As I was trying to find a topic for our first allusion blog, nothing really came to my mind. Luckily, life has this way of dropping things/ideas right in front of me when I need them most. I was watching the season two premier of The Legend of Korra when it hit me. An entire season of one of my favorite shows that revolves around Korra trying to fulfill her role as the bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds, and how neglected spirits have become angry and have started wrecking havoc on her people? This is just brilliant! Who knew so much stuff could be hidden in a kid’s TV show?
Just in case no one else is familiar with the show, here’s a bit of background information. The show is a spinoff of Avatar the Last Airbender. The world of these two series is filled with people who have the power to control, or “bend”, the elements, although not everyone has this ability. Most benders can only control one element, the one that is associated with the nation they’re from. So members of the Water Tribes control water, the Air nomads control air, the Earth Kingdom has power over earth, and the Fire Nation works with fire. However, the exception to this rule is the Avatar, a person that has the power of all four elements, has the power to connect with his/her past lives, and is the bridge between the real world and the spirit world. There is one Avatar alive at a time, and they cycle through the elements as they are reincarnated (water, earth, fire, air). This cycle’s Avatar is a member of the Southern Water tribe.
So. Now to the allusion. The title of this Book (season) is Spirits, which is a huge clue as to what this season is all about. So far, this season has taken place in the Southern Water Tribe, which is located near the South Pole. The Southern Tribe has fallen away from spiritual traditions, which has lead to the spirits becoming angry and attacking the people out at sea, much to the dismay of Chief Unalaq, who is visiting from the Northern Water Tribe. As the Glacial Spirits Festival is currently occurring, it is apparent that this once sacred festival has become a celebration of worldly things, and this does not go over well with the spirits, who control the balance of the world. It’s evident from this that the spirits can be viewed as a Yahweh-figure, and the Southern Water Tribe can be seen as a reflection of the young Hebrew nation. Also, since Avatar Korra is the bridge between the spirits and the physical world, she has a role as a Moses-figure in this world. With the help of Chief Unalaq, her uncle, Korra must learn to embrace her spiritual role in order to save her tribe from utter destruction at the hands of the spirits.
Now, we all have read about how Moses was the spiritual leader of the Hebrew nation, as well as how crucial he was as a bridge between them and Yahweh. There are multiple occasions where Moses is left pleading with Yahweh for forgiveness for the people after they did something, for lack of a better word, stupid after having seen what the protagonist has done for them. For example, after Aaron and the rest of the Hebrew people create the golden calf to worship while Moses is receiving the Ten Commandments, he begs Yahweh to “Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people,” (Exodus 32:12). While the spirits so far do not necessarily speak, they are out to destroy the Southern Water Tribe, which can be seen in how they attack during the Glacial Spirits Festival.
By understanding the story of Moses and the Hebrew people, a viewer can easily see why it is so important for the Avatar to restore the balance between the spiritual and physical worlds. If Korra is unable to bring her tribe back into the spirits favor, it could be the end of her people. So far, it is unclear whether her efforts will be successful or not. But hopefully, like Moses, she will be able to save her people from utter destruction.
Here’s a link to full episodes of this season, I used the first one (Rebel Spirits) for the allusion 🙂
http://www.nick.com/videos/legend-of-korra-videos (other episodes)