- This article is about the location. For the episode, see "The Northern Air Temple". For the event that took place here, see Battle for the Northern Air Temple. For the location in the film, see Northern Air Temple.
|Northern Air Temple|
|Location on map|
After the temple's rediscovery, it was modified by the mechanist to house more people than before. Many of the original structures were destroyed or expanded to help accommodate the new residents. The temple also underwent many technological "upgrades", as the mechanist added new inventions to help make the lives of the residents easier. The mechanist used the Air Nomad gliders he found within to make his own gliders and give his paraplegic son Teo a new life in the air. During the years the refugees lived in the temple, some were eventually seen gliding around it by other Earth Kingdom villagers, who came to call them "air walkers". Hopeful to see other survivors of the Air Nomad Genocide, Aang, Katara, and Sokka traveled to the Northern Air Temple, where they discovered that the "air walkers" were just the gliding refugees.
They met up with Teo, who proudly showed them around the temple and its many innovations. Sokka was immediately enthralled by the changes. Aang, however, was angered and saddened by them as they had destroyed part of his people's history and he saw them as a violation of the temple's original sanctity. In an attempt to cheer Aang up, Teo took him and Katara to the inner sanctuary of the temple, convinced that, since it could only be opened by airbending, it was still untouched by the technology. Aang eventually agreed to open the sanctuary. However, inside they found a storage room for Fire Nation weapons instead of ancient Air Nomad relics.
The mechanist explained that the Fire Nation had found the Northern Air Temple about a year after the Earth Kingdom refugees has made it their home, and had threatened to destroy everything by burning it to the ground. In an attempt to save the settlement, the mechanist had offered his services. The Fire Nation had extorted him to manufacture weapons for them ever since, under the threat of an attack if he did not comply.
After Aang forcefully expelled War Minister Qin, the representative of the Fire Nation, and subsequently terminated the partnership between the mechanist and the Fire Nation, the latter gave action to the threat and launched an attack against the temple. Initially holding the Fire Nation forces at bay with their control over the sky, the defenders were no match for the Fire Nation's tundra tanks. In a last attempt to repel the advancing army, Sokka and the mechanist, piloting the first made hot air balloon, threw their fuel source overboard in an attempt to ignite the natural gas pocket held in a cave beneath the temple. Their venture succeeded as the explosion blew up part of the mountain, destroying the only path to the temple, forcing the Fire Nation to retreat and thereby protecting it from future attacks. The temple remained unscathed by Fire Nation attack and the subsequent explosion.
The temple was designed to be a part of its natural surroundings and to fit harmoniously with nature - large hallways harness wind and allow air to naturally flow within. It was home to the airbender monks and their students and was used primarily as a training ground for airbenders.
It was peaceful until the Fire Nation attacked the temple one hundred years ago during the passing by of Sozin's Comet. It remained abandoned until the Earth Kingdom refugees, under the leadership of the mechanist and his son, arrived ninety years later and retro-fitted it for non-airbender living. Everything in the temple is powered by hot air, like elevator-type contraptions to carry people from level to level and the gliders that use the hot air currents outside the temple to help them fly.
Like the Southern Air Temple, it also has an air temple sanctuary, but the mechanist turned it into a workshop. As a result of being built for and by the airbenders, several of the temples' doors and mechanisms are operable only through means of airbending. The temple's architecture looks similar to the Southern Air Temple's, but the Southern Temple has more colorful walls and seems to be more elaborately decorated.
Located on a quiet wing of the air temple, the mechanist's workshop is a place where he creates and experiments with his newest inventions. The room is filled with all sorts of contraptions, ranging from prototypes of the gliders and a hot air balloon to blueprints for various vehicles, among which was a giant drill. It is here that War Minister Qin entered the temple through a secret door, designed by the mechanist. The workshop is also equipped with an alarm that is triggered when anyone enters the temple's inner sanctuary.
Air temple sanctuary
Located inside the air temple, this great hall was originally built as a spiritual place where only the elder monks and the Avatar were allowed. Only a master airbender can open the door to the sanctum. Because of this, Aang thought it was the only part of the temple that was untouched. As it turned out, however, the mechanist ingeniously used physics and clever mechanics to open it, and use it as his secret weapons laboratory. Although after a confrontation between Aang and War Minister Qin, and seeing the disapproval in the eyes of his son, the mechanist stopped using it for this purpose.
The original inhabitants of the temple were Air Nomads, who once hosted the sky bison polo championships at this temple prior to the genocide. Following the Fire Nation's annihilation of the airbenders, a group of Earth Kingdom refugees came and took residence in the temple, building a new life for themselves in the sky using the mechanist's new inventions, and subsequently further aiding the disappearance of the Air Nomad customs.
Natural resources and foods
As could be determined, air is the main and most significant power source and natural resource of the Air Nomads, as without it they would be rendered powerless. With the power of air channeled under their control, the airbenders were enabled to defend and protect their homes and way of life and travel across the globe.
The Air Nomads were a tranquil and environmentally friendly race of people and did their best not to leave a mark on the land. Any industry that they engendered, such as farming and gardening, was powered naturally. They also produced their own food and were vegetarians.
Among the changes made by the mechanist, a hot air system which powers many of the "upgrades" made in the temple was added to the structure. It is also shown that the mountain range of the temple contains natural gas.
An animal species that inhabits the air temples is a small, land-dwelling hermit crab. They look quite similar to their aquatic cousins, with a similar shell-switching lifestyle, but are covered in a thick coat of black and white hair. They seem to prefer damp, dark places and are apparently very adaptable, as the specimens in the Northern Air Temple survived a complete refurbishment of the entire complex, spearheaded by the mechanist. It seems fitting and is perhaps not coincidental that a nomadic animal by nature would live among the Air Nomads. Fireflies can also be seen in the temple, and they are used by the mechanist as a natural source of light.
- The temple is thousands of years old.
- The murals on the temple's walls, which Aang refers to as "the history of [his] people", depict Air Nomads learning airbending from the sky bison.
- In the film, none of the machinery is present in the air sanctuary, as the mechanist is not referenced.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 "The Northern Air Temple". Elizabeth Welch Ehasz (writer) & Dave Filoni (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. November 4, 2005. No. 17, Book One: Water
- ↑ "The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion". Michael Dante DiMartino (writer) & Giancarlo Volpe (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. November 30, 2007. No. 10, Book Three: Fire
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Avatar Extras for "The Northern Air Temple" on Nicktoons Network.
- ↑ "The King of Omashu". John O'Bryan (writer) & Anthony Lioi (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. March 18, 2005. No. 5, Book One: Water