southern water tribe waterbending

Not Your Average Zutara Fic Rec

So I’ve gone through a LOT of Zutara fanfiction, probably too much if I’m being honest, and finding good fics can be really hard. When looking up fic rec lists I’ve noticed that a lot of the lists are just the same select fanfictions recommended over and over (We get it, everyone and their mother loves ‘His Majesty Prefers Blue’ and ‘Stormbenders’ [I never finished HMPB, sue me]). 

So this list is for all of you who are in my shoes and can’t seem to find anything besides the same ten or fifteen stories recommended and are desperate for something new. Everything listed is complete! (If I listed the incompletes/abandoned stories I’d have a lot more chaptered stories listed… RIP ‘The Confrontational Approach’…) 

I have a lot of bookmarked stories that I have yet to read and am in the middle of (Almost caught up on @firelordandlady ‘s ‘Say Anything’!), so I’ll try to update this when I finish something I think deserves a recommendation. 

Chaptered

In the Same Candlelight by Like a Dove

In a world where there is no war, Zuko and Katara spend their summers together. Growing up is messy, embarrassing, and at times sad, but they think it might be okay because they have each other. Edited summary.

I know. I KNOW. I LITERALLY JUST SAID I WASN’T GOING TO RECOMMEND FANFICS THAT ARE ON EVERYONE’S LIST. But I NEED to mention this one. I spent so long not interested in this fic. I don’t like drastic AU’s, or modern AU’s. My taste is strictly canon divergence, so I didn’t think I would like this. I WAS SO WRONG. Trust me, if you are like me and don’t like big AU’s, read this anyway. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Characterization is still so spot on, even with such a different take. Aang is precious. There is nothing but fluff, fluff, and fluff. It will melt you. You will probably die and your spirit will rise up smiling and beaming out rainbows and sunshine. That’s what happened to me. 

Lilacs and Lily Pads by sadladybug

A tale of clumsy courtship and calamitous court weddings, featuring awkward family encounters, floral mishaps, cultural complications, and good old fashioned fluff and conflict. Takes place in the five years following war’s end. For Zutara Week 2016. A prequel to Bones.

Clothe Me in Seasons, Dress Me in Snow is a very commonly recommended Zutara fic (And for good reason, I shed many tears reading it). But this two-shot (A companion to Bones, a smut one shot) by the same author is really underrated and beautifully written. It follows Zuko and Katara as they try to plan their wedding, as well as shows two scenes from before they got engaged that solidified the relationship to be one they knew would last. Just really well done overall and very very sweet. 

EDIT: I talked with the author and apparently it isn’t finished?? But they are apparently working on the next chapters so yay!! And each chapter is independent so it doesn’t feel unfinished.  

The Slow Path by Tazainian Devil

Eight years after the fall of Ozai, Aang returns to the friends he left behind - Taang, Zutara, Sukka

This is technically a Taang fic, and if I’m being honest I kind of just skimmed through the non-zutara chapters, but the Zutara storyline was good enough that I think it’s definitely worth the read. And the overall plot has a great premise. Be warned, it has a sequel that was never finished. 

Another Word For Alchemy by FanPanda13

Five years have passed since the Avatar defeated Fire Lord Ozai, and the members of the Gaang have all gone in their own direction. But when Aang invites them all to a Peace Summit at the North Pole and tells them of his new project, for which he will need their support, the group comes together again for adventure, fun and romance. AU. Zutara. COMPLETE.

So this fic is crazy for me. At first, it started as just really good natured fluff. The writing wasn’t anything fantastic (Although I loved how it broke the 4th wall and didn’t take itself seriously), and there were some definite OOC moments. But I had so much FUN with it. The plot (while definitely not the focus as everyone is more concerned about when Zuko and Katara will get together) was interesting, and there were some really sweet moments. It was also HILARIOUS and I had multiple moments where I genuinely laughed out loud. But then about five chapters before the end, the quality SKY ROCKETED. As the plot and mystery come together, the characters all come together in a moment that truly feels like it came from the show. Even the writing quality increases by a lot and I was genuinely shocked and impressed. Definitely recommend. 

Kyoshi Hold ‘Em by cupid-painted-blind

When a blizzard shuts down the fourth annual Peace Summit, the group has to find some way to pass the time. /Zutara, Taang, Jet/Mai, Jet/Everyone, Sukka

If you’re looking for a good crack fic, look no further. It’s post war and utter nonsense. Jet is alive for some reason??? No one questions it and he’s shipped with pretty much everyone. It’s funny, it’s decently written, there are drinking and sexy time shenanigans, and overall just lighthearted. Also, it does a great job of being a crack fic without crossing the line and becoming unfunny and just a trash fic. A lot struggle to find the balance and resort to going over the top and ridiculous, but this one does a really good job. 

Come With Me by Steamboat Ghost

Coauthored by fuzzytomato. Troubled over his newly restored honor, Zuko finds solace in the familiar guise of the Blue Spirit. In a chance meeting with the Painted Lady, a friendship is forged as the two heroes seek to help the Fire Nation’s neglected.

I’ll admit it: I’ve never gotten into Blutara fanfictions. I only read the first couple chapters of HMPB and dropped it after the tree scene. I don’t know, it felt really OOC for me and I may go back and read it again just because EVERYONE raves about it, but IDK. I’ve never been a huge Blutara fan because while I love the concept, I’d much rather see the Painted Lady and the Blue Spirit come together as equals. Most fics present Zuko behind his mask to Katara, and it feels imbalanced. There aren’t a lot of stories where we see their alter persona’s come together even though that’s the entire point of the parallel between the two. Insert this fic. I only wish there was a sequel dealing with Zuko in the Gaang after these events. Hey, a girl can dream. 

A Zutara Story Anastasia by LastSunset

Katara, the only suviving waterbender of the Southern Water Tribe, joins two con men, Zuko and Iroh, while a fearful admiral chases for her death. A Zutara Story. Based on the movie Anastasia.

So this isn’t so much a retelling of Anastasia but with Katara and Zuko as it is a fanfic version of the movie but with the characters names and world changed. It takes a lot of lines from the movie. But WHO CARES? It’s Anastasia and Zutara!!! What more do you need??? 

Oneshot

this burden you bear by cowlicklesschick

Word travels, and war stories will be told round campfires and on freighter ships until every person in the world knows what Master Katara did for the new Fire Lord. She fights the burning in her throat at the thought of people knowing why she had to heal him in the first place. Post-war Zutara.

This is an angst-with-a-happy-ending, which I say is the absolute BEST type of angst. Katara deals with the guilt of what Zuko did for her as the Fire Nation celebrates what she did to save his life during the Agni Kai. The two come together beautifully while struggling to see the feelings they both share. Really well written and like I said, it has a happy ending, which we all need. 

The Best of Me by Laririn-Shadow

The night before his eighteenth birthday Zuko wraps a bandage around his left wrist. He has a country to run and no time for frivolous things. It will make everything easier if he waits. Zutara Soulmates AU

Soulmate AU’s usually aren’t my thing (With the glaring exception of one Until Dawn Soulmate AU, but that’s besides the point), but I really enjoyed this oneshot. It isn’t sweeping or insanely romantic and the reveal isn’t “OMG I’VE LOVED YOU THIS WHOLE TIME” But it’s a subtle love that grows, which I really like. 

snuggling dysfunctional cats by emletish

Toph thinks Katara and Zuko were a ridiculously, incredibly, stupidly adorable couple. There is only one problem, they were not actually going out. This confuses Toph. could stand alone or be read as a companion peice to my stalking series

Fun fact: Before this oneshot, I had only ever read one fanfiction over 200k words, and had no desire to read another one again. And then I read this. This one shot was so fantastic that it was the reason I ended up reading the ‘Not Stalking Zuko’ trilogy (Also by emletish), which totals almost 900k words because this companion piece had me so sold. Yeah, it’s THAT good. 

my salvation, he’s not anything by sarsaparillia

Let’s run away and start another war. — Zuko/Katara.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ What can I say? I love the ‘Let’s run away together, consequences be damned’ trope. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Time is Ripe by Casa Circe

ZUTARA WEEK 2012 Day Seven: Seasons. There are many stages that a heart goes through before it can finally be ready for the love it was meant to have. The road is often a rocky one but eventually, it leads you home.

A oneshot for the Zutara Week 2012 prompt ‘Seasons’. Not too much to say about it. Short, sweet, and well written. What more do you need? 

Serendipity by Boriqua-chan

Iroh goes hunting for tea leaves and finds something…interesting. /Zutara week, day 1/

Secret relationships! Fluff! Happiness! And all from Uncle Iroh’s perspective!! Everything I love in one great oneshot! 

Too Close for Comfort also by Casa Circe

ZUTARA WEEK 2010 Day Three: Pain. After watching “The Ember Island Players”, no one is in the mood for teasing. But a little slip of the tongue leads to the painful realization that the play was more accurate than they were willing to admit.

There are two Zutara plots/tropes that I am a complete and utter SLUT for. The first is the ‘Let’s talk about that EIP show’ trope. This is one of my favorites. 

The Color of Truth is Red by Mrs. Pettyfer

Written for Zutara Week prompt “awkward.” Zuko and Katara discuss the Ember Island Players.

Another post EIP oneshot

Enlightenment by Blade Quill

Choices are made on the day of Zuko’s coronation, and sometimes, enlightenment is just the simple truth at hand. Zutara. AU of the final moments of the Book 3 Finale

The OTHER plot/trope I’m a slut for is finale rewrites. LET ME SEE THEM COME TOGETHER AFTER HE TAKES LIGHTNING FOR HER. Ugh, I love it. 

Framework by profoundlycan

What if in “Sozin’s Comet” Katara had come into the room instead of Mai? Zuko/Katara. Prequel to Schema.

 Another finale rewrite! Let’s just get Mai out of the picture here… 

Lightning Shocks the Heart by drunkzutarafeels

Why do our hearts remain dormant until a climactic moment makes time stand still?

And here’s yet another finale rewrite. There is a really popular Zutara gifset that someone animated of the Agni Kai ‘Thank you’ scene, but Katara kisses Zuko after she hugs him. This is the fanfiction equivalent of that gif set. 

Sunrise by lewilder

The days go on and on, and even if she feels more comfort from the moon, Katara learns to cherish the promise of each new sunrise. Zutara AU, largely finale-centric. Oneshot.

LAST FINALE AU I PROMISE. Really sweet, starts right after The Southern Raiders and goes past canon. 

all the ghosts we cannot kill (we learn to love) by raisindeatre

Zuko and Katara; the moments we didn’t see. Or: Maybe we are all somebody’s ghost. And maybe sometimes we can be more than that.

“…My quarrel has only ever been with you, Zuko,” she says, his name sharp on her tongue. “This has only ever been about me and you.”

“You’re wrong,” he rasps, his voice rough in the late afternoon sunlight that falls around them, tangles them in golden nets. “This has only ever been about me and the Avatar. Not you and me. What we hold between us has nothing to do with it.”

This is a really beautiful one-shot that follows a battered, war torn and hardened Zuko and Katara through the scenes we DIDN’T see throughout the entire show. A Zutara must-read.

Drabble Collection/Series

And Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Advocaat

A collection of humorous and crack-tastic oneshots corresponding to the days of Zutara Month

Really great Zutara Month themed drabbles, and it contains the only body swapping plot that I’ve read and really enjoyed. Also the chapters ‘Potential’ and ‘Festival’ are some of my all time favorites. 

Zuko Was No Coward by hootowl

Zuko was many things, but a coward he was not. A collection of Zutara100 prompts. Title may change.

Definitely some heartbreakers and angsty drabbles in here, but all well written and thoroughly enjoyable. If you read ANYTHING from this list, read chapter two of this drabble collection. I MELTED when I read it. It’s perfection. Aunt Wu’s prediction has always been a plotline I’ve loved in Zutara fanfiction, and this one just does it PERFECTLY. 

Zutara Week 2012 by ichilover3

A collection of oneshots inspired by the prompts for Zutara Week

Not much more to say. The first, third, and fourth prompts are my favorite from this series. 

Zutara Week 2015 by bianca_anna

It started at a tea shop and ended with forever. My entries for Zutara Week 2015. I hope you enjoy them.

Oh my GOODNESS. So they’re Zutara Week prompts, but all set in the same universe. The Zutara!Family depicted in these drabbles has become my headcanon. I’ve seen many a Zutara family, but this one is by far my FAVORITE. This is now my official family for them. I want the very last chapter fully animated because it’s so good and epic and I want more of this families adventures. 

anonymous asked:

What are the odds that the lack of Katara statuary is due to her active opposition? She does not want them up, thus they do not go up while she is still breathing.

What went down in Moana
  • Gramma Tala: imma terrify the s**t out of some little kids
  • Chief Tui: you're a very bad example for my daughter
  • Gramma Tala: ikr
  • Moana: *is cute and helpless, wanders to the ocean*
  • Sea turtle: *is cute and helpless, fails to wander to ocean*
  • Moana: holy s**t birds, don't eat the turtle
  • Birds: fine, whatevs
  • Ocean: thanks for the turtle Moana
  • Moana: no prob
  • Ocean: I am the last waterbender from the southern water tribe, and I—
  • Moana: skip the exposition please
  • Ocean: ok yeah, anyway you helped the turtle and so you're definitely worthy of this incredibly important and dangerous magical artifact
  • Moana: kk cool, imma drop it on the beach
  • Ocean: no come back you little s**t!
  • Gramma Tala: ooh, shiny!
  • Tamatoa: did somebody say shiny?
  • Gramma Tala: not yet Tamatoa, go away
  • Chief Tui: hey Moana, wanna hear a song?
  • Moana: sure, as long as it's during a montage
  • Chief Tui: hey Moana, come and see this big stack of rocks that every chief put here
  • Moana: wait, so every chief we've ever had has placed a rock here?
  • Chief Tui: yeah
  • Moana: and what happens if a future plot point suggests that not every chief lived on this island?
  • Chief Tui: ok, go away now
  • Heihei: *eats an entire f**king rock*
  • Villagers: yo some serious s**t is happening to everything
  • Moana: this is definitely related to the one obscure legend my grandmother told me ten years ago
  • Chief Tui: Moana don't you f**king dare
  • Moana: *f**king dares and also wrecks her boat*
  • Gramma Tala: whatever just happened, blame it on the pig
  • Ocean: no, defs blame it on Moana
  • Moana: what are you doing, Gramma Tala?
  • Gramma Tala: I'm crazy, so go into this cave
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda: hey Moana, we were voyagers
  • Moana: thanks Lin-Manuel Miranda!
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda: no prob!
  • Moana: hey Gramma Tala, we were voyagers!
  • Gramma Tala: yeah, no s**t
  • Moana: hey Dad, we were voyagers!
  • Chief Tui: f**k you Moana
  • Moana: so how do you explain that stack of rocks
  • Chief Tui: I don't?
  • Gramma Tala: *conveniently dies*
  • Moana: welp, bye
  • Ocean: oh no, not you little s**t again
  • Moana: f**k you ocean
  • Ocean: here have a big f**king thunderstorm
  • Moana: *wrecks her boat, again*
  • Moana: fish pee in you, all day
  • Ocean: bacteria s**t in your mouth, all day
  • Maui: A boat!
  • Moana: holy s**t who are you?
  • Maui: I'm glad you asked because I wrote a song about that
  • Moana: I don't f**king care
  • Maui: well, I'm stealing your boat
  • Moana: does that boat even work? I wrecked it
  • Maui: idk, bye now
  • Ocean: *puts Moana on the boat*
  • Moana: you wanna come on my quest
  • Maui: no
  • Moana: please
  • Maui: ok fine
  • Kakamora: *attack*
  • Ocean: *smashes Kakamora boats together*
  • Moana: that was convenient
  • Ocean: ikr
  • Maui: you wanna get my fishhook
  • Moana: oh hell yes
  • Maui: here's a cliff, don't climb it
  • Moana: *climbs it, doesn't die*
  • Maui: here's a thousand foot drop to the realm of monsters, don't jump off it
  • Moana: *jumps off it, doesn't die*
  • Maui: here's a giant carnivorous plant, don't jump in its mouth
  • Moana: *jumps in its mouth, doesn't die*
  • Maui: here's a terrifying sloth monster, don't antagonize it
  • Moana: *antagonizes it, doesn't die*
  • Tamatoa: HEY GUYS
  • Moana: do you wanna talk about yourself?
  • Tamatoa: ok let's begin with the fact that I'm a fabulous shiny shimmering cinnamon roll
  • Maui: you're really not all that great
  • Tamatoa: m*********er I sparkle with the light of a million stars
  • Maui: my bragging song is better than yours
  • Tamatoa: I don't care because I'm f**kin beautiful
  • Maui: Tamatoa x Reader fanfiction exists and it's terrifying
  • Tamatoa: HOLY S**T WHAT?!
  • Maui: ok he's distracted, imma stealin my hook
  • Tamatoa: WHY WOULD ANYBODY WRITE THAT?!
  • Moana: ok, we got out of there
  • Maui: you should have died at least twenty times in there
  • Moana: ikr
  • Maui: my hook's not working btw
  • Moana: only an act of true love can repair a broken hook
  • Maui: nope, got it!
  • Moana: ok nevermind, wrong movie
  • Maui: so here's a lava monster, let's fight it
  • Te Kā: *throws fire, breaks Maui's hook*
  • Moana: only an act of true love can repair—
  • Maui: forget it, bye now
  • Gramma Tala: hey Moana, here's some important advice for you
  • Moana: thanks, I'm going to fight the lava monster now
  • Gramma Tala: wait, what? that's just stupid
  • Moana: and you shouldn't be giving me advice on how to stay alive if you can't even manage that yourself
  • Gramma Tala: bye now
  • Moana: *goes to fight Te Kā*
  • Maui: hey I'm still here
  • Moana: good 'cause imma die out here
  • Maui: go find Te Fiti
  • Moana: Te Fiti isn't here
  • Te Kā: YES I AM
  • Moana: oh hey that's convenient
  • Ocean: *moseses*
  • Moana: *does an epic walk*
  • Te Kā: *does a frantic monster crawl*
  • Moana: *keeps walking*
  • Te Kā: *doesn't kill Moana for some reason*
  • Moana: here's your heart back
  • *everything is magically fixed*
  • Maui: hey Te Fiti, sorry for f**king up all the s**t
  • Te Fiti: I could smite the ever-loving s**t out of you rn
  • Maui: please don't
  • Te Fiti: fine
  • Moana: imma go home now
  • Maui: so we're getting a sequel, right?
  • Moana: nope, they're making a second Frozen
  • ROLL CREDITS

anonymous asked:

Who are your favorite minor characters from all the four nations?

Good question!

Water

Hama. What a powerful character this was for someone we only got to see in one episode! We get to see her rise and fall, from a powerful and dignified waterbending master, to a corrupted and hateful old crone who tortures her own tribeswoman in order to “teach” her. She invented her own technique and is a deadly force to be reckoned with. Hama also gave more depth to the Southern Water Tribe, presenting a dark side to waterbending that had been hitherto unknown, as well as harkening back to a time when the tribe was strong and waterbenders were numerous. Both her strength and her hatred left a permanent mark on Katara—and a reminder for us that water is everywhere.

Earth

Avatar Kyoshi. This Avatar literally left some big shoes to fill, as she is the longest-lived of any known Avatar and cemented a legacy that is still carried on in her island and her warriors. She saved her people by breaking off a piece of the mainland Earth Kingdom, a tectonic (and titanic) feat that was as awe-inspiring as it was deadly.

One of the things that I like about how she is remembered and presented is that she is a tough lady who does not deride femininity. Her technique, for example, is about using an opponent’s force against them, a skill tailored for female use. Toph, while a tremendous earthbender, prefers her part being played by a big, strong man, teases Aang about his delicate footsteps and “feminine side”, and takes a long time to appreciate the value of doing chores and being a team mom. Kyoshi has big feet AND wears makeup, fights in a dress with fans AND stops tyranny in its tracks, and doesn’t disparage traditionally female attributes while showing off her strength.

Like most earthbenders, Kyoshi doesn’t beat around the bush with regards to her business; when Aang tries to tell her that she didn’t really kill Chin the Conqueror, Kyoshi replies:

Personally, I don’t really see the difference. But I assure you, I would have done whatever it took to stop Chin.

I would have taken that advice to heart, Aang. Just sayin’.

Fire

Piandao. Just because you’re a nonbender doesn’t mean you are any less a member of your nation, and Master Piandao exemplifies this at a time when firebending is the most prized ability in the Fire Nation. Piandao is coveted as a teacher and easily could have gotten filthy rich on war profits, considering how highly militarized the Fire Nation becomes during the war. Instead, he will only accept students that can be taught, not only how to fight, but how to achieve their potential as human beings. He prizes humility in an era of arrogance and combines the artistry of the sword with the strokes of calligraphy. He encourages creativity and bravery, as we can see in Sokka’s training. As a White Lotus member, he is instrumental in freeing Ba Sing Se from the Fire Nation’s yoke, and is a role model for personal as well as professional achievement.

Air

Guru Pathik. Yes, technically he is not an airbender, but this guru embodies all of the best qualities of the Air Nomads: friendliness toward living things, a carefree nature, sense of humor, and a high level of spirituality. Monk Gyatso would have been a more conventional choice, but I’m putting Guru Pathik first, not only because we see more of him, but because through him we learn about the tenets of interconnectedness and enlightenment that underpin the Avatar world. He teaches Aang, but doesn’t coddle him, and lets him know in no uncertain terms what will happen if Aang interrupts his training. Aang has had masters of air, water, earth, and fire, but Guru Pathik is the only one who helps Aang master the Avatar State—the most powerful technique he has apart from energybending.

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.

anonymous asked:

Macky, you are killing me!! Who are Nami's parents??

Sorry for killing you! :D 

Nami’s mother, Sessi, was an adventurous marine biologist from the Southern Water Tribe. She wasn’t a waterbender, but she loved the sea and was a skilled sailor who independently tracked and catalogued the migration patterns of thousands of Dolphin-Whales and Koala Otters. She was commissioned by the Northern Water Tribe to evaluate the environmental impact of oil rigs off the coast of the North Pole. During her field work, she met Tomkin, a non-bender laborer on one of the oil rigs. (She actually saved him from drowning when he accidentally fell into the icy waters.) He took her to dinner to thank her, and they hit it off~


They married, had Nami, and settled down in the Northern Water Tribe. Sessi wasn’t exactly the domestic type, though. As much as she loved her daughter and husband, she couldn’t stand being cooped up in the North Pole, so she resumed her research and went on numerous month-long expeditions across the ocean. One day, she didn’t come back. It’s unclear what happened, but authorities guessed she had crashed into an iceberg. Her father was of course devastated. Nami was only 6 years old when it happened.

*** I know the dead mom trope is overdone, but apart from Genji, everyone else in Team Avatar had a relatively normal childhood. I chose this for specific characterization, plot stuff, etc. Also apparently around 8% of households in the U.S. are single-father homes, so it isn’t as uncommon as some people think ***

alright, alright…I guess I’ll share my completely unsolicitied voltron/a:tla headcanons ((please feel free to add on to this if you want I would love it so much))

it’s long and detailed so I’ll spare your dash (I say to my four followers) and put it under the cut

BUT!!!! if you skip to the end there’s ember island stuff and I know u wanna see that so

Keep reading

haha do you guys ever think about the fact that atla had an episode in which Hama, a woman who after decades of imprisonment in terrible, inhuman conditions, comes out cruel and lashes out in any which way she can, and is treated and defeated as a villain (which, ok, she was, and that was fair) but thEN AFTER GETS SENTENCED TO LIVE OUT THE REST OF HER LIFE IMPRISONED BY THE SAME PEOPLE AS THE FIRST TIME???!!?!?!?

hahaha do you guys ever think about how fucking easy it would’ve been to add 10-15 seconds to the episode in which Katara goes: “When this is all over, I’m coming for you and taking you home“? thereby displaying mercy? which would later play into how she handles yon rha?

hahahaha do you guys ever think about how much that would’ve meant for katara’s character arc, but also how it would’ve enriched the overall story?

hahahahaaaha do you guys ever think about how the comparison that should’ve been made in “the southern raiders” was “katara you sound like hama“, not “like jet”?* how much more sense it would’ve made to brig up hama at that point, you know, katara’s teacher who taught her bloodbending?!?!!? instead of her one-time-now-dead crush???!?!

*not getting into how neither make sense in the given situation, that’s not what this post is about

ahahahahha do you guys ever think about how much more meaningful the mercy vs. justice stuff, which tsr were supposed to be abt, would’ve been if katara had set a precedent with how she handled hama?

hahahahhahahaa do you guys ever think about how if hama had remained relevant, if she had actually gotten a chance to go back to the southern water tribe how that would’ve shaped the course of the story?

like!! just imagine!! a southern master!! all of a sudden, there’s a southern master at the south pole! and she isn’t fifteen!!!

and imagine her and pakku butting heads over how to teach students, imagine her and pakku in a bending!! battle!! we’d’ve gotten an actual comparison between northern and southern waterbending!!!

IMAGINE HAMA CALLING THE NORTHERN WATER TRIBE OUT ON THE FACT THAT THEY JOINED THE FIGHTING FIVE MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT!!!!

IMAGINE HAMA RAISING HELL BECAUSE WHERE THE FUCK WERE THEY WHEN THE SOUTHERN TRIBE STILL HAD A CHANCE?!!??!! AND WHO THE FUCK DO THEY THINK THEY ARE, COMING HERE NOW AND EXPECTING TO BE WELCOMED?!?!!

plus, like, loose ends: who was yon rha’s source?! how did tsr find out abt katara? and why to i feel like they were supposed to somehow be a northerner?

ahahahhahahahahahahahahahaaha do you guys ever think about how utterly amazing it would’ve been if hama wasn’t a one-off character with no actual impact on the overarching story??!?!?!!

guess who jumped on the avatar au train

  • shiro was born in the fire nation, and is the avatar
  • pidge is a non bender from the earth kingdom
  • hunk is an earthbender from the earth kingdom
  • lance is the last waterbender from the southern water tribe
  • keith is a fire bender who was born in republic city
  • this au is kind of a mix between atla and lok?? so republic city exists at the same time as when the fire nation takes over
  • allura is the last airbender (coran is still alive though he just cant airbend)
  • in their time avatars were looked after in the air nomads
  • which is why the fire nation destroyed it
  • alfor and the avatar of that time, a water bender, sealed allura and coran deep in the temple in a cryofreeze type thing?? idk
  • alfor and the avatar were both killed by the fire nation a little while after
  • when the next avatar was born into the earth kingdom the earthbender was captured and eventually killed, meaning the next avatar was to be born into the fire nation, just like they wanted
  • except it didnt really work bc shiro Did Not Agree with what they were doing
  • nobody found out he was the avatar until he snuck two non benders from the earth kingdom into the fire nation so they could do?? something?? idk i havent worked that part out yet
  • shiro himself doesnt even know hes the avatar until he earthbends to try and stop the fire nation soldiers from hurting matt, accidentally injuring matt in the process which actually ended up working in their favor when shiro acted like he did it on purpose
  • the fire nation was pleased with this and they made him into a fire nation soldier and taught him to lightning bend and tried using him to their advantage
  • eventually haggar, a metal bender and trusted adviser to fire lord zarkon (lmao) makes him a metal arm that is strongly linked to something? idk they have some sort of control over it for a while
  • he was also taught to earth bend and was starting water bending
  • shiro eventually escaped to the edge of the fire nation and finds keith who was wandering aimlessly after being kicked out of republic city
  • they already knew each other and talked for a while before coming across the cryofreeze pod things that had been moved from the temple by accident (wind or something??)
  • allura and coran find out what happened to the air nomads and the avatar
  • they then find out that shiro is the new avatar and that they still have a duty to fufill
  • they go off to look for an earthbender who can teach shiro more about earthbending (he already learned but he says he still needs to learn more) and a waterbender
  • they go off to the earth kingdom and meet hunk and pidge
  • shiro immediately recognizes pidge because of how much they look like matt
  • hunk vaguely recognizes keith from his time in republic city when he was younger
  • hunk agrees to help shiro with earthbending, despite his comments about how he isnt very good
  • when they mention to hunk and pidge about how they still need a waterbender pidge mentions that only the northern water tribe has waterbenders because the last waterbender in the southern water tribe was supposedly killed by the fire nation
  • hunk stays strangely quiet
  • they are on the south part of the earth kingdom however and allura says they may as well head down that way just in case
  • so they do
  • there they meet lance
  • hunk and pidge had met him when they were all in republic city once when they were young
  • he freezes up when he sees shiros fire nation attire and goes to run before hunk and pidge assure him shiro means no harm and he kinda relaxes and goes straight to flirting with allura
  • keith was standing a ways back and facing away from them but lance recognizes him immediately
  • KEITH?!?! uh do i know you? Uh the names lance? … you almost ran me over with YOUR MOTORCYCLE?!?!?! oh wait i remember you, youre that idiot that ran out in the middle of the street and right in front of my bike
  • anyway allura explains how shiro is the avatar and asks lance about any waterbenders he might know that could help shiro learn waterbending
  • lance is quiet for a while before he says something along the lines of i can absolutely trust you, right? to shiro and keith
  • they assure him that no harm will come to any waterbenders while theyre around because they dont agree with what the fire nation is doing
  • lance complies and tells them hes the last waterbender in the southern water tribe
  • hunk already knew because lance isnt very good at keeping secrets
  • pidge asks how the fire nation didnt find him and lance makes up some excuse that they all know is a lie
  • im too good for the fire nation to find me or something really fuckin cocky
  • oh yeah i forgot to mention instead of just the avatar getting an animal companion all of them get one
  • they all get really BIG ones too
  • Lance obviously gets a polar bear dog because korra
  • keith gets an armadillo bear
  • shiro gets a komodo rhino
  • hunk gets a bagdermole (maybe?? idk theyre p big)
  • pidge gets a armadillo lion
  • pidge eventually finds out they can metal bend just an fyi

uhm?? thats all i got for now bc this is getting really long

also yes there is klance?? when isnt there when it comes to me tbh

anonymous asked:

AU where Sokka is Zuko's brother and Azula is Katara's sister, please?

There are so many different directions I could go with this, with either Water Tribe Zuko and Sokka or Water Tribe Azula and Katara, to a modern AU, to the positively horrific, where Ozai once led a military campaign against the Water Tribes and on two occasions raped Kya, fathering Sokka and Katara making all of them siblings.  This is a scenario with a lot of possible AUs.  I’m inclined to switch Zuko and Katara’s places.

1. This does not actually change much for the world at large.  Both Zuko and Katara are compassionate, hard working, and fiercely protective of the people who need it.  Little Katara would find herself Ozai’s un-favorite and Azula’s favorite victim just as much as little Zuko does in canon.  Thirteen year old Katara would stand up for the Fire Nation soldiers just like Zuko does, and she would be scarred and banished in his place.  Little Zuko as the only waterbender in the Southern Water Tribe would want badly to train and to help his people.

2. In canon, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee attended the Royal Fire Academy for Girls, but we don’t have any indication about Zuko’s schooling.  In some of my AUs, I have written him attending that school’s male counterpart.  In this AU, Katara attends the Royal Fire Academy for Girls as well.  She is a sociable child who is good at making friends, so for her first two years, she does well, and loves school, partly as a place to get away from the tension at home.  Then, Azula starts attending, and she quickly does everything she can to isolate her sister, and school just becomes one more place where Azula rules and Katara has to deal.

This makes Katara’s relationship with Mai and Ty Lee somewhat fraught.  They are Azula’s “friends”, and she delights in using them to hurt Katara, but they are also Azula’s victims, and on some level, all three of them know this.  Moreover, if they were at the same school, away, however temporarily from Ozai and Ursa, I think Azula would bring Katara into the group, just as she keeps Zuko close after returning with him to the Fire Nation.  She would do what she could to keep all of her victims dependent on her and in competition for her favor, and so the friendship between the three would grow in a deeply warped way, just as Mai and Ty Lee’s canon friendship must have.

3. Zuko is a boy.  This means that Pakku would be willing to train him.  Also depending how straight Aang is, Aang might not develop any kind of crush on Zuko.  Likewise, as utterly utterly clueless as Zuko is about that kind of thing, Aang would have to bash him over the head with any feelings he did have.  So the dynamics between our three boys would be a little different.  There are also similarities.  Sokka is protective of his little brother, and Zuko tries to mom everybody, including his older brother.  I also like to think that after the Kyoshi Warriors and being chased around the world by Katara, Zuko is somewhat vocal in how stupid he thinks not training women to waterbend is.  I also imagine that as much of a nurturer as he is, he would try to learn to heal.

4. Book Two would come as an enormous shock to poor Katara’s system, since not only is she suddenly on the run with no ship, but her sister and her friends from school are chasing her.  People that were close to Zuko in canon, who are even closer to Katara, are hunting her.  It would also I think profoundly impact Mai and Ty Lee who would see Azula using them to target one of their own in a much more sustained way than the infighting and punishment Azula used when they were children.

5. Katara with the shaved head and ponytail combo.  Katara with a buzz cut.  Katara in Fire Nation armor.  Katara feuding and dueling with Zhao.  Katara in a teashop.  Mai and Ty Lee standing up to Azula to protect their friend.  Katara.

siamese712-sketch-a-day  asked:

I'd say everyone agrees the fire nation wiped out the Air nomads in a attempt to destroy the avatar after Roku before the new, at the time unknown, unrealized avatar could grow to be a real threat. Out side of actually knowing what happened to Aang the fire nation and the world should have believe that they DID manage to kill the avatar in his cradle. With this in mind it makes me wonder why everyone seemed to believe that the avatar must be a old airbender in hiding for a 100 years-

-rather then being born into the next cycles waterbender? Even if it did end up being true there was no real logical means of believing it. As far as I can tell there’s no mystical sign that tells the world when a avatar dies/is reborn. Only when they reach avatar state for the first time(But I may be wrong).Now to expand on this idea, I’d like to present the idea that maybe the fire nation in part did believe the avatar had been reincarnated into the water tribe, but perpetrated the idea of the avatar still being a air bender to stop members of the other nations of seeking out the newly born avatar. And this is why they attacked and stole all waterbenders from the southern water tribe. Now why the southern water tribe and not water benders in general? No one knows just who the newly born avatar is every cycle and that’s why they test the children with the toy thing (amongst other means like Korra), but it would be very difficult to test every child of the right age. (the earth kingdom is huge, it would take a long time to test all the children) So I’m making the assumptions that the avatar sages have some means of determining a general aria or territory of where the next avatar(s) is born. And that after Aang the next avatar would then be born to the southern water tribe (which Korra did end up being). This would also kind of explain why Zuko was hunting around the south pole at the beginning. Only the heads and most trusted members of state would want to know the potential truth of where the avatar is, and Iroh would help Zuko anyway he could. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, or any theories you may have on the avatar reincarnation cycle. You’re really good at expanding on ideas with logical backings. 

I’d say you’ve done a pretty good job at expanding this theory yourself! There likely was a lot of speculation about whether the Avatar Cycle was actually broken or not, but the biggest sign to the Four Nations that either it was broken, or the Last Airbender had been hidden away prior to the massacre, is that no new Avatar ever surfaced, waterbender or otherwise. It’s true that it might take a long time to test every single child in a particular nation, but remember that they have until the Avatar is sixteen to find out who that is. In sixteen years, a precocious child who could bend multiple elements—even a little bit, as opposed to someone like Korra—would stand out eventually. Word would get around, even if people tried to hush it up. Besides that, there really is NO hiding the Avatar State once it gets going! And an Avatar who couldn’t train would not be able to control when s/he went into it, so only the most remote locations (like those accessible by sky bison) would be feasible.

The Fire Nation would also have spies in the other nations—even the Southern Water Tribe, because that’s how the Fire Nation realized there was one waterbender left. So years and years would go by, and there would be no sign that the Avatar had reappeared or that anyone was remotely trying to cover up a reappearance. There’s always the possibility that the Avatar reincarnated into the Southern Water Tribe, but it would have been so unlikely that a Water Tribe Avatar would stand by while all the waterbenders were being taken away as to be almost impossible.

Besides all this, remember that the Fire Nation is a very top-down and authoritarian country. They take their cue from the Firelord, the generals, and the royal family. And Sozin was positive that the Avatar was an airbender; he said so in his final testament.

Sozin:  With Roku gone, and the great comet returning, the timing was perfect to change the world. I knew the next avatar would be born an air nomad. So I wiped out the air temples. But somehow, the new Avatar eluded me. I wasted the remainder of my life searching in vain. I know he’s hiding out there somewhere. The Fire Nation’s greatest threat… the last airbender

This testament would have informed the actions of the highest levels of government. I am certain Iroh knew the Fire Nation was looking for an airbender, even though he himself might have thought it to be a wild goose chase (especially once Zuko was banished). As far as why Zuko was near the Southern Water Tribe at all: if you check the map, it’s quite close to the Southern Air Temple, which Zuko would have visited to make sure there was no sign of the Last Airbender. I’m not sure where Zuko would have gone from there, but it certainly makes sense he was in those waters at that time and place in the show.