Roku[edit this page]Edit

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|- sizcache="3" sizset="17" | sizcache="3" sizset="17"|[1] | sizcache="3" sizset="18"|[2] | sizcache="3" sizset="19"|[3] | sizcache="3" sizset="20"|[4] | sizcache="3" sizset="21"|[5] | sizcache="3" sizset="22"|[6] | sizcache="3" sizset="23"|[7] | | | | | | | | | | | |} This article is about the character. For the episode of a similar name, see "Winter Solstice Part 2: Avatar Roku."



Biographical information
Nationality Fire Nation
Age 70 at death

82 - 12 BSC

Physical description
Gender Male
Hair color Black (white in old age)
Eye color Gold
Personal Information
Allies Fang, Ta Min, Aang, the Avatars, Monk Gyatso, Sud, Roku's Waterbending Teacher, more..
Enemies Sozin
Weapon of choice The Elements
Fighting Style(s) Firebending, Airbending, Waterbending, Earthbending
Chronological and political information



Fully Realized Avatar



First Appearance

The Southern Air Temple

Voiced By James Garrett

Andrew Caldwell (Young Roku)

Avatar Roku was the incarnation of the Avatar immediately preceding Avatar Aang. He was born in the Fire Nation. Benign in spirit, Roku served as a guiding force for Aang throughout the series. Roku possesses an animal companion, a red dragon named Fang, which serves him in the same way as Appa does Aang.

Roku was a wise and merciful Avatar with good intentions; however, he himself admitted that he was indecisive. Roku's old friendship with Fire Lord Sozin prevented him from halting Sozin's imperial ambitions, directly causing his death. Thus, he was unable to prevent The War, which would last for over one hundred years. Avatar Aang inherited the burden of rectifying the war-torn world, and Roku firmly believed Aang was destined to redeem his mistakes.


[hide]*1 History

[edit] HistoryEdit

[edit] YouthEdit

[9][10]Sozin gives Roku the Crown Prince HeadpieceIn his youth, Roku and Prince Sozin were best friends and even shared the same birthday, which they celebrated together. By the time they were teenagers, they were both likely Firebending Masters, given Roku's secret status as the Avatar, and the Royal Family's natural affinity for their element.

At the party celebrating their sixteenth birthdays, Roku is told by the Fire Sages he is the Avatar, and the two friends are forced to separate as Roku goes to master the other three elements. Before leaving, Sozin comes by to talk and is told by Roku that the sages told him to bring nothing, as the Avatar needed no material goods. By this statement Sozin gives him a gift: the headpiece worn by the Crown Prince of the Fire Nation, hoping that he was at least allowed to have that.

[edit] Avatar JourneyEdit

[edit] Mastering the Other ElementsEdit

[11][12]Roku and his friend, GyatsoAfterwards, Roku goes on his Avatar journey and trains under masters of the other three bending arts. To learn Airbending, Roku traveled to the Southern Air Temple. One of Roku's good friends was none other than Monk Gyatso, Aang's guardian and mentor. Roku comments that Aang's relationship with Gyatso years later proves that some friendships are able to transcend lifetimes. After years of training, Roku had mastered Airbending and he traveled to the Northern Water Tribe to learn Waterbending from his teacher. This task was especially hard for Roku seeing as how water is the natural opposite of fire; yet in time he mastered it as well. After mastering Waterbending, Roku traveled to the Earth Kingdom to learn Earthbending, and he became very good friends with his teacher, Sud.

[edit] Mastering the Avatar StateEdit

To see the clip detailing this story go to Escape from the Spirit World Page.

Sometime after mastering Earthbending, in 85 BSC, he then spent five months in recession to the Fire Temple on Crescent Island, trying to master the Avatar State under the guidance of Fire Sage Shyu's grandfather, Fire Sage Kaja. After growing impatient with the failed meditation attempts, he tried using the summer solstice sun to push him into the Avatar State easily. It worked, but he was unable to control his powers and ended up destroying the upper half of the Fire Temple before Kaja managed to free him from the Avatar State.

After this incident, Roku became more patient with his training, and eventually mastered the Avatar State completely. He also rebuilt part of the temple, and carved new underground passages out of the island's magma.

[edit] Return to the Fire NationEdit

[13][14]A middle aged Roku warns Sozin not to invade other nationsTwelve years after leaving his country for his Avatar journey, Roku has become a fully-realized Avatar. He returned to the Fire Nation to reunite with his friend Sozin, who has since become Fire Lord. Roku winds up marrying his childhood sweetheart, Ta Min, with Sozin taking the position of his best man. At the wedding, Sozin asks to speak with Roku in private. He begins telling Roku that he has been thinking hard about the state of the world, and that the Fire Nation is going through a period of great prosperity. He proposes to Roku that together, the two of them could spread this wealth to the world by expanding the empire. Roku is horrified by this proposition, and tells Sozin that the Four Nations are meant to be kept separate and that he should not think of this again. In the following years, Roku and Ta Min had a child, though nothing else about this child is revealed.

At least twenty years later, however, Roku discovers that Sozin has gone ahead with his plan, and set up colonies in the Earth Kingdom. He confronts his old friend, and commands him to stop his aggression, which Sozin replies that loyalty lies with him and the Fire Nation. When Roku declines this, it leads Sozin to attack him. The two engage in a battle, with Roku easily overpowering his old friend and finally destroying most of the palace and defeating Sozin. He decides to spare Sozin's life for the sake of their past friendship, but not before warning him never to move forward with his plans again, or it would result in his "permanent end".

[edit] DeathEdit

[15][16]Roku defending his homeTwenty-five years later, Roku's home island is consumed in a volcanic eruption so massive that the Fire Lord can see and feel it from a hundred miles away at the palace. Roku attempts to contain the destruction, using his Bending and even going into the Avatar State; however, the awesome power of the volcano proves to be too powerful, even for the Avatar. At that moment, Sozin flies in on his dragon to assist his old friend. The two use their Bending to try to contain the lava flow, but are hindered by poisonous gases, which eventually overwhelm Roku, leaving him lying on the ground and begging for his old friend's help. Sozin suddenly realizes, however, that Roku's death would allow him to fulfill his plans, and leaves his old friend to die along with his dragon Fang, who curls up with Roku as he is engulfed in a pyroclastic flow. Twelve years later, Sozin begins The War. However near his death, the old Fire Lord regrets leaving Roku, his former best friend, to die.

[edit] Appearances in Aang's LifeEdit

A century after Roku's death, Aang was able to communicate with him by visiting the Fire Temple that Roku called home 112 years ago. There Roku informed Aang of the impending return of Sozin's Comet. He also described Fire Lord Ozai and the Fire Nation's ability to harness the comet's energy to finally win the war. He gave Aang the task of mastering the four elements and defeating the Fire Lord before the Comet arrives. Roku also manifested himself in Aang to defeat a group of Firebenders attempting to kill the young Airbender. He awakened the dormant volcano directly underneath the temple, destroying the temple before the solstice ended. [1] Months later, the lava still flows from that event. [2] [17][18]Roku helping AangHe has guided Aang several times since, appearing to Jeong Jeong to persuade him to teach Aang Firebending, [3] offering critical wisdom in the ways of the Spirit World during the Siege of the North in order to defeat the invading Fire Navy and save the Moon Spirit, [4] and most recently, revealing to Aang the nature of his Avatar State. [5] He can thus be seen as a kind of mentor or spirit guide for the current Avatar, Aang; this may be because Aang has no appointed teacher (the Air Nomads having been killed), or it may be possible that all Avatars have been guided by their previous incarnation through their lives.

Roku appeared to Aang when he thought he failed when Ba Sing Se fell. Roku said the failure was really his because he should have foreseen the war and taken steps to prevent it. He then tells Aang he believes it is his destiny to save the world and redeem him. He would later reveal his history with Fire Lord Sozin to him. [2]

Aang communicates with Roku prior to the arrival of Sozin's Comet. He feels insecure about killing Fire Lord Ozai, as he was taught by the Air Nomads to respect all life. While understanding Aang's discomfort, he insists that Aang must kill Ozai should it be necessary to save the world. He tells Aang that it was his neglect to end Sozin's life that started the war, and that Aang must not make the same mistake by sparing Fire Lord Ozai's life. Aang searches for advice from three other Avatars, hoping for a more satisfying answer. [6]

[edit] Connection to Prince Zuko and Princess AzulaEdit

When Zuko angrily accuses Iroh of having sent him the message, and then demands to know the point, as the testament did not even reveal anything about Sozin's death. Iroh explains that the message that Zuko must find out about his great-grandfather's death did not refer to his paternal ancestor, Sozin, but his mother's grandfather, who was none other than Avatar Roku. Iroh then produces the lost crown prince's headpiece, once worn by both his great-grandfathers, and gives it to a stunned Zuko, explaining that, as he has both Roku and Sozin's blood in his veins, he has the power to redeem their family by choosing which of their paths to follow. However, Azula is, as of yet, unaware of this connection to the Avatar. [7]

[edit] AvatarEdit

[19][20]Roku Bending all four elements at onceAs the Avatar, Roku was able to perform all four bending arts and utilize the Avatar State. When he was adult he was a powerful bender in all the elements, able to perform blasts of all elements one by one and hold them simultaneously. Among his abilities, he could bend lava and freeze it with his breath, move huge amounts of earth or water, quickly tunnel through earth, fly via an Air Nomad glider or mini-tornado, and create a shield of air large enough to cover a whole village. His control was not only powerful but precise- he could leave a single rock pillar standing while he leveled a building, and melt chains on others while leaving them unharmed.

As well as having tremendous control over the elements, Roku was an able combatant. When Fire Lord Sozin tried to strike him down, Roku defeated him so quickly that Sozin did not have the chance to throw a second blow. When channeled through Aang, he easily defeated a large number of firebenders.

[edit] TriviaEdit

  • Avatar Roku first appears as a statue within a shrine in the episode "The Southern Air Temple," and Aang mentions that although he never met him, he felt a particular connection to his previous incarnation. In the episode "Avatar Roku (Winter Solstice, Part 2)", Aang finally meets the spirit of Roku for the first time.
  • Roku's voice actor, James Garrett, narrates an interlude episode called "The Legend So Far" that recaps the first seventeen episodes of the first Avatar season and is also the voice which says "Previously on Avatar..." when it appears before an episode begins. Roku is also silhouetted in the opening sequence of every episode as the Avatar that demonstrates the use of all four elements.
  • Roku is the only Avatar who as a spirit is shown to have aged. All the others are shown at younger ages.
  • Roku means "six" in Japanese. Roku is also a Japanese girls name for emolument.
  • In the opening sequence, when Roku is seen bending each of the four elements, his location resembles Wulong Forest, the place of Aang and Ozai's final battle.
  • Roku destroyed the Fire Nation Palace once and the Fire Temple twice.

[edit] RelativesEdit

See Fire Nation Royal Family Tree

[edit] FootnotesEdit

  1. Winter Solstice Part 2: Avatar Roku, Book 1: Water
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Awakening, Book 3: Fire
  3. The Deserter, Book 1: Water
  4. The Siege of the North, Part 2, Book 1: Water
  5. The Avatar State, Book 2: Earth
  6. Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters, Book 3: Fire
  7. The Avatar and the Fire Lord, Book 3: Fire
Preceded by



82 - 12 BSC

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