So, Zutara is one of the only ships I have that I still get really antsy about. I’m used to rooting for couples that don’t happen or characters that die. But this one still gets me upset when I remember it didn’t happen. Don’t ask me why, but it does.
The only way I ever justified it in my head and could stomach the ending of Avatar was to totally decide she and Aang broke up later as did Zuko and Mai. Because they’re young and it’s very rare to stay with anybody like that (and really, only Sokka was actually stable enough to have a decent relationship I think). So, in my mind I always thought Katara went with Aang because she felt she owed him. She loved him but not in the way he wanted. Or needed. But she could do it for him. He saved the world, saved her, and did all that amazing shit. Least she could do was give him what he wanted- which was her. Even though she had an attraction to Zuko (people have to admit there was a sort of attraction there even if nothing came from it in the show). Throughout the episodes it really seemed to me like she was settling on Aang. Because he was (being stupid about it) not giving her up and saving all the shit.
They grew up and Aang eventually realizes she isn’t happy. Sokka is pissed because his baby sister is not happy. And Zuko has realized that Mai would make a very apathetic Queen (as much as I loved her, she needed like 100% character growth to be in any sort of healthy and real relationship. And she didn’t get it). Also, no chemistry (there were episodes that showed how dysfunctional their relationship was). He and Katara see each other again and he tries to convince her what she’s doing isn’t healthy for her or Aang (or right by him either, really) and then they get together.
I honestly think Zuko and Katara would make a good couple. I understand why it didn’t happen during the show, but if it had happened at the end I think it would have been okay. Avatar wasn’t about the romance really, and the Kataang subplot was very subtle and easy to fit in (even though it was so one sided through 90% of the series). Zutara wouldn’t really have if it had developed more than the subtle touches that sort of happened. It would have overshadowed and become big I think. And so it didn’t happen during and I get that.
And really neither were prepared for each other. They were young and rash and stupid. But if they grew up some, and had to have character development (as they would have had to get for their relationship which makes it interesting) then they could be a real couple and I think it would have been amazing. Which is why I love it more than any other in Avatar. Because it was interesting (unlike a good deal of the canon ones) and I think both of them could have made it work.
And this is why the new Avatar series comes out makes me sad. It proves it didn’t happen. Anyway, random rant I wanted to get out.