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Strong Female Characters In "Avatar: The Last Airbender"

A look at all of the amazing girls in Avatar that know how to kick butt. You go, ladies!

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Katara is one of those characters that not only doesn't fit into a stereotype, she completely defies it. Katara shows that girls can be girly and still know how to kick butt. She doesn't let sexism get to her, either. Her first appearance shows her calling out her brother for being "sexist [and] immature." She does it again at the end of Book 1, when Master Paku refuses to teach her how to fight because she's a girl. She's not one to take no for an answer!

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Katara is also compassionate. She's very trusting, but that also means she doesn't forgive easily when someone betrays her trust. She's quick to help people in need, and is very mature, due to her mother's death while she was still young.

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By the way, did I mention Katara's awesome bending skills? She goes from a complete beginner with no experience, to a self-taught bending pro, all within the space of one season. She becomes a Master with the help of Master Paku (after fighting him and holding her own), and becomes Aang's waterbending teacher, despite Aang having taken lessons longer than she did.


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As a total tomboy, Toph is the complete opposite of Katara. In fact, Toph and Katara are at odds with each other right from the start. But despite her tough-as-nails exterior, Toph eventually shows a vulnerability that makes her that much more easy to relate to.

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Pretending to be weak and helpless in front of her parents, Toph uses her bending to help her "see," to the point where she can see almost better than normal people, despite being blind. Because she uses her earthbending on a daily basis, she becomes the "greatest earthbender in the world," (self-proclaimed, at first), proving her claim when she invents metalbending.

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Best Toph quotes:

"Yeah! Let's break some rules!"

"I'm beginning to wonder who's really the blind one around here."

"I am the greatest earthbender in the world! Don't you two dunderheads ever forget it!"


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Suki is so awesome that despite being a minor character that only appears in one episode in the first season, she makes a comeback as one of the main characters in the final season. She was the first person to convince Sokka that girls make just as good warriors (sometimes better) as boys do.

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Suki's not a bender, but that doesn't stop her from kicking butt. Not only that, but she does it while wearing makeup and a dress! And while she can do just as well with her bare hands, her weapon of choice is a metal fan. Talk about taking femininity to the next level!


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Yeah, she may be a crazy, sadistic, firebending prodigy, but hear me out. Azula is a princess, but a driven one, doing things herself to make sure they get done right. Her bending is so skilled that her fire is blue instead of orange (note: blue fire is much hotter than orange fire). She lets no one tell her who to be or what to do. Even though she's a villain, her character has a lot of depth, especially when it is revealed that she despaired that she never connected with her mother.

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Best Azula quotes:

"Are you sure? I'm a pretty good liar. I am a 400 foot tall purple platypus bear with pink horns and silver wings."

"My own mother thought I was a monster... She was right, of course, but it still hurt."

"Trust is for fools! Fear is the only reliable way."

Ty Lee

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Ty Lee is a character that takes a stereotype and completely flips it on its head. She comes off as a bubbly, pink-obsessed girly-girl, but audiences soon learn that she is not one to be messed with. Another non-bender, she uses a unique form of martial arts that blocks a person's chi, rendering them unable to bend. She is loyal to her friends, and while that puts her on the wrong side for most of the series, in the end she redeems herself when she defends Mai from Azula.


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Where Ty Lee is bright and bubbly, Mai is dark and gloomy. Despite being brought up to be a proper young lady who is seen but not heard, Mai certainly knows her way through a fight. Her weapons of choice are her concealed darts and knives, which she throws with terrifying accuracy. She's the least gloomy around her boyfriend, Zuko, but it is Zuko who convinces her to turn against Azula.

Princess Yue

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Yue is strong in a way that is very different from her female counterparts. She doesn't waterbend, nor does she fight. She seems like a flat character at first, appearing to only be Sokka's love interest. It isn't until Zhao kills the Moon Spirit at the Spirit Oasis that she shows her true strength: selfless sacrifice. Having been saved by the Moon Spirit when she was a baby, she gives her life to become the new Moon Spirit, saving the Northern Water Tribe and providing the means to win the battle with the Fire Nation.

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