Characters / Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Fire Nation

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These characters hail from the Fire Nation. Most of them serve as antagonists to Aang and his friends.
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  • Bigger Is Better: Compared to any vessel in other nations, the ships used by their navy are huge.
  • Crazy-Prepared: They make extensive use of metal on their structures, artillery and ships, and refine them as thoroughly as possible so that even Earthbenders cannot damage them. However, they did not expect that Toph would discover metalbending.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The ruling family consists of an Abusive Dad, a "Well Done, Son!" Guy, a Daddy's Little Villain, and a Missing Mom.
  • 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 its 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 of the Fire Nation (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.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Firebending soldiers are shown to be lousy shots when trying to hit the heroes. Yuyan archers on the other hand, have deadly accuracy.
  • 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

    Fire Lord Ozai
Voiced by: Mark Hamill (original), Rolando Silva, Ricardo Soto and Daniel Seisdedos (Latin American Spanish)

"I do have the power. I have all the power in the world."

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:
    • For speaking out of turn, Ozai challenged his son to battle, burnt off the left half of his face, and exiled him with the condition that he could return if he found the Avatar, who vanished a century ago without a trace.
    • He's indirectly emotionally abusive of his daughter 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.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Not Zuko's Arch-Enemy, but he and his son have fought each other a few times. And during the eclipse, when Zuko renounces trying to be the son Ozai wants, Ozai reveals that he was willing to kill him when he was not even in his teens.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: He asks probably the cruelest one in the entire series. During the Day of Black Sun, Zuko finally tells him off for what a horrible father’s he’s been and has reached the decision to join Aang. And just as he’s about to walk out on his father forever, Ozai buys himself time in waiting for the eclipse to pass by asking Zuko the one question that he knows has haunted him for years, so that he can keep him there long enough to kill him after the eclipse ends.
    Ozai: Don’t you want to know what happened to your mother?
  • 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. Up to Eleven, as Aang is established to only have a chance if he masters each of the elements, and Iroh makes a point to express his doubts that he could beat Ozai. Though that's a moot point after he loses his bending.
  • Ax-Crazy: Expresses vicious, murderous glee in the process of leveling 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 to ask for execution, but a more subtle button for Ozai is comparing 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: During the eclipse, in contrast to his children who are Brought Down to Badass. Done more permanently at the end of the series: courtesy of Aang's energy bending, he can no longer fire bend after "Sozin's Comet."
  • Cain and Abel: Cain To Iroh's Abel, though they never fought directly. Ozai preferred machinations when dealing with his brother, such as actively trying to delegitimize Iroh's claim to the throne and take power for himself.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Played With. He makes no pretensions about himself or his motives and openly champions being as ruthless as possible as the way to go, but he also tells Zuko that Good and Evil are just points of view and seems to regard himself as Above Good and Evil and likely feels that neither of them actually exist, though this only means that he can be as gleefully sadistic as he likes — if good and evil mean nothing to him, then he is free to be as malicious as he likes, and ultimately he's just so cunning, egotistical, and pragmatic that it makes him a very three-dimensional villain in spite of this.
  • 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.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: Ozai's ultimate goal is to be the most powerful man in the world. Whether the world is better or worse off as a result is of little concern to him.
  • 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 and 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, he's been given "ALL THE POWER IN THE WORLD!" and enjoys every opportunity to kill with it.
  • Empty Shell: As lampshaded by Ursa below in the comics after he is de-bended:
    Ursa: After all these years, I finally see you, Ozai. You're just a small, small man trying with all your might to be big. Your heart is so small, you've no room for your son, or your daughter, or your brother... or even yourself.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Say what you want about his morals, but Ozai is not a petty 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 (in fact, it was his idea). Also, he presumably had no problem with Azula bringing Dai Li agents to the capital as "souvenirs".
  • 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:
    • He often scoffed at morality, thinking of it to be a sign of weakness. He also finds peace and kindness laughable concepts and despised those who followed moral principles. Being a sociopathic tyrant, these things don't register in his head.
    • Ozai fails to understand why Aang would hesitate to kill and takes every advantage of his mercy. Same after Zuko tells him that Aang is the one who should kill Ozai, not him.
    Ozai: Even with all the power in the world, you are still weak.
    • Subverted in The Promise, where Ozai has a better understanding of Earth King Kuei, without ever even meeting the man, than the members of Team Avatar do just by knowing the politics involved. note 
  • 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. He even outshines his ancestor Sozin, who started the war, by waging it in a far more vicious fashion and lacking any of Sozin's redeeming qualities.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: Comes with being an anger firebender.
  • Evil Is Petty: The sequel comics reveal that his mistreatment of Zuko is largely just his spiteful response to Ursa's claim that Zuko isn't his son. A claim that he knew was a lie.
  • Evil Overlord: The Fire Lord directs his industrial army from the opposite side of the planet, hardly leaving his throne as his dominion spreads across the world's largest continent.
  • Evil Only Has to Win Once: If Aang doesn't defeat him before Sozin's Comet arrives, there won't be a world to save anymore.
    'Roku: Sozin's Comet will return by the end of this summer, and Fire Lord Ozai will use its power to finish the war once and for all. If he succeeds, even the Avatar won't be able to restore balance to the world.
  • Evil Plan: Ozai intends to finish his grandfather's legacy by using the power of Sozin's Comet to destroy the armies of the other nations and take the world for the Fire Nation.
  • 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.
  • The Faceless: In Seasons 1-2, there is darkness covering his face whenever he is present which fits his status as The Dreaded.
  • Fantastic Racism: Unlike his ancestors, who merely believed that the Fire Nation was culturally superior to the other nations, Ozai seems to look down on the people of other nations as an inferior subspecies. He shows open disdain to the Air Nomads when he confronts Aang and he thinks they were exterminate because they were "weak".
  • 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:
  • Flight: A unique ability of his that he gained through firebending.
  • 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 punishes Zuko after Ursa lied to him and told Ozai Zuko was the son of another man. Ozai knows this was a lie, but decides to take it at face value as punishment for Ursa.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Inverted. Aang spends most of his fight with him running away from him and dodging his attacks while occasionally fighting back. When Aang gets his second wind, it flips again to playing this straight.
  • 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 willing to take his life even if Ozai passes this threshold.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • In the first two seasons, he mostly serves as a distant embodiment of evil while Zuko / Zhao / Azula do the actual legwork. He takes on a more direct role in season three.
    • He again takes this role in the post-series comics. Despite losing his firebending and being imprisoned, his influence on his kids and the world at large is still very much felt.
  • Hate Sink: All his atrocities aside, he was characterized by being abusive towards his family. He constantly derided his son Zuko for not living up to his expectations, and ultimately became responsible for the loss of a mother figure in his life, and it hit its zenith when he burned and scarred Zuko in an Agni Kai and then banished him just for disrespecting him and speaking out because of a strategy that involved using novice troops as fodder. Ozai's cruelty is what highlights Zuko's sympathy even more, being the source of all the misery he has been through. Even his sociopathic daughter and Dragon Princess Azula looks sympathetic compared to him, especially once it's made clear toward the end of the series that he deliberately molded her into what she is today through years of psychological abuse, leaving her woefully unprepared to cope when confronted with the reality that all he instilled in her was wrong.
  • Humiliation Conga: Stripped of every bit of power, mocked by kids and teenagers, and left living on the mercy of the son he abused.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Heavily implied in his off-screen relationship with his brother, in his own personal search of admiration and respect and lately in his two Villainous Breakdowns. Being and feeling powerless in any sense is arguably the worst thing that can happen to him.
  • It's All About Me: He's a total egomaniac who only cared for his own personal glory, casually casting off his entire family for more power.
  • Jerkass: It took Zuko a while to realize that his father was a flat-out 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: Ozai's only goal in life is to be the most powerful man in the world, so he casually tosses aside his father, his brother, his wife, his son, and eventually his prized daughter in the pursuit of ever greater power.
  • Large and in Charge: He outsizes a lot of his subordinates.
  • Large Ham: In the finale, Ozai adopts new regalia for himself and begins to yell and wave his arms in enthusiasm for the power Sozin's Comet will beget him. He is voiced by Mark Hamill, after all.
  • 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 "suffering 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, the series would have gone in a completely different direction. Specifically, said son would never have met the Avatar, joined the Avatar and taught the Avatar firebending.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Discussed by Sokka after learning about what Ozai planned to use Sozin's Comet for. Team Avatar once believed Ozai was merely a bad guy, but later realized that the Fire Lord is a deranged, purely evil and unhinged brute to boot.
  • 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 more interested in waiting for Sozin's Comet rather than winning small skirmishes.
  • 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. Then finally, he rewards Azula for her loyalty by making her Fire Lord, but that was a meager reward.
  • 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 lightning bending, but reserves it for when he really wants to kill someone.
  • 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 the heroes for their unwillingness to fight and kill him, respectively, viewing their hesitation as weakness.
  • Satanic Archetype: In Season One he was always shown completely in shadow, and often surrounded in fire. The fact that he's taller than most characters also helps.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In The Search, it is revealed 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; while both Azula and Iroh, master firebenders in their own right, require at least three to "charge", Ozai only needs two. Also, while Azula and Iroh shoot lighting from one hand at a time, Ozai can dual-wield his lightning. His lightning is also far larger than either of theirs.
  • 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 anyone has him at their mercy and they 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 than her father, who took advantage of the death of his nephew to try and usurp his brother's rightful place as Fire Lord. And as lampshaded by Ursa below:
    Ursa: After all these years, I finally see you, Ozai. You're just a small, small man trying with all your might to be big. Your heart is so small, you've no room for your son, or your daughter, or your brother... or even yourself.
  • Squishy Wizard: Despite being in prime physical condition, Ozai seems to lack any real physical combat abilities (during the solar eclipse he was intimidated into keeping his distance simply by the brandishing of 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.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Once he finally see his face, he's basically an older, scar-less Zuko.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He's essentially an older Zuko sans the horrific scarring and a calmer/sharper disposition.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Though still a bully and childish, Ozai is also an outright monster 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.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Ozai didn't think Aang was a serious threat to him, so confronting him was deemed inconsequential. When the confrontation came, Ozai assumed defeating the Avatar with the comet would be child's play, but he ended up being wrong.
  • The Un-Favourite: 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:
  • Villain Has a Point: After his defeat and imprisonment, Zuko realizes through visiting him in prison that despite his inherent Machiavellian wickedness, his father actually has some very perceptive and genuinely useful advice on how to be an effective Fire Lord. Must notably, he tells Zuko that the well-being of the Fire Nation's people will always rest on his shoulders so he cannot afford to be hesitant or indecisive when standing before a though decision, as being slow to act in a crisis leaves both him and the people exposed to threats.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • During "Sozin's Comet Part Four: Avatar Aang", 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.
    • In the comics, he has managed 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 a "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, making him powerless in both bending and words.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: Between them and the beard, it's pretty clear he's a bad guy.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: A more realistic, less dramatic one than most cases.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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 had that nasty facial scar since he was thirteen... and Ozai doesn't care if his greatest enemy is a twelve-year old with so much power that potentially outclasses him, he'll stop at nothing to hunt him down.
  • 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.

    Prince Zuko 

    General Iroh 

    Princess Azula
Voiced by: Grey DeLisle (original), Yannina Quiroz (Latin American Spanish)

"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.
  • Always Someone Better: She was always superior to Zuko when they were growing up, even though he was the older sibling. Her fire bending was much stronger than his and unlike him she can produce lightning. In most of their fights she overpowers him and forces him to flee. Subverted when they battle in Agni Kai in the finale. Her breakdown gets the better of her and Zuko stays one step ahead of her the whole fight. She is forced to cheat by trying to shoot Katara with Lightning and Zuko injures himself trying to redirect it. Also subverted in "The Southern Raiders", where Zuko duels her evenly for several minutes and the match ends in a draw, with both parties emerging unscathed.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Exhibits traits associated with anti-social, narcissistic, psychopathic, 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.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To Zuko, or as she would put it, "Zuzu".
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Lampshaded by the episode "Zuko Alone" and some of the comics. An elementary-aged Azula is seen burning her brother, flowers, and dolls, is mentioned as hurting animals, finds hurting her friends amusing, teases her brother about their mother's disappearance and their grandfather's death, mocks their uncle for retreating once his son dies, has no sympathy for her cousin's death, seems to find the idea of Earth Kingdom soldiers "burning to a crisp in minutes" amusing, teases her brother about their father killing him, enjoys watching her brother fail and be viciously berated by their father...the list goes on.
    • Also lampshaded in "The Storm", where Azula is seen smiling gleefully, one fist raised in victory, as her brother's face burns.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Big Sister Bully: Inverted. She is the little sister who sadistically and psychologically bullies her more kindhearted big brother.
  • 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'...
  • Blatant Lies: During "The Headband", Azula travels up the side of a mountain to where Zuko and Mai are having a little snuggle time to tell Mai Ty Lee is having trouble untangling her braids. Yeah. Mai is aware of how blatant the lie is, given she shoots Azula a Death Glare as she's leaving, she just doesn't call it.
  • Bound and Gagged: Not gagged, but she is literally defeated by being tied up.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Even as a child, Azula was known to be cruel, manipulative, and downright disturbing.
  • 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 demonstrates that she's been broken for a while but held it check until a significant enough strike: Mai and Ty Lee's betrayal, compounded by her father's decision to leave her behind while he exacts her plan.
  • 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.
  • 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 Aestheticist: To Azula, warfare is just another form of art for her to study, and perfect.
  • 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.
    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 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 (plus the ruthless, strategic way she manipulates people). 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 worshipped.
  • 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 and a more powerful firebender, while she continues to embrace it and goes utterly insane.
  • 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 (or at least no POSITIVE ones), 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 topknot is 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 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.
  • Insanity Immunity: Turns out it's pretty hard for a Living Lie Detector like Toph to pick up signs of stress from a sociopath like Azula, who lies without a second thought.
  • 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). And although she and Zuko are pretty much equal firebenders just before the finale (in no small part due to her Villainous Breakdown), she was his superior for the majority of the show.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She struts around in a Walking Swimsuit Scene during the Beach Episode.
  • Mythical Motifs: She is associated with the blue dragon.
  • 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, or that Katara could defeat her on her own.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: When she tries to act like a normal teenager, she's even creepier than usual.
  • 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: Her apparent sociopathic tendencies make her a Consummate Liar to the point where she shows Insanity Immunity to Toph's Living Lie Detector abilities.
  • 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.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: A non-verbal version with Ty Lee, who was perfectly happy at the circus and politely declined Azula's initial offer to hunt down Zuko and Iroh with her. So Azula attended one of her performances and proceeded to use her position as princess to make the night an utter nightmare for Ty Lee. Afterward Ty Lee notices the universe is giving strong hints that she should leave the circus, and later tells Mai that while the circus was her calling, "Azula called a little louder". You don't say.
  • 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.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Blue, in this case, but the trope still stands. Azula's blue fire was made by the creators of the show to differentiate between Zuko's firebending and her own. It also shows off her prodigal talent and exemplifies her elitist nature.
  • 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'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, in addition to being arguably their greatest strategist. 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, 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. When she reappears in Smoke and Shadow, Zuko observes that she's looking a lot better, corresponding to her returning as a competent threat.
  • 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 that, like her brother, 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. It's deconstructed in the same episode: she's completely incapable of interacting socially with strangers in situations where life and death aren't at stake.
  • Shame If Something Happened: The tie-in comics reveal that following the Season 2 finale, Zuko was actually hesitant to return to the Fire Nation; he seemed to want to stay in Ba Sing Se. Azula then sets Zuko up on a date with Mai, hoping that his new relationship will convince him to return to the Fire Nation. When Zuko is still hesitant, Azula casually remarks that she wonders if 'poor uncle Iroh' will survive the trip home. And it's after that that Zuko agrees to return to the Fire Nation.
  • She Is the King: The title of Fire Lord is unisex.
  • Shipper with an Agenda: The tie-in comics show her (and Ty Lee) trying to get Zuko and Mai together, but it's just another way for Azula to manipulate her brother.
  • 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: Is rarely seen without a sinister smirk on her face.
  • 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. Curiously, while she's a frickin' demon when it comes to manipulation and power plays, she actually has difficulty functioning in normal social interaction.
  • 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.
  • Strategy Versus Tactics: Being a near perfect mix of the two is part of why she's so dangerous. Azula willing to sacrifice individual battles in favor of a major endgame (Strategy) — though she's also quite capable of Xanatos Speed Chess decision-making when necessary (Tactics).
  • 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.
  • Teen Genius: 14 years old and a strategic mind unrivaled by just about anyone else in the entire series. Her takeover of Ba Sing Se, coupled with her swaying of the Dai Li and her brother, and her striking down of Aang came from her juggling about four different complications into becoming advantages.
  • 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.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: This was ultimately the trigger for most of her actions throughout the series. Since she believed that her mother rejected her as a monster and preferred her brother Zuko, she dedicated herself to becoming Daddy's Little Villain, proving to both her Mother and Zuko that she doesn't need their love, as being feared is the only thing that matters.
  • 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 in a dagger-to-dagger duel and declares how she's really the one who's won by making him a more powerful (and ruthless) Fire Lord. Of course, seeing as half her expressions still have Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises, the improvement in her mental health state should probably be taken with a grain of salt.
  • 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.
  • Villain Has a Point: In spite of her own mental disorder post-series finale, Azula has a point in why she wanted to kill Ursa. Ursa fail to show her as much affection as Zuko, resulting in Azula believing that Ursa never loved her and thought that she didn't deserve love because she's a monster. [[spoiler: This is validated with the discovery that Ursa had another daughter from her second marriage, who Azula views as a replacement, and willingly forgot her two older children by having The Mother of Faces change her face.
  • 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.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: By the time of the comet, Zuko has gained a sense of enlightenment, while Azula didn't think she'd have enemies in her midst to worry about and has already descended into insanity since he left. As such, Zuko was more prepared for her.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Warrior Princess: Like most Fire Nation Royalty we see in the series, she commands armies and is one of the most capable combatants herself.
  • 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.
  • "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.
  • 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.
  • Wild Card: In later comics, Azula has no loyalty to anyone, not even her father, and has been acting on her own accord since.
  • 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, where Azula makes Ty Lee's tightrope act as dangerous as possible to send the implicit message that she'd better quit the circus and join Azula's posse or else. 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.

    Princess Ursa
Voiced by: Jen Cohn (original), Keyros Guillén (Latin American Spanish)

"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.
  • Divine Parentage: She is the granddaughter of Avatar Roku. This was the reason for her forced marriage to Ozai.
  • 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?"
  • Rape as Backstory: It is, unsurprisingly, never explicitly shown or stated, but given their marriage was unhappily arranged and Ozai's controlling nature, it isn't hard to guess that neither Zuko nor Azula were willingly conceived.
  • 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 detailing her ultimate fate 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
"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

Voiced by: Cricket Leigh (original), Viviana Navarro (Latin American Spanish)

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.
  • Blue Blood: Being the daughter of very high-ranking Fire Nation nobles, she definitely qualifies.
  • Broken Bird: Her mother treated her like a liability instead of a daughter, was not allowed hobbies or even to speak unless spoken to, and her only friends were Ty Lee and Azula. No wonder Mai is so cynical and bitter.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Zig zagged with Zuko — Both manage to be both with each other. For the brooding part, they both come from a dysfunctional family which led to them becoming Broken Birds but in different ways (Zuko having anger issues and Mai suppressing her emotions). As for the gentle part, both encourage one another to express themselves in healthier, non-problematic ways.
  • 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.
  • Dude Magnet: Besides Zuko, another teen flirted with her in "The Beach", and Kei Lo admits to genuinely liking her.
  • 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... It's also implied that she eventually will marry Zuko and will become the mother of his daughter, Fire Lord Izumi.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Mai is the Cantonese pronunciation of 袂 meaning "sleeve of a robe", which is where Mai conceals her weapons.
    • Her name is phonetically similar to the Japanese mei (冥, めい), meaning "dark", which is relatable to her gloomy personality.
  • Muggle–Mage Romance: In a relationship with Zuko.
  • 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'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: One of the few outright luxurious clothes she wears is a fur trimmed cape while on 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 instead of killing them, this being a Nickelodeon cartoon and all.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: With Ty Lee.
  • 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
Voiced by: Olivia Hack (original), Vanessa Silva (Latin American Spanish)

"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 Family: The comics reveal her sisters to be just as skilled as she is.
  • 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, except for the Kyoshi Warrior armor.
  • 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.
  • Blue Blood: Like Mai, though her family's not as prominent.
  • Boobs of Steel: She's endowed note  in the show, 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Her chi-blocking abilities become very significant in the first season of Legend of Korra.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly often, and mostly at Mai's expense.
    Azula (to Mai and Ty Lee): We've been given an extraordinary opportunity, girls.
    Ty Lee: Mai gets to wear makeup that isn't totally depressing?
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: The only reason fights with her last as long as they do is because most of her opponents specialize in long-range combat, and she has to get up close to use her techniques. When she fights against Sokka, who is similarly handicapped, she beats him in seconds.
  • 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", 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.
  • Girly Bruiser: Probably the girliest (for lack of a better word) major female character, and she's a very formidable opponent.
  • 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.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Ty Lee's usually all smiles, even as she's chi-blocking people. Her fight with Suki on the gondola is one of the few times Ty Lee looks outright angry, glowering as Suki deflects her every blow.
  • 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. She's a different flavor from Mai, who will pass on doing things if she doesn't feel like it, Ty Lee doesn't have a malicious bone in her body, but she will do everything Azula tells her to.
  • 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.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ty Lee genuinely thinks Zuko and Mai look cute together.
  • 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.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: With Mai.
  • 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.

    Lo and Li
Voiced by: Takayo 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.

Fire Nation Military

    Commander / Admiral Zhao
Voiced by: Jason Isaacs (original), John Knuckey and Carlos Carvajal (Latin American Spanish)

"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 One 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!"
  • Artistic License – Military: In his first appearance, he is greeted by Zuko and Iroh as "Captain Zhao," to which he replies that he is now Commander Zhao. Using common naval ranks, this would actually be considered a DEMOTION, since commander is a rank ''below'' a naval captain, which is equivalent to an army colonel.
  • Asshole Victim: He's an unlikable and egoistical Admiral who kills the Moon Spirit without caring about the consequences it may have to the rest of the world. Naturally, the Ocean Spirit is pissed and not only destroys the entire Fire Nation fleet, but drags Zhao into water... where he ends up in the Fog of Lost Souls, forever cursed to wander as forgotten footnote of the past.
  • 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: It doesn't take much to set him off to begin with, but the one surefire way to get him riled up is to suggest that he's inferior to his rival.
    Aang: "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. As far as making a difference against the Fire Nation goes though, he's the main threat.
  • 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, a trait that ultimately lead to his downfall.
  • 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 One. However, he isn't seen afterwards due to being defeated.
  • The Dragon: Zhao starts out as this to Ozai, being his top admiral. Since he supposedly "died" at the end of Book One, Princess Azula takes his place in Book Two.
  • Embarrassing Rescue: Defied. Chooses death over rescue at Zuko's hands. Little did he know that it wasn't death the Ocean Spirit had in mind...
  • 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. They also attempt to capture Aang for different reasons; Zuko so he can restore his honor and return home, 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 when the 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 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 aging. Zhao is doomed to wander the Fog of Lost Souls forever.
    • And on top of that, Zhao wanted to be remembered for all time as the great conqueror who killed the Moon Spirit. By the time of Korra, no one even recognizes his name. Even Aang's kids have no idea who he is when they run into him while trying to rescue Jinora. Definitely a fate worse than death from Zhao's perspective, although his enemies might consider that poetic justice.
  • 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.
  • General Failure: Where to begin? He got beaten up by a teenager, captured the Avatar only to lose him again, burned down his fleet because a friggin' twelve-year-old was making fun of him, and killed the Moon Spirit, effectively dooming himself to wander in the Spirit World for eternity.
  • Glory Hound: Just listen to the speech he gives after capturing Aang; it's 'I am great' over and over again. In "The Blue Spirit" episode, Colonel Shinu calls his Avatar hunt a "vanity project."
  • 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.
  • Hate Sink: Because Prince Zuko is too sympathetic of character to hate and Fire Lord Ozai will not be fully explored as a character until Book 2 and 3, Zhao is introduced as an alternative target for the audience to vent their anger on. He is arrogant, incompetent, cruel and willing to damn the whole world for his ego, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
  • 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 The Deserter. Realizing that Zhao is reckless with his firebending and prone to anger, Aang intentionally goads the Admiral to fire at his direction... which happens to be where all of Zhao's boats were.
  • 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. Although if he knew his actual fate, he might have reconsidered.
  • 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.
  • Informed Ability: He's said to be a Firebending Master, but he tends to lose most of the fights he's in. Granted his tendency to underestimate his opponents and Hair-Trigger Temper are usually what contributes to his defeats rather than a lack of actual skill.
  • 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 they are more interested in continuing to expand the Fire Nation's rule, as well as protecting Fire Nation assets, while Zhao is focused on capturing the Avatar, which they see as 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. In most of his appearances he actually gets pretty close to capturing Aang or at least makes them work for victory.
  • 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 Pyromaniac. 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 wrath of the Ocean Spirit upon the Fire Nation, which is predominantly island based. He managed to piss off the Ocean Spirit anyways, who used the Avatar as a conduit, destroying a massive fire nation fleet in a few minutes.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Pissing off the Ocean Spirit got his own fleet annihilated.
  • Orwellian Editor: Implied. Zhao learned about the Moon Spirit from Wan 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 dots.
  • Pick on Someone Your Own Size: Zhao's age wasn't 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: Decades in the Spirit World have left him a babbling lunatic.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When he makes Iroh truly angry and witnesses him easily defeating his soldiers, Zhao wisely decides that it's time to flee.
    • Earlier he has this reaction when he sees an Avatar Roku-possessed Aang emerge from the sanctuary at the Fire Temple
  • 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 him 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.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Of course, it only worked so far in his first fight against Zuko. For about 30 seconds, that is. Zhao ends up being a massive deconstruction of this trope: fire is exactly the wrong element to rely on pure power over actual skill, considering how dangerous it is when not properly controlled. Not only does he lose to anyone he can't just straight up overpower, but he's also a danger to himself and people around him.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: In his first appearance he loses to Zuko mainly because he underestimated him and was caught off guard. By the end of the season, Zuko is able to fight and eventually overpower him on skill alone.
  • 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. Azula even proves his point later on by saying that Ozai would never want Zuko back unless it was to lock him up.
  • The Worf Effect: He's established to be a master Firebender and demonstrates some impressive moves, but his fights are often used to demonstrate skill and character growth for both Aang and Zuko. Against Avatar Roku and Iroh, even he realizes how clearly out of his league he is and runs when witnessing their wrath.

    The Rough Rhinos
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.
  • 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
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
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
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 die by drowning and/or being boiled alive than see a breakout at the Boiling Rock. He nearly makes good on that promise too.
  • 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..
  • Taking You with Me: He'll sacrifice anyone — including 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
Voiced by: Ron Perlman (original), Nelson Medina and Rolando Silva (Latin American Spanish)

"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.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Upon the founding of the United Republic of Nations, Sozin's goal of uniting people from all four nations under one rule was technically accomplished.
  • Bait the Dog: Right before he begins his plans for conquest, he's personally helping to save his citizens (and best friend) 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.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Seems to think that Roku being of the Fire Nation means he, Sozin, can order around a fully-trained Avatar. What follows is arguably the most one-sided "fight" in the entire franchise.
  • Broken Pedestal: Becomes one for Zuko as the series progresses. Zuko throughout his life used to believe that Sozin's war was a just cause for spreading greatness to the rest of the world, but all the war has brought was not greatness, but fear and terror on other people.
  • 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.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: In a way. During the eruption of the volcano of Roku's island, he has to choose between saving his best friend's life or letting him to die to pursue his dreams of conquest. Unfortunately for the world, he chose his ambition.
  • 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.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: As revealed in Turf Wars, he outlawed same-sex relationships (implicitly to ensure more Fire Nation children would be born).
  • 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.
  • The Napoleon: He was short compared with his old friend Roku.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Sort of. After he ordered the massacre of all dragons, the Fire Nation lost its advantage to make air attacks.
  • Playing with Fire: A fire bender second only to the Avatar of his time.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He displays an imperialist, and at least implicitly racist attitude towards other nations. In addition, The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars reveals that he outlawed same-sex relationships.
  • 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.
  • Pride: Sozin at the end of his life knew that his life was a total waste and that he had committed horrible atrocities in the name of changing and saving the world, which to do so he murders his best friend in cold blood and initiates a genocide that fails to kill the one person he was after. Sozin knows he is irredeemable, but has far to much pride to openly admit that he committed horrible acts of evil and thus the war continues on for nearly a century after his death.
  • 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 to no avail. He died a depressed, broken man.
  • 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.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • To Zuko. Both betray someone they cared about for the sake of their goal, only to regret it, the difference being Sozin came to regret it too late to do anything about it. Learning this is one of the things that leads to Zuko's Heel–Face Turn.
    • Also to Roku. The men were literally born on the same day, both growing up in the upper echelons of the Fire Nation as best friends, and both had good intentions and a desire to improve the world. The difference was all in how: Roku wanted to help people as they needed it, Sozin wanted to impose solutions to create his vision of a better world.
  • Stout Strength Sozin had a considerably shorter and wider frame than Roku, but was obviously well built and physically powerful.
  • Tragic Villain: Sozin wanted to simply improve the world, but realized too late that he'd only created more suffering and soared across the Moral Event Horizon instead.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: A bit older than the usual examples, but we first see Sozin as a cheerful, chubby teenager practicing firebending with Roku. He is also quite generous, giving away a precious treasure to Roku just so Roku will have a piece of home to take with him on his trip around the world.
  • 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 its 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
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 by extention 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.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: 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.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: He's sympathetic towards his own grandson Lu Ten dying but is perfectly willing to order his youngest son to murder his own son just because he feels Ozai crossed him.
  • 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 powerful firebenders with blood of Avatar Roku and the Fire Nation Royal Family. Zuko and Azula are the largely successful products 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.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Ordered Ozai to kill Zuko without a shred of remorse.


    "Combustion Man"

"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.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His real name is never revealed, and the Gaang refers to him as Sparky Sparky Boom Man, then Combustion Man.
  • 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.
  • Fatal Flaw: His inability to learn from his mistakes. You'd think getting parts of his body blown off would make him learn to be more careful with his bending, but he doesn't and this leads to him blowing himself up.
  • 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.
  • Outside-Context Problem: While it ties into the wide possibilities each form of bending possesses (metal-bending, lightning-bending, and blood-bending for example), his combustion powers were unheard of to the Gaang and it takes them several battles to successfully fight back.
  • 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 Unreveal: Zuko apparently knows his name. He never shares that information.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Doesn't care if he's sent to kill a 12-year-old.