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This page comprises of Mai's relationships with other characters in the series. She has a series of complex relationships with the other characters, as they often have conflicting personalities.
- "I was a rich only child who got anything I wanted. As long as I behaved...and sat still…and didn't speak unless spoken to. My mother said I had to keep out of trouble. We had my Dad's political career to think about." - Mai talking about her family in "The Beach"
Mai was born into one of the wealthiest families in the Fire Nation, as her father is a prominent politician who eventually became the Governor of New Ozai. It has been implied that she does not hold her family in the highest regard. When she was young, her father was still rising among the ranks, and the family became preoccupied with achieving higher favor with the Fire Lord. As her father's only daughter, Mai was expected to behave properly among the politicians so that her father's respectability was preserved. As a result, her mother and her father taught Mai to keep her opinions and emotions to herself, and her personal needs were always second to her parents'. Mai was often spoiled like many other rich girls as long as she remained in line. Unfortunately, Mai could find little comfort in material needs and lived a very controlled lifestyle as she adhered to her parents' demands. She thus developed her very pessimistic and gloomy outlook on life and is bored by virtually everything around her. She craves for excitement and freedom and displays a rebellious attitude towards her superiors.
Mai's parents evidently do love their daughter despite their troubled history, as displayed by her mother's encouragement to enjoy their lavish lifestyle in Omashu, but Mai's attitude remains unwaivering.
Mai eventually gained a little brother named Tom-Tom two years prior to the present-day. During their stay in Omashu, her family agreed to exchange the imprisoned King Bumi for Tom-Tom, who accidentally got mixed in with the Avatar's group when they fled Omashu. During the exchange, Mai's friend, Princess Azula, suggested that trading a king for a toddler was foolish, so Mai unhesitatingly let the Avatar's group keep Tom-Tom. While this seems unethical, it is likely that Mai only did this because she was in no position to resist Azula, whose skills and aggressiveness were far greater than Mai's.
It is unknown what the state of Mai's relationship is with her family now that the War is over.
- "The Warden's my uncle you idiot." - Mai to Zuko in The Boiling Rock, Part 2
She apparently has a very strong relationship with the Warden, because he seems to care about whether she's happy or not. He was more than willing to inform her of Zuko's capture at the Boiling Rock as punishment for abandoning her rather than reporting to the Fire Lord. He also 'pulls some strings' for her, letting Mai out of prison. This was done despite the fact that Mai had ruined her uncle's zero-escape record at the prison by helping Zuko escape, a record the Warden took enormous pride in, although she did save his life in the act.
Love Interests Edit
- "I think it means… I actually kind of like you." - Mai to Zuko in Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang
As children of the Fire Nation royal court, Mai and Zuko were acquaintances. Although, it is shown Mai's romantic interest in Zuko when she was younger, in which Azula had voiced that the crush had been mutual. In the nick comic "Going Home Again", Mai and Zuko are set up on a date by Azula and Ty Lee, when Zuko voiced reluctance to return to the Fire Nation. They quickly figure it out and explore the city. When they run into Jin, she decides to play along when Zuko tells Jin she was a knife thrower. When she convinces Jin to try, Jin almost hits Zuko, causing him to fall into the fountain. She then leans over them and whispers, "Now we're even". At the end of the date, the two reminisced of their childhood, and then shared a kiss.
They continue their relationship throughout the beginning of book three, with Mai having strong feelings for Zuko and vice versa, with a slight rough patch during "The Beach", where the two break up for a while during Zuko's fit of temper, but get back together in the same episode after confessing their issues. During The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion he leaves to join the Avatar, leaving her a note, stating that he was leaving and breaking up with her.
She later confronts him in "The Boiling Rock, Part 2" stating that he broke her heart. She later saves him from the guards who were cutting the gondola and when asked what she was doing she replied with "Saving the jerk who dumped me." She is imprisoned by Azula for protecting him. After Ozai was overthrown, she is reunited with Zuko, and helps him get dressed. She says she forgives him, and that she actually "likes him". The two kiss, but she's quick to warn him not to "ever break up with [her] again". It is likely that their relationship is still going strong.
Ty Lee is Mai's best friend, whom she met at the Royal Fire Academy for Girls while they were little. Despite Mai's pessimistic attitude and Ty Lee's flightiness, which has occasionally led to personality clashes between the two, the two hold a mutual respect for each other and when together are rarely seen apart. Ty Lee has been seen to enjoy playing pranks on Mai, as she cooperated in a trick Azula concocted that made fun of Mai's crush on Zuko when they were little. Ty Lee tries to encourage Mai to be more open and outgoing.
Ty Lee and Mai reunited in the present-day when Azula teamed up with the two girls in Omashu prior to her mission to capture Zuko and Iroh. The two were happy to see each other and ever since then have cooperated in battling the Avatar and the Earth Kingdom Army. When Azula was off fighting elsewhere, Mai and Ty Lee always fought together, and were more than a match for their enemies with their combined skills in Chi blocking and shuriken-jutsu.
Ty Lee and Mai continued to hang out together after returning to the Fire Nation after capturing Ba Sing Se, the Earth Kingdom capital. They even spent a weekend on Ember Island together. While there, their personalities once again clashed, but after some open confessions about their troubled lifestyles, they understand each other's problems much better. After Zuko joined the Avatar and assisted Sokka in a prison break at the Boiling Rock, Ty Lee accompanied Azula and Mai to the prison, as Mai was heartbroken from Zuko's betrayal of the Fire Nation and was intent on facing him. When Zuko fled with his allies, Azula left him to die in the boiling lake surrounding the prison, prompting Mai to save his life. Ty Lee was terrified that Azula would hurt Mai for her actions, and promptly disabled the princess with her Chi Blocking when the latter tried to attack Mai. This action shocked Mai, who knew Ty Lee didn't have the will to resist Azula up until now. The two were later arrested for betraying the princess and served hard time together in the Boiling Rock.
The two girls were released from prison after the War ended, and it is safe to assume that they are still friends as Ty Lee sacrificed her freedom to protect Mai.
- "I thought when Ty Lee and I finally caught you guys, it would be more exciting." - Mai in The Chase
Mai was an enemy of Team Avatar throughout most of the series. After allying with Azula, she was more than happy to engage them in combat, despite their bending skills, Mai was more than a match for any member of the team, managing to defeat Katara in a matter of seconds in The Chase, and disabling the Kyoshi Warriors in Appa's Lost Days. She took part in the fall of Ba Sing Se, but was not dedicated enough to bother stopping Sokka and Toph from rescuing the Earth King's pet bear. The only member of Team Avatar that was able to catch Mai off guard is Katara in Return to Omashu when Katara immobilized Mai's arm in ice, before Ty Lee cut off her chi.
Mai was imprisoned during the final weeks of the War due to her betrayal towards Azula, as she helped Zuko to flee the Boiling Rock Prison after Azula left him for dead. In doing so, she unintentionally saved former enemies Sokka and Suki. After Mai was released from prison when the War ended, she apparently made peace with everyone in Team Avatar and is now friends with them. She is later seen playing Pai Sho with Suki in Iroh's tea shop and teasing Sokka over his mediocre drawing of the group.
Enemies and Former Friends Edit
- "You miscalculated. I love Zuko more than I fear you." - Mai to Azula in The Boiling Rock, Part 2
Mai and Princess Azula first met as children at the Royal Fire Academy for Girls and have been friends for many years. However, their relationship is perhaps the most complex of Mai's relationships. Ever since they were kids, Azula liked to tease Mai and play pranks on her, especially after noticing that Mai had a crush on her brother, Zuko. In one notable incident, Azula tricked Zuko into knocking Mai into a pond by setting fire to an apple she placed on Mai's head. Mai was not harmed, but she was clearly annoyed and the use of fire did put her in harm's way.
Mai and Azula reunited in the occupied city of Omashu prior to Azula's mission of capturing Zuko and Iroh. Mai seemed glad to see her, and readily accepted the princess' request that she join her on her mission, as it would help her to escape Omashu, which she dreaded. Prior to their departure, Mai's father, the Governor, agreed to exchange King Bumi to the Earth Kingdom in return for his son Tom-Tom, who was taken by accident. Azula put Mai in charge of the exchange, but manipulated Mai into calling off the deal and surrendering Tom-Tom to the enemy. Mai complied, likely out of her subtle fear of the princess. This act put Tom-Tom's life in danger in the battle that followed.
Mai openly cooperated with Azula's efforts to capture Zuko, Iroh, and the Avatar in the Earth Kingdom, and was an active participant in the capture of Ba Sing Se. However, she also displayed a lack of regard for her orders. When the Fire Nation attempted to drill through the Outer Wall of Ba Sing Se, Mai refused to pursue Sokka and Katara through the Fire Nation Drill's slurry system, saying that Azula could just "throw all the lightning she wants" at her. She also refused to fight the Avatar's gang in Ba Sing Se out of boredom, saying to just take the Earth King's bear, Bosco, away, as she disliked overseeing him.
In the canonical comic, "Going Home Again", Azula decided to return to the Fire Nation with her imprisoned Uncle Iroh, and decided to drag Zuko along. When he refused, Azula used Zuko and Mai's childhood crushes on each other to convince him otherwise, arranging a dinner date between the two. The two caught on to her scheme, but they did eventually reunite and Zuko agreed to come home.
After the group returns home, Mai and Azula's relationship undergoes noticeable tension. While Mai and Zuko are enjoying a romantic picnic near the Fire Nation Capital, Azula interrupts so that she can talk to Zuko. When they refuse, Azula forces Mai to leave by lying that Ty Lee needed her help with her tangled braid. Mai complies, but gives Azula a quick but venomous glare as she passes. During the group's stay on Ember Island, they reveal their rough childhoods to each other. When Azula analyzes the reasons for Mai's lack of emotions, Mai screams at her to leave her alone. Finally, in "Nightmares and Daydreams", Mai informs Zuko of a war meeting Azula was invited to. Zuko was told of this beforehand, and the two of them became suspicious of Azula.
Mai and Azula's friendship finally comes to an end during the events of "The Boiling Rock, Part 2". When the girls learn that Zuko has been captured at the Boiling Rock, Mai, along with Azula and Ty Lee, goes to the prison to interrogate Zuko for why he left her on the Day of Black Sun to help the Avatar. When Zuko tries to escape with his friend Sokka and some of the prisoners, Azula and Ty Lee fight them on the gondola. The guards attempt to cut the lines above the boiling lake, so Azula leaves the group for dead. Mai supposedly witnesses this, and betrays Azula to save Zuko's life by fighting the guards.
Mai is arrested by the guards afterwards, so Azula proceeds to interrogate her. When asked why she did it, Mai states that Azula did not know her like she thought she did, and says, "I love Zuko more than I fear you". Azula becomes enraged and attempts to strike Mai down, the latter of whom prepares to fight her with her knives. However, before either can strike, Ty Lee disables Azula to save Mai, and the two girls are arrested. Mai and Ty Lee give Azula one last look of defiance before they are dragged into the prison.
Mai's betrayal of Azula is what ultimately sparked Azula's descent into insanity, as her actions prompted Ty Lee to betray Azula out of her defense and left Azula without any friends. Her sanity was so badly damaged by these events that it ultimately led to her defeat at the hands of Zuko and Katara.
Mai later reunites with Zuko when the War ends and they continue their relationship. Mai has apparently moved on, as she has befriended the Avatar's group and never mentions Azula again. She has likely learned of Azula's poor mental state, but it is unknown if she harbors any sympathy for her. This is unlikely given Azula's multiple attempts to kill Zuko, however their long history together may inspire some remorseful feelings.