Warning: contains spoilers for The Dawn of Yangchen.
The latest novel Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Dawn of Yangchen, has been released, and it creates an even better foil for Aang than for Korra. From the very first episode of The Legend of Korra, it was clear that Korra was supposed to serve as a backdrop for Aang, and in general, the series did an excellent job with her development in this direction. At the same time, the way Yangchen’s Avatar is written in “Yangchen’s Dawn” makes it clear that she works much better as Aang’s foil than Korra.
In long-running franchises, the heroes and villains of each new installment are usually written in such a way that they interfere with those who appear before or after them. This allows the traits of the new characters to become stronger than usual, due to the fact that there is someone completely opposite to them, with whom you can compare and contrast. “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is familiar with this, because in “The Legend of Korra” it becomes clear that Korra must be the opposite of Aang due to factors such as her upbringing, abilities and generally fiery character.
“Dawn of Yangchen” also portrays its main character as a foil for Aang, and in the end it works much better than with Corra Janet Varney. Just like Korra, Yanchen is in many ways Aang’s opponent in areas such as their upbringing, their abilities and their personality in general, but between Yanchen and Korra, Yanchen works as the best background for Aang. This, of course, does not make Korra a bad background for Aang, but “The Dawn of Yangchen” is simply able to establish a much better dichotomy between the characters of Aang and Yangchen than “The Legend of Korra” for Aang and Korra.
How opposite are Aang and Yangchen
“The Dawn of Yangchen” does a lot to make Yangchen a backdrop for Aang. To begin with, Yangchen is a young female airbender, who in the book is a teenager approaching adulthood – unlike Aang, who is mostly shown as a little boy – and this difference is further emphasized by the fact that Yangchen shows a romantic interest in the male conqueror of water Kaviku, thus creating a clear comparisons with Aang and Katara. As for their upbringing, they both found out they were an Avatar before they turned 16, but while Aang needed to be told about it and didn’t like it, Yangchen figured it out on his own and accepted it as his new one. the status quo, at least initially.
The powers and personalities of Aang and Yangchen also serve to make them interfere with each other. With their personalities, Aang was constantly portrayed as a happy, innocent and generally healthy-though sometimes naive-boy who always tried to see the good in everyone. By comparison, Yangchen is sarcastic, manipulative and ready to blackmail to get what she wants, and all this is emphasized by the self-deprecation of how she lives in a world where she is forced to behave like this. As for abilities, at the beginning of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang wasn’t particularly skilled in the spiritual aspect of the Avatar, but Yangchen was naturally gifted in this area to the point of hurting her; Yangchen’s strong spiritual gifts gave her an uncontrollable connection to her past lives, the exact opposite of what Aang had to work to establish connections with them.
The way each character performs their duties as an Avatar also serves as the main difference between them. Both before and after the Hundred Years’ War, Aang was very reactive when it came to trouble and relied on his friends to help him, and although he initially hated being an Avatar, Zack Tyler Eisen’s Aang eventually accepted it as his duty and accepted. it’s from the bottom of my heart. However, with Yangchen, the nature of the world in her era required her to be much more active compared to her, so instead of a team of close friends and allies, Yangchen had an extensive spy network, with most of her relationships being purely transactional. Not only that, but the stress of being an Avatar—both what he forces her to do and how her connection to her past lives works—eventually made Yangchen hate it. In her last scene in “The Dawn of Yangchen”, she wants to quit smoking and run away, and the reminder of her duty from her point of view is seen as a curse.
How opposite are Aang and Korra
Even though Aang and Yangchen contradict each other, it doesn’t change that the same can be said about Aang and Korra. As in the case of Yangchen, there is a juxtaposition of Korra being a girl and Aang being a boy, and how Korra could somehow use three different types of bending from childhood, while Aang had to learn each style of bending one by one, even though she completely lacked the spiritual the Avatar aspect throughout most of the show compared to Aang.