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Confused about bending

  • Avatar of LatinPassion

    LatinPassion

    [1]Jan 5, 2010
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    Please pardon if this has already been asked.

    I'm confused about one point, according to what I have read, only individuals who are spiritual are able to bend. This is why Sokka can't bend. Now what confuses me is this, according to Katara or some other character (I believe this is when they were at The Northern Water Tribe), water benders learned to bend by watching the moon. If this is the case, can't anyone just do that and water bend ? For that matter can't anyone just pick up bending if they really tried ? My theory is that originally all benders were energy benders who became specialized in a particular element (I believe this was mentioned by The Lion Turtle.). Any thoughts ?

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    KingofIPirates

    [2]Jan 5, 2010
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    LatinPassion wrote:
    Please pardon if this has already been asked.'m confused about one point, according to what I have read, only individuals who are spiritual are able to bend. This is why Sokka can't bend. Now what confuses me is this, according to Katara or some other character (I believe this is when they were at The Northern Water Tribe), water benders learned to bend by watching the moon. If this is the case, can't anyone just do that and water bend ? For that matter can't anyone just pick up bending if they really tried ?
    I suppose as some may have a natural talent for bending while others would have to work extremely hard for it thus prompting them to just give up eventually after not seeing the results.
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    isabelwhatx

    [3]Jan 6, 2010
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    LatinPassion wrote:

    Please pardon if this has already been asked.

    I'm confused about one point, according to what I have read, only individuals who are spiritual are able to bend. This is why Sokka can't bend. Now what confuses me is this, according to Katara or some other character (I believe this is when they were at The Northern Water Tribe), water benders learned to bend by watching the moon. If this is the case, can't anyone just do that and water bend ? For that matter can't anyone just pick up bending if they really tried ? My theory is that originally all benders were energy benders who became specialized in a particular element (I believe this was mentioned by The Lion Turtle.). Any thoughts ?


    Katara meant that they learn from the moon, not acquire the skill. We learn from books, but if you give a dog a book he won't be able to read a thing. Make sense? You have to have the essentials first.
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    skaizun

    [4]Jan 16, 2010
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    If everyone could bend, then why did we see only men fighting battles?

    In the various cities the kids visited, not everyone had bending capabilities.

    It could be a mind-over-matter or learned ability, or, possibly, it's genetic.

    Now, if only someone can bend the mind of the producers to create a spin-off or follow-up of this great series (but not a live-action version, please!!!).

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    Trollwrangler

    [5]Mar 2, 2010
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    skaizun wrote:


    If everyone could bend, then why did we see only men fighting battles?


    In the various cities the kids visited, not everyone had bending capabilities.


    It could be a mind-over-matter or learned ability, or, possibly, it's genetic.


    Now, if only someone can bend the mind of the producers to create a spin-off or follow-up of this great series (but not a live-action version, please!!!).




    A live action movie is already well under way.


    I think it's just a spiritual division. Compare it if you will to the triad and the yakuza. They come from similar backgrounds and perhaps have the same talent, but lines have been drawn mentally and physically by generations of division. Same with benders.

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  • Avatar of WWinnieF

    WWinnieF

    [6]Apr 4, 2010
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    skaizun wrote:

    If everyone could bend, then why did we see only men fighting battles?

    Stereotypes still exist, you know. And in the time period that the franchise is set in, it is men that predominately do most of the risk work and only a few women do battle (namely Katara, Suki, Azula, et al).
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    ddendong116

    [7]Apr 27, 2010
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    Bryke briefly touched on this in some of the commentary in Season 1 and also in some of the interviews on the extra content disc of the Season 1 box set.


    We know it is not a genetic ability, as in Season 1, "The Fortuneteller", there are two twins, one which says "I'm an earthbender!" and the other declares "I'm not!". But there is something about the ability that you are simply born with. The early Water Tribe members who learned how to waterbend from the moon were those who were gifted with the ability before, they simply didn't know it. It's not like Peter Parker who accidentally discovers he can shoot web from his wrist by pressing his fingers to his palm. This is something that takes practice and training, learning how to channel their chi to bend and control their substance.

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    ddendong116

    [8]Apr 27, 2010
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    skaizun wrote:

    If everyone could bend, then why did we see only men fighting battles?


    WWinnieF has it pegged. This is especially shown in Season 1, "The Waterbending Master", when Master Pakku refuses to teach Katara simply because she is a women. In the Northern Water Tribe culture, women were not fighters, they were healers. The same could be the case in the other cultures as well. (Only they're not using bending, as neither Fire, Earth or Air can heal.)

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    MarWash

    [9]May 1, 2010
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    On a similar note, i have a question and I've been away from this board waaaay too long to remember if it has already been discussed. Why is it that waterbenders can't heat water? When Jet and Iroh were on that train, Jet automatically assumed that Iroh was a firebender when his tea went from cold to hot; this leads me to believe waterbenders are unable to heat water. I find this odd because they can create ice which i would presume is done when a waterbender slows down the molecules. So, why can't they speed up molecules to create hot water?
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    gilvatar

    [10]May 1, 2010
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    MarWash wrote:
    On a similar note, i have a question and I've been away from this board waaaay too long to remember if it has already been discussed. Why is it that waterbenders can't heat water? When Jet and Iroh were on that train, Jet automatically assumed that Iroh was a firebender when his tea went from cold to hot; this leads me to believe waterbenders are unable to heat water. I find this odd because they can create ice which i would presume is done when a waterbender slows down the molecules. So, why can't they speed up molecules to create hot water?
    Hoover Dam! that's a good question.
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    edmasterchaos

    [11]May 1, 2010
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    Because they can't break the flow of the water by rushing it like that and slowing it down is the only option molecule wise?


    You ask a very good question though .-.

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    _Flutterlight_

    [12]May 1, 2010
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    I think it has to do with Water and Fire being polar opposites of each other, like Katara's explanation for Aang's struggle with learning Earthbending.

    If you think about it, we never see any bender other than Aang ever manipulate their opposite element equivalent. Katara never boils water, which would be the firebending equivalent of waterbending. But she readily uses already gaseous water and mud, the Air and earth equivalents for waterbending.

    Toph bends mud too, and could probably bend magma, but we never see her bend dust (Air eq. for earth). (I know she makes dust when they attack Azula's drill, but she doesn't actually bend it. She just breaks up a bunch of rocks to make it).

    And you never see a Firebender bend steam either.
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    MarWash

    [13]May 2, 2010
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    _Flutterlight_ wrote:
    I think it has to do with Water and Fire being polar opposites of each other, like Katara's explanation for Aang's struggle with learning Earthbending.
    I can buy. It would make sense that it just wouldn't even occur to a waterbender to make water hot. I still think it's possible for them to do so, but like you said, it could be an issue of waterbenders not being comfortable with the rapid movement that would be required to make heated water. There's a lot fluidity in waterbending movements, so yeah, i guess you're right.
    _Flutterlight_ wrote:
    If you think about it, we never see any bender other than Aang ever manipulate their opposite element equivalent.
    Well, that's only 'cause Aang is the avatar and thus, is the only person who can manipulate other elements.
    _Flutterlight_ wrote:
    Katara never boils water, which would be the firebending equivalent of waterbending. But she readily uses already gaseous water and mud, the Air and earth equivalents for waterbending.
    You've lost me with this one. mud is a mixture of dirt and water, that is why water benders can manipulate mud, it doesn't have a thing to do with the earth element. It's like how the swamp people manipulate pants... it's because there's water inside the plants, not because of any connection to earth, fire or air.
    _Flutterlight_ wrote:
    And you never see a Firebender bend steam either.
    A firebender wouldn't be able to bend steam because steam is water. Temperature of water doesn't change it's chemistry, it's still water. Like your example with Toph, she (or any earthbender) can easily turn dust in a boulder as longs that particular dust is comprised of earth, and not dead hair and skin. Or your example about magma... an earthbender can easily move magma, this is something we witnessed when Roku battled the errupting volcano; he was using earthbending to do so, not firebending. Just because magma is hot, it doesn't change the fact that it's molten rock.

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    _Flutterlight_

    [14]May 2, 2010
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    Let me clarify:

    For a waterbender to boil water, they would have to move the individual molecules of water extremely quickly, thus transforming the liquid water into gaseous steam. That would be the same as controlling energy (a firebender's domain) along with water.

    I used my steam example strictly because of the very objections you placed. But it was late at night, and I didn't feel like writing out a full explanation.


    Now for my mud-bending examples:

    When Katara bends mud, in a sense, she is controlling the earth because if she was just controlling the water in the mud, the earth part of the mud wouldn't move at all, and would stay inert. But Katara obviously has some control over the earth in the mud, because chemically speaking, mud is a heterogeneous solution. (The dirt is not dissolved). If mud was left in a container, the particles would sink to the bottom, and if it was boiled, all the water would evaporate.

    So Katara HAS to have at least sort of power over the earth/dirt particles in the mud, or the dirt in the mud would not move when she mudbends. Only the water would be under her control.

    This same principle can be applied to Toph's mudbending.
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    ddendong116

    [15]May 2, 2010
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    In Season 2: The Blind Bandit, however, Toph both creates AND bends dust. She creates it in the beginning of her battle with all the fighters, and then clears it off for her final 1v1 with Xin Fu.

    I think it is a more simple answer; boiling water is much to violent for Nickelodeon. If Katara used boiling water against her enemies, there is no way they would not be clearly physically injured and in pain.

    As far as Jet's assuming that Iroh is a firebender from his tea, I say it is a simple psychological answer. Jet wants to find firebenders, so anyone that remotely exemplifies their traits, he will pin. He would have made a great witch-hunter.

    To address mudbending: the only reason Katara can control the earth in the mud is because she is moving the water particles in the mud, and the earth particles are trapped among the water. It would not work as a sieve unless, as shown in season 3: The Painted Lady, Katara is pulling the water one way and Toph is pulling the earth the other.

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    ddendong116

    [16]May 2, 2010
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    Aaaaaaaaalso a question: We do see a firebender bend steam. In season 3: The Avatar and the Firelord, Firelord Sozin bends the heat out of the volcano. you can clearly see steam entering his left hand and leaving his right.
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    MarWash

    [17]May 2, 2010
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    ddendong116 wrote:
    Aaaaaaaaalso a question: We do see a firebender bend steam. In season 3: The Avatar and the Firelord, Firelord Sozin bends the heat out of the volcano. you can clearly see steam entering his left hand and leaving his right.
    I just finished watching that episode Thursday (i had my own little re-watch party, lol) and that was not steam. What you saw was the visual representation of heat... sorta like what they do when Aang airbends; Aang isn't dustbending, its just how they show air on the show because otherwise it would just look like Aang is using telekinesis all the time. In this case, Sozin removed all the heat from the magma and it immediately turned into solid rock.

    Like i said before, steam is water and firebender has no control over water in any form.
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    _Flutterlight_

    [18]May 3, 2010
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    ddendong116 wrote:


    In Season 2: The Blind Bandit, however, Toph both creates AND bends dust. She creates it in the beginning of her battle with all the fighters, and then clears it off for her final 1v1 with Xin Fu.


    I forgot about that part... But what I was more getting at is she doesn't do something like actively bend the dust in a way that would also affect air. (Like creating individual streams of dust to manipulate in a way Aang would use Airbending for.)


    ddendong116 wrote:
    To address mudbending: the only reason Katara can control the earth in the mud is because she is moving the water particles in the mud, and the earth particles are trapped among the water. It would not work as a sieve unless, as shown in season 3: The Painted Lady, Katara is pulling the water one way and Toph is pulling the earth the other.


    My argument was that if Katara had control of ONLY water, she would only have control of water, and any mudbending she tried to attempt would have resulted in the sieve effect you just described. This would be true because of the chemical properties of mud, which I described as being a heterogeneous mixture- meaning that the dirt particles are suspended in the solution, not dissolved.


    Because of mud's chemical properties, Katara has to have SOME control over earth. It's an extremely limited control, but it has to exist because otherwise, she would not be able to bend the dirt particles in the mud. Any attempts on Katara's part to mud bend would have a similar result to her waterbending her bending water out of the sand in the Desert episode.

    Edited on 05/03/2010 10:03pm
    Edited 4 total times.
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    MarWash

    [19]May 4, 2010
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    _Flutterlight_, i understand what your getting at, but you're wrong. When Katara moves mud, she is only moving the water and she never takes control over any part of the earth element. Think of it in terms of how waterbenders can bloodbend... a waterbender can move a person's entire body by taking control over the water the body holds; at no point is the waterbender manipulating the nitrogen, magnesium or any of the other elements that make up a human body. You can also think of it in the context of waterbenders being able to control plants... they're only moving the plants because of the water concealed inside the veins. Now, to your point about mud being heterogeneous... when a waterbender manipulates mud, they are simply moving the hydrogen portion of the mixture without the disturbing the compound in whole. For example, a waterbender would be able to move a cup of tea across the table without separating the water from the phenol. Furthermore, if your estimation were true, when Katara's does bloodbending, the water would be ripped from the person body similar to how Magneto ripped iron from that security guards body in X-Men.
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    _Flutterlight_

    [20]May 4, 2010
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    Actually, I don't think you understand me at all.

    MarWash wrote:
    Now, to your point about mud being heterogeneous... when a waterbender manipulates mud, they are simply moving the hydrogen portion of the mixture without the disturbing the compound in whole.


    That wouldn't work. Katara's not manipulating one part of the water and having the rest of it move. Like you said, water is a compound, and that means that the hydrogen and oxygen molecules are bound together. Mud doesn't work like that.

    In mud, the earth particles are not somehow chemically bound to the water particles. The earth part of the mud and the water part of the mud are two separate things. You can filter the earth out.

    My argument is this: If Katara controlled water with her bending, and only water, then she would not have been able to mud bend. She would not be able to move the earth particles in the mud, because they are not part of the water. Therefore, she must have just enough control over the earth particles to keep them in the water, giving her a very minute power over earth.

    MarWash wrote:
    Think of it in terms of how waterbenders can bloodbend... a waterbender can move a person's entire body by taking control over the water the body holds; at no point is the waterbender manipulating the nitrogen, magnesium or any of the other elements that make up a human body. You can also think of it in the context of waterbenders being able to control plants... they're only moving the plants because of the water concealed inside the veins.


    Well, blood's actually a heterogeneous mixture as well. It works in a similar way that mud does. Same for the liquid in plants, it's not straight up water. So my argument doesn't change.

    MarWash wrote:
    For example, a waterbender would be able to move a cup of tea across the table without separating the water from the phenol. Furthermore, if your estimation were true, when Katara's does bloodbending, the water would be ripped from the person body similar to how Magneto ripped iron from that security guards body in X-Men.


    Um, actually, that matches my argument as to why Katara has to have some control over earth. If Katara controlled water, and only water, then that would happen. But if she had some minor control over earth, then she could manipulate the solutions as a whole, and nothing would be "ripped from the persons body".
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