The Craziest Villains in 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'

"Avatar: The Last Airbender" was an exceptional cartoon series on Nickelodeon that premiered in 2005, and aired for three seasons, or "books." The animated series won an Emmy award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour) in 2007. During Team Avatar's journey around the world, they encountered some truly insane villains, some who were wolves in sheep's clothing. Let's count down a list of the top ten craziest bad guys from the "Avatar: The Last Airbender" series.

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Lao Beifong, Earth Kingdom

Aang - Avatar the Last Airbender
Aang - Avatar the Last Airbender. Nickelodeon

Wealthy Lao Beifong loved his blind daughter, Toph. But his love made him overly protective. When he discovered Toph was an Earthbender, he enrolled her in a local training academy. Unbeknownst to him, Toph was powerful and began competing in tournaments. When he discovered how masterful Toph was at Earthbending in "The Blind Bandit," he vowed to increase her security and imprison her in order to keep her safe.

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Hama, Southern Water Tribe

At first, Hama seemed to be a kindly old woman, who lived in the Fire Nation and only wanted to help fellow Southern Water Tribe members by offering them food and shelter. But when she took Katara out for a private Waterbending lesson during the full moon in "The Puppetmaster," she revealed herself as a bitter, evil Bender who invented Bloodbending in order to fight her enemies. When Katara refused to follow Hama's instruction in Bloodbending, Hama turned on all of them. Katara eventually resorted to Bloodbending to subdue her, much to her regret. But as Hama was dragged off to prison, she began laughing maniacally, saying her work was done because she has created another Bloodbender.

of 10

Jet, Earth Kingdom

Avatar: The Last Airbender Trio
(clockwise from top) Aang, Sokka and Katara. Nickelodeon

Jet was the rebel leader of the Freedom Fighters, a group of disenfranchised teens. When Jet was a boy, he witnessed his parents' murders at the hands of the Rough Rhinos from the Fire Nation. When Team Avatar met him in "Jet," he seemed to be a good guy, fighting the Fire Nation. But when Team Avatar discovered his plan to blow up a dam in order to destroy a Fire Nation village, full of innocent citizens, they save the dam and the village, then leave Jet behind.

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Warden at the Boiling Rock

Boiling Rock is the Fire Nation's most secure prison, mainly because it is located in the middle of a boiling lake inside a volcano. Anyone would have to be crazy to keep order in such an isolated, dangerous prison, and the warden was no exception. He was more interested in maintaining the prison's record of zero successful escapes than in the welfare of his prisoners, who he would lock into freezers in order to punish them, as demonstrated in the two-part episode "Boiling Rock."

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Admiral Zhao, Fire Nation

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon

Admiral Zhao was power hungry. He quickly rose through the ranks of the Fire Nation navy, reaching Admiral in time for an invasion of the Northern Water Tribe in the two-part episode "The Siege of the North." While his soldiers were fighting, he made his way into a secret chamber, where he destroyed Tui, the Moon Spirit, so that Waterbenders would lose their abilities. But killing the Moon Spirit put the entire world off balance and erased the moon from the sky. Princess Yue sacrificed herself to become the moon, but it was La, the Ocean Spirit, who vanquished Zhao. Zhao was so prideful, he refused to take Prince Zuko's hand in order to save himself.

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General Fong, Earth Kingdom

General Fong had very good intentions. In "The Avatar State," he wished to end the 100-year war with the Fire Nation. But his big idea was to trigger Aang's Avatar state by putting the boy in danger. When that plan failed, he convinced Aang that his friend and love, Katara, had been killed (she wasn't). Aang entered the Avatar state but became too violent. General Fong didn't saw Aang's violence as validation for his strategy​ and only stopped rhapsodizing about his crazy schemes when Sokka knocked him on the head with his boomerang.

of 10

Long Feng, Earth Kingdom

Avatar The Last Airbender - Aang and Momo
Aang and Momo. Nickelodeon

Long Feng was the leader of the corrupt Dai Li, an elite police force inside Ba Sing Se. Long Feng and the Dai Li kept the Earth King ignorant of the 100 Year War being fought outside the walls of Ba Sing Se, in order to supplant the King's power. Long Feng was able to hypnotize and brainwash people in order to control them. Finally, Azula betrayed him and took over the Dai Li in "The Crossroads of Destiny."

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Fire Lord Sozin, Fire Nation

In "The Avatar and the Fire Lord," we learn that Fire Lord Sozin used to be the best friend to Avatar Roku, who was the Avatar before Aang was born. Sozin desired to combine his Firebending with Roku's power over all four elements in order to rule the world. When Roku disagreed, they battled to Roku's death. During this time, a comet (later named Sozin's Comet) was hurling through space, near enough to Earth to give Firebenders more power than usual. Sozin used this extra strength to destroy all Airbenders because he hoped to wipe out the next Avatar.

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Fire Lord Ozai, Fire Nation

Ozai was not meant to take the throne of the Fire Nation. He used the grief of his brother, Iroh, whose son was killed in battle, to maneuver Fire Lord Azulon to make him the heir. He was willing to sacrifice his own son, Zuko, in order to take the title. But the audience was meant to assume Zuko's mother, Ursa, killed Fire Lord Azulon so that Ozai would spare Zuko and rise to power. Later, Ozai burned Zuko, his own son, during an Agni Kai (duel) then banished him from the Fire Nation. He burned nations to the ground in order to secure victory. Finally, during the "Sozin's Comet" four-parter, he made himself into the Phoenix King, essentially emperor to all nations, until Aang took away his bending power, leaving him morose and dejected, but not remorseful.

of 10

Azula, Fire Nation

Azula in 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'
Azula in 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'. Nickelodeon

Princess Azula tirelessly sought not only to destroy the Avatar, but also to dishonor, and possibly kill, her own brother, Zuko. Her deep-rooted insanity became obvious in the final four episodes that make up the "Sozin's Comet" four-parter. When her father, Fire Lord Ozai, left her behind while he waged war, she snapped and began banishing everyone who was left in the Fire Nation. Finally, in an epic battle with Zuko, her mental break was complete after she was defeated by Katara. Azula frothed at the mouth, sobbing and pulling at her restraints.