After the revelation in Avatar The Legend of Korra we know that:

Benders got the abilities to use different elements from different Lion Turtles.

I was wondering: what kind of elemental Lion Turtle did Aang encounter?

One easy guess would be that it was Water (since he found it on the sea), but in the show and different pictures there seems to be subtle differences between the turtles (coloration, morphology, etc). I'd like to know if there is any info (canon or word of god).

  • 1
    I think we can only speculate.. could there be Lion Turtles who do not give powers? just arcaic beings with knowledge?
    – lois6b
    Oct 10, 2016 at 8:51
  • Maybe all lion turtles can give the energy to everyone or only the avatar. Maybe there is just 1 turtle that can give it because it is the one from ember island that gave an element to Raava? Dec 23, 2020 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


Lion Turtles have different markings on their forehead to distinguish between different elements:

Lion turtles associated with fire have two swirls curling inward, forming a shape similar to a heart

Lion turtles associated with air have a more intricate swirling pattern, with two swirls curling outward and a swirl in the center

Lion turtles associated with water have three wavy lines increasing in length from top to bottom and a lone swirl underneath

Lion turtles associated with earth have a singular swirl diverging into two smaller swirls, with the one on top larger than the other, forming a shape similar to a question mark. In addition, the lion turtles associated with earth have two swirls on each upper cheek and two others near their ears.

So all we have to do is take a look at the forehead of the Lion Turtle Aang was talking to:

enter image description here

And we can see the two swirls curling inward, forming a shape similar to a heart, meaning that this Lion Turtle is one that, back in the day, granted humans the power of fire. This makes sense, as the crew were on Ember Island in the Fire Nation when the Lion Turtle first appeared.

I personally like to believe that this is the same Lion Turtle that first gave Wan the power of fire all those years ago.

  • Great! Where does that quote come from?
    – Ram
    Oct 10, 2016 at 12:52
  • 3
    It's not exactly a quote, it's just how they were drawn in Legend of Korra. If you watch both parts of the "Beginnings" episode, each of the turtles that gives elements as Wan explores the world has a different design and they each give different elements. The Lion Turtle on Legend of Aang has the same design on its forehead as the Lion Turtle that granted Wan the power of Fire. That either means it's the same element, or the same turtle. Either way, it's a Fire Lion Turtle. Oct 10, 2016 at 14:57

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