King-Ragnar

It is only now, in this, thy final living moment... thou dost comprehend thy folly... and my might

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Avatar Roku Respect Thread/Character Overview

Avatar Roku

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This is going to be both an Overview of Roku's character and Overall powers. Hope you enjoy, took me a while to gather.

Backstory and Origin

Roku, as you all know is the Avatar prior to Aang. He was born in the year 82 BG (BG is an acronym for "Before Genocide", the genocide of the Air Nomads by Firelord Sozin) into the fire nation. Little to no knowledge is there about his parents, tho it is safe to assume that he was born into a noble and aristocratic family (Further elaboration will be there to justify this assumption). Roku was close friends with Sozin (Prince at the time), they shared everything, even Birthdays. As i said earlier, it is safe to assume that Roku did come from nobility, as there was no way for a commoner or peasant to become close friends with a fire nation Prince.

Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord
Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord

At his 16th birthday, the fire sages informed Roku that he was the new Avatar, the latest in a long line.

Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord
Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord

He embarked on a 12 year long journey (Which will be further explained in the power section) mastering Air, Water and Earth. After a long time from home, Roku returned to the fire nation and met with his old friend Sozin. He later married the love of his life, Ta Men. His happiness would not endure for long, as Sozin (In a Nazi like Manner) proposed that the fire nation "should expand and share it's empire with the world". Naturally, Roku didn't like the idea, stating that the four kingdoms should be separate the way they are and it is his job as the Avatar to maintain peace and prosperity in the world. Sozin however, did not listen to his old friend and went on with his plan anyway.

Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord
Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord

Roku being the Avatar, was furious that Sozin went on with his plans, so he went to confront him in his palace. They had a brief fight in which where Roku was obviously the victor. He told Sozin that for the sake of their long friendship that he was giving him a warning, and should that Sozin step out of line again, Roku would kill him. Roku then retired to his namesake Island, and he and Sozin didn't speak to each other for 25 years. One day, the Volcano on Roku's Island erupted (Will be further explained in the power section as well). He did his best to contain the Volcano, tho after containing it another one erupted. Realizing he cannot do this alone and nearing exhaustion, his old friend came to his help. They briefly contained it, but when trying to escape Roku was hit with a blast of volcanic gas that made him dazy. Sozin, realizing the opportunity of getting rid of his only obstacle, abandoned his friend and left. Roku then vanished under volcanic ash, never to be seen again (Year 12 BG)

Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord
Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord

After Roku's death, Sozin embarked on his war and wiped out the Air Nomads in all the temples, knowing that the next Avatar would be an Airbender (For those who do not know, the Avatar cycle is as follows : Air, Water, Earth Fire). This should be enough to explain his backstory and his story. There isn't much to his story either than this TL;DR.

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Training

Unlike Aang, Roku had the advantage of 12 years of training to hone and master the four elements and the Avatar state.

Roku first ventured to the Southern Air Temple to master Air bending.

Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord
Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord

After spending years mastering Air bending, however little is shown in his further training besides that scene with monk Gyatso. After that,he ventured to the North Pole in order to master Water bending. Now as is known, every Avatar struggles with their opposite element. Similar to how Aang struggled at first with Earth Bending, Roku struggled and had difficulties with Water bending to it being his opposite element. However in time, he mastered it as well.

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After finishing and mastering Water bending he went to the Earth Kingdom, to train with Master Sud. Again, not much is shown to his overall training, tho it shown and implied that he surpassed his master in Earth Bending skill.

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Mastering the Avatar State

The Avatar state, as described by Roku, is a defense mechanism that gives it's user all the knowledge and skill of the past Avatars, giving him unmatched power. Mastering the Avatar state as shown in A : TLA is a difficult task, so much that even Roku struggled with it as will be shown. In order to master it, Roku went to the fire sages to train with them. Now this is not shown in neither the show or the followup comics, it is shown in Avatar : Escape from the spirit world , which are a set of comics that were released along with an Avatar game on Nickelodeon's site. He spent a year training with the Fire Sage Kaja, who helped him master the Avatar state, to the point where he was able to enter it at will. Apologies for the low quality, it was the only video i could find on YouTube.

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Feats and Showings of Power

With the Avatar State :

1. Destroys a large portion of the Fire Nation Royal Palace (Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord) :

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2. Destroys more than half of the fire sages temple and causes the Volcano behind him to erupt (Avatar : Escape from The Spirit World):

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3. Disperse a very large portion of Lava, causing the other side of the volcano to break and create a new pathway for it (Book 3 : Fire, Chapter 6 : The Avatar and The Firelord) :

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Standard Bending

Air Bending :

1. Creates a large building sized air ball around himself :

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2. Flies around using a Tornado :

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Earth Bending :

1. Quickly reacts to Sozin's large fire blasts and goes underground :

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2. Now, technically speaking Roku did not perform this, tho let me elaborate. The Avatar State gives it's user the knowledge, experience and skill of past Avatars. In order to escape the fire sages temple and from Zhao, Aang tapped into Roku's knowledge and experience (Hell, he appeared as if he were Roku, Literally). With a simple hand gesture, causes the entire volcano and the lava underneath it to erupt :

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It took one hand gesture, one to cause an entire volcano to erupt and cause all the Magma underneath to erupt as well.

Post Edit note : This is was previously in the fire bending section, tho after watching LoK, and discovering that Lava bending is a form of earth bending i moved it here.

Water Bending :

1. Creates a very, very, very large Wave sending his master flying back to the palace :

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Something that should be looked at, is how casually he created such a massive tidal wave :

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All he did was wave his hand slightly. Sure other water bending masters such as Katara and Baku could probably replicate this, with a lot of effort that is. All Roku did was casually move his hand.

Fire Bending :

1. Casually creates a comet sized fire blast :

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Will be explained below as well

Using All Four Elements :

Making 3 hand gestures, he casually creates large building sized tidal waves, earth waves and a fire blast. A small tornado as well :

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As mentioned eariler, it should be worth looking how he casually created those. If you observe the fire blast, it looks very similar to a comet level blast. For those who don't know what i mean't by "Comet Level", no i do not mean an actual comet. Sozin's comet, gives fire benders unimaginable fire potency that they other wise cannot replicate under normal circumstances. Compare it to Ozai's fire blasts under the comet for instance :

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It took Ozai (Arguably the second the best fire bender in the original series) a few seconds to generate the blast, and otherwise under normal circumstances, he can't replicate such a showing. In comparsion, Roku did performed the same feat without the comet amping his fire (It is arguably smaller, tho not by a large margin). Another factor that should be taken into considration is that he was also bending the 3 other elements at the same time, meaning he wasn't fully focusing on the fire. He also did it after mastering the elements, meaning he likely wasn't in his prime. Another thing that should be explained, bending comes from the breath, if you don't maintain your composure it won't be as potent and effective, yet his flame was self contained and he didn't have to hold his hand in it's place.

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In Summary

Avatar Roku, whilst having limited showings, has had a large impact on the show and on Aang. Without Roku's guidance and wisdom, Aang stated that he would not have become the Avatar he is :

The Promise #3
The Promise #3

Even though he doesn't appear that often in the show, his character is an interesting one. He did what Aang couldn't, he put his Avatar duty above his friendship and personal gains. He threatened to kill his best friend if he stepped out of line again. He was willing to do something of that magnitude in order to fulfill his duty as The Avatar.

In my life, I tried to be disciplined and show restraint, but it backfired when Fire Lord Sozin took advantage of my restraint and mercy. If I had been more decisive and acted sooner, I could have stopped Sozin and stopped the War before it started. I offer you this wisdom, Aang: You must be decisive.

In terms of power level and standard bending, despite having limited (But highly impressive showings), it is safe to assume that he is above most elite benders in the original series (Not going to comment on LoK as i have not seen it yet) such as Iroh, Ozai, Azula, Katara and Baku etc. However, the question is, is he better than Aang? In terms of the Avatar State, no he is not. The Avatar state gives you the knowledge and experience of past Avatars, that would include Roku. So Aang has both his own skill and Roku's in the Avatar state. However, in terms of mastering the elements, Roku is shown and implied to be next level. As mentioned eariler Roku spent 12 years training and mastering the elements, meaning he spent 4 years each on Air, Water and Earth.

Credits for @anthp2000 for helping me out with GIFs and @krleavenger with the power levels. Enjoy.

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