Firebending emblem Fire Nation emblem
By MightyBrit Part of the Child of Destiny continuity.
Zhao CoD
Biographical information

Fire Nation


43 (but his spirit is 143)

Physical description


Hair color

Originally: dark brown. Current host: brown, short cropped.

Eye color

Originally: gold. Current host: hazel.

Personal information
Fighting style(s)



Shaoshang, The Cult of Sozin


Zuko, Aang, Sokka, Yue, Liang, Wuoyan

Chronological and political information

Former admiral, now leader of the Cult of Sozin

First appearance

The First Airbender

Zhao is one of the main antagonists in MightyBrit's Child of Destiny. It is the same character that appeared in book one of the original series. The fanfic retcons his death from the series.

Before the story

Zhao supposedly died in the Siege of the North shortly after the return of the Avatar when La dragged him underwater and drowned him in revenge for the murder of Tui. In fact, as revealed by Yue in Due North, Zhao was not killed by La, and was dragged into the Spirit World to be tortured for eternity.

Due to time flowing differently in the Spirit World, Zhao endured a century of torture at the hands of the ocean spirit, but he eventually escaped into the physical world once more, but only in a spirit form. He possessed the body of another person and founded the Cult of Sozin. He recruited Shaoshang to be his right-hand man and started terrorizing the Fire Nation under Zuko's regime. He was responsible for various assassination attempts on Fire Lord Zuko and Fire Lady Mai as well as several acts of terrorism around the Fire Nation include the bombing of Han Dre's home.

During the story

Leading The Cult of Sozin

Zhao organized another assassination attempt on Fire Lord Zuko and organized the bomb that destroyed Han Dre's home and killed his little sister. He, then, after receiving word from his right-hand man, Shaoshang, ordered the capture of Yue. After this, he visited Azula during her captivity in a mental asylum called the House of Fengkuang. After telling her the secret of her survival, he did something to her that transported her spirit, but not her body into the Spirit World.

Yue informed Sokka and Liang that Zhao created a breach in the Spirit World and to stop the spirit and physical world colliding and destroying each other, that Zhao would have to be thoroughly destroyed, body and soul.

Shaoshang captured Yue and delivered her to Zhao who imprisoned her in his cabin. Sokka soon came to rescue her and engaged Zhao in a fierce duel, which Sokka eventually won. However, Sokka was distracted by Aang's arrival and Zhao sent a final blast of flame that killed Yue. He quickly declared himself a legend again, before he was 'killed' by a knife thrown by Wuoyan. However, the knife only killed the person Zhao was possessing and his spirit escaped in a shadowy form.


Zhao remains the same character from the series. He is cruel, ambitious and arrogant. However, due to his century of torture in the Spirit World, he has finally learned patience and is willing to bide his time to achieve his goals. He also hates the majority of spirits, blaming them for the loss of his body.

Zhao's great hubris, however, is his pride and he has proven that he is very frustrated that he has to parade around in the bodies of others rather than his own.


Zhao remains a very powerful firebender, who can create very large blasts of flame. However, as his body remains in the Spirit World and his soul is the only thing in the physical world, he has gained the ability to possess other people - his true form has been revealed to be a solid shadow. This means he cannot die by conventional means as both his body and spirit must be destroyed for him to properly die. He also used an unexplained new ability to send Azula to the Spirit World.

In addition, Zhao has proven himself to be a capable swordfighter, though Sokka was able to defeat him. He is also a keen strategist.


Due to Zhao's newfound ability to jump between bodies, he has had at least two 'hosts' during the course of the story. If Zhao's spirit is unbound and without a host, he appears as a pillar of black smoke with a vaguely humanoid shape and no facial features or other detail.

  • Kan - Zhao's first host. Kan was Zhao's first younger brother, known for his long dirty blonde hair (an oddity in the Fire Nation). He was married to Qi for several years before he disappears three years prior to the events of the story, when Zhao possessed him and simply left, even leaving food on the table. Zhao inhabited this body for several years before it was killed by Wuoyan.
  • Ruo - Zhao's second host. Ruo was the youngest of Zhao's brothers who lived in a small house on the edge of a cliff in the Fire Nation. He was comforting Qi on the loss of her husband when Zhao came over and took over Ruo's body. He immeaditely used it to burn down the house and murder Qi. Zhao was often annoyed with this form as Ruo had a bad knee which affected Zhao while he used this body. Zhao killed this body himself when he reclaimed his own original body.

Zhao finally reclaimed his own body after he freed it from La's capitivity.

Non-canon Appearances

Zhao makes a non-canon appearance in Clash of Worlds 3 as one of the villains staying at a motel and plotting to kill M. Night Shyamalan. In Part 1, as written by SuperFlash101, he is seen with Choy, staring at a fish and getting the strange urge to punch it in the face, an allusion to his hatred of the moon spirit.

In Part 2, as written by Vaznock, he mentions killing Azula at the asylum but is cut short when he sees another Azula (the one from the Kyoshi Revolts universe) alive and well. He is later seen attempting to start a pillow fight with Katas and becoming frustrated when Katas kills him yet again. He is also told that he was better off in The Daily Show, a reference to the actor who played Zhao in the movie version. He continues to fight with Katas into Part 3 of the crossover.

Behind the scenes

MightyBrit used Zhao in the story because he wanted the Cult of Sozin to be led by a scary, but familiar face. After getting the idea of Zhao's survival from when his little sister was confused about his death after watching the Siege of the North, he decided on using Zhao over any other villains because of his lack of backstory, which will allow MightyBrit to use Zhao in flashbacks in Book 2 without breaking the continuity of the original series.

Since Zhao's age was unknown in the series, MightyBrit used the age of actor Jason Isaacs when he recorded his lines (43) for Zhao's age in Child of Destiny, which makes him 33 during the events of the Avatar television series.


  • Despite the fact that Zhao has switched into a different body with a different hair color, he delibrately cut his hair to resemble his original body with long, heavy sideburns and a topknot. This proves that he is incredibly arrogant as even though he looks completely different, he still believes his original body is the best he could possibly be and tries to emulate it.
  • He has now killed the moon twice.

See more

For the collective works of the author, go here.

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