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Character Profile: Prince Zuko

Fields
USA Info
Image
Name
Prince Zuko Prince Zuko (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Alias
The Blue Spirit
Race
Human(Firebender)
Gender
Male
Age
16 years old(at debut)(source: Episode 8: Avatar Roku (Winter Solstice part 2))(born July 30)
Hair
Black
Eyes
Gold
Height
5'3"(source: Comic Con 2005 height chart)
Weight
About 140 lbs
Status
Prince of the Fire Nation(Banished)
Quote
"I need to capture the Avatar!"
Voice
Dante Basco
Debut
 
Anime
Avatar: The Last Airbender

Character Description: Prince Zuko

Only 16 years old and already he's been banished from his home in the Fire Nation. For two years he has been sailing around the world with his Uncle Iroh and a crew of firebenders in hopes to find and capture the Avatar. Doing so would restore his honor in his father's eyes and give him back his birthright as heir to the Fire Nation throne. Because of this, Prince Zuko is very determined to capture Aang. He is learning firebending from his Uncle Iroh, and is a worthy opponent.

Spoiler Warning!
If you haven't seen episode 12: "The Storm", you may want to skip the following two paragraphs! Spoilers....

The reason for Zuko's banishment is directly connected to how he got the large scar on his face. When he was 13, Zuko was allowed to attend a war meeting in his father's war chamber. But when he spoke out in defense of a newly recruited battalion that was suggested by a general to be sacrificed as bait for the enemy, his father took the outburst as utter disrespect. The only way to resolve the issue was by an Agni Kai; however because the outburst was in the Fire Lord's war room it was he whom Zuko disrespected, and who he would have to duel.

Yet Zuko, being the loyal son that he is, refused to fight and begged for mercy. Fire Lord Ozai wouldn't hear it though; he said that Zuko would learn respect, and Suffering would be his teacher (yeah, Ozai is SO going to win the Father of the Year award). The burn on Zuko's face is the result of their one-sided duel. In addition to being mutilated in front of an audience of hundreds including family, soldiers, and civilians; because Zuko refused to fight him, his father called it a shameful weakness and banished him from the kingdom. The only way he would be accepted back with honor was if he captured the Avatar, who, at that time, had been missing for a hundred years. Ouch.

However.... despite this unjustly harsh treatment, Prince Zuko is eager to prove himself to his father, and to some level, honestly believes that he will be accepted back. While it's clear that Zuko idolized his father when he was younger, it's unknown how much of this attitude remains. During a forced conversation with Commander Zhao in episode 3, Zuko calls his father a fool for believing that the other tribes would willingly follow him. Not to mention how his time away from home has changed him. And yet, his obsession with getting the Avatar is proof enough that he is still starving for his father's love.

The only person who keeps Zuko from totally losing it is his uncle, Iroh. Iroh has always been looking out for Zuko, even before he was banished. Though Zuko may not always seem respectful of his uncle's support, you know that deep down he does appreciate it, and in the later episodes you can see signs of that. Iroh's wise and laid-back nature balances out Zuko's impatience and rage, making them a great duo and leading to many comedic scenes.

Prince Zuko is hotheaded, impatient, short-tempered, and determined in everything he does. He's also honorable, sees no need for unnecessary violence and killing (as long as he gets what he wants), and has daddy issues. And while he's obsessed with capturing the Avatar, he's slowly realizing that there are other things more important, like the safety of his family and/or crew. He often meditates alone in his room in front of a large dragon motif; being taught by Iroh that a level head is a sign of a good leader. He has issues with Commander Zhao and clearly dislikes him, although it's unclear why (you know, besides their total clash of personalities). Zhao constantly refers to Zuko as a traitor and even questions his loyalty to the Fire Nation, but what caused such remarks is also unknown. In the few flashbacks we see of Zuko, it's clear that he cares for the Fire Nation and its people.

Later in the series, Prince Zuko and his Uncle are hunted down my Zuko's little sister. In the first episode of the second season (titled "The Avatar State"), they cut off their ponytails and drop them in water. Why? Because it was a sign of them fully disowning Fire Lord Ozai. With bounties on their heads they decide to hide in the Earth nation instead of going back home. Zuko then grows softer after he sees first hand what the war is doing to the nation. Even though he is skilled in his duel-sword, they have been lost at the north pole, but he secretly steals them from an earth nation civilian and turns back to the "Blue Spirit" in order to steal enough food as needed to survive.

Towards the end of Book 3, Earth, Zuko and Katara became trapped in a cave. They started arguing about who's fault it was, but eventually moved on to showing each other a bit of sympathy, talking about their loved ones who had gone. Katara wanted to heal Zuko of his large scar using the water from the Spirit Oasis, but she doesn't get the chance. Then, Zuko rejoins Azula, they eventually kill Aang. So, instead of healing Zuko, Katara quickly uses the water from the Spirit Oasis to bring Aang back to life.

In Book 3, Fire, Zuko voluntarily leaves the Fire Nation, now wishing to join Aang, to become his Firebending teacher.

Zuko's Age

Zuko's age is mentioned in Episode 8: Avatar Roku. Zuko wants to get past Zhao's army and thinks he can without getting crushed by the ships. Uncle Iroh says something like, "In these sixteen long years you've been alive," or something, "this is the most foolish." Iroh just thought Zuko was being foolish to try and get past Zhao.

Character Description: Prince Zuko

Zuko is a skilled firebender with one thing on his mind: the Avatar. He is easily distinguishable due to the flame-shaped scar on his face, given to him by his father, Fire Lord Ozai himself. He is hotheaded, stubborn, impatient, short-tempered and completely focused on his goal. Although firebenders are portrayed as evil, cowardly, and merciless, Zuko is brave and honorable, resorting to violence as a last resort, which he often ends up doing anyway.

Zuko's past was that of a typical spoiled prince until he attended a meeting among the generals in his father's war room. When one general suggested sacrificing a newly recruited battalion as bait, Zuko spoke out, enraging the Fire Lord, who took the outburst as "a sign of complete disrespect." The issue could only be resolved in an Agni Kai, a fire duel. Zuko declared that he was not afraid, thinking his duel would be against the old general. However, when he stepped into the arena, he realized that by speaking out in the Fire Lord's war room, it was he whom Zuko had disrespected, and thus, Zuko would have to duel his own father, the Fire Lord Ozai.

Zuko, being the loyal son that he was, dropped to his knees and begged for mercy, refusing to fight his father. Ozai, however, felt that Zuko had displayed shameful weakness, and declared that Zuko would learn proper respect. Suffering would be his teacher. And with one brutal attack, the Fire Lord gave his only son the scar by which he is unmistakably recognized.

In addition to being mutilated and humiliated in front of hundreds, Zuko was banished from the Fire Nation, unable to return without capturing the Avatar. Only then could his honor and his rightful place on the throne be restored, hence his obsession. The only person who keeps Zuko from totally losing it is his uncle, Iroh, who also instructs him in firebending. Iroh's wise, calm and laid-back nature balances out Zuko's impatience and rage, making them an interesting pair.

Aside from his father, Zuko also has issues with his sister, Azula, whom their father always adored over Zuko. All he really wants is his father's love.

Zuko comes into battle with Aang many times through the series, progressively getting stronger as he goes along. He has a fierce sense of determination and will stop at nothing to achieve his goals... well, almost nothing.

, and Zuko plays a major part in his Zhao's death. Zuko saved Avatar as the Blue Spirit.

In episode 18, Commander/Admiral Zhao tries to have him killed, but it fails. The two were fighting on a bridge when the blue spirit came and grabbed Zhao. Zuko actually tried to save Zhao even though they had just been locked in combat. Anyway, the blue spirit grabbed Zhao because of what he did to the moon spirit shortly before, and he refused Zuko's help, so the spirit carried him away.

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