ok but can we talk about this
Aang is about the strike the final blow and kill Ozai while in the Avatar state, and all the past Avatars of all the Four Nations are speaking through him, but he stops, and the glow fades from his tattoos
and the fire and the water and the earth drops away, and all he’s left with is Air, his native element, the element of a people that were wiped out, and the air surrounds him with this simple grace and dignity
and it’s like, even with all the power in the world, Aang remembers who he is, he remembers what he learned from the monks, he remembers his heritage, and he stays true to it. It’s no accident that Air is the element he’s left with when all the others fall away, that it’s Air he’s surrounded by when he comes out of the Avatar state and decides to spare Ozai’s life.
The Air Nomads were wiped out by ambush because they had no military power, Aang was brutalized in his fight with Ozai because of his mercy, and everyone, including his friends and past lives, were urging the necessity of killing OzaI. Ozai himself taunts Aang “your people didn’t deserve to exist in this world, in MY world”. But against all this, Aang refuses to let go of the ideals of compassion and mercy. He refuses to believe that power and violence are the only ways. Aang sparing Ozai was the last, bittersweet stand of the Air Nomads: not vengeance but true justice, an affirmation of the power of their beliefs, an assertion that the ways of peace, freedom and forgiveness are vital for the world.
I mean, how much courage does that take, when your entire culture has been wiped out by a violent world, to still say “No. What my people believed has value, has strength.”