The Azula Trilogy is a series of WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender {{Fan Fic}}s by TV Tropes contributor @/MasterGhandalf dealing with the eponymous character's attempt to return to sanity and make sense of the ruin of her life following the events of the series GrandFinale.

The first fic, ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4834864/1/Heart_of_Fire Heart of Fire]]'', picks up a year after the events of Sozin's Comet. The world is largely at peace, Zuko is Fire Lord, and Azula has been in a catatonic state in a mental hospital ever since her VillainousBreakdown. Fate, however, still has plans for her, as the fanatical Fire Nation General Azun refuses to accept that the War is over, and decides to use Azula as the ideal ruler for a renewed conquest. Coming out of her catatonia, Azula escapes from his men but has no solid memories of her former life, falling in with a pair of peasant siblings as she searches for her identity. Meanwhile, Zuko moves to confront Azun, while a dark power watches and waits from the sidelines.

The story continues in ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5010226/1/Path_of_Fire Path of Fire]]'', and comes to a conclusion in ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5248250/1/Soul_of_Fire Soul of Fire]]'' .
----
!!This work contains examples of:

* AboveGoodAndEvil: Koh all but names the trope when describing himself in ''Soul''.
* AmnesiacDissonance: Averted. Azula's personality is largely the same with or without her memories, though she's somewhat less ruthless and manipulative, and she's completely fine with who she was. It's ''later'' that she starts questioning things.
* AnIcePerson: Ilook favors ice-based waterbending moves.
* AntiVillain: General Azun.
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Jian Chin's soldiers are only loyal to him because of his superior earthbending.
* TheAtoner: [[spoiler:Azula in the epilogue of ''Soul'']]; also Ursa to an extent.
* AuraVision: Ty Lee; the fic goes with the idea that it is, in fact, an actual ability she has, and is part of the reason she's so good at chi-blocking.
* BadassNormal: Ty Lee, Mai, Xang, Azula when she was not able to firebend.
* BadassBystander: Zhung, Ling and Joti's father is a [[RetiredBadass retired veteran]] of the Fire Nation army.
* BadassFamily: [[DarkActionGirl Azula]], [[SupportingLeader Zuko]], [[BadassGrandpa Iroh]] [[spoiler:and [[ActionMom Ursa]].]]
* BadBoss: Ilook when he had some henchmen.
* BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil:[[spoiler:What ultimately does Zhan Zheng in in the end is the simple truth that War, by its very nature creates a desire for peace, thus correcting the balance of the world and making is goal of unending war impossible. When Azula informs it of this truth, it causes Zhan Zheng to doubt itself, weakening it enough to allow Aang to banish it.]]
* BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind: The final fight against [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng]].
* BenevolentBoss: General Azun, who is widely beloved by his followers.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng, the Spirit of War]] for the whole trilogy, though Azun and Wei Ming were the primary antagonists of the first and second stories, respectively.
* BittersweetEnding: The epilogue.
* {{Brainwashed}}: [[spoiler:Wei Ming]] is suffering the aftereffects of this.
* BrokenBird: Wei Ming. [[spoiler:Her village and mother burned to the ground by the Fire Nation, forced to live in poverty in Ba Sing Se, imprisoned by the Dai Li after her father rebels against them, turned into a Joo Dee, and left immobile in a Lake Laogai cell for god knows how long while Joo Dee-afied. Needless to say, when Zhan Zheng joins with her, she becomes the walking embodiment of revenge. She becomes so consumed by it that she forgets her own real name and much of her old life, only remembering them while moments from death]].
* BroughtDownToNormal: Azula cannot firebend during most of ''Heart''.
** BroughtDownToBadass: It doesn't stop her.
* BreakingSpeech: Various characters do them [[spoiler:but Azula's to Zhan Zheng is the most notable]].
** [[spoiler: "You are a lie."]]
* TheBrute: Jian Chin.
* {{Chessmaster}}: Azula herself, Azun, the Governor of Janxing, Long Feng, Wei Ming, and [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng]] all play at varying levels of skill throughout.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Ty Lee. Joti can also be a bit of one at times, and Ilook varies between being an evil version of this and a full-on psychopath.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Ilook invented a waterbending move that's basically an inverted healing, functioning as "lay-on-hands, instant ''pain''". He's rather fond of using it, too...
* {{Continuation}}: Continues the storyline of the series, though shifts the focus to Azula.
* TheCorrupter: [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng]].
* CriminalAmnesiac: Azula in most of ''Heart''.
* CruelMercy: ''Villainous'' example: [[spoiler:Azula sees letting the Governor live when she could easily kill him as the perfect humiliation. Given that she was still a long way from her HeelFaceTurn at the time, she probably meant it]].
* CryForTheDevil: Wei Ming's backstory... isn't pretty. See BrokenBird above for details.
* DarkActionGirl: Wei Ming and Azula [[spoiler:when she regained her firebending and sided with Azun]].
* DemonicPossession: [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng]] is fond of this one.
* {{Determinator}}: Azula, especially in the finale of ''Path''.
** This seems to be the defining trait of the [[BadassFamily Fire Nation Royal Family]].
* {{Deuteragonist}}: While Azula is the main protagonist of the whole series, Zuko is the deuteragonist in ''Heart'' and Aang in ''Soul''.
* DistantFinale: The epilogue of ''Soul of Fire'' takes place decades after the main events of the series. Possibly far enough into the future that any follow ups could coincide with Legend Of Korra.
* TheDragon: Ki Mong to Azun, Bhan to the Governor, Xang to Jian Chin, and [[spoiler:Jian Chin to Zhan Zheng]].
* EarnYourHappyEnding
* EasilyForgiven: Averted, the only one who lets Azula off the hook easy is Ty Lee (largely because as Mai points out, Ty Lee likes ''everybody'').
* EasyAmnesia: Azula still has some of her memories, but not enough to make sense of her life. [[spoiler:She remembers everything near the climax of ''Heart'' and stays that way]].
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Wei Ming, so much.
* EldritchAbomination: [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng]] could be seen as this, though he's a bit more knowingly malevolent than most; Koh, of course, is a straight example.
* EnemyMine: [[spoiler: Azula and Aang versus Zhan Zheng at the climax]].
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Learning how to comprehend good is an extended process Azula has to go through. [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng, though, never learns]].
* EvilGloating: Long Feng dodges this, but can't resist going for the IronicEcho.
* EvilIsNotAToy: Long Feng learns this the hard way after dealing with Wei Ming. [[spoiler: Jian Chin's partnership with Zhan Zheng doesn't end well either]].
* EvilIsPetty: Ilook attacks Azula a second time not because it would be useful to his employer (it isn't) but simply for [[IWasBeatenByAGirl besting him in combat.]]
* EvilOverlord: Jian Chin is a passive one [[spoiler:until he meets Zhan Zheng]].
* EvilerThanThou: [[spoiler:The confrontation between Azula and Azun in ''Heart'']].
* FinalBattle: The Battle of the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace in ''Soul'', with three notable mini-battles ocurring roughly simultaenously: Zuko and Mai vs. [[BadassNormal Xang]], Katara vs. Ilook, and Aang and Azula vs. [[spoiler: Zhan Zheng]].
* ForeverWar:[[spoiler:Zhan Zheng's ultimate goal. Azula defeats it by explaining that the very nature of War makes this impossible.]]
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Wei Ming [[spoiler:is one of the brainwashed Joo Dees, given supernatural powers by Zhan Zheng]].
* GoodAngelBadAngel: Azula's Ozai and Ursa hallucinations play these roles in "Path of Fire"- somewhat subverted in that they never appear together. [[spoiler: The Ozai hallucination goes away after Azula delivers a ShutUpHannibal to it, and the Ursa one when she meets up with the ''actual'' Ursa]].
* GoodScarsEvilScars: [[spoiler: Azula got a 'good' one in the end of ''Path'']].
* HealingHands: [[spoiler:Ursa has a firebending version of this power]]. Katara, of course, has the waterbending version, and Ilook can do this too, though he prefers [[ColdBloodedTorture reversing it]].
* HeelFaceTurn: The whole plot is basically one for Azula.
* HeroKiller: Wei Ming and [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng-possessed Jian Chin]]. Ironically, Hero Killers created to pose a serious threat to Azula, a HeroKiller herself.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Ilook's torture technique is essentially a corrupted healing. [[spoiler:When Katara fights him, she tries to use a true healing technique to counter it. It...ends up doing a lot more than she expected. He loses control of his own powers, stumbles into a pool of water and promptly ''liquefies'']].
* HumanoidAbomination: [[spoiler: Zhan Zheng's]] true form. The ones he possesses, particularly Wei Ming, give off this vibe too.
* IronicEcho: Invoked by Long Feng when (he thinks) he has Azula at his mercy.
-->"Aren't you going to gloat? Tell me how you've triumphed and how feeble I am before I expire?"
-->"[[DefiedTrope No]]. I'll just tell you what you told me a year ago: you weren't ever a player. Not in this game."
-->"You could have at least come up with your own line."
* IWasBeatenByAGirl: Ilook (The fact that she was 15 doesn't help.)
* KarmaHoudini: The Governor of Janxing is still alive and scheming after his final appearance, though considering his age Karma might probably be catching up to him sooner than later. Hasn't yet, though.
** Inverted in Sozin's case who seems at first to avoid any punishment for his crimes. In a notable scene, Azula meets her great-grandfather and he reveals her that in the afterlife he is punished more than any other human being. [[spoiler: Zhan Zheng]] also thinks he's going to get away clean... until [[spoiler: Koh]] comes along, that is.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:Long Feng]], [[spoiler: Ozai]], and [[spoiler:Ilook]] all get them.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng]]'s ultimate fate. [[spoiler:After Aang and Azula banish him back to the Spirit World, where does he end up? Koh's lair. After he gives Zhan Zheng a [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech reason you suck]] speech and explains that it was he who gave Azula the knowledge to beat him, you can do the math on what happens next]].
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:Ozai and Long Feng. Both by the same person, no less]].
* KnifeNut: Mai (of course), Wei Ming.
* KnowWhenToFoldEm: Azula isn't interested in going up against a fully realized Avatar, and decides against fighting Aang.
* TheManBehindTheMan: Both Azun and Wei Ming [[spoiler:were being controlled by Zhan Zheng]].
* MamaBear: Ursa doesn't particularly ''like'' Azula, but she does ''love'' her, as anyone foolish enough to attack Azula in front of her will find out.
* MeaningfulName: Azula used Yujin (a variation on the Chinese word for ember) as her alias when she could neither remember who she is nor was able to firebend. Also "Wei Ming" means "Twilight", according to an online Chinese translator.
* MuggingTheMonster: When Azula's ship is raided by Captain Shang and his pirate crew. Subverted in that [[spoiler:Shang's side actually WINS at first thanks in large part to Ilook and their larger numbers, but Azula's iron will and Wei Ming's interference turn the tide in the end]].
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Were it not for the intervention of [[spoiler: Zhan Zheng]] and its pawns, Azula would almost certainly have never been put into a position to regain her sanity and execute a HeelFaceTurn. [[spoiler:Ties in to Azula's BreakingSpeech at the end about how Zhan Zheng is self-defeating]].
* NobleFugitive: In ''Heart''.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: The final battle between Azula and Wei Ming. [[spoiler:Wei Ming doesn't walk away. Azula does, but only barely]].
** The fight between Azula and General Akai's Royal Firebenders.
* NoSell: Wei Ming can choose to deflect most bending ([[WordOfGod it works best with firebending, isn't that hot at stopping earth, and is somewhere in between on the others]]), though if it's powerful enough [[spoiler: like lightning]], it can still do damage.
* NotSoDifferent: Azula with Wei Ming [[spoiler:and Zhan Zheng]]
* NotQuiteDead: [[spoiler:Jian Chin]] at the end of ''Path''.
* HauntedCastle: The Obsidian Citadel.
* OhCrap: After Azula first regains her memories. She only regains them partially, namely nothing regarding her downfall, effectively making her into her evil Book 2 version. [[spoiler:She proceeds to mercilessly kill Akai's men, toss Ling, Joti and Akai into prison, and side with Azun]]. This, thankfully for everyone's sake, doesn't last long.
* OldMaster: [[spoiler:What Azula ultimately became per the epilogue of ''Soul'']].
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Any powerful bender [[spoiler:who is possesed by Zhan Zheng]].
* PhysicalGod: [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng]] can turn people into this, [[DemonicPossession for a price]]...
* PosthumousCharacter: [[spoiler: Ozai in Path of Fire.]]
* PsychoForHire: Ilook.
* PsychologicalTormentZone: Azula's whole [[spoiler:Spirit World journey]] in ''Soul of Fire''.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Ling and Joti's, and later Ty Lee's, genuine friendship helps pull Azula back from the brink.
* PurpleEyes: Wei Ming has these, though people tend to find them (coupled with the rest of her appearance) to be eerie rather than attractive. [[spoiler:The odd color is actually a sign that she's spirit-touched]].
* QuestForIdentity: Azula's main goal in ''Heart''.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Azula gives Azun one in the climax of ''Heart'', calling him an idiot for actually believing the official propaganda, and a weakling for needing to justify his action to himself and give him purpose.
* TheRemnant: Azun's "Army of the Rising Flame" and the Dai Li agents who are still loyal to Long Feng.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Wei Ming is on one.
* ScarsAreForever: It's implied [[spoiler:that the scar in Azula's face is such a one]].
* {{Seppuku}}: [[spoiler:Azun's way to end his life]].
* ShadowArchetype: Several of the main villains reflect aspects of Azula's own nature, be it Azun's Fire Nation nationalism, the Governor and Long Feng's cold-blooded [[TheChessmaster Chessmastery]]; Ilook has Azula's AxCrazy without her smarts or self-control; Wei Ming is a similarly deadly, unnerving warrior who comes from a different nation and the opposite social class - and she's a shadow-themed character pitted against a fire-themed character to boot!
** The Governor of Janxing and his nephew, Bhan, are a ShadowArchetype of Iroh and Zuko- instead of the wise old man and his student, they're the EvilMentor and his BastardUnderstudy.
* SlasherSmile: Ilook.
* SmugSnake: Jian Chin, Bhan. Long Feng, as per canon, sits right on the borderline between SmugSnake and MagnificentBastard.
* TheSociopath: Ilook. The trilogy takes the view that the title character herself is not one, though she does have ''tons'' of issues and can act sociopathically at times, particularly early on.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Ilook's petty attempts to gain vengeance on Azula indirectly result in her gaining the knowledge to defeat [[spoiler: Zhan Zheng]].
* SpiritWorld: Plays a major role in ''Soul''.
* TheStarscream: Bhan to the Governor.
* StealthHiBye: Wei Ming does this a lot, to Long Feng and Jian Chin's annoyance.
* StepfordSmiler: Ilook almost always wears a creepy and sadistic grin. Truly piss him off, however, and it becomes a feral sneer.
* StormingTheCastle: The finale of each part.
* SupportingLeader: Aang in ''Heart of Fire'' and [[spoiler: Zuko]] in ''Soul''.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Ling and Joti.
* TimeSkip: ''Heart of Fire'' picks up a year after "Sozin's Comet". ''Path of Fire'' starts about a month after ''Heart'' ends, and ''Soul of Fire'' picks up directly from ''Path''.
** [[spoiler:The final epilogue is set several decades into the future, far enough for Azula to be an old woman]].
* [[TooKinkyToTorture Too Awesome To Torture]]: Ilook tries to interrogate and torture [[spoiler:Iroh]]. Let's give him a round of applause for trying, folks.
** That's how it happened: first Ilook tried with threaths that were ineffective, as expected; then [[spoiler: he formed icicles only to have Iroh melt them with his breath (and could have burned him, had he been so inclined)]]; finally Ilook used his corrupted healing technique [[spoiler: that Iroh redirected on ''him'']]. At which point, realizing that anything he tried would have failed miserably at best and resulted in Iroh torturing him at worst, he whined and fled.
* UndyingLoyalty: Many of Azun's men feel this way towards him, most exemplified by Ki Mong.
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: In ''Soul'', we are just told that Azula tells the Gaang her plan for defeating [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng]]. We don't learn what the plan is until she puts it into action.
* VillainousBreakdown: Azun and [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng]] both have them. Azula, of course, is suffering the aftereffects of one.
* VisionsOfAnotherSelf: [[spoiler:At one point during Azula's trip to the Spirit World, she's shown visions of herself in other worlds, including one where she was banished instead of Zuko, and one where she was apparently born a peasant.]]
* WalkingTheEarth: ''Path of Fire'', to an extent, [[spoiler:also Azula's final fate]].
* WalkingSpoiler: [[spoiler: Zhan Zheng]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: We don't know what happened to Ling and Joti after [[spoiler: Azula freed them]]. [[WordOfGod They were originally supposed to show up in the second and third fics, but those stories developed in such a way that they didn't fit]]. And Ty Lee takes over what role they could have played anyway.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Azun, who really thinks Fire Nation rule would be best for the world.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Inverted by [[spoiler:Zhan Zheng who can only possess persons from specific groups, and insane people are one of these few]].
* TheWorfEffect: Zuko's and Aang's confrontations against the main villian of ''Heart'' and ''Soul'', respectively makes clear just how dangerous the opponent really is.
* WorthyOpponent: The Governor views Azula as one, as far as Chessmasters go. In fact, he almost refers to her as one word-for-word after she {{Out Gambit}}s him.
----