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Aang Was Completely Different In The Unaired Avatar: The Last Airbender Pilot

One of the strange facts about television production is that a series pilot is typically quite different from the subsequent episodes of that show. Often the creators and writers are still figuring out the chemistry between characters, and they'll even recast actors based on the results from that first episode. Famously, the original "Game of Thrones" pilot was considered a disaster and the co-creators had to film it again, with Emilia Clarke and Michelle Fairley replacing Tamzin Merchant and Jennifer Ehle as Daenerys Targaryen and Catelyn Stark, respectively (via Insider).

There are similar practices in animated shows too, as another beloved fantasy series, "Avatar: The Last Airbender," worked through various changes in its unaired pilot (via SyFy). This included starting the episode with Zuko (Dante Busco) already in pursuit of Aang (Zach Tyler Eisen), Katara (Mae Whitman), and Sokka (Jack DeSena). But certain characters in the pilot were also very different from how they would act in the official series — especially Aang.

A whole different actor voices Aang

The main "Avatar" characters as they're featured in the show's unaired pilot are all pretty close to the designs fans are used to, such as Aang's birthmark and Katara's simple wardrobe. However, there are some key differences too. Katara in this unaired version of the show was originally named Kya, and Zuko doesn't have Uncle Iroh (Mako) as a confidante, but a messenger hawk (SyFy).

Another big change in the show? In this pilot, Aang is voiced by Mitchel Musso of "Hannah Montana" fame before he was replaced by Eisen (via Entertainment Weekly). He's a fine choice for the plucky and boyish Aang, though Eisen seems to be better at voicing a slightly cooler, more emotionally conflicted version of the Avatar.

But even if this version of the show never made it to broadcast, it still laid the foundation for the Nickelodeon series which has earned millions of fans since first debuting in 2005. Viewers will just have to wait and see what the new Aang is like when the live-action version of the series debuts on Netflix (via The Hollywood Reporter).