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Avatar: 11 Iroh Moments That Prove He Is Truly The ‘Dragon Of The West’

General Iroh is perhaps the best character of Avatar The Last Airbender series. The guy never gets enough credit. This list is dedicated to Iroh. It proves why he was nicknamed “The Dragon of The West”

His Creation Of Lightning Redirection

Lightning Generation a specialized fire-bending technique where the user creates and manipulate lightning. Princess Azula was a master at this skill. To counter lighting users, General Iroh developed the highly complex skill of lightning redirection, a sub-skill of fire-bending. the technique involves planting your feet in the ground and using your libs as conductors to receive and re-direct the lighting thrown at the Bender’s way. this technique is effective but highly dangerous since even a small mistake would mean the lightning travels to the heart and the wielder dies instantaneously. Iroh not only came up with lightning Redirection but also perfected it.

Liberating Ba Sing Se

General Iroh’s biggest contribution is arguably his involvement in the Order of the White Lotus. The Order was pivotal in pushing back the Fire Nation soldiers occupying Ba Sing Se. No Order member flexed as much as General Iroh, who threw great fireballs and drew up curtains of literal fire to defeat the Fire Nation. It led to the famous moment of burning the Fire Nation flag over Ba Sing Se. It would never have been possible without Iroh’s critical aid.

Teaching A Mugger

Another impossible Iroh moment worthy of respect and attention is when Iroh encounters a mugger. The Mugger is keeping Iroh at knife-point. But Iroh could not have given a lesser damn. Instead, he starts criticizing the mugger’s fighting stance. Then quickly grabs his knife, pinning him to the ground and stating how inefficient his technique was. Then a few words of sagely advice combined with absolute indifference to the fact that he was almost mugged leads to the Mugger deciding to leave his criminal ways. the Mugger decides to follow his dreams. A few moments ago, that same mugger was ready to kill him. That’s General Iroh for you.

His Prison Break Plan

After Iroh was captured and put in the Fire Nation prison, it was then that we saw what a Force of Nature this guy is. Instead of actively planning out his escape, Iroh started working out to build enough muscle strength. His prison break plan’s most important element was patience. He waited for the perfect moment to strike. When the time was right, Iroh left no trace of his escape. The only remains of his plan were a few unconscious guards and a depression in the earth. The guards claimed he was like a “One Man Army“. They had not “seen anything like it”.

Pride Is Not The Opposite Of Shame, But It’s Source

Iroh is full of wisdom. He is one of the few characters in an animated series you can never hate. When Zuko asks him to teach him Lightning Redirection, a complicated technique reserved for the best of Fire Benders, Iroh gives him a piece of advice. To learn the technique, Zuko needs to master his balance within. Only when he finds that balance he can control the tempest that is lightning that will be surging across his body while performing the skill. Zuko says that he was never ashamed. In fact, he is as proud as he could be. Iroh disappointingly sighs and says, “Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source. True humility is the only antidote to shame.” That is a lesson for us all.

Calling Out Azula

Azula is a high ranking member of the Fire Nation royal Family. She instils fear in the heart of men and women everywhere. Seldom do we see anyone oppose Azula lest he or she meet her wrath. When Zuko decides to go against the wishes of her sister, he asks Iroh if he is against it. Iroh is quick to point out that despite Azula’s infamous reputation and her relationship with Zuko, she is crazy and needs to be taken down. We could not respect Iroh more for what he said back then.

Zhao’s defeat

The infamous Agni Kai between Prince Zuko and General Zhao ends with a narrow victory for the former. But contrary to customs and tradition, Zuko decides to spare Zhaos’ life. Zhao is ordered to never interfere in Zuko’s activities again. Unable to take such humiliation, Zhao tries to kill Zuko when his back is turned. Iroh gracefully intervenes and catches his foot. The speed and precision with which Iroh catches Zhao’s leg and throws him to the ground is Godlike. Iroh shows that he has been holding back all this time.

Never Giving Up On Zuko

It is safe to state that Zuko is a problem child. He has created quite an amount of ruckus ever since he has appeared. More often than not, he has been a nuisance and an obstruction, hurting the people around him. But regardless of what Zuko has done, Iroh never gives up on him. When Zuko finally comes around for good, Iroh says that he was never angry. He was just sad that he may have not been able to show Zuko the right way.

Honoring His Fallen Son

An entire episode was dedicated to Iroh making his way through Ba Sing Se. Throughout his day, he encounters people and situations where he plays an instrumental role. It is then that we realize Iroh is such a pure soul. Despite his Fire Nation origin, he is full of chivalry and nobility. He goes out of his way to help those in need. At the end of that episode, we find out why. Iroh was not strong enough to help his son and save him. So to honor him, he helps other people in need. That lullaby he sings to his son still gives us goosebumps.

His Description Of Destiny

Zuko and Iroh manage to infiltrate earth Kingdom. They pose as tea merchants, making up a good name for themselves in the neighborhood with their local tea shop. They live a life of peace and serenity. But Zuko quickly realizes this is all a sham. According to Zuko, his life and his purpose propel him to a destiny that is far greater than what is being offered to him as a tea merchant. Iroh, unperturbed, just tells him that destiny is not pre-ordained. It is up to us to decide what it means.

Who Are You And What Do You Want?

This is the question Uncle Iroh asks Zuko after the former encounters Aang’s Bison Appa. Zuko wants to capture the scared creature to lure Aang into a trap. Iroh believes doing so is unethical and wrong. But he does not stop Zuko from doing so. When Zuko claims that doing so is part of his “Destiny”, Iroh just states a simple but profound question. Who are you and what do you want? That is a simple enough question with answers so deep it would engulf the entire Fire Nation. This question would eventually end up playing a pivotal role in Zuko’s redemption arc.

Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

You do not wanna know. I could be a psychopath.