While rewatching the third season of A:TLA, I was struck by how the image of Katara after bloodbending (top) resembled the image of Zuko before he was given his scar (bottom).
In a way, those events are sort of parallels. Both pre-bloodbending Katara and pre-scar Zuko have known hardships — war, death, betrayal, etc. — but they’re both still naive and idealistic.
And then these events happen, and the two characters are forever changed. Zuko loses his family and his honor; Katara realizes the darkness that lies within herself.
I also realized that this was when Katara became my favorite character. When she finally lost that last shred of innocence she was clinging so dearly to. I loved that she became a little darker, a little less optimistic, and I think it’s because it so clearly mimicked Zuko’s own story (which was my favorite of all the characters in the show). This was when I stopped viewing Katara as a child.
And that’s what I loved so much about The Southern Raiders. Seeing that again, it was almost like Zuko was helping Katara go through the same kind of pain and anger that he did when he was her age. He was the only one who understood her completely in that episode, and he knew exactly what she needed so she could finally start healing, after so many years of suffering. Zuko had to face his father; Katara had to face Yon Rha.
And that’s why I absolutely loved that Katara and Zuko fought their last battle together. Their stories, mimicking and mirroring each other for so long, finally merged and ended together.
yeah, i just needed to get that off my chest, please ignore my rambles