Our Leader The Mockingjay - Mockingjay part 1 teaser trailer
someone hold me
This moment makes Aiwei a terribly interesting character to me.
Not only is he in direct contact (psychically?) with the Red Lotus, he gives every indication of being a True Believer in their cause—something we didn’t know existed outside the Foursome. His threat doesn’t sound like the sort of bluff Unalaq pulled in “Civil Wars, Part 2” when he told Korra he didn’t need her to carry out his plans, and his reason for betrayal runs deeper than the shallow “bribery” he gives while framing the young guard. Aiwei honestly believes Zaheer and the others will succeed, even though they’ve been defeated and driven off, and it’s a conviction that must be older than the thirteen years the Foursome spent in prison.
Where could that conviction come from? I think our always-clever writers have dropped a few more clues in “The Terror Within.” For one thing, Aiwei has a “desert on a jar” (commented on by Bolin) that appears to be significant to him, considering the way he handles it. And the Red Lotus shoot Korra with shirshu venom; although the shirshu we see in AtLA goes everywhere, the only place we see its venom used as a weapon is in the Si Wong Desert, during “Appa’s Lost Days.” (In fact, I would’ve used shirshu venom in my desert fic if I hadn’t needed the buzzard wasps instead.)
Based on those clues, I’d speculate that Aiwei’s connection with Zaheer’s gang is closer to being familial or cultural (maybe tribal?) than just an association of ideas. Maybe his name doesn’t exactly scream “sandbender,” but his skin is significantly darker than most of the rest of Zaofu’s inhabitants, and he seems to have escaped to the desert at the first opportunity. All those clues suggest that the desert is where he originally comes from. (He’s a metalbender too, of course, but the Metal Clan is a relatively recent invention.)
He’s definitely interesting, alright!
There are too many desert references for it to be a coincidence at this point, I think. Even apart from the things you mentioned, you’ve got the names “Zaheer” (from the Arabic “Zahir”) and “Ghazan” (which sounds sandbender-y) to consider. It’s not that hard to imagine the Si Wong Desert being the Red Lotus’ base of operations considering everything.
I’m not entirely sold on the familial/cultural/tribal thing, though, because Zaheer isn’t dark skinned, unlike both Ghazan and Aiwei, and Ming-Hua seems unlikely to have any desert connections.
I’ll settle for a little of both (ideological secret society + some sort of cultural desert connection). The Krew are obviously going to meet some real sandbenders at some point, considering that scene with the sand sailer (…even though that’s the only desert scene that doesn’t fit easily with the rest of the theory we’re putting together here).
One thing I did see brought up once the Red Lotus-desert connection became clear was that the Misty Palms Oasis was the location where Iroh met his White Lotus contact back in A:tLA. The Red Lotus appears to operate a lot more like the oldschool A:tLA White Lotus than the current White Lotus does, so it seems plausible that the Red Lotus could have evolved out of the White Lotus’ original network of connections. That would explain the diversity of Zaheer’s team more than it being a familial or cultural thing, I think.
I think your post about the AtLA scenes with the pai-sho game (which, I admit, I usually fast-forward through when rewatching “The Desert” for fic research purposes ^^;) nicely fills the gap between “the Krew tracks Aiwei to the Misty Palms Oasis” and “Asami escapes with unconscious Korra [possibly running into even bigger trouble].” Your idea about infiltrating the Red Lotus using pai sho would be a lot of plot to cover in one episode, but I think our writers can move things along quickly enough to pull it off. ^_^
Actually, this not-quite-complete copy of the SDCC “newsreel” trailer is instructive about the pai-sho game (which Shinobi calls “the most epic pai-sho match ever played”!). When I saw the isloated screenshot of Asami and Bolin playing, my first thought was that it’s always fun to see the characters participating in downtime activities together, and my second thought was “When are they going to get any downtime on this mission?” Given the emphasis placed on that game by the trailer (with almost half of the 47-second video devoted to it), it makes a lot more sense for the game itself to be a major part of the plot!
(Also, I think that if the Krew did need two of their number to crack a pai-sho code by playing a game, they’d definitely choose Asami and Bolin; if they went with the other two, Mako would wind up having to lose on purpose to keep Korra from kicking over the board. -_-;)
This image has surfaced the internet directly from Comic Con 2014 thanks to avatar-mom. It appears to be a younger Suyin & Zaheer in the circus.
In Book 3 episode 3 The Metal Clan, Suyin mentioned that she joined the Circus. Here is a quote taken from the episode:
When I was sixteen, I left home to explore the world. I sailed the seas on a pirate ship, joined a traveling circus for a while, and lived in a sandbender commune in a desert.
Coincidentally, screenshots show that Avatar will be travelling to the Misty Palms Oasis (which is in the desert) and other desert locations in a future episode(s). Zaheer and Suyin in the Circus together, Suyin stating that she used to live in the desert & Team Avatar travelling to the desert as a relevant part to the plot. Could this all be somewhat linked?
This part isn’t really relevant to the rest of the post, but: It should be noted that the official Book 3 trailer hints at their desert trip being a defeat for Korra as you can see in these two screenshots [ X & X ] that Korra & Asami are escaping the desert and Korra is collapsed into Asami’s arms.
I’ve seen this before and while the guy does look like Zaheer I personally don’t think it’s him but if it is, it might help to explain how he’s so agile and easily picked up airbending, depending on what he did in the circus
The line closed in front of me so I asked Mike and Bryan for a long distance selfie. These guys are the best!Well this blew up in notes a bit! Just wanted to say thanks again tomichaeldantedimartinoandbryankonietzkofor being so patient and chill. Not to mention assisting in what I’m being told is the greatest selfie of all time.
Yay for long distance selfies!
I’ve been hearing theories about Bolin being a lava bender instead of a metal bender because of his mixed Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation roots and goSH THAT’S THE BEST THEORY I’VE EVER HEARD
I’m loving the Beifong twins
Wei (white font) & Wing (yellow font) (´ ▽｀).。ｏ♡
Now that I’ve finally watched Avatar…
The Chinese characters I took straight from the Wikipedia page. I decided to write them in the top-to-bottom right-to-left order. They read (really rough translation):
Powers into four divided:
Water is good, Earth is strong,
Fire is fierce, Air is tranquil.
Avatar Aang — all under heaven is one.
(The “seal” at the bottom is my
Really, REALLY happy with the way this turned out (probably b/c this was 8000 times simpler than what I usually draw). Took me forever to write the characters b/c tablets are a poor substitute for actual calligraphy brushes.