I don’t know if this has ever been mentioned or talked about before, but, guys, when Aang is fighting the fire lord he is forced to take refuge in a earth ball protecting him from the firelord if only for a little bit.
This is important. First, it’s literally Aang’s go to defense mechanism. His air ball he rides around on, the air ball he forms in his avatar state and it’s similar to the sphere he was “hiding” for a 100 years.
Think about it the creators are literally ending the story in almost the same way it began. Aang was forced to come out of his frozen airball by Katara and the need of the world. When he comes out Aang is all but still the same kid who ran away from his destiny and “failed” his people all those years ago.
Now he’s facing a man who feels no remorse over the slaughter of his people. Aang is forced back into a ball of protection all the while hearing how his people never even deserved to live and that he was weak. But Aang’s not weak he’s holding his own against Ozai. Everything Ozai is saying to belittle Aang is only filling him with more power even though his rock ball is breaking apart.
When it finally breaks the only element left is air. The element of his people. Aang knows he might’ve failed his people but he will not fail the world. He can’t disappear, he can’t run. He has to end this.
And then boom! Aang hits his back on a rock, directly on his lightning scar and then we get all these flashes of when he was shot down and flashes of all the past avatars. This whole scene stands to remind Aang that he cannot fail, not again.
Maybe it wasn’t significant enough in how he unlocked his chakra but after paying close attention to all the details in this round or rewatching I realized something about Aang’s blocked chakra.
People continue to assume that his chakra is still blocked because he refused to let Katara go, but in Crossroads of Destiny Aang literally blocks himself off from the fight to let Katara go in order to access the avatar state. He had to unblock this chakra to even enter the Avatar state which means letting Katara go wasn’t the reason his chakra was blocked after being struck down. I think the real reason is connected with how Azula struck him down, and the failure that comes with that. He lost that fight, he died. There is no getting around that and in the Awakening when Aang wakes up he feels like he failed the world all over again. This is made more obvious when Katara is treating his back and he is thrown back into the moment he was struck. He was watching the exact moment where he felt like he “failed” the world again.
Now we all know Aang has a major fear of failure and this just adds to it. By letting himself be struck down he let himself fail. Thus this is how his chakra is blocked.
And now in Sozin’s comet Aang is backed up into a wall, trying to avoid the Firelord knowing that if he gives up he fails the world, again. But then he’s thrown into a rock, forced to relive how he failed the world and he resolves deep inside himself that he’s not going to fail again. He forcibly reminds himself of who he is. He is not just the last airbender but he is the Avatar. And he will defeat the Firelord. This is why he finally is able to access the Avatar state in the finale.
And then it’s a big slap in the face to Ozai when Aang comes out of the rock and latches onto his beard and sends him on the run. Because how dare he call the Avatar weak. How dare he call airbenders weak, call Aang’s people weak. In these moments Aang is not only feeling fear of losing the war but also unbelievable rage at Ozai for saying all this things. But this time when Aang enters the avatar state and with the help of the past avatars he can control his emotions and channel them into defeating the Firelord.
Not to mention that the first strike Aang throws at Ozai is a powerful windgust, because even though he’s feeling the power from all four elements, air is rooting him and letting him stay in control of his Avatar state. And this is the reason Aang can stop himself from killing Ozai. Aang is in control and stays true to his people.
And that ladies and gentleman is my reading of Aang and Ozai’s fight. This show means way too much to me.