- This article is about the conqueror, Chin the Great. For other similar uses, see Chin (disambiguation).
|"A horrible tyrant, Chin was expanding his army to all corners of the continent. When they came to the neck of the peninsula where we lived, he demanded our immediate surrender. I warned him that I would not sit passively while he took our home. But he did not back down."|
|— Avatar Kyoshi to the people of Chin Village.|
Chin the Conqueror, known in Chin Village as "Chin the Great" or "Emperor Chin", was an earthbending warlord who aimed to overthrow the 46th Earth King and launched a largely successful conquest of the Earth Kingdom. An extremely stubborn and proud man, Chin fell to his death when he refused to back down as Avatar Kyoshi separated her village from the mainland and formed Kyoshi Island.
Early life and conquest of the Earth Kingdom
Prior to beginning his revolt, Chin served as village leader.[nb 1] During his early life, the Earth Kingdom was destabilized by the Yellow Neck uprising and the rise of large-scale banditry by daofei groups, which climaxed in 296 BG with the murder of the country's de facto regent Jianzhu and much of the western Earth Kingdom's elite. With the perennial insurgent activities in the nation and the growing unpopularity of the 46th Earth King, Chin launched a rebellion in the northwestern Earth Kingdom. He steadily expanded to all corners of the continent, successfully conquering all settled areas except for Ba Sing Se and Yokoya peninsula, the home of Avatar Kyoshi.
Final duel and death
In 270 BG, Chin and his army approached Yokoya, determined to conquer it by any means necessary. Upon being opposed by Avatar Kyoshi, he demanded the immediate surrender of her and the inhabitants of the neck of the peninsula. Although she warned him that she would not sit passively while he took her home, Chin disregarded her threat and assumed an offensive position at the mouth of the peninsula, as his stubborn nature did not allow him to accept failure. Kyoshi answered his bravado by stripping him of all his clothes save for his underwear with her airbending, though Chin remained unfazed and held his position. Even when Kyoshi entered the Avatar State and split Yokoya from the mainland, effectively creating Kyoshi Island, Chin held his position at the newly formed cliff. As the landmass parted with the mainland, however, the ground on which he stood became unstable and began to crumble. Although he had sufficient time to move back to safety, Chin stubbornly refused to take a few steps back and eventually fell to his death when the cliff collapsed beneath him.
Chin's conquest occurred around the time of the Peasant Uprising in Ba Sing Se, reflecting massive unrest in the Earth Kingdom at least somewhat attributable to dissatisfaction with the 46th Earth King's rule. The power of the Earth King began to decline, a development that ultimately made both the Conspiracy of Ba Sing Se as well as the successes of the Fire Nation during the Hundred Year War possible.
After his death, a village of his followers was named Chin Village in his honor. He remained immortalized in the village as a great hero over 370 years following his death and a statue in his likeness was erected, which was destroyed by the Rough Rhinos in 100 AG.
Chin was a highly controversial leader, as even 370 years after his death, there was still considerable debate regarding his righteousness and heroism. While those who opposed his actions refer to him as a "horrible tyrant", advocates of his conquest idolize him as a "glorious leader".
Chin's actions were often cruel and evocative, reflected by one instance in which he killed an emissary with his earthbending merely to demonstrate his power. Nevertheless, he was able to amass an army that numbered in the thousands. Chin's hubris helped him occupy most of the Earth Kingdom mainland, but effectively led to his demise. His overconfidence in facing Avatar Kyoshi by himself and unwillingness to back down following defeat led him to fall off an unstable cliff after Kyoshi separated her peninsula from the continent.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Book Two: Earth (土)
- 205. "Avatar Day" (flashback, no lines)
Book Three: Fire (火)
- 319. "Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters" (flashback, no lines)
- The Chinese characters carved on the lower part of the statue in ancient Seal Script read Qin Shi Huangdi ( ), the first Emperor of China whose reign was characterized by expansion of the Chinese state.
, which means "Emperor Chin". His name bears a strong resemblance to
- In Mandarin Chinese, the "Q" in "Qin" is pronounced like the English sound "Ch", which explains why Chin is spelled with a "Ch" instead of "Q". This spelling is also more similar to the name according to the older Wade–Giles form of Chinese romanization, which would be "Ch'in".
- Additionally, Chin shares some traits with Xiang Yu, the powerful warlord who overthrew the Qin Dynasty. Known for his brutality and cruelty, Xiang Yu is regarded as "the Conqueror" in Chinese culture and is considered to have eventually been defeated due to his lack of humility and excess of pride.
- The design of Chin's armor resembles that of Song and Ming Dynasty armors, commonly worn by generals and commanders. His hat, called a Tong Tian Guan, is often worn by the highest-ranking military officer.
- Some people believed that Chin sought to conquer the Earth Kingdom simply to compensate for his short stature, a phenomenon known as the Napoleon complex.
- Napoleon and Chin both hailed from territories located in the periphery of their eventual empires.
- Including Tui's death in "The Siege of the North, Part 2" and Aang's fatal injury sustained in "The Crossroads of Destiny", Chin was the third of eight characters to have been observed dying or being murdered in the original series. In chronological order, the others were Tui, Yue, Jet, Aang, Roku, Fang, and Combustion Man.
- According to Avatar Kyoshi, Chin's death brought "a great era of peace".
- ↑ According to the older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, Chin served as leader of the village which later became known as Chin Village. This is impossible, however, as the village is located where Chin died, and the area in question was shown to be free of any buildings at the time of his death. It is possibly though unconfirmed that Chin served as mayor of Qinchao Village, a town that was mostly inhabited by the Chin clan and might be related to the later Chin Village.