Deep Cut Avatar: Last Airbender Season 2 Zuko Easter Egg Spotted By Fan

An easter egg spotted in season 2 of Avatar: the Last Airbender makes Zuko’s redemption journey even more meaningful. A fan-favorite character, Zuko was first introduced in the pilot episode of the popular animated Nickelodeon show when it premiered in 2005. Though he was first portrayed as a villain, his redemption arc became one of the most well-developed and beloved storylines in the series.

Zuko had to work hard to earn the trust of the audience and the Avatar gang. Throughout season 1, his youth, trauma, and heartwarming relationship with his uncle Iroh all pointed to the possibility of absolution. However, he often seemed to take one step forward and two steps back throughout the series. Specifically, near the end of season 1, he seemed to be teetering towards the side of the good in his vigilantism as the Blue Spirit and his decision to call off his search for Aang for a while in the finale. But in season 2, ashamed of himself and frustrated, he sends his uncle away and forges his own way forward, which leads him to the painful journey he faces in season 2, episode 7, “Zuko Alone.”


Related: Avatar: What Happened To Zuko’s Mother In The Last Airbender

In a recent episode of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: Braving the Elements podcast, hosts Dante Basco (the voice of Zuko) and Janet Varney spoke with ATLA super-fan Adal Rifai, who pointed out a subtle easter egg during a discussion of the ending fight in “Zuko Alone.” In that fight, Zuko battles an earthbender and attempts to keep from revealing himself as a firebender. However, the fight grows more challenging, and he must finally unleash his power. Rifai noticed some telling symbolism in that moment that points to Zuko’s character journey. See what he had to say below:

“Oh I also wanted to mention, during that fight, there’s fire; swords; rocks; and hammers, which is everything you need to temper and sharpen a blade, so maybe this is all… analogous to him finding his true self…”

Though small, these minor details make Zuko’s experiences in “Zuko Alone” even more significant to his overall character journey. After the aforementioned fight, Zuko is once again alone, rejected from the family he had protected because of his status as a firebender. But the episode after “Zuko Alone” sees him reuniting with his uncle and teaming up with Iroh and the Avatar gang to fight his sister Azula, which was an important step forward in his redemption arc despite the steps backward he would later take in the season 2 finale. As Rifai mentions, Zuko’s true character is shaped, honed, and sharpened like a blade in this important sequence, but more work is ahead of him before he can fully embrace his ‘true self.’

This moment of symbolism in ATLA is one of many examples fans have noticed since the series concluded in 2008. Though produced as a series for children, ATLA had wisdom beyond its years that transcended generations, which explains why it remains a pop culture staple. With the recent announcement that Netflix’s take on the series has wrapped filming, fans will soon be able to reenter the world of ATLA.

Source: Avatar: Braving the Elements

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