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"That name you bring across my door is some very bad luck. [...] Kuruk tangled with many hostile spirits during his Avatarhood, and Father Glowworm was one of the worst. He never fully defeated it, and after their battle it doomed him to suffer catastrophic fortune in the physical world. Anyone he told about Father Glowworm would be cursed in the same way, anyone who even learned of its existence.""
Nyahitha talking about Father Glowworm and the misfortune it brought upon Kuruk.[1]

Father Glowworm is a malevolent spirit with a thirst for blood. It appears as a great glowing eyeball the size of a wagon wheel with a sickly luminescent green tinge and attached to a web of pulsating veins. Immensely powerful, it was able to create tunnels that allowed it to access the physical world. Ultimately, Father Glowworm seemingly met its end when it dueled Yun and was absorbed by him in 296 BG.

History[]

Father Glowworm is an ancient spirit, far older than other beings such as Koh,[3] who was already immeasurably old.[4] Possessing the power to create rifts between the spirit and physical worlds, it proceeded to cross over to the latter to prey on humans so it could feast on their blood. To avoid drawing attention, Father Glowworm only emerged in remote locations for limited periods of time. As a consequence of its actions, dark spirits provoked by the pro-human actions of Avatar Yangchen used its rifts to cross over, something which did not bother it. At some point, these incursions caught the attention of Avatar Kuruk, who began to combat the dark spirits at the cost of his own deep spiritual corruption. Eventually, Kuruk managed to find a spirit who pointed him in the direction of Father Glowworm. Upon being confronted, the Avatar made the mistake of trading names with it, sealing a curse upon anyone who knew of the spirit's existence. In their ensuing battle, though Father Glowworm proved stronger, Kuruk was too stubborn to give up and eventually the former was forced to retreat severely weakened and unable to threaten the physical world for a generation or two.[2][5]

At some point prior to 296 BG, Father Glowworm had met Jianzhu, whom it later referred to as the "architect". They met again that year when the earthbending master asked Father Glowworm whether Kyoshi or Yun was the Avatar.[3] Being able to sense the Avatar's spirit due to its past confrontation with Kuruk, the spirit knew that one of the children had to be the Avatar.[5] Still, Father Glowworm was amused that the physical world was in a poor enough state for Jianzhu to even have to ask and told him that it would need blood in return for its help.

When Jianzhu agreed, Father Glowworm pointed to Kyoshi with a tendril, identifying her as the true Avatar, and coiled another tendril around Yun. Father Glowworm became furious when Jianzhu subsequently attacked it with a wall of earth, which enabled him and Kyoshi to escape from the cave,[3] leaving Yun to the spirit's mercy.[6] Father Glowworm and the young earthbender consequently ended up in the Spirit World, where Yun attempted to appease the spirit and convince it to become his teacher in hopes of finding a way back to the mortal world. Despite seeing through Yun's ruse, Father Glowworm initially humored him by accepting the human's compliments. As soon as the earthbender was getting a bit more hopeful, however, the spirit cruelly told him that he was nothing, and not even worth conversing with. Although there would be no escape for Yun, Father Glowworm promised that part of him would achieve immortality by being subsumed into the spirit. Father Glowworm subsequently attacked Yun to feed on his blood.[5]

However, the young earthbender proved stronger than the spirit had anticipated. They bitterly fought for a long time, with the spirit having to spend much energy. As a result of their battle, Father Glowworm's core form ultimately diminished to the size of an overgrown calabash. Deciding to call a truce, Father Glowworm offered to share its power to allow Yun to create passages between the worlds in exchange for him bringing humans to use as sacrifices. When Yun accepted, Father Glowworm urged the boy to come closer only to be caught in an earthen vice. Futilely struggling, Father Glowworm protested that even Kuruk was not as dishonorable, but was helpless as Yun devoured its eye, gaining its powers as a result and seemingly ending its independent existence.[5][7] Yun himself was unsure what had happened to the spirit after their merger.[8]

As spirits cannot truly die,[9] it remains unclear what happened to Father Glowworm's essence after Yun's physical body died in 295 BG.[8][10]

Appearances[]

Chronicles of the Avatar[]

The Rise of Kyoshi[]

The Shadow of Kyoshi[]

Trivia[]

Father Glowworm concept art

Concept art of Father Glowworm. Top are three designs by Gary Jensen, bottom is a design included in Avatar: Generations.

  • Father Glowworm was acquainted with many Avatars.[3]
  • Father Glowworm showed disdain for Koh the Face Stealer, believing that because of him every human thought they could come to a spirit for answers.[3]
  • Avatar: Generations artist Gary Jensen took part in the design of Father Glowworm for the game's Rise of Kyoshi timeline.[11] A finished piece of art for Father Glowworm, titled "The World Borer - Father Glowworm", was included in Avatar: Generations, but not released before the game was shut down in December 2023.[12]

References[]

  1. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twelve, "The Fire Sage". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twenty-Four, "Lost Friends". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Ten, "The Spirit". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  4. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Filoni, Dave (director). (December 2, 2005). "The Siege of the North, Part 2". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Prologue. The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  6. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Thirty-One, "The Return". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  7. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Fifteen, "Interlude: Survival". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twenty-Five, "Interlude: The Man From The Spirit World". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  9. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Rift Part Three (November 5, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
  10. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twenty-Six, "Home Again". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  11. Gary Jensen. Father Glow Worm Concept. Art Station. Retrieved on September 10, 2023.
  12. Morgan Bannon. There was a few other characters and supports planned Betrayer - Jianzhu Avatar Unleashed - Kyoshi and this art is from Glowworm's support The World Borer - Father Glowworm.. Twitter. Retrieved on November 2, 2023.
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