Hi! So first off, i LOVE your blog! A long while ago i stumbled upon your “Katara: Consumed by Destiny” posts and honestly it was one of the two reasons i finally cave in and signed up to tumblr. So thanks! Regarding the LGBT and Sozin post, you mentioned that the dragon hunting was about changing the fundamental perception of what firebending is and where it comes from (kind of). Is this your interpretation or is it based on canon? I thought it was more about the glory of defeating a dragon

araeph:

The glory of defeating a dragon was the Sozin official
government stance, I’m sure. However, consider that having a dragon, not as a
trophy, but as a beloved companion, was common enough among the higher echelons
of firebenders that both Roku and Sozin
rode one. 

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Imagine owning a beloved dog for years, and then one day signing
a decree declaring dog hunting a glorious honor! There’s no reason to do such a
thing unless you have an ulterior motive.

Added to that, dragons were considered sacred in the Fire Nation
up until Sozin’s reign. We know that because of the throne room, where the dragon is positioned in a place of superiority over the Fire Lord:

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Imagery that is notably absent from the palace’s reconstruction:

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Dragons are heavenly creatures and highly revered, both in the culture(s) on which the Fire Nation was based, and in the fictional Sun Warrior culture, which was the progenitor of the Fire Nation’s:

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Zuko: Even though these buildings are ancient,there’s something eerily familiar about them. I can tell the Fire Sages’ temples are somehow descended from these.

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In Western terms, initiating dragon hunting would be the
equivalent of putting a bounty out on archangels—such a thing would never be considered glorious, and you
would only attempt it if you felt it was crucial to your (or your
kingdom’s) survival. But there’s no evidence that dragons ever tried to invade
the Fire Nation, or were pests of any kind to its inhabitants. We can only conclude that it wasn’t a physical danger Sozin feared, but a spiritual or ideological one. Then in the same episode
as the exposition about Sozin’s dragon hunting, we get:

–       
Exposition about the true meaning of fire

–       
A reminder that Zuko’s firebending used to come from anger and
hate

–       
The dragons judging Zuko and Aang and finding them worthy because they open their spirits
to the true meaning of fire

This makes “fire is life” the
implicit explanation for why Sozin created this terrible tradition, and why
dragon fire, ironically, would have judged Sozin unworthy
as a master of the very element he championed.

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