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Aang
Aang meditates
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Avatar: the Last Airbender

Canon Point

3x01

Age

112

Race

Human

Gender

Male

Status

Inactive

SkillsEdit

Aang’s first and foremost ability is his capability as “the Avatar”, a “bender” of four elements: water, earth, fire, and air. Through various forms of martial arts, Aang can physically create or manipulate these elements, whether by shooting balls of fire, generating gusts of air, drawing water from larger bodies, or shifting soil and mud. He uses these powers as offensive and defensive measures in his world, but they can also be used in practical applications, such as creating earthen enclosures, lighting controlled fires, and treading water rapidly. He is most skilled in his native element air, and arguably least skilled in his opposite element, earth. However, it is expected of the Avatar to master every form of bending.

It is important to note that the Avatar itself is not truly a person; rather, it is a spirit that is reborn in an human, elemental bender every time the previous Avatar dies. Although Aang, an airbender, is the current Avatar, he is deeply connected to his thousand-some past lives as waterbenders, firebenders, and earthbenders. This connection is utilized by the trance-like state that he can enter, called the Avatar State. This state is brought on by intense emotions, such as rage or grief, but the Avatar can eventually learn to control it through specialized meditation. Whilst in the Avatar State, Aang’s eyes and traditional tattoos will glow with a blinding white light, and in addition, a whirlpool of air will surround him, a side effect of the extreme power he is summoning. This ability is gained from the combined power of his past lives; that is, in the Avatar State, Aang recalls the strength and abilities of every Avatar that has lived before him. However, this great power is also a great weakness: if Aang is killed while in the Avatar State, then the reincarnation cycle will be permanently broken and the Avatar will cease to exist entirely.

Aang has not yet learned how to control the Avatar State fully, and following the abandonment of his training with Guru Patikh and fatal encounter with Azula, he has become unable to enter the Avatar State at all. Since entering Pandora, the connection he normally has to the Spirit World and his previous incarnations has become completely severed.

Although his capability as the Avatar enhances the strength of his bending for offensive and defensive purposes, Aang himself is extremely agile and skilled in various forms of martial arts. His small stature makes defense his strength and physical offense his weakness, although he can still command intense power through bending the elements. Tight spots put Aang at a disadvantage because airbending relies heavily on maneuverability.

Bending aside, Aang is an excellent negotiator. He is skilled at resolving conflicts, particularly without resorting to drastic or extreme measures. He once ended a century-old feud between two polar villages with a little quick thinking and a small white lie.

PersonalityEdit

Aang was born and raised a pacifist by the Air Nomads; this extends to his relationships with other people, and even his relationship with animals as a vegetarian. Much of Aang’s sense of self comes from this devotion to balance: balance with the earth, spirits, and nature. He was taught and thoroughly believes all life is sacred, and is saddened deeply by destruction of the nature, even for the sake of civilization. Needless violence and chaos are two of the few things that truly enrage Aang, and when others cannot see the fault in their behavior, he often feels no choice but to intervene to prevent the suffering of others.

It is due to his nature as the Avatar and his deep-rooted pacifism that Aang is a natural judge. In conflicts, he weighs almost every decision he makes (and with as much depth as a 12 year old can muster), always trying to find the pros and cons of each side of an argument. He is almost always objective when making these decisions, even if they conflict with his own personal opinions, because he firmly values the validity of others’ ideas. Aang is constantly aware that he must always detach himself from worldly possessions and subjective ideas, but he still has trouble with this from time to time.

Aang is also an optimist who tries to see the best in everyone he meets. Because he almost always keeps an objective mind, he does not jump to conclusions or gauge others by first impressions. He gives the people in his life the benefit of the doubt, whether he’s known them for years or minutes, unless they have given him hefty reasons to distrust them. Unfortunately, this optimism can also easily devolve into naivete. He will, on occasion, have spurts of mood-influenced pessimism, but these typically pass with time and reassurance from his friends and allies. This isn’t to say that Aang does not have a large amount of deep-seated guilt; although he has come to terms with most of his mistakes, he knows he will never truly redeem himself until he helps end the war he feels he let happen.

To balance out his serious duties as the Avatar and the fateful nature of his destiny, Aang genuinely enjoys trivial distractions, such as jokes, pranks, and thrilling adventures. He is unafraid of getting into potentially dangerous situations if there is fun to be had. Sometimes his desire to show off to others proves troubling, as he lets the attention go to his head, but this is unsurprising of a pre-pubescent boy.


AppearanceEdit

Screen shot 2012-05-24 at 12.39.37 AM

After surviving Azula's attack at Ba Sing Se - Book 3, Chapter 1 ("The Awakening")

Aang has pale, peach-colored skin and winding, blue tattoos along his legs, arms, and spine that signify his proficiency as an airbender. On the center of his back is a large, twisted scar from where he was struck by lighning. Because has yet to go through puberty, he is still very petite in height and weight and has not grown thick arm, chest, or leg hair. While he normally keeps his head shaved, according to Air Nomad cultural traditions, a short crop of black hair had grown in the time before he was taken to Pandora. His eyes are a stormy, cool grey, but are large and completely non-menacing. He has an equally innocent face with a wide, infectious grin and round cheeks.

RelationshipsEdit

Because of the 100 years he spent in the iceburg, Aang's relationships not only stretch across time and space, but across national boundaries as well. He has befriended citizens from all reaches of his world, even from the Fire Nation (most notably a man named Kuzan, from whom Aang learned about Fire Nation culture). Aang's infectious, fun attitude, his idealism, and his status as the Avatar have brought him into close contact with nomads, merchants, and refugees, along with other benders and non-benders.

Currently, he is romantically interested in one of his best friends and waterbending teacher, Katara.

In Pandora, he has met Sakura Kinomoto and Billy Batson, both of whom he considers allies.

HistoryEdit

Aang was born at the Southern Air Temple, one of four peaceful communes of airbenders and Air Nomads - monks dedicated to meditation, asceticism, and the preservation of nature. Although he obviously had biological parents, his closest relationships were to the resident monks of the temple, particularly Monk Gyatso, a kind and wise man with a similar sense of humor who acted as his official guardian. These close relationships to his elders, however, were primarily formed due to their awareness of his position as the Avatar. After the previous Avatar, a firebender, had died, the new Avatar was expected to be born as an airbender (as air was the next element in the reincarnation cycle), and so the Air Nomads sought out children who had the potential to be host to the Avatar spirit.

As a young boy, Aang chose four toys out of thousands during a traditional test; these toys had belonged to previous Avatars, therefore his selections proved familiarity with his past lives and guaranteed his position as the next Avatar. Because of his status, Aang was observed carefully during his childhood years, but was fortunate enough to spend the majority of his time as a normal kid, playing with other airbenders and getting into a number of hijinks. What defined the nature of the Air Nomads were their pursuits of freedom and travel; Aang was no exception to this trait. Throughout his childhood, Aang traveled throughout the world, meeting benders of all four elements and forming continent-spanning friendships.

Until he turned twelve, Aang led a happy and carefree existence, bonding with his pet Air Bison, Appa, playing fast-paced games with his friends, and pulling pranks with Monk Gyatso. However, outside of the Air Temples, trouble among the other nations began to brew. Fire Lord Sozin, who directly controlled the population of the Fire Nation, was plotting a massive Imperialist invasion of the the other nations. The monks caught wind of this plan, and as a preemptive measure, they told Aang of his identity as the Avatar earlier than usual with the intention of teaching him everything he would need to know should war break out - fire, water, and earthbending, as well as details about the Avatar State.

This sudden news had a traumatic impact on Aang, who was suddenly burdened with the fate of the world on his slight shoulders. His friends began to distance themselves from him, and the monks demanded tiring devotion to mastering airbending. Despite Gyatso’s protests, the other monks insisted that Aang travel to the Eastern Air Temple to train away from Gyatso and Aang’s friends, believing that Aang would become too soft if he stayed in the comfort of the Southern Temple. Although Gyatso had plans to prevent this situation, Aang overheard the news before it was properly explained to him, and as a result, he resolved to run away. In the middle of the night, he flew on Appa into a storm, but was quickly thrown into the sea by the tremendous force of the wind and ocean waves. Instead of drowning, however, this terrifying experience activated the Avatar State; in an act of self-preservation, he formed a giant tomb of air around himself and Appa, which then froze over and set them adrift.

This event did not shift the course of the war. Under the guise of wanting to “share their prosperity and knowledge”, the Fire Nation began to invade the Earth Kingdom, the Water Tribes, but first of all the Air Temples; knowing that the next Avatar would be an Air Nomad, Sozin sent his armies to each temple and destroyed all the inhabitants in the hope of capturing and killing the Avatar. However, as Aang had run away just prior, the only person Sozin needed to eliminate escaped; everyone else perished.

One day, Aang awoke after his icy vault was cracked open by two teenagers, named Katara and Sokka, from the Southern Water Tribe. It wasn’t long after meeting the rest of the tribe and getting to know them that it became quite clear that Aang had been trapped in the iceberg for about 100 years. Just beginning to realize how much the world had changed, Aang was then accosted by the son of the current Fire Lord, a boy named Zuko, who was determined to capture and bring him to the Fire Nation.

Together, Aang, Katara, and Sokka thwarted Zuko and his army, and set off on Appa to travel to the North Pole with the hopes of finding a waterbending instructor. Along the way, they met many allies, joined many quests, and generally tried to give sufferers of the war hope. Their travels came to head when they reached the North Pole and faced a fleet of Fire Nation ships who had been hot on their trail. In tandem with the power of the Moon spirit, Aang entered the Avatar State and wiped out the entire fleet, managing to escape the clutches of the Fire Nation once again.

After this victory, Aang and his allies traveled to the Earth Kingdom to reconnect with a friend of Aang’s who could teach him earthbending. To their dismay, their destination had been invaded and conquered by the Fire Nation, and they were forced to look elsewhere. After a short time and a helpful visit to a mystical swamp, Aang found an earthbending teacher in the blind, but tough Toph. The gang continued traveling the world, seeking to gather enough allies to form an army against the Fire Nation; this became a particularly crucial task when they discovered a key advantage that could make an invasion of the capital a possibility. However, during this time, Azula, sister of the now refugee Zuko, viciously hunted the Avatar and managed to infiltrate the Earth Kingdom city of Ba Sing Se, disguising herself as an ally. She became aware of the invasion plan and cornered Aang, the gang, and her brother Zuko.

During the midst of a battle with Azula, Aang attempted to enter the Avatar State, but was struck by lightning and fell. It was only due to Katara’s quick thinking as a healer, and use of special water, that he survived. Aang slept for a few weeks, during which his friends met up with members of the Southern Water Tribe and commandeered a Fire Navy vessel. When he came to, he awoke to the revelation that the world once again believed him to be dead. Although this was a tactical advantage for the anti-Fire Nation resistance, Aang could not bear the grief that he was causing the world with the rumor of his death, and set out in a reckless attempt to restore his honor - alone. In the middle of a stormy night, much like the one he left home during, he set off on his own, unwilling to allow his friends to become even more involved in his dangerous quest to end the war. Aang plunged into the ocean to avoid Fire Navy ships, but due to his injuries, he was unable to move any further. His sheer lack of strength and allies caused him to realize he could not hope to fight the Fire Lord anytime soon and made him feel as if he failed the world once again. However, two spirits - those of a past Avatar and the moon - inspired him enough to seek keep going, and he found his way to dry land. In the morning Katara, Sokka, and the others found him lying on the coast of a volcano island; he remembers seeing their relieved faces as they ran toward him. That was when thick, black cords sprung from the hardened magma, pulling him under, into darkness.

Pandora HistoryEdit

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