128px-Padlock-olive.svg Water Tribe emblem Earth Kingdom emblem Fire Nation emblem Air Nomads emblem

The World of Avatar is divided into four nations: the Water Tribe, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads. Each nation is culturally unique and associated with one bending technique: waterbending, earthbending, firebending, and airbending, respectively. An even distribution of power among the four nations preserves balance in the world, and a fall or increase in the strength of one nation can engender a disruptive imbalance.

Several factors determine the prosperity of the four nations, such as political balance, economic success, societal order, and spirituality. In recent history, one of the greatest threats to global stability was the Hundred Year War, in which the Fire Nation sought to dominate the other nations using military force. After the end of this conflict, relations between the different countries have significantly improved, and each of the four nations had a representative on the United Republic Council, until the council was abolished in early 171 AG.[2]


Water Tribe

Main article: Water Tribe
Modern Northern Water Tribe capital

The Northern Water Tribe's capital city is maintained within a wall of ice.

The Water Tribe is a sovereignty of waterbenders and nonbenders. There are three tribes: the Northern Water Tribe, centered in the North Pole; the Southern Water Tribe, centered in the South Pole; and the Foggy Swamp Tribe, located in the Earth Kingdom's Foggy Swamp. Both the Northern and Southern Water Tribes are chiefdoms led by a tribal chief. Though the Northern chief was technically the ruler of both tribes, the South maintained control of its own internal affairs[3] before ultimately gaining formal independence in 171 AG.[4] On the other hand, the Foggy Swamp Tribe seemingly lacks formal political structure, with members in several small settlements functioning without a formal chief.

Historically, the Northern Water Tribe has maintained a stronger position than its Southern counterpart, in part due to its large bending population, which largely remained unscathed during the Hundred Year War. In comparison, the Southern Water Tribe was devastated by numerous raids which nearly eliminated the tribe's entire bending population and destroyed its infrastructure. A relief effort led by Master Pakku in 100 AG helped restore the Southern Water Tribe to its former glory, and the settlement has since expanded to encompass a larger portion of the South Pole.

All divisions are occasionally referred to collectively as the Water Tribes. Although the Water Tribes adopted a largely isolationist policy during wartime, it welcomed outsiders following the end of the Hundred Year War. The Water Tribes also became more involved in global affairs, with each of the polar divisions having a representative on the United Republic Council prior to its dissolution.

Earth Kingdom

Main article: Earth Kingdom
Ba Sing Se

Ba Sing Se is the capital of the Earth Kingdom.

The Earth Kingdom is the largest and most diverse of the four nations, comprised of a massive continent in the eastern hemisphere and several islands. The nation's people are strong and proud, with some of them being earthbenders. The Earth Kingdom is extremely diverse, having mountainous, forested, grassland, desert, and man-conquered areas, including the vast megacity of Ba Sing Se.[5] Due to its peoples' bending ability, the people of the Earth Kingdom have created magnificent structures out of stone, such as the city Omashu.

The Earth Kingdom was originally run overall as a monarchy, the capital being Ba Sing Se, though some smaller regions and cities have their own rule, such as Omashu, which had its own king. From 171 to 174 AG, the kingdom went without a monarch following the anarchy in the Earth Kingdom, though the Hou-Ting Dynasty was restored after Kuvira's failed invasion of the United Republic of Nations with the crowning of Wu as king. However, the new king intended to abolish the monarchy in favor of independent states with democratically elected governments, reminiscent of the United Republic of Nations.

Fire Nation

Main article: Fire Nation
Capital harbor

The Fire Nation Capital is home to the Fire Lord and the Fire Nation government.

The Fire Nation is the second largest nation and home to both firebenders and nonbenders alike, though firebenders were sometimes held in higher respect than nonbenders. It is located on an archipelago of islands located in the western hemisphere of the planet and is the most advanced of the four nations, with steam and gas power.[5] It started out with a huge fleet of industrial war ships,[6] and later on adopted the use of airships[7] into its military.

The Fire Nation is also diverse in landscape, featuring many volcanic islands in its archipelago and on the mainland, as well as a tropical climate. It also has the world's most popular vacation spot, Ember Island.[5]

The country is an absolute monarchy and could even be called a dictatorship. In 0 AG, the Hundred Year War was started by Fire Lord Sozin, using his country's advanced technologies.[8] During the Hundred Year War, its people were oppressed and fed propaganda by rulers Sozin, Azulon, and Ozai. However, in 100 AG, the Fire Nation's conquest was ended and a new era of peace began, with Zuko as the new leader.[9]

Air Nomads

Main article: Air Nomads
Southern Air Temple outlook

Before its restoration after the conclusion of the Hundred Year War, the Southern Air Temple remained uninhabited after the decimation of the Air Nomads.

The Air Nomads were the collective of the airbender people. Though the people of this nation were nomadic, the Air Nomads raised children and situated their central governments in four monastic temples located at various ends of the globe, two for males and two for females.[5] The four air temples are located on small archipelagos that were Air Nomad land on the tip of mountains and, in one case, hanging under cliffs.

The Air Nomads were loosely run by elder councils, one male and one female. Each council was run by a head monk or head nun. Their people were extremely spiritual.

In 0 AG, the Fire Nation executed a mass invasion and genocide of the Air Nomads, driving the nation into near extinction save for Avatar Aang, who managed to escape. It is sometimes referred to as the Air Nation in Fire Nation propaganda.[10] Upon its reestablishment in 171 AG, the new airbenders are widely known to be part of the Air Nation.


  1. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (June 2, 2006). "Bitter Work". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 9. Nickelodeon.
  2. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (September 13, 2013). "Rebel Spirit". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  3. The Legend of Korra—The Art of the Animated Series, Book Two: Spirits, page 23.
  4. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (November 22, 2013). "Light in the Dark". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 26. Nickelodeon.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on (link). No longer updated, encyclopedia now broken though archived here.
  6. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 18, 2005). "The Waterbending Master". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  7. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Filoni, Dave (director). (November 4, 2005). "The Northern Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 17. Nickelodeon.
  8. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (October 26, 2007). "The Avatar and the Fire Lord". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
  9. 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.
  10. O'Bryan, John (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (September 28, 2007). "The Headband". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.

See also

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