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So after many re-watches of LoK (I'd rather not reveal how much, as A:TLA more than triples it >.<) I thought I'd make a blog on the Aang's line at the very end of the episode “Endgame” and its misconceptions, along with what's wrong with the ending for Korra and see what people's responses are.
From what I've seen on comments on the wikia and else where it seems people are misinterpreting the quote; “When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.”
The problem is, people seem to see it as an excuse for Korra suddenly becoming in tune with her spiritual side and subsequently learning to airbend, talk to Aang, get in touch with past lives and finally unlock the Avatar State.
This is exactly what it is not. Just because someone is at a low point in their life and is ready to accept change, does not mean they will change. The end result depends on the person themselves actually doing something to change.
Now, why do I think Korra hasn't changed?
Well, look at one of her first lines in the show (shortly after arriving at Republic City): “Bending is the coolest thing in the world.”
Now, look at her actions immediately following her “changing” and getting this “gift”:
First, she immediately enters the Avatar State - “Glowing it up” as it were. Addressing this right away; I highly doubt that anyone fully in tune with their spiritual side would think it's a great idea to immediately go in to this all powerful state just to mess around with the powers it possesses. This is where her quote comes in. She's just so in love with the idea of bending that she just plays around with it, not a care in the world about anything else - “Bending is the coolest thing in the world.” This is the first inclination that she hasn't change at all.
Second, she almost immediately runs to her “boyfriend” expressing her love for him.
Ok, I'll preface this by saying I have no real issue with Makorra, I never got in to the romance of LoK as I did with A:TLA (Kataang ftw, all the way). That said, it did seem rushed and ill written. I'll give the writers some credit though, since it was a short season; Though I don't really see that as a valid reason, as it can be done.
Now, on to the explanation of number 2 – Immediately running to her “boyfriend”. A few moments before she'd brushed him off completely, stating he should return to Republic City. Even after Mako had said that he loves her, Avatar or no Avatar. This... well, I'm not going to go in to the whole “Korra is a teen with pre-teen views” thing here, because it'll likely take a while to explain my reasoning. But what I will say is this: That's a definite show of her character development. After all she's been through, how is it she still thinks bending is the end all be all? The “biggest deal” there is? Look, don't get me wrong. Losing bending is probably a lot like losing a limb (or organ?). And I can see people getting upset over it, but to go and consider suicide? It's a bit drastic, especially when you consider her personality. Anyway... that aside, it's not entirely relevant to the quote.
The idea behind getting to your absolute lowest of lows is that you can now think differently and say, “what exactly can I do differently?” But at no point during the series, and especially the finale and scene in question, did I see any inclination of Korra thinking this. She was sat on a cliff crying because she'd lost the one thing she thought was the biggest thing someone could lose. (Umm... not dying? - Side note: Ok this kind of relates to the “Korra is a teen with pre-teen views” thing I mentioned earlier. She's lived her whole life protected and hidden by the OWL. While, if she was younger, I could understand her seemingly lack of knowledge on death [Very unlikely. She'd have seen others die during her time in the encampment – unless OWL hid even that from her? Unlikely], but she's not young. She's a teenager, and a relatively smart one at that. I don't see it possible for her to be that age and not realise death is worse than losing bending, especially when she can still Airbend [Actually, side note again: That whole scene where Bolin actually encouraged her by saying “Hey, but at least you can airbend now” never made sense. He has a point guys! She's been working all series to get airbending and she's finally got it! Why was he then “shunned” for saying it?! I never got that, he was just trying to cheer her up and it should have helped slightly]).
The “gift” Aang gave her was actually the worst thing Aang could have done for her. (Side note – I don't think Aang would or could have not realised this. It just seems extremely unlikely Aang considers this an actual gift if it's not going to actually help her accomplish what she's been trying to accomplish throughout the entire season: Get in touch with her spirituality.) The “gift” did nothing more than reinforce Korra's original view of bending being the coolest thing in the world. Not only does she have complete access to all four of the original elements (Including the originally unattainable, air), she now has access to the enhanced version of those elements in a completely controlled Avatar State. Actually, that's not even the worst part. The worst is that she gave her Energybending. The biggest thing to reinforce Korra's “bending is the coolest thing in the world” personality. Knowing Korra's personality her first reaction in her head would have been “Wow! I can give people back there bending, remove their bending and who knows what else!? This is amazing! Woo, bending rules!” Completely relating back to the original quote.
So yea, as you can see. I don't think she's changed at all and is therefore should not have received the “gift” from Aang. Actually, she shouldn't have got airbending at all now that I think about it. As I said, she never really changed, so why all of a sudden can she airbend? Because she wants to save Mako so bad (from losing his bending...)? How is that spiritual? And the quote itself is a source of much misconception and defence for Aang's actions.
Anyway that's just my opinion. For anyone who reads this, leave a comment and let me know your responses, I love a good discussion. Just no hate or anything like that, there's no need.