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  • 8/8/2021 - Avatar Wiki Bureaucrat Elections are taking place! Cast your vote here!
  • 8/8/2021- There is an ongoing discussion on what Old Sweepy should be called going forward.
  • 8/2/2021- Dcasawang1 has been nominated for September's User of the Month.
  • 6/19/2021- The license "fanon-self" will be renamed to "fanart".
  • 5/7/2021- Love Potion 8 will continue to be considered not part of the main continuity.
  • 4/17/2021- Some discussion board categories have been combined in order to free up extra space.
Want to be a part of Avatar Wiki policy decisions? Participate in the War Room forum!

50
From the Editor: Don't be a Summer Bummer

Hello, Avatar Wiki!

Yes, it's me again as your Editor-in-Chief. Unfortunately, The Zaofu Crush's run was short-lived due to conflicting interests between the now former interm Editors AvatarRokusGhost and Bomochu. With great newsletter dictatorship comes great responsibilities, which I will now have to shoulder once more and restore balance within the headquarters with the help of my trusty glowing lantern. (Which, by the way, has a patent pending for official icon in Avatar Wiki.)

Anyway, we're in the heat of Summer but Fall ain't that far away, it seems. We're getting some notable movement within the franchise and our community hasn't run out of shenanigans yet, either. I'm happy to present to you such shenanigans today, and if you're a stranger to Avatar Wiki, don't remain so and come join the party!

Happy Reading, folks!

50
The 2021 Avatar Wiki
User Awards

HammerOfThor
Welcome, everyone, to the Sixth Edition of the Avatar Wiki User Awards! It is my great pleasure to host the awards once again this year, and I will endeavour to continue the tradition set by previous hosts of making this an exciting and engaging experience for everyone. Much has changed for the Avatar franchise and for the wiki since the last User Awards, but what hasn't changed is the dedication and commitment shown by the users here, and as ever these awards are a chance to thank them for their efforts. Whether you have been here since the beginning or just joined yesterday, I hope you have fun.

July 16th, 2021 marked anniversary of the creation of the Avatar Wiki, and what a year it has been. When I wrote the blog for last year's awards, we were all looking towards the release of the live-action adaptation, some of us hopefully, others ... not so much. Since that time, the wiki has gone through a complete change to the underlying platform, a complete overhaul of its skin, and with the announcement of Avatar Studios in February, the future of the franchise has never looked brighter. Or bigger. But this last year has also been lived through a global pandemic, and I imagine a large number of you, myself included, have been affected on a personal level by COVID in some way. My sympathies go out to everyone that has lost someone. According to my very quick Google search, the appropriate gift for a 16th wedding anniversary is apparently wax (not weird at all, I know). Doing a search for the word "wax" on the wiki, it seems that it isn't something used very much in the Avatar world, though I did learn that the floors of the Fire Temple are waxed by the sages every day. Wax is, however, most commonly used for making candles, much like the time candles created by the mechanist. Candles are often used to signify the light that breaks through the darkness; rather apt for the current situation I thought.

For the User Awards this year, we have decided to make two changes. The first is to extend the period for Most promising new user from 6 months to one year. This change ensures that every new user has the opportunity to be nominated for this award, and also to reflect the fact that things on the wiki are not as active as they used to be. Secondly, we will now require that every nomination is accompanied by a reason as to why you feel the nominee is deserving of the award. The reason does not have to be long or overly detailed, but should reflect the category you are nominating them for in some way (i.e. simply stating that you are nominating someone because you like them will not be counted). To aid in this, we have written out descriptions for each category and the sort of actions it is intended to celebrate. A link to these descriptions can be found above, and can also be found by hovering over the (view) next to each category.

Since it began 16 years ago, the Avatar Wiki has grown to become one of the most respected wikis on Fandom, but that only happens because of the amazing community behind it. Every user that has at one point contributed to the wiki is part of that achievement, and the User Awards are a way to say thank you to everyone for their hard work, dedication, and effort. These awards are not about bragging rights or proving you are better than others. As in every aspect of the wiki, it is about positivity, about recognising people for their hard work and giving them a small thank you for it. Let me end by thanking everyone for their efforts in making this not only an amazing wiki but also an amazing community of people. I wish all of you the best for the year to come.

Click here to vote in the User Awards!
50
Maybe Live Action Was Never Meant to Be
hmmhmmhmmgoodpoint
Eleven years have past since the live action version of the animated series we all know and love, Avatar: The Last Airbender came out. There are many things you can call this film. A disaster. A disgrace. A complete flop. While many people are quite angry at Shyamalan for making this terrible movie. But I for one disagree. Maybe ATLA isn't meant to be converted into live action. In this article, I will be showing exactly how the Avatar series simply isn't a live action type show.

Firstly, let's talk about bending. Bending is truly the heart of the show. It differs Avatar from other animated series. It is incredibly intricate. There are dozens and dozens of forms, techniques, sub bending types, each crafted with precision by the creators. A lot of things there are not really possible to recreate in real life. I think one of the best examples is firebending. In the show, fire can run wild with forms. Firebending can cause fire to go into shapes it would never go into in real life. But when created in CGI, it looks strange and way to solid. In the shows, the fire is drawn with flames sticking out as they are shot around, but in live action it just seems so uptight and straight. Also, sub bending types will most likely meet the same fight. Another cool sub bending type of firebending is lightning. The movements of the lightning are jagged and incredibly fast. The lightning branches out into different strips of lightning. In the show, since it is an animated series, it makes sense for it to remain solid and still at points. But in live action, making that will make it again seem up tight, and way too rehearsed. Another problem in live action would be airbending. In the shows, airbending is shown with wispy light blue colors. But you can't really do that with CGI, it would kind of look weird. Airbending would just be invisible unless you have some kind of sandy environment, which makes it look dirty. You won't be able to see how people airbend, you'll just see whatever someone bends flying back. It simply can't be represented.

Secondly, let's talk appearances. They're a huge part of ATLA. Each nation has their own specific hairstyles. The fire nation has their topknots, the water tribe their many braids, and the air nomads with their shaved heads. Firstly, they totally flunk the air nomad hairstyle. Aang is completely hairless in the shows, whereas in the movies he has a buzzcut. It's really hard to actually get bald, as just the tiniest amount of hair will keep you from doing that, and you also have to find an actor that is willing to shave their head, as well as be an actually good actor for airbenders. Also, there are more things than hairstyles that you need. A big part of what makes lots of the funny parts of the show is how the animated characters' bodies move. Imagine trying to do the cactus juice scenes with real people. It wouldn't be nearly as funny. The same pretty much all the other funny scenes in the show.

So overall, ATLA simply isn't meant for live action. We have known and loved it as an animated series, and it is meant to be kept that way. So if things don't look the way they should be in the upcoming Netflix remake, just remember this show really isn't meant for live action.
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Survey: Avatar's Most Attractive Character
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 ;)
"Who do you find most attractive in the Avatar series?"
  • "For me, attractiveness is more than just looks, and while that does matter, it's not the whole picture, depth of character matters too. Now, I did mention this moment is not up there with the biggest hitters, but, seeing Katara in her Fire Nation outfit definitely sped up my puberty, so she gets the win."
-- AvatarAang7
  • "Asami's been my wife since I was 14, so gotta go with the OR. Jargala and Korra are contenders for sure, though."
-- FireFerret
  • "To be honest, Toph is actually beautiful."

-- FusionPlayz

  • "Female: Asami, Kuvira. Male: Mako, Yun"
-- Kassilon
  • "Let's face it: most of them are designed attractively."
-- Korra2000
  • "Isn't it obvious that it's anyone wearing a Dai Li uniform? (Please don't take this as a challenge to photoshop the uniform with grotesque characters...)"
-- Minnichi
  • "Kori Morishita, I guess. Kori and Sneers both. I really really like their aesthetic and as either one of them, I'd take the other one without hesitation."
-- Quamboq



50
Scars of the Soul
Tstovall001
It is obvious that some say that scars define who you are; like Prince Zuko thought. But, what most do not know is that you can define what your scars mean and not the other way around. Your scars can show that you are a fighter that survived or they can show that you are a coward who got caught in the crossfire.

With the help of his uncle and friends, Zuko learned that it was his perception of the scar that really mattered; not his father, not Azula, but his own. And he had a really important choice to make: define the scar on his own accord and make his own choices, or let the scar define who he was and let others make choices for him? Thankfully, Zuko chose the former of the two and not only did it help with his self-esteem, but it also helped him improve his firebending.

The point that I am trying to make is that we all have our scars, and some of them aren't even physical scars.There were two quotes that I made that I think should be heard.

"The scars of my soul, I'm no longer whole. Searching for peace has left me in shambles." This quote dictates someone who has let their mental, physical, and emotional scars tear them apart while searching for solace, and it only left them for dead.

"Even the most powerful warriors have scars that never heal. I may not be as brave as my guildmates, but I am stronger than all of them put together." This quote is based on someone who has suffered immense trauma as a child, but turned that weakness into strength.

If you were like Zuko and had a scar, what would you do? Let it define you, or choose what your scar means? Are you a loser or a fighter? Are you a chicken or an eagle?
50
EDITOR
Tales of The Ba Sing Se Times: The Clash of Candy and Science
Minnichi
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The full moon rises into the night sky, illuminating a snowy, isolated mountaintop in which a cavern has been earthbent oddly in resemblance to Lake Laogai; you can see the eerie glow of green-tinted lanterns glittering along the halls. Deep within this cavern is a cozy little room with a fluffy bed with bedposts decorated with hanging lanterns like ornaments.

Minnichi stirs awake, as she always does when the night begins, and yawns loudly. She rolls out of bed, puts on fluffy emerald-colored slippers and pulls on her pointed hat. The former Editor-in-chief habitually heats a pot of tea and strides over to a couch that’s stationed in front of a massive wall of screens. Each of these displays a section of the BSST Headquarters, and their top-notch surveillance is still very much intact. Minnichi’s Interim Editors are doing fine without her, she figures, but they’re still new to Unlimited Power and Dictatorship and one can never be sure. She reaches for the controller and a cup of tea, summoning both to her hands with her rock gloves.

Minnichi spits out her tea as soon as her old headquarters comes into view.

CRASH!

“YIELD, YOU WANNABE ROKU POSER!”

BOOM!

“RESPECT YOUR ELDERS, YOU MOUTHY ZAOFU FANBOY! “

SHATTER!

“GHOSTS DON’T COUNT AS SENIORITY!”

“BODYGUARDS DON’T GIVE ORDERS!”

CRAAACK!

Another wall of The Zaofu Crush headquarters tumbles down beneath a raging herd of sky bison, followed by swarms of buzzard wasps, a pack of tigerdillos, and a couple of hermit crabs chilling among the debris. Interim Editor Bomochu leads his army atop an armored bison, speeding through the air and clad in his Zaofu uniform, his eyes blazing beneath his polished helmet.

The hurricane of a thousand lifetimes is raging all throughout the hallways, orchestrated by a frightening Ghost of Roku in the Candy Avatar State. With every swing of his arms, a tornado of sharp candy pieces forms and rips into the ground. Cancerous chocolate is spawning all over the walls, with each little ‘’pop!’’ marking another giant square that covers the ground.

This battle has been destroying headquarters for days with no end in sight. Bomochu is not fazed by any Candy Avatars since his army of spirit animals is quick to consume the sugar, while the Ghost of Roku fears nothing since he doesn’t apply the concept of death to himself. One may question why two former Deputy Editors who had been the closest of friends could become such malicious opponents, but unfortunately the great debate of Candy versus Science had torn them apart. AvatarRokusGhost had demanded that 90% of headquarters be dedicated to candy mine expansion, while Bomochu demanded the same amount be utilized for spirit animal living spaces and research. The forbidden question of Candy versus Science then arose, and ever since then the Zaofu Crush has fallen into darkness.

Bomochu is sucked into one of the candy tornadoes, but he shoots forth his platinum cables in his armor to anchor himself to a wall and eventually is able to yank himself and his armored bison out of the storm. “Is that all you got? COME ON!” he yells crazily.

“You’ve got quite some nerve!” bellows AvatarRokusGhost, glaring back with a blinding glow in his enraged eyes. “But hey, you want to know what I’ve got, do you? You really want to know? Well…” He slowly raises an arm to reveal, to Bomochu’s horror, a round ball of chocolate covered in multicolored sprinkles. “AS YOU WISH!”

ZAAAAP!

A colorful storm of lightning bolts illuminates the entire headquarters, shattering vases and greenhouses everywhere and causing Bomo’s army of sky bison to flee in terror. The Zaofu guard is not fazed, however, and simply holds out a platinum shield from which the lightning is safely conducted away. “You’ve got NOTHING on me!” he yells crazily, mad with power and no longer the cheerful team player he once was. There’s a howl of wind behind him and, without warning, two dragons fly past his sides and unleash hell’s fire straight at the Ghost of Roku.

While the flames themselves fly through the ghostly body, all of his candy melts on the spot and dissolves the cancerous chocolate. ARG is enraged. “Why, you… Do you know how long it took me to MINE ALL OF THAT?!” His Avatar State intensifies, causing a hurricane that even the dragons have a hard time bracing themselves for. He slowly pulls out a switch - which is fascinatingly solid despite coming from a transparent pocket. “This ends NOW!”

A trapdoor opens between the two, and a colorful candy cannon rises above the ground. ARG smiles maliciously. “This will wipe out EVERYTHING in headquarters, you hear me? EVERYTHING!!!” He holds up the switch once more, raising it high above his head.

The Zaofu Guard stands his ground, but ARG’s claim slowly sinks in and his eyes widen with alarm. “Wait, ARG, isn’t that the cannon that usually wipes out the whole grid of candy?“

“YOU’RE DARN RIGHT!” bellows the Candy Avatar. “Bomochu… IT’S OVER -“

“EXCUSE ME?”

The two Interim Editors jump when a piercing voice fills the air.

“WHO SAID YOU COULD DESTROY MY HEADQUARTERS?! Get that cannon outta here!” There is a blinding yellow glow that suddenly fills the hall, and as the Interim Editors wince and cover their eyes a familiar figure donning emerald green materializes steps forward. The glow of her lantern - this one is notably huge compared to the usual - makes her look like an ominous silhouette.

ARG and Bomo are at a loss for words when they meet her glaring eyes. “H-hey there Minn, uh, we were just -“

“Just ABUSING YOUR POWER, I take it?” Minnichi gestures at the wreckage surrounding them. “And…my name is AGENT Minnichi, mind you, Grand Secretariat of The Ba Sing Se Times and Head of the Dai Li fandom!”

The Interim Editors realize that they’re being demoted into Deputies again and their shoulders slump as their heads hang in shame.

“Now, you will take down all your, uh, whatever these are supposed to be -“ Minnichi points at the banners that once spelled out Zaofu and Candy. “And get back to your stations or else there will be no such thing as Science AND Candy Crush!”

There’s a random chorus of horror music for some reason out of nowhere as she utters her threat and the two newly demoted Deputy Editors make a mad rush to clean up the wreckage. “No, ANYTHING BUT THAT!”

Agent Minnichi simply stands there with her lantern as the shadow beneath her hat conceals her eyes. “Well, that’s up to you. My office better still be intact.” With that, she strides away and inevitably takes up her post as Editor-in-Chief once more. “Shoulda known that no one else can wield Unlimited Power without going mad…” Although one may question if she’s mad herself, at least it doesn’t lead to an apocalyptic destruction of headquarters.

Minn takes a deep breath and sits down at her desk, dusting it off and lighting the plethora of lanterns adorning it. There's simply no rest for Supreme Dictatorship.

Order is restored once more at The Ba Sing Se Times headquarters.
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FROM THE FANON PORTAL
50
DEPUTY
The Avatar Wiki Fanon Awards –
Are They Back?

Bomochu
Some of you may have noticed that applications for the Fanon Awards Council opened on the 5th of June this year. There are five positions to fill on the Council, and so far, there have been two applicants; Minnichi and AvatarRokusGhost, two of our very own BSST staff members and both of whom have served on the Council previously. However, at the time of writing there haven't been any other applications.

It's been six years since the last Fanon Awards ceremony back in 2015 and chances are some users may not have even heard of them before. The Fanon Awards, as the name implies, are a way to celebrate and honour those on the wiki who are involved in the Fanon Portal. Originally conceived by The Avatar and founded by Superflash101, the Fanon Awards have gone through several cycles and include categories such as Outstanding Author, Outstanding Short Story, Best Main Character, and Outstanding Editor. Even users who aren't fanon authors may find themselves able to take part in nominating others.

So will the Fanon Awards be coming back? I for one think the awards can be a great way to bring the community together and would love to see them continue. Obviously there are other places that cater for fanon such as Fanfiction.net and AO3, but celebrating our own fanon portal is something pretty neat. Although there's only been two applicants for the council since opening, there does seem to be reasonable activity in the fanon portal. One only needs to look through the recent wiki activity to see fanon pages being published or edited every so often, and having a Discord channel dedicated to fanon has made discussing new ideas and seeking advice far easier.

But what do you guys think? Comment below, or better yet, go and apply for the Awards Council if you're interested!
50
Should You Kill Your Darlings?
NeoBahamut
An idea I've run across a lot recently is "Mako should've died in the series finale," as if the story would've been improved simply because a character died. Another justification for that is that nothing of value would have been lost because Mako is an extremely underdeveloped character. At face value, it's easy to understand these ideas. We probably all have examples of death scenes that resonated with us emotionally, which made the threat of the story feel more credible, or maybe even gave us relief at being rid of a boring or annoying character. However, I think that cavalier attitude toward character death is ultimately misguided and serious thought should be put into whether or not to shuffle someone off your story's coil: You should have not just one, but several good reasons before doing it.

Let's start with the central myth that a story is automatically better if a character dies. It's certainly true that an easy trap to fall in is getting too attached to characters and not being willing to let anything bad happen to them, which saps the story of drama, but it's also possible to overcompensate when overcoming that weakness and start to use character deaths as a crutch, like a shortcut to get a quick emotional reaction from the reader that a writer becomes overly dependent on. With how beloved the original series is, does anyone really think it would be improved if Toph or Sokka died in the series finale? It would certainly feel sadder, but would it feel right? Is that somber tone necessarily better than seeing the characters triumph? Now, this is where an astute reader might point out that my examples distract from the fact that Last Airbender DOES have a very well-known character death in the form of Jet. However, just because the death scene is there, does it necessarily help the story? I would argue Jet is a good example of a bad death scene because the characters barely even notice he died, which even becomes a joke later when Sokka says "it was really unclear." If death scenes are supposed to be huge emotional points in the story, you probably don't want them to become literal punchlines, but that's what happened with Jet: The audience didn't really care because neither did the characters. Jet died, but it lacked purpose beyond a fleeting moment of sadness or shock.

To avoid writing a forgettable scene, you want it to really have a lasting impact. The first thing you want to ask yourself is what the death does for the story. Maybe you want to demonstrate the villain's threat; that's a good starting point. But the problem here is that Long Feng's threat doesn't come from physical danger, and in fact his weakness is his undoing when he knows he can't fight Azula, so Jet dying does nothing to build up a threat that's just going to be torn down soon anyway. That's why it's important to take the broader context into consideration. You don't want to have the villain killing his minions left and right and then finding your readers wondering why anyone still works for him, or killing someone to try to shake up the protagonists and then they don't even notice.

What makes a death scene impactful is that the audience has a connection to that character and that comes from the connection the characters have with each other. We don't know Jet very well, since he's only in a handful of episodes and is usually pretty aloof, but we do know Katara, and if there had been an extra episode about how she was upset over his loss because she was starting to have hope that he'd redeem himself and maybe even that they'd rekindle their old friendship and alliance, that would have made an enormous difference. We would have really felt Jet's loss because we would have felt what it meant for Katara. That's why Lu Ten’s death bothers us more, even though we never even met him: Because we relate to Iroh's grief, which is something much deeper than momentary sadness. This is also why it isn't really an ideal solution to use death as a way to get rid of unwanted characters: It's preferable to fix what's wrong with the character instead so that we actually feel invested in that character's fate.

The tone of grief is another reason you might want to kill off a character, but you have to ask yourself if that fits the tone of the rest of the story. In the case of the series finale, Mako's death would've clashed with the tone of the epilogue. On one hand, it would require a prominent funeral scene to send off such a major character, which would be a depressing note contradicting the hopeful tone of the wedding and Korrasami's vacation. A character should not be remembered for killing the mood and sucking the joy out of the happy ending the other characters were trying to earn. While bittersweet endings are very popular for feeling like they hit a Goldilocks Zone where things feel neither pointlessly depressing nor unrealistically happy, it takes a balancing act to keep the bitterness from overwhelming everything. It's not impossible to kill a character and still pull this off, but it becomes a lot more difficult. We need to feel like Mako's sacrifice is a necessary one and doesn't loom larger than what is gained. This is really hard to do when his death is simply because he couldn't escape in time, Bolin's lost a brother, there was no emotional release from confronting the murderer, the city's in ruins, and we're supposed to be happy about a wedding and a vacation.

What this keeps coming back to is that the story elements should work together. To see what I mean, let me go through my process in writing a major death scene for Republic City Renaissance. The major focus of that book, called "Void," had dealt with a very violent street gang. They'd attacked police, burned buildings, and even murdered rival gang members. It became increasingly obvious that they could not go down without something important being lost, or else it would just feel like the story ended randomly after another arbitrary attack, so this was likely to mean a major character death. This, of course, is an example of raising the stakes. When I considered whom to strike down, I didn't want someone with too many story options ahead of them that I'd have to cut short, but I also wanted their absence to be felt, so it wouldn't work to kill off some random side character who barely did anything. I chose to kill the character of Lilith, who was sister to one of the protagonists and had spent several chapters bonding with the rest.

I made her sister the main protagonist of the next book, called it "Grief," and chose to focus on how each character dealt with the loss, because it's important to note that people handle loss differently. When you write your cast's reactions, you might consider which characters are more likely to bottle things up, who might be openly emotional, if they will seek out or avoid other people, if someone might react with anger, etc. It can also be useful to explore an aspect of the character people might not normally think about, like Katara's vengefulness toward her mother's killer.

The main focus of Grief was obviously the sister, who went through stages of depression, anger, and even tried to bargain with another villain to get rid of Lilith's killer. She went through a lot of lows in that arc before ultimately coming out having learned something, which she demonstrates when she saves the life of a person she previously wanted revenge on. It doesn't always have to be this extreme, but you can see how I'm thinking beyond that individual scene and how this will affect the rest of the story.

It's also good to keep in mind that you can explore themes without necessarily shedding blood: Later on, I played with the expectation that raising the stakes further requires killing a larger amount of characters by seeing if I could have the protagonist of the final book lose something else important to him. The emotion you're trying to invoke, grief, is fundamentally about loss, which can take forms besides death specifically. Your characters could also experience loss in other forms, like major injuries, a loss of status in society, a loss of innocence or morality, a friend becoming an enemy, or many other scenarios.

Having come this far, a few assumptions I've made need to be addressed. Firstly, you might not be aiming for a serious or sad tone. You might instead have the idea of killing off a large number of characters as a work of parody or satire. This brings to mind the phrase "know the rules so you know when to break them." You should still think about the overall context of the story because you don't want the effect to be ruined because the parody gets lost in a particularly disturbing scene or because nobody can figure out what the joke is. Likewise, if you're aiming for a very dark tone, a problem a lot of readers have is that they get to a point where they stop caring because they just expect everyone to die anyway. The real concern and feel for these characters comes from not knowing what will happen to them; being invested in their well-being, having hope that they will be okay because it's happened before, and reading with excitement to find out. This is why it really pays to think through how every decision will impact the tone.

Up until now, I've also only addressed protagonist deaths, but antagonist deaths often get overlooked in these conversations even though they're much more likely to bite the dust. I find it's generally helpful to think of the antagonist as the protagonist of their own story, and here is no exception. The antagonist's death should close out their character arc, for better or usually worse, and show how their loss affects the story's world. An obvious canon example is P'li, whose death causes Zaheer to lose the only thing in the world he really cares about, giving him the power of flight. Book 3 has an interesting theme in how authority figures try to weaponize people, which a warlord did to P'li and the Earth Queen tried to do to the airbenders. I used this as the basis for my own combustionbending character, and the experience caused him to become very cruel and pragmatic, appointing people to positions of power so he could use them and having them assassinated if they stepped out of line or were no longer useful. Because of this, there were a lot of people who wanted him gone, even among the antagonists, and they variously either worked with or manipulated the protagonists until he was killed off in battle. You could think of it a bit like an ironic punishment, that his downfall was the way he used others. But he did have one companion through all of that, who genuinely saw him as a friend, and this split a rift between the remaining villains. Hopefully you can see that I'm treating this a lot like a protagonist's death, asking how his demise fits in the story and how it affects the remaining characters.My goal is to make the antagonists feel like their own characters with their own motivations and places in the world instead of just disposable punching bags for the protagonists to take out.

If done extremely well, people might even feel sympathy for the antagonist meeting such a sticky end, just like they would with a protagonist.

Of course, in Avatar, it's also not uncommon for a villain's end to be just going to jail or otherwise defeated without being killed, which is perfectly fine too. This is particularly effective if you want to advance a theme of rejecting violence, so long as the characters' decisions still feel natural and not like they were turned into empty props to advance the theme. This is a major problem with Ruins of the Empire, where Kuvira is largely forgiven and given a slap on the wrist punishment for her many, many crimes. This comes across more as the authors trying to force a redemption arc than something that would naturally happen in the story's world. It's something I tried to avoid in my own story, by showing that those who have done horrific things might not be so easily forgiven even if they try to change, that the past can't be erased, and that the way forward is often messy. Just like killing a character, sparing them should not be viewed as an easy button, and you should still think about their role in the story.

So, it's fair to end by addressing the opposite question: Where might you choose not to kill any characters? Above all, you shouldn't feel obligated to shove a character death in every single story. One that's shorter or with lower stakes might not particularly need one. You also need a certain number of characters for a story to function at all, so deaths in a small cast can severely handicap your story. In general, I think it's best to avoid death scenes where either the scene itself would not get the necessary spotlight or it would detract from something more important. Instead of sprinkling them on to "spice up" a story, I encourage you to always have well-thought-out reasons if you want to kill characters, even if you're going for a darker, "anyone can die" style story. Raising the stakes is a good starting point, but it should go beyond that. But I don't want to discourage you either: Pivotal moments like death scenes are hard to do, but don't lose hope just because they might not turn out perfectly. After all, even the Avatar writers missed a step with Jet, but that didn't ruin the whole story.

"Final Disclaimer: "Kill your darlings" technically means to get rid of something you worked hard on and are really passionate about but doesn't fit with the story. It's not necessarily about killing off characters, although it can be. However, it was simply too good of a title to pass up. Ironically, or perhaps fittingly, given what I'm arguing, I did not kill my darling."

50
DEPUTY
FRRS Fanon Review:
Aevum, by Fruipit

Bomochu
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This evaluation was conducted by the Fanon Research and Review Squad. Please do not take offense in the case of negative feedback. We offer advice and want your story to succeed!

Greetings Avatar Wikians! Bomochu here with another FRRS review. Today I have the pleasure of reviewing Aevum, by Fruipit. Fruipit has published an extensive list of fanon in their time on the Avatar Wiki, and Aevum is another stellar addition that tugs on all the heart strings.

Aevum tells the story of Asami Sato encountering her guardian angel, and the growing bond they both share through Asami's grief and hardship. Though the more Asami gets to know her spiritual companion, the more she realises everything's not quite as it seems.

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"Some things are worth dying for; this one is, by far, the greatest reason of all."


Please note that this review will contain spoilers, though given it's a BSST issue I'll try keep them to a minimum. Without further ado, let's dive in!

Story Scores

Plot: 9.5 The story guides us through several events in Asami's life, and every scene felt fully fleshed out and captivating to read through. The running theme through Aevum is illustrated through carefully worded scenes or lines, yet crafted in such an organic way throughout the fanon. The way the story was organised and the direction it took was also something that worked really well. Along the way, there were moments where certain events took place or segments of narration where it wasn't entirely clear why these things were happening, or what exactly it meant, until we reach the reveal at the end. What this does for the reader is it creates a more active reading experience by encouraging readers to question and theorize about what's happening to Asami. Not only that, but it almost guarantees a second read through (which has happened to me each time I've read Aevum XD) as things that may not have stood out or been slightly unclear nearer the beginning when first reading, suddenly carry more weight and meaning to them reading a second time.

There's only a handful of critiques in terms of the plot. Towards the middle of the fourth part, some of the scene transitions weren't as clear as the others in the story. On the one hand it does fit with the overall tone of the piece and where Asami is at in this segment, but on the other it did make the time skips and transitions a little hard to follow. This occurred in a few other places as well, but predominantly in the fourth part.


Setting & Context: 9.7 The setting was often described in such an immersive way, drawing the reader in by not only describing what was there but helping us feel and experience it. There was never a moment where an environment felt unclear. Not only that, but given that the story is told from Asami's perspective (in second-person form) there were instances where it really felt like it was Asami was the one examining her world around her.

Even though the story takes place in an alternate universe it is still set in the Avatar world, and there were details sprinkled in that made this connection stronger, such as the fur on Yasuko's coat coming from a hybrid animal. In terms of spirituality, it still wasn't entirely clear how angels fit into this world however. Perhaps when Asami first sees her guardian angel she thinks she's a ghost of a water tribe woman, or a water spirit of some kind, before settling on guardian angel? Either way, having a little more connection to the spirituality of the existing Avatar world may help tie it together a little more.


Characterisation: 9.3 Asami is in the spotlight for this fanon, and so we get to spend the entire story learning and living through her character. So much of Asami's characterisation is given to us through inner narration and action rather than dialogue, which is an effective way to 'show not tell' in a story. The same can be said for Asami's spiritual companion, who has even less dialogue yet is incredibly captivating with her expressions and gestures that make her such a complete and intriguing character.

It's understandable that these characters differ a little from their real-world counterparts since they have different experiences that shape them into who they are, but at the same time there could have been a little more connection to their canon-selves. For example, Hiroshi didn't quite seem like the devoted father that he was in the series, and while his distantness was an interesting take in the story, perhaps making him a little more like his canon-self might have helped with realism. Also, Mako's character was both intriguing yet a little unclear. Given his role in the story, it might have been good to mention what happened to him or why he wasn't present at the end, even if he was a minor character.

With all that said, I do want to reiterate that the characterisation in this story was done superbly on the whole, especially the dynamic between the two main characters which really shone through.


Action: 9.9 There were only a couple moments in the story where the actions or movements seemed a little unclear, one of which was in the opening scene. Other than that, each scene was detailed and captivating in its execution in terms of action. Throughout the story there was emotion woven into each movement, giving the characters and the scenes more of an impact.


Writing Scores:

Spelling/Grammar: 9.9 I only found a couple typos in the story, so well done!


General Writing: 9.4 There are definitely some gems within this story in terms of writing (which made choosing the introduction quote much harder!). The descriptions and language used invoked such a deep emotional connection to what was happening, which worked brilliantly with the use of second-person perspective.

Although the story carries this almost ethereal or mysterious feel to it, there were a few instances where more direct language could have been used for better clarity. The end of the first scene is one area where this occurred, though there are only a few other examples later on in the story.

Score: 9.62

Conclusion:

Aevum takes something so integral to what it means to be human – the longing for genuine human connection – and explores it with such creativeness and reverence. The way that it taps into these emotions and draws the reader in is something that makes this fanon so memorable and a true hidden gem on the fanon portal. Fruipit certainly knows how to connect to their audience and keep them invested, and I'd recommend Aevum to anyone who enjoys stories that explore deeper themes in a unique way.
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Fanon Highlight - Avatar: Civil Strife, by King Bumis Heir
Bomochu
King Bumis Heir is a fanon portal regular who started his first series back in 2012. After completing Avatar: The Legacy of Rong Yan, King Bumis Heir now brings us a new story featuring another past avatar. Avatar: Civil Strife tells the story of Avatar Avani, a fully realised Avatar born into a time of war between rival Earth Kingdoms.

With a vast number of character pages, historical events, and original artwork accompanying his fanon, King Bumis Heir spares no expense in creating a deep and intriguing universe for readers to be immersed in. Have a read of the synopsis below!

Avatar: Civil Strife
Plot Overview

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The war has brewed in the Haijun and Omashu Kingdoms for as long as anyone can remember, the four-hundred-year-old war continues to rage on. However, the war is almost over the Haijun Kingdom losing territory to the merciless Kuiwu Dynasty ruling in the Oma Kingdom.

Twenty-six-year-old Avani the successor of Avatar Keirou is born into the Haijun Kingdom to a noble family, where her generation serves the Earth King and the royal family. Avani is tasked to help end the war, while she expects to be at the helm of the operation she's instead cut down to size and is placed amongst the commoners all with the common goal in stopping the Oma Kingdom from ending the war. All while the Oma Kingdom's newest king Yeman Kuiwu AKA Manzujichengren, lives up to the legacy his father held.

His eyes and ears alert him of the danger the young Avatar poses, and Yeman employs a skillful mercenary of the barbarian clans that live in the Oma Kingdom. Gan works for the highest bidder, and he's perfect because he will complete a job without ethics getting in the way. Will the Haijun Kingdom get the Oma Kingdom out of their yard? Or will the Oma Kingdom finally end the war?
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Fanart Showcase
Avatar Wiki Community
Original artwork by Parker Spider Dude:

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Fanon Noticeboard
Avatar Wiki Community
Here you'll find the latest fanon news and requests from the community. You can also visit the FRRS for an interview or technical review, or the Fanonbenders for help.
  • Bomochu is looking for beta-readers for the first part of his upcoming Legend of Korra fanon. Mainly to see if his story is interesting enough and if he should continue.
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Avatar Jigsaw
BSST Staff
What's a newsletter without random, time-killing puzzles and games? This here is an interactive puzzle that allows you to move the pieces of the image around until they all click together. Find out which iconic image we've pulled from the series, and see who gets the best time!

Click here to complete the interactive jigsaw.

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Note: The image above is not the actual puzzle.

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