- This article is about the Book One: Water episode. For the political position, see King of Omashu. For other similar uses, see Omashu (disambiguation). For the character to which the title refers, see Bumi.
|"The King of Omashu"|
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The group arrives at the Earth Kingdom city of Omashu. There, Aang shows Katara and Sokka the famous mail delivery system, which he and his friend Bumi used to ride for fun a hundred years ago. The trio gives the chutes a try, but runs into trouble after being discovered. Omashu's old king discovers Aang is the Avatar, and puts him through three deadly challenges to test his skills. After successfully completing his challenges, Aang discovers the king is his old friend Bumi, who reveals Aang's destiny: master the other three elements and defeat Fire Lord Ozai.
Aang and his friends arrive at the Earth Kingdom city, Omashu. Sokka and Katara look on in amazement and cannot believe they have buildings that do not melt from the heat. Aang hurries to the city, but Katara thinks he needs to hide his identity as the Avatar for his safety. He uses some of Appa's shed fur as a wig and mustache, and adopts a fake, old man voice, crouching and using his staff as a walking stick.
As they approach the city's walls, Aang remarks Omashu is one of the friendliest places in the world. However, guards at the city wall are giving a cabbage merchant trouble for trying to bring rotten cabbages into the city, and earthbend his vegetable-filled cart into the valley below, causing the merchant to scream, "No! My cabbages!" in dismay. Aang and the others approach, and the guards demand to know who they are. Aang invents the name Bonzu Pippinpaddle-Oppsokopolis the Third for himself, and says Sokka and Katara are his grandchildren, and the guards let them into the city.
Aang shows them the Omashu delivery system, which consists of miles of tubes and chutes which send packages throughout the city via earthbending. He also tells them that one hundred years ago while visiting, Aang and his eccentric childhood friend Bumi would slide down the Omashu delivery system for fun. Bumi told Aang to always open his brain to the possibilities in life, and Aang affectionately called Bumi a "mad genius".
Aang promises Katara they will go to the North Pole once they have a ride down the chutes. They go to the highest point in the city and slide down, almost getting killed by a package of spears following behind them as they slide. Aang derails them from the chute, and their bin scrapes across the rooftops of several houses. Panicking, they cannot stop and crash into the cabbage merchant's cart, who screams once again in dismay for his ruined cabbages. They are surrounded by guards and taken captive to be punished by the King of Omashu after riding down at high speeds through the complex tube system, and being found as intruders.
The king, an aged old man, looks for a while at Aang and, instead of punishment, orders that they shall be thrown a feast, to the surprise of the guards. At the feast, the king inquires about where Aang came from, to which Aang lies that he came from Kangaroo Island. The king cracks a joke, saying he is heard that place is "really hoppin'", which only Sokka laughs at. Feigning his departure from the table, the king suddenly throws a chicken drumstick at Aang, causing him to catch it with airbending out of reflex, revealing to everyone that he is the Avatar.
Aang and the others try to leave, but are detained by the guards. The king says the Avatar shall face three deadly challenges tomorrow to win the freedom of himself and his friends, and locks them in a refurbished chamber.
The next day, Aang wakes and finds Sokka and Katara are missing. The king holds them hostage and promises to return them once the challenges are completed. Aang threatens the king and demands he return his friends immediately, but the king brings forth Sokka and Katara and has rings of jennamite placed on their fingers. Known as "creeping crystal", the crystals will grow until they cover the entire body, and only the king can undo the process. Aang submits to go through with the king's challenges.
For the first challenge, Aang must simply retrieve a key hanging from a chain within a powerful, cascading waterfall. However, it is not as simple as it seems. The force of the water is too powerful for Aang to simply dive in or approach from below. Even by using airbending, Aang cannot get to the key. The crystal is now covering Katara and Sokka's arms. Aang resorts to breaking the tip of a stalagmite off, and, using airbending, shoots it like a dart into the waterfall, breaking the chain and carrying the key to the king, who is watching from a balcony.
For the second challenge, Aang must return the king's lost pet Flopsie to him. Outside, Aang sees a rabbit and chases after it, but a large, monstrous goat gorilla chases after Aang. The rabbit escapes and the monster closes in, but Aang suddenly has an idea. He turns to face the monster, and realizes the creature is actually Flopsie. Flopsie picks Aang up tenderly and gives him a huge lick before dropping Aang and running to the king, who rubs the monster's belly. Katara and Sokka are covered from head to ankle in crystal, and Aang demands the final challenge begin.
In a large arena, Aang must battle an opponent. He is allowed to choose which opponent to fight, with the king warning him to choose carefully. He can pick one of two nasty-looking gladiator-like warriors, or the old, frail King. Aang chooses the king, who declares he made the wrong choice, removing his robes to reveal a surprisingly muscular physique for such an old man. Aang recoils, realizing his mistake. The king claims he is the most powerful earthbender Aang will ever meet, and begins the battle.
The king immediately launches several boulders at Aang; the Avatar dodges, but the king taunts him for such a predictable airbender tactic. As they fight, the king continues to taunt Aang for his unwillingness to fight back. Eventually, Aang begins to counter the king. With tremendous effort, the king tears a massive chunk of earth out of the ground and holds it over his head. Aang screams in terror and begins to run in circles, airbending a tornado. The king throws the massive mound, but the tornado redirects it back at him. He bisects it neatly in two. Aang appears between the rock pieces and pins the king with his staff.
The king concedes defeat, but before releasing his friends, requires the Avatar to answer one last question: What is his name? Recalling the point of all the challenges, Aang realizes they all forced him to think differently then he usually would. He realizes who the king is, and calls his old childhood friend Bumi, now the old King of Omashu, a mad genius. The two embrace, and Bumi declares Aang has not changed a bit, literally. Bumi shatters the crystal encasing Sokka and Katara, and eats a piece, revealing jennamite is made from rock candy.
Bumi wishes Aang luck in his quest to defeat the Fire Lord, and hopes when he confronts him that he will think like a mad genius. Aang tells Bumi he now has a challenge for him, and the two of them go sliding down the Omashu delivery system like the old days, which results in them crashing into the cabbage merchant's cart, just like before.
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- Main article: Transcript:The King of Omashu
- This is the first episode in which Zuko and Iroh do not make an appearance.
- This is the first episode in which the Fire Lord is mentioned by his given name, Ozai.
- The cabbage merchant makes his first appearance in this episode when his cart was destroyed by an earthbender on his way into the city. Though it was destroyed, the cabbage merchant is later seen with his cart, where it was destroyed again by Aang and his friends.
- In "The King of Omashu" with "Avatar Extras" bonus commentary, one of the commentary bubbles says that some Avatar fans, enough worth mentioning, believe this episode is simply "filler", having no real plot involvement, instead focusing on developing or adding to Aang's past. Those fans are described as being as crazy as King Bumi.
- In "The King of Omashu" with "Avatar Extras" bonus commentary, when Aang, Sokka, and Katara went sliding the delivery system, one of the commentary bubbles says that Omashu's prime trade resource is making weapons for the Earth Kingdom to fight against the Fire Nation.
- During the "Avatar Extras" when Bumi tells Aang to always open his brain to the possibilities in life, it shows that this is an example of the expression "to think outside of the box".
- Aang reveals that he is a vegetarian.
- After Aang tells Bumi that he does not eat meat, Bumi shoves the chicken leg into Sokka's mouth, leaving Aang's plate empty. After Katara asks if Bumi's crown's a little crooked, the camera angle changes to a wide shot and the chicken leg is back on Aang's plate.
- When Bumi throws the meat at Aang which he catches using his airbending, there appears to be a piece of meat on his plate already. When he stops airbending the meat, however, it lands on an empty plate.
- During Aang's first deadly test, he is thrown out of the waterfall twice, but both times he emerges completely dry without using airbending to dry himself off.
- Flopsie lowers himself into the pit as if he were hanging from something, but when the camera angle pans out there is nothing nearby for him to have hung from.
- When Aang uses the stalagmite to complete his first deadly test, the key is hanging from the chain, but after Aang says he wants his friends back and the camera switches to Bumi, the key and stalagmite in the wall are gone.
- Before Aang introduces himself to the guards of Omashu as Bonzu, he saw the guards rejecting cabbages from the merchant, but during the super slide scene, he fell onto the cart of the same cabbage merchant. It could be that once entering the city, said cabbage merchant purchased a new cart of cabbages, only to have it destroyed by the gang.
- During Bumi and Aang's duel, the earthbending symbols in the corners or the ceiling changes shape with almost every shot.
- When Bumi teaches Aang of his duty, he says, "You'll need Momo, too!" Bumi somehow knew of Momo's name, although Aang never mentioned it at any point throughout his stay in Omashu. A possible explanation can be that some of the guards or even Bumi himself overheard Aang mention Momo's name while in the prison cell.
- During Aang and Bumi's fight, the rocks Bumi launches at Aang frequently disappear while they continue fighting.
- When Aang finishes the second challenge and King Bumi is rubbing Flopsie's stomach they are on the platform above the ring where Aang did the challenge. After he talks to Sokka and Katara, Bumi and Flopsie are in the ring.
- Aang lies, stating that he is from Kangaroo Island, which is in fact a real place in southern Australia.
- According to the Nick.com's website for Avatar, the episode was originally titled "The King and Aang".
- Bumi's voice actor, André Sogliuzzo, would go on to also voice Hakoda, Sokka and Katara's father, later in the series.
- This episode is the first time earthbending is seen outside of the opening sequence.
- Avatar Extras reveal that "initially, Bumi was supposed to have the body of a frail old man, the idea being that you don't have to have muscles to be a great earthbender, but it was decided that he looks cooler with abs."
- In this episode, Bumi claims he is the most powerful earthbender in the world, though Toph also claims this multiple times throughout the series.
- This is the first and only time Katara's and Sokka's grandfather is mentioned in the series.
- This episode is the only one in which the cabbage merchant's cabbages are destroyed numerous times: one time by the guards at Omashu front gate, one time by Team Avatar when riding the mail delivery system and one time by Bumi and Aang, again using the Omashu delivery system as a game.
- It is learned that in Omashu there are no take-backsies.
- This is the first of two episodes, the other is "Return to Omashu", where "Omashu" is in the episode title.
- The three challenges are similar to the tasks of the Triwizard Tournaments in the book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.