A hunter in Montana accidentally discovered a prehistoric sea monster

  • Seven years after an elk hunter accidentally stumbled on a fossil in Montana’s Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, the new species he found by mistake has a name — Nakonanectes bradti.
  • “Nakonanectes” is to honor the native Nakona people of Montana, and “bradti” is after David Bradt, the hunter who discovered the fossil, according to a statement from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
  • When Bradt first discovered the fossil in a stream in 2010, he believed it was from a dinosaur. “It’s about the size of a cow, and I’m thinking it’s a triceratops,” he told the Associated Press.
  • But when paleontologists excavated and studied the fossil, it turned out it belonged to a prehistoric sea creature that lived in an inland sea east of the Rocky Mountains some 70 million years ago, according to the AP. Read more (4/14/17 10:24 AM)

follow @the-future-now

Understanding the species Gentleman

You hear it everywhere these days: the term “gent” or “gentleman” has become ubiquitous in men’s magazines, blogs, and conversations. Videos welcome “gentlemen” and everybody seems to use the word for a wide range of men.
Some say that anything other than the traditional definition of a gentleman is a disappointment. Other claim that a gentleman must have staff and would never cook for himself.
Well I couldn’t disagree more – the definition of a gentleman has changed and for the better. Since the definition of a gentleman is so fundamental to what Gentleman’s Essentials stands for, I thought it was time to explain the way we understand what a gentleman is. For this excursion, I’d like to take you back…

The Origin
Hundreds of years ago, a gentleman was a man of high social position and wealth. Even dictionaries today point to this definition, as well as several others:
1. A chivalrous, courteous, or honorable man.
2. A polite or formal way of referring to a man.
3. A man of noble birth attached to a royal household
4. A man of good social position, especially one of wealth and leisure
5. A courteous title for a male fellow member of the House of Commons or the House of Representatives

So what does it really mean? There is much more to being a gentleman than mere courtesy; traditional acts of chivalry can come off as condescending, and “honor” is a highly relative concept.
These days, the title “gentleman” is no longer relevant as an indication of one’s refinement and character, as it was once assumed to be for men of wealth and title who didn’t have to work for a living.
In our opinion, the term is far more egalitarian, and these days, to say you are a gentleman means you have to earn it. Wealth and power are no longer enough, and in fact, they simply aren’t a relevant part of the modern definition. 

Money and position can’t buy you class or respect.

The Definition of a Modern Gentleman
The term is far more complicated, and we think it’s important to shed some light on why and how we use it, and why the definition of the modern gentleman matters.
We firmly believe any man can be a gentleman if he wants to be, but it’s not a small undertaking. It’s a journey, something that a man continually strives to be, rather than a destination. A gentleman is/ has:

1 A Gentleman Has Good Manners: Here, we agree with the dictionary. A gentleman is courteous, polite, and respectful. He says please and thank you, waits his turn in line, and treats others as they wish to be treated. He is an equitable conversation partner.

2 A Gentleman Has High Standards. High standards push people to do the best they can, and gentlemen set them for themselves. A gentleman expects a high standard of quality, value, and functionality from the things he buys to the things he does. He expects as much of himself as he does of other people.

3 A Gentleman is Well Dressed: This one shouldn’t be a surprise. A well-dressed man is appropriately attired based on the season, the occasion, and his own style. Dressing well isn’t a matter of money for a gentleman, but rather of careful curation of clothing and accessories based on his means, the occasion, and his tastes. His dress demonstrates that he recognizes the power of clothes the impression they make, and the role they play in society. Clothes are used to convey a gentleman’s respect for his host, his office, or for the host of an event, but not to shock, evoke jealousy, or show off. Dressing well is a point of pride for a gentleman because it demonstrates his personality and taste.

4 A Gentleman is Imperfect. This may be the most important characteristic on the list. The term “gentleman” isn’t meant to be an unattainable ideal; it takes into account basic human nature, in which we all make mistakes, choices, and judgments every day. The difference lies in that a gentleman does not believe himself to be perfect, but instead takes ownership and responsibility for the things he can control: his actions, knowledge, and approach to the world.

5 A Gentleman is Open Minded: A gentleman does not believe that his opinions and knowledge are complete and unquestionable. He strives to learn, is open to new ideas, accepts constructive criticism, and welcomes failure as a path to growth and self-awareness. A gentleman does not argue purely for the pleasure of being right but focuses on is able to put himself in other people’s shoes for the purposes of understanding an alternate perspective from his own.
he person who cut you off on the highway may have received bad news; a friend may not respond to your call because they are behind at work – a gentleman tries not to jump to negative conclusions about other people.

6 A Gentleman is Interesting and Informed: These days it is easy to get lost in the cycle of sleep-work-netflix-repeat that deprives people of anything interesting to say. An interesting man can successfully carry a conversation about a number of subjects, is interested in the world around him and how it works, and actively seeks to grow his knowledge for his own character building and enjoyment. Hobbies and personal interests reveal his passions and his engagement with activities that are meaningful to him.

7 A Gentleman’s Actions Match His Words. Quite simply, a gentleman makes promises that he intends to keep.

8 A Gentleman Treats People with Respect: When we say people, we mean everyone – women, colleagues, superiors, waitstaff and customer service people. This reflects a gentleman’s belief that all people are created equal; he does not claim to have more or fewer rights than those around him. He is compassionate with those less fortunate than himself. He doesn’t believe that the world is a zero-sum game, nor does he believe that putting someone else down will lift him up.

9 A Gentleman Recognizes the Difference Between Arrogance and Confidence. If an arrogant man who believes himself to be of superior importance relies on his opinion of himself relative to others. A gentleman believes in himself and his abilities independently of other people. An arrogant man must always win to feel validated while a gentleman self-validates from within. 

10 A Gentleman Wields Power Purposefully. Though there are many potential sources for the statement “with great power comes great responsibility,” there is an inherent truth in it for a gentleman. If he is in a position of power, he combines all of the above traits to utilize that power purposefully and not selfishly. Not for revenge, not for his own personal gain, and not in a way that tramples the rights of others.

So why does this all matter? It matters because being a gentleman sets a high bar for men, us included, to actively work towards every day. Rather than being a destination, it’s an aspiration that comes from the lifetime pursuit of personal betterment, self-awareness, and motivation.
The highest achievement is to be recognized as a gentleman by those around you, since at it’s core it is an honor conferred only by other people. We use the term gentleman frequently, and we think it should mean something. It’s not just a way to address other men; it’s a statement about who we are and who we want to be.

The Challenges of Being a Gentleman in Everyday Life
While all of this sounds admirable, living up to those ideals day in and day out can become quite challenging at times. When a man is in a bad mood, stressed or tired, he may say or do things that are out of character. In those situations it is important to apologize to others and if it is sincere people will accept it. I know what I am talking about because I certainly have my fair share of ungentlemanly failures.


or…lena doesn’t stop believing in the one person who believed in her

(or…the terrible thing i wrote to get rid of writer’s block and it’s long and sad but has a happy ending)

Supergirl dies on a Wednesday.

Sometimes, when she’s alone in her office in the wee hours of the morning, still in yesterday’s clothing and unsure when she’d last eaten, she thinks about that, the utter normalcy of losing National City’s hero on a Wednesday. Somehow, the death on such a boring day of the week provides a sort of stark contrast that Lena has trouble wrapping her head around. After all, surely the hero and pride of National City would fall in a blaze of glory on a Friday night, a Sunday afternoon, even a Monday morning during rush hour.

But a Wednesday? Some time between mid-morning and noon? When nothing was happening except for the drudge of the week, the tireless churning of society?

She doesn’t understand it—has tried to come to terms with it with very little success. In her weakest moments, when she’s staring down the end of a bottle of whiskey or wine (before Jess or Maggie or even James Olsen pry the bottle from her fingertips and help her get home), she thinks the very banality of Supergirl’s death is evidence of its unnecessary nature, its needless, pointless, meaningless, asinine

Supergirl dies on a Wednesday.

By Friday, the President herself comes to National City to mourn the fallen hero. She talks about the few short conversations she’s had with Supergirl, how everyone should be inspired and follow Supergirl’s wonderful example. A true hero, an exemplary citizen.

(Lena doesn’t go to the ceremony. She and Alex spend that afternoon in Kara’s apartment, sitting on Kara’s couch, Alex stoically staring at the television screen with silent tears running down her cheeks and Lena gripping her hand so tightly she thinks she’ll break fingers.  

After that, Lena doesn’t see much of Alex at all.)

Keep reading

Newcomers Pt6

“EAT IT!!!”



“GET OFF ME WOMAN!!” Hesky shouts throwing Karen off him and running out the door.

“YOU WILL ACCEPT MY VALENTINE LOVE!!!” she shouts chasing after him holding her home made chocolates above her head.

The two Humans screaming and running past Dr Loop’s door was nothing out of the ordinary these days, he liked the Humans and found them fascinating and rather good company. That did not mean that he did not find them odd to the point of thinking they were all insane. Some were quiet and preferred to be alone and other were loud and found hurting themselves to be hilarious. Suddenly his door opened with another Human limping.

“What happened to you?” Dr Loop asks.

“Sergeant Stabby got me” he replies.

“Why do you keep it around and why the Admiral allows that thing to stay I’ll never know”

“Don’t talk ill of Sergeant Stabby, he is war hero you know”

“IT is a cleaning machine”

“Irrelevant he is a hero and deserves our respect”


“SHHHHHH here he comes”

Sergeant Stabby made his way into the Dr’s office and bumped into a few wall and furniture all the while the Human stood up and saluted it until it left.

“Tell me something um…” Dr Loop said


“Cho, tell me something Cho is it the norm for you race to be so….nuts?”

Cho smiled “You’ve never been to Terra have you?”


“Shame, because if you think we are crazy you’d love to see us on our home world”

Dr Loop just scoffed and went to look at Cho’s foot. “The bleeding has already stopped”

“Well yeah he doesn’t stab us deeply”

“But still  for wound like this to stop bleeding so soon”

“Yeah it’s clotting? Wait…have you worked on Humans before”

“I have studied Human anatomy yes”

“But actually worked with one? In person before we got here?”

Dr Loop did not like his skills being questioned, his race the Seelom were a very proud race especially of their skills.

“It matters not, I know all the ins and outs of your kinds bodies, probably better than you and the rest of your backwards and primitive kind”

Cho raised an eyebrow “Give your arm for a sec” he asked.


“Just trust me”

Dr Loop gave him one of his right arms and Cho stuck out his tongue all the while looking at his face for a reaction but Dr Loop just looked confused and a little disgusted.

Cho licked his arm and a split second later Dr Loop was screaming as Cho’s saliva burned through his skin.

Dr Loop fell tot he floor cradling his arm and after a few more seconds the burning stopped and Cho was on his feet.

“Guess you forgot our saliva is like acid to your kind” he said and left without helping him up.

The Benemar Chief of Admiral Polts fleet was back on Bento Prime, he had already been disgraced for not seeking justice after one of his clan leaders was killed by a Human female. And to let the Humans gain all the glory for the liberation of Remer making their kind out to be a joke.

“Cheif Goolack of the Benemar step forward!” called one of the High Chieftains and he stpped forward.

“You are a coward and weak, you let the murder of your own kind go unanswered and these Humans push you around like your are their slave, what say you in your defence”

Chief Goolack stood up straight, the chains around his wrists were heavy and those around his legs were heavier, his pig-like nose snorted and his tusks had been cut to show his disgrace.

“I am a Benemar and I fought for our people and uphold my laws and our laws say that the STRONG!!! rule. Well the Humans have shown their strength and I saw their might in battle against a foe who outnumbered them many times over and they came away from that battle covered in the blood of their enemies. They are the only race who has ever besieged our world and you judge me as a coward for respecting strength?”

“They are the ENEMY!!! they burned our breeding pens and they must be wiped out. They are gaining too much power, power they are taking from us”

The court cheered and banged their weapons which were a combination of ancient war axes and rifles against their armour.

“Let this cry go out across to the star to all Benemar, the Alliance high command has given us the location oft heir breeding ground, we march…TO WAR!!!!”

The Benemar all over the Alliance suddenly began disappearing from Alliance ships, when asked why they were going back to their home world they simply replied “The High Chief has risen the banner”

Many thought this was the Benemar about to begin an independent push into Gal territory but they did not deny or confirm this and the army on Bento Prime continued to grow, the Humans though did not trust the Benemar and kept their eye on them.

Life in Admiral Polts fleet went on a s usual, or as usual it could be with the Humans around and with the Benemar now gone their was no hostility in the air. The Humans did their best to include the other races in their odd practices such as celebrating the anniversary of ones birth. They even as far to inquire to the other races celebrations and traditions and asked to take part which made the others rather flattered. They ranged from celebrating the unification of the Fookkarl under one banner which the Humans described as one large orgy as there was a lot of kissing but the Humans obliged.

The fun did not stop there.

Depit, an Elong like Admiral Polt was travelling in the ship main elevator to the observatory when it stopped to let a number of other crew off but only person got on. It was a Human, female by the looks of her but her stomach was huge, maybe she had just eaten he thought to himself. The elevator stopped a few more times and before long it was only him and this Human who from her tag her name was Sergeant Cathy. He started to sweat, he saw what was left of the body of the Benemar that she had attacked.

She smiled at him and gave a nervous smile back but nothing was said between them, until the elevator suddenly and harshly stopped.

“Ahhh!” Cathy screamed at the sudden change of momentum.

“Are you okay?” he asked and she nodded. “Must be a power outage” he tired raising maintenance but go response, there was no power to the that call button either. Suddenly Cathy was breathing fast and hard.

“Umm, are you sure you’re okay” he asked again but she shook her head and held her large stomach.

“The baby is coming” she panted.

“Baby? What baby?”

“I’m FUCKING PREGNANT YOU ASSHOLE!!! she screamed and he jumped.

“Oh? OH?!!! CRAP!”

Cathy sat down as her water broke and leaned back.

“What do I do!! HELP!” he shouted into the call button in some hope that someone would hear.

“What…what is your name?” she asked.


“Depit, come here I need you to help me” she said holding out her hand and he slowly came and she grabbed it.

“I don’t know what to do” Depit said.

“Just hold my hand and squeeze when I squeeze!”


“AHHHHHHH” Cathy screamed and squeezed Depits hand so hard she broke two of his fingers as he had tried to pull away when he heard the word squeeze.

“WHY YOU PULL AWAY!!!” she shouted at him.

“You’ll break my hand if you squeeze it”

It then dawn on her that Humans were far stronger than Elong, so she pulled off her trousers and tore off a piece so she could bite down on it and screamed again.

“Why are you screaming what’s happening I don’t how to help” Depit said panicking.






Another contraction came and she screamed so loud Depit had to cover his ears.

This went on for over and hour till finally Cathy stopped screaming as contractions suddenly stopped.

“Okay…okay” she said to herself with Depit fanning her with his wings.

“How long does this usually go on for?” he asked.

“My mother was in labour for 32 hours with me”

“32 HOURS!”

“Ah don’t shout, I’m lucky the contractions have stopped”

“What happens next?”

Cathy looked at him “Next comes the pushing”

“Elong births are lot…faster than this”

“You’re a bird race, you have it easy” she laughed. Then started panting. “Here it comes! Get between my legs!!”

Depit obeyed and cathy spread herself and Depit froze.

“What do I do?”



Cathy burst into laughter “I’m kidding, just guide it out”

Depit got ready and Cathy screamed again, this time louder and so much Depit thoughtt he walls were shaking.

“I can see the egg”


“WHAT!!! HOW THE…I’M SORRY…BY CREATION WHAT THE…..!” he screamed as the head appeared.

Cathy started breathing again and moved her hand to feel where the baby was “okay, one more” she positioned herself and Depit put his hands by the baby’s head and Cathy pushed with every ounce of her remaining strength and it fell into Depits arms.

After the baby began crying he handed it to Cathy who wrapped it up in her jacket and cradled it.

“It’s a boy” she said.

“No wonder your race is so tough, you endure coming into the world like that and are willingly go through it to bring one of your own into the world”

“And we do it over and over again, I’ll be doing at least two more times I think” she laughed “What did you say your name was again?”

“Depit, my name is Depit”

Cathy smiled and looked down at her son “Do you mind if I call my son Depit?”

Depit’s eyes nearly shot out of his head, for a child to bear ones name is a great honor among his people. “You would do me that honour?”

“Of course, you brought him into the world, well I did most of the work but still”

“Thankyou” he said smiling.

“Oh beware of the after birth”

“The what?” Depit said looking down just as it slumped down in front of him.

In the higher levels and completely unaware of the new addition to their family the Humans were having a friendly game of football with some of the Aliens when Captain Clerk called for a stop. Admiral Polt was with him and everyone could tell by their Captains face that something had happened.

“Men and woman of the 8th Human army” Clerk started “Approximately 16 hours ago the Benemar launched a full scale assault on Terra”

The air became heavy as if every Human and Alien had stopped breathing, no one spoke.

“The battle is still going on and all Human forces are being recalled to aid the defence force fighting there, our latest report says they have breached our outer defence net and are landing their troops. So get your stuff I want us ready to go yesterday!!”

The Humans didn’t say anything and as a single mind dropped what they were doing and ran to their quarters and collected all their belongings and things they brought with them. The cargo hold that they had made their own was dismantled within 10 minutes, every Human was found and accounted for including Cathy and her new son Depit. Hesky was thrilled to see his son but annoyed that she named him something that reminded him of cesspit.

Within 2 hours the Humans were all loaded onto their own ships, they said a quick farewell to their Alien friends and set off for Terra.

The Benemar continued their assault, unaware that word had gotten out about their attack on Terra, unaware of the armada coming for them.


Today is Juneteenth and it should be a national holiday

Federal holidays celebrate and define our highest ideals as a nation, and memorialize blood shed upholding them. Few days embody this principle better than Juneteenth — the day Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, with news of the Civil War’s end and emancipation. You want to honor people who died making America what it is? Honor the black enslaved.

Last year, on Juneteenth’s 150th anniversary, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution making great strides to honor Juneteenth — but it wasn’t enough.

mrmcbooks  asked:

Hey Cassie! You have no idea how much I love your books, and not to mention how much Alec and Magnus mean to me. Reading about them when I was just beginning to figure out my sexuality meant a lot. I just finished TftSA and I really want to cry because of George. I love the fact though that Simon took on Lovelace as his surname. I remember reading awhile back that Simon would take Lightwood when he married Izzy, is this still true? Lovelace seems so fitting to him honoring George.

Simon will always keep Lovelace as part of his name — so, poor boy, he will likely be cursed with the name Simon Lewis Lovelace Lightwood forever. He has reasons to honor the Lightwoods, too, so for him this is a way to honor multiple people who he cares about. :)

Kemal Gün is 70 and as of today (May 12) is on day 78 of his hunger strike and has started to lose his eyesight. He’s demanding his dead son’s body so he can give him a proper burial. His son, Murat Gün, 28, was killed as part of a raid on the extreme left group Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) in Dersim last year. Everyday, he’s fined 227 TL for protesting in Seyit Riza square. He says: “I may lose weight and experience health problems. I may even die here. But I will neither end my hunger strike nor leave this square. I will keep staying here with my will and honor. We Kurdish people must endure all this. We have experienced torture and everything else, and we should be able to cope with this too. I will stop the protest when they give the bodies of our children even if it is a single bone.”


“It’s an amazing and really powerful thing to be celebrated for who you are. I think there’s a lot of girls that actually don’t feel that in their whole life and I want to spend my life honoring those people, making them feel seen and heard.” ~ Hayley Williams

girls can rock too

5000k follower special!!!

So I am SO shocked and honored that 5000 people have decided that you liked my blog enough to follow me, and I wanted to do something to show how much I love you!!

What I decided I would do is a fic giveaway!  So here’s everything you need to know:

How to enter

  • You must be following this blog.  Idrc if you just start following me for the give away, but if you win and you’re not following, I’ll pick someone else
  • Every reblog counts as one entry.  You can reblog this post as many times that you want, but try not to spam your followers too much lol
  • Likes count too!!


  • It will take me a little while to finish the fics, so don’t pressure me too much.  I promise I’ll get them all done
  • There will be three winners
  • I’ll be using a random selection generator to pick the winner so it’ll be as fair as possible ^^

Rules for the fic

  • I will not do smut of any sort
  • I also won’t do anything related to cheating/abuse/rape/anything potentially triggering
  • I’ll write for any genre, but I don’t have a lot of experience in angst or hurt/comfort
  • I’m willing to write for all the characters, but just know that outside of the RFA + V they might not be super in character, but I’ll try my best
  • It can be for a ship from the game (polyships highly encouraged) or x reader/x OC!
  • AU’s are also highly encouraged
  • No matter what, if your request makes me uncomfortable in any way, or even if I feel like I wouldn’t be able to write it, then I can tell you to think of something different.

Winner #1

  1. A fic somewhere between 5k-10k words, multi chapter if you want

Winner #2

  • A 2.5k-5k fic, again, multi chapter if you want

Winner #3

  • 1k-2k fic, probably a single chapter, but I guess multi chapter if you want really short chapters lol

(The length of your fic will depend on how much I can get out of your prompt)

And that’s all!! Again, thank you so much for following, and may the odds be ever in your favor :D

How Zutara Enhances the Story and Zuko and Katara’s Characters

Zutara is by far the biggest wasted opportunity for a good ship I’ve ever seen in any fandom. I have a hard time even remembering it’s not canon. Even though a great many in the fandom still deny it, I have no doubt many of the show’s best writers did indeed intend for Zuko and Katara to become a couple. There is a ton of evidence in the show for this, too. I’ve written about why I don’t like the canon ships in detail. I believe Maiko was set up originally as a an anti-love interest to contrast Zuko’s eventual relationship with Katara (though that plan was scrapped). And I’ve written about what a failure Kataang was. Now I’m going to discuss why I think Zutara would have been a very positive thing for the story, the themes of the show and the characters themselves. The first reason is:

They Have an Equal Dynamic

Even as enemies, they both had a grudging respect for each other and contrasted each other nicely. Katara is a waterbending prodigy, yet a peasant, while Zuko is royalty and descended from a long line of elite firebenders, but he’s actually pretty average in talent. He only got where he is through hard work and determination. Katara has both determination and talent. They develop an interesting rivalry that culminates in their very epic battle during the full moon, and later, the rising sun, that compares their strengths and gives them a very exciting clash of opposing elements.

Later, we see just how deep their rivalry goes. Even as Zuko is outmatched and freezing to death, it is proving himself against Katara that immediately comes to his mind when the Gaang arrives. Clearly Zuko sees her as a very formidable opponent.

That respect didn’t just extend to their fighting, though. We see that even as enemies in war, Zuko and Katara had certain boundaries they didn’t cross, even as they fought. After Zuko defeats Katara, instead of using any more force than was necessary, he leaves her alone. He could have easily finished her off at that point, if he were a more ruthless person. Certainly Zhao or Azula would not have hesitated to do so. But Zuko chose not to do that, even though she would later come back to fight him, and defeat him.

If the Gaang had chosen to leave him in the snow, he would have died, like his uncle scolded him for later. The fact that he chose not to harm Katara, even though it cost him his opportunity to capture Aang later and nearly his life, shows what type of person Zuko is. He’s not ruthless, but someone who is is capable of empathy and compassion, even in war.

This respect goes both ways. Later, after Azula attacks Iroh, he is in bad shape and Zuko is distraught. Katara feels compassion for them, despite them being enemies and offers to heal Iroh. They both prove themselves to be honorable people, despite being on opposing sides of the war.

This dynamic continues when Zuko becomes an ally. Zuko helps Katara when she is in danger. But Katara is no damsel in distress, and she is more than capable of rescuing him, too.

They train together as equals and eventually work together to take down Azula. They complement each other well, and share a very equal dynamic.

They Understand Each Other

This equality extends to their more personal interactions as well. She was able to confront him, even while angry, and he had the respect to listen to her, even though her words hurt him. Unlike with Aang, Katara is able to sense that Zuko understands her pain about losing her mother, and he senses the same from her as well. Despite being enemies, they were able to empathize with each other and find comfort in each other.

He was able to then open up to her about very painful and personal details of his life that he never would have shared with anyone else. She senses the pain that his legacy and scar have brought him, and desires to help, offering her rare water to heal his scar. The scar was not a debilitating injury, but a symbol of an emotional wound. It would have offered no significant physical benefit to heal, only emotional. Yet, she is willing to offer her Spirit Water anyways. Her desire to truly help him is very genuine.

Katara knows what it is like to be without parents from a very young age. After she lost her mother during a Fire Nation raid, her dad had to leave to join the war effort. Although he loved her, she suffered from the loss of his presence and has abandonment issues.

With Zuko, it is similar. After the disappearance of his mother, he lost the only parent who really loved him. He was left with Ozai, who severely abused him and banished him, making Zuko desperate for love. Even when Zuko finally sees his father again, he is terrified of him.

Never having had a loving father of his own, Zuko understands what it is like for Katara to suffer from her dad’s absence after Hakoda is captured by the Fire Nation and sent to the Boiling Rock. He accompanies Sokka to rescue him.

He is able to partake in her happiness and shares their joy during their reunion. He is happy for them to experience the bond that he will never have with his own father.

Also, unlike Aang, Zuko chose to accompany Katara on her quest to confront her mother’s killer. She confides in him the story of her mother’s murder; something she never does with Aang. He takes a backseat approach and doesn’t lecture her like Aang does. Instead, he clearly empathizes with her pain and stands by her side while she weeps; he feels the pain in her heart in his as well. He can understand only too well how it feels to lose the loving bond of a mother who sacrificed her own well-being out of love for him. And like her, growing up far faster than he should have as a result.

Although Aang was right that she didn’t actually need to exact revenge, it seems it was Zuko’s approach to stand by her side no matter what her choice was, that helped Katara heal some of her pain. He clearly understood what she needed; support and the freedom to deal with her pain on her own terms without condemnation. Katara has seen Zuko at his very worst, rageful and obsessed with capturing the Avatar. And now Zuko gets a chance to see Katara’s darker side and accept her. He doesn’t idealize her, nor judge her. Rather he accepts her as a complex, flawed human being, like him, in a way Aang never has to.

Zuko can confide in Katara about the things troubling him as well, something he never once does with Mai. Katara shows a willingness to try to understand Zuko like no one else does. She respects his feelings, like he does with her.

They Give Each Other What They Need

This is where Kataang and Maiko absolutely fail in my opinion. Zuko cannot communicate with Mai at all or open up to her in the slightest, and Aang is far too dependent on Katara to satisfy her needs.

Katara puts everyone before herself, takes care of them, and tries to shelter Aang from the harsher realities of life. She feels deep pain that she tries to hide to spare others’ feelings and remain others’ support system. Pain from losing her mother, pain from feeling abandoned by her father, and later pain from feeling abandoned by Aang as well. Although Katara is very strong inside, she always puts her needs last and tries to overcompensate for the loss of her mother by being the group’s mom. What she needs is someone to put her needs first and prioritize her for a change.

Not only does Zuko nearly die for Katara after taking a lightning bolt, but even after he goes down, his only concern is for her safety. As he lay dying, he reaches out to her, not for himself, but because he desperately wants to make sure Azula doesn’t harm her, even though he is completely helpless.

With Zuko, it is similar. Zuko is so desperate for love that he is willing to go to extreme lengths, doing his father’s bidding to attain it. This nearly costs him his life on many, many occasions. His desperate need to be loved evidently exceeds even his will to live at many points in the story. What he needs is someone to care about him as a person in the way that most of his family never did.

After Zuko goes down, Katara’s only concern is to immediately heal him and make sure he doesn’t perish. This is despite the fact that Azula is not yet subdued and poses an immediate threat to her. Katara stands in direct contrast to Azula; trying to save his life, while his sister just tried to end it. Katara values Zuko more than his own family member ever did.

Enhances the Narrative Themes

“Two lovers, forbidden from one another. A war divides their people, and a mountain divides them apart. Built a path to be together.”

Honestly this song sounds like it is about Zuko and Katara far more than it is about Katara and Aang. Was this originally foreshadowing Zutara? It is a nice theme nonetheless.

Zuko and Katara start the series as enemies, not knowing anything about each other as individuals. But by the end of the story they become close friends. It is a very inspiring message about how senseless wars can prevent you from connecting with people who you could potentially love. By overcoming the boundaries of war, you can connect with the people who you should have never been forced to fight in the first place. 

It is a message of forgiveness and gratitude. It fits very well with the themes of reconciliation and redemption that are so prevalent in the series. Like with Jet, for instance.

Or Iroh. Far better than the message that Kataang sends, about how you’ll be rewarded with your desired girl, despite her feelings (or lack thereof). Or Maiko, which sends the message of…you don’t have to ever get to know the person you “love”? I guess?

Better Character Development/Resolution

As we see in the comics and The Legend of Korra, Katara plays second fiddle to Aang and doesn’t have much of a political role to play. Her role is usually a healer or a grandmother. Nor does she have much agency outside of her relationship to Aang. There were plans for Zuko and Katara’s relationship to be the catalyst for them repairing the relationship between the Southern Water Tribe and the Fire Nation. They would come to appreciate their opposite cultures better and come to mend the damage from the war. I feel this is a far more respectful legacy for Katara’s character than what she got by being Aang’s wife.

With Zuko, it is similar. We see how much his banishment and his life as a “normal” person have changed him. His time away from the palace and royal life helped him rediscover himself. Him developing his relationship with Katara would allow him to retain that bond with his “normal” life, instead of becoming isolated again. It would be similar to Sokka and Yue’s relationship. Even though Sokka was a peasant, he helped her become a better person, and experience life outside of the rigid royal lifestyle. Zuko would have someone who values him as a person, in spite of his position. And it would show how much the Fire Nation has changed to allow a Water Tribe commoner to be held in such high regard by the Fire Lord himself. It sends a very positive message.

Katara was to serve as Zuko’s confidante as he tried to balance his Fire Lord duties with his desire to find his mother. Much like Zuko had helped Sokka to reunite Hakoda and his children, Katara would be able to help Zuko reunite with his beloved mother. She knows what it feels like to suffer the pain of that loss, and she could be able to help him recover that bond. If that isn’t rewarding character development, I really don’t know what is. And last but not least…

They Have Chemistry

Yes, they actually have chemistry. 

When June makes her comment, I would say they both act more attracted to each other than they do to their canon significant others. They lack any cute moments like this with their canon love interests.

The only time she ever acted this embarrassed was when Toph teased her about her crush on Jet. Hmmm…

And same with Zuko. When does he ever act like this around Mai? Never. He got flustered and defensive with Jin, though. 

Well, I think that about covers it. This is why I think Zutara would have served the characters and the narrative far better than the canon ships did. Mike and Bryan can say all they like how it wouldn’t have worked, but I see nothing but tons of missed potential for very rewarding character development and storytelling, and a well-written romance that respects the characters far better than the canon ships ever did.

Unfortunately this won’t be 100% finished before I show this to Ralph and Tommy tomorrow, because I’m exhausted and my hands are seriously cramped (this is a 2 feet long drawing) but I’m proud of what I have done and its going to be such a huge honor meeting people I’ve admired so much for half of my life!

Consider this finished… For NOW
Selfless Love: Bellamy and Clarke in 403

(My academic is showing with that title but w/e)

It’s taken me a full 36 hours to marshal my thoughts about Bellamy and Clarke in 403 because wow, that episode was a lot to handle.  But that’s also why I want to talk about it, because there is so much to unpack with regards to how they see each other and how their love for one another operates.

Standard disclaimer: you can read their love for each other as romantic, platonic, or some combination thereof.  I’m not going to deal with untangling the those threads here, but I am working from the thesis that they love each other, full stop. 

The point around which Bellamy and Clarke’s relationship in 403 revolves is, imo, selfless love.  This is made explicit in the text (although no one actually says wow you two love each other very selflessly)  in how both Bellamy and Clarke react to things by positioning the other person first.  Bellamy puts Clarke and her needs first, and she puts him and his needs first.  Their own personal wants and needs are secondary to the other person, but not in a codependent way.  They put each other first because they love each other utterly and completely selflessly.

The first moment we see this is when Raven says remember that when you’re starving and Bellamy informs them he does not plan on surviving Apocalypse II: Nuclear Bugaloo.  I waver on whether or not this is new information to Clarke– I could see her yes you are reaction being borne of frustration because they’ve had this conversation 400 times and each time she was like dammit Bellamy, we’ve been over this, of course you’re going to live, or I could see her reaction being instinctive and stunned because this is the first she’s heard of it.  I think in the end, it doesn’t matter if she knew his plan or this is the first she’s hearing of it, because the end result is the same: Clarke doesn’t accept a future in which Bellamy Blake does not survive.

Keep reading