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Spirit World

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Spirit World

Post by CJWatso on June 28th 2009, 11:54 am

The Spirit World does not exist at all in the physical world of Avatar. It is instead a secondary location accessible only by a few select individuals; a parallel universe connected to the mortal world. It is home to the various spirits as well as the spirits of the Avatar, who is the spirit of the world. Some spirit creatures act as guardians of rivers, mountains, and forests.


[edit] Appearance
When a spirit is in the physical world, they are seen as a bright sky blue and are slightly transparent.[50] A spirit choosing to reside within the physical world, such as Wan Shi Tong and his assistants or the Moon and Ocean spirits Tui and La, however, appears fully formed and tangible. Some such as Hei Bai exhibit the ability to freely pass or pass others between the two realms. In the Spirit World, though solid and colored as if it was real; everything is also cast in a darker light.

If a person crosses over to the Spirit world, he or she is still able to observe and hear the physical world if they wish, but cannot be seen or heard themselves. Those in the natural world cannot observe or hear the spirit world. Also, if something were to happen to a person's body while they are in the spirit world, the spirit cannot return to the physical world. When a Bender is in the Spirit World, he/she loses the ability to Bend.


[edit] Gateways
On a solstice, a natural phenomenon that occurs when the sun is at its greatest distance from the Earth's equator, the natural world and the Spirit world grow closer together until the line between the two is almost completely blurred. During the solstices, the spirits are able to exert incredible power when within the natural world. This is also the ideal time for people who possess the ability to enter the Spirit World to do so.


[edit] Notable Spirits
Hei Bai - the spirit of a forest (a panda/six-legged monster). Hei Bai is "black and white" in Chinese for the color of the panda.[86]
Tui and La - the Moon and Ocean spirits (fish). Tui and La means "push and pull" in Chinese Mandarin referring to the push and pull effects the moon has on the ocean. [24]
Koh - a face-stealing spirit.[40]
Wan Shi Tong - a knowledge spirit (an owl).[65]
Knowledge Seekers - The servants of Wan Shi Tong that resemble conventional earth foxes.[65]
Emna - a spirit resembling a humanoid langur that resides on a mound of dirt in the swamp of the Spirit World where he meditates. Enma or Emma is the Japanese name for Yama, the ruler of the underworld in Buddhism and Hinduism. Also, the Mystical Monkey meditating beneath a giant tree is an allusion of the Bodhi tree where Siddhartha Gautama sat under and achieved enlightenment in becoming Buddha.
The Painted Lady - A pale river spirit with flowing robes and black hair, as well as mysterious red markings striped across her face and body, and the guardian of the river town of Jang Hui, a small fishing village in the Fire Nation.

[edit] Avatars
Avatar Roku (James Garrett) is the Avatar before Aang, who was born to the Fire Nation on the same day as Fire Lord Sozin. They were good friends until Sozin's greed and warmongering drove a wedge between them. Roku was eventually betrayed by him, and left to die in a volcanic eruption, along with his dragon, Fang. Throughout the series, Avatar Roku appears as a spirit to help Aang fulfill his duties as the Avatar. He is the grandfather of Princess Ursa, thus making him the maternal great-grandfather of Zuko and Azula. He is also the one who appears during the title sequence, bending all 4 elements, as well as the one who says "Previously on Avatar..." at the beginning of each episode.
Avatar Kyoshi (Jennifer Hale) was the Avatar before Avatar Roku. An Earth Kingdom Avatar, her story is significant to Aang's reputation in his time. Aang is put on trial for a murder that Kyoshi was accused of committing. It is later revealed that, although justified, Avatar Kyoshi did in fact murder Chin the Conqueror, although not intentionally. She was also revealed to have been the person who created the Dai Li during a peasant uprising in her time. She is also said to be the oldest Avatar, living for over 200 years before she died.
Avatar Kuruk (Jim Meskimen) was the Avatar before Avatar Kyoshi. He is a Water Tribe Avatar who tells his story to Aang towards the end of the third book. He says that during his time, there was an unprecedented time of peace. He was an easy-going Avatar who did not do much and he consequently lost his love to Koh the face-stealer.
Avatar Yangchen (Grey DeLisle) was the Avatar before Avatar Kuruk. She is the only Avatar who manages to convince Aang that he has a greater duty to the world than to his beliefs. As another Air Nomad Avatar, she understands Aang's situation and is there to persuade Aang to fight the Fire Lord.

[edit] Avatar
The Avatar is the spirit of the planet reincarnated in human form whose task it is to keep balance among the four nations. The Avatar is also a link between the physical and Spirit Worlds. When the Avatar dies, the Avatar Spirit is reincarnated into a newborn in a specific cycle: Water, Earth, Fire, Air, based on the passage of the four seasons. Every new Avatar is tasked with mastering each of the four elements in the same order as the Avatar Cycle. When the new Avatar turns 16 (the typical age of maturity), his or her identity is revealed (by their bending masters) and travels to study the other three Bending discipline from the perspective Masters. Aang is the only noted Avatar who was revealed before the age of 16 because of the Air Nomad Masters' fear of the upcoming war.[87][88]

The Avatar possess a defense mechanism known as the Avatar State. Even if the Avatar has not mastered all four elements, he still can gain access to the knowledge and powers of his previous lives. The Avatar State is an involuntary response, but can be activated at will by an experienced Avatar. The Avatar State makes an Avatar nigh invulnerable when using it. However, if an Avatar is killed while in the Avatar State, they will break the cycle of reincarnation.[17][19][75]


[edit] Energybending

EnergybendingEnergybending[89] is the oldest of the bending arts and predates the Avatar, the Four Nations, and the other bending arts. It involves testing and bending the energy within oneself. On the eve of Sozin's Comet, a giant Lion Turtle revealed this truth to Aang. In order to bend another person's energy, the bender's spirit must be "unbendable" and must be completely pure. If the bender's spirit is bendable, and they attempt to bend another's energy, they will be corrupted by the other's energy and be killed. Aang used this technique to defeat Fire Lord Ozai without killing him by permanently removing Fire Lord Ozai's Firebending abilities.[18] Only Avatars can learn this technique, though few have bothered to and even fewer have had to use it.[89] It has been confirmed by the creators that Aang can now perform this ability at will.

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