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Dual broadswords

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Fire Nation emblem Earth Kingdom emblem

This set of dual broadswords hung in Zuko's quarters of his ship.

Dual broadswords, also known as twin broadswords, are two metal blades that are to be considered as different parts of the same weapon. The swords can also be used individually as single-edged blades[1] and are known to be used in both the Earth Kingdom and the Fire Nation.


From a young age, Zuko was trained in the art of dual swordfighting by Piandao.[2] The prince retained a preference for the weapons and displayed a pair of these swords in his quarters on his his ship. While masquerading as the Blue Spirit, he used these swords to avoid having to rely on his firebending to attack or defend.[3] However, these swords also inadvertently gave away his secret identity to Admiral Zhao, who recognized the weapons despite Zuko's statement about them being mere decorations.[4]

Earth Kingdom dao swords

The broadsword man threatened Iroh with his dual broadswords.

When Zuko and Iroh were traveling through the Earth Kingdom as refugees, they had a hard time collecting sufficient money to get by. While stopping in the river village, a passerby used his dual broadswords to make Iroh dance for a gold piece, much to Zuko's annoyance. The angry prince later mugged the swordsman under the guise of the Blue Spirit and stole the man's swords.[5] He used these swords to steal from local Earth Kingdom villagers along his journey.[6]

In the plains village, Zuko used his swords to fight Gow and his gang and later used them in combination with his firebending after Gow nearly defeated him. He also taught Lee some techniques with these weapons, calling them, "two halves of a single weapon" and telling him not to think of them as separate.[1]

In Ba Sing Se, Zuko used a pair of swords owned by a customer in the tea shop against Jet during their duel.[7] He had to use them in order to hide in the Earth Kingdom as a refugee, concealing his firebending. Zuko later returned under the Blue Spirit guise and utilized his swords when he liberated Appa.[8]

Zuko with his swords

Zuko used his broadswords on the Day of Black Sun to defend himself as he confronted his father.

During the Day of Black Sun, when Zuko confronted his father, Fire Lord Ozai, he wielded his swords as a method of defense, since at that time he could not use firebending due to the solar eclipse.[9]

While staying at the Western Air Temple, Zuko, using his dual broadswords, and Sokka, using his black sword, had a "swordbending" match in which Zuko emerged the victor.[2]


Dual broadswords are moderately curved and single-edged, though often with a few inches of the leading back edge sharpened as well; the moderate curve allows them to be reasonably effective in the thrust. Hilts are canted, curving in the opposite direction as the blade, which improves handling in some forms of cuts and thrusts. Cord is usually wrapped over the wood of the handle. Hilts may also be pierced like those of the jian, a straight-bladed sword, for the addition of lanyards. The dual broadswords also had specially-shaped guards that allowed both blades to be sheathed in a single scabbard.


The earliest dao date from the Shang Dynasty in China's Bronze Age and are known as zhibei dao (直背刀) - straight backed knives. As the name implies, these were straight-bladed or slightly curved weapons with a single edge. Originally bronze, these would be made of iron or steel by the time of the late Warring States. Originally less common as a military weapon than the jian - the straight, double-edged blade of China - the dao became popular with cavalry during the Han dynasty due to its sturdiness and superiority as a chopping weapon. Soon after, dao began to be issued to infantry, beginning the replacement of the jian as a standard-issue weapon.[10]


  • The Avatar Extras bonus commentary of "Zuko Alone" stated that Zuko's dual swords are meant to represent the conflicting "good" and "bad" sides of him and that both are different parts of himself.
  • This weapon is one of the four major Chinese weapons, known as "the most reckless and daring of all weapons".[10] Unlike Sokka's space sword, Zuko's swords are like traditional broadswords: single handed and single-edged.
  • After Bolin decorated the apartment he and Mako lived in, a set of dual broadswords hung on the wall.[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (May 12, 2006). "Zuko Alone". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wilgus, Alison (writer), Ridge, Justin (artist), Dzioba, Wes (colorist), Comicraft (letterer). "Swordbending" (2009), Nickelodeon Comics Club.
  3. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (June 17, 2005). "The Blue Spirit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  4. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 18, 2005). "The Waterbending Master". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  5. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (April 14, 2006). "The Swamp". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  6. O'Bryan, John (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (April 28, 2006). "Avatar Day". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
  7. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (September 22, 2006). "City of Walls and Secrets". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 14. Nickelodeon.
  8. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (November 6, 2006). "Lake Laogai". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 17. Nickelodeon.
  9. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Complete Taiji Dao: The Art of the Chinese Saber p.38. Blue Snake Books (2009). Retrieved on January 3, 2014.
  11. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (October 11, 2013). "The Sting". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.

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