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Ursa speculation - moonspinner
moonspinner
moonspinner
Ursa speculation

I was wondering: if Azula inherited her kick-ass Fire-bending skillz from her maternal great-grandfather, Avatar Roku and her political genius from her father’s line, doesn’t that mean that Ursa was also have been a Firebending prodigy as well?* Or, at the very least, Ursa was (is actually as she is still alive) a powerful Firebender?

Ever since I watched Zuko Alone, I’ve been of the opinion that Ursa killed Azulon to save her son’s life, since Ozzai would have had no compunction killing his own son. For a long time, I thought she took him by surprise – poison, a stab in the back, etc. But after the ‘Avatar and the Firelord’ and ‘The Day of Black Son II’, it may be that she just bested him at Firebending.

So I’m guessing that Ursa might just be the person to take Azula down in the finale. So far it’s been leading up to a Zuko vs. Azula showdown (to parallel Aang vs. Ozzai’s) but I think that in the end, Zuko’s compassion to be the (near-)death of him. Like he did both times he dueled with Zhao, he’ll offer her mercy and turn his back on her too quickly. She will then attack and seriously injure him then Ursa will step in, and show that those badass Firebending skillz didn’t come from Ozzai’s side of the family.

I like the idea that her mother might just be the one person that Azula genuinely fears. Mother vs. Daughter duels to the death aren’t very common in modern fairy tales. It would be a very pleasant change.

(*Of course, all this hangs on the assumption that Bending skills are hereditary to some extent. According to the creators, this is not 100% the case, as spiritual randomness also plays a role. However, they didn’t completely discount genes/DNA so I think it’s safe to assume, for the sake of this argument, that it is possible for powerful bending abilities to run in a family.)


P.S. I need an Ursa icon!

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fialleril From: fialleril Date: July 14th, 2008 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I may be the only person in fandom who thinks this way, so feel free to ignore...but I would actually prefer it if Ursa wasn't a kickass firebender. In fact, I hope she's not a bender at all.

Why? Actually, it's for much the same reason that I was really glad George didn't make Luke and Leia's mother a Jedi. It just grates on me when all of the characters have special powers. I want to see some normal people for once. Or, well, at least some people who don't have special powers (after all, Ursa and Padmé are both still royalty/important political figures).

Also, I'm a big fan of the fact that the only person who has thus far been able to take down Azula, that is, Ty Lee, is not a bender. Admittedly, Ty Lee caught Azula by surprise. But still, there's so much emphasis on everyone's kick ass bending abilities, it's nice to see someone who's not a bender and yet is more than able to hold their own against the prodigies.

In conclusion, here's hoping Ursa isn't a bender. Which might actually make an Azula vs. Ursa fight even more interesting. ;)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 14th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I may be the only person in fandom who thinks this way, so feel free to ignore...but I would actually prefer it if Ursa wasn't a kickass firebender. In fact, I hope she's not a bender at all.

Oh, I don't know much about what the fandom in general thinks about Ursa. I got the impression that everyone was reeling in shock over her still being alive. (Which sort of surprised me because I thought that the whole "it's not dead until you see a body" rule was pretty universal). Whether or not she could bend didn't even occur to me until I re-watched the Avatar & the Firelord.


But still, there's so much emphasis on everyone's kick ass bending abilities, it's nice to see someone who's not a bender and yet is more than able to hold their own against the prodigies.

But is there? The only true prodigies in the story seem to be Katara, Azula and Toph, and these are made out clearly to be exceptions not the rule. In fact, Zuko is [to me anyway] more awesome because he didn't get good naturally, he struggled at it. Plus, he has his awesome sword-fighting skillz that Azula clearly lacks. And there are a lot of other characters who are just as powerful in their own unique ways: Suki and her ladies, Sokka, Mai, Ty Lee, etc. If anything, I think there's a nice distribution of kick-assness all round and we see a lot of non-bending pwning bending moments. (Aside, the very first battle of the show, the Sokka vs. Zuko in episode 1, Zuko wins simply by being a better fighter without once Firebending).

I guess I like the fact that Ursa would be a Firebending prodigy like her daughter because until recently, only one side of her has really been dominant: Zuko's protective, gentle mother. I don't think a lot of people have processed the fact that she schemed to have her father-in-law killed and usurped the throne of the rightful ruler of the Fire Nation. Aside, I’m also working with the hereditary angle and since, Zuko being Roku’s great-grandson means something about his moral compass, then Azula being Roku’s great-grandson should mean something about her bending compass >D to make up for the difference in these between the two siblings.

Plus, it would be great to see Azula get a real physical smackdown. Ty Lee took her down but as you said, it wasn’t a fair fight. (Or even particularly extraordinary. Ty Lee always takes people down when they first encounter her because they don’t know about her Fists of Chi-Blocking™. But once they did, both Katara and Suki held their own against her.) The only one else who will be able to do so is Aang, and he’ll be busy fighting the Fire Lord. And I don’t want Zuko to suddenly become Mr Bad-Ass Better-Than-My-Sister-At-Fire-Bending. I’d like to think that the reward for turning to the Light Side is something a bit more than more power.
peri_peteia From: peri_peteia Date: July 14th, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I got the impression that everyone was reeling in shock over her still being alive. (Which sort of surprised me because I thought that the whole "it's not dead until you see a body" rule was pretty universal).

That's because Avatar fandom is slow. The majority were also convinced that Suki was dead too.

At any rate, I'm pretty sure they're heading towards a Zuko vs. Azula final showdown and always have been. Particularly since he improved his firebending after the visit with the dragons. In TBR, he was calmly holding his own against Azula in a way that drastically contrasted how much she overpowered him when he was wilder and angrier during their previous fights.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 15th, 2008 10:03 am (UTC) (Link)
That's because Avatar fandom is slow. The majority were also convinced that Suki was dead too.

::blushes:: I thought Suki was dead, too. But in my defence *g* it was only because the frame "shimmered" the same way it did when Jet received the killing blow in Lake L.

At any rate, I'm pretty sure they're heading towards a Zuko vs. Azula final showdown and always have been. Particularly since he improved his firebending after the visit with the dragons.

I think so. Aang and Zuko have been the two sides of the protagonist of Avatar for a long time and they both will get their epic battles in the end.

In TBR, he was calmly holding his own against Azula in a way that drastically contrasted how much she overpowered him when he was wilder and angrier during their previous fights.

He did have some help from Sokka, though. :P I remember thinking that it was a nice change that two guys needed to contain Azula while Suki and Ty Lee went mano o mano. (i.e. a change from the Batman vs. Joker/Batgirl vs. Harley dynamic that most m/f fights are reduced to).
sistermagpie From: sistermagpie Date: July 14th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I could believe either way about Ursa. She is, as you say, from a fire-bending family, and both her kids are benders. Does that mean she will do it? Probably it more depends on what they need. As you pointed out, in the first ep Zuko beats Sokka without ever bending so they might go that way.

I tend to think the show would avoid having her ever kill her own daughter. What makes Ozai evil is that he would kill his son for not being evil. They've set up a parallel with Azula stating that her mother recognized her for being a monster, but I don't know whether she'd actually kill her for that. Though of course, it does seem like that's what she's known for already--possibly killing Azulon to protect Zuko. It does seem like if anybody could take Azula out she could.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 14th, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
As you pointed out, in the first ep Zuko beats Sokka without ever bending so they might go that way.

And as a fellow *fan* of a certain other children's story, wasn't that a "yah!" moment for the benders actually being phsyically competent in combat that didn't have to do with bending? In fact, the whole show is a "yah!" for telling a story where both the magical people benders and the muggles non-benders can go head-to-head in combat and be evenly matched? And the Ron Weasley-like character non-bender of the Gaang is also the group's leader and an integral member of the team?

I tend to think the show would avoid having her ever kill her own daughter.


Ah yes, the pesky children's show ratings. However, they did let a father scar his own son, and the whole premise of the show's title is based on racial genocide. They may decide to push that envelope even further.


Though of course, it does seem like that's what she's known for already--possibly killing Azulon to protect Zuko. It does seem like if anybody could take Azula out she could.

That's what I think, as well. Azula is just so good that I think that even Ozzai might find her a challenge.
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