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 "Harsh words won’t solve problems; action will."

The Eleventh episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and widely regarded to be the show's weakest. In it, the gang come across a giant canyon, the titular Great Divide. For most people, its near-impossible to cross, and they need a intelligent Earth Bending guide who knows the area- but they're not everyone. On the back of Appa, they should easily be able to fly across.

However, just as they are about to leave, two groups of refugees shows up; one perfectly manicured and dressed in white, they other dressed in dirty brown rags. They learn that these tribes, the Gan Jin and Zhang respectively, have been fighting for centuries, and refuse to travel with each other. However, there is only one guide across the canyon; but they cannot afford to wait, not with the Fire Nation army at their heels. Because of this, Aang opts for them to travel on foot as peacekeepers, so that both groups of refugees can make it through. To do so, they empty their sacks of food (as it can attract predators) and set off on their journey.

However, the animosity between the two tribes continues, and is only increased when the guide breaks an arm. Furthermore, Katara and Sokka, who were already fighting in a normal brother/sister spat, now begin to take sides. Finally they split up, Sokka traveling with the Zhang, Katara with the Gan Jin; Aang travels in the middle with Appa, trying to watch over both. That night, both tribes tell their stories for why there is such bad blood between them. Both centers around the story of Gin Wei who attempted to complete the sacred ritual of carrying the sacred orb. In the Gan Jin version, Gin Wei, the tribe's ancestor was attacked by Wei Gin, the founder of the Zhang tribe, who stole the orb and destroyed the ritual. However, the Zhang version of the story say that Gin Wei was found passed out, and that Wei Jin tried to help by carrying the orb back and to find a healer among Gin Wei's people; however, once there, he was arrested as a thief.

Both Sokka and Katara are shocked by the stories, and that the other tribe could be so low. That doesn't stop them anxious when the leaders of each tribe take out a supply of food, since that was expressly forbidden by the guide. However, each tribe leader explains that they knew the other tribe would immediately assume that they'd bring in food, and so bring some anyway- and since they shouldn't starve while the other has food, they could therefore bring some too. Besides, its not like they'll actually be attacked, right?

Which of course means the very next day they are stormed by giant bug monsters.

Aang fights them off using his bending, before finally berating everyone for bringing food with them- were they completely insane?!? If they're going to get out of the canyon, they need to work together. Eventually they do manage to travel to the other side, though the animosity was far from extinguished, since each tribe still harbours bitter feelings for the injusticices done to their ansectors.

But wait- Aang knew Gin Wei and Wei Gin, being one-hundred years old and all. He explains the true story; that they were actually brothers, and only young ones at that. Very young; we're talking toddlers here. And the Redemption Ritual was just a game. They've literally been fighting over nothing! With this realisation, they Zhang and Gang Jin join together, becoming a single tribe.

Katara and Sokka also realise how stupid they've been, and reconcile. But they can't help but be amazed that it just so happened that Aang knew the true stories of the brothers. Truth is- he didn't! He just made the 'real' story up so they would stop fighting.

Tropes:

 Actor!Aang: Look, it's the Great Divide -- the biggest canyon in the Earth Kingdom!

beat

Actor!Sokka: Eh... let's keep flying.

  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Lying is fine, as long as its for a realllly good reason.
  • Idiot Plot: What part about "no food" don't the two tribes understand?
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Canyon Crawlers are a mix between spiders and crocodiles
  • Plot Parallel: Between Sokka and Katara regarding their stance on the tribes and their war.
  • Rashomon Style: The history of the clans.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: The Zhang as the slobs, and the Gan Jin as the snobs. Their names actually reflect this, as Zhang means dirty in Mandarin, and Gan Jin means clean.
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