Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 1 Episode 7

Winter Solstice (1): The Spirit World

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Apr 08, 2005 on Nickelodeon



  • Trivia

    • It is revealed that Uncle Iroh has the nickname Dragon of The West.

    • When Aang tries to communicate with Appa at the town gate, Appa's lower lip is grey like his upper lip instead of furry and white.

    • When Katara turns her head to see Aang approaching through the town gate after his trip to the Spirit World, her hair loops aren't attached to her bun.

    • When the old man says that everything will be okay to Katara before Spirit Aang appears, his mouth doesn't move but we can still hear the words.

    • When the gang is following the old man into the village, Katara's clothes are bright blue but Sokka's are more gray because of the lighting. So Katara's bright blue clothes should have been gray like Sokka's.

    • The monster's name "Hei-Bai" literally means in Mandarin "black white", a clear reference to the panda spirit's fur color.

    • Zuko's scar appears to be a different color from now on.

  • Quotes

    • Zuko: (To a bathing Iroh) Enough. we need to leave now! Get out of the water.
      Iroh: Very well. (stands up)
      Zuko: (looks away in horror) On second thoughts, why don't you take another few minutes.

    • Aang: Hello? Spirit, can you hear me? This is the Avatar speaking. I'm here to try to help...and stuff.

    • Villager: As the solstice approaches, the natural world and the spirit world grow closer and closer, until the line between them is blurred completely.

    • Fire Nation Soldier: Maybe there has been a land slide sir.
      Zuko: Land doesn't slide up-hill. My uncle has been captured by earthbenders!

    • (Prince Zuko rescues Uncle Iroh from the earthbenders. They look down proudly at their handiwork. Zuko puts his hand on Iroh's shoulder.)
      Zuko: Now, will you please put on some clothes?

    • (After sniffing Iroh's sandal and making a face)
      Zuko: Yep, that's Uncle Iroh alright.

    • Earthbender Captain: Surrender yourselves! It's five against two. You're clearly outnumbered.
      Uncle Iroh: That's true. But you are clearly outmatched.

    • Iroh: Where are you taking me?
      Captain: We're taking you to face justice.
      Iroh: Right. But where specifically?
      Captain: A place you're quite familiar with, actually. You once laid siege to it for 600 days. But it would not yield to you.
      Iroh: Ah, the great city of Ba Sing Se.
      Captain: It was greater than you were, apparently.
      Iroh: I acknowledge my defeat at Ba Sing Se. After 600 days away from home, my men were tired, and I was tired (he yawns), and I am still tired.

    • Sokka (noticing footprints of Fire Nation soldiers): Fire Nation! Those evil savages make me sick! They...
      Katara: Shh!
      Sokka: What, I'm not allowed to be angry?

    • Katara: Those clouds look so soft, don't they? Like you could just jump down, and you'd land in a big, soft cottony heap.
      Sokka: Maybe you should give it a try.
      Katara: You're hilarious.

    • Katara: You ready to be cheered up Aang?
      Aang: No.
      (Katara throws acorn at his head)
      Aang: Ow! How was that supposed to cheer me up?!
      (Sokka laughs)
      Sokka: Sure cheered me up!
      (Katara throws second acorn at Sokka's head)
      Sokka: Ow! Yep, I probably deserved that.

    • Katara: I think you can do it, Aang.
      Sokka: Yeah...we're all gonna get eaten by a spirit monster.

    • Aang: I found a way to contact Roku's spirit.
      Katara: That's great.
      Sokka: Creepy, but great.

    • Uncle Iroh (to Prince Zuko): You should take your teacher's advice and relax a little. The temperature's just right. I heated it myself.

    • Sokka: What happened?
      Katara: You were stuck in the spirit world for twenty-four hours! How do you feel?
      Sokka: Like I seriously need to use the bathroom!

    • Sokka: We could use some supplies...and some money.
      Katara: Sokka!
      Sokka: What? We need stuff.

    • Aang: All I need to do is... figure out what I need to do but, after that, no problem!

    • Village Resident: You are the great bridge between man and spirits.
      Aang: Right... that's me.
      Katara: Hey great-bridge guy, can I talk to you over here for a second?

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • The "Spirit World" is a reference to actual beliefs of many cultures about life after death. Especially, the Egyptians believed that when a soul died they would go into a sort of spirit world. Also, the ancient Greeks had their beliefs about an underworld which is similar to a spirit world.

    • When it is said that the spirit world comes closer to the world of living near the winter solstice, it is a reference to some neo-pagan cultures where the veil between the spirit and living worlds was believed to be more sparse during winter and especially winter solstice.

    • Aang refers to Appa and Avatar Roku's dragon as animal guides. This is a clear reference to familiars, servants of supernatural beings, such as witches and wizards, who were usually animals. Such species were commonly black cats, snakes, toad or frogs, and owls. Like Avatar animal guides, these creatures usually displayed high intelligence and wisdom almost equal to that of their masters, if not above an average human, despite their animal origin.

    • The giant wooden panda found in the center of the devastation looks similar to some totem poles in northern Native American tribes, or like old shrines dedicated to the kami in the Shinto religion. These carvings were to house a spirit or pay homage to them in some way to keep them from causing trouble.

    • The ostrich-horses resemble the chocobos in the Final Fantasy series.