Me too Zuko, me too
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minor atla character to whom i’ve unexpectedly lost my heart: this guy
lieutenant jee, so mysterious. why his cropped hair in a nation where a topknot is prestigious?? how did he come to take a position on zuko’s warship?? how did he refrain from mutiny for so long? and where did he learn to play the pippa so well??
i really enjoy his mini-arc with zuko through book one, and how jee goes from challenging zuko’s commands to establishing a mutual respect for each other. “the storm” sets jee up as a narrative stand-in for ozai, whose outspokenness compels zuko to attempt to reenact the traumatic events that lead to the agni kai with his father and subsequent banishment. jee and zuko nearly come to blows after zuko insists that the lives of the crew are inconsequential in regards to his search for the avatar. but iroh intervenes with the tale of zuko’s history, leaving jee with new knowledge and respect for zuko. and so the cycle of violence that zuko is still stuck in is never completed. jee goes from complaining about zuko in the boiler room to actively helping him in his search for the avatar.
there’s an entire category of atla fics where zuko gets adopted by various characters, so where are my “jee reluctantly adopts his traumatized, rage-filled teenage superior officer” fics??
lieutenant jee is definitely dad-shaped. he is grumpy, officially Too Old For This, and so completely done dealing with this little shit.
i mean, are you even a zuko father-figure if he’s not mouthing off to you??
don’t you just hate it when your dad tells you your behavior is atrocious and you know that he’s right??
in fact, he’s SO dad-shaped that after jee chastises zuko for endangering the crew and disrespecting his uncle (a classic dad move by the way; only a Real Dad would scold you for your behavior in front of Literally Everyone You Know), zuko immediately tries to fight him. because that’s what you do with dads, right??
and the ultimate indicator of a father-son relationship: after antagonizing jee and shouting at iroh and having an absolute meltdown in front of all his men, zuko literally goes and puts himself in time out. HE GOES TO HIS ROOM AND SITS THERE UNTIL HE’S SORRY.
i can’t get over how zuko essentially puts himself in time out to think about what he’s done.
and then zuko goes and rescues the helmsman, which causes jee to make this face:
“maybe this terrible child isn’t quite as terrible as I thought!”
zuko and his two dad-shaped guys.
and in the episodes that follow, jee not only refrains from leading the mutiny he’s clearly been considering, but is shown to have a respectful working relationship with zuko afterwards.
bonus father-son bonding over firebending training!
anyway i stan a lieutenant jee.
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Just for a moment, you could see it in his eyes,
a ray of sun demanding to give warmth
and the inevitable thruth that he so often denies.
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Thinking about how Zuko told Ozai, "My father, who challenged me, a 13-year-old boy, to an Agni Kai. How could you possibly justify a duel with a child?" but he also challenged his 14-year-old sister to an Agni Kai.
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- understanding -
Toph knows himself.
I know the history of Toph.
3. Something that you are thinking about while drawing (that is, in a chaotic and illogical way, can be ignored) :
This could be me wandering around, realizing there's a painting on the wall, looking at it, looking up and being surprised
The toph on the left is before meeting the team, and the Toph on the right is after meeting the team. I love the way everyone turns their heads.
There are wings on the bottom, but in fact the two sides are different. I want to express that the left side is the symbol of flying pig family, while the right side is Toph's own wings.
Toph has a lot in common with me, so I often draw fans of the character. Sometimes I can't quite tell whether I'm learning about Toph or myself;
But AFTER all, I am the second creator, and my understanding of her is based on my own feelings. The real Toph only exists in the release of official animations and comics, and she is just a new character borrowed from her appearance. What I know about Toph is only what I want to know, or a part of my ability to understand the scope of Toph.
，，，，， thanks to the original author for bringing this work, I will have different feelings every time, let me have such a deep resonance...
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You either have a sibling relationship like Sokka and Katara where you equally support and playfully mock each other, or you have one like Zuko and Azula where you go from murder to beach vacation back to murder.
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Sometimes, I forget that Sokka wasn't always silly. Sure, he's always been one of ATLA's biggest sources of comic relief but throughout Book One, that comedy usually comes from him being in pain ("Most of it, self-inflicted."). Even when he's doing something like playing Air Ball, it's with a grave seriousness and a purpose (cheering up Aang). If anything, he overtly dismisses moments of silliness. ("You can't fight Fire Benders with fun!") His goofy moments later in the series are so funny and well-known that you forget it's actually part. of his character development. In addition to learning how to be a better brother, a son, a leader, a soldier, a warrior, a feminist, a swordfighter, a strategist, a lover, a mourner, and a friend, he also learns how to start cracking jokes, how to lose himself at an underground wrestling tournament, how to play in Appa's fur, how to mock the pretentious elite of Ba Sing Se, how to have little moments of clown-to-clown communication with Aang, how to break into a poetry slam, how to goof around, how to act like a fifteen-year-old, how to have fun!
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Primary Regions of Venn Diagram:
Trait shared by Prince Zuko and Laszlo Cravensworth:
Bisexual with no social awareness
Trait shared by Laszlo Cravensworth and Batman:
Trait shared by Batman and Darth Vader:
Wears all black and a cape
Trait shared by Darth Vader and Prince Zuko:
Trait shared by Prince Zuko, Laszlo Cravensworth, and Batman:
Bad theatre experience
Trait shared by Laszlo Cravensworth, Batman, and Darth Vader:
Has met, or been, a ghost
Trait shared by Batman, Darth Vader, and Prince Zuko:
Trait shared by Darth Vader, Prince Zuko, and Laszlo Cravensworth:
Service industry experience
Trait shared by Prince Zuko, Laszlo Cravensworth, Batman, and Darth Vader:
Menaced by Marc Hamill
((DO NOT REPOST. DO NOT SHARE ON OTHER PLATFORMS WITHOUT CREDIT.))
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Toph Beifong best girl
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Katara and Zuko are set up as being the two that are both completely sure that the Avatar will return, but for completely opposite reasons. Katara has the selfless reason that he will save the world, Zuko has the selfish reason that he will have his own life returned to normal. It’s a really cool juxtaposition as an example of how Aang brings hope to different people. What’s nice is that hope isn’t the only thing Aang brings to the gaang- Sokka loosens up and starts to have more fun, and Toph is given freedom, which are both traits tied to the Air Nomads
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Cultural Practices: Earth Kingdom Money Pt. 1
Told you I’d have this one out before 2022!
Like with the Fire Nation, the Earth Kingdom’s currency comes in denominations of copper, silver, and gold. However, unlike the island empire, typical EK money appears to be cast into a very uniform shape and size. This mold of a round coin with a square hole in the middle is known in Chinese as fāng kǒng qián (方孔錢) or “square-holed money”. This style of coin was used in China from the 4th century BC until the 20th century AD, over 2000 years. Other currencies based on this coin include the Japanese mon, Korean mun, and Vietnamese văn. Nowadays, these coins are primarily used for good luck charms and divination.
The “round coin, square hole” design is both practical and symbolic. From a practical perspective, the holes in the coins allow them to be strung through a thin rope, making them easy to carry and spend in large quantities. Instead of counting each coin individually, a seller could simply measure the length of a coin-rope to determine how much they were receiving. This technique was essentially the Imperial Chinese equivalent to the modern day coin wrapper.
From a symbolic and artistic perspective, the design alludes to the idea of Tian Yuan Di Fang (天圓地方) or “Round Sky, Square Earth”. As the name implies, the square hole represents the element of earth and the round coin represents the sky. The two symbols combined represent two contrasting ideas unifying to create a cohesive whole, the steady land in harmony with the ever-shifting heavens. I guess the ancient Chinese conception of planet Earth was sort of like a piece of paper floating in a dome or bubble.
Anyways, considering the symbolism behind the coin design, it’s a very appropriate form of currency for the Earth Kingdom. Essentially, the square earth centered on a round sky could reflect a nationalistic belief that their country is the center of the world. Certainly, the way that Ba Sing Se is structured and ruled implicitly reflects this belief. It would also explain why the “Round Sky, Square Earth” motif shows up on other objects throughout the Earth Kingdom.
In Part 2, I’ll discuss the history behind the uniquely-shaped gold that Toph’s parents use to pay Yu and Xin Fu to capture Toph. Because of course the obscenely wealthy Beifongs wouldn’t pay using mere commoner’s coins...
Like what I’m doing? Tips always appreciated, never expected. ^_^
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Imagine one day Zuko gets tired of being firelord so he calls his council in like “technically speaking, Azula and I both lost the Agni Kai, so that makes Master Katara the official Firelord”
Katara would be horrified but Zuko assures her it’s only for three days and she uses up the entire treasury in “reparations” to the other nations.
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Ok but Sokka and Zuko getting caught together for the first time because Zuko has red and white paint all over his face and neck and is all flushed and his hair is falling out of his topknot and Aang and Katara are like “WTF YOU AND SUKI SINCE WHEN???” and then Suki rounds the corner like “lol you heteros really think?? Me and him? That’s hilarious no offence Zuko” And then Toph whips around cause she senses someone sneaking away and who does the group see but Sokka in his rumpled kyoshi warrior outfit and smudged face paint and she goes absolutely feral like “I KNEW IT! I KNEW YOU TWO WERE FRUITY! PAY UP KATARA”
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Azula Redemption progression
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aang: if you count from the day i was born, i'm the oldest person alive, technically
bumi: au contraire bitch
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Look, I’m not DEFENDING azula, I’m just saying that if I PERSONALLY had the ability to shoot lightning out of my fingers at my brother any time that he was annoying at age 14 I ALSO might not have handled that very responsibly,,, so like I UNDERSTAND
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“It is important to draw wisdom from many different places. If you take it from only one place, it becomes rigid and stale. Understanding others, the other elements, and the other nations will help you become whole.”
“All this four elements talk is sounding like Avatar stuff.”
“It is the combination of the four elements in one person that makes the Avatar so powerful.”
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No but give me a Katara who will pat Zuko on the cheek when she’s feeling fond or in a distracted manner, anytime really and it always his scarred cheek.
And she does it in a way that is so natural and doesn’t really get why some people will look at her and stare in absolute astonishment or scandalized— all she knows is Zuko will lean into her touch and let his eyes slip closed in a brief moment of vulnerability, and she forgets about the looks instantly.
Physical touch is something they work on, and it’s something Zuko cherishes, but Katara is the only one to touch his scar in a way that makes him feel vulnerable and raw but safe. Intimate in a way he knows he could never be with anyone other than her.
Just give me physically affectionate Katara and absolute goo pile Fire Lord Zuko in front of stuffy old council members 😭
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hakoda and suki are the best father-in-law/daughter-in-law combo like u cant convince me this family dynamic isn’t perfect
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begging u to write something along the lines of the recent post u made. like zuko’s smoking more and more recently bc of impending stress and it’s gone from something that used to be like a monthly thing to a weekly thing and then to an every-other-nightly thing. sokka approaches him and doesn’t want to overstep (maybe they’re not together or are newly together) but he’s worried so he brings it up and tells zuko it’s only because he cares about (or, gasp, LOVES) him and zuko’s so stunned someone cared enough to even NOTICE let alone ask him to stop that he does his absolute fucking best to quit
‘You know.’ Sokka circles his finger around the rim of his glass. It’s around nine in the evening and outside gusts of wind scream. Sokka wants to look straight at Zuko and he wants to look away, so he focuses on the flame of the candle instead. That orange flicker. ‘I’ve noticed—you’re smoking more.’
He chances a glance up at Zuko to gauge his reaction. He’s got this faraway look in his eyes, all doe-like and stunned, like Sokka pulled a knife on him. The corner of his eye twitches and he swallows. ‘I am?’
‘Yeah.’ Sokka feels stupid saying it. He feels a little something else, too, at Zuko for playing dumb—of course he knows. It used to be a rare occasion, something he did at parties or when having a particularly shitty day. He’d climb up onto the roof and smoke till his fingers trembled a little less, his breaths came out less shaky. Sokka knows because he was right there with him on the roof so many times, watching with his breath caught in his throat as Zuko’s slender fingers cradled the cigarette, his lips pursed around it.
It was beautiful in this artsy way. Like the shot in a French indie film, right after the main character painted something surrealist or fucked some brunette with sad eyes.
It was so sad and Katara was so angry because it’d kill him, but Sokka didn’t say shit, he just looked as Zuko smoked and he wanted to kiss him, but he never did that, either.
He didn’t smoke every day, not even every week. So, it wasn’t a big thing.
But it’s daily, now. If they didn’t live together, maybe Sokka wouldn’t have noticed, but they moved in together when they started college, and somehow neither of them ever moved out. Sokka didn’t want to because he’d miss Zuko so much, and Zuko didn’t—well, who knows why? He’s a man of habits. Why fix something that’s not broken, right?
So Sokka noticed, like Sokka notices everything about Zuko.
‘Yeah, you are.’
‘Oh.’ Zuko fidgets with his own drink, takes a slow sip of the orange soda and doesn’t meet Sokka’s eyes.
It’s really not his place. It’s Zuko’s own business—this is why he couldn’t bring himself to say anything before, back before it got this bad.
It’s got so bad and Sokka isn’t even sure why.
It’s like T. S. Eliot said. It’s April now. It must be bringing back memories, mostly of the bad kind. On top of that—the dissertation, all the stress, his intense imposter syndrome and wanting to do everything perfectly.
‘What’s stressing you out?’
Zuko rolls his shoulders. Puts his glass down on the table and plays a finger through the condensation that slicks down the sides. ‘Nothing.’
Sokka arches an eyebrow. ‘All right, be like that. Lie to my face.’ He twists his mouth into a smile just to show he isn’t really mad, although—although, maybe he is, a little, or just worried. God, he doesn’t want Zuko to get cancer at 34 and die on him. What would he fucking do?
Zuko sighs, huffs out this soft almost-chuckle. ‘Just—you know. A little bit of everything, I suppose.’
Sokka exhales. ‘You don’t want to talk about it?’
‘No, no—’ Zuko shakes his hand around between them. ‘It’s just—I can’t believe you noticed.’
‘Of course I noticed.’ Sokka grabs his own glass and clenches his fingers around it. He notices everything—the thin skin beneath his eyes shot through with black from all the sleepless nights. The smell of nicotine lingering on his coat when he comes back inside, cheeks pink from the cold. The pink cheeks—the soft smile—the tailored shirt that makes him look phenomenally handsome—all of it makes Sokka’s heart ache. He is so stupidly in love and he doesn’t know how to talk about it, not with anyone, least of all Zuko himself.
How do you say—dig your hands through my ribs and pull out my heart, squeeze it till the blood slicks your fingers like mango pulp, let me whittle you a halo from my imaginary wishbone? When you hurt yourself, it makes me want to hurt myself, too, I need a physical sting to ground me from the hole in my chest, gaping wider each second?
Zuko is the poetic one, anyway. Sokka’s not good with words.
‘So?’ Zuko prompts. ‘What do you want me to do?’
‘I want you to stop.’ It sweeps out. Maybe he didn’t mean to say it or maybe he did, it doesn’t matter, the words are spoken. They still hang in the air between them, you could reach out a hand and poke them.
Zuko lets out a strained sound. He looks at Sokka in a way Zuko can’t really pin down, but he’s not certain it’s bad. It’s more like—Sokka just pulled a knife on him, but maybe he kind of liked the blade.
Sokka’s felt that.
‘I don’t want you to die.’
Zuko blinks. He swallows, and Sokka swallows, too, because that’s what it all comes down to, isn’t it? He doesn’t want to live without Zuko, and at this rate—well, if Zuko keeps smoking a pack a day—Sokka doesn’t even want to think about it.
‘Oh?’ he shoots back.
‘Oh,’ Zuko repeats.
So many possible meanings in such a tiny sound.
‘I know it’s not—’ Sokka falters, laces his fingers together and cracks his knuckles. There’s a slight tremble, not only in his fingers but in his entire body. Is Zuko about to get angry at him? It’s his body, really, he can do what he wants with it. Can’t he? Why can’t Sokka let him do what he wants?
Because he doesn’t want him to die.
And what does he want?
Everything. Crêpes on Saturday mornings and car rides to the forest and every kind of touch you can imagine. Fingertips brushing. Lips to the forehead.
‘I know it’s none of my business—’
‘No,’ Zuko interrupts. He shakes his head, still looking at Sokka in this strange way. ‘No. No, I’ll—I’ll quit, I’ll—I know it’s not good, I just—’
‘Yeah.’ Sokka clears his throat. He feels lighter now. He could float away, almost, if it weren’t for the weight of the rest of his feelings. Who knew love could be so heavy? Maybe one day he’ll find a way to say all the rest, about the Saturday mornings and the handholding and washing his hair for him. The tenderness. Maybe he’ll never find a way to find the words for all that—or maybe he just did. Wasn’t it implied?
I don’t want you to die because I can’t imagine my life without you—isn’t that what he said?
‘It’s just—’ Zuko takes another sip of his drink, swipes his tongue across his upper lip. ‘I don’t know.’ He sighs. ‘I feel like an asshole. And I keep thinking about my dad and shit. Y’know, it’s like—’ he looks at Sokka, straight at him, and Sokka feels pierced by those golden eyes. Who’s holding the knife now? ‘Sometimes you become something you don’t want to become, and you don’t even notice it.’
‘Maybe,’ Sokka admits. ‘But you won’t become like him. I won’t let you. You won’t let yourself.’
‘We don’t know that.’
‘I know that.’ He doesn’t blink; barely breathes. ‘I know it. Trust me.’
‘I do,’ Zuko breathes out, like it’s obvious. ‘I do trust you. And I’ll—I’ll quit, all right?’
‘I know it’s not easy.’ Sokka’s words get blurred, and he looks down at his lap. Brings his glass to his lips to stall. ‘I know I’m asking a lot.’
‘You’re not.’ Another beat, an exhalation that scrapes out. ‘You’re not. You know I’d do anything for you, anyway.’
Sokka swallows. Something stings behind his eyes, some fierce pain that’ll gut him if he doesn’t force it down. ‘This is why you’ll never become like your dad.’ He wants to say that big word he’s never said but felt every day since he was a teenager.
But he can’t do it.
He’s holding the knife now and he’s pointing it at himself. The light reflects off the blade.
Instead, he gives Zuko a shaky smile. ‘You’re just saying that.’
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