Airspeed Prime here, yet again, with another editorial. I think at this stage there is only one topic left to do before Book 2, that being a final preview and some predictions for Book 2 Spirits.

My Book 2 Spirits Preview and Predictions

Book 2 spirits poster

Now that we have our premiere date and time (September 13th 7PM EST) we have basically everything we are going to get before the show airs. So I think now is the perfect time to preview Book 2 Spirits. In short I am super excited for Book 2 Spirits probably more so than any other book of Avatar, I honestly think I am more hyped for Spirits than I was for Book 3 Fire. In part I think it is the insanely long wait, but also because the concept for Spirits as a book just hits on so many of my favourite aspects of the Avatar universe. Spirits and the spirit world have always fascinated me, but it has never been a huge part in any book so far. They have certainly played important roles in episodes like the Book 1 Water Finale and the Escape From The Spirit World web comics while Spirits such as Koh, Hei Bai and even The Painted Lady are such intriguing characters for me despite their small roles. So a Book based completely around the idea of Spirits as the enemy and Korra's spiritual development as the main character arc is right up my alley. What is great about Book 2 for me is that I am also really excited for the non-spiritual stuff also. Characters like Bolin and Asami by the looks of things are getting their own character arcs and focus while Katara and Aang's 3 children will get some solo spotlight too. So to organise this post somewhat I will go through each aspect of the show and explain my thoughts on them. Naturally the first place to go to is Korra as a character. We are effectively going to meet her in Book 2 as a close to fully realised Avatar, she has control over the Avatar state and has mastered all 4 elements more or less, but she doesn't seem like she is going to have the same level of respect and responsibility over her powers as Aang did. While she has connected spiritually from Book 1, I think she will still have a long way to go before she truly understands her place as the bridge between worlds. I am excited to see how exactly it plays out, we know that she is thought to be more spiritual by her uncle Unalaq which will obviously annoy Tenzin and her father and set up that sibling conflict, but what exactly is going to  get it into Korra's mind that simply fighting the spirits won't be enough? What will ultimately drive her to enter the spirit world for the first time and where does Jinora come into play with this? I think that any counter attacks against the spirits are on the whole going to be ineffectual which will lead to Korra questioning herself as the Avatar being unable to bring balance between spirits and humans. She will have to seek guidance from the previous Avatars, none of them will know how to handle an all-out spirit-human war and so Aang will tell Korra to speak with or tell her the story of the first Avatar, Wan, who dealt with a similar situation in his time. He was in the middle of a human-spirit conflict and wanted to bring balance and his ideals ultimately led to him being made the first Avatar, I am not exactly sure how they will go about making him the first Avatar or who gives him the power, but I am pretty confident that the main story will definitely be an echo of what happened to Wan in the past. Korra in finding out the creation of the Avatar and why it came into being finally gets it and develops a respect for the power and legacy that she carries on her shoulders and now has an idea on how to end the conflict. I am thinking that Jinora goes with Korra because Korra needs some information from Wan Shi Tong's library and who better to do that than bookworm, Jinora. I am excited that Jinora is getting a bigger role, and I am eager to see how she gets involved in going to the spirit world. Right now that is as far as my speculation on that side of the story can go; I really think they will play on some similarities between Korra's situation with the dark spirits and what Wan faced in the past. Speaking of Wan. If any of you know me at all you probably know that my favourite Avatar topic to discuss is the origin of the Avatar and the first Avatar, I have talked at length about it on the forums, the podcast and my youtube channel. So you can imagine how unbelievably pumped I was to see the confirmation that it will be explored in Book 2 through 2 episodes called Beginnings Part 1 and Part 2. For me this will be all about mythology, something that Avatar has in spades, but has yet to get into all that much. We know that there are in or around 1,000 Avatars that span 10,000 years and that is not including the time before the Avatar, so the Avatar universe is incredibly vast, yet we have really only got a few mentions of stuff from the distant past. Here are some bullet points
  • The Lion Turtle says "In the era before The Avatar we bent not the elements, but the energy within..." This suggests that pre Avatar people could energybend and that energybending is possibly the basis for the 4 elements.
  • We know that Oma and Shu were the first human earthbenders who learned from the badgermoles, we know that the Ancient Sun Warriors were the first human firebenders who learned from the dragons, we know that the first waterbenders learned from the push and pull of the moon and ocean and that the first air nomads learned Airbending from the Sky Bison. BUT when did these events take place, pre or post Avatar. The quote in point 1 would suggest afterwards, but I think it could also be just a bit before the Avatar and humans learning to bend is the catalyst for a human spirit conflict which ultimately leads to the creation of the Avatar to maintain balance.
  • If bending only began near the origin of the Avatar, were the nations named after the elements. Why would the Fire Nation be named that if firebending did not exist yet outside of the Dragons ability?. This brings up the idea of the world being a bit more together and less separated by elements. Basically in Wan's time before he is the Avatar can anyone bend the elements and are the nations called something different if no?
  • If energybending is the root of the elements then what limits people to just one element, is it just that people from the fire nation only had experience with dragons and so only developed that ability and it just never happened that someone tried to bend more than one element? Or did the creation of the Avatar effectively lock each nation into just that one form of bending?
So as you can see these flashback episodes could give us some really important facts about the avatar world and how things work and that is not even taking into account the potential for Wan's story to be emotional and personal. I am very excited to see what he is like as a character and what he did to become the first Avatar. It will be a huge moment for me personally to get this story and huge for the Avatar universe as a whole. Bolin and Asami seem to have arcs that are connected, but they will each have their own individual issues. Bolin seems to be going on a journey to find himself and what exactly he wants to do with his life and so goes with Asami to help her with her business meetings. It will be interesting to see if Bolin takes a liking to the business world or if his experiences show him the path he should take, it seems like he will go through some harsh events to grow which will be emotional to see from such an innocent character, but will be important for him as a main character in this show. Not to mention he seems to be having a romance arc too with Eska and possibly Asami, though I think that could just be more showing off the two's friendship. Asami's is a story that has me interested, I was initially weary of a story based around business, but given the set up I think it can work. She is trying to get Future Industries back on top after Hiroshi ruined its reputation, we as viewers know she is capable of anything, but she has not had that much good happen to her in a while so I think like Bolin it will be a tough ride through Book 2 for her, but it will really bring us closer to her as a character. We know from Varrick's bio that he is rumoured to be involved in some shady dealings so I am surprisingly fascinated to see what sort of twists they add too what seems to be a fairly mundane business plot. Arguably the most mysterious plot point is Tenzin, Bumi and Kya going on a tour of the Air Temples. From what we know it is mainly a vacation to connect with the places their father grew up in, but I think this could also link into the oft forgotten plot point mentioned at SDCC 2011, that being that the new Sky Bison and Lemurs are going to play a bigger role in this book. So I am thinking that they discover more animals now living at these temples, but from concept art we also know there is going to be a secret trap door, so there is a lot of mystery here also. I am very excited to see the interactions of the 3 siblings, it will be an interesting dynamic when it comes to exploring the air temples with 1 being an Airbender, 1 a waterbender and 1 a nonbender not to mention all 3 are older characters so giving them a plot of their own should be unique. Outside of Wan, I think my most anticipated new character is Unalaq. His bio leads me to believe he will be portrayed as somewhat of an antagonist, I have a feeling that he will ultimately be the one responsible for having brought the spirits to the human world and causing the conflict between the two. We know there is a war between Tonraq and Unalaq coming and that their past will be explored, the exact details of the war are up in the air, but I have a feeling it will end up with Unalaq leading an army of Dark Spirits against Tonraq and the humans which is the conflict that Korra is caught in the middle of and needs to end. I don't think he will be the main villain of Book 2 as it seems a bit too obvious that he is the big bad this Book, but I do think he will set off a chain of events that will get out of his control. I think one of the last things to mention is the characters that I am not exactly sure what they are going to do with. We know Lin is not going to play much of a role and it makes sense since very little of the book will be in Republic City, so it makes sense she would have a small role when we are in the city, but it is characters like Mako, Eska, Desna, Ikki, Meelo and Pema and Rohan that I am not sure about what is happening with them. Bullet point time again.
  • Mako. It is not that I dislike Mako, I am just not exactly sure what his character arc or plot is going to be. He is Korra's boyfriend in Book 2 so I assume he will spend a lot of time with her, but he does not (at least initially) go to the spirit world with her. So what is his role? I think his role may be to protect Korra and Jinora's bodies while the two enter the Spirit world, something he would be eager to do to protect his girlfriend. From the trailers it seems like Mako and Bolin may end up going to the Spirit world too or at the very least getting involved in the front lines of the conflict with Korra. Outside of him being a cop, which doesn't seem related to his main story in the book, I am not sure where he is going.
  • Eska and Desna. It seems like the two will be linked into Bolin and Asami's story, with the twins never really leaving each other's side and Eska having a weird romance with Bolin. The trailers do show the two in action, but how does this come about? If their father does end up being a villain, what does that mean for them, do they side with Unalaq or help their cousin, the Avatar?
  • Ikki, Meelo, Pema and Rohan. Tenzin is away with his siblings, Jinora is helping Korra, but what about the rest of the family? I don't expect Pema or Rohan to do much as Rohan is only 6 months old. Ikki and Meelo are the wildcards, and I just cannot see what their role is going to be in the book, even though they had a successful fight scene in Book 1, I don't seem them being heavily involved in any battles. I would like to see more of them as I love them both as characters, but I have a feeling they will be bit part characters in this book.
So there you have most of my speculation and predictions for Book 2. I will end with some crazy theories and predictions that really have no evidence to them, but I would love to see happen and be able to say "I predicted that!"
  • The Mother Of Faces or Koh will make an appearance in Book 2 Spirits. I say or for a reason, I think we will see one or the other, not both. Here is why, whenever Mike, Bryan and Gene have talked about The Search and Book 2 they have specifically mentioned how both deal quite heavily with spirits and that it linked up well. So I kind of have a suspicion that we may see The mother of faces (the newly introduced spirit character of the book), or depending on how Part 3 of The Search pans out Koh if he is related to her somehow.
  • Professor Zei will still be in Wan Shi Tong's Library. An unresolved mystery from 210 The Library. Zei went down with the Library when Wan Shi Tong brought it back to the Spirit World. We know Wan hates humans for just wanting knowledge to get a one up on someone else, but Zei is different he is actually just like Wan Shi Tong, he wants more knowledge just for the fun of knowing all that there is to know. Maybe I am expecting too much from Wan Shi Tong, but I think he could have spared Zei and allowed him to stay; perhaps Zei has changes Wan's mind a bit about humans so he won't be as aggressive to Jinora as he was to Aang. If he is alive the question then is, "Is he now a spirit? Did he age in the spirit world?" I want it to happen because honestly it would probably be one of the most glorious moments of continuity I would ever see if it were to happen.
I will end it there. As I said at the beginning I am the most excited I have ever been about any new Book of Avatar, I hope and suspect that it will live up to the hype. I often feel Korra does not get the same level of excitement as ATLA, just because it is not ATLA, but I honestly feel that Book 2 Spirits is covering something so intrinsic to the Avatar universe that it will really engross even those who have not been so hot on Korra so far. What are your thoughts on my preview and what are your own predictions for Book 2 Spirits?