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Kyoshi was the Earth Kingdom-born Avatar immediately succeeding Avatar Kuruk of the Northern Water Tribe, and preceding Avatar Roku of the Fire Nation. She died at the age of 230, making her the oldest confirmed human.[6] Kyoshi was a tall woman, towering over most people, and also possessed the largest feet of any Avatar.[7] Kyoshi was born to two criminals: Jesa, a renegade Air Nomad nun, and Hark, a thief from an impoverished family of Earth Kingdom actors. She inherited her later signature outfit from her parents, adopting her mother’s golden metal fans and her father's face paint.

Kyoshi had a difficult early life. Abandoned by her parents, she barely survived as homeless orphan until being rescued by Kelsang who became her de facto adoptive father. She was also not recognized as Avatar until early adulthood, and was forced to become a fugitive afterward. These experiences greatly shaped her world view and approach to her role as Avatar. Unlike her successors, Roku and Aang, Kyoshi was determined that only true justice could bring peace and had no qualms about killing enemies to achieve this goal. Employing these methods, she was a generally effective Avatar. However, some of her actions also caused long-term problems for the Earth Kingdom; while ushering the world into a 233-year-long era of peace, the death of Chin the Conqueror and her foundation of the Dai Li would lead to the decline, corruption, and fall of her home country. Because of this, Kyoshi later came to deeply regret the creation of the Dai Li.[8]

Kyoshi was also the founder of the Kyoshi Warriors of Kyoshi Island who adopted her traditional weapons, manner of dress, and style of fighting.[9]

History

Early life

Kyoshi was born in the year 312 BG[3] somewhere in the Earth Kingdom. Her exact birth place was unknown even to her.[10] At the time of her birth, the country was destabilized by the Yellow Neck uprising and marauding bandit groups known as daofei.[11] One of the most powerful crime networks, the "Flying Opera Company", was led by Kyoshi's parents, Jesa and Hark. Her parenthood was unusual, as her mother Jesa was a renegade Air Nomad nun, whereas her father Hark descended from a distinguished but impoverished line of Earth Kingdom actors.[10][12] Following Kyoshi's birth, her parents opted to lay low and mostly refrained from participating in criminal activities. Along with their daughter, they travelled all across the Earth Kingdom in a wagon, never staying at one place for a long time.[10]

When Kyoshi was five or six, however, her parents decided to leave her in the care of a villager at Yokoya,[10] an impoverished community of farmers and fishers located on a peninsula at the Whaletail Strait in the southwestern Earth Kingdom.[11] They left her a chest with Jesa's signature metal fans as well as a journal which contained information about the daofei and their customs. When her parents had departed, the villager immediately renegaded on the deal, casting Kyoshi out onto the streets.[10] As they were mostly poor themselves, the people of Yokoya had little sympathy for her, and would have left her to die of hunger.[2] Homeless and reduced to starvation, Kyoshi survived by eating garbage, making her even more of an outcast among the Yokoyans.[12] Kyoshi later blamed her parents for her misfortune, and came to hate them as well as all criminals in general.[10] Nevertheless, she grew extraordinarily tall, and was already taller than many teenagers at age seven.[11]

By chance, however, Yokoya was visited by Jianzhu and Kelsang in 305 BG. The Two masters had been travelling the Earth Kingdom for seven years to find the Avatar. They presented the children of Yokoya with a test which included toys which had belonged to past Air Nomad Avatars, but all failed. Kyoshi spied on the event, and Kelsang invited her to pick the toys despite Jianzhu's objection that she was probably too old to be the Avatar. Though mistrustful, she took a clay turtle which had belonged to a past Avatar. When Kelsang told her that she could take three more toys to confirm whether she was the Avatar, Kyoshi believed this to be a lie or trick. She was not used to kindness, and inherently regarded promises of fortune as dangerous. As a result, the young girl fled with the clay turtle instead of partaking in the test. The two masters let her go,[11] and went on to falsely identify an Earth Kingdom boy named Yun as the Avatar.[2]

Having realized that none of the Yokoyans were helping Kyoshi, Kelsang sook out her hiding place in the village and took her into his care. Used to being mistreated, the young girl was initially reluctant to trust the Air Nomad monk. When she understood that he was honest, Kyoshi was overwhelmed by the Air Nomad's kindness, and came to see him as her adoptive father.[13] Kelsang always provided for Kyoshi when he was in Yokoya, but often had to leave the village for long periods of time, during which he provided money to various farming families to look after her until he returned.[4] Once, he returned to find she had lost weight and had not been taken care of properly. After this, he promised Kyoshi would never leave her for such a long period of time again, which is when he got Jianzhu to grant her a position of work in the Avatar's mansion that was being built to accommodate Yun's trainers and entourage. While the construction of the Avatar Mansion was still ongoing, Kyoshi met Rangi, a firebender who had been appointed Yun's bodyguard. Rangi soon started to regularly yell at Kyoshi and order her around. After a few weeks, Kyoshi realized that the firebender expressed some emotions in a particular way; yelling at people meant that she liked them. The two subsequently became good friends.[2]

As result of Kyoshi's desire for organization and cleanliness, the staff eventually decided that her talents would best be put to use cleaning up after Yun as his servant, as he tended to leave quite a mess wherever he went.[14] She also would help out in the kitchen and sort through gifts sent to the Avatar from time to time.[4][14] Enjoying her life at the mansion, Kyoshi fully adopted it as her home. Though she always remained somewhat apart from the rest of the staff due to her background and friendship with Rangi (who treated the other servants with open disdain),[4] Kyoshi cared for the other staff members and had a good working relationship with several of them.[4][15][16] Despite her greatly improved livelihood and overall situation, Kyoshi continued to face occasional harassment by local youngsters, most prominently by Aoma, daughter of Yokoya's village captain. Aoma and her companions were jealous of Kyoshi's comparably safe and good life as well as her proximity to the Avatar despite being an orphan and outsider, while they had to toil on their parents' fields and fishing boats. Despite this, Kyoshi preferred to adhere to neutral jing and endure the bullying rather than strike back, although she was physically strong enough to do so. She also held almost no grudges against the Yokoyans who ill-treated her as a child and teenager. Once, when Rangi plotted to aid her in getting revenge on Aoma, Kyoshi even cautioned against it.[2] Her rejection of violence included the use of her own earthbending abilities. She was only able to bend very large pieces of earth without any precision; regarding these abilities as useless for her servant job, Kyoshi rejected Kelsang's urgings to get training and generally refained from using her bending at all.

Over time, Yun, Rangi, and Kyoshi grew increasingly close. The presumed Avatar and the servant girl in particular spent much time together. One of Kyoshi's duties would be to help Yun sort through the many gifts sent to him by officials and sages from around the Earth Kingdom.[14] One night while sorting the gifts, Yun had his head placed in her lap and they were joking around. The two of them nearly kissed but stopped themselves before it happened, believing that a relationship would be impossible due to their different social stations and duties. Neither of them mentioned this incident again but whenever Yun saw fire lilies he would look back and forth between them and Kyoshi until she smiled and blushed.[15]

One day in 296 BG when Kyoshi and Kelsang were helping out in the kitchens, Kelsang got the rest of the workers reciting improvised poetry to the tune of a sailor's song. Kyoshi decided to take a turn and just started saying whatever first came to her mind. After she finished Kelsang demanded to know where she had learned the song, but she insisted that she just made it up.[4] Kelsang took her out of the kitchens so that no one would hear them and revealed to Kyoshi that the words she had improvised were the exact words of a love poem the previous Avatar Kuruk had written years ago. This caused Kelsang to question whether or not Yun actually was the Avatar as he still wasn't able to bend any elements other than his native element of earth. While Kyoshi hadn't shown any indication of being able to bend any element other than earth, and she didn't even have many skills with that, Kelsang also knew that she had chosen one of the Avatar relics from amongst the toys when she was younger. Kelsang and Kyoshi decided to keep this revelation to themselves as they didn't want to invalidate Yun as the Avatar right when a treaty was about to be signed with the ruthless band of pirates known as the Fifth Nation led by Tagaka.[17]

When Yun was leaving to sign the treaty, he asked Kyoshi to join him and she agreed. When he set out for the South Pole, Kyoshi became apart of his party.[18]

Confrontation with Tagaka and identification as Avatar

At some point, their group confronted the Fifth Nation pirate queen and slaver Tagaka whose large fleet ravaged the Earth Kingdom's coastline and had recently taken some citizens hostage. Yun was captured and his group scattered in an ambush on the sea, leaving Kyoshi to confront Tagaka. The situation seemed hopeless, as Kyoshi had no apparent access to earth to battle the pirate queen and her followers. Tagaka offered Kyoshi to join her, but she angrily refused and managed to lift parts of the seafloor to destroy much of Tagaka's fleet in a surprising, Avatar-powered feat of bending. This action marked the turning point of the battle, as Yun's other companions rallied and launched a counter-attack against the remaining pirate forces.[19] Despite having saved her allies and friends, Kyoshi's impressive display of bending casted doubts on her identity as regular earthbender. Many were left injured after this incident, including Kelsang and Kyoshi herself.

With the identity of the Avatar being called into question, Jianzhu relieves Kyoshi of her duties as a servant in order to evaluate her bending abilities. After an unsuccessful attempt to get her to firebend with Hei-Ran, the firebending master in charge of training Yun, he decides to go to extremes in order to correctly identify the true Avatar. Jianzhu takes Kyoshi and Yun to a remote village without any people. Initially, Kyoshi and Yun think he intends to trigger the Avatar State, but he tells them he merely wants them to meditate and commune with a suffering spirit. However, when they meditate in preparation of meeting the spirit, Jianzhu lights incense that is actually poison. The poison renders Kyoshi and Yun mostly immobile, but Kyoshi is able to open her eyes and see what is happening. She finds Jianzhu speaking with a spirit he calls "Father Glowworm." He asks the spirit to tell him which of the children is the Avatar. The spirit requires blood from each of them to tell. When the spirit reaches for Kyoshi, Yun regains control of his body and pushes her away because neither of them wanted the spirit to attack them. Despite their efforts, the spirit takes blood from them and declares Kyoshi the Avatar. Jianzhu severs the attachment the spirit still has on Kyoshi and drags her away, leaving Yun behind. The spirit is angered and takes Yun into a cave as payment for the attack. Jianzhu seals the cave, trapping both the spirit and Yun. Kyoshi screams in anguish over losing her friend, and fire comes out of her mouth. This is the first time she bends any element other than earth. Kyoshi tries to fight with Jianzhu but he overpowers her and forces her into submission, earthbending a gag that nearly causes Kyoshi to suffocate before he removes it. Kelsang appears, having flown to where they were despite his painful injuries from the encounter with Tagaka. When he finds out what happens he and Jianzhu fight. Kelsang tells him he is so longer fit to serve the Avatar and says he will take Kyoshi away from him. This angers Jianzhu and he declares that there is nowhere he can hide her from him. Kelsang urges Kyoshi to run before he attacks Jianzhu. Jianzhu, however, ends the fight quickly by killing Kelsang, prompting Kyoshi to enter the Avatar State for the first time. Kyoshi destroys the small village, but not before Jianzhu hid beneath the ground. Before he can re-emerge, Kyoshi flees back to the Avatar estate.

After arriving at the estate, Kyoshi is met with Rangi waiting for her at the door, wondering where she has been. Kyoshi tells her what happened and that she has to leave. Kyoshi hastily packs her few things, including a chest and journal her parents left with her when they left her in Yokoya, and the clay turtle she picked from the toys used to determine the Avatar years ago. She breaks the chest open and finds metal war fans, a matching headdress, and a set of makeup, which later attribute to her iconic look as the Avatar. She goes to make her escape on Kelsang's flying bison Pengpeng, where she finds Rangi packing the bison with supplies she hadn't thought to pack such as food and blankets. Rangi leaves with her, telling Kyoshi that she "won't last an hour without help." [18]

Fleeing from Jianzhu and Avatar training

The two travelled into the chaotic, and lawless inner provinces of the Earth Kingdom. There, they found unexpected allies in the daofei outlaws, joining a bandit group that was founded by her parents. She takes an oath to the group, swearing to remain loyal to them and living by their code and against the law. Having realized that she was the Avatar, Kyoshi attempted to train in secret while Jianzhu searched for her to bring her back. She also wished to train so that she can bring Jianzhu to justice by exacting revenge on him for killing Kelsang and Yun, whom she feels guilty about for taking away his Avatar identity, feeling he would have done a better job than her. To achieve this, she asked a member of the group Lao Ge, whom she has figured out is an infamous assassin, to train her to kill someone.

While the bandit group, which used the code name Flying Opera Company, is in a secret daofei village, Rangi surprised Kyoshi and the others by participating in a lei tai, a fight which often ends in death or near-death. She challenged the champion to a fight with no bending. She does well until one unfortunate blow that knocks her out, Kyoshi felt helpless as she watched her friend attacked by a man who nearly killed his last opponent. However, Rangi suddenly reached out and breaks the man's leg, establishing herself as the new champion. Later in the night, Kyoshi confronted Rangi about taking such a risk and making her feel helpless. Rangi got angry at her and told Kyoshi that she had been doing the same thing to her ever since they ran away from Yokoya. She revealed that she had only entered the lei tai so that Kyoshi would feel that same helplessness. They acknowledged that they won't be able to stop taking risks now that they were on the run. Kyoshi also revealed that she wanted to kill Jianzhu not only to bring him to justice but because she was scared and didn't know what else to do. Rangi told Kyoshi that although the Avatar can be reborn, Kyoshi can't and that she deserves happiness; that she deserves to feel loved, not afraid. Kyoshi tells her she does feel loved before kissing her. Kyoshi was afraid when Rangi pushed her away, only to feel relieved when Rangi told her to kiss somewhere else because that part of her face had been injured in the fight earlier in the night.

Kyoshi and Rangi agree to keep her Avatar identity a secret from the bandit group, but when a shirshutracks them down, the group knows she must be important, so she reveals her identity. The group believes she will leave them as they believe the Avatar shouldn't associate with criminals like them, however, Kyoshi surprises everyone by staying with them. The members then take it upon themselves to train her in various bending. The members Wong and Lek train her in earthbending, Kirima trains her in waterbending, and Rangi trains her in firebending. Lao Ge teaches her what it takes to kill someone, but Kyoshi battles with herself over if she should resort to such methods. She lacks an airbending teacher, but Rangi teaches her some airbender techniques in hopes that she will be able to airbend on her own.

The bandit group is called in on a job by another group they are indebted to, the Autumn Bloom, another bandit group that rose to power after the fall of the Yellow Necks. The group is called to free a prisoner from the house of an Earth Kingdom governor named Te. By helping them, they would be free of their debt to the Autumn Bloom. Lao Ge tells Kyoshi she should help him kill Governor Te as practice for when she kills Jianzhu. While Kyoshi and the group plan their mission, Kyoshi worries about Mok, the Autumn Bloom leader, taking more lives than necessary. She devises a plan with Kirima and Rangi that will minimize deaths but also achieve their goals. Although they have all kept Kyoshi's secret of being the Avatar, they make a plan that revolves around her bending water as well as earth. The rest of the group goes to save the prisoner while Lao Ge and Kyoshi break off to find Governor Te who turns out to be a 15-year-old. Kyoshi, instead of killing him, blasts Lao Ge with airbending and flees with Governor Te, sending him away to save his life, despite the fact that he saw her bend two elements. [18] Kyoshi and Lao Ge return to the rest of the group to find that they successfully freed the prisoner. They return him to Mok and the Autumn Blooms only to find out that the prisoner was Xu Ping An, the thought-dead leader of the Yellow Necks. The Autumn Blooms promptly revealed that they had been the remnants of the Yellow Necks the entire time, functioning under a false name to avoid detection. With their leader free, the group declared themselves restored.

Duel with Xu Ping An

Kyoshi and her comrades were shocked about this revelation: Xu and his Yellow Neck rebels were infamous because of their fanaticism and the atrocities they had committed during their past rebellion. Though Kyoshi and the other Flying Opera Company members was treated cordially by Xu who appeared thankful for their help, the Avatar immediately recognized that Xu's friendly demeanor thinly veiled an underlying madness. Having absolved themselves of their debt to the Autumn Bloom Society, the friends thus excused themselves and retreated from the Yellow Necks' camp. Afterward, however, discussions erupted about what to do next: On the one side, they did not want an insane mass murderer like Xu to go free, but at the same time they could not defeat him and the rest of his small army in an open battle. Eventually, Kyoshi decided that they should monitor the Yellow Necks before intervening. Just as they had feared, however, Xu immediately ordered his followers to resume their rampage, attacking a nearby civilian family. Fearing for the family's safety, Kyoshi decided on a whim to challenge Xu to a duel per the daofei code of conduct to halt his reign of terror before it could truly begin anew.

Kyoshi shrouded

When Kyoshi killed Xu Ping An, her imposing presence terrified most of the Yellow Necks into fleeing from her.

Though unsure about the strength of Xu, Kyoshi believed that she could beat him in a duel, assuming that he was a regular earthbender due to the Autumn Blooms/Yellow Necks being an Earth Kingdom group. To her shock, Xu struck her with lightning at the start of their fight, incapacitating her in seconds. The young Avatar fell unconscious for a short moment, and Xu continued to fire several more blasts of lightning at her seemingly lifeless body while accusing her of ungratefulness. In truth, Kyoshi awoke, and though in immense pain, was grounding the lightning thanks to the armor under her clothing. After waiting for a few moments, Kyoshi entered the Avatar State, but this time with full control of her powers. Her glowing eyes and the bending of multiple elements terrified both Xu Ping An and his followers, who started to flee the scene. Meanwhile, Kyoshi lifted Xu high into the air, and for a short moment thought about what to do with him. When she realized that his shock had changed into hateful dismay without regret, she realized that he would never change his ways. In response, he let him fall to death, and then returned to the ground. She greeted her anxious friends, assuring them that she was still the same, and before addressing the remaining Yellow Necks. Unlike those who had fled, these bandits and Kang Shen, regarded her with reverence, and only left when she ordered them to. Having done so, her grievous injuries finally resulted her into falling unconscious for three days.

Confrontation with Jianzhu

The Avatar was brought by her comrades to a nearby village where a Earth Kingdom healer and Kirima attended to her; nevertheless, horrible scars remained on her hands due to the burns she had received from Xu's lightning attacks. When Kyoshi eventually awakened, Lek was in her room, and the two talked about their past and Kyoshi's parents. Having fully overcome their past differences, the Avatar was very happy when Lek addressed her as "sister" for the first time. Thereafter, Kyoshi, Lek and Rangi went to buy gloves for the wounded Avatar. On the way to a local leather shop, Kyoshi was annoyed to learn that most locals were terrified of her because some of Xu's followers had spread rumours about her being some kind of demon, and also that she had become the de facto head of the remaining Yellow Necks by killing Xu. To her pleasant surprise, however, the leatherworker had understood that she was the Avatar and saved them from the resurgence of Xu; he thus gifted her a fine pair of military gloves for her burnt hands.

As they went back to the healer's house, the group was ambushed and shot with shirshu poison darts that rendered them motionless. Rangi was dragged away, and to her horror, Kyoshi saw how Lek allergically reacted to the poison, slowing dying without her being unable to do anything. After regaining control, the devastated Avatar took Lek's corpse to the healer's house, informing Wong, Kirima, and Lao-Ge of what had happened. They also found a letter with Rangi's hair attached to it, telling her to meet Jianzhu in the Qinchao village near Yokoya unless she wanted Rangi dead. Full of hatred, Kyoshi swore that she would finally kill the sage once and for all. The group proceeded to bury Lek, before hatching a plan according to which the Avatar would confront Jianzhu while her friends saved Rangi.

Kyoshi met Jianzhu in a stone teahouse in Qinchao, home to the Chin clan. There, the old master threatened to collapse the building on everyone inside if she refused to become his disciple. Disgusted at his methods, Kyoshi told him that he truly honored his nickname among daofei, "Butcher of Zhulu Pass". Amused, Jianzhu finally told her the full story of what had happened at Zhulu Pass, relishing his act of mass murder, and affirming that his methods might be cruel but that they also work. Kyoshi once again rejected him as her teacher, whereupon the angered master begun to earthbend the building down. Kyoshi responded by countering his bending with her own, and the two struggled on equal terms before noticing a new presence in the teahouse. To the horror of both, the presence is a believed-dead Yun. Though externally unchanged, Kyoshi sensed that something was horribly wrong about her old friend, and was shocked when he effortlessly killed Jianzhu before leaving without a word. Kyoshi continued to hold the building up until all civilians got out, and then left the village as the local law enforcement attempted to apprehend her. She made her way to the Avatar estate in Yokoya, meeting Kirima, Wong, and Lao Ge on the road with a rescued Rangi and her sick mother Hei-Ran.

Revealing herself to the world

Kyoshi told the group what had happened and they subsequently decided to part ways, as the Avatar wanted to friends out of harm's way when she revealed her identity to the world. Kirima and Wong opted to lay low, Lao Ge went off on his own, and Rangi and her mother travelled to the Northern Water Tribe for the best chance at healing her mother. Meanwhile, Kyoshi covertly joined a group of pilgrims who were journeying to the Southern Air Temple. There, she revealed herself as the Avatar to the Air Nomads through a displaying of her bending powers. She consequently rested at the air temple, preparing herself for further training. Kyoshi also affirmed her decision to follow the code of the daofei for the rest of the life and pursue her own style of Avatarhood regardless of what posterity would think of her. The Air Nomads consequently began to convey the news from around the Earth Kingdom to her; in this way, she learnt that Jianzhu had bequeathed all his wealth and lands to her in his testament. Amused, she noted how he continue to try to influence her and the world even after his death.[16]

Kyoshi and her warriors

Kyoshi trained the first Kyoshi Warriors to help the women of her adopted homeland to defend themselves as well as their homes.

Eventually, Kyoshi mastered all four elements and the Avatar State, becoming feared and effective while restoring order in the world.[19] She also did not hide her bisexuality, and attempted to effect greater tolerance for non-heterosexual people in the notoriously conservative Earth Kingdom. Nevertheless, these efforts had little impact.[20] Kyoshi eventually returned to Yokoya, fully adopting it as her home. When Kyoshi visited the ports of her homeland peninsula, she constantly had to put carousing men in their place after they caused trouble to the female villagers. Eventually, she decided to train the women in defensive combat so that they could defend themselves. These women later formed the first band of Kyoshi Warriors.[21]

Stopping Chin the Conqueror

Kyoshi and Chin

Avatar Kyoshi confronted Chin the Conqueror and created Kyoshi Island in 270 BG.

During Kyoshi's life, the 46th Earth King's rule was unpopular among the populace of the Earth Kingdom. Using this to his advantage, a warlord named Chin launched a war to conquer the continent. He was successful until he reached the peninsula where Kyoshi lived, finding the Avatar waiting for him. Standing before his army, Chin demanded their immediate surrender, and Kyoshi warned him that she would not sit idly by as he took her home. When he refused to back down and assumed a challenging earthbending stance, she unfurled one of her fans and fired a powerful air blast at him, leaving the humiliated warlord down to his underwear. Kyoshi subsequently entered the Avatar State and separated the peninsula from the mainland by using a combination of earthbending, lavabending, and airbending, forming Kyoshi Island and thereby protecting her homeland from subsequent threats. An indignant Chin was left standing on the edge of the newly-formed cliff, which began to crumble beneath his feet and, as he refused to budge from his unstable position, caused him to fall into the sea and drown. His death ushered the world into a great era of peace.

Because of Kyoshi's act, the people of Chin Village on the mainland founded Avatar Day to vilify Kyoshi, and all succeeding Avatars, for the death of their leader. The people of Kyoshi Island, meanwhile, founded "Kyoshi Day" on the same day as Avatar Day, to honor her creation of the island and the restoration of peace to their village. They also erected a large totem, topped with a statue of Kyoshi in her memory.[7]

History with the 46th Earth King

Kyoshi defeats Earth King's guards

Kyoshi defeated the Earth King's guards upon being attacked by them.

Sometime after her final confrontation with Chin, Kyoshi was summoned to Ba Sing Se upon the request of the Earth King, since his unpopular rule had led to a peasant uprising in the city. By the time Kyoshi reached the city, the peasants had already destroyed everything that represented the "old government", including ancient and valuable artifacts that held historical and cultural importance. The King demanded that she stop the uprising by whatever means necessary. However, Kyoshi staunchly refused, stating that it would not be right for her to do so. Incensed by her defiance, the Earth King ordered his guards to arrest her. However, the King was left cowering on his throne as Kyoshi dispatched his guards with ease and admonished him in turn for daring to defy the Avatar. Held at the point of Kyoshi's war fan, the quivering monarch agreed to a compromise: the Earth King would give the peasants a voice in his ruling, while Kyoshi, in turn, agreed to protect Ba Sing Se's cultural heritage from further desecration. She proceeded to train an elite platoon of earthbenders called the Dai Li, though their subsequent corruption weighed heavily on Kyoshi in her afterlife.[8]

Death

Kyoshi died in the year 82 BG at the age of 230, making her the oldest confirmed Avatar and human in history,[3] though some other individuals were rumored to have lived even longer.[18] Her daughter Koko succeeded her as the leader of Kyoshi Island,[5] and she reincarnated as Fire Nation noble, Roku.

Legacy

Wooden statues of Avatar Kyoshi are erected in every village in Kyoshi Island and in Suki's village, a shrine was dedicated to Kyoshi, which displayed the late Avatar's outfit and war fans.[7] In course of the next centuries, several details of Kyoshi's life faded out of public memory. Most notably, one of her successors, Avatar Aang, falsely believed that she had been born in the area that later became Kyoshi Island.[22]

The Kyoshi Medal of Freedom, regarded as the highest recognition conferred upon exemplary military personnel in the Earth Kingdom,[23] and Kyoshi Bridge in Republic City both share her name.

Appearances in Aang's life

Kyoshi appears

Kyoshi manifested through Aang to inform the inhabitants of Chin Village of her encounter with Chin.

During his trip to Kyoshi Island, Aang observed the statue erected in her honor.[24] She thereafter appeared in a vision as the most recent Earth Kingdom Avatar when Avatar Roku was explaining the nature of the Avatar State to Aang.[25] Kyoshi later manifested herself through Aang to testify in a trial proving the Avatar's innocence, though she confessed to killing Chin while doing so.[7]

When helping Aang to reconnect with her and his other predecessors after being shot down by Azula's lightning, she apologized to him for the wrongful murder charge in Chin Village and explained that after Chin's demise, she helped the world live in balance; she accomplished a lot of good but also made mistakes, one of which being the creation of the Dai Li, as she could never have foreseen how corrupt and cruel they would become. Kyoshi imparted Aang with the wisdom that all their action have consequences, even if they do not manifest in their own lifetime, and sent him to find her predecessor.[8]

Before the arrival of Sozin's Comet, Aang summoned Kyoshi's spirit, seeking advice on how to defeat Phoenix King Ozai without killing him. Kyoshi reminded him that her forceful ending of Chin the Conqueror's war for dominance brought a great era of peace. Aang pointed out that she was not directly responsible for Chin's death, arguing that it was a result of his own arrogance. Kyoshi said she saw no difference in this, and told him that she would have done anything to stop Chin. She left Aang, telling him that only justice would bring peace. Aang regretted consulting Kyoshi on this complex matter after hearing her advice.[1]

While Aang was trying to establish contact with Avatar Yangchen for a solution to the situation with General Old Iron, Kyoshi appeared in a vision which represented Aang's restored connection to his past lives after restoring his link with Roku.[26]

Appearance in Korra's life

Avatars

Kyoshi was present, along with all the other Avatars, as Korra's bending was restored.

Kyoshi, alongside many other past Avatars, appeared to Korra after she had lost her bending to Amon. This appearance was representative of Korra's ability to establish a connection with her spiritual side and for the purpose of having her bending restored.[27]

After Korra had lost her memory, Kyoshi appeared before her, taking over from Avatar Roku, and informed the young Avatar that if she did not reconnect with her Avatar Spirit, darkness would engulf the world and she would die, ending the era of the Avatar.[28]

While Unalaq was attacking Raava, Korra envisioned Kyoshi as part of the Avatar lineup, which she had seen prior to regaining her bending; however, the latter's connection to Korra was severed due to Unalaq's assault on and subsequent destruction of the light spirit.[29]

Abilities

Bending

Kyoshi's fans

Avatar Kyoshi used a pair of fans to enhance her bending.

As the Avatar, Kyoshi was able to bend all four elements and enter the Avatar State at will. Her most spectacular known feat was using the Avatar State to separate her home peninsula from the Earth Kingdom mainland and push it far out to sea to create Kyoshi Island. To do so, she first cut down to the earth's mantle with earth and lavabending to sever the landmasses, followed by airbending to push the island out to sea.[7] This is one of the two known instances in which Kyoshi used the noncontinuous Avatar State, the other being when she levitated two massive badgermole statues.[25]

Other skills

Apart from the elements, Kyoshi was a skilled warrior and well-versed in the art of tessenjutsu, wielding a pair of golden metallic war fans with great skill and dexterity. She was also known to use these weapons to augment her bending, as demonstrated when she separated Kyoshi peninsula from the mainland.[7][8] Kyoshi was exceptionally strong, and able to lift a grown man with one hand as a teenager.[30]

Relatives

Hark
   
   
Jesa
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Kyoshi
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Koko
   
   

Appearances

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book Two: Earth (土)

Escape from the Spirit World

Book Three: Fire (火)

Avatar comics

Other comics

Graphic novel trilogies

The Legend of Korra

Book One: Air (气)

  • 112. "Endgame(vision, no lines)

Book Two: Spirits (神靈)

Book Four: Balance (平衡)

Graphic novel trilogies

Novels

Trivia

  • Despite being an earthbending master, Kyoshi uses fans to generate something similar to airbending, as it was when she formed the Kyoshi Island.
  • On the golden button on the right arm guard of the Kyoshi Warriors and on the fan that the statue of Avatar Kyoshi held to her face is the word 京. On the other fan, the one on her outstretched arm, is the word 士. In Japanese, 京士 is pronounced kyōshi and translated as "capital samurai". However, on the mural in her shrine, her name appeared as 虛子, a proper Japanese name which is pronounced kyoshi, a near-homophone with 京士 but with a shorter 'o' sound.[7]
  • In the episode "The Southern Air Temple", Kyoshi was seen to the right on the painting in the Earth Kingdom's Avatar Temple. However, the statue that preceded Roku's statue in the Southern Air Temple is not Kyoshi's.
    • In a concept piece for the episode, however, an early depiction of Kyoshi does stand after Kuruk.
  • Kyoshi also had the largest feet of any Avatar, and was the largest known Avatar in terms of physicality; when seen confronting Chin the Conqueror in "Avatar Day", and the time she faced the 46th Earth King's guards, she clearly appears several heads taller than them.
  • In a chibi comic, Kyoshi was portrayed as a gym teacher. This can be a reference to the meaning of her name, "teacher", and the fact that she began two different factions of warriors, training them in two different fighting styles.[31]
  • Kyoshi is the first known Avatar to have had descendants. Kyoshi's only known child and daughter, Koko, succeeded her as governor of Kyoshi Island and eventually became famous in her own right, having had children named after her over three hundred years later.[5]
  • Avatar Kyoshi's legacy and work as Avatar has started two groups: the Kyoshi Warriors and the Dai Li, both of which Azula made use of to conquer Ba Sing Se.
  • Kyoshi, Roku, Aang, and Korra are all known to have defied the leaders of their respective nations: Kyoshi, at first, refused to aid the 46th Earth King when he asked her to intervene in the peasant uprising in Ba Sing Se; Roku nearly killed Fire Lord Sozin in an attempt to put a stop to his imperialistic endeavors; Aang did not move to the Eastern Air Temple as he was instructed and instead ran away; and Korra started a civil war against Chief Unalaq.
  • Kyoshi has never been seen without her signature makeup in the shows and comics, though she is described without it in The Rise of Kyoshi.
Opening Kyoshi earthbending

Kyoshi is the earthbender in the opening sequence of The Legend of Korra.

  • Kyoshi is shown as the earthbender in the opening sequence of The Legend of Korra, making her the first person to be seen in the series.
  • Kyoshi was the first Avatar to create a new landmass via her bending when she separated her peninsula from the mainland, creating Kyoshi Island.
  • Kyoshi is the only known person to have been alive for three passings of Sozin's Comet.
  • Kyoshi is rumored to have taken down a shark squid with one hand.[32]
  • Kyoshi is the only known female capable of lavabending.
  • Known to have had romantic relationships with both men and women,[20] Kyoshi is, along with Aiwei,[33] Asami, Korra, Kya and Rangi one of the few known LGBTQ+ individuals in the Avatar universe. She was also the first known LGBTQ+ Avatar, with Korra being the second.[20]
Preceded by
Kuruk
Avatar
312 - 82 BG
Succeeded by
Roku


Preceded by
Position established
Head of the Dai Li
Unknown - before 82 BG
Succeeded by
Unknown, eventually Long Feng


Preceded by
Position established
Governor of Kyoshi Island
Unknown - before 82 BG
Succeeded by
Koko

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Two, "Nine Years Later". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Welcome to Republic City. Nickelodeon (April 6, 2012). Retrieved on April 7, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Four, "Honest Work". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Avatar Extras for "The Warriors of Kyoshi" on Nicktoons Network.
  6. Escape from the Spirit World: Avatar Kyoshi Online Comic Book (fun fact).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 O'Bryan, John (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (April 28, 2006). "Avatar Day". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Escape from the Spirit World: Avatar Kyoshi Online Comic Book.
  9. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated, encyclopedia now broken though archived here.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Fourteen, "The Introduction". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter One, "The Test". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Sixteen, "The Agreement". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  13. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty, "The Avatar's Masters". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Six, "Promises". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Nine, "Desperate Measures". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Thirty-Two, "Hauntings". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  17. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Five, "Revelations". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 The Rise of Kyoshi.
  19. 19.0 19.1 A Budding Badass Finds Her Footing in This Excerpt From Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi. Gizmodo (9 May 2019). Retrieved on May 21, 2019.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Koh, Irene (artist), Nate Piekos; Blambot (letterer), Heather Campbell, Jane Bak (cover). Turf Wars Part One (July 26, 2016), Dark Horse Comics.
  21. Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Hicks, Faith Erin (artist), Peter, Cris (colorist), Heisler, Michael (letterer). "Shells" (May 3, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
  22. Avatar: The Last Airbender: Legacy, p. 29.
  23. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Zwyer, Melchior (director). (October 17, 2014). "The Coronation". The Legend of Korra. Season 2. Episode 16. Nick.com.
  24. Malis, Nick (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 4, 2005). "The Warriors of Kyoshi". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Ehasz, Aaron, Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim, O'Bryan, John (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 17, 2006). "The Avatar State". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  26. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Rift Part Three (November 5, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
  27. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (June 23, 2012). "Endgame". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
  28. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (October 18, 2013). "Beginnings, Part 1". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  29. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (November 22, 2013). "Darkness Falls". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 25. Nickelodeon.
  30. Yee, F.C. (June 22, 2019). Tweet: Countdown to AVATAR #RISEOFKYOSHI 4. Twitter. Retrieved on June 26, 2019.
  31. Wilgus, Alison (writer), Spaulding, Ethan (artist), Dzioba, Wes (colorist), Comicraft (letterer). "Gym Time" (September 18, 2007), Nick Mag Presents: Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  32. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (October 10, 2014). "Korra Alone". The Legend of Korra. Season 2. Episode 15. Nick.com.
  33. LGBT characters. Gayerthanthefourthofjuly on Tumblr (March 22, 2015). Retrieved on March 22, 2015.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Kyoshi

  • Infoboxes for Rise of Kyoshi characters

    16 messages
    • Solo quiero saber como se puede mostrar la infobox del personaje.
    • If you want to display the code for the infobox (that is, what you include in the article), copy the relevant template and paste it with t...
  • Rise of Kyoshi discussion

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    • I am exicted to read rise of Kyoshi but i have a one questions before i am going to buy the book. Is Kyoshi relationship with Rangi like a...
    • Junoqueenofjamaa wrote: I am exicted to read rise of Kyoshi but i have a one questions before i am going to buy the book. Is Kyo...
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