The show is based on the original animated series on Nickelodeon, which followed Aang, the Avatar, (eventual) master of all elements.
Aang and his friends would work to end the hundred-year war against the Fire Nation and unique the elemental tribes across the world.
The Cast and Characters of Avatar: The Last Airbender
Gordon Cormier - Aang
Gordon Cormier plays the one and only Aang, the Avatar himself, who has the ability to use all four bending arts (air, water, earth, fire). He also happens to be the one destined to stop the longstanding war between the various kingdoms and the Fire Nation.
In a press release, Cormier revealed how he “had a month-and-a-half-long bending boot camp” to prepare for the project:
“I had a month-and-a-half-long bending boot camp. I studied Bagua and Wushu, which is basically my airbending. I also learned forms in water, earth, and firebending, but I mostly studied airbending because that’s all I do at the start of the series.”
Some of Cormier’s previous work includes The Stand and Team Zenko Go. Aang was originally voiced by Zach Tyler Eisen in The Last Airbender cartoon.
Kiawentiio - Katara
Katara hails from the Southern Water Tribe and is the only member of the community who can waterbend. While she’ll be looking for guidance to improve her skills, she’ll also become the one who will teach Aang how to do those same moves.
Speaking in a press release for the project, Kiawentiio teased that “Katara is a very beginner waterbender” at the start of the show:
“Katara is a very beginner waterbender. The only thing she really knows about waterbending is that she is one, but she is surrounded by non-benders in her little village. So she’s kind of insecure about the fact that she doesn’t know much about this part of herself.”
Some of the actress’ previous projects include Beans, What If…?, and Anne with an E. Mae Whitman is the first actress to have originally voiced Katara onscreen.
Ian Ousley - Sokka
Sokka, played by Ian Ousley, is a warrior from the Southern Water Tribe and a core member of Aang’s close-knit friend group. He’s Katara’s sister, though he doesn’t share her ability to waterbend.
Ousley described his character in a press release as “witty, sarcastic, [and] handsome,” while also noting that Sokka is “very wary of Aang” at the beginning:
“I would describe Sokka as witty, sarcastic, handsome. No, I’m kidding — but he is very protective over his sister, caring, and kind of sardonic… At the beginning, Sokka is very wary of Aang. He rustles the feathers of Sokka’s whole life and journey up until that point. Then when he realizes the scope of it, that it’s the whole world and not just his world that he has to save by going along with Aang, he always has that in his mind. But Aang becomes another little sibling that he’s protecting, and also is annoyed by. They have a really fun, interesting relationship.”
When it comes to some changes the show has made to the character, Ousley admitted to Entertainment Weekly that they “took out the element of how sexist [Sokka] was” and how he “feel[s] like there were a lot of moments in the original show that were iffy.”
Audiences may have seen Ousley in projects such as Physical, 13 Reasons Why, and Big Shot. Actor Jack Desena originally voiced Sokka.
Dallas Liu - Prince Zuko
Prince Zuko is the son of Fire Lord Ozai, who, after perceiving weakness in him, banished his own blood from the Fire Nation. In order to regain his honor and place in his kingdom, Zuko dedicated his life to trying to capture the Avatar.
“He’s bitter and angry,” Liu said of his character in a press release, but the actor also confidently proclaimed how Zuko is also “very complex and passionate:”
“Short tempered, to say the least. He’s bitter and angry, but I think he’s very complex and passionate. He’s a very intense character, for sure… He’s chasing the Avatar, but I think under all of that is Zuko trying to find his own identity and place in the world. Luckily he has his uncle there to guide him through that.”
Liu can also be seen in PEN15, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Players. Dante Basco voiced Zuko in the original animated show.
Paul Sun-Hyun Lee - General Iroh
Paul Sun-Hyun plays General Iroh, a once revered military leader of the Fire Nation who previously lost his only son in the war. He now serves as a wise mentor and father figure to Zuko.
In a press release, Lee explained how “Uncle Iroh is a very complex character” and that after the tragic loss of his son, he “realized the world needed a more balanced and measured approach.”
“Uncle Iroh is a very complex character... He’s a father figure to Zuko and treats him like his son because he lost his own son in battle. That’s an event that really changed Iroh’s life. He was the Dragon of the West, a feared and ruthless military commander, in line to be the next Fire Lord for the Fire Nation. Once he lost his son, it broke him. That sense of loss led him to step away from what he believed to be true, which was the righteousness of the Fire Nation’s cause. After his son’s death, Iroh realized that the world needed a more balanced and measured approach.”
Elizabeth Yu - Princess Azula
Princess Azula, played by Elizabeth Yu, is a firebending prodigy and Zuko's younger sister. She is fiercely loyal to the fire nation and one of Team Avatar’s greatest adversaries.
In a press release for the series, Yu spoke about her character’s relationship with her father, which she described as being “pretty rough:”
“Her relationship with her father is pretty rough. You see where she gets it from with Ozai a lot in the show. You can see where she gets the manipulation, the control, and the confidence. She’s learned from the best because he’s evil.”
While Princess Azula appears in this first season of the live-action Netflix adaptation, the character originally didn’t show up in the animated series until Season 2.
Yu can also be seen in May December, and Somewhere in Queens. Grey DeLisle originally voiced the character.
Momona Tamada - Ty Lee
Momona Tamada plays Ty Lee, one of Princess Azula’s close friends who is part of a group made specifically to hunt down both Prince Zuko and the Avatar. She has access to a special ability called chi-blocking, which inhibits people from doing any form of element bending.
Ty Lee first appeared in Season 2, Episode 3 of the original show. The character showing up in Season 1 of Netflix’s adaptation hints at some notable structural changes to the story.
Tamada can also be seen in The Baby-Sitters Club, Secret Headquarters, and the upcoming series The Spiderwick Chronicles. The character of Ty Lee was first voiced by Olivia Hack.
Thalia Tran - Mai
Thalia Tran’s Mai is one of Princess Azula’s main allies alongside Ty Lee, and she is one of the deadly threats Team Avatar has to face along their journey. While she cannot bend any element herself, she’s more than a capable fighter and can hold her ground with nearly anyone.
Some of Tran's past projects include Raya and the Last Dragon, Council of Dads, and Sydney to the Max. Cricket Leigh originally voiced the character in the animated Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Daniel Dae Kim - Fire Lord Ozai
Daniel Dae Kim plays Fire Lord Ozai, the current leader of the Fire Nation who many believe to be the most powerful firebender in the world. He’s the big bad that Aang is destined to defeat one day.
On playing the character, Kim admitted in a press release that he enjoyed “play[ing] someone who is unabashedly villainous:”
“I like the fact that I could just play someone who is unabashedly villainous. He doesn’t care what other people think. He is set on achieving his own goals no matter what the obstacle, even if it means destroying a lot of the planet to do it. One of the reasons I became an actor is because I wanted to have the license to play characters who are not like myself, so this is just a lot of fun.”
Kim is known for his work in Lost, Hellboy, Pantheon, and more. Fan-favorite actor Mark Hamill originally provided the voice work for Fire Lord Ozai in the animated series.
Ken Leung - Commander Zhao
Ken Leung’s Commander Zhao is the leader of the Fire Nation Navy and quickly becomes an enemy to not only Aang and his friends but also Zuko.
Leung can also be seen in other projects such as Old, Lost, Industry, and more. Jason Isaacs provided the voice for the character in the animated series.
Maria Zhang - Suki
Suki, played by Maria Zhang, is the leader of a band of elite Earth Kingdom fights called the Kyoshi Warriors. She goes on to be an important ally to Aang and his friends.
To date, Zhang’s work on Avatar: The Last Airbender is the actress’ biggest role yet. Jennie Kwan originally provided Suki’s voice for her original portrayal.
Amber Midthunder - Princess Yue
Amber Midthunder’s Princess Yue is the daughter of Chief Arnook, and despite her upcoming arranged marriage, she and Sokka quickly develop feelings for one another.
Yue recently starred in the incredibly popular Predator prequel Prey on Hulu and can also be seen in Legion, Roswell, New Mexico, and Hell or High Water. For the original series, the character was voiced by Johanna Braddy.
Lim Kay Siu - Monk Gyatso
Lim Kay Siu’s Monk Gyatso was Aang’s father figure back before he was frozen in ice for 100 years. Sadly, Gyatso was slain during a genocide of the Air Nomads under the orders of Fire Lord Sozin.
Siu’s previous projects include Rogue Trade, Cyber Wars, and Anna and the King. Sab Shimono originally brought the character to life in animated form.
A Martinez - Pakku
Pakku, played by A Martinez, is a member of the Northern Water Tribe who was once regarded as the best waterbender alive. He is known to be very strict and adhering to traditions, which meant he only taught waterbending to male students.
Some of Martinez’s previous work includes Longmire, Dark Winds, and The Bay. Victor Brandt was the original actor to offer his voice to the character.
Yvonne Chapman - Avatar Kyoshi
Yvonne Chapman plays Avatar Kyoshi. This incredibly tall woman was the Earth Kingdom-born Avatar, who was born over 400 years before Aang got out of his ice block. She also died at the age of 230, making her the oldest confirmed human ever.
Chapman can also be seen in Kung Fu, Family Law, and Street Legal. Jennifer Hale originally voiced Kyoshi.
Casey Camp-Horinek - Gran Gran Kanna
Gran Gran Kanna, portrayed by Casey Camp-Horinek, is the parental figure caring for Sokka and Katara in the absence of both their mother and father. She is the oldest resident of Wolf Cove.
Horinek’s biggest role of late was in the television series Reservation Dogs, where she played Grandma Irene. Melendy Britt originally provided the voice for the character in the cartoon.
C. S. Lee - Avatar Roku
C.S. Lee plays Avatar Roku, the Fire Nation-born Avatar who was the generation before Aang and is one of the most important pieces of Aang’s long history.
Lee can be seen in other shows like Chuck, Dexter, For All Mankind, and more. James Garret provided the character’s voice for the animated series.
Danny Pudi - The Mechanist
Danny Pudi’s Mechanist is a brilliant inventor and engineer who is originally from the Earth Kingdom.
Reportedly (via X user @KnightGambit), The Mechanist is set to appear when the gang visits Omashu and not the Northern Air Temple. This has led many to believe the whole episode taking place there may not be adapted into live-action.
Pudi is most well known for his time as Abed in Community, and he also appeared in Mythic Quest, DuckTales, Strange Planet, and more.
Lucian-River Chauhun - Teo
Teo, played by Lecian-River Chauhun, is the paraplegic son of The Mechanist and a member of the Earth Kingdon.
Like Danny Pudi’s The Mechanist, the character looks to be popping up in the series when the gang visits Omashu, and not during a trip to the Northern Air Temple.
Chauhun can also be seen in projects such as Heartland and Jane. Daniel Samonas originally voiced Teo in the cartoon.
Utkarsh Ambudkar - King Bumi
King Bumi, played in live-action by Utkarsh Ambudkar, is the leader of the Earth Kingdom city of Omashu. The character can certainly come off a bit crazy and eccentric at times.
Some of Ambudkar’s past roles include parts in Blindspotting, Ghosts, tick, tick… BOOM!, and more. André Sogliuzzo originally voiced King Bumi in the animated show.
James Sie - The Cabbage Merchant
James Sie’s character is exactly what he sounds like: a cabbage merchant. This particular salesman is notably popular due to his bouts of exclamation (“My Cabbages!”) becoming viral memes.
Sie was actually the original voice actor for the Cabbage Merchant as well. He can also be seen in other projects such as Stillwater, Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight, and Star Trek: Lower Decks.
Rainbow Dickerson - Kya
Rainbow Dickerson plays Kya, the ill-fated mother of Sokka and Katara, who is killed in a Fire Nation raid on her home. Katara still wears her mom’s necklace as a reminder.
Some of Dickerson’s previous projects include Beans, The Patron, and Gone. Grey DeLise originally provided the voice of Kya in the animated show.
Joel Montgand - Hakoda
Hakoda, played by Joel Montgand, is the father of Sokka and Katara. After his wife’s death, he went off to fight the Fire Nation.
Montgand can also be seen in the recent season of True Detective. André Sogliuzzo was the actor behind the character’s original animated incarnation.
Arden Cho - June
Arden Cho’s June is an extremely skilled bounty hunter who is put on the scent of Aang, Katara, and Sokka.
Cho can also be seen in Teen Wolf, Chicago Med, and Partner Track. Jennifer Hale provided the voice of June for the animated show.
Joel Oulette - Hahn
Hahn, played by Joel Oulette, is a member of the Northern Water Tribe who was arranged to marry Princess Yue.
Some of Oulette’s previous projects include Nancy Drew, Ruby and the Well, and Trickster.
Nathaniel Arcand - Arnook
Nathaniel Arcand brings Arnook to life, the chief of the Northern Water Tribe. He does not possess the ability to waterbend, but he makes up for it by being a strong and capable leader.
Arcand formerly played Scott Cardinal in Heartland. The character of Arnook was previously voiced by Jon Polito.
Meegwun Fairbrother - Avatar Kuruk
Meegwun Fairbrother’s Avatar Kuruk is the Water Tribe Avatar who came after Avatar Yangchen and before Avatar Kyoshi. He died over 400 years before Aang’s current adventure ever began.
Fairbrother can be seen in other projects such as Skymed, D got H, Hemlock Grove, and more.
Irene Bedard - Yagoda
Yagoda, played by Irene Bedard, is a waterbender from the Northern Water Tribe who specializes in using those abilities to heal people. She goes on to teach Katara these special techniques, which prove to be very handy in the future.
Bedard was the original voice of Pocahontas back in 1995 and can also be seen in Westworld, The Stand, and Alaska Daily. The character was first voiced by Lucille Bliss in the animated show.
François Chau - The Great Sage
François Chau portrays The Great Sage, a leader who lives on Crescent Island, where Team Avatar goes to visit in order for Aang to communicate with Avatar Roku. Unsurprisingly, the group is met with a warm welcome—just not a friendly one.
Some of Chau’s previous roles include Lost, The Tick, The Expanse, and more. The character was originally voiced by Clement von Franckenstein.
Sebastian Amoruso - Jet
Sebastian Amoruso’s Jet is the leader of the Freedom Fights, a group of young rebel refugees from the Earth Kingdom. He also harbors a little crush on Katara.
Amoruso can be seen in the television shows I Know What You Did Last Summer and Solve. Jet was originally voiced by Crawford Wilson in the animated show.
Hiro Kanagawa - Fire Lord Sozin
Fire Lord Sozin, played by Hiro Kanagawa, was once the ruler of the Fire Nation and the original instigator of the Hundred Year War. He was once best friends with Avatar Roku and is Prince Zuko’s great-grandfather.
Some of the actor’s previous roles include Altered Carbon, The Man in the High Castle, Upload, and more.
George Takei - Koh the Face Stealer
George Takei voices Koh the Face Stealer, a terrifying ancient spirit who has the ability to live up to its namesake.
Takei is mainly known for his time as Sulu in the Star Trek franchise. Erik Todd Dellums voiced the creature in the original animated series.
Randall Duk Kim - Wan Shi Tong
Wan Shi Tong, voiced by Randall Duk Kim, is a very powerful and ancient spirit who collects information for his Spirit Library. He usually takes on the guise of a huge black and white barn owl.
Tong originally first appeared later in the series’ story, in the tenth episode of Season 2 that sees Team Avatar exploring a library in the desert where they uncover some important information. The installment also features Toph, a very important character who has not been confirmed for this first set of live-action episodes.
Some of Kim’s previous roles include parts in John Wick, Kung Fu Panda, and The Matrix Reloaded. Wan Shi Tony was voiced by Héctor Elizondo.
Ruy Iskandar - Lieutenant Jee
Ruy Iskandar will be playing Lieutenant Jee, a senior Fire Nation officer aboard Prince Zuko’s ship.
Iskandar has had other small roles in The Rookie, Sneaky Pete, Gotham, and more. Jim Meskimen originally voiced the character in the animated show.
Taylor Lam Wright - The Duke
The Duke, portrayed by Taylor Lam Wright, is the smallest and youngest member of the Freedom Fighters who hails from the Earth Kingdom.
Wright can also be seen in Resident Alien. Prior to the Netflix adaptation, The Duke had been voiced by two different actors in The Last Airbender: Mitch Holleman and Nick Swoboda.
Wes Valaro - Smellerbee
Wes Valaro’s Smellerbee is another Earth Kingdom member of the rebel Freedom Fighters. She is often mistaken for a boy due to her appearance, a habit she’s not the biggest fan of.
This will be Valaro’s first onscreen credit. The character was originally voiced by Nika Futterman.
Nathaniel Kong - Longshot
Longshot, played by Nathaniel Kong, is a member of the Freedom Fighters, a rebel group from the Earth Kingdom. He speaks very little and has an expertise in archery.
Avatar will be Kong’s first onscreen credit. The character was originally voiced by Marc Donato.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is currently expected to debut on Netflix on February 22.