WHY I CARE:
If moon cycles are about the same length in the Avatar universe as in our world, then we should be able to keep track of the months as the Gaang travels. However, this is not so. There are too many full moons in the series. This suggests that many more months have gone by than really have.
Also, sometimes an episode will have a full moon, and the next will have a crescent moon; but then the following episode has a full moon again. GAH!! It irritates me to see such negligence of time-keeping and episode congruency in a show that essentially boasts such storylike qualities.
HOW WE KNOW THE MOON CYCLES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE SAME LENGTH:
In our world, a moon cycle lasts about 28 days; we'll call it a month.
We can assume the cycles are the same length because the craters on the Avatar moon are sometimes shown to be exactly the same as the craters on our moon (so it's the same moon), and because other cycles in the Avatar world, like the day and the seasons, are identical to those of our world.
Also, Hama once said, "And yet, each month, I felt the full moon enriching me with its energy" (epi 308, "The Puppetmaster"), thus indicating that the full moon comes around each month. We can infer she meant once each month.
WHAT QUALIFIES AS A FULL MOON:
I went through online screenshots of all the episodes looking for full moons as they appear in real time, not flashbacks. Sometimes a very bright, round moon was partially covered by a cloud, but I still counted it as a full moon because, well, it probably is. I don't see why Bryke would hide the shaded part of a half-moon with a cloud. That defeats the purpose of having a half-moon. Besides, it's more dramatic if a cloud obscures a moon that's full.
In other episodes, I couldn't find a screenshot of the entire full moon because the upper half of it was cut off, or because it was hiding between two rock walls. They are still full moons in my book.
Of course, it's very likely that there are more full moons than I've counted. Perhaps I skipped over the screenshot, or maybe it doesn't exist because the person taking the screenshots found it unimportant. If you ever find a full moon in an episode I did not list, please contact me. I'm keeping a record, and I want to compare it to the number of full moons in Avatar: Legend of Korra. Hopefully Bryke will get it right this time. Then, whenever there is a full moon, it will be especially romantic/significant/symbolic of Yue or something.....not to mention chronologically accurate.
I found 25 full moons. TWENTY-FIVE! That's a little bit longer than 9 months. Yeah, that's more like TWO YEARS. Of course, we have to account for how some episodes are so close in time together that a full moon (or nearly full) can span several consecutive episodes.
First, let me establish which episodes have full moons. Click on the episode NAME to learn more about that episode (on this site). Each episode NUMBER has a link to a screenshot of the moon from that episode. (I don't want to spam this website with otherwise useless shots of the moon).
All screenshots were taken from AvatarSpirit.net(ASN), and I DO NOT OWN ANYTHING; NOT THE SITE, NOT THE IMAGE, AND NOT THE CONCEPT OF A:TLA. Those belong to their respective owners (Jade, Bryke, Nickelodeon, Viacom, etc).
Hmm, there appears to be a glitch. If you try clicking on a link and the page won't open (if it says it's forbidden or something), just come back, right-click on the link, and select "open in new window" to see the image.
EPISODES WITH FULL MOONS:
- 106: Imprisoned
- 108: Winter Solstice Part 2: Avatar Roku
- 110: Jet
- 115: Bato of the Water Tribe
- 119: The Siege of the North (Part I)
- 120: The Siege of the North (Part II)
- 203: Return to Omashu
- 204: The Swamp
- 206: The Blind Bandit
- 207: Zuko Alone
- 208: The Chase
- 211: The Desert
- 215: The Tales of Ba Sing Se
- 216: Appa's Lost Days
- 217: Lake Laogai
- 219: The Guru
- 301: The Awakening
- 303: The Painted Lady
- 304: Sokka's Master
- 305: The Beach
- 306: The Avatar and the Fire Lord
- 308: The Puppetmaster
- 315: The Boiling Rock, Part 2
- 316: The Southern Raiders
- 317: The Ember Island Players
WORK IN PROGRESS.
to be discussed:
full-moon groupings = < 2 yrs; episodes not listed which must have full moons; epi 216's timeline and when the moon occurs; epi 317 nearly-full moon; epi 311 eclipse no = full; not-full moons and their placing. also, insert best moon image.