|"You know well the cost of war. I ask you to exchange one life for many."|
|— General How urging Aang to kill Zuko in order to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.|
How was a top general, the leader of the Council of Five, and a longtime veteran of the Hundred Year War. Essentially being the supreme officer of the Earth Kingdom military and the primary military adviser of the Earth King, How's primary duty was to guard the Outer Wall of Ba Sing Se. However, he was also involved with the Earth Kingdom's war effort outside the wall, providing resources, troops, and intelligence to the generals located in other bases throughout the Earth Kingdom. A man of honor and courage, General How was proud to serve his kingdom in their war against the Fire Nation. Like the rest of the Council of Five, How was completely loyal to the Earth King.
A conflicted loyalist
As a loyal general to the 52nd Earth King, Kuei, and the Earth Kingdom itself, he was conflicted about the fact that the Hundred Year War remained a secret from the Earth King, but How, along with the other council members, was forced to obey Long Feng and the might of his Dai Li. The Grand Secretariat of Ba Sing Se, however, was not interested in winning the war or using Ba Sing Se's resources to aid the Earth Kingdom Army outside the wall.
Nevertheless, How did not succumb to resignation because of this, but instead tried his best to help the Earth Kingdom Army in fighting the war.
Fall of the Earth Kingdom
After Long Feng's conspiracy in the city was revealed to the Earth King, How and his men searched Long Feng's office. They retrieved several documents, including a military report revealing the location of the Southern Water Tribe's forces, a scroll from the Guru Pathik, and a letter claiming to be from Toph's mother. Shortly afterward, How and the other council members were making preparations for the invasion of the Fire Nation during the solar eclipse to end the war in favor of the Earth Kingdom. They used the knowledge Team Avatar had gathered to devise an invasion plan. How finally revealed the plan to Katara, who acted as the representative of the absent Avatar, and declared that the invasion would spell the demise of the Fire Nation. What How did not know at the time was that the Fire Nation recently found out about the invasion plan. The Fire Nation Princess Azula and her elite team, disguised as Kyoshi Warriors, had infiltrated Ba Sing Se and allied with the Dai Li to overthrow the Earth King. During the Coup of Ba Sing Se, How and the other council members were captured by Dai Li agents using metal chains to manacle the powerful earthbenders. Soon after, Ba Sing Se fell and was conquered by the Fire Nation Army.
Enforcing the Harmony Restoration Movement
After the liberation of Ba Sing Se, How was released from prison and reinstated as leader of the Earth Kingdom Army. A year after the end of the War, General How was ordered by Earth King Kuei to lead troops to the Fire Nation colony of Yu Dao in order to carry out the Harmony Restoration Movement by force.
At Yu Dao, he reclaimed the Fire Nation colony for the Earth Kingdom. When the Fire Nation troops arrived, How tried to persuade Aang to end Fire Lord Zuko's life, stating that an army with no leader was like a dragon with no head. This way, the Fire Nation troops would have been forced to surrender, preventing the death of many soldiers. However, Aang was reluctant to kill his own friend, and when Toph's metalbending made all the wheels of the Fire Nation tanks come off, How humorously stated that the analogous dragon now had no legs.
Determined to use that advantage, the general ordered his troops to arrest the Fire Nation colonials while the Fire Nation troops were in disarray. However, the forces of the Fire Lord quickly reorganized themselves and an open battle ensued. During the fight, How was able to break through to the two leaders of the Yu Dao Resistance, Kori Morishita and Sneers. He tried to tell the rebels that if they surrendered peacefully, they would be treated with mercy. Kori refused and attacked him, causing How to tell his soldiers to arrest her, but they were subsequently interrupted by Zuko's firebending. The Fire Lord demanded the withdrawal of the Earth Kingdom troops. Unmoved, How declared that Zuko stood on Earth Kingdom soil where his words had no authority. The general and the Fire Lord began fiercely fighting each other until Aang earthbent the ground between them, leading the two to be separated and Zuko to fall into a crevice; despite having been opponents mere seconds before, How shouted after a falling Zuko in concern. After Aang saved the Fire Lord from falling to his death and convinced Kuei to end his military campaign, How returned with the Earth King and his army to the capital.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Book Two: Earth (土)
Graphic novel trilogies
- The Promise trilogy
- How is always seen with a xiao guan, a headpiece used on someone's top-knot. This form of adornment was commonly worn among Chinese nobility.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Part Three (September 26, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ 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 - Character: General How.
- ↑ O'Bryan, John (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (November 17, 2006). "The Earth King". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & DiMartino, Michael Dante (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Crossroads of Destiny". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Part Two (May 30, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.