Duels are battles fought by at least two individuals, and they can be considered a form of recreation, a way of settling disputes or a training tool for students who are developing skills in a particular art.
Duels may be fought to the death in the most extreme cases, or they may simply be friendly spars fought to pass time. Duels are practiced by a variety of cultures, but they are most notably seen in the Fire Nation in the form of an Agni Kai.
The following is a list of known duels that occurred during the spring of 100 AG.
Duel on Azula's ship
While lounging in a village resort in the western Earth Kingdom, Zuko and Iroh were taken aback by the unexpected visit of Princess Azula. She proclaimed that her business was to deliver a message from Fire Lord Ozai, whom she claimed had suddenly realized the importance of family in such troubling times. As such, she said, he lifted Zuko's banishment and sent Azula to urge him to return. Although suspicious, Iroh agreed to return, knowing that Zuko would require assistance if ever the ulterior motive of his niece's visit was revealed. As they were boarding Azula's ship, the captain mistakenly said, "Raise the anchors, we're taking the prisoners home!" This ignited a duel between Azula and Zuko, while Iroh defeated the Royal Procession. Zuko's lack of control made it relatively easy for Azula to gain the upper hand and in an attempt to demonstrate the extent of her skill, she began generating lightning. Before she could finish the form, she was interrupted by Iroh, who redirected the lightning into the cliff and kicked her over the side of the ship into the water.
Duel in New Ozai
Victor: Team Avatar and Bumi
Upon returning to the Earth Kingdom stronghold of Omashu, Team Avatar discovered that it had been conquered by the Fire Nation. Aang, Sokka, and Katara rallied to initiate a plan that allowed the escape of the Earth Kingdom residents within the city. Tom-Tom, the toddler son of the governor, was caught amidst the march of the Earth Kingdom citizens and was taken from the city. The Fire Nation forces assumed he was deliberately abducted. Inside the city, Princess Azula, Ty Lee, and Mai confronted the governor about his lack of judgment, which ultimately led to the taking of his own son. Azula appointed Mai to oversee the deal involving the exchange of King Bumi for her brother Tom-Tom, to be conducted on one of the city's many construction sites.
In the midst of the exchange, Azula exclaimed that it was ludicrous to trade a powerful earthbending king for a two year old. Mai called the deal off and initiated an attack on Team Avatar. Amidst the battle, the headscarf Aang used to conceal his arrow is accidentally knocked off his head, allowing Azula to determine his identity. A duel ensues; Azula starts pursuing Aang, who was attempting to escape with the imprisoned Bumi. The trio made their way around the city through the use of the Omashu delivery system, with Aang using airbending to aid his escape. Meanwhile, Katara and Sokka dueled Mai and Ty Lee, with Appa easily defeating the girls by airbending a powerful gust of wind. Katara and Sokka subsequently attempted to rescue Aang and Bumi. Azula thwarted the two by shooting blue flames in between them and the cart. The fight continued until Bumi used his head to earthbend a large boulder in front of Azula's cart, destroying it and leaving it immobile.
Duel between Team Avatar and the Rough Rhinos
Victor: Team Avatar
After being tried for Kyoshi's murder of the tyrannical warlord Chin the Great, Aang was found guilty and sentenced to be boiled in oil. However, before his punishment can be conducted, the Rough Rhinos attacked the village, claiming it for the Fire Lord. Mayor Tong altered Aang's sentence to be community service and with that note, Team Avatar faced the Rough Rhinos. Sokka and Katara easily defeated four of the group's members, while Aang faced their leader, Colonel Mongke. Using Kyoshi's metal fans, Aang was able to augment his bending, defeating Mongke by blasting him off his komodo rhino.
Duel in Earth Rumble VI between the Blind Bandit and Aang
Xin Fu, the host of Earth Rumble VI, asked for a volunteer to challenge the tournament's reigning champion, The Blind Bandit (Toph) after her victory over The Boulder. Seeing it as an opportunity to talk to the blind earthbender, Aang volunteered, but immediately discovered that Toph was not interested in talking. She continued attacking, slightly bothered by Aang's subtle movements. Toph's perception through seismic sense was no match for Aang's evasive maneuvers. After some time, Aang defeated Toph by creating a strong gust of wind, knocking her off the stadium. Upset by her defeat, Toph stormed out of the arena, refusing to give Aang a chance to explain his intentions.
Duel in the Earth Rumble VI arena
Victor: Toph Beifong
After being exchanged for ransom by Xin Fu and The Boulder, Toph began to leave the arena with her father, but decided to stay to save Aang, who had also been captured. The Earth Rumble VI competitors prepared to attack while Sokka and Katara prepared to defend themselves, at which point Toph stopped them, stating that it was her battle. Dumbfounded, they stood back and she began the battle by creating a large screen of dust to conceal herself. Toph took down each competitor through her specialized earthbending style, easily overpowering their brute strength with the use of neutral jing.
She continued until only Xin Fu remained. After a quick exchange of rocks and boulders between the two, Toph delivered the final blow and knocked Xin Fu out of the ring, ending the duel and saving Aang.
Duel between Gow and Zuko
In Plains village, a troop of soldiers led by Gow had kidnapped Lee, a young friend of Zuko, and had stolen the dagger Zuko had given him. Following a desperate plea from Lee's mother, Zuko agreed to rescue the boy from the Earth Kingdom men. Soon after arriving at the scene, a fight ensued, with Zuko easily overpowering and defeating almost all the soldiers only with his broadswords. After several minutes of fighting, Gow was the only man remaining. The two began a duel, with Gow initiating the conflict with strong powerful attacks. Gow attacked Zuko using his hammers to augment his earthbending while Zuko attempted to fight back without firebending. However, Gow was able to overpower Zuko and break his stance, seemingly winning the duel until Zuko unleashed his firebending prowess, easily defeating Gow in the process.
Duel by Nan Shan River
After separating from Aang, who went off to create a false trail, a sleep deprived Katara and Sokka went on their own way to escape the fury of Azula and her team. Despite their efforts, they soon found themselves being pursued by Mai and Ty Lee. The two duos fought viciously, but Katara was soon pinned to a tree by Mai's knives and Sokka was paralyzed by Ty Lee. Despite the girls' victory, Appa had the last punch when he air blasted Mai and Ty Lee into the river with his tail, defeating the two girls.
Confrontation at Tu Zin
- Main article: Confrontation at Tu Zin
Victor: Team Avatar
Casualties: Iroh (injured)
After pursuing Team Avatar, Princess Azula finally came across her target, the young Avatar, Aang, in an abandoned town. Directly before the start of the duel, the exiled Prince Zuko joined in, hoping to regain his honor by capturing the Avatar and defeating his prodigious sister. Despite Zuko and Aang's best efforts, Azula was unstoppable. Zuko could only exchange several fire blasts with the princess before she was able to defeat him. Aang was soon trapped by Azula, but was saved with the timely intervention of Katara. Sokka and Toph soon arrived as well, along with Iroh. Azula, being outnumbered and cornered, surrenders. She quickly escaped however, by shooting Iroh with blue fire while he was distracted. She protected herself from her attackers by creating a fire shield and escaped the scene unharmed.
Confrontation between Aang and the saber-tooth moose lion
After an extensive search for Sokka, who had been trapped in a crevasse while hunting for food, Aang finally found him with a young saber-tooth moose lion. Before Aang could head out to seek Toph's assistance, the young creature's mother arrived. Perceiving both Aang and Sokka as a threat to her cub, the mother attacked. Contrary to airbending principles, Aang stood his ground, and he was able to fend off the beast by repelling her with airbending. The mother, unharmed, fled the scene with her cub.
Duel in the Serpent's Pass
Victor: Aang and Katara
While crossing the Serpent's Pass, Team Avatar and their companions were attacked by a serpent, a territorial sea beast. Aang and Katara set off to fight the serpent, by creating a large whirlpool in the water, successfully disorienting the serpent and knocking it out when its head crashes into a section of the pass. Team Avatar, along with a number of refugees, were able to pass safely.
Battle of the drill
- Main article: Battle of the drill
After sabotaging a considerable amount of the Fire Nation drill headed to Ba Sing Se, Aang proceeded to the machine's top-most point to deliver the final blow. Prior to finishing the job, however, Azula arrived and initiated a duel with Aang. The two fight evenly, but Azula was soon able to gain the upper hand. Before she could finish the Avatar, however, she was repelled by Aang through his use of earthbending. The two continued the fight until they were both thrown off the drill by slurry. Aang was assisted by Momo, who helped him get back on top of the drill, while Azula could only dig her nails into the metal and climb back up. Azula attempted to blast Aang one last time, but she was a second too late and was blown off the drill after Aang destroyed it, saving Ba Sing Se in the process.
Duel in the Pao Family Tea House
Victor: None; interrupted by the Dai Li
Determined to expose the identity of firebenders of Zuko and Iroh, Jet attacked them while they were working at Pao Family Tea House. In an attempt to prevent the situation from escalating further, Iroh tried to convince Jet that they were nothing more than simple tea workers, though this only angered him even more. Despite warnings from nearby law enforcement officers, Jet continued and soon Zuko accepted his challenge, grabbing a pair of dual broadswords from nearby police officers. The two began to duel. They first battled inside the tea shop, destroying several tables and other pieces of furniture. After this, they proceeded to fight outside the tea house, with a crowd gathering as the fight intensified. Before the duel finished, the Dai Li arrived and arrested Jet, who the bystanders denounced as the conflict's instigator.
Duel between Appa and a boar-q-pine
While searching for shelter after escaping captivity from a Fire Nation circus, Appa decided to settle within a secluded cavern deep inside an Earth Kingdom forest. A boar-q-pine already occupied the cave and came charging out of the passage, tackling Appa and sending them both tumbling down the hillside. The boar-q-pine attempted to use quick, swift movements in order to defeat Appa, but was unable to do so. The boar-q-pine fled after Appa sent it flying, and Appa survived the battle despite acquiring several quills.
Duel between Azula's team and the Kyoshi Warriors
Victor: Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee
After Appa took refuge with the Kyoshi Warriors, he accidentally left a trail of his shed fur for Azula and her team to follow. Despite not finding the Avatar, Azula decided to attack the Kyoshi Warriors anyway. Mai and Ty Lee quickly defeated most of the warriors with relative ease, while Azula took on Suki. Urged by Suki, Appa fled the battle. Azula and Suki continued to fight, though Azula immediately gained the upper hand, defeating Suki and later using her and her fellow Kyoshi Warriors' uniforms to infiltrate Ba Sing Se and sent her to the Boiling Rock.
Duel in the chamber of Lake Laogai
Victor: Team Avatar
Casualties: Jet (mortally wounded)
After infiltrating the Dai Li's secret headquarters under Lake Laogai, Team Avatar, along with Jet and his team, searched the area in hopes of finding Appa. They were soon ambushed by Dai Li agents, who had orders from Long Feng to apprehend them. Team Avatar and the Dai Li battled viciously, and as the battle progressed, Long Feng realized that he is losing. He escaped, but was immediately pursued by Aang and Jet. Despite being cornered, Long Feng was able to order a hypnotized Jet into attacking Aang. Aang snapped Jet out of the trance, however, and Jet threw one of his hook swords at Long Feng. Long Feng dodged it and fatally struck Jet with a large rock. Smellerbee and Longshot stayed behind with a dying Jet, while Team Avatar left to go back to the surface to save Appa. They defeated most of the Dai Li agents, while Appa returned and defeated the rest by smashing into them. Long Feng tried to kill Appa, though unsuccessful, as Appa caught him by the leg and threw him into the lake. With all the enemy combatants defeated, the team happily reunited with their lost friend.
Duel in the Royal Tea Room
Victor: Azula and the Dai Li
Azula, after infiltrating Ba Sing Se, sent a fake note to Zuko and Iroh saying that they had been invited to serve tea to Earth King Kuei. While Zuko and Iroh waited for the Earth King to show up, Azula appeared with about a dozen Dai Li agents, hoping to apprehend her banished brother and failed uncle. Iroh remained calm, took a sip of tea and used his breath of fire to repel the earthbenders. Iroh escaped the attacking agents by bolting a wall with lightning and jumping out of it, but Zuko decided to stay and fight Azula, much to Iroh's frustration. Zuko challenged Azula to an Agni Kai, but she merely laughed him off and had her agents capture him.
Duel in the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace
Victor: Mai and Ty Lee
After finding out about Azula's coup, Sokka and Toph went to warn the Earth King of her plans. They instead found Mai and Ty Lee beside the Earth King's throne and they engaged in a battle. Mai and Toph exchanged throws of rocks and knives, while Ty Lee played with Sokka by slowly aiming at different body parts, making it look as if they were dancing. The fight ended when Azula appeared behind the Earth King and threatened to kill him. Sokka and Toph surrendered, and even Momo was captured by Dai Li agents.
Battle in the Crystal Catacombs
Victor: Azula, Zuko, and the Dai Li
Casualties: Aang (killed, though revived by spirit water)
After escaping from the Crystal Catacombs, Aang and Katara attempted to find Sokka and Toph. However, they were soon attacked by Azula. After a quick engagement, Azula started to fear her possible loss. The three way duel was soon interrupted by Zuko, who, after some deliberation, decided to ally with Azula.
Zuko proceeded to attack the Avatar, while Katara faced the Fire Nation princess. Aang and Zuko fought evenly, though Zuko seemingly started to gain the upper hand. Azula and Katara fought viciously as well, but Azula soon found herself in Katara's bindings.
Zuko freed Azula and proceeded to battle Katara, while Azula took on Aang. Azula and Aang charged at each other, but Azula blasted the young Avatar with a powerful charge of blue fire. Zuko and Katara fought evenly, but Azula intervened and knocked Katara down. Aang got up and attempted to attack the two siblings, but was stopped by a large company of Dai Li agents. Realizing that he had no choice, Aang attempted to open the seventh chakra and enter the Avatar State. As Aang rose above the ground he was struck by Azula's lightning, mortally wounding him. Katara caught him and she proceeded to escape the catacombs, with Iroh providing a distraction, giving the waterbender enough time to escape. He surrendered to Azula after the Avatar and Katara successfully escaped.