Why did the viperwolves attack Jake, and why was Neytiri going to kill him? - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:44 AM
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Default Why did the viperwolves attack Jake, and why was Neytiri going to kill him?

Were they hungry?

The way I think of them, I think of wolves like ours. Wolves on earth don't attack people unless they feel threatened, or are extremely hungry/starving. So I'm thinking, they weren't threatened... so the only logical reason why they must have attacked Jake was because they were starving.

Then Neytiri comes along and saves him... but why? "Because he has a strong heart"? "Because a woodsprite landed on my arrow"? She was going to kill him. What if he had been any other avatar? What if he was one of the avatars that would later participate in the rebellion on Hell's Gate? What if he was just another avatar that had no significance, but was still innocent?

It strikes me, Neytiri seemed to have a prejudice. She was willing to kill someone she didn't know, just because he was an avatar. It's like going by the logic, "A black man killed my sister. Therefore, all black men are bad."



So... is there any explanation on why the viperwolves wanted to kill Jake, other than "maybe they were hungry"? And though I already sort of answered my own second question, are there any thoughts on the ethical nature of Neytiri's mindset when it came to killing another sentient being?

Last edited by Woodsprite; 02-06-2011 at 05:40 AM. Reason: In first paragraph, changed "anything" to "people". Big difference.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:05 AM
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I figured the viperwolves were just hungry. They don't have to be starving to attack him - for all we know, they could view the Na'vi as legitimate prey.

Neytiri is far more complicated. As I see it - yes, she was going to kill him. Not sure as to exactly why - wants to get revenge for her sister, but she couldn't bring herself to kill the other Avatars because she knew them and couldn't murder someone she knew? because he was in the area that the Omaticaya had declared out of bounds for the Avatars? - but I'm pretty convinced she was all set to let loose her arrow.

Although, hmm. She knew he was an Avatar, and thus that his body is else-where, so maybe she wouldn't regard it as killing? But I view the Na'vi as being perfectly capable of killing *shrugs*. If everything is a cycle and you apologize to the deer for killing him and call him 'brother' as you do so, I can see them not having issue with killing other sentient beings under certain circumstances (if they even recognize the difference).

And, yes, I think it was because of the woodsprite that she didn't. She's the shaman-in-training, in a clan that are deeply spiritual - if Eywa gave her a sign, she is going to pay attention. There is also her expression - to me, her expression as she pulled the arrow was very young, which makes me think she hasn't killed a person before, and even now, she was psyching herself up for it. Then Eywa gives her a sign, and she's off the hook. And if Jake is killed by the viperwolves, she won't know WHY.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:18 AM
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You know... you're right about her killing him in his avatar body form. She knew that all avatars have a real body living somewhere else, that the avatar was just a "false body", and that she wouldn't really be "killing" him.

Now I feel like a dope for asking about Neytiri, when it's so obvious considering the fact that she knew she wouldn't really be killing anyone.

As for the viperwolves... makes sense. Makes sense. Maybe they aren't like wolves on earth.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Woodsprite View Post
You know... you're right about her killing him in his avatar body form. She knew that all avatars have a real body living somewhere else, that the avatar was just a "false body", and that she wouldn't really be "killing" him.

Now I feel like a dope for asking about Neytiri, when it's so obvious considering the fact that she knew she wouldn't really be killing anyone.
I only just thought of the avatar = other body thing then! I always assumed she meant to actually kill him, so that's part of how I view her character. But probably makes more sense for her to not trying to actually KILL him.

Although, when she's talking to her father, she says "I was going to kill him", so...maybe the knowledge of the avatars' alternate bodies came later? Hmmmm.

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As for the viperwolves... makes sense. Makes sense. Maybe they aren't like wolves on earth.
I think they are similar, but not the same, obviously. I really just thought it was 'Jake = food'. The pack might have had a run of bad luck lately in hunting, and he's not nearly as fast as the deer would be.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:45 AM
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Although, when she's talking to her father, she says "I was going to kill him", so...maybe the knowledge of the avatars' alternate bodies came later? Hmmmm.
I have a feeling they already knew what an avatar was. Seemed apparent to me when Mo'at walked around Jake, checking him out as if she was impressed by how much he resembled them, and then doing her "blood test" to make sure he was an avatar.

Same kind of subtlety with Neytiri reacting to Grace falling from unconsciousness when Quaritch pulled the plug, and then looking at Jake with worry, as if she were expecting something to happen to him too.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:41 AM
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And if you guys didn't notice, in the Viperwolf scene, they all came one at a time against Jake. If you look closely, you can see the others just simply circling him, whilst one at a time go for the kill (but fails miserably ) Why not all at once one would ask? That would surely have overwhelmed Jake. I think of it as J.C knew about this sort of behavior with animals and created the Viperwolfs that way too. There are some predators on earth that does this too, for the sake hunting rules that they have, to show strength if they manage to bring the prey down. I mean, animals do have weird and sometimes bizarre rituals and sect-like rules to follow. Although, Jake was very lucky avoiding all of their bites like that, since just one successful blow would've done it for him.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:43 AM
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I can distill Neytiri's initial wish to kill Jake into two simple words.


"SHE MAD"
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by LOVEavatar View Post
And if you guys didn't notice, in the Viperwolf scene, they all came one at a time against Jake. If you look closely, you can see the others just simply circling him, whilst one at a time go for the kill (but fails miserably ) Why not all at once one would ask? That would surely have overwhelmed Jake. I think of it as J.C knew about this sort of behavior with animals and created the Viperwolfs that way too. There are some predators on earth that does this too, for the sake hunting rules that they have, to show strength if they manage to bring the prey down. I mean, animals do have weird and sometimes bizarre rituals and sect-like rules to follow. Although, Jake was very lucky avoiding all of their bites like that, since just one successful blow would've done it for him.
Wow! I never thought about that. When you think about it, it was almost as if the one who did manage to overtake Jake would receive the "prize", as in, the conquering viperwolf would be the only one (along with its family) to eat the kill.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:02 AM
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Hmmm I always thought that the Viperwolves apart from hunting Jake for food, might of been protecting their territory or perhaps attacked Jake because he stumbled around the area of their dens.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:40 PM
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I don't see a problem with viperwolves attacking Jake or Neytiri attempting to kill him, but what is rather unclear is why she killed many of the viperwolves just to save someone who she was about to kill herself?

In the scriptment "Zuleika" fell in love with "Josh" almost at the first sight, but I guess in AVATAR, Neytiri saved him just because Atokirina happened to like him?
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:12 PM
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As I understood it, after some initial contact with the Sky People and the disaster at Grace's school, Etukan broke off contact and declared that the Sky People, including their avatars were forbidden in Omaticaya territory, under pain of death. When Neytiri spotted Jake she was going to carry out her father's order, but stopped when the atokirina (Woodsprite) lands on her arrow. It was a sign from Eywa ("Stay your hand, child!") to spare him. I imagine that this really got her attention and roused her curiosity so she followed him and when it became apparent that he was in trouble with the viperwolves (stupid Sky Person!) she intervened to save him.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:33 AM
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Because the Na'vi don't go blundering around crashing through the forest and attracting every predator for a mile around. Anything that does, the viperwolves will try to attack.

Neytiri was going to kill him because he was near Hometree. After the marines killed Sylwanin, the Na'vui had had no contact with the RDA, and suddenly there is an avatar heading for Hometree... Of course, Neytiri certainly has personal reasons too, with what the marines did.
As for why she subsequently saved him - because of the atokirina again. It took her a while to do something, she was clearly considering just letting him die but decided against it.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:29 AM
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I always figured the viperwolves attacked Jake because they were hungry, viewed him as legitimate prey, and they probably also sensed that he was in distress, due to the aforementioned crashing-around ("Making noise, don't know what to do.") As Na'vi are normally a lot quieter, the noise was probably picked up as a sign that Jake was injured, sick, lost, or otherwise in trouble, and they may also have picked up on his distress by smell. In other words, prime hunting.

Also want to point out that on Earth, my understanding is that wolves leave humans alone because they've learned to fear us. I read once about photographers who visited some remote arctic tundra to photograph wolves, and one morning they woke up to the sight of a wolf sticking its head through the flap of their tent, just watching them! The wolves of this region had never encountered humans before, so they were unusually fearless. By the same token, they had also never learned humans = food, so they didn't attack either... puzzlement probably overrode any hunger they might've had at the time (lucky for the photographers).

As for why Neytiri was about to shoot Jake... I think of Eytukan's line: "I have said no dreamwalker will come here to offend our home," which makes me think that Omaticaya territory had been declared off-limits, and Jake was trespassing.

As for why she *didn't* shoot him... like others have said, she took the woodsprite as a sign, but I also want to point out that she hesitates even *before* it shows up. Watch that scene... when she first draws her bow, she draws the string allllll the way back, with the arrowhead brushing against the forefinger of her bow-hand. Then the camera cuts to a shot of Jake turning. Then it cuts back to her.... except now her bow *isn't* fully drawn anymore. She pauses, then steels herself and draws the bow again to shoot, and it's only *then* that the woodsprite comes by and catches her eye.

This suggests to me that there was a part of Neytiri that didn't really want to shoot, even though she fully intended to. When the woodsprite came and landed on her arrow, it gave her an excuse not to -- one she could even justify to her parents and the rest of the clan.
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You came back
How do you make up after you've done the unforgivable? Jake and Neytiri have a conversation in the wake of Hometree's destruction, during their first real moment alone following his return as Toruk Makto.

The Last Train Home
Fourteen years after the war, a lone spaceship appears in the sky. The former members of the Avatar program watch its approach – expecting the worst, fearing for their adopted home. Then the ship lands. And suddenly, nothing makes sense anymore.

Five seconds too late
This is a different kind of Jake/Neytiri romance, the story that would've unfolded had she been delayed for just five seconds while trying to reach him following the fight with Quaritch.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:20 AM
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As for why she *didn't* shoot him... like others have said, she took the woodsprite as a sign, but I also want to point out that she hesitates even *before* it shows up. Watch that scene... when she first draws her bow, she draws the string allllll the way back, with the arrowhead brushing against the forefinger of her bow-hand. Then the camera cuts to a shot of Jake turning. Then it cuts back to her.... except now her bow *isn't* fully drawn anymore. She pauses, then steels herself and draws the bow again to shoot, and it's only *then* that the woodsprite comes by and catches her eye.

This suggests to me that there was a part of Neytiri that didn't really want to shoot, even though she fully intended to. When the woodsprite came and landed on her arrow, it gave her an excuse not to -- one she could even justify to her parents and the rest of the clan.
Considering, that it takes Jake a quite long time (later, when he is being educated by Neytiri) to be allowed taking his shot at a hexapede to make a clean kill, she probably didn't want to shoot while he was turning his back to her, but rather make it a clean kill by having him face her - respect to the warrior/hunter spirit, if you will.

Shooting even one of the stupid sky people (the Na'vi POV, that is) from behind would betray those warrior/hunter traditions.

I wonder... if she shot him, would she then have recited a death prayer for Jake, too, or just leave him lying there to rot - or more likely, as a viperwolf snack?

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Old 02-08-2011, 07:41 AM
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I wonder... if she shot him, would she then have recited a death prayer for Jake, too, or just leave him lying there to rot - or more likely, as a viperwolf snack?
In my view, both! *g* I can see her saying a prayer over him, and then leaving his body.
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