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Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino Q&A Recap

Gcheung28 October 24, 2014 User blog:Gcheung28

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Bryke Wikia chat sketch

A momentous occasion occurred yesterday and we're very happy that so many Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra fans were able to join us for it! Yesterday, ATLA and LOK co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, aka Bryke, joined us for an hour long Q&A that ended up stretching out to 90 minutes of question answering! Although there were some technical difficulties because so many excited fans were hopping onto the wikia and into the forum where the Q&A was being held, many fan questions were answered and we are grateful to you all for waiting patiently. The questions and answers have been gathered below for easy browsing, but you can still check out the forum here if you want to see all the questions (Bryke's answers are highlighted in green).

Once again, thank you to all the fans who stuck with us through the technical difficulties, and thanks for following all the rules (for the most part)! Of course, the biggest thank you goes to Bryan and Mike for gifting us with this opportunity and for creating the world that we all know and love. They have said before that they appreciate all the hard work that has gone into this community, and I wanted to let you know that we as Wikia Staff are also very proud of the Avatar Wiki! With Legend of Korra ending soon, I leave you with this quote from a wise man, "I know you're not supposed to cry over spilled tea, but [cries] it’s just so sad!" (Iroh)

Q&A with Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino
Note: The questions and answers below contain edits to correct spelling or grammatical errors.


Q: Ok, my question is, is there anything Avatar related happening after Korra ends? I know this probably won't be asked because of contractual obligations, but is there anything after Korra at all? Comics, new avatar, video games, it doesn't matter. I don't expect Bryke to say anything specifically, but a simple "Yes" or "No" will suffice for me. I can't believe this is happening! It is so awesome that I get to, maybe, ask Bryke a question! - ShadowZaHedge

  • Bryan: OK, here goes nothing! There are more ATLA comics in the works with Gene Yang writing, Gurihiru illustrating, and Dark Horse publishing. There are also the third and fourth Korra art books coming out. There may be some other little things, some products here and there, but other than that, nothing major in the works, and there probably won't be for a long time. We're moving on to other projects. But we thank you for your continued interest and enthusiasm in ATLA/LOK!


Q: Is combustion bending genetic or can the ability be learned by any fire bender? - AvatarReiko

  • Mike: It's a pretty rare ability. I don't think most Firebenders could learn it. Plus training is pretty dangerous!


Q: Will we learn anything else about Zuko's daughter before LoK ends? Like her name or who the mother is? - Coonfoot

  • Mike: You will get to meet her briefly in an upcoming episode. Her name is Firelord Izumi. Mother ????


Q: My question; If you could go back to change something about Avatar: The Last Airbender or Legend of Korra, what would you change? - Superhorse1999

  • Bryan: On one hand, part of me would want to George Lucas thousands of things about both series. On the other hand, nothing is perfect and I'm proud of both series and I just want to get on with my life and make more art. (Also, please bear with us as the site seems to be bogged down with heavy traffic.)
Bryke Wikia livechat

Bryke hard at work answering questions!


Q: How did Ming Hua lose her arms? Congenital or removed? - Zuko0sHon0r

  • Bryan: Congenital. Although, can one lose something one never had...?


Q: As of right now, it appears the plan is to release Book Four episodes every Friday. Given this would run into Thanksgiving and quite close to Christmas; are there plans for any breaks in the releases, or will it just go straight one episode every Friday, or will there be one week that features more than one episode? - PSUAvatar14

  • Mike: Yes, the plan is to have episodes every friday. Everything will be out before Christmas, but the scheduling is way out of our hands, as I'm sure you know!


Q: WHO ARE TOPH'S BABY DADDIES - Prometalbndr

  • Mike: Stay tuned. More Toph to come in Book 4!


Q: Which of Bolin's stories for Ghazan were actually true? :) - IronBloodAika

  • Mike: Well, he got 2 out of 3 right... For sure the moustache question I think he got right, as far as the other one? It's a mystery.


Q: Did Amon truly beleive in his cause for equality, or was he only in it to destroy bending. Bottom line, did any of Amons motives come from wanting to help others or to make the world a better place? - TheGreenQuestionMark

  • Bryan: Yes, I think Tarrlok's assessment of Noatak's motivations were pretty close to the truth. He came to hate bending for what it did to his life. He saw how it made others suffer and he wanted to eradicate it from the world. But he had to believe his own lie in order to execute that vision.


Q: Any advice for animators? We've all heard the adage 'draw, draw, draw' but what else is there? There are many great artists out there, what is it that separates you from the pack? How can we get that? - Phildog

  • Mike: Drawing is important, but you also need to have something to say. What do you want to say with your art? Reading novels, non-fiction, and philosophy has definitely helped me in the storytelling realm.


Q: Does the term "UnaVaatu" refer only to the Dark Avatar's red giant transformation or does it also apply to the general fusion of Unalaq and Vaatu (i.e. when Unalaq is human too)? [This was the issue of a heated debate among some of our editors a few months ago, and clarification from the creators would be helpful for resolving the dispute.] - Lord Hyōga

  • Bryan: We only used it to refer to the giant version. HEATED DEBATE SETTLED!


Q: Were all four books of LoK planned out in advance? Book 1 seems very disconnected from the others. - Giggity729

  • Mike:No, we were only picked up for the first 12 episodes when we began, but we designed the series to be able to have multiple seasons, each with its own story and villain. Certainly we wove the seasons together a bit more once we knew how many seasons we were going to make.


Q: Where did Zuko's dragon come from? - Rhiaofthemyscira

  • An egg. Druk is a decendant of Ran and Shaw from the original series.


Q: Heya! Is bending passed down mostly hereditary, spiritually, or about 50/50? - Darkness1OOO

  • Bryan: 100% mail order.


Q: After all the romance in Book 2, it was guaranteed that there would only be a hint of romance in Book 3. But now that we're into Book 4 and everyday that passes brings us closer to the finale of the entire show, will there be any romance in Book 4? No spoilers are needed but will there be ANY romance at all? - Makorra4evsies

  • Mike: I honestly don't know what people like -- some think there's too much romance, others not enough. We just try to weave it organically into the story and not force the shipping.


Q: Is Zuko blind on his left side? - IronBloodAika

  • Bryan: No, he can see out of that eye too. But I always imagined that his scar was very sensitive and painful, at least through his teenage years.


Q: What is your favorite episode or episode that you've worked on? By the way, Avatar and The Legend of Korra have been more than just TV shows for me. They inspire me to stay strong and taught me so much. You guys inspire me to follow my dream of becoming an animator/artist. THANK YOU! - KyaiFire

  • Mike: Thank you back! My recent favorite was Korra Alone, that I wrote. It really meant a lot to me to show Korra's struggle back to health realistically, which is tough to do in animation. I'm glad that it's resonated with a lot of people struggling with their own physical or mental pain. I know there's only so much you can do in a 22-minute episode and it barely scratches the surface of what it would really be like to live with physical or metal pain, but I did my best.


Q: At the end of book 2, Vaatu was "vanquished". Does this mean that he has receded within Raava? More importantly, is he technically within Korra at the moment? - Ashika.torikora

  • Mike: I would say yes. In the writer's room we talked about if Vaatu's presence would affect Korra in any way, but decided he's so weak at this point, he's unable to do anything. Check back with whoever's the Avatar in another 10,000 years, and I'm sure Vaatu will be giving them trouble.


Q: One question? Raava, I'll have to hope that people ask more plot questions, especially since I won't be able to attend. I don't know, let's go with "What exactly is 10,000 years of darkness?" - Neo Bahamut

  • Mike: Well... it's dark. Violent. Chotic. And no one is able to take a bath. Not time I'd like to live in.


Q: We haven't heard much about Sokka and Suki in LoK. Did anything interesting happen with them between ATLA and LoK? - Coonfoot

  • Mike: Not really. They moved to the suburbs. ;)


Q: Would it be far fetched to say Kuvira is not New Team Avatar's biggest threat this Book? And if she is, any small hints on how this'll tie into past Books? - Cokedragon

  • Mike: I would say she's a pretty big threat. And I don't like what she has in plan for those spirit vines, just saying.


Q: What was the point in giving P'Li a tragic backstory, only to have her killed within a matter of minutes? I don't mean to antagonize you, but it seemed to be a rushed attempt for last minute empathy for the villains. - AlphaZelda

  • Bryan: Yeah, you're right. We should have just killed her. No kiss or nothing. BANG! In all seriousness, right before battle seemed like a good time for these hardened criminals to let down their guards a bit and show their vulnerabilities to each other, while allowing us a glimpse into their relationship. It wasn't just P'li's backstory, but also her intense history with Zaheer. They didn't just go out on a couple dates before being sent into prison. Knowing that helped to set up his deep loss, which ultimately allowed him to "enter the void."


Q: How much of a role did time constraints play while writing Korra, were there limitations on the lengths of each season? Do you feel this hindered your ability to fully develop each character and storyline the way you most wanted to? Thanks and best regards, - Hey-bye

  • Mike:We had a good amount of time for the script writing process. We prefer the shorter seasons, actually. Keeps the drama up without too much filler! The only limitation was with books 3 & 4, the running time was cut by a minute because of the network, so we had to cram in more story to each episode, with a little less time, but it worked out.


Q: In The Legend of Korra, who has been your favorite villain to work with and design? - Matthewlev13

  • Bryan: Kuvira is my favorite! Design-wise, UnaVaatu was fun too.


Q: Will we see other characters like Ty Lee and Mai and the Kyoshi Warrors? - AvatarBolin

  • Mike:They don't make an appearance in LoK, but they have a big presence in the Avatar comics!


Q: Which characters were hardest to cast a voice actor/actress for? Was it because so many talented people read for the role, or something else? - UPRC1

  • Mike: For both series, the hardest was finding an actor for Aang. We wanted a kid who was really twelve who could be funny, heartwarming, and serious. Luckily our casting team found Zach Tyler Eisen. I think he's in college now!


Q: Did Appa and Momo have children too? - IronBloodAika

  • Mike: Not together! That would be too many hybrids in one animal ;)


Q: Which character is your favorite to write for? :) - PabuLove

  • Mike:I love them all, but Bolin is especially fun to write, especially knowing PJ Byrne is going to add his own hilarious take on whatever we give him.


Q: Do you guys feel that if you had been given the heads up on a 4 season series rather than just a single season, that the Legend of Korra would be very different from what it is today? For example, would we have gotten a longer arc with Amon and the Equalists? - EqualistRaisha

  • Bryan: For LOK, Nick wanted to do more standalone-style arcs, and we were happy to do so. After spending so many years with ATLA building up to a showdown with a single villain, we liked the idea of tighter arcs and a new villain for each book. We had originally pitched ATLA to be 12 episodes for each book, but the network wanted 20. So when they wanted the LOK to have shorter books, we were happy. As for Amon, we are pleased with the length of that story arc. Miniseries are where it's at!


Q: Is it true that you planned a Zutara ending at the beginning of the series? Are we ever gonna see a special episode or a big flashback of ATLA or something else? Are you planning to do another Avatar series after TLOK ends? What do you think of all the Kataang/Zutara disscusions on the internet? - Basatos

  • Mike: No, no, no, and people can discuss all they want!


Q: Is the swamp Toph is currently living in the same swamp Aang, Katara, and Sokka saw those visions in? - JinoraGalaxy

  • Mike: Yes, Aang did see a vision of Toph in the swamp. We figured she probably ran away to the swamp once in a while when she was a kid, since it is close to her home town of Gaoling.


Q: What was your inspiration for the character design/devolpment for Kai? - KaiAvaron

  • Mike: He was a little big of Aang, a little bit of Wan -- we wanted to have an adventurous kid with a slightly shadowy background. Josh Hamilton, who wrote the first episode in which he appeared named him Kai after his son.


Q: So I guess my question is, what has happened to the Equalists and their supporters ever since the death of Amon? I hate to say it, but Amon made some really good points about benders (ones that Korra proved herself) before he got P'Li'd. Are there still believers out there, practicing chi blocking in hidden basements? And I know this is far more than one question, but did Ty Lee have anything to do with teaching them the art of chi blocking? - Jakkios

  • Bryan: The militant sect of the Equalist revolution was fractured and scattered with the revelation of Amon's lies. However, they did make some good points and they forced a worldwide dialogue about the representation of non-benders. In the United Republic, that led to the non-elected council (of which Tenzin was a member) dissolving itself and the holding of democratic elections. Raiko, jerk though he may be, is a non-bender who was elected by the non-bending majority. I think we could have made that clearer at the start of Book 2, as I stated in some other interview somewhere. Thank you!


Q: Are Korra and Kuvira intended to be similar in some ways? (because if yes that would be hella). I really like both ladies. Kuvira is my favorite antagonist so far. She has this Loki (Marvel) kind of vibe in her <3 :) - Korraava

  • Mike: Absolutely! When we were coming up with book 4's antagonist, we wanted her to be female (since all the others were male) and for Korra to have to face someone with some similar personality traits. It's like Korra has to deal with overcoming a version of her past self.


Q: Can I buy your show? or do i have to ask viacom first? just kidding lol xd - SpiritWarrior1o1

  • Mike: Sure, how much money you got? I'm sure you could make an offer.


Q: Is Kuvira a master earth bender and where does she compare to other earth benders e.g Toph, Lin, Su, Ghazan, Bolin etc? - Spider12man

  • Mike: Well, there's not exactly a ranking system, but I'm sure Toph would give her a good fight. But yes, Kuvira would be considered a master of both earth and metalbending, for sure.


Q: Will the Fire Lord have any dialogue in Book 4? - AvatarBolin

  • Mike: Yes!


Q: Will Toph leave the swamp? - KevinTriforce

  • Mike: She would need a pretty compelling reason to do so. I think she's really enjoying her alone time!


Q: I've been an Avatar fan since 2005. Is a waterbender's ability to heal using water inspired at all by reiki?

  • Bryan: Yes, it was!


Q: What's the real reason why Nickelodeon refuses to give the green light to the track team for putting out a Books 2-4 soundtrack? - AvatarBlogger

  • Mike: I'd like to know the answer to that as well! It was a huge effort to get the first soundtrack out there, and from all accounts, it seems to have sold well, but then we never heard any plans to release more. I agree there is so much great music from the series, and hopefully in the future it will be released.


Q: Can we get a confirmation of whether or not P'li was related to combustion man? - CaptainKuvira

  • Mike: I can confirm she is not related to him. They just have similar abilities.


Thanks so much for your questions, everyone! Sorry we could not get to all of them. We have to get back to doing retakes on Book 4. Retakes, retakes, retakes... Love, Bryan

Thanks for all the questions everyone! We tried to get to as many as we could. Time to get back to Korra and finish out Book 4! Thanks for all the support! -Mike


A lot of questions answered but were there any that you really wish they had gotten to? Share in the comments below! Once again, thanks for making this great, everybody!



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