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Headscratchers / Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Day of Black Sun

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  • After they lost use of the Earth Kingdom army, why didn't they just ask the Northern Water Tribe army to help invade the Fire Nation on the Day of Black Sun?
    • The Earth Kingdom has a much larger standing army and is much closer. Those at the North Pole, who constitute a mere city's worth of people, wouldn't have made that much of a difference. Plus there's the matter of even getting all those benders across the border in five little submarines.
    • Also given the lack of intelligent tactics showed by the Northern Water Tribe earlier it might have looked like a much more intelligent option to go with the sneak attack.
      • More than that, the Northern Water Tribe gains their power from the fact that water is everywhere in the North Pole. Oh sure, they can carry some water with them, Katara-style. But that's nothing compared to what a firebending army can do.

  • Why is it that about half of the invasion during The Day of Black Sun arc weren't wearing shirts and/or pants?
    • Because those were the swamp-born waterbenders.
    • Because pants are an illusion.
    • And so is death.
    • Also, clothes catch fire more easily than skin. Applying oil to their bodies would actually have been better protection than clothes against firebenders, so we've actually found an enemy that the Spartans from 300 are perfect against.
      • I get the clothes, then, but isn't oil even more flamable?
      • Special clothes or firebending has different properties. I'd imagine nudity being a rampant issue among the fire nation if their clothes kept catching fire from firebending all the time.

  • Why doesn't Sokka put on his war paint when they attack the Fire Nation during the eclipse?? He's very set on his props, so it seems odd that he wouldn't do it. Also, if that paint is so traditional, how come we never see any other members of the water tribe wearing it?
    • If you watch closely during "The Siege of the North", some of the warriors are wearing face paint that at least looks similar (it never really shows them up close or for more than a second). Otherwise, I was wondering about that too...more so why we never see Sokka use it again rather than why nobody else does, but I guess since he left the South Pole in kind of a hurry, the paint might have been left at home.
      • Maybe the paint is only worn for the warriors first battle?
      • Maybe its funeral paint, only worn if a warrior thinks he'll die?
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    • Maybe the face paint is for apprentice warriors, or those that haven't officially become "men" of the tribe yet. The Siege of the North and the Invasion both happen after Sokka passes the Ice Dodging rite of passage, meaning now he is a "man" in the tribe, and doesn't have to wear the face paint.
    • It's camouflage. That's why they only use it when it in the Northern and Southern poles. It wouldn't hide anything in the Fire Nation.
  • Ok, end of the invasion. They're picking people to escape on Appa and decide to put the youngest people on. Fine, I get that. What I don't get is why didn't they take the Mechanist? He is the only one among the people left behind who could cause serious damage if captured, as he could be forced to make more weapons. If he refuses, I don't see it as a stretch that they would kill him. The entire rationale behind half the invasion force surrendering was that they'd get to live to fight another day, but for the Mechanist, that's only an option if he chooses to cooperate, even begrudgingly.
    • By this time, Ozai was already planning for the world to end in flames. They didn't need to build anything else.
    • Besides, the Fire Nation already had many of the Mechanist's inventions, and the entire reason he was working for them was because they were going to destroy his village if they didn't. Since the Fire Nation was driven from his village and didn't show any intention of returning, that threat to coerce him is gone. Besides, the Fire Nation already has schematics of the Mechanist's greatest weapons, and dramatically improved upon them anyway, and it still took them a significant amount of time to make the war balloons. Also, keep in mind that the Fire Nation was able to built The Drill on their own. Giving them one more engineer when they've already been shown to build something big enough to give modern engineers trouble isn't going to mean much.
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    • The Fire Nation found the balloon in season one. They use Zeppelins in season three. So whatever the Mechanist draws, there won't be time to launch mass-production before the Comet.

  • Hand in hand with the above, why the hell did they bring Teo on the invasion? His whole schtick in a fight is gliding, but the conditions at the Fire Nation Capital are not right for that and, indeed, he is never shown doing so. Why would they bring a tourist, let alone the son of one of the fighters, on this very dangerous invasion if he could not fight?
    • Teo helped build the contraptions. He knows how to drive them.
    • If you look closely, you can see Teo both driving a tank and piloting one of the submarines. To quote Joker, "I don't fly with my feet." He can pilot and drive just fine.
      • I suppose that makes sense, but I thought the subs and tanks were driven by the waterbenders and earthbenders, respectively, similarly to the boats at the Northern Water Tribe and the trains in Ba Sing Se. I guess they just powered them, then.
      • Given the Mechanist's involvement, it's possible the tanks and subs had actual engines, and only needed benders for their fanciest tricks.
      • The subs and tanks were moved by benders. They were steered by other people.

  • One part of the Eclipse that literally makes no sense is that it seems to be a world-wide event. How does it fully eclipse Omashu and the Fire Nation Capitol at seemingly the same time?
    • Granted, I'm not familiar with how eclipses work, but I'm pretty sure that the Avatar world isn't as large as our own. With that in mind, the eclipse was able to cover more ground. Plus, it seems to be a spiritual thing, so science may not be fully applicable.
    • According to Bryke in their Audio Commentary, Bumi's escape in Omashu happened a few hours before the invasion; the eclipse wasn't all over the world at once, it just moved.

  • The Gaang knew that the Ba Sing Se generals had been captured, and they knew that those generals had been busy planning on how to exploit the solar eclipse. They never consider the possibility that those plans have been compromised. Even though the generals weren't responsible for Azula knowing of the invasion plan, the fact that they and their knowledge are in Fire Nation hands was a threat to the plans' secrecy.
    • War 101: Your plans almost always fail in contact with the enemy. They knew the generals were captured? That's a new one. They knew the Dai Li were against them; but not the generals. And no, they didn't consider the plans were compromised. Also, they didn't even account for enemy strategies or what plans the Fire Nation had in case of a backup (see the newfound Air Support that the crew didn't even know the Fire Nation had. The plan was really half-baked to begin with and I'm frankly impressed they got as far as they did.

  • Oh, no! The Fire Nation has an air force of balloons and zeppelins. Well, we can poke holes in the balloons to stop them, but those zeppelins are protected by a metal coating. Shucks, if only we had someone who could bend metal...
    • One, they did that in the finale. Two, it requires said individual into melee with the balloons, which can be a bit difficult. 3, one metalbender against ~10 ships and a full blown militia with no plan of attack will be insufficient.

  • Why weren't Mai and Ty Lee with Azula?
    • Maybe because Azula was in a part of the shelter where only the royalty (and perhaps guards) were supposed to be. Or maybe because the plan was for Azula to stale the Gaang until either they get bored or the eclipse ends, and they aren't as adept at lying as she is.
    • Mai finds out about Zuko's defection between now and The Boiling Rock so odds are good she's out looking to see if she can stop Zuko. It can also, to tie in with the above poster's theory, be just that only royalty and guards are supposed to be in that bunker and thus she couldn't take Mai and Ty Lee along with her into there. As for why Ty Lee wasn't there? She probably overslept?

  • If firebenders lose their bending during a solar eclipse, due to the sun not shining on them, why doesn't the same happen to them every night when the sun sets? In The Library, where the Gaang finds out about the effect of the eclipse, Katara compares it to what happened to Northern Tribe waterbenders when Zhao killed the moon spirit... But that's a completely different thing, since Zhao's act made the moon disappear completely. During an eclipse the sun is still there, and it still shines in other parts of the planet, just like it does when it's night. Shouldn't the eclipse just merely weaken firebending, like nighttime does?
    • It's not just about the sun not shining on them. It's about it being blocked by the moon, the element opposite of fire. It's a symbolic/spiritual thing.

  • When Zuko confronts his father over all the horrible things he's ever done to him, he points out that Ozai has to sit and listen because he's powerless without his firebending and Zuko has his dual swords, which is fair enough. But why doesn't Ozai call all those guards he just dismissed back into the room? Did he just want to indulge him?
    • Most likely. He probably just wanted to see if Zuko had the balls to go through with it.
    • Golden Rule of Thumb in hostage situations: Don't piss off the guy holding the weapon.
    • It'd be a risk. There's always a chance Zuko could get to Ozai first, or even defeat the guards. In contrast, letting Zuko talk would buy him plenty of time to wait out the eclipse, and if things turned south Ozai could always invoke Zuko's mother. If you assume that Ozai has at least some control over the situation then everything went according to his design up to the point where Zuko redirects his attack, which Ozai couldn't have predicted.

  • I know this was brought up before on another page, but I don't think the response given at the time was that applicable, so I'd like to bring it up again. Azula tries to prove her ability to get past Toph's lie-detection by describing herself as some outlandish creature that she's obviously not. Even if you ignore that Toph can still sense her physical form, she says that she can monitor people's breathing and heartbeat to determine if they've told a lie, and Azula said something about herself that obviously wasn't true. So why would Toph expect her vitals to be any different when she said it?
    • The point of that scene was that Azula wanted to prove to Toph she could lie to her without Toph's super senses detecting the lie. So she tells her a ridiculous lie, one that Toph knows isn't true, yet Toph can't detect any difference in her breath and heartbeat. Hence she's proven she can fool Toph's Living Lie Detector skills, and the Gaang has no way of knowing whether anything she's said is true or false.

  • Had Azula somehow known that Aang's connection to the Avatar State was cut off at the end of season 2? She seemed remarkably confident that two Dai Li agents would be all it would take to hold him off, not to mention how she left the Fire Nation unprepared to deal with such a powerful threat.
    • No. She didn't account for the Avatar State at all for the battle because she didn't ever see it. The reason she had the Dai Li was because 1: the firebending was "off" and 2: she knew to bring backup and protection to a fight.
    • But other people, like the Fire Sages, would conceivably be aware of it, not to mention the countless soldiers who've seen it firsthand. You mean to say that none of them thought to relay that information so that Azula could catch wind of it?
    • The Fire Sages that were all locked up in prison after "helping" (well, one of them did, the other four were all accused for it) the Avatar in the first place? Azula had no point in going to a prison to speak to any of them and they weren't getting out any time soon; so no. And again, even if she had to worry about the Avatar State, she already knows the windup and where to shoot with another lightning bolt.
  • I understand that Zuko telling his father off for his horrible parenting style is an important character moment for him, but from a more practical standpoint, couldn't he have instead used the eclipse to find Aang and co. and lead them to Ozai's chamber? At this point, he knows full well what Ozai plans to do once Sozin's Comet arrives, which makes it imperative that Aang defeat him before then. Zuko even acknowledges that it's Aang's duty to kill the Fire Lord, not his...but the eclipse would've been the best time to do that. Why not take advantage of it and save Calling the Old Man Out for later?
    • Zuko knows that Aang et al don't trust him and have very legitimate grievances against him, personally. It would look like an obvious trap, and they'd almost certainly just kick his ass on sight (especially Katara), even if Zuko did manage to find them.
    • The above poster is right but to add on a few things, Zuko still doesn't have it in him to kill his father (the swords were a deterrent which worked, he'd have been SOL if Ozai went on the offense). Even if Zuko defeated his father there and then, Ozai still has the control of the guards and has no answer just yet on how to deal with Azula who still has more ability than he does. By going off to find Aang instead, he knows full well Ozai would still be in preparations for battle and have no time to pursue the Avatar. Also remember, part of the conflict at the beginning of the series finale is that Zuko doesn't know that Aang doesn't know what Ozai will do with the power of Sozin's Comet. Finally, even if Aang and co. manage to get in there to off the Fire Lord, Azula assumes the role next via Dynasty rules, citing Zuko as a banished traitor and has all of them killed by the overwhelming numbers of the Fire Nation army...who then likely (purely fan speculation at this point) starts going nuts without any family left and runs the Fire Nation into ruin.


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