I read a Reddit thread that really made me feel so devastated about Monk Gyatso and Aang. x
“When the gaang goes to the Southern Air temple only Monk Gyatso body was found around a lot of fire nation weapons and armour. Why is Monk Gyatsos body the only body to be found in the Southern Air Temple as well as the Northern, Eastern and Western Air Temples.
Because Monk Gyatso was the only air nomad not killed by the Fire Nation. He fought and beat all the fire benders that opposed him. The reason being Aang. Aang showed ferocious power when Appa was lost, Monk Gyatso showed the exact same if more when the Fire Nation came because of the loss of Aang.
By the time the Fire Nation had exterminated the rest of the Air Nomads and Sozins comet was over, the Fire Nation knew that he was not the Avatar and did not bother to eliminate him.
So Monk Gyatso waited for Aang because if he was alive, where would the first place Aang would go? The Southern Air Temple.
TLDR: Monk Gyatso didn’t die by the Fire Nation, he died waiting for Aang.”
So, here’s a theory that I’ve seen thrown around that I think makes a lot of sense when you think about it. It goes a little something like this:
Both “Zuko Alone,” and “The Firebending Masters” show us Zuko being very bad at firebending. As Zuko mentions in the latter episode, this is likely due to him not relying on anger and hatred for his firebending anymore.
Using this logic, and given what Zuko was like prior to his banishment, it could be possible that the reason Zuko was unable to firebend well, or match his sister’s skill when he was a child is because he was unable to use the sort of anger-fueled firebending that marked Sozin’s era.
When I watched Avatar for the first time, I did it totally out of order. The first episode I saw was Cave of Two Lovers, I watched the finale before Western Air Temple, and the first episode was one of the last I saw. I was mostly at the mercy of the whims of Nickelodeon’s Saturday morning marathons.
So I knew from almost the beginning that Zuko (spoiler alert) was going to grow his hair out and switch sides, and I knew it happened mid book 3. Watching Crossroads of Destiny, then, was a totally different experience. When Azula gave him the ultimatum, I knew which side he’d choose, and I was so frustrated and angry. I wanted Zuko to be good already, dammit. After all of the development and the “metamorphosis” he’d gone through only a few episodes ago, I was convinced that his mistake in CoD was in there purely for shock value (and for me, knowing how it ended, I didn’t even get to experience that) and to draw out the angst. I was bitter because I felt cheated out of a half season’s worth of Redeemed!Zuko hanging out with the gaang. (It’s also worth mentioning that I was like 12.)
But now I know I was completely wrong. Whenever I try to think about what would have happened with the rest of the series if Zuko had sided with Aang instead of Azula, it just doesn’t work.Zuko needed to make that mistake in the crystal catacombs, and I can’t imagine his story without it.
Zuko developed a lot as a character through his travels in the Earth Kingdom up until his moment of truth under Ba Sing Se. He was rejected by his father, who sent Azula to imprison him and put out wanted posters that permitted anyone to kill him on site. He experienced true poverty and saw first-hand the horrible effects of the Fire Nation’s war. He’s been on his own. And, at last, he even gave up his search for the Avatar for a little while– not because realized it was wrong, but because realized it was hopeless.
But let’s think for a minute about what it would have meant for Zuko to side with the Avatar and fight Azula in Ba Sing Se. It would have made him a traitor. To side with Aang would be not only to acknowledge that the war was unjust and the fire nation the oppressor, but it would also be to actively fight against his own nation. And, implicitly, it would mean acknowledging the truth that his father did not and would never want him back. Zuko, at the end of Book 2, has had many experiences that point directly to these truths and in light of them, Zuko siding with the Avatar doesn’t seem that far-fetched. In fact, it was what a lot of people watching for the first time expected.
Here’s the catch: even though Zuko had had all of these experiences, he hadn’t yet processed them and fit them all together to form their logical conclusions. Sure, he knew the horrors the Fire Nation had committed in its war for prosperity, but he still wouldn’t have denounced his nation ; he knew that his father had declared him a traitor and sent Azula to lock him up, but he wouldn’t have admitted at that point that his father would never love or accept him and preferred him dead. Zuko pre-redemption is the king of cognitive dissonance. He has a lot at stake with the processing of all of these experiences—basically, his entire world-view. Somewhere in his mind, he knew that trying to reconcile what he saw in the Earth Kingdom with his current world-view could easily bring everything he knew and considered sacred crashing down around him. And there was one thing in particular that Zuko would protect at all costs; one truth that has been at the center of his world and forefront of his mind ever since his banishment — that he had a home to return to and there was a place for him within it, that if he just didn’t screw up for once everything would be okay again. This is the one thing Zuko clings to throughout his entire banishment, despite all the evidence and logic to the contrary, because if this one truth falls away what does he have left?
Ok so say Zuko and Katara started liking each other and getting too touchy and lowkey becoming a couple before they were originally supposed to in Book 4, where do you think this would've most likely happened? In Western Air Temple or Ember Island?
Ember Island. It would’ve happened on Ember Island. I mean, they were already low-key flirting with each other:
And Zuko made efforts to be by her:
And… they obviously were comfortable touching each other:
Oh MAN. If you’ve been following me for a little while, you would know that this is my ALL TIME FAVORITE Zutara fanfiction. HOLY. CRAP. It’s so good. Taking place shortly after the end of the show, this post war fic is the slow burn we all deserve. Starts K//at/ang and M/a-i/ko, and it beautifully highlights the flaws of both endgame ships without demonizing either Aang or Mai. AND we get an amazing Ursa and an AMAZING Azula. Sometimes if I need a pick me up I just read the last two chapters and sob at the beauty.
This absolute BEAST of a trilogy is an absolute CLASSIC and if you haven’t read it I’m assuming it’s because you’re intimidated by the size (all three together are about 900k words). But DON’T BE. It reads insanely fast and is just so. good. It is, to date, the only first person fanfiction I’ve ever attempted to read and enjoyed. The second of the three is my favorite. Stalking Zuko takes place from ‘The Western Air Temple’ to ‘The Southern Raiders’, Not Stalking Zuko takes place from ‘The Southern Raiders’ to after the Agni Kai in the finale, and Not Stalking Firelord Zuko takes place from the coronation til post canon. Absolutely hysterical and one of my favorites.
Do you love soap operas? Do you love sweeping romances? Do you love the idea that the entire Avatar-universe would be DESTROYED if Katara and Zuko didn’t fall in love??? If yes to any or all of those, than this fic is for you. An epic of a post war fic, this story could take the alternate title of ‘Road Trip of LOVE: A Zutara Story’. Has some Taang on the side, so if that’s your thing you’ve got that added bonus.
Didn’t you hate how in the comics Katara became a shell of herself who did nothing but wait on Aang hand and foot? Yeah, so did the rest of us. So here’s a story where Katara’s just chilling, watching the acolytes, and is like “Uhm wtf am I doing this isn’t me”, leaves Aang, and goes on to change the world because she’s that awesome. And yeah, Zuko just happens to be a part of her epic world changing. So beautiful.
Like arranged marriage tropes? Love slow burn? Well here have both of them in the SAME FIC. Yep, that’s right, a slow burn arranged marriage fic. Really awesome AU where rather than be banished, Zuko has to suffer with Azula and Ozai after the Agni Kai, and the slaughter of the group he tried to save is blamed on him. His final shame is being married off to a member of the Southern Water Tribe, our babe Katara. Excellent story.
brb just sobbing over the beauty of this modern AU. I don’t like modern AUs. But I LOVE this one. It’s just… the best thing ever. Honestly. It’s so fluffy and cute and I’m blushing right now writing this summary for it. It’s the "I hit you with my car and was the only one to visit you in hospital" AU none of us knew we needed from Zutara. Also anyone else think of The Raven Cycle when they hear this song? Just me? Alright sorry this is a zutara fic rec I’ll stay in my lane
Even So is one of my all time favorite one shots, but What Fortunes Lent by the same author is also an amazing worthwhile read. In this AU, the Southern Raiders mission comes when Katara is older and they take her prisoner rather than kill Kya. There are so many moments where you’ll clutch your heart and just want to cry but the ending is just beautiful if not horribly ambiguous… absolutely all around lovely fic.
Now, I don’t really like drastic AU’s. They just aren’t what I’m typically interested in reading. But this one, oh man. I’m so in love and invested. It takes place in a universe where there is no Avatar (but there is Aang) and Sozin successfully conquers the world. The worldbuilding is FANTASTIC, characterization is amazing, and at this moment the plot is really picking up and getting interesting. Slow burn is absolutely fantastic in this story, and I’m so excited to see what happens. What I love the most is hints of events that happened in canon are sprinkled throughout, giving this feeling that some events are always meant to be, even in drastically different scenarios.
I want to give a warning with this one. This Zutara fanfiction will not be for everyone. This author is mainly a Dramione writer, and you can absolutely see that in how she writes the dynamic between Katara and Zuko. If you love Zutara but hate Dramione, you probably will not like this. However, as someone who likes both, I can say that this is a really well written season 2 AU and in the last update we just got an interesting addition to the plot that appears to be here to stay.
HOPEFULLY these will keep you busy for a while. Happy reading!!!