Avatar: The Last Airbender Theory Explains How Monk Gyatso Really Died

Avatar: The Last Airbender has kept fans engaged for years now, and the show renewed its lease with audiences when it recently hit Netflix. The show has shot up in popularity since the move as millions of fans have tuned into Aang's adventure. While the show is pretty funny, it doesn't shy away from difficult themes and topics. One such issue is death, and a new fan-theory may have figured out how Monk Gyatso really died.

If you have made it through the first book of Avatar, you know the fate that befell Aang's mentor. Gyatso's remains are found by Aang and his friends after they arrive at his old Air Temple. It seems the monk was killed in a fight with a slew of fire benders set on destroying the nomads.

However, a question still remains about the whole affair. Gyatso doesn't seem to have been killed in battle as his remains are resting peacefully. As for his foes, the remains of the fire benders are scattered around, and there is a distinct lack of fire damage in the room where Aang discovered the bodies. This has led fans to speculate how Gyatso killed the fire benders or sacrificed himself to do so. And thanks to a Facebook post, Ryan Starkey may have figured it out.

avatar the last airbender
(Photo: Nickelodeon)

"Here's my theory: Gyatso knew a secret "last resort" air bending move that Aang was never told about. As they surrounded him, he sat quietly on the floor. Then, once they were close, he simply pushed all the air out of the room. He held the air out of the room long enough to suffocate all of them, and himself," Starkey suggested.

This dark theory may be a lot to process, but it has merit. The Legend of Korra confirmed air benders could suffocate others by manipulating their airflow as seen by the death of the Earth Queen. It is not impossible to believe Gyatso could take that principle even further given his talent and skill. It would explain a good few things about how the bodies were all found, but that isn't even the most clever part of the theory.

"They realize they can't breathe," Starkey wrote as he painted a picture of the fire benders. "They try to use fire bending to kill him before they suffocate, but without air, there can be no fire!"


In the same way Aang and Zuko learned their powers mesh, these fire benders would have learned the same under far worse conditions. Fire and air as are integral as water and earth. Gyatso would have known this well, and if the theory holds, he spent his last moments teaching a deadly lesson on harmony to soldiers who wished to kill him.

What do you think about this fan-theory? Does it really hold any weight...? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.