An analysis of the hero’s journey:Avatar Wan from legend of Korra
Well hello everyone! I hope you are all good…
I would be focusing on the narrative aspect of the hero’s journey by Jospeh Campball and how does it get into Avatar Wan in “Beginnings Part 1 and 2”
Why should I discuss about this theory and Avatar Wan? I remember I was watching these,and I cannot help but to apply the molds of Wan’s story into the “the hero’s journey” from my “The western goes east” class from Simon Weaving. Yes it borrow from many mythologies,like Prometheus and the eastern philosophy of Yin and Yang but the story remains the same.
So what is the hero’s journey? It was created by this American mythologist and lecturer Joseph Campball (Thanks man!)
Well, he gather the structure of the journey of the hero through his paper “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” after analyzing a whole lot of myths (I mean everyone from Chinese myths of The Monkey King to the Greek’s Prometheus). Of course they are so many variations of that,well like thus
It was famously used in Star Wars
As George Lucas used this module as inspiration for it!
Here is the one I learnt from my class…
It was divided into 3 sections,we have the world (i.e the character’s world),the threshold and the underworld
- Call to action
- Main goal
- Give gift to the world
- Hero’s change (either to go somewhere or perhaps death)
However it may not be filled all of the criteria but it still remains the same.
Now let’s move towards my analysis of Avatar Wan’s journey,feel free to debate with me about that topic.
Hero’s normal World
Wan is a poor peasant,who steals food from the Chus but however we see that he does have a compassionate heart for the animals and his fellow people like Yao and Jayin
Call into action
Hating to be passive,he decided to “steal” bending from the lion Turtle to benefit his company,by chickening out into the mission. Of course it leads to the revolt with the Chus,however it was unravel when Wan gave mercy to one of them
Of course he is unsure how to use his fire while surviving in the forest.
I do also add Wan did not kill the Chu brother
His banishment is perhaps the entrance to his test/trials
Well I think majority of what Wan experienced is mostly trials,there are many but I would bold those that are needed for his character growth
Survival in the forest
Saving Mula (It helped him to gain the trust of Aye-Aye)
entering the spirit oasis
Wan accidentally releasing Vaatu out of Raava (This is where he realized his true goal of saving the world)
There is the lion turtle (Because I loved them),who is willing to keep Wan’s power
We have Aye-Aye and the spirits,there he learnt how to understand their nature
I would also add the magical spring water as a helper too!
His companion Mula (he gained a longtime friend)
His training of his fire-bending do save him (and protect his peers)
The Main Goal
We have the air-village invasion,it urges him to learn the elements within the year (Visit more lion turtles people!)
Now Wan released chaos (i.e Vaatu),now he does need some help again after that Spirit attack in an Air Village. How does Wan,the hero prepare himself to his goal
Potions and Help
We have Raava,who we can say it was the helper despite her reluctance to Wan in the beginning
We seen more lion turtles! And yes they helped in giving Wan the elements (YES!)
Of course to me what really set the chase is perhaps the conflict between his old friend in the past and his spirit friends. It really show how urgent the situation is,and Wan realize it’s a do or die.
Raava is growing smaller!
Wan is unable to handle Raava’s spirit!
It’s pretty obvious it was the Harmonic Coverange
O.K we worry if Wan would be able to connect with Raava’s spirit and if Vaatu would destroy the world.
Wan managed to convince Raava to fuse with him,and of course they kicked butt!
Gift to the world
Of course he managed to contain chaos,and in result bringing balance in the world. He sealed Vaatu in the tree of Time.
As said in this line (with animation porn) ‘This is my mission: to use Raava’s light spirit to guide the world towards peace.,I would be the bridge between the humans and spirits”
He wanted to maintain diplomatic understanding with spirits and humans
*cues ugly sobbing*
Now let me dissect why we suddenly feel very sad when Wan is dying alone in the field. He gave this world,a new era through the media,to establish peace and propersity. They do not need to shield with the lion turtles. However he feel that he is unable to contain the “darkness” i.e people’s greed and vices.
As Raava promised Wan in his dying breath “I would be there with you all of your lifetimes”
He is given an another shot in maintaining balance with all of the Avatar reincarnations (until much later I would not tell you as I am still recovering on it)
(Screencaps courtesy of AvatarSpirt and gif courtesy of Tumblr)
The hero’s journey would start again,with many….
I know it’s a little cliche,but it really works as Beginnings Pt 1 & 2 are two of my favorite episodes ever. It allows us the viewers to join the character’s journey. We do support him emotionally to see Wan grow as a character.
I hope you guys enjoyed it,by the way feel free to debate on the events of the hero’s journey of Wan. I am more than happy to interpret it.