Sometimes I can’t stop thinking about how Zuko accidentally spoke against his father and begged for forgiveness, on his knees with tears in his eyes, and got half his face burned off and banished from his home
Then Zuko betrayed his uncle and everything Iroh had ever taught him, begged for forgiveness on his knees with tears in his eyes, and got a hug and complete forgiveness and unconditional love
Can we talk about this scene
for a minute? Because I tear up literally every damn time I watch it.
After losing his son, Iroh
fought tirelessly to save his nephew from Ozai’s brainwashing, no matter how
hard Zuko tried to push him away. But even after years of sticking by him
through every dead end and reckless gambit, Zuko still goes back to his awful father. Once
again, Iroh couldn’t save his son and it just kills him.
Then the kid shows up with team Avatar, because it turns out
some of those proverbs got through to him after all.
But the part that really gets me is Zuko’s perspective.
Sitting outside that tent,
he’s so damn scared. He’s so convinced Iroh hates him, he won’t even go in
without a pep talk from Katara. Everyone else can see that Iroh will be proud
of what his nephew has done since they last met, but Zuko can’t. When Zuko goes
in to see the family he disappointed, he’s braced for yelling and fire and rage
because that’s what he’s been raised to expect when he screws up. Pissing off
his father got him disgraced, burned, tossed in the street, told he didn’t
deserve to be alive, and shot at with lightening. A lifetime of experience says
he should be
scared. He doesn’t expect to be forgiven, he just wants Iroh to know he’s
And then Iroh’s not even mad. NOT EVEN MAD.
Mercy and compassion are so alien to Zuko that immediate forgiveness wasn’t
even a remote possibility. He’s so utterly confused, but at the same time, so,
so relieved. He hasn’t lost his only family. The only person who stayed by him
all those years in exile. The only father who loved him.
They both thought they’d lost
the only family they had left. Instead, they find themselves closer than
they’ve ever been. And I tear up every damn time.
We have all once been bald ponytail Zuko, but we all have the capability to transition into hot long hair Zuko and I think that’s beautiful. Make your goal in life to become hot long hair Zuko and the world will be a better place.