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i’ve seen a couple posts interpreting Zuko’s line “I know what you’ll say; she’s my sister, and I should be trying to get along with her” as being like…trained to not stand up to Azula bc she’s the Favorite™ but

I think Ozai would actually respect Zuko more if he did stand up for himself. In general, he considers Zuko weak and letting Azula walk over him is part of that. Even the ill-fated Agni Kai punishment, Ozai tells Zuko to fight for his honor. The exile comes because Zuko won’t. It’s kind of reinforced when Zuko confronts Ozai during the Eclipse and Ozai asks Zuko why he won’t attack and calls him a coward lol.

On the other hand, the only person we ever see encourage Zuko to play with Azula is…Ursa. 

It also poses an interesting question for how Zuko perceives the Iroh-Ozai relationship 

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If Zhao had survived, the show would have been more interesting. Especially in Season 3. Imagine Zuko returning to the Fire Nation and having to deal with this snide Admiral who stays just polite enough around others that Zuko can’t get him fired. And also Zuko realizing that maybe Zhao and Ozai have a less-than professional relationship. And Ozai still treating his son kindly, but also keeping Zhao around.

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So the theory that Zhao was Ozai’s paramour isn’t that far-fetched. Apart from the numerous promotions and the obvious hatred between Zuko and Zhao, there’s the fact that Zhao felt secure enough to order the assassination of a member of the royal family.

Now Zhao’s unstable, so I’m not saying that it couldn’t just be because he’s too crazy to think logically, but killing a member of a royal family without orders from the ruler is always dangerous.

Subjects are supposed to believe that rulers are somehow above everyone else. That they are meant to rule, sometimes even appointed by God Himself. In Avatar’s case, this would be spirits, but still. For a nonroyal to lift their hand against a member of the royal family without orders to do so, even if the victim is considered a traitor, is dangerous because the ruler could see it as the nonroyal acting above their station or even view it as a threat.

There’s the idea that nonroyals aren’t fit to judge royals, so any punishment should come from another royal. But there’s also the fear that if the nonroyal felt it was their place to hurt or kill a member of the royal family, the nonroyal might one day feel safe enough to attack the ruler.

It’s difficult to say how Ozai would have reacted. He might not care for his son, but if he felt Zhao might one day attack the Firelord, Ozai might have punished Zhao. But what Ozai would or wouldn’t have done is kind of irrelevant because the thing is that Zhao wasn’t afraid of Ozai finding out. Zhao either believed he knew how Ozai would react or he believed Ozai had enough affection for Zhao to override any other concerns. Either Zhao was deluded (a strong possibility) or he had a relationship with Ozai that led Zhao to believe he could make an attempt on Zuko’s life without fear of retribution. Yes, Zhao did it in secret, but hiring pirates isn’t all that safe. There was always the risk that the pirates would brag or that they’d be tracked down and forces to talk. Or they could have gone straight to the Firelord instead of trying to kill Zuko, hoping they’d be paid more than Zhao would ever pay them. An employee’s relationship with a boss wouldn’t be sufficient, so either an incredibly close friendship or a sexual relationship.

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Iroh: *kills the last dragon*

Ozai: Oh what the hell, Iroh! You are so fucking pathetic. I hate you and your namby pamby goodie two shoes self-righteous shit. You do not deserve to be the hero. You are a cardboard cutout of pseudo-perfection with a pitcher of kool-aid who is impossible to identify with, empathize with, or even be interested in as a human being!

Azulon: *grants Iroh a reward and a title “the Dragon of the West” despite him bringing up zero evidence of his deed aside from his own words*

Azulon: what do you say to your older brother?

Ozai: co-congratulations.

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Anyway while we’re on the subject, I’m not saying that Ozai arranged Lu Ten’s death and was trying to have Iroh killed as well, and had to fall back on persuading Azulon to disinherit his elder son because his plans only halfway worked

But I’m not not saying it

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so earlier today i had a thought in my brain that told me i should make a Big Hero 6 atla AU so here’s what i have so far. it’s not perfect bc this is me we’re talking abt here, but i think its coming along okay anyway.

so I think…. Zuko would be Hiro, Lu Ten would be Tadashi (cousin instead of brother obv) and Uncle Iroh would be Aunt Cass. The cafe they live on top of would be the Jasmine Dragon and Druk would be Mochi (the cat). Appa would be Baymax.

Sokka and Katara are Fred and Wasabi respectively (they’re related now) and Momo would be their butler, Heathcliff. 

Toph is GoGo (duh) and Aang is Honey Lemon. 

I’m thinking that Ozai is Callaghan and Azula is Abigail, but it kinda aint adding up for me since Callaghan has no relation to Hiro, Tadashi, or Aunt Cass in any way. Also? He’s actually remorseful for his crimes and cares for his daughter, which are two concepts Ozai is too fuckin evil to comprehend. But i’m trying here :”)

Krei is The Mechanist bc he’s kind of an insensitive bitch who only really cares about his business and technologies but he also kind of gets along with the BH6 gang, which is fitting. 

Also I can’t figure out how Suki fits into all this which breaks my heart. 

ALSO also: I never watched the TV series so it’s all mostly based on the movie (except like… the Callaghan and Krei parts bc apparently their True Personalities are more developed in the show, according to Wikipedia, which is where all the knowledge I have from said show is coming from)

 anyway that’s all I have 

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Azulon’s emphasis on the first-born son

Azulon: “You dare suggest I betray Iroh? My first born? Directly after the demise of his only beloved son? I think Iroh has suffered enough! But you … your punishment has scarcely begun!”

Azula: “Fine, don’t believe me. But I heard everything. Grandfather said Dad’s punishment should fit his crime. [Imitates Azulon.] "You must know the pain of losing a first-born son. By sacrificing your own!”

Azulon’s mentioned the importance of first-born male heir three times in that confrontation; Iroh to him, Lu Ten to Iroh, Zuko to Ozai.

It did not matter to him that who Ozai chose to prove his worth to the throne with was his second-born daughter. It did not matter to Azulon that the second-born girl was talented bender and clever. And it certainly did not matter to him Ozai’s wooing his approval by naming her after his name. All he said was “why are you wasting my time with this pomp?”

This implies that Azulon is unimaginative old Fire Lord who rather strictly stick to the traditions and order of things. This is why Iroh’s short, rounded form didn’t affect his faith in him, not only because of Iroh’s talents, but because he’s older too. This is why he never stopped the war nor the mad hunt for the dragons. Ursa being left with no option but to kill the man enforce that Azulon is known to be unyielding in his decisions too (a Fire Lord she always treated and urged her kids to treat with solemnity). He’s a 95 years-old goat who’s too old to change his ways after all.

This is a trait I HC Ozai dislikes in Azulon, because of his artistic tendencies, and this is something Azulon hates about Ozai in turn. XD

P.S to who like jumb in Azulon’s defense:

- Ozai: “My father, Fire Lord Azulon, had commanded me to do the unthinkable to you, my own son, and I was going to do it. [Cuts to side-view of Zuko.] Your mother found out and swore she would protect you at any cost. [Camera focuses on Ozai.] She knew I wanted the throne and she proposed a plan, a plan in which I would become Fire Lord and your life would be spared.”

- “Him [Ozai] and Zuko’s Mom did have a little pact to save Zuko’s life. She kind of saved Zuko’s life by doing something not very nice to Fire Lord Azulon.” -Michael Dante DiMartino, Book 3 DVD Box commentary, The Day of Black Sun

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How much of my mother has my mother left in me?


How much of my love will be insane to some degree?


How much of my father am I destined to become?


Will I dim the lights inside me just to satisfy someone?


Could I change it if I wanted?


Can I rise above the flood?


Will it wash out in the water?


Or is it always in the blood?

I love John Mayer’s song “In the Blood” and lately (when I’m not contemplating my own relationship to the lyrics) it’s made me think of Zuko. This has been in my head for a long time and even though I have no tools to make beautiful edits I had to post it.

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anyway atla au where ursa takes a third option between ‘kill azulon and abandon my kids’ and ‘let my son die’ and when ozai puts it to her offers to be the one to kill zuko personally. she was an actress, she can put on a mask for the sake of her son and say that it would be easy, that he trusts her most. that she would take him away from the palace, kill him and be gone. and ozai agrees.

so the next day both his wife and son are gone, and, quite coincidentally, a messenger hawk is sent to ba sing se. the dragon of the west disappears - rumours quickly spread that he took his own life out of shame and grief at the loss of his son. ozai encourages the rumours, as they suit the idea that he is the stronger brother, always meant to rule.

on an unrelated note, there’s an excellent new travelling tea shop called the jasmine dragon, owned by a friendly old man, a sweet but harried young woman who is generally assumed to be his sister, and her young son. zuko never gets his scar and gets raised in the tea shop, and ends up staying well-meaning and soft and kind (what ozai would call weakness, but ozai isn’t here) into his teens. when they decides that he’s old enough, he starts working in the tea shop, and ursa takes up acting again. she helps at the shop when she’s there. zuko helps with props for her plays. iroh’s still training zuko’s firebending in secret, but they’ve agreed as a family that they want nothing whatsoever to do with the fire nation.

this causes a major problem when the avatar pops up and decides that he wants li from the tea shop to help him defeat the firelord, without knowing zuko’s true identity, or why he’s so opposed to the idea. meanwhile ozai’s got his own issues because azulon absolutely refuses to die and ozai is still the fire prince despite his lofty ambitions

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I want to talk about the first two years of zuko’s life. Azula is two years younger than him. She was born lucky. He was lucky to be born. Imagine being two and there’s your new baby sister and your father already,,,,,what? Likes her better? Does he slowly or suddenly become absent, or was he always? What happened in those first two years? Did zuko ever have a father, or did he just have azula’s?

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Continued from: [Link], [Link], [Link], and [Link].

Because no one could ever accuse me of not wanting to draw a moment of tension out as long as possible, let’s talk about political context. As I have mentioned before, whatever Ozai intended about letting his son be forgotten, written out of history, the secret has spilled out of the palace. Everyone from the nobles, to the soldiers, to the peasant fishers and farmers, have heard the whispers of what Ozai did to a prince of the Fire Nation. And because the Fire Nation royal family’s claim to authority rests on divine right and royal blood, a prince of the blood being demoted in this way makes the people anxious.

And there is nothing Ozai can do about it. If Zuko dies, of a fever, or accident, a common person’s death, it will show to some that the royals are no more or better than anyone else. If he disappears, this too will become known, and anyone can set up a fake Prince Zuko, and use him as a figurehead to rally support to overthrow Ozai. If Ozai brings Zuko back into the fold, it’s tantamount to admitting what he did and it risk provoking a backlash. Besides, he would rather eat glass. So Ozai is forced to leave Zuko be. But this is far from a safe choice either, since the longer Zuko is left as a servant, the louder the whispers grow.

Azula has her own long term plans for Zuko. When she takes the throne, she intends to elevate him back to his royal status and marry him off to the pliant daughter of a noble family (Mai). This would serve several purposes for her. It would reaffirm the special standing of royal blood, make her look generous, and neutralize any threat Zuko could pose to her as a rival for the throne. And because she is not the one who cast Zuko out, once her father is dead, she can freely acknowledge what happened without admitting fault. And also it lets her keep Zuko close, and he is so much fun to torment. The only problem is that Azula has to wait until she is on the throne, and that means hoping that nothing will break before that.

And of course it does. Zuko has now disappeared, for real, and not because Ozai disappeared him. This is the very worst case scenario, and all Ozai and Azula can do is wait for him to show up again.

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Anyway I talked about this in a comment on @itszukkatime ’s post but I figured I’d make my own post about it too.

Zuko could easily learn lightning bending.

I mean, he’s incredibly powerful, and lightning bending seems to run in the family… plus, he’s already halfway there. With redirection, he technically can bend lightning - he just can’t create it.

He could absolutely learn if he wanted to.

So why doesn’t he?

Well, there’s two reasons, and they both have to do with Ozai and Azula.

First of all, he has a lot of trauma associated with lightning. They both used it against him. Azula almost killed him using lightning, and she left a scar. (A canonically pretty boring scar… c'mon, people, if you’re gonna give someone a lightning scar, do it right. Lichtenberg scars look cool as fuck, this was a serious missed opportunity.)

The second reason is that he doesn’t want to be anything like them. He especially doesn’t want to be like his father. By refusing to learn lightning bending, he’s saying “I will never be like you” to Ozai.

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hmmm…. thinking of the fact that when zuko gets to sit in on the war meeting w/ his father and azula in episode 49, he says that ozai saved him a seat next to him, and that he was literally “[ozai’s] right-handed man”… which means that Ozai was on zuko’s left… which means that Ozai specifically saved zuko a spot so that for the whole meeting, while zuko sat quietly, ozai got to examine the scar that he left on his son’s face 3 years ago, and got to see how compliant and princely his punishment left him

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Okay yes this ^^^^^^^

I will forever stand by Aang for letting Ozai live. I understand why everyone else wanting Ozai to die he did unspeakable things and he does deserve death. But do you know what’s worse than death? Having all your power sucked out of you physically and mentally. Being locked in a jail cell for the rest of your life and forced to watch your child you called a disgrace work with the kid that took you down. And then watch them completely deconstruct everything you ever built up. Watching them thrive and succeed while you are rotting in a jail cell powerless to stop it.

If Aang would’ve killed him Ozai would’ve seen it as an honorable death. He fought for his cause and died for it. Yes, he didn’t want to die, but he’d much rather die than at the fate Aang actually gave him.

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the People Who Love Zuko Going To Ozai’s Cell To Roast Him routine is a high quality trend among avatar fans, but have we considered the concept of Hakoda, who signed the mental adoption papers for Zuko about 0.5 seconds after talking to him, swinging by to give a quick father-to-father piece of his mind to Ozai

the guard outside the door who heard everything took a week off to recover from the sheer second hand savagery and Ozai hasn’t slept soundly since

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I don’t have a fic where Azula is much older than canon, but I do have one where Zuko is much younger, and that is close enough to be getting on with. Continued from: [Link]. I’m tackling the last option.

1. Azulon orders his granddaughter’s death, not knowing, or probably caring, that she is listening, hidden behind a curtain. Azula listens to her grandfather tell her father to kill her, and to her father replying that he will see it done by morning. Azula does the only thing she can. She runs. She’s in Lu Ten’s old room, fingers digging into the decerative wall paneling, because she knows there’s a secret passage behind it, Lu Ten showed her once when she was little, before he left, but she doesn’t know to open it, when her mother finds her. Whatever her mother had planned to say about disrespecting her dead cousin goes out the window as she looks at her, at her frightened tears and wild eyes. Kneeling down next to her, she puts her hands around her daughter’s face and asks, “What’s wrong?”

2. Azula never thought to tell her mother. If her father was going to kill her, why should she trust her mother? And what could her mother do against her father anyway? But confronted, when she’s so on edge, so trapped, it comes out. And her mother wipes away the tears, presses the hidden latch in the wall paneling, and gives her a tight smile. “I’ll talk to your father, and straighten this out,” she tells her. “You were smart to come here. If I’m not back in an hour, I want you to run as far and as fast as you can.” Then, she pushes Azula through the hidden door and shuts it behind her. Azula’s legs buckle. She sits in the darkness, arms wrapped tight around her knees, and waits.

3. But her mother does come back. She opens the door and tells Azula to come out. She leads her to her room, and tucks her into bed, and tells her that she has to go now, probably forever, but Azula will be safe. She tells her to please, please, please look after her baby brother, to teach him what he needs to know. Azula asks if she means teaching him how the hidden door works, and her mother says yes, exactly that. And Azula promises.

4. She never would have thought she would have been able to sleep that night, but eventually she does, her eyes drifting closed, her body refusing to stay awake any longer. When she wakes up, her mother is gone and her grandfather is dead. She finds her father in the courtyard near the pond, and summoning up all her courage, she asks where her mother went. Ozai doesn’t answer.

5. She goes to the nursery. She picks up the discarded Earth Kingdom doll, rubs the ash off her face, and tucks her in with Zuko. He grabs the doll and blinks at her, like he has no idea anything is wrong. As his nurse watches anxiously, Azula whispers promises to him, and swears she will take care of him and keep him safe.

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