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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!

  • 1
    1818 VOTES

    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. 

    Mindbending theory?
  • 2
    1698 VOTES

    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.

    Mindbending theory?
  • 3
    1609 VOTES

    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.

    Mindbending theory?
  • 4
    1410 VOTES

    Zuko Was Banished So Azula Could Take The Throne

    From Redditor u/neilader

    We first learned in the episode The Storm that Zuko was banished because he spoke out of turn in a war meeting and then refused to duel his father Ozai. By showing weakness, Zuko was forever banished unless he could capture the Avatar (which was basically considered impossible). But, doesn’t that seem more than a little extreme, banishing the crown prince for speaking out of turn and not dueling his own father? After rewatching the episode "Zuko Alone" on Netflix, I’ve come to the conclusion that the real reason Ozai banished Zuko was so that Azula could take his place as heir to the throne (cont'd).

    Mindbending theory?