Here’s a new drinking game challenge for all you The Last Airbender fans: take a shot every time Zuko says ‘honour’.
The hype for Avatar: The Last Airbender is back and has even garnered a new, loyal following thanks to its Netflix release in the U.S. two months ago. The meaning of ‘honour’ evolves throughout the course of the show for the loveable Zuko.
Here’re some that truly stand out over the course of the 61 episodes.
SPOILERS AHEAD!! (No shit…)
Battle of Agni Kai
The battle of Agni Kai is a visual masterpiece that made the finale of the show breathtaking. We had Azula shooting lightning; Katara freezing her, and Zuko breakdancing. A huge part of Zuko’s drive prior to his redemption was seeking the throne to regain his honour from his evil father. Fast forward to the battle of Agni Kai, his motivation for seeking the throne is vastly different and stems from a place of selflessness: end the tyrannical rule of the Fire Nation as the Fire Lord.
Speaking of selflessness, let’s not forget that he literally took a lightning for Katara.
Breaking into the Team Avatar Squad
Zuko should have been less hard on himself here. Trying to make friends with people whom you tried to assassinate is a challenging feat. Nevertheless, his attempts in doing so were hilarious and charming to watch.
Zuko’s Iroh and Azula impressions showed that the guy finally developed a sense of humour while serving tea in Ba Sing Se.
Vengeance Against the Southern Raiders
Eventually, tired of Katara constantly being sick of him, Zuko decided to regain his honour by helping her find her mother’s killer. At the end of the episode, Katara finally forgives him… right after low-key freaking him out by blood bending a wrongly identified suspect and almost slaughtering the actual killer with ice shards.
I doubt this needs to be said, but: Don’t. Mess. With. Katara.
Zuko and the Firebending Masters
The Firebending Masters is another fan favourite episode on the list as we witness the most awaited team-up of Aang and Zuko. Here, Zuko almost loses his fire bending when realising that he had been channelling his bending through rage and hatred–a trait which had diminished due to his growing liking for Aang.
With the help of the essentially extinct dragons and a couple of pro dance moves with Aang, Zuko learns that the strongest form of firebending comes from channelling energy and life instead.
The Boiling Rock
Okay, I take that back. Sokka-Zuko was THE most-awaited team-up!
We even had two back-to-back episodes of their epic adventure together. Once again, acting like the true bro he is, Zuko offered to help Sokka regain the latter’s honour on a mission to save Suki and his father. In these episodes, we experience a gripping, heist-like plot where Zuko proves himself worthy of hanging out with Team Avatar, once again, by repeatedly putting his life in danger for Sokka.
The Blue Spirit
The rescue in Pohuai Stronghold was a mission undertaken by Zuko to save an imprisoned Aang from General Zhao. His obsession for capturing Aang was so tenacious that he even fought the Fire Nation and General Zhao in disguise so that he could have that honour of doing so. While this is probably the least honourable mention of honour on the list, Zuko stealthily taking down the Fire Nation soldiers without firebending was like watching Batman… but better.
Screw you, Dad!
A huge reason why Zuko even wanted to capture Aang was his undying need to gain his father’s approval. Thus, finally being able to free himself from the mental torture, declare his allegiance to Team Avatar, and deflect lightning back at his father’s ass is the best ‘Screw you, Dad!’ moment he could have.
This episode deserves its own article. Zuko Alone kickstarts Zuko’s redemption arc. It is also one of the most exceptional episodes in my opinion.
The local thugs’ harassment in the episode, parallel to Ozai and Azula’s manipulative schemes during the flashbacks, leads to a deep examination of Zuko’s identity and what he stood for. Furthermore, his improved but flawed perception of his honour is perfectly illustrated when he stood up to the thugs but failed to fully grasp his mother’s advice of ‘not forgetting who you are’.
This alone makes this episode one of the finest in the series.