There aren’t many animated series that have pervaded the mainstream quite like the Avatar franchise, which is undoubtedly one of Nickelodeon’s most popular shows of all time. The original series was so popular that it ended up spawning a number of comics to satiate the fanbase’s feral demand for more material. Somehow, even that wasn’t enough to quell the fanbase, who ended up receiving a spinoff series in the form of The Legend Of Korra, that garnered rave reviews for successfully continuing the Avatar legacy in admirable fashion. These shows have crafted a believable world with interesting lore and memorable characters that will stand the test of time as one of the most revolutionary animated series of all time.
However, while this show has certainly tried to craft a world that seems as well-developed as possible, the fact of the matter is that nothing can be absolutely perfect. The Avatar series is no exception to this golden rule, and while the writing itself might be meticulous the showrunners have certainly made a number of oversights — both minor and major in nature — that simply can’t be overlooked once you’ve noticed them. Here are 20 of the weirdest things present in Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend Of Korra that make absolutely no sense whatsoever.
20. Firearms Don’t Exist For Some Reason In The Avatar Universe
Technology in the Avatar universe obviously doesn’t even compare to the modern world in the slightest, but it’s still pretty advanced, which is evidenced by the existence of ships, zeppelins, and whatnot. However, there’s one particular piece of technology that’s noticeably absent — guns.
The lack of any firearms in the series is quite odd, especially since only a certain section of the populace has the ability to bend in the first place. You’d think that the non-benders would find a way to protect themselves using technology instead.
19. Energybending Is Pretty Convenient
Energybending is one of the most powerful and mysterious powers present in the Avatar series — and that’s pretty much all I can tell you about this art. Seriously though, the concept of this particular art of bending is so thin that one might be forgiven for thinking that its entire purpose was nothing more than to just serve as a plot device that would essentially prevent Aang from having to take Ozai’s life.
This art was also used by Amon, the leader of the Equalists from the first Book in The Legend Of Korra as well. Even in this particular instance, this power is never really explained properly. Apparently, he was blocking the chi points of benders of something like that, but even then it’s not really a satisfactory explanation in the slightest.
18. Toph’s Blindness Can Either Be A Blessing Or A Hindrance, Based On What The Writers Want
Toph Beifong is one of the most compelling characters in the series, sporting an innate skill when it comes to earthbending that very few possess. Most people would associate her as a hindrance due to her blindness, but as it turns out this lack of vision actually provides Toph with greater power over her abilities than any other earthbender — at least, until the plot requires her to be crippled due to her inability to see.
It seems that Toph’s blindness works as either a boon or a curse (mostly the former) according to how the writers want the plot to move. Thankfully, this careless handling of the character’s disability doesn’t hamper her overall presence in the slightest, and her mentorship of Aang is one of the highlights of the series.
17. Toph Leaves Her Eyes Exposed While Wearing A Suit Of Rock Armor
Aang’s crash course when it comes to learning all the four elements is an extremely entertaining watch, and — as we’ve already mentioned before — his apprenticeship under Toph when it came to learning the art of earthbending is certainly one of the major highlights. However, the animators goofed up somewhat when it came to depicting some of these scenes.
It’s already common knowledge that Toph is blind, and yet during one such sequence, Toph has her entire body covered in an armor made of rock… except for her eyes. It’s a pretty glaring oversight, and the animators admitted that she was only meant to have a breathing hole and nothing else. Unfortunately, by the time they identified their mistake, it was too late.
16. Katara And Sokka Aren’t Affected By Warmer Temperatures After Staying In The South Pole Their Whole Life
The Avatar had been missing for a substantially long amount of time, and when Katara and Sokka managed to uncover the missing legend their entire lives were turned upside down. After certain events unraveled, they decided to accompany Aang in his quest to study how to bend all the elements.
One thing that’s certainly quite odd about the series that no one mentions for some reason is that both Katara and Sokka don’t even flinch when they leave the “cozy” weather in the South Pole and move towards warmer climates. The lack of familiarity with the temperature doesn’t affect them in the slightest, which is definitely the opposite of what should happen.
15. Katara And Sokka Don’t React To The Outside World Like They Should
After staying in the South Pole for their entire lives, the arrival of the Avatar signaled an adventure the likes of which they never could’ve imagined. This meant that the duo could finally leave their homeland and witness sights other than the sheen of pure white that they’d been used to.
And yet, for some indiscernible reason, both Katara and Sokka don’t even so much as look twice when they enter new landscapes and witness colors other than white present in the world. You’d think that these sights — that they haven’t seen before, in case you forgot — would completely amaze them, but from their expressions, it’s almost like a normal thing for them.
14. Waterbending Can Become Pretty Damn Convenient At Times
The powers present in the Avatar universe are used rather creatively, and for a large part, the usage seems rather believable for the most part. However, after a while, one has to notice that waterbending ends up being way too convenient during certain sections of the story, and the way that some waterbenders mold the element becomes way too ludicrous — even for a series like Avatar.
During the course of the series, viewers will witness rather suspicious instances of waterbending. The worst ones have to be shaping water as a whip to lash someone, or even freakin’ lasso them at times. If that wasn’t bad enough, there are also instances where water can straight up cut through metal.
13. How Can Firebenders Bend Lightning If Both Elements Have Nothing In Common
Waterbending isn’t the only art that seems way to convenient at times. There’s also the imposing question of how firebenders can bend lightning when both elements have absolutely nothing in common.
It seems that the only reason firebenders were given this power was to make them look even more imposing to the viewer, and nothing else. The fact of the matter is that lightning would be a power that’s more suited to airbenders for obvious reasons, but I guess that letting firebenders bend something cool that’s blue in color is like a weird golden rule for the writers.
12. Why Is Azula The Only One Who Can Generate Blue Fire?
Azula is one of the most talented firebenders present in the series, and her limitless achievements end up making Zuko — her brother — feel exceedingly jealous over the course of the series. One of the major trademarks of Azula’s firebending that pretty much every fan can associate with her is that the fire she generates is blue in color. This is because Azula focuses on making her fire as hot as possible, leading to her bending having such a unique hue.
While this idea is pretty neat, it still doesn’t make sense as to why Azula is the only firebender who has achieved this ability. With the sheer amount of powerful firebenders present in the original series (like Iroh and the Sun Warriors), it just doesn’t make sense as to why Azula is the only firebender who has this unique ability.
11. Aang’s Staff Is Supposed To Be Delicate, But Ends Up Being Pretty Damn Sturdy
Aang is super careful about his staff throughout the entire series. This obsession is quite understandable — after all, aside from being a useful multi-purpose tool, the staff is also one of the few objects he possesses that serves as a remembrance of the days gone by, when he used to live a happy-go-lucky existence with the Air Nomads.
However, it simply has to be said that the staff is nowhere as brittle as Aang claims it to be. He’s able to whack multiple enemies with his weapon without it becoming too much of a problem, and it’s even survived shattering steel. The fact that he gets angry whenever Toph uses it to just crack nuts makes absolutely no sense, since it’s pretty obvious that the staff is strong enough to do so without any issue.
10. Limb Constriction Should Prevent Bending… But Aang Can Fly With His Glider While Staying Completely Still
We already mentioned before about how useful the staff is as a weapon, but it serves another important purpose — the staff can also transform into a glider that can be propelled through Aang’s airbending to carry him over great distances. However, a closer look at this particular ability reveals a bunch of lingering plotholes that simply don’t make any sense.
It’s already been specified before in the series that one of the proven ways to effectively stop a person from bending is to restrict all his limbs. Freedom of movement is important to initiate proper bending skills, which makes the existence of the glider all the more improbable. Just how can Aang manage to use his airbending skills if he has to stay absolutely still while gliding?
9. The Mysterious Cabbage Merchant
Ther number of battles and encounters present in the Avatar series are numerous in nature, and pretty much all of them are nail-biting spectacles that keep you on the edge of your seat. However, while you might be enjoying these elemental feuds, keep in mind that there are innocent civilians who needlessly get caught in the crossfire.
Perhaps the one person who’s been affected by the exploits of Team Avatar the most is an unassuming cabbage merchant, whose cart keeps on getting wrecked as a result of the ongoing carnage that destroys the surroundings during most of these encounters. Because of these repeated annoyances, this merchant ends up getting rather attached to his produce, fiercely defending his cabbages whenever possible.
8. Nyla’s Nose Pretty Much Becomes A GPS Later On In The Series
The bounty hunter June and her scent-tracking beast Nyla are somewhat interesting characters that Team Avatar stumble upon during their adventures. This duo starts off as a minor antagonist, and end up helping the Avatar and his friends later on. But one thing that always rubs some people off when it comes to these characters is the almost god-like tracking ability of Nyla.
While this ability is treated plausibly enough during their initial appearance, Nyla’s tracking enters the realm of Deus Ex Machina in Book Three. Somehow, with a slight whiff of Aang’s glider, Nyla is able to infer that the Avatar is not in the physical realm itself (which is just… wow). He’s also able to track a direct route to Iroh after smelling his sandal, without taking the path that Iroh took to begin with.
7. People Shouldn’t Be Able To Stand So Close To Lava
Well, this was bound to come sooner or later.
There’s no way we can talk about the most nonsensical things in Avatar and not mention a fallacy that has existed in the realm of entertainment since time immemorial. There are a number of movies and TV shows that have scenes (generally climatic in nature) where people are standing at the edge of lava and are somehow completely fine. However, that’s simply not the case in real life.
In fact, in the Avatar franchise, lava’s nothing more than just another element that skilled earthbenders can bend if they happen to have this ability. In a realistic situation (or y’know, as realistic as it can get), Bolin or anyone else who can lavabend will straight up burn to a crisp the moment they try and bend freakin’ molten rocks.
6. The Firebenders At The Earth Prison Could’ve Used Any Other Source Of Fuel Other Than Coal
In order of the earliest scenes in the series, Aang and crew get captured by firebenders on purpose so that they could infiltrate a prison rig that was made completely from metal. The purpose of this prison was to contain any earthbenders and prevent them from trying to bend their preferred element. However, this plan ends up failing miserably when it turns out that the firebenders — being the geniuses that they are — were using coal as a form of fuel for the rig itself.
It’s simply mind-boggling why the firebenders didn’t just decide to utilise an alternate source of energy to keep the rig going. It’s not like they didn’t have anything else at their disposal, and using coal ended up being a huge risk that — obviously — didn’t pay off.
Oh well, it’s still miles ahead of the earthbender prison in the horrible live-action adaptation.
5. How Is A Meteorite The Ideal Material To Forge A Sword
Sokka might seem like the most ineffective member of Team Avatar (and to an extent, he is), but that still doesn’t stop him from giving it his all so that he doesn’t become a hindrance to his friends. His dedication to try and improve his skills can be seen when he starts learning swordsmanship under the tutelage of Piandao. During his training, he’s afforded the opportunity to craft the sword of his choice… and the end result is quite unbelievable, to be perfectly honest.
We say this, because the material that Sokka uses to craft his sword comes from a meteorite that the gang had encountered earlier in the series. Honestly, it’s highly suspect to just assume that the meteorite would be both sturdy and flexible enough to be molded into a reliable blade in the first place.
4. Apparently, The Avatar Doesn’t Need To Wear Warm Clothing At The Poles
It seems that temperature isn’t that big of a factor in the Avatar series. After all, there are multiple instances where Aang hasn’t covered himself up properly, and is somehow still able to stay completely fine without feeling any debilitating effects from the cold weather.
In fact — that too in the very first episode of the series — Aang is shows sleeping bare-chested on the ground over solid ice at the freakin’ South Pole. The only protection he has is a pair of blankets… and that’s it. How does this make any sense in the first place? Does the Avatar have a special exemption from hypothermia or something like that? It has been specified in the series that airbenders can control their breathing accordingly to deal with sub-zero environments, but even then this seems like too much of a stretch.
3. Days And Nights Are Supposed To Last Months At The Poles
Anyone who has even the faintest knowledge when it comes to science can vouch for the fact that days and nights last a long amount of time on the poles — 6 months for each phase, to be exact. However, in the Avatar universe, it seems that this concept doesn’t even exist to begin with.
Perhaps the biggest offender of this rule is in the two-part series finale of Book One, where the fire nation lays siege to the water tribe. This siege is intentionally called off during the night since the moon augments the abilities of waterbenders by a large extent… but such a situation shouldn’t even be possible to begin with if the normal rules of the universe applied in this particular situation.
2. Katara’s Opening Narration Never Changes, No Matter What
The opening narration of the original Avatar series has become one of the most iconic aspects of the franchise. Even the people who haven’t seen the series can attest to the fact that they’ve seen the popular meme that includes the sentence, “but everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.”
However, as the series progresses and Aang matures into an Avatar whose truly worthy of his status, the opening narration simply stops making sense. We personally witness the Avatar’s transformation from a physical, mental and spiritual standpoint, but the impact of this change is somewhat undermined by the brainless nature of the narration that precedes each episode.
1. What Was The Whole Point Of Zuko And Mai’s Relationship?
Avatar: The Last Airbender is considered by many to be one of the greatest animated shows of all time, and one aspect of the show that contributes heavily to this well-deserved image is the excellent pacing and writing of the story. However, not everything can be perfect, and when it comes to the original Avatar series, one of the most undercooked elements has to be the strained relationship between Zuko and Mai.
To add to this confusion, after the events of the series (where it is assumed that Zuko and Mai stay together and live a happy life), they break up in The Promise — a comic book series that continues the story of the Avatar — for reasons that are too convoluted to explain. Talk about one heck of a rollercoaster relationship.
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