You have healing abilities. The great benders of the Water Tribe sometimes have this ability.
Like mother, like daughter.
I definitely could manage that. Let’s gets this badass list started:
#5 — Effortlessly Awesome
Aang pulls off this wonderful juxtaposition between a kid that loves running around chasing penguins but also nonchalantly being an incredibly skilled fighter. Case and point in the wonderfully staged attack on the Earth King’s palace. Just 9 episodes ago he couldn’t move a rock to save his life, now without looking he bitchslaps a massive bolder into dust. It’s this amazing combination of his lighthearted personality mixed with an amazing fighting presence and complete lack of arrogance that makes this moment, and Aang in general, so great.
#4 — Outsmarts His Enemies
Aang doesn’t get enough credit for his intelligence. For such a young guy he is remarkably good at reading people and their weaknesses. This is brilliantly exemplified by his fight with Zhao up on the ships in The Deserter. He recognises Zhao’s lack of restraint and promptly skips around the place insulting him. Aang doesn’t throw a single punch yet he comprehensively wins the fight because Zhao destroys his only means of transportation. This is an experienced war commander losing to a 12 year old pacifist. It’s brilliant.
#3 — Charms The Pants Off Anyone
One of the defining interpersonal traits that Aang has that makes him such a great person and even better Avatar is his heartwarming charm. He throws a dance party for a group of kids that have been socialized to hate everything he stands for as the Avatar. But Aang recognizes they are the future of the Fire Nation and that showing them a glimpse of freedom is the best he can do for them in that moment in time. And as Toph rightly points out, who knew Twinkletoes could dance? It’s such a great moment as it shows everything Aang is as an Avatar — committed, generous and graced with impeccable timing.
#2 — It’s Not Over
Who knew having a staring contest with a glowing fish could be this awesome? Well it is. Music, cinematography and atmosphere all combine perfectly to make an unforgettable moment in the S1 finale. Aang enters the Avatar State through sheer force of will. The music rises as he stands in the center of the oasis while the Koi fish circles him. Then it all goes silent as he descends into the pitch blackness of the pond and emerges as a really awesome fish. Even Zhao would happily admit how badass this is, assuming one can talk underwater.
#1 — Even With All The Power In The World
Aang has tons of moments where he uses his guile and strength to beat opponents. Equally there are numerous times where he uses the Avatar State to comprehensively overpower his enemies. But what still arguably stands out the most is that even with the ability to end his most despicable opponent, he still stays completely true to his moral beliefs. Ozai is the embodiment of an ideology that wiped out his entire people. He torments, assaults and humiliates Aang throughout their only battle. Yet when the time comes where Aang could end it all in a single moment and take the easy way out, he resists. It is testament to Aang’s character and stature that with all the power in the world he’s still just a kind hearted pacifist and that frankly makes him a complete badass.
zuko started the series really buff and totally up for this banishment thing.
but after going on even worse shit list for the fire nation, he’s forced to go on the run and no more three course meals. loses a lot of muscle weight, but still really rather hot.
i feel katara’s hair is sometimes a visual metaphor for how done she is with shit. exhibit a is at the beginning of the series when she is relatively calm and happy. minor party at the front, but business all the way back.
come the end of the show she is just totally done with everyone’s shit — her hair is full on clubbing mode.
and of course who could forget aang. starts off as a really innocent goofy small kid.
and then somehow through massive amounts of emotional turmoil, dying once and a getting lost on a mystical island he shows a clear potential of having truly spectacular cheekbones.
we know he followed through on this potential.
the siege of the north + scenery
a happy family
has anyone got an HQ link to that comic con poster with original gaang? the one where it says “old friends”. cheers
EDIT: thanks avatarseriesfan!
Always a gentleman.
what an awfully polite message, i can’t help but happily oblige.
one of the aspects of azula’s character that i find so fascinating is how she fits into the royal family dynamic. zuko is always thought of as the kid that had the really rough life growing up in the fire nation (“azula was born lucky, i was lucky to be born”) but azula problematic childhood arguably affected her just as much as zuko’s did.
she perceived that her mother didn’t love her. she saw that her father hated weakness and was physically abusive to those that he held in contempt. azula was indeed gifted with extraordinary talents, but as spiderman’s dead mentor guy would say, with great powerful comes great responsibility. azula is obsessed with perfection and when you look at her relationship with her father you begin to understand why. it was what he admired most in his daughter, her exceptional fighting ability. yet azula would have been keenly aware that one slip up on her part could result in the same kind of treatment zuko received. her lack of a fulfilling and protective relationship with her mother denied her the opportunity to have a healthy outlet for any of the anxiety or fear that she would have felt from having so much pressure on her very capable shoulders.
azula certainly got a better deal than zuko in the growing up stakes, but while zuko learnt to deal with the emotional rejection and physical trauma, azula never had the means to deal with her issues. it’s why the moment when ozai refuses to take her on the assault of the earth kingdom has such a profound impact on her psychological framework. azula is blatantly confused and upset with her father, two emotional states that we had yet to really see from her. she had done everything he had asked of her, and all she really wanted was to be by his side when they annihilated people’s livelihoods. her power and competence was the only thing she had thought her father loved her for, but she learns that the person ozai loves the most is of course ozai. he gives her the meaningless title of fire lord and leaves her to her own devices. her father’s abandonment of her is just one of the straws that eventually breaks the back of whatever animal is hybrid with a camel in avatar.
none of this of course is meant to excuse azula’s behaviour. but i think it’s both essential and so interesting to look at how her relationship with her parents informed azula’s ideals and anxieties.
Erm, interesting question! I’m going to separate the books from the tv show, as they differ significantly in their interpretation and portrayal of the characters. So when I talk about GoT, I mean the show, not the books.
Avatar does female characters better than GoT. In the HBO series, femininity is often portrayed as something that inherently weak and to be scorned at. Unconventional female characters (Arya, Brienne) often exhibit internalised misogyny which simply isn’t present in their book characterisations. The show suffers from thinking a badass female character = fighting female. Avatar completely avoids this pitfall by consistently showing that traditional female characteristics are nothing to be ashamed of. The line spoken by Suki, “I’m a warrior, but I’m a girl too” is pretty much a perfect summation of how ATLA treats femininity.
GoT does moral ambiguity better. It’s not really a fair comparison because frankly the entire series is based off the premise that there are not inherently “good and evil” people. That’s a fake dichotomy. The real world is messy and GoT captures that beautifully. Avatar does a good job too, Mai being a great example of a character you’re not quite sure whether or not to root for. But in the end ATLA has some very one dimensional villains while GoT pretty much spends its entire time making you doubt your original perceptions of the characters.
Oh, and GoT wins hands down in terms of foreshadowing. It is actually ridiculous how many little one liners in the show come back to haunt the characters. Equally the prophecies that are uttered in the show are a great source of speculation (“Three treasons you shall know, once for blood, once for gold and once for love.”) There’s just so much fans can get stuck into. ATLA has excellent foreshadowing, but on the other hand things like Aang learning energybending in the finale could have been better set up.
In the end both series are spectacular, and they are too different to make a fair judgement in certain categories. Bryke should offer their services to write female characters better, and in return they can give some tips on plotting.