The Boy In The Iceberg – An Avatar Aang Breakdown
There’s a lot of new Avatar consent incoming and it’s been a while since the original show aired. So let’s review the boy who started it all – Avatar Aang.
It’s been a few years since Avatar: The Last Airbender has been on TV. But the love fans have for the series is still going strong. And there’s been a pretty steady stream of content for fans who know where to look for it. There’s Legend of Korra, books, comics, a live-action movie we don’t speak of, and an upcoming live-action streaming series that we may yet speak of. But recently we heard that the first feature-length animated movie will take us back to the original gaang. We’re all undoubtedly excited, but as we said, it’s been a few years. So let’s take a minute to review the boy in the iceberg who started it all; Avatar Aang.
Avatar Aang – Early Life
Aang was born to two unknown Air Nomads and was discovered quickly to be the reincarnation of the previous Avatar, Roku. He was taken from his family and raised in the Southern Air Temple by monk Gyatso. Though, for a long time Aang didn’t know that he was the Avatar or what role he would have to play, he was trained to be one of the most powerful air benders, chose his Air Bison companion, Appa, and traveled all over the world.
Though it was customary to tell the new Avatar who they were at the age of sixteen, the monks saw the signs of the approaching war and told Aang at twelve, four years late. Aang felt burdened by the weight of his destiny, isolated as the other children stopped playing with him, and eventually, he and Appa ran away from home. They quickly got caught in a storm and crashed into the ocean. Here Aang entered the Avatar state for possibly the first time and using a combination of water and air bending, sealed them safely into an iceberg.
The Hundred Year War
Avatar Aang and Appa slept in the iceberg for a hundred years. On the outside the war that the Air Nomads foresaw had come to pass and continued to rage on. The pair were found by Katara and Sokka of the Southern Water Tribe, and quickly befriended the both of them. But as a newly re-discovered Avatar, Aang had a laundry list of tasks ahead of him. He had not yet learned to control any of the other elements, war threatened the future of the entire world, and he soon learned that he was being actively hunted by Fire Prince Zuko.
The team traveled to the North Pole where Aang began learning water bending and had their first major victor against the Fire Nation, before traveling to the Earth Kingdom to find an earth bending teacher. Here they met Toph, who was blind and slightly younger than the rest of the team, but a more than capable fighter and teacher.
Avatar Aang would go on many more adventures, enter the Avatar state, and even enter the spirit world numerous times before finding a suitable fire-bending teacher. But in the end, Prince Zuko, disillusioned with his father’s campaign of the war, made amends with Avatar Aang and helped him learn to control flames as well as the other elements.
The battle between Aang and Fire Lord Ozai was a difficult one for Aang. As an Avatar he had a duty to do the best thing for the world. But as an Air Nomad, he was raised to be a pacifist and consider all life sacred. In the end, he defeated Ozai and ended the war without killing him by taking away his ability to fire bend.
Avatar Aang – Adulthood and Legacy
After the Hundred Year War, Avatar Aang devoted himself to restoring peace across the world. But things kept bogging him down. Fire Lord Zuko was hesitant to disband the fire nation colonies who had made homes for themselves a hundred years ago. Instead, he prioritized finding his long-lost mother. And Aang discovered a group of people who dedicated themselves to the peaceful life of the all-but-extinct Air Nomads. Cities in crisis and a nationalist attack on Southern Water Tribe disrupted Aang’s attempt at restoring peace.
But after many years of singular dedication, something akin to peace was founded. The former Fire Nation colonies were formed into their own government known as the United Republic of Nations. This was meant to be home to any bender or non-bender alike. In reality, the capital, Republic City, had a high crime rate. This escalated to Avatar Aang having to take the bending abilities of Yakone, a bloodbender.
Aang and Katara eventually married and had three children. During this time he scoured the remains of the air temples for tangible pieces of his lost culture such as documents or recipes. Unfortunately, the hundred years Aang spent frozen changed his life expectancy significantly. At the age of sixty-six, he had used all of his energy, weighing heavily on his body. Avatar Aang made sure that the Order of the White Lotus would watch after the next Avatar then passed away.
This wasn’t the last we see of him though and his legacy continued. Avatar Korra communed with Aang in the spirit world when she needed help. And Aangs work to help restore the Air Nomads ensured that their culture wasn’t lost forever.
Who is your favorite Avatar? Are you excited about the upcoming animated movie? Have you read any of the Avatar comics or books? Let us know in the comments!