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The episode begins with Zuko by himself, riding his stolen ostrich horse through a fairly barren landscape. After walking for a bit, they arrive at a decrepit bridge over a ravine that breaks as they cross. After regaining control, they continue crossing. A little while later, Zuko smells food and spots a steak being cooked by a couple below the ridge he is walking on. He holds his growling stomach in hunger, and reaches for his dual dao swords, preparing himself to steal from them. However, after noticing that the woman is pregnant, he stops himself and continues on his way.

Riding through grasslands covered in large broken Earth Kingdom rocks, Zuko holds his water pouch to his lips for a drink, only to finish it off thirstily. Exhausted from his travels, his sight becoming blurry and his eyes closing slowly as he struggles to maintain consciousness. He shakes himself awake, only to close his eyes again moments later. He has a flashback of a beautiful, middle-aged woman in a cloak turning and walking away in a dark hallway. He opens his eyes but keeps his head down.

Under the hot sun, Zuko reaches a small, poor town where the buildings are mostly made of wood and seem to be poorly constructed. We come upon four men dressed in green, gambling.

Earth Kingdom soldier Come on, spidersnake eyes! [He rolls a pair of dice and they land with two fives, face-up.] Ha! Ha! Yeah!
Two of the other men turn around and punch him in the stomach once each. He grunts with each punch.

Zuko rides through town and passes the soldiers. Their leader, Gow, glares at him and Zuko glares back. Zuko stops, gets off of his ostrich horse and turns to a merchant at a store.

Zuko Could I get some water, a bag of feed and something hot to eat? [Zuko holds out his hand. In it are two coins.]
Store owner Not enough here for a hot meal. I can get you two bags of feed.
Zuko looks down, disappointed. He notices that the four Earth Kingdom men are watching him.

Two children hide behind the store counter, looking amused. One of them giggles and throws an egg. It hits a gambling soldier.

Earth Kingdom soldier Ow!
The two boys run off as the Earth Kingdom soldier turn around, looking angry. They only see Zuko behind them, so they stand up indignantly.
Gow Hey! You throwing eggs at us, stranger?
Zuko No.
Gow You see who did throw it?
Zuko [Turns to face them.] No.
Earth Kingdom soldier That your favorite word, no?
Gow Egg had to come from somewhere.
Zuko [Turns around.] Maybe a chicken flew over.
The Earth Kingdom soldier laughs, and Gow glares at him. At that moment, the store owner returns with Zuko's feed bags for the ostrich horse. Gow goes to the counter and grabs both bags before he can take them.
Gow Thanks for your contribution. The army appreciates your support. [He throws the bags to one of his fellow soldiers.] You better leave town. Penalty for stayin's a lot steeper than you can afford, stranger. Trust me. [He pats his hammer at his side menacingly.]
The soldiers turn and leave with the bags.
Store owner Those soldiers are supposed to protect us from the Fire Nation. But they're just a bunch of thugs.
Zuko walks toward his ostrich horse. As he is about to re-mount, one of the little boys from earlier pops up from behind the animal.
Lee Thanks for not ratting me out!
Zuko ignores the boy, gets on his steed and starts riding away. Lee casts him an annoyed look before brightening. Lee comes up from behind and grabs the reins.
Lee I'll take you to my house and feed your ostrich horse for you. Come on, I owe you! [Lee leads the way, pulling along the animal.]
A shot of Zuko holding his growling stomach in hunger fades to a pig farm, Zuko and Lee arrive on a dirt road at the farm among mountains in the countryside. A little wooden farmhouse with a roof that needs re-shingling. Several different types of hybrid pigs spotted in enclosures.
Lee No one can ever sneak up on us.
Zuko No kidding.
Lee takes the ostrich horse away. Zuko casts his glance off to the side; the camera shifts to show a pig rooster, who crows at him. A man approaches Zuko. A woman peers out from behind the farmhouse.
Gansu You a friend of Lee's?
Lee comes running out of the barn excitedly and grabs his father's arm.
Lee This guy just stood up to the soldiers! By the end, he practically had them running away!
The woman from earlier comes forward to join her husband and son, wiping her hands on a rag.
Sela Does this guy have a name?
Zuko [Nervously.] I'm ... uh ...
Gansu [Off-camera.] He doesn't have to say who he is if he doesn't want to, Sela. [Cuts to shot of him standing with his family.] Anyone who can hold his own against those bully soldiers is welcome here. Those men should be ashamed to wear Earth Kingdom uniforms.
Sela The real soldiers are off fighting the War, [Cuts to shot of Lee.] like Lee's big brother Sensu. [Pause.] Supper's going to be ready soon. Would you like to stay?
Zuko I can't. I should be moving on. [The wife frowns and casts a glance at her husband.]
Sela Gansu could use some help on the barn. Why don't you two work for a while, and then we'll eat.
Zuko nods in agreement. The camera fades to Zuko and Gansu working on the roof of the barn. Lee is resting on a ladder, watching them re-shingle the roof. While Gansu is doing well and working steadily, Zuko has several twisted and broken nails in front of him, although it is evident he is trying hard to do a good job.
Lee You don't seem like you're from around here.
Zuko [Shaking his head.] Mm-mm.
Lee Where are you from then?
Zuko [Lowers his hammer.] Far away.
Lee Ohhh. Where are you going?
Gansu Lee, give it a rest. Stop asking the man personal questions, got it?
Lee [Disappointed and rests his head on his arm. He sighs.] Yes. [Pause.] So how'd you get that scar?
Zuko is surprised at the question and swings down his hammer a little too hard. He strikes his thumb, now red, and groans in pain.
Gansu It's not nice to bother people about things they might not want to talk about. A man's past is his business.
Gansu goes back to hammering and so does Zuko. The scene fades away to the sound of hammers hitting metal as Zuko starts reminiscing about the past.

Fade to a shot of the water's surface. An unknown person places a fingertip in the water and holds their hand out to reveal bread crumbs. Cuts to shot of the Royal Gardens, two figures sitting by the edge of a large kidney-shaped pond. Cuts to shot of a younger Zuko and his mother, who are feeding some bread to four turtle ducks – a mother and her four babies.

Young Zuko Hey Mom, want to see how Azula feeds turtle ducks? [Zuko throws the rest of the loaf of bread into the water and hits one of the baby turtle ducks. Ursa is shocked.]
Ursa Zuko! Why would you do that?
After the baby turtle duck surfaces again, the mother turtle duck charges forth and bites Zuko's ankle hard.
Young Zuko Ow! Ow ow! Ouch! [Ursa removes the turtle duck from Zuko and gently throws her back into the pond, where she swims off with her babies. Zuko is pouting.]
Young Zuko Stupid turtle duck. Why she'd do that?
Ursa Zuko. That's what moms are like. [Puts her arm around Zuko.] If you mess with their babies, [She playfully bites behind Zuko's ear.], they're gonna bite you back! [They laugh.]
A little while later, young Azula, Ty Lee and Mai are playing together in the royal yard by a man-made river and a rather large fountain. While Mai sits and watches under the shade of a tree, Azula does a complicated flip but messes up the ending and grunts. Ty Lee does the same flip, only she completes the ending perfectly and lands on her feet, arms proudly up in the air. Azula pushes her over and laughs.
Young Ty Lee Ugh! Azula!
Zuko and Ursa walk by together nearby. Mai sees them, smiles, turns away and blushes. Azula notices her obvious crush, however, and turns to Ty Lee with a plot in mind.
Young Azula [Whispering in Ty Lee's ear as her friend giggles.] Watch this! [Runs toward her mother and Zuko.] Mom! Can you make Zuko play with us? We need equal teams to play a game!
Young Zuko I am not cart-wheeling.
Young Azula You won't have to. [Rolls her eyes.] Cart-wheeling's not a game, dum-dum.
Young Zuko I don't care. I don't want to play with you!
Young Azula We are brother and sister. It's important for us to spend time together! Don't you think so, Mom? [Shoots her mother an innocent smile.]
Ursa [Places her hands on Zuko's shoulder.] Yes, darling, I think it's a good idea to play with your sister. [Ruffles his hair.] Go on now, just for a little while. [Walks away, with Zuko glaring at his sister.]
Azula reaches for an apple on the tree that Mai was under earlier. Mai, now standing in front of the fountain, is still while Azula places the apple on her head.
Young Azula [Off-camera.] Here's the way it goes. [After placing apple on Mai's head, she runs back several feet.] Now what you do is, try to knock the apple off the other person's head, like this. [Azula shots a small jet of flame to the apple with her firebending and knowingly sets it on fire.]
Zuko is shocked and runs forward toward Mai, who screams as Zuko approaches her. He slams into her and the both of them fall into the fountain, with Zuko lying on top of Mai's stomach. Both seem very shocked and embarrassed. Azula starts laughing at them.
Young Azula [Lays a hand on Ty Lee's shoulder.] See, I told you it would work!
Cuts to shot of Azula and Ty Lee observing Zuko and Mai in the fountain, their backs facing the camera.
Young Ty Lee Aww, they're so cute together!
Zuko gets up angrily and leaves the fountain. Mai stands up as well.
Young Mai You two are such ... ugh!
At that moment, Ursa comes from the house toward the children, a scroll of paper in her hand.
Ursa I was just coming to get you. Uncle Iroh sent us a letter from the war-front. [Zuko stomps past her, leaving small puddles behind him as he goes.] You're soaking wet?
Young Zuko [Raises hands in frustration.] Girls are crazy!
The scene switches to the letter and what is occurring with Iroh. Rubble surround a large gap in the wall of Ba Sing Se with smoke emitting from everywhere. A tent is set up nearby, with a younger General Iroh writing at a desk.
Iroh [Voice-over.] If the city is as magnificent as its wall, Ba Sing Se must be something to behold. I hope you all may see it someday, if we don't burn it to the ground first! [Laughs.]
Switch back to Ursa, Zuko and Azula. The children are laughing at the joke as well. Ursa continues down the letter.
Ursa Until then, enjoy these gifts.
Two servants dressed in white come up, and Zuko runs to meet them. Ursa sits there and continues reading.
Ursa For Zuko, a pearl dagger from the general who surrendered when we broke through the Outer Wall. Note the inscription and the superior craftsmanship.
Young Zuko [Zuko picks up the dagger admiringly, unsheathes it and reads the inscription.] Never give up without a fight.
Ursa And for Azula, a new friend. She wears the latest fashion for Earth Kingdom girls.
As Ursa reads, Azula picks up her present. It is a doll wearing green. She picks it up by the head with disgust, making sounds and sticking out her tongue.
Young Azula If Uncle doesn't make it back from war, then Dad will be next in line for Fire Lord, wouldn't he?
Ursa Azula, we don't speak that way. It would be awful if Uncle Iroh didn't return. And besides, Fire Lord Azulon is a picture of health.
Young Zuko How would you like it if cousin Lu Ten wanted Dad to die?
Young Azula I still think our dad would make a much better Fire Lord than His Royal Tea-Loving Kookiness. [Sets the doll's head on fire.]
Flashback ends. Night has fallen, and Zuko is sleeping on a pile of hay inside the barn. A door opens and Lee comes sneaking in. He takes the Dual Dao swords, but nearly stops when Zuko makes a sound in his sleep. Nevertheless, Lee walks out of the barn with the swords and closes the squeaky door. Zuko's eyes pop open as if he was only feigning sleep the whole time. Cut to a large sunflower garden, where Lee is practicing with the swords. He jumps around and chops off several sunflower heads. He starts stabbing a nearby dead tree trunk repeatedly, his tongue lolling out of his mouth and breathes heavily in effort as Zuko silently approaches behind him.
Zuko You're holding them all wrong.
Lee falls backward in surprise. The shot shows Zuko, arms crossed, standing a little further back in the patch of sunflowers. Lee gets back up, ashamed, and holds out the swords to Zuko. He takes them.
Zuko Keep in mind, these are dual swords. Two halves of a single weapon. Don't think of them as separate, 'cause they're not. They're just two different parts of the same whole.
Zuko swings around the swords carefully, demonstrating his skill. He cuts off some sunflower heads, turns around, and hands the swords back to Lee to try. Lee is a little more careful this time, and a little less awkward with the swords. He turns to Zuko once he is done his mini demonstration. Zuko smiles kindly; Lee smiles back and laughs. They begin walking away from the sunflower patch together, side by side under the full moon.
Lee I think you'd really like my brother Sensu. He used to show me stuff like this all the time.
Fade to the morning at the pig farm. Zuko mounts his ostrich horse again, ready to leave the hospitable family. Gansu, Sela and Lee have all come to see Zuko off.
Sela [Reaches up and offers Zuko a package.] Here. This ought to get you through a few meals.
Zuko is just about to grab the package when he looks up and notices a cloud of dust in the distance. It is Gow and his cronies riding in on ostrich horses. Gansu steps forward.
Gansu What do you think they want?
Zuko Trouble.
Gow and his crew ride toward the pig farm. The animals squeal, clearly irritated at their arrival. The Earth Kingdom soldiers stop right in front of Gansu's family and Zuko.
Gansu What do you want, Gow?
Gow Just thought someone ought to tell you that your son's battalion got captured. [To his fellow soldiers.] You boys hear what the Fire Nation did with their last group of Earth Kingdom prisoners?
Earth Kingdom soldier Dressed 'em up in Fire Nation uniforms and put 'em on the front line unarmed, the way I heard it. [Spits on the ground.] Then they just watched.
Gansu [Angrily.] You watch your mouth!
Gow rides forward a little more toward Gansu when Zuko goes in between them, interfering. Gow and Zuko glare at each other.
Gow Why bother rooting around in the mud with these pigs?
Gow turns around his ostrich horse and all four soldiers ride away, kicking up a cloud of dust behind them. Cut to another one of Zuko's flashbacks in the palace grounds again and to the fountain seen earlier. Zuko and Azula are happily playing together while Ursa sits in front of the fountain when a messenger in white approaches her with a scroll. She opens and reads it before standing up and crying. She turns to young Zuko and Azula.
Ursa Iroh has lost his son. Your cousin Lu Ten did not survive the battle.
Zuko seems shocked and sad at the news, while Azula does not seem to react at all. Cut back to the present, where Zuko is still in front of the family protectively. Sela and Gansu are hugging behind him; Lee is standing close by.
Lee What's going to happen to my brother?
Gansu I'm going to the front. I'm going to find Sensu and bring him back.
Sela and Gansu walk away from Zuko, with Sela crying desperately. Lee runs toward Zuko.
Lee When my dad goes ... will you stay?
Zuko No. I need to move on.
Zuko reaches behind him and takes out a sheathed dagger. He bends down and gives it to Lee, who takes it with a faint smile.
Zuko Here. I want you to have this. Read the inscription.
Lee [Unsheathes the dagger.] Made in Earth Kingdom.
Zuko The other one.
Lee Never give up without a fight.
With that, Zuko rides away from Lee. Lee runs after him for a little bit, but stops shortly afterward. Cut to Zuko's memory again; this time he is in the Royal Palace playing with his dagger from Iroh (the one he just gave to Lee.) He fakes his death, dramatically falling to the floor with a groan. Azula sits cross-legged behind him.
Young Azula You waste all your time playing with knives. You're not even good!
Young Zuko Put an apple on your head and we'll find out how good I am!
Young Azula By the way, Uncle's coming home.
Young Zuko Does that mean ... we won the War?
Young Azula No, it means Uncle's a quitter and a loser.
Young Zuko What are you talking about? Uncle's not a quitter!
Young Azula Oh yes he is! He found out his son died and he just fell apart! A real general would stay and burn Ba Sing Se to the ground, not lose the battle and come home crying.
Young Zuko How do you know what he should do? He's probably just sad his only kid is gone. Forever.
At that moment, Ursa appears in the doorway.
Ursa Your father has requested an audience with Fire Lord Azulon. Best clothes, hurry up!
Zuko runs past Ursa quickly to get ready, while Azula walks rather slowly.
Young Azula [In a bored tone.] Fire Lord Azulon ... can't you just call him 'Grandfather'? He's not exactly the powerful Fire Lord he used to be. Someone will probably end up taking his place soon.
Ursa [Angrily.] Young lady! Not another word!
Azula runs past her mother and leaves.
Ursa What is wrong with that child?
The scene changes to the Fire Lord's chamber, a large room with many columns and a wall of fire in front of the Fire Lord's throne. Ozai, Ursa, Zuko, and Azula are all sitting on the floor some distance back from Fire Lord Azulon, though Ozai's face remains obscured save for his mouth.
Ozai And how was it Great-Grandfather Sozin managed to win the Battle of Han Tui?
Young Zuko [Confusedly.] Great-Grandfather won ... because ...
Young Azula Because even though his army was outnumbered, he cleverly calculated his advantages. The enemy was downwind and there was a drought. Their defenses burned to a crisp in minutes.
Ozai Correct, my dear. Now, would you show Grandfather the new moves you demonstrated to me?
Azula stands up and moves forward. She begins with some circular motions, warms herself up, and firebends. Ozai smiles. Azula does many fairly complicated moves with ease, and Zuko watches her in amazement. She finishes off her routine with a jump and a powerful fire blast toward the throne, before landing on her feet gracefully.
Ozai She's a true prodigy! Just like her grandfather for whom she's named.
Young Azula [Sits back down, and looks at Zuko out of the corner of her eye and whispers.] You'll never catch up ...
Young Zuko [Stands up angrily.] I'd like to demonstrate what I've been learning.
Ozai frowns at this news. Zuko starts off well, doing the same circular motions as Azula earlier. He manages to produce a small fire blast, which does not impress Fire Lord Azulon. When he tries to create another one, he falls. He gets back up, panting heavily, and tries again, only to fall harder. Ursa gets up worriedly and approaches Zuko to comfort him.
Young Zuko I failed.
Ursa No. I loved watching you. That's who you are, Zuko. Someone who keeps fighting even though it's hard.
Azulon Prince Ozai, why are you wasting my time with this pomp? Just tell me what you want. Everyone else, go!
Ursa, Zuko and Azula start walking out of the throne room; however, Azula pulls Zuko off to the side just before they exit. The children hide in the curtains at the back of the room.
Young Zuko What are you -?
Young Azula Shh!
Azula and Zuko stop where the curtains open and peek back out at the throne room, exposing only their faces.
Ozai Father, you must have realized as I have, that with Lu Ten gone, Iroh's bloodline has ended. After his son's death, my brother abandoned the siege at Ba Sing Se, and who knows when he will return home. But I am here, Father, and my children are alive.
Azulon Say what it is you want!
Ozai Father, revoke Iroh's birthright. I am your humble servant, here to serve you and our nation. Use me.
Azulon You dare suggest I betray Iroh? My first born? Directly after the demise of his only beloved son? I think Iroh has suffered enough! But you ... your punishment has scarcely begun!
Azulon's anger causes the flames around him to grow. Zuko, scared, runs away from behind the curtain as Azula watches, but she stays and continues watching with an evil smile on her face.

The scene switches to Zuko laying in a large bed in a large ornate room. He suddenly looks up, alarmed. Azula is standing in his doorway, arms crossed. She looks amused.

Young Azula [Sing-songy.] Dad's going to kill you! [Seriously.] Really, he is.
Young Zuko Ha-ha, Azula. Nice try.
Young Azula Fine, don't believe me. But I heard everything. Grandfather said Dad's punishment should fit his crime. [Imitates Azulon.] "You must know the pain of losing a first-born son. By sacrificing your own!"
Young Zuko Liar!
Young Azula I'm only telling you for your own good. I know! Maybe you could find a nice Earth Kingdom family to adopt you!
Young Zuko Stop it! You're lying! Dad would never do that to me!
Ursa appears in the doorway of Zuko's room.
Ursa Your father would never do what to you? What is going on here?
Young Azula I don't know ...
Ursa It's time for a talk!
Ursa drags Azula away from Zuko's bed, and Azula follows reluctantly. Zuko clasps the blanket tightly in his hands.
Young Zuko [Chanting in a low voice.] Azula always lies. Azula always lies.
Cut to the older Zuko, lying in green grass, holding his traveler's hat to his chest.
Zuko Azula always lies.
An ostrich horse can be heard. Zuko sits up and looks to see Sela riding toward him in a carriage. She is frantic and panicked.
Sela You have to help! It's Lee – the thugs from town came back as soon as Gansu left. When they ordered us to give them food, Lee pulled a knife on them! I don't even know where he got a knife! Then they took him away. [Begins to sob.] They told me if he's old enough to fight, he's old enough to join the army. I know we barely know you, but ...
Zuko [Stands up dramatically.] I'll get your son back.
Back in the Earth Kingdom town, it is sunset. Zuko is riding on his ostrich horse through a small archway that enters into the town. The people around scatter when they see him coming. Lee is tied up to a tower. He seems sad, but when he looks up to see Zuko. He quickly regains hope.
Lee Hey! There he is! I told you he'd come!
The Earth Kingdom soldiers approach him, as does their leader, Gow. Zuko dismounts and takes off his hat, placing it on the ostrich horse. They face each other, battle imminent.
Zuko Let the kid go.
Gow [Laughs loudly, but quickly regains composure.] Who do you think you are, telling us what to do?
Zuko It doesn't matter who I am. But I know who you are. You're not soldiers; you're bullies. Freeloaders, abusing your power. Mostly over women and kids. You don't want Lee in your army – you're sick cowards messing with a family who's already lost one son to the war.
Gow [To a fellow soldier.] Are you gonna let this stranger stand there and insult you like this?
The soldier runs forward, spear in hand. He goes to attack Zuko, who pulls out his sword and punches the other man in the stomach with the hilt without fully unsheathing his sword. Zuko re-sheathes his sword while the man slides backward and runs away, panting heavily in fear.

A second Earth Kingdom soldier groans and runs to attack Zuko with his spear this time. Zuko punches the spear upward to move it out of the way, grabs onto the man's forehead, and shoves him to the ground. The man gets up slowly and flees as well.

A third Earth Kingdom soldier charges toward Zuko with his spear as well. Zuko stands there, waiting, until the spear is close enough and kicks the spear right in the middle, snapping it. The spearhead, along with half of the spear, goes flying in the other direction. The soldier gasps and runs away from Zuko like the two men before him. Lee laughs in satisfaction. A crowd has gathered; Sela's worried face is one of many.

With the last of his cronies gone, Gow steps up to the plate to fight Zuko, dual hammers against dual swords. They draw their weapons, and Gow throws the first blow, a rock he has earthbent, and powerfully thrusts over to Zuko. Zuko deflects it readily with his swords. Gow strikes again, this time with three large rocks instead of one. He sends them over in rapid succession to Zuko, who deflects the first two easily. However, the third rock hits him in the stomach and he stumbles backward. This does not dismay him though, so he charges Gow. An old man in the crowd cheers him on.

Old man Give him a left! A left!
Old woman It's not a fistfight ...
Old man He's got a left sword, don't he?
Gow does the same earthbending trick as earlier; he throws three large rocks at Zuko. Zuko responds the same as before, deflecting the first two but the third one hitting him square in the abdomen. However, this time, he falls over and somersaults backward, and manages to get up, although weakened and still stumbling around. Gow smiles.
Old man Look out!
Lee Behind you!
Gow earthbends again, but with increasingly larger rocks each time. He shoots four rocks at Zuko, who manages to destroy each, one by one. It continues this way, Gow no longer giving little recovery breaks to Zuko. Both are fighting at full force, although Zuko is so busy being defensive of the large flying rocks that he cannot become offensive to Gow. However, finally Gow creates a rockalanche and directs it at Zuko. The crowd gasps collectively. Zuko is sent flying and lands straight on his back, and has a sudden flashback.

In the flashback, Zuko is sleeping in his room at night when a hand gently touches his shoulder. He awakens drowsily to see his mother dressed in a cloak.

Young Zuko ... Mom?
Ursa Zuko, please, my love, listen to me. Everything I've done, I've done to protect you.
She pulls the barely conscious Zuko into a hug.
Ursa Remember this, Zuko. No matter how things may seem to change, never forget who you are.
She turns away from him with a sad smile, pulls her hood up and disappears down the dark hallway; it is the flashback Zuko had at the very beginning of the episode.

The flashback ends as suddenly as it begin, and we cut back to Zuko in the Earth Kingdom village, lying on the ground. Gow is approaching him.

Lee [Whispers worriedly.] Get up ...!
Gow raises his hammers to deliver the final blow when Zuko's eyes open. He reaches for his swords and gets up firebending, creating a hurricane of flame. Gow drops his hammers and is pushed over, and lands on his back. Zuko stands there, seething at Gow. Although unarmed, Gow stands up and raises his fists, determined to finish the fight. Zuko charges him, sending various fire blasts. Gow tries to deflect them with earthbending, but the blasts are too powerful and he is sent backward again. Rocks hit his head as he lands in with a cloud of dust.
Gow Who ... who are you?
Zuko My name is Zuko. Son of Ursa and Fire Lord Ozai. Prince of the Fire Nation, and heir to the throne.
Old man Liar! I heard of you! You're not a prince, you're an outcast! His own father burned and disowned him!
Zuko kneels down toward Gow, who shudders in fear. However, Zuko does nothing to harm him; he only takes Lee's dagger back. Zuko walks toward Lee to give it back, but Sela (who had been untying Lee) intervenes.
Sela Not a step closer.
Zuko [Zuko kneels down in front of Sela, with Lee peeking around his mother's back, offering the knife.] It's yours. You should have it.
Lee No! I hate you!
Zuko has another flashback. It is probably early morning and he is in his bed in his room. He wakes with a start.
Young Zuko Mom? [Zuko leaps out of bed and runs out of his room down the hallway.] Mom? Mom!
Zuko enters a pillared room, where Azula is admiring Zuko's dagger from behind a pillar. She re-sheathes it and steps out to face Zuko.
Young Zuko Where's Mom?
Young Azula No one knows. Oh, and last night, Grandpa passed away.
Young Zuko Not funny, Azula! You're sick. And I want my knife back, now. [Zuko tries to grab it, but misses as Azula quickly moves out of the way, and loudly grunts.]
Young Azula [Tauntingly.] Who's going to make me? Mom?
Zuko dashes forward and grabs his knife from Azula, who was dangling in a tantalizing manner. He runs away to keep looking. Zuko reaches the garden where his father is standing still, staring into a pond.
Young Zuko Where is she?
Ozai does not acknowledge that he has heard Zuko. Zuko bows his head.

The scene switches to the palace from the outside on the stairs, outside at night. Row upon row of people standing on the palace grounds, wearing red hooded cloaks and carrying long, red, rectangular flags. At the top of the steps to the palace, a Fire Sage leader dressed in red, with several other Fire Sages in white behind him. There is an elaborate coffin behind him as well. Zuko, Azula, and Ozai are standing to his right.

Fire Sage Azulon. Fire Lord to our nation for twenty-three years. You were our fearless leader in the Battle of Garsai. Our matchless conqueror of the Hu Xin Provinces. You were father of Iroh, father of Ozai, husband of Ilah, now passed. Grandfather of Lu Ten, now passed. Grandfather of Zuko, and Azula. We lay you to rest.
With those words, two attendants in white firebend Azulon's coffin, which was on a layer of wood so it burns easily. The Fire Sage holds up the fire crown.
Fire Sage As was your dying wish, you are now succeeded by your second son.
He places the fire crown in Ozai's top knot and steps away.
Fire Sage Hail Fire Lord Ozai!
Ozai stands up, and the group of mourners wearing red and holding flags all kneel down at once, as do the Fire Sages behind him and Zuko and Azula. Azula is smiling wickedly at this new development. Zuko looks over at her and the crowd with absolute fear in his eyes. The flashback ends.

Zuko rides out of the Earth Kingdom village on his stolen ostrich horse. The villagers stand in lines on either side of him with various possible weapons in their hands: a hoe, a pitchfork, a rock for throwing. They watch him leave with anger and hatred in their eyes. As Zuko passes Lee, the boy looks the other way. Zuko ignores them, and rides off into the sunset, just as alone as when he arrived.

Fade to credits






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