@twincalibration
welcome to my random blog!

Hi! My name is sam! I am a huge nerd and post whatever catches my interest. I do post my art on here but, unfortunately, between work, school and working on cospalys/gifts for some of my friends i haven't had time to really do much.... I do have a few things in the works so i should be posting some soon. Im a bit self conscious about how i look but i might upload some pictures as i get some of my cospalys done If you want to know more or just even talk feel free to send a message! ps: I just set up commissions! you can find all the info down in the commission info tag. All comission's are up for nugotiations! if you have any questions, feel free to ask or send an e-mail to TwinCalibration@gmail.com

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Last update
2020-07-05 19:28:46

    Okay, I’ve been sitting on (no pun intended) this theory for awhile now because it’s not even really a theory, so much as it is speculation. (”Uncle, that’s what all theories are!”) Anyway, hear me out:

    tl;dr: Iroh was depressed, and thus in a passive state, up until the end of Book One, whereupon Zhao’s act of violence snapped him out of it.

    We know that Lu Ten died during the original Siege on Ba Sing Se and it’s heavily implied that losing Lu Ten caused Iroh to “fall apart” and ultimately end the Siege itself:

    (Image Descriptions: First two images are of Iroh chained, saying, “I acknowledge my defeat at Ba Sing Se. My men was tired and I was tired.” The third image is of Iroh at Lu Ten’s grave. The fourth and fifth images are of Young Azula talking to Young Zuko: “He found out his son died and he just fell apart. A real general would stay and burn Ba Sing Se to the ground.”)

    He didn’t have the mental strength to fight at Ba Sing Se, but that’s not the only time that he refused to fight.

    He never tried to take the throne from Ozai. He never once tried to find out what happened to Ursa. And I hate to do this, but he didn’t even put up that much of a fight when a thirteen-year-old asked to attend a war meeting. And when they were in that war meeting, who was the one to speak out against the immorality of war? Zuko. Not Iroh, even though he was sitting right next to him.

    (Image description: Zuko standing up at the war meeting. We can see that Iroh is sitting next to him.)

    When Zuko was in the Agni Kai Chamber, on his hands and knees, crying, begging for mercy…Iroh just…looks away…

    (Image description: Iroh looking away.)

    And I’m not going to lie, this theory was originally just going to be a post talking about how guilty Iroh must have felt, but I think it goes a lot deeper than that. I could make a post arguing that Iroh’s misjudgement and lack of action were what led to Zuko being scarred, but to do so would be to blame Iroh, and I don’t want to blame Iroh. Because it’s not his fault. I think that, in this moment, he’s still in a depressive, passive, state from what happened to Lu Ten. Iroh essentially has PTSD. He saw what war can do, so he freezes and backs down at any sign of a fight.

    And we see, all throughout Book One, how many times Iroh tries to actively stop Zuko from fighting:

    (Image descriptions: Two nearly-identical shots of Iroh breaking up a fight between Zuko and another character, the Pirate Captain and Lieutenant Jee, respectively.)

    He only fights when he has to, such as when the Earth Kingdom soldiers capture him in Winter Solstice. Even then, he uses his chains to disarm two of them and knock them unconscious (a waterbender technique btw) while Zuko takes out the third. By all accounts, Iroh is a pacifist during Book One. He’s certainly passive. I really think it’s because Lu Ten’s death (which, remember, only took place a few years prior) is still bothering him. Hence my original claim that Iroh’s essentially in a depressive state during Book One.

    So, what happens?

    Zhao happens.

    This image has haunted me for a decade and a half:

    (Image description: Iroh looking absolutely devastated.)

    This is right after Zhao kills the Moon Spirit koi fish. Something about this has always gotten to me. It’s just so intense. It’s like you see this other side of Iroh that you had never seen before. (Remember, at this point, any viewers wouldn’t know about Lu Ten.) And what happens right after?

    (Image descriptions: #1: Iroh attacking multiple soldiers. #2: General Zhao looking horrified. #3: A shot of Iroh standing over multiple bodies on the ground.)

    Iroh starts actively attacking them all, to the point where Zhao backs away, horrified, because he’s never seen this side of Iroh. Neither has the audience. For the first time, Iroh is actively attacking someone, triggered by Zhao’s violence. I don’t know if it was just the cosmic stakes of the spirit being killed that triggered his anger, if it was the straw on the ostrich-horse’s back, if the way that the koi fish was killed was somehow reminiscent of Lu Ten’s death, or if it was a combination of reasons. Either way, Zhao snaps Iroh out of whatever passive funk he was in.

    From that moment on, Iroh acts like a man who was a general for years. In the very first episode of Book Two (the next canonical episode), we see that Iroh doesn’t trust Azula and is on guard, even jaded:

    (Image descriptions: Two shots of Iroh looking around suspiciously.)

    Then, when it’s revealed that Azula had tricked them, Iroh wastes no time in attacking multiple guards:

    (Image descriptions. #1: Iroh kicking a guard off the ship entrance. #2: Iroh firebending at three separate guards surrounding him.)

    In a later episode, when Zuko thinks that Iroh’s going to say that he should be nice to Azula because she’s family, what does Iroh say, instead?

    No. She’s crazy and she needs to go down.

    This Iroh is a completely different person than the Iroh that we saw in Book One, because this Iroh has been snapped out of his depressed, passive, funk by the senseless act of violence that he witnessed. This Iroh is willing to fight and be an active participant in creating change. This Iroh is a General. This Iroh is the Dragon of the West. Incidentally, we see Iroh call himself that when he actively attacks a full room of Dai Li soldiers:

    (Image description: Iroh breathing fire onto a room filled with soldiers.)

    And we all know how fitting it is that Iroh is the one to liberate Ba Sing Se, but just think about the difference. The original Siege on Ba Sing Se took him 600 days, nearly two years, and he still wasn’t able to break through. In the final battle (albeit with a little help from the comet), Iroh was able to effectively create a fireball and blast through the wall in a single moment:

    And that is my speculation…analysis…theory…thing of how Iroh went from being a fighter to being a depressed pacifist to being a better fighter, all in the background of a series that focuses on a dozen other well-rounded characters. It really is the show that keeps on giving…

    [captions]
    Skeleton: [in a cartoonish voice] I have a joke for you!
    Black Hat: What?
    S: What is a skeleton’s favorite snack?
    BH:[mumbling] I dunno.
    S: Go on, guess.
    BH: Death?
    S: Nooooooo. Go on, guess!
    BH: [giggling] I dunno! [starts laughing harder]
    S: [yelling] COME ON, GUESS! WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING, I HAVEN’T TOLD THE PUNCHLINE YET! [BH giggles helplessly] WHAT IS A SKELETON’S! FAVORITE! SNACK!! [Pause for an answer that doesn’t come] GUESS!
    BH: [laughing] You’re putting me under a lot of pressure-
    S: GUESS!! FUCK! [bangs skull against box twice] GUESS! GUESS GODDAMN YOU!! [BH is giggling uncontrollably now] WHY WON’T YOU ANSWER ME!! WHAT IS MY FAVORITE SNACK!
    BH: Bones?
    S: [stunned pause] [resumes yelling] NO!!! [bangs skull against box twice] NO!!!
    BH: Jeez, this is a-
    S: WHAT IS IT?! WHY MUST YOU FAIL ME SO OFTEN?! [pauses] [BH giggles uncontrollably] RIIIIIIIIIBS!! SPARE RI<>IIIIIIIBS!! FUCK!!

    93% Stardust, Nikita Gill

    i really wanted to do so much more with this, so there may be a follow up comic later if i feel up for it. i love the ipre crew. 

    [ID: a grayscale comic showing each member of the IPRE crew alongside lines of a poem. “We have calcium in our bones”–Magnus is looking upwards with a small smile. “Iron in our veins”–Lucretia is looking over her shoulder with a neutral expression. There’s a table stacked high with books behind her. “Carbon in our souls”–Merle is glancing to the side, smiling, shelves with books and lots of potted plants behind him. “And nitrogen in our brains”–Davenport is behind the controls of the Starblaster, smiling contentedly. “Ninety-three percent stardust”–Taako is leaning on the railing of the ship, looking into the distance with a smile. A starry night sky is behind him. “With souls made of flames”–Barry and Lup are standing in tall grass at nighttime, holding hands and smiling at each other. “We are all just stars”–a photograph of the whole crew, posing and smiling, amid papers and a feather quill strewn on a desk. The only person not smiling is Lucretia. 

    The voidfish, a large jelly fish with spots inside its bell and along its tendrils, takes up a whole frame. Then we cut to Lucretia, her hair shorter now, as she sits at a desk, facing away from the viewer. A portrait of herself is hanging above the desk. We cut again, this time to Lucretia standing in the foreground, only her torso visible within the frame, as Davenport, wearing a tux, stands in the background looking concerned. The last frames zoom in on Lucretia’s sad face as she closes her eyes, and then, written on a plain white background, it reads: “…that have people names.”]