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Politics in the World of Avatar

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Earth Kingdom throne room
Politics in the World of Avatar
General information

Politics and government

Politics and government in the World of Avatar are based around several political systems.

There are four broad types of political systems, each of which has a distinctive character that corresponds with the element of its respective nation. The Air Nomads had a theocracy led by four councils of monks or nuns,[1] the Water Tribes have a tribal system led by chiefs,[2] the Earth Kingdom has a confederate monarchy led by the Earth King,[3] and the Fire Nation has an absolute monarchy led by the Fire Lord.[4] There are, however, some exceptions.

The Avatar is meant to act independently of any nation (basically to the point of being neutral) regardless of origin, as a means of maintaining peace and order among the four nations.[4]

Air Nomads

Main article: Air Nomads
Air Nomads
Council of Elders.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Government system: Theocracy
Head of state: No overall head of state
Current head of state: None
Territorial divisions: Four temples and an island[5]
Capital: No overall capital

The Air Nomads had no overall government that made unified decisions before their genocide. Instead, there were four Councils of Elders that presided over the four temples respectively. The Council of Elders had no exact leadership or rule. They were just a group of wise airbending masters that made decisions regarding the temple and its people.[1]

Southern Air Temple

Main article: Southern Air Temple

Ruler: Council of Elders
Current leader: None

The Southern Air Temple had five monks on its Council of Elders, which made decisions on behalf of the temple. This council included High Monk Pasang, Tashi, and Gyatso.[1]

Other air temples

Each air temple had its own council that operated exactly the same way as the Southern Air Temple's Council of Elders. It is known that Sister Iio was the Mother Superior and thus head of the council in the Eastern Air Temple.[4]

Water Tribe

Main article: Water Tribe
Chief Hakoda
Chief Hakoda.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Government system: Tribal Chiefdom/Royal Chiefdom
Head of state: No overall head of state
Territorial divisions: Two tribes, plus Foggy Swamp
Capital: No overall capital

The Water Tribe does not have an overall leader. The chief presides over only their own division of the tribe.

Foggy Swamp Tribe

Main article: Foggy Swamp Tribe

Little is known about the politics of the Foggy Swamp Tribe. However, Huu seemed to have some kind of authority, although his relationship with the rest of the tribe is fairly informal.[6]

Northern Water Tribe

Main article: Northern Water Tribe

Title of leader: Chief
Most recent known leader: Unalaq
Capital: Northern Water Tribe City

Politics in the Northern Water Tribe are more complicated than in its southern sister tribe. There is one all-powerful leader, but there is a small council that advises him, most recently including the tribe's greatest waterbending master, Pakku. Politics can also be personal. For example, marrying the chief's daughter, the Tribal Princess, can be a significant step in a political career.[2][7]

Southern Water Tribe

Main article: Southern Water Tribe

Title of leader: Chief
Most recent known leader: Hakoda
Capital: Hakoda's village

Decisions in the Southern Water Tribe are made exclusively by the current chief, and politics appear to be extremely simple, with only one person in power and all others completely loyal to that person. Unlike in the Northern Water Tribe, the chief's children, such as Katara and Sokka, are not viewed as royalty.[8]

Earth Kingdom

Main article: Earth Kingdom
Earth King Kuei
Earth King Kuei.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Government system: Confederate Monarchy
Head of state: Earth King
Most recent known head of state: Kuei
Territorial divisions: Unknown number of provinces
Territorial divisions led by: Kings, mayors, others unknown
Capital: Ba Sing Se

Though the King of Ba Sing Se, titled as the Earth King, is the official overall leader of the Earth Kingdom, the country functions as a sort of confederation, with individual provinces and cities given a great deal of autonomy. Outside of the cities, the central government has little influence. Furthermore, the Earth Kingdom has no unified system of laws, with each region having its own legal code.[9] These territories do, however, provide support and troops to the Earth King whenever necessary, and the military functions as a unified body.[3]

Ba Sing Se

Main article: Ba Sing Se

Title of leader: Earth King
Most recent known leader: 52nd Earth King, Kuei

The Earth King is the leader of the government of Ba Sing Se, and by extension the entire Earth Kingdom. It should be noted that the day-to-day affairs of the city are managed by the Grand Secretariat, who answers only to the Earth King.


Main article: Omashu

Title of leader: King
Most recent known leader: Bumi

Omashu, though part of the Earth Kingdom and therefore answerable to the Earth King in Ba Sing Se, has its own king and is relatively autonomous of the capital.[10]

Fire Nation

Main article: Fire Nation
Fire Lord Zuko
Fire Lord Zuko.
ThailogAdded by Thailog

Government system: Absolute Monarchy
Head of state: Fire Lord
Most recent known head of state: Fire Lord Zuko's daughter
Territorial divisions: Homeland and colonies
Territorial divisions led by: Governors
Capital: Fire Nation Capital

The Fire Lord's firstborn child is the Heir to the Fire Lord, usually referred to as the Crown Prince or the Crown Princess.[4]

Sun Warriors

Main article: Sun Warriors

Government system: Tribal Chiefdom
Head of state: Chief
Most recent known head of state: Sun Warrior chief
Capital: Sun Warriors' ancient city

Although the Sun Warriors are firebenders, they are independent of the rest of the Fire Nation and are led by their own Chief.[11]

United Republic of Nations

Main article: United Republic of Nations
United Republic Council
The United Republic Council.
Dcasawang1Added by Dcasawang1

Government system: Unitary Republic
Head of state: United Republic Council
Capital: Republic City

The United Republic of Nations is led by a council, composed of one representative from each major nation, who represents the interest of their people.[12] Its capital, Republic City, is divided into boroughs.


Main article: Avatar
Korra looking smug
Korra, the current Avatar.
Lady LostrisAdded by Lady Lostris

Current Avatar: Korra
Current Avatar's nation of origin: Southern Water Tribe

The Avatar is independent of all government systems and acts in the interests of world balance, as well as the balance between the Earth and the Spirit World. As such, the Avatar acts as the international authority for peace, justice, and order.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (June 3, 2005). "The Storm". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 18, 2005). "The Waterbending Master". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (November 17, 2006). "The Earth King". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Throughout Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  5. San Diego Comic-Con
  6. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (April 14, 2006). "The Swamp". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  7. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (December 2, 2005). "The Siege of the North, Part 1". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  8. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (February 21, 2005). "The Boy in the Iceberg". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  9. Avatar Extras for "Avatar Day" on Nicktoons Network.
  10. O'Bryan, John (writer) & Lioi, Anthony (director). (March 18, 2005). "The King of Omashu". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
  11. O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 15, 2008). "The Firebending Masters". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  12. The Legend of Korra: Welcome to Republic City. Nickelodeon (April 6, 2012). Retrieved on April 6, 2012.

See also

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