Fans Are Pointing Out Details About The Dai Li Agents That We Never Noticed Before

List Rules
Vote up the best details.

Did the Earth Kingdom flourish the way it did of its own accord, or were there invisible hands in the shadows pulling the strings?  You can say what you want about the Dai Li agents, but they're actually pretty efficient if you want them to be - or if their interests align with yours. From deep political analyses to random musings about these braid-wearing masters of the covert, these are just some of the details ATLA fans just can't over about the Dai Li.


  • 1
    137 VOTES

    Subtle Symbolism

    Subtle Symbolism
    Photo: Avatar: The Last Airbender / Nickelodeon

    From Tumblr user avatarsymbolism

    This goes without saying but any time the Dai Li theme is heard is just plain creepy.

    What’s impressive though is that parts of the Dai Li theme are just a different version of the Earth Kingdom theme. But, where the Earth Kingdom theme speaks of greatness and majesty, the Dai Li version of it is eerie and foreboding.

    137 votes
  • 2
    158 VOTES

    Did The Dai Li Grow Weaker From ATLA To LOK?

    Did The Dai Li Grow Weaker From ATLA To LOK?
    Photo: Avatar: The Last Airbender / Nickelodeon

    From Redditor Brousinator

    I saw this as a parallel to the weakening of the Earth empire. This ties in well with Zaheer's views of a [broken] government as well as the Earth Queen's disillusionment of the Earth Kingdom's power (she sees the Earth kingdom as extremely strong and despises R.C.). It would make sense for her secret police to be weaker because she thinks the E.K. is stronger than it is.

    And if that doesn't agree with you, there could have been some law set in place to restrict the Dai Li...(since Aang had a great deal of say in the restructuring after the wa r).

    158 votes
  • 3
    163 VOTES

    Sneaky

    Sneaky
    Photo: Avatar: The Last Airbender / Nickelodeon

    From deleted Reddit user

    This question is one that's been bugging me since I first watched LOK...The Dai Li were traitors in the purest form. They deceived the Earth King to the point that he didn't know there had been a wa r for 100 years, despite Iroh breaching the walls. They then staged a coup to allow the Fire Nation to take over Ba Sing Se and effectively win the wa r.

    So, with all that, why the hell did the Earth Queen trust the Dai Li?

    163 votes
  • 4
    133 VOTES

    Why The Dai Li Remained In Force

    Why The Dai Li Remained In Force
    Photo: Avatar: The Last Airbender / Nickelodeon

    From Redditor Boscolt

    You could say, and I bet the Dai Li would argue for themselves, that their defection to Azula was a necessary act in their role as the cultural protectors of the city. Sozin's Comet was coming and a Ba Sing Se that was still untaken by that time would likely be the target of a Fire Nation [offense] during the Comet. After all, Fire Nation interest in taking the city was still very strong, as proven by the Drill assault. If Ba Sing Se was delivered to the Fire Nation, there would be no reason for the Fire Nation to rationally destroy the city during Sozin's Comet.

    If they further wanted to gild their own lilies, they could say that they were merely defecting to stave off the Comet, and that they 'intended' to rebel immediately after, bringing the breached walls up and trapping the FN troops outside to liberate the city. So there's plenty of excueses for them to argue for their own self-preservation.

    Also, remember that while they are corrupt, the Dai Li were personally founded by Avatar Kyoshi herself. Their very existence is a piece of Earth Kingdom cultural heritage and they represent part of the legacy of the last Earth Avatar. I don't see the Earth King going through the symbolic gesture of disbanding and recreating another intelligence/bodyguard organisation rather than just reorganising the Dai Li with fresh newcomers.

    133 votes
  • 5
    107 VOTES

    On The Dai Li Vs. The Equalists

    On The Dai Li Vs. The Equalists
    Photo: Avatar: The Last Airbender / Nickelodeon

    From Redditor ninjastar3

    The Equalists were able to take down the metal bending police because they focused on metal bending too much. The first time they fought the mecha-tanks could send electricity through the metal knocking out the police. The second time they mecha tanks had magnets to hold the police so they couldn't bend. Bolin was able to take down more mecha-tanks than a team of metal benders because The using the earth is a superior tactic when fighting those. The Dai Li's quick agile earth bending is pretty much tied with the Equalists quick agile moves. Though the Dai Li would think smart and use the high ground to their advantage. They could easily defend from [jabs] by surrounding themselves with thick walls of rock and enclose the Equalists in earth. If the Dai Li ever learned metal bending, they would use metal gloves and use them to deflect income electric ropes. So hands down I say the Dai Li.

    107 votes
  • 6
    117 VOTES

    Whatever Happened To Ju Dee?

    Whatever Happened To Ju Dee?
    Photo: Avatar: The Last Airbender / Nickelodeon

    From Tumblr user thebeedleboat

    It doesn’t surprise me that we never find about what happened to the Joo Dees at the end of the series, but I think about it all the time.

    The Gaang know about the brainwashing, but do they ever tell the king? We don’t if Azula learns about it from the Dai Li because up until the end she believes fear is the only option anyway. What do the White Lotus do when they turn up and find Joo Dee? Do they think she’s just a branch of Dai Li agent? Is she okay?!

    Assuming she is the most competent person who wasn’t a general, (Azula wouldn’t undermine her own hard work infiltrating Ba Sing Se by putting someone incapable of doing their job in charge. Plus Long Feng had her work directly with the Avatar, she’s at the top of whatever chain he has.) does the Earth King keep her as an advisor? He’s more clueless than Zuko is at this point, he needs all the help he can get.

    117 votes