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Old 03-26-2010, 04:45 AM
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Neytiri_Quest Neytiri_Quest is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: at Neytiri's side
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Default Why We Love Neytiri-Part VI-a

One of the benefits of writing Neytiri: To Sylwanin, Dying Young was that I felt there was enough material there to inspire a commentary as well. But after the stimulating and thought-provoking discussion that resulted from observations and insights posted by Tawtsamsiyu and others, I felt the subject of that commentary had been covered pretty thoroughly. There no longer seemed a need for it, and I felt that all the postings spawned from the poem could be viewed as an informal version of that planned commentary.

However, two nights ago I was further contemplating the poem and the impact Sylwanin’s life and tragic death must have had on Neytiri. I fell asleep, and when I awoke the germs of the following commentary were waiting in my brain’s ‘Inbox’.

Special thanks go to Tawtsamsiyu for his part in sparking many of the ideas that follow. As always—this is for you, the Neytiri clan. I hope you like it. It turned out to be so long I had to break it into two pieces, Part VI-a and Part VI-b.

Why We Love Neytiri-Part VI-a

Hope Springs Eternal

Neytiri and Sylwanin

After the young Neytiri witnessed the brutal murder of her beloved sister at Grace’s school, she no doubt went through a period in her life characterized by anger, fear, guilt, bitterness, remorse, and a plethora of other emotions. She could have succumbed to this immense burden and lived the rest of her life in sorrow, anger, and fear. But she didn’t.

To honor Sylwanin and her sparkling, sunshiny personality, Neytiri became a skilled and accomplished member of the Omaticaya. She dedicated herself to others, pushing herself to the limit so that one day she could be a worthy Tsahėk —a role that would have fallen to her sister. And though she was the daughter of the Olo’eyktan and Tsahėk of the clan, she never set herself above others; never expected special treatment from anyone.

This is yet another reason why we love Neytiri. There is a wellspring of strength, joy, and optimism at the core of her being that cannot be stemmed, even by the most difficult and painful of circumstances. It is like a fire that may smolder at times, but which never goes out. It is like a perennial flower that has been left parched and withered by the harshness of the season before, yet is ready to burst forth into blossom when the first signs of spring fill the air. And just as the perennial flower is strongly and deeply rooted in the ground, Neytiri is strongly and deeply rooted in Eywa.

This resilient nature was shown in Neytiri’s first meeting with Jake. Much of her joy was still absent, and her mistrust of Sky People was high. Yet, she still listened to that voice of eternal optimism within her—which I believe is why she hesitated to kill Jake. She then heeded the omen of the atokirina landing on her arrow and spared his life. No one in her Clan would have blamed her for killing the uniltėranyu, or ‘dreamwalker.’ In fact, most would probably have praised her for it. But something she never lost was that most precious of qualities—hope.

Neytiri viciously struck Jake down with her bow soon after saving him from the viperwolves. But he didn’t take the hint, and started following her along the giant tree branch that ran dozens of feet in the air. She pushed him away to show her displeasure, but was careful not to push him hard enough to send him plummeting to the ground far below. This was because of that inner reservoir of hope. Though she may not have realized it at the time, she believed—as Anne Frank did—that all people are, at heart, basically good.


Tsu’tey’s emotional journey after Sylwanin’s cruel death must have been somewhat similar to Neytiri’s. Before the incident, he was probably carefree, exuberant, and full of laughter—a brave warrior who was clearly taking his role as future leader of the Clan seriously. Having grown up around the charming, effervescent Sylwanin, he would likely have fallen in love with her from an early age. He would have been proud to think of himself as one day being worthy of such a fine young woman; his step would have been light, and his days would have been filled with optimism and joy.

Then one day she would have come to him, imploring him to join her and two of their friends in an attempt to stop the Sky People from killing their trees and spoiling their land. He would have thought she was making a jest—since her nature was so gentle, nurturing, and non-violent. Or he would have shrugged off her appeal as a fruitless venture with volatile and potentially dangerous consequences.

After Sylwanin’s death, and that of the other two friends, the light would have gone out of Tsu’tey’s eyes. He would have been almost as overwhelmed by guilt, anger, and sadness as the young Neytiri. And his resentment and mistrust of the Sky People would have been as great as her own. Yet he would have envied her because she had at least been at the Compound and in a position to try and stop the Terran demons; his duties that day had placed him too far from the Compound to be of help.

He could not even have the satisfaction of knowing he had done all he could to prevent the tragedy. He never even had the chance to say goodbye to his lady love as she died. He would have been a distraught young man, so torn up inside that he would have subsequently been only a shell of his former self.

But he would have shouldered his burden and continued his role as future leader of the Omaticaya, learning all he could while teaching the younger members of the Clan. And from the moment of Sylwanin’s death, he would have been fiercely protective of Neytiri, seeing her as a ‘little sister’, and his last connection with Sylwanin. But he would have forgotten how to trust and how to laugh.

It is to his credit, however, that even though he openly showed his resentment of Jake—a representative of the Sky People—Tsu’tey did not interfere with his training by Neytiri; nor did he question the decisions of the Tsahėk or the Olo’eyktan. Though his anger and guilt and broken dreams were always bubbling just beneath the surface, he was enough of a man to swallow his pride and accept Jake. He showed this after Jake passed his test of manhood and became one of the People. Tsu’tey’s hand was one of the first placed on Jake’s shoulder, signifying his acceptance. This was not the act of a man consumed by jealousy and hatred.

His anger and outrage were apparent, however, when he learned that Neytiri had mated with Jake. For this ruined his chances of ever pairing with Neytiri as the future Tsahėk. It could also have been viewed as an insult to the Omaticaya, and must have been a terrible shock to him personally. Yet again, to his credit Tsu’tey controlled himself and did nothing disruptive.

When Jake’s deception was revealed prior to the destruction of Hometree, and Tsu’tey went to kill the ‘demon in a false body’, it could be argued that this was done more in an effort to protect the Clan than as an excuse to eliminate a rival. And when Neytiri leaped to the helpless Jake’s defense, Tsu’tey quickly backed down. When Jake returned as Toruk Makto, he again showed his manhood by placing his hand on Jake’s shoulder and saying, “I will fly with you.” In doing so, he abdicated his new position as leader of the Clan, and took a lesser role at Jake’s side. Not many men could have shown this level of humility. And, of course, we all know how bravely and loyally he fought in the final battle.

Tsu’tey is both a likeable and tragic figure when seen in this light, and is deserving of our respect and admiration. He certainly displayed elements of strength, humility, and loyalty. But there was a step he was unable to take within himself—a step Neytiri was not only able to take, but to transcend. For Tsu’tey, though largely able to control his emotions and actions, was never able to completely let go of the bitterness, anger, and sorrow Sylwanin’s death had embedded deeply within him—Neytiri was. (Continued)

"Music is a free-spinning wheel, attached to nothing." ~David Lindsay

Neytiri Love Poems (by me!)

The 'Why We Love Neytiri' commentaries

Last edited by Neytiri_Quest; 03-26-2010 at 02:21 PM.
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