Katara narrates a long montage of the history of the Avatar and the war. Sokka and Katara are fishing when icebergs smash their boat. Katara gets mad and her water-bending powers split open an iceberg. A magical boy is frozen inside. They realize he has air-bending powers but don’t realize yet he’s the avatar, capable of all four types of bending. They take him back to their village, where he goes penguin-sledding with Katara and avoids talking about his past. Then the fire nation attacks their village.
Why Aang might be hard to identify with: He’s a little careless: He doesn’t care that his flying bison covered Sokka in snot. He’s kind of a screw-up: He gets his tongue stuck to his flying stick.
- He has an irrepressible personality. As soon as he wakes up he says to Katara, “I need to ask you something… Please… Come closer… Will you go penguin sledding with me?”
- He has a complicated series of tattoos that individuate him.
- He has a bizarre pet.
- He has secrets that he’s keeping.
- He’s lost everything.
- We see brief flashbacks to some traumatic event.
- He’s got even more superpowers than other characters with superpowers.
- He’s got a cool glider thing.
Why Katara might be hard to identify with: She’s less goofy and more serious than the boys, so she’s the least fun character.
- She has a bizarre backstory and a unique culture.
- She’s got an odd signature hairstyle
- She has beliefs: “I still believe that, somehow the Avatar will return to save the world.”
- She’s ignored: Her brother won’t look when she’s using her powers and he’s generally boorish toward her.
- Her mother’s dead and her father’s been gone for two years.
- Her boat gets smashed.
- She’s got water bending powers.
Why Sokka might be hard to identify with: He’s sexist: “Leave it to a girl to screw things up.” He’s unadventurous: “I’m just saying that if I had weird powers, I’d keep it to myself.” He’s unsure if they should get involved with Aang.
- Like Katara, he has a bizarre backstory and a unique culture.
- Like Katara, he’s got an odd signature hairstyle.
- A man of appetites: “Mmm… I can already smell it cooking.”
- Classic ironic humiliation: “Watch and learn, Katara, this is how you catch a fish.” Then she gets one and he doesn’t.
- “Why is it that every time you play with water, I get soaked?”
- Like Katara, his mother’s dead and his father gone for two years
- Every hero has superpowers but him, which understandably gives him a complex.
- He gets called out on making muscles every time he sees his reflection in the water.
- His boat gets smashed.
- He gets covered in snot
- The “men” he commands in the village are all little boys
- He has adult responsibilities in the village.
- He hunts food with a spear
- He has a special war club
- When they get attacked, we see he’s a natural leader.