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Book Two: Earth
Book Three: Fire
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Nationality: Fire Nation

Abilities: Firebending, lightning redirection, swordsmanship

Job History: Prince of the Fire Nation, waiter

Relationships: Son of Fire Lord Ozai and Ursa, brother of Azula, nephew of Iroh, boyfriend of Mai, good friend of Aang, Katara, Sokka and Toph

Character History: The Graphic Novel
The Legend of Korra

Episode Appearances: All

Voice Actor: Dante Basco

While being the first born of a royal family would normally meet with praise and honor, Zuko's early life was filled with ridicule and disapproval. Being born with his mother's heart, he was always a compassionate boy, which clashed greatly with his father's ideals. When he was admitted to his very first war meeting at his father's side, he spoke out against a plan of attack, seen as an insult by the general proposing it, and bringing about an Agni Kai as repentance. Zuko was already sorry for what he had done, but only grew more so to learn he was facing his father in that Agni Kai. When he refused to fight, Ozai saw it as weakness and left him with a constant reminder, a horrific scar on the left side of his face.

Zuko was then banished from the Fire Nation, not allowed to return home until he'd found the Avatar, who had already been missing for decades. While everyone else was aware it was simply lip service, Zuko couldn't afford to believe that, desperate to regain the respect his father had lost for him. His uncle Iroh accompanied him on the mission, not being too keen on Ozai himself, of which the feeling was mutual. After nearly three years of fruitless travel around the world, Zuko witnessed a light shining at the South Pole, and quickly confirmed his suspicions that it came from the Avatar. He threatened the Southern Water Tribe to reveal Aang's location, forcing the last Airbender to attack his troops and lead them away from the people. He would chase Aang from location to location until they had reached the other side of the planet.

With news of the Avatar's resurgence having reached the Fire Lord, he sent his daughter Azula to continue the pursuit, tired of his son's clear incompetence. Zuko and Iroh were both to be taken prisoner, so they went into hiding, posing as Earth Kingdom citizens. Having witnessed Azula's advanced techniques, he pleaded with Iroh to teach him skills that he could use to defend himself against her. While he lacked the concentration to properly Lightningbend, Iroh was able to show him how to redirect a lightning bolt through his body, something only Iroh himself knew how to do.

With no hope of ever repairing the relationship with his father, Zuko decided to make the best of his life in the Earth Kingdom, joining his uncle at their tea shop. Iroh's mastery of tea preparation quickly spreads amongst the city, and the two are offered a chance to serve the Earth King himself. This turns out to be a trap by Azula, who'd overthrown the Earth King and had the both of them locked up at long last. She is later able to convince Zuko to join her and help take down the Avatar, knowing their father would appreciate it and finally approve of his son again. While Iroh tries desperately to make Zuko forget about his past, Zuko can't pass up his only remaining opportunity to regain his honor. In a battle between Aang and Katara and the Fire Nation siblings, Azula strikes Aang down with a lightning bolt. While they escape, Zuko is heralded for the Avatar's defeat and bringing Iroh to justice.

Back in the Fire Nation, Zuko has it all. He's crown prince again, he's entered a relationship with Azula's friend Mai, and his father is finally proud of him for having removed the one thing that could ruin his plans. Zuko wonders why he got credit for killing Aang instead of Azula, who later informs him that should Aang still be alive, he'll be the one blamed for the failure. This inspires Zuko to hire a hitman to find the Avatar dead or alive, and make sure he never rears his bald head again.

After a war meeting at his father's side, Zuko realized what he knew even back at the last war meeting he attended, that being his father's son and being himself were two different things. The war had poisoned his family and poisoned the world, so his destiny was to help the Avatar and bring it to an end. He confronted the Fire Lord and renounced his place as prince, dueling him and using the lightning redirection much to Ozai's surprise. He's unable to rescue Iroh, who had already escaped during the eclipse, and sets off to find Aang.

He heads to the nearest Air Temple and waits there. The gang arrives, and he tries multiple tactics to gain their acceptance, all failing. But when the hitman he hired appears and he does everything he can to save Aang's life, they decide to take him for his word. He would go on to help Katara get revenge on the man who killed her mother, to help Sokka free his father from prison, to help Aang master the art of Firebending and apologize to his uncle for the position he'd placed him in before being told by Iroh to return to the palace and claim his rightful place as a peaceful Fire Lord. With Katara's help, Zuko was able to defeat his sister in an Agni Kai and claim the crown he'd rightfully earned.