Welcome, Guest!!
follow us on... Facebook twitter google youtube

Author Topic: Zutara General Discussion  (Read 11211 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline The Melon Lord Approves

  • Naive Fools Club
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1493
  • Championship Pot: 121
  • Gender: Female
  • World's Biggest FAangirl
    • My tumblr
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2012, 04:32:32 AM »
Oh, I get the appeal of fanon Zutara.  Don't ship it even there (ironic, considering my current fanfic is fanon Zutara), but I get it.  What I don't understand is how people looked right at what we got in canon and were like "Yeah. These kids. They should be together."  Like, what specifically about the characters made people believe they would be compatible even in fanon?

Offline Fourtune

  • There is simply no meaning to life if you live like a dead man.
  • Round 2!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 237
  • Championship Pot: 69
  • Gender: Male
  • We gotta make the dream come true!! Step by step!!
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2012, 05:02:35 AM »
To be perfectly honest…if there were two different versions of the show, the second not being run by Bryan, Michael, and Aaron (aka "Brykeron" as I call them as a trio), I honestly think that the "other" version probably would've included at least a bit of Zutara and it wouldn't have come off terrible there. However, that's probably because I can imagine that there would be some detail of the show changed to make them more romantically compatible -- most likely this would be altered at the source. And by source I mean backstory.

Maybe Kya would be missing rather than dead in the other version; maybe she would've been killed in some other way, like in a sickness or accident; maybe Katara herself would've accidentally killed her with waterbending and their tribe threatened her with exile if she ever used it again because there was no one around to teach her to control it. Maybe Zuko wouldn't fully buy into the "Capture the Avatar" wild goose chase condition Ozai put into his banishment even if he did try to invest his hopes in it; maybe he would've found a clue that his mother was still alive somewhere and would've been looking for her as much as he was the Avatar; maybe his father wouldn't have hung the Avatar over his head, but the hypothetical subject came up in conversation between Ozai and Azulon one day which he happened to hear about.

Any one or two of these differences in the story could tip so much to the point of making Zuko and Katara be easily compatible in an alternate version of the ATLA story. However, from the standpoint of what we got, they are absolutely two sides of a much different kind of coin. Their story, ultimately, is a redemption arc. Not only their own as individuals, but combined they are two halves of the same redemption arc.

Katara's waterbending ultimately did cost her her mother, but in the sense that they are why the Southern Raiders went over there in the attack in which they ended up killing Kya. She sacrificed herself to protect Katara from being taken away for her powers. She not only had a deep-seated hatred of the Fire Nation, but also her own inner turmoil about her weakness. She wasn't just forced to take on a motherly role because Kya's death and Hakoda fighting in the war meant there were few to no grown-ups: she took it on because she wanted to become strong enough not to lose anyone else. However, what she was going through inside had started to poison her. If her tirade in episode one didn't lead to freeing Aang from the iceberg, who knows how strained her relationship with her brother Sokka, or how dark her own personality, might have turned?

NOT going on about that because I'd like to try not to make this about Kataang. Zuko…well, for him it's obvious, but in the interest of fairness, I'll have to elaborate on his a bit as well. We all know the story; his father sentenced him to an Agni Kai, burned his eye half to death, then banished him with the only possible condition of his return being the capture of the long-vanished Avatar -- all because he was willing to talk out of turn in compassion for troops he'd never met in his life, but not to fight his old man in a Smackdown inferno match. And as flashbacks and verbal callbacks to his family life in the past would reveal, that wasn't even where his unfavorite status in his father's eyes started; Ozai had always held Azula in much higher esteem than Zuko because she was a far better firebender, even going so far as to say Azula was born lucky and Zuko was lucky to be born. Ultimately, while daddy had just about thrown him out on his beehive, by putting the Avatar condition in front of him, he basically gave Zuko a tangible means of gaining what he thought was honor in Ozai's eyes for the first time…probably ever. This was all the motivation Zuko needed to put aside everything -- regard for his uncle, whatever childhood innocence he had left, even his own good nature -- for this goal which would've led him on a tear throughout the nations, basically getting him to turn himself into the perfect soldier.

(Thinking about it, Ozai was honestly even more of a master manipulator than we'd give him credit for. Even if he wasn't counting on Zuko mowing people's homes down for his cause, he at the very least had to know that sending the kid on a snipe hunt would prevent a near-immediate face turn by sheer virtue of it just being something to go on.)

Basically, they both had issues. Issues that pitted them against each other more effectively than almost any two particular enemies throughout the entire war, and also issues that were capable of consuming them both in a cycle of hatred and darkness (though Zuko was further down the slippery slope than Katara for the most part). They both had some business to recover from, as individuals and in their relationship to each other. The moment of empathy at Lake Laogai was a step forward in that, but it was set well back by Zuko's decision to side with Azula, not only betraying his uncle but more importantly leading to Azula almost killing Aang -- forcing Katara to deal with loss at the hands of the Fire Nation, but also partially with Zuko directly at fault. She was able to revive Aang before he could fully cross over with the spirit oasis water, but with how much she'd invested in him at the time, she would never forget that.

Back home, while Katara and the rest of the Gaang picked up the pieces and got themselves ready for the Black Sun invasion, Zuko realized that despite gaining his father's approval (thanks to Azula giving him all the credit for shooting down the Avatar), he was never truly himself in any situation back home except a) with Mai, or b) venting. Especially not while having to sit there and listen as daddy Ozai declared his intent to cover the world in fire and become its new ruler on the day of the Comet. This set the stage for his heel face turn, as he finally confronted Ozai and called him out on his garbage before leaving to join the Gaang.

Now, this was literally the only good non-White Lotus-related thing to come out of the Day of Black Sun, as the invasion plan failed thanks to Azula's interception scheme (*coughthanksalotKueicough*). But more importantly this was where issues would begin to be confronted and eventually healed. I could go on after this point, but everything involving Zuko's turn and how he and Katara got along since then has already been expanded upon in this and…well, one other thread so far, from the Southern Raiders episode all the way to the finale. However, if you look at all that, and at the stuff I've just gone over in my first overly large wall of exposition here at TKC, you can imagine why I feel that the canon story of Zutara was indeed a recipe for epic redemption and friendship, but one that had just a few too many sour ingredients as prescribed to also fit a romantic feast.
This expertly-done set you see before you comes to TKC courtesy of SD’s Signature & Avatar Boutique!


Offline Scooter

  • Metalbender
  • Round 1!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Championship Pot: 21
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2012, 05:07:26 AM »
So since we like 2 characters and think they could go together we shouldn't cause you don't think it's cannon? What's wrong with pairing up two characters you like even though they are opposites? I know Zutara isn't cannon but I would like to see them together. I won't lie i like the steamy factor between the two. I ship them for many reasons. I like the fact they are from two completely different backgrounds. I really like to think and explore more of a complicated relationship. Plus I like the idea of since Katara is so loving and is a really caring person she can give that to Zuko. I think that they would have a love that it would be worth fighting for cause in the long run they could make one another happy  Not all love has to be easy and simple. Sometimes it's nice to see a struggle and the characters overcoming major struggles to be together and through those struggles they will be brought closer together.
I also love that as individuals they are both passionate and they will both fight for what they believe in. I think Katara would be a good match for him cause I think she could challenge his thoughts and beliefs and make him better.

At the same time I understand kataang it's easy and open and an effortless love. And pure. And I respect that. I ship kataang too. I like Aang ( not that they haven't had struggles either)

Offline Fenix

  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 5809
  • Championship Pot: 214
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm Fenix and don't you forget it!!
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2012, 05:21:36 AM »
Yeah, what Scoots said. That's basically what I like about it too. I just love them all. Kataang, Zutara, and Maiko. They all have their appeal.


Extraordinarily awesome sig by Zevinja!!

Offline The Melon Lord Approves

  • Naive Fools Club
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1493
  • Championship Pot: 121
  • Gender: Female
  • World's Biggest FAangirl
    • My tumblr
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #44 on: December 05, 2012, 05:25:10 AM »
I don't "think it's not canon."  It's not canon.

That said, there's nothing wrong with shipping fanon or crackships.  I do it all the time in other fandoms (and even this fandom, as my intense love of Teo and Ty Lee will undoubtedly prove).  I've had my fair share of hate for shipping two characters who never even met, in the Les Miserables fandom (which is one of the only fandoms I've ever been in that's as brutal as this one).  I have no problem with people shipping Zutara in fanon.

And with regards to what you say about Katara being a very loving and caring person, you're absolutely right. I can see Zuko being drawn to that kind of affectionate nature (under different circumstances, such as ones where she never issued a dead-serious threat on his life and where he wasn't head-over-heels in love with a sexy ninja girl), as he has not received much of that kind of unrestrained affection in his life. Even Iroh, who always loved him unconditionally, was very careful in how he handled Zuko especially in the early days.  I'd go so far as to say that the only person in his life who ever truly showed him the kind of open affection he received from Aang and Katara (and to a lesser degree from Sokka and Toph) was Ursa. I won't get into the Mai issue here because then I would go on a fangirl rant about how much I love Mai and Maiko.

But Katara... well, Katara likes reciprocity. She likes being nurtured herself as much as she likes being the one to nurture.  And Zuko doesn't really have that particular ability. He just doesn't.  He's just barely learning how to show real affection (let alone learning how not to be kind of an ass) by the end of the series. And that's not to say that he won't continue to learn and grow emotionally. People do that. But it's not in Zuko's nature to be a nurturing person at all.  I think it has the potential to become a very unhealthy, one-sided relationship because of this. Katara, being Katara, gives him her all, gives him everything because that's what she does when she loves someone.  And Zuko gives her... what? The crown of the Fire Lady?

Basically, I can see the chemistry.  But the sad truth is that chemistry =/= love.  Not all attraction (and I don't even see Zutara even having that, except in MAJOR AU situations where their history is wildly different) leads to love.

(By the way, Fourtune... TAKE ALL MY YUANS!!!!!)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 05:37:11 AM by The Melon Lord Approves »

Offline Blu

  • Task Force
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1103
  • Championship Pot: 116
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #45 on: December 05, 2012, 05:36:05 AM »
Maybe some people are attracted to the idea of a more unhealthy relationship, in the same way that drama appeals in stories in general.

Offline Scooter

  • Metalbender
  • Round 1!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Championship Pot: 21
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2012, 05:37:35 AM »
That was a typo. I am on my phone. What I meant to say was since we like two characters and think they could go together we shouldn't cause they aren't cannon?  Chemistry is a part of love. It's not the only thing but it should certain be part of an relationship.

I don't think that it's unhealthy. More dramatic. Yes.

Offline Blu

  • Task Force
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1103
  • Championship Pot: 116
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #47 on: December 05, 2012, 05:40:20 AM »
For example, I would have preferred to have seen Tahnorra over Makorra in LOK. And I know that its hardly true love, but its interesting and there's possibilities for drama.

I don't want my stories to be happy so much as I want them to be interesting. That may be something that factors into the Zutara mindset.

Offline The Melon Lord Approves

  • Naive Fools Club
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1493
  • Championship Pot: 121
  • Gender: Female
  • World's Biggest FAangirl
    • My tumblr
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #48 on: December 05, 2012, 05:46:28 AM »
And drama is great.  I like drama.  But I'd prefer that the drama in a story not come from the romantic aspect.  I'm much more interested in, for example, a complex political drama or a heavily action-based plot which also features some romance, and the tension and dramatic elements of the story come from the action, not the love story.  Romance should be a spice, not the main dish.  Like the gravy on the meat, you know?  The pot roast is awesome and the gravy is delicious, but given the choice, most people would prefer to eat them together rather than separately.

Fixing The Bad Boy is an almost painfully common trope in contemporary fiction, particularly in popular media.  And sometimes that's done well. One excellent example I can think of is a tv romance between the sweet-heart, bookish protagonist and the rebellious, gritty, city boy with a pack of cigarettes and a paperback in his back pocket. Their attraction was immediate and intense, but they sucked at communicating and the relationship ultimately dissolved because his life was so screwed up.  He then spent many years screwing up and figuratively kicking his shit back together before using his love for her as the inspiration to pull himself up by his bootstraps, found a publishing company, and write a novella.

And you know what?

That story didn't end with the brooding author getting the girl.  It ended with the brooding author getting rejected.

And I loved that relationship.  I thought it was something they both needed to go through for a variety of reasons because they both took a lot away from it.  But it also caused them both an unbelievable amount of pain and suffering, and although their lives were better in the long run for having known each other... even though they had so much in common despite their wildly different backgrounds and the passion between them, that relationship was never meant to be. It was something they learned from, and was ultimately good for them, but they were not soul mates and they wouldn't really have been happy together if they had run away when they were young, the way he begged her to do.

You get where I'm leading with this?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 05:48:24 AM by The Melon Lord Approves »

Offline Blu

  • Task Force
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1103
  • Championship Pot: 116
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #49 on: December 05, 2012, 05:50:58 AM »
Oh yeah I absolutely get you.

Which makes me wonder if there's any shippers out there who ship a couple like that. That is, they think the have valuable lessons to teach each other but realise that it wouldn't work out in the long run. There's so much emphasis placed on the OTP idea that it kinda rules it out, but why not?

Offline Scooter

  • Metalbender
  • Round 1!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Championship Pot: 21
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #50 on: December 05, 2012, 05:52:21 AM »
*le sigh*  apparently I am not making my point or it's just not acceptable enough. If you don't ship it fine. I am not ripping apart your ships cause they not cannon. I am too tired and apparently my fuse is too short tonight. I guess I will have to come back another time and defend it.

Offline Blu

  • Task Force
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1103
  • Championship Pot: 116
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #51 on: December 05, 2012, 05:54:42 AM »
And drama is great.  I like drama.  But I'd prefer that the drama in a story not come from the romantic aspect.  I'm much more interested in, for example, a complex political drama or a heavily action-based plot which also features some romance, and the tension and dramatic elements of the story come from the action, not the love story.  Romance should be a spice, not the main dish.  Like the gravy on the meat, you know?  The pot roast is awesome and the gravy is delicious, but given the choice, most people would prefer to eat them together rather than separately.

If its well done, I am fine with drama coming from any aspect of the story.

And if there's no drama in the romance why would it be there in the first place?

Offline The Melon Lord Approves

  • Naive Fools Club
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1493
  • Championship Pot: 121
  • Gender: Female
  • World's Biggest FAangirl
    • My tumblr
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #52 on: December 05, 2012, 06:27:17 AM »
My intention is certainly not to "rip apart" Zutara, and I would like to apologize if I somehow offended you, Scooter. My intentions here are only to A) explain why I don't find Zutara-as-soul-mates appealing and B) try and gain a better understanding of why other people do.

That said, I'm not saying there should be no drama in romance. There certainly should be.  But I generally don't like the romance/relationship drama to be the ONLY drama in a story, or even the PRIMARY drama in a story.  This is not always the case, of course (there are no hard-and-fast rules in fiction that apply to every situation), but that's the general tendency.

And I know that's a personal (and apparently unpopular) preference, but that's just how I view the world. Romance is nice, and a love story woven through the larger tapestry of the story is nice, and a bit of drama in aforementioned love story is also nice. But there are two caveats to that.  The first is that, for myself at least, I prefer that to be of equal or secondary importance to other plot elements. And the second is that drama doesn't necessarily have to come from conflicting personalities.  There was great and profound drama involved in the relationship of Marius and Cosette in Hugo's Les Miserables, but that drama didn't come from their personalities colliding or them having some kind of big misunderstanding (which totally could have happened, considering Eponine's stalking unrequited love for Marius), it came from the fact that they were trapped in a situation which was literally ripping them apart from each other and threatening to separate them by whole oceans.  And it was a beautifully dramatic and tension-filled beginning of their relationship.  But they themselves were very at peace within the little core of their romance.

Essentially I think what it comes down to is this:

I can get behind Zutara in the short term.  I can see them having some kind of fling, and quite possibly coming out the other end as better people because of it.  I can see him being drawn to her because she's a nurturer and whether he admits it or not, he craves that (although he doesn't really respond well to nurturing behaviors). I can see her being drawn to him for a variety of reasons (because although I personally do not find Zuko even remotely attractive, I can objectively see how other people, possibly including Katara, could be), and in canon, I could possibly see this coming about as a result of the outcome of his Agni Kai with Azula, or under AU circumstances.

But I can't see them having a sustainable, long-term relationship.  Short term, definitely. AU settings, even more definitely.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 11:19:47 PM by The Melon Lord Approves »

Offline The Melon Lord Approves

  • Naive Fools Club
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1493
  • Championship Pot: 121
  • Gender: Female
  • World's Biggest FAangirl
    • My tumblr
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #53 on: December 05, 2012, 07:52:47 AM »
^^What you said, Shiney!

I friend!ship Zutara hard.  They make awesome friends, and the conclusion of their personal war with each other (which really only happened when she healed him after he took Azula's lightning for her) was great.

But Avatar celebrates all kinds of love. Familial, romantic, and platonic.  Zuko and Katara overcoming their enmity and not only becoming allies but actual friends was beautiful.  But not every interaction between characters has to be romantic in nature.  Like the friendship between Toph and Aang, for example.  Now, I like Taang quite a bit, but I can't say I actually ship them because that would be a lie. Much like with Zutara, I can see Taang having some kind of fling because I can see there being some chemistry, some mutual attraction.  But I also see them being very incompatible in the long term, so it wouldn't last.

We've got this whole mindset of "men and women can't be friends because the sex thing always gets in the way." Bonus points if you get the reference  But the thing is... that's not true.  Attraction does not get in the way of friendship.  Now, if actual, serious romantic feelings get involved, THEN it gets very difficult to be platonic friends.  But Katara and Zuko can be friends, purely platonic, and maybe feel attraction to each other, without it being anything more than that.

And I love their friendship. Very much.

Offline Blu

  • Task Force
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1103
  • Championship Pot: 116
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #54 on: December 06, 2012, 02:11:53 AM »
I friend!ship Zutara hard.  They make awesome friends, and the conclusion of their personal war with each other (which really only happened when she healed him after he took Azula's lightning for her) was great.

But Avatar celebrates all kinds of love. Familial, romantic, and platonic.  Zuko and Katara overcoming their enmity and not only becoming allies but actual friends was beautiful.  But not every interaction between characters has to be romantic in nature.  Like the friendship between Toph and Aang, for example.  Now, I like Taang quite a bit, but I can't say I actually ship them because that would be a lie. Much like with Zutara, I can see Taang having some kind of fling because I can see there being some chemistry, some mutual attraction.  But I also see them being very incompatible in the long term, so it wouldn't last.

We've got this whole mindset of "men and women can't be friends because the sex thing always gets in the way." Bonus points if you get the reference  But the thing is... that's not true.  Attraction does not get in the way of friendship.  Now, if actual, serious romantic feelings get involved, THEN it gets very difficult to be platonic friends.  But Katara and Zuko can be friends, purely platonic, and maybe feel attraction to each other, without it being anything more than that.

And I love their friendship. Very much.

Yeah I totally agree.

And I think that's why I enjoyed Kataang so much when I watched the series, as opposed to Zutara (which, funnily enough, I didn't even know existed at the time). Because it wasn't purely romance and tension - although it had that - it was just a strong platonic friendship that developed into something else.

We probably share the same distaste for tacked on romance and I think that's how it can often feel when the base friendship between characters isn't developed first. For example, uhh, Harry and Ginny I suppose. Or maybe Makorra.

And was the reference When Harry Met Sally?

Offline The Melon Lord Approves

  • Naive Fools Club
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1493
  • Championship Pot: 121
  • Gender: Female
  • World's Biggest FAangirl
    • My tumblr
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #55 on: December 06, 2012, 03:37:42 AM »
It was indeed.  And while I feel that on the one hand that movie presented a very good perspective on the subject of male and female friendship, it was just one of the loudest voices among many that fail to present the whole picture.  Which is, essentially, this:

Men and women who are attracted to each other can be friends.

Men and women who are experiencing actually feelings for each other (which is a very different thing) cannot.*

And in relation to Zutara, that pretty much (at least from my viewpoint) comes down to this:  Katara and Zuko may be attracted to each other. Maybe. We don't actually have any evidence as to whether or not they find each other physically attractive. But the fact that they may be attracted to each other does not mean that they're guaranteed to fall in love.

Also... is that a Tolkien-inspired image in your sig????

*The caveat to this is that in this situation, men and women can only NOT be friends if the feelings are one-sided. If both friends have feelings for each other, friendship and romance are not mutually exclusive- and in fact the friendship is actively necessary to maintain a successful relationship.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 03:39:15 AM by The Melon Lord Approves »

Offline Blu

  • Task Force
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1103
  • Championship Pot: 116
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #56 on: December 06, 2012, 03:58:57 AM »
Also... is that a Tolkien-inspired image in your sig????

No, actually. Although it definitely has that vibe! Its from a Harry Clarke piece, I'm not entirely sure what its called. Although a Tolkein sig would be kinda fitting cos my country is all about The Hobbit right now.

And to be honest I have never seen When Harry Met Sally, although I've heard its one of the better looks at male/female relationships in romantic comedies. I can certainly relate to the difference between attraction and feelings though.

Offline The Melon Lord Approves

  • Naive Fools Club
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1493
  • Championship Pot: 121
  • Gender: Female
  • World's Biggest FAangirl
    • My tumblr
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #57 on: December 06, 2012, 04:09:19 AM »
Well, either way, it's a gorgeous sig.  *goes to become more artistically aware*

WHMS is definitely a film worth checking out.

Offline Blu

  • Task Force
  • Knockout!
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 1103
  • Championship Pot: 116
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #58 on: December 06, 2012, 06:23:01 AM »
Well, either way, it's a gorgeous sig.  *goes to become more artistically aware*

Thank you! His stuff is stunning.

WHMS is definitely a film worth checking out.

I'll let you know my take when I finally get round to seeing it~

Offline WinterStar

  • Pro-bending Fan
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Championship Pot: 9
  • Gender: Female
Re: Zutara General Discussion
« Reply #59 on: December 06, 2012, 03:21:04 PM »
I've always liked the idea of Zutara friendship. I can imagine them like two best buddies kicking the hell out of some bad guys. But a Zutara romance... It just doesn't appeal to me the way Kataang does. 
But it would be awesome if they showed Zuko and Katara playing pai-sho and sipping tea in the next season of Korra :D

 

       
CREDITS:

Forum coded by Seluna
Logo illustrations courtesy of terrik_zion and Seluna.
-----

Enjoy the site?
You can donate to help with hosting and maintenance costs!

-----

LEGAL DISCLAIMER:

The Korra Connection is an unofficial, non-profit fansite made by fans. It is in no way affiliated with Nickelodeon, Viacom, creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino or anything else related to the Avatar: The Last Airbender, Legend of Korra or related franchises. All ownership rights are respected by the staff of this site and no copyright infringement is intended.