Avatar the Last Airbender ended a decade ago (Let that sink in for a bit) and Nickelodeon is still releasing new content for the show. This is a testament as to how popular Avatar the Last Airbender is and fans such as myself, cannot get enough of the story, the lore, and the universe. A collaboration between Nickelodeon and Abram’s Children Books have allowed the world of Avatar to venture into the realm of novels after being immensely successful in the realm of animation and comics. The first two young adult novels will not feature Aang, but rather the Avatar two generations before him, Avatar Kiyoshi.
Avatar Kyoshi was an earth bender with glimpses of her life featured in the original running series. She was a tall women with distinct heavy make up and her choice of weapons were golden metal fans. Among all the previous avatar, featuring Avatar Kyoshi was an obvious choice because Avatar Roku’s origin story was covered in the episode “Avatar and the Fire Lord” which revealed the ancestry of Zuko and how his lineage was connected to Avatar Roku. Meanwhile, the origin of Avatar Wan was covered in the Korra series with two episodes revealing the birth of the first avatar.
Therefore, out of the Avatars that was revealed in the show, this leaves only Avatar YangChen of the Air Nomads, Avatar Kuruk of the Water Tribe, and Avatar Kyoshi of the Earth Kingdom. Avatar Kuruk and Avatar YangChen was just mentioned in passing when Aang was searching for the wisdom of the past avatars to defeat the fire lord. Avatar Kyoshi on the other hand was featured in multiple episodes and also are responsible for two very important factions in the world of Aang, The Dai Li and Kyoshi Warriors.
The Dai Li is a secret elite force of “Ba Sing Se”, the Earth Kingdom. Their goal is to protect the King against any factions that would be dissatisfied with the King’s policies. Avatar Kyoshi created the group with the intention of ‘protecting the cultural heritage of Ba Sing Se’, in response to the peasant uprising. However over time, Dai Li became a corrupted force. The Dai Li eventually becomes influential enough that the King becomes just a figurehead and is controlled by the leader of The Dai Li.
The other faction that Avatar Kyoshi founded is none other than the Kyoshi Warriors. Kyoshi Warriors are a group of female warriors formed in Kyoshi’s homeland, The Kyoshi Island. These women often consists of non-benders (people without bending abilities) that were often mistreated by their husbands. Avatar Kyoshi trained these women with her unique fighting style in order to defend themselves and this group eventually turn into the Kyoshi Warriors.
In honor of their founder, the Kyoshi Warriors adopted the look of Avatar Kyoshi and their only goal was to be neutral and to protect the Kyoshi Island from the hundred year war, that is until Aang landed on their island.
In one way or another, Avatar Kyoshi actually influenced the story of “Avatar The last Airbender” quite a bit. Her formation of the Dai Li that eventually become so corrupted that they betrayed the Earth King and worked with Princess Azula, one of the most cunning and dangerous antagonist in the show. On the other side of the card, the Kyoshi Warriors became invaluable allies to Aang and they helped Aang many times in his journey to take down the Fire Lord.
It took ten years but it is finally here. We will finally be able to hear the origin story of Avatar Kyoshi. The Avatar that without a doubt, had indirectly assisted Aang in his journey many times. I am surely excited to finally discover the fleshed out story in the two young adult novels coming soon. Are you?