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11 Things We Didn't Know About The Dai Li Agents Of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'

List RulesVote up the most interesting tidbits about the Dai Li agents.

The Dai Li are truly one of the most mysterious and sinister parts of the ATLA universe. Vote up your favorite bits of triva!

  • 1

    The Dai Li Was Founded By Avatar Kyoshi

    Avatar Kyoshi created the Dai Li agents to protect the "cultural heritage of Ba Sing Se" somewhere between 270 and 82 BG. Her forming and training the Dai Li was a part of a compromise she created with the 46th Earth King; in return he would listen to the wishes of "peasants" in Ba Sing Se. She taught them with Yun's earth gloves and Jianzhu's tactical mindset, Yun and Jianzhu being her allies.

    Aang is shocked to learn that Kyoshi had a hand in their creation because they are "the worst, most corrupt earthbenders in the world". Eventually, she told Aang that she regretted making the Dai Li because she didn't know corrupt they'd become.

    Cool fact?
  • 2

    They Use Rocks To Line Their Hands And Feet

    Photo: Avatar: The Last Airbender / Nickelodeon

    The signature rock gloves were originally taught by Avatar Kyoshi, who learnt it from Yun. They are used often as cuffs.

    Dai Li agents also earthbend these materials to bind themselves to any surface, thereby allowing them to climb onto walls or slide across the ground. This also allows them to run faster.

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  • 3

    They Are Based On Lieutenant General Dai Li

    Lieutenant General Dai Li was considered one of the most feared men of China during the first half of the 20th century. He was the Chief of the Kuomintang as well as the Blue Shirts Society, and he played a critical part in developing China's modern intelligence operations. He even worked the United States during World War II.

    Tim Hendrick, the writer for the 'Lake Laogai' episode noted that the Dai Li were named after the "secret police of Chiang Kai Shek," which involved Lieutenant General Dai Li. He uses the Dai Li to reflect the "oppression" under this secret police.

    Kevin McGeary on Dai Li:

    "A genius of military intelligence, Dai (also known as Dai Yunong) was China’s most accomplished assassin during the War of Resistance against Japan. As well as helping Chiang Kai-shek claim the scalps of high-profile enemies and defectors, he also bedded some of the most glamorous women of his day."

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  • 4

    The Dai Li Begin Training At The Age Of 13

    Photo: Avatar: The Last Airbender / Nickelodeon

    The Dai Li begin their training at 13 years of age according to the Avatar Extras shown in Sozin's Comet.

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