A little disclaimer: a theory is a theory, defined as an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proven to be true. Nothing is being confirmed and should be interpreted as a confirmation. This is just my summary of the fan theory I discovered along with my thoughts on it. (Here’s the source of this theory)
We all know Avatar: The Last Airbender for being more than just a Nicktoon. It was one of the greatest and most powerful cartoons on television, let alone Nickelodeon. The idea of a world divided into four nations of “benders” who can control the natural elements – fire, earth, water and air, is just plain awesome. Watching Avatar was an experience, from the episode plots to the characters. Everything was just so well put together and I always told myself if I ever met the creators or writers of this series I would brag on their show till I’m blue in the face. I mean, you rarely (I said rarely that means it’s not impossible) find cartoons with such a creative background nowadays. Sometimes I wonder when we will see another cartoon that is as breathtaking as Avatar. Or even IF we will ever see another, but I like to have hope for the future of animated television.
A cartoon like Avatar just has to come with interesting fan theories, and this fan theory may be the most fascinating one yet. I’m talking staying up until 3 am and analyzing it over and over fascinating. That’s what I realized when I stumbled across this mind blowing article, that I might just have to side with. You can always count on me to analyze the most compelling fan theories out there. It’s pretty much a requirement from me at this point. Well, the theory is that the Avatar series takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. Now before you shut your laptop or throw your phone across the room, this might not be entirely far-fetched. This theory may sound unbelievable and even debatable, because even myself can’t help but feel like this series takes place thousands or even millions of years ago. But let’s look more into it:
This theory states that somewhere between Avatar Wan and Aang, there was an apocalyptic event that unfortunately led to mankind starting over. For that reason, Avatar must take place in the future. This person provides their evidence by mainly pointing out a “major problem” in the timeline on the show.
“In the episode Beginnings, Part 1 and Part 2, it shows the time of the character Avatar Wan and how he became the first Avatar, when Korra lost her memory. One of the scenes shown was a Chinese palace of the Chou estate, where Wan stole food from the Chou brothers. …there is a major problem here. If you think about the development time it took between A:TLA and TLOK, it only takes 70 years to build Republic City, which is supposed to resemble an advanced city, from the plans and cars in it, as well as compared to the rest of the world…But when they show Avatar Wan’s time, it is remarkably similar to Avatar Aang’s time.”
The theory also adds how animals in the show like Sky Bisons and Chimeras may be supposedly altered due to radioactivity, how characters like Combustion Man and Guru Pathik may exist due to “special intervention” or mutation, and more. All of the information is pretty mind blowing and the author of the theory explains it very well in my opinion, but what really has me going is the Benders explanation.
This supposed evidence of why benders have their powers could be easily disregarded, but not so fast. This person makes a rather good point when questioning the show’s excuses to how the humans developed their bending powers. In The Legend of Korra, it was revealed that the lion turtles gave powers to Avatar Wan and his kind during his time. Keep in mind, bending is not a power that can be passed down through teaching. As the lion turtles stopped giving powers away, the bending died down. So the apocalyptic event could have mutated the humans, giving them bending powers as time went on. Also the side-abilities performed, such as Metalbending, were not the works of the lion turtles, meaning only one thing. Mutated powers caused by radiation, which was caused by the apocalypse my friend.
This theory was a lot to take in and I hope I summarized it well for those of you Avatar TLAB fans out there. I really recommend you read the original article linked above in the disclaimer though. It may have you on a warpath, questioning everything you’ve ever known about the series. Or you may just find it as another interesting and enjoyable fan theory. It really depends on what level of fan you are. Once again, no one is confirming this theory to be true so no need to get frustrated or bothered by it.