The question everyone wants to know is, How did Aang die? Avatar Aang was one of the most beloved avatars in history. Granted, the fact that he was the avatar most people got introduced to at the start of the franchise helped his popularity, but other factors really endeared him to the people of the four nations. When we first met Aang, the world had been plunged into a century-old war, and the Fire Nation had taken over most of it, waiting to deliver the final blow and assume full control of things.
Through the events of the Last Airbender, we see Aang get discovered by Sokka and Katara and begin their quest to train the Avatar so he can take down the Fire Nation and restore balance to the world. They succeed, and Team Avatar works towards rebuilding their world in a better image. By the time we see Avatar Korra take over the mantle, the world has definitely undergone a massive change. It also means Aang is no more. But one question remains; How did Aang die?
So How Did He die?
We never really get an answer from the series, but from tie-in comics and speculation from different sources over the two series, we can piece together the events that transpired in Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. Let’s dig into the life and death of one of the greatest airbenders in history as we answer the question: How did Aang die?
The History of Aang
Every true Avatar fan knows how Aang was born. He was the next in line after Avatar Roku of the Fire Nation was killed by an erupting volcano in his old age. Roku was 70 when he died, and his death heralded the time of the Fire Nation’s attack; Firelord Sozin realized the absence of the avatar would leave the fire nation almost untouchable. His death also brought about the birth of the new avatar; Aang. But Sozin already predicted the avatar cycle, and so to avoid having problems with a new avatar, he murdered the entire
How Did Aang Die After Avatar: The Last Airbender?
Though Aang does appear in The Legend of Korra in Korra’s visions, the first Avatar we knew and loved died long before the events of the series. So just how did Aang die? Well Essentially Aang’s death can be attributed to a complicated form of old age.
Avatars generally live long lives. Even Kiyoshi lived to be as old as 230. Aang could have lived just as long, but he was not so lucky. Because he spent a hundred years frozen in the iceberg, even though he was a kid at the time of his discovery, those years began to catch up to him.
His life energy became drained, and at the rather young age of 66, Aang finally died. This makes him one of the youngest avatars to die, second only to Avatar Kuruk who passed at the age of 33 after spending years trying to save his fiance Ummi from Koh the face stealer.
Despite dying so relatively young, Avatar Aang left behind a powerful legacy.
Before he died, Aang tasked the Order of the White Lotus with finding the next avatar. Because of the cycle, we knew that it would be a waterbender. The White Lotus eventually located Korra, a young but very skilled and talented bender. She would go on to carry the Avatar Legacy, and would even contact Aang for advice and spiritual guidance from time to time. That is, until she lost her connection to every other Avatar and became the progenitor of a new avatar cycle.
How Did Aang Die: Avatar Aang’s Legacy
A person’s greatest legacy is often who he leaves behind and the ideology he instills in them. For Aang, his legacy consisted of his family. Together with his close friend and wife Katara, Aang continued the race of the formerly extinct Air Nomads. He and Katara had just three children, Bumi, Kya and Tenzin, and of those three, two became airbenders.
Although only Tenzin showed his affinity for bending while Aang was alive, it was enough to start the air nation all over again. Eventually, several people in the world would gain air bending after Korra reopened the spirit portal. Tenzin himself went on to have four children who all became airbenders, thus continuing the legacy of the Air Nomads naturally before the spiritual imbalance was corrected by Korra.
Even in his death Aang was still a very important character. His spirit served as the spiritual advisor to Korra, then seventeen years old, just like how Roku was an advisor to him. Initially, he is only able to give her glimpses of his memory concerning Yakone.
This was about her issues with his two sons, Amon and Tarrlok, who were Yakone’s Bloodbending vendetta products on the Avatar. Only after she loses her ability to bend when Amon takes it from her that things change. Korra allows herself to listen to her past lives, at which point Aang restores her powers by triggering the Avatar State and teaching her to Energybend.
In the second season of the Legend of Korra, we find out that Aang and his children had a very warped relationship. Apparently, Aang treated Tenzin differently, making him his apparent favorite, perhaps due to the fact that they were both airbenders.
But it’s revealed that Aang was very negligent of his other children, to the point that even the Air Acolytes did not know about Bumi and Kya.
Aang himself later appears, along with Roku, Kyoshi and Kuruk to Korra in a vision. He encourages her to learn the origins of Wan (the first Avatar) and Raava. Aang also appears in the Spirit World, encouraging Tenzin to move past the legacy of being Aang’s son to find his own path.
The Death of the Avatar Cycle: How Does Aang Die Again?
Korra loses her connection to Aang and the other preceding Avatars when Vaatu the dark avatar takes Raava and kills her. Even though Korra does get the Divine Avatar spirit when she is reborn, fusing with her does not restore the connection. To her dismay, she finds that her spiritual connection to the past avatars is lost forever.
When Zaheer gives an ultimatum for Korra to surrender to him or lose the new airbenders, Korra meditates into the spirit realm. She expresses her wish to call upon Aang’s spirit and ask his advice in saving the new Air Nomads. Iroh’s spirit appears to her, and assures her that, even though Aang is no longer able to guide her, she could always ask one of Aang’s closest friends his nephew, Lord Zuko.