We all know about Zuko and his unlucky and difficult childhood. Zoku is one of those rare animated characters that have achieved massive popularity. Zuko is one of the greatest firebending masters. And is also the one who taught Avatar Aang the art of firebending. Although, initially Zoku was the person who wanted to capture the Avatar the most. Because it was the only way to restore his honor in the eyes of his father. And was also his only way to reclaim his lost position of the prince of the Fire Nation. Zuko’s most important trait in his appearance is his scar and some might not even recognize Zuko without his scar.
In this article, we will look at the reason behind Zuko’s scar. And also look at his troubled childhood where his own father did not even appreciate his young son and became ready to kill him on Azulon’s order. Zuko was a part of a dysfunctional family. His father wanted to become the Fire Lord of the Fire Nation. And his sister was a sadist from the start. His sister Azula was very well-gifted in her ability of firebending so his father always preferred Azula over Zuko.
History Of Zuko Without His Scar
Zuko was born as the prince of the Fire Nation to the second son of Fire Lord Azulon. He was born with a clear face and did not have his scar from birth. His father was Max Ozai who himself went on to become the Fire Lord himself. Zuko also had a sister named Princess Azula. And his mother was the granddaughter of the Avatar Roku. Her name was Ursa. And Azulon married Ursa to Ozai to ensure that his bloodline remains strong.
The other son of Azulon was named Prince Iroh and was destined to become the next Fire Lord by birthright. Iroh was one of the most decorated and celebrated Generals of the Fire Army and won numerous notable victories in the 100 Year War. Iroh also had a son named Lu Ten whom he loved greatly. Lu Ten also accompanied his father on his exploits in the war.
Ozai Becomes The Fire Lord
All of this changed after the Battle of Ba Sing Se. When Iroh attacked this greatest city of Earth Kingdom. He was defeated and also lost Lu Ten in the Battle of Ba Sing Se. This left him deeply traumatized. Wanting to take advantage of the situation, Ozai asked his father to replace Iroh as the next Fire Lord as he has been defeated in an all-important battle. And his bloodline has also ended after the death of his only son, Lu Ten.
This suggestion deeply angered Azulon. And he asked Ozai that how could he be so cruel and not understand the pain of his only brother. Azulon ordered Ozai to kill his firstborn and only then he will be able to understand the pain that Iroh is experiencing. But when Zuko’s mother finds out about this she makes Ozai a deal to protect Zuko.
As a part of the deal, she will make an untraceable poison to kill Azulon after which Ozai can take his place as the Fire Lord. But Ozai adds that Ursa will also have to leave the palace after completing her end of the deal. To which she agrees and leaves the place forever. And After the death of Azulon, Ozai becomes the Fire Lord by declaring it as the final wish of his father.
The Reason Behind Zuko’s Scar
After the death of Lu Ten, Iroh was emotionally shattered and only found solace in caring for Zuko as he would have done for his own son. Iroh loved Zuko just like he loved Lu Ten. He also chose to accompany Zuko when he was banished by the Fire Lord Ozai. Iroh loved Zuko to such an extent that he left his position and power behind only to be with Zuko and guide him.
When Zuko is a teenager, he accompanies his uncle Iroh to a meeting in the War Chamber. Iroh has asked Zuko not to speak anything. But when a general presented a plan in which a younger battalion of soldiers will be sacrificed as a diversion. Zuko could not stay silent and dissented with the General’s plan. The Fire Lord took it as a sign of disrespect and asked Zuko to settle the matter with Agni Kai. Zuko agreed thinking that he will face the General. But in reality, he had to face his father.
After learning that he will duel his own father in the Agni Kai, Zuko surrendered and did not fight. His father took it as a sign of weakness and punished Zuko by burning the left side of his face and scarring him for life in the process. And that was the last day that anyone would see Zuko without his scar.
The scene of his nephew burning was so cruel and painful for Iroh that he looked away and could not look at it. His Father further banished Zuko from the Fire Nation and further ordered that the only way Zuko’s position and honor will be restored is when he captures The Avatar.
Zuko’s Life After Banishment
Zuko got his ship and crew because of Iroh’s influence and together they went on to look for The Avatar. Zuko’s face was severely burned and could not heal completely leaving the trademark scar. This scar became the main personality point of Zuko as everyone from the Fire Nation instantly recognized him because of his scar.
Zuko initially believed that it was his destiny to capture The Avatar to restore his honor. But with Iroh’s guidance, and his own journey into all other Kingdoms made him realize that Fire Nation is wrong. And he truly recognized his destiny to help The Avatar. And became Aang’s master and taught The Avatar Firebending. Zuko played an essential role in the fate of the Avatar Universe and the path he chose resulted in the ending of the 100 Year War.
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