Why This Iroh Scene in ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Is Sadder Than You Remember

by Jeremy Spirogis
Why This Iroh Scene in ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Is Sadder Than You Remember

Avatar: The Last Airbender is a kind of masterfully crafted exhibits that withstands the check of time. After educating invaluable classes to followers in the course of the aughts, the present has returned in its entirety because of Netflix. Now, as followers revisit one in every of their favourite exhibits, or maybe introduce it to a brand new era of younger would-be benders, they’re realizing that lots of the scenes within the present are extra emotionally stirring than they remembered. One such scene options Uncle Iroh paying respects to his deceased son, Lu Ten. However, there’s one thing particular that makes this scene additional poignant, and it’s all about Iroh’s voice actor, Mako Iwamatsu. 

Uncle Iroh’s second below the tree at Ba Sing Se

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Avatar: The Last Airbender followers can all agree on one factor — Uncle Iroh is the very best. The sage common helped information Prince Zuko on his journey of self-discovery, providing priceless recommendation to his nephew and viewers alike. 

However, Iroh wasn’t all the time an avuncular information. He was once a famend common and firebending grasp. And whereas he’s nonetheless an professional bender, his ardour for warfare and management are lengthy gone. 

Iroh misplaced his son, Lu Ten, throughout his six-hundred-day siege of Ba Sing Se. Lu Ten’s demise eradicated Iroh’s need to interrupt town. Iroh deserted his siege, and his place as future Fire Lord. 

Later, viewers see Iroh visiting a tree exterior of Ba Sing Se correct. Iroh brings a number of choices in addition to a portrait of his son, and prepares a small service for Lu Ten. During this he sings “Leaves From The Vine” and sheds tears over his son’s grave.  

Why this ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ scene is additional unhappy

'Avatar: The Last Airbender' pays tribute to Mako Iwamatsu and Uncle Iroh
‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ pays tribute to Mako Iwamatsu | Avatar: The Last Airbender by way of YouTube

Iroh’s scene below the tree is already poignant. Iroh has all the time acted as a life-embracing information for Zuko, and viewers have been used to seeing him from this angle. When Iroh teared up at Lu Ten’s grave, it was a reminder that he has overcome huge emotional troubles of his personal. 

There’s extra to the scene, nonetheless. As it ends, it shifts to a silhouette of Iroh below the tree. The display reads, “In honor of Mako.” During the time this episode was filmed, Mako Iwamatsu was coping with esophageal most cancers. Iroh’s scene below the tree was the final scene Mako was in a position to movie with Nickelodeon previous to his demise. 

The proven fact that Mako needed to proceed filming till he was now not ready exhibits his love for the sequence and his dedication to Iroh as a personality. This truth alone is sufficient to ship many followers operating for the closest field of tissues. However, there could also be much more to the story.

Is Lu Ten’s portrait truly Mako Iwamatsu?

As if it wasn’t sufficient to have Mako venerating his character’s misplaced son, singing a tune about loss and demise on the end-stage of his personal life, it seems the portrait of Lu Ten could have significance as nicely. 

Many followers have put forth a rumor that the portrait of Lu Ten is definitely a self-portrait Mako drew of himself as a younger man. On the Avatar: The Last Airbender wiki, one person writes, “I’ve seen numerous people say Lu Ten is drawn to resemble a young Mako Iwamatsu. Does anyone know where that comes from? Is it true?”

On a Reddit thread within the Avatar: The Last Airbender sub, one person requested, “We’ve all seen the portrait of Iroh’s son, Lu Ten, but is there any real-life significance or connection of the portrait to Mako’s life? Is it based on someone real? I’ve always found the portrait seemed to look like a picture of a real-life person, and the face to be out-of-place when compared to the faces of the other characters.”

A person replied, “I believe Mako drew it when he was younger as a self-portrait.”

There are related feedback and replies throughout varied YouTube movies and Reddit posts, amongst different platforms. While the rumor has not been confirmed, it might be a touching tribute from Nickelodeon along with the remainder of the scene. 

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