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Bending AU (also simply known as the Avatar AU, not to be confused with Na'vi AU) is an AU (Alternate Universe) within the Rise of the Brave Tangled Dragons fandom. In this AU, RapunzelMeridaHiccup and Jack Frost are all part of the Avatar: The Last Airbender (and by extension, The Legend of Korra) world, and are often benders, or those capable of manipulating the four elements. Because it is not canon, ideas for this AU are shown through fanfiction, fanart, and other fan-made works. This could also be a sub-scenario for Elements AU and Dragon Warriors AU.

About the AU

The world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, being so wide and open, is a popular universe for fans to use for crossovers, especially in the RotBTD fandom.  The world of Avatar is an ideal location for the Big Four to interact because of a number of reasons: the existence of magic and dragons is already well-established; the four nations of A:TLA allow for the homelands of the Big Four to be easily connected, and for each member of the Big Four to have unique, distinguishing traits; and it adds elements of competition, rivalry, and national pride between the Big Four and their friendship. 

In most cases, the Big Four are each from different nations, and often are 'benders', or individuals who are able to harness the elements of earth, water, air, and fire. Since this AU is still very young, there are still many debates on exactly which nation each member belongs to. 

The world of A:TLA also features an individual - the titular Avatar - who is born with the power to control all four elements. Therefore, crossovers with RotBTD often focus on one member of the Big Four being the Avatar, and the other three being bending masters that the Avatar learns from. Additionally, the character's pets are often portrayed as their guides and companions, although not always as their true form, since most creatures in the world of Avatar are seen as hybrids of animals in the real world.

Featured Characters

The Big Four

The Big Four are often seen as members of separate nations. Although nation assignments are often debated over, general consensus can usually lower options. Below are the generally accepted nation choices of the big four:

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III

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Hiccup's place in the world of A:TLA has often been debated, but he is usually portrayed as an Earthbender. This is an ideal way of incorporating his background as a stubborn, resilient Viking. Hiccup is enduring and often willing to against the grain, but his open mind and occasional indecisiveness could result in him being a weak bender. This could be a developmental point for Hiccup where he needs to find strength in himself, and then find the strength to bend the earth. Another variation of this placement casts Hiccup as a metalbender, a spin-off of earthbending, which takes "a different kind of strength" and ties in with his skill in inventing, intelligence, and seeing opportunities - quite literally - where others do not.

Alternately, Hiccup has been portrayed as a Firebender, possibly because of the fact that he has Toothless as a companion. The Fire Nation is the only nation known to have dragons, so this plot point works really well with Hiccup's origins in How to Train Your Dragon. Additionally, his departure from the Fire Nation's stereotypical culture - which is considered rather aggressive - explains why he didn't feel he belonged, and also how he eventually changes his tribe and their ways.

Finally, Hiccup seems to be the one that fans more often pick to be the Avatar, and the conflict between his tribe's ways and his own begins to build the storyline of a journey to discover his true power. This also usually results in Toothless being portrayed as his animal companion, much like Appa to Aang and Nagga to Korra.

In other circumstances, Hiccup could be portrayed as Aang, for having a friend that can fly, as well as fly in the air by himself (due to his flightsuit), is sometimes seen as the Avatar and looks out for his friends. Zuko, for being the heir to his tribe, growing up without his mother and having a connection to dragons. As well as being portrayed as Sokka, due to them having a father that looks out for his people, wanting to make him proud of his son, coming up with ideas take get him and his friends out of sticky situations, along with having inventive ideas and possessing a similar sarcastic wit. This could also be attributed to both of them holding a personal grudge against their tribe’s common enemy (for Sokka it was the Fire Nation and Hiccup being dragons) due to losing their respective mothers in a raid as children (although for Sokka his mother was killed whereas Valka survived) but eventually grew to see that not all members of their enemy’s clan were bad, and instead directed their hostility towards their enemy’s leader.

Jack Frost

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Jack also has debated by the fans. Many argue that, based on his powers in Rise of the Guardians, he should be a Waterbender; his control over ice seems to align him with the Water Tribes. This argument can be further supported by his connection with the moon, which is the source of all Waterbenders' abilities in the A:TLA universe. However, this can be countered with the fact that many of the other Guardians also associate with the Man in the Moon, and yet seem to align more closely with other nations.

Alternately, fans sometimes portray Jack as an Airbender, although it is not as popular. This is supported by the fact that Jack often travels by air, and controls his powers through his stick, just as Aang (an Airbender who was the titular Avatar in A:TLA) used his staff. Additionally, he tends to have the personality of a nomad, living alone and moving on his own to accomplish goals, all the while avoiding intense conflict. He would much rather have fun (which often was a trait shown by the Air Nomads) than fight with others.

Additionally, many fans also tends to picture Jack as the Avatar, possibly because he and Aang share many traits.

In other circumstances, Jack can be portrayed as Aang, due to his trait of having fun when he can and being able to fly. Along with the roles of Sokka, Zuko, and on some occasions a male Korra.

Merida DunBroch

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Merida has been split into two different nations by the fans. More often, fans portray her as a Firebender, based on her strong, passionate, fiery personality. Also, Merida has a royal family, and since the Fire Nation is full of many nobles, the connection can be strengthened.

Alternately, some fans see Merida as an Earthbender. This could be because she is stubborn and strong-willed, two powerful traits that earthbenders have that give them strength. It also could be because of her connection with the earth and her love of being outdoors and part of nature.

When a part of the Gaang, Merida is easily cast as Toph Beifong, as they are both underestimated young women with raw power and have tough/strong-willed/tomboyish personalities, along with their desire to be free from their parents' restricting lifestyle.

Rapunzel Corona

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Rapunzel is one of the most wildly debated Big Four members in terms of her placement in the world of A:TLA, as she seems to be easily placed into all four nations. However, the most popular placement for her has been as an Airbender. This could be the fact that her spirit is free and full of respect for all life, and she is always moving and appreciating the things around her. As a Nomad in one of the temples, her exploration of the world could be easily rationalized as she travels away from her home.

Alternately, she has been placed as a Waterbender for her healing powers, often shown as part of the Northern Tribe. Her story can easily translate into that of the Lost Princess of the North, and her healing powers in many aspects define her circumstances and so who she is as a person, which renders this idea a little more legitimate.

Others have made her an Earthbender because she was 'born' from a flower, because her element is often thought of as spring, and because she loves the ground and is always barefoot. However, her nature would not be strong enough in the beginning to be able to use the element of earth.

Finally, some have even placed her as a Firebender, because Pascal could be seen as related to dragons, and also because of her connection to the sun. Because of this latter reason, she has also been seen as a member of the Sun Warriors.

Rapunzel is also a popular character to be shown as the Avatar, most likely because of the fact her hair already glows when she sings, so it is possible she could hold greater power as well.

In other circumstances, Rapunzel would be portrayed as Katara or a female Aang.

Extra Characters

Princess Anna

Anna is mostly known as a Firebender because of her hair and the fact that most fans would prefer Anna have fire powers since her sister Elsa has ice powers, to provide a handy juxtaposition. This also could be because she is strong willed and never gives up to find help, since she is filled with such hope. Anna has also been placed as a Waterbender and an Airbender.

In other circumstances, Anna is not a bender at all, given the lack of magical powers she has in the film in comparison to her sister.

Queen Elsa

The most popular placement for Elsa is that of a Waterbender, for many of the same reasons as Jack above. Also much like Jack, fans like to portray the primordial strength of her power as a blessing from the moon spirit, explaining the color of her hair similar to Princess Yue. Elsa's encounter with the Nokk (a water spirit) and the three other elemental spirits of fire, earth and wind, along with her becoming the fifth spirit of ice in Frozen II, could possibly have her as the Avatar.

She can also be cast as Yue, along with the roles of Katara and Azula with Jack as Sokka or Zuko. She can also be portrayed as Korra.

The Guardians

The guardians are portrayed as past Avatars, leaders of the four nations, teachers or as spirits that help the Avatar. North can be a Waterbender, that was once an Avatar of the Northern Water Tribe or is the leader of the North Water tribe; he can also be an Airbender. Bunny as a Earthbender or a forest/earth spirit in the form of a rabbit. Sandy can be a sand/earthbender or a spirit of dreams. Tooth would be a Airbender or as a spirit of Hummingbirds, Memories or Past Lives. The guardians can even be members of the White Lotus Order.

Kristoff Bjorgman

Kristoff is mostly seen as a Waterbender because of his love for ice and selling it with Sven (as one of the deer hybrid animals in the Avatar franchise) or as a Earthbender, from his time growing up with the Trolls (which can be portrayed as spirits).

Hiro Hamada

Hiro is popularly placed as a Waterbender, Firebender (with his brother) and as the Avatar, as he learns the other elements and saves the world with his friends. Fans have also placed him as Bolin from The Legend of Korra.

Tadashi Hamada

Tadashi is commonly featured as a Firebender, sometimes as his brother's firebending teach when Hiro is cast as the Avatar. Fans have also cast him as Mako from The Legend of Korra.

Leafmen

The Leafmen's' green armor, ridding armored "birds" and moving around the forest with easy easily casts them as Earthbenders, with Tara as the Earth Queen of the Earth Kingdom. While their archery skills makes members of the Yuyan Archers.

Wreck-It Ralph

Ralph would most likely be cast as an Earthbender because of his tendency to walk barefoot and stubborn personality. He may also be cast as Pipsqueak of the Freedom Fighters due to his immense size.

The Croods

The Croods' tendency to walk barefoot and live in earthy, open areas would most likely cast them as Earthbenders who most likely would live in the open plains of the Earth Kingdom. Since they already live in a world populated by hybrid animals (like the Bear Owl and Douglas), it would be easy to bring them and many kinds of creatures into the Avatar universe.

Moana Waialiki

Because of her friendship with the Ocean and being chosen by it, Moana is commonly seen as a Waterbender. She'll mostly use her bending while sailing, much like the people from the Water Tribes as they use their bending to wield the currents. Her being chosen to save the world and learning new skills on her journey can also make her the Avatar, or as the Avatar's waterbending teacher, as she had taught her people how to sail through the art of wayfinding. Her friends Pua and Heihei could even be merged together to made a "Picken", a pig chicken hybrid that is commonly found in the Fire Nation, or to have Pua as one of the known pig hybrids and Heihei as one of the chicken hybrids in the Avatar franchise.

In other circumstances, she is commonly portrayed as Korra, due to her rebellious personality and her view on freedom. Along with the role of Katara, for having a close bond with her grandmother and doing what she can to help her family, friends, innocent people and the world.

Wingmaidens

The Wingmaidens being a tribe of women, that know how to fight for when danger comes to their home island, and wears matching armor-like clothing, while their leader wears a type of headdress, can have them as the Kyoshi Warriors. Which could have Atali as Suki, as both women are the leaders of their female only groups.

While the way they fly in the air, with the help of the young Razorwhips in their care, could have them as a group of Airbenders. Or as a group of people that reside at a Air Templar, and were inspired to build gliders and fly around in the air like a airbender, much like the group of refuges that resided at the Northern Air Templar.

Dragons

Since dragons are part of the world of Avatar, the dragon characters in the fandom can easily serve and be portrayed as some of the known ally and foe dragons from the Avatar franchise. A Stocker class dragon (like Hookfang and the Fireworm Queen), or a Dramillion with its mimicking flame ability and the Titan Wing's original multicolored flame, can be featured as the dragons that are known as the first Firebenders, with a Skrill teaching them how to wield lightning, while a Boulder Class dragon (like Meatlug, a Whispering Death and the Screaming Death) and a Tidal Class dragon (like Thornado and a Scauldron) can be placed as a dragon version of the first Earthbenders and Waterbenders. Sisu, along with her four siblings and others of her dragon brethren, can also be placed as dragons who were possibly the first Waterbenders and/or Airbenders, given their abilities to fly on their own and summon rain, fog, and hurricanes. Dragons with rider can serve as animal guides; as Toothless is commonly seen as Hiccup's animal guide for when he is seen as the Avatar. While most of the dragon riders are featured as Firebenders, as the Fire Nation used to ride dragons before Fire Lord Sozin began the tradition of hunting dragons as the ultimate sport.

Cloudjumper's owl-like features and Toothless's bat-like wings and cat-like heavier, could also have the fandom's dragons portrayed as one of the many hybrid animals, that best suit them and are possibly part reptile. As they are sometimes portrayed as cats, dogs, birds and other types of animals for modern crossovers.

Defenders of the Wing

Due to their duty of protecting dragons, worshiping them, living beside the den of one, and are weary of outsiders in their land, could have them portrayed as the Sun Warriors. Which could also make them Firebenders. While the way they had first treated Hiccup and the other Dragon Riders, from when they came across their island for the first time, could have them as the residents of Kyoshi Island, and possibly (have their female members) as the Kyoshi Warriors. In which could have Mala as Suki.

Honeymaren

Because of the style of her tribe clothing, her personality, has a brother and with Frozen II giving Elsa some Avatar like traits, a few fans can possibly view her as a Katara-like character. While Ryder can serve as Sokka beside her.

Northuldra

Due to the forest lifestyle of the Northuldra and had held hatred towards a group of people that are more civilized and cultured to them, because of the dark actions that happened 34 years ago, fans could have them as members of the Zhang tribe. Should the Arendellians be placed as the Gan Jin tribe beside them. While their strong connection with spirits, where one of their spirit friends has power over water, and with them residing in the far north, could possibly even have them as members of the Northern Water Tribe.

Cassandra

Cassandra’s great warrior prowess, connection to the moon, and survival abilities can cast her as a Water Tribe warrior, although her lack of magic could make her a non-bender as well. Her status as a warrior could also cast her as a Kyoshi Warrior. However, her connection to the black rocks and stubborn and strong-willed personality could also cast her as an Earthbender, with an advanced technique of earthbending the Black Rocks.

Varian

Since Varian is an intelligent and scientific young boy who’s relationship with his father crippled after it was revealed he kept secrets from him, Varian can be cast as Teo, the young crippled boy who, with his father, became an ally to the Gaang by giving them mechanisms to work in the war. However, his quest to please his father and redemption arc can even cast him as Prince Zuko.

Namaari

Namaari's duel swords, the mission her mother gave Namaari to hunt down Raya before she obtains the rest of the Dragon Gem, so Fang can become stronger in a broken world, along with the time it took to redeem herself from past mistakes, Namaari can easily be portrayed as a female Zuko.

Eret

The icy setting that Eret was first introduced in and wears fur, could possibly have Eret as a member of the Water Tribe. While first starting out as an antagonist before he reforms later on, helps his new friends fight Drago and has a scar that was given to him by Drago before he meets Hiccup, can easily have him as Zuko.

Warlords

Their time serving under Drago, before taking control of his army after his defeat, could have them as high ranking members of the Fire Nation Army, making the three leaders Firebenders who took down dragons to earn the honorary title of "Dragon". They could even be featured as members of the Red Lotus.

Raya

Due to the movie being compared to Avatar: The Last Airbender, Raya can be portrayed as a Waterbender, as blue is the color of the Heart tribe and Raya had formed a connection with a water dragon. She could even be cast as Korra, due to her resemblance to the character.

Pitch Black

With his dark powers having a smoky appearance, Pitch Black could be cast as a Firebender, or even a spirit similar to Koh. His Nightmares could also be cast as spirits.

Drago Bludvist

King Runeard

Tuk Tuk

Noi

Tong

Boun

Marinette Dupain-Cheng

Adrien Agreste

Alya Césaire

Nino Lahiffe

Blanca/Xiao-Bai

Verta/Xiao-Qing

Sean/Xu Xuan

Bellroc

Skrael

Nari

Luisa Madrigal

Woody

Bo Peep

Known Examples

Fanfiction

Mockup Art

GIFs

Fanart

Cosplay

Videos

Articles/Links

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