one of my favorite things about a:tla is that everyone knows uncle iroh. everyone. the blind girl you just added to the gang? had tea with him once. that flower seller? yup. your ten-ton six-legged five-stomached flying bison? probably. that girl on the streets of ba sing se? he sent his nephew on a date with her. a whole tribe of thought-to-be-extinct sun warriors? nbd. your cranky waterbending master? they go way back. that dramatic deserter? your bro’s sword instructor? your 112 year old nuthouse friend? the next avatar 54 years later? sure
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.
I just wanted to say that Uncle Iroh is by far my favorite character in this show. I love all the characters but honestly Iroh is just the best. He has so much power in side him but he knows to not let it go to his head. He’s so openminded and forgiving and happy even in the worst situations. I have such appreciation for him.
what she means:
Iroh, though. He could’ve stayed in the Fire Nation and lived a cushy life. He could’ve had whatever he wanted - a comfortable home, a slew of servants, a tea shop - any retiree’s dream following a long, highly successful career in a war. He could’ve been mostly happy and mostly content, free to do whatever he pleased really as the Fire Lord’s brother and a former general. He didn’t have to do any of the things he did for Zuko. He really didn’t. Zuko wasn’t even his kid! But guess what? Iroh loved Zuko like his own son. And Iroh left everything he knew to follow this asshole of a kid around the world on a pointless mission all the while loving him like Zuko had never been loved before and I just... Iroh, though. Uncle Iroh.
I don't think a lot of people get this. Iroh's problem was that he lost his son. So he helped Zuko, who had been banished by his father, get his life back. The right life. By doing this Iroh got a second chance at being a father.
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.