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Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku

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This article is about the episode. For the celestial event, see winter solstice. For the titular character, see Roku.
Aang meets Roku
"Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku"
Information
Series

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book

Water

Episode

8/61

Original air date

April 15, 2005

Written by

Michael Dante DiMartino

Directed by

Giancarlo Volpe

Animation

DR Movie

Guest stars

Mako (Uncle), Jason Isaacs (Commander Zhao), James Garrett (Avatar Roku), Mike Hagiwara (Leader), Clement Von Franckenstein (Great Sage), Michael Yama (Shyu)

Production number

108

Episode guide
Previous

"Winter Solstice, Part 1: The Spirit World"

Next

"The Waterbending Scroll"

Transcript
"Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku" is the eighth episode of Book One: Water of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the eighth of the overall series. It debuted on April 15, 2005.

Overview

Aang travels to the Fire Temple to speak with Avatar Roku on the winter solstice. They are chased by Zuko and attacked by a Fire Nation blockade led by Zhao. When Aang arrives at the temple, he is shocked to learn that the five Fire Sages there are no longer the Avatar's allies. However, a friendly sage, Shyu, helps Aang reach the sanctuary where he is to speak with the past Avatar. Roku informs Aang about Sozin's Comet, which gave the Fire Nation the power to start the War one hundred years prior, and will give them power again to finish it when the comet arrives at summer's end. Aang defeats Zhao, Zuko, and the sages when he manifests the spirit of Roku, who destroys the temple.

Synopsis

The episode starts with Aang packing his things on Appa; Aang does not want to endanger his friends' lives, so he intends to journey to the temple alone. As he is about to set off, Appa starts acting stubborn and will not budge unless Katara and Sokka go with them. The siblings stop him and beg him not to go, but Aang tells them that he must, however, his friends are able to convince him that they should at least join him. The Senlin Village leader gives Aang some more supplies and tells him that it is a long journey to Avatar Roku's temple, and if they want to get there before the solstice is over, they must leave immediately. Aang tries to thank him for his kindness, but the leader tells them to leave that instant, and so they do. Later that night, there is a knock at the door of the leader's house; he opens it to find Prince Zuko. Zuko pushes the man back through his door and demands to know where the Avatar went.

Fire Navy blockade

Aang and Zuko run a Fire Navy blockade.

It is now daytime as Appa flies through the sky; Katara spots Zuko's ship trailing them. On Zuko's ship, Iroh scolds his nephew, reminding him that he was banished from the Fire Nation, and if he enters their waters, he will be arrested. Zuko tells him that since he is chasing the Avatar, his father will understand, to which Iroh responds by stating that his brother is not an understanding person. Back on Appa, Katara, and Sokka see a catapult being readied on Zuko's ship. The catapult's missile is set on fire and sent hurtling toward Appa, who barely dodges the shot. Zuko orders the catapult to be reloaded, but subsequently sees in the distance a blockade of Fire Nation ships in the way. Iroh tells Zuko that since he is still in Earth Kingdom waters, if he turns back now he will not be arrested. Zuko refuses to turn away, and orders the ship forward.

The man commanding the blockade is none other than Zhao. He orders his ships to open fire on the Avatar. One of his men tells Zhao that there is a Fire Nation ship out on the water. After Zhao sees it is Zuko, he claims it belongs to a traitor and re-orders the attack on the Avatar. As a horde of shots from dozens of blockade catapults are fired toward Appa, Aang prepares to dodge the barrage of attacks as the first few whiz by Appa. Zuko is not as lucky, as one of the shots hits his ship in the back, causing the ship to smoke heavily. One of his men explain the engine was damaged and that they need to stop for repairs, but Zuko refuses to back off, instead ordering the ship continue forward.

Fire Temple at sunset

The sun begins to set behind the Fire Temple.

As Aang continues to dodge a swarm of shots, the force of one knocks Sokka from Appa's saddle, sending him plummeting. Appa dives down and catches him just in time. Aang has Appa charge right down the middle toward the blockade, while Zhao takes one last shot. However, Aang is able to destroy it with airbending, and they soar past Zhao and the blockade. Less than pleased with the fact that the Avatar made it through the blockade, Zhao knows he has to follow him, but does not know where he is going. However, as Zuko's ship approaches, he realizes that he can follow the ship to the Avatar, so he allows Zuko to pass through the blockade untouched.

Meanwhile, Appa spends hours flying through the air. It is almost dusk when he finally makes it to the crescent-shaped island where Roku's dragon, Fang, took Aang when he was in the Spirit World. When they land, Appa takes a well-deserved rest while the others enter the temple. It is empty when they enter the temple's first room; however, five men dressed in red robes suddenly appear behind them. Aang, having being told they are the Fire Sages, the guardians of the Avatar's temple, thinks that they will try to help him, because he is the Avatar. However, the sages only proceed to attack him. Aang blocks the attacks, and the group runs from the five sages, going down many different halls until they reach a dead end. As they go to turn around, one of the five sages is in front of them. Aang prepares to fight him, but the sage explains that he is on Aang's side. At first, they do not believe him, but when they hear the others approach, the sage opens a secret passageway, and they escape from the other sages.

Meanwhile, Zuko is confused as to why Zhao let him pass. Iroh states that it is most likely because he wants to use him to find the Avatar. Hearing his uncle's theory, Zuko is at a loss for what to do.

Fire Sages

The Fire Sages confront Team Avatar.

Back with Aang, the sage that helped them tells them that his name is Shyu. He goes on to say that when Avatar Roku died, the other sages, including his grandfather, waited for the new Avatar to appear, but they never did. Later, Fire Lord Sozin started the Hundred Year War and forced the sages to serve him; only Shyu's family remained loyal to the Avatar. He explains that when the sages found out Aang was alive, Shyu knew that he would have to betray the others and help Aang. They eventually arrive on a higher level of the temple, where in front of them is a huge door. Shyu tells them that it must have recently been closed and that only a fully realized Avatar or five fire blasts from five different firebenders can open it. None of them know how to open the door, but Sokka subsequently claims to have a plan.

Zuko has come up with an idea. Since Zhao is following the smoke from his ship, Zuko will take a smaller vessel and sneak past him under the smoke. Zhao is a distance back as he looks at the smoke of Zuko's ship with a suspicious look on his face.

Sokka reveals his plan; he makes five small oil-based lamps and places each in one of the five areas where the door takes in the fire. He has Shyu light the fuse and they stand back; a huge explosion rips through the room. Aang rushes to the door, but it still is not open. Aang begins to beat the door with waves of air in frustration, but to no avail. Sokka does not understand why the door did not open, causing Katara to say that it may not have worked, but it looks like it did. Understandably, the group is confused.

The next scene has Shyu yelling to the other sages to come to the door; he states that the Avatar has entered the room. They do not know how he could have, but Shyu points out the burn marks on the door and points to a shadow coming from the other side. The sages instantly open the door with their firebending to discover that the shadow was Momo, who had crawled through the pipes. Sokka's plan is initiated as each of the four sages are grabbed by Shyu, Katara, Sokka, and Momo. Shyu yells to Aang to enter the chamber, but there is no answer from him. Suddenly, Zuko appears from behind a pillar with Aang. The rest of the gang is stunned, and each of the Fire Sages use this opportunity to break free and restrain their opponents. Zuko tells the sages to close the door immediately. Aang turns to see the others being tied to a pillar, struggles free from Zuko, and races to the door. The sages attempt to stop him, but he makes it inside before the doors close. A bright light comes from the room and dies away.

Opening sanctuary door

The Fire Sages open the sanctuary door.

Aang, now in the chamber where he had been with Roku's dragon, sees only a statue of Avatar Roku and does not know what to do. Outside the doors, Zuko and the four sages attempt to open the door, but to no avail. One of the sages states that Avatar Roku must have sealed the door shut since he does not want them to enter. Back inside, Aang calls to Roku asking for his help; a wind spirals around Aang and he is suddenly in front of Roku on the top of a mountain range. Roku greets Aang, asking what took him so long. Back outside the doors, Zuko asks Shyu why he helped Aang; Shyu says that it was once the Fire Sages' duty to help the Avatar and that it still is. This moment is interrupted by Zhao and a group of soldiers. Zhao places Zuko under arrest and claims that he will simply wait for the Avatar to come out.

Aang meets Roku

Roku explains to Aang the circumstances surrounding the arrival of Sozin's Comet at the end of summer.

Roku begins to tell Aang why he had to meet him, stating that upon the arrival of a comet in 0 AG, Fire Lord Sozin used its power to start the War, dealing a deadly first strike against the other nations. Roku continues by saying that the comet gave them great power and that it is returning. He subsequently tells Aang that he must master the elements of water, earth, and fire before summer's end, for that is when the comet returns. If he does not master the elements by that time, there will be nothing he can do, as Fire Lord Ozai will use its power to finish the War. Aang is understandably shocked at what he has just heard, and does not think he can do it in such a short time, but Roku has confidence in him. As the solstice ends, Aang tries pointing out that he will not be able to return to the Fire Temple if he has more questions. Roku reminds Aang that he is a part of him and promises that he will find a way to talk to him again. Roku senses that there is a great danger waiting outside the doors of the chamber and offers his help if Aang thinks he is ready. As Aang's Avatar spirit activates, he states that he is.

Avatar Roku firebending

Avatar Roku manifests in Aang's body.

Outside the chamber, Zhao and the others are ready to attack Aang the moment he steps out. With a flash of light, the door opens, and they begin to attack the figure behind the door. They see it is not Aang, but Avatar Roku that stands before them; he sends a fire blast back with great force and knocks the group back, the resulting heat melting the chains that hold Katara and the others. Zuko takes this opportunity to run back to his boat. Shyu tells Katara and Sokka to run from the temple because Avatar Roku is going to destroy it; however, they refuse to leave without Aang. Roku splits the ground, bending up the magma from the deposits below and sending it up through the temple. Zhao and his men retreat back to their boats before the temple begins to fall.

The sun sets, marking the end of the solstice. Roku, with one last breath, is enveloped in a current of wind, and when the dust clears, Aang remains. He collapses and is picked up by Katara and Sokka. As the temple is falling apart, they realize they have no way to get out, as all of the paths are blocked by debris. However, at that moment, Appa and Momo, now wearing the Great Sage's hat, appear, and the group jumps onto Appa's back, flying away from the temple that falls moments after they leave.

Fire Sages arrested

Zhao arrests the Fire Sages for letting the Avatar escape.

Zhao looks up and sees the Avatar fly away from his sight; he is not pleased, as he has lost any chance of capturing either the Avatar or Zuko. However, as a consolation, he claims he has five traitors, referring to the five sages that he now has on his ship. The Great Sage says that only Shyu helped the Avatar, but Zhao is not interested in their story and has them thrown into the prison hold of his ship. Afterward, Zuko is seen on his smaller ship, also looking at the Avatar as he flies away. That night, Appa, Katara, and Sokka group around Aang and comfort him as they fly away.

Credits

  • Additional voices:
    • Dee Bradley Baker
    • Dante Basco
    • Jack DeSena
    • Clyde Kusatsu (first appearance)
    • Mae Whitman
    • Michael Yama

Production notes

Transcript

Main article: Transcript:Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku

Series continuity

  • This episode introduces Sozin's Comet, a returning comet which will give the Fire Nation Army the power to conquer the territory still not under its control. The comet returns once every hundred years and greatly increases the power of the Fire Nation's firebenders. Aang must master water, earth and fire before the comet's arrival, or he will be unable to defeat the Fire Lord, meaning the Earth Kingdom and Water Tribes will completely lose the War. This is a turning point, as Aang now has learned that he has a time limit to fulfill his destiny.
  • As of this episode, Aang and his friends have been to each of the four nations.
  • When Zuko confronts the Senlin Village leader, Iroh is still not wearing any clothes, referring to the events of "Winter Solstice, Part 1: The Spirit World."

Goofs

  • At the end of "Winter Solstice, Part 1: The Spirit World", there was a crescent moon, but in the beginning of this episode, which takes place the very same night, the moon is full. The moon is not able to change that swiftly, and it should have taken at least a week for it to make that shift.
  • After Iroh states that they are on a collision course, Zuko begins to talk, however Iroh's mouth continues to move as if he is still talking.
  • After Zhao orders the captain to let Zuko's ship pass, the captain begins to talk, but Zhao's mouth continues to move as if he is still talking.
  • At two scenes, Zuko's ship is seen as a newer Fire Nation cruiser, instead of the older model.
  • When the light hits Roku's statue, sunlight comes from above the door; however, in the next scene when Zuko and the Fire Sages try to open it, there is no spot for the light to pass.
  • In the first scene of the doors closing and Sokka and Katara being captured, they are chained to the pillar directly to the right of the doors. However, when Zuko is confronting Shyu before Zhao appears, Sokka and Katara are chained to the pillar directly to the left of the doors.
  • In the first scene wherein Zhao stands directly in front of the doors, with Zuko chained to one of the pillars, Zuko is on the pillar directly to the doors' right, and Shyu, Sokka, and Katara are all chained up to the pillar directly to the doors' left. However, when Zhao readies his men to fire, a shot of his soldiers showing the pillar directly to the right does not show Zuko or any chains.
  • When Avatar Roku shows Aang the vision of the danger outside the walls, Shyu, Sokka, and Katara are now on a pillar to the right of Zuko's pillar, which is still directly to the doors' right, but when the doors open and Zhao orders his men to fire, the scene of the soldiers near the front of the pillar to the doors' right does not show Zuko at all. When Avatar Roku appears instead of Aang, Shyu, Sokka, and Katara are once again chained on the doors' direct left pillar, and Zuko reappears on the doors' right pillar.
  • When Avatar Roku hits the floor of the temple before he destroys it, his voice is actually Shyu's voice.

Trivia

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