Avatar: Here’s Why Iroh Owes Zuko!

Avatar: Here's Why Iroh Owes Zuko!
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Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the popular Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series is finally here, and we on Fiction Horizon are going to be covering the series, explaining all the changes from the original animated series, as well as some crucial story elements that you might be wondering about. The live-action series told us the story of Iroh and Zuko early on. This story developed over time in the animated series, but the live-action adaptation introduced us to them early on. In this article, we are once again going to talk about the two of them as we explain why Iroh owes Zuko and why he helped him early on in the story.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Uncle Iroh and Zuko are two exceptionally important characters from the Avatar lore, and their relationship is one of the best-crafted ones in the whole series.
  • Because of the loss of his own son, Iroh began viewing Zuko as his child, and he became a father figure to the young boy, whose real father (Ozai) was abusive and far from ideal.
  • Feeling responsible for him as his uncle, as well as guilty for having Zuko banished (as he was the one who invited him to the general’s meeting), he followed him and remained by his side all the time.

Iroh loved Zuko as his own son

Before we actually answer the main question, let us simply reiterate what we know about the relationship between Iroh and Zuko.

Zuko is Iroh’s nephew, which means that Iroh is Zuko’s uncle. Despite being members of the same family and closely related, their bond went well beyond that because they had ties to each other beyond blood. Specifically, Iroh had previously lost his son, and this was an extremely terrible event that left him severely scarred—which is only normal, really. It’s always heartbreaking to lose a child, so the authors did a good job of explaining the source of Iroh’s desperation. Zuko, on the other hand, did not lose a family member, but he did not have a good relationship with his father. In addition to being emotionally distant, Ozai physically and mentally mistreated his kid, leaving scars on him, both real and metaphorical. As a result, Zuko was severely handicapped in that regard and did not have a legitimate father.

And that, actually, is how the two of them became close. While Zuko discovered in Iroh the father he never had, Iroh found in Zuko the son he had lost. As a result, Iroh took on the role of mentor and father figure for Zuko, giving him someone he could finally trust without worrying about getting hurt. Despite all the obstacles, this is the extent of their relationship or how closely linked they were. Now that we have said this, we may talk about what transpired between them.

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Iroh felt guilty for having Zuko banished, but he also remained with him because he loved him and cared for him as if he were his own son

The principal moment we are talking about is the Generals’ meeting that took place when Zuko was 13. The then-crown prince was incited by Iroh to the meeting, and there, he openly spoke out against what he thought was Bujing’s decision to sacrifice an entire Fire Army division. This was regarded as a major insult, so Ozai demanded that Zuko participate in the traditional Agni Kai, which the crown prince agreed to, but when he realized that he would have to fight his father, he was shocked. It turned out that his previous insult was not directed at Bujing, but at Ozai, and when Zuko realized that, he started to cry and beg his father for forgiveness.

Ozai regarded that as another sign of weakness and attacked his son, scarring his face. He then stripped him of his titles and banished him until he captured the Avatar, which was a major moment in the boy’s life. And this is where Iroh comes in. Zuko’s party that headed north was not large, but it had Iroh and that was the only positive thing about it. But, why did Iroh go with Zuko?

He certainly did feel guilty and that he owed him because he was the one who ultimately summoned him to the meeting, but he also cared for him and since he himself wasn’t on good terms with Ozai, he decided to accompany his nephew to assure his safety and to be by his side if he needed him, and that is the whole story.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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