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This article is about the location. For the episode, see "The Cave of Two Lovers".

Located near the city of Omashu in the Earth Kingdom, the Cave of Two Lovers, also known as the Secret Tunnel, is a series of caverns which pass underneath a section of the Kolau Mountain Range.[1] It is considered the birthplace of earthbending and has become a place of legend revered by bards. When Avatar Aang and his friends were unable to cross the mountains, which were controlled by Fire Nation forces, they were forced to venture into these tunnels.[2]

Creation[]

Legends say that the tunnels were created by Oma and Shu, who fell in love despite being from warring villages. They are believed to have been the first earthbenders and created the passage between their villages to meet secretly.

Layout[]

The "tunnel" is actually a giant underground labyrinth full of dangerous animals, including wolfbats and the gigantic badgermoles.[1] It was also shown to be impossible to map the maze because the badgermoles change the tunnels regularly with earthbending, thus preventing any sort of normal navigation. In order to find the way out of the tunnels, one must "trust in love" and relinquish their dependence on torches and any sort of natural lighting. If this is done, shining crystals along the ceiling of the cave will guide the way to the exit.

Cave sculpture

The Tomb of the Two Lovers can be found at the center of the cave.

In the center of the labyrinth is the Tomb of the Two Lovers, which is believed to contain the remains of Oma and Shu, encased side-by-side in two massive stone sarcophagi. The walls of the tomb are decorated with carvings telling the story of the two lovers.[1] Wrathful wolfbat statues guard the entrance of the cave.[3]

The north entrance of the cave is "guarded" by three large statues called the Lover's Guardians, which origin remains unknown, but their purpose is to ward off those who would enter.[4] The cave is no longer passable, as the Fire Nation destroyed this north entrance in an attempt to trap Team Avatar while the central entrance later caved in.[2]

Trivia[]

Cave of Two Lovers writing

The cave's name is inscribed in Chinese characters above its entrance.

  • The cave's name in Chinese is "情人洞", which translates literally into "The Lovers' Cave". This name is carved over both entrances; however, the name, as well as the writing found in the tomb, is written in archaic Seal Script style characters that have since changed form.
  • The writing on the relief of the two lovers seems to read "愛在黑暗X光明", which means something along the lines of "Love is brightest in the dark".
  • The Cave of Two Lovers resembles the Labyrinth in the Greek mythological tale 'Theseus and the Minotaur', as both structures are designed to be virtually impossible to navigate and inhabited by dangerous creatures that almost certainly ensure death.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Location: The Cave of Two Lovers.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (March 24, 2006). "The Cave of Two Lovers". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  3. Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Art of the Animated Series, page 91.
  4. Descriptions, Avatar: Generations. Navigator Games & Square Enix Mobile London (August 11, 2022). Square Enix.
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