Avatar of Life?

I was playing my Ajani Goldmane deck today and when I ultimated him, I realized that I had no Avatar token to put into play. There is an official token made by Wizards, but I must admit I was underwhelmed when I first saw it.
Ajani Token
I’ll admit it has grown on me a little more since I’ve looked at it, but it’s still not really what I think of when I think of something that represents an avatar of my life total. The thought that really came to mind was that I was creating a token version of Serra Avatar, which is also in the deck, by the way, so I found a close up of the avatar itself:

Token Ajani Avatar B

Why does Serra’s Avatar look like a blindfolded Samurai? That’s just not working for me either. Then I found that there was an alternate art version of Serra Avatar produced as a promo for Duels of the Planeswalkers. That art is a little better in capturing the essence…

Token Ajani Avatar C

… but I still don’t understand why she has to be blind. What about the concept of “Avatar of Life” says, “I’m blind, like justice”? For a moment I toyed with the thought that the token was a representation of Ajani’s lifeforce. I didn’t stay on this idea long, but I did come across one piece of art on the DeviantArt site that really looked like some sort of incarnation of Ajani’s spirit or lifeforce. The artist goes by the moniker dabiankwong – nicely done!

Token Ajani Avatar D

Now a thought struck me: an avatar of life is someone full to the brim with life, and its essence, right? And who best captures the idea of someone full of life? I got no further than Sir John Falstaff from Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays, and then found this excellent painting by Eduard von Grützner, which really nails it I think.

Token Ajani Avatar E

But I must admit that when I think of Falstaff, I always get the image of Robbie Coltrane’s portrayal from Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V. This was my first introduction to the character, and while perhaps he’s not the best Falstaff ever–I wouldn’t know who is, really–he is forever etched in my brain as “Falstaff”. Unfortunately, I could not find a good image to use. If anyone knows of a better one, I’d love to know of it. This will have to do for now.

Token Ajani Avatar F

And there you have my journey in search of an “Avatar of Life”. I think any one of these could serve the purpose nicely. Adieu!


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