• JohnDClay@sh.itjust.works
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    25 days ago

    Star wars a new hope started out with Luke as an everyman. But since then it’s all become about the bloodline. Rise of Skywalker is especially bad, tearing down the anyone can be special and saying you can only be special because of your bloodline.

    • Samvega@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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      25 days ago

      The issue with the Star Wars story is that it can’t end. This means Luke cannot have been very effective, because the same issues have to repeat historically to promote an endless cycle of protagonists and antagonists and battles that relate to the previous fan-favourites (because nostalgia sells).

      Therefore Luke must simultaneously be an awesome hero, and also just some loser that didn’t really do anything that worked.

      • JohnDClay@sh.itjust.works
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        25 days ago

        I think legends handled it okay, that the battle of yavin was the tipping point, but the empire still had remnants that needed to be countered by the New Republic. And the New Republic has its own problems, but faces an entirely different threat than the empire too.

        Whereas with the new movies, they just hit the reset button back to episode four, rather than developing on the trajectory in interesting ways, which would have given Luke’s actions and the original trilogy more weight.

        • Samvega@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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          25 days ago

          The point of a successful Disney media franchise is not to provide nuance and provoke thought, but instead to sell merch for profit.

            • TotallynotJessica@lemmy.world
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              25 days ago

              Homie was a film school nerd who took a gamble that paid off. People that ONLY want to make money don’t take such huge risks or put so much pretentious thought into pulp. He made it to make a ton of money because it literally couldn’t happen any other way. How else do you get rich people to invest that much money?

            • xenoclast@lemmy.world
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              25 days ago

              Lucas capitalized on his success… anyone who grew up with 80s cartoons specifically designed to sell toys to kids can tell the difference between the two.

              Well at least until Return of the Jedi…

        • mindbleach@sh.itjust.works
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          25 days ago

          … and did so without examining why the Republic fell in the first place, or how the Rebellion could fall to the same cyclical forces. Which is the sort of thing The Last Jedi kinda hinted at? That movie was an anarchist deconstruction fanfic that somehow got filmed as a major motion picture.

      • Samvega@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        24 days ago

        This gets to the fact that all stories are lies. No one lives happily ever after, for we all die. No one is strong and wins, because strength, weakness, winning and losing are just perceptions that are eventually erased from time.

        When you start to intuit that human psychology is heavily based on such soporific narrative, you start to understand how people can be so stupid, both individually and collectively.

        • silasmariner@programming.dev
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          25 days ago

          That seems a little glib to me. Not all stories are lies, not all stories have happy endings, some victors are known now thousands of years after their death. On a cosmic timescale I suppose that, trivially, nothing matters - but, conversely, the cosmic timescale is so vast that it doesn’t matter to us

          Also I couldn’t really parse what you were saying in your second paragraph so I’m gonna leave that there

          • Samvega@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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            24 days ago

            but, conversely, the cosmic timescale is so vast that it doesn’t matter to us…

            I agree, stories only matter because we lack objectivity.

            • silasmariner@programming.dev
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              24 days ago

              I’m not sure that anything can objectively be said to ‘matter’. So, yeah, I guess? Things only matter to us because we.care about them, sure…

    • magic_lobster_party@kbin.run
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      25 days ago

      A new hope started with blood line. It was established out of the gate that Luke’s father was a Jedi knight and a good friend of Obi Wan.

      Force Awakens and Last Jedi seemed to go in the direction that Rey and Snoke are unrelated to previous blood lines, but nope, it’s all Palpatine.

      • chatokun@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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        24 days ago

        That was like the only thing I really liked in Last Jedi. Her being completely a nobody made me look upon it more favorably when I watched it, because I assumed they’d make her related and was so impressed they didnt.

  • Wxnzxn@lemmy.ml
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    25 days ago

    How about this story about a young English boy that gets bullied by the poo people, until he finds out he is actually super special. And then he fights the super specials that want society to be structured around birthright, because he has a special born fate to stop them. All while the super specials have used their amazing magical powers, able to literally mold reality to their whims, to create their own version of liberal capitalism.

    • OhNoMoreLemmy@lemmy.ml
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      25 days ago

      It’s all just the new testament. Before you fuck with poor people and nail them to a cross, make sure they aren’t just slumming it, and actually have a very powerful father.

  • TheObviousSolution@lemm.ee
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    25 days ago

    No, no, you see, because she grew up as a Poo Person she now understand the world from their point and realizes how much they’ve been abused, so she pledges to lead and create a new society because it all turns out to have been a big misunderstanding. Then Poo People learn magitek and we get a sequel with the spin that now they are the oppressors, followed by a movie adaptation that completely ends up killing a cult classic.

  • Match!!@pawb.social
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    25 days ago

    The opposite of this is when Useless Loser Salaryman Was Born into The Other World As A Financial Consultant And Took It Over Using Only His Accounting Powers?!

  • uriel238@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    25 days ago

    In the fanfic sequel the poo people are kept addicted on magic-suppressing opioids and mind-dulling cigarettes provided by the Special owned industrial pharmaceutical companies. It’s been this way so long

    Eveyone knows people who don’t smoke can’t be trusted. The temple priests say so every Sunday service.

    • mister_flibble@lemm.ee
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      25 days ago

      While it’s definitely PRESENT in Lord of the Rings, one could argue Frodo himself is a subversion of it. Giving the ring to someone powerful would almost inevitably result in corrupting them and (depending on just how powerful they were) would just make a new big bad. Hobbits work as ring bearers explicitly because they’re not “special”.

    • CheeseNoodle@lemmy.world
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      25 days ago

      The basic options for magic are:

      • Sorcerers: Magic blood line or other innate gift of birth. Basically magic aristocracy.
      • Wizards: Usually anyone can be a wizard, its the magic equivelent of studying hard in college.
      • Warlocks: Anyone can be a warlock if they’re willing to make a deal with the devil; the magic equivelent of dropping out to become a stripper.

      Pretty much every fantasy has the magical aristocracy but the latter two are available to regular people in a lot of fantasies too, though wizardry is often gatekept and magical pacts tend to be for villains only.

        • swab148@startrek.website
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          25 days ago

          Especially since it doesn’t have to be a devil per se, just any entity that’s more powerful than you and willing to share.

          That is to say: GOO-locks strip for C’thulu

      • Wilzax@lemmy.world
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        25 days ago

        Let’s not forget djinni, who are magic through being cursed to have powers. Like Ice King from Adventure Time

        • uriel238@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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          23 days ago

          Jinn traditionally are magical beings (beings of essential fire) from the Dusky Lands. We assume they’re stuck in jars because Solomon vacuumed a bunch up (angels too) and stuffed them into objects, sometimes geasing them so they are bound to serve.

          This is how King Soli got his civil works projects done.

          There are tens of thousands of Solomon’s captured Jinns, spread asunder and lost to time. But beware opening a vessel with Solomon’s seal. Some are untamed and with just kill you, while others are tricky and will spoil any requests.

          Those that are bound usually are limited only by their own endurance and patience. It’s fairies who like to number their boons.

      • uriel238@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        24 days ago
        • Sorcerers and Witches, those who practice magic without a license from the religious establishment, often consulted by the poor and underprivileged since the undesirables can’t simply walk into Oz without the right fancy dress.

        • Thieves, shunned by all since stealing is a greater sin than murder or human sacrifice (mostly because it’s a lower-class crime), but are clever enough to activate wands, identity herbs and potions and use practical household magic, just from ad-hoc experience and fiddling around.

      • jacksilver@lemmy.world
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        25 days ago

        Discworld would be a good example of fantasy that doesn’t follow this trope (pretty sure in that world anyone can study magic, but like everything else that doesn’t mean everyone is good at it).

        • grrgyle@slrpnk.net
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          Only just finished the first entry, and this is still the case by the end of that book at least. The main character does have a kind of “raw power” that goes beyond what others have innately, which is a bit exceptional-ising.

          It’s hard to pin down, but the tone is more community oriented, and less about this one Special.

    • xantoxis@lemmy.world
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      25 days ago

      From what I remember of the Neverending Story (the book), Bastian Balthazar Bux is just some kid with a good imagination, and he ends up as essentially their god; so.

    • Land_Strider@lemmy.world
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      Tbh I am really pissed about this in One Piece’s rather latest track. The will of D. and people with the D. names could have been pretty ordinary people with strong wills, good nature, social skills etc. opposing the injustices we see in the manga, but lately with all this reincarnation of Sun God Nika stuff, it is no different than what Naruto and Sasuke have been reduced to.

      I know it is 25 years in the making and cultures and perceptions change, along with perception of tropes in entertainment, but can we at least go beyond this “the special one” or “the chosen one” stories?

      I also know Oda has been a spectacular surpriser and a mangaka that can connect and change most trivial things to most core stuff to do unforeseen changes to the core of his world-crafting, but my doubts in One Piece being as unique as it was before the New World has been increasing these last 10 years of commercialization of it.

      • Koarnine@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        25 days ago

        I understand the hesitation completely as I also dislike the shonen reincarnation plots but I do think it differs quite a lot in that one piece is and has always been about inherited will, and that hasn’t changed at all with the sun god reveal.

        Luffy has the inherited will of Roger, not nika, I would argue that in terms of blood line nonsense luffy has a special bloodline from when we find out his father and grandfather? So far before the new world. Literally as far back as logue town. But even then, its again actually about inherited will, since luffy inherits Rogers will from Shanks, completely fucks off his grandfather’s will. And isn’t even aware he has a father, he acts of his own accord, the will of nika doesn’t manifest until awakening. As far as I’m concerned, devil fruits and haki are all expressions of willpower in one piece. Also it was never about ordinary people, there are specifically ‘ordinary people’ on the crew within the first five members to contrast with the rest of the crew being clearly insanely superhuman from episode one. The characters are chosen by fate by having inherited will from those that they idolise and emulated at the right time. Which is more or less exactly how real life (narritively) works anyway.

        Sorry for rant or w/e but ‘the chosen one’ trope I agree gets boring but… Idk it doesn’t fully apply to Luffy. But I won’t pretend there aren’t some elements that apply to Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, Nami, Usopp, Robin, Franky, Brook and Jinbei. I mean listing the main crew they are all fitting of those archetypes in different ways and always have been?

        If we talk of ‘the special one’ that applies to any and all exceptional people real or fictional. So avoiding that you would just be writing a story about unexceptional people doing normal things. Which is all well and good, but don’t be surprised when you don’t find that in shonen manga. 😅

        • Land_Strider@lemmy.world
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          24 days ago

          Ah, I didn’t wanna give the impression of completely ordinary so as to be a character from Dostoevsky’s novels, but I guess how I wrote it can easily take the topic there. Just wanted to make the distinction between “you are someone special’s descendant, albeit without yours’ or viewers’ knowledge till the story ends” vs “you are someone special only through your efforts, even among the specialty group of ninjas, heroes, devil fruit users etc.” The first one has been pretty much trodden with either last minute revelations justifying huge power-ups, or setting the stage for the plot armor of the protagonists.

          I’d argue that the will of ancestors is different, and even their effect on Luffy’s development is rather through direct action than just being related by blood. Without Dragon directly interfering, Buggy would have got Luffy in Loguetown. “Strong blood” was never something openly used in One Piece before, even more it was pretty much criticized through some villains like Axe-hand Morgan’s fascist ideology and the showcases of Celestial Dragons.

          The illusion of re-emerging endurance through hardships all over again just thanks to willpower is just as a basic, and as a tired trope for plot as the use of ancestry, but it can nevertheless result in a good variety of situations like the post-Shabody separate training arc, and is a much more comfortable aspect to cheer for a protagonist through.

          Having the ancient and most powerful spirit emerge through the protagonist to beat up the bad guys is pretty much against how Luffy’s efforts are portrayed. Yes, Luffy does not acknowledge such a thing and plays the usual fool to not understand it, but for all intents and purposes, except for one to subvert later for a possible plot-twist, Luffy is regarded as Nika by the other characters and the audience. In my opinion, Luffy should have been rejecting such a thing as reincarnation or even personification of someone else outright so as to assert the quality, fun, and morals of his own efforts than to utilize ancient bloodline powers, like rejecting Raleigh’s offer for the explanation of One Piece and being played favourites as well as being deprived of the fun of overcoming things by oneself.

          Inherited will being a culture, thought structure, morals, or aspirations vs being some ancient person’s spiritual being has been pretty distinct for me in One Piece till about Nika exposè.

          It is a taste issue, and as far I can see you try to help out with the reframing the problem I have to resolve it, and I thank you for that.

      • Sidyctism2
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        24 days ago

        I really hope oda turns it around by pitting luffys freedom against his destiny, but i dont think so. I dont even know really what was the point, I mean his awakening could have had these powers either way.

        Yeah its kinda dissapointing, and made one piece feel less special

    • Fitzsimmons@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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      25 days ago

      due to the way causality works it would be pretty difficult to tell a story in any genre where someone’s opportunities in life are not strongly correlated to circumstances from their past that are outside of their control (like their birth)

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        If we’re talking about Paul, he’s the result of over ten millennia of a secret breeding program by the bene gesserit (albeit a generation earlier than planned) AND royalty.

        I love Dune more than anything outside of Hitchhiker’s Guide, but I don’t think Paul really fits here. He’s double special before the spice.

    • VerdantSporeSeasoning@lemmy.ca
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      Not exactly fantasy, but Great Expectations by Dickens has a boy who grows up totally normal and then has his life transformed by a mysterious benefactor. It doesn’t go the way the kid expects.

      Also, Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive & Tress and the Emerald Sea feature kinds of magic that can be accessible by anyone if they engage with it right. So perhaps give those a go. SA is a long series, but Tress is pretty approachable.

    • chatokun@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      24 days ago

      Cosmere books have an interesting spin on it. First an important caveat: all powers require some sort of fuel in the cosmere universe, or some sort or store/release mechanism. Therefore while poor and rich alike can gain powers, being able to afford to use those powers can vary. Some individual series deets(all of these exist in the same galaxy, but across different planets and sometimes different levels of tech)

      Mistborn starts out looking like it fits the comic, with main characters being halfbloods with noble parents. However, some of the supporting super-powered people don’t have that background, and as you go down the series some things start revealing what people believe about the powers isn’t quite true.

      Stormlight doesn’t follow the bloodline thing at all, and various people of all classes and bloodlines develop superpowers, and inheriting it isn’t the mechanism at all. Money can be a limiting factor, but isn’t strictly one.

      Warbeaker is somewhat more mixed. There is a power system anyone in the whole population can use, but the logistics of using it means people in power have a much easier time getting the needed resources to use it at higher levels. The resource is kinda tricky, so it isn’t something that can be regulated or even stolen, but can be gained by anyone who can convince, coerce, or pay someone for their resource(everyone is born with 1, but you need lots to be powerful).

      In addition, of the 4 main protags, 2 are princesses of a minor tribelike country, one is mysterious and too much spoilers to discuss, while the 4th is treated as a minor God, but is treated that way due to a more unique power system, but also one that isn’t class based. A bit complicated but a concept explained early in the book: Returned are people who come back to life, and people worship them because of two features they have: they might dream about the near future, but won’t understand it themselves, and they can sacrifice their second life to perfectly heal any one person. They have limits I won’t go into here though.

      Summary: powers in their true form do not discriminate, but situations and societal structure allows some of them to be manipulated that way.

    • Jimbo@yiffit.net
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      25 days ago

      The main character Tau from The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter is very much from a lower class, but keeps up with the Gifted by being fucking insane. He’ll go through any pain and not let anything stop him to improve his fighting skills and take revenge. I’d recommend it if you want a story about someone who’s not particularly special.

    • uis@lemm.ee
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      24 days ago

      My Little Pony?

      I think in G4 bloodlines were brought up only twice: once indirectly with character named Blueblood, which was complete idiot, and other time when Pinkie and Applejack turned out to be distant siblings.

      In G5 movie there was pegasus family that was saying they are royals because their family can fly, while others couldn’t, but actually

      G5 spoiler

      they were faking it, nopony had any magic.

    • Swedneck
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      24 days ago

      the webnovel Delve on royalroad is specifically about this, the main character is just a neurodivergent dude who gets isekaied to a world with an (artificial) rpg system and through the mystical arts of autistic hyperfocus he figures out how to break the system over his knees and share it with others.

      in later parts of the story he and his friends found an organization specifically to level people up and they have to figure out how to set up the structure to be as democratic as possible while still recognizing the fact that they depend on the few most powerful individuals to make the whole thing work for the time being.

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      There’s an anime that kind of flips this around. Instead of an everyman who can use magic, the protagonist is someone born in the royal family but can’t use magic. Don’t know if this counts.

  • lorty@lemmy.ml
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    25 days ago

    Gotta make people accept that rich dynasties owning everything is valid.

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      I genuinely think the main ideological function isn’t even as much to promote that, as it is to focus personal dreams and fantasies towards wanting to become a part of the “winners”. Not that it isn’t part of it, just by normalising it as status quo even within fantasies, but I think even more powerful is to have people fantasise about being one of the chosen ones eventually.

      Quick reminder that stuff like this is not planned like in some conspiracy, but just a result of dynamics happening (almost exclusively, rare exceptions) unconsciously the way ideology springs from the material base.

      • mindbleach@sh.itjust.works
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        24 days ago

        Skull-with-sunglasses Shaun did a whole thing about Harry Potter as neoliberal high fantasy - arguably arguing that it stems from the tribalist worldview that hierarchies are inevitable and all we can do is shuffle around who goes where. Harry becomes a wizard-cop because he’s the right kind of person to wield power. Things are good because he does them. To people in that conservative mindset, asking why he didn’t question that power structure is like asking an apple why it didn’t fall up.

    • uis@lemm.ee
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      Once upon a time in a magical land of soviets people realized that dynasties owning everything was never valid.

        • Swedneck
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          and nothing has gone wrong in the rest of the world either, definitely do not look at the quality of life in america, ignore the fact that a significant amount of americans are illiterate.

  • dmalteseknight@programming.dev
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    24 days ago

    I also dislike when the underdog genuinly starts off as an underdog and is just given a cheat code which is played off as “hard work and determination”.

    Like the main character of My Hero Academia. A person born without super powers in a world full of super heroes. You get excited at how he will overcome his limitations… and the answer to that is be given the strongest power in that world and get even more super powers on top of that.

    It is especially annoying how the surrounding characters act like it isn’t a cheat code.

    Funny thing is in that universe there is a character called Lemillion who had powers with drawbacks and had to learn to take advantage of them. A true underdog making the most of the cards he was dealth with. He should have been the MC of the show.

  • ealoe@ani.social
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    25 days ago

    This captures why I don’t enjoy Harry Potter (in addition to JKR being a shitter)

  • brucethemoose@lemmy.world
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    Heh, Korra is literally this, but being royal was a total coincidence. And I guess you could say she “reset” the reincarnation bloodline.

    And I guess she subverts it a little too because she finds out so young, and is not shy about it.

    And Ozai played with this too, deliberately marrying the descendent (Ursa) of a super special Poo Person (Avatar Roku) in hopes of producing superior children. And it kind of worked.

    • Swedneck
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      at least they explored the power dynamics, like yeah if some people are just mundane, some people can fucking shoot fire from their hands or make the ground swallow you whole, and ONE person is effectively just a god, then it makes sense for a lot of the mundane people to just want this all to stop because that’s fucking terrifying.

      But also there are (were?) things in the avatar universe that mitigate the power imbalance, like the avatars being raised to recognize that they have an extreme responsibility to use their powers wisely, and thanks to the whole reincarnation thing it’d presumably be difficult for the avatar to suddenly become evil since every previous avatar would screech at them and for all we know they could just force the avatar state to send the body to its death and exiting the avatar state just before death.

      • brucethemoose@lemmy.world
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        thanks to the whole reincarnation thing it’d presumably be difficult for the avatar to suddenly become evil since every previous avatar would screech at them and for all we know they could just force the avatar state to send the body to its death and exiting the avatar state just before death.

        There’s an ATLA comic that kind of refutes this, where Aang just straight up shuts out Roku. It’s… not the best comic.

        Anyway, I think the idea is that the Avatar is fundamentally the same soul reincarnating, the same empathetic petty thief that stood up for anyone that was oppressed. That’s just part of their nature, sometimes to a fault. Even Avatars with a screwed up childhood like Kyoshi and Korra turn out that way.

        The mitigation is often the plot, where their power isn’t particularly useful to solve their problems. A poignant example is when Korra just turns herself into Zaheer to save the Air Nomads, fully expecting to die (though the gravity is not very explicit since it’s a kids show, as is true across both TV shows).

        , and ONE person is effectively just a god,

        Another thing I find amusing is that “common” people just treat the Avatar as some random joe, with lines like “Avatar, huh? We still have one of those?” or Bolin’s grandma who clearly holds more reverence for the Earth Queen than the Avatar.

        As far as fantasy series go, I think it does a good job of making all the Beautiful Special People feel mundane.

    • WhatAmLemmy@lemmy.world
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      25 days ago

      This, or the humble royalty, is most fictional hero storylines. I unironically believe capitalism uses these tropes to condition the people into believing feudalism, authoritarianism, and genetic divinity are justifiable.

      Remember! The rich are rich because they’re better than you! Not because them or their ancestors were murderers, slave owners, exploiters, criminal sociopaths, etc.

      • Samvega@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        The endless story of justification is powerless in the face of time, as time reduces all individuals, groups, bloodlines and ideologies to memory, and then to total obliteration.

        Maybe we could spend less time justifying being shit to each other, as it is wholly without lasting merit, and - instead - create a world based on human decency. That won’t last, either, but at least it would be moral.