Poll: Which of the following is most appealing? Vote Now!
Author has written 44 stories for Teen Titans, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-overs, Justice League, Final Fantasy VII, Avatar: Last Airbender, Mass Effect, and Assassin's Creed.
Country of residence: England
Occupation: Student Without Feck
Most others, if they're written at all well. Excepting Rob/Rae, because it's awful, and Sokka/Suki, because Suki is about as interesting as a bag of rocks.
My Opinions, Let Me Show You Them.
Suki is the worst character on Avatar: the Last Airbender.
There was a time when Suki as a character merely bored me and filled me with disdain for reasons I couldn't define. Happily, those days are behind me now. I have some definitions, now.
There are several minor reasons why I find Suki pretty much unbearable, but really, they're all just symptoms of her major flaw.
She is not a character.
Bear with me here, because I have some questions.
1- What does Suki want, apart from Sokka?
2- Who does Suki care about, apart from Sokka?
3- What drives Suki to keep fighting, apart from Sokka?
4- What has shaped Suki's worldview, apart from Sokka?
5- Why does Suki like Sokka?
I don't need all of those questions answered- I know she only got limited screentime compared to the Gaang. I will, however, posit that, since she actually made it to the finale, when, say, Mai disappeared, it is not unreasonable to expect answers to three of them. One of them has to be number five.
(For the record, in Mai's case you can answer at least two of the questions. Search-and-replace 'Sokka' with 'Zuko', unless you'd like to hear about my fanfictions.)
To sum up, what, by the end of the show, do we actually know about Suki as a person? Nothing important. We know that she lived on Kyoshi Island, but not if she had a family. We know she led the Kyoshi Warriors, or at least one squadron, but we don't see how that affects her character. We see her leaving home for what could be the first time, to go fight and possibly die in some foreign field, except she doesn't seem to care. She is, in fact, a completely blank slate.
The worst part is that she didn't have to be. She's a child soldier in a position of authority- that's interesting. She spends a significant period of time as a prisoner of the Fire Nation- that's interesting, except all that apparently happens to her is that she gets bitten by a radioactive spider. According to Azula (I know, I know, cite a less reliable source, why don't you) she broke under (implied) torture. We see precisely zero evidence of that, apart from the fact that Azula knows Sokka's name (quick fetch the chaise-longue my inner Sokka/Azula shipper is having palpitations) and knows that there's a link between him and Suki.
I could mention how the whole Sokka/Suki ship also makes Sokka look like the most emotionally uninvested boyfriend ever (just for a laugh, see how many times he mentions Suki when she's not standing right in front of him. Then count how many times he mentions Yue), but really, I'm not sure much more needs to be said on this point.
Seriously, if anyone can answer any of those five questions, drop me a PM. That's an open invitation.
Opinions on Sokka's Thought Processes.
I figure that this is worth hashing out, if only because I write Sokka a lot, what with the whole 'best character on the show by a country mile' thing. I'm not saying THIS IS HOW HE IS, IF YOU DEVIATE FROM MY STRICT GUIDELINES YOU'RE WRONG, mostly because (on most days) I am not a complete dickhead, but someone out there might get a kick out of my hilarious over-analysis of cartoon characters and their thought processes.
1- He is not, in fact, completely insane. He tends to get really overenthusiastic about projects, in a slightly mad-scientist kind of way, and the rest of the time he's just indulging his sense of humour by saying something stupid just because he thinks it's funny. If you like, he's doing a bit of standup- riffing on the situation as a kind of performance. The whole ad-libbed haiku skit demonstrates that a- he's pretty goddamn amazing at thinking on his feet (seriously, 8 Mile Starring Sokka would have basically opened with the real movie's closing rap battles, and accelerated from there), and b- he loves proving it.
2- He does not, on the whole, give a crap about people as an abstract. I never really got the sense that Sokka was part of Team Avatar because he wanted to Save The World. Aang wants to save the world, Katara wants to Do The Right Thing, Zuko wants to Correct His Innumerable Fuckups, Toph... is kind of done by early season three, after which she's basically just along for the ride, but Sokka never really gives his motivations for tagging along. It's clear he doesn't like the vast majority of the trip, and he never expresses any interest in going out of his way to fix the problems of people that aren't explicitly asking for help.
3- He does, however, give innumerable craps about people in his bubble. And here, I think, is where he differs from Katara in a fundamental way- when it comes to people he loves, he has absolutely no sense of ego. He doesn't burden them with his real problems, he might grumble but damnit he will help. In fact, he'd damn well do everything for them, if they'd let him. It takes a while for some characters to actually get into his (for want of a better word) family- Aang definitely doesn't become important to him for a good while- see the fact that Sokka basically deserts him in the episode with Bato, and how he judos the kid to the ground in the episode with Jeong-Jeong- but once they're there, they stay there. (Interestingly, this is, I think, remarkably similar to how Azula behaves about her friends, with the difference being that the divider isn't who she cares for so much as it's people she trusts, and as such it's a much, much smaller circle, and one that's much easier to fall out of)
4- He bottles shit up. Almost everything, really. He really does, and not in that cliche, brooding-romantic-hero-that-really-wants-people-to-hear-about-everything-that-he's-unhappy-about kind of way, where all you have to do to hear about their angst and troubles is walk in on them while they're brooding and cough loudly. In the climactic finale of season one, Sokka's first girlfriend, who he is still utterly infatuated with, basically commits suicide in front of him. The only time we ever get any indication that he remembers she ever existed in season two is when he is off his head on peyote. He has no interest in dumping shit on people just to make himself feel better.
And before you bring up that point in season three when he tells Toph about his mother, and the fact that he can't remember what she looked like (incidentally that's one of the most quietly devastating moments in the series in the series, hands down*)- he's not looking for sympathy or understanding there. He's trying to help Toph, and that's all he's doing.
And incidentally, that little exchange, coupled with the fact that Katara heard it, makes her little 'you never really loved Mother' moment in The Southern Raiders officially the most awful thing one of the good guys ever does. And nobody calls her on it. Ever.
5- He has definitely killed people. I mean definitely, and I'm not just citing the Melon Lord here (although the Melon Lord execution was straight-up cold blooded, no lie). In the invasion on DOBS, there's a point where Aang, Sokka, and Toph are throwing down against Azula and two Dai Li. A wall springs up, separating Sokka and one of the Dai Li from the others. A couple of minutes Sokka is seen climbing through a hole in the wall. The other Dai Li guy is never seen again. Sokka has a very very very sharp sword (like chop-through-a-solid-foot-of-steel-with-no-apparant-effort sharp). Two and two. Besides, Sokka doesn't have the Pacifist Hero thing Aang's got going on, and no pressing reasons not to stab guys in the face.
Commander Shepard, as of Mass Effect 2, has a massive drinking problem.
Come on, this one's pretty much self-evident. And nobody, Paragon or Renegade, passed up the opportunity to get utterly wankered at every single opportunity.
EDIT: For more of this pointless nonsense, feel free to examine my, thingsareswinging.tumblr.com
'You're just jealous 'cause I sound like a rock star.'
Unsafe External Link