aka The Reincarnation Of Kenny McCormick

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  • A lot of people just see Azula as some heartless, evil, well, you know. But I don’t necessarily think that’s the case. I feel as though Azula just needed help and love more than anything else.  Let’s start with her childhood.Take a look at her father, he was…is a man who burned his own son’s face and tried to take over the universe. Like most children Azula just wanted to earn her father’s love, affection, and approval. The said part is she probably only earned the third. Zuko and Azula are complete opposites in regards to how each parent treated them. Zuko had Ursa on his side, leaving Azula with her dad. This to the point where she firmly believes that her own mother does not like her. Pretend otherwise as she may, you can tell that it really bugs her.  So what does this have to do with Azula not being evil? The fact that she was left with her dad. He pretty raised her to hate anyone not of the Fire Nation. It’s hard to be kind and caring and show love when all you know is power and manipulation. And that’s what her dad taught her. Through simply watching and imitating and some actual vocalized instructions she pretty much leaned that power is everything and that if people fear you…well, that’s good enough. Azula simply just doesn’t know how to interact on a casual social level–this touched on in The Beach. I think if Azula had a better role model and/or a better father she would have turned out much better. Just look at Zuko, once he stopped trying to get his dad to love him and started listening to Iroh he turned out much better. Azula however, didn’t seem to have an Iroh in her life.  Getting back to the other thing Azula was taught; prejudice. Hating, the Earth Kingdom per-say was not something she was born doing. It was learned. In the episode The Headband Fire Nation schools were touched upon. And in those schools they seemed to be teaching the young firebenders to hate the other nations. Now take that and add it to what they may (or may not) teach at a privet school such as the one Azula mentioned attending and then add the fact that she had Ozai (the very reason such ideals were held) to teach her as well. At this point telling her that Earth Benders aren’t bad would be like telling someone that not all snakes are poisonous after growing up hearing the exact opposite.  Not to mention that she just wanted him to love her. Since she didn’t have her mom, she at least wanted his affection. And so she did the things she knew would make him proud. The sad fact of the matter is that, all of the things that made him proud were evil deeds like killing Aang or getting Zuko. Pretty much every child just wants love from their parents. Love that should be unconditional, but wasn’t in the case of both Azula and Zuko. And I think it’s just downright upsetting that Azula felt that the only way to keep her father’s love was to help him take over everything.  And of course there’s her breakdown. Whilst Azula didn’t know how to be a good friend you could tell she was hurt by losing Mai and Ty-Lee. Despite what she said I think she trusted them as she told Mai that she didn’t expect ‘something like this’ from her. That betrayal combined with getting turned down by her father, and the pressure of becoming Fire Lord just cracked her already thinning mental state. Yes, everything she did in the finale was wrong and out of line, but she was not in the right state of mind. You can’t expect someone on the brink of a breakdown to act rationally (much less someone who was already in the middle of one).  This paragraph is gonna be a bit spoilery for those who have not read The Search. In the end if I remember right (I haven’t read the comic in a while) Azula ended up sparring Ursa and just running off into the forest. She also didn’t burn the letter that would help them find their mom. Both of these things happened after she was shown affection of some sort. Ursa’s apology and her 'I do love you Azula’ is what pushed her to run off instead of continuing to try to kill her mom. And the fact that Zuko decided to spare her as opposed to ending her was what elicited the second response. Though it was minor Azula has been shown to respond to kindness. I feel that such, in a way, proves that all she needs is someone to love her and tell her it will be okay. Near the end of the comic Aang was seen saying something about how he thinks she still has a chance to be a good person.  To sum things up, no, I’m not excusing the bad things she has done. However I don’t think the whole 'Azula is pure evil’ notion is correct. And the whole 'she was born evil’ mentality even less so. Her behaviorism were learned by her father and an corrupt society as well as a lack of real affection of any sort. 

    [ KataraLover] said:I took psychology during my second semester of college and it’s shown that people aren’t the way they are because of genetics (which is something you can’t change like eyes or hair color or something like autism) but that it’s learned behavior. This was all done because of bad parenting from both of her parents. Ozai was a horrible person who was after world domination so that didn’t exactly help her. But Ursa was a good person and if she had payed attention to both of her children, instead of just Zuko, she could have turned out better. Ursa just criticized Azula instead of trying to explain why what she did or said was wrong. She didn’t have someone in her life to guide her like Zuko did. Like Regina from Once Upon A Time has said “Evil is born, it’s made.”  Despite all of the terrible things Azula has done, I do believe that she cares about the important people in her life. When Azulon ordered Ozai to kill Zuko, Azula could have just said nothing but in her own way she was trying to warn Zuko. She had always concealed her emotions and sensitive feelings so she did it in a taunting way. Azula isn’t stupid, she knew that the secret would get out if she taunted Zuko and that would ruin her chance of inheriting the throne to the Fire Nation. If she was truly pure evil she wouldn’t have said anything, Zuko would’ve died, and she’d take the throne someday. I doubt that someone who was able to manipulate their mother as a child would be so careless as to ruin their chance for power just for a small pleasure of taunting someone. I believe she wanted to save her bother’s life. It’s shown again when she finds out Zuko had been seeing Iroh in secret. She once again could have used it to her advantage but instead used it to warn and help Zuko.  With her friends, I think that she really was trying to help get Mai and Zuko together with the whole flaming apple thing. She just made it seem like it was a cruel prank just to cover it up. Plus, in the episode The Beach, when she hurts Ty Lee’s feelings and makes her cry she instantly apologizes. Someone who was pure evil wouldn’t care about making someone cry but she felt instantly guilty about it. She cares about her friends and that’s part of why they caused her destruction. They were what made her feel something for someone, as Cora from Once Upon A Time would say, they were her weakness.  She wanted her father’s love just like any child would, not realizing what she was doing was wrong. Ursa was also to blame for it. During her hallucination, she was talking to what she thought was Ursa and it was just all what Azula wanted to hear. She wanted to hear from someone that she wasn’t a monster and that she was just confused, especially from her mother, and wanted for her mother to tell her that she loved her. When she realizes it was all in her head she breaks down in tears because she had heard her mother say everything she ever wanted her to say and it wasn’t even really her. Regina from Once Upon A Time wasn’t raised to be evil because she had her father but became it because of her mother and Rumple, with a little help from Snow. Azula unfortunately didn’t have that luxury. Not that I’m saying Regina had a good life because it’s FAR from it, she’s just as tragic.  Actually, in The Search, Ursa didn’t say she loved Azula she said “I’m sorry I didn’t show you I loved you as much as I should have” or something to that degree. Azula asks Zuko why he didn’t just kill her when he had the chance and he said it was because she was his sister, which to me was his way of saying he loved her. She had several chances to kill the group in the comic but she didn’t. On the contrary, several times she’s saved them, even when she didn’t have to. Someone who is pure evil would never have saved someone, especially someone who is their enemy. Azula is FAR from pure evil. She just needs someone to help her. Perhaps a comic about her and finding someone, maybe a love interest (I hope), that would show her that love and having feelings for someone isn’t weakness but is strength. Power is seductive but so is love. Trust isn’t always easy but it’s there. I actually feel more sympathy for her than Zuko. He had love and she didn’t. She may have seemed luckier but that all means nothing when you’re all along with no one to be there for you. She deserves a chance, she’s already proven she is more than deserving of it in The Search.posted over a year ago. zanhar1 said:I took psychology myself just two semesters ago in fact. I used Azula, Bellatrix, and Regina as examples in projects I did for the class. I learned similar things myself; whilst genes are a factor it’s also very much a learned thing. Ozai totally taught her all the wrong stuff and never taught her about important things like how to love or how to be social outside of political matters. And as you said, Ursa didn’t pay much attention to Azula, so the poor girl ended up hating her. Getting more into the psychological thing Ursa did go pretty wrong in her disciplining of Azula; criticizing a child or shaming them (as I learned in Child Development) only serves to make them feel insecure and develop an avoidant or disorganized attachment to the parent. That meaning that the child doesn’t trust the parent in question. It also explains her lack of trust in pretty much everyone. In Erikson’s trust vs mistrust stage the child relies on the parents to help them shape whether or not they can trust other people. I think Ozai and Ursa badly failed her in that regard. Exactly, Zuko had Iroh to help him see the light, Azula grew up with no such person. Lo and Li maybe, but they were more so advisers. A+ quote usage.  I think you’re right there too. In her own twisted way she was trying to let him know what was to come. At least he wasn’t going in blind, blissfully unaware. And then there was Ty-Lee. In The Beach she could have let Ty-Lee just keep crying after calling her 'easy’, however she didapologize and admit she was jealous. Azula does care about people, she (much like Gina) just doesn’t really know how to. I feel as that taunting way is simply a way to make her feel safe. A comfort zone of course. She’s rather awkward when she tries to be nice, so she kind of sticks to being harsh whilst being nice…to avoid embarrassment. That’s how I’ve always seen it. Again, totally agree, she very well could have had that throne, she despite it all, cared about her brother more. That too is a good point. Telling her father about him seeing Iroh could have very well ruined Zuko. But she kept it a secret. And there was nothing for her to gain in doing so. I don’t think she’s at all as heartless as people make her out to be. Not at all.  Who is anyone kidding! She totally shipped Maiko! Isn’t she the one who got them to hook up in the first place? Again, I think that relates back to her comfort zone. She feels safer disguising good deeds as evil ones. Reading and typing this comment as I go :P yeah I mentioned that above, it was a sweet gesture. It shows that she can feel guilt and can show feelings of regret. If she didn’t care for Ty-Lee she would have just let her keep crying, but she swallowed her pride and actually asked Ty-Lee for flirting advice (super cute by the way :P). I was just going to bring that up! If she didn’t care about them than she sure as hell wouldn’t have been so upset by their turning against her, Yes she 'put them in a place to rot’ and yes that was cruel, however that only demonstrated how hurt she was. They were the ones who snapped that think thread of sanity.  Definitely agree here. Especially in regards to little Azula. She learned her firebending to impress her father and I feel as though her mocking of Zuko also kind of factored in there because her father enjoyed watching it. I wouldn’t be surprised if she learned to pick on Zuko from Ozai. Another dazzlingly good point. I believe that the Ursa hallucination was formed from her unconscious desires. Her 'sob story’ in The Beach centered on the 'my mom thought I was a monster thing’. And I think that’s why her hallucination focused on 'No. I do love you Azula.’ She definitely wanted someone to tell her she wasn’t a monster. And she absolutely needed someone to help ease the confusion. And her mom was the perfect person to tell her such. And that’s the sad part too. All the things she wanted to hear…said. But not real. And on top of that she probably didn’t know what was happening to her. Seeing your mom in a mirror? That’s scary, especially in a time where mental illnesses were not understood. The worst part is, she was all alone. No one able to reassure her that she was going to be okay. And you could tell (especially in The Search) that she kind of realized that something wasn’t right. And Regina is a whole different matter, she and Azula actually have a lot in common; just flip the parental roles and its the same–Azula had the abusive dad, Regina the abusive mom, Azula had the 'doesn’t help’ mom, Regina the 'doesn’t help’ dad. In both cases the parents shaped their children into something evil. But Regina at least got a second chance and acted on it (I’m so proud of my baby) whereas Azula really did not. I mean she did but she didn’t–sure she got to go on the adventure with them but they treated her like a prisoner. They didn’t treat her all that well, they didn’t even try. They were pretty much using her just to find Ursa, and they expected her to just behave. Not to mention she was definitely not in the right state of mind to begin a redemption arc–someone should have at least tried to work on that before just dragging her along. However Zuko giving the shivering girl his blanket was a nice touch.  That part is kind of fuzzy to me, nonetheless, the fact that her mom even tried was enough to make Azula hesitate. That was actually probably one of my favorite parts of the comic, it showed that he was at least trying. Exactly, like when those spirits were attacking the group. Though didn’t they yell at her for 'almost burning the forest down? That’s another good point; much like Regina, she saved the people she hates but unlike Regina, Azula wasn’t even on neutral terms with any of them. She still hated Team Avatar, yet she saved them anyhow. Totally agree she really just needs to find someone to love her, be it a boyfriend or a best friend. Just someone to let her know that she can be loved unconditionally. I’ve always felt more sympathy for her than Zuko. Despite the whole 'she was born lucky I was lucky to be born’ mantra I think Azula actually had it harder. Sure she had her palace and a life of luxury, but Zuko always had love, he just didn’t realize it. Iroh was always there for him no matter what mistakes he made. Where as Azula had it hard and she didn’t even realize it. Ozai basically used her to capture the Earth Kingdom and come up with a domination plan. He had no issue dropping her off after becoming the Phoenix King with promises of false power. To be brutally honest I never sympathized with Zuko at all, aside from the fact that he had his own face burned by his own father. I really hope they give us more of her, and a happier ending for her. As everyone else in the series aside from Ozai seemed to have gotten one. I want to see her with kids and grandkids of her own. With a family, that loves her and that she loves.  Holy butts though, this comment took me an hour to type! xD I honestly haven’t had one of these crazy article-length chats with someone in a long time. Not since my days on the Harry Potter vs Twilight spot. I kind of miss them. :Pposted over a year ago. Alchemistlover said:I have a story about Azula. As a kid I liked her but didn’t see her complexity until the beach when it was shown that she could be a normal teen and loved her brother and friends. She behaved pretty normally throughout that entire episode and you could see that if the characters were in different circumstances they might have all been happy. Her breakdown at the end shows she had true feelings underneath and this is a weird line to pull out but “but I can feel and I can cry a fact I’ll bet you never knew” from the song there’s worse things I could do comes to mind when thinking about her or complex villains in general. Of course Azula wasn’t going to be a kind person with Ozai as a father and she had no mother to guide her because her mother thought of her a lost cause which sucks because Ursa may have been the ting to save her. I don’t think anyone but Ozai or his father can be seen as “true evil” in this series everyone’s painted in a sympathetic light witch is what I love about it even when I wasn’t able to appreciate that aspect younger really. Azula was just a used person who really wouldn’t have ended up differently. You cant blame her for being racist because she had no one to tell her it was wrong. Zuko like you said had his mother and Iroh even before he became apart of team avatar so he obviously had a better view of the world.  Also remember Azulas only a teenager! Okay I don’t think age is an excuse but it explains a lot and why she blindly followed her fathers orders.  If Azula was truly evil I don’t think Zuko would’ve had her sent to a mental hospital to get psychological help but to jail with Ozai which he didn’t. He understood his sister was a victim like himself and tried to help her.  She is is a a lot like Regina okay let’s face it we just love badass female villains who flaunt their power!posted over a year ago.last edited over a year ago zanhar1 said:Yeah she was a rally young teen too. 14 is legit only two years into being a teen. I totally agree that of course she’s going to take her father’s word for it, I mean, he’s her dad. And I doubt she’d disobey him after what he did to Zuko for talking out of turn.  Heck yes I do!

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    • Teen Titans Forever! wrote:
      DarkNet1 wrote:

      Okay I don’t think age is an excuse but it explains a lot and why she blindly followed her fathers orders.  

      She wasn't "blind" to her fathers orders. She was almost always fully aware to whatever her father was planning. With your logic on Ozai and Azula's relationship, your parents should be responsible for your actions.
      I think you missed understood what he meant. I think he's saying Azula loved Ozai so much she would do anything for him without thinking whether it was right or wrong.

      Ozai was partially responsible for Azula's actions by raising her like him. Azula did deserved to be punished for her crimes but Ozai most of all.

      Ozai was a cold father figure who demanded consistent perfection from her and scoffed upon love. Azula wanted his praise oh-so-desperately. Do you think she would actually be that close to him where her affection for him could equate to love? Well, I don't. Despite being her father's favorite child, I assume that she was as psychologically close to him as Zuko was. 

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    • DarkNet1 wrote: Ozai was a cold father figure who demanded consistent perfection from her and scoffed upon love. Azula wanted his praise oh-so-desperately. Do you think she would actually be that close to him where her affection for him could equate to love? Well, I don't. Despite being her father's favorite child, I assume that she was as psychologically close to him as Zuko was. 

      One of affections synonyms is love, so if she had a lot affection for Ozai she most likely loved him, just saying. Ozai defiantly didn't love Azula though. Maybe Azula doesn't have any fondness for Ozai anymore since she didn't care about breaking him out of prison and wanted to strengthen Zuko's rule.

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