The first training of Zuko we see, Iroh shoots a fireball right into Zuko’s face - while Zuko just stands there unflinching. It’s the very first episode, and Zuko & Iroh are the obvious villains, and it just seems like some macho bs they do. And then comes the duel with Zhao, and Zuko is down, but when he sees that flaming fist to his face, something lets loose inside him that helps him turn the fight around…But it’s not until we learn Zuko’s backstory that all this gets a whole new meaning.
Why would Zuko still be on basics if not because he suffered a huge setback after his agni kai? Imagine how much hard work, patience it was to build Zuko back up again, so he would not freeze in blind panic (or curl up in a ball) when fire gets close to his face. I think Iroh practiced this with him all the time until he could stand there unflinching (knowing that Iroh is in full control of his bending and trusting that his uncle would never hurt him). And when it came to the duel with Zhao, Zuko could react in a RL situation instead of freezing up, and turn all the negative feelings (rage, anger, pain, whatever) into fuel to win the fight against a bender who is much more skilled than he is.
And Iroh obviously drilled him with control and restraint, because no matter how much he lets his rage loose, he has enough control not to hurt Zhao and enough self-restraint not to burn him at the end. I definitely think it was a deliberate choice on Iroh’s part to hold back on teaching offensive forms to Zuko beyond the basics (knowing that combining those with his unprocessed anger could result in him being out of control and hurt people). Instead, it seems he concentrated on teaching him defensive forms, fire breath, heat control, and so on…
What the FUCK iroh was the real mvp of this whole show my god
Indeed. It goes over many people’s head, but he made a huge difference. It was mostly assists and defensive plays though, not the flashy stuff.
I love that narrative so much, how you change the world one person at a time and not only violence and hate, but also love and kindness creates ripple effects.
found @ 27 likes ON 2019-10-17 15:43:30 BY ME.ME