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While traveling on Appa, the group can't help but notice an entire burned forest, depressing Aang because he knows it was the Fire Nation, and one of his many duties as the Avatar is to defend nature. While Katara shows him the remaining acorns that will one day regrow the forest, an old man approaches them and begs for the Avatar's help. His village is being ransacked by Hei Bai, a ghost that comes out at night and kidnaps one person each day. Aang agrees to help them, but has no idea how he'll do that.

He waits until nightfall, and like clockwork, Hei Bai appears. Aang tries talking first, but Hei Bai ignores him and continues its rampage. When Aang's in trouble, Sokka rushes in to help, but gets himself captured and taken away by Hei Bai. Aang follows them, accidentally entering the Spirit World, where he's greeted by a dragon. The dragon takes him to a temple on an island where he sees Avatar Roku's statue, informing him that they must discuss something of great importance, and can only do so during the winter solstice, which is only one day away.

Iroh is relaxing in a self-made hot tub, annoying Zuko because the Avatar's trail is getting cold, so he rallies the troops and demands his uncle be ready to leave soon. Unfortunately, Iroh falls asleep and misses his window. He's later awakened by Earth Kingdom soldiers who take him into custody for past war crimes, but his slick tactics allow him to leave a trail for Zuko to follow. When he initiates an escape attempt that's soon averted, the soldiers agree to break his hands so that he can't Firebend anymore. Just as they're about to lower a giant rock, Zuko arrives and unchains him, the two together easily besting their opponents.

Aang learns that Hei Bai was once a peaceful spirit that presided over the forest that was burned down, so when he returns to the mortal world, he waits for Hei Bai to return and shows it the acorns Katara showed him, promising his domain will grow back. Hei Bai transforms back into a panda, and returns all of the villagers it had kidnapped, including Sokka. But Aang has no time to celebrate his victory, informing his friends that they have to hurry to Crescent Island before sunset tomorrow.

Episode: Chapter Seven - "Winter Solstice, Part 1: The Spirit World"

Air date: 4/8/05

Writer: Aaron Ehasz

Cast: Dee Bradley Baker, Dante Basco, Jack DeSena, Zach Tyler Eisen, Mike Hagiwara, Mako, James Shigeta, Andre Sogliuzzo, Mae Whitman

Director: Lauren MacMullan