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Yue's Fate In Avatar: The Last Airbender's Season 1 Finale Stunned Sokka Actor Jack De Sena

"Avatar: The Last Airbender" is one of the best animated shows ever made for a variety of reasons. The exploratory nature of the narrative allows for extensive world-building that helps viewers get a sense of the characters and their motivations. As the title suggests, Aang (Zach Tyler Eisen) is an airbending master, so the majority of the series focuses on his journey to learn control over the other elements. Season 1 sets a strong foundation for the rest of the show, honing in on Aang and Katara's (Mae Whitman) struggle to learn the finer points of waterbending. Even as the threat of the Fire Nation looms on the horizon, the first season seems playful at times compared to the show's later seasons. 

Once Aang, Katara, and Sokka finally reach the Northern Water Tribe, however, they must face a whole new set of challenges. Voiced by Jack De Sena, Sokka finds himself infatuated with the beautiful Princess Yue (Johanna Braddy), whose mysterious connection to the Moon Spirit helps to save Team Avatar at the last second. However, her sacrifice comes at a high price, and Sokka is left devastated in the aftermath. For De Sena, Yue's fate was a shocking turn of events that changed the trajectory of his character.

Yue's death made Jack De Sena confront the show's darker themes

The Season 1 finale of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is a two-parter titled "The Siege of the North." These installments demonstrate the true strength of Aang's powers, but viewers also get some insight into how spirits are connected to the real world. As a child, a sickly Princess Yue was healed by the Moon Spirit. With Fire Nation forces closing in, Yue sacrifices her life to return the favor, leaving Sokka heartbroken. It was a moment that similarly left Jack De Sena stunned, and the severity of Yue's death impacted how he viewed Sokka's role in the narrative.

"Yue's death at the end of Season 1 was a real 'Woah, okay, we're doing it,'" De Sena said at SacAnime Winter Convention in 2020 (via YouTube). "That — to me — was [the] first experience of taking in the show, and that was a real 'Okay.' I felt a lot of pressure to bring that moment to life, to experience that death for that character. Really cool. That's maybe my favorite episode of the show is the Season 1 finale two-parter."

When it came to giving an emotional performance, De Sena definitely delivered. Though the end of Princess Yue's story is bittersweet, it will be interesting to see if the character's fate stays the same in the upcoming "Avatar: The Last Airbender" live-action series.