Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 3 Episode 6

The Avatar and the Firelord

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Oct 26, 2007 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
462 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The tale of Avatar Roku and Fire Lord Sozin is revealed to Aang and Zuko by different sources. Both learn about themselves and are shown the origins of the war. But will Zuko and Aang learn anything from this?

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  • Finally something Good.

    This episode is my one and only favorite of Avatar season 3. The episode was focused on the life of Avatar Roku and his friendship with Fire Lord Sozin. At first I thought Roku telling Aang this story was pointless and it was simply another episode filler. But later on I discovered it was foreshadowing the lame and inevitable friendship between Aang and Zuko. The scene when Sozin left Roku to die stunned me because Avatar is a children's program. This certain scene shows mature themes such as betrayal, cruelty and death. Roku powers impressed me in the winter solecist but his bending powers just looked like he was showing of. The dialouge between Aang's friends was idiotic as usual. "Do they have bathrooms in the spirt world" (Katara) "As a matter of fact they do not". Lines like this stopped me from giving this episode a perfect 10. I must also complain about the new voice for Uncle Iroh. It sounds like a drunken impression of Mako and Mr. Miyagimoreless
  • The Avatar and the Firelord

    The Avatar and the Firelord was a perfect and engaging episode of Avatar The Last Airbender. I really enjoyed watching this episode because it was full of character development and revelations about both Avatar Roku and Fire Lord Sozin. I thought this episode had a great story, character driven scenes, wisdom and humor. I found Avatar Roku's past with Fire Lord Sozin very interesting. I also thought it was cool that Iroh finally has spoken to Zuko. Iroh gives Zuko revealing information that may change him. I enjoyed the action, drama and intrigue. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • Aang is taught an important lesson. Will he learn it?

    Now that I have a better idea of the relationship between Roku and Prince Sozin before, and soon after, the Fire Nation revealed Roku's identity as the avatar, and some idea of the relationship after Sozen became the Fire Lord, my prior relationship ideas flew out the window. Putting that aside, it did fill me in with some important details. Although the comet was still years away, the Fire Nation was well on its way to its mission of world conquest. The way the avatar "vanished", as stated in the episodes' introduction, was in a haze of volcanic ash and poisonous gas with only one witness, Sozin, who likely spoke nothing of it. It's not like Sozin didn't give Roku a last chance for rescue, but it was probably merely a way to woo Roku to work with Sozin on his mission. Aang's role was to learn from Roku's experiences, and, probably, to be suspicious of the contemporary Fire Lord's offers of help or mercy.moreless
  • This was truly a fantastic episode. It is the first one this season that has reminded me of the good ol' episodes of Avatar.

    This was truly a fantastic episode. It is the first one this season that has reminded me of the good ol' episodes of Avatar. It had the perfect combination of disaster and happiness. From when Roku was young and very happy with his good friend Sozin, to when he died because of his used-to-be-good-friend Sozin, it wasn't anything like what we've seen this season. I don't know if I'm the only one or not, but the season 3 episodes don't have the same essence, they're just different somehow. I'm not quite sure how they are different, they just are. The Avatar and the Firelord has been the only episode so far that has had that same essence. I think that it lost its kids-showiness when Sozin left Roku there to die. That was awful!!! But it was also my favorite part. Seeing Aang as a baby wasn't so bad either, it provided some nice black-mail!moreless
  • What the eff!

    What an amazing episode, and to make it even amazing is the fact that Zuko and Aang weren't really big parts of it. So far Avatar has done a really great job of handling its flashback episodes. The character development is nice and steady, and the directing is just awesome. It executed its life lesson well; even fire nation people can be good, just like Roku. It was especially great how they portrayed the friendship between Roku and Sozin so well. Though what really pushed this episode forward is the huge huge plot twist at the end. Zuko is the great grand child of both Sozin and Roku? Seriously! Didn't expect that at all and it continues to leave me dropping my jaw in shock.moreless
Grey DeLisle

Grey DeLisle

Ta Min

Guest Star

Ron Perlman

Ron Perlman

Fire Lord Sozin

Guest Star

Sean Marquette

Sean Marquette

Young Sozin

Guest Star

James Garrett

James Garrett

Avatar Roku

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (16)

    • It is never explained how Iroh came into possession of Roku's crown prince headpiece, which should have been buried in ash when the volcano on Roku's island erupted.

    • Sokka claims that the Spirit World does not have bathrooms, referencing the time he was trapped during "Winter Solstice (1): The Spirit World".

    • Guru Pathik stated that if the Avatar had earthly attachments of affection, their seventh chakra would be locked and they would not be able to use the Avatar State. However, Roku easily uses the Avatar State in this episode, and is married, meaning he has earthly attachments of affection.

    • This episode reveals that when one Avatar dies, the next Avatar is born right away, as shown when Aang is born mere moments after Roku's death.

    • This episode occurs on the Summer Solstice, exactly six months after Book 1, Chapter 8: Avatar Roku, which occured on the Winter Solstice.

    • Whilst Aang may not be biologically related to Zuko, Aang is spiritually related to Zuko since Aang is Roku's reincarnation.

    • At the end of his training, Roku referred to it as bitter work. This is in reference to the second season episode Bitter Work in which Aang was struggling to learn earthbending.

    • When Sozin is landing from his jump at the beginning of the spar, the left flame of the ornament is red and his topknot is gold.

    • In the beginning of the episode, Prince Sozin gives Roku the hair piece that was supposed to be worn by the crown prince. Even on the night when Roku dies, we see it. This shows us that Roku cared about Sozin even when they were enemies.

    • When Sozin catches Roku's first attack when we first see them and it forms a sphere in his palm, Sozin's eyes lose their pupils and light. Simultaneously, the topknot above the ornament turns gold.

    • During the fight when Sozin shot a huge fire blast at Roku, we know that Roku who was still walking on the carpet went into the earth to avoid the blast. But moment later, we can see the carpet was completely intact.

    • Airbending is about controlling the flowing of air around the bender's body, but when Roku and his wife were escaping from the volcano, Roku shot a strong wind to create a tunnel with fresh air. However, since the air around Roku was all polluted, he couldn't possibly create a air tunnel with fresh air in it.

    • When Roku saw the colonies and went to talk to Sozin, his mustache was almost completely white, after a while when he finished attacking Sozin, his mustache became gray.

    • Toph's meteorite ornament is missing at the end of the episode.

    • When Roku died, he was not wearing the Crown Prince headpiece, yet his spirit always has in on.

    • When Roku showed Aang his past lives using the Avatar State in "The Avatar State", the Fire Nation Avatar shown after Yangchen controlled lava, since he manages to make three volcanoes erupt and conduct their lava flow. It's therefore very odd that Roku didn't have such skill.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Sozin: Looks like I win again Roku.
      Roku: Are you kidding? The tree root did all the work. Nice one, Sozin.

    • (After Aang told his friends what Roku told him)
      Katara: You mean after everything they went through, after all those years, and even after Roku showed him mercy, Sozin betrayed him like that?!
      Toph: Wow. Those guys are just born bad.

    • Roku: I'm letting you go, Sozin. I'm letting you go as a tribute to our past friendship, but I warn you: one more step out of line will result in your permanent end.

    • Roku: Sozin, it's my wedding! Have a cookie! Dance with someone!

    • Zuko: You sent this, didn't you, I found the secret history, which by the way should be renamed the history most people already know. The note said I needed to know about my great-grandfather's demise, but he was still alive in the end.
      Iroh: No... he wasn't.
      Zuko: What are you talking about?
      Iroh: You have more than one great-grandfather, Prince Zuko. Sozin was your father's grandfather. Your mother's grandfather was Avatar Roku.
      (Zuko starts in disbelief.)
      Zuko: Why are you telling me this?
      Iroh: Because understanding the struggle between your two great-grandfathers can help you better understand the battle within yourself. Evil and good are always at war inside you, Zuko, it is your nature, your legacy. But there is a bright side: what happened generations ago can be resolved now, by you. Because of your legacy, you alone can cleanse the sins of our family, and the fire nation. Born in you, along with all strife, is the power to restore balance to the world.

    • Roku: Love's hard when you're young.
      Aang: You don't have to tell me.
      Roku: Don't worry; it gets better.

    • Aang: You were friends with Fire Lord Sozin?
      Roku: Back then he was just Prince Sozin, and he was my best friend.

    • (Aang makes a grunting noise, and what appears to be him soiling himself, followed by a sigh of relief, while he is still connecting with the spirit world)
      Katara: Do they have bathrooms in the spirit world?
      Sokka: As a matter of fact, they do not.

    • Roku: I've seen the colonies, Sozin. How dare you occupy Earth Kingdom Territory!
      Sozin: How dare you, a citizen of the Fire Nation, address your Fire Lord this way!? And your loyalty is to our nation first, anything less makes you a traitor.
      Roku: Don't do this, Sozin. Don't challenge me, it will only end badly. It's over.
      (Roku turns and walks away and Sozin unleashes a fire blast at him.)

  • NOTES (5)


    • The hair ornament that Sozin gave Roku is an allusion to the Japanese kanzashi. Kanzashi are instruments that can be put into your hair. In some cases, the quality of your kanzashi was determined by your social status, just like only royalty had hair ornaments in Avatar.

    • The Volcanic Eruption at Thera

      In the prehistorical time period of the Minoans (The Bronze Age), an island north of Crete called Thera (modern day Santorini) had a volcanic eruption that rivals the intensity of that of Mt. Vesuvius at Pompeii and Herculaneum. This eruption covered the city of Akrotiri in a solid layer of ash and debris. This city had buildings as many as 4 stories high but all were covered in debris. This could be alluded to Roku's town that was covered in debris by a volcanic eruption. This is evident that the town is buried by Toph's comments when landing on the island. Also this island is also away from the main island, like Thera is to Crete.

    • Roku and Sozin being friends rather than enemies with the same birthdays is just like Gale Glory and Gale King who are the same from Rave Master.

    • Air Surfing is much like Lifting from "Eureka Seven".

    • Zuko comes to know the details of the eruption from Sozin's reminiscence, similarly how we know the details of the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum from the letter of Pliny the Younger, who was Pliny the Elder's nephew and heir.