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This is my mission: to use Raava's light spirit to guide the world toward peace.
~ Wan declares his life's goal.
Haven't you heard the legends? I'am not a regular human anymore.
~ Wan facing Vaatu.
Korra: "Are you Raava?"

Wan: "No, but I can help you find her. My name is Wan and I will show you how I became the first Avatar."

~ Korra mistakes Wan for Raava upon meeting him the first time.
Wan: "I'm sorry, Raava. I failed to bring peace. Even with Vaatu locked away, darkness still surrounds Humanity. There wasn't enough time."

Raava: "Don't worry. We will be together for all of your lifetimes. And we will never give up."

~ Wan's last words to Raava as Wan passes away from old age and starts the Avatar Cycle.

Avatar Wan is one of the two overarching protagonists (alongside Raava) of the Avatar franchise, appearing as a major supporting protagonist of The Legend of Korra.

He was voiced by Steven Yeun who also voice as Keith from Voltron: Legendary Defender, Nathan Park from Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, Speckle from Tuca & Bertie, Little Cato from Final Space, Bo from The Star and Invincible.


Avatar Wan.png

Wan lived ten thousand years before Korra. He lived with many other people in a city that was on the back of a lion turtle. However, the people there were treated unfairly by the Chou family who ruled over this city. One day, Wan stole the lion turtle's firebending ability, and raiding the Chou family's warehouses for the poor to eat more. He was caught, however, and eventually banished from the city for his actions. However, the lion turtle allowed him to keep the fire so he could defend himself against the spirits in the wilderness.

On his own, Wan soon met the Spirits. They rejected him because of his nature as a human. However, shortly afterwards Wan rescued a wild animal from human hunters. The spirits, especially the Aye-Aye Spirit, realized that he was not like the other humans and took him in. During his time with the spirits, Wan became a powerful and talented firebender. Later, he helped them to defend their territory from the humans who continued to hunt there.

Finally, Wan moved on and wanted to find the other lion turtles to meet the people in those cities. On the way, however, he saw the fight between Raava and Vaatu. Vaatu asked Wan to free him, saying that Raava had been holding him captive for ten thousand years. Wan released him, and only then learned that Vaatu was evil and wanted to plunge the world into darkness (as his light counterpart told).

Although Raava at first refused, she helped Wan tame yet more elements, allowing him to be strong enough to defeat Vaatu. When Harmonic Convergence was upon them, Wan used the energy from the merged spirit portals to bond permenantly with Raava, becoming the very first Avatar. Finally, while being in the Avatar State, Wan used his elemental powers and managed to lock Vaatu in a hollow tree (the Tree of Time) in the spirit world.

Eventually, he sent the spirits back to Spirit World and closed the portals so no humans would ever enter the Spirit World and release Vaatu. With the sprits back in the Spirit World, humans could leave the lion turtles to spread around the world. However, humans waged wars against each other. Wan decided that he would use Raava's light spirit to guide the world towards peace. He tried to keep everything together, however the conflicts never seemed to end. After decades of keeping wars at bay, Wan died on a battlefield in his old age. But not before Raava assured him that they would be together through all of his lifetimes and they would never give up, beginning the Avatar Cycle.

The Avatar Cycle was sorted into the order of the elements Wan had learned from the lion turtles. Over the millennia, Wan reincarnated into many different Avatars, both males and females. Eventually he reincarnated into the known Avatars; Yangchen, Kuruk, Kyoshi, Roku, Aang and the current Avatar, Korra.

Ten thousand years later, during the next Harmonic Convergence, Raava was destroyed by the Dark Avatar Unalaq (after bondning with Vaatu) while battling his niece Korra. Korra's concection to the past Avatars (including Wan) was lost. When all seemed lost, Tenzin pointed out to Korra that Wan didn't become a hero for what he was, but who he was; a man who always wanted to defend the helpless. Korra realized that to defeat Unalaq and Vaatu, she needed to bend her own sprit to become a giant spirit.

After defeating Unalaq and Vaatu, Avatar Korra fulfilled Wan's goal, but not by keeping the Spirit Portals closed, deemed it as a mistake. Instead Korra kept the portals open and spirits were allowed to wander the world, bringing peace between humans and spirits. From that point on, the Avatar was no longer the bridge between the two worlds, as they have been since Avatar Wan.

Powers & Abilities

Wan has learned the power of firebending, and later the three other elements as well. It is noteworthy that he was the first person who really used the elements in the form of fighting techniques because the Spirits taught him how to control these powers. He was also very acrobatic and agile.

While being in the Avatar State, Wan has full control of all the four elements.


  • Wan means "one" in Chinese. This is fitting since he is the first Avatar. 
  • Wan learned the elements roughly in the order of the seasons, and subsequent Avatars learned the elements in this order as a tradition. 
  • Wan learned to tame the elements within a year, much like Aang. Most Avatars learn to cope in much longer periods of time.
  • Wan is the first character to die on-screen chronologically and the fifth in the series. He and Yue are also the only heroes to die on-screen.

External Links


           Avatar The Last Airbender Logo.pngHeroes

Team Avatar
Gen I: Aang | Appa | Katara | Momo | Sokka | Suki | Toph Beifong | Zuko
Gen II: Asami Sato | Bolin | Korra | Mako | Naga | Pabu

Wan | Szeto | Yangchen | Kuruk | Kyoshi | Roku | Aang | Korra

Order of the White Lotus
Iroh | Jeong Jeong | King Bumi | Pakku | Piandao | White Lotus leader | White Lotus sentries

Air Nomads
Aang | Appa | Bumi | Gyatso | Ikki | Jinora | Kai | Meelo | Momo | Oogi | Pathik | Poki | Tenzin

Earth Kingdom
Baatar Jr. | Bolin | Haru | Jet | King Bumi | Kuvira | Kyoshi | Lin Beifong | Metalbending Police Force | Opal | Prince Wu | Suki | Suyin Beifong | The Boulder | The Metal Clan | Toph Beifong | Wei & Wing

Fire Nation
Fire Sages | Iroh | Iroh II | Izumi | Jeong Jeong | Mai | Mako | Piandao | Roku | Shyu | Sun Warriors | Ty Lee | Ursa | Wan | Xu | Zuko

Water Tribe
Desna & Eska | Hakoda | Huu | Katara | Korra | Kuruk | Kya | Naga | Pakku | Sokka | Tonraq | Varrick | Princess Yue | Zhu Li

Aye-Aye Spirit | La | Lion turtle | Raava | Tui