Earth Kingdom emblem Fire Nation emblem
This article is about the hairstyle popular in the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom. For the similar hairstyle used in the Water Tribes, see warrior's wolf tail.
Sokka's top-knot

Sokka donned a top-knot while in the Fire Nation.

A top-knot is a common hairstyle in the World of Avatar. Most commonly seen in the Earth Kingdom and the Fire Nation, top-knots are worn by men and women of all classes, though individual styles can vary significantly.[1]

Earth Kingdom


Yu donned an Earth Kingdom top-knot.

Many male Earth Kingdom citizens wear top-knots, most commonly in the countryside or small towns. In Omashu, they wear small green turbans,[2] while in Ba Sing Se, they generally don queues. Top-knots in the Earth Kingdom are generally much larger than those worn in the Fire Nation, and are typically worn with an unadorned green or gold metal ring. The exceptions are the generals of the Earth Kingdom, who wear highly decorated clothing to show their position and have large, elaborate top-knot rings.[3] Some dignified and important people, such as Master Yu, Lao Beifong and some at Bosco's party in Ba Sing Se are also shown with topknot ornaments.

Fire Nation

Fire Nation top-knots

Fire Nation top-knots are thinner than those worn in the Earth Kingdom.

In the Fire Nation, top-knots are generally smaller and thinner than their Earth Kingdom counterparts, and are worn by almost all men from every class, although the styles of the top-knots may vary from class to class. The lower and middle class citizens of the Fire Nation appear to wear plain top-knots, tied with a little red material or with a tiny flame decorative piece on top; nobles and other important people may have more decorative pieces. The two most recognizable pieces are the ones used by the Crown Prince and the Fire Lord, both of which require a top-knot in order to be worn.

The top-knot is a sign of honor in the Fire Nation. After becoming fugitives, Zuko and Iroh cut off their top-knots and threw them into a creek to symbolize their rejection of their homeland and the beginning of their true exile.[4] However, Iroh readopted his trademark top-knot since his escape from prison, and Zuko wore his on formal occasions after returning to the royal palace. The firebending master Jeong Jeong also once donned a top-knot, as shown on his wanted poster.[5]


  • The cutting off of a person's top-knot was a significant event in traditional Japanese culture. Voluntary removal of one's top-knot, as performed by Zuko and Iroh, was considered a renouncement of title, social status, and pride.
  • Top-knots were a traditional hairstyle in a number of Eastern countries including China, Korea, and Japan.


See also

External links