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15 Mindbending Fan Theories About 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Villains

List RulesVote up the best fan theories.

Avatar: The Last Airbender, Nickelodeon's honorary anime, has gained a massive following over some recent years. With such a rich universe full of incredible characters, fans keep coming up with amazing fan theories that broaden the ATLA universe even more. 

Fan theories about Azula, like her murky mental illness, and Ozai, like how he might have suffered brain damage, are just some of the ideas fans have about the ruthless villains of ATLA. Take a look and vote up the most interesting ATLA villain theories below!

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    The Meaning Behind Ozai's Name

    One theory on Reddit breaks down the symbolism in Ozai's name, which can be translated as "fiery disaster." The theory states that Azulon had an innate disgust towards his son for two possible reasons. The first is that Ozai wasn't meant to be born, the age gap between him and Iroh being about twenty years. The second is that Ozai's mother died during childbirth. 

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  • 2

    Azula's Blue Flames Represent Perfect Flame Combustion

    From Redditor u/zonination:

    Her flame represents perfect flame combustion into the combustion products.

    Her problem is perfectionism. That's also her character flaw, and her downfall. This means that there is zero soot in her flame, zero offgassing of combustion by-products, zero carbon monoxide... just perfection. Just like she was raised. (Ever notice how her flame turns orange when it catches fire on other materials? Read more here)

    Zuko, on the other hand, represents imperfection. It suits his character well. Rage and impatience makes his flame orange.

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  • 3

    Ozai And Zuko's Agni Kai Is Somehow Even Worse

    From Redditor u/4edgy8me:

    Not sure if this is really obvious and it doesn't really have much of an impact on the series other than adding a bit of depth. Prince Zuko's scar, given to him by his father, would have been much more traumatic than it initially appears.

    Sure, it's messed up that his dad scarred him for life, but upon reflection the process of getting the scar would have had to include either an incredibly high-powered and/or sustained blast of fire to his face. We consistently see characters cop a fire blast to bare skin and suffer not much more than a knock backwards.

    This leads me to believe to inflict such an awful injury, Ozai would have had to effectively torture his son. Even if it were for a few seconds, the blast of fire to the face would have been pure agony for Zuko. It's not like the scar needed further explanation, but it adds an extra layer of tragedy to his situation, imo.

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  • 4

    Sozin Wiped Out The Airbenders For More Than One Reason

    From Redditor u/CunningAndGuile:

    Dealing with the Avatar wasn't the only reason Sozin wiped out the air nomads. I think it's possible that airbenders are also significantly more powerful than other types of benders. 

    With only airbending, Aang holds his own against Zhao, Zuko, Toph, legions of guards after Zhao imprisons him, and King Bumi (to a draw, at least). He takes out a dozen Fire Navy ships during the Siege of the North. And Monk Gyatso's final resting place is littered with Sozin-ed up firebenders. (I'm not sure how much credence to give to the theory that Gyatso created a vacuum to suffocate them, but if that's really something an airbending master can do, it confirms my theory.) I think Sozin knew that the Fire Nation's entire military couldn't win a fair fight against the four air temples, so he had to wait for the comet (cont'd).

    Redditor u/weavebot added:

    Keep in mind also, unlike other elements, everyone born into the air nomads is a bender.

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    Mindbending theory?