Ways the Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action is different from the animated series

Avatar: The Last Airbender. (L to R) Dallas Liu as Prince Zuko, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024
Avatar: The Last Airbender. (L to R) Dallas Liu as Prince Zuko, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 /

We can't believe the Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series has finally been released on Netflix. Throughout eight episodes, viewers follow Aang, the young Avatar and the last surviving Airbender, as he embarks on a journey to master the four elements (Water, Earth, Fire, Air) so that he can save the world from the evil Fire Nation.

We've already finished the first season and enjoyed every second of it. There are so many action-packed scenes that'll have you at the edge of your seat, and don't get me started on the stunning visuals. While it does have its flaws, the live-action series is overall a great adaptation of the beloved Nickelodeon animated series of the same name.

But if you're a true fan of the animated series, I'm sure you noticed some differences between it and the live-action version. We spotted some changes in the Netflix show as well. Here's what we found.

Spoilers ahead from Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Ian Ousley as Sokka in episode 101 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023 /

Live-action version changes character ages

While Aang and Katara remain the same ages as the original animated series in the live-action version, Sokka and Prince Zuko's ages change. In the animated series, Sokka is 15 years old while Prince Zuko is 16 years old. But in the live-action version, Sokka's age gets bumped up by a year, making him 16 years old, as well as Prince Zuko, who becomes 17 years old. Unfortunately, it's unclear why the show's creator decided to change some of the characters' ages.

The start to the live-action is different from the animated version

The first season of the live-action opens with an Earthbender running away from Fire Nation guards in Fire Nation territory. He has obtained a scroll containing the Fire Nation's battle plans to start a war, and he's trying to bring it back to the Earth Kingdom to warn everyone. However, this is not how the first season of the animated series starts. Instead, the animated version opens with Katara and Sokka on a boat fishing. They end up losing control of their boat, and they wound up next to a big iceberg containing Aang. We do eventually see this happen in the live-action, though.

Also, the scene with the Earthbender trying to bring back a scroll to the Earth Kingdom did not happen in the animated series. This was entirely made up for the live-action.

Sebastian Amoruso as Jet
Avatar: The Last Airbender /

Jet's storyline happens differently in the live-action

When we're introduced to Jet in the live-action, it's revealed that he's the teenage leader of the Freedom Fighters, which is a group of refugee kids whose goal is to put a stop to the firebenders. This is who he is in the animated series as well. However, it's the way his storyline plays out in the live-action that's different.

Jet's complete story takes place at Omashu in the live-action series. He meets Team Avatar and he and Katara quickly bond. However, things get rocky between them when Jet reveals his plan to blow up the Mechanist and kill innocent people. None of this happens in the animated series. In fact, Team Avatar meets Jet differently in the animated version. They meet him when they accidentally walk into a Fire Nation camp and he saves them.

Jet never sets foot in Omashu in the animated series, so this was made up for the live-action. Another difference is that Jet spends less time with Aang and Sokka in the live-action series, while in the animated series, he spends a lot of time with them.

No Sokka and Hahn rivalry in live-action

Sokka and Hahn don't like each other at all in the animated series, and they pretty much fight over Princess Yue any chance they get. However, things happen differently between them in the live-action. First, Hahn's personality is completely different. He's not self-centered, and he doesn't care that Sokka has feelings for Princess Yue. In fact, he kind of supports a relationship between them. He's nice to Sokka and even goes to him for combat advice. Another difference is that Hahn actually has feelings for Princess Yue in the live-action, while in the animated series, he doesn't appear to have a romantic interest in her.

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Ken Leung as Zhao in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 /

Commander Zhao's demise plays out differently in live-action

In the live-action, Iroh uses his firebending abilities to throw Zhao off a bridge into the ocean, where his burning body floats. This is the last time we see Zhao in the live-action series. But in the animated series, the Ocean Spirit rises up from the water and pulls Zhao underwater. Prince Zuko offers his hand to pull Zhao back before the Ocean Spirit can take him under, but Zhao declines the help.

King Bumi's challenges for Aang

In the animated series, King Bumi doesn't initially reveal who he is to Aang once they reunite. He makes Aang face three challenges first. But in the live-action, King Bumi reveals his identity right away. He also doesn't make him do three challenges. Aang just has to duel him. We see this happen in the animated series too.

Sokka's personality changes in live-action

Sokka might be the older sibling between him and Katara, but he could be really annoying in the animated series. He's immature and sexist at the beginning of the show. While he still has immature ways in the live-action, he's in no way sexist. In fact, he's one of the main people supporting Katara when Master Pakku doesn't let her waterbend because she's a female. While some people are not happy with this change, I, on the other hand, am okay with it.

What are your thoughts on these changes in the Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series?

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