

  • The people living atop the air lion turtle bear tattoos that looked similar to those later bestowed upon master airbenders.
  • The rock formations dotting the area in which the earth lion turtle lives bear a resemblance to Monument Valley.
  • The scene where Wan and Raava notice a burning smell is similar to a scene in Princess Mononoke where San and Moro notice a burning smell. Both result in a standoff between humans and spirits.
  • When Wan fights Vaatu after permanently merging with Raava, "Aang's Theme" from the original series can be heard in the background.
  • Just like Avatar Roku's origin story, Avatar Wan's story ends with the crying of a baby, signaling the birth of the next Avatar following his death.
  • The flying bison Korra mounts is missing the tip of one of its horns, like Appa's mother.
  • The earth coin battlefield where Wan dies is the same battlefield Zuko rides through in "Zuko Alone".[2]
  • The order in which Wan and Raava received the ability to bend additional elements establishes the order of the Avatar Cycle: fire, air, water, and earth.

References

  1. WHAT AN AMAZING EVENING!. Korranation (October 12, 2013). Retrieved on October 13, 2013.
  2. The Legend of Korra—The Art of the Animated Series, Book Two: Spirits, page 110.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Beginnings, Part 2

  • I'm confused

    16 messages
    • 1 is a fact: if it wasn't, then the avatar wouldn't be possible. regardless if it's just raava choosing a new host or actually wan reincarnati...
    • We don't know nearly enough of bending specifics to know how bending passes on. For all we know, it is a special gene and not the soul t...
  • SEVERERELY UNINFORMED AVATAR

    31 messages
    • She connected to the Avatars at the end of book 1. The writers just reverted her backwards for convience?
    • So new content nullifies the point about preparing for the HC, but still... I agree it is a bit too convenient for none of here past lives...

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