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Question: Is Azula capable of redemption and if so, will it happen?
Yes, but won't change - 61 (24.7%)
Yes and will do something good - 103 (41.7%)
No - 83 (33.6%)
Total Voters: 247

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Author Topic: Azula and Evil... Redemption?  (Read 277588 times)
Jintor
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« on: Sep 28, 2007 07:59 pm »

Ok, it's come to my attention that Azula is the 'ultimate evil' of the Avatarverse, or at least presented that way (Ozai mebbe but we haven't seen enough of him to find out). Let's see - she backstabed Zuko, spewed venom and hatred at him, staged a coup'de'etat (Spelling?) on the Dai Li and on Ba Sing Se, lightninged the Avatar, who is balance, and has generally being a snarky b***h to everyone in the series, even when young. (What is wrong with that girl?)

But here's the question. Is Azula ultimately evil? Is she just super-patriotic and fire-nation worthy, or is she scheming to take the throne from under her father? Is she simply playing with Zuko's brains, or does she genuinely have his best interests at heart?

I realise it definately sways towards ultimate evil because, you know, it's a kids show (ultimately) and it needs to have a Big Bad who is definately the big bad, and also because of the creepy brainwash music that plays whenever Azula speaks. But how weird would it be if after all this shizz it turned out she really did give a damn about Zuko?



Minor mod edit -- Added "Redemption?" to the title of the thread.  ~SMBH
« Last Edit: Dec 27, 2007 12:09 am by SMBH » Logged

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bumi3
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 15, 2007 03:57 am »

Now some say that she cannot show companion whatsoever. However I highly doubt this. I think it is in her to show caring feelings. However, I think that these feelings either come out when she has nothing better to do, is planning something, or just care about whomever.

I do not know why, but I kind of wish I was her husband. It will probably be like an adventure, as she will probably only want a husband for appearances and since the Fire Nation maybe a little bit sexist about a women taking the thrown, she may need one just so the Fire Nation doesn't get on her back.

However if I was her husband, I will probably soon expect that she maybe planning to kill me when she doesn't need me. Hopefully I will be rescued by Zuko, Ty Lee, and Mai. Where I would get together with Ty Lee, seeing how Zuko is taken by Mai.
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Waking _Dreamer
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 15, 2007 04:45 am »

Okay, I maybe being idealistic but I dont think Azula is the "ultimate evil". She is definitely very ambitious but also simply misguided. In the episode The Beach everyone will be able to see the Ozai's Angels when not in the "take over the world" mode and how they are with their hair down figuratively (and literally based on the concepts in the S3 trailer). This will be especially important for Mai and Azula who at the moment many think to be '"emotionless" and "evil to the core" respectively. Wink

Ive asked this before, and I found myself to be in the minority but I thought there was an amount of sincereness when she warned Zuko about his visits to Iroh. Whether she knows it or not, there was genuine concern for him at the moment...maybe....just very deep, and very hidden.  Shocked  Huh

Or maybe I just think it would be funny to see the banter between Zuko and Azula when they're older, where after the Fire Lord Zuko would address a room full of generals or the fire nation people as they walk back she would roll her eyes and playfully annoy her "Zuzu" with the use of 'dumb-dumb" in the comment.  Roll Eyes   Cheesy
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Metal.Ikaa
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 15, 2007 05:41 am »

I think she`s less evil and more a complete sociopath (i don`t really like this term, but it seems to fit best here). As we have seen trough out the series, most of the generals/commanders and other commanding warriors types act by some sort of a "code", there are some things they simply don`t do because it`s just not... well, not accepted i guess. Of course there are a few exceptions, like Zhao, who was just plain nuts, but mostly this holds true. Azula is simply beyond that. She`s ruthless and nothing seems to be taboo to her.

Thats, in my opinion, why she seems so very evil.
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Wraith
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 15, 2007 08:03 am »

I'm hoping for more character development for Azula (and all Ozai's angels) in terms of what she is like in her 'down time'. How does she act when she isn't hunting the Avatar, conquering the Earth Kingdom, or playing Zuzu like a fine-tuned fiddle? I think it would provide alot of insight as to whether she DOES have some redeeming qualities and just chooses never to express them, or if has a mental illness and is incapable of caring, 'good' emotions.

Maybe The Beach will provide this development, along with some delicious eye-candy  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 15, 2007 02:20 pm »

I don't see why people think that Azula will redeem herself. I think it's clear that while her motives aren't too clear, you still know one thing: She wants that throne.
Or make Daddy happy, or Zuko miserable.
Either way, she's not a nice person in my opinion. I don't think she ever will.
 
I kind of like Azula. I don't think I'd be hanging out with her, going shopping or anything (I'd probably pee myself eventually), but she is an interesting character because her plots are fun to speculate on.
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bico
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 15, 2007 03:24 pm »

I don't know about "ultimate evil."  She's no more evil than any ridiculously good looking, rich, shallow, teenage girl.  I've known several in my time who would get along great with her.

She may be "irredeemable" now, but the thing about kids her age is that they actually grow up.  She may end up confined for a bit after the war ends (juvie for war criminals?), but maybe she'll eventually learn something.
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Deumus
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 18, 2007 09:17 pm »

ok you want to see how evil,tis girl truly is watch The Storm again and watch closely when Iroh turns away when zuko gets burned next to him is azula leaning forward smiling and generally being the incarnation of evil. I highly recommend the clip.

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thefirstairbender
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 18, 2007 10:52 pm »

the one thing i don't understand yet is how azula seems to be ruthless and show no sympathy
but she has the lightning bending abilities.

iroh said it is the purest form of firebending but without aggresion, it is supposed to be peace of mind and it is fueled balance not emotions.

and it seems pretty obvious that azula is completely unbalanced, so how the heck is she able to pull it off.
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Redthorn
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 18, 2007 10:57 pm »

Quote
ok you want to see how evil,tis girl truly is watch The Storm again and watch closely when Iroh turns away when zuko gets burned next to him is azula leaning forward smiling and generally being the incarnation of evil. I highly recommend the clip.

You mean this one?




Quote
and it seems pretty obvious that azula is completely unbalanced, so how the heck is she able to pull it off.

One of the interesting things studies have shown about sociopaths is that under conditions that most people would find stressful (would cause tension, sweating, and so on), they have no response or even calm down. Sociopaths are pretty much "null" emotionally -- they lack true empathy and very little upsets them, so they have no inhibitions on their behavior because their own minds never make them feel "bad". 

So Azula's control could be excellent -- and is. Nothing upsets her. She's cool even when she should be upset (like watching her brother get humiliated and tortured by Daddy.)
« Last Edit: Oct 18, 2007 11:01 pm by Redthorn » Logged

candycane
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 18, 2007 11:05 pm »

Azula is crazy. She was like that since she was little and she enjoys seeing other people suffer and in pain. I can't see them redeeming her realistically in this show because I don't think she has the capacity to change.   She feels nothing for others and manipulates other without a second thought. She's definitely sick in the head. I don't see how she could be redeemed. She's a whacko.
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 18, 2007 11:10 pm »

That's the point. She has neither sympathy nor empathy, and very little regard for others' physical and emotional well-being. Basically, she is uber powerful, but without the emotional, human part restraining her and keeping her grounded. Aggression is fueled by emotion, hatred, anger, to be exact, but Azula doesn't feel those things, not like we do. If she has to kill somebody, she won't be conflicted because it's wrong, she will have peace of mind, because if she wants to kill someone, it'll just be another thing that she has to do, like brushing her teeth or something.

She's like a killer robot.

So basically what Redthorn said.
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Grate Oracle Lewot
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 19, 2007 12:31 pm »

Based solely on what I've seen of Azula in the show, I think she's a sociopath... and not a very nice one. She is a very good actor, however, and can portray kind emotions when they're needed. She may not be the root of all evil or anything like that, but she's basically the most evil character on the show... I say "basically" because we haven't seen hardly anything of Ozai. If I knew more about him, I could judge her better.
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 19, 2007 12:54 pm »

Well based on the summary for "The Beach" I have a feeling a totally different side of Azula will be seen. One where she wont be "world domination and power etc."...umm...well maybe that will still be there...but in a different way. In a way that will actually bring a smile to your face and not fear for your life.  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 19, 2007 01:33 pm »

Fear for my life? I love Azula and trust me I've been around people like her aka my mom. jk I love her but I remember doing a comparison to her and Azula. I said "Mom your just like Azula, pretty, evil and a perfectionist". She turns to me and says "I'm not a perfectionist", meaning she agrees with the other two statements.
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Faythdream
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 19, 2007 02:10 pm »

Was Alexander the Great evil? Or Caesar? Napoleon? Ghenkis Khan? Hitler (well...maybe Hitler). These great conquerers were simply ambitious, powerful men who had the power and charisma to unite countless people under them either by loyalty or force- Azula is no different. She has unique skills that have developed early to make her an inherently governing presence, and given her position as a princess to a second megalomaniacal firebender it's only natural that she follow in her father's footsteps. Would Zuko have been the same way if he was the prodigy and received all of the doting attention of the Fire Nation Elite? Probably. Would that make him evil?
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ampulator
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« Reply #16 on: Oct 19, 2007 02:57 pm »

Evil is the wrong word. "Sociopath" is more like it. I would say Ozai and Sozin fit in the normal realm of "evil", but they still have obvious feelings. It was obvious Ozai cared about his son at one point in his life.

Rather, Azula is a sociopath. Using "evil" is point the wrong direction.
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Redthorn
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 19, 2007 03:56 pm »

Quote
Was Alexander the Great evil? Or Caesar? Napoleon? Ghenkis Khan? Hitler (well...maybe Hitler). These great conquerers were simply ambitious, powerful men who had the power and charisma to unite countless people under them either by loyalty or force

It's tough to compare a person from around 300 BC to Napoleon or Hitler, really. If you're going to try to just compare their level of "evil" I think the only way you can do it is to compare the end results of their efforts -- did their conquests result in a more stable/peaceful life for the the lands they conquered than before they came? Were they builders as well as destroyers?  Alexander's conquests did a lot to bring order to areas that were degenerating into anarchy due to the weakening of the Persian empire, and he did a lot of building and wanted to bring the best of Persian culture to Greece and vice-versa, and mostly succeeded. This doesn't mean he didn't cause a lot of death with his warring, but for the time he was a relatively enlightened ruler. Destruction wasn't his goal, and for the most part he built/saved more than he destroyed. Alexander probably doesn't count as evil.

Hitler, on the other hand, didn't build anything except death camps, and aside from getting Germany out of an economic depression by building up a huge war economy (well, that's ONE way to do it) he didn't do anything to improve the lives of anyone in the places he conquered, and he left no positive legacy of any kind. Like Stalin, his "leadership" was devastating to his own country and to all the countries he touched. So yeah, he was evil.   

To bring this back to Avatar, you would have to ask the question -- has anyone in any of the lands conquered by the Fire Nation benefited from it? Certainly not the Air Nomads -- they're gone. Doesn't look like the Water Tribe has gotten anything out of it either. The Earth Kingdom might potentially gain something from the Fire Nation technology, but so far all we've seen is Fire Nation colonials taking Earth Kingdom land (although the colonials appeared to be getting along fine with the locals in "Jet", which is interesting.)  The Fire Nation obviously has some positive things to share with the other nations, but the sharing doesn't seem to be happening.  So I don't see any positive aspects to this war at all -- no increase in order and prosperity, no technological advancements for the conquered nations. Thus, Sozin/Azulon/Ozai are evil, at least judged as conquerors.

What would Azula do if she were on the throne of the Fire Nation, then? Would she be a conqueror who would rule conquered nations with a fair (if strict) hand and give them the benefits of Fire Nation citizenship, develop their economy and tech and eventually improve their lives and the lives of their descendants? Or would she just kill all the locals to make room for Fire Nation people, strip the countries of all their resources solely for the gain of the Fire Nation, and withhold everything good the Fire Nation has from the conquered people? I kind of lean toward the latter as being more likely -- I don't see Azula as being capable of nation-building, or of wanting a positive legacy to leave after her. She just likes crushing people.  So yeah, I'd have to put her closer to Hitler (at this point) than to Alexander, though of course since she's not in charge she hasn't actually had a chance to DO anything close to Hitler's scale yet.

I will say that her takeover of Ba Sing Se was tactically impressive -- very nearly bloodless. She didn't have to mow down a huge number of Earth Nation soldiers to seize the city.  If you look at it this way, Iroh's siege of the place probably cost a lot more lives than Azula's takeover-from-within (including, of course, Lu Ten's, probably.) Of course we don't know what will happen to the civilians of Ba Sing Se now that Ozai's in charge. Maybe they'll be massacred and buried in mass graves, in which case it really doesn't matter how bloodless Azula's conquest was.
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Faythdream
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« Reply #18 on: Oct 19, 2007 05:20 pm »

Lol, somehow I doubt a show on Nickelodeon would air scenes where people are slaughtered and thrown into mass graves, but good points about Azula: how one leaves the areas they conquer, whether in chaos or peace, determines greatly whether they were a "good" or "evil" conqueror.
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« Reply #19 on: Oct 19, 2007 05:26 pm »

Was Alexander the Great evil? Or Caesar? Napoleon? Ghenkis Khan? Hitler (well...maybe Hitler).

I don't think we can define anyone of these ,or anyone in the history, as evil.
Because the term "evil" is too abstract, ideal and even poetic to exist in the real world. But since Avatar is a cartoon show, and in most cartoon shows we have ideal evils, i think we can define her as evil without digging through her personality. (Avatar is a deep cartoon, but still not that deep) 
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« Reply #20 on: Oct 19, 2007 05:50 pm »

Azula's the personified meaning of Hatred and Hell.

She stabed her uncle in the chest for christ sake.
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« Reply #21 on: Oct 19, 2007 06:30 pm »


Based solely on what I've seen of Azula in the show, I think she's a sociopath... and not a very nice one. She is a very good actor, however, and can portray kind emotions when they're needed. She may not be the root of all evil or anything like that, but she's basically the most evil character on the show... I say "basically" because we haven't seen hardly anything of Ozai. If I knew more about him, I could judge her better.
*Applause for the Hitchhikers' Guide reference*

This is fun. I'd love to see Azula on a Psychoanalyst's couch - except she'd probably barbeque the Doc if she got mad.

Azula  is a sociopath. She may be a psychopath. She reminds me of this guy:

 "...Socially, Bundy remained shy and introverted throughout some of his high school and early college years. He would later say that he "hit a wall" in high school and that he was unable to understand social behavior, stunting his social development. He maintained a facade of social activity, but he had no natural sense of how to get along with other people: "I didn't know what made things tick. I didn't know what made people want to be friends. I didn't know what made people attractive to one another. I didn't know what underlay social interactions..."

Sounds like Azula, a bit, yes? Ted Bundy was attractive, could be charming and managed to lure his victims by various ruses that let them think he was trustworthy (police officer) or harmless (injured in a cast).
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« Reply #22 on: Oct 19, 2007 06:54 pm »

I think people will have some very interesting things to say about this after tonight's episode... I'll wait till then, since I have quite a few thoughts on the matter now...
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« Reply #23 on: Oct 19, 2007 07:03 pm »

One of my beefs with Azula's character is how seemingly evil to the core she is. I haven't seen "The Beach" yet, so maybe after that my opinion will change, but she does seem to lack a certain degree of humanity. She's supposed to be what, a fourteen year old girl? I'm just not sure if anyone her age could be capable of her actions. Then again, she's hasn't been raised in the best, most loving environment (Ozai's her father after all), and that has to have had a negative affect on how she interacts with the world. I can justify why she is the way she is based on that, but I still feel like there's something missing, like there's some defining moment in her childhood that really set her on this path that we haven't seen yet.

I guess I haven't decided if she really is evil yet. If why she is the way she is isn't more developed by the end of the season, then yes, I'd say she's pretty evil, because I don't know what her motivations are beyond wanting power and control. But if we are given some reason beyond her dad's craziness, then I'd say she's not evil, just a very misguided and confused teenager.
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« Reply #24 on: Oct 19, 2007 11:21 pm »

I have no idea what to think anymore after seeing "The Beach." Azula herself thinks she's a monster, and yet here we saw her attempt to do some not-so-monstrous things. I... just don't know, now.
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