Avatar: The Last Airbender – 10 things you never noticed in the first episode


Almost two decades after its release, Avatar: The Last Airbender remains one of the most profound and philosophical children’s shows in the history of television. That’s because of endless reasons – from its immersive, fantasy world-building, to its powerful storytelling based on real-life historical events, endearing character arcs, and so much more.

RELATED: Avatar In 10 Ways: The Last Airbender Only Got Better Over Time

That being said, the first episode of the series does a fantastic but subtle job of setting the scene for major story arcs that would reveal themselves later in the narrative, as well as introducing little details that make the viewer think even more. deeply to the series. . Noting these things can not only help viewers gain a better understanding of the character evolutions, but also the key messages of the story as a whole.


ten Prince Zuko was the first person to recognize Aang as the avatar

Prince Zuko spots the avatar's energy beam

When that first flash of light crossed the sky as Aang emerged from his century-long glacial confinement, Zuko was the first character to deduce that this powerful source of light must only come from the Avatar himself.

RELATED: Avatar: The 12 Episodes Zuko Grows Up The Most, Ranked

Uncle Iroh was quick to dismiss this idea with the Heavenly Lights claim, and in a later episode, when Zuko reveals to Katara and Sokka that Aang is the Avatar, they are both equally shocked and disbelieving. Aang consciously tried to hide his Avatar status at the very beginning, but the only person he couldn’t cheat was the one whose honor depended on his capture.

9 Uncle Iroh places an air tile on a fire tile in his deck of cards

Uncle Iroh places an air tile on a fire tile

Before Uncle Iroh manifests his love for Pai Sho (a result of his ties to the Order of the White Lotus), we first see him playing a card game, similar to solitaire, but using instead symbols of each of the four elements as a costume. As Zuko explains that he has found the Avatar, Iroh calmly places an air tile on top of a fire tile. It may hint at the Avatars’ cycle of reincarnation (an airbender following the late Avatar Roku, a firebender), or it could be a representation of Iroh’s internal belief that an airbender , especially the Avatar, would eventually defeat the Fire Nation.

8 Aang was in the avatar state for 100 years

Aang's bright-eyed avatar state in the iceberg

Just before the war against the Fire Nation began 100 years ago, Aang had entered the Avatar State underwater and channeled that energy to form a giant ice sphere around him and her. Appa to save them from drowning in the catastrophic storm. To preserve their lives under these conditions, it is likely that Aang must have been in the Avatar state the entire time.

One might wonder how did Appa stay alive all the time as well? This can be answered by assuming that the block of ice itself was constructed by the energy of the Avatar state, allowing Aang and his flying bison to remain alive until they are discovered. .

7 Aang’s advice to Katara would lead her to master waterbending

Katara watches Aang in a snowy landscape

Katara’s true waterbending potential is first revealed when she unwittingly shatters an ice formation, proving that her abilities are much stronger than she once thought, especially when she casts her inhibitions aside. This correlates with Aang’s wisdom spoken to Katara as they explore an abandoned Fire Nation ship: “If you want to be a master, you have to let go of fear.”

These words become a motif that reflects the evolution of Katara’s waterbending. In several early episodes, Katara is seen only using her bending for functional or defensive purposes, such as freezing attackers for protection. Later, however, Katara learns to let go of fear in order to channel her bending in a much more tacit and combative way, taking her skills and courage to the next level.

6 Sokka shows maturity while protecting her sister

Sokka protects Katara

An undeniable feature of Sokka and Katara’s bond is their sibling love / hate relationship. Katara, in Sokka’s eyes, is tense and demanding, while for Katara, Sokka is immature and obnoxious, despite being older. However, that last notion is suspended for a moment when Sokka shields his sister from the impact of Aang’s iceberg eruption, covering her head with his arms.

RELATED: Avatar The Last Airbender: 5 Ways Sokka & Katara Look Alike (& 5 Ways They’re Completely Different)

Even though Sokka can be empty-headed at times, he knows what his priorities and duties are as a soldier and older brother, and only grows towards that maturity and bravery as the series progresses.

5 Uncle Iroh’s advice to Zuko would be taken over by Zuko to Sun Warrior City

Iroh teaches Zuko

When Zuko becomes increasingly frustrated with practicing firebending exercises, his uncle Iroh proclaims that he is exercising his firebending from all the wrong sources. He says, “The breath becomes energy in the body. The energy extends beyond your limbs and becomes fire! Rather, Zuko’s bending seemed to come from a place of resentment and revenge.

Towards the end of the series, after Zuko and Aang performed the dragon dance with the firebending masters in the ancient city of the Sun Warriors, Zuko said, “I understand” and Aang also looks into this. revelation: I thought firebending was destruction. But now I know what it really is… it’s energy and life. Turns out Uncle Iroh was right from the start – who knew?

4 Sokka’s dirty socks and sexism saved the world

Katara breaks the iceberg with waterbending

When Sokka and Katara get stranded after crashing their canoe, Sokka sighs, “Leave it to a girl to mess it up.” At this, Katara bursts into a tirade: “You are the most sexist, the most immature and the most foolish – I am embarrassed to be related to you! ” With each insult, she cracks the ice structure behind her even more violently, and with the final blow – “Have you ever smelled your socks dirty?” Not pleasant! ”- bursts it completely, allowing Aang’s iceberg to float to the surface.

That being said, it’s safe to say that Sokka’s behavior and that Katara is fed up with him are what freed the Avatar in the first place. If this altercation hadn’t happened at the right time, Fire Lord Ozai would have used Comet of Sozin to destroy what was left of the world with nothing in its path.

3 Each book begins on a ship and with Aang waking up from a deep sleep

Aang and Katara meet eyes on the iceberg

Two things the first episodes of each book share with each other is that they all start on some form of ship, as well as with Aang waking up from a deep sleep. In Book 1, Sokka and Katara get on their canoe before discovering Aang, and of course, Aang is awakened from his conservation of ice for a century.

In Book 2, Aang and his friends travel to the Earth Kingdom on a Water Tribe ship as Aang awakens from a nightmare about the Avatar state. In Book 3, the first episode is titled “The Awakening”, and Aang emerges from unconsciousness after sustaining severe combat injuries, only to find himself aboard a Fire Nation ship.

2 First introduction to animal hybrids in the Avatar universe

Tiger seals roar at avatar light beam

Once immersed in the series, it is easy to understand that each animal is a combination of two animals. Appa, for example, is a cross between a buffalo and a manatee, and Momo is essentially half bat, half lemur. Fans believe that spirits, who owned animals long ago, may be responsible for creating these animal hybrids of the world.

RELATED: Avatar: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Appa

Either way, viewers are introduced to this phenomenon in the first episode. When the energy of Aang’s Avatar radiates across the sky, they are greeted with a fierce roar from none other than a pair of tiger seals. And let’s not forget – later in the episode, when Aang and Katara are sledding with penguins, the little guys are actually half otter, half penguin.

1 This is the only episode that extends the avatar theme to the title card.

Avatar Book One Chapter One

Each episode in the series uses the same song for the intro sequence – that is, the Avatar theme, but when each episode displays the book number and episode name, that is, a melody unique to that. episode is played, or there is no sound at all. However, it is only in the first episode of the series that the Avatar theme is executed from the opening sequence to the display of the title card, giving viewers an expanded version of the theme, as well as an opening. much grander and more epic in the series. .

NEXT: ATLA: 10 Heroes Who Should Have Spent More Screen Time


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