“Countless others have come before you, seeking weapons or weaknesses or battle strategies!”
this is one of the truly brilliant things about this show. while most kids’ shows will have good vs evil conflict, atla has a war. a real war, between people, with all the moral greyness and points of view made clear. the fire nation isn’t evil: it’s a repressed country under the strict control of its ruler. we’re shown how history is altered and propaganda is taught as fact, so the people grow up moulded to hate all other nations.
and then we get lines like this, which make us stop and think wait, is what the other nations are doing really right? after all, Ba Sing Se was supposed to be a haven, but turned out to be repressive and full of lies.
in this case we know that Aang is justified, and we trust him to do what’s right because he has such high moral standards. then we get to the finale and all that is challenged again.
it’s just a brilliant show guise.
Avatar: The Last Airbender was one of those incredibly rare shows that completely nailed all the fundamentals of good and rich storytelling.