The Venom of the Red Lotus




Great inference! I knew the venom had some significance, but I couldn’t figure out if it was a figurative venom (like they’re going to corrupt Korra to make an evil Avatar) or an actual venom, or both. Now we know the method…what might their motive be?


It’s still really hard to tell whether it’s meant figuratively or literally, though.  I mean, the core of my theory — that the Red Lotus have some way of knocking Korra out that she can’t avoid — could work even if the “venom” was something else.

As far as their motive is concerned, I still think, as I always have, that the Red Lotus wants control over how the Avatar acts.  They tried to kidnap her as a child, but it’s too late to inculcate her now, so they want to destroy her and try again with the next Avatar, or something like that.

sifumustache said: I love how the creators are expanding the bending physics in Book3. In particular with Ming-Hua. My idea is that she is using physic waterbending along the same lines as Yukone's physic Bloodbending. I'm thinking she was born with no arms and learned how to apply waterbending to function in the world. She doesn't really hold the ground and work through stances like your everyday waterbender. Thoughts? (oh and I'm a big fan of your blog)



Thank you!  =D

That’s definitely a possibility, and the most likely one if she really was born without arms.  You’re right that her movements tend to be different from other waterbenders, though it’s hard to say how much that might be influenced by her different distribution of weight and corresponding ability to balance herself.

The other possibility I’ve heard floated is that she lost her arms at some point and basically learned how to weaponize phantom limb phenomenon as a way to control her waterbending.

I’m not really sure which is more likely — it all comes down to whether they want to explain why she doesn’t have arms, really — but both of them seem to be reasonable explanations for why she can do what she can do.

I’m almost in agreement with the “phantom limb” theory, in that I have read an amount about the phantom limb phenomenon to believe that would be the cause of why Ming Hua uses her bending like so. 

But moreso I’m just interested in how they’re going to explain why she doesn’t have arms.

That’s definitely the most interesting part here.  It’d be kind of disappointing if there wasn’t a backstory behind it.  XD;

Anonymous said: Do you think it's possible that a protagonist could get killed off in Book 3? One of the adults could be fair game ie Lin, Suyin, Zuko, or Tonraq. I don't think they'll kill Tenzin since he's the last airbending master & no one else is ready to fill that role yet (Jinora's still really young). I think the Krew is safe since killing off one of them would change the tone of the show in a way I don't think Bryke's going for. (The murder-suicide was dark but they were antagonists)



Maybe, but I don’t think it’s likely given the story arcs of the characters we have to work with.

Tenzin’s had way too much character growth as a leader to die, I think.  If he wasn’t essentially the deuteragonist, I could see Jinora taking his spot, but the series has spent too much time teaching him stuff for him to end up dead before he can use it properly.

Lin’s already had a sacrificial arc, and it’d feel repetitive for her to take that role again.  She’d top the list of people who could die otherwise, but as it stands her death seems unlikely.  Besides, she’s Mako’s boss, and given the fact that he doesn’t have anywhere near the experience to take her place, it wouldn’t make sense to replace her in that role.

Suyin’s a possibility, but she’s a brand new character and I don’t think it would forward her own narrative arc in any way.  The only way for it not to seem like it was done purely for shock value is if she was killed saving Lin or something, and that would risk feeling really melodramatic.

Zuko’s position for LoK-only viewers and A:tLA fans differs far too much for his death to work consistently throughout the audience — it’s too big of a hit for the A:tLA fans and too small of a hit for the LoK-only viewers.  As with Suyin, it could work, but they’d have to be really careful with it.

Tonraq’s in the deadly father-of-the-hero spot, but that’s why I think he has to live.  Korra was given two parents for the explicit purpose of avoiding that old dead parents trope, so I don’t think they’d kill him off and ruin that.

As for the other characters… I don’t think we know enough about Kya for her to get killed off.  Killing Bumi could be really effective if it turned him into a hero (in large part because he’s such a goofball), but it seems like he’s being built up for something else.  Kai is… kind of young for the show to kill off; Jinora is the same even if she’s far more likely to show up as a spirit ghost Iroh-style.  I guess Iroh the younger could sacrifice himself, but it wouldn’t make sense for him to do so this season.

I dunno.  I feel like if we see a heroic character die, it’ll be someone we’ve yet to be introduced to, and probably in Book 4 rather than Book 3.

age didn’t stop them from killing Jet tho… he’s like fourteen I think when he showed up… so the possibility of Kai and/or Jinora getting killed in either book 3 or 4 is still high..

Jet was 16, actually (the Avatar Wiki appears to source a Comic Con panel as the basis of that information, so it seems official), and even then, they had trouble getting that through the Nick censor.

I think there’d be a significant difference between killing off a 16 year old (who’s basically an adult in-‘verse) and killing off an 11 year old, and considering what they had to go through to get that on the air, I don’t think they’d be allowed to do it.

Anonymous said: Unlike the majority of the fandom, I never felt for, one second, that Lin's decision to take the side of her leading detectives and arrest Mako; only to praise him later when it was revealed that he was correct about his assumption of Varrick being the mastermind behind everything that was happening in RC was out of character for her. Maybe you could shed some light on why most people felt differently about this; to the point "that the creators messed up her character to make Mako the hero".



I think a lot of the fandom interpreted Lin’s actions as her jumping to conclusions instead of just letting the system work while she figured things out.  Assuming Mako was guilty would be lousy police work at best, but I don’t think we really have to believe that — she’s so quick to arrest Varrick at the Nuktuk finale that one has to think she’d taken Mako’s suspicions into consideration.

Welp, based on what we now know about Lin, that she would see her own sister go to jail if she thought she was clearly guilty of a crime, I don’t know that it was that OOC even if you interpret that storyline in the less generous way.

Lin is a law and order type, and she doesn’t tend to let personal feelings get in the way of doing her job.

Oh, I wasn’t trying to suggest that it would be OOC otherwise.  It’d just make her seem less competent as a cop, which was what I was trying to avoid.  ;)


"It’s what *I* would have tried…"

(via motherofavatars)

matt0044 said: I have this funny thought of the Red Lotus trying to kidnap tiny!Korra when she's sleeping only to be defeated and she only wakes up when it's all done.

That’s definitely a funny mental image.  xD  I think it’s too silly for this show and those villains, though.

Anonymous said: That picture of Korra in the Spirit world might actually just be a picture of her in the normal world though... After all there's spirits living all over the place now. The whale could just be passing by, while Korra stares dramatically out in the distance :P


(Picture from AvatarSpirit.Net)

It could be, but the colors look more like Spirit World colors than normal colors, and that was something noted in the commentaries to be a technique for making the Spirit World look more unique.

matt0044 said: I found a post that said something to the effect of "Korra wouldn't be as hated if she was male." To an extend, I can't help but see their point...

To an extent, sure, but I feel like the question of how the audience would have reacted to male!Korra is a complicated counter-factual.

I suspect, for instance, that this particular fandom would have been up in arms if male!Korra had flipped female!Asami’s desk (instead of just finding it frustrating).

The way in which the fandom’s hate got expressed would definitely be different.  The amount that would exist?  Well, that’s harder to say.

The thing is, Korra’s an unusual character, and she’d remain unusual even if she were male.  She’s not a male type given female form; she’s a genuinely good, kindhearted, and kind of naive person given to vicious reactions when enraged, which is not a common combination.  (The closest I can think of is Kingdom Hearts’ Terra, but he’s a lot more overtly insecure and his violence isn’t quite the same)

I would not be surprised in the slightest if we didn’t see some of the usual “he’s attractive so he must be a good person” logic with male!Korra, but I’m not sure how big of a factor that would be in shifting the way people thought about the character.

So, would she be as hated if she were male?  Probably not… but it’s really hard to guess how big the difference would actually be, because there isn’t much in the way of precedent for a character like her for either gender.

…Tumblr, why the heck are you promoting the 50 Shades of Grey movie?  -_-

On a different subject, I ended up watching Kung Fu Panda largely because I was curious about what fandom meant when it referred to “Kung Fu Panda prisons.”  I still feel the phrase isn’t quite accurate for the prisons the Red Lotus crew were kept in, but I’m not entirely sure how to explain what the difference is.  XD;

(I think it might be that the prison in Kung Fu Panda felt like it was designed to fail in exactly the way it did, whereas the Red Lotus ones would have been completely successful due to the lack of overly-complicated failsafes had the universe not given Zaheer airbending…?)

Come to think of it, Lin actually cared for Suyin when they were younger.


While Suyin was all like, “Get off my ass!” Lin had shown how she cared for her little sister when she scolded Su for skipping school.

She had a gut feel that Suyin’s friends are not worth hanging out with and are being a bad influence to her.  I mean, those guys couldn’t have had gotten that bag of jewelry just by it falling off the back of some truck! Lin tried to tell Suyin to stay away from those “losers” because she sensed that they were actually worse than just “losers”!

She adds by telling Su that she has “so much potential”. She didn’t want her baby sister to ruin her life with those bad friends!

And then you can see the look of shock, concern and even betrayal in Lin’s eyes when she discovers that dear Su was the one driving the getaway vehicle of her robber friends!

Lin arrested Suyin because she wanted to teach her a lesson. (See how bad friends ruin your life, Su!) She was angry because she didn’t want Su to be a criminal! Because she cares for her!

Think about it, while Lin arrested the robbers without hesitation, Lin talked to Su for about a minute before stopping her. While she grabbed Su’s friends by their waists with her cables, she grabbed Su by her wrist. Now think of the cables as an extension of her hand. That scene gives the vibe of a family/friend stopping a loved one from walking away. You could imagine Lin holding Su’s hand firmly. Lin using the cables to hold Su by her wrist was in fact a gesture of a police officer’s love for her sister while fulfilling her duty to apprehend a criminal.

When Su cuts off Lin’s cables, she rejects her and forces her to let go of her hand because she didn’t want her being a pain in the ass. (EDIT: Su rejected Lin’s authority not only as a police officer but also as a big sister.) That rejection was painful for Lin not only emotionally, but also physically, as the cut metal cables flew at her face, giving her those trademark scars that she has today.

Later, we find out that their mom decided to send Su away from Republic City instead of to jail, breaking the law and contradicting her job as the esteemed Chief of Police. This is one reason why Lin was so bitter against her little sister. Su ruined Toph’s career.

But by looking at the flashbacks of Lin, we can see that she was a good big sister to Suyin after all.

This is something that far too many people don’t seem to get, I think.  Lin and Su were always at odds, but they were at odds in a very different way before the arrest incident.  Lin might not have been very good at showing that she cared for her younger sister, but she definitely did in her own way.

…unfortunately, no one in her family understood it, either.  Su, of course, thought Lin was just trying to hold her back, so she pushed her away.  And I bet Toph thought Lin was acting like her own parents, which led to the comment last week about how Toph wasn’t really happy about how either of her kids turned out.  =(