Of all the characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko might be one of the best. Here are his character’s highs and lows.
Of all the characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko might be one of the best. His arc of starting out as a main villain to becoming a member of Team Avatar and helping to save the world is truly iconic. He’s a well-written and compelling character, and it’s no surprise that most fans love him.
Zuko might make some bad choices, but he also goes through a lot of awful things at a young age. And, despite everything, he becomes a better person and changes the world for good.
10 Felt Sorry For: When Azula was willing to kill him
The Fire Nation royal family has so many issues it’s hard to know where to start. There seems to be mental illness that runs in the family and also a lot of power and cycles of abuse.
Zuko is almost killed by two of his family members, and the situation Azula wasn’t the worst one. However, even though Zuko felt sympathy for Azula, it was still upsetting to see her so willing to see him dead.
9 Inspiring: Learning the true meaning of the element of fire
One of the best episodes of the series is “The Firebending Masters” in season three. In this episode, Zuko and Aang go to the Sun Warrior ruins and find the civilization is still there but hidden. They both learn about the element of fire from the Sun Warriors and the last remaining dragons.
It’s a great moment as Zuko finally learns that fire isn’t just about anger and destruction. It’s also about energy and life.
8 Felt Sorry For: When he dealt with an internal struggle over which side to be on
Starting in season two after Zuko and Iroh have to go on the run and hide from the Fire Nation, Zuko starts to see more of the world and realize maybe the Fire Nation was wrong.
Then, in season three, he really starts to struggle internally with what is right. This struggle is quite painful for him, and he even gets physically ill because of it.
7 Inspiring: When he apologized to Iroh
One of the worst things Zuko ever did was to betray Iroh and side with Azula at the end of season two. Iroh gets thrown in prison while Zuko regains his honor in the eyes of his father. However, this is what truly makes Zuko realize he’s been wrong all along.
When Zuko is reunited with Iroh after joining Team Avatar, he tearfully apologizes and asks for forgiveness. While it’s a very emotional scene, it was inspiring because it took a lot of change and humility for Zuko to get to that point.
6 Felt Sorry For: When Azula tried to trick him into coming home
Zuko in season one really only wants one thing and that’s to find Aang and restore his honor so that he can go home. Given that he’s only a teenager, it makes sense that all he wants is to be home and to have a family that loves him.
So, when Azula tries to trick him and Iroh to capture them, it’s hard not to feel bad for Zuko even if he’s still technically a villain at the time.
5 Inspiring: The bravery it took to ask to join the Gaang
After leaving the Fire Nation and deciding to do what he could to defeat his father, Zuko has to muster up a lot of courage to ask Team Avatar to join them. Given everything he’s done, they would have been right to never trust him.
While Zuko realizes this and knows they are going to attack him at first, he still knows it’s the right thing to do.
4 Felt Sorry For: Being burned and then banished by his father
The things that Ozai does to Zuko are just downright appalling and horrible. He’s about the worst kind of father you could imagine, and he is clearly abusive. The fact that he challenged his own son to an Agni Kai over something so little as speaking out of turn is terrifying, and Ozai then burns his face badly.
After this disgusting moment, Ozai just keeps being awful to his own son by banishing him and giving him an impossible task if he wants to ever come back home.
3 Inspiring: Helping Sokka free his father
Zuko goes on many “field trips” with the other members of Team Avatar to help them in some way or another, but one of the most inspiring is when he goes to help Sokka free Hakoda from the Boiling Rock prison.
This isn’t an easy thing to do, and even though Zuko clearly has a lot of makeup for and trust to earn, he didn’t have to help. However, he wants to help Sokka and knows it’s the right thing to do.
2 Felt Sorry For: When his mother was banished and his father almost kills him
While Ozai banishing Zuko was pretty bad, what happened to Zuko as a child was probably worse. Azulon, who was clearly awful as well, wanted Ozai to kill Zuko as punishment for trying to usurp Iroh’s birthright after Lu Ten died.
The fact that Ozai would have done it, too, if Ursa hadn’t stopped him is so troubling. Ursa was forced to murder Azulon to save Zuko, and then she was banished leaving Zuko without a mother and not even knowing what happened.
1 Inspiring: When he stood up to Ozai and left the Fire Nation
Of all the best Zuko moments, this might be the best of them all. It was really rewarding for fans to see Zuko finally stand up to Ozai and tell him that he was leaving the Fire Nation.
He stood up for himself and was extremely brave, and it took a lot of guts and courage to leave behind everything he knew to try and help Aang.
NEXT: Avatar: The Last Airbender – 10 Best Quotes From Iroh
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