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128px-Padlock-olive.svg Featured Fire Nation emblem
Ty Lee
泰麗
Ty Lee
Biographical information
Nationality

Fire Nation

Ethnicity

Fire Nation

Age
Born

85 AG

Physical description
Gender

Female

Hair color

Brown

Personal information
Allies

Mai, Azula (formerly), Zuko, Fire Nation circus, Suki, Sokka, Kyoshi Warriors, Iroh, Bosco, Team Avatar, more ...

Enemies

Azula, Team Avatar (formerly), Earth Kingdom (formerly)

Fighting style(s)

Chi blocking

Chronological and political information
Profession
  • Circus acrobat (formerly)
  • Kyoshi Warrior
Position
  • Chi blocking master
  • High class Fire Nation citizen
  • Imprisoned Fire Nation traitor (amnestied)
  • Kyoshi Warrior
Affiliation
  • Azula's team (formerly)
  • Fire Nation
  • Fire Nation circus (formerly)
  • Kyoshi Warriors
First appearance

"Return to Omashu"

Last appearance

The Search Part 1

Voiced by

Olivia Hack

Ty Lee was a cheerful and energetic teenage girl who hailed from the Fire Nation. As the daughter of a nobleman, she attended the Royal Fire Academy for Girls with her friends, Princess Azula and Mai. As a child, Ty Lee dealt with six sisters who shared identical appearances with her. This caused her to feel a loss of individuality, and led her to have a longing to be a unique, recognizable person, and a desire for attention from other people.[1] Because of this, after she matured, she ran away from her home and joined a Fire Nation circus, becoming a skilled acrobatic performer and gaining more personal attention.

Ty Lee was a formidable opponent at hand-to-hand combat, often utilizing chi blocking, a unique form of martial arts that attacks the pressure points located in the human body. By striking these, she was able to disrupt that individual's chi flow and temporarily paralyze them, removing their ability to use bending. Mai and Ty Lee were recruited by Princess Azula to hunt down and capture Prince Zuko and Iroh, and later, Avatar Aang and his friends.[4]

Mai later betrayed Azula to save Zuko's life. When the infuriated princess retaliated, Ty Lee defended Mai by paralyzing Azula, which led to her imprisonment, along with Mai.[5] While in prison, she met the Kyoshi Warriors for a second time, and befriended them. In return for teaching them how to block chi, they allowed her to join their group and were released from prison when the Hundred Year War ended. Later, Ty Lee adopted their makeup and clothes, effectively becoming part of a matched set once again.[6]

History

Early life

Young Ty Lee

Even at a young age, Ty Lee was very loyal to Azula.

Born into a Fire Nation noble family in 85 AG, Ty Lee was one of seven sisters. As a result, she constantly had to compete for attention, often feeling neglected by her surroundings. Nevertheless, she attended the prestigious Royal Fire Academy for Girls where she met Azula and Mai, with whom she developed a close friendship.[1][4] Due to her friendship with the Fire Nation princess, Ty Lee was allowed to play with Mai and Azula at the Fire Nation Royal Palace. During one of those outings, Ty Lee demonstrated her superior skills in acrobatics by performing a series of cartwheels and somersaults, techniques which Azula was unable to mimic. As a result, Ty Lee was pushed to the ground by a jealous Azula, who subsequently laughed at her. Despite her indignant reaction to the princess's behavior, Ty Lee happily went along with Azula's plan to humiliate Mai and Zuko, on whom Mai had a crush. After Azula orchestrated a situation in which Mai and Zuko fell into a fountain, Ty Lee teased the pair about being "cute" together.[7]

Spring 100 AG

A new task

Ty Lee during circus act

Ty Lee was intimidated by Azula into joining her in her search for Zuko and Iroh.

After Ty Lee ran away to join the circus, Azula tracked her down and attempted to recruit her to assist with the capture of the now-fugitive Zuko and Iroh. However, Ty Lee was at peace and happy with her lifestyle, claiming that her "aura [had] never been pinker!" Azula, in an ostensibly friendly gesture, informed Ty Lee that she would attend that night's performance before leaving, while Ty Lee seemed rather uneasy and nervous about this. During the performance, Azula ordered the ringmaster to set the net beneath the tightrope, on which Ty Lee was performing, ablaze and to release an assortment of dangerous animals, heightening the danger that Ty Lee would be in if she were to fall.

Afterward, when Azula told her she was looking forward to the next day's show, Ty Lee informed Azula that she would not be performing, due to the fact that "the universe [was] giving [her] strong hints that it [was] time for a career change." When Mai later asked her about the circus being her calling, Ty Lee noted that "Azula called a little louder." She accompanied Mai and Azula when they made a hostage trade, exchanging King Bumi for Tom-Tom, Mai's younger brother. After Mai called off the trade at Azula's suggestion, she handled herself well in the ensuing battle, using her chi blocking to disable Katara's waterbending. She and Mai were eventually defeated when Appa knocked them off the platform on which they had been battling. When they were leaving the city, Ty Lee gently teased Mai once again about her affections for Zuko, noting that it would be "interesting" for Mai to see him again.[4]

Pursuing Team Avatar

Ty Lee's evasiveness

During a duel by the Nan Shan River, Ty Lee jumped from tree to tree to get Katara.

Ty Lee, Mai, and Azula pursued Aang and his companions shortly after their confrontation at Omashu. When Sokka and Katara split from the Avatar, Ty Lee and Mai were charged with tracking down the siblings. The two overwhelmed them easily, but they were promptly sent flying into a river by an air blast from Appa. Once out of the water, Ty Lee commented, "Was it just me, or was that guy kind of cute?" in reference to Sokka.[8]

Ty Lee, Mai, and Azula oversaw the attempt to breach the walls of the Earth Kingdom capital, Ba Sing Se. When the Terra Team was sent out to slow the drill, Azula ordered Mai and Ty Lee to deal with them. With the help of her companion, Ty Lee made quick work of the team, blocking their chi and rendering them disabled. Later, when Aang, Katara, and Sokka were found sabotaging the drill, Ty Lee once again acknowledged Sokka particularly, this time sending him a flirtatious look, to which Sokka responded with some light flirting of his own. When Azula sent Mai and Ty Lee after the fleeing siblings, Ty Lee followed them into the slurry waste pipeline. However, Katara and Toph bent the water and rock mixture, using it to plug up the waste tunnel while Ty Lee was trapped in it, thus thwarting her attempt to catch them. During this, Katara was presumably embittered toward Ty Lee because of her ability to impair bending and aggressively insulted Ty Lee, calling her a "circus freak". After the drill was destroyed, Ty Lee was launched out of the pipeline by the build-up of pressure and slammed into a rock platform, but was more or less unharmed.[9]

Fall of Ba Sing Se

Ty Lee and Sokka

Ty Lee remarked playfully how cute Sokka was before their duel during the Coup of Ba Sing Se.

After the defeat of the drill, Ty Lee played a minor role and only reappeared when helping Azula attack Suki and the other Kyoshi Warriors. During the battle, she showed concern over her physical appearance when she remarked that she and her friends were more attractive than the warriors they were fighting.[10]

After Team Avatar departed from Ba Sing Se, Earth King Kuei gave an audience to three impostor Kyoshi Warriors, who were later revealed to be Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee in disguise. The girls used their false identities to aid their infiltration into the Earth Kingdom city, fooling both the Earth King and Team Avatar. Eventually, however, Katara rushed in with important news. She stated that Zuko and Iroh had entered the city, to which Azula responded that she would be sure to let the Earth King know. Katara quickly saw her gold eyes, recognizing them as Azula's, and prepared to attack the group. However, Ty Lee suddenly attacked Katara with a chi block, therefore allowing the trio to easily capture her.[11]

After a successful coup against the government of the Earth Kingdom orchestrated by Azula, Ty Lee remarked playfully how cute Sokka was. While fighting Sokka, she claimed it was as if they were dancing. Ty Lee was last seen trying to teach the Earth King's bear, Bosco, how to do a handstand. While in the process of doing this, Toph earthbent her hands and feet to the floor, rendering her immobile.[12]

Summer 100 AG

Ember Island

Charming Ty Lee

A boy's vision upon first seeing Ty Lee.

Ty Lee and her friends vacationed for a short time at Lo and Li's beach house on Ember Island. At the beach, Ty Lee soon found herself being approached by a boy who helped her unpack and stood over her to provide her with shade. Not long after, another boy came with a seashell to present to Ty Lee as a gift. In no time at all, Ty Lee was surrounded by many admirers. During a kuai ball match, she attracted the attention of two boys, Chan and Ruon-Jian, who invited Ty Lee and Mai, and more reluctantly, Azula and Zuko, to a party that night.[1]

During the party, Ty Lee was surrounded by the boys from the beach and many others and was forced to paralyze them with chi blocking to escape the crowd. Seeing this, Azula called Ty Lee a "tease" and said that none of the boys really cared about her. Ty Lee immediately started crying, clearly upset, and Azula hurriedly apologized and confided that she said those things because she was actually a little jealous of Ty Lee's popularity. Azula asked Ty Lee how to make boys like her and Ty Lee admitted that boys might be intimidated by Azula. Ty Lee advised her friend to act as if she was interested in whatever the boy was saying and to laugh frequently. Zuko was later kicked out of the party and Mai, Azula, and Ty Lee came down to the beach to find Zuko.[1] After starting a campfire, Zuko mocked Ty Lee as a "circus freak". She subsequently revealed tearfully that she had six sisters who looked identical to her and that she had gone to the circus to have individuality. Because of her experiences, "circus freak" was a term she regarded as a compliment. Mai replied that the reason Ty Lee craved so much attention was because she received so little as a child.[1]

The group subsequently began to open up to one another. With all their secrets revealed, the heaviness between the four seemed to vanish. Ty Lee commented that she would remember that night forever and that Lo and Li were correct about the beach's ability to reveal people's true selves. To celebrate their revelations, Azula decided on a fitting end to their night – the four later headed back to Chan's party, trashing the house and leaving it a ransacked mess. Together, the four of them forged their own memory of the place, uniting as friends for the first time in years.[1]

Captured at the Boiling Rock

Mai and Ty Lee arrested

Ty Lee was arrested after she had betrayed Azula to save Mai.

Ty Lee made another appearance when she assisted Azula at the Boiling Rock maximum-security prison. She and Azula confronted Sokka, Suki, Zuko, Hakoda, and Chit Sang, a firebending prisoner. Suki, well aware of Ty Lee's chi blocking techniques by this point, took great care to evade her attacks. When the guards were about to cut the line on the gondola in which Suki, Hakoda, Sokka, and Zuko were escaping, Ty Lee and Azula, who were dueling the escapees, jumped onto a passing gondola. Immediately after this, Ty Lee wore an unsure and anxious look on her face – either for Sokka, hinting that she may still have had some feelings for him, or for Zuko, her old childhood friend.

Back at the Boiling Rock, she saw Mai double-cross the Fire Nation guards. After some tension and an argument between Azula and Mai, the two prepared to attack each other. Azula was getting ready to attack Mai when Ty Lee turned against her as well, attacking her by blocking her chi and paralyzing her to protect Mai. Ty Lee quickly urged her dumbfounded friend to leave the scene, but they were arrested before they were able to flee. Azula ordered the guards to lock the two away and "leave them there to rot", not wanting to be in their presence ever again as a punishment for their unfaithfulness.[5] These events severely weakened Azula's mental state and played a part in her eventual defeat and nervous breakdown at the hands of Zuko and Katara.[6]

Release from prison

Ty Lee as a Kyoshi Warrior

After joining the Kyoshi Warriors, Ty Lee happily greeted Team Avatar.

While in prison, Ty Lee met and befriended her old enemies, the Kyoshi Warriors. Ty Lee gave them some lessons in chi blocking, which led to their bonding. After they were let out of prison, the Kyoshi Warriors allowed Ty Lee to join them. She last appeared on Fire Lord Zuko's coronation day in a Kyoshi Warrior uniform, elated to be a part of the warrior team.[6] Sokka became hysterical, initially believing that Ty Lee was impersonating a Kyoshi Warrior again, but they explained their bonding while in prison, which proved to be enough to calm him.

After the Hundred Year War

Kyoshi Warriors as Zuko's bodyguards

Ty Lee and Suki served as Zuko's bodyguards.

A year after the end of the Hundred Year War, Mai asked Ty Lee and the rest of the Kyoshi Warriors to protect the Fire Nation Royal Palace after an attempt by Kori to murder Fire Lord Zuko. The first night they were standing guard, Zuko woke up in the middle of the night and went outside. Suki and Ty Lee assured him that it had been quiet all night. Zuko apologized, saying that he did trust the Kyoshi Warriors as the best guardsmen in the world, to which Ty Lee cheerfully answered "guardswomen, you mean!"[13]

Ty Lee chi blocking insane Azula

Ty Lee chi blocked Azula to protect Zuko.

After the resolution of the conflict in Yu Dao, Ty Lee and Suki were tasked to keep an eye on Azula and Ozai when they were placed into adjoining cells in order to facilitate conversation about Ursa's whereabouts. When Zuko entered Azula's cell and was subsequently attacked by his sister, Ty Lee did not hesitate to chi block her former friend, incapacitating her from further action. Azula recognized her and started asking nonsensically how "she", referring to Ursa, managed to turn the fear Ty Lee and Mai had for her, though Ty Lee brushed it aside, saying that she was not making any sense. After they all left the cell as requested, Ty Lee admitted that Azula was wrong, as she had never stopped fearing Azula.

Ty Lee later greeted Team Avatar when they arrived at the Fire Nation Royal Palace, and saw them off the next day as they took Zuko and Azula to Hira'a to track down Ursa. She stayed behind with Suki to act as guards to Iroh, who agreed to assume temporary control of the Fire Nation.[14]

Personality

Ty Lee upside down

Ty Lee had a sweet and bubbly personality.

Ty Lee was bubbly and outgoing, yet slightly airheaded. She was a direct contrast to Azula's cruelty and Mai's constant torpor. She took delight in her acrobatic abilities, never missing an opportunity to show them off, and often craved attention and recognition, a result of her upbringing as part of an identical set of seven sisters. These attention issues also caused her to be a bit of a flirt, which is also why, according to Mai, she needed the affection of multiple boyfriends.[1]

Ty Lee showed a strong sense of loyalty to her friends, Mai and Azula. Despite her obvious differences from Mai, she had a deep respect for her, and they often made an effective fighting duo, teaming up numerous times in the series. Ever since childhood, Ty Lee also considered Azula as a friend, but as she got older, that loyalty seemed to have been out of fear of the princess. When she first refused Azula's request that she join her search for the traitorous Zuko, Azula persuaded Ty Lee by endangering her life during a circus performance. For some time, she never disobeyed Azula's orders. However, her breaking point came at last at the Boiling Rock, during Azula's attempted murder of her own brother and Ty Lee's childhood friend, Zuko. When the rope holding Zuko's gondola was about to be cut, potentially sending Zuko along with several prisoners and friends plummeting to their deaths, Ty Lee showed concern while Azula smirked next to her. After Mai helped Zuko and his friends escape the prison, Azula threatened her life. Seeing Mai in the face of Azula's terrible rage and fearing for Mai's safety, Ty Lee attacked Azula, ending up in jail but finally conquering her own fears and taking a stand against her "friend" after months of obedience.[5]

Ty Lee was known not to hold grudges against her enemies despite their encounters on the battlefield. This was evidenced by her eventual bond with the Kyoshi Warriors, whose confinement she was partially responsible for.[10] She was able to establish a fairly strong friendship with the group while they were imprisoned together.[6] She also showed affection for Sokka, despite having fought him under the orders of Azula.

She was known to be close to animals. In Ba Sing Se, she was seen teaching Bosco acrobatic moves before Toph earthbent her to the ground.[12]

Ty Lee often came off as superficial, which was demonstrated for the first time when she affirmed her beauty to a Kyoshi Warrior[10] and a second time when she warned her friends about the negative energy of their serious conversation, which she said would give them acne.[1] However, whenever a true test of character came up, Ty Lee proved herself to be much deeper than people gave her credit for.[5]

Abilities

Agility

Ty Lee's acrobatics

Ty Lee used her agility to her advantage in a game of kuai ball.

Ty Lee was extraordinarily agile. Even as a child, she was able to execute mid-air somersaults and cartwheels that surpassed even Azula. As she grew up, her agility continued to improve, commonly seen walking around in a headstance on just her fingers. She later developed remarkable acrobatic abilities, which allowed her to join the Fire Nation circus and perform high-wire acts with balance and grace. People traveled for miles to see her perform.[15] Because of this, she was fast and agile in battle, able to outmaneuver almost any opponent she came across and jump exceptionally high and far even from a stationary position. Her abilities allowed her to dodge the attacks of dozens of powerful earthbenders, who were unable to land a hit on her.[9] She was also limber; able to twist, bend, and contort herself into positions nearly impossible for an ordinary person to achieve. These abilities also granted her impressive parkour and free-running skills, allowing her to scale almost any surface or terrain quickly and squeeze through most barriers and small spaces with noticeable ease.

Chi blocking

Ty Lee chi blocking Sokka and Toph

Ty Lee blocked Sokka's and Toph's chi.

Another of Ty Lee's defining abilities was her mastery of pressure-point-striking martial arts, or chi blocking. With her extensive knowledge of the human body, she could strike sequences of pressure points, immobilizing her enemies to various degrees. She had the ability to paralyze a single body part or an opponent's entire body. This technique allowed her to block certain chi paths in benders to compromise their abilities. This made her especially dangerous to benders who relied solely on their bending and possessed no secondary fighting skills. She was so powerful that outside the walls of Ba Sing Se, she was able to defeat dozens of powerful earthbenders within seconds.[9] However, if her target had faced her before or was expecting her attacks, the effectiveness of her chi blocking decreased as her opponent took measures to prevent her from using the technique. After fighting her before, Suki was able to avoid her attacks at the Boiling Rock,[5] and Katara[8] and Sokka[12] were also able to effectively counter her when facing her again. She took Azula by surprise when she was about to strike Mai because, although the princess was familiar with Ty Lee's fighting style, she had never faced her as an opponent.[5] While Ty Lee was imprisoned with the Kyoshi Warriors she had mentioned that she gave them "a few chi blocking lessons" and in return she was allowed to join the group.

Relationships

Main article: Ty Lee's relationships

Appearances

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book Two: Earth (土)

Book Three: Fire (火)

Avatar comics

Book Two: Earth (土)

Book Three: Fire (火)

Graphic novel trilogies

Trivia

  • Ty Lee is the first known character to have more than one identical sibling, as she has six identical sisters.
  • In the Taiwanese dub, Ty Lee's name is written as 泰麗, meaning "calm and beautiful".
  • As shown in "The Chase" and stated by "Avatar Extras", when Ty Lee uses her chi blocking on a nonbender, it causes their body parts to go limp and makes them unable to move.
  • Ty Lee appeared to have a crush on Sokka, as she mentioned that Sokka was cute.[8] When she, Mai and Azula found Aang, Sokka and Katara, she said, "Azula, you were right — it is the Avatar ... and friends", directing the last part of the comment toward Sokka as her look grew more flirtatious.[9] Later, when confronting Sokka in the Earth King's throne room, she cheerfully described their fight as dancing.[12]
  • Though arrested at the Boiling Rock, Ty Lee was not held there, as she bonded with the Kyoshi Warriors in prison and only Suki was held at the Boiling Rock.
  • Ty Lee was the second known outsider to join the Kyoshi Warriors, Sokka being the first. She was also the first known Fire Nation native to join them.
  • Ty Lee was one of the few natives of the Fire Nation that did not have black hair or golden eyes.
  • According to "Avatar Extras", Ty Lee was described as the Avatar version of a Valley Girl.
  • In the non-canonical "School Time Shipping" episode, Ty Lee was shown to have some attraction to Haru.
  • Ty Lee went to the circus because she did not feel different among her six identical sisters. Ironically, by the end of the series, she joined the Kyoshi Warriors, who all dress and look alike, differentiating only by each girl having their own personal hair accessory.
  • Ty Lee's chi blocking fighting style is strikingly similar to Gentle Fist, the fighting style of the Hyūga clan from the popular manga/anime series Naruto; both use martial arts to block a person's chi, although the Hyūga clan's style involves blocking the chakra flow in the person.
  • Ty Lee claimed to be able to see people's auras. For example, she said her own aura was pink, whereas Mai's was dingy, pasty, and gray.[1]
  • Ty Lee was the only person in the series that Azula ever apologized to.[1]
  • Ty Lee's pink, acrobatic outfit symbolized her bubbly demeanor and optimistic outlook on life.[16]
  • Ty Lee was the first person shown in the series to use chi blocking.

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Mattila, Katie (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (October 19, 2007). "The Beach". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
  2. "EXCLUSIVE: Yang Continues 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' in The Search". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved on June 25, 2012.
  3. Casey, Dan (2013-03-20). "Comic Book Day: Join 'The Search' with Gene Luen Yang". Nerdist. Retrieved on April 27, 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (April 7, 2006). "Return to Omashu". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (July 16, 2008). "The Boiling Rock, Part 2". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 15. Nickelodeon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 21. Nickelodeon.
  7. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (May 12, 2006). "Zuko Alone". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (May 26, 2006). "The Chase". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (September 15, 2006). "The Drill". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 13, 2006). "Appa's Lost Days". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  11. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & DiMartino, Michael Dante (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Crossroads of Destiny". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  13. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Promise Part 1 (January 25, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  14. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Search Part 1 (March 20, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.
  15. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
  16. Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Art of the Animated Series, page 92.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Ty Lee

  • Why is Ty Lee so hot?

    139 messages
    • Pheonixking3000 wrote:Back when ATLA was still airing new episodes, Toph to me was the most beautiful girl in the entire series.  I had a h...
    • But do you know how old the people posting here are?
  • Azula vs. Tylee

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