SU critical voice: Yknow Azula was really wasted potential. She could have been an opposing view point on the war and the fact that she was shelved and that was the end of her character arc is such a wasted, unexplored plot thread.
You see, what Aang should have done is break Hama out of jail, it was clearly agist considering how she was arrested for wanting to bloodbend when Katara did it not a season later with no consequence :/
Aang was clearly going for an uwu don’t fight hate with hate approach
Why did mysogynistic grandpa master Paku get a redemption arc when he was clearly misogynistic but not Toph’s parents who only wanted their daughter safe :///
Man Long shot and Haru were such good characters it’s a shame their potential died when they got Temple’d ™
If Bailey and Hector were benders from the ATLA/LOK universe, what would they bend or would they be nonbenders?
I can see Bailey being an airbender, due to her free spirit and high energy. Another possibility is her being a firebender, because she has the intensity and drive that match up with it well.
Hector I can see as a few things: First as a nonbender of Earth Kingdom origin. The second is an earthbender, since he has the tendency to not want to budge on anything and just hide in his room for the most part. And the third is a waterbender, based on how his emotions fuel him- compare the blow-up moments of his with stuff like Katara’s as Sokka and Master Paku.
From the South Pole Iceberg to the Republic City Portal: A Critical Study of the Avatar Franchise: Part Eight
ATLA Book One:Water
Chapter Nine: The Waterbending Scroll
In which Sokka cleans
Momo’s toes, Iroh goes shopping, and Aang blows a whistle.
In a very welcome move after two episodes that don’t give
her a lot to do, we get the show’s second big Katara episode. “The Waterbending
Scroll” picks up on a thread from “Imprisoned” and much of her characterisation
this season, and focuses on the importance of waterbending to Katara’s identity.
The first way the episode portrays this importance is
through the parallels between Katara and Aang. I would suggest that “The
Waterbending Scroll” is tacitly the beginning of Katara being Aang’s
waterbending teacher, as she proves to be a natural teacher for Aang, with the
gentle encouragement he responds to when she officially becomes her teacher
being evident as she teaches him the few moves she has mastered so far. Of
course, not being a master, she isn’t quite ready to teach Aang yet, with his
natural aptitude for waterbending allowing him to quickly surpass Katara’s
hard-earned skills. However, in retrospect, it is safe to say there is some
truth in Aang’s suggestion that he was able to learn so quickly because Katara
is a great teacher. Furthermore, while both characters have different learning
styles and abilities, this episode reemphasises the fact that both are on the
same path over the course of this season: travelling to the north pole to find
a waterbending teacher and master their control of the element.
Katara’s mastery of water whip
over the course of this episode exemplifies the very organic evolution of her
bending confidence and ability over the course of the season. Her tenacity is
evident throughout her self-taught mastery of the elements, as she starts the
season struggling with simpler moves and having to adjust for her limitations
(as discussed in previous posts), until she masters the water whip in this
episode with the help of the scroll. It would seem the scroll helps her grasp
basic form, as she makes less mistakes and pulls off increasingly powerful
bending over the course of the season until she is able to freeze tanks in “The
Northern Air Temple”. While her growth isn’t made explicit until her fight with
Paku, it happens steadily, organically, and is plainly there for whole audience
to see. Her bending slowly grows more complex over the course of the season, so
that her standing up to and living with master Paku without any formal training
isn’t actually jarring, just an awesome moment, and a sign of Katara’s sheer
tenacity and willpower.
The episode also furthers Katara’s characterisation by
continuing the plot thread surrounding her mother’s necklace, as she discovers
Zuko has stolen it. We don’t learn much more about Katara’s connection to the
necklace, but the revelation does change the dynamics between the characters,
as Katara now knows that Zuko has something that is precious to her. The use of
Zuko and Iroh in this episode is also interesting: we get the first hints of
the white lotus through Iroh’s search for his tile over the course of this
episode, but those hints are shrouded in a comic tone for the shopping subplot.
They are also buried because Iroh and Zuko once again collide with the Gaang,
hinting for the second episode in a row that intersecting with the Gaang’s
narrative is something holds back narrative revelations and development of Zuko
and Iroh. Once again, however, they are placed in a space just away from that
of villains, as they come into conflict with the pirates when Sokka
successfully turns them against each other. By giving them an enjoyable, if
seemingly innocuous, comic subplot, and having them fight other antagonists,
the narrative stops Zuko and Iroh being simple villains while still letting
them be a threat to the Gaang.
Also noteworthy is Katara’s moral ambiguity throughout this
episode. “The Waterbending Scroll” sees Katara occupy the most morally grey
space she’s been allowed to be so far. She has withheld information from Aang
before in “The Southern Air Temple”, but that was with clear good intentions.
For most of the show so far, Katara has been the moral centre of the series,
taking on the position of the show’s “heart”: a position shows like ATLA often
give unquestioningly to their female leads. However, here, Katara’s mistakes in
the face of the thing she most wants are laid bare, as she lies to her friends
and steals the scroll in pursuit of a chance to improve her waterbending. These
actions show just how desperately important learning about this part of herself
is to Katara. And her actions cause damage, as they lead to the Gaang being
captured and endangered by Zuko. However, it is crucial that Katara gets to
make these mistakes, because, as I said, too many female characters aren’t
given the chance to by their writers: she is not an idealised female paragon of
morality, but a complex, flawed, character.
In spite of the highlighting of Katara’s mistakes and flaws in
this episode, it is questionable whether stealing the scroll could be considered
a wrong action for Katara. She is, as she points out at the end of the episode,
stealing from Pirates, and is remarkably unapologetic for doing so. This is
understandable: the Pirates stealing the scroll is yet another example of the
damage done to Water tribe culture, possibly over the course of the war, (it is
quite possible to imagine they took advantage of the chaos of the war in order
to gain access to the waterbending scroll). And Katara’s theft is an act of
reclaiming a culture that belongs to her, and will probably be valued by her
far more than the rich Earth Kingdom buyer who would have little use for the
scroll. It is also significant that the scroll is from the northern tribe: it
is an example of the knowledge and privilege the Northern tribe have that
Katara has not been allowed living in the less privileged Southern Tribe.
Ultimately, the episode condemns Katara’s lies to the people
close to her, but validates her stealing the scroll to reclaim her cultural
heritage. While lying to Aang and Sokka causes damage, placing the two of them
and herself in danger, stealing the scroll is a way for Katara to gain crucial
access to parts of her identity she otherwise could not. In short: