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Mon
Apr 26 2010 1:35pm

In this episode...

Sokka gets sick from the storm, and then Katara gets sick from Sokka. Aang runs off to find medicine. On his way to collect a cure, Aang is captured by a squad of Fire Nation archers. The archers work for Admiral Zhao, who has redoubled his efforts to get the Avatar. The mysterious Blue Spirit rescues Aang, but when the masked man is knocked unconscious during the escape. Aang discovers that the Blue Spirit is none other than Prince Zuko. Aang offers him friendship. Zuko says “Huah!” and throws fire at him.

[Read more...]

Mon
Apr 26 2010 6:00am

Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire series, joins us to talk about dragons, fan fiction, and copyright law. Dave and John discuss dragons in books, games, and film.

 

[Here Be SHOW NOTES!]

Thu
Apr 22 2010 5:00pm

In this episode...

The Aang Gang is in need of money, so Sokka volunteers to work for a fisherman on his next fishing trip, even though a storm seems imminent. Aang is recognized by the fisherman as the Avatar “who turned his back on the world.” Aang runs away in guilt, but Katara tracks him down in a cave. Aang tells Katara that the monks at the Southern Air Temple wanted to send him away to the Eastern Air Temple to separate him from Monk Gyatso. This led to Aang running away from home and (eventually) sealing himself in the iceberg. Meanwhile on Zuko’s ship, Zuko’s crew question his leadership. Iroh tells them the story of how the prince was scarred in a duel, and then banished from the Fire Nation, by his own father. 

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Mon
Apr 19 2010 12:55pm

In this episode...

The Aang Gang arrives at the world’s largest canyon. They are ready to cross when two feuding tribes arrive, but do not want to cross the canyon together. Aang sends Appa with the sick and elderly of both tribes over the canyon, then leads both tribes across the divide with the help of a fatalistic tour guide earthbender. Aang resolves the feud, and the two tribes continue on to Ba Sing Se. Aang and crew continue on their journey. 

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Thu
Apr 15 2010 2:26pm

In this episode...

A gang of rough and tumble orphans led by the straw-chewing Jet rescue Aang and his friends from a troop of Fire Nation soldiers. Jet invites them back to his hideout, taking a special liking to Katara. Sokka doesn’t trust Jet. Jet tries to win Sokka over, but fails. Later, Jet tricks Aang and Katara into destroying an Earth Kingdom town, but Sokka is able to rescue the townspeople and expose Jet.

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Mon
Apr 12 2010 2:03pm

In this episode...

Katara tries to teach Aang some waterbending, but it quickly becomes apparent that Aang’s skills have surpassed his instructor’s. On a trip to town to pick up supplies, Katara steals a waterbending scroll from a store run by pirates. Zuko teams up with the pirates to retrieve the scroll and capture the Avatar. Mayhem ensues. Conflict between Zuko and the pirates allows Aang and company to escape with the scroll and their lives.

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Mon
Apr 12 2010 6:00am

Dan Carlin, host of the Hardcore History podcast, joins us to discuss the history of the future, the origins of the centaur legend, and what the Black Death can teach us about postapocalyptic fiction. Dave and John get medieval on your assumptions about historical fantasy.

 

[No written record of the history of Geek's Guide to the Galaxy has ever been discovered. All that remains are these SHOW NOTES.]

Thu
Apr 8 2010 2:28pm

In this episode...

Aang must reach a Fire Temple inside the Fire Nation by sundown so he can commune with the spirit of Avatar Roku. Zuko picks up their trail at the village then heads after them in his ship, risking returning to the Fire Nation despite his banishment. Aang and Zuko both run into a Fire Nation blockade, and both attempt to run it. Aang and the gang make it through, and Zuko manages to sneak by, but only because Zhao lets him through so that Zuko will lead him to the Avatar. Aang makes it to the Fire Temple in time, but discover Fire Sages protecting the temple. Fortunately, one of the Sages is more loyal to the Avatar than the Fire Nation, and offers to help Aang commune with Roku. Aang learns that Sozin’s Comet, which imbues firebenders with super-firebending abilities while it’s passing, will be returning again soon, and Fire Lord Ozai will use the extra power to end the war once and for all. So Aang learns he must master all the elements—which typically takes years to master—and defeat Ozai before the comet arrives at summer’s end.

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Mon
Apr 5 2010 1:14pm

In this episode...

The Aang Gang is visiting a small Earth Kingdom village when Sokka is abducted by a vengeful forest spirit. While pursuing the spirit, Aang is transported to the Spirit World, where he is told by Avatar Roku’s spirit animal, Fang the Dragon, that Aang’s former incarnation has a message for him. Using his newfound knowledge of the Spirit World, Aang calms the forest spirit, freeing Sokka and other abducted villagers. At the same time, another abduction takes place. Iroh is captured by earthbenders, who want to see him stand trial for war crimes at the Earth Kingdom capital city of Ba Sing Se. Zuko rescues
his uncle, then sets out once again to capture the Avatar.

 

 

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Mon
Apr 5 2010 5:45am

Holly Black, author of The Spiderwick Chronicles, joins us to talk about the Spiderwick movie, graphic novels, and D&D. Dave and John blame evil internet fairies for any number of things, possibly including the loss of their childhood action figure collections.

 

[To keep the evil internet fairies at bay, read these SHOW NOTES aloud in the presence of the full moon.]

Fri
Apr 2 2010 6:03pm

In this episode...

The Aang gang are recovering from their last adventure, when on a lunch break (consisting, sadly, only of nuts), they discover an earthbender practicing nearby. They greet him, but he runs away without a word. Hoping to find a village nearby where they can acquire some actual food, the gang follows the boy. Once they catch up to him, they learn that the Fire Nation is in control of the Earth Kingdom village and earthbending is forbidden (and the reason the boy, Haru, was practicing out far away from town). So Haru dare not earthbend in front of the Fire Nation soldiers, or else he may be taken away—as his father, and every other earthbender in the village—was. But an accident at the coal mine forces Haru to use his earthbending to save the miner trapped in the cave-in, only to be betrayed and turned in by the man he saved. The Fire Nation comes to take Haru away, leaving the gang feeling responsible for his imprisonment, so Katara arranges to be arrested and joins the other earthbenders on the prison ship—which is entirely made of metal, so they’re unable to use their bending, being far away from any earth—in an effort to rescue Haru. 

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Mon
Mar 29 2010 2:28pm

In this episode...

The Aang Gang arrives at the Earth Kingdom city of Omashu, ruled by a wily old king. Aang reminisces about his old friend Bumi, a “mad genius” who 100 years ago showed Aang that the most fun one can have in Omashu is to ride the city’s steep twisting maze of mail chutes and slides. Aang, Sokka, Katara, and Momo give the chutes a try, but end up crushing the wares of a traveling cabbage merchant. Brought before the crazy king of the city, the gang is given a feast. The king suspects that Aang is the Avatar, and is given three deadly challenges to test his skills. As a final test, the king asks Aang to guess his name. It is only then that Aang realizes the “mad genius” of a king is Aang’s old friend Bumi. King Bumi reinforces the instructions of Aang’s quest—master the four elements and defeat Fire Lord Ozai.

 

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Mon
Mar 29 2010 6:21am

John Langan, author of House of Windows, joins us for our horrifying thirteenth episode! Dave and John discuss scary, scary stuff, including CNN and grammar.

 

[Only kids are afraid of SHOW NOTES!]

Thu
Mar 25 2010 5:40pm

In this episode...

Aang leads the group to Kyoshi Island, where he hopes to ride the elephant koi. Shortly after his ride, Aang and the others are captured by a squad of elite female warriors who live on the island. Aang learns that the village of Kyoshi has stayed neutral in the war between the nations and is named after one of the previous Avatar incarnations who was born there centuries ago. The villagers are suspicious at first but once Aang proves he’s the Avatar, the embrace him. Aang lets their adulation of him go to his head. Sokka offends Suki, the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors, then apologizes to and befriends her, and starts learning their ways. Word of Aang’s presence in Kyoshi spreads quickly and it is not long before Zuko learns of his whereabouts. Zuko’s forces invade Kyoshi, nearly destroying the village in the process before Aang and the others (with the help of the Kyoshi Warriors) fend them off. Aang realizes that everywhere he goes, destruction may follow. 

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Mon
Mar 22 2010 6:08pm

In this episode...

With the hope of finding other Air Nomads, Aang and company travel to the Southern Air Temple. After revisiting fond memories (and befriending a lemur he names Momo), Aang discovers that the Fire Nation truly has murdered all his people. This revelation sends him into the Avatar State, alerting people all over the world that the Avatar has returned. Fortunately, Katara is able to talk Aang down. Meanwhile, Zuko stops in at a Fire Nation harbor for repairs. A powerful Fire Nation officer, Commander Zhao, learns of the Avatar’s return from Zuko and challenges the prince to a duel. Zhao intends to teach Zuko a lesson, but Zuko wins the duel. Zhao then attempts to kill Zuko, but Iroh saves his nephew.

[A spoilery discussion of this episode begins after the cut.]

Mon
Mar 22 2010 6:16am

The Tolkien Professor, Corey Olsen, joins us to talk about Tolkien, Medieval literature, and whether Balrogs have wings. Stay with us after the interview when Dave and John discuss all things Hobbit.

 

[SHOW NOTES are highly visible to the Nazgûl, so read them with caution. When you’re done with them, please hurl them into the fires of Mount Doom.]

Thu
Mar 18 2010 12:20pm

In this episode...

Having been alerted to Aang’s presence at the Southern Water Tribe village, Zuko launches an attack. Sokka’s pitiful defenses don’t stand a chance against a squad of firebenders. The situation looks hopeless until Aang swoops in and shows Zuko that a fully trained airbender can hold his own in battle. Rather than risk the lives of the water tribe, Aang agrees to be taken as Zuko’s prisoner. Sokka and Katara set out on Appa to rescue their new friend. With Sokka and Katara’s help, Aang escapes Zuko’s ship, and the three set out on a journey to the North Pole, where Aang and Katara hope to learn waterbending from a master.

 

 

[A spoilery discussion of episode 102 begins after the cut.]

Mon
Mar 15 2010 12:27pm

In this episode...

Waterbender Katara and her wisecracking brother Sokka, two children of the Southern Water Tribe, discover Aang, the last of the air nomads, and his flying bison Appa trapped in an iceberg. After endearing himself to Southern Water Tribe’s village, Aang and Katara explore a long-abandoned Fire Nation ship, where Aang learns that he was encased in the iceberg for 100 years. Though Katara suspects Aang’s true identity, the airbender is hesitant to admit that he is actually the Avatar, a reincarnated superbender capable of wielding all four elements.

At the same time, the Fire Nation’s banished prince Zuko and his uncle Iroh are on the trail of the Avatar. When Aang and Katara set off a booby trap on the abandoned Fire Nation ship, the resulting explosion leads Zuko and Iroh to the Southern Water Tribe’s village.

[A spoilery discussion of episode 101 begins after the cut.]

Mon
Mar 15 2010 6:00am

The People vs. George Lucas director Alexandre Philippe joins us to talk about the film and the love/hate relationship between Star Wars fans and its creator. Dave and John discuss their opinions of all six films and the expanded universe.

 

[Now witness the firepower of these fully armed and operational SHOW NOTES!]