Here we go. This is my personal opinion of Aang and is still a work in progress. Naturally, this was inspired by Vulmen's morality blog, as well as his Katara blog.

TThis is an Aang/Kataang chapter-by-chapter analysis. Enjoy.

Book 1: Water

The Boy in the Iceberg

After running away and feeling extremely ashamed of himself, Aang first wakes up in . . . in a girl's arms. He has been through so much trauma in the "seconds" just prior to his reawakening - as he, naturally, doesn't remember the hundred years he spent frozen - he simply shut off. What do I mean by that? Take it from my rather painful personal experience. After one has gone through that much trauma, one enters almost a state of shock, becoming confused and seemingly "not caring" about what is happening, almost as a defense mechanism. Aang doesn't want to be reminded of what he did, so he blocks out everything, instead focusing on his savior. Though some might believe that Katara "had him at the first smile", I would like to firmly say she didn't; rather, due to the innocent smile and Aang's inherent trust in all people, he was swiftly able to "snap back" and become her friend. As well, since he wanted to move as far away from his painful memories as possible, he was also quick to show off his bison, his Airbending, and his "way with animals", in the hopes of endearing the Southern Water Tribe to him. Since the Air Nomads had just so recently threatened to take away everything, Aang wanted to protect him with a "cloak of family", one might say, and he also doesn't want this "cloak" to be jeopardized by the fact that he is the Avatar. Essentially, he wants a clean slate, and this he does receive. However, Aang then learns how long he was in the iceberg, a clearly devastating blow, and, once again, as a defense mechanism almost, he focuses on the now and the positive, something he later does throughout the series.

The Avatar Returns

Having just endangered his newfound friend Katara, Aang naturally helps her out; technically, this happens in the previous chapter, but I felt the need to include it in this one instead. He aids Katara in returning to the village and confesses to his mistakes; as always, he believes that "honesty is the best policy", even if it isn't, and when the villagers banish him, Aang feels like he has lost the Air Nomads all over again, and it is once again his fault. Much to his surprise, Katara offers to go with him, but he knows that she doesn't really want to do so; therefore, he is somewhat relieved when she does decide to stay, though clearly he is simultaneously hurt and alone once more. Clearly, Aang is reluctant to leave the South Pole - and his new family - as he stays close enough to the village to see the Fire Nation ship approach. Still feeling protective and hoping they will take him back, Aang saves them, and he gives himself up on the hopes of breaking free and returning. Later on, after said breaking free, he is surprised by the fact that Katara and Sokka have come to save him, and he realizes that he has finally been "accepted" into the family, so to speak. Afraid that his family will abandon him, Aang explains that he never truly wanted to be the Avatar, and as soon as he is able, he immediately springs back to speaking of lighter things. Note that there was no Kataang in this chapter, just a lost boy looking for a home.

The Southern Air Temple

Aang is finally back in his home . . . but he doesn't want to be reminded of his . . . running away. He is sticking to the hope that he is not the last Airbender, but he is only running away from his feelings as well. When Aang sees the statue of Monk Gyatso and how tarnished it is - as well as how lonely and empty the rest of the temple is - he realizes that perhaps something really has happened. After seeing the Avatars in the inner chamber, he begins to understand his duty . . . but this is interrupted by the arrival of another relic from his Air Nomad past. Paranoid and wanting everything, Aang chases after it only to come upon the skeleton remains of his "father-figure", Monk Gyatso, and he suddenly realizes that Katara was right; he is the last Airbender; he has lost his family, and he is desperate to find another. Although he goes into the Avatar State, Katara manages to comfort him by accepting him officially into the family. Thus, like a starved animal sleeping after a meal, Aang is reassured, and though he still is grief-stricken, he understands. Convinced that he, Momo, and Appa are the last of the Air Nomads, he doesn't even think to search for the other bat lemurs that could be around.

The Warriors of Kyoshi

Now that Aang has secured his family, his next step is to secure his place as "center"; this includes, in his case, attention-seeking, much like, hey, me. At the beginning, Katara isn't paying enough attention to him, leading Aang to perform more and more tasks, and when the people of Kyoshi - like Koko - finally give him his "attention", he revels in it, relishing every last drop. Eventually, however, Aang realizes that the Kyoshi attention isn't the kind for which he's looking; he wants attention from his own family, so he attempts to make Katara jealous, though this backfires in turn. When he later receives the attention he wants, Aang is overjoyed, but this feeling is crushed when he returns to the village only to find that Zuko is attacking. Knowing that this is his fault - and he will never stay in another place like this for extended periods of time throughout the series, not including Ba Sing Se - Aang fights out of protection for his new "extended" family, although he withdraws after Katara's explanation: To save Kyoshi, he has to leave and never return, and he does so. In the end, however, his intense need to protect everyone, spurned by his loss of his people, causes him to ride the Unagi and "save the day". Katara gives him the "attention" he desires, and he knows that he has not only acquired a new family but also secured his place in his own. The Kataang issues here were mostly jealousy, not any actual shipping.

The King of Omashu

Aang returns to one of his favorite places, relieved to see that not everything has changed in the past hundred years, and his first thought is to have some fun - with his family. However, when he lands himself into trouble, he is surprisingly not upset, and I think that this is because he is confident in his ability to get them out of anything; when his family is taken from him, Aang naturally becomes angry, and he takes part in the challenges to get them back. Finally, asked to figure out the king's name, Aang pieces together things like the snarkling laughter, etc. - and likely Flopsie - to realize that the king is, in fact, his old friend. Though shocked by how much things have changed, he is relieved to see that some things never do.


We don't truly see much of Aang in this chapter, sadly, but what we do see is interesting. Aang ends up playing with a butterfly instead of aiding Katara, showing that he honestly doesn't care very much about the Haru issue, at least not enough to be serious about it; later on, however, he flies Appa over to get her out. When it's clear this isn't going to happen, Aang is quick to come up with an idea; he wants Katara out, and he wants her out as soon as possible. Pleased at some action - finally! - and stealthily sneaking aboard the ship, Aang, of course, fights in the "revolution", though said revolution isn't exactly his, and he is only a part, [cough M. Night cough]. Finally reunited with Katara at the end, he is again the goofy kid; overall, this isn't exactly an Aang-centric chapter, so his appearances are few and far between.

Winter Solstice, Part 1: The Spirit World

Well, well. Aang begins by having a break-down moment. In tune with nature, it's terrifying for him to see what has come of the world in this absence; he feels as if it is truly his fault, and he is only comforted by the idea of renewal. Note. It's not Katara but the acorn who comforts him. Always the optimist and quick to trust, Aang feels as if it is his duty to save the village, and he attempts to do so, even though he fails. Now thinking that there is no hope for him - he just lost Sokka! Come on! - he returns dejectedly to the village only to realize that he is in the Spirit World. Only able to keep his inner turmoil as bay by being the intense optimist he always is, Aang sets out to indeed save Sokka again, but he is stopped by a dragon. Terrified but, as always, quick to trust, he allows the dragon to show him a vision, and he actually goes with the dragon. Why? Aang believes he just doomed the entire village, and doing something is a way to cope. Simple as that. Confident that it isn't a trap - really? - he agrees to speak to Roku, his past life; he needs someone to lean on, someone who understands the position he's in. Returning to the village again, he hopes that Roku will be able to finally tell him what he must do to save the world. Monk Gyatso did say that Aang would meet someone who would help him, and perhaps this is what he meant? Now determined and with a plan of action - and a good plan at that - Aang, of course, wakes up next to the statue. Being in tune with nature, he immediately understands the spirit's anger, and he realizes that it and the spirit faced the same issue: The destruction of the forest. While Aang suffered internally, the spirit did so externally, through fury instead of depression; in essence, their emotions were the same. Therefore, he is able to calm Hei Bai in the same way Katara calmed him: With the promise . . . of renewal.

Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku

I’d like to remind you that in in 104, it was Aang’s fault that the Kyoshi Warriors were in trouble, and he still believes that he could have saved the Air Nomads had he stayed with them. Thus, at the beginning, his plan is to go alone, but, still seeking his family, he is pleased when they decide to accompany him. Determined to keep everyone safe, Aang risks his own life, and when Sokka falls from the saddle, it’s as if it’s Aang who fell. Running the blockade, he seems apprehensive when he comes to Crescent Island, but he is happy to find that the Fire Sages serve the Avatar. He’s back in Kyoshi Island. Until they turn on him. When Shyu finds them, Aang is quick to trust as always, and this time it pays off. Although disappointed by the Firebending dilemma, he is, as always, a cheerful optimist. It is here that it becomes clear: Aang has no idea what the Avatar’s duty is, beyond going around and just . . . helping people. Here, finally, Roku can tell Aang the latter’s “quest”, but this only terrifies Aang further; he is clearly unready to accept this. In the end of the chapter, in fact, Katara and Sokka comfort him, especially Katara, because she knows that something is definitely bugging him. Katara seems in tune about Aang’s emotions, as she demonstrated in the previous chapter with the acorn.

The Waterbending Scroll

At the beginning, Aang is extremely worried; although he's an optimist, even he can go into depression, and it is Katara who, naturally, calms him down. This chapter highlights a factor in the entire Kataang relationship, though not a good one: Katara is jealous of Aang's natural talent. Aang, interestingly enough, has the skill to be a Waterbending Master . . . but doesn't work nearly hard enough, which is why ends up Katara leapfrogging him later. Anyway, Aang is hurt by Katara's envy, and I have the feeling like he wonders if he should pretend to be a bad Waterbender, but that's simply not him. Instead, eager to have Katara be at his level to stop any bad feelings between them, he attempts to help Katara, and he doesn't seem too upset when she uses the scroll for her own purposes. At the end, he is more than elated to congratulate her "Waterbending Mastery" [cough Aang did all the work/is better cough], but this definitely solidifies their relationship into one of positive feedback.


Hey all you Kataang fans that claim they were in love at the first smile, this chapter proves it wrong. Aang is shown to be happy and carefree, agreeing with the fact that he is a "goofy kid". While Katara is obviously infatuated with Jet, Aang is more infatuated with the, mm, the lifestyle, and he, although clearly uncomfortable with the decision, chooses to trust Jet, if only because being here makes him feel "normal" as he hasn't for a while; however, unlike Katara, Aang is not blind, and he is able to realize what Jet plans to do. At the very end, he has an extremely uncharacteristic moment of hopelessness, but, being Aang, he springs back almost instantly. Throughout the chapter, especially at the confrontation scene at the end, we strangely don't see any Aang-Jet jealousy, which we do see later. This proves that Kataang at this point wasn't yet a reality.

Also: The love hat that Katara made for Jet is worn by Aang. Foreshadowing, anyone? [clinks Kataang glass]

The Great Divide

My one issue with this chapter is that it takes everyone out of character. Aang is always one to help people, but he wouldn't suddenly get aangry like he did. He does attempt to compromise, but he wouldn't split up the two tribes like that. I understand how hungry and cranky he is by the end of the ordeal, but still, his facial expressions . . . just out of character. In fact, he only returns to character at the very end, when he proves his trickster hero archetype with the "You could call it luck . . . or you could call it lying" exchange about Jin Wei and Wei Jin. Overall, this is the one chapter that just didn't fit his character.

The Storm

Where to even begin? Aang is having nightmares because he feels like he literally left the world to suffer in his absence; the fisherman only serves to confirm this, and just like how he ran away from the Southern Air Temple, he flees, unable to cope with the pressure. It is only when Katara finds him - Katara, the only one who can calm him down! - that he confides, spilling all of his fears and worries onto her. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved, and Aang feels better after he speaks to Katara. In fact, Aang almost goes into the Avatar State in his grief, but Katara's cry of pain is enough for him to come his senses and understand that his very mixed bag of emotions. Finally, however, after almost freezing himself into an iceberg a second time and saving the fisherman, Aang understands his duty as the Avatar and, though he is far from happy, accepts it.

The Blue Spirit

Interestingly, Aang doesn't go to find a cure until after Katara is sick - no, not because of Kataang, but because with two people sick it has become serious; if all three become ill . . . Aang has little to no sense of self-preservation, as instead of attempting to fight off the Yu Yan Archers or hyper-running away, he decides to help his friends by finding the frogs. He is an amazingly selfless person - and if you know the reference, Courage, yes, yes, the seventh book - and is thus captured by the Yu Yan. When Zhao insults his people, Aang's spirit is somewhat broken, but as always, he bounces back, not with anger, but with the determination to save his friends. Always, always, always quick to trust, he simply believes that the Blue Spirit will aid him, and so he goes with the Blue Spirit. In fact, although he's scared, he's also confident, at least his friend turns on him; Aang doesn't do well with betrayal. At the moment of truth, when he realizes that it's his old enemy Zuko who saved him, Aang doesn't leave him to die, and he stays with Zuko until he is sure the latter is going to be all right. He even attempts to make friends with Zuko before returning, dejected that his approach hasn't worked, to Katara and Sokka.

The Fortuneteller

First of all, it’s not love. Aang finds that he has a crush on Katara. Infatuation. He doesn’t love her - not yet. Rather, after traveling with her for some tim - —at least a month or two - he’s come to crush on the only girl in their group, which makes perfect sense, actually. Thus, he attempts to impress her. This is a case of the freshman crushing on the popular upperclass(wo)man. When Meng tries to move in, Aang doesn’t even realize it, it seems, but I think that he rather enjoys the attention, though not enough to return it, instead using Meng’s ideas in an attempt to sway Katara - Meng’s a girl, he figures. Aang is so deeply in the throes of a crush that he doesn’t care when Aunt Wu tells him of his “awesome conflict” - about which he already knew; if he had been thinking properly, he would have realized that he could have asked Aunt Wu various things about the conflict. Aang tries to act aloof, but this just isn’t him, and Katara doesn’t even consider him an option until one of Aunt Wu’s predictions is correct. In his high hopes, Aang assumes that he is the only “very powerful bender - what about all the other ones? Azula’s a powerful bender, too. [wink] And so’s Zuko. So’s Toph, and Bumi, and Tho. They’re all pretty powerful benders.

Can you imagine Katara marrying Ozai?


Not pretty.

Anyway, Aang does manage to stop the volcano relatively easily; from Katara’s point of view, she has finally realized that Aang . . . he is an option.

And all the Kataang fans died of canon canon canon scream/chanting parties.

Bato of the Water Tribe

I think that this is the first chapter in which Aang realizes what he would have to give up to be with Katara; he clearly doesn't like the Water Tribe way, and I think that this truly terrifies him in terms of what his life with her would be like. When he hears talk of Katara's father, he understands that even this is different, as he never knew his father - and his "father figure", Monk Gyatso, is dead - and he didn't have a "mother figure" in his life. In their core beliefs, he and Katara are so very different it is startling, I believe, for Aang to understand why she is acting the way she is, and I don't think he realizes that she missed her home. This is why, in his desperation to "keep her", Aang hides the map, and when he confesses - he can't keep something like that to himself; it's not his way - he does agree to split up the group, even though he doesn't want to. It's the lone wolf thing. Always quick to snap back, Aang is so fast to help Katara, because he wants to prove his worth, and he does. The group is successfully reunited, et cetera, et cetera., and Katara gives Aang a peck on the cheek. {C Now, I'd like to grill Bryke a little here. So last chapter, we have Aang crushing on Katara. This chapter, we have Katara kiss Aang on the cheek.

Me: "Come on! Come on!"

Bryke: Nah.

And then nothing happens.

Well what the monkeyfeathers?!

The Deserter

Aang is interested in the fire festival not for the bending but for the fun. As he is insanely protective and paranoid of his family, he goes crazy when Katara is in danger. My favorite phrase apparently is about to come up again: Quick to trust, he goes to Chey, and, interestingly, his first reaction is to call Appa. While he is eager to learn Firebending, he doesn’t understand what “meditating” has to do with it, as that is more Airbender than Firebender, and so he tries to Firebend himself, causing Katara to be hurt. This is like the two-punch Kataang chapter: First we had emotional pain is 115, and now we have physical pain. The emotional pain lasted longer, proving Katara to be that kind of person. Aang, terrified that he almost killed Katara, vows to never Firebend again.

On another note, Aang totally tricks Zhao, and it is pretty entertaining, but I can’t help but wonder if he’s thinking about himself. Zhao was Jeong Jeong’s student until he “got bored”, much like Aang.

The Northern Air Temple

Imagine if, while you were on vacation in Antarctica - and who doesn't want to vacation there? - someone broke into your house and vandalized the whole place. S/he tore down walls, hung up portraits of your least favorite person, and turned the bedrooms into kitchens and vice versa. When you return, how would you feel?


At first, Aang is extremely excited that there are actually Airbenders still around. Hope springs eternal in the human breast, and Aang is like a physical manifestation of eternal hope. Unfortunately, the Mechanist and his people aren't Airbenders. Fake Airbending. Sort of like how fake Firebending didn't work in 108. They lack "spirit". Naturally, Aang is upset at this. It's a mockery of the original people who lived here, and it is isn't until Teo shows Katara - Aang's crush - how to fly that he finally accepts it. However, when the inner chamber was desecrated as well, he goes crazy, and I'm surprised he didn't end up in the Avatar State. I think that Aang's line - "This is a nightmare." - about sums it up: It's horrible, but he has undergone what I like to call "Immunity Shock". This has happened to me before. So many bad things have happened in such a short sequence that one is temporarily just immune to the effects. Finally, Aang, deciding to protect his home, sends the Fire Nation general away and proceeds to fight off the army that follows. Of course, his quick-thinking saves Sokka and the Mechanist. Moving right along: Aang agrees to let the refugees stay at the Northern Air Temple, because the monks taught him to value life - and also because they are as Airbender as they will ever become. It's a bittersweet ending for Aang.

Now, how was Aang able to basically remove the chains from the tanks and allow them to topple, taking the lives of the passengers? Aang has no issues with indirect violence, only with direct confrontation. He could neither see nor think about the passengers, and therefore they were a nonissue to him.

Kataang Watch: Katara can fly. With Aang. [sighs contently]

The Waterbending Master

Note that Aang becomes aangered when Sokka insults Appa. Appa is one of Aang's "berserker buttons", the other being Katara.

Ah, one of the many chapters dealing with sexism. Though Aang is overjoyed to have such a warm welcome at the North Pole, he is shocked to realize that Waterbending Master Pakku refuses to give him a break. After all, Aang's been flying for two days straight - well, it makes it seem like he's been up the whole time, considering how cranky the Gaang was. When Pakku also informs him that only boys can learn Waterbending - [restrains self from making an "Aangirl" joke] - Aang initially doesn't want to learn from Pakku, since he wants to stand by Katara in everything. Pakku is also not a "positive" teacher, much like Toph, and he acts with an air of disdain and condescension to all those around him. Aang is more than eager to show Katara how to Waterbend, since he wants to prove himself to her, make her feel better, and also have some time with his crush. Although Aang does attempt to defend Katara from Pakku, he doesn't stop her from fighting the Waterbending Master, mostly because he doesn't want to get in her way. Aang apparently lets her sleep in on their first training day - oh the conspiracy theories! - but the little smile on his face explains everything about he and Katara, training together.

The Siege of the North, Part 1

Aang left his people to die. This is something that has forever tormented him. "I ran away." Guilt .. . guilt . . . guilt . . .

Now it is his turn to make things right, and he's is ready to go above and beyond the call of duty to save the Northern Water Tribe; unfortunately, there are too many for him to handle, and when Aang returns, battered, exhausted, and carrying such a migraine I'm surprised he could sit up straight, he realizes that taking out the ships one by one won't do it. Thus, Aang decides to venture into the Spirit World, because he has to save them. He has to, even if he dies in the process. Though Katara and Yue want spirit knowledge, Aang's convinced the spirits will physically help them. He realizes how much he has missed the feel of grass when Yue leads him to the Spirit Oasis. Oh, yet another strike against Kataang: Aang misses the grass; Katara, the ice. A bird could love a fish, but where would they live? Exactly . . .

After watching the koi fish move in their endless spiral, Aang enters the Spirit World; in the mortal world, of course, all is well.

Or is it?

The Siege of the North, Part 2

Aang awakens in the Spirit World, and although he is somewhat scared, his inner curiosity allows him to traverse the world while still trusting everyone, such as Enma. When faced with the choice to either likely get his face stolen by Koh or return to the mortal world empty-handed, he, of course, chooses to be brave; he wants to make a difference this time, as he said in the previous chapter. When he faces Koh, Aang struggles to keep his face devoid of any emotion at all, and would you like me to tell you how difficult that is, especially since Koh brings his face back and forth to and from Aang, such as with the baboon or the Blue Spirit-like face. After Aang returns to the mortal world, he is initially surprised to find himself in Zuko's clutches, but he recovers relatively quickly and goes on to try to "inchworm" through the snow. Incidentally, this is my profile picture because it shows Aang's extreme determination. He can tell that the Moon Spirit is in trouble - with a spirit migraine? Aang returns just in time; because he is trusting - and doesn't want the Moon Spirit dead - he drops his weapon. Big mistake. Zhao kills it anyway.

The Moon Spirit is dead. Here, it’s interesting. It appears to me that either the Avatar Spirit “takes over” - though it doesn’t seem the taking over sort in the series - or that Aang is in so much pain and grief that it “shocks” him into the Avatar State, which makes a lot more sense. Either way, Aang, having no control over his own body and foreshadowing what occurs in the last chapter, fuses with La and becomes Koizilla. “It” goes to basically use Aang’s power to destroy an entire fleet. It’s never outright stated the troops die, but come on. After depositing Aang - very important point here - La drowns Zhao. Afterwards, it’s a bittersweet moment, since they did beat back the Fire Nation . . . but at what cost? To tell the truth, I was expecting a Kataang kiss that didn’t occur.


Book 2: Earth

The Avatar State

Aang . . . is terrified of himself, and for good reason. If you could control that much power . . . but without controlling it, not really? The Avatar State is a defense mechanism, but funnily enough, we only see it truly being used as a defense mechanism four times in the entire show, and it was fueled by emotions the other four. Let’s take a look.

Note: These are only when Aang himself goes into the Avatar State.

1. The Boy in the Iceberg -> Defense.

2. The Avatar Returns -> Defense.

3. The Southern Air Temple -> Emotions.

4. The Storm [almost] -> Emotions.

5. The Storm -> Defense.

6. The Avatar State -> Emotions.

7. The Desert -> Emotions.

8. Sozin’s Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang -> Defense.

The following were not used:

1. Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku -> It was Roku, not Aang.

2. The Siege of the North, Part 2 -> Aang was not in immediate danger. In fact, if anything, this could be called “Emotions” because I think it is his shock and grief at the spirit’s death that causes him to enter the Avatar State.

3. The Crossroads of Destiny -> He entered it by choice.

4. All the various flashbacks of Roku and/or Kyoshi -> It wasn’t Aang.

Thus we can see that half of the time, Aang entered the Avatar State due to his emotions. Naturally, he doesn’t want to enter it on purpose.

Okay, note the cutting motion. By the way, I just wanted to say that I think that the “goof” about him doing that while not in the Avatar State isn’t a goof. It’s his inner fear that he will become as ruthless as the Avatar State himself, without even needing to enter it. And that is a truly terrifying fear. Thus, until General Fong makes him feel guilty, as if the deaths of the soldiers in the War are Aang’s fault - as if Aang isn’t feeling guilty enough - he refuses, but, because of his guilt, he agrees. Later on, the guilt that arises from his guilt is one of the major things of which he has to let go while releasing the Water Chakra. Even then, Aang . . . really . . . really . . . doesn’t want to do it. After having yet another horrific nightmare - sort of like the ones I have, so I really know about what I speak - Aang decides against it.

Bad move.

General Fong proceeds to attack Aang, but Aang, being a pacifist, refuses to fight them, using the typical Airbender strategy of "avoid and evade". Unfortunately, this causes General Fong to turn against Katara; in fact, Aang was fine until his traveling companions rushed in. Aang tries to enter the Avatar State, but he can't. I've always imagined it as being unbelievably painful - and I mean the continuous form here - though of course that's not proven to be canon. Either way, Fong "kills" Katara - not really - and this causes Aang to enter the Avatar State. This is also when we find out how the Avatar State can be used as a weakness, and this later comes back in 220.

Interestingly enough, after hurting all those people, Aang comes back chipper and happy as ever.


Right. This is like how when Bambi's mother died, the next scene showed all the animals frolicking. Mm-hm. Yeah. Okay. Sure.

No, I'm not kidding. That's Aang. On the surface, he's, well, Aang. Inside? He's Aangst.

The Cave of Two Lovers

This chapter is completely and utterly full of . . . [sigh] . . . beauty. Aang and Katara are practicing Waterbending; clearly, close contact with a crush produces an Aang blazing blush. Love? Hah! No, I don't think so.

[hushed whispers]

No, that's right. I'm the ultimate Kataang fan, but love? Not yet you don't. Love is that special quality that . . . well . . . Aang doesn't love her. Not yet. More like strong infatuation and affection, but absokutely not love.

Aang believes that they can get through the cave because, of all people, Aang believes in love so much he can't even kill Ozai. "Someone loved him once!"

Zuko: "Yeah, my mom."

Aang: "See?"

Zuko: "I think it was an arranged marriage."

Aang: [glances at Katara] "Hey, about that . . ."

Hey, look, a Zutara jab! Aang saves Katara from the boulders that would have crushed her. Hm. Hey, doesn't that happen in 316? Hey, it does! And guess how she reacted!


[attempts to take chapter seriously]


[calms herself]

Right. So. Aang and Katara are separated. Now, I'm going to switch to Katara's POV for a second. When she reads the tale of Oma and Shu, something clicks. See, girls are very romantic in terms of this sort of stuff. I'm not saying all girls - I'm not sexist - but girls like Katara tend to be. So when she reads a love story about people from conflicting cultures finding a way . . . and they're both benders . . . the "romance" gear in Katara's mind starts turning. Normally, of course, Katara wouldn't ask Aang to kiss her, but because of the story . . . [click]

In the meantime, Aang clearly isn't moved by the story.

Or is he?

I think that he knows exactly where Katara is "going with this", but he's trying to her to say it, since girls can "do no more" in that regard. Double standards. Gotta love 'em.

Also: "Love in brightest in the dark"? I'm going to take that at face value to avoid besmirching one of my favorite chapters, but . . . unfortunate phrasing there.

Aang doesn't want Katara to know about his crush on her, so when Katara attempts to backtrack, he notices and tries to laugh it off. Unfortunately for him, he goes a little too far. Naturally, this doesn't sit well with Katara, who now thinks that Aang definitely doesn't like her. I wonder if she wondered if maybe Aang was too young to understand, but she knows he's not. Back to Aang, who is understandably upset with himself. Hey, he just more or less made a mockery of himself. Not exactly "boyfriend" material.

Later on, however, with the torch about to go out . . . there's a reason that a certain poem uses the phrase "lovely, dark, and deep". The darkness makes us terrified . . . but it also makes us braver.

They kiss.

It's confirmed they do.

As for Aang's feelings . . . I'm sure you've read my ABCLAF version of it. I'll stand by it firmly.

Kataang Level: Uh . . . absokutely? But not enough for a relationship, because out in the light . . . and with Sokka nearby . . . well . . .

Aang is happy. ^^

Return to Omashu

At the end of the previous chapter, the Gaang found Omashu to be taken.



Naturally, Aang is more than a little upset, but his hopeful optimism allows him to believe that everything is okay.

Purple pentapus! :3 This shows you how connected to nature Aang is.

When he finds the underground - which is literally underground! - he convinces them to leave, using the old Airbending strategy of "avoid and evade".

On a related note, Mai flings a knife into Aang's staff . . . but the staff is totally fine. O . . . kay . . .

While Sokka plans the escape, Aang goes to find Bumi . . . but sadly cannot. Instead, Aang finds Flopsie, much to his disappointment. You see, Bumi is one of the few things in Aang's life that hasn't changed . . . well, at least somewhat.

Meanwhile, we see how Katara and Aang react to Tom-Tom versus how, say, Sokka reacts. Sokka does have the baby sling though . . . mostly because he's the only non-bender. During the fight, of course, Aang is focused on saving Bumi . . . except that Bumi’s the one who ends up saving him. Aang is reasonably agitated and confused, but because Aang a) trusts Bumi and b) is hopelessly optimistic. Now he needs to find someone who waits . . . and listens.

Later, we see Aang, out of the goodness of his heart, return Tom-Tom . . . now Aang's wearing the baby sling, and actually, it looks good on him. D'aww . . . ^^

The Swamp

So . . . we see the swamp calling to him. Interesting. Strangely, this does make a reappearance - the Lion Turtle! Apparently Avatars can be called.

Anyway, some say that this is the beginning of Taang shipping. Not so. Yes, he saw Toph instead of Katara - but that's because he's the Avatar! He saw Toph because it made sense for him to see Toph, since she would go on to be his Earthbending teacher! [snorts out fire] I do admit . . . it would have made more sense for him to see the Air Nomads or Monk Gyatso . . . but . . . [shrugs]

Avatar Day

Just like on Kyoshi Island, Aang is happy to have an entire day dedicated to him. Avatar Day! Then, unfortunately, it turns out that Avatar Day is more like . . . Kill-the-Avatar Day. Well! In the midst of all this . . . unfortunate killing . . . Aang decides that he needs his honor back, and he sets out to prove Kyoshi's innocence.

Also, kudos to the prison scene. =3 "Tell her how you feel!" As you can see, Aang doesn't have to be in the prison . . . he could easily escape . . . but he chooses not to do so.

Aang is clearly not ready for the trial, and afterwards, he is to be boiled in oil. We can thank the Rough Rhinos for not allowing the show to end a book and three-quarters too early. Being a trickster hero, Aang patiently waits for "Community Service" before saving the village, and yes, this is the "worst town ever".

The Blind Bandit

A lot of people claim this is the Taang shipping chapter due to the moonlit walk. them both getting captured, etc. Mm-hm. I don't think so. This chapter focuses on finding Aang an Earthbending teacher, and the whole "She waited. And listened!" part is just him thinking about Bumi's advice. The moonlit walk isn't romantic in any sense of the word, and that's not because I'm a firm Kataang shipper. Remember, I've seen it through both POVs - both Kataang and Zutara - and even while looking at the world from a "Taangist" lens . . . uh . . . no, not really. I didn't find it romantic at all.

Look. Opposites don't attract. Zutara don't happen. Taang doesn't happen. Okay? Okay. Phew.

And yes, Aang is happy Toph joined the group - but not for that reason. He's happy his nakama has grown.

Zuko Alone

Here are all of Aang's thoughts for the chapter: .

The Chase

Aang is more or less okay with the chasing until Toph starts to blame Appa. You don't blame Appa. You never blame Appa. In an attempt not to let Appa be blamed, Aang decides to create a distraction, but, of course, everyone in the Gaang is exhausted beyond belief that this point. During Aang's fight with Azula, he isn't sure whether he is to fight Zuko or Azula, and, being an Airbender, he prefers to run away from both of them. At the end, when Iroh is hurt, Aang wants to help, but Zuko, of course forces them off, and poor Aang is too sleepy to resist.

Bitter Work

In this chapter, of course, Aang is initially excited to learn Earthbending after seeing it in action; however, it turns out that Earthbending is much more difficult that he thought. Interestingly enough, during a training montage, you see him getting better, so it’s a little confusing to me why he bails on the rock. But . . . I think I understand. Imagine if you had been practicing, say, a piano piece for some time, and before you had mastered it, you were immediately expected to play it live in front of experts. Katara, of course, is the only person who can cheer Aang up, no matter how gloomy he is, signifying that shift in their relationship. When Toph takes his staff and nuts, Aang decides not to fight back, because he doesn’t want to get into an argument with Toph. Later on, he tries to speak to Sokka about his issues, completely oblivious to the fact that Sokka, in fact, doesn’t care, though Aang is willing to protect his friends against anything, including Saber-Toothed Moose Lion. He stands up to both the Lion and, riding off his intense wave of adrenaline, Toph as well. Still giddy and excited, Aang wants to Earthbend Sokka out as well, but Toph, thankfully, intervenes. Now over his initial fear, Aang is ready to learn more Earthbending . . . off-screen. [facepalm]

The Library

Aang is excited about the field trips, as well as the spirit library. In fact, this chapter didn't so much deal with his emotions until almost the very end, which is why this review is - I don't feel like I need to say "he was scared when Wan Shi Tong started to attack them" - very short. After leaving the fallen library, Aang wishes to tell his buddy the good news, but a quick scan reveals that Appa is . . . nowhere; already fearing the worst, his heart pounding, he approaches Toph, who confirms his suspicions. Aang goes into shock to the point where it's as if the entire world has fallen away.

The Desert

As a self-defense to his shock from the previous chapter, Aang’s disbelief turns into grief, and unfortunately, grief is often expressed as rage. Aang believes that it is his fault, since he could have easily saved Appa - easily! - if only he had paid attention to what was going on outside the library. Aang’s first instinct is to turn the blame onto someone, and he does so on Toph; when Toph is not able to satisfactorily lift his feelings of it’s-my-fault, he goes off in search of Appa.


One thing about Appa.

You see, Aang abandoned his entire people. The only thing he has left of them is Appa. It’s like Appa is his one link, his one connection. As long as Aang has Appa, it’s as if he isn’t the last Airbender; it’s as if he still has his family. Without Appa, he is alone. He has no family. He has no one who remembers his childhood.

Notice how extensively Aang uses Airbending in this chapter, even more than normal, because he is so afraid of becoming literally the last living relic of the Air Nomads.

In his grief, I think that he very seriously considers leaving the Gaang and just flying off to find Appa, but he knows that if he leaves, the Gaang will die without him; even though his natural reaction is to scour the sands for his sky bison, he forces himself to go back. Just when all of his hopes are crushed, however, Aang sees Appa, and he is so overjoyed that he immediately -

It’s not Appa.

With the sound of a thousand infants shrieking while being slowly incinerated by Azula - nice mental image, no? - Aang’s heart is crushed. Unable to sleep, he can only think of Appa. When the Gaang comes upon a Sandbender ship, Aang so wants to destroy something - to kill something! - that he is more than happy to whip the sands. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough, and the knot of grief and pain in his heart only grows tighter. He feels as if . . . if he doesn’t destroy something . . . he’s going to explode, and I think that one of his struggles in this chapter is to keep the Avatar Spirit at bay and not to go into the Avatar State.

By the time Momo is snatched up by the Buzzard Wasps, Aang’s grief is so great that after he retrieves Momo, it’s still not enough, and he slices the enemy in half - you see the two parts of the Buzzard Wasp hit the ground at separate times - so great is his fury. When they find the Sandbenders, Aang loses control of himself; he becomes so grief-stricken and desperate that he enters the Avatar State. When Katara approaches him and grabs his hand, he at first doesn’t know who she is, in that one instant - when he looks at her - and suddenly he realizes what he almost did.

That is the only time the Avatar State cries.

The Serpent's Pass

Aang knows that he absolutely exploded in the Si Wong Desert. He feels like it is his duty as the Avatar not to act like this, and he knows that he is doing wrong. Therefore, he attempts to keep all of his emotions locked inside of him, pretending that everything is a-okay. He doesn't have any hope at all; he feels like he is slowly being sucked away inside. Because Aang knows that it is his duty to help others, he decides to go through the Serpent's Pass; he abandons his hope because he had none with which to begin. However, his inner grief and pain is still trying to get out, and he ends up destroying a Fire Navy ship because of it; desctruction is his one release. When Katara tries to approach him, he struggles not to confide in her, but he is terrified of exploding again as he did in the desert. Being the Avatar is both great power . . . and great responsibility. Then he realizes something.

Hope, the baby, is born out of pain and grief, but when she is born, she brings love and hope - her namesake - to everything around her. Aang realizes that hope is born of pain, and love is born of grief, and this gives him the strength to continue forward.

And then, with the "really-this-happening-again" feeling, he also realizes that Appa will have to wait.

The Drill

Again, this chapter didn't deal with Aang's emotions much, only the usual frustration of not being able to stop the drill before finally doing so. All's well that ends well.

Or is it?

Think about it. The drill likely had people in it - people that likely drowned or were incinerated when the slurry buildup caused the thing to explode. Aang has no issues with being indirectly violent against people he can't see or about whom he doesn't think; that is, he only has issues with direct violence and confrontation.

City of Walls and Secrets

Aang is on the hunt for Appa, but he can't find the sky bison anywhere, as no one . . . at all! . . . is trying to aid him. Frustrated, he has nonetheless calmed down and accepted that Appa will be found, so he is more or less okay with the others deciding to infiltrate the party; in fact, he seems more than a little giddy with Katara's new outfit. Naturally angry and unable to believe that Long Feng is controlling Ba Sing Se, Aang and the Gaang know that they're going to have to do something to convince the people of Ba Sing Se.

The Tales of Ba Sing Se

A lot of people don't understand why Aang goes to a zoo randomly instead of spending the day with Katara. He was looking for Appa in the zoo. This chapter shows how compassionate Aang is to all living things.

Appa's Lost Days

Aang has a dream about Appa . . . I wonder if he later wakes up and is depressed about it.

Lake Laogai

Aang, of course, will do whatever it takes to find Appa . . . including disobeying Joo Dee. When he meets Jet again, he is, once more, quick to trust - "Katara, we have to give him a chance." - because Jet claims to have information about Appa. After Jet shows him a promising lead - "We missed him." - Aang is more willing to trust him.

Sokka suggests that Katara kisses Jet. Aang doesn't like that. Gee, I wonder why.

When Jet turns on Aang, the Avatar tries to appeal to Jet's morality; interestingly enough, he calls himself Jet's friend, even though they have, historically, been more or less enemies . . . and Jet seems to accept this fact.

Hm . . .

Now . . . Aang does seem concerned about Jet, but not enough to try to stay with the fallen leader. Instead, after telling Jet not to be sorry, he simply leaves with the others.

Appa returns! Aang is so . . . overjoyed . . . he cries. I mean, he thought that Appa was gone. Just . . . gone. After suffering through the Si Wong Desert, through the Serpent's Pass, through Ba Sing Se, through Lake Laogai - the family is back together, and that's all that matters.

The Earth King

This chapter had two vital "Aang" scenes. In the beginning, everyone seems really happy, and I don't believe that Jet is actually mentioned. Why? Aang is a natural optimist. I think that he believes that Jet will survive . . . because believing that will allow him to focus on the current mission. Just my two copper pieces.

In the meantime, at the very end, everything seems to be going totally according to plan. Aang attempts to tell Katara how he feels . . . fail. But that's okay, because she hugs him anyway. Group hug. Everything's happy . . . girls waiting for them . . .

Things are finally going right.

But wait! We have two more chapters in this book! =o

The Guru

[sniffles] I can't do this one, guys . . . I'll start crying. Just take a look at the appropriate ABCLAF chapters, and you'll know exactly what I mean . . .

But I just have to say: This is the first ever . . . first ever . . . time that Aang truly realizes how much he loves Katara. Before that? Nah, not love. Never love. But now?



You know, I always thought that they went about this chapter incorrectly. For example, Aang lets go of his fear of the Fire Lord, but in 309, he's still afraid. Therefore, opening one's chakras - and he does open them all in the end - is apparently a "one per deal" kind of thing where you must open them each time.

Aang feels guilt for what he did in the Avatar State, as we saw in 201 and later in freaking 321, but he lets go . . . and not for long, again.

One of the few resounding effects is the fire chakra . . . and he finally forgives himself for burning Katara. Now, Katara was never upset at him about it, but he was upset at himself . . . which is very sweet.

His love for his entire people has transformed into love for Katara. That's . . . a lot of love. [hands Aang some onion banana juice] You deserve it, buddy.

He is the Avatar. He cannot continue to lie to himself, but it was really back in 119, I think, that he accepted his duty as the Avatar. And yet . . . he doesn't truly accept it until 321. Gasp!

The light chakra is easy for him, as he believes in that kind of awesome we are one stuff.

The thought chakra? Ha, ha, ha. I cover this in ABCLAF. Just no.

The Crossroads of Destiny

Aang is more than willing to trust Iroh; after all, Iroh aided him in fighting Azula during 207 and Zhao back in 120. In fact, Aang even uses the chance to ask Iroh about love advice.

After Aang and Katara leave the so-called "Zutara Cavern" and Azula attacks, Aang realizes that Zuko has defected just a second before the Crown Prince joins in the fight.

When the Dai Li arrive, he realizes that everything will be lost unless he enters the Avatar State . . . and because if you love something, you set it free, he . . .

"I'm sorry, Katara."

This chapter's going to make me cry.

Unfortunately, kablam. Lightning strikes. Again, you'll have to read the appropriate ABCLAF chapters for this one; you can see my review of the ending in Heaven, I believe, so . . . yes.

Book 3: Fire

The Awakening

This one's going to be long. Bear with me.

Actually, I just realized it wouldn't be. I cover most of this in ABCLAF, so I'll just focus on what wasn't covered.

Aang awakens on a Fire Nation ship. Now, because I happened to write this exact scene in ABCLAF, I'm not going to go into too much detail here.

Well . . . as Aang says . . . he does need his honor back. He feels like it is his fault that Ba Sing Se fell. Again, I covered this in ABCLAF.

Now, when he finds out that everyone thinks he's dead . . . do you remember what the old man said in 112, about the War . . . about how Aang abandoned everyone? That's how Aang feels right. He thinks that he has, again, abandoned everyone, so he tries to fight against the FN ship; unfortunately, he proves useless, and as he puts it: "I hate not being able to do anything".

Later on, after the scene I covered in ABCLAF, Aang . . . well . . . okay. I'm going to explain his motivation. After what happened in Ba Sing Se with Katara - that vision he had in 119 - and after Ba Sing Se itself fell, he simply doesn't want anyone else to be hurt. He doesn't want to be protected; he wants to face Ozai himself. In fact, that's what ends up happening, but that's another story. Therefore, he decides to go out alone. He has no plan beyond "go to the Fire Nation and stop Katara [oh yeah and everyone else] from following me". Next scene's covered in ABCLAF, no need to do it here . . .

Aang washes up on the shore of the crescent island, and what is the first thing he sees but Katara? I think that he realizes that Roku's issue was that he fought alone. So did Kyoshi. So did the other Avatars. They were alone, but Aang isn't. Aang has his nakama - his family - and when they find him . . .

He remembers how desperate he was to keep, and he knows that he will do everything; thus, in an act that speaks volumes about how he feels, he Airbends himself onto the volcano, allows the fire to destroy his glider, and Airbends away. Symbolism anyone?

The Headband

Blending in is certainly better than hiding out, and Aang does want to be a "normal kid" for once. He sees that not everyone from the Fire Nation is bad . . . that people like his friend Kuzon still exist . . . and that the Fire Nation itself is spreading lies and propoganda.

It must have been terrible for him to read about the destruction of his own people, but it's a testament to his own inner strength and will that he doesn't ask to be excused but merely corrects the teacher.

And yes, he does ask Katara for a dance. Finally, he works up the courage . . . and receives a kiss as his reward. Kataang alert!

The Painted Lady

As you can see, Aang is more than a tad worried for Appa, so he's quick to stop and rest.

A question: "I think the river's polluted." No, really?

Aang, being an environmentalist, naturally aids Katara, and he is also not too surprised to find out that he, in deed, is the Painted Lady. I think that he was more or less expecting it, and besides: "You're like a secret hero"! Aang's easily impressed by things like that.

I have a qualm with the factory, however. Was the factory really just abandoned? I mean, come on! There were nighttime workers whose lives were likely taken when they destroyed it, but just like with the drill, Aang has no issues with indirect violence. He is able to justify a lot of what he does off this. Later, when he causes the docks to explode, doesn't he think that some of the people might be hurt? No, he doesn't, because he would be able to Airbend himself out of that one, and he generalizes his violence based off of his own skills, giving him even more justification.

Heh, heh, Aang has an OOC moment where he gets aangry at Xu.

Sokka's Master

Kataang alert: When Aang jokingly makes a reference to Katara's hair, Katara immediately becomes worried and defensive. It's a sign of a crush.

This really shows that Sokka is the glue that holds the Gaang together.

The Beach

No, Aang wasn't trying to "cop a feel" here . . . rather, he had just almost been killed, so he simply grabbed Katara's side. Side there. Yes, side on the upper chest area, but . . . good grief! Still on the side! And like I said - he really wasn't paying attention.

The Avatar and the Fire Lord

I'm afraid that this particular chapter was "scratched away" on my DVD, so I'm unable to do it presently. =/

The Runaway

Oh, oh, oh, this chapter. Why does Aang pull those scams? It's relatively simple to explain: He is a mischievous kid, and he is slightly a prankster - just slightly, though.

After he pulls the final scams, he doesn't pull any more. After that, it's Sokka and Toph - so Aang was truthful.

Katara does act like Aang's mother - but then again, Aang never had a mother, so I don't think it really affects him. Not to get into psychology here, but I do sense a tad of Oedipus . . . but then again, psychologically speaking, all males have in varying degrees [and Electra for the females]. I'm not saying that this is weird or anything; rather, this is perfectly normal, and it in fact solidifies the relationship.

Clarification: Aang does not think of Katara as his mother, but subconsciously he likes her more for acting like the "Team Mom".

Aang, who gets along easily with everyone, doesn't quite understand why Katara and Toph have to fight . . . and you can see him acting slightly dumb here, where he and Sokka jump on the "letters to Katara and Toph" brigade . . .

Also, Katara and Aang were practicing Waterbending. Hooray!

So you see Katara bathing while Sokka and Toph talk - but where's Aang?

Later on, it's Aang who becomes worried about them [while pacing around], because he's really the group "sensitive one", and he's the one who convinces Sokka to go after them . . . showcasing his concern for Katara - as well as Toph, but mostly Katara - and the one who senses that Combustion Man is near. Oh . . . snap . . .

The Puppetmaster

Always quick to trust - wow, how many times have I written that? - Aang is more than willing to put his faith into Hama.

Initially, Aang simply believes that the local villagers have caused some sort of destruction to the spirits, which makes sense considering his experiences with Hei Bai. Later, because of his relatively strict moral compass, he doesn't want for Toph and Sokka to open the mystery chest - but his curiosity wins out.

Still going along with his "spirited away" idea, he doesn't exactly believe the villagers in cave until they explain; foolishly, believing he can help, he attempts to help Katara, but what he doesn't realize that he can't even help himself.

The interesting thing about being the Avatar is that, even though you learn from the four bendings, you don't learn most of the specializations, like healing, Bloodbending, Sandbending, Metalbending, or lightning generation. It is assumed, however, that eventually such things would be allowed, with time and with practice.

As for Bloodbending . . . Aang understands that this is part of her. Does he ever think she will use it again - or against him? No. He believes that even though she knows how to do it, she won't; his opinion of her doesn't exactly change, but he believes that she is strong to sacrifice her own beliefs for the sake of her friends.

Oh the irony, considering that he later has this exact same issue . . . but he chooses not to sacrifice his beliefs.

Nightmares and Daydreams

You know that feeling you get? That feeling of "oh, my final exam is in three weeks - I'll have time to study!" and then that feeling of "holy monkeyfeathers, it's tomorrow! I can't study!"

A lot of people hate this chapter because it supposedly takes Aang out of character. Does it? Actually, no, it doesn't . . .

He is extremely worried about his fight with Fire Lord Ozai. Ozai's kind of the baddest man on the planet, according to Sokka; in fact, if you've never had nightmares, what's wrong with you?

As for the daydreams - been there, done that. I've had insomnia before. Trust me . . . it's not pretty.

What finally calms him down? The support of his friends, further solidifying the "Aang needs emotional attachments" theory - but then again, doesn't everyone?

The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion

Aang is ready. His fears from the previous night are gone - way gone! He's ready to take on everyone and everything.

He . . . is . . . ready.

And yet at the same time he isn't. The fear is still there, just kept down by the determination.

It is really a moment of symbolism when he shaves his head again - he's not Aang. He's the Avatar. He's the symbol of the people, much like how in The Hunger Games, Katniss is the Mockingjay - the symbol.

I think that he is pleasantly surprised about the new glider, but it also makes him sad to see that the old, traditional glider has been replaced with a new, futuristic one.

He is determined. He failed in Ba Sing Se; he's not going to fail again, as he explains to Sokka. Oh no, he's not going to fail again.


He needs his honor back. This is his redemption -

And even more than that, this is his way to prove himself in Katara's eyes.

He loves her so much, and he is afraid that he will die. This is the soldiers' quandary and the reason that so many soldiers end up doing it on the night before they're shipped off - if they're going to die, they want to be loved first. They want to experience life.

Aang is the same way, except that in his case . . . quite literally . . . kissing is the big thing . . . and so when he kisses her, he is giving his all for her. That's when she knows his true feelings for her, I think.

He knows what is going on when he sees that most of the Capital is completely empty, and yet he bursts into the Fire Lord's throne room, only to see nothing. Desperate, angry, unable to believe it -

Everything . . . everything is gone, slipping through his fingers -

His entire life, spent, useless -

The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse

Aang . . . feels . . . like . . . he . . . failed . . .



It's like Ba Sing Se all over again for him. He doesn't want to fail. He will do anything not to fail - including trying even the most foolhardy plan.

Aang is . . . [sigh] . . . quick to trust, so he just listens to War Minister Qin.

Oh come on!

As Aang says, "I'm ready. I'm ready to face the Fire Lord."

He is ready.

And then it turns out to be Azula.

Even though his hopes and dreams are temporarily crushed, he immediately goes after her, intent on at least fulfilling part of the plan.

Even after the eclipse is over, Aang wants to face the Fire Lord. He feels like he has to face him - or die trying - like a twisted version of "Neither can live while the other survives".

When he realizes he can't face the Fire Lord, he instead attempts to stop the airships . . . but that effort, too, is faulty, and he eventually retreats. By the time he realizes the entire invasion has been a failure - by the time that everyone is going to be imprisoned or worse - he starts to cry . . . tears of desperation - and tears of pride, almost.

He's proud of the Invasion. He's proud of every single person who came and risked his or her life.

He's proud.

And he failed them all.

The Western Air Temple

Aang thinks the Invasion failed because he made the decisions; he's just not comfortable in his own skin right now, and he wants for everyone else to make the decisions for him. The burden of the Invasion will hang over him for years, even after he saved the world - he failed.

He wants to immediately tag along with the other kids. Why? No, it's not because he's a slacker or because he doesn't care. He does care . . . but he just can't. As I said, he failed so much that he is pretending to be a goofy kid to lighten the burden. He wants to pretend that nothing's wrong, because that's what optimists do. It's a natural defense mechanism that everyone has, like when someone dies and another member of the family laughs or tries to make a joke . . . wait, that doesn't happen to everyone? Just me? ._.

Aang acts extremely hostile to any mention of Firebending, but he shows off the hostility by either ignoring it or asking for everyone else to make the decision for him. He doesn't want to be involved in the decision-making process. He was involved in the Invasion's - and he failed.

Now, this is the interesting thing. When Zuko shows up, Aang naturally assumes a defensive position, but he doesn't say anything. Literally. He says absolutely nothing, merely watching the proceedings, because he doesn't trust himself to make the decisions anymore. Only after the group has reached a consensus does he say: "There's no way we can trust you after everything you've done. We'll never let you join us."

It's Katara who makes that decision. All Aang does is seemingly accept it. In reality, however, he sees the good in people, and he is quick to trust, so he does want Zuko to join the group. He knows that Zuko is capable of good - he even mentions Pohuai Stronghold - but when he sees that Sokka and especially Katara are against him, he shifts tone swiftly to agree. He just doesn't trust himself.

Aang doesn't want to go looking for a fight, but, again, you can see the hsitation as he says it. He's just echoing group mentality at this point - not actually making any decisions himself. When he realizes that Zuko knows what Firebending truly is, however, I think that he . . . I think that Aang forgives himself for the Invasion. Not really - but enough to trust in himself to make decisions.

The Firebending Masters

You see, Aang finally gave up his "I won't Firebend because I hurt Katara" thing back during 219, so that's not the issue. He still sees Firebending as a harmful element, however, until he sees the dragons, which are good, showing them that Firebending is a way of life.

This chapter is truly about Aang finally realizing that Firebending isn't necessarily evil. Ozai might be somewhat "evil" - and I could do another analysis blog on him - but most Firebenders aren't. This is what Aang believed, even in 113 . . . but after 116, he became convinced Firebending was terrible. Now, though . . . now, he understands it.

Also, there is no Zaang. Stop it. Just stop it. ATLA is Kataang.

The Boiling Rock, Part 1

Aang hates homework.

The Boiling Rock, Part 2

Aang's not in the group hug? Oh come on! He invented the group hug.

The Southern Raiders

I already covered most of the important parts in ABCLAF, so I'll just focus on the remainder. Throughout this entire chapter, Aang is really the little aangel on her shoulder. It's not a Zutara story; it is a Kataang story. Aang knows her well enough to know what she needed. Actually, I listened to the commentary for this one, and Bryke say this, so . . . it's a fact!

Until this point, even during the Invasion, Aang never thought about actually killing the Fire Lord. It was more of a . . . defeat thing than a kill thing. Zuko gives him a reality check and makes him question everything.

The Ember Island Players

First - kudos to whoever did Aang's animation in that first scene.

Just . . . kudos.

Why does Aang not like the play? One, it basically takes all of his paranoia and shoves it into his face. Aang is extremely paranoid - but we all knew that.

Two, he's a girl . . . and while he is more in touch with his feminine side than most males, he is definitely male.

And three . . . his paranoia convinces him Zutara is real. He doesn't actually know what happened during the scene in 220, and when he entered, you could see him glaring at Zuko. He trusts Katara, of course, and he doesn't think at all about it - until The Boy in the Iceberg flings it into his face.

All right, I'm just going to skip to the main scene here. You know that Aang is upset about the play. Why in the freaking world does he kiss Katara? Over here, we have a word for that: Mouth rape. Not pleasant, I know. All right, let's go.

So, for this one, I'll also show Katara's POV. I cover this chapter in ABCLAF, by the way.

All right, so - Aang knows that he might die soon, right? Therefore, he's desperate, and he wants to finally love before he goes. It's the "I'm a soldier and leaving tomorrow, so let's Do It" argument that sadly works most of the time. As well, he is desperate to prove Zutara wrong - prove the play wrong - and he . . . well . . . he doesn't quite receive the answer for which he is looking.

I already covered Katara's reasoning in ABCLAF.

Aang is confused and frsutrated; he doesn't understand why she can't see it from his point of view.

Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King

So Aang and the Gaang basically decided to wait until after Sozin's Comet, but they neglected to tell Zuko . . . and now it's like they're telling Aang he has to be ready - or else. He's actually being selfish by putting his own needs above the world's; technically speaking, he should kill the Phoenix King, and he knows it. However, he truly doesn't to, and thus he takes out his aggravation on his friends.

What a selfish jerk.

No, seriously. Aang is one of the most selfish people in the Avatar world. Yes, his reasoning is good, but he's the Avatar. He has to be prepared to sacrifice everything for the world.

Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters

Aang is really looking for an excuse here. His friends told him he needs to kill the Phoenix King, so he is seeking advice. Technically, none of the Avatars tell him he needs to take Ozai's life, but they pretty much do. Roku didn't work? Try Kyoshi! She didn't work? Kuruk! Yangchen! Unfortunately for Aang, all of them give the same advice . . . so what does he do? He goes to ask a giant Lion Turtle.

Subconsciously, he's looking for the one thing that will tell him provide him with a solution, no matter what . . . and he finds it.

Side note: People say the Lion Turtle is a deus ex machina. It's not. It and Energybending have been hinted at since the beginning of the show - since the pilot, even!

Roku: "You must be decisive."

Aang is decisive. He makes not to kill the Phoenix King but to take away his Firebending instead.

Kyoshi: "Only justice will bring peace."

But what is justice? How can you define it? Everyone has a different view on justice.

Kuruk: "Aang, you must actively shape your own destiny and the destiny of the world."

In other words, Aang can't let something else control him . . . including the Avatar Spirit . . . oh snap!

Yangchen: "Here is my wisdom for you: Selfless duty calls you to sacrifice your own spiritual needs and do whatever it takes to protect the World."

Aang needs to let go of his own needs - namely, his monk traditions - and save the world by taking Ozai's life . . . or is there another way?

Also: "I know! I'm even a vegetarian!" And this is relevant because . . . ?

Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno

Aang doesn't want anyone else to be hurt. Ironically enough, what he said in 301 proves to be true. Momo flies off, presumably to watch the fight from above.

Aang also doesn't want to fight Ozai. Even to the last, he still tries to reason with him, and only when the Phoenix King makes it clear otherwise does he assume a fighting stance.

I wonder though - if Ozai was fighting Katara, would Aang have made a different choice? In fact, Vulmen brought up this point, and I realized that though I had hinted at it, I hadn't flatly stated it in the analysis. When Katara is on his mind, you can see him doing things he normally wouldn't - when Katara's involved, Aang "forgets himself", like in 113, when Katara was sick, or in 303, when they destroyed a factory without thinking about the workers inside. I don't believe the factory was just randomly abandoned. Also on the topic of Aang's justice, there are numerous times when he was "indirectly violent". Though he has issues with direct confrontation, he has no troubles with indirect violence, where he can't see the people he's harming.

On the controversial crashing ship: It goes down slowly enough that everyone likely survived.

Slowly, throughout the fight, Aang realizes that he has no chance of stopping Ozai, until at the very end, he knows that he will die. Just . . . die . . . and he gives up. He's just facing death.

And I covered that scene in ABCLAF, so.

And then he dies!

Just kidding.

Anyone else getting a Sun Warrior Chief vibe?

Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang

All right, all right, so I listened to the commentary, and the commentary gave me some insight here.

So, here we have Aang turning into the “wrathful Avatar”. This is exactly what he was dreaming about back in 201 . . . complete with the slicing/cutting move. Aang has absolutely no control over himself at this point, but I think that he is conscious of his actions, even if he can’t control it; therefore, the entire time, he’s fighting this vengeful Avatar Spirit, until, at the very end, he finally gains the upper hand. You see, to take a life would destroy Aang - just destroy him - and so he turns, desperately, to the final solution: Energybending.

And now, to the commentary! Bryke informed us that Energybending isn’t just about taking away bending. I might have part of this wrong, but the gist of it is: “And it’s what he chooses to do with it. He doesn’t kill him. He just rewires his chi.”

Therefore, it’s implied that Aang was technically able to do much more than just kill the Phoenix King, but he chose not to.






Just . . .


I’ve angry we didn’t get to see the Aang/Katara reunion . . . but fine, fine, fine. You can see Aang wearing the “older monk” outfit - complete with pendant - and this shows that he has finally taken his responsibility as a monk . . . as the Last Airbender . . . and as the Avatar . . .

Aang and Zuko have a tearful hug of friendship, and you can feel it closing.

“The real hero is the Avatar.”

Yes, that’s true, Zuko.

Finally, everyone is relaxing in Ba Sing Se, and you can see from Aang’s expression how . . . really how much he has matured, from a little kid in an iceberg to . . . the Avatar.

Aang goes out to look at the sunset. Katara follows him . . . and this is the important part. Katara starts the kiss - and then Aang deepens it, because he’s Aang - but she doesn’t pull away. She’s finally ready - and she has finally accepted the fact that she and Aang . . . that they are . . . finally . . . going to be . . . together.

See, this is the difference between Kataang and Maiko. With Maiko, they kissed all the time, but they never once said I love you, and therefore this is sacred . . . with Kataang, on the other hand, Aang has openly stated several times that he loves her, and so it's the kiss that finally tells him that she loves him, too.

Yes, they will have to reconstruct the world. Yes, they will have arguments and squabbles. Yes, they will probably briefly "break up" a few times . . . but daangit, they're in love.

Now, a lot of people have issues with the kiss - namely, that it's too deep.

Aang has loved her so long . . . and she loved him, too. Yes, it was a very deep and very, ahem, involved kiss, but, oh my spirits, it's not like they've exactly been playing around with little toys their whole childhood. It's like Ender's Game. Ender and his friends weren't children by the end, they were soldiers; similarly, Aang and Katara have had to face more by the age of twelve than the average person like you will in your entire life - war, death, powerlessness, betrayal, fear, hate, rage -

You may think you've experienced those feelings, but you've not, so you don't pretend you have. And in all of this hate and fear, they can definitely, definitely learn the love.

Of course . . . we know that Katara and Aang marry - it’s my belief that Aang asks her on her sixteenth birthday, then stays engaged with her for two years due to his paranoia- nd have three children, at least one of which is an Airbender - the youngest one, Tenzin, who goes on to marry Pema and father Jinora, Ikki, and little Meelo . . .

Life goes on . . .

A bird could love a fish, and the fish could love the bird . . .

And there’s a reason Aang is my favorite character . . . he is just amazing. A lot of people believe that Katara or Zuko is the so-called deepest character in Avatar . . . but in my opinion, it’s poor Aang who is, quite literally, the deepest character you will ever meet. Of all the characters to walk off the screen and into my real life, it’s Aang I love.

Got Kataang?

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