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Author Topic: [DH Comics #9] The Rift, Part 3  (Read 20109 times)
Solid Sun
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« Reply #75 on: Dec 14, 2014 06:08 am »

I doubt GOI would be, hum, impossible to "see" for Toph with all these houses he smash and the fact that he was grappling with a rock giant.
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nightingale
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« Reply #76 on: Dec 14, 2014 09:07 pm »

I doubt GOI would be, hum, impossible to "see" for Toph with all these houses he smash and the fact that he was grappling with a rock giant.

Exactly. But meh, I don't like to nitpick the comics as much. I have lower expectations of them.
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But four babies playing a game can make a playworld which licks your real world hollow... I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia.

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« Reply #77 on: Feb 21, 2015 05:39 pm »

Has anybody bought and read it yet? When would be a good time to open up a topic page on it?
Yea I have read it. I would say when you have read and looked at what some of the themes are so that you can possibly even host a debate/ discussion page on it which could be a very enjoyable page. I thought that it was a enjoyable read maybe not as much as say "The search" but it's still a good story examining reasons for when and why to respect certain traditions of others and when not to and looks at it in a very interesting way.
Check it out and looking forward to a forum on it
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Icy_Ashford
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« Reply #78 on: Apr 11, 2015 12:14 am »

Continuing to post commentary I find interesting in the Library edition of The Rift. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 in the respective threads.

In the panel where Toph is holding up the weight of the collapsed mine
Quote
GLY: I've said before that Sokka is to Team Avatar what Hawkeye is to Marvel's Avengers- the one normal guy who hangs out with the most powerful people on the planet. Toph, then, is the team's Hulk- the mean, green, fighting machine. When I was a kid, one of my favorite comic book covers was Secret Wars #4. The Hulk was buried underground with his friends, holding up, the cover copy claimed, "one hundred and fifty billion tons." Surely, if the Hulk can do something like that, so can Toph.

The page where Cabbage Merchant spots a forklift
Quote
GLY: In The Legend of Korra, the cabbage merchant's descendant runs Cabbage Corp, a direct competitor of Future Industries. How did the cabbage merchant turn his humble cabbage business into one of the world's largest companies? We show the beginnings of it here.

When General Old Iron towers over Sokka and Satoru
Quote
GLY: Gurihiru's full-page illustrations are always so amazing.

Quote
G: We like the scene when General Old Iron appears and we feel like we were able to depict him with the right amount of impact. But we did have some trouble with drawing the armor, which takes a lot of time.

Aang strikes the final blow on General Old Iron
Quote
GLY: The tension between the spirit world and the human one was incredibly difficult to write about. We know what happens in the future- Aang and Zuko work together to build a beautiful, gleaming city in this area. But here, we talk about the cost. We foreshadow some of the conflicts that arise in The Legend of Korra, towards the end of Book Two.

So the area where the Earthern Fire Refinery and Toph's metalbending school are would be where Republic City would be built? Hmm...

When General Old Iron takes on a new form
Quote
G: General Old Iron transforms into serpent-lobster spiritual energy. We chose to leave the serpent-lobsters uncolored and instead expressed them with just light.

The battle is over and Toph and Aang reconcile
Quote
G: In this scene it has finally stopped raining, which makes it stand out from the previous pages. We would have liked to have foreshadowed the importance of the cranefish with hints at the beginning of The Rift.

During the Spirits' Friendship Festival at the end of the book
Quote
GLY: Loban (Satoru's uncle) repents by joining the Air Acolytes!

I did not notice that...

Quote
GLY: The words on the banners mean "spirits," which also happens to be the title of The Legend of Korra's second season.

And that is all.
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PrincessBlazefire
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« Reply #79 on: Apr 11, 2015 12:30 am »

Quote
GLY: I've said before that Sokka is to Team Avatar what Hawkeye is to Marvel's Avengers- the one normal guy who hangs out with the most powerful people on the planet. Toph, then, is the team's Hulk- the mean, green, fighting machine. When I was a kid, one of my favorite comic book covers was Secret Wars #4. The Hulk was buried underground with his friends, holding up, the cover copy claimed, "one hundred and fifty billion tons." Surely, if the Hulk can do something like that, so can Toph.

This is the best thing I've ever read in my entire life. Someone please tell me that some Avengers/Avatar fanart has already been done so I can continue to bask in this perfection Cheesy
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KatrinaKadabra
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« Reply #80 on: Jul 30, 2015 02:42 am »

Quote
GLY: I've said before that Sokka is to Team Avatar what Hawkeye is to Marvel's Avengers- the one normal guy who hangs out with the most powerful people on the planet. Toph, then, is the team's Hulk- the mean, green, fighting machine. When I was a kid, one of my favorite comic book covers was Secret Wars #4. The Hulk was buried underground with his friends, holding up, the cover copy claimed, "one hundred and fifty billion tons." Surely, if the Hulk can do something like that, so can Toph.

This is the best thing I've ever read in my entire life. Someone please tell me that some Avengers/Avatar fanart has already been done so I can continue to bask in this perfection Cheesy

My art skills are not even remotely up to the task, but now I have to ask... who gets the other roles? Is Aang Captain America? Who are Zuko and Katara? (Right now I'm thinking Zuko's gotta be Thor -- he's even got a crazy sibling who wants to kick him off the throne. Plus, if anyone on Team Avatar would talk like Thor, you know it would be Zuko.)
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Loopy
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« Reply #81 on: Jul 30, 2015 06:26 pm »

Yeah, Zuko as Thor works. I disagree with Gene that Toph is anything remotely like the Hulk, so here's the lineup I figure:

The Team
Aang: Captain America, because Principle
Katara: Hulk, because she balances empathy and anger, not always successfully, thanks to issues going back to childhood
Sokka: Hawkeye, agree with Yang
Toph: Iron Man, power and audience-pleasing charisma mixed with a terrible sense of responsibility who lashes out when uncomfortable
Zuko: Thor, for reasons given above
Suki: Black Widow, only ever a sidekick to other characters Tongue

And it even works with the shippings! Sukka reflects the chemistry of Hawkeye and Black Widow, while Thor and Hulk were the conflict-driven bromance of the first movie, just like Zutara. Cheesy
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KatrinaKadabra
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« Reply #82 on: Aug 03, 2015 02:22 pm »

Poor Suki. (And Black Widow for that matter.) You know when they tell of the tales of the awesomeness of Team Avatar, Suki gets left out of half the stories she was in. :p

On a more amusing note, I've got an image in my head of Katara looking all green and telling Zuko, "Give me one reason to think you might hurt Aang... AND I WILL SMASH YOU!" Smiley
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Loopy
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« Reply #83 on: Sep 15, 2015 05:40 pm »

So I finally read this book. What do I think?

There's actually a lot to like in this story. Smiley

The problem is that there's TOO MUCH to like in this story. The same thing that killed Legend of Korra killed The Rift- too many characters and too many events crammed in for Rule of Cool.

I'd actually say that, overall, The Rift is Gene's best Avatar work. No plot points were dropped, the arcs that began in the first volume were carried through to the third, all the events played to the same themes, and Old General Iron was a good villain. Gurihiru was at the top of their game, and I loved the power of the splash pages. But the important events in this this weren't given any time to breathe. As a result, there was a lot of reliance on Telling (over Showing). And Gene had to fall back to his 'bookend plot' character arcs, where there's a beginning and end but no middle (like how the Earth King when from a war-monger to being terrified of war, all off-page).

And I couldn't help noticing all the redundancies in the story. Lao, Uncle Loban, and Katara's Water Tribe Bullies all went through the exact same arc: start off cold and mean, go through a traumatic experience, and then become good for vague reasons. There were two Rough Rhino fights when even one was rehashing what we saw twice in the cartoon already. And Aang and Toph had to have a big argument about tradition in the first volume and then fight over the Symbolism Factory in the third, repeating all the exact same bullet points at each other. Aang sees Yangchen miming at him several times. The flashback and the main plot combine to give us two more or less identical Avatar-vs-Spirit fights. The story was filled with things like this.

Speaking of Aang and Toph, I actually think the biggest problem with the overall Rift story is their conflict. It's the least interesting of the subplots, has the least at stake, and is the least likely to have a tragic ending. (Thanks, Korra, for revealing that Toph and Aang are still good friends as adults. Way to kill the tension. But then, it's not Korra's fault, is it, Gene?) It's the shallowest of the Old/New Rivalry subplots, and the way it's tied to Aang and Toph's respective pop-psych issues makes it feel the most shallow. They're not really arguing about the past and the future as they claim to be, but rather their specific attachments- Aang to his meaningless traditions and Toph to her parent issues. If these attachments felt like they could strain the friendship between Aang and Toph, that'd be one thing, but the fights never feel personal, never feel like the results will affect anything.

Likewise, the importance of the Symbolism Factory- a supposedly powerful symbol of how the nations can come together to create a new future- is left to be explained by Lao and Satoru but never actually seen. Yes, we see how the factory employs Benders of all kinds, and that it has special Future Machines that will Make The Future, but the actual importance of this stuff is filled in by the assertions of the people who run the place, and since the only thing we ever see three classes of Benders working together for in Legend of Korra are the criminal Triads, the rest of the setting kind of undermines the effort.

Plus, we've already seen the true success story of this nature: the first scene in the first volume of The Rift, where Yu Dao (home of the Greatest Forging Techniques Ever because Earth and Fire worked together or something) has used Elections to solve every single possible tribalism issue society has ever suffered. That makes the whole point of the Symbolism Factory moot. It doesn't matter if Aang destroys the factory, because there's something else just like it- only bigger and better- a little ways to the northwest. Sure, Lao Bei Fong would be sad if the factory was destroyed, but he's reconciled with his daughter at that point and can always reconcile with his wife later as well, so what do I care if he suffers a setback here?

The prime candidate to be cut, though, is easily the Water Tribe subplot. It got the least time and space, and suffers mightily for it. It claims that Sokka and Katara haven't been home in the years since the war ended (why not?), the Southern Tribe is doing horribly to the point where its people are leaving to find jobs (why, wasn't Pakku going down to fix things?), and Katara's old friends resent her for leaving before they could (and somehow don't realize that the end of the war allowed them to survive to go find jobs in a peaceful world?). That's just completely nonsensical, and makes Katara's Bullies just seem like idiots. The subplot barely touches on any of the The Rift's Old Versus New and Machine Versus Nature themes, and the characters involved go through Gene's typical bookend arc without the benefit of any other characterization. The whole thing is a mess, and insultingly stupid.

And yet The Rift comes so close to working. The pieces are all there: old Bending versus new Metalbending, the old world of the spirits versus the new world of the humans, the old Air Traditions versus the new Factories of Peace. Heck, even old Cabbages versus new Forklifts. Any one of those could have carried the story (well, maybe not the Cabbage Corp origin), or all three could have been combined in a more meaningful way if they didn't have to share space with the other subplots that didn't work.

I especially liked the fight between Aang and Old General Iron. But again, the consequences to Aang were glossed over because he and Toph had to fight over Lao's Symbolism Factory in case the reader is too stupid to understand what the story is really about. Yeah, Aang was sad for a panel over having to kill the Spirit, but he apparently got over it quickly enough. I wonder if the incident will ever be mentioned again?

I know Gene can make this stuff work. I saw it in American Born Chinese. ABC is the same number of pages as the complete story of The Rift, but ABC wasn't arbitrarily broken up between three volumes, and it didn't have to juggle the same number of characters and obligatory fight scenes. The Rift is a case study in poor planning and pacing, where less would have been more, and good ideas were starved to death.

Here's hoping Smoke and Shadow reveals that Gene has learned these lessons.
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longman83
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« Reply #84 on: Sep 19, 2015 07:33 pm »

The same thing that killed Legend of Korra killed The Rift- too many characters and too many events crammed in for Rule of Cool.
.
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I know Gene can make this stuff work. I saw it in American Born Chinese...but [it] wasn't arbitrarily broken up between three volumes, and it didn't have to juggle the same number of characters and obligatory fight scenes. The Rift is a case study in poor planning and pacing, where less would have been more, and good ideas were starved to death.

I think Gene wrote a more sensible story about the conflict between humans and spirits than LoK did, but it's definitely weighed down by unnecessary fluff. There's way too much conflict with fight scenes and constant feuding between characters, and the execution is such that the bones of contention are obscured by widespread obtuseness. Like this:

Speaking of Aang and Toph, I actually think the biggest problem with the overall Rift story is their conflict. It's the least interesting of the subplots, has the least at stake, and is the least likely to have a tragic ending. It's the shallowest of the Old/New Rivalry subplots, and the way it's tied to Aang and Toph's respective pop-psych issues makes it feel the most shallow. They're not really arguing about the past and the future as they claim to be, but rather their specific attachments- Aang to his meaningless traditions and Toph to her parent issues.

Yeah, the "that's just the way it's done" line that started it all in Part 1 epitomizes Aang and Toph's conveniently poor communication skills and the incompetence of their parental guardians, which is the real issue here. Apparently Gyatso considered goofing around with kites more vital for Aang than learning even the basic sketchy details of his own cultural history (I wonder how Aang ever got to be so knowledgeable and wise?), and Lao goes even further by refusing to offer Toph any logical explanations for his impositions. Albeit, this does not excuse Aang's strange failure to at least highlight the importance of respecting spiritual traditions, or Toph being an inconsiderate jerk and showing no evidence of having witnessed the upside of Aang's spiritual side first-hand.

The worst part is, even after a full debriefing by Yangchen in Part 3, Aang still can't coherently explain himself to Toph, who is opposing him only him because one of her dad's employees overheard and snitched on Aang's plan to destroy the factory but conveniently left out his stated reasons for doing so. Gaah! It's The Promise and Book Spirits all over again - conflicts purportedly based on complex issues but in substance just people butting heads due to miscommunication and overall dumbness.

Same goes for the other subplots. This world has no shortage of mooks itching for a bite out of a fully realized Avatar, even Rough Rhinos who should know its bitter taste. How did that underground mine stay secret with all those otherwise extraneous workers living in town and, like Niyok, claiming to work at the refinery? I don't care what Satoru says, Uncle Loban is a greedy meanie face with no soul. And Lao's first reaction to stumbling upon his long-lost, now legendary daughter is to disown her to her face?

As an aside, a bit more on that last one. The Bei Fong reunion is a story worth telling, but why is it happening here? Actually, why didn't this happen years ago after the war? On that note...

Quote
It claims that Sokka and Katara haven't been home in the years since the war ended (why not?)

Yeah, why not? Do they still need to be hanging around Aang 24/7? In Book Fire Toph regretted hurting her parents by running away, but after war's end chooses to start a metalbending school at some random place?

I'd have imagined that after ATLA the immediate logical step for the gAang was dispersal. These guys came together with a set goal and achieved it. In the process they learned much, and each member became more than what he/she was at the beginning. Now the war's over. Job done. It's time to go back home and appreciate the significance of all those internal changes. Bringing the whole journey of self-discovery full circle, so to speak ...right? Am I wrong? I know I haven't done a good job explaining this.

Both the WT plot and the Bei Fong reunion should have been tackled in separate stories with enough space to flesh them out. (And in Toph's case, an earlier resolution with her parents could at the very least have had them fund the metalbending academy, which would account for its logistics in the absence of tuition fees. Otherwise, how else was the project being funded? Street-scamming again, missy?) There was no need to squeeze these subplots in here.

Overall, this was a more enjoyable read than the other trilogies, thanks to the spirit shenanigans.

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Maivry
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« Reply #85 on: Sep 19, 2015 08:24 pm »

I'd have imagined that after ATLA the immediate logical step for the gAang was dispersal.

Maybe, just maybe, the gaang hadn't forgotten how terribly, terribly wrong their last attempt to split up went, in 218-219. Cheesy

Granted, even this irrational explanation doesn't explain why Toph neither stayed with the gaang nor returned home.
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Loopy
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« Reply #86 on: Sep 20, 2015 03:59 pm »

I'd have imagined that after ATLA the immediate logical step for the gAang was dispersal. These guys came together with a set goal and achieved it. In the process they learned much, and each member became more than what he/she was at the beginning. Now the war's over. Job done. It's time to go back home and appreciate the significance of all those internal changes. Bringing the whole journey of self-discovery full circle, so to speak ...right? Am I wrong? I know I haven't done a good job explaining this.

Nah, I think you illustrated it well. It's like the Hobbits coming back to the Shire at the end of LOTR, and saving it from 'Sharky.' It vividly shows the growth of the characters, and lets them directly win back the things that set them out on the journey in the first place.

I've seen fanfics take this route, with a new threat rearing its head while the gAang is separated, leading of course to a reunion prior to taking the fight back to the villain(s).

Certainly, given the relaxed timeline of the comics, it would be easy enough to do one-volume graphic novels detailing each of these homecomings. (Heck, make it a trilogy called "Homecomings," but instead of a single story broken up over three volumes, just have the trilogy united by theme.)

I wonder if it's a lack of confidence in the story being told. The appearance of Lao was the first volume's cliffhanger, after all, so perhaps Gene and/or the Dark Horse Editors simply felt that no one would come back for the next volume without something more impactful being dangled than the Refinery plot. This theory would also be supported by the teasing around whether Satoru eventually fathers one or more of Toph's kids- which, we eventually learned, he doesn't.


I'd have imagined that after ATLA the immediate logical step for the gAang was dispersal.

Maybe, just maybe, the gaang hadn't forgotten how terribly, terribly wrong their last attempt to split up went, in 218-219. Cheesy

Granted, even this irrational explanation doesn't explain why Toph neither stayed with the gaang nor returned home.

"Guys, I gotta make a run to the market. We're out of meat."

"NO!! Don't you remember what happened the last time we all split up?! CHAOS AND DOOM!!"

"Sigh. What if I take Zuko with me?"

"Oh, that's fine. Anyone can leave for a bit as long as they have a Zuko with them."
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #87 on: Sep 20, 2015 11:19 pm »

...since the only thing we ever see three classes of Benders working together for in Legend of Korra are the criminal Triads, the rest of the setting kind of undermines the effort.

Don't forget the United Forces either  Wink!
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« Reply #88 on: Sep 21, 2015 05:20 pm »

Their effectiveness can be summarized by the fact that I did completely forget about them. Grin
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« Reply #89 on: Oct 23, 2016 08:03 am »

So I finally gathered enough will free time to (re)read the Rift trilogy thoroughly and while I couldn't remember the exact details of the story, I had the chance to realize that this was the case because the plot is really confusing. Like, it feels like this whole conflict is really about General Old Iron being jelly because the humans stole his waifu's heart - being an angry warrior dude spirit is a harsh existence I reckon. Similarly, Lady Teinhai's view on humanity feels all over the place and kinda gives away the impression that her real deal is being tired of GOI and just wanting to be around people who are not angry warrior dude spirits. And the funniest part? They never feel the need to talk about this for Gene-only-knows what reason and instead center the whole conflict around the humans. I guess they thought that destroying a city/marrying a prince is easier than opening up to the other and have a honest-to-goodness talk... this is some surprisingly humane behavior if you ask me  Smiley.  

Also, GY's way of naming every single minor OC but leaving the Kyoshi Warriors unnamed is starting to really trigger me  Angry.

Oh, and what's the two SWT girls' deal? According to North & South, the SWT is going strong and is a better place than ever...
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« Reply #90 on: Oct 23, 2016 04:02 pm »

We don't talk about the Water Tribe girls. Their subplot never happened.
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« Reply #91 on: Oct 23, 2016 11:02 pm »

We don't talk about the Water Tribe girls. Their subplot never happened.

Their character design is nice tho. The secondary girl even has Dead Mom Hair. I wonder if she will be killed by a firebender when her child hits that fateful eighth year  Cheesy.
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« Reply #92 on: Oct 25, 2016 04:29 pm »

So I finally gathered enough will free time to (re)read the Rift trilogy thoroughly and while I couldn't remember the exact details of the story, I had the chance to realize that this was the case because the plot is really confusing. Like, it feels like this whole conflict is really about General Old Iron being jelly because the humans stole his waifu's heart - being an angry warrior dude spirit is a harsh existence I reckon. Similarly, Lady Teinhai's view on humanity feels all over the place and kinda gives away the impression that her real deal is being tired of GOI and just wanting to be around people who are not angry warrior dude spirits. And the funniest part? They never feel the need to talk about this for Gene-only-knows what reason and instead center the whole conflict around the humans. I guess they thought that destroying a city/marrying a prince is easier than opening up to the other and have a honest-to-goodness talk... this is some surprisingly humane behavior if you ask me  Smiley

How do you find Lady Tienhai's attitude to humanity as inconsistent? I thought that her difference of opinion with GOI on humans which drove them apart was fairly straightforward. If anything, Tienhai is almost too sympathetic towards humans, while GOI is the typical spirit jerk. His concerns about humanity posing an existential threat to spirits isn't supported by anything else we have seen in the canon, and actually disproved by Tienhai showing that she - and apparently all spirits - change forms instead of dying.

The 'honest-to-goodness talk' recommendation is more applicable to all the other conflicts going on, and on that note:

Oh, and what's the two SWT girls' deal? According to North & South, the SWT is going strong and is a better place than ever...

I'm not even surprised that the SWT girls' subplot may be contradicated by subsequent works, because it is consistent with a certain characteristic of the comics: contrived conflict. In particular, irrational conflict. It sometimes seems like someone whispered the following advice in Gene Yang's ears:

"Get the Team Avatar heroes to quarrel with each other and come to blows, that's storytelling gold!

"More conflict = more drama = better story!"

Instead, Gene ought to heed Aang's wisdom for the Acolytes early in The Rift when they were attacked by the refinery guards:
"We don't engage in conflict unless absolutely necessary."

That shouldn't only be true of pacifists or monks. Even with all the power, conflict still takes effort and has a cost, so it's best to avoid if one's ends can be achieved by other means. Real conflict needs to be necessary to the story, and arise organically from the characters, plot and setting. Much of the conflict in The Rift and The Promise is caused by poor communication. In the scene I quoted above, the fight started after the head guard casually disregarded Aang's Avatar title in one sentence and ordered his men to attack. Really, what type of idiot takes on a fully realized Avatar without hesitation?? The WT girls' beef with Katara is the more annoying because not only is their attitude strangely irrational, the subplot not even relevant to the main themes. It's just unnecessary padding to a story already crammed with too much stuff.


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« Reply #93 on: Oct 25, 2016 11:23 pm »

How do you find Lady Tienhai's attitude to humanity as inconsistent? I thought that her difference of opinion with GOI on humans which drove them apart was fairly straightforward.

Tienhai's and GOI's opinions on humans are not mutually exclusive and it can be said that they are both right. Humans create to dominate and dominate through creation - these two usually walk hand-in-hand. Like, did Tienhai never saw and/or heard about wars? Or what?
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