capture the avatar

List of things to say when someone asks why you don’t want kids
  • I promised my firstborn to a witch and really don’t want to make good on the deal
  • Well you can have them FOR me if it’s that big a deal to you
  • I don’t think I could get a good price for em on the black market
  • Fight me Helen
  • I can’t be a better parent than Angelina Jolie so why even bother
  • That’s my nindo. My ninja way.
  • I literally JUST sat down
  • Recite “The Highway Man” from Over the Garden Wall
  • Kids? What are those? I don’t understand. What are these youOH GRAVY WHAT IS THAT!?
  • Oohhh no, I’ve seen Disney movies, I know what happens to mothers
  • Centipedes? In my vagina?
  • *Angrily* YOU SEE!? This is just like that episode of Spongebob! *insert the plot of any episode of Spongebob in excruciating detail*
  • I heard they’re.. you know.. itchy. Like, as soon as you have a kid. Just totally itchy. Everything.
  • I’m an Aries
  • Well, we already got an even number so.. *shrug*
  • I must first capture the Avatar to regain my honor
  • I’m allergic
  • That’s just what the communists want!
  • I’ve been dead for seven years
  • Santa didn’t bring me one last Christmas, so I guess it’s no meant to be
  • I’m afraid they’ll have bad taste in memes
  • It would be unfair to my cat
  • I’m chaotic neutral
  • *long farting noise lasting at least 45 seconds*
  • “I don’t want to have children, I want to stay single, and let my hair flow in the wind as I ride through the glen firing arrows into the sunset.”
8

Banished Princes Paralllel

Asami Sato: The Unsung, Selfless Hero

Lately I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how selfless Asami Sato is… 

She’s almost saint-like despite the sheer hell she has had to face and endure throughout her entire life. A quick glance may give someone the impression that she’s infallible, untouchable. But we know this to not be the case, because deeply rooted inside of this woman is a history full of pain and trauma.

* * * * *

At the age of six, she had her mother’s life ripped away from her from an Agni Kai Triad raid.

12 years later she had to face the truth about her father. The only person she had left in her family turned against her due to his corrupt view of benders and this disgust led him to almost murdering his own daughter.

During the equalist revolution, her relationship with Mako tumbled and fell apart into shambles.

Six months later, Asami assumed the role of her father as the CEO of Future Industries, only to face bankruptcy, double-crossing and theft with her company.

With little to no hope left, she turned to Mako again, presumably out of fear and the need for some source of comfort, any source of comfort. That interaction between them ended up being very short-lived once more.

Things started looking up for her again after the events of Book 2. Her company stabilized, her friendship with Korra bloomed and the Krew was together and stronger than ever.

When all looked well, things quickly turned as the Red Lotus captured the Avatar. Asami had to witness the gruesome encounter between Korra and Zaheer after the Avatar bore the near-fatal effects of the poisonous metal. All she could do in that very moment was watch her best friend being thrown against mountains, being intentionally suffocated before she was wrapped in Tonraq’s arms, motionless.

For two whole weeks after the events of the Red Lotus, she did everything she could and took close care of the Korra in her wounded and shattered state. She was willing to do anything, even going so far as to offer her company with Korra in the Southern Water Tribe. However, that offer was declined and she was left all alone.

As time passed, the Krew began to drift apart once again. Mako was busy with his police work and Bolin eventually set off to help restore the Earth Kingdom. Asami was buried in work with rebuilding Republic City’s infrastructure around the spirit vines. As for Korra… well that was absolute radio-silence. Asami sent letter after letter to Korra, calling out to her but receiving nothing in return. During this time period, she began to fully realize her romantic feelings for her best friend, but was too afraid admit them out of fear that Korra would never come back to home - never come back to her.

Two years of radio-silence morphed into a brief period of hope when she finally received a letter from Korra. Korra had contacted only her, revealing how she was trying to get better along with her deepest insecurities about visions, the Avatar State and fears of never fully bouncing back. Despite the dark confessions, the letter must have given Asami some sliver hope as Korra was trying her best to get better and push her way through the darkness. Maybe there wasn’t anything Asami could do, but she knew Korra still had some fight left in her.

Later, Asami was informed that the Avatar would be arriving back in Republic City - back to where the action and her friends would be. The feelings that Asami would have been experiencing - the disbelief, the happiness, the nervousness - she would finally get to see her best friend face-to-face again after more than two long years.

Except, not all went according to plan. Her and her friends were informed that Korra left the Water Tribe around six months back with the intent of voyaging to Republic City. Korra was gone, absent from the world and no one, not even Asami, had clue as to where she would be.

During this long time-period, her father began attempting to contact her again via letters. Asami felt angry and conflicted - this man was her father after all, but the actions he committed against her were beyond hurtful. Maybe she couldn’t forgive immediately, if ever, but she could try. He was one of her last hopes as her best friends were off doing their own things and Korra was missing.

Her reunion with her best friend was delayed, but eventually happened. Korra looked happier and healthier- something that Asami hadn’t seen for three full years. Not only did she reunite with her closest friend, she was also able see Mako and Bolin again. Her family was back together and they were ready to take on Kuvira and her army.

During the preparations for the final battle, her and Hiroshi were able to make some amends through their creation of the hummingbird mecha suits. They were able to bond once again over this activity of creating and designing - something they probably did numerous times before the Hiroshi’s hatred took him away from her. They were able to tell each other that they loved each other for the first time in a long while…

And it would be for the last time as she watched her father crushed before her own eyes as she slowly drifted back to the torn grounds of Republic City in her parachute. 

* * * * *

Asami had every reason to hate the world after what it had put her through. Trauma after trauma, she was pushed into a deep hole of sadness and pain. She could have easily fell on a path similar to that of her father, seeking revenge out of blinding anger and rage.

To think, at only the young age of 22, she was subjected to more trauma and horror than any person should ever have to face. This… it can hit a little close to home, especially for someone like me who is around own Asami’s age.

What is also nearly unfathomable is that we seldom hear Asami complain about these experiences in her life. She keeps getting punched down but always gets right back up without a word. She may appear fine out the outside, but that internal emotional pain on the inside must be unbearable.

Despite this pain, she always puts people before herself, tending to others before tending to herself. She provides her resources (airships, satomobiles, her own mansion for friends and their family members) as well as her own skills and pure kindness. She is willing to go to some extremes to help make someone feel people feel (as we were able to see with her offer to go to the Water Tribe with Korra) or to help restore balance to the world with Korra and the others.

Asami could ask for anything in the world, she could buy herself whatever she needs or wants and I’m sure she would have people lining up outside the door to get the chance to be with her. She could gloat about her extreme intelligence, her role with the Krew or her position as an engineer and CEO of Future Industries. But she never does any of this - she never asks for recognition, favors or… anything. 

She gives and she gives but never expects anything in return. Life has taken so much away from her and instead of using this pain as a reason for revenge and hate, she uses it as a means to help others - so that they don’t have experience what she already has.

And if there is one thing we know about Asami Sato, it’s that while important people keep leaving her, she will never leave them.

anonymous asked:

Hiiii!!! So this isn't a prompt but I was just wondering what are some of your favorite Zutara fanfics, M rated ones preferably.

Hiya!

*= a very personal favorite 

Thanks for the ask. Here’s some of my favorites:


Anything by SongofHopeandHonor tbh. She’s an amazing writer, and I love her style. So far, I can’t tag anything without having an account to a03, where most of her work is, and she sadly deactivated her Tumblr. :(

A Week to Know You Again (M) / Em Dixon

Complete. After the first year of their engagement, Katara felt she and Zuko were already drifting apart. In the Fire Nation, their time always belonged to someone else. Now, in the South Pole for Suki and Sokka’s wedding, they hoped to find each other again. 

The Sparrowkeet Series (M) / Audreyii-fic 

Complete. Ba Sing Se has fallen and Katara has been captured by the Fire Nation; a more adult take on the potential progression of S3. AU series of interconnected one-shots. Zutara. Rated for lemons and general darkness. 

Hot Water  (Hard T) / CultofStrawberry

Complete. Romance, action, drama, and a kickass Agni Kai scene all here! Zuko has finally captured the Avatar and his gang for keeps and reclaimed his birthright, but he realizes that honor is much more than that.

Anything by @theadamantdaughter, she has great smutfics (she’s the smut queen)! 

@justkeepshippingg has great smutfics too! I recommend Fifty Shades of Honor. 

I Was Not Magnificent (M) /  Like a Dove 

Complete. When Zuko first meets the waterbender with the scars, he’s fascinated by her. His fascination quickly turns into something much more. Soon Zuko will have to confront his greatest enemy.

Persuasion (M) / elimaria 

One-Shot. In which Katara has a knack for persuasion. (Yes, I did self promote myself, I just thought it was under the criteria for M rated fics/one-shots.)

Love Amongst the Embers (M) / delectate

One-Shot. After the Ember Island Players’ performance, and with the help of a little rice wine, Zuko and Katara decide to rewrite an alternate ending to their story. 

My Heart Burns for You (M) / Alwayszutarian 

Incomplete. Four years have passed since the end of the war, but as they meet again and encounter many obstacles, Zuko and Katara realize that what their hearts truly burn for is for one another. Can they love each other knowing they will hurt those that love them? What will become of them when a new enemy appears with a vengeful plot to destroy everything they had worked for to bring peace?

After Glow (M) / Burning Ice 

One-Shot.  It’s a proven fact that ‘intimacy’ the evening before a demanding physical activity such as a marathon or an epic final battle will improve a woman’s performance, but damage a man’s, the following day.


So far that’s it. MHBFY is very OOC, but it has some really great smut. I mentioned this in another fic rec list. 

I hope this sates your needs. ;) 

Sad thought of the day.

When Ozai tells Zuko “Don’t come home until you’ve captured the Avatar,” it’s really a tongue and cheek way of saying “Don’t come home at all.”  No one has seen the Avatar for 100 years.  Ozai, Azulon, and Sozin all tried looking themselves with no luck.

Iroh understood this, which is why he always tries to temper Zuko’s obsession.

And Poor Zuko, so desperate for things to go back to normal just searches anyway.

I just need a minute.

I had this really funny dream last night

where I was zuko and it was literally just the scene where iroh asks if he wants tea and he just blows up “I DONT NEED ANY CALMING TEA! I NEED TO CAPTURE THE AVATAR.”
Except I was zuko and when iroh asked if I wanted tea zuko/I shouted “I DONT NEED ANY CALMING TEA! I NEED TO PASS ORGANIC CHEMISTRY!”

anonymous asked:

I'm curious to know what you think about Zuko's character arc, like did you like him betraying Katara and Iroh at the end of Book 2 or did you find it OOC? Did you like how he wanted throughout Book 3, cause to me he looked like a douchebag yelling at Iroh, hiring an assassin etc, really looked like Bryke was trying to make him as bad as possible and pair him up with Mai, to cancel him as a love interest for Katara.

I believe his betrayal of Katara and Iroh at the end of Book 2 was entirely necessary for his character arc. Zuko always showed himself as one who needed to make his own decisions and mistakes before he learned from them. His uncle could preach at him all he wanted, but Zuko only ever recognized Iroh’s truth after he’d pursued a goal to no avail. 

For example, the greatest turning point in Zuko’s story during Book 2 was when he let Appa go. Now, he wasn’t planning to do so. He only released Appa after much urging from Iroh, and Iroh’s explanation of Zuko’s past failings: 

Iroh: So, the Blue Spirit. I wonder who could be behind that mask …
Zuko: [Sighs and takes off the mask.] What are you doing here?
Iroh: I was just about to ask you the same thing. What do you plan to do now that you’ve found the Avatar’s bison? Keep him locked in our new apartment? Should I go put on a pot of tea for him?
Zuko: First I have to get it out of here.
Iroh: And then what!? You never think these things through! [Points at him.] This is exactly what happened when you captured the Avatar at the North Pole! You had him, and then you had nowhere to go!
Zuko: I would have figured something out!
Iroh: [Starts yelling.] No! If his friends hadn’t found you, you would have frozen to death!

Iroh is quick to tell Zuko that his lack of planning will ultimately lead to his downfall. He was never successful in the past because he never thought his schemes through. What did he really hope to accomplish by capturing Appa? What was his end goal? How exactly did he think revealing his identity in the Earth Kingdom’s only stronghold was going to play out? And this was after he went on a date with Jin, after his uncle had found some success in Ba Sing Se, and after Zuko had a taste of what a normal, peaceful life could be if he’d just let his destiny go. 

Zuko: I know my own destiny, Uncle!
Iroh: Is it your own destiny, or is it a destiny someone else has tried to force on you?

He was happy in Ba Sing Se, but largely so, because he had no other choice. His life no longer followed the trajectory he had planned— he couldn’t hunt the Avatar because doing so would mean revealing his location in Ba Sing Se and he couldn’t return home because he couldn’t hunt the Avatar.

Jump back up to Iroh’s last line listed above: Is it a destiny someone else has tried to force on you? That can easily be applied to his hunt for the Avatar, but look how easily can that also be applied to Zuko’s newfound life in Ba Sing Se! His actions — pursuing Appa the second he knew the bison was in the city, even after experiencing peace and success — prove that his life in Ba Sing Se was another destiny being forced on him. 

Now, I know you may be arguing in your head that Zuko’s metamorphosis proves that he had changed— but I don’t think so. I think Zuko’s metamorphosis proved he hadn’t, foreshadowed by this exchange: 

Zuko: Stop it, Uncle! I have to do this!
Iroh: I’m begging you, Prince Zuko! It’s time for you to look inward and begin asking yourself the big questions. Who are you, and what do you want?

His transformation in Book 2 was his wrestling with this question: What do I want? Zuko didn’t know. He had no idea. Everything was conflicting in his head. Did he want the Avatar? Did he want peace? Did he want to go home? Did he want this new life? This is particularly evident in the warring dragons in his dreams: 

Blue dragon: It’s getting late. Are you planning to retire soon, my lord?
Zuko: I’m not tired.
Blue dragon: Relax, Fire Lord Zuko. Just let go. Give in to it. Shut your eyes for a while.
Zuko slowly starts to shut his eyes but widely opens them upon hearing the other dragon.
Red dragon: No, Fire Lord Zuko! Do not listen to the blue dragon. You should get out of here right now. Go! Before it’s too late!
Blue dragon: Sleep now, Fire Lord Zuko.
The dragons disappear, and the room they’re in, as well as the guards watching Zuko, crumble to nothing. The blue dragon reappears in front of him. Two golden eyes appear, followed by the face of the blue dragon, which closes rapidly.
Blue dragon: Sleep. Just like mother!
Charges at Zuko and opens its mouth. Inside the dragon’s mouth, Zuko sees his mother, Ursa. Within that darkness, the camera draws closer to Ursa, who drops her hood.
Ursa: Zuko! Help me! 
Zuko disappears through the floor.

Later when Zuko awakens:

Zuko: What’s happening?
Iroh: Your critical decision. What you did beneath that lake. It was in such conflict with your image of yourself that you are now at war within your own mind and body.
Zuko: What’s that mean? 
Iroh: You are going through a metamorphosis, my nephew. It will not be a pleasant experience, but when you come out of it, you will be the beautiful prince you were always meant to be.

I think a lot of viewers take Iroh’s final comment as the end all and be all sign that Zuko was supposed to fully transform here and join the Avatar’s side, however, I do not believe this is the case. I believe Iroh’s comment wasn’t exactly wrong… it’s just interpreted incorrectly. Zuko did change when he woke from his coma: He didn’t change sides or soften or discern all of Azula’s lies, but as became evident in Book 3, Zuko woke from his coma and was able to finally recognize the truth in Iroh’s words

Let’s delve into the imagery of the metamorphosis… not only is he plagued by weird visions such as taking on Aang’s body, the dragons in Zuko’s dreams symbolize the two dueling sides of him. One part of him wants to enjoy the life he’s found in Ba Sing Se, evidenced by the red dragon warning him to get away from the influence of the blue dragon— 

[SIDE NOTE: Zuko may know that Azula always lies… but he always seems to fall for it i.e. that time she said father wanted him home. that time she said he’d be welcomed home. that time she gave him credit for killing Aang as a favor. that time she said the Agni Kai would be one-on-one]

—while the blue dragon represents his desires lying in the Fire Nation. He nearly succumbs to the blue dragon’s suggestion that he sleep, until the red dragon appears and warns him off. However, in the end, Zuko is charged by the blue dragon: He is swallowed by the blue dragon, and in the blue dragon’s mouth, Zuko sees his mother (representing his long-lost childhood desires— to protect those in need and be gentle/kind/innocent) calling for help, before sinking into the floor. 

What does this mean? Well, I believe it means that Zuko gave in to the blue dragon, and it was meant to foreshadow him giving in to Azula’s seduction in the Crystal Catacombs, rather than foreshadowing him saving sides. It also foreshadowed his recognition of his mistake and his distraught emotional state following his choice to betray the red dragon (Iroh (and Katara)). 

Again, to break it down even more so: 

Zuko wants to give in to the Blue Dragon’s request to sleep. 
In the real world, Zuko falls prey to Azula’s bait, challenging her to an Agni Kai and being imprisoned. 

Zuko is warned by the Red Dragon of his choices. 
In the real world, Iroh pleads with Zuko not to listen to Azula. Twice, actually. Once when Iroh flees the palace and Zuko says he’s done running, and again, below the city, when Iroh pleads with Zuko to make the decision he knows is right.

Zuko is swallowed whole by the Blue Dragon.
In the real world, Zuko falls into Azula’s scheme. Unbeknownst to him, Azula is using him— she knows she cannot defeat Aang and Katara alone, so she entices him with the promise of being welcomed home a hero. 

Zuko panics over the vision of his mother (innocence), but is ultimately lost to the Blue Dragon.
In the real world, Zuko is completely absorbed in the version of himself he thinks he needs to be. He is angry. He is violent. He is a betrayer. He has lost all connection to the innocence of his childhood and the image of himself that he nearly reconnected with during his metamorphosis. 

Furthermore, being lost to the Blue Dragon symbolized Zuko’s emotional and mental spiral in Book 3. He was incredibly unhappy, even after he sold his soul to come home. He’d lost it all. He had no one to blame but himself but he didn’t want to blame himself— he wanted to blame Iroh for being right all along. Zuko’s behavior towards Iroh was unacceptable, yes, but it was in character when you consider Zuko’s complete and utter implosion and the destruction of his soul in his decision to betray everyone. 

I fully believe the betrayal was Aaron Ehasz’s idea. In my opinion, it was fundamental to Zuko’s character. As long as he had the support and guidance of his uncle, Zuko would never transform on his own. He needed to hit rockbottom. He needed to realign himself with what he wanted, and the only way to do so, was to have everything he wanted and nothing at all at the same time. 

I do not believe it was a ploy by Bryke to destroy Zutara, as the pair came back together in Book 3 and were closer/stronger than ever. 

What Avatar struggled with the most was the timing of Zuko’s arc. Book 3 spent too much time focusing on useless episodes that could have been utilized to showcase Zuko’s actions in the Fire Nation and his resulting decision to leave his place there. His treason could have taken place earlier and, as a result, we could’ve spent more time with the transformed Zuko and the Gaang.

I also think Avatar suffered greatly by cancelling Book 4. If we’d had a chance to see Zuko rule as Fire Lord, I believe his transformation would’ve felt complete. 

anonymous asked:

Do you believe that Zuko as the Blue Spirit and Katara as the Painted Lady were meant to be connected in someway? Like they both wore the others colors and I just can't help but think that this was there to foreshadow something between the two when the direction was to get them together at first.

Hmm, a connection, a connection …

Zuko: First I have to get it out of here.
Iroh: AND THEN WHAT?! You never think these things through! This is exactly what happened when you captured the Avatar at the North Pole! You had him, and then you had no where to go!

Sokka: You what?!
Katara: It was your idea!
Sokka: I was joking. I also said to use spirit magic and made funny noises. Did you even think this through? The army’s gonna blame the villagers. They’re headed there right now to get revenge.

Nope. Can’t find one at all. 

Voltron Ember Island Players episode

here’s my pitch:

  • The Arusians put together a HUGE production that chronicles the adventures of Team Voltron, complete with costumes, special affects featuring fog machines and LED flashlights, and heavily exaggerated but smudgable makeup
  • This production shares notable similarities to 80s Voltron
    • Actor Lance also has a mullet (Lance is horrified; Keith smirks). 
    • Actor Keith wears that weirdo red racer outfit (Keith is horrified; Lance laughs till he cries)
    • Actor Pidge has that horrible gremlin voice. Pidge hides under her seat whenever her counterpart talks. 
    • Actor Allura is beautiful but faints all the time. All. The. Time. Allura eventually gets so mad she starts yelling. “Get UP you didn’t DO ANYTHING.”
    • Zarkon wears that dorky crown and outfit and constantly shouts, “I MUST CAPTURE THE AVATAR VOLTRON TO REGAIN MY HONOR THE BLACK LION”
    • Haggar cackles. Like really cackles. Full wicked witch. 
  • When the pilots are in their individual lions, they all put on cardboard kitty ears
  • When they form Voltron, a single brave Arusian comes out in a cardboard costume on stilts. Much of the cool fight choreography is just the Arusian trying to keep his balance. 
  • Actor Shiro’s robot arm is on the wrong side.
  • Actor Hunk pukes a lot, but at completely inappropriate times (when Shiro finishes a pep talk, when Lance flirts)
  • Actor Coran’s mustache is HUGE. Everyone laughs at this, but Coran is secretly jealous.
    • He eventually sneaks backstage to compare hair care routines with the actor.
  • Black Paladin Hope Speeches™
  • Actor Allura gets romantic development with practically every male on stage EXCEPT Keith. She will always love him Like A Brother *goodnatured handshake*
  • When Actor Keith discovers his Galra heritage, he is doused in purple paint and given fuzzy purple ears. He remains that way for the rest of the show. No one comments on it. 

anonymous asked:

My mom babysits a kid and as he came over, I put in avatar to watch from the first episode. When zuko was introduced, he asked what the ship was called and I dubbed it the 'S.S. Regain my Honor.'

If S.S Regain My Honor symbolizes Zuko’s ability to regain his honor, well well I do not have good news sir

look at the size of his ship, does this look like a ship that’s capable of regaining honor? NOPE. ITS PUNY. 

and oh no, on Zuko’s first attempt at regaining his honor on S.S Regain My Honor do you know what happened? Half his ship FROZE OVER.  

And not a couple months later did S.S Regain My Honor get blown up by some pirates in an attempt to kill Zuko in order to stop him from capturing the avatar. So I mean,,,,,,, YIKES. 

anonymous asked:

Do you think any little part of Azula ever loved Zuko? While manipulating him in season 3 did she ever enjoy his company? Playing volleyball and getting him from the old family house in "The Beach", encouraging him to go to the war meeting sans formal invite and hiding his secret Uncle visits? All those years ago she warned Zuko about Ozai's plan to kill him and tried to get him to spy on Azulon and Ozai. Wishful thinking?

Yes, Azula loved Zuko. You can see her genuinely happy about playing with him as kids, before their mother disappeared and their father started to put more pressure on them both:

I think she still does care about him, in her own way. She’s genuinely concerned about him, here:

 
Azula: I thought I’d find you here.
Zuko: Those summers we spent here seem so long ago. So much has changed.
Azula: Come down to the beach with me.  Come on, this place is depressing.

And here:

Azula: So…I hear you’ve been to visit your Uncle Fatso in the
prison tower.
Zuko: That guard told you.
Azula: No, you did. Just now.
Zuko: Okay, you caught me. What is it that you want, Azula?
Azula:  Actually, nothing. Believe it or not, I’m looking out for you. If people find out you’ve been to see Uncle, they’ll think you’re plotting with him. Just be careful, dum-dum.

(Listen to the voice acting if you think she’s just being manipulative.)

But that doesn’t mean necessarily mean she won’t try to kill him. When she shot lightning at Katara in the Agni Kai, she accepted the risk that Zuko would take the bullet for her, metaphorically speaking, and didn’t bat an eye. When it comes to maintaining her grip on power, she is absolutely merciless.

One argument I’ve seen flying around the fandom that I disagree with is that Azula’s willingness to use persuasion on Zuko in “The Crossroads of Destiny”, rather than fight against him when she didn’t truly need his help, showed that she cared about him and wanted him home. But here is what many people forget, and the reason why she HAD to get Zuko to come home, regardless of how she personally felt.

Fire Lord Ozai: Iroh is a traitor and your brother Zuko is a failure. I have a task for you…

Does Azula want to capture the Avatar as a big middle finger to Zuko? Of course. But that is NOT her ultimate mission as revealed in the Season 1 finale. She was tasked with hunting down and capturing Iroh and Zuko and bringing them back to the Fire Nation. And unless she returned with both in hand, she would have failed her original mission from her father, even if she’d defeated the Avatar. (And we all know how Ozai deals with failure.)

Now by the end of Season 2, Azula had tried to take Zuko and Iroh prisoner twice before, and each time, they’d escaped because they were a formidable team. They’d had each other’s backs for years in exile, the way we see them in “Winter Solstice, Part 1.” Remember, when Iroh and Zuko fought together in “The Awakening” and again in “The Guru,” they beat Azula plus the highly skilled Royal Guard, and Azula plus the highly skilled Dai Li, all on their own. The reason Zuko got captured in “The Guru” was because he separated from his uncle when the temptation to challenge his sister became too great.

From this, Azula learned that Zuko and Iroh were too much to take on as a united front. However, if she could prey on Zuko’s weakness and get him to abandon Uncle, then Iroh would be a) without combat support and b) less of a flight risk. Sure, it helped to have Zuko as a fall guy in case Aang wasn’t really dead, but that was just icing on the tactical cake. “Divide and conquer” was her surest way of delivering Zuko and Iroh back to her father, just as the Firelord commanded.

Writing Tips #8: Character Foils

Greetings, fellow writers, and welcome back! Today we’ll be covering one of my favorite aspects of writing: character foils.

Dictionary.com defines a “foil” as “a person or thing that gives contrast to another.” (Dictionary.com also defines foil as a very thin sheet of metal, a verb meaning to “prevent the success of” something, and a “flexible four-sided rapier having a blunt point.” But let’s focus on character foils).

Contrast is a critical element of writing, allowing a reader to draw mental lines around characters/settings/situations, as well as creating opportunities for those same readers to draw parallels within a given work. Character foils can be used to create these areas of contrast in their personality, choices, and moral alignment. Some common types of foils include hero/sidekick, mentor/student, leader/enforcer, and so on. There are several broad categories for character foils, including:

1. Diametrically opposed foils: Often the most dramatic type of foil, this variety relies on a pair of characters who are (if you’ll forgive the cliche) as different as night and day. If one character is pure and virtuous, the other has a checkered past and an unreliable moral compass. If one is quiet and studious, the other is brash and impulsive. If one is rich and airheaded, the other is lower-class and clever.

These foils work best with characters who are going to be spending a lot of page-time together, as the contrasts between them will naturally lead to conflict, which is inherently interesting.

Take Locke and Jean from The Lies of Locke Lamora. Locke is a clever street-thief with a flair for the dramatic, and while he can prove a wily opponent in a fight, he’s not a major physical threat. Jean, his closest ally and friend, is book-smart and practical, with a more reliable moral compass and the strength to beat the hell out of pretty much anyone. Their relationship works for two reasons. First, there is always some sort of interpersonal conflict going on between them, often arising from their contrasting personalities. Second, they both have something the other person needs. (Incidentally, those two qualifications are also how you make any fictional romantic relationship work. But that’s another lesson).

Another example of this kind of foil is Kurogane and Fai from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Kurogane is grumpy, straightforward, and has an ascending moral arc. Fai is cheerful, deceptive, and has a descending moral arc (I mean, they both turn out all right in the end, but for the first two-thirds of the story, their character arcs are trending in reverse). They’re also very visually distinct from each other, with opposing color schemes and builds (not so important in prose, but very important in visual mediums like manga). There’s a reason most of the TRC fandom ships these two, and it has a lot to do with their status as foils to each other.

2. Single-trait contrast foils: This type of foil is a little different, in that the characters involved tend to be quite similar, but differ in one story-critical way. These foils are typically used in a  much more limited way than diametrically opposed foils, and can be quite helpful when you want to highlight a particular aspect of a character, rather than their whole personality. Often, this foil consists of one main character and one supporting character.

To use Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle as an example again, we have the characters Syaoran and Ryuuo. They have several traits in common (determination, sincerity, idealism), but they differ in their mannerisms. Syaoran is reserved and formal, while Ryuuo is energetic and casual. Their friendship works because their similarities bring them together, and their differences complement one another. This allows Syaoran, our protagonist, to grow as a character.

For how to use this foil with rivals/antagonists, let’s look at Zuko and Zhao from season one of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Both are antagonists to the main ensemble. Both are arrogant. Both want to capture the Avatar. Where they diverge is in their motivation. Zuko wants to restore his honor so he can return home and gain his father’s acceptance. Zhao wants glory. We, the audience, only begin to see Zuko in a sympathetic light in episode three, when we first see Zuko and Zhao interact with each other. He’s still unquestionably a villain, but in contrasting him with a cruel, glory-seeking adversary, the creators of the show make Zuko appear as the lesser of two evils.

3. Shadow Archetypes: This type of foil is typically used to examine the things a given character dislikes/fears about themselves. Most of the time, when you see a Shadow Archetype, the foil is between the protagonist and one of the antagonists (though rarely the Big Bad). Often, the Shadow Archetype foil involves two characters who have similar histories (birthplace, experiences, abilities), but who ended up in a very different place due to their choices. With this foil, your protagonist is forced to confront an aspect of themselves that they might otherwise ignore or refuse to acknowledge. Let’s look at some examples.

In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Hama acts a Shadow for Katara. Both are from the Southern Water Tribe. Both are powerful waterbenders. Both hold deep grudges against the Fire Nation for taking away their loved ones. When Katara confronts Hama at the end of “The Puppetmaster,” she is essentially confronting a dark mirror of the person she could have become had she allowed bitterness and hatred to consume her. By overcoming Hama, Katara is implicitly making a promise to never let herself fall that far.

Here’s another example, this time from Teen Titans: Slade acts as a Shadow to Robin. Both are ambitious, goal-oriented, and rely heavily on technology and strategy to make up for a lack of superpowers. But Slade is ruthless, willing to cause great harm to others to achieve his goals, while Robin has moral standards which keep him from sinking so low. In confronting him, Robin is forced to acknowledge that they have many similarities. In overcoming him, Robin is able to find peace in himself (Note: with this type of foil, the defeat of the Shadow almost always represents character growth for the good-aligned character).

And those are the three main categories of character foils. Keep in mind that a character can have (or be) a foil to more than one other character at a time, and that the best character foils bring to the surface aspects of each character that might otherwise remain hidden beneath more noticeable traits. As always, thanks for reading, and if you have any questions, feel free to submit a question through my tumblr.

There’s no way for Azula to know Aang was still alive after she shot him with the lightning blast, until she suspected Zuko’s behaviour when he was feeding the turtle-duckes in the Fire Nation and figure it out here.

“So, I didn’t capture the Avatar,”

“Who cares?“ Azula asks. “The Avatar is dead.”

Zuko looks away.

He still doesn’t know how to cover himself. (In the lying sort of way. He seems to have mastered the clothing sort of way, unfortunately.) Azula, being as sharp as she is (sharp enough to sink an empire class battleship), picks up on his caginess immediately. “Unless you think he somehow miraculously survived…” she coaxes. Zuko knows about the spirit oasis water.

And he also knows how slippery Aang is, plus he seems to have some sort of strange psychic connection to Aang, perhaps the very thing that allowed them to fight in tandem so well in The Blue Spirit, so this is why he has a nagging feeling that Aang isn’t dead.

“No, there’s no way he could have survived,” Zuko says assuredly to Azula. But Azula sees straight through his lies. They stare each other down for few minutes.

“Well, then I’m sure you have nothing to worry about,” Azula responds. He holds his own against her in that, but he’s already shown his hand, unfortunately for him. This is a warning for him, but he doesn’t pick up on it.

Azula leaves.

This proves that the person who was suspected the Avatar might still alive is Zuko, not Azula. And his suspicions extended to her.

What would be the point of this scene if Azula was already know the truth? If she was know the truth already, then this scene is vain- hole plot. There’s no point of them talking about the possibility of Aang’s survival. The writers would’ve cancel this whole conversation, and skip til to “bedroom scene” where Azula suspicing the Avatar may still alive.

This is the key. And more of what even mentioned in the canon book “Earth Kingdom: Chronicles: The Tale of Azula”

(This Tale told by Azula’s perspective. The book written by Michael Teitelbaum, one of the writers who create her character)

She actually planned to GIVE Zuko credit for taking down the Avatar BEFORE she suspected that the Avatar was alive. Proof of this is when the siblings were introduced by Li and Lo; Azula was given credit for taking down Ba Sing Se, but NOT for taking down the Avatar. At that point, she believed the Avatar dead and yet did not claim credit; she had not yet asked Zuko about the Avatar possibly being alive. This was her way of showing her thanks to Zuko for coming back to her.

Ozai: “I am proud of you, Prince Zuko. I am proud because you and your sister conquered Ba Sing Se. I am proud because when your loyalty was tested by your treacherous uncle, you did the right thing and captured the traitor. And I am proudest of all of your most legendary accomplishment: you slayed the Avatar.”

We know that Azula isn’t nice enough to give Zuko the glory out of the goodness of her heart, but we don’t know what she’s up to, just like he doesn’t know. We of course find out that she was protecting herself, so she wouldn’t be shamed if it ever came out that the Avatar wasn’t really dead. But she could have told Ozai that Zuko killed the Avatar without mentioning his “power” and “ferocity”. Those words of compliments. Azula did do a lot of smiling during that battle. She also emphasizes a separation between Zuko and Iroh, with Iroh as the traitor, and Zuko as the loyalist who proved himself. That much had to have been for Zuko’s benefit.

Iroh is considered too far gone to be redeemed in Ozai’s eyes, and Azula views him the same way.

But Zuko is a failure, and he gets two options: being dragged home where he’ll no longer embarrass Ozai, as said by Azula in Book 2, Episode 1, OR he could restore his own honor by joining forces with Azula, which would get him his “honor” back, again a summary of the things Azula tells him in Book 2, Episode 20. Long story short, he either gets to get locked in a basement to no longer embarrass dad, or to prove for once and for all that he’s not a failure.

The fact remains that Azula gave Zuko a chance to do the latter. And she didn’t do it because she thought she nedeed a scapegoat, how could she have known Aang might have survived until that conversation with her brother by the turtle-duck pond? Until then she’s absolutely convinced Aang is dead. She snaps at Zuko, until she finally asks if he thinks he might have miraculously survived. Zuko hesitates, then says no. Azula can tell something’s not right, and she says that in that case he has nothing to worry about. In that case. In that case. [x]

▪At the bedroom scene:

“You have another motive for doing this,” Zuko accuses. “I just haven’t figured out what it is.”“What ulterior motive could I have? What could I possibly gain by letting you get all of the glory for defeating the Avatar?““…Unless, somehow, the Avatar was still alive,” she finally says. See: she told him the truth. It’s not as if he had her cornered – she chose to tell him the truth, probably to help him out a little. Now, she might have thrown him under the bus a little here, but he sort of had it coming: she asked him if it was possible that the Avatar was still alive, and he denied it. We’ll never know what might have happened if he had told the truth at Ba Sing Se or the pond. And he could have told the truth when he was with his father, but he didn’t. And maybe Azula did him a favor, because it’s possible that Ozai would not have accepted Zuko back if he did not think that Zuko had been the one to take care of the Avatar problem. We can’t know that either.

“All that glory would suddenly turn to shame and foolishness,” she points out with menace, taking her hand off of his shoulder and walking back to her bed.

“But you said yourself that was impossible,” Azula points out thereby justifying herself.

He’s still angry at her duplicity, but he certainly realizes that he got himself into this position, and he’s trying to figure out how he can fix things.

In the Beach, Azula even offered to help Zuko with his internal turmoil. She showed compassion and a willingness to help him with his mental struggle, even going so far as to decrease her value in the eyes of her father so that Zuko could have what he dreamed of.

Azula is not as bad as you think (or as some hope). Her helping her brother at Ba Sing Se was completely selfless.

When Zuko defects from the Fire Nation she felt angry. His leaving also throws her priorities into doubt, when he begins to succeed without meeting, or even trying to meet, the standards set by their father. But she wasn’t truly unnerved until she’s followed by the of betrayal of Mai and Ty lee.



Azula may act cold and cruel with Zuko sometimes, she also do care about him sometimes too. Her feelings toward him are complex and variable.

As long as some people not using fan-made stuff as arguments in serious discussions such as have a tendency to defy all logic and to try to flatten her character and her complexities by “fortuneteller!Azula” headcanon who would know that Aang would survive the lighting blast. then I have no reason to assure this point at the end of “Book 2: Earth”. You should know better than to twist things around just to belittle her good side..

6

Without Air there’s no Water & Fire. 

And going by this logic, also take into consideration @peacockarehot​‘s metas, especially the Zutara soulmates one, my view is Aang destined to be The Link between the two (not an obstacle I used to think :s nor a third wheel in a love triangle). I see his role now rather as someone who should have to help to reconnect Katara (Oma) & Zuko (Shu)

- I know it’s my destiny to capture the Avatar. 
- I know it’s meant to be this way.

In Book 1 we’ve learned Aang means hope for both Katara (b1e01 intro) & Zuko (b1e12 when Iroh tells his story to the crew). They left their home to achieve fulfillment: Katara wanted not just the end of the war, but evolve her bending skills & help bringing peace to the world. Zuko wanted his honor back, but call it what it was really about: acceptance for who he is really - this wasnt about pleasing his father (as in the beginning he thought), but rather accepting himself & finding his place. Later when Zuko allowed to join to the team, there are couple of scenes where he & Katara were set in a kinda triangle w Aang, who most of the times was placed in the middle for the viewers’ eyes. 

b3e18 - When Zuko saying ‘How to redirect lightning’ his right hand like pointing towards Katara…. Was that a foreshadow? :O

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