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Author Topic: The Avatar & Special Bending Techniques?  (Read 3911 times)
mattacular2001
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« on: May 21, 2012 02:28 am »

..then why can't they metal bend, lightning bend, or blood bend (although I think that last one is probable).


This is something that has always annoyed me. I mean they've mastered the element, and each of the above methods are derivative of each basic element, right?
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012 02:29 am »

Who says they can't? We just haven't seen them doing it.
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mattacular2001
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012 02:33 am »

That's fair, but we've never even seen them try, either.

Given, Aang hadn't truly "mastered" firebending by the finale. He was just pretty good at it.


But Korra has used firebending almost as much as Zuko used to, and she has never even tried! It could have been so useful! Especially against the machines!

She also seemed taken aback back the metal benders when she first arrived in Republic city. Almost as though it was something she'd only heard about but never seen.
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neverXbroken
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012 02:36 am »

To me, mastering something doesn't mean you know EVERYTHING about that element. I mean, Toph practically invented metalbending. I doubt before her, the Avatars and their teachers knew about this.

Korra hadn't seen metalbenders because she was taught in a compound in the Southern Water Tribe (assuming it was there). Tenzin probably told her about them or she heard about them on the radio.
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2012 02:37 am »

^^ Aang did manage to redirect lightning. So maybe actually producing lightning wasn't too far off in the future for him. Oh, and he used TophVision, so it's possible that he could have learned to metalbend later in life too.

As for Korra and the metalbenders, I don't think she was taken aback, she sounded more impressed to me than anything. I think it's like you said, "as though it was something she'd only heard about but never seen". She clearly knows that metalbending is a thing, but maybe her earthbending master (whoever that was) didn't teach it to her. Maybe he/she didn't know how to metalbend.

I don't know why she doesn't do any lightningbending though. Maybe she wasn't taught how to do it, but I don't see why they would have kept that from her.

Bloodbending... I don't think Katara would have taught her that. Or to anyone else for that matter... But I do think other people discovered bloodbending independently.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012 02:39 am by SMBH » Logged


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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012 11:29 am »

Lightningbending in a cellar just isn't a good idea. If it hits the wall wrong, the whole building could collapse on top of you.

Mako didn't try it either, and he knows how to do it for sure.
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mattacular2001
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012 12:54 pm »

Lightningbending in a cellar just isn't a good idea. If it hits the wall wrong, the whole building could collapse on top of you.

Mako didn't try it either, and he knows how to do it for sure.

That's a very good point.. Touche
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gtbird24
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012 01:15 pm »

I always like to think of it as, since the avatar has to learn all 4 elements he/she has a lot of work on their plate. Those who only have 1 element (pretty much all benders) can devote more time to finding the unique nuances of their particular element. Like the sand benders making a tornado to power their ships. I don't think Master must imply they know everything about a subject.

Maybe think of a real world master. They have all the basics of some field of study down, and probably a lot of a very small particular area of study. Aang created his own airbending technique, the air scooter.
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 03, 2012 10:42 pm »

After watching both ATLA and LOK again, one thing I've noticed is that neither Aang nor Korra ever made use of any of the specialized bending techniques. By this, I mean, they did not use/learn any of the more powerful abilities associated with each element (Fire: Lightning, Earth: Metalbending, Water: Bloodbending, Air: unknown if any). The only possible exception to this is Aang redirecting Ozai's lightning, but I don't think that counts.

I wonder why this is the case.  I know that only certain benders can perform these unique abilities (not all earthbenders can be metalbenders, waterbenders bloodbenders, etc).

Perhaps an argument could be made that Aang would never want to bloodbend (for obvious reasons). However, I think it's safe to assume that Korra would at least learn to use lightning/metalbending if she could, given that she enjoyed the physical/bending side of being the Avatar. I can't help but think that it was a deliberate choice of the writers to not give the Avatar these powers. For example, at Amon's rally, Mako sent out a bolt of lightning in trying to stop Amon from taking Tenzin's bending away. I would think Korra would have tried to do the same thing, but just couldn't. Another example is when Korra marvels at the metalbending police ("Cool, metalbenders!!"); it almost as if she just knows she can't be one of them.

All of this leads me to the conclusion that the Avatar simply cannot learn the abilities. Perhaps it's because the Avatar is meant to be more well rounded (generally master all of the four elements plus energybending) while ordinary/individual benders have the potential for greater specialization in their own element. One would think that, given Korra personality, we would have at least seen her attempt to use lightning/metalbending (and perhaps failed). Instead, we see Korra as if she just knows she can't do any of it.

Any thoughts on this Smiley?

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« Reply #9 on: Sep 03, 2012 10:57 pm »

The way I see it, benders of 1 element spend their entire lives concentrating on one element. Aang just simply was not as good an earthbender as Toph or as good a waterbender as Katara or as good a firebender as Zuko (in the 1 year that the show covers). Once he was an adult, I'm sure he got good enough to do advanced bending techniques.

For Korra, there's not so much of an excuse because she grew up knowing she was the Avatar... but I guess the White Lotus made her do 1 element at a time, so "technically", she still has less earthbending/firebending experience than Mako and Bolin and other benders of her age.

She's probably good enough to do bloodbending, but she'll probably never use it. She seems to know healing pretty well already. Aang never healed anyone.
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 03, 2012 11:01 pm »

She can't use bloodbending as it is an illegal technique which was made illegal by her own waterbending master. As shown in the first episode; being the Avatar doesn't make one above the law anymore.
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nukilik
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 03, 2012 11:05 pm »

Aang used Toph's tremor sense during ATLA. I'm not sure if it counts an an advanced ability. Guess not? We haven't seen anyone else but Lin do it.

But, yeah. With Aang:

- Metalbending had just been discovered. He didn't have time to learn during the series
- Bloodbending is a moral no-no :p
- Lightingbending is something even Zuko never did (during the show's span, at least). How could he teach Aang?
- Air - ? ? ? ?

As for Korra, I assume that the OWL seemed to be focused on the usual traditional training. No special abilities, I guess.
« Last Edit: Sep 03, 2012 11:09 pm by nukilik » Logged
Ult11
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 03, 2012 11:20 pm »

When I say "can't", I mean in a physical sense. Yes bloodbending is "illegal" and she wouldn't do it, but that is irrelevant. My question is "could she?" rather than "would she?"

I forgot to think about healing/tremor sense, interesting. That kinda goes with Aang's lightning redirect. Not sure if these are "special" abilities, but maybe.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

nukilik -

Everything you say makes sense when it comes to Aang - so much was going on so I think the argument that he didn't have time is legitimate. However, Korra confuses me. Perhaps the White Lotus didn't try to teach her the special abilities, but wouldn't you think that she would at least asked about them (like when she saw Mako use lightning: "hey, can you teach me that??"). We never see her once inquire about how/if she can learn metal/lightning bending, something which is in conflict with her personality. Remember how she was just dying to learn airbending? I think she'd want to learn all the advanced abilities just as much.

Just seems like she knows she can't learn them at all. 
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Flipdark95
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 04, 2012 01:10 am »

I think with enough experience and time, they could have done it. I don't think it would make much sense for the avatar to be physically incapable of doing specialized bending.

It sounds like it's just an experience based thing. Later in life Aang may have learnt basic metalbending from Toph, probably would have stayed away from bloodbending and presumably learnt how to bend lightning at an late age.

But a thing that kind of gets in the way of all that, is that most of Korra's friends would be essentially redundant in a fight, seeing as Korra can do what they do much more easily and effectively.
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TokkasMaster
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« Reply #14 on: Sep 04, 2012 06:53 am »

I assumed earth benders who learned the seismic sense style use it all the time when they bent. And that by the time of Korra, benders like Lin would use a mix of that and the traditional. I dunno anymore, the promise really skewed my perception of metal bending and seismic sense. I wouldn't count the sense as a special skill, but I would the lightning redirection.
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Ult11
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« Reply #15 on: Sep 04, 2012 10:32 am »

IIRC (from reading The Promise) - Toph recognized that only certain people were capable of becoming metalbenders when she opened her school. In other words, there are some earthbenders who simply cannot bend metal.

So, I don't think this is a question of "just spending enough time learning" and eventually you can do it. It seems that certain people have these abilities and others don't.

I'm still iffy on lightning redirection. I'm not even sure if it requires firebending to do. Iroh said he developed it by studying waterbenders. Theoretically, anyone could take in the lightning, let it flow through them in the proper way, and then release it. Seems like it has more to do with energy flow. He even said "you have no control over it, you are just its guide." So in reality, lightning redirection isn't a form of "bending" at all, as that implies a degree of control.
« Last Edit: Sep 04, 2012 10:34 am by Ult11 » Logged
nukilik
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« Reply #16 on: Sep 04, 2012 01:37 pm »

nukilik -

Everything you say makes sense when it comes to Aang - so much was going on so I think the argument that he didn't have time is legitimate. However, Korra confuses me. Perhaps the White Lotus didn't try to teach her the special abilities, but wouldn't you think that she would at least asked about them (like when she saw Mako use lightning: "hey, can you teach me that??"). We never see her once inquire about how/if she can learn metal/lightning bending, something which is in conflict with her personality. Remember how she was just dying to learn airbending? I think she'd want to learn all the advanced abilities just as much.

Just seems like she knows she can't learn them at all.  

Oh, yeah. I agree it's a bit weird in Korra's case. Not so much that she doesn't know, but doesn't really seem to try to learn it. Like you said, it's as if she knew she couldn't.

Then again, could be just the writers avoiding something that wouldn't favor the narrative they wanted for the season, if you know what I mean. Keeping Korra from mastering metal and lightining kinda makes sense in order to make Lin and Mako even more... relevant? XD

Anyway, with three more seasons of Korra on the way (and without such an incredibly tight plot), AND with great chances of an advanced "Air" form being explored, we'll likely have more basis to discuss this, if not a direct answer. If by the end of book 4 she has never done any, then it's pretty safe to assume she can't. I'm actually interested in knowing now. Nice thread topic Smiley

« Last Edit: Sep 04, 2012 01:41 pm by nukilik » Logged
Ceibita
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« Reply #17 on: Sep 04, 2012 02:36 pm »

Speaking of advanced air forms... what about running at incredibly fast speeds? Can all airbenders do that?

If Korra takes a fieldtrip to the air temples, I want her to find some cool techniques! Tenzin doesn't fight that much as it is, so I think it would be ok for Korra to show some cool airbending moves. There's no risk of her upstaging the other characters' abilities.
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« Reply #18 on: Sep 04, 2012 03:00 pm »

^I would assume that all Airbenders could do that, it's just them decreasing air resistance and giving themselves an extra boost.
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morycce
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« Reply #19 on: Sep 04, 2012 04:34 pm »

Seems more like she knew it wasn't on her current training plan and probably knew she wouldn't get to it for a "long" time.
Who knows.
I think Aang eventually learned them all though.
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Ult11
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« Reply #20 on: Sep 04, 2012 04:46 pm »

nukilik -

Everything you say makes sense when it comes to Aang - so much was going on so I think the argument that he didn't have time is legitimate. However, Korra confuses me. Perhaps the White Lotus didn't try to teach her the special abilities, but wouldn't you think that she would at least asked about them (like when she saw Mako use lightning: "hey, can you teach me that??"). We never see her once inquire about how/if she can learn metal/lightning bending, something which is in conflict with her personality. Remember how she was just dying to learn airbending? I think she'd want to learn all the advanced abilities just as much.

Just seems like she knows she can't learn them at all. 

Oh, yeah. I agree it's a bit weird in Korra's case. Not so much that she doesn't know, but doesn't really seem to try to learn it. Like you said, it's as if she knew she couldn't.

Then again, could be just the writers avoiding something that wouldn't favor the narrative they wanted for the season, if you know what I mean. Keeping Korra from mastering metal and lightining kinda makes sense in order to make Lin and Mako even more... relevant? XD

Anyway, with three more seasons of Korra on the way (and without such an incredibly tight plot), AND with great chances of an advanced "Air" form being explored, we'll likely have more basis to discuss this, if not a direct answer. If by the end of book 4 she has never done any, then it's pretty safe to assume she can't. I'm actually interested in knowing now. Nice thread topic Smiley



It will be cool to see an advanced air technique. I can't even think of what it could be though (thought I don't have a very creative mind). To be honest, I was surprised lightning was put in with firebending. Since lightning is a weather-related phenomenon, I would have thought that airbenders (or waterbenders) would be able to create it somehow.  Stormbending ftw!

----------------------------------------------------

Somewhat off-topic, but do you really think the next season won't still have the "incredibly tight plot"? From what I know, they had already written season 2 before 3 and 4 were requested by Nick. Had they known they were going to do 3 more, they could have tied them all into one big storyline with mini-finales. Not sure if that will happen for season 2 (but maybe 3 + 4).



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nukilik
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« Reply #21 on: Sep 04, 2012 04:52 pm »

^ Hmmmm, I assumed that after season 1 they'd be more prepared and manage the pacing and amount of story so that things would go smoother. When they wrote season 1 they really seemed to have a large idea set and had to bend themselves to this timeframe, and I'd imagine season 2 would be slightly different. But you're right, I guess.
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Molra
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« Reply #22 on: Sep 04, 2012 07:03 pm »

^after book 1 they will not need to introduce the protagonists, just to develop them further. They will introduce other characters though, and will have to take time with them - some of them seem to be important to the plot, but I guess, this time, they won't have to hurry up so fast. Truth is, 23 minutes is really such a short period, it would be great if they had at least ~10 minutes more/episode. (sigh) just dreaming, I know...
« Last Edit: Sep 04, 2012 07:07 pm by Molra » Logged
eMoN
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« Reply #23 on: Sep 05, 2012 01:26 am »

Perhaps we might see Korra lightning/metalbend in the next season ...
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Flipdark95
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« Reply #24 on: Sep 05, 2012 07:25 am »

^ I can only see her doing it on rare occasions. Metalbending and Lightningbending probably require a ton of specialized training and skill to fully grasp.
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