So, we saw the first images from the finale today! You can find the trailer here.
Theories about “Turning the Tides”, “Skeletons in the Closet”, “Endgame”, bloodbending, Amon, and the Avatar Spirit itself under the cut.
Turning the Tides/Bloodbending
First of all, I think the finale will start with Korra in the Southern Water Tribe, and “Turning the Tides” will at least partially take place there.
That is not Republic City.
A particular line stood out to me during today’s episode - when Yakone was on trial, his lawyer claimed that the accusations of bloodbending were that he was capable of it anytime but the full moon.
Not anytime he wanted - anytime but the time in which you’re supposed to be able to.
To me, that implies that learning how to bloodbend during the day is a process of reversal. It involves some sort of violation of the laws of nature that twists around the normal abilities of a waterbender, and the title “Turning the Tides” is a metaphor for that. Turning the tide is a saying used to refer to an impossible act, usually one that involves man trying to exert control over nature, and that’s exactly what’s happening here.
In this episode, Korra (and possibly others) travel to the Southern Water Tribe to talk to Katara. She’ll be able to tell Korra more about what happened 42 years ago and the process of bloodbending, something she was afraid to tell Korra before because she thought Korra would use it.
(Side note: I’m not entirely sure why this would happen, since the fact that Tarrlok was captured and equalized would seem to negate bloodbending as a threat, but it’s possible that Amon may be able to learn something from Tarrlok about violating the laws of nature and Korra wants to prevent that.)
So Korra will be in the Southern Water Tribe at the start of the finale, and it’ll open with Korra and Katara having a waterbending training session in a callback to the first show’s season finale, which also opened with Katara having a training match - only this time, she’s in the role of master rather than student. That’s where the above screenshot come from.
Does anyone remember that theory post I wrote a while back about what I thought Amon’s master plan was? It wasn’t really right - none of them have been - but I did predict the order in which the establishments of Republic City were going to be shaken.
First it was the Triads in episode three - Amon completely destroyed the biggest and best of them. Then he defeated the probending champions in episode six, and in episodes seven through nine the metalbending police force was weakened. Now, as of episode nine, the council is short a member and their control of the city is weakened, especially since Tarrlok managed to worm his way into so many extra powers.
Amon is taking this opportunity to launch his final attack.
As you can see in this screenshot, a battle is taking place between ships and airplanes in Yue Bay. The ships look like military-grade versions of the cargo carrier/cruise ship Korra traveled to Republic City in during episode 1:
So we can infer the ships are on Republic City’s side - perhaps the United Republic navy, called in to deal with the Equalist Threat. Additionally, they could be Fire Nation and not United Republican, or at least there could be Fire Navy ships in the armada. Maybe this is Zuko’s/the Zuko-related character’s role in “Skeletons in the Closet” Dante Basco mentioned: ambassador to United Republic and admiral of the Fire Navy fleet.
The planes, on the other hand, are Equalist.
So a battle takes place in the middle of Yue Bay, with Republic City’s navy against the Equalist bomber planes.
Things go badly for the fleet. The waterbound ships have no way to counter the bombs dropped by the out-of-reach airplanes, and Korra decides to leap into action.
She waterbends herself high into the air and blasts fire at the planes, taking down a few of them (remember, planes in the 1920s were very crude!) and exploding the fuel tanks.
But it’s not enough. The fleet is overwhelmed.
(And as for why Republic City is fighting planes with ships? I’m thinking someone tipped off the council that Amon was going to be attacking with a “fleet”, and so they gathered their own. BUT WHOOPS, LOOKS LIKE HIROSHI SATO’S BEEN BUSY! That’s where the below cap comes from: “Do you see the ships yet?” “I see… something… what are those?”)
The Equalists take over Republic City. Korra, her friends, and (I really, really hope) Tenzin and his family are forced to flee and go into hiding. Take note of the background in the next cap - it looks as though Korra is standing in some kind of run-down room filled with dusty old stuff, a place likely nowhere to be found on well-kept Air Temple Island.
“My gut’s telling me that it’s time to end this.” Korra still thinks that she can control the situation at this point, and she’s arguing with Tenzin to let her attack the Equalist headquarters and take down Amon.
Tenzin, however - shaken by Amon’s victory - refuses to allow her and tells her the best way for her to defeat Amon is to leave Republic City while she still can and concentrate on contacting Aang and becoming a full-fledged Avatar, returning to defeat Amon when she’s ready.
Korra won’t stand for it. So she sneaks away and/or leaves anyways and gets Mako to take her to the underground Equalist headquarters, since he knows how to get there now.
The two of them overcome a pair of chiblockers and steal their uniforms.
Hiroshi Sato gives a speech in the park, announcing Amon’s new regime and throwing his full support behind the Equalist leader.
Chiblockers begin rounding up benders.
And a certain hideout in the mountains, recently vacated by the Avatar, is discovered and raided.
Korra and Mako make their way through the Equalist headquarters, disguised as chiblockers, and overhear another chiblocker reporting the capture of the airbenders. They learn that Amon is on Air Temple Island taking care of all the imprisoned benders, but he’ll be equalizing the world’s only airbenders onstage at the probending arena later.
Amon begins equalizing.
Korra and Mako begin racing to the probending arena to try and save Tenzin, Bolin, and the airbender kids before they lose their abilities. They reach the bowels of the facility and begin fighting chiblockers on their way to the playing field.
Amon begins his ceremony.
And Korra and Mako burst onstage to save the day.
BUT WHOOPS IT WAS A TRAP
Amon was using the airbenders and Bolin as bait, to get Korra right where he wanted her. Turns out he already equalized Bolin and the airbenders a long time ago.
Amon is able to subdue Korra and Mako somehow, and he equalizes Mako, which is why he’s on the ground.
Amon begins talking about his plan.
If you pay close attention to what Amon says at this part, you’ll notice he says “I would destroy you”, not “I will destroy you”. This indicates STORYTIME.
It sounds crazy. It’s like a theory off the Nick Boards or some shit. It’s probably not true.
But I think Amon is a human hosting/being possessed by a spirit.
I didn’t really believe theories like this until today’s episode, when Amon confronted Tarrlok.
He struggled, but he fought off Tarrlok’s bending and kept moving forward. And he’s able to do that because something stronger than Tarrlok is ALSO controlling his body.
Another important thing is the way he chooses to describe himself to Tarrlok.
“What - what are you?!”
“I am the solution.”
Amon is not an individual. Amon is the face of a movement. Literally - look at all the Equalist propaganda that has his mask on it. Look at the way he covered Aang’s face with his own. He IS Equalism. He’s the tool of a spirit with an agenda, and nothing more.
And said spirit is trying to destroy bending by destroying the Avatar, because the Avatar is linked to the universe in a way we’ve never imagined.
Remember the lionturtle? (Of course you do.)
“In the era before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves”.
I don’t think we’ve ever examined this quote enough. “Oh hey, people used to bend energy, that’s cool.” But what if this quote means something more?
What if the Avatar Spirit itself is the direct cause of bending abilities?
The fandom seems to be split 50-50 on if this is canon, but the Avatar has been said to be the spirit of the planet itself in human form, similar to the way that the Ocean and Moon spirits were fish. In the days before the Avatar - before the planet took the form of a human being - people manipulated the life energy within themselves. But when the planet took a human form, maybe the ability to control what made up the planet - control the elements of it - started manifesting in humans.
Maybe a spirit has decided that humans don’t deserve those powers anymore.
“I would destroy you.”
Amon - and more importantly, his puppeteer - are trying to force the Avatar to stop taking on a human form. They want to destroy everything she represents.
They want to break the ties between the human world and the spirit world for good.
But the Avatar is stronger than any other spirit BECAUSE of her connection to humanity.
She’ll fight back.
And maybe - just maybe - she can give bending to the world once again.
EDIT: As of 6-15-12, I have a few revisions to this theory here.
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