The Avatar and the Firelord: Storyline Parallels
Avatar: The Last Airbender gives us two juxtaposed storylines.
The first storyline, focusing on Aang, tells the story of an Air Nomad monk who, at the age of 12, finds out that he’s the Avatar. Faced with this burden, Aang runs away and accidentally freezes himself, eventually waking up one hundred years later in a world that has been ravished by the Fire Nation. With the coming of Sozin’s Comet less than a year away, Aang goes on an epic adventure as he tries to master all four elements so he can defeat Firelord Ozai.
Alongside this storyline we have the story of Ozai’s son Zuko who, at the age of 13, is burned and banished for speaking out of turn at a war meeting. Exiled from his home, Zuko is told that he can’t return until he finds the Avatar. When the Avatar finally reveals himself, Zuko begins chasing him, and we see how these two characters interact as the series progresses until Zuko ultimately joins Aang to defeat his father.
With that said, despite being two very different storylines, the experiences that these two characters go through have parallels and connections that help tie them together. Thus, this post will look at these two characters, as well as multiple Avatar episodes, to demonstrate the parallels between them.
But, before we get started, let me explain how I plan to go about this meta because, let’s be real, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that we have a lot of ground to cover.
Therefore, I’m going to start by going over some of the general themes, parallels, and contrasts that follow Aang and Zuko through their adventures, as well as going over some of the thematic trends that follow them too.
With that out of the way, I’ll get into the specifics—talking about the parallels that take place episode-by-episode and season-by-season. I won’t go through everything, since not all the parallels are important plot wise (like this one) but, I’ll go through the really important ones that help establish the storyline of each character.
So, with that said, let’s begin!