1. How does it feel being a fanon admin? What are some things you hope to achieve now that you are one?
It feels pretty good, though at the end of the day, I'm still just another user with pretty much the same level as the bulk of the userbase. I just hope to help keep our fanon space at the high quality it has been praised for – ensuring all are up to our standards and that they're all in the right place (categories).
2. What are you really hoping to see in Legend of Korra?
I want to see the roots of the Equalist Movement, the same character depth we got with most characters in ATLA, just how far we have come in 70 years, and of course some flashbacks to the past.
3. Did you see the movie, The Last Airbender? What disappointed you the most about it? Would you see parts 2 and 3, if they come out?
I have never seen it in full, but I have seen enough to see that it is a poor movie. I was truly disappointed by the bending – the moves were really weak and complicated. Further, the characters had no depth and emotion was sorely lacking. I don't think I would be up for anything further.
4. You've written/been writing several fanons. Was it difficult to make time to write them? Are you happy with the way they did/are turning out?
I have had a good amount of free time on my hands, though it has been dwindling as of late. I was not happy with how the first half of "Engagements" turned out, those needing some serious pre-release revisions, but I loved the second half. I like where "Weatherbenders" is headed currently, I'm just hoping I can keep it on the right track.
5. Where do you think the Wiki can be improved?
Our fanon space still has quite a number of articles that could use fixing up. Also, some canon space articles lack information that can be used, as was brought to my attention a few days ago. We are a solid wiki, but, users should not think everything is perfect – there is always room for improvement.
6. How has your time here been for you?
Oh, wow...get ready for rambling. :p My time here has been incredible. I have met many awesome people, just too many to name specifically – though I'm sure they know who they are. ^^" This wiki, thanks to its fanon space, has felt like I can free my mind up more...it helps me get some creative ideas out of my head and into words, such as "Weatherbenders". But, mostly I've loved my time here because of the community. If I didn't join... well, I wouldn't have made some close friends. :)
News: Demotes are officially making a comeback next BSST. Hooray for a clear schedule!
This is not going to be funny but rather a reflection on the shipping insanities of a truly crazed fandom - or should I say fandumb?
Even though 70.483% of all statistics are made up on the spot - and nine out of five people suffer from math illiteracy - let me give you a few fictional statistics. TvTropes is a popular website that deals with things seen constantly in media; examples of "tropes" include "Mind-Control Eyes", referring to the swirly/googly/pupil-less/iris-less/etc. eyes that the brainwashed usually have, such as Jet and Joo Dee, and parodied "for the lulz" in The Ember Island Players; "Sealed Good in a Can", which refers to any sort of benevolent force trapped somewhere, such as Aang in his iceberg; and "Kangaroo Court", describing a sham legal proceeding a lá Avatar Day. Now, TvTropes is a really great, really entertaining little site that makes sense and knows about what it is talking; most of its users are of the "Internet age" that loves sci-fi, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and video games. In fact, Avatar itself isn't a common staple on most trope pages.
Then one sees the pages on shipping.
Avatar features prominently on Die For Our Ship, Fan Preferred Couple, and Launcher Of A Thousand Ships - and that's only through clicking just three shipping trope links.
Furthermore, the Avatar shipping crises are highlighted on almost every single shipping trope. For a site that deals with mostly sci-fi, what's going on here?!
The answer is simple. After scouring the Internet, I came up with proof of the worst kind: Avatar has one of the most rabid ship followings - and one of the rudest, deadliest, most idiotic-beyond-a-scrap-of-doubt in any way, shape, or form, shipping wars. Cha, wait, there's another prominent Avatar feature! [facepalm]
So who's to blame for all of this? The fact that less than half of the fans of Avatar are female? The constant ship teases on the part of the creators? The woe-is-us-the-fanatics cry of "they're just shipping it because they're never seen the show"?!
It might just be a combination of all three. But first, let's take a look at the history of shipping. Warning: The following may be extremely disturbing; just remember that I had to experience . . . firsthand . . . as I was doing research for this article. [puts on aviator goggles] These goggles do nothing, but they sure make me feel much better!
And why am I qualified to write this kind of stuff? I've been everywhere. Zutara, Kataang, Zukaang, Sukka, Yukka, Tokka, Ty Lokka, Jetara, Hatara, Taang, Azulaang, Hakursa, Zhaozai, Tyzula, My Cabbages - you name it, I've seen it or read about it, not because I ship them necessarily, but because I like to keep myself informed on all things Avatar, and unfortunately Avatar is, as we have seen, one of the most, if not the most, shipping-and-flame-war-inclined fandoms. I have seen it all, and I'm got the mental scars to prove it. All I did was take the most mainstream of the shippings and bring it straight to you, no awkward fanfics or terrifying fanart required. You're welcome.
I've had some particular experience with Zutara, Zukaang, Sokkla, and other "crack" pairings, mostly thanks to my sister and my friends, few of whom ship Kataang. Therefore, one might say I'm more or less qualified. No, this column will not be about debunking these other pairings. The canon shippings - Kataang, Maiko, and Sukka - have been confirmed to occur in the end, and there is no way around the fact. This is only a history of the bloodiest war since the Amercan Civil War.
There will also be, towards the end of the article, a few spoilers of The Promise. The spoilers in question are very minor plot points and cover perhaps three panels in total, but it is understandable that some do not wish even these small ones. There will be another warning at that point in time. Just letting you know that I'm watching out for you.
In order to do research for this article, I am very literally going to go back in time. Arming myself with nothing more than the useless goggles mentioned above and my own wicked humor, I raced about six years back in time: In other words, I went back to the blogs and comments, etc., on websites since Avatar's creation. Let's see what the Avatards have to say.
Please note that the views expressed in this article do not reflect Avatar Wiki's or even the author's. Because the article deals with "proof" of non-canon shipping paraphrased or quoted from various blogs around the interwebz, please keep in mind that the author does not necessarily ship these ships. The author's preferred shippings may be found at the bottom of the article.
Lettuce souprise ewe - great restaurant name, by the way - by starting out at the very beginning. During the first few episodes, Zuko had this fangirls, sure, but no one really paid attention to him until the Agni Kai of 103; that was when the first wave of Zuko fanart rolled out, and some, looking for a shipping partner to admire Zuko's great qualities of aanger and aangst, turned to Katara, who was then the only recurring female character on the show. Aang acted particularly childishly in those first two episodes, and even his great explosion of sorrow-turned-to-Avatar-State in 103 was considered nothing more than a temper tantrum by some. Younger fans tended to identify with Aang and say it was Kataang at first sight; older fans tended to go Beauty and the Beast and/or misinterpreted Lion King II and assume that Zutara would result either in Zuko's defection or from the fact that he was a villain.
And by fans, naturally, I mean females.
The male fans, most of whom didn't care either way, either assumed a) Aang was the protagonist and therefore Kataang would happen or b) Avatar was an animé and therefore . . . Zutara would happen. Either way, very few realized Avatar was in fact Americanimé, not Japanimation - and trust me, viewers confuse those all the time.
- Personal story time: I was chatting over the web with one of my sister's friends, who mentioned she thought Zuko was "hot". Disgusted, I asked her how she could think that - after all, Zuko had an ugly scar. Cha, I was, what, eight at the time? The friend typed, "*shrug* idk he is". And that was the beginning of Zutara for many. Very many. Extremely many.
When 104 aired, almost everyone thought Suki would be a one-off character, and the Sokka fangirls - of which there were few at this point - squealed with delight at the prospect of their "holy shrine" finally "getting a girl". They jabbered and flamed those who didn't agree that Suki would return. Incidentally, this is a case of Fandom Gone Right.
The Kataangists - of which, again, there were somewhat less at this time - were excited about the Kataangst present in 104, and, let's face it, there were a few questionable shots, all of which were swiftly Photoshopped. However, the Zutara push was stronger - though very weak compared to what it would become - as Aang hadn't yet quite proved himself, and Katara still seemed more like an older sister to him than anything else.
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106 brought with it something much . . . straanger. The fanship fell in love with Haru, finding him as amazing as many did Zuko. He would not regain that type of popularity until his mustachio'd return in The Invasion. Haru was the first true potential "boyfriend" Katara had: Older, kind, and with the ability to cause the girl to spout off two speeches about hope and the revolution? True love! You can see it everywhere! Hatara - or Hataru; this ship never received a true all-encompassing name, and a handful of fans still stick stubbornly to the more portmanteau-but-less-orthodox Hataru - received a surprising amount of artwork, as well as a few AMVs, including a somewhat controversial one that ended up being taken off of YouTube before it ended up on the animé equivalent of RedTube. The video's title? "Hot HaruxKatara action". I had to shift through some five pages of comments before finding that name, and I'm not sure if it is correct or if the commenter was merely referring to the contents.
Everything seemed to settle down for quite some time - surprisingly - and nothing too terrible resurfaced until - oh my spirits shield your eyes no wait grab some acid instead - infamous episode 109. At the sight of Zuko tying Katara to a tree and who-knows-what-else, the older demographic female fans of the show almost all switched to Zutara, because a great many of them loved the idea of being in that much daanger.
- Time out here for a moment. There is such a psychological phenomenon known as "rape fantasies", wherein the [usually] female imagines herself as a victim. It's the same reason why good girls tend to like the bad boys, as alliteration claims, especially during their teenage years, and the same reason why there's a large following of vampyre-lycanthrope-demon stories like Twilight, because falling in love with a monster - or a daangerous boy - is considered pleasurable and a challenge for the victim. "Rape fantasies" don't have to be specifically about rape, of course, and most of it isn't, but the name has stuck thanks to a somewhat famous short story by that title published just as the necessary research was beginning to rise. Why is it that bondage is such common fetish fuel? Exactly. Why is it that Zutara is often depicted as violent, with Zuko or Katara dominating, usually painfully, over the other? Exactly.
All right, kids, back to the show.
Before the Zutara crowd was able to reorganize itself - remember, Zuko, though "hot", had yet to receive the massive fanbase he would later, due to the facts that the show didn't seem to be about shipping and it was not yet the ratings juggernaut of animated shows - we received what Bryke would later canonly call an "Avatar-crush" in an Avatar pocket guide, which means both parties were infatuated with each other. Zutara wasn't mentioned at all, thank goodness, and Kataang showed only Aang crushing on Katara. Jinko was also presented as an Avatar-crush.
But the original Avatar-crush about which I was speaking? Try some good, old-fashioned Jetara, with Jet as the terrorist bad boy that would later pave the way for Zutara, according to the fans. Yes, indeed, many Zutarians jumped ship and claimed that Jetara would be the new number one, and for a time, it was. Jetarians were highly vocal, being the Zutarians with finally some canon fanservice. Then Jet wasn't seen or heard from again, and the airing of the Blue Spirit bumped up Zutara back onto the radar . . . along with another unwanted side effect.
Oh yes. All together now, kids. Can we spell it out? Z-U-K-A-A-N-G, also known as Z-A-A-N-G. 113 provided a double whammy: Coupled with 112, it showed Zuko as being bad-ass enough to have Katara and reminded the audience of his existence, and it sparked Zukaang. For the first time, Zukaang fanart and fanfiction appeared, and a very large spurt of it at that. Then, when Zuko again faded from the radar, Zukaang artists disappeared into their yaoi corners, leaving Zutara to take the edge.
- Fun yet unsurprising fact: In a few surveys, the results seemed to be idealized and split along a margin: Above the fourteen-year-old line [in other surveys, this became a fifteen-year-old or sixteen-year-old line, depending on the website], a majority shipped Zutara; below it thrived the Kataangists. Yes, there is a psychoanalysis to go with this, but it'll come a bit later. Just keep that in mind for now.
Suddenly, the light at the end of the tunnel drew nigh for Kataangists. It was official! Aang had a crush on Katara! Some Kataangists assert that Aang fell in love with Katara at first sight, but analysis doesn't seem to show it that way, not at all. Either way, when 114 aired - with neither hide or hair of Zuko to be seen - it seemed like a great victory, but for the first time, a large number of them fled to the online forums to crow their victory. A few older, aangered Zutarians lashed out by claiming Zuko to be an even more powerful bender.
And the flame wars - oh, the humanity! - were formed.
Oh yes, this was the very beginning of the flame wars. Kataang fanart started to appear, even though the Zutara fanart was artistically better; this was because the Zutarians were older and had more experience. Furthermore, everything was still up in the air at this point, though most Genre Savvy-types, whether immune to shipping or not, said Kataang would win, mostly because Aang was the protagonist.
After 115 and the first ever official Kataang kiss aired, Zutarians took to fanfiction and fanart with literal thousands of hits for Katara asking Aang to give Zuko a kiss, thus proving Zutara. Many of these either had Katara later kissing Zuko herself or having Aang "kiss" Zuko, then tell him what was going on. Of course, the Zukaangists leaped on the chance and proclaimed that Aang would kiss Zuko and find he liked it. By this point, those still shipping Jetara were beating a dead horse, at least until Avatar Extras showed up and screamed, "Jet is the first boy Katara ever kissed!" Here's the truth from Word of God, aka Bryke: "No, he isn't."
Then 116 came. Aang burns Katara! Dun dun dun! The Kataangists stated it was clearly showing that Katara cared so much more about Aang and that Aang was just trying to impress her. The Zutarians crowed that Aang was showing himself off to be immature and that Katara would want a "real man" later on. Then came another slew of one-off fanart; Jeong JeongxKatara.
The fanfic world would never be the same again.
People began to ship crack. Very much of it. After the airing of 117, a vast amount of one-off TeoxAang fanwork appeared, as well as TeoxKatara and even TeoxSokka. One can find fanfic and fanart for almost every combination in existance now, not because of those people truly shipping it, but simply "for the lulz". Many fans realized there was a certain perverted in seeing images of ships that could never occur in real life.
- Side note: For those Taangists who also shipped Kataang, Teoph was a very popular side-ship.
Then came 118 and the start of Sokka's rise to popularity. Yukka was and remains the most popular Sokka ship, beating out Ty Lokka, Tokka, and even the officially canon Sukka. Fans of the shipping say it was built on true love, whereas Sukka was built on lust or something similar. Yue being a trapped princess and betrothed to someone else - Sokka initially falling for her looks but quickly finding her personality just as intoxicating - some compare the two to Aladdin and Jasmine from Disney's Aladdin', complete with flying
carpet bison ride. This arc was what truly brought Sokka to life, and many, many female fans started to fangirl to no end. Though he never achieved the "memetic sex god" status of Zuko, he swiftly turned into a fan-favorite and is actually present in more fanart than either Zuko or Katara or Aang, mostly because the artists will often add him in to a panel or at the corner, simply because "everybody loves Sokka". He is also a very common staple in fanon. Incidentally, he appears to be the only shipping character in the entire show immune to Die For Our Ship, mostly because there are so many options for him: Yue, Suki, Toph, Ty Lee, even Azula. There will almost invariably be at least one of the five open, and those who still don't have a ship for him will likely pair him off with Aang. Why is Sokkaang relatively popular? Three words: Season one Zutara.
118 also gave rise a . . . different . . . ship: Pakkatara. Yes, PakkuxKatara. Thankfully, the ship's popularity has been waned considerably, but there are a few out there still hanging to the misplaced belief that Katara "loves old men best". Similar is Zhaotara, which is usually depicted as sexual assault.
[coughs] 119 and 120 saw another jolt to Zukaang as well as Zutara. Zutara was the result of the fight scene between Zuko and Katara with Aang in the Avatar State just a few meters away. As noted previously, Zutarians tend to believe in violence = love, and the possibility of being discovered - in this case, by Aang - no doubt was an added thrill and a check-mark on their list of fetishes. The Zukaangists, on the other hand, claimed that the fight scene was in fact Kataang versus Zukaang, with both fighting over Aang, and Zukaang won. Zuko then carried Aang, tied down - see: Bondage - and slung over his shoulder "like a bride of old", to a mysterious ice cave where no one was around. Sokka's comment about "quality rope" sent the fandom into another whirlwind, with many believing that Sokka was officially into bondage.
Then started Book II: Earth. 201 - which also had the unfortunate side effect of starting a Firecest backing - and 202 gave powerful pushes in the Kataang direction, finally canonizing it in some eyes, with 202 also bringing Zong, a shipping that is still popular today amongst dislikers of Maiko but shippers of Kataang. 202 also sparked some Zutara-Kataang controversy: Did Katara kiss Aang? Bryke later confirmed that this was the first Kataang kiss, and some, who do not believe Avatar Extras, also hypothesize that Aang was the first boy Katara had ever kissed, as opposed to AE's claim of Jetara. Zutarians remain convinced it was no such thing or say it was an act of desperation.
204 brought with it the beginning of Taang, as many claimed that, like Sokka seeing love interest Yue and Katara seeing loved mother Kya, Aang's vision of Toph means Taang is canon. However, what these people often do not realize is that the Avatar's spiritual connection often works in different ways. 206 meant that the Taangists got another jolt . . . and then came 208 and the beginning of Tokka. There were many that noted the way Sokka seemed to care most that Toph was leaving, according to the Tokkans.
209 was a boost for . . . both Taang and Kataang. Whereas Kataang was canonically more prevalent, many Taangists used the screenshots from that episode - one of the few wherein Aang and Toph are often in close quarters and going with the Pink Boy/Blue Girl shipping "equation" - as "proof". 209 also brought another unwitting side effect: The beginning . . . of Irko, ZukoxIroh, and not in the father-son type of way that most people ship it [I would wager that most everyone who sees the show ships Irko father-son, but these fans thought of it . . . differently].
211, of course, was full of beautiful Kataang. Zutarians argued that Katara acted more like Aang's older sister, but an unbiased observer would likely say otherwise. As an anecdote, this episode was the one that caused my sister, a die-hard Zutarian, to grudgingly admit Kataang is a possibility. The fact that Katara was the only one who could calm him down - and furthermore, that Katara braved the whirlwind, sand, and Aang's "murder death kill" face - undeniably shows the Kataang.
- Time for a break called buddy:-buddy shipping or joint shipping: This is when two or more ships are shipped together. For example, Zutarians usually ship Taang as well, simply because they either a) like Aang and want him to end up with someone, b) recognize that Aang is needed in the story, or c) genuinely ship Taang. When Team Avatar was a quartet, Kataangists would often joint ship Tokka as well, neatly splitting the team up. Nowadays, almost all Kataangists also ship Maiko, and vice versa for Maikoists. When the final six-person Team Avatar came about, some began to ship joint in those as well. Common examples of Team Avatar ships were: Kataang, Sukka, Toko; Kataang, Tokka, Zuki; Zutara, Taang, Sukka. These three are the major Team Avatar joint ships. Buddy-buddy shipping unfortunately tends to give rise to non-canon or semi-canon ships, such as Zutara or Tokka. Another, less well-known example, is the curious case of the Zukrew, which refers to the Zuko, Mai, Ty Lee, and Azula group together during the first half of Book III. Joint shipping birthed Maiko, which is canon, and Tyzula, which is the most common Azula ship. Fans fine with Les Yay or Ho Yay ships usually ship Tyzula more or less to allow those characters relationships they wouldn't receive otherwise, but fans who are against those types of ships usually ship Azula with Sokka - if non-canon is all right - Chan, or no one at all. Back to you, TAD.
Thanks . . . other TAD? Anyway, time to move on and get working on the second half of Book II. 212 was clearly in every sense of the word a Kataang episode. ". . . and how I feel about you." It was also a major canonical milestone for Tokkans, as Toph more or less spent the time in the Serpent's Pass trying to attract Sokka's attention, even accidentally kissing Suki by mistaking her for her aforementioned crush. This episode additionally proved to be a Sukka hotspot, with regards to Sokka and Suki's affirmation of their relationship with a drawn-out and passionate kiss - just watch the tendon in Sokka's neck flex during that scene. Yukka fans received a d'aww moment when Sokka referenced his love for the unfortunately deceased princess several times, even not failing to return Suki's affections for a moment. Sadly, another side effect of this episode was the creation of two crack ships: SukixToph, wherein the accidental kiss would turn into a realization of love for both of them, and JetxZuko.
214 was both an uplift for Kataang and a blow to Tokka in one fell swoop: While Aang blushed furiously at Katara's appearance, Sokka said nothing about Toph's or in any way indicated some sort of positive emotion. He simply ignored it, to the anger of many Tokkans. Proponents of Jetko either abandoned ship or announced Jet's obsession with Zuko to be one of amor. 215, meanwhile, caused a very large amount of fan-hate for a particularly unsurprising reason; in fact, a few surveys that cataloged the amount of hate fan works on the web concluded that a certain female one-off character present in that episode has attracted even more Die For Our Ship fanatics than Mai. Even considering that the vast amount of Zuko fanfics are self-inserts, and the other half is mostly Zutara, the Zuko fangirls for some curious reason absolutely despised Jin beyond all reason, labeling her a Mary Sue, although a detailed survey done by yours truly on fanfiction.net revealed that over 60% of Zuko fanfics feature what may be called Mary Sue characters. Hypocrisy? Indeed. Jin, who is similar to a self-insert in the eyes of these fans, evidently aggravated them for being a canonical self-insert, and Jin was called a stereotypical sorority girl. In fact, the derogatory "sorority girl" label became so common that I parodied it by introducing a character called "Jin the Sorority Girl" on a webcomic of mine. Yes, poor Jin, who would never be seen again except in a flashback in 301, had been cast away by the fangirl brigade.
Skip forward now to 217, which featured both the canonization and the end of Jetara. Toph mentioned that Katara was lying when she said that Jet had not been her boyfriend, and yet Jet died at the end. It did feature a small moment of smiling for Kataang fans, as an upset Aang called Sokka's Katara-kisses-Jet plan "a bad [idea]", complete with a very mournful and slightly envious facial expression. The end of 218, as Katara kissed Aang, Sokka expressed happiness at "Suki"'s return, and the boys spoke of girls waiting for them, Sukka and Kataang fans - especially Kataang fans - were certain that Kataang was a no-brainer. 219 and Aang's double-hit of seeing Katara during his opening of the air/love chakra and later choosing Katara over mastering the Avatar State and potentially saving the world affirmed Kataang from Aang's perspective. Of course, I've already discussed this episode in great detail during my character analysis of Aang. Incidentally, the Kataang Forever forum was created the same day 218 aired.
And then . . . 220.
Some have said that if Bryke were to release an exclusive pro-Zutara version of that episodes, they would make millions, even if the fans were told it was non-canon. It would literally not matter whatsoever to them, and, in fact, the infamous "cave scene" of 220 is still the most-oft-cited piece of Zutara evidence in existence, especially by those who hated the dissimilar cave scene of 202. Many claimed that just as Kataang began in the Cave of Two Lovers, so would Zutara begin in a cave as well, and Katara's later anger during part of the second half of Book III: Fire served to quote-on-quote "cement" this theory into the fans' minds by expounding her behavior: Katara was furious at Zuko because he had betrayed her - and she had loved him. The vomit of fanart and fanworks that followed? There could not be a server large enough to hold all of them. Several famous images, with one particular painting spring to mind, focused on a theme of "Zutara, the Love that Could Not Be" by portraying Zuko and Katara as illuminated by the crystals, but with Aang and Mai - or, in the most well-known and likely well-drawn case, only their hands - visible in the artwork. Zutara has been specifically denied by the creators, and it is assumed we can trust their judgment. By the reverse, 220 is also considered an iconic moment for Kataang, as Aang sacrificed himself for her [see 219 as well], and she showed her own love for the young Avatar with her actions. To take a step back for a moment from the suspension of disbelief that is Avatar, the animation on her part was absolutely spectacular - yes, all areas of the show have a star treatment, but Katara's in this case especially - and I'd like everyone to give the animators a standing ovation. Yes, you. Stand up. What is this, Dora the Explorer? Stand up. There we go, thanks. Clap. All right, you can sit down now.
- Time-out number eleventy-twelve: There are two major fans of the show, casual and fanatic. Casual fans have seen most of the episodes and provide the majority of the viewers. It is common for casual fans, most of whom assume Avatar is indeed an animé, to ship Zutara, partly because they were simply basing their selection off of how the characters in question looked. Fanatic fans, which comprise most of the Wiki, are the quote-on-quote "experts", and quite a few of them shipped Kataang, either passively or actively. In other words, either they didn't even a single monkeyfeathers about it, or they really did like the shipping. Some of them were, and still are, Zutarians.
During the lull between Book II and Book III, Zutara exploded, with the massive cliffhaanger involved - and exceeding numbers of fans stating that Aang had indeed expired, with no word from Bryke either way - and the apparent "canonization" of the so-called beloved ship. Appeased and prepared to take on the world, they were ready for Book III . . . except that Mai decided to show up. In 301, at the same time as that first kiss on the ship, we lost a great many Avatar fans who were so pro-Zutara that an official pairing for Zuko that did not include a one-off character was too great for them. Maiko was labeled shallow, boring, and a swift cobble-together by creators who desperately needed to give Zuko a love interest that wasn't Katara, because she had already been given to Aang, the protagonist, and Avatar was a "kiddie show". The sheer amount of Die For Our Ship work that was released at this point in time is startling to say the least: Hundred and thousands of fans pouring hours and hours into anti-Mai propaganda, and thousands, possibly millions hours more spent watching, looking, and favoriting works entitled things such as "mai dies rofl" and "But Zutara is the Bezt", the latter presumably referring to Iroh's line from Bending Battle.
The first half of Book III was mostly pro-Kataang, with a few exceptions. 301 and 302 were undoubtedly Kataang, even featuring Katara's jealousy at Aang's "relationship" with On Ji, along with her seductive smile. 306 has Roku more or less predicting Kataang would occur. Unfortunately, Kataang did receive one major blow in the eyes of anti-Kataang fans: 307's portrayal of Katara as the Team Mom either colored Aang as suffering from an Oedipus complex or proved Katara to be his mother and nothing more. Of course, the canonites know that it is not so. 304, and to some 307, in particular also gave rising hopes to the Tokkans: In 304, Toph blushes at Sokka's approach, and Sokka gives her the piece of space earth at the end, while in 307, Sokka and Toph did have a deep conversation during the golden hour.
Then Haru and his mustache made of sexyfine showed up. And everything went downhill from there. There is still absolutely nothing as turned-perverse-by-the-fandom as Haru's moustache. Can we say "rise of Hatara redux"? Fortunately, few fans still shipped Hatara, having switched to Zutara or Kataang, but that didn't mean that fans didn't draw Katara as being jealous of the moustachioed young man.
Unfortunately, the following was supposed to be longer, but then Wikia decided to punch me in the face and destroyed almost two thousand words about the latter half of Book III, the graphic novel, and the bloody Legend of Korra [that little editor save feature? Hint: It doesn't work]. I will therefore summarize quickly, considering the short time I have [four minutes] versus the previous amount of time I was expecting to have [one hour]. 312 was a major Zutara hotspot, while 313 - with its rainbow and dragons forming a heart - became the Zukaang episode. 314 and 315 cemented Sukka, which is currently the third most popular Sokka ship after Yukka and Tokka and is mostly shipped passively by canonites as opposed to actively. Zutarians latched onto 316 and 317 for obvious reasons, as well as the many Zuko-Katara sequences in 318-320. The infamous Katara line "I'm confused" in 317 can be taken to mean two very different things: One, as Kataangists and canonites assumed, it could mean she's confused because of the War raging, and she doesn't want to lose Aang; two, as Zutarians declared, it can be interpreted as Katara having to choose between Aang and Zuko. 320 and 321 are considered to be fanservice episodes, as they contain "proof" for almost every shipping imaginable, from the Zukaang hug to the Zutara "Beauty and the Beast" moment, from the Sukka kiss to the Tokka holding hands of fate, from the Maiko reunion to the Kataang final kiss that beautifully ended the series. Zutarians complained it was too mature; they would not have complained had it been Zuko and Katara kissing, of course. Of course, we also saw Iroh drink some delicious tea; Tearoh seems to be the only ship shipped universally, and I have never met an Avatard who doesn't ship it or take it for granted. Following the airing of 321, of course, many fans took to the Internet in posts such as the following representative ones quoted directly from the source: "In public I say the ships didn't effect me but really it ruined the show for me" and "not a single one of my shipping was cannon, it broke my heart". These laments usually have the same sorrowful replies that one would expect for someone with a deadly disease who only has days to live. Indeed, it is a bit sickening to see "x-shipping withdrawal support groups", which have sprung up all over the Internet, as if the lack of Zutara, Tokka, or other ship is causing physical harm to the shippers.
Okay, so, remember how at the beginning there I warned you about spoilers for The Promise Part 1? Here they are. Please note that these are very small spoilers that do not take away from the overall effect of the graphic novel, though it is understandable if one would not wish to read these. The spoilers will begin at the end of the following sentence, and this is your last chance to skip down to the bottom. You have been warned; the spoilers have now begun. Katara and Aang now refer to each other as "sweetie", with Katara actually calling Aang her boyfriend; those opposing the ship claim sweetie to be a term of friendly endearment. Still, Kataang appears to be officially canon. Although some residual hints of Tokka linger yet, Sokka mentions his desires to visit Kyoshi Island, and there is a general vibe that Toph has possibly moved on. Zuko and Mai are indeed in a relationship, but Zuko is again refusing to inform Mai of his issues, as happened in Book III: Fire in the show itself. Those who still despise Maiko are now shipping Zukori - Kori being the name of a young female assassin who attempts to take Zuko's life and is featured in a grand total of approximately five panels. What an excellent shipping.
And Legend of Korra? Mass shippings for that started even before the teaser trailer was shown, with many loving the idea of Makorra, especially the Zutarians, as well as Korreelo [prior to Meelo's approximate age being revealed]. Yurra, whose name similarity to yuri is very appropriate, also took the fan world by storm, as a relatively major percentage of the fandom assuming, due to Korra's athletic look, that the new Avatar was lesbian. Following the release of the trailer and the SDCC of 2011, another spurt of shipping took hold: Makorra and its sister ship Korrolin [BolinxKorra, which has yet to receive an official name] became insanely popular, as did Amorra, which has the double effect of shipping a heroine with a villain and having the word "amor" in the ship name. Fun fact: When the poster featuring the New Team Avatar was released, Makolin exploded for a few brief hours before the two were revealed to be brothers; everyone not into Incest Yay immediately abandoned ship. It is likely to be the shortest-run ship in the history of Avatar. On the other hand, Makorrolin is the hottest new OT3. And as for Cargo Shipping? Mako and his scarf, Amon and his mask, and Bolin and his alleged motorcycle are now fan favorites.
But the scariest new ship?
Try Korraga. 'Nuff said.
So what do you think? Does the Avatar have a shipping fandom or a shipping fandumb? What are your thoughts, and why?
As for me? I ship Kataang, Maiko, and Yukka, as well as Tyzula and Tokka as my non-canon-but-possible-in-the-future ships. Naturally, if neither of these pan out, they will not be shipped.