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Western Air Temple

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This article is about the location. For the episode, see "The Western Air Temple".

"I know just the place for us to go where we'll be safe for a while. The Western Air Temple!"
Aang.[1]

Western Air Temple
Western Air Temple
Physical information
Location

Air Nomad mountain range, north of the Fire Nation

Government
Position

Inhabited by Air Acolytes

Leader

Western Council of Elders (formerly)

First appearance

"The Western Air Temple"

Location on map
Map of Air
Marker
The Western Air Temple is one of the four original temples of the Air Nomads and one of the two, the other being the Eastern Air Temple, that exclusively housed female airbenders. It is located in the mountains north of the Fire Nation. The temple is notable in that, unlike the other four temples, it is situated underneath the edge of a cliff instead of atop a mountain. The spires seem as though they were built upside-down, and because of that, the temple is hidden to the passerby.[2] Its design allows wind to flow into even the deepest chambers, which made the Air Nomads feel quite at home.[3] Avatar Yangchen was born and raised at the Western Air Temple.

History

At the start of the Hundred Year War, the Western Air Temple's population was killed by the Fire Nation during the Air Nomad Genocide and its aftermath. Almost a century later, after being banished from the Fire Nation, Zuko traveled to the temple to begin his search for Avatar Aang. Otherwise, the temple lay uninhabited, until Aang and his friends headed to the Western Air Temple for a safe place to stay after the unsuccessful invasion. Ironically, after following the remnants of the invasion force here, Zuko decided to join Aang, pledging to teach him firebending.

Combustion Man attacked this temple in hopes of eliminating the Avatar and his gang. Thanks in part to Zuko's intervention on their behalf and Sokka's expertise at using a boomerang, Combustion Man was defeated and killed when his own firebending caused the building he was standing on to explode and fall into the canyon below, taking him with it. The temple suffered extensive damage from the attack, but was still largely intact. The group spent several nights there.[2]

Western Air Temple under attack

The massive metal doors shielded Team Avatar from Azula's bombardment.

Azula led an attack on the temple thereafter, battling her brother and forcing the rest of the group to flee. After one of her blasts clashed with an equally powerful blast from Zuko, both of them were thrown off the airship. Zuko was saved by the group, who was flying on Appa, and Azula used her firebending to propel herself toward the cliffside, using her hair piece as a hook to slow the fall. The attack resulted in quite a large amount of damage, including the complete destruction of the fountain's remnants.[4]

After the Hundred Year War, the Western Air Temple, along with the other three air temples, was restored to its former glory by Avatar Aang and the Air Acolytes.[5]

Description

Wall of statues

A wall of statues adorns the temple's exterior.

The temple was built on the underside of a cliff, causing all of the buildings to appear to hang upside down. There are steps built into the side of the cliff to allow for movement between tiers of the temple and different buildings.

Although its interior has not been shown, Teo mentioned seeing a hall of statues. The temple features some interesting recreational spots, such as a giant Pai Sho table, an all-day echo chamber, an air bison obstacle course, and a racetrack.[2]

Another notable feature is a series of metal doors located within the fountain area which can be used as shields.[4]

Trivia

  • Until Combustion Man destroyed part of the fountain structure and blew up one of the temple's inverted towers, this seemed to be the only temple untouched by other parties; the Southern Air Temple had Fire Nation corpses from the battle with Fire Lord Sozin's forces, the Northern Air Temple was modified and damaged by Earth Kingdom colonials, and the Eastern Air Temple was cleaned up by Guru Pathik. The Western Air Temple is only known to have been visited by Iroh and Zuko a week after the latter's banishment, being the closest to the Fire Nation.
  • This is the only original air temple not to be located on the very top of a mountain.
  • Aang's airbending was enhanced due to the windy environment of the Western Air Temple.[6]
  • The Western Air Temple is the largest of the five temples.
  • The Western Air Temple is the only one not revisited in The Legend of Korra.

References

  1. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim (writers) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (July 14, 2008). "The Western Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
  3. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 17, 2008). "The Southern Raiders". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  5. The Legend of Korra: Enhanced Experience, page one.
  6. Avatar Extras for "The Western Air Temple" on Nicktoons Network.

See also

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