The blue fire throne room scene with Azula and Lo & Li
I had not really noticed how sad this scene was before rewatching it again. The first thing I noticed is that Azula really thought that her father had sent Lo and Li to come check on her, when realistically that would be extremely unlikely, given by how he’s way too preoccupied with trying to take over the world. What that implies is that Azula was desperately looking for any sign that her father still cared about her after he discarded her by leaving her in the Fire Nation.
The second thing I noticed is that Azula tells Lo and Li that she will be the greatest Fire Lord in Fire Nation history. It looked to me like Azula was trying to fill in the void she felt with some new purpose. Deep down, what Azula really wanted wasn’t to be Fire Lord. She wanted to accompany her father to the Earth Kingdom, but he discarded her when he no longer had any use for her. Azula therefore was trying to convince herself to be happy with the fact that she will be Fire Lord.
Azula’s whole world was unraveling. She no longer had her two friends, brother, or father. In that scene, Azula is desperately trying to maintain some sense of normalcy. She wanted to believe that Lo and Li had been sent by her father and also declared that she would be the best Fire Lord even though that isn’t what she really wanted. Everything else she truly cared about was gone. That is why Azula was probably trying to desperately convince herself that everything would be okay as long as she could prove how she would be the best Fire Lord in history, because she felt so alone, hurt, and confused.
look at this review I wrote for a class
Avatar: The Last Airbender was one of my favorite shows growing up. It’s about a twelve-year-old boy, Aang, destined to save the world from the Fire Lord Ozai before he destroys the world. Aang is the Avatar, the bridge between the spirit and human world and master of all four elements. People in this world can manipulate air, water, earth, and fire, also known as bending. Aang travels the world with his friends: Katara, the last waterbender of her tribe and only female master waterbender; Sokka, Katara’s nonbending brother, master swordsman and strategist; Zuko, a firebender and reformed son of Fire Lord Ozai, and Toph, a blind earthbender who rocks the world. Aang was the only airbender left after Zuko’s great grandfather committed genocide against the Air Nation, only surviving because he was frozen in ice for 100 years. This children’s cartoon played a role in the person I am today, and it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever watched. That said, A:TLA still has faults, especially regarding the main character. I love him, but Aang’s writing has a lot of flaws. They’re not the endearing kind, and caused me to dislike the character as time passed.
His faults begin with his backstory. Upon learning that he’s the Avatar, Aang ran away from his home, leaving his people behind. In The Guru (S3, Ep 19), he ran away from learning how to control the Avatar State, which allows him to use his Avatar abilities to the fullest extent. Aang left because Katara was in danger. He had to choose between the fate of his friends and the fate of the world. Aang picks the one that almost killed him. The last instance is in the series finale (Sozin’s Comet, S3 Eps 18-21), right before his fight with Ozai. Aang is handed answers to his problems. He’s told that he has to kill Ozai, but his people were pacifists. He ran away and learned a way to defeat Ozai, but he didn’t work for it. He should have learned from his mistakes, but he never did due to poor writing choices. He doesn’t grow at all, especially in comparison to the other characters. Zuko went from an antagonist to one of the best characters because he saw the effects of the war and wanted to restore his nation’s honor. Sokka and Katara started out as untrained kids from the Southern Water Tribe, but they became unbeatable warriors. Toph went from a guarded, entitled rich girl to someone who could be vulnerable.
Aang’s character arc was also flawed because it completely undermined Katara’s. She didn’t know how to bend before going to the Northern Water Tribe and fought an old man who refused to teach her to fight because she was a girl. Katara lost that fight, but ended up learning anyway. This fourteen-year-old girl became a master waterbender in a matter of weeks. She took down soldiers with a flick of her wrist (The Earth King, S2 Ep 18 and The Day of Black Sun, S3 Eps 10 and 11). Katara learned how to control blood, manipulating the human body (The Puppet Master, S3 Ep 8). She was able to defeat one of the best firebenders and heal Zuko from a fatal injury (Sozin’s Comet, Eps 18-21). And yet, she and Aang got together at the end of the series. She never hinted at having feelings for Aang, even after the two times he kissed her without her consent (Day of Black Sun, S3 Ep 10 and The Ember Island Players, S3 Ep 17). Both times, she looked visibly uncomfortable, but Katara and Aang still became a couple. It seemed like an obligation. She was constantly taking care of those around her, and it felt like she was doing it for Aang. It made her a prize to be won. Aang even says that she’s his “forever girl” (Nightmares and Daydreams, S3 Ep 9). To completely ignore Katara’s development and objectify her is terrible writing. The “hero gets the girl” trope is a dated disappointment. When I saw it in my favorite show, it was irksome.
Regardless of my qualms with Avatar: The Last Airbender, it remains one of my favorite shows. Every other character, even the villains, were well developed. Almost every character has a detailed backstory. Even filler episodes were well written. For example, The Tales of Ba Sing Se (S2 Ep 15) was a series of vignettes that did nothing to forward the plot, but it showed little glimpses into the characters lives, and allowed a better understanding of them. For some odd reason, the only thing that was written poorly was the protagonist, and it’s always irritated me.
biggest thanks to @tiny-katara cilla helped me edit the whole thing and I couldn’t have done it without her <3
One piece of Avatar lore I don't quite believe is that most avatars don't learn they're the avatar until they're told on their 16th birthday.
like, POV you're some Earth Kingdom kid who knows the previous Water Tribe avatar died suspiciously close to the time you were born. You CANNOT tell me that that entire class-year of starry bright-eyed children doesn't spend every waking moment trying to prove they're the avatar. "Shut up Hang Lee you're not the avatar I'M the avatar. That stream just moved toward me." "Nuh-uh a fish did that and Avatar Tepek died on the summer solstice and YOU'RE a winter baby." "All the seasons are opposite in the water tribe Hang Lee!" "Nuh-uh"
You're 8 years old with all your other 8-year-old friends at your first day of How To Throw A Rock Class you CANNOT tell me that every kid present doesn't waste half the class trying to catch grass on fire with all the sincerity and conviction of a gas station hopeful snagging a mega-millions lotto ticket with their Mars bar and $30 gas fill-up.
AZULA IN THE SPIRIT TEMPLE is a new Avtar graphic novel announced at SDCC!
The last time Azula appeared in post-ATLA story was 6 years ago in Smoke and Shadow Part 3. Additionally, new Korra graphic novel trilogy was also announced!