Characters: The Legend Of Korra Past Characters
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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Original Team Avatar
"When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change."
Voiced by: D.B. Sweeney
The Avatar directly preceding Korra. It was by his hand that Fire Lord Ozai was defeated and the Hundred Year War ended. He founded the United Republic of Nations from the former Fire Nation colonies with its oldest and most ethnically-culturally mixed Fire Nation/Earth Kingdom ex-colony of Yu Dao becoming its capitol, in the hope that it could become a nation where people of the three remaining nations could live in peace, harmony, and prosperity.
Though Aang accomplished much, he passed away at the relatively early age of his mid-sixties; due to the century spent in an iceberg in the Avatar State draining much of his life energy.
Unless specifically noted below, most of the personality tropes he had in the first series
- The Ace: Grew into one.
- Action Dad: Fathered three children with Katara and remained an active Avatar until his death.
- Adorkable: Even as an adult he's still a goofy person, such as using his old marble trick on some seafood rolls◊.
- Always Someone Better: Neither Tenzin nor Korra seem to believe they can live up to their father/predecessor's list of accomplishments. Tenzin realizes that he doesn't have the spiritual capabilities of his father like Jinora does.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: As with anyone who was an Avatar, upon his physical body passing on, his spiritual self becomes one with the Avatar Spirit and he may be called upon for counsel whenever his successor Korra needs it.
- Badass: Once Yakone threatened his friends and the city overtly, Aang brought him down in a few minutes.
- Badass Beard: A Lincoln-esque beard, in the style of Michael Dante Di Martino himself.
- Badass Cape: Part of his Air Nomad get-up.
- Bald of Awesome: As is customary for men in the Air Nomads.
- Big Good: Prior to his death.
- Call On Me: Like previous Avatars, Korra can call on him for advice. Korra's lacking spiritual connection prevents this at first, limiting her to brief flashes of relevant memories. After losing all but her airbending to Amon, she is finally able to connect with him. This allows him to restore her bending. In Book 2, the connection is severed entirely when Raava is temporarily destroyed.
- Cast from Lifespan: Aang's lifespan was shortened due to spending a century in a trance state, after being trapped in an iceberg. By comparison, Kyoshi lived to 230.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Toph doesn't stop calling him "Twinkle Toes" even though he's forty, much to his annoyance.
- Folk Hero: Comes with being the Avatar.
- Legendary in the Sequel: Aang's reputation looms so large that his son Tenzin and eventually Korra feel pressure to live up to and maintain his legacy. Aang provides the page image for the trope itself.
- Living Legend: During his life after the war.
- He has his own island with his statue on top of it.
- No Sell: Now that he's capable of blinking in and out of the Avatar State at will, he can use this ability to break bloodbending attacks and rapidly recover from being knocked out, as displayed in his fight against Yakone.
- Not So Stoic: Even though he became more serious as he got older, it wasn't so much that he wouldn't pose like a kid for a picture.
- Our Founder: Has a massive statue in the bay, and his face is printed on the Yuan.
- Parental Favoritism: According to Bumi and Kya, he spent a lot more time with Tenzin, his only Airbending child, than with them, taking him on many travels around the world without the other two.
- Parental Neglect: According to Bumi and Kya, as a father Aang was so focused on "saving the world and doing his duty" that he never had time for his kids, save Tenzin.
- Posthumous Character: Obviously, or Korra wouldn't be the Avatar now.
- Spirit Advisor: Played with. He's supposed to fulfill this role to Korra. However, due to Korra's spiritual problems, he's unable to do so directly and is forced to advise her by sending Korra disjointed visions. At the end of the first season they finally meet face-to-face, so to speak. Following Raava's destruction and rebirth, that link has been severed.
- The Stoic: He became a lot more serious in his old age (at least in public appearances).
- Story-Breaker Power: As has often been the case with a fully realized Avatar. Aang is so powerful as an adult that the writers needed to make the villainous Yakone a bloodbender who could control people by thought alone at high noon just to have him be a believable threat to the Avatar. Even then, Aang won instantly once he decided to use the Avatar State.
- Theme Music Power-Up: A remixed version of the Main Theme of ATLA plays during Aang chase after Yakone, and later when he restores Korra's bending.
- Took a Level in Badass: From his childhood days. He took on Yakone head-on and depowered him, as opposed to trying to deal with problems non-violently and peacefully. Of course, he still doesn't actually kill him.
- Wizards Live Longer: Subverted; Aang only lived till he was (physically) 66, In the "Welcome to Republic City" adventure game, Korra explains: "all the time he spent in that iceberg caught up with him." He's still fairly long-lived for a human, bender or otherwise; at 166 years counting the iceberg, he lived longer than any mortal character barring Avatar Kyoshi, who died at 230.
"The mind can be a powerful ally, or your greatest enemy."
Voiced by: Eva Marie Saint
Widow to Avatar Aang, Katara is a master waterbender. She directly helped to win the Hundred Year War of the original series and maintained peace afterwards. A native to the Southern Water Tribe, she personally oversaw Korra's training, and developed a strong bond with her. She sees a lot of herself reflected in the young Avatar and encourages her to start her journey to Republic City.
Unless specifically noted below, most of the personality tropes she had in the first series
Click here for her Metalbending Police Chief appearance
Creator of metalbending and founder of the Republic City police force. Though blind from birth, she used earthbending to sense the world around her, which led to the ability to bend metal—something earthbenders had never been able to do before. Fought alongside Avatar Aang and his companions to end the Hundred Years War. Mother of Lin Beifong, the current Chief of Police of Republic City, and Suyin Beifong, the matriarch of the city of Zaofu. She eventually left the force on a search for enlightenment, ending up living in the Foggy Swamp in the Earth Kingdom.
Unless specifically noted below, most of the personality tropes she had in the first series
- All for Nothing: She notes that no matter how hard she tried, crime in Republic City never went away, and admits that she believes it can never truly be eradicated.
- Badass: She takes out an entire squad of of mechasuits and earthbenders with one attack.
- Badass Boast: Claims her daughters never picked up metalbending all that well. Considering that Lin is the Chief of the metalbending police and Suyin is the matriarch of a city of metalbenders, this says a lot about what Toph thinks a true metalbending master should be capable of, and the only one who fits the criteria is herself. Also, this unforgettable bit:
Korra: You were tossing me around like a ragdoll...
Toph: I know! And I'm an old lady! Imagine me in my prime... I would have DESTROYED you!
- Badass in Distress: Like the rest of the courtroom in the flashback when Yakone breaks out the bloodbending. He even forces her to levitate over to him and unlock his restraints; keep in mind that Toph is blind, and can only perceive the world when her feet are touching the ground. Doubles as a Crucified Hero Shot.
- Blind Seer: Now more than ever, especially if her claims of being able to see everything are not exaggerated.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Still the ever loudmouth, arrogant master earthbender.
- Cool Old Lady: Well into her 80s, but still a powerful earthbender who acts pretty much like she did when she was a kid.
- Costume Inertia: Still wearing effectively the same outfit she had when she was 12 years old.
- Cynical Mentor: Is this towards Korra, lamenting that all her years fighting crime as the police chief don't seem to have made any difference in the long run.
Toph: Listen, when I was chief of police of Republic City, I worked my butt off busting criminals. But did that make crime disappear? Nope. If there's one thing I learned on the beat, it's that the names change but the street stays the same.
Korra: So basically, you're saying that everything I've ever accomplished has been pointless. And I thought Beifong was grumpy...
Toph: I'm the original Beifong!
- Deconstructed in "Remembrances", where it's shown to have done more harm than good. Tenzin and Asami both dispute that it means nothing, but rather insist that just because something new pops up doesn't mean the previous battle wasn't worth fighting.
- Da Chief: The founder and first chief of the metalbending police.
- Dented Iron: After her first real fight in decades, her back hurts so much that she knows she can't help any more.
- Doting Grandparent: Her reaction towards Opal showing her affection (not to mention seeing her for the first time in years) is certainly in stark contrast to how she handles affection from others.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: Toph may be the greatest earthbender who ever lived, but old age has caught up to her more than she'd care to admit, especially to Korra. That's why she has sidelined herself from most of the fighting, and has only involved herself against Kuvira when the latter was a direct threat to her family.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: As with the previous Avatar, she's taken to training Korra, whom she abuses and tosses around even worse than she did with Aang.
- Former Teen Rebel: More like pre-teen rebel, but she nonetheless went from runaway and con artist to police chief.
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger:
- Toph does this to Yakone (and has six fingers) in a flashback.
- She also does this to Kuvira in "Operation Beifong" after saving her family.
Toph: You give Metalbenders a bad name!
- Grumpy Old Woman: Old and cranky, and as opinionated as ever, not to mention more cynical.
- Hairstyle Inertia: Keeps the same hairstyle of her youth, now with a Republic City Police badge in her headband. She even retains this hairstyle in the present. Through all iterations from her youth to her old age, she keeps her Peek-a-Bangs (which aren't a visual impediment for her since she doesn't have eyesight to begin with).
- Hands-Off Parenting: In an effort not to be like her overbearing parents, she left her children to their own devices, thinking they would find their own way much like she did. It didn't quite go her way, as Lin ended up emulating her while Suyin went in the opposite direction and rebelled against her. Eventually she couldn't bring herself to prosecute Suyin when she was caught in criminal activities, completely tearing the family apart. Su claims that Toph wasn't happy with the way either of them turned out. Toph, however, admits that they both turned out fine in spite of her parenting.
- Irony: It's a little hard to fathom this girl becoming a police chief. She was also the girl that hustled many Fire Nation gamblers by cheating.
- It Makes Sense in Context: Sums up her training of Aang as "I threw some rocks at the Avatar, he got all whiny, and then Sokka fell in a hole." It's actually not an inaccurate description of the episode in question as that is technically all that happened (minus the part about a moose, but she wasn't there when it happened). Makes sense considering she was never one for intimate details.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is a cynical, loudmouth and arrogant master earthbender, but her heart is in the right place. She lets Korra hug her after she successfully bend the rest of poison out of her body, and she stated that she was proud of her daughters and apologized that she wasn't a good mother in "Operation Beifong".
- Knight in Sour Armor: Revealed to be the reason why she stepped down from the force. She lamented how that no matter what she did there was no real change in Republic City. As she puts it: "The names changed, but the streets stayed the same."
- Limited Wardrobe: Like Hairstyle Inertia, she wears casual clothes at age 85 similar to those she wore when she was 12. Though as a younger adult and at middle age, she wore police armor.
- Mama Bear:
- She walked from the Swamp to rescue her family when it was in trouble.
- In a flashback, she used her position as police chief to protect her daughter from criminal charges, even if it meant destroying an inconvenient police report and tearing her family apart.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: Like Katara, age seems to have taken off some height from her prime.
- My Greatest Failure: Lin believes she retired from the force out of disgrace for Suyin's behavior, and guilt for having covered it up, though Suyin disputes this. Lin's wrong. The actual reason is that Toph felt that she wasn't actually fixing anything by busting the bad guys.
- Neutral No Longer: Only a direct threat on her family is enough to force her out of retirement, but once she does...
- Never Mess with Granny: Like Zuko, she's in her eighties and Walking the Earth.
- The Nicknamer: Even after twenty eight years, she still calls Aang "Twinkle Toes". And after over seventy years, Korra inherits the nickname.
- No Sympathy: According to Lin, this is the root of their estrangement. Lin was hurt by having to grow up without a father and Toph's unwillingness to discuss him, and Toph herself didn't understand why it was important to Lin and therefore didn't care. At least Toph later on apologized for not being the perfect mother for Lin.
- Not So Stoic: Toph is pretty much always in control, but in "Operation Beifong" Lin finally cuts loose with her frustration towards her mother and chews her out for seeming to care so little about what's important to her children, and finishes with a "once we save the prisoners, we are through." Toph sighs and her voice cracks ever so slightly when she says "if that's what makes you happy, fine." She holds it in well, but its clear she does really care about how hurt her daughter is.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: To a degree to Baatar Sr. She doesn't like that he calls her "mother".
- Old Master: Age has only made her an even more powerful earthbender, and she claims that neither Suyin nor Lin ever learned metalbending to her satisfaction. Adding to this her pilgrimage to find herself and she is likely the greatest earthbender in history. A weakened Korra couldn't even touch her using all her elements, while Toph was only using basic earthbending.
- The Omniscient: Claims she can see everything thanks to the far-reaching roots in her swamp. Though it's unlikely that she can see it all at once.
- One Woman Army: In "Operation Beifong", she literally sends an entire squad of Kuvira's soldiers (including several Earthbenders and Mini-Mechas) flying with one move when she pulls a Big Damn Heroes on her family.
- Our Founder: Has a solid gold statue of her in front of Republic City's police headquarters, and multiple statues in Zaofu.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: She declares Korra the worst Avatar she's ever trained. She then immediately lampshades the trope by noting she's only met one other Avatar.
- Passing the Torch: Although she is game for one odd adventure to save her family's necks, she points out that she is simply too old to partake in extended fighting and that the younger generation must pick up the torch.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Thirty years later and she's still the shortest of the group. At 86 years old, she's even smaller. She's also still a badass among badasses.
- Really Gets Around: She has two daughters by two different lovers, and neither of them was around while the kids were growing up. Lin's father was a guy named Kanto. According to Toph, he was a Nice Guy but things didn't work out between them. She never divulges any information about Su's father.
- Retired Badass: While she's among the most powerful characters in the series, she's also pushing ninety. No amount of raw power or martial arts experience can compensate for the fact that she's too old to join the big fights.
- Screw Politeness Im A Senior: Her attitude hasn't changed with age. If anything, age has only made her more direct.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: When Suyin got herself arrested, she tore up the police report and covered it all up. According to Lin, she felt bad enough about doing this that she retired a year later. Suyin disputes that this was why she retired.
- Smug Super: Old age and experience has not taught her humility. If anything, it's made her more arrogant than ever.
- So Proud of You: She tells this to everyone at the end of Operation Beifong. Toph makes it known that she's proud her daughters, and later says that although she's too old for the hero game, she encourages them to continue fighting for what's right.
- Stealth Pun: She's the chief of police; "justice is blind", anyone?
- Took a Level in Badass: She was already a match for King Bumi when she was a child. Now, her tremor sense crosses continents (augmented by the roots of giant swamp trees), and she's lost her weakness at fighting airbenders. She barely even uses her hands to earthbend anymore.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: She was never exactly a cuddly sort, but the older Toph finds excuses to outright insult someone in just about every episode she's in. Korra and her daughters are her usual targets. At the end of the day though, she expresses how proud she is of everyone and what they have achieved.
- Walking the Earth: The last time most heard from her, she was on a search for enlightenment. She's eventually found by Korra in the very same swamp that Aang first saw a vision of her in.
- Warrior Therapist: Katara tried to heal Korra through medical waterbending over the course of more than two years, and only managed to fix her physical issues. Toph spent a week beating Korra up for fun and berating her, and got closer to the root of the problem than Katara ever did.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- In-universe and out, as she started Walking the Earth and disappeared. We find out where she disappeared to in Book 4.
- And after all this time, we find out from Toph who Lin Beifong's father is. His name is Kanto. It didn't work out. That's all there is to it.
- Whip It Good: Her older armor uses a hip-mounted spool instead of the back-mounted version modern metalbenders use.
- Worlds Strongest Woman: By far and away the greatest earthbender in the world, in spite of her old age.
"The Avatar must be protected."
Voiced by: Bruce Davison
During his reign as Fire Lord, Zuko worked with Avatar Aang to transform the former Fire Nation colony regions in the Earth Kingdom into the United Republic. He shared the Fire Nation's advanced technology with the rest of the world. Zuko stepped down from the throne three years ago at age 84, and his daughter Izumi is now Fire Lord, while his grandson Iroh is general of the United Forces. He is currently a wandering ambassador for peace and balance. He is honored in Republic City with a large statue in front of Central City Station.
Unless specifically noted below, most of the personality tropes he had in the first series
- Adult Fear: Because of what Zaheer did to the Earth Queen, he resolves that he must return to the Fire Nation and keep his reigning daughter safe before they get to her and she suffers the same fate.
- All There in the Manual: His dragon's name is Druk.
- Ambadassador: Since his retirement as Fire Lord, he now travels the world acting as an unofficial Fire Nation ambassador. He is also a liaison to the White Lotus.
- Badass Beard: In his later years, he adopted a pointy, Iroh-like beard.
- Badass Grandpa: Despite being in his early nineties, he still travels the world and works tirelessly for peace. He's able to put up a decent fight against Ghazan, even during nighttime at the North Pole where his power is weakest.
- Captain Obvious: When relating the story of how he once hired a combustion bender to kill the Avatar, he comments that it didn't work.
- Dragon Rider: He has a red dragon for transportation. Unlike the serpent-shaped ones Roku and Sozin rode, Zuko's dragon looks more like a western dragon, with a shorter, bulkier body.
- Dual Wielding: If his picture is anything to go by, he still wielded his dual swords later in life. In the present, he doesn't carry any weapons.
- Glass Cannon: While undoubtedly still a badass (see Badass Grandpa entry), it's pretty clear he's become this in his old age. While he did last longer than Desna and Eska in the group fight against the Red Lotus (no small feat considering the two are exceptionally talented waterbenders and it was night time in the North Pole), he was downed in one blow by Ghazan.
- Good Parents: Unlike his father, he's implied to have been this to his daughter.
- Hereditary Hairstyle: The San Diego Comic Con "Old Friends" poster shows that adult Zuko elected to grow out his hair to match that of the Fire Lords before him. Perhaps to prevent himself looking too much like Ozai however, he forgoes the beard (at least until his later years).
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: According to Iroh, he and Aang went from a "rocky relationship" to life-long friends.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Even though he didn't meet Korra for long, they became friends very quickly.
- Achieved his ancestor Sozin's goal of sharing Fire Nation progress and prosperity with the rest of the world, but he did it peacefully, as it should have been done all along. Also, like his father, he surrendered the title of Fire Lord to his daughter, but again did it the right way and for the right reasons. This actually reflects what happens to many real-life empires. Britain made way more money dealing with an independent Malaysia than they ever did when it was British Malaya and Sarawak. It's because independent countries see the value in and aren't afraid to (for fear of losing control over and thus [probably] one's investments in the colony) invest in extensive programs of education and healthcare for their own people.
- The first of the United Republic cities would be the Fire Nation colonies Sozin set up over a century ago, and what prompted the animosity between the Fire Lord and Avatar. Zuko and Aang would be the ones who turned Sozin's mistake into one of the biggest revolutionary developments in the Avatar world.
- As he himself notes when going to check on P'Li, she's a firebender with a mental combustion ability who tried to kill the Avatar. He himself hired a man with a similar ability to try and kill Aang.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: He, along with Tonraq, Sokka and Tenzin, defeated Zaheer and his group when they tried to kidnap a then four-year old Korra.
- Older and Wiser: In his old age, Zuko displays a more calm and wise demeanor, as well as a strong sense of protecting his family and the Avatar.
- Old Master: Like Katara, he is a prominent member of the Order of the White Lotus. While Katara trained and mentored Korra, Zuko oversaw the continued imprisonment of a group of people who were attempting to end the Avatar Cycle.
- Our Founder: There is a statue of him casting a flame in front of Central City Station.
- Out of Focus: Makes his long-awaited return in Season 3, but all things considered he doesn't actually do much aside from try (and fail) to stop Zaheer from rescuing his cohorts and subsequently warning Korra (and her allies) about said escape. Probably justified, though, considering his age.
- Papa Wolf: He was planning to return to the Fire Nation to protect his daughter when he learns of Zaheer's plan to kill all the world leaders.
- Passing the Torch: He gave the throne to his daughter, making him the first known Fire Lord to have abdicated voluntarily (Ozai gave the title to his daughter while claiming a superior title, making the "Lord" powerless). Compare with his predecessors: Sozin died of old age after starting the Hundred-Year War and killing all but one of the Airbenders, Azulon was murdered by Ursa to protect Zuko from his wrath, and Ozai was Depowered by Aang when he tried to burn the Earth Kingdom using the power of Sozin's Comet.
- Scars Are Forever: It's been over 70 years, but the scar on his eye hasn't faded in the slightest.
- Strong Family Resemblance: In his later years Zuko looks a lot like his great-grandfather Avatar Roku, minus the scar, though his beard also makes him look a bit like his other great-grandfather, Fire Lord Sozin.
- This Cannot Be!: Says this when he learns that Zaheer has become an airbender.
- Walking the Earth: Zuko ceded his position to his daughter and spends his time traveling the world, acting as an unofficial Fire Nation ambassador and helping people out. He's 91.
"I once bested a man with my trusty boomerang, who was able to firebend... with his mind."
Voiced by: Chris Hardwick
Katara's older brother. While he is not a bender himself, he fought alongside the Avatar to help win peace, directly helping to win the Hundred Years War in the original series. He later became the Republic City representative for the Southern Water Tribe and its chairman. And later in his life became one of the chieftains of the Southern Water Tribe's Council of Chieftains and Elders.
Unless specifically noted below, most of the personality tropes he had in the first series
- Ambadassador: Is the representative of the Southern Water Tribe, and likely didn't lose any badassery even after twenty or so years.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Averted, in contrast to his characterization in the original series. Sokka, having seen several supposedly impossible feats in his lifetime, takes the testimony of numerous witnesses at face value despite their supposedly outrageous claims.
- Badass Beard: Like his father before him.
- Badass Grandpa: See Offscreen Moment of Awesome.
- Badass in Distress: Like the rest of the courtroom in the flashback when Yakone breaks out the bloodbending.
- Demoted to Extra: Has by far the smallest presence in Korra out of the entire original Gaang. Justified by three reasons: he's dead, none of his descendants (if he ever had any) are present in the series, and he's not the previous incarnation of the current protagonist.
- Hairstyle Inertia: Still has a variation of his wolftail and shaved temples as he did in the original series.
- Made of Iron: The only person in the courtroom who held off Yakone's mass bloodbending for longer than Sokka was Aang.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: He is said to have helped take down the Red Lotus when they tried to kidnap Korra when she was a child. He was about 74 at that point.
- Older and Wiser: Seems much more down to earth than his original appearances.
- Our Founder: In Book 2; we see that Sokka has a statue in front of the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center, with him holding his beloved boomerang.
- Posthumous Character: Katara specifically mentions that he's passed on before the start of the series. However, it seemed he was still alive when Korra was discovered to be the Avatar, meaning that he outlived Aang by at least four years.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Points out that while they have no proof other than witness testimony of Yakone having extraordinary blood-bending abilities, he's seen a lot of other things thought to be impossible, such as Toph inventing metal-bending and Combustion Man's explosions, and therefore declares Yakone guilty.
- Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: During the trial of Yakone, one of Sokka's examples about how bending isn't necessarily set in stone is his defeat of Combustion Man by way of boomerang. This happened, of course, but it seems Sokka couldn't help but do a little self-promotion.
- Seen It All: Much like Katara, he mentioned how he defeated the Combustion Man with his boomerang, and how Toph achieved the "impossible" by discovering Metalbending, and used those as rationale (alongside overwhelming amounts of eyewitness testimony coming forth) to declare Yakone guilty for bloodbending without the benefit of a full moon.
- Strong Family Resemblance: As an adult, Sokka looks much like his own father, Hakoda, from the original series.
A man who threatened Republic City during Avatar Aang's adulthood. According to Tarrlok, he was such a serious threat that Aang had to deal with him decisively. He was capable of performing bloodbending at any time without the need for hand motions, and used his powers to rule Republic City's criminal underworld.
The wife of Yakone and mother to his two sons, and the least developed of the family's four characters. A simple, warm hearted and caring Water Tribe woman and non-bender, she is a sharp contrast to her husband in just about every way.
- The Cutie: Her basic personality.
- Elemental Hair / Improbable Hairstyle: The traditional Water Nation hair loops are present, but both are extremely thick braids. Despite this, she also sports a bun in the back, which gives her an improbable amount of hair but a distinct nation-specific appearance in a series where such traditions were in decline.
- Girl Next Door: Gives off this vibe.
- Good Parents: She was this. Her husband was not.
- Heroic BSOD: The fate of her sons induces this.
- Locked Out of the Loop: As Tarrlok mentioned, she had absolutely zero idea of her husband's past, and the absolute hell which he put their sons through, as so to master bloodbending for the sake of revenge.
- Love at First Sight: See below under Meet Cute.
- May-December Romance: Their exact ages aren't given, but he was already in his thirties when he met her, while she looked like a teenager. Their characters designs as they age reflect this; when he looks fifty or so and has gone gray haired, she has only put on a little weight and is otherwise still twenty-looking.
- Meet Cute: Astonishingly enough for a character as dark as Yakone, they do manage this when he sees her sewing outside her house and stops walking, unable to think of anything to say. They lock eyes and she looks away, blushing and smiling.
- Morality Pet: For Yakone, although as with everything with him, it isn't clear if it's a straight example or not.
- Nice Lady: A warm and caring woman, according to Tarrlok.
- Pretty in Mink: Has an elaborate fur trimmed outfit, similar to Korra's formal wear much earlier in the series.
- Proper Lady: If the narration is to be believed.
- Purple Eyes: An extremely rare example even in-universe. The only other purple eyed Water Tribe members in the series were nameless background characters and Hama.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: Seen sewing and cooking and not going on hunting trips. This is how Inuit society worked, and since the Water Tribe were based on the Inuit, it's a case of Shown Their Work.
- The Voiceless: Has no spoken lines.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Comes off as this.
"This is my mission: to use Raava's light spirit to guide the world toward peace."
Voiced by: Steven Yeun, Stephen Stanton (old)
The very first Avatar. Ten thousand years before Korra's time, Wan was a Street Urchin
who, through some trickery, was given the power of firebending and used it to steal food from nobles. However, he was apprehended and was forced into exile, eventually befriending spirits.
- Action Hero: Evolves into one from Guile Hero.
- All-Loving Hero: He grew into one, rivaling even Aang in this department. He was the first person who cared for both humans and spirits, which was always considered alien and impossible.
- Anime Hair: Had one when he was younger.
- Anti-Hero: He starts as a savvy Street Urchin who essentially steals firebending from the Lion Turtle. He eventually develops into a more proper hero.
- The Atoner: Spent his entire life trying to make up for his mistakes and restore balance.
- Badass Beard: A short, pointed beard on his chin.
- Badass Boast: "Haven't you heard the legends? I'm not a regular human anymore."
- Beware the Nice Ones: Don't think just because of Wan's peaceful nature that it automatically means he's a pushover. Peaceful or not, he's still the Avatar.
- Big Good: He became the first Avatar and his lifelong goal was to restore balance to the world with Raava's help.
- Broken Ace: Wan was able to master the art of controlling fire better than any human before him, but ended by unknowingly releasing the most powerful dark spirit, Vattu, from confinement, almost resulting in The End of the World as We Know It and, in the end, dies believing he failed Ravva and couldn't save the world.
- Brown Eyes: He's not exactly down-to-earth, but he demonstrates stability and trustworthiness as his life goes to hell and he's still insistent on fixing his mistakes.
- Celibate Hero: Wan never appeared to have gotten married by the time of his death.
- Character Development: Wan went from being a petty but well meaning thief to the enduring Big Good of the whole world.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Fusing with Raava gives him access to all four elements at once, but, as with all spirits who fuse with a human, prolonged fusion can put a strain on his body and eventually leads to death. His first time truly fusing with her causes him to pass out, and he only does marginally better the second time. When they're exposed to the energy of the spirit portals during Harmonic Convergence, the fusion is made permanent, starting the Avatar Cycle.
- Deity of Human Origin: By permanently merging his soul to Raava, he became the first Avatar.
- Doomed Moral Victor: At the end of his life, he failed to bring balance, but he was only the first in a long line of Avatars that would continuously fight for that balance.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Started as a normal person, but slowly starts acquiring each element.
- The Exile: He was banished from his Lion Turtle City after stealing the power of fire and trying to rob the Chu family food stores.
- Friend to All Living Things: He even gives up the bread he stole to a few animals. Wan saved Mula from other humans, even when he had the option of eating her.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Heroic version: He went from an everyday street urchin, and eventually became the first Avatar.
- Fusion Dance: Eventually merges with Raava, explaining how the Avatar can be the only person to bend all four elements.
- Guile Hero: He had his city's Lion Turtle grant firebending to him when he joined a hunting party. He pretended to chicken out, and returned to the city, now armed with firebending, to steal food from the nobles.
- Insult of Endearment: His spirit friend calls him "Stinky".
- Irony: The Avatar cycle starting with a firebender, centuries later it's the nation based on his element that tried to put an end to it.
- Legacy Character: Not himself, but he begins the Avatar cycle.
- Loyal Animal Companion: Has a cat-deer named Mula he saved from human hunters.
- Meaningful Name: "Wan" means "ten thousand", which is the number of years separating his time from Korra's. It can also be taken as a pun on "one", since he's the first Avatar.
- Messy Hair: He started with Spiky Hair prior to his exile. As he grew up with the spirits, though, his hair fell to his shoulders and became more disheveled.
- Muggle: Starts out as one, until he's given elemental powers.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Has this reaction when he released Vaatu, the spirit of darkness and chaos.
- Nice Guy: A kind, heroic, selfless, and all-loving human being.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He accidentally broke the balance of light and dark by freeing Vaatu from Raava.
- Pals With Raava: He slowly ends up befriending many spirits, but eventually does this with Raava, the spirit of light and peace, after some time together.
- Parental Abandonment: When we first see him, he appears to be a teenager, and his parents aren't shown or mentioned.
- Physical God: The Avatar State, like all the other Avatars.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Raava.
- Playing with Fire: Technically, the Avatar Cycle started with a Firebender.
- The Pollyanna: By the time he confronts Vaatu, all of his human friends from his hometown have been slaughtered, his spirit friends have been turned into Dark Spirits, and his only hope to fight an Eldritch Abomination is with the help of a teapot-sized Raava. Nevertheless, he never loses hope that they can win.
- Posthumous Character: Wan has been dead for a little shy of ten millennia.
- The Quest: His quest to bring peace between humans and spirits leads to him becoming the first Avatar.
- Reconcile The Bitter Foes: Concerned about the destruction of the environment, Wan approached two raging spirits, oblivious to their identity, and ordered them to stop. Raava told him the fight did not concern him. However, when he objected, telling her that it was his concern when the lives of spirits and animals were at stake, Vaatu begged him for help. Upon hearing that the dark entity had been tortured by his counterpart for ten thousand years, Wan used his firebending to break the hold Raava had on Vaatu. It was only after Vaatu had already fled that Wan learned the error of his actions, as Raava explained who she was and what her purpose was.
- Shadow Archetype: As Korra was to Aang, Wan is built as a strong contrast to Korra's major characteristics. He's male to her female. He has no legacy to live up to, while Korra is driven to live up to her legacy. He chooses to try and solve the world's problems, while Korra was raised to feel it was her duty to solve them. Wan was born a everyday human with no powers at all, and Korra was able to bend three elements before she was 5 years old. Also, while Korra's first element was water, his was fire.
- Shonen Hair: During his Street Urchin days, at least.
- Spanner in the Works: By stealing fire alone and surviving in exile, Wan ends up causing a chain of events that causes people to become benders and explore outside the turtles. He even ends up triggering many changes with Vaatu and Raava.
- Standing Between The Enemies: Between the humans and spirits and later on between different human tribes in his attempt to stop wars. Naturally he is the first Avatar that laid the foundation of the Avatar's role to settle disputes.
- Street Urchin: Started out as one in the city he grew up in.
- Took a Level in Badass: Went from an ordinary Street Urchin to the Avatar.
- Tragic Hero: In the end, despite wanting peace and unity for the world, he was unable to prevent war and violence from occurring and died on some random battlefield.
- The Unchosen One: He simply refused to accept there was no way to change his lifestyle and eventually the way the world worked. By going against of what humans and spirits believed, he became the first Avatar and essentially changed the whole world.
"Don't worry. We will be together for all of your lifetimes, and we will never give up."
A spirit of light and peace. Her fusion with Wan is what created the Avatar spirit and allows the Avatar to wield all four elements.
- Above Good and Evil: Her emphasis was more on preserving order and peace, not having any concern for the safety of humans, be they good or evil, who could potentially end up collateral damage from her battle with Vaatu. Because of her view of Humans Are Bastards, humans who die as a result of her winning the battle were acceptable losses. All this changed when Wan came along, and decided that humanity is worth protecting.
- Always with You: Says this to an elderly and dying Wan and is the embodiment spirit to many other Avatar incarnations.
Raava: "Don't worry. We will be together for all of your lifetimes, and we will never give up."
- Animalistic Abomination: Like her counterpart, she resembles a giant flatworm.
- Arch-Enemy: Vaatu, the spirit of darkness.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: Battles her counterpart once every ten thousand years, unless either one of them was permanently contained, light and darkness cannot exist without each other. Even if one of them wins the victor can't destroy the other, as their counterpart will emerge from within their self again after ten thousand years. Though if Vaatu wins, humans aren't going to be there by the time the next battle rolls around.
- Big Good: Within the Spirit World. A half of the Big Good for ten thousand years in the material world as well, as the spirit of the Avatar.
- Born-Again Immortality: As the spirit half of the Avatar, Raava doesn't die when the current Avatar does. She merely reincarnates in the next one, taking along the soul of the deceased Avatar. Even if the Avatar were killed in the Avatar State, she would eventually reform as her original self.
- Complete Immortality: As she explains to Wan in "Beginnings", neither she or Vaatu can ever truly be destroyed. One defeating other results in the defeated party regrowing in the victor over the next ten thousand years. Add on to that the fact that they are Made Of Air and only vulnerable to spiritually-empowered attacks.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: As an addition to the Avatar universe Raava and Vaatu really lend themselves more to stereotypically western ideas of good and evil (hiding behind a thin veneer of Order Versus Chaos) than the duality aspect that was played up in other major spirits like the Moon and Ocean.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: As she works with Wan, she becomes softer and kinder, impressed by his nobility, and eventually pledges to stay with him for all his lifetimes.
- Eldritch Abomination: An example of a benevolent one.
- Female Angel, Male Demon: She is female and the spirit of light and peace, in spite of Asian symbolism assigning light to masculinity.
- From a Single Cell: Even if she's destroyed, she will regenerate from within Vaatu over ten thousand years, as light and darkness cannot exist without each other.
- Fusion Dance: Fuses with Wan, creating the Avatar cycle.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: She is white and blue, to contrast Vaatu.
- God of Good: As the spirit of light and peace. She is also the spirit whom the Avatar is the incarnation of.
- God in Human Form: As mentioned, the Avatar is her incarnation in the physical realm, which she brought on by bonding to Wan as her host.
- Gold and White Are Divine: Subtly, but whenever her "essence" is emphasized, it is coloured gold or bright yellow (examples include the Avatar State glow on Korra after she motivates her, when she is ripped out of Korra (where her usual white is replaced by yellow), and in the refusion between her in Korra, which glows with gold.
- Good Is Not Nice: She is openly disdainful of Wan and other humans (at least at first). One theory posits that the Avatar State was tied to anger because Raava herself was aggressive.
- Heavenly Blue: Even when she was firmly in Good Is Not Nice territory, she was still a partially blue life and order spirit.
- Humans Are Bastards: She had this attitude for a while, until she learned how Wan was different.
- Light 'em Up: Although not seen doing this to battle Vaatu, she does glow brightly and makes Wan glow with a white aura.
- Light Is Good: She is the spirit of light and peace and her job was to control her Dark Is Evil counterpart and prevent him from annihilating the world. Even so, she was also initially not really any better than your average spirit in her attitude towards humans. Only after she bonded with Wan did she learn the error of her ways.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Despite the story pinning all the blame on Wan for accidentally releasing Vaatu, she also holds some share of responsibility. Whereas Vaatu wasted no time deceiving Wan with a sob story about being tormented for ten thousand years, Raava went into Fantastic Racism and utterly dismissed Wan's presence, only telling him the truth when it was too late.
- Order Versus Chaos: She represents order, Vaatu represents chaos.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
Raava: We are bonded forever.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Wan.
- Sealed Evil in a Duel: She has trapped Vaatu in battle for millennia to keep him from spreading darkness. Wan ruins this.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: She has this kind of relationship with Wan at first.
- Took a Level in Kindness: While aggressive and furious at Wan for releasing Vaatu, she becomes kinder since they start travelling tohether and seeing that not all Humans Are Bastards.
- Time Abyss: Vaatu claims to have existed for ten-thousand lifetimes before humanity came to prominence; the same likely applies to Raava, given their dual nature.
- What the Hell, Hero?: She was furious with Wan for accidentally releasing Vaatu and lets him know. Wan understands this and promises to help her restore the balance.
- You Are Not Alone: She says this to comfort Wan as he dies.
"You have a good heart, Stinky, but these fire tossers aren't like you."
A spirit resembling an Aye-aye living during Wan's time. He begrudgingly took Wan in as a "pet" after Wan was banished by the Chou brothers and allowed him to learn further bending techniques from the spirits and forest animals, forming a close friendship despite his dislike of humans.
Wan Shi Tong
Wan Shi Tong
Voiced by: Héctor Elizondo
The all-knowing owl spirit from the first series makes his return in Book Two, and meets Jinora.
- Ancient Keeper: Of the Library.
- Berserk Button:
- Seeking knowledge for destructive purposes is not a way to get on his good side.
- Judging by how angered he sounds when bumping into Jinora, he's obviously not terribly fond of humans either.
- The Bus Came Back: As mentioned, this is his first appearance since the middle of The Last Airbender Book Two, which means not having a major appearance or role for at least half a decade.
- Horrible Judge of Character: For a creature who knows ten thousand things, he believes Unalaq is a friend to the spirits and Jinora claiming to have come with the Avatar was enough for him to betray her to Unalaq.
- Humans Are Bastards: He's firmly in this mindset now. When Jinora tries to cite the old rules for entry, he says that the rules changed since the last time. He makes an exception for Unalaq, whom he believes to be a true friend to the spirits.
- Karma Houdini: Seems to have gotten away scot-free, despite the fact that he led Unalaq to Jinora and allowed him to capture her, which almost enabled Unalaq's plans with Vaatu to succeed.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: In a sense. He gives the most childish and stupid explanation for how radios work (little men inside playing the music) as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Of course, it turns out he was misinformed by one of his fox familiars.
- Magic Librarian: He was in charge of a massive library in The Last Airbender, and fills the same role here.
- Meaningful Name: "Wan Shi Tong" means "He who knows ten thousand things". Taken a step further, "ten thousand things" is a Taoistic expression for all of creation; by introducing himself as "he who knows ten thousand things" Wan Shi Tong calls himself all-knowing.
- Moral Dissonance: The reason he sided with Unalaq over a friend of the Avatar. He knows the Avatar has abused his knowledge in the past, but as far as he's concerned, Unalaq is a great friend of the spirits who probably never used what was in the library for "selfish" goals. Anything beyond that is just details.
- Ominous Owl: When he's mad.
- The Omniscient: Claims to be "all-knowing", though he's pretty easy to fool for someone who claims they know everything. As shown with his description of a radio's inner workings, he's reliant on his fox helpers to gather knowledge for him and doesn't actually have accurate information on certain topics.
- The Owl-Knowing One: A knowledge spirit, so it comes with the territory. However, he is woefully misinformed when it comes to human technology within the last 70 years.
- Pride: Is so secure in his knowledge, that he constantly makes stupid mistakes by underestimating or misjudging the actions of others.
- Sanity Slippage: His library is now extremely dilapidated, and being cut off from the physical world has left him with out of date or with nonsensical information which he doesn't question. His behavior is also more agitated, and he willingly supports Unalaq.
- Scary Librarian: He owns a library that collects all the knowledge in the world, and he doesn't take kindly to visitors after a firebender set fire to a section, destroying many of his books.
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Because of the Gaang's actions from the previous series, he relocated the library to the Spirit World and forbade all humans from ever having access. When he finds out Jinora is Aang's granddaughter, he happily hands her over to Unalaq. It seems he never did quite forgive Aang for "misusing" the knowledge of the solar eclipse.
Voiced by: Greg Baldwin
The late uncle of Zuko and namesake of Zuko's grandson Iroh. He has lived in the Spirit World since about 30 years after the original series, and now he helps guide Korra whenever she is in the Spirit World.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: The nature of his "death" is unclear, but he did state that when his work was done in the material world he chose to let his soul depart and live in the spirit world. In any case, his body is certainly long dead by now.
- Big Fun: He still likes to have a joke and laugh. As he notes, one downside of the Spirit World is that he cannot lose his gut.
- Cool Old Guy: As much as ever. The first thing he does after finding Korra is take her to a tea party to give advice.
- Foil: To Korra's Evil Uncle Unalaq. It becomes more evident in "A New Spiritual Age", when both appear in the Spirit World.
- Mentor Archetype: To Korra; helping her grow into a better Avatar, and understand the Spirit World much better.
- Mr. Exposition: Explains a lot of the Spirit World to Korra and how her emotions have an influence on it.
- Older Than He Looks: Physically not much older than he was in the first series, even though he has to be pushing 140 by this point.
- Posthumous Character: Similar to Aang, though his spirit lives on, he's long since been dead in the material world. The fact that he's a spirit is more of a surprise, though, given his age.
- Retired Badass: The former Dragon of the West is treating his death more or less like retirement, spending his days sipping tea and playing Pai Sho with the local spirits.
- Spirit Advisor: Is technically this now that he is a resident of the Spirit World and still dispenses advice.
- In Book Three; with Korra having lost her connection to the previous Avatars', he's more or less assumed the mentor position that Roku had to Aang in the original series.
- Unexpected Character: Oh, yes. Prior to the episode, there were zero hints that he would show up. Both times after that, he just arbitrarily shows up to offer helpful advice, even lampshading it the third time.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: The gist of his final piece of advice to Korra in Book Two.
I am Zhao The Conqueror. I am the Moon Slayer! I will capture the Avatar!
A former Fire Nation commander that killed the Moon Spirit in the previous series. He was condemned to the Fog of Lost Souls, a Spirit World Prison-Entity that slowly drives its prisoners insane.
- Berserk Button: Anything related to Aang is this, as he absolutely flips out when he sees his son Tenzin.
- The Cameo: His only role is to provide fanservice and demonstrate what happens to prisoners of the Fog of Lost Souls.
- Dragged Off to Hell: What essentially became of him courtesy of the Ocean Spirit.
- Driven to Madness: As is the fate of everyone who becomes prisoner to the Fog of Lost Souls. His worst memories and fears were inflamed, causing them to completely shatter his mind.
- Evil Is Hammy: Insanity has only made him hammier.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Technically Zhao isn't dead. He might wish he was, though.
- Irony: Zhao boasted that his killing of the Moon Spirit would make him a legend, whom students of strategy and history alike would then study for thousands of years to come. Just seventy years later; Kya, Bumi (a former military commander), and Tenzin (who studied his father's history thoroughly) have no idea who he is.
- Madness Mantra: "I am Zhao The Conqueror. I am the Moon Slayer! I will capture the Avatar!"
- Older Than He Looks: He's over a hundred at this point, yet his only sign of ageing is grey hair. And that can easily be chalked up to his mental state, which the Fog probably has something to do with.
- Talkative Loon: He's now a gibbering maniac, wandering the Fog hopelessly in search of Aang.
- Unexpected Character: Like Iroh, his appearance comes completely out of nowhere.
Empty, and become wind.
An Air Nomad that lived 4,000 years ago, Guru Laghima is said to have discovered the secret of weightlessness, living the last forty years of his life without ever touching the ground. Zaheer is an avid follower of his work.