Why didn't The Emperor have any bodyguards around him during the finale? That would've stopped Shan Yu and his men from kidnapping him. Even if everyone thought all the Huns had died, surely the ruler of China would have bodyguards protecting him anyway when he's visiting a huge gathering of people, as there would be plenty of other potential threats besides invading Huns.
- Who says he didn't, and that the Huns didn't just kill the bodyguards?
- When he is kidnapped, the Emperor has come down from his palace to a long and wide set of stairs, with no bodyguards in sight. If there were guards, they were either so far away that they were effectively useless, or the Huns had killed them before he came down the stairs. But if it's the latter case, why would the Emperor have come down the stairs at all, since his life was obviously at risk? Also, it would've meant the Huns were already in the palace, so they could've kidnapped the Emperor before he even came down the stairs.
- The bodyguards were part of General Li's army that was slaughtered in the Tung Shao pass. After being informed of the Hun invasion the Emperor discounts his own security and allocates all military resources to the defence of his people.
General Li: We'll set up defenses around your palace immediately
Emperor: No! Send your troops to protect my people