Avatar: The Last Airbender – How Aang’s Crush on Katara Ruined Season 2

For nearly 20 years, Avatar: The Last Airbender has remained one of the most beloved animated shows, full of humor, engaging characters, a war-torn world and mature themes that children can understand and adults also resonate with. It's a show for all ages, and for the most part, it's handled with utmost grace throughout the three seasons. However, the show struggles come Season 2.

Avatar is the story of a world where people can control the elements: water, earth, fire and air. One individual per generation is able to control all four. A hundred years before, the Fire Nation attacked the Air Nomads, who currently cared for Aang, the young Avatar. Aang, 12 at the time, escaped the attack with his sky bison Appa encasing them both in ice for a century until they're discovered by siblings Sokka and Katara of the Southern Water Tribe. The whole world has been ravaged by war, and it's Aang's duty as Avatar to defeat the Fire Lord and set things right.

The red flags with Aang and Katara begin almost immediately. Aang has an obvious crush on her, leading to jealousy on his part but a maternal instinct on hers, being two years older, which can matter a lot when you're only 14. However, the true problem doesn't present itself until Season 2. Episode 10 features Aang, Katara and Sokka delving into an underground library that the troop has been seeking out in the middle of a desert. Toph stays on the surface with Appa but is forced to make a choice when the library begins to sink.

As she is distracted, sandbenders come and drag Appa away, leaving her in tears, as there's no way she could have saved both Appa and her friends. When Aang reaches the surface and learns what has happened, he enters the Avatar State in his rage until Katara calms him down. It makes sense for Aang to be so distraught. Appa is his oldest companion and the two spent a century frozen together in an iceberg. Locating Appa becomes a priority for the team not only because he is a beloved companion but also because without Appa, it will soon become impossible to escape Fire Nation forces.

7 Appa and aang

As the gang travel to Ba Sing Se, Appa's story is playing out in a tragic way, sold to a circus and beaten until he could escape, wandering around searching everywhere for Aang. Appa and Aang are apart for seven episodes out of a total 20 Book 2 episodes, and their reunion is given the gravity it deserved, especially considering the ordeal Appa went through. Nonetheless, all that was about to be rewritten.

Aang is called immediately to meet with a guru who can help him unlock his chakras and enter the Avatar State. A final test is for Aang to be able to let go of the people he loves. However, he is able to let go of everyone else in his life except Katara. Despite spending over a third of the season searching for Appa, it is Katara who Aang will not let go of, and this shows a painful dependency on a girl who never signed up to be the recipient of his intense feelings.

With so much of Season 2 devoted to finding Appa, the fact that Aang is willing to let him go so easily while holding fast to his feelings for Katara makes no sense, and when the show has focused on the strength of teamwork, it would be more realistic for Aang to be unable to let his entire 'found family' go. Due to his obsession with Katara at this point, Aang's feelings for every other member of the team are weakened, while his so-called love for Katara reaches an unhealthy and possessive tone. In contrast, Katara is meanwhile reaching out to Zuko to try to bring him to their side. She is expanding the number of people she could care for while Aang is focusing purely on her, making them foils for each other.

2 zuko 2 zuko katara in ba sing sekatara in ba sing se

Although Aang does eventually work up the courage to let go of Katara while in a fight, it's too late to prevent being almost fatally struck by Azula's lightning attack. He will forever bear the mark of being unable to let Katara go, and his feelings of loyalty for Sokka, Toph and Appa are forever tainted by his decision. Oddly enough, it's his relationship with Zuko that doesn't bear that mark -- scars becoming a motif between them -- which may explain why the two became so close following the war. Still, however things worked out after the war, Aang's innocent schoolboy crush on Katara nearly turned into a deadly obsession with a girl who merely saw him as a younger brother figure, leaving Season 2 a mess of preteen feelings that have the potential to destroy the world.

shou tucker from fullmetal alchemist brotherhood and rachel from tower of god
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