The Life of Azula: Things That Followed After the Series End? (Avatar)
‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ aired on Nickelodeon for three years from 2005 to 2008 with 61 episodes, and while there were many amazing characters, the manipulating Azula was one of the most intriguing for viewers. Even are as a firebender, she could do things that others of her nation couldn’t like wielding blue flames instead of orange and red. Here are the details of her life before, during and after the end of the animated series for everyone that loves a bad girl.
“Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed him most, he vanished. One hundred years later, my brother and I discovered the new Avatar…”
Azula was the second born offspring of Prince Ozai and Princess Ursa, Zuko was her older brother, and she was named after her grandfather, Firelord Azulon, who was alive during her early years. By a young age, she was able to handle more firebending abilities than Zuko, and Azula also displaced leadership skills.
She met her two best friends Mai and Ty Lee at the Royal Fire Academy For Girls and became the leader of their group. One of their family traditions was going to Ember Island where they would attend Princess Ursa’s favorite play, ‘Love Amongst Dragons’, which both she and Zuko adored, although it was one of the only things they could agree upon.
Princess Ursa quickly realized that her daughter was different from normal beings, as Azula apparently did not feel sympathy or empathy as well as lacking remorse for doing bad things like burning flowers outside the palace’s grounds. Azula was able to manipulate and bully others into doing her bidding, and at one point, burned her Firebending teacher’s pants for scolding her about her forms.
While Ursa worried about Azula’s behavior, Prince Ozai praised his daughter’s behavior and decided to have Azula as his heir instead of his firstborn, Zuko. Although she had her father and grandfather’s approval, her mother was never on her side, so Azula would work harder to earn it to no avail. That might have been one of the reasons why she did awful things with her powers.
Azula also believed that Ursa favored Zuko, and during one dinner, Prince Ozai lashed out at Zuko, telling him that he was just lucky to be born while Azula was better. However, Ursa stood off to defend her son, and Azula grew even more resentful. She even grew pleasure on embarrassing her friends and Zuko, as well as convincing Mai and Ty Lee to be bad.
One day, the girls had a sleepover at Mai’s house, and Azula convinced them to steal the mochi that Mai’s mother had made for Mai’s grandmother. Azula ate all the mochi because Ty Lee said that it had bad energy, and Mai was afraid that the Kemurikage, ancient spirits, would take her for doing bad things.
Mai tossed and got to sleep, fearing the Kemurikage, and Azula spent the entire night up, listening. As expected, Azula always wanted to be the best among her friends, pushing Ty Lee when she was able to do a cartwheel while Azula couldn’t, and besting them at 'Hide and Seek' through cheating. Her friends began to grow tired of this behavior.
Prince Ozai asked his father, Firelord Azulon if he could be the next Firelord instead of his big brother, Iroh. Azulon was enraged by this request because Iroh had recently suffered the death of his own son, and as punishment Ozai should lose his son, Zuko. Azula was eavesdropping and immediately went to tell Zuko about it with a gleeful attitude.
Princess Ursa stopped her, dragged her away and asked her what she had heard exactly. Azula told her mother, acting like she was upset about it. However, when her mother walked away, Azula’s smile was revealed. After that, her mother disappeared under mysterious circumstances for many years, although she had kissed Azula goodbye while she was sleeping.
That same night, her grandfather died, but Azula seemed unfazed by his passing and her mother’s disappearance. She even rubbed her brother’s nose in the fact that their mother was not around to defend him any longer. Ozai was named Firelord, and Azula was incredibly happy about it. Years later, she even took enjoyment in the fact that Firelord Ozai burned Zuko’s face so that he would have a horrible scar.
HER FIRST MISSION
Ozai also banished his son from the Fire Nation until he could find the Avatar, the only being in their world that could wield all the elements, and Azula was raised to be Ozai’s heir. Azula kept studying firebending, learned how to make blue fire and even lightning. Her father tasked to her to bring home Zuko and their uncle, Iroh, for being traitors.
When Azula found them, she lied, telling them that they would be welcomed back like family, but one of the guards made the mistake of calling them, prisoners. Zuko and Iroh were able to get away then. Azula decided to enlist the help of Ty Lee and Mai to get them. She also took the city of Omashu, renamed it New Ozai, and took Mai’s father, Ukano, off his role as governor.
It was there that she met the Avatar and decided to add him to the list of people she would capture. She would chase them using Fire Nation technology like the tank train, and she actually confronted all of her targets at one point but realized that she was outnumbered. Azula got away by shocking her uncle with blue fire.
BA SING SE
Azula was almost able to get into the city of Ba Sing Se with a Fire Nation drill, but team Avatar stopped her. Later on, Mai, Ty Lee, and she ran into the Kyoshi Warriors, defeated them and stole their armor to get inside the city. Furthermore, the girls decided to act like Kyoshi Warriors to fool the King of the Earth Kingdom. During this time, she learned of a plot to attack the Fire Nation.
They would wait until a solar eclipse when the sun would be covered rendering Firebenders weak, and Team Avatar with a huge army would get into the Fire Nation. Later on, she was recognized by Long Feng, a former minister of the Earth Kingdom and traitor, and made a deal with her to conquer the city. However, after achieving their goal, Azula betrayed Long Feng, taking his armies and making him bow to her.
Azula also faced her brother, her uncle and the Avatar once again, but persuaded Zuko to join her, and as a reward, he would be able to go back to the Fire Nation as crown prince. They captured Iroh, and Azula sent a lightning attack on the Avatar, which seemed to kill him, although she was not convinced. Therefore, when they returned to the Fire Nation, she credited Zuko for killing the Avatar and their uncle, in case they were still alive.
Zuko had to be swayed into returning home, though, and with the help of Ty Lee, Azula orchestrated a date between Zuko and Mai, hoping that his feelings would make him return home. Before leaving, Azula left Joo Dee in charge of Ba Sing Se, and then, she and Zuko went back to the Fire Nation as war heroes.
One weekend, Azula, Zuko, Mai, and Ty Lee went to Ember Island, and the beach house they had loved as kids. Azula was not recognized there, and she was able to experience a normal teenage life. However, her thirst to win at everything surfaced during a simple game of volleyball. People called crazy and annoying. After kissing a boy, she became domineering, and he could not escape faster.
She became envious of Ty Lee for getting all the boys’ attention and laughed when Zuko called Ty Lee a “circus freak”. Later on, Azula opened up about her mother who liked Zuko more than her, although she tried to say that it did not matter to her, it did. “My own mother thought I was a monster.” Back at Fire Nation, she attended a war council.
Azula and her father decided that they should use Sozin’s Comet, which would enhance every Firebender’s powers, to defeat the Earth Kingdom for good and warned her people about the plot the Earthers had to attack during the solar eclipse. They planned the attack, and Firelord Ozai was to be sent elsewhere for protection.
During the invasion, Azula was able to stall Team Avatar, killing time so that the solar eclipse would pass. When she got her powers back, Azula forced them, leading the Fire Nation to victory. Zuko had been captured after going to the Boiling Rock, the Fire Nation prison, to release people that were imprisoned during the invasion. However, when Azula went with her friends there, Mai and Ty Lee betrayed her.
Mai did it out of love for Zuko, and when Azula tried to attack her, Ty Lee Chi-blocked her. Azula could not move at that point but told her former friends that they should have been more afraid of her. Azula commanded the guards to take Mai and Ty Lee where she could not see them anymore, and to let them rot. Azula seemed to lose her mind from there on.
She later confronted Zuko for changing sides, but during their battle, the airship gave out, sending them both to an abyss. Zuko was caught by Team Avatar, and it seemed like Azula would plummet, but she used her fire powers to send herself towards the cliff. Firelord Ozai set his plan of becoming Supreme Rulers of all the nations into motion, leaving Azula as his successor.
During this time, her mental state deteriorated even more. She fired her high ranking officers and servants, fearing that everyone would betray her as Ty Lee and Mai had done. Azula even believed that her father did not consider her worthy of being Firelord and vowed to become the best leader in history. Right before her crowning ceremony, she showed signs of schizophrenia.
Azula had cut her hair and saw her mother, who told her it was a shame because her hair was so pretty. She began to talk to her mother, telling her that she knew that Ursa did not love her and thought Azula was a monster. Ursa, or rather her vision, said that all her life, Azula had used fear to control others, to which Azula said that “trust was for fools”.
Azula accused her mother of being afraid of her, but Ursa said that it was not true, that she loved her daughter. Azula was gripped with emotion and started crying. However, she did not want to feel these things and threw a hairbrush at the mirror where she was seeing her mother. During the coronation, Zuko showed up, and Azula challenged him to an Agni Kai, a duel for the throne.
Zuko accepted the dare because he could sense that something was wrong with his sister. When it became clear to Azula that she would lose against her brother, she aimed a lightning bolt towards Katara, a waterbender who befriended Zuko after he helped find her mother’s killer, but Zuko got in the way, saving Katara.
Azula was almost completely deranged and started facing off with Katara, who was able to defeat her. With her hands tied, she went full-on crazy, spitting fire from her mouth and screaming until her yells became tears. Azula was institutionalized with 24-hour guards. Her schizophrenic episodes continued as visions of her mother kept plaguing her until she convinced herself that Ursa was responsible for her downfall. This was the end of the original series.
After a couple of years, Zuko went to visit her in the asylum so that they could find out what happened to their mother. The first thing Zuko decided to do was to send Azula to their father’s prison cell accompanied by the Kyoshi Warriors which included Ty Lee. Father and daughter did not utter a word to each other.
However, when Zuko came in with tea, and Azula saw Ty Lee, she bit the tray, taking it from Zuko and knocking him down with it. Ozai smiled at this. She asked her brother how he expected her to drink tea with her hands tied, but Ty Lee Chi-blocked her, and Azula started asking how “she” convinced all of them not to fear her.
The “she” references Ursa. Azula asked Zuko to leave her and Ozai to speak alone, and when they left, Ty Lee revealed that she was still afraid of Azula. Meanwhile, Ozai revealed to Azula that her mother had sent a bunch of letters, which he kept to make sure they would never reach their destination, and about a secret passage in the palace.
Later on, Zuko took her outside to ask about the conversation with their father, but Azula shot him with lightning and got out of her straight jacket. She ran towards the chamber Ozai had mentioned. When Zuko caught up with her, Azula said that those letters were the clue to finding their mother, but she burned them all.
She joined Team Avatar for the mission to find Princess Ursa since she was only the one who read the letters. However, the deal with Zuko was that she would be unbound and free. Furthermore, Azula failed to mention that she kept one letter which explained that Zuko was not Ozai’s son and her key to taking the throne since it didn’t belong to Zuko in the first place.
While they were flying on Appa, the sky bison, she asked the team which of them had met her first, and they were confused because none had ever met her before. However, Azula wondered how “she” had convinced them to ruin her life if they had not met her. Azula jumped out of Appa, tried to escape, but saw her mother in the reflection of a river.
She screamed, “You’ve been conspiring to take me down since I was born! Even when I was an infant, you saw in me something you never had: Power! That’s why you think I’m a monster. My power makes you fear me!” Her vision of Ursa answered with another “I love you”, making Azula scream in anger and confusion.
Zuko reached her at this point and asked who she was talking to, but before Azula answered, Katara wrapped her in ice. Suddenly, they were all attacked by a spirit wolf, and none of could defeat it. Zuko freed Azula from Katara’s ice, and she managed to subdue the wolf alone. Afterward, she was awoken by visions of her mother, who told her that all her life she had used a masked of extortion to placate others.
Azula attacked her mother but started wondering if her life had actually been like that until Katara snapped her out of the schizophrenic vision. Then, Azula realized that Zuko had taken the letter she kept from their mother, confronted him, and they started fighting each other. Zuko was the victor, and he asked her why their relationship had to be like this all along?
To which Azula asked if “she” was the one telling him to say it. When they calmed down, the siblings watched ‘Love Among Dragons’, remembering the lovely times they had spent as children with their parents. They were invited to the home of Ikem, where they met his wife Noriko, and their daughter, Kiyi.
Later, Team Avatar and Azula went into Forgetful Valley, where they encountered two siblings who needed help. Azula thought that her mother had planned this meeting and went after the brother and sister. Team Avatar stopped her, but out of the blue, the Mother of Faces appeared and told them she would grant them one wish.
The siblings had been waiting for years to this aid, but Azula stole it from them, asking the Mother of Faces, where Princess Ursa was. The Mother of Faces revealed that Ursa was masquerading as Noriko, the woman they had just met. Azula went back to confront her mother, who had had her memories of her time in the Fire Nation erased.
However, just when Azula was going to kill her, Noriko held her face and said that she was sorry about not loving her enough. Azula was shocked, and at that moment, Zuko stepped in. Azula told him that he wanted to kill her so that her visions would stop, but Zuko refused, telling her that she would always have him.
Azula ran away with Zuko and Noriko right behind her, telling her they would help. She told Zuko that even when he was strong, he was also weak. Then, Azula ran into the cliffs far away, and although Zuko searched for weeks, she would not be found. She lived in exile for a long time, discovering what her true purpose was.
She was not meant to be the Firelord, or to return Ozai to his throne, but to turn Zuko into a ruthless leader just like they had been. Once she realized this, her schizophrenia disappeared, and she was able to control her powers once again. Azula came up with a plan after remembering the time when Mai talked about the Kemurikage.
She freed some girls from the insane institution, and they disguised themselves as the Kemurikage, spirits that kidnapped children, as part of the grand scheme of changing Zuko’s personality. They went to scare off Mai’s father Ukano, who had formed the Ozai Society, which wanted Zuko off the throne and Ozai back as Firelord.
As the Kemurikage, they told him he had to get rid of Zuko or suffer the consequences. Ukano failed, which Azula expected, and he asked for another month to try. When he failed after that, she revealed her true self, which was even scarier for Ukano, who had faced Azula before. She made him start kidnapping children like the Kemurikage legend.
They used his money to make a place for the kids. The first kidnapped child was Ukano’s son, Tom-Tom. They would make it look like magic with smoke and secret pathways that Azula discovered around the Fire Nation during her childhood. Azula even kidnapped Kiyi, her half-sister and daughter of Noriko, but she was caught and forced to use her powers.
This revealed her identity to Zuko, Aang, Ty Lee, and Suki. Azula kept manipulating Ukano, and later on, she revealed that bringing Ozai back was never her real goal. However, they kept going with their plan, organizing a riot in the Fire Nation which would make Zuko look bad. Ukano pleaded her to return the kidnapped children, but right as Azula was about to do it, she changed her mind.
Eventually, Zuko, Aang, Mai, and Kilo, Mai’s boyfriend, found where the children were hidden, and fight with the asylum girls. Azula took hold of Kilo, and Mai begged her to stop. Zuko stepped in, and again, the siblings fought each other in an even greater battle than the original series’ Agni Kai. Azula ran away, but Zuko caught up, and she gained the upper hand.
However, instead of killing her brother, she got off, explained her plan to him. She said that finally, Zuko had become brutal like she and Ozai were, but Zuko told her she was wrong. Azula vanished into smoke with the parting words: “Accept it. It’s who you are.” Later on, Zuko gave a speech to his people, apologizing for how he handled their troubles.
Azula watched from the rooftops with her team of Kemurikage, and in a sarcastic tone, she said that her brother’s speech was heartwarming, and then, they disappeared again. Azula is not likely to give up on her current quest to turn Zuko into a cruel leader. Furthermore, since it seems her schizophrenia sets in when she does not have a plan.
Her return is probably going to be more epic. Let us know what you think about Azula’s life after the animated series. If you liked this article, share it with your friends who are excited about the Netflix live-action version, although we hope is nothing like ‘Death Note’. See you next time!