After re-watching The Earth King episode, we see that the Council of Five consists of the highest ranking generals in the Earth Kingdom. They of course know there is a war going on with the Fire Nation, and are constantly planning their defenses.

In the same episode, after Long Feng is imprisoned, the Dai Li tell Long Feng that they're still loyal to him, unlike the Council of Five which is loyal to the Earth King.

But, it seems implied that the Council of Five was purposefully not telling the Earth King anything about the war. Instead, they probably discussed all military aspects with Long Feng.

The Wiki mentions:

Grand Secretariat Long Feng held the true power over the country through his use of the elite Dai Li forces, and the Council members were forced to answer to him.

Why did the Council of Five comply to Long Feng instead of, you know, exposing him? It wouldn't be hard for a council member to just go the king and tell him that there's a war going on (the king would probably believe them since, you know, they're the military leaders...)

It would seem that the point here is that the Dai Li are way too powerful, capable of keeping the generals under control. But, they're the generals! They literally got the entire Earth Kingdom's army on their side, which is bound to be greater than the number of Dai Li agents (since they're probably some kind of elite unit...).

  • This was precisely my question! Mar 13, 2017 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


Any general spouting such delusional nonsense must clearly be cracking under the strain of leadership; nothing a short holiday at Lake Laogai won't fix.

War? With the Fire Nation, of all people? What a preposterous idea!

Besides which, given the level of competence shown by the Council of Five (the drill is completely unaffected by our rocks? Quick, drop more rocks on it!), I doubt any of them would have the initiative to go over Long Feng's head -- which is probably exactly how he planned things, when he suggested their appointments to the Earth King.

Also, when a single Dai Li agent can sneak into each of the generals' houses and do whatever he wants, the relative size of the forces becomes a moot point.

  • Regarding a Dai Li sneaking a general's house, that only proves they're good assassins - doesn't imply they can kill a whole army in an actual fight with an actual battlefield (outnumbered).
    – Saturn
    Jun 8, 2013 at 23:13
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    They don't need to kill a whole army in an actual fight, when they can take out any generals before they can get orders to military units. Also, without convincing the Earth King to back it, moving against the Dai Li would be treason, and I seriously doubt that any of the Council have it in them to be that decisive.
    – evilsoup
    Jun 8, 2013 at 23:18
  • It isn't treason if the Earth King approves. Like Aang did, they just have to prove to him that there's a war (well, perhaps the generals would have an easier time proving it).
    – Saturn
    Jun 8, 2013 at 23:23
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    As I wrote in the answer: I doubt that any of the Council would have the initiative to do that; if it looked like one of them was going to, Long Feng could intercept or redirect him; and if one of them did manage to tell the Earth King, Long Feng (the King's most trusted adviser) would discredit that general.
    – evilsoup
    Jun 9, 2013 at 0:00

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