My Thoughts on Firebenders must be Masters to Bend Fire from “within”

Zuko Pulling Firefrom Outside Source

In a recent interview with M. Night Shyamalan a major change Night plans on making to the film is related to firebending.”  Namely Firebenders’ must be a “Master” Before they can bend fire from within.

Zuko Pulling Firefrom Outside Source

As you can see from shots of the Trailer, Zuko uses "outside" sources of fire when bending.

Zuko Not Master Firebender Yet

Zuko is once again using outside Fire for bending, looks like Zuko is not yet a "Master" Firebender

Iroh Bending Fire

Iroh on the other hand is a "master firebender" and can produce his own fire

M. Night gives Reasons for this change

Night talks about Earth and Water both requiring their respective elements nearby in order for the bender to use their skills, this led him to the idea that Novice Firebenders should be restricted only being able to bend fire that has already been created from another source.

M. Night Also says it opens up some cool scenes of Firebenders launching fireballs into a warzone so they have a source of fire while fighting.”  In addition to making the Sozins Comet episode more meaningful as now during Sozins Comet all Firebenders including novices can produce their own fire.

Giant Fireball The Last Airbender

So That Would Explain The Giant Fireball falling into the middle of the city.

My Thoughts

At first I thought this was a bit strange, but thinking about it more I actually think it’s a brilliant idea.

Even in the fictional world of The Last Airbender it makes perfect sense that a novice firebender would have to first learn how to produce his own fire. At least as much realistic sense as you can have in a fictional world lol :).

A cool way that I thought that this could change the battle scenes is that Firebender Captains or something like that,”  would only be promoted to captains if they have the ability to bend their own fire, so as a Firenation Army invades the captain would spread fire so his novice troops would have a source of fire to wreak havoc with.

M. Night is taking some creative liberties in the movie, i’m slightly perturbed by the whole name pronunciation thing, but this Firebending idea seems like a good idea.

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Comments - 22 Posts

  1. Kathleen Said: Comment by Kathleen on April 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I can deal with this change, but Im really annoyed at the new name pronunciation! OONG?! really?! I love Aang. Its just going to be weird hearing Nicola say “wheres Oong?” or picture someone screaming it, Its just weird. I get why he thought about that but I think thats something that should not have been changed, as this show/film has so many different influences it kinda kept the american relatability in it.


    Admin / Jordash Reply:

    Yeah, I’m with you, the name pronunciation is a bit annoying. I guess at least it’s a small change. I heard as well that for some names the pronunciations will be “blended” together, making it less noticeable.


    Kathleen Reply:

    hmm, I guess we’ll have to wait & see lol. other than these few things, I flipped out watching the last TV spot! The bending looks awesome!


    Admin / Jordash Reply:

    Yeah The part with Zuko and Aang was freaking awesome!

    Trevor Reply:

    As much as I am beginning to not want to watch this movie more and more, “Ong” is the correct pronunciation of the name, while Aang is a westernized version. Just like Mai sounds like “May” and not “My”


    Trevor Reply:

    To follow up though, the most heartbreaking thing this movie has to offer is the lack of attention to detail. Hair won’t grow on scars, and as much of an easy fix as this would be (liquid latex), Patel still has that caterpillar over his right eye. Also without Zuko’s topknot, his struggles with his honor are hard to produce, and I would love to see M Knights explanation on how he plans to portray the emotional scene where Iroh and Zuko disown their roots to the Fire Nation after Azula tries to take them prisoner.

    You know what this abomination is best described as? The Ember Island Players.


  2. Kathleen Said: Comment by Kathleen on April 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    omg I know! I love the end of that scene when Aang turns around & airbends it away, so sick!


  3. art Said: Comment by art on April 2, 2010 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    While the name change can be annoying but consider this. We spent the 4 years that the show ran pronouncing it wrong. We got used to it but it’s still wrong. Night makes a point. Ang is aaaannngg, Aang is oooonnnngggg.

    Shaun Toub who plays Iroh said “why is my characters name pronounced wrong” the first time he heard it.

    Yeah it would be cool to have it the way we’ve had it but when Night says “yeah but the way you had it was wrong” I’m cool with changing it.

    And the bending effects look awesome too.

    Can’t wait for July.


    Admin / Jordash Reply:

    Yeah I think it’s pronounced wrong in the sense of the asian way to read it I guess. I think the cartoon has the American pronunciation and the movie will have the Asian Pronunciation.

    It’ll be a bit irritating but I think I can get used to it. Doesn’t stop me from being way excited for the movie like you.


    Rose Reply:

    its the Asian way of pronouncing it .I got the names wrong first time I watched ,being Asian .
    But I just went with the flow-if its pronounced I-roll not Ee-roll ,then so be it .(hey I could be wrong …you know)

    It makes no difference to me and I dont find it irritating or annoying. 🙂

    in fact i don’t really think M Night is right or wrong, I think the creators have a right to decide how their own creation should be named …whether its Ahng or Aang.


  4. spiderbait Said: Comment by spiderbait on April 5, 2010 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I believe that M. Night might use that instead of the lightning thing and have Zuko learn that from Iroh instead of channeling the lightning. I hope not though since channeling the lightning was a pretty symbolic act in my opinion and seems like the kind of thing that M. Night is looking for.

    And can anyone tell me what the M stands for?


    Admin / Jordash Reply:

    The Lightning is a possibility, but only a rumor at this point. Like you I hope he keeps the lightning.

    Oh and Nights full name is: Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan


    Chris Reply:

    Wow. That’s a mouthful. Let’s be thankful that he shortened it. And “M. Night” just sounds cooler!


    Admin / Jordash Reply:

    Yeah lol, that’s for sure. Us Americans have a tough time with those long names.

  5. Jackal Said: Comment by Jackal on April 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I believe that the idea behind why Iroh can firebend fire without a source and others cannot is purely because Iroh was shown how from the dragons Ran and Shao. I feel like this idea fits real well with the direction M Night is taking this.


  6. Chris Said: Comment by Chris on April 6, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Although the idea is intriguing, Iroh talks how the breath “turns to energy in the body”. And how that energy “extends from the limbs and becomes fire”. So although i like M’s idea, fire comes from the breath. Not the muscle…!(:


  7. Dylan Rund Said: Comment by Dylan Rund on July 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    I hate the Name Pronunciation changes and any changes from the show.


  8. Luke Said: Comment by Luke on August 12, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Ok, first of all, I agree with you about the name pronounciation thing. I don’t agree on the whole novice firebenders not being able to produce fire. It’s absurd! Just watch any episode in which someone is beginning to learn firebending, like Aang, Zuko, or Azula. If you think about it, producing fire should be the very first thing that a firebender learns how to do! Just think about when Aang is learning from Jong Jong. The first thing he does after meditating is maintaining the heating of a leaf. I know Shyamalan thinks that this opens some really cool scenes with fireballs, but really, he’s making them lamer! These firebenders are no better than Pyro was in the X-Men movies!


    Rose Reply:

    Glad you brought it up.. been thinking on that one for awhile already.
    I kinda thought it should be the first thing a firebender learns… like you said – was one of the first things Aang learnt from Jeong Jeong.


  9. Mesu Said: Comment by Mesu on September 10, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I have a very strong connection to the elements of avatar. And the way M. Night butchered the artisan quality of the general bending as well as the concept of firebending. Yes, 2 out of the 4 elements generally need their element to bend it: Water and Earth. But master Water and Earth benders don’t really need a large source. It’s part of my theory of sub- elements. Water can vinebend, blood bend, and Katara even creates her own water once (sweat). Earthbenders can bend sand, and Toph can bend metal. Fire benders can bend lava and lightening. But what makes Fire different from the other elements is this: Water, Earth, Air- They are substances. Fire is energy. Energy is EVERYWHERE. The fire comes from the emotions and heart of the bender, which adds a whole new level of depth the the actual human firebenders. But don’t EVEN get my started on Zuko’s hair. It’s supposed to be symbolical… *grumble*


  10. Ian Said: Comment by Ian on October 5, 2010 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    I agree with what Mesu says. Airbending, Waterbending, and Earthbending all need sources since they use substances, while Firebending uses energy. Creating fire really should be one of the first things a novice firebender should learn. Frankly, the Firebending in the show becomes something reminiscent of Waterbending, and that’s not a good thing.

    Oh, and about the name-pronunciation thing. The cartoon pronounces it “Aaaaang”, not “Oong”. Since the cartoon wasn’t based on books, novels, comics, or the like, the pronunciations SHOULD be regarded as canonical. It’d be understandable if the movie was based on a novel, since you can’t really tell the pronunciation from written words, but it’s not.

    True, The Last Airbender was really great eye candy, but a lot of things changed. It’s all up to the audience to decide if it’s for the better.


  11. Lalisa Said: Comment by Lalisa on November 18, 2016 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    One of the things that made firebenders really dangerous was the VERY fact that they could make their own fire. Waterbenders and Earthbenders had to rely on their surroundings for powerful attacks, which limited them immensely if they were captured. Firebenders don’t have that problem and that’s what’s so dangerous about them. They’re LITERALLY unstoppable and with the power of Sozin’s comet, complete world domination for them was practically set. Honestly, this change made the Fire Nation as a whole weak and pathetic. It also made you question how on earth did this war last as long as it did if Waterbenders and Earthbenders could just snuff out their source.

    Besides, it’s not like they drew their power from nowhere! If he had truly watched the show, then he should’ve known where the source of their firebending came from. It’s basically a combination of the sun, their breath, their chi, and their “inner sun” that allows them to firebend. Actually, in the first episode, Iroh even explained how firebending worked – “Power in firebending comes from the breath, not the muscle. The breath becomes energy in the body. The energy extends past your limbs and becomes: FIRE!”



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