Sure, Aang is cute, but there’s a reason why Avatar: The Last Airbender fans have continued to celebrate “Zutara Week” every year for the past decade. Even Avatar star Dante Bosco gets it: Katara and Zuko are one hot item. In the latest episode of io9's Total Shipshow, Gizmodo social editor Emily Lipstein talks about the history behind one of animation’s coolest couples, and why destiny is still pulling them together to this day.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is not only a fun animated show, it’s a fantastic piece of television. A lot of that is thanks to Katara and Zuko, the ultimate forbidden love. I mean, come on, there’s a reason the Ember Island Players portrayed them as a romantic item, because they totally should have been.
Zuko and Katara start out as enemies with a common past, but eventually learn they’re kindred souls with a shared destiny to help the Avatar. Their literal fire-and-ice dynamic leads them to get into fights—like, a lot—but by the end they’re a unit. Zuko understands Katara in a way that Aang never could, and Katara sees right through his tough exterior to the man underneath. In the final episode, Zuko risks everything to save her life, becoming the hero he was always meant to be. And then... they go their separate ways.
Zutara is a ship that people have grown up with, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Even if decades have gone by, with both Katara and Zuko having forged their own paths and raised families, the love they shared will endure in the hearts of fans who rooted as hard for them as Sokka does for Earth Bender wrestling. Be sure to let us know your favorite Avatar: The Last Airbender couple in the comments, along with your favorite Zutara fanart!