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Question: Is Azula capable of redemption and if so, will it happen?
Yes, but won't change - 63 (25.1%)
Yes and will do something good - 105 (41.8%)
No - 83 (33.1%)
Total Voters: 251

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Author Topic: Azula and Evil... Redemption?  (Read 342438 times)
Urmom666
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« Reply #6125 on: Dec 29, 2018 06:08 pm »

I think it depends on how much she redeems herself. If she becomes a neutral/gray character, I don’t think it would be as big of a deal. Zuko on the other hand is currently a straight up good guy and I don’t see Azula making it that far
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Loopy
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« Reply #6126 on: Dec 30, 2018 03:25 pm »

Sokka: Sorry, I can't give you the award. Zuko's points are still higher than yours.

Azula: WHAT THE KOH YOU PEASANT TRASH?! I literally ate babies when I was a baddie and now I buy premium diapers for homeless babies!! Zuzu was barely even bad when you first met him and now he still tries to kill Aang whenever they have a disagreement!

Sokka: True. (Probably. I don't know if anyone ever verified the baby thing.) But in this game, we don't award points for distance covered. We award points for style. And Zuko has the symbolic scar thing going. You still do your hair up the same way as when you were (allegedly) eating babies.

Azula: ********* you and your ***************ing points!! ......er, I mean, I will pray for you, stupid peasant. Now excuse me, I need to go save some babies again.
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DanChaolan
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« Reply #6127 on: Dec 31, 2018 01:37 pm »

I do think anyone can redeem themselves, but it takes time, dedication and a genuine desire for change. One of the most controversial debates regarding Star Wars films (from what I witnessed, and Anakin did put more effort redeeming himself in the Expanded Universe after Episode VI) is as to whether or not Darth Vader has redeemed himself. The man has committed twenty-years worth of atrocities, clearly willing to kill anyone that would go against Sidious's ambitions, even children. Though at the end of Episode VI...

!!!Spoilers to Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi below!!!
...Darth Vader sacrificed his life to save his son by killing Darth Sidious.
!!!Spoilers to Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi above!!!!

I know it's silly to add a spoiler warning to a Star Wars movie from the Original Trilogy, but you never know what cave dweller might come into a cafe and is just getting into Star Wars who just happens to be an Avatar fan, you don't want to ruin the surprise for the poor dude. Anyway! Some believe that was his redemption he went against the man that led him into the dark, the man that puppeteered him, but others feel it's not enough. Personally, I see it as a first step. Darth Vader's redemption was premature, it's a big first step, though if that's all he did, then yeah, he'd need to do a bit more to earn it.

There are some good points made on this thread, it would seem Azula was brainwashed at a young age to be very devoted to the Fire Nation's cause. Some posts in this thread made a good case on that. Plus, if my sources are correct. (cough) https://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Azula (cough). She's only 14. She could very well be an 8th grader. Of course, she has time and room to improve herself. (In America, that's the school grade where the average ages are 13-14 and the final grade in middle school. High school has 9th grade, which we call the Freshman year and the average ages for that are 14-15).

Let's say she did a lot of similar things as an adult and even without brainwashing she is sadistic and sociopathic. I'll put it like this: It's not impossible to redeem her, but I wouldn't blame a hero killing her either. When I watched ATLA for a second time, I didn't mind Aang not wanting to kill Ozai. My problem and concerns were being if Aang was going to try to get him on the right path? Like is he going to to take the time to talk with him in prison? If he's just going to have him fed and rot, why even bother letting him live then? You are essentially killing him in the sense he's stabilized. I watched the third viewing with friends and proposed the same idea. One of them told me that Aang would still be in the right for both not trying to kill Ozai and not making the attempt to redeem him would have to do the deep passion on just the very idea of killing as a whole is corrupt as Aang's religion of course parallels with Buddhism which puts a high sacredness in life. In addition, there will still be political followers and advocates of Ozai and killing him would cause strife and corruption in the Fire Nation. Despite this, I do think Ozai can be redeemed, but considering the atrocities he and his father have caused, he is a threat to society, I don't blame anyone wanting him dead.

If Azula or Ozai were to redeem themselves, they'd have to, as I said, have the genuine desire to change themselves, which in part would mean they would have to do good things. Whether it be funding families' funerals, help rebuild destruction they caused and just overall anyway to make peace with the kingdoms they troubled and constantly maintaining that willingness. Of course, it's complicated as that would be seen as a front to gain their trust and then go and backstab them again. So I don't feel there's a truly right answer on HOW they can maintain their trust other than never committing the atrocities again.
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Urmom666
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« Reply #6128 on: Dec 31, 2018 03:32 pm »

Ozai is a hopeless cause as far I’m concerned.
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Loopy
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« Reply #6129 on: Dec 31, 2018 03:45 pm »

I don't think Aang has any obligation to try to redeem Ozai, in order to justify letting him live. The thing is that Redemption means different things to different people and across different religions. For some, simply the acknowledgement of past evil, the desire for forgiveness, and a willingness to try to make up for the past evil are enough; note that this list does not contain any actual acts. For others, there is a measurable debt incurred by past evil that must be paid back to the victims and/or their community, sometimes with interest.

So for some, leaving Ozai to rot in prison is essentially killing him. However, he has more than enough opportunity to examine himself, attain enlightenment, and reach Nirvana, all without leaving his cell. That might be enough for Aang. Especially since for the Avatar a "long-term project" is one that spreads across multiple lives. Perhaps it's enough if Ozai dies well and then in his next life does good for the world.

Of course, all of that goes for Azula as well, except for the fact that even without her Firebending I would expect her to Ethan Hunt her way out of any prison she was put in. So perhaps she's the kind who needs to invest in works in order to find a new outlook, rather than sitting alone and meditating.
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Tamerlan Pahlavi
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« Reply #6130 on: Jan 07, 2019 01:56 pm »

Sokka: Sorry, I can't give you the award. Zuko's points are still higher than yours.

I had a hearty laugh at this xD

But it reminded my suspicion that aesthetics plays a larger part in our moral decisions than we think. In my language we even call good behavior lijepo ponašanje which would literally translate as "beautiful behavior". We prefer consistency over inconsistency and certainty over messiness in part because we simply think one to be pretty and the other not.

Anyway, the Rabbinic sages would say that to deny a person who has sinned the opportunity to atone is a sin in itself too. It's actually a pretty cruel thing to do to make someone truly sorry for their mess and then make it impossible for them to do any further good. It is almost on the same level as inducing someone to sin. It bears to remember though that the Torah teaches that whoever steals one oxen is obliged to return not just the stolen one but give up one of their own too.

As for Azula never becoming a "genuinely" good person.

A. I believe in Aristotle's wisdom that the act of doing good deeds has the power to over time transform the heart too. The person who does something out of their goodness of their heart is happier yes but the one who does good despite themselves is virtuous too, perhaps even more so.

B. One day the most respected man of the village came to the imam and said: "I am very troubled. When I help my neighbors I feel I annoyed by them. When I give to the poor I mourn for the money. I act kind but I feel the urge to be cruel. I tell the truth but I feel like lying." The imam asked: Have you committed any wrongdoing recently? No, he replied. "Do you intend on committing anything sinful in the future?" No! "Then I don't understand where the problem lies."

I understand that this debate isn't just a dispute on character interpretation and plot prediction but a conflict between various visions on morality, and morality can be a very personal matter. I would like to address something to the pro Azula side that I found difficult myself. When you propound the view that everyone deserves compassion, even if they don't deserve it then you are obliged to show that same compassion to those who say this is not so. Forgive the other person's incapacity to forgive. 

As for sitting alone and meditating. Buddhist devotees traditionally organized themselves into monasteries. Also, meditation is a skill that like almost any skill requires ideally the guidance of someone already skillful in it, a master so to speak. Monasteries traditionally provided not only refugee but community and guidance. I'd find it interesting to read a story with her in such a setting, perhaps I'd have to write one myself.

That might actually be a good solution for Zuko too. At least in European and Byzantine politics it was common to send off political opponents to a cloister or allow them to retreat there. If there was such a thing in the Avatar world it would allow Azula to find a measure of happiness and meaning, remove her as a political threat and save Zuko from the moral taint of keeping his own sister as a prisoner.
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There is no refuge but in audacity. No salvation other than in strength.

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Loopy
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« Reply #6131 on: Jan 07, 2019 07:32 pm »

He could even be clever about it. He could fund a new monastery with a ridiculously generous endowment. He could provide a set of elite guards to always protect the monastery. He could ask the residents of the monastery to never enter the sub-basement, and then shut it with the most devilish lock ever devised by mankind. And he should keep absolutely no records of what's going on in the monastery, certainly nothing that describes what's in the basement.

Azula would assume a new identity, infiltrate the monastery as an initiate, and hang around pretending to meditate while she tries to break down the security system. Being Azula, she would of course be a true master of disguise and teach herself the ways and beliefs of the people in the monastery, allowing her to blend in flawlessly.

By the time she figures out that there's nothing in the basement and Zuko pulled on over on her, she'd be the Mother Superior.
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