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Fire Lord Ozai
When Zuko beats the thug leader and reveals his identity, a man in the crowd shouts that Zuko's own father burned him. However, in "The Storm", it was implied that this fact was not public knowledge, as Zuko's own crew, who had been traveling with him for nearly three years, did not even know the true origins of the scar.
The Fire Sage who gave the eulogy said that Azulon was Fire Lord for 23 years. However, other episodes of the series state that Sozin was Fire Lord during the first 20 years of the war, while Ozai was only Fire Lord during the last 5 years of the War, this would mean Azulon would have had to have been Fire Lord for 75 years, not 23.
When Zuko is first seen appearing to save Lee, the posts of the gate are situated on the mounds of earth beside the road but when Zuko leaves the town, the gate posts are now beside the earth mounds and are on the road.
When Ursa turns away from Zuko, you can see that the curtains in the hallway are gone.
When Zuko says "Dad would never do that to me." his pillow is completely white instead of having red compliments.
When Zuko calls Azula a liar, the red band on his pillow (seen behind his right ear) is white like the rest of the pillow.
Just before we see the package Sela hands to Zuko, we see the group from afar and can see that the ostrich horse's yellow beaks has turned the same color as its face.
There were originally four young turtle ducks in the scene where Ursa and Zuko were near the pound, later there were five small turtle ducks.
When Lee brought Zuko home, there were many livestock behind the fence, but later all the livestick disappeared.
When Zuko is travelling down the road in the beginning and he is having trouble keeping his eyes open, during an upclose shot to the side of Zuko's face, you can see lashes on his left eye, which are not supposed to be there.
We clearly see Lee tied to the water tower. But when Zuko is fighting the soldiers he is gone. Then he returns after the fight.
When Zuko was fighting the soldiers, his sword was gold at one point, although in the next shot, his sword is back to its normal silver color.
Iroh: (in a letter) If the city is as magnificent as its wall, Ba Sing Se must be something to behold. I hope you all may see it someday, if we don't burn it to the ground first! (chuckles)
Ursa: Zuko, please, my love, listen to me. Everything I've done, (she hugs him) I've done to protect you. Remember this Zuko. No matter how things may seem to change, never forget who you are.
Fire Lord Azulon : You dare ask me to 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!
(Zuko has just saved Lee, revealed his identity and now walks up to Lee and his mother)
Sela: Not a step closer.
Zuko: (Handing Lee the knife) It's yours. You should have it.
Lee: No! I hate you!
Young Azula: Uncle's coming home.
Young Zuko: Does that mean we won the war?
Young Azula: No, it means Uncle's a quitter and a loser.
Young Zuko: He's not a quitter! He's probably just sad his only kid is gone... forever.
(A mother turtle duck attacks Zuko after he throws a rock at the chicks)
Ursa: That's what mom's are like. If you mess with their babies, they're gonna bite you back.
Young Zuko: Where's Mom?!
Young Azula (plays with Zuko's knife): No one knows. Oh, and last night, grandpa passed away.
Young Zuko: Not funny, Azula. You're sick. And I want my knife back, now!
Young Azula: Who's going to make me? Mom?
(As little Zuko and his mom are feeding the turtle ducks)
Young Zuko: Hey Mom! Do you want to see how Azula feeds the turtle ducks?
(Launches a chunk of bread at a baby turtle duck)
Sela (cries while talking): They said they wanted our food as donations but then Lee pulled a knife on them. I don't even know where he got it! Th-they said that if he's old enough to fight, he's old enough to join the army. I know we barely know you but --
Zuko (interrupts): I'll get your son back.
Young Azula: Mom, can you make Zuko play with us? We need equal teams for a game.
Young Zuko : I'm not cart-wheeling!
Young Azula (annoyed): You won't have to. Cart-wheeling's not a game, dumb-dumb.
Young Zuko: Azula always lies. Azula always lies...
(fade to Zuko in the present)
Zuko: Azula always lies.
Ty Lee (after Mai and Zuko fall in the fountain): Aww, they're so cute together.
Mai: You two are such... UGH!
Zuko: Let the kid go.
Soldier: Who do you think you are, telling us what to do?
Zuko: It doesn't matter who I am. But I know who you are: you're not soldiers; you're bullies, free-loaders abusing your power mostly over women and kids. You don't want Lee in your army. You're sick cowards messing with a family that's already lost one son to the war.
Gow (to other soldiers): Are you gonna let this stranger stand there and insult you like this?
Young Zuko (reading his new knife's inscription): Never give up without a fight.
Young Zuko: Girls are crazy!
Fire Sage: Azulon, Fire Lord to our nation for 23 years. You were our fearless leader in the Battle of Garsai. Our matchless conquerer of the Hu Sin provinces. You were father of Iroh. Father of Ozai. Husband of Ilah, now passed. Grandfather of Lu Ten, now passed. Grandfather of Zuko and Azula. We lay you to rest. As was your dying wish, you are now succeeded by your second son. Hail Fire Lord Ozai!
Azula: (about Iroh) I still think our dad would make a better Fire Lord than his royal tea-loving kookyness.
(Zuko is hammering a new roof)
Lee: (to Zuko) You're not from around here are you?
Zuko: (shaking his head) Mm-mm.
Lee: Where are you from then?
Zuko: Far away.
Lee: Where are you going?
Ganzu: Lee, that's enough. Stop asking the man personal questions.
Lee: Okay. (Pause) So how'd you get that scar?
(Zuko smacks his thumb with the hammer)
Young Azula (in a cheerful tone, to Zuko): Dad's going to kill you, Dad's going to kill you. (becoming more serious) Really, he is.
Ozai (about Azula): She's a true prodigy, just like her grandfather, for whom she's named.
Zuko (after performing for Fire Lord Azulon): I failed.
Ursa (to Zuko): No, I loved watching you. That's who you are, Zuko; someone who keeps fighting even when it's hard.
Gow (after Zuko uses fire bending agaisnt him): Who... who are you?
Zuko: My name is Zuko. Son of Ursa and Fire Lord Ozai, Prince of the Fire Nation, and heir to the throne!
(Zuko has engaged in battle with the Earth Kingdom soldier)
Man (to Zuko): Give him a left! Left!
Woman: It's not a fist fight.
Man: He's got a left sword don't he!
Ursa (about Azula after she says she hopes her uncle and grandfather die so Ozai can get the throne): What is wrong with that girl?
(Zuko gives Lee his knife)
Zuko: Read the inscription.
Lee: "Made in Earth Kingdom."
Zuko: The other one.
Young Azula (to Zuko): You'll never catch up.
This is the only episode in the entire series not to feature Aang.
This episode is in the Avatar: The Last Airbender Book 2: Earth, Volume 2 DVD, along with The Blind Bandit, The Chase, Bitter Work, and The Library.
Character Debuts: Fire Lord Azulon, Sela, Gansu, Lee, Ursa, Gow
This episode aired in the UK on November 25, 2006.
This episode marks the first time in the series we do not see Aang, Katara, Sokka and Appa in an episode.
The word Gow is a Scottish surname derived from 'Gobha,' the Gaelic term for 'smith'. The earthbending officer alludes towards this with his use of twin hammers.
Ten Lu tea
It is revealed in this episode that the name of Iroh deceased son is Lu Ten. Lu Ten is the antithesis of Ten Lu, which is a obvious reference to Ten Lu tea and Iroh's love of the drink. The leaves used to brew Ten Lu tea are grown in Lushan, Taiwan, where the hills are shrouded by fog and covered by clouds throughout the year. The environmental moisture is absorbed by the tea leaves. The Ten Lu leaves are mixed with quality oolong leaves which also grow near Lushan to make the tea.
Jacob and Esau
The concept of Ozai scheming for his older brother's birthright draws heir to the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau. Jacob, the younger brother, deceives his aging father, Isaac, to get his brother's birthright, while Ozai reasoned with Azulon to obtain Iroh's place on the throne.
Another fact that branches off of this is that Jacob eventually came to be a 'great nation,' just as Ozai is a powerful ruler of the same.
When bearing news of the capture of Sen Su's (Lee's brother) battalion, the soldiers mention the Fire Nation army dressing their surviving captives up as their faux Fire Nation soldiers and sending them to the front lines unarmed. This military tactic draws heir to the war methods of the Mongol leader Genghis Khan, in which he would also use his captives to corrode the enemy fronts before sending his own soldiers to finish both them and the enemy off.
The Man With No Name
The show makes yet another reference to western cinema within this chapter. On regular terms, Zuko would supply his false alias, Lee, whenever asked for his name. However, due to the fact that the boy he meets happens to have that name, he doesn't provide one at all, which the father understandably has no issues with, until he announces himself just after defeating the thugs at the very end. "The Man With No Name" is a stock character in western movies (personified by Clint Eastwood) which usually depict "him" as a hardened, skilled, self-reliant, outcast anti-hero. All characteristics which Zuko exhibits.
The "game" that young Zuko plays with Azula involves knocking an apple off of Mai's head. This is similar to the Swiss legend of William Tell who was forced to put his archery skills to the test by shooting an apple off of his son's head with an arrow or face death.
This episode was very similar to the 1950's western movie "Shane." Shane is a gunfighter forced to hide his identity in a small town. He stays with a family and this little boy adores him. Shane even gives the boy a gun. When Shane has to reveal his true self, the little boy gives the gun back and declares "I hate you!" to Shane. In the end, Shane rides off into the desert.
In a scene with the Earth Nation soldiers, they seem to be playing a game of dice. A soldier wants "spider-snake eyes." This is an allusion to double ones or "snake eyes," and matches the rest of the hybrid animals that have been prominent within the series.
This episode focuses on Zuko's relationship with his mother. Coincidentally, it premiered the Friday before Mother's Day.
This episode is highly reminiscent of Japanese chambara films and old American westerns, depicting a ronin, or wandering warrior, who must defend a small town against a band of thugs. The last episode to do this in a similar fashion was The Warriors of Kyoshi. The exchange of dialog between Zuko and the Earth Kingdom soldiers as well as the onlookers viewing the showdown between the two on the sidelines were all examples of the similarity. The episode even ends the same way as most westerns, in which the lone hero rides off into the sunset.
The royal family wore white during Fire Lord Azulon's funeral. In most East and Southeast Asian cultures, the wearing of white is symbolic of death. In these societies, white or off-white robes are traditionally worn to symbolize that a person has died and can be seen worn among relatives of the deceased during a funeral ceremony, as was the case in the episode. This belief is in contrast to the standards of Western culture, which holds the idea that black or dark-colored attire is most suitable for mourners attending a funeral.
Zuko's mother, Ursa, is a latin translation of "bear," which aptly parallels her protective nature toward her son.
The Forbidden City
The internal architecture of the Fire Nation Royal Palace is drawn from the Palace of Heavenly Purity, the largest of the three halls of the Inner Court's of China's Forbidden City, the enormous imperial palace-city of the mid-Ming and the Qing Dynasties. The Inner Court was where the Emperor worked and resided with his family, eunuchs and maid-servants, much like that of the the Fire Lord and the royal family.
Avatar co-creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko had the opportunity just last year to travel to Beijing, China and visit the Forbidden City as well as other parts of China. The two took several pictures to be later used as reference for the backgrounds seen on the show.
The concept of flashbacks not being explicitly as imparted as a story by any of the present characters is very similar to the way that episodes of the ABC hit drama Lost is with its flashbacks.
Ursa: Never forget who you are.
This is quote is similar to the Disney movie "The Lion King." when Mufasa says to Simba "Remember who you are."
Similar to Gundam Wing, Wufei leaves his master/professor to reflect on a failed mission, and ends up in a run-down, bullied town (in China) run by corrupt ally soilders. Like Zuko, Wufei defeats/defends the town pretty much single-handed, and is forced to leave afterwards by the locals.
The "Made in Earth Kingdom" inscription on the back of Zuko's knife is an obvious spoof of the "Made in China" label commonly found on several products.
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