Avatar: The Last Airbender Book One “Chapter Nineteen: The Siege Of The North Pole Part 1”

Sure, the North Pole is a frozen fortress that could clearly hold off an army if it had to…well, it has to, so that better be true.

Admiral Zhao is closing in on the Aang Gang, and he has a huge fleet to back him up, including Iroh acting as an advisor.  Iroh is remarkably chill about the whole thing, seeing conquest not as something to cheer about.  Why is he like this when every other person with any level of authority in the Fire Nation has been, at best, at hot-tempered individual with a one-track mind?

Well, I’m sure I’ll find out later.  Over at the North Pole, as Sokka tries to at least stay friends (with or without benefits) with Princess Yue, even taking her flying on Appa, Katara is excelling at her new studies while Aang…screws around and goofs off.

That fills me with so much confidence.

Eh, he’s just a kid.

Regardless, when snow falls mixed with soot, first spotted by Sokka and Yue, that means the Fire Nation is coming.  Yue’s father calls a counsel, asking for volunteers to go on a potential suicide mission.  Sokka, a bit heartbroken over Yue, volunteers, and it’s a good thing he does since he knows a hell of a lot more about Zhao in general than, well, everybody.  Yeah, Yue’s betrothed is there and he’s a jackass, but Sokka is asked to not go on the mission and personally protect Yue, so he gained a lot of trust in the right people.

As for Aang, he takes the fight directly to the Fire Nation and takes out a ship.  Then he spots the rest of the fleet.  There’s too many even for him.

On the other hand, there’s still a few allies in unexpected places.  The Northern Water Tribe has deep ties to the ocean and the moon, and when the sun sets, they gain power.  Iroh then suggests Zhao hold off the attack until daybreak, and Zhao opts to do so.  Aang figures he can go to the spirit world and ask the Moon and Ocean spirits for wisdom or something, and there is a green patch of grass in a sacred place for him to do so.  He just needs Katara to guard his body.

But then there’s Zuko.

See, Zuko is hiding in Zhao’s fleet, and Iroh lets his nephew know when it’s OK to slip out and find Aang.  Zuko isn’t dumb.  He finds Aang, he beats Katara in a fight, and then he makes a run for it with Aang’s body.

Wait, he’s going to carry Aang back from the North Pole?  Maybe he didn’t think this out as well as he thought he did.

Doesn’t much matter.  Aang is not in his body, Zuko has that, and the sun came out, allowing Zhao to resume his attack.

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