- This article is about the character. For other similar uses, see Aang (disambiguation).
|"I wasn't there when the Fire Nation attacked my people. I'm gonna make a difference this time."|
|— Avatar Aang to Chief Arnook.|
Aang was a male Air Nomad born in 12 BG and the Avatar during the century-long conflict known as the Hundred Year War. His immediate predecessor was Avatar Roku, and his immediate successor is Avatar Korra. As the Avatar of his time, he was the only person capable of using all four bending arts: airbending, waterbending, earthbending, and firebending. He was also one of a select few Avatars, and one of the first in many cycles to learn the ancient art of energybending, and the first Avatar known to have actively used the technique.
Shortly before the beginning of the Hundred Year War, Aang was frozen in an iceberg for a hundred years; he later emerged, still biologically twelve years old, into a world engulfed by war. During his absence, the Fire Nation had waged war upon the other nations and managed to completely wipe out the pacifistic Air Nomads. It fell to Aang, the Avatar and the last airbender, to end the War by mastering the other three elements and defeating Fire Lord Ozai. He remained a kind and goofy kid at heart throughout his year-long struggle, despite the overwhelming loss of his people and the heavy burdens he was forced to bear. After his victory over the Phoenix King, Aang began a romantic relationship with his close friend, Katara. The couple eventually married and raised a family of three children: Bumi, the oldest, a nonbender who became an airbender later in life, Kya, a waterbender, and the youngest, Tenzin, an airbender.
Aang was born to two Air Nomads in 12 BG. After selecting the Avatar relics from among thousands of toys, thereby inadvertently confirming his identity as the Avatar, he was taken away by the monks of the Southern Air Temple, who kept his position a secret from him. As an Air Nomad, Aang traveled extensively around the world. During his childhood, Aang was housed, raised, and educated at the Southern Air Temple, under the guardianship of monk Gyatso, who served as his father figure, counselor, and tutor. As a child, Aang was a member of the Air Scouts, where he learned essential skills such as how to tie reins to a bison's horns with the bison horn knot. After some time, he and several other young Air Nomad boys were taken to the Eastern Air Temple where they each chose a sky bison as their lifelong companion. Aang approached his soon-to-be sky bison Appa and offered him an apple, which Appa accepted, thus marking the start of their deep and lifelong friendship.
Aang was always able to excel at any new bending moves he learned; at the age of six, he was a better airbender than children twice his age, and by the age of ten, Aang had proven himself to be better than his own teachers. He earned airbending tattoos and the status of an airbending master by the age of twelve for exhibiting prodigious talent with his native element and with his invention of the air scooter, making him the youngest airbending master in Air Nomad history.
In his childhood, Aang also visited the other air temples, as evidenced by his obvious familiarity with the Western Air Temple, as well as cities in the Earth Kingdom, such as Omashu, where he developed a lasting friendship with the good-natured but eccentric Bumi. He even bonded closely with children in the Fire Nation, like Kuzon, with whom he went searching for a dragon in the mountains and saved a dragon egg from poachers.
Due to the signs of a possible war approaching, Aang was told about his status as the Avatar at age twelve, four years earlier than the traditional age of sixteen. Aang felt burdened by his status as the other children refused to play with him anymore and he came to spend more time practicing airbending with the monks. Monk Gyatso was the only one who showed an understanding of Aang's burden, having been good friends with Avatar Roku, Aang's past life, and tried to help ease Aang through the transition from childhood to adulthood by providing Aang with balance through fun during the upheaval in his life.
However, Aang later discovered that he would be sent to the Eastern Air Temple in order to complete his airbending training far away from Monk Gyatso, who the other monks thought was too soft on him. Afraid and confused, the young airbender ran away with his flying bison, Appa, though they became caught in a storm shortly after, which caused them to crash into the water. Aang saved himself and Appa from drowning by semi-consciously entering the Avatar State and freezing them both in a sphere of ice through a combination of airbending and waterbending. The Avatar State kept him alive, albeit not fully conscious, in the iceberg for about a hundred years while the war raged on.
Winter 99 AG
- Main article: History of Aang (12 BG - 100 AG)
One hundred years later, Aang was found and freed from the iceberg by siblings Katara and Sokka of the Southern Water Tribe. He quickly befriended them and almost immediately attracted the attention of Prince Zuko, who was to capture him by order of his father, Fire Lord Ozai. A newly formed Team Avatar set out to find a waterbending master who could teach Katara and Aang, evading Zuko's attempts to capture them on their journey to the North Pole. While helping rid Senlin Village of Hei Bai, a spirit that was destroying their village, Aang crossed over to the Spirit World where he met Fang, the animal guide of his predecessor, Avatar Roku. He was instructed to visit the Avatar Temple on Crescent Island during the winter solstice so he could talk with Avatar Roku. Despite a run-in with most of the Fire Sages, a group whose loyalty had reallocated to the Fire Lord, Aang managed to speak with Roku, who warned him about the impending arrival of Sozin's Comet, which would grant the Fire Nation enough power to win the War.
Roku urged Aang to master the three remaining elements before summer's end, when the comet was due to arrive, or no one would ever be able to restore balance to the world. When Aang was later captured by Admiral Zhao, Zuko came to his aid under the identity of the Blue Spirit, freeing the former so that he could capture the Avatar himself. Aang, Sokka, and Katara continued their travels to the Northern Water Tribe, all the while developing a tighter bond and Aang beginning to develop a crush on Katara. Upon the group's arrival at the Northern Water Tribe, Aang was displeased to learn that the waterbending master, Pakku, would not teach Katara, due to the tradition of not teaching females in combative waterbending. Instead, Katara learned how to heal injuries using water. However, she was able to change Pakku's mind, and they both began to learn from him. The period of calm was brief, as Zhao commanded an attack on the Northern Water Tribe with a large fleet of ships. Aang found the situation overwhelming and decided to seek the guidance of the Ocean and Moon Spirits, patrons of the Northern Water Tribe. Aang learned through a spirit named Koh that the spirits existed in the mortal world, but his physical self had been captured by Zuko while he was in the Spirit World. Aang's friends managed to rescue him, but not before Zhao arrived at the Spirit Oasis, the lair of the spirits, and killed the Moon Spirit, who was the source of power for all waterbending. Determined not to fail the Water Tribe, Aang merged with the Ocean Spirit and proceeded to wipe out all Fire Nation ships, winning the battle.
Spring 100 AG
- Main article: History of Aang (Spring 100 AG)
Aang and the others flew to an Earth Kingdom base, from where they were to be escorted to Omashu, but decided to travel alone as the general in charge tried to force Aang into the Avatar State. Upon arrival, they learned that the city had fallen under Fire Nation control. They evacuated the citizens from the city in order to sustain the Omashu Resistance; but, in the process, the governor's son, Tom-Tom, followed them out. Team Avatar was sent a messenger hawk saying the governor would trade Bumi for Tom-Tom. However, Azula interfered and their attempt was called off. At that, Aang fought Azula, who deemed it her mission to capture him. Bumi told Aang that he needed to remain in Omashu and instructed the young Avatar to search for an earthbending master who waited and listened to the earth before attacking. While in the city of Gaoling, the team learned about a tournament that housed the best earthbenders in the world which they attended, hoping to find a good earthbending teacher for Aang. After watching many rounds, they witnessed the final fight between one of the popular contestants and the current champion, a blind girl. During her match, Aang realized the girl was the same one he had envisioned while lost in the Foggy Swamp and noticed her technique of waiting and listening before attacking, thus easily defeating her opponent. The ringmaster offered a sack of gold pieces to anyone who dared to face the "Blind Bandit". Aang accepted that challenge in order to talk to the girl, but she ignored him.
The group later learned that the girl was of the Beifong family and went to the Beifong estate, gaining entrance by having Aang introduce himself as the Avatar. He learned, however, that the earthbender, Toph, hid her ability from her family. When the two were kidnapped, Toph managed to fight off all the attackers, revealing her skill to her parents, and ran away from home in order to join Aang's group. As earth is the element opposite of air, Aang went through some difficulties while learning earthbending but eventually got it. While taking a small vacation, the group found Wan Shi Tong's library in the middle of the Si Wong Desert and learned valuable information on a solar eclipse that would leave the firebenders powerless. While sorting through the library's information, however, they lost Appa, who was captured by desert people and sold. After meeting the kidnappers, an enraged Aang entered the Avatar State and destroyed the tribes' sand-sailers when he learned of Appa's fate. Despite Appa's absence, the group knew their new goal was to tell the Earth King in Ba Sing Se about the eclipse as the day of the eclipse will be the perfect opportunity for the Earth Kingdom to invade the Fire Nation. After finding their way out of the desert and crossing the Serpent's Pass, the group discovered a giant Fire Nation drill trying to penetrate the Great Wall of Ba Sing Se. General Sung was reluctant at first to accept the group's help, but after witnessing the quick defeat of his Terra Team at the hands of Ty Lee and Mai, he gladly accepted the Avatar's assistance. In a joint effort, the group managed to fight them off and destroy the drill.
Upon reaching Ba Sing Se, Aang discovered that the city was secretly corrupt; true power did not lie with the Earth King, but with his adviser, Long Feng, who controlled the secret police, the Dai Li. They learned of and infiltrated Long Feng's secret base, believing that he was holding Appa captive. After reuniting with Appa, they stormed the palace and informed the Earth King of the solar eclipse and Long Feng's betrayal. After they convinced the Earth King, Kuei, his men searched Long Feng's office and found a message for Aang from Guru Pathik, who had tied it to Appa's horn. The message requested that Aang meet Guru Pathik at the Eastern Air Temple to be taught how to control the Avatar State. While there, Pathik helped Aang open all his chakras but one, the Thought Chakra. Aang struggled to unlock this one when he learned he had to let go of his feelings for Katara. During his attempt to do so, he envisioned her in danger and immediately returned to the city, blocking his chakra. On the way back, he picked up Sokka and Toph and together they learned that Azula and her friends had infiltrated the city. After Aang freed Katara from the princess' imprisonment, they both fought Zuko and Azula in the Crystal Catacombs. Things took a turn for the worse when the Dai Li, now under Azula's command, arrived. Aang attempted to enter the Avatar State, but was struck down in the back with a lightning bolt fired by Azula. The severe attack rendered his seventh chakra impossible to re-open and killed him while he was in the Avatar State, severing the connection of the Avatar Spirit to the Avatar World and causing the Avatar to fall from the plane of existence. Katara caught Aang while he plummeted to the ground. A surprising intervention of Iroh allowed her to bring Aang's body to safety. While escaping the city on Appa, Katara used water from the Spirit Oasis at the North Pole to revive him, which restored the Avatar Spirit in turn, but his ability to use the Avatar State became inaccessible to him.
Summer 100 AG
- Main article: History of Aang (Summer 100 AG)
For several weeks, Aang was unconscious as he recovered from his injury. Mentally, he spent this time in the Spirit World, where he reconnected with his four previous incarnations to heal the Avatar Spirit. However, upon his awakening, Aang had no memory of his long journey through the Spirit World and his meetings with his former lives. Aang woke up to find himself aboard a Fire Nation vessel and sporting hair, believing that he had been captured. In actuality, Team Avatar and others had seized and were commandeering the ship and were headed toward the Fire Nation. Upon reaching the Fire Nation, the team prepared for the invasion, planned during the Day of Black Sun, when firebenders were at their weakest. They were continually threatened, however, by Combustion Man, an assassin Zuko sent after Aang. On the day of the eclipse, Aang, Sokka, and Toph went searching for Fire Lord Ozai, but were kept at bay by Azula for the entire duration of the eclipse. They decided to retreat to fight another day.
Afterward, Team Avatar and the youngest members of the invasion force journeyed to the Western Air Temple, where they were confronted by Zuko, who wished to join their group. They initially rejected him, but when he helped them defeat Combustion Man, Aang accepted Zuko as his firebending teacher. When Zuko lost touch with his inner fire, Zuko and Aang sought out the Sun Warriors to learn the original source of firebending and underwent a trial from the dragons Ran and Shaw that enhanced both firebenders' abilities.
Due to his Air Nomad belief in the sacredness of all life, Aang felt strong anxiety about the concept of killing Ozai. When he left for an island off the shore of Ember Island, he met a lion turtle who taught him the art of energybending. Armed with this knowledge, Aang went on to defeat the Fire Lord by taking away his firebending with this ability. He vowed at Fire Lord Zuko's coronation to help him restore peace to the world. After Zuko's coronation, Aang was seen in Ba Sing Se with his friends, where he and Katara began a romantic relationship with a passionate kiss.
After the Hundred Year War
Harmony Restoration Movement
Following Team Avatar, Fire Lord Zuko, and Kuei's agreement to initiate the Harmony Restoration Movement, which was officially announced to the Earth Kingdom people by the Earth King, Aang and his friends took a ride on Appa to watch the celebratory fireworks. While on the sky bison, the concerned Fire Lord asked the Avatar to make a promise: if Aang saw that Zuko's behavior was mirroring Ozai's, he would end his former friend. Initially disbelieving, Aang sought advice from Katara, who nodded in approval, and hesitatingly accepted.
To help the Harmony Restoration Movement, Team Avatar aided in the relocation of Fire Nation colonials back to the Fire Nation, starting with more recent colonies. A year later, with the movement so far successful, Aang, Katara, and Sokka were assisting the colonials led by Mayor Nishi to move and adjust. After landing in the Fire Nation, however, the friends discovered that Zuko had withdrawn his support for the movement and was occupying the oldest colony, Yu Dao, eliciting the group to immediately travel there. On the way, Aang consulted with Avatar Roku, who reminded him that Zuko's request to end him if he became like his father should be honored, citing Zuko's intent in making the promise and also revealing that he should have ended Sozin when he had the chance. Despite Roku's advice, Aang decided to attempt to talk to his friend before taking any action.
After landing outside Yu Dao, the team encountered a massive protesting crowd that included several members of the Freedom Fighters, who offered their services to the Avatar. To their disappointment, Aang explained his intention to talk to Zuko and flew with Katara over the walls on his glider. However, in the courtyard, several Fire Nation soldiers ordered Aang to leave and attacked, refusing to listen to the Avatar's attempts at peace. Aang sank their commander into earth while dodging the other troops, but one fireball set caused his clothing to catch fire, prompting Katara to intervene. She single-handedly defeated the remainder of the soldiers until she was halted by Zuko. Aang ordered the Fire Lord to let her go, and he responded by ordering the Avatar to leave. Using airbending, Aang separated the two, leading Zuko to retaliate. He entered the Avatar State, intent on fulfilling his promise, until Katara was able to calm him down. The Fire Lord advised that they talk, to which Aang agreed in comic frustration. Zuko led Aang and Katara on a tour of Yu Dao, explaining that the city had been heavily integrated for over a century, the firebenders and earthbenders having worked together to transform a small village into a world leader in metalworking, and also one of the great cities and that after seeing the townspeople living together peacefully, he could not separate them. Aang was adamant about restoring harmony to the four nations, but Zuko declined. Katara proposed hosting a meeting with Kuei, to which both the Avatar and the Fire Lord agreed.
Aang left Yu Dao, speaking with Smellerbee before departing. Appalled that the Avatar was talking instead of fighting, she demanded the removal of the colonials and said that Aang had three days to make a compromise before the Freedom Fighters would take action. On Appa en route to Ba Sing Se, Aang thanked Katara for calming him while in the Avatar State and not allowing him to take Zuko's life.
As they arrived in Ba Sing Se, Aang and Katara encountered two co-founders and presidents of the Official Avatar Aang Fan Club's Ba Sing Se Chapter. When they learned that the couple was searching for a place to stay, they offered them residence at their clubhouse. Aang gladly accepted and he spent the night and the following morning entertaining the girls by showing them some airbending moves and being flattered by all the attention. As he and Katara left for the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace, he noted to her that even though the girls were just part of a silly fan club, they did make him feel for a moment like he was back home with his people.
After informing the Earth King about the present situation with Fire Lord Zuko in Yu Dao, Aang and Katara were presented with a richly filled dinner table to allow Kuei some time to think about the situation. When the King returned, Aang was shocked to learn that he refused peace talks with Zuko and had decided to send his army to Yu Dao instead. Realizing that sending in the army would be seen as a declaration of war, Aang and Katara hurried back to Yu Dao in an attempt to persuade the Fire Nation colonials there to evacuate before they arrived.
On his way to Yu Dao, Aang and Zuko shared a dream where they stood on a cliff, with Roku's spirit behind Aang and Ozai's spirit behind Zuko. In the dream, Zuko told Aang about his troubles from being unable to decide what was right, which prompted Roku to advise Aang to fulfill his promise. Aang went into the Avatar State, but at the last minute Ursa appeared, crying behind Roku. Aang and Zuko both woke up to realize it was a dream.
When Aang arrived at Yu Dao, he told the Fire Nation residents to evacuate, but earthbenders and firebenders began attacking him and Katara. When he spotted one of the attackers fleeing, Aang followed him into an ax factory to discover that his attacker was Sneers. Sneers revealed to Aang that he met Kori Morishita and had begun a romantic relationship with her; he tried to persuade him to join the Yu Dao Resistance. When Aang refused, Kori introduced the Official Avatar Aang Fan Club Yu Dao Chapter, whose members were dressed in traditional Air Nomad attire. Aang remarked on how the clothing that they wore looked just like the uniforms that students at the Western Air Temple used to wear, and added on how their painted airbending tattoos looked just like real airbender tattoos, only to discover that they were the same as genuine airbender tattoos. Aang became enraged by this, explaining that an airbender's tattoos had to be earned through years of practice, and that his culture was not a game.
Aang stormed off and went onto the roof of the building, where Katara found him. He stated that he figured out why the four nations must be separate: because the stronger nation always ended up hurting the weaker one. Katara tried to remind him what Guru Pathik told him about the four nations being really one and the same, but Aang retaliated, saying that he loved his culture and everything that made it unique. He concluded by stating the contradiction in his mind about feeling obligated to follow through with the Harmony Restoration Movement, but in doing so it would result in him killing Zuko, which went against Air Nomad dogma. Katara began telling Aang why she changed her mind about the Harmony Restoration Movement, but they were interrupted by the protesters, led by Smellerbee. The group of protesters began using a stone battering ram to try and break open the gate. Aang succeeded in stopping them, before realizing it was all a distraction so he would not notice a drill further along the wall that broke through the gates.
When the protesters met up with the Yu Dao Resistance, Aang tried to calm them down, but to no avail, as both groups began attacking each other. However, moments later, Earth Kingdom troops arrived, led by General How, as well as Fire Nation soldiers, led by Zuko. General How tried to persuade Aang to end Zuko's life, stating an army with no leader is a dragon without a head, but Aang argued against this. When the armies of both nations began to fight, Aang entered the Avatar State; however, Katara pulled him out of it before long, leading him away from the battle. She finished explaining to Aang why she changed her mind, and stated that when she saw Kori and her family, she also saw her future with Aang, and went on to say that if the four nations had to be separate, they had to be as well. She told Aang to find a quiet place to figure the situation out, and that she would fully support whatever decision he decided to make. They kissed and Aang flew off.
Aang traveled to a rocky mountain and earthbent the rocks around him to form a shelter. He contacted Avatar Roku, who advised Aang to "contemplate the world" and also revealed to him that Zuko was his great-grandson. Aang meditated further upon this, and after some time, he entered the Avatar State, which sent a beam of light into the sky. He flew down to the colony and separated the ground between the troops of the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom. Zuko began to plummet to his death into the crevice between the separated lands, but Aang grabbed his hand to save him. After coming out of the Avatar State, Aang confronted Earth King Kuei and stated that Kuei was fighting not only the Fire Nation, but also the Earth Kingdom itself, the Water Tribe, and an Air Nomad. The Earth King realized his mistake, and Zuko also realized his fight was not the work of his father's hatred, but the right choice all along, which caused the Fire Lord to faint and the conflict to end.
Four days later on the roof of the Jasmine Dragon, Aang connected once again with Roku, attempting to explain that when he contemplated the world, he did not picture a map or floating cosmic energy; he pictured all his friends and everyone he loved. Roku, however, chided the Avatar for again being indecisive and leaving the world's balance at risk. Aang spiritually disconnected from him, claiming the world had changed too much for Roku to guide him any longer. Moments later, Iroh informed Aang that Zuko was now awake, and they both went inside the building. Aang talked to Zuko about how he must meet with the Earth King because the colony could not be either Fire Nation or revert to being Earth Kingdom. Zuko told Aang to break off his promise to kill him if he became like his father because the struggle of figuring out what was right and wrong was something the Fire Lord could not escape. Zuko told Aang that he wanted to look for his mother, to which Aang encouraged him to do so. Later, Aang departed from the Jasmine Dragon to confront the Official Avatar Aang Fan Club. He told them that he would teach them the ways of the Air Nomads and dubbed them the "Air Acolytes".
Searching for Ursa
Sometime after the battle for Yu Dao, Aang attended a meeting together with his friends and several government officials at the home of the governor of Yu Dao to discuss the future of the city. A professor gave a lecture on ancient Earth Kingdom philosophies regarding the four nations, though it was of little interest to Aang, who believed that they should look for new ways to overcome the present diversities as opposed to going back to how it was. He was complaining about it against Sokka who also could not be captivated by the professor. The two friends were soon shushed by Katara who wanted to pay attention. Aang swiftly apologized, before coming to his girlfriend's defense after Sokka called her boring.
Meanwhile, Zuko had snapped back to attention when the professor had made a comparison between how one treats their family and how one rules. Aang noticed this and asked if everything was all right, to which he received a recollection of how poorly Zuko's family hung together.
A week later, Aang traveled to the Fire Nation Royal Palace together with Katara and Sokka upon Zuko's inquiry. Upon arrival, they were delightfully surprised when they discovered Iroh there as well. Zuko explained that Iroh was there to act as interim Fire Lord while he would be gone, looking for Ursa, a journey on which he invited Team Avatar to accompany him. The amicable atmosphere quickly changed, however, when Azula emerged from behind Zuko. Katara immediately attacked the princess, with Aang and Sokka preparing to do the same, though they were halted by Suki and Ty Lee, who implored them to let Zuko explain the situation to them. After the Fire Lord explained that Azula had been the one to coax the needed information from Ozai, and Iroh had pointed out that she too might find peace by finding her mother, Aang accepted the task and stated that he would accompany Zuko on his quest.
The following day, Aang was preparing Appa for the journey toward Hira'a when Azula arrived on the courtyard and haughtily commanded the ones present to take care of her bags. The young airbender calmed his bison, soothing him with the knowledge that the princess would only be with them for a short while, before tending to her luggage by airbending it atop Appa without complaining. When Azula subsequently zapped Sokka with her lightning, he was quick to trap her feet with his earthbending to prevent any further action. As the tension subsided, he released her again and they all set off on their journey.
Airborne, Aang sat on Appa's head with Katara by his side. When Sokka commented how the adventure felt like "old times", Aang corrected him by saying that it was better than old times, since he could now kiss Katara whenever, something he deftly demonstrated, much to Sokka's annoyance. The mood was broken, however, when Aang suddenly had a gruesome expression on his face, caused by the presence of a spirit. The Avatar spotted a wolf spirit running below him, but was the only one who could see the creature at that moment. Using the ensuing commotion, Azula said her goodbye and jumped off Appa, prompting Aang to dive after her and catch her, thus preventing her from plummeting to her death. The princess repaid him by setting his glider alight, sending him crashing down in order to facilitate her own escape. Apart from a singed glider, Aang was okay and followed Azula into the forest with the rest.
When they had caught up with the princess, Aang made his gruesome face again as the wolf spirit appeared as well. As the Avatar, he tried to reason with the spirit, apologizing for any possible disturbance, but to no avail as the spirit attacked. Aang implored his friends to take it easy with the spirit, specifically to avoid hurting it. When he tried to reason with the creature once more, the wolf snapped at him, prompting Appa to intervene and slam the spirit down with his tail. When Aang asked after the spirit's well-being, the entire group was attacked by a swarm of moth wasps the spirit had thrown up. They were eventually saved when Azula shot a lightning bolt away from them all, drawing the moths and the wolf spirit with it.
That night, Aang agreed with Katara and Zuko to each take turns watching Azula sleep. Awaiting his turn, he meditated.
The next morning, Zuko took Aang away from the camp to show him the letter he had found hidden in Azula's boot, revealing that Zuko might not be Ozai's son. Perplexed by the revelation, Aang asked Zuko why Ozai did not do away with him, thus learning about Ursa's sacrifice. When he noticed that Zuko was relieved by the possibility, Aang grew worried that Zuko's claim to the throne was at risk. However, before they could talk it out, they were attacked by Azula, who demanded the return of the letter. Concerned about the safety of his friends, Aang left to check on Katara and Sokka after Zuko assured him he would be fine. When he arrived at the camp, he found it ablaze, with the Water Tribe siblings attempting to extinguish the flames. By the time he and Katara managed to smother the fire, Zuko had succeeded in calming his sister down, and the group continued onto Hira'a.
As they arrived at the outskirts of town, they all donned a disguise, with Aang covering his arrow tattoo with a headband. They were in time to catch the closing act of the Hira'a Acting Troupe's version of the play, Love amongst the Dragons. Once the play was over, Aang wondered what they should do now, prompting Zuko to start asking around about Ursa. This caught the attention of Noren, the director of the acting company, who invited them all to his home, where they could talk more freely. Aang and Katara complimented Noriko, Noren's wife, about their lovely home, and the Avatar asked how long they had been married. Noriko happily informed them that it had been nearly five years, subsequently embarrassing the young couple when she noted that they were perhaps a bit young to be already thinking about marriage, though she soon digressed, concluding that love was ageless. Under the cover of being drama historians, they did not get any new information regarding Ursa, but they did learn that Ikem left town, heading toward Forgetful Valley.
As the group returned to Appa, Aang spoke with Zuko regarding Ikem, stating it to be best if they did not track him down and burn the letter. He reasoned that it was important for the world's balance that Zuko remained on the throne, whether or not he actually had Ozai's royal blood flowing through his veins. The conversation was cut short, however, when Katara and Azula got into a heated argument.
The next day, the team ventured into the forest, making their way to Forgetful Valley. Aang was appalled by Azula when the Fire Nation princess burned a piece of the forest in order to create a path, and he swiftly extinguished the flames with his earthbending. Before he could get into the issue, however, he picked up another presence like he had done before with the wolf, and his face changed accordingly. Sokka deduced that Aang was connecting with the animals and plants of the forest, as they all sported similar expressions as he was making. Aang spotted a flutter bat, who had exactly the same pattern on his wings as he had on his face, and followed it down to a round pond. Aang felt a spiritual calmness surrounding the water, sensing a resemblance to the Spirit Oasis at the North Pole, and asked everyone to be respectful. However, Azula disregarded his request and fired a lightning bolt straight into the pool, believing that her mother was there. Soon after, the group was attacked by plants and vines, though the skirmish was cut short as Katara deduced the attackers to be waterbenders and forced them to reveal themselves.
Heeding the order, Rafa and Misu showed themselves and set up camp with the others, sharing a meal. Misu warned them that Forgetful Valley's ponds needed to remain undisturbed and retold the team her life's story. When Aang learned that they were on the lookout for a spirit with the ability to grant faces, he offered his help. He meditated, crossing over into the Spirit World, in an attempt to get the wolf spirit to come to the pool. After crossing over, he was aided by the spirit of the flutter bat he saw before, and hitching a ride on the animal's back, he was able to track down the wolf spirit. He tried to convince the spirit to come back with him to the pool where Misu and Rafa were waiting for him. The spirit took off, however, forcing Aang to follow him, holding on to his fur. The wolf took him to another pool, where the Mother of Faces chided him for having used her wolf as a beast of burden.
Aang managed to successfully summon the Mother of Faces to the Spirit World, but she would only allow the group one request. Zuko said to Aang that Misu should be allowed to use this request to grant Rafa a new face. Aang apologized, saying they would keep looking for Ursa on their own. However, Azula interrupted Misu and instead requested information about Ursa, causing her to return to Hira'a to confront her mother, Zuko and Sokka chasing her. Aang said that they had to help, though Katara wondered if they should help Zuko and Sokka, or Misu, who was waterbending at the Mother of Faces to convince her to stay. After the ancient spirit chastised Misu for bending her sacred pool's water, the Avatar tried to convince the Mother of Faces that Misu meant no disrespect, but she re-submerged anyway. Aang dove into the pool, trying to pursue her while dodging spirit animals. Unable to find her, the young Avatar wondered how could the spirit be so cruel, and upon this, was ejected from the pool, Katara rushing to his aid. The Mother of Faces re-emerged, denouncing humans for having turned her into their slave and declaring her work "inadequate". Aang tried to tell her that they did not mean this, but the spirit continued her rant, scolding him for defiling her sacred pool and talking down to her as if she were a child, before calling all humans "selfish, shortsighted, [and] insolent". She told Aang and his group to leave, sending her spirit animals to attack them.
As Aang and Katara tried to defend their small group, the Avatar reminded his girlfriend to try not to hurt the spirits. He decided that, given the overwhelming quantity of attackers, it would be best for them to leave, though Misu refused, desiring what she and Rafa had come to the forest for in the first place. Seeing an aggressor nearby the two, Aang airbent at it, but in the process, Rafa's mask accidentally fell off, revealing that he did not have a face. Aang recognized Koh's handiwork, and upon hearing Aang mention that name, the Mother of Faces silenced her animals, asking the Avatar to repeat what he had said. Aang explained what he knew of Koh, to which the ancient spirit replied that he was her son. Aang awkwardly tried to take back his calling Koh ugly, though the Mother of Faces did not seem to mind, instead telling the group how he became estranged from her and how he stole faces to maintain a connection with her. Aang told the Mother of Faces that he had stolen the face of someone close to one of his past lives, yet he did not cause him harm. The Mother of Faces recognized Koh's handiwork on Rafa's face and restored it. Aang and Katara watched happily as Rafa and Misu embraced. Afterward, the Avatar thanked the spirit for her act of kindness, acknowledged that humans have been ungrateful in the past, though he noted that they needed to restore two relationships: between both brother and sister, and mother and son.
Aang and Katara made their way back to Hira'a with the Mother of Faces, who restored Ursa's former face and memories. Seeing that Azula had left and left the letter behind, Aang took this to be a sign of the princess changing, believing she had done this on purpose, to which Katara kissed him on the cheek for looking on the bright side of things. The Avatar reminisced on their mission, saying that they were successfully able to restore relationships between both brother and sister, and mother and son.
Ursa's return to the Fire Nation Capital
As Zuko desired to have Ursa, Ikem, and Kiyi visit the Fire Nation Capital for the first time since Ursa's banishment, Aang, Katara, and Sokka escorted the family on the Fire Nation cruiser that was bringing them all back. To pass time, Aang took Kiyi out on the sea to ride a wild flying dolphin fish. Their fun was cut short, however, when a frantic Ursa called out to him to bring back her daughter. As Aang quickly airbent them to the ship, he apologized to Ursa for having upset her though ensured her that Kiyi was never in any danger.
Sometime later, Aang, Katara, and Sokka prepared to leave on Appa, noting that being back to the city will bring up many memories, which they need to figure out as a family. As they depart, Aang told Zuko that they would meet again a week later during Yu Dao's inaugural celebration.
Reviving Yangchen's Festival
When the peace talks in Yu Dao came to an end, Aang and the rest of Team Avatar returned there to witness the introduction of the city's new coalition government. On his way to the subsequent celebration banquet, Aang spotted a woman dressed in a traditional Air Nomad attire and followed her. When they were alone, he discovered the mysterious figure to be Yangchen's spirit, though he could not hear her and subsequently did not understand what she was trying to tell him. Before he could figure it out, she vanished. Aang tried the remainder of the evening to contact her spirit through his meditation beads, but to no avail. When Katara came to get him to attend the Yu Dao celebration, reminding him that it too was something important, Aang was reminded of Yangchen's Festival, which would normally be celebrated the next day. He returned inside with Katara and alerted the three Air Acolytes, Xing Ying, Yee-Li, and Jingbo, as well as the other members of Team Avatar that they would go on a field trip the following day.
As such, the team left the next day on Appa, setting a course to a cliff overlooking the ocean where the Air Nomads used to start their celebration of Yangchen's Festival. Excited about the prospect of reviving the Air Nomad culture, Aang enlightened his friends about what they were supposed to do during the festival, like bowing four times to the statue of a lady before walking to a sacred meadow where they would enjoy a traditional Air Nomad meal. Arriving, Aang admitted to Sokka that he actually had no clue about the identity of the woman to whom they would be bowing, as he had never heard the complete story regarding the festival before due to always going kiting instead with Monk Gyatso. He shrugged off further inquiries as being of no importance, as bowing to the statue was just how it was done. However, unbeknownst to him, that reasoning reminded Toph of her childhood, due to which she refused to take part in the bowing ceremony. Aang tried to reason with her, though when she dissed the festival as being not important to the world, he let it go and used his own actions to impart a lesson onto the three Air Acolytes: a true Air Nomad lets insults pass them by in order to maintain their inner peace.
After the bowing ceremony, the group set out toward the meadow to enjoy their meal. Aang was appalled to learn, however, that a town with a large refinery had been built on the previously sacred grounds. Walking around through town, Aang spotted Yangchen's spirit once more and let it lead him to investigate together with Katara and the three Air Acolytes. He used his earthbending to help everyone over the refinery's fence, stating that they would not be trespassing as the fence was not supposed to be there. They discovered that the river running near the refinery was terribly polluted, causing Aang to conclude that the defiling of what was once sacred land was part of the reason why Yangchen had appeared to him. Before they could take any action, however, the refinery's guards appeared and tried to expel them from the factory's grounds. Aang used their appearance as another learning opportunity for the Air Acolytes by demonstrating how Air Nomads always try to avoid conflict unless absolutely necessary; he used his airbending to let the guards knock each other out.
Aang's actions had been witnessed by Satoru, the refinery's engineer and interim boss while his uncle was away on business, who heartily greeted him. Aang wanted to talk to him about the ground the refinery was built upon, though after Toph and Sokka returned from their outing into town, the entire group was invited to attend the grand tour of the factory, during which Aang's attempts to strike up a conversation turned out to be futile. During the tour, Aang spotted Yangchen's spirit once more and received a vision of a rampaging monster, leaving him wondering whether it was a vision of the past or the future. His determination to talk to Satoru strengthened by the vision, Aang was finally able to tell Satoru that the refinery should never have been built on sacred grounds and accused it of being the culprit of the river's pollution. When Satoru refuted the accusation and Toph backed him up, Aang took Toph aside for a moment. He was under the impression that the only reason why she believed Satoru was due to a crush she had on him. Their talk rapidly evolved in a heated argument, however, during which the ground suddenly began to shake, causing their friends to assume that they were the cause of that. When a second earthquake occurred, Satoru asked them all to leave, although Aang offered to help clean off the mess the quake had caused. Before they could heed the engineer's request, they heard a factory worker call out for help, as the quakes had left him trapped under a haywire machine. Aang and Toph instantly set out to free the man and managed to rescue him due to teamwork. Afterward, the two friends reconciled, coming to the conclusion that Aang was too focused on holding on to the past, while Toph tried too hard to run away from it. At that moment, Loban and his business partner, Lao Beifong returned to the refinery, shocking Team Avatar. Aang was appalled to hear Lao dismiss Toph as being a confused young woman, rather than his daughter.
When Lao ordered the Rough Rhinos to escort Team Avatar off the refinery's premises, Aang took on a battle stance, declaring that he was not leaving until he had talked to someone about the refinery's location. As Toph created an earth slide, he used his airbending to blow the Rough Rhinos away from the factory's buildings and workers. Aang told the Air Acolytes to find cover while he locked in battle with Utor. Not recognizing him from their previous encounters with the Rough Rhinos, he made some small talk, getting to know the warrior, before incapacitating him with his earthbending by using his hands with earth to his weapon. As Toph catapulted another member of the Rhinos into the air, Aang gently helped him down, preventing any serious harm, though sunk the man into the ground after he assaulted him with a knife. Aang tried to talk to Toph, urging her to fight less aggressively, though he was told to stop addressing her as if she was one of his Air Acolytes.
After the fight, Aang was reminded by Xing Ying that they had traveled there to properly celebrate Yangchen's Festival, prompting Aang to lead them all back to town, where he searched for the old tree he and Gyatso used to sit under to eat their meal. Upon finding it cut down, Aang relocated to the restaurant that had been built in the same place. He was able to convince the cabbage merchant, who owned the restaurant, to allow them to eat their own food there, under the condition that they ordered at least one dish. With everything set up, Aang joined hands with the Air Acolytes and started to recite the blessing that preceded the ceremonial meal. Before he finished, however, he unintentionally crossed over to the Spirit World and was able to talk to Yangchen. She explained to him that when he had cut off his connection with Roku, he had also cut off his connection to all the Avatars before him. However, the ceremonial meal acted as a temporary conduit that allowed him to connect with his past life. Aang apologized for what happened with Roku but stated that he could not just cling to the past as Roku wanted. Yangchen reminded him that his past lives were supposed to guide him, not bind him to a decision. She began telling him about her conflict with the General Old Iron spirit, though before she could finish and tell him of the details of the agreement she struck with the spirit, an earthquake in the physical world cut off Aang's connection to her.
Roused from his meditative state, Aang and the Acolytes hurried back to the refinery in order to help out. Upon witnessing all the wounded, he ordered the Acolytes to take care of them while he was briefed by Sokka as to what had occurred. Upon learning that Katara and several others were trapped underground, he began to bend a tunnel, though was urged to stop by Katara, lest he cause the entire mine to cave in even more, as the ground separating them was also riddled with iron ore that he was unable to bend.
Having not seen Sokka nor Toph's students approaching, Aang returned to the spot of the cave-in, calling for Katara to "hear the sound of [her] voice" and to tell everyone to hold on. He also asked how well Toph was holding up and was told she was doing well given the circumstances. Upon the metalbenders' arrival, he confirmed Ho Tun's question about them needing to bend the iron ore away while Katara alerted him that Toph said the situation was like spider ants beneath stomping feet, only flipped. Hearing The Dark One say the scenario set his soul "ablaze with ebon anxiousness", the Avatar asked if that meant something to them; the other students told him it was an exercise where they were to stand in a sand pit while blindfolded and throw giant metal plates over their heads. If they failed, they would be stomped by the plates, causing Aang to opine that the academy sounded intense. He told the concerned Ho Tun that they could do it because their training prepared them for such an event. As the students proceeded, Ho Tun again grew worried that they could not do it because they were novices, but Aang pepped him up by saying that the three were the best metalbenders in the world outside of their sifu and thus the only ones who could complete the mission. He joined in for the last part of the task, keeping the dirt from collapsing back into the mine. With everyone out, the airbender ran to Katara, kissing her and expressing his happiness to have her out.
The skies soon turned stormy, and Aang realized this was unnatural. He saw Yangchen but was again unable to hear her, causing him to realize he needed to finish the meal. When Jingbo showed him that the vase was broken, Aang pondered what he could do and remembered Yangchen's words that the Avatars were linked like his meditation beads. The airbender made his way to a quiet spot and took a rock, bending it into a new fire pendant for his beads. After attaching it, he meditated and found himself before Roku once again. He started to apologize to his past life but was cut off with the offering of a hug. During the embrace, Aang was advised that he needed to find balance not just between spirit and human, but also past and present, something that could help him in his current situation. Aang made his way down his recent past lives and found Yangchen, asking for the terms of her agreement with Old Iron. The old Avatar explained that she built a statue of Tienhai in return for him not taking up his armor and that she decided to revert the meadow to its natural state as a sign that humans were still capable of preservation and protection; the Air Nomad festival was to celebrate this agreement. The young airbender asked if the iron the metalbenders found was Old Iron's armor, wondering if he could put it back and restore the town to its natural state to unbreak the promise. After being told only that his friends needed him, he returned to the real world. Flying on a tornado, Aang saw Old Iron rising from the water and returned to the town.
Upon return, Aang explained the situation at hand, which included the destruction of all the buildings, including the refinery. He told Katara to help evacuate everyone but soon noticed the iron mask they had dug up was gone. Seeing Satoru come by on a forklift and explain that Loban and the Rough Rhinos were dragging it to the beach, he only said they needed it back there. He waited in the town, watching the seas for Old Iron. When Katara returned, he asked if the townspeople were out of the buildings and was given an affirmative response. He asked her if she could see the spirit and stated his hope about him turning back if the town returned to its natural state. Katara told him he could not wait any longer and received a comforting kiss on the cheek from her, expressing his regret over having to destroy things. He asked if she would keep people away from the event and, after Katara's assurance, entered the Avatar State, creating an elemental sphere and rising into the air.
Aang flew to the refinery and began his attack, but it was blocked by Toph and her students. He came out of the state to ask why they were doing this before attempting to explain the dilemma surrounding them. He realized he did not have the time to do so and needed to finish his mission, needing to show that the humans knew how to preserve and protect. With Toph refusing to stand down, Aang had no choice but to attack, firing air rings at the four. He knocked down the students but Toph was able to block and counter with several rocks, dropping Aang to the ground in pain. He stopped one last attack before being faced with fragments of metal, though he dodged these. As he tried to talk, the students sighted Old Iron and called Aang and Toph's attention to the spirit.
The Avatar flew to Old Iron, trying to tell him about his role and that he knew all about the agreement between him and Yangchen, but the spirit did not listen and began to wage destruction. Aang responded by re-entering the Avatar State and his elemental sphere, gathering an equivalent body of earth while throwing punches at Old Iron and blocking return blows. When Toph and her students peeled Old Iron's armor away, Aang exited the state again, wondering what the four were doing. He was told to give the spirit an Avatar State-induced blow to the chest, but Aang initially refused because it could be too much for him to take. However, when Old Iron targeted the metalbenders, the airbender returned to the Avatar State and fired the charged blow to defend Toph. Soon realizing Old Iron had a large hole in his chest, Aang left the state once more. He tried to convince Old Iron that, as the Avatar, he could maintain balance between humans and spirits, but Old Iron only told him that it was merely a mantra to hide that the Avatar would always favor humans in any rift between them and the spirits. Aang wanted to prove that he could maintain balance, but Old Iron simply believed that humans wished only to dominate, telling him to look deep into his heart and see this as the truth, and thus balance was never possible. The Avatar sadly watched as the general paid him homage and disappeared into the sea. Standing on the beach, he was soon approached by Toph, who thanked him for saving her and her students. The two embraced as the sun reappeared in the skies.
Aang soon noticed that Tienhai's statue had been destroyed, saddening him. Approached by Katara, he mused if Old Iron was right about the spirits being only a relic of the past with no place in the present. Katara urged him to talk to his past lives; though Aang was hesitant at first since they were his past, he relented and began meditation again. However, he soon noticed several cranefish flying around him; he believed this was because the statue had been destroyed. He realized, however, that they were not normal birds, and an apparition of Lady Tienhai appeared from them. She told him her story about becoming mortal and, after her death, taking the form of the cranefish. Aang was not convinced regarding her opinion that humans were there to create as they failed in preserving her town, though was advised that they would always make a place for spirits while protecting what they grow. The Avatar was left wondering how she knew as she returned to her cranefish form and flew away.
Three months later, Aang was able to reform Yangchen's Festival into the Spirits' Friendship Festival, something that, while not entirely Air Nomad style was the same tradition, only in a new form.
Spirit attacks in the Fire Nation
Aang intended to accompany Sokka and Katara, who were eager to return to their home in the South Pole after spending much of their days in the war. Right before they began their journey, however, Aang received a message from Zuko, summoning him to the Fire Nation to investigate some spirit attacks. Aang agreed to undertake the mission alone, letting Sokka and Katara travel back home.
Upon arrival at the capital, Aang was received with open arms. After the warm exchange of greetings, Mai immediately debriefed him on the Kemurikage, who had kidnapped her brother, Tom-Tom. Constable Sung added that dark spirit sightings were reported all over the capital city. When Ukano barged in on the meeting, claiming the Spirit World was acting up because the human world was weak, Aang interjected that the imbalance between worlds had nothing to do with strength, but Ukano ignored him and petitioned Zuko to enforce a curfew and form a special task force to hunt down the dark spirits. Aang opposed the idea, noting that enforcing a curfew would only create fear among the populace and that normal bending was useless against spirits. Instead, he insisted that they should work together to find out exactly what happened to Tom-Tom, with which Zuko agreed.
Zuko brought Aang, along with Mai and Kei Lo, to the High Temple, where the Avatar was happily reunited with Shyu, who had since been promoted to the rank of Great Sage. The group descended into the Dragonbone Catacombs, where they discovered murals depicting the history of the Fire Nation, though the murals preceding Sozin's reign were blocked off by a door bearing four dragon statues. Figuring that the statues worked the same as the ones in the temple on Crescent Island, Aang and Zuko attempted to firebend them. After twenty unsuccessful tries, Kei Lo decided to cut in, revealing that the locks to the dragons were actually in their noses, and unlocked the door using Mai's throwing knives.
Passing by paintings of past Fire Lords, they came upon a mural depicting the Kemurikage. Learning about a warlord named Toz, who abducted all the children in a village that refused to pay tribute. Aang, mortified by this injustice, wondered where his past life was when this occurred. As Mai concluded her reading of how the Kemurikage abducted the children in Toz's camp for revenge, a wisp of smoke appeared from the mural, which Aang decided to follow. Unlocking another dragon statue, Aang and Kei Lo ventured down the passageway while Zuko and Mai remained behind. The duo reached a crypt, where the smoke transformed into the image of a Kemurikage. The spirit explained that she and her sisters haunted the warlords of the Fire Islands until the first Fire Lord brought them to justice and unified the nation, at which point they departed the human world. When Aang asked why the Kemurikage had returned to haunt people, the spirit replied that her appearance was the first time a Kemurikage had roamed the human world since their departure.
During their way back to the capital, Aang and Kei Lo informed Zuko and Mai of their discovery, causing Mai to suspect that Tom-Tom's kidnappers were impostors. Hearing chanting coming from the streets, the group investigated its source and learned that Ukano and Sung had formed a volunteer militia dubbed the Safe Nation Society, as a reaction to the Kemurikage abducting several more children. Aang voiced his disbelief as to how Ukano had managed to assemble a significant number of followers in one night. Upon being ignored, the airbender noted that the kidnappers were not spirits. Zuko dissolved the situation by ordering Ukano to disband his militia or face arrest and suspended Sung, an action that struck Aang as too severe.
Dropping Mai and Kei Lo off at her Aunt Mura's flower shop, Aang and Zuko returned to the royal palace. His night's rest was cut short, however, when Aang was alerted to smoke coming out of Kiyi's room. Along with Zuko, Suki, and Ty Lee, he discovered three masked intruders resembling the Kemurikage in the midst of abducting Kiyi. Aang attacked one with firebending before being kicked in the stomach, confirming that the kidnappers were indeed human. He subsequently instructed Ty Lee to try chi blocking them. The kidnappers' attempt to obscure their escape in a cloud of smoke was thwarted by Aang, as he cleared it up with his airbending. Although they managed to corner one of the kidnappers, the individual refused to answer their questions and responded by shooting lightning at them instead. That kidnapper turned out to be Azula, however she manages to escape with the rest of the kidnappers. The next day more kidnappings have been reported.
Mai revealed that Ukano was the leader of the New Ozai society. Aang then noted Ukano's tendency about societies. This prompted Zuko to order a lockdown of the capital city and ordered his forces to look for Ukano and his allies and bring them in for questioning. Aang disagreed with the involvement of soldiers, and Zuko politely thanked him for his help so far, much to his confusion. Zuko said Aang's methods had not worked so far, so he will have to try a different one. If Aang did not support his decision, he should leave. The Avatar argued that such drastic actions will only breed mistrust, and Mai countered that drastic situations call for drastic actions. Zuko had Suki and Ty Lee escort Aang out, who voiced his displeasure with the situation, the two sympathizing with him. He believed there were still avenues to pursue, such as looking for clues of Kiyi's room, and wondered what Sokka would do. Suki said Sokka would investigate on his own and led Aang to Kiyi's room. Aang, Suki, and Ty Lee were not able to find any clues in the room initially, but Ty Lee eventually found a secret passage that Azula would use when they would play together as children. Aang arrived with the two girls, much to Zuko's surprise, telling him they found something he had to see. Mai told him he needed to act before sundown, or else the citizens will rise again. Aang ignored Zuko's decision and took him along with an air scooter.
When they arrived at the secret passage on the roof, Zuko asked Suki and Ty Lee to keep guard over the palace while he and Aang would go through the passage, hoping to find Kiyi and Tom-Tom. That passage led to the Fire Nation royal family graveyard, where the Avatar noticed that they were surrounded by fake kemurikage. A fight occurred while Azula was escaping and Aang managed to defeat two of her subordinates. He managed to find two more keeping Ukano and the kidnapped children hostage and then began to fight the fake kemurikage, but they were ultimately taken down from behind by Mai and Kei Lo. The team eventually managed to rescue the children, reuniting Tom-Tom with Mai and Kiyi with Zuko.
Return to the South
After the problems in the Fire Nation were resolved, Aang headed back to the Southern Water Tribe. Upon arriving, he was quickly greeted by Katara, to whom he excitedly ran, hugging her and asking if he could kiss her, to which she told him no because her father was watching nearby. After greeting Hakoda, Aang questioned him as to why he and his officers were out by the gates. Hakoda reassured him it was nothing they could not handle, and encouraged Aang and Katara to go enjoy the festival. Katara questioned whether Hakoda had always been kind to Aang, and he assured her that he always had been.
After catching up with Sokka and Toph for a little while, Aang noticed people gathering around, about to listen to someone give a speech. During the speech, Toph noticed something coming toward them underground and warned Team Avatar to be prepared. Suddenly, Gilak's drill burst up through the ground. Soon, a battle erupted when Gilak's troops went after Malina and Maliq. Aang went off to stop Gilak's troops, to which he succeeded, and knocked over one of their tanks. After noticing that Katara had been chi blocked, Aang quickly made sure she was okay, and the two ran off to go check on Hakoda.
As soon as they got outside the city gates, they witnessed Gilak stabbing Hakoda. Enraged, Katara encased Gilak in a block of ice while Aang stopped his troops from getting away. He quickly ran back to Katara, watching her desperately heal her father's wound. Later, he waited outside Kanna's hut until Katara came outside and told him that Hakoda was going to be okay.
Sometime later, Aang went with Katara to Pakku's training school, where he was having difficulties getting Siku and Sura to practice waterbending. He and Katara demonstrated some of their waterbending, and the sisters finally admitted that they were waterbenders, but had been told by their mother to never share that with anyone, in fear of the Fire Nation taking them away or killing them. Eventually, Siku and Sura run off, refusing to waterbend for them. Aang was disappointed that their plan to get the girls to bend did not work, to which Katara said that they just were not ready yet. After Hakoda walked in and noted how difficult it was to teach Sokka how to use a boomerang, Pakku embarrassed Aang by saying that he too had difficulties getting the Avatar to pay attention during waterbending class. Aang and Katara left with Hakoda, where he thanked them for helping save the city, to which Aang responded that it was an honor. Hakoda went on to explain his plans to collaborate with the other nations to help with the reconstruction of the Southern Water Tribe. Katara expressed her concerns that the other nations might not have the tribe's best interest at heart. Aang agreed with her, noting that the Southern Water Tribe was hit the second hardest by the war behind the Air Nomads. Hakoda then announced that he had sent word to the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom for a conference that evening.
During the meeting, Hakoda explained his plans of wanting to establish embassies in the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdom, inviting them to do the same. The meeting was soon interrupted when Gilak and his followers showed up. Aang quickly defended Earth King Kuei from an attack. More of Gilak's troops showed up and he eventually managed to knock Hakoda out and run out the door with him. Aang and Katara attempted to stop them, but were unsuccessful. Enraged, Aang quickly picked Katara up, using airbending to fly out the door with her. He dropped her down into the snow, to where she used waterbending to stop Gilak, who lost his grip on Hakoda. Aang caught the head chieftain, assuring Katara that he was alright.
Upon returning, Zuko informed the group that Kuei had been captured, prompting Team Avatar to follow their footprints to a series of underground tunnels that went on for miles. A letter then arrived from Gilak, saying that he would return Kuei in exchange for Hakoda. The plan Gilak proposed would be for the two groups to the meet at the Bridge of No Return, where Thod would chi block all the benders. Kuei and Hakoda would each walk across. Zuko commented that no matter what they did, Gilak would just cut the bridge in order to get rid of both of them at once. Malina commented that this situation would be impossible to win, and Aang assured her that they would be able to come up with something, turning to Sokka for an idea.
Later that night, the group arrived at the Bridge of No Return. Katara looked on at the bridge and, noticing her worried expression, Aang walked over to her and kissed her on the cheek, assuring her that Sokka's plan would work out. A few minutes later, Aang spotted Gilak's group on the other side of the bridge. He winced as Thod chi blocked him, and he fell to the ground. As Hakoda and Kuei began walking across the bridge, and Gilak was about to cut it before Malina and Toph's metalbending students came out of hiding and stopped him. Aang and Katara then got up and froze Thod and his troops in blocks of ice, and Sokka revealed that they had all been wearing chain mail armor to prevent themselves from actually being chi blocked.
Gilak then made his way to the bridge and burned it, causing the bridge to break in half. Aang, along with the rest of the group, looked on with horror as Zuko, Kuei, Hakoda, Malina, and Gilak clung to the remainder of the bridge. Zuko managed to get himself and Kuei to safety, while Aang went down with Katara to save the other three, although he struggled to hold onto them at the same time. Gilak then let go of Malina's hand, falling to his death in the ravine. Finding that the two of them were still too heavy for Aang, Malina told Hakoda that she loved him and let go of his hand. Katara quickly rushed in with waterbending to save Malina, and Aang was able to fly Hakoda back to safety.
The next day, Aang, Siku, and Sura met up with Katara and Sokka at their mother's grave, where the two sisters finally demonstrated some of their waterbending to them. Later, Aang made steamed tofu as part of a celebration feast at Kanna's hut.
Trouble in Cranefish Town
Upon leaving the Southern Water Tribe, Aang planned to travel to Yu Dao with Katara, Sokka, and Toph. However, on the way there, Toph asked if they could make a stop at Earthen Fire Industries. Upon arriving, Aang was shocked to see just how much the town had changed and how big it had grown. Katara asked him if he was okay, knowing that this land was important to the Air Nomads, to which Aang told her he was unsure of how to feel.
Aang happily greeted the bystanders around them, but was met with no reaction. Sokka suggested he "do the thing" and, after a brief moment of confusion, Aang pulled out a few marbles from his shirt, using airbending to spin them around between his hands. However, the townspeople were unimpressed. Aang and the group were then approached by Lao, who informed the Avatar of the recent challenges that had come as a result of the town's ever-growing population, although he asked him to attend a business council meeting later that afternoon to discuss it, which Aang agreed.
When Sokka asked Aang what his opinion is on a Water Tribe helmet being sold in a nearby stand, Aang responded that it was the best helmet he had seen Sokka wear and that he should buy it. As the two kept talking, they were unaware of two earthbender and firebender groups behind that were getting into a heated discussion that soon turned into a full-on fight, which Aang attempted to break up. As he tried to talk things out between the two groups, Toph and Katara rushed over, the former of which earthbent a large hill underneath Aang, getting him out of the way. This proved to be useless, however, as a firebender shot a blast at him, accusing him of being on the "dirt eater's" side.
Toph told Aang that these people were only interested in fighting rather than talking and began to fight them back. As one of the earthbenders took some of the bricks from a building behind him, the building began to collapse. Toph attempted to hold it up, asking Aang for help. Realizing there was not much he could do, Aang instead flew in on his glider and grabbed Toph, getting her out of the way as the building completely collapsed to the ground.
The two made their way back to Katara and Sokka. Aang ran to Katara asking if anyone was hurt, and she told him that everyone was out of the building. Feeling guilty for leaving her in the midst of the fight, Aang held her hands as he apologized. He was soon approached by Lao, who said that bender violence was the reason why he wanted him to come to the council meeting, needing the Avatar's input and help. Aang agreed once more but stated that he needed to help rebuild the people's home first. He was met with hostility from one of the residents, who said that they did not want the help of benders. Aang tried to assure her that he was not like the other benders who destroyed the building, but they still refused, telling Aang to leave them alone.
Lao assured Aang that agreeing to come to the meeting was help enough and that he had a solution in mind already. Sokka told Aang that he wanted to tag along, interested in seeing how a business council meeting worked and possibly suggesting a better name for the council. The two parted with Katara and Toph, hopping onto a carriage pulled by ostrich horses to the meeting. When Aang commented on how much the city had grown in such a short time, Lao explained that so many people had been coming there to work but were unable to find it due to the factories being unable to employ anyone else. Upon arriving at the meeting, Sokka noted that the room was divided up between benders on one side and nonbenders on the other. Aang questioned why they would be split up before Lao called the meeting to order. He went on to explain the rapidly-growing bender violence and proposed to ban bending on public streets. Aang was shocked by this idea, which was met with anger from the benders on the council.
As things settled down, Aang stated that he did not support a bending ban as it would be punishing innocent benders. He suggested that what they needed was an established police force to bring about true law and order. A councilwoman named Liling spoke up, agreeing with Aang, claiming to be willing to train a security team as police officers. The Avatar assured that a police force would be a logical way to keep the citizens of Cranefish Town safe, to which the rest of the council members agreed.
After the meeting, Aang and Sokka were approached by Katara, who informed them that Lao had arranged for them to stay at a house in town. After Sokka runs off, Aang asked the waterbender to come for a ride on Appa with him. She agreed, and they flew over to the bay, where Aang spotted a small island on which they landed. Aang grew confused when Katara said that he had "the Avatar look", questioning her, and she explained that it was his "I'm responsible for everything that happens in the world" look. Aang explained that Lady Tienhai had previously told him that she believed in humans and their ability to learn from their mistakes and create a future that protects and preserves while it grows. Katara asked if he felt as though he had let her down, to which he said that it was more than that, and that the city reminded him of when he woke up from the iceberg and everything in the world had changed. Katara assured him that this situation was not the same as back then, because the war was over and he had her, Sokka, and Toph to help him through it. He smiled warmly at her, telling her that he was glad she was there with him. Aang and Katara held hands as they looked upon the city, while he held out hope that there was still time to help the city grow in a way that protects and preserves.
The next morning, Aang dragged the rest of the group out to the beach as he wanted an entire day to help clean it up, even though they might not be able to get the entire work done. As the group began to clean, Aang was approached by two firebender boys, excited to see the Avatar. When they asked him to airbend, Aang performed his famous "marble trick" again, happy to see that the boys were impressed. This left Aang glad to see that someone in town was still impressed by bending.
Later that night, Aang and the group were awoken by a loud explosion coming from the factory. They ran outside and meet with Satoru, who assured them that nobody was inside. Aang realized Toph was not with them, but she soon emerged from underneath a scrap piece of metal, and soon the two ran off to catch the people who had caused the explosion. Toph led him through the streets, and they were eventually ambushed by a firebender who had been running on the rooftops. Toph held him off and told Aang to go after the other guy that had escaped down a nearby alley. Aang pursued him on his glider, eventually cornering him at the edge of a cliff, but when the man threatened to fight him, Aang retaliated that since he was the Avatar, he will probably win. As the man shot a fire blast at him, Aang encased him in earth, asking why he attacked the factory. Suddenly, the ground underneath the man broke off the cliff and he began to fall into the ocean below. Aang jumped on his glider and managed to catch him before he hit the water, flying him to safety.
Later that morning, Aang returned to his friends, who were surveying the scene at Earthen Fire Industries. He explained to them that the firebender he had just rescued revealed that two teenage girls had hired him to blow up the factory, and that he was not given a reason as to why. Lao told the group that other factories had been attacked last night as well, and believed the attacks to be coordinated. Aang said that Team Avatar will investigate to see if there was a connection.
Aang and the group spent the rest of the day talking to the owners of the factories that had been attacked. He told Sokka that he could not seem to find a connection between the factories, but he pointed out that all the factory owners were nonbenders and the damage appeared to have been caused by benders. Aang came to the realization that benders were feeling threatened as the factories were filled with machines that had replaced their abilities.
Aang told his friends that he wanted to ask the bender-owned businesses to help out the ones that had been sabotaged, starting with Liling. As they arrived at her house, Katara asked him if he was sure that Liling would listen to him, as nonbender-owned businesses were her competitors. Aang assured her that since Liling was the one who suggested establishing a police force in Cranefish Town, she would be willing to help.
At her home, Liling asked Aang about how Cranefish Town's land used to be sacred to Air Nomads, and wondered if it was difficult for him to see how much the area had changed. Aang told her that it could be, and that while he understood the importance of progress, he wished that things had not progressed so quickly, and with more respect for the environment. Later, he added that he wanted to help solve the problem of the sabotaged factories and the tension between the benders and nonbenders, hoping that prominent bender business owners will help support the nonbenders, as it may ease the tension between the two groups. As Liling responded that she would happily agree, her cat suddenly knocked over a Kyoshi statue, causing it to break. Aang mistakenly thought it was Momo who pushed the statue, and offered to fix it if they had a drawing of the original design, but Liling assured him that her daughter, a very talented earthbender, will be able to do it. The team is then introduced to both of the councilwoman's daughters, Ru and Yaling. Yaling used earthbending to fix the statue, and Aang complimented her impressive bending skills.
As Aang and the group prepared to leave, Liling promised him that she will send out supplies to help rebuild the damaged factories. Aang told her in return that he will put in a good word for her business with Zuko. The Avatar expressed his happiness to his friends to have Liling's support, however, Toph broke the news to him saying that Liling was involved in the sabotage, explaining that she recognized the footsteps of Ru and Yaling, which reminded Aang of the firebender's words about being hired by two teenage girls.
The next afternoon, Aang was relaxing on the couch with Katara before Toph interrupted by kicking the door open, happily explaining that she got Yaling to give her details about the factory sabotage and that the benders were having a rally later that night. Aang was skeptical about her idea to "go in, bash heads, and save the day", and agreed that Sokka's plan of sneaking into the meeting in disguise was better.
That night, in their disguises, Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Suki followed behind Toph and Yaling to the rally. After Aang watched Sokka and Suki sweetly compliment each other in her disguise, he asked Katara if she thought she and him were like that, to which she laughed and responded that probably a little. Later, Aang and the group walked up to a guard standing in front of the door, who asked them for the password, which Aang gave to him: imbalance. After the guard let them in, they approached a large underground tunnel that Aang realized was part of the old mines that were supposed to have been filled in. As they walked further in, they saw a large group of people standing in front of a large podium on which Liling and Ru were standing.
Liling began speaking to the crowd, telling them about her plan to have benders rule governments and guide communities. She encouraged the crowd to come together, ignoring their differences in nationalities, and take back what is "theirs". Katara was horrified by the plan, telling Aang that they needed to stop this, but he warned that they were outnumbered and should not try starting a fight. As Liling continued her anti-bender speech for a while longer, Aang grew upset and wanted to leave, however, Katara brought his attention to the stage, where Toph was climbing up with Yaling. When Toph loudly proclaimed that Liling was crazy and under arrest, Aang smacked his forehead in dissent, and a fight broke out.
Team Avatar ran toward the stage, and Liling provoked the crowd by pointing out that their Avatar was on the side of nonbenders. The crowd turned against him, yelling insults, but Aang directed his attention to Liling, warning her that he did not want to fight. She claimed that it was too late and suddenly earthbent a large divide in the earth, knocking Aang and Katara to one side, Sokka and Suki to the other. In this confusion, she shot large, sharp rocks toward Aang and Katara, which the Avatar quickly blocked. When Liling angrily bent the earth up under Team Avatar's feet, sending them all flying, Katara warned Aang that the woman and the rest of the benders were getting away. Aang told her to let them go as he realized that Liling was starting to make the cave collapse, and he shouted at Toph to hold the ceiling up. Suki managed to catch up to Liling and chi blocked her, which resulted in her arrest by the team.
Later that night, Aang and the group reunited in the Earthen Fire Refinery with Liling in a metal cage. He mentioned that they needed to figure out what to do with the prisoner and he was subsequently shocked when Toph suggested that he take her bending away as he had done with Ozai. He remained silent initially while Katara argued with Toph that taking away someone's bending was a huge decision and could not be made lightly. While Aang pondered his options until Toph asked for his opinion, to which he responded that he still needed to think about it. He then approached Liling, explaining her that there were many people in the Earth Kingdom that he cared about, both benders and nonbenders, and asked her to tell him a way he could resolve everything peacefully. Liling mocked him, believing him to be "special" for how devoted to his airbender ideals he was. Aang assured her that since he was able to spare Ozai's life, he could find a way to resolve the problem in Cranefish Town peacefully as well. Liling became enraged, telling him that he should have killed Ozai, and that a life without bending was not worth living. Aang warned her once more that he will not allow her to harm any more nonbenders, but she questioned how far he was willing to go to protect them.
The next day, Aang found Katara sitting on a bench alone, looking lost in thought. He became concerned and asked if she was okay. Katara responded that she was, but that she did not agree with what Toph's suggestion. Aang commented that Toph had a point and that Liling would not able to lead a bender supremacist movement if she was not a bender, causing Katara to ask if he was really considering taking her bending away. As Aang replied that he was not sure, but that it did seem like a nonviolent way to stop her, Katara started to explain that waterbending was a part of her and her culture, and that losing her bending would be like losing a piece of her identity. She also asked if Liling really deserved to lose a piece of her identity, to which the airbender did not respond. As the two sit together in silence, pondering the options, Satoru came running up to them, panicked as the business council building had been set on fire.
Aang and Katara ran into action, using waterbending together to put out the fire. He was confused as to why benders would set the building on fire and then just run off. Later that night, Aang, Katara, Toph, and Satoru returned to the factory, finding it to have been attacked to free Liling. That night, Aang was approached by Suki, who told him that she wanted to be prepared for Liling's next attacks by teach the nonbender security guards how to chi block. Aang was skeptical at first, but Suki assured that they should be able to get the basics down.
Later, Aang became frustrated, thinking that if he had listened to Toph and taken Liling's bending away, the conflict might be over by then, but Sokka reminded him that the bender supremacist movement was more than just Liling. He questioned if Aang was willing to take away all of those peoples' bending as well, and Aang said he of course would not. Aang went on by comparing the conflict between benders and nonbenders and the pollution of the town, as both were started by machines, to the technology the Fire Nation employed to attack the world during the Hundred Year War. Sokka pointed out that he should not blame the bender supremacy movement on machines and instead blame it on the benders who were causing problems, with which Aang agreed and then apologized.
The next morning, after being informed of Liling's upcoming attack, Aang awaited for them on top of a building. He met a group of benders that wanted to help their nonbender neighbors out after they lost their homes by bringing supplies for them. At that moment, Aang spotted Liling's group approaching, and Aang told the benders that if they really wanted to help, they would stand and protect the nonbenders. They sheepishly apologized and claimed that Aang was asking too much of them.
Liling told Aang that he was still on the wrong side, and he retorted that she was the one on the wrong side for hurting innocent people. She then offered a solution: to leave the city with the nonbenders and let only benders reside there. When Aang refused, Liling attacked him by bending a pillar of earth underneath his feet. Aang jumped out of the way, flying on his glider and leading the group through a complex maze trap. He landed on the roof of a building, watching as the group got lost in the maze, and the rest of Team Avatar began to fight them off. When the fight reached a climax, Ru turned on her mother, attempting to chi block her. As Liling became enraged and opened up a rift in the earth into which Ru falls, the Avatar quickly flew to the scene, airbending Liling away from Ru and helping the girl Ru out of the rift.
As Liling continued to attack, insisting that her message will eventually spread across the world, Aang entered the Avatar State, warning Liling that he could at least stop her and waterbent a case of ice around her. When he was about to take her bending away, Katara rushed to him, urging him to stop and make sure he was doing this for the right reasons and not because he was angry at her or because it was an easy solution. Aang listened and exited the state, assuring Liling that he was going to keep fighting the poison she had spread throughout the city, comparing her to the pollution on the beach, and that he was not going to leave until it was cleaned up.
Later that afternoon, Aang stood in front of the factory with Suki, Satoru, and Lao. The airbender asked Suki to stay and bring in the other Kyoshi Warriors to continue training the nonbender police force, and suggested to reach out to the bender communities in Cranefish Town to find members. Satoru then thanked Aang, who wandered off into the factory. As Sokka approached him, Aang explained that the last time they were in the area, a spirit was threatening the lives of humans, and he had chosen to protect the humans, failing to bridge the divide between them. He shared that he was not sure how to fix the divide between benders and nonbenders.
Three days later, Aang was walking through town with the rest of Team Avatar, and Katara asked him what made him change his mind about taking Liling's bending away. Aang said that it was what she said about it being an easy solution and that taking Liling's bending would not have fixed anything, as her bigotry was the root of the issue. Aang told his girlfriend that he wanted to stay in Cranefish Town for a while, believing that if it could overcome its issues, it could become something special. Katara agreed, saying that the city needed him, and Aang held her hand before telling her that the city needed both of them, and also a better name.
After the Hundred Year War and the tensions of the Harmony Restoration Movement conflict, Aang managed to maintain peace. Together with Fire Lord Zuko and the rest of their friends, he transformed all the former Fire Nation colonies into the United Republic of Nations, where a metropolis named Republic City became its capital and the home to people from all nations. Aang also spearheaded the restoration of the four ancient air temples and constructed a fifth air temple near the heart of Republic City, called Air Temple Island where he housed a herd of surviving flying bison, along with a new type of winged lemur, the ring-tailed winged lemur, both of which he found some time after the war.
Sometime during this period, Aang married Katara and they had three children: Bumi, a nonbender who gained the ability to airbend in 171 AG, Kya, a waterbender, and Tenzin, an airbender. When Tenzin turned five, Aang began to collect a series of stories and mementos from his life for his youngest son to read following his death. Despite the peace the world was experiencing, family problems plagued the Avatar. Due to Aang's second responsibility of preserving Air Nomad culture, he spent more time and traveled more extensively with Tenzin, his only airbending child, so as to instill him with Air Nomad traditions. This made the elder siblings feel somewhat distant from their father. Despite this, when Kya revealed her sexual orientation to him, Aang was supportive of her.
In 128 AG, the city was suffering from a high rate of crime due to a notorious crime boss named Yakone. The fact that he was a master bloodbender, yet managed to stay out of the law's reach for a long time, caused Aang to find it necessary to assist the Chief of Police, Toph Beifong at the time, in his arrest in order to bring him to justice. Aang, Toph, and her metalbending officers apprehended the crime lord at Kwong's Cuisine. The criminal did not resist, and despite Aang saying that they knew that he was a bloodbender, Yakone claimed that he would beat the charges again. After attending his arrest, Aang was present at Yakone's trial, where Yakone was convicted of his crimes. However, before the sentence could be carried out, Yakone used his powers to subdue everyone in the courtroom, leaving them unconscious. Aang was capable of holding out longest, but he lost consciousness as well after Yakone used his skill to levitate the Avatar in the air and throw him against the stairs leading up to the court's platform.
However, employing the Avatar State, Aang regained his senses, allowing him to pursue the criminal. He effectively halted Yakone's getaway by severing his mount from the carriage he was perched upon with an air swipe. Hovering around on an enhanced air scooter, Aang was subdued a second time by Yakone's bloodbending, who now fully intended to kill him. Entering the Avatar State, however, allowed Aang to break free of Yakone's grip, and he swiftly captured Yakone in an earth shell, before utilizing energybending to permanently remove his bending.
The one hundred years Aang had spent frozen in an iceberg while in the Avatar State drained much of his inherent life energy, and by his later years the strain of this began to weigh heavily upon his body. With his health failing and sensing his end was near, Aang tasked the Order of the White Lotus to search for and watch over the next Avatar. Eventually, at the relatively young biological age of sixty-six, Aang passed away. He was reincarnated into a headstrong, hot-headed, and rebellious girl named Korra from the Southern Water Tribe.
A massive statue of Avatar Aang was created on Aang Memorial Island, a small island located in Yue Bay. A teenage Aang is depicted wearing Air Nomad monk robes and holding a staff with the airbending symbol on top, overlooking the city he founded with the help of his friends. The statue was created and donated by the Fire Nation as a sign of peace and goodwill.
As is tradition, a statue of Aang was also added to the inner sanctuary of the Southern Air Temple, in order to keep the line of statues of past Avatars up to date. His statue stood in the middle of the assemblage.
Appearances in Avatar Korra's life
At age seventeen, Korra moved from the safety of the Southern Water Tribe compound to the bustling streets of Republic City. However, every time she found herself in serious trouble and was on the brink of slipping into unconsciousness, she would be plagued by visions of Aang's encounter with Yakone. Through these visions, it appeared Aang was attempting to warn Korra of the imminent threat that Yakone's son, Councilman Tarrlok, posed to her, though it was later revealed that he was actually trying to warn her about Amon.
However, it was not until Korra was at an extremely low point in life due to losing her bending that she inadvertently summoned Aang's spirit for the first time. During their talk, Aang explained that he was there because Korra had asked him to be, as she had finally connected with her spiritual self, due to being open to the greatest change by hitting her lowest point. Aided by all of the previous Avatars who appeared behind him, Aang compassionately used energybending to restore Korra's bending and passed on the knowledge of the art to her.
After Korra lost her memory due to a spiritual infection, Aang appeared before her, taking over from Korra's own reflection and reminded his successor of her status as the Avatar, before making room for Roku to appear.
Appearance in Tenzin's life
When Tenzin was stuck in the Fog of Lost Souls, stricken with doubt over his potential inability to pave the way for future airbenders and live up to his father's legacy, a vision of Aang appeared before him. Tenzin apologized to his father and said that he would never be the man he was. The image of Aang agreed with this, much to the younger airbender's shock, and continued by saying Tenzin should never have tried to mimic him in the first place, and that he created a false perception of himself. Aang finished by saying that Tenzin was not him, and that he should not be him, but instead be his own person. His image transformed into an image of Tenzin and his son finally stepped out of his father's shadow.
Aang was fun-loving, somewhat naive, and adventurous with a sense of humor. He possessed deep respect for life and freedom, refused to eat meat, and was often reluctant to fight in his younger years. He craved the stimulation of new people and places. His frequent off-course detours frustrated both allies and pursuers alike. He typically wished to forget his duties as the Avatar and would long for the normality that others possessed. Yet Aang had always prided himself on a complex social network of friends extending over all four nations, and war did not stand in his way. In addition, he looked forward to playing with all the exotic fauna in each place he visited. Whether it was otter penguins, hopping llamas, hog monkeys, or giant koi fish, no fit animal Aang saw went un-ridden.
Within this carefree exterior, however, Aang hid a great deal of guilt and a heavy mental burden in his duties as Avatar. As the reluctant hero, he wished he had been there to help his people a century earlier. This initially caused him to conceal his true identity from friends, and he still had a tendency to slack off in his studies of the bending arts, even though he naturally excelled at them. He also tended to become distressed when he saw the destruction caused by the Hundred Year War, believing that as the Avatar, it was his job to prevent such events from happening. Eventually, Aang decided to stop dwelling on the past; however, on several occasions, his desire to end the War caused him to take desperate action such as attempting to induce the Avatar State or facing Fire Lord Ozai before he had fully mastered the elements.
Being the last airbender and having no living peers, with the exception of the aged King Bumi and Guru Pathik, Aang developed strong bonds with his friends, particularly Katara, explained by Guru Pathik as a reincarnation of his love for his people. His desire to protect them, however, led to violent emotional outbursts when they were threatened, and he even resorted to deceiving and hurting others to keep the group together such as when he heard that Katara and Sokka might leave the group to visit their father; he hid the map to their father's whereabouts and lied about ever having it in the first place.
Aang preferred not to use his bending skill in battle due to his peaceful nature. He preferred to solve problems non-violently. Even when forced into combat, Aang typically held back, fighting defensively and trying to subdue opponents without seriously hurting them, even if they were not human. This attitude was apparently common among all airbenders, who were all vegetarians and taught that all living things are precious. The only exception to Aang's pacifism was when his friends were threatened, in which case, he could become angry and attack his opponents, sometimes even entering the Avatar State.
Events in the Earth Kingdom, however, began to take a toll on his carefree personality. Aang's attitude changed dramatically when Appa was captured. He became visibly enraged and hostile, particularly toward Toph, who had kept Appa company while they were gone. Despite attempts by Katara to calm Aang down, his anger continued to grow until finally he flew off to search for Appa alone. Eventually Aang returned to the group, but he was still visibly upset. He violated the principles of airbending when Momo was snatched by a buzzard wasp. He gave chase and rescued Momo, but unnecessarily struck it down with powerful airbending. After Aang returned with Momo, the group was confronted by the sandbenders who had taken Appa. When one of the sandbenders, Ghashiun, revealed that they had sold the bison, Aang lashed out and destroyed all their sand-sailers in a matter of moments using his airbending. He turned his sights on the sandbenders and entered the Avatar State upon hearing that Ghashiun had muzzled Appa. Aang's rage was only stopped when Katara grabbed hold of him and held him in an embrace until he finally calmed down and returned to his normal state. Shortly after these events, Aang forsook all hope, choosing not to care at all in order to refrain from lashing out in anger and be hurt. The birth of the baby Hope lifted his spirits once again.
After failing in Ba Sing Se, Aang began to feel angry and upset with himself. He felt an urge to redeem himself and refused to let the others fight and be injured in the invasion due to "his mistake". Driven by a desire for redemption, he fled the ship on which the team was traveling, but the spirits of Yue and Roku allowed Aang to see that his mistakes were not his fault and encouraged to let others help him. He returned to his lighter attitude soon after.
Four days before the invasion, Aang began to have nightmares about fighting against the Fire Lord. He started to unravel and chose to avoid experiencing them by not sleeping. This caused him to mentally fall apart even more, and he suffered intense hallucinations, blanking off into realistic daydreams. On the night before the invasion, his friends finally coaxed him to sleep, during which he defeated the Fire Lord in his dreams and regained his sense of fortitude.
During the invasion, Aang became extremely upset upon not being able to find Fire Lord Ozai, believing that he had lost his only chance to defeat him and end the war. Aang expressed his determination to face Ozai anyway, even though at this time the eclipse had passed and Ozai was now capable of firebending once more. He was dissuaded, however, by Toph and Sokka, who advised him to retreat and attack at a more advantageous time.
After the invasion, Aang was unwilling to face the reality of having to learn firebending, wanting instead to have some fun at the Western Air Temple; however, with the arrival of Zuko, he once again began training in earnest. Although he had planned to wait until after the comet to face Ozai, upon learning of the Fire Lord's plan to burn through the Earth Kingdom, he decided to engage him anyway, even though he was not fully trained. He became extremely conflicted, however, upon learning that he would have no other choice than to take Ozai's life.
Aang did show a somewhat flawed and stubborn side to his personality during the Harmony Restoration Movement. Like Roku, Aang was adamant on the idea that four separate nations would bring peace. This contradicted with Yu Dao, where citizens of two nations were able to live in harmony, make huge achievements, and have biracial families. However, Aang saw this as only another disaster that would lead to another war and persisted to move the Fire Nation colonials back to the Fire Nation, even if it meant separating them from their families. However, when Aang saw how intertwined the people from the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom had become and how his relationship with Katara was the same, he came to terms with the fact that his beliefs were outdated and realized that the world had changed significantly in the past hundred years. This prompted him to defend and support Yu Dao, found the Air Acolytes, and ultimately sever his spiritual connection with his dear friend, guide, and past life, Avatar Roku, who still completely refused and chastised Aang's choices. Later on, he and Zuko decided to form the United Republic of Nations as a compromise.
Although Aang retained his playful personality at times in his later years, as evidenced when he happily posed for a picture while spinning seaweed wraps between his hands, he had also grown up to become more serious and decisive. He became annoyed when Toph referred to him by his childhood nickname "Twinkle Toes", disregarding the fact that he was forty years old. He also dealt with criminal lord and bloodbender Yakone in a way described by Tarrlok as "head-on", contrary to his previous attitudes of trying to find peaceful solutions and his aversion to fighting. Aang remained calm, level-headed, and soft-spoken in his later years.
As a reincarnation of the entity known as the Avatar, Aang possessed the power to bend all four elements, making him the most powerful bender of his time. Though Avatar Roku said mastering the elements could take many years, Aang was able to learn all four with considerable skill in a year, though technically he did not completely master all four as stated by Zuko and Toph. As a result of his unconventional training, Aang never demonstrated most of the special subsets of the bending arts. However, he did display the abilities of lightning redirection and seismic sense, making him the first Avatar known to have learned these abilities. Most Avatars were not told of their status until they were sixteen years of age, but Aang had become a Fully Realized Avatar while he was still only biologically twelve years old. Thus, he became the youngest known Avatar to do so. As he was chronologically 112 years old, Aang also has the distinction of taking the longest to achieve this status.
By the time of the Air Nomad Genocide, Aang was already an airbending master, the youngest in history at that time. Aang achieved his mastery tattoos when he mastered thirty-five of the thirty-six tiers of airbending and invented a new airbending technique, the "air scooter", becoming the youngest known airbending master of his time at only twelve years old. The element of air was the one he utilized the most in battle. Once Aang began to learn the other elements, for tactical purposes he relied less on airbending, though it continued to remain his signature element. As a master, Aang's skill with airbending was exceptional; he was able to fight on-par with strong and powerful masters or against large numbers of opponents, despite not finishing his airbending training. He was shown creating tornadoes and currents of air strong enough to lift or deflect extremely heavy objects. Aang's skill with air was great, even perilous, though his pacifistic Air Nomad nature halted the use of air as a deadly weapon, unless he was enraged or in the Avatar State. Instead, Aang used airbending for pure defense, evasion, or other round-about methods of combat other than aggression. When not in battle, Aang used airbending in his everyday life, often for flying with his glider, or simply to augment his natural agility. While in the Avatar State, Aang's airbending power was magnified to the point he could erode solid rock away with a powerful gust of air.
Aang's airbending skills, especially his skill with the air scooter, greatly improved over time, evolving from being able to ride one to creating multiple air scooters simultaneously without any difficulty. At age forty, Aang was shown to have mastered the air scooter to a much greater degree. This version was superior in terms of size and duration when compared to the ones he showed as a child and was capable of being used as a high-speed method of transportation, as Aang quickly caught up with Yakone, despite the latter having had a good head-start. Aang was also capable of standing on the scooter, instead of sitting on it as he had done before.
Aside from his individual skill, Aang was also shown as a capable teacher, as he passed on the full extent of his airbending knowledge and techniques to his son Tenzin, who became a powerful master airbender in his own right.
Although Aang was originally better at waterbending than his fourteen-year-old friend Katara, his lack of focus allowed Katara to surpass him as she was later deemed a waterbending master after rapidly developing her skills while training under Master Pakku. Katara became Aang's teacher when they took their leave of the North Pole. In the early stages of his training, Aang showed prodigious skill in waterbending, being able to easily create a huge wave on his first try. Although he had great skill with waterbending, it was one of his least used elements in battle, instead favoring other readily-available elements such as earth or air. He did not carry a water skin, preferring to bend from large sources of water such as rivers, lakes, or oceans. His control over the element was monumental, capable of creating massive tidal waves, albeit with the help of the Moon Spirit, or bending entire streams of water. He was even able to extinguish a powerful, comet-enhanced blast of fire from Ozai and use the water to briefly put the Fire Lord on the defensive. While in the Avatar State, Aang could bend water from such remote distances a common waterbender could not reach, and he could raise the waters of an entire ocean, mimicking the moon pulling the tides, to cover an entire forest. He was also capable of compressing massive volumes of water into smaller streams, a normally incomprehensible skill, allowing an increase in force and pressure and making it easier to transport.
Because earthbending contrasted Aang's personality and his native element, air, he had great difficulty learning the bending art. Airbenders relied on indirect methods of combat, while earthbending required a head-on approach. When Aang was forced to protect Sokka from a saber-tooth moose lion, he stood his ground rather than avoiding conflict, showing an earthbender's attitude; he was able to earthbend soon thereafter. His earthbending improved greatly, allowing him to utilize air, water, and earthbending in combat together effectively. Earthbending even became Aang's second most used fighting style behind airbending, due to its general availability and defensive capabilities. Aang was capable of bending large boulders, sending massive columns of rock flying, or forming earthen armor around his body for protection. He also eventually learned to fight and bend blindfolded by detecting things through the use of seismic sense, a skill that he learned directly from Toph. Due to his pacifistic nature, Aang employed a more defensive style of earthbending, based on manipulating the earth to create walls, shelters and restraints to neutralize his opponents, rather than harm them. While in the Avatar State, Aang could manipulate massive columns of rock, compress boulders into pebbles, or send rocks flying at high speeds in rapid succession, while requiring no physical connection with the ground to earthbend. During the battle for Yu Dao, Aang managed to create a massive chasm around the entire city, effectively leaving it outside the reach of the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom armies. When fighting against General Old Iron, Aang created a gigantic stone body of almost equal durability to that of the spirit's iron armor.
Despite the proficiency with which Aang used earthbending in his fight with Ozai, Toph stated that he could still improve.
While normally the Avatar must learn the four elements in the proper cycle, Aang was given the opportunity to learn firebending early from Master Jeong Jeong, instead of first mastering water and earth, in addition to his mastery of air. While training, Aang's impatience to learn the basics of firebending resulted in him harming Katara, an accident which caused him great shame. He swore from that point onward never to firebend again, out of fear of losing control. It was not until after the invasion plan failed that Aang sought to learn firebending again. After accepting Prince Zuko as his teacher and discovering the true meaning of firebending from the dragons Ran and Shaw, Aang no longer feared firebending and began his training in the bending art. He was shown to be quite skilled, yet initially reluctant to show the aggressive attitude required for firebending. Aang was capable of performing the ancient Dancing Dragon form, the breath of fire while simultaneously firing a stream from both hands, as well as highly powerful kicks and blasts able to incapacitate a Fire Nation airship, albeit with the help of Sozin's Comet. In preparation for his face off with Fire Lord Ozai, Zuko taught Aang lightning redirection, a highly advanced and unique technique of firebending that Zuko's paternal uncle Iroh invented by observing waterbenders. While in the Avatar State, Aang could create exceedingly strong and highly destructive streams of fire, as well as melt solid stone.
After being endowed with the knowledge from a lion turtle, Aang was able to use an ancient form of bending that precedes all other bending called energybending, which he used to strip Ozai of his natural firebending abilities, leaving the Fire Lord permanently drained and in a weakened state. Aang enters the Avatar State to use it. According to the lion turtle, before the Avatar existed, people did not bend the four elements, but the life force energy within themselves. However, in order to bend another person's life force energy, the energybender's own life energy must be unbendable, or they could become corrupted or even destroyed. It was confirmed that Aang was not the first Avatar to learn energybending; however, there were few who had learned this particular bending art and even fewer who had used it due to its dangers. Energybending allows the bender to both strip and restore a person's bending abilities and transfer knowledge from one person to another.
At age forty, Aang's energybending skills had progressed, as he was able to strip Yakone's bending abilities almost immediately with minimal effort, unlike when he stripped Ozai's bending. He also demonstrated the ability to restore a person's bending, as seen when his spirit appeared before Korra and restored her bending abilities that had been taken by Amon's bloodbending. At the same time, Aang's spirit imparted the knowledge of energybending and control of the Avatar State onto Korra.
As the Avatar, Aang was able to contact his past lives to seek advice and guidance. Being the immediate predecessor of Aang, Roku most often came to the young airbender's aid. For example, it was Roku who warned Aang about the impending return of Sozin's Comet and manifested through the young Air Nomad in order to defeat a group of firebenders awaiting the Avatar's appearance.
After receiving a letter from Guru Pathik, Aang journeyed to the Eastern Air Temple to learn to control the Avatar State. Guru Pathik revealed that the secret laid in the unlocking of seven chakras. Aang had little trouble with the first six, but struggled with the seventh – earthly attachments, mainly being Aang's attachment to Katara. Aang initially abandoned his training after receiving a vision of Katara in dire need of help, but later began to open the seventh and final chakra successfully and entered the Avatar State. However, moments after entering the Avatar State, the process was interrupted when he was struck with lightning from behind by Azula, killing him and the Avatar Spirit itself, though after their escape, Katara was able to use the special water from the Spirit Oasis to revive him.
Nonetheless, Aang's connection to his previous lives was severely damaged by this and, while in a coma, he undertook a journey to the Spirit World, where he met and reconnected with the four Avatars preceding him. While he succeeded in healing the Avatar Spirit, his physical injuries prevented him from accessing the Avatar State and connecting with his past lives. As his body healed, he managed to reconnect with them, though it was only when Ozai violently shoved him against a protruding rock, which unleashed the energy block in his back, that the connection was fully restored. Later, however, feeling that Roku's advice about the state of the world was no longer relevant, Aang deliberately severed his connection to his past self. This caused an unintentional severing of his connection to all his past lives before Roku, except in certain situations, such as special rituals. Later, Aang was able to restore his connection to Roku and all the past Avatars by recrafting the fire pendant on his meditation beads.
As the carrier of the Avatar Spirit, Aang also had the capacity to act as a medium, a bridge between the mortal world and the Spirit World. Even while still a young child, Aang demonstrated a natural affinity to the spiritual arts. Through meditation, Aang could separate from his body and travel to the Spirit World and, with the help of a spirit, his astral form could also visit the physical world's astral plane. Once in the Spirit World, Aang could travel freely and communicate with beings such as Koh the Face Stealer. This position as intermediary also allowed him to connect with other spirits while in the Avatar State; he combined with the Ocean Spirit to defeat the Fire Nation during the siege of the North Pole, and had also channeled his past lives, namely Roku and Kyoshi.
Using his chakra with the roots around him, Aang eventually became deeply connected to others individual and locate them. He used this ability to find Appa and Momo in the Foggy Swamp.
Aang was extremely agile and quick even without bending, proven while forced to hide his bending when masquerading as a Fire Nation student. He was able to defend himself without needing to resort to bending by simply dodging and avoiding attacks. This technique was first shown in Aang's fight against the student Hide in the Fire Nation school. Aang effortlessly defeated him without ever striking him, instead simply dodging his blows and pushing him when he was off-balance. He repeated this feat at Yu Dao against a group of firebending soldiers, dodging and evading their fire blasts with a variety of acrobatic moves and without resorting to any of his bending arts and at the end only having his clothes slightly charred. This fighting style was overall similar to the martial art Baguazhang, which consists of an intricate set of foot and palm movements to dodge, walk circles around the enemy, and strike unexpectedly as well as defend from all angles; this art emphasized the pursuit of harmony in conflict situations, rather than destroying or defeating the opponent – all principles that Aang used often.
Aang could use his glider staff with great skill as well, using it as a method of transport and sometimes for attack, defense, or bending.
Aside from his combat skills, Aang displayed an impressive degree of artistic talent on a few occasions. He was an extremely talented and agile dancer, being able to perform somersaults in mid-air among other acrobatic feats and coordinate with Katara in a dance. His somersaults at that time did not seem to be aided by airbending, as he was in a public area surrounded by Fire Nation students and there was no sign of any air currents around him. Aang also displayed a degree of musical talent, as he was able to play an airbender's flute well enough for the Official Avatar Aang Fan Club to revel in his performance. He was also able to play the tsungi horn, although he was self-admittedly terrible at it.
- Main article: Aang's relationships
- Chronologically, Aang has the second longest lifespan of any known Avatar, dying 165 years after his birth; he is beaten by Kyoshi, who lived to the age of 230.
- Since Avatar Roku was the maternal great-grandfather of Zuko, Azula, and Kiyi, and was the previous Avatar, Aang, Zuko, Azula, and Kiyi were all spiritually related. Also, since Roku was Ursa's grandfather, Aang was also spiritually related to Ursa.
- Aang is written in Chinese, meaning "peaceful soaring".
- Aang's stature and bodily proportions were inspired conceptually by the forms and Gung Fu movements of a young boy named Arjuna. Photographed for reference by Bryan Konietzko at age six, Arjuna's contribution was one of the early collaborations between the Avatar team and Sifu Kisu, Arjuna being Kisu's son.
- Aang's premature departure from his Avatar State training to rescue Katara, and its results, are reminiscent of Luke Skywalker's impulsive actions while training with Yoda on Dagobah in the Star Wars film "The Empire Strikes Back".
- After Aang was shot in the back with Azula's lightning, he had two scars, one on his back where the lightning entered his body and the other on the sole of his left foot where the lightning left his body.
- Aang and Kuruk were the only known Avatars to remain true to their native upbringing, seeing as how every other identified Avatar defied their people's customs or political figures in some way. Yangchen was famous for doing whatever it took to preserve balance, Roku threatened the political leader of the Fire Nation, and Kyoshi defied the 46th Earth King's orders regarding the Peasant Uprising in Ba Sing Se, while Korra fell out with her father and the chief of the sister tribe.
- Many of Aang's closest friends were technically nobility: Katara and Sokka were the children of Hakoda, Chief of the Southern Water Tribe; Toph was a member of the Beifong family, a revered Earth Kingdom noble family; Bumi was King of Omashu; and Zuko was a Prince of the Fire Nation turned Fire Lord at the end of the Hundred Year War.
- Aang choosing four toys out of thousands – to identify him as the Avatar as these four toys were the same ones that past Avatars had chosen for generations when they were children – was the same procedure used by the Tibetan Buddhist monks to recognize the next reincarnation of the Tulku Lama. According to the book Magic and Mystery in Tibet by Alexandra David-Néel, "a number of objects such as rosaries, ritualistic implements, books, tea-cups, etc., are placed together, and the child must pick out those which belonged to the late Tulku, thus showing that he recognizes the things which were in his previous life.
- The names of the first episode, "The Boy in the Iceberg", and the last episode, "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang", show Aang's growth and maturity throughout the series, how he went from being a goofy, naive kid in the beginning to becoming a Fully Realized Avatar by the end.
- Aang was left-handed in one of his past lives, as mentioned by Katara.
- Aang passed away before Jinora was born, and thus never met any of his grandchildren.
- Aang was one of the only four characters shown as a newborn on either Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra. The others are Yue in a flashback, Hope, and Rohan.
- Aang was portrayed by Noah Ringer in The Last Airbender.
- Considering that Aang did not officially begin his Avatar training until he was released from the iceberg, he became a Fully Realized Avatar more quickly than any other known Avatar, doing so in only twelve months.
- Aang was seen wearing a necklace, similar to the one that was on Gyatso's skeleton, at Zuko's coronation.
- Aang encased in a submerged iceberg is reminiscent of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory on the Id, Ego, and the Superego as a whole, which was contextualized as an iceberg. The small part of the iceberg is the ego, the conscious self, and was represented by the large block of ice destroyed by Katara's waterbending at the beginning of the episode. The Id, the unconscious self, is the submerged portion of the iceberg and thus is represented by the sphere of ice Aang encased himself in while in the Avatar State. An interesting revelation is that roughly 90% of an iceberg is submerged, and the Id therefore exerts much more influence than the Ego on one's mind; the Id is represented by the Avatar State.
- When the creators first pitched the series, Aang was a ten-year-old boy; however, after a suggestion from Eric Coleman, they "aged him up".
- Aang and Piandao are the only two confirmed characters in the original series to have had both their parents as benders.
- Aang has met the original source of every bending art: a flying bison for air, the Moon Spirit for water, badgermoles for earth, and Ran and Shaw, two dragons, for fire.
- Including Tui's death in "The Siege of the North, Part 2" and his own fatal injury sustained in "The Crossroads of Destiny", from which they both were resurrected shortly thereafter, Aang was the fifth of eight characters to have been observed dying or being murdered in the original series. In chronological order, the others were Tui, Yue, Chin, Jet, Roku, Fang, and Combustion Man.
- Aang was originally voiced by voice actor Rob Paulsen in The Legend of Korra, before being revoiced post-production by D. B. Sweeney.
- Aang is shown as the airbender in the opening sequence of The Legend of Korra.
- Aang was the second known Avatar to create a landmass through his founding of Air Temple Island, the first being Avatar Kyoshi who founded Kyoshi Island.
- Aang was the first known Avatar to be bloodbent.
- He was also the second known person to break free of a bloodbender's hold by their own doing, although he was only able to do so by entering the Avatar State.
- Aang was shown energybending at the end of the original series and in the last episode of the first book of The Legend of Korra.
- Although in the original series Aang took Ozai's bending away, in The Legend of Korra, he restored Korra's bending.
- Aang was the first person known to be capable of restoring another's bending.
- As an adult, Aang's beard resembled that of co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino.
- Aang was the first known Avatar to have an interracial marriage.
- Aang appeared in every episode in the original series except for "Zuko Alone".
- Avatar Extras for "The Great Divide" stated that the egg custard tart was Aang's favorite food, which was evident when he discovered it in the Great Divide.
- Aang is the only known Air Nomad to be considered an honorary member of the Southern Water Tribe.
- Aang is the first known Air Nomad to have a waterbending child, through his daughter Kya.
- An image of Aang is printed on the obverse side of the yuan bill.
- A vendor in the Earth Kingdom renamed his seaweed wraps "Aang rolls" after noticing how much the Avatar liked them.
- Michael Dante DiMartino stated that Aang was the hardest character to find a voice actor for across both series.
- Aang is the only known non-metalbending earthbender in the Avatar franchise with the ability to use seismic sense.
- Aang is the first known Avatar to have his photograph taken.
- Aang will be a playable character in Nickelodeon's upcoming video game titled Nickeloden Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix.
- In July 2020, the game SMITE launched a battle pass that featured two skins with which the player could alter the appearance of Merlin, a wizard who uses different elements in battle, to look like Aang did in Book One or like he did during his final battle against Ozai, complete with access to the Avatar State.
12 BG – 153 AG
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