Regarding the armless new waterbending lady, I see a lot of mixed opinions about whether disabled characters turning their disability into a ‘superpower’ is a good thing or not. All I’ll say is this:
This is a fictional universe where the characters have superpowers no one in our universe could ever attain, that greatly benefits them in their lives and in their societies. I understand that romanticizing disabilities is problematic because disabled people in reality can’t just get superpowers to make up for our disadvantages.
But that’s not the point here - the disabled characters exist in this universe on equal footing with everybody else. They aren’t defined by their disabilities, they aren’t put on a pedestal nor are they pitied, they can excel, they can become powerful. Their lives don’t become meaningless because of their disabilities. They are adjusting to the world they live in, exactly as a lot of disabled people do in real life - which is something a lot of abled people don’t seem to realize.
Let’s not forget about Teo, who was a nonbender. His disability wasn’t exactly an advantage, but he had a passion for flying and he excelled in that, which really had nothing to do with his disability and all to do with himself. I doubt having no arms in itself is an advantage for that lady, but it’s not limiting her; she uses her resources and skill to make the world around her work to her convenience.
Toph was able to turn her disability into a specialized power, mainly because the thing she couldn’t do allowed her to hyper-focus on the things she could in a way none of her friends ever would or could, but the show never ignored the fact that there were still many ways she differed from her friends. And in some cases, disabilities can give you unique abilities.
These characters’ lives don’t revolve around their disabilities, but it’s a fundamental part of the way they interact and access the world, and these differences can give specialized powers as well as complications.
If able-bodied people can get superpowers, if they can be awesome characters with important roles in the story, so can disabled people. This franchise has several disabled characters, all are individual people living under different circumstances, none of them are ‘cured’, none of them are pitied and none of them are defined by their disabilities. They are role-models and people to look up to for a lot of disabled people out there (who don’t have a lot of representation in media), and I for one am happy Bryke are giving us that.