The Avatar and The Firelord
Written By: Elizabeth Welch Ehasz
Directed By: Ethan Spaulding
Storyboard By: Oreste Canestrelli, Miyuki Hoshikawa, Dean Kelly, Ethan Spaulding, Tomihiro Yamaguchi
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
(The scene begins with Roku emerging through a wall of fire. He is speaking to Aang through a dream.)
Roku: Aang, it's time you learned my history with Fire Lord Sozin. You need to understand how the war began, if you want to know how to end it. Meet me on my home island on the day of the summer solstice.
(The dream changes, and an island in the Fire Nation with two volcanoes is now shown.
The scene cuts to Aang, asleep on Appa. He rolls over onto his side.)
Aang: (talking in his sleep) Okay, Roku.
(The scene cuts to Zuko. He is in his room, sleeping on his side. Footsteps can be heard in the hallway outside his door. The sound wakes him and he rushes to the hall to investigate. As he opens the door, he sees a mysterious cloaked figure disappear down the hall. As Zuko gazes down the hall, a strong breeze blows through the drapes of the hall. Zuko starts off after the figure but is distracted by a scroll placed upright in the hall. Surprised, Zuko picks up the scroll and begins to read.)
Zuko: (speaking aloud) You need to know the story of your great-grandfather's demise. It will reveal your own destiny.
(Zuko closes the scroll. Intrigued, he stares down the hallway. The drapes are still rustling. The scene cuts to a view from the opposite end of the hallway. The camera focuses on Zuko, still standing outside his bedroom, drapes still rustling from the breeze.
Cut to a bright blue, cloud filled sky. A very large cloud moves quickly forward. Cut to the inside of the curious cloud. Appa and Aang are shown inside the cloud. Aang, positioned on the neck of Appa, bends the elements around Appa to create a cloud of camouflage. His arms move quickly around his body in a circular motion. Katara and Sokka look over Appa's saddle for a better look. The island is unnervingly desolate.)
Aang: There it is. That's Roku's home.
Katara: (confused) But there's nothing here.
(Toph jumps from Appa's saddle. Once her feet hit the ground, she solemnly tells Katara and the gang what she can see with her unique vision.)
Toph: (somberly) Yes, there is. An entire village. Hundreds
of houses. (A strong breeze moves a layer of ash along the ground, brushing past their feet.) All completely buried in ash.
(The scene changes to show an amazing Fire Nation City, surrounded by walls that appear to have been made by waves of lava. Cut to a large and impressive hall, full of paintings of Fire Nation Royalty. Zuko stands before one of the portraits. Azula passes by Zuko, and makes a suggestion.)
Azula: It's never too early for a sitting with the court painter, Zuko. (sarcastically) Make sure he gets your good side.
(Zuko, glints away from his sister, clearly upset with his sister's off color comment. Suddenly his face changes. He turns to speak to her as she continues down the hall.)
Zuko: Wait. I need to ask you something. What do you remember about our Great-Grandfather's history?
Azula: (sighs) Ah, Zuko. (The camera angle changes to an overhead view of the hall, the siblings, and the majestic paintings.) It's so strange how your mind works. (The camera focuses on Sozin's portrait. It slowly pans up from the bottom of the painting. It rest's on Sozin's face, a comet arching in flight over his head. Azula continues to tell Zuko Sozin's history.) Fire Lord Sozin began the war, of course. He spent his early years secretly preparing for it, but he was as patient as he was clever. He famously waited for the comet, later renamed Sozin's comet, and used its power to launch his full-scale invasion of the world. (The camera angle changes. The siblings are shown, standing side by side, looking up at the painting, Azula finishes the story.) In the end, he died a very old and successful man.
Zuko: (confused) But how did he die?
Azula: Didn't you pay any attention in school, Zuko? (Azula begins to
walk away. She walks off camera as she finishes her sentence.) He died peacefully, in his sleep. He was ancient.
(Zuko stares, his face furrows in frustration. Cut to Roku's island. The gang is shown, from a distance. They are sitting on the tip of a hardened wave of lava. Cut to Aang from the back. He is facing the ocean which is ablaze in gold and orange as the sunsets. Aang is meditating. His arrows glow, and he is shown sitting atop a mountain top in an alternate reality, possibly the Spirit World. He is surrounded by an ocean of clouds. Roku's dragon flies into the shot. He flies in behind Aang, who is now standing. Roku smiles gently, and a breeze tussles his white hair and beard. The scene cuts. Zuko is in his room, laying on his back on his bed. He rolls over on his side and stares at the puzzling scroll. He picks up the scroll and reads it to himself again.)
Zuko: (frustrated) What does it mean? (Annoyed, he tosses the scroll aside. It lands on his bedside lantern. The light from within the lantern shines through the parchment. It reveals a secret message on the scroll. Zuko gasps and grabs the scroll from atop the lantern. He reads aloud.) The Fire Sages keep the secret history in the Dragon Bone Catacombs.
(The camera focuses on Zuko's eyes as he finishes reading the
discovered message. Zuko quickly turns to leave. Cut to a dark and ominous temple. It stands stately, bathed in soft red light. Fire Sages walk the grounds. Zuko is hiding and waiting behind a pillar, out of sight. He sees a Fire Sage walking through a courtyard. The courtyard is large. In the middle of the courtyard floor, a large medallion fashioned in the shape of a flower is seen. The Fire Sage stops directly over the ornate medallion on the ground. He crouches low, and delivers a blast of fire into the center of the design.
It begins to open, a hidden passage is under the courtyard of the temple. The Sage disappears into the floor. Zuko sits behind the pillar to wait until it is safe for him to use the secret passage himself. When all is quiet, Zuko goes to the secret passage, and bends a blast of fire into the medallion just as the sage had. The passage opens, and a spiral staircase is revealed along with a very large secret chamber. Zuko travels through the chamber and down a hall lined with what appears to be the bones of dragons, all lined up along the walls of the hall. He then comes to an ornate door with what appears to be a metal sculpture of Fire Lord Sozin on it.
On the chest of the sculpture is a Fire Nation emblem. Zuko places his left hand over the emblem, and delivers a powerful fire blast. The fire fills the door, and pours out from the statue's eyes, nose and mouth. As the door opens, cobwebs pull apart and fall to the side of the door. As Zuko enters the room, he pulls his cloak from his head and raises his lantern to look around the dark chamber. The room is filled with artifacts and various vessels. A large and intricate dragon statue sits in the middle of the room. Under the dragon's head, Zuko finds what he is looking for.)
Zuko: (reading aloud) The final testament of Fire Lord Sozin.
(The scene cuts to Aang reaching for Roku to climb on the back of the dragon.)
Roku: Come, Aang. (The three fly off over the clouds)
Aang: (curious) Where are we going?
Roku: (smiling) To visit my past. Our shared past.
(Aang smiles, and the three fly out of the shot. Cut to the chamber where Zuko sits, reading fervently. While Zuko reads, Fire Lord Sozin's voice is heard. He narrates the following story.)
Sozin: (narrates) As I feel my own life dimming, I can't help but think of a time when everything was so much brighter. (The scene cuts, and we see a lush and green Fire Nation Courtyard. Two young firebenders are sparing. The young men exchange fire blasts in an impressive display of firebending. The two young men are Sozin and Roku.) I remember my friend.
(While they spar, Sozin notices that Roku's feet are too close to a tree root. Sozin smiles, and uses this to his advantage. He steps up his attack to drive Roku back, causing Roku to trip and fall back. As Roku falls, Sozin grabs Roku by the shirt to keep him from falling. While he holds him, he raises his hand as if to fire blast, but instead he lets Roku fall to the ground.)
Sozin: (smiling) Looks like I win again, Roku. (Sozin extends his hand to help Roku to his feet.)
Roku: Are you kidding? (Raises eyebrows, and takes Sozin's hand.) The tree root did all the work. (Roku gets back on his feet, and pats Sozin on the shoulder to praise his clever maneuver.) Nice one, Sozin. (The two young men walk off camera while Roku and Aang watch.)
Aang: (surprised) You were friends with Fire Lord Sozin?!
Roku: Back then, he was just Prince Sozin, and he was my best friend.
(Roku and Sozin leave the courtyard. A lovely young Fire Nation woman enters the scene. As she walks past the friends, Roku stares at her and blushes. Sozin notices.)
Sozin: (nudging Roku) Say something to her.
(Roku walks after the young woman. He raises his hand and attempts to greet her.)
(Embarrassed, and overcome by her presence, Roku sighs and puts his hands on his head and falls back onto the ground. Sozin sits down next to him and sprinkle's blades of grass onto Roku's face. Roku and Aang can now be seen in the back, watching Roku's history unfold. The camera closes in on Aang and Roku.)
Roku: Love is hard when you're young.
Aang: You don't have to tell me.
Roku: (puts his hand on Aang's shoulder) Don't worry, It gets better. Now come with me. We have a party to attend. (Cut to a lovely outdoor celebration in a courtyard. Cheerful golden lanterns are strung above a large crowd of Fire Nation citizens. The camera pans down, and we see a large staircase with two figures standing at the top.)
Aang: Wait, whose party is it?
Roku: Sozin and I shared many things, including a birthday.
(The camera now focuses on Roku and Prince Sozin at the top of the stairs. As they walk down the stairs, the camera focuses on two young women in the crowd. One of them is Roku's love interest. She watches Roku, then looks down and blushes. Her friend leans over her shoulder and giggles. Roku has noticed the young woman's interest and blushes while he continues down the stairs. Distracted, Roku begins to fall down the stairs. Sozin acts quickly and grabs Roku by the hand, saving him from falling. Roku, composes himself, and blushes again from embarrassment. Sozin laughs at his love smitten friend. The moment ends quickly, as the crowd suddenly grows quiet. A group of Fire Nation Sages have entered the courtyard. They are walking toward Prince Sozin and Roku. Sozin hurries down the stairs to meet them.)
Sozin: (concerned) Did something happen to my father?
Fire Nation Sage: No, Prince Sozin. We are not here for you. We are here to announce the identity of the next Avatar. (The guests are no longer quiet as whispers travel through the crowd. Cut to Roku and Sozin, both in shock. Cut again to a close up of the sages. The Sages make the announcement, and they bow to respect the new Avatar.) It is our honor to serve you, Avatar Roku.
(Cut to a close up of Roku, standing with his jaw dropped, in disbelief. The camera shows the crowd on the ground, all bowing. Sozin, who is still in shock himself, looks around at the crowd. Then he quickly turns to kneel before Roku. The scene slows fades and ends with Roku still standing at the top of the stairs.)
(The scene opens with Zuko sitting in the chamber reading. The camera pans down to show him holding the scroll. His lantern still casting an orange glow against his body. Cut to a side close up of his face reading Firelord Sozin's history. As he reads, Sozin's narration is still heard. Fade from Zuko's close up, to a close up of Roku, sitting in his room. He is staring down towards the floor.)
Sozin: (narrates) Soon the day came when my friend Roku had to leave the Fire Nation and face his destiny as the Avatar. He needed to travel the world so he could master the other elements.
(Sozin appears in the doorway of Roku's room.)
Sozin: (leaning against the door frame) Hey, why aren't you packed yet, all-powerful Avatar?
(Roku doesn't move, and continues to stare. The camera focuses on Sozin's face. Sozin looks down, he sympathizes with is friend. Suddenly, Sozin's face perks up.)
Sozin: (smiling) Come on, show me how it's done...(Cut to another view of Roku's room. Sozin leaps in the shot, attempting to demonstrate examples of all the bending disciplines.) using all four kinds of bending. (Sozin ends his routine with a cheerful smile. Cut to an overhead view of Roku sitting on his bed. The camera closes in on him slowly as he speaks.)
Roku: (depressed) I started packing, but then the fire sages told me I won't need any worldly possessions anymore. (Cut to Sozin, who loses his smile, and sits down beside his friend.)
Sozin: (saddened) Oh.
(Cut to a view of Roku and Sozin, sitting next to each other on Roku's bed. There is an open, but empty trunk at Roku's feet.)
Roku: It happened so fast. Everything's going to be different now.
Sozin: (Blinks, and a small smile is seen briefly. He reaches up toward his head dress. He removes it from his topknot, and holds it out towards Roku.) Here. (Cut to a close up of the royal head dress) I hope you're at least allowed to have this.
Roku: But this is a royal artifact. (Cut to a view of the two still sitting, Sozin holding the head dress in his hand.) It's supposed to be worn by the crown prince.
Sozin: (leans in) I want you to have it.
(Roku accepts the gift, and places it around his own top knot. The camera focuses on Roku's top knot as he slides the pin into place, then pans out to show Roku smiling. The two friends stand up, and bow towards one another. Cut to Zuko still sitting on the floor reading. The camera pans out. Cut to a close up of Sokka, Katara, and Toph. Sokka and Katara looked disturbed. The camera angle changes, and we see Aang with his eyes still closed, stand up on the
rock he has been meditating on. Aang crouches down in a peculiar way, and begins to grunt. He appears to be relieving himself. Cut back to the gang. Katara looks alarmed.)
Katara: (disgusted) Do they have bathrooms in the spirit world?
Sokka: (raising his index finger) As a matter of fact, they do not.
(Cut to Aang smiling, still in the peculiar stance. Cut again to Aang riding on the back of Roku's dragon in the spirit world. The camera angle changes to an aerial view of Roku and Aang soaring over the clouds. Aang notices they are on their way to a familiar place.)
Aang: (excited) Hey, we're almost at the Southern Air Temple.
Roku: This was the first stop on my avatar journey.
(The camera angle changes, and the beautiful Patola mountains are shown with the Southern Air Temple in the distance. Fang flies gracefully through the mountain range. Cut to a line of young Air Nomad monks. The camera pans right to show Avatar Roku, at the end of the line. He is annoying a young monk to his right. Roku is airbending his long black hair in the monk's face.)
Roku: It was the place where I was trained to master airbending and also where I met an old friend of yours, Monk Gyatso.
(Gyatso then effortlessly air bends Roku's hair back, causing his hair to tangle. Roku nudge's Gyatso forward. Gyatso is very satisfied and smiles.)
Aang: (surprised) No way.
(The scene changes, and an aerial view of the airbenders on a grassy ledge is shown. An older Air Nomad leads the students in an airbending exercise. He launches off the side of the ledge. The students line up by twos to follow their teacher. Cut to Gyatso and Roku soaring through the air on their gliders.)
Roku: Hey, Gyatso, you want to see a new glider trick? (Roku flies up and loops twice in the air.)
Gyatso: (laughing) Check this out. (Gyatso flips his himself over, and stands on top of his glider. Cut to Roku and Aang, sitting on Fang.)
Aang: (impressed)) He's air-surfing. I can't believe I never thought of that.
(As Gyatso shows off his skill, he loses his balance, and begins to fall through the sky. Roku catches him on the back of his glider. Unfortunately, Roku is unable to control the glider, and the both plummet towards the other young monks who are now back on the grassy ledge. Cut to the other students looking up at the falling airbenders. They panic and try to run to get out of their way. Cut to a side view of Roku and Gyatso, flying low about to crash. They crash off camera, and a large cloud of dust enters the shot. Cut to the young monks knocked over, and scattered about. Roku's hair is in his face. Gyatso air bends it back while Roku lifts his head. They both smile, and Roku pats Gyatso on his shoulder. Cut to a close up of Aang.)
Aang: (smiling) That's amazing. I can't believe you were friends with Monk Gyatso just like I was. (The camera pans out quickly to show Roku.)
Roku: (fondly) Some friendships are so strong, (closes his eyes) they can even transcend lifetimes.
(Fang slowly flies out of the scene with Roku and Aang on his back. Cut to a panoramic view of the North Pole. In the distance, we can see two figures on a plateau of ice. Cut to Roku standing on the table of a small glacier. He is older now. His hair is shorter, around shoulder length. He has chiseled features, and the beginnings of a beard.)
Roku: After my years mastering airbending, I traveled to the Northern Water Tribe. (Cut to Roku's water bending master. His hair is short with familiar beaded dreads of hair around the face. He wears a collar of bone with a blue stone, and a blue water tribe parka. The Water Bending Master commands a large, spiraling water spout from the ocean waters behind him. It curls, turns and twists before finally thrusting forward, knocking Roku, and a fourth of the glacier, into the water.) Waterbending was especially challenging for me. (Cut to a shot of the water.) But in time, I mastered it as well.
(Roku emerges from the water, and bends an enormous wave of water directly at his master standing on the glacier. The blast destroys the glacier, and carries his waterbending master all the way back to the top of the North Water Tribe Temple. His master sits up, and shakes his head to get his bearings. Cut to Roku, standing on an ice float, lowering his stance. A smile of satisfaction sits upon his face.
The scene fades into the next. Roku stands shirtless. From the waist down he wears Earth Kingdom clothing. His hair and beard are longer. He moves his arms in quick strong motions across his body to earth bend a large piece of earth he is riding up the side of a mountain.)
Roku: (narrating) I moved on to the Earth Kingdom. (Cut to Roku racing up the slope, another Earth Bender enters the scene. He is racing Roku. The point of view changes, and we see Roku again, looking at his master as they compete for speed.) My Earthbending master, Sud, was uncompromising, stubborn, and blunt. (The two benders race their landmasses into thick brush and trees. Then, they disappear from view. Cut to a view from the top of the mountain overlooking a valley.) ...and a lifelong friend.
(Sud races into the shot, coming closer to the camera. He quickly brings his landmass to a halt. He thrusts his fists into the air, confidently cheering for
himself. The look on his face changes quickly when he realizes that Roku not only beat him to the top, he also had arrived in enough time to seat himself, and pour them both tea. Sud smiles at his pupil. Cut to a long shot of Roku and Sud. They both raise their teacups to toast. The scene dissolves into a close up of Roku's head dress and slowly pans down to show his face in an extreme close-up.)
Roku: It was bitter work... (The camera pans back to a medium shot of Roku on a beach. He moves his arms to bend the different elements in a display of mastery. He starts by Waterbending to his left, Earthbending to the front, Firebending behind, and Airbending to his right. The camera pans to an aerial view of Roku at the center of the 4 elements he commands.) but the results were worth it. (The scene cuts in a wash of white light followed by a shot of Zuko, still reading Sozin's history in the chamber. An extreme close up shows his eyes quivering with each word he reads.)
Sozin: (narrating) Twelve long years passed before I saw my friend again. When Roku returned, he was a fully realized Avatar, and I had changed as well.
(A wall of flames fade Zuko's shot, into the next. The camera is behind Sozin sitting in his throne room. Roku enters the shot, he walks down a long ornate red carpet towards Sozin.)
Roku: (cheerfully) Sozin, or should I say, Fire Lord.
Sozin: (seriously) Customarily, my subjects bow before greeting me, but you're the exception.
(Aang and Roku watch the scene from across the room.)
Roku: After all these years, he was still my best friend (Fade to a wedding ceremony and celebration in a Fire Nation Courtyard. Many guests are in attendance, even citizen's from other nations. To Roku's right is Sozin who is holding a scroll.) And a few months later,he was my best man.
Aang: (excited) Roku, it's that girl who didn't even know you were alive.
(Roku lifts his brides veil.)
Roku: Don't do this, Sozin. Don't challenge me. It will only end badly. It's over.
(Avatar Roku lowers his eyes in disappointment, and turns to walk away. As he leaves, Fire Lord Sozin becomes filled with uncontrollable rage. He leaps from his throne and bends a deadly blast of fire at his former friend. The POV shows the mighty blasts from Sozin's hands, streaming steadily from his clenched fists.
As the flames lift, and the room can be seen again, Roku is nowhere to be found. Cut to a medium shot of Sozin, still fuming with anger, but clearly concerned about Roku's whereabouts. His eyes shift from side to side, trying to find Roku. Roku breaks through the floor behind him, he had used Earth Bending to sink into the floor to safety. As he emerges, he delivers a mighty blast of air that sends Sozin flying across the room, and slams him into the doors of the throne room. As Sozin drops to the floor, Roku wastes no time Earth Bending a pillar of Earth that lifts Sozin into the air and pins him by the back of his robes to the ceiling. Sozin is helpless. Cut to an extreme close up of Avatar Roku, his face gripped by fury. He calmly brings his hands together in front of his face, and his eyes spark.
The avatar spirit now flows through him. Cut to a long shot of the throne room. He brings the supports of the throne room crashing down. Cut to an aerial shot of the devastation seen from outside of the throne room. Cut to a medium shot of Sozin, uncovering his face to witness the destruction. Roku airbends a cyclone of air, and raises himself up to face Sozin.)
Roku: I'm sparing you, Sozin. I'm letting you go in the name of our past friendship, but I warn you, even a single step out of line will result in your permanent end.
(Sozin stares at Roku, his face unchanged. Suddenly, his expression drops, and he hangs his head in defeat. Roku turns, and rides the cyclone quickly away from Sozin, and out of the shot.)
(The scene opens to show Roku's island. Cut to a long shot of Roku sleeping peacefully next to his wife in his home.)
Roku: (narrates) Sozin and I didn't speak or see each other for 25 years after our battle. I spent most of my spare time here at my home.
(A loud rumbling whooshing noise wakes Roku. He springs from his bed, and looks out a window. He sees several large fireballs falling from the sky, and crashing into the island. Roku and his wife flee the room. As Roku flees from the room, his headpiece falls to the floor, and is left behind. Roku emerges from the house to find the air saturated with smoke and ash. Coughing, Roku and his wife shield their faces. Ta Min runs towards a corner of the house, away from Roku.)
Roku: (reaches for Ta Min) Let's go.
(Roku airbends a tunnel into the clouds of smoke to help his wife and others escape safely. Cut to a view of the town. Townspeople are running through the streets to escape the waves of smoke and ash that now pour through the streets. Cut to Roku's home. Fang flies up from behind the house. He narrowly escapes as an ashflow completely buries the house. Cut to a wide shot of Roku, with his face covered, leading his wife and many townspeople to safety. Ash continues to fall as we see a swell of lava ooze from the mouth of the volcano.
Cut to a close up of Roku still running. He looks to his wife, the POV changes to Roku's. He let's go of her hand, and motions her to go on without him. With her arm still outstretched, she looks at him, and runs to safety. She continues to look back, desperately hoping Roku will grab her hand. Ta Min runs off camera with many of the townspeople. Avatar Roku turns to face the advancing destruction. He airbends a hug dome of protection around himself. Cut to the townspeople POV of the air dome from the life boats off shore. Cut to a reaction shot of Ta Min, a young man to her right, and a young woman to her
left. They look up, at the catastrophe stricken with fear. Cut to a wide shot of Fire Lord Sozin, watching Roku's island burn from his balcony.)
Sozin: (narrates) Roku's island was 100 miles away. But I could still feel it rumbling and see the black plume of smoke. I had never seen anything like this catastrophe.
(Cut to an aerial shot of the volcano. Large columns of black smoke billow from the summit. Suddenly, lightning strikes above the volcano as the earth rumbles from the disaster. Cut to a close up of a landslide quickly approaching the town, threatening to destroy it completely. Thinking fast, Roku earth bends a gigantic wall, and rides the wall to meet the falling earth, and stop its decline. As he succeeds in stopping one disaster, another appears. The volcano ejects a massive wave of molten lava from its mouth. The flow breeches the wall of earth. Roku runs to the bottom of the summit, and cuts into the earth using his earthbending. He creates a channel to divert the lava into the surrounding ocean, away from the town, and the bay of the island. Cut to a wide shot of the island. The channel fills with lava, and empties into the ocean. Cut to Roku and Aang watching the destruction.)
Aang: (in awe) This is amazing, Roku. You're battling a volcano, and you're winning.
Roku: Unfortunately, my success didn't last, Aang. There was no way I could do it all.
(Cut to Roku surrounded by lava and smoke. He covers his face as lava leaps around him, and toxic gases spout up around him. Roku slowly turns to look up at the top of the volcano. As the camera pans up and focuses on the mouth of the volcano, it violently expels another fire fountain of lava. Roku runs toward the volcano, and leaps into the black sky. He blows a powerful blast of air from his mouth at the rapid lava flow. The blast is so powerful; it causes him to rise in the air. The lava flow cools to rock, and Roku lands on it. Suddenly, a blast of poisonous gas spouts to his right, he turns and covers his face. He turns to the jet, airbending it away. Suddenly lava appears on his right. Another jet of gases blasts to his left, and he quickly air bends it as well.)
Roku: (narrates) Battling the elements was hard enough. I had to do it while I could barely breathe. The poisonous, volcanic gasses were overwhelming.
(Cut to an overhead shot of the sky directly over the eruption. Lightning crashes around the crater as Fang flies into shot. The summit emits another lava fountain. Fang pulls back, narrowly escaping the blast.)
Roku: (covering his face with his arm) It's all right, Fang. Get out of here, I'm fine.
(Roku turns his body from side to side. His movements are strong. When he faces the camera again, Roku's face is fierce and his eyes are aglow, he has entered the avatar state. With a powerful blow from his fist, Roku earth bends a tremor through the volcano, knocking out the entire backside of the crater. This lessens the lava flow that was threatening to engulf the island. As the lava flows down, the second volcano erupts. Roku hopelessly drops his head. Cut to a view of Roku from behind. Sozin, on a blue dragon, enters the shot.)
Sozin: Need a hand, old friend?
Roku: (surprised) Sozin?!
Sozin: There's not a moment to waste.
(Cut to an aerial view of the two volcanoes. Sozin and Roku ride on the blue dragon's back to the second eruption. Cut to a medium shot of Roku bending the fire fountain down into the crater. Cut to Sozin balanced on the mouth of the vent. He helps cool the lava by displacing the heat and channeling it through himself, and out through his other hand into the turbulent sky. The scene pans out to show the silhouettes of the two friends, commanding and controlling the devastation.
Cut to a view of the volcanoes from the POV of the towns people in the boats off shore. Cut to a medium shot of Ta Min. Her face is anxiously fixed on the volcanoes. The scene cuts back to Roku and Sozin on the edge of the crater. Lightning blasts above Sozin. The earth beneath him becomes unstable. He begins to fall back off the side of the volcano. Roku quickly earth bends an earth shelf to catch Sozin. Stable again, Sozin looks to Roku for a moment. Suddenly, the earth violently shakes and another surge of ash and rock shoot from the crater. The two turn to run. )
Roku: Don't breathe the toxic gas.
(As the two run, a jet of toxic gas shoots up directly next to Sozin. Roku quickly air bends it away to protect Sozin. Suddenly gas erupts directly into Roku faces. Roku is overcome and disorientated.)
Roku: (shaking) It's... too much.
(Cut to Roku's POV. He lifts his hands to look at them. They blur out of focus. Overwhelmed by the poisons, Roku begins to buckle and falls to his
knees. He looks up toward Sozin, and holds out his hand for help.)
Roku: (begging) Please...
Sozin: (callously) Without you, all my plans are suddenly possible.
(Cut to a medium shot of Roku. His arm is still reaching out towards Fire Lord Sozin. He listens to Sozin in disbelief as Sozin delivers his death sentence.)
Sozin: I have a vision for the future, Roku.
(Sozin's dragon appears. As Roku kneels, weak and vulnerable, Sozin mounts the dragon and flies away. Cut to Roku, on the side of the volcano. He is surrounded by toxic gas, and behind him a surge of rock and ash flows swiftly toward him. Cut to a wide shot of the black clouds billowing from the island.
Sozin's dragon emerges from the plumes. The camera zooms to an extreme close up of Sozin's piercing amber eye. Cut quickly to Roku, from the back, still on his knees. He is coughing, and is unable to get to his feet. Fang appears from the right, and flies above him. Cut to a close up side view of Roku, he bravely looks up towards his dragon. Cut to a view of the debris, rapidly approaching Avatar Roku. With the avalanche just moments away from swallowing Roku,
Fang flies down, and wraps himself around Roku. The wave of ash and rubble cover the two completely.
Fade to a soothing bright light flooding an arched window frame. A baby's coos can be heard. The camera pans down to show a chubby, smiling infant. Cut to a long shot of three Air Nomads. A nun holds up the baby to the light while the infant's parents stand in the shadows to the right of the nun.)
Aang: (off camera) Who's... wait, that's me, isn't it?
Roku: Make sense of our past Aang, and you will bring peace and restore balance in the world.
(Avatar Roku slowly disappears behind Aang.)
Aang: (calls out) Roku? Roku?
(Slow fade to a wide shot of Sozin's chamber in the Dragon Bones Catacombs. Zuko is still seated on the floor, reading. Cut to a shot of Sozin from the back. He is standing on a balcony, overlooking his soldiers and Fire Nation Navy.)
Sozin: (narrates) With Roku gone, and the great comet returning, the timing was perfect to change the world. I knew the next avatar would be born an air nomad. So I wiped out the air temples. But somehow, the new Avatar eluded me. I wasted the remainder of my life searching in vain. I know he's hiding out there somewhere. The Fire Nation's greatest threat... the last airbender.
(Cut to a shot of the Southern Air Temple, devastated by fire. Slowly a close up of Fire Lord Sozin's eyes appear underneath the destruction. The two images stay in the shot in juxtaposition, and then cuts to a Fire Navy ship sailing through glaciers. Cut to the underside of the ship seen from under the water. The camera pans down to reveal Aang and Appa surrounded by a sphere of ice. The scene fades to a close up of the scroll Zuko has been reading.)
Zuko: (disappointed) That can't be it, where's the rest of it?
(Zuko puts the scroll down, as the camera pans out. Cut to the Fire Nation prison where they are holding Uncle Iroh. Cut to the back of Zuko, slamming the door to the cell behind him as he enters. Cut to Iroh sitting with his head down. His hair is tangled in tendrils that loosely lay about his face.)
Zuko: (shouting) You sent this, didn't you? I found the secret history. Which, by the way should be renamed "the history most people already know." The note said that I needed to know about my great-grandfather's death, but he was still alive in the end.
Iroh: (looks up toward Zuko) No...he wasn't.
Zuko: (irked) What are you talking about?
Iroh: You have more than one great-grandfather, Prince Zuko. Sozin was your father's grandfather. Your mother's grandfather was Avatar Roku.
Zuko: (shocked) Why are you telling me this?
Iroh: Because understanding the struggle between your two great-grandfathers, can help you better understand the battle within yourself. Evil and good are always at war inside you, Zuko. It is your nature, your legacy. But there is a bright side. What happened generations ago can be resolved now... by you. Because of your legacy, you alone can cleanse the sins of our family and the fire nation. Born in you, along with all this strife, is the power to restore balance to the world.
(Cut to a bundle inside of a brick wall. Iroh removes a brick and reaches for the bundle. Cut to Iroh slowly unwrapping the bundle while he walks toward Zuko.)
Iroh: This is a royal artifact. It's supposed to be worn by the crown prince.
(Zuko reaches out and takes Roku's head dress from Iroh's hand. Zuko holds the artifact while the camera angle changes to a wide long shot of the back of Zuko, standing outside of Iroh's cell. Iroh stands quietly, looking at his nephew as a soft light glows from above his cell.
Cut to a wide shot of the hardened lava wave the gang had been sitting on from the previous act. Cut to a medium shot of Sokka, Katara and Toph all facing Aang as the camera pans down.)
Katara: (in disbelief) You mean, after all Roku and Sozin went through together... even after Roku showed him mercy, Sozin betrayed him like that?
Toph: It's like these people are born bad.
Aang: No, that's wrong. I don't think that was the point of what Roku showed me at all.
Sokka: (confused) Then what was the point?
Aang: Roku was just as much Fire Nation as Sozin was, right? If anything, their story proves anyone's capable of great good and great evil. Everyone, even the Fire Lord and the Fire Nation have to be treated like they're worth giving a chance. And I also think it was about friendships.
Toph: Do you really think friendships can last more than one lifetime?
Aang: (grabbing Toph's hand) I don't see why not.
(Katara enters the shot, and reaches out to hold Toph's hand as well.)
Sokka: (stroking his face) Well, scientifically speaking, there's no way to prove that..
Katara: (annoyed, she interrupts her brother) Oh, Sokka, just hold hands.
(Sokka stops talking, and without moving, he thrusts out his hand to hold Katara's. The camera angle changes, and now shows the gang holding hands looking out towards the ocean. The camera pans out, and fades.)
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