AvatarSpirit.Net
Sep 20, 2017 04:09 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] 2 3 4   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Should Zuko's mom have stayed dead?  (Read 9660 times)
lex luthor
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 24


« on: Sep 15, 2014 07:22 pm »

Zuko alone was arguably my favorite episode in the entire series, it felt really touching. By the end of it I had the impression that Zuko's mom had sacrificed herself in order for Zuko to live. To be honest I was kind of shocked to find out that she had been alived but kicked out of the nation instead. That to me kind of took out some of the sting of that fantastic episode. What do you guys think?


Thread title edited to be clear ~ Icy
« Last Edit: Sep 17, 2014 10:13 pm by Icy_Ashford » Logged
Mr Grieves
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 10494



« Reply #1 on: Sep 15, 2014 07:27 pm »

Absolutely

Until the finale I didn't even realise we were meant to think otherwise. Because it didn't really matter what happened to her, at least in ATLA itself. The point was that she sacrificed herself for Zuko and she's gone. It doesn't harm Zuko Alone though, simply because that's such a great episode. But Ursa being alive adds nothing to the series, and arguably takes away from it.
Logged
Cerulean
Global Moderator
Never Gonna Give Yue Up
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1223



« Reply #2 on: Sep 15, 2014 11:23 pm »

Since this deals with things that directly happen in the comics, I'm going to move it to the Library.
Logged
Mahaanus
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 1380



« Reply #3 on: Sep 16, 2014 10:51 am »

I'm giving her the benefit of a doubt and waiting to see what her character would bring to the table. So far I don't think she had the impact on Zuko or Azula that the character warranted.
Logged

Recent events have drawn me out of my hole.
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 31429


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #4 on: Sep 16, 2014 05:18 pm »

Absolutely

Until the finale I didn't even realise we were meant to think otherwise. Because it didn't really matter what happened to her, at least in ATLA itself. The point was that she sacrificed herself for Zuko and she's gone. It doesn't harm Zuko Alone though, simply because that's such a great episode. But Ursa being alive adds nothing to the series, and arguably takes away from it.

Makes me wonder if that the Mike and the Bryan only changed their mind after they got asked about her fate a billion times at conventions. So it was worked into DoBS that she was alive, and then the infamous sequel hook was stuck into the finale.

I would feel a lot better about things if it was always just about misguided fanservice.
Logged

luvavatar
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 7803


« Reply #5 on: Sep 17, 2014 01:16 am »

I don't think her being alive takes away from the series, it's just what they did with her greatly diminished my (and several others) view on her. I completely understand the being banished part, but choosing to forget her children because it was too painful? I don't think I can get over that, she's nowhere near as bad as several other parents, but she seemed to be dragged down several spots. Plus there was never implication in Zuko Alone that she was a passive, extremely meek character who was basically a prisoner. What the series showed seems to contrast greatly with the comics, heck where were those happy times with family that Zuko remembered? He's possibly the least likely person to look at the past with rose colored glasses.
Logged
colle
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 730


« Reply #6 on: Sep 17, 2014 12:57 pm »

I always fought it was possible(a chance) that Ursa was still alive going back to "Zuko Alone," because the answer of what happened after was not made clear enough to me.

I think Ursa being alive does have some potential; her dealing with the guilt of feeling like she abandoned Zuko and Azula, Azula's problems, and the fact that her oldest children have seeming grown up overnight. When Ursa last saw Zuko and Azula, I believe Zuko was ten and Azula nine. In the comics Zuko is an adult or close to an adult(eighteen or close to eighteen by now).
« Last Edit: Sep 17, 2014 01:03 pm by colle » Logged
Saturius
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 142



« Reply #7 on: Sep 17, 2014 05:25 pm »

Yes, she should have stayed dead. I read the Search and the whole thing was just too silly and WAAYYYY to convulted.  I think the writers made it unnecessarily complicated.  Sometimes the simple explanation just works best, and in regards to Ursa, her being dead worked best for me.  If her fate wasn't important enough to reveal in the show, they probably just shouldn't have bothered imo.
Logged
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 31429


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #8 on: Sep 17, 2014 05:27 pm »

But the fans demanded! Grin
Logged

luvavatar
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 7803


« Reply #9 on: Sep 17, 2014 06:02 pm »

They could've brought her back in A:TLA and have her play a fairly big role in the final season. It would've been interesting if she were a member of the Order of the White Lotus and trying to help them find ways to bring down her ex-husband. It may sound a little farfetched, but at least it would've been better than having her practically be kidnapped and being a meek, passive-aggressive person who could barely stand up for herself.
Logged
zoro07
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 85


« Reply #10 on: Sep 17, 2014 08:32 pm »

Where are people getting the impression that Ursa was portrayed as passive or meek?

If anything she was the opposite, in fact she was tomboyish in her childhood. The thing is, she was put into an impossible situation where she pretty much HAD to do what Ozai wished, otherwise she'd be risking the lives of her family and friends (not to mention Ikem). She wasn't passive at all, rather a victim of her situation.
Logged
Fire Rose
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 3764


« Reply #11 on: Sep 17, 2014 09:13 pm »

^She is in a way, but that's not why people are disliking her.

For years people have viewed Ursa as this strong woman who would do anything to protect her son. She was placed on a pedestal as the 'greatest mom' or something of that equivalent until 'The Search' came out. The second Ursa was shown to be flawed, to be human, that's when she was knocked off the pedestal and has become a very debatable character because of her actions. Yes, she was a bad mom for giving up on her children. Yes, what she did in that letter was stupid and selfish. Yes, she didn't love Azula enough and is the sole reason why Zuko's life was made even worse. But in the end......I can't fully hate her because like you said, she was in a terrible situation and the years of abuse have made her the she is. Ursa is not a bad person. Bad mom, but not a bad person.

Back on topic, I think they shouldn't have had that scene with Zuko in the finale because what was the point in that when there's only 2 minutes left? I know M&B had a scene where he does find his mother but had to cut it out due to time constraints. Why they didn't cut that scene out entirely I'll never know. They should've left Ursa's fate ambiguous.
Logged
Icy_Ashford
ASN Management
Never Gonna Give Yue Up
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12568


Av & Sig by Maivry


« Reply #12 on: Sep 17, 2014 10:15 pm »

I know M&B had a scene where he does find his mother but had to cut it out due to time constraints. Why they didn't cut that scene out entirely I'll never know. They should've left Ursa's fate ambiguous.
They didn't cut her out due to time constraints. Mike or Bryan (one of them, I believe it's in the ATLA artbook) asked it to be removed at the last minute. I remembered a little interview or panel years ago where Mike or Bryan said "Blame [my other co-creator] for removing the Ursa scene."
Logged



I keep Zuko's dagger & EK coat, Iroh's wisdom, Lu Ten's grave offerings | Mako's scarf, Naga, General Iroh's army outfit, Korra's new formal outfit
luvavatar
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 7803


« Reply #13 on: Sep 17, 2014 10:20 pm »

My question then is why did they have to make her become a victim for all of those years and make terrible choices? It just made her come off as naïve and Ozai even more one dimensional than he already was. Also if Azulon had such an interest in making this union happen because of some "prophecy", then why did he show such disinterest with this family in Zuko Alone, it seems like a slight retcon. I'll admit that it's possible I put her up on a pedestal, but at the same time it was also disheartening to see her become so flawed. Plus I truly hated that they made it be Ozai who killed Azulon, she may have come up with the plan and made the poison, but it would've been better if it was her that delivered it to him. At least she would've had some slight revenge on this horrid man.

Also it was Michael who wanted the scene removed.
Logged
Esperaholon
On Probation
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 613


« Reply #14 on: Sep 17, 2014 11:12 pm »

I agree with Fire Rose that people have put her on a pedestal, but I honestly don't care whether she is alive or not. I mean I never saw her as being this super awesome person. Heck I honestly saw Ursa as very much like what she came off in the comics. She just never seemed that assertive to me. Really the worst thing about the comics is that it cut off some great avenues of thought.

I mean the idea that Ozai might have been a different person when she married him... or the idea that they kind of married for love. Those memories Zuko has of a happy family. The idea that Azula was like seriously mistaken about her mother loving her. Ursa having made a life for herself all while dealing with the paranoia of being the missing Fire Lady. Ursa hearing all the rumors about her children and building this image up that is completely incorrect. All of that is just gone now. Oh well.
Logged
Maivry
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 2190



« Reply #15 on: Sep 18, 2014 12:30 am »

I was never under the impression that she had died -- albeit I got into the show after it was revealed that she was merely banished, so it's possible I'm just forgetting my first impression -- but my simple answer is that I would rather she not be dead. To me the story of a woman who killed her father-in-law to protect her son at the cost of her own banishment and relinquishing everything she knew into the hands of her less than admirable husband is more interesting -- or at least unique -- than the story of a woman who merely sacrificed herself for her son. Especially since Katara's backstory had a suitably straightforward version of that tale already.

Not to say I wouldn't prefer that to the alternative. I found her interesting but I never needed to get a proper explanation of what happened to her. Or what her motivation was, for that matter.

My question then is why did they have to make her become a victim for all of those years and make terrible choices? It just made her come off as naïve and Ozai even more one dimensional than he already was.

Yes, yes, yes. I guess the answer to this question is simple: drama! Plot twists! It's plausible that she's a victim from the show, simply because she married the big bad and suffered as a result -- I mean, she was banished and separated from her children, at least one of which she definitely seemed to love. But what the Search did was take a perfectly normal girl who had nothing to do with that life -- or really, anyone's life from the show -- and make her appear to be the Ursa we saw on screen.

The acting thing is a plausible connection between her two lives. It provides an origin for the Blue Spirit. It seems Zuko must have seen a rendition of Love Amongst the Dragons in order for him to consider it ruined by the Ember Island Players over and over again. But besides making these little connections to the show, Ursa's origin as an actor provides an easy way out for the writer: anything that seems out of character in reference to the show is because now we "know" that she was acting in the show.

Which might be nice if the story was all about seeing Ursa return to her old life. Well... how do I say this? No denying that we weren't primed for that particular story in the first five pages of the Search, but we never asked for it. We wanted Zuko to find his mother. Y'know, the one we saw in the show. The one he remembered. Instead we find the story of a girl who was an actress in love with her actor friend who returned to her normal life after spending a portion of her life not being her true self because she was in a dreadful situation. But that dreadful situation is the only place where our interests and the real characters we're following overlap with her story.

It's like a bait and switch. Zuko didn't find Ursa as we knew her. We got something completely different and then were given a bunch of cues so that had to swallow that it could be the same person.

Mostly as an experiment, let's try this story in reverse. Let's suppose that the thing that we knew from "canon" was told from the young lovers' perspective. We see everything about their tragic love story and how she was wrested away. We get enough of a window into Ursa's life away from the life she wanted and see the two true lovers reunited and starting over.

But... how do you connect that with the new burning question for the fans: what happened to her family? What would you want from such a story if you had that premise and knew nothing of the fates of her children, except perhaps that they were involved in a conflict that overthrew her nasty ex-husband? Is it really a natural sequel to such a love story to have her royal children come find her? In particular, her son who was someone she loved enough -- I think -- to do nasty things on behalf of, but who she has since forsaken all memories of? Even pretending that the complementary story of her children (of which one was a conflicted traitor of his country/savior of the world and the other was the ambitious and eventually crazy younger sister who opposed him alongside her father...) was streamlined to be as relevant as possible to the hypothetical "canon" the readers knew doesn't mask how bizarre it'd be to pair these two stories together. And while I'm not saying that any better stories would seamlessly flow in opposite directions like this, perhaps it's a helpful way to get out of our heads and reevaluate the story we have been given in a new light.

The Search tells two stories: how Zuko sort of collaborated with his crazed sister to reunite with his mother, and who Ursa Really Was. But who Ursa Really Was didn't want to maintain any connection to the characters who brought us here in the first place. I think Zuko's mom should have stayed someone whose character, at least, would maintain her connection to her children, even if circumstances prevented her from doing that.
Logged

ArtFicsGraphics
Mr Grieves
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 10494



« Reply #16 on: Sep 18, 2014 12:34 am »

What I most liked about her depiction in Zuko Alone was that it left stuff to the imagination. I mean most people tended to view her as a good person who couldnt have married the Ozai we know, but that wasnt really the case in that episode. We just know that she genuinely cared for Zuko, but the rest is up to our interpreration.

I always liked the idea of her being a caring mother to Zuko but also being a staunch Fire Nation supporter who at least somewhat agreed with her husband's actions. As soon as I saw that they were going down the road of her being torn away from a true love to marry Ozai I was like 'im out'. Never read the comic though.
Logged
luvavatar
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 7803


« Reply #17 on: Sep 18, 2014 08:33 am »

I liked it better when we believed she was a noblewoman who had always known she was marrying Ozai and that the beginning of their marriage was a pleasant one. But then he ended up wanting more out of life and slowly turned into the monster we know now.
Logged
Chinoiserie
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 132


« Reply #18 on: Sep 18, 2014 10:11 am »

Ursa says herself in Zuko Alone that protecting children is what mothers do (when speaking about the turtleducks). That is what Kya did as well. Apart from Ursa having no issue with Fire Nation war they could be the same character. I never saw her having any personality until the Search (I know there are people who feel otherwise, this is just me) so I enjoyed more background for her. And I truly loved the Search as a whole anyway, not perfect perhaps but if you where not too attached with your perception of Ursa I do not know really what there is to complain about.

I do not believe it would have been a good choice to put her story to the show and what we saw in Zuko Alone could have been enough, but I feel the way it was had led it was great.

But I red the Search only a few weeks after I saw the show (this summer) so I did not have the same kind of expectations some had. Perhaps that it why I feel differently.
Logged
Loopy
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 31429


I'm Loooooooopy!


« Reply #19 on: Sep 18, 2014 08:57 pm »

but if you where not too attached with your perception of Ursa I do not know really what there is to complain about.

How about Ursa being a boring cliche without comparing her to any other possible versions of her, the whole "magic poison" thing being a really trite way to grease the wheels of Fire Nation politics, and Zuko having the most bizarre and inconsistent subplot in the history of storytelling?

Or the tin-eared dialogue? Am I allowed to complain about that?
Logged

Esperaholon
On Probation
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 613


« Reply #20 on: Sep 19, 2014 01:00 am »

Well they did something new in that unlike other mothers in that position Ursa just straight up abandoned her kids - like she didn't just run away, she literally forgot all about them, and then made it practically impossible for them to find her (because she had the very best magic facial surgery).

Generally speaking most people don't go the route of having their character just be really, completely selfish like that. In general you get the Good Mom and the Bad Dad - but Ursa just totally sucked at being a mom to Zuko and Azula.

Sure use your oldest child as a pawn in a passive-aggressive game you know good and well you can't win.

Sure abandon your youngest to your Evil husband's influence, because now that you've screwed over your oldest you have to double-down.

Sure poison your apparently senile father-in-law (instead of poisoning your husband).

Yes you should run away without your kids, but make sure to take time and let your son know that you love him and he should never forget himself... Your daughter doesn't need to be conscious to know you perhaps intend the same for her.

Now be sure and go immediately to the Mother of Faces and make so that those last couple of years never happened. Then go start your perfect family with the man you've always loved.

I'm sure your other kids are perfectly fine rather than complete headcases. I mean it's not like one of them is talking to imaginary versions of you while the other is begging his friends to murder him if he declares himself Phoenix King Jr. Nah, they're totally fine.
Logged
Maivry
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 2190



« Reply #21 on: Sep 19, 2014 01:19 am »

Put that way, it shouldn't take a preconception about Ursa to find such a character difficult to like.
Logged

ArtFicsGraphics
Bopal92
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 9


« Reply #22 on: Nov 10, 2014 09:45 am »

Am i the only person who doesn't hate Ursa? Sure her decisions weren't good but from her perspective I don't blame her. I'm too busy hating the guy who treated his son like crap just to spite her. Where's Ozai's hate parade? Why aren't people slamming him for wanting to abandon his newborn for not being a fire bender and turning his daughter into a psychopathic living weapon?
Logged
Fieryfurnace
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 143


Just passin' through


« Reply #23 on: Nov 10, 2014 11:09 am »

Am i the only person who doesn't hate Ursa? Sure her decisions weren't good but from her perspective I don't blame her. I'm too busy hating the guy who treated his son like crap just to spite her. Where's Ozai's hate parade? Why aren't people slamming him for wanting to abandon his newborn for not being a fire bender and turning his daughter into a psychopathic living weapon?

Ozai being a bad dude is the status quo. He's supposed to be terrible, there's not much to his character beyond being terrible, so why waste energy bashing him? He's fulfilling his role in the story as a terrible father well, isn't he? Ursa, on the other hand, is character we are supposed to like and respect. Her questionable decisions make it hard for people to think she is a good mum, which is supposed to be the pillar of her character. She is  'Zuko's mum' afterall. If the reader doesn't think she's a good mum to her kids then there goes the fandom's image of Ursa. Hence the hate. I think that's why people criticise the handing of her character anyway.
« Last Edit: Nov 10, 2014 11:16 am by Fieryfurnace » Logged
Goodfella
Never Gonna Give Yue Up

Offline Offline

Posts: 834


On the Isle of Sanity


« Reply #24 on: Nov 10, 2014 02:36 pm »

Am i the only person who doesn't hate Ursa? Sure her decisions weren't good but from her perspective I don't blame her. I'm too busy hating the guy who treated his son like crap just to spite her. Where's Ozai's hate parade? Why aren't people slamming him for wanting to abandon his newborn for not being a fire bender and turning his daughter into a psychopathic living weapon?

I can't quite hate her either. I mean, it might be because I came into the series later so I didn't have years and years of OMG, URSA'S THE BEST MOM EVER built up before the Search came.

While I do think criticizing the execution of Ursa is a fair point, the concept of her being an abuse survivor isn't a horrible one. Based on context, Ursa didn't have it easy and her situation/feelings are very real to what many real life survivors feel.

As for Ozai, I've always seen him as a sociopath anyway so him going straight onto psycho isn't a jump. Someone who burns off half his son's face and wants to burn an entire continent didn't have much grey to begin with. Like Ursa, fans had years to build grey into his character. The Search - for better or worse - showed he was always an ass, hence the clash/critique I think.

EDIT:

Another thing I think worth keeping in mind with Ursa's portrayal in the series is, the idea of unreliable narrator. To Zuko, the strong, kind mom WAS what he saw. It's probably STILL how he frames her to some degree despite what he knows. Likewise, Azula had a different take on her and Ozai had his own take on her. Which just piles up the contractions between reality even more.
« Last Edit: Nov 10, 2014 02:41 pm by Goodfella » Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

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