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Moral Event Horizon / Avatar: The Last Airbender

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"I always knew the Fire Lord was a bad guy, but his plan is just pure evil."
Sokka (after he finds out that Fire Lord Ozai plans to wipe out the Earth Kingdom), Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • In the Book 1 finale, Admiral Zhao crosses this when he kills the Moon Spirit. It hadn't even done anything to him: he wanted to make a name for himself so that he would be remembered by history forever, but as Iroh told him, "History isn't always kind to its subjects."
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  • Fire Lord Ozai started at this and just kept running, becoming the most thoroughly unsympathetic villain in the entire series. After his son disrespected one of his generals in the war room, he burned his face and sent him on a Snipe Hunt. Still, villains have been redeemed from worse. What truly defines him is his utter excitement at carrying out his plan in the finale, which is to quell rebellion in the Earth Kingdom by burning the continent to nothing.
  • For Azula, many people felt she crossed it after she killed Aang when he was going into his Avatar state at the end of Season 2. He gets better. But if that wasn't enough, she really crossed it when after she embraces her insanity, she used Katara as bait so she can kill Zuko with a lighting strike. It almost works.
  • Azulon didn't like Ozai mocking the death of Iroh's son, so he orders Ozai to kill Zuko to teach him a lesson on what it's like to lose a son. Assuming it was a genuine order rather than a Secret Test of Character, it definitely qualifies. Zuko could have easily become just like that if it weren't for the guidance of Iroh.
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  • Long Feng, the Earth Kingdom's Evil Chancellor, who brainwashes Jet and then kills him when he resists.
  • Hama has every reason to be sympathetic: she was stolen from her tribe, kept locked up in a prison that took every precaution to prevent her from bending, and kept there for decades. In fact, she uses this information to garner Katara's sympathy, then reveals that she escaped by bending the blood in the bodies of the guards, and is now using this same power to herd innocent civilians to a mountain where she keeps them prisoner out of blind revenge. And then she tries to forcibly teach Katara the technique, and sends her into an Heroic BSoD by using her bloodbending power to manipulate Aang and Sokka into fighting a panicking Katara. She serves as a reminder that even the most innocent people in a war can become no better than those who persecute them if pushed far enough.
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  • Sozin when he abandons Avatar Roku, his former best friend, to die and then wipes out the Air Nomads all to make sure the next Avatar couldn't stop him. He himself realized he did this after a lifetime of telling himself it was necessary for a better world, but far too late to try and atone for it.
  • In-Universe, Aang and Sokka warn Katara that she would cross over this if she finds and murder her mother's killer in cold-blood.
The Legend of Korra
  • In the episode "When Extremes Meet", Councilman Tarrlok crosses it when enacts a curfew on a Non-Bender district of Republic City, shuts off the power to said district so he can arrest those who "break curfew" as they come out to complain, arrests the new Team Avatar for trying to help them, and to top all off, bloodbends Korra and has her exiled from Republic City and left to die alone, locked in a box.
  • Amon and the Equalists finally cross this by Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and launching a full-scale invasion of Republic City, complete with bombings and gas attacks.
  • In the Origins Episode Beginnings, we are introduced to Vaatu, the spirit of chaos and all around God of Evil. His moment is when he corrupts Wan's spirit friends into dark spirits and causes a fight between them and Wan's human friends. Wan tries to stop the two forces, but he isn't a full Avatar yet and the strain knocks him out. When he comes to, he finds the valley in flames and Vaatu gloating about how all of Wan's human friends were completely slaughtered.
  • Unalaq not only crosses it in New Spiritual Age, he polevaults across it by nearly wiping out Korra and Jinora's souls. Note, Korra is his niece and Jinora is an 11-year-old girl. Erasing any ambiguity of his crossing is his sadistic smile which he does these things.
  • In two episodes of Book 3, Earth Queen Hou-Ting. As one Troper once said: "She is a clear tyrant who kidnapped the new airbenders [...] has made the overall quality of living for everyone else [in the Earth Kingdom, especially Ba Sing Se,] miserable, put a bounty on the [A]vatar for doing the right thing, and worst of all she ate Bosco the [B]ear. [...] Her final moment before death was her trying to bark orders to anyone she could and refused to back down, she deserved the death she got. It's implied that the [A]vatar [W]orld might have a form of afterlife in it, and I can say without a doubt that the [F]og of [L]ost [S]ouls isn't nearly enough of a punishment for her, she went straight to hell!"
  • Zaheer and his Red Lotus gang pretty much cross this when after Kya and Bumi are beaten from their battles with Ming Hua and Ghazan, they start attacking Tenzin savagely. If that wasn't enough, then Zaheer definitely crosses it in the season finale by poisoning Korra so that she can be forced into the Avatar State and his cohorts can kill her, thus permanently ending the Avatar. And his reaction to Korra apparently dying in her grieving father's arms is to laugh in triumph.
  • While Kuvira lost more and more of her apparent redeeming qualities over time, she seems to finally cross the line in Kuvira's Gambit. In the episode, Korra manages to capture Kuvira's fiancé, Baatar Jr., as Kuvira is trying to take over Republic City with her new super weapon. Baatar contacts her and tells her that Korra is threatening to take him away from her forever unless they stand down and leave. He says that he loves her, and even without Republic City they can still get married and rule the rest of the Earth Empire together. As he's speaking with her, Kuvira traces the radio signal to where he's being held by Korra. Once she has the location, Kuvira tells Baatar she'll back down and she loves him. Then she fires her superweapon on the warehouse where he's being held, willing to sacrifice him just for the chance to kill Korra. At the very least, her tone of voice and body language indicate that she feels some regret over what she's doing, but her act still proves that her empire and her ideology come before everything else.

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