The Fire Nation Royal Palace is the home of the Fire Nation Royal Family and serves as the seat of the Fire Nation government. Located at the center of the Caldera City crater in the Capital, it is one of the most recognizable structures in the Fire Nation and is heavily guarded day and night in order to protect its high-class residents.
The building has been subject to modifications, as it had been partially rebuilt on at least one occasion due to damage sustained from an attack.
Hei-Ran and Rangi guested at the palace in 295 BG after the former recuperated in Agna Qel'a. When Fire Lord Zoryu invited Avatar Kyoshi to celebrate the Festival of Szeto in the Fire Nation, Rangi greeted her at the main gate to the royal palace.
A garden party was thrown at the royal palace to celebrate the Avatar's arrival, although Kyoshi made the great diplomatic faux pas of mistaking Zoryu's brother Chaejin for the Fire Lord, thus inflaming the tensions between the clans over succession. Shortly after, the rogue earthbender Yun appeared at the palace, and held the nobles hostage by turning the floor into quicksand. Lu Beifong was killed in the attack, along with Chancellor Dairin and two of his men when they attempted to apprehend Yun in the portrait gallery. Although Yun escaped, the palace and the entire capital was locked down.
Kyoshi returned to the palace after her travels to North Chung-Ling, where she kidnapped Chaejin after doing the same to his mother, Lady Huazo, and tried to force them to confess their clan's association with Yun. Although they were truly innocent, Zoryu managed to procure a double of Yun, who confessed to conspiracy for treason. A mass purge of the Saowon clan thus took place across the capital.
After the end of the Camellia-Peony War, Zoryu planned the future of his country when he was confronted by Lao Ge, who intimidated the Fire Lord into keeping his promise to spare the Saowon. He dropped a hundred feet from the palace's balcony unscathed, telling the Fire Lord that the Avatar would watch over him.
The original throne room of Fire Lord Sozin was noticeably smaller than the current one. It was brighter and had more red and gold colors and also lacked the prominent wall of fire that currently separates the Fire Lord from the rest of the room. However, Avatar Roku destroyed the original throne room in the Avatar State when an argument between himself and Sozin resulted in violence. The current throne room was built afterward.
More than a hundred years later, the palace was broken into by Aang during the invasion of the Fire Nation in search of Fire Lord Ozai. Upon breaking in, however, he found the palace to be empty, as the Fire Lord had ensconced himself in an underground bunker. When the Hundred Year War came to an end, the banished Prince Zuko made the palace his home again after being crowned Fire Lord. A year later, Iroh briefly took up residence in the Royal Palace upon being appointed interim Fire Lord by Zuko.
The land immediately surrounding the Royal Palace is barren and rocky, completely devoid of plant life, making stealthy infiltration nearly impossible. The wall encircling this estate separates the palace from the rest of the city. Outside the defensive perimeter are several lush gardens and villas for use by members of the Royal Family, filled with beautiful plants, trees, and ponds.
The palace itself is a single structure; an elaborate tower with triple eaves is at the center, with three distinct wings joining it. The two smaller wings stand on either side of the main entrance to the palace building. There are towers at the ends of these wings as well. Directly opposite of the main entrance is the third, larger wing, which houses the Fire Lord's throne room.
Inside, the palace is comprised of enormous halls and retains an intricate array of wings and chambers. Large tapestries line the walls and elaborate fire-themed images and moldings are laid out all throughout the numerous sections of the structure.
Agni Kai chamber
Another chamber holds an indoor Agni Kai arena complete with seating for large audiences, used to settle disputes of the palace. The Fire Nation practice of Agni Kai, a "fire duel", has long been used to solve conflicts. Anyone challenged to an Agni Kai must accept or be branded as a weakling. On the other hand, anyone who steps into the Agni Kai chamber knows it could be his or her last fight. These duels have claimed the lives of many firebenders and inflict even more harm on people who have shown mercy on their opponents. This place is also where the famous Agni Kai between Prince Zuko and his father, Fire Lord Ozai, happened, which later resulted in the prince's banishment.
The palace had quarters reserved for the Avatar's current incarnation, which was full of antiques and artwork such as landscapes painted in cinnabar, vermillion sculptures of preening birds, and tapestries woven with carmine threads. On the corner of the overwhelmingly red chamber was a scarlet-quilted bed, which was big enough to hold a lei tai on top of it. Yun stayed here several times during his visits to the palace, when he was thought to be the Avatar. Later, Avatar Kyoshi stayed in the room during her visit for the Festival of Szeto.
Both Zuko and Azula's bedrooms are large and contain luxurious decoration and furniture, befitting royalty. These bedrooms are often reserved for those in direct line of succession to the Fire Lord's throne, as Prince Ozai and his family lived in a villa outside the palace during the reign of his father, Fire Lord Azulon. The Royal Family's servants lived within the palace to tend to the structure as well as its inhabitants.
In the courtyard, the nobles gather to get a first sight of the Royal Family members at dawn. Zuko was once greeted by a large group of admirers and fangirls in the courtyard. The area between the walls and the palace is barren and devoid of any cover, ensuring that potential assassins and spies attempting to infiltrate the palace will likely be spotted by the numerous guard towers.
- Main article: Royal Gallery
The Royal Gallery is a hallway that carries portraits of past Fire Lords. The only known Fire Lords on the wall are Sozin's grandfather, Sozin's father, Sozin, Azulon, and Ozai.
- Main article: Royal spa
The royal spa is the Royal Family's own health resort. It was a favorite place of Azula's, as she could often be found here getting her hair washed and nails manicured.
Also known as the War Room or War Chamber, this is where the Fire Lord makes most of his decisions and also where he formulates plans with his military and civilian advisers. The throne room has many black pillars with elaborate gold bases that support the roof and has black tiled floors. The Fire Lord sits on an ornate covered throne on a higher platform surrounded by a wall of fire, though Fire Lord Zuko opted against such a display, remarking to himself that it was not who he was. An enormous bas-relief image of a dragon breathing fire adorns the wall behind the Fire Lord. The imposing atmosphere is designed to instill awe and fear in all who enter, intimidating all who face the Fire Lord.
During Fire Lord Sozin's rule, the throne room was much smaller than it is now. After Avatar Roku destroyed much of the chamber during his battle with Sozin, the Fire Lord expanded it to its current dimensions. Before its rebuilding, it did not sport the large pillared hall and fire surrounding the throne.
Fire Lord Ozai had a number of secret chambers hidden throughout the palace that he used for his own purposes, many of which where found by Azula during her exploration of the palace as a child. One of these chambers contained the intercepted letters that Ursa wrote to Ikem as well as several other items, including traditional garments from the Earth Kingdom, Water Tribes, and Air Nomads. The door to this specific chamber was hidden behind a painting and would open when someone firebent at the painting.
Royal Palace gardens
- Main article: Royal Palace gardens
One of the internationally best-known features of the Fire Nation Royal Palace was its large turtle duck pond sited in the courtyard's gardens. It inspired numerous Earth Kingdom noble families to add similar ponds to their own mansions in an effort to increase their prestige.
- The art design for the Fire Nation Royal Palace was done by Elsa Garagarza, an architecture graduate right out of school. She was given three keywords by the creators to go on: "Egyptian, Chinese, scary".
- The palace is the most recurring location of the Fire Nation in the franchise, as it also appeared within Zuko's flashbacks and many of Aang's dreams.
- The Fire Lord's throne bears a resemblance to Bernini's canopy, a bronze baldachin placed over the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
- During Avatar Kyoshi's time, items of old Fire Avatar's were displayed in the palace, such as poetry and policies on scrolls, jewels, gilded hairpins, and weapons such as jians, daos, and engraved daggers.