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
Voiced by: D.B. Sweeney
The Avatar 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.
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.
- Always Someone Better: Neither Tenzin nor Korra seem to believe they can live up to their father/predecessor's list of accomplishments.
- 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, if Korra was connected to her spiritual side, he could come to her. After Amon/Noatak debends three of her four elements and she connects with her spiritual side and is able to call on him. By doing this, it allows him to restore her bending. With the destruction of Raava at the hands of Unalaq/Vaatu, Korra is no longer connected to Aang and the past Avatars.
- Cast from Lifespan: Aang's lifespan was shortened due to spending a century in a trance state, after being trapped in an iceberg. Otherwise he may have been able to live a lot longer, considering Kyoshi was around 200 when she died.
- 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.
- Killed Off for Real: Has to be for this series to even exist.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Stoic: He became a lot more serious in his old age.
- 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, he wasn't much of a threat at full power.
- Theme Music Power-Up: A remixed version of the Main Theme of ATLA plays when Aang sets out to chase Yakone.
- And when Korra finally enters the Avatar State, and he restores her 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." Even between Avatars, he is still considered rather short-lived, as Kyoshi managed to live for at least 200 years. Still he technically died when he was 166 years old, which is much longer than the lifespans of most humans.
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
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.
Unless specifically noted below, most of the personality tropes she had in the first series
- Badass Grandma: Like Zuko, she's in her eighties and Walking the Earth. One wonders if they've met...
- 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 with said bloodbending; 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.
- Da Chief: The founder and first chief of the metalbending police.
- 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).
- Hairstyle Inertia: Keeps the same hairstyle of her youth.
- 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. As Su points out, Toph wasn't happy with the way either of them turned out.
- 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.
- My Greatest Failure: Lin believes she retired from the force out of disgrace for Suyin's behavior, though Suyin disputes this.
- The Nicknamer: Even after twenty eight years, she still calls Aang "Twinkle Toes".
- Our Founder: Has a solid gold statue of her in front of Republic City's police headquarters, and multiple statues in Zaofu.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Thirty years later and she's still the shortest of the group.
- Really Gets Around: Downplayed, but it's there. Toph has two kids by different fathers and neither's father was around when they were growing up. Either Toph's relationships were drastically short, she wasn't big on commitment, or she has the Cartwright Curse.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: When Suyin got herself arrested, she tore up the police report and covered it all up.
- Walking the Earth: Assuming she is still alive and kicking. Though her current whereabouts are unknown, the last anyone heard she was on a search for enlightenment.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In-universe and out, as she started Walking the Earth and disappeared.
- Whip It Good: Her older armor uses a hip-mounted spool instead of the back-mounted version modern metalbenders use.
He's an old man now and still awesome.
Voiced by: Bruce Davison
During his reign as Fire Lord, Zuko helped create 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 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.
- 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 Sozin-like beard.
- Badass Grandpa: Even though he's an octogenarian, he still travels the world and works tirelessly for peace. Now with the Red Lotus on the loose, keeping the Avatar safe has become his priority. Even in his old age, he's able to put up a decent fight against Ghazan.
- Big Good: Come Season 3, he's the most prominent opponent of the Red Lotus.
- Captain Obvious: When relating the story of how he once hired a firebender who could make explosions with his mind to kill the Avatar, he comments that it didn't work.
- Dragon Rider: He has a red dragon for transportation. Its name is Druk, according to All There in the Manual.
- 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.
- The Ghost: He doesn't appear until Book 3; most of what was known about him came from side materials.
- Good Parents: Unlike his father, he's implied to have been this to his daughter, to the point he is still willing to return to protect her from Zaheer.
- 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).
- 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. Of course, he is still prone to his dorkishness from time to time.
- 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.
- Papa Wolf: He was planning to return to the Fire Nation to protect his daughter when he learned Zaheer's motives was 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 is still alive, having ceded his position to his daughter. He spends his time traveling the world, acting as an unofficial Fire Nation ambassador and helping people out. He's 88. However, with the Red Lotus a threat again, he is forced to put all this on hold because now his daughter is a potential target after Zaheer murdered the Earth Queen with extreme prejudice.
- Worf Had The Flu: He was fairly quickly beaten by Ghazan during P'Li's breakout. Age and location likely had something to do with it, as he was fighting a middle-aged man in the arctic at night.
Voiced by: Chris Hardwick
Katara's older brother. Directly helped to win the Hundred Years War in the original series. Though not a bender himself, he fought alongside the Avatar to help win peace.
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.
- Hairstyle Inertia: Still has a variation of his wolftail and shaved temples as he did in the original series.
- Irony: The kid who prided himself on being a warrior and could not draw to save his life ended up becoming the founder of a Cultural Center.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Abusive Parent: Was one to Tarrlok and Amon once he discovered their abilities. He rivals Ozai at this, possibly exceeding him when he made his two sons bloodbend each other. Tellingly, the reason Tarrlok gave for him dying a broken old man wasn't regret for his actions, but the thought that his plans for revenge had failed.
- Archnemesis Dad: To Tarrlok, and Amon, who was formerly known as Noatok.
- Ax-Crazy: Frequent use of Bloodbending turned him into this.
- Badass: He was powerful enough to take out a courtroom full of people (including Toph and Sokka) and threaten Avatar Aang and force Aang to permanently remove his bending.
- The Bad Guy Wins: While he never lived to see it and ironically died a broken man thinking he was a total failure, his attempts to raise his sons into his instruments of vengeance on Republic City and the Avatar succeeded. And when all was said and done, Republic City has been torn apart both physically and socially, all at the hands of his eldest son, Noatak, AKA Amon, and his youngest, Councilman Tarrlok.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: A particularly evil bloodbender.
- Bigger Bad: After being the Big Bad to Republic City during Aang's time, and having lost his bending to him, he decided to train his sons to be personal soldiers of vengeance and to take back Republic City. And while his sons refused to do so... It still worked. Tarrlok became a Sleazy Politician bent on ruling the city through law, while Noatak, bitter and angry at the world, and believing bending to be the root of all evil, decided to start a revolution and became known as Amon.
- Cardboard Prison: He used his connections and wealth to break out of prison quite easily.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Namedropped by Tarrlok early on, and later appears in Korra's visions before we finally learn who he is. He's Tarrlok's father, and Amon's.
- Daylight Horror: Not him, but rather his ability to bloodbend is this. It was a bending style so horrifying and brutal to the point it could give someone a life sentence and was believed to only be doable under a full moon. Then comes Yakone and is able to easily preform it telepathically, in broad daylight.
- De-power: Aang, seeing how dangerous he was, took away his bending for good to defeat him.
- Despair Event Horizon: When Noatak ran away and seemed to have died out on the tundra, he felt his desire for revenge would never be fulfilled. He died a few years after that.
- The Don: Was the king of the Republic City criminal underworld.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Stalin, Hitler, and Mao all had horribly abusive fathers whom they hated, and kind mothers that they adored. Considering the dualism between Yakone and his wife and what their kids grow up to become...
- Even Evil Has Standards/Even Bad Men Love Their Wives: While he was awful to his sons and his affection towards his wife may have not been true love, she never appeared to have been mistreated or unhappy because of Yakone specifically.
- Evil Mentor: To his sons, whom he taught Bloodbending.
- Evil Laugh: Chuckles evilly as he bloodbends Sokka and Toph.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He's voiced by Clancy Brown, that's a given.
- Gone Horribly Right: Yakone is bloodbent by Noatak when he calls the old man out.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Fitting his cold and sociopathic personality.
- Jerkass: Aside from his wife, he always talked with an air of smugness, treated his children like crap and is up there with Ozai and Unalaq for being one of the worst parents in the franchise.
- Lack of Empathy: He subjects his sons to Training from Hell to become master bloodbenders at the cost of their psychological well-being. The reason? Revenge against the Avatar.
- Love Redeems: Subverted. It seems like he might have, but once he discovered the truth about his children's abilities, he showed he hadn't changed all that much. One might suspect that he married his wife specifically so she could have children that could carry on his legacy. On the other hand, he did try to find Noatak when he ran away, and he stopped trying to train Tarrlok afterwards. Whether he stopped the training out of guilt, a lack of faith in Tarrlok, or just depression over his failure is questionable.
- Magic Plastic Surgery: He gets plastic surgery after fleeing Republic City.
- Making a Splash/An Ice Person: One must be a master waterbender in order to bloodbend.
- Manipulative Bastard: Without even fully realizing it.
- Meaningful Name: His name means "blood in the snow" in an Inuktitut dialect, hinting at his bloodbending ability. It also sounds passingly similar to the famous American gangster "Capone."
- People Puppets: His bloodbending is so powerful that he can restrain dozens of people by thought alone, which he calls "psychic bloodbending".
- Posthumous Character: He died about twenty years before the start of the series.
- The Power of Blood: Not only is he a bloodbender, he doesn't even need a full moon to do it.
- Predecessor Villain:
- Tarrlok establishes him as Amon's predecessor as Big Bad of Republic City. He's also the father of Tarrlok and Amon, making him indirectly responsible for the conflict in Book One.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Upon discovering his sons were waterbenders and therefore could learn bloodbending, he trained and conditioned them to become his instruments of revenge on the Avatar and Republic City.
- Refuge in Audacity: He was able to use his bloodbending to gain power without being arrested because the idea that he could bloodbend outside of a full moon was considered impossible, even being Invoked by his attorney as a defense tactic. He even made it a point to not bloodbend during a full moon, further reinforcing the impossibility of it. It worked until he bit off more than he could chew, leaving enough witnesses that the overwhelming testimony swayed the jury in spite of the lack of evidence. So he escapes by bloodbending everyone in the courtroom.
- Retired Monster: Tried it after he was defeated and depowered. For a while he made good on it, but his ambitions were rekindled when he discovered his sons were waterbenders.
- Smug Snake: He doesn't have a problem with confidence, that's for sure.
- The Sociopath: A picture perfect example. Again, because of his bloodbending.
- Superpower Lottery: Won the grand prize short of being Avatar by having a knack to bloodbend in the daytime and with his mind. Of course, Noatak has a better ability by virtue of taking bending away.
- Tykebomb: Tried to do this with his sons to take his revenge on Republic City and the Avatar. Even though Noatak betrays him, he ultimately succeeded, since both his sons became the biggest threats to Republic City since him.
- Villainous Breakdown: A subtle example. Noatak's Calling the Old Man Out caused him to give up his dream of revenge, and he would later die a broken man. Mind, his breakdown during the Calling the Old Man Out sequence wasn't so subtle. "I MADE YOU WHAT YOU ARE! YOU'RE MINE!!!"
- We Will Meet Again: Threatens this after his plan falls through. Unfortunately for him, that plan also fell through when Aang proved to be too much for him to handle, and their next meeting proved to be far sooner than Yakone anticipated.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Gets these just as he bloodbends the entire courtroom.
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)
Wan was 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."
- 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.
- 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 death. His first time truly fusing with her causes him to pass out, and he only does marginally better the second time. It's only after permanently fusing with Raava by touching the energy from the gates during the Harmonic Convergence that it no longer causes him harm, but this leaves Raava much more vulnerable than she would be as a pure spirit.
- 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.
- Expy: Before being banished from his city, he comes across as a rather blatant, possibly even a deliberate one for Disney's Aladdin: A kind-hearted, adventurous street urchin who makes his living stealing food from the rich and being chased by them through the city, but then sharing his spoils with other poor citizens who need the food more.
- 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.
- 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 nearly 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 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.
- Platonic Life Partners: With Raava.
- Playing with Fire: Technically, the Avatar Cycle started with a Firebender.
- The Pollyanna: When going to Harmonic Convergence, 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 with the help of a teapot-sized Raava. He tells Raava that they haven't lost yet, and focuses on that to cheer himself up for just a little while longer.
- 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 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 muggle 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 thus starting the Avatar Cycle.
- 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 him/her to wield all four elements.
"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.
- Defrosting Ice King: Towards Wan, not so much towards any other human.
- Fantastic Racism: He hates humans with a passion and is initially willing to let Wan starve in the forest rather than allow him to rest in his spirit oasis. It's only after Wan saves an animal from a trap that had been set up by other humans that the aye-aye decides to give him a chance.
- Insult of Endearment: He calls Wan "Stinky", claiming it suits him better than his real name.
- Jerk Ass: Even his friendship with Wan doesn't really absolve him of his status as one. He's blatantly prejudiced against humans, doesn't spare a second thought when possessing a human soldier (coming close to killing him and radically changing his anatomy in the process), initially refused to allow Wan even a brief haven in his oasis while Wan was weak and persecuted by everything in the forest, and refuses to consider any compromise when it comes to blows between his band of spirits and the other refugees from Wan's lion turtle city.
- Nature Spirit: It seems the biggest reason he hates humans is because of how they treat nature.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: He becomes a dark spirit under Vaatu's influence, growing larger and near-demonic looking while battling Wan's human friends. He returns to normal after Vaatu's imprisonment, though.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: In his book, Wan is an exception to the rule that humans are inherently bad, mainly due to how Wan was able to protect and coexist with the spirits by himself. However, such a view does not extend to any other of the humans who he encounters. His page quote above illustrates this attitude best.
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 Professor Zei, who was honestly interested in knowledge for its own sake rather than what it could do for him and 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 would have meant Unalaq's plans with Vaatu would have succeeded without her help.
- 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 actually 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 willingly supports Unalaq and Vaatu.
- 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.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Professor Zei never left the library. His corpse can still be found in the library, clutching a book.
- 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
Late uncle of Zuko and namesake of Zuko's grandson Iroh. Has lived in the Spirit World since about 30 years after the original series. He helps guide Korra while she's 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. And he notes, one downside of the spirit world is 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.
- Unexpected Character: Oh, yes. Prior to the episode, there were zero hints that he would show up. He even lampshades this in his third appearance.
Yep, turns out this guy's still around, in the Spirit World. After killing the Moon Spirit, Zhao was condemned to the Fog of Lost Souls, a Spirit World Prison-Entity that slowly drives its prisoners insane. After seventy years trapped there, Zhao has seen better days.
- Berserk Button: Anything related to Aang is this, 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 the Moon Spirit would make him a legend whom students of strategy and history alike would 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. The Fog probably has something to do with it.
- Talkative Loon: He's now a gibbering maniac, wandering The Fog in search of Aang.
- Unexpected Character: Like Iroh, his appearance comes completely out of nowhere.
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.