Earthen Fire Refinery

 Jesse Brauner
Earthen Fire Refinery

Insignia of the Earthen Fire Refinery, an organization featured in the franchise “Avatar: The Last Airbender”.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (known outside the United States as ‘The Legend of Aang’) is an American animated television series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko for Nickelodeon. The series ran from 2005 until 2008 and was later adapted into a feature film by director M. Night Shyamalan. The aesthetics of the program were heavily influenced by the style of Japanese animation (anime), but Avatar was equally notable for its well-developed plotlines and for drawing inspiration from a wide array of sources: These included artistic, cultural and historical influences from around the world, diverse species from the animal kingdom, and storytelling themes from popular movies and books.

Since the conclusion of the series in 2008, its story lines have been continued through the publication of many graphic novels, one of which featured the debut of the Earthen Fire Refinery. During the time of the series and for nearly one hundred years preceding it, the world of Avatar was embroiled in a war between its four nations; the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. Following the resolution of the conflict at the end of the series, the nations began to rebuild themselves, and society began to evolve in unexpected ways: One of these new developments involved the growth of large businesses and industries that involved multiple nations and extended their corporate reach throughout the world. The Earthen Fire Refinery was the first joint business operation between the Earth Kingdom and the Fire Nation (who had been fierce enemies throughout the war), and employed people from all nations to mine and process minerals that could be used for various applications.

The insignia of the Refinery appears to be a combination of the symbols representing Firebending and Earthbending (i.e. the psychokinetic abilities to manipulate fire and earth, which are practiced by the inhabitants of the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom, respectively), and which represents the joint nature of the company. Much of the aesthetics of “The Last Airbender” and “The Legend of Korra” were influenced by traditional cultures of East Asia, and the Chinese characters below the insignia (which are used as the primary writing system by all nations in the world of Avatar) translate as “dirt-fire company”.