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Chin

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This article is about the conqueror, Chin the Great. For other similar uses, see Chin (disambiguation).
Chin the Great

Chin
Biographical information
Nationality

Earth Kingdom

Ethnicity

Earth Kingdom

Died

270 BG

Physical description
Gender

Male

Hair color

Black

Personal information
Allies

His military

Enemies

Avatar Kyoshi, 46th Earth King, Earth Kingdom

Weapon of choice

Earth

Fighting style(s)

Earthbending

Chronological and political information
Position
  • Conqueror
  • Warlord
First appearance

"Avatar Day" (flashback only)

Last appearance

"Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters" (flashback only)

Chin the Conqueror, known in Chin Village as "Chin the Great" or "Emperor Chin", was a ruthless earthbending warlord native to the northwestern part of the Earth Kingdom. During the life of Avatar Kyoshi, he launched a largely successful conquest of the Earth Kingdom and aimed to overthrow the authoritarian 46th Earth King. As an extremely stubborn and proud man, Chin even tried to force the Avatar to submit to him. Eventually, the conqueror was indirectly killed by Kyoshi when he refused to move out of the way as she defended her home by splitting it from the mainland.

History

War for dominance

Chin was a highly capable and tyrannical leader who successfully took advantage of widespread dissatisfaction with the reign of the dictatorial 46th Earth King in order to launch a military conquest of the Earth Kingdom. He launched the campaign from a small island in the northwestern part of the kingdom, unifying the nation under his control. Amassing a large and formidable army, he managed to gain control of the entire continent, with the exceptions of Ba Sing Se and a small peninsula in the southwest, which Avatar Kyoshi called home.[1]

Final duel and death

Chin facing Kyoshi

Chin's final duel was against Avatar Kyoshi.

In 270 BG, Chin and his army approached the peninsula, determined to conquer it by any means necessary. When Chin demanded that the inhabitants submit to his rule, Kyoshi disregarded his command. Chin assumed an offensive position at the mouth of the peninsula, as his stubborn nature did not allow him to accept failure. Kyoshi acted in defense of her people by entering the Avatar State and splitting her village from the mainland, thus, creating Kyoshi Island. In the process, Kyoshi's airbending blew away Chin's clothes, bitterly humiliating him. However, Chin's expression did not change and he refused to retreat.

As the landmass eventually parted with the mainland, the ground on which Chin stood became an unstable cliff over the ocean. Even though defeated, Chin did not move and instead screamed in frustration and anger. Moments later, the cliff collapsed beneath him and the warlord fell to his death. Although it appeared that Chin was murdered by Kyoshi, this was not the case; his obstinance was the ultimate cause of his demise, as he had been given sufficient time to move to solid ground before his fatal fall to the ocean below.[1]

Legacy

Chin's statue

Chin's legacy was honored with a statue in Chin Village.

Because of Chin's death, the Earth Kingdom civil war eventually ended with the victory of the Earth King's government. The 46th Earth King was able to restore his reign over the whole Earth Kingdom. However, his continuing tyranny eventually caused another open revolt, this time in Ba Sing Se. The peasants of the city, instigated by the notion that the Earth King's rule was outdated and that he did not represent their interests, tried to establish a "new government". Many of Chin's former supporters participated in the revolt as well, determined to avenge their leader. Nevertheless, Avatar Kyoshi eventually solved the problems peacefully and ended the uprising.

However, Chin's war and the following peasant uprising massively weakened the Earth Kingdom monarchy. The power of the Earth King began to decline, a development that ultimately made both the Conspiracy of Ba Sing Se as well as the successes of the Fire Nation during the Hundred Year War possible.[2][3]

After his death, Chin's army also founded a settlement in the southern Earth Kingdom. This settlement, named Chin Village in his honor, was located at the point where Kyoshi Island split from the mainland. The locals still referred to Chin as a great hero over 370 years after his death and a statue of him was erected there in his honor. However, this statue was later destroyed by the Rough Rhinos in 100 AG.[1]

Personality

Chin's armies

As a charismatic warlord, Chin was able to inspire thousands to follow him during his quest for the throne of the Earth King.

Chin was a highly controversial leader, as even 370 years after his death, there was still considerable debate regarding his righteousness and heroism. While his foes, especially Avatar Kyoshi and the inhabitants of Kyoshi Island, called him "a horrible tyrant", the descendants of his followers idolized him as a "glorious leader".

A proud yet aggressive warlord, Chin's actions were often cruel and evocative. An example of this is when he killed an innocent emissary with his earthbending only to show his power. Nevertheless, the army of his loyal followers numbered in the thousands. The sheer size of his army and his successes during his campaign proved that Chin may have been cruel and ruthless, but was also a very charismatic person and an effective strategist.

Chin screaming

Chin screamed in frustration and anger after his humiliating defeat.

However, it was his final moments that best showed his true character. When Chin prepared to invade the Avatar's peninsula, he gathered his massive army to intimidate Kyoshi, a plan that failed completely. Rather than wasting the life of his troops to deal with the fearless Avatar, he faced Kyoshi himself. This was a unique, respectable, and almost honorable decision for a leader. Chin apparently cared for his men, since he knew that they were no match for the Avatar. However, this action also proved that he overestimated himself such that he believed he could defeat Kyoshi in a duel. Due to this enormous pride and his obstinance, Chin died shortly afterward, unwilling to accept defeat after Kyoshi's victory.

Overall, he was admired by his followers as successful and honorable, but due to his mercilessness and obstinance, he was hated and feared by his foes.

Appearances

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book Two: Earth (土)

Book Three: Fire (火)

Trivia

Chin's campaign

Ba Sing Se was the only major stronghold not captured by Chin.

  • The Chinese characters carved on the lower part of the statue in ancient Seal Script read 秦帝, which means "Emperor Chin". His name and actions in conquering the Earth Kingdom bear strong resemblance to Qin Shi Huangdi (秦始皇帝), the first Emperor of China.
    • In Mandarin Chinese, the "Q" in "Qin" is pronounced like the English sound "Ch", which is probably why Chin is spelled with a "Ch" instead of "Q", like his namesake.
  • The design of Chin's armor resembles that of Song and Ming Dynasty armors, commonly worn by generals and commanders. His hat, called a Tong Tian Guan, is often worn by the highest-ranking military officer.
  • Some people believed that Chin sought to conquer the Earth Kingdom simply to compensate for his short stature,[4] a phenomenon known as the Napoleon complex.
    • Napoleon and Chin both hailed from small islands located in the periphery of their eventual empires, namely Corsica and the northwestern islands respectively.
  • Including Tui's death in "The Siege of the North, Part 2" and Aang's fatal injury sustained in "The Crossroads of Destiny", Chin was the third of eight characters to have been observed dying or being murdered in the original series. In chronological order, the others were Tui, Yue, Jet, Aang, Roku, Fang, and Combustion Man.
  • According to Avatar Kyoshi, Chin's death brought "a great era of peace".[5] Although there was no open warfare for the next 233 years, this statement was not entirely correct, as Chin's death caused the Peasant Uprising in Ba Sing Se and a time of civil unrest in the Earth Kingdom.[6]

References

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