‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’: Only 1 Character in the Series Has a Last Name

Last summer, Netflix made legions of fans happy when they released what some consider to be the best animated martial arts television series of all time, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The animated series, which originally aired in 2005, is a jump back in time for viewers. Many remember enjoying the series as a child and are now exposing a new generation to its magic.

All the favorite The Last Airbender characters are back, giving audiences a chance to relive their youth. This time around, as fans dissect the storyline, it has become apparent that only one character in the television series has a last name.

Netflix brings back Avatar: The Last Airbender’

Fans of all ages will enjoy following the journey of Aang, a 12-year-old who awakens from a hundred-year hibernation in a block of ice to discover he is an Avatar. The last known survivor of the Air Nomads, Aang develops his air-bending powers to conquer the Fire Lord and stop the evil Fire Nation.

Together with water-bending siblings Katara and Sokka, the group travels the world to find masters of the natural elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Aang, the only Airbender capable of mastering every element, searches for balance among the four nations.

The New York Times explains, “Aang draws from lessons based on the principle of yin and yang and the workings of chakras, and his values are borrowed from Eastern belief systems like Buddhism. (Aang promotes peace, a respect for all life, and is a reincarnation of previous avatars.)” 

‘The Legend of Korra’ is the sequel series

Avatar: The Last Airbender went off the air in 2008. The Legend of Korra came out in 2012 as a sequel to the popular series.

Set 70 years in the future, Korra replaces Aang as the new Avatar. Toph, part of the original Team Avatar, also returns. Looper reported, “She appears in multiple flashbacks chronicling her in several different stages in life, has children and grandchildren who all have parts to play in the story, and implements some no-nonsense training for Korra herself.”

Toph is the only character in both Avatar series with a last name. She is known as Toph Beifong

Mental Floss points out that “even the royal Zuko and the rest of the Fire Lord crew are last-nameless.” It’s an odd choice, considering Zuko’s family were the rulers of the Fire Nation.

Toph, who comes from nobility, is considered to be the best Earth Airbender. In an Avatar episode, she uses her last name as clout to get last-minute tickets to board a ferry to Ba Sing Se.

In the sequel, Toph’s daughters, Lin and Suyin have the last name of Beifong. Suyin, a powerful metal bender, is the founder of Zaofu, a city made entirely of metal. With five children, her family is most important to her. Lin Beifong is the Chief of Police for the Republic City, honoring her mother and instilling respect to the family name.

What is next for ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’?

Aang in 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'
Aang in ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ | Courtesy Nickelodeon

Comicbook recently revealed the creators of the hit series have “ambitious” plans moving forward with the newly formed Avatar Studios.

The first project expected from Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, who will run the studio, is a full-length animated feature film. More projects are promised in coming years for both Paramount+ and Nickelodeon networks.

Konietzko explained, “each of these projects [has] its own feeling, its own tone and look, so it will all feel true to the Avatar world, but they will all be very different expressions of it so it will really deepen it and expand it.”

DiMartino said, “We have all the ideas and ideally we’re going to get to, over the years, explore all of them and get to make them, but it’ll take some time.”