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Azula's team

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Fire Nation emblem

Azula's team was an elite group composed of Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee, formed by the princess in hopes of apprehending Prince Zuko and Iroh as well as capturing the Avatar.[1] The team disbanded after Mai and Ty Lee betrayed Azula at the Boiling Rock.[2]

History

Formation

Azula forms her team

Azula formed her team in Omashu.

After Azula traveled to the Earth Kingdom with the Royal Procession with the intent to apprehend her brother and uncle, she was advised by Lo and Li to abandon the Imperial Firebenders in order to maintain the element of surprise. The Fire Nation princess realized that she needed to be agile and nimble if she wanted to successfully carry out her duty. Thus, she decided to forsake the Royal Procession in favor of a small, elite team consisting of two old friends: Mai and Ty Lee.

Azula first sought out the nimble Ty Lee, who was at that time traveling with a Fire Nation circus, making her living as an acrobat. Although the chi blocker initially declined the princess' offer to join her on her mission to "hunt a traitor", she reconsidered after Azula intimidated her during a live performance.

The two friends traveled to Omashu to meet up with Mai. The moment Azula mentioned that she was on a mission and required both her friends, Mai immediately accepted, desperately wanting to leave the city.[1]

Confrontation at Omashu

Mai, Ty Lee, and Azula

The team's first collective outing was exchanging Bumi for Tom-Tom.

Scolding Ukano for his incompetence, the first task the team performed as a collective was handling the trade of King Bumi for Mai's little brother, Tom-Tom. The team was under the impression that they would be dealing with the Omashu Resistance, though when Mai broke off the exchange, Aang accidentally revealed himself as the Avatar by exposing his tattoos.

Azula immediately pursued Aang, which led to a chase down the chutes of the Omashu delivery system, leaving Mai and Ty Lee to deal with Katara and Sokka. The Water Tribe siblings initially avoided a conflict as Tom-Tom was still in their care. As they ran for safety, however, Ty Lee knocked Sokka over, nearly causing him to slide off the scaffolding. A battle ensued, during which Ty Lee and Mai were held off by Katara's waterbending. When Mai was incapacitated by Katara's ice attack, Ty Lee intervened and chi blocked the waterbender, temporarily stripping her of her ability, which turned the odds in their favor. Now freed from her icy restraint, Mai prepared to deal a final strike with her sai, but was thwarted by Sokka and his boomerang. The battle ended when Appa landed on the scaffolding and blasted the two girls off with a powerful sweep of his tail.

Azula's chase of the Avatar down the chutes was halted by Bumi's earthbending attack. After this encounter with Team Avatar, Azula and her two friends left Omashu, officially declaring the Avatar to be a third target in addition to Zuko and Iroh.[1]

Chasing Team Avatar

Tracking Appa

Azula and her friends tracked Appa by following his trail.

A while later, Azula's team acquired a tank train with which they pursued a shedding Appa. Eventually, riding in swiftly on mongoose lizards, they faced Team Avatar, when the latter decided to remain put to discover who was chasing them. Azula's team easily evaded all their defensive attacks and forced Team Avatar on the run once more.

They chased Team Avatar throughout the night, depriving them from sleep. Reaching the Nan Shan River, Azula was able to see through the ruses Team Avatar had constructed, realizing that they were trying to give them the slip. The three girls abandoned the tank train, traveling on their mongoose lizard. They split up, with Azula going after Aang, and Mai and Ty Lee tracking down Appa.

Mai and Ty Lee caught up with an exhausted Appa and the Water Tribe siblings and quickly gained the upper hand in the ensuing battle. They were defeated, however, when Appa swooped down and knocked them into the river with a powerful sweep of his tail.

Meanwhile, Azula managed to locate Aang at Tu Zin, but found herself in a three-way battle when Zuko intervened. Eventually, the rest of Team Avatar and Iroh arrived, and outnumbered six to one, she retreated, but not after shooting Iroh down with a precise fire blast.[3]

Drilling through the Outer Wall

Azula's team met up with War Minister Qin and together they all traveled to Ba Sing Se in an enormous drill, intending on drilling through the Outer Wall and claiming the city in name of the Fire Lord. Although Qin assured them that they had nothing to fear as everything would work out perfectly, Azula remained on high alert, sending in Mai and Ty Lee to take out the Terra Team strike force, a task they easily and quickly completed.

Azula's team inside the drill

Azula's team discovered Team Avatar sabotaging the Fire Nation drill.

When the first rapports of possible sabotage started coming in, Azula immediately went to investigate with Mai and Ty Lee, and she confirmed her suspicions that it was Team Avatar's meddling that had caused the damage. They attacked the intruders, who quickly retreated. On a junction, Azula's team split up, just as Team Avatar had done, with Azula following Aang once more, and Mai and Ty Lee trailing the Water Tribe siblings. Mai refused to go on, though, when their chase led them to dive into a slurry pipe, stating that Azula could "shoot all the lightning she [wanted] at [her]", but she was not going to jump into the slurry; Ty Lee did not have the same concerns and pursued on her own. The chi blocker was halted was stopped, however, when Katara and Toph kept her on a safe distance by bending the water and chunks of earth.

Meanwhile, Azula engaged Aang in battle on top of the drill. After some attacks were exchanged, the Fire Nation princess managed to knock him out, though due to the effects of the slurry pipe being clogged by Katara and Toph, she was knocked aside by some of the slurry water as it exploded out of the drill, thus preventing her from finishing the fight. She managed to get back on top the drill, though at that time it was already too late to stop Aang from delivering a devastating blow to the machine, and she was once again knocked backward by the force of the blow. Ending up with Ty Lee in the slurry, Mai opened one of the drill's hatches and confirmed their defeat.[4]

Infiltrating Ba Sing Se

Kyoshi Warriors defending Appa

Azula's team encountered the Kyoshi Warriors while tracking Appa.

Sometime later, the team tracked down a lost Appa, following a trail of his fur once more. However, they did not find Team Avatar with the flying bison, but the Kyoshi Warriors, who were set on allowing Appa time to escape at all costs. Azula mocked the Kyoshi Warriors to be the "Avatar's fangirls", before attacking them with her firebending for being a friend of the Avatar. Mai and Ty Lee joined the fight as well. With her impeccable accuracy, Mai immediately pinned one of the warrior to a tree, commenting how their colorful clothing made her nauseous, and Ty Lee took another Kyoshi Warrior down with her chi blocking, defiantly stating that they were not prettier than them. Meanwhile, Suki and Azula were going one on one.[5]

The battle ended shortly after Appa's escape in favor of Azula's team. The three girls captured all the Kyoshi Warriors and sent them off to prison.[6] In addition, they stole their clothing first and used it to infiltrate the Earth Kingdom capital.

Impersonating Kyoshi Warriors

Mai, Azula, and Ty Lee infiltrated the Earth Kingdom court by impersonating the Kyoshi Warriors.

Disguised as the Kyoshi Warriors, they were welcomed at the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace by the Earth King as honored guests.[7] During a private audience with Kuei, the girls learned of the plans of an imminent invasion of the Fire Nation on the Day of Black Sun.[8]

They were offered lodging in the a house in the Upper Ring. There, Azula realized that they, as trustees of the king, were in the perfect position to overthrow him and organize a coup, acknowledging that the key to success was controlling the Dai Li.

Mai and Ty Lee set out the following order to allegedly blow their cover by revealing their Fire Nation origin. Knowing that the Dai Li would be listening, they talked about how they easily beat the Kyoshi Warriors and subsequently stole their clothes.

Katara disabled by Ty Lee

Azula's team incapacitated Katara.

While they waited for the Dai Li to deliver the message to Long Feng, they were informed by a frantic Katara, who believed as well that she was talking to the Kyoshi Warriors, that the Fire Nation had already invaded the city, as she had witnessed Zuko and Iroh at the Jasmine Dragon. After Ty Lee easily incapacitated Katara, the waterbender was imprisoned in the Crystal Catacombs, and Azula decided to set a trap for her brother and uncle; she sent out a fake message, luring them both to the palace under the pretense that they could serve tea, though only Zuko was captured and thrown in prison with Katara.

Later that night, Azula was dragged before Long Feng in his prison cell, and by faking submission to the Grand Secretariat of Ba Sing Se, she struck a deal with him which gave her effective control over the Dai Li in order to overthrow the Earth Kingdom government in their Coup of Ba Sing Se.[8]

The following day, Azula instructed the Dai Li agents to capture the five generals of the Council of Five, earning praise from her two friends over her public speaking skills. As Sokka and Toph later learned of Azula's plans, they tried to warn the Earth King, but Mai and Ty Lee were awaiting them. The foursome engaged in battle, but the scuffle was quickly ended when Azula threatened to kill Kuei.

Having captured the Council of Five, the Earth King, and three members of Team Avatar, Long Feng was released from prison and commanded the Dai Li to arrest Azula, attempting to double cross her and her friends. However, it backfired, as the Dai Li's allegiance had shifted to the princess.

With only the Avatar left as a threat, Azula led the Dai Li in combat against Aang and Katara. When Zuko joined her side as well, the Avatar suffered defeat, though managed to escape.[9]

Return to the Fire Nation

The group on Ember Island

Azula's team vacationed with Zuko on Ember Island.

After their successful coup of the Fire Nation, Azula and her team returned home,[10] and several months later, they and Zuko spent some time off in Ember Island. However, conflict ensued between them, though by sitting around a campfire and talking it out, they smoothed things out and bonded as they got to know each other differently; they spent their last night trashing the home of Chan.[11]

Betrayal and disbandment

Learning from Mai's uncle that Zuko was imprisoned at the Boiling Rock, the three girls traveled there. While Mai confronted Zuko about their breakup and the way he handled it, Azula and Ty Lee came to check on how the warden was handling things and deduced that Team Avatar was involved with the issues that the prison was having at that point.

When a prison break occurred, Azula and Ty Lee engaged Sokka, Zuko, and Suki in battle atop a gondola. The two girls left their opponents after the order was given by the warden to cut the line of the gondola. However, the escapees managed to make it out of the prison due to Mai's interference.

Mai and Azula's standoff

Azula and Mai's standoff ultimately led to the team's permanent dissolution.

Confused about Mai's reasoning as to why she opposed Azula and helped Zuko, the Fire Nation Princess confronted her. During that standoff, Mai defiantly stated that Azula had miscalculated, claiming her love for Zuko to be greater than her fear for the princess. This did not sit well with the latter, who prepared to strike her former friend down with a lightning bolt, but before she got the chance, she was chi blocked by Ty Lee. With the princess paralyzed, both girls tried to escape the prison as well, but they were immediately apprehended. Hurt over the betrayal, Azula ordered the imprisonment of her former friends. The team was subsequently disbanded by default, and the former friends hardly saw each other again.[2]

Associates

Trivia

  • The Avatar fandom often refers to Azula's group as "Ozai's Angels".
  • The three girls went to school together at the Royal Fire Academy for Girls.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (April 7, 2006). "Return to Omashu". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (July 16, 2008). "The Boiling Rock, Part 2". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 15. Nickelodeon.
  3. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (May 26, 2006). "The Chase". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
  4. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (September 15, 2006). "The Drill". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  5. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 13, 2006). "Appa's Lost Days". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  6. Chan, May (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 16, 2008). "The Boiling Rock, Part 1". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 14. Nickelodeon.
  7. O'Bryan, John (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (November 17, 2006). "The Earth King". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  8. 8.0 8.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  9. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & DiMartino, Michael Dante (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Crossroads of Destiny". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  10. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (September 21, 2007). "The Awakening". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  11. Mattila, Katie (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (October 19, 2007). "The Beach". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.

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