Avatar: The Last Airbender is a nostalgic series for many who have watched the show when they were younger. Due to its recent release on Netflix, the show has been reborn, new audience members indulging in the series. One of the aspects of the show that steals the viewer’s hearts is its characters. With diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences, lovers of the show can deeply resonate with at least one of the characters. After watching the series, I contemplated which Enneagram types best represent each character. My thoughts are only opinions that can’t be verified, but it is fun to analyze the characters we hold close to our hearts.
Type 1: The Perfectionist
Katara: As a character hoping to do the right thing by helping others, Katara reflects a Type 1 with her sense of responsibility, portraying a motherly figure throughout the series. She is also wise, dedicated, and positive, always guiding her friends along their journey. In addition, she can be seen as critical, uptight, and sometimes controlling, believing that she is almost always right in her sensible ways. However, this is essentially due to her innate desire to be protective of her loved ones and do the morally correct thing for others. A struggle for a Type 1 can come with feelings of anger and hatred, both of which Katara experiences within the series and mostly when it concerns her mother’s death.
Type 2: The Helper
Aang: Loving, nurturing, and compassionate are all traits that come to mind when thinking of Avatar Aang. Raised by monks as a vegetarian who would never harm another, Aang encapsulates a Type 2, supporting his friends and always being there for the world he is destined to protect. He also has a desire to be approved by others, including Katara and the rest of the world. Hoping to do his best as the Avatar, he strives to put others before him. When sensitive and upset, Aang can experience outbursts of anger and sadness, resorting to the Avatar State.
Type 3: The Achiever
Azula: This character can be seen as manipulative, exploitative, vain, deceptive, and self-promoting, encompassing the traits of Type 3 at their worst. However, Azula is also self-propelled, energetic, efficient, and self-affirming. Under different circumstances, Azula may have made an incredible leader of the Fire Nation. However, her childhood uncovered the worst in her and essentially brought her to her downfall. She had to face her ultimate fear of failure, disappointing her father (who could also be seen as a Type 3) and her nation.
Suki: Although Azula and Suki are very different characters, their motivation and efficiency are comparable. Both characters fight for what they believe in and are willing to do what it takes to achieve their goals. Suki displays the beneficial qualities of Type 3, displaying self-improvement, confidence, and a desire to be a great Kioshi Warrior. She is also loyal and thoughtful, supporting her friends and loved ones throughout the series with her skills.
Type 4: The Individualist
- Zuko: As one of the most complex characters in the series, Zuko undergoes drastic changes from the beginning of Avatar: The Last Airbender to the end. He begins by presenting the lower qualities of a Type 4, being self-absorbed in his quest to restore his honor. He is also very moody, stubborn, temperamental, and withdrawn. It isn’t until about halfway through the series when he realizes there is another way to live. He develops a new vision, taking on the better qualities of Type 4. He becomes authentic and supportive, caring deeply for his friends and loved ones. He also becomes more expressive of his deepest feelings, finding his own unique path against the wishes of his family.
Type 5: The Investigator
Mei: Stubborn, critical, distant, and cynical, Mei represents both the lower and higher qualities of Type 5. She is quite wise and observant, wishing to keep to herself while she watches others from a distance before making contact. She is also insightful and analytical, thinking of the motives of others such as Zuko. While she may not always voice her opinions or act on her feelings, one can see how deep in thought and intelligent she truly is.
Type 6: The Loyalist
- Appa: As Aang’s loyal and compassionate Flying Bison, Appa is always there for his friends. However, he can also be practical and witty when it comes to saving others in times of need. One of Appa’s worst fears is most likely to lose Aang. He hates the idea of being alone and helpless, dependent on Aang’s love, security, and freedom. Even Momo, the winged lemur, displays similar traits.
Type 7: The Enthusiast
Sokka: The title of Type 7, the Enthusiast, speaks for itself. Sokka is a fun-loving, spontaneous, confident, and enthusiastic character. His powerful presence adds immensely to the show, and it wouldn’t be the same without him. Sokka can also be somewhat impulsive and distracted, but these are the traits that make him the lovable character he is. He is so much more than comedic relief, deep down having an inner fear of being inferior. Amongst his friends with bending abilities, Sokka can feel “normal” and forgotten. However, he embraces his differences and learns to use them to his advantage.
Ty Lee: Alongside Sokka, Ty Lee has immense amounts of energy and positivity that radiate from her. She is quick, charming, and imaginative, even having spent some time working in a circus. Ty Lee also comes with a common fear that Type 7’s share, which is the fear of being inferior. Ty Lee felt as though she was lost by her parents to her numerous sisters, similar to how Sokka felt unimportant compared to his bending friends. To cope with this, Ty Lee developed a bubbling personality and need for people, acting sociable and fun.
Type 8: The Protector
Toph: While Toph may project an insensitive and rebellious attitude, she is also very protective of her friends. Her way of showing compassion is through her dominance, and she would go to any length to save her loved ones. However, she also has a fear of being powerless. Her earthbending is a part of who she is, as she is one of the greatest earthbenders in the Avatar world. Rather than submitting to her restricting parents, she does whatever she can to practice her skills and gain power. She enjoys a good challenge in a fight, disliking anyone who may underestimate her due to her blindness. She knows that she is one of the best, no matter her disability.
Type 9: The Peaceful Mediator
- Iroh: Everyone knows Iroh as peaceful, pleasant, and generous. He is also incredibly open-minded, patient, and empathetic. His role in the show is largely to support his nephew, Zuko, and to help him find the right path. Iroh hopes to show Zuko the inner stability and peace of mind that can be achieved. He is unassertive and respectful but also stubborn. He stands his ground when he believes in something but is open to seeing other’s points of view.