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Fire Sages

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Fire Sages
Fire Sages
General information
Leader(s)

High Sage

Notable members
Headquarters

Fire Sages Capital Temple

Affiliation
Purpose
  • To serve as the religious and spiritual authority of the Fire Nation (general)
  • To lead the Fire Nation (original)
  • To serve the Avatar (? – 0 AG)
  • To serve the Fire Lord (0 AG – 100 AG)
Chronological information
First appearance

"The Southern Air Temple"

The Fire Sages are an organization that serves as the religious authority of the Fire Nation and is responsible for identifying the Avatar's incarnation when he or she is born in the Fire Nation. Their additional duties include guarding the temple and conducting weddings and funerals for the Royal Family and for those who seek their spiritual advice.

The primary headquarters of the Fire Sages is the Capital Temple, located in the Fire Nation Capital. Below this building are the Dragonbone Catacombs, which store the history of the Fire Nation and its Fire Lords.[3] Prior to its destruction in the later months of the Hundred Year War, the Fire Sages hosted a temple located on the remote Crescent Island.

History

Ancient history

Thousands of years prior to the Hundred Year War, a group of Bhanti Tribe sages ventured off their remote island into what would later become the Fire Nation. After taking control of the nation, these tribesmen became the first Fire Sages.[4] They formed a council and led the Fire Nation with a strong sense of spirituality, similar to the Air Nomads. The leader of these sages was called the "Fire Lord" because of his high level of firebending and his "deep spiritual connection to fire." Over time, the Fire Lord took political and governmental structures into his own hands, severing ties with the Fire Sages and creating an imperial system that he himself would lead.[5] This resulted in the loss of the sages' political power. Over time, their loyalty turned from the Fire Lord to the Avatar, and their goal became to aid him or her in their journey to become a fully realized Avatar.[1]

Slow downfall

Past Sages

Fire Sages told Avatar Roku of his identity during his sixteenth birthday.

In 66 BG, during Roku and Sozin's birthday party, the Fire Sages announced the identity of the next Avatar, who was revealed to be Roku.[3] Fire Sage Kaja later assisted Avatar Roku in his mastering of the Avatar State, training with him for five months which lead to Roku eventually forcing himself into the Avatar State by using the summer solstice sun. Roku became stuck in the Avatar State and ended up destroying the upper half of the Fire Temple and causing the nearby volcano to erupt, but Kaja was able to help Roku out of the Avatar State in the same way that Roku had triggered it.[6] After Avatar Roku died, Fire Lord Sozin began the Hundred Year War with an attack on the Air Nomads. The Fire Lord set forth a decree that anyone who helped the Avatar would be considered a traitor to the Fire Nation and dealt with accordingly. Because of this, the Fire Sages were ordered to switch their allegiance to the Fire Lord. Some, such as Shyu's father, resisted and were executed for continuing to profess loyalty to the Avatar.[7]

Over time, as the Avatar failed to reappear, most sages lost faith that the Avatar would return and gradually fell completely under the control of the imperial government. By the time of Fire Lord Azulon's reign, the sages had become little more than aging remnants of a time where spirituality was placed before military might. Nonetheless, Azulon maintained a little spirituality, thus allowing the Fire Sages to continue to perform their religious services. Besides regular activities like presiding over weddings, the sages sometimes even advised the Fire Lord in spiritual affairs and the arranging of the Fire Princes' marriages.[1] Their prediction that pairing the Avatar's granddaughter with Azulon's son would yield a powerful bloodline even led to the marriage of Prince Ozai and Ursa.[8] However, when Zuko was born to the Fire Prince, they were not sure if he was a bender at all, as he lacked the "spark in [his] eyes". Subsequently, Ozai planned to cast his firstborn over the palace wall, and the infant was only saved because the sages and Ursa came to his rescue.[9]

Fire Lord Ozai's reign

Eventually, the Fire Sages officiated the funeral Fire Lord Azulon in 95 AG, and afterward the High Sage crowned Fire Lord Ozai. Unfortunately for the sages, Ozai was only interested in power, and unlike his father, he was not in the least spiritual. Following his coronation, they lost all their remaining power and influence.[1][10]

By the time of Aang's reemergence from the iceberg, the Fire Sages had turned completely away from their original purpose. When they learned of the Avatar's return when Aang's triggering of the Avatar State in the Southern Air Temple caused various statues and murals within Avatar Temples around the world to become supernaturally illuminated, they immediately relayed the news to Fire Lord Ozai.[1]

Fire Sages arrested

The Fire Sages were arrested by Zhao for letting the Avatar escape.

Later, when Aang and his friends tried to enter the shrine on Crescent Island, the five sages there confronted Aang and attempted to prevent him from speaking with Avatar Roku, chasing the three around the entire temple. However, one sage, Shyu, had remained loyal to the Avatar. He betrayed his associates and helped the three trick the four other sages into opening the doors of the sanctuary that held Roku's statue. Once inside, Aang met with Avatar Roku and together, they destroyed the temple for the sages' betrayal of the previous Avatar. Afterward, all five sages were blamed by Commander Zhao for the upsetting failure and all were arrested.[1]

The capital Fire Sages were not purged, however, and continued to serve their functions for the Royal Family. They were about to coronate Azula as the next Fire Lord when Zuko and Katara arrived.[11] Instead of finishing the coronation, they watched as Azula and Zuko fought an Agni Kai for the crown. Afterward, the sages conducted Zuko's coronation as Fire Lord.[12]

Notable members

Trivia

  • At least for the sages on Crescent Island, some of their jobs are to watch over the sanctuary, protect it from invaders, and gather what knowledge they can about the Avatar.[13]
  • During funerals, at least some Fire Sages wear white clothes instead of the usual red ones.[14]
Preceded by
Unknown
Head of the Fire Nation government
Unknown
Succeeded by
Fire Lord

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (April 15, 2005). "Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
  2. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (October 26, 2007). "The Avatar and the Fire Lord". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
  4. K207 "Beginnings: part 1", Premise (PDF) (2014-05-21). Retrieved on May 24, 2014.
  5. The Lost Scrolls: Fire, page 177 of The Lost Scrolls Collection.
  6. Escape from the Spirit World, Avatar Roku Online Comic Book (Fun fact)
  7. Avatar Extras for "Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku" on Nicktoons Network.
  8. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Search Part 1 (March 20, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.
  9. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Search Part 2 (July 10, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.
  10. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (February 25, 2005). "The Southern Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  11. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  12. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 21. Nickelodeon.
  13. The Lost Scrolls: Fire, pages 176 and 177 of The Lost Scrolls Collection.
  14. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (May 12, 2006). "Zuko Alone". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.

See also

Start a Discussion Discussions about Fire Sages

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    • The airbender rolls his eyes. "I'm always the last." Somewhere down the road, Chan marries Azula. He's a teacher now in the Fire Nation Acad...
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