- This article is about the location. For the episode, see "The Western Air Temple".
The Western Air Temple is one of the four original temples of the Air Nomads and one of the two, the other being the Eastern Air Temple, that exclusively housed female airbenders. It is located in the mountains north of the Fire Nation. The temple is notable in that, unlike the other temples, it is situated underneath the edge of a cliff instead of atop a mountain. The spires give the appearance of having been built upside-down, and because of that, the temple is hidden to the passerby. Its design allows wind to flow into even the deepest chambers, which made the Air Nomads feel at home. Avatar Yangchen was born and raised at the Western Air Temple.
At the start of the Hundred Year War, the Western Air Temple's population was killed by the Fire Nation during the Air Nomad Genocide and its aftermath, though the temple itself escaped significant damage. Almost a century later, after being banished from the Fire Nation, Zuko traveled to the temple to begin his search for Avatar Aang. Otherwise, the temple lay uninhabited, until Aang and his friends headed to the Western Air Temple for a safe place to stay after the unsuccessful invasion. Ironically, after following the remnants of the invasion force here, Zuko decided to join Aang, pledging to teach him firebending.
Combustion Man attacked this temple in hopes of eliminating the Avatar and his gang. Thanks in part to Zuko's intervention on their behalf and Sokka's expertise in using a boomerang, Combustion Man was defeated and killed when his own firebending caused a massive and lethal explosion, which also caused half of the building he was standing on to break off and fall into the canyon below, taking whatever may have been left of the body with it. The temple suffered extensive damage besides this from the attack, but was still largely intact. The group spent several nights there.
Azula led an attack on the temple thereafter, battling her brother and forcing the rest of the group to flee. After one of her blasts clashed with an equally powerful blast from Zuko, both of them were thrown off the airship. Zuko was saved by Team Avatar, who was flying on Appa, and Azula used her firebending to propel herself toward the cliffside, using her hair piece as a hook to slow the fall. The invasion force members, including Chit Sang, fled using an airship stolen from Azula at the Boiling Rock prison. The attack resulted in a large amount of damage, including the complete destruction of the fountain's remnants.
The temple was built on the underside of a cliff, causing all of the buildings to appear to hang upside down. There are steps built into the side of the cliff to allow for movement between tiers of the temple and different buildings.
Although its interior has not been shown, Teo mentioned seeing a hall of statues. The temple features some interesting recreational spots, such as a giant Pai Sho table, an all-day echo chamber, a flying bison obstacle course, and a racetrack.
Another notable feature is a series of metal doors located within the fountain area, which can be converted to shields to protect inhabitants from outside attackers.
- Until Combustion Man destroyed part of the fountain structure and blew up one of the temple's inverted towers, this seemed to be the only temple untouched by other parties; the Southern Air Temple had Fire Nation corpses from the battle with Fire Lord Sozin's forces, the Northern Air Temple was modified and damaged by Earth Kingdom colonials, and the Eastern Air Temple was cleaned up by Guru Pathik. The Western Air Temple is only known to have been visited by Iroh and Zuko a week after the latter's banishment, being the closest to the Fire Nation.
- The design of the Western Air Temple was inspired by the roofs of Bhutanese monasteries, like Paro Taktsang, and Tibetan architecture.
- This is the only original air temple not to be located on the top of a mountain.
- Aang's airbending was enhanced due to the windy environment of the Western Air Temple.
- The Western Air Temple is the largest of the five temples.
- The temple contained a large Pai Sho table.
- The Western Air Temple was the only air temple not to be shown in The Legend of Korra.
- Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim (writers) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (July 14, 2008). "The Western Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
- 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 Western Air Temple.
- Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 17, 2008). "The Southern Raiders". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
- The Legend of Korra: Enhanced Experience, page one.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Art of the Animated Series, p. 154.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante & Konietzko, Bryan (May 6, 2008). "The Western Air Temple" commentary. Book 3: Fire, Volume 3 DVD.
- Avatar Extras for "The Western Air Temple" on Nicktoons Network.