Avatar: What Is the So-Called Night of Silenced Sages?

Avatar: What Is the So-Called Night of Silenced Sages?
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Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the popular Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series is finally here, and we on Fiction Horizon are going to be covering the series, explaining all the changes from the original animated series, as well as some crucial story elements that you might be wondering about, even if they’re not directly related to the live-action Season 1. This article will be dedicated to a tragic event from the past, an event that history remembers as the Night of Silenced Sages. An important moment from the history of the Earth Kingdom, the Night of Silenced Sages will be explained in detail in this article, and you will find out everything you need to know.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • The history of the Earth Kingdom was marked by a tragic event that took place around 66 BG. The event is known as the Night of the Silenced Sages in the history of the Avatar lore.
  • The Night of Silenced Sages actually refers to a mass purge of the Earth Sages, which was executed by the then-king Jialun and the Dai Lin.
  • The reason for this purge was the Sages’ public criticism of Jialun’s rule and his decisions; most of them were massacred, while the few surviving ones chose to comply and became Grand Lecturers.

The Earth Sages were an influential group, but they made a mistake… as it seems

The story of the Earth Sages goes back a long time, and in this section, before advancing to the main event, we are going to give you a short overview of their story. Namely, the Earth Sages are an important part of the lore, and since this event has not been depicted in the main series but rather in the Core Book of the Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game, we think that some explanations are necessary.

So, the Earth Kingdom has had the order of the Earth Sages for a very long time. But, in the distant past, they were an influential yet corrupt order, which is why the people did not really trust them. In an event known as the poisoning of the Earth Sages, the Sages tried to kill Jianzhu, the guardian of the then-Avatar Kiyoshi but ended up being poisoned themselves, as Jianzhu saw through their plan. Soon after, Kiyoshi was revealed as the new Avatar, and with the Sages weakened, there was a lot of space to reform them.

Along with the then-Earth King, Kiyoshi drafted a new constitution and the reformed Sages stood by his side, supporting the constitution. Because of that, the people began trusting them more and more. But, at one point, Kiyoshi died, and so did his ally, the King; and while the Sages remained loyal to the original constitution and Kiyoshi’s ideals, the new king – Jialun – did not. At one point, he began changing the constitution and straying away from Kiyoshi’s ideals, which is why the Sages criticized him publicly and opposed the changes. And this was their so-called mistake.

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The Night of Silenced Sages refers to the mass purge of the Earth Sages

As a reaction to the Sages’ criticisms, Jialun decided to punish them, as he was a tyrannical ruler. One night, he and the Dai Li, the secret police of the Earth Kingdom, raided the temples of the Sages and rounded them up in one place. This was their punishment for openly criticizing Jialun’s rule. Most of them were, as you might expect, killed, while those few that actually survived chose to comply with Jialun. On top of that, all the temples were closed off and the people of the Earth Kingdom soon learned that they’d better keep silent about the “silenced Sages.”

The then-Avatar, Roku, couldn’t help them because he was still a young man and did not have the skill to oppose Jialun, so the massacre went unpunished. Soon, after some time passed, the surviving Sages were retitled as Grand Lecturers, a new position, and their temples were reopened as Royal Learning Halls. The Halls were heavily monitored, as were the Lecturers, as Jialun wanted to retain control over them.

Of course, as you might assume, the surviving Sages wouldn’t take this lightly, so a strong(er) opposition group was formed that began working in the shadows. They preserved the knowledge and the ideals of the “silenced Sages” and developed a strong disdain for Jialun, gathering those with an identical mindset around them and forming a small but intriguing opposition force. And this is the story of the silenced Sages of the Earth Kingdom, which – thus – comes to an end.

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