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Zuko byKuru
Chronicles of Ian
Biographical information

Fire Nation


18 (Avatar: The Last Airbender: Chronicles of Ian)

Physical description


Hair color


Eye color


Personal information
Weapon of choice

Fire, Dual Dao Swords

Fighting style(s)

Firebending, dual swordsmanship


Iroh, Ursa, Ian, Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, Suki, Appa, Momo, Hakoda, Ty Lee, Order of the White Lotus, more...


Ozai, Azula, Zhao

Chronological and political information
  • Fire Lord
  • Sword master
  • Firebending instructor
First appearance

Book 1 of The Chronicles of Ian



Zuko is the first-born of Fire Lord Ozai and Princess Ursa. Born in 83 AG, from an early age, Zuko was disdained by his father and was also the object of his sister, Azula's manipulation, ridicule, and deception. Zuko's mother, however, loved him, and favored him over Azula.

When Zuko was about ten years old, his cousin, Lu Ten, died while away at war. Soon after, General Iroh, devastated by the loss of his only child, abandoned his two-year siege of the Earth Kingdom capital city, Ba Sing Se. During an audience with Fire Lord Azulon, Ozai shows off Azula's prodigious Firebending skill and her knowledge of military strategy, both of which outstrip Zuko's. Azulon is unimpressed by all of these exercises and demands that Ursa and her children leave and Ozai be frank about his reasons for wanting the audience. Azula and Zuko eavesdrop on Ozai and Azulon's conversation as Ozai voices his desire to be made heir in place of Iroh, justifying this course of action by pointing out that not only has Iroh's overwhelming grief and subsequent erratic behavior made the date of his return from war uncertain, but that Iroh no longer has any heirs to carry on his line. Azulon, however, is outraged and he declares angrily that Iroh has suffered enough, but Ozai's suffering has only just begun.

Ursa hugs Zuko

Ursa says goodbye to Zuko

Frightened, Zuko runs away while Azula stays to watch. Later while Zuko is in his room trying to sleep, Azula comes in and mockingly tells him that Azulon's punishment for Ozai is that Ozai must kill Zuko, as the Fire Lord now wants his younger son to know what it feels like to lose a child. Ursa, hearing the commotion, comes in and drags Azula away, declaring that it is time that they talked, and Zuko, left behind, chants quietly to himself, "Azula always lies." Much later that night, Zuko is awakened once again, but this time by his mother. She tells a sleepy Zuko that everything that she has done, she did for him, and instructs him not to forget who he is no matter how much things may change. Zuko wakes up the next morning and immediately remembers what transpired the night before and runs frantically through the halls searching for his mother. He finds Azula, who blithely tells him that Azulon died last night and that their mother is missing. As she plays with Zuko's pearl dagger (a gift from his uncle Iroh), she mocks Zuko about the fact that their mother is not there to make her give it back. Eventually, Zuko finds Ozai in the gardens of the palace, and upon doing so demands to know where Ursa is. Ozai does not answer and Zuko hangs his head in sorrow. At Azulon's funeral, the sage conducting the ceremony names Ozai the new Fire Lord, stating that Azulon's dying request was that he be succeeded by his second son.

Chronicles of Ian

Years later, Iroh allows a persistent, thirteen-year-old Zuko into a war council with Ozai and a group of his generals. Zuko ignores Iroh's instructions not to speak during the meeting when one general outlines a plan to sacrifice an entire division of new recruits in a diversionary maneuver. Zuko fiercely disagrees with this, seeing it as a betrayal of the recruits' patriotism. This insubordinate outburst is seen as a grave insult by the assembled party, and Ozai demands that Zuko participate in an Agni Kai. Zuko agrees, unaware that he will face his father and not the general whom he insulted. Upon turning to face his opponent, Zuko is immediately penitent and kneels, refusing to fight, and tearfully begs his father's forgiveness. Ozai declares Zuko's refusal to fight him a sign of cowardice and yet another display of disrespect, and tells him that "[he] will learn respect, and suffering will be [his] teacher".

Ozai then burns Zuko (permanently scarring the left side of his face), strips him of his birthright, and exiles him from his beloved homeland, declaring that he can only return if he is able to find and capture the Avatar, who disappeared one hundred years before. A fool's errand by all accounts (because if the Avatar had disappeared, there would be no point in searching for him), but one to which Zuko clings desperately as his only hope of regaining his honor, and everything that he has lost.

Zuko would spend the next three years at sea, searching for the Avatar. He first searched the four Air Temples, beginning with the Western Air Temple, and he then scoured the world, searching even the most remote locations for his prize. Iroh accompanied Zuko during his exile, and the pair spent more than two years at sea with a small ship and crew searching for the Avatar. The crew were not royal guards or special forces, and may well have been banished themselves, or were foolishly intent on serving under the popular General Iroh. They were often unhappy under Zuko but obeyed his orders. Iroh often considered the search to be something of an extended vacation.


While initially the series' main antagonist, over time Zuko's development has shown him to be more of a bitter and complex young man than a truly evil character; he was initially more akin to a tragic villain in opposition to Aang. Zuko wanted, more than anything, to have his place as heir to the Fire Nation throne and his father's love. Zuko believed, or has perhaps forced himself to believe, that capturing the Avatar will make these wishes come true, which made him one of Aang's most determined enemies. This determination stands in contrast with other pursuers such as Zhao or Azula who are motivated mostly by political ambition or cruelty.

Young Zuko speaks

Even when he was younger, Zuko was hot-headed and arrogant, yet he cared for the welfare of others

Zuko believes that a person becomes strong by having to struggle and fight for what they want. He also has expressed contrasting beliefs, in that he does not want to have good luck, because he feels he can control his own fate, but also believes that he is marked unlucky and that the world is against him. Zuko's reaction to this perception of the world always being set against him is defiance in the form of an iron will and inflexible determination. Zuko is clever, yet hot-headed, often letting his temper get the best of him.

Appearances In The Chronicles of Ian

Zuko makes his first appearance in The Chronicles of Ian as an antagonist sought out to find the Avatar, and return home to regain his honor, his fathers trust, and his rightful place back on the throne. But after seeing that his father is wrong, he decides to help Aang and his friends defeat Ozai and bring peace and balance back to the world. Doing so, he would end the war, and be the next Fire Lord of the Fire Nation.

Affiliation With Team Avatar

Chronicles of Ian

Zuko joins Team Avatar in Book 3 of The Chronicles of Ian. He becomes Aang's Firebending master. He and Ian become close, and they really connect because both of their previous loves died.

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