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This article is about the location. For the episode, see "The Great Divide".

The Great Divide, or simply the Divide, is a large canyon located in the rocky regions of the central Earth Kingdom and the largest canyon in the world.[2] In some cases, such as those of the Zhang and Gan Jin tribes, the divide served as a link between refugee towns and the Earth Kingdom capital city of Ba Sing Se.


There are several competing theories on how the Great Divide was formed. Many locals believe that the canyon was formed by earth spirits who, having not received their sacrificial offerings from nearby farmers, became enraged;[3] others have theorized that its formation can be explained scientifically, saying the canyon was simply the result of millions of years of erosion.[2]

On their journey to the Northern Water Tribe, Avatar Aang and his companions crossed the Great Divide in the company of two feuding tribes, the Zhang and the Gan Jin, along with a knowledgeable canyon guide. The party became temporarily trapped when a canyon crawler attack resulted in the guide's arms being broken. However, a plan formulated by Aang allowed them to escape the gorge.[1]


‎Crossing the Great Divide takes approximately a full day with the presence of an expert guide. Although having a typically arid climate, the canyon is home to various insects and omnivorous arachnoid creatures, the most notorious being the canyon crawlers. These creatures possess a superior sense of smell and will attack passersby if they are carrying food. The single way down the canyon is by a narrow path along the sheer cliff wall. The canyon itself is wrought with missing sections of wall and spontaneous avalanches. Therefore, the aid of an earthbending guide, who is familiar with the secrets of the canyon and able to reconstruct or deconstruct sections of the trail, is necessary when crossing this massive gorge. The canyon guide also makes the habit of destroying paths after crossing to deter possible thieves or Fire Nation soldiers, should they attempt to cross the canyon.[1]

Canyon guide station

The canyon guide station is a dilapidated shack where the canyon guide resides. This is the last stop for visitors before descending into the Great Divide. It is also the last place to discard any food to avoid attracting canyon crawlers.[4]

Notable figures


  • The Great Divide bears resemblance to the Grand Canyon, located in northern Arizona in the United States.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (May 20, 2005). "The Great Divide". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Location: The Great Divide.
  3. The Lost Scrolls: Earth, page 128 of The Lost Scrolls Collection.
  4. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Location: Canyon Guide Station.

See also