The lion turtle said that people bent the energy inside them, not the elements. But in Wan's time, people were given bending by lion turtles, and lion turtles were the only ones seen energybending. People were still bending the elements. Not the energy inside themselves.
It must have been before Wan's time because the lion turtle said "In the time before the elements" if i'm not mistaken. He may have been talking about a time before even the lion turtles knew about the elements.
the lion turtle said, "in the era before the avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves." it was a lion turtle saying "we" so he could mean that the lion turtles bent energy. plus, the humans weren't' really "bending" the elements, just controlling them on a very primitive level, as the bending arts hadn't been developed yet. wan was really the first person to do this, when he started developing firebending from that white dragon.
Perhaps the writers caught themselves in a jam, but it could be avoided by saying it was from a time before humans and the lion turtles were just energy benders. I mean, can you imagine a lion turtle bending the elements? It would be quite strange. It would seem more natural for them to just be energy inside themselves.
Empressofmelnibone wrote: Yeah the lionturtles shouldn't have been put in the Beginnings episode. I think it would have been better for the humans to be energybenders and then become elemental benders.
I don't know, I quite liked the explanation (or revelation) that bending came from the lion turtles. It isn't like they completely discarded the idea that humans originally bent energy (as tenzin mentions it to Korra later). They probably were energy benders originally but later lost the knowledge (or maybe some still knew it by wan's time, we don't know entirely what the other settlements were like)
Actually at the ending of beginnings the lion turtle says We will no longer give humans the power of the elements. The lion turtles used energy bending to give bending during the era before the avatar so by saying we bent not the elements is referring to the species. When tenzin said ancients would meditate beneath this tree he meant lionturtles because they couldn't fit inside due to their size if it were a person he would have said in the tree.
This is a weird proposition but...what if what the lion turtle said and energybending actually have nothing to do with each other? I know its heavily implied that "bending the energy without ourselves" is talking about energybending, but thats not neccesarily true. The lion turtle could simply be talking about meditation, which would make Tenzin's claim stronger as that's what Korra had to do to go giga-smurf. As for energybending, well, it is transferred to humans the same way as the bending arts, so what if it is just a very poorly distributed "element" that that lion turtle just so happened to have?
I think it oculd explain the situation but it would be a blugeon to the poetic beauty of the Aang/Lion Turtle scene.
The Energy Bending that the Lion Turtle talks about is the ability to bend the energy in a persons body to give/remove bending. Aang used it to remove Ozai's bending, and the Lion Turtles in the Era of Raava did it to both give and remove bending from the humans under their protection. It may have other uses, but so far they havn't been shown. The Lion Turtle Aang meets says 'we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves', which is exactly what they did. They bent they energy within the humans to allow bending as no human had yet learnt the ability. I'm not sure how humans eventualy were born with bending, but I can guess that learning how to bend from the origional sourse (Moon Spirit, Badger Moles, Dragons, Sky Bison) maybe altered their energy permentantly nd so did the same for their ofspring. But that's just my idea.
The Lion Turlte said we, not people. We does not refer to a different species. He was talking about the other lion turtles. As for Tenzin, he later reiterates that he ment they meditated and connected with the spirits, not that they used energybending.
Maybe he/she/it meant intelligent (and possibly mortal) beings in general, and in a time before Wan's own. There have been several Harmonic Convergences, remember, and if the Eras of the Avatar can be seen this world's equivalent of the Kali Yuga (well, it's when they were least connected with the spirits and nature!), who's to say what happened in this world's equivalent of the Satya Yuga?
I imagine that they wouldn't make it invalid because they bothered to make the lion turtle Wan lived on similar to the one that taught Aang about energybending. They would have just tried to disregard that lion turtle completely and given Wan's a different design.
Remember how energybending is dangerous? Your spirit has to be unbendable to do it without corrupting and destroying yourself; it's pretty clear that the people around Wan's time were pretty cowardly, constantly afraid, and somewhat selfish. It was probably hard to find an solid, unbendable spirit among them, besides Wan's. So it's likely that they just don't do it for their own safety. Bending in general was probably just a rare event before they left the lion turtles and were granted with the elements to protect themselves.
And besides, "before the Avatar" doesn't necessarily mean "from the exact moments before Wan merged with Raava". It just means any time before that. Could have been from a day before he did it, to 100 years before Wan was even born.
I would just like to add that some people are confusing the original masters of the elements with the original bestower of elements and while the lion turtles give the elements it doesn't mean they're masters the masters are the moon spirit, sky bisons, dragons, and bager moles because theyy use the elements naturally the lions just provide people with the power to use elements.
To all the people that say the lion turtle just meant themselves, it's possible it could be true, maybe even probable, but I think it would be much more interesting if the lion turtle meant a long lost civilization of energybenders that went extinct somehow. Someone should really write a fanon about that (if there isn't one already, I haven't checked yet). I'm thinking about creating a fanon, and there's going to be a new Team kinda-Avatar (it's kind of complicated), and one of the members will be an energybender, but I haven't decided on how the character got that power yet, so I'm still thinking about it. It's probably going to be related to the ancient energybenders, so I just think it would be so cool if there was an ancient energybender civilization.
Lil Tinymouse wrote: To all the people that say the lion turtle just meant themselves, it's possible it could be true, maybe even probable, but I think it would be much more interesting if the lion turtle meant a long lost civilization of energybenders that went extinct somehow. Someone should really write a fanon about that (if there isn't one already, I haven't checked yet). I'm thinking about creating a fanon, and there's going to be a new Team kinda-Avatar (it's kind of complicated), and one of the members will be an energybender, but I haven't decided on how the character got that power yet, so I'm still thinking about it. It's probably going to be related to the ancient energybenders, so I just think it would be so cool if there was an ancient energybender civilization.
The Lion Turtles are a little too organized. It seems that they have everything laid out very specifically. It would make sense that there was some kind of civilization or organization that protected the humans from some unknown threat.
I was possibly thinking that the Civilization was either not human. (Like Dinosaurs or Dragons) so that the Humans were hidden away to protect them. Or caused by humans so controlling their ability to use the elements were actually a means of protecting the world
I had a great life form that is the equivalent of a Dinosaur who attains great spiritual power through meditation, first years then centuries then millenia. He sinks to the bottom of the sea. A great Comet destroys all life on the Planet except the most spiritually gifted and technological beings on the planet. Only the humans saved by lion turtles are saved. And many great beasts are killed. He rises out of the sea to find human beings everywhere and is quite shocked.
Also the Wan story implies that the lion turtles eventually gave other people bending powers too and that's where bending originates. This completely contradicts the story given in ATLA which is that waterbenders learned waterbennding by watching the moon, firebenders learned from dragons, earthbenders from badger-moles and, presumably, airbenders from the flying bisons. Unless for some reason the lion turtles gave those animals bending powers instead. Or that those animals already had bending powers and the avatar is the only one who got his powers from the lion turtles.
Nog642 wrote: Also the Wan story implies that the lion turtles eventually gave other people bending powers too and that's where bending originates. This completely contradicts the story given in ATLA which is that waterbenders learned waterbennding by watching the moon, firebenders learned from dragons, earthbenders from badger-moles and, presumably, airbenders from the flying bisons. Unless for some reason the lion turtles gave those animals bending powers instead. Or that those animals already had bending powers and the avatar is the only one who got his powers from the lion turtles.
I think that can be left open to interpretation though. In the "Orgin of Bending Stories" from ATLA, they describe how benders learned to bend. This can imply they had the ability already, they just did not know how to use it at all. By watching and learning from these creatures, they learned how to use thier bending abilities. Even in the Wan epsiode, he learns from the dragons. The stories never claim the creatures gave the humans the bending ability, just that they were the original bending teachers and humans learned the forms and styles from them. A way to look at that anyway.
your misunderstanding. when referring to "we" the lion turtle was referring to all beings, be it lion turtles, spirits, humans bager moles etc. what lion turtle was referring to was manipulation of chi, and other forms of passive manipulation of energy
I suppose it depends a lot on everyone's personal interpretation, but it makes sense to me. Before Vaatu tore open the spirit portals (likely a more deliberate version of what Korra did at LoK end), you have a human civilisation. These people or at least some of them can use energy-bending. Vaatu invades, spirits take over the world and the civilisation collapses.
The last remaining humans are kept alive by the lion turtles for one reason or another and they give them the ability to manipulate the elements to protect themselves whenever they leave. Given 10000 years pass with these state of affairs, the new culture probably has nothing to do with the old one.
Then Wan happens, and the era of the avatar begins. The lion turtles give them bending which they master by observing animals with natural bending. We've seen both Toph and Wan do this with badger-moles and dragons respectively.
Any lore lost or differences in bending styles can easily be explained away with the sheer amount of time that passes. Even the fire nation forgot the original form of bending as a whole canonically.
The lion turtles only gave people the POWER of the elements. The lion turtles used energy bending to give and take the elemental powers from humanity, but the actual bending arts were learned from the animals and moon. Bending is just like martial arts (which it's based off of) there are different forms and they all come from different sources, for example Wan had the power of fire but he learned how BEND fire from the dragons
but if the moon is just a master that waterbenders learned from, why are waterbenders unable to bend when it is killed? All but two of the dragons are dead, yet firebenders are fine, because the source of their power comes from the Sun, but waterbenders source is just water, so why does the death of the moon stop them from bending?
Its most likely because just like the ocean responds to the moon as it pushes and pulls it is then in a constant state of moving like how a person will be moving from happy to sad and anger to joy. Without the moon spirit the waterbenders are unable to bend iwater because it is now in a constant state of calm and nothingness or in other words they are without thought of push or pull. And sometimes I think that there was a progenitor of the Lion Turtles because the wiki page on them said that they were hunted to extinction so that means that the Lion Turtles had someone that either created them or taught them the ways of the physical and spiritual realm and who knows the elements might've had spiritual manifestations that were elementals. Cause to be honest we don't know much about them and we don't know what happened to the Lion Turtle that left Aang at the spot when he was going to fight Firelord Ozai.