Earth Kingdom emblem

The State of Gaoling[1] is an autonomous, self-governing territory that controls an large area in the southern Earth Kingdom. Its capital is the town of Gaoling. The state archived de facto independence after 171 AG, and was chose as the first Earth Kingdom territory to hold democratic elections three years later.


Gaoling re-education camp

The Earth Empire re-education camp in the Gaoling state which served as base for Commander Guan.

When Earth Queen Hou-Ting was killed by the Red Lotus in 171 AG, the Earth Kingdom fractured into several independent states, one of which was centered at Gaoling.[1] Sometime before 174 AG, Gaoling was annexed by Kuvira, and became part of her self-declared Earth Empire.[2] She subsequently set up a re-education camp in Gaoling state to carry out experiments, under the supervision of Commander Guan and Doctor Sheng, to rehabilitate unreliable soldiers and turn them into troops fit to serve the Earth Empire.[1] Kuvira surrendered following her failed attempt to annex the United Republic of Nations in 174 AG,[3] and subsequently ordered all of her troops to stand down. Commander Guan refused to lay down arms, and decided to use his forces at Gaoling to eventually restore the Earth Empire. As the Earth Kingdom military remained weak, it was unable to force Guan into compliance. Nevertheless, the Earth Empire loyalists at least refrained from resuming hostilities, allowing Gaoling's former Earth Kingdom Chief Magistrates Ling and Bak to regain power in the state.

Following King Wu's decision to abolish the Earth Kingdom monarchy, Gaoling was selected to be the location of the first elections to appoint new leaders of the Earth Kingdom states. Ling and Bak were the first ones to become candidates for the governorship of Gaoling, representing the old order, while Commander Guan also entered the election as representative of those wishing to restore the Earth Empire.[1]

With fears that Guan would be elected over the uninspiring Ling and Bak, Team Avatar and Wu planned to convince an equally strong personality to run against him. The Avatar and the Earth King returned from the Foggy Bottom Swamp with Toph Beifong, and she officially entered the race as a candidate for governor. However, when the extent of Guan and Doctor Shung's brainwashing was revealed to Korra, Toph and Wu, he planned to cancel the election. Instead, they were confronted by Guan's army outside the city. Asami was captured by Korra and Kuvira, but Wu was kidnapped by Guan and taken back to Doctor Shung for brainwashing.[4]



The eponymous capital of Gaoling state is located in a mountainous valley.[1]

Earth Empire re-education camp

The re-education camp was set up in the mountains close to Gaoling town. Protected by a metal wall, it hosts barracks, laboratories, and training grounds.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Wong, Michelle (artist), Ng, Vivian (colorist). Ruins of the Empire Part One (May 21, 2019), Dark Horse Comics.
  2. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (October 3, 2014). "After All These Years". The Legend of Korra. Season 2. Episode 14.
  3. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Zwyer, Melchior (director). (December 19, 2014). "The Last Stand". The Legend of Korra. Season 2. Episode 26.
  4. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Wong, Michelle (artist), Ng, Killian (colorist). Ruins of the Empire Part Two (November 12, 2019), Dark Horse Comics.
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