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Top 10 Avatar: The Last Airbender Episodes

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Johnny Reynolds
Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Avatar: The Last Airbender Episodes. For this list, we’re looking at the best and/or most memorbale episodes of Nickelodeon’s massively popular fantasy saga. As we’ll be dealing with some major plot details, we’re issuing a spoiler alert now!
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Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Avatar: The Last Airbender Episodes.


For this list, we’re looking at the best and/or most memorable episodes of Nickelodeon’s massively popular fantasy saga. As we’ll be dealing with some major plot details, we’re issuing a spoiler alert now!



#10: “The Ember Island Players”


Who says recap episodes have to be boring? This Season 3 episode sees our heroes attending a play based on their own adventures. What follows are a ton of hilariously meta, self-deprecating jokes by the writers. One of these even pokes fun at a particularly ill-received episode from Season 1. The actors are also playing parodies of the characters. Sokka is only obsessed with food, Katara is too emotional, and Toph is a screeching buff dude. It’s not all laughs, however. Zuko’s mistakes are a constant focus, and the play ends with the Fire Lord victorious. It’s a bleak end in an otherwise lighthearted episode that reminds the characters, as well as the audience, that the biggest challenge isyet to come.



#9: “The Library”


In this Season 2 episode, Team Avatar learns of an ancient library in a desert that houses the world’s knowledge. Sokka’s plan to find a weakness in the Fire Nation starts as an intriguing world building episode. But when the giant owl spirit who lives there decides to sink his library once he learns of their violent plan, it turns into an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride. Adding to the mayhem is a group of bandits who kidnap Appa as Toph is trying to stop the library from sinking. Although their plan proves successful, it comes at a heavy cost, and seeing Aang lose his closest friend leaves us wondering if it was worth it.



#8: “The Storm”


Taking place halfway through Season 1, this marked the moment where the show went from children’s cartoon to something much more. As Aang reveals to Katara how he shied away from his Avatar responsibilities 100 years ago, Iroh tells the story of his nephew Zuko’s banishment. Both stories brim with complex emotions, as we see Aang make a reckless mistake and Zuko bravely speak out against the Fire Nation. Not only does it humanize the show’s villain, but it also shows that our hero is far from infallible. It fleshes out both characters considerably in ways that were risky for a kid’s show, and it does it all in just under thirty minutes.



#7: “The Blue Spirit”


While “The Storm” added depth to both Aang and Zuko respectively, the next episode expanded on the dynamic between the two. After being captured by Fire Nation troops, Aang was left to rely solely on a mysterious masked figure. The episode features some excellent fighting animation, as the masked Zuko must use two swords instead of bending as to not give himself away. Though the audience was unaware of it at the time, this would mark the first of many Aang/Zuko team ups - and the two work surprisingly well together. For Zuko, who would soon become a fan-favorite character, it was further proof that there was more to him than meets the eye.



#6: “The Crossroads of Destiny”


Throughout Season 2, the writers built up Zuko’s sister Azula as a formidable foe. And it’s in the finale that the build-up pays off. Primarily taking place in the Earth Kingdom city Ba Sing Se, the episode sees Team Avatar’s attempts to stop Azula from taking over. But as she is a master manipulator and fighter, this plan goes South - far South. Not only does the city fall (over the course of breathtaking action sequences), but Zuko betrays his loving uncle and Aang suffers an almost fatal wound at the hands of Azula. It’s a dark note for the season to go out on, but one that shows just how real the stakes are.



#5: “The Siege of the North”


This two part finale to Season 1 sees our heroes gearing up for battle after finally arriving at the home of the Northern Water Tribe. This finale is packed to the brim with the sort of content that fans were craving. Everyone from Zuko to Katara gets satisfying ends to their respective character arcs, not to mention the touching yet tragic romance between Sokka and Yue. It expands on the lore of the world as well with the inclusion of the Spirit World that Aang visits while meditating. The creative team also saved the most visually impressive action sequences for the end of the season, as we see Aang go full on Avatar state.



#4: The Avatar and the Fire Lord”


Throughout the show’s run, one of the biggest mysteries was how the 100 year war began. The answer was finally revealed in this crucial Season 3 episode. In flashbacks, we see that Roku, the previous Avatar, and Sozin, the Firelord who started the war, were actually best friends growing up. As you might have guessed, the two grew apart once Roku learned of Sozin’s desire to expand the Fire Nation by conquering others. It’s a tragic tale that features fantastic world-building and storytelling. It’s also a pivotal point in Zuko’s arc, as it is revealed he is related to both Sozin and Roku.



#3: “The Tales of Ba Sing Se”



Only Avatar could make a filler episode one of the best of the series. After finally arriving at the Earth Kingdom city, this episode follows each character on separate adventures around town. Toph & Katara get makeovers, Sokka tries to impress some female poets, and Zuko goes on a date. The episode mostly exists to build up characterization in fun situations and is successful at that. But the emotional weight comes from Iroh’s segment. After helping some citizens, it is revealed that it’s the birthday of his son who died in combat. If that wasn’t sad enough, this segment was dedicated to Mako, the recently deceased voice actor of Iroh. What a gut punch.



#2: “Zuko Alone”


As the title might suggest, this Season 2 episode focuses solely on Zuko and doesn’t feature any of the other main characters. After he and his Uncle go separate ways, Zuko wanders into a town being terrorized by a small group of Earth Kingdom soldiers. It’s heavily influenced by Westerns, as the lone Zuko grows fond of a family and strives to help the town. It’s also juxtaposed with flashbacks to Zuko’s childhood as he remembers how his father became Firelord and his mother disappeared. It builds up an already strong character and further cements him as one of the most dynamic characters of the series.





Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:



“The Firebending Masters”


“The Blind Bandit”





“Appa’s Lost Days”




#1: “Sozin’s Comet”



In this epic four part conclusion, the culmination of everything the show had been building towards finally arrived - and it didn’t disappoint. After learning about Ozai’s plan to use a comet to boost his power and destroy the Earth Kingdom, Aang and his friends must find a way to put an end to the tyrant. Nearly every character gets their just amount of heroic screen time. The finale delivers in every category, including emotional character moments, suspenseful action, and truly stunning animation. In the end, Aang defeats Ozai without sacrificing his peaceful ideals, and the world knows harmony as Zuko takes over the throne. It’s not only a powerful finale, but a satisfying one.



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