The Last Airbender series has one of the most iconic intros in animations. You’re mentally reciting it, aren’t you? Yeah. It’s that epic. The Avatar Intro is one thing that every fan of the show remembers.
Avatar: The Last Airbender’s opening Introduction visually tells you about the story and the world of the four nations. It introduces many important things and the need to know information about the series in such a short period of time. Not only does Katara’s narration explain the backstory of the world, but the sequence showcases four characters using their bending abilities. These are the original bending abilities that make up the four nations.
The Avatar Intro
“Long ago, the four nations lived in peace and harmony. But everything changed when the fire nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed him most? He vanished.
A hundred years passed, and my brother and I discovered the new Avatar. An airbender named Aang. And although his airbending skills were great; He had a lot to learn before he was ready to save anyone. But I believe that Aang can save the world.”
This Introduction by Katara pretty much catches a first-time viewer that starts the series even at Book Three on what has happened so far. However, it would do them good to start from Book One.
The Introduction also showcases several cut scenes like four benders bending the four elements.
Their scenes are in quick succession, so it is not easy to identify them.
Who are The Four Benders in the Avatar Intro?
The first few scenes showcase these four benders, bending the four different elements skillfully. Katara carefully explains what had happened up until the moment when the boy in the Ice was found. The first few scenes show Aang demonstrating his air bending skills. It is then followed by Roku, demonstrating the bending powers of a fully realized Avatar. As the show proceeded, we got to find out the names of some of the benders in the intro.
The first bender is Master Pakku. Pakku was first introduced in the last parts of Book one. This was when Sokka, Katara, Aang, Appa, and Momo got to the North Pole.
He came around the last part of the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
For a time, he was Aang’s and Katara’s waterbending teacher, although he originally was hell-bent on refusing to teach Katara. This was due to the traditions and customs that the north pole had. It was because of her gender, and this complicated their relationship. Eventually, Pakku recognized Katara’s abilities and tasked her as Aang’s next master soon after they left the northern water tribe.
The second bender in the credits was revealed as Azula. She was introduced around the last episode of book one. She became one of the main villains in the show and a prominent antagonist of the team Avatar. She demonstrated and exhibited great talent as a fire bender. She is far crueler than Zuko ever was and threatened both Aang and even Zuko himself.
It makes sense of her to represent the fire element in the opening credits, as not only is she talented with the element, but Azula also embodies the spirit of the Fire Nation during the events of The Last Airbender.
The other two characters in the intro, however, are not that easily identifiable. The earth bender was supposed to be Aang’s future earthbending teacher.
However, the creators of the series decided that a girl should be the one to help Aang master the element instead of the earlier proposed character.
So they created Toph and introduced her in book two, the second season of the series.
Later, the design of the credits was used for Roku’s earthbending teacher, Sud. In this case, the character in the Introduction came first because Sud was introduced and only appeared in season 3 of the show.
Finally, no one knows for sure the identity of the Airbender shown in the opening sequence.
Although at first glance, it might look like it was Aang, when closely looked at, a mustache is visible on the bender’s face. This also eliminates the possibility of it being Yangchen, the female airbending Avatar, as a possibility.
Some have speculated that the Airbender in the credits is indeed a younger version of Gyatso, Aang’s teacher and surrogate father, but this is not entirely confirmed. The original identity of the character was likely scrapped during the creative process, similar to how Sud and Toph transformed between Avatar: The Last Airbender seasons.
The narration changes as the series progress.
Narration for The Avatar Introd
Katara narrates the opening sequence. In the first episode, she states:
“Water. Earth. Fire. Air. My grandmother used to tell me stories about the old days, a time of peace when the Avatar kept the balance between the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads. But that all changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar mastered all four elements. Only he could stop the ruthless fire benders. But when the world needed him most, he vanished.
A hundred years have passed, and the Fire Nation is nearing victory in the War. Two years ago, my father and the men of my tribe journeyed to the Earth Kingdom to help fight against the Fire Nation, leaving my brother and me to look after our tribe. Some people believe that the Avatar was never reborn into the Air Nomads and that the cycle is broken. But I haven’t lost hope. I still believe that somehow, the Avatar will return to save the world.”
In subsequent episodes, she says:
“Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them, but when the world needed him most, he vanished. A hundred years passed, and my brother and I discovered the new Avatar, an Airbender named Aang. And although his airbending skills are great, he has a lot to learn before he’s ready to save anyone. But I believe Aang can save the world.”
In the unaired pilot episode, she says:
“Water. Earth. Fire. Air. My grandmother used to tell me stories about the old days, how the four nations once lived in harmony, how everything changed once the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar mastered all four elements. Only he could stop the ruthless fire benders. But when the world needed him most, he disappeared.
Nobody had seen him for a hundred years until my brother, and I found him, an Airbender named Aang. The problem is, this Avatar is still a kid, and even though his airbending skills are great, he has a lot to learn before he’s ready to save anyone. The Fire Nation will do anything to capture Aang before he masters all four elements, so I must keep him safe until he’s ready to fulfill his destiny. My brother thinks I’m crazy, but I believe Aang can save the world.”
On the first page of The Promise Part One, Katara says:
“Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them, but when the world needed him most, he vanished.
A hundred years passed, and my brother Sokka and I discovered the new Avatar, an Airbender named Aang. Although his airbending skills were great, he had a lot to learn before he was ready to save anyone. But from the first day I met him, I believed Aang would save the world. And you know what? I was right.
With the help of his friends, Aang defeated Fire Lord Ozai and ended the Hundred Year War. Zuko, Ozai’s son and our ally became the new Fire Lord. Together with Earth, King Kuei, Aang, and Zuko promised to return the nations to harmony.”