Avatar Kuruk, wearing a polar bear skin over his head and holding a staff.

All About Meegwun Fairbrother, the Actor Portraying Avatar Kuruk

Avatar: The Last Airbender has landed on Netflix. Not the original Nickelodeon show (although that’s on Netflix, too)—the new live action remake. It introduces an expanded version of Avatar Kuruk, and if you think you’ve seen the actor who plays him before, you’re right.

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The new Avatar: The Last Airbender reimagines the story of Aang, a 12-year-old boy who discovers that he’s the Avatar, or the only being on Earth capable of manipulating all four elements. After Aang flees from his newfound responsibilities, the brutal Fire Nation attacks the rest of the world. Aang must team up with siblings Katara and Sokka in order to master the elements, stop the Fire Nation, and step into his destiny as the Avatar.

All about Avatar Kuruk

In the opening sequence of the new Avatar: The Last Airbender, we see all the previous Avatars standing on a staircase. Among them is Avatar Kuruk.

The Avatar cycles from nation to nation as they’re reincarnated into different bodies, and Avatar Kuruk is the last Avatar from the Water Tribe before Aang is born. In the original series, he doesn’t have much interaction with Aang. In the remake, however, he gets more screen time. The remake draws on additional Airbender lore from the comics and games that came out after the animated series, and Kuruk is given an expanded backstory: he’s able to communicate with Aang, but unable to help him fight the Fire Nation because of past trauma.

So who plays Avatar Kuruk?

All about Meegwun Fairbrother

In the live action Avatar: The Last Airbender, Kuruk is played by Indigenous actor Meegwun Fairbrother. Fairbrother has appeared in numerous shows, including Murdoch Mysteries, Skymed, and Molly of Denali. However, he’s best known for portraying Owen Beckbie in Burden of Truth.

In a 2021 interview with Pop Culturalist, Fairbrother spoke about the importance of representation in storytelling. “Showing positive representation and images is powerful,” Fairbrother said. “It has a way of searing itself into our psyches. If we see ourselves represented in shitty ways, then that’s how we’re going to think about ourselves. But if we can start seeing ourselves in positive ways—in positions of power, in places that are meaningful spaces and normalized—we’re going to do more of the same.”

Avatar: The Last Airbender is now streaming on Netflix.

(featured image: Netflix)


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>