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Duels are battles fought by at least two individuals and 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 fighting art, whether it be with conventional weapons or bending.
Duels may be fought to the death in the most extreme cases, or may simply be friendly spars to pass the 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 summer of 100 AG.
Duel between Hide and Aang
After enrolling in a Fire Nation school, Aang attracted the attention of his fellow students, primarily by dancing in music class, an activity frowned upon by social custom. After being dismissed, he was approached by On Ji, a female student, who told Aang that she liked his moves. In turn, he offered to teach her. Before the conversation could continue, however, Aang was startled by blasts of fire aimed toward him, confronted by Hide, who was angered at the sight of Aang and On Ji together. He stated that On ji was his girlfriend and again attempted to strike at Aang. Aang easily evaded Hide's attacks, and the boy soon fell from fatigue and exhaustion. The Headmaster arrived at the scene and assumed that Aang instigated the duel.
Duel in Jang Hui Village
Victor: Aang and Katara
When Katara disguised herself as the Painted Lady to help the impoverished village of Jang Hui, she and Aang decided the best way to improve the quality of life for the villagers was to destroy the factory that was causing them harm. After they do so, General Mung, the leader of the factory, assumed it was the villagers who did the damage and attacked the village in an act of revenge. To save it, Katara and Aang staged a charade where Katara would pretend to be the Painted Lady, while Aang assisted her with his bending. Katara and Aang were able to scare off all of the lackeys, but needed a quick battle to defeat Mung, in which Aang levitated Katara in the air with his bending. He proceeded to blow Mung off the boardwalk into the river, where Katara warned him to leave the village and never return. Mung fled the scene clearly angered and humiliated at his defeat.
Duel between Piandao and Sokka
After Sokka trained with master swordsman Piandao, he was told he was more worthy than any other pupil Piandao had trained. Sokka felt he did not deserve to be told this, and he confessed that he was from the Southern Water Tribe, much to the rest of Team Avatar's dismay. Piandao attacked him and Sokka forestalled any intervention by the Team, telling them it was his fight. The two fought with their swords and soon moved into Piandao's garden. Sokka used his superior agility to avoid many attacks and neither combatant was able to gain the upper hand. Although Sokka blinded Piandao by throwing dirt in his eyes, Piandao was still able to sense Sokka's movements and defeated him, knocking his sword out of his hand. When it looked like he was about to finish Sokka off, Piandao congratulated Sokka, telling him the fight was just to see if he was worthy. He stated that Sokka proved himself.
Duel between Combustion Man and Team Avatar
While relaxing at a lake, Aang was spotted by Fire Nation soldiers. They proceeded to send a messenger hawk to inform the Fire Lord. Combustion Man intercepted the message and later attacked Team Avatar. The members of Team Avatar failed to land a blow on him despite their efforts, so Aang ran away to give the others a chance to escape. Aang hid behind basalt columns to trick Combustion Man, but was eventually spotted and hit by a surge of combustion. He escaped Combustion Man's fatal attacks with the use of airbending and went to hide by earthbending small rocks over him. Combustion Man once more found him, but Aang escaped by quickly jumping into the air with an earth shield. He subsequently blasted himself onto Appa and flew away safely.
Duel between Katara and Toph
Victor: None; interrupted by Aang
Aang trained with Katara and Toph to develop proficiency at using seismic sense. He dodged a rock thrown by Toph, but it accidentally hit Katara. Toph laughed at the whole incident, angering Katara and causing a small but vicious duel between the girls. They attacked using mud, but Aang interrupted the duel and stopped them before it could escalate.
Duel in Fire Fountain City
Victor: Team Avatar
After Aang and Sokka went to rescue Katara and Toph from the Fire Fountain City prison, they were attacked by Combustion Man. They were able to hold their own against him, but Aang eventually found himself trapped. Before Combustion Man could finish off Aang, he was attacked by Katara, who froze his head in ice. Team Avatar used the opportunity to flee the scene, but Combustion Man remained in hot pursuit. He used combustion yet again, but Toph blocked it, which incidentally sent a pebble toward Combustion Man, hitting his tattoo, blocking his chi. Combustion Man attempted to fire anyway, but was instead thrown backward.
Duel between Katara and Hama
Eager to learn traditional Southern waterbending style, Katara followed Hama into the fields. After learning several new moves, Hama led Katara into the woods beneath the full moon to teach her the ultimate technique of waterbending - bloodbending. Upon understanding the immoral extent of this technique, Katara refused to learn it and identified Hama as the one responsible for the missing villagers. Upon her refusal, Hama subdued Katara with bloodbending, lowering her to the ground. Though Hama flawlessly executed the technique, Katara proved to break free of her firm hold, drawing strength from the full moon herself.
The two began to trade quick water blasts, each in turn deflecting or redirecting the water thrown at their adversary, building in strength with each counterattack. After a quick trade-off of these blasts, Hama combined the water of two nearby trees, sending a massive wave back at Katara, though she was able to cease Hama's attack in its tracks. Noticing Hama's bewilderment over her prowess, Katara acted quickly and used waterbending to knock Hama down.
As Sokka and Aang showed up to aid Katara, Hama bloodbent the two and forced them to assault Katara. In order to prevent her friends from hurting her, Katara froze them to trees, though Hama broke their bonds and sent them flying toward each other, so Sokka would impale Aang with his sword. Desperate to save Aang, Katara bloodbent Hama, bringing an end to her control over the boys. Soon after Hama's defeat, villagers showed up and arrest her, leading her away, while Katara burst out in tears for having used a technique she deemed corrupt.
Battles during the Day of Black Sun
Battle in the underground bunker
During the invasion of the Fire Nation, Aang, Sokka, and Toph entered the Fire Lord's underground bunker in hopes of defeating Ozai. Much to their surprise, they instead came across Azula. They demanded that she tells them where the Fire Lord was, telling her that she was in no position to refuse, as the eclipse took away her firebending. She refused and Toph trapped her in an earth cone. Appearing to have broken out of the detainment, Azula informed them that she had brought back some souvenirs from Ba Sing Se - two Dai Li agents. Team Avatar chased Azula through the bunker, but, surprisingly, Azula proved an even foe even without her firebending. Throughout the battle, she used her acrobatic skills to dodge all of Team Avatar's attacks.
Eventually, Aang and Toph defeated the Dai Li agents. At this time, Sokka saw through Azula's ruse and told Aang and Toph to ignore her, as she was trying to stall them. Azula, however, was able to successfully manipulate Sokka's emotions by telling him that Suki used to mention him all the time, but soon gave up on him. Sokka attacked Azula in blind rage and Toph pinned her to a wall with earthbending. Sokka interrogated Azula, but she only gave him a smug look. When the eclipse ended, Azula attacked the three, almost killing Sokka, and willingly told them her father's location and that he would be more than happy to see them now and left.
Duel between Zuko and Ozai
During the Day of Black Sun, Zuko stepped into his father's secret chamber, right as the eclipse began. Holding his father at bay with dual broadswords, Zuko told Ozai that he had come to realize the wrongness of the Hundred Year War and announced his intention to join the Avatar. To keep Zuko from leaving, Ozai told him about the fate of his mother, stalling him long enough for the eclipse to end. At that point, Ozai generated lightning and fired it at Zuko. Zuko absorbed the lightning and redirected it back at his father, stunning him long enough to get away.
Attack on the Western Air Temple
Victor: Zuko and Team Avatar
Casualties: Combustion Man dies.
After expressing interest at joining Team Avatar, a newly converted Zuko is rejected, and he proceeded to leave the Western Air Temple. Later at night, he heard a figure in the woods, unbeknownst to him, it was Toph. Alarmed, he attacked with firebending, burning Toph's feet. Team Avatar later tended to her feet in a fountain, while Sokka planned an attack on Zuko. The gang was soon interrupted, however, when Combustion Man attacked. He would have successfully killed them at first shot, but Zuko was able to stop him, giving Team Avatar a warning to escape. Combustion Man soon blew Zuko off the edge of a roof, but he was able to hold onto a vine. Katara attempted to stop Combustion Man by shooting ice spikes at him, but he used his metal arm to destroy them. He continued to fire until Sokka threw his boomerang into the air at the angle of the assassin's blasts. The boomerang was successful at hitting Combustion Man right in his third eye, blocking his chi. Combustion Man ignored this and tried to fire again, but instead he caused a massive explosion, ultimately killing him.
Duel in the Western Air Temple
After the newly reformed Zuko had joined Team Avatar at the Western Air Temple, Sokka decided that it was time for the two to have a "swordbending kai" duel. Sokka's weapon was his Space Sword, while Zuko's weapons were his dual broadswords. Zuko showed his skepticism that Sokka could beat him because he revealed that Piandao trained Zuko himself when he was a child and stated that he thought he could take on a "beginner" like Sokka. The two were evenly matched until Zuko managed to knock Sokka down. Several matches passed and Zuko revealed he could defeat Sokka over and over again. Zuko stated that he was obviously better than Sokka, causing Sokka to attack Zuko. This attack was futile and Sokka's sword was knocked out of his hands. Sokka stared at Zuko and proceeded to smile. He attempted to throw his boomerang at Zuko, who dodged, saying boomerangs were not allowed in Swordbending. He tried to correct himself, and Sokka's boomerang hit Zuko in the back of the head. Aang said Zuko was correct: Sokka cheated, so Zuko won the match. Sokka said that Zuko won the battle of swords, but Sokka won the battle of words.
Duels at the Boiling Rock
Duel on the gondola
Victor: None; interrupted by prison guards
Zuko, Sokka, Suki, Chit Sang, and Hakoda were trapped in the Boiling Rock. In order to escape, they took the warden hostage and entered one of the prison's gondolas. While escaping, they soon found Azula and Ty Lee in hot pursuit of them. Ty Lee ran across the cable and onto the gondola, while Azula propelled herself onto the vehicle with firebending. Zuko and Sokka prepared to fight Azula, while Suki faced off against Ty Lee. Zuko and Sokka tried their best to defeat Azula, but she proved an even foe, with flames hurtling both ways. Ty Lee and Suki also battled evenly. The fight soon ended, however, when the warden told his guards to cut the line. Azula and Ty Lee made their way onto another gondola, leaving the five escapees to boil to death in the lake's scalding waters.
Duel by the gondola's line
As the guards were nearing completion in killing the escapees by cutting the line, Mai attacked them to save Zuko, much to the surprise of everyone. A battle ensued, where Mai showed great skill. She precisely pinned each guard to the wall, despite their firebending and released the gondola's cable and defeated the remaining guards, winning the fight, but at the same time losing Azula's alliance.
Duel between former friends
Victor: Ty Lee
Azula ordered the guards that held Mai to leave them alone in order to figure out what her former friend's motives were to defy her like that. Upon hearing Mai's statement that she "loved Zuko more than she feared her", Azula prepared to attack Mai with her lightning while Mai readied one of her shuriken. Before Azula could execute her attack, however, Ty Lee interfered by utilizing chi blocking to block Azula's chi and subsequently paralyzing her. Before Ty Lee and Mai could escape, they were surrounded by the gondola guards who apprehended and locked them up on Azula's orders.
Duel on the airship
As Team Avatar escaped from Princess Azula's attack on the Western Air Temple, Zuko went to confront Azula himself. He found her on top of one of the airship's command towers. Upon asking his sister about the purpose of her attack, she exclaimed that it was a celebration of her soon becoming an only child, attacking Zuko after with a furious blast of blue fire, barely missing. He attempted to defeat her, but could only destroy her command tower before he fell into an abyss. Azula was sure of her victory, but was proven wrong when Zuko came back on top of another airship. The two fought furiously, though this time Azula did not gain the upper hand, and each unleashed an extremely powerful blast of fire at the other, causing both of them to fall off the airship. Zuko was saved by Team Avatar, while Azula propelled herself to a cliff and used her headpiece to grapple onto the side.
Duel on the Southern Raider vessel
Victor: Katara and Zuko
When Katara set out to find the man who killed her mother, she and Zuko attacked the Southern Raiders' lead ship, in hopes of finding the man they believe is responsible. They were able to quickly overpower the ship's defenses, and they soon arrived at the ship's command center. There, the commander and Zuko exchanged fire blasts. Katara, however, subdued the commander with bloodbending, immobilizing him. Zuko interrogated him, though he denied being Kya's killer. Zuko, with assistance from Katara, furiously told him to look her into the eyes and honestly say that he was not responsible for Kya's death. The man met her gaze with sincere eyes, and Katara realized that he was not the man they were looking for and released him. Zuko, however, interrogated him to find out who was the previous captain, to which he stated that they were looking for Yon Rha, the real killer.
Duel by the beach house
Zuko, angered by his friends' apathetic attitude while on Ember Island three days prior to the arrival of Sozin's Comet, attacked Aang to teach him a lesson. Zuko chased Aang across the beach, blasting puffs of fire at him. The duel continued and moved into the beach house, where Aang ended the scuffle by blowing Zuko out of the beach house with a powerful gust of air.
Duels during Sozin's Comet
Duel in the Fire Nation airship
Sokka, Suki and Toph traveled to Ba Sing Se to launch an attack on the Fire Lord's airship fleet and participated in the battle at Wulong Forest. They boarded a Fire Nation airship. Toph knocked on the control room door and used metalbending to disable the soldiers and the Fire Nation airship captain, while Sokka and Suki waited outside. Toph made a metal suit of armor with the door and she easily defeated the crew of the airship, pinning them to the walls with metal.
Comet-Enhanced Agni Kai
- Main article: Comet-Enhanced Agni Kai
Zuko vs. Azula
Not knowing of his daughter's descent into insanity, Phoenix King Ozai decreed that Princess Azula was to become Fire Lord on the day of Sozin's Comet. As Azula was about to be coronated, Zuko and Katara arrived, intending for Zuko to become the new Fire Lord. Azula, knowing she can not take on the both of them, challenged Zuko to an Agni Kai. Zuko accepted, much to Katara's discomfort.
Zuko and Azula started their battle by blasting enormous amounts of flames at each other. At first, the duel was relatively even, though Azula's further descent into madness slowly allowed Zuko to gain the upper hand. Azula continued to try to kill Zuko by jetting around him and attacking him on all sides, but to no avail. Zuko got on the ground and created a fire tornado, knocking Azula to the ground and furthering her insanity even more.
Zuko proceeded to taunt Azula for being scared to use lightning, as Zuko could redirect it. Azula took the bait and generated a powerful bolt of lightning. At the last second, however, she aimed at Katara, who was vulnerable. Zuko jumped in front of the lightning to save her. However, he could not redirect all of the lightning, which caused him to be badly injured. Azula subsequently focused her attention on Katara.
Katara vs. Azula
Azula chased Katara across the arena. Katara ran for her life, barely escaping the huge bolts of lightning and blasts of blue fire coming her way. Azula furthered her chase of Katara by propelling herself in the air through the arena. Katara tried to stop her, but to no avail. Right when Katara's chances of survival seemed to be non-existent, Katara found an underground vent filled with water and chains on a pole. Azula eventually caught up to Katara and prepared to kill her. Right at the last second, Katara trapped herself and Azula in ice, thawed herself out, and tightly tied Azula to the vent with the chain. She finally unfroze the two of them and healed Zuko, while Azula watched in rage. Azula soon realized her defeat, crying and screaming hysterically, while Katara and Zuko watched in pity and grief.
Final duel in Wulong Forest
- Main article: Battle at Wulong Forest
Though hesitant to fight or kill, Aang waited for Phoenix King Ozai's airship as Ozai attempted to burn down the entire Earth Kingdom. When Ozai's airship finally arrived at the coast, Aang destroyed it using earthbending and comet enhanced firebending. Seeing Aang, Ozai took off his armor and propelled himself to a large rock, only yards away from Aang. Aang told Ozai that they do not have to fight, and that Ozai had the power to stop what he is doing. Ozai refused and attacked Aang. The two fought furiously, yet evenly. After a while, Ozai used lightning against Aang. Aang dodged as many as he could, but he was finally hit by one, leaving him with no choice but to redirect it. Hesitant to kill Ozai, Aang instead unleashed the bolt into the sky, leaving him in physical pain. Ozai took advantage of this and soon gained the upper hand. Aang soon found himself falling to his possible death, which he was barely able to escape by waterbending. He ended up washed up beside the lake and hid in a ball of earth. Ozai mocked him and his people for their peaceful nature and started to burn up Aang's earth ball. Ozai was eventually successful in destroying the ball. However, the force of the flame caused Aang's scar to smash into a rock, unlocking his seventh chakra and enabling him to enter the Avatar State.
Aang quickly overwhelmed Ozai with all his power. Ozai attempted to flee, but he was eventually captured by Aang. Right before Aang could kill Ozai, however, he left the Avatar State. Ozai exclaimed that Aang was still weak, even with all the power he had, and attempted to kill Aang again. Aang, however, sensed his movement through the earth and trapped Ozai's hands and feet to the ground. With his limbs immobilized, Ozai attempted to attack Aang with a fire breath, but the Avatar was able to block the attack with airbending.
Aang proceeded to use energybending, a bending art taught to him by a lion turtle, to take away Ozai's firebending. Surprised at the loss of his ability to firebend, Ozai angrily asked Aang what he did to him. Aang told Ozai that he took his bending away to remove him as a threat. Aang employed his Avatar level of waterbending to put out the forest fires Ozai and his men had created. Sokka, Toph, and Suki arrived shortly after to mock the now defeated Phoenix King. With Aang's victory, the Hundred Year War ended, leaving the world at peace once more.