Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 2 Episode 1

The Avatar State

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Mar 17, 2006 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
571 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Plagued with nightmares featuring the devastating power of his Avatar State, Aang and the gang meet an Earth Kingdom general who has big plans for defeating the Fire Nation. Meanwhile Prince Zuko and Uncle Iroh, having survived the failed attack on the North Water Tribe, have a surprise visit from the Prince's sister with seemingly good news.moreless

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  • The Avatar State

    The Avatar State was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Avatar The Last Airbender. I really enjoyed watching this episode as we are introduced to Azula, who is Zuko's sister. She has seemingly good news for them. It was cool to see her Firebending skills. I thought it interesting how ruthless she is, just like Fire. I thought the Earth Kingdom was neat and The General became a little crazy trying to force Aang into the Avatar State. There was some cool scenery and action scenes. I enjoyed all the surprises and the end of this episode see's Zuko and Iroh acknowledge that they are on their own. I look forward to the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • book earth starts now

    Starting off season 2 or as called book Earth we learn that when Aang makes his tattos and eyes bright up is called the Avatar State I wounder if there could be a better name for that so it sounds like it powerfull but I am not complaining i like the name better. then we meet Auzla(Zuko sister) that can do this sick lighting blast man that its what the show need Lightingbending and then Ruko tells aang more about the Avatar State and to think that if aang is killed in the avatar state I think he will cesae to exit better be careful Aangmoreless
  • Second one had a great ending, and season two has a good beginning.

    For a cartoon that has a continuing storyline, Avatar took people by storm with its witty dialogue and surprisingly fantastic writing. It hardly skips a beat with the second season, and it shows immediately in its first episode. Aang's heroics over at the North Pole caught the attention of the Earth Kingdom and his Avatar state has started to become a coveted tool. It was actually pretty neat how the episode explored this issue and establishing it to the masses that forcing Aang into going into the Avatar state isn't the way to get. Nicely executed. What was also pretty neat is that it's putting a bigger emphasis on Zuko and Iroh being fugitives of the Fire Nation, ultimately transforming Zuko from the antagonist to the anti hero. Two storylines that were executed well makes for a very good watch.moreless
  • Aang is forced by an Earth Bending General to learn how to fight in the Avatar State...

    This episode was pretty awesome. After the battle at the North Pole, Aang discovers that everyone has learned of his magnificent feats while using the Avatar State. He is forced by an Earth Bending General to try to learn how to go into the Avatar State willingly so they can win the war immediately. Aang refuses to do so, and is threatened by the General. The General uses Earthbending to trap Katara in rock. Every time Aang refuses to go into the State, the General sinks Katara lower into the ground. Aang becomes furious, and goes into the Avatar State. He starts destroying everyone and everything in sight until Katara is released. Meanwhile, Zuko runs into his little sister, Azula, who was commanded by her father to arrest Zuko and Iroh. They escape, however, and become outcasts.moreless
  • We begin the famous book two! This episode was a good starting episode for book two!!

    I don't know what it was about her, but from this episode on (for book two and maybe book three) Katara appeared ot gain a more attractive appearance, and looked hotter! She was pretty hot in book one, but when book two was started, I'm just saying that something was added to her and she was made to look prettier at the start of a new book (aka season.) What is also truly amazing about this book is that (at least i know to me and perhaps many other people) had some of the most exciting and epic episodes, and had the greatest looking animation I've ever seen in them. We are also introduced to another hot girl, a blind earthbender who first is known as the blind bandit when Aang first sees her. But then her real name is discovered which is Toph. Toph wants to venture out with Aang and his friends after wanting to get away form her family, so now we got a new character added to the force! She now takes part in the rest of Aang's adventures. Well, in this episode, a high ranked earth bending officer wants to completely destroy all fire bender opposition, and tries to get Aang into his Avatar State to do that. At the end though, it clearly doesn't work out, and Aang doesn't want to do that as it is very dangerous. Still a good epsiode with some funny parts though! Next up is Cave of Two Lovers!moreless
Daniel Dae Kim

Daniel Dae Kim

General Fong

Guest Star

Robin Atkin Downes

Robin Atkin Downes


Guest Star

James Garrett

James Garrett

Avatar Roku

Recurring Role

Victor Brandt

Victor Brandt

Master Pakku

Recurring Role

Takayo Fisher

Takayo Fisher

Lo, Li

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • When Sokka gets on the ostrich-horse, the armor it is wearing changes from green to brown to green again.

    • When Zuko and Iroh look at Azula's ship from the cliff pathway, her ship's stern is pointing to the right, but later on, her ship's stern is pointing to the left.

    • As Sokka sways back and forth with Momo in his shirt replacing his head, Katara's grey pants become light blue like her outfit.

    • Katara, Sokka, Zuko, and Iroh all have different outfits in this season. While Sokka and Katara's will remain the same aside from a few occurrences, Zuko and Iroh will have different attires in almost every episode of the season.

    • This is the first time we see Avatars other than Aang and Roku in action. In fact, we are introduced to the four Avatars prior to Roku. Avatar Kyoshi (Earth Kingdom) was before Roku, before her was a male waterbender (Avatar Kuruk), before him was a female airbender (Avatar Yangchen) and prior to her there was a male firebender (name unknown).

    • When the four elements are put together, the man took a torch from behind him and put it in the mixture to serve as the fire element. But when he threw the mud on Aang and asked if he felt anything, the torch that he had taken is still behind him and lit.

    • In the scene near the end where Zuko and Iroh are about to board Azula's ship the captain says, "You heard the princess! Raise the anchors! We're taking the prisoners ho-" and behind him in that same shot you can see Zuko's facial expression become horrified. However, right after that it cuts to a close-up of Zuko's face, which once again changes in expression from neutral to horrified.

    • During the battle between Zuko and Azula, as she blocked his flame dagger and was about to initiate her lightning technique, her fire hair ornament disappears and reappears when Iroh intercepted her second attack.

    • As Zuko reaches up and cuts off his ponytail, he leaves part of the red tie and some of the hair. However, in the next shot we see him from the side, and his ponytail is cut off completely.

    • A minute after Azula cut a mark with her nails on Zuko's forehead, it magically disappeared.

  • QUOTES (34)

    • Iroh: Who knew floating on a piece of driftwood for three weeks with no food or water and sea vultures waiting to pluck out your liver could make you so tense!

    • Katara: Aang? (goes up to the top of the ship with him) Are you okay?
      Aang: It was just a nightmare. I was in the Avatar State, but I was outside my body watching myself. It was scary. I was scary.

    • Sokka: Maybe I can shock you into the Avatar state.
      Aang: I love surprises.

    • Zuko (o.c., happily): We're going home. After three long years. It's unbelievable. (Zuko walks behind a thoughtful Iroh, carrying some folded clothing. He walks off to the right of the screen.)
      Iroh (skeptically): It is unbelievable. I have never known my brother to regret anything.

    • Avatar Roku: The Avatar State is a defense mechanism, designed to empower you the skills and knowledge of all the past Avatars. The Glow is the combination of all your past lives, focusing their energy into your body. In the Avatar State you are at your most powerful, but you are also at your most vulnerable.
      Aang: What does that mean?
      Avatar Roku: If you are killed in the Avatar State, the reincarnation cycle will be broken, and The Avatar will cease to exist.

    • General Fong (to Aang in the Avatar State): Avatar Aang your friend is safe, it was just a trick to trigger the Avatar State, and it worked!

    • General Fong (to Aang): I guess we'll figure that out on the way to the Fire Nation.
      Sokka (knocks out General Fong with boomerang): Anybody got a problem with that?

    • Iroh: To what do we owe this honor?
      Azula: Hmmm, must be a family trait... both so quick to get to the point! (Crushes shell)

    • Princess Azula (to Zuko): Father regrets your banishment, he wants you home.

    • Aang: What are you doing?
      General: I believe we are about to get results. (Attacks Aang)

    • (In a temple, an old man has a bowl)
      Old Man: You are wearing a ceremonial piece of clothing from each of the bending nations. Now I will join the four elements into one! Water, Earth, Fire, Air! (Pours in water, soil, fire, and air into the bowl) Four elements joined together as one! (Throws the contents at Aang)
      Aang: This is just mud.
      Old Man: So do you feel anything?
      (Aang holds up a finger, twitches, and sneezes)

    • Princess Azula (Steps out of throne and addresses the soldiers): My brother and my uncle have disgraced the Fire Lord and brought shame on all of us. You may have mixed feelings about attacking members of the royal family, I understand. But I assure you, if you hesitate, I will not hesitate to bring you down. Dismissed.

    • Katara (about defeating the Fire Lord): There's a right way to do this: practice, study, and discpline.
      Sokka: Or just glow it up and stop that Fire Lord.
      Katara: If you two meat heads want to throw away everything we've worked for then fine, go ahead and glow it up!
      Aang: Katara, I'm just being realistic! I don't have time to do this the right way!

    • Azula (to Zuko): Did you hear me? I just gave you good news, you should be happy, excited, grateful. I just gave you great news.
      Iroh: I'm sure your brother just needs--
      Azula: Don't interrupt, Uncle!

    • Aang (riding around the room on an air scooter; talking rapidly): Is it working? Is it working? I can't tell! Somebody tell me if I'm in the Avatar state because I don't have a good view of myself. Am I talking too loud?
      Sokka: I guess he could talk the fire lord to death.
      (Aang crashes into a pole behind him)

    • Aang (to General Fong): I'm sure. I can only reach the Avatar State when I'm in genuine danger.
      General Fong: I was afraid you'd say that. (Fong earthbends Aang out of the building they were in) Men attack the Avatar!

    • Princess Azula (to Zuko): In my country, we exchange a pleasant hello before asking questions. Have you become uncivilized so soon Zuzu?
      Prince Zuko: Don't call me that!
      Iroh: To what do we owe this honor?

    • Iroh: What I meant to say, Zuko, was that in our family, things are not always what they seem.
      Zuko: I think you are exactly what you seem: a lazy, mistrustful, shallow, old man who's always been jealous of his brother.

    • General Fong (to Aang): I can't imagine what it must be like to wield such devastating power. It's an awesome responsibility.
      Aang: I try not to think about it too much.

    • (Two old women watch Azula bend lightning)
      Lo: Almost perfect.
      Li: Just one hair out of place.
      Azula (brushing a strand of hair back from her face): Almost isn't good enough!

    • General Fong: Avatar, you are ready to face the Fire Lord.
      Aang: What?! No, I'm not!

    • Zuko: Didn't you listen to Azula? Father's realized how important family is to him. He cares about me!
      Iroh: I care about you! And I think if Ozai wants you back home, it may not be for the reasons you imagine.
      Zuko: You don't know how my father feels about me. You don't know anything!

    • Katara (to Aang): Do you remember when we went to the Southern Air Temple, and you found Monk Gyatso's skeleton? I've never seen you so upset. I saw you so upset, you weren't even you anymore. I'm not saying the Avatar State doesn't have incredible - and helpful - power ... but for the people who love you, seeing you in that much rage and pain ... is really scary.

    • Iroh (as Zuko's heading for the ship): Wait! Don't leave without me!
      Zuko: Uncle, you changed your mind.
      Iroh (putting his hand on his shoulder): Family sticks together, right?

    • General Fong: You can't run forever!
      Aang: You can't fight forever!

    • Azula: Set our course for home, Captain.
      Zuko: Home...
      Captain: You heard the Princess! Raise the anchors! We're taking the prisoners home!
      (Azula looks extremely angered at the Captain; Zuko and Iroh fight together to take out Azula's guards; Zuko and Azula engage in a fight)

    • (The Earth Benders have Katara surrounded)
      General Fong (to Aang): Maybe you can avoid me, but she can't!

    • Azula (fighting Zuko): You know, Father blames Uncle for the loss of the North Pole. And he considers you a miserable failure for not capturing the Avatar! Why would he want you back home ... except to lock you up where you can no longer embarrass him?

    • Iroh: I see. It's the anniversary, isn't it?
      Zuko: Three years ago today I was banished. I lost it all. I want it back. I want the Avatar. I want my honor, my throne. I want my father not to think I'm worthless.
      Iroh: I'm sure he doesn't. Why would he banish you if he didn't care? (Prince Zuko storms off) Err, that came out wrong, didn't it?

    • Prince Zuko: You lied to me!
      Princess Azula (sarcastically): Like I've never done that before.

    • Aang: Stop! You don't need to do this!
      General Fong: Apparently, I do.
      (Sends Katara under the ground, prompting Aang to go into his Avatar state)

    • Captain: Princess, I'm afraid the tides will not allow us to bring the ship into port before night-fall.
      Azula: I'm sorry, Captain, but I don't know much about the tides. Can you explain something to me?
      Captain: Of course, your highness.
      Azula: Do the tides command this ship?
      Captain: Uh, I'm afraid I don't understand.
      Azula: You said the tides would not allow us to bring this ship in. Do the tides command this ship?
      Captain: No, Princess.
      Azula: And if I were to have you thrown overboard, would the tides think twice about smashing you against the rocky shore?
      Captain: No, Princess.
      Azula: Well then, maybe you should worry less about the tides who have already made up their minds about killing you, and worry more about me, whose still mulling it over.
      Captain: I'll pull us in.

    • General Fong: Welcome Avatar Aang! I am General Fong. And welcome to all you great heroes. Appa, Momo, brave Sokka, the mighty Katara.
      Katara: Mighty Katara? I like that.

    • Princess Azula (talking to a village of people; pointing to a Wanted poster with Iroh and Zuko on it): Anyone who harbors these traitors will face the wrath of the Fire Lord! There will be no place left to hide.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Character Debuts: General Fong, Lo, and Li. Although she appeared in the previous episode, this is Azula's first speaking role.

    • This episode is in the Avatar: The Last Airbender Book 2: Earth, Volume 1 DVD, along with The Cave of Two Lovers, Return to Omashu, The Swamp, and Avatar Day.

    • When abruptly asked for name of the female Airbender Avatar at the Pacific Media Expo, Bryan Konietzko (jokingly) replied that it was "Avatar Susan", indicating that they didn't plan on developing the previous Avatars aside from the two already introduced. According to the "Escape from the Spirit World" animated comics the Airbender Avatar's name is Yangchen.

    • This episode aired in the UK on November 4, 2006.

    • This is the first episode of Book 2: Earth (Season 2).

    • Nick.com' s TurboNick had a clip from the beginning of this episode available to all users two days before the premiere.


    • The name of Yangchen, the female Air Nomad Avatar, is similar in pronunciation with yang qi, which is Mandarin for 'oxygen.' Quite befitting given her expressed airbending abilities.

    • General Fong's name is most likely a variant of the word feng, which translates to 'insane'. Aang even alludes to this notion at the end of the episode when he tells Fong that he's out of his mind.

    • The tower in General Fong's base is similar to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China.

    • The statues that Avatar Kyoshi was bending while in the Avatar State are also seen at a glance in a deserted Earth Kingdom city (the place where Sokka and Katara were sick) in The Blue Spirit.

    • At the end of this episode where Prince Zuko and Iroh cut off the knots in their hair is an allusion to a display of an ancient Japanese ritual symbolizing that they no longer have a place in their tribe (in this case, the Fire Nation). This is also similar to a Chinese tradition extending into the early 20th century, in which men would grow their hair in long braids called "queues," which symbolize their honor; if the braid is ever cut, then they are no longer allowed to return.

    • During the scene where Avatar Roku explains to Aang how the Avatar state works, Avatar Kyoshi is the one that is earthbending. Avatar Kyoshi also was mentioned several times in The Warriors of Kyoshi.

    • The way Aang was earthbending in this episode (in the Avatar state) was the same way he waterbended in The Avatar Returns and the way Pakku waterbended in The Siege Of The North (Part 2).

    • This episode makes a references to all the times Aang entered the Avatar State, in The Avatar Returns.

    • The cutting off of the knots at the end of this episode was used in a similar manner in Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke with the same kind of symbolism.