Biographical information

Fire Nation


16 (in Avatar: The Last Airbender) 17-18 (in The Promise Trilogy) Unknown (deceased in The Legend of Korra)


83 ASC


100 ASC – Unknown

Physical description


Hair color


Personal information

Iroh, Ursa, Mai, Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, Suki, Appa, Momo, Hakoda, Ty Lee, Order of the White Lotus, more...


Ozai, Azula, Zhao, Jet, Combustion Man

Weapon of choice

Fire, dual dao swords

Fighting style(s)

Firebending, dual swordsmanship

Chronological and political information
  • Fire Lord
    • Sword master
      • Firebending instructor[1]
        • Tea shop assistant
          • Bandit
First appearance

"The Boy in the Iceberg"

Last appearance

The Promise Part 1

Voiced by

Dante Basco Elijah Runcorn (young Zuko)

Zuko is a fictional character in Nickelodeon's animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The character, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, is voiced by Dante Basco and is portrayed by Dev Patel in the 2010 film The Last Airbender by M. Night Shyamalan.

Zuko the Crown Prince of the Fire Nation, and a powerful Firebender, meaning he has the ability to create and manipulate fire and lightning through martial arts. He is the elder child of Fire Lord Ozai and Princess Ursa, and brother of Princess Azula. Before the events of the series, Zuko is exiled from the Fire Nation by his father and told to capture the Avatar--then thought to be an impossible task because the Avatar had not been seen in over 100 years--in order to restore his honor and right to the throne. Zuko is accompanied and advised in his search by his uncle Iroh. Over time, Zuko's loyalties and moralities shift as he grows to sympathize with the people that the Fire Nation has terrorized, ultimately joining the Avatar to help end the Fire Nation's tyranny and restore balance to the world. Zuko has two well known great-grandfathers: on his father's side, Fire Lord Sozin, who started the 100 year war, and on his mother's side Avatar Roku, the Avatar preceding Aang.

History EditEdit

Background EditEdit

Zuko was the first-born (83 ASC) of Fire Lord Ozai and Princess Ursa. From an early age, he was disdained by his father and the object of his sister Azula's manipulation, ridicule and deception. His mother, however, loved and favored him over her.[3] At some point in his childhood, Piandao trained him in the dual dao swords.[6]

When Zuko was about eleven years old, his cousin, Lu Ten, died while away at war. General Iroh, devastated by the loss of his only child, abandoned his 600 day siege of the Earth Kingdom capital city, Ba Sing Se. During an audience with Fire Lord Azulon, Ozai showed off Azula's prodigious firebending skill and knowledge of military strategy, both outstripping Zuko's. Azulon was unimpressed by these exercises and demanded Ursa and her children leave and Ozai be frank about his reasons for wanting the audience. Azula and Zuko eavesdropped on their conversation as Ozai voiced his desire to be made heir in Iroh's place, justifying this course of action by pointing out that Iroh’s overwhelming grief and subsequent erratic behavior made the date of his return from war uncertain and he had no remaining heirs to carry on his line. Azulon, however, was outraged and declared angrily that Iroh had suffered enough, but Ozai’s suffering had just begun.[3]

Frightened, Zuko ran away while Azula stayed to watch. Later, he was in his room trying to sleep when she came in and mockingly told him that Azulon's punishment for Ozai is that he must kill Zuko, as he wanted him to know what it felt like to lose a child. Ursa, hearing the commotion, came in and took Azula away, declaring it was time that they talked. Zuko, left behind, chanted quietly to himself, "Azula always lies." Later, he was awakened again, but this time by his mother. She told her sleepy son everything that she had done, she did for him, and instructed him not to forget who he was no matter how much things may change. The next morning, he immediately remembered what transpired the night before and ran frantically through the halls searching for his mother. He found Azula, who blithely told him Azulon died the previous night and their mother was missing. As she played with his pearl dagger (a gift from his Uncle Iroh), she mocked him and noted their mother was not there to make her give it back. Eventually, he found Ozai in the gardens of the palace and demanded to know where Ursa was. Ozai did not answer and he hung his head in sorrow. At Azulon’s funeral, the sage conducting the ceremony named Ozai the new Fire Lord upon Azulon's dying request.[3] Years later, Iroh allowed a persistent, thirteen-year-old Zuko into a war council with Ozai and some of his generals. He ignored Iroh's instructions not to speak during the meeting when one general outlined a plan to sacrifice an entire division of new recruits in a diversionary maneuver. He fiercely disagreed with this, seeing it as a betrayal of the recruits' patriotism. The insubordinate outburst was seen as a grave insult and Ozai demanded that he participate in an Agni Kai. He agreed, unaware he would face his father, not the general he insulted. Upon turning to face his opponent, he was immediately penitent and knelt, refusing to fight, and tearfully begged for his father's forgiveness. Ozai declared his refusal a sign of cowardice and another display of disrespect, and told him "[he] will learn respect, and suffering will be [his] teacher."[7]

Ozai burned Zuko (permanently scarring the left side of his face), stripped him of his birthright, and exiled him from his beloved homeland, declaring that he could only return if he was able to find and capture the Avatar, who disappeared one hundred years before. A fool's errand by all accounts (because if the Avatar had disappeared, there would be no point in searching for him), but one Zuko clung onto desperately as his only hope of regaining his honor, and everything he had lost.[7]

Zuko spent the next three years at sea, fruitlessly searching for the Avatar. He searched the four air temples, beginning with the Western Air Temple, and scoured the world, searching even the most remote locations for his prize.[4] Iroh accompanied Zuko during his exile, and the pair spent more than two years at sea with a small ship and crew. They were not royal guards or special forces, and may well have been banished themselves, or were foolishly intent on serving under the popular General Iroh. They were often unhappy under Zuko but obeyed his orders.[7] Iroh often considered the search an extended vacation.

Season OneEdit

Zuko is 16 years old. Six years prior to the start of the series, Prince Ozai, Zuko's father, attempted to usurp his elder brother Iroh's birth right and steal the throne for himself. This was due to Iroh having recently lost his son in the war and abandoning the campaign against the city of Ba Sing Se. Fire Lord Azulon, Iroh and Ozai's father, was furious that Ozai would try to take advantage of Iroh's grief and orders Ozai to kill his own son so that he might feel the pain which Iroh felt after losing a child. Ozai, considering Zuko a disappointment, was willing to kill Zuko to appease his father. However, in an effort to protect him, Ursa, Zuko's mother, committed treasonous acts which resulted in Firelord Azulon's death. Soon after Ozai took the throne and banished Ursa. Three years after, Zuko objects to a plan of attack that would have sacrificed many newer soldiers as bait, whereupon Ozai challenges his son to an Agni Kai for the perceived disrespect shown to him in his own war chamber. Unwilling to fight his father, Zuko begs forgiveness, only to be savagely burned across the left side of his face. Ozai banishes Zuko from the Fire Nation, ordering him not to return until he finds the Avatar, which was thought an impossible quest, with only his Uncle Iroh and a small ship and crew to help him. After three years of searching, Aang emerges from an iceberg, and Zuko tries to capture him. They encounter each other multiple times throughout the first season, but Zuko fails to capture Aang or Aang escapes. During Zuko's pursuit, Fire Nation Admiral Zhao also takes up chasing the Avatar. Zhao views Zuko as a failure and a traitor, and ultimately attempts to have him murdered by pirates. Zuko escapes this attempt on his life and stows away on Zhao's ship during his invasion of the Northern Water Tribe, where Aang is learning Waterbending. At the North Pole, Zuko is still unable to capture the Avatar while Zhao dies after being seized by an ocean spirit. Despite playing the role of antagonist throughout this season, evidence of Zuko's compassionate side exists, such as when he went to great extents to save the life of his uncle, and later the lives of his crew, though he had a chance to pursue the Avatar instead.

[edit] Season TwoEdit

The second season opens with Zuko and Iroh still chasing the Avatar, only to be confronted by Azula, Zuko's younger sister. They escape and realize they have been branded traitors to the Fire Nation. Now on the run from Azula, Iroh and Zuko travel the Earth Kingdom like ordinary refugees, much to Zuko's frustration. Eventually Zuko splits away from Iroh, feeling he could no longer learn from his uncle. However, Iroh follows Zuko out of concern, and the two reconnect after Azula injures Iroh. Their travels take them to Ba Sing Se, where Zuko follows his uncle's advice and tries to make a new life for himself. Both prosper; but when Azula launches her plan to capture Ba Sing Se, Zuko is faced with the opportunity to return home, and subsequently chooses to side with his sister in the battle against Aang and Katara. After being betrayed by Zuko, Iroh is thrown in jail.

[edit] Season ThreeEdit

The final season begins with Zuko and Azula's return to the Fire Nation after conquering Ba Sing Se. Both are praised as heroes by the Fire Nation for capturing Ba Sing Se and for killing the Avatar. Zuko is shocked to discover that his father, who he is now on speaking terms with, believes him to have killed the Avatar. Further inspection reveals that Azula suspects Aang survived her attack, and has transferred the glory to Zuko to protect herself from blame in the event that the Avatar resurfaces. Zuko begins to visit his uncle in prison, who eventually tells him that he is a descendent of Avatar Roku through his mother's side, explaining that it is Zuko's destiny to restore the honor of the Fire Nation and help the Avatar bring balance to the world. Soon after, in a war meeting held in preparation for the Day of Black Sun, he unintentionally helps Ozai invent a plan to completely burn the Earth Kingdom to the ground. His father, Fire Lord Ozai, is genuinely proud, however Zuko realizes that to have the love of his father, he would have to be cruel and ruthless. Soon after this meeting, he fully resolves to help Aang defeat his father. He confronts his father, telling the Fire Lord he is joining Aang, and incapacitates his father by redirecting one of his father's blasts of lightning back at him. Zuko leaves, and later discovers that Iroh has escaped from prison.

Zuko then finds Aang and his friends and expresses his desire to join their team and teach Aang firebending. Although the team initially rejects him, Aang and company gradually come to accept Zuko after he helps them defeat Combustion Man. When Zuko's lack of a motive (his previous motive being anger and his need to capture the Avatar) weakens his firebending power, he and Aang travel to discover the long-forgotten source of firebending. The ancient Sun Warriors reveal there is a test of worthiness, which is being judged by their world's last two dragons. After being judged worthy, they learn the true source of firebending is life, not anger (as he had been using before) allowing him to firebend again. Later, Zuko helps Sokka free Sokka's father, Hakoda, and Sokka's girlfriend Suki, from the Fire Nation's maximum security prison, the Boiling Rock. While there, he is also confronted by Mai (his girlfriend throughout season three), whom he left behind when he left the Fire Nation. Mai saves their lives, revealing to Azula that she "loves Zuko more than she fears her." Zuko also helps Katara find and confront her mother's killer, making amends for his betrayal of her in Ba Sing Se.

During the finale, Aang disappears shortly before Sozin's Comet arrives and Zuko is put in charge of finding him. When Zuko is unable to find Aang, he searches for and finds Iroh. Iroh immediately forgives Zuko for his betrayal, revealing that he was never angry with the young prince, but only sad because he was afraid Zuko had lost his way. Iroh tells Zuko that he must face Azula for the crown, but cannot do it alone, and Zuko chooses Katara to assist him. At the Fire Nation capital, Azula challenges Zuko to single combat (Agni Kai), to which Zuko accepts. In a desperate attempt to defeat Zuko, Azula attempts to strike Katara down with lightning. Zuko jumps in front of the lightning and, barely able to redirect the energy, is badly injured. Katara then captures Azula and heals Zuko. Afterwards, Zuko is crowned Fire Lord, and he promises that there will be peace for all and is reunited with Mai who was imprisoned for helping Zuko escape the Boiling Rock. They start dating again. Later, Zuko visits his father in an isolated prison, asking the whereabouts of his mother. An ending clip shows Zuko in the Jasmine Dragon with the rest of the protagonists.

After the War EditEdit

After the War, Zuko was crowned Fire Lord and subsequently aided with the Harmony Restoration Movement in order to move the colonials back to the Fire Nation. During the Earth King's official announcement of the plan to the people of Ba Sing Se, Zuko and his friends took a ride on Appa to watch the celebratory fireworks. While on the sky bison, the concerned Fire Lord asked the Avatar to make a promise: If Aang saw that Zuko was turning into Ozai, the Avatar would end his former friend. Initially disbelieving, Aang sought advice from Katara, who nodded in approval, and hesitatingly accepted.

A year later, following five attempts on the Fire Lord's life, Kori, daughter of Morishita, Mayor of Yu Dao, broke into the Royal Palace to assassinate Zuko. Although she overcame the bodyguards, she was not able to defeat Zuko, who took her as prisoner and learned the truth behind the attack. The Fire Lord traveled to her home colony to speak with the mayor; however, when Zuko explained that the movement was to bring peace to the world, Morishita reacted poorly and began arguing, using Ozai as an example of a Fire Lord who would not betray his people, causing Zuko to remember a visit he made to his father in prison. Ozai had warned him that he was going to return, as the young man would need help being the ruler of the nation he couldn't handle on his own. The teenage Fire Lord put Mayor Morishita against the wall, threatening him with a fire dagger, claiming that he was not like his father, and the mayor agreed: He was not like his father, who had had many faults but was never a coward nor a traitor. At this, Zuko ordered the mayor seized, but the guards first attacked by an earthbender, Morishita's wife, who asked the Fire Lord to forgive her husband for his statements. Zuko, surprised to see that she was an earthbender, as was her daughter, learned that people had already established in the city strongly enough to even form families between people from different nations. This was the reason for Zuko to allow the colonials to remain in the city and announce his rejection of the Harmony Restoration Movement.

After Team Avatar heard about Zuko's withdrawing of support for the Harmony Restoration Movement, they traveled to Yu Dao, where Zuko was staying. Aang and Katara flew over the city's walls to meet the Fire Lord; however, some Fire Nation guards informed them that people were only allowed to enter with Zuko's permission, to which Aang claimed that he just wanted to talk to him, but the guards attacked. After the pair defeated all the guards, Katara was grabbed by Zuko, who admonished her for attacking his "people." Aang, angry at Zuko's action, warned him to let her go, but after he insisted that she had first to agree to stop attacking his people, Aang separated Zuko from Katara with airbending, prompting him to retaliate, causing the airbender to block the attack and enter the Avatar State. Katara, telling him that he would not be able to control himself in an altered emotional state, managed to calm him down. The Fire Lord agreed to talk and gave the couple a tour of Yu Dao, pointing out how heavily integrated the lives of the citizens were in the colony. At this, Katara proposed a conversation with Kuei concerning the matter, to which the Avatar and Fire Lord both agree.

Returning to the Capital City, Zuko met Mai, who tried to console him after noticing his tiredness and lack of sleep, and asked him to talk to her if he had problems since she was his girlfriend, to which Zuko agreed and said it won't happen again. Mai then informed him that she had brought the Kyoshi Warriors for a better protection of the palace. That night, Zuko woke up in the middle of the night and decided to check outside. Suki and Ty Lee told him it had been quiet all night, but Zuko went to prepare tea to take it to his father in prison. There, he knelt before him, and asked him for advice.[8]

He and Aang eventually founded the United Republic territories and its capital of Republic City, which quickly grew into a metropolis.[9] He passed away sometime before 170 ASC.

Personality EditEdit

Initially the series' main antagonist, Zuko is a bitter and complex young man, akin to a tragic villain. He wanted, more than anything, his place as heir to the Fire Nation throne and his father's love.[11] Zuko believed, or forced himself to believe, that capturing the Avatar would make these wishes come true, making him one of Aang's most determined enemies. His motivation stood in contrast with other pursuers; Zhao and Azula were motivated by political ambition or cruelty.

Zuko believed one becomes strong by struggling and fighting for what they want. He expressed contradicting beliefs: he did not want good luck because he felt he could control his fate, but also believed he is marked unlucky and the world is against him.[12] His reaction to the perception of the world always set against him is an iron-willed defiance and inflexible determination. He was clever, yet hot-headed, often letting his temper get the best of him. He seemed adverse to the thought of harming others when there is no motive or nothing to gain, having consented to Aang's request to spare the Southern Water Tribe in exchange for himself as his prisoner, and left the village unharmed.[13] He rarely thinks his situations through, causing him to get in trouble; when he captured Aang at the North Pole, he could only walk into a blizzard afterward,[12] or when he took the Sunstone off its pedestal in the Sun Warriors' temple and fell into a trap.[1] Said traits are criticized by his uncle,[14][15] and he tries to control himself and think things through more often towards the end of season three.

Zuko has other contradictory traits, beliefs, and behaviors. He is domineering and controlling, a result of his upbringing as Fire Nation royalty, and disdains working with people he believes are inferior; yet, he adamantly refuses to view people as expendable. He believes it is wrong to sacrifice able-bodied and willing troops as a diversionary tactic. During his banishment, he displayed zeal in pursuing the Avatar, using whatever means he thought necessary. Although he has said capturing the Avatar is a greater concern to him than the safety of his crew or himself, he showed compassion to those close to him, choosing to rescue Iroh when he was captured,[16] rather than pursue Aang, and risked his own life to save a member of his crew during a fierce storm. When the crew spotted Aang, he ordered the ship and crew to safety instead of chasing the Avatar.[7]

The prospect of returning home and forgiveness was Zuko's sole motivation. After losing his first chance at the Northern Water Tribe, he was filled with abject despair. He found himself in the most dire situation possible—being hunted by his younger sister, the ruthless and relentless Azula, while attempting to survive as a penniless fugitive in the Earth Kingdom. Apart from his ever-supportive uncle, Zuko had nothing. At first, he lashed out and turned to robbery, even stealing from those who were kind to him, After some time, however, partially in thanks to a talk from Iroh, he gained a more reasonable outlook. Theft was still necessary from time to time; he refused to steal from needy people or people who showed him kindness. He defended a Earth Kingdom village against a group of thugs who terrorized its people. He became more patient, kind, precise and calculating; said traits necessary to evade Azula's pursuit while staying incognito from local authorities. He set Aang's pet bison and primary mode of transportation, Appa, free from Dai Li captivity at Iroh's suggestion.

These traits became dominant after Zuko's fever dreams and hallucinations,[21] as afterward he displayed an optimistic attitude towards life and the world.[22] However, Azula successfully manipulated his desire for love and approval from his father, convincing him to betray Iroh and become her ally.[23] He continued to insist that he had truly changed, but felt conflicted about his choices afterward, uncomfortable with his betrayal of Iroh, a father figure to him.

After his return to the Fire Nation, Zuko thought he had everything he ever wanted: a position of honor, respect and his father's love. However, he still felt angry and confused. He felt his triumph was nothing like he imagined. His temper goes out of control; he becomes suspicious of Mai and gets into fights with several people. Later, he states he was angry with himself, saying he doesn't know right from wrong.[24] He receives a letter telling him his great-grandfather's death would reveal his destiny. He found Sozin's last testament and learned of his history with Avatar Roku. Assuming the letter was sent by his uncle, he visited him in prison, demanding to know the message's meaning. Iroh explained Avatar Roku was his mother's grandfather, and Zuko's inner conflict was part of the legacy of his forefathers' conflict. Iroh presented him with the Crown Prince headpiece, an ancient royal artifact, traditionally worn by the crown prince of the Fire Nation, and given to Roku by Sozin in their youth.[25]

Zuko became upset when he wasn't informed of a war meeting his sister was invited to, and showed happiness when a servant later came and asked him to head to the war room, as Ozai would not start the meeting without him. He told Mai he found himself unhappy, even when his father treated him as the perfect son. He said during the meeting, he had acted the perfect prince, the son his father had always wanted, but he was not being himself.[26]

During the events of Day of Black Sun, Zuko realized it was his duty as the heir to the Fire Nation throne to restore peace to the world by joining the Avatar and fighting the his father's (and forefathers') tyrannic regime. His zeal and resolve resurface in an entirely different direction. He resolves to confront his father and his many evils. He reveals in a discourse his banishment made him a firsthand witness to the misery and pain the Fire Nation has inflicted on the World. He discovered sharing the Fire Nation's greatness had nothing to do with the war - only fired by a ruthless desire for power. He swore to his father he will do everything in his power to see his defeat. He attempted to free Iroh from prison, but when he escaped by himself, Zuko followed Aang and the others as they fled to the Western Air Temple.[11]

While at the Western Air Temple, Zuko showed a complete change in personality. After a flashback of his banishment, he was regretful about his former disrespect and ruthlessness. For the first time he showed a comical side to his personality while practicing a speech to a badgerfrog. After questioning what Iroh and Azula would do, he tried impersonating them. He later admitted his wrongdoings to Team Avatar and apologized for the things he did. Out of resentment, his request to join them was initially rejected; he humbled himself and offered himself up as a prisoner—a stark contrast to the proud young man shown at the beginning of the series.

Rather than trying to capture the Avatar for the Fire Nation's benefit, Zuko joined him to end their tyranny. He used to attack Aang whenever they met; instead he defended him from the assassin he hired to kill the Avatar. He realized his father could never restore his honor, and he had to restore it himself. He was happy when the Avatar finally accepted him as his firebending teacher and group member.[4] Though he still had some issues to work through, he was far more composed and receptive. Since coming to terms with his own true feelings he is more laid-back and empathetic. After joining the group he smiled a lot more than usual, even when jokes were made at his expense,[1] and he seemed very happy as Fire Lord during a break in his uncle's tea shop.[2]

Abilities EditEdit

Firebending EditEdit

Throughout the series, Zuko has shown himself to be a highly skilled firebender and his prowess considerably increased throughout the course of the series, to the point of becoming a firebending master.

Childhood EditEdit

As a child, he could only create small bursts of flame,[3] but by the time he was thirteen, he was confident enough in his abilities to readily accept a challenge of Agni Kai (he refused to fight, however, when he found out his challenger was his father).[7]

Book 1 EditEdit

At the beginning, he was still learning the basics from Iroh and was skilled enough to momentarily knock Aang off his ship, but he was defeated when Aang went into the Avatar State.[27] He utilized what he had been taught to defeat Zhao, an older and more experienced master firebender.[28] Throughout Book One, he demonstrated his skill often; he defeated multiple foes on two occasions.[16][29] Later, his skill grew. He fared well in a duel against Aang, delivering multiple fire blasts for a sustained period without tiring, but was defeated when he was paralyzed by June's confused Shirshu.[30] He created a shield of fire to protect himself from a massive explosion on his ship.[31] During the Siege of the North, he fought Katara while the moon was nearly full. He held his own against her while she was strengthened by the moon, but needed the power of the sun to gain the upper hand and defeat her with one fire-blast.[32] He also landed a decisive victory in a rematch against Zhao.[12]

Book 2 EditEdit

During the course of Book 2, Zuko's firebending became more advanced and powerful. At first, he was unable to land any blows against Azula, and was defeated rather easily.[17] He fought somewhat better during the Duel at Tu Zin; in a three-way battle with Azula and Aang, he traded several fire blasts with his sister and kept the Avatar on the defensive.[33] As Book Two progressed, however, he learned more advanced firebending techniques from Iroh, such as lightning redirection, becoming more efficient and refined.[34] During a battle with the Rough Rhinos, he sent a small bolt of fire through Vachir's bow, breaking the string.[35] He demonstrated the ability to fire multiple small blasts through two fingers, rather than his whole fist.[36] During the battle in the Crystal Catacombs, he demonstrated how far his prowess had grown. His fire blasts were more powerful, and he charged his attacks before releasing them, creating enormous blasts of fire. He also demonstrated the ability to create two fire-whips. He battled evenly with Aang, even though he had skillfully used airbending and earthbending. After switching opponents with Azula, he battled evenly with Katara, a waterbending Master who had the upper-hand against Azula.[23]

Book 3 EditEdit

Little was seen of Zuko's firebending in the first half of Book 3; however, he was so confident enough in his abilities that he offered to teach Aang. He utilized a wall of flame to stop an attack from Combustion Man, and was capable of dodging many of Toph's rocks which she hurled at him, though her earthbending was impeded due to Zuko accidentally burning her feet.[4] Later, he temporarily lost his firebending from a corresponding lack of rage, the former source of his power. He and Aang then traveled together to the ancient city of the Sun Warriors to reconnect with the original source of firebending. There, Zuko learned "The Dancing Dragon", an ancient firebending form that he performed alongside Aang. Learning this form appeared to have influenced his style of firebending to be more fluid, creating a more dancelike form as opposed to the rigid, militaristic forms commonly used by Fire Nation soldiers. He was also challenged by the Tribesmen to carry a piece of the Eternal Flame all the way up to the cave of the masters. Zuko and Aang performed their newly learned technique in unison with the dragons, who engulfed them in a spiral of multi-colored flames. After viewing this, Zuko found a new source of power in reverence for fire's power as a source of life and energy: "the sun inside you".[1] His stylistic differences and skill are demonstrated at the Boiling Rock where he briefly battled against Azula alongside Sokka. During the fight, he deflected many of Azula's fire blasts with only his arms or his own fire, and traded fire balls with her.[37] He later faced Azula again and dueled her evenly for several minutes. He fired several large and powerful fire blasts, deflecting many of her attacks.[38] Later, he attacked Aang with powerful fire blasts to make him fight back. When he chased him into Ozai's old family vacation home, Zuko created several lashes of fire to envelop his surroundings and augmented them to the shape of the hallway Aang was running through.[39] With the power of Sozin's Comet, Zuko's firebending was tremendously enhanced. He fought Azula one final time in an Agni Kai, unleashing extremely powerful sheets of flame. This time he held the upper hand, exchanging and blocking attacks with her without visible strain while she was pushed towards exhaustion and increasing mental instability. He displayed several incredibly powerful techniques: blocking an enormous stream of fire with a short fire-blast, spreading to take the shape of a wall and split the stream, unleashing an enormous charged-blast, which Azula was unable to block, forcing her to dodge, propelling himself into the air, charging his fire and sending down a fire attack as he came. His final attack was a fire tornado he created with his feet while spinning, knocking Azula off her feet. Furthermore, he used his firebending in conjunction with his broadswords, demonstrated use of fire daggers, and limited use of breath of fire.

During his training with Iroh he attempted to learn how to create lightning. His inner turmoil, however, rendered him unable to achieve the required peace of mind, and his attempts to produce lightning would only explode in his face. Instead, Iroh taught him how to absorb and redirect lightning.[34] He later employed this technique against his father[11] and Azula to protect Katara.[40] In the latter engagement Zuko redirected the blast in an improper stance, as he had jumped into the lightning's path, but failed to redirect all of the lightning he was forced to hold in midair. Though he seems to have overcome his inner turmoil, he does not create lightning for the remainder of the series.

Other skills EditEdit

In addition to his firebending, Zuko was a master of his dual Dao blades, a skill he picked up after being trained by the Sword master Piandao. He would use his dual dao swords whenever he was in his Blue Spirit disguise, unable to firebend, or when he needed to fight but also needed to conceal his firebending. He was able to defeat multiple foes using only his swords. He also dueled evenly with Jet and his dual hook swords until the fight was broken up by the Dai Li and Jet was arrested. Zuko defeated several Earth Kingdom soldiers with his Dao swords and minimum effort, only resorting to firebending when faced with a powerful earthbender; even then he was able to hold off the earthbender's attacks for several moments with only his blades. His skill was such that his father, Fire Lord Ozai, opted not to face him during an eclipse, when neither of them could firebend.

Zuko was physically very strong, fast and agile. He was capable of great physical feats, such as running across walls,[1] climbing very quickly, and jumping large distances.[4] He is apparently skilled in unarmed combat, able to break apart oncoming spears with his hands and legs,[13] and disarm, subdue or defeat opponents. Zuko is skilled at infiltration,[38] and can sneak into heavily-defended fortresses.[32][42] He is also skilled at stealth, and can conceal himself effectively for long periods of time. All of these skills would serve him while he was disguised as the Blue Spirit. Zuko was also a skilled tracker, able to track the airborne Avatar all across the world. Zuko was also a gifted tsungi horn player, although it is apparently not his favorite instrument.[31]

While not as naturally adept at strategy and academics as his sister, Zuko was quite intelligent. Throughout the series, he had demonstrated himself to be a skilled strategist, able to exploit any situation to his advantage. Zuko used his ship's damages as a smokescreen to conceal his movements from Zhao.[44] He was also able to form alliances with people with special skills, such as June,[30] and use them to his advantage.[45] However, he had a hot-headed nature that caused him to not always think his actions through. For example, he could exploit advantages in the Northern Water Tribe, and get into the Spirit Oasis to capture Aang, but he didn't figure a way back out ahead of time which caused him to almost freeze to death.[12] Zuko began to think things out more towards the end of the series, and he started to plan things out and think ahead to solve problems more often. When he and Aang needed to get in a specific room in the Sun Warrior ruins, Zuko was able to outsmart the Celestial Calendar, as it would only allow the room to open during a solstice.[1] This intelligence may come to serve him as he rules the Fire Nation.

While never implicitly shown other than briefly at the end of the series, it is heavily implied that Zuko was both a popular and good Fire Lord. As a Prince, he was shown to be quite popular with women swooning over him.[26] His speech to redeem the name of the Fire Nation at his coronation was warmly embraced by the people.

Trivia EditEdit

  • By the end of the series, Zuko does not say Toph, Momo, or Suki's names out loud. He only says Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Appa's names. However, in Avatar: The Last Airbender - Into the Inferno, the non-canon video game based on Season 3, he says Suki's name.
  • While considered a traitor, Zuko's name was listed on a Fire Nation wanted poster as "祖寇" (zǔ kòu), which translate as 'ancestors robber'.[35] Later, in "Tales of Ba Sing Se", his name was written as "蘇科" (sū kè) on his segment's title card, which translates as 'resurrected rule.' The word Sū was also used for his great grandfather Sozin's name on the boxes which held the diary scrolls. 'Fire Lord Sozin' is written as 烈火君蘇進 (liè huǒ jūn sū jìn). Sozin or Sū Jìn translates as 'resurrection enters'.[25]
  • While living in the Earth Kingdom, Zuko went by the alias 'Lee'.[18][36][46]
  • Azula often refers to him as "Zu-Zu" and "Dum-Dum".[2][3][17]
  • Zuko had successfully used his uncle's lightning diversion technique once, against his father.[11] He attempted to use it with the lightning sent at Katara by Azula, but it was unclear if he truly redirected it or was merely hit himself.[40] In Avatar Extras, it was said that while Zuko redirected most of the lightning, a small part entered his heart.
  • Zuko had above average abilities that helped him to survive certain situations. In "The Waterbending Master" with Avatar Extras bonus commentary, when the pirates infiltrated Zuko's ship, one of the commentary bubbles said that Zuko had above average hearing abilities, waking up when he heard one of the pirates opening a rusty door. In "The Siege of the North, Part 1" with Avatar Extras bonus commentary, when swimming through the under water tunnels one of the commentary bubbles said that Zuko can hold his breath for an unusually long amount of time.
  • Zuko could cry out of both eyes, even his scarred one, though it seemed the scarred one produced fewer tears.
  • Zuko could not grow hair around his scar, most likely because the follicles were damaged. This was probably why he only had one eyebrow.
  • Zuko was easily accepted by people in the Earth Kingdom as most people who saw him believed that he got his scar fighting against firebenders. For instance, Jet was not reluctant in recruiting Zuko, stating he was sure that Zuko didn't get his scar from a waterbender.[47]
  • Zuko is a playable character in the "Avatar Legends of the Arena" online game. He is unlocked through the use of a secret code. Aside from his appearance and name, he is played just like any other character.
  • In the Pilot episode, it's shown that Zuko was originally supposed to have a pet hawk, but it didn't make it into the show. His pet hawk did make it into the show as a Messenger Hawk that Sokka bought though it was only in that episode having flown off with a message and was never seen again.[48]
  • While Zuko was a fierce warrior, he was shown multiple times in the series to be skilled and highly trained in stealth, infiltration, and spying (all of which correlate with the art of Ninjutsu). Zuko single handedly broke into the a heavily fortified Fire Nation fortress.[42] He was shown as being skilled, not leaving any traces of his presence, or any hints that it was him. He has demonstrated these talents in "The Blue Spirit," "Lake Laogai," "The Avatar and the Fire Lord", "The Southern Raiders" and "The Serpent's Pass".
  • Of any character, Zuko's hair seems to grow the fastest.
  • Zuko's voice actor, Dante Basco, has previously worked with Mae Whitman, Katara's voice actor, when they provided the voices for Jake and Rose respectively in American Dragon: Jake Long. In that show, Rose served as Jake's love interest. Zuko has virtually nothing in common with Basco's other voice, however. Where Jake Long is laid-back, calm, and fun-loving, Zuko is hot-headed, stern, and serious.
  • Zuko took part in all three Agni Kais shown in the series. The first one, between him and Zhao,[28] the second between him and Ozai[7] and the third between him and Azula[40]
  • The name "Zuko" could be derived from a Filipino word "Suko" (more specifically from the Visayan dialect) with unstressed first syllable meaning "madness" or "angry". This derivation corresponds to Zuko's ill-tempered personality portrayed in all three books. Furthermore, the word "Suko" (in Tagalog, still Filipino but a different dialect) means surrender.
  • According to the "Avatar Extras" bonus in "The Cave of Two Lovers", Zuko's story throughout the series is similar to that of the Buddha.
  • Zuko is the only person from the Fire Nation to use Dao Swords to firebend.[3]
  • Zuko was gifted in playing the Tsungi horn as contrasted to Aang, who was a horrible Tsungi horn player.
  • The creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender knew that Zuko would be Aang's firebending teacher from the very start.
  • Zuko was shown to cry five times, once in "The Storm", "Bitter Work", "The Day of Black Sun, Part Two: The Eclipse", "Zuko Alone", and finally, in "Sozin's Comet: Part 2, The Old Masters".
  • Zuko was the first of only two characters to bleed on the series. He bled for the first time on "The Avatar State" when Azula scratched his forehead with her nails. The second character to bleed was Appa on "Appa's Lost Days".
  • Throughout Book 2 Zuko visibly started losing muscle as he was forced to live off the land of the Earth Kingdom as a refugee, possibly symbolizing how his skills developed more towards finesse, rather than just brute strength and passion. Interestingly, this continued even into Book 3, when he was reaffirmed as a Prince, implying a severe depression after the events under Ba Sing Se. By the series finale he was noticeably scrawny compared to just a year before.