‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’: Was Katara Supposed to be the Avatar? It’s a Popular Fan Theory

With The Legend of Korra set for Netflix next month, many fans on social media are talking about their favorite characters from the franchise. One of these characters is Katara, the master waterbender herself. An intriguing theory that has been circulating for several years is one that makes a huge claim ― Katara was meant to the Avatar.

A scene from 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' on a tablet
A scene from ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ on a tablet | Bob Berg/Getty Images

Katara pretty much the second-most pivotal character in ‘Avatar’ canon

As a main character in Avatar: The Last Airbender and a crucial part of its sequel series, The Legend of Korra, Katara is essentially the most important person in the franchise after Aang.

In Avatar: The Last Bender she is a part of Team Avatar. In The Legend of Korra, she is now an elder in the Southern Water Tribe, an advisor to Avatar Korra, and revered for her contributions to the world.

Though Katara is a very strong character, she’s multi-dimensional and this is likely a huge part of her appeal to fans.

The Katara Avatar theory, explained

As anyone who is familiar with The Legend of Korra knows, the next nation in the cycle to have the Avatar is the Water Nation. The Avatar following Aang became Korra of the Southern Water Tribe. However, there is an interesting theory that has been floating around for many years that Katara was supposed to be the Avatar following Aang. The basis for this theory is that Katara since Katara was originally the last waterbender in the Southern Water Tribe, the universe gave her many parallels to Aang. Adding to this is the fact that we all know that Aang didn’t age when he got stuck in the iceberg, meaning technically, he is a generation or more older than Katara.

One Reddit user explains the theory in a nutshell, writing, “If Aang lived his life to completion through the cycle (Fire Nation genocide aside) the next Avatar would be from the Water Tribes.”

They continued, “Katara would have been that Avatar if Aang completed his part of the cycle when he was supposed to. She was special enough (maybe the universe repaying her for not being the Avatar) by being the only waterbender in the Southern Tribe.”


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The reason why this theory doesn’t make complete sense

Though the Katara Avatar theory is plausible on one hand, on the other hand, there is a glaring issue with it. The Avatar cycle only restarts when one Avatar dies.

Because Aang was alive the entire time, just frozen, the Avatar cycle never had an opportunity to restart. Now, there is still room to believe that in some scenario, Katara may have been destined to be the last waterbender, and somehow, the Avatar 100 years after Aang.

But don’t worry, Avatar fans! Though this theory may not completely line up, it doesn’t take anyway from the fact that Katara will always been one of the franchise’s most beloved and most powerful characters.