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How I Became Yours is a troll fic.
Jackie Diaz is fully aware of what she is doing, and having fun with it. However, she is a bit more clever than most trolls: While the argument could be risen that she is not a troll because she friends-locked the comic on her My Space page, and a troll would want as many people to see their horrible creation as possible...that is the point. It is all a clever Xanatos Roulette to cause more people to be interested in reading her creation, go looking for it on the internet, and ultimately find a Photo Bucket account with the pictures that she knew one of her fans would be bound to keep.
- Also, about her entry on the main page under Small Name, Big Ego, two words: Tara Gillesbie. Troll fic authors create Small Name, Big Ego personas to attract more attention to their works. Most authors don't respond to criticism with "If you hate my story go shoot yourself". The more outrageous the reaction to criticism, the more people that will be attracted to her story. And if you actually read between the lines, it seems more like a subtle confession that yes, she does trace her drawings, and yes, she IS looking for more people to read her comic (like the author's note in Light and Dark - The Adventures of Dark Yagami saying they don't know what a "troll" is but they might do a "goblin").
How I Became Yours is not necessarily a troll fic, but it is a stealth parody.
HIBY is actually intended to be a stealth parody of poorly-done Zutara fics, and Lifetime movies in general. We're just taking it too seriously. When she realized her own fanbase also took it too seriously, she either decided to just run with it for their sake, or eventually became the mask.
Mai was pregnant when Zuko left her.
It had just happened shortly before Zuko confronted her, so she wasn't far along enough to know. Her subsequent actions are the result Mama Bear syndrome at the fact that her child's father would never have anything to do with them.
- That might explain her whole Unexplained Recovery trick in the sequel, too. She had a daughter with Generation Xerox and Dead Guy, Junior syndrome, who decided to avenge her mother's death on her bum father and his babymamma. The daughter would probably be more willing to kill her father than Mai One would, having been raised without him in her life by her uncle.
"Azula" was literally not Azula.
It was some poor fire nation girl who just happened to bear an uncanny resemblence to Azula. Because of what everyone else has been saying about the things Azula did, she is accidentally psychologically tortured into thinking of everything she did as "Azula".
- This is now my personal headcanon.
- And she's not just some random girl either. The reason for her looking so similar to Azula is because she was meant to be a "decoy:" any would-be assassins would kill the fake queen instead of the real one. The decoy just hated Mai and tried to blackmail her; Mai believed the decoy to be the real Azula, and the rest is history.
"Mai" is actually Mai's crazy Yandere twin sister.
She was the shame of the family, so her parents kept her in hiding. When she saw Mai with Zuko, she began to grow jealous and envisioned herself in Zuko's arms. So on their wedding day, she locked Mai up in the attic she used to live in and married Zuko in her place. Zuko realized this, but there was nothing he could do at that point.
Mai had Azula lobotomized.
It was part of her plan to avoid being blackmailed--just in case the poison-laced stabbing failed, she would alter Azula's thinking in a way that would cause her to grow a conscience, realize the horrors of what she had done, and never even think of blackmailing anyone. Hey, Mai was already derailed by that point; would you put it past HIBY Mai to perform a lobotomy just for good measure?
Sho lied about Mai poisoning Azula.
Instead, he stabbed her, on Mai's orders. Because Mai was shown to be in the Fire Nation on the very day Azula was found in an alley, and Azula's wound had already been open a while. Mai wouldn't be able to pull that off within a few hours outside of Zuko's knowledge without being able to teleport. Sho, however, did not need to go back to the Fire Nation immediately, no one could presumably trace him to Mai since he wouldn't have charged her to kill somebody, and, in the event that he did need a quick exit, he can teleport. His confession to Sokka that Mai poisoned Azula was just him saying "Mai commissioned the murder."
HIBY is an Ember Island Players production.
Wouldn't that make perfect sense?
- Headcanon, done. For further insult, it's done by the literal Ember Island Players, hence why it's so bad. Zuko already stated they ruined his mother's favorite play, and they did so poorly, despite T Bi TI being Propaganda, with the series itself, so it just tends to figure.
Mai had nothing to do with killing Katara's baby.
Article One: Katara's letter to Zuko was found in Mai's room, in pieces, exactly three years after the baby died. Mai's not the kind of person to keep a torn letter like that around for years. It's more likely that she had only found the letter that day, ripped it to shreds, and then went to get her hair done to calm herself down, so that she could better plan Zuko's untimely demise. After all, what could possibly happen? Have a maid come snooping around, and then blab to Uncle Iroh? Even a cool head like Mai wouldn't think of that possibility when significantly pissed.
Article Two: Since typwriters probably had not yet been invented in the Avatar World, Mai could not have written out a letter and passed it off as her husband's note on a birthday gift. Something like that would be handwritten, and not entrusted to a palace scribe, so that no rumors of adultery would get out. Mai would have to either be a really good forger (somewhat plausible) or hire one (also plausible, but more dangerous since it would include another witness...and keeping a possible informant quiet is just as hard as covering a possible informant's murder.
Personal Fanon Taking Articles One and Two into Account: Katara's miscarriage was a miscarriage, and only that. Conversely, it was a result of the fruit itself, which could have been a potent Fire Nation breed that was known for centuries to be dangerous to pregnant women. Zuko, naturally, didn't know Katara was pregnant when he sent her the gift, because Sokka "left it up to fate" when he sent his letter that was supposed to inform Zuko of the baby (meaning he probably put it on the messenger hawk trained to go to the Earth Kingdom, and some random cabbage salesman read "Jerkbender you homewrecking little-sister-f&#%ing bastard, get your flabby backside over here so I can Boomerang your ass!" and asked "Why me, universe?"). Either way, the miscarriage was an unfortunate set of circumstances, but not a murder. All evidence against Mai was completely circumstantial.
Then, some years later, Azula got ahold of the letter (how? Coz she's Azula, dammit! And the cabbage merchant needed a buck), and sent it to Mai a few days before Katara's birthday bash. Azula then told Mai to remove Azula's banishment from the Fire Nation and give her a place on the new Senate, or this little tidbit about the Fire Lord's past would go public. Mai, in a rage, ripped the letter into shreds, sent her own letter informing her badass ninja brother that the Princess had a sizable bounty on her head and was in such and such a city, and then stuffed the letter pieces into a drawer, not trusting herself with the flammable materials required to burn them in her current state of mind. That...wasn't a good idea.
So, why did Mai take credit for killing the baby? Well, simple...she had something to protect that she thought would be better protected if she were considered dead. Like, say, a budding rebellion against Zuko's regime under the name of the Agni Army. She was a convicted (if framed) traitor, and if she were constantly running away from the cops she would put her movement in danger. So, she picked a fight with Katara, and lost...like she was planning to. Therefore, the movement is safe, and they also have a beautiful propaganda piece against the new Fire Lady in that she unnecessarily committed murder. Mai either sacrificed herself heroicly for the cause (thus paving the way for her identical daughter to lead said cause to victory) or gambled with her life, knowing that Sho had some way of dragging her back from the dead that he could pull out of his black-leathered ninja ass.
...Yeah, Epileptic Trees...But I'm stickin' to it!
Lobozula is the HIBY-verse's equivalent of Rosemary Kennedy
High-status young woman from high-profile family + potentially embarrassing psychological problems (with a dash of Why Couldn't You Be Different?) + rendered Not Herself somehow... I know this is getting into Dude, Not Funny territory, and I'm sorry, but the idea wouldn't leave me alone.
"Jackie Diaz" is a disgruntled ex-animator from the original show.
This particular animator secretly shipped Zutara from Day One (or at least, since the "I'll save your from the pirates" moment which might as well count as Day One in Zutarian history) and was distraught over being forced to animate scenes for Maiko and Kataang. "Sozin's Comet" was the last straw and so they (for all we know, "Jackie" could actually be a guy) wrote their own scenario for how they had wanted the series to end--in fact, it may have been their original suggestion to Mike and Bryan, but got laughed off. Eventually, they decided to tweak a few details so it would be a post-finale story and posted it as a web comic. The artist is not lying when they say the drawings they "traced" are theirs; they really did draw them when they were an animator for the show and simply re-traced them for the comic. They can't reveal this because, of course, no one would believe them. They use photographed backgrounds to avoid giving away their true identity, lest anyone come close to figuring out the truth.
As for the Bleach tracings, "Jackie" is close friends with a Bleach animator, who was also a disgruntled Zutara shipper, and agreed to help them out by sending their own drawings for "Jackie" to trace.
"Jackie Diaz" is Mike and Bryan and the whole comic is one big joke on their fans.
They got sick of fans complaining about the finale and decided to pull off a Stylistic Suck to make fun of the militant shippers.
How I Became Yours was done by Stephenie Meyer.
A lame romance is the kind of story that she'd write, complete with broken and backwards values, numerous instances of research fail, the works. The elemental bending also served as the inspiration for the Benjamin character, with his vampire power essentially being the freaking Avatar.