The shape of shenanigans to come.
So I have so many head canons to share with you all.
If I could have the Gaang as one big polyamorous family that loves each other always, I would. So I reject Bryke's future canon, and subsitute my own. Seriously though, the Gaang is a family now. I just think they are six people who would love each other very much and would always been good friends and make time for eachother.
This is one of the reasons why the comics/Korra make me so dissappointed -but we shall not speak of those.
Aang, Ty Lee and the Airnomads -
Now Aang can go off and have adventures with Ty Lee while he teaches her bending. I can see them becoming great friends. I think Ty Lee is a very sex positive induvidual and her attitude would be a great influence on Aang. I can see Aang having lots of girlfriends and lots of meaningful relationships and trying heaps of different things and he grows as an Avatar and figures out who he is.
They will find more untrained benders. I can also see Aang have a bunch of kids to different ladies. The recovery of the air nomad race will be a slow process, but it will happen. I think that the new air nomads will conduct their business differently that the airnomads of the past - mostly out of necessity, because that old way of life would not be viable in its entirety. I think that Aang would try to stick to the Air Nomad teachings as much as possible, but would learn to moderate his stance where appropriate. I can see him having a few philosophical differences with Ty Lee and Guru Pathik, but these differences would help him clarify how he really feels about his beliefs as well as the loss and recovery of his nation.
I don't think the air nomads are gone forever. I don't think the sky bison are gone forever either. Just as I think that the spirits would maintain balance, and there would be many untrained airbenders out there, I also think that there are still sky bison out there. They are wild now, and taming them will be a big job - but they're still there.
Anyway, Aang fixes up the Southern and the Eastern Air Temples, with the help of Guru Pathik, Ty Lee and the Gaang (plus a large amount of money in reparations and a pleb ex-solider work-force, because all those ex-soliders have got to get a job somewhere now). The rebuilding of the temples would take several years to restore them properly. The Northern would get left to the refugees/the mechanist who have made it their home. The Western Air Temple would be restored at a much later date, and then left for posterity/as the new bison breeding ground.
Ty Lee's story isn't Aang's story, though she will play her role in rebuilding, but also re-shaping the Air Nomad culture. She's such a free spirit that I can see her adapting well to the nomadic lifestyle. I think she would reject some of their practices and teachings though. I can't see her shaving her head or giving up any future children she would have. She might allow other air-benders to have an active role in raising her children, but I can't see her giving them up for good.
Also we should not forget that Ty Lee is a genius – to invent chi-blocking single handedly at age 14 requires some serious smarts. Though she seems like a bubbly air-head, there must be an amazing mind under all that cheerfulness. I think she will master Airbending quickly (2-3 years), travel round extensively searching and training airbenders, teaching chi-blocking to non-benders* and riding the giant Koi/other animals when she can and generally having a good time. I can see her maintaining good relationships with all her friends, including both Azula and Mai – who will be at odds for several years. I think that it will eventually be Ty Lee, not Zuko, who would help those two lovely ladies overcome their issues. For Ty Lee's sake, they would reconnect and though they'll never be close again, they'll be civil to eachother.
*the whole bender/non-bender conflict would be way different in my head-canon.
I'm in two minds over whether Ty Lee/Aang would happen now. If anything, I would like to see them have a relationship in their twenties – when Aang is a lot older. This would be a deep and meaningful connection that would mean a great deal to both of them, but they would part ways amicably because neither of them have a monogamous nature at that point in their lives. The first few "new" airbenders would be born out of their relationship.
In my head canon, Aang is not the last air bender, nor does he pass such a terrible legacy onto his son. He works proactively to rebuild his nation, has moderate success that will be build upon by his kids. He has heaps of adventures, many lovers and grows in wisdom. His gentle nature helps the world recover from a century of war.
None of this manogamous relationship with one woman from age 12 for Aang. Boo to only having three kids, of which only one is a airbender. Blergh.
Suki, Sokka and new diplomacy -
Suki- I can see Suki and the Kyoshi warriors playing a big role as peacekeepers in the colonies. Kyoshi Island was neutral during the war and this neutrality would make them ideal for peace-keeping operations. I would like to see the Kyoshi warriors expanded from being a little militia from Kyoshi Island into a well-trained, well-resourced force of good in the world. With Suki leading them, I can see the Kyoshi Warriors becoming the key peacekeeping force in the world, and attached to a UN-like body, which would be developed by the Gaang in co-operation with other world leaders. I also think that they would being to take in recruits from all over the world and evolve to become less insular. Suki would be a well respected leader, who would uphold Kyoshi's teaching and would help keep balance and peace in the world. Kyoshi Island would offically become and independent nation, completely seperate from the earth kingdom. They already pretty much are, but under Suki, this would be made official.
She and Sokka would be based in the newly renamed Republic City (formerly two rivers colony in this universe). It was the first place that Suki and the Kyoshi warriors were sent as peace keepers and the first colony to become completely indepenant from the firenation. It's proximity to the other colonies means that it would be ideal as a base for peace keeping missions. I can see Suki and Katara setting up something simmilar to UNICEF, and Suki and her warriors will be assist in humantarian missions with Katara during peace time.
She and Sokka would get married and live together in Republic City for a long time. They would frequently travel to both the SWT and the FN to visit family. They would maintain close ties with the SWT, as Sokka will inherit the responsibility of chief and the SWT would slowly start to change to become more gender-equal. By the time that Hakoda dies and Sokka takes over as chief, Suki is comfortable with relocating there. Though she would be a badass grandma at that point and would sass anyone who gave her sexist crap.
I can see Sokka as a real renaissance man. He so incredibly intelligent that he would aquire all these amazing skills and do so many amazing things with his life. He would quickly become independantly wealthy from his assistance in developing the airships. The airship fleet would quickly become quite a popular way to get around. It would also be necessary in the post-war reconstruction period, as there would be much need for diplomatic travel. The first two air-ship ports would be in Ba Sing Se and the FN Capital, the third would be in Republic City with eventually every nation having an Airship Port in its key city.
He would be an amazing inventor, after studying the engineering and metal work of the FN and applying that technical knowlegde in creative ways. In my head canon, many of his adventures that we see in the series, such as the submarines, would be more fully developed. Submarine/ship travel would still remain more popular in the Water Tribes.
I can also see him playing a big diplomatic role in the newly emerging colonies. While Suki is captain of the peace-keeping force, I can see him playing the role of a governor of some description. Being neither from the FN or the EK would give him neutrality and help him lead with fairness. He would be trusted by Aang and Zuko in this role and would help steer the warring factions in the colonies onto the path of peace and co-operation. He would retain his role as govenor for some time, until Republic City could be self-governing. Republic City as a newly emerging city-state, would attracted people from the world over and become a real mixing pot.*
*in my head canon, I think that Sokka and Suki would be very aware of bender priviledge and would make sure that there were anti-discrimination measures in place, such as mandatory chi-blocking in the schools of the new colonies as an attempt to mitigate bender bullying/intimidation.
While Toph would be their chief of police, but I don't think that the police force would be completely made up of earth benders. Blergh to that. Gosh I take issue with so much of Korra, because it makes the Gaang look like idiots, and in my head canon neither Sokka or Suki or Toph are idiots, for goodness sake.
I see Sokka later in his life trying his hand at teaching engineering at the University, and then trying his hand at writing plays, mostly comedies, which would be generally well received. His most popular play, Bossyboots and Angrypants in the Airtemple – THE MUSICAL, will be an obvious and thinly veiled retelling of Katara and Zuko's shenanigans in the airtemple (however it would end with them getting together sooner, as all good musical should end with a kiss). It would even use exerpts from her stalker diary as dialogue (much to Katara's great annoyance). It will be a break-out hit and have songs that get ridicuolous stuck in people's heads. Katara will come across people humming the tunes all the time, and develop a special sort of hatred for the song The Fountain Queen Commands.
Sokka will also write a few history plays, as well as a complete, more accurate, re-write of the boy in the iceberg. He will surprise everyone with the poignant sincerity of Luna, his first try at writing tragedy. While his previous plays had irreverant dedications (eg the dedication in Bandit! - the MUSICAL says: To my favourite dirt-eating wench and the original bandit. You had me at that very first display of your hairy pits) the dedication in Luna simply says "For Yue".
Toph is in such a unique position, and I can really see her making the most of it. She'll stay with Zuko and Iroh for the mean time, but visit her parents at regular intervals. Lao will increase his trade with the FN and evnetually buy some property in the FN capital so that Poppy can be closer to Toph. I think Toph will always be close with Zuko and Iroh. She already feels a part of their family. Zuko always treats her like a sister from another mother. Iroh will tell her that though the spirits never blessed him with a daughter, if he had one he would want her to be exactly like Toph. She will call the FN Palace home until she feels completely settled in Republic City. I don't see Toph going straight into the top spot at Republic City.
I think that Toph will have so much freedom now that there will be a little period where she doesn't quite know what to do with it. She'll go through a period of soul searching where she will try out many different things - and Zuko and Iroh will give her the freedom to experiment. She will work closely with Sokka when he is studying engineering and help him with her metal bending. She'll try her hand at inventing for herself. She will use her skill with detecting lies to help Zuko in the war crimes trials. I think she'll also try her hand at helping Aang fix up on eo fthe temples, as well as travelling with him again. She'll do a stint with the Kyoshi warriors as a peace-keeper, and do a stint working with Katara in her humantarian aid projects. She will also set up her own Earthbending academy and pass metal bending on to competent students. She will be a brutally tough sifu and only take the best students. I eventually see her settling down to life as the cheif of police in Republic City - which she will find herself very well suited to. But she will only do this after she has had heaps of life experience and decided that she wants to devote her life to fighting crime.
Lovers? I think that Toph will have many. She will experiment with boyfriends, as she is developing her "type". I actually see her eventually marrying a comedian, or an actor or someone else who is very good at making her laugh. Someone good, kind and worthy of her. There aren't any characters who I think would be perfect for Toph in series at the moment.
I think that Iroh will stay with Zuko and continue to serve as his most trusted advisor. I blow my nose at the stupidity of him moving to Ba Sing Se to make tea for starngers. No, Iroh will help Zuko as best he can. He dispense with wisom and embarrassment in equal measure. He will continue to insist that tea fixes everything. he will absolutely spoil his grand-neices and grand-nephews and give them drumkits and too much sugar etc.
So Ursa is a Joo Dee at the moment. Losing her memories is tough, but it is literally one of the only things that I think would keep her from her children if she was still alive. But she is alive and healthy and will be well cared for by Yugoda. She will return to Zuko, Azula and Toph one day...but I have something in mind for that, and I don't want to give it away just yet.
Ozai - will rot in that dungeon. The jerk. Honestly I am not at all on the redemption for Ozai bandwagon. To me, he is like an older version of Prince Joffery from Game of thrones. He crossed the moral event horizon long ago, and the best thing for his kids would be if they can get as much distance from him as possible - and some major therapy to deal with the abusive stuff he heaped upon them for no good reason.
Will eventually recover from her psychotic break. I can see her and Zuko repairing their sibling bond eventually. I think that Zuko would stick by her through her recovery, in a similar manner to how he does in my christmas fic, and though she will try her best to provoke him and they'll have big fights - he'll never give up on her. This steadfast loyalty from someone who isn't trying to use her will help her begin to tackle her various abandonment issues. I think Katara will assist in her recovery, and while Azula will provoke her too, and they will also have big fights - eventually they will develop a rapport based on mutual respect. Zuko and Katara will try and keep their relationship secret from her for a time, because they will be worried about how she will react - but she will know and needle them about it constantly.
One day she will be well enough to function in society, though I think she will always have a hard time dealing with people in a social setting, she will come to a place where she is content in herself and doesn't feel the need to use fear constantly in her interpersonal relationships or "win" every conversation. I don't know really ship her with anything aside from Azula/mental health. I think the only people she genuinely loves at this point is Zuko and Ty Lee. She does love them in her own way, abd a big part of her recovery will be learning how to show them affection in healthy ways. At Ty Lee's behest, she will also try and repair her relationship with Mai.
I think eventually she will devote her incredible mind to working "cold cases" on missing persons, and be a bit like Sherlock in the new BBC version. She'll be a socially inappropriate panda, but she'll be brilliant at what she does. She and Mai will sometimes co-operate on the same cases and discover a new rapport. I think they were always intellectual equals with simmilar senses of humor, and this would be a much healthier foundation for a friendship than power/control.
Gosh, I wish I could just have these three as a polyamorous trio of crime-solving awesome. I think they will be an amazing bounty-hunting trio together. June will love having two apprentices and she will be tough but fair on them. Mai will flourish as a bounty hunter and get to have so many bad-ass adventures - but she will also discover so much of the world and its injustices and begin to re-evaluate her priorities. She'll never be bored again with Jet and June, but she will learn that there are worse things than boredom out there. She'll never be quite as good at the outdoorsy stuff as Jet, but he'll never be quite as good at the academic stuff as Mai. Their relationship will become more balanced the more they work will eventually deal with his inner demons and become a more well-rounded induvidual. Jet will also be much better at dealing with people, especially young victims, than either Mai or June. Both of them would feel quite awkward dealing with overt displays of emotion - but Jet would be able to help those victims because he would know all of their feels. Jet will always be a bit implusive and Mai will always be a bit aloof - but they will help balance each other out and become life-long BFFs. I don't know if I "ship" them, but I do love their dynamic. Smellerbee and Longshot will set themselves up in Ba Sing Se and live a simple and good life together. Their place will be where Jet calls home when he is not on the road.
Our Dynamic Duo. Our Favourite Drama Llamas.
I will miss writing these two together, because gosh they are just beautiful whole fic came about because I just loved them so much together and they just made so much sense together that I had to write them both a happier ending than they got in ATLA. In all honesty, I feel that Zutara made much more thematic sense. Inter-racial love between former enemies who learn how to respect and work together and grow to love each other despite their differences is just a more resonant love story. Now I've finished this, and still managed to incorporate canon means that I can watch ATLA all the way through and just imagine that this story is happening in the background, off screen.
I think that they'll continue to help each other grow as people. They'll support one another in tumultous days to come. They'll always have each other's backs. After everything they've been through together and how far they've come, I can't see them ever breaking up. I actually think that eventually they'd be seen as one of the great love stories of the ATLA universe- akin to Oma and Shu, but minus the tragedy.
Even though they were complete drama llamas prior to getting together, I actually don't think their relationship would be all that dramatic. I think this might be an unpopular opinion, because they are both so passionate - but I actually think their relationship would be fairly steady and stable. I can see them more taking refuge from the world and all their external problems in their relationship with each other. I actually think their relationship would be a little haven for the both of them because they feel completely accepted by the other person and they know that the other person is in completely their corner. Of course with both their tempers they'd fight and bicker every now and then, but they would work to resolve it quickly.
I don't think Katara would ever give up her culture or forget where she came from, but she'd also learn to incorporate her new home. I think she'd wear a mix of blues and reds - rather than just solidly blocking on colour or the other. You often see Katara either completely in FN red or WT blue in fan art, but I guess I would just love to see her in a mix of colours. I don't think she'd ever stop wearing her mother's necklace and I really don't think that Zuko would give her a new betrothal necklace. He knows and respects how much that necklace means to her and would never try to replace it. Also the necklaces are a NWT tribe and seem to be a symbol of male ownership more than anything else. I think he proposes to her with the customs of his people and gives her a ring.
I think Katara will train with Dr Yang for several years until she is a completely competent healer. She will develop new forms of healing that incorporate her bending, FN medicine and EK herbal remedies and make many discoveries. She will also actively campaign for the rights of women and children around the world and do much humantarian work. The Gaang will work together to establish an UN-like body, and draft a document like the universal declaration of human rights. I can see Katara having an active role in this organisation and creating a humantarian branch simmilar to UNICEF. I think Katara would work tirelessly to help people everywhere. Her first project would be cleaning up that river from the painted lady and attending to all the other villages which had been affected by the pollution and water-born diseases. Her incredible compassion that she will frequently display to the poor and the sick and the downtrodden, regardless of their nation of birth - will quickly win her the favour of the people. When she is firelady, she'll be regarded as a People's Firelady.
She's not the sort of firelady who would just sit around the Palace, she'd be the sort of firelady who would take an active role in things. Zuko would support her in all of this. She'd have a life and goals and work that was independant from him (*cough* unlike whatever the hell has happened to her in the comics where she is fused to Aang and has no agency outside of him *cough*).
Zuko's job as firelord is going to be immensely hard, but I think he will learn how to shoulder it well. He'll have his Uncle, Piandao and Jee to help him. He'll learn how to not only cope, but flourish in his role. He steer the FN in the right direction and help them redeem himself. He'll work tirelessly to help rebuild FN society and make reparations to the world. I think that Zuko would do lots of reform the various problems inequities in the firenation, such as the extreme poverty in rural areas. He would also reform the education system so that it was no longer a tool of indoctrination. He will develop as a fair and strong ruler who genuinely cares about people. He would be respected and loved by the masses, and while he would face some opposition and disgruntlement from the upper echelons of FN society, he would find ways to diplomatically naviagte around them.
The fact that he is so different from Ozai will always count in his favour. Banning Agni Kais and reforming the justice system will show that he is someone who values fairness over fear. On a shallow note, I think that Zuko would always try and be physically different from his father as well. I think that he will keep his hair fairly short from now on. No longer than the length it is an the end of season 3. There are shallow reasons for this, mostly because I really hate long hair on dudes and love the season three hair the best. there are also a few more serious reasons, because Ozai always had long, shampoo commercial-esque locks, and I think that Zuko would try and differentiate himself as much as possible from his crazy dad. Also we know from Korra that short, cropped hair eventually becomes fashionable in the FN. Top knots are out and short hair is in (eg Iroh II's do). I would like to think that fashion started with Zuko.
Okay I know that was a lot to write about hair, but I just have a lot of feelings. This is all a round about way of saying that I would love to see some fan art with Katara dressed in reds and blues and Zuko with short hair.
Seriously though, I do think that Zuko would have several suitcases worth of Ozai baggage, especially when it came to fatherhood. I think he'd be more nervous than anything about the prospect of having kids. But despite all his nerves, I think he'd be a wonderful father. I do love me some Dadko. Being a good dad to his kids would finally silence all those horrible fears of turning into his dad that I'm sure Zuko has surpressed inside him.
I think that under Zuko, many of the former colonies will become independant city-states. While they would have the support of the FN, they would be their own sovereign entities. They wouldn't belong to either the EK or the FN, but would be independant. I actually think that Rena, my outspoken OC from Oyster Bay colony, would eventually grow up to be elected to represent her colony in its bid for independance. Her visit to the FN and her accompany casks of wine would lead those in the Palace to a few delightful poor life choices.
While the FN will need several years to re-adjust to a post war world, and there will be some difficulties such as urban decay, over-population and a large contingent of unemployed ex-soliders, eventually the nation will prosper again, but prosper through more peaceful means. All the FN drive will be channelled towards construction rather than destruction. Under Zuko's reign, they will enter what will be remembered fondly as a golden era, or a belle epoque.
Anyway, these two were my absolute favourites in a show where I loved practically everyone. I just want him to be happy, ya know. I want Katara to be happy too. I think they'd be able to make each other happy. In my head canon, I do think they'd be extrodinary together.