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  • "In the era before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves. To bend another's energy, your own spirit must be unbendable, or you will be corrupted and destroyed."

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    • Are you referring to the act of energybending, or rather the nature of the advice he gave Aang?

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    • Both. It's like the lion turtle scene never happened

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    • That would be the whole deus ex machina element, a last minute plot device meant to solve every problem perfectly that is rarely mentioned again. Even if the appearance of the lion turtle was planned, the actual event was a deus ex. Aang was never going to kill Ozai (which is wierd because plenty of other people have died in the series), so the question was going to be how, thus the lion turtle was thrust into the scene. Honestly, it would have made more sense to have a much older Avatar give Aang the idea, maybe even the first Avatar, for at least then it would have made sense to Aangs history. It would still have been shoehorning a character in at the last minute, but it would have come about much more naturally than a giant furry turtle who can somehow energybend and communicate telepathically.

      Energybending is always going to be sort of an ace in the whole due to the potential power of the ability, so its most likely going to be either ignored or downplayed down the line. It also seems like the danger of energybending has been downplayed a bit. The original scene was at least dramatic in its presentation, shown as a battle of powerful wills. In the new series, it is shown much more like any other bending art, without much inherent risk.

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    • Indeed my point. I mean if Korra were to be the Avatar during the ATLA events she wouldn't have managed to Energybend Ozai because I doubt her own spirit is unbendable.  

      I know Bryke was rushed to do a last minute Deus-Ex-Machina to sum up and end BOOK 1. And as much as I wanted to see Aang in LOK it could have waited a little bit instead of having that ending. But oh well , some may say we have to be thankful for having LOk , and I am. I am just complaining about Energybending becoming common like the other bending arts. 

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    • Well, its not common per se; the Avatar currently is the only one who can use it. Why this is, I have no idea. People used to use it, surely there are some who still can.

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    • the avatar is reincarnated, so perhaps he used to cycle through 5 birth elements, then for some reason the energybenders died out, so they got cut out of the avatar's cycle of rebirth, but she would still be capable of energybending. that would an interesting explaination as to what would have happened had the air nomads been completely wiped out; airbending becoming just like energybending - only the avatar can do it. that said, that theory is a bit too far out for my liking, and doesn't fit with what the lion turtle said - in the era before the avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves. clearly this means that the existence of energybending and everythingelsebending didn't overlap, and i think it means that the avatar had something to do with the creation of bending the four elements (maybe he energybent the original benders (animals) and gave them bending?). that raises another question - if it's decided somehow at birth if people are benders or nonbenders, how did the first benders come into existence? clearly the tales about "learning" from the original benders is just mythology, because benders wouldn't just be spontaneously born after never having benders in their heritage.

      there's so much about energybending that we don't know, hopefully its history will be expanded upon in future korra episodes. (do we have a release date for book 2 yet? i've heard some rumors....)

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    • Again, why would the Avatar bother to teach animals how to bend? It makes no sense.

      Perhaps the energybenders were indeed the first benders. With the inclination towards proper chi pathways, they would already have the genetics for bending. Depending on the bender's environment, certain situations would call for certain types of beinding, with the most useful types settling in their optimal environments: the nations we know today. As bending the elements rather than chi is much more useful, deadly, and less risky to the user, the remaining energybenders either adapted to using the elements or died out, likely from conflicts with elemental benders (try getting close enough to a bender in order to do that energybending stance without the help of the other elements).

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    • I think the thing that people learned from animals how to bend it's not really mythology. I mean , they already knew how to bend they were born with it and when they encountered the animals corresponding to each nation they did what Toph did when she met the Badgermoles. She learned from it a new technique and that's all that is to it. 

      My guess is that at first when people descovered bending they didn't know they could bend the elements instead they used energybending. 

      Somehow I fail to understand why when Tui was killed by Zhao the waterbenders lost their bending. I mean I know they are linked to the moon in the same way firebenders are linked to the sun. But does that mean that bending is only spiritual ? If it was the case then everyone were to be born a non-bender and then become a bender via it's nation's spirituality and teaching. 

      But it's not the case as we saw that genetics have a lot to do with bending ability. It's passed on in some cases or it can skip a generation or two. 

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    • Its a bit of both, and can get rather confusing.

      Spirituality does seem to affect the frequency of bending alleles. Thats how you get pure bending civilizations like the Air Nomads, Sun Warriors, Sandbender Tribes, and Foggy Swamp Tribes. Each of these civilizations keep more in touch with their natural environment and spiritual sides, often having religious leaders like the sandbender priests of Huu of the Foggy Swamp Tribe.

      That said, the spirituality explination does seem to break down a bit when a nation becomes more advanced. There is a decrease of benders, but not to the point of becoming a rarity. There seems to be a minimum percent of the population that retains their abilities, even if the population itself is rather agnostic, as with the Ozai-era Fire Nation.

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    • Yeah , because imagine spirituality in the Ozai-era or even Sozin era.  They did what the real world dictators did. Except they didn't tore down their shrines and temples . The Firelord made the Fire Sages obey him instead of the Avatar.  And if the Avatar was against him then it was against the Fire Sages as well.

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    • And yet, they still had plenty of benders. The show has yet to really delve into the background of bending, though I don't really see how they could work in a lesson on Mendellian inheritance in between the action and exposition. Maybe if Korra has to go to school at one point, but who knows if the Avatar universe has even had a Mendel or Darwin figure?

      Slightly more on topic, I wonder if we will get to see the lion turtle again? He had survived since time immemorial, so unless we find out someone beached him, chances are he's still kicking. Maybe someone wants to gain energybending to counter the Avatar, developing sort of a Moby Dick obsession with the titanic creature. Or perhaps Korra will find that the Avatar's powers and wisdom, as they are, are quickly becoming moot in the modern world, and needs the wisdom of the age before her lives began.

      Just no deus ex machina. If the show requires someone to die, just do it and hide the blood like every other time someone gets killed.

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    • I'm not sure if this is official, but I remember seeing something somewhere that said that the reason Aang's spirirt was unbendable was because he had all the previous Avatars behind him and all those lives combined wouldn't be able to lose to one spirit. I don't where I saw this, but it made sense to me. So, if that's true, maybe it was less dramatic for Korra because she had all her past lives behind her plus Aang. I figured since he was the first person to energybend in a really long time that it was more difficult and maybe passing it to Korra made it easier for her kind of like Toph finding the impurities in metal for the first time and now there's a whole police force of metalbenders. That's just my take on it

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    • Makes sense to me. It was probably a shock to Aang's past lives to have an Avatar energybend after hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years, given how long it took them to help out Aang against Ozai's will.

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    • that doesn't really make sense...se my post on the dynamics of the avatar.

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    • I'm suggesting that experience made it easier. Think of learning something on your own vs having someone to teach you. It's why Katara wasn't a great waterbender at first. Aang was able to teach Korra energybending after being the first human to use it in maybe thousands of years. It was like a new skill when he learned it, but once he did he could pass it on more easily. That's why I compare it to metalbending. Once thought impossible, it's now widespread. I was saying that might be why energybending looks so easy compared to before

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    • Could be that too that's true. But since we were told it was such a  difficult and dangerous thing which no one has done in thousands of years I don't think it could catch up that easily I mean I doubt it Aang used it on anyone else except Ozai and Yakone. 

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