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The Order of the White Lotus is an ancient secret society that transcends the boundaries of the four nations, seeking philosophy, beauty and truth. They are devoted to the sharing of ancient knowledge across national and political divides.
Formed centuries ago by the wisest scholars from all over the world, the Order began as a club where these ancient masters could challenge one another on the Pai Sho table. They derived their name from the White Lotus tile used in Pai Sho, a key element in their strategy. They communicate membership through the game by placing Pai Sho tiles on the board in a specific manner that identifies themselves to other members of the society - a bloomed Lotus bud with the Lotus chip in the center.
Iroh, a lover of Pai Sho, is a Grand Master and the Grand Lotus of the order and has always said, "Pai Sho is more than just a game." Sokka's sword master, Piandao, is an important member of this order, as his parting gift to Sokka is the White Lotus tile. Also, the hilt of Sokka's sword has the sign of the White Lotus, another sign that Piandao is a member. On the doors of his house there is also a giant White Lotus sign.
Master Pakku, King Bumi and Jeong Jeong are also revealed to be members in "Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters, although none have shown the symbols of the Order, or even of knowing each other during the episodes of the show, though Bumi comically tells Sokka that 'all old people know each other.' Other members are also visible in the Order's campsite.
There is a possibility that Monk Gyatso, Aang's Airbending mentor, was a member of the Order of the White Lotus. In the episode "The Storm," he is shown playing Pai Sho and using the White Lotus tile.
It is possible that Sokka has been recruited in the Order of the White Lotus after "Sokka's Master." When Sokka and the others are leaving Piandao's home the butler comes out to give Sokka a White Lotus tile, a gift from Piandao. No confirmation of this was shown in the finale. As the Order consists of mostly great masters of their arts, Piandao's prediction that Sokka would become a sword master in his own right someday thanks to his creativity and ingeniuity ("Sokka's Master") might well earn him a place in the Order later in life.
The Order plays a relatively minor role until the final episodes, when its members finally unite to win back Ba Sing Se. Some members, such as Iroh and Jeong Jeong, tapped into the power of Sozin's Comet, to increase their powers, during the liberation. They also helped Toph, Sokka, and Suki arrive at Ozai's Airship Base in time, by lending them an Eel Hound.
During the liberation of Ba Sing Se, it is shown that the Order has a uniform, which consists of an indigo-colored outfit with white details, an indigo-colored cape and a Lotus patterned adorn around the shoulders. They also have a flag, showing a white lotus. Iroh the Grand Master/Lotus, also seems to have more to his outfit, with indigo-colored armor, and a robe under all of this, which is based off of the white lotus flower.
Known Members Edit
Unconfirmed Members Edit
- The Order of the White Lotus could be a reference to the White Rose, a non-violent resistance group during the Third Reich in Nazi Germany but considering that this Anime features such heavy Asian influences, the White Lotus in Avatar, based on Occam's Razor, could simply be the group in China known as the White Lotus Society which began in the Late Thirteenth Century and was instrumental in various rebellions thorough out the centuries.
- The Order of the White Lotus's initials are OWL. The owl is an animal which often signifies knowledge. Wan Shi Tong, a knowledge spirit, also takes the form of an owl.