Hey, hey! I thought I recognized Travis Willingham as the huntsman! Better late to the show than never for good ol' Colonel Mustang! Now if only they could find a true doppelganger for the Flame Alchemist, and then I'll be content (they sadly missed their shot with Iroh II, but I digress). OK, I'm not going to talk much about Beginnings 1 and 2, and everyone knows how epic it is.
So, what a great concept to have a world dominated by spirits back in the ancient days! It's not a new idea, since the supernatural plays a prominent role in every ancient cultural tradition, but seeing it realized in such a way as it was here was truly fascinating! Talk about high fantasy! I'm curious what it meant when the spirits had to leave the world at the end. Are there other means through which spirits gain physical access to the world? Did not all of them leave? Probably all the above. I love the concept of the lion turtles as guardians of humankind. They have such mystery behind them, and the idea that they're simply hiding…somewhere…is really interesting. Now, I wonder if there were people who held elements who kept them after the lion turtles left? This wouldn't follow the traditional lore of the origins of bending, in which the tides, sky bison, badger moles, and dragons were the original teachers of bending. I would bet that the lion turtles as a source of bending became obsolete, and that humans had to re-learn how to use them. That would explain why it requires such intense training for natural benders to learn the elements, which is required to open up their chi paths. The lion turtles opened them like an on/off switch, which made using an element easy upon receiving it.
This is all minor technical stuff, but it's the kind of thing I like to mull over after enjoying an episode. If something really resonates with me, it's always thrilling to investigate further and decipher the logic behind a story's construction. Perhaps you can relate, but I like to make these worlds feel real as the one I'm living in now. A story set in an underbaked universe can be little more than a cheap thrill to me.
I like the personification of the Avatar spirit. I'm curious how familiar prior Avatars were with Raava, since there was never any mention of her in ATLA. Perhaps she's preferred to remain on the periphery in more recent times. With the big showdown coming between Korra and Vaatu, hopefully we'll hear more from Wan and Raava. More please!