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“The Moon Spirit gave me life. Maybe I can give it back”

I recently watched Avatar: the Last Airbender and I am pretty surprised no one proposed this character (and she doesn’t even have a page which I will fix) but she definitely stood out to me for such a minor character. Without further ado, let’s discuss Princess Yue.

What's The Work

The Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise is an animated fantasy franchise consisting of the titular show and the sequel The Legend of Korra. For this character in particular, Avatar the Last Airbender is about Avatar Aang being awoken by twins Katara and Sokka after 100 years of being frozen in order to master the four elements and defeat the Fire Nation once and for all.

Who is She/What Has She Done?

Princess Yue is a minor character in Avatar: the Last Airbender. She was the non-bending and kind-hearted princess of the Northern Water tribe and love-interest of Sokka who tragically sacrifices herself to save the Water Tribe and the world after Zhao kills the Moon Spirit.

Admirable Standard

Alright so Avatar the Last Airbender and it's sequel have a high standard. Aang defeats Ozai to stop him from conquering the world and his successor Korra kills Unalaq/Vaatu to stop them from plunging the world to darkness and enslaving humanity. However, for a very minor character who is a regular non-bending human for most of her appearances, Yue does more than enough to stand out with her heroic actions which include:

  • Despite not loving Hahn, she agreed to marry him out of duty to her tribe and for its benefit.
  • She never acted elitist towards Sokka and specifically told him that she didn't want to see him not because she didn't love him or saw him as "just a peasant" but because she was engaged to Hahn and had a duty to her tribe.
  • She led Aang and Katara to the Spirit Oasis so Aang could enter the Spirit World to find the identities of the Ocean and Moon spirits and Zhao's true plan.
  • She went to get Sokka and Appa when Zuko attacked Katara to capture Aang.
  • Sacrificed herself to save not just the Water Tribe but the entire world from destruction and chaos by becoming the Moon Spirit which Zhao previously killed, kissing Sokka goodbye and telling him she would always be with him.
  • In the canonical video game Escape From the Spirit World, as the moon spirit, she meets with Aang after Azula struck him down, telling Aang that his spirit was seriously injured and that he must reconnect with his past four lives or else he would die and the Avatar cycle would come to an end.
  • She appears to encourage Aang and stop him from giving up and effectively commiting suicide by reminding him he saved the world and he will do it again.
  • She used her waterbending as the Moon spirit to make a tidal wave to make Aang wash ashore on an island and reunite with his friends.

Corrupting Factors

I really can’t think of anything here. She is perhaps the kindest and purest character in the show as unlike even Aang or Suki, she never has any antagonistic or “heating up” moments and always treats people with kindness. In fact while Sokka points out that she doesn’t seem to even like much less love Hahn (which is obviously justified since he is an egotistical hate sink who doesn't love her but loves the “perks” marrying her will get him like wealth and status), she can’t actually bring herself to say anything negative about Hahn, further showing her incredibly kind nature.

I should also point out that not only did she save the Water Tribe by restoring their waterbending in her sacrifice but she saved the entire world including the Fire Nation as Iroh and Aang point out to Zhao that the Fire Nation also needs the Moon and destroying the spirit would devastate the Fire Nation too by ruining the balance. Speaking of which she has no animosity towards Iroh despite him being from the Fire Nation.

Final Verdict

I believe she qualifies. She was willing to marry Hahn despite not loving him out of duty and loyalty to her tribe even being unable to say anything negative about Hahn despite him being a horrible jerk. She led Aang to the Spirit Oasis which makes her responsible for Aang being able to travel to the Spirit World and find out the identities of the Moon and Water spirits and figure out Zhao’s true plan. Best of all though, she sacrificed herself to become the new Moon Spirit and save the world from destruction after Zhao killed the previous Moon spirit. She also saved Aang’s life twice and specifically the first time, she saved the entire Avatar cycle by telling Aang that he needed to reconnect with his four past lives or he would die and the Avatar Cycle would end and the second time she stopped him from giving up and letting himself die in the storm by inspiring him and giving him hope to continue living and save the world. All of this for a minor character and someone who was a non-bender in life, she definitely qualifies.