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Fire Lord Ozai

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You're weak, just like the rest of your people! They did not deserve to exist in this world — in my world! Prepare to join them. Prepare to die!
~ Ozai to Avatar Aang.
I knew the fire lord was a bad guy, but... his plan is just pure evil.
~ Sokka, about the fire lord's genocidal plan.
It's time for this world to end in fire and for a new world to be born from the ashes!
~ Fire Lord Ozai

Fire Lord Ozai (simply known as Ozai) is the main antagonist of Avatar: The Last Airbender. He is overall the supreme antagonist of the series due to being in control of the Fire Nation and being the father of Zuko and Azula. He is also Aang's arch-nemesis. 

He was voiced by Mark Hamill, who is famous for playing the hero Luke Skywalker, and voicing other villains such as The Joker, Niju, Malefor, Colonel Muska, Hobgoblin, Ferris BoyleAlvin the Treacherous, and Dr. Stankfoot.

History

Avatar - The Last Airbender 112 The Storm - Ozai

Ozai's first appearance.

Ozai was born to Fire Lord Azulon, as the younger brother to Fire Prince Iroh, who was favored by their father and who would inherit the throne. He married a noblewomen named Ursa, who bore him two children, Prince Zuko, the eldest who was favored by Ursa, and Princess Azula, who Ozai would favor and who would become a prodigy in the art of Firebending. It is speculated that Ozai favored Azula and disfavored Zuko for another reason as well; Zuko was firstborn, just as the favored Iroh had been, while Azula was second in succession just as Ozai had been most of his life.

When his nephew, Lu Ten, was killed in battle Ozai believed Iroh (in his grief) would not be capable as Fire Lord. He asked his father, Azulon to relinquish the title of Fire Lord to him, noting that he would be capable of maintaining the royal bloodline. Outraged by this request, Azulon ordered Ozai to kill his son, Zuko. At first, Ozai was willing to comply with this request. However, his wife Ursa managed to save her son's life by taking his place. However, instead of being killed, she was banished. Azulon mysteriously died at about the same time (it was revealed in the comic The Search that Ursa had actually procured a poison for Ozai, with which he committed patricide on his father), and at his funeral Ozai was crowned Fire Lord, as Iroh was too sad to accept the role as leader of the Fire Nation.

Later in life, when Zuko was thirteen years old, he attended a military meeting, where one of Ozai's generals suggested that they send a group of soldiers to distract the troops of the Earth Kingdom while they had their other soldiers ambush the Earth army and then overcome the capital of the Earth Kingdom, Ba Sing Se. Outraged, Zuko spoke out against this plan, and he was punished severely: being forced into an Agni Kai against his own father. Zuko was unwilling to hurt his father, and as a result, the Fire Lord blasted his son, creating a huge scar on his face. Ozai banished Zuko unless he found the Avatar, master of the four elements.

Goals and Ambitions

Ozai's main goal is to conquer all the nations and rule over them under the title of "The Phoenix King". To do this, he attempted to use Sozin's comet to wipe out any remaining forces that opposed him.

Role in the Series

Phoenix King Ozai coronation

Ozai, crowned as the Phoenix King, marking his reign of terror.

Ozai is mentioned several times throughout the show, but rarely appears. He is first mentioned by name in the episode "King of Omashu", by King Bumi. Most of his appearances are in visions that Aang has or in flashbacks of Zuko's past. The first time we see him outside of flashbacks of visions is in the finale of the first season, where he gives his daughter Azula the orders to capture his son and brother, who he blames for the failure in the invasion of the Northern Water Tribe. However, in all of his appearances prior to Season 3, his face is covered by shadows. In the Season 2 episode "Zuko Alone", his eyes aren't shown.

He appears far more in the very last season of the show, where his face is shown for the first time when he welcomes his son Zuko back home after he helped Azula and the Dai Li "kill" the Avatar (he survived thanks to some mystical healing water) and conquer Ba Sing Se. Throughout the first half of the season, Aang's gang and Zuko see many paintings and statues of him. The night before the Avatar and his allies invade the capital of the Fire Nation, where the solar eclipse will stop any firebending, the Fire Lord holds a war meeting with his children and his general. At this meeting, he came up with the plan to use his newly built airships to commit genocide against the people of the Earth Kingdom, leaving only the Fire Nation and the massively divided people of the Water Tribe left on the planet. This was it; he was evil, heartless and must be put down like a sick dog.

During the invasion, Ozai and many other nobles and soldiers hid in a giant metal underground dome near the capital city. Zuko confronted his father during the eclipse, informing him of his choice to join the Avatar, teach him Firebending and free the Fire Nation from Ozai's tyranny. When he is about to leave, Ozai tricks him into staying by telling him the story of his mothers death, revealing that she may still be alive. When he finishes the story, the eclipse ends and he shoots lightning at Zuko, who redirects it and escapes.

Ozai versus Avatar Aang

The final battle between Avatar State Aang and Phoenix King Ozai

His next appearance is around three days before Sozin's Comet arrives, which will increase the powers of any firebender to an extreme degree. He appoints Azula as the new Fire Lord, as he will be known as the Phoenix King, who will rule over all the nations and it's leaders. On the day of the comet's arrival, he boards the largest of the Fire Nations fleet of airships and heads towards the Earth Kingdom. While some of the Avatar's comrades take control of an airship and sabotage the rest of the fleet, Avatar Aang, having learned how to use all four elements, destroys the engine of Ozai's flagship and they begin to duel. For most of the fight, Aang and the Fire Lord are equally matched, with Aang using his skill in each bending art to block and evade most – if not all – of Ozai's blows.

Eventually, Ozai began to use his lightning-bending abilities, which backfires when Aang reveals his power to redirect it at Ozai. However, unwilling to kill another human being, he willingly misses the Phoenix King, who begins to overpower the Avatar, forcing him to retreat and protect himself in a boulder. After many strong blows, Ozai shatters the rock with a single jet of fire and sends Aang flying. However, this proves to be the Firelord's greatest mistake. As Aang was thrown back by the blast, a piece of rock pierces the scar on his back where Azula killed him, causing him to abruptly reconnect with the energy of the universe. Ozai attempts to finish off Aang only to be confronted with the young airbender returned in the Avatar State (where he has the power and knowledge of all the past Avatars). He proceeds to overpower Ozai in every way, manipulating the four elements in logic-defying ways, finally pinning Ozai down. Yet, as Aang prepares to deliver the final blow, he falters- still unwilling to take a life- abandoning the Avatar State and releases Ozai.

Ozai calls him a fool and attacks him from behind, but Aang traps him a final time and uses forgotten art called "Energybending" to take away Ozai's bending powers. During the battle, the Avatar's allies, defeated Azula, retook Ba Sing Se and destroyed the Fire Nation's fleet. Completely defeated, powerless, and broken, Zuko (as the new Fire Lord) throws Ozai into prison and interrogates him on the whereabouts of his mother.

While his time in prison, Ukano and the other Ozai loyalists establish New Ozai Society to rid Fire Lord Zuko from power. It ends up with Ukano being sent to prison after saving children from Azula and the Fire Warriors. He later confronted by Ursa, telling him that he had a weak heart as he told her to come back and grovel.

By the time of The Legend of Korra, he has passed away. He may have died of natural causes or may well have been finally executed.

Personality

You're weak, just like the rest of your people! They did not deserve to exist in this world — in my world! Prepare to join them. Prepare to die!'
~ Ozai exhibiting his megalomania.

Ozai was easily angered, tyrannous, oppressive, domineering, totalitarian, authoritative, and insatiably power-hungry. It was implied that Ozai's deep-seated anger stemmed from a failed relationship with his own father, Fire Lord Azulon, though his indifference, militarism, and cruelty are nearly identical to Azulon's. Iroh noted several times that his brother was "not the understanding type", and that he had never known Ozai to regret, forgive, or change his mind about anything. Believing morality to be a sign of weakness, Ozai found peace, kindness, and laughable concepts, and he despised those who followed moral principles. As such, he possessed little to no empathy and rarely showed any interest in the feelings of others.

This behavior was strongly influenced by his obsession with control and in order to achieve total control over the Fire Nation, Ozai was even willing to sacrifice his own family. When ordered by Azulon to kill Zuko so that he would know the pain of losing a son, Ozai admitted to Zuko that he would have gladly carried out the murder had Ursa not interfered. Eventually, he murdered his own father in order to usurp his brother's birthright and become Fire Lord. Similarly, he did not hesitate to sacrifice his subordinates if that meant he would obtain more power. As a result, Ozai supported the idea of sacrificing new recruits to defeat a powerful Earth Kingdom battalion so he could get closer to controlling Ba Sing Se. Likewise, he decided to use the power of Sozin's Comet to destroy the Earth Kingdom without standing still with the human loss that would mean. Despite that, Ozai did believe that a Fire Lord's duty was to protect his people, though he reasoned that was because they were extensions of his divine will as Fire Lord; by attacking them, an opponent attacked him. The ultimate expression of his obsession with control was his aspiration in life to conquer the entire world.

Nevertheless, in his younger years, Ozai showed limited care and compassion for his own family. When Ursa begged him to spare her former lover, Ozai complied to the request after being called "My Love" by his future wife.When he planned to cast his infant son from the palace, Ozai gave in after Ursa and the Fire Sages pleaded with him to give Zuko a chance. Ozai believed that he attempted to be a good father in his early years, a view shared by both Zuko and Azula. However, his pride, anger, and lust for power degraded his relationship with his family. He believed skill and accomplishment determined worth, which allowed the naturally cunning and talented Azula to rise to the position of his favorite child, while he ignored or psychologically abused Zuko. He had no qualms about making Zuko's life miserable just to get back at Ursa for snapping at him that she wished that Zuko was Ikem's son, rather than his. While his relationship with Zuko had always been tense, thenceforth Ozai began to torture Zuko with his perceived inferiority, saying that Azula was "born lucky", while he was "lucky to be born". After his wife's banishment, he continued to be psychologically abusive and vituperative towards both of his children and physically opprobrious toward his son. When Zuko was thirteen, Ozai burned his face and banished him from his country, simply because Zuko spoke out of turn during a war meeting, an action for which he never showed any remorse and merely claimed it to have been a lesson in respect. He only acknowledged Zuko when he helped his sister conquer Ba Sing Se and when he "killed" the Avatar. Eventually, Ozai attempted to kill Zuko when the latter announced his intent to join the Avatar, thereby defying his father. On the other hand, Ozai raised Azula to become his future heir, expecting nothing less than the best from her, which placed a great amount of stress on her and forced her to become a perfectionist. Ultimately, it was the environment in which Ozai raised Azula, where fear, power, and perfection were the only reliable truths, that set the groundwork for her total mental collapse.

However, despite his behavior towards his children, Ozai appeared to be remarkably compassionate and forgiving of failure for certain people, such as War Minister Qin and Zhao, who retained their positions and, in Zhao's case, was repeatedly promoted, despite repeated failures and bungles. Nonetheless, he saw his subordinates as expendable, substitutive, and replaceable, having no tolerance for those who failed to impress him, such as Kunyo or Vachir.

By the time Ozai crowned himself Phoenix King, he began to exhibit extreme megalomania, claiming to own the Earth and to "have all the power in the world".

Do you think being Fire Lord is easy?! The throne comes with many pressures, and those pressures will change you! But if you can stand the heat, you'll become something more. Of all the people in the world, I have the wisdom you need, the wisdom of experience! Be honest with yourself, Zuko – Do you really believe you can handle it all on your own?
~ Ozai questioning Zuko about the challenges of being Fire Lord.

After being stripped of both his bending and his throne, Ozai apparently still retained his jurisdictional and bureaucratic personality, as he casually lectured Fire Lord Zuko when he came to visit Ozai in jail. However, he would develop a calmer, more logical attitude toward life as he thought that Aang's belief of maintaining the four separate nations would only halt progress. This is apparently true as Yu Dao, a city that combined the effort from citizens of both the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdom, grew from a small village to a very developed area. As Zuko sought out Ozai for advice, through their discussions, it was revealed that Ozai believed that good and evil, and even strength and weakness, were meaningless concepts. He believed that the only right and wrong were what he, or more accurately, the Fire Lord, decided, due to his divine right to rule. Any choice he made was the right one, simply by virtue of it being his choice, and that indecisiveness and attempts to guide oneself by moral principles were signs of weakness, and traits that he despised in Zuko.

Powers and Abilities

You're right. I do have the power. I HAVE ALL THE POWER IN THE WORLD!!!
~ Ozai demostrating his firebending, amplified by Sozin's Comet.

Firebending

In his prime, Ozai was a master firebender and arguably the most powerful bender of any kind in the world next to the Avatar. Prior to his downfall, it was speculated that the only people in the world capable of defeating him were Avatar Aang and his older brother, Iroh. Ozai's bending style was liberal and ruthless, taking full advantage of the rage-fueled firebending style to produce flame jets and fireballs. However, he was most often seen manipulating the ambient fire in his throne room, making it dance and flare up through force of will alone. Ozai was deeply in touch with his firebending abilities, as seen when he was able to detect when his powers returned immediately following a solar eclipse from deep underground in a bunker.

Under the influence of Sozin's Comet, Ozai's firebending was noticeably enhanced, to the point where he was capable of single-handedly producing waves of fire larger than entire teams of regular comet-enhanced firebenders working together. He could also produce high-heat explosions and condensed jets of flame for close combat with the same destructive power. The blasts of flame he could produce were powerful enough to travel long distances without weakening, shatter stone, and propel him through the air at high speeds for extended periods of time.

Following his defeat at the hands of Avatar Aang, Ozai was stripped of all of his firebending powers, rendering him relatively helpless.

Lightning

Ozai was one of the few master firebenders of his time able to generate lightning, and was arguably the greatest user of that skill. Prior to the arrival of Sozin's Comet, he was shown making an enormous bolt of lightning with both hands in seconds during the waning seconds of a solar eclipse when most firebending would be impossible. Under Sozin's Comet, his lightning powers were made even more deadly, allowing him to project large, violent strikes of lightning that spread over wide distances. He was, however, untrained in the Lightning Redirection skill developed by his brother, and was vulnerable to other firebenders capable of redirecting his lightning back at him.

Physical Strength and Reflexes

Ozai was in good physical condition and demonstrated above-average endurance and stamina, being able to resist gales of wind made by the Avatar which shattered the solid rock around him. He also demonstrated keen reflexes and fast reaction time in his bouts against Aang and Zuko.

Other Skills

In addition to his firebending, Ozai was known as a capable and patriotic leader, beloved by his people for his intelligence, charisma, and courage. Under Ozai's short tenure as Fire Lord (only five years), the Fire Nation saw the greatest industrial revolution it had known in over one hundred years, which contributed greatly to his legacy. While he had no military career to speak of, Ozai's rule saw the most successful campaigns of the Hundred-Year War, including the decisive victory at Ba Sing Se. Ozai was also a progressive and wise leader, as he recognized ahead of his time that the separation of the four nations was halting progress - unfortunately, his ambition and ego made him decide that the best way to unite the nations would be under Fire Nation rule. Like his daughter, Ozai had a natural disposition towards manipulation, using his cunning to secure his own political power. After his bending was removed, this became Ozai's greatest weapon, as he attempted to control his son Zuko from prison – goading his son to follow in his footsteps.

Relationships

Ozai's egocentric and megalomaniacal personality led to him having many enemies, even within his own family.

Relatives

To Ozai, family seemed to be nothing in comparison to his goal of world domination. It had been hinted that, at one point in time, he seemed to care about his family more. While he may have had some respect for his talented daughter, Azula, Ozai used his children solely to his advantage. By the end of the War it was possible that Ozai had lost all love for his family because of their defeats, betrayals and his cruel treatment of them.

Azula

She's a true prodigy, just like her grandfather for whom she's named.
~ Ozai talking about Azula to Azulon in a flashback
Unlike Zuko, Azula was Ozai's pride, sharing her father's disposition toward cruelty and violence. Ozai always favored Azula, saying she was born lucky. Ozai was always impressed by and proud of Azula's firebending abilities and intelligence.  As Ozai's dislike of Zuko grew over the years, so did his favoritism of Azula. Without a maternal figure, Azula and Zuko had to live up to their father's expectations, and even though Azula succeeded, she was pressured into becoming a perfectionist, settling for nothing less than what would make Ozai proud. At most, Ozai also trusted Azula, believing her lie that Zuko slayed the Avatar.

During the solar eclipse, Zuko revealed to Ozai that Azula had killed the Avatar and lied to protect herself. Even though Ozai seemed furious with Zuko, he seemingly did not punish Azula, since she was as calm and focused as ever during her trip to the Boiling Rock. However, the betrayal of her friends caused Azula's mind to detoriate, which permanently affected her relationship with her father. On the day of Ozai's coronation as Phoenix King, Ozai informed Azula that he would not be taking her with him on his mission to burn down the Earth Kingdom. At first, Azula was extremely upset, feeling her father did not want her and was treating her like Zuko. Ozai harshly silenced her, but calmly and more kindly told her that he had decided to make her Fire Lord. This made her happy, however, the damage was already done. Azula still felt hurt and betrayed, resulting in her complete descent into madness.

Despite his apparent pride in Azula's prodigious firebending skills and sheer prowess, it was clear that Ozai held little true, unconditional love for Azula. Like Zuko, she was largely a tool to further his own efforts of conquering the world. Azula was apparently aware of this, because after Mai and Ty Lee's betrayal, she was unable to handle a hallucination of Ursa's expression of pure, motherly love, and became completely insane.

Azulon

Father, revoke Iroh's birthright. I am your humble servant, here to serve you and our nation. Use me!
~ Ozai to Azulon in a flashback.
Little is known about Ozai and his father's relationship. However, it seemed that Azulon favored Iroh, as he strongly defended his firstborn son's birthright. It was revealed that Azulon ordered Ozai to kill his own son, Zuko, as punishment for trying to usurp Iroh's birthright after the death of Lu Ten, a task Ozai would have accomplished if it were not for Ursa's intervention. Ozai did not appear very upset over his father's death. Ozai named Azula after his father and demonstrated her military knowledge and firebending talent to Azulon as a way to earn his father's respect and recognition.

Iroh

Perhaps he can pass down to you the ways of tea and failure.
~ Ozai to Zuko on Iroh.
Though not much was explicitly stated about the relationship between Ozai and his brother, it seems that one could compare it to the relationship between Azula and Zuko. While Ozai was an amoral, merciless egoist, his brother was a wise, compassionate cosmopolitan. The relation between the two of them evolved to a mutual distrust of one another. Iroh knew of Ozai's power-hungry personality, but feared his great power and placed his hope in the Avatar. Ozai, who derived satisfaction from the adoration of others, despised Iroh with simple disdain. However, Ozai gave Iroh some respect as a member of the Royal Family and as an accomplished military general. Iroh is present during Ozai's war council just prior to Zuko's banishment.

Because Iroh was Ozai's older brother, he was to be next in line to succeed Azulon as Fire Lord. By the time that Azulon had died, it was evident that Ozai developed a deep hatred for his brother. After Iroh's son died in the Siege of Ba Sing Se, Ozai was quick to take advantage of Iroh's vulnerability and informed Azulon that with Lu Ten gone, Iroh had no heirs, so it would be more fitting for himself to be Fire Lord. Azulon denied this request, intending to punish Ozai for seeking to usurp Iroh's birthright. In the aftermath of this fallout, Ozai ultimately stole the throne from Iroh after Azulon's mysterious death. Iroh did not resist this course of action.

Their relationship did not improve during Ozai's reign. Iroh was horrified by Ozai's decision to burn Zuko's face after their Agni Kai, and never forgave him for his cruelty toward the young prince. Iroh further distanced himself from Ozai by accompanying Zuko on his quest, and tried to sway the prince away from the path Ozai had chosen for his son. After Iroh betrayed the Fire Nation upon defending the Moon and Ocean Spirits from Admiral Zhao at the Northern Water Tribe, Ozai deemed Iroh a traitor  and ordered Azula to bring him back in chains. He did not regret leaving his brother to rot in prison after his capture at Ba Sing Se.

Lu Ten

With Lu Ten gone, Iroh's bloodline has ended.
~ Ozai talking about Lu Ten to Azulon in a flashback.
Barely anything is known about the relationship between Ozai and his nephew, however, it was shown that Ozai was very unsympathetic to Lu Ten's death as he tried to gain the throne by telling Azulon that with Lu Ten dead, Iroh's bloodline had ended.

Zuko

You will obey me, or this defiant breath will be your last!
~ Ozai to Zuko.
Ozai and Zuko always had a complicated relationship. Though Zuko always wished to please Ozai, Ozai was never pleased with Zuko, saying he was lucky to be born, unlike Azula, whom he said was born lucky. Ozai seemed to have tried to have been a good father when he was younger, but almost all his tolerance for Zuko vanished when Zuko "disrespected" Ozai by speaking against one of his general's plans. This resulted in Ozai burning Zuko's eye, permanently scarring his son in an Agni Kai in which Zuko refused to participate. Zuko was banished after the pathetic display he had shown during the Agni Kai and could only return home if he captured the Avatar. However, he finally won back Ozai's love when he helped his sister conquer Ba Sing Se, betrayed his uncle, and killed the Avatar, which Azula lied about to protect herself in the case that the Avatar was still alive. Though Zuko was never a favorite of his, Ozai allowed Zuko to speak on the War Room meetings afterward, using his son's experience in the Earth Kingdom as a valuable asset for his final conquest.

During the Day of Black Sun, Zuko came to the conclusion to join Team Avatar in their quest to defeat Ozai and bring balance to the world. Zuko confronted Ozai in his underground bunker during the eclipse and stated he was going to tell him the truth. Ozai, amused by this, let him speak. Zuko revealed that it was Azula who killed the Avatar, not him, and that Aang was alive and was likely leading the invasion. Zuko disowned his father and stated that he no longer wanted Ozai's love. He subsequently announced his decision to join the Avatar and to free his uncle from prison. While leaving, Ozai deemed him a coward and baited his son to stay until the eclipse ended by revealing what happened to his long-lost mother. According to Ozai, Azulon did order him to kill Zuko, something he would have done had Ursa not found out. To protect Zuko, she proposed a plan where Ozai would become Fire Lord and Zuko would live. By doing this she committed vicious acts of treason, resulting in her banishment. Zuko was nearly moved to tears by this news, though realized his mother might still be alive. Although Ozai acknowledged that possibility, he deemed a mere banishment as a too merciful a penalty for treason and vowed that Zuko's punishment would be far worse. As the eclipse ended, Ozai fired a bolt of lightning at Zuko, who redirected it and escaped before Ozai could retaliate, leaving his father to seethe in rage.

Zuko openly showed his hatred toward his father with the rest of Team Avatar as he openly stated that Ozai was the worst father ever. He insisted that, as the Avatar, Aang had to kill Ozai, a task in which Aang did not want to partake. Aang defeated Ozai by taking his bending away.

Zuko visited his father in prison and was evidently satisfied with Ozai's loss of bending. As Ozai sarcastically thanked the new Fire Lord to grace him with his presence, Zuko answered that he should be glad Aang let him live and hoped that after some time in prison, Ozai would be put on the right path. Zuko went on to praise his father for banishing him, saying it was the best thing he could have ever done for him. When Ozai questioned Zuko as to his reasons for visiting him in prison, Zuko demanded to know the whereabouts of his mother.

Ozai did not reveal Ursa's location to Zuko, instead, he offered his son advice on how to be a good Fire Lord, given that he had the "wisdom of experience." Even as a prisoner, Ozai was not above manipulating and goading his son. When Zuko began to walk away, Ozai warned him that the throne came with many pressures that would change him, but if Zuko endured them, he would become great. Ozai predicted that Zuko would return later, a return which he awaited.

His prediction held true, as a year after the Hundred Year War, with a developing crisis in Yu Dao, Zuko returned to Ozai's cell for advice. After two sessions, Ozai had tried to persuade Zuko that it was his choice, as Fire Lord, that mattered. As the Harmony Restoration Movement failed, Zuko listened to his father.

Love interest 

Ozai has only had one known love interest: his wife, Ursa, who was later banished.

Ursa 

Your mother did vicious, treasonous things that night, and for her treason, she was banished.
~ Ozai talking about Ursa to Zuko.
Ozai was arranged to be married to Ursa on the wish of Azulon, in order to fulfill a prophecy that their bloodlines would provide a strong and powerful heir to the Fire Nation throne. However, in order for Ursa to marry the Fire Nation prince, she had to break up with Ikem, a relationship she never got over. On their wedding day, Ozai informed Ursa that she could never have any more contact with the people of her old life. However, the new Fire Nation princess did not heed this order and she attempted to send letters in secrecy to her parents and Ikem. These were intercepted on Ozai's order, however, and due to the content of one of them, detailing the possibility that Zuko was Ikem's son as opposed to Ozai's, the couple grew even further apart. Consumed by jealous rage, Ozai ordered the death of Ikem, which he joyfully announced to Ursa, breaking her heart.

Their marriage finally came to an end the day before Ozai would be crowned Fire Lord. As punishment for his audacity to be named crown prince as opposed to Iroh, Ozai was ordered to kill Zuko, which he intended to do. However, in order to save her son's life, Ursa struck a deal with her husband. She would fabricate an untraceable poison, which Ozai could use as he pleased, if he would reconsider taking the boy's life. Ozai accepted the offer, albeit on the extra condition that Ursa was to leave the Fire Nation palace without her children and never return. As such, Ursa left the Fire Nation palace.

Allies

Like family, friendship seemed to be irrelevant to Ozai in comparison to world domination. In the Fire Nation, his cruelty, disregard for others, political power, and superior bending prowess usually catalyzed respect and obedience. While he may have some respect for the Fire Nation military that served him and his forefathers,[3][10] Ozai used his soldiers solely to his advantage.

Bujing

After Zuko's outburst at the meeting, the Fire Lord became very angry with him. He said Zuko's challenge of a general's plan was an act of complete disrespect and there was only one way to resolve this.
~ Iroh to Jee about Ozai, Zuko, and Bujing
General Bujing was a High General of the Fire Nation military. Although he was in Ozai's presence twice, he never met or spoke with Ozai nor is it known if there was a difference highly unlikely though it is between Bujing's relationship with Azulon and with Ozai. Bujing was renowned for his ruthless but effective battlefield strategies and shared Ozai's disposition toward cruelty and violence. Known for his calculating manner, sadism, and ruthless attitude, General Bujing had an obsession with victory even if it meant sacrificing inexperienced troops to gain a battlefield advantage but was largely a tool to further Ozai's own efforts at conquering the world.

During a war meeting, Bujing's military plan was to move a rookie troop of Fire Nation recruits to fight an experienced battalion of earthbenders. This would make the latter concentrate its efforts and resources on the former, leaving the way open for more capable Fire Nation soldiers to encircle and defeat them. In his words, the new recruits were the best bait available: "fresh meat". When Prince Zuko attended his first war meeting and spoke out against Bujing's cruel plan, he and the other attendees were greatly offended. Ozai told his son that it was an act of disrespect and could only be settled by an Agni Kai, and Zuko accepted, not being afraid of the elderly Bujing.

However, Zuko unexpectedly ended up facing Ozai instead. Bujing attended the Agni Kai as a member of the audience smirking upon seeing "justice" served to Zuko, showing Bujing's fanatical loyalty to Ozai and how cruel Bujing was. Bujing attended the war meeting the day before the eclipse and was seen exchanging an uneasy glance with General Shinu when Prince Zuko entered the room. He applauded Ozai's plan to destroy the Earth Kingdom with the power of Sozin's Comet. Bujing's relish at hearing the Earth Kingdom's destructive fate showed how cruel Bujing was and how faithful he was to Ozai.

Joo Dee

After the Fire Nation's Coup of Ba Sing Se, the position of Supreme Bureaucratic Administrator to the city was created, as which an Earth Kingdom woman named Joo Dee served.

Azula placed Joo Dee in charge of Ba Sing Se as Supreme Bureaucratic Administrator following the fall of the capital. According to Azula, she was the "perfect" person for the job. Due to affiliation with the Fire Nation and Azula, Joo Dee was an ally of Ozai though she did not sympathize with his cause.

After the War's end, Ozai's defeat and the liberation of Ba Sing Se, Joo Dee was likely removed from her position, and was allowed to return to her previous life peacefully. The office of Supreme Bureaucratic Administrator was most likely abolished.

Qin 

The Earth Kingdom will finally fall and you can claim Ba Sing Se in the name of your father. Nothing can stop us
~ Qin to Azula about Ozai.
Qin was the cunning and inventive War Minister and overseer of the creation of all the Fire Nation's war machines and had been a Fire Nation emissary for years. He never met with, spoke with, or was mentioned by Ozai nor is it known if there was a difference highly unlikely though it is between Qin's relationship with Azulon and with Ozai. It is certain whatsoever that Qin shared Ozai's disposition toward cruelty and violence and Qin was largely a tool to further Ozai's own efforts at conquering the world.

What is known at the earliest is that out of devotion to Ozai, Qin came back to check in the mechanist's inventions regularly, which pleased Ozai because it consisted of destructive tanks and warships. When the time came, Qin made it so that the Fire Nation attempted to burn the Northern Air Temple to rubble after the mechanist's defection. The mechanist and his fellow refugees that lived in the temple pushed the invaders back completely.

However, the mechanist's latest invention was a hot air balloon with which the battle for the Northern Air Temple was won against the Fire Nation. During the battle, the balloon crashed into the nearby valley, right in time to be discovered by Ozai's loyal War Minister. Qin decreed with a sadistic smile that the defeat at the battle of the Northern Air Temple "would be the gateway to many victories" for the Fire Nation in Ozai's name at battles of the War in the future. Under Qin's supervision, the hot air balloon turned into a frequently used war balloon that enabled Ozai's military to control the skies.

The masterpiece of technology worked on under Qin's direction for many years was revealed before the walls of Ba Sing Se – a massive drill with enough power to tunnel through the wall once which he intended for his troops to storm the city from within. At the battle of the drill, Princess Azula oversaw Qin's expedition to penetrate the great walls of the impenetrable city. This was the first time Ozai was mentioned by Qin when he said that the Earth Kingdom would finally fall and that Azula could claim Ba Sing Se for the Fire Nation in Ozai's name.

What is known at the latest is that when the Drill fell into disrepair thanks to the invention of Avatar Aang and his friends, Ozai seemingly did not punish Qin, as Qin was next seen strolling down the halls of Ozai's secret bunker, where he came across Aang and his friends. When threatened by them, he quickly gave them directions to Ozai's chambers, where not Ozai, but Princess Azula awaited them.

The Rough Rhinos

We've come to claim this village for the Fire Lord.
~ Mongke to the town of Chin about Ozai.
The Rough Rhinos were an elite group of Fire Nation komodo rhino cavalry. They did not seem to be under the direct control of the military, but instead worked on a freelance basis for the Fire Nation. There were five members of the group, each of whom specialized in a different type of weapon/fighting style; though each of their preferred weapons were not well adapted for close-combat.

During Azulon's reign, the Rough Rhinos were responsible for the destruction of Jet's village and the murder of his parents. During Ozai's reign, the group invaded Chin Village during Aang's trial for the murder of the village's great leader, Chin the Great. They claimed it in name of Ozai and started to destroy part of the village until Aang, Katara, and Sokka stopped them.

Sometime later, the team of soldiers surrounded Iroh and Zuko by means to capture them for Ozai when the two fugitives of the Fire Nation were traveling through the Earth Kingdom, near the great Si Wong Desert. After a brief battle, the warriors were bested by the two firebenders, who were able to escape in the chaos ensuing an explosion.

The Royal Procession

My brother and my uncle have disgraced the Fire Lord and brought shame on all of us. You may have mixed feelings about attacking members of the royal family; I understand. But I assure you, if you hesitate, I will not hesitate to bring you down. Dismissed.
~ Azula to the Royal Procession about Zuko, Iroh, and Ozai.
The Royal Procession, also known as the Imperial Firebenders, was a unit of elite firebenders who served the Fire Lord therefore, Ozai and the Royal Family as personal soldiers and guards and remained silent while on duty. Therefore, they served Ozai and Azula as personal soldiers and guards and prior to Zuko's banishment, him and Iroh as well. The Royal Procession were only loyal to the Fire Lord.

While out to capture her brother and uncle, Azula was accompanied by at least thirty of these soldiers to carry out in her ship. Both the princess and thirty bodyguards had intentions of carrying out Ozai's will. During the Day of Black Sun the Imperial Firebenders were seen in Fire Lord Ozai's secret bunker to serve as protection during the eclipse in the event that an enemy managed to breach the underground facility. As they were deprived of their bending, they were carrying spears, showing their faithfulness to Ozai.

The Royal Procession was briefly seen at the coronation of Phoenix King Ozai. Imperial Firebenders held up the banners of the Phoenix King, emphasizing their strong loyalty to him. Imperial Firebenders were seen as part of the crew of the airship fleet, burning a large section of the Wulong Forest and defending the ships from intruders.

During the time when Ozai declared himself the Phoenix King the uniforms of the members of the Royal Procession were a black inverted version of the original, i.e. whatever was black was red and vice versa. After Ozai was defeated and imprisoned, the Royal Procession bent their loyalty to Zuko.

Ukano

My father has entrusted you with this city and you're making a mess of things.
~ Azula to the governor of New Ozai about Ozai
As a reward for his role in the siege of Omashu, Ukano was appointed governor of the newly subjected city.[26] He was chosen by Fire Lord Ozai to govern Omashu, later renamed New Ozai by Princess Azula in honor of her father. He moved there with his wife, Mai, and Tom-Tom. Though the governor cared greatly for his family, he was a weak ruler whose faulty assumptions often led to poor decisions.

To resist the governor's rule, the citizens of Omashu devised a plan involving the purple pentapuses. The next morning, all the citizens showed up with marks on their skin from the pentapuses' suction cups, making them look diseased. The governor ordered the citizens to be driven out of the city, thinking there was a plague. He later sent a messenger hawkbearing a message to the resistance.

His concern for his family also clearly came before his allegiance to the Fire Lord, as was demonstrated by his spontaneous offer to trade one of the Fire Nation's most valuable and powerful prisoners for his missing son. The governor thought that the earthbenders kidnapped his son and used the disease as a cover. He offered to trade King Bumi for his son. The governor never met with, spoke with, was mentioned by, or was in the presence of Ozai.

However, Azula mentioned Ozai in the governor's presence, saying how Ozai had entrusted the governor with Omashu and how the governor was nevertheless making a mess of things. When the Day of Black Sun arrived, King Bumi liberated Omashu and destroyed the Fire Nation Palace in the city. Even though this was a defeat against the Fire Nation, Ozai seemingly did not punish the governor, as Mai and the Warden seemed at total ease in the events after this.

Zhao

Save your stories for the Fire Lord. As far as I'm concerned, you're all guilty.
~ Zhao to the Great Sage about Ozai.
Zhao was a high-ranking and ambitious officer, originally a lieutenant, followed by captain, later commander, and finally an admiral, in the Fire Navy and Zuko's major rival in his attempts to capture Avatar Aang. Zhao never met with or spoke with Ozai, but Zhao among others was in Ozai's presence smirking while Zuko was burned.

Zuko attempted to withhold the information that the Avatar had returned from Zhao, but Zhao discovered the information that the Avatar had returned and decided to detain Zuko so that he would be unable to capture the Avatar first. This infuriated Zuko and in their subsequent argument Zhao mocked Zuko's plight, telling him that his father does not really want him back at all. This showed that Zhao had great respect and admiration for Ozai. All the same, Zhao's mockery of Zuko regarding his relationship with his father may not mean Zhao thinks highly of Ozai because Azulon treated Ozai almost exactly as Ozai now treated Zuko and the chance that Zhao would side with Azulon against Ozai is not impossible.

Zuko entered into Fire Nation waters in pursuit of the Avatar, thus violating the terms of his exile. After Zhao arrested the Fire Sages of Crescent Island – four for helping Zuko at this point in time and the other one named Shyu for helping Aang – the Great Sage reminded him that only the sage named Shyu had helped the Avatar. Zhao once more showed his fanatical loyalty to Ozai by claiming the five traitors save their stories for Ozai.

When Zhao wanted the Yuyan Archers to be used for his quest to capture Aang, Zhao was a commander therefore; his superior General Shinu denied his request. At that moment, a messenger hawk arrived from Ozai addressed to Shinu. The message was that Zhao was promoted from Commander to Admiral, rendering Zhao's previous request as an order. This showed Ozai had a large amount of trust and faith in Zhao. Once Zhao had captured the Avatar, he made an illuminating speech enjoyed by all soldiers in the stronghold. He wanted a copy of his speech sent to Ozai, which did not happen because a disguised Zuko helped Aang escape. Zhao did not know Zuko was the thief and after knocking out the masked vigilante, proposed to deliver him to Ozai along with Aang.

Knowing that Aang was heading for the North Pole to find a waterbending master, Zhao mustered a massive invasion force to besiege and defeat the Northern Water Tribe. Despite the powerful number of Zhao's fleet, the Moon blessed the Northern waterbenders with the power to stand – power that intensified at night and that reached its peak when the Moon was full. Zhao had chosen his destiny many years earlier during his days as a lieutenant that it was his destiny to kill Tui, the Moon Spirit by means to destroy the Moon and the Water Tribe. Knowing the location of the Moon and Ocean Spirits, he used the naval battle he had led as a diversion for him to make his way to the Spirit Oasis of the besieged city. There, in a bid to defeat the Water Tribe forever, he relentlessly killed Tui and destroyed the Moon.

With Iroh's help, Tui was restored to life by Princess Yue's sacrifice, bringing the Moon back into existence. Shortly after this event, La, the Ocean Spirit sought revenge on Zhao for killing his wife, which sadly caused the evil admiral to die. Zuko tried to save him but Zhao just would not accept the help of such an enemy and no longer wanted to live after the Moon's revival. Ozai only wanted for the Water Tribe to be crushed and was behind Zhao as long as this happened, even if it meant the destroying the Moon which was said would hurt everyone including its destroyer. All in all, Ozai did not care if Tui was killed or not, but because this was the only way to defeat the Water Tribe, Ozai was pleased when Zhao slew Tui. It is obvious that Ozai understood the absence of the Moon on the night Tui died as evidence that Zhao had killed the Moon Spirit, but when the Moon was resurrected, Ozai knew immediately for his brother Iroh to be in Zhao's company and aware of Iroh's spiritual connections, that the only way for the Moon to have been renewed was with Iroh's treacherous interference.

Meanwhile, Zhao's forces were almost, if not completely, eradicated by Aang and La. Ozai was furious at this turn of events, not to mention at his brother's treason. When Zhao did not come back with his navy from the North Pole, Ozai knew immediately that Zhao had been killed in the Siege of the North and was outraged by his faithful Admiral's death. After Zhao's death, Ozai blamed Iroh for the loss of the North Pole and considered Iroh as a traitor whom he vowed to have imprisoned.

Enemies

Ozai has a vast list of enemies. He was hated by people from both the other surviving nations and the Fire Nation.

Aang

You're weak, just like the rest of your people! They did not to deserve to exist in this world ... In my world! Prepare to join them. Prepare to die!
~ Ozai to Aang.
Ozai never formally met the Avatar until the end of the War. When he found out Aang was alive, he took immediate action, promoting Zhao to Admiral to increase his chances of capturing the Avatar. Ozai ordered wanted posters to be hung all over the Earth Kingdom to increase his chances of capturing Aang. Even though he felt capturing the Avatar would be a great triumph, he never ordered a significant force to actively search for the last airbender, and after he was told by his children that the Avatar was dead, he believed them. Ozai finally faced Aang on the day of Sozin's Comet. The two were initially evenly matched until Aang's hesitation to kill Ozai gave the Phoenix King the advantage. Ozai nearly defeated Aang and openly mocked him until he knocked him in to a rock, accidentally triggering the Avatar State. Aang easily overwhelmed Ozai while in the Avatar State, but instead of killing him, he stripped him of his firebending abilities using energybending. This resulted in Ozai's defeat and life imprisonment.

Team Avatar 

I am the Phoenix King, ugh!
~ Ozai after being taunted by Sokka
With the exception of Zuko and Aang, Ozai never formally confronted the rest of Team Avatar. However, he briefly encountered Sokka, Toph, and Suki right after Aang defeated him. Seeing he was powerless, the three of them devised nicknames like "The Loser Lord", "Phoenix King of getting his butt whooped", and "king of the guys who ... don't win". Ozai could only lie down and drool while hearing those insults.

It is interesting to note that Katara was the only full-time member of Team Avatar who never met Ozai even though she was likely the most influential member to him, aside from Zuko and Aang, as she defeated Azula.

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Trivia

  • Many of Ozai's characteristics, including his serious nature with a small amount of humor, and his favor of physical strengh over mental manipulation, is likely modeled after Darth Vader, an iconic villain of the Star Wars Saga. Addationally, both are a younger brother figure to a mentor of the protagonist (Iroh and Obi-Wan), and turned evil due to be consumed by hatred and jealously. They're also the father of one of the protagonists (at least by the time they serve as the main villain), who they attempted to turn evil but eventually failed. Both also using strategy, and were built-up to be the figure that one of the heroes (Aang and Luke) was destined to defeat. Interestingly, Ozai's voice actor, Mark Hamill, also played Luke Skywalker, Vader's son.
    • It was also stated that the flashback scene of his Agni Kai challenge with Zuko in "The Storm" is based on Vader's confrontation with Luke in The Empire Strikes Back.
    • Although, there is a difference: While Vader redeemed, Ozai is not. In other word, Vader could have become like Ozai if he let jealously completely consumed him.