Avatar Wiki
Avatar Wiki
This page is move protected. This article is a B-class article. It is written to a good standard. Earthbender Earth Kingdom emblem White lotus tile icon
This article is about the King of Omashu in the animated series. For the character in Netflix's live-action series, see Bumi. For Aang and Katara's eldest son, see Bumi.

Bumi was the wild-eyed, eccentric, elderly King of Omashu. Prior to the start of the Hundred Year War, Bumi had been a close friend of Avatar Aang, and he remained the only known friend from Aang's childhood still alive by 100 AG.[1] He became an old and wild man, prone to cackling and snorting laughter at jokes. Despite his apparent frailty, Bumi was an earthbending master, at one point claiming himself to be "the most powerful earthbender you'll ever see".[1]

Bumi's eccentricity arose out of the fact that he always kept his mind "open to the possibilities". As a child, Bumi decided to use the Omashu delivery system as a chute ride, for which Aang dubbed him "a mad genius", a name that Bumi seemed to appreciate.[1] Although Bumi appeared senile, he was in fact a brilliant and patient tactician, willing to wait until the opportune moment to strike in order to produce the most favorable outcome. Bumi carried himself with the same composure during a quiet, peaceful meal as he did when his city was under attack and he rarely explained his actions, which tended to infuriate his subordinates.[2]

Quick Answers

What is the relationship between Bumi and Avatar Aang? toggle section
Bumi and Avatar Aang shared a deep friendship. They were childhood friends, and although Aang disappeared for a hundred years, their bond remained intact when they met each other again, despite Aang still being a child and Bumi an elder. Bumi was described by Aang as a 'mad genius' and a 'great leader', who played a significant role in ending the Hundred Year War. Aang and his wife Katara even named their first son Bumi, further highlighting the importance of their relationship.
Provided by: Community
How does Bumi's personality reflect in his leadership style as the King of Omashu? toggle section
Bumi is known for his eccentric and unpredictable personality. This often leads his enemies and even his own subjects to underestimate him. However, beneath this quirky demeanor, Bumi is a brilliant strategist. He always thinks ahead and waits for the perfect time to strike, a trait that enabled him to take back Omashu single-handedly during the Day of Black Sun. He also masterminded a strategy that allowed Omashu to defend itself while also supplying Earth Kingdom forces in other regions during the Hundred Year War. His leadership style reflects his belief in keeping one's mind open to all possibilities.
Provided by: Community
What makes Bumi a master of earthbending despite his apparent frailty? toggle section
Despite his advanced age and apparent frailty, Bumi is remarkably strong, agile, and has a strategic mind. He has a deceptively muscular physique and is very quick to react to threats. His earthbending style is conservative, stressing the importance of waiting for the right moment to strike. When that moment comes, Bumi has demonstrated extremely powerful techniques, such as levitating entire houses and large boulders, creating fissures with kicks into the ground, and even earthbending exclusively with his face.
Provided by: Community
Is Bumi a better earthbender than Toph? toggle section
Bumi and Toph both have their claims to being the "greatest earthbender of all time". To decide who was the one and only champion, they decided to battle it out, only to have their fight be broken up by the rest of Team Avatar and some member of the White Lotus. As the referee, Sokka decided the match had ended in a tie, and that they would fight it out later on.
Provided by: Community


Early life[]

Young Bumi

Bumi sported an unconventional look on life even as a child.

King Bumi was born in 12 BG in the city of Omashu.[3] As a child, he became close friends with Aang, showing him how to use the Omashu delivery system as "the world's greatest super slide", which caused the young airbender to label Bumi as a "mad genius".[1] The earthbender also imparted other kinds of wisdom to the Air Nomad, such as the remark "You will always remember what you never expected".[5] The two kids also used to play in the Omashu sewer system.[6]

Sometime later in his life, Bumi was crowned King of Omashu. Under his rule, Omashu was turned from a strong but isolated bastion into a center of the Earth Kingdom resistance. He organized the supply of anti-Fire Nation guerrilla groups with arms across the entire continent, and invited inventors to his city so they could develop new weapons for the Earth Kingdom. Despite his efforts, however, the Hundred Year War increasingly turned against the Earth Kingdom. The Fire Nation advanced ever closer to Omashu, gradually closing the city's supply routes. Regardless, he remained eager to support anyone willing to oppose the invaders.[7] At some point, he joined the Order of the White Lotus.[8]

Testing the Avatar[]

Bumi saw Aang again in 99 AG, when the Avatar, Sokka, and Katara, were brought before him to receive judgment for destroying a cartload of cabbages belonging to a cabbage merchant. Aang did not recognize his friend, who was now one hundred years older than when they last met, and Bumi did not reveal their shared past and told his guards, when asked what Team Avatar's punishment should be, "throw them ... a feast!"[1]

During the feast, Bumi tricked Aang into airbending by throwing a chicken thigh at him, revealing his identity as the Avatar. Now refusing to let them leave, Bumi demanded that they be thrown into a chamber, causing a confusion between him and a guard as to which chamber the former was referring – the good chamber or the bad chamber that had been newly refurbished. Bumi noted that the chambers should be numbered, but resolved the misunderstanding by declaring that the three be taken to "the refurbished chamber that was once bad". After a relaxing night's sleep, Aang awoke to find his friends missing, as King Bumi had taken them to blackmail Aang into completing three tasks for him, ensuring the Avatar's stay lest Sokka and Katara become encased in jennamite.[1]

Aang vs Bumi

Bumi faced off against Aang in the final task he had for the Avatar.

Bumi initially inquired Aang's honest opinion of his new outfit, to which Aang responded that it was "fine". The king congratulated the airbender in his success of the first challenge, but proceeded to inform the Avatar that this had not been "one of the deadly tests". Initiating the actual challenges, Bumi instructed Aang to retrieve a lunchbox key that belonged to the former. As the airbender attempted the challenge, the king used an extensive amount of criticism to rebuke Aang in his employment of ordinary methods to attain his goal. Upon Aang's successful completion of the first test, Bumi administered the next test, which involved finding Flopsie, the king's pet, and bringing the animal to him. After the Avatar had finished the second challenge, Bumi called over his pet and began to rub the goat gorilla's "soft belly", showing affection toward the animal. He was interrupted by an impatient Aang, who wanted to proceed to the third and final challenge. King Bumi informed the airbender that the last test would be a duel and asked Aang to choose his opponent. The king presented two opponents from which Aang could choose, both of which were intimidating in appearance, bearing both armor and weapons. King Bumi was chosen as the Avatar's opponent, but it was soon realized that the young airbender had made a mistake as Bumi threw off his royal robes and flexed his muscles, revealing himself to be a powerful and muscular earthbender. Although Bumi had the upper hand during the fight, particularly against the run-and-evade tactics typical of airbenders, Aang eventually impressed the old man by creating a tornado to counter a powerful attack from the earthbender. While Aang seemed to have Bumi in a corner after this, ready to strike with his staff, he failed to notice that Bumi had positioned a large mound of rock a few feet above Aang's head. Bumi, however, was satisfied with Aang's performance and allowed the match to be called a draw.[1]

Aang and King Bumi

Before parting with his old friend, Bumi relived old memories with Aang by riding down the Omashu delivery system.

Before releasing Sokka and Katara, the king demanded that Aang guess his name and gave him a few minutes to think about it, leaving Sokka and Katara minutes away from becoming completely encased in jennamite. At first, Aang was clueless, but as he thought about the challenges, he realized that each one was designed to make him think differently, as his old friend, Bumi, always had, prompting the Avatar to solve the riddle and once again declare Bumi as a "mad genius". Bumi explained to Aang that strength and bending alone would not be enough to defeat Fire Lord Ozai and that when it came time for Aang to face him, "[he] hope[s] [Aang] will think like a mad genius". After Bumi freed Aang's friends from the jennamite, he and Aang spent an enjoyable day using the Omashu delivery system as a chute ride, just like old times, and destroyed the same cabbage cart from earlier. Aang and his friends subsequently left Omashu to continue their journey.[1]

Shortly after Team Avatar's departure, Bumi tasked one of his captains to aquire 101 cabbages; all but one were intended for Flopsie. The soldier, used to the king's eccentric requests, set out to fulfill the request, eventually returning with 100 cabbages and some adventurers who had assisted him. Bumi pointed out that one cabbage was missing, and that he wanted to eat this one. Though grumbling that he was getting hungry, the king pardoned the captain for his mistake. He then sent the adventurers to get the missing cabbage, "rewarding" them by allowing them to play with Flopsie. The monarch explained that his pet often had troubles sleeping due to suffering from periodic nightmares, and that some playtime would ease him into sleep. After the adventurers managed to battle the goat gorilla to exhaustion, allowing the animal to get some long-needed rest, the king gave the group some rewards for their efforts and asked them to come by whenever they wanted.[5]


In spring 100 AG, the Fire Army finally reached Omashu's outskirts and began a large-scale assault on the city. King Bumi and the military captain Yung stood atop a wall and watched the opposing army as they launched flaming projectiles toward the city. When asked about the action of Omashu's military, Bumi responded by telling Yung to do nothing and began laughing maniacally. Before long, the city had surrendered.

Bumi was later visited once again by Aang, Katara, and Sokka, who had been hoping that Bumi could serve as Aang's earthbending teacher, but due to the king's imprisonment, this did not seem possible. Eventually, the Omashu Resistance made a deal with the governor of Omashu to exchange Tom-Tom, the governor's son, for the king. Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee met Team Avatar near the base of a statue in Omashu to execute the deal. King Bumi was lowered by a crane to the ground, but was revealed as being secured in an encasement that tightly covered his entire body, save for his face. As the Fire Nation girls discussed the losses that would result from Bumi's release, the king nodded in approval. The deal was not passed, and Bumi was again lifted to the air. Bumi was intercepted by Aang, who flew up to the cage and tried to smash the metal chain to free Bumi, as he was not willing to give up. The king was surprised by the young airbender's effort. The chain broke and Bumi, still in his cage, plummeted to a delivery chute below along with Aang.

Aang talks with Bumi

Wishing to remain a prisoner, Bumi told Aang he must find another earthbending instructor.

After a chase down the city's large mail-delivery chutes, Bumi managed to halt Azula's pursuit by destroying her cart using earthbending, revealing that he, despite the metal cage in which he was being kept, was still capable of bending. However, Bumi disappointed Aang with the statement that he could not leave Omashu at that moment, as he was waiting for the proper time to strike against the Fire Nation from within. Bumi proceeded to teach Aang about the importance of neutral jing and advised the Avatar to seek an instructor skilled in neutral jing who would wait and listen.[2]

Liberation of Omashu and Ba Sing Se[]

Bumi spent several weeks imprisoned in his city, waiting for the right moment to escape, which came on the Day of Black Sun, where he broke out of his prison by earthbending with his face. Taking advantage of the firebenders' loss of power, he single-handedly liberated Omashu and destroyed Ozai's statue at the top of the city, sending it sliding down and off the edge of the city, before laughing and taking a bite of jennamite, retaking his city in mere minutes.[8]

Bumi leads

Bumi led members of Team Avatar to the Order of the White Lotus' camp.

Before the arrival of Sozin's Comet, Bumi met with the Avatar's gang again at Ba Sing Se, along with Masters Pakku, Piandao, and Jeong Jeong and was revealed to be a member of the Order of the White Lotus. Bumi was the only one to notice that the group was missing a "very important member", as Aang and Momo had disappeared, but comically asked the group of Momo's whereabouts. The king later stated that as long as Momo and Aang were together, they had nothing to worry about. Suki asked why they were all together, to which Bumi responded that "all old people know each other."[8]

Later, while explaining to Team Avatar about how he liberated Omashu, he declared himself the world's greatest earthbender ever. Toph happened to hear this, questioned the accuracy of the statement, causing the two to exchange insults. They eventually decided to have an earthbending duel to settle who was the better of the two, with Sokka serving as the referee. The earthbenders kept fighting until Sozin's Comet was near approaching and it was time for them to begin their attacks. The match was called a draw, and it was said that there would have to be a rematch.[9]

King Bumi joined in the Order's successful liberation of Ba Sing Se in the name of the Earth Kingdom, using impressive displays of his earthbending to destroy many Fire Nation tanks, in one instance by stacking them on top of each other.[10]

Bumi died at some point before 124 AG.[4]


Aang and Katara later named their first son after Bumi.[11] In a book for his son Tenzin, Aang commented that Bumi had been his "dear friend" and a "great leader" who had played a major role in ending the Hundred Year War.[4]


Aang described young Bumi as a "mad genius", a quality that was attributed to the fact that he was a firm believer of keeping one's mind open to all the possibilities. A century later, Bumi still sported this attitude, which often led his enemies, and sometimes even his own subjects, to underestimate him.[1][2] Despite his often odd behavior, Bumi also deeply cared for his friends, subjects, and his pet Flopsie.[1][5][4]

Underneath his eccentric demeanor,[7] Bumi was a brilliant strategist, always thinking ahead and waiting for the perfect time to strike, which enabled him to take back Omashu single-handedly.[8] He also masterminded a strategy which allowed Omashu to defend itself while also supplying Earth Kingdom forces in other regions during the Hundred Year War.[7]


Bumi earthbends

Bumi was one of the most powerful earthbenders in the world.

Despite his advanced age, Bumi was remarkably strong, sporting a deceptively muscular physique. He was very quick to react to threats and highly agile, able to reach considerable distances with a single jump, propelled himself with his earthbending. King Bumi was an earthbending master and was one of, if not the best in the world.[9][12] His style was very conservative and stressed waiting for exactly the right moment to strike; however, when said moment did come, he demonstrated extremely powerful techniques. Bumi could levitate entire houses, extremely large boulders, create fissures with kicks into the ground, turn ordinary dirt into quicksand, and quickly tunnel through the ground.[1] Most extraordinarily, Bumi was able to earthbend exclusively with his face with little-to-no handicap.[2] With rock pillars, Bumi could also launch himself or heavy metal objects such as tanks into the air, and once toppled a large metal statue from underneath.[8][13] Bumi could also bend jennamite.[1]


Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book One: Water (水)

Book Two: Earth (土)

Book Three: Fire (火)

Avatar comics

Book Three: Fire (火)

Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game

Avatar games


  • Bumi's headdress is reminiscent of that worn by the legendary Chinese general Lü Bu, which also had two giant pheasant feathers. Such headgear is commonly worn by high-ranking ancient Chinese officers and generals, most often in the Beijing Opera.
  • In several Indo-Aryan and Dravidian languages, the word "Bumi" is derived from the Sanskrit word bhūmiḥ (भूमिः) meaning "earth" or "land", and it also holds the same meaning in Thai, Malay, and Indonesian. As a result, King Bumi (Raja Bumi) in Indonesian dub literally means "Earth King" which might generate confusion with the actual Earth King. However, since the word bumi with that exact meaning does not exist in Chinese, the negotiation letter in "Return to Omashu" had his name transliterated as 布米, which translates as "to spread rice".
  • He was the second oldest known living character during the original series at 112 years old, after Guru Pathik who was 150 years old. The two are the only individuals known to have witnessed both wartime arrivals of Sozin's Comet.
  • Although Bumi told Aang that he would see him again when the time was right,[2] he is not known to have done so again during the series.
  • When Aang was preparing to leave Omashu, Bumi said that they would need Momo.[1] Later, when Bumi met the rest of Team Avatar prior to the arrival of Sozin's Comet, he said that they were missing someone important and asked where Momo was.[8]
  • Bumi claimed to be the most powerful earthbender ever.[1] This claim was also made by Toph Beifong, who possessed a seismic sense that gave her a deeper connection to the earth than most earthbenders, allowing her to perceive nearly everything around her, and was the inventor of metalbending, both feats Bumi never exhibited. However, Bumi was perceptive to his surroundings, able to launch several Fire Nation soldiers from behind without looking,[8] and could also earthbend without having physical contact with the earth,[2][8] unlike Toph.
  • When Bumi was first introduced, there was no indication that he was royalty, suggesting that he somehow earned the title of King of Omashu.[1]
  • Bumi was originally supposed to be a frail old man, but the creators thought that he looked better with muscular attributes.[14]
  • Series co-creator Bryan Konietzko stated that he wanted to give Bumi the "creepy, long-limbed, hunched posture" of Gainax's Evangelions.[15]
  • Bumi's voice was inspired by André Sogliuzzo's friend, John Barry Ryan III, after seeing the word "aristocratic" used to describe Bumi.[16]
  • Bumi was the oldest and first master earthbender shown in the series.
  • Bumi was the only high-ranking member of the Order of the White Lotus to never train anybody from Team Avatar. However, the tasks he made Aang accomplish to develop his ability to think "like a mad genius", as well as his advice on jing, could be considered mental training.[1][2]
  • In the video game Avatar: The Last Airbender: Quest for Balance, Bumi is voiced by Sunil Malhotra, the actor who voiced Wu in The Legend of Korra.[17]
Preceded by
Unknown, eventually Guo Xun
Ruler of Omashu
Unknown - 100 AG
Succeeded by

Preceded by
Ruler of Omashu
100 AG - Unknown
Succeeded by
Unknown, eventually Kuvira[18]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Lioi, Anthony (director). (March 18, 2005). "The King of Omashu". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (April 7, 2006). "Return to Omashu". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: King Bumi.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Avatar: The Last Airbender: Legacy, page 28.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Omashu", Avatar: Generations. Navigator Games & Square Enix Mobile London (February 28, 2023). Square Enix.
  6. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Location: Omashu Sewer System.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 62.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Hamilton, Joshua; Matte, Johane (artist), Matte, Johane (artist), Kim, Hye-Jung (colorist), Comicraft (letterer). "Bumi vs. Toph, Round One" (2009), Nickelodeon Comics Club.
  10. 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.
  11. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 14, 2012). "Welcome to Republic City". The Legend of Korra. Book One: Air. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  12. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  13. 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.
  14. Avatar Extras for "The King of Omashu" on Nicktoons Network.
  15. Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Art of the Animated Series, page 48.
  16. Basco, Dante (host), Varney, Janet (host), Sogliuzzo, André (guest). (August 10, 2021). "'The King of Omashu' with André Sogliuzzo". Avatar: Braving the Elements. Episode 10. iHeartRadio.
  17. Avatar: The Last Airbender: Quest for Balance. Bamtang Games (September 22, 2023). GameMill Entertainment.
  18. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (November 14, 2014). "Reunion". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 7. Nick.com.