Thirteen Nights

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Fanfiction
Title: Thirteen Nights
Author(s): wargoddess, also known as N.K. Jemisin
Date(s): 01 Apr 2007
Length: 5,941
Genre: Canon Divergence
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
External Links: AO3

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Thirteen Nights is a Zutara fanfiction by wargoddess. It has warnings for rape/non-con and is also tagged Porn With Plot. It was originally posted in LiveJournal, then reposted and backdated on AO3 by the author. The author wargoddess is award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer, N.K. Jemisin.

Summary: Written after the finale of Season 2, and speculating several years forward. The war is over, thanks be to the Avatar, but hatred takes longer to die. The non-con warning is for an arranged marriage; I know not all AMs are non-consensual, but this one is.

Reception

The work has 3k+ kudos, 550+ bookmarks, and 45k+ hits on AO3.

Oh my god, I think Thirteen Nights is possibly the best Zutara fic yet written, just because it focuses so closely on the dynamic between the two. It's always in the back of my mind as I write them -- a glimpse at what might have been, in another situation, and an idea that guides their interaction in other situations.

Neither of them compromising, neither of them backing down, but perhaps learning that the other is an ally rather than an enemy.

It's also to me one of the best pieces of Katara. The part about how she didn't shiver because Water Tribe women didn't shiver -- ooh. She is *proud* of who she is -- she is not a peasant or a barbarian, she is a woman of an ancient tradition and she will make sure you know it.

I love that fic.[1]
Zuko and Katara after the war and after their marriage is arranged by the victorious nations. A well-written Zutara fic from an author who is now a published fantasy writer (follow the links to find out who it is). The author describes the story as Porn Without Plot but that is mere modesty; yes, there is sex in the fic but the plot is interesting enough to be more than just a bare excuse for fucking. It would be more accurate to call it erotica: the sex and the story are deeply entwined. It is a story with sex and a story about sex - one cannot exist without the other.[2]
This fic made me really uncomfortable. Zuko still holds power over Kitara at the end and it all just feels very rape culture. If Zuko really were an awful character, this fic would read as straightforward stockholme syndrome. Is that intentional?

wargoddess:

It's a patriarchial society that barters women into intimate relationships without their consent, so yeah, that would be the very definition of a rape culture. :) That's why I applied the non-con warning. (Stockholm Syndrome only applies to people who've been kidnapped/traumatized in some way, though, so I'm not sure how you're applying it here.) I'm trying to explore how women can still claim power within that kind of setting, since I know a lot of strong women from/in cultures like this, and it's sort of a Western stereotype that they're all victims needing rescue. Zuko holds power, but I intend for it to be clear that Katara does, too. YMMV on whether I succeeded![3]
Why This Must Be Read: This is by far my favorite Zutara fic. Definitely AU, definitely rough in the beginning, but still a lovely fic.[4]
So this was really good. Which was precisely the problem. It was too short. It was excellent, and yet there was essentially no expansion on anything in it. More dialogue with equal amounts of thoughts would help, as well as expanding further on, well, everything. It could also use some humor. I suppose it may very well be intentionally dark, but every dark piece needs at least a little light in there. This truly was excellent, but because of its lack of expansion, I would have to call it a drabble.[5]

References

  1. ^ comment by sharkflip, Feb. 28th, 2010
  2. ^ 2011-03-29 03:34 reply by deleonjh
  3. ^ Comment on Thirteen Nights, 24 Sep 2014
  4. ^ 4 avatar: the last airbender/legend of korra fics; Zuko/Katara, Tahno/Korra by magic-knickers on het_reccers, Sep. 22nd, 2012
  5. ^ Comment on Thirteen Nights by Maggie, 28 Jan 2015