‘Avatar: What Happened To Zuko’s Mom? In Avatar: The Last Airbender

David Galvan

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With a slew of new Avatar projects on the way, fans are eager to get answers to their burning questions about Nickelodeon’s beloved fantasy martial arts series. Yet, above all, there is one Avatar conundrum that has been staring fans in the face for far too long: What happened to Prince Zuko’s mother, for example? There is an answer in Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search, thanks to writer Gene Luen Yang, illustrator Gurihiru, and letterer Michael Heisler. It’s a complicated story that, hopefully, will be properly adapted and animated, but you’re going to plunge right in today.

The Prince of Avatar: The Last Airbender Zuko’s mother died when he was a child, but the companion comics reveal the complete story of why she vanished and what transpired to her after that. Zuko, the exiled son of Fire Lord Ozai, spends much of Avatar: The Last Airbender as an opponent to Aang and his friends, as capturing the Avatar is the only way for Zuko to return to the Fire Nation. However, over time, he redeems himself and eventually joins forces with Aang to destroy his father.

Ursa, Zuko’s mother, is the grandchild of Ruko, the Fire Nation Avatar who came before Aang. It is finally revealed in The Last Airbender that she negotiated some sort of deal for Zuko’s life when his father was about to kill him and that she was then expelled from the Fire Nation. However, Gene Luen Yang and The Last Airbender showrunners Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have created a series of follow-up comics set in the days after Aang battles Fire Lord Ozai.

In one of the Last Airbender comics’ plot arcs, the search follows Zuko’s search to discover what happened to his mother and possibly reunite with her. Here’s the real story behind Ursa’s disappearance, why she was exiled, and where she ended up.

Why Zuko’s Mother Was Expelled?

Fire Lord Azulon, Zuko’s grandfather, received a prophecy that blending his bloodline with that of Avatar Ruko would generate powerful children, ensuring his family’s status in the kingdom long after he died. He tracked down Ursa and compelled her to marry Zuko’s father, Ozai, even though she was already engaged to another man, Ikem.

Azulon’s actions would come back to haunt him. When Iroh’s son perished in the war, Ozai enraged his father by demanding that he be given the throne birthright instead. Azulon wanted Ozai to suffer the same sorrow that Iroh had when he lost his eldest son, so he ordered Ozai to kill Zuko as a punishment. Ursa made a bargain with Ozai after learning of the plot: she would utilize her herbal expertise to make a colorless and odorless poison, and Ozai would take Azulon’s position as Fire Lord. Ozai agreed on one condition: Ursa would leave the Fire Nation and never return after Azulon died, so she wouldn’t be able to use the same poison on him again. Ursa was forced to leave her children behind, distraught.

What Happened To Zuko’s Mother Post She Was Expelled?

According to screenrant.com, Ursa returns to the town where she was born after fleeing the Fire Nation Palace. There, she encountered a guy named Noren, who turned out to be Ikem, who had enlisted the help of a spirit known as the Mother of Faces to change his appearance so he could avoid Ozai’s wrath. Ursa chose to make a similar arrangement, but when the Mother of Faces sensed Ursa’s anguish, she provided something extra: not only a new face but also a new mind, with all her memories of her life as Ozai’s wife, obliterated. Ursa made the painful decision to forget about her children and the rest of her previous life and was given a new look and a new name: Noriko. She and Noren had a daughter named Kiyi, who was Zuko and Azula’s half-sister, and they lived in harmony for many years.

Zuko Is Join Up With His Mother

In The Search, Zuko meets Noren and Noriko for the first time, unaware that they are Ikem and Ursa. He returns to the hamlet after learning the truth from the Mother of Faces and tells Ursa that he is her son. Ursa chooses to have her memories and face restored, and she and Zuko are reunited for the first time. Azula, on the other hand, does not feel the same way about her mother. She believes Ursa has been scheming her downfall her entire life and is responsible for everything horrible that’s ever happened to her after being driven insane at the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Zuko succeeds in stopping Azula from murdering Ursa, but he stands useless as his sister flees. Ursa promises to tell Zuko everything about her life, beginning at the beginning, at the end of the search.

Ursa later returns to the Fire Nation Palace for the first time since her banishment and faces Ozai, who is now helpless and imprisoned in the dungeons. He then threatens to kill everyone she cares about, but Ursa recognizes him for what he is: “a small, small man.” She walks away, no longer fearful of her ex-husband, and ignores him as he demands her to grovel for him.

While it’s preferable to start with the first issue of Dark Horse’s Avatar comics, The Search is a great place to start for those who have been afraid to go into the series. You’ll either be satisfied with the story’s conclusion or eager for more. In any case, you’re the winner! You’ll also learn what happened to Zuko’s mother.

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