What Happens After 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Ending? Series Finale Aftermath Explained

Animated adventure series Avatar: The Last Airbender began streaming on Netflix in May, quickly becoming the top-watched show on the streaming service more than 15 years after its original Nickelodeon debut. While Avatar is spectacular throughout, it probably wouldn't have the same enduring power if it wasn't for its four-part finale, "Sozin's Comet," which originally aired in July 2008. But those who have powered through the 61 episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender—either for the first time or to relive the saga—likely have some lingering questions. So here's what happened after Aang defeated Fire Lord Ozai in the season finale ending of the series.

At the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender series finale "Sozin's Comet," Fire Lord Ozai has been stripped of his ability to firebend. Azula has been defeated. Zuko is crowned Fire Lord and declares a new era of peace between nations. Finally, Team Avatar reunite in Ba Sing Se, at Uncle Iroh's newly opened tea shop, where Katara and Avatar Aang share a kiss. But we are left with one explicit question, which Zuko asks of the imprisoned Ozai: "Where is my mother?"

At the end of "Sozin's Comet" Aang defeats Fire Lord Ozai, but what happens to the Avatar and the four nations after that? Nickelodeon Animation Studio

"We didn't have time to address it in the finale, and a lot of viewers were upset about that," Avatar co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino told Newsweek for the 10th anniversary of the series finale.

But DiMartino points fans still interested in uncovering more of Zuko's search for his mother to an Avatar graphic novel called, appropriately enough, The Search, which was written by Gene Yang in consultation with the show's creators.

The comic book continuation of the Avatar: The Last Airbender story began in 2012, with the release of a three-issue series called The Promise, also by Yang. While previous Avatar comics sandwiched events in between episodes of the series, The Promise is set one year after the events of "Sozin's Comet." It primarily follows Avatar Aang's Harmony Restoration Movement—a plan to restore relations between Fire Lord Zuko and Earth King Kuei by moving Fire Nation colonies out of the Earth Kingdom.

But while Zuko cooperates up to a point, the well-integrated Yu Dao colony resists leaving their home. The Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom go to war once more, but Avatar Aang intervenes at the last moment. Whereas he was once for removing all trace of the Fire Nation from the Earth Kingdom, Katara has convinced him that mixing between the nations is the only path forward. This lays the groundwork for the United Republic of Nations and the Republic City setting of The Legend of Korra, set 70 years later.

Events between the end of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' and 'The Legend of Korra' are depicted in graphic novels like 'The Search.' Dark Horse Books

At the end of The Promise, Zuko tasks Azula with finding out the fate of their mother, Ursa, introducing the events of the follow-up graphic novel, The Search. In that three-issue series, Azula is released from a mental institution and travels to her mother's hometown of Hira'a, accompanied by Zuko, Aang, Sokka and Katara.

In their search, a lot is revealed about Zuko and Azula's childhood, including the revelation that Ursa agreed to her own banishment in order to help Ozai cover up their joint conspiracy to kill Ozai's father, the Fire Lord Azulon. Eventually, Zuko discovers that the powerful spirit Mother of Faces (whose estranged son Koh the Face Stealer we meet in the series) had granted Ursa a new face and a new life with a former paramour. She has remembered nothing of her time as the princess of the Fire Nation, at least until the Mother of Faces restores her memory, finally reuniting Zuko and Azula with their mother.

In subsequent graphic novels, Aang restores Air Nation traditions and Zuko fights off a society working to restore Ozai to the throne.

The graphic novels may fill in some interim material, including Toph Beifong's metalbending school. But for the ultimate fates of Avatar: The Last Airbender characters, look to The Legend of Korra. Toph becomes the first chief of police of Republic City and Sokka becomes a chieftain of the Southern Water Tribe. Aang and Katara have three children together (and Katara survives into her old age to appear in Korra), before the Avatar dies at the age of 66, reincarnating as the waterbender Korra.

"It is amazing how this series still keeps finding new audiences all over the world, every year," Avatar co-creator Bryan Konietzko told Newsweek in 2018. "For so many years, we were just focused on trying to finish telling the story we had set out to share. It is a surreal experience to see that story continue to live and grow around the world."