FANDOM


  • Many times in the series, such as in the scene in the very first episode when Iroh was training Zuko, firebending has been shown to apply a force. (When Zuko got angry, he shot a fireblast at one of the soldiers, and when it hit, he fell back.) Also, when Korra was taking her firebending test, her sparring partner went flying onto a rooftop when hit with one of her fireblasts. However, fire cannot do this - it's just the energy from the chemical bonds in the fuel it's burning. Firebenders create fire without fuel, which brings me to another point. Firebenders shouldn't be able to fly. (Like Ozai and Azula in the Airbender finale.) A rocket propels itself by burning a high mass of fuel very quickly, essentially puching on the fuel (fumes?) to make itself go. But firebenders don't burn fuel, so they shouldn't be able to fly. (Unless maybe they burn their own chi? thats stretching it...) I think this is a pretty serious flaw in the series... What are your thoughts on this?

      Loading editor
    • I've always thought that long-period flying was kind of unrealistic. I've also wondered why the people Zuko firebended at didn't get killed. In the movie movie, not the cartoon series, the firebenders could only firebend when there was fire around. They could not make fire like they could in the cartoon series.

      How do you change your picture?

      MoonAsh (wallcontribs) 04:15, January 2, 2013 (UTC)

        Loading editor
    • you wouldn't get killed just from fire - burned, yes, but the only way i can think of that killing you is if you get burned bad enough and end up with an infection. and the reality of fire-flight doesn't depend on the duration of time, but the amount of fuel (of which firebenders have none...hhmmm...)

      to change ur pic, edit ur profile and at the top it will say 'edit avatar' or something like that.

        Loading editor
    • Well, you could get burned to a crisp.

      I do know that the reality of fire-flight should depend on fuel. But I guess they could "tap" into their strength. Think of it this way: if you just ate a meal and were at full strength, you would probably run better than if you had cramps from being hungry. Maybe the fire-flight could tap into their strength. So, for firebenders, their most convenient flight time should be noon, or some time during the day. Well, the best flight time would be when Sozin's comet is there.

      MoonAsh (wallcontribs) 09:54, January 2, 2013 (UTC)

        Loading editor
    • MoonAsh wrote:
      Well, you could get burned to a crisp.

      MoonAsh (wallcontribs) 09:54, January 2, 2013 (UTC)

      Yeah, but from one fireblast? Probs not.

      What do you think about the other part of my original post, the part about fire applying a force?

        Loading editor
    • I didn't really understand that part: what do you mean by "force?"

        Loading editor
    • not talkin' star wars here :) (or any other fantasy) have you studied physics in school? a force is defined as an influence that attempts to cause change in respect to speed, velocity, acceleration, geometric construction, motion, ect.

      google it for more detail  :)

        Loading editor
    • Mmm. Well, I've found it strange that firebenders could make fire out of thin air, basically. I'm okay with them shooting fireballs, as the motion they make creates the force.

        Loading editor
    • that punch never makes contact with their target, so the force can't transfer.

      and creating fire out of nothing is exactly what happens in bionicle, it's just part of their power.

        Loading editor
    • I guess that's true, but the Bioncle Toa need tools to make their element, don't they?

        Loading editor
    • nope. toa are frequently seen not using tools. look at the original toa - gali, onua, and pohatu didn't even carry tools. the closest thing they had was their hands/feet - onua's hands were giant claws, gali's hands were gaint hooks, pohatu had enhanced feet. again, look at that website i mentioned. and in that universe, there's no martial arts involved in controlling the elements.

        Loading editor
    • Oh. I see. Sorry for my mistake.

        Loading editor
    • no problemo! :) i just like to talk a lot and explain things in lots of detail. bionicle is a great story. it has terrific character development, plot, you name it, it's got it. it's how i descovered avatar: the element manipulation thing got me interested in the airbender movie when i heard about it, which led to the much better original cartoon series. if you like avatar, you'll like bionicle. check out some of the comics as well - i'm sure even the older ones are out there somewhere. but start at the begining for sure! (p.s. - it started in 2001 with the six original toa (now the toa nuva), so you might have to dig a bit. biosector01.com is a good place to start.)

        Loading editor
    • Mmm.

        Loading editor
    • Fire doesn't come from thin, air it comes from the breath. It is transforming one kind of matter (gas) into another (plasma). If I had a massive blowtorch and it shot fire at large speeds it would definitely knock them over. And point it is fiction, a world where telekinesis is possible is not really a place for serious logic.

        Loading editor
    • Fire is not matter. Plasma is a superheated phase of matter where the molecules are so hot that their brownian motion makes their nuclei unable to hold onto electrons, so they are unable to form chemical bonds. Fire is pure energy.

        Loading editor
    • Fire is a gas, not plasma...

        Loading editor
    • Plasma (from Greek πλάσμα, "anything formed"[1]) is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being solid, liquid, and gas). But anyway the reason that fire benders can create their own 'bendable' is because fire is the only element tha does not occur naturally. Earth, Water and Air all exist without the help of humans or outside forces. Even bush fires are caused by very high temperatures and strong winds. Fire is created by humans or very song natural forces. As demonstrated in the movie it is a highly unfair advantage to other element of fire has to be carried on torches to battle. Did you enjoy the scene where the fire benders were like 'omg he's making his own fire'? But most of your reasons a correct, it's just difficult to be too logical in Avatar (or in Disney movies actually, believe me I've tried).

        Loading editor
    • fire is pure energy. it comes from the breaking of the chemical bonds in the fuel it burns. believe me, i study this stuff: molecules require energy to hold their composing atoms together, and this energy i stored in the chemical bonds between atoms. when something (the fuel for the fire, be it wood, gas, ect) is burned, these chemical bonds are broken, and the energy stored in them is released, and that energy is fire. so by definition, fire is not matter, in any of the four fundamental forms. as i said before, plasma is a state of matter beyond a gas, where the molecules are heated to a point where their brownian motion causes them to be unable to hold onto electrons, and chemical bonds (and therefore molecules) cant form.

      and even fantasy worlds have physics. that said, some rules must be broken/created to allow for certain fantasy abilities to occur (ie, bending). theoretical physics applies in those situations.

        Loading editor
    • True but there are rules and limitations applied to this world and there is basic physics. The elements must be balanced to be fair. If a fire bender has to light a torch every time they want to battle someone it is an unfair advantage and if the fire had no force, then firebenders would be unable to defend themselves. Physics is applied in many situations. As for the fire being pure energy or not well probably never agree on that. In the Avatar Universe we have to allow for the fact that there fire has force, whatever it is made of. As for self propulsion, that is usually accompanied by a run up or some other kind of accompanying force, that assist the flying. Even then only one bender outside the Fire Nation royal family has demonstrated this skill, the Avatar. You're fun to argue with btw.

        Loading editor
    • about the elements being balanced, see my other thread - that is what im saying is a flaw in the series, they aren't balanced - now that bloodbending can be done w/o a full moon, waterbendign pretty much dominates everything - since physical motions are needed for bending, and a bloodbender can control your body, they can effectively render an opponent incapable of fighting back. and firebenders don't have to light a torch - they can create it. and btw, whether u agree or not, fire is not matter - look it up, as i said before i study this stuff. for the fire flight thing, i'm gonna go with my original theory about chi, even thought that's really stretching it.

        Loading editor
    • Yeah I think the chi is the best theory. Di Martino and Konietzko said that bending is all about spirituality and chi is very important in lightning redirection. Blood bending outside the full moon seems to just be a family trait, so as long as you don't challenge a water bender on the full moon, you won't be screwed :) yeah I disagreed with Symalan changing it sp the benders cant create fire. The soldiers going 'omg he's creating his own fire' was the worst/funniest bit in the movie. Anyway nice arguing with you, it's no fun when we all agree

        Loading editor
    • Bending is basically limited telekinesis. They impart force based on the strength of their bending.

      You're arguing the physics of fire but doing so in isolation of the physics of throwing air, earth and water telekinetically. Where is the energy coming from that is hurling that matter at them?

      So, assuming they have a means of imparting energy out of their Chi alone, the source or fuel for the energy really isn't a problem.

      Your firebender is telekinetically imparting energy into the environment and they are limited in expressing this as "fire" but what is that? "Fire" is a product of chemical bonds breaking and releasing the energy. Your average flame doesn't get hot enough to actually become a plasma. It's hot gas and radiated light and heat. The light mostly comes from carbon particles that are white-hot radiating visible light. Fire is a rapid oxidation reaction that requires fuel and oxygen. When firebending they may be imparting energy to oxygen and (considering the typical fire color) some amount of carbon (which may come from their body?). They can't telekinetically move oxygen in air or levitate carbon... so it has to do something with either oxidation or the radiative process. Let's say it's some form of the oxidation. Oxidation is the loss of an electron in a chemical process. Master firebenders can also bend lightning and lightning is an electrostatic discharge where there are a number of free electrons in the air. So... maybe firebenders are bending electrons.

      The next problem is how a fire bolt might throw someone back, assuming of course the force is actually blasting them back and they aren't just leaping away from the heat of the flame. An explosion is a rapid oxidation that causes a pressure wave in the expanding gases. So firebenders create a conduit where they strip the electrons somewhat rapidly, in the case of fire, but at an increasing rate this sometimes creates exlosions--Combustion Man is a firebender who mastered this aspect. They might also create lightning by creating an abundance of free electrons in the air.

        Loading editor
    • but where's the carbon come from?

        Loading editor
    • Carbon dioxide is present in the air. Plants have carbon and the bender themself has carbon in them. Organic dust in the air is largely carbon (note the little motes visible in sunlight). There are sources of carbon to create the small particles of soot that radiate to give the yellow-white light.

      Granted, that is a bit of a weak point. But I do like the idea that Firebenders are bending electrons. :)

        Loading editor
    • Interesting note on flame color...

      220px-Bunsen_burner_flame_types_.jpg

      Different flame types of a Bunsen burner depend on oxygen supply. On the left a rich fuel with no premixed oxygen produces a yellow sooty diffusion flame; on the right a lean fully oxygen premixed flame produces no soot and the flame color is produced by molecular radicals, especially CH and C2 band emission. The purple color is an artifact of the photographic process.

        Loading editor
    • me too; it seems to make the most sense - if you look at some of the other threads where i've discussed firebending and how it works, i've pretty much come up with a lot of the same physics as you have: lightning is just flowing electrons, flames have electrons that have been excited to the next energy level, and heat is increased brownian motion. (i know that involves the whole atom, but like i said on that other thread, there's an exception to every rule including this one.)

      the only thing i disagree with is carbon. i don't think the mass conservation law is violated anywhere in avatar. (obviously the energy conservaton law is) instead of carbon atoms' electrons becoming excited, i think a firebender's chi excites the electrons of the gas in front of them. otherwise, they'd have to create carbon atoms to excite, which i don't think hapens. (going along with my astrobending thing, this leads me to believe that firebending wouldn't work in a vaccuum). different colored firebending (think azula) is just exciting the electrons to a dfferent level to produce more energy. if firebenders used the carbon from co2, then they would be dependent on having that in the atmosphere, and other color firebending (azula) couldn't exist.

      erragal, are you the same as 67.183.141.81? if so, thank you for making an account and welcome to avatar wiki.

        Loading editor
    • Yup, That's me :)

        Loading editor
    • http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Thread:1053018

      this is the thread i was talking about; it might interest you. do you mind if i ask about your education in the topics we're discussing?

        Loading editor
    • I've got a background in Environmental Science focusing mostly on Geology, though no advanced degree. I've dabbled a little in Environmental Engineering and Geophysics as well.

        Loading editor
    • so still undergrad? or graduated?

        Loading editor
    • Got a BA and took some post-grad classes but never got a post-grad degree.

        Loading editor
    • im a little late to this thread but here's a theory. 

      according to the show fire in firebending is capable of knocking people down destroying walls and a bunch of similar things. it could be possible (since heat is energy) that when the fire makes contact with an object that the energy is transferred to the object as a force acting on the object. this would account for the change in momentum that the object experiences as well as the fact that in the show most people aren't burnt horribly when struck by the fire. 

        Loading editor
    • I thought they were using their chi as a fuel. But I cannot say anything about knocking off people with fire, because I have no idea.

        Loading editor
    • I have noticed that sometimes such as when Jeong Jeong used his massive firewalls during the liberation of Ba Sing Se his fire didn't seem to burn any of the Tundra tanks he was pushing. So in this case Jeong Jeong seems to be applying force but not heat. However when Ozai attacked Aang while he was inside the rock sphere his fire only seemed to heat the rock without pushing it. Now my examples may not be the best but my question is do you think that firbenders can controll if their fire is to apply heat, force or both?

        Loading editor
    • no i don't think they can control that.

      when JJ was using the firewalls, they were applying heat, since they were made of fire, but we just couldn't see it b/c of the animation. also they might not have been hot enough to cause the metal tanks go glow when heated.

        Loading editor
    • Yes I agree that naturally since the fire walls and all other forms of firebending involve fire it should aply heat. Therfore there will always be heat when you firebend but do you think that it would be possible for a firebender to use the same level of heat when he/she firebends but apply different levels of force? I think it is true mainly because somtimes such as when Zuko firbent at Azula in the episode " The crossroads of destiny" the Dai Li blocked his fire with their wall with little to no effort. But when Azula fired her first fire blast against Aang and Katara in the same episode she destroyed the rock wall that Aang used to defend him and Katara. However I know that Azula is a better firebender than Zuko at the moment and that it probably factors in but do you get my point?

        Loading editor
    • Firebending does burn people in the series: Zuko (obviously) and kataras hands being examples.

      Additionally op is wrong about fire being able to apply a force. Force is mass*acceleration. while the molecules of oxygen and carbon/hydrocarbons/whatever are quite light, the acceleration is high and as such, combustion reactions can produce force or kinetic energy. Think about bombs of ammonium nitrate, the send everything in the blast zone flying with fire.

        Loading editor
    • I agree with you that firebending burns people and that it applies a force, But my theory is that firebenders to some extent can controll the relation between heat and force when they firbend. What I mean is that sometimes the fire may not be that hot but it can apply a lot of force and in another case the fire may be very hot but will not apply especially much force. This should also match what you said since a fire blast that applies much force could be viewed as an exploding bomb whereas a fireblast that applies much heat could be comared with a welding flame. 

        Loading editor
    • yeah thats my point, I wasnt trying to argue with you Im agreeing. Of course you have to suspend belief a little when watching avatar but the physics of the avatar world isnt that bad.

        Loading editor
    • Thats what I like with their physics it has a good mix of realism and fantasy.

        Loading editor
    • The way firebending is explained in the show is that firebenders gather energy from the air, collect it in their lungs, extend it past their limbs where it becomes fire. Among other things.

      However, you are correct; you are not supposed to be able to be sent flying by what is supposed to be the equivalent of a fireball like from a fuel explosion. This means that kinetic energy is transfered some other way. Which way we cannot know for sure (it is mystical after all), but fire is likely the by-product as opposed to the main product. Meaning that the energy transfer is not completely efficient.

      This would explain why firebenders only leave first to second degree burns in the show and focus on short bursts where you would expect a firebender to act as a flamethrower in a consistent stream of fiery death.

      Firebenders I have always seen as airbenders on steroids. A flame is, after all, just glowing particles in the air. A firebender that manipulates the movement of a flame is manipulating the movement of the air inside (or should I say around?) the flame, which moves the flame itself. Therefore, a firebender that pushes back another bender pushes them back with the kinetic energy transfered through the air.

      A good way to describe what is happening is a supersonic vortex ring; you know how you hear a canon sound each time a firebender creates a fireball? That canon blast is in reality the sonic boom of the creation of a subsonic flaming vortex ring with such a high spin that it can transfer the energy in the firebender's body at a distance. This is what we call a vortex ring gun IRL; it's an experimental non-lethal weapon. We have not been able to create such a thing, but it stands to reason that a firebender can create it through the qi energy transfered into the vortex ring that allows it to persist over longer ranges.

        Loading editor
    • like it. The connection between Firebending and Airbending has always been hinted at, but this is the first time I've actually seen some theories relating to it that make sense.

        Loading editor
    • I think they are throwing their chi and it's so hot it burns the gases in the air making flames. Different from waterbenders and earthbenders that are using their chi to control the elements, firebenders are literaly attacking with chi. That's why they can't bend another firebenders fire, because it's his chi.

        Loading editor
    • That is an interesting point. Normally, aside from Waterbenders (and that was only Aang and Katara doing an exercise), Benders don't use bits of their element that others have already Bended (I can use that because it's the secondary form of the word, like hanged). I wonder if one actually could, or is there some kind of taboo about it, or is it downright impossible? Maybe it's a bit like Bloodbending? Being able to direct another person's Bending by redirecting the elements that they're controlling at the moment? I think Pakku did it once, but that's about it.

        Loading editor
    • Other benders(excluding airbenders) have shown control over the water/earth others used to attack them, but if you see the Zhao vs Zuko fight they only deflect it they never control it like Pakku did against Katara or in Korra vs Kuvira. Azula did the same against Aang's airbending and she's not an airbender, so this have nothing to do with them being both firebenders.

        Loading editor
    • I think that it's not impossible to bend someone else's projectiles, but it is ill-advised, because of Newton's Law. Bringing your opponents weapons to a stand-still, like a giant boulder or a fireball, means that you are likely to feel the force of impact and have to exert double that force to redirect it back at the enemy. This is why firebenders and earthbenders more typically shunt incoming projectiles at a shallow angle away from themselves, because that takes the least amount of effort and diverts the least amount of attention from your enemy. While you are stopping that big rock, you are typically too pre-occupied to watch that other big rock falling from the sky.

      Waterbenders are different; by the very nature of their element, they have to be conservative. Diverting water is much easier, because it is a fluid thing, and unlike fire, it does not dissipate once deflected. Once water is lost, however, especially in arid places, you have lost your only weapon, so you end up reusing the water of your opponents lest both of you run out. There is always more earth and more air for the other benders. Those don't go anywhere. Water can be scarce, on the other hand.

      So it is more a practical objection than it is a physical one. It's the same reason why pressing swords against each other like they do in the movie never happens. Why would you hold the equivalent of an armwrestling match in the middle of a battlefield where you are both in danger of friendly or enemy fire?

        Loading editor
    • Actually, if they could control other people's fire they wouldn't need to stop the fire. Ozai's  fireballs could change paths a little, so they can just make the fireball change paths without touching it(kinda like a waterbender) or, since they can make a fire stronger or weaker, they can just extinguish the fireball.

        Loading editor
    • SaitamaBro wrote:
      Actually, if they could control other people's fire they wouldn't need to stop the fire. Ozai's  fireballs could change paths a little, so they can just make the fireball change paths without touching it(kinda like a waterbender) or, since they can make a fire stronger or weaker, they can just extinguish the fireball.

      Well, they do do that. Redirection. But it always shunts off to the side where the firebender is no longer threatened by it. The question isn't whether they can do it; it is whether it is practical. Let's say that Ozai and Aang are fighting; Aang catches one of the fire balls and tries to throw it back around like a slingshot. The arc is very wide, because the fireball travels at a high speed (sub sonic, but still). That motion and maintaining that trajectory demands attention. Ozai sees an opening, firing a second fireball that Aang cannot take control over (since he's preoccupied steering the first one). Aang is struck down and the battle is ended prematurely.

      I've seen this method of bending called "fire-and-forget". Once the projectiles are launched, the bender no longer needs to control them, simply letting their momentum carry them forward while the benders prepares new attacks. For this reason, focusing on one attack alone is not practical in a fight.

      That doesn't mean that firebenders let fire go to waste, though. We see repeatedly in fire duels that firebenders 'cancel' out their opponent's firebending. Often, this just looks cool to us, like with Korra, but as you can see with Aang and Zuko, you can quite clearly see that the fire is pulled back up from the ground.

      Waterbenders, on the other hand, are able to redirect their blasts easier because that is the mechanical nature of water. It follow the path of least resistance, so it requires very little persuasion to be split up and it follows the logic of what you are saying. The water also doesn't travel at nearly the speed that the subsonic vortex rings that firebenders create do. Therefore, attacks that are diverted are pulled into a different trajectory with relative ease.

      Finally, earthbending is heavy; slingshotting big boulders is possible, but probably taxing. Earthbenders prefer direct maneuvers to make each move efficient. If they are not careful, they get crushed, after all. Following from Newton's Laws, each reaction has an equal and opposite reaction. An earthbender that slingshots an enormous boulder has to displace massive amounts of weight equatable to the motion of the rock. To most human beings, that is simply too much weight and the pressure is likely to displace their shoulders, break their back and kill them. But the Hippo seems to be able to do it just fine with his disks. And if they are small, Toph has no problem throwing the dirt right back at ya.

        Loading editor
    • In the fight against Pakku you can see that there are times that they do that in a defensive way instead of a counter and they have no openings then. And firebenders have to touch the fire to redirect it and that leaves some openings(Zhao did, at least) and by doing it they limit their field of vision when they cut through the flames. So it's like bloodbending but harder, since you would be bending the chi of the person. So either they can't because they need more power to do that or they never thought about it. It's not really unpractical as it was highly effective when Roku used it, no openings too.

        Loading editor
    • I think that you kind of missed my points. Waterbenders can do it fine. Firebenders and earthbenders can do it too. In the show, there's just not been any reason to do it thus far. Something never having been observed is not proof that it is not possible. And it has been observed, so it is possible. I'm no longer sure what you are arguing right now.

      Also, the reason that bloodbending is hard is because it's contained in a pressure vessel. Let's say that a waterbender is bending a metal thermostat filled with water. You'd think that the waterbender would be able to do it still and basically punch people with the metal thermostat around the water. However, I feel like the water inside would push and pull at the pressure vessel and that soon, it would break the vessel.

      In the same way, when someone is being bloodbent, the water in all of the bodies' pressure vessels finds resistance. Not just in the veins, but in the cell walls as well. So when someone is being bloodbent, the vessels will endure stress, which is the sound bloodbending makes. The water is churning and shifting inside of the victim all over their body, causing nausea and worse. If you are exceptionally good, like Yakone and Amon, you can build up the pressure high enough to knock someone out. If you build up the pressure much, much, much higher, a bloodbender can kill, like Yakone was planning to do with Aang. So it is possible. There's just physical hurdles to take, just like with any bending technique.

        Loading editor
    • I'm arguing that the avatar made it in the Avatar State, doesn't mean that anyone could. In the same way, if Hama can bloodbend in a full moon doesn't mean she can do it without one. Reason? How about extinguishing the fire your enemy is using to attack you? Or changing it's path without touching it and limiting your field of vision?

      I don't think i understand your point there. Are you saying bloodbending is not about power but control?

        Loading editor
    • Bloodbending is definitely about control. It's about being able to control the water inside of objects that you cannot see, without destroying said objects. Not that destroying the objects would be easier; rather, it would be harder to muster that amount of force, but it's because of the control that you have that you can combine the churning in so many different small pressure vessels that you can make it push or pull in a different direction. Like, if you move water from one place in a container to the other, the container will move, but not nearly as much as the water would on it's own. And the fact that you could move the container in the first place is because you somehow managed to dislocate so much waterpressure from one side to the other.

      Visualize it as people on a bus. For the purpose of the explanation, there are no seats in this bus. It's not like, if everyone in the bus was a bodybuilder and just start to pound away at the bus that the bus would suddenly start moving very fast in one direction. It would shake violently and possibly collapse outwards. But if all passengers on the bus make a coordinated move from one side of the bus to the other, they can make the bus tip over, unlike the uncoordinated attempts of the bodybuilders.

      I like to argue that Yakone was stronger than Amon, but he lacked the discipline to hone his skills to razor edge. Yakone already had the raw power to do that he did, so he didn't need to be elegant. Amon, on the other hand, was disciplined and he applied bloodbending in subtler ways. I have no evidence that Amon possesses less power than Yakone did, but I like to think that he did. Purely metaphorically speaking. Yakone could kill with bloodbending, while Amon never even showed the intention of killing anyone outright. As bad as Amon was, his way was technically pretty clean.

      Water is fluid. It moves around even when it seems like it's still. Waterbenders can churn water incredibly rapidly. The waterwhip, in fact, breaks the sound barrier with sheer speed alone(that is what the crack of a whip is; it's a small sonic boom). That's pretty amazing. But bigger masses move more slowly. Slingshotting water is, effectively, creating a miniature orbit around the bender like a comet around a star or planet. Slow bodies need less deceleration than fast bodies, which is why, I think, firebenders don't usually get the time to perform slingshot maneuvers. The fire just moves to quickly for that. A great firebender can absorb the fire though.

      Now I only wish that my gifs wouldn't constantly be removed, since they show firebenders absorbing the thermal energies of a flame and reusing them. However, the moderators and admins keep removing them, so I can't show you. Annoys the hell out of me.

        Loading editor
    • I saw Korra doing pretty much what Zhao did against Zuko, only in a different way, and Aang using fire he threw on the ground(this one i didn't see because he just wouldn't load, but i got that from the description). None of wich about what i'm talking about. Oh, there is a rule that you can't use pictures for threads/blogs posts only, you can only use the ones in the articles i think. I wanted to make an Iroh vs Ozai dossie but seems like i can't.

      Why the full moon then? They can only use it in the full moon because of the power boost, they don't get a skil boost from it. That's why i think Tarrlok is as strong as a waterbender with full moon and Amon is even stronger for not needing movements.

        Loading editor
    • The only reason Sokka lost to Zuko in a swordfight was because he'd been trained for, what, three days? And he wasn't concentrating, from what I read. Zuko had been training with Piandao for years, had the reflexes built into him, and was using, if I recall, two swords. Really unfair advantage there, even with a boomerang.

      There is a long-standing history in various cultures of beliefs related to the breath and to control of one's soul and one's surroundings. Let's see if I can come up with a few examples of chi, prana, and mana (I'm not making it up, it's really a part of Polynesian culture). (I'm leaving out Greek pneuma and Hebrew ruach because they would likely have little relevance to chi in the Avatarasya, and lüng because it’s mainly covered by chi and prana.)

      Chi (also known as ch'i, ki, or qi) appears in the works of many Chinese philosophers, starting with Mo Di in the late Fifth Century BCE. The usage appears to refer to the actual control, so to speak, of matter; more concentrated chi makes up solid, slightly less makes up liquid, etc. Always prevalent is the concept of balance, of yin (restraint) and yang (passion) intertwining to create something new. Chi in the body is highly dependent on and related to jing, which (separate from the Neijia that Bumi called "jing") is effectively life-liquid, in various degrees of potency, and on shen, or divinity; the combination of all three creates a full and healthy person, while "blocking" chi flow around the body and through the Twelve Meridian Points (the twelve organs) is believed to make one sick (chakra blocking, anybody?). Closely related is the concept of qigong, or "life-energy cultivation", which is the basis of martial arts.

      Prana in Sanskrit literally means "breath", but it can also refer to the soul, energy, or the principle of life. The total sum of all energy manifest in the cosmos, prana (life) is dependent on vāyu (wind) to exist, but is also the first of the vāyavas (I'm new to Sanskrit, don't kill me if I get it wrong), the fundamental "winds" in the body that control various movements. The three main movements of prana vāyu across the body are called ida (right-brain to left-body), pingala (left-brain to right-body), and sushumna (from base chakra to crown chakra) (note that, strictly speaking, prana flows through pingala and apana or passivity flows through ipa). The means of this energy flow, a nadi, can be seen either as a nerve or as a channel for energy, by which means one can balance the chakras and attain kundalini (or spiritual connection and enlightenment).

      Mana is not, technically, related to prana or chi, but still worth mentioning here. While the original Proto-Polynesian term meant "thunderstorm", it can also mean something along the lines of “divine energy”, “ or even “luck”. An excess of mana is not bad, but beneficial; it is considered beyond either physical or animistic power, although it can easily influence both. Neither is it limited to persons; places and objects can easily possess a great amount of mana. In Hawaiian culture, mana could be gained for oneself by either fighting or excess procreation, but it was generally revered as a divine substance of sorts.

      Anyway...

      All of these together summarize how chi is used in the Avatarasya. Spirits and/or spiritual beings have greater concentrations of it, and can pass it on to humans; full control over it allows for divine contact and enlightenment; it binds the body and soul together and is used to keep people acting in a healthy manner. It requires a balance of sorts, but one can naturally have greater amounts of it, or be surrounded by spiritual energy to a greater extent. And extending one's own chi-flow to the environment around oneself allows one to bend that environment, and by default the very chi of the world, to one's own will. Flowing with the movement of the elements allows one to act with them and then to control them; true Bending is effectively becoming your element, taking on its characteristics and its strength, and even being preserved by it. And the Avatar, by definintion, can control all of them, can take power from all of them; it's a very small thing to live long and be perfectly healthy when the whole spiritual rhythm of the planet is yours to feel and experience. (And it's the reason that Toph, Toph of all people, should not have been complaining of a bad back at the meagre age of eighty-five when Bumi, at one hundred and twelve years old, was spritely as a spring pig-chicken.)

      This was very long, even by my standards. Not to mention I posted it on the wrong forum to start with.

        Loading editor
    • Jet was losing against Zuko, and he have been fightin fodder for a long time so he is experienced. Azula was shown to be as good as Ty Lee and even better in some aspects. Was this supposed to be in Avatar Kyoshi?

        Loading editor
    • Are you telling me I got the forum post wrong again? Urgh!

        Loading editor
    • It happens in all the good families.

        Loading editor
    • Quite often with me. Oh, well, enjoy the essay.

        Loading editor
    • ...although, technically, it could work here, too, if we're discussing physics.

        Loading editor
    • Aside from the Sokka vs Zuko part, yeah.

        Loading editor
    • On the note of Chi and fortune, Avatar Vyakara, it's interesting to note that in Chinese traditions, fortune is seperated in three categories. Personal fortune, which is dependent on the way you live your life. Earthly fortune, which is dependent on the environment that shapes you. And heavenly fortune, which is decided for you by otherworldy powers.

      So if we take the interpretation that Chi is more like Mana than Qi, you could argue that benders bridge the gap between earthly and personal fortune. Feng shui is the art of changing your surroundings or reading your surroundings to gain insight in your present and future. The initial three seasons of Avatar follow a kind of daoist philosophy. The faith that balance is something that maintains itself, by dumb luck or dharma and by upsetting the balance in yourself and not taking the road of the least resistance, you make things too difficult for yourself (if I remember daoism correctly). Making benders and especially the Avatar a kind of talisman of luck for the world.

      Either way, from the way that chi has been described, I get the impression that benders gain it from their surroundings almost exclusively. Like the reserves they have to store chi are relatively small, because they don't really need them. They just need to channel the Chi of their surroundings. Let it flow through them, as opposed to spend it carefully. In the Legend of Korra, on the other hand, we do see probenders becoming tired, suggesting that there is a limit to the bending that you can perform. So, eh, I dunno if I'm right about that, but I like to think that I am.

      I'll have to calculate the energy required to create a waterwhip at some point. Since we know the speed of the waterwhip (supersonic) and the approximate length and width, we can probably say something about the forces required to create it. Of course, so we can for most other bending techniques, but it's a start. Firebending is rather hard to define in terms of energy expended, since we can't measure the temperature of their flames.

        Loading editor
    • They do have something similar to a Chi Center, according to Iroh. And by having more chi, their bending power also increases. It looks more like they are using their own chi to bend the elements. In ATLA we can see it too when Bumi push Ozai's statue, it seems very tiring.

        Loading editor
    • Might I make careful mention of the fact that Iroh's "Sea of Chi" is also the root of the Fire Chakra?

      To be honest about Bending abilities and tiring, I'd say a lot of it comes from their surroundings. As Sellanor said, the surroundings provide some form of chi for them, as well as the raw materials. (Hey, Toph, how come you got tired if you were surrounded by the stuff They have their own flow, you see, they're not categorized and organized like they are in a city or a Probending arena. It's set up so that the participants in the matches can't draw from their surroundings, and are limited to a small bit of their own element to use: Earthbenders have the discs, Waterbenders have a small grating-full, and Firebenders don't even have daylight to help them out. It's fun to watch, sure, but it must be really unhealthy pushing those Benders at what is practically their weakest point to fight one another. Maybe the underpowering aspect is what makes them inspiring without being dangerous?

      That said, continuing what Sellanor said, I suppose the energy could come from three sources: the self, the outside, and the spirits (who seem to like messing with humans a bit). (I would be amazed, but not surprised, if you were to work out the energy in a water whip, by the way.)

        Loading editor
    • I read into the Chakras being the river of chi. You draw from the universe around you by way of your chakras, which spread the chi to the rest of your body.

      And yeah, great feats are tiring, but that is because they are great feats. My thought is that if an earthbender were to do the equivalent of holding his arms up for 24 hours with bending, it wouldn't tax him physically or mentally. Like, an earthbender could make a rock of a certain rock float indefinitely without getting tired. If they are trying to do something that pushes their limits of bending control, then they are experiencing the consequences of pushing their power as opposed to pushing their endurance. In my next post, I will have calculated the kinetic energy in a water whip.

        Loading editor
    • Excellent! I shall be waiting...

      You know, I know they were going for a more modern look in LoK, but seriously, why ignore all of this gold that they used in such an inventive way?

        Loading editor
    • Should we then enter into the discussion of chi absorption, chi cultivation and chi distribution techniques? I will talk a little of what i know about them, since i don't know if this is deviating from the topic.

      Chi absorption is what the name says, you absorb the chi of your surroundings into your own body and, in some cases, from other people. The best examples are Stellar Transformation and The Breaker.

      Chi cultivation can be pretty much seen in every wuxia. It's an chi exercise with breath and/or body movements to become healthier and stronger. Chi distribuition is taking the chi that you cultivated/absorbed and distributing it to every part of the body equally.

      We never saw example of chi cultivation techniques or distribution, but i think it's safe to assume that when Zuko defeated Katara in the north saying that he raises with the sun, every firebender in the world when the comet came, and maybe even waterbenders and the full moon can be considered examples of chi absorption. I will also note that there is chi purification(in Stellar Transfomation and Veritas) that could be also compared to cleaning the chakras and making the energy flow better. Also, the chi have a natural flow that if he is blocked(not Ty Lee blocked, but born blocked) it can cause the person to have health problems and weak constitution. In the begining i even thought the reason nonbenders can't bend is because they have the chi flow blocked so even if they had the fire/earth/water/air chi they couldn't bend, but their kid could. Of course this is not possible since they seem to be strong and skilled enough to fight benders in almost equal terms.

        Loading editor
    • like it. Also, there's something I have to ask, although this too deviates a bit: if reincarnation occurs (and I'm almost certain it happens for more people than the Avatar), then how does Bending occur? Is it just that some lives are more or less spiritual than others, or that maybe lives accumulate spirituality (and Bending power) as they go along until eventually they become a spirit?

        Loading editor
    • Since it looks like some nations have more or less benders due to the nation's spirituality i would guess the place the kid is born greatly influences it. If you are born an Air Nomad then you will be a bender 100% of the time. In other places you just get lucky.

        Loading editor
    • Hmm. Therein, I think, lies one of those long-forgotten history points. Air Nomads, true, have a population entirely composed of Benders, but their population is much smaller than other nations. I have one hypothesis for that: those people who became Airbenders after Harmonic Convergence? There's a chance that there was a whole other civilization of Airbenders, one with Benders and Nonbenders. Led by a sage with exceptional insight and enlightenment, many turned away from the "Divine Air Power" (more akin to Crane Style, maybe) and learned a new style of Airbending, more circular and passive. The old civilization faded away, and only those nonbenders who survived the ending were left to carry on the line. From these come Kai, Kwon, Daw, Zaheer, and possibly even Ty Lee.

      Crazy. But maybe it could work?

        Loading editor
    • I have headcanon of nomad airbenders who were more like the Mongols. Nomadic people. Perhaps people who learned from shirshu in place of the air bison and developed rediculous tracking skills. Since scents are technically gasses.

      Still working on the math. It's hard to do it from the top of my head, but I'll get there.

        Loading editor
    • I wish you luck.

      Hmm. I wonder if that links Jun to them as well...

        Loading editor
    • What if they were chosen because they have a common personality trait to the AN? Like:

      Kai is kind of like Aang with different morals, but this is probably due to Aang's upbringing by Air Nomads.

      Zaheer likes the AN culture and may have trained airbending-like forms like the first Air Acolytes.

      Ryu is a recluse.

      I like this theory more and Ryu is a great proof that this could be it.

        Loading editor
    • I thought about it like this. Fire heats the air up and when air (or anything really) heats up it expands. This expansion may happen extremely quickly to where the push of the air can knock a person back.

        Loading editor
    • I'm not one to put scientific reasoning to magic because that ruins the point of it all, but heres my theory.

      In high school, my physics class taught me the "three states of matter": Solid (such as ice), Liquid (such as water that melts from ice) and gas (such as steam that evaporates from water). However I do not know if modern school physics now teach the fourth state of matter: Plasma.

      My theory is that all benders have a psionic, near magical control over specific states of matter. Earthbenders can control natual solids, Waterbenders can control liquids, Airbenders can control gasses and Firebenders can superheat molecules to the point of plasma. While it appears Firebenders and Airbenders can bend their element from practically nothing in truth they are exciting and controlling the air molecules around them.

      Firebenders are able to ionize the air around them to the point of igniting the nitrogen that consist in air-molecules. This process is a form of combustion. Some firebenders like the ones you mention are able to create force with their fire from igniting their fires while some take it as far as combustionbending to specialise the combstion process as the weapon itself than the fire it creates.

      At least thats my theory on the matter. The Avatar world still have spirits, interesting creatures and the likes so I'm not going to science all the good stuff away.

        Loading editor
    • Mystic Monkey wrote:
      I'm not one to put scientific reasoning to magic because that ruins the point of it all, but heres my theory.

      In high school, my physics class taught me the "three states of matter": Solid (such as ice), Liquid (such as water that melts from ice) and gas (such as steam that evaporates from water). However I do not know if modern school physics now teach the fourth state of matter: Plasma.

      My theory is that all benders have a psionic, near magical control over specific states of matter. Earthbenders can control natual solids, Waterbenders can control liquids, Airbenders can control gasses and Firebenders can superheat molecules to the point of plasma. While it appears Firebenders and Airbenders can bend their element from practically nothing in truth they are exciting and controlling the air molecules around them.

      Firebenders are able to ionize the air around them to the point of igniting the nitrogen that consist in air-molecules. This process is a form of combustion. Some firebenders like the ones you mention are able to create force with their fire from igniting their fires while some take it as far as combustionbending to specialise the combstion process as the weapon itself than the fire it creates.

      At least thats my theory on the matter. The Avatar world still have spirits, interesting creatures and the likes so I'm not going to science all the good stuff away.

      Your average fire ain't a plasma maker, though. Lightning maybe, but not fire. The Sun's hydrogen and helium is plasma sure, but only because it uses nuclear fusion, a process magnitudes hotter than chemical combustion, which is average Joe fire.

      A quick heating of the atmosphere would be enough to cause a rapid expansion, perhaps (to the point of a sonic boom, even.) But normal 3000 F fires wouldn't be enough to cause a chemical reaction with any nitrogen. Lightning can certainly do that, though.

        Loading editor
    • Benders don't control states of matter. A metalbender can control liquid mercury, but a waterbender can't. Waterbenders can bend a wide variety of liquids like ink, perfume, blood, & so on because those all have water in them. Similarly, airbenders do not control gasses, as Aang couldn't just bend away the natural gas that the Mechanist was trying to get rid of.

      Waterbending is pretty self-explanatory & airbenders probably control wind currents rather than specific substances, leaving earthbending & firebending as the least understood. As far as can be told, a broad range of elements can be earthbent so long as they're present in the earth's crust & not counted as metals.

      But since the topic is about firebending, I would say the plasma theory is one possibility. Not all plasma is the same, & there are some very common ones out there. Apparently a hot enough fire can be a plasma, but she doesn't specify how hot that needs to be. Either way, that's not ignition or combustion & indeed nitrogen is inflammable. If so, it's apparently not as hot as the plasma cutters used by Future Industries. Really, there are a lot of possibilities that could explain firebending, & not much to narrow them down.

      Also, it doesn't matter too much because I know what you meant, but for the record, superheating refers to raising a liquid above its boiling point with boiling not actually occurring.

        Loading editor
    • Well while I've known about the three states of matter for years, it was only a few recent years ago I learned about plasma being regarded as a fourth state of matter.

      And I can't help but see a comparison of the states of matter to the classical elements.

      • Earth = Solid
      • Water = Liquid
      • Air = Gas
      • Fire = Plasma

      While Fire itself is more of a gas there is still some ionizing involved in the chemical reaction that makes fire, so the ancient scholars were still pretty accurate to modern sciences on states of matter.

      Come to think of it, the states reversed (such as cooling steam all the way back to ice) it's the Avatar cycle.

        Loading editor
    • And I can't help but see a comparison of the states of matter to the classical elements.

      Except the only similarity is that there are 4 items on each list, & that doesn't even work in the long run because matter is much more complicated than "4 states."

      While Fire itself is more of a gas there is still some ionizing involved in the chemical reaction that makes fire, so the ancient scholars were still pretty accurate to modern sciences on states of matter.

      No they weren't. They had no concept of "ions." Sometimes "the elements" were a metaphor, but more often than not, when they said that fire is an element, they literally believed that literal fire was one of the things that made up other objects.

      In fact, the Greek concept of aether is what they thought the stars were made of & the Chinese concept of all things being energy interacting is a little closer to our modern understanding. But I have to stress, these similarities are superficial coincidences. Unlike plasma, Aristotle thought that aether was changeless, completely alien to earthly matter, neither cold nor hot, not wet nor dry, etc. And the Chinese concept of "energy changes" doesn't refer to fundamental forces, but rather the notion that "Wood feeds fire; Fire creates earth (ash); Earth bears metal; Metal collects water; Water nourishes wood." Which, of course, also contains inaccuracies.

      Come to think of it, the states reversed (such as cooling steam all the way back to ice) it's the Avatar cycle.

      What?

        Loading editor
    • The four fundamental states of matter are solids, liquids, gasses and plasma. It's not a precise or scientific comparison, but still a comparison given how there is four of them and how the states of matter relate to the common elements that are bended.

      Ancient scholars who theorized the four classical elements perhaps used the elements themselves for metaphors of the states of matter that they understood at the time. But also some other cultures also had other additional elements such as wood, metal or as you mentioned aether.

      As for how it relates to the Avatar Cycle, usually when most solids such as ice or some metals are heated they change state into liquids, and when further heated become gasseous. superheating gasses can ionize them into plasma. This is sort of like a reverse of the Avatar Cycle.  Roku (plasma) became Aang and Aang (gas) became Korra and Korra (liquid) will be born an earthbender (solid) in her next life.

        Loading editor
    • The four fundamental states of matter are solids, liquids, gasses and plasma. It's not a precise or scientific comparison, but still a comparison given how there is four of them and how the states of matter relate to the common elements that are bended.

      That's the thing, they don't relate. Fire is generally not a plasma, & saying that it's similar because there are ions doesn't make sense because liquids & solids have ions all the time. Plasma is specifically the point at which electromagnetic interactions begin to dominate the way the structure acts. Further, most of the water universally is ice, & even if you want to limit to the earth, only a small portion of the that is solid rock as we know it.

      If the comparison isn't accurate, then it's not a very good comparison. And the fact that it's not scientific is relevant because (aside from the fact that this topic explicitly asks about physics) you said the exact words "the ancient scholars were still pretty accurate to modern sciences on states of matter" & still seem to think that.

      Ancient scholars who theorized the four classical elements perhaps used the elements themselves for metaphors of the states of matter that they understood at the time.

      Case in point, this is not what happened. Unlike fire, earth, water, & air, there is no ancient word referring to what we know as plasma. The only plasmas anyone knew about were lightning & in some cases auroras, both of which ancient people thought were spirits or magic from the gods.

      But not only did they not know there was a 4th state, it doesn't seem like ancient people even had a concept of states of matter, at least not that I can find mention of. Of course they knew that water could freeze & metal could melt, which might be one reason why they thought water is an element, but people didn't think their Classical Elements were different forms that a piece of matter could cycle through, they thought of them as the way we think of the Periodic Table.

      If you don't know what those people actually believed, you can try looking it up, but you shouldn't just guess. Especially because the notion that ancient people believed basically the same things we do now is a type of cultural bias. In some ways they may have, but in other ways they believed in shit like the 4 humors, while certain concepts we take for granted would be totally alien to them.

      But also some other cultures also had other additional elements such as wood, metal or as you mentioned aether.

      Which are equally unscientific.

      superheating gasses can ionize them into plasma.

      I know I said it didn't matter earlier, but when you say "further heated" & then also "superheated" when describing the same thing, it really sticks out.

      Roku (plasma) became Aang and Aang (gas) became Korra and Korra (liquid) will be born an earthbender (solid) in her next life.

      Further freezing a solid doesn't create a plasma, so it goes back to the point that there being 4 classical elements & 4 basic states of matter is an amusing coincidence that doesn't really coincide that much.

        Loading editor
    • I think you're interpretating a little too deep what I am saying.

      I'm not saying people in ancient times knew of the four states of matter because back then they didn't have the science to do so. However they were aware that the world consist of hard things like earth, fluid things like water, gasses such as air and that fire was different from the other three elements they concluded. I agree with you they also concluded other elements that make up the skies, the spirits and other concepts they had little udnerstanding of at the time, but throughout history the Classical Elements  we've all come to know are Earth, Fire, Air and Water which are the common elements throughout history and various cultures.

      Thats really the comparison I'm pointing out. And I did say Fire doesn't have much to do with plasma, my comparison to fire with plasma is due to how fire only ionize some of the molecules. That and both Fire and plasma both radiate visable light.

      In the Avatar World this is especially evident with the fact that Firebenders are also capable of producing and bending electricity which is an even more recognisable form of plasma.

      As for our IRL world I'm not saying the ancient scholars from our history knew of the four states of matters, I'm just saying they were somewhat close with their interpretation of classic elements.

      To me it's a simple comparison between the ancients understanding of four elements to the modern understanding of four states of matter, thats all. Earth is solid, Water is liquid, Air is a gas and Fire glows like plasma. I'm just saying for a bunch of ancient people with little grasp on science for their time, whoever thought up the elements was onto something at the time in comparison to our modern understanding of the four states of matter.

        Loading editor
    • to break it down firebending is basically photon manipulation the concept of energy which they generate from "breath" and "passion" of the user as it's fuel fire nation during sozin, azulon and ozai's era then utilized "anger" as fuel that normalized and have the world see it as destructive and heinous even making an offensive slur to firebenders as "ash makers"

      the breath thing is associated with dragons

      I always seen firebending as a power of hellish hatred as it painted the firenation in that same light then that one episode showed me the true meaning of fire

        Loading editor
    • An anonymous contributor
        Loading editor
Give Kudos to this message
You've given this message Kudos!
See who gave Kudos to this message
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.