Avatar: Here’s Why Aang Can Fly in the Live-Action Series but Couldn’t in the Animated One! Or Not!?

Avatar: Here's Why Aang Can Fly in the Live-Action Series but Couldn't in the Animated One

Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the popular Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series is finally here, and we on Fiction Horizon are going to be covering the series, explaining all the changes from the original animated series, as well as some crucial story elements that you might be wondering about. This article will be dedicated to Aang, the series’ protagonist, as we are going to explain a part of his story. Namely, the live-action adaptation of Avatar seemingly showed Aang flying, which was a big change from the animated series. Is it true? Can Aang really fly in the live-action series? In this article, we are going to explain everything you need to know!

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Aang is the protagonist of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the current Avatar. He comes from a nation of Air Nomads, so his primary ability was Airbending, which he demonstrated early on.
  • In the animated series, Aang was unable to fly, and his using vessels to fly was one of the most important aspects of the lore of the original series.
  • In the live-action series, though, it seemed that Aang could fly, which would have been a major change, but not all fans actually agreed on the fact that Aang was flying.

Aang couldn’t fly in the animated series, but the live-action series added a controversial moment

Aang is the current Avatar, and that is a fact that everyone knows. He was destined to master all the four elements and to secure peace in the world. He comes from the nation of Air Nomads, and his primary technique is Airbending. And while he managed to learn all the other bending techniques, we are going to discuss an aspect of his Airbending ability here.

Namely, in the animated series, Aang was able to use the air as a “vehicle” of sorts, as he was able to propel himself through the air, but he was not able to fly. He used improvised vessels to actually fly, or even Appa, the flying bison with the natural ability of flight. This was one of the major aspects of the series and something that the fans of the animated series took as an unchangeable canon – Aang cannot fly!

But, when the live-action adaptation premiered, the first episode immediately caused a lot of stir among the fans because it seemingly changed a major part of the original canon, as now – as it seemed – Aang could fly. This happened early on in the first episode when we saw Aang seemingly fly in his hometown, and while it was visually effective, we cannot deny it, it was against the canon, and many fans were furious about that change, going to the Internet to express their disdain with the decision.

While we don’t have an official explanation yet, it turned out that the interpretation of this particular scene would prove to be more than controversial and that fans still cannot agree on whether Aang was flying or not.


Avatar: Here’s What Happened to Appa When Aang Died!

Fans are in a disagreement over whether Aang can actually fly or not in the live-action adaptation

Now, you’ve probably seen the scene for yourselves, but if you haven’t, here it is:

It certainly does look like Aang is flying in this first scene, and you can understand why many fans were angry with this particular scene, as it changed the canon significantly. It looks effective and stunning, without a doubt, but it goes against the canon. But, while, as we have said, many fans voiced their disappointment with this change, there are those who claim that Aang wasn’t actually flying, like Reddit user bookrants:

I’ve seen this comment a lot in the early reviews of live action Avatar series and I’m kind of baffled by it. Aang isn’t flying the same way Zahir was in Korra. He’s very clearly propelling himself in the air instead of just levitating. If you look closely behind him, you would see ripples of air.


And bookrants is just one of many with such an opinion. So, as you can see, we don’t really know whether Aang can fly or not. Some fans think that he did fly, while others think that he did not. Be that as it may, we can only say that the reasons for this scene have not been revealed officially, and if it indeed was a flight in the true sense of the word, we think that the producers added it to make it more effective and visually interesting. There doesn’t seem to be any other reason we can think of now.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments