• January 2021 - HammerOfThor is the current User of the Month. Congratulations!
  • January 1, 2021 - The Ba Sing Se Times has officially partnered with Kahana as an article workspace platform. Better publishing times are ahead!
  • January 9-10, 2021- Typhoonmaster will face off against Korra2000 in the first round of the BSST's all-new Avatar Trivia Competition Series! Submit your own trivia questions here and tune into Discord for live coverage!
Want to be a part of Avatar Wiki policy decisions? Participate in the War Room forum!

From the Editor: Bring it On, 2021!

Happy New Year, Avatar Wiki!

It's about time we start a new chapter and move on from the chaos that was 2020. This isn't to say that there won't be chaos in 2021; just look at your Editor in Chief. But hopefully things will be less...apocalyptic as we move the Avatar party forward. The franchise hasn't slowed down in the slightest, and as I speak there are a plethora of events and new content in the works - which means that Avatar Wiki isn't finished yet! Far from it.

We've survived one of the most confusing, chaotic, plot twist-filled years, and I want to thank every single user who has chosen to still stick around to enjoy the Avatar fandom and the, cough, random newsletters that spawn from it.

The BSST staff shall do its best to match the activity of our community and will be returning with a storm of hearts and oogies next issue. For now, congrats on surviving 2020!

Without further ado, Happy Reading!

You’re Not Too Late: Advice for New Fans of Avatar
I suppose you could call me a middle-aged Avatar fan. I'm not referring to my actual, biological age, I simply mean that I've been a part of this fandom for neither a particularly long nor short time. It feels wrong to call myself a "new" fan; I first watched the show five years ago, long before it returned to Netflix in triumph. At the same time, five years doesn't exactly qualify me as an "old" fan. I never had the privilege of watching either show while it first aired, something that upset me for many years.

My first real encounter with the Avatar fandom occurred as a direct result of the Korra finale. At the time, the internet seemed flooded with reactions and reviews to our brave Avatar's latest battle. Always fascinated by works of fantasy and adventure, I immediately took interest. It wasn't long after, in the early months of 2015, when I first met a certain boy in the iceberg.

Why tell you all this? What does it matter when I first watched Avatar? For one, I believe it gives me a unique perspective on the recent revival of our fandom. More importantly, because I want to share the blessings that can come from first watching Avatar after childhood. Perhaps my experiences will resonate with our newest fans. To be honest, my first experience with the Avatar fandom left me depressed. The shows themselves were awe-inspiring, but I always felt late to the game. It seemed the majority of the fandom had moved on to other things before I got to meet them. If only I had found the shows earlier, then I could've been a part of the original generation of fans. I would have had the chance to devise brilliant fan theories before the next episode premiered. I'd have treasured memories of running downstairs in my pajamas to see Aang fight Ozai for the first time on the small basement tv. To you old fans lucky enough to have experienced this, never forget how incredible a blessing you received! And yet, at the same time, perhaps discovering Avatar later in life comes with its own benefits. Many of the themes explored by both shows are profound, heavy topics. For me, Zuko's character arc is especially moving. His character deals with trauma, abuse, anger, and a deep longing for acceptance and love. Would I have been able to appreciate these things as a kid? While seeing the show as a child certainly comes with benefits, how much more rewarding is watching Zuko's journey after you also have struggled through adolescence? Emotional maturity gives an incredible depth to this show. Watching the fire prince crave acceptance, I had the chance to reflect on where I, too, longed for acceptance. As he dealt with regret, I realized there were decisions I also regretted. Most of all, the beautiful moment of forgiveness Zuko and Iroh share struck me with the desire to ask forgiveness for my own sins. I never would have had these experiences as a kid. Back then, Avatar would simply have been another funny cartoon. Instead, Avatar became something with real emotional weight.

My message to all the new fans of Avatar is this: don't mourn your late entry into this fandom. There are tremendous blessings that come from watching the show for the first time as an adult or teen. Share the show with your friends, discuss it online, make memes, post parodies, and lead this community into a new age! Trust me, shows this good don't just disappear. A decade from now, you’ll see the next generation of fans be born. Suddenly, you’ll feel old!
Avatar Wiki Admin Q&A
Aang on a sec
Before I get to the interview, I’d just like to give a thanks to a few people. First off, I’d like to thank everyone who sent in questions. Without you, we wouldn’t have had an interview. It took an hour, but I am very happy to say that we did get through every question submitted. Next, I’d like to thank Frui, Thor and Lostris. You all answered the questions in such great detail and managed to put up with my constant nagging about this (especially HoT) so that deserves a lot of thanks. Finally, I’d like to thank my co-host Gligo. I didn’t think I would find anyone half as eager about this as me, but I did in Gligo. They were a huge help, and without them this just wouldn’t have happened.

An additional thank you goes to Blais, as though they didn’t end up participating in the final interview (though they did send in questions), they were a massive help when I was first coming up with the idea for the Q&A.

And that’s it! I won’t use up any more of your time. Below you will find an (almost) unedited copy of the Avatar Wiki Admin Q&A. It was held live on the AW Discord Server, which I strongly suggest you check out if you aren’t on it already!


AOAS: Hello all, and welcome to the Avatar Wiki Admin Q&A! Today we have HammerOfThor and Fruipit with us to answer your questions! Unfortunately, Lostris isn’t able to attend live, but she has answered all the questions sent in so you can still see what her thoughts are! Questions will be highlighted in bold so as to make them easy to see! The interview will start in two minutes.

Thor: Thank you for having us, and for taking the time to put this together

AOAS: The pleasure is all mine. Now, I believe @Gligo has our first question:

Gligo: So first off, we have a question from Discord user @MRX. They ask:

What are your thoughts on the consolidation of wiki hosting sites?

AOAS: Lostris wrote: ‘Eh, you mean the merger of Fandom with Gamepedia? I don't really have an opinion about it, since I never visited Gamepedia before, but there are some changes that I don't particularly like. VSTF being renamed to SOAP is one of those’

Fruipit: For me, part of me really like the fact that all the information should be easily available instead of jumping between Gamepedia and FANDOM - some FANDOM wikis were amazing, and some were... less so. Often it was either one or the other in terms of who had the best, most current, most reliable information. I play a lot of games and depending on what it is, I frequently wiki for help. Now I'll more easily be able to edit the communities I visit (in theory).

Thor: I have only ever contributed to Fandom-hosted wikis, so I don't really have a view on how it compares to other hosting sites. I will say that there were a lot of concerns before the merger with Gamepedia of a disconnect between staff and users; that issues weren't being addressed properly or there was a lack of communication. I think this has definitely improved after the merger, and staff are making more of an effort to engage with users. So in that regard, I think it has been good

AOAS: Thank you. Next, we have a question from Blais W. They would like to ask:

Why did you decide to start helping the wiki?

Gligo: Lostris answered: ‘I ... don't remember, actually. My first contribution to the wiki was also not to help outgrinning, it was to bitch about how much The Last Airbender sucked. After that, I left some comments on the fanon side. I think I just saw people edit and wanted to contribute? I don't know, I don't really remember. That was early 2011, sue me I do remember I was at my best friend's place when I got accepted to be part of the Transcript Team. I was so happy about that

Thor: In terms of contributing, it was just because I enjoyed the series and the community and wanted to be part of it. In terms of being a rollback and a moderator, the additional rights just helped me to do what I was already doing. Becoming an admin, I blame Lostris for forcing me to do it

Fruipit: I joined the wiki when I was still in high school, so for me part of it was definitely the community. I think my first edit was adding a link to the Fire Nation on a page; it was undone, because it had been linked above, but what actually stuck with me was that even though I had made a mistake, all the users already on the wiki were so encouraging. I decided to start helping the wiki because for me, as a teenager, I felt like I was kind of needed in a way that I wasn't IRL. It also helped that I absolutely adored the series and was so excited for Korra.

Gligo: Thanks. For our next question, we have a submission from Zacatero:

If you could change one major thing about the Wiki right now, what would it be and why?

Fruipit: Ooh that's a tough one

Thor: Denfinitely a tough question

AOAS: Lostris (rather hilariously) replied: ‘I'd crown myself Phoenix Queen and make HammerOfThor bring me coffee whenever I ask while saying that tea sucks. No, I actually don't really have a major irritation with the wiki. The Avatar Wiki is and will always be my baby. I came here in 2010, became active in 2011, and have since then always edits and been part of many of the big changes that made the wiki what it is about. I love how it is structured in general, how we're frequently cited and recognized across all Fandom as one of the best wikis, and I really admire how we're a place where community discussion actually works and gives results. There is such a level of respect among our members, it's so amazing to see and such a pleasure to work in and for such a community. If I had to choose anything, I would perhaps

Fruipit: .... oh my god the tension

the cliffhanger

what happens next??

Thor: I don't like it. Tea is clearly superior

Fruipit: I'd like to see the Answers wiki come back in some shape

AOAS: How did that work?

Fruipit: Honestly I kind of don't remember. I wasn't super active. But people literally posted or asked questions, and there were separate mods and admins (similar to how the fanon wiki operated before the merge) who would answer.

Gligo: “I don't like it. Tea is clearly superior."

@HammerOfThor Tbh I'm more of a coffee person, but tea is great as well

Thor: The Avatar Wiki has been around for a long time and all the iterations and changes it has gone through from all the different users have contributed to making it so amazing. If I was to change something, I would like to make it easier and better for new users when they first join and start contributing. There are some aspects that I think can be very daunting, so it would be nice to make that initial experience easier

AOAS: ".... oh my god the tension"

Fruipit oh wait I’ve just realised I didn’t put the end of the message on. Lostris finishes...

Thor: Haha

Fruipit: @Lostris just so she sees this. Ah I do agree with her, too

AOAS: ‘If I had to choose anything, I would perhaps would like anonymous users to be allowed to edit again, as that was blocked due to COPPA regulation, as that could possibly lead to more users editing and enjoying the wiki.’

Thor: As do I

Fruipit: My editing experience was initially anonymous

Gligo: It'd be a cool feature

AOAS: Totally. I have to say that I think all three of your points would be incredibly beneficial. But, alas, we should move onto the next question I think.

Gligo: Cool. Next, I also have a question. I’d like to ask:

How did you discover Avatar?

AOAS: Lostris said: ‘I think I saw the Dutch version on Nickelodeon once. Hated the dub. Couldn't discern whether or not the person talking was male or female. I reckon I just stumbled on the series when I was flicking through channels. I know I had discovered the series at the very begging, because sixteen-year-old me drew the bending symbols in typ-ex on her school agenda cover. Then I lost track of the series and discovered it again in 2007 or something when I was at university. No idea why I picked it up again.’

Thor: I started watching the series when it first aired in the UK, probably around 2006. It is so long ago, I honestly cannot remember what the first episode I saw was, but I distinctly remember thinking how amazing it looked. Baby-Thor was very impressed

Fruipit: In Australia, we have the option for 'free-to-air' TV, which is, as the name suggests, free. You just have to have a TV and electricity.

Now, Avatar was NOT available on free-to-air. You had to have Austar, a cable company, or if you were really rich, Foxtel. My sister and I did not have cable, which meant we could only watch Avatar when we went on holiday and the hotel room had cable. Usually there was a SpongeBob marathon on, but occasionally we would get lucky and Avatar would be on. It was one of the only shows we both actually liked, which made it easier for Mum and Dad.

Pretty sure the only episode they ever played was "Cave of Two Lovers".

I actually fully discovered it in high school with some friends. Knowing that Korra was coming out really brought it back to the forefronts of our minds, and the actual obsession started there (enough that I literally learnt Chinese at uni, and my first tattoo was a blue arrow on my left wrist).

AOAS: Thank you for the answers! Our next question again comes from @Blais. This time, they ask:

Have you ever met anyone from the Avatar Wikia irl?

Gligo: Lostris wrote: Yes, I have. I met Minnichi in San Francisco in September 2015, we toured the city for 2 days together, and I met Fruipit in December 2018 when she made a detour via Belgium on her way back home, so we too spent several days together. And Seliah Jade of course (although she's not active anymore), but she doesn't really count since she's one of my best friends and joined the wiki due to me. And her husband, but I don't remember his username thinking I've met some other Fandom folks as well, but they're not part of the Avatar Wiki.

Thor: Unfortunately I have not, at least not to my knowledge

Fruipit: Yes! I actually made a trip to America and visited Minnichi in 2017 (we went to NASA, it was great!) and another friend in a different fandom. Then in 2018, as LL said, I visited her in Belgium. I distinctly remember her using me to avoid talking to a charity salesperson... thinking. Plus she had to translate parts of Aquaman for me because while it was still in English, he spoke in Rrussian for one line and the subtitles were in Flemish and French thinking

Gligo: Wow. I've never been to NASA and probably never will, but that's really cool

Fruipit: it was definitely cool and I fully recommend it if you have the chance

AOAS: Interesting! Next we have a question directed at Lostris, from King Bumis Heir. Therefore, you two can take a back seat and relax for a minute or so. Then we’ll get back to bombarding you with questions:

This one is for Lostris, why did you choose to be the admin of the Avatar Wiki? Besides the passion for the show, was there anything else that factored into your dedication to it?

Gligo: Lostris replied: I didn't choose to become admin. "The wiki chooses the admin." When I was voted to become an admin, had been a very active member of the community for a good year and also served as a fanon admin when that position was still a thing on the wiki. I was one of those omnipresent users doing everything everywhere. I was also very present in the War Room to discuss any and all things regarding the wiki. I guess I just proved to the community that I cared and wasn't fearful to do the work that needed to be done on the wiki. I guess also having already been 22 when I joined the wiki and this wiki always having an older and more mature admin team didn't hurt either. I just got really sucked into the world of editing and sharing your knowledge

AOAS: And back to the grilling...

Gligo: Next, we have a question from Tono555:

What was your first profile picture?

AOAS: Lostris replied: ‘I've only ever had two. My current one, and before it was a very similar one but of a snow leopard that I had for the longest time mistaken to have been a tiger’

Fruipit: oh no. I don't remember at all. Usually it's a fandom thing, so it was probably avatar related but I'm not even sure...

Thor: My first profile picture when I created my account back in 2012 was a cartoon version of Iroh wearing his Jasmine Dragon outfit. I had that for about 10 days, and then when I actually starting contributing to the wiki I changed to my current profile image

AOAS: You've had it for 8 years! Wow...

Gligo: Well, it's a cool pic.

Thor: Is it consistency? Is it laziness? Who knows...

AOAS: Moving on. Our next question is from TheFanficKid. They would like to know this:

What brought you to the Avatar wiki ?

Gligo: Lostris wrote: ‘ A car accident I discovered the wiki in July 2010 after a bus vs car accident left me with a severe Lisfranc fracture and busted knee confined me to staying in bed for 9 weeks in the middle of my parents' living room. Such fun. So much privacy. That was awesome! (though that did save me from going to see The Last Airbender in the theater. Silver lining?) So, bored out of my mind, pissed, and hurt, I literally couldn't do anything but browse the internet. So I continued working on my own fanon story and while researching some firebending move (because firebending is the best!) I stumbled upon the wiki. I started reading the story Avatar: Wanted, and then some others, kept coming back to read until I finally started to edit in May 2011 and the rest is history’

Fruipit: I literally think I was just bored at school one day. I saw a thing I thought needed fixing, and edited. And then never stopped...

Thor: I started rewatching the series in late 2011, probably around the time The Legend of Korra was announced, and after finishing the series I searched for information about energybending and came across the wiki's article.

Initially I was just a lurker and didn't actually contribute at all, but eventually I started commenting on some fanons I was reading and then got into editing. The first articles I actually contributed to were Boiling Rock and The Boulder, and it was the messages I got from former users Vulmen, Annawantimes, and also from Lostris thanking me for my help that encouraged me to get more and more involved in the wiki.

AOAS: Interesting!

Gligo: Next we have a second question from Tono555:

What is your go-to snack when editing or watching a show?

AOAS: Lostris said: ‘I'm not much of a snacker, really. But since I'm Belgian, I must go with dark chocolate. When I go to the theatre, it is either sweet popcorn (you can take your salty shit elsewhere) or nachos with a lot of cheese. There is no such thing as too much cheese. I have a weak spot for chips, so I just generally don't buy that, because once I open that bag, I eat it all, and I don't share food’

Gligo: Tbh I like sweet chocolate, but I love nachos too

Thor: I don't eat anything when editing, but I normally have a can of Monster Energy somewhere nearby. Generally I listen to music; something nice and soft, maybe some light jazz. Favourite viewing snack is probably crisps. Crisps and pork pies are my weakness.

Fruipit: I go through phases. I generally try not to snack while watching shows because I'm a boredom eater so I'll just keep eating and eating. Or, I'll try to eat a meal while watching something, like lunch or dinner. If I have to snack... I'm really into Tim Tams at the moment... and ofc SALTY popcorn at the cinema. It's the only thing we have here - we don't get the option. Wow HoT you're so British

Thor: Hot take; don't like popcorn

AOAS: Ahhh, crisps gazes longingly. Anyway... Our next question comes from @Sennit. They ask: What are your opinions about Korra losing her past lives and do you think that it would be a good idea for the Avatar to find it again or do you think it is permanent (in your opinion)?

Gligo: Lostris wrote: ‘I actually liked that twist and the meaning that Korra now literally had to be her own Avatar, make her own decision. I did feel for her as that does make it a lonely journey, but it opened up the possibility to reconnect with Raava, which I loved. I do think it's permanent--or at least should be, as I can't think of a workable reason how the post lives could be restored. Their memory was literally struck from Raava, shattered and dissipated. You can't recover from that. Only way is forward for Korra.’

Fruipit: I'm gonna be straight up... I've only actually seen LoK once and... uh... i didn't actually finish season 4 so that part is super murky

Korra2000: WHAT?

AOAS: Fruipit no. Really? Whispers same...

Gligo: I only saw it twice. Actually once and I am still on the first rewatch.

Fruipit: Without remembering any of the details, I like it. Korra literally is an avatar of a new age, and that's completely reflected in everything she is now

Thor: From a story standpoint I don't mind it since, as Lostris said, it makes Korra be her own Avatar and not rely on her past lives. I think it also make clear that The Legend of Korra is not Avatar: The Last Airbender. That said, I do think having access to past lives can also be interesting, since it gives us as viewers a way to learn things about past Avatars. Is it permanent; it seems it will be, but I'm sure it could also be undone in a future story with some wibbly-wobbly, spirity-wirity stuff, so who knows.

Gligo: I agree. Tbh I don't like her not being able to conect with them, but it's interesting for the story.

AOAS: Shall we move on to our penultimate question?

Gligo: Yeah. Next we have a question for HoT from SunnyFirelilly. This question is actually about being a discussion moderator:

What made you want to become a mod in the first place?

Thor: Fruipit, just for me.

Fruipit: Oh shoot. Uh that was a test.

Thor: I became a discussion moderator at a time when the position was first created by Fandom and the forums were all we had. I applied for the rights simply because I wanted to continue to help the wiki in moderating comments, and the rights helped me to do that more easily. I am not and have never been particularly active in the "commenting side" of the wiki, but I think I have done a pretty good job so far.

Gligo: I saw you a few times doing a great job moderating since I joined.

AOAS: And finally, I’d like to ask a question to Thor, not Frui.

Blais W: Lol poor Frui

Fruipit: Rip

AOAS: Ha, I'm joking. This is for both of you.

Fruipit: Oh lol, I thought you were serious.

Korra2000: What about Lostris? She can answer later after all.

AOAS: Eh... she's already answered...

Korra2000: Oh

AOAS: Note: Korra2000 and Blais W were not meant to be in this interview, they just messaged because they could...

Thor: Infiltrators!!

Blais: Bye.

AOAS: What do you think lies in store for the wiki in the future?

Gligo: Lostris wrote: UCP and then we all crash and burn. This fandom has been blessed to basically always had new content coming out. As long as that will continue, I don't see the future of the wiki changing much. After that, I actually don't see it changing very much either, since the Avatar-fandom is just that big and invested, though I do think the wiki will become more of a social hub and editing will take a backseat. But I do think that as long as there are motivated people around to keep improving on the pages, others will always follow.

Thor: Good question.

Fruipit: Honestly, I thought the wiki would die after Korra. It died down, sure, but it's still alive and kicking. I don't see that changing. As LL said, as long as there is new content - or new access to content - there will always be contributors. And that's all the wiki really needs, after all; people willing to take the time out to improve it. It will never be perfect, and I think that's a good thing.

Thor: UCP is obviously going to be a big change coming soon, and we will have to deal with that. We have two new graphic novels coming out that will keep things busy on the editing side, and there is every indication that we could also get more trilogies and Kyoshi novels. The biggest thing will obviously be the release of the live action series and how that is received, but either way there will be users still contributing and I don't see that going away any time soon.

Gligo: Well, I'm still pretty new, but I hope the wiki will be active for a very long time.

AOAS: And that, sadly, concludes the Q&A. Thank you to Lostris, Thor and Frui for taking the time to answer these questions, and thanks to Gligo as well for hosting with me. Thank you also to everyone who sent in questions, and I’m sure you’ll be happy with the answers you’ve received! This interview will be posted on the wiki shortly, so you will be able to find it there soon.

Korra2000: Gligo the question wasn't aimed at you.

Thor: Thank you AOAS and Gligo for a wonderful interview. It was a lot of fun. And thank you to everyone that sent in questions.

Fruipit: Yes! Thank you! The questions were really interesting and thought-provoking.

AOAS: Now myself and Gligo have the difficult job of turning this into a transcript...

AOAS: Anyway. One last thank you to everyone involved. Till next time!
On the Worldbuilding of LGBT Tolerance in the World of Avatar
The World of Avatar has some wonderful worldbuilding. In a total of twenty-six hours, Avatar: The Last Airbender (and another twenty-six for The Legend of Korra created one of the most expansive worlds in children’s animated television. Even beyond the fandom’s boundaries, even before the Netflix re-releases, “Avatar: The Last Airbender” had set a high bar for other children’s shows -that is, shows made originally for children- to try and beat.

I will not be discussing either of those shows, as there have been enough discussions on ATLA’s worldbuilding and nearly as many on whether or not Korra was ‘a good sequel’. I will be discussing a comic and it’s revelatory information, &, to a smaller extent, Rise of Kyoshi and Shadow of Kyoshi’s additions to this.

Spoilers for Turf Wars & the Kyoshi Duology (Rise of Kyoshi and Shadow of Kyoshi) ahead.

In Turf Wars, the Four Nations’ opinions on LGBT relations are revealed. The Water Tribes are tolerant in private but culturally against. The Air Nomads were entirely tolerant and accepting. The Fire Nation was “formerly tolerant until Sozin took over and decreed [such relations] as criminal”. The Earth Kingdom was “militaristically repressive”.

In both Rise and Shadow of Kyoshi, Avatar Kyoshi and her close friend Rangi are in a relationship. It is hinted in the occasional passage that their relationship won’t be tolerated.

The issue with all this is as follows: None of these revelations have any explanation behind them, beyond a one-line reason (for example, the Water Tribes “like to keep family matters private”.). As such, they have no nuance. Sozin’s revelation, especially, felt like a punchline to a shocking moment. As if we needed more reason to hate a genocidal maniac, he doesn’t like LGBT relationships.

Remember, the world of Avatar is not ours. In our world, we have cultural or religious reasons for why such relationships are not tolerated. Depending on where one has grown up, these reasons can be imbued from a young age.

I shall state the Four Nations’ closest inspirations, when possible, to help with context:

The historical beliefs of the Inuit peoples have not been recorded enough, and thus I will not attempt to draw a comparison.

The current Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism, which, respectively, have inspired the name of Aang’s master and his son (Tenzin Gyatso) and inspired the Air Nomad culture, has voiced being against any intimate relations that are considered inappropriate, with LGBT relations being among them. That said, he has also stated that, between two people, if it is something they desire, it is allowed as long as it doesn’t contradict the values of the religion.

Shintoism won’t be referenced, as the worldbuilding of ATLA and Shadow of Kyoshi have already deviated quite far from Japan’s. Meanwhile, the other inspirations of the Fire Nation, Vietnam and Korea, are rendered null. Vietnamese folk religion doesn’t have enough information recorded, and Korean Buddhism’s deviations have nothing to do with a change in social structure.

Lastly, the closest I can find for the Earth Kingdom in the world of Avatar is Confucianism, as it’s the belief system behind Imperial China, which the Earth Kingdom draws heavily from. Throughout the Analects, there is no mention of same-sex relationships. The culture it inspired, meanwhile, encouraged close male friendships. (Example, the Three Brothers of Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei from Romance of the Three Kingdoms).

The point of all of these is to show that, at least in the case of the Air Nomads and the Earth Kingdom, the real world inspirations are little like their Turf Wars counterparts. Now, Avatar does not need to be a 1:1 correlation, but it is important to remember that the real world inspirations have thousands of years of ‘worldbuilding’ (in our case, our history) behind their beliefs.

Cultures do not simply have an anti-LGBT stance for the sake of it. One may point out that dictators scapegoat such people, but the most famous dictators that come to mind also came from cultures (cultures, in turn inspired by religions) that were already not tolerant of LGBT relationships to begin with. And, in the few exceptions to that rule, they came from ideologies that were born from the aforementioned.

If one wishes to tackle LGBT relations in a fantasy world, unless they explain where the beliefs came from, it will come off as being done for shock value.

I am surprised that, by and large, Four Nations all had pretty extreme one-or-the-other ideologies. The Air Nomads were free-loving, the Earth Kingdom was ‘militariscally’ against it, and Sozin’s Fire Nation deemed it criminal. The Water Tribes, even, are culturally against it.

I don’t like to instantly conclude that all of these choices were made for shock reactions from the reader (e.x. Even Kyoshi was unable to do anything! Sozin was really evil!) even though I am pretty certain that was the point. In it of itself, that is poor worldbuilding, but can make for good entertainment.

I shall tackle them one at a time, their flaws, possible justifications, how I’d rewrite them, and why I would make this rewrite:

1.1: The Air Nomads. 1.2: They appear to be a monastic order, with Abbots and Nuns. In the real world, monastic orders tend to be against all sexuality, or pro-celibacy, in the name of reaching a higher spiritual plane. This is common across the world in a variety of cultures. Within Avatar, opening the seventh Chakra requires setting aside one’s earthly attachments. Would an order like that not aim for reaching the highest possible chakra? 1.3: As the average Abbot knows that the average pupil is incapable of reaching such a high plane of understanding, they are tolerant. It still doesn’t explain the systemwide belief. 1.4: Have there be multiple sects. Some are more tolerant, some aren’t. Those that aren’t tolerant could have historical reasons, the ones that could, meanwhile, be directly based on the original airbenders living on the Air Lion Turtle. 1.5: This could flesh out the Air Nomads. Aang was taken care of by the most tolerant of the sects, and as he was the last airbender, his free-loving sect became the norm. Kya’s comment could still be true.

2.1: The Water Tribes. 2.2: Culturally, they are hunters and fishers and live in tight-knit villages. The NWT has a centralized city (and a few other villages, at least, according to TLOK) and a government much closer to a monarchy, with a head Chief who seems to be king in all but name. (They even have Princesses). By contrast, the SWT appears decentralized until after the HYW. Tight-knit communities may prefer births, as winter is harsh. The NWT has a chauvinistic culture which, while unexplained, suggests that the people of the NWT would be against such freedoms as chauvinism and anti-LGBT views go hand in hand. 2.3 : As Kya says, their culture prefers matters to be kept within the family. 2.4: The NWT has banned it like they banned women from many positions, the SWT is more tolerant. The SWT can keep the culture that Kya described, as in-universe, it makes sense. A village will want births, ergo being culturally against it, but within a family, there’s no time for such views when a harsh arctic winter is coming. 2.5: This could flesh out the Water Tribes in yet another difference instead of clumping the two together. As with before, Kya’s comment still applies.

3.1: The Earth Kingdom. This one’s going to need multiple parts to their parts. 3.2: The Earth Kingdom is massive. Whatever it’s real world size (whether it’s the size of China or the size of Eurasia) it consumes nearly a whole hemisphere on it’s own. As we’ve read in the Kyoshi Duology, and seen in ATLA and Korra, the Kingdom is impossible to centralize unless one is using modern technology and fast modes of transportation. 3.2.1: The Earth Kingdom’s laws are decentralized. Chin Village can get away with a kangaroo court. Most of the police we’ve read about in the Kyoshi books were incompetent or corrupt, with daofei running rampant everywhere. 3.2.2: The Earth Kingdom Army is nearly nonpresent. Fong had some relation with the Council of Five, but that could also be because of the Hundred Year War. 3.2.3: The Earth Kingdom, based on the books, has a large number of decentralized states run by the local Governors with occasional tangential relation to the Earth King in Ba Sing Se. 3.2.4: Kyoshi created the Dai Li. Kyoshi was alive for 230 years. The image shown in the book is of the Royal Earth Palace. Assuming there were anti LGBT traditions, Kyoshi could very easily have spent a few of those 230 years to go around and demolish the traditions using her Avatarhood powers. 3.2.5: Maizu Village, a canon location from Team Avatar Tales legalized same-sex marriage. 3.3: It’s possible that the average Earth Kingdom peasant was more concerned with births. We have no other reason, no religious reasons, no known cultural reasons for anything beyond Lao Beifong mentioning ‘traditions. Though, those traditions are similar to the ones that Chinese nobility followed (a specific kind of clothing and not playing with peasant children being the examples). Nobles have always had specific traditions meant to maintain their class, peasants conversely have their own culture. 3.4: State-by-state/case-by-case. The country has enough trouble with centralization, LGBT values can’t be an exception to this. 3.4.1: The nobility could, feasibly, be against LGBT values because they hinder political marriages. The peasantry, some are tolerant because they have no reason to be against them, some fathers would prefer their children have more children. 3.5: The Earth Kingdom is massive. It deserves to be fleshed out, even beyond what I’m writing here. This could help with worldbuilding the many many states of the Earth Kingdom, and how they’re different. Each state needs not be named or mentioned, but if Kya said something like “in the Earth Kingdom, some states have cultural traditions that are against it, while other states don’t mind it” that could work. Obviously, this would contradict Kya’s comment, because I can’t see a country that can’t agree on much of anything else agree on being ‘militaristically repressive’.

4.1: The Fire Nation. This one might turn a bit controversial. 4.2 The Fire Nation has an egalitarian culture, as seen in Rise & Shadow of Kyoshi. Even during the reign of the tyrannical Ozai, his daughter Azula was treated as an equal to her brother, then superior when he was banished. The Fire Nation has women in the Fire Nation Army. Granted, it’s the Home Guard, but that’s quite progressive. Such egalitarianism in the military is rarely seen, even in the 21st century of the real world. I stand by the Fire Nation being tolerant throughout history (though Shadow of Kyoshi implies that if Kyoshi and Rangi were caught kissing it might be inappropriate, this could be explained by rank, though).

I also think Sozin would be tolerant of the beliefs. I don’t buy him randomly clamping down on such a belief.

4.3: There’s only two reasons I can think of for this: 4.3.1:One, Sozin may have wanted his population to focus on births, not on love. This doesn’t make much sense, though, as the culture is already quite egalitarian, and the population is already massive enough to field a navy that blockades the Mo Ce Sea, invade the Earth Kingdom at multiple points, break through the walls of Ba Sing Se once, and take over the gargantuan country-sized city of Ba Sing Se. 4.3.2: Sozin has some innate hatred of LGBT people. This… could be possible, sure. The real life inspirations don’t match up, though. Real dictators scapegoat groups of people that were already disliked by the culture.

Sozin would have it even harder than the real dictators. If the population was tolerant of LGBT people for hundreds or thousands of years, he’d need to fight his own culture. For one thing, I doubt he’d be able to win the battle if there’s enough popular support for that side. For the other thing, there’s little reason he’d spontaneously hate LGBT people if he grew up in a tolerant culture.

4.4: Sozin kept up his culture and tolerated LGBT people. (Optionally, if one still wants to make the Fire Nation the same as how it canonically said, perhaps it was his son Azulon who, after years of being on a war-footing and having access to a propaganda machine, changed the national views. Unlike Sozin, who may have had multiple generations in opposition, the Fire Nation at this point has been in conflict for many years, all those older generations are dead.)

4.5: Why? To reinforce Iroh’s teaching of drawing wisdom from many sources. We can all agree that Sozin, Azulon and Ozai are evil people. However, their cultures, the people following them, the average footsoldier, the average officer, don’t have to be. These people are still people. They can live and love. Perhaps, being the only nation-wide pro-LGBT country and being the only egalitarian country, these are reasons volunteers may have for wishing to spread the Fire Nation’s control across the world. Sure, there’s already a propaganda machine, but the show attempted to, if just for the sake of jokes, humanize the average Fire National.

4.5.1: This revelation would humanize the Fire Nation, and it would give a hint at some reasons beyond propaganda as to why a person would fight for them. There’s no arguing that this would be worldbuilding.

Optional: 4.5.2: If they were going for shock value, this revelation is even more shocking than Sozin being a stereotypical mustache twirling genocidal maniac.

In conclusion, in place of giving the easily predictable answers (e.x. The Air Nomads are free-loving, the Fire Nation is evil), try to worldbuild with nuance. Worldbuild an idea of the cultures and how they’d come to these conclusions. Don’t worldbuild for the sake of shocking the audience. Worldbuilding should help humanize the world, not make it sound disjointed. And, while a minor point, I’ll include it: Worlds with some differences, culture wise, grant an exploration of themes we may never get to explore in our world. The further different, the greater the exploration.

A story about such rights and the conflicts the people face can still be told. The Water Tribes, or some of those Earth States, or, what if, some of the new members of the Air Nation discover past texts. Any of these groups could act as an antagonist to Korra's views.

Shock value<Worldbuilding.

-Written by Mr. A Firebender. Have a good day/night to the rest of you.

P:S: Turf Wars doesn't go anywhere with any of this worldbuilding. It's brought up and that's it. Rise & Shadow hint at 'what if others find out', but it never pays off.
New Alliances
Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to present our newest affiliates to Avatar Wiki and The Ba Sing Se Times! Below is some groovy coverage of the two epic partnerships that have combined forces with us to create a glorious future. Without further ado:
40 The Amagi

Lady Lostris's announcement per Discord:

By nature, wikis are all about collaboration and achieving synergy, but that idea doesn't have to end at the borders of the Fandom platform; it goes way beyond that to touch all Avatar fans. As such, I am pleased to announce that the Avatar Wiki has struck a partnership with the (among others) Avatar-centric YouTube channel The Amagi! You can already find several "History of" videos that are based on our very own wiki articles, and building on our vast encyclopedic database, the channel has recently started tackling frequently asked question and Avatar news in their Avatar Questions and Avatar News videos. Check out the #avatar-youtube and/or talk to @The Amagi to find out more!

40 Kahana

Founded by our very own Typhoonmaster:

Kahana is an environment that allows you to elegantly collect and organize your resources and thoughts, as well as create written content and complete tasks/activities, all in one place.

This phenomenal productivity web app is utilized often by the Editor of The Ba Sing Se Times for OT School and has now partnered with The Amagi as a work platform. Articles of this newsletter will soon be collected and built in a Kahana workspace as well, to maximize our efficiency and stop losing track of where we even collected our content (yes, it was that bad). Here is one of the finest examples of workspace utilization - feast your eyes!

Join Kahana's lit Discord community if you dare!
Survey: The Last Airbender Versus The Legend of Korra
Avatar Wiki Community
Here's our latest question for you lovely folks! A big thank-you from the BSST staff to those who participated. We typically reach out on the Avatar Wiki Discord channel to conduct surveys. Missed your chance but want to catch us next time? See you in the chatroom ;)
"Do you prefer Avatar: the Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra?"
  • "That's always a very difficult question to answer, because comparing the two is apples and oranges, to be frank. ATLA is the sprawling epic, while LoK is episodic, but that does allow it to explore a wider variety of themes and story. LoK is also aimed at a slightly older audience, and takes advantage of that by making the themes more political, and from where I'm sitting, more interesting. But it ultimately boils down to execution, and ATLA is better executed. It's tighter, more cohesive, and remains the only show that can bring me to tears. So yeah, ATLA takes the cake, but only just."
-- AvatarAang7
  • "Both shows were great but ATLA had more cultural inspirations from asian cultures while LOK sort of lacked it and was more western that ATLA."
-- King Bumis Heir
  • "Being the voice of minority here: I have a slight tendency towards TLOK, just because I could connect to the characters more and found the setting intriguing. It helps that the characters are aged up and that the show tackles more complex themes. Plus, things got even more revved up in the art department and I really like the jazzy music style (though I LOVE ALL music of Avatar/Korra). While I like Aang as a character just fine, I found Korra's arc more interesting. You can also tell that the creators and writers used their opportunity to flesh out things regarding the lore more in TLOK; i.e. things that were introduced and barely touched on in ATLA, like the workings of the Spirit World, got more development in TLOK. My two cents."
-- Korra2000
  • "I can comfortably say that I find Avatar: The Last Airbender more memorable and better characterized than The Legend of Korra. This isn't to say that the latter shouldn't be counted as a good and well-written show. It's just that ATLA, in my opinion, really creates a powerful story that contains a certain magic I don't feel from The Legend of Korra. Perhaps this has something to do with a better timeline for production, but the winner is clear to me."
-- Minnichi
  • "Maybe LOK. I just felt that Korra had more character depth. I can also relate to it more because in ATLA even Ba Sing Sei, “the impenetrable city” gave small town vibes. Republic City makes it seem like a world I could be in. They are both awesome, but I think that LOK was better, except for these: Old Katara, Old Sokka and Naga. Also, I think the reason Korra gets a lot of hate is that people watched ATLA first and then saw that Aang was dead."
-- Tenzin (Discord user)
  • "I think ATLA is better because it was longer and so I got to know the characters better."
-- Tye
Urban Dictionary of
Avatar Wiki

Inspired by our lovely community and written by Yours Truly:

The Shadow of Discord

The buzz within Avatar Wiki's discord channel that eclipses the community feedback on The Ba Sing Se Times post itself.
"Minnichi, your newsletter has been such a hit lately!" "...Really? Then what's with these 5 total comments? It's such a downgrade from the days of 100+" "Naw man, just check out the buzz on Discord."
"This place is clogged with tumbleweed." "Yeah, it's all thanks to Discord that we have no commenters." "Well, the Editor is going to haul her glowing lantern over there any day now to tell them there is no such thing as silent lurking."

Tardy Party

How the Editor of The Ba Sing Se Times tries to play off every outrageous delay in publishing by calling it a party.
"Hello, Avatar Wiki! We're a century late but come join the tardy party!"
"There goes Minnichi again, calling the 10th late issue in a row a 'party' as if it's a different one every time."

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Fanart Showcase
Avatar Wiki Community
We have many talented artists in the Avatar fandom and decided to start showcasing their work! They are more than deserving of our recognition and have been pulled at random from the Avatar Wiki discord server's #fanart channel. Feel free to contribute your own and test your luck for a feature!

Original Artwork by Roxxsas: 300?cb=20210101231912

Original Artwork by King Bumis Heir:

Fanon Highlight: The Crimes of Yakone by Aang on a sec
Hello, fellow authors!

Today we'll be featuring a lit fanon written by the talented Aang on a sec:


The Crimes of Yakone is a Fanon first released on the 31st of Jan 2020. The series explores the character of Yakone as well as the adult life of Aang and his friends. It follows Aang and the Republic City Council as they try to figure out what is going on amongst murder, torture and fear, but also follows Yakone in how he sets up his master plan and how he attempts to pull it off. Currently, there are set to be 8 chapters in total but that may increase or decrease depending on how the series is written.

The Crimes of Yakone
Plot Overview

Part 1 – The Ghosts of Republic City

27 years have passed since Aang defeated Fire Lord Ozai, and Republic City is booming. For the majority of its short history so far, it has enjoyed peace and prosperity throughout the city, and people from all over the world have moved there to start a new life. But more recently, gang warfare has terrorised the people. Despite Aang and the Metalbending Police's best efforts, some gangs have flourished and created large criminal networks across the city. Since then, mysterious deaths have begun. Gangs have been ambushed and slaughtered by an unknown enemy, and no one knows who. The people of Republic City give these mysterious people the nickname the "Ghosts". Things only get worse for the forces of good in the city as the mysterious force reveal their true purpose to the Avatar. What will Aang and the Council do about the problem? And do they more about the gang's members than they think?

Part 2 - Yakone's Revolution

As Aang races to Air Temple Island, Sokka and Zhenxin head to Yue Bay to find Katara at her waterbending school. However, the shadow that Yakone is casting over the city is only getting bigger and Yi disappears! What is going on, and what is Yakone going to do next?

Part 3 - Nightmares

Three weeks on, and Aang is suffering from terrible nightmares. Toph reveals a secret to Katara, and arranges to meet an old friend. Zhenxin catches up on some paperwork, but gets more than she bargained for, and Yi wakes up in hospital. But most importantly, Yakone makes his biggest move yet.
The Earthenlilly Notes: Reshaping My Imaginative Mind
Avatar has been a part of my childhood ever since I was eight years old. The first time I was exposed to it was when I was first introduced to Nickelodeon's shows~ err, well, not the Nickelodeon Philippines Channel, but the Pakistani one. One of their reruns were Avatar and Legend of Korra, all dubbed in Hindi.

I got interested in the concept of a bald-headed kid saving the world (because I'm a kid with an imaginative mind). However, since I was still such a young human fetus in 2012 (I was eight at that year), I got confused with the plot, and yes, I'm THAT bad at comprehension before. I decided to quit watching it and continued watching Cartoon Network, but I pledged to come back and watch it, this time, in English.

I actually played Avatar: Fortress Fight in that kept reminding me of the series, but after learning about Flash's issues, I stopped to ensure my 'security.' After stopping through, I completely forgot about Avatar. As in Everything about it. All replaced with Markiplier, PewDiePie, and Pokemon. And~ NatGeo Documentaries (Yes, NatGeo because I have an Imaginative mind). For almost five years, I never got to see anything about Avatar and its memes.

Just this May, While I was browsing some Steven Universe songs, I came across a video about Katara's waterbending skills. Like Korra, Everything didn't really come back to me yet, so I skipped it. But for days, and days, and days, it has always been in my recommended. I had no choice but to watch it to get rid of it. Still, when I watched it, I eventually saw the bald-headed kid, which turns out to be Aang, in the ATLA's Official YouTube Channel.

It all came back to me. I remembered my promise to watch the series, so I grabbed my home-cooked Chicken Fingers, made by my imaginative mind, and began watching. I immediately fell in love with the series, and while I was watching the show, it brought back so many memories.

"Wait, that somewhat-bald teenager is that sprite the appears in the fire nation fortress in the Avatar Fortress Fight game!"

I continued even after the ATLA series, eventually making my way to the LoK series. I was new to that, actually until I saw a scene where Tenzin and Katara were inside a house while Jinora was in the spirit world. That was the only other LoK image I remembered from my childhood, next to seeing Avatar Aang's statue in Episode 1.

Me, being a self-proclaimed apprentice of comprehension, thought of what might've happened after Avatar Korra's legend, eventually leading to me making Luca's Odyssey, which is an Avatar Fanon you can check out. Yes, I knew I'm new, but my imaginative mind keeps on forcing me to create a fanon, and I did. I never made a fanon before, so I made a set of rules and concepts to follow to avoid any problems with the canon facts.

1. Grammar. I used one proofreading bot and asked three Volunteers to proofread it.

2. Research. I searched All over Avatar Wiki, scoured YouTube, and joined the Wiki's Discord to ask and fact-check some unsure information about Avatar. This helped me a lot, actually.

3. Rewatch scenes. To make it look Avatar-ry (¬‿¬;), I must make sure to rewatch some scenes so that I can capture the aura correctly.

I'm becoming off-topic, am I? No, No. It WAS a part of my journey. If it wasn't for Avatar, I would not relate to almost every single Avatar Meme out there. Seriously. Memes aside, I think that Avatar has the best storyline, from its script to its character development, and I want some inspiration from it. You see, as a sixteen-year-old (I was 15 a month ago btw), I wanted to challenge myself to improve my writing skills, and I have just begun. This was the reason why I made a fanon, and it's to reshape what I already have: An Imaginative Mind.
Avatar Jigsaw
BSST Staff
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