atla: zuko

The Avatar and the Firelord: Storyline Parallels

Avatar: The Last Airbender gives us two juxtaposed storylines.

The first storyline, focusing on Aang, tells the story of an Air Nomad monk who, at the age of 12, finds out that he’s the Avatar. Faced with this burden, Aang runs away and accidentally freezes himself, eventually waking up one hundred years later in a world that has been ravished by the Fire Nation. With the coming of Sozin’s Comet less than a year away, Aang goes on an epic adventure as he tries to master all four elements so he can defeat Firelord Ozai. 

Alongside this storyline we have the story of Ozai’s son Zuko who, at the age of 13, is burned and banished for speaking out of turn at a war meeting. Exiled from his home, Zuko is told that he can’t return until he finds the Avatar. When the Avatar finally reveals himself, Zuko begins chasing him, and we see how these two characters interact as the series progresses until Zuko ultimately joins Aang to defeat his father. 

With that said, despite being two very different storylines, the experiences that these two characters go through have parallels and connections that help tie them together. Thus, this post will look at these two characters, as well as multiple Avatar episodes, to demonstrate the parallels between them.

But, before we get started, let me explain how I plan to go about this meta because, let’s be real, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that we have a lot of ground to cover. 

Therefore, I’m going to start by going over some of the general themes, parallels, and contrasts that follow Aang and Zuko through their adventures, as well as going over some of the thematic trends that follow them too. 

With that out of the way, I’ll get into the specifics—talking about the parallels that take place episode-by-episode and season-by-season. I won’t go through everything, since not all the parallels are important plot wise (like this one) but, I’ll go through the really important ones that help establish the storyline of each character. 

So, with that said, let’s begin!

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baryonvoid  asked:

In defense of Mai, she is poorly written. The most interesting things about her are the consistency of her apathy and the fact that somehow her childish crush on Zuko morphed into a sense of entitlement. Even her backstory is contradictory. Were her parents strict and demanding or weak and confused? Therefore anyone who attempts to interpret the series seriously must do something to retcon Mai, if only to tone down her "sullen, bored teenager" act (eg, TomTom).

Now for an actual question: What do you think would be a satisfying reveal for Ursa, had there been a Book 4 and no comics? I get stuck trying to imagine something that maintains her ambiguous morality while also making sense in regards to the plot. I don’t like her going off to become a secret hero, but I also don’t like her willfully disregarding the fate of her children. Something has to match the banishment, which seemed to have been unenforceable. Why did she choose to disappear completely?

Poor Mαi! She didn’t get the character development she needed for a proper heel-face turn. And then the comics went and obliterated any audience goodwill she had gained from sacrificing herself for Zuko, when she went ahead and sacrificed Zuko and his family’s safety for her father’s freedom.

I think it would have been satisfying for Ursa to have been imprisoned in the Fog of Lost Souls from Legend of Korra. The Fog of Lost Souls, a spirit that makes people forget who they are and doubt their purpose in life, is something that performs the same function as the Mother of Faces, except the forgetting is involuntary. Maybe Ursa, like Iroh when Lu Ten died, wanted to journey into the Spirit World to see if she could contact her children, but got trapped by her own misgivings, doubts, and fears. We could have more character development for her that way, seeing from her point of view as she battles with herself, finally breaking through a little bit and calling for help—but not for herself. For Azula. Cue Zuko and Katara tracking Ursa down, only for Azula to have escaped and gotten there first. They wouldn’t have their bending, so journeying into the Spirit World would be terrifying! And we could also have a little more backstory about Zuko’s alter ego, as well as the beginning of Azula healing her broken psyche.

catalyst. covet. shift. spare. cauterized. fraught. cloud. raze. serrated. corrode. inattentive. adamant. irrevocable. mark. rush. gruesome. sink. impromptu. expose. absence. fallible. revel. leverage. impair. bare. affinity. cajole. clandestine. wager. clemency.

new writing challenge! but we’re dabbling into zutara territory. i hope you enjoy as much as i do!

It started with her hair.

Her hair, wild waves of brown, flew around her face as she parried his blasts of orange fire with whips of water, steam flying around them as she did so. 

Katara’s sweat dripped down the side of her temple as she rolled to the side, summoning a wave to surf around her opponent. She lashed a water whip at his feet and Zuko flipped back, nimbly landing on bended knee, and blasted himself forward with fists of fire. The wave shot up into a pillar of ice, launching Katara into the air.

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Drabble: Zuko - Glory

The light shone down from a hole in the ceiling.  Zuko stared down at the floor stones, yellow in the southern summer sun, yellow and warm, like they weren’t strewn with bodies.

His eyes rose, following the line of armored, red-clothed skeletons and scattered, cracked and rusted helmets.  At the end, there was a heap of dust and broken wall, and saffron cloth holding bleached, clean-picked bones in the light from the broken ceiling.

In the western temple, there hadn’t been any bodies.  Vaguely, he remembered reading about the soldiers dropping them over the edge of the cliff.

He couldn’t stand.  His legs wouldn’t hold him.  The wall behind him felt like water, like he was falling right through it, right through the floor, right through the mountain and the pile of bones.

He closed his eyes.  He turned around.  He did everything he could to make the bodies and bones invisible, make them go away.  His uncle stood, admiring the faded figures on the walls, and Zuko’s feet marched, his body following.  His armor pinched.  He could feel it pulling him down.  His uncle looked up.  Zuko swallowed and couldn’t breathe.

He met his uncle’s eyes.  "There’s nothing here.“