Airbending emblem Air Nomads emblem
Air Nomads emblem By The Bos Part of the Avatar: Guardian continuity.
"Aang, I have come to realize that protecting the ones you love from harm precludes any belief you might have."
— Gyatso in A Master and A Traitor
Monk Gyatso
Biographical information

Air Nomads; Southern Air Temple


79 at death
79 BG - 0 AG

Physical description


Hair color


Eye color


Personal information
Weapon of choice

Air, Fruit Pies

Fighting style(s)



Roku, Aang, Pathik, Air Nomads


The Fire Nation, Sozin

Chronological and political information
  • Monk
  • Airbending instructor

Southern Air Temple

First appearance

A Master and A Traitor

Voiced by

Sab Shimono

Monk Gyatso was a member of the Council of Elders at the Southern Air Temple at least a 100 years ago. He was Aang's guardian and closest friend at the temple. He was a powerful Airbending master. According to Aang, Gyatso was the greatest Airbender alive at the time.

Gyatso was noted for his kindness and sense of humor. Though Aang learned Airbending under him as part of his Avatar training, Gyatso always allowed time for fun and games. Gyatso also had a strong friendship with the previous Avatar, Roku.

When the Fire Nation found a way inside the Southern Air Temple during the Air Nomad Genocide, Gyatso was killed along with the other monks. Gyatso did, however, go down fighting and took many Firebenders with him, though he admits later to not killing any of them. A statue of him still stands in the ruins of the Temple.


Young Roku and Gyatso

Young Gyatso and Roku

When Gyatso was young (and before he had become a master Airbender), Avatar Roku traveled to the Southern Air Temple to learn Airbending. Gyatso and Roku were close friends during this time (leading Roku's spirit to comment in "The Avatar and the Fire Lord" that some friendships are able to transcend lifetimes). In a glider lesson, Gyatso and Roku tried to beat each other in skill. Roku made loops, and Gyatso got on top of his glider and used it for air surfing (Aang, viewing this in flashback, claimed that Gyatso was a genius and that he had never thought about that). Gyatso soon loses control and is saved by Roku, who then crashes. Air was the second element that Roku learned to bend.

Eventually, Gyatso became a master Airbender and was promoted to one of the five head monks at the Southern Air Temple. Monk Gyatso was highly respected, a great baker, kind, and very wise; but he remained a bit of a prankster. A statue of him was made in the Southern Air Temple. At some point, Gyatso also befriended a younger Guru Pathik, although the details of this are not known.

Twelve years after Roku's death, Gyatso was present when Aang was informed that he was the new Avatar, and Gyatso was appointed as Aang's personal teacher and guardian. He became something like a father to Aang, as well as a close friend and confidant. Gyatso helped Aang with his Airbending training, played games with him, and over all just made his time at the temple much better.

Gyatso and Aang

Gyatso playing Pai Sho with Aang

Even though Aang was training to be the Avatar, Gyatso believed that Aang should grow up as a normal boy. He refused to accelerate Aang's Airbending teaching, and ensured that Aang was content and had time for play. The other head monks disagreed with this, believing that Gyatso's compassion for the boy was clouding his judgment. They decreed that Aang was to be sent to the Eastern Air Temple. Aang overheard this and, having already been ostracized by his peers after his identity as the Avatar was revealed, was shocked that the monks wanted to isolate him from his last friend. Not realizing that Gyatso intended to fight this decision, so that he and Aang would not be separated, Aang fled the Temple with Appa and was subsequently frozen into an iceberg. Gyatso never saw Aang again.

Although the details are unclear, when the Fire Nation found a way inside the Southern Air Temple, they managed to kill Monk Gyatso and perhaps the other monks and Airbenders as well. Gyatso did, however, go down fighting and took many Firebenders with him, during Sozin's Comet, which greatly enhances Firebending capabilities. A statue in his honor was placed in the entrance hall to the Southern Air Temple's inner sanctuary, and is still there.

An Appearance to Aang

Gyatso's corpse

Gyatso's body after a century of decomposition.

One night, while Aang was doing his daily meditation, Roku appears to Aang and takes him into the Spirit World. Once there, Roku introduces Gyatso, who greets Aang. After a lengthy conversation, in which he explains his last moments, he reminds Aang that his friends should be the most important thing to him.


  • Though hundreds of Airbenders, and others, died in the war, Gyatso's skeleton was the only one shown during the whole series.
  • His remains are surrounded by the armor of a large number of Fire Nation soldiers, though in the Guardian storyline he did not kill them.

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For the collective works of the author, go here.

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