'Avatar' Fans Point Something Out About Uncle Iroh That We Hadn't Noticed Before

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Vote up your favorite observations about Uncle Iroh!

Everyone's wisdom-giving, tea-loving uncle is a much more complex character than we think. Today we present some of the best observations about Iroh from 'Avatar,' written by many justified fans. Vote on your favorites below!

Most posts have been edited for length and clarity. Click on the credit links for the full post.

  • 1
    686 VOTES

    A Brilliant Moment Of Poignant Characterization

    From Tumblr user betwixtyiff:

    This is such a subtle bit of brilliant characterization that says so much about these three and their relationships in less than 30 seconds:

    • Azula’s eager willingness to shrug off her Uncle’s long and storied experience as a general.
    • Then there’s Iroh, smugly knowing that the Dai Li and Azula are about to come face to face with nothing they had ever seen before.
    • Then there's Zuko, who had a close relationship with his Uncle ever since he was a small boy, who most likely listened to his Uncle’s stories of travels and war, even when Azula shrugged him off and went to bed. He was always up for one more story, which is how he KNEW Iroh’s fire-breathing skill was coming. The realization was enough to put a big fat smirk on his face and duck behind his uncle’s back, while Iroh let lose an inferno after a slow, slow, sip of jasmine tea.
  • 2
    535 VOTES

    Every Single Encounter In 'The Tale Of Iroh' Revolves Around The Theme Of Fatherhood.

  • 3
    723 VOTES

    Real Question: Who Already Knew This? Because...This Was Really Sad To Learn For The First Time.

  • 4
    516 VOTES

    Iroh Throws Flames In Zuko's Face As A Form Of Desensitization Training (Which Was Needed After A Traumatic Agni Kai With His Father).

     From Tumblr user royaltealovingkookiness:

    In Zuko's first training scene, Iroh shoots a fireball right into his nephew's face and he just stands there, unflinching. In the duel with Zhao, Zuko is down. But when he sees that flaming fist to his face, something lets loose inside him that helps him turn the fight around...But it’s not until we learn Zuko’s backstory that all this gets a whole new meaning. 

    Why would Zuko still be on basics if not because he suffered a huge setback after his agni kai? Imagine how much hard work and patience it took to build Zuko back up again, so he would not freeze in blind panic when fire gets close to his face. I think Iroh practiced this with him all the time until he could stand there unflinching (knowing that Iroh is in full control of his bending and trusting that his uncle would never hurt him). And when it came to the duel with Zhao, Zuko could react accordingly of freezing up, turning all the negative feelings into fuel to win the fight against a bender who is much more skilled than he is. 

  • 5
    710 VOTES

    It's Crucial To Know That Iroh Abandons His Entire Life In The Fire Nation Just To Teach Zuko What His True Destiny Was.

     From Tumblr user ajkal2:

    Do y’all ever think about Uncle Iroh going with Zuko when he was banished? 

    Iroh is a powerful figure: the Dragon of the West, a war hero, a member of the royal family. He must’ve had a lot of influence in the Fire Nation and a lot of friends with high statuses.

    Then the Fire Lord, his own brother, scars a child for speaking out in a private council. And Iroh can do nothing to stop it. Even with all his power, the only thing he can do is look away.

    When Zuko is banished, Iroh finally abandons his friends, allies and work to stand with this child. He can step in and show kindness. He can teach this angry, broken child that hate isn't right. 

    And that public act of dissent against the word of the Fire Lord, from his own flesh and blood, wouldn't have gone unnoticed. 

    Uncle Iroh man. What a dude.

  • 6
    560 VOTES

    The Way That Zuko Responds To Iroh's Hugs Reveals So Much About Their Relationship