|"Oh. I understand you've had a rather hard time lately. That's too bad. You probably felt you had no choice but to behave outrageously. Like a wild animal. But don't worry, you won't anymore ... Because I am going to break you."|
|— The circus trainer to Appa.|
The circus trainer worked for the Fire Nation circus. He was an angry but soft-spoken firebender who was allegedly raised by a sadistic Fire Nation nobleman, resulting in his loneliness and neurotic behavior. The man was known for his ability to readily train the many dangerous and exotic animals the circus collected, but he took great pleasure in breaking the spirit of the animals through violence and forced training. As a firebender, the circus trainer's specialty was the fire whip, which he often used to train the animals.
Shortly after Appa was transported to the Fire Nation circus and caged, the trainer introduced himself by mocking the creature's wild behavior and explained that he would "break" him in training. Later, the man returned with a cartload of cabbages and fed a few of the animals, but did not feed Appa, explaining that he would need to earn his food by performing well in public shows. He proceeded to demonstrate by releasing a lion vulture and forcing it to fly through hoops stylistically, as if in an act; however, when he heard Appa burp behind his back, the trainer realized the flying bison had been eating anyway and expressed his anger by lighting a fire in front of his cage.
Despite his protests that the animal had not been adequately tamed, the trainer was forced to present Appa in the circus. The show began and the man ordered Appa to fly; however, the bison defied him, and the circus trainer was forced to use a fire whip to get him to begin the act. Appa caught fire as he flew through a burning hoop, and out of frustration, hit the trainer with one. When the flying bison attempted to fly away, the man retaliated with firebending, but was thrown out of the circus tent by the creature's tail.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Book Two: Earth (土)
- 216. "Appa's Lost Days"
- Even though he failed to train Appa, the circus trainer's very rigorous taming caused some serious emotional trauma. After his experiences in the circus, Appa became pyrophobic and more hesitant to trust new people.
- The circus trainer was a rather formidable chess opponent, but when he lost, he became very sore-tempered.