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Chaejin was the illegitimate son of Fire Lord Chaeryu and Lady Huazo, the leader of the Saowon clan. Although excluded from the royal succession, Chaejin managed to gain power and influence in the court of his half-brother Zoryu, attempting to claim the throne for himself. He made an unsuccessful bid for the throne during the Camellia-Peony War.[4]

History

Chaejin was born to Fire Lord Chaeryu and Lady Huazo of the Saowon clan. His parents were not married, and it was a great embarrassment for Chaeryu to learn of Huazo's pregnancy shortly after he had committed to marrying Sulan of the Keohso clan.[5] Although Chaeryu was forced to acknowledge Chaejin and avoid dishonoring the noble mother and her house, he excluded Chaejin from the royal family. During his childhood, he was a playmate to his legitimate half-brother Zoryu. Nevertheless, Chaejin was sent away to the Fire Sages to put him out of the line of succession, and his father prevented the matter from being discussed at court during his life.

After Chaeryu's death, the Fire Sages sent Chaejin back to court as a High Temple liaison, which initially delighted Zoryu. However, Chaejin had been embittered at having been sent away, and wanted the crown, exploiting his half-brother's initial lenience to display how much more regal he was. As he worked the courts in attempt to bolster his claim, Huazo consolidated wealth and power throughout the Fire Islands.[6]

During the Festival of Szeto, Chaejin was introduced to Avatar Kyoshi, who mistook him for Fire Lord Zoryu, thanks to the strong resemblance he shared with the portrait of his late father, as well as his regal attire.[7] The crowd was shocked at the Avatar's faux pas, and he introduced himself to her, explaining his place in the royal family. Zoryu arrived on the scene shortly after, and Chaejin mirthfully explained the Avatar's confusion, adopting a highly informal tone as he spoke of the nation's lack of prosperity. Kyoshi resolved to address the nation's issues, before attempting to dismiss Chaejin, wishing to speak to the Fire Lord alone. Chaejin refused, however, and Zoryu stared at the Avatar agape until Hei-Ran ordered the group to come with her, wishing to prevent a diplomatic catastrophe.[6]

Chaejin met with Zoryu in the throne room following Yun's attack on the palace, where he feigned horror at the deaths of Chancellor Dairin and Lu Beifong, having smoothed over the attack with the members of the court. When Kyoshi approached, she asked to speak with Chaejin privately, claiming that she believed him to be a better candidate for Fire Lord. She asked what he would do about his country's fortunes if he sat the throne, and he responded that he would think of something. Kyoshi then recognized Chaejin as a man interested in power alone, and he managed to see through the Avatar's bluff. He noted that the attack would lead to Zoryu's downfall if it went unanswered, and not even the Avatar could fight history.[1]

After Kyoshi returned to the capital from North Chung-Ling, Chaejin eagerly accepted the Avatar's attempt to arrest him, believing it would only strengthen his claim on the throne. Kyoshi brought him to one of her personal properties outside First Lord's Harbor, informing Chaejin that his mother was inside. Initially, the man believed her to be joking, but saw Huazo on the house's ledge screaming in surprise at her son's presence. Huazo denied the Saowon clan's affiliation with Yun, and Kyoshi continued to threaten her, creating cracks in the cliffside that supported the house with her earthbending, the stone supporting her dropping a foot. Chaejin denied any knowledge of Yun, and growing enraged, Kyoshi held him over Yingyong's saddle, threatening to drop him into the sea. Huazo shrieked for Kyoshi to let go of her son. After being guided away from vengeance by Avatar Kuruk, Kyoshi released both of them, now realizing they truly knew nothing about Yun. She released Chaejin on Huazo's platform, levitating the stone up to the top of the cliffs, and allowing Huazo and Chaejin to flee.[8]

Despite the Saowon's lack of involvement with Yun, Zoryu managed to feign their guilt when a double of Yun confessed to conspiring with the clan. An immediate purge of the clan began in the capital, bringing the war to an end before it had truly started.[3] Zoryu initially wished to execute the entire clan, but was forced into showing them mercy by Kyoshi.[9] Although Zoryu attempted to renege on the promise, Lao Ge's warning made sure that he would spare the Saowon. Chaejin and Huazo remained under house arrest in the capital, as their relatives in Ma'inka could not act militarily without risking their lives.[10]

Physical description

Chaejin was young man with a sharp, clean-shaven chin and a large forehead, bearing a strong resemblance to both Zoryu and Chaeryu. His hair was pulled back tight and he wore gold and black robes cut to resemble royal armor, along with a gold brocade which was the shade used for the Fire Lord and his immediate family. As a member of the Saowon clan, a large stone camellia wrought in gold was emblazoned on the back of his clothes.[6][7]

Personality

Chaejin was a confident and determined person, but also arrogant and selfish, thinking that the throne of the Fire Nation belonged to him instead of Zoryu. He thus put a lot of time and effort into gaining the crown through devious means with the help of his mother, which earned him the nickname "Chaejin the Usurper".[2][6][7]

He was highly intelligent, cunning, and manipulative and was willing to go any extremes in order to achieve his goals, disregarding the lives of those around him as Huazo and him were ready to start a civil war against Zoryu. Chaejin was also charismatic and polite to those he wished to ally himself with, gaining the favor of many members of his younger half-brother's court.[1][6]

In his attempt to overthrow Zoryu, he would indirectly insult him per the signature Saowon technique and humiliate him in front of others as he did when Kyoshi came to the Fire Nation for the first time. Chaejin stole the Fire Lord's right of introduction, neglected his title, and slapped him on the back. To further mock Zoryu and show the inevitability of him becoming the ruler of the Fire Nation, he would also wear gold and black robes cut to resemble his brother's royal armor.[2][6][7]

Although he was set on becoming the ruler of his country, Chaejin had no plans on how to help with the struggles suffered by the food industry, considering that the spirits favored him over Zoryu and that everything would change for the better once he sat on the throne. He was so eager to enhance his image and gain the support of the population as to willingly comply with his abduction by Zoryu's agents.[1][8]

Chaejin loved and cared about his mother as he was desperate when Kyoshi threatened to kill Huazo lest they confess conspiring with Yun. He cried as he was sure he was about to witness her death and asked the Avatar to spare her. In the love between mother and son, Kyoshi saw that they were telling the truth and let them go.[8]

Relatives

As part of the Royal Family

Main article: Fire Nation Royal Family
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Yosor
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Descendants
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Huazo
   
   
Chaeryu
   
   
Sulan
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Chaejin
   
   
Zoryu
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Descendants
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Sozin's father
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Sozin
   
   
   
   
   
   
Roku
   
   
Ta Min
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Azulon
   
   
Ilah
   
   
Rina
   
   
Jinzuk
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Iroh
   
   
Ozai
   
   
   
   
   
   
Ursa
   
   
   
   
   
   
Noren
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Lu Ten
   
   
   
   
Zuko
   
   
Azula
   
   
Kiyi
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Izumi
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Iroh
   
   
Izumi's
daughter[11]

As part of the Saowon

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Grandparent
   
   
   
   
High Sage
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Huazo
   
   
Chaeryu
   
   
Aunt/Uncle
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Chaejin
   
   
   
   
   
   
Koulin
   
   

Appearances

Kyoshi novels

The Shadow of Kyoshi

Trivia

  • Chaejin is the first character in the franchise known to be born outside of wedlock.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Ten, "Aftermath". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twelve, "The Fire Sage". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twenty-One, "Shapes of Life and Death". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  4. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  5. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Nineteen, "The Companion". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Eight, "Ancient History". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Seven, "The Headmistress". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twenty, "The Edge". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  9. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twenty-Two, "Housecleaning". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  10. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Epilogue. The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  11. Joshua Hamilton on the DVD commentary for "The Coronation".
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