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This article is about the Earth Kingdom monarch. For the woman who worked as a fortuneteller in Makapu Village, see Wu (fortuneteller). For other uses referring to the position, see Earth King (disambiguation).
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Wu of the Hou-Ting dynasty[3] is the 54th and current sovereign of the Earth Kingdom. Great-nephew of the late Earth Queen Hou-Ting and great-grandson of Earth King Kuei, he was forced to leave the Earth Kingdom due to its instability and sought refuge in Republic City, where he was later crowned in 174 AG.[4] His authority was denounced by Kuvira and her supporters, however, after the former declared herself leader of the newly established "Earth Empire", which prevented him from returning to Ba Sing Se and assuming his role as king.[5] Following the conclusion of the attack on Republic City by Kuvira, Wu resolved to abolish the monarchy in favor of independent states with democratically elected governments akin to the United Republic of Nations.[1]


Life in Republic City

At the time of Earth Queen Hou-Ting's assassination, Prince Wu resided in Republic City, attending Republic City University for several years after being sent away from the Earth Kingdom by his relatives.[2] Upon his great-aunt's demise, he was set to be crowned as the next king of the Earth Kingdom, though his coronation was postponed due to his nation's descent into chaos and he had to remain in the United Republic capital to ensure his safety.[4] While residing there, he was kept under constant surveillance by Mako, whom he personally chose as his bodyguard after seeing his accomplishments in the newspapers.[2]

Much to his annoyance, Wu's flirting with Asami was interrupted by Mako, who told him President Raiko wished to speak to him.

In 174 AG, the prince attended the grand reopening of Republic City's Central City Station, where he listened to President Raiko's speech and posed for a picture when the president mentioned him. He proceeded to watch Asami Sato, who had been a driving force behind the modernization of the station, cut the ribbon. After the ceremony, the prince approached the Sato heiress and complimented her on the station, requesting to be given a personal tour someday. Although Asami dismissed his advances by quipping that she liked the idea of sending him away on a train, Wu laughed her comment away and proceeded to introduce himself as the future king of the Earth Kingdom and referred to himself as "super human" because of that status. He asked her out to a night in town, though before Asami could answer him, he was interrupted by Mako, who told him that President Raiko needed to talk to him in regards to his future position. Sighing about having to deal with politics, he waved a kiss in Asami's direction and asked her to think about his offer while he retreated toward the president.

When Wu heard from Tenzin that the United Forces would escort him back to the Earth Kingdom after his coronation, the prince asked the airbending master, President Raiko, and Chief Lin Beifong whether the Earth Kingdom was really safe enough for him to return, recalling the fate that befell his great-aunt, Queen Hou-Ting. Although the trio tried to reassure him, he was not convinced by their statements in regards to a "nearly" stabilized kingdom, "mostly" dispersed bandits, and an "almost" zero chance of him being assassinated.

As the heir to the Earth Kingdom throne, Prince Wu often dressed in high-class attire.

Wu retreated to his hotel, where he changed clothes before leaving his suite to pamper himself with a spa treatment that would last a minimum of four hours. He excitedly gushed about the treatment to Mako when his bodyguard asked incredulously what the prince could be having done that took that amount of time. As they neared the exit of the hotel, Wu noticed a gathered group of people and assumed them to be his fans in town for his coronation. He proudly strutted out onto the red carpet and posed for the people, even letting his picture be taken with two female fans. However, Mako quickly snatched him up and shoved them into the waiting Satomobile when Kuvira supporters began hurling a barrage of pies at the prince.

After dramatically proclaiming he was suffocating due to an allergic reaction to ingesting strawberries, Wu was pleased to have been told that he was only allergic to bee stings.

In the car, Wu saw that his abdomen was covered in a red substance and assumed that he had been severely wounded, beginning to writhe in pain. Mako informed him, however, that it was merely strawberry pie, which the prince confirmed by tasting it. Wu continued to sing Mako's praise for having saved him, stating that he would be lost without his bodyguard. He interrupted himself, however, when he realized that he had just tasted some strawberry, to which he claimed to be allergic. He dramatically fell to the floor of the Satomobile while clutching his throat, lamenting that he was having trouble breathing. When an annoyed Mako commented that Wu was allergic to bee stings and not strawberries, the prince stopped his antics and merrily sat down, resting on Mako's knees, and commented that he always got the two mixed up.

At some point during his stay in the city, Wu approached Raiko and asked him to assign Mako over to him as his permanent bodyguard who would accompany him to Ba Sing Se after his coronation, as Wu had claimed that he would not know what to do without him.

Later that night, Wu attended dinner at Air Temple Island, where he had an entertaining conversation about spa treatments with President Raiko and his wife, Buttercup Raiko. When an Air Acolyte announced the arrival of a ship from the Southern Water Tribe, Wu, Mako, Lin, the presidential couple, and Tenzin's family all went to the docks to greet Korra, as she had been scheduled to arrive that day. However, when it became apparent that Korra was not on the ship and had left the South six months prior, Wu looked to his companions in surprise while they all sported looks of worry.[4]


The day before his coronation, Wu and Mako traveled to City Hall, where he excitedly detailed the schedule of the ceremony to Mako, which he predicted would be the most dynamite six-hour show the firebender would have ever seen. Upon being asked about his preparations to rule the kingdom, Wu waved off Mako's question, stating that he would have ministers to deal with that while the two of them would merely "live the life" in the capital. As President Raiko joined their conversation and inquired how Wu was holding up, the prince ran off to scold at a Metalbending Police Force officer for erecting bleachers in the place where he intended to have people perform the "Dance of the Badgermoles". To emphasize his point, Wu promptly started dancing.

Wu was shocked to learn that Kuvira had moved him out of his Presidential Suite at the Republic City Four Elements.

Wu and Mako retired to the hotel, where the world leaders who would attend his coronation began to arrive. Upon spotting Kuvira, Wu approached her and complimented her appearance. Although she did not respond, he continued his attempt to swoon her by saying that he would talk to the hotel staff on her behalf in order to procure an upgrade for her room. When Kuvira dryly stated that she had no need for his help as she was staying in the Presidential Suite, Wu laughed the comment off as he was occupying that room. Being informed by the military leader that he had been moved out, the prince demanded Cam to tell him where all of his belongings were and grew disheartened upon learning that he had been relocated to a junior suite on the seventh floor of the hotel.

The following day, Wu was pacing through the lobby of City Hall, waiting anxiously for the arrival of his royal cabinet who would crown him king. As Gun and two other officials arrived merely ten minutes before the start of the ceremony, he promptly inquired where the rest of his servants and all of the royal relics were. He panicked upon being informed that the crown was among the things looted during the anarchy in the Earth Kingdom, wondering how people would realize he was officially the king without said object. His panic was soon replaced with anger as he realized that his ceremony would not be extravagant and that he was to be crowned by having an earring from the royal jewels be pinned on him as a Royal Brooch. When Gun tried to ease his misgivings about the jewel by showing him how it would look on his vest, he stormed off.

Shocked to hear his authority denounced by Kuvira and the Earth Kingdom replaced with an Earth Empire under her rule, Wu showed off his Royal Brooch as a defense for the legitimacy of his rule.

Despite his earlier resentment, Wu proudly accepted the Royal Brooch as he was crowned "king of all the earth lands and Glorious Defender of Ba Sing Se". In his speech, he thanked his countrymen for having worked hard to stabilize the country, which he deemed to have been done in order to place him, their "beloved leader", back on the throne. In that regard, he called forth Kuvira and bestowed her with the Kyoshi Medal of Freedom for her service to the kingdom. Upon her request, he allowed her to give a speech, noting bitterly that they had six hours to fill anyway. When Kuvira denounced his authority and dissolved the Earth Kingdom, a shocked Wu showed off his brooch to all spectators as a defense for the legitimacy of his rule. As she finished her speech in which she appointed herself as the ruler of the new Earth Empire and received a standing ovation from many of the public, Wu slumped his head, muttering that it was the "worst coronation ever".

Wu retreated with Mako to his junior suite, where he lamented about the loss of his suite and his throne, declaring his royal brooch to be a lie. When Bolin knocked on the door, Wu bitterly ordered Mako to get rid of him as the king recognized the earthbender to be part of Kuvira's army. As Mako exited the room to talk with his brother, Wu hovered near the door, eavesdropping on the siblings' conversation. He was offended to hear Bolin refer to him as a "snotty, rich bozo". Upon his disgruntled bodyguard's reentry, Wu apologized to Mako and offered to cheer him up with a visit to the Little Ba Sing Se Fashion Mall, where he would treat the firebender to a smoothie.

After Wu threw a smoothie at Kuvira supporters, Mako was forced to usher him to safety.

At the mall, Wu was going over his shopping plans with his bodyguard, though cut himself short as he noticed two females wearing a T-shirt with Kuvira's face printed on the front. Offended, he asked them where they had purchased the item, following which he was directed to a small shop selling Kuvira merchandise. Angered, he ran over to the vendor and his customers, yelling that such goods could not be sold in the Little Ba Sing Se Fashion Mall as he was the "Little King" there and they needed to respect that position. Upon being booed at, he threw his smoothie at the customers, prompting Mako to drag him away from the angry mob.

While wearing fake royal artifacts, Wu broke down, labeling himself "a joke who got what he deserved".

The two sought refuge in the Upper Ring of the shopping mall, which Wu declared to be destiny as they arrived at a replica of the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace, which was in reality a restaurant. He excitedly ran inside and made a mad dash for the replica of the throne, shoving people aside. Wu rudely pulled the royal scepter out of the hands of a child that was sitting in the chair and snatched the royal robe away from the child's mother, declaring that the young boy would have a birthday next year to celebrate whereas he would never have another coronation day. Donning the crown and other royal artifacts, the king burst out into tears, declaring it to be the worst day of his life. When Mako told him that it was no wonder that the people favored Kuvira over him, as he, as opposed to her, had yet to do anything beneficial for the people of the kingdom, Wu calmed down and agreed with Mako, labeling himself "a joke who got what he deserved". They were forced to flee again, however, when Mako spotted the angry Kuvira supporters. Wu asked to be carried, though was denied that request.[3]


When Mako met up to have lunch with Korra and Asami, Wu insisted on accompanying his bodyguard and promised to be on his best behavior. Upon meeting the Avatar for the first time, he immediately got rather close to her to introduce himself as the rightful heir to the Earth Kingdom throne and Mako's boss, thereby interrupting his bodyguard's reunion with her. Learning that Mako had told Korra nothing about him, the prince jovially announced that they had so much to talk about then. He led Korra to the booth and ordered their food, entrusting her with the knowledge that he drank a lot of aloe-cucumber water to keep his "princely" skin hydrated. Wu was disappointed when the Avatar shot down his request of letting him see her "eyes glow" by refusing to enter the Avatar State. Moments later, he tried to console Mako when he grew annoyed after learning that Korra had been in contact with Asami during her recovery and not with him.

Wu was knocked out by an anesthetic gas by one of Kuvira's agents.

When tension among the team rose even higher, Wu excused himself from the table to go to the bathroom. As Mako made no movement to follow him, the prince snapped his fingers and urged his bodyguard to action, as he needed him to stand guard. He dejectedly stalked off, however, after Mako snapped at him that he was not going to hold his hand and that the prince should go by himself for once. Entering the bathroom, he smiled friendly at the attendant, who offered him a spritz of cologne to freshen up, and spread his arms to receive a double dose. It turned out to be a trap, however, and as Wu was slipping into unconsciousness, he feebly called out to Mako for help, to no avail. He was placed in a laundry basket and rolled out of the restaurant where a getaway vehicle was awaiting them. High on the anesthetic, Wu rolled out of the bags of laundry once he was in the truck, inadvertently alerting Korra of his whereabouts. Although Team Avatar gave chase, his kidnappers managed to shake them momentarily, utilizing the unguarded moment to transfer Wu into a Satomobile heading toward Central City Station, where he was locking inside a chest and loaded on a train toward Omashu.

Wu was rescued by Mako from his impromptu prison inside a luggage chest.

Wu regained consciousness inside his new confinement and started to stir, once again inadvertently alerting Korra and her friends about his whereabouts. When Mako opened the chest, the prince flailed about, only to be calmed by his bodyguard. Dazed, he asked where he was and if he was dead, though was told he was merely on a train. When Kuvira's agents closed in on them, Wu refused to ascend to the train's roof as Korra requested, though was forcefully blown on there with her airbending. After he landed on his face, he was helped up by Mako, who dragged him along and threw him toward Korra when they needed to jump from one wagon to the next. Being held erect helplessly by Korra while Team Avatar fought to protect him, Wu was pulled along by the Avatar, who created an air sphere around everyone to enable them all to make a safe landing after jumping from the speeding train and down a bridge.

Wu wanted to join in on Team Avatar's group hug, though was forcefully held back by Korra.

When Mako pulled him to his feet, inquiring if he was all right, Wu promptly hugged him, thanking him profusely and stating Mako was in for a raise. Being told that Korra was the reason they had found him, the prince bowed for her and offered to take her out on a night on the town to repay her. As she skeptically asked about his timing, he hopefully wondered if that was a "maybe", though was promptly corrected that it meant she would never go out with him. He stood by as Team Avatar reconciled their differences and warmly embraced each other. When he wanted to join in on the hug, however, Wu was pushed back by Korra with a hand to his face. Undeterred, he placed his hands on Mako's shoulders, as that was all that he could reach, and noted that they were the best friends a guy could have.

When Korra inquired what they were going to do with him, Wu readily agreed with her statement that it was too dangerous to take him back to the Four Elements and added that he needed a "cushy safe house". He was subsequently taken to the Sato estate, which he initially mistook for being Mako's. When he was introduced to Yin, Wu knelt before the old woman and bestowed her with a kiss on the hand, stating it to be an honor. As the elder fainted, Wu thanked Mako for looking out for him by bringing him to a luxurious place with people who adored royalty, before leaving their company to use the facilities.[5]

Learning about Mako's past

Realizing that he did not know anything about Mako, Wu ordered his bodyguard to sit down and tell him all about him.

Wu acknowledged later on that he needed to learn how to defend himself and took Mako up on his offer to be "toughened up". After assuming a poor defensive stance, allowing Mako to deliver an easy punch to his stomach, the prince sagged down, crying "Wu down". Yin quickly rushed to his aid and cradled him, asking Wu if he would like a cherry-berry lemonade, an offer he gladly accepted, requesting some sticky dumplings to eat as well. He was berated by Mako for his order, however, as the firebender deemed him to be so weak that "Wu down" was his catchphrase. Sitting up, he readily agreed with the statement, though explained that it was not his fault as he was born that way. Emphasizing his statement, he made a comparison with Mako, stating that they were vastly different since he was not "raised in the woods by a pack of cops". When Mako noted that the prince did not know anything about him, Wu realized to his surprise that he indeed did not know anything about his bodyguard. He started asking Mako some personal questions and, upon learning that he had once dated the Avatar, promptly turned their self-defense class into a gab session.

Intending to become a better king, Wu agreed to receive self-defense lessons from Mako, though he was easily knocked down each time.

Mako began to tell his life story, though Wu immediately interrupted him, impressed by Mako's former career as a pro-bender. He chided his bodyguard for his treatment of Korra the first time he met the Avatar, though was reprimanded himself for being rude by interrupting the story. As Mako relayed how he and Korra grew closer, Wu guessed that the two "smooched" real good after a while, though was amused to learn that Mako was stumped for words when he first saw Asami. He jabbed good-heartedly at the firebender that he needed to work on his introductions, though was rebutted that someone with charm like Mako's did not need introductions. Wu sympathized with Korra when Mako shot her down and cheered when they kissed, though noted that Asami could not be happy with that situation. He was confused over Mako's breakup with Asami, deeming it to be ambiguous, and expressed his hope that Mako had been more clear about his feelings with Korra. Learning of the way Mako had broken up with Korra, he cheerfully noted that it truly had been a breakup indeed. When Mako came to the part where Asami kissed him after her warehouse had been robbed clean, Wu corrected his bodyguard, who believed the prince thought that he had no right kissing Asami, and stated that he was perfectly fine with him kissing the Sato heiress, since he was not dating anyone at that time. Wu grew indignant, however, when he learned that Mako had not told an amnesic Korra that they were no longer together and that he had rekindled his relationship with Asami. As Tu pointed out that Mako seemed so afraid to disappoint anyone that he ended up disappointing everyone, Wu readily agreed with that statement and high-fived his bodyguard's cousin. When Mako said that he needed to figure out who he was without a lady in his life, Wu sympathized with that statement, bragging that he had a hard time keeping the women away from him. As Mako ended his story, Wu stood up, commenting that it had been amazing, taking away from it that he really did not know Mako and that women were complicated. Due to that realization, he was inspired to just focus on bettering himself as a king, urging Mako to resume their sparring match, bragging that he could take the attack. He dramatically fell down, however, after one light punch from the firebender, crying his signature "Wu down" catchphrase.[6]

Diplomatic meeting

Wu proposed eccentric ideas to stop Kuvira, though found his ideas quickly shot down by the other world leaders, making him feel outclassed by their serious demeanor.

Wu later traveled back to Republic City with Mako in order to attend a meeting at City Hall between the world leaders, sans the Water Tribes' representation, about the "Kuvira problem". He agreed with President Raiko that they needed to deal with Kuvira immediately and proposed to do so by luring her to a tropical island that was converted to a prison by telling her that she had won an all-expense-paid vacation. When Tenzin shot the idea down by merely skeptically raising his eyebrow, Wu proposed to march against Kuvira with an army of highly trained badgermoles, though found his idea silently shot down again, this time by Fire Lord Izumi. Disheartened, he quietly asked if Kuvira had any known allergies, though found himself ignored. When the meeting was interrupted by Korra and Opal's arrival, Wu casually greeted the Avatar, explaining that the world leaders had gathered to try to find a solution for the Kuvira problem and that he had told Raiko she should have been invited to participate. Wu looked on in shock when Varrick and Bolin barged in not long after, exclaiming that they had "top secret information" for them.[7]

Wu later attended another meeting with Mako, Raiko, Korra, Tenzin, Varrick, and Asami, during which the latter two presented their plans to manufacture a mecha suit that could fly in any direction as a defensive measure against Kuvira's attack. After Korra suggested she could ask the spirits for help as well, Wu noted that while offensive measures were being taken, they should also start evacuating the city to safeguard the people. Raiko agreed with his suggestion and ordered him to work with the police to coordinate the evacuation. Leaving the presidential office, he was complimented on his actions by Mako, though ruined the moment by stating that he was only playing the role of "man of the people" in order to have a chance at dating Korra. Wu clarified that men only ever did something great to be able to pick up women.[8]

Evacuating Republic City

To everyone's astonishment, Wu's calm demeanor managed to calm the people of Republic City and urge them to evacuate due to Kuvira's imminent attack.

At another meeting with Korra, Raiko, Mako, and Tenzin, Wu announced that they had barely evacuated eighteen families at that moment and casually agreed with a shocked Korra that it could be better. After Zhu Li alerted all the gathered parties that Kuvira intended to attack the city two weeks later, Wu traveled to the police headquarters with Lin and Mako, where the latter used the city's emergency broadcast line to alert all the citizens of the now mandatory evacuation order. When Mako's instructions created a panic among the people, Wu took over and addressed the citizens in a calm and collected manner. He sympathized with their fears by reminiscing about his own in regards to going to the bathroom and motivated everyone to not let themselves be controlled by them. Inspiring the people that they were winners, Wu managed to calm them down and guide them toward the nearest bus, train, or ferry station to evacuate the city in an orderly fashion. As the panicked calls to the police station died down, Wu was complimented for his action by Lin, who noted that he would make a good king after all.

Wu headed down to Central City Station, where he received Pema's help to guide people to board a train in a collected manner. They increased their efforts, however, after it became apparent that Kuvira would arrive a week ahead of schedule.[9]

Singing to two badgermoles, Wu commanded the beasts to tunnel them out of Republic City.

After the full trains left the station, Wu remained behind with the last group of evacuees, waiting for one of the trains to return and pick them up. When the station shook on its foundations as the result of an explosion somewhere in the city, Wu ascended a bench and tried to urge the panicking denizens to settle down, declaring that he could get them all out of there. Before heading out with Tu to get help, he asked Pema if she could handle the "unruly mob" for a while. Being assured that she could, the two made their way to the Republic City Zoo, where Wu sang for two badgermoles, allowing him to command the beasts. Riding atop them, Wu and Tu returned to the station, where the royal announced that since the badgermoles were the best earthbenders around, they could use them to tunnel out of the city.

Wu continued to serenade the badgermoles while they dug their tunnels, though his singing, which varied from songs directly related to their predicament to a thank you song for Yin, became an annoyance to the group of refugees. When they were ambushed by three Earth Empire soldiers with mecha suits, Wu resolutely moved in front of the group of refugees, urging the soldiers to leave the innocent people alone and take him to Kuvira instead, declaring that he had business with her. Despite Tu's plea not to give himself up, Wu remained adamant about his decision, though announced that he would sing one last song. Singing about being respected and having his badgermoles with him, he subtly commanded the beasts to come defend them by crushing the three soldiers and their suits. After they headed his call, the royal affectionately caressed their snouts before mounting one in triumph.[10]

Abolishing the monarchy

Wu announced his plans to abolish the Earth Kingdom monarchy in favor of independent states with democratically elected leaders to Korra and Mako at Varrick and Zhu Li's wedding.

Wu and the others made it through Kuvira's assault on the city safely and he later attended the wedding ceremony of Varrick and Zhu Li at Air Temple Island, where he sat next to Mako. During the ensuing dinner party, he was told by Mako, who was impressed by the attitude he had sported during the evacuation, that he would make a great leader. As the firebender immediately added that said belief did not mean he would help the royal get a date with Korra, Wu waved off the remark, noting that the successful evacuation was its own reward. When Korra approached him, addressing him as king and asking if he was ready to take on his responsibilities at Ba Sing Se, Wu announced that he planned to abolish the monarchy in order to establish independent states with a democratically elected government akin to the United Republic. Although Mako and Korra were initially surprised, they praised him for reaching such a wise and mature decision. As Korra pledged her support, Wu thanked her and announced that he looked forward to be working with her before leaving for the dance floor.[1]

In the next months, Wu traveled throughout the Earth Kingdom, and met the heads of the country's constituent states with whom he discussed the end of the monarchy, and the implementation of democracy. Though some states remained opposed to his plans, a first election was scheduled to take place in the State of Gaoling. The other states were supposed to follow Gaoling's lead, resulting in the peaceful democratization and dissolution of the entire Earth Kingdom in about one year. After some time, Wu was informed that a holdout of Earth Empire loyalists under Commander Guan remained under arms in Gaoling state. Though they had so far refrained from resuming hostilities, they posed a threat to any peaceful democratization attempts. To the king's dismay, the Earth Kingdom military remained far too weak to forcibly deal with the issue.

Unsettled by the reporters' questions, Wu started to sing during the press conference, confusing the onlookers.

The king subsequently returned to Republic City, where he had to hold a press conference in front of the new City Hall about the progress of his plans. Shortly before the event's start, he met with Team Avatar and Zhu Li, whom he gratulated on being elected as President of the United Republic. Nervous about the conference, he initially attempted to convince Mako to hold his speech, but the firebender refused. Mako instead told the king to just "be yourself", temporarily boosting Wu's confidence. His initial speech consequently went well, and Wu informed the reporters and crowd of interested citizens about the planned elections and their timetable. Thereafter, Wu was asked various critical questions by the press. Unsure how to answer, the unsettled king remembered Mako's advice, and thus began to sing in response. He declared the questions absurd, and reaffirmed his decision to step down while throwing his crown into the crowd. This left the onlookers mostly confused. After finishing his song Wu fainted, forcing Zhu Li to take over and hold the rest of the press conference on her own.

Later that day, Wu attended Kuvira's trial, regarding her with hostility. After the proceedings' end, he invited Team Avatar into Zhu Li's bureau, where he asked his friends to accompany him to Gaoling town for the upcoming elections. When Mako immediately rebuffed him in the belief that Wu wanted them just for show, the king told Team Avatar about the Earth Empire holdout which refused to surrender. Following a short discussion, Korra and her friends agreed to help Wu, greatly improving his mood and causing him to invite Mako for a smoothie.

Wu discussed with Team Avatar and Zhu Li whether they should allow Kuvira to talk to Guan to solve the Gaoling crisis peacefully.

The situation changed once again when Wu and Zhu Li were informed that Guan and his loyalists had begun marching on Gaoling town. They promptly called in an emergency meeting with Team Avatar, though Wu insisted that it had to take place in a sauna as he desperately needed his morning steam bath. When all were present, the king exclaimed that "democracy is doomed" in case Guan took control of Gaoling. The group began discussing possible solution, with Wu affirming that a peaceful solution was necessary. Korra proposed that they could temporarily release Kuvira so that she could try to convince Guan to surrender. Everyone was initially opposed to the idea, recounting how the ex-Earth Empire leader had hurt them and their dearest. Wu was the last to voice his opposition, stating with outrage that she had ruined his coronation. The king quickly released how petty his grievance was compared to the others, and excused himself. Despite the initial objections, the group eventually decided to agree to the plan.

King Wu and Avatar Korra discussed that the only candidates for the Gaoling elections were Ling and Bak who represented the Earth Kingdom's old order.

Wu consequently boarded the Future Industries airship along with Team Avatar and a small escort of Royal Earthbender Guards, and picked up Kuvira from her prison before traveling to Gaoling. The Earth King regarded the ex-Earth Empire leader with hostility upon meeting her yet again, though refrained from saying anything. When the airship arrived at its destination, Wu noted that he only saw Gaoling's mayor Rhee and the magistrates Ling and Bak, and no sign of Guan's forces yet. Following a greeting by local officials, the King and Korra were led to Gaoling's City Hall to check on the preparations for the upcoming elections. Initially exuberant because all seemed to be in order, Wu's enthusiasm was dashed when he was informed that Ling and Bak were the only candidates. After saying saying goodbye to Rhee and the other officials, Wu discussed the situation with Korra, expressing his disappointment that neither Ling nor Bak would make any political reforms possible. As result, he feared that the entire election was rendered effectively meaningless.

Just as Wu and the Avatar wanted to leave the City Hall, they heard the noise of tanks and marching troops. Guan and his followers had arrived. At first Wu let Korra talk to Guan, and then witnessed the arrival of Kuvira with the rest of Team Avatar. When the situation escalated, Wu was shocked as Kuvira attempted to force Guan into surrender by choking him and threatening him with death.

Wu was outraged about Guan's candidacy, and dismayed when Mayor Rhee informed him that the Earth Empire loyalist was allowed to enter the election.

After the ex-Earth Empire leader was incapacitated, Wu expressed wary confusion as Guan claimed that he had no intention of stopping the elections and instead wanted to become a candidate himself. As the commander handed his documents to Mayor Rhee, Wu stated his outrage and opposition, only to be told that there was nothing keeping Guan from participating in an open election, and even his paperwork appeared to be properly done. Horrified at the implications, Wu and Team Avatar subsequently returned to the airship where they discussed their options. The Earth King rejected Mako's proposal to cancel the vote, as it would suggest that the elections would not be free and fair if he attempted to use his authority to prevent certain candidates from participating. Instead, he enthusiastically supported Korra's idea to convince Toph Beifong to also enter the election in hopes of preventing Guan's victory.[11]

Wu was berated by a vision of his great aunt, Queen Hou-Ting, in the Foggy Swamp.

Wu declined a royal escort to the Foggy Bottom Swamp, preferring to have them focus on guarding Kuvira and trusting Korra to guide him safely to Toph. In the swamp, Wu had a vision of his aunt Hou-Ting who mocked him for his failures as a king, and told him that stability was more important to the Earth Kingdom than democracy. When Wu and Korra reached Toph's cave, they found her initially unwilling to run for governor. However, Wu and Korra used his vision to convince her to change and step outside of her comfort zone.

Wu and Korra returned to Gaoling with Toph and watched her officially enter the election as a candidate. However, they soon caught wind of the effects of Doctor Sheng's brainwashing. The three confronted Kuvira outside the city, where she explained her capture by Guan's forces and Mako, Bolin and Asami's brainwashing. Toph confirmed that Kuvira was telling the truth, and Wu recounted the similarities to the Dai Li's brainwashing under Long Feng. Wu planned to return to Gaoling and cancel the elections before Guan could win; however, Korra and Kuvira convinced him to return to Zaofu first to avoid capture in Gaoling.

Suyin Beifong arrived on the scene to help the four, but they were soon attacked by Guan's army. Though Korra managed to take Asami with her on Suyin's airship, Wu was located by his brainwashed guards and subsequently brainwashed at the reeducation camp.[12]

A brainwashed Wu told Mayor Rhee that the elections would take place immediately.

A brainwashed Wu arrived at Gaoling City Hall with his guards, telling Mayor Rhee that he wanted a word about the election. The mayor enthusiastically accepted his request, informing him that the citizens of Gaoling would cast their votes in less than a week. Wu monotonously rebuffed that there had been a change of plans, and decreed that the election would take place that day. Rhee queried this, raising that the voters would not even know to show up, but Wu informed him that they were already there, pointing to a mass of citizens holding signs in support of Guan. The king told him that he decided that the move to democracy could not wait any longer for the good of the kingdom, and issued his royal decree to the mayor. Rhee requested a few days to inform the other precincts about the change in the interest of fairness, but Wu angrily asked how the mayor could dare to defy his king, causing the mayor to apologize and begin to let the voters in. As a direct result of Wu's order, Guan won the election in a landslide.

After Kuvira managed to force Guan to surrender, Wu was taken to a tent along with Mako and Bolin where Korra read aloud commands to free them from their brainwashing. The king warmly embraced Mako after the brainwashing was undone, relieved that his brain was back.

Wu gathered in city hall with Mayor Rhee, Korra and Kuvira as citizens gathered to have their brainwashing undone. The mayor approached the king, asking him if they should plan to go ahead with the election as originally scheduled, considering everything that had happened.

Wu reiterated to the Earth Kingdom his plans on continuing to move toward a democracy.

Wu gave a speech outside city hall, accepting responsibility for what had happened by pressing ahead with the election despite the objections. He stated that he had reconsidered the Earth Kingdom's plan to move toward democracy, with each state coming up with its own timetable for elections according to the wishes of its citizens. Noting that the United Republic took decades to elect its first president, he declared that expecting the Earth Kingdom to become a democracy overnight was unrealistic, but reiterated his commitment to transforming the kingdom so the government represented everyone. He added that until that time came, he would serve as king, and be the strong, compassionate leader they deserved.

As the audience applauded his speech, Toph approached him, asking if she was off the hook. Wu confirmed that she was for now, but hoped she would consider running for governor when Gaoling held its election. Toph told him not to get his hopes up, declaring she had had enough of political shenanigans and that she preferred the swamp, as predators there were at least honest about wanting to eat someone.[13]


Accustomed to getting his way, Wu sometimes exhibits little regard for the feelings of others. Although he loves being around others and even tries to sympathize and bond with them, he makes sure that he has something to gain from it as well.[3] Spoiled and somewhat naive, Wu thinks the world of himself. Talkative and materialistic, his conversation topics usually revolve around himself or the benefits of being royalty. As such, his main motivation for involving himself in world matters was to attract women, though later discovered that doing good for others can be its own reward. Loving attention, he can also overreact to situations, naturally drawing attention to himself.[4] Despite this, Wu is accepting of his mistakes and their consequences when pointed out to him.[3] After his decision to transform the Earth Kingdom into a democracy, Wu became more involved and decisive in state affairs though was still prone to insecurity and self-doubt.[11] While he still has moments of shallow vanity, he is steaily learning more about what it means to govern. After trying to rush the process of turning the Earth Kingdom into a democracy, Wu understands that his people need tim to adjust and that patience is a necessary part of leadership.[14]

Despite his casualness, Wu can keep a level head when needed, as demonstrated when he calmed the panicking citizens of Republic City after Mako had confused and scared them with his evacuation instructions.[9] In addition, he learned to overcome most of his fears, as he hardly flinched when Earth Empire soldiers threatened him and the other evacuees and readily offered himself to save the others.[10]


Wu is a natural talker, having no qualms about public speaking; as such, he is able to calm large crowds and inspire people.[9] He is also a quick and creative thinker, as evidenced when he subtly ordered his badgermoles to attack the three Earth Empire mecha suits that compromised the escape of the Republic City evacuees.[10]


Main article: Hou-Ting dynasty

46th Earth King
51st Earth King


The Legend of Korra

Book Four: Balance (平衡)

Graphic novels

Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game


  • Wu is allergic to bee stings.
  • Wu's plan to abdicate the throne makes him the second known royal in the Avatar franchise to voluntarily give up the position; the other was Fire Lord Zuko.
  • Despite being crowned king, many people, including himself, frequently referred to him as "prince" after Kuvira usurped power over the Earth Kingdom.
Preceded by
Kuvira (as Interim President of the Earth Kingdom)
Earth King
174 AG
Succeeded by
Plans to abolish the position


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Zwyer, Melchior (director). (December 19, 2014). "The Last Stand". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 13. Nick.com.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Hedrick, Tim & Hamilton, Joshua (March 10, 2015). "After All These Years" commentary. Book Four: Balance Blu-ray.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Zwyer, Melchior (director). (October 17, 2014). "The Coronation". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 3. Nick.com.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (October 3, 2014). "After All These Years". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 1. Nick.com.
  5. 5.0 5.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (November 14, 2014). "Reunion". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 7. Nick.com.
  6. Hamilton, Joshua, Mattila, Katie, and Hedrick, Tim (writer) & DiMartino, Michael Dante (director). (November 21, 2014). "Remembrances". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 8. Nick.com.
  7. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (November 28, 2014). "Beyond the Wilds". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 9. Nick.com.
  8. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Zwyer, Melchior (director). (December 5, 2014). "Operation Beifong". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 10. Nick.com.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (December 12, 2014). "Kuvira's Gambit". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 11. Nick.com.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (December 19, 2014). "Day of the Colossus". The Legend of Korra. Book Four: Balance. Episode 12. Nick.com.
  11. 11.0 11.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Wong, Michelle (artist), Ng, Killian (colorist). Ruins of the Empire Part One (May 21, 2019), Dark Horse Comics.
  12. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Wong, Michelle (artist), Ng, Killian (colorist). Ruins of the Empire Part Two (November 12, 2019), Dark Horse Comics.
  13. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Wong, Michelle (artist), Ng, Killian (colorist). Ruins of the Empire Part Three (February 25, 2020), Dark Horse Comics.
  14. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 86.