Chances are if you're a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender you're also a fan of the concept of bending the four elements. Not only that, you've probably thought about all the different styles of bending and which one is your favorite. If you fancy yourself an Earthbender, look no further. Different goatee looks.
While the Nickelodeon series showcased dozens of prolific and worthy benders, some of the greatest and most memorable were the ones flinging gigantic boulders as far as they could see while burying their enemies in an avalanche of rock. Keeping that in mind, let's take a look at our list of the top 10 Earthbenders in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The four main types of bending were pretty simple - air, water, earth, and fire. However, there were multiple times throughout the show (and the series' spin-off, Legend of Korra) where especially gifted and talented benders could take their skill one step further and manipulate a variation of their preferred element. One of those instances was the Sandbender Tribes, a group of Earthbenders who lived in the desert and generated tornadoes of sand to propel their sand-sailors forward. The ability is pretty cool and imaginative, but the fact they stole Appa is what earns them the bottom-most rank on the list. You muzzled, Appa?!
He looks way cooler with his new mustache and goatee, but never forget that Haru was one of the first Earthbenders that Team Avatar encountered. His presence was a little underwhelming since his appearance came right after the introduction of King Bumi (a pretty badass Earthbender himself) but that doesn't take away from the fact that Haru was still a worthy Earthbender in his own right. His village was under military occupation and he was forbidden from bending, yet he did it anyway and helped lead a riot in the prison where he was imprisoned after he got arrested for it.
8 The Boulder
The Boulder might not be pleased with such a low ranking, but he's got to understand that there were some seriously gifted earthbenders in this series and he should be happy to be on the list at all.
Thin mustache and goatee
That said, the runner-up to Earth Rumble Six was tearing through every one of his opponents before he ran into the brick wall that is The Blind Bandit so he's obviously a talented mover of rocks in his own right. Not only that, but his unique personality of speaking about himself in the third person was laugh-out-loud hysterical and combined perfectly with his macho/W.W.E persona.
7 Xin Fu, Master Yu
We have one question - are Xin Fu and Master Yu still in that metal box Toph locked them in? The two Earthbenders turned bounty hunters were gifted when it came to shifting the earth. They were tasked with capturing the greatest Earthbender in history and nearly succeeded. However, the two opposites didn't account for Toph's ability to invent a completely new style of bending on the fly and ended up getting locked in their metal trap themselves. It was a worthy effort and we applaud how far they got, but maybe they should have stuck with searching for Zuko and Iroh.
6 Long Feng, Dai Li agents
The man who pulled all the strings in the capital city of Ba Sing Se may have been a prolific Earthbender, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more hated bender-of-stones (at least until you watch Legend of Korra). Long Feng was a notable adversary for Team Avatar as he spent the better half of a season making their lives miserable and thwarting their attempts to try and end the war against the Fire Nation. And he killed Jet, which was one of the biggest cheap-shots of the series. Despite being hated and one of the only Earthbender villains on the show, credit must be given where it's due and Long Feng deserves his credit.
One of the best aspects of Avatar was the show's unique concept that every animal in their universe was a combination of two or more existing animals (platypus bear, lion turtle, etc) with only a couple notable exceptions. However, one of those hybrid animals were the very first Earthbenders, the Badgermoles, and the only complaint we have about them is that we wish we'd seen more of them. Appa and Momo might have been some of the best pets to ever grace television, but how awesome would it have been if Toph had had a pet Badgermole?
Master of all elements includes earth so this ranking shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Despite being the element that Aang struggled with the most, he had several notable moments throughout the series where he demonstrated that his Earthbending could be just as strong or subtle as any of the other elements in his arsenal.
His constant technique of trying to use rock as armor never met with much success, but anytime he paid attention to his blind teacher and started "feeling" and "listening to" the earth, he made for one heck of a stone-tosser.
We might not have gotten to see her in action as we did with Avatar Roku (except when she technically killed Chin the Conqueror) but as sure as Roku and Aang were Firebending and Airbending prodigies, Kyoshi was just as proficient with her native element of earth. Not only that, the skilled bender encouraged an entire island of women to turn into a team of deadly, fan-wielding warriors themselves. That society lasted for several hundred years after Kyoshi's death. When it comes to Avatar spin-offs, there probably wouldn't be many fans upset with the idea of a series based around Kyoshi.
You heard it here first, ladies and gentlemen - eating rock candy and being mad as a hatter is the secret to living to the ripe old age of 112. His character might have been a bit of a stretch (come on, 112-years-old and still looking like an MMA fighter) but the concept of Aang running into a friend from his past that was still alive was too good to pass up. That said, Bumi was easily one of the most formidable Earthbenders in the entire Avatar universe and could go toe-to-toe with anybody on his worst day. Bumi, you're a mad genius - and we love it.
1 Toph Beifong
We may love Bumi, but this wasn't even kind of close. Toph not only sits atop the list of Earthbenders in the Avatar universe, she arguably sits atop the list of all benders - period. The Blind Bandit was the greatest addition to the series and we only wish that we'd gotten to see more of her as her confident, brassy attitude combined with her superhuman bending abilities created one of the greatest characters in television history. Even though she could only manipulate one of the four elements, we're willing to bet that Toph is one of the only benders and could take down a fully realized Avatar if she wanted too.