Aang was the principal character of Avatar: The Last Airbender and although he wasn’t the focus of The Legend of Korra, his legacy remained strong. Aang has a profound influence on the events of the animated series and in this article, we have decided to honor that legacy. Namely, we have decided to tell you how Aang died in The Legend of Korra, as well as everything else you need to know.
Aang died peacefully in The Legend of Korra at the biological age of sixty-six; chronologically, he was 165 years old. The time he spent frozen in ice, which was a whole century, ultimately caught up with him, which is why he died so young from a biological standpoint.
In this article, we are going to explain all the circumstances surrounding Aang’s death in The Legend of Korra. You’re going to find out how and when it happened, as well as what happened to Aang after his death. We’re also going to discuss Appa’s fate after Aang’s death, so you’ll find that out as well.
How Did Aang Die?
Aang was the principal hero of The Last Airbender series and it was he who actually restored peace in the realms of his own fictional universe. Bringing peace, Aang could finally retreat and live a peaceful life with his family until his death. But, before we actually explain the circumstances of Aang’s death, we have to give you some backstory, as they certainly explain why Aang died when he did and how he did.
The Avatar, within the series, is considered a being that provides the balance between the four elements as well as with the Four Nations and that has been the physical embodiment of the spirit of the world. As such, Aang is the penultimate – but the most recent, according to the chronology of the series, is a girl named Korra – of countless reincarnations born throughout history dating back to the first Avatar, a master of the fire called Wan.
The avatars have learned to control all of the four elements – Water, Earth, Fire, and Air – in that order, to maintain peace and harmony. In turn, they are born according to a cycle, which corresponds to the succession of the aforementioned elements. In this case, the boy comes from the Air Nomads, a group of individuals capable of using the air for their benefit.
The people who are capable of manipulating him are named “Airbenders,” a title that Aang earns due to his status as an avatar. Before the beginning of the series, the Avatar knows his reason for being and he flees to avoid his fate. However, due to his absence – because he ends up frozen in an iceberg with Appa – a global war begins as part of the expansion of the Fire Nation. He was frozen for a whole century before being thawed.
Once awakened from his cryogenesis, Aang must learn 3 other elements to ironically save the world he once knew, which is the plot of The Last Airbender. Aang, of course, succeeds and manages to lead a peaceful life later on.
Aang eventually marries Katara and has three children with her: Bumi, Kya, and Tenzin. After his death, he reincarnates as Korra, the main character in The Legend of Korra series which takes place several decades after the events of the original series.
Aang was founded with the help of Zuko, the United Republic of Nations, with the Republic City as its capital, which includes inhabitants of different nations, in order to preserve peace. A giant statue of Aang is present at the entrance to the city.
Aang is never physically present in The Legend of Korra series, but he is portrayed in flashbacks and spiritually interacts with Korra on several occasions. This is particularly the case the first time Korra succeeds in entering meditation, he then explains to her the origin and the capacities of Tarrloq.
Later, he’s the only one who can give Korra back her mastery of the elements. During these appearances he is in his forties, still has a shaved head but wears a goatee. In Book 2, Aang appears to Tenzin and allows him to come out of the fog he was lost in. Unalaq manages to defeat Korra and the bond with Aang and the other Avatars is broken. That was his last appearance.
Now that we’ve given you all the necessary backstory, we can finally explain the circumstances of Aang’s death. In 153 AG, the hundred years that Aang had been frozen in the iceberg while in Avatar State took away much of his inherent life energy, and in his later years, the stress of those pressures began to weigh in heavily on his body.
As his health declined and he felt his end was near, Aang asked the Order of the White Lotus to seek out the next avatar and watch him. Eventually, Aang passed away at the relatively young biological age of 66; chronologically, he was 165. He was reincarnated as a stubborn, brash, and rebellious girl named Korra of the Southern Water Tribe, which set up the events of The Legend of Korra.
Did Aang Die Peacefully?
We don’t really know all the circumstances of Aang’s death, but from what we gathered based on outside sources, he did, indeed, die peacefully. It wasn’t a sickness that killed him, but the fact that he was frozen and that he had to save the world simply took a toll on him and he passed away, peacefully and content with his legacy.
When Did Aang Die in The Legend of Korra (Aang’s death scene)?
Aang’s death was never shown in the series and the first information we got about it was in an old online interactive game titled Welcome to Republic City. The game was available on Nickelodeon’s website, but has since been removed. The game contained some information on Aang, including data on his death.
Additional information has been revealed during an interview with Bryke on July 21, 2010, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal. This is part of the interview, revealing details about Aang’s death (you can check the whole interview if you follow the link):
The Wall Street Journal: How did you come up with the idea for the spinoff? Bryan Konietzko: When Mike and I first created "Avatar: The Last Airbender" we always knew it would have an ending to it, that particular story. But as the show really took off, and found an audience all over the world, we knew that despite our intentions of ending that story there would probably be a time when Nickelodeon would come calling and want some more episodes….When that time came we had this idea for jumping ahead and telling a story about the next Avatar, this girl Korra. The Wall Street Journal: If there's a new Avatar, that means Aang has passed on. If he died around age 70, isn't that pretty young for an Avatar? Konietzko: You gotta keep in mind that he was frozen in a state of suspended animation for 100 years, so he kind of burned up some of his extra Avatar time. The Wall Street Journal: The new "Avatar" is a woman. What inspired you to change the sex of the protagonist of the series? Michael DiMartino: It's not so much about changing because we had Avatar Kyoshi before Aang. We'd established that the Avatar can be male or female and we just thought let's explore one of those more in depth, because Kyoshi was a popular character with a lot of fans and it seemed like a great opportunity to not retread what we'd done with Aang, who was a great hero, we all loved him, but we really wanted to try something different. And we have so many great female fans out there, who really responded to Katara in the first series, we thought we have the fan base who are really going to enjoy seeing the Avatar be a female. Konietzko: Mike and I, we love those characters too, and we've encountered countless fans who are male who really like those characters too. We just don't subscribe to the conventional wisdom that you can't have an action series led by a female character. It's kinda nonsense to us.
What Happened to Appa When Aang Died?
As it was with Aang, in order to fully understand the connection that Appa had with Aang, we have to give you some backstory.
When Appa was a young calf who lived near the Eastern Air Temple, the young Airbenders were allowed to meet their future companions who would bond with them all their lives. The mother of the herd willingly directed her calves to the young monks.
Aang walked over and offered Appa an apple, and the two became best friends almost immediately afterward. Shortly before the genocide of the Air Nomads, Aang learned that the monks would separate him from monk Gyatso and decided to flee with Appa. Appa didn’t know where he was going, only that he was leaving the Air Temples.
Aang took Appa across the ocean, after which they were caught in a severe storm that pushed them underwater, lifting the wind and waves until Aang passed out. Confronted with a life and death situation, the young Avatar entered the Avatar State and froze with Appa in an iceberg, the latter hibernating with Aang for a hundred years.
The two were discovered by Katara and Sokka. After that, Appa became the main form of transportation for the group to help Aang master the four elements across the world. He has appeared at most of Sokka and Princess Yue’s dates, tried to steal food with Momo in the Misty Swamp, and became a popular friend to everyone on the Avatar team.
Appa had an unbreakable bond with Aang and the two of them were inseparable, which explains the depth of their boing, as well as why Appa stuck with Aang throughout their adventures together. The two were even frozen together for a century; how many friends do you have that would spend a hundred years in ice together with you, and then stay with you afterward, hm?
Ultimately, Appa did remain a loyal companion to Aang until Aang’s death, that much is clear. What happened then? We don’t really know, as The Legend of Korra never revealed any details about Appa after Aang’s death, and the creature was not seen after Aang’s death. But, we do have a theory on what happened.
Did Appa Die with Aang?
Appa’s fate was never revealed, neither in the television series nor in the comics. Appa had a unique bond with Aang and the two were, for most of their lives, inseparable. When Aang died, Appa likely died with him, since both of them were frozen together and were roughly the same age (although we don’t know how sky bisons age, really). This, of course, was never officially confirmed and we don’t really know what happened to Appa, but this is the most likely outcome.