The four elements test is a procedure designed to prove the identity of the Avatar. The Fire Nation used this test as a measure to confirm whether a person suspected of being the Avatar had the ability to bend all four elements, thus revealing their identity.
After Aang surrendered himself to the Fire Nation at the Southern Water Tribe, he was brought aboard Prince Zuko's vessel, where General Iroh informed of the test. Iroh told Aang that he had conducted the test "hundreds of times", and that it would be painless. After the completion of it, Aang would be allowed to leave.
The series of tests involved placing corporeal samples of three of the four elements before the test subject and observing the effects on each element. These samples came in the form of a candle, a pitcher of water, and a rock, placed in that order
When Aang was given the test, all three elements showed signs of being bent. The flame on the candle tilted toward the young bender as though attracted to him, while the water in the pitcher, which had been spread in a mess on the table gradually began to coalesce into one distinct, round puddle. When the rock was placed before Aang, it shook, balancing itself in an unnatural position.
Aang expressed surprise when guards attempted to seize him after he completed the test. Iroh explained that, although many had taken the test and that he had promised Aang could leave once the test was over, Aang was the first to successfully complete it; thus, he would not be allowed to leave as initially promised.
- This article draws its name from the song titled "The Four Elements Test" on The Last Airbender's soundtrack, composed by James Newton Howard.
- While the test involves only three elements, the fourth can be inferred as only the Avatar can bend more than one element.
- The four elements test does not appear in the original series, though a test designed by the Air Nomads achieves a similar result by having the suspected reincarnation identify with familiar objects.
- After pouring water onto the table, Iroh places a stone. When the stone is placed onto the table, the water disappears.