Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Fire Nation

Go To

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

    open/close all folders 


Fire Nation
  • Beauty = Goodness: Inverted. The two most evil people in the Fire Nation are both super hot, where as for the most likeable, one is average looking, while the other would be handsome if it weren't for his scar.
  • 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.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Fire Nation royalty wanted to destroy the Avatar. But the first Avatar himself originated from the people who were the ancestors of the Fire Nations.
  • 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. There was also no problems with Azula possibly inheriting the throne.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: Even the Fire Nation suffers this trope. Interservice Rivalry is common between the Army and the Navy as shown in "The Blue Spirit", some regions on the Mainland have Dirty Cops amongst the Domestic Forces who can be easily bribed (a fact exploited by Sokka in one of Toph's scams) or coerced by outlaws like Combustion Man, and commanding officers tend to kill off their soldiers quite frequently. As for Ozai, he causes more problems for his own family than anywhere else.
  • Fantastic Naming Convention: Many Fire Nation characters have a "Z" somewhere in their names. Non-aristocrats seem to have more Sinitic names (Zhao, Jeong Jeong, Li), while the names of high-ranked nobles are either Japanese or Japanese-sounding (Roku, Sozin). Also of note, the Fire Nation is the only culture in the Avatar world with names of Indo-European origins (Azula, Spanish; Ursa, Latin; Agni Kai, Sanskrit).
  • 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, even if they show signs they're not Fire Nation. In return for their oppression, the other races expressed this towards the Fire Nation, as shown in "Zuko Alone" and Katara's own personal hostility against them.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: In culture and polity, the Fire Nation is meant to resemble Imperial Japan and Qing China.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Azula and her companions: Ty Lee is a Bare-Fisted Monk (Fighter), Azula is a firebender who uses blue fire and lightning (Mage), and Mai typically works at long range with throwing knives (Thief).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric. They viewed power, military prowess and pride as success. Many were either corrupt, cruel or ruthless in nature. Instigating wars and showing undying loyalty towards the Fire Lord was all they truly cared about.
  • 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.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Fire Nation has this secondary to Kill It with Fire. The Power of the Sun? Check. Lawful Evil tendencies? Check. The best Firebenders use of Lightning Bolts? Check. Subverted with the good Firebenders.
  • The Power of Hate: As a part of the militaristic campaign the Fire Nation has set for itself during the Hundred Year War, Fire Nation Society has twisted Firebending, which was originally an overpowering force tempered by Heroic Willpower, into an uncontrollable force of destruction that is fueled by ones rage and anger. This is brought to light in "The Firebending Masters", when Zuko's Heel–Face Turn has left his firebending ineffectual, no longer having his emotional baggage to fuel it and learning the old philosophies from the remaining Sun Warriors and the Masters. It is safe to assume that the Fire Nation relearned this when Zuko became Fire Lord.
  • 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.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Fire-bending Mooks have faceplates that resemble skulls.
  • Soldier vs. Warrior: Technically, Fire Nation people are born warriors, but their military is full of professional soldiers. Once they join, they are obligated to follow orders, fight strategically, and conform to organization, for one cause only; to serve the Fire Lord. This heavily contrasts the Water Tribes, who are free-spirited warriors at heart.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Fire Nation architecture utilizes harsh edges and sharp spines on their roofs. They used to have more spikes on the shoulders, as shown by the outdated uniforms captured by the Northern Water Tribe.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Averted. Women are at every level of authority - female Yu Yan Archers, female guards, Princess Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee. The only exception was in the Grand Finale, when Azula was told to stay home by her father, but that was due more to her father seeing both of his children as disposable rather than to her gender. She didn't take it well because she thought her father loved her and not her brother.
  • Take Over the World: Fire Nation's main goal has been world domination until after Ozai is defeated.
  • 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

    In General 
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The royal family of the Fire Nation are dysfunctional for the most part. The great-grandfather, Sozin, was an idealistic man who started a war he ended up regretting at the end of his life, which included the murder of his best friend, Avatar Roku, and the near-complete genocide of the entire Air Nomads. The grandfather, Azulon, was a brutal tyrant who told his younger son to murder his grandson as punishment for mocking the death of his another grandson, Lu Ten. The father, Ozai, is the Big Bad of the series and an Omnicidal Maniac warlord who's continuing his family's policy of active genocide across the entire planet. He has raised his children to be as bad as he is, resulting in his son, Zuko, becoming a "Well Done, Son!" Guy whose face he horrifically scarred for talking back to him, and his daughter, Azula, a very powerful Daddy's Little Villain whose perfectionism and inability to socialize eventually lead to her having a Villainous Breakdown. The mother, Ursa, killed her father-in-law to save Zuko, leading to her exile that prevented her from having any positive influence on the children at all. The uncle, Iroh, is a good man, but was politically marginalized and only able to help provide a good example for his nephew. Commenting on it later, Toph says that given what his family was like, Zuko actually turned out a lot better than you might have expected.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Both an individual and generational example. Fire Lord Sozin began the war with the idea of spreading the greatness and prosperity of the Fire Nation to the other nations of the world. By the end of his life, he had left his best friend to die and committed genocide. By the time of Fire Lord Ozai, any of Sozin's possible noble intentions were gone, with power being the only thing on Ozai and Princess Azula's mind.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Fire Lord Ozai is the Big Bad and an Omnicidal Maniac warlord who's continuing his family's policy of active genocide across the entire planet. He has raised his children to be as bad as he is, resulting in his son, Zuko, becoming a "Well Done, Son!" Guy whose face he horrifically scarred for talking back to him, and his daughter, Azula, a very powerful Daddy's Little Villain whose perfectionism and inability to socialize eventually lead to her having a Villainous Breakdown. Ozai also banished their mother from the capital city, preventing her from having any positive influence on the children at all.
  • It Runs in the Family: The royal family of the Fire Nation have a tendency to be sociopathic nutjobs. For some odd reason, it only seems to happen to one family member per generation, unfortunately, until the last two generations that one person was the eldest son.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: This is what leads to Zuko's eventual Heel–Face Turn. He'd been hesitating for a while, thinking that his family really were good people, despite all the massive evidence otherwise: it's when his father and sister plan to burn the entire Earth Kingdom to the ground that he realizes they've jumped off.
  • Royally Screwed Up: The line of the Fire Lords has... issues. Specifically, a tendency toward being sociopathic and homicidal on both a personal and national level. Again, if there's hope for stopping the ruling lunatics, it seems likely to come from the branches of the tree that didn't get hit with the genocidal batshit crazy stick — disgraced traitor, Iroh, or screwed-up-but-trying-to-improve disgraced traitor, Zuko. For the most part, the Fire Lords seem to have avoided taking out their issues on their own people, so their own common folks seem to be reasonably pleased with their rulers. It's just everyone else on the planet who's rightfully terrified. The problem isn't likely to go away until the planetary balanced is fixed; it seems to be spiritual in nature. (One ancestor went power-mad three generations back, and his successors have continued his policies. And why not, as they seem to be working fine — as long as you're Fire Nation, that is.)


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 acts decently 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 Parents:
    • Ozai not only had a favorite and an Unfavourite child, but he brutally scarred the latter, Zuko, and has attempted to kill him multiple times (though as for this, only after he joined the revolution against him). Zuko found a better father figure in his uncle and mentor Iroh and eventually outgrew the need for Ozai's approval.
    • Ozai exiled and disowned Zuko when he was thirteen, for speaking out of turn in a war meeting (the kid was not supposed to be there in the first place, but the level of punishment was overkill). In addition to burning a good fourth of his face off, Ozai loudly and publicly called Zuko an embarrassing failure and a traitor without honor, for the high crimes of idealism, a degree of rudeness and reluctance to face his father in a duel. One line says all you need to know about how Ozai treated Zuko.
      "You WILL learn respect, and suffering will be your teacher."
    • Because the treatment he gets is more painful in short term, Zuko tends to envy Azula. Ironically, while we never see it, the audience can gather enough about the damage Ozai did to Azula. While superficially nicer to her, Ozai actually subjects Azula to rather cruel emotional abuse, and moreover cultivates her aggressive and ruthless tendencies in order to make her his weapon; her mother, by contrast, tried to help her be more compassionate and fit in with others. Because Azula fails to connect with her mother, this is what brings her eventual downfall. In the end, Zuko points out to Ozai that he is such a horrible father that the best thing he ever did to him was to exile him—Because being treated as Azula is even worse. Further, Ozai's abuse of Zuko is also abusive to Azula by extension, in a "this is what will happen to you if you don't live up to my expectations" kind of way.
      "You can't do this to me! You can't treat me 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. Hell, the very first time he was shown onscreen, it's implied that he supported the plan to sacrifice novice Fire Nation troops as cannon fodder.
  • 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.
  • Broken Pedestal: Part of Zuko's Heel–Face Turn involves him realizing that his father is nothing more than a self-serving SOB.
  • 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 an 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.
  • Cruel Mercy: One interpretation of his surprisingly high tolerance for failure or disrespect. His banishing of Zuko is a paramount example, but another notable instance was when Vachir, the Yuyan Archer he sent to assassinate Ikem, reported his failure to ever locate his target. He spared Vachir but had him dishonorably discharged from the Yuyan Archers, to Vachir's great dismay.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: While he stands little chance once Aang enters the Avatar State, he lasts far longer than anyone else ever has. He even continues trying to attack Aang while fleeing for his life.
  • 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.
  • Didn't See That Coming: He faces a couple in the last episode: an Unknown Known Aang regaining control of the Avatar State and then and Unknown Unknown Energybending.
  • 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. Zig-Zagged when we learn he had planned on going through with it; but not out of Malice against Zuko but rather just because the Fire Lord's order is law and going against it is Treason. At the time, the only thing going for him was just to save his own skin.
  • 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, his face was always hidden by shadow or otherwise obscured, fitting his status as The Dreaded. When he finally shows his face in the Season 3 premiere, 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.
  • 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.
  • Flat Character: Essentially, he is just an Evil Overlord who only wants to Take Over the World and nothing more. Arguably it works because the rest of his family is so well-developed - he comes across more believably as an irredeemable psychopath because of how it affects and changes his family.
  • 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.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: While hiding out in Zuko's summer home in the episode "Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King", Team Avatar finds the picture of a smiling and sweet boy and tease Zuko about it. But much to their dismay, Zuko reveals that it's not him - it's a picture of his abusive and sociopathic father Fire Lord Ozai. The gang is confused at this, wondering how this innocent-looking baby in the picture would one day become the Ax-Crazy tyrant they're now up against. They even briefly wonder if it played a role in his decisions, but ultimately conclude Ozai is a horrible man who should be stopped.
  • "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. Continued in the comic series where Ursa tells him exactly what a hateful, egotistical, insecure little man he is.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: He was The Un-Favourite to his Evil Overlord and emotionally distant father, Azulon, who possibly was an abusive father with him, compared to his older brother, the talented and powerful "Dragon of the West" General Iroh. It's less clear than with Azula what Ozai felt about this relationship, but it's not difficult to see the similarities in their cases, their personalities, and their temperaments. He is so bitter about not receiving as much respect as his brother that he demands perfection from his own children and punishes perceived weakness or insubordination in his eldest son with extraordinary brutality; when he promotes himself from Fire Lord to Phoenix King and plans to exterminate the Earth Kingdom he essentially acts like a Psychopathic Manchild revelling in childish fantasies of power and greatness, but he was so obsessed with the two mostly because of his insecurities.
  • Irony: Despite it being implied he was The Unfavorite to his father Azulon, Ozai is the son who is most like his father, both being Abusive Parents and the most powerful benders in the world. And both, despite being strong leaders, don't care for the people of their nation, being more interested in taking over the world.
  • 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.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: After all those years of oppression, tyranny, and abuse towards his family, Aang finally gives him what was coming to him in the Grand Finale.
  • 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.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Ozai is exactly like his father Azulon. Both of them are Abusive Parents who use their son for their own ends, both are tyrants who ruled the Fire Nation with an iron fist, and both, despite being strong leaders, cared very little for the people of their nation and were more interested in world domination.
  • 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.
  • Papa Wolf: In a Pet the Dog moment, he rescued 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.
  • Patricide: 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.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: According to the old official site, Ursa was the perfect match for him, though they grew distant later on. Subverted in The Search, which reveals that she pretended to love Ozai because the alternative would endanger both her original fiancé and both their families.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Planned to wipe out the Earth Kingdom singled handed with a towering wave of flames.
  • 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 is 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 fiery 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.
  • 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 and pure white symbolizing that it's hotter than theirs as well.
  • Sliding Scale of Parent-Shaming in Fiction: Type IV. He burned his own son's face and banished him for three years for refusing to fight him, ultimately becoming the the Big Bad of the series.
  • 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: He doesn't seem to feel anything for anybody but himself. Not his son, Zuko, his daughter, Azula, his brother, Iroh... he doesn't even bat an eyelid when admitting he banished his own wife as punishment for the assassination of the previous Fire Lord, which she did to protect her son! Lampshaded by Ursa:
    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. To be fair though he seemed ready to fight Zuko before he pulled out said swords implying that he had some means of fighting. 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. He also strongly resembles his father, Azulon.
  • 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.
  • Thicker Than Water: Nastily subverted. He routinely invokes this with Zuko and especially Azula but as we learn more about Ozai it quickly becomes clear that he does this to emotionally manipulate his own children into doing his bidding. The only person Ozai cares about is Ozai and his family only matters to him as long as it can help him acquire power.
  • 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. To be fair though he was more than a match for Aang before the latter entered the Avatar State, especially when he realized that Aang wasn't fighting to kill.
  • 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: Whereas Aang is The Fettered due to his duties as the Avatar and loyalty to his friends, Ozai values only his goal of world domination and will gladly engulf the world in flame to achieve it.
  • The Un-Reveal: 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. The Search implies this to be both ways. While Ozai clearly loved lording his power over Ursa; he also seemed disinterested in the marriage.
  • 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. Most 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 tough 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.
  • Worthy Opponent: Subverted with Aang. After Aang refuses to take his life, even after spending a prolonged amount of time pummeling him in the fully unleashed Avatar State, Ozai admits that he is the most powerful person in the world with a hint of awe in his voice. He even uses his own line from the start of the fight, “all the power in the world” to describe Aang’s capabilities, clearly having developed a grudging respect. That said, he still sees Aang as weak for not killing him.
    Ozai: Even with all the power in the world, you are still weak.
  • Would Hurt a Child: When Zuko was thirteen, Ozai torched his face off for speaking out of turn. He's also made a few attempts to murder him, though he was talked out of it the first time by his wife and the second time Zuko barely blocked his attempt in time and ran for it. He 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.




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.

  • Aesop Amnesia: Two comics in; and Azula still hasn't learned that fear and manipulation isn't the right way to make friends. In Azula's defense, it's practically all she knows. One interpretation of her actions in Smoke and Shadow is that she is regressing to prior habits and thoughts to maintain some degree of sanity.
  • Adaptive Ability: Not to an extent that a tactic won't work twice against her, but true to her studious nature, Azula is a quick learner on the battlefield and will likely be better prepared against her foes during different situations. Two instances in the comics are in The Search when she learns how to make her body much more flexible to work around Chi Blocking and Smoke and Shadow reveals that she too has mastered the ability to redirect lightning as well.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Azula is a terrible, terrible person – who is fourteen, with a long history of parental abuse, grooming, and learned violence-for-violence type behavior. Usually she's such a magnificent bitch that you forget to feel sorry for her, and then she spends the whole series finale going steadily crazier and crazier, with her Freudian Excuse coming to the surface as she starts hallucinating her mother's disapproval and becomes almost desperate for her father's validation. She finally snaps after she loses to Katara, and the last shot of her in the series is her sobbing uncontrollably, with Zuko and Katara themselves looking upset that there wasn't anything to be done to save her.
  • Aloof Big Sister: Inverted Trope. She is the younger sibling but plenty aloof. As of The Search, it's played straight to Kiyi.
  • 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. Deconstructed, as we learn of her inner insecurities which began to take their toll, and after Mai and Ty Lee betray her, she starts to gradually lose her mind.
  • 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: Azula is manipulative as all get out and such a Consummate Liar that Toph, the Living Lie Detector, can't tell when she's lying. Yet despite this, in "The Beach", she proves to be cringe-inducingly inept when it comes to actually interacting with people as opposed to manipulating them. She also demonstrates one instance of rather inappropriate nigh-sexualized behavior towards her brother, though this seems mainly designed to creep him out (and quite possibly poor direction on the writers/director's part). Even as a child, her mother wondered just what was wrong with her because she already demonstrated what amounts to Ambiguous Innocence at best and Troubling Unchildlike Behavior at worst. As of Book 3 and Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search, she begins to exhibit some pretty unambiguous raging paranoia though, to be point of delusions and hallucinations. It's complicated by Bryke's word in Sozin's Comet: The Final Battle that she turned crazy because she felt her mother didn't love her as much as Zuko and that while she could turned out better, her nation's Take Over the World policy only worsened her problems.
  • 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: Well, Girl: 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 evident in her Early-Bird Cameo in "The Storm", where Azula is seen smiling gleefully, one fist raised in victory, as her brother's face burns.
  • Badass Bookworm: An excellent strategist, Manipulative Bastard, and an elite Firebender child prodigy all rolled into one.
  • 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).
  • 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, to say the least.
  • Batman Gambit: As a strategist, this is both her greatest ploy and her greatest weakness. So long as the pieces act according to how she wants them to (through coercion or intimidation), she can topple a city in less than 48 hours. If the pieces however, decide to uphold their personal beliefs and standards like Mai and Ty Lee did, Azula has to be ready on the fly with another plan or else she finds herself in some huge trouble.
    • 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, Brains and Brawn: The Brains to Ty Lee's Beauty and Mai's Brawn, being the leader of the group, a Firebending prodigy, and an excellent tactician and strategist.
  • Beauty Is Bad: She's beautiful, regal, and vicious.
  • Beneath the Mask: Azula is a strong woman, but pretended to be cold and uncaring like her father was to mask the pain of feeling shunned by her mother. Come the final episode, Azula reveals herself as a very lonely woman looking to be loved and friends she can trust in. When she watches Katara revive Zuko, she once again gets to see Zuko get one thing she feels she never can or will have and fully breaks.
  • 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 another one for her.
    • Tying The Search with her issues in the animated series; the concept of "monsters" will cut her to the bone. Even when she first brought it up, she despised being thought of one despite trying to play it off. Since then, she really hates to be seen as a monster. Heartbreakingly, Azula herself is the only one pressing this button. No other characters have actively thought this of her.
  • 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: She suffers a rather magnificent (read "psychotic") break. In the finale episode, Ozai names her Fire Lord like she wanted- but then crowns himself Phoenix King, basically making her a puppet ruler. She begins losing her mind, seeing visions of her Missing Mom, chopping off hanks of her hair, banishing almost all of her servants at random, and eventually challenges Zuko to Agni Kai, a firebending duel. She loses (eventually being defeated and captured by Katara), snaps completely, and it is later revealed that she is now in an asylum.
  • Broken Ace: Though she doesn't really bother with the good publicity part of Villain with Good Publicity, she still fits. She's a beautiful, extraordinarily talented and extremely intelligent young woman, even if she is Daddy's Little Villain, but most of her exterior aloofness and obsession with power stems from being desperate to ignore how Ax-Crazy she is thanks to her thinking that her mother hated her. She has some serious issues with perfectionism, thanks to her desperation to win her father's favor and not turn out like her brother. Same inside, same overcompensation, different shell. In The Search, she starts hallucinating visions of her mother regularly, and her only goal at this point (and the reason she went along with Zuko in the first place) is to find and kill Ursa. By the end of Part 3, she might potentially be on the road to recovery. She had an easy chance to kill Ursa (who didn't know she was Ursa at the time...It Makes Sense in Context) but Zuko was able to talk her down and she left on her own accord. Now, if she finds out what Ursa actually did to lead them to that point...she might snap again, potentially justified in doing so.
  • Broken Bird: Her Villainous Breakdown demonstrates that she's been broken for a while but held it in 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: She does this at the end of her Villainous Breakdown. 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 his Heel–Face Turn. On one of the occasions where she outright attempts to kill him, she shouts, "I'm about to celebrate becoming an only child!"
  • The Caligula: Already unstable following the betrayal of Mai and Ty Lee at the Boiling Rock, she falls quickly into paranoia and fits of rage after Ozai promotes her to Fire Lord, banishing servants and guardsmen from the country in droves and hallucinating about her Missing Mom, Princess Ursa. It doesn't help that Ozai made himself the Phoenix King when he crowned her, effectively making her position as Fire Lord meaningless. So while she would rule the Fire Nation, Ozai would rule the world.
  • Card-Carrying Villain:
    Azula: 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.
  • Cerebus Retcon: In "The Beach", Azula fails in spectacular ways to socialize normally like other kids. However, the defection of Zuko and the betrayal of Mai and Ty Lee is a massive blow to her beliefs and philosophies she was trained into believing in despite the normal ways she "converses" through fear and manipulation, which begins her Sanity Slippage into a Villainous Breakdown. Suddenly, you look back at this episode and realize that her inability to socialize messed her up far heavier than implied.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Compressed Hair: Looking at the picture on this page, you'd assume reasonably short hair. Once that topknot comes undone, she has hair stemming to her waist. One would think she compresses the rest in her armor, but she doesn't!
  • 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: She lies to everyone about everything and is good enough to say she's "a four-hundred foot tall purple platypus bear with pink horns and silver wings" and be immune to Toph's Living Lie Detector abilities. The most spectacular is when she managed to infiltrate Ba Sing Se and conquer the city in a few days (something which the Fire Nation had been trying and failing to do for 100 years) using nothing but lies and manipulations. Unfortunately, she couldn't successfully lie to herself, which resulted in her Villainous Breakdown.
  • 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: A 9-year-old Azula in a flashback episode displays these traits, doing such things as burning a doll (a gift from her uncle), mocking her uncle's sorrow about his son's death, and hoping for his death as well as her grandfather's so her father can get on the throne. Her mother speaks for everyone when she wonders "What is wrong with that child?" Creepier than all of that together is her display of love for her brother:
    Azula: (singsong voice) Dad's gonna kill you! (normal voice) Really, he is…
  • Crying Wolf: When she was about 8 year old, she warned Zuko that Ozai is going to kill him. Zuko refused to believe her because she "always lies", but finds out in "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse" that she wasn't lying about it; Ozai was going to kill Zuko to get the throne. However, their mother intervened and killed her father-in-law, somehow making the death look natural, and was banished because of it..
  • Daddy's Girl: Favored by her father. For her abilities and talent; nothing more. When Azula realized this near the end of the series, she was devastated.
  • 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 to be a Tyke-Bomb.
  • 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.
  • Declaration of Personal Independence: Inverted. Tying with her narcissism is that Azula is very proud of herself and her capabilities. A part of the reason that she attaches to Ozai so much is that she wants to feel validated and appreciated for all she can do.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: When she was about 8 year old, she could can put on an angelic smile, contrasting with her Troubling Unchildlike Behavior such as throwing rocks at baby turtle ducks, burning a doll her uncle sent her as a gift and cheerfully telling her brother in a sing-song voice that their father was going to kill him.
  • Determinator: A trait shared with her brother. In fact, even more than him. For Azula to stop chasing her foes, she either has to have something more important to do, another plan that requires foregoing the current one, or her just plain ol' getting bored. Her determination is so resolute that she can lightningbend, a technique that requires clarity of mind, in the middle of a mental breakdown.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: At the end of Book 2, while Aang is rising into the air in the Avatar State after finally unlocking the final chakra, she shot down Aang with a bolt of lightning straight to the back, which nearly killed him (dying in the Avatar State would break the cycle of reincarnation).
  • Didn't See That Coming: "miscalculated" one thing, possibly in her life: Mai's loyalty to Zuko.
  • The Dragon: To Ozai as his favoured child and heir, not to mention that she very much takes over after Zhao is gone.
  • Dragon Ascendant: To some extent in The Search, when her father is imprisoned and she becomes the main antagonist of the story.
    • Fully achieved in Smoke and Shadow. She’s completely struck out on her own, isn’t looking for daddy’s approval anymore and doesn’t even plan to release him from jail.
  • 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.
  • Driven by Envy: Bryan has stated that her jealousy for Zuko, as well as her repressed emotions, drove her to become evil.
  • 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.
  • Enemy Within: Downplayed: The Search was more prominent of this trope; but the comics and later adventures involving Azula show the Gaang less at war with Azula personally (though Sokka doesn't trust her one bit) and more of dealing with whatever scheme/plan her half-insane brain came up with. To Zuko, this is his greatest opponent before he can truly reconnect with Azula. Until he can ease her pain and she can get help for her mental health issues; any attempt he makes to better their relationship will be undone by her paranoia.
  • Enfant Terrible: When she was about 8 year old, she skillfully combined an angelic smile with Troubling Unchildlike Behavior (read: smirking at her grandfather's funeral and telling her brother that their father is going to kill him, the latter of which was sadly true).
    Azula: My own mother thought I was a monster. She was right, of course, but it still hurt.
  • 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?: In "The Boiling Rock: Part 2", her spiral down into complete insanity starts when Mai and Ty Lee betray her. Then "Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King" has Ozai, the last person she trusts, essentially abandoning her so he can achieve world domination alone. Her breakdown complete, she no longer cares about anyone or anything and simply does as she wishes.
  • 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 between the constant neglect by Ursa (from her perspective, though we learn in The Search why Azula couldn't be doted on like Zuko) and the notion that Azula realizes her own cruelty streak, she simply doesn't understand how Ursa can love someone like her, or anyone for that matter. Azula has no problems when being feared, even by subordinates. But, when she feels that fear towards her turn to raw hate (doubly so by friends and family), she expresses concern that she's the problem and tries to convince herself that it's not the case. Thankfully; Zuko does state in The Search that no matter how bad and messed up their family is, he'll never turn his back on her.
    • Aaron Ehasz says that Azula truly does love Zuko, possibly more than she does anyone else in the series, save Ozai (not that we ever see it); but it's also matched with an intense jealousy of Zuko because he got their mother's attention.
    • This very trope highlights the ultimate difference between Ozai and Azula: Azula thinks she can be like her father and emulates him, his cruelty, and his philosophies...but never realizes why his ideas work for him and not her. Ozai's mentality only works because he has no friends, no love for his family at all (not even Azula) and thus, no problems eradicating people at the blink of an eye or dealing with a traitor in his ranks. Betrayal means nothing but a swift death for the traitor. Azula, on the other hand, cannot stomach betrayal at all and becomes unhinged quickly at being betrayed by anyone. In turn, this leads her to a life of paranoia, constantly thinking there's a knife to her back or an arrow aimed at her head. Azula's (admittedly twisted) love for her brother and (at the time) trust in her friends makes her a complete contradiction to what she professed she wants.
  • 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.
    • While Azula is as ruthless as her father and a self-styled monster, she's never killed her subordinates in the series. In fact, even at her craziest, she simply banishes instead of killing.
    • In "The Boiling Rock", she orders the wardens to stop torturing an innocent prisoner.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: This is one of Azula's Fatal Flaws:
    • Being the resident "people person" and chessmaster, she finds herself completely bewildered when her sidekick, Mai, risks her life to help the Turncoat Zuko escape The Alcatraz. This moment of her inability to comprehend that love can trump self-preservation and loyalty born of intimidation has limits, flying in the face of her philosophy that "fear is the only reliable way" to control people, is actually the first step down the road towards her epic Villainous Breakdown. However, she's at least able to learn from this mistake and apply it to her strategy in the Grand Finale (while she was in the middle of said breakdown no less).
      Azula: The thing I don't understand is why. Why would you do it? You know the consequences.
      Mai: I guess you just don't know people as well as you think you do. You miscalculated. I love Zuko more than I fear you.
      Azula: No, you miscalculated! You should have feared me more!
    • In "The Beach", Mai, Ty Lee, Zuko, and Azula all take turns confessing their problems and helping each other talk through their issues. When it's over, Zuko and Mai have reconciled over an argument they had and Ty Lee feels cleansed. Azula compliments them on their great "acting", treating the entire thing like it was a show. It's obvious she's using sarcasm as a defense mechanism.
    • The comics have this continue for her. In The Search, Azula can't fathom why her mother would want her because of her long-standing cruel streak. Smoke and Shadow plays with this differently in that she thinks like she did in the old ways, that of fear and terror being the only way to rule; yet hasn't pursued revenge against the friends that betrayed her or her brother who claimed the throne (going as far to say she supports her own twisted way of support).
  • 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 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: She started out as a beautiful and talented princess who drove herself to become the most perfect daughter that an Evil Overlord could wish for. She was the Alpha Bitch of a Girl Posse who basically served as her Quirky Miniboss Squad; together, they were capable of conquering an enemy city that had eluded the Fire Nation's best generals, including her own uncle, thanks to her brilliant strategic mind. Yet, she had No Social Skills, so she literally could not act normally around anyone, not even her family or her friends. In the end, even the Girl Posse did not want to be around her, and she went into a tragic and terrifying downward spiral that left her institutionalized in a mental asylum, straitjacket and all. Unlike other examples, she averts the point of the trope. She doesn't try to bond with Team Avatar and constantly seeks her own goals and ambitions and still carries herself around with a haughty attitude.
  • 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.
    • The weaker her sanity is, the less grasp she has on firebending basics in the interest of going for the kill. The final Agni Kai was the perfect example of this. When squaring off against Zuko, she went full out on offensive while Zuko stuck to the basics and regulated his breathing. As a consequence, Azula was near exhausted and low on power because she was gasping for Air while Zuko had plenty more to give.
  • Faux Affably Evil: She is perfectly capable of acting polite as a manipulation tactic, with the keyword being "acting", giving a far more sinister edge to almost everything she says. This actually is shown off as both an advantage and a crippling flaw, as outside of situations where she needs to play her opponents like puppets, she is utterly clueless as to how to act.
  • Femme Fatalons: She has long fingernails, though she later cuts them. She also uses the slashing motion in combat in her first episode, giving Zuko three nice straight scars.
  • Fiery Stoic: Azula, who is also a firebender, is a subversion. Unlike Zuko (who is more emotional), she initially appears calm and methodical, but later becomes more unstable and temperamental following her Sanity Slippage.
  • 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.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
  • Fragile Speedster: She seems to fall under this as well. She's usually too quick for Team Avatar, 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. Bryan also has stated that growing up in a royal family of a nation seeking to Take Over the World worsened her problems.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: In a strange variation, Azula herself appears to invoke this trope on herself, as evidenced by her page quote.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Uses fear to get people to follow her, including people like Mai and Ty Lee. She then finds out that not only do they have principles that outweigh their fear of Azula, but a strong undercurrent in later series and comics show that they never really cared for her all that much. Which for Azula...hurt her harder than she really thought it would have.
  • The Gadfly: Whenever her ploys aren't steeped in fear; she's this. Azula loves to break balls.
  • 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!: Played straight during her short reign as Fire Lord. Justified by her being in the middle of a Villainous Breakdown, but it's not like she was a nice person to begin with either. She was the fourth in a Big, Screwed-Up Family, and her (male) predecessors were all evil too.
  • Go-Getter Girl: She is a good example of why this is a bad thing to be if you grow up in an environment that fosters inhumanity, cut-throat competition, and sheer unbridled ruthlessness. Not only does meeting people's expectations in this case mean being an abominable human being, but the need to throw friendship, love, and morality itself aside in the name of obedience and ambition is enough to cause mental instability at the first hint of a true setback.
  • Grapes of Luxury: During the Grand Finale, she gives this a try while initially enjoying her new power but it soon becomes apparent that she has been brought up to conquer, not to rule...
  • 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.
    • It's never said because she won't admit it, but Word of God said that she's also very jealous of Zuko. Makes sense when you think about it. Azula may have had her father's attention, but Zuko got what mattered in life compared to her. Zuko got their mother's love (The Search reveals exactly why she couldn't dote on Azula more though), Iroh's love (this one she doesn't care about much), Mai's love and trust, and friends that would watch his back like family would. Then; The one thing she thought she had, her father's love, was proven false when Ozai essentially kicked her back to the Fire Nation when he went on his plan. With everything she lost, the only thing she had left was her Fire Lord title, then Zuko shows up with Katara and takes that too. Azula worked hard for what she wanted, but it still didn't matter because Zuko managed to get and take everything from her.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to set her off, especially during her Villainous Breakdown.
  • Hallucinations: She hallucinates that her mother is talking to her just before the final Agni Kai. As this analysis points out, what the hallucinations tell her are inconsistent. In the series, Ursa tells Azula that she feels confused about using fear to control people (that Azula shows guilt about) and doesn't talk or mentioned anything about the throne at all. In the comics, she only tells Azula day and night that the throne is Zuko’s and she should just move on. By Smoke and Shadow, the hallucinations stopped by her accord when she adopted her new plan and focus.
  • Harmful to Minors: She was only eleven when she witnessed Zuko suffering torture at their father's hands.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: She lately has turned to fancy herself as a sort of adviser to Zuko; by which she means to turn Zuko into a ruler that will rule with Fear. Zuko easily brushes off her attempts. While she is still working towards negative ends, we can however see that her "rule through fear" mentality is more of years of damage and teaching through her father (which in Real Life takes YEARS of therapy to undo); and for what it's worth, Azula has regained some degree of sanity and has even begun to care for her half-sister. She's not going to be what she was when we first saw her and she's certainly not all there in the head yet, but for now she's improving herself.
  • 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 with an F in Good: She is the prime antagonist of Smoke and Shadows. She orchestrates a plot to kidnap a bunch of children around the fire nation and later reveals herself to be a central figure of the New Ozai she can make Zuko a more decisive Fire Lord and to drain the finances of the revolution group. The fact that her plan needed massive child abduction and treason mixed with Azula's revealed motives can paint this. Ultimately a really extreme case of "Girl's heart is somewhat in the right place, but god only knows where the brain is."
  • Hidden Depths:
    • She's acting like an emotionless, detached villain all through the series up til the very end, then the pressure of being crowned Fire Lord gets to her. She finally shows some character depth during "The Beach" and eventually starts undergoing a Villainous 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 previous assertion that she did want her mother's love but didn't feel she deserved it.
    • Though the martial arts should be a giveaway and it's Played for Laughs in the volleyball game; Azula's exceptionally gifted in sports as well.
    • The context of the hallucinations combined with how badly she takes betrayal such as Mai and Ty Lee's, or when she thought Zuko was angry with her at the beach could heavily imply that despite her tough exterior, Azula may be harboring some massive guilt and remorse about how she acted in the past; but her ego and pride won't allow her to ever apologize for it.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Why can't therapy work on Azula? She truly cannot believe, understand or fathom why anybody could love her or stand her despite her cruel streak. Even when told otherwise, her psychosis will not let her believe in it or accept any help from anybody.
  • Humiliation Conga: Her mind was slowly broken over the course of a series of betrayals. First her brother, then her two closest "friends", and then finally her father's seeming ostracism. Indeed, the second betrayal was the worst, as Mai absolutely crushed her entire worldview with a single sentence: "I love Zuko more than I fear you". At last, when she had struck down her brother in a climactic duel, when she finally had the chance to punish her brother and restore some shred of order to her now chaotic world, she was defeated and humiliated. And who defeated one of the greatest Firebenders? Not a seasoned master of a bending art, who had studied for decades. Not by the Avatar himself. Not by a 12-year-old "Greatest Earthbender in the World." Not even by her own brother, whom she'd just struck down by cheating. But by a Southern Water Tribe peasant, who not a year earlier could barely bend a puddle of water. On the day of Sozin's Comet no less, when her firebending was magnified a hundred fold. In the end, she was hogtied to a grating with chains, soaking wet and left to flail around impotently.
  • I Am a Monster: During "The Beach", she wistfully admits that her own mother thought that she was a monster before quickly perking up and saying that "She was right, of course, but it still hurt." While this is at first played off as a Card-Carrying Villain-esque joke, it later turns out that Fire Lord Ozai's upbringing has basically turned her into a mental and emotional wreck of insecurities and self-loathing. Furthermore, the abuse left her broken after Zuko and Katara defeated her to the point where in The Search, she self-identifies as a monster because she falsely believes that's what her mother saw her as. Also worth noting is that unlike other examples on this page, when she identifies herself as a monster, she's gone and pressed her own Berserk Button. Nobody else in the universe thinks of her as an outright monster.
  • I Am What I Am: The Quote at the top about her acceptance that she is a "monster". In-Universe it's discussed.
  • I Control My Minions Through...: She has several:
    • She made a point that she uses fear to maintain loyalty in both her minions and her friends Mai and Ty Lee. This eventually leads to Mai abandoning her to protect Zuko out of love, and Ty Lee following suit to protect Mai. The realization that her friends didn't actually trust her and ultimately abandoned her is one of the factors that lead to her ultimate Villainous Breakdown.
    • She's the daughter of the Fire Lord (and fighting his war with his armies), who, in turn, has an Utopia Justifies the Means philosophy he may or may not really believe himself, and the Fire Nation propaganda is indoctrinated into the citizens early on.
      Azula: (to her Elite Mooks) If I sense any disloyalty, any hesitation, any weakness at all, I will snuff it out.
      Azula: (to a hallucination of her mother) Trust is for fools. Fear is the only reliable way.
      Azula: (to Mai) No, you miscalculated! You should have feared me more!
    • She explicitly points out how Birthright gives her the edge over Long Feng in her Breaking Speech to him:
      Azula: It's because they haven't made up their minds. They're waiting to see how this is going to end. I can see your whole history in your eyes. You were born with nothing. So you had to struggle, and connive, and claw your way to power, but true power, the divine right to rule, is something you're born with. The fact is they don't know which one of us is going to be sitting on that throne and which one is going to be bowing down. But I know and you know. (sits on the throne) Well?
  • Ignored Epiphany: During "The Beach", she has one just before Zuko does, where each member of the group is sharing some hidden aspect of themselves and their flaws. Hers is how she resented how their mother, Ursa, lavished attention on Zuko, and her perception that Ursa considered her a monster. After realizing she can't interact with other teens in a regular setting, her final course of action is to shrug it off with "She was right, of course, but it still hurt!" and give people more reason to believe the worst in her since she believes the worst to be the best. This epiphany came back with a vengeance in the Grand Finale, alongside a Villainous Breakdown.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Despite her talk, cruelty, and narcissism, Azula is a young girl who wanted to be loved by her mother and trust in her friends and family. But her upbringing, narcissism, and cruel side kept emerging more than not making her very difficult to approach. Also, her ideologies (her being a fourth generation of fire nation propaganda) fly in direct opposition to her desires.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Azula doesn't really know how to make friends. The closest she has is Mai and Ty Lee, both of who betray her. This is a massive dent in her psyche and is a serious problem to a person who literally cannot fathom any other way to socialize.
  • Implacable Woman: Princess Azula is this in her first few episodes of Book 2, establishing herself as a threat unlike any the heroes faced before. No matter what the heroes try, barely anything they do really slows her down. In "The Chase", it takes all four of them, plus her brother, Zuko, and uncle, Iroh, for her to finally Know When to Fold 'Em and retreat. Afterwards, they adjust to her ability, though she remains a massive threat for the rest of the series.
  • 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. Then again, it could be the makeup. Without makeup on, Azula does look more like her age.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Her last appearance is this overlapping with Broken Tears. At first, there was incoherent, furious screaming, but within seconds, it devolved into sobbing.
  • 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. She also feels that she's Ursa's failure, thoroughly depends on her father's "love", and tends to put down those she secretly envies like Ty Lee. By the season finale, her friends have left her and her father has made it clear that he's only using her. It doesn't end well.
  • Informed Attractiveness: When Ty Lee calls Azula "the most beautiful, smartest, perfect girl in the world", Azula treats this as an "As You Know". Explainable in that Ty Lee has a history of Azula fangirling (as well as living in perpetual fear of Azula's wrath), and Azula herself is just a tad egotistical.
  • 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 someone as nigh-sociopathic as Azula, who lies without a second thought.
  • In the Blood: A common trait that separates her from Zuko. Whereas Zuko's banishment from the Fire Nation led him to grow and develop and learn more of the world beyond the Fire Nation, Azula pretty much absorbed all of the propaganda from the past, lies and all. By "Smoke and Shadow", one can see a theme between past and future changes for the Fire Nation, with Zuko representing the change for the Fire Nation whereas Azula wants it to stay the same as it was during Sozin's, Azulon's and Ozai's reigns. However, it's worth noting a potential underlying of fear of change in her as well; as it doesn't seem like Azula had ever fathomed a different path the world would take.
  • 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: When things start to fall apart, she goes nuts. She does have some desire to prove herself to Ozai although Ozai couldn't care less. Though it is implied that part of the reason she goes nuts is that she realized her friends actually meant something to her and cannot deal with the realization that their betrayal indicates that she was unworthy of their trust. 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."
  • Kicked Upstairs: Her father rewards her for her loyal service by naming her the new Fire Lord... moments before he makes the position irrelevant by crowning himself Phoenix King. Azula knows exactly what's happening to her and doesn't take it well ("You can't treat me like Zuko!") and it's one of the contributing factors to her Villainous Breakdown.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Long Feng manipulates the Earth King, controls Ba Sing Se from the shadows, holds Appa prisoner, brainwashes and kills Jet, and then collaborates with Azula to throw a coup d'état. When Azula turns on him and crushes his spirits with "The Reason You Suck" Speech, for once audiences can support what she's doing, regardless of how Eviler Than Thou she is, just because Long Feng getting his comeuppance is a much-desired event by this point.
  • Knight of Cerebus: When she made her first proper appearance in Book 2, she brought in a level of villain competence that hadn't been seen before. Not even the Gaang was fully prepared to deal with her at that point, leading to Book 2 ending with a crushing defeat for the heroes and their Darkest Hour in the entire series.
  • Lack of Empathy: Subverted in "The Beach", where she apologizes to Ty Lee after insulting her. She also comforted Zuko when she found him at their family's old beach house.
  • Lady Macbeth: Her new goal in life. She realizes as of Smoke and Shadow that she's not meant for the direct role of Fire Lord, but has no qualms trying to meld Zuko into her mold and ideal of what a proper Fire Lord should be. However, it does bear note that in the same novel that she came to this idealization once the other voice in her head was silenced; so it can easily be seen as replacing one psychosis for another.
  • 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.
  • Large Ham: Normally averted by the soft spoken Azula. However, Azula gets progressively louder and bombastic starting in the "Southern Raiders" episode. What the Gaang doesn't realize is that this is a massive tip-off that Azula's not acting like her normal self. In fact, whenever Azula starts acting like this, it's almost like a cry for help that her sanity is breaking.
  • 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: She goes like this during her final battle with Zuko in the advanced stages of her Villainous Breakdown. Along with her Laughing Mad persona and perfectly-working firebending, she becomes a really creepy opponent.
  • Little Miss Badass: As a child, she was already beginning to master Firebending. And, believe it or not, she was fourteen throughout the series.
  • Lonely at the Top: A screwed-up young teen in a Big, Screwed-Up Family, Azula exemplifies this trope. To gain the love of her father, and compensate for perceived lack of love from her mother, she drove herself to become the most perfect daughter that an Evil Overlord could wish for, and succeeded. However, being betrayed by the only two people she had thought she could even begin to call friends when she finally went so far down the evil brick road that even they couldn't stomach following her, eventually being stood up to by her 'weakling' brother, and worst of all, discovering that even after all she'd done her father still wouldn't hesitate to treat her, his supposed 'favorite', as an afterthought to be swept aside and dead-ended in a useless job, she began one of the most epic Villainous Breakdowns in the history of media. When last seen, she'd been defeated by her brother and one of his allies, and was left a broken and desperately frightened child, sobbing and shrieking helplessly in chains before being committed to an insane asylum.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Azula believes, courtesy of the way Fire Lord Ozai raised her, that love is for fools and sees it only as a useful tool for manipulating people, only to learn that Machiavelli Was Wrong, courtesy of Mai... This trope, combined with Azula's subsequently suppressed desire to be loved by her father, her mother, and her friends, plays a big part in her tragic Villainous Breakdown, to the point where her earlier Card-Carrying Villain tendencies are cast in a new light as declarations of self-loathing.
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong:
    • She believes "fear is the only reliable way" to control people, and it always works for her. 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 Villainous Breakdown.
      Azula: The thing I don't understand is why. Why would you do it? You know the consequences.
      Mai: I guess you just don't know people as well as you think you do. You miscalculated. I love Zuko more than I fear you.
      Azula: No, you miscalculated! You should have feared me more!
    • Azula's arc is the most logical conclusion of this trope. What happens when people fear you long enough? That fear turns into hatred. Azula never really considered that her innate desires to be loved by family and friends with her attitudes towards being feared and respected could never go hand-in-hand. Ty Lee and Mai were initially afraid of her, but Mai's love for Zuko overrode that which also caused Ty Lee to defect simply because she didn't want to be under Azula anymore. In addition, Zuko's defection and ignorance of her warnings also played into the fact that the fear of their father's retribution didn't stop him from visiting Iroh. For double the irony It's suggested that even Ozai feared her ability and thus kept her back in the Fire Nation and gave her the title in an attempt to pacify her; which meant that ironically enough, her methods of fear and manipulation alienated the one person she wanted love from!
  • Madness Makeover: During the Grand Finale, her appearance begins to reflect her Villainous Breakdown. By the end, her hair is unkempt, her eyes are lined and baggy, her posture's taken a dive, and she's alternating between Laughing Mad and sobbing.
  • 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". Mike has stated that her feelings that her mother didn't love her as much as Zuko drives her crazy.
  • 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.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: Bryke's word in Sozin's Comet: The Final Battle indicates that it is nurture that has made Azula evil.
  • 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.
    • Played for Laughs in Smoke and Shadow in which Azula coaxed Mai out of stealing some Mochi her mother explicitly forbade her from having because the Mochi was to be reserved for a special occasion. Azula then denied it by claiming that all she did was suggest taking the Mochi and that Mai went all in to get it; upon which Mai's guilt and Ty Lee's aura perception (she thinks the Mochi was cursed) led Azula to eating the whole thing by herself.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: When she tries to act like a normal teenager, she's even creepier than usual.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: She did a very half-assed version when dealing with her one weakness - social ineptitude. She laughs just fine when she's mocking Zuko however.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: When Azula tries flirting with a guy at a party, they hit it off until she breaks out the flaming hands and "We Can Rule Together" speech, at which point he quickly excuses himself. Granted this is probably due to Azula's insanity, not her strength.
    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 of them are completely socially inept and both worked hard to make their way and try to gain the respect of their father. She was just more ruthless about it.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: She pulls this on 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.
  • 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.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: She never loses her cool, so seeing her shouting in anger at Mai and Ty Lee's Heel–Face Turn in "The Boiling Rock: Part 2" heralds her impending Villainous Breakdown. During the final Agni Kai of the series, Zuko meets up with her and can tell just by looking at her that she is off her game, which gives him an edge. Note her fighting style during the battle too. Normally, she regulates her breath and concentrates her firebending to two fingers to amplify the power; but during the fight she exhausts herself and performs her strikes with open palms unless she's lightning bending.
  • The Ophelia: A self-induced case. She had a mischievous streak as a child, but the feeling of her mother's ignorance turned it into outright cruelty, which Ozai manipulated and she emulated. When Mai and Ty Lee betrays her at Boiling Rock, she starts to lose control of things, which leads to paranoia. Unlike Zuko, who can adapt and change due to his banishment, Azula is just too rigid in her philosophies. Because of the growing paranoia, she steadily imagines a knife to her back like with her former two best friends and ends up having long, disheveled hair. She loses the ability to repress her insecurities about being Ursa's failure, resulting in her final defeat during the final Agni Kai. Losing everything and everyone over the course of one summer snaps the girl and she goes insane.
  • The Perfectionist: She is shown to have heavy doses of this, first seen when she is practicing her lightningbending. Graceful execution, deadly precision, power, and striking speed... but a single hair out of place. Not satisfied with being "almost perfect", she's shown compulsively retrying her technique. Later down the road, it turns out that being Daddy's Little Villain doesn't save you from being used in Ozai's schemes, and her cool demeanor breaks, culminating in a colossal Villainous Breakdown.
  • 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.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: She is The Evil Princess of the Fire Nation and as one of the best firebenders in her time, she gives the Gaang a hard time dealing with her.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: She always has a topknot secured with a Fire Nation comb. She's the stern and perfectionist princess of the Fire Nation. 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: She has this down to a fine art: when she strikes down Iroh when he's not looking, when she gets Zuko to join her by saying it's his choice, when she attacks Aang mid-Transformation Sequence, and when she reveals the contingency plan after figuring out Aang is alive from Zuko pausing before saying there was no way he could have survived.
    • The former trope image comes from the finale, while Azula is suffering from her Villainous Breakdown. As time goes on, it degenerates into a full-on Slasher Smile. In general, she was a child prodigy gifted in general evil, which comes with the Psychotic Smirk.
  • Psycho Supporter: The end of Smoke and Shadow has Azula being this. She wants Zuko to become a stronger Fire Lord, one that would enact cruel measures to keep the throne she would have. While Zuko is grateful and relieved that his sister is still alive with some sanity (loosely put) returned to her; the girl still has more issues than Time Magazine.
  • Puppet King: In the Grand Finale, Fire Lord Ozai grants his position to his daughter, Azula, right before turning it into a puppet position by naming himself Phoenix King. This comes as a slap in the face to Azula and exacerbates a Villainous Breakdown that's been brewing for a while.
    • Smoke and Shadow reveals her new plan is to essentially make Zuko this; or so she says.
  • 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.
    • Coincidentally; Her Kemurikage outfit has some purple in it. Mai says it's not her color. Gene thought it certainly was.
  • 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.
  • Rapunzel Hair: She has long hair down to her waist when not up in a Prim and Proper Bun.
  • 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.
  • Running Gag: In The Search, Mother Nature just does not like this woman.
    Sokka: Nature hates you!
  • 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: As this analysis points out, Azula in truth averts this. She seems to be one of these, as she smirks when her brother's face burned. However, it wasn't motivated by sadism, but by her emulating her father, her personal issues with her mother and brother, and a value system that the Fire Nation agreed with. She also orders the wardens to stop torturing an innocent prisoner, and left the Kyoshi Warriors unharmed, something sadists would never do.
  • 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-Deprecation: In The Search, along with subtext given by the hallucinations, Azula frequently refers to herself as a "monster" like she thinks Ursa thinks of her. It's painful to watch.
  • 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.
  • Shadow Archetype: As of Smoke and Shadow, we see Azula's new goal is to try to get her brother to rule like she would have. While Zuko adamantly refuses to rule with fear like she did; Azula remarks that Zuko did give into fear and lost his balance. We now see Azula as what can happen to Zuko if he surrenders to fear and insecurity.
    • The series has this as well. Both her and Zuko were heirs to the throne and both had a very strict idea about the righteousness of the war the Fire Nation waged. Zuko, however was forced to change and grow and later ended up learning styles and techniques outside of firebending (such as lightning redirection from waterbenders and his own fighting style has a earthbending twist to it. Zuko suffered a lot longer and wasn't even allowed to return to his homeland but still grew and became a somewhat functional adult with a greater emphasis on the world. Meanwhile Azula lived the lap of luxury using fear and manipulation to get what she wants and kept constantly advancing through Firebending abilities, formations, techniques and martial arts to the point where her firebending is unmatched. However at series end, Azula had absolutely nobody she felt she could rely on while Zuko found new friends and family. Azula is essentially Zuko if Zuko would never open himself up to change.
    • She's also, more subtly, one for Katara. Both are the younger siblings of brothers who are two years older than them and seeking to grow into their positions of leadership, yet, both are the more prodigal of their father's children, having mastered all forms of their element. Both are the daughters of the respective leaders of their people (Katara being the Southern Chief's daughter, Azula being the Fire Lord's) and both had mothers who became absent from their lives in childhood after their mothers tried to protect their children. Both are the only two normal benders in the series to wield a power that glows white-blue. The major differences between their circumstances are that Katara's family was far less privileged due to the war and emphasized unconditional support and love in spite of their issues—whereas the royal family of the Fire Nation had all the power in the world and used their power to tear each other down. In many ways, Katara and Azula are the same basic character archetype, but Katara responded to the hardships in her life by becoming deeply empathetic and invested in those around her, while Azula became increasingly sociopathic. This difference of empathy and sociopathy is highlighted in Azula's and Katara's powers: despite giving off a similar light, where Katara heals, Azula harms. Azula nearly kills Aang with lighting, Katara brings him back to life. Katara sneaks across enemy borders and ends up donning a disguise to help the general public, Azula disguises as a Kyoshi Warrior and ends up bringing the downfall of Ba Sing Se. Azula constantly pits herself against Zuko and sabotages him when convenient; Katara shows up to the final Agni Kai as Zuko's support.
  • Shame If Something Happened: This trope is one of Azula's strongest weapons: If she knows how and who to hurt to hurt her enemy, she'll exploit it for all it's worth. This fails only against people who have principles that outweigh their fear. One example is in 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: Just before her impending coronation, she refers to herself as "Fire Lord".
  • 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.
  • Signature Move: As stated just above in Shock and Awe: Azula's known for her lightningbending just as much as her blue fire. The lightningbending deserves special mention as it's always brought up almost like a Dangerous Forbidden Technique due to how easy it is to blow yourself up with it; but easy also to electrocute oneself with it if the lightning doesn't exit the body properly; and thus a clean slate of mind is needed to be able to do it. Not only can Azula do it on the same level as Iroh at a fifth of the age, but she can also do it no matter what state of mind she's in. Even during her craziest in the final Agni Kai, she can lightningbend just like an old pro.
    • Though the blue fire should also be mentioned. It's worth noting across both series, Azula has been the only person to create blue fire. Not even Avatars were known to or shown to produce it.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Azula's psychosis overtook her better judgment and she does turn on Team Avatar in "The Search: Part 3", not that they were surprised.
  • Slasher Smile: Her iconic Psychotic Smirk gradually morphs into one of these as her Villainous Breakdown goes on.
  • 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 Smurfette Principle: She is the only known female member of the Fire Nation Royal Family by blood until her niece, Izumi, is introduced in The Legend of Korra.
  • The Social Expert: She's actually an interesting case. She can accurately predict the movements, motivations and operational methods of virtually anyone she encounters. This makes her incredibly dangerous on the field of battle or when she's attempting to manipulate someone. She can also be very charismatic at times (just look at her take down of Long Feng). But when it comes to every day, basic social interaction, she fails. Completely. Ruling through fear and/or intimidation is pretty much the only thing in her social skill set; excellent for being the dictator of an entire nation, not so much when trying to mingle with people her own age. When intimidation and manipulation begin to fail her, it triggers her Villainous Breakdown.
  • Split Personality: Commentary on The Search said that Azula had essentially developed this and her brain has two personalities to it: The manipulative Azula and the lunatic Azula.
  • The Sociopath: She's a Manipulative Bastard, a pathological Consummate Liar ("Azula always lies..."), and a Control Freak. Subverted since not only she fails to demonstrate pathological need for stimulation and lack of impulse control, but also she reveals aspects sociopaths don't have. She has No Social Skills, harbors self-loathing out of belief that her Missing Mom considered her a monster, seeks to please her father no matter the cost, and suffers from a massive Villainous Breakdown triggered by the betrayal of her closest friends and her father. It's also confirmed by Bryke's word in Sozin's Comet: The Final Battle that she could have turned better in a healthier environment.
  • The Strategist: She is a villainous example. At the age of 14, she is arguably the greatest strategic mind in the series. Her flawless takeover of Ba Sing Se relied on her juggling multiple different complications into supreme advantage that all ended up going her way. She also planned the defense of the Fire Nation that ended up defeating Sokka's plan (using information she gained in disguise). She's an unconventional example as she's also a brilliant fighter and one of the most physically dangerous villains in the show. Once that starts to go through Sanity Slippage, she's easier to defeat, though still extremely dangerous.
  • Stealth Pun: Her Blue fire as a member of the Kemurikage can easily be compared to 'Ghost Fire' or St.Elmo's Fire, a stereotypical flame used in fiction for lost sailors.
  • Strategy Versus Tactics: Representing a near perfect mix of the two is one of the big reasons she's so dangerous. She's willing to sacrifice battles for a greater end goal (Strategist), but also able to play a mean game of Xanatos Speed Chess decision-making when needed (Tactician). Her perfectly orchestrated, nearly single-handed coup of Ba Sing Se in the Book 2 finale showed off her skill in balancing the two out, that she puts Grand Admiral Thrawn to shame.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: She's got two styles to her. Unlike traditional fire-benders, she focuses on Chaquan martial arts which incorporates elegant maneuvers and focuses more on speed and in-show, is used by her as a means to concentrate her chi into more powerful firebending strokes and strikes. However, once she's frustrated enough or loses enough focus, she'll actually revert to basic Shaolin Long Fist like traditional firebenders. A good way of incorporating her personalities into her fighting styles.
  • 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, younger, smarter, and far more dangerous than he is.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: While nobody would really forgive Azula for what she did; seeing her completely broken with the audience getting a full, examined look at what caused it all would elicit this reaction. In-Universe, Katara felt some of this and pity.
  • Teen Genius: At the age of 14, she is arguably the greatest strategic mind in the series, at one point juggling about four different complications into a single grand plan. It ends with her brother switching back to her side, The Hero (temporarily) dead, and Ba Sing Se, a city that had withheld 100 years of siege, conquered, all starting with just her and two Badass Normal friends.
  • Teens Are Monsters: At the age of 14, she is nearly the lone exception to an otherwise subverted rule. She's the one prominent teenager in the entire show that starts and remains evil from beginning to end. However, she ends up being exposed as a very tragic, messed-up person, so not many people in-show or out of it tend to see her as a "monster" anymore.
  • Terms of Endangerment: She calls her brother "Zu-Zu". It could be said this one word sums up what makes her 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. While using an Embarrassing Nickname for a brother might seem fairly normal, she not only tries to kill him repeatedly, but there is a not particularly subtle vibe of Incest Subtext between them.
  • 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 mattered. Ultimately, this trope is subverted, she chose evil because she felt it was the only way to receive any love and trust from a parental figure, in this case Ozai. But when Ozai decided to ultimately discard her like he did Zuko, Azula realized that nobody loved her and it caused her to break.
  • Token Evil Teammate: To Team Avatar themselves in The Search because of her instability and 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 also learned how to redirect lightning, able to resend the shot back at Zuko. 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.
  • Town Girls: The fierce and ruthless Butch to Ty Lee's Femme and Mai's Neither.
  • Tragic Villain: Azula falls hard into this trope. We start off knowing that Zuko's even more villainous sister, Azula, was their father's favorite, and that she remained in his good graces. What we learn later implies that she struggles every bit as hard as Zuko to keep his favor. Unfortunately, her teachings and beliefs are shattered when Zuko defects, as well as when Mai and Ty Lee betray her at the Boiling Rock. When she realizes that, in reality, her father cares no more about her than he did about Zuko, it ends up being the straw that broke the camel's back, and she breaks rather than bends. It turns "The Beach" into a Cerebus Retcon for her; all of her cruelty and her inability to socialize normally becomes less funny and paints the image of a woman who literally cannot fathom any way to be loved or respected for who she is. Thus, she clings to her father, right down to his ideas and philosophies, just for a chance at some affection.
  • Troubled Abuser: Dealt it out by manipulations, belittling and threats but Book 3 reveals that she was ultimately a victim of emotional abuse too. But unlike Zuko who had to come to terms with what happened to him and faced it, she never realized it simply because her life on the surface seemed much better than it really was. Defiant to the end, she refused to believe or even think about the possibility until she was repeatedly backstabbed by those close to her. But by then and with too much else going on, her mental defenses were badly lacking and she couldn't deal with it.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior:
  • 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, and everyone knows it.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Ozai raised her to serve as his obedient and perfect heir by molding her to his way of thinking. This is one of the most successful examples, as Ozai made sure to "coddle and praise" her rather than "abuse her and insist she is made to serve him" (that's what Zuko is for). Deconstructed, as her praise from her father meant that she never really did things for herself or had any idea on how to handle people besides intimidation and even her only friends left her because they could no longer side with her, despite fearing her. When Ozai names her Fire Lord, it is because he names himself the new title of Phoenix King since the former title has no meaning to him and thus he has no more real need for Azula. She has a lot of Mommy Issues because she was being raised to be his obedient and perfect heir and her mother was afraid of her (or rather, afraid for her,) with Ursa having no idea on what to do with her daughter. Unsurprisingly, she snapped and is reduced into a frantic and sobbing state, to where Zuko and even Katara felt genuinely sorry for her.
  • 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: She perceives herself to be this, at least in her own mind: "My own mother...thought I was a monster." She tries to laugh it off at the time, but this perception of her relationship with her mother contributes heavily to her Villainous Breakdown in the series finale.
  • 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 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 regained some sanity and Took a Level in Badass.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: When she first appeared, she was an existential threat to the Gaang and Zuko couldn't even touch her (this being the same Zuko who mopped the floor with Zhao, only healthy). By the end of Book 2, Azula begins having much more trouble against Aang and Katara. By the time of Sozin's Comet, Zuko has gained a sense of enlightenment, while she didn't think she'd have enemies in her midst to worry about and has already descended into insanity since he left. He can mop the floor with her thanks to the natural strength and stamina advantage of a 17 years old male against a 15 years old female, the latter increased by his having developed a stationary and defensive style while hers is heavily offensive and energy-intensive. By the time their duel reaches the end, he is still fresh while she is almost exhausted without having been hit once.
  • 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 didn't show her as much affection as she did Zuko, resulting in Azula believing that Ursa never loved her and thought that she didn't deserve love because she's a monster. There IS a reason behind why this is the case, but it doesn't remove the fact that she still did. 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.
  • Villainous Breakdown: She becomes progressively more unhinged throughout the Grand Finale, kicked off by the betrayal of her closest friends, Mai and Ty Lee. She really starts going nuts when her father dismisses her plea to accompany him on the Fire Nation's final war offensive, goes even farther when she fires her servants out of paranoia when she thinks they are plotting against her, leads to her hallucinating a conversation with her mother, and climaxes after Zuko and Katara interrupt her coronation and defeat her in an Agni Kai, leaving her chained to a gate, snarling and spitting fire and then eventually crying and whimpering on the ground like a mad woman, 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: She represents this for the series. In Book 1, both Prince Zuko and Admiral Zhao were credible threats, with Zuko improving over the course of the series and Zhao having a massive amount of resources. However, even with those, neither of them together posed anywhere near the level of threat to the heroes that Zuko's younger sister posed to them by herself in Book 2, having the perfect combination of ruthlessness, brains, intimidating charisma and firebending skill that the other two lacked, in addition to her incredible determination and will like Zuko, and vast resources like Zhao. Even more so when she had her Badass Normal friends, Mai and Ty Lee, with her. The heroes' inability to adjust to her threat level quickly enough resulted in her dealing them a crushing defeat at the end of Book 2.
  • 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 just as bad if not worse than Zuko about her father's approval because unlike Zuko, she feels that she never got any from her mother. She freaks out and snaps at him when she feels he's not giving her the proper respect she deserves. Over the next several days, her Sanity Slippage is fueled 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 almost no loyalty to anyone, not even her father, and has been acting on her own accord since. Even though she says she's on Zuko's side and embracing him as a Fire Lord in Smoke and Shadow, her words and meanings are still very shaky and vague.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: She may be considered too old to count, until you recall she managed to organize a coup in a hostile city with her words alone, breaking the Evil Chancellor in the process, at the age of fourteen. From what is seen of her during flashbacks, it seems like she's actually been like this since age nine. Word of God even stated the reason she chose her "friends" was because they were people she could learn useful skills from.
  • 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.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: She is subject to a non-fatal but still exceptionally cruel one of these in the finale, by her own father no less. He rewards her for all her loyalty by naming her his successor as Fire Lord, and then immediately crowns himself Phoenix King of the entire planet, rendering her new position totally powerless.
  • Younger than She Looks: Yep. She's fourteen. The year-long timeskip happens in The Promise; then she's 15.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Deconstructed. At first, Azula is Always Someone Better for Zuko; a prodigy firebender, a military strategist, and flawless manipulator. Zuko, while no slouch, isn't as good of a firebender, and his held back too much by his own sense of honor to compete in the cutthroat realm of Fire Nation politics and warfare. Eventually, Zuko even turns against his father and country on the eve of victory to aid the enemy in the war, while Azula is actually handed her father's position as leader of the Fire Nation. ..... At which point it flips. Once Azula peaks, she finds that she's driven away her friends, that she pushed away her mother when she was young, and that her father has no real love or trust in her, leading to a mental breakdown. Meanwhile, the hardships and failures Zuko suffered as the "loser" child have turned him into a better person who's surrounded by people who love and trust him, and they help him dethrone Azula and lead the Fire Nation into an era of peace.
  • You Rebel Scum!: In the Grand Finale, she refers to Katara as "filthy peasant".


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. When met at the beginning of The Search, Ursa was a confident tomboy. After a miserable marriage to a man with overwhelming power and terrifying reach, she's no longer as strong as she thought she was; to the point of having her memories of her past life and children erased because of the overwhelming pain.
  • 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: Gender Inverted. She left Zuko and Azula as young children because she was banished from the Fire Nation for killing the previous Fire Lord to save Zuko's life. The Search gives another heartbreaking reason, making her an Unwitting Instigator of Doom: She sent a fake letter to see if her letters were being interrupted. Ozai indeed intercepts it and confronted her about it. Rather than hit her, Ozai goes above and beyond and disavows anything of Zuko and would do anything to hurt him just to "hurt the things Ursa cares about." Which also gave Ursa the clue that if she tried anything, he would kill Zuko AND Azula. Because of this, Ursa had to shun Azula so Ozai wouldn't try to hurt her the same way and had to focus more on protecting Zuko so Ozai wouldn't kill him. Tragically, this also gave Azula her massive mother issues.
  • Divine Parentage: She is the granddaughter of Avatar Roku. This was the reason for her forced marriage to Ozai.
  • The Exile: She was 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....
  • Fatal Flaw / Good Flaws, Bad Flaws: Due to circumstances she herself created (again, worth noting that she didn't expect Ozai's reaction to the whole thing) She failed to balance her affection between Zuko and Azula, resulting in Azula thinking that she ''never'' loved her because she is a monster due to being heavily influenced by Ozai.
  • 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 loved her children, did her best to temper Azula's Troubling Unchildlike Behavior, and was banished from the Fire Nation for killing the previous Fire Lord to save Zuko's life. But as The Search reveals, she doesn't consider herself a perfect one.
  • Heroic BSoD: Up until the end of Smoke and Shadows, she has a very difficult time dealing with reminders of Ozai and her time with him.
  • 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: She used to provide the main page quote: "That's what moms are like — if you mess with their babies, they'll bite you back." ; she knows what she's talking about, having orchestrated the murder of Fire Lord Azulon for ordering her son Zuko's death.
  • 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: She left Zuko and Azula as young children because she was banished from the Fire Nation for killing the previous Fire Lord to save Zuko's life.
  • 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). Tragically, this also led to Ozai favoring and corrupting Azula. Furthermore, because of Ursa's ploy backfiring heavily, she had to protect and focus more on Zuko, unintentionally neglecting Azula (at least from her perspective) in the process. As a consequence, Azula was never properly disciplined by her mother and ends up becoming (from Azula's own perspective) a monster that her mother doesn't want. The worst part of it all? Ursa's plan and fallout from it was nothing more than Disproportionate Retribution. Ursa likely presumed that she would've been just yelled at if not hit by Ozai. But for Ozai to turn around and no longer have any qualms about killing Zuko or Azula was WAY too far.
  • Parents as People: "The Search, Part 3" reveals her memories were wiped. Ozai forbids 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?"
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: According to the old official site, she was the perfect match for Ozai, though they grew distant later on. Subverted in The Search, which reveals that she pretended to love Ozai because the alternative would endanger both her original fiancé and both their families.
  • 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.
  • Reality Ensues: Ursa is a textbook case of what happens to people in abusive relationships with people that have a lot of power and strength physically and politically. Ursa not only found herself at constant pain and threat by Ozai; but her children were also up on the chopping block. Her tomboyishness is swiftly beaten down (metaphorically) into submission and she had practically no escape. As a matter of fact, if Ursa had not concocted a poison that killed Azulon, she may never have gotten a way out of the marriage; and even that was at Ozai's own instance to cut loose ends.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: While her family run around the world and are driven by personal honor/ambition/friendship, she calmly took care of them. That means encouraging her children to play together and killing her father-in-law to save her son, while never breaking the mask.
  • Sliding Scale of Parent-Shaming in Fiction: Type I. She doted on her son, Zuko, who was badly ignored and mistreated by his father, but in doing so, accidentally forgot to give her daughter, Azula, the same protection. While she did love her daughter very much, she mistook Azula's behavior to mean she could handle things on her own even though Ozai was just as bad to her in a different way. In addition, because Ozai's favoring Azula's abilities and Ursa's letter put Zuko's life at risk by Ozai, she thought Azula was at least fine on her own. This messed Azula up badly and ultimately led to her Villainous Breakdown in the Grand Finale. Ursa tried to patch things up with her in The Search and Azula seemed to let her, only to run away later on.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Ikem. An Arranged Marriage kept them apart.
  • Tarnishing Their Own Beauty: She gained a completely new identity from the Mother of Faces who offered a less attractive one to test her sincerity. She accepts it since she is on the run.
  • 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 soft-spoken, beautiful, calm and very proper, teaching Zuko about small things in the ways of life and wondering what's wrong with Azula when she's in full Creepy Child mode. She shows the core of iron by killing her father-in-law to save Zuko's life. 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.
  • 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.

    Lu Ten 

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 picture his father puts over his grave is an accurate representation.
  • 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 (at least until Zuko was able to break the cycle with his own daughter) 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), Mai is still only going up against the good guys because she works under someone who is evil. In fact, the animated series shows Mai fighting the Gaang maybe once or twice; but when the chips were down; she's usually the first to surrender because she can't be assed. In "The Drill", she only shows up to announce "we lost.", In "Crossroads of Destiny", she quickly surrendered the bear when Ty Lee was incapacitated. She shows what she's really capable of on "The Boiling Rock Part 2".
  • Archnemesis Dad: Her father turned to The Dark Side, with the ambition of overthrowing Zuko. A 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.
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: The Brawn to Ty Lee's Beauty and Azula's Brains, being blunt and direct, Silk Hiding Steel.
  • 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, however, not as much as Zuko.
  • 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: She is the daughter of very high-ranking Fire Nation nobles in charge of colonizing Omashu for Fire Lord Ozai.
  • 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. Doubly so that by the time Tom-Tom came around, her father had the position of Govenor and thus had much more freedom than her. No wonder Mai is so cynical and bitter! As of Smoke and Shadow; her mother left her father and while Mai and her aren't exactly on the best of terms; things are slowly improving for both of them.
  • 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: She certainly dresses like one with red and black clothes, a dark makeup palette, and black Femme Fatalons.
  • 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.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite serving as Azula's accomplice, mistreating her servants, manipulating Kei Lo, covering up assassination plots, putting Zuko's family in danger, and so one holds a grudge against her. This is probably because like with Ty Lee, they presume that she was goaded into helping Azula and thus put their animosities behind them. Being the Fire Lord's girlfriend at the time probably helped smooth things over for 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.
  • 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: Betrays Azula to save Zuko's life in "The Boiling Rock Part 2", starting off Azula's Villainous Breakdown.
  • Hero of Another Story: Since Rebound, Mai has been involved in a personal war against the New Ozai Society.
  • 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.
  • 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 backward 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 she breaks it off with him, she seems guilty by hiding her face in her hands, or perhaps just unhappy.
  • 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. Unfortunately, Smoke and Shadow reveals that this isn't the grounds for a healthy relationship: When it's good, the relationship between them is excellent. But when it's bad; it gets messy and violent.
  • 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.
  • Town Girls: The Neither to Azula's Butch and Ty Lee's Femme.
  • Trophy Child: Her parents raised her to be perfectly behaved, with her opinions and emotions hidden, in order to help her father's political career; in return, she got whatever she wanted, though she wasn't interested in material wealth and rebelled against them later on.
  • 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.note 
  • 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.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: She has potential to fill in the yamato nadeshiko shoes and has the perfect looks, but personality-wise, she's more deadpan than the standard and a lot of her apparent elegance is born out of apathy, as it was forced on her by her mother so she wouldn't "embarrass" the family. Her most Yamato Nadeshiko moment comes when she defies none other than Azula for the sake of the man she loves. "I love Zuko more than I fear you!".
  • 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 

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 Ty Lee. The only reason she works for Azula is because Azula scared and threatened her into joining her team. She just happens to work under someone who is evil, most likely out of fear.
  • 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: She is a cheerful and bubbly teen girl who can beat grown men to death with her bare hands. She easily downs powerful benders despite not being a bender herself, using her knowledge of the human body to block the flow of chi to stop benders from bending.
  • 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.
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Ty Lee is the Beauty to Azula's Brains and Mai's Brawn, being bubbly, flirty, an acrobat, and Ms. Fanservice.
  • 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: She is the daughter of Fire Nation nobles, though her family's not as prominent as Mai's.
  • 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: She wears her hair in a high ponytail 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 far 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, and are a preferred weapon of choice by various antagonists in tie-in comics.
  • 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: Weird case of this trope. Ty Lee is far from stupid; but she's REALLY easygoing when not in a fight.
    Ty Lee: 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 to 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?
  • The Ditz: Comes across as this with her bubbly personality.
  • 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 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.
  • Face Realization: During "The Boiling Rock Part 2", Mai pulls a You Shall Not Pass! to save Zuko. After being captured, she prepares to face Azula's wrath. This is when Ty Lee surprises everyone, including herself, by blocking Azula's chi to save Mai.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
  • Friendly Enemy: She's quite flirtatious with Sokka.
  • Genki Girl: Energetic, perky and quite friendly to boot.
  • 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.
  • 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: Chi-blocks Azula to save Mai in "The Boiling Rock Part 2", starting 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.
  • Innocent 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.
  • 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. In Ty Lee's defense, it wasn't like she knew Azula was learning how to work around chi blocking.
  • 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.
    • Another in-universe example is in the comics where Ty Lee, after a year free from Azula's grasp, still can't shake her fear of Azula waiting to strike her down.
  • 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."
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Given the way she looks and acts, you probably wouldn't think she was any real threat. However, her athleticism and chi-blocking abilities make her The Dreaded to benders and an opponent non-benders have to take seriously.
  • 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.
    • Her betrayal of Azula is this for everyone involved at that moment! Mai was legitimately shocked that Ty Lee had it in her, Azula went down in aghast that her more loyal friend went against her, and even Ty Lee herself stood there as if to say: "Oh wow, I just did that."
  • The Paralyzer: She can (temporarily) disable bending ability, designating her as the anti-bender combatant.
  • 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.
  • Smarter Than You Look: She may be energetic, quirky and a bit ditzy, but that doesn't make her dumb.
  • Stalker with a Crush: A mild case 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.
  • Tareme Eyes: She has round eyes.
  • 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!
  • Town Girls: The Femme to Azula's Butch and Mai's Neither.
  • Valley Girl: As Mai is the Avatar world's version of a Goth, the creators describe Ty Lee as this.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: Downplayed; she flirts with Sokka quite a bit, but never tries to make him hers like many examples of the trope.
  • 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 

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 lifelong 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 for the rest of the world. Naturally, the Ocean Spirit is pissed and not only destroys the entire Fire Nation fleet but drags Zhao into the water... where he ends up in the Fog of Lost Souls, forever cursed to wander as a 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.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: He never considered the environmental 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 leads 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.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Where to start? He was so obsessed with the prospect of destroying the Northern Water Tribe that he was willing to kill the Moon Spirit, completely ignoring the ramifications of effectively destroying the moon. Not only that, he didn't account for how this would royally piss the elements off. His actions cause the Ocean Spirit to single-handedly obliterate the invading Fire Nation army and cripple what was left of the fleet.
  • 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 afterward 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 vs. 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. It's also how Aang defeated him without even attacking.
  • Hate Sink: Because Prince Zuko is too sympathetic of a 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.
  • Hotblooded Sideburns: Unlike Iroh, he is a straight example. He has the hairstyle 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.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In episode 3, for all that he said just to spite and hurt Zuko, he is correct in saying that Firelord Ozai really doesn't care about Zuko. He quite bluntly lays out very good and obvious reasons why Zuko should give up on trying to get his honor (read: his father's love) back. Zhao's not being nice, or even trying to help Zuko by saying this (quite the opposite) but he is right.
    Zhao: ...your own father doesn't even want you.
    Zuko: You're wrong! Once I deliver the Avatar to my Father, he will welcome me home with honor! And restore my rightful place on the throne.
    Zhao: If your father really wanted you home, he would've let you return by now, Avatar or no Avatar. But in his eyes you are a failure and a disgrace to the Fire Nation.
    Zuko: That's not true!
    Zhao: You have the scar to prove it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Seemingly spares the moon spirit that he captured at the behest of Iroh... only to promptly Kill It with Fire shortly afterwards. This ends up being his undoing.
  • 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.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: He seems almost as angry with Zuko over showing him mercy than he is about being defeated by him.
  • "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.
  • 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. What's worse is that his soldiers already seemed to be winning the battle against the forces of the Northern Water Tribe, thus making his actions seem somewhat pointless.
  • 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 

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.
  • Badass Normal: Other than Mongke, none of them are firebenders though nonetheless capable and ruthless fighters.
  • 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 explosives 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.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He is genuinely shocked to hear what Zuko's father did to him, and it gives him a much greater respect and sympathy for Zuko's motivations.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Initially, Jee harbors a dislike towards Zuko due to the latter's disregard for the crew, and thinks of Zuko as nothing more than a spoiled prince. It is only after Iroh tells Jee of Zuko's past, and why Zuko is so determined to find the Avatar, that Jee begins to understand, and become more willing to aid Zuko in his search.
  • 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. In all likelyhood he perished when Aang merges with the Ocean Spirit and annihilates the Fire Navy.


War Minister 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.

  • Beard of Evil: Like Fire Lord Ozai, Qin is a villain who sports a blade-like goatee.
  • 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 the 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 

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.

    Yon Rha 

Yon Rha

Voiced by: Tim Dang

"I'm afraid I'm not taking prisoners today."

The former commander of the Southern Raiders, a Fire Nation Navy special forces unit infamous for capturing or killing Southern Water Tribe waterbenders. During the last stages of the Southern Water Tribe Raids, he murdered Katara and Sokka's mother.

  • Abusive Parents: From what little is seen of his mother, she's shown to be a shrewish, ungrateful, verbally abusive woman. Word of God is that it's her treatment of him after the war that grounded Yon Rha down from a terrifying monster of a man to the miserable wretch he is in the present.
  • Basement-Dweller: After retiring as commander of the Southern Raiders he became a browbeaten shadow of his former self due to being forced a live with his verbally abusive mother.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Zigzagged. When Katara first encounters him again years after he murdered her mother, she asks him if he knows her. When he admits he doesn't recognize her, she threatens him, and it's enough to jog his memory of the little Water Tribe girl he fleetingly encountered six years ago. Since he remembers the rest of what happened that day, his expression says it all.
  • Call to Agriculture: A rare example where it isn't portrayed as sympathetic or indicative of an individual who wants to create life after taking so much of it during the war. Yon Rha's just a retired war criminal who happens to enjoy gardening as a hobby.
  • Dirty Coward: He begins visibly panicking the second Katara and Zuko get the drop on him even though he has no idea who they are or what they want. The true depths of his cowardice are revealed when, after learning why Katara tracked him down, he attempts to save himself by offering to let Katara kill his own mother to make them "even." When that doesn't work he resorts to begging and crying.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: From the feared and respected commander of one of the Fire Nation Navy's most infamous special forces units, to a miserable doormat who lives with his shrewish mother and doesn't even put up a fight against her insults and abuse.
  • Kick the Dog: Yon Rha could've just imprisoned Kya, like the Southern Raiders had been doing for years to waterbenders. Instead he decides to murder her, and he looks quite pleased about it beforehand.
  • Matricide: Though he doesn't personally try to kill his mother, he does try to bargain for his life by offering up his mother's in exchange to Katara, claiming it'd make things "fair" since he killed Katara's mother.
  • Not Worth Killing: After realizing what kind of person he is, Katara calls him out on being a weak, pathetic, empty human being, but as much as she hates him, she still can't murder such a pathetic wretch of a target in cold-blood. She leaves him behind, and Yon Rha is left sobbing in the rain.
  • Retired Monster: Once he went into retirement, Yon Rha was ultimately reduced to a pathetic shell of his former, monstrous self. That does not change the fact that he is an unrepentant war criminal who worked to purge the Southern Water Tribe of waterbenders and murdered Katara's mother in cold-blood.
  • Villains Want Mercy: In spite of gleefully murdering Katara's mother and doing who knows what other war crimes, when he's at Katara's mercy he's left feebly begging for her to spare his life.
  • Would Hurt a Child: When an eight-year-old Katara walks in on Yon Rha interrogating her mother, he doesn't outright threaten Katara's life, but the implication is still there with his hostile attitude towards her. Since he was in the Southern Water Tribe to kill the last waterbender present, not imprison them, and immediately killed Kya after she tricked him into thinking she was the waterbender, it stands to reason he would've done the same to Katara.
  • You Killed My Father: Yon Rha was the one who murdered Katara and Sokka's mother, Kya. Katara spends the duration of The Southern Raiders working together with Zuko to hunt him down and get her revenge.
  • You Monster!: Due to the traumatic memory surrounding their initial meeting, Katara constantly refers to Yon Rha as a monster when describing him to others. She only relents after personally confronting him and recognizing him as a thoroughly pathetic and empty person.

    Yuyan Archers 

Yuyan Archers

An elite group of Fire Nation archers.—-

  • Badass Normal: They're not Firebenders, but their deadly percision and accuracy easily make up for it.
  • Cold Sniper: Always silent, famed for their accuracy, and dangerously effective.
  • Elite Mooks: The best archers in the Fire Nation, and prove to be too much for Aang to handle on his own.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: One of them shoots the Blue Spirit in the head, in the dark, without hitting Aang. According to Zhao, they can pin a fly to a tree 100 feet away without killing it.
  • Splitting the Arrow: Their Establishing Character Moment features one shooting a target with one arrow, then splitting that arrow with three more. Later on when they attack Aang, they shoot a wall of ice Aang conjures, shattering it.
  • Tattooed Crook: All of them have red bat-like tattoos over their eyes.
  • The Voiceless: None of them ever speak.

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.
  • 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).
  • Dirty Coward: After Roku delivers a massive Curb-Stomp Battle to Sozin over his military expansionism Sozin learned to never challenge Roku again. He only makes his move when Roku is badly weakened by the volcano.
  • 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 Old Folks: Sozin was 82 when the Hundred Year War began.
  • 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 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 fix things.
  • 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.
  • Irony: The greatest and most renowned Fire Lord....dies filled with regret at everything he did.
  • 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.
  • Kick the Dog: Turf Wars reveals he outlawed same-sex relationships. While this attitude actually fits the real-life setting and era the Fire Nation was based on, it's said to have been tolerant beforehand. No reason why he did this other than to establish "That guy was the worst!" is given.
  • 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 to 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: To Ozai, and his conflict started the entire plot of the show before his death.
  • 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 too 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 a defiance, as he realized his utopia wasn't worth everything 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 favor 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: He ordered Ozai to kill Zuko so he would know what it is like to lose a son. Ozai later admits that he would have actually gone through with it if Ursa hadn't intervened.
  • 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.
  • Child Prodigy: Presumably, since he compares Azula's abilities to his own at the same age.
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: The circumstances surrounding his death are very, very suspicious. Sure, a 95-year-old man dying quietly in his sleep is not particularly remarkable. However, he was last seen loudly rejecting his younger son, Ozai's, bid for the throne and ordering his defenseless 10-year-old grandson's death. The next morning, Azulon is dead, Ozai is the Fire Lord, and the kid's mother has mysteriously disappeared...
  • 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! Once Ozai falls out of favor with him (that, or his even older years making him more miserable than he showed), he turns completely ignorant towards Ozai about anything. Even when his granddaughter shows amazing firebending abilities, Azulon barely bats an eye.
  • Lean and Mean: Azulon appears to be very slender and was a ruthless conqueror who was no better with his relatives.
  • Papa Wolf: Despite his evil heritage and seeking his grandson's death, Azulon was offended for Iroh after Ozai asked for the throne.
  • Parental Favoritism: Seems to have favored Iroh over Ozai.
  • 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 the 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.
    • The Search implies that earlier in his life he used to be much warmer to Ozai and Ursa. It could be interpreted that the very cruel old grandfather we see in the series proper could have been old age affecting him a lot more than thought.
  • 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 

"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 tattoos 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 that 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 more so 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.
  • Tsurime Eyes: He has narrow, upwards arching eyes.
  • The Un-Reveal: Zuko apparently knows his name. He never shares that information.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: His concentrated explosions are the only weapon we see him use...and he remains in the top 5 for Team Avatar's deadliest opponents with that alone.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Doesn't care if he's sent to kill a 12-year-old.


Video Example(s):


Firebending Demonstration and Duel

General Iroh demonstrates firebending form for Fire Prince Zuko / a duel between Zuko and Admiral Zhao

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / PlayingWithFire

Media sources:

Main / PlayingWithFire