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Recap / Avatar: The Last Airbender "The Winter Solstice Part 2: Avatar Roku"

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Roku tells Aang about Sozin's Comet.

"You wish to speak to Avatar Roku. I can take you to him."
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Aang has to travel to the Fire Temple to receive the message from Avatar Roku on the Winter Solstice. They are chased by Zuko and attacked by a Fire Nation blockade led by Zhao on the way there. When Aang gets to the temple he is shocked to learn the five Fire Sages there are no longer the Avatar's allies. However, a friendly sage helps Aang get to the sanctuary where he can talk to Roku. Avatar Roku informs Aang about "Sozin's Comet," which will return in just under a year and give the Fire Nation the power to finish the war. When Aang leaves the sanctuary, he is attacked by Zhao and the Sages. Aang defeats them when he manifests the spirit of Roku, who destroys the temple.


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Tropes:

  • Collapsing Lair: The fire temple gets destroyed after it served its plot purpose.
  • Comet of Doom: Roku summoned Aang to the Fire Temple so that he could warn Aang about Sozin's Comet. This quickly came under questioning from older fans as comets are made of ice, dirt, and gas — that is, every element except fire — before it was clarified that the comet has supernatural properties (as comets in our world were once rumored to have) that simply strengthen Firebenders, as opposed to the Fire Nation bending the comet itself, like a missile. Comets aren't that punctual either, and normally stay in the sky for weeks. Hence, this is a earth-grazing fireball that the characters call a comet.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The notorious first example in the show of characters just strolling through magma-filled secret passageways without breaking a sweat. Two characters are Firebenders (or, at least, one is a potential Firebender). The others have no excuse.
  • Cool Old Guy:
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    • Roku is very nice to Aang and helps him and his friends to escape from the temple.
    • Shyu is this as well, considering that he's the only one of the fire sages to assist the Gaang.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Roku vs Zhao and troops. Considering this was a fully realized Avatar they were up against, this was to be expected.
  • Idea Bulb: Sokka gets an idea and the camera pulls back to reveal a lamp above his head. Accompanied by a Idea Ding.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: The fire temple is placed on a lava island. Justified since we are heading to the home of the Fire Sages.
  • Mid-Season Twist: The series jumps from "Let's take Katara to learn Waterbending" to "kill Ozai in a year or the world gets destroyed".
  • Mr. Exposition: Shyu provides background information for the audience.
  • Naval Blockade: The Gaang has to get to a temple inside the Fire Nation, the border of which is blockaded by the Fire Navy.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Shyu is the only sage loyal to the Avatar, helps Aang to get in touch with Roku... and he is captured alongside the others by Zhao and handed over to Ozai. Even worse, we never see him again. Fortunately, he reappears in the comics series. He was released from prison after Zuko was crowned as Fire Lord, and became the new Grand Sage of the Fire Sages.
  • Oh, Crap!: Zhao and the sages' reaction when Roku appears. Considering how pissed off he is it was the most logical reaction.
  • Old Master: Roku defeats Zhao and his soldiers and destroys the temple on his own. Its the first time we see what an Avatar can do with firebending.
  • Ominous Buddhist Chanting: Shortly before the sanctuary doors open to reveal Avatar Roku. The words are part of an actual Buddhist mantra and translate to "Hail the Amida Buddha who resides in the West."
  • Our Doors Are Different: Five simultaneous fire blasts are needed to open the sanctuary doors.
  • Pose of Supplication: The loyal sage kneels before Aang and friends to show he is not going to attack them.
  • Rain of Arrows: There's a rain of bombs from the Naval Blockade going down on our heroes.
  • Riding into the Sunset: The Gaang rides into a Gigantic Moon at the end.
  • Running the Blockade: Aang pulls Appa into a steep dive to build speed and then rushes past the Fire Navy, dodging fireballs the whole way. Zuko, following Aang wherever he goes, is about to perform a more traditional run, but Zhao decides to let him through and follow after.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Zhao when finding our heroes. With good reason, because as far as he's concerned all his enemies are in one place and in his grasp.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Shyu spends the episode helping Aang and his friends get into the Sanctuary while evading the rest of the Fire Sages. Originally, the Sages were meant to serve the Avatar, but since Aang was gone for a century, the current Sages are under Ozai's orders to capture the Avatar at any cost. Naturally, Shyu is the only one who wants to help Aang stop Ozai, even if it means betraying his nation.
  • Tranquil Fury: Roku is not exactly happy about the sages betraying his reincarnation. He doesn't shout, or make any expressions beyond a glare. Just... tears the island apart with some lava bending.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Zuko and his ship can keep up with Appa's flying speed so both arrive at the Naval Blockade at the same time.
  • The Unfettered: Even with his ship bombarded, on fire and in need of repairs, Zuko refuses to stop chasing Aang.
  • Voice of the Legion: This is the first time we hear Aang’s Avatar Voice, if only for two words. Still packs quite the dramatic punch.
  • Wham Episode: Aang has to defeat Ozai before Sozin's comet returns in midsummer, or else Ozai will be unstoppable.
  • Wham Shot: The doors to the chamber containing Roku's chamber opens, with only Aang's glowing eyes visible. Zhao and troops blast him, and he bends the fireballs into a ring around him, revaealing himself to have taken the form of Avatar Roku. Needless to say, they realize instantly how screwed they are.

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