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Did he really steal the tanks or is it a coincidence. Edit

After seeing Doug's Vlog of The Sting, and rewatching it myself. I noticed he did bring up a very good point. Varrik might NOT be the person who hired them to stall Mako and Asami, and took the Mecha Tanks. True, he knew about it, but there is someone else it might be. His assistant Julie. She even has motives to frame him, considering the way he treets her. His offering to help Asami, might just be a good deed or coincidence. Anyone else think the same?QuasimodoBellringer (wallcontribs) 20:31, October 19, 2013 (UTC)

Varrick Embellishment? Edit

I don't believe that the information provided by Varrick (and used in the Early Life section as quoted below) is necessarily accurate. Based on the situation and the way he was talking at the time it seems far more likely that he was giving fictitious account, as he so often does, either for story-telling purposes, to make a point to Zhu Li, or both.

"Growing up on a farm, he once had a pet ostrich horse named Mrs. Beaks, whom he had loved but taken for granted. At some point, he was taken away by the circus."

Vespus (wallcontribs) 05:35, May 1, 2015 (UTC)

I'm surprised nobody else has commented on this point yet. I really cannot express how strongly I feel that Varrick was simply giving a false account to make his biography sound more interesting when he spoke about the circus. His tendancy to embellish is just one of his many eccentricities, as seen in the flashback episode Remembrances, where he adds untrue elements to Bolin's story for the sake of story-telling. It's even apparent in the last line of that episode, which is Varrick telling Bolin to "never let the truth get in the way of a good story".
I'm going to leave everybody a little while longer to read and contribute to this discussion before I take executive action and change the page myself.
Vespus (wallcontribs) 12:31, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
There is no reason to believe that he was lying beyond personal opinion.
As a general note, though, "taking executive action" is not how we do things around here when you open a discussion to get other users' opinions. In that case, majority consensus rules, no matter the personal opinions. Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 12:33, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
When I said I would take executive action I hope you understand that this was after over a month of waiting and with another month planned to wait before said action was taken, at which point "general consensus" would have been reached due to lack of any input from anyone but myself.
In terms of whether Varrick was lying or not, there's every reason to believe that he is, based on body language, speech patterns, his past history as a pathological liar and the ridiculous nature of his claim (being forcibly abducted by circus-folk). Vespus (wallcontribs) 14:36, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
While that may be true (and I don't see much history of him being a "pathological liar"), unless something comes out that shows his backstory is untrue a la Amon, there's no reason to doubt the story that was revealed by him in the series and remove the information. We go with what we know from canon sources, and what we know at this point is what Varrick said. PSUAvatar14 Want to have a word? Katarasprite1Ty Lee KW 14:39, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
I don't think you understand how canon material works. You can only infer from context whether what characters are saying is true or not within the scope of the fictional universe. If a character is known to be of dubious moral intent or has a history of exaggeration and lying then you must take everything they say with a grain of salt. Unless they are verified by context or another character you cannot say that it's true. Assumptions are always bad when trying to write backgrounds for characters, and this isn't a case of me assuming Varrick is lying, it's a case of the writer assuming he's telling the truth. I'm not suggesting we completely remove the bit about the ostrich and the farm and the circus, I'm just sugesting we change the wording of the sentence to reflect that some or all of it may be hyperbole on Varrick's account; something that read less like "Varrick grew up on a farm and was taken by the circus" and more like "Varrick, though born to the Southern Water Tribe, has said that he grew up on a farm and claims that at some point he was taken away by circus people," leaving it up to the reader to decide whether Varrick was telling the truth or not.
Vespus (wallcontribs) 16:23, June 15, 2015 (UTC)

Taking things out of universe for a moment, remember also that what's being said has been written into the show by the staff. So technically, they're the ones saying this is how Varrick grew up and this is what happened to him.

Yes, Varrick is eccentric and can exaggerate things to an extent, but he was talking quite seriously to Zhu Li when he was going over his backstory. He wasn't hyping it up or trying to come off like a pitchman or something. The same thing with Amon - before the truth was revealed there, we had the backstory he spoke of up on this wiki. You could make the same argument for him to be doubted - he was a villain and trying to hype his followers up. But fact is, he said what he said, it was revealed in canon, and that's what we went with until the true story was revealed. So unless it comes out from another verifiable source that Varrick's story was false, it's what we'll be sticking with. There's no need to introduce speculation otherwise. PSUAvatar14 Want to have a word? Katarasprite1Ty Lee KW 16:32, June 15, 2015 (UTC)

Again, that's not how it works. "They're the ones saying this is how Varrick grew up" - no, they're the ones saying that Varrick is the one saying this is how Varrick grew up. Good writers (heck, even bad writers) will know to distance their own knowledge, opinions and motivations from those of their characters. The only information we have on Varrick that is confirmed out of universe is that he was born to a Southern Water Tribe seal hunter.
First of all, this has nothing to do with Amon, they're both completely different situations. Secondly, his conversation with Zhu Li started off serious, yes, but then he started going on about his youth in increasingly exaggerated detail. In the end he brought it back to Zhu Li, serious again, before he was cut off by plot. Your interpretation of this scene is your own: Is Varrick an eccentric businessman going off on an exaggerated tangent about his own life, or a nervous lover trying to express his feelings and using stories and analogies when he doesn't know how to say it directly? Maybe both. Either way you cannot take what he says about himself in that situation with any validity, seriousness or consequence. It could be true, I'm not saying for certain that it isn't, but because the context of the scene is not about his actual backstory but about his relationship with Zhu Li you cannot use it as the sole source of information about Varrick's past. Consider it's conflicting nature with other sources of information on Varrick's past: he was born so a seal-hunter in the Southern Water Tribe, but according to his own account he grew up on a farm with Ostrich Horses, a notably Earth Kingdom animal.
Vespus (wallcontribs) 17:12, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
You seem to be introducing some "maybe"s into this discussion at this point. We don't go changing information based on "well, they may have been doing this". We only make additions based on what is seen and/or heard through canon sources, which is what we did here. We have what we have, and that is his story as what we were given in 412. I don't see why we should have to add doubt in when this is all we know to this point. This is how we've done it on this wiki for years and there's no need to change it here and now. You could have easily said we had reason to doubt Amon as well back then, but we went with what we had until new info was revealed. I don't know where this "you don't get how canon works" is coming from either quite frankly. That's my take and I will stand by it. PSUAvatar14 Want to have a word? Katarasprite1Ty Lee KW 17:48, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
I'm not the one adding "maybe"s into the mix here, the article itself did that already by making the points it makes. So much of the article is speculation based on nothing but assumptions. I'm sorry if I've offended you in any way, but I hope you can understand my frustration at how my suggestion is being handled; from my point of view it's a topic worthy of discussion (more than that, it's worthy of serious consideration), but you have nothing to say other than yelling "no" at me under various different guises, never does there seem to be any open-mindedness to your approach, I'm arguing with people who've already made their mind up. Even still, I stand by what I said: you obviously don't understand how canon sources work. When a piece of information is known because it's stated by multiple characters it's considered solid; when it is known because it is stated by one it becomes less so, but still generally ok; but when that piece of information is said by only one character, only one time, in dubious context, by a character known to be both a liar and prolific exaggerater, quoted as saying that a good story comes above the truth, then the piece of information is, itself, a "maybe", based on too many assumptions. In this situation the piece of information is not removed, but simply portrayed in a way that allows the reader to understand it is not 100% verified fact. That's all I'm suggesting: that we clean up the standard of writing for this section of the article (which sorely needs it anyway) to better portray this piece of information. Vespus (wallcontribs) 18:49, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
It's information that came from a canon character in a canon series. Those are facts. You're bringing interpretations into it. What's there that you keep claiming I don't understand? We're going off nothing but the facts we know at this point which is how we've always worked. PSUAvatar14 Want to have a word? Katarasprite1Ty Lee KW 18:59, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
That's exactly what you don't understand about it. Yes the information came from a canon character in a canon series, but that does not make the information itself canon. The fact that Varrick said it is canon, the fact that it happened it is not, at least not by necessity. What this all boils down to is this simple question: was Varrick telling the truth? You argue "yes he was". I argue "you can't know that for sure". It's obviously far more complex than that, otherwise we wouldn't be having this very long, very wordy debate, but I hold that my argument is the less speculative of the two, hence why I believe the article should be amended. Vespus (wallcontribs) 19:18, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
This is starting to go in circles, which is unproductive. The truth of the matter has indeed be said by Vespus before, "the information came from a canon character in a canon series" and then the correct way to deal with that as well, namely "Your interpretation of this scene is your own." So the facts are, we have a character who said something. There are no facts, nor contextual evidence, that tells us we have any reason to doubt what he says. I most definitely understand why someone would think that he could be lying, though that assessment is not ours to make; we just report on the facts as we get them, and those are, again, just what Varrick said. Unless there is an official source contradicting the face-value of his words, that's what we should go by, as those are the unbiased facts and just a report on what has been said.
If we go by the "truth" of "you can't know for sure", then who says that Aang really run away from home? Who says he wasn't just beaten by the Fire Nation and captured, put on a shit to be transported back to the homeland, though the ship was caught in a storm and he fell overboard and then he froze himself? All we have to go on to declare "the truth" is Aang's word. Why? Because that's what we were given. Just as we were given Varrick's statement that was not said in any eccentric, extrovert, over the top manner.
That said, I think by now it's clear that neither party will budge, so unless anyone favors wasting time repeating the same stuff over and over, it's best to just wait for other user's to weigh in their opinion and let consensus rule in the end. Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 19:31, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
Not gonna waste much more of my time on this, but that's precisely my point: as you so clearly put it "we had a character who said something", and that we should "report on what has been said." Therefore, report on what has been said. Write "Varrick said this" not "Varrick did this". The reason we know Avatar Aang did those things is that we saw them, with animation, another tool the show writers use to give us information besides dialogue. By your argument, it's canonical that Appa and Momo speak and fight one another as seen by Aang in Nightmares and Daydreams, as no source directly states otherwise. 
Just as a side note, the article also mentions that Varrick is noble, which is another assumption I feel needs clearing up. Vespus (wallcontribs) 20:25, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
Please don't place false assumptions on me. There is nothing that I said that would warrant your conclusion that I would support adding that Momo and Appa can actually talk. I clearly said "There are no facts, nor contextual evidence, that tells us we have any reason to doubt what he says." which in the case of Appa and Momo completely flattens your counterargument. So please, if you're going to attribute something to me, make sure that it's something that I actually said and/or meant.
But fine, I'll give you your attachment to the visual aids. What about things that where only mentioned? Should we also doubt Unalaq's recollection of how the Glacier Spirits Festival used to be? Because Unalaq is a known liar, and apparently, once a liar, always a liar -or to tie back to what you're claiming about Varrick, once an exaggerator, always an exaggerator. If we cannot take anything we get from the series on face value, then there really is no point in making a wiki, because if you want to doubt something, you can always doubt it. There are even people who are contesting the evolution theory even though that's been proven. Some thing applies here: we just get the info on the show, there were no facts, nor contextual evidence, that indicated we had any reason to doubt what Varrick said in that moment, so we left our personal interpretation out of it all and just reported on what happened. Your countersuggestion that we should therefore write everything like "he said" and not "he did" is -no offense- ridiculous. Our goals is to be an encyclopedia of all things regarding Avatar. One of the things you need to do if you want to be a source people go to is making sure that people can actually stand reading your articles. If you write everything as, "Varrick said this, Bolin said that, Mako pointed out this, and Korra mentioned that," then can just as well stop what we're doing because no one wants to sit through an entire page like that.
The article makes note of him being a noble because he was married as "Sir" Iknik Blackstone Varrick. Though if you're going to start that same argument of "but Varrick probably said that because he was trying to be more interesting", then I'm just already going to point you to all the above counterarguments and ask you kindly to replace "Varrick lived on a farm" with "Varrick is a noble". Lady Lostris vstf (talkHotN) 20:39, June 15, 2015 (UTC)
I hate to say it, but you're being hypocritical- you're the one attributing things to me, saying that I suggested that everything be changed to "[character] said" when I clearly did not. Besides, I didn't attribute anything to you, I simply pointed out a flaw in your argument using another example. An example which, I will point out, is valid despite what you say. I've previously stated contextual evidence as reasons to believe Varrick may be exaggerating. You should read my arguments before you come to any judgement, and if you disagree with them you should mention then specifically and give reasons, otherwise you provide nothing new to the discussion and simply repeat old information. Unfortunately that's precisely what I now need to do, as you seem to keep forgetting. I'll put it in caps, not because I'm yelling but because I'm stressing it's importance, and because neither of you seem to be paying attention to it: MY WHOLE POINT IS PUTTING THE OPTION FOR DOUBT IN, NOT TAKING THE INFORMATION AWAY; CHANGE THE WORDING, VERY SIMPLY, AND EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE. The point I'm making is that, if you're presenting the information as you say you are, in an encyclopedia format, then the way the article is written gives people no room left for doubt- you remove it for them by stating the information as doubtless fact. Don't use "Varrick said" for everything, obviously; no offense, but you'd have to be an idiot to think I meant that. Use it in this situation, and similar situations where there is no corroborating evidence and there is presence of reasonable doubt. It isn't just about inference, though, it's about good writing. I'll use your example of Unalaq talking with Korra: although we do not necessarily doubt the fact that the Glacier Spirits Festival was like he described, because we are only given Unalaq's point of view we only have his memories, his knowledge and his interpretations. As a charcter, Unalaq will have his own biases in the way he sees things, and someone else may have an entirely different opinion on how the festival used to be. As such, any reference to it should be phrased not as "The Glacier Spirits Festival used to be a solem time of fasting and meditation", but "During the 171 AG Glacier Spirits Fesitval, Chief Unalaq recalled to the young Avatar Korra how the festival used to be a solem time of fasting and meditation." In this way you are providing more information, giving the option for interpretation, and making it a cleaner sentence all in one simple change.
On the point of nobility, having the title 'sir' doesn't inherently identify someone as noble, neither is there any evidence to suggest that it is used in any official capacity in the context of the wedding. You can call someone 'sir [last name]' as an honorific and nothing more. Thus Varrick's nobility is an assumption made by the article. I humbly suggest you do some reasearch next time you attempt to make a counterpoint.
Once again, before I sign off, changing the wording is my goal here, not removing information. It's a suggestion that should not warrant this volatile a response from anyone, especially as the article is in clear and desperate need of rewriting in many places anyway. Vespus (wallcontribs) 22:21, June 15, 2015 (UTC)