At times, reality can become an especially boring plane of existence. Trudging through the same weary cycle day in and day out can drive a person insane if they don't have any distractions that can help them deal with this monotony. Perhaps this is why most people end up dreaming about fantasy worlds where the rules of reality don't apply. This allows people to revel in a sense of escapism (no matter how misplaced it might be) as they become the main character of a story that would appeal to them the most. In fact, the human mind is so powerful that it can conjure brilliant and well-realized worlds that any person would sorely wish to be a part of. This is exactly what the creators of the Avatar franchise were able to accomplish, and the world that they've developed has truly been imprinted into the minds of the many people who have become hardcore fans of this series.
Unfortunately, the thought process of any human mind is not without its flaws. So, no matter how impeccable the world of Avatar might seem at a first glance, a closer look at the series will reveal a bunch of mistakes that even the most hardcore of fans have no idea about. So, keeping this in mind, here are 25 of the biggest mistakes you probably never noticed in Avatar: The Last Airbender (and The Legend Of Korra as well).
25 The Dubious Nature Of Amon's Energybending
Amon is certainly one of the most intriguing villains in the entire Avatar series. His mysterious nature and unclear motives certainly add to his villainous nature, and the fact that he has the prestigious ability of energybending cemented his position as a strong threat to the Avatar. However, there's one thing that makes no sense when it comes to this scenario.
How was Amon even able to energybend in the first place?
The original series had already established the fact that there was only one Lion Turtle in existence (that might've passed away before The Legend Of Korra even started). This would've made it close to impossible for Amon to even acquire the ability to energybend.
24 The Sheer Number Of Waterbending Subskills
Bending is undoubtedly one of the most iconic elements of pop culture, and serves as the central focus of the Avatar universe. What makes this ability even more astounding are the various specializations that each bending art can undergo. However, it seems that there's one particular bending art that has been favored over others.
Waterbending has numerous specializations, compared to the others.
Earthbenders can bend lava and metal, while firebenders can generate lightning (there's also combustionbending, but that's a whole another story). Airbending doesn't even have any specializations — that is, unless you count flying. Meanwhile, waterbenders can use water for healing and combat purposes, and also spiritbend as well. To top it all off, they can bloodbend too, which is definitely a cool ability to have.
And this is not the only weird thing when it comes to waterbending.
23 Waterbending Is The Odd One Out When It Comes To How It Was Taught
Waterbending truly is one of the most mysterious arts present in the world of Avatar, and the amount of screen time given to this particular form of bending pretty much speaks for itself. After all, Aang was unearthed by members of the Southern Water Tribe, who accompanied him on his journey. Meanwhile, Korra herself came from the Southern Water Tribe as well.
The weird thing about waterbending is that it was learned from the moon.
This is certainly pretty weird, especially since the other forms of bending were learned from animals like dragons (firebending), air bisons (airbending), and badgermoles (earthbending). One might rightly wonder exactly how humans were able to look at the moon and learn waterbending — especially since they weren't really receiving any guidance from living, breathing animals.
22 The Origin Of Combustionbending Is Never Really Explained
We've already talked about specialized forms of bending, and combustionbending is something we just touched upon previously. However, a closer look at this sub-division of bending will reveal a number of problems that sorely need to be addressed.
Frankly, combustionbending has been poorly explained.
There are just so many questions that one might have when it comes to this particular form of bending. Just how does someone perform combustionbending without the tattoo shown in the image above? Is this tattoo necessary to carry out combustionbending in the first place? If yes, then how do people even find out if they have the power to combustionbend at all?
21 Any Firebender Can Have Blue Fire If They Focus
Azula is touted as a firebending prodigy, due to her natural aptitude when it comes to this particular art. This can be seen throughout the series, where she can easily weave her iconic blue fire to wreak havoc and destroy her enemies. Her ability to generate lightning also cements the idea that the color blue is pretty much synonymous with her character.
However, blue fire is not that special, to begin with.
After all, the reason why Azula's fire is blue is that she focuses on making her fire as hot as possible. If that is the case, then any firebender who trains hard enough can achieve this feat as well. Firebenders like Iroh should certainly be talented enough to generate this blue fire too, and it's perhaps a conscious decision on their part to divert their power towards more practical efforts.
And, since we're on the topic of firebending...
20 Fire Just Can't Break Rock
Watching a fight scene in the Avatar series is truly thrilling, for more reasons than one. Combining the movements of martial arts with elemental magic creates an enthralling spectacle that is an absolute treat to watch. However, during these fight scenes, there's one glaring fallacy that occurs whenever a firebender goes head-to-head with an earthbender.
Rock breaks when hit with fire, which is just not possible.
It doesn't take a genius to tell you why this is not possible. After all, no matter how hot or forceful the fire stream might be, the fact of the matter is that it still won't be powerful enough to impede the approach of flying rocks at all. One probable outcome might be that the fire will melt earth and turn it into lava, but even that's a huge stretch.
Speaking of which...
19 Bending Lava Will Burn The User Alive
Lavabending is undoubtedly one of the coolest earthbending specializations that one can use. It's an effective weapon that will certainly prove to be a massive help when it comes to ensuring that there are little to no problems that the user of this technique might face. However, there's a problem that arises while thinking about something like this.
Lavabending will burn the user alive where they stand.
Most people who have never been around lava simply underestimate how hot it actually is. Simply being in the vicinity of lava is enough to burn you to a complete crisp, due to the insane amount of heat that's constantly being generated. So, even the iconic scenes of Indiana Jones and Star Wars would be completely impossible, since everyone would've been charred to the bone before they could even land a single hit.
18 It's Stupid For The Fire Nation To Have Wooden Prisons
For an empire that had almost taken over the entire world in the original series, the Fire Nation didn't exactly comprise of the smartest people in the world. The fact that they decided to make their prisons out of wood is proof enough of this fact.
Any rogue firebender could burn the entire prison to the ground after being imprisoned.
The whole idea of having wooden prisons in the firebender nation makes absolutely no sense. The material itself is so weak that Katara was able to cut through it with her sweat too, which cements the fact that having wooden prisons is an incredibly short-sighted idea.
The firebenders had a special prison just for airbenders as well, but they somehow managed to screw that up too.
17 Firebenders Could've Used Any Other Source Of Fuel Other Than Coal
One of Avatar's initial episodes occurred in a prison ship that housed a number of earthbenders who went against the strict ruling of the Fire Nation. These earthbenders had pretty much lost all their spirit, mainly because of the fact that there was nothing around them that they could earthbend... or so they thought.
The firebenders had taken the brilliant decision of using coal as a fuel source.
Once this fact was uncovered, the earthbenders managed to renew their spirit and fought back against the people who'd imprisoned them. One must wonder exactly what these firebenders were thinking when they thought that using coal as a fuel source was a great idea for a firebender prison.
Of course, this instance poses one more question that desperately needs to be answered.
16 The Implications Of Earthbenders Bending Coal
Normally, the justification of earthbending came from the fact that these people were able to control the minerals present in the earth. However, coal itself isn't a mineral, which opens up a whole host of possibilities that need to be addressed.
Can earthbenders bend other forms of coal?
To put it into perspective, can earthbenders bend petroleum? What about wood, that coal originates from? It's already been established before that earthbenders can't bend wood, so that's out of the question... but why? Is it related to the amount of carbon present in a particular material? If that's the case, then can dry ice and peat be bent as well? The questions that arise are truly endless, but there aren't any answers that can truly satisfy these queries.
15 Toph's Rock Armor Leaves Her Eyes Exposed Even Though She's Blind
Since we're already on the topic of logical fallacies in earthbending, we absolutely need to talk about Toph's earth armor, that has become somewhat of a running joke amongst the die-hard fans of the series. Basically, while Toph was trying to teach Aang earthbending, she covered herself in an armor made of rock. However, the animators made one major mistake during this scene.
A blind Toph left eyeholes in her armor.
When this episode was released, fans with a keen eye noticed this mistake and formed their own explanations as to why this might've happened. Thankfully, the concept art book that was released for the series revealed that Toph was originally meant to have a hole for her mouth, but the animators goofed up.
14 Iroh And Ozai Certainly Don't Look Like Brothers
Iroh and Ozai are certainly brothers, but their personalities would certainly reflect otherwise. While the older Iroh was a wise individual who tried to maintain peach above everything else, the younger Ozai was a brash, ambitious, and power-hungry man who wanted the throne over his own elder brother, who was the rightful heir.
Their looks also hint at a significant age gap.
Iroh looks extremely old, with grey hair marring his face. Meanwhile, Ozai looks somewhat young, especially when compared to his elder brother. Some fans have tried to explain these mismatched looks by saying that Iroh had experienced the trials and tribulations of war (including the loss of his only son), and the stress of such events had left a permanent mark on his face. However, this just seems way too convenient, and one simply can't write off this noticeable difference when it comes to their looks.
13 Nyla's Nose Is Just Way Too Accurate
One of the minor characters in the series that proved to be a pretty significant roadblock in the journey of Team Avatar has to be the bounty hunter Juno, who — along with her pet Nyla — was paid by Zuko to track, hunt, and capture the Avatar. However, later on in the series, she ended up helping the Avatar during their journey.
However, the main plot problem when it comes to the duo stems from the fact that Nyla's nose and tracking skills end up being way too convenient, and serve only to drive the plot forward. The worst instance of this has to be in Book Three, where Nyla takes one whiff of Iroh's sandal and manages to track him all the way to the walls of Ba Sing Se, without following the exact route that Iroh himself took!
We're pretty sure that tracking isn't all that simple.
12 Day And Night Spans Months At The Poles, Not Days
There are many logical fallacies present in the world of Avatar. While some of these might be excusable, there are others that simply need to be addressed (like the issue with lavabending that we already discussed in a prior entry). One such fallacy occurs at the poles of Avatar's world.
Days and nights aren't normal at the poles.
Anybody who's studied science at the basic level can vouch for the fact that days and nights certainly don't go by normally at the poles like they should. As mentioned, each cycle takes around 6 months to end. This puts a wrench into most of the scenarios present in the Avatar series, such as the siege of the Northern Water Tribe, where the Fire Nation stopped their siege at night because the moon augmented waterbending.
11 The Wanted Poster That Busts Varrick And Bolin Shouldn't Exist
Bolin and Varrick are two of the most amusing characters present in The Legend Of Korra. Viewers know they were in for a treat every time one of these two people was present on the screen. So, it's obvious that a scene with both these people together would leave viewers in splits. However, this doesn't mean that they didn't have to deal with their fair share of problems as well.
After escaping the clutches of Kuvira, both these escapees were identified and detained at a checkpoint, because the guards were able to identify their face that was present on a wanted poster.
However, it's impossible for this poster to exist.
After all, Varrick and Bolin escaped just minutes before in the previous episode (Battle of Zaofu), which would've literally made it impossible for the soldiers to print and distribute these wanted posters in the first place.
10 Katara Completely Forgets About Aang's Makeshift Necklace
Katara's childhood was marred with strife, as her mother — Kyo — decided to sacrifice herself to prevent Katara from being taken by the Fire Nation. The only memento she had of her mother was a necklace that she held very dear. However, during the initial moments of Avatar: The Last Airbender, she was understandably crushed when she ended up losing this necklace.
Later on, when the gang reached Makapu Village, Aang decided to uplift Katara's mood by providing her with a makeshift necklace made of flowers. While the sentiment behind this action was nice, it seems that Katara never really cared for it. We say this because after they left the village, the flower necklace was neither worn nor mentioned later on in the series.
9 Toph Doesn't Sense Zuko's Genuine Remorse For Burning Her Feet
Born blind, Toph decided to heighten the rest of her senses through earthbending to make the most of a bad situation. This provided her with the ability to sense people's emotions and realize when they were lying or being honest... aside from one exception.
We say this because of one instance in the series, when Toph decided to sneak up on an unsuspecting Zuko to sense his true emotions (that no one else really wanted to admit). However, Zuko misinterpreted her footsteps as an approaching threat and burned her feet. While his apology, later on, was genuine, for some reason Toph decided to turn against him as well.
But why? Wasn't she able to sense Zuko's genuine remorse? Or was it just because she was being stubborn since her feet had been burned? It seems that we won't really get a definite answer to this question.
8 The Whole Point Of Being An Air Nomad Is To Not Settle
When the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender kick off, it is revealed that the entire population of airbenders had been wiped out by the Fire Nation, to prevent the resurrection of the Avatar. This was accomplished by initiating calculated attacks on all four Air Temples.
But why would a "nomad" choose to settle in the first place?
After all, these people are supposed to roam the world and take in new experiences. It doesn't make any sense that they would decide to settle somewhere and let themselves be wiped out in an instant. It might be possible that a section of airbenders decided to hole themselves in to prevent them from being captured... but that's just a fan theory, and nothing else.
7 Aang's Staff Is Actually Pretty Sturdy
Aang truly went through a lot of tragic moments as a kid, and losing his friends, family and mentors has to top that list. The only heirloom he had to remind him of the good old days is the staff that he used to augment his airbending abilities. He's obviously pretty touchy about it, and watching Toph using his staff nonchalantly to crush nuts angered him. After all, he didn't want the only memento of the days gone by to break.
However, Aang's staff is not fragile at all.
In fact, there are multiple instances in the series when he decides to use the staff to improve his ability to fight. The sturdiness of his staff is cemented time and time again when he chooses to use it to whack his foes without so much as a second thought.
There's another thing that Aang uses his staff for, which is the pivotal focus of the next entry.
6 If Limb Restriction Prevents Bending Then Aang Shouldn't Be Able To Fly
Bending requires a person to be able to move their limbs exactly how they want, so that they can perform this art with ease. In fact, it's mentioned time and time again in the series that one of the best ways to subdue a bender is by binding their limbs, so that they don't pose a threat anymore.
This places a huge question mark on Aang's method of flight.
After all, the only way in which Aang is able to fly is by staying stationary and using his airbending powers on his glider to propel himself in the air. But if can't move his arms or legs in this position, then how does he even airbend in the first place?
There's another person whose mode of flight poses some serious questions.
5 Zaheer Being Able To Fly Is Pretty Stupid
Zaheer is undoubtedly one of the more interesting antagonists present in The Legend Of Korra. His ruthless nature and quick adoption of the airbending powers made him one of the most imposing adversaries that Korra has ever faced, and the subsequent fallout of this encounter had Korra going through a serious bout of PTSD that she found extremely hard to shake off.
However, it makes no sense that he was able to fly at all.
After all, the art of flying was so rare that only Guru Laghima was able to achieve this state — that too by letting go of all his earthly attachments. Apparently, this state was also achieved by Zaheer of all people, when his girlfriend P'Li met her demise during a heated conflict. This seems way convenient, and is certainly not a very satisfactory explanation either.
And that's not the only questionable aspect of Zaheer's character.
4 Zaheer Can't Possibly Have So Much Knowledge Regarding The Airbenders
One of the many reasons why Zaheer is touted as an amazing villain is due to his extensive knowledge when it comes to anything and everything related to airbending as a whole. This, along with his natural aptitude to airbend, made him a force to be reckoned with.
But it's simply not possible for him to know so much about airbenders.
After all, the society of airbenders had been decimated before the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which meant that there were only a few airbenders in existence. This drastically reduced the extent to which Zaheer could've extended his knowledge regarding this lost culture.
Thankfully, the Harmonic Convergence drastically increased the total number of airbenders in the world, which allowed for the airbending society to be rebuilt at a faster rate. This brings us to...
3 The Existence Of The Spirit Portals And Harmonic Convergence
Let's be real — the Harmonic Convergence and spirit portals were new additions to the world of the Avatar when The Legend Of Korra came out. This ultimately leads to a large number of plotholes that have marred the lore of the series. We understand why the Harmonic Convergence wasn't a focal point of the original series, since it happened once every 10,000 years (although it at least deserved a slight mention).
But where were the spirit portals in the original series?
After all, we're pretty sure that the Northern and Southern Water Tribe would've noticed if there was a massive portal that literally resided in their own backyard. And yet, we don't even see so much as a glimpse of these portals in The Last Airbender.
2 Raava Resides In The Avatar But Doesn't Provide Any Advice
Another new inclusion in The Legend Of Korra was the existence of the two opposing spirits, Raava and Vaatu. It is revealed later on that Raava actually fused with Avatar Wan to provide him with the powers that would be handed down over generations.
So, why did Raava never guide the Avatar?
After all, Raava was completely capable of speech, and it should've been completely possible for her to guide the Avatar during any particular tumultuous moment. However, while the Avatar was able to consult the previous generation if they wanted to make the right decision, it seems that Raava couldn't be bothered with this.
1 It's Nigh Impossible To "Take Care" Of One Lion Turtle, Let Alone Hunt Them Down To The Brink Of Extinction
The Lion Turtles were gigantic, hulking beasts that bestowed humans with the ability to bend in the first place. These amazing creatures were revered by humans... until a turning point came when these humans decided to hunt these Lion Turtles down for reasons that we won't delve into right now.
But is it even possible to destroy a Lion Turtle?
After all, the fact of the matter is that these creatures are extremely massive and powerful. Trying to hunt them down would prove to be quite a challenging task for multiple reasons. And yet, it seems that humans were so effective when it came to their hunting tactics that the Lion Turtles were driven to the brink of extinction.