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  • I'm not sure if this has been brought up before, but I couldn't find it so I'll post here.

    So, as of Beginnings, it has been confirmed that the Avatar cycle began roughly 10,000 years before the end of the Book II of Legend of Korra. So I did some numbers crunching and determined that, assuming each avatar lived to be about 100 years old (which seems reasonable for Avatar) there have only been a total of about 100 from the start of the cycle to Korra. Doesn't that seem a little low? I could have swore there were more than 100 statues in the southern air temple. I also seem to recall Avatar Roku stating that he had mastered the elements a thousand life times. Now I'm not going to do anything outrageos and assume that Aang was literally the 1001st entry in the cycle (which, btw, would give each Avatar an average age of 10 years old), but, geez, Roku thats quite an exageration! It's the oppinion of this poster that if you're going to claim to have done something "a thousand times" you need to have done it at least 800 times. 

    I did a little more numbers crunching btw, for reference.

    The combined lifespans of Avatars Aang and Kyoshi acounts for about 4% of the total time there has been an Avatar (397 yeas).

    If each avatar lived to an average human age (75 years) there have been about 133 Avatars (which still seems low) 

    Assuming every Avatar, from Wan to Korra, dropped dead the momment they were told they were the Avatar at age 16, there have been a total of 625 avatars (still a little short there, Roku. A thousand? I don't think so, pal.)

    Assuming every Avatar of unknown age (everybody before Avatar Kurick) died at the age of 16, there have been a total of 598 

    I think we can assume that 598 is the maximum. Any avatars that died before age 16 should be offset by the unknown but higher ages of death of Avatar Wan (who died an old man) and Avatar Yangchen (who died in her middle ages) and all the other middle aged unnamed Avatar spirits we've seen, none of whom look like they died young. 

    The point being, I feel like there have been a lot less avatars than there were statues in the southern air temple. Also, Roku likes to exagerate. I think the number should have been higher (an extra zero would have doon the trick). I know 10,000 years sounds like a long time but when your talking about generations, especially in a world where people can live as long as Avatar., its only a handful.

    What do you guys think?

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    • That's really interesting. You're right. There really hasn't been all that many Avatars. And no matter how much you play with the average there still aren't many...

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    • Yeah, it's just weird, you know? I feel like the avatar went from this ancient, near eteranal thing of uncountable generations to something so easily quantized. It's just one hundred people. Something within the bounds of human understandings. For the first time, I feel like there are a finite amount of stories that can be told in the world of Avatar before Aang. Of course, I know that's not true. 10,000 years of history is still a very long time, I just feel like it would have been more satisifying if it was longer. Really the sky was the limit, time wise, so 10,000 just seems so few.

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    • i actually think it's perfect. if there were any more zeros on that number, it would be long enough for a species to evolve, which wouldn't really fit as a time for the avatar to begin. i did the math once myself as well, and there had to have been several avatar incarnations that lived past 100, so i came up with between 80 and 100 lives, depending on how long the avatar lived each one.

      on roku exaggerating, it's not that big of a deal; he was using a hyperbole to convince someone to teach him firebending, so that kind of thing is expected. plus, he had no idea of his origins, maybe he actually believed that he'd lived 1000 lifetimes. or, as i'm about to mention in my next paragraph, the idea of the first avatar wasn't around when they made that episode, so i doubt they were thinking of that.

      in SAT, sure it seemed like more than 100 avatars, but we know that the idea of the first avatar was created after that. plus, i'm sure there are less avatars on the higher levels than the lower ones.

      imo, 100 avatars isn't that few...

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    • You're overthinking it. The writers probably never imagined that when they provided Wan's backstory. 

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    • I never considered the evolution angle, but then again, I always considered the avatar world to be sort of ageless, like a lot of other pieces of ancient mythology. But I guess modern homo-sapiens only emerged about 100,000 years ago. Still feels few but I guess its also reasonable. The Avatar Roku thing was kind of an amusing anecdote, I acknowledge that he had to be exagerating. It's just kind of funny that he over shot it by that much.

      The point being, they could have said one hundred thousand years or even a million years and I wouldn't have bat an eye. 1000 lifetimes, 1000 more. The entirety of human history there have been avatars.  I always kind of assumened that it was kind of like the Avatars of Vishnu in Hindu mythology, inumerable and infinite. It just made sense to me.

      Don't get me wrong. The beginnings arc was my favorite part of this last season and some of my favorite episodes of the franchise. I thought Wan and Raava were so cool, and the philosophy and themes were at their best at this point in time. Those two episodes really tied this season together for me. That's why (if you read any of my other posts) I'm satisfied with the way this last season turned out, and really looking forward to this coming season. It was even better than the last (which was still pretty good).

      Also, I don't accept the idea that just because the idea of the first avatar was created after the SAT, that means they get a free pass to retcon the numbers down. Cannon almost always should take precedent over new ideas, especially something as easily changed as the number of years the Avatar has been around. It just makes more sense to set the years to conicide with the information that has already been established rather than try and manipulate or even discredit our old information. 

      I'm not saying 100 is a bad number. It's more stories than any franchise could tell (unless they go all star wars). Time feels so short when you add people into it. We're such a young species.

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    • canon* Cannons go boom and make things fly. sorry, i know it's nitpicky

      I don't think it was really a retcon; the numbers weren't really there to begin with to have something to retcon.

      actually, why we're talking about retcons, the old nick site used to say that the avatar was the spirit of the planet...like you said, beginnings was one of my favorite parts of the series, and the raava/vaatu thing was really cool, but it would have been cooler if they kept the avatar as the spirit of the planet, and just had one soul in the body of the avatar instead of two.

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    • Pyrusmole wrote:
      I'm not sure if this has been brought up before, but I couldn't find it so I'll post here.

      So, as of Beginnings, it has been confirmed that the Avatar cycle began roughly 10,000 years before the end of the Book II of Legend of Korra. So I did some numbers crunching and determined that, assuming each avatar lived to be about 100 years old (which seems reasonable for Avatar) there have only been a total of about 100 from the start of the cycle to Korra. Doesn't that seem a little low? I could have swore there were more than 100 statues in the southern air temple. I also seem to recall Avatar Roku stating that he had mastered the elements a thousand life times. Now I'm not going to do anything outrageos and assume that Aang was literally the 1001st entry in the cycle (which, btw, would give each Avatar an average age of 10 years old), but, geez, Roku thats quite an exageration! It's the oppinion of this poster that if you're going to claim to have done something "a thousand times" you need to have done it at least 800 times. 

      I did a little more numbers crunching btw, for reference.

      The combined lifespans of Avatars Aang and Kyoshi acounts for about 4% of the total time there has been an Avatar (397 yeas).

      If each avatar lived to an average human age (75 years) there have been about 133 Avatars (which still seems low) 

      Assuming every Avatar, from Wan to Korra, dropped dead the momment they were told they were the Avatar at age 16, there have been a total of 625 avatars (still a little short there, Roku. A thousand? I don't think so, pal.)

      Assuming every Avatar of unknown age (everybody before Avatar Kurick) died at the age of 16, there have been a total of 598 

      I think we can assume that 598 is the maximum. Any avatars that died before age 16 should be offset by the unknown but higher ages of death of Avatar Wan (who died an old man) and Avatar Yangchen (who died in her middle ages) and all the other middle aged unnamed Avatar spirits we've seen, none of whom look like they died young. 

      The point being, I feel like there have been a lot less avatars than there were statues in the southern air temple. Also, Roku likes to exagerate. I think the number should have been higher (an extra zero would have doon the trick). I know 10,000 years sounds like a long time but when your talking about generations, especially in a world where people can live as long as Avatar., its only a handful.

      What do you guys think?

      what Roku said reminded me of something else:

      "For a thousand generations the jedi guarded the old republic".

      25,000 years?  given that the prequels stated the republic to have been a thousand years old, and from hindsight the ridiculous length of time this is for a republic to be so old, I'm beginning to think that obi-wan wasn't being literal when he said a thousand generations (i.e. 25,000 years)

      also I thought avatars lived to almost be 200?

      That would halve it to be about 50.

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    • of all the avatars we know about, 3 out of 4 with known ages died before their 100th birthday.

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    • I assume those three you are referring to are Kuruk, Roku and Aang?

      Well, Roku we know died prematurely due to the volcano, Kuruk likely didn't die of natural causes (if he was indeed 33 when he died, and certainly not of old age).  Aang doesn't really count, since he was actually 166 and the reason he died so biologically young at the age of 66 was one, despite having not aged he still was almost two hundred and two, he used so much energy preserving himself for a hundred years.  

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    • Intelligence4 wrote: canon* Cannons go boom and make things fly. sorry, i know it's nitpicky

      I don't think it was really a retcon; the numbers weren't really there to begin with to have something to retcon.

      actually, why we're talking about retcons, the old nick site used to say that the avatar was the spirit of the planet...like you said, beginnings was one of my favorite parts of the series, and the raava/vaatu thing was really cool, but it would have been cooler if they kept the avatar as the spirit of the planet, and just had one soul in the body of the avatar instead of two.

      Ah, sorry about the canon thing. I typed that from a tablet so I blame autocorrect and lack of attention on my part. Maybe retcon was too strong a word. As you stated they didn't outright change anything but It didn't match up with the conclusions the viewers should have drawn based on what we were given in the previous series (an innumerable number of avatars). Nobody lied, but it did involve some retroactive explaining (Roku exaggerated, hardcore). I don't mind the change away from the world spirit. It actually kind of reminds me of the aforementioned avatar's of Vishnu. It's my opinion anyways that supplementary materials (like nick.com and avatar extras) are only cannon until explicitly contradicted by the series. And I don't mind the change. I think it works even better than keeping it a vague world spirits. But to each his own I guess. It doesn't make the series any less awesome.

      As a side note, I don't consider the avatar and raava as entirely separate. It's less like two souls inhabiting the same body and more like two souls joining together into a single being, making the avatar both the representation of light and balance , and the good of humanity incarnate. Part spirit and part human serving as the ultimate example that things we thought were different (like spirits and humans) are actually the same. "Separation is an illusion" and all that". I thought it was super cool.

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    • Through the Mountain wrote: You're overthinking it. The writers probably never imagined that when they provided Wan's backstory. 

      Your probably right. But for a world as thorough and splendid as avatar, a little nitpicking is healthy. I was just playing with the numbers. It's not like I'm angry.

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    • I don't think there is any possible way to determine how many avatars there were. We would have to factor in each avatar's individual lifetimes. Some avatars like Kyoshi had long lifetimes, while avatars like Kuruk and Aang had shorter ones. Since we don't know how long each avatar lived, I'm not sure if we can ever know how many avatars there were.

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    • Avatar Swoosh wrote: I don't think there is any possible way to determine how many avatars there were. We would have to factor in each avatar's individual lifetimes. Some avatars like Kyoshi had long lifetimes, while avatars like Kuruk and Aang had shorter ones. Since we don't know how long each avatar lived, I'm not sure if we can ever know how many avatars there were.

      Well of course we can't know the exact number. That's why I played with numbers in the initial post. I just tried to apply what seemed like a few decent average lifespans and saw how they fit into the known time period. These are just estimates. Ultimately, the point was that 10,000 years is really only a handful of generations.

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    • About 500 generations, actually.

      I never took the "spirit of the planet" thing seriously, anyway. What does that even mean? The planet literally has a ghost that it uses to possess human babies to protect itself from pollution like a glorified Captain Planet?

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    • /shrugs/ well there are spirits of other stuff like hei bai is the spirit of that forest senlin village is in.

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    • I think pyrusmole meant handful of generations for avatars, not actual generations for people.

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    • Through the Mountain wrote:
      You're overthinking it. The writers probably never imagined that when they provided Wan's backstory. 

      The writers probably didn't even conceptualize Wan's backstory until after ATLA was done, in my honest opinion. The idea of the lion turtle cities, sure, but not the actual backstory, I suspect. Wan's tale, while fittingly mythological, feels out of sync with everything presented in ATLA and comes across to me as a jumping-the-shark styled plot device to give Korra's story more self-importance and "raise the stakes" of Korra's story in as easy a way possible - 'save the world from darkness.'

      In other words, I think they literally meant "a thousand lifetimes" when they originally wrote that line for Roku. But, like many other aspects of their own mythological world, they changed their minds later on. I mean, they have admitted themselves that they use fan-generated resources like this exact website to fact check their own lore, so it seems like they themselves aren't as invested in consistency or technical details so much as what they think will be dramatic and entertaining.

      This is all to say, yea, it's probably overthinking it to try and do the math here on this stuff. We're talking about a series where problems are solved with unexplained spirit magic mumbo jumbo, so...there's a limit to the technicalities, I'd wager.

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    • Fans are almost always more obsessive than the actual writers. Frankly, I think that more writers should take up that practice. Might as well see what the fans remember, since that's what your story is going to be judged by.

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    • It's almost impossible for someone to see every angle behind a world they create. They are certain to forget something as "trival" as the local import/export of a particular city, how far back a family goes, or the GDP of a nation.

      A writer can please all of the fans some of the time, and some of the fans all the time, but a writer cannot please all the fans all the time. I guess you could replace fan with geek. :p

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    • A writer can please all of the fans some of the time, and some of the fans all the time, but a writer cannot please all the fans all the time.

      Too true. I just find it startling how much Book 2 of LoK basically dismissed key components of the established world's lore, not to mention the general tone of storytelling, to boot.

      Such is entertainment, I suppose.

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    • the first avatar was conceptualized during the making of atlab2, but they couldn't find a spot to put it in.

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    • How do you know that? I'm sure the idea was 'conceptualized,' but I highly doubt that a lot of the nonsensical 'Harmonic Convergence' stuff was set in place until Book 2 of LoK was getting worked on. As an example, the 'idea' of Zuko's mom was obviously 'conceptualized' before ATLA ended, but from what I've heard from Gene Yang in person, ideas were altered and changed as the comic was being planned.

      It all comes down to Bryan, Michael, whatever writers they're working with at the time, and the Nick executives deciding what is "most entertaining," which...isn't always what will stick with people positively. Book 2 of LoK seems to have gone over really well with adolescents, though, so if that was Nick's goal (and it sure seems like it was) then success? Although ratings were at an all-time low...

      Either way, the creators of many series, including Bryan and Michael, often will intentionally not make final decisions on big plot things in case they want to "spice things up" later. Which I personally have problems with as it takes away credibility from the characters/history/world, and it's why we have situations like, "Who is Lin's Dad?" (the creators confessed they themselves didn't know or even care, which seems utterly bizarre to me)

      As stated above, fans/geeks will often care more about the technical details than the creators themselves, so I guess it stands to reason that they'd avoid committing to factual technical ideas -- which is why it's so confusing to me how Book 2 of Korra flies in the face of a lot of ideas and themes previously established in the lore.

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    • The list of details I don't know about my characters is probably longer than the list of the ones I do.

      The ratings are a poor indicator of how much people liked Book 2--let alone how good it actually was--they were not correlated with any major change of subject matter. We know for sure that they were heavily influenced by the scheduling. They MIGHT have dropped between Book 1 & Book 2, even if there weren't any changes to the schedule, but we don't know for sure.

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    • "The list of details I don't know about my characters is probably longer than the list of the ones I do."

      That doesn't really make much sense to me. What do you even mean by that statement? It's like you're saying that because of how little we know about the rest of the universe, we shouldn't learn about the planet we live on. You should know more about your own characters that you create and you write than anyone else does or can -- because they exist by your own hands. The creators of Avatar don't seem to have as much interest in their own characters than the fans do, and that happens, sure -- when you don't care. If you care about something, you know about it, and if you don't know, you find out/decide on it. That's why fans build sites like this one: because they care.

      The list of details I know about my own characters is longer than the list anyone else would have about my own characters -- because I'm the one that made them. That's my point there, and it feels like the Avatar series creators don't really care when they create character purely for fanservice representation without putting any actual thought into their background or where they came from. Even the Tenzin/Lin romance bit was supposedly not even decided upon until partway through Book 1's writing. But then, romantic relationships seem to function to them more like 'devices' and less like character development or lore, so, eh. Goes back to the "entertainment" thing, and what I said about many series creators deliberately not planning stuff out ahead of time in case they choose to flip-flop and change their minds later.

      "The ratings are a poor indicator of how much people liked Book 2--let alone how good it actually was--they were not correlated with any major change of subject matter"

      There's no real way of knowing either way -- but Book 2 just wasn't as acclaimed or cared about than Book 1 was. And Bryan and Michael seem to be ignoring the actual criticisms and are instead just writing it off as "nostalgia" for ATLA when it's actually the major changes of subject matter and/or the portrayals thereof (see: the unhealthy relationship portrayals as a hotly discussed example).

      Either way, whether they're a "poor indicator" or not, people didn't care about Book 2 as much as Book 1, whether out of ignorance or choice -- the ratings would've been higher if more people were watching it, and more people would be watching it if more people cared. That's all I'm saying. I don't know if the ratings for Book 2 will impact the series going forward, but we'll see how Book 3 performs, and maybe if Nick can get their act together.

      To tie this all back to the topic at hand, the creators and storytellers of a work will present the audience with what they care about most, and/or what they think/want the audience to care most about. We get forced teen romance drama and backstory about Wan and a tropish plot device because that's what they want us to care about. We don't get specific details like how many Avatars existed or who Lin's father was because that's not what they want us to care about (and likely what they themselves don't care about, which has been stated as far as the latter is concerned).

      What we got in Book 2 was entirely different from what we got in every previous season of the Avatar series -- which signifies that "Change" is coming, indeed. Becvause the things the creators and writers care about in regards to this universe has 'changed.' We are entering 'a new era,' and that era seems to be more about having fun and entertainment. And there's nothing wrong with that, inherently -- but it makes questions like "How many Avatars existed?" less and less relevant going forward because the creators themselves don't want us to care about 'the old era' anymore, evidently. And that's unfortunate, in my opinion, as lore and consistency was something I once admired about this franchise.

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    • @smasher

      they talked all about it at comic con. and in an interview, they said that they didn't have ursa's story planned out until much after atla.

      yeah, it does seem weird that they don't care about lin's dad...

      and yes, fans often do care more about the details than the creators do...which i also think is odd. you'd think the creators would know/think about them.

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    • I think "weird" is the most common descriptor I've been seeing people to describe the series as of late. >_>

      It's actually pretty freaking bizarre to me that they didn't have a story for Ursa planned out until that late, given what a big fuss they made about during the actual series. They basically did a cliffhanger with it in the last episode, which is just...well, weird, if they didn't have a plan at the time.

      But, well...that's entertainment for you. Bryan and Michael are probably already exhausted and mentally strained as it is -- I heard Book 1 of LoK really did a number on them, personally, which was why the ending was so rushed. I was hoping that hiring a team of writers for Book 2 would makle things run smoother, but it had the opposite effect with how inconsistent everything was.

      I just don't know what's going on. ~shrug~ We'll see how Book 3 comes along. At least 'The Rift' looks like it could answer some of these more character development and lore-oriented details fans have been wondering about (Toph's relations with her parents and Air Nomad history). Maybe we'll even learn more about a new Avatar in the 'old era' that we haven't heard about yet.

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    • I care more about developing my characters organically than arbitrarily cranking out fact sheets to satisfy someone's conception of what they "should" be. If I knew all of the details, it would only weaken the illusion that they are more than arranged information on a page. Because there are situations where I don't know how they would act, that means that I have successfully avoided creating author avatars. In other cases, the ideas are simply under-developed, irrelevant, or both. Most of my characters lack parents because they never appear in a context where they would even need their parents on-hand.

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    • Destiny-Smasher wrote:
      "The list of details I don't know about my characters is probably longer than the list of the ones I do."

      That doesn't really make much sense to me. What do you even mean by that statement? 

      It means that he hasn't thought out all of the details for his characters.

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote:
      I care more about developing my characters organically than arbitrarily cranking out fact sheets to satisfy someone's conception of what they "should" be. If I knew all of the details, it would only weaken the illusion that they are more than arranged information on a page. Because there are situations where I don't know how they would act, that means that I have successfully avoided creating author avatars. In other cases, the ideas are simply under-developed, irrelevant, or both. Most of my characters lack parents because they never appear in a context where they would even need their parents on-hand.

      So, the first part -- the organically developing them part -- is exactly how I write. Well, mostly. I'll get to that. As I said earleir in this very thread, many writers deliberately don't make final decisions about stuff to leave room for things to grow. And that can be a very good thing -- so long as what is growing is actually growing around some kind of skeleton. Otherwise you just get a weird gooey lump, in most cases. That said, the first part, yea, I totally get behind that, and three years and a million words of the same story I have written is the experience I have to attest to that.

      The second part, where your characters lack parents simply because they don't show up in the story, you lose me at that. I look at fictional characters as fictional people, and just because something is out of sight, that doesn't mean it's out of mind. So that idea is foreign to me.

      Of course you don't know EVERYTHING about a character when you create them. A fictional character, ideally, is a fictional person -- and you never know absolutely everything about a person, not even if you ARE that person.

      I'm not saying a writer should have a character's entire backstory OR their entire future planned. But it's really, really odd when you conceive a character purely for fanservice reasons -- when you make them the child of one of your previous MAIN characters but don't even bother to consider the relationship thereof, who the father was, or even how and why said character came to be. Lin Beifong, two seasons later, is only a 'Beifong' because her creators wanted to make a nod to Toph. That's it. There's literally no other reason, likely because -- up until Book 2's writing, at least -- her actual life was not really considered, or deemed worth caring much about.

      Her bending, though -- we were supposed to care about that, clearly. Until it was handed right back to her without more than a few seconds of poignant screen time to reflect on its loss.

      That's what odd to me, specifically, I suppose, and it goes to this main topic and the main theme of Book 2, which is that the writers of the show clearly want to separate themselves from and break apart from their connections to the past -- to the rich history they built and fostered, right up until the end of the last season. They so desperately wanted us to stop caring about those connections and that past that their plot severed itself in a silly and bizarre fashion.

      And yet the cameos and references keep pouring in, the characters keep being conceived and brought in as an effort to appease fans -- yet the reason why seems unclear.

      Organic growth can be awesome, but SOME structure and purpose needs to be in place for it to have staying power. (I plan out a loose structure, a skeleton, and then let the characters grow around it -- I'd point to Breaking Bad as a brilliant example of television that seems to follow this style)

      Structure and logic can be great, but SOME leniancy needs to be given or a story becomes stale and, as you put it, becomes just "arranged information on a page." (as a constrasting show of the same genre, I'd cite Dexter as a series that does this)

      The key is to strive for BALANCE. You know, the overarcing theme of the Avatar series? Or at least, that's what I thought, 4 seasons in. 5 seasons in and I'm still deciding if that is indeed the case.

      Order and chaos, light and dark, yin and yang -- organic growth and structured planning. Finding balance creates memorable stories that stick with people for a long time.

      No jumping-the-shark or severing of ties or generating shock value for shock's sake or declaring "Change is coming" will be valued beyond the short-term if the execution isn't up to par. It doesn't matter how many Avatars existed before Aang, and it doesn't matter how many would exist after Korra. If the creators of the work don't care enough to strive for that balance, then all they're really producing is a shiny teen action fantasy, and teenage stories are all about being IMbalanced and the frustration that follows. Which is cool, hey. There's plenty of those and they seem to be what's "in" these days, across all mediums.

      It's just funny to me that the Avatar series would go backwards not just over its own established mythos but also on its own themes and messages. When this sort of thing happens to adults, we call it "a mid-life crisis." I'm not sure what they called it when it happened to George Lucas, but, hey, I'm sure that guy is doing just fine these days -- but look at how splintered his creation, and its fans, became as a result of the imbalance. On a much smaller scale, I see that happening with the Avatar series these days. You can't tell me that all-time series lows in the ratings aren't being discussed behind closed doors. Ratings may not matter to you, the individual fan, but they do to the people who FUND and produce these kinds of things. It's just a shame that so much money is being spent in every other department BUT the writing, it seems. Which, mind, isn't nearly as bad as so many other cartoons. It's really better thab most of them.

      But when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a better example of adolescent character development when compared to a previously critically acclaimed franchise, something is...weird. I'm just saying.

      Anyway. Enough from the peanut gallery here, and my apologies for the ramble if it's deemed "off-topic." It's my own fault for not following the lead of most every other Avatar fan I know and continuing to linger in the discussions of this fandom out of stubbornness or...well, caring, as I believe I've been putting it.

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    • "The second part, where your characters lack parents simply because they don't show up in the story, you lose me at that. I look at fictional characters as fictional people, and just because something is out of sight, that doesn't mean it's out of mind. So that idea is foreign to me."

      Well, ultimately, you have to cut it off somewhere. Even if you have all of your characters' parents, it's not likely that you'll have all of their grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. Except, if you had all of your characters' parents...& your characters' parents are also your characters...then I suppose, by definition...you know what I mean.

      "Of course you don't know EVERYTHING about a character when you create them. A fictional character, ideally, is a fictional person -- and you never know absolutely everything about a person, not even if you ARE that person."

      Well said.

      "That's what odd to me, specifically, I suppose, and it goes to this main topic and the main theme of Book 2, which is that the writers of the show clearly want to separate themselves from and break apart from their connections to the past -- to the rich history they built and fostered, right up until the end of the last season. They so desperately wanted us to stop caring about those connections and that past that their plot severed itself in a silly and bizarre fashion."

      Well, I can't claim that most reasonable fans would like every plot development, but I don't see a contradiction here. Some links to the past will be broken, while others will remain. It's not really a matter of wanting you not to care, or else they wouldn't have played that scene out like a murder. And if they can't do something shocking like that, then what's the point of watching? As opposed to something like the Lion Turtle origin story, which is also a major change, but just didn't make much sense.

      "(I plan out a loose structure, a skeleton, and then let the characters grow around it -- I'd point to Breaking Bad as a brilliant example of television that seems to follow this style)"

      The core of the character mostly just appears to me either all at once, or in rapid succession. Things like appearance, personality, themes, & some details if they are particularly important. Of course, since most of my characters go into RPs, it is extra important for them to be flexible, because they may appear in a radically different context next week or so.

      "You can't tell me that all-time series lows in the ratings aren't being discussed behind closed doors."

      I should hope they came to realize that the ball was in their court when it was dropped. The scheduling for Book 2 was just abysmal.

      "But when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a better example of adolescent character development when compared to a previously critically acclaimed franchise, something is...weird. I'm just saying."

      I don't think this is the case, though granted, I'm not exactly all caught up.

      "It's my own fault for not following the lead of most every other Avatar fan I know"

      I don't know, sounds like the fans you know are kind of depressing. I've re-examined this franchise a lot through the past 2 books, & frankly the recurring pattern that I've been seeing is that people are waaaaaaay too high strung over LoK & vastly underestimate how forgiving they were of Avatar's flaws. Every time something happens in the show, it seems like someone's ready to ragequit. Holding it to a higher standard is all well & good, but why do people care so much about inane details like how big the Bending blasts are or whether there are too many or too few flashbacks, & not things like the rules of Energybending conflicting between Book 1 & Book 2?

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    • Destiny-Smasher wrote:
       

      The second part, where your characters lack parents simply because they don't show up in the story, you lose me at that. I look at fictional characters as fictional people, and just because something is out of sight, that doesn't mean it's out of mind. So that idea is foreign to me.


      sometimes, like in Aang's case, the parents are irrelevant, although it would have been great to get an idea of how air nomads procreate when they're all apparently monks!

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    • Stiffly & awkwardly.

      But seriously, technically, Aang's parents were planned, they were just cut from the final product.

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    • There was quite a bit that was cut/changed from the final product. Both ATLA and LoK.

      Continuing on, i'm not exactly sure if I would want the Avatar universe to go the way of the expanded Star Wars one.

      Depth itself seems to be contextual at this point. With that, I'd ask this. How indepth are people looking to go? Dune level? Star Wars level? Shannara or Lord of the Rings level?

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    • That's how it almost always goes, it's just that the details are better known in some cases.

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    • Depends what people want really. Yesterday I went to the local gaming store (the non-video game sort) and when through alot of the older books. I can across a number of the older Rifts and Palladium books, not to mention a number of the older L5R books when they used to do miniatures.

      I saw that Palladium used to print a number of source books for things like Macross 2 (the movie version) and the like. There were two books just for deck plans alone. If it was a ship, the writers/designers came up with all the information you would need. If a ship was featured in a single shot, it was added.

      I think I'd leave the question of how any total avatars to the creators of the show. I'd assume that maybe they would answer it when they felt like the information was relevant? It might take a side company printing some Avatar rpg to come up with a number that gets accepted. Who knows?

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    • I think it would be pretty cool if they released an official list at some point, with appearance, name, spot on the timeline, & a short blurb about each. It doesn't have to be much, as Yangchen's claim to fame is basically just "her era was peaceful."

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    • Kubernes wrote:
      Depends what people want really. Yesterday I went to the local gaming store (the non-video game sort) and when through alot of the older books. I can across a number of the older Rifts and Palladium books, not to mention a number of the older L5R books when they used to do miniatures.

      I saw that Palladium used to print a number of source books for things like Macross 2 (the movie version) and the like. There were two books just for deck plans alone. If it was a ship, the writers/designers came up with all the information you would need. If a ship was featured in a single shot, it was added.

      I think I'd leave the question of how any total avatars to the creators of the show. I'd assume that maybe they would answer it when they felt like the information was relevant? It might take a side company printing some Avatar rpg to come up with a number that gets accepted. Who knows?

      I don't think they should answer it, and I doubt that they actually thought of a number.  Just that there have been ALOT of avatars

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    • there have only been about 100 avatars - if we say that each avatar lived about 100 years, (give or take) and we have 10000 years worth of avatars, then there would be about 100 avatars.

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    • Give or take, but we do have very odd cases like Kyoshi. I still believe they just hit the number "2" button instead of the "1" when coming up with the backstory.

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    • haha, that's a good theory. alright, so kyoshi lived about....hmm... let's say about 130...sweet, that's done let's send it in! /sends it/ /looks back/ Oh @#$%!!! Well guys, kyoshi lived to 230...

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    • Roku just used "thousand" as a really big number. It's often used in common parlance the same way. If someone says "We've practiced this a thousand times already, I want to do something else now." do you think they've performed the action literally a thousand times? If the other person replied "Actually, we've only practiced it 119 times now. But if you want to keep going until we've done it a thousand times, I won't stop you." then the latter person would be trolling the former person, not correcting them.

      Also, I'd like to point out that it's very doubtful that all the Avatars lived to be 100 years or older. The Hundred Year War wasn't the only war fought in those 10,000 years, and as long they don't enter the Avatar State, Avatars aren't that difficult to kill, especially if they haven't mastered the elements yet. Not to mention that accidents can happen, even to Avatars.

      It's also not all that sure "ten thousand" is meant as a precise description of the number of years. If Harmonic Convergence occurred every 9,658 years or every 10,921 years, it'd still be pretty understandable for it to be described as "ten thousand".

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    • But Roku could have been speaking literally, which is a subtle difference. Obviously if someone claims that they've practiced a thousand times in a short period, I know that they're not speaking literally. But if they've practiced that over an undisclosed number of lifetimes, who knows? Still, I would agree with this point, overall.

      Surely not all of the Avatars lived to be 100, but it looks like a good number for an average. The Avatar State tends to activate when the Avatar is in danger, making Avatars pretty much always hard to kill, until whatever undisclosed event makes it stop triggering so that the Avatar doesn't die in the Avatar State.

      What I am most certain of is that Harmonic Convergence happens every 10,000 years on the nose. While your overall point is valid, it wouldn't be possible to calculate Harmonic Convergence to the number of weeks, as the Fire Sage did, if the figure was off by nearly a millennium.

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    • As far as I know, the Avatar State activates when the Avatar is experiencing intense emotions of anger, fear or despair. It doesn't spontaneously activate when there's danger, and in my opinion, that's a good thing. There are many bending methods that can (near-)instanteously kill someone before that person even realizes there was a bender around that could pose a threat. If the Avatar State activated every time a sudden attempt at assassination was made on the Avatar, I very much doubt even the Avatar State's supreme power and lightning-speed reflexes would save him/her every time, and the Avatar Cycle would've ended long before Aang came along. Let's not forget that, for an Avatar, allowing themselves to be killed easily is far more preferable than doing a last-ditch effort to win by using the Avatar State and risking to die in it.

      I don't know, the Fire Sages could've been aware of the exact amount of years, or they could've used the movement of the planets to predict when they'd align, i.e. when Harmonic Convergence would occur. I kinda doubt that they would've kept records of dates and events that well over a span of 10,000 years anyway. Not that I don't think it can't have been exactly 10,000 years. In the real world, a cosmic event like that occurring at such a round-numbered interval would be an impossible coincidence, but we're talking about events in a fictional universe after all.

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    • "As far as I know, the Avatar State activates when the Avatar is experiencing intense emotions of anger, fear or despair. It doesn't spontaneously activate when there's danger, and in my opinion, that's a good thing."

      There isn't much of a practical distinction. Unless you're dead before you even know that you've been attacked, anger, fear, & despair sort of comes with life-threatening danger.

      "I don't know, the Fire Sages could've been aware of the exact amount of years, or they could've used the movement of the planets to predict when they'd align, i.e. when Harmonic Convergence would occur. I kinda doubt that they would've kept records of dates and events that well over a span of 10,000 years anyway."

      The former seems unlikely if people had been describing it as "every 10,000 years" for, well, 10,000 years, & I do not recall an implication that anyone knew when the planets would align.

      "Not that I don't think it can't have been exactly 10,000 years. In the real world, a cosmic event like that occurring at such a round-numbered interval would be an impossible coincidence, but we're talking about events in a fictional universe after all."

      Doesn't Halley's Comet come by every 70 years? A far cry from 10,000, sure, but the Harmonic Convergence just happening to fall into intervals of 10,000 isn't any less improbable than 10,001, 10,002, etc.

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    • "As far as I know, the Avatar State activates when the Avatar is experiencing intense emotions of anger, fear or despair. It doesn't spontaneously activate when there's danger"

      Well roku did describe the avatar state as a defence mechanism, and it consistently activated when Aang was in danger

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    • I suppose the intense fear of losing does account for the usage of the Avatar State in that air scooter race at the beginning of book 2.

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    • she was fully realized by then.

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    • Losing to a kid at a sport or race sucks, so I can understand the need to win. Otherwise, a lifetime of shame!

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote:
      "As far as I know, the Avatar State activates when the Avatar is experiencing intense emotions of anger, fear or despair. It doesn't spontaneously activate when there's danger, and in my opinion, that's a good thing." There isn't much of a practical distinction. Unless you're dead before you even know that you've been attacked, anger, fear, & despair sort of comes with life-threatening danger.

      That was pretty much my point, though, many kinds of dangers are too sudden to immediately give rise to strong emotional responses. You're surprised and then you're quickly dying/already dead, and that's assuming you're awake to begin with. Killing an Avatar isn't that complicated, just catch them off guard/unconscious and be quick about it. The thing with Aang was that they wanted to capture him alive unless they could kill him in the Avatar State. If they hadn't minded him reincarnating, then, sorry to say, he could've died at several occasions throughout Book 1 alone already.

      Neo Bahamut wrote:
      "I don't know, the Fire Sages could've been aware of the exact amount of years, or they could've used the movement of the planets to predict when they'd align, i.e. when Harmonic Convergence would occur. I kinda doubt that they would've kept records of dates and events that well over a span of 10,000 years anyway."

      The former seems unlikely if people had been describing it as "every 10,000 years" for, well, 10,000 years, & I do not recall an implication that anyone knew when the planets would align.

      "Not that I don't think it can't have been exactly 10,000 years. In the real world, a cosmic event like that occurring at such a round-numbered interval would be an impossible coincidence, but we're talking about events in a fictional universe after all."

      Doesn't Halley's Comet come by every 70 years? A far cry from 10,000, sure, but the Harmonic Convergence just happening to fall into intervals of 10,000 isn't any less improbable than 10,001, 10,002, etc.

      So they kept a tally of how many of those 10,000 years had gone by then? Did they even know of Harmonic Convergence in Wan's time? They seemed very uninformed about spirit matters at the time, and that was when spirits were still common in the physical world. I just find it easier to assume that they knew about some of the planets and their orbits and when they align rather than that they kept accurate records of events like Harmonic Convergence over a span of 10,000 years. Many ancient civilizations from the real world had vast astronomical knowledge, so I don't find it much of a stretch that the civilizations of the Avatar world knew about some of their planets and when they might align. I wonder how else they'd find out at what interval Harmonic Convergence occurs. Did a spirit tell them maybe?

      As for Halley's Comet, it shows up every 75-76 years, with the interval varying depending on the gravitational influence from the planets it passes.

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    • [quote]That was pretty much my point, though, many kinds of dangers are too sudden to immediately give rise to strong emotional responses.[/quote]

      Fair enough. I don't believe that this would have been that common, though.

      [quote]So they kept a tally of how many of those 10,000 years had gone by then? Did they even know of Harmonic Convergence in Wan's time?[/quote]

      Well, if they weren't already calculating it, they had a good jump start when Wan told Korra that Harmonic Convergence occurs every 10 thousand years. I could see them using various records to get close, but I'm at a loss to explain how they got it down to an exact date.

      [quote]Many ancient civilizations from the real world had vast astronomical knowledge, so I don't find it much of a stretch that the civilizations of the Avatar world knew about some of their planets and when they might align.[/quote]

      But it was strangely implied that eclipses weren't predicted. I also wouldn't consider it too much of a stretch if they had accurate dating records.

      [quote]As for Halley's Comet, it shows up every 75-76 years, with the interval varying depending on the gravitational influence from the planets it passes.[/quote]

      Oh.

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    • 10,000 years is quite a bit of time. Enough time for the rise and fall of many civilizations and with it the accumulation and destruction of learned knowledge. Yet Unalaq somehow knew about the event and based his "scheme" around it. It's too bad we are never really told how he got that information.

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    • Kubernes wrote:
      10,000 years is quite a bit of time. Enough time for the rise and fall of many civilizations and with it the accumulation and destruction of learned knowledge. Yet Unalaq somehow knew about the event and based his "scheme" around it. It's too bad we are never really told how he got that information.

      We can probably assume that Vaatu told him all about it. He'd probably been speaking with Vaatu during meditative trips to the Spirit World for quite a long time.

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    • either that or he read about it somewhere. i'm betting that's how he first met vaatu in the first place - he was a spiritual man, and was obsessed with power, knew of the avatar, read about the first avatar, realized the potential for a second avatar and met vaatu, and then all the mwahahas began.

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    • Speaking of the number of Avatars, has anyone ever counted all the Avatars in images like Avatars and Statues glow, matched up the ones we know correspond with each other and determined the total number of Avatars we've seen in the series?

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    • yeah people have tried, but you can't get any sort of accurate estimation from that. you'll get a better estimate from knowing that the first avatar was 10,000 years ago, and picking an average age for the avatars (100 years for easy math), and then knowing that not all avatars lived exactly that long meaning the estimate could be off a little.

      10,000 years/100 y/a ~ 100 avatars, give or take.

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    • 100 years seems like a really high estimate for an average lifespan for Avatars, though, per my earlier points.

      I did some searching online and apparently the latter image indicates 180-ish statues of Avatars before Aang. And here are a couple estimates taking into account the Avatar's elemental reincarnation cycles.

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    • based on the age of people we've seen living into their later years, i don't think it's that bad of an estimate. again, it's a rough estimate. we have an extreme in kyoshi who lived to 230, and we also have kuruk, who died at roughly 30.

      on your point (from the link) that harmonic convergence doesn't occur at exactly 10000 years... yes, probably, but perhaps off by not much more than a year or two. the fire sages were able to calculate exactly when it would happen. 10,900-something would be rounded to 11,000, not 10,000

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    • "So somewhere way up there the first Avatar’s statue is gathering cobwebs"

      Are you perhaps a prophet?

      Apparently not. He overshoots the total lifespan of the Avatars by 1,332 years. Which is odd considering that this number was pretty much already given. I also don't see what basis he has for his assumed averages. The other estimate has a similar problem.

      The way I figured on the average age was to...actually average the known lifespans. It's true that they might not represent the sample, but it's something.

      On the other hand, assuming that part about the spiral is valid, 180 Avatars would be consistent with an average lifespan of about 50, which is certainly within the realm of plausibility.

      As for the Harmonic Convergence not being exact, I'll believe that whenever someone speaks about it in approximate terms, such as "Raava fought Vaatu about every 10,000 years." Even then, per I4, I doubt it would be off by much, otherwise they would probably cite a figure like 10,050 or 10,200.

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    • SuperAvatar wrote:
      Kubernes wrote:
      10,000 years is quite a bit of time. Enough time for the rise and fall of many civilizations and with it the accumulation and destruction of learned knowledge. Yet Unalaq somehow knew about the event and based his "scheme" around it. It's too bad we are never really told how he got that information.
      We can probably assume that Vaatu told him all about it. He'd probably been speaking with Vaatu during meditative trips to the Spirit World for quite a long time.

      Most likely. That or Unalaq found that library and found about the HC or Vaatu. Or even a combination of them all. Just seems like an element of the story (esp. a kids show) that wasn't told. I would have even have taken a small sentence.

      As for the number of Avatars, maybe if we knew more about the events between the years, the level of medicine present, and the advancement of technology? It might be worth it to look into the Three Kingdoms era of China for average lifespan and conflict? I use that era because of all the conflict and achievements. Is there any other possible era that could also help?

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    • wait, how do we know that Yangchen died when she was in her mid-lates.

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    • we don't. same as all the other unknown avatars, we're making an estimation.

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote: The way I figured on the average age was to...actually average the known lifespans. It's true that they might not represent the sample, but it's something.

      2 of those 4 known lifespans are freakishly long and 1 is pretty short. It's very plausible that several Avatars besides Kuruk died at a young age, but I very much doubt there would've been many other Avatars who spent 100 years in an iceberg or did whatever Kyoshi did to live over 200 years. I don't see any other point to determining an average from that data besides to show how unrepresentative of the whole it probably is.

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    • There is no point in just guessing a number because it "sounds good." You can have complaints about the average, but they do not validate just making up a number to replace it.

      Also, we have a statement that Aang's biological age was considered a young death.

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote:
      There is no point in just guessing a number because it "sounds good." You can have complaints about the average, but they do not validate just making up a number to replace it.

      Also, we have a statement that Aang's biological age was considered a young death.

      When we have 4 numbers and each is 50-80 years apart from the next one, then the only conclusion we can draw from that (and that's going by the assumption we can draw a meaningful conclusion from that data) is that the lifespan of an Avatar is highly irregular. I'm not proposing making up a random number, we can work with a range of possibilities. My point is that using the known lifespans for an average would only create a false sense of accurateness, since we already know that at least 2 out of the 4 were extraordinary cases. I can use the 4 known lifespans to extrapolate that the Avatar before Kuruk lived around 280 years and the one before that -20 years, but I'm sure we both agree that leads to ridiculous results.

      66 was young for a natural death (i.e. of old age), and that's true in the real world too, in most developed countries.

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    • The only thing we have to go off of is the Avatar Statue room really, because in terms of ages, it can vary greatly between the avatars.

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    • I'm not proposing making up a random number, we can work with a range of possibilities.

      Either way, the estimates that you linked to did just that.

      I can use the 4 known lifespans to extrapolate that the Avatar before Kuruk lived around 280 years and the one before that -20 years, but I'm sure we both agree that leads to ridiculous results.

      This is just a ridiculous statement altogether. Somehow concluding an impossible age like -20 has nothing to do with averaging.

      66 was young for a natural death (i.e. of old age), and that's true in the real world too, in most developed countries.

      This qualifier was never made. I am almost positive that the statement was in the context of Avatar deaths.

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    • This is just a ridiculous statement altogether. Somehow concluding an impossible age like -20 has nothing to do with averaging.

      I'm just suggesting that calculating an average of a very small amount of highly irregular data and assuming the result is somehow meaningful is similarly ridiculous as taking said data and calculating what function the Avatar's lifespan follows (so far it's followed an approximate pattern of a0, a0+200, a1-150, a2+100).

      This qualifier was never made. I am almost positive that the statement was in the context of Avatar deaths.

      It was stated that Aang died relatively early because of the long time he spent in the Avatar State while in the iceberg. I don't see how his time in the iceberg would've been relevant if his eventual death wasn't a natural one.

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    • It isn't similar, it's not even comparable. You wouldn't use a function in this situation no matter how much data you had, for a whole host of reasons, one of them being this ridiculous negative number aspect. There is a huge difference between inaccurate & just plain nonsense.

      Let me rephrase that. It was not said that Aang's death was young only by the standard of natural causes.

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    • Here's something that nobody seems to have brought up: Kyoshi was so tall and lived so long as a character because she was partially based off of old Chinese saint-figures, who could live up to four centuries at a time. Now, I'm not saying that it's likely here, nor that others may have lived longer than Kyoshi. But maybe an average age of 50 is just a teensy bit low?

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    • Well 50 is just an assumption, and I doubt that there would be many Avatars that lived longer than Kyoshi, but despite this I do agree with you that 50 is a bit low, since it would be unlikely for the Avatar to be killed in a normal battle, and I also have a feeling that the Avatar doesn't die from illness very often (maybe because of Raava). There is one thing however, which I think could lower the average age of the Avatar, you see I am thinking that the first Avatars after Wan had not really established their position as keepers of balance, and peace, that in combination with the fact that this was the time when all the nations where beginning to take form, makes me think that these early Avatars got in a lot of fights with the different nations, when they where trying to establish their territories. So I think that many Avatars may have died in these battles with the different nations. 

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    • To be honest, I doubt that many people get sick at all, which is why people make such a big deal out of epidemics (pentapox, anybody?).

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    • You are right, there doesn't seem to be many diseases in the world of Avatar, except some minor ones such as Aang's cold in the comics (ATLA Lost Adventures), the various diseases (if they were diseases, it is more likely that the people were poisoned by the polluted water) that is exhibited by the people in the fishing village (Jang Hui) in "The Painted Lady" episode, and Sokka also mentioned the (supposed) disease midnight sun madness. 

      The lack of diseases in ATLA is actually quite strange, but there is perhaps an explanation?

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    • Fantasy stories tend to avoid depicting disease. The assumption is that you don't want to see the heroes bedridden & covered in sores.

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    • That was the focus of the episode "Imprisoned", though. Maybe people have a higher tolerance because of healthy living and excess chi drinking?

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    • "Fantasy stories tend to avoid depicting disease. The assumption is that you don't want to see the heroes bedridden & covered in sores." Yeah, you are right, however we could have seen some more regular people plagued by diseases, but then again we still got to see some diseases in the episodes Avatar Vyakara, and I mentioned, and I also think that the time aspect may have played a role in why there wasn't so many diseases featured in the series. I mean Bryke made a good story, with character development, action, and humor for kids, and also managed to have a meaningful message in many of the episodes (such as "The Painted Lady" episode, where they showed the negative effects of industry), so I can imagine that it is hard to find some time in their storyline where they can feature diseases.

      "Maybe people have a higher tolerance because of healthy living and excess chi drinking?" Well, they seem to at least have a healthier living than most real people that live in wealthy countries, since the people in the Avatar world doesn't seem to drink any alcohol, doesn't seem to do drugs (except cactus juice), and their food lack all the artificial chemicals that can be found in much of the real world's food. However, they still seem to eat a lot of cakes and sweets, moreover many of the people in the Avatar world do have physically demanding jobs which could give them problems when they grow old. Finally, what do you mean by "excess chi drinking"?

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    • Yeah, I suppose. They might have had a chance with LoK, but poor timing decisions and an altered story arc made it a little difficult to add more to the mythos and exploration that the previous series did so well, creating complex scenarios that all threaded nearly seamlessly into one another. (Zaofu and Wan are exceptions; both are awesome and inventive, as was Republic City in the first Book.) But still, I can see there being far fewer diseases in a world where magical water can do the work of twenty hundred billion white blood cells in a matter of seconds. I also have a theory about bacterial symbiosis (molest me not with midichlorians, these are chi-dichlorians), but that may not be reasonable. Also, consider: the virus on our world is disputed as a living thing, because it requires other cells to do its own reproduction; this has gotten to the point where some scientists assume it was simply a very complex protein gone wrong. Who's to say that the Avatarasya needs that protein to go wrong? If the infections are primarily bacterial, even that would lighten the load a little.

      The "excess chi drinking" was a joke, based on "excess tea drinking" (Iroh) and, well, "chi". But you make a point; they tend to labour a lot, and eat cakes (although this mainly seems to be the Air Nomads; I don't think there's much sugar at the Poles), yet they don't drink alcohol or consume artificial chemicals in food (and I think the cactus juice, jokes aside, is unlikely to be a major part of the Avatarasya). I guess you could argue that some of the labour is good for you? Nah, I've got nothing on that one.

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    • Avatar Vyakara wrote: That was the focus of the episode "Imprisoned", though. Maybe people have a higher tolerance because of healthy living and excess chi drinking?

      I don't see the connection. Prison Break Arcs are a lot more common than Disease Arcs. Like a lot more. I've lost track of how many happened in this show alone.

      Theoretically, you could create a disease that is able to be cured in the span of the episode so that it can function similar to a prison break, but:

      1. People just tend not to do it for some reason.

      2. Why? It sort of cheapens the point of including a debilitating disease at all if you can just magically cure it.

      3. I don't think that really fits Mike's & Bryan's style. Even magic water healing is a relatively slow process.

      Also, consider: the virus on our world is disputed as a living thing, because it requires other cells to do its own reproduction; this has gotten to the point where some scientists assume it was simply a very complex protein gone wrong.

      I've not heard of this. Something like a protein transcription enzyme that went rogue?

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    • True, most of the episode was Aang trying to escape, but the fact that he had to do so stemmed from Sokka and Katara having an infection of sorts (maybe not the focus, but certainly one of them). And they weren't technically cured; it may just have helped their fevers and hallucinations somewhat and caused them to give disgusted looks at one another and at Aang for a month.

      Effectively, yes, that's the theory. Nobody said it has to happen twice, especially if this is a totally different world.

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    • I once saw a similar topic in this forum and someone answered it very clearly:

      http://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/46908/how-many-avatars-have-there-been

      In resume he said that based on the southern temples statues galley they have been about 180 avatar, with an average lifepan of 54. 

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    • That's certainly the case here. This is also the episode, however, where they had Kyoshi as a man and Kuruk four or five hundred years earlier in the cycle than before, and it was also long before the 10K cut-off date (which limits the number of years x number of Avatars can live, instead of having x number of Avatars living across a period of, say, fifty thousand years).

      See the post on Avatar Kyoshi for more, but chi flow in the Avatarasya tends to enhance strength, speed, mental clarity, and longevity to great extents. The Avatar is the best example of this: a superpowered human with a deep spiritual connection to the world. The likelihood of them living even to their fifties is a bit unlikely, unless the majority of the Avatars were killed in battle (or even in childhood) to compensate for the extra-long lifespans of Kyoshi and Aang and probably others as well.

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    • There's certainly a balancing act of depicting reality and fantasy in created universes. 

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    • Kubernes wrote: There's certainly a balancing act of depicting reality and fantasy in created universes. 

      You reminded me of this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cjBcr7gAM4

      It's about videogames, but the basic logic extends to TV as well.

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    • If Roku was to be taken literally in The Deserter, then there have one-thousand Avatars with Aang being the one-thousand-first Avatar. But that would mean that an Airbender was first, not Wan, a Firebender.

      But if we take the numbers of statues in the Air Temples, then the number of Avatars is over a thousand. Maybe fifteen-hundred Avatars.

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    • SuperAvatar wrote: 100 years seems like a really high estimate for an average lifespan for Avatars, though, per my earlier points.

      I did some searching online and apparently the latter image indicates 180-ish statues of Avatars before Aang[....]

      This link makes a lot of proclamations I don't agree with, but I'm quoting it because it shows that there aren't anywhere near that many statues in that room.

      1000 Avatars is vanishingly unlikely, the Avatar would have to have an average life span of 10 years.

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    • Well you could always average the known ages and apply a standard deviation when estimating the population mean... assuming the distribution is Gaussian I suppose? Not going to spend time on mathing this out right now but it'll at least get you a 95% CI if what little I remember of stats is correct.

      But I always just thought Roku's "a thousand times" is a matter of expression like when people say they've done something "a million times" in real life. The possibilities that there are discontinuity in the series is not that hard to fathom either, it's difficult to make an air-tight fiction.

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    • Synchrony wrote:

      But I always just thought Roku's "a thousand times" is a matter of expression like when people say they've done something "a million times" in real life. The possibilities that there are discontinuity in the series is not that hard to fathom either, it's difficult to make an air-tight fiction.

      I take it more of an expression too. Sort of like the whole "thousand years/thousand generations" istance in Star Wars and the description of the republic before it falls to the Empire.

      The situation also just looks like a perfect example of over thinking the issue.

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    • Avatar Kyoshi lived to be 230

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    • We'll never know the total number of Avatars there were aside from the ones we've seen. Aang, Roku, Kyoshi, Kuruk, Yangchen, the Lavabending Avatar, Korra and Wan. How many people lived to be the Avatar in the span of 10,000 years? Two-thousand? It probably depends on how long a person can live within a century, excluding Kyoshi and Aang.

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    • The average age for all known avatars would be 99.75 (excluding Aang's iceberg years) or 56.33 if we're also excluding Kyoshi. I think 60-70 would be a resonable average.

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    • Aggression25 wrote:
      We'll never know the total number of Avatars there were aside from the ones we've seen. Aang, Roku, Kyoshi, Kuruk, Yangchen, the Lavabending Avatar, Korra and Wan. How many people lived to be the Avatar in the span of 10,000 years? Two-thousand? It probably depends on how long a person can live within a century, excluding Kyoshi and Aang.

      I think it has to do more with the writers choosing how many previous Avatars existed. Leaving it a mystery does give them more leyway with stories. Is there a suitable positive for a writer to come up with an actual number now?

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    • Not now that they've all been destroyed, no.

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    • there is 25 years to a generation 10,000 years is 400 generations if the average avatar lives to the age of 112 that would mean there would have been about 89 avatars. Aang apparently died young at around 60 years after the events of avatar the last airbender and he apprently died young(physically) because he spent 100 years frozen in the avatar state. so if he died young in his 70's then there is no way there could be thousands of past avatars there simply isn't enough years lts say the average avatar lives to 150 years if and there were 1000 past avatars that would mean that between wan and korra there would have to be 150,000 years of time difference. the only possible way there were a thousand life times worth of avatars would be if the vast majority of them died like right after becoming avatar. as for the statues that might not be the actual representation of absolutely all past avatar's  the statue's in the temple represented the avatar cycle so maybe only the statue's on the actual ground level represented the past avatar's

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    • Wi2520wastaken wrote:
      Avatar Kyoshi lived to be 230

      I dont know how true* this is but if it is then:

      aang: 165 years ( -100 quite sad tbh)

      Roku: 70 years

      Kyoshi: 230 years

      Kuruk: 33 years

      Rest: unknown but apparantly many calculated 181 avatars(before aang) (the year wan was born=9829bg, year roku died=12bg, 9829-12=9817)

      =9817/181=54.2(average age)...meaning there are probably quite a lot who died roughly at the same age as Kuruk... but this is based off pictures?

      if avatar Wan was a fire bender (which he technically was) then every avatar with a multiple of 4 +1 should be fire, which means roku can be avatar number 181 so it kinda makes sense but i guess its just one of 'those' questions...


      -*However the maths sometimes doesnt make sense like the first harmonic convergence apparantly happened in 9829BG, the source says this is when wan was born, but we know he was 20 ( or something like that), but it says the next convergence was in 171AG which means korra was 18 (and she pretty much was) at this time so the orginal source isnt completely true but atleast it gives something to think about

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    • Eh, one can just watch scenes inside the Southern Air Temple in the episode of the same name and tell that there have been hundreds of Avatars.

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    • On what basis other than "there are a lot of statues"?

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    • I think the scenes in the Air Temples where we can see all the statues were just to show that the Avatar is a person who can endure all times. I think the creators did't really think about how many avatars could have existed in real, and the "the 1st Avatar came up 10,000 years ago" thing was created in LoK, so maybe when they created TLA they wanted this circle to be much older

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    • Even aside from that, I'm disputing the notion that, at any point, it is safe to infer that there are hundreds of statues even implied to be onscreen. A lot, sure, upwards of 180 or more according to the estimate I found, but hundreds?

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote:
      Even aside from that, I'm disputing the notion that, at any point, it is safe to infer that there are hundreds of statues even implied to be onscreen. A lot, sure, upwards of 180 or more according to the estimate I found, but hundreds?

      Maybe we just think we see more but if we counted them, there would be less

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    • Neo Bahamut wrote:
      On what basis other than "there are a lot of statues"?

      There are clearly several dozen statues on the ground level of the temple's santuary: Southern_Air_Temple_Avatar_statues.png




      There also appears to be around a couple of dozen statues per acsending level of the santuary, if one side of the santuary wall and a glimpse of the upper floors is any good indication. There are at least six levels above the ground floor:



      Statues_glow.png



      Not the mention the fact that each statue is supposed to represent a past Avatar of the Avatar Cycle.

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    • There are 45 statues on the ground level, which then begins a spiral. I'm not assuming this because my source said so, I actually counted. You can see on the back end of the image that, after the 45th statue, the floor elevates into a ramp. 45+6*24=189, give or take.

      So, even assuming everything you just said, that doesn't break 2 "hundreds," which I would argue isn't even what the phrase "hundreds" typically implies. But this is actually surprisingly consistent with the spiral estimation, which judging from what I can count, seems to be fair. So I suppose this is not a bad method of estimation, if you actually do the math on it.

      Given all of the convergence, I'd say ~185-190 is a pretty strong estimate. Maybe a little over 200. Coupled with the 10,000 year figure, this would also suggest an average lifespan of ~50, which isn't unreasonable, assuming a lot of avatars died from disease or combat. Much more than that, & we'd run into some pretty implausibly short lifespans, but I'd be willing to consider that possibility if the math suggested it, since the Air Nomads were accurate enough to even have a statue of the First Avatar including the detail of Raava.

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    • Eh, I was always taught that one definition of "hundreds" is an estimated number of something that could count anywhere between 100-1,000. Just looking at the scenes in the Temple santuary told me that there have been easily over a hundred Avatars.

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    • Hundreds technically means 200 or more, but typically it's used when there are many hundreds of objects. Like you usually don't use "dozens" to describe 24 items, instead you would say "a couple dozen."

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    • When formally talking about money it is acceptable to use hundreds for a value between 100 and 1000 (exclusive) and technically defined as a value greater than 100 and less than 1000 (although this is not  defined in any proper dictionary) however i would agree that normally it would make more sense if it was greater than 200 and i wouldn't use hundreds to describe a value less than 200 anyway but actually hundreds can be used to describe numbers greater than 1000 as well, especially in old english where thousands weren't commonly used and you would say thirteen-hundred rather than one thousand and 300 hundred, but hey (and i know im being hypocritical when i say this) this really isn't a thing to argue about ;P  (sorry i did though!!)

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    • I've never heard that rule before, sounds to me like a regional thing. But it does make some sense, if "hundreds" is taken to mean "in the hundreds," not necessarily "multiple hundreds."

      For the latter, 1000+ is multiple hundreds, but as that's not very precise, I'd just say "over 1000."

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