Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 1 Episode 3

The Southern Air Temple

1
Aired Friday 6:30 PM Feb 25, 2005 on Nickelodeon

Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • Zhao said he was promoted from Captain to Commander, although Captain is a higher rank than Commander.

    • While Aang questions how Roku can help him, you can see that an airbender (not Avatar Yangchen as evidenced by the hair over the shoulders) is to Roku's right rather than Kyoshi, the Earthbender Avatar.

    • When Aang introduced Momo to everyone, Katara's braid is missing and the bead in her bun is colored the same as her hair.

    • When Zuko stands to fight in the Agni Kai, he only has four toes.

    • We can clearly see that the canopy ceiling in the building where Monk Gyatso died has given way, leaving a gaping hole, but after we see the Fire Avatar Temple, we can see from the outside that the ceiling is nearly whole but when we see Aang inside the building "glowing up", the ceiling is ruined once more only to mend again so Aang can break through it.

    • As Aang falls from his jump after Momo, the arrow on his left hand disappears.

    • Look Hard: At the very end of this episode, when Aang, Katara, and Sokka are flying away and Aang looks back at his home, you can see two interesting shaped clouds next to the temple. If you look closely, you can see that one of the clouds is Avatar Roku's animal guide, (who we meet in The Spirit World (Winter Solstice, Part 1). Next to it, you can see Avatar Roku himself (who we meet in Avatar Roku (Winter Solstice, Part 2).

    • When Zhao looks at the map in this episode, Lake Laogai is shown to be west of the inner wall of Ba Sing Se. However, it is east of the inner wall.

    • In a profile shot of Avatar Roku's statue just before the eyes glow, Roku's hair knob at the top of his head disappears, then reappears when Katara is looking at it.

    • When Aang goes to open the Sanctuary doors, the shot shows the door locks in "open" position, but when he begins to unlock them, they are closed, and open again when they should.

    • Just after Aang announces they are approaching the Patola mountain range the scene changes to a close-up of Aang & Katara sitting atop Appa's head in which you can clearly see Aang's right hand without a blue arrow on it.

    • When Zhao is talking it shows the map of the Avatar World in the background, and if you look closely you see that it is different from the rest of the maps we see in the series. The Water Tribe's territories are shown as just circles, much different from usual.

    • When Zhao returns to the tent during an up close shot of Zuko, his burnt ear is normal and unscathed.

    • Sokka's appearance is different in this episode than the others.

  • Quotes

    • Aang: I want you to meet somebody.
      Sokka: Who's that?
      Aang: Monk Gyatso, the greatest airbender in the world. He taught me everything I know.

    • (Aang sighs)
      Katara: What's wrong?
      Aang (with a sad look on his face): This place use to be filled of monks, and lemurs, and bison. Now there's just a bunch of weeds.

    • Sokka: (holding his stomach) So where do I get something to eat?
      Katara: You're one of the first outsiders to ever visit an Airbener Temple, and all you can think about is food?
      Sokka: I'm just a simple guy with simple needs.

    • Aang (as they approach the Southern Air Temple): There it is, the Southern Air Temple!
      Katara (excited): Aang, its amazing!
      Aang (happy, talking to Appa): We're home buddy, we're home.

    • Sokka (as his stomach growls): Hey, stomach, be quiet, I'm trying to find us some food.

    • Zuko: Uncle, I want the repairs made as quickly as possible. I don't want too stay to long and risk losing his trail.
      Iroh: You mean the Avatar.
      Zuko (angered): Don't mention his name on these docks. Once word gets out that he is alive, every Firebender will be out looking for him, and I don't want anyone getting in the way.

    • Aang: Wait till you see it, Katara. The Southern Air Temple is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
      Katara (worried): Aang, I know you're excited, but its been a hundred years since you've been home.
      Aang: That's why I'm so excited.
      Katara: It's just that a lot can change in that time.
      Aang: I know, but I just need to see it for myself.

    • Aang: Wake up Sokka, Air Temple here we come!

    • Sokka (getting up painfully): Making him feel better is putting me in a world of hurt.

    • Sokka: Hey, who ate all my blubbered seal jerky?
      Aang: Oh, that was food? I used it to start the camp fire last night. Sorry.
      Sokka: You what?! Aww, no wonder the flames smelled so good.

    • Uncle Iroh (after Zuko kicks over tea table): More tea, please.

    • Iroh: So this is how the great commander Zhao acts in defeat... disgraceful! Even in exile my nephew is more honorable than you. Thank you again for the tea. It was delicious. (Zuko and Iroh leave)
      Zuko: Did you really mean what you said, Uncle?
      Iroh: Of course. I told you ginseng tea was my favorite. (Zuko half-smiles)

    • Prince Zuko (after Agni Kai): Next time you get in my way, I promise, I won't hold back.

    • Commander Zhao (referring to Zuko's ship): That's quite a bit of damage.
      Prince Zuko: Yes. You wouldn't believe what happened. (pause) Uncle! Tell Commander Zhao what happened.
      Uncle Iroh: Ah yes. It was incredible! (mutters to Zuko) What? Did we crash or something?
      Prince Zuko: Yes! Right into an... Earth Kingdom ship.
      Commander Zhao (smirking): Really? You must regail me all the thrilling details.

    • Uncle Iroh: Remember your firebending basics Prince Zuko, they are your greatest weapon.
      Zuko: I refuse to let him win.

    • Uncle Iroh (stops Zuko from attacking Zhao): No Prince Zuko, do not taint your victory.

    • Uncle Iroh: Prince Zuko, do you remember what happened the last time you dueled a master?
      Prince Zuko: I will never forget.

    • Aang: Lemur!
      Sokka (drooling): Dinner!
      Aang: Don't listen to him, you're going to be my new pet!
      Sokka: Not if I get him first!
      (both lunge at Momo)
      Aang and Sokka: Ahhg!

    • Sokka: Sleep now, temple later.

    • Commander Zhao: You can't compete with me. I have hundreds of warships under my command. And you, you're just a banished prince. No home. No allies. Your own father doesn't even want you.
      Prince Zuko: You're wrong. Once I deliver the Avatar to my father, he will welcome me home with honor, and restore my rightful place on the throne.
      Commander Zhao: If your father really wanted you home, he would have let you return by now, Avatar or no Avatar. But in his eyes, you are a failure, and a disgrace to the Fire Nation.
      Prince Zuko: That's not true.
      Commander Zhao: You have the scar to prove it.
      Prince Zuko (finally reaching his breaking point): Maybe you'd like one to match!

    • Sokka: You were a firebender!? No wonder I didn't trust you when we first met!

    • Sokka: Statues! Where's the meat?!

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • When Aang first goes into the Avatar State and surrounds himself with an orb of wind, the pose he assumes is similar to the pose the characters of Dragonball Z assume when they charge their Ki Energy.

    • The Patola mountain range is most likely named after the famous Potala Palace of Tibet, the culture which the Air Nomads are based on.

    • Zhao's name could be taken from a kingdom of the same name attacked by the first emperor of China.

    • Aang says that Sky Bison carried airbenders to the high altitudes of the Air Temples. Aang's sky bison, Appa is an allusion to Appa Sherpa, who holds the record for most ascents of Mount Everest. He guided climbers up to the high altitudes of Mount Everest 16 times, just like sky bison guide airbenders to the temples on the top of the mountain.

    • Monk Gyatso is probably an allusion to the Tibetan monk Thubten Gyatso. Aang says that Monk Gyatso was the greatest airbender. Similarily, Thubten Gyatso received the honor of being called Great among the Dalai Lama, or recognized holy monks in Buddhism.

    • Along with being Japanese for "peach," the word "Momo" is also a common name given to small pets in Japan. It is about as equivalent to "Spot" or "Fido" in the West.

    • The fact that the same soul is reincarnated into each new Avatar resembles the Buddhist belief that the same soul is reincarnated into each new Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism, and is believed to be the reincarnation of Avalokiteśvara. Avalokiteśvara is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas.

    • "Gyatso" (the Tibetan word for "ocean") is the name given to each incarnation of the Dalai Lama when he takes the position.

    • The Earth Kingdom Avatar temple that was briefly shown is built similar to the Temple of Heaven aka the Altar of Heaven. The temple, originally constructed in early 15th century, is a Taoist building situated in southeast Bejiing.

    • The airbenders closely resemble many types of Buddhist monks, with their shaven heads and evidence of mandatory meditation. The beads that many of the older monks wear are also similar to the prayer beads that Buddhist masters wear.

    • The fire duel is called Agni Kai, which may be based on the fact that Agni is the Hindu god of fire.

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