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Avatar: The Last Airbender/The Legend of Korra character
Prince Zuko.jpg
Voiced by Dante Basco[1]
Dev Patel (The Last Airbender video game)
Elijah Runcorn (Young Zuko)
Aliases Prince Zuko
The Blue Spirit (alter ego)
Lee (refugee alias)
Junior (refugee alias)
Fire Lord Zuko
Gender Male
Relatives Ozai (father)
Ursa (mother)
Azula (sister)
Iroh (paternal uncle)
Lu Ten (cousin)
Azulon (paternal grandfather)
Ilah (paternal grandmother)
Sozin (paternal great-grandfather)
Roku (maternal great-grandfather)
Iroh II (grandson)
Ta Min (maternal great-grandmother)
Jinzuk (maternal grandfather)
Rina (maternal grandmother)
Unnamed daughter
Ikem (stepfather)
Kiyi (maternal half-sister)
Nationality Fire Nation
Age 16
17 in The Promise and The Search
87 in The Legend of Korra
Bending Element Fire
Lightning Redirection
Hair color Black
Eye color Gold
Position Antagonist (Book 1 and The Promise Part 2-3)
Antihero (end of Book 1-first half of Book 3)
Protagonist (Book 3-The Promise Part 2 and The Promise Part 3-present)

Zuko is a fictional character in Nickelodeon's animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the character is voiced by Dante Basco and is portrayed by Dev Patel in M. Night Shyamalan's 2010 film The Last Airbender.

Zuko is the Crown Prince of the Fire Nation, and an incredibly strong and powerful Firebender, meaning he has the elemental ability to create, control, and manipulate fire, flame, heat and to redirect lightning through martial arts. He is the eldest child of Fire Lord Ozai and Princess Ursa, and older brother of Princess Azula. Before the events of the series, Zuko is exiled from the Fire Nation by his father and told to capture the Avatar, to restore his honor and right to the throne. Zuko is accompanied and advised in his search by his uncle, Iroh. Over time, Zuko sympathizes with oppressed peoples, and joins the Avatar to restore peace. Zuko has two well known great-grandfathers: on his father's side, Fire Lord Sozin, who started the hundred-year-war, and on his mother's side Avatar Roku, the Avatar preceding Aang.

In "The Deserter", Zuko's name was listed on a Fire Nation wanted poster as "祖寇" (zǔ kòu). In "Tales of Ba Sing Se", his name was written as "蘇科" (sū kè) on his segment's title card.

Plot overview[edit]

Early life[edit]

A few years before the events of the series, Crown Prince Zuko voiced opposition to a general's suggestion that the Fire Nation soldiers be sacrificed in their nation's battle with the Earth Kingdom. Challenged to a duel by his father, Zuko accepted the challenge believing that he would fight the general who proposed the plan; but learns that his father, Fire Lord Ozai, proposed the plan. When Zuko refuses to fight his father, the Fire Lord scars him over his left eye and sends him into exile.

Book One: Water[edit]

At the beginning of the series, Zuko is introduced as an antagonist and pursued Aang in hopes of reclaiming his honor, and gains a competitor in Zhao, an ambitious admiral, against whom Zuko assumes the name of 'Blue Spirit' to capture Aang from Zhao's fortress. During the invasion of the Northern Water Tribe, Zuko captures Aang, but both are nearly killed. Aang then saves Zuko from dying of cold. Ozai thereafter assigns Azula to seize Zuko and Iroh.

Book Two: Earth[edit]

Pursued by Azula, Zuko and Iroh travel the Earth Kingdom. Having quarreled with Iroh, Zuko reunites with his uncle against Azula. Soon after, Zuko and Iroh enter Ba Sing Se for safety, meeting Jet in the process. Despite Jet's actions against them, Iroh establishes a tea shop in the city's slums. Zuko remains amenable to this lifestyle until he learns of Aang's presence in Ba Sing Se and attempts to steal Appa. Infiltrating the city to stage a coup, Azula arranges a trap for Zuko and Iroh. Captured and placed in Crystal Catacombs, Zuko encounters Katara, and both are rescued by Aang. Azula convinces Zuko to help her; whereupon Aang is wounded and Iroh arrested.

Book Three: Fire[edit]

Returning to his country a hero, Zuko learns that Azula transferred the repute of killing the Avatar to him, and hires an assassin to ensure Aang's death. Zuko visits his imprisoned uncle prior to learning that he is maternally a descendent of Avatar Roku, Aang's previous incarnation. Prior to the Day of Black Sun, Zuko inadvertently catalyzes his father's plan to destroy the Earth Kingdom with Sozin's Comet. Confronting Ozai during the eclipse, Zuko states his intention to help Aang. Although they initially reject him, Aang and his companions accept Zuko as a firebending teacher for Aang, after the two of them find their world's last dragons to rediscover the long-forgotten source of firebending.

After helping Sokka free Suki and Hakoda from the Boiling Rock prison, Zuko amends with Katara by locating her mother's killer. When Aang disappears shortly before Sozin's Comet, Zuko is made temporary leader to find him, and instead reconciles with Iroh. Arriving at the Fire Nation capital with Katara, Zuko confronts Azula for the throne. When Azula faces defeat she forces Zuko to save Katara, which leaves him wounded and immobile. Katara defeats Azula and heals Zuko. After Aang wins the war, Zuko becomes the new Fire Lord, promising peace.

Avatar: The Promise[edit]

After the Hundred Year War has ended and Zuko has been crowned Fire Lord, he demands for the whereabouts of his mother, Ursa, but the conversation takes a different path wherein Zuko must establish inter-ethnic peace in a Fire Nation colony. In the end, the Harmony Restoration Movement cools the tension between both sides.

Avatar: The Search[edit]

In the sequel to the first comic book adaptation of the cartoon series, The Search, Zuko sets his sister Azula with his father Ozai to discuss finding Zuko's mother. It is later revealed that Azula has access to letters written by Ursa to Ikem (a possible paramour), hidden away by Ozai. It is also revealed that Azula wishes to kill Ursa. Later, Zuko finds a note Azula concealed, that Ursa wanted to return to her hometown, but refrained to protect Zuko.

The Legend of Korra[edit]

In the sequel series The Legend of Korra, it is revealed that Fire Lord Zuko is now 87 and aided Avatar Aang in the creation of the "United Republic of Nations" after the Hundred Year War. It is also revealed (by the creators) that he eventually stepped down as Fire Lord and allowed his daughter to take the throne while he travels the world as an ambassador for peace. He is memorialized by a statue at Republic City's Central City Station. His grandson Iroh II (a general of the United Forces) resembles a somewhat older version of Zuko (without the scar) in his youth.[2]

Firebending and special skills[edit]


Despite his youth, Zuko is highly skilled in Firebending, and has shown great agility and strength. His chief education in this is derived from his uncle Iroh; but Zuko shifts from pupil to master by teaching Aang. He is twice shown capable of giving a good fight on his own to his sister Azula, nearly her equal, and is depicted throughout the series as both powerful and skillful in both martial and aesthetic applications of firebending.

Other skills[edit]

Zuko has also shown himself skilled in the use of the double broadswords Dual Dao Swords, as in the episode "The Blue Spirit" wherein he withstands a large number of adversaries therewith. In "Avatar: The Lost Adventures", it was revealed that he studied under Master Piandao, his uncle's colleague. Zuko has also demonstrated an ability in stealth and unarmed combat, as when able to infiltrate a Fire Nation fortress, the Northern Water Tribe's city, and the Dai Li's base in the Earth Kingdom without detection.[3][4] His proficiency at stealth was also utilized during the episode "The Southern Raiders" in which he and Katara stalked and cornered the former commander of the eponymous Raiders in his home village without revealing themselves. Avatar Extras revealed he has abnormal hearing and that he is also naturally gifted at playing the Tsungi horn (though he is never heard playing).


Zuko is a handsome young man with pale skin, golden eyes, and dark brown hair. The majority of the left side of his face is scarred. In Book One, Zuko has a shaved head with a ponytail. In Book Two, he cuts off his ponytail in the season premiere and allows his hair to grow. He obtains a topknot in Book Three but is seen without it. Zuko had a muscular physique in Book One but became thinner as the series progressed.


  1. ^ "Dante Basco". 2005. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  2. ^ "Next 3 Locations unlocked on Nick.com Interactive site". The Last Airbender Online. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  3. ^ Director: Dave Filoni; Writers: Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko (2005-06-17). "The Blue Spirit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  4. ^ "Zuko Alone". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2 (Book 2). Episode 7. 2006-05-12. Nickelodeon.

External links[edit]