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|"Let us travel to the Earth Kingdom capital as one tribe!"|
|— The Zhang leader to the two tribes.|
The Zhang leader was the chief of the Zhang tribe. Due to her tribe's long-standing conflict with the Gan Jin people, the Zhang leader often feuded with their leader. Unkempt and somewhat laid back, her personality reflected the ideals of the her tribe.
In the final months of the Hundred Year War, the Zhang leader hoped to cross the Great Divide with her tribe to find refuge in Ba Sing Se. When the Zhangs arrived, they found that a member of the Gan Jin tribe had already "reserved" a trip across for his party. When the rest of the Gan Jins arrived, it was decided by Avatar Aang that the two groups would cross the Great Divide together while the Zhangs' sick and the Gan Jins' elderly would fly across on Appa. Before embarking on the journey, the canyon guide warned the groups to dispose of any food, fearing it would attract canyon crawlers.
Neither tribe heeded said warning, which resulted in the canyon guide being attacked by a canyon crawler. The assault left both his arms broken, thus inhibiting him from using his earthbending abilities and trapping the feuding tribes in the canyon.
Throughout their time in the canyon, the two tribes' bickering did not relent, and eventually resulted in Aang's separation of the two. While separated, Katara was taught the ancient legend of Jin Wei and Wei Jin by the Gan Jin leader, while the Zhang leader taught Sokka their version of the story. In doing so, both tribes revealed to their pupils that they smuggled food into the canyon, which had resulted in the attack from canyon crawlers.
The next morning, the tribes continued to argue, until Aang interrupted and declared that only action would resolve any kind of problems. Both tribe leaders agreed, though interpreted the Avatar's words to begin dueling, as opposed to working together to get past their issues. Aang quickly ended this skirmish, exposing the smuggled food in the process.
The exposed food quickly attracted a horde of canyon crawlers and, after a short attempt to battle them, Aang quickly realized that by attracting the crawlers to the food and subsequently muzzling them, both tribes could ride them out of the canyon. After his plan proved successful, Aang threw the remainder of the food into the Great Divide, where the crawlers would remain.
After briefly complimenting each other's survival skills, the Zhang and Gan Jin leaders decided to duel once more, before which the two briefly mentioned Jin Wei and Wei Jin.
Wishing to settle the feud, Aang fabricated a tale concerning the two figures, explaining that Jin Wei and Wei Jin had actually been eight-year-old twins playing a game titled "Redemption". Jin Wei had the "sacred orb", which was only a ball used in playing the game, but lost control of it. Wei Jin subsequently took the ball, attempting to run it to the other goal, the "gates" mentioned in the legend, but stepped out of bounds. As per the rules of the game, Wei Jin was placed in the penalty box, the "prison", not for twenty years but for a mere two minutes. Aang told them that despite their differences, the two respected each other enough to share the same playing field.
Believing the Avatar's story and wisdom, the Zhang leader told her opposing tribe leader that it was time to forget the past, to which the Gan Jin leader agreed. She subsequently declared that the tribes would travel to Ba Sing Se together, which was met with a cheer and a quick departure. She, as well as the other tribe members, remained unaware that Aang's tale had been fictional.
Like the rest of her tribe, the leader of the Zhangs was very sloppy and relentlessly carefree, to the point that she automatically disliked neat, uptight people, like the Gan Jin, especially their leader.
The leader of the Zhang was skilled with a large, curved sword. She proved herself to be an agile fighter, skillfully dodging attacks thrown her way, while nimbly retorting and striking back.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Book One: Water (水)
- 111. "The Great Divide"