Fanfic Response: Light Behind the Eyes (15)

iruka-2013:

[Previous parts in this fic: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14]

[Fanfiction Master Post]

Summary: In the wake of a failed United Forces expedition, Aang sends Korra on a mission to the Si Wong Desert to rectify one of his greatest mistakes. (Takes place a month or two after the end of Book 1.)

Warnings: Rated T for violence and some bloodshed.

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I probably should have had this post done weeks ago, but… at least it’s done now, right?  ^^;

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baby-saber-tooth-moose-lion said: Hi! First off I really like your blog, i love reading your opinions and thoughts about atla and tlok. In particular, I liked reading your post about how korra affected the growth of several characters in book 3. In the post, you mentioned that it would make an interesting gifset set to Iroh's quote, "Sometimes the best way to solve your own problems is to help someone else." Would you mind at all if I made the gifset? Of course i would give you credit when needed. Thanks!

Thanks!

I’d be thrilled if you made that into a gifset.  =D  It always makes me happy when my offhanded suggestions like that spark people’s creativity (especially since I have no real way of doing it myself).  Just make sure to send over a link to the final result if you post it.  ;)

avatar-redpanda said: I keep having this feeling that the villain for Book 4 is going to turn out to be a spirit. A spirit that takes Korra's doubts and fears and doubles them, becoming more of a problem that the Air Nation cannot take on. And is able to shapeshift from one form to another (probably taking on Korra's form and ruining her life in the process).

I’m going to reference your reblog of my post about Korra’s insecurities here, since the two are related enough that it doesn’t make much sense to address them separately:

This is probably why I feel like the villain of Book 4 would be someone who makes her obsolete, that ruins her life essentially by being her and then rendering her role as being obsolete. 

I almost feel like this would be a spirit for at least the reason why it looks like The Spirit World is being used for the background of the promo picture of her with shorter hair.

I can’t really see this, if only because I feel like Zaheer did too much damage to the Earth Kingdom for that not to play a primary role in Book 4’s conflicts.  Book 3 set up so much human-vs-human stuff that it’d seem kind of weird for it to go back to spirits, especially since the show already pushed the spirit conflict as far as it could take it by putting Korra up against “the most powerful dark spirit that ever existed.”

It doesn’t really seem like it’d fit into the rules of how spirit work that the show’s established, either.  Spirits can’t bend, and a doppelganger Korra being unable to bend would be a major giveaway.  Setting Korra against an enemy who couldn’t bend would also make it difficult to do finale-worthy fight scenes, especially when spiritbending is so effective against spirit.

Besides, Korra’s had her view of herself as Avatar challenged by external forces, but she’s never really chosen to change that view of her own accord.  I think it’s about time that she’s given the opportunity to take on the role she thought she was born to take and realize that what she thought she wanted and what she really wanted were never the same… and that requires a villain who Korra can actually take down without being destroyed in the process.

Anonymous said: What are your feelings on the major ships in LoK? Do you ship any of the characters together, or do you just not like shipping? Romance isn't the biggest part of the series, or even the focus, but at the same time there are romantic under and overtones during different times in the series much like it was during AtLA.

My feelings on shipping are… well, a bit unusual.

I’m ace enough that romance for its own sake does very little for me.  “They look great together” can be a plus, but it’s not really going to drive my interest for long.

What I do enjoy is seeing romance used to develop the characters in other ways.  I’m strongly in favor of Makorra, for instance, because I think there’s a ton of potential to use that relationship to show how both Korra and Mako are learning to find inner balance and recognizing the ways in which they can help balance each other.

Generally speaking, though, I just go with whatever canon wants to give me, unless canon messes up really badly.

Anonymous said: What female/female friendship do you think is most important? Korra/Asami or Korra/Jinora? What do you have to say about the importance of female/female relations? While AtLA did have female/female friendships, they were not as intimate or as close and in depth as the ones we see between Korra and Asami especially now that Book 3 is over, and the special friendship Korra has shared with Jinora all along. I would even argue that Korra and Lin are friends, even though there is an age difference.

I think it’s hard to say whether Korra’s friendship with Asami or Jinora are more important, because they’re so different.  Jinora’s like a little sister to Korra, and the degree to which they care for each other keeps playing into the plot in crucial ways.  Korra’s relationship with Asami, in contrast, is the closest thing to an equal relationship — and an equal relationship without one party having expectations of the other beyond friendship! — that Korra’s ever had, and that’s a huge deal for Korra’s character development.

As for the importance of relationships between women in general, I feel like it’s ridiculous that they’re rare enough in fiction that we have to talk about why they’re important.  =/  They exist, they’re a major part of the life experiences of most women and girls, and they really ought to be represented as such.

With that said, they’re a lot easier to portray in stories that are focused around their female characters to begin with.  A:tLA was an ensemble cast, but it focused on Aang and Zuko to a greater degree than anyone else, and the recurring cast was small enough that neither Katara nor Toph had another female member of the group who they meshed well enough with to be close to.  (Suki probably could have been that for Katara, but she joined the group really late and the show did very little with her even after that)  Azula, of course, had issues that made normal friendship impossible, and both Mai and Ty Lee were secondary to her when they were given screentime.  It’s not hard to see why A:tLA didn’t give us much in that regard, even if it would have been nicer if they’d made the choice to give Katara and Toph friends who didn’t set their teeth on edge early on.

LoK has the advantage of having Korra as a main character, which means her relationships are the most important by default.  It’s a lot easier to make sure that a good portion of the people who Korra befriends are female than to add close relationships within the secondary cast, after all.  And, thankfully, the result of that is that Korra has some really amazing friendships with the other women and girls around her — not just Jinora, Asami, and Lin as you mentioned, but also Ikki and Suyin, too.

Want to hear something that makes Korra’s insecurity about being replaced by the Air Nation even worse?

All her life, Korra’s associated being the Avatar with fighting.  She was basically raised to be a weapon to use against the evildoers of the world, and the world’s refusal to let her be that (which began long before she found herself confined to a wheelchair) weighs heavily on her.

If her friends were fighting in her place while she recovered, I think she’d find that tough, but she could accept it, because there’d still be a place for her when she came back.  But the Air Nation isn’t there to fight at all.  They’re there to keep balance through peaceful means that Korra never learned, and if they find success, it basically implies that Korra’s own talents might no longer be necessary.

She’s not just worried about being replaced.  She’s worried about being obsolete.  =(

korrafan4ever said: Hey there! Thank you so much for writing my request! I loved what you did with it! I could hear Alex and Janet as though this was Book 4! You did an awesome job! It was really good!

You’re welcome!  I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it.  =D

Anonymous said: Don't you think that Borra shippers (not all of them, of course, but a significant part) are hypocrites? I mean people were ready to kill Mako and most of them still hate him because he broke up with Asami, but now they apparently want Bolin to break up with Opal so he could end up with Korra... And they are totally cool with it!

I wouldn’t say that.

I don’t think anyone ever hated Mako for breaking up with Asami; they hated him because he struggled to be honest about his feelings and kind of strung her along because of it (with no harm intended, of course, not that the anti-Mako crowd cared about that).  If Bolin broke up with Opal to be with Korra, it wouldn’t necessarily involve the same sort of issues.

I’ll admit that I don’t know much about how Borra shippers behave nowadays because I’ve been avoiding that ship since it got associated with “Nice Guy” Bolin back in Book 1.  But I don’t think there’s any reason to believe they’re being any more hypocritical than any other shipper who wants a canon couple broken up so their OTP can happen.  =/

I saw someone mention the idea of a four-episode LoK series finale, and it got me thinking.

For one thing, it’s highly unlikely that we’re going to see four episodes release at the same time, so there’s a bit of a question about what a four-episode finale would even entail. 

A:tLA was a very different show than LoK, and the first two episodes in its four-episode finale were significantly less finale-like in some ways than LoK’s standard episode-before-the-finale blowout (ie. no finale-level fight scene!).  The thing that links the separate parts into one whole is that every part of the finale builds directly towards a single conflict that only ends in the last episode.

For LoK Books 1 and 3, that’s only true of the last two episodes, but there’s a good argument to be made that Book 2 actually had a three-episode finale, since the goal of Harmonic Convergence is the same as Darkness Falls and Light in the Dark even if the form the conflict takes changes throughout.  If Book 4 has a four-episode finale, then, that would mean the tenth episode would have to involve the heroes beginning preparations for the final conflict.

And that leads me to the next thing.  One very important event has happened in every LoK season in the fourth episode from the end — the secondary threat is neutralized.

In Book 1’s ninth episode (of twelve), Tarrlok had his bending taken by Amon.  In Book 2’s eleventh episode (of fourteen), Varrick was put in jail through the combined efforts of Mako and Bolin.  In Book 3’s tenth episode (of thirteen), the Earth Queen was killed by Zaheer.

If the pattern holds, Book 4’s secondary threat should be resolved in the tenth episode… the very episode in which a four-episode finale would begin.

That led me to a very interesting thought — what if this time, the removal of the secondary threat immediately kicks off the final conflict?  I’d been thinking that, due to the connections between Books 3 and 4, we’d see the return of the stability-chaos dichotomy in our villains, but I’d kind of assumed that we’d get a primary stability-aligned villain and a secondary chaos-aligned villain.  But what if, instead, the removal of the stability-aligned villain simply leads to chaos, mirroring the situation in Ba Sing Se in Book 3 and giving Korra a chance to react this time around?

A four-episode finale could be great, because it would allow Korra to fight (and trash) an individual villain in a finale-level fight with a ton of time left to deal with the more diffuse, impossible-for-a-single-individual-to-handle threat that the apparent theme of the series would seem to require.  That it would also create a Zuko-like arc of needing to feel what it’s like to get what one thought one wanted in order to recognize that it wasn’t worth it would be pretty awesome, too.

korrafan4ever said: Hi! I hope you're doing well! I just read the fanfic you wrote about Kora/Jnra spending time together after the battle with Zaheer. It was really good! I enjoyed it! I was wondering if you would write one more. Maybe a story about Senna coming to check on Korra late in the night and her reassuring her that she's there. They could talk obviously because Korra will be awake. I mean after Zaheer poisons her. It's totally up to you though. Thanks!

Thanks!  I don’t mind writing another, especially when you give me a prompt like this to write.  ;)

I took a bit of liberty with the prompt, but I think you’ll see why when you read the fic.  I hope you enjoy it.  ^_^

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