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Avatar Aang (安昂)

Voiced by: Zach Tyler Eisen (English)Click to see other languages , Mitchel Musso (proof-of-concept pilot), Benjamin Helms (Nicktoons MLB)

"There's just too many of them. I can't fight them all... I'm just one kid."
Click here  to see him in his Season 1-2 garb.
The 12-year-old (well, technically 112-year-old) plucky Airbending boy destined to save the world. When he learned of his status as the Avatar, followed by the monks trying to take him from his teacher/father figure, he couldn't handle the pressure and ran away from home. When he was caught in a storm, he defensively used his powers to seal himself in an iceberg, which protected him for a century while the other Air Nomads were exterminated by the Fire Nation in an effort to kill him. After being freed from the iceberg by Katara and Sokka, he now must face his destiny by mastering all four elements and defeating Fire Lord Ozai to restore balance to the world.

For tropes applying to the Avatar entity in general, return to the main Character page.

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  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Energybending is a skill Aang learned in the last part of Season 3. Also one could argue his chakra becoming unblocked during the fight with Ozai (allowing Aang to enter the Avatar State again).
  • The Ace:
    • The youngest airbending master in history (before his granddaughter Jinora bested him at 11) and quite smart about different cultures or spiritual matters.
    • Amongst all known Avatars, Aang faced the perhaps single greatest uphill battle at an age four years before all others even discovered they were Avatars (biologically, at least), and managed to get an excellent grasp of all three non-native elements and energybending in the span of one year when all others (including his successor, Korra) needed several years to even just master the other elements. He and Zuko went on to guide the world into a radically different, more culturally merged era, marking the largest change in the world's long-stagnant status quo and causing the world to develop at a much faster pace. He left behind fewer problems for his next life to face than most of his immediate predecessors too, with only Yangchen having a cleaner record in the sense that Aang's actions indirectly still allowed the rise of the Anti-Bending movement.
  • Achilles' Heel: While going into the Avatar State makes him the most powerful character in the series, it also makes him very vulnerable. Because the Avatar State pulls all the spirits of the former Avatars — that is, the entire spirit that is the Avatar — into one body at the same time, dying while in the state means the Avatar spirit would die, the chain of reincarnation would break, and the Avatar would cease to exist.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Compare Aang's first season look to his third season look.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: He is haunted by how scary and destructive he can be when he's in Avatar State; being that he's a pacifist by nature and upbringing, it's very justified. In the episode he even says "I was scary" referring to the Avatar State.
  • All-Loving Hero: He has a love and respect for all life, including those of his enemies.
  • Amazon Chaser: Downplayed. Aang was already in love with Katara when they first met but a tie-in comic has him smiling with pride when Katara goes Violently Protective Girlfriend on firebenders attacking him.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: When Guru Pathik explains to Aang that he must let go of his attachment towards Katara, Aang instantly disagrees with the choice, saying that he loves her.
  • The Atoner: He wants to stop the Fire Nation not only because it's his job as the Avatar, but also because he wants to atone not being there for his people when the Fire Nation ambushed them.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In the first episode, he's more interested in chasing a penguin than finding out what happened while he was frozen in the iceberg.
  • Author Avatar: The first character conceived by Bryke. He was designed by Bryan to have his philosophical outlook but to have the appearance of Mike. This is especially true for his adult version in The Legend of Korra where he was also given Mike's beard by Bryan. Aang was created back when the Avatar universe was set in a science fiction world and it was only after the setting shifted to a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to eastern Asia was Aang re-imagined as a Buddhist-like monk due to his completely bald head.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Aang is the second youngest after Toph and most innocent member of Team Avatar.
  • Back from the Dead: With a dose of Only Mostly Dead since Katara got to him in time.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • With the Blue Spirit.
    • A subtle one with Zuko, in the climax of "The Firebending Masters."
  • Badass Adorable: Total ass kicking hero with elemental kung fu, looks adorably huggable.
  • Badass in Distress: Played for Laughs in "Avatar Day," where Aang is wearing a heavy wooden stock. Not only does it not fit him, but he's able to casually slip out of it while chatting with the other prisoners. Note that he also does this in "The Earth King" by dismantling the earth-handcuffs to wave at the king.
  • Badass Pacifist: Aang has demonstrated on separate occasions to be capable of avoiding violence while stopping said violence:
    • In "The Great Divide", he stopped the feuding clans by lying.
    • Aang manages to give a subtle defeat to Koh the Face Stealer by remaining The Stoic throughout their conversation. He was helped with some advice by Avatar Roku, but it was still impressive from Aang's part.
    • Aang managed to one-up the resident bully in "The Headbands" by simply evading his punches.
    • The series finale had him defeat Ozai by taking away his bending.
  • Bald of Awesome: All of the Martial Pacifist airbenders shave their head. Naturally, this includes Aang except during the first half of the third season, when he was hiding his identity.
  • Battle Couple: Downplayed with Katara. They are a couple and both of them fight but rarely side-by-side.
  • Berserk Button: He hates it when he feels that his culture is being mocked or disrespected.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's one of the most genuinely kind, empathetic, and gentle individuals in all of fiction. He can also throw hurricanes, tidal waves, and mountain ranges around like softballs. Case in point, when the buzzard-wasp kidnapped Momo, Aang rescued him and then, with nothing but pure cold-blooded anger in his eyes and no hesitation at all, killed the buzzard-wasp as it was retreating. He also beheaded it. Aang has indirectly killed many mooks before but this was the only on-screen death in the series. This wasn't Avatar State. It was all Aang.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He's a goofy and fun-loving kid, but if you mess with his friends, you'll likely regret it afterwards.
  • Big Good: By default, he is this, but secures this status after becoming a fully-realized Avatar.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Katara. Both are extremely optimistic people who keep that outlook while also becoming more realistic due to Character Development. They are child prodigies in their own field (Aang in Airbending and becoming the youngest Fully Realized Avatar, Katara becoming a Waterbending master at only 14). They have a Chronic Hero Syndrome tendency, are incredibly nice individuals, but can be terrifying when pushed too far. They even share a similar trait of being more selfish when it comes to a personal topic.
  • Blessed with Suck: Sure, he's the Avatar, a godlike human being who can manipulate all four elements to balance out the world. Sure, he's the bridge between the Spirit World and the regular world. Yeah, okay, he's the spirit of light and peace all rolled into one dude. His past lives worked out just fine being the Avatar. Unfortunately for Aang, he doesn't get to wait until his 16th birthday to be told that he's the Avatar. Nope, some grumpy old dudes tell him when he's twelve because they fear a war is soon to break out. They make plans to take Aang away from his guardian, so Aang runs away...and gets frozen inside an iceberg for 100 years while a war sweeps across the world while he's gone. Then when he gets out of the iceberg, he has to fix everything! By himself! With a bunch of scary guys trying to capture him! And he's 12. Plus, the first thing he learns about the new world he's entered is that he is the only Air Nomad left since all of the others were wiped out by the Fire Nation in the opening moves of the war, who were the priority targets due to having the Avatar. Finally, there's what comes with being the Avatar: the ability to draw on the power and experiences of all past Avatars. It seems good... But until Aang learns how to control it the Avatar State manifests when he's in grave danger or furious beyond control, has the power of an Eldritch Abomination and absolutely no care for collateral damage. There is a good reason why Aang had nightmares about the Avatar State for a while... Additionally, whereas every other Avatar (that we know of) had years to learn how to bend all the elements (a task that usually takes roughly a decade - Roku started at 16 and finished in his twenties, Korra started prepubescent and finished in her late teens), Aang has less than one year. Oh, and even after he can control the Avatar State there's a downside (for the world, at least): if he dies while in it, the Avatar Cycle is broken. No more Avatar. And given he's the spirit of the world and that killing the spirit of the moon made the moon disappear until it was resurrected...
  • Blindfolded Vision: Toph trains Aang to see like her this way.
  • Blithe Spirit: Aang acts as one of these in "The Headband" when he becomes accidentally enrolled in a straight-laced Fire Nation school. And being the friendly, world-traveling free spirit he is, he won't settle for anything less than throwing everyone a dance party. Yes, that's a reference to Footloose.
  • Blow You Away: He's primarily an Airbender, and recognized as a master, denoted by the tattoos.
  • A Boy and His X: A Boy and His Flying Bison and Winged Lemur:
    • For the former, Appa was Aang's loyal pet and friend, as well as Team Avatar's primary means of travel. Aang first met Appa at the Eastern Air Temple when the latter was just a calf during a customary event where all airbender children are paired with a flying bison for life. After Aang offered an apple to Appa, the young sky bison seemed to bond with him immediately, affectionately licking his face. Aang loved his fellow survivor of a century of sleep, noting that they could both be the last of their kind.
    • For the latter, Aang discovered Momo, a winged lemur, while wandering about the ruins of the Southern Air Temple. Aang quickly claimed him as a pet and named him Momo. He also seemed protective of Momo, as seen when he struck a buzzard wasp in order to protect him. This was shown during his final battle with Ozai, as Aang told Momo, the only one that accompanied him when he ventured onto the lion turtle, to stay far away from the scene of the fight.
  • Break the Cutie: Starts as a naive and innocent child. By the end, he has seen too much tragedy and heart-ache to be either.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: His only major setbacks in learning water and fire seemed to be his childlike lack of focus.
  • Broken Ace: The most talented bender of his age group, but he never wanted to be the Avatar.
  • Broken Bird: Briefly becomes this after Appa's kidnapping in Book 2.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Downplayed with Katara. While Aang still remains mellow and optimistic even after Character Development, he does suffer moments that cause him great emotional turmoil (i.e., learning the genocide of his people, Appa's kidnapping, feeling useless after the events of Book 2). In those moments, Katara is there to give him Cooldown Hugs and pep talks about remaining hopeful. They switch roles when Katara takes on a She Who Fights Monsters mentality after Zuko reveals he can help her find her mother's murderer, and while Aang doesn't force her to stop, he does give advise on how revenge will lead her down a wrong path.
  • Character Development: At the start, Aang is a happy-go-lucky, naive kid who doesn't want to be the Avatar. Going through numerous battles and trials, especially when Appa was kidnapped, took a toll on his carefree attitude. By the end, Aang became a more serious and mature young man who took his Avatar duties seriously without losing who he is or sacrificing what he wants and desires. This is probably most noticeable when compared to his actor in the "Ember Island Players" episode, as Actor!Aang always portrays him as happy-go-lucky and naive.
  • Character Title: The "last airbender" refers to Aang.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Most of Aang's speed and agility are shown to be from the use of his airbending, but he's also displayed feats of this trope that can't be attributed to it. While not as impressive as Zuko, he has done things like briefly Bridal Carry Katara while jumping down a couple stories, and also once carry Zuko, despite both of them clearly being heavier than him and his thin build wouldn't hint he possessed that sort of strength. He's also fallen a few stories out of a tree, and got back up seconds later with no lasting injuries.
  • Cheerful Child: Aang is initially bright, fun-loving and infectiously cheerful. He matures over the course of the series, but for the most part, retains his mellow upbeat attitude.
  • Chick Magnet:
    • Meng from "The Fortuneteller" and all of the young girls from "The Warriors of Kyoshi" were completely enthralled with him.
    • Some of Aang's female "classmates" in "The Headband" thought he was quite charming.
    • The tie-in comics showed that the Air Acolytes were initially a group of fangirls who had crushes on the Avatar.
    • Katara eventually realized that she had fallen in love with him and they became a couple.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Zigzagged with Katara. They met when he was 12 and she was 14, but Aang is technically older than her, as he was born 100 years earlier than her and only kept his youth because he was frozen in ice. Even so, they would later become an Official Couple, marry, and have three children.
  • Child Mage: Mixed with Kung-Fu Kid due to the martial arts nature of bending.
  • Child Prodigy: Usually it takes a couple years for a bender to attain mere competency of their element, and a lifetime to become a master. Not so for Aang, who became the youngest airbending master in recorded history and got a decent grip of the other three elements in less than a year. At least part of his quick mastery of the other elements can be attributed to a time crunch, since he had to learn the three elements in less than a year or else the world would pretty much end.
  • The Chosen One: He's the Avatar, and it was his destiny to defeat the Fire Lord and stop the war that Sozin started.
  • Child Prodigy: Justified — being the Avatar, Aang was born with a tremendous amount of natural talent. He was a prodigious Airbender, already inventing new bending techniques without having any formal training or finding out he was the Avatar, and picks up waterbending very quickly, to Katara's dismay.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Much to his allies' consternation, he's always digressing to do Sidequests rather than focusing on his training and fleeing from the Fire Nation.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: His gray eyes emphasize his mystical nature as the Avatar. Although gray eyes are a common Air Nomad trait, he stands out as the Sole Survivor.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Much of Aang's character development in the first episodes is learning that as the Avatar he has duties he can't avoid.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: In the comic "Love is a Battlefield", he becomes violent towards Katara for refusing to be in a relationship with him by erupting a small volcano - despite his awareness of how firebending had hurt Katara in the past. In the episode "The Ember Island Players" he gets angered at the actor playing Katara because she is in love with Zuko. He lashes out at the real Katara and forcefully kisses her.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Aang was an example of this trope in the first episodes whenever he tapped into the Avatar State. Character Development, a showcase of the fact that he is a master airbender, and the realization of how scary he is in the Avatar State contributes to the lessening of this carefree nature.
  • Cultured Badass: He's quite knowledgeable with different cultures.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Aang is initially upset at finding out he's the Avatar (and to be fair, the circumstances of the world shortly after he runs away do make the responsibility a pain). Still, you'd think that a 12 year old kid finding out that he could bend not just one, but ALL of the elements would be a little more excited. And as Avatar Roku mentions, being the Avatar doesn't hurt with the ladies.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: While he had a happy childhood with the Air Nomads, he made the fatal mistake of freaking out and running away from his responsibilities, ending up being frozen in ice for a century, and finally paying dearly for it when he discovers the corpse of his beloved mentor.
  • Deadly Dodging: A fundamental part of Airbending because of their pacifistic nature.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly often, though it's usually subtle and good-natured. Other times when he's being sarcastic are when he's frustrated, or the time he made Zhao angry enough so he would destroy his own fleet of ships.
    (Aang is prying open a large drainpipe to the city of Omashu)
    Sokka: A secret passage? Why didn't we just use this last time?
    (A flood of sewage pours out and splashes Sokka)
    Aang: Does that answer your question?
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Aang deconstructs the Kid Hero. Each Avatar is supposed to learn of their identity at the age of sixteen, which is the age of majority in the World of Avatar. However, when the Air Nomads sensed that a war was brewing, they made the decision to reveal Aang as the Avatar four years early so he could start mastering the other three elements to help stop the threat. Needless to say, this decision made things even worse for everybody involved because it forced a huge responsibility onto Aang that the 12-year-old wasn't ready for, and alienated him from his pre-series friends because they felt like they weren't supposed to be around him anymore. After overhearing he was to be separated from Gyatso, his guardian and the only one who actually treated Aang like a kid and as an actual person, he ran away, and then got trapped in a storm that forced the Avatar State to freeze Aang and Appa inside an iceburg for a hundred years in order to save both of their lives. He subsequently blamed himself for the genocide of his people and the subsequent century of war because he wasn't there, even after he's told he would've been too inexperienced to make a difference back then. His childish personality and cheerfulness is an act to try avoiding the burdens placed on him which proves to be his Fatal Flaw (like how it takes the whole series to realize his destiny to defeat the Big Bad might conflict with his morals, something he struggles with).
  • Despair Event Horizon: Comes very near to it after Appa was kidnapped. He eventually got better.
  • Deuteragonist: In the comic books set between The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. With his main character arc completed, he tends to help out whoever is the main character of a particular arc get through their problems.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Once he learns Earthbending. It was the hardest for him to learn; being a native airbender, he found earth's direct, confrontational, and rigid discipline difficult to grasp.
  • Distressed Dude: The Fire Nation knows that if Aang is killed he'll simply reincarnate so their goal is to imprison him until he dies naturally.
  • The Ditherer: On occasion when he gets overwhelmed by the hardship of his journey he'll play delinquent and go penguin sledding instead or undergo additional/superfluous training to avoid the issue.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Sea prunes don't sit well with his stomach.
  • Earned Stripes: When airbenders are recognized as masters, they are give blue arrow tattoos that follow chi lines from their forehead, to their hands and feet. Aang was one of the youngest to ever wear tattoos at age 12, until his granddaughter Jinora earned them at age 11 in The Legend of Korra.
  • Elemental Powers: Hardly a rarity in this universe, but being the Avatar, Aang is the only person innately capable of mastering more than one.
  • Entitled to Have You: Displays some of these traits along with being a (downplayed) Crazy Jealous Guy. He tells Katara: "we kissed at the invasion and I thought we were going to be together" - when in actuality it was no "we" as it was not a mutual kiss. Aang gave Katara a "Shut Up" Kiss which left her upset and confused. Katara not wanting to be in a relationship with him is what leads to him planting another Forceful Kiss on her, resulting in her running away in anger. Only in the finale do they share a mutual kiss, this time with Katara initiating it. The DVD commentary even points out how selfish Aang was being.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: He says, "I was scary" when reflecting on the Avatar State. While not evil in any way, the Avatar state can be a terrifying experience both for the Avatar and the surrounding people.
  • Exposed to the Elements: As a nomad Aang seems to be comfortable in his standard vestments in both the North and South Poles while other characters wear more layered clothes. The Legend of Korra reveals that Airbenders like Firebenders can keep themselves warm with breathing techniques.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Him growing hair between the second season finale and the third season premiere.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: His airbender outfit in season 3 goes over his left shoulder and leaves his right shoulder and part of his chest exposed.
  • Fatal Flaw: Aang's flaw is his conviction. He was raised as a dedicated pacifist, and though he will fight if necessary, he won't kill. When his opponent is the Big Bad who slaughtered Aang's people and oppresses the populace of two nations, this turns out to be a bad thing.
  • The Fettered: Unlike Ozai, who refused to check himself with morality or compassion, Aang is extremely dedicated to his pacifist ideals and will go to great lengths to keep them. This contrast is shown starkly in their final battle. Aang has Ozai on the ropes even before he enters the Avatar state, but Ozai is able to gain the upper hand because Aang will not perform a killing strike.
  • First Girl Wins: Gender Inverted. Aang is the first boy we see Katara meet and ultimately the one she gets with.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Needless to say, Aang is more than slightly overwhelmed about effectively disappearing from the world for the entirety of a century-long war that wiped out his society. Also, literally, as he was stuck in an iceberg for 100 years.
  • Forgiveness: Aang was taught by the Air Nomads to forgive those who hurt him instead of seeking vengeance. He also acknowledged that forgiveness isn't an easy action to do.
  • Fragile Speedster: Like most Airbenders, his original fighting style involves speed, agility, and misdirection more than toughness, which is part of what makes it so hard for him to learn Earthbending, which typically involves enduring attacks rather than dodging them. By the end of the series he's a Master of All.
  • Friend to All Children: As a part of Aang's All-Loving Hero nature, he also happens to be good with little kids.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The Avatar has an innate connection to nature, and Aang is a vegetarian by choice.

  • Genocide Survivor: A hundred years before the start of the series, the Fire Nation wiped out the Air Nomads in hopes of killing Aang, the Avatar, in the process. Aang was the only survivor, ironically enough, because he was trapped in an iceberg the whole time and the Fire Nation never found him. The series delves into how much Aang struggles with being the Last of His Kind, such as when he visits the ruins of his former home and finds his father figure's remains or when he tries to stay true to the values of his culture even though his friends don't fully understand them.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: When he enters the Avatar State.
  • God in Human Form: At base power, he's "merely" a talented bender housing the spirit of light and peace. He falls into Physical God when the Avatar State is activated.
  • God of Good: As the human form of an incredible spirit of light, he maintains equilibrium between the four nations, as well as between the physical and spirit worlds.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Aang comes off as a silly, excitable kid but he's proven to be both clever and more self-aware than he lets on.
  • Good Is Not Soft: For all of Aang's kind-heartedness and sweet demeanor, when he gets pissed, he turns into a cold, ruthless Creepy Child with Glowing Eyes of Doom and the Voice of the Legion.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Sports permanent scars on his back and on the sole of his left foot after being killed by Azula's lightning and revived by Katara.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Zigzagged. Aang has to rise to his responsibilities as the Avatar and leave his childhood behind early, which he never wanted. He later expresses how his feelings with Katara are complicated for him, and Avatar Roku tells him that love gets better as you get older. Furthermore, for most of the story Katara is unsure of her feelings for him, because he has a lot of growing up to do in her eyes. Rising to the challenges of growing up, and displaying selflessness and maturity, win her over in the end.
  • Guest Fighter: Upcoming skin for Merlin in Smite.
  • Harmful to Minors: His reaction when he comes across the skeletons of his entire culture, including his Parental Substitute and mentor Gyatso.
  • Heal the Cutie: He went through a lot of trauma after waking up from a 100-year sleep, to find all his loved ones dead and the world locked in a horrific war, but he rarely let it show much... until he loses Appa. Come "The Serpent's Pass", he shuts down and stops responding to the concerns of his friends. However, seeing Katara help a couple deliver a baby named Hope gets him out of his funk.
    Aang: I thought I was trying to be strong. But really I was just running away from my feelings. Seeing this family together, so full of happiness and love, it's reminded me how I feel about Appa ... and how I feel about you.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Before their battle with Fire Nation, Katara and Aang talk with the former telling the latter how much he has grown over the past year and he's not "the goofy kid she saved from an iceberg".
  • The Hero: He's the main protagonist, and it is his destiny to defeat Ozai and save the world.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: The Avatar State isn't evil, but it's not necessarily good either. Its main concerns are Aang's survival, his rage and sorrow, and maintaining balance. Aang's morals and innocent bystanders are secondary considerations, at best. Luckily, it retains his crush on Katara, and she can calm it with Cooldown Hugs.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Downplayed. In "The Desert", he is genuinely upset at Appa getting kidnapped and desperately tries to find him, but in turn, Aang becomes hostile and aggressive during his search, though no nearly like a villain. Also, he was more motivated by fiding Appa than punishing the kidnappers.
  • Honor Before Reason: Was going to let himself be punished for a crime (that word being used loosely) Kyoshi committed two avatar cycles ago.
  • Hope Bringer: Lampshaded frequently by Katara.
  • Human Popsicle: Until Katara frees him from the iceberg.
  • Humble Hero: Aang rarely "pulls the Avatar card" when asking for leniency, unless he needs to.
  • Hurting Hero: Aang is the last of his people alive and under tremendous pressure to save the world.
  • Hypocrite: When attempting to master the Avatar state with Guru Pathik, at the end he's told that he needs to let go of his worldly attachments, but he thinks of Katara and refuses, unable to understand why he would want to do such a thing. During the series finale, when consulting past Avatars for their wisdom on whether or not he should kill Ozai the last Avatar he consults is fellow air nomad Yangchen, confident that she'll understand his position: As an air nomad, he was raised to believe that, among other things, he should give up worldly attachments in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment. This quite clearly contradicts his earlier position; First he refuses to give up worldly attachments and then later argues in favor of the exact kind of spiritual enlightenment that he rejected before. This could be a case of Character Development, however, as in the first example he seemed to believe that Pathik was telling him he actually had to leave Katara behind or sacrifice her, whereas the second seems to be more a matter of not simply going with whatever she and the others tell him when he thinks it's wrong. After all, Roku showed him in between the two events that it's possible to both be a fully-realized Avatar and have a love life at the same time, so that part of the interpretation would have to change. Still, at least on face value he's making two opposing arguments which both amount to seemingly needless complication of things.
  • An Ice Person: Once he learns Waterbending, Aang is able to turn water into ice effortlessly.
  • I Got Bigger: Throughout the series, Aang's recurrent height is 4 1/2 feet, thus making him the second shortest member of Team Avatar. In the tie-in, sequel comics, Aang's height increases with Toph commenting on it.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Didn't want to be the Avatar and would rather have just been a normal kid.
  • Important Haircut: After letting his hair grow out for the first half of Season 3, he shaves his head again for the big invasion.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Achieving this is what enables him to un-bend Ozai in the finale.
  • The Insomniac: In "Nightmares and Daydreams".
  • Instant Armor: A favored tactic of his earthbending, suiting Aang's defensive nature. He uses it against Azula (twice), Combustion Man and Ozai.
  • Instant Expert: Aang is able to learn basic waterbending and firebending extremely quickly, but his lack of focus prevents him from completely mastering any except airbending (which he started with).
  • Instant Fanclub: Has one on Kyoshi Island and in Ba Sing Se as well.
  • Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!: While Aang has the added advantage of airbending, he uses his Gliderstaff for this purpose numerous times.
  • In the Back: In the finale of Book 2, Aang's attempt to enter the Avatar State is promptly shut down by Azula putting a lightning bolt into his back.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Aang is this trope; he's a pacifist who openly shows his emotions and affections. Toph says this of Aang in "Ember Island Players".
  • I Shall Taunt You: Aang is an advocate of irritating enemies into making mistakes and creating openings.
  • It's All About Me: In the series finale he has a downplayed version of this, as he is hugely hesitant to kill Ozai as a result of his personal beliefs and only seems to be willing to consider it after all four of his lives in the previous Avatar cycle, as well as all his teammates tell him he has to do it. Yangchen even tells Aang that "Selfless duty calls you to sacrifice your own spiritual needs and do whatever it takes to protect the world." Aang almost put the world at stake in favor of his own ideals in his refusal to kill Ozai because the airbenders taught him that all life is sacred (never mind that Gyatso's body was surrounded by the bodies of like twenty Fire Nation soldiers). Subverted in that by continuing to search for and ultimately finding the non-murderous solution he was looking for, he avoided creating a martyr out of Ozai, slowing down whatever spirit of resistance remained to allow his allies to declare victory. He did make the right move to save the world after all.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Especially near the end of the show, when everyone is expecting him to kill Ozai.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: He can control all four elements, but he is not the best with any of them except air, since he is the last one alive. Compared to acknowledged prodigies or young masters like Toph, Katara, and Azula, he is not seen to be particularly powerful at earth, water, or fire outside of the Avatar State. However, he is still a young Avatar who is new to these disciplines, and because of his prodigious talent, is expected to eventually become a Master of All.
  • Jerkass Ball:
    • In "The Desert" after Appa was kidnapped, Aang became hostile and aggressive out of desperation. However, in the next episode, he reverts into the Heroic Safe Mode instead.
    • Briefly, at the beginning of the finale, when it seems the only possible option for dealing with Ozai is to kill him, Aang starts snapping and yelling at everyone else to come up with another solution.
    • During the latter part of season 3, his attempts at romantic interaction with Katara generally come off as uncharacteristically knee-jerk, but this can be attributed to both his age and the mounting constant stress he is enduring. During the series finale Aang seems to have made peace with his feelings and lets Katara instigate their Big Damn Kiss instead.
  • The Juggernaut: A rare heroic type. When he's in the Avatar state, do NOT be in his way. The final battle between the Avatar-State Aang and the Phoenix King Ozai is definitely a great example of what happens when someone tries to fight the juggernaut.
  • Keet: Is very energetic. He is only twelve.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: An energetic yellow-orange colored kid and the youngest member of the core team. He's balancing his love of having fun with responsibilities of his job and growing up. Despite this he's also The Hero, balancing out to Kid Hero below.
  • Kid Hero: Essentially. Though going just by years he's 112, for a hundred of those years he was a Human Popsicle.
  • King in the Mountain: While he's frozen in the iceberg.
  • The Kirk: Often gets caught in between Sokka and Katara in Season 1.
  • Last of His Kind: The Fire Nation killed most, if not all, of the other Airbenders.
  • Laugh of Love: He's a frequent cause of these:
    • In "The Warriors of Kyoshi", Aang's fangirls tend to giggle and squeal when they're with him, much to Katara's jealousy.
    • In "The Fortuneteller", Meng giggles when Aang catches her hands as she accidentally trips while carrying a tray full of snacks, and later when she admits that she's been stalking him.
    • In "The Headband", two Fire Nation girls giggle when Aang, while dancing, gets very close to them before leaping away.
    • He also sometimes laughs when with Katara, who sometimes reciprocates, and they get together at the end of the series.
  • Leitmotif: The main Avatar theme also serves as Aang's leitmotif. It plays whenever he does something badass, but also appears in other situations involving him, like "The Tale of Aang" in "Tales of Ba Sing Se." A humorously distorted version of it also plays in "The Serpent's Pass," when the Avatar-cosplayers waiting for the ferry are shown.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: Aang forms a Gender Inverted example with Zuko, being the light feminine (peaceful, gentle, open with his emotions) to Zuko's dark feminine (brooding, short-tempered, moody).
  • The Lightfooted: Aang's has been given the name "Twinkletoes" by Toph. He's able to float down gently from ten feet in the air.
  • Lightning Bruiser: By the second season, Aang becomes this as he still is the quick on his feet but now has the destructive force of Earthbending.
  • Like a Son to Me: Gyatso was the closest thing Aang had to a father; likewise Aang was the closest thing Gyatso had to a son.
  • Likes Older Women: Has a crush on Katara who is (biologically) two years older than him.
  • Living Relic: Called as such by Professor Zei, though he's not as old as most examples.
  • Love at First Sight: It's implied, and later confirmed by 'Avatar Extras,' that Aang fell for Katara when he first saw her after being freed from the iceberg.

  • MacGuffin Super Person: Aang is a textbook example, being hunted by every villainous force in the series.
  • Magical Boyfriend: Towards Katara. He's an energetic, kind, generous messiah-figure that helps her achieve everything she ever wanted to.
  • Making a Splash: Once he learns Waterbending. He was able to pick up basic moves very quickly, though more advanced moves take more time compared to more adept waterbenders.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Guy: Interestingly, Aang is this to Katara, with him being the cheerful, quirky little thing who teaches the heroine to relax and have fun.
  • Martial Arts Headband: He has one in the third season to cover his arrow.
  • Martial Pacifist: Aang being an Airbender and all only fights when absolutely necessary.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Aang is an easygoing, energetic, and non-confrontational Martial Pacifist. Toph is a bullheaded and casually violent brawler and former Professional Earthbender who is about his (physical) age. Lampshaded in "The Ember Island Players", where they watch a Show Within a Show that has Aang portrayed by a Genki Girl and Toph by a huge Boisterous Bruiser bodybuilder man, and she actually liked the idea.
  • Master of One Magic: He excels at Airbending, having invented at least one new technique for it and risen to the rank of master at a very young age. While he does master the other three elements, he never picks up the advanced techniques, such as healing, Bloodbending, Metalbending, or proper Lightning generation, though he is able to redirect lightning.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Aang was written 安昂 , meaning "peaceful soaring" in Chinese and Vietnamese.
    • The name Aang is similar to the Malaysian and Indonesian word angin and Filipino word hangin, meaning "wind". Aang is also the Inuit word for "hello", which could be a reference to his friendly nature.
  • Messianic Archetype: Being a God in Human Form, a natural pacifist, and even temporarily dying at the end of Book 2 clearly paints him as one of these.
  • Monkey King Lite: He is a young, rambunctious boy that wields a staff, rides a flying apparatus (Sun Wukong riding a cloud, Aang riding Appa) with divine powers (as one would expect from the Avatar). Both end up entrapped for many years (Sun Wukong having been trapped beneath a mountain by the Buddha, Aang within a glacier) and would later join a group of people on a journey that would strengthen them spiritually and enrich the world around them (Sun Wukong learning the tenants of Buddhism on their search for the sacred texts, Aang learning the other bending arts to defeat Fire Lord Ozai and restoring balance).
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Aang feels tremendous guilt over not being there for the Air Nomads when the Fire Nation attacked.
    • He feels great shame for accidentally burning Katara's hands because of his careless firebending.
  • Nature Spirit: Subverted, actually. Though the Avatar was originally suggested to be this, as per The Legend of Korra he's actually just a normal human that has a spirit of light bonded with him.
  • Nice Guy: Aang is peaceful, fun-loving, polite, respects all life (including enemies), and is respectful of the cultures of others.
  • Nice Hat: He has a few that he wears over the course of the series, mostly when he needs to hide his arrow.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Happened when he began to stress over facing Ozai in Book 3.
  • Offhand Backhand: Aang does this to a rock while riding Appa and again to Sokka with earthbending while blindfolded.
  • Official Couple: With Katara.
  • Older Than He Looks: Due to being frozen for a hundred years he's actually 112.
  • One-Man Army: He's the Avatar after all.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Aang is the only one who can fight Ozai, though not for the usual reasons for this trope. Simply having just anyone defeat Ozai doesn't guarantee an end to the war, because it would result in even more war and conflict. Since Aang is The Chosen One, defeating Ozai would be an act of divine providence and a signal that he was in the right.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Aang is usually a very happy-go-lucky kid. He's very peaceful and spiritual, and has stated repeatedly that he doesn't eat meat. Then in "The Desert", his best friend and pet since he was a kid, Appa, is stolen by Sandbenders. The normally cheerful Aang spends the entire episode being cranky, aggressive, and angry. He even kills a wasp-buzzard that tried to take one of his other friends even after the threat it posed was gone. When they run into the Sandbenders who stole Appa, you know they're in for a world of hurt.
  • Papa Wolf: If any harm comes to Appa or Momo, you better pray you're not the one who did it. Otherwise, you'll have the Avatar in an Unstoppable Rage.
  • Parental Abandonment: A weird case, as his parents are never seen, nor even mentioned. It's like he was born out of thin air. Even if he did have parents, no chance that they survived the purge. Supplementary material informs that Aang's parents gave him to the monks to raise after it was revealed he was the Avatar.
  • Peter Pan Parody: Aang himself bears multiple resemblances to Peter Pan, having been a child much longer than normal (having been trapped in the ice for 100 years), is capable of flight (thanks to his airbending), his affinity to mystic forces (him being the Avatar predisposing him to general Spirit World weirdness), is prone to childish jokes (though he tries to keep his carefree actions from hurting anyone, feeling great remorse if it accidentally does), adopting a ragtag group of children as a surrogate family (Team Avatar) and antagonizing (physically) older men in positions of authority (Zuko, Zhao, Long Feng, Ozai, etc). This is cemented in "The Ember Island Players", where Aang is played by a spritely woman in a stage play adaptation of his adventures as a reference to the tradition of Peter Pan being potrayed by a woman.
  • Physical God: By himself he's just a God in Human Form, but if you manage to push him into the Avatar State, you've lost the fight, if not your life. Only Azula has managed to beat him while he's in it, and that's only because she sneak-attacked him in the back while he was transforming. The most generous way to describe his final fight in the Grand Finale would be as a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Notes in the art book indicate that Aang is only 4 and a half feet tall, but he is still one of the most powerful benders alive.
  • Plagued by Nightmares: Downplayed. He becomes deeply stressed as the Day of Black Sun approaches. He begins having nightmares akin to those of a kid the night before an exam, where his battle goes comically wrong, such as him showing up without pants and Ozai making fun of Aang, causing him to become sleep deprived and neurotic.
  • Playing with Fire: Once he learned how to use firebending. He was initially reluctant to learn this at first, thinking of fire as evil, but he was eventually able to learn a different form of firebending that focuses on life.
  • The Pollyanna: Usually remains cheery and upbeat in spite of the Crapsack World he lives in.
  • Power Floats: When he enters the Avatar State, he levitates off of the ground.
  • Power Glows: When he enters the Avatar State, his arrow tattoos glow white.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: At first, activating the Avatar state left him weak and visibly exhausted. As the series went on, this disappeared.
  • Power Tattoo: Arrow tattoos to denote his mastery of airbending, which glow when he uses his Avatar powers.
  • Primary-Color Champion: He has a blue arrow tattoo, and starts off with orange and yellow clothing. This is later replaced with a dark orange robe.
  • Principles Zealot: He adamantly sticks to his Martial Pacifist views and Thou Shalt Not Kill stance, to the point that in the finale, he desperately looks for a non-lethal way to defeat the Fire Lord and end the war even as his friends and four of his previous lives insist that the only way to stop Ozai is to kill him.
  • Razor Wind: Airbending slice! Although Aang rarely uses this side of Airbending and almost never on a living being, in a moment of rage after losing Appa in Season 2 he coldly bisects a fleeing vulture-wasp that had tried to eat Momo.
  • Reckless Pacifist: Sure, he'd never kill anyone directly, but his collateral damage record is hard to ignore.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Zuko's red (during their training). Though he also could be red to the rest of his friend's blue due to his childlike nature while the rest tend to be more serious and less naive.
  • Refusal of the Call: Discovering that he was the Avatar pretty much ruined his life, as everyone saw the Physical God and not the twelve-year old that desperately needed companionship. Running from it resulted in his life being completely ruined, as he Slept Through the Apocalypse of his people.
  • Reincarnation: Of the previous Avatars, most recently, Roku.
  • Relative Button: Don’t mess with Appa. Just... don’t.
  • Retcon: The main series never explained what the Avatar State was or what made the avatar so special. Only a tie-in game briefly spoke of The Avatar being the spirit of the planet in a human body. Legend of Korra book 2 then spent a two-parter establishing that the Avatars (Roku, Aang, Korra herself etc.) are all basically Heroic Hosts for Raava, the spirit of light and peace, and when the current host dies, Raava takes them with her to the next one.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Played with, while Aang is certainly the youngest and most naive member of his team he is also the most worldly and the most experienced combatant.
  • Running Gag: In the comics, Aang has a notion of saying something brazen just seconds before someone else says something which shoves his foot back into his mouth.

  • Sad Clown: His cheerful exterior and fun-loving personality is a way to cope and ignore the guilt he feels for running away from his home and people and getting frozen, allowing the Fire Nation to wage war for a century, wiping out his people. He finally faces his guilt later on when he's mentored by Guru Pathik.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: There have been times when Sokka, and in one instance Zuko, have used sarcasm only for Aang to miss it completely. One particularly notable instance is when Aang is confiding in Sokka about his struggles with learning earthbending, while Sokka is stuck in a hole, and describes his situation using words that perfectly and literally describe Sokka's predicament. Sokka lampshades it using sarcasm, which goes completely over Aang's head.
  • Scars Are Forever: Suffers a permanent scar on his back from being shot with lightning by Azula. He also has one on the sole of his left foot, where the lightning left his body.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: As he proves eventually afterwards.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Unsealed in the series premiere.
  • Second Love: For Katara, since Jet was her first.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sweet, playful Sensitive Guy to sarcastic, grounded Sokka's Manly Man.
  • Shirtless Scene: Frequently in Season 3. Aang has a perfectly good shirt he could be wearing... he just chooses not to. Because all the fire he has to deal with would burn his clothes off if he did. Clothes just don't play well with fire.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Katara in The Promise and The Search. All the cuddling and petnames give Sokka 'oogies'.
  • Simple Staff: His Weapon of Choice. When he has to improvise with a spear he even breaks off the head.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Showed interest in Katara and ONLY Katara from the moment he met her.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: Extremely skilled, master airbender and skilled in the other three bending arts as well, but he's extremely (often willfully) blind to how the world is. He spent most of the last season hemming and hawing over being confronted with the idea that he would have to kill Ozai. Before it was thrown right in his face he never considered that it would take more than just beating the guy in a fight to magically solve every problem in the world.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: He entombed himself and Appa in an iceberg and as a result missed The Purge of his people. At one point, he has a nightmare about missing the Fire Nation invasion.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Aang may seem like just a goofy kid but he's alo a wise and understanding person who gives insightful advice.
  • Soul Power: Energybending which can remove bending from a bender.
  • Sphere of Power: During the series finale he creates a sphere of air around himself, and supplements it with other elements. Provides the picture for that page, in fact.
  • Stock Shōnen Hero: Downplayed. Due to the anime influence of the series, Aang plays much of the trope straight. He's a naive and excitable Kid Hero with nearly infinite compassion, extends a kind hand to anyone, and cherishes his family and friends above all else. He's the current incarnation of the Avatar, which pretty much amounts to being the most powerful bender on the planet. One of the main plot points in the series is Aang becoming stronger in order to defeat the Evil Overlord. However, he also inverts many core aspects of the trope, such as being more of a Keet than Hot-Blooded, In Touch with His Feminine Side and not being a Big Eater, and finally being a Martial Pacifist rather than a Blood Knight or Spirited Competitor.
  • Strong and Skilled: Aang has the natural strength and skill to utilize all four elements in combat.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Aang looks like a skinny kid but he has been shown to be able to carry two people with his gliding staff.
  • Super Mode: The Avatar State.
  • Superpower Lottery: Can learn all types of bending, not just his native one. He masters the basics very quickly thanks to his millennia of experience through past lives, and has a defense mechanism that sends him into Super Mode.
  • Super Speed: He can give himself a boost with a tailwind, thanks to his airbending.
  • Survivor Guilt: From the Air Nomad Genocide.
    Aang: "The Fire Nation attacked our temple. My people needed me, and I wasn't there to help."
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Katara was his (second) waterbending instructor and they became an Official Couple in the series finale.
  • Teens Are Short: According to the art book, he's about 4 1/2 feet. For comparison, Katara is not even 5' and she's still about a head taller than Aang.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: This becomes a plot point in the finale, where he's torn up by the possibility that he will have to kill Ozai for the good of the world.
  • Token Flyer: Aang is the sole airbender in the cast, and as such the only one of the main characters (not counting Team Pet Appa) who is able to fly, either by using his glider-staff or by levitating through airbending. Unusually for this trope, he's also the main protagonist.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When first met, he is a scared boy who, from his perspective, just learned he was to be the Savior of the World and must leave home from the only man he knew as a father. Now the world is in danger and so he shirks his responsibilities. Less than a year later, he is a fully competent Avatar, Master of All the Elements. Even without using the Avatar State, he can hold his own against a super-powered Phoenix King Ozai. When he finally activates the Avatar State, it is a no holds contest.
  • Too Qualified to Apply: A flashback in "The Storm" shows that after Aang was publicly revealed to be the Avatar the other airbender kids stopped playing competitive games with him because they felt he'd have an unfair advantage, even though his actual level of ability hadn't changed.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: "The Great Divide" reveals Aang has an intense liking towards egg custard in a tart.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Aang enters the Avatar State, he seems perfectly serene. Unless he's in a raging fury instead.
  • Troll: Becomes a rare benevolent one in "The Deserter". He trolls the HELL out of Admiral Zhao by using his lack of self-control against him. It's actually very effective: Zhao accidentally destroys his entire fleet in the process.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Being a pacifistic monk, he is inclined to do this. Unfortunately, this mindset is what makes learning earth bending so difficult.
  • Underestimating Badassery: He's a 12 year old goofball with the ability to master all four elements and restore balance to the world. Not to mention that if you piss him off enough, he'll enter his Unstoppable Rage superpowered Avatar State.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Subverted when it comes to the other elements he is a naturally gifted bender due to being the Avatar but when he first uses each of the elements he has little technique due to his lack of experience, as he mostly relies on his raw power to fight with them, but later on he is shown to be a very quick learner and can now uses them to his full advantage.
  • Unstoppable Rage: While in the Avatar State. He be becomes insanely powerful and very ferocious to the point of becoming an apocalyptic juggernaut.
  • Uptown Guy: Zigzagged. While Aang is the Avatar (a position considered equal to or higher than royalty) fell in love with Katara (a girl from the struggling Southern Water Tribe). However, since Katara is the daughter of the Southern Tribe Chief, this technically makes her a princess.
  • Waif-Fu: Aang is a Gender-Inverted Trope of this. While Toph is about the same size as he is, she's much more smashy with her fighting technique. Aang is the lightest and smallest fighter in the whole series, whose biggest physical talent lies in a fighting style that emphasizes speed and grace. Naturally, being the avatar, he can kick more butt than anyone else on the show.
  • Wake-Up Call: Aang got comfortable on Kyoshi Island due to his fanbase, forgetting about the war that he as the avatar was supposed to stop. And then Zuko attacked, giving Aang the reminder of his responsibilities he needed.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Because of the Fire Nation's Stern Chase.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In the later half of Season 3.
  • Warrior Monk: Aang was raised by monks and taught their teachings. He's also a master airbender who later becomes a fully realized Avatar.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Aang could be considered this, especially before he learns the other Bending skills. Airbending itself mostly relies on evading. Bumi taunts him with this;
    Bumi: Typical Airbender tactics, avoid and evade. I was hoping the Avatar would be a little less *kicks a rock at the Avatar* PREDICTABLE.
  • Weapon Twirling: Justified. He uses his staff to create wind attacks (or defenses) this way.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Aang starts off this way. But being shouldered with the weight of the Avatar Spirit, his entire people dying, Appa's kidnapping and the horrors of war quickly got rid of it.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Katara. They Do.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: He is only twelve but has the WIS score of 20. But then again, he is the Avatar. He is chronologically a hundred and twelve years old. He was frozen in time for a hundred years, so mentally he was still twelve at the beginning of the series. He matured a lot throughout the show, however. A point is made of this in "The Southern Raiders". When Katara sets off to avenge her mother's death with Prince Zuko, Aang makes it a point to advise her several times. At the end, Sokka responds with the line: "You know, for a kid, you're pretty wise. Usually it's annoying, but right now I'm just impressed."
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Aang isn't evil or villainous in any way, but it is scary when he gets upset and goes into the Avatar State.
  • World's Strongest Man: At the end of his story he definitely qualifies for this title as nobody in the world can match him in bending due to being able to master his powers to their fullest extent without any recoil.
  • Younger Mentor, Older Disciple: Due to what his age actually is, Aang is often older than anybody who teaches him. This is especially the case with Toph who is younger than him both physically and officially.


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