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[http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Zuko%27s_Relationships This page comprises of Zuko's relationships with other characters in the series
- "Well that sweet little kid grew up to be a monster. And the worst father in the history of fathers." - Zuko to the rest of Team Avatar in "Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King"
Though Zuko was once moved to tears by his father's upbraiding of him in the Agni Kai arena, his present feelings towards Fire Lord Ozai seem mixed at best. He is resentful of Ozai's favoritism towards his sister Azula, but it is unknown how much of this anger is directed at Ozai himself. Ozai has told his son he was "lucky to be born", (as opposed to his sister being "born lucky") and told Azula he considers Zuko "a miserable failure". Despite this, perhaps the most significant driving force behind Zuko's desire to regain his honor is that it will allow him to regain his father's love. As of the beginning of Book Three, Ozai welcomes his son home with open arms and pride in his false accomplishment: the slaying of the Avatar.
During the events of "Day of Black Sun", Zuko decides to join the Avatar in his quest to defeat Ozai. Before leaving, however, Zuko confronts Ozai in his underground bunker and faces off with him during the eclipse. Zuko reveals that it was Azula, not him, who killed the Avatar, and that the Avatar was in fact alive. Ozai nearly fights Zuko out of rage at this revelation, but was helpless without his firebending and would have had to face Zuko's swordsmanship. Zuko renounces his desire to get his father to love him, realizing that Ozai was incapable of love. He then announces his decision to join the Avatar and leaves, saying that it was the Avatar's destiny to kill his father. Ozai then deems him a coward and a traitor and distracts his son by revealing what happened to his long-lost mother. According to Ozai, Ursa was banished in connection with the death of Fire Lord Azulon, who ordered Ozai to kill Zuko as punishment for his demands to replace Iroh as Fire Lord. Ozai had every intention of killing Zuko but Ursa stopped him by helping him to claim the throne. Zuko is filled with happiness and shock at this new knowledge, and when the eclipse ends, Ozai attacks him with a double lightning strike. However, Zuko redirects the lightning at his father as Iroh taught him to do, buying him time to escape and begin his mission to stop his father.
Zuko evidently began welcoming his father's demise prior to the arrival of Sozin's Comet, as he openly stated that Ozai was the worst father ever. He insisted that as the Avatar, Aang had to kill Ozai in order to save the world, a task Aang is reluctant to conduct. However, after the battle, Zuko visits his father in prison, and is evidently satisfied with Aang's punishment on Ozai: The permanent loss of his firebending. Zuko hopes that maybe after some time in prison, Ozai will soon be redeemed, and he even praises his father for banishing him, as it helped him to realize his destiny. Ozai is no happier to see Zuko than before.
Before leaving, Zuko demands to know where his mother is. It has yet to be seen what Ozai's answer was.
- "He's the one who's been a real father to me!" - Zuko to Ozai in "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse"
Iroh is Zuko's uncle, mentor, Firebending teacher, advisor, caretaker and de facto father figure. The tolerant and even-keeled foil to Zuko's impulsiveness, Iroh tempers Zuko's anger with practical advice and a wry sense of humor. Though Iroh is a hard instructor, his merciless drilling in Firebending basics has served to improve Zuko's skill. Iroh is sympathetic to Zuko (having likewise fallen from grace due to an infamous military failure in his days as a Fire Nation General) and pleads that he not be so relentless in his search. Although he often teases Zuko, who impatiently balks at his advice, they care deeply about each other. He even thinks of Zuko as his surrogate child, (his own son having died) and worries over him accordingly. Iroh is constantly guiding Zuko, and trying to help him to make good choices. In turn, Zuko deeply loves his uncle, and is greatly touched when Iroh indirectly praises him. When Zuko was once confronted with the choice of tracking the Avatar or saving a kidnapped Iroh, he chose the latter without hesitation. Both depend on each other in exile. Iroh is considered by the Fire Lord to be "a traitor", blamed for the failure of the siege of the Northern Water Tribe after he attacked Admiral Zhao for killing the mortal form of the Moon Spirit.
In the episode "Avatar Day", Zuko separated from his uncle and both began traveling solo. This occurred after Iroh explained to Zuko that capturing the Avatar at this point would probably not immediately grant him his honor and throne. Zuko left, believing that they no longer had anything to gain from traveling together ("I need to find my own way"), though Iroh discreetly continued to follow his nephew's trail.
In the episode "The Chase", Zuko and Iroh rejoined during a battle with Azula and Aang's group. Their reunion was cut short, however, when Iroh was severely injured by Azula. Later, in the episode "Bitter Work", it is evident Zuko has been helping Iroh recover (going so far as to make tea for him). Then, Iroh begins to teach Zuko how to channel lightning through his body, but refuses to aim one at him for practice due to the risks involved.
In the episode "Lake Laogai", Iroh finally loses his temper, and berates Zuko for his lack of forethought in his plans--in the most recent case, discovering Appa before the rest of the main cast does. While Iroh's words are harsh, Zuko ultimately seems to respect the sentiments behind them, opting to release Appa--knowing the bison will return to Aang. At the end of the episode, at his uncle's suggestion, he drops his Blue Spirit mask into the lake, and it disappears. In the episode "The Earth King", he and Zuko arrive back at their apartment. Iroh once again congratulates him for letting Appa go, but Zuko says that he "doesn't feel right" before passing out on the floor. During Zuko's illness, Iroh gladly takes care of his nephew. However, in "The Crossroads of Destiny", Zuko sides with Azula and betrays Iroh. Later in the episode, Iroh turns his head from Zuko, signifying that he is ashamed of the choices that his nephew has made.
Once Iroh was taken back to the Fire Nation as a prisoner, Iroh refuses to talk to Zuko, despite his frequent visits and his confusion. Iroh eventually breaks his silence in chapter six of book three, "The Avatar and the Fire Lord". He does this to tell Zuko that Avatar Roku is his maternal Great-grandfather. He tells Zuko that he might be able to redeem their family and that he can restore balance in the world, signifying that although his nephew had betrayed him, he still had faith in Zuko. He then gives Zuko a crown which Sozin once gave to Roku. It is a royal artifact worn by the crown prince of the Fire Nation.
During the events of "Day of Black Sun", Zuko chooses to join the Avatar and decides to break Iroh out of prison. He would then ask for his forgiveness for his previous betrayal at Ba Sing Se. However, Iroh escaped from prison long before Zuko arrived, and Zuko was forced to leave without him.
In both "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse" and "The Boiling Rock, Part 1", Zuko says that Iroh was more of a father to him. Also, in "The Boiling Rock, Part 1", Zuko tells his new found friends Iroh's favorite tea joke and says an Iroh-like proverb.
Zuko expresses his guilt over betraying his uncle on several occasions after joining the gang. Prior to the arrival of Sozin's Comet, Zuko learns that Iroh is the new leader of the Order of the White Lotus, and that he intends on saving Ba Sing Se. Zuko reunites with his uncle before the final battle, and he sobs as he begs for his uncle's forgiveness. Iroh embraces his nephew in an emotional hug, stating that he never was angry with Zuko, just afraid that he lost his way. He is proud to find that Zuko has finally found peace with himself and his destiny, and the two finally make up.
Before departing to fight Azula, Zuko asks if Iroh will accept his rule as Fire Lord. Iroh says no, as Zuko is the far more suitable heir. Zuko is unsure due to his history of misdeeds, but Iroh assures him that since Zuko has learned from his mistakes, he will know how to rule as a man of peace and love. Zuko is emboldened by his Uncle's wise words.
When the war ends and Zuko becomes Fire Lord, he celebrates the victory with his uncle at their tea shop in Ba Sing Se, which has been reopened. Zuko even helps Iroh to serve tea to their friends, just like old times.
- "Azula always lies." - Zuko to himself in "Zuko Alone"
Azula is Zuko's younger sister by about two years. Azula seems to take great pleasure in the punishment inflicted on her brother, and may hold a desire to inherit the throne. Zuko expresses resentment towards her, as she is a Firebending prodigy and the favored sibling. At the end of the first season, Fire Lord Ozai gave Azula the task of capturing Iroh and Zuko. In "The Avatar State", Azula attempts but fails to capture them, (now considered traitors of the Fire Nation) luring Zuko with the lie that Fire Lord Ozai wanted him back home. When he discovers this lie however he angrily attacks her, but is no match for her fire bending abilities and skills in hand to hand combat. She enjoys tormenting her brother, calling him by a disliked nickname, "Zuzu", and mentioning his inferiority in their father's eyes. In the Episode "The Earth King", it was revealed in Zuko's dream state, that Azula had a great deal of influence over him (arguably rivaling his uncle's influence). This is only furthered in the episode "The Crossroads of Destiny" where Azula successfully convinces Zuko to betray their Uncle, aid her against Aang and Katara, and finally conquer Ba Sing Se. In the first episodes of Book 3, Azula lies to her father and gives Zuko the credit for Aang's supposed death. Upon their return home, and very slowly, Azula seems to grow affectionate of Zuko, warning him of visiting their uncle. They also share both a nostalgic and depressing feeling after visiting their old beach home in "The Beach", and she helps him sort through his anger and his conflicted feelings of betraying Iroh, although she calls him pathetic for letting these feelings get to him.
Zuko reveals to his father during the Day of Black Sun that Azula was the one who took down the Avatar and that he managed to survive the attack. Although Ozai seems to have dismissed this, Azula and Zuko once again faced off in "The Boiling Rock, Part 2". This time, Zuko fought Azula with relative ease, deflecting her signature blue fire with his new style of firebending. Also, Zuko's love for Azula's friend Mai prompted her to defend Zuko from Azula by buying him time to escape from the Boiling Rock. This ultimately resulted in Mai abandoning Azula, as did Ty Lee when Azula tried to attack Mai. Zuko's role in Mai and Ty Lee's change of heart has left Azula angrier at Zuko than ever before.
During "The Southern Raiders", Azula attacks Zuko and the gang at the Western Air Temple, with every intent to kill Zuko. Her determination is likely fueled by Mai and Ty Lee's betrayal of her at the Boiling Rock. During the attack, Zuko attacks Azula's airship, only to fall off. Just when she thinks she's won, Zuko arrives on the captured airship, engaging Azula in mid-air. When Azula delivers the fatal blow, Zuko launches an equally powerful attack that blows both siblings off the airship. Zuko is saved, but Azula falls. However, she managed to propel herself towards a cliff and break her fall.
It is noteworthy that while Azula fell, Zuko shows regret that his sister was apparently going to die. However, this is quelled when she stops her fall. Due to this, and Azula's affection for Zuko during their time together does display that at their best, the two do care about one another, but due to their upbringing (Azula through Ozai, and Zuko through Ursa and Iroh) and contrasting views on life, they cannot coexist together. Their relationship is arguably the most complex and dynamic presented in the series. There is bitterness, anger, resentment, and jealousy on both sides from the favoritism their parents show, but Zuko expresses this, and is therefore better equipped to deal with his jealousy. Azula on the other hand, being raised by Ozai, is taught that such expression and feeling are cowardly and pathetic. Thus, she forces these feelings to her subconscious, allowing them to build and forcing her to push them further down. They eventually boil over, and her inability to deal with them, as well as the previous betrayal of her only two friends Mai and Ty Lee, results in her apparent loss of sanity.
Zuko decides to face Azula during the arrival of Sozin's Comet in order to regain his birthright to become Fire Lord. He battles his crazed sister alongside Katara, and senses that his sister's descent into madness has weakened her. Azula challenges him to a vicious Agni Kai, eager to finish off her brother, and he accepts. Their battle is vicious, and very closely matched. Eventually as she begins to tire Zuko gains the upper hand and begins to taunt her, calling her a coward for not using any lightning. In her frenzied state she takes the bait and prepares to fire it, as Zuko waits to redirect it and end their battle. At the last moment, she chooses instead to fire at a vulnerable Katara. Zuko dives in front of the bolt to save Katara, and despite not being in the correct stance manages to redirect most of the lightning, but the remaining energy leaves him incapacitated. So he is forced to watch as Azula continues her attack on Katara, unable to help. The battle ends in Azula's defeat when Katara chains her to the ground. Zuko is then healed by Katara, and the two of them look in horror and pity as Azula completely loses her mind, breathing fire everywhere and uncontrollably crying and screaming until she passes out.
Azula is currently imprisoned in a mental health facility and it is likely that Zuko's relationship with her will never be fixed.
- "Remember this Zuko: No matter how things may seem to change, never forget who you are." - Ursa to Zuko in "Zuko Alone"
Little has been revealed of the relationship between Zuko and his mother, Ursa. It is hinted that Zuko was his mother's favorite child, and the two were close. Zuko's sister, Azula, stated in "The Beach" that Ursa always likes Zuko better than her because Ursa thought Azula was a monster. This is the opposite to her husband Ozai's feelings towards their children, who has stated that while Azula was "born lucky", Zuko was "lucky to be born". In the episode "Zuko Alone", she leaves under mysterious circumstances and has not returned. This is later touched upon when Azula claims that their father, Fire Lord Ozai, is going to have to kill Zuko after angering the then Fire Lord Azulon. Before Ursa leaves, she tells Zuko that everything she has done has been to protect him. Despite the fact that Ursa disappears on the same night that Azulon dies, it is unclear what exactly took place or how these two events are related. Zuko certainly seems to believe that she is dead; in the season 2 finale "The Crossroads of Destiny", he tells Katara that he, too, has lost his mother to the Fire Nation. In "The Earth King" he is plagued by dreams where his mother was pleading to have him help her. During this dream, the blue dragon, which has Azula's voice, tells Zuko to "Sleep, just like Mother!" It could be hinted that Azula might have something to do with Ursa's disappearance, or that Zuko subconsciously believes she does. Princess Ursa is Avatar Roku's granddaughter, as Iroh revealed to Zuko in "The Avatar and the Fire Lord". In the "Day of Black Sun" movie event, Fire Lord Ozai reveals that Ursa was actually banished from the Fire Nation for certain treasons and that she is quite possibly alive. This shocking revelation gave Zuko renewed hope in seeing his mother again. Also he is seen talking to his portrait of Ursa during "The Day of Black Sun", in which he states "I know I've made some bad choices, but today, I'm gonna set things right".
After Ozai is imprisoned following his disastrous defeat during the arrival of Sozin's Comet, Zuko visits his cell and demands to know where his mother is. It is not known what Ozai's answer was.
Zuko's relationship with Lu Ten is primarily unknown, although its evident that they got along well due to one of Zuko's flashbacks of him; with him, Lu Ten, and Iroh building a sand castle together and due to the fact that Zuko seemed very upset when his mother informed him of Lu Ten's death. Also, unlike his father and Azula, Zuko defended Iroh's decision to abandon the siege of Ba Sing Se due to his son's death, noting that it was a greater loss to Iroh than the battle. They are most likely cousins since Iroh is Zuko's uncle and Lu Ten is the son of Iroh.
Little is known about Zuko's relationship with his paternal grandfather, Azulon. Zuko once tried to impress Azulon with a performance of firebending in order to get in his father's good graces. Azulon was displeased with Zuko's failure, angrily asking Ozai why he was wasting his time. Azulon seemed to care little, if at all, about his grandson, seeing that he ordered Ozai to kill his own son after Ozai proposed stripping Iroh from his birthright to the throne.
Love Interests Edit
- "You're so beautiful when you hate the world."
- "I don't hate you."
- "I don't hate you too." - Zuko and Mai in "The Headband"
During flashbacks in "Zuko Alone", Mai is shown, about nine-years-old, sitting off by herself, uninterested, as Ty Lee and Azula play together. However, she does show marked interest in Zuko, turning away shyly and blushing when he walks by with his mother. Azula notices this and takes Mai's obvious crush as a cue to humiliate both Zuko and Mai by orchestrating a situation wherein they end up falling into a fountain on top of each other.
In "Return To Omashu" Ty Lee pointedly states that it will be "interesting" for Mai to see Zuko again, in response to which Mai turns away and indulges in a rare smile. However, Zuko and Mai never saw each other during Book 2.
In "Going Home Again", a canonical interlude comic featured within the second All-Avatar Nick Mag Presents edition, Mai and Zuko are finally reacquainted through a Fire-Nation-themed dinner date set up by Azula in a plot to persuade a reluctant Zuko to return home, playing off their childhood crushes on each other. However, the two catch on to the setup when Zuko overhears Ty Lee and Azula giggling in the nearby bushes and decide to take a walk around Ba Sing Se. Soon after, they run into Jin, who immediately recognizes "Lee" and questions who his companion is. Thinking quickly, Zuko sheepishly claims that Mai is a friend from the circus, the knife thrower. Mai appears to join in on the charade and decides to give a demonstration. After moving Zuko in front of a fountain and placing a fish from a seafood stand they had passed earlier on top of his head, she targets and precisely pierces the fish with an icicle. Mai then persuades Jin to give it a try. Zuko is just barely able to avoid being impaled by the sharp piece of ice, falling backwards into the fountain in the process. Leaning over the drenched prince, Mai wryly states that they're even.
As he chases her down an alley, Zuko exclaims that she could have gotten him killed, but an energetic Mai merely laughs it off. Zuko stops to point out that she finally seems to be enjoying herself, going on to shyly impart that he had missed seeing this side of her. Mai responds that while a lot has changed since the days when she used to throw mud in his face, not everything has changed. The two slowly draw close and kiss.
In the season three premiere, "The Awakening", Zuko stands alone on the edge of a Fire Nation ship. Seemingly deep in thought, he does not see Mai approach him. Asking why he is standing out in the cold, he professes his concerns with her. She merely rubs them off and tells him not to worry. Then Mai gently kisses him, which he seems to dutifully return but then goes back to his thoughts as Mai exits.
Later, as he is seen feeding the Turtle ducks, Azula asks him if Mai has rubbed off on him due to his glum expression. Then she states that Mai has "been in a strangely good mood lately".
In "The Headband", Zuko and Mai are having a picnic on an ocean side cliff and enjoying an orange sunset together, Mai hates the color and tells Zuko so which only makes him chuckle and state how beautiful she is when she hates the world, Mai tells Zuko she doesn't hate him, Zuko then says, "I don't hate you too", and the couple kiss. Their moment is interrupted by Azula, the two try to ignore her and keep kissing until Azula tells Mai to help Ty Lee who apparently needs help untangling her braid. Mai plays along but glares at Azula when she passes her.
In "The Beach", Zuko tries and fails to please a bored Mai by offering her an ice cream and a seashell. Later, at a party, he gets jealous when seeing Mai talking to another boy. In an act of rage, Zuko throws him to the ground. Mai gets upset and breaks up with him, causing Zuko to leave the scene. Later at the beach, the two are cold to each other while Azula and Ty lee sit around them. They all discuss their problems, breaking the tension between them. When Zuko questions whether Mai really cares about anything at all, she says that she cares about him. The two share a kiss.
In "Nightmares and Daydreams", Zuko visits Mai's house for some personal time, and she just happens to live right across from the Royal Palace. The two are much happier now that Mai has learned to express herself. Zuko uses his royal influence to give Mai whatever she desires, such as her favorite dessert, fruit tarts (with rose petals). While talking about the life of royals, Mai mentions that Azula got invited to a war meeting with their father that Zuko was not informed about, having erroneously assumed that he was also going. Zuko is insulted that Azula was invited while he, his father's heir, was not, and starts moping about his father's lack of regard. Mai tries to cheer him up but is unsuccessful in each attempt. However, Zuko later finds out that he is wanted at the meeting, and Mai is happy for him when he reveals that he got to sit by his father's side. However, he confides in her privately that even though he was acting like the son his father always wanted, he was not himself.
During "The Day of Black Sun" he goes through a personal decision to leave the Fire Nation. Before he confronts his father in his underground bunker, he leaves a note for Mai, and says "I'm sorry Mai", then leaves.
In The Boiling Rock, Zuko admitted to Sokka that he left Mai behind because he did not wish to get her involved with his decision. They meet again, through Mai's uncle The Warden of the mentioned prison. Mai is at first angry at Zuko, asking how he should help his country by betraying it, in which he replied that is not what he thinks regarding on the subject. He locked her in the cell during the chaos of the riot started by Sokka.
Mai eventually came to Zuko's rescue by preventing the guards from cutting the wire of the gondola where Zuko and the others used to escape the boiling lake. When Azula was asking how she could do that Mai says, "I love Zuko more than I fear you". Because of this, Azula orders her to be locked up.
Zuko is overjoyed to see Mai after she is released from prison following Ozai's defeat. She assures him that she still loves him, but warns him never to break up with her again. The two embrace and kiss.
Mai and Zuko celebrate their victory with the group in Ba Sing Se.
- "How was your night, Prince Zuko?"
- "It was nice." - Iroh and Zuko in "The Tales of Ba Sing Se"
Zuko and Jin meet once in "The Tales of Ba Sing Se" when Jin visits the tea shop he's working at in order to ask Zuko to go out with her. Zuko, astonished for her sudden request, is suspicious of Jin at first, because he thinks she might know he and Iroh were Fire Nation. But Iroh, who thinks Jin had a crush on Zuko, tells Jin that Zuko will go on a date with her. Zuko does not seem to be happy about that.
When Jin picks Zuko up, she rumples his hairstyle and drags him to a restaurant, asking him obligatory questions, but Zuko is literally taciturn. Nonetheless Jin seems to be satisfied with the conversation, even though Zuko vehemently denies that she would be his girlfriend.
After the dinner Jin shows Zuko her favorite place, a fountain which is usually illuminated by lanterns, but when they arrive there, the lanterns aren't lit. Noting her disappointment, Zuko asks Jin to close her eyes and he uses precise Firebending to light the lanterns. Jin is excited and wonders how the lanterns got lit, but Zuko only smiles in response.
Zuko is obviously shy, because when Jin intends to kiss him, he gives her a coupon for a free cup of tea. However Jin finally kisses him and Zuko even returns it, for which one can assume that he might feel something for her as well, but immediately afterwords he breaks away from her, saying, "It's complicated," and eventually leaves. Jin's facial expression reveals that she is sad and disappointed.
Back home, Zuko replies to Iroh that "it [the date] was nice". It's obvious that Zuko enjoyed his date and kiss.
Jin briefly appeared in "Going Home Again", who did not seem to mind Mai being with Zuko, and "The Awakening".
- "I can't believe a year ago, my purpose in life was hunting you down, and now…"
- "And now we're friends."
- "Yeah, we are friends." - Zuko and Aang in "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang"
Aang, as the Avatar, was Zuko's greatest enemy and his long sought-after prize. Throughout the bulk of the series, Zuko's primary focus has been to capture Aang, who constantly eludes him. Even though the capture of the Avatar by anyone of the Fire Nation would assist his country, because Zuko sees the capture and delivery of Aang to Fire Lord Ozai as the only way to restore his lost honor, Zuko goes out of his way to impede rivals from capturing Aang before he does himself.
In "The Blue Spirit", Zuko takes on the titular guise of the Blue Spirit, a masked, dual-broadsword-wielding vigilante, in order to abduct Aang from the fortress where he is being kept by Admiral Zhao, who has managed to capture him. Zuko manages to escape with Aang, but once they've made it a ways down the road Zuko is knocked out by the Yu Yan Archers and Aang unmasks Zuko. However, even upon discovering that his rescuer-turned-abductor is his major enemy, Aang still takes Zuko with him when he escapes. When Zuko awakens, Aang speaks to him fondly and nostalgically of Kuzon, a boy from the Fire Nation who used to be his friend 100 years previously in the times before the war. Aang then asks, guilelessly, if Zuko thinks that he and Aang could have been friends in another time. Zuko's response is to shoot a fire blast at Aang. Aang flees through the trees, but Zuko does not give chase.
While Zuko has a catatonic Aang in his custody during "The Siege of the North", he speaks to him about his life philosophy of struggle being the genesis of strength and compares Aang to Azula, citing that everything came easily to Azula. Once Aang's friends come to rescue him, Aang once again chooses to save Zuko's life when he insists on bringing Zuko along rather than leaving him unconscious in a blizzard.
After Zuko was declared a wanted traitor of the Fire Nation, he still somewhat expresses a desire to capture Aang, despite evidence that this would, in all likelihood, no longer be enough to win back his honor and his birthright. In "The Chase", Zuko confronts both Aang and Azula, then engages in a three-way battle with them when Azula refuses to leave the capture of the Avatar to Zuko, though Zuko begins to join Aang and let his focus be solely on Azula. When Azula surprise-attacks Zuko's beloved uncle, Iroh, he doesn't allow the Avatar or his friends to get near him. Zuko almost gives up in his pursuit of the Avatar during Book II. The inner conflict resulting over this potential change in goals results with him dreaming that he had Air Nomad tattoos in "The Earth King" .
Despite Aang being the clear protagonist and Zuko initially being the main antagonist, their stories are often paralleled in the narrative structure of the show. In "The Storm", flashbacks of the incidents that changed their respective lives forever (Aang being told that he was the Avatar and subsequently running away; Zuko's Agni Kai against his father and subsequent scarring and loss of his honor) are shown side-by-side. In "Bitter Work", their attempts to progress in their bending while impeded by psychological blocks are also shown side-by-side. They are both marked men, with Aang having his Arrow tattoos all over his body, while Zuko has a large scar on his left eye given to him by his father. In "The Avatar State", scenes of Aang struggling to cope with an unexpected betrayal from an Earth Kingdom general morph smoothly into Zuko facing a similar betrayal from his sister. In "The Awakening, Aang was shown displaying the same frustration about the lost of his honor as Zuko; echoing the same frustration Zuko has been uttering for the first two seasons, declared, "I need to redeem myself. I need my honor back". In the episode "The Avatar and the Fire Lord", both Zuko and Aang find out about their interconnected fates, with Aang being the reincarnation of Avatar Roku and Zuko being Roku's direct descendant (Roku's granddaughter is Zuko's mother). During The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse, both characters at some point state that they are ready to face the Fire Lord. Aang intends to do battle with Ozai, while Zuko is ready to confront his father about his feelings and choices. During that confrontation he announces his intention to join the Avatar and help him defeat Fire Lord Ozai. In the episode, Zuko's confrontation with his father is mirrored with Aang's battle with Azula.
In "The Western Air Temple", Zuko reveals himself to Aang and the others, and tells them that he's split off from Ozai, and that he wants to join their group and teach Aang Firebending. At first, Aang refuses to allow Zuko in the group, although he seems to consider it more seriously than the others when he sees Appa licking him. However, he relents after Zuko helps the group defeat the Combustion Man and Zuko expresses the need for restraint in relation to Firebending. From that point on, Zuko becomes Aang's Firebending teacher.
Aang appears to be friendlier towards Zuko than the others in the group. He is the first to accept Zuko, and has so far not made any sarcastic or unfriendly comments towards him. He even compliments Zuko during "The Firebending Masters", saying he's "pretty smart". His liking for Zuko may have even deepened after their adventure with the Sun Warriors, and their learning the secret of Firebending.
Aang and Zuko become better friends as time wears on, with Zuko continuing to teach firebending to Aang and helping his friends to accomplish various tasks. While they take refuge on Ember Island, Aang does not take his training seriously and decides to have a beach party with his friends. Zuko becomes angry and attacks Aang in the Fire Lord's summer home. When he learns that Aang will face Ozai after the comet's arrival, Zuko informs them of Ozai's plan to destroy the Earth Kingdom. In preparation, Zuko taught Aang to re-direct lightning.
When Zuko made his opinion known that Aang must kill Ozai in order to save the world, Aang becomes very frustrated and criticizes Zuko's advice. When Aang went missing the next morning, Zuko is genuinely concerned over his disappearance and goes to great lengths to track him, confessing to Katara his worries about Aang are greater then his worries about fighting Azula.
Aang eventually does defeat Ozai and ultimately spares the Fire Lord by stripping him of his firebending. At Zuko's coronation as Fire Lord, Zuko expresses pride at Aang's success, and the two embrace each other in a warm hug, as they have finally become friends. They promise the world that they will work together to restore the war-torn nations, and celebrate together at Ba Sing Se.
While they are spiritually related, as Roku is Zuko's great-grandfather, Zuko is never seen telling this to Aang, who seems unaware of his relation to Zuko.
- "I was the first person to trust you, back in Ba Sing Se! Then you turned around and betrayed me! Betrayed all of us!"
- "What can I do to make it up to you?"
- - Katara and Zuko in "The Southern Raiders"
At the end of "Imprisoned", the only trace of the Avatar and his companions that Zuko finds on an Earthbender prison rig that they helped to liberate is Katara's tribal necklace, lost in the commotion. In "The Waterbending Scroll", after capturing Katara with the assistance of a band of pirates, Zuko attempts to use the necklace as a bribe to get Katara to betray Aang's whereabouts, but she refuses. Then, in "Bato of the Water Tribe", Zuko employs the bounty hunter, June, and her Shirshu, a tracking beast with a hypersensitive olfactory system, and uses the necklace to track Katara, thus tracking Aang by proxy. However, when he does find Aang, the necklace is reclaimed and returned to Katara. June teases Zuko about finding his girlfriend that ran away and after seeing Katara states that no wonder she dumped him, she is too pretty for him.
In "The Siege of the North", after Zuko has made his way into the Spirit Oasis of the Northern Water Tribe, Katara is the only thing keeping Zuko from abducting Aang, who is in meditative fugue as he tries to solicit help from the spirits to defeat Zhao's attack on the North Pole. Due to having previously found and been trained by Pakku, a Waterbending master, and with her bending at its most powerful during the full moon due to Waterbending's lunar sympathy, Katara is more than a match for Zuko and initially subdues him. However, when the sun comes up, lessening her power and increasing his, he overpowers her, knocks her out, and escapes with Aang. Later in "The Siege of the North, Part 2", Katara defeats Zuko with a second time during the full moon when she, Sokka, and Princess Yue have come to rescue Aang.
Also, in "The Chase", Katara, along with Toph, Sokka, and Aang, attack Princess Azula in unison with Zuko. Once Azula has disappeared, Katara tries to tell Zuko that she could assist the injured Iroh with her healing abilities, but runs off with her companions when Zuko violently demands that they leave him and Iroh alone.
In the season finale, "The Crossroads of Destiny", he and Katara are imprisoned in a crystal cave below the Earth King's palace. Katara initially yells at Zuko, blaming him for the Fire Nation starting the war. Zuko seems empathetic after Katara says that the war took away her mother, remarking that the actions of the Fire Nation have also taken his mother, Ursa. He also tells Katara that he once thought his scar set him apart and made him different, but now believes he no longer needs it to determine his destiny. Katara offers to heal his scar with water from the Spirit Oasis. Before any action can be taken, Iroh and Aang break them out of the prison. Despite the sympathy each shows the other, Zuko joins Azula in trying to capture the Avatar soon afterwards, and the siblings battle both Katara and Aang, making Katara bitter towards him in later episodes.
In "The Awakening" Zuko remembers Katara's offer to heal his scar using the sacred water from the Northern Tribe's spirit oasis. He suspects that Katara used the special water to save Aang and deduces that the Avatar could still be alive. However, he chose to hide this information from his sister.
In "The Western Air Temple", Katara is the most unforgiving one of the group when Zuko asks to join. Later, privately, Katara speaks with Zuko, telling him that he if so much as makes one glance at his dark side, one step out of line, gives her one reason to think he may hurt Aang, she will kill him, personally.
Despite this, Katara does seem to trust Zuko on some level as she does not protest when he and Aang go alone to the Sun Warriors city in The Firebending Masters. By the time of "The Boiling Rock, Part 1", she seems to have grown somewhat used to his presence, if nothing else, only lightly mocking his joke. And again she shows trust in Zuko by not suggesting that he would hurt Sokka while they went on their "fishing trip".
In "The Southern Raiders", Zuko confronts Katara on why she doesn't trust him. Katara yells at Zuko that she was the first person to trust him and then he betrayed her, all the while Zuko seems disappointed in himself for his previous actions. After Sokka tells him about the soldiers who killed their mother, Zuko realizes who they are and later he tells Katara that he knows the soldier, and they travel together to catch him.
Despite the lingering animosity, Katara and Zuko are able to work amazingly well in tracking down the soldier, and when they do Zuko forces the soldier to remember her face. Katara almost kills the soldier, but ultimately stops herself. Upon returning to the gang's campsite, Katara finally forgives Zuko and hugs him warmly, knowing that he is worthy of her trust.
Zuko and Katara get along a lot better in future episodes and Katara takes a liking to teasing the prince. In the play in "Ember Island Players" their characters have a relationship. Katara and Zuko are disgusted and slide away. June also teases Zuko about Katara being his girlfriend, and the two spit-takingly deny it. Before the arrival of Sozin's Comet, Zuko helps Katara to track down Aang, who had disappeared when he'd been pulled to the Lion Turtle island in a trance. Also, before Zuko faces his Uncle, the new leader of the Order of the White Lotus, Katara assures him that Iroh will forgive his past wrongs. When Zuko realizes he has to defeat Azula and take his rightful place as Fire Lord, he asks Katara to help him. She accepts. When they arrive, Zuko tells Katara to stand back, not willing to get her injured. When Azula attempts to kill Katara with lightning, Zuko blocks the attack but since he changed stances he couldn't redirect all of it and is badly wounded. After Katara defeats Azula, she heals Zuko, and Zuko thanks her but Katara says she should be thanking him.
The two remain friends after the battle and they celebrate in Ba Sing Se.
- "It’s okay. They’ve hurt me, too." - Song to Zuko in "The Cave of Two Lovers"
Song is the young herbalist who treated Iroh when he mistakenly brewed and consumed the poisonous White Jade tea. When seeing that Iroh and Zuko are travel-worn, she invites them to her home for a good meal and rest. Zuko initially declines, not wishing to become too familiar with the Earth Kingdom and it's natives at the time. However, he was overridden by Iroh who accepted the warm invite. As the evening progresses, Song continues trying to reach out to Zuko, knowing that he suffered at the hands of a firebender--all attempts were met with distanced acknowledgment until she reveals the scar she received the day her father was taken from her in a raid by Fire nation soldiers. It is at this moment Zuko appears shocked, concerned and ashamed of his nation.
Disturbed by his feelings over Song's suffering, he tries to leave immediately and steals Song's ostrich horse, despite Iroh's protests. Song witnesses the theft and closes the door silently, crushed and disappointed.
Although the relationship is not resolved, much less on good terms, the impact Song left upon Zuko is considered to be the start of his exceptionally gradual journey towards redemption.
- "Ow! What was that for?"
- "That's how I show affection." - Zuko and Toph in "The Ember Island Players"
Toph was probably the first and only one to trust Zuko after he proposed to join the group (apart from Appa) in "The Western Air Temple". Being a living lie detector, she managed to sense Zuko's sincerity. Their lack of history, the fact that she understands Zuko's family life, and her relationship with Iroh could also be factors. Unfortunately, Zuko accidentally burns Toph's feet when she pays him a surprise visit in the middle of the night. She is then reduced to crawling and feeling the vibrations of the earth through her hands. The attack was an accident however, as he didn't know it was her at the time and humbly apologizes after the fact, acknowledging that he must be careful when bending such a wild and dangerous element (the reason Aang decides he is a worthy teacher). She thus forgives him, stating that him joining will give her a chance to avenge her feet, albeit in a joking manner. When Zuko and Aang are unable to create fire in "The Firebending Masters", Toph does not make fun of Zuko like Katara and Sokka do. Instead, she advises them to find and relearn from the original roots of firebending, with Zuko answering bitterly that the original firebenders (Dragons) are all dead. In "The Ember Island Players" Toph comforts him when the play reminds him of his horrible mistakes, and gives him a punch in the arm, stating it is how she "shows affection".
When Aang disappears prior to the arrival of the comet, Toph hugs his arm and insists that she join Zuko during their search for him, stating it was her turn for a "field trip", in relation to how everybody else went on a life changing adventure with him (Zuko blushes at the sudden act). She and Zuko talk about their bad family relations and Toph expresses the lack of love she got from her parents. When Zuko shoots her down due to their search, Toph is obviously offended. However, they make up almost immediately and have remained friends.
- "I know, I had the same reaction. After all he's done it was hard to trust him. But he's really proven himself and I never would have found you without his help." - Sokka to Hakoda in "The Boiling Rock, Part 2"
Zuko and Sokka never had much social interaction with each other at first. Their first encounter was a brief faceoff against each other in "The Avatar Returns", during which Zuko attacked the Southern Water Tribe while Sokka zealously defended it. Zuko was the clear winner, despite Sokka's persistence. They met in other battles after that, mostly as foes, with one exception being when Zuko teamed up with Sokka and the rest of the group against Azula at a ghost town during "The Chase". Other than that, Sokka has constantly been opposed to assisting Zuko whenever Aang suggested it, clearly indicating how little Sokka trusts him.
In "The Day of Black Sun", Zuko and Sokka are paralleled for the first time. Zuko learns that his mother may still be alive and Sokka learns that Suki is imprisoned by Azula. These discoveries occur at the same time and garner similar reactions.
The two are properly introduced at "The Western Air Temple". Sokka still doesn't trust Zuko after their history, even going so far as theorizing that Zuko covered himself in honey to get Appa to lick him, a sign of affection from the bison. Despite his distrust of Zuko, Sokka does trust Aang and concedes to let Zuko join the group when Aang feels it is the best course of action. At the end of the episode, Sokka is seen showing Zuko to his room. Sokka is a bit uncomfortable, but Zuko friendly smiles at him, implying he has no hostility towards the other. Sokka remarks to Aang that escorting his former enemy was "really weird". By "The Firebending Masters" Sokka is much more comfortable in tormenting Zuko, going so far as to taunt him and make sarcastic remarks, like asking if he can watch him and Aang practice "jerkbending" and literally prodding Zuko with his meteor sword, trying to frustrate him enough to get his firebending back. Although he taunts Zuko, it appears to be in a joking manner instead of a sign of true hostility unlike his sister.
In "The Boiling Rock, Part 1" and "The Boiling Rock, Part 2", Sokka has come to trust Zuko even more. The two episodes serve as a bonding point for the two, as Zuko and Sokka alone attempt to rescue the invasion forces from The Boiling Rock. During the journey, Sokka states that he believes Iroh is proud of Zuko, and commends him for making the decision to leave everything he worked so hard to gain throughout Books 1 and 2 to help Aang. While speaking with his father, Sokka states that while he was distrusting of Zuko at first, he has proven himself on multiple occasions and is very trustworthy. The two are shown to able to work together quite well; Zuko, the superior fighter of the two, often fails to think things through, like when, while keeping lookout for Sokka as he visited Suki's cell, he was questioned by one of the guards and immediately resorted to attacking the guard, which led to his capture. Sokka, on the other hand, may have less fighting ability but is an excellent strategist and keeps a clear head in tense situations. Sokka often depended on Zuko to execute his plans in the Boiling Rock, such as when Zuko started a fight with Chit Sang, unscrewed the cooler, and jammed the gondola's controls. Later, Sokka and Zuko fight Azula on top of the gondola: Zuko defended Sokka and deflected Azula's attacks while Sokka struck at Azula with his sword.
Following the events on the Boiling Rock their relationship is on a much better shape than it ever has been. During "The Southern Raiders", Sokka toasts Zuko as the group's hero for helping hold off the Fire Nation Airships and Azula. Later Zuko asks Sokka about his mother's death. Despite Sokka's obvious discomfort with the subject, he trusts Zuko enough to tell him the story. This information in turn helps Zuko to make amends with Katara, who still hated him at the time.
With the War ended he and Sokka are still friends, as they are seen enjoying themselves at the tea house.
It should be noted that Zuko and Sokka share some similarities that may have had some indirect impact on how they got along. Both are the eldest children in their respective families and both have younger sisters whom they have at some point felt inferior to, Zuko having not excelled in Firebending as quickly as Azula and not having the approval of his father, and Sokka not being a bender at all. Both have also lost their mothers and both are skilled at using some form of bladed weaponry. They are also the closest in age among the main children.
- "I know you."
- "No you don't! You're stuck in your little Ty Lee world where everything's great all the time!" - Ty Lee and Zuko in "The Beach"
Zuko and Ty Lee have rarely been shown interacting with one another, although Ty Lee seems to consider Zuko as a friend. During "The Boiling Rock, Part 2", Ty Lee shows an upset look while she and Azula leave on the second gondola after their fight with Zuko, Sokka, and Suki, possibly sad for Zuko (or Sokka), as the two had left him to drown in the boiling lake. Afterwards, when Azula confronts Mai, she strikes Azula down, to save Mai and by doing so, Zuko.
Ty Lee joined the Kyoshi Warriors after the War, and it can be presumed that they are still friends.
- "Actually, we met a long time ago."
- "We did?"
- "Yeah, you… kinda burned down my village."
- "Oh… sorry about that. Nice to see you again." - Suki and Zuko in "The Boiling Rock, Part 1"
Zuko and Suki unofficially met during "The Warriors of Kyoshi" when Zuko attacked Kyoshi Island in an attempt to capture Aang. Suki and her team of warriors fought to stop Zuko's rampage as his firebending was destroying her village. They were hopelessly outmatched and eventually defeated by Zuko, but bought Aang and his friends the time they needed to escape. Although Aang extinguished the flames on the island, Suki held a deep grudge against Zuko for his attack on her homeland. Zuko's attack was part of the reason Suki left home to assist the Earth Kingdom in their war effort.
Suki and Zuko finally met each other properly in "The Boiling Rock, Part 1". By this point, Suki had been imprisoned in the Boiling Rock by Azula and Zuko had reformed and joined the Avatar's gang. While they were serving hard time, Suki did not hesitate to remind Zuko about his attack on her village many months before. Zuko recalled this event and apologized for his wrongdoings. Despite the obvious animosity between the two, Suki cooperated with Zuko and Sokka in escaping the prison and freeing Sokka's father, Hakoda.
After their successful escape and a brief humorous evening interaction outside Sokka's tent in The Southern Raiders, Suki and Zuko are on much better terms and presumably become good friends by the end of The War. She is seen hanging out with Zuko and the gang at Iroh's tea shop in Ba Sing Se.
- "Next time you get in my way, I promise I won't hold back!" - Zuko to Zhao in "The Southern Air Temple"
Zhao was a high-ranking (Originally a Lieutenant, then Captain, then Commander, then an Admiral) and ambitious officer in the Fire Nation navy and Zuko's major rival in his attempts to capture Avatar Aang. Throughout the first season Zhao and Zuko were constantly at odds as they attempted to stay one step ahead of each other in their pursuit of the Avatar. Their enmity seems to stem from an earlier time however, as Zhao was seen in the audience of Zuko's Agni Kai with his father, smirking while Zuko was burned.
In "The Southern Air Temple", Zuko attempts to withhold the information that the Avatar has returned from Zhao, but Zhao discovers the truth anyway and decides to detain Zuko so that he is unable to capture the Avatar first. This infuriates Zuko and in their subsequent argument Zhao mocks Zuko's plight, telling him that his father doesn't really want him back at all. Zuko then challenges Zhao to an Agni Kai in which he defeats Zhao by utilizing a strong foundation in the basics of Firebending that he had previously dismissed. Zuko, however, chooses not to scar or kill Zhao upon his victory, and while he's walking away Zhao attempts a dishonorable attack that is blocked by Iroh.
In "Winter Solstice Part 2: Avatar Roku", Zuko runs a blockade of Zhao's ships and enters into Fire Nation waters in pursuit of the Avatar, thus violating the terms of his exile. Zhao allows him to pass, however, in order to follow Zuko to the location of the Avatar and, once there, plans to arrest Zuko as well. Zuko escapes.
In "The Blue Spirit", Zuko takes on the guise of the Blue Spirit, a masked, dual-dao-wielding vigilante, first to spy on Zhao and then later to free the Avatar from Zhao's custody. Zhao realizes that this is Zuko's alternate identity in "The Waterbending Master" when he comes to commandeer Zuko's crew in order to invade the Northern Water Tribe and notices dual broadswords in Zuko's quarters. Zhao then hires the pirates with whom Zuko had bad dealings in "The Waterbending Scroll" to assassinate Zuko. However, Zuko survives and stows away on one of Zhao's ships, pretending to be a soldier, and later engages Zhao in a battle in retaliation for Zhao's attempt to kill him. During this fight, Zuko maintains that he had no choice but to act as the Blue Spirit, while Zhao insists that he should have just accepted his failure with honor. Their battle, however, is interrupted when the vengeful Ocean Spirit, upset that Zhao killed its counterpart, the Moon Spirit, manifests a hand-like appendage of water and drags Zhao away. Zuko reaches out a hand to Zhao in an attempt to help him. Though Zhao initially tries to reach his hand, he then refuses to accept his help. He is then dragged down into the water and killed by the Ocean Spirit, La, after the Moon Spirit, Tui, was revived by Princess Yue's sacrifice.
- "I don't think you want me in your gang." - Zuko to Jet in "The Drill"
Jet is a teenage boy from the Earth Kingdom and the guerrilla leader of his band of adolescent Freedom Fighters.
Zuko first encounters Jet in "The Serpent's Pass", when they are both traveling on the ferry to Ba Sing Se. Jet approaches Zuko after overhearing him complain about the quality of the food and suggests that Zuko assist him and his gang in stealing better food from the captain's stores. Zuko accepts this offer and they work together very well to complete their mission and deliver food to all the ferry passengers. Jet later tells Iroh and Zuko that he is going to Ba Sing Se to make amends for past deeds of which he is not proud. Iroh pointedly states that he believes that people deserve second chances and can change their lives if they want to, clearly meaning this as a message to Zuko. Zuko, however, appears unaffected.
In "The Drill", Jet watches Zuko and Iroh from afar, and tells Smellerbee and Longshot that he thinks "Lee" would make a good Freedom Fighter. While the others insist that they barely even know him, Jet retorts that Lee didn't get his scar from a waterbender. Later on, he approaches Zuko and asks him to join his group. Zuko rebuffs him, and Jet seems disappointed. However, out of the corner of his eye, he spies Iroh heating his tea with Firebending. From then on, he resolves to gather evidence against them, and turn them into the authorities.
In "City of Walls and Secrets", Jet spies on Zuko and Iroh, trying to find proof that they are firebenders. He follows them in the city, and to their new jobs in the tea shop. Smellerbee objects to this action, saying that Jet has no real proof that the duo are firebenders and that even if they are, there's nothing to do. Jet, however, presses on with his investigation. He sneaks into their apartment and steals their spark rocks, in a move that he hopes will force one of them to firebend. This plan is foiled when Iroh simply borrows spark rocks from his neighbor. Later on, Jet argues with Longshot and Smellerbee over the issue outside the tea shop. Jet reminds them of how the Fire Nation left them homeless, and why it is so important to fight them.
Finally, tired of waiting, Jet bursts into the shop, Hooked Swords drawn, proclaiming Zuko and Iroh to be firebenders. While the police officers in the shop try to calm him, Jet insists that the two waiters be arrested. Zuko grabs a pair of swords from an officer, and the two begin to fight. The fight carries them outside the shop and into the street, with Jet trying to goad Zuko into firebending the entire time. The Fight is broken up by the Dai Li, who arrest Jet based on the words of Iroh, the shop owner, and the soldiers who saw the fight.
Zuko is unaware that he will never see Jet again, as the young warrior was killed under Lake Laogai while fighting the Dai Li.
In "The Ember Island Players", Zuko watches a play about the Avatar. When he sees the segment about Jet's death, he is shocked, and asks Sokka "Did Jet just...die?", to which Sokka replies that it was "really unclear".
- "I hear you're good at what you do... and even better at keeping secrets. The Avatar is alive. I want you to find him, and end him." - Zuko to Combustion Man in "The Headband"
As seen in "The Headband", Zuko hires Combustion Man to kill Aang. In "The Western Air Temple" Zuko rashly lets slip that he hired him to kill Aang; he also reveals that Combustion Man is not the assassin's real name and denies Sokka's accusation that they were friends. At the end of the episode, Combustion Man has tracked down the group and prepares to kill them. Zuko tries to get him to stop first by telling him the deal is off, then by offering more money to stop, however Combustion Man turns on Zuko and blasts him off the side. Zuko clings onto a vine, just narrowly escaping death. Although Zuko's attempt failed, it gave Sokka enough time to hit Combustion Man on his tattoo eye, blocking his chi and presumably killing the assassin in an explosion when he attempts to attack the gang again.