TV

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh in 'Avatar: The Last Airbender.'
Courtesy of Netflix

The Avatar: The Last Airbender Characters & Actors In Side-By-Side Photos

BRB: fangirling.

As a parent, it can be really hard to find a show the whole family can enjoy together. But every now and then, you’re able to snuggle up together with true family entertainment. For my family, Avatar: The Last Airbender, an animated series that originally aired on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008, is one of our very favorites. So you can imagine we’re extremely pumped for Netflix’s live-action remake of Avatar, especially now that we have a chance to see the actors as their Avatar characters.

This isn’t the first time the series has had a live-action adaptation. In 2010, the series got a big screen reboot by none other than M. Night Shyamalan, who was himself a big fan of the show.

It... did not go over well. Many criticized the film for whitewashing characters of color and arbitrary changes (including the pronunciation of characters names) that seemed to add nothing interesting to the film. It went so badly, in fact, that the planned trilogy never manifested, ending after the first roundly panned installment.

Netflix touts the series, which will debut sometime in 2024, as “an authentic adaptation,” and honestly based on the side-by-side images of the Avatar characters and the actors who will play them, we’re pretty hopeful. Here are some of the main players we’re excited to see in the show’s first season...

Gordon Cormier as Aang

Courtesy of Netflix

Every generation, an Avatar is born to keep the world in balance. While many in this world have the power to control elements, the Avatar can master all four. But 100 years ago, Aang became frozen in an iceberg and the world quickly descended into chaos, with the Fire Nation conquering (or attempting to conquer) the kingdoms of Earth, Air, and Water. But now he’s back and he knows his mission: to stop Fire Lord Ozai in his attempts to rule the world. He was originally voiced by Zach Tyler Eisen.

Dallas Liu as Zuko

Courtesy of Netflix

Zuko is the disgraced son of the Fire Lord, who was banished from the Fire Nation. When the story opens, Zuko is traveling the world with his Uncle Iroh to try to find the Avatar and regain his honor, his father’s approval, and his title of Crown Prince. He was originally voiced by Dante Basco.

Kiawentiio as Katara

Courtesy of Netflix

Katara is a teenage waterbender (the only one in her village) living at the South Pole among the Southern Water Tribe, though with no one able to help her refine her techniques, her powers aren’t everything they could be. She and her brother discover the Aang frozen in ice and become fast friends, eventually traveling with him to help him realize his destiny and bring the world back into balance. She is his most ardent supporter and lives in perpetual hope for better things. She was originally voiced by Mae Whitman.

Ian Ousley as Sokka

Courtesy of Netflix

Katara’s wise-cracking (but often wise) older brother, Sokka is one of the few main characters without the ability to bend, but he proves himself invaluable to “Team Avatar” with his bravery and battle skills. He was originally voiced by Jack De Sana.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh

Courtesy of Netflix

As Zuko travels the world in search of redemption, he is accompanied by his Uncle Iroh, a retired general in the Fire Nation army. Though more inclined to want to sip tea and play games, Iroh is a master firebender and brilliant military tactician. He is often a gentle voice of grace and reason for his bitter and determined nephew. He was originally voiced by Mako, who died before the series was finished. In the last season, he was voiced by Greg Baldwin.

Ken Leung as Commander Zhao

Courtesy of Netflix

Even though both Zuko and Zhao serve the Fire Lord, they often find themselves at odds as each wants to be the one to capture the Avatar. Trained by the renowned firebender Jeong Jeong, Zhao is a ruthless master bender in his own right and is fueled by ambition and rage. He was originally voiced by Jason Isaacs.

Elizabeth Yu as Azula

Courtesy of Netflix

Azula is a princess of the Fire Nation and Zuko’s younger sister. A firebending prodigy, she is ruthless, cunning, and a self-admitted monster. Unfortunately for Team Avatar, she, too, has them in her sights. She was originally voiced by Grey DeLisle.

This sneak peek is interesting because Azula is barely in Season 1 of the animated series: she appears only briefly at the very end and has no dialogue. Is this an indication that the live action series is going to deviate from the source material? We don’t know, but we are excited to see Azula, who is a great (if terrifying) character.

Daniel Dae Kim as Fire Lord Ozai

Courtesy of Netflix

While the ruler of the Fire Nation looms large over the actions of the entire series, Fire Lord Ozai, like Azula, is not a big player in Season 1, appearing only briefly at the end as a specter of things to come. Cruel and megalomaniacal, he was originally voiced by Mark Hamill.

Daniel Dae Kim is the only actor among those listed here who was involved in the original series, he played General Fong, a character who appeared in one episode in Season 2.