An Avatar Temple is a shrine built in honor of the Avatar. This building bears a spiritual connection with the Avatar Spirit and all of its past incarnations, and as such is regarded as a sacrosanct dwelling.
Avatar Roku's recession Edit
Around the winter of 58 BSC, Roku spent five months on Crescent Island's Fire Temple when he was attempting to master the Avatar State with the help of the Fire Sages. Under the guidance of Fire Sage Kaja, Roku tried a variety of meditation exercises in an attempt to develop control over the state. However, despite his efforts, the Avatar struggled to concentrate and exclaimed that mastery over the state through meditation was impossible.
In hopes of speeding up the process, Roku decided to use the spiritual energy from the sun on the winter solstice to push himself into the state. He triggered it immediately; however, he found himself unable to control his abilities and destroyed the upper portions of the temple and accidentally sparked the eruption of a small volcano before Kaja managed to free him from the Avatar State.
Roku eventually mastered the Avatar State and rebuilt the temple pagodas. He went on to carve passageways in the island's magma underneath the temple.
The return of Avatar Aang Edit
Late in 99 ASC, Avatar Aang returned to the Southern Air Temple to reunite with the Air Nomads after being encased in an iceberg for a century. Upon arriving with Katara and Sokka, Aang was slightly surprised to find the temple desolate, as it was once a lively place bustling with activity.
At the heart of the temple, he arrived at the air temple sanctuary. Inside, there were statues of all the past Avatars, aligned in a circular pattern which reached all the way up to the ceiling. Aang felt a sense of familiarity while around the statues, especially to the statue of Avatar Roku, his immediate predecessor. Aang knew Roku's name although he had never met him and there was no writing identifying him. He stated that he "just knew it somehow."
While examining the statues, the group came across a winged lemur, whom they would keep and later name Momo. Enthralled by the sight of the animal, Aang and Sokka immediately pursued it. The chase led them to a part of the temple severely damaged by the Fire Nation attacks nearly a century ago. Here, Aang discovered the corpse of Gyatso, his nomadic mentor. The sight of his master's remains forced Aang into the Avatar State. Simultaneously, the eyes of the statues in the inner sanctum, as well as those of the statues and tapestries in the other Avatar Temples, lit up, signaling the return of the Avatar.
The winter solstice Edit
When Aang entered the Spirit World for the first time, Avatar Roku sent his dragon, Fang, to lead Aang on a spirit journey to Crescent Island, where he had to go prior to the winter solstice's arrival.
Aang arrived at the temple on time, but was surprised to find that the Fire Sages were attempting to apprehend him. Fire Sage Shyu, who was the last to abide by the Sages' original purpose of serving the Avatar, aided Aang and his friends by guiding them through the temple's secret passageways and explained that Aang's apparent disappearance prompted the sages to pledge allegiance only to the Fire Lord. The sages, with the help of Prince Zuko, did their best to stop Aang from meeting with Roku, though their efforts ultimately failed as Aang was able to enter the sanctuary and Avatar Roku instantaneously sealed the doors shut.
Inside the sanctuary stood a statue of Avatar Roku, and as the light of the winter solstice reached its eyes, Aang was able to communicate with his predecessor. Roku explained to Aang that he must end the Hundred Year War before the arrival of Sozin's Comet, as the consequences of Aang's failure would be devastating to the world's balance.
Meanwhile, Commander Zhao arrived and readied himself to apprehend the young Avatar with the help of his soldiers and the Fire Sages the moment he would emerge from the sanctuary. However, Avatar Roku had sensed the looming danger and provided protection for Aang; the doors of the sanctuary opened to reveal Avatar Roku, manifested in Aang's body. Roku exhibited his firebending prowess, defeating the opposing forces and freeing Zhao's captives–Sokka, Katara, Shyu, and Zuko–from the chains that bound them. He destroyed the temple permanently by summoning the magma from underneath the building. As the winter solstice passed, the connection between Aang and Roku was broken, and Team Avatar escaped while the temple was consumed by the lava.
Water Tribe Avatar Temple Edit
Avatar Korra and several of her friends and allies visited the Southern Water Tribe Avatar Temple after the end of the Anti-bending Revolution in 170 ASC. In front of the stairs to the sanctuary, Korra used energybending for the first time to restore Lin Beifong's earthbending. After Lin showcased her reacquired bending by levitating all the menhirs surrounding the temple, Tenzin recognized Korra to be a fully realized Avatar.
Avatar Temples Edit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "The Southern Air Temple". Michael Dante DiMartino (writer) & Lauren MacMullan (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. February 25, 2005. No. 3, Book One: Water
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku". Michael Dante DiMartino (writer) & Giancarlo Volpe (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. April 15, 2005. No. 8, Book One: Water
- ↑ Escape from the Spirit World: Avatar Roku Online Comic Book
- ↑ "Winter Solstice, Part 1: The Spirit World". Aaron Ehasz (writer) & Lauren MacMullan (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. April 8, 2005. No. 7, Book One: Water
- ↑ "Endgame". Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko (writers) & Joaquim Dos Santos, Ki Hyun Ryu (directors). The Legend of Korra. Nickelodeon. June 23, 2012. No. 12, Book One: Air