February 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Avatar: The Last Airbender Book One “Chapter Three: The Southern Air Temple”

Aang returns to his home, but he isn't pleased by what he finds there.

So, let’s talk Prince Zuko.

Now, I may not have seen all of Avatar: The Last Airbender before, but it’s hard to keep completely unaware of what happens on the show.  As such, I am generally aware that Zuko doesn’t stay evil and has a redemption arc.  Part of that is due to the fact the real villain is Zuko’s father while his more comedically-oriented Uncle Iroh is a better parent to the angry teen.  Of course, in order to make that clear, the show needs to set Zuko up as somewhat sympathetic.

We see a bit of that here.  Zuko has made statements in the past that suggest he was disgraced for some reason, and he needs to bring the Avatar back to regain his position in the Fire Nation.  Iroh, his companion, doesn’t seem to think much of that because Iroh seems to prefer just having a nice cup of tea and a nap.  He’s a simple man.

Point is, since his ship was damaged, Zuko has to go for repairs, and the naval commander there Zhao, he doesn’t seem to think much of Zuko, and since Aang does…something, pretty much everyone knows the Avatar is back, and since the story comes out and Aang is so young, it’s even more embarrassing for Zuko.

That leads to a duel between Zuko and Zhao.  And…Zuko wins handily, but opts to let the other man live.  Bad guys don’t do that sort of thing.  Zhao may take a shot at Zuko when his back is turned, but Iroh will not only block it, he’ll call Zuko a honorable young man.  So, whatever Zuko did, Iroh still respects his nephew.  And since Iroh doesn’t come across as an evil man, I think that says something about Zuko as he’s more of a good kid who got misdirected somewhere along the line.

Oh, and as for Aang, he had an Avatar Flare-up when he got back to the Air Temple he grew up on and found Fire Nation armor and weapons scattered amongst the long dead corpses of the monks he knew, and only Katara and Sokka pointing out they are his family now calms him down.  Also, he got a lemur named Momo to join the group because Aang just adopts animals all the time.  Granted, said lemur seems skilled at both delivering and stealing food from Sokka, so he may have earned his spot for that ability alone.