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|“||I wasn't there when the Fire Nation attacked my people. I'm gonna make a difference this time.||„|
|~ Aang to Chief Arnook.|
|“||Please listen to me. We don't have to fight. You have the power to end it here and stop what you're doing.||„|
|~ Avatar Aang to Phoenix King Ozai before their final battle.|
|“||Fire Lord Ozai, you and your forefathers have devastated the balance of this world, and now you shall pay the ultimate price!||„|
|~ Aang before removing Ozai's bending.|
Aang is the titular main protagonist of the Nickelodeon cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender, as well as a posthumous character in The Legend of Korra.
Aang was a mischievous orphan from the Air Temples. Amazingly, he mastered air-bending at a very young age; a sign that he was, indeed, the Avatar. When the monks of the Air Temples reveal to Aang that he is the Avatar, Aang reacts in a confused manner. Believing that Monk Gyatso, Aang's personal mentor and father-figure, would hinder Aang's training, they decided to send Aang away to the Eastern Air Temple to receive proper training. Aang refuses to accept his destiny as the Avatar, believing it will tear him away from Monk Gyatso, and runs away with his sky bison, Appa. However, he is caught up in a terrible storm, and gets knocked deep underwater with his bison. Unconsciously entering the Avatar state, he water-bends, freezing Appa, and himself, to save them from drowning. 100 years later, he is discovered by two Water Tribe residents, Katara, and Sokka. Later Katara became Aang's waterbending teacher despite the fact that he was originally quite better than her.
When the three of them arrived at the Northern Water Tribe Aang's teacher became master Pakku. After the Seige of the Tribe, Katara became his waterbending master again. In a search for an earthbending teacher, Aang met his earthbending teacher Toph Beifong. With Katara and Toph teaching him all the time he became a great master of earthbending and waterbending. He even became better than his teachers. After the fall of Ba Sing Se and the failure in the Day of The Black Sun, Zuko, Aang's former enemy, became his firebending teacher and after a lot of training, Aang became a firebending master a few days before his battle with Fire Lord Ozai. Finding himself on a strange island, Aang is reluctant to actually kill Fire Lord Ozai, despite his four previous past lives (Roku, Kyoshi, Kuruk, and Yangchen) convincing him it is the only way.
But upon learning that he was actually 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. Ozai slams Aang into a rock, hitting the scar on his back from Azula's lightning in the previous season and inadvertently releasing his locked seventh chakra, allowing Aang to enter the Avatar State. With the combined power of his past lives, Aang quickly overwhelms Ozai but refuses to kill him. After subduing Ozai, Aang finally understands the lion-turtle's meaning and uses energybending to strip Ozai of his Firebending powers, removing his ability to wage war while Sozin's Comet vanishes beyond the horizon. During his coronation, Zuko promises to aid the world in the postwar reconstruction. A final scene depicts the main cast gathered in Iroh's new tea shop, while Aang and Katara finally begin a romantic relationship.
Being frozen in an iceberg for 100 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 50s, 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 AG.
Aang was survived by his wife, Katara, and their three children, Bumi, Kya and Tenzin, but he did not live to see his four grandchildren, Jinora, Ikki, Meelo and Rohan (all of whom would become powerful Airbenders).
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 Korra of the Southern Water Tribe. Aang intended for the Order to simply guide and guard Korra, but several mishaps in the aftermath of Aang's death (including a kidnapping attempt by the anarchist Zaheer) and the still-fragile state of relations between the now-Five Nations resulted in Katara and Tenzin sequestering Korra in a compound at the South Pole, bringing teachers to her instead of allowing her to seek out her own.
At first glance, Aang was a fun-loving, somewhat naive and adventurous boy with a sense of humor. He possessed deep respect for life and freedom, refused to eat meat, and was often reluctant to fight in his younger years. He craved the stimulation of new people and places. His frequent off-course detours frustrated both allies and pursuers alike. At one point, he typically wished to forget his duties as the Avatar and would long for the normality that others possessed. Yet Aang always had pride for himself on a complex social network of friends extending over all four nations, and war did not stand in his way. In addition, he looked forward to playing with all the exotic fauna in each place he visited. Whether it was otter penguins, hopping llamas, hog monkeys, or giant koi fish, no fit animal Aang saw went un-ridden.
Within this carefree exterior, however, Aang hid a great deal of guilt and a heavy mental burden in his duties as Avatar. As the reluctant hero, he wished he had been there to help his people a century earlier. This initially caused him to conceal his true identity from friends, and he still had a tendency to slack off in his studies of the bending arts, even though he naturally excelled at them. He also tended to become distressed when he saw the destruction caused by the Hundred Year War, believing that as the Avatar, it was his job to prevent such events from happening. Eventually, Aang decided to stop dwelling on the past; however, on several occasions, his desire to end the War caused him to take desperate action such as attempting to induce the Avatar State or facing Fire Lord Ozai before he had fully mastered the elements.
Powers and Abilities
As a reincarnation of the entity known as the Avatar, Aang possessed the power to bend all four elements, making him the most powerful bender of his time. Though Avatar Roku said mastering the elements could take many years, Aang was able to learn all four with considerable skill in a year, though technically he did not completely master all four as stated by Zuko and Toph. As a result of his unconventional training, Aang never demonstrated most of the special subsets of the bending arts. However, he did display the abilities of lightning redirection and seismic sense, making him the first known Avatar to have learned these abilities. Most Avatars were not told of their status until they were sixteen years of age, but Aang had become a Fully Realized Avatar while he was still only biologically twelve years old. Thus, he became the youngest known Avatar to do so. As he was chronologically 112 years old, Aang also has the distinction of taking the longest to achieve this status.
By the time of the Air Nomad Genocide, Aang was already an airbending master, the youngest in history. Aang achieved his mastery tattoos when he mastered 35 of the 36 tiers of airbending and invented a new airbending technique, the "air scooter", at only ten years old. The element of air was the one he utilized the most in battle. Once Aang began to learn the other elements, for tactical purposes he relied less on airbending, though it continued to remain his signature element. As a master, Aang's skill with airbending was exceptional; he was able to fight on-par with strong and powerful masters or against large numbers of opponents, despite not finishing his airbending training. He was shown creating tornadoes and currents of air strong enough to lift or deflect extremely heavy objects. Aang's skill with air was great, even perilous, though his pacifistic Air Nomad nature halted the use of air as a deadly weapon unless he was enraged or in the Avatar State. Instead, Aang used airbending for pure defense, evasion, or other round-about methods of combat other than aggression. When not in battle, Aang used airbending in his everyday life, often for flying with his glider, or simply to augment his natural agility. While in the Avatar State, Aang's airbending power was magnified to the point he could erode solid rock away with a powerful gust of air.
Aang's airbending skills, especially his skill with the air scooter, greatly improved over time, evolving from being able to ride one to creating multiple air scooters simultaneously without any difficulty. At age forty, Aang was shown to have mastered the air scooter to a much greater degree. This version was superior in terms of size and duration when compared to the ones he showed as a child and was capable of being used as a high-speed method of transportation, as Aang quickly caught up with Yakone, despite the latter having had a good head-start. Aang was also capable of standing on the scooter, instead of sitting on it as he had done before.
Aside from his individual skill, Aang was also shown as a capable teacher, as he passed on the full extent of his airbending knowledge and techniques to his son Tenzin, who became a powerful master airbender in his own right.
Although Aang was originally better at waterbending than his fourteen-year-old friend Katara, his lack of focus allowed Katara to surpass him as she was later deemed a waterbending master after rapidly developing her skills while training under Master Pakku. Katara became Aang's teacher when they took their leave of the North Pole. In the early stages of his training, Aang showed prodigious skill in waterbending, being able to easily create a huge wave on his first try. Although he had great skill with waterbending, it was one of his least used elements in battle, instead favoring other readily-available elements such as earth or air. He did not carry a water skin, preferring to bend from large sources of water such as rivers, lakes, or oceans. His control over the element was monumental, capable of creating massive tidal waves, albeit with the help of the Moon Spirit, or bending entire streams of water. He was even able to extinguish a powerful, comet-enhanced blast of fire from Ozai and use the water to briefly put the Fire Lord on the defensive. While in the Avatar State, Aang could bend water from such remote distances a common waterbender could not reach, and he could raise the waters of an entire ocean, mimicking the moon pulling the tides, to cover an entire forest. He was also capable of compressing massive volumes of water into smaller streams, a normally incomprehensible skill, allowing an increase in force and pressure and making it easier to transport.
Because earthbending contrasted Aang's personality and his native element, air, he had great difficulty learning this bending art. Airbenders relied on indirect methods of combat, while earthbending required a head-on approach. When Aang was forced to protect Sokka from a saber-tooth moose lion, he stood his ground rather than avoiding conflict, showing an earthbender's attitude; he was able to earthbend soon thereafter. His earthbending improved greatly, allowing him to utilize air, water, and earthbending in combat together effectively. Earthbending even became Aang's second most used fighting style behind airbending, due to its general availability. Aang was capable of bending large boulders, sending massive columns of rock flying, or forming earthen armor around his body for protection. He also eventually learned to fight and bend blindfolded by detecting things through the use of seismic sense, a skill that he learned directly from Toph. Due to his pacifistic nature, Aang employed a more defensive style of earthbending, based on manipulating the earth to create walls, shelters, and restraints to neutralize his opponents, rather than harm them. While in the Avatar State, Aang could manipulate massive columns of rock, compress boulders into pebbles, or send rocks flying at high speeds in rapid succession, while requiring no physical connection with the ground to earthbend. During the battle for Yu Dao, Aang managed to create a massive chasm around the entire city, effectively leaving it outside the reach of the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom armies. When fighting against General Old Iron, Aang created a gigantic stone body of almost equal durability to that of the spirit's iron armor.
Despite the proficiency with which Aang used earthbending in his fight with Ozai, Toph stated that he could still improve.
While normally the Avatar must learn the four elements in the proper cycle, Aang was given the opportunity to learn firebending early from Master Jeong Jeong, instead of first mastering water and earth, in addition to his mastery of air. While training, Aang's impatience to learn the basics of firebending resulted in him burning Katara’s hands, an accident that caused him great shame. He swore from that point onward never to firebend again, out of fear of losing control. It was not until after the invasion plan failed that Aang sought to learn firebending again. After accepting Prince Zuko as his teacher and discovering the true meaning of firebending from the dragons Ran and Shaw, Aang no longer feared firebending and began his training in the bending art. He was shown to be quite skilled, yet initially reluctant to show the aggressive attitude required for firebending. Aang was capable of performing the ancient Dancing Dragon form, the breath of fire while simultaneously firing a stream from both hands, as well as highly powerful kicks and blasts able to incapacitate a Fire Nation airship, albeit with the help of Sozin's Comet. In preparation for his face-off with Fire Lord Ozai, Zuko taught Aang lightning redirection, a highly advanced and unique technique of firebending that Zuko's paternal uncle Iroh invented by observing waterbenders. While in the Avatar State, Aang could create exceedingly strong and highly destructive streams of fire, as well as melt solid stone.
After being endowed with the knowledge from a lion turtle, Aang was able to use an ancient form of bending that precedes all other bending called energybending, which he used to strip Ozai of his natural firebending abilities, leaving the Fire Lord permanently drained and in a weakened state. According to the lion turtle, before the Avatar existed, people did not bend the four elements, but the life force energy within themselves. However, in order to bend another person's life force energy, the energybender's own life energy must be unbendable, or they could become corrupted or even destroyed. It was confirmed that Aang was not the first Avatar to learn energybending; however, there were few who had learned this particular bending art and even fewer who had used it due to its dangers. Energybending allows the bender to both strip and restore a person's bending abilities and transfer knowledge from one person to another.
At age forty, Aang's energybending skills had progressed, as he was able to strip Yakone's bending abilities almost immediately with minimal effort, unlike when he stripped Ozai's bending. He also demonstrated the ability to restore a person's bending, as seen when his spirit appeared before Korra and restored her abilities that had been taken by Amon's bloodbending. At the same time, Aang imparted the knowledge of energybending and control of the Avatar State onto Korra.
Aang was extremely agile and quick even without bending, proven while forced to hide his bending when masquerading a Fire Nation student. He was able to defend himself without needing to resort to bending by simply dodging and avoiding attacks. This technique was first shown in Aang's fight against the student Hide in the Fire Nation school. Aang effortlessly defeated him without ever striking him, instead simply dodging his blows and pushing him when he was off-balance. He repeated this feat at Yu Dao against a group of firebending soldiers, dodging and evading their fire blasts with a variety of acrobatic moves and without resorting to any of his bending arts and at the end only having his clothes slightly charred. This fighting style was overall similar to the martial art Baguazhang, which consists of an intricate set of foot and palm movements to dodge, walk circles around the enemy, and strike unexpectedly as well as defend from all angles; this art emphasized the pursuit of harmony in conflict situations, rather than destroying or defeating the opponent – all principles that Aang used often.
Aang could use his glider staff with great skill as well, using it as a method of transport and sometimes as an attack, defense, or bending.
Aside from his combat skills, Aang also displayed an impressive degree of artistic talent on a few occasions. He was an extremely talented and agile dancer, being able to perform somersaults in mid-air among other acrobatic feats and coordinate with Katara in a dance. His somersaults at that time did not seem to be aided by airbending, as he was in a public area surrounded by Fire Nation students and there was no sign of any air currents around him. Aang also displayed a degree of musical talent, as he was able to play an airbender's flute well enough for the Official Avatar Aang Fan Club to revel in his performance. He was also able to play the tsungi horn, although he was self-admittedly terrible at it.
|“||The Avatar State is a defense mechanism, designed to empower you with the skills and knowledge of all the past Avatars. The glow is the combination of all your past lives, focusing their energy through your body. In the Avatar State, you are at your most powerful, but you are also at your most vulnerable. If you are killed in the Avatar State, the reincarnation cycle will be broken and the Avatar will cease to exist."||„|
|~ Avatar Roku to Avatar Aang about the Avatar State|
As the Avatar, Aang was able to contact his past lives to seek advice and guidance. Being the immediate predecessor of Aang, Roku most often came to the young airbender's aid. For example, it was Roku who warned Aang about the impending return of Sozin's Comet and manifested through the young Air Nomad in order to defeat a group of firebenders awaiting the Avatar's appearance.
After receiving a letter from Guru Pathik, Aang journeyed to the Eastern Air Temple to learn to control the Avatar State. Guru Pathik revealed that the secret laid in the unlocking of seven chakras. Aang had little trouble with the first six, but struggled with the seventh – earthly attachments, mainly being Aang's attachment to Katara. Aang initially abandoned his training after receiving a vision of Katara in dire need of help, but later began to open the seventh and final chakra successfully and entered the Avatar State. However, moments after entering the Avatar State, the process was interrupted when he was struck with lightning from behind by Azula, killing him and the Avatar Spirit itself, though, after their escape, Katara was able to use the special water from the Spirit Oasis to revive him.
Nonetheless, Aang's connection to his previous lives was severely damaged by this and, while in a coma, he undertook a journey to the Spirit World, where he met and reconnected with the four Avatars preceding him. While he succeeded in healing the Avatar Spirit, his physical injuries prevented him from accessing the Avatar State and connecting with his past lives. As his body healed, he managed to reconnect with them, though it was only when Ozai violently shoved him against a protruding rock, which unleashed the energy block in his back, that the connection was fully restored. Later, however, feeling that Roku's advice about the state of the world was no longer relevant, Aang deliberately severed his connection to his past self. This caused an unintentional severing of his connection to all his past lives before Roku, except in certain situations, such as special rituals. Later, Aang was able to restore his connection to Roku and all the past Avatars by recrafting the fire pendant on his meditation beads.
As the carrier of the Avatar Spirit, Aang also had the capacity to act as a medium, a bridge between the mortal world and the Spirit World. Even while still a young child, Aang demonstrated a natural affinity to the spiritual arts. Through meditation, Aang could separate from his body and travel to the Spirit World and, with the help of a spirit, his astral form could also visit the physical world's astral plane. Once in the Spirit World, Aang could travel freely and communicate with beings such as Koh the Face Stealer. This position as an intermediary also allowed him to connect with other spirits while in the Avatar State; he combined with the Ocean Spirit to defeat the Fire Nation during the siege of the North Pole and had also channeled his past lives, namely Roku and Kyoshi.
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