November 27, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Avatar: The Last Airbender Book One “Chapter Seventeen: The Northern Air Temple”

Aang finds the spirit of the Air Nomads may still be present even if airbenders are not.

Well, Aang’s journey to the Southern Air Temple was a rather depressing turn of events.  Maybe his visit to the Northern Air Temple will turn out better.

After all, there are stories of people flying there.

Right now.

Well, that sure is weird.  Sure, Aang can fly (OK, glide), but if he is the last airbender, like the title of the show says, then there shouldn’t be more of them around the Northern Air Temple.

So, Aang is curious…and then disappointed when he sees it just a bunch of folks with gliders, not people with what Aang calls “spirit”.

And when one kid, Teo, who glides in his wheelchair, manages to outmaneuver Aang, well, that’s just embarrassing.  See, Teo and his people took over the Temple since no one was living there, and Teo’s father, who sounds a lot like Rene Auberjonois, is an inventor building all kinds of cool stuff…in the Air Temple.  Through the walls Aang remembers.  Knocking out the murals telling the history of the Air Nomads.  And even removing an old fountain to build a bathhouse.  The only real problem for the inventor is gas leaks he can’t find.

Sokka, an expert on strong smells apparently, helps him figure out a solution.

Yeah, turns out Sokka is good with technology.

Now, it’s worth noting these people squatting in the Air Temple aren’t evil or awful.  They were refugees who arguably didn’t know better, and they do win Aang over because it turns out they do have spirit…just not air bending.

So, Aang opts to open the secret room to show Teo around.  The room that supposedly can only be opened with airbending.

And it turns out the inventor had already been in there.  He’d been building weapons for the Fire Nation.

Not by choice, mind.  He’d been more or less blackmailed.  And when the Fire Nation comes to collect, well, Aang says no.

Well, that means an attack, and Aang realizes the key to victory is the Fire Nation can’t fly, so using Katara and Appa to carry supplies, Aang, Teo, and other gliders drop stink and goo bombs onto the Fire Nation, with the inventor’s best weapon being the war balloon the inventor made and Sokka perfected.  And sure, the Fire Nation has some self-righting tanks, but those things seem to run off hydraulics.  Katara can upend those things, and eventually a big boom and an avalanche sends the Fire Nation fleeing.

Probably killed a bunch of them, too…

Anyhoo, Aang feels fine letting Teo’s people stay at the Temple now as he and his friends continue on to the North Pole.

And…the Fire Nation got that balloon, so they didn’t exactly leave empty-handed either.

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