Can you list some not so obvious Tyzula subtext in ATLA? I'm curious to see if i missed anything they are my OTP XD
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Fighting Styles post, so I’m going to answer this question AND get that done. How efficient.
Let’s talk about this scene.
This is one of my favorite Tyzula subtext moments. Azula sees Zuko and Co. escaping on the gondola and knows she must give chase. Within seconds, she devises an unorthodox way to catch up to them and begins to move.
And Ty Lee moves with her, in perfect tandem, all without either of them saying a damned word.
Look at how in sync they are with one another. Azula doesn’t have to order Ty Lee to follow nor tell her what she’s about to do; Ty Lee is already in pursuit before Azula even gets on the wires.
There’s trust here on both sides. Ty Lee and Azula are outnumbered; without the other, they face certain defeat. So they have to trust the other to be there. There’s zero pause and zero hesitation on either side. Both of them just know, instinctively, that they will be able to keep up with one another.
And they do.
Then, the two of them face off against Sokka, Zuko, and Suki. But pay special attention to the positioning of the fight.
Azula is at the back of the gondola and Ty Lee is fighting near the front. Azula is facing off with both Sokka and Zuko, while Ty Lee is going mano-a-mano with Suki. Everyone else on the gondola is in Azula’s direct line of fire, including Ty Lee, as evidenced by this elbow-lever kick Azula performs. She has to dodge and narrowly avoids getting hit, just like everyone else.
For some, this can be interpreted as a sign of callousness; Azula doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as she takes down the enemy. So maybe Azula is attempting an all-or-nothing attack; if it lands, she has a 75% chance of taking out an enemy. But she also has a 25% chance of taking down her only ally. And Azula is NOT a risk taker. Everything she does is calculated. This is the girl who manipulated and outmaneuvered the orchestrator of a national conspiracy to win the throne of Ba Sing Se. This is the girl who plotted out every moment of the Day of the Black Sun, thus ensuring the failure of the Gaang’s invasion and assassination attempt. And from everything we’ve seen of her and her past fights, she knows when to stand and fight and she knows when to cut and run. On the gondola, there’s nowhere to run. If Ty Lee fails and Suki doesn’t, Azula’s defeat is certain.
So it’s either extremely reckless ruthlessness, or…it’s trust again. Azula trusts Ty Lee’s abilities; just as she knows Ty Lee is going to follow her lead without the need for explicit instructions, she also knows Ty Lee is going to dodge.
Finally, the rapport between the two of them is shown yet again when the Warden gives the order to cut the line. Ty Lee, being the most agile fighter on the board, immediately deduces what’s happening and yells out the warning to Azula. Azula simply glances at an approaching gondola, quickly identifies an exit strategy, and executes.
“Then it’s time for us to leave,” is all she says. She knows that Ty Lee is going with her. Azula already knows how she’s going to escape, but it doesn’t even matter how Ty Lee’s going to do it; she’s going to figure out a way and they’re going to escape together, plain and simple.
Again, just look at how in sync they are with one another. Azula moves, Ty Lee follows, and not a single word really needs to be said between them.
Which makes the upcoming betrayal all the more dramatic, and certainly unanticipated from Azula’s end.
BONUS: Can we just give a shout-out to the most ruthless character in the entire episode, the Warden?
This guy ordered the line to be cut WHILE HE WAS ON THE GONDOLA WITH THE PRINCESS OF THE FIRE NATION. He didn’t give a fuck who died, so long as his reputation of maintaining an inescapable prison remained intact. He would rather die AND kill the royal heir than lose his honor. Not even Azula was heartless enough to order the line to be cut and she wasn’t even on the damn thing.
It just goes to show you how deeply entrenched most people were in the values of the Fire Nation.
Zuko won’t readily admit it because his relationship with Azula is so bad, but he thinks of Ty Lee as another little sister.
He’s always had a soft spot for her, since she was the nicest of them all, but it’s only grown since the war ended and she got put on guard duty. More often than not, if something is up, she’s the first to tell because of her aura sense, and he doesn’t like lying to her, so he ends up talking to her about things a lot.
She can also pretty much get away with anything. Just a smile and high pitched “pleeeeease” and he waves her off with a groan.
She’s even convinced him to give her piggyback rides, much to his dismay.
Their relationship is really sweet, and something he missed out on as a kid, and if anyone were to make her cry, he would be very quick to go to her defense.