It’s hard to hate or dislike the heroes of Avatar: The Last AirbenderBut the same cannot be said for the antagonists. Egocentric dictators and their lap dogs, terrorists disguised as revolutionaries, sycophants, mindless assassins who use people as targets, and creepy face-stealing demons are some of the many villains that populate Avatar.
Fans especially despise villains who don’t even try to repent. The sheer faith these characters show in their moral righteousness explains how they are able to live with themselves despite the horrors they inflict on others. That said, there are no characters who are totally out of redemption.
10 Fire sages, except Shyu, are little more than ingratiates.
The Fire Sages were once independent, free from the political authority of the Fire Nation. Until Sozin unleashes the Hundred Year War and forces them to submit.
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With the exception of Shyu, the Fire Sages during Ozai’s reign are little more than ingratiates who answer only to the Fire Lord and reject their duties to the Avatar. Fortunately, Zuko restores the Fire Sages to their former glory, naming Shyu High Sage for his unwavering loyalty.
9 Xin Fu sees nothing wrong with kidnapping children
Xin Fu is a fair and impartial tournament organizer, as demonstrated by the Blind Bandit’s previous victories. However, he is furious when he suspects that Toph may be in cahoots with Aang. Naturally, he takes the obvious course of action and decides to kidnap the two children and demand a ransom from them.
Xin Fu’s shamelessness is further revealed when he agrees to capture Toph and force her to return to the Beifong estate. Fortunately, his hostage is released from his prison by inventing Metalbending, leaving him discontented.
8 Ghashiun almost got his tribe killed for his lies
Ghashiun first makes his appearance when he and his gang of robbers kidnap Appa in the Si Wong desert. The full extent of his depravity is revealed when he furiously tries to change the subject by pointing out that Team Avatar arrived “on a stolen sand sailboat.”
Even when Toph confirms that Ghashiun’s voice belongs to the man who took Appa, she claims that they “lie” and “are the thieves”. His complete lack of a backbone puts everyone in his tribe in danger when Aang activates the Avatar State.
7 Koh’s sadism makes dealing with him quite problematic
Koh’s spiritual origins do not prevent him from becoming a nightmare monster, hell-bent on “punishing” humans for not indulging his whims.
He destroys Kuruk’s life by stealing Ummi’s face, forcing her to exist “somewhere between life and death”, simply because he wants to lower the Avatar’s ego. Koh expresses unbridled sadism in most of his interactions, which makes him quite annoying to most people.
6 Jet believes violence is an inevitable by-product of revolution
Jet may have lost his home to the Fire Nation, but his anger, like Katara’s, bubbles until he can’t contain himself. While Katara has Zuko to show her an alternate path, Jet is not so lucky.
He mistakenly believes that violence is an inevitable by-product of revolution, completely ignoring the fact that the Freedom Fighters have little political significance. Jet blames the entire Fire Nation, including innocent civilians, for the atrocities committed against his people.
5 The burning man seems to enjoy the act of murder more than his supposed job
Combustion Man is terrifying. Its imposing frame, metal limbs, and fierce Raven Eagle pale before its incomprehensible power. He uses telekinesis to generate devastating blasts and is seemingly incapable of showing a shred of compassion.
The Combustion Man is very proud of his role as a murderer, even if he has to blow up children. However, he openly rejects Zuko’s order to cancel the mission, implying that he is more pleased with the act of murder itself than with the money he makes from it.
4 Long Feng’s Facade Masks the Mind of a Twisted Puppet Master
Long Feng’s slimy demeanor puts Team Avatar on edge from their first encounter, but they only learn of his villainy much later in the series. The Ba Sing Se Grand Secretariat maintains a tight grip on King Kuei and the Dai Li, using the former to establish their political authority and the latter to terrorize their opponents.
Long Feng controlled all aspects of Ba Sing Se until Azula’s strike, a result that he finds incredibly shameful even though he acknowledges the Fire Princess’ tactical superiority.
3 Azula uses her narcissism and aggressiveness as weapons
It’s not fair for anyone, not even Iroh, to say that Azula “has to fall” because “she’s crazy.” However, this does not mean that their crimes can be forgotten at a stroke. On the contrary, Azula would need a considerable period of self-examination and penance before her brother (or anyone else) can forgive her.
Ozai teaches her daughter to use her narcissism and aggressiveness as weapons, which is why Azula finds it so difficult to accept failure, especially at the hands of those she believes are weaker than she is.
2 Zhao’s perception of himself is in stark contrast to his shameless nature
Zhao doesn’t display an iota of common sense, which explains his downright illogical actions throughout the first season. His strange fantasies are fueled by his appetite for power. Zhao truly believes that he deserves to be honored and praised for destroying the Moon, completely oblivious to the suffering his act would inflict on the world.
Zhao’s perception of himself as a great hero stands in stark contrast to the reality that he is a seedy coward with a penchant for pomposity.
1 Ozai’s inability to distinguish strength from weakness leads to his doom
Iroh claims that he recognized Ozai’s overwhelming arrogance when they were both much younger, and regretfully admits his inability to stop his younger brother’s bid for the throne.
Ozai’s arrogance is best exemplified in the ceremony where he crowns himself the Phoenix King, a title that exposes his insecurities in full view of the world. Ozai refuses to retain his power in matters of conquest, but misinterpreting Aang’s strength as weakness is what leads to his humiliating defeat.
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