Characters / Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Fire Nation

These characters hail from the Fire Nation. Most of them serve as antagonists to Aang and his friends.

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    In General 
  • Bigger Is Better: Compared to any vessel in other nations, the ships used by their navy are huge.
  • The Empire: Obviously. An oppressive, despotic, militarized regime led by an evil tyrant who rules it by force after his grandfather orchestrated a comet-enhanced genocide against the Air Nomads.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The Fire Nation's military also has women amongst it's ranks.
  • Fantastic Racism: Played with. Other races are looked down upon by the Fire Nation, as Earthbending was banned in one village, while Zhao even went as far as to call Fire the superior element, and Earth Kingdom people were often treated as second-class citizens. However, they have employed non-Fire Nation helpers against the heroes (though it's not clear if they're held in any degree of contempt), and mainland civilians (usually) don't give second glances towards the Gaang.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: In culture and polity, the Fire Nation is meant to resemble Imperial Japan and Qing China.
  • Five-Bad Band:
  • Heel–Face Turn: After Ozai is defeated and Zuko takes his place on the throne, the Fire Nation has since been reformed to a more heroic stance.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Averted with (most) of its rulers, but Played Straight with many of the normal citizens and some Mooks. All in all, most of the inhabitants of the Nation are workers and soldiers obeying the orders of their legitimate ruler... Too bad that this ruler is also a genocidal dictator. The Nation as a whole drops the "Villain" part after Zuko becomes the Fire Lord.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Black worked into their sigils and units as a secondary color to the traditional red.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Fire Nation architecture utilizes harsh edges and sharp spines on their roofs.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Those with morals, but who still serve the Fire Nation, usually excuse its evil actions as For The Greater Good.
  • We Have Reserves: A core principle of the Fire Nation Military. Pretty much every military unit is treated as expendable, but as shown in "The Storm", novice troops are even more expendable than their best troops.

Royal Family:

     Prince Zuko 

    Prince/General Iroh 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/iroh.jpg
Voiced by: Mako (original), Greg Baldwin (after Mako's death)

"Sick of tea?! That's like being sick of breathing!"

Zuko's and Azula's uncle and Ozai's brother, Iroh was once the heir to the Fire Nation throne, a mighty general known as the Dragon Of the West. After the death of his beloved son Lu Ten, Iroh lost his thirst for conquest and retired. Afterwards, Iroh came to think of Zuko as his own son. When Zuko was exiled, Iroh went along with him to mentor and protect him. While he tends to act very silly most of the time, he is one of the most capable of the cast, and likely a match for Ozai himself.
  • The Ace: Iroh's fire bending rivals Ozai's for strongest in the world and he possesses far more martial ability than him as well, to the point where he was seen as the clear choice for a successor by their father. However, his son's death caused him to have a breakdown and become reduced to a shell of his former self... but ultimately caused him to rethink things and become not only a better person, but even stronger than he was before. He's also one of the most charismatic, personable and intelligent characters in the entire series.
  • Acrofatic: During Seasons 1 and 2, he's a tubby guy who is nonetheless agile and combat capable. He successfully hits Azula with his belly by jumping at her.
  • Action Dad: He was this back when he was a General and his son Lu Ten was alive.
  • Actor Existence Failure: Averted in regards to the role. Mako passed away in the latter parts of Season 2 production, but luckily Greg Baldwin took up Iroh's character. Incidentally, Iroh's story in The Tales of Ba Sing Se concludes with a message "in honor of Mako" during the scene where he cries before his dead son's portrait.
  • Anger Born of Worry: There's not much that gets to Iroh, but when Zuko is once again planning on going on a reckless mission that could get him killed, Iroh absolutely loses it. This jolly old man is very patient but he is extremely afraid of his nephew getting himself killed due to not thinking things through and it manifests as one of the very moments of raising his voice. Iroh has already lost one son, he's not losing Zuko.
  • Affably Evil: A mellow, easy-going, Cool Old Guy who loves tea, Pai Sho, and just relaxing. He also just happens to work for Zuko, his Troubled, but Cute Anti-Villain nephew (although Iroh is never seen doing anything particularly evil, and he never really helps Zuko make any major progress toward capturing the Avatar). Subverted like whoa when it that turns out he secretly did a Heel–Face Turn several years ago and, since then, he's never supported the Fire Nation in their quest to Take Over the World. And he's also a prominent figure of the Order of the White Lotus. Pre-Heel–Face Turn, though, he fit this trope to a T. In one flashback, he's seen writing a kind letter to his family in the Fire Nation while leading a brutal siege against Ba Sing Se (in the letter, he even casually jokes about the possibility of burning the city to the ground). Later during this siege, his son died, and this seems to have triggered his Heel–Face Turn, possibly because of the uncomfortable realization that this is the kind of emotional trauma that he's been inflicting on Earth Kingdom families for years on end.
  • Always Someone Better: Part of Ozai's motivation clearly stems from a resentment towards Iroh's superiority over him in their father's eyes. In all flashbacks before Azulon's death, Iroh is leading the majority of the Fire Nation's forces to battle while Ozai simmers in rage at the palace doing nothing in particular.
  • And Then What?: When Zuko attempts to steal Appa from the Dai Li and use him to bait Aang without even thinking about what to do with him afterwards, Iroh forces him to confront his Didn't Think This Through tendencies this way and demands to know what he wants to do with his life, contributing to Zuko's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Animal Motifs: Dragons. Referring to his well known title, the Dragon of the West, who protected the last of the dragons, from whom Zuko and Aang later learn the true source of Fire Bending from.
  • Anti-Villain: He has no malicious plans of any sort and is mostly concerned with helping Zuko.
  • Badass Beard: A standard Fire Nation beard and easily one of the most badass characters in the show, by miles. While he hides it behind his Cool Old Guy facade, when he fights, he's devastating in combat, one of the strongest fighters in the series.
  • Badass Grandpa: Still a powerful Firebender well into old age, enough so that Zuko tried to get him to challenge Ozai when Aang disappeared.
  • Badass Teacher: Served as Zuko's firebending instructor during his nephew's banishment.
  • Big Fun: Season 1 and 2. He's a jolly guy that can get along with everyone, even Toph, who is technically his enemy.
  • Big Good: Grand Master in the order of the White Lotus which is dedicated to the same sort of 'global harmony' as the avatar, thus making them a concealed Big Good.
  • Breakout Character: His tragic past, kindness- especially in being the Morality Pet of the also extremely popular, Zuko, sheer badassness and Big Fun attitude made him one of the most well-loved characters in the show, and expanded his role from- which at one point was so different, he would have been Evil All Along- to one of the major characters in the story.
  • Breath Weapon: "Did I ever tell you how I got the nickname Dragon of the West?" While he's not the only Firebender who can do this, this is his signature move.
  • Broken Ace: Iroh was one of the greatest strategists of his time. Then, his son died in the war...
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He is one of the greatest Firebenders in the world, and the leader of an organization of Badass Grandpas who have all dedicated their lives to mastering their art/fighting style. He's a goofy dirty old man who would much rather drink tea and play pai-sho.
  • Cain and Abel: Abel To Ozai's Cain, though the two never fought directly. When he was given the chance, Iroh declined, as it was Aang's job.
  • The Caretaker: To Zuko. All those years abroad searching for the Avatar and it was he who keep Zuko on the straight and narrow.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Iroh has displayed the strength to toss boulders, while out of shape. When he got into shape, he managed to bust out of a jail cell despite being depowered at the time, and can casually flick much larger men away from him, as he did to Zhao in the third episode. However he does it, he seems to have passed it on to Zuko.
  • Chick Magnet: Despite his age, Iroh could be quite the ladies' man when the need arose, often flirting with various women on his travels. Many of these were older women but some have been much younger, such as the bounty hunter June and an Earth Kingdom peasant. He was also addressed as "handsome" on multiple occasions.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: During the fight between Team Avatar and Zuko and June, June's animal companion, who has a tongue with neurotoxins that can paralyze anything that it licks, is "blinded" and lashes out, stunning Zuko and June. When June fell, Iroh "fell" so she was on top of him. Zuko comments that he didn't see Iroh get hit, and Iroh shushes him and goes back to enjoying his "paralysis." June was not amused.
  • Cincinnatus: Of the 'does not want power' type. He'd much rather run a tea shop and let his nephew run the nation.
  • Cool Old Guy: Friendly, funny, badass, and plays a mean game of pai-sho.
  • Cool Uncle: To Zuko, specifically, who sees him as the source of all wisdom.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite being a laid back guy currently, remember that he earned the moniker Dragon of The West. Exemplified by the conversation between Ozai and Zuko during the Black Sun: While Ozai was derisively referring to Iroh's expertise in "tea and failure"... Iroh was busting himself out of prison by himself.
  • Cultured Badass:
    • Not only can he kick your ass in the battle arena, he can kick it in pai-sho and tea brewing!
    • Unlike the rest of the Royal Family, he respects and has carefully studied the cultures of the other nations, even incorporating some aspects of waterbending into his fighting style. In fact we see him using wisdom drawn from all the world's cultures at some point; The aforementioned lightning redirection is from Water bending, his prison escape is done by simply waiting and picking the right moment as Earthbender King Bumi would (and did) do, and he tries to detach himself from Fire Nation politics to lead a care-free life, like the Air Nomads' desire to detach themselves from worldly concerns.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Inverted. It's implied that if his son hadn't been killed in the Battle of Ba Sing Se, Iroh would've been a different person rather than the cheery, yet tragic Cool Old Guy. Not necessarily evil, but he definitely would've been a powerful, feared Fire Lord after the victory.
    "Leaves from the vine...falling so slow..."
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Iroh was once a very powerful warrior and general in the Fire Nation army, leading a siege on Ba Sing Se. Then, his son died, he went into a Heroic B.S.O.D., and 'betrayed his nation'.
  • Death Faked for You: Protected the dragons from being exterminated by pretending to kill the last of them himself.
  • Dirty Old Man: More of a chivalrous version, but he still enjoyed his "paralysis" on top of Jun and sings of the charms of young women.
  • The Dragon: Implied he was the leading general to his father Azulon in the past until his son's death because he is the general in charge of the siege of Ba Sing Se.
  • Drink Order: Tea.
  • Eccentric Mentor: He's obsessed with tea, acts goofy, and is so casual you'd think he didn't know there was a war going on, yet he's the key to Zuko's Character Development and helps along Aang's and Toph's too. He could also be seen as a Trickster Mentor.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: He really must have felt disappointed when Zuko betrays his trust to help capture Ba Sing Se for Azula and Ozai's approval.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He may be a part of the Fire Nation, but he has some morals. For example, in the finale of Season 1, he tried to protect the Moon Spirit by saying that even the Fire Nation needs the spirit. Of course, Zhao doesn't listen to him and Iroh angrily fights Zhao's soldiers.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His first scenes have him first attempting to get Zuko to stop obsessing over the Avatar and have some lunch, and then lecturing him on the importance of the fundamentals of firebending. He may look like a lazy old man, but he hides a very insightful mind.
  • Fatal Flaw: Iroh's bizarre fatal flaw is his love of tea. While normally the wisest and more sensible figure in the entire series, he makes some monumental mistakes when around the stuff. Once, when having to hide his identity as a Fire Bender, he used his bending to heat up some cold tea and nearly blew his cover. When finding a plant whose leaves were either the world's most refreshing tea or pure poison, he ground it up and drank it due to temptation. It was poison.
    Zuko: What are you doing Firebending your tea!? For a wise old man that was a pretty stupid move!
  • Fights Like a Normal: A lot of his fights don't have him firebending, and even then, he rarely utilizes his full strength (which is a lot more than you might think). This comes in handy during the Day of the Black Sun, when he busts out of jail when all firebenders were depowered.
  • Foreshadowing: His White Lotus tile may not seemed important when brought up during Book 1, until you later find out about the Order of the White Lotus.
  • For Happiness:
    • Everything he ever does is to make people happy. He constantly tries to keep his nephew on the right path, helps Toph along in her Character Development, and commends Aang for refusing to let go of his love for Katara to achieve mastery over the Avatar State.
    • Used devastatingly in Tales of Ba Sing Se where he is able to bring some happiness to everyone's lives just by doing simple gestures. Until the end where it's revealed his greatest regret is not being able to help save his son.
  • Formerly Fit: Used to be a strapping Firebender in his youth, but let himself go after his son's death. Later, he gets it all back after a stint in prison.
  • Four-Star Badass: As one of the Fire Nation's most decorated generals.
  • Generation Xerox: He more closely resembles his genocidal grandfather Sozin than his lanky father. There is double irony there, given that Iroh is far nicer than Sozin was, and that he was his father's favorite (rather than Ozai, who resembled Azulon the most). Mind you, it is somewhat fitting: Sozin ended up regretting his role in starting the war, just as Iroh did—the difference being that Iroh's change of heart ended up much more meaningful.
  • Good All Along: He never does anything that would really hurt the heroes; the reason he stuck with the Fire Nation was to protect and guide Zuko. The first sign of Iroh's True Colors comes in the season 1 finale, when he learns of Zhao's plans for the moon, and by the end of season 2 it's become clear he'd rather side with the Avatar than with his brother. We later find out his Heel–Face Turn happened long before the events of the series, most likely when Lu Ten died.
  • Hidden Depths: Iroh just seemed like a cheery, goofy old guy there to annoy Zuko...until he's captured by Earth Kingdom troops who are amazed to have captured the famous "Dragon of the West," one of the greatest Fire Nation generals. Later reveals of his past eventually make him probably the deepest character out of a show atypically full of them.
  • Hot Blooded Sideburns: In Season 1, he had these, but the personality was inverted; he's a mellow guy.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Even after kicking ass throughout the series, the man just wants his tea shop back.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Develops one with Toph in "The Chase".
  • Irony: Years ago, he failed to conquer Ba Sing Se for the Fire Nation, which Azula later did. In the series finale, he successfully conquers the city... so the Earth Kingdom can take it back. He even lampshades it.
  • Know Your Vines: In the second season, Iroh has a run-in with some of these.
    "Delicious tea?... Or deadly poison?"
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Most of the time he leaves the fighting to Zuko, but occasionally he demonstrates how he earned the title "Dragon Of The West".
  • Lightning Bruiser: Like the rest of his family, he has power, speed and durability is great measures.
  • The Mentor: He's a wise old mentor who helps Zuko when they're both in exile. Even though they're enemies, he also helps Toph and Aang through their own turmoil.
  • Morality Pet:
    • Implied again that he and his son Lu Ten were this to his ruthless father Azulon.
    • He's definitely one for Zuko in a mentor capacity.
  • Mysterious Past: We just know the footnote version; born a Fire Nation Price, served in the war, retired after a semi-successful siege of Ba Sing Se.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Dragon of the West.
  • Nice Guy: Easygoing, open-minded, warm, caring, generous, friendly, advising, kind, and humorous, Iroh treated his self-imposed exile during Zuko's search for the Avatar as though it were an extended vacation.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • We never found out exactly how he managed to escape his cell on the Day of Black Sun.
    • We never find out what Zhao was alluding to when he noted Iroh's 'experience in the Spirit World'. Whatever it was, it seems to have left him with a degree of the True Sight and close connection to the Spirit World, so much so that after his death, he essentially retires to the Spirit World and serves as a guide and mentor to Korra and, briefly, Tenzin, Kya and Bumi.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Not that any of the characters ever treat him like he is, but as far as the audience is concerned for most of Season 1, he's Zuko's uncle, goofy teacher, and sidekick. In the Season 1 finale, however, we see how devious he can be when he and Zuko outplay Zhao, but it's when he learns that Zhao plans to kill the Moon that Iroh shows just what a badass he truly is- he drops the whimsical facade and demands Zhao stops his crazy plan, and effortless curb stomps Zhao's Elite Mooks when Zhao doesn't listen.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Iroh's escape from the Fire Nation prison in Book 3. He pulls his Obfuscating Stupidity whenever anyone's watching, while training determinedly in private. When Zuko finally makes his last Heel–Face Turn and goes to rescue Iroh, he's long gone, having trashed everyone and everything in his path. All we find out is that he was "like a One-Man Army."
  • Older Sidekick: Old enough to be Zuko's dad. Heck, he's old enough to be Zuko's grandfather, as pointed out by June.
  • Old Master: Before the series has started he is already a famous firebender. Now he trains Zuko.
  • One-Man Army: The prison warden calls him this when he breaks out of prison during the eclipse by himself.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Before the start of the series, Iroh's son, Lu Ten, died in the siege for Ba Sing Se. Iroh took his death so hard that he abandoned the siege and retired from being general.
  • Out of Focus: Doesn't appear as much in season 3, though not without good reason.
  • Papa Wolf: When Azula tries to kill Zuko with lightning after a botched attempt to imprison them both, Iroh steps in at the last second, redirects the lightning into a nearby cliff, and then kicks her overboard.
  • Parental Substitute: Though his birth father hates his guts and has actively tried to kill him, Zuko is fortunate enough to have a replacement in Iroh, who accompanied him throughout his banishment and raised him as his own son.
  • The Pollyanna: His son was killed in a battle he lost, his reputation was destroyed, he lost his rightful place on the throne and was banished from his home, his beloved nephew treats him like dirt, and yet he not only remains patient and cheerful, but is eventually able to help his nephew solve many of his personal problems without even breaking a sweat. It's implied that the first four experiences had a huge impact on him becoming the wise, collected uncle he is when the show starts. That doesn't change the fact his cheerful demeanor helps numerous characters, his nephew especially, over the course of the show.
  • Prisons Are Gymnasiums: During Iroh's time in prison, his cell did double duty as a gym. A before/after comparison appears as the image for this trope itself!
  • Prophecy Twist: He once had a vision that he would conquer Ba Sing Se, and his attempt to do so cost his son's life. He is destined to conquer it, but only to save it from the Fire Nation.
  • Proverbial Wisdom: Tends to overdo it sometimes, which is why Zuko has trouble understanding him.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Normally just tries to gently discourage Zuko from his self-destructive path, but when he tries to abduct Appa, Iroh finally blows up at him.
  • Red Baron: He's notoriously remembered as "The Dragon Of the West" in the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation since his 600 day siege of Ba Sing Se.
  • Retired Badass: Retired pre-series, after (nearly) penetrating the impenetrable city of Ba Sing Se.
  • Sad Clown: Underneath his goofy facade, he's just a father grieving the loss of his son. He's also done plenty of things in the past that he's not proud of.
  • Samurai Ponytail: The Fire Nation seems to use the hairstyle just as the trope indicates with the style being indicative of his status, even in exile. He cuts it when Zuko is betrayed by Azula at the beginning of the second season.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Completely supported the idea of Zuko dating the Earth Kingdom girl Jin in "Tales of Ba Sing Se". Although that was mainly to get him to lighten up.
    • He believes Katara would be a good match for Zuko when his point of view is covered in the Sozin's Comet Novelization.
  • Shock and Awe: One of the only three Firebenders we ever see shooting lightning. Although we don't get to see him use it in combat he is the most skilled in its use because he invented the lightning redirection technique.
  • Smart People Play Chess: He's a master at pai-sho.
  • Smelly Feet: Zuko uses his horrible smelling sandals to track him twice.
  • Spot of Tea: Asian variation. Azula calls him 'His Royal Tea Loving Kookiness'. It carries on to the sequel, The Legend of Korra, where he has become a resident of the Spirit World.
  • Static Character: Justified in that he already had his development in the past. Now he helps others along in their Character Development.
  • Super Strength: Displays this trope throughout the series (the only other person to do so is his student Zuko). Iroh has, over the course of the show:
    • Flicked his wrist and sent Zhao skidding backwards along the ground. This is actually more impressive than it sounds due to their positions at the time: a simple flick of the wrist should have caused Zhao to merely put his foot down to regain his balance, if it did that much. Instead, he goes flying.
    • Caught a boulder midair with chains that an Earthbender was using as a projectile, then swung it back around and took out two Earthbenders with it. Said boulder had to weigh more than Iroh.
    • Broke himself out of prison on the Day of Black Sun, without his firebending. The bars of his cell don't even look like he blasted them open; it looks like he grabbed hold of them and shoved through.
  • Supporting Leader: He leads the White Lotus.
  • Token Good Teammate: To the Fire Nation during Zuko's time as an antagonist because he's the only non-evil or antagonistic Fire Nation character.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He was already badass enough before then, but in Sokka's Master, he trains for his great escape while imprisoned. As a result, he loses all of his fat and replaces it with pure muscle.
  • Took a Level in Idealism: Flashbacks hint at Iroh being just as much of a believer of the Fire Nation's ideology as his family. The death of his son caused him to rethink his beliefs.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: It had been hinted that Iroh may have been crueler in his days as a general before the death of his son.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Tea. When it gets spilled, he has a Lost Food Grievance.
    "I know you're not supposed to cry over spilled tea, but... *sniff* it's just so sad!"
  • True Sight: Iroh was able to see Aang riding Roku's dragon in the Spirit World while he was in the Physical World.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Azula particularly is unable to realize that a man who can wipe the floor with several guards in less than half a minute isn't a man to be messed with, even when he is past his prime.
    • When captured by several Earth Kingdom soldiers, they take several attempts to avert this trope. They still failed to keep Iroh captive (though in fairness it was a close call).
  • Warrior Therapist: Odd in that he doesn't fight at the same time. He'll sit you down and talk over your problems with tea.
  • Willfully Weak: With all the times he gets into trouble and/or captured, he never really steps in or puts up a fight until it's completely necessary. It's pretty clear that he does this because 1) he's never in any real danger, 2) he wants to let the Gaang solve the problem instead, and 3) he doesn't want to hurt his antagonists, because he really, really could if he wanted to.
  • Zen Survivor: In his past, he was a famed general who lost his only son in a war, and subsequently lost his will to fight. He now serves as a mentor to his nephew, Zuko.

    Princess Azula 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/azula_1.jpg
Voiced by: Grey DeLisle

"My own mother thought I was a monster... She was right, of course, but it still hurt."

Zuko's younger sister and princess of the Fire Nation. As a Firebending prodigy, her father Ozai favored her over Zuko, though the two had an opposite relationship to their mother Ursa. Azula uses her position and power to torment Zuko and anyone else in her way. A skilled tactician, master manipulator, and brilliant fighter, she's easily one of the Gaang's deadliest foes. She describes herself as "a people person," but she really is only skilled in manipulating people through fear. Normal interaction eludes and bewilders her more often than not.

  • Aloof Big Sister: Inverted. She is the younger sibling but plenty aloof.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She fits the trope like a glove. She is pretty, dark-haired, aloof, and imposing.
  • Alpha Bitch: Very much. Her recruitment of Mai and Ty Lee is analogous to a school clique; school friends whom she promises a good time to (for Mai) and peer pressure/ threats for Ty Lee.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Exhibits traits associated with anti-social, narcissistic and histrionic personality disorders without fully fitting the definition of any of the above. As of season 3 and The Search she begins to exhibit some pretty unambiguous raging paranoia though, to be point of delusions and hallucinations.
  • Animal Motifs: Azula's motif is the snake; she is also associated with the blue dragon.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Azula's true motive for "helping" with the search for Ursa in "The Search" is so that she can kill her mother.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: She has this opinion of herself but her interactions with opponents are more psychological. That being said, she is still one of the most powerful and skilled fighters in the series.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To Zuko, or as she would put it, "Zuzu".
  • Ax-Crazy: Completely psychotic towards the end, but she was never really sane to begin with. Even Iroh says she's crazy and dissuades Zuko from thinking otherwise just because she is his sister.
  • Bad Boss: One of her first moments in the series is threatening to kill the captain of her ship for refusing to sail through dangerous tides. There's the also fact that she forces Mai and Ty Lee to work for her (Which ultimately comes back to bite her when they perform a Heel–Face Turn).
  • Badass Bookworm: An excellent strategist, Manipulative Bastard, and an elite Firebender child prodigy all rolled into one.
  • Badass Princess: Princess of the Fire Nation and one of its most capable soldiers too.
  • The Baroness: Ruthless, manipulative, and possessing skills that nearly equal the Big Bad's, Azula seems to be a fairly even mix between both types of Baroness, making her one of the most complicated villains ever to appear in a children's television show.
    • Sexpot: She is young, attractive, and speaks fairly seductively to just about everyone. She is a subordinate to the Big Bad and never becomes a Big Bad herself, despite her aspiration to become one. She's also presented fairly sympathetically when it comes to her backstory, and Word of God has noted that she could perhaps be redeemed in the future, after she's had a chance to recover from her issues.
    • Rosa Klebb: She only tries to sexually seduce a man once, and that doesn't turn out well at all; even then, it's implied that she only wanted to seduce Chan as another way of establishing her superiority in the face of Ty Lee's effortless gathering of admirers. To date, she's still the one female character who has shown the least interest in the opposite sex and romance altogether; the closest person she has for a friend (let alone a love interest) is Ty Lee, and even then Azula's affection for her is pretty muddled with her manipulations to keep Ty Lee on her side. None of the heroes are attracted to her, because her insanity and ruthlessness are off-putting.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Just watch her actions in Ba Sing Se for proof; she played the Dai Li like fiddles. They could have betrayed her but by then they were too into her mind games.
    • She lethally wounded the Avatar but gave the credit to Zuko just in case Aang was Only Mostly Dead. She knew this would work because Zuko's task was doing just that and he wouldn't refuse the credit.
  • Beauty Is Bad: She's beautiful, regal, and vicious.
  • Berserk Button:
    • In the main series, what really sets her off is the implication that she's less than perfect. In a related note, try not to say that Zuko's better than her.
    • In "The Search", her mother's very existence is her Berserk Button.
  • Big Bad: In "Smoke and Shadow", when she is revealed to be the mastermind behind the fake Kemurikage, the New Ozai Society, and the child kidnappings.
  • Bitch Alert: Her first full episode at the beginning of Book Two revels in her malicious, delicious, world-class bitchiness. Her introduction has her threaten to harm or kill the captain of her ship and her "friend" Ty Lee, all while dripping poisoned honey from her lips. One wonders if perhaps 'Azula' translates to 'Bitch Alert'...
  • Break the Haughty: Things do not go well for her near the end of Book 3. Her friends betray her, she loses her sanity, her father's overthrown, and she's thrown into a mental facility. When she reappears in "The Search", she's a broken shell of her former self.
  • Broken Ace: She's held as The Ace throughout the Fire Nation for being a Firebending prodigy and a master planner and manipulator, at the age of 14. However, she has serious issues with perfection, and a bunch of unresolved Mommy Issues. She gets even more broken in Book 3.
  • Broken Bird: Her Villainous Breakdown demonstrate that she's been broken for a while but held it check until a significant enough strike; Mai and Ty Lee's betrayal.
  • Broken Tears: Katara couldn't bear to watch. Zuko forced himself to watch.
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain To Zuko's Abel because of her ax crazy. This is highlighted after the latter's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Bound and Gagged: Not gagged, but she is literally defeated by being tied up.
  • The Caligula: Fire Lord assumptive and crazily dangerous.
  • Card-Carrying Villain:
    "My own mother thought I was a monster... She was right, of course, but it still hurt."
    • While this was played for psychosis and self loathing in the finale, when first brought up, it was in a "history will overlook that unsavory aspect of me" sense.
  • The Chains of Commanding: When Ozai gives her the title of Fire Lord when he ascends to Phoenix King, Azula is initially pleased at the authority she now wields... But the burden of being leader starts eating at her sanity, resulting in her becoming more paranoid and psychotic as the days pass. By the time Zuko and Katara show up to face her in the grand finale, she's a total wreck.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In the flashback showing how Zuko got his scar, she can be seen in the crowd near Iroh and Zhao looking disturbingly pleased. Also, during Katara's opening narration, Azula is the firebender.
  • The Chessmaster: At only 14 years old, she comes up with a plan that, within 48 hours, successfully conquers a city that had remained standing for a century.
  • Child Prodigy: A firebending master and tactical genius before she a teenager. Her father brags that she is this to her grandfather. She later becomes a Teen Genius.
  • Childhood Friends: With Mai and Ty Lee. They pulled pranks in a flashback and there's a casual line about finishing school.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Every time Azula forms an alliance with someone, she betrays them. She did this to Long Feng, then later, Team Avatar.
  • Classic Villain: Representing Ambition and Pride. Just like her father.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Has no qualms about blasting someone in mid-transformation sequence.
  • The Comically Serious: In The Beach where she brings the same intensity to a volleyball game as combat.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: In "The Search", she's only (barely) able to function after her Villainous Breakdown in the series finale by blaming everything wrong with her life on an imaginary conspiracy orchestrated by her mother Ursa. This easily goes past Insane Troll Logic as she clearly assumes that everyone is answering to Ursa.
  • Consummate Liar: "I'm a four hundred foot tall purple platypus bear with pink horns and silver wings."
    Toph: Okay, I admit, you're good.
  • Control Freak: Basically, she sees the world as a game and the people around her as the pieces in it; she manipulates them and she expect them to behave accordingly. Ultimately, her biggest weakness is that she can't handle not being in control of everything. When Mai and Ty Lee, the people she thought she had the most control over, turn against her, the shell cracks off the nut, and her until then relatively subdued madness comes to the forefront and turns into full-blown paranoia, leading her to banish, well, everyone around her for imagined slights and plots against her. Finally, when there's no one around for her to control, she loses it and enters her Villainous Breakdown.
  • The Corrupter: She uses her manipulation to pull Zuko away from his Heel–Face Turn despite Iroh's attempts to pull him the other way.
  • Creepy Child: When she was a child, we hear of her throwing rocks at harmless turtle-ducks for the laughs, and we see her throwing fire at an apple on a friend's head, nonchalantly burning a doll from her uncle because she doesn't like him, dancing around her brother whilst gleefully chanting about her their father is going to kill him in a sing-song voice, and smirking with evil glee as said father burns her brother's face.
  • Daddy's Girl: Favored by her father.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: She's Ozai's daughter, almost as cruel as him and looking forward to taking his title for herself.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: In the Beach Episode, but the only "fighting" she ever does is playing volleyball. "WE HAVE DEFEATED YOU FOR ALL TIME!"
  • Dark Action Girl: She's powerful, brutal, and vicious.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Azula has severe Mommy Issues and was raised by her abusive father.
  • Day of the Jackboot: Attempts to invoke this in "Smoke and Shadow", where her actions are intended to make Zuko into the Fire Lord she always wanted to be, ruling through fear and intimidation rather than peace.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It's something she's fond of doing, which may be because of just how emotionally detached she typically is. Still has this attitude in "The Search" whenever she's in a more sedated state of mind.
  • Determinator: To the point that she could lightningbend, a technique that requires clarity of mind, in the middle of a mental breakdown.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: She occasionally seems to know things she should have no way of knowing.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Lethally wounds Aang while he's in the Avatar State.
  • The Dragon: To Ozai as his favoured child and heir, not to mention that she very much takes over after Zhao is gone.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: For most of the series, she looks more threatening than her own father, though this was proven wrong in the Grand Finale.
  • Dragon Ascendant: To some extent in "The Search", when her father is imprisoned and she becomes the main antagonist of the story.
  • Dragon Lady: She's less ethnically offensive than many other Dragon Ladies, as everyone in the series is a fantasy Asian or Inuit, and there are plenty of other Asian-esque women and girls who aren't Dragon Ladies.
  • The Dreaded: Being a Machiavellian-style tactical genius, she deliberately goes out of her way to solidify this image of herself, believing in manipulation through fear and might. For much of the series, it works spectacularly, with even her Uncle Iroh showing fear at the idea of being in her clutches, and leading to her turning an entire Government Conspiracy group against their leader through sheer intimidation and force of personality alone. Unfortunately for her, it stops working when Mai's love for Zuko, and Ty Lee's friendship with Mai, become stronger than their fear of her.
    Zuko: If the Earth Kingdom finds us, they'll have us killed.
    Iroh: But if the Fire Nation finds us, they'll hand us over to Azula.
    [Beat]
    Zuko: Earth Kingdom it is.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Her Villainous Breakdown was partly brought about by Azula receiving this from her father. "You can't treat me like this. You can't treat me like Zuko!"
  • Early-Bird Cameo: She is the firebender that appears in the opening sequence.
    • In "The Storm", during the flashback scene depicting Zuko's confrontation with his father, a young Azula stands near Iroh. Her identity isn't revealed until the season finale eight episodes later, but her sadism is already apparent as she watches her brother get abused and banished.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: During her coup of Ba Sing Se, Azula gets a chance to command the Dai Li and despite the fact that they are earthbenders, she loves their killer instinct, which she describes as "so firebender," and gladly steals control of them from Long Feng completely and retains her command over them well through Book 3.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Three of them. Firstly in the backstory sequence in "The Storm", before the audience knows her identity, when she is seen reacting with sadistic glee when her father burns her brother's face. Secondly, her first scene with dialogue, in "The Avatar State", where she threatens to invoke You Have Failed Me on her ship's captain just because he wanted to wait for favourable tides before entering harbour. Thirdly, her firebending practice scene, wherein she successfully performs lightning-bending, being one of only three people who can do so, almost perfectly, with just one hair out of place. Azula gets angry and says that "almost perfect isn't good enough!" Later, when she had her first really big failure (Mai and Ty Lee's betrayal), she totally loses it, and her Villainous Breakdown is characterized by an Important Haircut and her hair becoming messy.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: She starts to lose it after Mai and Ty Lee do their Heel–Face Turn.
  • Even Bad Women Love Their Mamas: A very twisted example of this trope. A prominent Magnificent Bastard has a Villainous Breakdown in the Grand Finale, hallucinating a vision of her Missing Mom. Mommy issues are exposed, leading to a Villainous Breakdown.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She's just as much as a "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl as Zuko. She also might genuinely love Ty Lee and Mai, though her feelings are twisted due to Ozai's teachings. There's also the situation with her mother; it's possible that she seeks her love, but simply doesn't understand how Ursa can love someone like her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Quickly recants her statement when she makes Ty Lee cry. But then, given that it's Azula, it might just be an act.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Can't understand why her mother (whom she believed never loved her) would love her despite her cruel personality, or why Mai would betray her for Zuko or Ty Lee to follow after Mai had been captured.
    • Used rather heartbreakingly in "The Search", first she can't understand why Zuko would save her if not for his own gain, then she becomes horribly confused when her mother apologizes to her for not loving her enough.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • There are numerous parallels between Katara and Azula: roughly the same age, they are both the daughters of leaders with leadership skills of their own, both freakishly powerful and talented prodigies with their elements, both at least occasionally overbearing control freaks and possessed of a dangerous temper when provoked. On opposite lines of the Red Oni, Blue Oni divide they may be, but taking into account their fathers' personalities/influences they are far more alike than one may think.
    • Azula also serves as an Evil Counterpart to both Zuko and Iroh. As Zuko's, she shows what he could have been if he really did have everything he thinks that he wants (and 50 extra I.Q. points, at least). As Iroh's, she tries to steer Zuko down the wrong path rather than the right one. This is lampshaded in a dream sequence Zuko has, in which he is being consulted by a red dragon and a blue dragon on which path to take in life, good or evil. The red dragon, who advocates good, has Iroh's voice, while the blue, who advocates evil, has Azula's. This situation comes true in Season Two's finale, in which Zuko chooses Azula's way only to regret it.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Usually the jokes she makes at Zuko's expense.
  • Eviler Than Thou: She says as much to Long Feng. All in all, she seems to have been a more humane ruler, which is saying something.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: Sympathetic traits aside, she's second only to her father in terms of being the most evil villain on the show, and she's a master Firebender to boot.
  • Evil Is Hammy:
    • "The Beach".
    "Together, you and I will be the strongest couple in the entire world! We will DOMINATE THE EARTH!"
    • "The Southern Raiders" as well:
    Zuko: What are you doing here, Azula?
    Azula: Isn't it obvious?! I'm about to celebrate becoming an only child!
  • The Evil Princess: Since being given the throne by her father and losing an agni kai for the throne did not fare well for her, Azula plots to kill her mother and incriminate Zuko as illegitimate to take the throne.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: This happens to Azula in season 3, the haircut is self-inflicted, and it gets worse with a disheveling during her climactic battle.
  • Fallen Princess: At the start of the series, a composed, competent and commanding princess. At the end of the main series, a crazy conspiracy theorist cut off from her former status and wealth.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her belief that people can be controlled through fear alone proved to be a mistake, as did her trust in the few people whose approval she seemed to want. Her mother was worried about her, which she perceived as not loving her while Ty Lee and Mai only feared her, and turn on her when she threatens those they care about. Finally, her father only considered her a tool, which was the last straw in setting off her Villainous Breakdown.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Is capable of acting quite polite, but the key word is "acting."
  • Femme Fatalons: Claws for a female self admitted "monster".
  • The Fighting Narcissist: One of the most dangerous firebenders alive, and she openly admits she loves being worshiped.
  • Flat Character: For all of season two there isn't anything to her except being dangerous, untrustworthy and smug. During the episode The Beach she finally shows a few different sides to her personality including a complete inability to actually function in society and deep insecurities and a need for approval, including from the mother she feels didn't love her.
  • Foil: For Zuko. He was the sweet kid whose fire bending was lacking and she was the bully and fire bending prodigy. This changes in the third season, where he rejects the Fire Nation's Take Over the World policy and becomes a much more mentally-healthy individual, while she continues to embrace it and goes utterly insane.
  • Foreshadowing: She appeared with her face obscured by shadows in the show's opening as the representative of firebending, and first appeared in Zuko's flashback to the events that led to his exile as one of the audience members of his Agni Kai with Ozai.
  • For the Evulz: She just enjoys messing with people and especially Zuko. If she can do something, she'll go the extra mile to screw with somebody while doing it.
    Zuko: Why'd you do it?
    Azula: You're going to have to be more specific.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
  • Fragile Speedster: Usually, she's too quick for the protagonists or anyone else but on the few occasions they manage to land a blow, she gets knocked back pretty hard.
  • Freudian Excuse: A sincere belief her mother never loved her and considered her a monster, combined with a father who was a psychotic, manipulative, emotionally abusive monster who encouraged her to be a monster so she'd be more useful to him that way. In the end, she's shown to be deeply insecure about anyone loving her.
  • Gamer Chick: Yes, really.
    Azula: A princess has to lay a firm iron fist upon her subjects, after all.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Because she's a paranoid loon.
  • Go-Getter Girl: She's characterized by her ambition. Unfortunately, when this is thwarted, there's nowhere for her to go but down...
  • Grapes of Luxury: She gives this a try while in power.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In the "Beach" episode, she admits that she's jealous of Ty Lee's ability to naturally attract guys. Considering that she has No Social Skills, it's understandable why she has a hard time getting guys to warm up to her.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to set her off, especially during her Villainous Breakdown.
  • The Heavy: In Book 2 and most of Book 3, she drives most of the plot with her actions, though Ozai's still the Big Bad since it's his directions.
  • Heel–Face Turn: She begins one at the end of "The Search" due to Zuko's brotherly love for her: giving up her goal of killing her mother or taking the throne from him and instead runs off to find a new objective in life...or has she?
  • Hero Killer: She seems to have been designed purely with the idea of making a more threatening villain to face the group after the overly sympathetic Zuko and largely incompetent Zhao failed to impress. For most of season two she's never given an unambiguous defeat and instead the group flees whenever possible. In the end, she even takes Ba Sing Se pretty much by herself, striking down Aang in the process.
  • Hidden Depths: It takes until about halfway through season three, but she finally shows some character depth during the beach episode and eventually starts undergoing a breakdown near the end when she realizes she doesn't have as much control as she thought, which was her way of covering for her emotional insecurities and perceived inability to win her mother's love.
  • Humiliation Conga: She suffers this during her Villainous Breakdown.
  • I Am a Monster: She fully embraces the fact that - according to her at least - her mother believed her to be a monster. She's more affected by it than she lets on.
  • I Am What I Am: The Quote at the top about her acceptance that she is a "monster". In-Universe it's discussed.
  • Ignored Epiphany: During "The Beach"; after realizing she can't interact with other teens in a regular setting, helping her comrades work through their various neurotic traits, and admitting to some Mommy Issues, her final course of action is to shrug it off and give people more reason to believe the worst in her since she believes the worst to be the best. This belief comes back to bite her later on.
  • Implacable Woman: Best seen in Return to Omashu and The Chase. The gang spends the entirety of both episodes just trying to slow her down, and they fail every time.
  • Important Haircut: In the Grand Finale, after banishing every single one of her servants as the new Fire Lord, Azula tries and fails miserably to fix her hair, having apparently never done it on her own before. Not only is the resulting hairdo extremely disheveled (her ponytail's basically falling apart), but in a moment of stress-induced rage at her own incompetence, she clumsily hacks off her bangs, leaving her hair a tangled, uneven mess, much like her own sanity.
  • Improbable Age: While almost all of the main characters are complete masters who are leagues better than people double their age, Azula stands out as being more talented initially than all of them, as well as being drawn as if she's 18, rather than a mere fourteen.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: A rare completely serious example during the final stages of her Villainous Breakdown; there's no other way to describe her when she's chained up in the Fire Palace courtyard after the Agni Kai.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: She's constantly striving to be the absolute best at what she does (especially if it means being better than Zuko) and refuses to settle for less, and uses manipulation and strong-arm tactics to ascertain worship from her peers. It doesn't play out any better. Despite all of her talk about being perfect, she feels that she's Ursa's failure, even though Ursa denies it.
  • Informed Attractiveness: She has been referred to as beautiful on more than one occasion.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: She looks a lot like a younger Grey DeLisle, down to her hair colour and lipstick.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: In "The Chase", when she is cornered by Team Avatar, Zuko and Iroh, she pretends to surrender, then sneak attacks Iroh and escapes.
  • It's All About Me: Her rant to her mother in The Search Part 3 can be summed up as "My life sucks and it's all your fault and you never gave a damn about me."
  • Jerkass: The biggest one in the series aside from her father (who's where she gets it from, after all.)
  • Kick the Dog: She kicked over some toddler's sandcastle in the Beach Episode.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Long Feng totally had it coming.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Her first major appearance brought in a whole new villain competency level, as well as ensuring Book 2 exhibited the show's Darkest Hour.
  • Lack of Empathy: Another thing she has in common with Ozai.
  • Lady of War: The aloof and imposing princess of the Fire Nation who uses an agile and precise style of firebending, and has the composed peace of mind to generate lightning. Inverted when she loses her sanity near the end, becoming a maniacal nut who firebends in an uncontrolled and wild manner.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Karma served in the fact that the master manipulator who spent two seasons playing mind games ultimately suffered a mental breakdown set off by the specific reason of not being able to manipulate effectively. Azula says trust is for fools, and while it took three seasons for Zuko and Katara to trust each other, it's the trust in each other as friends that also overcame Azula. Making it even more karmarific, it counts as Hoist By Her Own Petard. If Azula hadn't set Mai and Zuko up on that date, then Zuko would have stayed in the Earth Kingdom, which would means no Firebending teacher for Aang and no Heel–Face Turn for Mai, Ty Lee, or perhaps even Zuko — no betrayal by her friends, no Sanity Slippage.
  • Laughing Mad: In her final fight with Katara, she indulges in two cackling fits while charging up lightning bolts.
  • Limp and Livid: During and after her Villainous Breakdown.
  • Little Miss Badass: As a child, she was already beginning to master Firebending. And, believe it or not, she was fourteen throughout the series.
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong: When Zuko is escaping with a few others from the Boiling Rock, the Warden has the guards start cutting the line to drop them into the lake. There's nothing they can do, but then the recently dumped Mai knocks out the guards because she says she loves Zuko more than she fears Azula. Ty Lee then saves Mai and the furious Azula has them both thrown in prison. The inability to trust even "friends" starts her mental breakdown.
  • Madness Makeover: As she underwent her Sanity Slippage, her appearance began to reflect it. Her hair became disshelved and uneven, and her eyes became saggy. All in all, she looked like a mess by the end.
  • Makeup Is Evil: Almost always seen wearing makeup, and definitely evil. The only times the heroines wear make up is infiltrating a party and during a spa day.
  • The Man Behind the Man: She's behind Ukano's actions in "Smoke and Shadow".
  • Manipulative Bastard: An expert strategist and manipulator, even able to manipulate her own father until some point.
  • Meaningful Name: "Azul" is Spanish for the "blue", which is the default color of her flames when firebending.
  • Mommy Issues: Azula has this idea about her mother and it revolves around the word "monster".
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Ozai may be the Big Bad, but Azula is the one to do all his dirty work. This is exemplified when she became the first and only villain who managed to kill Aang (though he recovered).
  • Ms. Fanservice: She struts around in a Walking Swimsuit Scene during the Beach Episode.
  • Narcissist: She's aware of her talents as a bender.
  • Never My Fault: In "The Search", she regains a semblance of sanity by pinning the blame for everything falling apart in her life on her mother Ursa. She'd rather imagine a huge conspiracy orchestrated by Ursa than admit that maybe she brought some of her troubles on herself.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: When she tries to act like a normal teenager she is even scarier than normal.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: During the Beach Episode she tries acting like a normal teenager, including finding romance, but only gets as far as making out before her Evil Overlord tendencies freak the guy out.
    Azula: When I meet boys, they act as if I'm going to do something horrible to them.
    Ty Lee: That's because you probably would do something horrible to them.
  • Nominal Hero: In "The Search". The only thing "heroic" about her now is that she's on Zuko and Aang's side in something, and even then she's got her own agenda.
  • No Sell: Turns out it's pretty hard for a Living Lie Detector to pick up signs of stress from a sociopath who lies without a second thought.
  • No Social Skills: Word of God says that until The Beach episode, Azula seems evil, but perfect. In a social setting, away from battle, she can't function.
  • Not So Different: With Zuko as both worked hard to make their way and try to gain the respect of their father. She was just more ruthless about it.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: To Long Feng. She deliberately plays the part of somewhat smart young girl who is way in over her head when she meets Long Feng and teams up with him. Once he decides to betray her, she reveals just how cunning and ruthless she really is.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: She pulls this on Long Feng, and he completely falls for it.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: She seems to have this ability, using it mostly as an escape move, most obvious in "The Chase" and "The Drill".
  • Omnicidal Maniac: She was the one who suggested the "burn the Earth Kingdom to the ground" thing. When Ozai tweaks The Plan to include the genocide of the people as well, she's plenty happy with it and can't wait for a daddy-daughter bonding trip doing it.
  • The Perfectionist: See that little lock of hair dangling over her forehead in her character picture? "One hair out of place" while practicing Lightning bending and she gets worked up over it.
  • Pet the Dog: In "The Beach", she apologizes to Ty Lee after insulting her. She also comforted Zuko when she found him at their family's old beach house. Notably, it's the only non-antagonistic scene she shares with her brother.
  • The Plan: Azula is fond of using plans to achieve her ends. Many of them are based on what her mark is invested in and would reliably do.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: She never kills or harms when diplomacy and sweet words are enough.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Always wears her hair this way and secured with a Fire Nation comb. It falls out when she goes insane, with the result of her looking deranged.
  • Psycho Electro: Even in the middle of her Villainous Breakdown, she can still shoot lightning.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Being betrayed by her Childhood Friends and feeling unloved by both of her parents led to her Villainous Breakdown in the series finale.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Much like her father, she never gives any genuine smile. Every time she does smile, it's one of these.
  • Puppet King: She was made Fire Lord by Ozai...who immediately made the title pointless when he crowned himself Phoenix King. Azula took this very badly.
  • Put on a Bus: At the end of The Search, Azula ran off into the Forgetful Valley.
  • Pyromaniac: After her Villainous Breakdown her fire is no longer the control and precise style it used to be.
  • Rage Against the Reflection:
    • She rages at her hallucination of her mother in a mirror as she realizes that she is completely alone and unloved, thus also clearly raging against herself.
    • She continues to do this in "The Search", where she believes that Ursa's controlling everyone around her to ruin her life.
  • Redemption Quest: Is potentially on this path at the end of "The Search"...it's really unclear.
  • Redemption Rejection: This exchange happens between her and her mother, where she apologizes to Azula for not loving her enough. Azula hesitates for a moment, but instead, just continues to attack Zuko and states her desire to be free from the torment in her head.
  • Reluctant Psycho: In "The Search", Azula's fully aware that she's lost her mind and isn't happy about it.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Like all the Fire Nation royalty, she's a One-Man Army waiting to happen. When Ozai "rewards" her with a meaningless position, it exacerbates her Sanity Slippage.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: See No Social Skills. If the finale is any indication, she also can't style her hair on her own, having gotten used to servants doing it for her. It's a lot more important than it may sound.
  • Sadist: While her father is simply a completely callous bastard drunk on his own power, Azula clearly enjoys hurting others and getting attention from it. She plays cruel mind games with her brother and "friends" and amuses herself by stirring up trouble or hurting people. We later find out this is her way of asserting her power and worth and finding emotional release. She also likes watching others getting hurt. Just ask Zuko when Ozai gave him an eyeful of flame.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: In "The Search: Part 1," Azula escapes from the Gaang in Volume 1 with her typical do-daring, but, unlike her pre-breakdown self, is quickly recaptured because she stops running to argue with a hallucination. She's also defeated relatively easily (compared to the series) and quickly anytime she tries to fight Zuko or the Gaang.
  • Sanity Slippage: After being betrayed by her friends and father, Azula succumbs to paranoia and psychosis.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Goes hand-in-hand with being a Manipulative Bitch, which makes her much more dangerous than Zhao. There's only one episode where we see her tracking skills, but it's clear she knows what she's doing.
  • Self-Made Woman: Of a sort. She's certainly privileged and naturally talented but Azula believes in doing her own dirty work. Her greatest achievements are things she did through determination, guile and brass tacks power.
  • Self-Proclaimed Liar: As she says "I'm a very good liar".
  • Serious Business: Beach Volley is worthy of immense evil gloating and burning the net afterward.
  • She Is the King: The title of Fire Lord is unisex.
  • Shock and Awe: Introduces lightning generation, which only a few very skilled firebenders can do.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Ultimately betrays Team Avatar in "The Search: Part 3", not that they were surprised.
  • Slasher Smile: Sported one during her final fight with Zuko.
  • Slipknot Ponytail: She's the page image because it is the only result of falling off a cliff and using firebending to fly to safety.
  • Smug Super: Being a firebender with The Gift and lightning bending is just one reason why she thinks she's better than everyone.
  • The Social Expert: Plays everyone from her brother to foreign officials like fiddles. When intimidation and manipulation begin to fail her, it triggers her Villainous Breakdown.
  • The Sociopath: Just like daddy, she has no remorse for her many evil deeds and manipulations.
  • The Strategist: Unquestionably one of the greatest strategic minds in the series. While an extremely powerful and skilled firebender, her mind is her most dangerous weapon. Once that starts to go through Sanity Slippage, she's easier to defeat, though still extremely dangerous.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Sort of. She takes Admiral Zhao's place as the "evil Fire Nation officer trying to capture Aang" but she's female, smarter, and more dangerous than he is.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Only 14, but one of the nastiest, most messed-up villains in the show.
  • Terms of Endangerment: "Zuzu!" It could be said this one word sums up what makes Azula a Tragic Villain. It began as a genuine loving nickname from a little sister to her elder brother but by the time she shows up in the series, it's a biting insult to express that she thinks he's beneath her in all ways.
  • Token Evil Teammate: To Team Avatar themselves in "The Search" because of her sabotage.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Smoke and Shadows, she regains her sanity and her skills become much improved. She's able to run circles around Aang and the Kyoshi Warriors and her lightning blasts are much faster than before. Not even Zuko's lightning re-direction is as effective this time as Azula simply blasted him with another shot of lightning before he can redirect her first bolt back at her. She's even able to defeat Zuko at the end with her newfound prowess and declares how she's really the one who's won by making him a more powerful(and ruthless) Fire Lord.
  • Tragic Villain: For all her scary traits, ruthless acts and hints of psychosis, Azula is, ultimately, little more than a lost girl at heart, desperately seeking love and attention from her family and trust from her friends. Her breakdown is a result of isolation and fear. If she can't control others with fear then she fears they will turn on her.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: While Ozai definitely nurtured Azula's villainous side, every flashback we see in the series indicates sociopathic traits/tendencies from an early age. We've seen her smirking with glee as her brother got his face set on fire, setting her presents on fire because she didn't want them, jeering that her uncle's "weak" for having an emotional breakdown after his only son is killed, and cheerfully taunting her brother and her mother both that her father is going to kill his son — and there's subtle hints she may have been lying about that just to drive a wedge between the family. It's so easy to see Azula engaging in stereotypical "psycho behavior", like torturing her brother's pets, it's frightening. When young!Zuko says to his mom "do you want to know how Azula feeds the turtle-ducks?" and proceeds to throw a big rock at them, it's pretty clear that animal cruelty is part of her record.
  • True Companions:
    • Mai and Ty Lee, the only ones she trusts due to them being the longest-lasting victims of being afraid of her, and what send her to the deep end when they betrayed her. Fear is not a good way to make friends. By Smoke and Shadow, they have completely disavowed and shunned her.
    • Averted in "The Search" with Team Avatar, as she does not integrate with them. She'd wait to either weasel her way out, or betray them when the situation calls for it.
  • Undying Loyalty: After all she went through with her father, and even though he's in prison, The Search indicates that she is still loyal to him. Zuko uses this to his advantage. Afterwards, it is no longer the case.
  • The Unfavorite: Word of God says she perceives herself to be this when it comes to her mother.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In Universe and Fanon, seems to take with stride that a 14 year old girl with other two teens managed to take Ba Sing Se, a city that the greatest generals in the Fire Nation couldn't conquer (including Iroh with dozens of thousands of soldiers and 600 days) in a 100-year war, bring down a dynasty, destroy the greatest dictatorship in the Verse so far, command the absolute loyalty of the Dai Li and permanently cripple the Earth Kingdom (capturing the 5 generals), quite likely ending the war. She did this in less than a month with zero casualties while making it up as she went.
  • Unstoppable Rage: During her and Zuko's Agni Kai, her Villainous Breakdown and Ax-Crazy issues finally boil over and she turns into a fire-spewing maniac for the whole of the battle.
  • Villainous Breakdown: It starts when Ty Lee and Mai turn on her, and Ozai pushes her aside just like he did to Zuko. It comes full circle when she loses to Katara and Zuko; she's left chained to a grate, snarling and spitting fire and then eventually crying and whimpering on the ground, while Katara and Zuko can only look on in pity and horror.
  • Villain Decay: In "The Search" due to her deteriorated mental state, she is less competent and dangerous than before. Subverted in "Smoke and Shadow", where she Took a Level in Badass.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Mai and Ty Lee, until it becomes apparent that both of them were scared of Azula's wrath and pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Just like her dad, she also scoffs at the idea of honor and altruism. Furthermore, she scoffs at the idea of Long Feng being a Worthy Opponent towards her.
    Long Feng: "You've beaten me at my own game."
    Azula: "Don't flatter yourself. You were never even a player."
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Although Zuko improved over the series he was not the same level of threat with a troupe of soldiers in Book 1 to Aang as Azula was alone Season 2. The Gaang's inability to adjust to this new threat level quickly enough results in her dealing them a crushing defeat at the end of the season.
  • We Can Rule Together: She tried this as a pick-up line on a guy at a party. She also used this on Zuko, and was one of the few occasions where it worked.
  • We Will Meet Again: At the end of "The Search", Azula runs away to parts unknown. Sokka comments that this is not the last they'll see of her, and believes there's a chance they will run into her again.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl:
    • Not just to her father, but to her mother as well. She sought the approval of both parents by being cruel to others due to what Ozai taught her. While Ozai was pleased with the result, up until the point where this meant she'd lie to him, Ursa worried about her daughter's mental instability. She mistook that for Ursa's fearing her as a monster.
    • With Ozai, the finale makes clear that Azula is probably worse than Zuko about her father's approval, freaking out and snapping at him when she feels he's not giving her the proper respect she deserves. Over the next several days, her Sanity Slippage is fuelled partly by her belief Ozai doesn't trust her to succeed.
  • With Friends Like These...: She does seem to on some level consider Mai and Ty Lee her friends, but all this means is that she treats them marginally better than everyone else. Mai explicitly states she fears Azula, and it's pretty strongly hinted with Ty Lee from her first appearance. At one point during The Drill, Mai's comments suggest Azula has a tendency to throw lightning at them when they don't do as she demands.
  • Worf Had the Flu: In the series finale, it took her brain breaking for Katara to bring her down. Her Sanity Slippage gave Zuko an advantage, which he noted before their Agni Kai began. After a certain point Katara doesn't even try to attack the crazed and comet-powered girl, instead waiting until she could disable Azula by freezing and chaining her up.
  • Worthy Opponent: Subverted. Long Feng thinks they are. Azula sneers at the very idea.
  • Younger than She Looks: Yep. She's fourteen. The year-long timeskip happens in The Promise; then she's 15.

    Fire Lord Ozai 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fire-lord-ozai_large.jpg
Voiced by: Mark Hamill

"I have all the power in the WOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRLD!!"

Ruler of the Fire Nation and likely the most powerful Firebender on the planet, Ozai is the main antagonist of the series. A ruthless warlord and megalomaniac, Ozai is willing to burn the rest of the world to the ground so he can rule. He has little to no empathy for anyone, including his own children (though he's acts decent towards them if they prove themselves useful.) Aang must defeat Ozai before Ozai can harness Sozin's Comet and use it to end the war once and for all.
  • Above Good and Evil: He believes that right and wrong are meaningless, believing that the will of the fire lord is the be all and end all.
  • Abusive Dad:
    • You see that scar on Zuko's face? That's just the most visible mark.
    • He's indirectly emotionally abusive of Azula as well — her perfectionism and eventual breakdown can be traced back to the knowledge that if she ever slips up, what happened to Zuko could just as easily happen to her. At most though, he trusts her. But was very upset with her when she calls him out for treating her like Zuko.
  • Action Dad: While he is not a good father, he's certainly a very powerful one.
  • Arranged Marriage: With Ursa. Unlike the standard, it wasn't for political reasons but rather an experiment in Superpowerful Genetics.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He's confirmed in Avatar Extras to be the most powerful Firebender. The only benders in the world who have a chance of beating him in a straight fight are Aang and Iroh, meaning that Ozai is at worst the second most powerful bender in the world. Though that's a moot point after he loses his bending.
  • Ax-Crazy: Expresses vicious, murderous glee in the process of levelling the Earth Kingdom.
  • Bad Boss: He is as awful to his subordinates as he is to his least favorite child, as he is one slip up away from incinerating them.
  • Badass In Charge: Ozai is described as being the most powerful firebender in the world, during his lifetime. Not to mention that he very nearly kills Aang in their final battle many times.
  • Badass Beard: Sports a goatee. An exceptionally long goatee.
  • Beard of Evil: A classic "sinister guy" goatee.
  • Berserk Button: To complain and to question his authority is the most evident, but one more subtle is compare him with Iroh or even suggest that Iroh is better than him.
  • Big Bad: Even though his actions aren't directly driving the plot (that's mostly Azula's job), his influence in the story makes him the main villain for the series, and the one Aang ultimately aims to take down.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Courtesy of Aang's energy bending, he can no longer fire bend.
  • Cain and Abel: Cain To Iroh's Abel, though they never fought directly. Ozai preferred machinations when dealing with his brother.
  • The Chessmaster: Like his daughter, he's a very capable strategist and manipulator. However, by the time he takes action in the plot, Sozin's Comet has arrived and he gets too Drunk on the Dark Side to use it.
  • Classic Villain: Representing pride and ambition.
  • Control Freak: Much like his daughter. Heck, that's the reason why he banished Zuko for talking out of turn.
  • Crippling Over Specialization: Ozai is blessed with incredible natural talent for fire bending, and he relies heavily on this talent rather than learn how to fight without it. Compared to his brother and children, he has no technique beyond incinerating his opponents with large amounts of fire. Terrifyingly enough, this seems to be enough for him to outmatch all but Aang and Iroh.
  • Determinator: He refuses to give up, even still referring to himself as the "Phoenix King" after losing his powers.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A recurring theme with him. He challenged his son to an Agni Kai for the crime of speaking out of turn, and banished & burned half of said son's face off for the crime of begging for forgiveness rather than standing and fighting.
  • The Dreaded: To Aang, who fears the inevitable confrontation with him throughout the series. He is so feared by everyone, that few in the world have the tenacity to stand up to him or challenge him. Even Azula, who herself is feared by almost everyone else, backs down when he commands it.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: He acts this way once Sozin's Comet powers him up. In his own words "ALL THE POWER IN THE WORLD!"
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Say what you want about his morals, but the man's not sexist. He favors his (also evil) daughter over his son, has no problem with women serving in the Fire Nation military, and has no issue with making his aforementioned daughter the Fire Lord. Also, he presumably had no problem with Azula bringing Dai Lee agents to the capital as suveniors.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Fire Lord Azulon ordered him to kill his own son, which Ozai deemed unthinkable. Subverted when we learn he had planned on going through with it.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Ozai fails to understand why Aang didn't kill him and instead, spared him. Same after Zuko tells him that Aang is the one who should kill Ozai, not him.
    Even with all the power in the world, you are still weak.
  • Evil Counterpart: He is essentially Zuko completely overcome by his feelings of inferiority towards his more talented sibling and desire to gain his father's approval, minus Zuko's naturally kindhearted nature.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Whenever he shows up, there's no question as to who the real Big Bad is. Ozai is this to everyone, including Zuko.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: Comes with being an anger firebender.
  • Evil Overlord: The Fire Lord.
  • Evil Only Has to Win Once: As Zuko puts it, if Aang doesn't defeat him before Sozin's comet arrives, there won't be a world to save anymore.
  • Evil Plan: Finish his grandfather Sozin's conquest of the world.
  • The Evil Prince: In flashbacks, when he was still fire prince, instead of ''lord' he was just as vicious and manipulative. However, his brother Iroh chooses not to challenge it even if his birthright was revoked.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: An exceptional Badass Baritone, courtesy of Mark Hamill.
  • Expy: A composite of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. Even funnier considering he's voiced by Mark Hamill.
  • The Faceless: In Seasons 1-2, there is darkness covering his face whenever he is present which fits his status as The Dreaded.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: De-bended and left to rot in a cell.
  • Faux Affably Evil: When he's not being abusive, he sounds civil, but in a cold and not-really-empathic way. He tells people what he thinks they want to hear, so long as what they want is to stay on his good side.
  • Final Boss: He's the final enemy Aang faces, and the one he's been training the entire series to defeat.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's implied he was The Unfavorite to Azulon. The Search comic series gives another possible reason why Ozai is abusive to Zuko: he wed Ursa as part of a eugenics experiment (partly explaining his complete dissociation with his family's well-being), and he thinks Zuko is the love child of Ursa and her childhood friend Ikem after reading his wife's letter to Ikem. It turns out that he knew all along that Zuko was his son and the reason he's abusive to Zuko was to punish Ursa for her lie.
  • A God Am I: He doesn't outright name himself a god, but the idea that he was just a step away from world domination during the Grand Finale certainly gave him delusions.
  • God-Emperor: Makes a claim at this towards the end with the new position of "Phoenix King".
  • Godzilla Threshold: He's the one villain Zuko doesn't recommend holding back on. Aang on the other hand, isn't wiling to take his life even if Ozai passes this threshold.
  • Greater Scope Villain: Despite losing his firebending and being imprisoned, he still casts his dark influence in the comics that take place after the main series.
  • Humiliation Conga: Brought Down to Normal, mocked by kids and teenagers, and left living on the mercy of the son he abused.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Heavily implied in his relationship with his brother, in his own personal search of admiration and respect and lately in his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Jerkass: It took Zuko a while to realize that his father was an asshole that cared only for his personal glory.
  • Kick the Dog: Ozai's abuse of Zuko is even worse than usual during the flashback scenes of "The Search" graphic novel where a fight with Ursa ends with him promising her that since she wishes Zuko was the son of her childhood lover rather than his, then that is exactly how Ozai would treat him from that day on.
  • Kill It with Fire: Aside from the obvious, his master plan is to use Sozin's Comet to greatly enhance firebending everywhere. A more literal example comes later in the series; the final battle is kicked off when he begins to personally burn down swathes of the Earth Kingdom.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Again, much like his daughter, he's a dead serious and frighteningly competent villain.
  • Lack of Empathy: Cares for himself and himself alone.
  • Large and in Charge: He outsizes a lot of his subordinates.
  • Large Ham: In the series finale as The Phoenix King! Exemplified by his article quote above. He's voiced by Mark Hamill. It was to be expected.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Zuko was banished when Ozai challenged him to a duel and the prince refused to fight. When the boy made his Heel Realization, he challenged his father instead but still refused to fight, allowing that to be Aang's destiny.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Reflects his fighting style if not his fragility. Unlike his brother and children who like to mix it up in close combat and are generally as dangerous without bending as they are with it, Ozai prefers to stay at a distance and blast his enemies with ranged attacks. In the absence of bending he even considers himself outmatched by Zuko to that point that he wouldn't bother fighting, though Zuko was armed with swords at the time.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Plays on Zuko's emotions right until the boy pulls a Calling the Old Man Out. By "The Promise", he's gained a reputation for being this.
  • Might Makes Right: Firmly believes that the Fire Lord's will is right by way of being the Fire Lord.
  • Misery Builds Character: He believes strongly in this as way of upbringing to his children. When he gave Zuko his scar, he said "pain will be your teacher".
  • Narcissist: A fairly textbook case — needs his children to be obedient and perfect (as they reflect back on him), demands and receives unconditional worship from his underlings, totally lacking in empathy because he's too wrapped up in himself, an implicit Inferiority Superiority Complex from being a "Well Done, Son!" Guy, and a propensity towards delusions of grandeur and megalomania, culminating in attempted genocide. And he never, ever accepts responsibility for anything wrong he has ever done, to the point that in the sequel comic he claims that right and wrong is up to the Fire Lord to decide.
  • Near Villain Victory: He had the edge on Aang until inadvertently giving his opponent access to the Avatar state again.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • He tried to smash Aang's earth shield only to hit the chakra that Azula had blocked, opening it, and then spends the rest of the fight fleeing in terror from the wrath of an absolutely furious Avatar Aang.
    • Zuko outright states that he did this. If he never banished his son to go hunt for the Avatar, then said would never have met the Avatar, joined the Avatar and taught the Avatar firebending.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Discussed by Sokka after learning about Ozai's plan to obliterate the Earth Kingdom with the power of Sozin's comet. Sokka once believed Ozai was merely a bad guy, but later realizes that the fire lord is just pure evil.
  • Offing the Offspring: Was planning on doing this to Zuko when he was about 8-10 to appease his father. Attempted to do it again when Zuko announced his intentions to join the Avatar to help him defeat him.
  • Oh Crap!: The two times his lightning is redirected, once by Zuko and once by Aang, he is visibly scared. The biggest instance of this, however, is when he smashes Aang against a rock during their fight and, by doing this, inadvertently opens the chakra Azula closed with her lightning attack far earlier. He is then faced with a fully realized, and absolutely furious, Avatar State Aang. The look of terror on his face is something to behold.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: His Evil Plan in the finale was to wipe out the other two nations.
  • Overarching Villain: Despite Azula and Zhao being the main threats in the first two seasons, they ultimately answered to Fire Lord Ozai.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Strategically justified. He's waiting for Sozin's Comet.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Planned to wipe out the Earth Kingdom singled handed with a towering wave of flames.
  • Pet the Dog: Rescues a young Zuko from drowning after a tide sweeps him into the middle of the ocean. At least he initially cared for him enough not to let him die. In Book 3, Ozai is convinced of Zuko's usefulness that he specifically needed him for a pivotal war meeting.
  • Prepare to Die: A rare, terrifying example: it helps that he waited until he had a solid claim to winning.
    "You're weak — just like the rest of your people! They did not deserve to exist in this world — in my world! Prepare to join them! Prepare to DIE!!!"
  • Prince Charmless: For Ursa. She would have preferred to marry her childhood friend Ikem, but was forced to marry this egotistical jerk, though Zuko believes that at least some of their time together was happy.
  • Psycho Electro: He's quite skilled when it comes to lightningbending none too civil.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: At the end of Smoke and Shadows, Ursa concludes that this who Ozai really is deep down. A small, insecure man trying to be big and mighty at the expense of everyone around him, including himself. Ozai's reaction to these words only validates such beliefs, as all he could come up in response is a stuttering demand for respect which quickly devolves into that of a whining child begging for attention.
  • Psychotic Smirk: When he smiles, it's never a kind, genuine smile. It's always an evil smirk.
  • Pyromaniac: It's easy to see where Azula gets her psycho firey side from.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: He mocks both Zuko and Aang for their unwillingness to fight and kill him, respectively, viewing their hesitation as weakness.
  • Self-Made Orphan: "The Search" reveals that, although Ursa is the one who made the poison, it was ultimately Ozai who murdered Azulon, as Ursa shortly left after giving the vial to him.
  • Shock and Awe: Very good at it, too. He can generate lightning extremely quickly, whereas both Azula and Iroh, master firebenders in their own right, require at least a few seconds to "charge".
  • The Social Darwinist: "You're weak, just like the rest of your people! They did not deserve to exist in this world! MY WORLD!" This is why he absolutely hates it when Zuko and later Aang have him at their mercy and won't kill him, or when Zuko won't fight an Agni Kai against him after challenging the chain of command. Everyone else should be a Social Darwinist too, damn it!
  • The Sociopath: In case you're wondering where Azula got her remorseless sadism from... look no further.
  • Squishy Wizard: Despite being in prime physical condition, Ozai seems to lack any real physical combat capabilities (during the eclipse Zuko was able to intimidate his disempowered father into keeping his distance simply by brandishing his swords) instead preferring to use his fire-bending to fight foes from a safe distance. When he loses his bending, he makes up for it by being more cunning and manipulative than usual.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: While his fire bending is easily some of the best in the world, he demonstrates no martial arts training, something that even the lowest ranking fire nation soldier displays skill at.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: He's essentially an older Zuko sans the horrific scarring and a calmer/sharper dispoistion.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else: Though still a bully and childish, Ozai is also an outright sociopath willing to commit genocide. The fact that he can do these things while looking like a normal man, rather than the built-up monster, is rather eerie on its own.
  • Ultimate Evil: He was kept from being seen for most of the series, and all we usually saw of him is a shadowy figure in his throne room. When he finally shows himself, he didn't look so intimidating. In subsequent episodes after this however, his actions very much affirm how horrifically and terrifyingly evil he is out of every villain Aang has faced.
  • The Unfavourite: It's implied that Azulon favored Iroh over him similar to how he favors Azula over Zuko; the screw up and the prodigy.
  • The Unfettered: Nothing checks his ambition.
  • The Unreveal: Invoked. He is built up a terrifying figure of demonic proportions for the first two seasons, usually surrounded by shadow and fire whenever anyone is thinking of him. Then Season 3 hits and he turns out to be just a guy, albeit a dangerously arrogant one with far too much power. This is symbolic of Aang and especially Zuko overcoming their awe and dread of him, since for all his Firebending and military might Ozai himself is just a man, and a delusional and childish man at that. Ultimately he's just a bully who needs to be stood up to and the product of a poisonous culture and legacy more than anything else.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: His thanks to Ursa for allowing him to usurp Azulon as Fire Lord, while saving their son's life in the process, was to banish her for treason. Despite this it's averted as she had to agree to banishment before the whole thing happened. For Ozai, this was necessary for him to tie up loose ends.
  • Unwanted Spouse: To Ursa. She didn't like the idea of marrying him and her true love was someone else.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: According to Zuko, he wasn't always a power hungry bully.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He is very popular with his citizens, even after being deposed, as seen in "The Promise". This is thanks to him developing a cult of personality where, as shown in The Headband, Fire Nation schools routinely teach their students to adore him and even rewrite history to favor him and his predecessors.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Occurs during his final battle with Aang. During the opening of the battle he's smug and confident, but after Aang achieves the Avatar State, Ozai's visibly terrified. After he loses his bending, he's left a pathetic shell of his former self.
    • He manages to regain composure during his time in prison and becomes a cunning and dominating Manipulative Bastard to Zuko's regime. It works for most of the prison visits until Ursa arrives, who then proclaims to Ozai she is no longer afraid of him anymore and gives "The Reason You Suck" Speech of how he is ultimately a small man who tries with all his might to act big before saying her goodbyes. Ozai's response as Ursa leaves him forever notably shows him stuttering and eventually screaming for her to come back and beg at his feet, virtually making him powerless in both bending and in words at least to Ursa.
  • Villainous Valour: The guy is an utter bastard and is visibly terrified when Aang achieves the Avatar State. But even then, while he's outmatched, he doesn't try to run away or to beg and even manages to dodge Aang's attacks several minutes and to get a few attacks off.
  • Villains Never Lie: He's the only character who gives exposition on Ursa's fate. He's taken at his word by both Zuko and the audience, even though Ozai was blatantly trying manipulate Zuko at the time. (This may be because the story matches up with hints from Azula, who is herself a villain.)
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Believes that mercy and compassion are for the weak, which he uses to justify all of his evil acts.
  • Would Hurt a Child: There's a reason why Zuko has that nasty facial scar...and he doesn't care if his greatest enemy is a child with all the power in the world.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Ursa gives him the poison, Ursa would be the final loose end; Ozai had to banish Ursa without her taking the children.

    Princess Ursa 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/princess-ursa_large.png
Voiced by: Jen Cohn

"That's what moms are like — if you mess with their babies, they're gonna bite you back."

Even as Ozai's wife, Ursa was a caring mother to their children. (Though she had considerable problems dealing with Azula.) She was one of the few people who consistently supported Zuko, and it came as a hard blow to him when she suddenly disappeared.


  • Arranged Marriage: Revealed to be the case with her marriage to Ozai, basically because Fire Lord Azulon wanted to conduct a eugenics experiment.
  • Awful Wedded Life: The comics explain that her marriage was arranged and that her married life with Ozai was NOT what she wanted at all.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: One of the kindest fire nation royals. She is also responsible for Azulon's death.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Ursa told her lover Ikem that she "joyfully accepted" Ozai's proposal to stop his attempts to resist, which would almost certainly get him killed.
  • Broken Bird: It turns out she's deeply unhappy in her marriage to Ozai, which was extorted through implied threats to the man she really loved. She also carries a lot of guilt over Ozai's mistreatment of her beloved son, which she inadvertently caused. And that's before she's forced to kill her father-in-law.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Before being forced to marry Ozai, Ursa had a lover named Ikem, who was also her childhood friend.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Poisoning your grandfather to keep you alive and banished as a result.
  • The Exile: Banished from the Fire Nation for treason.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Double Subverted. She thought that finding Ikem, changing her identity and marrying him was the happy ending she wanted. When Team Avatar finds her, she came to realize that this was not what she truly wanted. Reconciling with her son, who is now Fire Lord, eased the sting. Now if only she can repeat the feat with Azula....
  • Gilded Cage: After marrying Ozai, her new life was better than her backwater village due to the comforts of the Palace. However, Ursa wasn't allowed to speak to her family or mention her pre-Fire Nation princess life again after their wedding. She couldn't have certain possessions or travel where she wants without the Royal family's permission. Even the letters secretly sent back home were intercepted and confiscated.
  • Good Parents: She's a very loving mother, but as "The Search" reveals, she doesn't consider herself a perfect one.
  • Identical Granddaughter: She looks very similar to Roku's wife; Ta Min, who's also her grandmother.
  • Irony: Her last words to Zuko are "Never forget who you are!" She then proceeds to literally and willingly forget a significant part of who she is, and who Zuko and Azula are for that matter.
  • Lady Macbeth: Downplayed. Ursa came up with the idea of killing Azulon and made a bargain with Ozai to help him become Fire Lord, but she did it in order to protect Zuko.
  • Mama Bear: "That's what moms are like — if you mess with their babies, they're gonna bite you back."
  • Master Poisoner: She knew a lot about poisons and herbs thanks to her mother. She gave Ozai an odor-less, color-less poison to kill Azulon.
  • Meaningful Name: Ursa is Latin for "bear." It Gains further meaning when one stops to think of Ozai's use of the word "vicious" to describe her treason. Right after telling Zuko that disfiguring his son wasn't a big deal and right before he tries to smite the boy.
  • Missing Mom: To Zuko and Azula. She disappeared during their childhood.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: To see if her letters have been intercepted, Ursa wrote a letter that states that Zuko is Ikem's son rather Ozai's, knowing that it would provoke Ozai. It backfired horribly, as Ozai's jealousy and rage over this caused him to openly treat Zuko as if he was not his own son as punishment for Ursa (though Ozai had already been treating Zuko pretty badly even before his confrontation with Ursa). This also led to Ozai favoring and corrupting Azula, and Ursa once again failed to help matters by focusing her efforts into protecting Zuko from the results of her mistake, unintentionally neglecting Azula (at least from her perspective) in the process.
  • Parents as People: "The Search: Part 3" reveals her memories were wiped. Ozai forbid her from contacting them and she loved them too much to bear knowing of them but never seeing them again. Even Noriko, who is Ursa under memory loss and a new identity, admits this when she hears of what her past-self did, and when she's restored to being Ursa, she re-iterates this admittance to Zuko, outright asking herself "what kind of mother forgets her own children?"
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Don't be fooled by her kindness and gentle demeanor. Hurt (or threaten to hurt) her kids, and she will hurt you.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Ikem. An arranged marriage kept them apart.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: They had a scene storyboarded for her return in the finale, but it got cut due to Mike and Bryan feeling such a brief scene would be unsatisfactory. This question is finally answered in "The Search".
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: She is a demure and gentle mother in an Asian-ish setting who helped Ozai murder her father-in-law to save her son. "The Search" reveals that she wasn't this when she was younger. On the contrary, she was rather tomboyish.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Unfortunately, it goes both ways because the first time, she was part of an arranged marriage to someone she did not love. The second time, it's because she was exiled and can never see her children again, and her old home isn't the same anymore. After Zuko has revoked her banishment however, returning to the capital hasn't been easy for her either.

    Prince Lu Ten 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lu_ten.png
"If only I could have helped you."— Iroh

Iroh's only son, who like his father served in the Fire Nation army, and died during the siege of Ba Sing Se, prompting Iroh's withdrawal from the city, his retirement from the army, and his Heel–Face Turn. It also provoked Ozai's grab for the throne, and everything that followed.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Is implied to have been this to Zuko.
  • Cheerful Child: He was one, judging by Iroh's memories of him playing at fire bending
  • The Ghost: Never appears, save once as a child in a flashback. We do see what he looked like around the time he died, if the photo his father puts over his grave is any indication.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: His death caused Iroh's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Missing Mom: Manages to do her son one better. We never heard a single thing about her, not even a name or a brief mention by her husband. Not even in flashbacks.
  • Modest Royalty: Isn't ever addressed as "prince", despite his father being first in line for the throne. He also served in the army, rather than staying home and directing the war from there.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Amazingly, even Ozai and Azula, both of whom despise his father and would have no compunctions about expressing their opinions, are never heard saying a bad word about Lu Ten himself.
  • Posthumous Character: He is long dead by the time the series begins.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Lu Ten only has a few scenes scattered across the seasons for appearances (most of which are just flashbacks or people remembering him) but his death was the catalyst for the majority of the plot; if he hadn't died, Iroh would not have had his Heel–Face Turn and would have likely leveled Ba Sing Se, pretty much ending the war almost a decade before Aang would awaken again.
  • White Sheep: About the only member of the Fire Nation royal family who isn't messed up or damaged in some way, just being a loyal and dedicated officer in the military.

Azula's Companions:

    Mai 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maiavatar_6567.png
Voiced by: Cricket Leigh

Daughter of very high class Fire Nation nobles in charge of colonizing Omashu for Firelord Ozai. Mai was constantly forced by her parents to be quiet in order to keep up appearances. As a result, Mai finds no enjoyment in anything other than her childhood crush Zuko. As an expert with throwing blades, Mai was recruited by her old friend Azula to help her in her schemes. Although she does have a soft spot for Zuko and Tom-Tom, she's so apathetic to everything that she doesn't care about being Azula's soldier.
  • Adorkable: Mai is not normally very adorkable, but around Zuko she gets all giggly and blushy. They express their love in very awkward and adorable ways. The B-story in "Nightmares and Daydreams" is a good example.
  • Aloof Big Sister: Shows little emotion in regards to her brother, but the comics show that she cares greatly for him.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She is almost as tall as Zuko, has long black hair, and is very aloof and cold.
  • Anti-Villain: Though not to the extent of Ty Lee (what with being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold instead of a straight-on Nice Girl), she is still only going up against the good guys because she works under someone who is evil.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Her father turned to The Dark Side, with the ambition of overthrowing Zuko. Mild example though, because he doesn't see himself or his daughter as enemies. Mai on the other hand, happened to inflict this on him, because what he's doing isn't right.
  • Badass Normal: She throws knives at a team of benders. The fact that Azula chose her, along with Ty Lee, for her elite team instead of any other benders should also tell you something.
  • Becoming the Mask: Pretends to be in love with Kei Lo so she can get information out of him. Her feelings are never made explicit but she does seem to care for him later on.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Inverted with Azula. She was bored out of her mind with her father and wanted Azula's excitement.
  • Beta Couple: With Zuko. See his entry.
  • Big Sister Instinct: The story arc of Rebound, a comic sequel to "The Promise" series, portrays this. After undergoing Character Development and her breakup with Zuko, she discovers her father gathered an Ozai-loyal faction and intends to raise Tom-Tom into loyalty to Ozai and hatred for Fire Lord Zuko. With that, Mai snatches Tom-Tom away (who ran into her arms) and brings him to a friendly aunt where she knows he'd be raised well. Did we mention her taking Tom-Tom away was all while fighting off the Ozai faction by herself with him on her back?
  • Birds of a Feather: With Zuko. They're both perpetually frowning Emo Teens with some kind of family issue who are from the Fire Nation and use bladed weapons.
  • Broken Bird: Her father treated her like a liability instead of a daughter, was not allowed hobbies, and her only friends were Ty Lee and Azula. No wonder Mai is so cynical and bitter.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: While turning her back on Azula at the Boiling Rock, she managed to consistently pin several guards onto solid metal architecture, using the same knives with which she attacks everything and everyone else. More passively, she's on even footing with the average elite bender, such as Early-Season-2 Katara and half the Terra Team sent to attack The Drill.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: In a flashback, we see her admiring Zuko from afar as kids.
  • Childhood Friends: With Azula and Ty Lee as we see in a flashback to their childhood shenanigans.
  • Co-Dragons: With Ty Lee, to Azula. Both of them are the number two henchfolk.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Azula and Ty Lee to a certain degree. "Rebound" also portrays her as this to Tom-Tom, who thinks she's awesome.
  • Dark Action Girl: During her time as Azula's lieutenant.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a very dry sense of humor.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Much like her boyfriend, except it takes her longer to thaw.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Towards Zuko in "The Beach" in response to him saying that she can't.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Emphasizing her emo personality.
  • Emo Teen: "That gloomy girl who sighs a lot?"
  • Emotionless Girl: Almost everything she says is in a monotone.
    • She becomes more emotional after undergoing Character Development by dating Kei Lo. She actually cries when he breaks up with her.
  • Emotion Suppression: She doesn't express herself because she was raised with the idea that her expressions could somehow hurt her father's political career.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Part of her attire because knife throwing requires finger dexterity.
  • Flechette Storm: Her preferred method of attack is to throw several knives at once to incapacitate her enemies.
  • Foil: To Toph, in a way. Both were raised by very fancy families that suppressed them, Toph's parents overprotecting her because of her blindness and Mai's parents keeping her well-behaved so she didn't jeopardise her dad's political career. Toph responded by defying her parents, acting out and really enjoying her earthbending, whereas Mai obeyed them, becoming very insular and apathetic to almost everything.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phelgmatic.
  • Goth: Word of God explicitly describes her as this, whereas Ty Lee was created to be a Valley Girl.
  • Heel–Face Turn: She betrays Azula during the Boiling Rock rock so she can help Zuko.
  • Hero of Another Story: Since Rebound, Mai has been involved in a personal war against the New Ozai Society.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Ty Lee.
  • Hidden Depths: The gloomy knife thrower is a Cool Big Sis after off-screen Character Development.
  • Hime Cut: An Ojou has to look nice after all.
  • Honey Trap: For Kei Lo. Poor guy...
  • It Amused Me: Unlike Ty Lee who was manipulated into joining Azula to hunt down Team Avatar, Mai accompanies Azula out of her own free will all because she wants to be entertained.
  • Jerkass: Treats her servants terribly, acts callously towards her family and wants to hunt down Team Avatar because she is bored. In the comics she jokes about Zuko dying and pretends to be in love with Kei Lo to manipulate him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Generally quite a jerk but she has a soft spot for Zuko.
  • Karma Houdini: The most triumphant example in the franchise. She never has to pay for serving as Azula's accomplice, mistreating her servants, manipulating Kei Lo, covering up assassination plots, putting Zuko's family in danger, the list goes on...
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Her main outfit is a long, elegant dress.
  • Kick the Dog: In her first appearance, she turns down a hostage deal for her own infant brother.
    • In the comics she dishes out a lot of emotional abuse against Zuko, although she still claims to care for him. She jokes about his death, his choice of friends after meeting Aang, and talks about how awful he is in general to Kei Lo.
  • Knife Nut: Knives are her Weapon of Choice.
  • Knife Outline: She throws knives strong enough to cause grown men to fly backwards and still have enough momentum to get stuck in an iron wall.
  • Lady of War: Very graceful in combat.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: She has no friends other Ty-Lee and Azula, and they were off at the circus or war.
  • Love Redeems: She follows Zuko in Heel–Face Turn because of his turn and her love for him.
    • In the comics she only dates Kei Lo to use him but she seems to develop something real for him as time passes and her usual Jerkass personality softens - becoming slightly more heroic rather than her usual apathetic self. When he breaks it off with her, she actually cries for the first time. Something she had never done with Zuko.
  • Loving a Shadow: She loves the Zuko from before his banishment and doesn't know how to deal with him after his Redemption Quest, with Zuko flat out telling her: "I knew you wouldn't understand" when she believes he is betraying the Fire Nation. Their relationship is vitriolic but they try to work things out. They break up again in the comics and Mai tells Kei Lo about her problems with Zuko.
  • The Masochism Tango: Her relationship with Zuko is not healthy. The two love each other but their conflicting morals and lack of communication leads to countless fights and their constant break-ups. She spends pages in Avatar: The Last Airbender – Smoke and Shadow describing what a horrible boyfriend Zuko is and how badly a relationship with him had hurt her. This leads to her making harsh jokes at his expense and she expresses the need for her to "move on" by dating Kei Lo.
  • Never My Fault: Does a lot of horrible things in Smoke and Shadow but blames Zuko and Azula for all of it.
  • New Old Flame: She and Zuko are a textbook "skip all the boring foreplay and get right to the intensity." Contrast with the heroic Official Couple, who were in the foreplay stage for fifty episodes. In this case we see a flashback of them as Childhood Friends before the reunion.
  • Noble Demon: She may be on Azula's side, but she's not evil.
  • Not So Stoic: Mai is capable of emotion....it's just buried deep down.
    "You want me to express myself? LEAVE ME ALONE!"
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: A borderline Hyperspace Arsenal example, Mai conceals a dart launcher on each wrist and ankle as well a several types of throwing knives and shuriken.
  • Odango Hair: Her main hairstyle is the hair buns paired with a Hime Cut
  • Ojou: Daughter of a high ranking official.
  • Opposites Attract: She and Zuko somehow manage to be this and Birds of a Feather. Despite their apparent similarities, their temperaments are completely opposite: Zuko is a Hot-Blooded Determinator, whereas Mai is an emotionless Defrosting Ice Queen.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Even when she's cuddling with her boyfriend she's frowning.
  • Pretty in Mink: She wears a fur trimmed cape to a date with Zuko.
  • Punch Clock Villain: She only helps Azula because she has nothing better to do.
  • The Quiet One: She's not too chatty, to say the least.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: It's a classic noblewoman look and its implied she didn't get out much before joining Azula's team.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Her garb is dark red overlaid with her black hair. Subverted with the evil part.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Ty Lee's red. Or, since Ty Lee describes Mai's aura as grey, and hers as pink, Mai's the Grey Oni to Ty Lee's Pink Oni.
  • Retcon:
  • Relationship Revolving Door: She is in a constant on-off relationship with Zuko. It's unstable to say the least. They get together only to break things off a few months later. They make up but then decide to call it quits again. It is supposed to be a contrast to Aang and Katara's solid relationship.
  • Rich Bitch: She's nobility from one of the richest families in the Fire Nation but is often bored by her immense wealth. She does however like to order her servants around cruelly and is a jerkass most of the time.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • Azula says she was a single child for 15 years until the birth of her brother who was established as 2 years old. This makes Mai at least 17 years old but official sources list her age as 15. Perhaps a case of Writers Cannot Do Math.
    • Smoke And Shadow has Zuko recalling a time when Mai told him of the terrible ordeal Tom-Tom faced in Omashu and her protectiveness of him but the actual episode had Mai not caring for Tom-Tom at all, even expressing annoyance at her family's grief for his loss. She was also one of the people endangering his life in the first place, with one of the writers even explaining her feelings for Tom-Tom as "apathetic and irritated".
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Mai seems to have been attracted to Zuko in the first place, exactly because he was not a megalomanic evil aristocrat like his father and his sister. They only get back together after he gets over his anger issues (during the Troubled, but Cute phase he is in for the early half of the series) and returns to being a nice friendly young prince. While she's seriously pissed about him leaving in the dark of the night to join the Avatar, she's impressed enough by his decision to do the right thing that she fights Azula to cover his escape.
  • The Snark Knight: Nearly everything she says is dry quips and sarcasm.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Like Zuko, she acts cold as a result of her past.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": If one didn't know how to spell her name, they would surely write it as "May", since that's exactly what it sounds like. This works in two ways, since someone familiar with Chinese pinyin pronunciation would expect her name to be spelled as "Mei".
  • The Stoic: Her face is almost always locked in bored indifference.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: She acts cold towards everyone, but her softer side is shown by her interactions with Zuko.
  • Sweet Tooth: She loves fruit tarts with rose petals on top. It's probably used as an Unusual Euphemism to indicate that her relationship with Zuko has aspects that are not acceptable to portray on a Y/Y7-rated show.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: A raven-haired Snark Knight. It's a trait she shares with Zuko.
  • Technical Pacifist: In most of her fights, she chooses to disable her opponents by pinning their clothes to walls rather than kill them. Although Word of God has confirmed this is due to censorship reasons.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Ty Lee's Girly Girl but it's a mild case considering both of them are martial artists and she's wearing a dress and Hime Cut. The tipping point is that Ty Lee wears a lot of white and pink and acts perky while Mai favors black and red.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mai already established herself as a badass (but quiet and knife obsessed) Lady of War took a level in badass in the episode "The Boiling Rock, Part 2". Mai took out 13 prison guards and freed the gondola line to help Zuko and company escape the boiling rock prison...and Princess Azula. Although this could just be a case of Mai being Not So Stoic.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Zuko. Even when their relationship is on the rocks, she remains loyal. Two instances: the Boiling Rock encounter where Zuko explains his treason and desertion and inspires her to defy Azula herself, and again in the "Rebound" free comic day issue where she discovers her father wants to use her as an insider against Zuko in a bid to put Ozai back on the throne.
  • Victory Is Boring: She provides the Trope Namer after she and Ty Lee issue a Curb-Stomp Battle to Katara and Sokka.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: She rescued Zuko in "Boiling Rock". "Saving the jerk who dumped me." as she put it.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: To Zuko. She doesn't put up with his angsting.
  • When She Smiles: Just like her boyfriend, she frowns so often that she looks really cute when she smiles genuinely.
  • Woman Scorned: Acted like one when Zuko dumps her via a written note before doing his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Has this happen at one point when she's disguised as a Kyoshi Warrior.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Covers Zuko escape from the Boiling Rock. She lives through it but was imprisoned for it.

    Ty Lee 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Ty_Lee.jpg
Voiced by: Olivia Hack

"My aura has never been pinker!"

Daughter of Fire Nation nobles, Ty Lee made an effort to distinguish herself from her six identical sisters. After joining a circus, Ty Lee was forcefully recruited by her childhood friend Azula. Although she's an expert martial artist able to stop bending by striking pressure points, she's more interested in doing handstands and being girly than doing villain work. Nonetheless, she's easily cowed by Azula, making her a loyal, if very quirky, minion.
  • Adorkable: A quirky, energetic young girl.
  • Affably Evil: She's quite nice and pleasant. It helps that she's an Anti-Villain.
  • Always Identical Twins: Her sisters show up in the comic and indeed they're pretty similar save for different color schemes on their clothes (and one being a bit of a jerkass). Ironically enough after Ty Lee left the circus when Azula came calling, they had arrived trying to find her and they themselves likewise joined the circus. Guess it does run in the family.
  • Anti-Magic: Knows the body well enough to strike vital "chi" spots and stop benders from bending. Very useful skill for a Badass Normal to have. This works well even against non-benders, where chi blocking paralyzes and incapacitates them.
  • Anti-Villain: There's nothing even remotely evil about her. She just happens to work under someone who is evil.
  • Attention Whore: A result of having six identical sisters and not having the attention she wanted as a child. This is also why she ran away to the Fire Nation circus.
  • Aura Vision: It's more a take-my-word-for-it thing; the viewers never get to see it. She says that Mai's is "dingy and gray".
  • Badass Adorable: Her badassness shows up alongside her nature as a cute young Cloud Cuckoolander.
  • Badass Normal: Benders dread fighting her because of her talent at stopping their bending ability. The fact that Azula chose her, along with Mai, for her elite team instead of any other benders should also tell you something.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Every outfit she wears shows off her stomach in some way.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Azula learns this the hard way. The Nice Girl can still sneak attack your ass.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The most bubbly and silly of her friends who can chi block an entire army.
  • Boobs of Steel: She's endowed, and one of the most feared fighters in the show, thanks to her chi-blocking abilities.
  • Braids of Action: Wears her hair in a long braid when traveling and fighting in a war.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Chi blocking, which allows her to take on and defeat powerful benders by the dozen. Not only that, but she's able to jump a whole lot farther and is a lot more agile than most characters in the show. Aang has the cheat card of mastering airbending, but Ty Lee only has circus training to back up her skills.
  • Childhood Friends: With Azula and Mai. It turns out that she is much better friends with Mai than Azula.
  • Circus Brat: Ran away to a circus to stand out among her six identical sisters.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: "Look at that dust cloud. It's so... poofy. Poof..."
  • Close Range Combatant: She's able to deftly dodge bending attacks in order to get in close with them and hit their pressure points.
  • Co-Dragons: Same deal as Mai, to Azula, in that she is the number one minion.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Among the most badass non-benders in the series, along with Mai.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: In the Beach Episode, with the same volleyball scenario as Azula from above.
  • Dark Action Girl: A lot nicer than most Dark Action Girls. Inverted as of "The Boiling Rock" when she undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and becomes a heroic Action Girl.
  • The Dark Chick: She fits this as, despite being on Azula's team, she doesn't have a malevolent bone in her body.
  • Dating Catwoman: She usually shows attraction to Sokka whenever she encounters him, starting from "The Chase" up until "The Crossroads of Destiny", by which time he considers himself back together with Suki.
  • The Ditz: Comes across as this with her bubbly personality.
  • The Dreaded: For any bender who has fought her and got their powers shut off. In one episode, Katara mentioned how downright terrifying it was even recalling her first experience being chi-blocked. Apparently, her abilities are so scary that all the main characters who can bend are more concerned with distancing themselves or outright avoiding her, including Aang when he was dealing with the drill.
  • Dude Magnet: In "The Beach" episode, Ty Lee had 5 guys trying to get with her at the same time (seen at the end of this clip), whereas Princess Azula couldn't even land one.
  • Easily Forgiven: She is quickly forgiven by the Kyoshi Warriors after they bonded in prison, even though she helped put them in there in the first place.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
  • Friendly Enemy: She's quite flirtatious with Sokka.
  • Genki Girl: Energetic and perky.
  • Good Costume Switch: Joins the Kyoshi Warriors which means donning their uniform.
  • Good Feels Good: She loved entertaining people at the circus, and then she stopped Azula before she could attack Mai. So it's more a case of she always wanted to do good but was too afraid of Azula to do otherwise.
  • Gray Eyes: Unusual among Fire Nation natives, who tend to have gold or brown eyes. Likely indicates her innocence compared to the other two in her Girl Posse.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Out of only two times Ty Lee's cheerful nature vanishes, the first is during the fight with the Kyoshi Warriors, where Ty Lee seems to think the warriors have declared themselves prettier than her, Azula, and Mai, when they said nothing of the sort. And yet curiously, she has no problem declaring Azula the "most beautiful girl in the world".
  • Heel–Face Turn: Alongside Mai, in "The Boiling Rock Part 2". which starts off Azula's Villainous Breakdown.
  • Hello, Nurse!: In "The Beach" she had every guy drooling over her.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Mai. Her friendship with Azula may have fallen apart, but she was willing to risk her life and defy Azula to save Mai.
  • Hidden Depths: Perky Female Minion Ty Lee turns on Azula, cause despite the fact that she's been Azula's puppy dog throughout the series, taking a kill shot on one of her friends draws the line.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: She joined a circus to demark herself from her six identical sisters. Then in a short comic, she discovers her sisters became their own group in the circus she was part of. This leads her to quit the circus forever, due to her sisters taking away what made her special.
  • Little Miss Badass: She's only 14 years old, but she's able to defeat benders with little to no effort.
  • Mage Killer: Her pressure points can shut down bending which makes her the ideal person to fight benders, then we find out Badass Normals are even less safe against this technique.
  • Morality Pet: Eventually subverted. Many fans agree that Ty Lee is the only person Azula showed even a smidge real affection to. However, Azula's emotional manipulations and subtle (and not so subtle) threats of physical harm still prevent them from developing a real and deep friendship, and Azula stays a villain.
  • Nice Girl: One of the friendliest and upbeat characters in the series.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ty Lee chi-blocks Azula in "The Search" when she knocks over the tray, and Azula takes advantage of her temporary flexibility to slip out of her straitjacket and find Ozai's letters.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-universe. Her ability to strip benders of their powers, even temporarily, makes her more terrifying to Katara than the Ax-Crazy Fire Nation princess who chucks lightning bolts at you.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Subverted with regards to Azula in "The Search". Azula asks if Ursa was responsible for getting Ty Lee to lose her fear of Azula, but after leaving, Ty Lee says to Zuko "She's wrong, you know. I never lost my fear of her."
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The episode, "The Beach", revealed that at least part of her bubbly personality is an act.
  • One Woman Army: Took out an elite team of earthbenders by herself.
  • The Paralyzer: She can (temporarily) disable bending ability, designating her as the anti-bender combatant. Chekhov's Gun:Considering this was well before energybending was revealed... and later anti-benders.
  • Perky Female Minion: She even provides the page picture and the page quote!
  • Pink Means Feminine: Pink is a prominent color in her wardrobe and she is very girly.
  • Punch Clock Villain: She's only going after the Gaang because she's working with, and is terrified of, Azula. Then she ditches her.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Mai's blue. Or, since Ty Lee describes her aura as pink, and Mai's as grey, Ty Lee is the Pink Oni to Mai's Grey.
  • The Runaway: To join the circus. A comic explained it was because she wanted to differentiate herself from the rest of her sisters and couldn't do that at her home.
  • She-Fu: Justified as she was a circus performer.
  • She's Got Legs: As shown in the Beach Episode.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Doesn't give a damn about any of the Fire Nation beach boys drooling over her, and instead develops a crush on Sokka.
  • Stalker with a Crush: A mildcase to Sokka. She's stalking the avatar on Azula's orders but she never passes up the opportunity to flirt with him.
  • Stepford Smiler: At least some of her attitude is a ruse to keep Azula happy.
  • Token Good Teammate: In a team where Azula is Obviously Evil and Mai is extremely apathetic, Ty Lee comes off as this in comparison.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Mai's Tomboy; PINK!
  • Valley Girl: As Mai is the Avatar world's version of a Goth, the creators describe Ty Lee as this.
  • Waif-Fu: Lots of flips and twists and jumping in her fighting style; she's a circus performer after all.
  • Yes-Man: To Azula, if only because she's terrified of her. When she turns on Azula, Ty Lee was just as surprised as everyone else.

Fire Nation Military:

    Commander / Admiral Zhao 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Commander_Zhao.png
Voiced by: Jason Isaacs

"I had a pupil once who had no interest in learning discipline. He was only concerned with the power of fire — how he could use it to destroy his opponents and wipe out the obstacles in his path." — Jeong Jeong

The power-hungry and glory-seeking Commander and later Admiral of the Fire Nation. With his greater resources and army, he served as Zuko's rival to capture Aang in the first season. However, he considered the capture of the Avatar to be a minor project compared to his dream of KILLING THE MOON!
  • Arc Villain: For Book 1 because Ozai is on his throne and Zuko is becoming anti-villainous.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He's very confident in his abilities. "ZHAO THE INVINCIBLE!"
  • Badass on Paper: He's one of the Fire Nation's most valuable commanders and quickly rises through the ranks. He also never wins an on-screen fight and most of his military escapades end in complete failure. Most of his successes are due to his subordinates or leeching off of Zuko's hard work.
  • Berserk Button: "I dunno why, but I thought you'd be better than Zuko!"
  • Big Bad Ensemble: For the first season with Zuko, though it's more of a Heavy Ensemble due to them both working under Ozai's direction.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: He never considered the enviromental and spiritual consequences of killing the moon. It's a vengeful ocean spirit, the soul-mate of the spirit of the moon, that comes to end him.
  • The Bus Came Back: He's a prisoner in the spirit world in the second season of The Legend of Korra.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Zhao is a very capable and powerful firebender, when push comes to shove. It just happens to be that he lacks discipline.
  • Deliberately Bad Example: By being evil, he's ironically used to offset the idea that all Fire People are evil. Zhao is a ruthless warlord and total Jerkass with no redeeming virtues whatsoever. In his rivalry with Zuko, Zuko's own very real virtues shine all the brighter in comparison.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: His final shot in the first series is the Ocean Spirit dragging him into the ocean. In Season 2 of The Legend of Korra, it's revealed that he's been rendered utterly insane and immortal, trapped in the spirit world forever.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Literally, as he's the final enemy Aang faces in Book 1, however he isn't seen afterwards due to being defeat.
  • The Dragon: Zhao starts out as this to Ozai, being his top admiral. Since he supposedly "died" at the end of Book 1, Princess Azula takes his place in Book 2.
  • Embarrassing Rescue: Defied. Chooses death over rescue at Zuko's hands, not that he likely would have survived after that anyway.
  • Evil Counterpart: For Zuko; Zhao who is older than him, experienced in war, willing to sacrifice others to further his own career, and seems to have favor within the Fire Nation helping him go through the ranks. It is also shown with the fact that they're also unfriendly rivals in the show always fighting whether physically or over Aang. They also attempt to capture Aang for different reasons, Zuko so he can restore his honor and return home, and Zhao as a vanity project.
  • Evil Versus Evil: He's constantly fighting with Zuko for the prize of Aang.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. Literal in this case as he refuses Zuko's aide out of pride whent he Ocean Spirit is dragging him away.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Zhao considers the consequences of being rescued by a disgraced Prince of the Fire Nation to be this. However, in The Legend of Korra, it's revealed that he was transported to the Spirit World and thrown in the Fog of Lost Souls, a sort of prison that can drive people mad with their worst memories if they stay in it too long. It's made even worse by the fact that you don't age in the Spirit World, and thus, you cannot die of age. Zhao is doomed to wander the Fog of Lost Souls forever. This is a lot worse than death and even worse than letting Zuko rescue him.
    • It's even worse. Zhao wanted to be remembered for all time as the great conqueror who killed the Moon spirit. By the time of Korra's service as the Avatar, no one who comes across his spirit even recognizes his name.
  • Foil: To Zuko. He exists to demonstrate that while Zuko is an antagonist, he's not really a bad guy. Zhao on the other hand is completely irredeemable.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: For trying to destroy the moon, the Ocean Spirit captures Zhao and condemns him to live within his own head for eternity.
  • Glory Hound: Just listen to the speech he gives after capturing Aang; it's 'I am great' over and over again.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Along with his Pride, his greatest flaw. Note how, after releasing the moon spirit, he immediately goes from somewhat calm (though reluctant) to a blind rage in a split second to kill the moon spirit.
  • The Heavy: Gradually eclipses Zuko as the villain driving the plot of Book 1, eventually becoming the main antagonist in the Book 1 finale. Despite this, he is neither Big Bad or anything like it.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: How Aang defeats him in one episode.
  • Honor Before Reason: Only one time: when Zuko reaches out to try and save Zhao from being dragged to his death by the Ocean Spirit, Zhao refuses to take it, choosing death over accepting help from his sworn enemy.
  • Hot-Blooded Sideburns: Unlike Iroh, he is a straight example. He has the hair style and the associated traits.
  • Incompletely Trained: He abandoned his firebending master out of frustration before his training was complete. As a result, he lacks the discipline to properly utilize his firebending potential. It really shows in his fights with Zuko and Aang, who have considerably less experience than him but beat him handily every time.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: He looks an awful lot like Jason Isaacs with a slight East Asian redesign.
  • Jerkass: All of his scenes revolve around him being a jerk.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Zhao often gets in conflict with the officers of local Fire Nations garrisons in the Earth Kingdom because while they are more interested in continuing to expand the Fire Nation's rule, as well as protecting Fire Nation assets, Zhao is focused on capturing the Avatar, which they see as nothing more than a vanity project.
  • Karmic Death: His pride sends him to his death because he did it to avoid an Embarrassing Rescue. It has a contemplative ethical Lampshade Hanging in Kyoshi's flashback in the finale. It turns out in The Legend of Korra that he isn't dead, but he might as well wish he was.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Not to the same degree as Azula, but he proves to be a far more competent and effective villain than Zuko.
  • Kill the God: His dream in life is to kill the moon, which in the Avatar universe is a sentient being. He technically succeeded in killing the moon spirit.
  • Kill It with Fire: Virtually a Pyro Maniac. His (corrupted) firebending style is derived from extreme aggression and thus, while easy to learn, is easily countered by purer forms of firebending.
  • Large Ham: "They will call me Zhao the conqueror! Zhao the moonslayer! ZHAO THE INVINCIBLE!"
  • Madness Mantra: When he's trapped, forever, in the Fog of Lost Souls. "I am Zhao The Conqueror. I am The Moonslayer! I will capture The Avatar!"
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: This to the Fire Nation. If he had succeeded he would not only likely destroy the world as they all knew it, he would have also brought down the wraith of the Sea, who would do everything in its power to kill off the Fire Nation. And since they are an island nation predominantly, and have to go by sea to attack the rest of the world, this means that their war and their survival as a people is effectively over. He also managed to piss off the Sea spirit anyways, who used the Avatar as a conduit, destroying one of the largest fire nation fleets any of the G Aang, and perhaps even the world has ever seen to the last ship, and presumably, man.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Since he pissed off the Sea Spirit he not only got his own fleet annihilated, we can presume that the war got several orders of magnitude more difficult as the Sea and Moon Spirit would actively try to hinder them in any way, shape, or form.
  • Orwellian Editor: Implied. Zhao learned about the Moon Spirit from Wah Shi Tong's library. Said library had an entire section burned down because it contained information that could hurt the Fire Nation and since Zhao was confirmed to be there, it is easy to connect the dotes.
  • Pick on Someone Your Own Size: Zhao's age hasn't been revealed, but he's still an adult man who starts an intense, personal rivalry with a 16-year-old boy. Not to mention he's trying to imprison a 12-year-old boy.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: From Iroh, after losing his Agni Kai with Zuko and trying to shoot him In the Back.
    "So this is how the great Commander Zhao acts in defeat? Disgraceful. Even in exile, my nephew is more honorable than you."
  • The Rival: To Zuko. They fight over capturing the Avatar.
  • Sanity Slippage: He was losing it towards the end, but decades in the spirit world have left him a babbling lunatic.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Considers himself a master firebender, but he's really only capable of throwing big fireballs at people.
  • Smug Snake: He's nowhere near as powerful on a personal level as he wants to be (Zuko kicks his ass one-on-one, and Aang dodges all his attacks with little effort and tricks him into destroying his own ships), but his humiliation makes him even more obsessive and ruthless in pursuit of his objectives, to the point of trying to destroy the moon without realising that this would also devastate the Earth.
  • Sore Loser: Zuko spared his life in their Agni Kai only for Zhao to mock him for being a coward and try to nail while his back was turned.
  • This Cannot Be!: When he's lost to Zuko and sees the moon back in the sky.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He killed a force of nature that had a devoted mate. That's never been a good idea.
  • Villain Has a Point: He tells Zuko as early as the third episode that if his father wanted him back, he would have welcomed him back long ago rather than sending him on a Snipe Hunt. His father doesn't care about him.

    The Rough Rhinos 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rough_rhinos21.png
Voiced by: Malachi Throne (Colonel Mongke)

"Colonel Mongke and the Rough Rhinos are legendary — each one is a different kind of weapon specialist. They are also a very capable singing group." — Iroh

An elite mercenary group of Fire Nation cavalry that worked for Fire Lord Ozai during the war.
  • Alliterative Name: The Rough Rhinos
  • Arrows on Fire: Vachir's weapon of choice.
  • Beard of Evil: Mongke has one, but Kahchi sports a truly impressive one.
  • Blade on a Stick: Kahchi uses a guan dao as his main weapon.
  • Bounty Hunter: They work on a freelance basis so they're not above going after Zuko and Iroh for the bounties on their heads.
  • Chain Pain: Ogodei uses bolas on chains.
  • Former Regime Personnel: Even after the war, they are still loyal to Fire Lord Ozai despite working for the Earthen Fire Refinery. They are still angry at the Avatar for defeating Fire Lord Ozai, which put them out of a job for a while.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: In the comics, where they act as security detail for the Earthen Fire Refinery, but haven't changed morally.
  • Horse of a Different Color: They're named after the komodo rhinos they ride into battle.
  • Hidden Depths: If what Iroh says about them being a capable singing group is correct. Mongke even says that they're not there to give a performance.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: A Yuyan archer named Vachir is among their number.
  • Jerkass: During and after the war, Mongke is not a pleasant person to be around.
  • The Leader: Colonel Mongke commands the group.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Yeh-Lu is never seen without his mask on.
  • Playing with Fire: Colonel Mongke is the only firebender in the group.
  • Private Military Contractors: They're freelancers working for Fire Lord Ozai during the Hundred Years War, but afterwards they became security detail for the Earthen Fire Refinery.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Yeh-Lu, the group's explosive expert.
  • The Voiceless: Only Mongke speaks.
  • You Have Failed Me: A nonlethal variant. The comics reveal Vachir was fired from the Yuyan Archers by Fire Lord Ozai for failing to locate and kill Ursa's old lover, Ikem.
  • You Killed My Father: Mongke is responsible for the deaths of Jet's parents, though Jet never gets to confront him about this before Jet's death.

    Lieutenant Jee 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jee.png
Voiced by: Jim Meskimen

The ranking officer on board Zuko's ship.
  • A Father to His Men: His concern for the crew leads to his argument with Zuko.
  • Hidden Depths: An accomplished singer and pipa player.
  • Mook Lieutenant: The Leader of Zuko's troops.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lieutenant Jee launches on one in The Storm when Zuko tells him to know his place.
    "What do you know about respect? The way you talk to everyone around here, from your hard working crew to your esteemed uncle, shows that you know nothing about respect! (cue Face Palm from Iroh). You don't care about anyone but yourself! Then again, what should I expect from a spoiled prince?"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Disappears after Season 1, when his crew is "borrowed" by Admiral Zhao for the Siege of the North.

     War Minster Qin 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/qin.png
Voiced by: Kristoffer Tabori

War Minister Qin was the overseer of the Fire Nation military's technology, and despite the many failures of his inventions, his technological expertise ensured he remained a valuable member of the Fire Lord's cabinet.
  • Chekhov's Gun: He finds the remains of the hot air balloon and it is implemented in Season 3. He also made the Mechanist design the Drill.
  • Co-Dragons: With Azula to Ozai, especially during Ba Sing Se's invasion with the drill. While they are equals in most respects, War Minister Qin calls the shots while in drill, leading the invasion. His authority is based on the fact that he's in charge of the drill, and that's where Azula happens to be.
  • The Dragon: To Ozai in the political arena.
  • Evil Genius: Responsible for overseeing the Fire Nation's military technology.
  • Once a Season: Appears once per season, in "The Northern Air Temple," "The Drill" and "The Day of Black Sun, Part II."

     Boiling Rock Warden 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/char_11340.jpg
Voiced by: Wade Williams

The warden of the Boiling Rock, the toughest prison in the Fire Nation.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's Mai's uncle and is not happy that Zuko broke her heart, and this is why Zuko is his special prisoner, so he could stick that to him.
  • Honor Before Reason: Would rather drown himself in boiling water than see a breakout at the Boiling Rock. He nearly makes good on that promise, and he lost his wits for a time.
  • Oh Crap!: When he learns that Azula and Ty Lee are at the Boiling Rock.
  • Pet the Dog: It's implied he pulled some political strings to free Mai and Ty Lee from jail, even though Mai is partially responsible for breaking his record. He would've had to have regained his sanity by then.
  • Taking You with Me: He'll sacrifice anyone along with himself to ensure his record isn't broken, even the Crown Princess of the Fire Nation.
  • Wardens Are Evil: He's a warden and not a nice person.

Former Fire Lords:

    Fire Lord Sozin 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/old_sozin.png
Voiced by: Ron Perlman

"I've been thinking. We should share this prosperity with the rest of the world. In our hands is the most successful empire in history. It's time we expanded it."

Sozin is the man responsible for the destruction of the Air Nomads, father to Azulon, grandfather to Iroh and Ozai, and great-grandfather to Zuko, Azula, and Lu Ten. As Fire Lord during Roku's era, Sozin plotted to take over the world as a way of sharing the Fire Nation's prosperity with everyone. Knowing that the Avatar would oppose his plans, he used the power of a passing comet to launch a devastating first strike on the Air Nomads, wiping them out (except Aang, who he missed) and leaving him free to wage a one hundred year war. Although he is now long dead, his comet will return to allow to his grandson Ozai to do the same for the rest of the world.
  • Ambition Is Evil: It is when it leads you to leave your best friend to die. Not to mention that whole "take over the world" thing.
  • Bait the Dog: Right before he begins his plans for conquest, he's personally helping to save his citizens from an erupting volcano.
  • Beard of Evil: He appears to have started the trend that his son and grandson took up. Notably, he only started growing a beard after he started to develop his imperial ambitions.
  • Big Bad Friend: Towards Roku who was his best friend growing up.
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain to Roku's Abel in the former friends variety.
  • Creepy Monotone: Courtesy of Ron Perlman.
  • Death by Irony: He started off as a nationalist that wanted to "share Fire Nation prosperity" with the world. By the end of his life, not only did he regret ever acting upon his ambitions, but he realized all too late that he couldn't do a damn thing to change it. It's a healthy dose of irony, karma and a rather tragic finish to what could've been a great leader (morally speaking).
  • Et Tu, Brute?: The way he betrays Roku by leaving said former friend to die on the volcano of the latter's island. However, he feels that Roku betrayed him earlier by spurning his plan.
  • Evil Former Friend: Towards Roku. He betrays his friend by leaving him to die on the volcano when he had the chance to save him.
  • Evil Plan: To Take Over the World. He didn't think it was evil at first and his descendants all continue carrying out this plan. His grandson Ozai almost succeeded.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Comes with being voiced by Ron Perlman.
  • Heel Face Doorslam: He realizes towards the end of his life that starting a world war and killing his best friend wasn't worth making the world better, but dies too soon afterward to make use of it.
  • Heel Realisation: At the end of his life he realized he was a villain and that his plan to "share prosperity" was only leading to pain.
  • The Napoleon: He was short compared with his old friend Roku.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: He doesn't physically suffer for his actions, but he ultimately comes to realize that he crossed the Moral Event Horizon by annihilating the Air Nomads, betrayed his best friend and wasted his life on a wild goose chase to find the next Avatar. At the end of his life, Sozin dies a rather somber man, unable to enjoy his success or attempt to undo the damage he's done. The world let Sozin off, but his conscience didn't.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Begrudgingly, but quickly backs down when Roku orders him to cease his imperialism by way of destroying half of the palace and leaving him to hang from a stories-high pillar. Sozin doesn't so much as make a peep about his ambitions until after Roku's death.
  • May–December Romance: He died at the age of 102, Azulon became Fire Lord at 20 and had a reign of seventy-five years. It is safe to say that Sozin was much older than his wife.
  • Playing with Fire: A fire bender second only to the Avatar of his time.
  • Posthumous Character: We learned of his backstory through a flashback-like episode, particularly by word-of-mouth from Roku and Zuko's history scrolls. Azula pitched in on the basics of Sozin's impact on the world at the beginning, too.
  • Predecessor Villain: The root of the series' conflict. Specifically to Roku, as he became his archnemesis.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: As mentioned above, after betraying his best friend and committing genocide on the Air Nomads, he spent the rest of his life hunting down the Avatar.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Averted. He came to regret many of his decisions, but never got a chance at redemption.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • Despite having had a falling out with Roku years before, he was still willing to help him save Fire Nation citizens from an erupting volcano.
    • Dialogue from Aang describing the Fire Nation before the war implies that he was a competent ruler.
  • Tragic Villain: Sozin wanted to simply improve the world, but realized too late that he'd soared across the moral horizon instead.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: A bit older than the usual examples, but we first see Sozin as a goofy, chubby teenager practicing firebending with Roku.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Ends up being an defiance, as he realized his utopia wasn't worth what he'd done to try and create it.
  • Villainous Legacy: A textbook example. Sozin is long dead by the time the series starts, but he was the one who put the Fire Nation on it's imperialistic path and started the war.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: At the end of his life, he decides that no, it really wasn't. Too bad his descendants didn't take a hint.
  • We Can Rule Together: Offers this to Roku, his best friend and the Avatar, pointing out that together they would be unstoppable. Roku will have none of it.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: As illustrated by his quote. Unfortunately, his descendants dropped the "well-intentioned" part altogether, until Zuko and Iroh did their Heel–Face Turn.
  • White Man's Burden: Essentially what he's trying to do to the world to forcibly make everyone's lives better by incorporating them into the Fire Nation. While his descendants weren't as interested in helping the world, they continued to preach this as propaganda.

    Fire Lord Azulon 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Azulon_001.jpg
Voiced by: Walker Edmiston

"You dare suggest I betray Iroh? My first born? Directly after the demise of his only beloved son? I think Iroh has suffered enough. But you, your punishment has scarcely begun!"

Azulon was the Fire Lord before Ozai, son of Sozin, father to Iroh and Ozai, and grandfather to Zuko, Azula, and Lu Ten. Famed for his military prowess and skill at firebending, he ruled the Fire Nation with an iron grip. He was a man with little warmth in him, sentencing men to death with a stunning callousness. Ozai seemed to have had as strained a relationship with him as he did with his own son, always seeking to earn his favour but always being met with scorn. After Ozai tried his patience one time too many, making an inappropriate bid for the throne, Azulon ordered Zuko's death, to teach his son a lesson in humility. He died shortly after giving that order, making way for Ozai to succeed him as Fire Lord.
  • Abusive Dad: It's heavily implied he was like that with Ozai, and towards Zuko as well.
  • Asshole Victim: All signs point to Azulon's lack of benevolence, political or private. Word of God and background material show him as ruling the Fire Nation with an iron fist and carrying out the war against the other nations with brutality only matched by Ozai. Of particular note is the genocide carried out against the Southern Water Tribe's Waterbenders and the raids carried out against said tribes. (These raids eventually resulted in the extermination of Southern Water Tribe waterbenders and the death of Katara's mother.) Also, he was willing to have his innocent grandson killed just to prove a point to Ozai. Other than possibly Iroh, it's unlikely anyone missed him when Ozai and Ursa killed him.
  • Badass In Charge: An evil version. During his funeral, it's mentioned he led some of the Fire Nation's conquests. Also, he was considered the most powerful firebender of his time.
  • Beard of Evil: Much like his father and son.
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: Blows up at Ozai over a proposal to disown Iroh one night, and dies of old age after naming Ozai his heir by the next morning? How... convenient.
  • Death by Irony: "The Search" revealed that Azulon's death was caused by an untraceable poison, made from the flowers he was admiring in Ursa's family greenhouse.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: As his quote illustrates, he didn't appreciate Ozai's attempt to use Lu Ten's death to usurp the birthright from Iroh. However, it was more because he was offended at Ozai trying to cross him, even though it was a pragmatic solution to continue his bloodline.
  • Evil Old Folks: We only know him as an abusive grandfather.
  • Generation Xerox: Apparently he was very similar in terms of skill to his granddaughter when he was her age.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Probably the most sadistic example of this trope!
  • Papa Wolf: Despite his evil heritage and seeking his grandson's death, Azulon was offended for Iroh after Ozai asked for the throne.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite his harsh behavior towards Ozai and his indifference toward Zuko and Azula, he strongly defended Iroh's birthright and even seemed sympathetic about Lu Ten's death. He also didn't seem to hold Iroh's abandonment of his siege on Ba Sing Se against him despite the fact that his success would've led to the Fire Nation's victory.
  • Posthumous Character: He's long dead by the time the series starts.
  • Predecessor Villain: Responsible for the partial genocide of the Southern Water Tribe. Apparently his ruthlessness was only matched by his son, Ozai.
  • The Stoic: Until Ozai made his request, Azulon did not change his facial expression once, even though he was clearly annoyed by Zuko's pathetic display and even Azula's impressive demonstration.
  • Super Breeding Program: According to "The Search", he set up the Arranged Marriage between Ursa and Ozai as a eugenics experiment to breed a powerful firebender with blood of Avatar Roku and the Fire Nation Royal Family. Azula is the most successful product of the experiment.
  • Thicker Than Water: He and Iroh, despite his failure, are implied to have a good family relationship.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The only knowledge we have of him and his actions (besides Zuko's memories) comes from two in-universe sources, neither of whom is bound by Villains Never Lie.

Others:

    Combustion Man 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Combustion_001.jpg

"I've heard about you. They say you're good at what you do. And even better at keeping secrets. The Avatar is alive. I want you to find him. And end him." — Zuko

A mysterious assassin hired by Zuko to hunt down and kill the Avatar. Relentless in his pursuit of Aang and seemingly unstoppable, he uses a unique form of Firebending by shooting laser beams that cause Stuff Blowing Up. Also known as Sparky Sparky Boom Man.
  • Achilles' Heel: Getting hit in the tattoo on his head screws up the flow of chi which creates his explosions, causing them to blow up in his face (or worse).
  • All There in the Manual: His unique form of firebending, combustion bending, isn't given a proper name until Book 3 of The Legend of Korra.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Both of his names were made up by Sokka for the sake of identification. Combustion Man never hears them and it's unknown what he calls himself. Zuko apparently knows his real name, but never gets a chance to say it.
  • Artificial Limbs: Word of God is that he blew off his natural limbs by accident while experimenting with his powers.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Played with; while he is twice foiled by things hitting his tattoo, both times were completely unintentional and the gaang never figured out how to stop him. Sokka takes the credit for defeating him, with his boomerang.
  • Bald of Evil: The shadow on his head shows he clearly shaves it to be that way. Considering that the only other combustion bender in the series does the same, this is likely an Invoked Trope.
  • Beard of Evil: Interestingly, he doesn't shave his face like he shaves his head. Likely another contrast to Aang.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: While it's shown that he's capable of normal firebending (as he burned the stolen message), he never used them during his battles, and relying solely on combustionbending. Furthermore, his powers lack versatility, and any disruption to his chi would leave him defenseless.
  • Evil Counterpart: The art book reveals he was intended as one of these to Aang. He possesses tattooes representing his bending prowess, he shaves his head (but not completely, like Aang does), and possesses a beard whereas Aang is clean-shaven. He is also Aang's complete opposite in personality, being silent but violent where Aang is outgoing and pacifistic.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His real name is never revealed, and the Gaang refers to him as Sparky Sparky Boom Man, then Combustion Man.
  • Fan Nickname: Sparky Sparky Boom Man, which originated in-universe.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Sokka gives him the ever-so-threatening nickname "Sparky Sparky Boom Man".
  • Genius Bruiser: Nearly unstoppable in combat and has the wits to match. He's crafty enough to make sure to keep any word of Aang being alive from getting out, and when he captures Katara and Toph, he has both thrown in a wooden cell so they have nothing to bend.
  • Having a Blast: His unique form of firebending allows him to create explosions from a distance.
  • Hero Killer: Not the same extent as Azula but this is his profession.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Hitting the tattoo on his forehead causes his powers to go haywire and quite literally blow up in his face. When Toph did it by accident, it only caused him to misfire, but when Sokka hit him with his boomerang, it outright caused him to blow himself up.
  • Implacable Man: His job is to relentlessly hunt someone down and then kill them. We can assume he has a very high rate of success if Zuko thought he could bring down the Avatar.
  • Irrevocable Order: Continues trying to kill Aang even when Zuko calls the hit off and offers him double to stop. Word of God is that he realized that Ozai could pay him more than Zuko could hope to.
  • Made of Explodium: The basis of his power. A beam issues forth from his Third Eye, pops like a firecracker a few times en route to its target, and then *KABOOM*
  • Mysterious Mercenary Pursuer: Aside from his powers, we never learn much about him. Not even his real name, as mentioned below.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Sokka calls him "Combustion Man" for lack of anything else.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: His attack on The Western Air Temple ultimately allows Zuko to prove himself to the Gaang that his reformation is genuine by aiding them against the very same person he hired.
  • Power Incontinence: The reason he has a fake arm and leg is because he blew them off when experimenting with combustionbending.
  • Professional Killer: He's good enough at his job to go after the avatar.
  • Psycho for Hire: His main method of attack/murder is projecting blasts that cause whatever they hit to explode, and he doggedly chases Team Avatar all the way to the Western Air Temple to do the job. In his final episode, Zuko, having undergone a Heel–Face Turn, confronts him during his latest assault and first threatens not to pay, and then offers to pay him double, if he backs off. In response, the Combustion Man attacks him before turning back to the Gaang.
  • Red Right Hand: His tattoo marks him as a dangerous and evil guy.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Even moreso than Zuko, and without some tracking method like June's shirshu (the interceptor buzzard was helpful though), which really is saying something.
  • Shout-Out: His tattoo is based on the third eye of Shiva which is said to incinerate everything it looks upon.
  • Silent Antagonist: Says nothing aside from some grunts when he's mad.
  • Something Person: As both Sparky Sparky Boom Man and Combustion Man.
  • The Spook: The only things we know about him are his powers, the fact that he's a hitman who never speaks (at least onscreen), the fact that he's a Determinator, and that's it. We don't even learn his real name.
  • Tattooed Crook: He fires his beams from an eye tattoo on his forehead.
  • Third Eye: Though it's only a tattoo, it allows him to fire his beams.
  • The Voiceless: Never seen speaking.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Doesn't care if he's sent to kill a 12-year-old.

    Lo and Li 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/loandli_2521.jpg
Voiced by: Takayao Fischer

"Azula, we are concerned for you and your well-being!"

Lo and Li are a pair of elderly twins, who serve the Fire Nation Royal Family as Azula's advisors and Firebending mentors, despite not being Firebenders themselves. Every scene of theirs is with Azula.
  • Badass Normal: While Lo and Li are never seen fighting, it's clear that when you consider the attitude of the Fire Nation royals, being an advisor must mean you're pretty good at what you do. Word of God also states that they were driving the machine in "The Chase", meaning they have some proficiency with machines.
  • Creepy Twins: At first. In their last few appearances, they are creepy because of their withered age and the fact that they teach Azula. Then they become comic relief.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Azula started going crazy, they did their best to stop Azula from going overboard. It made things worse.
  • Evil Old Folks: Or life long patriots to an evil society.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: In "The Beach", it's revealed that when they were young, they were quite beautiful. They're also the trope's image. They also still think this. Zuko disagrees.
  • Large Ham: They make a bombastic proclamation when Azula and Zuko return triumphantly.
  • Recurring Element: At first, they seem to be Azula's answer to Zuko being with Iroh, but that doesn't come to pass.
  • Single-Minded Twins: They're constantly finishing each other's sentences or speaking in unison, and their physical actions often mirror each other.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Their names are the exact same, bar a single letter. It's also a Punny Name in that it plays off a Chinese phrase that means "to mutter endlessly."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never do find out what happens to them after one of them is to be banished. It could be assumed that they left together instead of just one, given Azula's insanity at the time. Or, they could've just stayed while they were confused.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheFireNation