From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Pairing: Aang/Katara
Alternative name(s): Kataang
Gender category: het
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Canonical?: canon
Prevalence: popular
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Aang/Katara is the main canon pairing of Avatar: The Last Airbender.


Katara met Aang in the very first episode, freeing him from an iceberg and setting off the chain of events of the show. Despite initial uncertainty and suspicion from Sokka, the two became fast friends, getting along beautifully from the outset as Katara accepted his invitation to go penguin-sledding with her. When he learned she was a Waterbender, Aang promised Katara he would help her get to the North Pole to find a master. They have a close, familial bond and Aang finds his anchor in Katara, while Katara looks up to him as the Avatar and a powerful and wise bender. Aang, being silly and childish for the most part, also elicits Katara's maternal instincts: for which reason, she is unable to see him as anything more than a friend or acknowledge her feelings when they shift. On the other hand, Aang develops romantic feelings for Katara very quickly and often tries to clumsily court her during Book One: Water. The first time their romantic feelings are hinted at was in The Fortuneteller (the fourteenth episode of Book One: Water).

Aang and Katara reuniting in the Crystal Catacombs (The Crossroads of Destiny, season finale of Book Two: Earth).

The relationship was a series-long slow burn, a strong friendship blossoming into mutual crushes. The series concluded with a kiss between the two, and the sequel comics delved more into the relationship's growth.

Legend of Korra

In the second Avatar series, Aang and Katara's children are important side characters. Tenzin, their youngest child and the only born airbender, is a major character from Book One and Korra's mentor. Their firstborn son Bumi (presumably named after King Bumi of Omashu, Aang's oldest friend in ATLA) and daughter Kya are introduced later in the series. Kya is a waterbender; Bumi is born a non-bender but develops airbending abilities later on in the show.


Though not explosively popular, Aang/Katara had a large and very devoted fanbase. The appeal of the pairing was watching the characters build a friendship and grow together, overcoming obstacles, protecting each other and getting stronger as the series progressed. The fans would document and write lengthy posts on Livejournal and Tumblr discussing the defining moments of the relationship; big favorites were "The Fortuneteller" when Katara realized she thought of Aang as more than just a "sweet goofy guy," the season 2 finale, their dance in the second episode of season 3, and the kiss they shared just before the midseason battle.

The ship was quite versatile to fans, whose works ranged from G-rated fluff, character and relationship building, angst, hurt/comfort, and smut. Most smut aged the characters up, set in a distant future, but others wrote tame sexual explorations that didn't go further.

When it was announced that Aang and Katara had not only stayed together and married but that a major character in Legend of Korra was one of their three children, the fans were ecstatic. Many enjoyed speculating on what the comics and the series didn't cover: Aang and Katara's wedding, the births of their children, and how they spent their time as a family.

Controversy and bashing

This pairing has come under a lot of fire from the fandom. Part of this is due to the popularity of rival ship Zuko/Katara, whose fans felt their pairing deserved to be canon for a variety of reasons. This led to the ship war Kataang vs Zutara. Some of the more extreme shippers denounced Kataang as fake and insisted the ending was just Aang's dream, and turned many vicious attacks on the creators. Others wrote lengthy essays trying to disprove the validity of Aang/Katara,[1] or trying to make the pairing sound as creepy and horrible as possible to discredit it.[2] As a result, Aang/Katara shippers fought back in defense of their ship as a result, though some would take it too far in the other direction by declaring all Zutara shippers delusional idiots, even the sensible ones who did their best to get along with other shippers and didn't bash anyone.

Other fans felt the series didn't handle the pairing correctly, finding the kiss at the end of the series rushed due to the last major interaction between Aang and Katara being tense and awkward. Even fans of the pairing felt this way; despite rooting for the characters to be together at the end, they'd wished for a more clear resolution of the tense, awkward scene in "The Ember Island Players." The post-series comics fanned the flames even further; people who didn't like the ship took offense to seeing Aang and Katara's sappy couple moments, while some fans felt their relationship lost some of the charm it had in the TV series.

The announcement of the sequel series The Legend of Korra and confirmation of the character Tenzin being the son of Aang and Katara set the fires roaring anew. Recently, TVTropes and parts of Tumblr have claimed that only Mike and Bryan cared about Aang/Katara, forcing it on the writers, animators, and voice actors who preferred Zuko/Katara. Almost no proof has been offered beyond Dante Basco's tumblr account confirming he had a soft spot for the pair.

Fans of the ship were often accused of liking and defending it "just because it was canon," but many fans quickly refuted that by pointing out how they enjoyed the chemistry between the characters and their interactions, and would ship it no matter what.

Fan works





  1. ^ a Zutara fan. "Exploring Canon essay". 
  2. ^ "Fandomsecrets thread".