|“||Sozin's Comet is arriving, our destinies are upon us, Aang will face the Fire Lord. When I was a boy, I had a vision that I would one day take Ba Sing Se. Only now do I realize that my destiny is to take it back from the Fire Nation, so that the Earth Kingdom can be free again.||„|
Iroh is one of the main protagonists of the Nickelodeon cartoon, Avatar: The Last Airbender and a supporting character in The Legend of Korra. He is a retired Fire Nation General and the uncle of Prince Zuko. Iroh serves as a wise mentor and father figure for his nephew while also becoming an ally of Avatar Aang and his team.
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What Makes Him Pure Good?
- Iroh is the main reason that Zuko was able to redeem himself and become a better person through his wisdom, kindness and support.
- Though there was a time in which Iroh was power-hungry and wanted the throne, being an accomplished general who appeared eager to take over Ba Sing Se, Lu Ten's death had a profound impact on him, changing him for the better and causing him to abandon his previous hunger for power. Furthermore, when retelling of his life prior to Zuko's banishment, he was fully remorseful of his attempt to annex Ba Sing Se, stating he was a "different man" back then.
- Even though he was technically an antagonist and helps his nephew to try and capture the Avatar, he only did it to help Zuko restore his honor and guide him, and had no selfish motivations for capturing Aang, rarely if ever fighting Team Avatar himself.
- After having been deemed worthy by Ran and Shaw to learn the true essence of firebending, he protected the secret of the dragons' existence to ensure they wouldn't be hunted down.
- Though he did not agree with his brother and did not develop a brotherly bond with him after seeing his remarkable lack of empathy, Iroh still felt guilty over not trying to understand him more in their youth and not doing enough to make him better.
- He has no desire for power, as he didn't object when his brother took the title of Firelord despite it being Iroh's birthright.
- When Zuko was burned by Ozai, Iroh is the only one in the stands who looks away in horror.
- He chooses to go along with Zuko when he was banished and stayed with him for three years to give him his guidance and teach him firebending.
- While on the ship, he founded music night, where the crew would gather once a week and play music, something which the crew greatly appreciated and allowed them to enjoy themselves.
Book 1: Water
- When Zhao cowardly attempts to attack Zuko from behind after losing in their Agni Kai, Iroh intervenes and stops Zhao's attack from burning Zuko. He expresses his disgust over Zhao's disgraceful behavior and exclaims that even in exile, Zuko is more honorable than Zhao, which Zuko is touched by.
- He tries to convince Zuko to alter the ship's course when he senses a storm approaching to protect the crew.
- When Lieutenant Jee and Zuko clash over Zuko's disrespect towards his uncle and the crew, Iroh defuses the situation and offers a bowl of noodles. When Zuko tells Iroh he didn't need his help to keep order on the ship, Iroh places a comforting hand on his shoulder.
- When Jee rants about Zuko's disrespectful behavior to the crew, Iroh joins them and explains Zuko's backstory to help them better understand his nephew's actions. This helps defuse the tense standing between Jee and Zuko.
- During the storm, he redirects a lightning bolt, saving the crew and the ship from potential destruction.
- He smiles proudly when Zuko chooses to put the safety of his crew over capturing the Avatar, then advises Zuko to head for the eye of the storm, allowing the crew to get to safety.
- As Zuko is pushing people out of the way to speak to June and calling them filth, he apologizes to them on his nephew's behalf.
- Chooses to assist Zuko by helping him fake his death and taking part in the siege of the North Pole in order to help Zuko with his goal.
- Before Zuko leaves to find the Avatar, Iroh expresses his concern for his nephew, telling him that after the death of Lu-Ten, he thinks of Zuko as his own son and embraces him before Zuko departs.
- During the siege of the North Pole, when Zhao planned to kill the Moon Spirits in order to destroy the moon and thus the ability to waterbend, Iroh steps in to try and stop Zhao in order to protect the natural balance and goes against the Fire Nation.
Book 2: Earth
- When hearing from Azula that Ozai wanted Zuko back home, despite his doubts and Zuko having insulted him about those doubts, he still decides to go with Zuko to be by his side. Then, when Iroh's suspicions are proven correct and a fight breaks out between the two teenagers, Iroh steps in by redirecting Azula's lightning and saving Zuko's life.
- When Zuko steals the ostrich horse of the family who helped them both in order to travel more easily, Iroh greatly objected to his nephew's actions, only reluctantly choosing to go along with Zuko's decision because they had no other choice.
- He doesn't approve of Zuko resorting to stealing in order to provide food for themselves and tries to convince Zuko not to be ashamed of poverty. He then attempts to convince Zuko not to give in to despair, explaining that in the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself.
- Even though Zuko parts ways with Iroh, he still trails behind Zuko, refusing to leave his nephew behind and wanting to be there when Zuko needed him.
- He encounters Toph, giving her tea and some wisdom that helped her to develop and realize it was alright to let others help.
- When Zuko offers Iroh tea, despite it tasting terrible, he pretends that it tastes good so as not to make Zuko feel bad.
- He helps Zuko by trying to teach him how to generate lightning and also teaching him how to redirect lightning, but he adamantly refuses to shoot lightning at Zuko so as not to hurt him. This technique would come to save both Zuko and Aang's life when they fought Ozai.
- During Zuko and Jet's fight, when a soldier remarks that Jet attacked the finest tea-maker in the city, Iroh blushes in appreciation and thanks the soldier for his compliment.
- When seeing a child weeping in the streets, Iroh sings a song for him, lifting the boy's spirits and causing him to laugh.
- In Ba Sing Se, when a man attempts to mug him, instead of having him arrested, Iroh disarms the man, helps him up, and then talks to him, giving him wisdom and inspiration to follow his dream.
- When Zuko was going to capture Appa, Iroh stops him and convinces him to release the sky bison and abandon his identity as the Blue Spirit.
- Stays by Zuko's side and treated him when he became sick from the inner turmoil he was experiencing.
- As he opens his new tea shop, Iroh expresses gratitude and pride in Zuko that he chose to be with Iroh in this happy time.
- He teams up with Team Avatar to rescue Zuko and Katara, and when he was paired up with Aang, he gives him some very important wisdom and helps him to feel better about the choice he made not to give up the feelings he had for Katara to master the Avatar state.
- When Aang is shot down by Azula's lightning and when Zuko decided to side with his sister, Iroh finally decides to go against his nephew, buying time for Katara to escape with Aang and sacrificing himself for their sake.
Book 3: Fire
- When Zuko comes to visit him in prison, though he initially refuses to speak to him, he does so regretfully, silently crying upon seeing Zuko in an anguished state.
- He continues to give Zuko some wisdom and the history of Zuko's ancestors to help him understand his internal struggle, despite having been betrayed by his nephew and vehemently insulted by him.
- Iroh warns one of the guards who was kind to him not to be there when he broke out of prison to ensure her safety.
- Upon reuniting with Zuko, Iroh tearfully embraces him and chooses to instantly forgive his nephew even after having been backstabbed by him, openly expressing to Zuko that he was never angry with him, but just sad that he'd lost his way.
- He takes part in the reconquering of Ba Sing Se, liberating the Earth Kingdom capital from the Fire Nation.
- Declines to fight Ozai so that Zuko's rule won't be tainted by rumors of an unlawful sibling fight for power-grab.
Post-Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Runs a successful tea shop in Ba Sing Se and served several customers.
- He remains close to the rest of Team Avatar after the war, visiting Aang and Katara often, to the point that Aang views him as the uncle he never had while Katara believes him to be one of her closest friends. She even went so far as to say that Iroh always did the right thing in her eyes, believing that if Iroh approved of her actions, she knew it was right, and through his example, she found the courage to help her friends and do the impossible.
- Even after his death, Iroh continued to offer Korra good advice, and helped her mature and grow as a person.
- Calmed Korra down so that the Spirit World doesn't face a storm.
- Advised Tenzin, Bumi and Kya to leave the Spirit World, due to Vaatu's escape threatening the Spirit World with darkness.
- Iroh was originally planned to reveal himself as a traitor, but the idea was luckily scrapped. If this was not scrapped and was revealed in the show, this would affect his Pure Good status and he might no longer become Pure Good.
- Iroh, Daffy Duck, Diane Foxington, and Meta Knight are the only four Pure Goods to be approved as Magnificent Baddies.