I’ve just realised why I love the Final Agni Kai so much (and why it’s the best fight in Avatar). They are both fighting like each other.
Zuko is confident and at peace with himself. His firebending is the best it has ever been and Azula is unhinged. So he stays on the defensive, exploits her weaknesses and exploits her unhinged mentality by antagonising her into fighting on his terms (e.g. “No lighting today?”) and making her do what he wants.
But Azula is fighting like Zuko. She is constantly on the offensive and driven by rage and a desperate need to prove herself. She’s caving under her family issues, feelings of abandonment and the slights that have been made on her honour. Because of this, she is blind to Zuko’s actions and can only focus on giving the battle her all and proving herself to her father. Hence why she falls for Zuko’s trap (e.g. “I’ll show you lightning!”)
I just love this show, and I find even more reasons to love it every day.
This drawing is by @ganetrain and I just wanted to talk about it. This show paints such a beautiful picture of the effects of abuse. Zuko, who was physically abused and belittled by his father, spent years trying to complete a task, that even his father viewed as impossible, just to win him back. He later confronted his father (Day of the Black Sun) and became a heroin that eventually took him down. Azula on the other hand, spent 14 years under insane pressure from her father. She was the prodigy. In book two there’s a perfect example “almost isn’t good enough.” Before her coronation, she snaps. The mental and emotional abuse from her father coupled with immense pressure created probably the most terrifying person in the avatar universe. During the final Agni Kai, she would not have hesitated to kill Zuko and Katara, and probably Appa since he was there. The two are polar opposites and portray the two (given, extreme) common results of childhood abuse.
do u ever think about how the writers of avatar foreshadowed zuko’s decision to side with azula at the end of season 2 way back at the beginning of the same season when he was dreaming about the two dragons?
one had the voice of azula and the other iroh - both arguing for his soul. in the dream he chooses azula and the world he sits in falls apart, then in the crystal catacombs of the earth palace he chooses azula again and everything that he worked for in that city breaks apart from underneath him
THE SCENE WHERE AZULA TRIES TO FLIRT WITH THAT GUY ON THE BEACH IS SO UNDER APPRECIATED OH MY GOD SHE LITERALLY SAYS HIS OUTFIT IS SO ON POINT IT’LL KILL THOUSANDS OF FIRENATION SOLDIERS WHY IS THIS NOT DISCUSSED