First Avatar Revealed, Named Wan voiced by Steven Yeun

LegendofKorra_Wan_SteveYeun-660x371
69 Comments

While we have a lot to look forward to tomorrow with the big Korra panel, we are still getting other news from the convention.

Thanks to Wired.com we have some big information. We have our first news about the first ever Avatar.

We know that his name is Wan and that he will be voiced by Steven Yeun best known for his role in The Walking Dead.

We also get an image of him.

LegendofKorra_Wan_SteveYeun-660x371

We also know what episodes he will appear in, the episodes titled Beginnings Part 1 and 2.

Yeun’s character will appear in two episodes titled “Beginnings 1 & 2″ during the second season — aka Book 2: Spirits — debuting later this year.

Finally the article also mentions that the story of the first Avatar takes place 10,000 years before Korra’s time

Wan’s story will take place 10,000 years before Korra’s time, and follow the teenage explorer and skilled bender as he tries to bring balance between mankind and the spirits, a quest that ultimately leads to becoming the first Avatar.

In terms of the creative challenge of depicting the Avatar world so far in the past from where we know, we get the following quote.

To depict the world in Wan’s time, the creative team drew inspiration from ancient and traditional East Asian ink wash paintings and woodblock prints for the environments, color palettes, and stylisations of the elements,”

I am really excited to see these episodes as the concept of the first Avatar has always been fascinating to me. I am a bit surprised to see that the first Avatar is only from 10,000 years ago. In 116 The Deserter, Roku tells Jeong Jeong

Avatar Roku: I have mastered the elements a thousand times in a thousand lifetimes. Now, I must do it once again.

So this kind of suggests that the average lifetime of an Avatar is just 10 years old O.O. I assume some crazy spirit magic is responsible as that cannot be right, can it ?

Thoughts?

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My name is Morgan Bannon, I am a 22 Year old Male from Ireland and I am the Site Super Moderator. I have watched and been a fan of Avatar since it premiered. I am also a news post writer for the site and host the site's podcast, The Avatar Online Podcast. My strength as an Avatar fan would be just a good knowledge of Avatar Canon and characters.

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Comments - 69 Posts

  1. Henry Zerrenner Said: Comment by Henry Zerrenner on July 18, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink
     

    You know the drill. “Really it was 881 times, but 1000 just sounds more dramatic.”

    Reply

  2. HaZardous Said: Comment by HaZardous on July 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
     

    Roku probably just guessed. It’s not like he knows the exact number. :P

    Reply

    Avatar of Airspeed Prime

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    Roku Master of Exaggeration.

    Reply

    Joel Reply:

    It was for the drama.

    Reply

    Avatar of Airspeed Prime

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    I get that, but there is a difference between him adding 1-2 hundred and the average not really working out as sensible until you lower it to well under 500 avatars and at that stage, Roku more than doubling the amount of Avatar’s, I think it goes from an exaggeration for dramatic purposes to comically exaggerated.
    Again I will wait and see what else is confirmed, but right now the numbers seem way off.

    HaZardous Reply:

    According to this, http://baelor.tumblr.com/post/55811062803/how-many-avatars, Aang was only the 185th Avatar.

    And besides, I doubt the writers gave much thought when they wrote the 1000 lifetimes line. It’s just for the drama.

    Avatar of Shiney

    Shiney Reply:

    I could at a stretch believe that there has lived 1000 Avatar’s – because in theory, many of them could have been killed or died in infancy or during childhood, thus making the average live span of the Avatar low.

    BUT Roku said “mastered the elements a 1000 times in a 1000 lifetimes”, which would require that the Avatar had reached adulthood and masted all the elements a thousand times. That is one thousand Avatar’s, plus the ones that never got to master the elements if there were such Avatar’s.

    So really, it was probably just something he said for emphasize. The article linked to above probably has something close to the right number.

    Avatar of

    momo2009 Reply:

    Not everybody lived to 100 year old, back in the old day 30 was consider a long life. So it possible there were avatar that master the elements by there 20′s and died in their 30′s. Did anyone remember aang almost dying from riding that big koi fish. See avatar can died from simple thing too. So 10000 years and 1000 lifetime works.

    Reply

    Avatar of HypnoManiac(Amonics Leader)

    HypnoManiac(Amonics Leader) Reply:

    I think Mike and Bryan didn’t want to be too technical on a series for kids. There are always a things here and there that don’t make sense.

    Reply

    Avatar of

    momo2009 Reply:

    What doesn’t make sense? People didn’t live as long as people today. In some countries today people don’t live past 30.

    Avatar of Airspeed Prime

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    Average comes out at 10 not 30. Again Roku says that 1000 avatars mastered the elements meaning 1000 Avatars were alive long enough to master all 4 elements.
    ATLA implies that Aang is the youngest to master all 4 at 12 so he would lower the average age, but instead he increases it and that is wrongly saying he died at 12.
    Something is up with the numbers, I just hope it is addressed in the show.

  3. Avatar of Shiney
    Shiney Said: Comment by Shiney on July 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink
     

    Ah, I’m so excited for this character already! I really like the idea that it was a human who first established the connection between the spirit world and the human world, and created the Avatar, instead of it being the spirits who just magically granted some random person the powers.

    Reply

  4. Avatar of Azulan
    Azulan Said: Comment by Azulan on July 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
     

    Not only that but life expectancy in the early days might not have been as high? The same principle that Henry mentioned could also apply to the 10,000 years. It could be 11,580, but 10,000 sounds more dramatic.

    On the topic of this reveal however, this is HUGE. Two part flashback story??!? About the avatar’s origins?

    That means that not only the hero, Korra, but the villain, (unknown), has a connection to the first Avatar. Korra’s connection is obvious, but the villain’s is not so obvious.

    Speculation!

    Reply

    Avatar of Airspeed Prime

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    I get what you are saying, but the numbers are so off that it is stood out to me.
    Even saying both numbers, how long ago and number of avatars are off by 20% to make the average age bigger it still makes for a very low number.
    12000 years, 800 Avatar makes for an average age of just 15.

    Again I do not know where Wired got that number from, it could be contradicted tomorrow at the panel and said to be much closer to 100,000 years ago.

    Reply

    Avatar of Azulan

    Azulan Reply:

    I agree, 100k years makes much more sense. Mike and Brian are NOT sloppy with continuity. Much easier to believe the person who wrote the article missed a zero.

    Reply

    Avatar of Airspeed Prime

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    There are 2 time errors that I have seen in Avatar.
    The first would be what Koh says about how long ago it was when he stole Ummi’s face compared to the time you can calculate from their ages. I think around 200 years of a mistake.
    The second would be the Zuko family tree, which you can read all about in The Search Part 1 thread in the comic section. About 20 years or so appear to be missing somewhere unless a lot of kids were had at like 70 years old.

    Avatar of YangChen

    YangChen Reply:

    I don’t know, I think Roku was saying that for effect. He might not have known how many avatars there were himself.

    Reply

  5. Peep Said: Comment by Peep on July 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink
     

    The Roku quote of “1,000 lifetimes” always seemed a bit exaggerated for me, because if we believe that the average lifespan of an Avatar is 100 years old (Kyoshi live more than 200), you would need 100,000 years for 1,000 Avatars to live through the world! That’s way too much, although it is possible that many Avatars died young, possibly as children some, but even so… 10,000 years isn’t enough for 1,000 lifetimes. It was probably just Roku being dramatic.

    Reply

    Avatar of Azulan

    Azulan Reply:

    Oh no you just gave me an idea. What if the avatar was hunted down as a baby by the dark spirits?? Kind of like Moses in the bible. The Dark Ages of the Avatar world, where the spirits openly slaughtered the avatars before they could come into their powers. It does make sense, but I doubt they will have it since it’s a little too dark for a kids show.

    Reply

    Avatar711 Reply:

    but if the Avatar had been killed as a baby then they wouldn’t have mastered the elements during that lifetime.

    Reply

    Avatar of Shiney

    Shiney Reply:

    Even if we take the 10,000 years the article gave us… that is a very long time. Just like The Fire Nation with Sozin, Azulon, Ozai and Zuko tried to hunt down the Avatar and kill him, (though they never succeeded, obviously, because he was hiding), I’m sure someone would have done someone similar in the past. Had some reason to want to rid the world of the Avatar.

    If they had been more successful, they could easily have killed dozens of infant Avatar’s in a row, though as Avatar711 said, that obviously doesn’t account for “a 1000 Avatar lifetimes of the Avatar mastering the elements”.

    That is a really scary thought, but to be honest, I find it very likely that something like that could have happened.

    Reply

  6. Avatar of Avatar M
    Avatar M Said: Comment by Avatar M on July 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
     

    Whaaaaaaaaat?
    Now I feel like exploding.
    That’s all I can say.
    Oh, and that this is GREAT news! Now I’m psyched to see book two!

    Reply

  7. Avatar of YangChen
    YangChen Said: Comment by YangChen on July 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
     

    This is AMAZING NEWS!!!! I have always always always wanted to know about the first avatar, and how he was trying to “bring balance between mankind and the spirits”, and that made him the avatar is exactly as i imagined!! do we know what type of bender he was originally? or was he a bender??

    Reply

    Avatar of Shiney

    Shiney Reply:

    I think he looks very Fire Nation, with the eye color and the complexion. Obviously, the genetics/ethnics of this world could have worked differently at his time (10,000 years ago), but I think it’s very likely, most probable, that he is Fire Nation. I personally really like that. :-D

    Also, the article says, “Wan’s story will take place 10,000 years before Korra’s time, and follow the teenage explorer and skilled bender”. If he was ‘a skilled bender’ I assume he was a fire bender before he became the Avatar.

    Reply

  8. Avatar of MrTurtle
    MrTurtle Said: Comment by MrTurtle on July 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
     

    Follow up question to YangChen’s questions: If we do know of original bending type, would he be an Airbender since Air Nomads are deeply spiritual?

    Reply

    Avatar of Airspeed Prime

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    Lion Turtle, “In The Era before the Avatar we bent not the elements, but the energy within…”

    He could be an energybender which could lead to the energybending is the origin of the 4 elements theory coming true.

    Reply

    Avatar of Water-Tribe Heart

    Water-Tribe Heart Reply:

    okay so maybe the “red clothes means he can bend fire” logic should be replaced with ” red clothes means he is from the fire nation.”
    back in ATLA that is, in LOK there are many people with mixed nationalites.

    and thats a great theory, he was able to lay the foundation of the Avatar, and energybending was the origin of bending.

    im so excited! im sure the wait for Books 3 and 4 wont be as long as we have waited for Book 2.

    Reply

    Avatar of MrTurtle

    MrTurtle Reply:

    I’ve been thinking though. He /could/ be a bender of one of the four elements because Oma and Shu were the first earthbenders so it wouldn’t make sense for Wan to be the Avatar before the other two becoming earthbenders.

    Reply

    Avatar of HypnoManiac(Amonics Leader)

    HypnoManiac(Amonics Leader) Reply:

    @lionturtle635 From that picture above it looks he’s a firebender just by looking at his clothes.

    Reply

    Avatar of MrTurtle

    MrTurtle Reply:

    @airspeed Right, right. I forgot about that quote. That makes sense. It’s possible that being more likely.

    @avatarmaniac789 Yeah, he kinda does.

    Reply

    Avatar of MrTurtle

    MrTurtle Reply:

    Sorry for the double post but his eyes are also kind of golden colored like Fire Nation folk.

    Reply

    Avatar of Shiney

    Shiney Reply:

    Oh, yeah. I almost forgot that quote Airspeed gave. So Wan was probably an energybender, because the article indicates that he was an “explorer and skilled bender” before he became the Avatar. NOW I’m VERY excited, it will be really interesting to get an insight into what the world looked like before the normal bending, if the Lion Turtle’s words are to be taken exactly literal, of course. (I mean, we know it wasn’t the Avatar who invented the bending of the elements, but that individuals learned it from animals). Anyway, I hope this will explore energybending deeper, even if normal bending is invented at this time.

    But as for nationality (if the four nations existed as we know them), I’m certain he was Fire Nation. With these golden eyes, it should seem like it.

    Reply

  9. Avatar of HypnoManiac(Amonics Leader)
    HypnoManiac(Amonics Leader) Said: Comment by HypnoManiac(Amonics Leader) on July 18, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink
     

    Very exciting news! I still remember that quote from Roku mastering the elements a thousand times in a thousand life times. Maybe the first Avatar didn’t take care of something that leads to a spiritual disaster in Korra’s era. Interesting stuff indeed! :)

    Reply

  10. Avatar of Rabadoo
    Rabadoo Said: Comment by Rabadoo on July 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink
     

    Really? A million names to choose from and they choose Wan? Also, he looks like Bolin with a goatee and long hair.

    Not unhappy about this, just a bit perturbed.

    Reply

    Avatar of Azulan

    Azulan Reply:

    Maybe that’s why every fantasy story refers to “The Wan” who will save us all from evil lol.

    Reply

    Avatar of Airspeed Prime

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    Wan Shi Tong anyone ;)

    Reply

    Avatar of Azulan

    Azulan Reply:

    Hehehe just another WANnabe if you ask me

    Avatar of Hyriu 85

    Hyriu 85 Reply:

    I was thinking the same thing airspeed.

  11. Samantha Said: Comment by Samantha on July 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink
     

    So, how do you suppose he used the avatar state? Or did that not exist until the second avatar was born.

    Reply

    Avatar of Airspeed Prime

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    Well something we have not heard much about is the Avatar Spirit which is what is reborn in each new Avatar. It is what makes them the Avatar and lets them use the Avatar State. I assume this spirit was given to Wan or made for him. I assume that even with only 1 Avatar there was still the ability where the Avatar becomes more spirit like.
    It is a fascinating question

    Reply

    Avatar of

    momo2009 Reply:

    Was everyone able to bend the 4 elements? What was energybending used for? Did bending the element exist? I bet the the first avatar world was attack by spirits and the first avatar was created to keep the peace. But 10000 year is a little hard to believe time wise. So it took 10000 year to get everyone to live together and invent cars? Lol Let hope they give us information that make sense and enrich the avatar universe. And please give another avatar series.

    Reply

    Avatar of Airspeed Prime

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    My speculation would be that when Wan became the Avatar that was the event that “fixed” certain areas of the world with only 1 bending type.
    Around Wan’s time was when people were just discovering the ability to bend elements and because the animals only would live in certain areas and the moon is at it’s most effective at the poles the people only thought to use one element initially, because it was what was around them.

    Again, just speculation.

    Avatar of Shiney

    Shiney Reply:

    Well, there’s nothing to suggest that these 10,000 years were a period of peace and progression. To be honest, I think there’s probably been a LOT of struggle and fighting of each other.

    But to be honest, who knows? There might even have been a period where there was peace and unity, where technology was invented, but then war stroke and it broke down, all forgotten. If we look back in real life human history, we do have empires like the Roman empire that existed and developed technology and highly advanced society and then died, leaving the world in darkness and primitive again.

    Perhaps something like that could have happened, and that’s where the “there must be four separate nations to keep balance” comes from. Just a thought, because I agree, if they had spent 10,000 years developing and progressive, there’d be freaking flying cars 90% the speed of light by now.

    Avatar of Azulan

    Azulan Reply:

    Remember, it wasn’t called the avatar state until Book 2: Earth. Katara: “Oh no, it’s his Avatar Spirit, he must have triggered it.”

    Maybe this Spirit has an actual reason it gave it’s life force to be fused with this new entity, the Avatar.

    Reply

  12. Rebecca Said: Comment by Rebecca on July 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink
     

    Gave me chills just reading this.

    Reply

    Avatar of Airspeed Prime

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    Same, first Avatar is something I have wondered about for so long, these two episodes are going to be epic.

    Reply

    Avatar of

    momo2009 Reply:

    It better be epic. And it better explain which came first bending or the avatar. And why only the avatar can bend the 4 elements?

    Reply

    Avatar of HypnoManiac(Amonics Leader)

    HypnoManiac(Amonics Leader) Reply:

    You should edit that question to which came first the lemur or airbending muhahahaha…

    Avatar of YangChen

    YangChen Reply:

    Yeah me too, it’s like watching history be made in the Avatar world, today should forever more be called “the day we discovered who was the first avatar day” :D

    Reply

  13. Avatar of Hyriu 85
    Hyriu 85 Said: Comment by Hyriu 85 on July 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink
     

    This is incredibly interesting a lot of questions need to be answered and they have roughly 40 minutes to do so, what an interesting challenge they had. I hope it turns out great.

    Reply

    Avatar of Water-Tribe Heart

    Water-Tribe Heart Reply:

    we are only getting information about Book 2. There are still 2 whole Books coming out, there is alot to look foward to. (:

    Reply

  14. Avatar of Troy
    Troy Said: Comment by Troy on July 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
     

    I hope this is good. If the first Avatar is done with any lacking of drama it will plague the whole story thus far. So far though I am excited.

    Reply

  15. Avatar of Troy
    Troy Said: Comment by Troy on July 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink
     

    I can imagine Wan saying, “Your heart is to full with hatred.” From the picture.

    Reply

  16. andrew Said: Comment by andrew on July 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
     

    what if roku was talking about future avatars, when he said 1000 lifetimes. that would make sense.

    Reply

    Avatar of Shiney

    Shiney Reply:

    Time is an illusion. ;-)

    Reply

  17. Avatar of Avatar Yangchen
    Avatar Yangchen Said: Comment by Avatar Yangchen on July 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink
     

    wow, today is the best day ever 8-) we finally get to see the first avatar, i wonder what nation he is from :) though 10,000 years does seem off, i would have thought it would be more like 50,000 years, especially because avatar yangchen i think was born around 1,000 years or so before aangs time. on the other hand, if 10,000 years ago is correct, there must have been a prehistoric age of bending that made the first avatar emerge somehow, which means the avatar is fairly new compared to the world. in that case, i would hope we could get some history about the “era before the avatar”.

    Reply

  18. Avatar of Rance100
    Rance100 Said: Comment by Rance100 on July 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink
     

    AWESOME!!! I love Stephen Yeun in “The Walking Dead”. My life is now complete. A actor from my favorite Live action show is in my favorite animated series!

    Reply

  19. Avatar of Luftmann
    Luftmann Said: Comment by Luftmann on July 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink
     

    I didn’t realize they were going to go so far back. Very interesting.

    Reply

  20. Sogno Said: Comment by Sogno on July 18, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink
     

    baaah Walking Dead?? Really?? Seriously an actor is only good when he/she can play completely diverse roles (even if this is voice acting, still).

    I love Walking Dead so this just makes Wan all the more awesome.

    Reply

  21. Avatar of Callum Fryars
    Callum Fryars Said: Comment by Callum Fryars on July 19, 2013 at 1:30 am | Permalink
     

    Im really excited for these episodes! It’s going to be great to get some answers to the questions we’ve been asking for a really long time.

    Reply

  22. Avatar of Eska
    Eska Said: Comment by Eska on July 19, 2013 at 5:50 am | Permalink
     

    Whaaaaaa…. if the average lifespan of the avatar actually turns out to be only 10 years, then a lot of people would no longer want to be the avatar

    Reply

  23. Avatar of Jon
    Jon Said: Comment by Jon on July 19, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink
     

    #Sogno I hope Wan doesn’t have to fight an army of zombies created by the spirits

    Reply

  24. Avatar of KoolKorra
    KoolKorra Said: Comment by KoolKorra on July 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink
     

    What Roku said, was exaggerated. It’s probably not canon

    Reply

    Avatar of Airspeed Prime

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    Contradiction, because it was said in the show it is by definition Canon.

    Reply

  25. Avatar of
    momo2009 Said: Comment by momo2009 on July 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
     

    It sad there only going two episodes about the first avatar. I would watch a series.

    Reply

    Avatar of Water-Tribe Heart

    Water-Tribe Heart Reply:

    hopefully those two episodes hold alot of info about Wan.
    and im so ready for all the Books to be here. (:

    Reply

  26. Avatar of Korra Watermaster
    Korra Watermaster Said: Comment by Korra Watermaster on July 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
     

    Avatar Wan look like he’s a firebender and he’s cute for a character lol

    Reply

    Avatar of Water-Tribe Heart

    Water-Tribe Heart Reply:

    he defenitly looks like a firbender, and i want to know if that was the beginning cycle of the Avatar.

    Reply

  27. Avatar of ZukoATLA
    ZukoATLA Said: Comment by ZukoATLA on July 27, 2013 at 5:39 am | Permalink
     

    That’s so cool! I wonder what nation ‘Wan’ hails from. Judging from his eye color I think he is from the Fire Nation. But he looks a bit Earth Kingdom to me. Lol. He’s already awesome.

    Reply

 

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