Avatar 2: The Way of Water – Teaser Trailer Synopsis (updated)

– UPDATED VERSION –
(May 12th 2022)

*ahem* … Kinda needless to say, but still… :

!!! SPOILERS AND THEORIES AHEAD !!!

 

With the teaser trailer of Avatar 2: The Way of Water first running before the new Doctor Strange movie in cinemas all over the world and now being officially let loose on the internet, I can finally dissect it frame by frame :D All of this is my interpretation and speculation (as well as a lot of me rambling), so take everything written here with the appropriate amount of grains of salt, hrh. Anyway, here goes my breakdown:

It’s ~13 years after the events of the first movie. Neytiri and Jake have three kids together, the eldest son Neteyam, the younger son Lo’ak and their daughter, Tuktirey, being the youngest. And there’s Javier “Spider” Socorro, their adoptive human son who was born on Pandora (Hell’s Gate) and lives among the Na’vi.

Confused about who is who yet? Don’t worry, here’s an in-depth post about the Sully kids: Clearing Up The Confusion About The Children – Avatar 2: The Way Of Water

 

For some reason (that smells suspiciously a lot like the RDA) they leave the rainforest and go to the realm of the Metkayina, a reef dwelling clan who’s evolutionary adapted to living in or near the water, with wider / broader limbs (bones / cartilage?) and tail for easier movement while in water, as well as smaller ears and green to blue eyes. They know and use the art of tattooing, which I (as a tattooist) just love, love, love! (No worries, I’ve written a humongous blog post just on the tattooing here: An excursion into the art of tattooing of the Na’vi / Metkayina in Avatar 2: The Way Of Water )

 

Anyway, let’s go scene by scene.

We get catapulted back on Pandora by accompanying Javier, Lo’ak, Kiri and what appears to be Tuktirey or some other young Na’vi kid at the Ayram Alusìng (floating mountains), probably (playfully) training for Iknimaya, mirroring a scene from the first movie, where we see Tsu’tey, Jake and other young hunters paying this breathtaking scenery a visit as well:

Right to left: Javier “Spider”, Lo’ak, Kiri and Tuktirey (?) climbing Iknimaya
Right to left: Tsu’tey, Jake and other hunters doing the same in Avatar 1

The teaser utilizes pulling up memories from Avatar 1 within the audience by mirroring of scenes from Avatar 1 with the following shot of Neytiri:

Neytiri greeting us, visibly older, being the first familiar face in the teaser trailer for Avatar 2

Which instantly reminded me of this scene from Avatar 1:

Neytiri listening to a sign from Eywa, an Atokirina’, and deciding not to shoot Jake in Avatar 1

Next we see a group of Na’vi, very likely the Sully family, riding on their ikrans above a large body of water, or rather, the sea / an ocean. Maybe already in Metkayina territory or on their way there:

Upper row from left to right: Jake, Lo’ak, Kiri, Neytiri with Tuktirey on ikran backs – lower row: Neteyam on his ikran

Why I think those are Jake, Lo’ak and so on in that order? Read this thourough analysis by our very own Ney: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1LY8muGMHoMBKO2nb_cIlkYpLz3FmuhBZFZrEil5WSIU/

May I point out that I love to see some maritime life, at long last. Smaller groups of fish and some very big guys, even compared to the group of ikran-riders – those are very, very likely nalutsa.

The next shot shows us Jake, the second familiar face from Avatar 1:

First look of Jake in the trailer for Avatar 2. He appears to look rather distraught and seems to still be wearing his RDA-communication necklace which he is not wearing in all scenes (later on in the movie?), a machine gun strapped around his torso and some more human stuff in his saddle bag thingy

He looks rather concerned or unsettled, as if weighed down by worry or sorrow. Maybe there was a fight (with Neytiri?), maybe someone died (Mo’at?), maybe they’re refugees now (on their way to the Metkayina). He’s definitely riding his ikran, sporting dreads (which I love, love, love as well, I’ve been drawing Na’vi with dreads since 2012, hrh!) and a leather vest.

The next scene shows us again the Sully family ikrans. The scenery shows us a shore lined with mangrove-like trees, which (if they’re anything like mangrove trees on Earth) can thrive in salty / briney water, which tells me, that this is the shore of the sea. If you look closely, you can see some Na’vi “tents” stretched in between the roots:

From left to right on ikrans: Neteyam, Jake, Lo’ak, Kiri, Neytiri with Tuktirey

Mo’at is not among them, traveling to the Metkayina. Why not?

Another shot on ikran back in Metkayinan territory follows:

From left to right: Neytiri with Tuktirey, Jake, Neteyam, Kiri and Lo’ak

The group seems to arrive at the area where the Metkayina dwell, or at least a member of the Metkayina seems to be announcing their arrival:

A first good look at a member of the Metkayina and their differences in body structures as well as tattoos. Also look at those little bird-like creatures, what are they? Those ominous “maritime ikran”? I want one! hrh – on ikran wings from left to right: Lo’ak, Neytiri with Tuktirey, Jake, Kiri and Neteyam. In the background we see daily Metkayinan life.

We then dive into the sea, see even more fish (yay <3, fayoang!) and are introduced to one of the new main protagonists , Kiri:

She is of human descent, because she has 5 toes = 5 fingers (“human hands”), hairy “human” eyebrows, a narrower bridge of the nose compared to basically any Na’vi, but she is not one of Jake’s or Neytiri’s kids. So who the hell is Kiri, and is she somehow connected to Grace? Find out here: Clearing Up The Confusion About The Children – Avatar 2: The Way Of Water

The trailer then puts our asses back on the ground of reality and inside a (new) base of the RDA. Who read the comic “The Next Shadow” will know that the humans never (fully) left and the RDA would return, but they definitely seem to have used the past decade or so to bulk up their numbers and “fortresses”. We see spider bots being busy and a human in a mechanized exo-skeleton that puts them at eye-level with the two Avatars next to them. These two blue guys are Quaritch and Wainfleet. Yup, you read that right. However, more on them later.

We get a good look at what the humans have built in the past 13+ years, more of everything, basically bigger and “better”:

We also see Avatars sitting inside that new Samson-type helicopter, and yes, those are Quaritch and Wainfleet:

Back in the forest and with the Na’vi, we lay eyes on Lo’ak and Spider sneaking up on some Avatars who are very likely with the RDA:

Lo’ak and Spider, Lo’ak has 5 fingers and Spider seems to have painted pil (Na’vi skin pattern) all over his body.

The camera turns around, showing us Lo’ak and Kiri from the front, which likely means that in this scene the three of them (Spider, Lo’ak and Kiri) are on an adventure together:

Lo’ak and Kiri, our two new main protagonists in Avatar 2

This shot, too, reminded me of a shot of Lo’ak’s mother, Neytiri, from Avatar 1:

The moment we first see Neytiri in Avatar 1, about to shoot Jake. Her being hidden behind leaves reminded me of Lo’ak there.

We’re then back to humans, uhm, I mean, Avatars. These two badasses are very clearly Miles Quaritch and Lyle Wainfleet and obviously still with the RDA. How they got (into) Avatar bodies after having died in Avatar 1 is one of the big mysteries here. I am very sure that Eywa played no role in it (hopefully, hrh), but that this is thanks to some human sorcery :P

Left to right: Wainfleet and Quaritch, probably just dropped off into the rainforest by that Samson we saw earlier

Who are they sneaking up on, tho? Maybe Lo’ak, Spider and Kiri? Because in the next shot we see the three of them, ready to fight, while Lo’ak and Spider defend the unarmed Kiri:

Left to right: Lo’ak, Spider and Kiri
Fierce Spider and Kiri

This and the previous shot don’t seem to happen at the same time of day, because lighting and the color of the light.

It gets more peaceful again tho, when we see Kiri enjoying a ride underwater with an ilu:

The next shot gets very interesting. We see a group of young Na’vi, a mix of Omatikaya and Metkayina, exploring what appears to be a swotu (sacred place), indicated by the circle-like stone structures that stand for a place of high “flux vortex”, high energy, places where the Na’vi tend to be able to connect to and communicate with Eywa:

Left to right: Neteyam, Aonung / Rotxo (?), Tsireya, Kiri and Tuktirey

This place being sacred to the Metkayina is supported by info from Avatar.com, which says: “This area with its inverted arches – known as The Cove of the Ancestors – is a sacred location for the Metkayina Clan.”
Lo’ak is not visible in this shot. Maybe he had other stuff to do, or he is still to follow.

Speaking of Tsireya and Lo’ak, in the next shot we see them together with Neytiri (on the right) and Jake, who very apparently is about to lecture or even scold his son:

Tsireya, Jake, Lo’ak and Neytiri. Both Jake and Neytiri look rather mad and Jake is about to tell his son off. However, Lo’ak looks like he thinks he did nothing wrong, Tsireya looks rather guilty / intimidated xD

Could be that Tsireya and Lo’ak fall in love with each other, which causes some friction between the two clans (Omatikaya and Metkayina), especially since Tsireya seems to be the daughter of the Tsahìk (Ronal) of the Metkayina. (The outsider falling in love with the princess… Avatar 1 all over again, hrh :D)
It’s not unlikely that this is the reason Jake wants to scold him, because he himself is the Olo’eyktan of the Omatikaya, and friction between clans while the RDA is still around (and apparently stronger than ever)… eeeh, not the best situation for the Na’vi alltogether, is it?

OR… there’s another conflict involving these two young Na’vi. Maybe they attacked the RDA on their own, much like Silwanin (Neytiri’s deceased sister) and a couple of other young hunters did before Avatar 1 happened, and this caused the conflict between humans and Na’vi to escalate (again).

Or maybe Lo’ak’s parents just disapprove of his new friendship with a tulkun.

Love story or not, in the next shot we see (what appears to be) the Tsahìk of the Metkayina, namely Ronal, and she does not seem happy AT ALL, as if she is very distrusting or disproving of something (or someone) – or she just talked with someone and is contemplating how to feel and what to think:

Ronal, the Tsahìk of the Metkayina. Her jewelry and the colors of her garments make me feel very certain that she is indeed Tsahìk.

Then we lay eyes on her daughter, Tsireya, again, but this time we get a way better look at her. She seems very unsettled / upset / unhappy. Maybe it’s something Lo’ak said to her, because yep, that’s him (hair and necklace give him away):

Her skin color and face shape, as well as her jewelry, make me think she is the daughter of Ronal and the next Tsahìk-to-be after Ronal.

Meanwhile, Lo’ak is making new friends underwater:

Lo’ak making first contact with a tulkun

Why I’m sure this is a tulkun? Read up on that here: The Tulkun Conundrum – Avatar 2: The Way Of Water

It gets ceremonial, when we witness the Metkayina holding some form of prayer or ritual – maybe even a birthing ritual? Because Ronal is obviously very pregnant:

In the foreground we see Ronal and Tonowari, resp. Tsahìk and Olo’eyktan of the Metkayina. Standing behind them is maybe Aonung, the son of Tonowari.

We get more action when we see how Spider and Lo’ak (hair and armlet give him away) flee from an RDA facility by jumping through a hole into the sea:

“Fuck this shit, we’re out of here!”

They’re obviously running away from humans, while they’re being shot at. Maybe they’re running away from this guy:

This is definitely Miles Quaritch, who we’ve seen earlier in the teaser trailer.
It becomes even more apparent, when you compare Miles Quaritch’s Avatar to his human body from Avatar 1. Same haircut, same tattoo. He probably got it tattooed on his new Avatar body, because he’s so sore about the fact that he has to live inside one of these “blue monkey shells” now and he misses his human form, hrh. Ah well, who knows.

Then it gets emotional, when we see Lo’ak being sad and or at least very upset:

A sad Lo’ak next to (what I am very sure of is) Jake’s hands (4 fingers / 5 digits!) on top of Neytiri’s head. Maybe one of Lo’ak’s siblings got injured or someone died – maybe even his grandmother Mo’at or another family member? It also looks like smoke and fire in the background = post battle fallout?

Meanwhile we’ve been hearing Jake talking to us from the off about family. Right at this very word (“family”), we see his, or at least him with Lo’ak and Spider, while Kiri is looking at them:

Jake holding and comforting Lo’ak and Spider while being all bloody and bruised

I don’t think this shot and the one before of sad Lo’ak are from the same scene, tho. Yes, there’s smoke and sadness in both of them, but the light / time of day appears to be different.

A close up of Spider in Jake’s embrace follows:

Maybe Jake sports dreads to support his adopted human son Spider. It’s easy to feel different or left out as the only human among Na’vi.

It gets more dramatic again, when we witness how Neytiri and Tuktirey flee from a RDA-structure that’s being flooded:

Brightly glowing bioluminescent skin pattern indicates emotional agitation (*gestures at surrounding*). Also Tuktirey obviously has 3 fingers / 4 digits, like any other Na’vi, like her mom Neytiri.

In this scene we also get confirmation that the head next to sad Lo’ak a couple of shots back is indeed Neytiri’s:

*points at headband*

The tension breaks again when we see Lo’ak hanging on to the tulkun we’ve seen earlier, being dragged by it through the water, enjoying life:

Lo’ak (necklace and hair give him away) with his new friend

Then we get another (almost) full body shot of the leaders of the Metkayina: The Tsahìk called Ronal and the Olo’eyktan called Tonowari:

The Metkayina on ilus, while their Tsahìk and Olo’eyktan (sporting awesome clothing in the typical “leader-red”) are at the front. Are they preparing to attack the RDA in a great battle?

Only three shots left, guys :(( *sigh* … Well. (What are very clearly) Jake’s hands tug at a strip of leather, fastening the harness on the neck of an ikran, ilu or…

… this new and yet unknown beast of a flying fish:

This is probably the same scene we see the Metkayina on ilus in, ready for battle. Same cloudy sky, same color of daylight. In the shot before Jake was probably preparing for battle on this creature. Notice the hatchet?

Jake then finishes his line from the off – and it becomes clear that he’s been talking to Neytiri, who is very likely Tsahìk of the Omatikaya now (I wonder why – did Mo’at die?), judging from her new and pretty necklace. It also becomes clear that they are going through quite some turmoil, as a couple / mated pair or a family, and Jake tries to reassure and comfort her. Maybe even trying to stop her from leaving, or preventing their family or clan from breaking apart or succumbing to despair.

“I know one thing: Wherever we go… this family… is our fortress.”

“Oel omum fì’ut (a): Awngari, ketsran tsengne kä… fìsoaia… lu zongtseng.”


Tse, ma frapo, this is it, this is the first teaser trailer for Avatar 2. I absolutely loved it and I can’t find a single bit in it which I don’t love. And to be very honest with you, this short teaser trailer already made me cry. Also the score / music for this trailer was just absolutely amazing, if the movie score is anything like it, I will just dissolve into a blobby mess of shivers and tears in the movie theater. I am sooooo looking forward to the next (teaser) trailer and even more the movie!

Related blog posts

Clearing Up The Confusion About The Children – Avatar 2: The Way Of Water

The Tulkun Conundrum – Avatar 2: The Way Of Water

An excursion into the art of tattooing of the Na’vi / Metkayina in Avatar 2: The Way Of Water

Also interesting:

This video compares the trailers for Avatar 1 and 2 side by side. Amazing how they line up perfectly. Said it before, will say it again: Coincidence is unknown to James Cameron!

Kelutral.org has a very well written breakdown of the trailer you might like:

https://www.kelutral.org/blog/avatar-the-way-of-water-teaser-breakdown

My prediction of the chain of events in Avatar 2

  • Life for the Omatikaya is great so far, until…
  • The Omatikaya get into direct conflict with the RDA: Lo’ak, Spider and Kiri getting cornered by humans / RDA Avatars, barely escaping
  • The RDA follows them / seeks retribution
  • Mo’at gets killed, the Sully family being devastated by that
  • Great turmoil and pain within the Omatikaya clan, Jake tries to reassure Neytiri
  • These events / further advances of the RDA forces them to flee their home in the rainforest
  • They seek refuge with the reef dwelling Metkayina, how many members of the Omatikaya is unclear, likely just the Sully family (are they outcasts, is no other of the Omatikaya left?)
  • At first things go kinda well between the clans, the kids of each clan befriending each other, enjoying life (Tsireya showing Neteyam, Kiri and Tuk around, while Lo’ak makes friends with a tulkun)
  • Conflict between Omatikaya and Metkayina, likely because of Lo’ak (and Tsireya?) messing something up
  • RDA following the Omatikaya to the realm of the Metkayina, forcing them to put their differences aside and working together
  • Great battle combining Omatikaya and Metkayina forces against the RDA, with great losses on both sides
  • Quaritch will surive, but my guess is Wainfleet dies (again)
  • The Sully family sticks even closer together, having to face what’s to come in Avatar 3

Why I think Mo’at will die

Well… her muntxatan Eytukan died in Avatar 1, her dying in Avatar 2 would kinda fit. Both of them being reunited within Eywa, a lovely thought. Mo’at is old and will die eventually of old age while probably having not much interesting added anymore to the story until then anyway, so why not “use” her death and give it some more meaning by helping to create more opportunities for growth and character depth for the Sullys, making them and their story more interesting and us even more emotionally invested? Also, Neytiri seems to be(come) Tsahìk in Avatar 2, and Mo’at being deceased would make way for this.
Lo’ak and Neytiri being sad about someone injured or dead means they both have close relations and strong feelings for that person (Mo’at is Neytiri’s mother and Lo’ak’s grandmother). And while watching the video of both trailers being compared to each other, we see this:

Left: Lo’ak and Neytiri being very sad, maybe because Mo’at died. Right: Neytiri being devastated about her father Eytukan (Mo’at’s spouse) dying. Same mood, same lighting and smoke. Ngari hu Eywa salew tirea, ma Mo’at, you will be forever in our hearts!

2 thoughts on “Avatar 2: The Way of Water – Teaser Trailer Synopsis (updated)

  1. I have been reading all your posts. Please continue to write these! you have excellent breakdowns.

  2. Tstunwi ma Al – thanks, Al! :D I’m happy if they are interesting and somewhat helpful to people. I’m sure if new material comes out, for example a second trailer, I’ll definitely write some more. I will 100% when the movie’s out – breakdowns, Na’vi language stuff and we’ll see what else :)

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