Who could forget him? The greedy jerk who wanted the Avatar all to himself. The man who taunted Zuko, filling his head with insults and grief. The man who stole and killed the moon spirit, creating destructive chaos around the Northern Water Tribe for 10 minutes and dying a fitting death. He had big sideburns, and an even bigger temper.
But throughout watching the entire series of ATLA a third time, I've noticed how much of a character that he was.
AppearanceHe looked just like any other random firebender, with the sideburns and the ponytail. But that wasn't the only thing that did it for him. Sure, when we see an important character, we always recognize him on the spot, but seeing as how even most firebender higher-ups looked same, Zhao's looks always stood out in a special way (the cape really compliments the armor).
I've noticed that shows similar to ATLA have a character who's on the same side as the main antagonist, but has a bittering rivalry with him/her. Zhao is a perfect example of this. The show would be boring without at least one person (besides Azula) who wants to see Zuko dead.
His arrogance is a quality we all know and love. Seeing his anger rise during battles really ads to the comedy of the show. His black heart and self-gratification truly makes Zhao one of a kind. He sounds like the character who would do anything to get what he wants, even if it means endangering the lives of his own teammates. Accidently burning down his own ships in anger trying to fight Aang, lashing out at Zuko after losing the Agni Kai and later refusing his help when being killed by the ocean spirit makes him a very memorable character indeed.
A Few Final Words
Sure, he's an evil jerk who almost killed a city of people by killing a spirit, but the gigantic ape-like firebender with a heart of darkness will always be remembered as one of my favorite charaters in ATLA. Never thought my first blog would be about him either.
RIP- Zhao the conqueror, Zhao the invincible, Zhao the jerk who tried to steal the moon.