Things That Don’t Make Sense About The Franchise

Things That Don't Make Sense About The Franchise

With the production of the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series wrapping up, fans are anxiously waiting for the new show. The franchise has been so popular that this isn’t a first attempt at an adaptation, either – although the live-action film was universally panned. However, the original series also led to a spin off (Legend of Korra), and even one bad film couldn’t dampen enthusiasm for a live-action version.

This makes it clear that ATLA is a truly beloved franchise, but there are some things that don’t entirely make sense throughout the franchise like the lack of damage that bending fights cause. These are a few things the franchise could clarify more on in the new live-action Netflix series


10 Sub-Bending

Throughout the series, there are a variety of sub-bendings that are introduced. Sand-bending, blood-bending, and metal-bending are just a few. While they all are just parts of the four main bending elements, they seem to be rather exclusive.

Related: Bending Types, Ranked Least To Most Powerful

It does make sense that only extremely powerful benders are able to learn the sub-bending forms. What doesn’t make sense is that some of those benders are referred to by the sub-bending names, and only use that form of bending. Much of the time it connects to their environment, but why they don’t use the original bending form as well doesn’t make a lot of sense.

9 Azula’s Blue Fire

Avatar The Last Airbender Azula Blue Fire Flames

Azula is one of the strongest women in ATLA, and one way this is shown is by her having blue flames instead of orange. The color difference between her flames and all other fire-bender’s flames made it clear how much stronger she had become due to hard work and lots of practice.

Why she was the only one to have flames this color didn’t make sense as she was not the strongest fire-bender. Iroh, Sozin, Roku, the Sun Warriors, and even the dragons were equally if not more powerful than she was. Most of those fire-benders also had the art refined so well that they could control it more than her, so they should’ve been able to make their fire blue when they wanted, but that was not seen in the series.

8 Team Avatar’s Clothes

Team Avatar in Avatar: The Last Airbender

Each of the four nations in ATLA have distinct attire that matches the specific element their region is known to bend. Style-wise and color-wise, each nation’s clothing makes sense and matches its element very well. With that, how Team Avatar didn’t stand out more doesn’t add up, and is one of the mistakes that made it into ATLA. 

With the group spending the most time in the Earth Kingdom, they should’ve stuck out like a sore thumb in their Air and Water Tribe outfits. Aang specifically should’ve been recognized more, especially once the wanted posters started going out, as he was one of the only Air Nomads left. They only changed their looks a handful of times so they wouldn’t get caught, but maybe they should’ve done that a few other times.

7 A Group Of Kids Going On An Unsupervised Adventure Around The World

Team Avatar in Last Airbender

A group of kids traveling the world to end a war is a pretty intense thing to do. With the youngest ones (Toph and Aang) being twelve, and the oldest being fifteen (Sokka), their lack of supervision is questionable at best. There are many moments, and heartbreaking quotes, in ATLA that show just how young they all truly are.

The fact that none of the adults they run into question their quest being unsupervised may help show how independent and strong the members of the group are, but they are still kids. Even Zuko has the guidance of his Uncle for most of the show, but Team Avatar’s only guidance seems to be from the various random adults they run into throughout the series.

6 Bumi’s Aging

Aang Bumi Avatar

One of Aang’s friends, Bumi, from before he was frozen in an iceberg was somehow still alive one hundred years later. While his exact age was not disclosed, fans can assume he was roughly the same age as Aang when they first met, which would make him roughly 112-years-old when Team Avatar meets him in the series.

Related: 10 Best Earthbending Fights, Ranked

Age is not directly discussed in the show, but it seems as though people have a similar lifespan to what fans are used to in real life. Not only is Bumi very old, but he is extremely powerful, and still seems rather youthful which doesn’t make sense for how old he is supposed to be.

5 Bending Damage

Avatar The Last Airbender Bending Types

One of the best parts of the series is all the fights that break out, both bending and otherwise. While there is some destruction that comes with each fight, the lack of destruction after bending fights is something that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Water and air-bending can both pack a punch, but earth and fire-bending tend to cause a lot more damage. Shooting flames into the air and not always hitting the target should have set lots of things on fire, and upending the earth to throw it at people should have left big holes in the ground, yet none of this seemed to happen. Most of the time, the battle scene had little damage, which never made a lot of sense when it came to bending battles.

4 Funding

Avatar The Last Airbender Zuko Aang Katara Sokka and Toph

There are a few times when money comes up in the show. In the first season specifically, there are some times when Team Avatar isn’t able to purchase what they want because they don’t have enough money. While they are seen hunting and gathering a few times, there are still plenty of moments where how they get their food and resources is a mystery.

Related: The 10 Most Serious Topics ATLA Ever Explored

They do get some help from all the allies and friends they meet along the way, but there are plenty of stretches of time where they would have needed to obtain some more food and other resources and their source of money is unclear.

3 How Often They Announce The Avatar

avatar the last airbender

Announcing the Avatar in a world that was looking for him as often as Team Avatar did was risky at times, and at times almost turned into one of the many running gags in ATLA. With half the world trying to capture him, and the other half hoping he’ll end the war, there was a fifty-fifty chance that the people they announced it to would try and kidnap him.

Having a positive outlook and hoping that most people would want to help them was probably the right outlook to have, but it was extremely risky and definitely got them in plenty of situations that they could have avoided had they just not announced the presence of the Avatar so freely. Had they not announced his presence so often, they probably would have been able to avoid Zuko and everyone else that was after him much better than they did.

2 The Live-Action Avatar: The Last Airbender

Key image from the 2010 live-action film.

As one of the most popular animated series in the mid-2000s, ATLA fans were excited when they heard the announcement of a live-action movie being released. They were horrified with what ended up being released.

The 2010 movie was directed by M. Night Shymalan and was expected to hold up next to the series, but it was awful in almost every aspect. It received one of the lowest ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. How the film ended up being so bad is a mystery to fans since there was so much great content that Shymalan could’ve sourced from the series. Between the acting and the overall direction, the movie was just one big mistake that should’ve just not been created.

1 No Mini-Series About Minor Characters

A split image features Avatar the Last Airbender characters Jet, Yue, and Ty Lee

There are countless people that Team Avatar meets on their adventures around the four nations. Some are in the show for only a moment, but others show up a few times giving fans a small glimpse of who they are.

Some of those characters allude to their past in a trivial way leaving fans trying to figure out their backstory. With how successful the series was, and how much fans ask for the backstories of certain characters to be explained, some should have gotten a mini-series by now. Characters like Jet, Azula’s friends, and Princess Yue are just a few that are more than deserving of a mini-series.

Next: 10 Storylines That Avatar Studios Needs To Explore

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About The Author

Marcy Vartanian
(66 Articles Published)

Marcy is an MCU, Star Wars, New Girl, and cartoon show fan. When she isn’t watching something along those lines, she can be caught reading anything by V.E. Schwab, or anything in the fantasy section of a bookstore. This is her first professional writing job.

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