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Author Topic: [DH Comics #6] The Search, Part 3  (Read 69663 times)
Solid Sun
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« Reply #550 on: Jun 29, 2014 04:10 pm »

Fair point, but I don't think mastering lightning is as dangerous as you think. Zuko had it blow up in his face multiple times, and it just made him cranky. I don't think Ozai needed to risk his life to master it, and definitely not on the frontlines.

Besides, Ozai could have mastered it simply because it was easier than facing an even greater fear.

Lightingbend took Aang's life :p
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Loopy
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« Reply #551 on: Jun 29, 2014 04:38 pm »

Well, yeah, it depends which end you're working on. Cheesy
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Solid Sun
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« Reply #552 on: Jun 29, 2014 04:53 pm »

Well, yeah, it depends which end you're working on. Cheesy

Yeah but honestly, having the lighting blow up in Zuko's face and kill him would've been the most BS death of the series.
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Ikkin
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« Reply #553 on: Jun 30, 2014 01:20 pm »

So thinking that the length of the conversations was exaggerated is just like believing that 9/11 and all the deaths from it were masterminded by the US government to create a profitable war?

What, you couldn't tie the Nazis in there to go complete Godwin on me? Roll Eyes

Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of that Obama birth certificate ridiculousness.  Now what?  =P


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But it's not her perspective at all. We had that scene where Ozai was informed about Ursa's letter, that she was neither told about nor witnessed.

It's inferred perspective, the same as Zuko's flashback including the conversation between Azula and company -- the audience needs to be shown what the POV character can infer later on, but the stuff that they don't know and can't guess is always left out,


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In a vacuum, that's true, but as I've said, I think Zuko Alone had clear implications in it that were abandoned for the expansion.

I strongly disagree. 


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Your headcanon is irrelevant. The Lost Adventures comics haven't been declared non-canon by anyone, and the Avatar Wiki- which the Mike, the Bryan, and Gene have all claimed to draw upon- consider them canon.

If the Mike and the Bryan leave the franchise, canon is going to be defined by whoever the new showrunner is. Fan opinions don't affect that. Otherwise, the power of my beliefs would have tossed The Promise out of canon years ago.

That's not how canon works.  =P  Canon is a game of "imagine what the creator(s) tells you to imagine," not "imagine what the publishers tell you to imagine."  If the creators aren't involved, it's not canon, unless they explicitly integrate it into their conception of the world.  (This is why, for instance, J.R.R. Tolkien's son made a kajillion notes about the editorial choices involved in putting together The Silmarillion and and offered alternative versions where they existed -- Arda was J.R.R. Tolkien's world, and he was the one whose opinions about canon mattered, regardless of who owned the intellectual property rights)

I have no idea whether the Lost Adventures are canon or not, but if they are, it's because they were written by a lot of the same people who worked on the show (who likely had conversations with Bryke about what they were writing), not because Nick gets to decide what's in canon and what isn't.


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I go to several scifi/fantasy conventions, and the only time I see LoK cosplays is if a LoK panel is on the schedule. But I always see ATLA cosplays. (Just this weekend at Wizard World, I saw people dressed as Katara, Avatar Kyoshi, Toph, and the Painted Lady.) When I see topics about LoK on non-Avatar forums, some people think it's okay and others hate it, but everyone always agree that it's not as good as ATLA.

The wider consensus is that the franchise is going downhill, at least from what I've seen. Following the fan tags on tumblr just picks up on the die-hard fans and haters.

Plus, the dialogue in the comics is frequently at George Lucas levels, no exaggeration whatsoever.

Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal evidence, and it's not particularly believable in an internet debate regardless.  =P  Besides, there are multiple factors that come into play as far as cosplay is concerned, and you have no way to split out, say, the effect that costume design has on people's cosplay choices (since a lot of cosplay is about costuming, and A:tLA's designs are probably more appealing in that regard -- that's almost certainly the reason someone would choose the Painted Lady as their source material, for instance).

Nostalgia goggles almost always exist when new shows come out, especially on the internet.  Come back to me in ten years, and then maybe I'll believe that people are giving legitimate opinions rather than nostalgia-tinted ones.

Also, there's no way to capture the opinions of people who aren't on the internet, and they're probably more likely than anyone not to have a strong preference either way. =P


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Because it's another way that he's out of the loop. Lucky to be born, and all that. And he could very well be insecure about what precisely his mother did to Azulon.

If it's just another example of a constant, I don't think it would have as big of an effect as something that was unique and shocking.

I see no reason for him to be insecure about what Ursa did to Azulon.  Not only is there absolutely zero indication that he thinks that way, it doesn't even make much sense.


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I really don't think it was. Even if so, it was a miserable failure, and like I said, anything that makes Ozai a bit more successful at something is my preference, considering how weak he was as a character.

Eh, I'd rather not give Ozai pity points.  If he's generally weak as a character, I see no reason to assume that he's more successful than he seems to be just to make him look better.  =P


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Ozai wanted power above all else. If he knew that Azulon was dead and so wouldn't be the source of future rewards, he wouldn't have killed Zuko, but until that was confirmed, why wouldn't he have gone for the actual path of possible reward?

What reward would there be to leaving Azulon alive?  Azulon clearly had it in for Ozai at that point.  Besides, even if Ursa couldn't promise Ozai the throne, he could use Azulon's death to his advantage in taking it for himself (which is... basically what happened, in any case).


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I don't get how his body language was implying what you're saying it was.

And I don't think Zuko Alone was implying what you said it was.  I don't think either of us are going to convince the other on this.


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I think you're confusing what we knew and when. By the finale of ATLA, all we knew was that Ursa was responsible for Azulon's death and banished for it. There was a clear linking of blame. So magic untraceable poison is the superior choice for the murder weapon and a logical conclusion from what we knew?

The first major addition by the comics was having Ursa supply the means but not commit the actual murder. To satisfy that, all she had to do was propose the plan, and give Ozai a reason to do it. She didn't actually have to supply the weapon, she could have brought something to the plan that would have gotten Ozai the throne. The poison was unnecessary, and making it magic poison was doubly unnecessary.

The whole thing just doesn't hold together without the meta knowledge that the Mike and the Bryan didn't give two shakes about the original story, either from faulty memory or apathy.

The only linking of blame we knew existed was Ozai deciding to banish her.  If her banishment were public, there's no way Zuko wouldn't have known about it, and therefore, a murder weapon that offered plausible deniability did, in fact, make the most sense.

Ursa needed to give Ozai the weapon because it would have been really cheap to have her hands look almost completely clean.  The Mama Bear implications could stretch far enough to include Ursa making a poison, but I don't think it could stretch far enough to deny her involvement past making an offer to Ozai.  (Not to mention, if she wasn't a danger to Ozai, why would he have to banish her?  She's a lousy scapegoat if he wants the suspicion cast away from him)


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It would have been a good start for the investigations if he knew a possible source of information were distant peasants who can't tell him from Ozai.

Right, but is there any indication that he doesn't know that?


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She establishes a precedent that utterly demolishes everything you claim about what's implied and what's assumed. Tongue

No, she doesn't establish a precedent.  She establishes that one servant knows.  =P


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Not as important as The Promise establishing that Zuko's security is as solid as a slice of Swiss cheese and that Ozai has eyes and ears on Zuko's immediate staff. Grin

Zuko's security isn't a problem anymore, as far as I can tell.  The assassination attempts, as far as we've been told, stopped cold once he got the Kyoshi Warriors on staff.  And there's absolutely no reason to believe that Ozai has eyes and ears on Zuko's immediate staff.


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You're missing a critical part of it, that Katara reminded the audience of in The Western Air Temple- that Zuko brought up his own mother and how his own loss paralleled Katara's, which was the connection that got Katara sympathizing with him for the first time. She decided that it must be a lie based on Zuko's betrayal, but then later she saw Yon Rha try to buy his own life with his mother's, and saw what kind of a person would do that in a marked contrast to Zuko's behavior. It showed her that Zuko wasn't like Yon Rha, and was truthful about his feelings about his mother.

Everyone's relationship with their mother in that episode is absolutely critical to Katara's decisions. She even makes assumptions about Sokka's feelings for their mother based on his behavior.

Katara is just plain obsessed with mothers. It's not a thematic element, it's her trigger.

That interpretation seems... really weak, honestly. 

First off, Katara's actions towards Zuko for that entire episode make no sense if she thought that he was as bad as Yon Rha.  I mean... huh?

Second, there's no reason to think that Katara thought Zuko was lying.  When she talks about his betrayal in The Western Air Temple, she says, "you and I both know you've struggled with doing the right thing in the past," which strongly suggests that she knows his actions under Ba Sing Se were the result of backsliding rather than an intentional betrayal.

Third, Ursa is never mentioned in The Southern Raiders.  One would think she would be, if that were key.

Basically, you're adding on things that aren't there, and you're making the story less interesting as a result.  I'm not impressed by this interpretation at all.


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What are you arguing that we understand, exactly? How are we in a different position? We have a few more circumstantial clues that support what's already blindingly obvious to everyone and Zuko, but our own assumptions turned out to be wrong, so what exactly did we as an audience gain?

We understand that Ursa was involved in Azulon's murder.  Zuko, as far as we can tell, doesn't.


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By that logic, Zuko knew about Mai's crush all along, even though he didn't witness her blushing at him, and knew that Azula arranged the fountain incident to exploit that and torture Mai a little.

Doesn't quite jive with his "Girls are crazy!" line. Tongue

The Zuko whose POV we're seeing is current Zuko, not past Zuko.  I'm pretty sure he figured out the crush thing at some point.  =P


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In other words, you're doing a lazy author's work for him in justifying poor retcons. Cheesy

No, I'm arguing that it isn't a poor retcon, and you're basically just too involved in your own fanon to see it.  =P


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Occam's Razor basically says, "simpler theories are preferable unless they have less explanatory power than a complex theory."

"Untraceable poison" is a simpler theory by far than "noble conspiracy," and it actually has more explanatory power given that it doesn't raise a million extra questions.

Except "magic poison" leaves about a million unanswered existing question, and raises a whole bunch more, like why Ursa had been taught about untraceable poisons in the first place, why she didn't want to use that knowledge to go back to the palace with a new phase to save her children from Ozai, and how broken the setting is that random healers in backwoods villages know how to make untraceable poisons out of common flowers that can be easily had in the Capital of the Fire Nation. Tongue

We got an answer to the first question -- mom was an apothecary and taught her how to do it.  We got an answer to the second question, too -- she was afraid Ozai would kill Zuko and Azula if she messed up.  As for the third question, Ursa's mom wasn't just a random healer -- she was Roku's daughter, and she had every reason to find a way to protect herself without raising suspicions.  Maybe she even invented the poison herself.

In other words, there's only one question that's an actual question there, and canon suggests a simple answer to that.


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So if the consequences I "wanted" to see aren't there, what are? What shows that there's an actual struggle in play in that scene?

...the obvious pain and anxiety on Ursa and Zuko's faces?


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She doesn't have to earn anything, but getting a happy ending handed to her certainly doesn't help make it a more ambiguous situation.

What exactly needs to be ambiguous about it...?


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So Zuko learned that his father was a jerk who would kill his own family, and that there's no point in being nice to him. Also, Azula is crazy.

Meanwhile, his mother is a victim who did the best she could and now loves having her son back, so Zuko gets a reward with no drawbacks.

When characters are being handed the same plot points they already accomplished in the middle of season 3, you can bet that they have to actually earn something in order for it not to seem like a lazy cash-in and bad fan-service.

No, Zuko learned that he can't run away from who he is, even if it's painful.  He also learned that Azula might be a mess, but she's not evil and she's certainly not past saving.

Having Ursa around is nice for Zuko, but it's not the silver bullet he was looking for.  He went looking for Ursa because he needed support in his role as Fire Lord; instead, he found a woman who was just as damaged as he was.

And the plot points aren't the same...?  Zuko's never really tried to cast off his heritage before.  Azula's insanity has never been directly addressed.  Their conflicts are new.  =/


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So it isn't critical to the story you claim was being told that Ursa was isolated from everyone but the Royal Family? Tongue

That's not what I'm saying.  What I'm saying is that the exact layout of the palace and park isn't critical, because the feeling of isolation is well-established regardless.


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Wrong. I wrote an essay about that. Grin

An essay I wholeheartedly disagree with.


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I'm talking about in-show evidence, not fan expectations. If anything, they're playing to the fan expectations too much, which is another indication of apathetic laziness. Anything for another buck.

Evidence isn't the same as fact -- evidence can easily turn out to be nothing more than a red herring.  Fan expectations are the thing that turns "evidence" into "confirmation" when it isn't.  =P

And, are you really going to claim that they're playing to fan expectations too much when they went and made a second show that's thematically opposite to A:tLA in almost every possible way?  Taking risks is not something they're afraid to do.


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Azulon's wife was mentioned in the funeral rites and she wasn't a blood relative, so why would it be less complicated to assume that non-blood relatives aren't allowed to be anywhere near the funeral? You're making up all kinds of special rules and situations to explain headcanon that wasn't hinted at in any official story, that Ursa was a myth to the entire Fire Nation.

Azulon's wife was his wife.  It's easy to imagine that she could be considered a direct-line relative of Azulon where Ursa wouldn't.  Besides, it's not like we saw her standing on that stage.

And I never said Ursa was a myth to the entire Fire Nation.  I just said they might not have realized she was gone in time to make the connection.  =P


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It came as a surprise that the storytellers didn't actually want to connect to the episode of the cartoon that set the whole situation up. Tongue

I just can't fathom how you're fine with an author completely changing a character out of laziness rather than finding a way to make the character as already written interesting. Stories don't work if authors just change events and characters between scenes. That's kind of the opposite of a story.

They did connect to it; they just reinterpreted some parts (which they have every right to do).

And I don't think they changed Ursa out of laziness.  I think they changed her because they thought that the story they wanted to tell was legitimately better, the same way as they changed the Avatar from the Spirit of the Planet to a human bound to the Spirit of Light.  Ursa's noble status was no more established than the Spirit of the Planet interpretation of the Avatar, as far as I'm concerned, and changing it was no less of a valid decision to make.


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But I just explained that no one knew that Sozin abandoned Roku. Why would he go and announce something like that? All he had to say was that Roku died during the incident.

Or are we  going to somehow use Occam's Razor to justify Sozin creating more problems for himself in order to justify the authors just not remembering what they wrote before?

Roku's daughter sure seemed to know that, considering that she lived as a peasant in the woods in spite of her father being a noble.  =P  At the very least, the loss of the title and Sozin's genocidal campaign against the Avatar (wiping out an entire culture and decimating a second in an attempt to kill the air and potential water Avatars) would tip her off.

I think you're the one who's forgetting major details, honestly.


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Aang was fleeing and defending from Ozai the entire time. He was giving ground constantly. He was losing that fight, no question.

And Mai and Ty Lee took out the whole Terra Team. I'm not sure Toph would have made much of a difference.

He was also at a disadvantage because firebending was his weakest element and Ozai's firebending was supercharged.  There's no way he wouldn't be a great deal more successful if he fought a normal-strength Ozai with backup.

Toph probably could have taken out the whole Terra Team singlehandedly, so I'm not sure what you're getting at there.  The Terra Team were chumps, full stop.


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So, you think the control freak would just sit back and let the number of his enemies multiply.

Like I've said, you and I just don't see the same reality. Cheesy

They weren't going to multiply, though.  In fact, being forced to run away put them at a greater disadvantage than ever, since they had to leave all of their allies behind.  =P  There really weren't many downsides to letting the Avatar run, looking at it from Ozai's position.
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Loopy
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« Reply #554 on: Jul 03, 2014 06:58 pm »

It's inferred perspective, the same as Zuko's flashback including the conversation between Azula and company -- the audience needs to be shown what the POV character can infer later on, but the stuff that they don't know and can't guess is always left out,

When did Zuko infer that Azula was exploiting Mai's crush? We don't even know if Zuko is aware that Mai had a crush on him going that far back.

Why not just say that all the dialogue is misremembered, too? How unreliable do you want to make these scenes?


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That's not how canon works.  =P  Canon is a game of "imagine what the creator(s) tells you to imagine," not "imagine what the publishers tell you to imagine."  If the creators aren't involved, it's not canon, unless they explicitly integrate it into their conception of the world.  (This is why, for instance, J.R.R. Tolkien's son made a kajillion notes about the editorial choices involved in putting together The Silmarillion and and offered alternative versions where they existed -- Arda was J.R.R. Tolkien's world, and he was the one whose opinions about canon mattered, regardless of who owned the intellectual property rights)

I have no idea whether the Lost Adventures are canon or not, but if they are, it's because they were written by a lot of the same people who worked on the show (who likely had conversations with Bryke about what they were writing), not because Nick gets to decide what's in canon and what isn't.

I think you're the one who's misinformed about canon. 'Canon' used to be when religious councils decided which books written by other people were considered to be officially endorsed representations of the faith. The franchise owners are the ones who determine what's canon and what's not, and that's Nick. Besides, as I pointed out, you proved that the Mike and the Bryan and Gene are all relying on the Avatar Wiki, and the Avatar Wiki is considering all that stuff as canon, no matter who it was written by. So the arbiters of canon at this point look to be a subset of the fandom.


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Because it's another way that he's out of the loop. Lucky to be born, and all that. And he could very well be insecure about what precisely his mother did to Azulon.

If it's just another example of a constant, I don't think it would have as big of an effect as something that was unique and shocking.

I see no reason for him to be insecure about what Ursa did to Azulon.  Not only is there absolutely zero indication that he thinks that way, it doesn't even make much sense.

Zuko has massive anxiety about being excluded from Being In the Know, and the finale revealed that Azula was deathly terrified of it as well. Consistently keeping Zuko out of the know is one of the most powerful tools Azula has against him.

Just look at his tantrum about not being invited to the All Day War Meeting.


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What reward would there be to leaving Azulon alive?  Azulon clearly had it in for Ozai at that point.  Besides, even if Ursa couldn't promise Ozai the throne, he could use Azulon's death to his advantage in taking it for himself (which is... basically what happened, in any case).

Showing loyalty, and then as Ozai pointed out, Iroh is an aging childless widower. Playing it cool and being a good son would have given Ozai some good shots at the throne.


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The only linking of blame we knew existed was Ozai deciding to banish her.  If her banishment were public, there's no way Zuko wouldn't have known about it, and therefore, a murder weapon that offered plausible deniability did, in fact, make the most sense.

Again, you're assuming that the banishment and the reason were advertised to the whole Fire Nation. I'm not saying this is the case. A backroom deal is what I'm advocating, with a mix of people who knew the truth and a mix of people who merely had suspicions, but could read the direction of the wind, in a society that values the perception of honor more than the real thing.

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Ursa needed to give Ozai the weapon because it would have been really cheap to have her hands look almost completely clean.  The Mama Bear implications could stretch far enough to include Ursa making a poison, but I don't think it could stretch far enough to deny her involvement past making an offer to Ozai.  (Not to mention, if she wasn't a danger to Ozai, why would he have to banish her?  She's a lousy scapegoat if he wants the suspicion cast away from him)

All of this could be sidestepped by simply having Ursa be the murderer, as originally implied. Once again, your argument seems to hold the notion of the Mike and the Bryan undermining Zuko Alone as the only choice, where I'm criticizing them for exactly that.


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It would have been a good start for the investigations if he knew a possible source of information were distant peasants who can't tell him from Ozai.

Right, but is there any indication that he doesn't know that?

He and Azula both said that letters Ozai had were the only source of information about her. It's right there in the dialogue.


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No, she doesn't establish a precedent.  She establishes that one servant knows.  =P

Do you know what a "precedent" is? Tongue


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Zuko's security isn't a problem anymore, as far as I can tell.  The assassination attempts, as far as we've been told, stopped cold once he got the Kyoshi Warriors on staff.  And there's absolutely no reason to believe that Ozai has eyes and ears on Zuko's immediate staff.

What's your definition of "stopped cold?" We have no information about them, and while it's reasonable to assume that Zuko hasn't personally dealt with another attempt on his life, what does that mean? Are the Kyoshi Warriors catching these people? Are the changes in security bringing about a hiatus while his enemies observe? Did Mai bring all the assassins down in her little comic?

The point I'm making is that people without power have observed people with power sending attacks at the leader of the nation with impunity. Is seeing a small, elite cadre of foreign warriors literally stopping an assassin just before he turns the corner and is seen by Zuko really going to make those powerless people feel safe?


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First off, Katara's actions towards Zuko for that entire episode make no sense if she thought that he was as bad as Yon Rha.  I mean... huh?

You never heard of dealing with a lesser evil to take out a greater one?

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Second, there's no reason to think that Katara thought Zuko was lying.  When she talks about his betrayal in The Western Air Temple, she says, "you and I both know you've struggled with doing the right thing in the past," which strongly suggests that she knows his actions under Ba Sing Se were the result of backsliding rather than an intentional betrayal.

Go earlier:

Katara: Why would he try to fool us like that?
Sokka: Obviously, he wants to lead us into some kind of trap.
Katara: This is just like when we were in prison together in Ba Sing Se. He starts talking about his mother, and making it seem like he's an actual human being with feelings.
Sokka: He wants you (Katara turns towards him) to trust him and feel sorry for him, so you let your guard down, then he strikes.
Katara: The thing is, it worked.I did feel sorry for him. I felt like he was really confused and hurt. But obviously when the time came, he made his choice, and we paid the price. We can't trust him.

She thinks he was lying, or misleading her, about his feelings for his mother and how they characterize him as a person.

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Third, Ursa is never mentioned in The Southern Raiders.  One would think she would be, if that were key.

And yet Yon Rha had that line where he offers his own mother to Katara to kill. What is the point of that, by your interpretation? Utter redundancy?

And considering you invented a whole new Amon in order to explain the disaster that was Book Air, I don't see why you're so down on themes tying directly into the plot or important things being left completely unspoken.


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We understand that Ursa was involved in Azulon's murder.  Zuko, as far as we can tell, doesn't.

Are you seriously arguing that Zuko honestly believes that Ursa leaving and Azulon's sudden death are coincidences? Roll Eyes


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The Zuko whose POV we're seeing is current Zuko, not past Zuko.  I'm pretty sure he figured out the crush thing at some point.  =P

Yes, the guy who thought Jin was an enemy spy. Roll Eyes If you don't understand Zuko's character, it's okay to admit it. Tongue

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We got an answer to the first question -- mom was an apothecary and taught her how to do it.

What kind of a psycho teaches her daughter how to make untraceable poisons?

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We got an answer to the second question, too -- she was afraid Ozai would kill Zuko and Azula if she messed up.

And she really thought Ozai would keep his promise, given that he's spied on her, intercepted her mail, subverted her servants, ordered a hit on her boyfriend, arranged to kill his own son to say in Azulon's good graces, and then killed his own father?

So, you're saying Ursa has no brain.

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As for the third question, Ursa's mom wasn't just a random healer -- she was Roku's daughter, and she had every reason to find a way to protect herself without raising suspicions.  Maybe she even invented the poison herself.

Why would she do that, if no one knew Sozin killed Roku?

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So if the consequences I "wanted" to see aren't there, what are? What shows that there's an actual struggle in play in that scene?

...the obvious pain and anxiety on Ursa and Zuko's faces?

Which quickly disappears.


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She doesn't have to earn anything, but getting a happy ending handed to her certainly doesn't help make it a more ambiguous situation.

What exactly needs to be ambiguous about it...?

...all the stuff you're talking about where it's not a happy-happy ending and everyone is angsting behind the smiles?


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No, Zuko learned that he can't run away from who he is, even if it's painful.  He also learned that Azula might be a mess, but she's not evil and she's certainly not past saving.

Which he was already thinking in Part 1. Gene seems to have changed his mind what Zuko's actual arc was. Tongue

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Having Ursa around is nice for Zuko, but it's not the silver bullet he was looking for.  He went looking for Ursa because he needed support in his role as Fire Lord; instead, he found a woman who was just as damaged as he was.

No, he went looking because he wanted family and peace of mind. Looks like he got that, including a replacement for Azula.

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And the plot points aren't the same...?  Zuko's never really tried to cast off his heritage before.  Azula's insanity has never been directly addressed.  Their conflicts are new.  =/

Zuko walking away from being a Prince to join Aang isn't casting off his heritage? Zuko deciding to beat down his sister himself because she's obviously mentally slipping didn't happen in the finale?


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That's not what I'm saying.  What I'm saying is that the exact layout of the palace and park isn't critical, because the feeling of isolation is well-established regardless.

The feeling doesn't matter. You're arguing that absolutely no one in the Capital so much as glanced at Ursa, to the point where if they didn't see her for a month or more, it wouldn't be unusual.


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Evidence isn't the same as fact -- evidence can easily turn out to be nothing more than a red herring.  Fan expectations are the thing that turns "evidence" into "confirmation" when it isn't.  =P

And, are you really going to claim that they're playing to fan expectations too much when they went and made a second show that's thematically opposite to A:tLA in almost every possible way?  Taking risks is not something they're afraid to do.

For their pet project, sure. I don't think LoK is a lazy cash grab. The ATLA comics, though, are nothing but.



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They did connect to it; they just reinterpreted some parts (which they have every right to do).

I'm not arguing "right." I'm saying it makes for a lousy and dramatically undermined connected whole.

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And I don't think they changed Ursa out of laziness.  I think they changed her because they thought that the story they wanted to tell was legitimately better, the same way as they changed the Avatar from the Spirit of the Planet to a human bound to the Spirit of Light.  Ursa's noble status was no more established than the Spirit of the Planet interpretation of the Avatar, as far as I'm concerned, and changing it was no less of a valid decision to make.

The Spirit of the Planet thing wasn't in any of the actual episodes. And if they can't tell good stories without ignorning what came before, then why are they even bothering? Go do something else and leave the comics in the hands of people who actually give a flying flip.


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Roku's daughter sure seemed to know that, considering that she lived as a peasant in the woods in spite of her father being a noble.  =P

...I just asked for an explanation for that exact thing, that makes sense. Your only retort is "Well, duh, she knew. End of story. Let us all bow at the feet of people who don't care." Roll Eyes

If you don't care, why are we even having this debate?

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At the very least, the loss of the title and Sozin's genocidal campaign against the Avatar (wiping out an entire culture and decimating a second in an attempt to kill the air and potential water Avatars) would tip her off.

What loss of title? Roku was living modestly on an island when he died! And the genocide against the Air Nomads was billed as action against an enemy nation with an army.

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I think you're the one who's forgetting major details, honestly.

Demonstrably wrong. Tongue


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He was also at a disadvantage because firebending was his weakest element and Ozai's firebending was supercharged.  There's no way he wouldn't be a great deal more successful if he fought a normal-strength Ozai with backup.

Even if he was surrounded in 3 dimensions by a giant army?

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Toph probably could have taken out the whole Terra Team singlehandedly, so I'm not sure what you're getting at there.  The Terra Team were chumps, full stop.

Mai and Ty Lee made them look that way, but anything else is headcanon. Tongue


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They weren't going to multiply, though.  In fact, being forced to run away put them at a greater disadvantage than ever, since they had to leave all of their allies behind.  =P  There really weren't many downsides to letting the Avatar run, looking at it from Ozai's position.

Oh, yes, because this line hadn't been uttered the day before the Invasion directly to Ozai:

General Shinu: Thank you, sir. Ba Sing Se is still under our control. However, earthbender rebellions have prevented us from achieving total victory in the Earth Kingdom.
Fire Lord Ozai: What is your recommendation?
General Shinu: Our army is spread too thin but once the eclipse is over and the invasion defeated, we should transfer more domestic forces into the Earth Kingdom.

It's okay if you need to go back and what all the relevant episodes. I'll wait.
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Ikkin
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« Reply #555 on: Jul 04, 2014 01:11 pm »

When did Zuko infer that Azula was exploiting Mai's crush? We don't even know if Zuko is aware that Mai had a crush on him going that far back.

Why not just say that all the dialogue is misremembered, too? How unreliable do you want to make these scenes?

We know Zuko knew about Mai's crush as of the end of Book 2, given those comics you consider canon.

Since that comic operates under the assumption that Zuko had a crush on Mai that Azula knew about, one would assume that they worked things out at some point.  And, from there, it would be an easy connection to make, honestly.  If Azula used their relationship to manipulate them in the comic, I doubt that's something new to Zuko.

I don't need to make the scenes unreliable at all.  They're just obviously meant to be Zuko's memories in the context that we see them, so it makes sense for stuff that Zuko is unable to infer or perceive as relevant to be left out.


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I think you're the one who's misinformed about canon. 'Canon' used to be when religious councils decided which books written by other people were considered to be officially endorsed representations of the faith. The franchise owners are the ones who determine what's canon and what's not, and that's Nick. Besides, as I pointed out, you proved that the Mike and the Bryan and Gene are all relying on the Avatar Wiki, and the Avatar Wiki is considering all that stuff as canon, no matter who it was written by. So the arbiters of canon at this point look to be a subset of the fandom.

Nah, no one cares about what Nickelodeon thinks, because Bryke feels perfectly justified in ignoring anything they didn't make up themselves or have a say in.

If you look at the other fandom terms relating to canon concerns, it becomes really obvious who can officially endorse something, and it's not the company who owns the intellectual property rights.

Word of God.  God Does Not Own This World. Word of Saint Paul (for statements made by non-creator people in production).  Word of Dante (for things people think are Word of God but are actually fanon). Flip Flop of God. Shrug of God. God Never Said That.

Every single one of those refers to the creators rather than the owners as the fandom "God."  The usage is really consistent.  Franchise owners aren't creatives, and therefore they have and ought to have no creative say over the fate of the franchise.

As for the creators' reliance on the Avatar Wiki... do you really think they follow it unquestioningly?  It's a Wiki; it sources itself most of the time.  If they saw something that contradicted something they wanted to do, but the source was, say, The Lost Scrolls, do you really think that would be enough to convince them not to throw that material away?

For fun, let me quote some stuff from The Lost Scrolls that's completely absurd given everything we know now.  =D

"Waterbenders use their abilities for defense, never for aggression."  (Pfftahahahaha!)

"Their strict belief in controlling rather than destroying; healing rather than harming; and using their power for defense, not attack, are at the heart of the humane and noble characteristics of all Waterbenders." (Which is, of course, why they figured out how to use that control to manipulate the blood and chi in other people's bodies for highly destructive ends =P )

"The architect of the war, Fire Lord Sozin was driven by one goal: to create a world where Fire exists as the dominant element and no nation could challenge his rule." (Actually, he was an idealist whose drive to "improve" the world got way out of hand after Roku told him he was a bad guy and left after slapping him on the wrist =P )

"Because the spirit world has no physical form, a bender cannot manipulate any of the four elements."  (This is the most obvious "we're not following extraneous material" case of the lot of them.  A bender cannot manipulate the elements in the Spirit World because the bender has no physical form; if they enter the Spirit World bodily, they can do whatever they want)

In other words, supplementary material is supplementary, and exists as Schrodinger's Canon until it's used or overwritten by the show.


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Zuko has massive anxiety about being excluded from Being In the Know, and the finale revealed that Azula was deathly terrified of it as well. Consistently keeping Zuko out of the know is one of the most powerful tools Azula has against him.

Just look at his tantrum about not being invited to the All Day War Meeting.

Maybe, but if Azula wants to hurt him as much as possible, she's far better hinting that she knows the truth and making him wonder whether Ursa really killed grandfather or not than she is just keeping quiet.  You have to know you don't know something to be bothered by not knowing it.  =P


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Showing loyalty, and then as Ozai pointed out, Iroh is an aging childless widower. Playing it cool and being a good son would have given Ozai some good shots at the throne.

If Ozai was a potential heir, then Zuko would have been next in line.  The fact that Azulon was willing to order his murder strongly suggested that he didn't see that line as worthwhile.

Presumably, he would have ordered Iroh to marry and have children before he ever considered letting Ozai step up.


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Again, you're assuming that the banishment and the reason were advertised to the whole Fire Nation. I'm not saying this is the case. A backroom deal is what I'm advocating, with a mix of people who knew the truth and a mix of people who merely had suspicions, but could read the direction of the wind, in a society that values the perception of honor more than the real thing.

You still have the problem of what to do with the body, though.  An untraceable murder weapon definitely makes the death itself easier to explain.


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All of this could be sidestepped by simply having Ursa be the murderer, as originally implied. Once again, your argument seems to hold the notion of the Mike and the Bryan undermining Zuko Alone as the only choice, where I'm criticizing them for exactly that.

She could have been the murderer, but you still have the problem of her being too close to Ozai to keep the blame off of him if her involvement was known.  Making her the murderer doesn't really fix anything, other than appeasing your fanon.


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He and Azula both said that letters Ozai had were the only source of information about her. It's right there in the dialogue.

What are you talking about?

Zuko says, "Like it or not, Azula is my best chance of finding my mother."

Azula says, "They're many years' worth of letters that she wrote... and they're the key to finding her.  Come have a look!"

Zuko says, "Azula was the one who got the information from Ozai.  Because she helped me out, we made a deal.  She's going to come with me to look for our mother."

And, back in The Promise, Zuko said, "I've had conversation after conversation with Ozai and it's gone nowhere.  He refuses to reveal what happened to her.  So I've come to an uncomfortable conclusion.  You are the only person in the world who can coax the information I need out of Ozai."

None of that suggests that they hadn't gotten any information about Ursa from elsewhere.  All it suggests is that there was no usable information to be found without getting answers from Ozai.


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No, she doesn't establish a precedent.  She establishes that one servant knows.  =P

Do you know what a "precedent" is? Tongue

Yes, I do.  And I also know that precedents are highly context-sensitive.  Establishing that one servant, who has been explicitly given the job of spying on Ursa, knows where she came from does not set a precedent about whether any of the other servants, who have not been put in that sort of position of trust, know anything about where she came from.  =P


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What's your definition of "stopped cold?" We have no information about them, and while it's reasonable to assume that Zuko hasn't personally dealt with another attempt on his life, what does that mean? Are the Kyoshi Warriors catching these people? Are the changes in security bringing about a hiatus while his enemies observe? Did Mai bring all the assassins down in her little comic?

The point I'm making is that people without power have observed people with power sending attacks at the leader of the nation with impunity. Is seeing a small, elite cadre of foreign warriors literally stopping an assassin just before he turns the corner and is seen by Zuko really going to make those powerless people feel safe?

Since we're dealing with a fictional story here, I think it's safe to assume that we would have found out if the assassination attempts are ongoing, especially since Zuko feels perfectly safe in taking Ursa back to the palace once he finds her!

And I wouldn't say the assassins were sent after Zuko with impunity.  Kori got off pretty lightly, but Zuko still demanded that she convince him not to kill her, sent her back to Yu Dao in chains, and said he should have burned the entire city to the ground.  The other five assassins probably ended up rotting in prison or worse.  =P

In any case, any conspiracy that's not a threat to Ursa isn't a threat to people who help Zuko find her, either.  It's not like he wouldn't offer as much protection as he could to anyone who helped him find Ursa.


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You never heard of dealing with a lesser evil to take out a greater one?

I have, but that's certainly not what I saw going on between those two in that episode after Zuko made his offer.  =P


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Go earlier:

Katara: Why would he try to fool us like that?
Sokka: Obviously, he wants to lead us into some kind of trap.
Katara: This is just like when we were in prison together in Ba Sing Se. He starts talking about his mother, and making it seem like he's an actual human being with feelings.
Sokka: He wants you (Katara turns towards him) to trust him and feel sorry for him, so you let your guard down, then he strikes.
Katara: The thing is, it worked.I did feel sorry for him. I felt like he was really confused and hurt. But obviously when the time came, he made his choice, and we paid the price. We can't trust him.

She thinks he was lying, or misleading her, about his feelings for his mother and how they characterize him as a person.

No, Sokka thought that.  The "making it seem like he's an actual human being with feelings" bit makes it really clear that she's just bitter that she actually cared for him, especially given the last two lines you quoted.  When she says, "when the time came, he made his choice," that sounds far more consistent with it not being an intentional betrayal.  She knew he wasn't trying to manipulate her all along; she's just angry at herself for trusting that he'd changed.


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And yet Yon Rha had that line where he offers his own mother to Katara to kill. What is the point of that, by your interpretation? Utter redundancy?

How about, "to make him look pathetic?"  Because it's certainly successful at that.  =P


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And considering you invented a whole new Amon in order to explain the disaster that was Book Air, I don't see why you're so down on themes tying directly into the plot or important things being left completely unspoken.

I'm not down on either of those things in principle.  I just think Southern Raiders is less interesting in your interpretation than the more obvious one, and therefore Occam's Razor should prevail.


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Are you seriously arguing that Zuko honestly believes that Ursa leaving and Azulon's sudden death are coincidences? Roll Eyes

Well, we certainly have no canon reason to believe otherwise.


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Yes, the guy who thought Jin was an enemy spy. Roll Eyes If you don't understand Zuko's character, it's okay to admit it. Tongue

And also the guy who reciprocated Mai's crush at some point before his banishment, to the point that Azula saw it as a useful way to manipulate him between Books 2 and 3.  I don't think I'm the one who misunderstands his character, and I wish you'd stop being so patronizing.


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What kind of a psycho teaches her daughter how to make untraceable poisons?

Someone who's afraid that the lord of her sovereign nation might be inclined to murder said daughter due to her heritage?


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And she really thought Ozai would keep his promise, given that he's spied on her, intercepted her mail, subverted her servants, ordered a hit on her boyfriend, arranged to kill his own son to say in Azulon's good graces, and then killed his own father?

So, you're saying Ursa has no brain.

No, I'm saying that she felt like she had no choice but to trust him and hope for the best.  His actions have always been intended to maintain control rather than hurt people for the heck of it; it's perfectly reasonable for her to believe that he would be less likely to hurt her children if she didn't risk him finding out she'd disobeyed him.


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Why would she do that, if no one knew Sozin killed Roku?

Because it's implied that Ta Min knew that Sozin arrived before Roku died, and it wouldn't be hard to assume that he'd had a role in it once he started amassing an army and committing genocide against the next Avatar's people...?


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Which quickly disappears.

Only if you insist on a resistant reading of that scene.  There are two whole panels that involve them smiling, both used to comfort each other.  I don't think there's any implication that everything is going to be smiles from then on.


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...all the stuff you're talking about where it's not a happy-happy ending and everyone is angsting behind the smiles?

But it's not.  I'm not sure what needs to be more ambiguous than it already is.  =P


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Which he was already thinking in Part 1. Gene seems to have changed his mind what Zuko's actual arc was. Tongue

I don't think he did, honestly.

Zuko's arc is about trying to figure out how to implement Avatarverse Confucius' advice: "Family is in essence a small nation, and the nation a large family.  In treating his own family with dignity, a ruler learns to govern his nation with dignity."

Those words hit him hard because, as he says, "I put my father in a prison and my sister in an institution.  My mother's been banished for years.  What does that mean for my nation?"

Zuko's family and his nation are both broken messes, and he's looking for an easy solution.  If Ozai isn't his family, then his family is less broken, he thinks, and he'll be more able to help his country.  It's wishful thinking, obviously, but it's the only thing he has.

What he learns is that he can't just wish the brokenness away.  He can't let Azula out and make everything better; he can't be free of his blood ties to Ozai; he can't make everything better for Ursa just by unbanishing her.  He's got to accept things the way are and work from there... which means accepting that his mother is just as much a victim of his father as he is.


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No, he went looking because he wanted family and peace of mind. Looks like he got that, including a replacement for Azula.

See above.


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Zuko walking away from being a Prince to join Aang isn't casting off his heritage? Zuko deciding to beat down his sister himself because she's obviously mentally slipping didn't happen in the finale?

No...?  He still considered himself to be Prince Zuko, heir to Fire Lord Ozai at the time.  That was a big part of his motivation at that point.

As for the Azula stuff, it was addressed, but the fallout from it was never mentioned.


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The feeling doesn't matter. You're arguing that absolutely no one in the Capital so much as glanced at Ursa, to the point where if they didn't see her for a month or more, it wouldn't be unusual.

I'm saying that's a possibility, yes.  It's not that unlikely, given how people fail to recognize important characters all the time.


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For their pet project, sure. I don't think LoK is a lazy cash grab. The ATLA comics, though, are nothing but.

I disagree.


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I'm not arguing "right." I'm saying it makes for a lousy and dramatically undermined connected whole.

I disagree.


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The Spirit of the Planet thing wasn't in any of the actual episodes. And if they can't tell good stories without ignorning what came before, then why are they even bothering? Go do something else and leave the comics in the hands of people who actually give a flying flip.

Because they're not ignoring things that came before, just changing the assumptions that were never specified in canon.


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Ikkin
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« Reply #556 on: Jul 04, 2014 01:11 pm »

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...I just asked for an explanation for that exact thing, that makes sense. Your only retort is "Well, duh, she knew. End of story. Let us all bow at the feet of people who don't care." Roll Eyes

If you don't care, why are we even having this debate?

Did you even read what I wrote?  My argument was that she must have known, because she wasn't living up to the standard one would expect of the children of a guy who was best friends with the Fire Lord.


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What loss of title? Roku was living modestly on an island when he died! And the genocide against the Air Nomads was billed as action against an enemy nation with an army.

How do you know he was "living modestly?"  That island could have belonged to him as a noble.  I mean, it wouldn't have made any sense for him to have been as close to Sozin as he was if he wasn't a noble, and him being the Avatar shouldn't have disenfranchised his entire line.

I think it would be reasonable for the children of the Avatar, whose ancestor died under suspicious circumstances while alongside Fire Lord Sozin, to be suspicious of his motivations for going after the next Avatar's nation, especially once he started sending people after the Avatar directly.  =P  My understanding is that Sozin himself had been the first to start the snipe hunts that Zuko ended up getting sent on.


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Demonstrably wrong. Tongue

No, but a lot of the stuff you've said is.  Wink


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Even if he was surrounded in 3 dimensions by a giant army?

An army who was busy fighting elsewhere.  =P


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Mai and Ty Lee made them look that way, but anything else is headcanon. Tongue

We've seen Toph fighting against Dai Li and royal guards.  I don't think the Terra Team are that much better than every other military earthbender we've seen to make a difference.


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Oh, yes, because this line hadn't been uttered the day before the Invasion directly to Ozai:

General Shinu: Thank you, sir. Ba Sing Se is still under our control. However, earthbender rebellions have prevented us from achieving total victory in the Earth Kingdom.
Fire Lord Ozai: What is your recommendation?
General Shinu: Our army is spread too thin but once the eclipse is over and the invasion defeated, we should transfer more domestic forces into the Earth Kingdom.

It's okay if you need to go back and what all the relevant episodes. I'll wait.

Stop with the patronization already, ugh.

In any case, I fail to see how that's relevant to the issue at hand.  Earth Kingdom insurgents are going to pop up whether the Avatar's dead or not (and, in fact, I bet they'd be even more desperate if Aang was killed), and they're not going to launch an attack on the Fire Nation homeland either way.  They're literally irrelevant to Ozai's decision of whether to fight Aang or not.
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Loopy
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« Reply #557 on: Jul 04, 2014 06:26 pm »

We know Zuko knew about Mai's crush as of the end of Book 2, given those comics you consider canon.

Since that comic operates under the assumption that Zuko had a crush on Mai that Azula knew about, one would assume that they worked things out at some point.  And, from there, it would be an easy connection to make, honestly.  If Azula used their relationship to manipulate them in the comic, I doubt that's something new to Zuko.

That's the same comic that had Azula call Zuko her little brother. Tongue Whether they're canon or not, they're not reliable for informing about character or events. The Star Wars EU has a canon "foggy window" approach to this type of thing, and I think that's the only way to justify a lot of what Avatar has perpetrated across all its media.

More on this a bit below.


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I don't need to make the scenes unreliable at all.  They're just obviously meant to be Zuko's memories in the context that we see them, so it makes sense for stuff that Zuko is unable to infer or perceive as relevant to be left out.

I'm not getting what you're saying. If they're Zuko's memories, then they shouldn't show what he didn't witness. You're claiming that the times they literally jump out of his POV and show things he couldn't possibly have witnessed is meant to show things he merely inferred, but he couldn't possibly have inferred the existence of a frown on Ozai's face during Zuko's Firbending failure, or a blush on Mai's face she spotted Zuko at a distance when he wasn't even looking at her. These are things that he could have only made up based on other knowledge, which makes them unreliable. Mai might not have blushed, and Ozai might not have frowned.

So, are you saying they're reliable, or are they stuff Zuko made up? And if he's doing that level of backfilling, how do we know that any of it is accurate beyond the most general sequence of events?


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Nah, no one cares about what Nickelodeon thinks, because Bryke feels perfectly justified in ignoring anything they didn't make up themselves or have a say in.

They also ignore their own stuff, so someone needs to make a decision about what's canon. Tongue

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If you look at the other fandom terms relating to canon concerns, it becomes really obvious who can officially endorse something, and it's not the company who owns the intellectual property rights.

Word of God.  God Does Not Own This World. Word of Saint Paul (for statements made by non-creator people in production).  Word of Dante (for things people think are Word of God but are actually fanon). Flip Flop of God. Shrug of God. God Never Said That.

Every single one of those refers to the creators rather than the owners as the fandom "God."  The usage is really consistent.  Franchise owners aren't creatives, and therefore they have and ought to have no creative say over the fate of the franchise.

TVTropes is also the site that has removed all meaning from "Mary Sue," and they're your source? Try doing some actual research into this, and see that the Star Trek franchise-owner, Paramount, declared the animated series non-canon and enforced that ruling up until new business people reversed the decision. Or Star Wars, where an employee in a suit declared that the Marvel comics weren't canon and actively enforced that ruling, approving stories that contradicted those comics, until new people came to power and published retcons to bring those comics back into canon. Or Takara, which retroactively declared that all the various Transformers fictional universes were one, and began publishing stories that tied them all together with retcons.

Nick hires writers to create more Avatar stuff. The Mike and the Bryan are merely employees, albeit ones with a lot of power. Nick is free to create more Avatar content and not employee the Mike and the Bryan to do it. If Nick picks a new comic publisher to exploit the ATLA license, and that publisher wants to do a new take on the post-war storyline, the Mike and the Bryan's wants are immaterial.

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As for the creators' reliance on the Avatar Wiki... do you really think they follow it unquestioningly?  It's a Wiki; it sources itself most of the time.  If they saw something that contradicted something they wanted to do, but the source was, say, The Lost Scrolls, do you really think that would be enough to convince them not to throw that material away?

I honestly don't think they care about anything but what they want to do in the moment, including stuff they've written. The idea of an Avatar canon is pretty ridiculous. However, if they need a reminder on something like Piandao's backstory, and they don't have any other ideas, I'm sure they'll take what the wiki says, whatever the source.



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Maybe, but if Azula wants to hurt him as much as possible, she's far better hinting that she knows the truth and making him wonder whether Ursa really killed grandfather or not than she is just keeping quiet.  You have to know you don't know something to be bothered by not knowing it.  =P

As I already addressed, I find the idea that Zuko doesn't find anything suspicious about Azulon's death and Ursa's disappearance to be ludicrous.


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If Ozai was a potential heir, then Zuko would have been next in line.  The fact that Azulon was willing to order his murder strongly suggested that he didn't see that line as worthwhile.

Presumably, he would have ordered Iroh to marry and have children before he ever considered letting Ozai step up.

Or he thought highly of his namesake, Azula. Grin


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You still have the problem of what to do with the body, though.  An untraceable murder weapon definitely makes the death itself easier to explain.

No, it doesn't. As noted in the episode, Azulon was the picture of health to the people who knew him, and as I've said countless times, the timing of everything is so suspicious that an untraceable murder weapon is superfluous.


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She could have been the murderer, but you still have the problem of her being too close to Ozai to keep the blame off of him if her involvement was known.  Making her the murderer doesn't really fix anything, other than appeasing your fanon.

If by "fanon" you mean "what the original episode strongly implied," then yes. Grin That's the whole point of my argument. Needlessly subverting the original episode and the clear implications made for a weaker whole story.


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He and Azula both said that letters Ozai had were the only source of information about her. It's right there in the dialogue.

What are you talking about?

Zuko says, "Like it or not, Azula is my best chance of finding my mother."

Azula says, "They're many years' worth of letters that she wrote... and they're the key to finding her.  Come have a look!"

Zuko says, "Azula was the one who got the information from Ozai.  Because she helped me out, we made a deal.  She's going to come with me to look for our mother."

And, back in The Promise, Zuko said, "I've had conversation after conversation with Ozai and it's gone nowhere.  He refuses to reveal what happened to her.  So I've come to an uncomfortable conclusion.  You are the only person in the world who can coax the information I need out of Ozai."

None of that suggests that they hadn't gotten any information about Ursa from elsewhere.  All it suggests is that there was no usable information to be found without getting answers from Ozai.

Knowing that there's a town somewhere in the Fire Nation where people know about Ursa's life story up to her marriage isn't actionable information?

Acting on that sounds a lot easier than it must have been for the Egyptians to build the pyramids.


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 Establishing that one servant, who has been explicitly given the job of spying on Ursa, knows where she came from does not set a precedent about whether any of the other servants, who have not been put in that sort of position of trust, know anything about where she came from.  =P

Ah, you misunderstood what I was referring to, then. I'm saying that one servant working secretly for Ozai establishes the notion of a conspiracy in which servants might have taken part.


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Since we're dealing with a fictional story here, I think it's safe to assume that we would have found out if the assassination attempts are ongoing, especially since Zuko feels perfectly safe in taking Ursa back to the palace once he finds her!

And I wouldn't say the assassins were sent after Zuko with impunity.  Kori got off pretty lightly, but Zuko still demanded that she convince him not to kill her, sent her back to Yu Dao in chains, and said he should have burned the entire city to the ground.  The other five assassins probably ended up rotting in prison or worse.  =P

In any case, any conspiracy that's not a threat to Ursa isn't a threat to people who help Zuko find her, either.  It's not like he wouldn't offer as much protection as he could to anyone who helped him find Ursa.

Again, you're confusing the story as is with the story I'm saying was possible.


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I have, but that's certainly not what I saw going on between those two in that episode after Zuko made his offer.  =P

Yes, but we've established that you and I see different things, and I don't consider what you see to be correct. Tongue


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The "making it seem like he's an actual human being with feelings" bit makes it really clear that she's just bitter that she actually cared for him, especially given the last two lines you quoted.  When she says, "when the time came, he made his choice," that sounds far more consistent with it not being an intentional betrayal.  She knew he wasn't trying to manipulate her all along; she's just angry at herself for trusting that he'd changed.

You don't think that the phrasing "actual human being with feelings" and the sarcastic tone with which she says them indicates that she believes the opposite? She's saying that he's cold and will choose to do whatever benefits him at the moment. By the end of WAT, she believes that he truly thinks that helping Aang is the best thing at the moment, but she's calling him out that if he began to believe otherwise, he'd betray them again. She's not putting any stock in his feelings or human empathy guiding him.

What she discovers is that Yon Rha can't even talk about his own mother in a way that doesn't make him seem like a monster.


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And yet Yon Rha had that line where he offers his own mother to Katara to kill. What is the point of that, by your interpretation? Utter redundancy?

How about, "to make him look pathetic?"  Because it's certainly successful at that.  =P

So, utter redundancy. A true hallmark of Avatar writing. Roll Eyes


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Are you seriously arguing that Zuko honestly believes that Ursa leaving and Azulon's sudden death are coincidences? Roll Eyes

Well, we certainly have no canon reason to believe otherwise.

I thought it was canon that Zuko has half a brain. Tongue


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Yes, the guy who thought Jin was an enemy spy. Roll Eyes If you don't understand Zuko's character, it's okay to admit it. Tongue

And also the guy who reciprocated Mai's crush at some point before his banishment, to the point that Azula saw it as a useful way to manipulate him between Books 2 and 3.  I don't think I'm the one who misunderstands his character, and I wish you'd stop being so patronizing.

And yet that comic established that even Mai offering herself to Zuko wasn't enough to get him to return to the Fire Nation, but Azula immediately knew at the critical moment that a stupid story about Iroh maybe not surviving the voyage would be enough.

If you're going to use the details of that comic in your argument, then do me a favor and justify Azula calling Zuko her little brother, and Zuko not objecting to the title, before anything else.

Besides, as I noted above, it's still making the flashback highly unreliable because Zuko would just be making stuff up based on vague things like, "Mai probably had the hots for me at that point." Zuko is not the storyteller who needs a visual way of conveying that information to an audience.


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What kind of a psycho teaches her daughter how to make untraceable poisons?

Someone who's afraid that the lord of her sovereign nation might be inclined to murder said daughter due to her heritage?

And as I noted, there's no basis for that in the story.


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No, I'm saying that she felt like she had no choice but to trust him and hope for the best.  His actions have always been intended to maintain control rather than hurt people for the heck of it; it's perfectly reasonable for her to believe that he would be less likely to hurt her children if she didn't risk him finding out she'd disobeyed him.

By "less likely," you're talking about half a percentage point? Because Ursa figured Zuko would always do everything in perfect accordance with Ozai's need for control?

So Ursa really doesn't have a brain in your characterization of her.


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Because it's implied that Ta Min knew that Sozin arrived before Roku died, and it wouldn't be hard to assume that he'd had a role in it once he started amassing an army and committing genocide against the next Avatar's people...?

But he didn't have a role in it. He didn't murder Roku, he just shrugged and took the opportunity that events handed him. His actions against the Air Nomads were about preventing a militatry threat from stopping his desire for conquest, and was justified to the Fire Nation as the Air Nomads having an army. At what point is Ta Min's life in danger, here, and why?


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Only if you insist on a resistant reading of that scene.  There are two whole panels that involve them smiling, both used to comfort each other.  I don't think there's any implication that everything is going to be smiles from then on.

If the story ending on smiles and talking warmly to each other doesn't imply future smiles, with the next comic talking about happy visits between Zuko and his new family, then I don't know what to say except that it seems like you're the one doing the resistant reading so that you can fool yourself about the depth of this story.


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I'm not sure what needs to be more ambiguous than it already is.  =P

Show, don't tell. It's basic storytelling wisdom.


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Zuko's arc is about trying to figure out how to implement Avatarverse Confucius' advice: "Family is in essence a small nation, and the nation a large family.  In treating his own family with dignity, a ruler learns to govern his nation with dignity."

Those words hit him hard because, as he says, "I put my father in a prison and my sister in an institution.  My mother's been banished for years.  What does that mean for my nation?"

Zuko's family and his nation are both broken messes, and he's looking for an easy solution.  If Ozai isn't his family, then his family is less broken, he thinks, and he'll be more able to help his country.  It's wishful thinking, obviously, but it's the only thing he has.

What he learns is that he can't just wish the brokenness away.  He can't let Azula out and make everything better; he can't be free of his blood ties to Ozai; he can't make everything better for Ursa just by unbanishing her.  He's got to accept things the way are and work from there... which means accepting that his mother is just as much a victim of his father as he is.

So the part where he wanted to give up on his nation completely and leave it to other people, how does that fit into this notion? Because it seems to me to undermine the whole thing and reveal that Zuko didn't really care about his nation at all, he just felt burdened by a responsibility he didn't ever want.


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He still considered himself to be Prince Zuko, heir to Fire Lord Ozai at the time.  That was a big part of his motivation at that point.

How do you figure? He walked away from everything, told Ozai that Iroh was his true father, and was clearly surprised in the finale that he might get to be Fire Lord.

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As for the Azula stuff, it was addressed, but the fallout from it was never mentioned.

It still hasn't really been handled.



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The feeling doesn't matter. You're arguing that absolutely no one in the Capital so much as glanced at Ursa, to the point where if they didn't see her for a month or more, it wouldn't be unusual.

I'm saying that's a possibility, yes.  It's not that unlikely, given how people fail to recognize important characters all the time.

Including the people who are their neighbors? Roll Eyes How far are you going to reach for this point?


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Because they're not ignoring things that came before, just changing the assumptions that were never specified in canon.

Less "assumptions" and more "clear implications," especially since they've admitted that they hadn't figured out any of the stuff for The Search before the cartoon ended.

Like I said, if they didn't have the ability or investment to come up with a good story that didn't completely dramatically undermine the previous stuff, then step back and stop trying to control the franchise the way Ozai tried to control his family.
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Ikkin
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« Reply #558 on: Jul 05, 2014 12:21 am »

That's the same comic that had Azula call Zuko her little brother. Tongue Whether they're canon or not, they're not reliable for informing about character or events. The Star Wars EU has a canon "foggy window" approach to this type of thing, and I think that's the only way to justify a lot of what Avatar has perpetrated across all its media.

More on this a bit below.

So now that accepting the comics as canon is working against you, you're changing your position.  Got it.  =P


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I'm not getting what you're saying. If they're Zuko's memories, then they shouldn't show what he didn't witness. You're claiming that the times they literally jump out of his POV and show things he couldn't possibly have witnessed is meant to show things he merely inferred, but he couldn't possibly have inferred the existence of a frown on Ozai's face during Zuko's Firbending failure, or a blush on Mai's face she spotted Zuko at a distance when he wasn't even looking at her. These are things that he could have only made up based on other knowledge, which makes them unreliable. Mai might not have blushed, and Ozai might not have frowned.

So, are you saying they're reliable, or are they stuff Zuko made up? And if he's doing that level of backfilling, how do we know that any of it is accurate beyond the most general sequence of events?

What I'm saying is this: it's Third Person Limited POV, applied to visual flashbacks.

We're meant to see it as accurate, but we're also meant to see it as focused on Zuko's experience.  It's not exactly how he remembered it, of course -- we see Zuko himself in the flashbacks, as well as things he wasn't looking directly at -- but it's meant to be accurate to his experience rather than an impartial view of the events at hand.  (See also: The Avatar and the Fire Lord, where Roku showed Aang his memories from a third person perspective)

That's generally how flashbacks work, honestly.


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They also ignore their own stuff, so someone needs to make a decision about what's canon. Tongue

No, they don't.  They just don't always interpret their stuff the way that you do.  =P


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TVTropes is also the site that has removed all meaning from "Mary Sue," and they're your source? Try doing some actual research into this, and see that the Star Trek franchise-owner, Paramount, declared the animated series non-canon and enforced that ruling up until new business people reversed the decision. Or Star Wars, where an employee in a suit declared that the Marvel comics weren't canon and actively enforced that ruling, approving stories that contradicted those comics, until new people came to power and published retcons to bring those comics back into canon. Or Takara, which retroactively declared that all the various Transformers fictional universes were one, and began publishing stories that tied them all together with retcons.

Nick hires writers to create more Avatar stuff. The Mike and the Bryan are merely employees, albeit ones with a lot of power. Nick is free to create more Avatar content and not employee the Mike and the Bryan to do it. If Nick picks a new comic publisher to exploit the ATLA license, and that publisher wants to do a new take on the post-war storyline, the Mike and the Bryan's wants are immaterial.

TV Tropes wasn't responsible for the redefinition of "Mary Sue."  That's a situation that's been ongoing for a very long time and in multiple fora; TV Tropes' decision to reflect the way people actually use the term is a poor reason to cast aspersions on their accuracy in categorizing fan terms.

I don't know how the Star Trek people feel about Paramount -- my guess is, they probably separate their franchise into multiple canons rather than accept what Paramount says at face value -- but I do know that George Lucas is the only person who determines movieverse canon for that franchise.  He's a bit of a weird insofar as I'm pretty sure he actually does own the rights (since the movies are published under the "Lucas Films" imprint), but those Marvel comics would have been on a lesser tier of canon than the original trilogy, the prequels, and the yet-to-be-published sequels regardless of the EU's rules of approval.

I also suspect that auteurism plays a significant role in how fandom conceptualizes canon.  If there's a single creator figure/partnership who steps into the auteur role, the fandom's not going to accept anything said creator(s) didn't have a hand in as first tier canon.  Nickelodeon might own the IP rights, but the Avatarverse is Bryke's brainchild, and that's what matters as far as the rules of the game are concerned.

A Lord of the Rings sequel, whether authorized by J.R.R. Tolkien's heirs or not, would not be canon.  An Avatarverse production without Bryke would be in the same exact position.

(Shared 'verses, like Star Wars EU canon and comics canon, are a bit different and might revert to the IP owner in the absence of an auteur figure.  But Bryke exists, and therefore Nick's primary role in the creation of canon is sending notes questioning the propriety of alcoholic noodles and teenagers in swimsuits =P )


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I honestly don't think they care about anything but what they want to do in the moment, including stuff they've written. The idea of an Avatar canon is pretty ridiculous. However, if they need a reminder on something like Piandao's backstory, and they don't have any other ideas, I'm sure they'll take what the wiki says, whatever the source.

And I think you're deluding yourself into seeing the situation as far more dire than you have any right to see it as.  =P  You're more cynical than Sokka, honestly.


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As I already addressed, I find the idea that Zuko doesn't find anything suspicious about Azulon's death and Ursa's disappearance to be ludicrous.

He can be suspicious without necessarily being suspicious in the right direction.  There are a number of ways to relate the two things that involve Ursa being a victim rather than a murderer, which would be just as consistent with the way we see Zuko react when Ozai starts telling him about Ursa as the truth is.


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Or he thought highly of his namesake, Azula. Grin

If that were the case, skipping Ozai would be a cakewalk -- just make Azula Iroh's heir.  =P


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No, it doesn't. As noted in the episode, Azulon was the picture of health to the people who knew him, and as I've said countless times, the timing of everything is so suspicious that an untraceable murder weapon is superfluous.

Being a picture of health guarantees very little when one is in their nineties.  =P  And, as I've said countless times, I think it's more reasonable to believe the timing could be covered up if one could show the body of a ninety-something year old man who appeared to have suffered a heart attack.


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If by "fanon" you mean "what the original episode strongly implied," then yes. Grin That's the whole point of my argument. Needlessly subverting the original episode and the clear implications made for a weaker whole story.

Strong implications have always been fair game to challenge, hence why I called it "fanon."  There was a strong implication that bending was literally impossible in the Spirit World in A:tLA, but there's no reason why that should have kept the show from explaining it as a narrower restriction later on.  Subverting strong implications can actually be a powerful narrative tool, as in the case of Zuko's backstory appearing in 112 to completely reinterpret his entire character as a more sympathetic one.


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Knowing that there's a town somewhere in the Fire Nation where people know about Ursa's life story up to her marriage isn't actionable information?

Acting on that sounds a lot easier than it must have been for the Egyptians to build the pyramids.

Imagine you're looking for a long-lost relative.  All you know about them is that they used to live in a rural town in California.  You can't use any modern conveniences like telephones; you have to physically visit each place in order to ask if they've ever heard of your relative.

How long do you think that would take, honestly?  I seriously doubt the Fire Lord would be able to take that much time off of ruling the nation; Iroh would have probably died before he finished.  Getting a bunch of servants to do it is likewise implausible, since I'm sure no one in the Fire Nation would be particularly impressed by the Fire Lord wasting so many resources on a wild goose chase.

In other words, no, it's not actionable information.  =P


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Ah, you misunderstood what I was referring to, then. I'm saying that one servant working secretly for Ozai establishes the notion of a conspiracy in which servants might have taken part.

Fair enough, but that suffers from a similar issue -- there's no reason to believe that such a conspiracy would continue to exist once Zuko took the throne.


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Again, you're confusing the story as is with the story I'm saying was possible.

In this case, then, the story you're saying was possible is a lousy one.  I don't think it makes any sense at all, narratively speaking, to have Zuko's servants so afraid of telling him about Ursa when we're meant to believe that the Fire Nation Capitol is even vaguely safe.


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Yes, but we've established that you and I see different things, and I don't consider what you see to be correct. Tongue

And I think you're too invested in your own view of things to be open to a more natural implication, so there's not much you're going to do to convince me that you're seeing things accurately.  =P


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You don't think that the phrasing "actual human being with feelings" and the sarcastic tone with which she says them indicates that she believes the opposite? She's saying that he's cold and will choose to do whatever benefits him at the moment. By the end of WAT, she believes that he truly thinks that helping Aang is the best thing at the moment, but she's calling him out that if he began to believe otherwise, he'd betray them again. She's not putting any stock in his feelings or human empathy guiding him.

What she discovers is that Yon Rha can't even talk about his own mother in a way that doesn't make him seem like a monster.

I think it indicates that she's trying to convince herself of the opposite, but can't quite manage it, resulting in a statement that's facially absurd given what she says immediately afterwards.

As she said in her very next lines, "when the time came, he made his choice, and we paid the price" -- the operating words being "when the time came."  That betrays her belief that he really was hurt and confused when he acted hurt and confused, even though the end result was bad for Team Avatar.  She thinks he's untrustworthy because he makes bad decisions, not because she thinks he isn't a human being with feelings.


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So, utter redundancy. A true hallmark of Avatar writing. Roll Eyes

Sarcastic exaggeration when things don't pan out.  A true hallmark of Loopy's debate style.  =P


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I thought it was canon that Zuko has half a brain. Tongue

He might have half a brain, but the desire to think well of someone can do a number on one's reasoning capabilities regardless of how intelligent one is.


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And yet that comic established that even Mai offering herself to Zuko wasn't enough to get him to return to the Fire Nation, but Azula immediately knew at the critical moment that a stupid story about Iroh maybe not surviving the voyage would be enough.

If you're going to use the details of that comic in your argument, then do me a favor and justify Azula calling Zuko her little brother, and Zuko not objecting to the title, before anything else.

Besides, as I noted above, it's still making the flashback highly unreliable because Zuko would just be making stuff up based on vague things like, "Mai probably had the hots for me at that point." Zuko is not the storyteller who needs a visual way of conveying that information to an audience.

I'm just using the comic to show it's plausible that Zuko could have understood what was going on with Mai, so the details don't really matter all that much.

But, if you insist, she could have just been using it to mock him, and he could be sufficiently lacking in self-esteem due to his recognition of the huge mistake he'd just made that he didn't bother objecting.

Like I said above, though, the specifics aren't really important, because making flashbacks from the Third Person Limited POV is a well-established method of storytelling.


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Someone who's afraid that the lord of her sovereign nation might be inclined to murder said daughter due to her heritage?

And as I noted, there's no basis for that in the story.

As far as the story being told by the comics is concerned, I strongly disagree.  Roku's descendents definitely came off as in hiding to me.


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By "less likely," you're talking about half a percentage point? Because Ursa figured Zuko would always do everything in perfect accordance with Ozai's need for control?

So Ursa really doesn't have a brain in your characterization of her.

Ursa was unlikely to protect Zuko completely by doing what Ozai said, but I think the chances of him getting murdered actually were significantly lower if Ursa didn't risk being found.  She was trying to keep him alive rather than safe, and with that in mind, I'm not sure I'd call her unsuccessful.  =P


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But he didn't have a role in it. He didn't murder Roku, he just shrugged and took the opportunity that events handed him. His actions against the Air Nomads were about preventing a militatry threat from stopping his desire for conquest, and was justified to the Fire Nation as the Air Nomads having an army. At what point is Ta Min's life in danger, here, and why?

He betrayed Roku to his death for the purposes of getting him out of the way.  I don't think there's much of a difference between that and killing him personally as far as the danger to his descendents is concerned.

I also seriously doubt that the Air Nomad Army propaganda went that far back.  It's plausible that people in Aang's time would have believed the revisionist history because none of them had ever seen an Air Nomad.  But, in Roku's?  Especially for Roku's descendents, who probably knew some of his Air Nomad friends and had heard of his time with the Air Nomads?  Nah, there's no way they'd buy into it, and the earliest signs of it would probably give Roku's descendents more reason to make themselves scarce.

I don't think Roku's descendents were on the firing line, to be fair; I just think they had a decent reason for concern, especially once the Fire Nation's anti-Avatar sentiment became clearer.


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If the story ending on smiles and talking warmly to each other doesn't imply future smiles, with the next comic talking about happy visits between Zuko and his new family, then I don't know what to say except that it seems like you're the one doing the resistant reading so that you can fool yourself about the depth of this story.

The story ends on Ursa starting a story about being forced into an abusive marriage against her will.  I'm not saying there isn't future happiness implied -- that's a given considering that Zuko found his mother -- but it's not unambiguously happy the way you claim.  Ignoring the elephant in the room makes you the one who's doing the resistant reading, not me.  All I'm doing is drawing out the implications that are already there.


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Show, don't tell. It's basic storytelling wisdom.

So they should have retold Ursa's entire story all over again?  =P  I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect the reader to get that the story is circular.


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So the part where he wanted to give up on his nation completely and leave it to other people, how does that fit into this notion? Because it seems to me to undermine the whole thing and reveal that Zuko didn't really care about his nation at all, he just felt burdened by a responsibility he didn't ever want.

I don't think he did...?  He wanted to not be Ozai's son, but I don't think he ever suggested that he wanted to stop being Fire Lord.  He just wanted to be an usurper Fire Lord rather than a legitimate heir (without really considering how much more difficult that would make everything).  =P


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Ikkin
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« Reply #559 on: Jul 05, 2014 12:23 am »

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How do you figure? He walked away from everything, told Ozai that Iroh was his true father, and was clearly surprised in the finale that he might get to be Fire Lord.

"For so long, all I wanted was you to love me, to accept me. I thought it was my honor that I wanted but really, I was just trying to please you. You, my father, who banished me just for talking out of turn.  My father, who challenged me; a 13-year-old boy to an Agni Kai. How can you possibly justify a duel with a child?"

He calls Ozai his father twice, even when rejecting his desire for affection once and for all.

"I thought I had lost my honor, and that somehow my father could return it to me. But I know now that no one can give you your honor. It's something you earn for yourself, by choosing to do what's right. All I want now is to play my part in ending this war. And I know my destiny is to help you restore balance to the world."

He wants to help Aang restore balance to the world, which works a lot better if he's still heir to the Fire Nation throne.

"I promised my Uncle that I would restore the honor of the Fire Nation, and I will.  The road ahead of us is challenging. A hundred years of fighting has left the world scarred and divided.  But with the Avatar's help, we can get it back on the right path, and begin a new era of love and peace."

He sees his role as restoring the honor of the Fire Nation as its Fire Lord.

Even when he's not intending to take the throne, it's because he expects Iroh to take his rightful place as Fire Lord when Ozai is defeated.  There's no reason to think he wasn't expecting to succeed Iroh; he just didn't expect to become Fire Lord at 17.  =P


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As for the Azula stuff, it was addressed, but the fallout from it was never mentioned.

It still hasn't really been handled.

The nature of her issues have been fully introduced, even if the conclusion is being left for a separate arc.


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Including the people who are their neighbors? Roll Eyes How far are you going to reach for this point?

Neighbors who travel between off-limits areas by veiled palanquin.  I don't think that's stretching too far.


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Less "assumptions" and more "clear implications," especially since they've admitted that they hadn't figured out any of the stuff for The Search before the cartoon ended.

Like I said, if they didn't have the ability or investment to come up with a good story that didn't completely dramatically undermine the previous stuff, then step back and stop trying to control the franchise the way Ozai tried to control his family.

Let's be honest -- you and I are never going to agree about what's a "clear implication" and when it's being "dramatically undermined."  As far as I'm concerned, you got overly invested in something that was never as important as you believed it to be and are upset because things didn't happen the way you imagined it.
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Loopy
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« Reply #560 on: Jul 05, 2014 03:39 pm »

So now that accepting the comics as canon is working against you, you're changing your position.  Got it.  =P

What position is that? As far as I know, I hold the following non-contradictory positions, and have touched on all of them in this debate:

1. Zuko Alone and subsequent episodes of the cartoon set up a story that has not been followed through on.
2. Canon is defined by Nickelodeon, not the Mike and the Bryan.
3. All of the stuff that isn't the ATLA cartoon are horrible stories that undermine the cartoon, whether or not they directly contradict "canon" facts. This includes all comics, canon or not, except for one or two one-off Lost Adventures that both aren't bad and don't have enough of a footprint to affect anything.


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What I'm saying is this: it's Third Person Limited POV, applied to visual flashbacks.

We're meant to see it as accurate, but we're also meant to see it as focused on Zuko's experience.  It's not exactly how he remembered it, of course -- we see Zuko himself in the flashbacks, as well as things he wasn't looking directly at -- but it's meant to be accurate to his experience rather than an impartial view of the events at hand.  (See also: The Avatar and the Fire Lord, where Roku showed Aang his memories from a third person perspective)

That's generally how flashbacks work, honestly.

That's not how flashbacks work, honestly. There are two kinds of flashbacks- the kind that show facts, and the kind that show memories which are subject to unreliability. That the flashbacks in Zuko Alone are centered on Zuko doesn't mean they're Third Person Limited at all. Showing things from outside Zuko's direct memories back them the first kind of flashback, and thus reliable.


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No, they don't.  They just don't always interpret their stuff the way that you do.  =P

Or they reinterpret based on mood and forgetfulness, because they have no loyalty to their previous work. Tongue


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I don't know how the Star Trek people feel about Paramount -- my guess is, they probably separate their franchise into multiple canons rather than accept what Paramount says at face value -- but I do know that George Lucas is the only person who determines movieverse canon for that franchise.  He's a bit of a weird insofar as I'm pretty sure he actually does own the rights (since the movies are published under the "Lucas Films" imprint), but those Marvel comics would have been on a lesser tier of canon than the original trilogy, the prequels, and the yet-to-be-published sequels regardless of the EU's rules of approval.

As I discussed, the Star Wars stuff has had various canon systems. It was only recently, with the release of the Clone Wars cartoon, that Lucas established a "movie-verse." In the 80's, he was even directly involved in commissioning specific storylines for the "EU." However, for most of the modern Star Wars EU, a designated employee was the arbiter of the canon system.

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I also suspect that auteurism plays a significant role in how fandom conceptualizes canon.  If there's a single creator figure/partnership who steps into the auteur role, the fandom's not going to accept anything said creator(s) didn't have a hand in as first tier canon.  Nickelodeon might own the IP rights, but the Avatarverse is Bryke's brainchild, and that's what matters as far as the rules of the game are concerned.

And Eric Coleman, who invented Zuko. And Aaron Ehasz, who invented what we currently recognize as Toph.

You should be aware, I don't subscribe to the Auteur Theory for Avatar. Except as an explanation for why everything after the original ATLA cartoon is so bad.

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A Lord of the Rings sequel, whether authorized by J.R.R. Tolkien's heirs or not, would not be canon.  An Avatarverse production without Bryke would be in the same exact position.

No, it wouldn't, because Tolkien is actually an auteur, whereas the Mike and the Bryan are producers who appointed themselves writers.

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(Shared 'verses, like Star Wars EU canon and comics canon, are a bit different and might revert to the IP owner in the absence of an auteur figure.  But Bryke exists, and therefore Nick's primary role in the creation of canon is sending notes questioning the propriety of alcoholic noodles and teenagers in swimsuits =P )

Wrong. Look up Eric Coleman some time.


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And I think you're deluding yourself into seeing the situation as far more dire than you have any right to see it as.  =P  You're more cynical than Sokka, honestly.

I'm only cynical because I've been burned by this mess of a franchise, after loving it so purely. Tongue


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He can be suspicious without necessarily being suspicious in the right direction.  There are a number of ways to relate the two things that involve Ursa being a victim rather than a murderer, which would be just as consistent with the way we see Zuko react when Ozai starts telling him about Ursa as the truth is.

Could you be more specific? I'm not understanding.


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If that were the case, skipping Ozai would be a cakewalk -- just make Azula Iroh's heir.  =P

Not so much of a cakewalk if Azula is everything Ozai is billing her as. Cheesy


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Being a picture of health guarantees very little when one is in their nineties.  =P  And, as I've said countless times, I think it's more reasonable to believe the timing could be covered up if one could show the body of a ninety-something year old man who appeared to have suffered a heart attack.

Yes, because all the facts we have about Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor, Kennedy's assassination, and 9/11 have been enough to keep people from being suspicious. Tongue Especially since untraceable poisons are apparently a recognized thing in this world, to the point that Ozai doesn't doubt that Ursa had knowledge of one without any proof whatsoever.


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Strong implications have always been fair game to challenge, hence why I called it "fanon."  There was a strong implication that bending was literally impossible in the Spirit World in A:tLA, but there's no reason why that should have kept the show from explaining it as a narrower restriction later on.  Subverting strong implications can actually be a powerful narrative tool, as in the case of Zuko's backstory appearing in 112 to completely reinterpret his entire character as a more sympathetic one.

You're picked some good examples, and I'm not against this type of thing as a rule, but I think this case of it dramatically subverts what was shown in Zuko Alone. That whole biting turtleduck thing becomes completely meaningless, considering that Ursa didn't murder anyone or even provide Ozai with anything particularly useful.


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Imagine you're looking for a long-lost relative.  All you know about them is that they used to live in a rural town in California.  You can't use any modern conveniences like telephones; you have to physically visit each place in order to ask if they've ever heard of your relative.

How long do you think that would take, honestly?  I seriously doubt the Fire Lord would be able to take that much time off of ruling the nation; Iroh would have probably died before he finished.  Getting a bunch of servants to do it is likewise implausible, since I'm sure no one in the Fire Nation would be particularly impressed by the Fire Lord wasting so many resources on a wild goose chase.

In other words, no, it's not actionable information.  =P

How many people are expecting this to take? All of the Fire Nation has military-connected police forces near its settlements; how hard is it to have a couple of troopers do a door-to-door inquiry for a month? Heck, you could make it a secondary goal of a census.


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Fair enough, but that suffers from a similar issue -- there's no reason to believe that such a conspiracy would continue to exist once Zuko took the throne.

As established by The Search, you're correct, but haven't I been talking about Ozai needing to make allies to help him with his conspiracy (which still must exist, because something enabled him to fake Azulon's will, avoid suspicion, and become Fire Lord, and it wasn't the poison), allies who might still have the power to enforce his wishes? Especially since The Promise established that he has contacts feeding him information into his jail cell?


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In this case, then, the story you're saying was possible is a lousy one.  I don't think it makes any sense at all, narratively speaking, to have Zuko's servants so afraid of telling him about Ursa when we're meant to believe that the Fire Nation Capitol is even vaguely safe.

But it's not. Assassins were walking right into his bedroom. All I'm doing is connecting the evidence that existed before The Search decided to run down the wrong street with a bucket on its head.


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And I think you're too invested in your own view of things to be open to a more natural implication, so there's not much you're going to do to convince me that you're seeing things accurately.  =P

That's why we use smilies with these kinds of statements, yes? Grin


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I think it indicates that she's trying to convince herself of the opposite, but can't quite manage it, resulting in a statement that's facially absurd given what she says immediately afterwards.

As she said in her very next lines, "when the time came, he made his choice, and we paid the price" -- the operating words being "when the time came."  That betrays her belief that he really was hurt and confused when he acted hurt and confused, even though the end result was bad for Team Avatar.  She thinks he's untrustworthy because he makes bad decisions, not because she thinks he isn't a human being with feelings.

I don't think it means that at all. I think she's saying that at the first opportunity where he could have put his money where his mouth was, he revealed his true character.


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Sarcastic exaggeration when things don't pan out.  A true hallmark of Loopy's debate style.  =P

Ignoring real evidence that contradicts her ability to worship at the feet of the Mike and the Bryan: classic Ikkin. Tongue


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He might have half a brain, but the desire to think well of someone can do a number on one's reasoning capabilities regardless of how intelligent one is.

Could you not be vague for once and really say what you think he was thinking? Because we know exactly what he considered Ozai to be, before he got over his self-delusion, but you're being horribly vague about this.


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I'm just using the comic to show it's plausible that Zuko could have understood what was going on with Mai, so the details don't really matter all that much.

But, if you insist, she could have just been using it to mock him, and he could be sufficiently lacking in self-esteem due to his recognition of the huge mistake he'd just made that he didn't bother objecting.

Like I said above, though, the specifics aren't really important, because making flashbacks from the Third Person Limited POV is a well-established method of storytelling.

Discussed above.


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As far as the story being told by the comics is concerned, I strongly disagree.  Roku's descendents definitely came off as in hiding to me.

And I've explained why it's ridiculous.


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Ursa was unlikely to protect Zuko completely by doing what Ozai said, but I think the chances of him getting murdered actually were significantly lower if Ursa didn't risk being found.  She was trying to keep him alive rather than safe, and with that in mind, I'm not sure I'd call her unsuccessful.  =P

You say "successful," I call it "lucky." Or are you saying Ursa was gambling on the Avatar being found and fixing the world?


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I don't think Roku's descendents were on the firing line, to be fair; I just think they had a decent reason for concern, especially once the Fire Nation's anti-Avatar sentiment became clearer.

What anti-Avatar sentiment is that? Because I didn't see anything that denigrated Roku or his life, and the Fire Sages even maintained a temple in honor to him on Crescent Island. The only Avatar the Fire Nation had a problem with was the one they considered to be a foreign enemy.


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The story ends on Ursa starting a story about being forced into an abusive marriage against her will.  I'm not saying there isn't future happiness implied -- that's a given considering that Zuko found his mother -- but it's not unambiguously happy the way you claim.  Ignoring the elephant in the room makes you the one who's doing the resistant reading, not me.  All I'm doing is drawing out the implications that are already there.

Implications that are meaningless in the story that's being told. Especially since those flashbacks go out of their way to make Ursa into a suffering pure being who deserves everyone's sympathy.


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So they should have retold Ursa's entire story all over again?  =P  I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect the reader to get that the story is circular.

Ursa telling a story doesn't mean she and Zuko are going to have any difficulty with it, especially since the story is framed as Ursa referring to Zuko affectionately and with little worry or stress. Gene was so worried about being clever he forgot to add that ambiguity you keep talking about.


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SI don't think he did...?  He wanted to not be Ozai's son, but I don't think he ever suggested that he wanted to stop being Fire Lord.  He just wanted to be an usurper Fire Lord rather than a legitimate heir (without really considering how much more difficult that would make everything).  =P

So what does Fire Lording have to do with this legacy that Zuko was rejecting? Why is Zuko against being a Fire Lord, when he really only needed to repudiate Sozin and the changes he introduced?


He calls Ozai his father twice, even when rejecting his desire for affection once and for all.

He wants to help Aang restore balance to the world, which works a lot better if he's still heir to the Fire Nation throne.

He sees his role as restoring the honor of the Fire Nation as its Fire Lord.

Even when he's not intending to take the throne, it's because he expects Iroh to take his rightful place as Fire Lord when Ozai is defeated.  There's no reason to think he wasn't expecting to succeed Iroh; he just didn't expect to become Fire Lord at 17.  =P

I don't think those quotes are as hard as you're representing them. Zuko is going into exile to help restore the world, and if that winds up with him eventually becoming Fire Lord, that'd be great, but I don't think he's expecting it.


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Neighbors who travel between off-limits areas by veiled palanquin.  I don't think that's stretching too far.

Except the palanquin thing was used for one joke in one episode, and otherwise we saw the Royal Family traveling the usual way. Zuko even expresses surprise that he'd need a palanquin to go across the street, indicating that he probably didn't take one to the park that's literally the same distance away as Mai's house but thirty degrees to the left.


Also, I missed your second post, last time, so I'll add that here:

How do you know he was "living modestly?"  That island could have belonged to him as a noble.  I mean, it wouldn't have made any sense for him to have been as close to Sozin as he was if he wasn't a noble, and him being the Avatar shouldn't have disenfranchised his entire line.

Well, his house didn't look especially fancy, nor centrally located if it was his land that he was administering. So, I'm going by a few visual clues and lack of contradictory evidence. Which is kind of what visual storytelling is all about.

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I think it would be reasonable for the children of the Avatar, whose ancestor died under suspicious circumstances while alongside Fire Lord Sozin, to be suspicious of his motivations for going after the next Avatar's nation, especially once he started sending people after the Avatar directly.  =P  My understanding is that Sozin himself had been the first to start the snipe hunts that Zuko ended up getting sent on.

Actually, according to interviews with the Mike and the Bryan, there were no snipe hunts. Iroh's reference to Zuko's family searching for the Avatar were about them ordering searches, not going themselves.

And sure, Roku's family could have been suspicious about the Air Nomads, but given that Roku wasn't being denigrated at all in the Fire Nation, and Sozin's real goal was to conquer foreign lands, why would they assume they would be in danger if they didn't do anything treasonous?


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An army who was busy fighting elsewhere.  =P

...nnnno, there was an army at the Capital and airships. Aang went to fight them and was literally chased out of the sky. Remember that?


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In any case, I fail to see how that's relevant to the issue at hand.  Earth Kingdom insurgents are going to pop up whether the Avatar's dead or not (and, in fact, I bet they'd be even more desperate if Aang was killed), and they're not going to launch an attack on the Fire Nation homeland either way.  They're literally irrelevant to Ozai's decision of whether to fight Aang or not.

You said there was no danger in the Avatar escaping, because he was leaving behind a small group of allies. I'm pointing out that the entire Earth Kingdom was covered in rebels who Aang could have joined and organized, rebels who were already a major threat on their own.


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Let's be honest -- you and I are never going to agree about what's a "clear implication" and when it's being "dramatically undermined."  As far as I'm concerned, you got overly invested in something that was never as important as you believed it to be and are upset because things didn't happen the way you imagined it.

No, I'm upset that what we got is massively inferior to what was implied before. I'm no stranger to a retcon, and I've happily accepted some (I talked about being fine with the implications around Aang's death being retconned halfway through LoK, for example), but The Search is a terrible story that uses retcons to damage what came before to no good end.

However, I agree that we're never going to agree (...don't think too hard about that wording Cheesy), and we've been going in circles for a while now. If you want to respond one last time, go ahead, but I think I'm done here.
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Ikkin
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

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« Reply #561 on: Jul 06, 2014 01:16 am »

What position is that? As far as I know, I hold the following non-contradictory positions, and have touched on all of them in this debate:

1. Zuko Alone and subsequent episodes of the cartoon set up a story that has not been followed through on.
2. Canon is defined by Nickelodeon, not the Mike and the Bryan.
3. All of the stuff that isn't the ATLA cartoon are horrible stories that undermine the cartoon, whether or not they directly contradict "canon" facts. This includes all comics, canon or not, except for one or two one-off Lost Adventures that both aren't bad and don't have enough of a footprint to affect anything.

If the comics are canon, which they must be if Nickelodeon defines canon, than they establish that Zuko recognized that Mai had a crush on him by Book 2, which is inconsistent with your (rather silly) insistence that it would have been out of character for him to have done so.  =P


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That's not how flashbacks work, honestly. There are two kinds of flashbacks- the kind that show facts, and the kind that show memories which are subject to unreliability. That the flashbacks in Zuko Alone are centered on Zuko doesn't mean they're Third Person Limited at all. Showing things from outside Zuko's direct memories back them the first kind of flashback, and thus reliable.

Whether they're reliable or not isn't what's in question.  What's in question is whether those flashbacks ought to have shown things that were irrelevant to Zuko's immediate experience, to which I argue the answer is no.  Ozai's frown was relevant to Zuko's experience, Ursa's original class status wasn't, end of story.


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Or they reinterpret based on mood and forgetfulness, because they have no loyalty to their previous work. Tongue

You can keep telling yourself that if you want, but I can't imagine it's going to win anyone over to your side.  =P


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As I discussed, the Star Wars stuff has had various canon systems. It was only recently, with the release of the Clone Wars cartoon, that Lucas established a "movie-verse." In the 80's, he was even directly involved in commissioning specific storylines for the "EU." However, for most of the modern Star Wars EU, a designated employee was the arbiter of the canon system.

The way the Wikipedia article makes it sound, the continuity system was created in the early nineties in response to the growth of an actual continuity within the EU (since earlier works were disconnected and did not impact on other works).

Nearly every quote in that article makes it sound like Lucas has control of the primary canon and the other employees are arbiters of the secondary canon system.  There's even a quote in there where he says he gave explicit instructions for films not to be made without him, which strongly suggests that he believes himself to be auteur of the primary canon.  =P


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And Eric Coleman, who invented Zuko. And Aaron Ehasz, who invented what we currently recognize as Toph.

You should be aware, I don't subscribe to the Auteur Theory for Avatar. Except as an explanation for why everything after the original ATLA cartoon is so bad.

Neither of them do interviews explaining stuff about the world.  Bryke do, and they've seized control over the primary canon as a result.

As far as I'm concerned, being the only people capable of developing the universe outside of authorized works and without authorization from a higher source is exactly the sort of thing that turns a creator into the arbiter of canon.


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No, it wouldn't, because Tolkien is actually an auteur, whereas the Mike and the Bryan are producers who appointed themselves writers.

Way to undersell their influence.

They're not just "producers who appointed themselves writers;" they're producers who co-created the series bible, took part in every writers' meeting on both series (as well as in the production of the Dark Horse comics), wrote episodes, drew storyboards, choreographed scenes in detail, acted out video reference, involved themselves in every element of production they could, and, most importantly, secured roles as the only people eligible to make Word of God statements about the universe as a whole.

For all intents and purposes, they're acting in the auteur role as far as their 'verse is concerned.  They're certainly not participating in a shared 'verse in any normal understanding of that term.


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(Shared 'verses, like Star Wars EU canon and comics canon, are a bit different and might revert to the IP owner in the absence of an auteur figure.  But Bryke exists, and therefore Nick's primary role in the creation of canon is sending notes questioning the propriety of alcoholic noodles and teenagers in swimsuits =P )

Wrong. Look up Eric Coleman some time.

Eric Coleman is a single exec who had a greater influence on the show due to his existing connection with Bryan Konietzko.  He doesn't represent "Nick" or "the IP holder;" he represents a single individual who, like the show's writers, collaborated in the process of creating the show that Bryke wanted to make as creators.

There's a reason why Mike and Bryan are always introduced as "co-creators," and it's not because they're working in Nickelodeon's shared 'verse.


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I'm only cynical because I've been burned by this mess of a franchise, after loving it so purely. Tongue

I think you've got the attributions backwards, honestly.  =P


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He can be suspicious without necessarily being suspicious in the right direction.  There are a number of ways to relate the two things that involve Ursa being a victim rather than a murderer, which would be just as consistent with the way we see Zuko react when Ozai starts telling him about Ursa as the truth is.

Could you be more specific? I'm not understanding.

Zuko could have thought that Ursa was killed for finding out something she wasn't supposed to find out.  I mean, he did seem to think she was dead.  =P


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If that were the case, skipping Ozai would be a cakewalk -- just make Azula Iroh's heir.  =P

Not so much of a cakewalk if Azula is everything Ozai is billing her as. Cheesy

...as an intelligent and talented firebending prodigy?  I'm not sure why that would make it more difficult to give her higher priority than Ozai in the line of succession via adoption.  =P


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Yes, because all the facts we have about Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor, Kennedy's assassination, and 9/11 have been enough to keep people from being suspicious. Tongue Especially since untraceable poisons are apparently a recognized thing in this world, to the point that Ozai doesn't doubt that Ursa had knowledge of one without any proof whatsoever.

Using conspiracy theories as a way to imply that the normal, non-paranoid FN citizens would be suspicious really doesn't help your point.  =P


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You're picked some good examples, and I'm not against this type of thing as a rule, but I think this case of it dramatically subverts what was shown in Zuko Alone. That whole biting turtleduck thing becomes completely meaningless, considering that Ursa didn't murder anyone or even provide Ozai with anything particularly useful.

I disagree.  Ursa giving Ozai the poison to give to Azulon is functionally identical to Ursa sticking the poison in some tea for a servant to deliver, except insofar as the former is more likely to succeed.  =P  Using a human instrumentality to deliver a poison does not make one any less of a murderer.


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How many people are expecting this to take? All of the Fire Nation has military-connected police forces near its settlements; how hard is it to have a couple of troopers do a door-to-door inquiry for a month? Heck, you could make it a secondary goal of a census.

If the governor of California decided to use the police and/or a census to find a lost relative when he had far more important state business to attend to, do you really think the residents of California wouldn't complain about that?  =P  Even if it only took a few weeks, it's still an obvious misappropriation of state resources.


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As established by The Search, you're correct, but haven't I been talking about Ozai needing to make allies to help him with his conspiracy (which still must exist, because something enabled him to fake Azulon's will, avoid suspicion, and become Fire Lord, and it wasn't the poison), allies who might still have the power to enforce his wishes? Especially since The Promise established that he has contacts feeding him information into his jail cell?

If Ozai's allies still have the power to enforce his wishes, Ursa can't be brought back to the capitol safely.  For the story to work, Ursa must be able to return to the capitol safely; ergo, Ozai must not have allies with the power to enforce his wishes.


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But it's not. Assassins were walking right into his bedroom. All I'm doing is connecting the evidence that existed before The Search decided to run down the wrong street with a bucket on its head.

And they were stopped, and the capitol returned to a condition that was safe enough for Ursa to return to (which, as I've established repeatedly, is a necessary condition for Zuko's desire to bring Ursa back there to make any sense at all).


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That's why we use smilies with these kinds of statements, yes? Grin

I suppose.  =P


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I don't think it means that at all. I think she's saying that at the first opportunity where he could have put his money where his mouth was, he revealed his true character.

No way.  That interpretation just doesn't mesh with the dialogue without stretching it to the breaking point.  "He made his choice" strongly implies that he had a choice to make in that moment, which only works if he could have gone one way or the other.


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Ignoring real evidence that contradicts her ability to worship at the feet of the Mike and the Bryan: classic Ikkin. Tongue

Claiming fanon is "real evidence" and acting infuriatingly patronizing about my refusal to accept it.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at this point.  =P


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Could you not be vague for once and really say what you think he was thinking? Because we know exactly what he considered Ozai to be, before he got over his self-delusion, but you're being horribly vague about this.

As I said above, he could have thought Ursa was killed for finding out too much, since he couldn't see her as a murderer.


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And I've explained why it's ridiculous.

And I've explained why that's wrong.  =P


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You say "successful," I call it "lucky." Or are you saying Ursa was gambling on the Avatar being found and fixing the world?

Zuko wouldn't have been dead regardless of whether the Avatar was found.  She was making a play for his survival rather than his happiness; very little luck was involved in that.


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What anti-Avatar sentiment is that? Because I didn't see anything that denigrated Roku or his life, and the Fire Sages even maintained a temple in honor to him on Crescent Island. The only Avatar the Fire Nation had a problem with was the one they considered to be a foreign enemy.

The anti-Avatar sentiment that led to the genocide of an entire people as a way to kill a twelve-year-old who'd barely been given the chance to learn of his identity?  Aang wasn't targeted because he was a current threat; he was targeted to avoid him becoming a threat in the future.  I certainly would find that worrisome if I were related to the previous Avatar, no matter how respectful people were acting towards said previous Avatar.


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Implications that are meaningless in the story that's being told. Especially since those flashbacks go out of their way to make Ursa into a suffering pure being who deserves everyone's sympathy.

If you think that, you don't understand the story being told at all.  =P  (Hint: Ursa's own shortcomings played a huge part of the mystery the comics were created to explore)


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Ursa telling a story doesn't mean she and Zuko are going to have any difficulty with it, especially since the story is framed as Ursa referring to Zuko affectionately and with little worry or stress. Gene was so worried about being clever he forgot to add that ambiguity you keep talking about.

The nature of the story alone is enough to suggest that it's not going to be an easy story for them to hear/tell.  I mean, come on.  You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand that hearing about one's mother's abuse or relating the story of one's own abuse to one's son is going to be a painful experience.


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So what does Fire Lording have to do with this legacy that Zuko was rejecting? Why is Zuko against being a Fire Lord, when he really only needed to repudiate Sozin and the changes he introduced?

He wasn't.  He just didn't want to be Ozai's son.


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I don't think those quotes are as hard as you're representing them. Zuko is going into exile to help restore the world, and if that winds up with him eventually becoming Fire Lord, that'd be great, but I don't think he's expecting it.

He might have been willing to sacrifice his shot at the throne, but I don't think he ever stopped seeing himself as Prince Zuko.


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Except the palanquin thing was used for one joke in one episode, and otherwise we saw the Royal Family traveling the usual way. Zuko even expresses surprise that he'd need a palanquin to go across the street, indicating that he probably didn't take one to the park that's literally the same distance away as Mai's house but thirty degrees to the left.

How about this -- your average Fire Nation citizen seems very unaware of the actions of their royalty in general.  Even if Ursa wasn't hiding herself that thoroughly, it's possible that the time of her disappearance wasn't well-established outside of the palace.


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Well, his house didn't look especially fancy, nor centrally located if it was his land that he was administering. So, I'm going by a few visual clues and lack of contradictory evidence. Which is kind of what visual storytelling is all about.

His house was up on a hill, which might not be a central location, but seems to be a prime piece of real estate given how much surrounding property he could own (and how much easier said property could be to defend) as a result:



Also, his house might have looked kind of spartan...



But we've seen the bedchambers of the FN royalty, and they weren't heavily decorated, either:




Also, we've seen peasant beds, and they don't have the top canopy thing that Roku's does:



At the very least, the visual storytelling doesn't rule out the nobility interpretation.  =P


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Actually, according to interviews with the Mike and the Bryan, there were no snipe hunts. Iroh's reference to Zuko's family searching for the Avatar were about them ordering searches, not going themselves.

And sure, Roku's family could have been suspicious about the Air Nomads, but given that Roku wasn't being denigrated at all in the Fire Nation, and Sozin's real goal was to conquer foreign lands, why would they assume they would be in danger if they didn't do anything treasonous?

...when did they say that?  "Your father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all tried and failed" sounds pretty definitive to me... though, even if they just sent search parties after the Avatar, I'm not sure that would change the way it would look to outside observers.  =P

In any case, I think "this person is crazy enough to genocide an entire people in their attempt to search for the Avatar" would be a great reason to try to slip under that person's radar.  I mean, "Maybe he went to hide out with his past life's family" isn't that much of a stretch for Sozin to have made considering how far he'd gone already.


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...nnnno, there was an army at the Capital and airships. Aang went to fight them and was literally chased out of the sky. Remember that?

...okay, I was thinking about a different point of that fight than you were.  I'm not sure Ozai chasing after them would have worked very well at that point, though, considering that he would have had to wait for an airship to pick him up to have any hope of following at a sufficient speed to catch up and the airships had to give up pursuit as things were.  It's not like Aang and co. would have had any reason to stay and fight if they were outnumbered like that.


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You said there was no danger in the Avatar escaping, because he was leaving behind a small group of allies. I'm pointing out that the entire Earth Kingdom was covered in rebels who Aang could have joined and organized, rebels who were already a major threat on their own.

Honestly, there's no way Ozai could have seen him as any more dangerous with rag-tag rebels as allies than he was with all the forces he could field.  =P


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No, I'm upset that what we got is massively inferior to what was implied before. I'm no stranger to a retcon, and I've happily accepted some (I talked about being fine with the implications around Aang's death being retconned halfway through LoK, for example), but The Search is a terrible story that uses retcons to damage what came before to no good end.

However, I agree that we're never going to agree (...don't think too hard about that wording Cheesy), and we've been going in circles for a while now. If you want to respond one last time, go ahead, but I think I'm done here.

I disagree about The Search.

I will gladly leave this as my last post on the matter, though, because I don't think I've ever wanted a debate to end quite so much as this one.
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Loopy
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« Reply #562 on: Jul 06, 2014 02:14 pm »

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Actually, according to interviews with the Mike and the Bryan, there were no snipe hunts. Iroh's reference to Zuko's family searching for the Avatar were about them ordering searches, not going themselves.

And sure, Roku's family could have been suspicious about the Air Nomads, but given that Roku wasn't being denigrated at all in the Fire Nation, and Sozin's real goal was to conquer foreign lands, why would they assume they would be in danger if they didn't do anything treasonous?

...when did they say that?  "Your father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all tried and failed" sounds pretty definitive to me... though, even if they just sent search parties after the Avatar, I'm not sure that would change the way it would look to outside observers.  =P

Here you go:

RM: Iroh said Zuko's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had searched for the Avatar and failed. This suggests Ozai hasn't been sheltered in the palace all his life. Did Iroh join the military and then Ozai by default go search for the Avatar, or did Ozai actually want to go on the wild goose chase?

BK: Another good question. It may come from a misconception though. I always imagined that Sozin wasn't actually on the ship floating around looking for Aang. Rather he was sending his fleet out on the search.

MDD: The others weren't like Zuko.

RM: It was more metaphorically 'looking for the Avatar'.

BK: Yeah, all through the ages that was part of what they did. They'd always be sending out missions.

MDD: Part of the war budget.

BK: Yeah, it was like, "Sir, why are you spending so much on Avatar search? This is like the Holy Grail, you'll never find anything."

MDD: And anyway, by the time it came to Ozai, he realized, although he didn't know what happened, there was no way anyone was ever going to find him. That's why he sent Zuko off...

BK: A bit of a 'fool's errand'.

MDD: Yeah. The expectation was that he never would find anything.

RM: So Ozai may never have left the Fire Nation capitol?

BK: Ozai is not like some kind of palace dweller. We will say that. I'm not sure how much he's ventured out into the world, but he's not like the Earth King where he's isolated. The Fire Nation is a little more 'hands on'. It's not uncommon that you will have to fight or duel for political or military positions or purposes. There's a big difference. I think in the Fire Nation, unlike in Ba Sing Se, if there's a prince who's 30 years old, he's probably fought pretty intensely a few times. Had to prove his worth. Not unlike Japanese Samurai in their day. They had to make a name for themselves, they had to have some fame. Fire Nation, like a lot of other militaristic cultures throughout history, has warriors who have to prove themselves either through some battle, test of martial skill, or duel. Fire Nation's a little more aggressive like that. Ozai's not sitting around eating Bon Bon's in the palace, he's working out.

RM: Well it seems pretty clear he was making sure he was in the palace to take advantage of when Azulon wasn't there anymore.

BK: Yeah...one thing that is genetic is he and Azula. Manipulative, plotting genes swimming around.

The very next question is the infamous one where they say that Ozai and Ursa were probably an arranged marriage and happy at first, so I'm surprised that you haven't seen this interview yet. Cheesy


I will gladly leave this as my last post on the matter, though, because I don't think I've ever wanted a debate to end quite so much as this one.

Then, out of curiosity, why did you keep replying? I'd keep going, because I enjoy both debating and bashing stories that I find horrid, but my time is limited lately and I'd rather focus on writing fanfic. I generally prefer to engage in positive fan activities, given a choice, although I like both positive and negative when I can get it.
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« Reply #563 on: Jul 06, 2014 02:51 pm »

Here you go:

RM: Iroh said Zuko's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had searched for the Avatar and failed. This suggests Ozai hasn't been sheltered in the palace all his life. Did Iroh join the military and then Ozai by default go search for the Avatar, or did Ozai actually want to go on the wild goose chase?

BK: Another good question. It may come from a misconception though. I always imagined that Sozin wasn't actually on the ship floating around looking for Aang. Rather he was sending his fleet out on the search.

MDD: The others weren't like Zuko.

RM: It was more metaphorically 'looking for the Avatar'.

BK: Yeah, all through the ages that was part of what they did. They'd always be sending out missions.

MDD: Part of the war budget.

BK: Yeah, it was like, "Sir, why are you spending so much on Avatar search? This is like the Holy Grail, you'll never find anything."

MDD: And anyway, by the time it came to Ozai, he realized, although he didn't know what happened, there was no way anyone was ever going to find him. That's why he sent Zuko off...

BK: A bit of a 'fool's errand'.

MDD: Yeah. The expectation was that he never would find anything.

RM: So Ozai may never have left the Fire Nation capitol?

BK: Ozai is not like some kind of palace dweller. We will say that. I'm not sure how much he's ventured out into the world, but he's not like the Earth King where he's isolated. The Fire Nation is a little more 'hands on'. It's not uncommon that you will have to fight or duel for political or military positions or purposes. There's a big difference. I think in the Fire Nation, unlike in Ba Sing Se, if there's a prince who's 30 years old, he's probably fought pretty intensely a few times. Had to prove his worth. Not unlike Japanese Samurai in their day. They had to make a name for themselves, they had to have some fame. Fire Nation, like a lot of other militaristic cultures throughout history, has warriors who have to prove themselves either through some battle, test of martial skill, or duel. Fire Nation's a little more aggressive like that. Ozai's not sitting around eating Bon Bon's in the palace, he's working out.

RM: Well it seems pretty clear he was making sure he was in the palace to take advantage of when Azulon wasn't there anymore.

BK: Yeah...one thing that is genetic is he and Azula. Manipulative, plotting genes swimming around.

The very next question is the infamous one where they say that Ozai and Ursa were probably an arranged marriage and happy at first, so I'm surprised that you haven't seen this interview yet. Cheesy

Ah, thanks.

I do think I've seen that interview, actually; I just didn't remember that part at the time.

I really don't think it helps you very much, though, considering the part I bolded.  Wink  If the rest of the Fire Nation thinks it's a massive, irrational waste of resources, there's no way the Avatar's own family wouldn't realize that the issue with the Avatar wasn't more personal than practical.  =P


Quote
I will gladly leave this as my last post on the matter, though, because I don't think I've ever wanted a debate to end quite so much as this one.

Then, out of curiosity, why did you keep replying? I'd keep going, because I enjoy both debating and bashing stories that I find horrid, but my time is limited lately and I'd rather focus on writing fanfic. I generally prefer to engage in positive fan activities, given a choice, although I like both positive and negative when I can get it.

Because I make it a policy not to let people who patronize me get in the last word, especially when I think the claims they're making are facially absurd.  =P

I enjoy debating most of the time, honestly, but this one takes far too long and isn't any fun, especially when I could be speculating about the awesome LoK Book 3 stuff we've been given.
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« Reply #564 on: Jul 06, 2014 02:55 pm »

Well, I'm honored you have a whole policy for me, then. Cheesy

Also, I'm not clear why Roku's family knows what the annual military budgets look like. Wink
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« Reply #565 on: Jul 06, 2014 02:59 pm »

Well, I'm honored you have a whole policy for me, then. Cheesy

Also, I'm not clear why Roku's family knows what the annual military budgets look like. Wink

Eh, you're not unique in that regard.  =P

They don't need to know what the annual military budgets look like to hear about fleets being sent after the Avatar.  Wink
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« Reply #566 on: Jul 06, 2014 03:11 pm »

Whole fleets?

Ikkin, as Bumi once told Aang, "Instead of seeing what they want you to see, you gotta open your brain to the possibilities." Grin

But this is my last post on that point, so feel free to ignore that advice.
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Ikkin
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« Reply #567 on: Jul 06, 2014 03:43 pm »

Whole fleets?

Ikkin, as Bumi once told Aang, "Instead of seeing what they want you to see, you gotta open your brain to the possibilities." Grin

But this is my last post on that point, so feel free to ignore that advice.

"I always imagined that Sozin wasn't actually on the ship floating around looking for Aang. Rather he was sending his fleet out on the search."

Since multiple Fire Lords sent their fleet, I figured pluralization was necessary.

As far as your advice is concerned, here's one for you: "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."  Wink
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« Reply #568 on: Jul 06, 2014 03:53 pm »

And sometimes Amon is just Amon. Cheesy
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« Reply #569 on: Jul 06, 2014 04:02 pm »

And sometimes Amon is just Amon. Cheesy

Which is to say, a narcissist with identity issues.  =D
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« Reply #570 on: Jul 06, 2014 05:43 pm »

And thus ends the epic battle to end all epic battles Tongue
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« Reply #571 on: Jul 06, 2014 05:48 pm »

This battle made the heaven shake and split the Earth. It shall be documented in history books;
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« Reply #572 on: Jul 18, 2014 02:57 am »

I read bad things about The Promise, looked some of it up and agreed wholeheartedly. I still wanted to support the franchise, though, and I could admit to myself that anything official involving more Azula, no matter how bad, I wanted to read. (same thing goes for Toph and the Rift)

But they've totally ruined Ursa's character for me. She lies just to see if Ozai is reading her letters. Was it really not blatantly apparent by then that she was putting Zuko in grave danger by doing this? Not to mention putting into question and possibly destroying his political future forever if nothing physically bad happened? Ozai was controlling and threatening.

Then, she could have a new face and work her way up to being some kind of maid in the palace and keep an eye on Zuko and Azula. This is "mother bear" we're talking about. But whoops, she's spent some time in the woods with her crush so nope. She fracking erases her memory of them. The vast majority of real mothers, if faced (snerk) with this choice would say absolutely not, no way in hell, why would you even ask. You have to wonder if Azula didn't get her tendencies towards sociopathy from her. Erasing the bond you share with your children?? I'm still disturbed about it.

They didn't even make noticeable steps towards resolving Azula and Zuko's issues. Is that going to be continued later?

Ironically I actually enjoyed most of the rest of the comic. Spooky spirit things going on. Smiley
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« Reply #573 on: Jul 18, 2014 03:51 am »

The whole "Azula and Zuko's issues" may be resolved in another trilogy or in a single comic book. Given Azula's popularity, I do believe we may get some trilogy for her.
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« Reply #574 on: Jul 18, 2014 06:03 am »

I didn't think Ursa's actions were too far out there if you assume she's severely traumatized by Ozai's abuse.

I read the letter thing as... basically intentionally self-destructive.  Like, she thought there was a chance that Ozai would murder both of them, but she didn't really care because she thought they'd be better off or something.  It's an attempt to seize back control, albeit of a really messed-up sort.

As for her erasing her memories, again, it was basically a destruction-of-self.  She doesn't believe herself to be capable of helping her children, so she destroys the part of herself that would suffer from their loss.

(Basically, you know how Zuko was semi-suicidal in The Promise?  I think he inherited that tendency from Mom, even if she expressed it differently)
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