Characters: The Legend Of Korra Allies
This is a partial character sheet for The Legend of Korra. Visit here for the main character index. Subjective trope and audience reactions should go on the YMMV page.
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Tenzin and His Family
"Don't bring my mother into this!"
Tenzin is an Airbending half-Air Nomad/half-Water Tribesman, and Aang and Katara's youngest son. He is a councilman representing the Air Acolytes for the United Republic; following the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender
("last airbender" now a misnomer) said culture now consists of him and his family, and the Air Acolytes, a group of non-airbenders who have chosen to dedicate themselves to the continuation of Air Nomad traditions. Seeing as he is the only living master Airbender in the world following Aang's passing, he becomes Korra's airbending teacher.
- Action Dad: Do not let the fact this man was raised by a philosophy where fighting should be avoided make you think he is incapable of fighting.
- Adorkable: When it comes to dealing with his family and Lin on a personal level, especially where Meelo is concerned.
- Taken Up to Eleven as he tries to recruit new Air Nomads. He's utterly confused as to why getting to shave your head and be friends with sky bison aren't more effective selling points.
- Adult Fear: Amon getting his hands on Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo. This almost happens in "Turning the Tide" when the Equalists attack Air Temple Island, and causes Tenzin to leave Republic City to take his family somewhere safe.
- And actually does happen in "Endgame" when Amon captures them, and nearly de-bends Tenzin and the children before Korra and Mako save them.
- And in Book 2, when Korra comes back from the Spirit World and Jinora doesn't.
- Aloof Big Brother: Inverted. To Bumi, but Tenzin's the younger brother.
- Ambadassador: Tenzin works as a member of the United Republic Council, representing the Air Nomads. He is also an Airbending master.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The world's only master Airbender is not just a mere title.
- Badass: He's the first person in the series to even land a hit on Amon - one which knocks Amon all the way off the stage.
- Badass Beard: One with electricity-sensing abilities.
- Badass Cape: Badass Half-Cape, to be precise.
- Badass Long Robe: His usual outfit.
- Badass in Distress: He and his children were captured by Amon and were close to having their bending taken away.
- Retired Badass: By the start of Book Two, since the Council he served on has been replaced by an elected President.
- Bald of Awesome: As is custom for Air Nomad/Acolyte men.
- Be Yourself: The focal point of his character development for much of Book 2. Culminates in the finale when he finally understands that he'll never be what his father was, and shouldn't have to be; thanks to a pep talk from a hallucination of Aang himself. He passes this message on to Korra when she lost Raava.
- Berserk Button:
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: He does have them.
- Burning with Anger: Mild Bell Pepper. Tenzin's head will redden heavily when sufficiently angered, usually prompted by something Korra has said. He also turns purple when mortified.
- The Chains of Commanding: It is hinted at that he sometimes feels the chains of leading the Air Nation and being responsible for teaching everything Air Nomad to others.
- Childhood Friend Romance: A failed one with Lin Beifong.
- The Comically Serious: Frequently has these moments, particularly in his interactions with Korra and his children.
- Kya and Bumi joke about this, thinking Tenzin on a vacation would be a sight to behold.
- Continuity Nod: Tenzin's Sky Bison's name is "Oogi", which is the term of disgust Sokka used whenever he saw Aang and Katara being affectionate in Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise.
- Dramatic Wind: He's often accompanied by gusts of wind that make his cloak wave dramatically. Unsurprising, considering the element he controls.
- Foil: To the mentor figures of the previous series. Unlike a majority of those mentors, Tenzin is stern, rigid and highly insecure due to being relatively young (compared to the Cool Old Guys like Iroh, Bumi, and Piandao) and having few role models and little experience in being a teacher.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: He is the responsible to Kya and Bumi's foolish. Note he is the youngest of the three. Tenzin even refers to himself as the responsible one, though Kya disputes it.
- Gray Eyes: Fitting the first type, the spiritual and mentor type.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Tenzin spent the majority of his life training in the ways of the spirit world to make his father proud, but never succeeded in entering the spirit world himself. Meanwhile, his oldest daughter, Jinora, whom never had even a days worth of spirit training, is not only able to communicate with spirits and enter the spirit world, she even has pet names for some of the spirits.
- Happily Married: To Pema.
- Heroic Wannabe: Sort of. He was very eager to enter and guide the Avatar through the Spirit World, convinced that that is what his father would have wanted, so it takes him a while to accept that it wasn't his destiny.
- Ink-Suit Actor: He bears more than a slight resemblance to his voice actor, J.K. Simmons.
- In the Blood: As much as he tries to act the part of the serene air-bending master that he is, he is just as naturally expressive as Aang, and he has more than little of Katara's hot-bloodedness. To balance it out, he's inherited the rather sweet disposition they held in common.
- Intergenerational Friendship: A quite humorous one with his pupil, Korra. There is no blood-tie between the two of them, but the previous Avatar, Aang, is Tenzin's father. So he's teaching his father his first element in another life.
- Insufferable Genius: Being the world's only authority on Airbending, Tenzin unintentionally comes off as a stuffy know-it-all, teaching advanced techniques to people who have barely grasped the concept (a.k.a. Korra and the new Air Acolytes).
- Last of His Kind: Was this in the time between his father's death and Jinora's birth. Thankfully averted now.
- Lightning Bruiser: Whilst he may not look it at first, as an Airbending master, he has rapid reflexes, very high agility and extremely forceful air attacks. It is thanks to this that he is the only Council member to escape capture by Amon during the initial coup.
- Martial Pacifist: Tenzin embodies the idea that just because Airbenders are pacifists doesn't mean he can't kick your ass from here to Ba Sing Se.
- Mentor Archetype: To Korra, to his children, and to the Air Acolytes.
- Mixed Ancestry: Despite being the representative of the Air Nomads in the United Republic Council prior to its dissolution, Tenzin is technically half-Air Nomad, half-Water Tribe like his siblings, by virtue of being Aang and Katara's children.
- Momma's Boy: He's very close to his mother.
- My God, What Have I Done?: A humorous variation when he turns Meelo into a beastmaster over winged-lemurs.
Tenzin: I've created a monster.
- My Greatest Failure: Despite years of training and study, he is completely incapable of connecting with the spiritual world. As both an Airbender and Aang's son, he finds this particularly disappointing. It certainly doesn't help that his oldest daughter can do it effortlessly, though he comes to accept that it's her destiny to help the Avatar in this matter, not his.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Sort of. His mastery of Airbending allows him a minor sense of anticipation for incoming attacks—by feeling disturbances in the flow of air around him that even allow him to detect electricity (see Badass Beard entry above). Granted, it doesn't always work.
- Named After Somebody Famous: He's named after the fourteenth and current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.
- Odd Name Out: His siblings are named after Katara's mother and Aang's old friend. His name only fits with Aang's teacher, Gyatso, at a meta level.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Averted. He's tried for years to enter the Spirit World, with no success. When it becomes critical that Korra do it, he's convinced that now that the avatar needs his help, he'll finally work it out. He doesn't and Jinora actually helps Korra.
- No Respect Guy: A mild version. He's quite wise, but neither the Council, Korra, or Lin tend to listen to him very often. To say nothing of the rubbing he gets from his siblings.
- Not so Above It All: He gets this in spades.
- Denounces pro-bending as "a mockery of the noble tradition of bending", but later on ends up cheering for Korra in an uncharacteristically enthusiastic manner during one of her matches, not unlike how his father would. Played with in that he may have been cheering her successful Die or Fly moment. By Episode 6 he's yelling at the referee for ignoring the Wolfbat's blatant fouls. When Lin comments on this, surprised that he even knows what constitutes a foul, hee says he's been reading up on the rules since Korra joined the Fire Ferrets, apparently taking a greater interest in the sport than he'd like to admit.
- Also spends the first half of "A Leaf in the Wind" stressing to Korra that she needs to be patient, and then loses his own patience with her a short time later.
- Then, there was his failed relationship with Lin, which was hinted to be a rather stormy affair all round.
- We get this gem when Korra and Tenzin confront Lin's replacement, Saikhan:
Korra: (grips his chin, moving his head up and down) You're officially the worst Chief of Police, ever!
Tenzin: Calm down Korra, I'll get this sorted out. We just need to be patient. (Both turn away before Tenzin quickly turns back.) But you really are the worst. (points) Ever!
- Turns up again in Book Two when his siblings are around to poke fun at him.
- Also happens when he finds Ikki playing with the flying bison calves, all of whom she's given ridiculous names to. He bonds very quickly with Blueberry Spicehead.
- Oh Crap: A humorous variant, when he realizes that his attempts at teaching Meelo how to train lemurs has Gone Horribly Right.
Tenzin: [In deadpan, stunned disbelief] I've created a monster.
- Only Sane Man: Among the Council, he's the only one who realizes that that Tarrlok is untrustworthy and that his actions are causing far more harm than good. Unfortunately, his attempts to stop him are consistently outvoted.
- Opening Narration: Like his mother did in the original series, he provides The Legend of Korra's opening narration.
- Overprotective Dad: Bolin mentioned that he wouldn't be too happy in regards to Jinora's relationship with Kai. Also, when Korra insinuates earlier on how Jinora has a "connection" to Kai, he seems rather perturbed.
- Papa Wolf: Dear Lord, yes. Not just to his blood children but Team Korra as well. He will use his bending to its full power to protect them.
- In book three, when he's asking around for Jinora, one of the new airbenders says that she was with Kai. He... didn't sound all that pleased when they called the latter her "boyfriend".
- Parental Favoritism: "Civil Wars Part 1" indicates Aang paid more attention to Tenzin than his other children, both non-Airbenders.
- Parental Substitute: While Korra's parents are still alive, they're still in the South Pole. Tenzin seems to be like an Honorary Uncle, and treats Korra much more warmly than all of the other authority figures (who either think she's a nuisance, or manipulate her). Korra also eats at the family table rather than with the Air Acolytes, suggesting a closer relationship than merely master/student.
- Parents as People: He dismisses Jinora's obvious spiritual prowess mainly due to his own wounded pride, self-confidence, and perceived inadequacy as Korra's mentor. Thankfully, he gets over it.
- Power Tattoo: His arrows are proof he is a Master Airbender.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Also the most socially responsible authority figure on the Council; despite representing at most a few dozen people, out of any of the Council members he's the one with most respect for the unrepresented non-benders and their rights. Indeed, he's the only one to speak up in favor or defense of them.
- Subverted in his decision (along with Tonraq) to keep Korra locked up in the White Lotus compound for most of her life prior to the start of the series. While he and Tonraq claim to have done it for her own safety, she's not so crazy about the idea when she finds out it was their decision.
- Sacred Hospitality: As an Air Nomad, he is obligated to let anyone who is hungry partake of his meal.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Bumi's Manly Man.
- Shirtless Scene: He gets one in "Rebirth" when showing off for a crowd. He's well-built for his age, though it's not terribly surprising since he's a full-time trainer for his kids and the Avatar.
- The Spock: To Bumi's McCoy and Kya's Kirk.
- The Stoic: Tries his best to be, but Korra and the plot often have other plans.
- Stroke the Beard: Uncle Sokka would approve.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: He tries to act like an enlightened and serious Zen master, but the universe simply won't allow him to stay that way for long.
- Tears of Joy: Has these after the airbenders who he and Team Avatar saved from the Earth Kingdom all decide to join him to become Air nomads, thus finally achieving his father's dream of restoring the Air Nation.
- Team Dad: To the new Team Avatar.
- Travelling Salesman Montage: Has one of these in "Rebirth", when he travels to the Earth Kingdom to try and convince its brand new airbenders to then all become Air nomads. His attempts at persuading them with any advantages; (e.g. getting tattoos, becoming vegetarians, simple living) each however, fall flat.
- Twitchy Eye: Tenzin gets one of these when particularly upset, like when he finds out that Korra has snuck out to fight in a pro-bending match. His mother would be proud.
- Unreliable Narrator: According to his siblings, Aang wasn't actually all that great of a father. His relatively favorable opinion about Aang was, apparently, because of Parental Favoritism.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Feels a great deal of pressure to live up to Aang's expectations of him, despite the man in question being dead for seventeen years.
- The Worf Effect: Despite being a master Airbender and proving his badassery on several occasions, Tenzin generally winds up being the guy who gets the crap beat out of him to show the gravity of the situation.
- Youngest Child Wins: His older siblings Kya and Bumi did not inherit Aang's Airbending like he did, though Kya is a waterbender like Katara. Couples with his physical appearance, both of his older siblings look like waterbenders (even though Bumi isn't), Tenzin was the only one to look like an airbender. He also "won" in that an Air Acolyte didn't even know Aang and Katara had two other children.
Tenzin's Family In General
These are tropes which apply generally to Tenzin's family; the last airbenders as well as his siblings - the children
of Avatar Aang and Katara
- Badass Family: Tenzin's sister Kya inherited Katara's waterbending and although Bumi has no bending, he is a Commander in the Republic Military.
- In terms of Tenzin and his family specifically; save for his wife Pema and newborn son Rohan (who Katara predicts will be a bender but is obviously too young for it now), they are the direct inheritors of Aang's native element.
- Dysfunction Junction: Tenzin's generation:
- According to Kya, Aang was so focused on 'saving the world' that he neglected his first two children but showered the third (an airbender) with attention. The Unfortunate Implications are not lost on Kya (waterbender) or Bumi (non-bender)
- Tenzin has been so focused on filling his father's shoes that he repeated his father's mistake; both his siblings and his children feel neglected.
- Bumi has a chip on his shoulder for being a Muggle Born of Mages and he spent his childhood bullying Daddy's favorite.
- Kya sees herself as the responsible and dutiful sibling for living with their widowed mother yet she spent years Walking the Earth beforehand and took part in the bullying.
- Elemental Eye Colors: Tenzin, Ikki, and Meelo have Gray Eyes as airbenders tend to have (although Ikki's have appeared blue-gray and brownish-gray depending on the light). Averted with Jinora who has brown eyes.
- Elemental Powers: As noted above:
- Racial Remnant: Tenzin's siblings and his children are the only direct descendents of the Air Nomads. Within that, only he and his three oldest children are Airbenders, though Rohan might grow up to be one.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: While Tenzin is definitely not comic relief in Episode 10 he and Pema escape Republic City with their children, who definitely are comic relief. It's then subverted in Episode 12 when Amon captures them offscreen.
- Simple Staff: Tenzin and Jinora both have a glider-staff.
- Spin-Offspring: Of Aang and Katara.
- Strong Family Resemblance: It's not very clear at first, but if you shaved Bumi's hair, you'd probably never be able to tell him and Tenzin apart.
"I'm not helpless, I'm just pregnant."
Voiced by: Maria Bamford
Tenzin's wife, who was pregnant with Rohan until "Turning The Tides". She shows a forceful and somewhat wry personality, and although not a bender, she is an Air Acolyte and dedicated to following the Air Nomad way of life.
- Advice Backfire: She should really be a bit more careful when giving advice to Korra.
- Blatant Lies: In the beginning of "Turning The Tides", she gives a rather loud cry of pain, then assures Asami that "The baby is just kicking. Really hard." Any mildly savvy viewer will immediately put two and two together here; it's obviously a contraction.
- Happily Married: To Tenzin.
- Hidden Depths: Her confession to Tenzin was actually a retroactive Crowning Moment Of Awesome. Remember how she said in Episode 5 that there was some other woman Tenzin was interested in before her heartfelt confession managed to finally get Tenzin's attention? Come Episode 6, and we find out that Lin Beifong used to have a romantic relationship with Tenzin, and she was the other woman Pema was talking about. So non-bending Pema actually risked the ire of a jealous and very skilled bender who, according to Tenzin, tried to get her arrested.
- Housewife: She looks after her and Tenzin's kids in Book 1. Somewhat averted afterwards because Tenzin is now free from his responsibilities as a councilman.
- Also averted in book 3, when she appears to be in charge of Air Temple Island when Tenzin is away.
- Love Triangle: She was in one with Tenzin and Lin pre-series. In the story proper she gives Korra advice on how to deal with her own.
- Muggle: Unlike her husband or their children, she's a non-bender.
- Oh Crap: Gives one as she's walking out on Mako and Asami having an issue with their relationship. And possibly because she realized that her earlier advice to Korra contributed to said issue.
- In the same episode gives a more serious one when she starts giving birth at the worst possible time.
- Skunk Stripe: Has a light one.
"I will make no such promises."
Voiced by: Kiernan Shipka
Jinora is Tenzin and Pema's oldest daughter. More reserved than her siblings, shown to be a polite little bookworm. However, under her sweet exterior she is still playful and hides a witty tongue.
"Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"
Voiced by: Darcy Rose Byrnes
Ikki is Tenzin and Pema's younger daughter. She's incredibly hyperactive and playful, and can be quite annoying, both on purpose and by accident.
- Action Girl: Was able to kick serious Equalist butt when they attacked Air Temple Island.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: To Jinora. She can also be like this to Korra, and likes to tease her about Mako.
- Badass Adorable: Knocks out Equalists with a larger version of Aang's air scooter.
- Cat Smile: One of her main characteristics. She even hissed and spat when Korra told her to shut up about her liking Mako in front of his current girlfriend Asami.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Her advice to Korra on romance related to a couple going up into a castle in the sky.
- Cute, but Cacophonic: Jinora definitely thinks so, at least.
- Death Glare: To Tarrlok, after he barges into the family dinner uninvited. It is extremely similar to that of her mother.
- Expy: Ikki acts quite a bit like Ty Lee from the original series, just like her sister, Jenora, acts quite similar to Mai.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish to Jinora's responsible.
- The Gadfly: She seems to enjoy using her energetic personality to annoy others and bring up inappropriate questions regarding love triangles.
- Genki Girl: Her first lines in the series were repeatedly asking "Are we there yet?" in a hyperactive tone. She never calmed down from that point.
- Hidden Depths: Appears to be just an annoying Motor Mouth, but was able to quickly answer Bolin's series of rapid-fire questions, including how many trees are on Air Temple Island. note
- The Kirk: To Jinora's Spock and Meelo's McCoy.
- Let's Get Dangerous: In episode 10, along with Jinora and Meelo, when they saved Lin Be Fong from Amon's chi blockers and the Lieutenant.
- Little Miss Badass: With Jinora in episode 10 against the Equalists.
- Motor Mouth: Is she ever.
- No Indoor Voice: Her voice tends to always be on louder than needed. And she can amplify it with airbending.
- Odango Hair
- The Runaway: She ran off in Civil Wars part 1 after Jinora and Meelo tease her too much. It turns out that she was having a tea party with some baby sky bison, and she returns to the air temple with Tenzin.
- Shipper on Deck: Like her sister, Mako and Korra.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: In the episode before the two part Book One finale, she is Put on a Bus with the Meelo, the rest of the family, and anyone else who provided a comedic role.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Jinora. Personality-wise, they're about as opposite as can be.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Out of her siblings, Ikki looks the most like Pema, especially when she does the Death Glare.
"Be the leaf!"
Voiced by: Logan Wells
Meelo is Tenzin and Pema's older son and third child. At five, he's hyperactive and more than a bit silly. He shows great skill at airbending despite his youth.
Tenzin and Pema's fourth child (and second son), who was born in "Turning the Tides" near the end of Book One.
- Birth-Death Juxtaposition:
- Played with. The "death" in this case is not that of a person but of Republic City (as we know it, anyway).
- Also, in the episode where a (possible) new airbender is born, Lin loses her bending.
"The paperwork’s gone through little brother. From now on it’s 24/7 Bumi time!"
Voiced by: Richard Riehle
Tenzin's older brother, and a commander in the United Forces. After the Harmonic Convergence, he—along with many others— became a bender. An airbender, to be exact.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Inverted, with younger sibling Tenzin looking exasperated at the idea of having to host his older brother. Tenzin later laments the fact Bumi has always acted like an annoying younger brother despite being the eldest of Aang's children.
- Badass Beard: Not much is known besides the fact he has a beard and he is full on Badass Normal.
- Badass Normal: The only non-bender of Aang's three children, but that didn't stop him from becoming a Commander. He even tried invoking it by reminding Tenzin and Kya that he is far from useless.
- Retired Badass: He retired from the United Forces during the Time Skip.
- Big Brother Bully: A fairly mild example, but he definitely does enjoy picking on Tenzin alongside Kya.
- Big Damn Heroes / Accidental Hero: After the unsuccessful attack on the Southern Portal, Bumi manages to tame a corrupted spirit using his flute and then stages a rescue. However, his gift to tame spirits doesn't really work on the rest of them, so he runs around the Water Tribe camp being chased by corrupted spirits. Three minutes later, the entire camp is destroyed because of a glitching robot suit he was riding on and manages to rescue everyone.
- Big Fun: Has put on weight between Books One and Two. Lampshaded when Meelo points to his stomach and asks if there's a baby in there.
- Bling of War: His uniform seems to befitting of this.
- Blow You Away: Post-Harmonic Convergence, he gains the ability to airbend. However, he doesn't quite know how to use it.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Another parallel to his namesake.
- The Brigadier: He is second in command to General Iroh.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Iroh said that he was "a bit of a wild man" but still the bravest commander he has ever known.
- Captured by Cannibals: His worst fear, revealed by the Fog of Lost Souls, is this.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He's absolutely nuts.
- Commanding Coolness: His only line is in Book One, a scream of victory and joy, cemented him as this.
- Cool Old Guy: Considering Tenzin is 51 and Bumi is older than him, he is this.
- Cool Uncle: Judging from the excitement of Tenzin's kids at the prospect of a visit from him, he is likely this.
- Dead Guy Junior: Named after the first Bumi. They even appear to have similar personalities.
- Establishing Character Moment: His Incoming Ham entrance gave the viewers all they needed to know about him despite appearing for less than ten seconds.
- Everyone Knows Morse: Averted. When he comes up with the idea of using this to help free the airbenders from Ba Sing Se; the others quickly shoot it down, causing him to lament about how no-one uses it anymore.
- Fluffy Tamer: Somehow managed to tame some dark spirits with his flute.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: He is the foolish to Tenzin's responsible.
- Freudian Excuse: While understated compared to Kya, Bumi was hard on Tenzin because Tenzin received more attention from Aang than Bumi did.
- Generation Xerox: Whereas Tenzin has his father's abilities and Kya has her mother's abilities, Bumi seems to take after his uncle Sokka and maybe a bit from his grandfather Hakoda.
- On a more subtle level, Bumi really channels Aang in his happy-go-lucky problem solving approach, adaptive skill, and natural affinity for animals during his Big Damn Heroes scene. He even regards the animals the same way Aang did, as partners. That same kooky music helps emphasize that the scene could easily have been carried out by his father.
- As of Book 3, after the Harmonic Convergence, he does inherit Aang's airbending after all.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: He is prone to saying this many times when he was part of the army, but his siblings don't believe any of it. After what happened during his Big Damn Heroes moment, he may just perhaps be telling the truth all along.
- Hero of Another Story: His time spent as a Commander in the United Forces and the adventures associated with it.
- Hidden Depths: Admits in front of Aang's statue that the whole reason he joined the United Forces in the first place was that, despite being a non-bender, he wanted to uphold his father's legacy of making the world a better place.
- Knife Nut: Keeps a throwing knife hidden in his coat.
- Incoming Ham: His scream and Tenzin's apparent dislike at the prospect of playing host to his brother.
- Instant Expert: Notably averted, and he seems to be the only one. Between Kai using airbending to help him pick pockets and Zaheer using it to break his posse out of jail, Bumi has no idea how to airbend.
- Last Episode New Character: In Book One. Admittedly we did learn a little about him beforehand thanks to All There in the Manual, and he was (briefly) mentioned by Katara in the first episode.
- MacGyvering: All his stories from his United Forces days seem to imply a lot of this (which is precisely why his siblings never seem to believe him).
- A Man And His Rabbit Spirit: Bumi becomes immediate friends with a rabbit spirit, who he names Bumju.
- Man Child: He continually teases Tenzin like they were kids, and all around fun personality.
- The McCoy: To Tenzin's Spock and Kya's Kirk.
- Mistaken for Servant: When he visits the Southern Air Temple along with Tenzin's family and Kya, a female Air Acolyte mistakes him and Kya for servants.
- Mixed Ancestry: Along with his siblings he is half-Air Nomad, half-Water Tribe.
- Muggle Born of Mages: He is the only non-bender born of Katara and Aang, though he ends up getting airbending much later.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: His flute playing soothed a corrupted spirit back into a pacified state.
- Noodle Incident: Apparently, he was involved in a lot of these during his career in the military if his stories are anything to go by.
- Noodle Implements: When trying to come up with a plan to save the captured airbenders in season 3, his necessary items include twelve tons of blast jelly and a badgermole that knows morse code.
- One of the Kids: He enjoys hanging with his nieces and nephews in their games.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Bumi seems to be this at least among the Air Acolytes. Some Air Acolytes are unaware that Aang and Katara had any children besides Tenzin.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Shares this role with Bolin and Varrick in the second season.
- Press-Ganged: He claims he was forced to join the United Forces after being kidnapped in a potato sack. It's anyone's guess how true it is. Given his tendency to tell tall tales, it could be another one of those.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Is wearing pink earmuffs near the end of Book Two.
- Refuge in Audacity: He often tells stories that have him saving the day through some truly unbelievable acts. After the stuff he pulls off in Book 2, we learn he may not be making all that up after all.
- The Resenter: To both Tenzin and Kya for being benders. He also resented Aang's unintentional favoritism towards Tenzin. It should noted that its less "Equalist" resentment and more "black sheep" resentment.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Tenzin's Sensitive Guy.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Or spirit rather.
- Stepford Smiler: Bumi is ashamed he wasn't born an Airbender and felt like that he had failed Aang, and its highly implied it stunted his emotional growth.
- Strategy Schmategy
- Stunned Silence: Everyone's reaction when he suddenly airbends after Meelo throws a plate at him.
- The Unfavourite: "Civil Wars Part 1" indicates Aang unintentionally favored Tenzin over his non-Airbender kids.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Dearly wishes to make his father proud despite not being a bender, which is why he became a Commander of the United Forces; of course Kya is there to point out there is no doubt that Aang would be proud of him.
- Wild Hair/Messy Hair: Fitting a 'wild man' persona, his hair is all over the place.
"Bumi, don't pick on Tenzin. You know he's always been sensitive."
Voiced by: Lisa Edelstein
Tenzin's older sister, and a waterbender.
- Action Girl: Put up a surprisingly good fight against Zaheer.
- Awesome by Analysis: Quickly saw through Zaheer's ruse the second he started acting suspicious.
- Badass: She adopted Katara's fighting style, as evidenced when she fought against Zaheer at the Air Temple Island and she held her own pretty well, unlike all the people who crossed him before her.
- Beauty Mark: Under her left eye.
- Big Sister Bully: She used to beat up Tenzin when they were children.
- Commitment Issues: Her worst fear, as revealed in the Fog of Lost Souls, is of being tied down and losing her freedom.
- Cool Aunt: Especially to Jinora. Word of God even confirmed that Jinora and Kya have a special bond.
- Dead Girl Junior: She was named after Katara's dead mother.
- The Dutiful Daughter: She considers herself this, since she was the only one who decided to move to the Southern Water Tribe to be with Katara after Aang died and she was left all alone.
- Although Tenzin was quick to reverse this on her, as before this point, she flitted about the world and never came to see their parents.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: According to Katara, she, like Bumi, was the foolish to Tenzin's responsible when they were children. Now she appears to be more responsible, at least compared to Bumi.
- Freudian Excuse: Kya (and Bumi to a lesser extent) has a pretty big chip on her shoulder towards Tenzin because, as a child, she and Bumi never had as much time with their father like Tenzin did. Their resentment is portrayed sympathetically given that the two of them were excluded from family vacations, and Tenzin didn't even remember them not being there (though Word of God later clarified that the "family vacations" were more Tenzin being taken along Aang's Avatar-duty related travels).
- Genre Savvy: She catches onto the fact that Jinora can see spirits before anyone else does.
- Recognized Zaheer within the span of a day after putting the clues together and called for back-up while she held him down. It didn't work, but points to her for trying.
- Healing Hands: Like Katara, she is a healer.
- The Kirk: To Tenzin's Spock and Bumi's McCoy.
- Like Mother Like Daughter: Other than Kya bearing her grandmother's name, Kya is a healer, a Waterbender, wears a tribal betrothal necklace, and has the same hairstyle as Katara.
- Maiden Aunt: She never married or had children.
- Making a Splash: She is a powerful waterbender, just like her mother.
- Mistaken for Servant: A female Air Acolyte mistakes her and Bumi for servants when they visit the Southern Air Temple along with Tenzin's family.
- Mixed Ancestry: Along with her siblings she is half-Air Nomad, half-Water Tribe.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: Described as such by Mike and Bryan at Comic-Con. Also a fan of the "Secret Tunnel" song from back in Avatar: The Last Airbender .
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Kya seems to be this at least among the Air Acolytes. Some Air Acolytes are unaware that Aang and Katara had any children besides Tenzin.
- Rapunzel Hair: Even in a ponytail, her hair reaches her waist.
- The Resenter: To Tenzin for being unintentionally favored by Aang.
- Team Mom: To her siblings, and also to her nieces and nephews. It must run in the family.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Apparently, she was a bit of a bully in the past to Tenzin.
- The Unfavourite: "Civil Wars Part 1" indicates Aang unintentionally favored Tenzin over his non-Airbender kids.
- Walking the Earth: Until Aang's death Kya traveled the world to find herself.
Korra's Family as a whole
These are tropes which apply generally to Korra's family.
- Badass Family: All their known members are powerful and skilled waterbenders; not mention that one of them is the Avatar...
- Big Screwed-Up Family: It's showing signs of this in Book Two. Korra notices that the relationship between Tonraq and Unalaq, her father and uncle, appears to be rough and one of a mutual distrust. Up to Eleven after "Civil Wars", Part 2. After Unalaq is defeated, everyone's square now.
- Blue Blood: At least on her father's side. Her uncle is the chieftan of the Northern tribe, and her father was designated to inherit the position but lost it when he was banished from the Northern Water Tribe.
- Making a Splash: Every single one of them can waterbend.
"I was protecting you from the shame I brought on the family."
Voiced by: Carlos Alazraqui
(In Book One: Air) and James Remar (Book Two: Spirits)
Korra's father, originally from the Northern Water Tribe.
- Action Dad: Waterbends an ice wall around the attacking spirit and encases it in ice at the same time. It didn't work for long (nothing did), but it was nonetheless an impressive display.
- Ascended Extra: He and Senna only had two small appearances in Book One, but it has been they have a bigger role in Book Two, to the point of ascending to the Big Good rank.
- Badass Is a very powerful bender and if his strength is anything to go by, Korra likely inherited it from him.
- Big Good: As leader of the rebels in Book 2.
- Cain and Abel: The Abel to Unalaq's Cain.
- Characterization Marches On: While he barely appeared in Book One, he seemed pretty friendly and didn't have a problem with Korra running away from the compound. Come Book Two, he's sterner, overprotective of Korra, and it turns out the compound was partly his idea. Also, he had a change in voice actor.
- Destructive Savior: The reason for his exile. He destroyed a sacred forest while trying to root out dangerous barbarians, which brought the wrath of the spirits down on the Northern Water Tribe.
- Enemy to All Living Things: If Unalaq was any indication, the Dark Spirits don't like him in the slightest given he desecrated the forest home of some spirits twenty years ago while trying to capture some criminals. Unalaq didn't exactly wanting him to tag along to the South Pole for this reason.
- The Exile: He was exiled from the Northern Water Tribe for destroying a spirit forest in his youth. Turns out this was what Unalaq intended. After Unalaq's death and Desna and Eska taking over, his banishment seems to have been revoked, as of The Earth Queen.
- Expy: Of Zuko. He was the heir to the throne of his homeland and was only doing what he thought was the best way to protect his people, but unintentionally wound up overstepping his authority. He was banished from his homeland for his arrogance. Then it turns out that his fate and honor are heavily intertwined with that of the Avatar. The only difference is that he never attempted to reinstate himself back to his homeland.
- Foil: To his brother Unalaq. Tonraq is the older, more physically imposing brother, yet he has no ambitions for power and only desired to have a family and live a normal life after he met his wife Senna, only to realize that would never happen since his daughter was the next Avatar. In contrast, Unalaq is the younger, slighter brother with great ambitions and a hunger for power, to the point he became so jealous of his brother and his position that he got him banished, and desires to train his niece out of further envy that his brother sired the Avatar. To hammer it in, Tonraq dropped out of the rebellion because regardless of any conflict between him and his brother, he has no desire to hurt him. Unalaq however has no qualms about using him to further his own agenda.
- Heroic Build: To contrast with his Lean and Mean brother.
- Honor Before Reason: In a manner of speaking, Tonraq was acting on both. He was willing to respect his brother's decisions as chief, even if it meant imprisonment. The "reason" part is that he was against Korra trying to free him, because it would lead to bigger conflict and Korra is on board with him that such conflict was undesirable and unjustified. It wasn't until he discovered that Unalaq plotted his banishment from the beginning, that the struggle against him was justified.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Senna.
- Making a Splash/An Ice Person: He is a waterbender.
- Morality Chain: So far, Korra hasn't done anything extreme because Tonraq is asking her not to out of belief it will just trigger a war much sooner, and wasn't pleased to learn that his daughter went back on that promise when he wasn't looking given she went to save him.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: His over-protectiveness of Korra caused the creation of the compound that ended up hindering her spirituality, which was one of the main issues in Book One, and almost got the Northern Tribe wiped out for going overboard on dealing with invaders twenty years prior, which resulted in his banishment.
- Not So Different: He and Unalaq do have some similarities. They're both convinced they know what's best and will disregard conventional wisdom or the wishes of others in trying to achieve their goals. Fortunately, Tonraq is able to recognize his mistakes when he's called out on them.
- Overprotective Dad: Remember the compound Korra spent most of her life in? Turns out that was partly Tonraq's idea. Granted, there was a group of extremely skilled benders who has just tried to kidnap her, so he had good reason to want her well guarded.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Is supposed to be the actual chief and is very level-headed compared to his daughter. He even advises Korra to stay out of the war because he knows the Avatar is supposed to be neutral and should help in other ways.
- Rebel Leader: In Season 2, shares this role with Varrick until the latter is revealed to be exploiting the conflict for profit.
- Rebuilt Pedestal: Korra hasn't had a good opinion of him since she learned he was one of the collaborators behind the compound along with his exile from his previous home, the Northern Water Tribe, and the fact he is treating her like a child. However, as of the "Civil Wars" 2-parter, she's on good terms with him again. The broken pedestal is instead for her uncle Unalaq after learning he is responsible for Tonraq's banishment.
- Retired Badass: Tonraq was a general in the Northern Water Tribe, and a physically powerful warrior, but retired early on. Nowadays he earnestly wants to live a simple life at the South Pole and does so until the Water Tribe's civil war.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: See Badass In Charge above.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Unlike his younger brother, Tonraq is unambitious, focused on physical strength, and decidedly unspiritual.
- So Proud of You: Becomes far less overprotective and trusts Korra after Episode 2, because he saw how she opened the Southern Portal.
- Thicker Than Water: Initially refused to join in the rebellion against Unalaq because he didn't want to kill his younger brother. He eventually does join the rebellion after learning from Korra the truth that his exile was the result of Unalaq being manipulative.
- Underestimating Badassery:
- He seems to treat Korra like a child even though his daughter is the Avatar and unlocked the Avatar State.
- Inverted while trying to prevent Zaheer and his cabal from attempting to liberate P'Li. He's extremely cautious about not underestimating them since he was involved in imprisoning them the first time. He failed because they weren't going to underestimate him the second time.
- Warrior Prince: In his backstory, he was the prince and general of the Northern Water Tribe.
"We love you so much."
Voiced by: Alex McKenna
Korra's mother, a native to the Southern Water Tribe.
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: Seriously. She looks slightly older than her teenager daughter, who is in her late teens. And apparently she didn't age one day since her daughter was a child. Possibly in an attempt to rectify this, she has a few more facial lines in Book Two.
- Ascended Extra: She and Tonraq only had two small appearances in Book One, but they have a bigger role in Book Two.
- Good Parents: She took some time to console Korra in Civil Wars Part 1, showing how much she devotes care to her daughter.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Tonraq.
- Informed Attribute: Despite being a known waterbender, Senna has never been shown bending.
- Making a Splash: She is a waterbender.
- Morality Chain: Not to the extent of Tonraq, but Senna seems to be able to keep her daughter from going for the more extreme options. Unfortunately, she seems to be unaware Korra isn't above getting dirty when her back is turned and likely doesn't know it.
- Satellite Character: So far, her appearances in the series revolves around her husband and/or her daughter.
Metalbending Police Force
"Show a little more backbone!"
Daughter of Toph Beifong, and the head of Republic City's SWAT-like Metalbending Police. Forceful and uncompromising, Lin has a soft heart under her metal armour, and will do anything to protect the safety of Republic City.
The captain of the Metalbender Corps working in Republic City under Chief Beifong.
- Badass in Distress: He gets captured by Amon in Episode 10.
- Bald of Antagonism When working with Tarrlok.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Briefly to Tarrlok.
- The Captain: Of the Metalbending Corp. Second only to Lin.
- Da Chief: After Lin resigns, Tarlock promotes him.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In the first episode, he's the one that attempts to arrest Korra for property damage.
- The Dragon: To Tarrlok, until the former bloodbent him.
- Extra Ore Dinary: As a metalbender.
- Inspector Javert: Goes along with Tarrlok's more extreme policies, and answers directly to him, and thus opposes the heroes, despite being on the same side. When Tarrlok is revealed as evil, Saikhan turns against him.
- Oh Crap: He gets one after seeing Councilman Tenzin in the lobby after he and Tarrlok detained dozens of non-benders and 3/4ths of new Team Avatar when they tried to stop the detaining.
- Puppet King: May be chief, but answers directly to Tarrlok, who's head of the Council. Though once Tarrlok's nature as a bloodbender is revealed, he sends the officers after him.
- Put on a Bus: After Amon's men take him away in episode 10 he hasn't appeared since. Granted he's probably fine, and the dialogue implies he stepped down and handed the position back to Lin.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Double Subverted. He's subordinate to Tarrlok, who probably had a hand in making him chief. After Tarrlok runs, he continues to function as chief, and tries to regain control of the city; showing an earnest desire to help people and keep the peace while doing so. He works under Tenzin for a bit, before being taken away.
- Unwitting Pawn: Downplayed. He hadn't yet known the full extent of Tarrlok's plan, but he still had shades of being a Yes-Man to Tarrlok, and he was still party to Tarrlok's treacherous actions in the Dragon Flats District. The only thing he didn't know about was that Tarrlok kidnapped the Avatar with bloodbending.
- Younger Than He Looks: His baldness and wrinkles make him look nearly 60 years old compared to his actual age of 40. Although that's at least with his helmet off.
Don't let that smile fool you.
Voiced by: Skyler Brigmann
An Earth Kingdom citizen and new airbender thanks to Harmonic Convergence. He takes up the offer to join the Air Nomads to escape the police chasing him.
- The Ace: Downplayed. He's quite possibly the best of the new airbenders (not counting Zaheer, who is a flat-out genius), but not by too much, and very little attention is drawn to it. During Tenzin's impromptu boot camp in "The Original Airbenders," he's the only one who can almost keep up with Tenzin and Jinora...but in the end he falls short just like everyone else.
- Ambiguously Brown: Noticeably on the browner side of the Earth Kingdom.
- The Artful Dodger: He seems to be very comfortable with his life in the streets and likes to steal way too much. He even robbed the family that tried to adopt him.
- Berserk Button: Harming Jinora in any way is this for him.
- Blow You Away: He gained airbending due to the effects of Harmonic Convergence.
- Bratty Half-Pint: He's a self-centered, ungrateful troublemaker with some serious attitude problems. Mako sees him as nothing more than a nuisance, but the others try to justify Kai's behaviour by the fact that he's still just a kid.
- Instant Expert: He shows excellent potential as an airbender, performing fluid, effective attacks without any prior training. Given many of the traits of being a thief meld well with airbender principles, it makes sense that he'd take to it. Later on, when training at the Northern Air Temple, he's clearly the best of the bunch.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He abuses the trust of the Krew to escape punishment, clearly not intending to join the Air Nomads. He also robbed his adoptive parents. And later robs Mako and Bolin... However, he later shows he's not that bad. While in Dai Li custody, he goes out of his way to help the fellow Airbenders who were captured alongside him, and try not to hurt them. There's also his relationship with Jinora that brings out his better side.
- Laser-Guided Karma: He gets kidnapped by Dai Li officers after his temptations of stealing gold from the middle ring citizens of Ba Sing Se get the better of him.
- Marilyn Maneuver: Uses his airbending skills for this to get close to wealthy Ba Sing Se people, helping them recompose themselves while stealing their wallets.
- Not So Different: Kai apparently isn't too different from Mako and Bolin back in their Street Urchin days. Notably, the brothers have opposite reactions to this; Bolin sees Kai as a surrogate little brother in need of guidance, while Mako sees Kai as untrustworthy.
- Parental Abandonment: He lost his parents under some circumstances, but his story about bandits killing them was clearly a lie.
- Pet the Dog: Keeps a fellow imprisoned Airbender safe, at the cost of being put in solitary.
- The Power of Love: Trounces the Drill Sergeant Nasty who grabbed Jinora.
- Puppy Love: He and Jinora obviously like each other.
- Sticky Fingers: He is a magpie for gold and doesn't care about who he hurts to get it.
- Street Urchin: A status Mako believes it unlikely that Kai has an honest interest in rebuilding the Air Nation, or an interest in anything other than himself for that matter.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In the episode "In Harm's Way".
- Ungrateful Bastard: He was adopted after losing his parents, but repaid that by robbing them blind.
Voiced by: Jim Meskimen
One of the people empowered with airbending by Harmonic Convergence, and the first recruit to rebuild the Air Nomads.
- Bald of Awesome: He didn't get it willingly, but it certainly comes in handy when it lets him sense danger from behind.
- Blow You Away: Gained airbending thanks to Harmonic Convergence. At first, he suffered from severe Power Incontinence, but thanks to Tenzin's rough training (and shaving) he is now much more refined, down to being able to do things like sense the very air around him.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Invoked in "A Breath of Fresh Air."
Tenzin: It is absolutely my pleasure to meet you, Daw. I have never met a new airbender before. Well, at least one whose diapers I didn't have to change.
Daw: Actually, I just fell off a bridge...so I could use a fresh diaper right about now.
- Butt Monkey: Suffers from this quite a bit in Book 3. For example; he has Power Incontinence when he first gets airbending, is often on the receiving end of Meelo's Drill Sergeant Nasty tendencies, and gets his head shaved by Tenzin only to learn seconds after that it's actually voluntary.
- Driven to Suicide: Implied, as he ended up on top of a bridge and looked suspiciously like he was thinking of throwing himself off. Thankfully, Korra talked him out of it.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: He really didn't want airbending at first (not surprising, since he didn't have any control over it), but after talking with Korra he decided to give it a shot and become an Air Nomad.
- My Significance Sense Is Tingling: His bald head allows him to sense an incoming attack from behind.
- Power Incontinence: He has a very hard time controlling his new airbending, and almost jumps off a bridge to stop endangering people until Korra talks him down. He's gotten over it by mid-season.
Leader of the United Forces and Zuko's grandson. His mother is the current Fire Lord.
- Ace Pilot: A flying ace- defined as an aviator that shoots down 5 planes- he does so with no prior flying experience, against trained pilots.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He's the the grandson of the 87-year old Zuko, and The Other Wiki lists his age as "young adult", which should put him in his early-to-mid twenties. Achieving the rank of General at such a young age means it's likely either an honorary title due to his royal blood, or was earned via pure skill and asskickery. His performance during the finale strongly suggests the latter.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The general of this fleet is its most powerful weapon.
- Badass: Like grandfather, like grandson. He also lives up to his namesake.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows
- Blue Blood: A son of the Fire Nation royal family.
- The Brigadier: He is the military leader of the United Forces.
- Captain Obvious: He even channels another famous officer in charge of large fleet.
Iroh: It's a trick!
- Casting Gag: He shares Zuko's voice actor.
- The Cavalry: Leads the fleet that comes to Republic to assist in the fight against Amon.
- Dead Guy Junior: Named after Zuko's uncle.
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: In the Book One finale. Royalty of the Fire Nation joining Team Avatar just in time for the final showdown? Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
- Four-Star Badass: He earned every one of those stars with pure badassery. He does more damage to Amon's war machine than the army he commands.
- Identical Grandson: He's adult Zuko—same voice, same character design, same skills, same badassery, but no scars or psychological trauma.
- Improbable Piloting Skills: By the way he pilots a by-plane in the Book One finale, would you believe he never piloted one before?
- Indy Ploy: In his interception of the Equalist force in the finale, it's pretty clear that he was making up his plan on the fly, if you'll pardon the pun.
- Military Maverick: He was perfectly willing to "accidentally" get involved with the Water Tribe civil war as a favor to Korra. President Raiko made sure to cut him off before he had the chance to try, though. Instead, he just directed Korra to seek help from the Fire Nation.
- The Mutiny: Well, the barratry. He conspires with Korra to drag the United Republic in the War of the Water Tribes after Korra's aid request was refused by the civilian government. Doesn't go through with it after being put on the spot by his commander-in-chief.
- Nice Guy: A courageous, loyal military Badass who's always willing to help.
- Not Quite Flight: Is quite skilled at using the firebending Recoil Boost tactic to almost-fly; he manages to use it to catch up to a biplane as it was taking off, and later uses it to go from a free-fall to a controlled landing on a moving airplane.
- Offscreen Inertia: At the end of his last scene in Book One, he is left hanging off the flag held up by Avatar Aang's statue.
- Older Than He Looks: His official age is 36 (37 by Book 2) and yet he can pass for somewhere in his early twenties.
- One-Man Army: Not only does a very good job of fighting off Equalist fighters during the attack on his fleet, he takes out an entire squadron of them all by himself later on.
- Playing with Fire: As typical for a firebender.
- Shock and Awe: Unlike his grandfather (at least in his youth), he can produce lightning.
- Redshirt Army: His fleet turns out to be completely decimated by the Equalists underwater mines and bomber planes. Iroh himself, however, not only survives, but proceeds to single handedly wipe out a fleet of Equalist fighters on their way to bomb the backup fleet.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Prince of the Fire Nation.
- Spin-Offspring: Zuko's grandson.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Trademark Fire Nation eyes, and is a firebender to boot.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: His general physical form.
- Universal Driver's License: Takes control of an Equalist biplanenote , a vehicle that he had never encountered prior to his first battle against them. Despite a rocky start, he keeps it under control.
- Vocal Dissonance: In his first appearance he has the exact same voice used for the teenage Zuko from the previous series, despite looking like he's in his thirties or so. A case of Reality Is Unrealistic, since Dante Basco himself is in his thirties and naturally sounds like that. In the finale itself, when he has more lines, he does use some different inflections from Zuko, but it's still very close.
- Warrior Prince: He's the prince of the Fire Nation and the leader of the United Forces.