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Spirit Emblem
This article is about the spirit. For the episode, see "The Painted Lady". For the person who disguised herself as the Painted Lady, see Katara.
"She's part of our town's lore. They say she's a river spirit who watches over our town in times of need."
Xu describing the Painted Lady to Team Avatar.[1]

The Painted Lady is the benevolent spirit of the Jang Hui River, known for her protectiveness and healing abilities. She was once the guardian spirit of the fishing village of Jang Hui but was driven away due to the region's rising water contamination. As is the case with many other spirits, only the spiritually enlightened can see her.[1][2]


The Painted Lady was originally a human[4] and lived before the 3rd century BG.[5] She had a close relationship with nature and a strong connection to the spirits. Due to her spirituality, she transcended into the Spirit World following her death.[4]

After becoming a spirit, the Painted Lady began to watch over the river town of Jang Hui until the Fire Nation Army built a factory on the corresponding river in 90 AG and began polluting it by discharging its waste. This pollution drove the Painted Lady away, leaving the villagers to fend for themselves.[2]

Years later, Avatar Aang and his friends arrived at the village, which had been left deprived and devastated by illnesses caused by the pollutants in its waters. Through intense persuasion from Katara, who impersonated the Painted Lady for several days, Team Avatar assisted the villagers in cleaning up the river. One night by the side of the river, Katara found herself in the presence of the real Painted Lady, who thanked her for her part in cleaning the Jang Hui River.[1]


Avatar: The Last Airbender[]

Book Three: Fire (火)[]

Avatar books[]


  • Rangi imitated the makeup of the Painted Lady the first time she wore the red and white colors of the Flying Opera Company.[5]
  • The Painted Lady's makeup somewhat resembles the makeup of the firebender seen in the opening of the unaired pilot, as well as that of the Kyoshi Warriors.
  • The Painted Lady is a water spirit. Given that the Moon Spirit and Ocean Spirit are closely related, this means she is connected to Princess Yue.[3] Her mysterious and ominous appearance is somewhat similar to Yue's appearance as the Moon Spirit.
  • The Painted Lady is one of a few known individuals to transcend into the Spirit World following their death,[4] the others being the Kemurikage[6] and Iroh.[7]
  • The Painted Lady is one of two real spirits to have been impersonated by humans; the other being the Kemurikage, who were impersonated by Azula and the Fire Warriors.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (October 5, 2007). "The Painted Lady". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: The Painted Lady.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Avatar Extras for "The Painted Lady" on Nicktoons Network.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Dos Santos, Joaquim & Graham, Ian (July 1, 2014). "A New Spiritual Age" commentary. Book Two: Spirits Blu-ray.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twenty-Six, "Home Again". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  6. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). Smoke and Shadow Part Two (December 16, 2015), Dark Horse Comics.
  7. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (November 8, 2013). "A New Spiritual Age". The Legend of Korra. Book Two: Spirits. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  8. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). Smoke and Shadow Part Three (April 12, 2016), Dark Horse Comics.

See also[]