Prince Zuko from The Last Airbender Was Almost Completely Different

When first confronted by Zuko and his passionate obsession with honor, no one could have imagined that he and Aang would eventually become as close as brothers. Obviously not even Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Brian Konietzko. On the Braving the Elements podcast, the two creatives discussed this with Zuko’s own voice, Dante Basco, as well as Korra’s voice, Janet Varney. Instead of a potential peer for Aang, DiMartino and Konietzko initially conceived Zuko as an adult. But when it was leaked to the network, chief executive Eric Coleman had a more intriguing idea.

“Wouldn’t it be scarier if it was a child who was actually being transported?” Coleman asked Konietzko (via Entertainment Weekly). Konietzko continued, “And I said, ‘Could he have a scar?’ And that’s how Zuko [came about.]“Writing Zuko as an adult gives the series a whole new meaning. Viewers would never know the relationship that eventually develops between Aang and Zuko. Although Zuko is a few years older than Aang, they still share life experiences. with loss, as well as a search for an identity that can only be told through growing up. Luckily, one of Zuko’s most defining storylines has always been on the table.

“We [always] knew Zuko would become Aang’s teacher,” Konietzko assured the podcast hosts. After all, Zuko is nothing without his redemption arc.

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