14 Insane Fan Theories About 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'

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Vote up the theories that sound the most logical to you

To a lot of folks, Avatar: The Last Airbender stands as one of the greatest triumphs in animation. It was a near-perfect story that blended action, heart, humor and a dense mythology accessible to everyone. Although its sequel series, The Legend of Korra, wasn't met with the same level of praise, it's still a solid entry in the Avatar series that many people enjoy. Of course, you can't be a successful show without accumulating some wild theories along the way, and with a fan base as passionate as this show's, you can bet there are some insane Avatar: The Last Airbender fan theories. 

Could bending just be the result of genetic engineering? Could Lin actually be the illegitimate love child of Toph and Sokka? Was there actually a very good reason why the live-action movie was so horrible? In this list, you'll find some of the wackiest fan theories about Avatar: The Last Airbender. Some you might agree with, others you might dismiss as totally nutty. Either way, check out the list below and be sure to comment on what your favorite The Last Airbender theory is! Don't forget to also check out our list of other shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender.

  • 1
    7,796 VOTES

    Avatar Actually Takes Place on a Different, Smaller Planet

    It isn't hard to realize that the geography of Avatar is vastly different than our own, but what if that was intentional? This theory suggests that the entirety of Avatar: The Last Airbender actually takes place on another, smaller planet. It would explain how everything is so close together and it would mean significantly less gravity.

    Presumably, less gravity would explain how the characters can jump so high and maneuver in the air so gracefully. A smaller planet might also somehow explain how there are huge animals, like lion turtles, roaming around. 

    7,796 votes
  • 2
    7,672 VOTES

    Momo Is an Incarnation of Aye-Aye, the Lemur Spirit

    When the first Avatar, Wan, started his adventure, the very first spirit he came across was Aye-Aye, a lemur spirit. At first, Aye-Aye was wary of humans, thinking they were nothing but savages who wanted to eat all the animals and destroy his home. Over time, Wan and Aye-Aye learned to trust each other and became good friends.

    This theory posits that everyone's favorite Lemur, Momo, is actually Aye-Aye reincarnated. It would explain Momo's above-average intelligence and his fierce loyalty to the Avatar. 


    7,672 votes
  • 3
    7,030 VOTES

    The Last Airbender and Korra are Metaphors for WW2 and the Cold War

    When you look at WWII and the The Last Airbender, it's not hard to see the parallels between the two. In the war, a Germany fueled by nationalism began conquering all of Europe in an effort to show their superiority. In the show, the Fire Nation started a conflict for a similar reason and even wiped out an entire race of people. The Nazis were defeated by three large superpowers - the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union - a tidy parallel to the Water, Air, and Earth kingdoms. 

    It's a well-known and completely plausible theory that The Last Airbender was an allegory for WWII, but not much discussion happens around the idea that Korra was actually a reference for the Cold War. In the end of the first season, Amon was basically a communist who wanted to make everyone equal, while he considered himself superior. It's similar to what happened with Joseph Stalin and the rise of communism at the beginning of the Cold War

    7,030 votes
  • 4
    8,566 VOTES

    Azula is Left-Handed, a True Sign of Evil

    One eagle-eyed viewer was such a big fan of Princess Azula that they started noticing something odd. While watching the show, this theorist realized that Azula is probably left-handed. A majority of her lightning strikes come from her left hand, and when she finally breaks down in the last episode, she throws her hairbrush with her left hand at the mirror.

    It's a minor theory, but it reinforces the entire "Azula is a prodigy" angle that dominated her storyline. It also proves that the show was focused even on the tiniest details, which is what helped make it so perfect. 


    8,566 votes
  • 5
    6,874 VOTES

    Lin is the Illegitimate Child of Toph and Sokka

    Google Toph and Sokka and you'll see all the fan art dedicated to pairing these two together romantically. For some reason, it is a theory that will never stop and Legend of Korra did nothing to quell the speculation. In the sequel series, we find out that Lin and her sister are actually only half-sisters with different dads, and we never find out who Lin's actual father is.

    Toph says her dad was some random person, but why even have them be half-siblings in the first place if the identity of the father wasn't important? People speculate that Suki perished in a battle sometime in the future and Toph was there to... comfort Soka. This led to the birth of Lin. 


    6,874 votes
  • 6
    6,580 VOTES

    The Horrible Live Action Movie is Actually an Adaptation of the Ember Island Players Play

    Almost any fan of the cartoon will call The Last Airbender live-action movie a complete abomination. It completely bungled every important aspect of the show and it's a point of contention amongst fans to this day. Hopefully, this theory can at least make the whole ordeal manageable.

    What if the horrible M. Night Shyamalan movie wasn't an adaption of the cartoon but rather an adaptation of the satirical Ember Island Players play the characters watched near the end of the series? It would explain how the movie got so many details wrong and solidify Shyamalan not as the guy who ruined any chance to see the cartoon adapted faithfully but as the master of twists who trolled us all. 


    6,580 votes