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"A way out here, they've got a name
for wind and rain and fire
The rain is Tess, the fire is Joe
and they call the wind Maria."
— "They Call The Wind Maria", Paint Your Wagon
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Often in works with Elemental Powers, Earth gets left out, and the Four-Element Ensemble becomes a trinity of Fire, Water, and Wind.

There are several reasons why this is. Earth may not be considered as flashy or might be considered too similar to physical damage. It may also be a product of real-world beliefs; in Elementalism, the element of Earth is closely tied in with worldly desires such as wealth, prosperity, and power. As such, some writers may not feel that it is an appropriate powerset to give to a heroic character. Sometimes writers will fold Earth into one of the other elements, most often Fire (through volcanoes and deserts), but it sometimes gets grouped with Wind (through grass and sand).

The important thing to remember is that unlike its more common Sister Trope, Fire, Ice, Lightning, here ice magic is NOT water and the element of air is represented by wind, not electricity.

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See also Elemental Powers, Playing with Fire, Making a Splash, and Blow You Away, as well as Fire/Water Juxtaposition.

If it overlaps with Land, Sea, Sky, the part of Land will be played by Fire, as represented by volcanoes or deserts.

Can also be an example of Chromatic Arrangement, when Fire Is Red, Water Is Blue, and Wind Is Green.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Bakugan: The core trio. Dan is associated with Pyrus (fire), Marucho with Aquos (water), and Shun with Ventus (wind).
  • Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture: The Big Bad's three minions fall into this category; Jamin uses fire, Hauer uses air and Panni uses water.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: The heroines' powers. Hikaru has the power of fire, Umi has the power of water, and Fuu has the power of wind. Earth is only lightly represented through Land, Sea, Sky overlap – Hikaru and her mecha Rayearth's powers are drawn from volcanoes.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: The Guling Supermen form this elemental trio when their powers are taken into consideration; Suspicious S. can shoot fireballs, Sad S. can weaponize her Ocular Gushers, and Sick S. can use winds and tornadoes to attack.
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    Card Games 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The main three Super Quantum monsters (Red Layer, Blue Layer and Green Layer) have the respective attributes of fire, water and wind.

    Comic Books 

    Light Novels 

    Film — Animation 
  • Mulan: A variation with the song "I'll Make A Man Out of You". The chorus refers to being "swift as the coursing river", with "the force of a great typhoon" and "the strength of a raging fire". However, it also substitutes "the dark side of the moon" for the element of Earth.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Mortal Kombat: Annihilation: The three Elder Gods in the movie represent fire, water and wind.Shinnok is the god of wind and is the one aiding Shao Kahn's conquest of Earth.
  • Paint Your Wagon: The rain, the wind and fire are named and personified in the song "They Call The Wind Maria". The song's only reference to the earth is the verse "Maria Makes The Mountains Sound Like Cold Wind Out There Dying".

    Literature 
  • The City of Brass: The Elemental Embodiments of Water and Air have Person of Mass Destruction-tier powers, while those of Fire retain powerful magic even after they were stripped of most of their strength. Earth, meanwhile, is associated with bog-standard humans.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, the three Elven Rings of Power forged by Celebrimbor are: Narya, the Ring of Fire, with a red stone; Nenya, the Ring of Water, made of mithril with a white stone; and Vilya, the Ring of Air, made of gold with a blue stone.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Believers in Elementalism often consider Earth to be "the evil element" due to its close ties to the concept of worldly desire, particularly wealth, and as such is often eschewed. Aleister Crowley in particular wrote about the anti-Earth bias of other occultists, particularly pointing out how the traditional form of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, despite being intended to banish all elemental spirits, only makes use of the pentagram symbol for banishing Earth spirits.
  • In Norse Mythology, the rainbow bridge Bifrost is said to be made of fire, water, and air. Overlapping with Rainbow Lite, according to the Prose Edda where the rainbow bridge is made of three colors, it is said that the red part of Bifrost is made of fire, the green is water, and the blue/purple is air.

    Video Games 
  • BlazBlue: A downplayed version with Nine the Phantom whose normal attacks focus on fire, water and air.
  • Disgaea has the elemental affinities of Fire, Ice/Water, and Wind, with Star also existing as a Non-Elemental attribute. This lasted until 5, which made Star into a proper elemental affinity with its own weaknesses and resistances.
  • In the .hack series, the legendary players of The World R:1 are Kite, Balmung, and Orca, who are respectively nicknamed the Azure Flame, the Azure Sky, and the Azure Sea.
  • The Legend of Legacy has the elements of Air, Water, and Fire. Earth might be present as the Shadow element, which has powers like Sandstorm, and Powerblow which summons jagged rocks from the ground, but Shadow isn't usable by the player characters anyway.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Three Golden Goddesses. Din is often associated with fire, Nayru with water, and Farore with wind.
    • Din's Fire and Farore's Wind are spells in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and in Zelda's moveset in Super Smash Bros., but Nayru's Love has no apparent water connection.
    • Most exemplified in games where you have to retrieve their Plot Coupons.
      • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the Kokiri Emerald (Farore) is located in the Kokiri Forestnote ; the Goron Ruby (Din) is located at Death Mountain, a volcano; and the Zora Sapphire (Nayru) is found in Zora's Domain, the source of Hyrule's freshwater.
      • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Din's Pearl is at Dragon Roost Island (the game's fire dungeon), Farore's Pearl is at the Forbidden Woods (a wind-themed dungeon, but to a much lesser extent than the Wind Temple later on), and Nayru's Pearl is held by Jabun, a large fish who lived at Greatfish Island until it was destroyed and then sought refuge in a sea cave at Outset Island.
    • Also a recurring theme for many of a given game's first set of dungeons before the major plot shakeup.
  • In Ori and the Blind Forest, the three Elements of Light are the Element of Waters (housed in the Ginso Tree), the Element of Winds (housed in the Forlorn Ruins), and the Element of Warmth (housed in Mount Horu).
  • Pokémon: Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald: The main legendary Pokémon in these games are Groudon, Kyogre and Rayquaza.
    • Groudon is a Ground type but it is associated with volcanoes, magma, sunlight and by extension fire. Its Primal form is a Fire/Ground type and it can be found in a Lava Pit.
    • Kyogre is a water type and personifies the seas.
    • Rayquaza is part-Flying type and represents the skies.
  • SINoALICE has this as its elemental triangle. Water is strong against Fire, Fire is strong against Wind, and Wind is strong against Water. Averted in the Japanese server as of 27 April 2021 where Light and Dark are added, along with dual-element weapons.
  • Summoners War: Sky Arena divides monsters into five attributes: Light and Dark form their own duo with Mutual Disadvantage, and then there's the basic trinity of Fire, Water, and Wind.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The four primary characters in the first season were Aang, the titular last airbender; the Water Tribe siblings, Katara and Sokka; and Zuko, the disgraced Fire Nation prince who was hunting them.
  • BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn: Mata Nui's companions – Ackar, Kiina, and Gresh. Ackar is granted a Flaming Sword, Kiina has a trident that shoots water, and Gresh wields two blades that generate blasts of wind.

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