Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 1 Episode 1

The Boy in the Iceberg

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Feb 21, 2005 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
983 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When a young waterbender, named Katara, and her brother, Sokka, discover a giant iceberg while fishing for food around their homestead at the South Pole, they discover that there is a boy, named Aang, inside. Aang, they discover, is an airbender, (a group of people which were thought to be extinct). However, after a string of unfortunate events which puts the village in harm's way, they soon learn that there is more to him than meets the eye. Will Aang prove his hidden abilities, or will he be thought as just a child?moreless

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  • Luckly Thing!!!

    I sit here on my computer thinking about my life with Avatar, and I just can't even think about it. I can still remember the main reason I watched the pilot( I was bored and there was nothing good on.) I thank my lucky stars I was on the t.v, cause had I missed it, my whole life(and childhood) would've have been destoried.
  • Great start to an amazing show

    Avatar is a great show and though this pilot is a bit slow compared to the rest of the series, it provides a solid base for the rest of the season.
  • Everything that a pilot episode should be.

    Avatar is often compared to anime because of its continuous story amongst other shared elements. They feel the same in texture, but what's so different about Avatar is that, at least for this episode, is it possesses that much lacking polish that animes are often without. Here is a pilot episode that does everything right; funny script, progressively teases you the story bits by bits at a satisfying rate, very good introduction to the characters, etc. And you know what? The action, which the entire cartoon is centered around, hasn't even introduced itself yet! So the best has yet to come. Can't wait for more!moreless
  • this show is awesome

    Boy I love this Avatar the Last Airbender show If I was in this show I choese to be an airbender or firebender or just be the avatar thats beter. In this show we Aang the last airbender and the Avatar but we don't know that yet. then we meet Katara

    the last Waterbender not really we don't call this show Katara the last Waterbender and we meet her brother Sokka an sarcastic" and meat-eater guy and we meet Zuko a guy with a ponytail and this big scar on his eye these draw come up with good character desieds from then. This is going to be a great showmoreless
  • Katara and Sokka find the avatar and his flying bison in an iceberg. They take him back to their village and when firebenders arrive they realize he is the avatar

    I have to admit, The first half of the pilot was not my favorite at all. I actually found it a bit boring and was expecting to be wowed, but then again all pilots have a rough start.

    The legend begins with a very boring quiet scene of Katara and Sokka fishing. I like that already you get a sense of what the siblings relationships is like with their arguing and Kataras temper literally breaking the ice. Eventually they come across the avatar who is found in an iceberg they come across. This is the main problem of the episode. Aang comes off as pretty annoying and unlikeable at first with his loopyness of wanting to go penguins sledding. Also i didnt really like how they introduced Appa and how he didnt fly in the beginning (in the 2nd part he does and its hilarious what Sokkas like).

    When the take Aang back to the village you start getting the sense of what Aang is like, a goofy kid who just likes to have fun, which is what we didnt really get at the iceberg scene. We find out Sokka is a very hilarious character especially when all the kids wanted out of his class and went to the potty. Eventually they introduce Zuko and Iroh(irohs one of the best characters ever). I love the introduction of them. Right away just from two characters you get an insight of what the whole fire nation is like. A bunch of dead serious, hard-core fighters. Finally we get to the part where Zuko arrives at the little town. Bad scene. I was just expecting more fighting. This is an action/adventure series and there wasnt much action in the first half of the series a bit dry. But the secound part is pure epicness....moreless
Melendy Britt

Melendy Britt

Gran Gran

Guest Star

Madeline Lovejoy

Madeline Lovejoy

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Luke Zampas

Luke Zampas

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • As Zuko approaches Uncle Iroh while demanding to learn the advanced set of Firebending moves, his gold belt buckle turns gray.

    • When Aang was trying to catch a penguin, Katara had a fish that seemingly came out of nowhere.

    • When Katara is in Aang's tent while he puts his shirt on, during an upclose shot of her, her necklace is white.

    • When Aang is in the tent, after the nightmare, he has no shirt or shoes on. Aang puts on his shirt, and then Katara drags him out of the tent before he has his chance to put his shoes on, and then when he is introduced, he has his shoes on.

  • QUOTES (32)

    • Katara: Water. Earth. Fire. Air. My grandmother used to tell me stories about the old days, a time of peace when the Avatar kept balance between the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads. But that all changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar mastered all four elements. Only he could stop the ruthless firebenders. But when the world needed him most, he vanished. A hundred years have passed and the Fire Nation is nearing victory in the war. Two years ago, my father and the men of my tribe journeyed to the Earth Kingdom to help fight against the Fire Nation, leaving me and my brother to look after our tribe. Some people believe that the Avatar was never reborn into the Air Nomads and that the cycle is broken, but I haven't lost hope. I still believe that somehow the Avatar will return to save the world.

    • Aang: Whoa! What's that?
      Katara: A Fire Navy ship and a very bad memory for my people.
      (Aang walks toward ship)
      Katara: Aang, stop! We're not supposed to go inside.
      Aang: If you want to be a bender, you have to let go of fear.

    • Sokka (snatching Aang's staff from him): What is this, a weapon? You can't stab anything with it.
      Aang (airbending the staff back from Sokka): It's not for stabbing. It's for Airbending.

    • Iroh (upset): No, power in Firebending comes from the breath, not the muscles. The breath becomes energy in the body. The energy extends past your limbs and becomes fire! Get it right this time.

    • Sokka (as Aang glides in to Sokka's tower): Uhhh, my watchtower!

    • Sokka: You know last time I checked, humans can't fly!
      Aang (opens up his glider): Check again!

    • Katara: He's alive! We need to help!
      Sokka: Katara, get back here. You don't know what the thing is!

    • Zuko: It means my search is about to come to an end.
      Uncle: Huh...
      Zuko: That light came from an incredibly powerful source! It has to be him!
      Uncle: Or it's just a celestial light. We've been down this road before, Prince Zuko. I don't want you to get too excited over nothing. Please, sit. Why don't you enjoy a cup of calming jasmine tea?
      Zuko (nervously): I don't need any calming tea! I need to capture the Avatar! Helmsman! Head a course to the light!

    • Sokka: Yeah, yeah, an ancient art, unique to our culture, blah-blah-blah...

    • Katara: Aang, meet the entire village. Entire village, Aang.
      Aang: Why is everyone staring at me like that?

    • Katara: Why are you smiling like that? (Aang has a huge smile on his face)
      Aang: Uh...oh I was smiling?

    • Aang (soft, raspy voice): I need to ask you something.
      Katara: What?
      Aang (still soft, raspy voice): Please, come closer.
      Katara: What is it?
      Aang: Will you go penguin sledding with me?
      Katara: Uh, sure I...I guess.

    • Sokka: It's not getting away from me this time. Watch and learn, Katara. This is how you catch a fish.
      (Katara waterbends a fish out of the water.)
      Katara: Sokka, look!
      Sokka (whispers): Shhh. Katara, you're gonna scare it away. Mmmm? I can already smell it cookin'!
      Katara: But Sokka! I caught one!

    • Katara: So its my fault?
      Sokka: I knew I should have left you at home. Leave it to a girl to screw things up.

    • Aang: I'm Aang. (sniffs)
      Sokka: You just sneezed, and flew 10 feet into the air!
      Aang: Really? It felt higher than that.
      Katara: You're an airbender!

    • (Katara and Aang are having fun penguin sledding.)
      Aang: Yeeaaaaah!!
      Katara: I haven't done this since I was a kid!
      Aang: You still are a kid!

    • Katara: I told you he's the real thing, Gran-Gran! I've finally found a bender to teach me!
      Gran-Gran: Katara, try not to put all your hopes in this boy.
      Katara: But he's special, I can tell. I sense he's filled with much wisdom!
      Aang (nearby, talking to waterbender children with his tongue stuck to his staff): Thee? Now my tongue ith thtuck too my thtaff!

    • (After Katara cracked open an iceberg)
      Sokka: Okay, you've gone from weird to freakish, Katara.
      Katara: You mean I did that?
      Sokka: Yup. Congratulations.

    • Zuko: Finally! Uncle, do you know what this means?
      Iroh: I won't get to finish my game.

    • Sokka (annoyed): I'm just saying that if I had weird powers, I'd keep my weirdness to myself.
      Katara: You're calling me weird? I'm not the one who makes muscles at myself every time I see my reflection in the water! (Sokka is caught doing just that and abruptly stops.)

    • Katara: Come on, let's get out of here.
      (they turn to leave and Aang steps through a small wire.)
      Aang: What's that you said about booby traps? (and a gate slamed shut on them)
      Katara: Huh?!

    • Katara: This ship has haunted my tribe since Gran-Gran was a little girl. It was part of the Fire Nation's first attacks.
      Aang: Okay, back up. I have friends all over the world even in the Fire Nation. I've never seen any war.
      Katara: Aang, how long were you in that iceberg?
      Aang: I don't know, a few days maybe?
      Katara: I think it was more like a hundred years.

    • Aang: I have a way with animals.
      Katara: Aang, I'll help you catch a penguin if you teach me water bending.
      Aang: You've got a deal! Just one little problem... I'm an airbender, not a waterbender. Isn't there someone in your tribe that can teach you?
      Katara: No. You're looking at the only waterbender in the whole South Pole.
      Aang: This isn't right. A waterbender needs to master water. What about the North Pole? There's another water tribe up there, right? Maybe they have waterbenders who could teach you?
      Katara: Maybe, but we haven't had contact with our sister tribe in a long time. It's not exactly turn right at the second glacier... It's on the other side of the world.
      Aang: But you forget. I have a flying bison. Appa and I can personally fly you to the North Pole. Katara, we're going to find you a master.

    • Katara (to Aang): Hey.
      Aang: Hey. Watcha thinkin' about?
      Katara: Just wondering, you being an Airbender and all, if you had any idea what happened to the Avatar.
      Aang: No. I didn't know him. I knew people that knew him. But I didn't, sorry.

    • Katara: Go left! Go left!
      (The canoe swerves and Sokka paddles it, steering it right, and the canoe is crushed by two chunks of ice, throwing Sokka and Katara out onto an iceberg)
      Katara: You call that left?

    • Aang: Ok first-time flyers, hold on tight. Appa! Yip! Yip!
      (Appa jumps in the air and lands in the water and begins swimming)
      Sokka: (sarcastically) Wow. That was truly amazing.

    • Aang: Well, if you guys are stuck, Appa and I can give you a lift.
      Sokka: Oh, no. I'm not getting on that fluffy snot monster!
      Katara: Are you hoping some other kind of monster will come along and give you a ride home, you know, before you freeze to death?

    • Sokka: Giant light beams, flying bisons, Airbenders... I think I got midnight sun madness. I'm going home where stuff makes sense!

    • Katara: Some good must have come out of this...
      Aang: Well I got to meet you. (smiles)
      (Katara smiles back)

    • Sokka: What is that?
      Aang: This is Appa, my flying bison.
      Sokka: ...Yeah, and this is Katara, my flying sister.

    • Sokka: Why is it that every time you play with magic water, I get soaked?!
      Katara: It's not magic, it's waterbending!

    • Sokka: ...for without courage, how can we call ourselves men!
      Little Boy: I gotta pee!
      Sokka: Listen! Until your fathers return from the war, their counting on you to be the men of this tribe and that means no potty breaks!
      Little Boy: But I really gotta go!
      Sokka: Okay... who else has to go?
      (All boys raise their hands)
      Sokka (sighs and slaps forehead): Uh....
      Katara: (To Sokka) Have you seen Aang? Gran Gran said he disappeared an hour ago.
      Aang: Wow everything freezes in there.
      Sokka: Katara get him out of here. This lesson is for warriors only.
      Little Kid: Weeee.
      Sokka: Stop! Stop it right now! What's wrong with you? We don't have time for fun and games with the war going on.
      Aang: What war? What are you talking about?
      Sokka: You're kidding, right?
      Aang (sees a penguin on the horizon): Penguin!!
      Sokka: (To Katara) He's kidding, right?

  • NOTES (11)

  • ALLUSIONS (10)

    • The bone dagger that Sokka uses in this episode resembles the tools used millions of years ago by caveman.

    • The pai sho, game that Iroh plays in the beginning of the episode, is like the popular board game checkers.

    • Appa is Korean for dad or father.
      Additionally, "Ah Pa" which is almost simillar in pronunciation, also means father in the Hokkien dialect.

    • Katara's name comes from the Spanish word, Catarata, which means a downpour of water or a waterfall. This is a reference to her waterbending abilities.

    • The tattoos Aang has on him mark him as a master airbender. This is an allusion to the beliefs of many Asian cultures in which tattoos were considered a symbol of spiritual dedication or status.

    • Aang being frozen in the iceberg for a hundred years is an allusion to the suspended animation techniques some scientists are experimenting with. Suspended animation is a medical procedure that can theoretically freeze the human body, allowimg a person to live for a certain amount of time with their vital functions shut down.

    • The movements Zuko does while he is practicing firebending is based on the real martial arts style Northern Shaolin Kung Fu.

    • When Iroh says "power in Firebending comes from the breath" it is an allusion to many cultures throughout history where breathing has been considered the connection of the mind and chi energy. Especially in martial arts, like Tai Chi, breathing techniques are though of as a passage to special powers.

    • Aang's status as the last airbender in the world along with his pet Appa is simular to how an escape artist named Yorick is the last man on earth along with his pet monkey Ampersand from a comic series called "Y: The Last Man".

    • In the legend of King Arthur, he was cast into an enchanted sleep to awaken when his people needed him again. With Aang being, for all purposes, sleeping in a magic tomb for a hundred years, it was handled in a similar manner to that of the legend.