The shipwreck is a massive Fire Nation naval vessel tilted and uprooted by the waterbenders of the Southern Water Tribe, marking one of the first of a series of attacks known as the Southern Water Tribe raids.
In 40 ASC, the Fire Nation executed the first of a series of raids with the goal of exterminating all the benders in the Southern Water Tribe. Hama and many other waterbenders valiantly battled the Fire Nation despite their waning numbers. During one of the very first battles, they managed to completely strand a Fire Nation ship and suspend it through the use of waterbending.
The shipwreck became a relic to the citizens of the Southern Tribe, symbolizing the damaging raids long after they ceased, prior to the very last raid carried out by the Southern Raiders. According to Katara, it is a haunting and evocative vestige and a reminder of the tragic occurrences. Residents are strictly forbidden from venturing onto the shipwreck either out of fear of setting off tripwires or because of the horrible memories it brings.
Katara and Aang unexpectedly found themselves at the site of the ruined shipwreck after penguin sledding. Despite Katara's warnings that the ship could be booby-trapped, Aang persuaded her to follow him onto the wreckage. Their wandering eventually led Aang to unexpectedly set off a booby trap, accidentally firing a flare. Their actions consequently caught the attention of Prince Zuko, who used the signal to pinpoint the Avatar's hiding place as the Southern Water Tribe.
The shipwreck appears to be an average-sized naval vessel commonly employed by the Fire Nation and, like all other warships, advanced metallurgy is used. The ship possesses a releasable bow at the front which is characteristically similar in structure to real world icebreaker ships. The compartments below the deck of the shipwreck served as storage areas for a variety of different weapons. Various traps and tripwires are secretly situated throughout the ship, making it quite notorious and perilous to venture onto. Activating tripwires mysteriously fuels the ship and puts seemingly stationery engines into gear. In Aang and Katara's case, setting off a tripwire resulted in the release of a flare, alerting Zuko to the Avatar's presence.
- A Fire Nation ship was similarly suspended in ice by waterbenders of the Northern Water Tribe during the Siege of the North.
- Katara claims that the ship has haunted her tribe since her grandmother, Kanna, was a little girl. However, Hama's flashback revealed that Kanna was a young adult at the time of the Fire Nation's first raids.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "The Boy in the Iceberg". Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko (writers) & Dave Filoni (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. February 21, 2005. No. 1, Book One: Water
- ↑ From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "The Puppetmaster". Tim Hedrick (writer) & Joaquim Dos Santos (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. November 9, 2007. No. 8, Book Three: Fire
- ↑ "The Siege of the North, Part 1". Aaron Ehasz (writer) & Lauren MacMullan (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. December 2, 2005. No. 19, Book One: Water