|Avatar: The Last Airbender/The Legend of Korra character|
|First appearance||"The Boy in the Iceberg (Book 1: Water)"|
|Created by||Michael Dante DiMartino
|Portrayed by||Noah Ringer (The Last Airbender)|
|Voiced by||Zach Tyler Eisen (original series)
Mitchel Musso (Unaired Pilot)
Ben Helms (Nicktoons MLB)
Noah Ringer (The Last Airbender)
D. B. Sweeney (Adult Aang (The Legend of Korra))
|Full name||Avatar Aang|
|Nickname(s)||Bonzu Pipinpadaloxicopolis the Third
|Occupation||Avatar (Mediator of balance, peace, order and reconciliation)|
Appa (animal guide)
Raava (Deity, personification of harmony and concord)
Roku (immediate predecessor)
Korra (immediate reincarnation)
Bumi (firstborn son)
Tenzin (second son)
|Age||Pre-series: Born 13 years before "0 ASC"
Avatar: The Last Airbender: 12 (biological) / 112 (chronological) in 100 ASC
Comic books: 13 (biological) / 113 (chronological)
The Legend of Korra: Deceased 66 (biological) / 154 (chronological) in "153 ASC"
|Bending Element||Air (native)
|Hair color||Black / Dark Brown (generally shaven)|
|Eye color||Hazel / Gray|
Aang (安昂 ān áng ) is a fictional character and the main protagonist for Nickelodeon's animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender (created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko), voiced by Zach Tyler Eisen.
Aang is the last surviving Airbender, a monk of the Air Nomads' Southern Air Temple. He is an incarnation of the "Avatar", the spirit of the planet manifested in human form. As the Avatar, Aang controls all of the elements and is tasked with keeping the Four Nations at peace. At 12 years old, Aang is the series' reluctant hero, spending a century in suspended animation before joining new friends Katara and Sokka on a quest to master the elements and save their world from the imperialist Fire Nation.
Aang has appeared in other media, such as trading cards, video games, T-shirts, and web comics. Aang has also appeared portrayed by Noah Ringer in the feature film The Last Airbender, and voiced by D.B. Sweeney in the sequel animated series The Legend of Korra.
- 1 Creation and conception
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Critical reception
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Creation and conception
Aang's character was developed from a drawing by Bryan Konietzko, depicting a bald man with an arrowlike design on his head, which the artist developed into a picture of a child with a flying bison. Meanwhile, Michael Dante DiMartino was interested in a documentary about explorers trapped in the South Pole, which he later combined with Konietzko's drawing.
There's an air guy along with these water people trapped in a snowy wasteland...and maybe some fire people are pressing down on them...—Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko
The plot they described corresponds with the first and second episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender, where the "water people" (Katara and Sokka) rescue the "air guy" (Aang) while "trapped in a snowy wasteland" (the Southern Water Tribe) with "some fire people [that] are pressing down on them" (Fire Nation Troops and Zuko). The creators of the show intended Aang to be trapped in an iceberg for one thousand years, later to wake inside a futuristic world, wherein he would have a robot named Momo and a dozen bison. The creators lost interest in this theme, and changed it to one hundred years of suspended animation. The robotic Momo became a flying lemur, and the herd of bison was reduced to one.
Airbending, the martial art Aang primarily uses in the show, is based on an "internal" Chinese martial art called Baguazhang. This fighting style focuses on circular movements, and does not have many finishing moves; traits meant to represent the unpredictability of air and the peaceful character of Airbenders.
In the episode "Tales of Ba Sing Se", Aang’s name was written as 安昂 (ān áng) in Chinese.
Personality and characteristics
Michael Dante DiMartino, the show's co-creator, said:
We wanted Aang to solve problems and defeat enemies with his wits as well as his powerful abilities.—Michael Dante DiMartino
According to the show's creators, "Buddhism and Taoism have been huge inspirations behind the idea for Avatar." As shown in "The King of Omashu" and "The Headband", a notable aspect of Aang's character is his vegetarian diet, which is consistent with Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. In the Brahmajala Sutra, a Buddhist code of ethics, vegetarianism is encouraged. Furthermore, the writers gave Aang a consistent reluctance to fight and an aversion to killing. In "The Spirit World (Winter Solstice, Part 1)", Aang encounters an angry spirit destroying a village and kidnapping villagers; but instead of fighting the spirit, Aang negotiates. He is also depicted showing ethical reluctance in killing Firelord Ozai, and eventually strips Ozai of his bending instead of killing him.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
After the death of Avatar Roku, Aang was born and raised by Monk Gyatso, a friend of his previous life. But due to Sozin's war, the other monks reveal Aang's identity as the Avatar and attempt to take the boy from Gyatso. This causes Aang to flee the monastery on his flying bison Appa before being caught by a storm, and later encased in an air-pocket among icebergs.
Book One: Water
After one hundred years of suspended animation in an iceberg, twelve-year old Aang was freed when found by Katara and Sokka yet unaware of the events that occurred during his rest. His reawakening catching the attention of Zuko, the banished prince of the Fire Nation, Aang is forced to leave with Katara and Sokka accompanying them when they learn he is the Avatar. Aang and his new friends visit the Southern Air Temple where they meet a winged lemur that Aang later names Momo. It was there that Aang learns that he was in the ice for a whole century and that the Fire Nation wiped out his people, including Gyatso.
After a series of misadventures, Aang meets his previous incarnation Avatar Roku informing him that he must master all four bending arts and defeat Fire Lord Ozai before the coming of Sozin's Comet at the end of summer. Upon arriving to the Northern Water Tribe, after a few conflicts, Aang became an apprentice of Waterbending master Pakku alongside Katara. After helping the Water Tribe drive off a Fire Nation invasion headed by Admiral Zhao, with Katara as his teacher, Aang and his group journey to the Earth Kingdom to find an earthbending teacher.
Book Two: Earth
In the second season, Aang learns earthbending from twelve-year old Toph Bei Fong, a blind earthbending prodigy, after he has a vision of her in a swamp. On their journey, they are chased by Fire Princess Azula and her friends Mai and Ty Lee. After learning of the Day of Black Sun in a secret underground library, Aang and his group attempt to reveal the information to the Earth King at Ba Sing Se. However, their flying bison Appa is captured by sandbenders. Aang grows upset and angry and confronts the sandbenders learning Appa has been sold. After stopping a Fire Nation drill threatening the safety of Ba Sing Se, they look for Appa only to find themselves dealing with the Dai Li before exposing their leader's deception. The group reunites with Jet helping them find Appa at Dai Li headquarters. They expose the Hundred Year War to the Earth King who promises to help them invade the Fire Nation. Soon after, Aang meets a guru who attempts to teach Aang to open his seven chakras in order to control the defensive 'Avatar State'; but when Aang perceives Katara in danger, he leaves before the seventh chakra is opened, and thus loses his progress until the seventh is opened. Though Aang manages to unlock the Seventh Chakra, he is mortally wounded by Azula, yet was saved by Katara before the injury became truly fatal.
Book Three: Fire
In the third and final season, Aang is unable to use the Avatar State. Although reluctant with the plan at first, Aang accepts to have everyone think he had died before and his remaining allies attack the Fire Nation's capital; but are thwarted by Azula. However, Zuko has a change of heart, rebels against Ozai, and offers to teach Aang firebending. Aang and Zuko also improve their firebending powers with the help of their world's last two dragons.
During the finale, finding himself on a strange island, Aang is reluctant to actually kill Ozai despite his four previous past lives convincing him it is the only way. But upon learning that he was actual on the back of a Lion Turtle, one of four that made the first benders by manipulating humans' chi, Aang receives the Lion Turtles' Energybending ability. With this ability as he regained his Avatar State, Aang removes Ozai's bending ability, rendering him harmless and ending the Hundred Year War. Later, in the Fire Nation capital, Aang is seen beside Zuko while the latter is appointed Fire Lord. The series end with Aang and his friends relaxing at Iroh's tea shop at Ba Sing Se, where Aang and Katara share a kiss.
Aang appears in the comic Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise that follows Aang and his friends after the events of the third season. In the comic, Zuko asks Aang to kill him if Zuko follows his father Ozai's footsteps. Additionally, Aang is confronted with the "Avatar Fan Movement", a growing group of young individuals trying to live as the air nomads did, but Aang views these people as parodying and denigrating the memory of his people. He also has a more limited role in the direct sequel Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search.
The Legend of Korra
In the sequel series The Legend of Korra, it is stated that Avatar Aang aided Fire Lord Zuko in founding Republic City. In the following years, Aang and Katara had married and had three children: Bumi named after King Bumi of Omashu (Aang's friend), Kya named after Kya (Katara's mother), and Tenzin. In his adult years, Aang grew a neatly cropped chinstrap beard, which many statues of the adult Aang depict him with, including the one in the restored Southern Air Temple.
In 128 ASC, a forty-year old Aang assisted Toph in arresting Water Tribe crime lord Yakone. After attending his arrest, Aang watched the trial, where Yakone was convicted of using the rare and illegal technique bloodbending. Yakone then tried to escape Republic City by using his unique abilities to subdue everyone in the court room, thus leaving them unconscious. Able to resist Yakone's bloodbending through the Avatar State, Aang used his energybending abilities to put a halt to Yakone's plans.
Being frozen in an iceberg for a hundred years while in the Avatar State drained much of Aang's life energy. While he did not feel the effects for many years, after he entered middle age in his 50's the strain of this exertion increasingly weighed upon his body. Ultimately, it resulted in Aang dying at the relatively young biological age of 66 in 153 ASC. Aang was survived by his wife Katara (whom he had been in a romantic relationship with for over fifty years) and his three children, but he did not live to see his grandchildren born to his son Tenzin and his wife Pema. Prior to his death, Aang tasked the Order of the White Lotus with finding and guiding the new Avatar after him. When Aang died, the Avatar spirit reincarnated into a female infant from the Southern Water Tribe named Korra. Aang had intended for the Order to simply guide Korra, but several mishaps from Aang's original disappearance and the still-fragile stage of relations between the Four Nations caused the Order to decide to keep Korra sequestered away in a compound at the South Pole to train there with master benders brought in from across the world (including Katara herself).
Book One: Air
After his death, Avatar Aang's spirit had served as the spiritual advisor to seventeen-year old Korra of the Southern Water Tribe much like his past life Roku. Originally, Aang was only able to give Korra glimpses of his memory concerning Yakone in relation to her confrontations with his two sons Amon and Tarrlok, the products of Yakone's bloodbending vendetta on the Avatar. It was only after she lost her ability to bend that Korra became spiritually enlightened enough for her to meet Aang as he taught her energybending to fully restore her bending abilities and help Amon's other victims. He had also given her access to the divinely powerful Avatar State.
Book Two: Spirits
It is revealed in the episode "Civil Wars: Part 1" that Aang apparently treated Tenzin as his favorite child due to his son's status as an airbender as Kya and Bumi mentioned to Tenzin that Aang always took Tenzin on vacations with him but never them. The episode "The Southern Lights" further reveals that many of Aang's Air Acolytes also were unaware that Aang had two other children besides Tenzin or that they were not Airbenders, much to Kya and Bumi's irritation. In the episode "Beginnings, Part 1", Aang himself appears along with Roku, Kyoshi and Kuruk before Korra in a vision and encourage her to learn the origin of Wan, the first Avatar. In the season finale, "Darkness Falls", before ceasing to be when Raava is separated from Korra and is briefly destroyed, Aang appears in the Spirit World before Tenzin to tell him to follow his own path so he can overcome his fears and escape the Fog of Lost Souls with Jinora and Kya and Bumi.
Appearances in other media
Aang's character appeared in the Avatar: The Last Airbender Trading Card Game on a multitude of cards. He appeared in the Avatar: The Last Airbender video game as one of the four playable characters. Two sequels were made: Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Burning Earth, followed by Avatar: The Last Airbender – Into the Inferno.
Aang also appeared in Escape from the Spirit World, an online video game that can be found on Nickelodeon's official website. The game includes certain plot changes that are not shown in the show. The show's directors, Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, claim the events are canon.
In 2010 director M. Night Shyamalan cast 12-year-old Tae Kwon Do practitioner Noah Ringer as Aang in the film adaptation of the series, The Last Airbender. The casting of a presumed white actor in the role of Aang (as well as a primarily Caucasian cast) in the Asian-influenced Avatar universe triggered negative reactions from some fans marked by accusations of racism, a letter-writing campaign, and a protest outside of a Philadelphia casting call for movie extras. A counter-movement was spawned in response by other fans who believed the casting was appropriate. The casting decisions were also negatively received by several critics who stated that the original casting call expressed a preference for Caucasian actors over others. Noah Ringer later identified himself to Entertainment Weekly as an American Indian.
In the show's intended demographics, Aang has been received exceptionally. Kendall Lyons stated, "Aang seems to be the lighthearted kid that you can easily familiarize yourself with", and that he "seems to bring comfort in the most dangerous or hostile situations." There are many similar descriptions about Aang as a childlike character who is "reckless and excitable". Reviews point out that "as the Avatar, Aang seems unstoppable, but as Aang, he is just another Airbender"; the review states later that the show continues to focus on a more realistic character instead of a perfect one by revealing many character flaws.
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- Director: Dave Filoni, Writers: Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko (2005-02-21). "The Boy in the Iceberg". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
- Director: Dave Filoni, Writers: Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko (2005-02-21). "The Avatar Returns". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
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- DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan (2006). "Myth Conceptions". Nickelodeon Magazine (Winter 2006): 7.
- Director: Anthony Lioi; Writer: John O'Bryan (2005-03-18). "The King of Omashu". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
- Director: Joaquim dos Santos; Writer: John O'Bryan (2007-09-28). "The Headband". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
- Jing, Fanwang. "Brahmajala Sutra Translated Text". Purify Out Mind. p. 4. Archived from the original on 4 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-12. "He must not create the causes ... and shall not intentionally kill any living creature."
- Director: Lauren MacMullan; Writer: Aaron Ehasz (2005-04-08). "The Spirit World (Winter Solstice, Part 1)". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
- Liu, Ed (2008-07-18). ""Sozin's Comet" Produces an Epic Season Finale for "Avatar the Last Airbender"". Toon Zone. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- Director: Ethan Spaulding; Writers: Elizabeth Welch Ehasz, Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko (2008-07-19). "Sozin's Comet". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 58-61. Nickelodeon.
- Director: Lauren MacMullan; Writer: Aaron Ehasz (2005-06-03). "The Storm". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
- Director: Lauren MacMullan, Writer: Michael Dante DiMartino (2005-02-25). "The Southern Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
- Director: Giancarlo Volpe, Writer: Michael Dante DiMartino (2005-04-15). "Avatar Roku (Winter Solstice, Part 2)". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
- The Waterbending Master". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. 2005-11-18. No. 18, season 1.
- Director: Ethan Spaulding; Writer: Michael Dante DiMartino (2006-05-05). "The Blind Bandit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
- Director: Giancarlo; Writers: Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko (2006-12-01). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
- Director: Giancarlo Volpe; Writer: Michael Dante DiMartino (2007-11-23). "The Day of Black Sun Part 1: The Invasion". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
- Director: Joaquim Dos Santos; Writer: Aaron Ehasz (2007-11-30). "The Day of Black Sun Part 2: The Eclipse". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
- Director: Ethan Spaulding; Writers: Elizabeth Welch Ehasz, Tim Hedrick (2007-12-14). "The Western Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
- Yang, Gene (2012). Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise (3). Dark Horse Comics.
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- Graeme McMillan (2008-12-17). "Avatar Casting Makes Fans See... White". io9 (Gawker Media). Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
- Jeff Yang (2008-12-29). "'Avatar' an Asian thing- why isn't the cast?". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 1 February 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-29.
- Naomi Tarlow (2008-12-29). "Protesters oppose "whitewashing" in new Shyamalan film". Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 2008-12-29.
- Hoffman, Jordan (2010-05-21). "Racebending — The Controversy Continues — The Last Airbender". UGO.com. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
- Karen Valby (November 3, 2010). "Noah Ringer of 'The Last Airbender' has nothing up his sleeve: EW at 'The Kids' Table'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
- Lyons, Kendall (2005-12-08). "Avatar: The Last Airbender". Animation Inside. p. 2. Archived from the original on 22 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-15. "Aang seems to be the lighthearted kid that you can easily familiarize yourself with. He seems to bring comfort in the most dangerous or hostile situations."
- Robinson, Tasha (2006-03-07). "Avatar: The Last Airbender". Sci-Fi Weekly. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2008-02-17. Retrieved 2008-02-15. "Aang, meanwhile, is as reckless and excitable as a kid his age should be, but he also shows the marks of a monastic life of training and responsibility."
- Mell, Tory Ireland (2008-02-27). "Avatar: The Last Airbender - "The Spirit World (Winter Solstice, Part 1)" Review". IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-11. "As the Avatar, Aang seems unstoppable, but as Aang, he is just another Airbender..."