Aang and his friends met a lot of allies during their travels over three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Not all of them were able to be a part of the series for the long haul, but many of them made a big impression on viewers in their brief appearances. One of those was avatar Yue of the Northern Water Tribe.
Avatar Yue became a fan favorite due to her kindness, her commitment to her people, and her feelings for Sokka. Though her time on the show was short, her presence was felt long after she was gone thanks to her giving up her life to become the moon spirit. With such a short time on the series, however, there are a few things fans might not know about her.
(Avatar) Yue Cannot Waterbend In Life
Yue is the daughter of the tribe’s leader, and she has incredibly high social standing in her community, but she is not a waterbender. That’s not because Master Pakku wouldn’t teach her, but because Avatar Yue didn’t have the innate ability in life. She did, however, have the ability in death.
Once Avatar Yue became the spirit of the moon, she could push and pull the tides, allowing her the moon’s version of waterbending. She helped Aang to create large waves in some of his final battles in the series.
Her Hair Was Not Originally White
Thanks to Yue’s story of her infancy, the audience knew that her hair turned white when she was a baby when the spirit of the moon gave her life. They might not realize just how unnatural that is.
Throughout the series, Yue is the only young character who has white hair. It’s in huge contrast to Japanese anime that uses a rainbow of colors for hair. Avatar sticks with more “natural” colors, with gray and white hair indicating advanced age for the characters.
(Avatar) Yue’s Name Means Moon
Before Yue’s fate in the series is revealed, some fans might have already thought she was special if they’re familiar with Mandarin. That’s because her name is the Mandarin word for moon.
It’s not so much as a subtle clue, as long as fans know what they’re looking for.
Her Eyes Were A Visual Clue By The Animators
When General Zhao ended Tui’s life, the entire event wasn’t shown on screen, but its aftermath was. The world around everyone went gray as the light of the moon was snuffed out. Even the characters were dulled in color reflecting that they were shrouded in shadow.
Yue’s eyes, however, didn’t turn grey in the shadow like everyone else’s around her. Instead, they shined a bright blue, indicating that the moon spirit was still alive in her before the characters came to the same conclusion.
They Named A Bay After Avatar Yue
Considering Avatar Yue was so briefly a part of the original Avatar series, fans might not have expected her influence to continue to be felt in Legend Of Korra. If they pay attention to locations in the series though, they’ll discover she’s been honored.
Like many of the historical figures in the franchise, Yue has a location named for her. Specifically, it’s a bay near Republic City.
Avatar Yue’s Appearance As The Moon Spirit Is Inspired By The Chinese
Just as Avatar Yue’s name was taken from the Mandarin word for moon, her look once she became the spirit of the moon also took inspiration from China. Though it’s never been officially confirmed, her appearance looked to be modeled after Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the moon.
Like Yue, Chang’e also had long, flowing robes, with additional ribbons and layered skirts, though she wore her hair tied back tightly. Yue’s hairstyle from her human form remained in her spirit form.
Yue Was The First On-Screen Human Death In The Series
Most of the time in the Avatar the Last Airbender series, death was implied – or left up to the audience to wonder what happened to a character. Even the death of the moon spirit wasn’t shown on screen. Instead, the effects of it were demonstrated with character reactions and a changing color palette.
Avatar Yue deciding to sacrifice herself, on the other hand, marked the first time the audience actually watched a character die. She even kisses Sokka goodbye in spirit form. That might be one of the reasons fans consistently find the sequence one of the saddest moments in the show.
Yue In Avatar The Last Airbender Season 1
Because the Avatar series was so rich with history, and expanded its family trees in the sequel series Legend Of Korra, fans have a keen interest in family lineage. Unfortunately, Yue remains mostly a mystery.
While her father, Arnook, played a major role during Aang’s time with the Northern Water Tribe, and her mother was shown in flashback to her infancy, Yue’s mother never even received a name in the series.
The Ember Island Players Got Avatar Yue Right
Avatar the Last Airbender was one of the rarest series to feature a clip show that audiences actually enjoyed. In their case, the main cast of characters attended a play performed by the Ember Island Players about Aang’s quest.
While most of the characters hated their portrayal (Katara in particular), Toph was the only one who enjoyed the liberties they took with her. Most of what the Players featured was also not exactly correct. Interestingly, Yue’s part of the story was, which was likely a testament to her people’s gratitude for her sacrifice. The Ember Island Players supposedly interviewed people Aang and his friends came into contact with to write their script
Avatar Yue’s Her Mother Was Never Named
Because the Avatar series was so rich with history; and expanded its family trees in the sequel series Legend Of Korra, fans have a keen interest in family lineage. Unfortunately, the family history of Avatar Yue remains mostly a mystery.
While her father, Arnook, played a major role during Aang’s time with the Northern Water Tribe; and her mother was shown in flashback to her infancy, Yue’s mother never even received a name in the series.
Princess Yue is a water tribe princess, born to the Northern water tribe’s chief. She is the daughter of Chief Arnook and she also serves him as one of his advisors. After the death of the moon spirit Tui, she felt obligated with a huge responsibility to give back the life that the moon spirit had given her. The moon spirit was killed by Zhao, a fire nation soldier, and Admiral. Yue sacrificed and replaced the moon spirit, sharing the position. This was during the Siege of the Northern water tribe.
Yue’s Early Life
The princess was born to the water tribe chief as a sick child. She had an illness that no one knew about which caused her to almost be born still and asleep. As a child, she was quiet, remained asleep and didn’t cry. This caused her parents to worry and they feared that she would die. Her condition, growing critical, the tribe’s healers had tried their best.
Yagoda, one of the best healers in the whole nation also put in unlimited effort but to no avail. They all concluded that princess Yue was going to die. Chief Arnook, in a desperate bout to save his daughter’s life, begged the moon spirit to save her. That night, under the full moon, he brought her to the spirit oasis. The Oasis is regarded as the center of all spiritual energy in the nation.
This was also the same oasis that Avatar Wan came across after he was banished from his hometown in the Fire Lion Turtle City. Chief Arnook placed her in the pond and her hair turned white. The moon spirit gifted her with part of its life force. Thus, she survived and her parents named her Yue, meaning for the moon.
Yue was arranged to marry a young water tribe warrior named Hahn. Prior to Team Avatar’s arrival at the North Pole where the siege that would take place,
Hahn had carved a betrothal necklace for her. This is a tradition done in the water tribe by new couples to mark their engagement. Yue did not really love him and consented to the marriage as a duty to her people. She also did this to stay in line with her people’s customs. Sokka resented this decision, telling her that she was not marrying her people as he was in love with her soon after they met.
Yue & Team Avatar
Soon as the team arrived at the North Pole, Sokka was already smitten by the beauty of Yue Avatar and her whole appearance. He got in a conversation with her at the party that her father threw in recognition of the Avatar’s arrival and her sixteenth birthday. Her father, Master Paku, who Chief Arnook arranged to be Aang’s and later Katara’s water bending teacher was also seated alongside her.
Sokka awkwardly flirts with her and the two of them arrange to meet and do “an activity” as Sokka told her. These activities included riding on Appa and taking romantic walks together around the city.
Even if there was a lot of affection between the two of them, she was still hesistant. This is because she was bound in an arranged marriage to Hahn. Sokka gets in a fight with Hahn and later and tells him that Princess Yue was wasted on a selfish and self-absorbed jerk like him.
Hahn had more love for her social status than who she was. He boasted to Sokka that he had courted several girls but “she came with the most perks”. This was one of the reasons that Sokka flared up and tried to beat Hahn up.
Yue and Sokka come to realize their love for each other. Even if Sokka knew how he felt about her almost the moment that he saw her. Even still, she could not bear to continue meeting with him because they confused her so much. She also strongly felt that this would interfere with her responsibilities to her tribe.
He becomes angry when she insisted that being together was “wrong” and that it was her duty to marry Hahn for her people. He heatedly tells her that she was not marrying her people.
During Admiral Zhao’s siege of the North, chief Arnook takes Sokka off the super important mission. Sokka becomes angry, but Arnook later tells him the real reason for this decision. He later tells him that he wants him for something even more important which is protecting his daughter. He did this because he had noticed how much love was between them.
Yue Avatar and Katara led Aang to the Spirits Oasis to help him to enter the Spirit World. Aang, while in the spirit world had been captured by Zuko, she accompanied Katara and Sokka as they tracked the two of them down on Appa.
On returning to the Oasis, they see that Zhao has captured the moon spirit in its mortal form. He fatally strikes the spirit, causing it to be Injured and at the point of death. This leaves all the water benders practically powerless.
Appearing on the scene, Iroh saw that she had been touched by the Moon Spirit, which reminded her how her life was saved by Tui as a newborn. Once again acting dutifully to her tribe, Yue sacrificed herself to give back the life that the Moon had given her.
Against Sokka’s wishes, she places her hands on the fish and collapses into Sokka’s arms. She closes her eyes and dies in his arms almost immediately. She subsequently appears as a spirit to Sokka, shares a tender kiss with him and a promise to always be with him.
At that moment, the once darkened moon reappears in the sky and Princess Yue became the moon.
Yue’s spirit appeared before Sokka and her father shortly after.
Yue Avatar: After death
She appears several times after her death in the series. Several times following her death, Yue Avatar’s influence on Sokka became evident and even more obvious.
While Team Avatar was trapped in the Foggy Swamp under its spiritual influence, Sokka hallucinated about her. Her hallucination regrettably told him that he failed to protect her. This was a reflection of the guilt he carried about her death. During his time in the Si Wong Desert, Sokka directly referred to the moon as Yue while in an intoxicated state brought about by drinking cactus juice.
When Sokka and Suki nearly kissed while crossing the Serpent’s Pass, a warning glimpse of the moon could be visible in the background. This reminded him of Yue’s presence and his memory of Yue’s death prompted him to refuse the kiss while acting overly protective of Suki.
After Aang was struck down by Princess Azula’s lightning during the Coup of Ba Sing Se, Yue Avatar was able to provide more tangible assistance to Team Avatar: She took it upon herself to meet the Avatar in the Spirit World. She was instrumental before and after her death and is a viable member of the Team Avatar7