(Since the Forum appears to be getting a little tetchy about long threads and I noticed I hadn't addressed this, here is another thread to be going on with.)
>>Philosophically (as opposed to practically/mechanically) speaking,
>>she's not a very good airbender, and she is acutely aware of that,
>>which makes it worse.
>If Lhakpa's the first of the new descendants of Aang who is a skilled
>airbender but is crap at/hates/is indifferent to the airbender
>philosophy and lifestyle, that almost makes her a -pioneer-.
Oh, I doubt she's the first, though she may be the first of her generation. Ironically enough - and this will not have eluded Lhakpa - Aang was a terrible Air Nomad, but he got away with it because he was a) the last one and b) the Avatar. The elders of his boyhood would probably shake their heads in dismay at the version of airbender culture that has developed in his wake, and doubly so at someone like Lhakpa, who can't even stick at the preposterously liberalized new model. :)
That said, Lhakpa and Nyima are members of the first post-Aang generation to really have the luxury of having people in it who are Not On Board. In Jinora and her siblings' day, they were it. If any of them had walked away (and I suspect Ikki, for one, rather wanted to at times), the survival of the airbender nation itself would have been in some measure of doubt. Lhakpa thinks she's experiencing societal pressures?
>Jinora will certainly not like it,
I'm actually not so sure about that. It's easy to forget, as both Lhakpa and Nyima often do, that Jinora was young once, and though she never seems to have doubted her path herself, she certainly will have known people who did.
There is a peculiar and awkward disconnect between the traditional, rigorous lifestyle of an Air Nomad and the free-and-adaptive nature of airbending itself, and though it never seems to have occurred to Tenzin (who was, after all, a bit thick), Jinora's too clever not to have noticed it. Her contemplation of that dichotomy as grandmaster, and her closeness to her grandfather's spirit, are probably responsible for much of the relative liberalization of Air Nomadry we see by the third century - and, as such, one doubts she has it in her to be too severe with a descendant who finds what regimentation remains unsatisfying.
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