Where Is Toph In Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender?

The fan-favorite Earthbender didn’t make an appearance this season but we suspect she’s right around the corner.

Toph in Avatar: The Last Airbender
Photo: Nickelodeon

This article contains spoilers for Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender.

It’s easy to call every main character in the original Avatar: The Last Airbender a fan favorite but master Earthbender Toph Beifong deserves special mention because she earned that status with only 2/3’s of the screen time. Introduced near the start of season two, she won over the hearts of viewers the moment she mocked “The Boulder,” a big and brutish fighter, with the sickest nickname ever: “The Pebble.” How could you not love this small girl who just destroys someone with two words and backs it up with the most impressive Earthbending yet seen in the series?

Toph quickly established herself as a core part of the cast, also notable for her status as a rare blind lead character in television. She even invented an entire form of bending all her own! With Toph being such an important character, some fans may be wondering why she didn’t make any appearance in the first season of Netflix’s live-action Avatar series. How can you do this series without Toph?! 

It’s understandable but we trust that the people working on the show aren’t trying to commit the horrific sin of Toph erasure. The first season of Netflix’s Avatar mostly adapts the first season of the animated series and since Toph was introduced in season two, it makes sense why she wouldn’t make an appearance in live-action just yet.

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However some may point out that season two characters such as Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee made an appearance in the Netflix show, so why not Toph? Fair, but we suspect that those characters were introduced earlier on because they have a connection with main character Zuko. Toph hails from the Earth Kingdom and, before her initial appearance, didn’t have any major connections to the core cast.

Whenever Netflix, hopefully, gives the green-light to season two we have no doubt Toph will be front and center. Hell, the first teaser poster for that season would probably feature her silhouette or a famous quote. They certainly wouldn’t try to do Avatar: The Last Airbender without her, the mere force of Toph as a character would somehow transcend the barrier between fiction and reality to set them straight. She’s just that powerful.

If you’re looking for more Toph, rewatching the original series isn’t the only place to see her. She also popped up as a major character in the fourth season of the sequel series, The Legend of Korra. Much older, Toph was still just as delightful and didn’t put up with any nonsense from the new cast. You can also get to see her have some really heartwarming interactions with Korra, since as the new Avatar she carries a part of Aang within her.

Toph going as far as appearing at the tail-end of the sequel series is incredible to consider, especially when she was radically different at her inception. As Michael Dante DiMartino explained in Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Art of the Animated Series, he and co-creator Bryan Konietzko had originally conceived the character as, “a tough, brash, blind teenage boy who would become Aang’s Earthbending teacher.”

The character’s fate was forever changed when head writer Aaron Ehasz suggested making Toph a girl instead. Initially DiMartino and Konietzko resisted the idea but they soon changed their minds. As DiMartino explained, “we loved the idea of taking all of Toph’s original personality traits and putting them in the body of an adorable twelve-year-old girl. Now I can’t imagine Toph any other way.”

And we can’t imagine Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender without Toph. Hopefully if we get season two she’ll be right around the corner. 

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All eight episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender are now streaming on Netflix.