There’s a lot to love about Avatar: The Last Airbender, including its impressive world design, stellar action and sympathetic characters. The fictional world of this series is so beloved, in fact, that fans would like to know everything about it. And in true artistic fashion, Avatar creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko answer some questions, but leave others in the dark.
One question which fans want answered is what happened to Appa. For reference, Appa is a flying bison and protagonist Aang’s childhood companion. Although he’s Team Avatar’s primary mode of transportation, the friendly giant is more than just a simple plot point. Rather, he has a true bond with his owner and – through him – with us as well.
Appa’s one of the last characters to be featured in the show. In the final episode, he joins the rest of the gang as they celebrate the war’s end in their mansion in Ba Sing Se. Specifically, he can be seen standing outside the house listening to Uncle Iroh play the Tsungi horn – a fictional instrument.
The original series left the fates of many of its principal characters unknown. Even when the sequel show, The Legend of Korra, came around, their ends were not really explored. While some Avatar: The Last Airbender characters like Katara, Zuko and Toph are still alive, they share not a hint about what happened to their deceased friends like Sokka, Suki or even Aang himself.
Although no official answer regarding what happened to Appa exists, it’s likely the sky bison died around the same time as did Aang. This theory is credible not only because sky bison are said to have a strong bond with their owners, whom they meet at birth, but also because Appa and Aang spent the better part of their lives frozen inside an iceberg. And since it’s inferred that Aang died young thanks to his frozen state, it’s widely assumed by the fanbase at this point that the same happened to Appa.