The Avatar Cycle in order
The order of the avatar cycle is determined by the order in which Wan, the first Avatar, learned the elements. You may witness that in season 2 LOK. First, he learned to fire from his native Lion turtle. Then, he learned water, air, and Earth from other lion turtles. The next AvatarAvatar was born in the same population raised by Wan, the lion turtle who gave people the ability to bend air. That was the same pattern as the bending community in which the next avatars were born. It was water, Earth and fire.
Then it was air, Earth, fire and air. Avatar Aang was an air nomad when he was born, while Avatar Roku was born in Fire Nation. Avatar Kyoshi was born in the Earth Kingdom before Roku. Avatar Korra was born after Aang in the Southern Water Tribe. Avatar Wan also believed that avatars would learn to bend the elements according to the order of their avatar cycles. It is not just a tradition, but it is also thought that the AvatarAvatar will master the elements better because they have learned each.
It is as follows: Fire (Air), Water (Water), Earth.
There are four nations and four elements. When one AvatarAvatar passes away, the next one is born in that element’s country. Avatar Kyoshi, for example, was a native of the Earth Kingdom. Roku, a Fire Nation native, became the next AvatarAvatar after she died. Aang became the next Avatar after his death. He was an Air Nomad. You can see that Earth is before Fire and Fire before Air in this Cycle.
History of the Avatar cycle
Wan learned fire bending for the first time when he was just a teenager. He continued learning and mastering it over the next few years. Wan went to the air-turning turtle after he met Raava and Vaatu, who were fighting with and agitating the spirits around them. Vaatu asked Wan to separate them both, and Wan (most probably thinking Vaatu was a good one) agreed. Raava informed Vaatu of his mistake, and he left. Wan ventured onward to the air bending turtle, where he found the peaceful Air Nomads.
Vaatu entered the area and corrupted the spirits, causing them to attack. However, Wan drove them away with the aid of an arriving Raava. Wan was horrified at the destruction done by Vaatu and asked the air bending turtle for help. Wan was warned by the air bending lion turtle that no one has ever held two elements simultaneously. Wan insisted, and Raava was allowed to save it.
Wan and Raava worked together to reach the Earth bending turtle and the water bending lion tiger turtle. Wan couldn’t use them all if Raava didn’t pass through him. This act tasked his body. Wan and Raava would eventually defeat Vaatu, fuse with the spirit portal and become the first Avatar. It is what determines the Avatar Cycle. Wan’s order of learning each bending art is partly inspired by the seasons and times of the day.
Fire is Summer and afternoon. These are the two periods in which a fire bender’s abilities are stronger. Air is Autumn and evening. Autumn is the best season for an Airbender.
Water is Winter and Night. Waterbenders are stronger in winter, and Katara pointed out that her bending power was slightly greater at night. Earth is Spring and the Morning. Spring is a time when Earthbenders are more likely to be born than any other time.
Fire, Earth, Water, and Air are the basic elements. The element that follows is the next in order of importance.
Learn The Avatar Cycle
This acronym will help you understand the concept better.
FAWE/ AWEF/ WEFA/ EFAW
Air Water Earth Fire was easy to find since the first time I saw it.
It means that the next Avatar is born in a specific nation that follows the preceding one. That is how “Avatar Finders” can predict when the next Avatar will be born. It also makes it easier to locate the AvatarAvatar as everyone knows where they’ll appear next, instead of everything being random.
Theories about The Avatar Cycle
Air Nomad Genocide is a theory that the Avatar Cycle will be affected if all nation members are killed. One approach is that the Avatar Cycle is disrupted, and balance is lost. The Avatar ceases to exist when it is time for it to appear in the wiped-out nation.
Another reason is that the Avatar can make up the difference for the loss of a nation by bending their abilities. Ex: If Aang died and the Fire Nation Avatar had perished, Air bending Avatar would be born to non-bending parents. Although Airbenders can’t be brought back, The Avatar can. That’s all there is to it about the Avatar Cycle.
The order is as follows:
Fire, Air, Water, and lastly, Earth.
Avatar Wan was the first Avatar to begin the Cycle. He was a descendant of the Lion turtle that taught fire bending. Then it goes based on the order that he learned the other elements from the other lion turtles.
Technically there are two cycles because Korra broke with her past lives and created a new process, so here’s the two:
- Wan’s Cycle, learned in order of the succession of elements and his successors: Fire, Air, Water, Earth. These follow the Cycle of summer, fall, winter, spring.
- Korra’s Cycle: Water, Earth, Fire, Air. The Cycle is winter, spring, summer, fall.
While unofficial, there’s possibly a third cycle following the genders of the Avatars: whatever the birth gender of the Avatar, the next time that element is the chosen birth element in the Cycle, they will be born the opposite gender. That is the only speculation because we nevermore got a great shot at the Avatars in the Southern Air Temple and possibly having to pause until Air or Water is up again in the Cycle to see this theory bear fruit. I say that as we don’t grasp the Firebender after Wan, nor the one before Roku, both would have to be female. If nothing else, it’s a neat quirk as Kuruk was male. Korra female, Yang Chen female and Aang male, so presumably, Korra’s successor before she lost her connection to her past lives would be male because Kyoshi was female. Kyoshi’s the Earthbending Avatar ere Kyoshi would have to be male and duplicate with the Firebender female’s circumstances after this male Earthbender.