"But I believe Aang can save the world." note Avatar: The Last Airbender
is an animated series that ran from 2005-2008; also known as Avatar: The Legend of Aang
in some countries, and is the 20th series in Nickelodeon
's popular brand of original cartoons, known as Nicktoons
is the first series in an eponymous franchise
which takes place in a Constructed World
divided into four nations: the Water Tribes
, the Earth Kingdom
, the Fire Nation
, and the Air Nomads
. Each nation has developed a spiritual art form to manipulate ("bend") their namesake element, but only the Avatar — one person reincarnated periodically into each race — is capable of mastering all four elements. The Avatar's role is to serve as a peacekeeper and protector for all four nations (as well as bridging and balancing the physical and spiritual worlds).
The show's story centers around Aang
, the twelve-year old (chronologically 112
) incarnation of the current Avatar and the eponymous last airbender
. He must master the four bending arts so that he can save the world from Fire Lord Ozai
and end the century-long war
, a war which he spent a hundred years trapped in an iceberg
accidentally avoiding. Ozai's plans for domination
are on a specific timetable, though, meaning that Aang has until the end of summer to stop them.
Aang has thankfully found himself in good company with teenage waterbender Katara and her brother Sokka
, the two who freed Aang from the iceberg. As the trio works to save the four nations with the company of Aang's lemur and flying bison, they gain many more allies; take a look at the Character Sheet
to get to know more about the cast.
Generally considered to be one of the greatest cartoon shows of all time (next to the likes of Batman: The Animated Series
) despite/because of its many serious and dramatic tones, the series feature deep characters, a complex world with its own politics and cultural conflicts, and authentic depictions of Chinese martial arts.
The first season was adapted into a live-action film directed by M. Night Shyamalan
— The Last Airbender
— which is the second Shyamalan film
to be inspired by a Nickelodeon show
. The film was intended to be the first season in movie form, with the hope that a pair of sequels based on the other two seasons would follow. The film was not generally well-received, nor is it a good entry point for viewers new to the franchise. Watch it after the show, or not at all.
A Sequel Series
, The Legend of Korra
, premiered in 2012. The new series takes place seventy years after Avatar
and focuses on the next Avatar, a hotheaded waterbender named Korra — while learning airbending from Aang's son Tenzin, Korra finds herself in Republic City, a metropolis (inspired by the Roaring Twenties
) in the former colonies which suffers from rampant crime and an anti-bender revolt.
Nickelodeon has also released a digest graphic novel called The Lost Adventures
, which includes the out of print Expanded Universe
strips, and a graphic novel trilogy called The Promise
, which details the Gaang's rebuilding of the world as a bridge to Korra
. Another graphic novel series called The Search
has been released, and details Zuko's quest to find his mother and sees the return of Azula. "The Rift
" will be the third comic. All of these projects are being published by Dark Horse Comics
This show is not to be confused with other meanings of the term "avatar"
Due to the sheer number of trope examples
, they have been divided into their own alphabetized pages. There is also a largely-complete recap page available for those who want to see what all the fuss is about
.There is also an entire page of memes
, and a Best Episode Crowner
It also provides examples of: