Saturday, August 31, 2013

A look back at the characters from Avatar the Last Airbender: Part 2 The Villains

What good are heroes without great villains for them to play off of? Time to dive right into the villains from the show. The most prominent villains Team Avatar fights is the Fire Nation Trio: Azula, Ty Lee, and Mai. While the show has a few recurring villains, I'm only going to cover the major ones.

Zuko's sister and apparently a firebending prodigy. She and her friends Ty Lee and Mai have been dubbed the Fire Nation trio by the fans. Azula is, for lack of a better term, psychotic. From start to finish she was insane even during her initial introduction, you could tell that some wasn't quite right about her. She is evil, cold, cruel, and manipulating. Unlike most firebenders her flames burn blue instead of orange. This is likely due to her ruthlessness and would explain why even though her father is stronger, his flames don't burn as hot as hers. In order to prove her ruthlessness in season 3, her response to the idea of facing down possible Earth Kingdom rebellions should the Fire Nation take over was to incinerate the entirety of the Earth Kingdom. She is also one of the few firebenders who can bend lightning. In season 3 her sanity completely fractures, she begins to see hallucinations of her mother, and suffers a complete mental breakdown.
o_o Take whatever you want! Just don't hurt me Azula!
I actually pitied her in the end. If you thought she was scary before she became completely unhinged, she becomes downright terrifying after she snaps. She is a great driving force for Zuko's overall growth throughout the series. Despite her overly apparent insanity when she was first introduced, her friends were strangely loyal to her.

Ty Lee:
Chi blocking...thats gotta hurt like hell!
A circus performer and childhood friend of Azula. She is pretty much the complete opposite of Azula personality-wise. While she isn't a bender she has excellent hand-to-hand combat and acrobatic skills. She is the girliest out of the Fire Nation trio and always as a cheerful attitude to her. Despite not being a bender she is more than capable of holding her own in a fight with benders. She can temporarily render their bending useless and even immobilize them by striking certain pressure points. While she can be annoyingly obedient to Azula at times (even during Azula's psychotic moments), she does show that she has a mind of her own at some points, such as when she immobilized Azula during the Boiling Rock prison break before she could kill Mai.

If Ty Lee is the complete opposite of Azula, then Mai would be middle point of the group personality-wise. She is by no means cheerful, and doesn't usually show a lot of emotion except when Zuko is involved. She plays her role nicely enough and I found her love story with Zuko sweet. Like Ty Lee, she is not a bender, but she is extremely agile and an excellent marksman. She uses mostly throwing knives when she fights. Like Ty Lee, she can be a little overly loyal to Azula but finally she decided to save Zuko at the Boiling Rock prison breakout thus choosing to abandon Azula.

Fire Lord Ozai:
The father of Azula and Zuko. The show did an decent job of showing how powerful he was going to be even if you didn't even hear his voice until the very end of season one. You don't even actually see him until somewhere around the middle of season two or the beginning of season three. We don't get much from him other than the usual "powerful bad guy that wants to take over the world" vibe. His entire reasoning for doing so is that Fire Nation is the greatest of the four nations and must "share" its prosperity with the world via military force. After hearing about Zuko's numerous failures to capture the avatar, he assigned Azula to the task, thus beginning Zuko's long arc of development.

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