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The episode opens to show a koala otter calmly floating on its back on the water, purring slightly. Noticing something approach to its right, it turns its head, chirps, and dives under water as a large shadow passes it by. It turns out to be Appa flying overhead.
Sokka [Hanging lazily over the back of Appa's saddle; grumpily.] I'm not one to complain, [Side-view shows Appa flying just above the water.] but can't Appa fly any higher?
Sokka's words barely left his lips as Appa loses more altitude and his paws drag through the water momentarily, before rising slightly again. Cut to a shot from Appa's saddle, showing a bored Katara popping herself up on her elbows, staring into nothingness in front of her, and a peeved Aang looking back from atop Appa's head.
Aang [Irritably.] I have an idea! Why don't we all get on your [Points angrily at Sokka; Katara briefly looks at Aang, but resumes her stare in front of her.] back and you could fly us to the North Pole?!
Sokka [Back-view of Sokka looking over his shoulder; sarcastically.] I'd love to. [Points to his back.] Climb on everyone, [Shakes his rear.] Sokka's ready for take off.
A chirping Momo hops on his back, making Sokka shoot an angry glare at the animal. Cut back to the shot of Katara and Aang, with the latter still staring angrily at Sokka.
Katara [Waving her hands up and down while shifting looks between Aang and Sokka.] Look, we're all just a little tired and cranky because we've been flying for two days straight.
Sokka [Frontal shot, Momo is now on his lap; annoyed.] And for what? We can't even find the Northern Water Tribe. [Cut to a wide side-shot, revealing Appa floating along a vast ocean of only water and ice.] There's nothing up here.
Cut to Katara and Aang, with the former having laid down her head in boredom, letting it rest on her hands. She looks up in wonder when a slushing sound can be heard. Cut to a frontal shot of Appa, while the water in front of him suddenly rises and solidifies to ice spikes. Cut to a frontal shot of Aang screaming in fright, his eyes wide in horror, as he violently yanks the reins to this right in an attempt to avoid the sudden obstacle. Cut to a side-view of a growling and turning Appa. Cut to the siblings yelling in fright as they hold on for dear life to the sides of the saddle. Cut to a back-shot of a swerving Appa, who suddenly shoots up as another ice spike manifests right in from of him. A close-up shot of his underside shows that he was not quick enough, and part of the ice attaches itself to his leg, freezing instantly. His momentum causes the ice to break, but he is thrown off balance and catapulted away. Frontal shot of Katara and Sokka who loudly scream in fright. Cut to a wider shot of Appa spiraling toward the camera, before switching to an overview shot of him landing into the water, throwing it up high. As he turns upright again, the water around him instantly freezes, and he is locked in place. Cut to the surrounding ice spikes from which Water Tribe boats appear, each carrying several waterbenders, surrounding the team. Cut to a surprised looking Katara and an alarmed looking Sokka who is reaching for his boomerang atop the saddle.
Katara They're waterbenders! [Happily.] We found the Water Tribe!
Cut to a more far-off shot of the scene, revealing Appa to be frozen in the water, with six Water Tribe boats surrounding him.

The scene switches to a Fire Navy base in the Fire Nation harbor. The camera cuts to inside a guarded tent, where Zhao is standing before a map of the Avatar World.

Zhao He's heading north. The Northern Water Tribe. The Avatar needs to master waterbending. He's looking for a teacher.
Li [Impatiently.] Then what are we waiting for? Let's go get him!
Zhao Patience, Captain Li. This isn't some little Earth village we can just march into. The Water Tribe is a great nation. There's a reason they've survived a hundred years of war. The frozen tundra is treacherous, the landscape itself is an icy fortress. We'll need a massive invasion force.
The scene changes to the North Pole where the group is being escorted to Agna Qel'a. The magnificent wall of the city comes into view much to everyone's amazement.
Aang [Pointing excitedly.] There it is!
Katara [In awe.] The Northern Water Tribe.
Sokka [Surprised.] We're finally here.
A portion of the icy wall is lowered, allowing them to enter into the city. Canal workers use waterbending to transport the group into the city.
Katara [Fascinated.] I can't believe how many waterbenders live up here!
Aang [To Katara.] We'll find a master to teach us, no problem.
The team passes through the channels of the city, catching the attention of several civilians who run over to spectate them. Aang waves happily at the people. As they continue their trek inward, Sokka notices a young lady going by on a boat, capturing his attention. He blushes at the sight of her and leaps onto Appa's tail as she pulls away from view.
Katara This place is beautiful.
Sokka Yeah ... she is ...
The scene changes to nightfall, where Zuko's ship is docked in a port. Members of the crew have gathered for music night on the ship. Lieutenant Jee plays a lute as Iroh sings. Several other crew members play instruments or dance.
Iroh [Singing.] Winter, spring ... Summer, and fall ... Winter, spring ... Summer, and fall ... Four seasons ... four loves ... Four seasons ... for love.
The music stops as they notice Admiral Zhao boarding the ship, along with two soldiers. The crew looks in surprise at the admiral. A high-pitched chord emits from the lute. The scene switches back to Agna Qel'a, where Team Avatar is being honored with a feast, hosted by the tribe's chief. Men play drums and a giant crab is set in a pool of water.
Arnook Tonight, we celebrate the arrival of our brother and sister from the Southern Tribe. And they have brought with them, someone very special, someone whom many of us believed disappeared from the world until now ... the Avatar! [Crowd applauds and cheers.] We also celebrate my daughter's sixteenth birthday. Princess Yue is now of marrying age!
Yue Thank you, Father. May the great Ocean and Moon Spirits watch over us during these troubled times!
Arnook Now, Master Pakku and his students will perform!
Pakku and two students bend significant blobs of water, captivating Aang and Katara. They merge the three blobs into one stream, bending it around each other. Yue approaches Sokka.
Sokka Hi there. Sokka, Southern Water Tribe.
Yue [Smiling and bowing slightly.] Very nice to meet you. [They nervously share an awkward silence for a moment.]
Sokka [Nervously.] So ... uhhh ... you're a princess, huh? [She nods and smiles.] You know, back in my tribe, I'm kind of like a prince, myself. [Shot pans left to reveal Katara.]
Katara [Hopping in on the conversation; teasingly.] Ha, prince of what?
Sokka A lot of things! Do you mind? I'm trying to have a conversation here.
Katara [Sarcastically.] My apologies, Prince Sokka.
Sokka So, it looks like I'm going to be in town for a while. I'm thinking ... maybe we could ... do an activity, together?
Yue [Slightly confused; laughs.] Do an activity?
Embarrassed while sweating, Sokka stuffs food in his mouth. Screens widens to the left to show Katara clearly enjoying her brother's attempt at courting.
Katara Very smooth ...
Cut to a long shot of the plaza fountain. In front of it stand the Chief, Master Pakku and Aang. Arnook and Aang go to Pakku.
Arnook Master Pakku, meet your newest student, the Avatar. [Aang bows.]
Pakku Just because you're destined to save the world, don't expect any special treatment.
Aang My friend and I can't wait to start training with you! After we relax for a couple of days.
Pakku If you want to relax, then I suggest visiting a tropical island. If not, I'll see you both at sunrise. Good night.
Back on Zuko's ship. Iroh enters Zuko's room.
Zuko For the last time, I'm not playing the tsungi horn!
Iroh No, it's about our plans. There's a bit of a problem.
Zhao enters.
Zhao I'm taking your crew.
Zuko [Cut to a shocked Zuko.] What?! [Turns around to face Zhao.]
Zhao I've recruited them for a little expedition to the North Pole.
Zuko Uncle, is that true?
Iroh I'm afraid so. He's taking everyone ... [Putting his arm over his face in woe.] even the cook.
Zhao Sorry you won't be there to watch me capture the Avatar. But I can't have you getting in my way again.
Iroh [Cuts to a furious Zuko. Zuko charges at Zhao in anger, but Iroh cuts him off.] No!
Zhao notices a pair of swords on the wall. Cut to a close-up of Zhao's face, swollen in anger as he recognizes the blades. He flashes back to the Rescue in Pohuai Stronghold, where the same swords were wielded by the previously-unknown Blue Spirit. He takes one off the wall; cut to Zuko's face, his eyes wide and mouth open, clearly recognizing the danger he is in. Iroh, visible over Zuko's shoulder, does not. Cut back to Zhao, who begins practicing with the sword he has removed from the wall.
Zhao I didn't know you were skilled with broadswords, Prince Zuko.
Zuko I'm not. They're antiques. Just decorative.
Zhao Have you heard of the Blue Spirit, General Iroh?
Iroh Just rumors. I don't think he is real.
Zhao He's real, all right. [He hands the broad sword to Iroh.] He's a criminal, and an enemy of the Fire Nation. But I have a feeling justice will catch up with him soon. [Zhao moves to exit the cabin.] General Iroh, the offer to join my mission still stands ... if you change your mind.
The next morning, at the Northern Water Tribe.
Katara [Excitedly.] I've waited for this day my whole life. I finally get to learn from a real waterbending master!
Pakku is bending a stream of water.
Aang Good morning, Master Pakku!
Pakku [Drops the water, and speaks in an annoyed tone.] No, please, march right in. I'm not concentrating or anything.
Aang Uhhh ... This is my friend, Katara. The one I told you about?
Pakku I'm sorry, I think there's been a misunderstanding. You didn't tell me your friend was a girl. In our tribe, it is forbidden for women to learn waterbending.
Cut to a shot panning up Katara's body, her face clearly reflecting the anger she feels.

Cut to a long, overhead shot of the Northern Water Tribe city, looking back from the main wall to the citadel. Cut back to a close up of Katara.

Katara [Angrily.] What do you mean you won't teach me? I didn't travel across the entire world so you could tell me no!
Pakku No.
Katara But there must be other female waterbenders in your tribe!
Pakku Here, the women learn from Yagoda to use their waterbending to heal. I'm sure she would be happy to take you as her student, despite your bad attitude.
Katara I don't want to heal, I want to fight!
Pakku I can see that. But our tribe has customs, rules.
Katara [Furious.] Well, your rules stink!
Aang [Also just as angry.] Yeah, they're not fair! If you won't teach Katara, then ...
Pakku Then what?
Aang Then I won't learn from you!
Pakku Well, have fun teaching yourself! I'm sure you'll do a great job.
Katara Wait! Aang didn't mean that! [Goes to Aang.] You can't risk your training for me. You have to learn from Master Pakku, even if he is a big jerk.
Aang nods. Katara exits.
Pakku Why don't we get started, then? [Aang gets hit with a water blast from him.]
In another part of the city. Sokka catches up with Princess Yue.
Sokka Princess Yue, good morning! How about that picnic last night? Boy, your dad sure does know how to throw a party.
Yue I'm happy you enjoyed yourself.
Sokka Well, it wasn't as much fun after you left. [They both blush.] So, I'm still hoping we can see more of each other.
Yue Do an activity, you mean?
Sokka Yes ... at a place ... for some time.
Yue [Laughs.] I'd love to. I'll meet you on that bridge tonight. [Points at a bridge.]
Sokka Great! I'll see you– Ah! [Falls into the water.]
Yue [Laughs.] Sorry.
Sokka [Climbs out of the water.] That's okay, it was worth it. See you tonight.
Back at the Fire Navy base.
Zhao I'm very impressed. You all seem highly qualified for the mission I have in mind.
The pirate captain pulls a small chest toward him and opens it, a dim glow radiating from within. Pirate Barker Oh takes a piece of gold from the chest and bites down on it.
Oh That's some tasty gold.
Pirate captain What do you need us to do?
Zhao I believe you're acquainted with Prince Zuko.
Back to the Northern Water Tribe, where Katara enters the healing hut.
Katara Uhhh ... Hi. Are you Yagoda?
Yagoda Are you here for the healing lesson?
Katara [Looks at all the young girls, and speaks in a disappointed tone.] I guess I am.
Yagoda Welcome ... welcome!
Back at Pakku's class. Aang is working with a stream of water.
Pakku You're moving the water around, but you're not feeling the push and pull.
Aang I'm trying ...
Pakku [Slurps some soup.] Maybe that move is too advanced for you. Why don't you try an easier one?
Aang slams down the water in frustration. Back at the healing hut, Katara starts a conversation with Yagoda.
Katara Thanks for the lesson.
Yagoda So, who's the lucky boy?
Katara Huh?
Yagoda Your betrothal necklace. You're getting married, right?
Katara [Shocked.] Ah ... No. I don't think I'm ready for that yet. My grandmother gave my mother this necklace and my mother passed it down to me.
Yagoda I recognize this carving! I don't know why I didn't realize sooner; you're the spitting image of Kanna!
Katara [Confused.] Wait, how do you know my Gran-Gran's name?
Yagoda When I was about your age, I was friends with Kanna. She was born here in the Northern Tribe.
Katara She never told me.
Yagoda Your grandmother had an arranged marriage with a young waterbender. He carved that necklace for her.
Katara If Gran-Gran was engaged, why did she leave?
Yagoda I don't know. That's always been a mystery to me. She left without saying goodbye.
Later that night, at Zuko's ship.
Crew member Good luck!
Inside Zuko's room.
Iroh [Cut to a shot of Prince Zuko lying in bed in the foreground of his cabin. The door opens and Iroh sticks his head in. Entering.] The crew wanted me to wish you safe travels.
Zuko [Bitterly.] Good riddance to those traitors.
Iroh It's a lovely night for a walk. Why don't you join me? It would clear your head. [No response.] Or just stay in your room and sit in the dark. Whatever makes you happy.
The pirates make their way onto Zuko's ship, bringing up blasting jelly.
Oh Careful with the blasting jelly!
Zuko [Hearing the noise.] Uncle? Uncle, is that you? [Walks around the ship.]
The fuse to the blasting jelly is lit. The ship explodes.
Iroh Zuko! [Runs back to see the ship destroyed.] Zuko ...
Back to the North Pole. Sokka goes to meet Yue, who is looking out over the bridge.
Sokka Hi, Princess Yue. I made you something. I carved it myself.
Shows her a roughly-crafted creature.
Yue It's a bear.
Sokka Actually, it's supposed to be a fish. [Flips the carved creature around.] See, it has a fin.
Yue Oh. I'm sorry, I made a mistake. I shouldn't have asked you to come here. [Runs away.]
Sokka is left stunned. He throws the fish into the water. Cut to the team's place of stay.
Katara How's warrior training going? [Sokka kicks his bag.]
Aang That bad?
Sokka No, it's Princess Yue. I don't get it, one minute she wants to go out with me, and the next, she's telling me to get lost. [Changing the topic.] So, how's waterbending training?
Aang Master Poophead won't teach her because she's a girl.
Sokka Why don't you just teach her, Aang?
Katara [Excited.] Why didn't I think of that? At night, you can teach me whatever moves you learn from Master Pakku! That way, you have someone to practice with, and I get to learn waterbending! Everyone's happy!
Sokka I'm not happy.
Katara But you're never happy. Come on, Aang.
Outside, near the water.
Aang [Bending up some water.] Master Pakku said this move is all about sinking and floating. [Sends the water to her.]
Katara [Bending the water.] I got it!
The water suddenly shoots upward.
Aang That was amazing!
Katara That wasn't me.
Master Pakku has caught them. He takes the water, freezes it, and sticks the ice crystals into the ground.
Aang I was just showing Katara a few moves.
Pakku You have disrespected me, my teachings, and my entire culture.
Aang I'm sorry, I ...
Pakku You are no longer welcome as my student.
The next morning, the three meet with Chief Arnook, Master Pakku, and Arnook's family members.
Arnook What do you want me to do? Force Master Pakku to take Aang back as his student?
Katara Yes ... please!
Arnook I suspect he might change his mind, if you swallow your pride and apologize to him.
Katara Fine.
Pakku I'm waiting, little girl.
Katara No. [Begins cracking the ice inadvertently.] No way am I apologizing to a sour old man like you! [Two pots shatter.]
Aang Uhhh ... Katara?
Katara I'll be outside if you're man enough to fight me.
Yue gasps. Katara angrily walks out.
Aang I'm sure she didn't mean that.
Sokka Yeah, I think she did.
Back at the Fire Navy base. Zhao meets with Iroh over tea.
Zhao I'm devastated to hear about Prince Zuko. Just ... devastated.
Iroh The Fire Lord will not be pleased when he learns who was responsible.
Zhao You know who was behind the attack?
Iroh Yes ... pirates. We had a run-in with them a while back. They wanted revenge.
Zhao [Sips his tea.] So, have you reconsidered my offer?
Iroh Yes, I accept. It will be an honor to serve as your general. To the Fire Nation!
Zhao To victory!
Back to the Northern Tribe. The three head outside, looking for Pakku.
Sokka Are you crazy, Katara? You're not going to win this fight!
Katara [Takes off her coat.] I know! I don't care!
Aang You don't have to do this for me. I can find another teacher.
Katara I'm not doing it for you! Someone needs to slap some sense into that guy! [Pakku comes down.] So, you decided to show up? [Pakku walks away.] Aren't you going to fight?
Pakku Go back to the healing huts with the other women where you belong. [Katara tightens her fist and sends water whips at him. Pakku halts.] Fine. You want to learn to fight so bad? Study closely! [He bends two streams of water from nearby pools and sends them both at a charging Katara, who falls back. He joins the two streams together, encircling both Katara and himself in a forceful ring of water.] Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you!
Katara edges away from the ring and redirects the water away. The resulting blast hits Sokka. Pakku builds an ice wall in defense, which Katara slides up. She lands onto a nearby post. He melts the ice and directs the full blast at her. However, Katara freezes her feet down and is able to direct the blast away.
Katara [Determined.] You can't knock me down!
Some of the crowd cheers.
Aang Go, Katara!
Katara charges at him; Pakku draws up a wall of ice, which she quickly liquefies. She attempts to land blows, but Pakku ducks them all. He whips water and throws her into a pool, earning the approval of other members of the crowd.

Katara emerges from pool, shakes out her hair, and summons a small pillar of ice, where she proceeds to send a series of ice discs at her opponent. Pakku breaks up most of them using his wrists. The camera closes up to a slow-motion shot of one coming very close to hitting him. He looks at her in irritation. Katara, now back on the ground, attacks by sending a stream of water at him. However, Pakku generates it into a larger stream of water and sends it full force at her. Katara is sent back several feet. A close-up shot of her shows her bent over, breathing hard. She rises suddenly and sends two snow pillars down at him which Pakku turns to a dusty mist of snow. The mist clears.

Pakku Well, I'm impressed. You are an excellent waterbender.
Katara But you still won't teach me, will you?
Pakku No.
Katara bends over sharply, sending a wave of ice at Pakku, who merely raises himself onto an ice pillar. He proceeds to liquefy the pillar, charging straight at Katara, who sends a powerful stream of water his way. Pakku avoids the attack, instead managing to freeze Katara's stream of water which he slides across. He surges past her and strikes her down, knocking her necklace off in the process. Katara falls roughly to the ground as Pakku lands onto the rim of a pool, bends a tower of water and manipulates the stream overhead his opponent. He deftly freezes the water into several ice shards, which he sends down at Katara. She becomes trapped in the flurry of frozen daggers and appears still for a moment. The crowd gasps in horror; one child looks away in fear. Katara lifts her head and begins to struggle, attempting to break free as Pakku casually strolls away.
Pakku This fight is over.
Katara Come back here. I'm not finished yet!
Pakku Yes, you are. [Notices the necklace.] This is my necklace ...
Katara No, it's not. It's mine! Give it back!
Pakku I made this sixty years ago for the love of my life ... for Kanna.
Katara [Unfreezing the ice; surprised.] My Gran-Gran was supposed to marry you?
Back at the Fire Navy base. The ships are set to begin the trek north. On board, Iroh meets up with Zuko, who is disguised as a shipman.
Iroh Our plan is working perfectly. Zhao doesn't suspect a thing.
Zuko You didn't have to do this.
Iroh No nephew of mine is going to stow away on a ship without some backup.
Zuko Thank you, Uncle.
A door opens.
Iroh Someone's coming. Stay hidden until we get to the North Pole and the Avatar will be yours. Good luck. [The two head their separate ways.]
The scene changes back to the North Pole.
Pakku I carved this necklace for your grandmother when we got engaged. I thought we would have a long, happy life together. I loved her.
Katara But she didn't love you, did she? It was an arranged marriage. Gran-Gran wouldn't let your tribe's stupid customs run her life. That's why she left. It must have taken a lot of courage.
Yue cries and runs away.
Aang [To Sokka.] Go get her.
Sokka exits. Later that night, he catches up with her on the bridge.
Yue What do you want from me?
Sokka Nothing. I just want you to know, I think you're beautiful, and, I never thought a girl like you would even notice a guy like me.
Yue You don't understand.
Sokka No, no. See, that's the thing. I think I do understand now. You're a Princess, and I'm ... I'm just a Southern peasant.
Yue No, Sokka ...
Sokka It's okay. You don't have to say anything. I'll see you around, okay? [Yue grabs him and kisses him.] Okay, now I'm really confused. Happy, but confused.
Yue I do like you, a lot. But we can't be together, and not for the reason you think. It's because ... I'm engaged. [She pulls down the collar of her coat and shows him her betrothal necklace.] I'm sorry. [Runs off.]
The next morning, at Pakku's class. Aang turns a blob of water into a stream and awkwardly sends it off.
Pakku Not bad, not bad. [Laughs.] Keep practicing and maybe you'll get it by the time you're my age.
Aang turns around, annoyed, but quickly smiles when he notices Katara coming up.
Aang Hey, Katara!
Pakku What do you think you're doing? [Pause as Katara looks up.] It's past sunrise. You're late.
Aang Good to see you here.
Katara You, too.
Back at the Fire Navy fleet. Zhao and Iroh stand on top of the lead ship.
Zhao My fleet is ready. Set a course for the Northern Water Tribe.
Cut to a panning overhead shot, which reveals dozens of Fire Navy ships firing up their engines in preparation to launch the final assault on the Northern Water Tribe.
Fade to white, followed by credits.






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