Frith (frith_in_thorns) wrote,

AtLA Rewatch: The Winter Solstice (I: The Spirit World & II: Avatar Roku)

Book 1 (Water), Episodes 7 & 8: The Winter Solstice (I: The Spirit World & II: Avatar Roku)

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I am never going to stop saying this. This show is beautiful.

The Spirit World

This is the first time Aang's had to do something specifically as the Avatar. I love how although he really isn't sure what to do he's trying anyway, and his friends are encouraging him. I especially love how Sokka is so ready to go out there and try to fight a spirit to help Aang. And I love the spirit!

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I also love Iroh in this episode. Escaping while still shackled! Making friends with little mice! And his and Zuko's little smiles at each other when they reunite! ♥ And this exchange:

"There're five of us and two of you. You are clearly outnumbered."
"True. But you are clearly outmatched!"

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What is especially great is how Iroh is the only person to actually be able to see Aang's spirit and Roku's dragon. I love those little details which say so much about his character, and are hints at bits of story we find out later, like the mention of the siege of Ba Sing Se.

Avatar Roku

Aang, of course you aren't going to be able to leave Katara and Sokka behind ♥

And oh, Zuko. Him saying that of course his father will understand him daring to approach Fire Nation waters because he's chasing the Avatar, and Iroh's, "You give him too much credit." (This is also the episode in which we get a glimpse of Ozai for the first time, in a vision of him overflowing with power, faceless, breathing fire.)

On another note, I do love the little details of design which differ between the nations. These things so clearly have Fire Nation written all over them:

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The Fire Temple is great. And we have nuance within the Fire Nation -- not everyone supports this war. It makes perfect sense that the Avatar's long absence would have caused this split in loyalties within the Fire Sages.

Look! Volcanoes!

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And Sokka gets to be really clever! :D When we see the Sages open the door it's clear why his idea ultimately didn't work, as it was the sustained blasts of fire which were needed -- but his bombs were still ultimately Aang's key to getting in.

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It's also great to see indications of the Water Tribe's ingenuity in fighting against the Fire Nation, while being all but devoid of benders themselves.

And, of course, this is the episode where the overarching plot with its deadline and consequences is introduced. I like how the show has Roku to give advice and exposition, but Aang really has to earn each conversation with him. Since the Wise Old Mentor usually gives advice on tap for the first part of the hero's journey and then dies, this is a nice change!

As a final note, I leave you with a picture of Momo's new hat.

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1. No character bashing, please.
2. No future episode spoilers in the spoiler-free thread (and comments containing them will be hidden), but expect to find them in others! If you're talking about massive plot twists it's nice to put a spoiler warning in the header, but it's not required.
3. Spoilers for Legend of Korra are also fair game everywhere except the spoiler-free thread; again, labelling them is friendly.
4. Feel free to illustrate your squee with caps. And gifs!

SPOILER-FREE THREAD (Only on LJ; let me know if I need to add one to the DW post too.)

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Tags: atla, atla rewatch, squee, tv reactions
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