- This article is about the political position. For other similar uses, see Earth King (disambiguation).
The Earth King or Earth Queen is the sovereign of Ba Sing Se and the ruler of the Earth Kingdom. Perceived as gods by their subjects, there were fifty-two Earth Kings until Ba Sing Se fell to the Fire Nation. The Earth King consolidates his power, palace and seat of government in the Upper Ring of Ba Sing Se, the capital of his kingdom.
Traditionally, the Earth King leaves behind all personal possessions upon ascending the throne, including his given name, and is henceforth known only as "Your Majesty" or by his reign number. However, exceptions to this rule are known, since Earth King Kuei preferred his given name over his title, allowing even peasants to use it to address him. Overall, this enhances the appearance as a figurehead, though the citizens of Ba Sing Se do not seem to care.
Early Earth Kings controlled their lands personally, sometimes even brutally. This began to change under the rule of the 46th Earth King. He tried to change the Earth Kingdom into a centralist empire. To achieve this goal, he used violence and oppression, causing a civil war and a peasant uprising in the process. Due to these events and the intervention of Avatar Kyoshi, the Earth Kingdom was transformed into a constitutional monarchy to prevent other Earth Kings to abuse their power. This caused a dramatic change in the politics of the Earth Kingdom, and over time bureaucrats and local rulers used the new constitution to gather more and more power. In the process the monarchy became stagnant and corrupt, as kings ceded or were forced to cede more and more control over the day-to-day operations to the Byzantine system of government and bureaucracy which sprang up around them. They traditionally made use of sixty-seven different seals, depending on the document in question.
Due to Earth King Kuei's premature ascendancy to the throne at the age of four, the position finally declined to that of a figurehead, allowing Grand Secretariat Long Feng, Kuei's regent and later adviser, to take control of the capital Ba Sing Se. The traditional rule of the Earth Kings eventually ended when the Fire Nation Princess Azula usurped the throne in a violent coup. The rightful Earth King Kuei was forced into exile. When the Fire Nation took control over the city by Azula's order, the usurper left Joo Dee as a puppet ruler with the title of "Supreme Bureaucratic Administrator of Ba Sing Se".
After the end of the century long war, Earth King Kuei was restored on his rightful place as the leader of the Earth Kingdom, and as such, he played a very important role in the execution of the Harmony Restoration Movement in order to remove the Fire Nation presence in the Earth Kingdom by transferring the Fire Nation colonials back to the Fire Nation and reformed the Earth Kingdom government back to its original form so the Earth King has full power over the government.
Known Earth Kings Edit
- Yi Ming
- 46th Earth King - c. 270 BSC
- Kuei, 52nd Earth King - 79 - 100 ASC, 100 ASC - Unknown
- Azula[nb 1] - Spring 100 ASC
- No Earth King had been to the outer wall of Ba Sing Se until Kuei ventured there with Team Avatar.
- A trait shared by both Earth Kings and Ancient Imperial China rulers is their yellow-colored clothing. In Ancient China, it was a color reserved only for the Emperor and was often associated with the gods and the element of Earth.
- ↑ Avatar Extras for "The Crossroads of Destiny" on Nicktoons Network refers to Azula as "Earth Queen Azula", meaning that she reigned in the nation as ruler beginning from Long Feng's second incarceration and likely until she left Ba Sing Se. However, Azula was never offically crowned, and thus she can only be considered as usurper.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 "City of Walls and Secrets". Tim Hedrick (writer) & Lauren MacMullan (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. September 22, 2006. No. 14, Book Two: Earth
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
- ↑ Gene Yang (w), Gurihiru (a). The Promise Part 3 (September 26, 2012), Dark Horse Comics
- ↑ "Avatar Day". John O'Bryan (writer) & Lauren MacMullan (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. April 28, 2006. No. 5, Book Two: Earth
- ↑ Nick Magazine presents, "Going Home Again".
- ↑ Gene Yang (w), Gurihiru (a). The Promise Part 1 (Jan 25, 2012), Dark Horse Comics
- ↑ "The Earth King". John O'Bryan (writer) & Ethan Spaulding (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. November 17, 2006. No. 18, Book Two: Earth