Earthbending emblem Earth Kingdom emblem
This article refers to the character from "The Great Divide". For the character in the games, see Jin Wei (games). For the forefather of the Zhang tribe, see Wei Jin.

Jin Wei was the legendary patriarch of the Gan Jin tribe, and one of the two people who allegedly began the historic feud with the Zhang tribe. According to tribal lore, he was an earthbender warrior who, in 0 AG, was assigned the duty of transporting the sacred crystal orb from the great eastern gate to the great western gate for the tribe's ancient redemption ritual. He is portrayed as either a heroic warrior or an ungrateful wimp, depending on which tribe's story is being told.[2] It is possible that Jin Wei was a fictional figure: The Gan Jin-Zhang feud began long before he allegedly lived,[3] and almost all details of his life are disputed.[1]



It is unclear at which point the feud between the Gan Jin and Zhang truly started. The two tribes were already hostile toward each other by the early 3rd century BG,[3] three hundred years before Jin Wei was believed to have lived.[2]

Gan Jin version

The Gan Jins have believed for one hundred years that during the process of this ritual when Jin Wei was approaching the western post of their tribe with the sacred orb, a man from the Zhang tribe, called Wei Jin, knocked him out and stole the orb. According to legend, this event started the tribal feud between the Zhang and the Gan Jin.[1]

Zhang version

Wei Jin helps Jin Wei

Wei Jin attempted to assist Jin Wei in the Zhang version of the story.

The Zhang thought for a hundred years that Wei Jin was traveling the country when he stumbled upon a man of the Gan Jin tribe. The Zhang stated that he tried to tend to the man's wounds, but Jin Wei insisted he finish the ritual and carry the orb to the West post instead of caring for him. As believed, Wei Jin did what he said, but as he approached the western post, he was arrested by other Gan Jin warriors for stealing the orb and sentenced to twenty years in prison without being thanked for his selfless deeds as the Zhang stated.[1]

Aang's version

Avatar Aang, upon hearing the names of the two tribes' ancestors, revealed that he knew them and that they were twins. He recounted the true events of the supposed incident, explaining that when they were eight, they played a game called "Redemption". Jin Wei was running with the ball when he fell, so Wei Jin picked it up and started running to the other end of the field. However, he stepped out of bounds and was put in the penalty box for two minutes. Finally, the tribes made up and continued their journey to Ba Sing Se, the Earth Kingdom capital, together, followed by the canyon guide. Aang later revealed to Sokka and Katara that the story was completely fictional.[1]


Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book One: Water (水)


  • Both Jin Wei and Wei Jin's names comprise of exactly the same words in a different order.
  • Jin Wei's eye and hair color changed in both of the stories. In the Gan Jin's story, he had black eyes and black hair, while in the Zhang's story, he had amber eyes and brown hair.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 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 (link). No longer updated, encyclopedia now broken though archived here.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Nine, "The Ambush". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.

See also

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