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Zuko is a favorite character of many. His redemption arc is often touted as one of the best redemption stories in television history. He is an exiled prince who plans to capture the avatar to restore his honor. At first, he comes across as an angry and spoiled teenager who will stop at nothing to get his way. Quickly though, fans learn there is way more to Zuko than that. The love and trust uncle Iroh has for Zuko is not just faith in his character but proves to be deserved over and over again.
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The prince eventually teams up with the good guys. However, he actually did a lot of good even more be made his choice for redemption. He did not change out of nowhere. The story slowly worked up to it with a lot of good deeds throughout the series. With all that in mind, here are ten good things Zuko did before he joined Team Avatar.
This episode really stood up out in the entire series not just because it was well written, but because its the only episode where Team Avatar does not make an appearance. The focus is just on Zuko, and he is without his typical moral compass . . . Iroh.
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Despite that, he does a very good deed in this episode. He stays with a family (who doesn"t know his true identity) and bonds with their son. When the son gets taken by thugs, Zuko saves him. However, once its discovered Zuko is the exiled prince of the Fire Nation, his reward is an "I hate you" from the kid he saved. He accepts the hate in silence and simply moves on.
Zhao was always a worse man than Zuko. He was an adult who was drawn to war and also was after the Avatar. He captures Aang in the episode, "The Blue Spirit."
In that episode, the Blue Spirit saves Aang from Zhao. It is later discovered that the Blue Spirit is Zuko. At that time though, a lot of fans figured he freed Aang just to make sure it was not Zhao who got him. However, it was a good deed anyway.
Even though Zuko had yet to join Team Avatar, he did fight Azula by their side. This is because Azula struck Iroh with lightning. Zuko immediately reacts against her. He forgets about all things except for protecting and avenging his uncle, even if it means teaming up with his own enemies against his sister.
7 He Finds Appa In The Dai Le"s Headquarters And Frees Him
This occurs in the episode "Lake Laogai." In it, Zuko discovers Appa and that Aang in somewhere in Ba Sing Se. He has to tackle with the fact that he wants to capture Aang but his uncle pushes him to reject that desire.
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Zuko listens to Iroh and frees Appa. By the end of the episode, Aang and Appa are reunited without knowing that it was due to Zuko.
Due to being at each other"s throats, Zhao and Zuko fight each other in an Agni Kai. Zuko beats Zhao fair and square. However, unlike his dad, he spares Zhao and walks away after winning the fight.
Zhao attempts to attack Zuko from behind after this, and Zuko is protected by Iroh. Iroh compliments Zuko"s behavior and calls Zhao"s action "dishonorable."
5 He Helps Iroh"s Dream Of Having A Tea Shop
Next to Zuko, Iroh is also a major fan favorite. When the two are together, they are great foils of each other"s personalities. Zuko is young and impatient while Iroh is the opposite. Despite their differences though, the two greatly care for each other.
A lot of Zuko"s goodness can be seen when he helps with his uncles" tea shop. He cares about Iroh"s happiness and respects his advice enough to give up his chase of Aang for a while.
This is what led to Zuko getting his scar in the first place. He joins a war table meeting with his father and other generals. In their meeting, they suggest using young and inexperienced soldiers as bait while the older and more experienced veterans work.
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Zuko speaks up against his idea, believing it is not in their best interest to sacrifice their people like that.
3 He Lights The Torches For Jin On His Date With Her
Zuko goes on a date with a girl named Jin in Ba Sing Se. Overall, it"s a little awkward but the two get along and have a fun time. During the date, they go to a fountain that is said to look beautiful when the lanterns are lit. However, when they get there Jin is disappointed to see the lanterns are unlit.
Zuko tells her to close her eyes and he quickly firebends the lights on. A very sweet gesture that put his identity at risk.
As a kid, due to speaking at the war table, Zuko has to do an Agni Kai. He does not know until it is too late that he is to duel his own father. The moment he finds out, he bows down and refuses to fight.
His father, being the big bad of the series, then gives Zuko his scar and exiles him.
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1 Zuko Tries To Save Zhao
Yet again, Zuko proved himself to be better than Zhao in this instance. During the attack of the Northern Water Tribe and after he killed the Moon Spirit, Zhao is taken away and killed by the Ocean Spirit. Zuko offers his hand to Zhao while the Ocean Spirit has him. Zhao almost takes it but at the last minute, refuses Zuko"s help.