‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’: Comics Reveal What Actually Happened to Zuko’s Mom
Avatar: The Last Airbender aired on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008, and the animated series is one of the most beloved TV shows of all time. The series was added to Netflix in May 2020, bringing a resurgence to its popularity among fans.
The series follows Aang, a 12-year-old elemental bender known as the Avatar, and his friends Katara, Sokka, Toph, Zuko, and Suki. While the series finale wraps up many of the characters’ storylines, the fate of Zuko’s mother is left unknown. After Avatar: The Last Airbender ended, comic books revealed what happened to Zuko’s mother.
Why the story was not included in ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’
In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Ursa is the mother Zuko and Azula. Her husband Ozai wants to be Fire Lord over his older brother Iroh. Fire Lord Azulon instructs Ozai to kill Zuko for requesting to be Fire Lord, and Ursa discovers that Ozai intends to murder Zuko.
To save Zuko’s life, Ursa promises Ozai the throne and to leave the palace forever. She crafts a poison for Ozai and then leaves the palace after saying goodbye to Azula and Zuko. She is never seen again in the series.
“When we wrote the finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender, we had so much to wrap up, that I thought it was more intriguing to have the fate of Zuko’s mother remain unresolved,” co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino wrote in a now-deleted blog post.
He continued, “It implied that his story wasn’t over, that the lives of these characters would continue on, even though the series had ended. Plus, I thought that the story was full of possibility and that a quick wrap-up would not be satisfying.”
The story of Zuko’s mother was told in comics
After Avatar: The Last Airbender ended, co-creators DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko pitched a TV series about Zuko’s search for his mother. Nickelodeon rejected the pitch and elected to renew The Legend of Korra for a second season.
Instead of making a TV show, DiMartino and Konietzko worked with writer Gene Yang to create graphic novels as a follow-up to Avatar: The Last Airbender.
“We decided against having The Search be the first trio of graphic novels, but knew that the graphic novels were a great place to ultimately tell the story,” DiMartino wrote. “It was a collaborative back and forth and Gene did a terrific job with the scripts. I’m proud of the books and I think it does Zuko and Ursa’s story justice.”
What happened to Zuko’s mother after ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’
The Search graphic novels were released in 2014 and followed Zuko and Azula’s search for Ursa. Through the comic books, fans learn that Ursa returned to her hometown after leaving the palace and rekindles a relationship with her ex-fiancé Ikem.
Ikem had visited the Mother of Faces, changed his face, and went by the name Noren. Ursa visits the Mother of Faces where she changes her face and has her memories wiped in order to forget her pain. She starts going by Noriko and has a daughter named Kiyi with Noren.
Zuko and Azula eventually find Noriko, and Noriko decides to have her old face and memories restored by the Mother of Faces. She returns to the Fire Nation with her family.