The canyon guide was an earthbender who served as a tour guide for people traveling through the massive Great Divide, located in the Earth Kingdom. He had extensive knowledge of its history, fauna, geography, and climate. The canyon guide was a pleasant man who seemed to enjoy hisjob; however, he promptly quit after a near-death experience with a group of canyon crawlers.
In 100 AG, the canyon guide was asked to escort two feuding tribes across the canyon. When he arrived, both tribes began to argue about who would travel the canyon first. The Zhangs claimed that they should be first as they had sick people, while the Gan Jins retorted that they should go because many of their tribe's members were elderly.Aang finally reached a compromise by suggesting that Appa carry each tribe's sick and elderly across while the others traveled together across the canyon on foot. Before embarking on the journey, the guide warned them not to take any food into the canyon, as it would attract dangerous predators. Catastrophe struck, however, when a canyon crawler attacked shortly after he had broken a rock shelf so potential Fire Nation soldierscould not follow them. Aang and his friends defeated it, but the canyon guide's arms were broken as a result of the attack, thus rendering him unable to earthbend and thus hindering the progress of their journey.
Later that night, he and Aang overlooked the campsite of each tribe, commenting that they were alone due to their neutral position. Aang expressed his desire to settle the tribes' dispute, but acknowledged that exiting the canyon was more important. The guide revealed his wise nature as he replied, "I'm not so sure the two problems are unrelated."
They reached the end of the canyon, where the tribes continued to argue with the two leaders eventually engaging in a duel to end the feud once and for all. Aang became angry and used airbending to stop the fight, but in the process, revealed the food each tribe had sneaked into the canyon; this consequently attracted many canyon crawlers. By working together and throwing bags over the crawlers' snouts while the crawlers were distracted with food, everyone was able to ride them up the cliff side and out of the canyon. After they got out, the canyon guide quit his job and left with the two tribes, hoping to fulfill his dream of traveling to Ba Sing Se.
The canyon guide proved to be a skilled earthbender. He utilized the common style of rigid, strong earthbending to safely navigate travelers to the other side of the Great Divide. The guide was not as talented as some earthbenders, though, as he was incapable of bending with his feet when his hands were rendered useless during a canyon crawler accident.
Book One: Water
- 111. "The Great Divide"