Avatar: The Last Airbender is a beloved animated series rich with deep and relatable characters who have complex and dynamic relationships. Outside of the unique and exciting action, the characters and their relationships with one another is perhaps the biggest strength for both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.
From the adorable animal friendship of Appa and Momo to the series-defining uncle and nephew bond between Zuko and Iroh, there are so many memorable relationships to choose from. After much deliberation and consideration, here are our favorite relationships from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
10 Oma and Shu
Probably not a relationship you were expecting to see on this list, but an important one nonetheless. Besides the fact that these two lovers serve as an inspiration for Aang in his feelings towards Katara, Oma and Shu have their own touching tale about love and the lengths people are willing to go through to have it.
According to the legend behind their romance, the love between these two was so strong that, after studying badgermoles and how they can move the earth, Oma and Shu were able to learn earthbending and use it as a way to forge tunnels to each other through the mountain that separated them.
9 Appa and Momo
While not as vital to the series as the other relationships on this list since these two have no real in-depth impact on each other, the bond between Appa and Momo is still one that deserves to be recognized.
The relationship between these two is playfully combative at times, but the affection they have for each other is undeniable. This is evident in the episode “The Tales of Ba Sing Se” after Appa has already been taken from the group. When Momo finds one of Appa’s footprints in the city the little guy curls up into a ball and cuddles into the imprint, clearly missing his friend.
8 Zuko and Ursa
The relationship between Zuko and his mother is one that is as touching as it is tragic. Growing up, Ursa was one of the few lights in Zuko’s life, guiding him down a path of compassion and honor that Iroh attempts to lead him down as well later on in Zuko’s future.
When Zuko is twisted to the dark side by his father, sister, and his own rage, Ursa is one of the most important figures in pulling him back from the shadows and placing him on a road of redemption
7 Katara and Sokka
As a brother and sister who love each other and have no doubts over how they feel about each other, Sokka and Katara have one of the strongest relationships in the series. They know each other. They understand each other. And keeping one another safe is of the utmost importance.
Although they have typical family clashes now and then, the bond between Sokka and Katara is one of the core pillars of Team Avatar.
6 Toph and Sokka
When it comes to a relationship that has no shortage of cute moments and laughs, the friendship between Sokka and Toph is at the top of the list. The way Toph gives Sokka a hard time and even gets a bit punchy with him makes us think that Toph looks at Sokka like the brother she never had, and for Sokka the second sister he never had.
Although they joke with each other often, these two have a strong bond and are always watching each other’s backs.
5 Zuko and Mai
While some pushed for the series to have a romance between Zuko and Katara, most fans were always aboard the Zuko and Mai love train. Mai plays a pivotal role in Zuko keeping his humanity that Azula and Ozai constantly try and drain from him. Similarly, Zuko serves as Mai’s inspiration in realizing the evil of her ways and turning against the Fire Nation.
These two are there for each other through the hardest of times and have one of the strongest boyfriend-girlfriend relationships in the series.
4 Sokka and Suki
This romantic relationship is near equivalent in importance when compared to Zuko and Mai’s. Because Zuko and Mai are together already by the start of the series, we decided to give the edge to Sokka and Suki’s long-brewing relationship, as seeing the initial spark between them grow into a full-on romance is a more satisfying and exciting experience.
This relationship also deserves recognition in teaching both the audience and Sokka about gender expectations and the multiple forms that a relationship between a man and a woman can take.
3 Katara and Zuko
This is a popular pairing from the series, as many fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender have always wanted a romance between Zuko and Katara, even to the detriment of their respective relationships with Mai and Aang. While we never wanted these two to share romantic feelings for each other, we did love the strong friendship they form.
Forging a bond through the mutual loss of their mother at a young age, Zuko and Katara have much in common and end up becoming a formidable duo together, as seen in the top-notch episode “The Southern Raiders”.
2 Aang and Katara
When it comes to love interests and boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, no other pairing is as important and vital to the series as Aang and Katara’s. Much like Sokka and Suki, audiences are treated with the steady and satisfying evolution of this relationship and the growth of love between them over the course of the entire show.
Watching Aang and Katara finally admit and actualize their love for each other in the final scene of the series is easily one of the most epic and gratifying moments of the entire show.
1 Iroh and Zuko
While some relationships in the series are equally as compelling as this duo, the loving bond between this uncle and nephew plays an immense role in the series and no other relationship has such enormous effects on the landscape of the show. This is what gives Zuko and Iroh’s bond more importance over Aang and Katara’s.
While Aang and Katara’s love is a major theme of the series, it doesn’t evolve the series itself like Zuko and Iroh’s relationship does. Zuko’s turn to becoming a hero through Iroh is paramount to Aang defeating Fire Lord Ozai and the forces of good ultimately triumphing over the villains.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is all about the relationships, whether that is romantic, familial, or friendship.