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  • Edit: How the Air Nomads Likely Survived, Part 2 http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Thread:1044902

    Many strange and impossible things have occurred in the Avatar universe, even taking into consideration the already high concentration of weirdness in this fictional world, ranging from a few adolescents taking on an army to the rare skill of lightning generation becoming commonplace. But, in my opinion, the strangest is the apparent extinction of the Air Nomads at the beginning of the Hundred Year War. All through the wonderful Last Airbender and Legend of Korra cartoons, my mind kept on coming back to that first blow the Fire Nation struck against the world. Something just didn’t seem right about the whole affair, even given the broader context given by the wiki (thanks for that, by the way). Something kept bugging me about the event, and for a while, I really couldn’t put my finger on it. So, eventually, I put my nose to the grindstone to figure out why the genocide of the Air Nomads fascinated me so, and I came up with the following reasons.



    1.       The Air Nomads clearly knew about the upcoming war




    As detached as the Nomads were, they seemed to know something was up with the Fire Nation around the time that Aang found out he was the Avatar. Aside from the general feeling of doom felt by the Southern Air Temple Monk’s Council, their decisions involving Aang (which we will get to in a bit) shows that they had a general idea of what was to happen soon, that being the War. Which makes sense, given the nomadic nature of most of the population; someone has to have noticed the Fire Nation colonies in the Earth Kingdom. Heck, they were around for years, springing up just before the end of Roku’s reign as Avatar. Being the wise people they were, the Nomads must have known that such an act would lead to open war with the Fire Nation being the aggressor.



                    Then we have the general knowledge of which nation the Avatar would hail from, and the further knowledge of the Nomads of who exactly the Avatar was. While the attacks on the Air Temples couldn’t have been predicted with 100% accuracy, we can tell that the Air Nomads had a feeling that they would come under fire in some way, given the rushed nature of revealing Aangs nature to him, and the decision to move him to the Eastern Air Temple. The monks knew that Aang needed to know his duties and fast, as a massive and very obvious war was on the horizon. Now, if the Nomads truly felt that they were untouchable, chances are that they wouldn’t feel as pressured to reveal the Avatar so young. Even if that decision was more for convenience, the decision to move Aang clearly was not. The plan, if I remember correctly, was to move Aang to the Eastern Air Temple, the temple farthest away from the Fire Nation that also has easy access to the eastern Earth Kingdom, namely Ba Sing Se. This was clearly no random choice; the monks wanted an easy escape route for Aang if their hunches were correct and the Fire Nation made their move on the Nomads.



                    Also, as a side note, this couldn’t have been the first time the Air Nomads have come under attack. Given their pacifistic natures and the abilities of the other nations, they make too tempting a target for a largely imperialistic world





    2.       They are Air Nomads



    I know that seems like a redundancy, but let’s look at the name and culture of this particular nation a bit. These are Nomads, not just monks. Whenever we see the air temple, we mostly see the elderly and the young, rarely the young adults or middle aged. Where are they? If their name shows anything, they’re likely abroad, only stopping at the temples for a brief rest before going off to new adventures. I bring this up due to the nature of the initial attack of the Fire Nation. For some reason (most likely due to the mysterious nature of the Nomads and their homes), they believed that the majority of the Airbenders would be at the temples, which makes no sense given their wandering natures. All they would be attacking would be the young, who were probably evacuated as best as possible (difficult given the power granted to firebenders by Sozin’s comet, but not impossible), and the master benders of the entire nation. The rest and majority of the population, again given their natures, would most likely scatter, leaving the Fire Nation to change tactics to wipe out most of the population… again. Which brings me to my next point…



    3.       Every adult Air Nomad has access to the airbending equivalent of a flying tank



    Appa kicks butt, and everyone knows it. When he’s at full health, he can take down thick walls with a flick of his tail, then fly up to get the high ground, so to speak, on his opponents. Add to that high intelligence and a massive bulk, and you have one heck of a battle mount. And almost every single Air Nomad had one. This is why I’m thinking that the ambush approach that the Fire Nation used may not have gone as well as the propaganda (again, we’ll get to that) would have you believe. Even if the Fire Nation was able to pick off most of a nation one by one, they still have to deal with the sky bison, one of the most powerful animals on the planet. Even against a group of firebenders, the combined strength of an airbender and his/her mount was likely more than enough to deal with most attacks. The attacks of the Fire Nation had to be both overwhelming and meticulously planned, the former of which is fairly unlikely given the now full blown War; it’s a bit difficult to focus a great many troops on a few elusive benders when you have the entirety of the Earth Kingdom to deal with. While I’m sure that the tactic worked on some airbenders, most likely novices, it couldn’t have worked 100% of the time, not with a sky bison at the back of every Nomad.



    4.       The Fire Nation assumes that all the Air Nomads went to the Earth Kingdom, specifically the parts of the Earth Kingdom that they control/have easy access to.



    I must say, the strategy that the Fire Nation used to eliminate Air Nomads after the initial raid on the temples was pretty clever. Why hunt down your enemies all across the world when you can make them come to you, especially when you have the resources of the most powerful nation in the Avatar world at your back? Of course, even this great plan falls to a bad assumption. The whole crux of the ambush plan was to spread rumors throughout the Earth Kingdom about the “safe havens”. While this is a good bet, why do they assume that all the Air Nomads fled to the Earth Kingdom? There are plenty of unoccupied lands that could make good hiding places for the displaced Nomads, especially given the fact that apparently there are places in even the Fire Nation where no one goes, like the ruins of the Sun Warriors. You also have the stronghold of the Northern Water Tribe, providing plenty of empty land for the Nomads, though the whole “we don’t eat meat” thing might bite them in the butt when it comes to nutrition.



     Even those who escaped to the Earth Kingdom would have an easy time hiding, given the vast and fragmented land holdings. On top of that, how exactly did the Fire Nation expect their little rumors to get to every single Air Nomad who happened to flee to the Earth Kingdom, given the size of the Earth Kingdom, the isolated nature of many of the settlements, and the limited range of influence of the Fire Nation beyond the colonies?



    And now, probably the most important reason of all…



    5.       The Fire Nation would have advertised that they destroyed all the Nomads whether they actually did or not.



    This point is mostly speculation, but I think it still makes sense given the background info of the war.



    Let’s face facts, the Fire Nation’s main worry wasn’t just the Avatar in the beginning of the war. The first Fire Nation colonies sprang up when there was a full-fledged Avatar walking/flying around. Even if the Fire Nation did succeed in killing the Avatar and every last Air Nomad, it would take 3 more lives for the Avatar Cycle to truly come to a close. Clearly, the Fire Nation was going to start a war whether the Avatar was involved or not, especially given its immense technological prowess and man power. How does this play into the likely survival of the Air Nomads? One word: propaganda.



    Its been pretty well established that the Fire Nation twisted facts pretty severely when it came to the War, especially when it came to the Air Nomads, painting them as a legitimate military force rather than a militia at most (not to say airbenders couldn’t hold off an attack, they just weren’t proper soldiers). Who’s to say they twisted the facts surrounding the complete desolation of a major power, both to increase moral for their own troops but to also demoralize their opponents. Or perhaps the Fire Nation wanted to make its opponents fly into a war blindly, fueled by emotion and fervor rather than causes that would result in more preparation.



    They most likely wouldn’t have to worry about airbenders appearing after a while. Given the Nomads disdain for combat and the obvious reason why they were targeted, they would most likely follow tradition and cut themselves off from the rest of the world completely, perhaps even at the cost of their wandering natures. All the Fire Nation would have had to do was keep up the pressure for a while until no more Nomads showed their face and not mention any reports of Air Nomads escaping ambushes. Then they could brag about destroying an entire nation till the hippo-cows came home.



    6.       It is ridiculously easy to hide in the world of Avatar.



    This is more of a reason of how the Nomads could have survived rather than why they probably did, but, again, I felt it needed recognition



    Anyone else notice that hidden colonies and civilizations seem to be freaking everywhere in Avatar? The Foggy Swamp tribe, the Sun Warriors, and the lost colony of 2 ton sky bison seemed to have a pretty easy time of hiding from the rest of the world, even given that some of them, like the new sky bison, should have been incrediably obvious to passersby. Apparently, an anthropologist of Ba Sing Se never looked at a lush swamp and said, “Hey, maybe people live there!”. Not once did a Fire Nation citizen come across the ruins of the Sun Warriors and notice movement, loud chanting/drumming, or fire. Even with improved transportation, it is easy to make oneself scarce in this universe. Given the scattered Air Nomads probably knew that they were specifically targeted, they could make like a lost library and disappear into the apparent vastness of the Avatar world. Even if they did decide to go to, say, the Earth Kingdom or Northern Water Tribe (their best bets for safety), they could easily cover or obscure their tattoos as Aang has several times.





    TL:DR I find it unlikely that the Air Nomads truly went extinct, given that they clearly knew about the War in advance, they were much less centralized than the other nations in keeping with their Nomad name, almost every one of them had access to the animal equivalent of an airbending tank, the Fire Nation’s strategy hinged on some shaky planning, the Fire Nation would have claimed to have killed all the Nomads regardless of whether they did or not, and it is ridiculously easy to hide in the world of Avatar, especially given the elusive nature of the Air Nomads themselves.



                    So, I wouldn’t be that surprised to learn that the current “last airbenders” aren’t the only ones around, though any remaining Nomads may be singing a slightly different tune.



                    Thoughts?

    Edit: How The Air Nomads Likely Survived, Part 2 http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Thread:1044902

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    • Don't forget, as elusive as the nature of Air is, it can be stuborn, aka if it wants to, it can and will break through earth. The nomads showed this in their spiritualism, refusing to stray.

      They did not fornicate with any other people that weren't airbenders (Aang might have been the first actually) iirc, no way they could reproduce if they can't find each other.

      Some bison survived, and heck, they even evolved into a new, slightly different, species. Wouldn't be surprised if some Airbenders survived too.


      And finally, and this is kinda obvious, Ozai and the rest of the fire nation weren't the only ones searching for Aang, everybody was looking for Aang. But after the first generation failed in finding him, they started losing hope in him. And if there were any left, as soon as they heard of Aang's return, wouldn't they have looked for him again? Knowing what his journey should be, they should have headed to the northern water tribe as well.


      These are good points, nice work.

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    • Good points to you as well. I think while the Air Nomads could be a bit stubborn when it came to their spirituality, they were Air Nomads first and monks/nuns second. Their whole culture resides around taking the path of least resistance and avoiding conflict. Other than the elders, who likely either didn't wish to/couldn't leave their home or made a stand to ensure the other Nomads' escape, the first instinct for most Nomads where danger was involved, including Aang for a while, was run.

      Also, where hiding Nomads are concerned, I wouldn't be surprised if they went full throttle with their detachment from the world and completely isolated themselves on some island or tundra plain. People either wanted to kill them or make them fight on their side, both of which are not the best plan for Nomads.

      Keep those comments coming!

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    • I'm more curious to know how they killed the Firebenders? Did they knock them unconscious or what? Because some fire benders DID die. Want to see these air bender do something >___<

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    • Several ways, as i see it. Some of the air blasts displayed by Aang seem powerful enough so cause severe internal damage upon impact, especially the more area-of-effect oriented air swipe. Theoretically, the masters could have also pulled something similar to Superman at the end of Superman vs. the Elite: manipulate air as such that it cannot enter the lungs of attackers, suffocating them. If soundbending is also cannon, they could have used that to great effect as well, not only disorienting mass groups of firebenders, but also disrupting vital bodily function if given enough power.

      Then we come to projectiles. Like debris in a hurricane, the winds generated by some of the elder monks could have easily propelled any object with enough force to shatter bones and crush organs, not unlike Aangs wind funnel during the breakout of the earthbenders of Haru's villiage, just with more power.

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:
      soundbending

      Soundbending is.... complicated. The properties of Sound doesn't just apply to Air. It branches out to the other elements as well. I, personally, like Tezin's style. We actually get to see it and it's more offensive.

      They could have fought like him. Because Air is definitely not a weak element, and all the Fire bender bones and armor kinda prove that.

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    • True, but sound is most commonly applied to air since thats the version most of us encounter, even though sound traveling through water or metal travels much farther. I actually wouldn't be surprised if the "all day echo chamber" in the Western Air Temple was made to hone an airbender's skill with sound.

      Plus, I have this awesome image of a more practical airbender carrying around a warhorn as a sidearm, blasting foes with concentrated blasts of sound in case traditional airbending doesn't quite cut it. It doesn't even need to be fatal, just disorienting enough for the Nomad to escape.

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    • Air benders (so far) have only been seen using regular air bending to amplify Sound enough for stuff like SOS's and etc. So far, Sound bending has only been used as a cheap evasion trick :\


      There was some rumor (somewhere that I still can't find) that the Air nomads had the ability to become Air itself. Personally, I see that was the powers from Kaze no Stigma, which has a character with the ability to control Air well enough to make themselves invisible via light. Now light bending sounds interesting...

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    • I think the whole "becoming air" thing was mentioned in the Avatar extras, but was more used as a rumor than anything else.

      I would think that soundbending would be difficult for any bender, only slightly less so for airbenders, due to sound (in air at least) being just another disturbance in air, like wind. The problems would likely arise from the subtlety of manipulating something so minute, due to airbending's more bombastic and dynamic properties.

      Lightbending I could actually see more as an offshoot of firebending, due to the manipulation of energy rather than the medium it travels through. Perhaps a lost civilization of lightbenders exist in the world, hidden only by their mastery over light itself.

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:

      I would think that soundbending would be difficult for any bender, only slightly less so for airbenders.

      I see it easier to Metal (Earth) benders. They can create a high pitch sound just by hitting a big chunk of perfectly shaped metal or something.

      Personally, Metal is a better basis for sound creation than air :/

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    • easy to create, though control may be difficult. At least airbenders have a nice voicebox to manipulate sound, not to mention the abundance and domination of their chosen medium. While metalbending may be able to create sound, the subtlety rquired may be a bit beyond them. On top of that, the metalbender would hardly be able to control the sound when the disturbance is transfered to the air where his/her opponents would be affected, creating an element of danger due to lack of control.

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    • True True.

      I posted this somewhere already, but why focus on only 1 aspect of the 5 senses? Couldn't an Airbender use Air as an inherent GPS? Like the Shirshu? That would be beast.

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    • Yea, kindof like a combination of Toph's "earth-sight" and a subtle use of airbending to guide sounds, smells, and even touch to the bender. Now all we need is a visually-impaired airbender.

      Oh wait...

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    • Textures, i should say, not touch.

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    • Somebody also once stated the use Stasis. Seeing how Aang was able to do it (though that could be due to the Avatar state stopping aging?)

      Tho I'm not sure how that could apply to Air

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    • Aangs ability to stay in stasis was due to a combination of him channeling the Avatar State and more or less freezing himself. His airbender status may have helped only to obtain a steady supply of oxygen while trapped in an iceberg, and even then only due to the power granted by his Avatar status.

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    • Also I was wondering if Aang had ever shown any sign of fatigue when running or Airbending. I always considered unlimited energy or something of that sorts a possible UF of Airbending.

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    • Oh he has. Bending, just like any physical activity, requires energy to do. That said, it may not be as evident with Aang as he hasn't had to do that much high intensity fighting (AIr Nomad nature and all that). As for sunning, due to Aang's more passive airbending, he is able to use less energy while running, though eventually the stress of both running and bending will take its toll. Besides, every bender has limits, even a pre-realized Avatar.

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    • Well I'm all out of ideas... :P

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    • To be fair, air is a wierd element so play around with. One of the main powers often attributed to air, lightning, is attributed to fire in the Avatar universe. Really, airbenders are stuck with disturbing air. They can refine how they manipulate the various gases that make up Earth's atmosphere, but they really have nothing else to go on, unless somehow sound or pure gas manipulation (oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane, chlorine, the like) can be tacked on, though I think sound may be better as its own element just due to the nature of it.

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    • As you saw in the last episode of the last airbender the comet makes then almost unstopable, i mean they were about to burn down the earth kingdom! And they didn`t have the avatar to help them. also in the episode the storm the air nomads didn`t look like the new anything was going to happen. and last... ITS CALLED THE LAST AIRBENDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • Putting aside the caps lock and multiple exclamation points, I pointed out how at least the ruling body of the airbenders knew something was going to happen during the comet, otherwise they wouldn't have rushed Aang's knowledge that he was the Avatar. Plus, as you saw in the AtLA finale, the comet doesn't grant automatic victory to firebenders, even against normal benders (see: the non-firebenders of the White Lotus pwning firebenders in Ba Sing Se). On top of that, airbenders have a certain affinity for running away, and combined with their notable air superiority back then (no pun intended), it makes many Nomads escaping a pretty viable scenario.

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:
      Putting aside the caps lock and multiple exclamation points, I pointed out how at least the ruling body of the airbenders knew something was going to happen during the comet, otherwise they wouldn't have rushed Aang's knowledge that he was the Avatar. Plus, as you saw in the AtLA finale, the comet doesn't grant automatic victory to firebenders, even against normal benders (see: the non-firebenders of the White Lotus pwning firebenders in Ba Sing Se). On top of that, airbenders have a certain affinity for running away, and combined with their notable air superiority back then (no pun intended), it makes many Nomads escaping a pretty viable scenario.

      Ignoring his cap locking, he does make a point. In the last episode, the fire nation didn't only burn, they burned. Literally, they burned everything in their path, I'm completely sure there was not a single patch of green left in that vicinity after said event. The airbender are known for being evasive, but what good is that when everything is being burned?


      And the Ba Sing Se battle was planned out, they knew how to attack and what the fire benders were capable off. The Air nomads weren't sure what was gonna happen, all they knew is that something big was coming, to where and how? Nobody knows, but in all likely hood, the nomads weren't prepared, seeing how Aang bragged about how the only was to get to any temple (though he refered to the southern) is with a sky bison.


      Firebenders had flying. And dragons.

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    • Well, we know they didn't burn everything at the Air Temples, since they have minimal scoring. Even after a century, there still should have been some burn marks and much more destruction.

      While the Nomads may not have known exactly what happened, as i had pointed out in my OP, they had enough information to make a reasonable guess that they might be involved (the next Avatar was going to be an Nomad, the Fire Nation was gearing up for war, etc). Also, while they may have been neutral, they must have had some sort of plan in case they did get attack (think fire drills). Unless, of course, I am giving them way too much credit and they totally ignored current events and truly thought themselves untouchable.

      I seriously doubt dragons were common mounts in the Fire Nation. The two people who do own dragon mounts in the series are Sozin, the most powerful firebender in the world at the time, and Roku, the freakin Avatar. Considering their power and the immense prestiege given to a firebender who could defeat one, dragons were undoubtably a rarity on the battlefield.

      On top of that, it has been shown that only master firebenders are capable of flight; the common firebending grunt would most likely resort to controlled explosions for extended leaps. Considering the literal and figurative air superiority of the Nomads, flight likely counted for little during the attack, especially since it has been shown that non-firebenders can still defeat firebenders during Sozin's comet, specifically the White Lotus taking down Fire Nation troops in Ba Sing Se during the comet.

      Also, I can think of several ways to get to the Air Temples without a sky bison, from carving steps in the mountain sides or straight up Dai Li-style climbing up the mountain via earthbending, or utilizing ice to either create a more usable slope with ice or using water tentacles to climb up the side of the mountains via waterbending. What Aang was likely referring to was easier access to the Air Temples. Plus, he was twelve, he was most likely extremely naieve when it came to the safety of the Air Temples, as many of us are with our homes when we are young. The older, wiser monks likely knew better.

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:

      Also, I can think of several ways to get to the Air Temples without a sky bison, from carving steps in the mountain sides or straight up Dai Li-style climbing up the mountain via earthbending, or utilizing ice to either create a more usable slope with ice or using water tentacles to climb up the side of the mountains via waterbending. What Aang was likely referring to was easier access to the Air Temples. Plus, he was twelve, he was most likely extremely naieve when it came to the safety of the Air Temples, as many of us are with our homes when we are young. The older, wiser monks likely knew better.

      Those are indeed ways, but:

      -Theres no way somebody could carve something into the mountain without the airbenders noticing.

      -The Dai Li weren't really involved (or any earth benders really), but even if they were, The Air temples (at least the ones that were in the mountain ranges) were notorious for being on the highest point as possible (probably due to the fresh air and natural defenses). It would take too long for them to go up the mountain without going unnoticed.

      -The Waterbenders are the same case as the Earth benders.


      As for what Aang said, do remember who you refer to; h'e was the avatar.' He managed to surpass most of his teachers and learn alot of World History around the age he was (most likely throughout his travels). Though I will give you points for the fact that he was blinded by something, but it certainly wasn't naivity (though it could be seen that way), but infact, he was blinded with denial.

      And from what he said, the other Air temples are just as hard to find. After all, the southern air temple was in a very mountainous area. The only realistic way the firebenders could have possibly found it so fast is if either they had Air nomad spies or they had flight on their side.

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    • I didn't mean to insinuate that other benders took part in the attack, I was just pointing out that Aangs statement that the only way to get to the temples was by sky bison was false.

      According to the card game  (not sure how canon it is, but we'll go with it for now) there was actually an Air Nomad traitor who revealed the locations of the Air Temples. If the airbender in question is not so canon, I don't think it would be that difficult to track a Nomad to one of the temples; Zuko did it all the time.

      With flight, I really doubt they had that much air power (at least in the form of dragons), nostly due to the fact that the Fire Nation started killing them right after the War started. If they were common war mounts, it would have been an incrediably idiotic move to start killing them. As with the few adept firebenders who may have been able to achieve flight, they would have been at a severe disadvantage for 3 reasons. One is that, unless every master in the Fire Nation took part in the attack, any firebender that was able to fly would have both their hands occupied; not terribly efficient when trying to strike down fleeing Nomads on sky bison. Two, Nomads would have way too much power over flying firebenders due to the latter literally being surrounded by the Nomad's element. One sweep of a staff or flick of a sky bison's tail, and that firebender is going down, and that firebender is going down hard. Three is just the sheer rarity of the skill. Under comet conditions, the only firebenders we see flying are masters (Ozai, Jeong Jeong, and Azula). I seriously doubt there would be enough to make that big a difference in the attack.

      On how the Fire Nation got to the temples, they most likely used their machines. In the flashback to Sozin's time, they already had steam ships, so its not beyond thought that they may have had powerful apparati used for climbing. During Sozin's comet, climbers would be relatively safe with empowered firebenders at their back.

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:
      I didn't mean to insinuate that other benders took part in the attack, I was just pointing out that Aangs statement that the only way to get to the temples was by sky bison was false.

      According to the card game  (not sure how canon it is, but we'll go with it for now) there was actually an Air Nomad traitor who revealed the locations of the Air Temples. If the airbender in question is not so canon, I don't think it would be that difficult to track a Nomad to one of the temples; Zuko did it all the time.

      With flight, I really doubt they had that much air power (at least in the form of dragons), nostly due to the fact that the Fire Nation started killing them right after the War started. If they were common war mounts, it would have been an incrediably idiotic move to start killing them. As with the few adept firebenders who may have been able to achieve flight, they would have been at a severe disadvantage for 3 reasons. One is that, unless every master in the Fire Nation took part in the attack, any firebender that was able to fly would have both their hands occupied; not terribly efficient when trying to strike down fleeing Nomads on sky bison. Two, Nomads would have way too much power over flying firebenders due to the latter literally being surrounded by the Nomad's element. One sweep of a staff or flick of a sky bison's tail, and that firebender is going down, and that firebender is going down hard. Three is just the sheer rarity of the skill. Under comet conditions, the only firebenders we see flying are masters (Ozai, Jeong Jeong, and Azula). I seriously doubt there would be enough to make that big a difference in the attack.

      On how the Fire Nation got to the temples, they most likely used their machines. In the flashback to Sozin's time, they already had steam ships, so its not beyond thought that they may have had powerful apparati used for climbing. During Sozin's comet, climbers would be relatively safe with empowered firebenders at their back.

      Not sure if the card game is canon, lol. But it fits :/

      The comet doesn't last for very long, I doubt they wouldn't rely on anything other than that (some sort of flight).

      Perhaps some did use some version of the Hot Air balloon (assuming it was around)

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    • The hot air balloon didn't come around until 100 years later, after Team Avatar's clash with the Fire Nation at the Northern Air Temple. The Mechanist was working on the design, and was able to complete the prototype with Sokka's help. The Fire Nation gained the prototype after the Mechanist abandoned the balloon after using the engine as a makeshift bomb. It was only then that the Fire Nation gained an air force.

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:
      The hot air balloon didn't come around until 100 years later, after Team Avatar's clash with the Fire Nation at the Northern Air Temple. The Mechanist was working on the design, and was able to complete the prototype with Sokka's help. The Fire Nation gained the prototype after the Mechanist abandoned the balloon after using the engine as a makeshift bomb. It was only then that the Fire Nation gained an air force.

      Well I'm aware of that.

      But up until then, it wasn't perfected. (iirc)

      The problem was once you got up, there was no stopping it unless it went down on its own. Thats more than enough for the fire nation to use, since their destination was "Up"

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    • Actually I'm pretty sure the idea started with the Mechanic, not some Fire Nation R&D guys. Mostly since if it started 100 years ago, the Fire Nation wouldn't have needed the likes of the Mechanist years later, as they would have doubtlessly perfected the design by the time Aang woke up from his siesta.

      Seriously, how hard is it to think "Hey, lets put a release valve at the top!"?

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    • Maybe it went like this. change the arrows for comet-enhanced firebending. and add in hundreds of ballista and catapults. 

      Link:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4muBipy9-Q

      Which in my mind I truly think that's how the AN attack went, and the FN during its 100 yr war.

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    • Good clip.

      I'm not sure just how effective ballistas and catapults would be at firing their projectiles up to a mountains peak though. I could definitely see the ballistas that could get closer to the summit hauling ropes for troops to climb up. And, while there would undoubtably would be some chaos during the attack, the Nomads would likely have much more warning due to their possesion of the high ground in the encounter: that is, they live on mountains (except for those in the Western Air Temple, they were doomed from the start), they are going to see the Fire Nation coming. I wouldn't even doubt that some of the more mobile Nomads would give some warning to those in the temples "Hey, there are a bunch of heavily armed Fire Nation troops heading this way, and the Great Comet will be here any minute!"

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    • Sadly, I really can not jump on this band  wagon, no matter how good the reasoning. First, I'd like to congratulate you for a well thought out theory.  But remember the title of the show is Avatar: THE LAST AIRBENDER.  It is unlikely that they would have air nomads survive the hundred year war because it essentaily defeats the purpose of the show.  

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    • I think so. and the FN probably found a way to make a staggering massive attack, given the proportions [almost extinction during inital raid]  of the FN attack, be it through a tunnel, climbing the mountains or something o_O

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    • AvatarCorin34 wrote:
      Sadly, I really can not jump on this band  wagon, no matter how good the reasoning. First, I'd like to congratulate you for a well thought out theory.  But remember the title of the show is Avatar: THE LAST AIRBENDER.  It is unlikely that they would have air nomads survive the hundred year war because it essentaily defeats the purpose of the show.  

      That is absolutely fine. I just wanted to express why I found a certain part of Avatar lore a bit hard to believe. While I am not demanding that the series creators MUST bring back the Air Nomads, it wouldn't surprise me since it wouldn't be the first time they've brought something back from the brink of extinction (points as the new Sky Bison) or found an isolated offshoot of a major elemental nation (points at Foggy Swamp tribe).

      Also, it may have defeated the purpose of the show back in Aangs time, but I think it would be interesting to see embittered survivors try to once again interact not only with the larger world, but also the only other survivors (Tenzin and his family) now that Korra is in the house.

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    • Or even an long-lost civilization [sun warriors] to point that the Fire nation isnt 'evul' like some people says, only that it strayed out of the <so-called> 'good' path.

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    • Indeed, or perhaps they had a massive culture shift due to what they had to do not only to ensure their survival, but also their seclusion. Perhaps make them more Mongol-like: true nomads traveling the world in tribes, stopping only long enough to gather what they need and milk their bison. What? Nomads need to get their dairy.

      Now, about your other post.

      Emperor Qin wrote:
      I think so. and the FN probably found a way to make a staggering massive attack, given the proportions [almost extinction during inital raid]  of the FN attack, be it through a tunnel, climbing the mountains or something o_O

      I'm afraid the scale of the attack is part of the problem. It is rather hard to miss a massive, mechanized army approaching your home. If it were a covert force harassing the airbenders as they left the temples one by one, I could understand more casualties, but a full, head on attack? You don't just look at a force like that and think "Maybe they came for tea".

      Also, while ballistas are indeed powerful, their range is nothing compared to the height of a proper mountain. Its a measure of yards versus a measure of miles. It would take the mother of all ballistas, the War Wolf of ballistas if you will, to make it to the top of some of these mountains, and given the terrain surrounding the temples (more mountains!), I really don't see that happening.

      As for tunnels... why would there be tunnels conveniently placed at the base of the temple mountains that lead all the way to the top when the Nomads didn't want visitors?

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    • Not mechanized, but armored hah. the sound of clashing armor and warring states-era weaponry [chariots,cavalry,Ji halberds,ballista,etc] and hundreds of thousands of soldiers in red marching with dragon flags, their quantity numbering millions.

      Troops from all places under heaven, from the lower reaches of Guangxi, to the remote areas of Xinjiang, they've all been called by Sozin to fight on this day!

      But suddenly they all managed to get in the air temples, without the AN having time for a evacuation... and wiping the AN! o_O

      its ALMOST like they (monks) all decided to 'stand and fight' and died fighting kamikaze-style lol

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    • Yea, that sound of clashing armor and marching troops? That will likely be noticed early enough for the Nomads to come up with an escape plan, especially given their unique and common flying mounts.

      Also, one big thing to remember is that, unlike traditional Earth battles, the battle against the Air Nomads had one massive flaw: they couldn't really be properly surrounded. Even the flow of troops would have been restricted due to the elevated nature of the temples. On top of that, very few firebenders would be able to fly to the level of the mounted Nomads, even with the help of the comet (only masters would be able to use flight). The Nomads not only would have had plenty of warning due to the very obvious attacking force, but they would have had much more mobility (think how the Mongols were able to outmanouver chinese troops), and thus would have likely been able to escape in large numbers.

      I doubt most of the Nomads went out kamikaze style due to their flighty nature: The biggest principle of air is to change direction when meeting resistance. It wasn't in the Nomads to stand and fight, most of them would have ran. The only ones I could see staying would have been the older (and more stubborn) masters, using their advanced airbending skills to hold the line while the other Nomads escaped.

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    • I think they tried that... because thinking in a realistic manner they would be like a Flying Mongolian horde. If the mounted one is THAT difficult to capture/surround because of their self-sufficient ways [nomadism,etc] and extreme mobility [run, set up camp, the enemy comes, dismount the yurt, gogogo away, etc], just imagine that with airbenders?

      But what we're informated is that everyone was butchered, and just Aang survived o_O

      The Fire Nation is powerful, but how they managed to attack the temples, if they are so high up in the mountains, and no technology to get up there?? the Tang Dynasty had a hell of a problem with the tibetans, since invading Tibet wasn't a easy business with a 'traditional' army [no air force neither guns] and a Navy there would be useless.

      Unless they did like some chinese dynasties do against Northern/Western nomads; pay/bribe other nomads or rivals to attack. for example bribing earthbenders to secretly dig tunnels or passageways to make the FN strategy easy. 

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    • We were informed by the Fire Nation that everyone was slaughtered. One of my OP's points is that we really shouldn't take the Ozai-era Fire Nation too seriously. They were pretty good at the whole "use propaganda to make ourselves look better in the face of our enemy" thing.

      To my knowledge, there weren't any "rival Nomads" to speak of in the world of Avatar, save the semi-canon traitor (he was in the card game, apparently) who revealed the locations of the Air Temples.

      Bribing Earthbenders is a bit of a stretch, as the Fire Nation had already started occupying Earth Kingdom territory. Thought the two powers weren't technically at war yet, there were undoubtably tensions between the two. I seriously doubt any earthbender would commit such an act, especially against the normally neutral Air Nomads. It would be like WWII era Germany paying Polish troops to attack mountainous Switzerland.

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    • We were informed by the Fire Nation that everyone was slaughtered. One of my OP's points is that we really shouldn't take the Ozai-era Fire Nation too seriously. They were pretty good at the whole "use propaganda to make ourselves look better in the face of our enemy" thing.

      To my knowledge, there weren't any "rival Nomads" to speak of in the world of Avatar, save the semi-canon traitor (he was in the card game, apparently) who revealed the locations of the Air Temples.

      Bribing Earthbenders is a bit of a stretch, as the Fire Nation had already started occupying Earth Kingdom territory. Thought the two powers weren't technically at war yet, there were undoubtably tensions between the two. I seriously doubt any earthbender would commit such an act, especially against the normally neutral Air Nomads. It would be like WWII era Germany paying Polish troops to attack mountainous Switzerland.

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    • I'm not talking about rival AIR nomads, as they are 'united' by their beliefs and common system, I was refering to bribing another factions, specially earth kingdom or water tribe.

      And ww2 worked in a different way. But in ancient china there was some occasions of Chinese emperors sending a noblewoman to marry a 'insert nomad tribe' [mongol,xiongu,xianbei,etc] ruler OR sending gift in jade,silk,etc to try to form a coalition against ANOTHER tribe,etc.

      The Song dynasty did that a lot also. strategies from bribery to gifts to 'total' extermination of some tribes...

      Like you said, the FN propaganda deceives a lot, but the empty temples are a 'veritable' proof =X

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    • Again, the Fire Nation was already displaying aggression by the time of the "genocide". I seriously doubt that the Fire Nation would find allies in any of the other nations. Even if they did, they would be very few in number, few enough as to not make much of a difference, especially considering that in the mountains, numbers don't count for much anyway.

      Also, remember who the Nomads were. They didn't bother anyone, they were true neutral. A large part of the outrage that came from the other nations after the attack came from the fact that while the Nomads could fight (the many Fire Nation corpses around Gyatso are proof enough of that), they weren't a millitary force; they were monks and nuns, not soldiers. The attack was planned to strike down innocents.

      I seriously doubt the Nomads would return to the Air Temples. They knew then that the Fire Nation had aquired the locations of the temples, and that they were gunning for the Nomads.

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    • Well, I bet the earth kingdom couldnt care less about the attacks at the air nomads,as they are a powerful force on their own.

      But the water tribes could maybe get outraged for that, due to their tribal ethics or sense of community.

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    • Actually, it turns out that the attacks were the whole reason for starting the war. Check the articles concerning the "genocide". Aside from trying to eliminate the Avatar, the attacks also succeeded in goading the Earth Kingdom into declaring war due to the outrage. While the Earth Kingdom may not have cared on a military level, I'm sure on an emotional level its people were revolted by the unprovoked attacks on a civilization that prided itself on peace and enlightenment. That kind of reaction is more than enough to make a kingdom go to war.

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    • The AN was possibly a pretext for the FN to invade other nations, however there was minor clashings and skirmished from that day where Sozin attacked the EK coast untill when Roku vaporized.

      What I meant by 'they couldnt care less' is that the EK is big AND rich, and strong enough to defend themselves, that's why I think their leaders wouldn't make much of a hassle or rally the armies against the Fire Nation for THAT reason. Unless potential threat to EK interests (incursion in their lands,etc) are involved, then they can use that.

      Or else they'll use the AN genocide as propaganda to rally troops against the FN (seeing defense of EK key regions as true intention, of course) which could be a huge morale booster for the common troops. 

      But 'homeland' defense is more than a good reason for EK troops rally against the FN isn't it? 

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    • I seem to have misspoke, I apologize.

      I don't mean to imply that the "genocide" was the only reason for the other nations to go to war. As I myself have mentioned in previous posts, the Fire Nation had already started displaying aggression, especially against the Earth Kingdom. I see the "genocide" more as either the straw that broke the camel's back, or indeed an excuse (however valid) to get conscriptions up and get the Fire Nation off of the Earth Kingdom's shores.

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    • Oh, now I get it... 

      As a propaganda discourse that could've worked. because when you convince (through lies or using the truth) people that they're fighting for the 'right' thing and stuff, that helps their morale. 

      Although nationalist reasons would work better, but anyways... strategy is what defines victory, not ideology. 

      And you said one right thing, when the AN were completely vaporized, the EK already suffered an incursion (and possibly many failed attempts,etc) in their territory, and that kind of news spread fast, urging the military and any sort of high command to prepare for further FN 'zerg rushes' in their land, etc etc and so on. 

      While this, they would try to do an alliance/coalition against the Fire Nation by rallying other kingdoms/statelets/small local authorities, just like when Qin expanded during the Warring states, Chu made a brief alliance with other remnants of rival states [Yan,Zhao,etc] against Qin.

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    • Actually, I wouldn't worry about "zerg rushes" from the Fire Nation. While they were a larger nation, they had nowhere near the sheer population of the Earth Kingodm. What they did have was stratagy, mobility, and a central chain of command. I would actually worry more about the "send in wave after wave of barely trained conscripts" stratagy from the Earth Kingdom. If and when the Fire Nation advanced, it was with precision and the seal of either the Fire Lord or one of his high generals.

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    • The Earth Kingdom suprises me because to me it seemed to fall to easily. When the drill attacked there did not seem like a lot of soldiers responding to the attack, there were only about 20 of them.

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    • There are a few reasons for that. The biggest reason is that the Earth Kingdom is just barely a kingdom by traditional standards. In actuality, it acts much more like a loose confederacy of more or less independent states that happen to have a shared culture. The biggest problem with this is that there is no central authority, no proper chain of command, and as a consequense the Earth Kingdom armies are uncoordinated at best, chaotic at worst. The Fire Nation, on the other hand, is much more centralized and efficient, and can effectively outmaneuver and outstratagize the clumsy Earth Kingdom.

      The other big thing is the difference in ideology. The fighting ideology for Earth is to wait until the time is right, then put your opponent on their butt ASAP. The Fire Nation's, on the other hand, is hammer them hard until they stop moving. There is no waiting or patience, just a constant onslaught, which throws the more wait-and-see Earth Kingdom troops off balance.

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    • Good reasons all around. I haven't watched the show in a while so I forgot just how little the Earth Kingdom is actually. The Fire Nation is really effective, until you get a 12 year old kid then all hell breaks lose.

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    • A 12 year old kid who can control all 4 earthly elements along with Aether (energybending), communicate with powerful spirits, can call on his past lives to aid him in battle, and believes all of his people are dead therefore giving him little to lose.

      Also, the Earth Kingdom isn't small, its the largest in the Avatar world, both in geographic size and population. Its just really fragmented.

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    • Yeah I really think that the air nomads surrvived they will probably bring them back near the end of the legend of korra maybe even introduce another bending abilty for air.

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    • It definitely would be an interesting twist to have Tenzin and Co. interact with some embittered Nomads that had been largely isolated for 170 years. How their culture must have changed in that time...

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    • maybe the culture had new things that thay devolped over the time period

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    • Most likely. I wouldn't be surprised if they abandoned certain traditions and values not only to keep themselves isolated, but even to survive. Or maybe adding new ones, like milking their sky bison o.O.

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:
      A 12 year old kid who can control all 4 earthly elements along with Aether (energybending), communicate with powerful spirits, can call on his past lives to aid him in battle, and believes all of his people are dead therefore giving him little to lose.

      Also, the Earth Kingdom isn't small, its the largest in the Avatar world, both in geographic size and population. Its just really fragmented.

      I see what your saying it just still seems a little crazy a group of 12-17 year olds can take down a nation that has been superb at the war.

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    • maybe they will end up abandoning the pacsifst belifs and be more violent

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    • @Darrell

      Its a problem a lot of shows like Avatar tend to have. Its a suspension of disbelief issue; if you're willing to buy people manipulating the elements, you can buy 12-17 year olds wreaking havok. Also, I think people in Avatar tend to age up a bit faster; the 12 year olds act more like 14 year olds, the 14 year olds are more like 16 year olds, and the 16 year olds are more like 18 year olds (generally speaking, theres a bit of wiggle room).

      @theARTdragons

      More is the key word there. While I don't think they would go from pascafistic to psychopaths, I do think that they would adopt a more active role in the world of Avatar, even if it means resorting to violent means, discarding the old ways of trying to reach enlightenment and getting a more practical attitude.

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    • if they ever came back they would be smaller then before as they already were the smallest nation

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    • After 170 years and a culture shift that may have included an edict to increase the population, I think they could have a fair population.

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    • i guess so but if a sub bending ability was introduced what do you think it would be

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      • sigh* thats the question, isn't it? Air really doesn't have an effective sub-skill, as all the interesting elements usually associated with air are either associated with another element (lightning going to fire rather than air) or not terribly practical (specific gas control). The only real sub-skill that has been somewhat accepted is soundbending, and I'm slowly thinking it should be saved for another hidden civilization (sortof a discovering the New World dynamic idk). The big reason, I think, for this making sense is thinking of sound as just another disturbance in the air, like wind, but incrediably minute and hard to manipulate. The "canonical" usage has been slim at best, the only two examples being Aang using his bison whistle to generate a massive soundwave and comedically raising his voice in order to call for help when he and Zuko are trapped in tar. There is one other feature of the Avatar world that kinda supports soundbending; the all-day echo chamber found in the Western Air Temple. While it may have been purely for entertainment, I think it could have been used as a training device for young nuns to develop their skills manipulating sound waves as they travel through the air.

      Though, come to think of it, there was one sort of "sub-skill" mentioned which may work given the right circumstances. There was a rumor that airbenders could "become wind", fusing with their element while sacrificing their lives to do so. But the thought occurs to be, what if one didn't ned to sacrifice one's life? Becoming air for a split second and then reappearing somewhere else, akin to teleporting (not unlike a certain air spell used in The Dresden Files), would not only be a useful skill, but also would be in line with air's flighty nature.

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    • If airbenders could actually become wind without dieying that would be some real high level airbending. Maybe the airbender masters said it would kill you to discourage people from attempting it due to its dangers.

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    • that would be so cool

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    • Yea, but its a bit too close to "traditional magic" to really sync that well with bending, though I agree, it would be cool.

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    • Sorry people, I've been some time without logging so im back for a reply

      Hey air nomad, we've no proof that the EK army is bigger, but the only proof we have is that the FN has no qualms on sacrificing young inexperienced troops, and getting recruits, issuing them little training and sending them to war.

      While the EK was never hinted to do that, excpet Gow [which was a cruel man, and a rogue himself] which conscripted a kid. [mostly to humiliate gansu's family, rather than following EK army policies]

      why?? because you need massive numbers to attack the EK fortresses, bases, and walled cities. Even Sun Zi [art of war] said that you need much more resources and numbers to attack/seige an place than to defend it.

      While the EK needs less numbers and more specialized teams to defend them [its what they do often, a small team defending a city, or smaller armies,etc] and later break down the larger FN armies if they're doing strategic retreat,regrouping,etc etc.

      So, the 'zerg rush' is much more FN way than EK's one. And people should fear it because there's nothing worse than a massive rush of firebenders shooting everywhere and waves of infantry, coupled with rushes of cavalry and catapults.

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    • From the Earth Kingdom article here on the wiki:

      "The Earth Kingdom is the largest country in the Avatar World in both population figures and land area."

      Yea, they were the biggest, which makes sense since they not only have the most land geographically, they are also able to make use of much of it through farming. Unfortunately, due to the confederate nature of the EK, training for recruits was most likely varied at best.

      I see the conflict between the EK and FN more as a match up between a large army with relatively primitive tech and ok equipment, and a more advanced force with better equipment but with fewer numbers (which makes sense due to the smaller geographical size and the amount of unused jungle that still existed in the FN at the time of Aang).

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    • I dunno, I see the conflict as something very 'equal', because this explains why the FN coudnt strike HARD on the EK and make it capitulate without 'internal' effort [Ba sing se couple, dai li betrayal and Bumi's surrender]. it's hinted that without Bumi's surrender, Omashu could've got unscathed, or defeated the invasion force.

      You gotta be well prepared if you hold out for so much time, and sending shitty armies to fight the FN surely is NOT the earth kingdom's way [remember they were supposed to be tough,resistent,etc]. 

      I'm a supporter of the fire nation, but still I'm adding some reasonable points..

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    • Yes, I can definitely see a Fire Nation bias on your part (not that its a bad thing, I'm biased towards the Nomads).

      The thing is, I'm sure the Earth Kingdom troops were relatively well equipped by EK standards, but their metallurgy, technology, and the normal sleu of problems that tend to occur when trying to equip hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of soldiers were likely not much of a match for properly crafted full plate and advanced technology. Not to mention the Fire Nation had fewer troops, so it could afford to equip them with better arms, armor, and tech.

      The one big thing the EK has going for it, though, is it is entrenched. the fortresses are proper fortresses, many villiages have proper walls, and its earthbenders can make rather effective makeshift fortifications overnight. Not to mention its people are not the kind to turn tail and run at the first sign of trouble. They may not have been a particularly advanced people, but they were willing to fight to the bitter end and go down with a sword/rock in their hands.

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    • The fire nation seemingly has more troops than the EK [reasons mentioned before] but both have good metallurgy, one can judge by their extremely good armor [just like the FN] and powerful weaponry. their only setback is the apparent lack of swords, which are great in close-quarters combat but maybe they [bryke] choose it that way to simplify things.

      Now the earth kingdom has that advantage, they can built or fortify places which were already prepared. For example 500 earthbenders can fortify a walled city by building ramps, anti-cavalry ditches, lifting rocks as obstacles, and stuff. Whie FN would have AT LEAST three times that amount [1500] but they couldnt do more than hear the commander shout 'ATTACK!! CHARGE!!' and everyone rushing towards the EK position shooting to all directions.

      So the EK have greater defensive capacities with lesser numbers. 1 earthbender can make a defensive position that can help at least 10 non-bender infantry or archers, for example. 

      Whle the FN have the need to field gigantic amount of troops to attack, invade and successfully occupy [not counting the mop-up operation against EK holdouts,stragglers,etc]

      And they are an very advanced people, which is willing to fight to the death like you said.

      It's like mongolia/other tribes versus china in the ancient days; china was always with better technology,offensive machinery,numbers and tactics, but the nomads quick reaction to offenses, their high mobility and low-profile but useful technology [mounted archers,etc] managed to make them defend themselves and even go on the offensive quite some times. and the technology gap was even more vast between both than between Fn and the Ek.

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    • ... Again, we know that the EK had more warm bodies to throw at the FN. Its right here in the Wiki.

      The tech, armor, and weapons of the EK, when analyzed on its own, I'm sure was pretty good by Iron Age standards. The problem is when you start comparing it to the obviously superior FN goods. They had enough finely crafted metal to cover not only every single soldier in full plate, but also to create a massive fleet of ironclad ships. While the EK I'm sure had a fair amount of metalworkers and blacksmiths, it doesn't seem like they had the uniform quality that can be found in the FN, mostly opting for what seems like lighter armor with less metal to reinforce whatever leather or lamellar make up EK armor, which makes sense given the scale of the army; If you don't have that much metal mass production and a massive army to field, chances are the arms and armor aren't going to have as much quality metal in them.

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    • About troop capacity; yeah wiki says that but no true source. unless Bryke dont say it, I'm taking it with a grain of salt.


      FN is not 'full plate armor' that's not even an asian concept [although China had the capacity of doing so]. Full plate armor is something more used in european knights and some rare exceptions here and there, mainly for officers,etc. 

      What we DO see, is 2 chestplates on the front which can be considered as 2 pieces of armor, like THIS photo here

      FN and EK armor are the same in quality, but different time periods. If we TRULY want to get historical trolling, the EK armor [ba sing se version] is brigandine Qing armor, which is almost 1000 years ahead of FN's Sui-Tang one. but then its another talk...

      Lamellar is best for mass-production, thats why it was the favorite of massive asian armies [korean,chinese and japanese]. Besides the EK seems to have armors like on Liao-Yuan period, where clothing was sewn UPON armor, giving the impressions that riders/archers were using clothing/gowns not armor.

      Besides, none uses what can be considered as truly 'heavy infantry armor', exception being the FN bomb guy, Ozai himself [dragon armor - used by some emperor] and EK elite troops [king's royal guard].

      FN also has a massive army to field, possibly more recruits than actually FOOD to feed them, thats why so much people is not fielded at once. for example, only a stupid commander puts 3 million troops in field with capacity to feed only 1, for example. you surely need a massive resource pool to feed,cloth,make armor,train/command this force, for example.

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    • Fair enough.

      Shall we get back to debating whether or not the Air Nomads collectively kicked the bucket?

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    • Well, lets go then!!

      And my question about the Air nomads would be: it a traitor helped the fire nation to invade, would it be too 'mature' or 'evil' [idk the term] to portray a character like that in a future show/comic/etc?? (like that Afiko guy you know?)

      Because judging from its position,etc the only way to enter in an air temple is by the use of a traitor, one who can lead thru secret passageways,etc

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    • Unlikely secret passageways aside (I doubt the isolationist Air Nomads would leave such tunnels within the reach of those of other nations), I think there are two ways the Fire Nation could have gotten the location of the temples.

      One is, indeed, there was a traitor in their midst, lusting after worldly power rather than spiritual enlightenment. While unlikely, it is far from impossible that there was at least one monk that perhaps yearned for more than the simple life, thus selling out his/her brethren.

      The other way is to basically pull a Zuko; keep tabs on one particular Airbender until your path leads to one or both of the Air Temples of one gender, then repeat for the other. Due to the rather clandestine nature of parts of the Fire Nation army and navy, this seems the most likely.

      Now about the evilness of a betrayer Nomad. The big answer is, it depends how they would write the character. If they properly developed a monk or nun who couldn't connect with the spiritual culture, or perhaps a radical who wanted to completely turn the culture upside down, and was thus shunned by the community, then there's a lot that can be done without going down a darker path. If the writers chose that avenue, I wouldn't be surprised if said traitor would be decieved more than anything. Perhaps he/she was fed information that the Nomads would be simply removed from their lands and made to ally with the Fire Nation cause, or perhaps convinced that it was part of an effort to bring the Nomads more into world events, or otherwise convinced that either little or no harm would befall the Nomads. Or, alternatively, they could go with a black sheep Nomad who only wanted power and money, completely ignoring the culture he/she was raised in and go for a more simplistic storyline that would satisfy most people (booooooooring). In that case, some care would be needed to at least keep his/her motives reasonable and not, well, mustache-twirling cartoonish.

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    • Like you said, it would be an impressive challenge on how to make an 'evil' airbender, detached from his spiritual upbringing/rebeling to them AND at the same time managing to avoid becoming an 'oh no, he's evul' stereotype.

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    • "Flawed" is probably what the writers would want to shoot for; not necessarily malicious, but still having certain values that contradict aspects of Air Nomad culture. For instance, the traitor may believe that ones duty should be to the world, rather than trying to detach oneself from it. Or, perhaps the traitor has a slightly more lenient attitude towards violence, likely brought on by traumatic childhood experiances (though one could say that about any flaw this character might have).

      Yea, the main thing to avoid is having the character being evil for evil's sake, like Ozai, or simply being twisted with no explination, like Amon.

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    • Agreed. 

      this makes sense. my favorite villain is kinda Long feng, because he's different. He is a more refined villain you know? sorta the chancellor Palpatine of the show!

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    • Its called the LAST Airbender for a reason. . .

      Odds are the air Nomads that survived assimilated into Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation culture, to avoid being killed.

      Have you noticed some Non-Airbender characters have conspiciously Air-bender looking features? Ty-lee is the biggest example, while every other FN character has dark hair and golden eyes, Ty-lee has light hair and grey eyes (like an Air Nomad). This probably wasn't intentional on the part of the creators though. . . but its still an interesting theory. . .

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    • You know, I really should add on to the list that I realize that the series is called the Last Airbender, and that I'm not trying to forcefully change the premise of the show; rather, I'm just trying to point out some odd contradictions in the way the "genocide" was handled.

      Considering the overwhelming "four nations should remain four" mentality that pervaded much of the Avatar world throughout the War, I doubt that the Nomads would find it acceptable to intermarry with people of other nations. They most likely found someplace secluded (rather common in the Avatar universe) and hunkered down, completely cutting themselves off from the rest of the world. I actually wouldn't be surprised if they picked someplace on the hemisphere not covered in the Avatar map to hide out.

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    • Desperation drives people to do desperate things. . .  a good example would be this: Many Native Ainu and Ezo peoples in prehistoric japan intermarried with the colonizing Japanese. To this day many Japanese people have Ainu blood and do not know about it. The Ainu culture has been on the brink of extinction in Japan for centuries, (there are only about 200,000 full blooded Ainu people left)  what would keep them alive if Japan suddenly turned Hostile towards them and started systematically exterminating them (like they almost did in WW2? How long would they last as a people and a culture? probably not even a century. Even if a few of them managed to escape to America or other nuetral countries, most of them would be dead, and their children growing up in another Nation, would likely reject their parents long held beliefs (like so many children of immigrants actually do in todays world), and the culture would inevitably go extinct.

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    • Here's the problem: if the Nomads did indeed interbreed with the populace, the Avatar world would likely have more than 4 known airbenders by the time of Korra (not counting Avatar Korra). I can understand those with airbending skills that remained in the populace being secretive during the War, but by Korra's time the latent Nomad airbending gene would most likely have produced a few airbenders other than those of Aang's line in the Earth Kingdom or Water Tribe if the Nomads were granted asylum there. The fact that we don't see that is a testament to how the Air Nomads wished to be seperate and above the other nations.

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    • Lack of Spirituality may have something to do with it, since bending and spirituality are deeply connected. Considering not many people in LOK's time are spiritual, and fewer benders being born, the lack of Airbenders kind of makes sense. Even before that many people in the ATLA verse had grown disenchanted with spiritual concerns. The Earth Kingdom and Water tribebelieved the Avatar had abandoned them to suffer, and the Fire Nation were all but Iconoclastic in their Mao-styled cult of personality. The few spiritual people ATLA were Aang, the brainwashed sages, and a few villagers. In LOK  Tenzin and the Acolytes are the only overtly spiritual people shown (at least in season 1)

      I do agree though, the lack of airbenders other than Tenzin and his family was a major boondoggle on the writers part. I really wanted to see an Air Bender bad guy.

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    • Ok, seriously, where are people getting the idea that there are less benders or that people are less spiritual as a whole? All we see in LoK so far is Republic City, the only place where I can kinda understand a lack of spirituality (and I didn't exactly notice a lack of benders) and a corner of the south pole. Benders have never been a majority of any population outside of the Air Nomads. We know that the Water Tribe is still plenty spiritual, given that they are at the center of the next LoK book, Spirits. The Earth Kingdom and the Fire Nation I can kinda see losing some of their spirituality, though they both had their spiritual cores, like Earth Kingdom shamans (like the one who tried to get Aang in the Avatar state by dressing him up in various clothes) and the Fire Sages. I doubt either of these faced immediate extinction in the 70 years between AtLA and LoK.

      Also, I suspect that after Avatar Aang ended the war, the apathy people might have felt concerning spiritual matters (like the Avatar) probably hit an all time low.

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    • My Logic, generally speaking is this, since the Air Nomads were the most Spiritual they were born with the most benders. So wouldn;t the logic extend to the rest of the world as well, the more spiritual the world is the more benders that are born?

      Wouldn't have a group like the equalists have formed centuries earlier if it wasn't true?

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    • Trust me when I say a group like the Equalists was bound to pop up sooner or later. Since the beginning of the four nations, the main division between people was, well, the four nations. People were more worried that troops from another nation might attack than internal threats (I'm generalizing a bit, I understand there are some exceptions). Now, in Korra's time, those divisions are beginning to crumble with the creation of the United Republic. For the first time since the elemental nations were formed, people are becoming more unified. Unfortunately, this only exposes other barriers between people, such as wealth, position in society, or in the Equalists case, bending. Considering that, for some reason, non-benders have little defense against benders aside from unreliable steampunk tech, it makes sense that people would want bending exterminated. Its a pretty similar scenario to the X-Men series, "How can we keep order when one man can move cities with his mind?"

      Heres the thing with spirituality and bending; its not a 1:1 correlation. Other things like genetics play a role as well (it's how even in a place like Republic City, a rather unspiritual place, benders are still being produced). For instance, most of the Ozai Era Fire Nation put little token in spirits, aside from a few isolated villiages. The only time they really took notice is either when a spirit left, leaving a noticable void, or when it was in there best interest to exploit or destroy them. With all that, the Fire Nation produced plenty of able firebenders.

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    • Unless Bryke does a prequel series after Korra we will probably never see an Air Nomad villain. . .

      Which I personally think is a shame, Airbending has the potential to be the most powerful and destructive of the bending arts. But no airbender was willing to use it to its full potential, even when it came to life or death scenarios.

      If they make a prequel I want to see something like "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" with Airbending. Knocking people over, wiping out whole armies with a conjured tornado, messing up someones breathing by bending the air in their lungs etc.

      Probably wont happen though, too violent for a Y7 program.

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    • I don't know, we've seen people get drowned, have their internal organs crushed with an earth spike, get struck by lightning, and twice seen people get caught in a large explosion, not to mention all the implied violence and death at the Southern Air Temple and elsewhere in the War. Suffocation seems pretty tame compared to those. The big thing seems to be not to show any blood, which can be pretty easily done in a cartoon series.

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    • I liked your remark about the 'Mao-styled' cult of personality, RaidenRadio.

      At least you're the decent one to notice the similarity.

      I just think that the Earth Kingdom wasnt much into spirituality beforehand also, even before the HYW. I'd take [pre-Sozin] Fire Nation and water tribes as more bound into spirituality. then only the water tribes after the FN go to the red guard side of the force.

      It would be awesome a 'the force unleashed' style with bending too.

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    • Agreed, we need more airbender combat that doesn't involve the little tykes. I wanna see Tenzin go papa bear on some poor (but guilty) sod and just wreck the guy, Gyatso style. I want to see airbending pushed to its very limits. Then we can see how Nomads (or Tenzin specifically) justify such violent actions.

      Also, I'm not a decent one?

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    • What? I didnt said nothing about you heh. I was just praising Raiden becuase few notice the obvious similarity between Mao and the firelord(s) and its personality cult.

      If you already noticed it, or also thought that, kudos to you too! hehe ^_^

      Aobut airbending, it would be nice to see a battle between airbender(s) against aircraft, such as the Sato-planes or something in LOK.

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    • Here's the thing: it was really obvious. I mean, schoolchildren are given portraits of Ozai and make images of him out of noodles. Sculptures and likenesses of the guy are all around the Fire Nation and her colonies. If that doesn't scream Maoist China, I don't know what does. Heck, all they're missing is wearing all the same clothes (the only differences being three colors) and, you know, communism.

      I really just hope the Acolytes are studying the Sky Bison so that they can revive Airbending, because we need more airbending action. It is easily one of the most impressive to see a master perform, robes flaring in an intimidating fashion while the opponents get thrown around like they're an unpopular puppet.

      I can't even describe the excitement I would have if there could be a proper airbending dogfight between mounted acolytes and gliders and biplanes. The dynamics that could play into it, especially with all the kinds of bending that could be involved with the biplanes is just astounding. 

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    • Agree with you. And they respect the firelord like he was the 'dear leader' or 'the great helmsman'. Admit it, even that nickname seems something the firelord would like to be called/call himself. for example Ozai, the great helmsman of the fire nation!! is totally in character. 

      Another thing is, their clothing seems to be 'similar' in the ENTIRE country. (except ember island, however that is swimwear...) differences between rich and poor,etc and stuff but basicallly their clothing is the 'same' on regards to main detailing and the ALWAYS prevalent Pi-Ling (those shoulder pieces) and with 3 major tones [red,golden/yellow and black] with just small exceptions. While the EK has greater freedom, and they use beige,brown,green [many tones], purple,blue,etc etc...

      Communism is just a way to go, as Mao himself liked to portray (himself) as a 'revolutionary' version of Qin shihuang or the great Khans of the Yuan dynasty (genghis,kublai,temur,etc) ... =X 

      Back into air nomads, an dogfight would be that awesome!! it wuold be like 'avatar' meeting the another avatar (james cameron) when they hop in those flying dragons to destroy the humans helicopters, etc etc.

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    • Plus, the biplanes we've seen could easily be retrofitted to accomadate benders. Have a little cannon in the front unique to the bender: smaller versions of waterbending torpedoes for waterbenders, granite pellets for earthbenders, and... nothing save for a cannon barrel for firebenders, given the effecitvess of such instruments on the United Forces battleships. Just bend your medium through the barrel and BAM, the enemy is taken down.

      That is, if you can pilot through airbender/sky bison manipulated air currents >:)

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    • Yeah heh

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    • ... It seems this thread got derailed again.

      I really should get around to compiling all of the additional points brought up by some of the comments here.

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    • back on track then. What about my theory that there are "Partial" Air Nomads hidden among the world? Mixed families were uncommon before the hundred year war, but theres nothing to say they DIDN"T occur. There could be people who are part Air-Nomad hidden among the common populace, simply unable to bend due to being seperated from their cultural roots.

      I've mentioned Ty-lee looking conspiciously different from other Fire Nation characters. If she is part air Nomad, then if she was introduced and adopted Air Nomad culture, would her children be able to Air bend?

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:
      Here's the problem: if the Nomads did indeed interbreed with the populace, the Avatar world would likely have more than 4 known airbenders by the time of Korra (not counting Avatar Korra). I can understand those with airbending skills that remained in the populace being secretive during the War, but by Korra's time the latent Nomad airbending gene would most likely have produced a few airbenders other than those of Aang's line in the Earth Kingdom or Water Tribe if the Nomads were granted asylum there. The fact that we don't see that is a testament to how the Air Nomads wished to be seperate and above the other nations.

      Already covered.

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    • They are likely all extinct. even the creators themselves said Aang is the only survivor. did others survive? Maybe, but according to the Canon Comic "Relics" they were hunted down mercilessly.

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    • My OP adresses the problems with the Fire Nation's ambush stratagy, I would reccomend reading it more thoroughly before making more posts.

      As I have said already, I realize that the AtLA storyline hinges on the fact that the world believes that the Nomads are almost extinct. I am not trying to retcon here, I am merely pointing out the flaws in the story we are given.

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    • I think Sozin is some kind of strategy genius, like Sima Yi or Sun Zi... seriously!! how could he truly managed to wipe out the entirety of a people that can control the air, fly through its currents, easily escape from warfare AND have huge flying mounts that can beat the crap out of armored modern vehicles!!!

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    • ... Not really.

      As I have pointed out in my OP and subsequent posts, Sozin's plan wasn't very well thought out. Trying to attack a highly mobile, de-centralized, and defensive minded power like the Air Nomads during a celestial event you could set your watch to with a large, obvious, and comparitively clunky army was not the best way to go, especially when one of the main goals was simply to capture one person.

      Actually, I think Zhao's plan was a much better alternative. Covertly capture the Avatar and keep him imprisoned so that he can't reincarnate while you go to town on the other nations.

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    • Honorable Admiral Zhao, although underestimated by some FN hating 'masses', he is quite an clever strategist. He managed to capture the avatar once with the Yu Yan, then on that Relics stuff and almost annihilated the NWT.

      The only reason behind his fall was due to (he's the villain duh!) his short-temper and rash decisions (let's kill the moon fishy, instead of using it as an hostage) but that's part of being a villain eh? being neat and later falling hard on the end lol.

      And like you just said, FN objective was in fact to wipe out the air nomads DUE to the avatar, not for the sake of it. If you get the avatar, I DOUBT the rest would rush and militarize Mongol-style to unleash hell on the fire nation, that's even against their beliefs.

      Instead use those massively epic rushes against the EK, that would work finer than sending them against the AN temples...

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    • Definitely. I am quite surprised that the Fire Nation didn't press their advantage with the comet against the Earth Kingdom, given that they would be fighting them for the next century. Plus, what better way to lure out the Avatar and leave him open to covert capture?

      It is rather sad to think, however, that the Nomads likely wouldn't help the other nations in the war.

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    • Well to be fair, Zhao was more obsessed with his own legacy than the "glory of The Fire Lord"

      but it would make sense from a propaganda point of view to kill the moon spirit. I mean blotting out the moon and essentially neutering (and possibly genociding) an entire nation, on top of killing off the Air Nomads, would pretty much confirm the fire Nations Victory over the rest of the world. I mean there would be no more moon! and every night going out to see the moon simply isn't there would be pretty scary, not to mention always remind the surviving waterbenders of their loss. (Not to mention the environmental implications of having no moon, melting Icecaps, uneven tides, Snow in the Summer, the extinction of Dozens of species like Sea Turtles and Pigeons who rely on the moon for navigation)

      the Propaganda slogan would be "Let all who resist beware! There is only ONE Element now"

      But back to the Air Nomads. This is why I personally am not a pacifist, if Its a life of death situation one needs to be willing to take a life to preserve his own, one doesn't simply lie down and give up his life! You FIGHT! and you keep fighting until you win!

      It was the Air Nomads overtly merciful nature that caused their downfall. They refused to realize that mankind is inherently violent, and their "enlightenment", disconnection from the affairs of ordinary people, and outright ignorance of the reality of human nature is what led to their extinction.

      I'm not saying mercy and enlightenment do not have their place, by all means without it we'd be no different from the animals. But at the same time one needs to realize that mankind isn't inherently good. there is good, and there is evil, and sometimes good needs to adopt evil methods in order to ensure its survival.

      Example: If the US hadn't gone to war after pearl harbor, and let Tojo and Hitler continue to Annex and destroy Asia and Europe respectively, we'd be just as bad as them for letting them commit acts of genocide and murder, not to mention after they were done with their own countries they would have likely come after us, and had us living under a red flag. (this is why I've recently become disenchanted with the US Government for letting certain governments in the Middle East and Asia continue to exist despite the fact they continue to abuse, brainwash, starve and genocide their own people, but thats a personal issue for me).

      Sometimes good men must be willing to cross a moral line, to do horrible, violent things, for the sake of a greater good!  By letting themselves grow complacent, by refusing to cross that line, by thinking everyone would accept them regardless the Air Nomads sealed their own fate.

      Also, maybe the comet was off by a few months in Sozins time? Maybe it came in spring in Previous Eras, but due to its course changing due to it interacting with the Earths orbit it Came in the Summer instead, catching the Nomads off Guard?

      I mean, nobody in the ATLA universe (except Wan Shi Tong apparently) knew when a Solar eclipse was happening before Sokka found a tiny scrap of paper in Wan Shi Tongs Library. This was possibly due to the FN destroying and altering historical records to make the date of Eclipses happen several months before or after they were originally supposed to happen. Whats to say the Fire Nation couldn't have done something similar for the comet. Sozin was a brilliant strategist apparently. (that seems to be a reoccuring thing with the Fire Nation, they succeed in wiping out the majority of what they want to, but fail in destroying what they intended to destroy.  Its like burning down a forest to kill a mouse, and the mouse survives.)

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    • Here's the problem with the "altering the timing of the comet" thing: the comet and its effects on firebenders had been known for a very long time. Its not like an eclipse that could be missed if you're not paying attention, the comet practically sets the sky on fire. The eclipse seemed to be a bit rarer, as the parchment that mentioned it said it was the "darkest day in Fire Nation History", singular. If it doesn't happen that often, and without regularity, it doesn't make sense that one would keep track of it, especially given the rather primitive scientific instruments at the time.

      You're right in saying that the Air Nomads should have been a bit more practical, and I'm glad to see that their culture is starting to change with Tenzin's more practical attitude. They were/are a part of the world, and as such have/had a duty to it, to try to have the other nations ascend with them, rather than leaving the savages to play with fire and hope that they themselves don't get burned. That said, theres detached, and then there's naieve. While the Nomads aimed to be disconnected, I wouldn't be surprised if they still kept tabs on the other Nations, likely to make sure the more travel-prone Nomads didn't accidentally fly into the middle of the war. Given the massive amounts of signs pointing towards Fire Nation aggression and the rather obvious nature of Fire Nation attacks, I think the Nomads would have had plenty of warning.

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    • @Air Nomad, brilliant post. I hadn't even thought about some of the things you pointed out.

      Not to mention this cleared up some other questions I had (e.g., why they were called nomads and lived in temples, how seperating the female and male monks could have possibly led to a stable population, how the sky bison came back, etc.) I have a lot of hopes for LoK 2, hopefully some more of this stuff will be cleared up. (Plus, it would be just awesome to find a wandering group of air nomads who still lived like they did way back when somewheres...) Of course, herds of sky bison just tramping around the place doesn't seem very logical. FN would have found them eventually in the search for the avatar.

      One thing though, the world of Avatar is pretty simplistic when you think about it, so when the creators said "wiped out the air nomads" they probably meant "wiped out the air nomads." Which would have led to many a story "glitch." 

      Do you think there were old air temples before the four in the series and/or will be new ones once the air nomads start to come back? 

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    • Oh, undoubtably. For a wandering, curious culture like the Nomads, there are plenty of places to explore and settle in the world of Avatar. Heck, there's a whole other hemisphere we don't know about. It wouldn't take that much to think that an ancient population of Air Nomads settled on a faraway land, far from the influence of the other elemental nations.

      As for older temples in the hemisphere we know about, there is still a possibility. If there is an island that was able to hide a population of sky bison, the skittish airbenders would have no problem finding seclusion.

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    • Brilliant post also, I agree.

      Well, the airbenders would have nothing to do if they suspected FN growing militarism. they couldnt simply 'walk into the fire nation' dancing oppa gangnam style, as the FN would have ease to strike them down in their native territory where their numbers would be virtually infinite compared to the Air Noamds.  

      I dislike ww2 analogies, but here we go again; one thing is comparing the US, a superpower with its population,territory and (potencial) industrial output that can easily surpass the entire Axis together with an small band of monks,nuns,temples and kids.

      Besides, we can easily assume that the soviets were handling germany, and once the japanese crossed Wuhan, the shit was hitting the fan for the japanese. And that's because we're talking about an completeley divided China with the communists (Mao) against Chiang. SO It was sort of a three-way battle (japan vs. china vs. the communists) and a totally different scenario. ww2 is not a good example on this case. 

      The ONLY thing an entity like the AN could do to ruin the fun would be acting like elite scouts to the water tribe or the EK. their flying skill woulld make them near-impossible to hit and they could easily map enemy movement, giving the FN's enemies the upper hand often. (maybe that's why sozin ordered a total wipe-out them? mystery...) after all they fly. what's better than a flying scout, considering 99.9% of the HYW occured before existing air machinery.

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    • I really don't think the Nomad's first reaction after being attacked would be to counter attack. Granted, I'm sure a few young hot-headed monks or nuns desired vengeance, but the majority would be more reasonable than that. Going from having no military for ages to trying to get a militia together on the spot is not the easiest thing to do. The most likely thing the Nomads would try to do is hide. While a few would have fallen prey to the Fire Nation ambushes set up around this action, chances are the surviving monks would band together and find a new, more isolated, home.

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    • ......

      I didn't think WWII had anything to do with it....

      Oh, and I highly doubt there's a western hemisphere--- think about it. The FN had zeppelins, and the AN had their sky bison way before that. SOMEONE would have discovered the rest of the world. I think the way the creators intended it, and the way it stands now, the world of Avatar is complete. But that's for another topic, sorry...

      I think someone may have mentioned this but another possiblity for the annihilation of the airbenders could be something along the lines of "They saw the great evil arising in the world, an evil which would destroy the balance of the four elements." and so, for the first time (possibly) in history took up arms against the fire nation... at which point they would have been (probably) promptly dispatched. This is severely non-canonical, but hey, it could work. So technically yes, they would have waltzed oppa-gangam style into the FN if this theory worked out.

      The reason why I think this is because: a) the monks are made out to be pious and righteouss, in tune to the earth and possibly more moral than the other peoples. Therefore, there "goodness" would have prompted them to act. And b) None of the characters encounter any sign of remaining aribenders in the series. The world isn't THAT big (they flew from the southpole to the north pole in like, 3 months or something. Less accounting the stops along the way) and it would be highly difficult for the fire nation to wipe out a group of diversified peoples.

      The cons to this is that if that was the case, the fire nation would have had a lot more free time to destroy the earth kingdom, since they wouldn't have been hopping all over the globe to look for a few benders. We don't see this happening in the series though. Plus, how and why would the reclusive air nomads put together an army and go in for a full out assault?

      ^^^anyways, those are my points backing up/disproving the "air invades fire" theory. Not that I think it's the "best" or most "logical" one, just another possibility. 

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    • The Air Nomads may have been pious, but these were no vindictive paladins. These were Air Nomads. As Tenzin points out, one of the main principles of air is to change course and adapt when resistance is met. The last time I checked, attempted genocide is a rather poiniant example of resistance. Fiersome retaliation is more the modus operandi of the Earth Kingdom or the Fire Nation, not the skittish Nomads.

      3 months by air travel still seems to be a rather long time to cross poles. Plus, seeing as though the gravity seems to be similar to our Earth, it can be safely said that the size of the Avatar world is about the same size.

      There most definitely is another hemisphere, for 2 reasons. One, if there wasn't another hemisphere, the Fire Nation wouldn't have to go through the rest of the Earth Kingdom to get to Ba Sing Se; they could have just gone west until they reached the shores upon which the eastern borders of Ba SIng Se rest. The second reason is the names of the Air Temples. They are pretty clearly indicated as the primary geographic directions (north, south, east, west). If the current map of the Avatar world was the entire globe, there really couldn't be that kind of distinction. Those primary directions can really only be used to describe location in relation to another feature, ie. the other continents. There couldn't be that kind of distinction if the Fire Nation wasn't considered on the western half of the hemisphere or the Earth Kingdom on the east.

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    • If they had support from another nations, all they had to do is hide in far away unknown mountains during the comet, and after it ends they could hide (by asking authorization, or something) on some uninhabited part of Ba sing se agricultural zone, which possesses vast expanses, many of which are mountains (which can be used to make the air temples 2.0) and 'wastelands' (territory with no agriculture)

      Edit; People would hate me for this, but I believe that world is the exact size as ours (my opinion which is solid as jade).

      And yes, the air nomads are just peaceful monks, not Knights Templar or the Yellow turbans (religious sect in China that razed to the ground entire cities against the Han dynasty, which they despised for corruption,etc)

      Also, they couldnt have entered the FN 'oppa gangman style 'ok?even if they took up in arms they owuld be wiped out, or at least a phyrric victory (extinction in exchange for victory) which then would fire backwards as any regional ruler would assume the role of Fire Lord.

      It's probably 100-200 soldiers to EACH air nomad. Heavily armored soldiers with spears/jian swords or firebenders. Not counting cavalry (no tanks/baloons by then).

      They would be tired after blewing off the first 20, and the reest would simply rush and you know the deal. Besides, monks were never supposed to be an overwhelming massive military force, unless my definition of 'monk' changed during present time...

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    • If they didn't have a cultural inclination towards isolation, I would agree. However, I wouldn't doubt that the Nomad's trust in the other nations would be slighty tarnished by the attempted genocide. If the Nomads by in large didn't think terribly highly of the other nations before the "genocide" they definitely wouldn't after.

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    • About that I agree. they owuld be technically 'unbeatable' if they were sheltered on mainland ba sing se after the comet. 

      Becuase only the dragon of the west breached its walls (but thats over 90 years before the genocide) however we do not know if that made a true damage, and later Azula's coup. 

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    • Considering Ba Sing Se was already a major target for the Fire Nation, I doubt the Air Nomads would risk bringing further attention to the walled city, not only for their own sakes, but for those who live in the city. Think how much harder the Fire Nation would have worked to get into Ba Sing Se if they knew the remnants of the people of the reigning Avatar resided there.

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    • Yes, but it can be used as an earth kingdom larger strategy. For them the AN would be a 'bait' or a pawn in their larger strategy. which would be make the bulk of the FN army focus on trying to breach ba sing se while the EK sends smaller army groups to attack the EK coast under FN control and disrupt supply lines in their way to ba sing se. 

      When you pay too much attention on one side, the other is usually forgotten.

      Also, it can be used as an advantage to the EK: the FN would try hard to breach the wall, something hard to do, on the other side, walls THAT big are easier to defend than to destroy (even a full-earthbender army couldnt breach it, and I'm talking about Ch'in here!).

      While I bet the Avatarverse has strategists like Zhuge Liang and stuff, an wise strategist can make use of this concentrated fire assault. 

      Omashu can also be used as a launching point for attacks/counter attacks on the main force at Ba Sing Se in this case (considering Bumi's surrender only happened later on, and it was a surrender, not a struggle).

      edit: And if the AN hide in ba sing se, what can they do? if they focus attention there it can benefit the EK larger strategy, like I said. and the AN would be safe behind its invincible walls. if shit hits the fan they can even get on top of these walls. they basically surround the largest landmass in the show so its not just lets climb over this small wall over here and defeat all soldiers there then get the monks!

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    • I'm not sure how willing the Nomads would be to being bait. To a civilization that regularly flies, what comfort are walls to a constant onslaught. Aside from the constant attacks from the outside, I doubt the people of Ba Sing Se would appreciate the increased resources allocated to defending a whole other nation. On top of that, you have covert attacks to worry about. Fire Nation agents posing as refugees silently trying to slit airbender throats in the quiet calm of Ba Sing Se. Much easier to accomplish than demolishing fortifications. If that starts happening, then you get this spiral into martial law (even more so than when Long Feng was in power) that ends with the Earth Kingdom residents driving out the Nomads because they're tired of protecting them at the cost of their own lives.

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    • But the airbenders would live outside Ba sing se (city) like I said they'd probably build an temple on mountains or an wasteland INSIDE BSS (agricultural zone) where there's plenty of free space.

      I don't know if they are risking total extinction in the name of their personal freedom, but the only true hindrance between entering there is the massive wall around it.

      Living surrounded by walls would something an air nomad (easygoing,freedom-liking,etc) wouldn't enjoy. But at least the agricultural zone is an expanse greater than many parts on the avatarverse. It's telling a group that they're free to roam in an entire country, at least.

      They would simply be like another wave of refugees, but they wouldnt live in the city itself. Just like you don't need to live IN the capital (chang'an or beijing or linzi,etc) if you lived in ancient China, for an example. And we know that the outer war surrounds over a massive territory for agriculture, but it is unused in some places. (the map shows even mountains!) Obivously due to their isolationist nature, and their detachment from the rest of society they wouldnt be living IN the streets of that city, just like team avatar was, or Iroh/Zuko as refugees.

      About the bait part: it would be possibly a EK strategy, but they woudlnt tell that to the AN right? anyways as long as they are inside that wall, they're safe. 

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    • Inside one of the walls. If the outer wall got breached (which we know can happen, and probably would more frequently with more Fire Nation focus), the Nomads would be the first to get attacked. Not exactly what you want when trying to protect another nation that already suffered losses.

      Of course the Earth Kingdom wouldn't tell the Nomads that they were bait, but I think they would get the idea when parts of the wall near Air Nomad settlements would start chipping due to increased Fire Nation assault. That, combined with the tempting position of having them be just in front of the Earth Kingdom capitol proper could definitely give the impression that the Nomads had turned into a lure.

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    • Well, the nomads are smart enough to figure that out by themselves, but still is better than leave them out there, prone to any random attack.

      And if we forget the coup stuff, ba sing se can defend itself pretty much easily. unfortunately we didnt saw much of its army, we only saw elite teams (terra team and royal earthbenders) and police (dai li as elites and common police) no 'standing' army at the moment. 

      But the council of five is there for some reason right? Ba sing se HAS to have an army, even Omashu had its army soldiers (who went underground and escaped BTW)...

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    • I like to think the Nomads would prefer finding a completely isolated land to call their own, beyond the reach of the other nations, rather than being squahed up against another nation while under constant attack.

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    • Well, about this I can also agree. They enjoy freedom and keeping true to their beliefs/ideals. And staying on the 'most wanted' placed in the world (BSS) for the fire nation army would be boring for the air nomads. hah

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    • Pretty much. Being restricted, likely grounded, and being watched by the Dai Li like hawks would likely be a frustrating experiance for any Nomad.

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    • Ok, I insisted that they would be outside the main city!! lol

      But still, like you said before the Dai Li would be watching them, as they can get basically everywhere with their stealth skills (technically even on the Fire Nation, although they didnt did that for plot reasons) and they'd have to abide by Earth Kingdom/Ba sing se law, which would not be a pleasant experience for those people.

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    • Even outside the city, I doubt they would be able to do much flying. the danger of being hit by a long range ballista or catapult would be way too high. On top of that, they would likely have to watch their step, as the ag zone in Ba Sing Se not only has to support its own citizens, but also a whole other nation. The bison would likely only be used for local defense, as their bulk would be a liability to farmers in the area.

      You're right, the restricive laws of Ba Sing Se would very much wear down on the free-spirited Nomads. Being so contained and restricted goes completely against their element.

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    • That probably contributed to them dying out, their kids were born without bending. Well. . . according to Bryke every part of the ATLA universe is discovered. There is no Isolated part of the world left. There is no "New World",. I'm sure there are a few exceptions (Maybe a lost island of Prehistoric Mix and Match animals like Dino-Mammoths? Highly unlikely.) but in the wide scope of things I dont think its likely any Air Nomads could have stayed hidden for long, not unless they assimilated into the native culture, which as evidenced by the lack of existance of Airbenders other than Tenzin and family in LOK. either didn't happen, or did happen, and the Air Nomad Bloodline was diluted into non existance/Irrelevance (like the Ainu/Ezo example I used above).

      Thats what bugs me about Tenzin and his family. I mean, sure three out of his four Kids can Airbend, but only he out of Aangs original three children could airbend.

      I know genetics are a gamble, and one cant be sure when a child will be born with traits of a previous generation that haven't been seen for a while, ala recessive genetic traits (which is the reasons certain kings in medieval Europe accused their wives of infidelity when their children didn't look like either parent.) But unless one of the four children marries and has children with a person of Air Nomad descent (like the Theoretical Ty-lee example I used), the genetic trait that enables airbending will most likely be slowly diluted into non-existance.

      But again, I could be wrong. I'm not that intelligent when it comes to biology and gene theory.

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    • Indeed. what there is possibility is ruined/lost civilizations, uncontacted tribes and that stuff, but the world is exactly as it is showns to us (no new world of some sorts)

      In fact Ba sing se's authoritarian and disciplined entity could make up for a great villain in a future show (specially if its in the past). =)

      About the agrarian zone = it supports its citizens and the ones in ba sing se proper, NOT the rest of the EK. it's a self-sufficient city.

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    • Considering all the new stuff that seems to pop up in the Avatar universe, I don't buy that for a second. So many things have been discovered and then promptly forgotten about, like the virtues of the Sun Warriors, I wouldn't doubt there is a lost island or two on the other side of the globe. Besides, All it takes is one isolated island to serve as a new home.

      I seriously doubt that the Air Nomads would allow their traditions to simply die out. They are too tied to tradition to try something like that. Airbending... I could sort of see get reduced a bit. Considering the Fire Nation killed Airbenders on sight for a century, those who lost the skill likely had a leg up on those who kept it, keeping their culture while losing their bending. That said, the skill would likely re-emerge after the war, with one or two Nomad descendents inheriting the gene through chance. Plus, one can't be half an airbender. You either have it or you don't, and you have a pretty good chance to pass the skill on if you are. Dilution isn't that big an issue, unless there was a major bottleneck somewhere down the line after the "genocide".

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    • Lost island or small territories that's ok. We were talking about zero possibility of an huge continent (like australia or america for example) without the acknowledging of the EK/FN.

      And I also agree tht there were 'many few' hunts that actually led up to the fact that no airbender was living (except aang)

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    • Yea, unless the creators pull a Mists of Pandaria and say it was there all along, I doubt there would be a whole other continent. That said, do we know that no one ever looked? The Air Nomads seemed to stick pretty closely to the main continents, and the steam ships have mostly been used as battleships, not for exploration. The other two nations have pitiful navies, so we can't blame them for not sending out the Avatar version of Christopher Columbus.

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    • The Earth kingdom navy if they have ships like the Ba sing se ferry were well enough good to explore columbus/zheng-he style... remember that the age of sail didn't happened with steam age ships =)

      Obivously they owuld be worried about war not exploration, but that was an example to say that both the WT ships and specially the EK ones (although few was seen of their TRUE navy) are good enough to try a Columbus/Cabral (not Zheng He , that's fire nation stuff)

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    • The wierd thing is, it is never mentioned if any nation did. It seems like internal struggle has hampered any desire for exploration. Not one enterprising Earth Kingdom sailor wanted a backdooe route to get Fire Nation spices, not one Fire Nation admiral wanted to find treasures and glory in far away lands for the glory of the empire. Its a little odd.

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    • I think that was because the entire world was 'known', or at least its main continents and island were, and the HYW hindered merchant enterprise, or adventure from that standpoint.

      I would greatly like to see an story about an Fire Nation admiral (here comes Zheng He!! yay) roaming the world to bring back tribute,treasures and glory to the Emperor. 

      That would be totally awesome. alongside the way he'd confront pirates,jealous enemies, and treacherous person posing as 'ambassador/diplomat' trying to send him and his entourage to a certain trap. 

      He was sent by the emperor to bring back great tributes from around the world, such was the power of fire nation's ruler at this day (enter the Ming Dynasty). awesome!

      And maybe at the same time, one enterprison EK sailor/adventurer would assemble a small team of skilled sailors,benders,warriors and merchants and try to find financing for his exploring of the seas, uncharted lands and finding commercial routes to get (like you said) FN spices and specially SILK! (enter: the silk route)

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    • As long as they leave out eunuch's and work in a long lost, embittered, xenophobic Air Nomad tribe, I would be set.

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    • They can work in the AN but possibility is none since they are quite firm in their the FN killed them all stuff. =[

      About Zheng He: it would be awesome an story involving FN characters without labeling them as villains or be directly involved in a conflict. (ok, some fights and clashes would be awesome but you get my idea then)

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    • I still keep hope, especially since there is very little background info on the Nomads as a whole.

      I think having Fire Nation nationals be the good guys is definitely in the works, since it seems that Avatar is bent on pointing out that just because one is not from the Fire Nation does not garuntee being good, mostly from the Water Tribe it seems for the first LoK book. The problem is, firebenders, even years after the War, still seem to have little self control, since most of the "my loved one got killed by a bender" sentiment seems to center around firebenders. Hopefully, those like Iroh II will outweigh the hotheads.

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    • You are correct. The AN culture was the less explored due to some obvious facts in the show, so an past show dealing with them and their culture would be most interesting.

      And about the firebenders, yes like the show itself proved, there are 'bad guys' or villains coming from all nations, the FN was simply given a bigger insight for the HYW stuff. 

      The thing is, just for a change some FN heroes OR FN-centered stories (three kingdoms? zheng he's exploration? unification of the FN warring-states?) would be great for a future show/comic book, be it in LOK or other deal. 

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    • Indeed, there seems to be little love for the Fire Nation, even though it seems to produce the most interesting characters. Heck, a little more Fire Nation lore would be nice. I was always curious as to how the Sage's Council and Fire Lord acted in the old theocratic days, and how it may have been related to the Air Nomads. An old spiritual connection, perhaps.

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    • Maybe. It seems that before the HYW and the war hype, the FN was possible the most spiritual (or where religion does matter) place before the AN (obviously the Air Nomads would be FAR more, as they are a full-monastic institution)

      Like you said before, the FN deserves some cool things beside the million-man armies and war campaigns we often see. More legends,stories,culture heroes and possibly an insight to the Fire Sages.

      In fact this could well be put into use by favoring a bit of chinese history altogether.

      Back in the Shang dynasty and Western Zhou Dynasty, the Sovereign/King often asked advice from those kind of people; priests,sages and other spiritual masters. They often did predictions,sacrifices,rituals and reading bones (read fortune through its cracks, like Aunt Wu). Many rulers even refused to go to war or do an important decision before those consults,advices,etc.

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    • I wonder where those people stood on the "genocide".

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    • I think that a good part of them was against it, but Sozin simply pressed them into obedience. 

      Like those who cannot follow will be cut down where they stand or something like that, forcing them into submission. Like Shyu said himself at the Roku's temple, and later helping the Avatar made the other sages of said temple was the reason behind their arrest (Admiral Zhao at that same episode). =X

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    • Rather sad, since if any Nomads did survive, they are going to hate the Fire Nation, every last man, woman, and child, despite any redeption and rediscovery that happened over the 70 years since the end of the war.

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    • This is true, and grudges tend to dure hundreds of years sometimes.

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    • Especially when intensified in isolation, with the tales of the Fire Nation's deeds seemingly growing more gruesome each generation.

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    • Indeed. No matter what happened during the AN genocide, the tales of what has happened will surely get worse as the time flies. 

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    • regrettably, most of said lore was likely destroye when the FN burned Wan 'shi Tongs Library.

      Aang forgave the FN, Im sure Tenzin is on relatively good terms with FN and descendants of FN colonists.

      Would a small minority of embittered Air Nomad descendants really argue with the wisdom of essentially their spiritual leader?

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    • ^This is true. 

      And like you said, no matter what the FN did, Aang seemingly forgave them, whicih explains why Zuko mantained a good friendship basically until the death of the avatar, judging to what they achieved together. 

      Tenzin follows suit, and his 'worst' enemies so far were all water/bloodbenders! (mainly Yakone on the political scenario, and Amon/Noatak). 

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    • How highly would surviving Nomads regard Tenzin, though? The son of the Avatar who abandoned them in their hour of need, who lets non-Nomads play pretend that they are Nomads, defacing the ancient culture. Firebenders still extort and murder to the point where it is an all too common story among Equalists that they had a love one cut down by one, and yet Tenzin welcomes their kind in his company as if the genocide never happened. He professes the old ways of the Nomads, and yet he sullies their memory by shirking their ideals of non-involvement by wallowing in the blasphemous filth that is Republic City.

      /devils advocate

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    • Well. . . I'm sure there is still a lot of anti Fire Nation/Fire Bender Sentiment. I mean most of the biggest criminals are Firebenders.

      and Aang did have issues forgiving the FN even after the war. In the promise part 3 he blames them for his culture being reduced to "A Game" (essentially Cosplay) by the Colonists.

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    • Essentially. Any surviving population of Nomads would have one heck of an axe to grind with the Fire Nation and firebenders in general. Reintroduction to the world at large would likely re-ignite some powerful desires for vengeance, and while the larger part of the population would realize that going against not only the Fire Nation but also the United Republic would be folly, there would undoubtably be some war hawks eager to wage war against those who burned their mountain homes.

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    • Indeed. 

      But that post-war revenge stuff I can definetly see as something more Earth Kingdom, for example. They must consider the FN and its people total crap by now. Specially any EK settled in the URN who had to live together with them. Discourse would go like  Gah! Not enough waging war for 100 years they still dare to overrun this place with criminals!! the sick man of ashmaking!! and those stuff.

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    • Yes, there would be plenty of toned down "purge the unclean" rhetoric. It would probably take a very zealous tone, making it a holy mission for some to drive those descended from Fire Nation immigrants back to their volcanic homeland.

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    • About that I'm actually refering to EK people in the URN/RC.

      Outside that nation (URN) there wuold obviously be an outcry for purging the FN people, or retaking this entire land back to the EK.

      Which would make a great plot by the way! 

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    • Oh, definitely. I doubt the war crimes of the Fire Nation will have been forgotten. Even if the populace by in large has forgiven the Fire Nation, all it takes is a single crisis with a need for a scapegoat and an enigmatic leader to whip the people into a frenzy.

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    • ^perfect

      Given the timeframe of LOK... this seems even more interesting... 

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    • That was kind of was going to be in my Fanon. Earthbender: Legend of Chan. The Tradition Continuity Movement. But due to time constraints it never got off the ground

      But the theoretical Air Nommad survivors kind of have to see that some of the damage the FN did to the world was irreversible.  most of the people in RC have never even been to the lands of their heritage. To uproot them and say they had to leave and return to their ancestral homelands at the point of a sword would make them no better than Sozin.

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    • Very true. It was hard enough for Aang to try to uproot some of these people after 100 years. After 170 years and an industrial revolution, it would be nigh-on impossible. The question is, would that stop all the war hawks? After 170 years of solitude, I think some wouldn't see much of a difference between a Fire Nation descendant and their citizen ancestors. That said, I doubt there would be much headway with a Nomad backed expulsion, given their numbers would still be relatively small. All the zealots could really do is stand on a street corner yelling at people who look Fire Nation-y to go back home. Anything more and they would have the Fire Nation, United Republic, and the Avatar to deal with. Not a pleasant scenario.

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    • Unless the Earth Kingdom is swept away by an extremely powerful,charismatic and intelligent leader. Then the URN is completely wrecked down in flames. (awesome!)

      But the question is; what would be the EK interest there? reclaim land? capture their enemies? =X

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    • Depends on what the issue at hand is. If it is a general economic depression, war is excellent for getting the populace's mind off of it and making some money (rather unfortunately). If it is more ambiguous, general feeling of discontent, a great patriotic war could still be of use, not necessarily to aquire resources, but rather to restore a nation's percieved pride, especially if the opponent is the one who is seen as the perpetrator of the discontent. If, say, it turns out that the UR continually drains Earth Kingdom resources while contributing little in return, a conflict may be on the horizon. It may not give the Earth Kingdom its resources back, but it would feel like justice to the people. Again, rather unfortunate that worlds tend to work like that.

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    • Yes. economic depression and overall crisis is where those kind of leaders appear... 

      But one way or another I bet there are some in the EK who wants to unleash the horde against URN, the FN and whoever gets into their ways.

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    • Yep, and since LoK and the IP in general has grown up a little bit, we might even be able to see one of those massive battles, instead of having them just be referenced afterwards.

      That said, unless the Earth Kingdom has adapted similar tech to the UR, they are going to get ground into the earth they revere.

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    • The earth kingdom could well beat the crap out of UR with the army of Chin. in fact earthbending is the best bending to damage technology-dependant infrastructure. wreck down their bridges,cities,sewage system,destroy power grid,sabotage railways,etc. cause chaos in their industries and cut off their supplies and soon the URN will be on its knees

      If they adopt the technology, things would only get worse for the UR. (aaargh technology is so nasty!)

      Like you said, massive battles aren't that farfetched if they want to. They did quite a good thing on the biplane attack on the fleet. I hated that because it involved too much machines and less swords,cavalry, chariots and that neat stuff but they did it quite well.

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    • True, the Earth Kingdom would have a better fighting chance against the UR than most, but two things would likely tip favor towards their more advanced kin. First you have metalbending, a very common skill in the UR, would likely be relatively rare in the Earth Kingdom populace, as they would have no need due to their mostly earthen structures. Utilizing powerful metallic weaponry and fortifications would be more than a match for those constructed of soil and stone. Second, a proper UR air force would have a massive advantage against the earthbound Earth Kingdom armies, routing them with bombs and aerial bending cannons, as well as supplying troops without the need for a more entrenched infrastructure.

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    • The EK would send spies and sabotage agents before battle, that's what I meant. 

      EK infrastructure can be easily relpaced,built,moved,etc with their natural bending. while every URN destroyed railroad,etc takes a bit of time (and resources) to restore it.

      Besides, EK main goal would be crippling their food supply. no cursed technology in this world can get over that. And untill shipping comes form another nations/etc it MAY be too late. So the goal would be: ravage UR infrastructure with sabotage and spies, cripple down their food supply, and aim to quell their air power. How? surface to air rocks on the moving airships, (they were fast enough to catch even on Appa twice, although the bison is too strong and aang can earthbend pretty well) and if everything fails, wait for an opportunity and seize their airfields and airship resupply stations.

      They can also be trained to dig tunnels, and many hundreds of them to quickly surprise enemy positions and invade their key stations (civilian,military,supplies,etc)

      And all of that strategy is being planned taking in consideration an ANCIENT army (Chin the conqueror). If we're talking about LOK-era EK technology,they're totally screwed, as they probably have a huge navy, or a good airforce. Or at least strong armored vehicles. 

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    • Pretty much, and on top of facing down LoK era tech, chances are they would provoke the wrath of the Avatar, and that's never a pretty scenario for the aggressor.

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    • Well, the avatar can be beaten or killed, but usually that goes against the plot so... 

      One way or another the world will be fine as long as some major battle happens and troops clad in heavy armor with swords and spears storm republic city while mounted archer finishes the rest of that horrible place.

      No matter what happens,they gotta forget that place, or pit a battle into it =) boring place, bring BACK BA SING SEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

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    • Hopefully avoiding Air Temple Island. That place has already been invaded by the Equalists and the remaining Nomads have lost enough ground thus far.

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    • Obivously I would also say that.

      I hate that city, but I love airbending and the (truly) traditional air nomad culture. Back when they dressed like chinese monks (not just those capes worn by adult aang/tenzin) and had some cool shaolin temple lifestyle. 

      Edit; so that's why I shall spare the honorable air temple island  and the nomads. Besides, that's the only beautiful place there in my opinion...

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    • What about the park? It seems pretty uncorrupted by the advance of technology.

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    • Well, parks are beautiful when they are exactly that: parks. I mean, no corruption coming from the teechnology or anything.

      The only thing which annoyed me was that car that asami was with mako one day... and excessive non-chinese lantern lights....

      But the park by itself is quiite interesting, with trees, some lanterns and a moon bridge.

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    • Fair enough, though you might find it a bit hard to find enough luddites to destroy and ban the use of modern amenaties. Last time I checked, people generally like things like non-animal based transport, hot and cold running water, telephones, jazz, and plastic surgery.

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    • ...Shouldn't you guys make another thread for this?

      (Plus, no offense, but it's kind of annoying when only two people are having a conversation here)

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    • My apologies, I tend to get offtrack fairly often. Thankfully, I made another thread detailing more problems concerning the Air Nomad Genocide. I'll try to keep things more on track there.

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    • I think I got something... Infact, it could be it. I'm not sure, but it makes the most sense so far imo. (Forgive me if this has been mentioned already)


      Okay, which is the closest (and the easiest to get to) Air Temple? The West. The western Air temple wasn't in the mountains, it was actually in a giant hole. All the fire benders needed to do is wait until nightfall and look for (any) light from fire.


      The Western Airbender were airbenders regardless of where they were; aka they had glider. AKA they had gliders that the fire benders could use. With a little heat (fire bending to lift themselves up) and practice, they could have just as easily used it too to get anywhere, like say an Air temple up in the mountains.

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    • It has not been mentioned. In fact, it would actually make sense given the Fire Nation's use of similar principles with the adopted hot air balloons. It would also help immensely with luring airbenders into their ambushes: have a few firebenders impersonate Air Nomads and fly around some fake settlement and wait for the less organized Nomads to file in.

      One slight problem, though: if they did have the ability to use gliders in such a manner, or if the thought ever came to them, why didn't they continue to use it in the Hundred Year War? Its a similar problem to the use of dragons I mention in my newer thread concerning the genocide: why would they adopt such a powerful flying instrument, giving them a rudimentery air force a century before the hot air balloons, only to discontinue the use of it after the initial attack? Replication likely wouldn't have been an issue, given the Fire Nation's proclivity for tinkering. In fact, they probably could have improved gliders much like the Mechanist did.

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    • But for what exactly? After the Airbenders were 'wiped out', there wouldn't essentially be a need for the gliders anymore, would there?

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    • Taking to the air is the penultimate "gain the high ground" in warfare. Considering the largely earthbound nature of the Earth Kingdom and the Water Tribes, any medium of flight would have been incrediably beneficial to the Fire Nation. Think of how effective a ragtag group of the Mechanist's gliders were against seasoned Fire Nation troops in the second attack on the Northern Air Temple. Now imagine those gliders were legion, highly trained, and had Fire Nation tech and firebending on their side.

      Not a pretty image for the other nations.

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    • Earth benders do have a method of dealing with High Ground Attackers, shown when Aang and co. forcefully enter Ba Sing Se. And could anybody really glide in the north pole? The temperatures were too cold, and its not like its easy to firebend while gliding, you'd need to be highly experienced for that.


      It could just be that the FN used it for awhile, but deemed it unaffective towards war. If it were used to actually get to the temples, thats one thing. But to be used in/during battle is completely different.

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    • Earthbenders may be good, but striking flying firebenders hundreds of feet in the air using fairly slow moving boulders would be very difficult to do. Same thing with waterbenders and their relatively short range water/ice bolts. Besides, Aang actually had the intention to land, and so was much closer to the ground. Not to mention Appa is a much bigger and less agile target than one person with a glider who can create their own thermals. Flying firebenders would have few limitations woth fighting earthbenders.

      As for gliding in the arctic and antarctic, plenty of birds are able to use updrafts and thermals in the colder biomes, namely the raptors. I'm sure flying firebenders would have minimal problems. Also, as I recall, the invasion force attacking the Northern Water Trible had little problem firebending, at least during the day.

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    • But Gliders weren't essentially the fastest method of flying either, although they did help.

      You seem to miss one my points, its not exactly easy for a firebender to strike anything while gliding. They'd have to wear next to nothing in order to get good air, and plus they'll need to lift off from somewhere stable, the ships back then were most likely not able to sail the northern waters due to it being "A natual barrier". Xhao had a plan and used the moon spirits to allow victory to be possible (After all, he spent alot of time in the Library iirc).

      And lets not forget the gliders that were used were all wooden and ridiculously fragile, metal probably couldn't fly well :/

      The way I see it, they used them only to get up in the actual temples and got rid of them afterwards.

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    • One only needs one hand in order to launch a fireball or release a bomb. Additional security could be used in the form of straps to further anchor the soldier into his glider. The soldiers themselves don't need to be heavily armored if they are beyond the reach of most projectiles.

      The gliders likely wouldn't be used for long ranged attacks. If the Fire Nation did utilize them, they likely used their larger ships as something along the lines of an aircraft carrier striking at naval or coastal targets. And it has been shown that the ships can sail through arctic waters; how else could the invasion of the Northern Water Tribe been enacted? Farther inland, it would be a simple task to set up an air field where gliders could return to refill on ammunition or exchange damaged gliders.

      Also, I'm sure the nation that figured out steam power could develop sturdier gliders.

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    • Or not. They needed an foreign inventor to press him to develop stuff like trains,tanks,the drill and the hot air baloon. 

      Seeing how things did not evolve from Sozin's days to Aang's on the matter or coal ships [they simply got a little bigger] I bet they wouldnt come up with that kind of thing you're referring to. or at least not before the contact with the EK mechanist, which was the one that truly sped up things.

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    • Oh, I realize that. For some reason the Fire Nation is one of the few fictional nations that had part of an industrial revolution and then just stopped. Kindof odd, actually. Its like they geared up for their first big invasion, then said collectively "Yea, we're good. All that flying nonsense we're just gonna ignore until an Earth Kingdom refugee beats us at our own game"

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    • Agree. But that's a reflection to the ancient sinocentric mindset. The thought that being in the 'center of the world' [zhong guo] and basically ruling everything under heaven would render all barbarians weak and useless, and that nothing foreign can surpass the might of the Empire.

      That surely worked pretty much well up untill the gunpowder age, when the europeans did more research and stuff than the Chinese empire... 

      maybe that's a slight hint into history. the world's superpower and most advanced technological country slowly gives in to foreign countries with more 'will' to use that technology for their advantage.

      As you said, the FN passed through that exact thing. in less than 2 years, their technology was surpassed, specially on the fighting vehicles stuff [EK tanks overpowering FN ones] and now that the FN lost the blimp fleet, the EK will take that idea forward.

      Possibly now with a 'peaceful' FN, they will only develop navy stuff for a new merchant navy, and now import all technology coming from the most advanced places [URN/RC]. 

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    • Basically. Unless the Fire Nation suddenly produces the Avatar equivalent of Albert Einstein, I fear they are mostly going to be regulated to manufacturing and seafaring trade.

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    • I agree with you!

      But after all the Fire Nation IS the FN you know?? if they can get behind, one of these days they're gonna open up the markets and produce cheap low quality stuff to throw up the URN's mouth, and give'em a real challenge against their very cheap goods. 

      And shanzhai [pirated/fake] led in by the FN triads LOL.

      Well, modern stuff really sucks! the ancient is what matters. back in the days where the FN possibly had warriors like Lu Bu, warlords like Cao Cao, and Zheng He admiral, and it's unifier, Shi Huang!!.

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    • Pretty much, though I still wonder why no Fire Nation inventor took a look at what the Nomads were doing with flight and said, "Hey, lets try to replicate that so we can spread the wealth of the Fire Nation faster! With bombs!" I mean, if i remember the lore behind the ambushes, the Fire Nation used Air Nomad relics to lure in the stragglers, likely including the omipresent glider. For a century no one thought that the Fire Nation could do what it always does, take a concept like flight or gliding and make it fit to lay waste to the countryside?

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    • Da Vinci invented protoypes of the Airplane, the Helicopter, Gatling gun, Tank, and conducted studies of Human anatomy centuries ahead of his time, but he either never shared his designs with anyone, or outright sabotaged the designs out of fear they would be misused for war (considering Europe was going through a period of War, Plague, and Religious Persecution I can hardly blame him). Can you imagine how different the world would be had he shared his inventions with the world?

      Maybe something similar happened in the ATLA universe. Maybe the surviving Nomads destroyed their gliders and relics to hide their heritage, or maybe the Fire Nation just couldn't get them to work. It took centuries for us to develop Airplanes in a Democratic society that promotes progress, free thought, imagination, and invention, it would likely be MUCH harder in a Imperialist Absolute Monarchy that disdains the very notion of individuality and free thought, and only sees technology as tools of conquest.

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    • One way or another, technology is boring. and I want those earthen terraces instead of cars or that stuff.

      Baaaack into the Air Nomads, how do you think they lived way before the war? I mean in regards to their relation with the 'outside' world? were they completely reclusive and stuff or were they more open and stuff. 

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    • I think there was a balance between isolation and proper wandering in the larger scope of a Nomad's life. Basically, from the time an Air Nomad becomes an adult, they wander the world, likely in bands, seeking enjoyment and spiritual enlightenment. They try to do as much good as they can for the world at large, stopping every so often at the temples to gather supplies, get more in touch with their element, or give birth. Only after decades of adventure and spiritual fulfilment, when their bodies are no longer up to the task of world travel, do they take permanent residence in the temples, reflecting on a well lived life, and giving the wisdom gained from such a life to the next generation.

      Their relations to the outside world, at least in their prime, likely would have been fairly strong. After all, the vast majority of Nomads were about as likeable as you can get. The reclusivity was mostly for the purposes of having someplace away from the noise of civilization to contemplate the universe. The only time the Air Nomads were more reclusive was when a war was going on. Not to the point of total lockdown, mind you, but more like the various terror levels in the US., just a warning to be more cautious.

      As for the actual Air Nation's international relations, they were likely underplayed as much as possible. It probably just left most of the Nomads to just do their own thing, to avoid getting involved as a nation should a crisis arise. If a Nomad band suddenly turns bandit, one can hardly blame the Air Nation itself; everyone else is left to their own devices with little oversight. Of course, there was likely still trade; who doesn't want a freshly baked fruit pie made with all organic ingredients from scratch with airbending whipped topping?

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    • Yes, they aren't called 'Nomads' for no reason, if we think about it. 

      For example, even Aang in a young age was allowed to roam free through great part of the world, thus explaining friendships with Kuzon,young!king Bumi, and others.

      And the people from other nations would be definetly be interested in contacting those people,  or at least knowing they are there and stuff.

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    • Oh, undoubtably. How useful would it be in the pre-War world to have a friend who can fly, and whose brightest peers don't get killed off every time theres a conflict? On top of that, being collectively one of the few level heads in the Avatar world, they undoubtably helped end some disputes before they got off the ground.

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    • Indeed. not sure about avoiding conflicts but good friends nevertheless. And their sense of humor is totally epic you know? 

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    • Considering the eldest monk of the Southern Air Temple's sense of humor involved launching perfectly good fruit pies onto the heads of his fellow respectable monks, I would rather not think about what the more immature members of his civilization might have thought was hilarious.

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    • ^ Hah!! Gyatso simply owns!

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    • True, though I wonder how many Air Nomads were like Sienfeld and how many were more like the Monkey King, Sun Wukong?

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    • Sun Wukong is a VERY realistic possibility you know?

      If they're gonna do one of these days an story about an AN hero, may it be based upon Sun Wukong. that's totally in-canon. fun, easygoing, a staff-wielder, VERY fast etc etc

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    • An Air Nomad with an overinflated ego getting snubbed by his betters, training to the point of total masterhood, and beating the snot out of those who looked down on him?

      Oddly enough, it could probably work. For every monastary, there is a heretic, an apostate, willing to shake things up. Plus, it would be nice to see an Air Nomad who wasn't completely goody-good.

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    • It would be nice to see an 'rogue' air nomad. not in the 'oh no,he's gone evil' sense, but in the sense he simply doesnt care about the rules,etc.

      Like an air nomad toph [let's break some rules!] of some sorts.

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    • Indeed, a rogue Nomad would be refreshing, though the problem would be either working him or her into the main series (if only the "genocide" wasn't fraught with plot holes, oh wait...), or doing some entirely new side stories in the time of Roku or Kyoshi

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    • Or during some time even before that you know? way before yangchen and kuruk,etc.

      About 1500 years before the ATLA show.

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    • True, but considering the title of the franchise, they would likely need to work in the Avatar somehow. Perhaps the Air Heretic in question is Yangchen's jealous brother, out to prove to the world that he is powerful in his own right by beating the snot out of those who ignored and snubbed him in favor of his sister.

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    • And also, I'm about 100% sure that bombs weren't around during the first attack against the air nomads. Not to mention, the nomads were the superior flyers, so essentially, the smartest thing to do is to fly up and get off as soon as you hit temple.


      Is anybody else seeing Dai lee like Fire benders attacking the nomads? Because thats what I'm seeing.

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    • Blasting jelly may have been available at the time, we really don't know.

      If firebender's have the ability to innately climb sheer rock faces, I have yet to see it.

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    • But who's to say they didn't finish all 4 temples at once? You know, like the german blitz style?


      That has proven effective (for Germany) in the past.

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    • Actually, I wouldn't expect anything less from the well organized Fire Nation. That said, considering they are trying to pin down an opponent that not only can fly, but is also incrediably decentralized, they likely didn't get the lion's share of the Nomads.

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    • Maybe the Fire Nation attacked when they were all gathered together at the temples for a religious celebration. Like an Air Nomad equivalent of Tet or Ramadan. True there would be some who straggled,were left behind, and outright couldn't make it and thus were spared. But the majority of them would be gathered together into one place (or four different places as the case may be) to peacefully celebrate. Which would give them all the more vulnerable, since they weren't expecting an Attack during a religious celebration.

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    • Its definitely a possibility. Heck, it could have been a festival celebrating the Great Comet for all we know, though I would think that the temples would have been a lot more crowded around the time of Aang's stay if there was a major religious celebration coming up. Come to think of it, I'm not sure the four temples would even be able to hold the population of the entire nation.

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    • Like the Ainu example I used. . . my estimate would be around 200,000.

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    • 200,000 to 500,000, yea. Maybe as high as a million given optimal conditions, but thats pushing it. I doubt the relatively tiny temples contained anywhere near the majority of the population. If the population was as small as those who inhabited the AIr Temples, how could they really be considered a major bending nation?

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    • Well, the Fire Nation would definetly attempt that, as the whole philosophy behind the blitz assault is quite similar to a modern-world version of the ancient chinese tactics of finish them off forverer, for good and quickly! so...

      But the population is possibly bigger, like you said

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    • I'm not questioning the effectiveness of blitzes and surprise attacks. They are among the most effective types of warfare. The problems arise with the "gaining the element of surprise" part, as I have pointed out in my 2 threads. Its hard to sneak up on someone who lives in the mountains and travels alot; the view tends to impair any sense of stealth.

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    • Indeed. 

      Blitz,surprise attacks,zerg rushes or those stuff only work when you actually can surprise,oveerwhelm and crush the bones of the enemies. And difficult feat to perform at people who can simply fly away from trouble as soon as the first 'wave' of troops come.

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    • Pretty much. Unless there was a really intense pai sho game going on or everybody was too busy looking at the comet to notice a massive fleet of ironclad ships coming straight for them, my money is that the Fire Nation army would have been spotted long before they actually got to the Air Temples.

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    • Not necessarily the ships, as some temples are a bit away from the sea. But at least the sound of hundreds of thousands [upon hundreds of thousands, hundreds...] marching, would be enough to be a giveaway miles away.

      Or the 'epic Paisho game' is an good option.  

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    • Air Nomads did like their paisho. Theres even a giant paisho set over in the Western Air Temple. Now thats dedication to a board game!

      Come to think of it, has anyone actually tried reproducing the game? It looks interesting.

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    • It seems similar to Weiqi/go with a different setting for the pieces, being positioned on a triangular/diagonal way... 

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    • Its supposedly based on several different traditional board games, such as Go, Shogi, and Xiangqi.

      That would be a great tie in product, a Paisho board. Shame nick rarely merchandises any of their works.

      But anyway, heres my big dang theory on how the air Nomads could have been caught off guard.

      What if the Fire Nation was AT the air temples during the comet? maybe some came as ambassadors to help with the (theoretical) celebration, or spies disguised as spiritual leaders from other nations etc. They could have prepared the Air Nation for invasion before the actual invasion began months in advance. (Such as poisoning the Sky Bison, damaging the majority of the gliders, making sure almost all of the nomads were all in the same place etc.) and when the comet came WHAM! sneak attack!

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    • RaidenRadio wrote:

      What if the Fire Nation was AT the air temples during the comet? 

      Interesting. It could work, but the only reason for any ambassator to go to the temples would gave been for Aang. Otherwise, outsiders aren't allowed into the temples. And iirc, Katara commented at some point about "Being the first (I'd assume documented/other than the fire benders) outsiders to visit an Air temple."


      And we also can't rule out the Library. It offered info on anything and everything. Period. But mr. Big Owl Goober elaborated how it was always used for war and violence (iirc). So... Yeah.

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    • Yea, unless a firebender impersonated an airbender using artificial thermals for flight, i doubt any Fire Nation soldier would have been able to infiltrate the Air Temples prior to the Great Comet. The Air Temples themselves would have been too isolationist for that. For such a spiritual people, you need areas free from the influences from other nations, even those who claim to serve the Avatar. For the Air Nomads, the Air Temples were likely those sorts of areas.

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    • I really can't get a grip on this topic >__<

      So many possiblities.

      Perhaps we should list the likely options and work from there.

      (Still on the Library idea btw)

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    • Well, if you need a bit more clarification, I did make another thread expanding the reasons why the AIr Nomads could have survived. The links are now attached to the OP.

      The library is definitely a possibility. If Admiral Zhao was able to access the library of Wan Shi Tong, He Who Knows 10,000 Things, why not another ambitious Fire Nation General? The spirit has undoubtably been around long enough to document the locations of the various cardinal Air Temples.

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    • I've read both your posts and I must say that what baffles me the most is how the Firebenders got on the Air Temples in the first place. I never thought of that until I read your posts.  I mean the hot air balloon wasn't even invented back then.

      One interesting thing though in the Avatar and the Firelord episode they show for a brief moment the Air Temples after Sozin attacked them. And they looked as if they were bombed as if they were using the ships they used in the last episode of ATLA. Which is really odd. 

      I admit that going all Superman and having fire powered flying isn't far fetched if Sozin's comet is present but keep in mind that even during the comet's pasing Firelord Ozai had a hard time mantaining the *fire flying* for too much time. He needed a place to land on so it's a pretty save guess that they didn't use that method. 

      Oh and another thing when Sozin is telling us what happened and how he started the 100 years war  we see dozens of ships and then the Air Temples which again doesn't make any sense whatsoever. 



      Nevertheless, it's great to see someone thinking about this it's an intersting subject.

      I Know i've let the same comment on the second part of this post but I didn't know if you'll read it there or here. so Yeah :D

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    • Huh, they really are the same comment :D

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    • General Iroh managed to fly decently, and even keep up with a biplane, so...

      this means he surpassed Ozai?? [mystery!]

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    • To be fair, it didn't look very much like true powered flight; it seemed more like an empowered jump with some assisted gliding. Falling with style, if you will, rather than comet-enhanced-Ozai-style flight.

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    • I wouldn't compare Iroh II with Ozai. Don't forget bending has advanced since ATLA. 

      Iroh was something I agree. Now, he could have easily reached the Air Nomads Temples. But I'm still not sure because the Temples are really high and the air is scarce at that altitude.  

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    • Thats probably why they waited for the comet. They knew that even if they got to the Air Temples (those on mountains anyway), their firebending would be sub-par, no match for the masters that reside at the temples. It wasn't so much about getting a trump card as much as getting a fighting chance.

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    • Actually, iirc, Aang once had to dodge fireballs on appa (in the episode where he tried to reach the fire temple on the cresent island), even though he was above cloud level, they still managed to get fireballs up there.


      Perhaps we're underestimating their capabilities...

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    • They were also horrible shots. It took a blockade of thousands of technologically advanced ships to even have a chance at hitting one mounted airbender, which they still couldn't after hundreds of shots. Plus, who knows, maybe there was just some low cloud cover that day, the "clouds" could have just been the heavy smog from the ironclads, or those catapults may have been the latest and most powerful at the time. We simply do not know.

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:
      They were also horrible shots.

      When aiming at a moving airbender, yes.

      But to hit a stationary air temple?


      But thats exactly the point, nobody knows. It could have also been fairly high that day. Its all based on whether the creators wanted it that way.

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    • Actually, we do know that the Fire Nation didn't engage in that sort of attack, as if they had, the temples would have been leveled. There wouldn't have been any abandoned, soaring spires, rather a pile of rubble.

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    • Well to be percise, their mission wasn't to destroy the temples. It was to kill the next Avatar, which was an Air Nomad. And since they weren't sure which it was, kill all the nomads. (iirc)

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    • I realize that. The thing is, the Fire Nation uses catapults a lot to eliminate infantry and citizens, a la Invasion of the Northern Water Tribe or every other time the Fire Nation attacked Aang. Collateral damage from siege engines would be too tempting a possibility of casualties for the Fire Nation to pass up. Unfortunately, siege engines are a little difficult to use while trying to hit the top of a mountain, hence why we don't see that much destruction when it comes to the Air Temples.

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    • Well, really. If any of them survived, I'm 140% sure they would have died off at Aang's time period. Since they follow their ways so strictly :/


      (Any SNSD fans here?)

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    • I don't know, their traditions of running and hiding when facing a threat would work out pretty well in most scenarios, especially in a world where it is rediculously easy to hide.

      That said, some of their traditions would have to change for survival's sake. Roaming the earth would no longer be a priority due to the risk of being shot down. Nor would they have the luxury of being picky about what to eat; food is food when fleeing a persistent enemy. Charity and kindness would likely be warped into xenophobia and bitterness towards a world that would destroy them simply for existing.

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    • The Air Nomad Critic wrote:
      I don't know, their traditions of running and hiding when facing a threat would work out pretty well in most scenarios, especially in a world where it is rediculously easy to hide.

      That said, some of their traditions would have to change for survival's sake. Roaming the earth would no longer be a priority due to the risk of being shot down. Nor would they have the luxury of being picky about what to eat; food is food when fleeing a persistent enemy. Charity and kindness would likely be warped into xenophobia and bitterness towards a world that would destroy them simply for existing.

      Actually what I mean was, I thought it was against their customs to have sex with none Airbenders :/

      It'd make sense, I mean look at Aang a few days before fighting Ozai. He's the avatar, and his duty is to help maintain peace. At the time, the only option was to kill the firelord, and even past Avatars told him to do so (more or less). But Aang was so strict to his people's ways that he refused to do so, and continued to "run away" from that option until he found a more peaceful way. 


      So tl;dr, Aang stuck to his Nomatic views even when during a situation that could have killed thousands. For a 12 year old, thats EXTREMELY faithful. I wouldn't be surprised if the other nomads followed in that ideology. But of course, they wouldn't be able to settle down even if they wanted to, mind you, because no part of the world was safe. The Fire Nation colonized places towns by towns.


      Not to mention, if everybody thought they were dead, it'd be easy for anyone to believe that if they see an Airbender, then he/she's most likely the Avatar; of course, running around yelling stupid crap like "The AVATAR! HE'S ALIVE! I SAW HIM IN THE WOODS!"


      And if any did remain, the chances of them becoming Airbender would be shaved. 33% chance of being an Airbender. 33% chance of being [place second parent's element here]. And 33% chance of being a non-bender.

      In a situation like this, I wouldn't be surprised if the Airbenders "Spiritualistic" ways are altered to the point where a non Airbending nomad is born.


      So... No SNSD fans? ;____;

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    • Oh, I have no doubt that the Nomads didn't want to intermingle with the populace. The Fire Nation wants to kill them, the Earth Kingdom is the main country thats being attacked, and the Water Tribe is too barbaric. Thats why shutting themselves in a mountain's caverns rather than interact with a hostile world seems the most likely scenario to me.

      And you are right, Air Nomads did stick to their customs. The problem is seperating an adolescent's naieve mind from that of a wizened adult. Aang, as a kid, was an idealist, possibly to an uncomfortable degree. He wanted to be friends with Zuko early in the series (rebuffed of course), remained vegetarian despite being in a survivalist setting (likely putting more strain on his friends to find him a vegetarian option), and believed that death can be avoided in war if you just try hard enough. If he hadn't had that little deus ex machina, he would have had quite the dilemma once Ozai was all rock-tied up.

      Adult Aang, on the other hand, was more practical. In the flashbacks we are given, we get a good picture of a man who knows what is best and what is possible. I don't think that was only due to his experiences as Avatar; thats just an adult mind pushing aside needlessly contrived solutions to get things done.

      The Nomads, or the adult Nomads, likely were similarly minded. The elders that remained probably weren't foolish enough to believe that everything could go back to the way things were before the Fire Nation attacked. Sacrifices would have to be made, sacrifices that would put not only their spirituality, but also, as you mentioned, their 100% bending capabilities, on the chopping block.

      As for hiding... how many times has Aang pulled off a disguise with no one being the wiser?

      I'm not good with acronyms, what does SNSD stand for?

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    • SNSD is a korean girl band. No worries.



      And I'm not sure why people keep refering to Aang as a naive child, he had the knowledge and skills of a fully grown master. He knew nearly everything Airbender (he serves as the source of Nomatic knowledge in the series anyways). And really, think about it. The Yukone incident was no different than Aang's fight with the Fire lord. It was just sped up.


      Threat appears and starts messing with the balance of things (breaking laws)

      Stronger than everybody else with the strongest abilities for his element.

      Aang fights.

      Mostly loses at first, but then goes Avatar on him.

      Takes away his bending.


      These might just be a common cliche, but to be honest, I see no difference in his method. Only thing is that he didn't hesistate to end the battle.


      And lets face it, the Air nomads' goal wasn't exactly to "keep their nation alive". They seemed to be seeking something more. Because if they wanted to repopulate, they could have. With ease even.

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    • Aang was a powerful bender, no doubt. He achieved mastery of airbending faster than anyone in history (though how much of this is due to his Avatar status is up for debate). However, he still displayed plenty of the indecision and idealism of an adolescent. Shirking his reponsibilities even after being unlocked from his icy prison, decieving friends and allies to get his way or not have to face up to his responsibilities, and as previously mentioned, his clinging to an inflexible (to his eyes) belief system. There's a reason the Avatar is told at 16 of his or her destiny. At that time, the potential Earth-incarnate is more wise to the world and has a more practical mindset (though still technically not fully developed). At 12, I feel there is still plenty of rainbows and sunshine that need to be put aside yet.

      I can't help but feel that Yang Chen had much fewer issues with her destiny than Aang did, and I doubt the older Air Nomads would have objected to her direct approach to involvement as they would to Aang's relative cowardice and inflexibility.

      The Nomads may not have had the need to repopulate when they weren't threatened, but things may have changed when they were violently brought back into the world at large. A civilization has to be collectively alive to achieve enlightenment, and this isn't possible with an extirpated population.

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    • Whats to say Air Nomads DIDN'T intermingle? True we dont have a Canon example to say they DID, but also nothing  canon to say they didn't. Aangs the last Airbender, but I doubt he's the last Air Nomad. Besides theres still THIS theory.

      Mai and Ty Lee arrested

      Ty Lee when compared to a full blooded Fire Nation Girl

      Aang and Zuko in the Sun Warrior city

      Aang compared to a full blooded Fire Nation boy.

      EX. Aang and Ty-lee have very similar features . . . perhaps Aang is her Great-Great Uncle? She's likely part Air Nomad 
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    • It is possible, especially given Ty Lee's natural agility. However, given the relatively homogeneous nature of the four nations up until the end of the war, this is fairly unlikely.

      I'm still hoping for an airbending street urchin in Republic City to turn up, though.

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    • I don't think  she has airbender blood though if she did we need a bigger backstory that Ursa's with much more implications.

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    • Just send Ty Lee down to the Dragonbone Catacombs. I'm sure some plot devices are waiting for her there. Maybe one of her ancestors is that one traitor Air Nomad from the card game.

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    • Could be. But seeing as she has 5 sisters ( 5? don't remember exactly) they would also have to be part airbender since they look exactly the same . 

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    • Not necessarily airbender, just part Air Nomad. Part of the deal for the Nomad's 100% bending garuntee was that they had to be extremely spiritual, like other all bending tribes like the Sun Warriors, Foggy Swamp Tribe, and Sandbending tribes. If indeed some turncoat airbenders sired children in the Fire Nation, chances are they would be part of the agnostic majority, recieving little in the way of religious or spiritual teachings. That, combined with repressing their abilities for fear of dooming themselves and the dilution of the airbending allele, chances are the Lee family hasn't seen an airbender for a long time, if indeed they have such ancestry.

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    • Maybe we will see something like this in the future. in an expanded universe comic or novel or something.

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    • I hope so, the Nomads need more lore. All we got in LoK were a few kids and a training toy. Granted, Tenzin tends to balance things out due to his awesomeness, but we know so little about the Air Nomads as a whole compared to the other nations. Heck, we know more about Republic City, a settlement that hasn't even seen the end of a century, than we do about the Air Nomads, a major elemental nation.

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    • Redhollow wrote:
      Don't forget, as elusive as the nature of Air is, it can be stuborn, aka if it wants to, it can and will break through earth. The nomads showed this in their spiritualism, refusing to stray.

      They did not fornicate with any other people that weren't airbenders (Aang might have been the first actually) iirc, no way they could reproduce if they can't find each other.

      Some bison survived, and heck, they even evolved into a new, slightly different, species. Wouldn't be surprised if some Airbenders survived too.


      And finally, and this is kinda obvious, Ozai and the rest of the fire nation weren't the only ones searching for Aang, everybody was looking for Aang. But after the first generation failed in finding him, they started losing hope in him. And if there were any left, as soon as they heard of Aang's return, wouldn't they have looked for him again? Knowing what his journey should be, they should have headed to the northern water tribe as well.


      These are good points, nice work.

      The reson that all air nomads are benders is their high spirituality.

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    • ... Ok.

      Not really seeing how that contributes to the discussion or has anything to do with the Redhollow quote you used, especially since this fact is extremely well known.

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    • Well Ty Lee surely looks to have some AN descent, who knows? 

      Off topic: Mai doesn't seem similar to other fire nation women/girls... great part of them looks more close to Ty Lee/Azula as teenagers, and Mai's mother/Ursa as adult woman.

      We can say that Mai is rather an exception, just like 'The Dark One' is so different from mainstream EK.

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    • True, but other than her agility, likely gained from training as an acrobat, there really isn't anything that screams "Air Nomad" to me aside from her eyes and maybe jovial attitude. If she is indeed descended from an Air Nomad who settled down in the Earth Kingdom (maybe that one traitor monk from the TCG?), wouldn't that be a major character driver for our dear pink circus freak? The internal conflict that would result from being raised in the same nation that killed off a large piece of your ancestry would be too tempting a storyline to ignore. Instead, we see no remorse in her while attacking the Avatar, who would be as kin to her, no acknowledgement of familial ties. Maybe if we get a revelation similar to the one we got to Zuko having an Avatar for an ancestor for Ty Lee learning that she has a Nomad great-great-great grandfather I would see it, but for now I think she's Fire Nation through and through.

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    • It's just a theory, I thought about this might be the case because the Mainland FN (where Ty-lee was born) is largely ethnocentric, almost all having black hair, fair skin, and gold eyes. If Ty-lee is supposedly descended from FN Nobility,  then there is little chance she's part EK.  True there is no accounting for genetics or Artistic license, but still. . . 



      Michi

      A FN Noble

      Azula

      FN Nobles and FN soldiers.






      Ty Lee

      FN Nobility?

      Aang watches the play

      Air Nomad

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    • It's not too late for them to pull a " Ozai is not Zuko's father" kind of thing with Ty Lee. Revealing that she has air nomad genes. But I doubt it. 

      It does however rise some questions because of her hair and eyes. 

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    • I would think there would be some genetic diversity within the homogenous populations of the three remaining elemental nations. Having everyone look roughly the same would point to a stagnant genetic pool; people like Ty Lee likely just have different local alleles, propably recessive. It does not mean she's from an entirely different nation, she probably just got the double recessive corner on a couple of Punnett squares.

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