The original Avatar: The Last Airbender series was notable for being divided into three seasons, or “books,” but it is unclear whether Netflix’s new live-action version will follow the same basic structure. The animated series followed Aang and his friends as they learned a new element, with the first book detailing his journey to mastering water bending. The first trailer for Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender showed several scenes that directly mirror episodes from the first season of the animated version, indicating that the new show will follow a similar path.
However, the live-action trailer omits several significant episodes from the animated show’s first season. This raises questions about how much of Book One: Water will be covered by the new show’s first season. There are hints in both the trailer and the cast list that provide some insight into the full scope of Netflix’s live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender, which is set to premiere in early 2024.
Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix can cover all 20 Book One: Water episodes from the original show in Season 1.
While official episode runtimes have yet to be announced, each of Avatar: The Last Airbender’s eight episodes is said to have cost $15 million, so it’s safe to assume that each will last at least 50 minutes to an hour. If that’s the case, there should be enough time to cover all of the key scenes from the first season of the animated show. The trailer has already shown some of the most memorable scenes from Book One: Water, such as Aang’s visit to Omashu, his encounter with the spirit monster Hei Bai, and his journey to Roku’s temple on Crescent Island. There are, however, some moments that are conspicuously absent.
Missing side stories, such as “The Great Divide,” don’t add much to the overall narrative. That isn’t the case for the trailer’s most obvious omission, the season finale at the North Pole. However, given that several key characters from the Northern Water Tribe have already been cast, including Master Pakku, Princess Yue, Hahn, and Chief Arnook, it seems safe to assume it will be covered in the Netflix show’s first season. Furthermore, the seventh episode of the new season is titled “The North,” so it would be surprising if the season did not conclude with the epic battle at the North Pole.
How many seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender will Netflix need to adapt the entire story?
Even if the first season of Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender corresponds to the animated series, the live-action version does not have to follow the original’s three-season structure. The trailer has already shown several departures from Book One: Water, including appearances by Azula and Fire Lord Ozai, as well as an actual look at the conflict between the Fire Nation and the Air Nomads, which resulted in the Air Nomads’ genocide. The willingness of the new show to manipulate timelines and expand on the original narrative could lead to longer explorations of certain events in Books Two and Three.
As we eagerly await the unveiling of Netflix’s adaptation, the question of how much of Book 1 will be woven into the first season remains a beacon of anticipation. The essence, the plot points, and the characters form the core, promising a journey that captures the hearts of both old and new fans. In the realm of adaptations, it’s not just about the destination; it’s about the enchanting ride.