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Author Topic: Should Zuko's mom have stayed dead?  (Read 9265 times)
Fieryfurnace
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« Reply #25 on: Nov 10, 2014 03:27 pm »


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.

There are some definite contradictions between her portrayal in the series and her portrayal in the comics. Differences that I don't think can be explained away by 'unreliable narrator.' This difference between her portrayal in the show and in the comics pertains to an event that Zuko was never awake to witness, so this is a case of the actual events of her leaving being changed in the comic.

One difference that i haven't seen anyone talk about is the scene where Ursa wakes Zuko up and she gives him the 'never forget who you are' advice. This difference always bugs me, because i'm not sure which series of events is canon.

In the series, Ursa shakes Zuko's shoulder and deliberately wakes him up to give him the advice. One can draw the conclusion that she had every intention of giving it to him when she entered the room.

In the comics, Ursa kisses Zuko on the cheek then turns away to leave without a word, the same way she left Azula. Zuko, unlike Azula, wakes up upon being kissed and sees his mum with her back turned ready to leave. One can make the conclusion that Ursa never intended to talk to him before she left, or give him any advice at all. She was going to leave without saying a word to Zuko, and only turned around because she accidentally woke him up. She was actually planning on saying NO FINAL WORDS to her son, the same way she left Azula.

This discrepancy i think highlights the difference between Show Ursa and Comic Ursa. Show Ursa seems to just overall be more competent than Comic Ursa to me. What would Zuko have thought of his mum if he never had any closure from her before she left? Did Comic Ursa even consider the effects of never parting on good terms with her kids, which is why she never thought to actually wake them up and talk to them? Show Ursa deliberately tried to guide Zuko on the right path during her final moments, but Comic Ursa's advice was a result of an...accident? Which series of events is even the real one? Huh
« Last Edit: Nov 10, 2014 03:38 pm by Fieryfurnace » Logged
Solid Sun
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« Reply #26 on: Nov 10, 2014 03:29 pm »

I was surprised to see the Ursa hate on this board.
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Fieryfurnace
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« Reply #27 on: Nov 10, 2014 03:34 pm »

I was surprised to see the Ursa hate on this board.

Strangely enough, i don't hate Ursa. In fact, i'd say I actually like her. But i like her portrayal in the show more.
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Solid Sun
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« Reply #28 on: Nov 10, 2014 04:21 pm »

Me too.
I came in ASN right when Ursa's story was discovered, so everyone was debating about it.
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Antiyonder
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« Reply #29 on: Nov 10, 2014 05:02 pm »

As far as the inclusion of a possible "Search for Ursa" hook went, I don't think it was problematic to leave one in Sozin's Comet.  The problem is that the scene in question (Zuko asking about her location, plus the music just before the episode cuts to the tea shop) was presented in such a dramatic fashion which begged a resolution.  The confirmation that we were suppose to see the reunion during the ending even compliments said scene.

Now when the decision came to omit the reunion (whether it was to leave the door open for a tv movie or to not tie up every loose end for feelings of realism), an alternative could have been implemented in the form of Zuko talking to the Gaang about how his mom might still be alive and that he hopes to find her soon or someday.

Doing so that way would still generate interest for a future story while not making it feel like an essential story that has to be told.
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colle
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« Reply #30 on: Nov 10, 2014 05:32 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 don't hate Ursa either; I understand that good guys or heroes have flaws though I don't like to dwell on it too much. I prefer to save my hate(for lack of a better word) for the villains.
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fraroc
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« Reply #31 on: Nov 12, 2014 03:55 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 feel you. I saw a comment on youtube that was so unbelievably stupid it's not even funny. Saying that Ursa is worse than Ozai because of her choice to forget about her children. Oh, so choosing to forget about your children to not have to deal with that sort of emotional trauma is worse than Ozai physically and emotionally abusing Zuko for the sole purpose of saying f*** you to his wife?
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Esperaholon
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« Reply #32 on: Nov 20, 2014 11:53 am »

I don't hate her - but I'm also not going to give her a golden pass just because she's a chick. Especially because there aren't a lot of moms - living, breathing moms - acting as agents of change and action on the show. Add on that bonding over losing their moms is part of what got Katara and Zuko to start acting as friends versus a violent murder waiting to happen.... I mean wow.

Because Katara's mom Kya died to protect her children, but Zuko's mom just straight up played games with their lives and then abandoned them to her psycho husband and then literally got magic facial reconstruction before making sure to forget they ever existed...

How does that not make her a horrible parent? Like seriously does having ovaries just give you leave to do lots of horrible things because well "hormones"? I mean wow - also Zuko got physically and emotionally abused because his mom decided to use him as a passive aggressive ploy... so yeah... the fact she also decided to pretend he didn't exist with magic is... yeah she is definitely fighting Ozai for the position of worst Fire Parent EVAH.
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Bopal92
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« Reply #33 on: Nov 20, 2014 06:59 pm »


Because Katara's mom Kya died to protect her children, but Zuko's mom just straight up played games with their lives and then abandoned them to her psycho husband and then literally got magic facial reconstruction before making sure to forget they ever existed...

1. How was she playing games with their lives? If she was trying to mess with anyone it was Ozai. And unlike Ozai she actually cares about both Zuko and Azula
2. Ozai made her leave and she wanted to take both kids but Ozai wouldn't have it. Let's remember that this happen because she wanted to save Zuko's life
3. Sure, forgetting her children was bad but for her the bad memories of Ozai outweighed the good memories of her children and you think she was happy about forgetting Zuko and Azula? NO, she felt bad before the memory wipe and after when she got the memories back. If it were Ozai I wouldn't be surprise if he actually didnt cared about losing memories of his kids.

Don't make this about gender. The fact is despite Ursa's mistakes, Ozai is still the bad guy or villain if you want to leave out gender. Explain to me how anything Ursa did is worse than:

Abandoning his newborn child because of suspicions of not being a fire bender
Telling his son that he was lucky to be born
Deciding to treat his son like crap for no reason but to spite his wife
Raising his daughter to be an antisocial psychopath weapon. (At least Ursa tried to raise her right)
Willingly kill his son to move up the throne

And remember these were all Ozai's decisions so don't even try to blame Ursa for Ozai's actions
 
« Last Edit: Nov 29, 2014 10:05 am by Bopal92 » Logged
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« Reply #34 on: Nov 23, 2014 11:39 pm »

So she felt bad, she still went through with it. Also she knew how horrible Ozai was, why the heck would she risk Zuko's life by stating that Ikem was his father? She didn't know that Ozai had her watched before she "did the deed" with him, she just did it to confirm he was stealing her letters. That was extremely foolish and it could've gotten her and her son killed. I don't care for how meek they made Ursa. Instead of this strong, noble and fierce protector we were presented with a meek, almost fragile shell who cared more for her past than her present and future. What she did for herself was extremely selfish and I think she should face the consequences of her actions, maybe when Azula is sane they won't reconcile.
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Esperaholon
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« Reply #35 on: Nov 25, 2014 02:13 pm »

1. How was she playing games with their lives? If she was trying to mess with anyone it was Ozai. And unlike Ozai she actually cares about both Zuko and Azula
2. Ozai made her leave and she wanted to take both kids but Ozai wouldn't have it. Let's remember that this happen because she wanted to save Zuko's life
3. Sure, forgetting her children was bad but for her the good memories of her children outweighed the bad memories and you think she was happy about forgetting Zuko and Azula? NO, she felt bad before the memory wipe and after when she got the memories back. If it were Ozai I wouldn't be surprise if he actually didnt cared about losing memories of his kids.

Don't make this about gender. The fact is despite Ursa's mistakes, Ozai is still the bad guy or villain if you want to leave out gender. Explain to me how anything Ursa did is worse than:

Abandoning his newborn child because of suspicions of not being a fire bender
Telling his son that he was lucky to be born
Deciding to treat his son like crap for no reason but to spite his wife
Raising his daughter to be an antisocial psychopath weapon. (At least Ursa tried to raise her right)
Willingly kill his son to move up the throne

And remember these were all Ozai's decisions so don't even try to blame Ursa for Ozai's actions
 



1.) If Ozai is a complete monster who threatened her loved ones to get her to marry him... why wouldn't he kill her if she cheated and potentially screwed up the line of succession with a cookoo egg dud of a child like Zuko? More importantly why wouldn't he kill this unlawful brat who is screwing up the line of succession?

The "fact" she wanted to mess with Ozai is in no way a good reason for planting the idea of Zuko being another man's child in his mind. And in reality it ruined a lot of Zuko's earlier years - as well as Azula who became the only child Ozai could trust to be his... maybe.

2.) No, he made her leave because she obviously can't be trusted - whether it be to keep her legs close, avoid poisoning her children's minds, or you know not poison him with "super" poison. Also it comes off as a kindness he didn't have to give - the punishment for regicide tends to be extreme torture and death. So... yeah. Also why would he send off his "heirs" with a traitor? What sense does that make... like at all?

3.) See now you're fanwanking hard enough to put an eye out. If the good memories outweigh the bad then why go through with it? If they are so important then why not keep them and take a different path? Nothing says she has to get the facial wipe - supposedly she's an actress... use make-up, use wigs, never leave the house... something besides "Hey let me abandon my children in my heart and mind as well as physically!" Also so what if she maybe felt bad? Sozin felt real bad, but Aang was still the Last Airbender until Tenzin was born. Also regret isn't the same as repentance. Repentance is far more important than just "feeling bad" about something, because repentance will keep you from making the same freaking mistakes/sins/crimes in the future.

And now you're doing that HP fandom crap where you remove the goal posts and just hammer away at the other guy to make your guy look better. And yeah... no... Ozai is a horrible person.
Iroh is a horrible person. And Ursa is a horrible person. The fact one person has a longer list of "crimes" doesn't mean everyone else gets a pass.

More importantly Ozai is a villain - I don't expect much if anything decent from him... but Ursa is supposed to be decent and she isn't. That said:

a.) She didn't abandon a newborn... she abandoned a little boy who had come to depend on her for emotional support against a father who hated him in part because of her actions.

Worse she was going to do so without a word - not even a goodbye until he caught her. And she did end up leaving her daughter without a word of concern... which has led to her child at the age of 14 coming to the conclusion her mother never loved her and considered her a monster.

b.) She apparently behaved like a seven year old was a monster and the only memories that child has is of being asked what's wrong with her.

c.) Deciding to antagonize someone with little to no concern with others with the idea he is raising another man's child for the lulz. I mean... men have their pride and finding out your child isn't your flesh and blood... People have died over less. And apparently he wasn't too much of monster - because Zuko was confident enough to open his big mouth at a certain meeting and get a nice facial scar for his troubles.

d.) How? How did Ursa try to raise her right? Look at how Azula speaks of her mother. Look at how Azula reacts when confronted with her actual mother. Ozai hurt that girl, but so did Ursa and arguably Ursa was the worst offender here.

e.) The line of succession must be clean - and there are no paternity tests in the Avatar World. The moment Ursa presented the idea that there was a flaw in the line... is the minute Zuko was slated for death.

I'm not blaming Ursa for anything except being selfish, stupid, and in need a firm fist to the mouth from Azula and Zuko and her "new" family - because really? What if her OTL had been
arrested and drawn and quartered for touching (never mind impregnating) the Prince's wife? 

So she felt bad, she still went through with it. Also she knew how horrible Ozai was, why the heck would she risk Zuko's life by stating that Ikem was his father? She didn't know that Ozai had her watched before she "did the deed" with him, she just did it to confirm he was stealing her letters. That was extremely foolish and it could've gotten her and her son killed. I don't care for how meek they made Ursa. Instead of this strong, noble and fierce protector we were presented with a meek, almost fragile shell who cared more for her past than her present and future. What she did for herself was extremely selfish and I think she should face the consequences of her actions, maybe when Azula is sane they won't reconcile.

^This. How in the world is Ursa getting anything like a pass? She has access to super poison and a husband she doesn't want... Come on! I mean her kids are able to sneak into anywhere at the ripe old ages of 14 and 16 - but she couldn't escape with one baby or whatever? What's that? Her family would have been killed?

So why is she playing games with her son's life as well as theirs? Because Ozai didn't hesitate to kill his father - why would he hesitate to be petty enough to kill off everyone she cares about down to the last squalling infant? Oh, right he wouldn't unless it was a plot point...

Ugh. Now I'm starting to feel the Ursa hate - and no that isn't victim blaming... I'm not saying she deserved to be terrorized in her home. I am saying she had no right to screw people over just because she was trying to score a point against the lunatic she should have been busy poisoning the hell out of.
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Bopal92
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« Reply #36 on: Nov 29, 2014 10:15 am »

I messed up on my last post with the bad outweighing the good so I fixed that. Dude your making her more than a monster than the actual bad guy. She made mistakes but I don't think she deserves the award for worst parent ever. Ozai already got 1st 2nd and 3rd place.

Azula was resentful because Ursa didn't like how she was behaving and Ozai would let her get away with it.
You think that she's acting like a child about Ozai, I'd like to hear you say that to anyone who suffered through an abusive relationship.
« Last Edit: Nov 29, 2014 10:17 am by Bopal92 » Logged
Esperaholon
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« Reply #37 on: Nov 29, 2014 09:00 pm »

The thing... there are mistakes and there are sins - and some mistakes are sins, but not all sins are mistakes. Ursa gave into pride and wrath when she put Zuko against Ozai - and trying to downgrade this into being a "mistake" or an "accident" doesn't help her case at all. Adding on that she apparently decided to give herself a super-special RESET so she could have the awesome family life she always wanted doesn't do anything to make that original sin into something better. Add on that she might regret that, but isn't likely repentant of the whole thing and I'd prefer if she died. It would have been thematically cleaner and honestly more interesting overall... well depending on how she died off and why... and how much Ozai had to do with it.

As for Azula - if a full-grown man with a full-grown son can be THE BUTCHER OF BA SE SING and write letters about BURNING DOWN A CITY FULL OF PEOPLE and have everyone INCLUDING URSA have a good laugh... I don't see how you could say this with a straight face. Like if IROH can just have all his sins forgiven because he's affable evil then Azula can be forgiven for being a somewhat sadistic seven year old.

Finally... how to say this... DON'T COPY AND PASTE REAL LIFE ISSUES ONTO A FREAKING CARTOON WITHOUT ADJUSTING FOR THE EXTREME DIFFERENCES OF THE BACKGROUND BEHIND EACH!

I regularly volunteer at battered women shelters, I frequently man a hotline that deals with domestic abuse victims as well as those who are suicidal, and I've had to help friends get out of some really bad situations (like I mean sneaking them out of town before their abusive boyfriend could try kidnapping their child again).

So don't tell me about how someone should act or would act - the point of fact is that what she did only works if she is selfish enough to be trying to get herself, her family, her son, and her lover killed. And most victims don't do that - besides which if she was fine with that so early in the relationship then she should have never bothered to let herself be blackmailed into marriage at all!

And I'm done with this - I've laid out my issue with this and screw the fanwank especially if people are going to just blindly copy/paste without actually thinking - I mean most abuse victims would never think to do something this stupid because they know the consequences. But anyway - done.
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Misty23
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« Reply #38 on: Dec 01, 2014 05:26 pm »

Ursa's character gets a lot of negative comments on here which I am a little surprised by. Personally I can understand why she did what she did in choosing to forget her children as it must have been so painful for her. Im glad shes alive though because I think that will play a very important role in shaping adult Zuko - after all hes been through with Ozai its nice to know he still has one normal parent and an extended family. It would be too much to have Ursa be dead after all that...the guys been through enough
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Bopal92
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« Reply #39 on: Dec 07, 2014 07:57 pm »

@Esperaholon Now you're blaming her for being backmailed?! Dude for her it was either marry Ozai or let her parents and Ikem die. She did not choose to be a descendant of Roku. What's next blaming her for the war? Aang being frozen for 100 years? Sozin's Comet?

"Oh my god she's a monster for supporting the war against the world." Sure let's only focus on her because it's not like she's the only person in the Fire Nation that was ok with it, god forbid she supports her home country.

As for the memory wipe it was more of "I want to forget the horrible pain Ozai inflicted on me" and it was never "Oh I'm gonna forget about my kids so I can have a new family" It was clear she was remorseful about forgetting about Zuko and Ozai.

Quit trying to paint her as a she-demon who's main goal was to screw up her kids lives.

She made bad choices I'll agree with that. But there was NEVER any malicious motivations behind them.
« Last Edit: Dec 07, 2014 08:07 pm by Bopal92 » Logged
Loopy
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« Reply #40 on: Dec 08, 2014 04:35 pm »

Did canon Ursa support the war? IMO, The Search danced around that very obviously, and considering how much it retconned what we saw in Zuko Alone, I'm not sure we can take her laughing at Iroh's letter as any serious proof of anything except that she might be a very good actress.
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Furudo Erika
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« Reply #41 on: Dec 08, 2014 04:41 pm »

How did The Search retconn Zuko Alone by the way? if this is off-topic, let's go PM.
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« Reply #42 on: Dec 08, 2014 04:44 pm »

It goes back to my essay about how the Negative Space and presentation of Ursa that gave us one characterization was revealed to be a sham by The Search. No facts are outright contradicted, but it turns Zuko Alone into a case of us seeing everyone playing pretend.
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« Reply #43 on: Dec 08, 2014 04:46 pm »

Oh that's a biggie, won't be able to read it fully tonight, but thanks, should be interesting.
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Maladin
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« Reply #44 on: Dec 22, 2014 04:22 pm »

What tells you she isn't dead? Like Loopy writes in his essay, there are essentially two Ursas, and the one from the cartoon is still missing in action.

Mind you, both are even lousier mothers than my own, so they do have common features, but about as many as Iroh when he used to be working in cahoots with Ozai to teach Zuko weak bending (that lasted all of one, two episodes?) and mister 'I'm so pure and innocent I spared the last dragons' we got in the end.
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Fieryfurnace
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« Reply #45 on: Dec 23, 2014 07:26 am »

What tells you she isn't dead? Like Loopy writes in his essay, there are essentially two Ursas, and the one from the cartoon is still missing in action.

Mind you, both are even lousier mothers than my own, so they do have common features, but about as many as Iroh when he used to be working in cahoots with Ozai to teach Zuko weak bending (that lasted all of one, two episodes?) and mister 'I'm so pure and innocent I spared the last dragons' we got in the end.

I thought that 'Iroh that teaches Zuko weak bending for Ozai' was an idea that was scrapped in production. It didn't last any episodes at all because it was discarded as an idea before they started making episodes. There's only one canon Iroh, but two canon Ursas. So the two characters' situations, i don't think, are really comparable.
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Maladin
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« Reply #46 on: Dec 23, 2014 04:31 pm »

I recall something saying he still was in his previous characterization in the first two episodes, which is why he actually helped Zuko try to stop the Avatar's escape. Afterwards, he actually hindered him ("lost" that pai sho tile, riiight).

Characterization marches on for both of them, I guess.
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Esperaholon
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« Reply #47 on: Dec 23, 2014 05:54 pm »

Yep - he lost his tile, ate a somewhat poisonous flower, and somehow managed to not teach Zuko anything for 3 years prior to the series... There is a reason I dislike Iroh as a character - the internal logic for him just isn't there overall.
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« Reply #48 on: Dec 23, 2014 10:36 pm »

I still stay Iroh wasn't trying to hinder Zuko. He was the master of having no plan, and if Zuko had actually captured Aang, Iroh simply would have adjusted his situational tactics accordingly. Things would have somehow worked out for him, even if he had the White Lotus later get Aang out of jail or something.
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« Reply #49 on: Dec 24, 2014 07:18 pm »

I still stay Iroh wasn't trying to hinder Zuko. He was the master of having no plan, and if Zuko had actually captured Aang, Iroh simply would have adjusted his situational tactics accordingly. Things would have somehow worked out for him, even if he had the White Lotus later get Aang out of jail or something.

... You are bringing back flashbacks of TDK Joker fanboys... Please stop. Iroh is at best a "victim" of mentoritis as seen in Yoda, Obi Wan, Dumbledore, and countless others. At worst... he is a poorly implemented plot device - and really the difference between the two situations is so thin you can't even get a switchblade between them. So yeah.
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