One of the little details I appreciate about Legend of Korra is how thoroughly it refutes the whole cycle-of-abuse trope.
Conventionally, you’d expect Zuko to be the one with the messed up family, but no: the poster child for familial trauma shapes up as an awesome (grand)father.
Meanwhile, Aang and Toph turn out to be lousy parents in ways that you could totally see coming based on their established characterisation, even though they original series unambiguously paints them as the “good ones” next to Zuko’s Mr. Maladjusted schtick.
The show totally could have gone the easy route and put all of the generational drama on Zuko’s shoulders, but instead, it gives the poor guy a break while simultaneously acknowledging that there’s a great deal more to being a decent parent than simply failing to be an asshole, and that even a good person with good intentions can foul it up if they’re not paying attention to the right things.
First, you’ve got ZUKO. I mean, come on. He jumped in front of Azula’s lightning to protect Katara (ZUTARA) and he’s a master firebender trained by The Dragon of the West. Plus, call me biased, but I love him so, yes. He’s been through so much, but he’s not the bitter boy he used to be, and Zutara.
But then you have a bloodbender, who mind you doesn’t actually like bloodbending, but if her sole purpose is to protect you then, maybe. She’s a master waterbender who’s heart is bigger than Ba Sin Sei. She stuck by Aang through thick and thin, and the gAang would be in deep shit without her because she’s goals.
But then you have Toph, who is like, the most baddass chic there is, for too many reasons. She SENSES people coming, she’s a sarcastic little shit who in the inside cares SO MUCH, and I can’t.
But then there’s Mako, who like Zuko, YES. I mean, he’s just like Katara. He will stick by the Avatar no matter what, because that’s his friend (*cough*Makorra*cough*) and at one point he loved her. He’s an amazing firebender who is just a big Mama Bear at heart.
But then there’s the AVATAR, and she’s baddass as well. She’s a trained master in all the elements, and she’s funny and cares about everyone, and will lay down her life for what’s necessary to everyone she loves.
But then there’s Bolin, and he’s just a cinnamon roll that could kill you if you mess with him or the people he cares about. And he’s my baby and if someone hurts him I’ll kill them.