[S3E13] The Firebending Masters !FREE!
Phoenix is the High Priestess of the Sun Warriors, and has been guarding a secret about firebending her whole life. When the Avatar and Fire Nation Prince show up on her people's doorstep, the dragons give her a vision, one she knows she must carry out. But what will her involvement mean for the survival of her people, and the protection of the last dragons on Earth?
[S3E13] The Firebending Masters
While teaching Aang the basics of firebending Zuko discovers that his own firebending has grown severely weaker. After some thought, he realizes that this is because he is no longer filled with anger and hatred, which used to fuel his fire. In order to discover the true, original source of firebending, him and Aang travel to the ruins of the Sun Warrior Tribe, which consisted of the first humans to learn firebending. Once there, they quickly discover they are not alone.
Zuko prepares to teach Aang firebending, but discovers that his own abilities have significantly diminished. He and Aang travel to the temples of the extinct Sun Warriors to learn about the ancient origin of firebending. Zuko reveals to Aang that his great grandfather, Sozin, caused the extinction of the dragons, the original firebenders. After discovering the Sun Warrior culture still exists, Zuko and Aang are sent to see the firebending masters, later revealed to be the two last surviving dragons in the world: Ran and Shaw. After the dragons teach them the true nature of fire, Zuko's powers are restored and Aang no longer fears nor hates firebending.
As their training starts, Zuko notes Aang's nervousness and reminds him that he should not fear firebending. Aang is relieved to hear this, before Zuko warns him about its dangers. Zuko commences Aang's firebending training at the Western Air Temple and tells Aang to show him how much fire he can produce. Seeing as it is not very much, Aang thinks perhaps a demonstration from Zuko would help. However, Zuko finds that his own firebending is very weak; he tries to firebend at lower altitudes, hoping that it is the height hindering him, but to no avail.
Later that night, Zuko apologizes to everyone, saying he has lost his firebending. Out of spite, Katara laughs and coldly jokes how convenient it would have been for the group if Zuko's firebending had failed him months before. Aang hypothesizes that Zuko must not have enough rage to create fire like he used to in the past. Sokka, stating that all they would have to do is make Zuko angry, starts poking him wildly with his sword sheath. However, Zuko says that he no longer wants to rely on anger and hatred, so Toph encourages him to learn from the original source of firebending (Sokka thinks it is volcanoes), like how she learned earthbending from the badgermoles, who were the original earthbenders. She tells a story about how when she was younger, she ran away and hid in a cave, meeting them. They were blind, like her, and they understood each other. They taught her earthbending, not just as a martial art, but as an extension of her senses as badgermoles did not use to fight, but to interact with the world. Aang claims that the Air Nomads taught him that flying bison were the original airbenders, and points out Appa. Zuko says that the dragons were the original firebenders, but that they have been extinct for some time. Flabbergasted, Aang comments that when he was a kid there were many dragons and Avatar Roku had a dragon, but Zuko does not find it very helpful. Knowing that either he needs to find another way to firebend or the Avatar needs to find a new teacher, Zuko tells Aang about an ancient civilization that died out thousands of years earlier called the Sun Warriors, who were the first known people to have learned from the dragons, hoping the ruins of the culture could provide an alternate but equally viable source.
While exploring the ruins, Aang and Zuko come across a locked door with a sunstone on top. Zuko sees a celestial calendar is used to open the door specifically on the summer solstice and uses his sword to reflect sunlight onto the jewel, causing it to open. Aang compliments his intelligence, telling him he "doesn't care what anyone else thinks". Inside they find various statues which depict a firebending form called the Dancing Dragon.
After explaining that Aang is the Avatar and they desire to learn the true form of firebending, Zuko and Aang are put through a ritual where they have to carry a portion of the first fire, given to man by the dragons, up a mountain and present it to the true "firebending masters", Ran and Shaw. At first, Aang is scared to try to hold the flame, but the Sun Warrior chief comforts him by saying that fire is not just destructive, but it is life.
As they travel, up Aang is nervous about his fire, but thanks to some tips from Zuko, remains steady and in control. They reach the lair of the masters and are sent to the top of a stairway, where they see two caves at the top. They are warned of the master's judgement, as Zuko's lineage is responsible for wiping out the dragons and Aang as the Avatar disappeared, allowing the dragons to go extinct. Aang is once again nervous, but Zuko convinces them that they will see it through to the end and can handle anything. Aang and Zuko present their fires and each face one of the two caves. Aang, however, loses his portion of the fire due to being distracted and scared; he tries to take a piece of Zuko's fire, but accidentally knocks his hands down, extinguishing his flame as well. At that moment, two dragons emerge from the two caves, to Zuko and Aang's great shock, and start flying in circles around them. Zuko and Aang earn the respect of the dragons by performing the firebending technique that they learned from the statues, dancing with the dragons in the process. The dragons breathe beautiful, multicolored flames around them, revealing the true and harmonious way of firebending.
Aang realizes that fire is not destruction, but energy and life, and is able to firebend as well. The chief explains that Iroh was the last outsider to visit the masters and deemed worthy to learn the secret. He lied to keep the dragons alive so they could continue on. The chief explains he has no choice, but to imprison the both of them forever to keep their existence a secret, which astonishes them both. He soon reveals that he is joking, but is very serious that they do not tell anyone.
Back at the Western Air Temple, Zuko and Aang show everyone the firebending moves they learned. Sokka pokes fun at them by saying that they would just "tap-dance" their way to victory over the Fire Lord. Zuko tries to explain how serious and ancient the technique is, but they cannot look past the name of the form, the "Dancing Dragon", so they do not take it too seriously.
燃和燒 Ran and ShawBiographical informationNicknameThe Masters (by the Sun Warriors)NationalityFire NationResidenceSun Warriors' ancient cityPhysical descriptionSkin typeScalesPersonal informationAlliesSun Warriors, Iroh, Aang, ZukoEnemiesFire NationWeapon of choiceClaws, teeth, fireFighting styleFirebendingPolitical informationProfessionFirebending instructorsPositionFirebending masters
The last dragons (as of 100 AG)
AffiliationSun WarriorsChronological informationFirst appearance"The Firebending Masters" (only appearance)Image gallery (6)Ran and Shaw are two ancient dragons revered by the Sun Warriors as the original masters of firebending. At the end of the Hundred Year War, they were the last known surviving dragons, a species nearly hunted to extinction by firebenders after Fire Lord Sozin began the tradition of killing them for glory. Visited by many people throughout history, the dragons only deemed a few people outside the Sun Warrior tribe to be worthy; those deemed unworthy were customarily destroyed.
Ran and Shaw were once visited by Iroh, who was deemed worthy of learning the true essence of firebending. The two dragons taught Iroh temperance in all things as they used their bodies to form the taijitu before him, the universal form of yin and yang. After he returned to the Fire Nation, Iroh claimed that he had fought and slain the last surviving dragon, so as to preserve the secret of Ran and Shaw's existence from the rest of the world, so that they would be left in peace.
The dragons were later visited by Prince Zuko and Avatar Aang after the former's firebending became weak. Setting out to learn the original form of firebending from Ran and Shaw, they journeyed to the cave of the masters, each carrying a piece of the Eternal Flame, which they would present to the masters as an offering. However, both their flames were extinguished before they could be presented. Summoned by the Sun Warriors, the dragons flew out of their caves and began circling Aang and Zuko. After observing their movements for a while, Aang deduced that the dragons wanted them to perform the "Dancing Dragon", an ancient firebending form, with them. Ran and Shaw performed the technique in unison with the young firebenders and, after deeming them worthy, showed them the "true" meaning of firebending by surrounding the duo with a colorful spiral of fire. Having passed on their knowledge, the dragons retreated back into their respective lairs.
Unlike the aggressive and hatred-fueled methods employed by most benders native to the Fire Nation during the Hundred Year War, Ran and Shaw practice a form of firebending that emphasizes the life-giving qualities of fire. They are able to communicate the true meaning of firebending through their multi-colored flames. 041b061a72