AvatarSpirit.Net
Dec 16, 2017 03:26 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
ASN Mainsite: AvatarSpirit.net
 
   Home   Help Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: During which point of the series did General Iroh become good?  (Read 6441 times)
Jerrellace
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 7



« on: Feb 18, 2013 11:48 pm »

In the past he was a Fire Nation general trying to capture Ba Sing Se. He even said "Ba Sing Se is a magnificent city. I hope you all get to see it some day. If we don't burn it to the ground first."  At what point in the series do you think that General Iroh decided to come to the good side, and please leave evidence to back up your theory. Or do you think that it was possible that he was good before the series even started?


And another questions? When did he join the White Lotus. He had to have been a member for quite a while since he was a " Grand Lotus".
« Last Edit: Feb 19, 2013 11:10 pm by Jerrellace » Logged
Blanka
Banned Member
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 956


« Reply #1 on: Feb 19, 2013 12:32 am »

Well, I think he always teetered the line between it. He always appreciated fellowship and philosophy, and I don't think he meant any personal towards members of the other nations, he was just very effective at his job. It honestly wouldn't shock me if he was considering ending the war once he became Fire Lord, but he would not disobey his own father. I think the thing that ultimately humbled him though was his son's death.

Crackpot theory, but I believe that Iroh was an overly demanding father who more or less ignored his son's feelings and tried to get him prepared for his eventual position of Fire Lord. Lu Ten couldn't handle it and completely disappointed his father in many ways, so Iroh grew more cold and distant as the war raged on (although nowhere near in the ballpark of Ozai and his children). Lu Ten during the Siege of Ba Sing Se kills himself. Iroh then blames himself and knows he should have been less demanding and more kind and understanding towards his son and his failures. Iroh sees Ozai is even worse towards his son, and resolves that Zuko is his shot at redemption, and Zuko is also strikingly similar towards his own son. Honestly if Iroh didn't go with Zuko and be a constant form of support for his nephew, Zuko may very well have eventually killed himself. Zuko desperately needed Iroh's help by his side, and Iroh made all the difference and got his redemption in the end.
« Last Edit: Feb 19, 2013 12:38 am by Blanka » Logged
Rory
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 55


I don't give a Toph.


« Reply #2 on: Feb 19, 2013 07:40 pm »

This is where the line between good/bad is blurred. Iroh was always a 'good' character as long as we saw him, but fighting for an unjust cause. He likely knew that he himself could not end the war, and there wasn't exactly another side to switch to. I always got the impression he knew that Zuko would make the right choice, and that he had it in him to change the world. He was really just doing what he could to guide Zuko in the right direction. He would stand by his side in his exile and go through his choices with him, whether he saw that as right or wrong, so he could help him learn from his mistakes, and attain his destiny. He was likely biding his time and waiting for a chance to act on the side of good, rather than commit treason and just throw it all away.

Iroh was never really evil, I think even in the battles he fought in his prime he likely thought he was doing the right thing.
Logged

Final Frontier
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 62


Your Avatar is not amused.


« Reply #3 on: Feb 19, 2013 08:18 pm »

I would say that, by the time Avatar began, Iroh was decidedly neutral. He probably never believed that Zuko was going to find the Avatar and joined him out of pity. Plus it allowed him to escape the reality of the world at the time: Ozai was going to take over the remaining nations upon the arrival of Sozin's Comet. I don't think Iroh was looking forward to that day; heck, he might have even thought the journey was his last chance to see the world for what it was. As a member of The Order of the White Lotus, it's possible that he also had some loose ends to tie up.

The question of when Iroh started to resent the Fire Nation's actions probably goes back to his encounter with the last dragons. He could have been experiencing the same frustrating situation Zuko did, and sought out the Sun Warriors to help him. This point is supported by Iroh's lie that he had killed Ran and Shaw. There's really no way to know for sure, so it actually adds a certain mystery to his character that fans need to solve for themselves.
Logged

Keeper of Chey's "Hey, where'd everybody go? ...very funny, guys!"
shorewall
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 2530


Yeah, baby!


« Reply #4 on: Feb 21, 2013 01:08 am »

I agree that Iroh was pretty neutral.  He cared about Zuko and the people he met and befriended, but he didn't have a hero complex and a great desire to save the world.  (Until the end.)  The world could just go on for all he cared.  However, he did seem to learn and care about spiritual matters, like the dragons and the moon spirit and Aang, the Avatar.
Logged

"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can tough the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginning-less time, darkness thrives in the void but always yields to purifying light."
Lavanya Six
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 3056



« Reply #5 on: Feb 21, 2013 01:13 pm »

In the past he was a Fire Nation general trying to capture Ba Sing Se. He even said "Ba Sing Se is a magnificent city. I hope you all get to see it some day. If we don't burn it to the ground first."  At what point in the series do you think that General Iroh decided to come to the good side, and please leave evidence to back up your theory. Or do you think that it was possible that he was good before the series even started?

I'm not sure I'd ever classify Iroh as "good."

If you'll pardon the D&D reference, I'd consider him closer to True Neutral. In Seasons 1 and 2, his moral compass is set to doing right by Zuko. Once his nephew cuts him loose for daddy dearest, Iroh sets to work furthering his own private goals... and in a way, his actions with the White Lotus are vaguely spiteful toward Zuko (and Azula's temptation of him). Iroh doesn't attempt to seek out the Avatar and train him, or to launch a rebellion against Ozai, or any other option. No, he sets himself on a collusion course with Ba Sing Se, the city that his beloved nephew conquered to gain his father's love in spite of Iroh's protests. And after the war's over, Iroh retires to his tea shop and never interferes anywhere. It's hard to believe that a social butterfly like him, operating in the Upper Ring, would not know about the Harmony Restoration Crisis, or about the Earth King personally leading a battalion to Yu Dao. It's far more likely that Iroh knew but simply did nothing.

So I don't think Iroh is really "good". He sometimes does things that align with our heroes' goals, or with our villain's goals, but that stuff is always in service to his enduring desire for a content life.
Logged
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 31495


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #6 on: Feb 21, 2013 07:16 pm »

What's "good," anyway? If we define it as actively working against the Fire Nation's direct best interests, I think it began when he moved to Ba Sing Se and decided to oppose Azula's takeover. Before that, my thought is that he didn't wish to break his old military/loyalty oaths, and so was content with the mere crime of negligence. By Ba Sing Se, he actively committed treason. Of course, you could argue that he did so at the North Pole, but he made the case that Zhao's actions were ultimately harmful to the Fire Nation. He resisted arrest for those actions, but merely fled an unjust imprisonment.

Before that? Abandoning the siege was evidently no crime, just a bad decision, since he was allowed to live in the palace and attend war meetings. Anything involving the dragons was nothing in opposition to the dragons. Even not giving Zuko help capturing the Avatar was negligence, since he otherwise didn't do anything to hinder Zuko directly during any combat missions.

Really, the transition was the North Pole to Ba Sing, and the Fire Nation really betrayed Iroh first.

Perhaps that is what he was waiting for, if he was even waiting.
Logged

Rory
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 55


I don't give a Toph.


« Reply #7 on: Feb 22, 2013 09:15 am »

I assumed we were just talking about "good" in the general sense of 'is he a good person', as opposed to his brother, who's... not so "good".
Perhaps that is what he was waiting for, if he was even waiting.

I do get the feeling Iroh was waiting, his links to the White Lotus gave me the impression he had been waiting to seize some kind of opportunity to restore balance to the world, which he had been able to get out there and really see for what it is, and what the Fire Nation has done to it. If we're talking about politics, I'd say Iroh is 'True Neutral', but as a character, or hell, a person, I'd say good.
Logged

Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 31495


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #8 on: Feb 22, 2013 07:09 pm »

Well, yeah, but what is a "good person?" You could make an argument that the gAang wasn't good people, they just fought people who were mostly worse than them. I mean, Sokka was a misanthrope with no honor, Aang was a liar and ultimately pretty selfish, Katara was self-righteous and also lacked honor, and Toph was basically a hedonist. But they opposed the Fire Nation and tried to minimize casualties, so yay good people? How is that different from an Iroh who fought a war as honorably as possible to bring civilization to barbarian lands, except Iroh was with the Fire Nation?
Logged

sweetkorra17
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 71


Airbender or dizzy symbol?


« Reply #9 on: Feb 25, 2013 10:25 pm »

in my opinion, Iroh became a good person when he lost his son, Lu Ten

( it was a very sad moment )
Logged

Keeper of Meelo's "Prison Break" , Equalist's electrical gloves , and Korra's avatar state backsound
gwiddle
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 6


A man is a weaponee just as a weapon is a manee.


« Reply #10 on: Jan 18, 2016 04:09 pm »

I hope you don't mind me posting on this older topic, but Iroh is my favorite character and I feel we really did not reach a valid conclusion. I'd like to revisit this topic to discuss further, please understand @mods.

Being part of the White Lotus is a huge importance in determining Iroh's position. Near the end of the series, when the White Lotus gathered in tents to take on the Fire Nation, it was specifically said that the duty of the White Lotus was to recognize that all the nations are really one. They even say that the White Lotus is "a group that transcends the divisions of the four nations." So when we're talking about when Iroh turned against the Fire Nation, I'd say he never turned against them in the first place. The White Lotus was working primarily for peace and unity among the nations.

If I may quote what Jeong Jeong said: "But about a month ago, a call went out that we were needed for something important. "

If you remember in Season 2, there was the episode when Iroh went into the White Lotus meeting, and Zuko couldn't enter the room. This must have been what Jeong Jeong was talking about. Who exactly was in this room at the time was interesting, but Iroh knew trouble was coming and knew action would have to be taken against the Fire Nation, and not directed against the nation, but directed toward world peace. This means Iroh's "transition" - or full-out need to defeat the Fire Nation - definitely came prior to his capture at Ba Sing Se. So I think that is a start.

We do know that Iroh definitely, in the past, was totally for the Fire Nation in the war. I think it's definitely true that there was a point in time where Iroh did have a drastic change in his life. He definitely was not a member of the White Lotus when laying siege on Ba Sing Se. It goes totally against world peace. It was some time after. Perhaps Iroh started the White Lotus society? After all, he seems to be more obsessed with Pai Sho than anyone else. Iroh is surely a mysterious character. He's probably one of the most overlooked in the series.
Logged

Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 31495


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #11 on: Jan 18, 2016 04:37 pm »

I don't think Iroh's summons went out at that desert outpost. Each Book takes place in a different season, and Book Earth is said to take place in Spring and Book Fire in Summer. So, since Sozin's Comet comes at the end of Summer, the "a month ago" is probably at the Summer Solstice, when Iroh also revealed his Roku heritage to Zuko.
Logged

gwiddle
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 6


A man is a weaponee just as a weapon is a manee.


« Reply #12 on: Jan 18, 2016 07:03 pm »

How would Iroh summon them from prison?
Logged

shorewall
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 2530


Yeah, baby!


« Reply #13 on: Jan 18, 2016 11:00 pm »

How would Iroh summon them from prison?

Very Carefully.  Smiley
Logged

"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can tough the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginning-less time, darkness thrives in the void but always yields to purifying light."
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 31495


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #14 on: Jan 19, 2016 06:50 pm »

Ah, you beat me to it. Cheesy

Of course, the show didn't tell us exactly how Iroh arranged for Zuko to get that note directing him to look into his ancestry, but I think it's a fairly safe assumption to say that Iroh had friends who were meeting with him in prison and executing his orders. Putting some letters into the mail seems easier than getting a secret note into the Fire Palace.
Logged

ThePeacefulGuru
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 559



« Reply #15 on: Jan 23, 2016 12:10 am »

I think he was "good" before the events of the series, I think it was his son's death that changed him.
Logged

"The heart of the fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise man is in his heart" - Ben Franklin
Weege the Airbender
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 844


Airbender for Life


« Reply #16 on: Feb 12, 2016 11:41 am »

I think he was "good" before the events of the series, I think it was his son's death that changed him.

^This. I think he was already good at the beginning of the series, he was just too passive to help in any meaningful way. At least, that's what I got out of it.
Logged


"I told you I would destroy you."
"With you out of the way, I will be the one true Avatar."
"Your name will echo throughout history: Korra, the last Avatar."
ThePeacefulGuru
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 559



« Reply #17 on: Feb 14, 2016 02:52 pm »

I'm not sure I would even call it passive... more like too loyal to Zuko. Notice that Iroh was never the aggressor toward Team Avatar. It was more like when Zuko attacked them, Iroh would help if asked and in the least aggressive way possible. He knew what Zuko was doing back then wasn't right and knew that there was hope Zuko would realize it too. He was just biding his time, subtly trying to guide his Nephew in the right direction until he could see the right for himself.
Logged

"The heart of the fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of the wise man is in his heart" - Ben Franklin
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines LLC
MySQL | PHP | XHTML | CSS