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This article is about the character. For other similar uses, see Sozin's Comet (disambiguation).

Sozin was the ruler of the Fire Nation from 58 BG until his death in 20 AG, and the instigator of the Hundred Year War. Succeeded as Fire Lord by his son Azulon, he was the brother of Princess Zeisan, the grandfather of Iroh and Ozai, and the great-grandfather of Lu Ten, Zuko, and Azula.

As a young prince, Sozin was best friends with Avatar Roku. However, after Sozin took up the throne and Roku became a fully realized Avatar, their friendship became strained, as Sozin desired the Fire Nation to encompass the entire world, a plan to which Roku was strongly opposed. Following a confrontation over this which ended in Sozin's defeat, neither spoke to the other until they were seventy years old. Upon meeting the Avatar again, Sozin left his old friend to die, and began a war that would last one hundred years.

Using the fire-enhancing power of a comet, Sozin eradicated the Air Nomads in an attempt to preemptively eliminate the next Avatar. His plan failed however, and he spent the last years of his life hunting the new Avatar, Aang, in vain.[1]

History

Early life

Sozin was son of the Fire Lord and his wife, and had a younger sister named Zeisan, who was a nonbender. Sozin and Zeisan's family always pitted them against each other, and the two siblings fought for as long as they could remember.[4]

In their early years, Roku and Sozin were close friends and celebrated their birthday together.

In his youth, Prince Sozin was best friends with a young nobleman named Roku, and the two of them often celebrated their shared birthday together. As they were both firebenders, they regularly fought duels against one another for fun, and to test and strengthen their skills. Sozin also tried to get his best friend to confess his love for Ta Min, but Roku never found the courage to do so.[1]

At their sixteenth birthday celebration, Roku was unexpectedly told by the Fire Sages that he was the Avatar, and the two friends were forced to separate as Roku went to learn mastery of the three other elements. Before leaving, Sozin came by to talk and was told by Roku that the Sages told him to bring nothing, as the Avatar did not need material goods. By this statement, Sozin gave him a gift: the headpiece worn by the Crown Prince of the Fire Nation, hoping that he was at least allowed to have that.[1]

During his early life, the Fire Nation experienced an era of industrialization and great prosperity, and trade flourished.[5] While Zeisan sensed the corruption growing within their family,[4] Sozin was influenced by his father's beliefs, according to which a nation's worldly power and landmass corresponded to greatness.[6]

Reign as Fire Lord (58 BG - 20 AG)

Early reign

In 58 BG, Sozin ascended to the throne following the death of his father.[3] The earliest years of his reign saw the last true conflict between the Fire Lord and the noble clans, which was won by the Fire Army in a decisive victory commanded by General Oraso Eiko. The nation was considered to be finally united under the throne.[4] After bringing the warring families to heel, Sozin made great strides towards progress in his country, uplifting the poorest of the nation.[7]

Sozin was greatly interested in technological advancement, and he jump-started his nation's development of coal-powered vessels and thus created hundreds of jobs for the poorest members of society, building a great fleet. Materials for the fleet were scarce, and the Fire Nation began to come into numerous conflicts with the Earth Kingdom over resources, which Sozin quietly used to stoke anti-Earth Kingdom sentiment in his nation.[8]

Despite his political machinations, scholars and diplomats attempted to open relations with other nations and share their knowledge in other nations to further Fire Nation knowledge. Sozin encouraged his people to look for knowledge in other nations, but within his borders he tried to preserve Fire Nation culture. The largest roadblock to this was the growing friendship between the Fire Nation nobility and the Air Nomads, as many of the nation's nobility embraced Air Nomad teachings, culminating in the construction of the Fire & Air Center of Learning in the Fire Nation, which was supported by all four air temples.

While the Air Nomads of the time embraced a responsibility to aid the other nations, a renegade order of Air Nomads known as the Guiding Wind was also active during this time period, opposing Air Nomad involvement with the nobility and wealthy elite with the other nations. In protest against the Fire & Air Center of Learning, the Guiding Wind sabotaged construction on the site. In response, Sozin seized the site from the nobility, and entrenched his military guard to protect the local population. He refused to remove his guard until the Guiding Wind left, but the order had no plans on leaving until construction ended completely.

Seeking to destabilize her brother's reign, Princess Zeisan proposed a political marriage to Khandro, the popular Air Nomad philosopher who led the Guiding Wind, and announced she was renouncing her wealth and titles to lead a life of austerity. Sozin almost could not control his rage when this happened, and he began to view the Guiding Wind as an even more severe threat, viewing their opposition to nobility as a direct threat to his power. To counteract his sister's influence, Sozin began nationalistic propaganda campaigns targeting the poorest members of society. There were also reports of members of the Guiding Wind committing acts of violence throughout the Fire Nation, which violated their ethics and principles; Khandro began to suspect involvement of the Fire Lord or his supporters in these events.[7][8][9]

Sozin's actions with the Fire & Air Center of Learning eroded his political support among the nobility. However, in a show of power as Fire Lord, and wanting to appear more fearsome than his father, he began to organize the Dragon Hunts. While only a few dragons were hunted at killed at first, the nobles embraced the sport voraciously. As whoever slayed a dragon gained the honorary title of "Dragon", many nobles enjoyed the prestige that such a title granted them, as well as the ability to one-up their competitors, earning loyalty for Sozin among the noble class. The slaying of dragons led to spirits being attracted and strange hauntings of places, but Sozin quickly formed an elite taskforce to deal with these occurences and keep them under wraps from the general population.[10] When the Water Tribes noticed the spiritual disturbances and sent envoys to investigate the death sites, Sozin spun a propaganda campaign blaming the Water Tribe for any strange phenomena around these sites discovered by the public.[4]

Sozin began to make the first moves of his imperialistic goals by claiming uninhabited islands near the Fire Nation, which nonetheless inflamed international tensions. After a discovery of a large cache of ore on Natsuo Island between the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom, the previously unclaimed territory was considered Fire Nation territory. The calculating Earth King Jialun intended to goad Sozin into conflict by sending his vessels on training exercises near the island.[11] The Fire Nation also laid claim to an island considered sacred by the Water Tribes at the halfway point between the North and South. Chief Skiri of the North wanted to send a majority of his fleet to retake the island, but needed the consensus of the Southern chieftains. The chieftains could not come to a consensus on what to do, as many were unwilling to start an all-out war with the Fire Nation.[12]

Treason

Over time, Sozin began to develop his ambition to unite the four nations under his rule. His grandson, Iroh, attributed this quest for power to jealousy of the Avatar's immense strength, a feeling that only grew as Sozin immersed himself in the role of Fire Lord and put ever more importance in power and influence.[13]

In 54 BG, twelve years after his departure, Roku returned to the Fire Nation. Even though many years had passed, Sozin still considered Roku his best friend, and warmly greeted him upon his return. The Fire Lord even willingly ignored old customs of respect for the Avatar and happily hugged Roku just like in their youth.

Seeing an opportunity for global expansion, Sozin explained his plans to Roku and invited him to help build an empire.

A few months later at Roku's wedding, the Fire Lord took the position of Roku's best man. However, Sozin also saw the wedding as his best opportunity to talk with his friend about his future plans. Subsequently, the Fire Lord approached Roku shortly after the wedding and took a walk with him. Sozin commented that the Fire Nation was going through a period of great prosperity and wealth and told Roku that together, the two of them could spread it throughout the world by expanding the empire, to make a "brighter future" possible. However, Roku was greatly disturbed by this, telling Sozin that the four nations were meant to be separate and that he should not think of this again. The Fire Lord asked his friend to at least consider the possibilities, but Roku remained firm and stated that it would be the last he ever wanted to hear of such things.[1] Despite Roku's warnings, Sozin prepared for the unification of the nations through war. He continued to greatly expand the Fire Nation's already powerful army and navy,[14] and ordered the establishment of colonies in the Earth Kingdom.

Seventeen years later, however, Roku was traveling in the Earth Kingdom on Fang, discovered the colonies and came to the Fire Nation Capital to rebuke him. The Fire Lord was outraged that the Avatar, still a Fire Nation citizen, dared to treat him like that. Sozin warned his former friend that "[their] loyalty is to [their] nation first. Anything less [would make him] a traitor." Roku, however, replied that the Fire Lord should not challenge him, as it would "only end badly", leading Sozin to wrathfully attack him when his back was turned. The two engaged in a short battle, with Roku defeating Sozin and then leveling the palace's throne room in the Avatar State. Roku spared his life because of their past friendship, but warned him never to move forward with his plans again, or it would result in his "permanent end".[1]

Sozin left Roku to die, knowing he could dominate the world without the Avatar's interference.

Twenty-five years later, Roku's home island was consumed in a volcanic eruption so massive that Sozin could see and feel it from a hundred miles away. The Fire Lord flew in on his dragon to assist his old friend. The two used their bending to try to contain the lava flow, but were hindered by poisonous gases, which eventually overwhelmed Roku, leaving him lying on the ground and begging for his old friend's help. Sozin suddenly realized, however, that Roku's death would allow him to fulfill his plans, and left his old friend to die along with his dragon, Fang.[1]

With Roku gone, Sozin continued his military build-up, covertly preparing for a global war by further increasing the Fire Army's manpower and building a massive fleet of warships for the Fire Navy.[15]

Invasion

Twelve years after Roku died, Sozin used the power of a comet to enhance the abilities of his firebending army and launched simultaneous attacks on all other nations.[15] Most importantly, he organized a massive, genocidal assault on the Air Nomads in an attempt to kill the new Avatar and break the Avatar Cycle.[16] However, Sozin failed, as Aang had run away from the air temples some time before.[17] Sozin spent the rest of his life searching in vain for the last airbender. After the comet passed, he had a son, Prince Azulon.[18] Sozin favored his son over another family member, thereby contributing to a trend of antagonism and rivalry that would plague the royal family for generations.[19]

Sozin assembled his forces to begin the Hundred Year War.

One of his lesser-known military accomplishments during this period was the Battle of Han Tui, which was applauded as a magnificent display of skill and military cunning.[20] He also fortified the Fire Nation Capital, designing a new road from the harbor to Hari Bulkan. By creating a series of switchbacks in the narrow pathway, which forces any approaching party to travel in single column, and heavily fortifying it with watchtowers and battlements every hundred yards, he created one of the most secure roads in the world.[21] As the Dragon Hunts continued throughout Sozin's reign, they began to become increasingly intense, and the dragons began to be driven to the brink of extinction.[22]

As his reign carried on and the war escalated, Sozin established a cult of personality centered upon himself and the royal family, one that would be upheld through the reigns of Azulon and Ozai after him. Numerous monuments were constructed in reverence of himself, and the imperialist regime enforced various forms of propaganda that established Sozin as a higher, benevolent being. Such propaganda included the false claim that the Air Nomads possessed an army when in truth they were a pacifist culture.[23] Additionally, Sozin ordered that the Dragonbone Catacombs be sealed off so that all Fire Nation history recorded before his reign would be erased from the national conscience, making it appear as if Fire Nation history began with himself.[24] Furthermore, he outlawed same-sex relationships,[25] possibly due to his lasting hatred for his sister Zeisan who had been in relationship with an Air Nun.[8]

In 20 AG, Sozin died at the age of 102, and it was rumored that he lived to be older due to the influence of the power of the comet.[18] Fire Nation schools taught that he died peacefully in his sleep, an old and successful man, though in Sozin's own last testament he reminisced about how his younger years used to be "brighter". Sozin, like all Fire Lords, was buried in the Dragonbone Catacombs,[1] and he was succeeded by his son Azulon.

Legacy

Following his demise, Sozin was glorified in the Fire Nation, and his actions were justified through the spread of propaganda.[1][23] The comet he had used to start the Hundred Year War became known as "Sozin's Comet".[1] Azulon continued most of his father's policies,[26] and Sozin's legacy of rivalry within the royal family as well as aggressive imperialism for the Fire Nation continued until the reign of his great-grandson, Zuko.[13][27] At the same time, many details of the friendship of Roku and Sozin faded out of public memory, and their story was passed down as "a kind of fairy tale".[13]

Personality

Originally honest and kindhearted, the desire for power changed Sozin into a ruthless and cruel man.

Sozin was ruthless as Fire Lord, as demonstrated by his ordering the genocide of the Air Nomads simply to locate and destroy a single obstacle to his power, and his decision to start the tradition of hunting dragons despite having one as a companion. His betrayal of his best friend, Avatar Roku, also highlights his willingness to embrace power over friendship and kindness. However, unlike his more militaristic son Azulon, grandson Ozai, and great-granddaughter Azula, Sozin, at least initially, saw his war with the other nations as a case of 'ends justifying means'- he hoped not simply to increase his own power, but to provide the other nations with the Fire Nation's higher standard of living and perceived better system of order.[1] Domestically, Sozin preferred to silence, but not to completely destroy, opposition to his policies. This is exemplified in the fact that he did not execute Fire Sage Kaja, a known friend of Roku, when the latter declared that the new Avatar had not died during the Air Nomad Genocide.[28] Additionally, when Sozin wanted to eliminate the Fire Nation's ancient history to legitimize his policies, he chose not to destroy the historical corridors of the Dragonbone Catacombs but to simply seal them, believing he could still learn from the past.[24]

Sozin was initially close to parts of his family, as he was genuinely worried about his father's well-being when the Fire Sages came to announce Roku to be the Avatar.[1] In contrast, his relationship with Zeisan was always poor, although this was the result of their parents' influence.[4] For at least the first few decades of his life, Sozin also treasured his friendship with Roku; despite his royal status, he consistently treated Roku as an equal until their friendship fell apart over his imperialistic ambitions. Despite their unpleasant split decades earlier, he went to help his former friend when he saw Roku's volcanic island erupt; though despite Roku saving him at one point, Sozin ultimately left him to die, realizing that without the Avatar, he was free to carry out his plans for the Fire Nation and the world.[1] Later in life, Sozin repeated the same mistakes his own parents had made, as he fueled familial rivalries by favoring Azulon over another relative.[19]

Abilities

Firebending

Sozin was able to absorb and redirect the heat from the lava that consumed Roku's island.

Like many Fire Lords, Sozin was a powerful firebending master. When he was young, he sparred with Avatar Roku and defeated him on more than one occasion. When Roku confronted him years later about his actions in the Earth Kingdom, Sozin attacked him by unleashing a massive wave of fire against him, even though he did not have access to the power Sozin's Comet provided. However, he was still no match for Roku, who had all four elements and the Avatar State at his command. When he helped Roku tame an erupting volcano, he used a technique to redirect heat, cooling the lava.[1]

Other skills

Sozin was an intelligent strategist. When he and Roku were teenagers, Sozin tricked Roku into tripping over a tree root in order to win a sparring match. Sozin's intelligence made him a capable military leader. During the Hundred Year War, Sozin won the Battle of Han Tui by taking advantage of the fact that the enemy had been in the middle of a drought and downwind. According to Azula in a later recounting of the event, their defenses burned to a crisp in minutes.[20]

Relatives

Main article: Fire Nation Royal Family


   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Yosor
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Descendants
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Huazo
   
   
Chaeryu
   
   
Sulan
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Chaejin
   
   
Zoryu
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Descendants
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Sozin's father
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Sozin
   
   
Zeisan
   
   
Roku
   
   
Ta Min
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Azulon
   
   
Ilah
   
   
   
   
   
   
Rina
   
   
Jinzuk
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Iroh
   
   
Ozai
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Ursa
   
   
   
   
   
   
Noren
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Lu Ten
   
   
   
   
   
   
Zuko
   
   
Azula
   
   
   
   
Kiyi
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Izumi
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Iroh
   
   
Izumi's
daughter[29]


Appearances

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book Three: Fire (火)

Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game

Trivia

An official portrait of Sozin hung in the Royal Gallery.

  • Sozin's name, (蘇進), translates as "revival and progress" and is closely related to the Persian name Souzan, which means "fire".
  • Fire Lord Sozin had his son, Azulon, very late in life; since Azulon was born shortly after the start of the war, Sozin would have been eighty-two years old at the time.
  • Sozin's official portrait features firebending soldiers, a scroll in his hand, and a comet, signifying his military buildup and the beginning of the Hundred Year War, the many reforms under his rule, and the coming of the comet which now bears his name.
  • An early script of the premiere episode included a friendly duel between Avatar Roku and Sozin when they were younger, similar to the one shown in "The Avatar and the Fire Lord".[3]
  • People in the Avatar universe believe that the power granted from Sozin's Comet is what allowed Sozin to live as long as he did.[3]
  • Sozin was responsible for manipulating firebending's roots, changing it to match his militaristic and conquering goals,[22] as well as criminalizing same-sex relationships.[25]
  • Sozin is the only known firebender able to redirect heat.
  • Sozin began the tradition of hunting dragons, the original firebenders.[22]
  • Sozin is the longest-reigning known Fire Lord, as well as the longest-lived.
  • Sozin's great-grandson, Lord Zuko, sports a beard similar to the one Sozin and Roku did in their young adult years.
Preceded by
Unknown, eventually Zoryu
Heir to the Fire Lord
82 BG - 58 BG
Succeeded by
Azulon


Preceded by
His father
Fire Lord
58 BG - 20 AG
Succeeded by
Azulon

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (October 26, 2007). "The Avatar and the Fire Lord". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
  2. Moscoe, Robert (2007-04-06 [date confirmed at site's interview archive]). An Avatar Spring Break with Mike and Bryan (part 2 of 3). AvatarSpirit.net. Archived from the original on April 23, 2007. Retrieved on April 13, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Avatar Extras for "The Avatar and the Fire Lord" on Nicktoons Network.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 49.
  5. Avatar: The Last Airbender: Legacy of the Fire Nation, page 14.
  6. Avatar: The Last Airbender: Legacy of the Fire Nation, page 16.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 44.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 48.
  9. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 50.
  10. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 47.
  11. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 55.
  12. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 52.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Avatar: The Last Airbender: Legacy of the Fire Nation, page 9.
  14. Avatar: The Last Airbender: Legacy, page 11, The Hundred Year War.
  15. 15.0 15.1 The Lost Scrolls: Water, Section "Introduction", in The Lost Scrolls Collection.
  16. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang.
  17. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (June 3, 2005). "The Storm". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
  18. 18.0 18.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: Firelord Sozin.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Avatar: The Last Airbender: Legacy of the Fire Nation, page 28.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (May 12, 2006). "Zuko Alone". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  21. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). Smoke and Shadow Part One (September 23, 2015), Dark Horse Comics.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 15, 2008). "The Firebending Masters". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  23. 23.0 23.1 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (September 28, 2007). "The Headband". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  24. 24.0 24.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). Smoke and Shadow Part Two (December 16, 2015), Dark Horse Comics.
  25. 25.0 25.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Koh, Irene (artist), Piekos, Nate; Blambot (letterer), Campbell, Heather; Bak, Jane (cover), Ng, Killian (colorist). Turf Wars Part One (July 26, 2016), Dark Horse Comics.
  26. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: Fire Lord Azulon.
  27. Avatar: The Last Airbender: Legacy of the Fire Nation, page 10.
  28. The Lost Scrolls: Fire.
  29. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Hedrick, Tim & Hamilton, Joshua (March 10, 2015). "The Coronation" commentary. Book Four: Balance Blu-ray.
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