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I have read many different comments and theories with a bottom line of "Aang was wrong not to have killed Ozai." This bottom line of this blog post is: "Was he?" And, as hard as it may seem to believe at first, every single one of those three parts of this blog post play a very important part of the point that I am trying to make. If you will stay with me until the end, I believe I will have accomplished getting my point across.
Aang's Spiritual Character
We all know Aang as the little Air Nomad child who followed the Air Nomadic beliefs in depth, yet life didn't turn out to be calm enough to insure no temptation. Yet, he stayed true to his ways, one of which being his vegetarian belief. Through the entire series Aang proved to believe in his ways, and that he did not want to go against what the monks had taught him. In fact, the only time he was seen killing a living thing was in the Si Wong desert, where he killed the buzzard wasp that had captured Momo. But it wasn't just a plain simple story, no, sir, it was, in fact, one of the most complicated times in his life - the time when he had just lost his dear friend and companion, Appa. So on the verge of losing another one, he followed his animal instincts, thus ignored his spiritual beliefs, and ended the buzzard wasp.
A Child's Spiritual Character
We all know that children are very much unlike us. In fact they are so different from us, that we sometimes do not understand them. Yet that is because they are so pure, and we are so altered by this world, that we are the ones who lack their perspective; it is not that they lack ours, for ours is impure.
Now a small child is, as we all, know extremely honest, something we call lack of manners. Now to end my speech about our points of views being the impure ones, I shall directly go on to say that I am going to give you an example of a real-life situation I witnessed at my church:
- A little boy goes up to a man with a prosthetic leg and asks him why his leg is like that. The man tells him that he was in an accident. The boy then comments on how the man is like a robot. The man takes his turn to give out a heartfelt laugh, yet I doubt that any of us would feel comfortable if that was our child, would they?
The Battle with Ozai
As we all know very well, the battle with Ozai was preceded by an inner struggle between Aang's spirit. This strugle was the most difficult he had yet encountered, because it was not his animal instincts, but his, once again, spirit that was telling him to kill Ozai, yet telling him not to do so. To put this much simpler: Aang had a much harder time, seeing that he could not thoroughly rely on himself to make the right decision. Was he going to risk the world's and his friends' demise? Or was he to go against everything that the monks - now merely a memory - had taught him, knowing that their teachings were pretty much the only thing he had left from them?
Aang went through many hardships trying to decide, yet people never see that as a factor, it seems. If Aang was to kill Ozai, and there was no other, how would it all work out? Would Aang go against his personal characteristics, and the ones of a person his age? How would he live with himself knowing that he had ended a man's life? Soldiers, grown men, come back from war and go insane knowing that they have killed someone. How was Aang, a child, expected to do so? You say that it wasn't fair for Zhao and Combustion Man to die, yet Ozai stay alive. Well answer me this question then: would it have been fair if Aang killed Ozai, and had to always live with the memory that it was he that did it? Hollywood wouldn't have permitted that, first of all, but also all the Kataang shippers and most of the shows fans would have been disappointed, seeing that it would only be a monster that could endure all of that and yet go through all that happened after. There would be no Kataang, nor Zutara, for Katara would have stayed to help Aang, yet her heart would have been broken while doing so. But not only that; this would have caused so much devastation of the fragile balance, until it had finally come down to war again. The Fire Nation colonies and the Earth Kingdom would start a war leading to one obvious and huge consequence - no Republic City, thus no Legend of Korra, and so on.
Changed your mind yet?