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  • When Katara suspends Azula in ice and chains her during the finale, why couldn't Azula use her heat to break out? We have seen during the Siege of the North that Katara does the same thing to Zuko and he easily breaks out, even during the full moon, whereas Azula, essentially a more powerful firebender than Zuko, couldn't break out during Sozin's comet. Sure, she wasn't thinking clearly, but I think it would be mere firebender instinct.
    • Zuko had air. Azula was suspended in water. No breathing = No firebending.
    • Zuko was also trapped in a ball of ice. He was not exposed to air.
      • He speaks while he's inside of it. Usually, that sort of thing requires the capacity to breathe.
      • Azula was a prodigy, remember—which means she learned the really advanced stuff really early, and probably glossed over the basics as being far too easy and coming naturally. Zuko, on the other hand, had Iroh drilling him the basics for years—breathing, for a start, and the importance of it. As a result, while Azula's big attacks are stronger and hit harder, Zuko would probably run circles around her in a test of the basics—such as creating heat while also holding your breath, such as Zuko does at the North Pole while he's swimming.
      • Remember, at the Boiling Rock Zuko is able to fend off the effects of an anti-firebending cooled cell because he has absolutely mastered the most basic aspect of firebending, breathing.
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    • I think the answer's a little simpler than that. Azula possibly could have broken free from the chains...but remember that she was on one long sanity decline at this point. I'm not going against others earlier but perhaps it's just a case of the spirit just being broken. By the time she saw Zuko get back up thanks to Katara, it hit her...nobody cared if she lived or died. And so, with nothing mattering to her and nothing making sense to her, she lashed out but ultimately gave up to her madness.
      • Iroh actually mentions this as a throwaway line. Azula advanced too quickly and no longer appreciated the basics, making something of a glass cannon. Granted, there needs to be extreme emphasis put on cannon.
  • Along with teaching Aang how to redirect lightning, couldn't Zuko have shown Aang the motion of creating lightning? Surely The Avatar would have the raw power to separate the energies and he's certainly not in turmoil.
    • He might have been planning to before Aang disappeared.
    • And how exactly is he going to teach Aang something that he himself couldn't get the hang of? Remember what Iroh said: If you get it wrong, you're pretty much dead. Zuko teaching Aang something that dangerous when Zuko couldn't get it right would've been grossly irresponsible.
      • Only failing at redirecting lightning is deadly. Zuko tried many times to shoot lightning and failed and all that happened was a small explosion in his face.
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    • Avatar Extras says that only Ozai, Iroh, and Azula could shoot lightning.
      • When you remember Zuko failing to bend lightning in season two because of internal conflict, it's surprising that Azula was still able to do it after her Breakdown.
      • Someone on the Fridge Brilliance page suggests that creating lighting requires complete focus on something and that both "nothing" (what Iroh teaches Zuko) and "rage" or "desire to kill someone" count as "something".
      • Toph never taught Aang metalbending, and ostensibly Katara never taught him to heal. Lightning may be Azula's favorite weapon, but it isn't really the most necessary talent in most peoples' repertoires.
    • Every time he tried it literally exploded in his face. He could never succeed at creating it while training with Iroh, so how's he going to teach it?
      • Yes, but it came from his internal conflict. After he learnt Firebending without rage, he should have tried it. But Aang would surely have failed, for the same reason Zuko did before.
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    • Shooting lightening is a pure kill move, Aang is a vegetarian pacifist. See the problem?
    • Not to mention, the last time Aang had that much lightning in his body, it killed him. He'd probably be scared of generating it inside said body, especially if his teacher ended his directions with "...now hopefully this won't blow up in your face like it does for me."
    • Zuko cannot generate lightning, only redirect it. But even if he could, he still wouldn't shoot Aang with lightning because as stated above, lightning is treated like a Dangerous Forbidden Technique among firebenders for how easy it is to backfire and consequences would be fatal. Even if the subject is teaching redirection, that still means Zuko would have to shoot Aang with it. This would only work if Aang gets it right completely the first time. Should Aang screw that up and take a couple thousand volts, Zuko may accidentally kill Aang. Which means Zuko goes from Sifu Hotman to Sifu Deadman; as it's not a good idea to kill the friend of a waterbender that is not only on very shaky ground with him but is looking for any slight to drown him. The backlash of what could happen would outweigh the costs of trying to teach him something.
    • Lightning generation can only be accomplished if you are free of all emotional turmoil. Aang is currently under tremendous emotional turmoil over having to kill Ozai, something Zuko is aware of on at least some level. No amount of training is going to help Aang achieve the mindset required to put it into action.

  • If Azula is so psychotically intent on killing Zuko, why the hell doesn't she just finish him off after she chases Katara away into the building? He's right there like a sitting duck, and she even takes time to taunt him while Katara is taking cover, which is quite a distance away. Katara also hides for quite a while. Azula has a perfect shot, being on a roof of a building, and would have had plenty of time and reason to make sure he was dead. I understand that she's lost her mind, but I would think that if someone was manically intent on killing you, they would make sure you were dead ASAP. Unless Katara can always bring people who died (from energy attack wounds) back from the dead...???
    • Making sure Zuko was dead ASAP would be the logical, rational decision to make in Azula's position, and at that point Azula is anything but logical and rational. She's a cackling madwoman during that fight, not the careful tactician.
    • Point taken. I guess I've been watching too many movies and games where ax crazy characters, heroes and villains alike, use their insanity to make extra sure their target feels their wrath and dies...
      • In fiction it tends to be more common for a psychotic villain to toy with their victims, often to their own undoing. Also, Azula is confused, to say the least.
    • Azula isn't psychotically intent on killing him. She said "I'd really rather our family physician look after little Zuzu if you don't mind." That isn't consistent with her wanting him dead.
      • Only if you take her words at face value, and there is every reason not to do that. She's taunting Katara and being sarcastic, not explaining what she actually plans to do.
      • Even without taking them at face value, she was attacking wildly by then. So the mere fact Katara was actively engaging her was enough to draw her attention.

  • Something that has stuck to me for a while... when Zuko was injured and Katara getting chased by Azula, Azula at what one point does this exagerrated salute at Katara, what was that about? I mean, the gesture was obviously meant sarcasticcally, but what is it supposed to mean regularly? I don't recall any specific movements that are meant show allegiance or respect being demonstrated, besides bowing or kneeling, and suddenly someone is doing something that looks like a cross between the American Salute and the Nazi Hail ( What? Go watch the clip, that is totally what she does). I guess she might have just come up with it on the fly, but if she had enough presence of mind to snark and verbally taunt the two, she would have enough presence of mind to pick a gesture that would have gotten the message of "I'm using this sign of respect mockingly" across clear enough to catch.
    • I thought that was just the start of the figure for creating lightning.

  • What about Azula in the Grand Finale? She was chained, but not, if I recall correctly, at an angle to prevent her from melting her chains off. Plus, the girl who bust out of Toph's earthcuffs with just her fingers should be able to do the same with improvised metals rings during Sozin's comet. Of course, being crazy and all, that may not have occurred to her.
    • Metal doesn't just evaporate when melted. In order to even melt the metal, Azula would need a very hot fire. And then the super hot melted metal would then drip all over her hands causing intense burns. Azula could have perhaps only weakened the metal by heating them without fully melting them, but her hands probably were in too awkward a position to accurately direct her flames.
    • Like the first person said she couldn't melt the chains without seriously burning herself. When she busted out of Toph's cuffs, she built up pressure inside super quickly by heating the air inside and the cuffs blasted off. Chains aren't rigid so that wouldn't work.
    • Also, her fighting spirit was broken. Something about seeing Katara save Zuko caused the last of her sanity to go out the door, reducing her to practically a feral state of fire breathing before breaking down and crying. Ability is there, but the mind can't go on.

  • We're told that lightningbending requires a state of calmness/inner acceptance/Zen/whatever, hence why Zuko couldn't do it for quite a while. But Azula totally loses her shit in the finale and is still able to do it. The implication is that you don't need to be good or evil to bend lightning, just able to accept where you are on the spectrum.
    • That, or Azula's just that good, which could very well be the case.
    • As a variation of that, maybe Sozin's Comet allows a bit of leeway when it comes to lightning
    • My interpretation is that the part of Azula's mind that's involved in lightningbending is calm, even while the rest of her is experiencing a meltdown, due to constant practice, which fits into the just that good theory.
      • I said this above, but I mention it again: Someone on the Fridge Brilliance page suggests that creating lighting requires complete focus on something and that both "nothing" (what Iroh teaches Zuko) and "rage" or "desire to kill someone" count as "something".
    • There's also the possibility that Iroh withheld the truth about lightning just like he withheld that he knew the true way of firebending. Iroh could have taught Zuko the dancing dragon and true, "not just destruction" firebending from jump. Zuko wasn't ready for it. He had to mature. I personally think that Ozai and Azula discovered the true way to generate lightning when they were crazy or enraged. Both instances have the same thing. Both people were feeling very strong emotion but they were 100% focused on a single task (killing their target). We've already seen firebending is about drive. If lightning is a pure expression of Firebending then it is likely a pure expression of the drive to accomplish a single task. The reason Zuko couldn't do it before because he wasn't 100% focused on a task. He wanted to capture the Avatar, he wanted to beat Azula, he wanted his honor back. His mind was all over the place.

  • Katara appears to act the role of a second during the last Agni Kai, so wouldn't running out on the field been a disqualification on their part? Let alone that she's a waterbender getting involved in business between two fiebenders. Stepping within range of a fight period is a pretty retarded move, Azula was still kicking, Zuko was still in control of the match, they both were still chucking enough fire to boil her in whatever water shield she threw up, why just run right up like a toddler with scissors? I guess the guy that kept complaining that just being in Azula's presence caused the Gaang to pick up the Idiot Ball was right in the end.
    • First: disqualification? What about this duel adheres to any sort of rule system? A fugitive prince appeared out of nowhere to challenge his sister for the crown in a no-holds-barred battle that at least one of them considers a fight to the death. Neither of them are going to care about what might be grounds for disqualification in a normal Agni Kai, with referees and (presumably) some method to prevent accidental death. Secondly, Katara had gone into this prepared to fight Azula, who has proven herself one of the toughest opponents the Gaang has ever faced, in partnership with Zuko. When Zuko decides to fight on his own, of course she hovers nearby. She's worried about her friend! And getting closer means she can help if she needs to.
      • Yes, disqualification. It's still an official duel, because it's presented as a challenge explicitly as Agni Kai. That means it's under whatever the Code Duello is in the Fire Nation—and there's nothing to suggest that Agni Kais normally have a method to prevent "accidental" death—it's a duel where you're hurling fireballs at each other. Death is probably an implied, and expected, possibility.
      • If there was any disqualification, it was on Azula's part when she attacked Katara in the first place.
      • Azula disqualified herself when she attacked Katara. How can Katara act as a second? Agni Kais appear to be a one on one match. If you're going to say Katara acts as a second, you might as well go the extra step and say that traditional rules for disqualification don't matter. Also, rules are irrelevant since they're working off of the assumption that either Ozai/Azula will be taken down or the gaang will all die. If they succeed, Zuko is next in line. Iroh's not going to take the throne. Ozai and Azula wouldn't be able to overthrow the new Fire Lord. Who was disqualified first is a moot point because there's no one else watching and it's all or nothing.
      • Agi Kais are strictly duels between firebenders, which Katara is not, so it's not like she could've officially stepped in to take Zuko's place. And we can assume that the Fire Sages were there watching the duel play out, considering it was the deciding factor in who they were going to crown Fire Lord. And since one of the purposes for which these duels are fought is for honor, we may assume that attacking innocent bystanders is grounds for disqualification. The duel was over by the time Katara stepped in - at that point, it was only a matter of getting the loser under control and making sure the winner didn't die from a lightning strike.

  • When Sokka, Toph, and Suki infiltrate one of the Fire Nation airships, Toph uses metal armor to protect herself from the firebending. Shouldn't she have been badly burned since metal is a good heat conductor?
    • I think benders can control over the temperature of the element they're bending on some level. That would also explain waterbenders' ability to switch between ice/water and Azula's ability to switch between blue/orange fire as well.
    • 1: She kicked down a door (a pretty thick one, I might add) to make that armor. 2: She was hit by one fireball that lasted a second or two. Even comet-powered, that wouldn't do much. If that doesn't satisfy you, just file it under Convection Schmonvection and Rule of Cool.
      • You're also not taking into account that that metal was on a Fire Nation airship. If the ship is powered by firebenders, it would stand to reason that the metal, which, as mentioned above, was very thick, would be designed to absorb minimal heat.
      • Never mind that metal doors that thick have no business being on an airship anyway, much less one so clearly overloaded. I don't think much of this series is supposed to be hard science fiction.
      • Except that a thick metal door hardly weights much more in comparison to the rest of the ship, yet offer a ton of protection as the thickness made it durable and was considered unbendable by the general populace. Seeing as it also protected what was both the cockpit and the command center of the ship, it makes practical sense to make the critical zone as secure as feasible. After all, if a water nation spy managed to board a fire nation flag ship with horribly outdated uniform and managed to get into spitting distance of the commanding officer, it's safe to say that covert agents can also board and try to take control of the ship. If weight is still a concern, make the blimp bigger, as it benefits from the square cube law. Oh, and post 9-11, many airplanes have cockpit doors that are rather hard to enter/breach, which was a factor in the 2015 Germanwings crash.
  • In the finale, couldn't Katara just have bloodbended Azula into submission instead of running around the palace until she found a chain? Even if she has objections to bloodbending, she's been shown using it when she really has to, or is really pissed off, such as against Hama and the retired Southern Raider captain.
    • She needs a full moon in order to bloodbend.
      • This Troper unfortunately realized the answer minutes after he posted that question, but it brings up another good point. How many freakin' full moons does the planet have per month? Seems like they happen every week.
      • Somebody did a count. 26 of the 61 episodes feature a full moon.
      • Hama mentions that the cycle is monthly. Chalk it up to simple background animation instead of dealing with a full lunar cycle.
      • The creators even lampshade the frequency of the full moon in the DVD commentary.
      • The whole series takes place over the course of something like 11 months. There's a lot of subtle timeskips too that aren't explicitly acknowledged. Like "The Waterbending Master" shows the moon as a thin crescent (I can't tell if it's waxing or waning because I don't know much about the moon), and the Siege of the North, the next episode, has it full, so there's at least a couple weeks if not the better part of a month between the two episodes.
      • It's a small waning moon, in both the music night scene and the NWT night scenes. That would place it some two and a half weeks before full moon, assuming the Moon in Avaverse has a 28-day cycle.
    • She really hates the fact that she can and only used one other time in the whole series. Even then it was when she was hunting down her mother's killer.

  • During the whole series finale (Sozin's Comet) Aang has second thoughts about killing Firelord Ozai. Yet he does not hesitate to hurt, maim or possibly kill the crew of Ozai's air ship when he causes it to crash into a rock formation. (Not to mention that he most likely drowns any survivors when he extinguishes the fire with a cosmic amount of waterbending)
    • Also, when he was taken over by the Ocean Spirit. While the spirit seems to have been in charge, all of that power was moving through Aaang. He allowed himself to be used as the instrument of death for the entire Fire Nation fleet. No tears appear to have been shed.
      • The very first episode of season 2 dealt with Aang having nightmares about that specific incident.
    • The archeologist/scholar he and the Gaang abandoned in the sinking library of the Knowledge Spirit.
      • To be fair, the professor simply refused to leave. This troper likes to think that after Wan Shi Tong calmed down, he recognized a true kindred spirit in the professor and decided not to kill him after all.
      • It's probably unlikely that Wan Shi Tong would have completely filled the library with sand anyway. Just submerged it to seal it off. Though he's still a spirit, he does need a physical body for at least some things, so completely burying would have been extremely impractical.
    • While he did shoot the ship down, it went down fairly slow. The deaths were likely minimal, if at all. Aang's only shown a problem with killing as a conscious decision. Shooting the ship down the way he did gave the crew a chance. Also, he only raised the ocean for a minute at most, then put it back. He specifically has nightmares about the Ocean Spirit controlling him, so it's not like he doesn't care. Finally the archaeologist wanted to stay. Not Aang's problem.
      • There's also a shot that shows the crew of one of the downed airships huddled on top of it to avoid the water.
      • But there was that one time where he, Sokka, Katara, and the Mechanist launched a full-on aerial attack on Fire Nation troops, and if this troper recalls correctly there was one part where a bunch of Mooks fell off the narrow mountain path. Also, Aang doesn't say anything when Sokka blows up the entire bottom chunk of the temple and undoubtedly killed dozens. Or even when Sokka blows up Combustion Man. But worst of all is The Day of Black Sun. Aang not only accepts but condones and participates in a sneak attack where they plow through hundreds of Fire Nation Troops when they are virtually defenseless and where, had it succeeded, he would obviously be expected to kill Ozai. And he was psyched for that.
      • Possibly because while he'd trained and been re-assured by his friends and the last-ditch invasion plan that he'd have a shot at defeating Ozai, Aang hadn't actually confronted the reality of doing so. It takes until The Southern Raiders for someone, Zuko, to give him a reality check on the subject. And only after he'd spent the whole episode claiming that violence is never the answer.
      • The aerial attack used almost entirely non-lethal armaments as I recall. Something like a few explosives and mostly joke weapons like gunk and stink bombs. Also, Sokka killing people is an example of technical pacifism. Aang has a problem with killing personally, not with others doing so (so long as they have a good reason, hence his objection to Katara's revenge against the guy who killed her mother). The people he killed at the air temple would have destroyed it, and Combustion Man blew himself up. As for Ozai on the Day of Black Sun, Aang wouldn't have needed to kill him. He'd be a pushover without firebending. Just knock him out and deal with him later.
      • During the Northern Air Temple episode Aang was fully willing to dump tons of snow on soldiers marching up the mountain, which could be reasonably expected to send them falling to their deaths. If we accept the premise that Aang finds it more acceptable for someone to kill in his place when many lives are threatened that opens up the question of why he showed such total dislike of the idea of Ozai dying and didn't want one of the others to help him. Lastly, as Bumi showed, simply knocking out and restraining Ozai would solve nothing. As long as he has the ability to firebend he can potentially break free of any restraints and start killing again. Frankly it's much easier to assume that the writers simply put in the unwillingness to kill later on.
      • This troper always took it as a matter of murder vs. self-defense. It's one thing to be forced to kill someone coming at you, and another to actively seek out an individual to murder them dead.
      • Look at Monk Gyatso, when the Gaang found him, he was surrounded by dozens of firebender skeletons. Some of the monks probably had no problem with self defense.
      • I think it could be a bit of fridge brilliance in the fact that he doesn't think he's killing them. When he talks to Avatar Kyoshi and when Chin the conqueror falls to his death he says its his own fault. Aang beliefs that he is giving them a chance even if it's certain death. Technically he's still 'pure' because he doesn't belief he did anything wrong and only hesitates when he kills people on purpose.
      • In the episode after the one where Appa was kidnapped, when the team was fighting a swarm of vulture-wasps, one of them grabs Momo. Aang, in a bad mood not only gets Momo back, but kills the bird as it was trying to escape. It was definitely on purpose, so he lied to Avatar Kyoshi when he said he never took a life.
      • Well, he never went to check, so he might not have known for sure that he'd actually killed it. Alternatively, maybe he's talking about not killing people.
      • On the topic of Chin. Kyoshi doesn't think that Chin falling to his death was Chin's own fault, she accepts responsibility for killing him, as even if she didn't technically kill him - she was the primary cause of his Disney Villain Death
    • The reason Aang doesn't fret about killing all those people is because this is a kid's show and all the Mooks have Plot Armor. No matter how many explosions or crashes or crushing slabs of stone there are, not a single Fire Nation soldier dies by his hands (except Zhao, who really, really deserved it, and that was more Koizilla using Aang as, appropriately, an avatar). Hence, there's nothing for Aang to feel bad about. The real question is how anyone could watch a show on Nickelodeon and expect the 12-year-old hero to start killing people.
    • Aang may be personally uncomfortable with taking someone's life, but he's clearly willing to work with people who don't feel the same way, so why didn't he just go, "I'll beat him into submission, and after that it's up to you guys"?
      • Honestly, Aang's reluctance to kill or allow people to be killed comes off as an attempt to generate drama. Aang is very definite about not wanting Ozai dead, and yet he led an invasion a few weeks ago, where dozens if not hundreds were killed. This strong aversion to killing only really comes up in the finale, so we can have some moral angst on Aang's part.
    • Swing and a miss. Aang knew he'd have to face the Fire Lord. Aang didn't fully realize he'd have to actually kill him. It's like a homework assignment which you brush off for being easy at face value but ultimately proves itself to be much more challenging than you think it is. Aang didn't suddenly come down with moral angst, it's more like the rammifications of what he'd actually have to do finally caught up with him and he got repulsed by it because he will directly have to kill someone; and Aang's no killer. As for "duh, why didn't he just let someone else do it?", who else was going to do it? Katara? She couldn't even kill the man who killed her mother. Sokka? All talk. He couldn't kill Azula when on the Gondola, do you think he'll do that here? Toph? Not in her blood to kill. Zuko? Avatar's destiny, not his and the sheer political fallout would be disastrous alone. Shit, he's getting shit and a half for just being the new Fire Lord in the comics, do you think it would've planned out better that way?
    • There are implications throughout the series that Air nomads are a touch more lenient about killing if it's done in self-defense. Aang didn't expect anyone to have to be killed during the eclipse - the Fire Lord and his army were both powerless, so it was only a matter of confronting them, demanding surrender, and incapacitating them if they refused, as we saw the troops doing once the eclipse started. Killing Ozai in the finale was different because Aang knew he would have to go entirely on the offensive and go looking for him in order to end his life. That's a much heavier burden than being attacked by someone and fending them off for the purpose of defending yourself.
  • When Katara froze herself and Azula in the ice, why didn't Azula just melt it before Katara chained her up?
    • Because she couldn't move until Katara started chaining her. Bending requires at least some movement to work.
      • Though this troper recalls one time where she encased Zuko in an igloo-sized dome of solid ice and he just exploded out (first season finale). As Iroh said, fire is a breath weapon - if you're a powerful enough firebender, all you have to be able to do is breathe.
      • Zuko could move around in that dome, which is how he got out. He was almost helpless later when she actually restrained him. Unless Azula is an owl, she's not going to be melting her cuffs off that way. Plus she was crazy.
      • Zuko wasn't inside a dome, he was frozen against the wall. His head and hands weren't covered, so he could breathe and do a little firebending. Katara completely sealed herself and Azula in a chunk of ice, then exhaled and melted some of the water in the middle so they were both surrounded by it. You're right, all Azula needed to do was breathe, but she couldn't because she would've drowned trying.
      • Actually, before Zuko got frozen against the wall, there was a point in the battle where he was completely encased in a sphere of ice by Katara, but he still managed to blast free despite having injuries from the explosion that destroyed his ship and having just swam through freezing Arctic water. He was utterly exhausted but still managed to bust free, so it stands to reason that Azula could have done the same as well. It really didn't make any sense why she didn't, especially since her firebending was enhanced by the comet, making it likely easier to break free.
      • Zuko was encased in a hollow sphere of ice. He even speaks while in it. He could both move AND breathe.
    • No breath = no fire. Note that Zuko still had enough air to speak while in that sphere, while Katara and Azula were practically in an ice cube filled with water.
      • When Zuko was breaking into the Northern Water Tribe, he swam underneath the palace and was trapped under the ice, so he didn't have any air to breathe either but still managed to superheat his hands and melt through the ice. Azula could have done the same, seeing as how Zuko did so without any breath. So why didn't she?
      • Zuko could still move, and had the benefit of a teacher who trained him in doing that sort of thing. Azula was already batshit insane and completely immobile.
      • Note that Zuko had been holding his breath for diving, and was clearly breathing out for the firebending. With Katara's surprise attack, Azula had no time to take and hold a breath if she had just breathed out, and at least until Katara pulled her down to chain her to the grate could not breathe out because she was encased in ice.
    • Zuko has utterly mastered the breathing aspect of firebending (Word of God says he can hold his breath much longer than the average person, likely because of said mastery). That breath mastery gives Zuko opportunities that another firebender might not get because Zuko basically has more breath to work with and better control. Especially with someone like Azula, who being a prodigy, likely moved on to flashier, more advanced techniques as soon as possible and never revisited the basics.

  • I simply fail to grasp why Azula went crazy at the end. In her very first appearance, she threatened to kill her ship's captain for not docking when she wanted. She had to intimidate Ty Lee into joining her group (and could easily have killed her in the process). She never displayed any affection for Mai and Ty Lee or treated them as anything but minions. She always acted just as cold blooded to them as anyone else. So what on earth made her mind snap over the breaking of a nonexistent bond? Her previous characterization indicates that she would have just calmly tortured them to death (or just executed them right away) as an example and moved on. She's cruel (Zuko and Iroh would rather face certain death than be captured by her), cold-blooded (willing to murder her own uncle and brother), and sociopathic (she even admits that she's a monster). What could possibly have made her care about them at all? Did the writers just feel she needed a weakness?
    • She didn't care about them. Azula is all about controlling every aspect of her life. She trusted that Mai and Ty Lee could be controlled, not that they were her friends. She knew that Mai didn't like her, and expected Mai to do treacherous things. Mai betrayed her for Zuko's sake, and Ty Lee proved that she'd side with Mai over Azula any day (in Azula's head, anyway). Second, she's about perfection. In her first episode, she redoes a kata that was executed purposely, because one of her hairs was out of place (See also: Katara slicing her hair in the Season 2 Finale, and then Azula butchering her own hair in Season 3 finale). She strives to be perfect, by any means necessary. That's her Fatal Flaw. After Mai and Ty Lee betrayed her, she suddenly finds Zuko able to fight her to a standstill in every encounter they had, and then defeat her in the end. Third, Even Azula Loves Her Mama. And she always thought that her mother liked Zuko more than her. And as of The Boiling Rock, She knows that Mai likes Zuko over her. That opened up the mommy wound from the Beach Episode. So she connects all of this in her mind: Zuko's the reason I lost control over Mai, as well as the reason that mommy left me. Now Zuko is better than me, where did I go wrong, now my hair's not listening to me I can't trust anyone OMGBLARG!
      • ...I still don't get it. Going by your line of reasoning, the cause of all her problems and imperfections is Zuko, so shouldn't she just want to kill him even more (thus ridding her of imperfection)? I fail to see how "Zuko is the cause of my problems" translates into "everyone is untrustworthy, randomly banish innocent people". Shouldn't it be "I will torture him to death while laughing" instead?
      • She did want to kill him even more. In The Southern Raiders, she shows up in an airship ready to celebrate becoming an only child, and announcing her intentions in the hammiest way imaginable. Bonus: her facial expressions during that fight are much more animated than her usual blank slate. She's becoming unhinged already. And the fact that she pulls her hairpin out in the end continues with the hair metaphor mentioned earlier. Besides, it's not all about Zuko. Azula's a human being (even though she thinks she's a monster) and she's striving after perfection. She fell hard, and since she never failed before, she doesn't know how to pick herself up, so she naturally blames Zuko, who was just connected enough to her many issues that they all came crashing down on her at once. Zuko was sort of a catalyst for all this, not the cause in and of itself.
    • This troper thinks that, in addition to the aforementioned Zuko issues, it may have had something to do with Ozai's becoming the Phoenix King. With him in charge of the entire world, the position of Fire Lord is now kind of defunct...a governor, if you will, at best. It's not unreasonable to assume that she had wanted to be Fire Lord her whole life, and when she finally gets it, it doesn't really "count" anymore? Seems like that would push her just a little bit closer to the edge.
      • This troper thinks that you're on the right track, but there's more to it than that. Azula is Daddy's Little Villain through and through; she's dedicated her life to pleasing her father. Her Mommy Issues were all created because she acted sociopathically amoral and without love because Ozai taught her too, and she had how he treated Zuko as a contrast. And just when she thinks she's proved herself to him once and for all, that she's done everything right, he tells her that she can't come with him to the final battle, because she has to stay at home and basically be a governor. She's sacrificed everything for this man who doesn't seem to care about her much at all.
    • She always thought of them as friends, she just couldn't concieve of a way to deal with her 'friends' that wasn't based in control, fear, and domination, because she was raised by a sociopath with a raging Nietzchean Strong Rule The Weak complex and thought that was just how the world was. Look at the beach episode - the girl has no concept of how to interact with people other than crushing them with her iron, flaming fist. Once that stopped working, she had no idea what to do.
    • For me, what made this make sense is when she's talking to "her mother" and says that fear is the only reliable way to control people. Remember what Mai said: "I love Zuko more than I fear you." Azula has built her entire life around using fear to control others. And Mai just shattered her entire world-view. Fear isn't a reliable way. Azula has no reliable ways anymore. That's why she banishes everyone; she can't trust them because she can no longer trust fear to be a reliable means of control. And that's why "her mother" saying, "I love you" is what really broke Azula. Love, again, this thing she can't comprehend. Also, it's important to remember that Azula is still a teenager.
      • A young teenager at that. Despite her voice and actions making her seem older, she's fourteen.
    • Also, I like to believe that Azula's madness started with Zuko's treachery. I like to believe that, on some level, she wanted Zuko around. She appreciates him. She even loves him, to the extent that she can express that. Yes, she set him up with that whole "the Avatar is dead" thing, but remember: that's Zuko's fault. Zuko lied to her about the Avatar being definately dead; all Azula did was make sure that if he was lying, he'd take the fall for it. Remember, Azula was worried about Zuko when he kept going to see Iroh, possibly because she could see that Iroh was getting to Zuko. So when Zuko betrays her, she takes it very personally.
    • There is no "reason" that she went crazy - she just is. Always has been. Her mother even recognized that there was something wrong with her (as revealed in "The Beach," among others). Trying to figure out what "triggered" her break is wrong, like asking why a rock falls out of the sky after you throw it up. Azula is a rare fictional representation of psychopathy - she's not a "psychopath" the way we use the term generally, but the true clinical definition. It wasn't being betrayed by Mei or Zuko or anyone else that did it. It's not inheriting a now-empty title. It's certainly not being left at home. She didn't go crazy "at the end." She'd always been that way. Azula is - truly, literally and at her core - a crazy person. She's been one since her first appearance, and in the end she couldn't mask it any longer.
      • Er, wrong per Word of God. She was not just born with issues, she did not have a clinical condition. She was a sociopath because she was raised by one, and she went crazy due to all the repressed issues it caused.
      • Azula always had sociopathic tendencies, but she wasn't always totally insane. For most of the series, she was a smart and competent villain who never did anything without a reason. Then, in the finale, she started having hallucinations and banishing people for absurdly trivial reasons. She would never have come as close as she did to winning if she'd been that irrational all along. The question remains—what made her snap?
      • I think that is the easiest of all; the character sheet refers to her mass banishments as 'Macbethian.' That is exactly who she becomes, Macbeth. She started 'seeing daggers' everywhere, her meglomania blowing it all out of proportion to the point that, what seems rational to her to protect her crumbling world, is absolutely batshit insane to us. What made her snap? The fact that she realized she had no human connection that she could trust drove her into a self destructive paranoia. Snap.
      • These are interesting points, but this troper would like to add in something. In the Beach Episode, she sat there looking vulnerable and bothered by the fact that her mother thought she was a monster. A psychopath/sociopath, as this troper understands the concept, does not care about a lot of things, including people's opinions of them. So the question this troper would like to raise is this: if Azula is truly a psychopath/sociopath, then why would she care about her mother's opinion of her (Something that evidently occurred years ago, as opposed to a few minutes or seconds ago)?
      • Because Azula has feelings. Just because she doesn't show them doesn't mean they aren't there. The fact that she went insane is even more proof she has feelings.
      • One of the traits of a psychopath is immense egotism and exaggerated sense of entitlement, which requires that not only must Azula believe that she is superior to everyone, but also believes that everyone else must also do so. Azula might not care that mere inferior beings think less of her, but her mother, who is supposed to adore her, instead criticizes who she is and favors Zuko (an obvious inferior) over her. Then later on her father essentially casts her aside, meaning that in her own mind both parents refuse to see Azula as the god-child that she knows she is. Her entire mind-set and world view simply will not abide by that.
    • Understanding why Azula snapped requires an understanding of why Azula is the way she is. There is no one event that caused her breakdown; everything just sort of fell apart in her life sequentially. Azula is a 14-year-old girl raised by Firelord Ozai to control people with fear and manipulation. As the Beach episode demonstrated, she is socially incompetent, but not a sociopath; quite the opposite, she craves the friendship and approval of others, but mistakes fear for respect. Azula considers Mai and Ty Lee to be her friends. She controls them through fear and intimidates them into staying in line because she believes that's the only way to keep them; she has a rant about this in the Finale. She does the same thing to Zuko; trying to manipulate him to keep him in line, but also demonstrating concern for his continued wellbeing, even so far as demonstrating a reluctance to kill him after he'd already betrayed the Fire Nation and joined up with Team Avatar. It wasn't until Mai and Ty Lee turned on her that she cut herself off to both them and Zuko. Then her father rewarded her hard work and emotional torment with a token, meaningless title - effectively saying, "Here, have a cookie, now f*ck off" - it was a slap in the face that completely shattered her worldview. Then, on top of that, Zuko shows up at her coronation to take the crown - it was a meaningless crown at this point and she knew it, but it was still the only thing she had left to cling to - and that was the last crack in her sanity. Overall, she didn't just snap; she started rolling downhill at the Boiling Rock and then just kept right on going with each new blow.
      • This is actually emphasized when she apologizes to Ty Lee for making her cry. While she may be domineering and have a pathological need to control, this instance alone showed she did value Mai and Ty Lee as friends, at least in her understanding of the term. She also exhibits signs of fearing isolation, which her paranoia indirectly causes. In essence, she caused her own insanity.

  • note  Sozin's Comet lasts only a day. There was no way, NO WAY, that Ozai's little fleet of airships could have burned up the entire Earth Kingdom in that amount of time. And they started in an area of virtually empty wilderness. Environmental damage notwithstanding (which Aang later demonstrated that he could have fixed with a couple of breaths), they wouldn't have even been within miles of any population center of any kind by sunset. Aang and co. could have just waited out the day, ambushed the firebenders that night when they were tired from a day of fire-based lumberjacking (and no sun), and taken out the lot of them, with less than 1% of the Earth Nation's land area damaged and not a single human being yet harmed by the fire barrage.
    • Yeah, it's militarily sound to burn down the land that your country spent the past hundred years' worth of time, money, and troops conquering because of a few petty revolts. They weren't trying to wipe out the people of the Earth Kingdom, just to show them that the Fire Nation meant business. Also, The blimps are powered by combustion, i.e. fire, and likely firebending. They probably get a speed boost anyway.
      • Everything said and done certainly suggests that Ozai meant full well to burn the entire region to the ground. This troper attributes it to Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale.
      • This has already been covered before. Considering Sozin's Comet lending a power boost, and with strategic burn-paths, the fire would have easily continued on and overwhelmed anything in its path. Just because Sozin's Comet would only last several hours, if that, doesn't mean that Ozai and the rest of the fleet would have stopped their attack nor would it mean the fire currently burning would either stop.
      • This incident shows just how bad wildfires can get, in terms of how long they can last and how far they can spread. In a circumstance where the Fire Nation would be specifically preventing any form of firefighting or evacuation efforts, and where they would be specifically setting high powered fires across the length of the country, the damage would have been devastating. Even if it had only stopped at Wulong Forest, it was large enough to sustain itself and spread across the western Earth Kingdom. As for the point, the land would still be there, and they could settle and cultivate it with purely Fire Nation people.
      • Besides, I think it's been made pretty obvious that the world of the Avatar is at least a little smaller than ours.
    • Ozai's fleet was two things. 1: Scorched Earth strategy. You incinerate everything: food, people, and resources such that your opponent can't make any use of the resources. How do your oppponet mount a counter-attack when they have nothing to fight with and no food to feed their troops? Answer, they can't! 2: It's about sending a simple message: "Surrender or Die." When you look up at the sky and see blimps with technology you don't have access too incinerate large swaths of land (presuming the earth kingdom has no idea how the fire got that strong in the first place); you'll surrender fast unless you have a deathwish; upon which you're worm food and the nation you fought valiantly for surrenders. It'd be like Japan witnessing the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings: Do you resist even still and risk a third bomb? If you're stupid, you say yes.

  • The same issue of timing could be applied to the "Day of Black Sun". The eclipse lasts 8 minutes! No one in their right mind would plan a military invasion of somebody's CAPITAL CITY with a window of eight minutes, even if they had an army of Terminators and air support from a fleet of B2's.
    • It's specifically stated that the invasion was all about getting into the city for Aang to spend said eight minutes beating the Fire Lord's ass. I'm pretty sure Second, they weren't in their right minds. This was a ragtag group's last-ditch effort, and the only chance they'd get to have a remote chance of winning. It was an all-or-nothing kind of battle.
      • This Troper will second the "not in their right minds" idea. What exactly were they planning to do assuming Aang did somehow defeat/kill Firelord Ozai? It's not like they would have defeated the Fire Nation forces, which would still be out there. They would have just been left dealing with either Firelord Azula or Zuko, both of which would have been enemies to the best of their knowledge.
    • They wouldn't have needed to individually defeat every one of the Fire Nation's forces - that's not how ending a war works. All they needed to do was take hostages during the eclipse, then demand surrender from whoever's in charge and the rest of the official army will follow suit. Whoever chooses to resist after that will have lost the support of the Fire Nation, so they won't have enough manpower or supplies to achieve anything and are bound to fall apart in due time.
    • We're really going to trust the word of Ozai that he's just going to stop what he's doing? He'll falsely surrender one day and resume the next; doubly so when Ozai's really still holding all the cards. Ozai may have been an Orcus On This Throne all season; but if that two second lightning charge is any indication, he's no chump.
      • Except the invasion force won't give him the opportunity to resume the war the next day; they'll have him in custody by then. They've been planning this invasion for months, so they have to have had some plan about how to contain him.

  • In the finale, how did Zuko have the slightest idea where to look for Jun to use the shirshu and track Aang? More to the point, if, at the start of the finale, Sozin's Comet was three days away, how did they have time to get to that tavern from Ember Island, then to Ba Sing Se, THEN to the base with the airship fleet?
    • They flew overhead, looking for whatever bar had tough guys crashing through windows and onto the ground?
      • Don't be silly. They had her business card but the phone number didn't answer.
    • "Offscreen Teleportation"?
    • The bar Zuko finds Jun at is the same bar where he found her the first time. If you know where someone likes to frequent, its a logical first step.
  • White lotus showed some extremely poor strategic judgment in the Grand Finale. They went to Ba Sing Se, despite completely uselessness of its liberation. If Aang succeed Zuko will simply recall Fire Nation's troops from there, if he fail - then there won't be Ba Sing Se anymore. And its not like any Gaang faction have overwhelming power against Ozai, Azula or airships.
    • You honestly think that the Fire Nation troops would just kowtow to a sudden coup like that? Because that is what this is, despite Iroh's words. Zuko and Aang are overthrowing the Fire Lord, a militant figure who has been ruling the entire Fire Nation for most of his life and turning it into a fanatical army of fervently loyal soldiers - and Ozai is just the latest of a century of successive Fire Lords who've been doing the same thing. The FN troops in Ba Sing Se are not just going to lay down their arms quietly now that the Fire Lord has been deposed by his traitorous son; they've got to be removed, especially if they're receiving orders from Ozai regarding his "burn the world" plan and may attempt to follow through with them. If the White Lotus doesn't destroy the FN troops in the city, they may well start burning it to the ground, and considering Ba Sing Se is both the largest city in the country and the current home of vast numbers of refugees from the war, if the FN troops start burning it down it will do just as - if not more - damage than Ozai's air fleet.
      • Would they submit to Fire Lord Zuko? Well, what's their alternative? They either do what Zuko says or they never go home again. However, your point about stopping them from incinerating Ba Sing Se is well taken.
      • Well you're forgetting that they may also try to counter revolt and bring Ozai and/or Azula back to power? Sure one would be depowered while the other is mad but that never stops fanatics in the real world.
      • Why would they submit to Zuko? They're a large concentration of forces that are highly loyal to Ozai who is being deposed by his traitorous son, who are in a highly defensible position that withstood a century of war. They could easily hold out there and start a counter-revolt to reinstall Ozai.
      • Reinstall the guy with no Firebending? Reinstall the girl gibbering in a padded cell? As of the end of the series there are only two people of the royal Fire Nation bloodline who are physically capable of acting as sovereign, and they're both on the Avatar's side. Their rebellion has no claimants to back.
      • Monarchs always want to have more than one child, in case something happens to their first kid. Sozin and Azulon probably had siblings, so I'm sure that Ozai has cousins, second cousins, etc. who could claim the throne.
      • Yeah, you know the whole "no firebending" and "in a padded cell" thing? That happens after the battle is effectively over. Iroh and the White Lotus are old and wise, but they're not clairvoyant. They'll have no way of knowing that Aang is going to strip Ozai of his firebending or that Azula will go nuts. All they know is that there's a huge number of Fire Nation troops in Ba Sing Se, and they'll cause trouble if they're not dealt with, and may attempt to reinstall either Ozai or Azula. Ozai loses his firebending and Azula goes completely nuts after the Lotus made the decision to focus on Ba Sing Se.
      • Um, the White Lotus was entirely aware that Aang was going to take on Ozai, and Zuko & Katara were going after Azula. It was all part of a coordinated attack plan. The overall scheme assumed that all three mission teams would be successful... which, yes, is somewhat minus on "plan B", but its the last hour before the apocalypse and its all down to the band of plucky heroes to save the world, that's not exactly uncommon in such situations.
      • And? They didn't know that both Ozai and Azula would be left A) alive and B) be incapacitated. And regardless of whether Ozai or Azula survived and were left in a capacity to cause trouble, there is the fact that you've still got a large number of well-armed, fanatical and loyal soldiers in a fortified position that withstood a century of assaults by the most heavily-armed force in the world. They have to be dealt with at some point.
      • Ah, I think we're talking past each other. I entirely agree with you that Ba Sing Se needs a mission team to go after it and neutralize the forces there, I'm just saying that they did so with full confidence that the other two teams would also get their end of the job done and no further action beyond Ba Sing Se would be needed.
      • And is it so certain that a powerful fanatical warlord in charge of a powerful fanatical army entrenched in the world's most defensible city might not harbor certain ambitions of his own, or entertain the possibility that Azula might recover her senses after he rescues her from imprisonment, or even relish the possibility of reinstalling a powerless Ozai or an insane Azula as Firelord wherein he gets to rule as the power behind the throne? Or that the FN forces in Ba Sing Se might not immediately believe the news about Ozai and Azula and continue fighting?
      • There's also a certain psychological impact to attacking the Fire Nation army in Ba Singh Se during the Comet. The FN army is at its single most powerful moment ever, in the most heavily-defended city in the world, and they lose to the two-dozen-strong White Lotus. Entire divisions of Fire Nation soldiers and armor in an entrenched positions are being steamrolled by these guys at the peak of their power; that is going to be a massive hammerblow to their morale and make post-war resistance that much weaker. Taking down the FN army in such circumstances would go a long way to helping to secure the peace. Iroh is just looking ahead and beyond the war.
    • Aren't the Fire Nation planning to wipe out the Earth Kingdom, which would include Ba Sing Se? The White Lotus needs to be there to prevent the massacre in that city.
    • You guys ever heard of a power flux? You take out a leader of a very powerful, otherwise unrestrained, group of people, and they start going batshit insane. The firebending force in Ba Sing Se would've been -very- large, and they could have easily killed every inhabitant of the city in hours. A group of old people walking in and kicking ass would've been a very powerful deterrent.
    • In addition to good reasons stated above - preventing them from burning Ba Sing Se down, weakening continued resistance - there's another point to be made: what happens if Aang fails? What happens if Zuko fails? Good strategy isn't just about always being right and having undefeatable plans; it's important to have a plan for what you're going to do if you fail. If either Zuko or Aang fails, at the end of the day, once Sozin's Comet has departed, there will still be a genocidal Firelord, be it Ozai or Azula, looking to raze the Earth Kingdom to the ground. The war will continue...except it won't, because the war is already over, Ba Sing Se has fallen, the Earth Kingdom is in servitude, and the Fire Nation already reigns supreme. Liberating Ba Sing Se gives them the ability to kick the war back into full swing once Sozin's Comet has passed. It gives them a staging ground to regroup and start fighting again.

  • In the series finale, Aang only needs to have a rock crash into his back to start the Avatar state. HOW? It was said by the Guru in the season 2 finale that Aang had locked his chakaras. How could being jabbed unlock his love chakara? I was expecting a scene where Aang has to let go of Katara, but no, there was no reason for this retcon.
    • In the season 2 finale, Aang DOES decide to let go of his feelings for Katara, he does so and is able to enter the Avatar state. Then Azula strikes him with lightning, which pretty much kills him, as well as locking his chakra. Him hitting that rock unlocked his chakra, which was locked because of Azula hitting him with lightning.
      • That makes sense, but wouldn't it hurt him more to have it jabbed (think how Ty Lee seems to disable people) and would simply make it worse?
      • I suppose it was just a big enough shock to the system to unlock the chakra again, I mean he hits that rock pretty hard. Its not the greatest explanaton I'll grant you, but hey, they had to unlock that chakra somehow...
      • It's actually common in a lot of mystic traditions for an initiate to, at some point in their initiation into whichever mysteries, receive a sharp blow between the shoulder blades (as a surprise, out of nowhere) to 'shock' them into a different state of mind. Obviously this troper could be reading into it too much. Believe I was first made aware of this in the 'Anarchy for the Masses: the Disinformation Guide to 'the Invisibles' annotation for said graphic novel.
    • Guru Pathik claimed Aang had to let go of earthly attachments (most strongly, his love for Katara) to enter the Avatar State. Avatars Roku and Kuruk fell in love with no indication that this was taboo or had a detrimental effect on their powers. Therefore, the Avatar is obviously able to love without it affecting his powers. Conclusion? Guru Pathik was wrong. note 
      • Not really. I think it's more of a realization that that love for one person isn't more important than the state of the rest of the world. If you recall, the scenario that played out was Aang running off in the middle of opening his chakra to save Katara instead of waiting 45 seconds to open that chakra and mastering the avatar state for the good of the world. It sort of showed what his priorities were.
      • Also, Guru Pathik was teaching him to enter the Avatar State by choice, and stopping the opening of the chakras halfway through was meant to cut him off from the avatar state entirely.
      • Nope. While people say that Aang had already “let go” of Katara in Crossroads of Destiny, he actually becomes more possessive of her in Book 3. He values his feelings for Katara more than safety of the world, and the canonical novelization clearly demonstrates that he still has a severe attachment to her just moments before his back slams into the rock:
      Aang: “I’ve sacrificed everything, even my ability to enter the Avatar state, for her. It can’t all be for nothing. Yes, I have a duty to the world. But I love Katara. She had rescued me and Appa from the iceberg where we’d been trapped for a hundred years. No! The scene is fading! I don’t want to leave that time…”
    • The rock jabbing Aang in the back works on pretty much the same principle as acupuncture, i.e. using a sharp poke to relieve a block-up of chi. The Chakra thing is from an entirely different tradition than Chinese metaphysics, and as such, it's more likely to be a different way of looking at chi, rather than the one principle on which the world works. Also, Pathik doesn't say Aang can't love Katara, only that he can't hold onto his feelings if and when he needs to put them aside. That's the difference. Also also, Aang probably did put his love for Katara aside when she blew him off during the play.
    • Not really answering the question, but you potholed Katara as The Chick?
      • Why not? That's what she is, in many ways. The feminine, emotional heart of the group who regularly inspires hope in her comrades and does what she can to keep them together whenever necessary. Just because she's aggressive and eager to fight doesn't mean she isn't feminine at the same time.

  • Why do the Gaang say the war is already over in the begin of the finale? Ba Sing Sei might have fallen, but they know there are still many bastions of resistance out there, such as the northern water tribe, the northern air temple or the various earth kingdom villages. Aren't they worried about all those being conquered?
    • Because the Fire Nation can take them without as much trouble. Without Ba Singh Se, there's no truly organized center for the resistance. Note what happened with the Northern Water Tribe - the Fire Nation had defeated them conventionally over the course of only two days, and they don't appear to be either able or willing to project power. They probably also suffered massive manpower shortages after the assault. Without Ba Singh Se's armies, there's no one really left who can keep the Fire Nation's armies at bay, and the Fire Nation can free up their resources to take over areas that they would otherwise have not been able to capture with their main armies fighting at Ba Singh Se. Once Ba Singh Se fell, the war effectively became a mop-up and counter-insurgency operation.
    • Note that Katara doesn't say the war is over; she says that the war "was pretty much over." Implication there is that without Ba Sing Se, the Fire Nation is essentially mopping up everyone left who hasn't buckled under. There was certainly no military force (with the exception of the White Lotus) who could stop the Fire Nation air fleet from incinerating the Earth Kingdom.
    • Once you conquer the biggest city in the land, in less than 48 hours without overt violence, are you really worried about the smaller villages? That's like vanquishing a dragon and being worried about the toads in the pond.

  • In the finale Aang is very conflicted over the idea of killing Ozai to end the war because it goes against his Thou Shalt Not Kill code, and that's fine I don't have a problem with that. But what I don't get is why does Aang have to kill Ozai? I mean why couldn't he just beat the guy and imprison him; it's not like fire benders haven't been imprisoned in the past.
    • We were meant to think that Ozai is simply too dangerous to imprison, and admittedly he is shown to very good at fire bending. The real reason was probably that the writers wanted to add some conflict and drama to the last season.
    • Ozai is too powerful to imprison, at least not without some serious work. The best prisons currently-existing in the Fire Nation could barely slow him down if he wanted to leave. Look at what happened with Iroh when he escaped from the royal prison; it was pretty obvious that he could have escaped at nearly any time, considering he apparently firebended the bars out and proceeded to One-Man Army his way through all the guards - and Ozai is more powerful. This is without adding that there's nowhere for them to actually imprison him, considering the Fire Nation owns pretty much the entire globe except for the Northern Water Tribe (remember, Aang doesn't know about Omashu's liberation or the White Lotus' impending assault on Ba Singh Se).
      • Aang could always stick him in a block of rock so he can't move and dump him off at the North Pole, should be pretty easy for the Avatar compared to the difficulty of beating him in the first place. Aside from that Aang did have at least some reason to think that Zuko might be in control of the Fire Nation by the time the fight was over.
      • I always thought Iroh was able to escape because the guards thought he lost his mind, I mean they didn't evern restrain the guy, plus didn't Iroh escape during The Day of Black Sun and only used his brute strength? Also to add to the post above me, they could probably place Ozai in a cooler like system like in the Boiling Rock episode.
      • It must have been quite the performance, probably backed up by Iroh's general persona, for them to see Iroh as the kind of prisoner not dangerous or important enough to put in the Boiling Rock. Mind you, having him broken out at the same time as Suki and Hakoda would give Zuko's reunion a bit too early; he needed to set his other relationships straight first, then go for the major one (who wasn't trying to kill him, that is).
      • Also, IT'S OZAI. Would you want to risk him having even the TINIEST chance of getting out and wreaking havoc?
      • Zuko implies that Iroh is more powerful than Ozai.
      • Zuko outright states that Iroh is the only one of them who has any chance at defeating Ozai other than the Avatar. This doesn't mean that Iroh is more powerful, only that Iroh is powerful enough to have a fighting chance. And remember, as we never actually see Iroh and Ozai fight, this is only Zuko's opinion, not a clearly-defined fact.
    • It's also a question a symbol. As Iroh states, the Avatar killing the Fire Lord, then crowning Zuko as the new Fire Lord is the only way to end the war. If Zuko kept a non-depowered Ozai in jail, he would quickly have to handle a civil war with Ozai's supporters.
      • Okay, but the Avatar didn't kill Ozai, so wouldn't his supporters start a civil war anyway? It's possible Ozai getting depowered might've made (some) of his supporters lose faith in him, but how would they know he's depowered? Did Zuko & co parade him around, saying "Look! He can't bend anymore!". And even if the supporters did somehow find out about it and thought Ozai was not a fit leader anymore, couldn't they have rallied around Azula, then? She was legally made Firelord by Ozai, and Zuko clearly staged a coup against her — this should've been enough of a reason for Ozai's supporters to demand for her to be put back in power. So a civil war would have been quite probable anyway.
      • Except the Avatar is involved. Ozai's supporters, what's left of them, would have to deal with the fact that this immensely powerful being that they know kicked the living crap out of their leader when he was as strong as he could ever get, would be all up in their business if they tried to start anything—think of how powerful Ozai and the other firebenders were under the comet. The fully realized Avatar can drum up that kind of power at will. Open rebellion against the Firelord that the Avatar appointed would not last long once said Avatar found out about it.
      • Also, Zuko didn't actually stage a coup against Azula. She challenged him to a duel for the title of Firelord and forfeited the duel when she attacked Katara. Forfeiture counts as a loss, so Zuko won the duel and the right to be Firelord.
      • I always assumed that the main reason that a de-powered Ozai isn't a threat is that the Fire Nation seems to have an Asskicking Equals Authority mindset; every high-ranking officer we've seen has been a Firebender, and usually a powerful one, at that. It's entirely likely that a non-Firebender wouldn't even be considered eligible for the throne, much less have enough support to claim it.
      • I think it's more of a "This is the best choice we see" sort of thing. Everyone wanted him dead because he's the third in a generation to support such a twisted idea so that the best option is to put him down. Aang, being the pacifist that he is, wanted to take a different path and no other Avatar thought it possible to come up with a non-violent solution. Then again, none of them knew of Energy Bending. I think it's a case of "sometimes, the young find new ways the older people didn't think of."

  • Near the end, when all the nations are gathered to hear Zuko and Aang's speech, we see The Duke hug Toph. I could understand if he likes her or they like each other, but nothing about that was ever explained before or after! I doubt it was just a friendly hug because he was eight or so and I don't think he would be giving girl a friendly hug.
    • She puked in his helmet. At his suggestion. Bonding.
      • This answer is awesome.
    • Maybe it was just a spur of the moment thing - they knew one another from the invasion, were on the same side, and they had both survived the war; 'impulsive hug of having not died'.
    • The G rated version of Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex, in other words.
    • The only female character the Duke regularly hung out with previously was Smellerbee, and so he probably forms a natural attachment to driven, rugged girls like that. Out of all his new friends, Toph's presence probably grants him the most comfort because of her tough nature being so similar to that of his freedom fighting buddies.
    • Wait, are you saying that it couldn't be friendly because he was eight and... therefore he must have been attracted to her? When did YOU start puberty?
    • I don't understand some people. I always saw it as a friendly "Yay! We did it! We're alive! We won!" and hugged her. He likely would've hugged anyone he knew out of sheer excitment, and Toph just happened to be there.
      • This is a few weeks after the war's actually over. That said, don't look for logic in shipping. There's at least a few out there that have cataloged every single time Zuko and Katara have so much been in the same geographic area and will claim it is stone cold proof that they're the real OTP.

  • What was the point of having the past Avatars tell Aang to off Ozai if the writers are going to hand Aang a solution on a silver platter anyway? Why not have them say, "Yeah, Ozai is crazy dangerous and keeping him alive is the worst possible move you can make(on account of them not knowing about energybending), but your moral well-being is more important than the safety of the world. By the way, we're sitting on a Lion Turtle, talk to him and he'll tell you how to stop Ozai without killing him."
    • Presumably, the other Avatars he spoke to simply didn't know any more than Aang did where they were or that Energy Bending even existed. From what the Lion Turtle said, it was something like Greek Fire, ancient, but nobody knows about it anymore; maybe if he'd gone further back, to one of the first Avatars, they might've been able to clue him in. As for why they did it, Rule of Drama. Aang does waver on the decision even after he's given energy bending, and comes very near to offing Ozai anyway while in the Avatar state before he gains control over it.
      • He does more than waver. Aang has taken his past lives' advice to heart, and fully intends to kill Ozai until the very last second, when he chooses not to. It's written all over his face. The spirits give Aang deliberately vague advice, which he interprets as meaning he has to kill the Fire Lord, but that's just a matter of perspective. Advice is just that: words of advice. In the end, Aang makes his own decision, not a decision someone else told him to make.
    • None of the Avatars explicitly state that Aang has to kill Ozai. Aang simply takes what they say as meaning he has to.
      • Completely Missing the Point much? Whether they told him to or not is completely immaterial.
      • Look at how this discussion started. "What was the point of having the past Avatars tell Aang to off Ozai..." So yes, whether they told him or not is material to the discussion. Furthermore, none of them said to kill Ozai. Roku says "You must be decisive." Kyoshi says "Only justice will bring peace." Kuruk says "you must actively shape your own destiny, and the destiny of the World." Yangchen says "selfless duty calls you to sacrifice your own spiritual needs and do whatever it takes to protect the World." None of them outright tells him "Screw your principles and kill the bastard."
      • "Yangchen says "'selfless duty calls you to sacrifice your own spiritual needs and do whatever it takes to protect the World.'" Isn't that just a paraphrase of "Screw your principles and kill/do whatever you need to get rid of the bastard"? Besides, the juxtapositioning of the scenes and statements for most of these makes it obvious that they're implying he should kill Ozai - Roku: "Yeah, I screwed up because I couldn't be decisive about ending Sozin, and you can't just imprison the dude, so yeah...". Kyoshi: "So I more or less killed Chin. Only justice will bring peace." Kuruk is a derp, and I don't really know what insight Aang was hoping to get from him, honestly... And Yangchen pretty much says "ends justify the means, even if you don't feel it's right." I dunno, I thought it was pretty clearly implied that they were saying "do what you need to which is probably killing" as a response to the question "How do I avoid killing Ozai?" And if they were aware of Energybending, they're jerks for not telling him, "o hei it's the solution to all your problems!" Especially because they're kinda on the Lion Turtle at the time. But then again, there's a precedent for previous Avatars to be kinda dickish about information (Roku, I'm lookin' at you...).
      • They're all giving him advice that relates not just to how they think he should deal with Ozai, but how he should act as the Avatar in general. Roku tells him "be decisive," Kyoshi tells him "bring justice," Kuruk tells him "be active and shape your destiny", and Yangchen tells him "your duties as the Avatar is more important than your spiritual well-being". While at least some of them definitely think he should kill Ozai, that's because at the time it seems like the best solution, since there's absolutely no indication they had any idea about the lion-turtle or spiritbending (remember, it predates the Avatar). As to why they have this scene, I think it's because, as a children's show, they can't actually have a 12-year old murder a man in cold blood, but they wanted to have the themes it would have represented (self-sacrifice, the greater good, etc.), so they put in that scene.
      • Couldn't what they said have been subtly referring to the fact that Aang had to be strong and iron-willed to succeed in Energy-bending Ozai? Aang had to risk his spirit to do it and if he had faltered too much, he would have lost. Energy Bending might have been unknown to everyone in their lives, but they had all spend at least one century in the spirit world, so they could have learned about it there, but were not meant to tell Aang he could do it.
      • If they were trying to advise him on how to Energy Bend Ozai, one of them would have mentioned the fact that Energy Bending is a thing that exists. None do. The past Avatars weren't telling him to kill Ozai; rather, they were trying to help him make peace with the fact that he already knew he had to, and was simply afraid and reluctant to do so. The advice they gave was meant to ease his conscience and help him with the difficult path before him. It was fortunate for Aang that he was able to discover Energy Bending as an alternative, but at no point do the Past Avatars give any indication that they know this is going to happen.
    • Avatars are ultimately human. Roku for instance had no idea where Aang wound up when he was summoned, and Kuruk for all his power was ultimately a lazy surfer whose wife paid big time for his negligence. Also, ask any of them about Metal Bending. Future generations may find ways and ideas that the previous generations did not know about or even think to try.

  • So according to Iroh, a brother killing a brother to take the throne would simply look like a power grab, whereas Zuko swooping in to defeat Azula at her coronation and seizing the throne will look perfectly acceptable?
    • Iroh had no way of knowing that Azula was being crowned Fire Lord. At that point, she was basically just another threat to the world that had to be taken care of.
    • Zuko wasn't really there to sweep the throne. He was there to challenge and defeat Azula, securing the Fire Nation and eliminating a potential successor, while the Avatar defeated Ozai. Without the Avatar deposing Ozai, Zuko's actions would have looked like brother vs. sister power grab, whereas with the sanction of the Avatar, it becomes far more legitimate.
    • As far as the world cared, Ozai was Fire Lord, not Azula.
      • And the world is right about that. Azula was never crowned. Zuko interrupted her in the middle of her coronation before the crown could be placed on her head. Ozai announced the intent to make Azula Firelord, but she never actually became Firelord.
    • Context needs to be added into this; Iroh is an old man and he was originally in line to the throne before Ozai became firelord. Even with the best intentions, it would be hard to convince people that Iroh wasn't just nursing a grudge for the last few years and waited for the right moment to strike. People would see it as the same ruthless fire nation just with a different Fire Lord. Even though Zuko had to fight his sister (and both Iroh and Zuko acknowledge that he will have to fight her) he's still a teenager; he's new, disowned by his father and friends with the Avatar, the perfect candidate to sell your "the Fire Nation is turning over a new leaf" line.

  • Azula: a cold, cruel, careless Firebender girl whom Zuko grew up with. After seeing her become a psycho-killer with messed-up hair, dilated eyes, and Slasher Smile, wouldn't you think he should at least be surprised by this? When they fought again on the blimps, he didn't seem to really question her sudden change in personality— I mean, did you see her crazed face? Anyway, before he fights her again in an Agni Kai during the Finale, he simply states "There's something off about her. I can't explain it, but she's slipping." Then, right at the end of their battle with Azula chained up, she starts throwing a tantrum meltdown. And Zuko just stares with no specific reaction. Uhh, Zuko, your younger but crueler sister has had a breakdown— You've known her all your life! Aren't you even going to wonder what the Hell has gone with her mind?
    • Yes, he's known her all his life. That's why there's no real reaction from him. He knows Azula is insane, so her breakdown is not terribly shocking to him.
      • Agreed. Zuko didn't see her breakdown coming, but it didn't surprise him, either.
    • And the stare was a specific reaction, as it was pretty much a 1000-yard stare accomponied with him dropping his arm to the side. He's feeling pretty much ill watching this.
      • There's not much else to add except that it's possible he didn't have time to process it before then. Also, why should he be surprised? As far as he's concerned this is just her real personality finally on display. What specific reaction should a person have after almost being murdered by their sister and seeing her weeping and screaming? Hell, I was scared and sad myself just watching it. Zuko cared about all of his family and his country; his big conflict was always wanting to be accepted by his father but disagreeing with the type of person Ozai wanted him to be. That conflict was possibly still there when he watched his little sister in pain. He doesn't want to be so cold but he's also accepted that it's what has to be done and that he has chosen his side. For some people, their faces shut down when there are too many emotions going on at once. I honestly don't think I'd completely know how to feel in that situation myself, either.
    • Zuko knew full well that something was wrong with Azula. Zuko didn't see the cry for help at the Beach when Azula said that her own mother thought she was a monster and also Zuko DIDN'T know was that Mai and Ty Lee betrayed her at Boiling Rock, causing Azula to start going nuts. The issue at hand though is that Azula, Tragic Villain as she is, is ultimately a mad dog by this point. Zuko probably figured that he had to take her out to secure his destiny and in a weird way, save his sister from her own insanity. Zuko utterly despised the fact that he had to take on Azula this way but also knew it had to be done. Zuko knew deep down that Azula was just as much a victim of Ozai's as well but couldn't come up with the words to console her. The madness had overtaken her completely and so he let her cry it all out.

  • Wouldn't the fact that it was Katara rather than Zuko who defeated Azula be totally against the rules of Agni Kai? Shouldn't there be huge protests against Zuko grabbing the throne from Azula, since he never really defeated her in a legitimate way?
    • There's three witnesses to the whole thing, and one of them is frothing-at-the-mouth insane. If you want to get really technical, Azula cheated first by attacking Katara anyway.
    • An Agni Kai is a duel of honor. There's most likely a rule against aiming at innocent bystanders. In essence, Azula forfeited by doing so. Because she agreed to the duel in the first place, when she could have easily said "no" and zapped him to death where he stood.
      • Minor nitpick: she didn't agree to the duel, she challenged the duel. The duel was her idea.
      • Yeah, it's possible that Azula forfeited by attacking Katara, but the fact remains that Zuko did not beat Azula, which I assume would be the minimum requirement for winning the title of Firelord through an Agni Kai. The writers should have made the rules of Agni Kai clearer, because now there's no way knowing what they would say about a situation like this. Anyway, if there are no witnesses, shouldn't there be even more protests against Zuko's entitlement to the throne? Think about it: the Firelord is beaten up by her dishonoured traitor brother and his Water Tribe friend (the Water Tribe being an enemy of the Fire Nation) in shady circumstances, while their Avatar buddy beats up the Phoenix King in an equally shady fight... You'd think that in a situation like this there'd be plenty of folks in the Fire Nation army who'd remain loyal to Azula and/or Ozai, and claim Zuko has no right to become the new Firelord?
      • You know what happens when you forfeit? It counts as a loss. Azula lost the Agni Kai against Zuko, so Zuko was the winner. And there were witnesses: The Fire Sages that were going to crown her Fire Lord. Just because they weren't on-screen doesn't mean they vanished into thin air, you know.
      • I do know it, but my point was that we don't know enough about the rules of Agni Kai to say that attacking a bystander means you automatically lose. Even if it's against the rules, it could only mean you have to do a rematch, especially since Katara broke the rules too. So it would've been nice if the writers had bothered to explain the rules (by having one of the Fire Sages quote them, for example) so we would've actually known whether Zuko legitimately won the title of the Firelord, or whether it was just a coup.
      • In real life, forfeiting a duel counts as losing, so it's not unreasonable to assume that they use the same rules in the Avatar world.
      • Also, someone needs to claim the empty throne, and I doubt the Fire Sages would crown Azula, given her being literally foaming at mouth insane.
      • The other Agni Kai we saw showed it was a Man to Man (or to girl) Firebending battle. Anything beyond that is cheating, thus losing. She attacked Katara, the referee or something. That should count as cheating in any kind of honorable duel, which the Agni Kai is.
      • Your point makes no sense. How else should a forfeit be considered? A tie? If one of them clearly had the upper hand and was an inch away from winning, the loser could choose to forfeit by attacking a bystander. That would mean that even though they were about to lose, it's a tie. Which is unfair to the obvious winner, as they only tied by a stupid technicality that defies common sense. To paint a clearer picture, if the score of a football game is 4 to 0 and the losing team forfeits, then according to your view of forfeiting would mean that the other team didn't beat them, which is just blatantly false because the score was not tied. If scoring is not based off of a quantitative measure, but a goal, then there is a winner and loser. Forfeiting means you're giving up achieving that goal, so you lose. Zuko DID beat her, and people were witness to it.
    • Anyone who's read A Song Of Fire And Ice knows "honor" is all well and good as an ideal to strive for, but it's secondary to making the practical decision and not putting an insane and vicious 14-year-old on the throne. No matter what the rules of Agni Kai are, if the people don't want a paranoid nutbag to arbitrarily banish them, they'll chuck notions of "honor" out the window and support the person who isn't rolling around on the ground and screaming like a crazy person.

  • Comets are made of ice. Why would a dirty snowball from space enhance firebending, of all things? Sozin's Asteroid would make more sense.
    • Two possible explanations: Either the fact that the dirty snowball is burning up in the atmosphere and releasing heat, or that A Spirit Did It.
      • A giant ball of ice burning up as it passes through the atmosphere releasing massive amounts of heat has a lot of symbolic value that could contribute to the spiritual power gain it gives firebenders.
    • This was discussed elsewhere: Most likely, it's not literally a comet, but an Earth-grazing fireball.
    • This troper likes that theory, but her personal theory is that the Avatarverse works differently than ours does. Maybe for them, fire can burn in space and comets are made out of actual fire.
      • There's also the fact that maybe the people in Avatar World haven't really gone much into space exploration. They can predict eclipses, navigate by stars and stuff but I doubt they know "comets are chunks of space-ice and asteroids are chunks of space-rock", and even if they did know what comets are made of, the above points are still valid.

  • What did Zuko do with Azula after Katara chained her up? Along side Aang removing Ozai's firebending this was the only surprise that was left in the story andit just didn't get resolved. The two answers I have thought that won't require another series are:
    • In a fit of uncontrolled and unrestrained rage Azula burns herself to death from the inside.
    • Toph (or another highly skilled Earth Bender) makes her a particularly secure prison.
    • As has been said many times over: Word of God is that Azula was put in an asylum where she is very carefully watched.
      • The upcoming sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, subtitled The Search will deal with this. Zuko and Azula are the protagonists and the plot involves the whereabouts of their Missing Mom (as well as Azula's release from the asylum), so it would appear that she eventually recovers from her breakdown to at least some extent.

  • I'm surprised that no one has said this yet, but why was everyone so worried about Sozin's comet and its effect on Firebending, and the relation of that to Aang's fight with Ozai? Did no one realize that the comet would increase Aang's firebending as well?
    • Because if Ozai is more powerful than Aang without the comet, he'll be that much more powerful with it.
    • 2x10 = 20. 100x10 = 1000. That's why.
    • Also, even if they were evenly matched in terms of their power, Ozai is already more skilled at firebending than Aang is. One's been training all his life in a royal palace, the other had only been training for a few weeks, from someone who wasn't even a master. As the Avatar, Aang is already one of the most powerful benders on the planet, but that means nothing here because he's not as skilled with bending as his opponent. (Even if he can bend four elements as opposed to Ozai's one.)

  • In "The Old Masters," June is right. The whole "Nyla is running around in circles because Aang no longer exists" thing _is_ a real headscratcher. IIRC, explanation for Nyla's talent isn't given, so my theory for how it works is this: First, Nyla smells around to "see" if the person she's tracking has been there before, then follows the scent trail. If the person being tracked _hasn't_ been there before, she smells the other people nearby, in case they already have the scent on them. She then tracks the scent trail of the second person until she finds the trail of the first. Obviously, she doesn't have some sort of laser-tracking, instantly-detect-scents-from-miles-away super sense, or else she wouldn't need to go everywhere her trackee has been. So how does her sudden panic mean that Aang doesn't exist? This troper's theory is that June is lying.
    • Or you can assume that being on the Lion turtle simply erased his scent because of spirit mumbo-jumbo.
      • I think the Wiki states that the lion-turtle is so ancient, and has drifted around to so many places, that it's smell is so heavy, and such a mix of various smells, that it completely masks Aang's scent.
      • The fact that water washes away scent trails is also a factor. You cannot track someone's scent across an ocean. Tracking by scent doesn't work that way. This would mean that June basically just got lucky with her accusation that Aang no longer exists if it weren't for the fact that we know she was wrong either way, so really, she just choked under pressure at Nyla's failure to perform and leapt to a bizarre and nonsensical conclusion.

  • Why doesn't Iroh re-take the throne at the end? He's had a lot of time to change from the glory-seeking General he was in his younger days to a calm, reasonable authority figure. Wouldn't he be better to lead the Fire Nation into peace, rather than Zuko, who still solved all his problems with violence in the end?
    • You mean besides all the reasons that Iroh gives when he's asked this exact same question on screen during the Finale?
    • I thought those were just his reasons for not facing Ozai.
      • They still apply to him taking the throne: The world would have seen it as just one power-hungry brother taking power from another. That, and he's really old and tired of everything. He felt it was time for a new generation to start fresh.
      • Also, the Earth Kingdom probably would have had a problem with Iroh taking the throne - he did used to be a highly successful general for the Fire Nation. By having Zuko take the throne, Iroh ensured that future negotiations with the Earth Kingdom would go much more smoothly.
    • Zuko has a more legitimate claim to the throne as well. In a feudal system, the king's son is next in line; the king's brother only takes the throne if the king has no heir that can succeed him. Firelord Ozai has two living heirs; there is no conceivable way for Iroh to take the throne other than a coup. On a related note, Zuko needs to hurry up and sire an heir.
      • Iroh's claim is actually better than Ozai since Iroh is the elder brother.
    • Iroh has the claim to the throne moreso than Zuko yes; but Iroh has stated that Zuko must be the one to do it because he believes that his nephew (and friends) can make the positive changes needed for the world and that has to be done by the young. At some point, the old must step down for the young to take charge and that's the way Iroh saw it. You can make claims left right and sideways that someone has to do something; but if they don't want to do it; they're not going to do it.

  • Am I the only one who thinks Zuko's claim that "he might need some help" fighting Azula is basically an informed inability? Before learning the secrets to fire bending he has been shown to fight on the same level as her (without the lightning bending ability). Now add the new found knowledge and the ability to redirect I don't see why Katara was needed.
    • Zuko hasn't yet the tested his new knowledge against a master firebender, so he can't know for sure it'll give him the edge. When it comes to firebending skills, Azula appears to be second to only Ozai and Iroh; for what we can tell, Zuko has never won her in a match. So it makes sense he would be wary.
      • Besides, he might have been able to fight on the same level as her, but that's certainly not a guarantee that he'll win. Remember The Chase? Where the Gaang, Zuko AND Iroh all gang up on her and she holds them off, and escapes by surprise-attacking Iroh? Azula is (or rather, was, but he has no way of knowing) too clever to expect her to fight fair and square.
    • This is pretty much explained by the fact that Zuko has always had a massive Inferiority Complex when it comes to Azula.
    • It also shows how far Zuko has come. Last time he tried to fight Azula alone (challenging her to Agni Kai, no less), she pulled a Just You And Me And My Guards on him and had the Dai Li whomp him. By bringing Katata he's acknowledging he might need help as well as getting it in case Azula tries the Rottingham approach again.
    • Simple answer: when the fate of your nation hinges on the outcome of the battle, it is better to hedge your bets on a certain victory than gamble it all on a fair match. Doubly so when you know your opponent likes to play Dirty Pool.

  • Why did Aang have to fight Ozai during the comet? Would defeating him (or Azula for that matter) do anything to stop the fire blimps? Quite frankly, there was no need to go up against the rulers at the time, and Aang, Katara and Zuko may have done better to stop the Fire Nation armies instead.
    • And you think Ozai was just going to stand and watch? Ozai was leading the charge to torch everything. If you don't stop him ASAP, that just gives him more time to set the Earth Kingdom on fire. Aang had to fight Ozai during the comet because that's when Aang found Ozai. If he could have found and fought him earlier (which he couldn't, being in a trance on a lionturtle), he would have.
      • Plus, even if he did have nothing to do with it, whenever there's an insane warlord, you generally want to make sure he's no longer a threat.
    • As stated above, Ozai was going to be involved one way or the other. War favors the aggressor. The attacker chooses the time, the place, and the method of the battle. Attacking Ozai allows Aang to choose where and how the battle is going to play out, and prepare himself ahead of time, make plans, form strategies, etc. Attacking the armies and turning a blind eye to Ozai gives Ozai that same advantage, allowing him to pick the exact moment and avenue to strike a lethal blow at Aang. What transpired was a multi-pronged attack, where instead of attacking either Ozai OR Azula OR the Armies, they did all three.

  • Why do so many people seem to consider Ozai naming Azula the new Fire Lord some kind of cruel demotion or Kick the Dog moment? I didn't get that impression at all. He was about to ascend to the God-Emperor of the world, so how is it cruel of him to make his daughter the new ruler of this new world's most powerful nation? Isn't that a huge plum to give her? He's making her the second most powerful person in existence.
    • Because it was clearly a consolation prize and Azula basically took it as such. Azula and Ozai had no way of knowing that Zuko was going to come to the Fire Kingdom and she wanted to be with him to burn the world to the ground. He effectively told her to hold down the fort while the adults handled things.
    • Also, IIRC he wasn't really making her the new ruler of the Fire Nation- it's more like he gave himself a new title as Ruler of the World (including the Fire Nation) and then "allowed" Azula to keep his old one and act as regent- and if he had won, she'd have lost that power the moment he came back.
    • It was really more that the title of Fire Lord was being demoted, not Azula. It's not like he was abdicating his throne to her as a reward for her hard work and loyalty - he only gave her the title because he was adopting a new, grander and more powerful one, "Phoenix King." It's basically the monarchical equivalent of a hand-me-down. That, and Azula was more upset about being left to guard the homestead, rather than being crowned Fire Lord.
    • WE may not see it as that. I can understand why one would think the Fire Lord title would be a good runner-up prize; but Azula did everything she could to her best just for her father's love and approval. It wasn't, from my POV, so much that he gave her the title of Fire Lord, it was that he subtly said "Here's a meaningless title, get lost." To Azula, a person who desperately wanted to trust in someone and be loved by a parental figure since mom's banishment, that was the bigger slap in her face and another component to her total breakdown.
      • If you want to, then, think of it as Azula's punishment for not telling Ozai that the Avatar survived the coup in Ba Sing Se. At least, she had a hunch that he might still be alive, but she sat on it for weeks without saying anything, just to try and pull one over on her brother. That was a foolish mistake that could've left the Fire Nation at a severe disadvantage during the invasion, if not for the lucky coincidence that the lightning had severed Aang's connection to the Avatar State. Azula was lucky she was given such an important role at all in the finale, with that in mind.

  • I get that Iroh couldn't become the Fire Lord but is there an actual reason why he didn't fight his brother and/or Azula and then crown Prince Zuko? Ba Sing Se would likely have gone the same way with or without him and could certainly have waited, in fact why not send EVERYBODY after the Ozai. Letting Ba Sing Se stay under control of the Fire Lord for a few more days, weeks or even years wouldn't have hurt anything and allowing Azula to be Fire Lord for a similar amount of time wouldn't hurt anything. If Aang had lost or more accurately if Sokka and Toph had failed to stop the Airship fleet the loss of their leader would only have been an annoyance to the Fire Nation and that was the ONLY thing that couldn't wait until the comet passed and everybody was back on more equal footing.
    • You're completely forgetting the psychology of it. The Avatar has to beat Ozai, because the Avatar has to restore balance to the world, and the world has to believe in the Avatar. The loss of the fire nation's leader would not have been "an annoyance," it would have been a crushing morale defeat that, yes, would have stopped the rest of the fleet. The point of liberating Ba Sing Se right then and there was to show that even with the power of Sozin's Comet, the Fire Nation could be stopped. Think of how Goku let Freeza power up to 100% before taking him on, so that he would know that even at his absolute strongest, he would still be beaten.

  • What was Aang thinking when he confronted Ozai? He explicitly acknowledged that he wasn't ready, he believed he could no longer access the Avatar State and he knew that the Firelord was vastly strengthened by Sozin's comet. Was he hoping that Ozai would make a mistake? It sounds like a terrible decision to me. Once he'd taken out Ozai's personal airship, why didn't he run for it(he has airbending-based superspeed)and come back after making contact with one of his friends.
    • He was thinking he didn't have a choice because Ozai was going to burn the world right now if he wasn't stopped. Ozai had to be stopped as soon as possible, and if Aang ran for it, that means Aang loses because the world will see that the Fire Lord is enough to scare off what should be an implacable force of nature.
    • Except Ozai couldn't have burned the world-his airship was disabled. I agree that running may have hurt Aang's reputation as the Avatar (although he would obviously have returned) but it was a small price to pay for ensuring his survival.
      • Aang's survival wasn't the most important thing there. Stopping Ozai was, on both the literal level, and on the image level. You're really underestimating the psychological effects here—Aang "surviving" wouldn't be the point. The point would be the Avatar—the most powerful force on the planet, the representation of the world's spirit—fled for his life against Ozai. The conclusion there is that nothing could stop Ozai. Ergo, Ozai will have much less resistance in taking over and burning the world, because the world's already seen that the one force capable of stopping him didn't and couldn't.
      • I still disagree. The psychological repercussions of the Avatar (temporarily) running from the Firelord would have been undoubtedly have been grave. But the repercussions of the Avatar being killed in combat by the Firelord would have been immeasurably worse. That said, I suppose we can chalk up Aang's decision to his sense of honor (he hates running away from his enemies) and his fearing that more airships were on the way.
    • I think it's more to do with what Roku says during the Winter Solstice. The Avatar's job is to bring balance to the world. Ozai plans to burn down the entire Earth kingdom, which is one of the strongest and largest on the planet. There is no way to come back from that. Aang was explicitly told if he does not fix it before Ozai wins the war he will not be able to fix it at all. And if Ozai succeeded there is not doubt he would have won.

  • Sozin's comet is made up of the basic elements. Why don't the Gaang just fly up to it on Appa and destroy it/bend it back into space, thus making the "burn the world" plan impossible and the Fire Nation much easier to defeat?
    • Because that's impossible. The comet is in space. There's no way Appa would be able to get anywhere even remotely close to it.
    • That, and there's nothing to suggest that the comet is made up of "the basic elements." All we know for sure is that it's some glowy thing from space, and the Gaang certainly knew no more than that. Yes, I know what a comet's made out of, but the only ones who said it was a comet onscreen wouldn't have any idea what actually, scientifically speaking, constitutes one.
    • Assuming that the comet could possibly be bent and that Appa could get close enough without burning up or dying, it still seems like a bad idea. You would have to be stronger than the gravitational pull of the comet and whatever it's revolving around. Assuming that could be done, messing with a comet's orbit could cause a lot of unforeseen consequences.
    • The comet is also probably too large to effectively be bent. Only extremely powerful benders can control copious amounts of an element at a time; being able to bend a comet of this one's size would probably require the Avatar State, which Aang doesn't have access to until partway through the fight with Ozai.
  • In the first part of the finale, it turns out Zuko didn't tell the Gaang about his father's plans of burning the Earth Kingdom on the day of Sozin's Comet, and the Gaang never told him they were planning to wait until the comet had passed before Aang would challenge Ozai... And the first time they decide to discuss all this is three days before the comet comes? Seriously? Zuko's been hanging with them for at least a few weeks, did it never occur to him to ask the others, "So, the comet is here soon, what are you gonna do with my dad?". Didn't the Gaang do any sort of planning for the future during those weeks? You'd think their plans for defeating Ozai would be among the first things they'd discuss with Zuko after he's gained their trust?
    • Its likely both sides assumed the other saw things their way. Zuko thought the Gaang would know that the Comet would be used for something big, and that they would do something to stop Ozai before it. The Gaang assumed that if Zuko never said anything, then whatever they're planning for Sozin must not be important or all that impactful, so they can wait.
    • Also, I can't really remember when Zuko found out about the Gaang planning to take out Ozai before the comet, so he had a pretty good reason not to tell them what would happen afterwards...Either he found out before he joined them, in which they should've brought him up to speed after he joined, or they did tell him originally and then neglected to update him later on.

  • The entry above discusses why the White Lotus members thought it was essential liberate Ba Sing Se on the day of Sozin's Comet. However, it still doesn't explain why the WL couldn't have sent some of their mooks to help Toph, Suki, and Sokka stop Ozai's fleet of airships? Stopping them is a pretty essential part of the overall plan, so why did Iroh (who's supposed to be a skilled general) leave it at the hands of three kids, only one of whom is even a bender? It's mostly due to sheer luck that they ever manage to stop the fleet: if Sokka hadn't come up with "airship slice", or if said slice had missed its targets, the fleet would've burned down large areas of the Earth Kingdom. Would it really have hurt that much to send some extra troops with Suki, Toph, and Sokka?
    • How many Eel-hounds do you think the White Lotus owns?
    • Even if they only had the one we see in the episode, why would the White Lotus use it to send two non-bending kids against Ozai's fleet? It makes sense include Toph, because her metalbending would be useful against the fleet, but why didn't they send some master bender alongside her?
    • 1.) You're seriously underestimating the prowess and abilities of Toph, Sokka, and Suki. 2.) I can't imagine there would've been very many firebenders in the Order, meaning the majority of them who can bend would be water- and earthbenders, neither of whom would be much help on a giant metal airship. 3.) The Gaang had expected that they would meet back up with Aang by going after the airships, meaning he could've helped them stop the fleet, if he had to.
  • Throughout the first half of season 3, Iroh - the Dragon of the West and supposedly once the Fire Nation's top general - is imprisoned in a prison tower within walking distance of the Fire Nation Capitol (as evidenced by Zuko's frequent secret nighttime visits). Stop reading for a moment and let that sink in. Iroh - one of the most powerful firebenders alive - is imprisoned in some random no-name prison near the Fire Nation Capitol and no one bats an eye...yet Suki and Hakoda - who cannot bend, thus reducing their abilities of mass destruction significantly - are apparently dangerous enough that they warrant imprisonment on the Boiling Rock (them and hundreds of other petty Fire Nation criminals). How did it not occur to anyone that maybe Iroh should have been placed in the Fire Nation's maximum security prison (previously considered inescapable) rather than some crumbling old stone tower within walking distance of the capitol? Which idiot thought this was a good idea?
    • Where would you rather have a powerful, influential, and well-liked member of the Fire Nation Royal Family who could make a legitimate claim to the crown? In a prison filled with political prisoners that he could potentially rally together and organize, where he could conceivably cause problems? Or in a small cell, all by himself, closer where you can keep an eye on him?
    • It's possible that Zuko, recently back in the Fire Nation's political good graces, pulled a few strings, probably out of guilt. Of course, it helped that Iroh was putting on his best "senile loony" act.
  • If Aang can't bring himself to kill the Fire Lord, couldn't he have just subdued him and then had another member of the team do it for him?
    • And burden one of his other friends to harbor that guilt? If Aang wouldn't do it, his friends wouldn't do it over him and go against what he was trying to stand for.
    • First off: Yes, yes they absolutely would, since every single one of them said he should and that he was being foolish for not wanting to kill him. Secondly: Aang subduing the Firelord and letting his friends kill him is essentially the same as Aang doing it himself — he is taking the action and making the decision to make the Firelord die.
    • Having your friend kill someone on your orders or letting them do it does not absolve Aang of responsibility. Secondly, it's easy for them to yell at Aang for not killing the firelord beczuse None of them are going to do it. Thirdly, threatening to kill someone and actually doing it is two different things. Taking a life has a far higher responsibility attached to it than you're giving it credit for. Katara couldn't kill the man who murdered her mother, and she's going to kill the Fire Lord? Zuko said outright to him in the bunker that "Fighting you is the Avatar's destiny.", Toph isn't a killer (though I'll give you her likely beating the shit out of him for a while). And Sokka is the type who talks about it but would flinch if possible. Remember when he didn't try to run Azula through on the Gondola back at boiling rock? Aang knew how wrong it is to take a life; even someone as despotic as Ozai and he's not going to shoulder that burden on other people to do it.
      • Sokka killed Combustion man and laughed about it. Sokka and Suki are warriors, they are fully prepared to kill and have understood the need the whole time. (You think everyone Sokka knocked off the blimps in the finale survived?) Katara couldn't kill the man who killed her mother, but look at the circumstances of when she faced him, she had all the power and recognised he was just a pathetic old man, very difficult to kill a man in cold blood. With Toph it's hard to say, I don't think she ever has before but I'm not sure she'd be all that torn up about it.
      • Sokka didn't laugh when he killed combustion man. Sokka laughed when he hit combustion man with the boomerang. When he exploded afterwards, he was just as agape as Katara and Aang. And yes, Katara had the power to kill someone, but again, actually taking the leap into murdering someone is something one cannot go back from, but she didn't because she is not a killer. Sokka and Suki are warriors with a zero kill body count; even when pressured, Sokka didn't run anybody through with his sword, even Azula in the Black Sun nor during the skirmish in which Sokka had a good chance to run Azula through with the sword and didn't do it. Suki could've snapped Ozai's neck after Aang took away the bending but chose not to. Taking a life is not the same as you seem to think it is in a video game. And if Sokka could easily eject the fire benders from the ship high up in the air with no casualties, it's not hard to easily see the others in the other ships abandoning ship as well to get themselves to safety.
    • Even if none of the other team members were up to the task, what about an adult they were affiliated with? Like Hakoda or a member of the White Lotus or something? Are executions banned in the Avatar world, unless the Avatar carries them out?
  • I know that Iroh says that he can't face Ozai because history would see it as brothers fighting over fame and power, whereas the Avatar would be acting in the name of peace and balance...However, if Iroh (or Zuko) went on to rule over the Fire Nation with peace and kindness, wouldn't that take precedence in the people's minds over the incorrect notion that he had to overthrow his brother to do that? Nevermind how Ozai was a tyrant who wanted to burn down an entire nation, people don't condemn revolutionaries in real life just for being revolutionaries - what matters more is how they use their new power.
    • Because they wouldn't have had a chance to do so. Putting Iroh on the thrown, especially if he does so by killing Ozai, would enrage all of Ozai's supporters as well as ensure the Earth Kingdom remains hostile as Iroh has a well known history of invading them. It would basically ensure a civil war. That's why both the Avatar had to take out Ozai and Zuko had to take the thrown, the Avatar's entire purpose is to restore balance and his victory takes the wind out of Ozai's supporter's sails (not entirely of course, but enough to matter) and Zuko lacks the negative history with the rest of the world that would taint Iroh's rule. There would still be problems but on a much smaller scale.
    • But how would Zuko be exempt from the repercussions of Iroh taking the throne? Zuko actively helped conquer Ba Song Se, something Iroh had only attempted before giving up. And they were both friendly with the Avatar by the end of the series - why could Aang back up Zuko's rule, but not Iroh's?
      • Zuko helped conquer the city, yes, but he did so without harming the citizens. Iroh lead a siege that lasted a long time and killed a lot of people on both sides.

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