|"It was a man of the Gan Jin tribe, Jin Wei, collapsed on the ground. Noble Wei Jin stopped to help him."|
|— The Zhang leader to Sokka.|
Wei Jin was the legendary patriarch of the Zhang tribe and one of two men allegedly involved in what began the great feud between his tribe and the Gan Jin tribe. The Gan Jin believed that Wei Jin attacked Jin Wei and robbed him of their tribe's sacred crystal orb, while the Zhang claimed that Wei Jin had been heroically returning the orb for a fallen Jin Wei. Upon crossing the border into Gan Jin territory, the former, according to the Zhang viewpoint, was arrested. It is possible that Wei Jin was a fictional figure: The Gan Jin-Zhang feud began long before he allegedly lived, and almost all details of his life are disputed.
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, three hundred years before Wei Jin was believed to have lived.
The Zhang believed Wei Jin to be a noble and selfless man. According to their tribe's legend, Wei Jin was leaving the western gate of his village when he saw a man of the Gan Jin tribe, Jin Wei, collapsed on the ground, so Wei Jin stopped to assist him. Jin Wei had been transporting a sacred orb, a powerful relic used in his tribe's Redemption ritual. Wei Jin tried to tend to the man's wounds, but Jin Wei insisted that the orb was more important and asked him to take it back to his tribe. The former promised to send help for the man as soon as he could, but as Wei Jin crossed the border into Gan Jin territory to return the orb, he was apprehended. The Gan Jins sentenced him to twenty years in prison.
Gan Jin version
The Gan Jin saw Wei Jin as a greedy coward, who was envious of their sacred orb. Their lore stated that during the process of their ancient ritual, Wei Jin knocked the Gan Jin's patriarch, Jin Wei, to the ground as he was approaching the western post of their tribe and stole the sacred orb.
Aang, upon hearing the names of the two tribes' ancestors, revealed that he knew them and that they were twins. He claimed 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. It was this version that encouraged the tribes to reconcile, and they continued their journey to Ba Sing Se, the Earth Kingdom capital, together, followed by the canyon guide.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Book One: Water (水)
- 111. "The Great Divide" (flashback, no lines)
- Wei Jin ( ) translates to "take gold", referring to how he allegedly took the sacred orb.
- Wei Jin's eye color differed depending on the version being told. In the Zhang's, his eyes were orange; in the Gan Jin's, his eyes were brown.
- O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (May 20, 2005). "The Great Divide". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
- Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Nine, "The Ambush". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: The Zhang Tribe.