Avatar Development Arcs

May 25, 2006

These are my notes on some of the major, repeating character development arcs that take place in the first Season of Avatar. Vladamir Propp, eat your heart out.

Sokka Learns a Lesson
– Sokka Does Something Reckless
– Sokka Fails Miserably
– Sokka is Pouty
– Sokka Does Something More Intelligent
– Sokka Succeeds

Being the Avatar Isn’t That Bad
– Being the Avatar Sucks
– Aang is Sad
– Avatar Powers/Social Position Save the Day
– Aang is No Longer Sad

Katara Crushes on Random Hot Boy
– Katara Meets Random Hot Boy
– Random Hot Boy Does Random Hot Things
– Katara Swoons
– Katara and Random Hot Boy Flirt Shamelessly
– Plot-of-the-Day Resolves Itself
– Katara and Random Hot Boy Go Their Seperate Ways

Bending Can’t Solve Every Problem
– Problem Encountered
– Attempt to Solve the Problem with Lots of Bending
– Bending Fails to Help or Makes Things Worse
– Disbelief
– Lateral Thinking Used to Find Non-Bending Solution
– Solution Works

The Power of Fun
– Aang Encourages Some Weird Dangerous/Fun Thing
– Lots of Other Stuff Happens
– Dangerous/Fun Thing Used to Save the Day

Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover
– Characters Judge Some Person/Situation
– Characters Are Completely Wrong
– Characters’ Mistaken Views Lead to Badness
– Characters’ Mistake is Discovered
– Characters Express Regret
– Characters Use New Knowledge to Triumph

Katara Changes Peoples’ Minds
– People Are Acting Foolishly
– Katara Gives an Inspirational Speech
– People Are Skeptical
– Karata Is Disappointed/Frustrated
– People Decide She’s Right, Goshdarnit

Additional suggestions are welcome. There’s also one about the characters getting angry at each other or being jealous, but I need to watch a few more episodes to nail that one down. And there’s the arc used in Aang solo episodes, where he discovers something about himself and his Avatar-ness.

2 Responses to “Avatar Development Arcs”

  1. Mark W Says:

    You know what’s jumping out at me? How much these ‘plot nibbles’ look like things that could be Styles, Attitudes, and Powers in Capes. Particularly if you’re regularly using a non-person character to represent “the plot” in scenes.

  2. Shreyas Says:

    There’s something important happening in “Random Hot Boy.”


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