"Avatar" is a Sanskrit word that usually implies a deliberate descent from higher spiritual realms to lower realms of existence for special purposes. It is often translated into English as "incarnation", meaning the physical incarnation of a divine or higher power. In the modern world the term has picked up a number of other meanings, and is the namesake for many fictional works. Its broadest definition is "some sort of remotely controlled entity which is present in the role of its controller"[[note]]In addition to the examples below this can include remote controlled vehicles (particularly ones operated at distance with their own sensors, a representation of someone in a digital space (see below), or an incarnation of a divine being as a mortal (indeed the use of this in Hindu mythology is the Trope Namer).[[/note]]. Naturally, that all means there are a lot of different works that use "Avatar" in their names:

* American franchise ''[[Franchise/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar: The Last Airbender]]''
** [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender The original series]].
** Sequel series ''Avatar: WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', [[MarketBasedTitle in international markets]]. The American title is just ''The Legend of Korra'' to avoid conflicting with...
* ''{{Film/Avatar}}'', the 2009 feature film by Creator/JamesCameron.
* ''Pinball/{{Avatar}}'', the pinball table based on the feature film.
* ''VideoGame/UltimaIV: The Quest of the Avatar'', where the player seeks to become "the Avatar," basically their version of CrystalDragonJesus. The PlayerCharacter is known as the Avatar throughout [[Franchise/{{Ultima}} the series]] because of it.
* ''The Avatar'', a book by Creator/PoulAnderson, which involves a group of explorers commandeering a space freighter. The best-known cover has three characters on the cover—two humans (presumably viewpoint characters Daniel Brodersen and Caitlín Mulryan) and a four-armed alien vaguely resembling a humanoid sea lion (Fidelio).
* ''{{VideoGame/Avatar}}'', an old RolePlayingGame on a multi-university computer network back in TheSeventies.
* ''Avatar'', the first book in the StarTrekDeepSpaceNineRelaunch.

On top of that, there are tropes:

* AuthorAvatar: The [[WordOfGod higher being]] is the author and they have a character in their work that represents him/herself.
* DigitalAvatar: The sort you find in games as the PlayerCharacter, by way of {{Cyberpunk}} (specifically ''Literature/SnowCrash'') influence.
* FightingAShadow: In general, using an avatar means that if something kills it, what had the avatar doesn't completely die.
* GodInHumanForm: One of the ways it happens is through an avatar projection. See also AFormYouAreComfortableWith. As mentioned above, examples from certain mythologies are the {{Trope Namer|s}}.
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