>Now I'm wondering whether manipulating liquid oxygen, or other
>cryogenic liquids which are gaseous at room temperature, would come
>under airbending or waterbending.
Well, they don't actually expect the Fluid Specialist to be able to bend the rocket fuel et al., it's just that a waterbender is expected to have a greater instinctive understanding of fluid dynamics, which they figure will help in operating the systems.
>(I suppose the precedent is that lavabending is a variant of
>earthbending, not waterbending, implying it's the material, not the
>phase of matter, that's relevant.)
Well, lavabending is... pretty ridiculous, really, even for magic elemental kung fu; it stretches credulity farther than mine, at least, can be stretched, because of the absolutely vast amounts of mass and energy that are involved (and how much larger both of those quantities are than anything any other kind of non-Avatar bender has been shown able to work with). But waterbenders routinely work with liquid water and ice, so, yeah, it's the material.
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