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Fanon / Avatar: The Last Airbender

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The Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise, due to its largely implied and All There in the Manual worldbuilding, has a lot of this, along with character interpretation.

  • For a mockery of all this, see the episode "The Ember Island Players".
  • A relatively less likely to be contested one is that Jet's Freedom Fighters all go by nicknames assigned by their leader Jet.
  • The idea that Kyoshi solved all her problems with violence and bathed in the blood of her enemies tends to be really common as well, all because she readily accepted responsibility for the death of Chin the Conqueror (and made it clear that she would have been willing to kill him, had he not fallen off a cliff) and counselled Aang to kill Ozai. Her tie-in novel, The Rise of Kyoshi , has added to the jokes, despite the fact that it gives her a story of her own and rounds her out. She spends the whole story Gaining the Will to Kill the Big Bad Jianzhu in Revenge for killing her friend Yun and Parental Substitute Kelsang. She kills a guy in a duel and doesn’t feel too bad about it. Then when she meets Jianzhu again, she’s ready to kill him before Yun somehow comes back from his presumed death to do the deed himself. On the other hand, the book demonstrates that killing people isn't how she solves all her problems. Lao Ge tries to test her by getting her to kill Governor Te, but once she finds out that Te is a kid her own age who's just been doing what his predecessors have always done, she gives him a second chance. She scares the hell out of him, yes, but she gives him a chance to shape up, and he takes it seriously. So there's plenty of joke fodder, but there's also layers to her characterization that we didn't have before.
  • Some people still insist that bending ability and talent is a case of Lamarck Was Right and/or Superpowerful Genetics. This is despite the fact that Katara and Toph are the only benders in their families (at least, that we know of)note , there being a set of twins where only one was a bender, it being said that people first learned bending from non-human sources, and Word of God speaking to the contrary several times, saying that bending manifests due to a mix of genetics, spirituality, and training.
    • There is a certain level of truth to this, in that at least this is what is believed to happen in-universe. According to Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search, the Fire Sages felt that the offspring of the Fire Nation Royal Family and Avatar Roku's descendants would produce powerful firebenders. The results were Zuko and Azula, the latter considered a success, the former a failure.
      • It's shown in Korra that the ability to bend was originally bestowed on some humans by the Lion Turtles, and that the aforementioned animals taught them the art of bending, that is, how to actually control and use their abilities to their full potential.
  • It is widely accepted Fanon (for whatever reason) that Azula is 100% lesbian. She is shown attempting, and failing, at heterosexual dating in-canon. Any contention over Azula's sexual orientation will likely not be over whether she is into women, but whether she's also into men. The main argument is whether her flirting with men is due to actual attraction or due to a desire for power/fitting in.
    • It's pretty well accepted in the fandom that Azula and Ty Lee are together and the writers managed to sneak it under the radar, to the point where they are often listed as a canon pairing. This despite the fact that there is a scene in season 3 where Ty Lee gives Azula advice about flirting with boys, which Azula promptly puts into motion. That being said, there is a lot of subtext between the two (but both Azula and Ty Lee have some subtext with pretty much everyone), it is pretty clear that Azula cares about Ty Lee more than she cares about anyone else, and Ty Lee seems absolutely devoted to Azula, up until The Boiling Rock. Word of St. Paul would at one point confirm that Azula has such feelings, bolstering this pairing. Meanwhile, Word of God and the comics would confirm that Ty Lee definitely doesn't, with their entire "friendship" having been rooted in fear on her part, and Ty Lee no longer wanting anything to do with the princess. (Frankly, Zuko is the only one who doesn't completely fear or despise Azula.) Naturally, the latter piece of info is ignored, and the more popular Alternative Character Interpretation is that she was truly Azula's best friend, with her praise being infatuation rather than ass-kissing.
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    • Going hand-in-hand with the above point, the idea that Ty Lee is bisexual has become quite well-accepted. She is not generally interpreted as a lesbian, probably because she is shown to clearly be interested in men on a relatively regular basis and even comes on to Sokka pretty heavily, but her behavior toward Azula is eyebrow-raising enough that it seems no one really thinks she's straight either, despite the gender of the person she is being shipped with. It doesn't hurt that she flirts with anyone and everyone.
  • The idea that Smellerbee (a member of Jet's Freedom Fighters) is a trans girl is somewhat common, based on a scene in which Iroh mistaken calls her a boy, which causes her to have a breakdown and need to be comforted by one of her comrades, in a way that implies that this is a common occurrence.
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  • When first introduced Toph and Aang were 12, Azula, Ty Lee, and Katara were 14, Sokka, Suki, and Mai were 15, and Zuko was 16, and by the end of the series about one year had passed. Any other exact ages are fanon, especially the insanity of how someone as pretty as Ozai is Iroh's brother.
  • A popular notion in fanfiction is that citizens of the Fire Nation worship the Sun Spirit as a god and call it Agni. Several factors contribute to this bit of Fanon: 1) As waterbenders are empowered by the moon, and the Northern Water Tribe worships the Moon Spirit, so firebenders are empowered by the sun, therefore it seems logical that the Fire Nation would worship a Sun Spirit. 2) Agni is the name of the god of fire in Hindu mythology, and the Fire Nation has a custom of firebending duels called "Agni-Kai." 3) You have to give Fire Nation characters something to say when they feel like swearing. This was later clarified. The original firebenders the Sun Warriors worshiped the sun as the source of firebending, but the Fire Nation forgot about the sun, and instead drew on personal rage and drive to fuel their firebending. No mention of a god named Agni has ever come up, but that's to be expected since the Avatarverse has spirits, but no mention of gods, and for the most part, mortals don't know the names of spirits either.
  • Despite no one in the show has ever saying, "Oh, Spirits!" (or any variation thereupon) to express frustration, it's extremely common in fanfiction.
  • Zuko's season-one hairdo is called a "phoenix tail," apparently. Maybe because "ponytail" sounded too fun and perky. It does seem likely, as Sokka's ponytail is properly called a "warrior's wolf tail." On the other hand, the scene in which this is revealed makes it clear that the word "ponytail" does exist in their world.
  • More and more fanfic writers are portraying Ozai as a coffee aficionado, in contrast to Iroh's famous love of tea.
  • Too many fanfic writers seem to believe that Toph only refers to people by nicknames, when in canon, she calls people by name in serious moments. In actuality, most of her nicknames ('Snoozles', 'Madame Fussy Britches' and 'Sweetness' to name a few) were just one-timers. 'Twinkletoes' is one nickname she actually stuck with, but if you believe the fanfic writers, this would be the only name that Toph ever knows Aang by. Popular Zuko nicknames seem to include 'Sparky' and 'Hothead'.
  • While Ozai was indeed physically and emotionally abusive (physical abuse toward Zuko, psychological abuse toward both Zuko and Azula), fanon enjoys tossing in sexual abuse into at least Azula and Ozai's relationship. He's also made physically abusive towards Azula.
  • Most fanfic authors also agree that Suki was tortured during her time at the Boiling Rock. This idea isn't unfounded. She was the leader of the group of warriors found in the company of the avatar's flying bison, so it makes sense that she might have some information on his whereabouts, and the guards at the Boiling Rock do torture prisoners for information in canon. However, some fans crank it Up to Eleven, taking Azula's infamous "favorite prisoner" comment to mean that Azula personally raped Suki. However, many fans believe that she only made that remark to get a rise out of Sokka and none of it was true. Suki's behavior after her rescue doesn't seem to reflect that occurrence either.
  • The assumption that Azula was gunning for the throne the entire time seems to be taken as a given by almost the entire fandom. During the series, this is never mentioned as one of her motivations. If anything, there is evidence to the contrary. She brings Zuko back from Ba Sing Se with honor and then tries to help him keep it when she knows that doing so will result in his reinstatement in the line of succession ahead of her; at best, her preferred role is as the Man Behind the Man. The idea of Azula being after the throne wasn't introduced into canon until The Search, and that was when she thought that Zuko wasn't really Ozai's son and the throne was rightfully hers. Once she learns that isn't the case, she stops trying to dethrone Zuko.
  • Ty Lee has characteristics that are considered very un-Fire Nation (a round face, grey eyes, a very bubbly personality, an affinity for gymnastics, etc), but do match up with Air Nomads. This has caused fans to speculate that she has Air Nomad in her family. This often goes with the fanon that not all Air Nomads were killed off (though some depict Ty Lee as having Air Nomad ancestors from prior to the genocide). Some escaped but ended up living as Fire Nation or Earth Nation civilians. The Legend of Korra possibly jossed this theory due to no Airbenders being known to exist besides Tenzin's family until Book 3, though fans have argued that it just means none of the survivors descendants had bending abilities and it's theorized that the people who became Airbenders are descendants of Air Nomads (this is bolstered by the fact that the one non-bender of Air Nomad descent we know of, Bumi, got airbending). Aside from Ty Lee, the characters most often surmised to be the descendants of non-bending Air Nomad by-blows are Kai and Zaheer.
  • Shippers from The Legend of Korra were quick to create the very common fanon that Asami likes Korra, not Mako. Some have even gone far enough to say she smashed into him with the purpose to meet Korra (though that's more typically Played for Laughs). As of the final episode, the idea that, at some point, Asami did start liking Korra and not Mako is actually canon.
  • The idea that Kya is a lesbian caught a lot of traction. Some fans used this to ship with her with Lin, while others just liked the idea. A few fans also think that she has a wife because her necklace bares a resemblance to a Northern Water Tribe betrothal necklace, although she's single in canon. This is possibly a case of Ascended Fanon, since the creators have confirmed that Kya is an LGBTQIA individual, along with Aiwei, Korra, and Asami. The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars later clarified that Kya is attracted to women.
  • Similar to the above example, the idea that Kuvira is either a lesbian or bisexual has really spiked in popularity since the start of the fourth season. Bisexuality seems plausible, as the fact that she has a male fiance suggests that she is probably attracted to men.
  • The identity of the mother of Zuko's daughter hasn't been revealed, but fans almost always assume that it's Mai. This is probably in part because she was Zuko's only canon love interest in the original series who lasted longer than one episode, and in part because her only major rival shipping-wise is canonically paired with Aang. It does seem probable. Even though Mai broke up with Zuko in the comics, they are both shown to still love each other. Izumi's resemblance to Mai has not helped matters. Gene Luen Yang (who used to write the comics) confirmed at a con in 2017 that the two of them are eventually going to get back together as well.
    • Eventually, Word of God named Zuko's daughter Izumi. Before that, one popular theory was that she would be "Ursa," after Zuko's beloved mother. Her main Fan Nickname, however, was "Honora." Obviously this was meant to be a joke on Zuko's obsession with honor, but it became so popular that a lot of people actually wanted it to become Ascended Fanon. By the time her canon name was revealed, a large handful of presumably newer fans had no idea that "Honora" wasn't her actual name. These days Izumi's unnamed, unseen daughter has inherited the nickname.
  • Many Korrasami shippers have come up with the theory that Asami was the one who commissioned that Republic City Park be renamed Avatar Korra Park and had the statue of Korra built. This is due to the fact that Asami helped redesign the city and therefore would be in a position to have this done.
    • Related to this is that Meelo was not the one who drew the picture of Korra but that he borrowed it from Asami who made it.
  • Sokka's descendants:
    • The idea that Baatar Jr. is Sokka's grandson seems to be accepted by most of the fandom, due to their uncanny resemblance. Some Tokka shippers generally believe that Sokka is Su's father. Evidence used to support this is that Su has much darker skin than either her mother or sister, and in general, bears more of a resemblance to Kya than Lin or Toph. Sukka shippers think the two are related through Su's husband, Baatar Sr., despite the fact that Su implies that she and Baatar didn't meet until they were adults. Evidence usually used to support this is that Baatar sounds like "Bato" with an Earth Nation spin, that Baatar Sr. is an engineer and a non-bender, and that Baatar Jr. looks more like his father than his mother.
    • In general, fans want someone to be Sokka's descendant. Other candidates include Varrick (another Water Tribe Ditzy Genius) or Zhu Li.
  • Regarding certain lousy evocative villains, as far as the fanbase is concerned:
  • Kuvira's and Suyin's relationship is vague. Suyin mentions that Kuvira was "like a daughter" to her, but that phrase can mean multiple things ranging from Kuvira being her protege to Kuvira being her surrogate daughter. Most fans interpreted it as meaning that Suyin adopted, or at least fostered, Kuvira. She however didn't treat Kuvira like a daughter, which amplified Kuvira's abandonment issues and stirred her Start of Darkness. The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire later revealed that Suyin raised Kuvira in her house.
  • Fanart often depicts Korra with a Raava tattoo on her back that glows when she is in the Avatar State.
  • Another speculation holds that all of the new airbenders were born in autumn (the season associated with air). The fact that Opal Beifong is named for the real-world October birthstone is occasionally cited as a clue.
  • Pema being either Ty Lee's late-in-life daughter or her niece via one of her many sisters is at least relatively popular.
  • To explain the lack of Suki in The Legend of Korra, fans often have her as having died at a relatively young age. This often goes with the idea that Sokka is Suyin's father, with the recently widowed Sokka falling for his childhood friend Toph.
  • That everyone reincarnates. It's unspecified in canon what happens to characters when they die. The Avatar reincarnates, but it's unclear if they're special in that respect or that they're only special in that they know who they reincarnated from (also the souls of their past incarnations still exist as separate entities from the current one, so the exact meaning of "reincarnation" is somewhat hazy). Word of God is that Momo was originally intended to be a reincarnation of Gyatso, but that was scrapped in development.
  • Momo as Gyatso's reincarnation. This comes from scrapped plans for the series.
  • An uncontested piece of fanon based on something that is all but stated in canon is that Korra was poisoned with mercury. The substance is a metallic liquid and her symptoms greatly resemble that of mercury poisoning, however the series itself never states that it was mercury.
  • Many fans were speculating that Kyoshi was either lesbian or bisexual long before she was confirmed to be the latter in The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars.
  • Zuko gets mocked by Azula telling him he was "lucky to be born." Many fans interpreted this as Zuko having been an ill or premature baby.
  • In fanfics where Azula has children she's usually presented as Maternally Challenged. Whether she's a distant mother due to fear of attachment or a smothering mother due to her experiences with Ursa depends on the writer. If it's Tyzula (or Azula/Any-Female) then Azula will usually give birth herself because she wants a heir.
  • To explain why Amon's skin tone is so different between his youth and his adulthood, fans cite that either using his mask so much made his his face lighter or that he bleaches his skin.
  • Iroh's wife died in childbirth.
  • Many fans are under the impression that Korra is much shorter than she actually is. Her height is 1.70m (5'7), putting her in Statuesque Stunner territory. It's not that Korra is short—Asami is just tall. Still, many fanworks portray Korra as a Pintsized Powerhouse.
  • An Indian counterpart exists somewhere. This is because of at least one character with an Indian-inspired design (Pathik) has appeared.
  • Female Fire Lords being referred to as "Fire Ladies" is pure fanon. "Fire Lord" is a unisex term in-series and Izumi is referred to as such numerous times, including by her own son.
  • In a large number of fan-works, both the Northern and Southern Water Tribe use betrothal necklaces. In the series itself, this custom seems to be exclusive to northerners. The only time a Southern Water Tribe engagement has been shown, a wedding ring was used.
  • It's generally assumed that Toph's parents and Ursa are nonbenders. In-series, it's never clarified either way if they're nonbenders or if they're benders who just aren't depicting bending on-screen.
  • Azula is often played up as a Fille Fatale in fan-works. In canon, there's nothing sexual about her character. It's her voice acting that makes her seem that way.
  • Prior to the series, Asami already knew she was bisexual. Frequently, she's even had ex-girlfriends.


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