Order of the White Lotus

White Lotuc Symbol

What is The White Lotus

The Order of the White Lotus, otherwise known as The White Lotus, is an ancient and formerly secret society that transcends the boundaries of the four nations, seeking philosophy, beauty, and truth. They are devoted to sharing ancient knowledge across national and political divides. The organization has at times assumed the task of finding, training, and protecting the next Avatar, having done so following the death of Avatar Kuruk and later at the request of Avatar Aang. A leader within the organization, such as Iroh, is known as a Grand Lotus.

Formed by scholars from all over the world, the Order began as a club where ancient masters of various arts could challenge one another on the Pai Sho table. They derived their name from the white lotus tile used in Pai Sho, which is also a key element in their strategy. Membership is communicated through the game itself by placing Pai Sho tiles on the board in a specific manner, forming a bloomed lotus bud with the lotus tile in the center.

History of the Order of the White Lotus

When it was originally emerged, the Order of the White Lotus was supposed to always stay a small secret society of like-minded individuals. As it gradually grew in numbers and influence, the order became ever more sophisticated. It transcended being a mere club and assumed responsibility for sharing knowledge around the world. Eventually, the order began to influence various Avatars and steer them toward working for the good for all mankind, as its members covertly became the Avatars' teachers and protectors.

Jinpa And Kyoshi

The White Lotus was already active by the time of Avatar Kuruk and, like the rest of the world, failed to correctly identify Kuruk's successor, resulting in Avatar Kyoshi having an extremely difficult early life. Following the revelation of the latter's identity, an Air Nomad member of the order, Jinpa, indirectly apologized to Kyoshi on his order's behalf. However, when he began at hinting at his organization's existence, Kyoshi did not understand and dismissed him. In course of the following year, Jinpa was appointed as the Avatar's secretary; he consequently attempted to help Kyoshi in becoming a good Avatar, while repeatedly hinting at the White Lotus' existence without fully revealing the organization.

Liberation of Ba Sing Se

The Order of the White Lotus maintained a low profile until Grand Lotus Iroh gathered its members to liberate Ba Sing Se during the passing of Sozin's Comet at the end of the Hundred Year War. After they helped Sokka, Toph, and Suki by lending them an eel hound in order to arrive at Phoenix King Ozai's airship base, Iroh and Jeong Jeong utilized the power of Sozin's Comet to increase their firebending during the liberation while they worked in conjunction with Pakku utilizing waterbending, King Bumi utilizing earthbending and Piandao utilizing swordsmanship

Public Debut and Schism

Shortly after the Hundred Year War's conclusion, the society stopped concealing itself from the public eye and began to serve the world and the Avatar more openly, although several aspects of their operations continued to remain secret. Their public debut and open affiliation with the Avatar following the war caused tensions within the order. One faction known as the "Red Lotus" led by Xai Bau wanted to restore the connection between the mortal world and the Spirit World, and regarded governments of all kind as obstacles in this quest. Accordingly, the Red Lotus opposed the order's new path and its growing association with the world's rulers. Despite Iroh's attempts at keeping the White Lotus united, Xai Bau came to believe that the society had been subverted into the "Avatar's bodyguards", and he and his followers left the organization

For several years, Iroh tried to mend the schism to no avail. Growing militant and radical, the Red Lotus went fully underground, and began to work toward reuniting the mortal and Spirit World as well as freeing the human world of all governments. The group's turn toward extreme militancy initially remained unknown to the Order of the White Lotus.


Iroh, a lover of Pai Sho, was a Grand Master and a Grand Lotus of the Order who often advocated that Pai Sho was "more than just a game". Piandao was also an important member of the Order; he offered his student Sokka a white lotus tile as a parting gift, which was symbolic of his membership in the Order. The image of the white lotus on the hilt of Sokka's sword and on the doors of Piandao's estate were also references to Piandao's membership.

Other Members

Shortly before the arrival of Sozin's Comet, Master Pakku, King Bumi, and Jeong Jeong also accompanied Iroh as members of the organization, although none had shown symbols of the Order when Team Avatar saw them before. Other members were also visible in the campsite

Years Later

Seventy years later, the Order was no longer a secret society and was instead dedicated to protecting the Avatar during their training. Many more members were present in the Order than in the past, including a leader and many sentries that are lower-ranking members of the Order tasked with duties such as guarding the Avatar.

The Order is also responsible for guarding various high-class criminals in specially-designed prisons located all over the world.

Known Members of The White Lotus

  • Bum
  • Fung
  • Iroh (grandmaster and grand lotus)
  • Jeong Jeong
  • Jinpa
  • Pakku
  • Piandao
  • Xai Bau


All known members of the Order of the White Lotus before the conclusion of the Hundred Year War were masters of their art and most are high-ranking members of their military and society. Pakku referred to Iroh as a Grand Lotus, a member who has the power to call together the Order. This suggests the possibility there may be more than one Grand Lotus at any given time

Lotus Group


During the liberation of Ba Sing Se, the members of the Order all wore a distinct indigo-colored outfit with white details, a similarly colored cape and a Lotus patterned mantle around the shoulders. They also have a flag, bearing an image of the white lotus. Iroh, a Grand Lotus, seemed to have more to his vestments, with indigo-colored armor and a robe under all of the other pieces, based off the white lotus flower.

Over the course of seventy years, the uniforms have changed slightly and vary according to rank. For example, the uniform of a White Lotus sentry includes a cowl with a small insignia on the front, whereas the uniform of a higher-ranking member does not include the headpiece


  • Protect and train the Avatar
  • Sharing knowledge and philosophy
  • Guard the world's most dangerous criminals "The quest for truth above all else" (creed)

Pai Sho

is a two-player game that is popular throughout the world, appealing to people of all ages. Dating back to the era of Raava, legend has that it was invented by the spirits, and the game has remained popular among people all over the world since that time. It is a game of both strategy and chance, with each culture having developed its own rules and variations of the game.

White Lotus and Pai Sho

The white lotus tile from the game plays a central role in the workings of the Order of the White Lotus, as the group derived their name from it as well as used it to communicate in secret with other members prior their existence being publicly revealed at the end of the Hundred Year War.

The key to recognition between members includes scripted dialogue revolving around the opening move of placing a certain tile, the white lotus, in the center of the board, followed by the rapid placement of pieces in an exact pattern that mirrors the central piece

White Lotus Tile

The white lotus tile, like all Pai Sho tiles, is a round, black, circular piece about one-and-a-half inches in diameter. It is identified by the image of a large white flower that takes up most of the tile. According to Iroh, many underestimate its importance. Iroh once took time away from Zuko's search for the Avatar to pick up a new tile at the seedy merchants pier. The tile was also utilized in Aang's Pai Sho game with Monk Gyatso, during which the latter attempted to inconspicuously switch the lotus tile with the piece that the Avatar had formerly placed. Additionally, a white lotus tile was given to Sokka by his swordmaster, Piandao, after the former successfully completed his swordsmanship training; the emblem on the gate to Piandao's estate also resembled the tile.