Avatar: The Last Airbender (Avatar: The Legend of Aang in some regions) is an American television series that aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008. Avatar: The Last Airbender is set in an Asian-influenced world in which some people are able to manipulate the classical elements by use of psychokinetic variants of Chinese martial arts known as “bending”. The show combined the styles of anime and American cartoons, and relied on the imagery of various East Asian, Inuit, Southeast Asian, South Asian and New World societies. Due to this style, the series regularly enters the conversation regarding its consideration as an anime work.

The series follows the adventures of protagonist twelve-year-old Aang and his friends, who must bring peace and unity to the world by ending the Fire Lord’s war against the other three nations.[3] The pilot episode first aired on February 21, 2005, and the series concluded with a widely praised two-hour episode on July 19, 2008. The show is obtainable from various sources, including DVD, the iTunes Store, the Zune Marketplace, the Xbox Live Marketplace, the PlayStation Store, Netflix Instant Play (formerly), Amazon Instant Video, and the Nicktoons Network.

Throughout its run, Avatar: The Last Airbender was universally acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. Praises went to the art direction, humor, cultural references, characters, and themes. It was also commercially successful, garnering 5.6 million viewers on its best-rated showing and receiving high ratings in the Nicktoons lineup, even outside its 6- to 11-year-old demographic. The series has been nominated for and won awards from the Annual Annie Awards, the Genesis Awards, the primetime Emmy awards and a Peabody Award among others. The first season’s success prompted Nickelodeon to order second and third seasons. In other media, the series has spawned a critically panned but financially successful live-action film, titled The Last Airbender, directed by M. Night Shyamalan; scaled action figures; a trading card game; three video games; stuffed animals distributed by Paramount Parks and two Lego sets. An art book was also released in mid-2010. A sequel series, The Legend of Korra, premiered on April 14, 2012.

The events 100 years before the beginning of the show are revealed gradually and out of order throughout the series. More than a century before the beginning of the series, the ruler of the Fire Nation, Fire Lord Sozin, planned a world war to expand his territory and bring the world the Fire Nation’s prosperity. Despite their friendship, Avatar Roku prevented him from carrying out his plan to maintain the balance of their world. However, Sozin bided his time and resumed his campaign once Roku died.

On Roku’s death, the Avatar was reincarnated as an Airbender named Aang, who learned of his Avatar status while still twelve years old when his power was needed to stop Sozin. Aang, frightened of his new responsibilities and of separation from his mentor Gyatso, fled his home on his flying bison, Appa. The two were subsequently forced into the ocean by a storm, but Aang became scared, entering the Avatar State and encasing them both in an iceberg, where they remained in suspended animation for one hundred years.

Soon after, Sozin, knowing the nature of the Avatar reincarnation cycle, carried out genocide of the Air Nomads during the passing of a comet that increased the Firebenders’ firepower abilities, which was later named after him. However, Aang evaded his grasp, and Sozin spent his remaining days searching for the eponymous “Last Airbender”. In time, as the Fire Nation’s Hundred Year War continued, Sozin was succeeded as Fire Lord by his son Azulon, who in turn passed the title to his youngest son Ozai, the current ruling Fire Lord at the time of the series and the father of fire prince Zuko and princess Azula. The title was originally meant for Ozai’s older brother Iroh, but Iroh’s birthright was taken from him in light of his absence from the Fire Nation at the time, laying siege on the Earth Kingdom capital of Ba Sing Se, which lasted for 600 days until he ended it upon the loss of his only son.



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