Remember how I said I would be starting a "series" on Avatar shipping? Well here it is! As I said before, I'm starting with Zutara. I'm going to do this by dividing the post into different sections: my opinion on Zutara, why people ship it, why some believed it would be canon, and fan works.
I do not ship Zutara. It never appealed to me. Actually, it never even occured to me until I found Zutara shippers online. From the very first episode I thought Katara and Aang were meant for each other (but that's for another post/video), and Katara and Zuko even being possible never crossed my mind. After discovering Zutara, I still didn't see it in the show. I guess I can kind of see what others like about the pairing, but I don't like it. I've never really been someone who likes the bad guy turns good and gets the girl storyline. It doesn't interest me.
Why do people ship Zutara?
Obviously, I can't directly answer this since I don't fully understand it myself, but I did "research" for this post and have heard tons of reasons over the years. If you're a Zutara shipper and disagree with anything I say here, just let me know, and I'll change it. I'll also add anyone's opinion in here if they want. Oh, and I can't forget: opposites attract.
I think Zutara is mainly appealing to people because Zuko starts as a villian, but it's clear he's not really a bad guy. As every Avatar fan now knows, Zuko does end up switching sides before the end of the series. It has the whole bad boy thing, and I think that appeals to a lot of people. Some just find that kind of pairing to be interesting.
Why did some believe Zutara would be canon?
Before I even start, I want everyone to know that I realize not every Zutara shipper thought Zutara would be canon, but this section is focused on why some believed it would be. I've seen quite a lot of "evidence" for Zutara over the years, and this section definitely won't include all of it. I'm trying to include the evidence that I could actually see as being evidence.
I think a lot of canon Zutara shippers thought the opposites attract thing was valid evidence for the ship.
Do all of the Avatar fans reading this remember when the trailer for the second half of season three aired at Comic Con? (I still love that trailer.) Remember when Zuko and Katara hugged? I definitely do. I can still remember the screams from the Comic Con video. I think that definitely gave a lot of canon Zutara shippers hope. (I still think that was a slightly mean thing to do actually...)
I couldn't come up with much evidence that made sense, so that's all I'm going to go into here. (I'm not saying there isn't anymore, but as a Kataanger, I'm not entirely aware of canon Zutara arguments.) I will, however, leave you with this Zutara manifesto. I didn't read all of it, but it seems very well written and in-depth from what I skimmed. They also have the view points of multiple Zutarians.
I tried to find good Zutara fanfiction, fanart, and fan videos. I haven't read or watched all of these, but I only put them here if they seemed to be of good quality. If you want to recommend your favorite (or some you've written or made yourself) fan works just let me know, and I'll add it here.
I'm going to list this Zutara community on fanfiction.net. According to their description the community was made in 2005. That would mean they've been collecting Zutara fanfiction since Zutara fanfiction was being written. I'm sure you'll be able to find some good Zutara fanfiction on there.
This link should lead you to a search for the most popular Zutara fanart of all time on deviantArt. They all look extremely well drawn. There are so many beautiful ones.
This link will take you to a Zutara search on Youtube. There are tons of Zutara videos on Youtube, and while I've never watched many Zutara videos, most of the Avatar videos I've watched in the past have been really well done.
I'd love to add more fan works here, but it would be helpful to get actual recommendations from Zutarians. If you'd have anything you'd like me to add to this post, just let me know in a comment below