Both Azula and Ty Lee have been best friends since their childhood. Both of them attended school at the prestigious Royal Fire Academy For Girls. As Azula was the daughter of the Firelord Max Ozai and Ty lee also belonged to an aristocratic family. They were automatic selections for this prestigious institution. They also had a close friendship with Mai as well. The three of them were pretty close but Azula was the one who can be characterized as the leader of this group even from that young age.
Ty Lee is a very soft-spoken yet extremely skilled acrobat. Her talents at acrobatics are even more refined then that of Azula. Even when they were children Azula pushed Ty Lee after she showed her talent. Azula bullied Ty Lee but she still endured the abuse. In this article, we will look at how the relationship between Azula and Ty Lee evolved over the years.
Ty Lee was born with seven identical sisters due to which she suffered a loss of her own unique individuality. As all the sisters were identical Ty Lee had to work extra hard to get the attention of her parents. And even after all this hard work her parents would never respond in a way she wanted. This caused Ty Lee craving for recognition all her life. A part of the reason she endured Azula’s bullying was also due to this fact. Ty lee got the recognition she wanted when she was with Azula and the young Fire Princess never compared Ty Lee to her sisters.
Azula, Ty Lee and Mai always played at the palace. Azula also teased Mai because she had a crush on Zuko, her brother. They usually played hide and seek with Azula always coming out as the winner. This was because she had known about the secret passageways in the castle. Ty Lee and Mai had no idea about these passages which provided an unfair advantage to Azula.
Azula on the other hand had always been competitive from the start. And even thought Ty Lee was not a bender Azula was still jealous of her talents. While the group was on a vacation at the Ember Island, it was also revealed that Azula also envied Ty Lee because of how easy boys were attracted to her. Because of the urge to get attention Ty Lee developed a habit of flirting. And wherever she went the boys there always followed her. Despite all these complexities their friendship survived.
Relationship Of Azula And Ty Lee
Although the relationship between The Fire Nation Princess and Ty Lee started as a friendship, it changed into a fear-controlled relationship with time. Azula has this fearful personality and likes to use fear to control her subjects. And Ty Lee is no different. As they grew older Ty Lee started to fear the Princess more and more. The loyalty that Ty Lee had towards her friend was also because of the fear she instigated in the innocent Ty Lee.
One example of the princess coercing her friend through fear was her recruitment in tracking down Zuko as well as the Team Avatar. Ty Lee had run off and joined the Fire Nation Circus to get a sense of her individuality. But Azula came there to recruit her, and when Ty Lee refused. Azula told her that she would watch her show that night.
During the performance, Ty Lee was performing a tightrope act. But while she was balancing on one hand high above the ground, Azula ordered Shuzumu, the ringmaster, to set the net beneath Ty Lee’s tightrope on fire. And release an assortment of dangerous animals inside the ring making the act life-threatening for Ty Lee if she were to fall. Although Ty Lee successfully completed the act. She still got the message from the Princess loud and clear and she joined Azula.
Following The Team Avatar
The girls started to follow team Avatar in hopes of catching the Avatar and encountered them twice. Ty Lee showed impressive skills in her encounters with the Team Avatar. She even Chi Blocked the Kyoshi Warriors at one point making them immobile. Ty Lee also encountered the Team Avatar when they tried to stop Azula and company from capturing Ba Sing Se. Aang successfully destroyed the drill that the Fire Nation girls were using to get into Ba Sing Se with the help of Katara and Sokka. They also neutralized Ty Lee but her chi blocking did scare everyone from the Team Avatar.
Ending Of The Friendship
In the episode “The Boiling Rock” Zuko is captured inside the prison and it is revealed that the prison’s warden is the uncle of Mai. Mai comes to visit and confront Zuko at his betrayal. Zuko apologizes to Main but says that he will continue on his path nontheless. Meanwhile Azula and Ty Lee arrive at the prison only to find out about Zuko. While Sokka and Zuko are attempting their escape from the prison the princess and Ty Lee start fighting them. And when the Warden orders to cut the lines of the cable car, Mai intervenes and neutralizes the guards allowing Zuko and others to escape.
This deeply angers Azula who confronts Mai by saying that how dare she betray her. To which Mai replies that her love for Zuko was more strong than her fear of Azula. This further frustrates Azula and she prepares to attack Mai. At this moment Ty Lee intervenes and chi-blocks Azula to save Mai rendering Azula immobile. But the guards arrest both Mai and Ty Lee before they could escape. Azula then ordered the guards to lock the two away and “let them rot”, not wanting to be in their presence ever again as a punishment for their unfaithfulness.
After Azula is defeated it is revealed that Mai and Ty are released and Mai joins Zuko. While Ty Lee is accepted by the Kyoshi Warriors in return for teaching them chi-blocking. Ty Lee’s induction into the Kyoshi warriors also solves her identity problem and she happily starts to introduce herself as a Kyoshi warrior.
The scene is so sweet for anyone watching because it’s the first time in the show that Azula does not get her way. She is a spoiled princess, the favorite daughter, and a firebending prodigy. When she finally gets what she deserves, you feel like everything is right in the world again. This is the beginning of the fall of Azula. After this happens, she begins to find it hard to trust anyone.
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