Team Avatar in key art for Avatar: The Last Airbender

Who Was the Avatar Before Aang?

The lore of Avatar: The Last Airbender is expansive, to say the least. It all centers around the people who can master all four elements, but sometimes, it can be hard to keep track of the order they come in. So, who was the Avatar before Aang?

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Who Was the Avatar Before Aang?

Aang in The Legend of Korra. This image is part of an article about how did Aang die after Avatar: The Last Airbdener and another about who was the avatar before Aang.

The first episode of Avatar sees Katara and her brother, Sokka, finding a boy frozen in ice. He turns out to be the Avatar, who’s been missing for 100 years and allowed the Fire Nation to start ruling the world with an iron fist. However, despite taking the majority of the blame for the Fire Nation’s tyranny, the previous Avatar had a part to play in the Hundred Year War.

Roku, the Fire Nation-born Avatar who came directly after Avatar Kyoshi, the most popular Avatar not named Aang or Korra, has a complicated history. He was a lighthearted child born to a noble family, and this status allowed him to rub shoulders with some pretty important Fire Nation residents, including Prince Sozin. The two became very close, even after Roku left to master the other elements and Sozin took the throne.

Unfortunately, the time apart wasn’t good for them, as Sozin became disillusioned with the world and wanted to bring order to it. Roku shot down his friend’s ideas and even threatened him at one point, but that wasn’t enough to do away with the fire in Sozin’s heart.

Related: How Did Aang Die After Avatar: The Last Airbender?

When a volcano erupted on the island Roku lived on, Sozin came to help, but after realizing the death of Avatar would mean he could enact all his plans, the fire lord let his friend die. He then set his sights on the Air Nomads in hopes of killing the next Avatar, who ended up being Aang. So, despite coming before arguably the greatest Avatar in history, Roku’s life isn’t looked back on very fondly.

And that’s who the Avatar was before Aang.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is streaming on Netflix.


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Jackson Hayes
Jackson Hayes is an Associate Editor at The Escapist. Starting his writing career in 2017, he quickly rose the ranks and became an editor. He's spent the last six years working at outlets such as CBR, Heroic Hollywood and Full Circle Cinema, where he's covered various sports games, Call of Duty, the MCU, and other major properties. You can follow him on Twitter @jacksonhayes67