I found a gif with this on it and I almost started crying. Countdown to the Comet was when Nicktoons ran every episode for three days. I remember watching this. I remember being eight years old and waiting for this. I remember the countdown ticking down to five minutes. I remember seeing Zuko and Iroh’s reunion for the first time and my mom trying to hide the fact that she was crying. This brought up so many emotions because it put me back at an almost exact time. I can’t tell you how much I want to watch this like this again. Not knowing how Aang will master the elements, learning along with Zuko about the White Lotus, being flabbergasted at who Bumi really was, hanging off the edge of my seat when you hear Jet’s voice on the ferry, not knowing that Pakku and Kanna were in love, wondering how Zuko got his scar, watching Katara take down Hama, realizing who Suki was at the same time as Sokka on the docks, watching Zuko’s redemption arc, meeting Toph, watching Katara’s power grow, learning about Kya and Lu Ten, not knowing what black snow means, hating book one Zuko. Rewatching this reminds me how many great moments and plot twists and cliff hangers I’ll never get to experience again. I want to fall in love with it again.
Zuko had been seeing in black and white his entire life. Literally. Few were lucky enough to start seeing colors before their twenties, so it wasn’t that he was an anomaly. It was just that he was lonely. And in the back of his head, the stories of people who never found out what the color red looked like were a constant whisper.
His sister, perfect as she was, had been taunting him most of her life for it. Her soulmate turned out to be her childhood friend, a sparkly eyed, peppy girl with bright smiles that completely counterbalanced Azula’s smirks. They were nearly nauseating to watch, the way even a twitch of Ty Lee’s eyebrows told Azula exactly what she was thinking. The way Ty Lee knew from the way Azula’s eyes narrowed which coffee she wanted to order before Azula herself knew.
Zuko, at the age of twenty five, when most of his friends had already met their soulmates, was seriously beginning to doubt there was anyone out there for him.
Perhaps it was the anxious loneliness gnawing at him that really allowed Sokka to convince him to go out that night.
“C’mon, my sister is back from boarding school and she wants to meet you for some reason, despite the fact I’ve told her exactly what a jerk you are,” Sokka whined, slouched over the table.
Zuko watched him suck in another breath to continue his whining. Before he could, though, Zuko cut him off.
“Fine. I’ll go. Tell me what to wear.”
He regretted it instantaneously when Sokka practically beamed. He had no doubt he’d be staggering home with a drunk roommate at four that morning.
The music was shitty and loud, his beer was lukewarm, and it was so hot in the room Zuko was pretty sure he was going to suffocate.
Sokka had yanked him over to the kitchen, where he wriggled his fingers as he contemplated his various possible alcohol choices. He ignored Zuko’s complaining, flapping an impatient hand at him and frowning at the beer cases before he went back to scrutinizing the rum.
“And so I tell her-”
“Sokka, if you’re hungover tomorrow at breakfast with dad, I’m not covering for your lightweight ass.”
“Shut it Katara, I haven’t even started drinking,” Sokka growled back.
Zuko raised an eyebrow, turning to the source of the voice. He’d never met his roommate’s sister, though he’d seen a few pictures she had tagged him in on his birthday. Sokka had always described her as the usual bratty little sister, which Zuko understood from his own “older sibling experiences”. Then again, Azula was less a little sister and more a spawn of the actual devil. Sokka complained about Katara but also rather nonchalantly described the time he’d gotten suspended from school for beating a boy that groped her once.
Zuko turned and felt his heart stop as he found himself staring into a pair of blue, blue eyes. His whole world shifted, clicked into place. Suddenly, he knew that her skin was a beautiful shade of brown. His hands moved on their own, to touch her hair, maybe, or just to feel her, to make sure she was real. And maybe it was the fact that there were colors and god he knew instinctively her eyes were blue and how did he know that and dear lord she was beautiful - maybe it was this that led him to promptly drop his beer. Right on her shoes.
Sokka yelped, eyes wide as he awaited Katara’s inevitable wrath. But she was staring at Zuko with an open, slack jaw, hands moving toward the boy like she was going to grab his shirt, his hand, his face, something.
Because his hair was black but his eyes were gold and there was a huge red scar that marred his fair skin and he was wearing a dark red shirt and god, he was beautiful.
It felt like hours before he remembered to breath, and longer still until he found his voice.
“Katara?” he asked, voice nearly squeaking.
She smiled, the same glimmering beam that Sokka had given him earlier. But her smile made his heart race and his fingers were suddenly on her cheek without his permission. But she didn’t seem to mind.
“You must be Zuko,” she said.
Her hands were fisted in his shirt, their bodies suddenly close. Zuko’s skin warmed where it met with hers, his eyes unable to leave her face.
“Nice to meet you,” he breathed.
From what seemed miles away, Sokka groaned.
“It’s been ten seconds and you’re already disgusting,” he mumbled, throwing back a shot.
Zuko was very involved in the rebuilding of the Southern Water Tribe.
Zuko apologized to Gran Gran about what he did during the first two ATLA episodes…destroying the village, and dragging her out of the crowd etc…he was kind of embarrassed but pleasantly surprised when Gran Gran accepted his apology.
After the war, Zuko taught the Fire Nation how not to rely on hate and anger for their firebending drive, and basically created a golden age for the Fire Nation founded on peace.
This is also why lightningbending is so prevalent in LOK (will also post about that later).
Zuko learned to lightningbend.
As he aged, Zuko incorporated more waterbending forms into his bending style. Iroh was impressed.
Zuko, and Aang had at least one flying bison v dragon race.
When Izumi was around 10, she asked her father if she could visit Ozai in prison. Zuko refused–and Izumi visited Ozai anyway.
Zuko was furious, but Mai and Iroh insisted that it wasn’t too bad of an idea for Izumi to visit her grandfather.
Izumi’s line about “nonsense wars” was a direct result of Izumi’s interactions with Ozai.
Both izumi, Iroh II, asked abou Zuko’s scar when they were young. When it was Iroh II’s turn…they were at a gathering and Izumi was incredibly embarrassed about the whole thing, but Zuko laughed it off and told his grandson–and anyone who cared to listen–the story of his scar.
Assuming Iroh II was born shortly after Iroh I’s death, and assuming that Izumi is anywhere from 50-60, Iroh could have died when Izumi was between the age of 10 and 20. So profound was his effect on her that she named her son after him.
Katara and Tenzin showed Korra’s family the Southern Air Temple when Korra was a young girl. Taking a stroll with Tenzin, she overheares Korra say Aang’s name. Looking in her direction, she sees Senna kneel down to ask her how she knew Aang’s name. Katara smiles.
Korra penguin sledding while Katara watches.
Korra Era Headcanons
After Jinorra’s ceremony, Zuko approached Jinorra and mentioned how much she resembles Aang, and commented that her grandfather would be proud.
By now, the Fire Nation throne room looks a lot like it did before Sozin began the war, but with two dragons (Ran, and Shaw) behind the throne instead of just one.
Iroh II will name his son Zuko after his grandfather, finally enabling Iroh and Zuko’s relationship to go full circle with Zuko going from being Iroh’s surrogate son to his biological son.
On the next coming of Sozin’s Comet, there will be huge ceremony in the Fire Nation celebrating the 100th anniversary of the end of the 199 Years War.
There will be a Ozai v Aang reenactment…Meelo will naturally volunteer to be Ozai despite being unable to firebend.
Bumi and Iroh II are total bros the same way Sokka and Zuko were.
Iroh sometimes gets sick of Bumi’s shit though.
Korra visited Kuvira in prison on multiple occasions.
I doubt anyone besides Kataang’s kids know that Zhao’s in the Fog of Lost Souls…but, it would be interesting if Zuko found out. The Ocean Spirit killed Zhao because he’s the one that killed the Moon–but imagine Zuko thinking about how different things could have been.
Imagine, instead of seeing Zhao in the Fog…we saw Book 1 Zuko. Imagine all the pain, and anguish that would haunt him in the Fog. On top of that, imagine Book 1 Zuko in the Fog while knowing how the prime timeline plays out.
“I must capture the Avatar to restore my honor…father, I am your loyal son…”
Heartbreaking, really, when you know how things actually end.
Korra visited Katara after the LOK finale and thanked her for everything.
Red Lotus Headcanons
During his travels, Aang met a young man with a strong interest in Air Nomad traditions. Impressed, Aang fed the man’s thirst for knowledge and shared with him various Air Nomad teachings, even encouraging him to join the White Lotus. Eventuallyu, Zhaeer learned about Guru Laghima, and had regular debates with Aang about world philosophies.
Even though the two disagreed with each other, they both enjoyed their philosophical debates. After Aang’s death, Zaheer met Xai Bau…and you all know how the story goes from there.
Sokka rescued Korra, but died when he failed to swing his boomerang at P’Li in time.
Boomerang did not come back that day.
Zuko-Iroh Reunion Headcanons
Zuko takes his grandchildren to meet with Iroh (I keep thinking he’d go alone for the first time, but he can’t just go without Iroh. And Honora Jr. would probably come too since we know she exists).
The Iroh-Zuko reunion is more heartwarming than the Zuko-Iroh reunion in ATLA.
Iroh, knowing Zuko, will constantly expect Zuko to ask him to return to the mortal world with him, but is surprised when Zuko doesn’t ask him anything of the sort. If he does implore why Zuko didn’t ask that, Zuko will tell Iroh that he realizes what the consequences and implications of Iroh’s choice were, making Iroh smile before giving his nephew one last hug.
Zuko tells his grandkids Uncle’s favorite tea joke on their way to see him, and neither of them find it funny for whatever reason–Iroh II especially.
Iroh makes Zuko ginseng tea, Zuko’s favorite.
Sex Related Headcanons
I really dislike Zutara, and think it’s illogical, but I’m on board with the idea of old, widowed Zuko and Katara hooking up if only because I want Maikos kids and Kataangs kids to constantly walk in on them for no reason but to create awkward moments. Also, I’ve pretty much headcanoned older kinky Katara thanks to some comic strips (said comics are actually about Korra), and besides the pairing here would at least make sense and it’s kind of cute. Alas, it would probably never happen–but, meh.
Tenzin: Walks in on Zuko, and Katara WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!?
Katara: Uhh…Zuko was showing me his honor/dragon?
Izumi: Hey where’d our parents go? All I see are two leath–OH FOR RAAVA’S SAKE!
I always joke about how reports of erectile dysfunction disorder decrease dramatically among the Water Tribe population during the full moon, but let’s head canon it!
Kyoshi gives excellent sex advice…or, rather, did until Korra’s connection with her past lives was disconnected.
Some new names revealed, but also some key names left out. There must be a reason as to why Su’s father was not revealed.
Plus stuff like Lu Ten’s mother still not getting named is odd. I can understand why they are keeping Izumi’s mother a secret as “Smoke and Shadows” is addressing the MAIKO relationship, same situation for Sokka probably, they don’t want to spoil comics.
1. gender/sexuality headcanon - I think he’s demisexual, as I understand it to mean. And Katara is the sole focus of any sexual attraction/energy he has! Also think if he experienced as intense a connection with a guy instead, that would’ve worked, too!
2. otp - Definitely Katara! I flirted with Taang for five minutes, but I think they’re too incompatible to work as romantic partners
3. favourite friendship/brotop - I really enjoy his relationship with Sokka. They’re brothers in every way that counts!
4. first headcanon i think of - He’s not above using psychedelics and cannabis for mind expansion. And despite his seeming favoritism towards Tenzin, I think he was also close to Bumi & Kya.
5. something we have in common - We’re really nice (or so I’m told) and easygoing
6. something we don’t - I’m not a vegetarian and don’t think I could be. Sorry, Aang!
7. cinnamon roll or problematic fave - A roll of cinnamon for sure!
8. overall opinion - I love him, and I’m sad that he died relatively early and never got to meet his grandchildren.
1. gender/sexuality headcanon - She’s straight, but if things were different, e.g., no age-appropriate boys in the tribe or not meeting Aang, I think she would’ve maybe experimented with other girls?
2. otp - Aang! He’s the only character I ship her with!
3. favourite friendship/brotop - Oh, Toph. They’re very different people who’ll never, um, see eye-to-eye on everything. But they’re always there for each other no matter what.
4. first headcanon i think of - I think she developed Republic City’s hospital system and healthcare infrastructure, largely rooted in her belief in never turning away those in need.
5. something we have in common - We’re empathetic to a fault.
6. something we don’t - She has children, and I don’t!
7. cinnamon roll or problematic fave - cinnamon bun through and through!
8. overall opinion - She was my first favorite character in AtLA and will always be special to me! I also have no problem with her characterization in LoK. She’s in her mid-80s and probably wanted to chill the fuck out after everything’s she’s done.
1. gender/sexuality headcanon - Greatly prefers men, but if the right woman lit her fire, she’d be A-OK with that!
2. otp - Sokka, Sokka, and more Sokka! I’m down with Satoru as well. I was into Toph/The Duke at one point, but my interest faded.
3. favourite friendship/brotop - Katara, for the reasons given above, but also Aang. I think their friendship would deepen over time to where he considers her a sister.
4. first headcanon i think of - She NEVER tolerated police brutality or racial profiling as police chief. In fact, those were grounds for dismissal. I also think she’s more compassionate than she’d admit.
5. something we have in common - We’re sarcastic smartasses!
6. something we don’t - I’m nicer than she is.
7. cinnamon roll or problematic fave - Eh, she’s just my fave. Period!
8. overall opinion - What can I say? She’s my favorite AtLA character, and I love the rest of her family by extension!
1. gender/sexuality headcanon - I think he’s straight. I can’t imagine him any other way (same with Sokka). He’s also the first Fire Lord not to take concubines.
2. otp - Thanks to the comics, @dupreerose, and @madamebomb’s writing, I’ve come to prefer Suki! I also really like Jin and think their relationship would’ve had potential under different circumstances.
3. favourite friendship/brotop - I gotta go with Iroh. After all the horrible shit he’d been through, he needed a nurturing figure in his life.
4. first headcanon i think of - He abdicated the throne and began traveling after losing his wife. This was how he channelled his grief.
5. something we have in common - We’re both awkward dorks now and forever!
6. something we don’t - I’m not as angsty and dramatic.
7. cinnamon roll or problematic fave - cinnamon all over!
8. overall opinion - He’s good people, and I want to know more about his family. Who did he marry? Is Izumi his only child? What was their relationship like? Is he close to his grandchildren?
and Lin learning to read and write motivating Toph to finally agree to learn that 'braille' shit Sokka had invented for her? so they're both learning at the same time, Sokka and Katara helping them each respectively????
@seismicsight and Lin reading Toph stories instead of the other way around for bedtime. and Toph turning in paperwork with big, sloppy letters because Lin insisted she could take dictation. ;-;
YESSSSSSSS. Lin plops down & super seriously starts writing for her most nights, with her messy letters & spelling mistakes. I’m sure people stopped being surprised at all of Toph’s paperwork being covered in kid writing after awhile, lol. also, Lin being extra motivated because she’s learning to read with her mom, who’s the coolest person ever….. it’s sO STINKIN CUTE.