Avatar Aang | Team Avatar | Mentors | Allies | Fire Nation | The Ember Island Players | Other | Comics
The Ember Island Players are an ensemble of actors performing at the theater on Ember Island, the vacation home of the Fire Nation nobility. They are underpaid hams who dazzle the audiences with impressive special effects and wild costumes. Two of their plays are known: Love Amongst the Dragons and The Boy in the Iceberg. Ursa, a former member of the Hira'a Acting Troupe, used to take Zuko and Azula to Love Amongst the Dragons, but Zuko thinks the Players "butchered" it.
Team Avatar went to see The Boy in the Iceberg in the episode "The Ember Island Players" and considered it absolutely horrible, despite the special effects. The Boy in the Iceberg, named for the first episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, is a highly dramatized, propagandistic, exaggerated tale of the adventures of Aang and his silly friends, who are eventually defeated by Fire Lord Ozai. The play is also commentary on Fandom. Here, then, are the Ember Island Players. Hold your applause until the end.
- "I'm the Avatar, silly, here to spread joy and fun!"
Player Aang is an athletic young woman wearing a bald cap. She plays Aang as hyperactive and excessively outgoing, with a penchant for playing pranks on people. Player Aang's mission as the Avatar is to bring "joy and fun" to the World. Player Aang triggers the Avatar State by saying "Avatar State, yip-yip!" Real Aang is dismayed to see that Player Aang is a woman. He is even more dismayed when Player Ozai kills Player Aang at the end.
- Affably Evil: He's seen as "evil" by the Fire Nation audience, but also funny and lovable.
- Affectionate Parody: Of the Broadway adaptation of Peter Pan, right down to using a female actress to play a young male and using wires to simulate flying. Even the way she talks sounds like Mary Martin playing Peter.
- Bald Woman: Subverted. Player Aang's scalp is a different color from the rest of her skin, so she is most likely wearing a bald cap, and though a recently-shaved head would also be a different color from the rest of the head hers appears darker rather than paler.
- Big "NO!"/Slow "NO!": A good eight seconds long.
- Catchphrase: "Avatar State, yip-yip!"
- Character Exaggeration: Of Aang's Keet and Prankster tendencies.
- Crosscast Role: Much to Aang's frustration.
- Dawson Casting: Player Aang looks to be ten years older than Kid Hero Aang — deliberately done In-Universe.
- Death by Adaptation: Considering it was written by and for the Fire Nation, yeah not surprising they would kill the hero off.
- Famous Last Words: "Noooo!"
- Genki Girl: Playing a Keet.
- The Hero Dies: Unsurprisingly, given that the play is Fire Nation propaganda, The Bad Guy Wins and succeeds in taking down the Avatar.
- Like Brother and Sister: With Player Katara.
- Not Quite Flight: She's hoisted up and swung around by a crane, the typical practice for a flying god since the days of ancient Greek theater.
- Peter Pan Parody: She portrays a clever male trickster in the play, much like how Peter Pan is often portrayed in theater.
- The Prankster: She even lampshades it: "Have I mentioned that I'm an incurable prankster?''. Much to the real Aang's dismay
- Suppressed Mammaries: Averted. No action was taken to hide her breasts, and they're pretty obvious.
- Take That!: She's a representation of Konietzko and DiMartino's criticism of the practice of women voicing boys in Peter Pan, The Simpsons, and other productions.
- Unexplained Recovery: The play never presents any explanation about how she survived Player Azula's lighting/blue ribbon strike, presumably because none of Pu-on Tim's sources knew what it was (Katara's spirit water-boosted healing).
- Villain Protagonist: Because the play is told from a perspective sympathetic to the Fire Nation, the character of Aang is seen as the bad guy — the embodiment of feckless immaturity, ruining all the Fire Nation's plans.
- "My heart is so full of hope, that it's making me tearbend!"
Player Katara is older and fatter than Real Katara, and not as beautiful. She speaks in a much huskier voice than the real Katara. Player Katara is melodramatic, prone to crying on any occasion, obsessed with hope, and does not fight. She wears her heart on her sleeve, especially in front of Player Aang. Player Katara is in love with Player Zuko, and regards Player Aang as her little brother.
- Adaptational Curves: She's more curvaceous than the real Katara.
- Adaptational Villainy: The real Katara was utterly horrified when Jet destroyed an Earth Kingdom town, and immediately turned on him. Player Katara, however, is impressed.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Both of the boys she falls for, Jet and Zuko, most definitely fit this. The following line is even on the quotes page:Player Katara: Oh Jet, you're so...bad....
- Beauty Inversion: Fatter than the real Katara.
- Calling Your Attacks: "Waterbend! Hi-yah!"
- Casting Gag: Grey DeLisle is also the voice of Azula.
- Character Exaggeration: What little bit of Katara's personality the play gets right, it exaggerates beyond belief.
- Chickification: Player Katara is a melodramatic crybaby who only waterbends once in the play (to free Player Aang).
- Damsel in Distress: She is trapped in growing crystal in the scene where the Gaang face Bumi's challenges.
- Dawson Casting: She's never going to see fourteen again, that's for certain. This is deliberate In-Universe.
- Exposed to the Elements: Done for Fanservice purposes. She's wearing a low-cut dress at the south pole.
- Faux Action Girl: She is never seen fighting, despite the fact that she's supposed to be the Action Girl Katara.
- Foe Romance Subtext: With Player Zuko.
- Foot Popping: As she and Jet kiss.
- Hotter and Sexier: Sort of. She's not as beautiful as the real Katara, but she is much more sexualized, having a more adult figure than Katara, and showing cleavage and her leg, as well as acting in a more sexualized manner (sultry expressions, sexy poses, so on).
- Like Brother and Sister: With Player Aang. And she keeps on saying it, for good measure.Player Katara: Remember, Aang, I'll always love you - as a brother!
Player Aang: I wouldn't want it any other way.
- Making a Splash: She uses Waterbending to free Aang from the iceberg, although she never uses it again after that (she does steal a scroll about it, though).
- Melodrama: The living incarnation of it, right from the word "go".
- Overly Long Gag: She cries dramatically in just about every sequence in the first act.
- Show Some Leg: The real Katara wears trousers under her dress.
- Team Mom: Just like the real deal.
- Tender Tears: Extremely prone to this, to the point where it becomes comedic.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: She, Player Sokka, and Player Toph do not participate in the finale and their fate is unclear.
- "All I want is a full feeling in my stomach! I'm starving!"
Player Sokka is much older than Real Sokka, with buck teeth. He's a backwoods, dumb-muscle, Water Tribe hick, and the comic relief. Player Sokka is constantly hungry, and obsessed with eating meat. But the actor for Player Sokka is a pretty chill guy — when Sokka approaches him backstage with some ideas for new jokes, the actor gladly incorporates them into the scene, despite initial misgivings — ("Oh, boy, another fan with "Ideas"") and to the delight of the audience.
- Adaptational Dumbass: Lacks the real Sokka's brains.
- Big Eater: He's always hungry and wanting to eat.
- Catchphrase: "I'm starving!" He says it twice in the first 30 seconds of the play.
- Character Exaggeration: Of Sokka's tendency to focus on food and his Comic Relief status.
- Dawson Casting: In-universe. He's got the gangly limbs down pat, but otherwise, isn't a teenager. This is intentional.
- Distressed Dude: Averted. Unlike in reality, Bumi doesn't catch him in growing crystal and he takes on the challenges along with Player Aang.
- Exposed to the Elements: Wearing that outfit in the South Pole is just begging for hypothermia.
- The Fool: Player Sokka has none of Sokka's The Smart Guy tendencies.
- Obsessed with Food:Player Sokka: Don't go, Yue! You're the only woman who's ever taken my mind off of food!
- Plucky Comic Relief: He's every bit the Butt-Monkey that Sokka is in real life, much to his displeasure.
- Real Men Eat Meat: He's quite frankly obsessed with it. It annoys Sokka, because all his jokes are on that topic and it gets repetitive.
- Throw It In!: In-Universe. The actor uses Sokka's suggestions of making up catch-phrases and throwing in jokes for the third act. The other actors don't appreciate it, but the audience sure does.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Aang and Zuko are the only ones who attack Ozai during Sozin's Comet, and the fates of Player Katara, Player Sokka, and Player Toph are left unclear.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: When Player Suki teaches him the way of the Kyoshi Warriors, she makes him wear the dress and makeup. Player Sokka asks "Does this make my butt look fat?" The real Suki thinks it's Actually Pretty Funny.
- "My name's Toph, because that sounds like Tough and that's just what I am!"
Player Toph is a big, burly man who is blind, but can "see" using echolocation, emitting a loud scream. Real Toph likes Player Toph, saying "I wouldn't have cast it any other way."
- The Big Guy: Except that unlike the real Toph, he is literally the big guy of the group.
- Blinding Bangs: Player Toph wears an exaggeration of the real Toph's fringe.
- Character Exaggeration: Of Toph's Boisterous Bruiser and The Big Guy traits.
- Crosscast Role: Just like Player Aang.
- Dawson Casting: This guy definitely ain't twelve.
- Development Gag: Player Toph is based on an early design for Toph as a man, which was later reused as Avatar Roku's Earthbending master Sud.
- Disability Superpower: Player Toph, much like the real Toph, is blind, but is able to "see"...although they got the particulars wrong...
- Make Me Wanna Shout:Player Toph: I don't "see" like you do — I release a sonic wave from my mouth, like this: [Releases an ear-curdling scream] There! I just got a pretty good look at you!
- Meaningful Name: Lampshades Toph's name sounding like 'tough' (though with the real Toph, it's also an Ironic Name since it refers to a flower).
- Other Me Annoys Me: Inverted, Toph is the only one who actually likes her interpretation.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Mentioned, as Zuko (telling Toph that she had it easy because her parodied traits were pretty harmless, unlike with him where it just reminds him of the worst mistakes he's made) says that he makes quips and takes down ten bad guys at a time.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Does not participate in the finale and his fate is unknown.
- "I don't have time to stuff my face! I must capture the Avatar to regain my honor!"
Player Zuko is more accurate than other Players, but Real Zuko considers Player Zuko too stiff and dour, and Player Zuko's scar is on the wrong side. Player Zuko is even more obsessed than the real Zuko with honor and capturing the Avatar, and shouts "honor!" more than he says anything else. He flirts with Player Katara. In Act III, he is killed by Player Azula for his betrayal of the Fire Nation.
- Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: During his Ignored Epiphany near the end of Act II, he tells Player Iroh that he smells.
- Character Exaggeration: The real Zuko is understandably hell-bent on getting his honor back, but Player Zuko is outright obsessed by it.
- Composite Character: He takes on elements of Zhao's season 1 role, such as capturing Aang.
- Decomposite Character: He and the Blue Spirit are separate characters in the play.
- '80s Hair: Has ridiculously overgrown hair in the second act.
- Emo Teen: Big Time.
- FaceHeel Turn: His defection to the Avatar's side would be seen as this to the Fire Nation.
- Famous Last Words: HONOR!
- Felony Misdemeanor: Player Zuko leaves Iroh because Iroh demanded that he gets a haircut.
- Foe Romance Subtext: With Player Katara, probably to make him look even more unreliable and depraved In-Universe (where the Water Tribe is seen as backwards barbarians.)
- Honor Before ReasonAzula: Look, there's your honor.Zuko: WHERE?!
- Large Ham: Everything is an overdramatic declaration about honor with him.
- Playing with Fire: He can do this. It's represented by orange/red ribbons.
- Straight Man: About the only character in the play who doesn't make jokes.
- Your Costume Needs Work: Most notably his scar.
- "Choose treachery! It's more fun!"
Player Iroh is Player Zuko's doddering glutton of an uncle. He is obsessed with cake instead of tea, and is trying and failing to give Player Zuko cake. Player Iroh is betrayed and defeated by Player Zuko, which is uncomfortably close to the truth for Zuko.
- Adaptational Villainy: The play is Fire Nation propaganda after all. Naturally, Iroh's not going to be played in a positive light.
- Big Eater: Unlike the real Iroh, who loves tea, Player Iroh loves cake instead.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Just look at them. They're probably fake, but still.
- Character Exaggeration: The real Iroh didn't really care about the Avatar hunt and liked the material pleasures in life, but he was willing to help his nephew in his quest. This Iroh actively encourages Zuko to forget about the Avatar so they can get massages. The play also drops the reason why Iroh was uninterested in capturing the Avatar (he'd had a HeelFace Turn years ago).
- Evil Uncle: To Zuko, although he's more amoral and hedonistic than outright evil. This contrasts the real Iroh, who was one of the only good members of the Royal Family, and was a Parental Substitute for Zuko.
- Fat Bastard: He's even more rotund than the real Iroh and has none of Iroh's redeeming qualities.
- The Hedonist: Player Iroh lacks the spirituality of the real Iroh. His second line a suggestion that he and Zuko get massages. The Fire Nation, we've seen, is against individual pleasure and expression, so exaggerating this aspect of Iroh to make him look ridiculous makes perfect sense.
- Jabba Table Manners: He likes to stuff his face with cake.
- Playing Gertrude: Unlike almost everyone else in the cast, Player Iroh probably isn't even half of the real Iroh's age. (In fact, he looks like he could be younger than Player Zuko.)
- Ron the Death Eater: In-Universe. This Iroh has none of the real Iroh's kindness.
- Strawman Political: Likely intended to be this In-Universe, given how he tries to get Zuko to abandon the Fire Nation, his lack of good arguments for doing so, and the very bad light he's portrayed in.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He's never seen after Zuko betrays him and pushes him over.
- "The Avatar is no more!"
Player Azula is older than Real Azula, with a huskier voice, and wears pink, along with thick makeup and long painted nails. Player Azula electrocutes Player Aang at the end of Act II, then kills Player Zuko in Act III.
- Adaptational Heroism: The play is Fire Nation propaganda, so of course it presents Azula in a better light than the show does.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Unlike the real Azula, she kills Player Zuko.
- Combat Stilettos: As opposed to her real counterpart, who constantly wears sensible flat-soled boots.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Just like the real deal, although she's supposed to be Daddy's Little Heroine.
- Dawson Casting: She definitely isn't fourteen.
- Draco in Leather Pants: In-Universe. Even outside of the play's status as propaganda, she seems to lack most of Azula's psychopathic tendencies, for example not shooting Iroh during the re-enactment of "The Chase".
- She's also way more mentally stable than the real Azula. She keeps it together during the play's finale, as opposed to the real deal, who was in the middle of a spectacular Villainous Breakdown at that point.
- Femme Fatalons: Her very long painted nails.
- Girliness Upgrade: The real Azula dressed mostly practically and femininity was very low on her list of priorities. Player Azula wears a pink shirt, has stiletto heels, and wears makeup and nail polish.
- Hero Antagonist: As the character who's most prominent at hounding the Avatar and foiling his plans, Player Azula would be seen as this by the Fire Nation audience.
- Hero Killer: Unlike the real Azula, she actually kills Player Zuko.
- Playing with Fire: Like the real Azula, she's a firebender. She uses this to kill Player Zuko.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: Unlike the real Azula, who wears the standard fire nation colors of red, black, and gold.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: "Hey, look, Zuko! It's your honor!"
- Shock and Awe: She throws a blue ribbon at Player Aang in the Avatar State to represent the point in The Crossroads of Destiny where Azula nearly kills Aang by hitting him with lightning.
- "No! It is you who are going down! You see, you are too late! The comet is already here, and I'm unstoppable!"
Player Ozai is the Fire Lord in the play. As the play is propaganda, Player Ozai is a heroic leader, and he looks much more like the real Ozai than any of the Players look like their characters. In the climax of Act III, he kills Player Aang with the power of Sozin's Comet and conquers the World.
- Adaptational Heroism: He wants to take over the world and kill Player Aang, but unlike the real Ozai, he has no plans of genocide.
- The Bad Guy Wins: The play being Fire Nation propaganda, this was inevitable. (Not that he's considered evil in the Fire Nation.)
- Beard of Evil: Beard of Good, as far as the play's concerned.
- Beauty Inversion: He actually looks far more like a stereotypical evil overlord than the real Ozai does, even though he's meant to be the good guy.
- Big Good: His taking over the world is portrayed as a good thing.
- Cool Crown: Wears a rather exaggerated version of the real Fire Nation crown.
- Hero Killer: He takes down Player Aang.
- Kill It with Fire: First Player Aang, then everything else.
- Large Ham: Out-hams everybody in the play- it's Olmec, what would you expect?
- No, You: "No, it is YOU who are going down!"
- Playing with Fire: Like the real Ozai, he can firebend. Unlike the real Ozai, he uses his comet-enhanced bending to kill Player Aang.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He defeats the evil Avatar and succeeds in taking over the world.
- Supporting Leader: He's the Fire Lord, but he only appears in the play's last scenes, with his daughter Azula being active in the hunt for the Avatar.
- Take Over the World: His goal. And unlike the real Ozai, he succeeds.
Player Mai looks similar to real Mai, albeit with a few differences. Her belt has a sad face on it, her fringe covers her eyes, and she keeps her knives in her "ox horn" hair.
- Anime Hair: Her Odango Hair is exaggerated to the point where she can stick knives in it.
- Action Girl: She's a knife master and one of Azula's elite henchmen.
- Beauty Inversion: The real Mai is quite beautiful, even cute, in her own way. Player Mai, not so much.
- Blinding Bangs: Her fringe actually covers her eyes.
- Demoted to Extra: The real Mai was a major character and Zuko's love interest. Player Mai only appears in one scene.
- Emotionless Girl: Just like the real Mai, although Player Mai never gets any of Mai's Not So Stoic moments.
- Knife Nut: Again, much like the real Mai.
- Odango Hair: Her hairstyle exaggerates the real Mai's Odango Hair, making it look more like Mickey Mouse ears than anything.
- Special Effects Failure: In-Universe, she doesn't actually throw her knives. Instead, a stagehand carries them to their target.
- The Stoic: Never says anything or shows emotion.
Player Ty Lee is a pudgy ballerina. Instead of doing acrobatic stunts, she dances sedately across the stage. Instead of chi-blocking by poking people, she kisses them.
- Adaptational Curves: Fatter than the real Ty Lee.
- Action Girl: She's one of Azula's elite henchmen, and is shown defeating a soldier in one hit with her Kiss of Death.
- Bare Your Midriff: But she can't pull it off quite like the real Ty Lee.
- Beauty Inversion: Much like Player Mai, Player Ty Lee is far less attractive than the real deal.
- Dance Battler: She's a dancer who can paralyze people with kisses.
- Demoted to Extra: Only appears in one scene, though the real Ty Lee had a much larger role.
- Flynning: Her action scenes bear little to no resemblance to actual fights.
- Kiss of Death: Unlike the real Ty Lee, she paralyzes her opponents by kissing them.
- The Paralyzer: By kissing her finger and then touching a guard, she causes him to comically freeze and then fall over.
Player Suki looks very close to the real Suki, but her headdress and fans are exaggerated. She has no lines. In Act I, she trains Player Sokka in the ways of the Kyoshi Warriors.
- Action Girl: Teaches Sokka how to be a Kyoshi warrior.
- Amazon Brigade: The Kyoshi warriors are all female.
- Battle Ballgown: Her uniform.
- Cool Mask: Her kabuki makeup.
- Demoted to Extra: Only appears in one scene near the beginning, although the real Suki played a much bigger role, being Sokka's love interest and participating in the attack on Ozai's airships.
- "Riddles and challenges must you face, if you are ever to leave this place."
Player Bumi is the King of Omashu. He wears a padded suit to simulate the real Bumi's muscles, an oversized monocle to look like Bumi's Mad Eye, and a feathered hat as a crown, which looks like Bumi's pet Flopsy. Player Bumi speaks in rhymes.
- "I am the Blue Spirit, the scourge of the Fire Nation, here to save the Avatar!"
A mysterious anti-fire nation figure in a gigantic blue oni mask who appears to save the avatar from Zuko.
- Badass Normal: Like the real Blue Spirit, he doesn't firebend. He still manages to beat Zuko.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Introduces himself as "the scourge of the Fire Nation", making him this In-Universe, as the play is Fire Nation propaganda.
- Cool Mask: The oni mask the real Blue Spirit wore is exaggerated to the point of being as big as the rest of his body.
- Decomposite Character: The real Blue Spirit was Zuko's alter ego. This Blue Spirit has no relation to Zuko, and indeed fights him at one point.
- Deus ex Machina: Appears out of nowhere to save the Avatar, and then is never mentioned again. This is probably how the Fire Nation viewed the real Blue Spirit, given that they don't know that he's actually Zuko in a mask.
- Dual Wielding: Like the real deal, he uses dual swords.
- Large Ham: Like everyone else in the play. It's notable because the real Blue Spirit never spoke, as his voice would have given him away.
- (Normal)"Don't cry, baby! Jet will wipe out that nasty town for you!"(Brainwashed)"Must...serve...Earth King! Must...destroy![starts babbling]"
Player Jet, who has spiky hair and chews on a flower, appears in two scenes. In Act I, he floods a village to impress Player Katara, who hugs him and says "Oh Jet, you're so...bad...." In Act II, he appears in Lake Laogai, and is presumed dead when a rock lands on him. He is Brainwashed in that scene, as indicated by googly eyes. Instead of the real Jet's twin hook swords, Player Jet is armed with twin hook hands.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Player Katara certainly does.
- Anime Hair: His hair, being an exaggeration of the real Jet's Wild Hair. It's long, spiky, and sticks up on its ends.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Like the real Jet, except it makes him look far goofier.
- Character Exaggeration: Like everyone else in the play.
- Dawson Casting: In-universe. In the finest tradition of Dawson's Creek, he plays a brooding teenager but has got at least ten more years on him.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Just sort of... falls over. Then a "rock" falls on him. Lampshaded, even the Gaang aren't certain what just happened.Zuko: Did Jet just... die?Sokka: You know, it was really unclear.
- Dual Wielding: His hooks.
- Hook Hand: To simulate the real deal's hook swords.
- Improbable Weapon User: He dual wields hook hands.
- Mind-Control Eyes: He has googly eyes to show that he is brainwashed.
- Rebel Leader: Except that the Freedom Fighters don't appear in the play, or at least weren't shown.
- Special Effects Failure: In-Universe, his death scene. He falls to the floor and writhes around babbling for a bit before a stagehand drops a rock prop on him. Except it doesn't entirely cover him, and he has to pull his legs under it.
- Third-Person Person: When he's not brainwashed.
- Wild Hair: It's very spiky and unkempt.
Player Yue appears at the end of Act I. She wears a pink dress with many bows, and her hair is a braid attached to her hair loops. When she sacrifices herself to become the Moon Spirit, she is hoisted up on a moon prop, while Player Sokka (and the real one) grieves below.
- Anime Hair: It looks like a giant bow.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Her "moon duties."
- Color-Coded Patrician: She wears pink, instead of the normal Water Tribe blue.
- Exposed to the Elements: That dress is really not suited for the North Pole.
- Famous Last Words: "And yes, I did have pickled fish...."
- Girliness Upgrade: Her outfit is far more stereotypically feminine than the real Yue's.
- Heroic Sacrifice: If the play makes any claim toward accuracy at that point.
- The Lost Lenore: For Sokka.
- Lunacy: Ends up leaving the world because of her "important moon duties".
- Pimped-Out Dress: Wears a very pretty (and very long) pink dress.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: As opposed to the real Yue's purple Winter Royal Lady wardrobe.