"You want to learn to fight so bad, study closely."
After months of traveling, the gang finally arrives at the North Pole, to discover a grand city with formidable defenses and hundreds of water benders. Sokka finds himself interested in a beautiful white-haired girl, revealed to be the princess of the tribe, Yue. She reciprocates his affections, although her signals seem mixed at best, confusing Sokka.
Meanwhile, Katara and Aang both seek out the water bending master Pakku to teach them, only to discover that it is forbidden for women to fight. Katara finds herself in a struggle between her own personal morals and a fear of jeopardizing Aang's training, before deciding that with everything she has gone through, she will
Elsewhere, Zhao deduces that Aang is at the North Pole looking for a teacher. However, the Northern Water Tribe's defenses, both natural and military, require a massive force to fight against. Zhao recruits Prince Zuko's crew, and while talking to the Prince, notices the broad swords Zuko keeps
. Later that night, Zhao meets with a familiar band of pirates and offers them a job...
While Uncle Iroh takes a walk, the pirates board Zuko's near-empty ship and plant barrels full of explosives. Iroh comes back from his walk to see a smoldering wreck of where he had last seen his nephew...
Up at the North Pole, Katara's feud with the tribe's culture leads to her challenging Pakku to a duel. Despite putting up a spirited fight, (Even Pakku admits she's good) she loses. Pakku finds her necklace and discovers it's the same one he carved for his betrothed, Kanna...Katara's Gran-Gran! While Pakku loved Kanna, Kanna didn't return the affections- it was an arranged marriage, and Kanna wouldn't let the Northern Tribe's customs control her. And it turns out the reason for Princess Yue's mixed messages is that while she also likes Sokka, she's also
engaged! In the end, Katara is allowed to train under Pakku with Aang.
Meanwhile, Iroh accepts Zhao's offer to join in the invasion, but his dialogue with a soldier reveals that Zuko survived the explosion, and his Uncle is helping him stowaway. All Zuko has to do is wait patiently and the Avatar will be his...