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Pearl dagger

One side of the dagger bears the inscription "never give up without a fight".

Zuko's pearl-handled dagger,[2] also known as the tenacious dagger,[3] was a present gifted to the young prince by his uncle, Iroh.[1]


When Iroh's army broke through the Outer Wall of Ba Sing Se, the city's defeated general gave Iroh his one-of-a-kind pearl-handled dagger, crafted in Ba Sing Se, as a token of his surrender. Iroh sent the dagger back home to his nephew, Zuko.[1] The Prince considered this dagger as one of his most prized possessions and kept it with him ever since.[2][3]

Iroh and Zuko cut top-knots

Zuko and Iroh cut their top-knots with the dagger after being branded traitors by the Fire Nation.

After narrowly escaping Azula's attempt to arrest them, Zuko and Iroh used this dagger to cut off their top-knots. This signified their renouncement and abandonment of the Fire Nation.[4]

Later, when Zuko was traveling alone through the plains village, he met a young boy, Lee, to whom he gave the pearl dagger upon his departure. The dagger was stolen, however, by Gow, after Lee pulled the knife on him when he and his corrupt soldiers came to the farm, asking for food. After Zuko defeated Gow with his firebending, he reclaimed the dagger and attempted to return it to Lee, but the disappointed boy angrily refused to accept it.[1]


The blade itself is contained in a black sheath decorated with two golden protrusions on both sides where the sheath slides open. The handle is covered in the same black material, and connects to the sheath with a golden circle. When slid open, the blade has an inscription engraved on both sides. One side reads: "Never give up without a fight," while the other says: "Made in Earth Kingdom".[1]


  • The dagger is very similar to a Japanese Tanto knife.
  • The dagger is the only weapon in the Avatar universe to have been shown to be owned or handled by more than three characters.
  • The "Made in Earth Kingdom" phrase on the dagger is a parody of the common phrase "Made in China" on many Chinese-made products.
  • The inscription on this dagger is written in seal script, an ancient form of writing in China.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (May 12, 2006). "Zuko Alone". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Gear: Pearl-handled Dagger.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Descriptions, Avatar: Generations. Navigator Games & Square Enix Mobile London (August 11, 2022). Square Enix.
  4. Ehasz, Aaron, Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim, O'Bryan, John (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 17, 2006). "The Avatar State". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.

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