Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Now That Avatar: The Way Of Water Is Out, What Do Those Future Titles Mean?

After fifteen years of waiting, James Cameron has finally brought audiences back to the land of Pandora. Shaping up to be one of the biggest films of the year, "Avatar: The Way of Water" continues Cameron's most ambitious and visually groundbreaking cinematic project, setting the stage for a bevy of sequels that could see as many as five future installments. Yes, that means Cameron has plans for "Avatar" 6 and 7.

"The Way of Water" caught fans up with the lives of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña). Now raising three children — as well as Kiri, the daughter of Dr. Grace Augustine (both characters are portrayed by Sigourney Weaver) — the Sully family must enter a new Pandora biome to keep their family safe from the Avatar of Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang). The ending of "The Way of Water" sets its sights firmly on the future, as Jake asserts that he is finally ready to fight Pandora's human invaders. While not much is known about future "Avatar" sequels, their alleged titles could provide a few hints.

As early as 2018, leaked "Avatar" sequel titles had begun to circulate online, ranging from vague and nonsensical to outright bizarre. Though both Cameron and producer Jon Landau have all but confirmed that most of these titles won't make it to print (per Gizmodo), what they infer about the potential storylines may still be true.

The Way of Water, explained

As recounted by a 2019 article from IndieWire, Pandora visionary James Cameron confirmed that a number of leaked titles for future "Avatar" sequels were actually under consideration by the series' creative team. Among these titles was "Avatar: The Way of Water," which, of course, went on to become the official title for the second installment.

In fact, with the film's release, we now know the meaning of "The Way of Water" — on the run from a resurgent invasion force from Earth (led by a revived Avatar of the late Miles Quaritch), Jake Sully takes his family from the forests of Pandora to the ocean-side community of the Metkayina clan. Once again an outsider, he and his family have to learn their cultural traditions to assimilate and contribute to the clan. In training to ride sea creatures, developing relationships with the whale-like Tulkun, and learning how to extend their lung capacity, they literally learn "The Way of Water."

While this title is easy to understand in hindsight, the "Avatar" sequel provides some context for other potential "Avatar" sequel names — even ones that seem odd right now.

What about Avatar 3, 4, and 5?

According to a BBC report in 2018, the next "Avatar" film once bore the awkward title "Avatar: The Seed Bearer." It's possible "The Seed Bearer" is referring to the Atokirina', the floating woodsprites that once stopped Neytiri from taking Jake's life by signaling his great purpose. She tells Jake these sprites are seeds of the Tree of Souls, a spiritual landmark for the Omaticaya clan where they can feel close to Eywa. The titular "Seed Bearer" would almost definitely be Kiri, the offspring of Dr. Grace Augustine's Avatar, and an unknown mate whom Jake and Neytiri adopt before "The Way of Water" begins. She is shown throughout the sequel to have a uniquely innate and visceral connection to Eywa's spirit.

The alleged title of the fourth film was "Avatar: The Tulkun Rider." The Tulkun are a race of whale-like creatures, regarded as peers and friends in the Metkayina clan. Lo'ak, the second eldest of Jake and Neytiri's biological children, makes a controversial and fateful decision in "The Way of Water" when he befriends a Tulkun outcast named Payakan. Said to be a "killer," Payakan's relationship with Lo'ak leads to a battle between the Metkayina and a group of human whalers, ultimately taking the life of Lo'ak's older brother, Neteyam. This title would likely refer to Lo'ak and Payakan.

The final title, supposedly for the fifth installment, was "Avatar: The Quest for Eywa." This title is pretty vague compared to the previous two, but the second film did introduce Kiri's supernatural connection to the Pandora spirit. Perhaps the following two films will expand upon that storyline, with the fourth film ending on a cliffhanger of mythological proportions.