Examine a Ship: Zuko and Katara

Warning: Potential spoilers ahead.

I'm sticking with Avatar for another installment, mainly to help build up steam for when I get out of the Avatar franchise into other franchises. So, I'm outside of my personal ship to one that I still have very little difficulty understanding.

Zuko's and Katara's stories mirror each other. They each start out brash, young, untaught and impatient to regain something important to them. They've each lost something important along the way, something that cannot be regained (specifically, a youth with their mother). They've each been accompanied, on their respective quests, by a loving, somewhat goofy family member who they've each hurt along the way.

That's a lot to have in common and a lot to bond over. Considering that he's a fire bending male known for bursts of rage and she's a water bending female who has, amazingly, calmed down a nigh-raging Avatar with just a touch, they are the very embodiment of yin and yang. Even without a romantic angle to their relationship, I imagine they'd find uncommon understanding in each other.

Commonalities not being all to it, there's also the story in the show as it brings them together, in two big episodes. In the first, The Crossroads of Destiny, Katara sees a potential redemption for Zuko and almost readies to use a special reserve of spirit water to cure his scar. And, it's been noted that she's the only person, other than Zuko himself, to touch his scar.

In that episode, Zuko is given the choice between redemption and a return home that he's longed for and... he chooses wrong, he betrays Katara. There doesn't need to be more than that at this point. It ramps up her emotions because she feels betrayed and he feels guilt.

The other episode is The Southern Raiders. I'm not going to talk overmuch about that, here, because it's going to be the subject of its own Stuff Done Right episode. But, the upshot is that Zuko displays an understanding of Katara's position and emotions and that she's able to forgive him (more details later on).

There we have an emotional connection, shared pain, shared joy of achieving what was once lost, and an emotional connection and history.

In the previous installment, I noted that Aang's marriage to Katara was a sign to the rest of the world that cross-National marriage was acceptable. I think Zuko (particularly as the Fire Lord) and Katara (as a freaking legendary savior who will probably have Movers made about her life) can make that message as well.

Politically speaking, on top of being an open sign to the Fire Nation that the bigotry of the past century was a thing of the past (not that it would go away so easily, as American history and American present testifies). It would also be a connection between the highest level of the Fire Nation to learn about and gain access to be in better position to make amends, on behalf of the Fire Nation, to the Water Tribes.

And, without getting into too much detail, I imagine much of the fan fiction includes quite a bit of steam heat.

As last time, I ask for both comments and suggestions as to the next ship.



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