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Enslaved is an Alternate Universe Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic by Sharkflip. Sharkflip takes the somewhat common trope within the fandom of Katara being kidnapped and enslaved in the Fire Nation and inverts it, with Zuko being captured and enslaved to Katara. A poignant character drama, the fic eschews much of the fanon characterization of the Zuko/Katara ship to play with the power dynamics, and emerges with a complex and understated romance.

Enslaved takes place in a world that is similar to but not quite like canon. The different nations have different languages, there are multiple Earth Kings and Queens, the Water Tribes are much more like Pacific Northwest First Nations people than they are in canon, and the Air monks are still around. Sharkflip keeps the worldbuilding consistent, believable, and disconcertingly close to canon. The anthropological research and the difficulties that arise from Zuko's poor grasp of the Water Tribe languages are one of the things that makes the fics so enjoyable to its fans, many of whom are not otherwise Zutara fans.

It can be found here on fanfiction.net or here on sharkflip's LiveJounal account.

Tropes used in Enslaved (fanfic) include:


  • Accidental Marriage: Only on Zuko's part, poor kid.
  • Alternate Universe: Very much so.
  • And Then What?: Zuko asks himself this. If he could escape the Water Tribe camp and the bloodbenders, and the warriors, and everything else, what would he do on his own in the wilderness?
  • Arranged Marriage: Katara's marriage to Hahn. Not only was it arranged, it was forced on her and her family. She was not pleased.
  • Cheerful Child: Tahnra and Akiak
  • Chick Magnet: The ladies of the Water Tribe may not want to date Zuko, but they like to stare lasciviously at him.
  • Color-Coded Elements: Given the canon, this is unsurprising, but given that the Water Tribes also associate bright blue with free people, it becomes a little more significant.
  • Color-Coded Patrician: Slaves wear drab, brownish blue, free people wear brighter blue and sometimes get jewelry and decorations.
  • Comforting the Widow: To an extent, Sokka deliberately invokes this. Zuko kills Katara's husband Hahn, Katara and her family hate Hahn, obviously, thinks Sokka, the two should get together now.
  • Culture Clash: While the whole fic is this, a particularly telling example is Zuko's definition of slavery (which involves Fire Nation plantation style slavery, in which slaves are extraordinarily lucky to make it to the two year mark) and the Water Tribe's slavery by honor debt.
  • Curious as a Monkey: Inverted. Tahnra drags Zuko around teaching her hapless nanny words for everything she can point to.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Mild, though part and parcel of the anthropological geekery inherent. The Water Tribe has gender divided labor and status, and also keeps slaves.
  • Disability Superpower: Aside from Toph, Yue, a tribal shaman, became shaman after developing "falling sickness", either epilepsy or narcolepsy (or both. They do sometimes occur in the same individual).
  • Disabled Love Interest: It's Yue.
  • Domestic Abuse: Hahn tried to hit Katara. It didn't go well for him.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: Played with. The translations are from Zuko's point of view. As he slowly learns to speak the Water Tribe language, the translations are less broken, and the Water Tribe members' words are translated much closer to their speakers' intents, which becomes hilarious as Zuko gets good enough at the language to realize that Sokka is calling people things like "his ancient spookiness" and calling shamanic rites "woo woo stuff". In universe, Zuko was this.
  • Fainting Seer: Although Yue doesn't faint when she communicates with the spirits, her "falling sickness" is what marked her out for service to the spirits in the first place.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: An Avatar staple; sharkflip has taken the opportunity of an AU to make everything more realistic (ie language barrier etc.) and change some of the concordances. Most visibly, the Water Tribe used to be Inuit, but in the service of actually being able to have lots of outside scenes and a slightly less subsistence-level culture, appears to have gone Inuit~>Aleutian~>Pacific Northwest native. The addition of a whole lot of women's lib and waterbending is the main difference between the raincoast people and Enslaved's Water Tribe. Particularly visible during the salmon run arc.
  • Fish Out of Water: Zuko.
  • Funny Foreigner: The Water Tribes sometimes see Zuko this way.
  • Honor Before Reason: Interestingly, this characterizes Zuko less than it does Katara. This is why she marries Hahn, and why Yue feels the need to marry Katara and Zuko.
  • Humiliation Conga: To Zuko.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Jet to Song. One of the many reasons he needs to die in this fic.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The name of each chapter is a past tense verb ending in "ed". (Actually, it's a gerund.)
  • Important Haircut: After Zuko is freed, Katara cuts Zuko's hair.
  • Made a Slave: Obviously
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Averted. One of the differences between this and the canon Avatar: The Last Airbender universe.
  • Mundane Utility: Zuko helps smoke fish and heat-shape wood. Katara is a dyer.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. The women retreat to a separate camp during their "moon time".
  • Parental Marriage Veto: More like a tribal marriage veto. The fact that Katara and Zuko are already married doesn't stop the shaman for Hahn's clan from trying to pull this.
  • Parental Substitute: Zuko accidentally becomes this for Tahnra and Akiak. This is responsible for almost every Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • People Puppets: When Zuko tries to escape, he learns the hard way about bloodbending.
  • Pirate: Jet
  • Privateer: Toph and Jun.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Zuko is deliberately set up to be this to Tahnra and Akiak, replacing Hahn, their father. Katara, their mom, is not happy.
  • Sex Slave: Averted. Katara sees Zuko more as a nanny.
  • Ship Sinking: Katara/Aang, and Zuko/Mai. So far done in ways that aren't out of character, or demonizing to anyone involved. Or deadly.
  • Shipper on Deck: Oh Sokka...
  • Sick Episode: The first chapter, until Katara heals Zuko's infected arm.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: In a mild, very complicated form. Zuko notes that the women typically sit behind the men (With Kanna as the exception) and slaves sit behind them. The fact that he notices these things, and doesn't expect Toph, when she arrives, to act this way implies the Fire Nation is different.
    • Later in the fic, it's revealed that men in Katara's village aren't taught to bend.
  • The Unpronounceable: Since Zuko refuses to give them his name, the Water Tribe calls him Xtl'ikgut'Tlak, which means "dragon."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Jet pushes this. His actions seem more selfish, and then he rationalizes them as targeting Fire Nation people and collaborators. His definition of collaborator is... loose.
  • Widow Woman: Katara. Because Zuko killed her husband. Which is why she owns him.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Zuko's still exiled (and on a fool's errand, though, since there is very possibly no Avatar, what this errand consists of is unknown) which saps his will to escape.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Katara's family sees the job of being her husband this way, which might have something to do with the fact that they all hated her husband, and Zuko's killing him fills them with all kinds of warm feelings for him. Katara disagrees.
  • You No Take Candle: Heavily implied Zuko sounded like this to the Water Tribe, until Aang actually took the time to teach him.
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