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The Avatar

"We are bonded forever."
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_avatar.jpg
"You think your power has limits. I say it's limitless."note 

The Avatar is the most powerful being in the Avatar universe. It is the result of a permanent fusion between Wan - the first man to not only possess the power of more than one element, but the first human bender as well - and Raava, the spirit of light and peace. The Avatar is a reincarnation of Wan throughout the millennia, starting a cycle that began the moment Wan died.

The Avatar is able to access the power of Raava and his or her previous incarnations in what is called the Avatar State, giving them unlimited power for as long as they are in said state. However, any given incarnation of the Avatar is not immortal, and if he or she is killed in the Avatar State, the Avatar Spirit will die and the cycle will end (though Raava herself will survive the death of the Avatar Spirit, and will eventually reform elsewhere).

The Avatar's mission in life, a task set forth by Wan himself, is to maintain balance of the world, as well as between the mortal and spirit realms. This job includes bringing peace between groups in conflict, or defeating threats to world peace such as imperialist tyrants bent on conquest. The Avatar is also the spiritual leader of the world; due to being half spirit, the Avatar is most powerful in the Spirit World, as opposed to other humans who normally are powerless in comparison. The Avatar must master the four elements and attain a certain degree of balance within themselves; they are then referred to as a "fully realized Avatar".

For tropes specifically relating to Korra, Aang, the Avatars who preceded them, or Wan himself, please visit the various pages in the Character pages for both Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra.


  • The Atoner: Until perhaps the Harmonic Convergence of Korra's time, the Avatar's mission in life is partly to honor Wan's dying wish to continue making up for his grave mistake in releasing Vaatu.
  • Big Good: The Avatar is to attain this goal once they have mastered all four elements and found inner peace. This usually negates an Avatar's chance to have political power, since their job is to essentially be the leader of two entire worlds.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Avatar Extras dryly noted that most people who face or challenge a fully realized Avatar in combat are pretty easily embarrassed.
  • Changing of the Guard: Wan through Aang represents the first full Harmonic Convergence Cycle for the Avatar or the course of about 10000 years. Korra started off as part of Wan's legacy until Raava was attacked and she permanently lost her connection to her past lives during second Convergence. This makes her the new 'first' avatar, as no one else will ever be able to directly commune with Wan-Aang.
  • The Chosen One: Treated as one as far as the world is concerned, with each nation having the same, or similar methods to recognize the him or her when he/she is born, and during the War was treated as a symbol of hope to be revered or destroyed. A tribe feuding for a hundred years took Aang's bald-face lie at face value simply because he claimed to know the tribe's forefounders. Avatars are commonly involved with, connected to or directly responsible for history changing events and important individuals. On top of all that, their destiny is to battle Vaatu every ten thousand years to prevent a dark-spirit apocalypse.
  • Elemental Powers: One of the main advantages of being bonded with Raava is that the Avatar can use all four of the elements, air-, water-, earth- and firebending, instead of just the one like everyone else. Even then the Avatar can mostly only use one at a time. With the Avatar State active they can use all four at the same and with a tremendous power boost. Their ability to use multiple elements also makes it easier for the Avatar than other benders to apply bending techniques across elements, such as redirecting lightning by applying Waterbending principles to Firebending.
  • Fusion Dance: The Avatar came to be when Wan and Raava fused together during Harmonic Convergence.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: As seen above, the Avatar employs these when entering the Avatar State.
  • God Is Good: The Avatar is the closest thing to a god that the Avatar universe has, and their job is to protect the worlds and its people and spirits.
  • God of Good: The Avatar is the human incarnation of Raava. She bonded herself with a human host in order to defeat her evil opposite Vaatu and later bring peace to both physical and spirit worlds.
  • Heroic Second Wind: The Avatar State is often used as a last resort when the Avatar requires an extra boost of power to accomplish the task at hand.
  • The Juggernaut: While not immortal, it's easy to tell that a fully realized Avatar is considered unstoppable even by the top tier of normal benders.
  • Legacy Character: Via reincarnation, every avatar after Wan takes up his legacy and title.
  • Master of All: The purpose of each Avatar's training is to turn them into one of these, mastering all four elements to an even greater degree than normal benders who have been training for decades.
  • Messianic Archetype: Each avatar is a reincarnated man or woman who possess incredible power and connected to a spiritual plane of existence, and in every life has faced off a tyrannical or amoral enemy. Their advice is treated with near-religious worship and world leaders are willing to listen to the advice of a 10 year-old with no knowledge of war or even a complete history of the last century. The last part holds truth, as avatars have the ability to access Raava's memories to seek the wisdom they need.
    • Sublty deconstructed as Aang is initially treated as the sole person capable of saving the world and his word is treated as law, while Korra is met with resistance such as the World leaders not including her in war strategies against Kuvira due to her not being fully recovered. Only when the situation became so bad that they had to defer to her wisdom. However, the deconstruction actually began in Aang's era as while he was still respected and word treated as law, people, such as the fisherman weren't afraid to call him out on his absence compared to only the most audacious/evil challenging The Avatar, so this was on the eve of society getting increasingly modern/secular enough to not be so in awe of one.
  • The Needs of the Many: This is a dilemma faced by many Avatars in their lifetimes: whether or not to choose between themselves or the fate of the many in a given context. Since the Avatar is the protector of not just the entire world, but the Spirit World as well, an Avatar is usually advised to serve the needs of the many over the needs of the few. This is the reason some Avatars more or less cast off their backgrounds and ideologies (such as Yang Chen), to better serve the worlds as a whole.
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct: Though not outright stated, while it is the Avatar's duty to protect the innocent, he or she cannot interfere in the affairs of other nations, unless there is a threat to him/herself, balance in the material world, or even a threat that's on a supernatural level. However, world leaders and conquerors abusing their power on their own people tends to be a grey area below a certain threshold but so it's hard to determine that limit to their intervention. As such, this principle has been broken left and right by various Avatars.
  • Physical God: Any fully-realized Avatar, but especially one in the Avatar State.
  • Reincarnation: The Avatar's spirit never truly dies as it continuously reincarnates into a new body at death. However, if the Avatar is killed in the Avatar State, the Avatar would truly die.
  • Super Mode: The Avatar State, which grants the current Avatar all the knowledge and skill of all of their past lives as well as a significant power boost.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: It depends on the Avatar if this trope is invoked or not. Aang was a notable pacifist who believed all life was sacred, which he was more or less chastised for by his predecessors.
  • Voice of the Legion: On many occasions when the Avatar speaks during the Avatar State, the Avatar will speak with apparently the voices of all previous Avatars at once, in a chilling, powerful drone.

     Raava 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tvtropes_img_raava_6775.png
"Don't worry. We will be together for all of your lifetimes, and we will never give up."
Voiced by: April Stewart

A great 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 convinced her 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.
  • Call on Me: The Avatars can call on her for advice too, but many have forgotten they can do that. Even Korra didn't think to do it until Book 4, where trying to connect with Raava becomes a plot point.
  • Clingy Macguffin: Once Raava reincarnates into a new host, she cannot leave even if she wanted to, but beings like Vaatu can forcibly destroy the link between her and her host, and the process is VERY painful.
  • 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: She is similar to the Zoroastrian god Ohrmazd in that she is the god of light and peace, and she is locked into battle with her inherent evil opposite Vaatu (Ahriman) yet both are equal in power. At the end of "Beginnings", it is revealed that she essentially is the Avatar Spirit (along with all the other humans she has reincarnated with).
  • 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.
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Avatar Aang (安昂)

    As a youth 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Aang_Official.png
Voiced by: Zach Tyler Eisen (original), René Pinochet (Latin American Spanish)

"There's just too many of them. I can't fight them all... I'm just one kid."

The twelve-year-old (well, technically a hundred-and-twelve-year old) plucky Airbending boy destined to save the world. When he learned of his status as the Avatar, followed by the monks trying to take him from his teacher/father figure, he couldn't handle the pressure and ran away from home. When he was caught in a storm, he defensively used his powers to seal himself in an iceberg, which protected him for a century while the other Air Nomads were exterminated by the Fire Nation in an effort to kill him. After being freed from the iceberg by Katara and Sokka, he now must face his destiny by mastering all four elements and defeating Fire Lord Ozai to restore balance to the world.


  • The Ace: The youngest airbending master in history (before his granddaughter Jinora bested him at 11) and quite smart about different cultures or spiritual matters.
  • Achilles' Heel: While going into the Avatar State makes him the most powerful character in the series, it also makes him very vulnerable. Because the Avatar State pulls all the spirits of the former Avatars — that is, the entire spirit that is the Avatar — into one body at the same time, dying while in the state means the Avatar spirit would die, the chain of reincarnation would break, and the Avatar would cease to exist.
  • Adorkable: Aang is a goofy, smiling kid who has a ton of energy. There's also his crush on Katara.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Compare Aang's first season look to his third season look.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: He is haunted by how scary and destructive he can be when he's in Avatar State; being that he's a pacifist by nature and upbringing, it's very justified. In the episode he even says "I was scary" referring to the Avatar State.
  • All-Loving Hero: He has a love and respect for all life, including those of his enemies.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Zig-Zagged. While he's still a definite nice guy, Aang was this as well, being just a child and wanting to always get to the cool stuff. His first attempt at firebending fails because he stopped his "control the fire" to make more fire, and burned Katara. This seems to only apply to firebending, though. When it comes to airbending and waterbending, he's highly spiritual, and doesn't really like fighting much. And he doesn't like bending earth at all.
  • The Atoner: He wants to stop the Fire Nation not only because it's his job as the Avatar, but also because he wants to atone not being there for his people when the Fire Nation ambushed them.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In the first episode, he's more interested in chasing a penguin than finding out what happened while he was frozen in the iceberg.
  • Author Avatar: The first character conceived by Bryke. He was designed by Bryan to have his philosophical outlook but to have the appearance of Mike. This is especially true for his adult version in The Legend of Korra.
  • Back from the Dead: With a dose of Only Mostly Dead since Katara got to him in time.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • With the Blue Spirit.
    • A subtle one with Zuko, in the climax of "The Firebending Masters."
  • Badass Adorable: Total ass kicking hero with elemental kung fu, looks adorably huggable.
  • Badass in Distress: Played for Laughs in "Avatar Day," where Aang is wearing a heavy wooden stock. Not only does it not fit him, but he's able to casually slip out of it while chatting with the other prisoners. Note that he also does this in "The Earth King" by dismantling the earth-handcuffs to wave at the king.
  • Badass Pacifist: Aang has demonstrated on separate occasions to be capable of avoiding violence while stopping said violence.
    • In "The Great Divide", he stopped the feuding clans by lying.
    • Aang managed to one-up the resident bully in "The Headbands" by simply evading his punches.
    • The series finale had him defeat Ozai by taking away his bending.
  • Bald of Awesome: All of the Martial Pacifist airbenders shave their head. Naturally, this includes Aang except during the first half of the third season, when he was hiding his identity.
  • Battle Couple: Downplayed with Katara. They are a couple and both of them fight but rarely side-by-side.
  • Berserk Button: He hates it when he feels that his culture is being mocked.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's one of the most genuinely kind, empathetic, and gentle individuals in all of fiction. He can also throw hurricanes, tidal waves, and mountain ranges around like softballs.
    • Case in point, when the buzzard-wasp kidnapped Momo, Aang rescued him and then, with nothing but pure cold-blooded anger in his eyes and no hesitation at all, killed the buzzard-wasp as it was retreating. He also beheaded it. Aang has indirectly killed many mooks before but this was the only on-screen death in the series. This wasn't Avatar State. It was all Aang.
    • If you hurt his friends, if you harm people for profit, if you are callous in the face of human suffering in his presence, you'd better pray to all the spirits in the world that Katara is around with a Cooldown Hug, because there's no telling what he'll do when his rage unleashes his Avatar State.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He's a goofy and fun-loving kid, but if you mess with his friends, you'll likely regret it afterwards.
  • Big Good: By default, he is this, but secures this status after becoming a fully-realized Avatar.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Katara. Both are extremely optimistic people who keep that outlook while also becoming more realistic due to Character Development. They are child prodigies in their own field (Aang in Airbending and becoming the youngest Fully Realized Avatar, Katara becoming a Waterbending master at only 14). They have a Chronic Hero Syndrome tendency, are incredibly nice individuals, but can be terrifying when pushed too far. They even share a similair trait of being more selfish when it comes to a personal topic.
  • Blessed with Suck: Sure, he's the Avatar, a godlike human being who can manipulate all four elements to balance out the world. Sure, he's the bridge between the Spirit World and the regular world. Yeah, okay, he's the spirit of the planet all rolled into one dude. His past lives worked out just fine being the Avatar. Unfortunately for Aang, he doesn't get to wait until his 16th birthday to be told that he's the Avatar. Nope, some grumpy old dudes tell him when he's twelve because they fear a war is soon to break out. They make plans to take Aang away from his guardian, so Aang runs away...and gets frozen inside an iceberg for 100 years while a war sweeps across the world while he's gone. Then when he gets out of the iceberg, he has to fix everything! By himself! With a bunch of scary guys trying to capture him! And he's 12. Plus, the first thing he learns about the new world he's entered is that he is the only Air Nomad left since all of the others were wiped out by the Fire Nation in the opening moves of the war, who were the priority targets due to having the Avatar. Finally, there's what comes with being the Avatar: the ability to draw on the power and experiences of all past Avatars. It seems good... But until Aang learns how to control it the Avatar State manifests when he's in grave danger or furious beyond control, has the power of an Eldritch Abomination and absolutely no care for collateral damage. There is a good reason why Aang had nightmares about the Avatar State for a while... Additionally, whereas every other Avatar (that we know of) had years to learn how to bend all the elements (Roku mentioned taking roughly a decade), Aang has less than one year. Oh, and even after he can control the Avatar State there's a downside (for the world, at least): if he dies while in it, the Avatar Cycle is broken. No more Avatar. And given he's the spirit of the world and that killing the spirit of the moon made the moon disappear until it was resurrected...
  • Blindfolded Vision: Toph trains Aang to see like her this way.
  • Blithe Spirit: Aang acts as one of these in "The Headband" when he becomes accidentally enrolled in a straight-laced Fire Nation school. And being the friendly, world-traveling free spirit he is, he won't settle for anything less than throwing everyone a dance party. Yes, that's a reference to Footloose.
  • Blow You Away: He's primarily an Airbender, and recognized as a master, denoted by the tattoos.
  • A Boy and His X: A Boy and His Flying Bison and Winged Lemur.
    • For the former, Appa was Aang's loyal pet and friend, as well as Team Avatar's primary means of travel. Aang first met Appa at the Eastern Air Temple when the latter was just a calf during a customary event where all airbender children are paired with a flying bison for life. After Aang offered an apple to Appa, the young sky bison seemed to bond with him immediately, affectionately licking his face. Aang loved his fellow survivor of a century of sleep, noting that they could both be the last of their kind.
    • For the latter, Aang discovered Momo, a winged lemur, while wandering about the ruins of the Southern Air Temple. Aang quickly claimed him as a pet and named him Momo. He also seemed protective of Momo, as seen when he struck a buzzard wasp in order to protect him. This was shown during his final battle with Ozai, as Aang told Momo, the only one that accompanied him when he ventured onto the lion turtle, to stay far away from the scene of the fight.
  • Break the Cutie: Starts as a naive and innocent child. By the end, he has seen too much tragedy and heart-ache to be either.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: His only major setbacks in learning water and fire seemed to be his childlike lack of focus.
  • Broken Ace: The most talented bender of his age group, but he never wanted to be the Avatar.
  • Broken Bird: Briefly becomes this after Appa's kidnapping in Book 2.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Downplayed with Katara. While Aang still remains mellow and optimistic even after Character Development, he does suffer moments that cause him great emotional turmoil (i.e., learning the genocide of his people, Appa's kidnapping, feeling useless after the events of Book 2). In those moments, Katara is there to give him Cooldown Hugs and pep talks about remaining hopeful. They switch roles when Katara takes on a She Who Fights Monsters mentality after Zuko reveals he can help her find her mother's murderer, and while Aang doesn't force her to stop, he does give advise on how revenge will lead her down a wrong path.
  • Character Development: At the start, Aang is a happy-go-lucky, naive kid who doesn't want to be the Avatar. Going through numerous battles and trials, especially when Appa was kidnapped, took a toll on his carefree attitude. By the end, Aang became a more serious and mature young man who took his Avatar duties seriously. This is probably most noticeable when compared to his actor in the "Ember Island Players" episode, as Actor!Aang always portrays him as happy-go-lucky and naive.
  • Character Title: The "last airbender" refers to Aang.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Most of Aang's speed and agility are shown to be from the use of his airbending, but he's also displayed feats of this trope that can't be attributed to it. While not as impressive as Zuko, he has done things like briefly Bridal Carry Katara while jumping down a couple stories, and also once carry Zuko, despite both of them clearly being heavier than him and his thin build wouldn't hint he possessed that sort of strength. He's also fallen a few stories out of a tree, and got back up seconds later with no lasting injuries.
  • Cheerful Child: Aang is initially bright, fun-loving and infectiously cheerful. He matures over the course of the series, but for the most part, retains his mellow upbeat attitude.
  • Chick Magnet:
    • Meng from "The Fortuneteller" and all of the young girls from "The Warriors of Kyoshi" were completely enthralled with him.
    • Some of Aang's female "classmates" in "The Headband" thought he was quite charming.
    • The tie-in comics showed that the Air Acolytes were initially a group of fangirls who had crushes on the Avatar.
    • Katara eventually realized that she had fallen in love with him and they became a couple.
  • Child Mage: Mixed with Kung-Fu Kid due to the martial arts nature of bending.
  • Child Prodigy: Usually it takes a couple years for a bender to attain mere competency of their element, and a lifetime to become a master. Not so for Aang, who became the youngest airbending master in recorded history and got a decent grip of the other three elements in less than a year. At least part of his quick mastery of the other elements can be attributed to a time crunch, since he had to learn the three elements in less than a year or else the world would pretty much end.
  • The Chosen One: He's the Avatar, and it was his destiny to defeat the Fire Lord and stop the war that Sozin started.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Much to his allies' consternation, he's always digressing to do Sidequests rather than focusing on his training and fleeing from the Fire Nation.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Much of Aang's character development in the first episodes is learning that as the Avatar he has duties he can't avoid.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: In the comic "Love is a Battlefield", he becomes violent towards Katara for refusing to be in a relationship with him by erupting a small volcano - despite his awareness of how firebending had hurt Katara in the past. In the episode "The Ember Island Players" he gets angered at the actor playing Katara because she is in love with Zuko. He lashes out at the real Katara and forcefully kisses her.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Aang was an example of this trope in the first episodes whenever he tapped into the Avatar State. Character Development, a showcase of the fact that he is a master airbender, and the realization of how scary he is in the Avatar State contributes to the lessening of this carefree nature.
  • Cultured Badass: He's quite knowledgeable with different cultures.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Aang is initially upset at finding out he's the Avatar (and to be fair, the circumstances of the world shortly after he runs away do make the responsibility a pain). Still, you'd think that a 12 year old kid finding out that he could bend not just one, but ALL of the elements would be a little more excited. And as Avatar Roku mentions, being the Avatar doesn't hurt with the ladies.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: While he had a happy childhood with the Air Nomads, he made the fatal mistake of freaking out and running away from his responsibilities, ending up being frozen in ice for a century, and finally paying dearly for it when he discovers the corpse of his beloved mentor.
  • Deadly Dodging: A fundamental part of Airbending because of their pacifistic nature.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly often, though it's usually subtle and good-natured. Other times when he's being sarcastic are when he's frustrated, or the time he made Zhao angry enough so he would destroy his own fleet of ships.
    (Aang is prying open a large drainpipe to the city of Omashu)
    Sokka: A secret passage? Why didn't we just use this last time?
    (A flood of sewage pours out and splashes Sokka)
    Aang: Does that answer your question?
  • Despair Event Horizon: Comes very near to it after Appa was kidnapped. He eventually got better.
  • Deuteragonist: In the comic books set between The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. With his main character arc completed, he tends to help out whoever is the main character of a particular arc get through their problems.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Once he learns Earthbending. It was the hardest for him to learn; being a native airbender, he found earth's direct, confrontational, and rigid discipline difficult to grasp.
  • Distressed Dude: The Fire Nation knows that if Aang is killed he'll simply reincarnate so their goal is to imprison him until he dies naturally.
  • The Ditherer: On occasion when he gets overwhelmed by the hardship of his journey he'll play delinquent and go penguin sledding instead or undergo additional/superfluous training to avoid the issue.
  • Elemental Powers: Hardly a rarity in this universe, but being the Avatar, Aang is the only person innately capable of mastering more than one.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Energybending is a skill Aang learned in the last part of Season 3.
  • Entitled to Have You: Displays some of these traits along with being a (downplayed) Crazy Jealous Guy. He tells Katara: "we kissed at the invasion and I thought we were going to be together" - when in actuality it was no "we" as it was not a mutual kiss. Aang gave Katara a "Shut Up" Kiss which left her upset and confused. Katara not wanting to be in a relationship with him is what leads to him planting another Forceful Kiss on her, resulting in her running away in anger. Only in the finale do they share a mutual kiss, this time with Katara initiating it. The DVD commentary even points out how selfish Aang was being.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: He says, "I was scary" when reflecting on the Avatar State. While not evil in any way, the Avatar state can be a terrifying experience both for the Avatar and the surrounding people.
  • Exposed to the Elements: As a nomad Aang seems to be comfortable in his standard vestments in both the North and South Poles while other characters wear more layered clothes. The Legend of Korra reveals that Airbenders like Firebenders can keep themselves warm with breathing techniques.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Him growing hair between the second season finale and the third season premiere.
  • Fatal Flaw: Aang's flaw is his conviction. He was raised as a dedicated pacifist, and though he will fight if necessary, he won't kill. When his opponent is the Big Bad who slaughtered Aang's people and oppresses the populace of two nations, this turns out to be a bad thing.
  • The Fettered: Unlike Ozai, who refused to check himself with morality or compassion, Aang is extremely dedicated to his pacifist ideals and will go to great lengths to keep them.
  • First Girl Wins: Gender Inverted. Aang is the first boy we see Katara meet and ultimately the one she gets with.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Needless to say, Aang is more than slightly overwhelmed about effectively disappearing from the world for the entirety of a century-long war that wiped out his society. Also, literally, as he was stuck in an iceberg for 100 years.
  • Fragile Speedster: Like most Airbenders, his original fighting style involves speed, agility, and misdirection more than toughness, which is part of what makes it so hard for him to learn Earthbending, which typically involves enduring attacks rather than dodging them. By the end of the series he's a Master of All.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The Avatar has an innate connection to nature, and Aang is a vegetarian by choice.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: When he enters the Avatar State.
  • God in Human Form: At base power, he's "merely" a talented bender housing the spirit of the planet. He falls into Physical God when the Avatar State is activated.
  • God of Good: As the human form of the spirit of the world, he maintains equilibrium between the four nations, as well as between the physical and spirit worlds.
  • Good Is Not Soft: For of Aang's kind-heartedness and sweet demeanor, when he gets pissed, he turns into a cold, ruthless Creepy Child with Glowing Eyes of Doom and the Voice of the Legion.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Sports permanent scars on his back and on the sole of his left foot after being killed by Azula's lightning and revived by Katara
  • Gray Eyes: To emphasize his mystical nature as the Avatar. Although gray eyes are a common Air Nomad trait, he stands out as the Sole Survivor.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Zig zagged. Aang has to rise to his responsibilities as the Avatar and leave his childhood behind early, which he never wanted. He later expresses how his feelings with Katara are complicated for him, and Avatar Roku tells him that love gets better as you get older. Furthermore, for most of the story Katara is unsure of her feelings for him, because he has a lot of growing up to do in her eyes. Rising to the challenges of growing up, and displaying selflessness and maturity, win her over in the end.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Before their battle with Fire Nation, Katara and Aang talk with the former telling the latter how much he has grown over the past year and he's not "the goofy kid she saved from an iceberg".
  • Heroic Safe Mode: The Avatar State isn't evil, but it's not necessarily good either. Its main concerns are Aang's survival, his rage and sorrow, and maintaining balance. Aang's morals and innocent bystanders are secondary considerations, at best. Luckily, it retains his crush on Katara, and she can calm it with Cooldown Hugs.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: In "The Desert", he is genuinely upset at Appa getting kidnapped and desperately tries to find him, but in turn, Aang becomes hostile and aggressive during his search.
  • Honor Before Reason: Was going to let himself be punished for a crime (that word being used loosely) Kyoshi committed two avatar cycles ago.
  • Hope Bringer: Lampshaded frequently by Katara.
  • Human Popsicle: Until Katara frees him from the iceberg.
  • Humble Hero: Aang rarely "pulls the Avatar card" when asking for leniency, unless he needs to.
  • Hurting Hero: Aang is the last of his people alive and under tremendous pressure to save the world.
  • Hypocrite: When attempting to master the Avatar state with Guru Pathik, at the end he's told that he needs to let go of his worldly attachments, but he thinks of Katara and refuses, unable to understand why he would want to do such a thing. During the series finale, when consulting past Avatars for their wisdom on whether or not he should kill Ozai the last Avatar he consults is fellow air nomad Yangchen, confident that she'll understand his position: As an air nomad, he was raised to believe that, among other things, he should give up worldly attachments in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment. This quite clearly contradicts his earlier position: First he refuses to give up worldly attachments and then later argues in favor of the exact kind of spiritual enlightenment that he rejected before.
  • An Ice Person: Once he learns Waterbending, Aang is able to turn water into ice effortlessly.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Didn't want to be the Avatar and would rather have just been a normal kid.
  • Important Haircut: After letting his hair grow out for the first half of Season 3, he shaves his head again for the big invasion.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Achieving this is what enables him to un-bend Ozai in the finale.
  • The Insomniac: In "Nightmares and Daydreams".
  • Instant Armor: A favored tactic of his earthbending, suiting Aang's defensive nature. He uses it against Azula (twice), Combustion Man and Ozai.
  • Instant Expert: Aang is able to learn basic waterbending and firebending extremely quickly, but his lack of focus prevents him from completely mastering any except airbending (which he started with).
  • Instant Fanclub: Has one on Kyoshi Island and in Ba Sing Se as well.
  • Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!: While Aang has the added advantage of airbending, he uses his Gliderstaff for this purpose numerous times.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Aang is this trope: he's a pacifist who openly shows his emotions and affections. Toph says this of Aang in "Ember Island Players".
  • I Shall Taunt You: Aang is an advocate of irritating enemies into making mistakes and creating openings.
  • It's All About Me: Mainly during the series finale and stated as much by Yangchen. "Selfless duty calls you to sacrifice your own spiritual needs and do whatever it takes to protect the world." He was willing to put the world at stake in favor of his own ideals in his refusal to kill Ozai because the airbenders taught him that all life is sacred (never mind that Gyatso's body was surrounded by the bodies of like twenty Fire Nation soldiers).
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Especially near the end of the show, when everyone is expecting him to kill Ozai.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: He can control all 4 elements, but he is not the best with any of them, except air, since he is the last one alive. To be clear though, he is still a child and new to all 3 other forms of bending (the entire series taking place over about 3/4 of a year). Once he has had more time to practice and master them, it is expected that he will in fact be a master of all 4 and capable of outshining individuals from any school in their own specialty. While Toph and Katara both demonstrate mastery of their own schools which may edge out the inexperienced Aang at times, they have both been practicing those skills all their lives (also, Toph is explicitly an earth-bending prodigy while Katara is stated to be the most determined and hard-working student her water-bending master ever encountered). It has to be mentioned that Aang is a borderline case at best, since he is also the most powerful bender alive. Even without the Avatar State. Aang was a prodigious airbender even for avatar standards: he was already inventing new bending techniques without having any formal training or finding out he was the Avatar.
  • Jerkass Ball:
    • In "The Desert" after Appa was kidnapped, Aang became hostile and aggressive out of desperation. However, in the next episode, he reverts into the Heroic Safe Mode instead.
    • Briefly, at the beginning of the finale, when it seems the only possible option for dealing with Ozai is to kill him. Aang starts snapping and yelling at everyone else to come up with another solution.
  • The Juggernaut: A rare heroic type. When he's in the Avatar state, do NOT be in his way. The final battle between the Avatar-State Aang and the Phoenix King Ozai is definitely a great example of what happens when someone tries to fight the juggernaut.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: An energetic yellow-orange colored kid and the youngest member of the core team. He's balancing his love of having fun with responsibilities of his job and growing up. Despite this he's also The Hero, balancing out to Kid Hero below.
  • Kid Hero: Essentially. Though going just by years he's 112, for a hundred of those years he was a Human Popsicle.
  • King in the Mountain: While he's frozen in the iceberg.
  • The Kirk: Often gets caught in between Sokka and Katara in Season 1.
  • Keet: Is very energetic. He is only twelve.
  • Last of His Kind: The Fire Nation killed most, if not all, of the other Airbenders.
  • Laugh of Love: He's a frequent cause of these:
    • In "The Warriors of Kyoshi", Aang's fangirls tend to giggle and squeal when they're with him, much to Katara's jealousy.
    • In "The Fortuneteller", Meng giggles when Aang catches her hands as she accidentally trips while carrying a tray full of snacks, and later when she admits that she's been stalking him.
    • In "The Headband", two Fire Nation girls giggle when Aang, while dancing, gets very close to them before leaping away.
    • He also sometimes laughs when with Katara, who sometimes reciprocates, and they get together at the end of the series.
  • Lightning Bruiser: By the second season, Aang is this.
  • Like a Son to Me: Gyatso was the closest thing Aang had to a father; likewise Aang was the closest thing Gyatso had to a son.
  • Living Relic: Called as such by Professor Zei, though he's not as old as most examples.
  • Love at First Sight: With Katara.
  • MacGuffin Super Person: Aang is a textbook example, being hunted by every villainous force in the series.
  • Magical Boyfriend: Towards Katara. He's an energetic, kind, generous messiah-figure that helps her achieve everything she ever wanted to.
  • Making a Splash: Once he learns Waterbending. He was able to pick up basic moves very quickly, though more advanced moves take more time compared to more adept waterbenders.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Guy: Interestingly, Aang is this to Katara, with him being the cheerful, quirky little thing who teaches the heroine to relax and have fun.
  • Martial Arts Headband: He has one in the third season to cover his arrow.
  • Martial Pacifist: It being the Airbender motto and all.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Toph's Masculine Girl. Aang is an easygoing, energetic, and non-confrontational Martial Pacifist while Toph is a bullheaded and casually violent brawler and former Professional Earthbender who is about Aang's (physical) age. Toph lampshades this in "Ember Island Player", and doesn't really think there's anything wrong with it.
  • Master of One Magic: He excels at Airbending, having invented at least one new technique for it and risen to the rank of master at a very young age. While he does master the other three elements, he never picks up the advanced techniques, such as healing, Bloodbending, Metalbending, or proper Lightning generation, though he is able to redirect lightning.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Aang was written 安昂 , meaning "peaceful soaring" in Chinese and Vietnamese.
    • The name Aang is similar to the Malaysian and Indonesian word angin and Filipino word hangin, meaning "wind". Aang is also the Inuit word for "hello", which could be a reference to his friendly nature.
  • Messianic Archetype: Being a God in Human Form, a natural pacifist, and even temporarily dying at the end of Book 2 clearly paints him as one of these.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Aang feels tremendous guilt over not being there for the Air Nomads when the Fire Nation attacked.
    • He feels great shame for accidentally burning Katara's hands because of his careless firebending.
  • Nature Spirit: Subverted,though the Avatar was originally suggested to be this, as per The Legend of Korra he's actually just a normal human that has a spirit of light bonded with him.
  • Nice Guy: Aang is peaceful, fun-loving, polite, respects all life (including enemies), and is respectful of the cultures of others.
  • Nice Hat: He has a few that he wears over the course of the series, mostly when he needs to hide his arrow.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Happened when he began to stress over facing Ozai in Book 3.
  • Offhand Backhand: Aang does this to a rock while riding Appa and again to Sokka with earthbending while blindfolded.
  • Official Couple: With Katara.
  • Older Than He Looks: Due to being frozen for a hundred years he's actually 112.
  • One-Man Army: He's the Avatar after all.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Aang is the only one who can fight Ozai, though not for the usual reasons for this trope. Simply having just anyone defeat Ozai doesn't guarantee an end to the war, because it would result in even more war and conflict. Since Aang is The Chosen One, defeating Ozai would be an act of divine providence and a signal that he was in the right.
  • Papa Wolf: If any harm comes to Appa or Momo, you better pray you're not the one who did it. Otherwise, you'll have the Avatar in an Unstoppable Rage.
  • Parental Abandonment: A weird case, as his parents are never seen, nor even mentioned. It's like he was born out of thin air. Even if he did have parents, no chance that they survived the purge.
  • Physical God: By himself he's just a God in Human Form, but if you manage to push him into the Avatar State, you've lost the fight, if not your life. Only Azula has managed to beat him while he's in it, and that's only because she sneak-attacked him in the back while he was transforming. The most generous way to describe his final fight in the Grand Finale would be as a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Notes in the art book indicate that Aang is only 4 and a half feet tall, but he is still one of the most powerful benders alive.
  • Playing with Fire: Once he learned how to use firebending. He was initially reluctant to learn this at first, thinking of fire as evil, but he was eventually able to learn a different form of firebending that focuses on life.
  • The Pollyanna: Usually remains cheery and upbeat in spite of the Crapsack World he lives in.
  • Power Floats: When he enters the Avatar State.
  • Power Glows: When he enters the Avatar State.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: At first, activating the Avatar state left him weak and visibly exhausted. As the series went on, this disappeared.
  • Power Tattoo: Arrow tattoos to denote his mastery of airbending, which glow when he uses his Avatar powers.
  • Primary-Color Champion: He has a blue arrow tattoo, and starts off with orange and yellow clothing. This is later replaced with a dark orange robe.
  • Razor Wind: Airbending slice! Although Aang rarely uses this side of Airbending and almost never on a living being, in a moment of rage after losing Appa in Season 2 he coldly bisects a fleeing vulture-wasp that had tried to eat Momo.
  • Reckless Pacifist: Sure, he'd never kill anyone directly, but his collateral damage record is hard to ignore.
  • Refusal of the Call: Discovering that he was the Avatar pretty much ruined his life, as everyone saw the Physical God and not the twelve-year old that desperately needed companionship. Running from it resulted in his life being completely ruined, as he Slept Through the Apocalypse of his people.
  • Reincarnation: Of the previous Avatars, most recently, Roku.
  • Retcon: The main series never explained what the Avatar State was or what made the avatar so special. Only a tie-in game briefly spoke of The Avatar being the spirit of the planet in a human body. Legend of Korrabook 2 then spent a two-parter establishing that the avatars (Roku, Aang, Korra herself etc.) are all basically Heroic Hosts for Raava, the Spirit of Light and Peace, and when the hosts die, Raava takes them with her to the next one.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Played with, while Aang is certainly the youngest and most naive member of his team he is also the most worldly and the most experienced combatant.
  • Sad Clown: His cheerful exterior and fun-loving personality is a way to cope and ignore the guilt he feels for running away from his home and people and getting frozen, allowing the Fire Nation to wage war for a century, wiping out his people. He finally faces his guilt later on when he's mentored by Guru Pathik.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: There have been times when Sokka, and in one instance Zuko, have used sarcasm only for Aang to miss it completely. One particularly notable instance is when Aang is confiding in Sokka about his struggles with learning earthbending, while Sokka is stuck in a hole, and describes his situation using words that perfectly and literally describe Sokka's predicament. Sokka lampshades it using sarcasm, which goes completely over Aang's head.
  • Scars Are Forever: Suffers a permanent scar on his back from being shot with lightning by Azula. He also has one on the sole of his left foot, where the lightning left his body.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: As he proves eventually afterwards.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Unsealed in the series premiere.
  • Second Love: For Katara, since Jet was her first.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sweet, playful Sensitive Guy to sarcastic, grounded Sokka's Manly Man.
  • Shirtless Scene: Frequently in Season 3. Aang has a perfectly good shirt he could be wearing... he just chooses not to. Because all the fire he has to deal with would burn his clothes off if he did. Clothes just don't play well with fire.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Katara in The Promise and The Search. All the cuddling and petnames give Sokka 'oogies'.
  • Simple Staff: His Weapon of Choice. When he has to improvise with a spear he even breaks off the head.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Showed interest in Katara and ONLY Katara from the moment he met her.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: Extremely skilled, master airbender and skilled in the other three bending arts as well, but he's extremely (often willfully) blind to how the world is. He spent most of the last season hemming and hawing over being confronted with the idea that he would have to kill Ozai. Before it was thrown right in his face he never considered that it would take more than just beating the guy in a fight to magically solve every problem in the world.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: He entombed himself and Appa in an iceberg and as a result missed The Purge of his people. At one point, he has a nightmare about missing the Fire Nation invasion.
  • Soul Power: Energybending which can remove bending from a bender.
  • Sphere of Power: During the series finale he creates a sphere of air around himself, and supplements it with other elements. Provides the picture for that page, in fact.
  • Super Mode: The Avatar State.
  • Superpower Lottery: Can learn all types of bending, not just his native one. He masters the basics very quickly thanks to his millennia of experience through past lives, and has a defense mechanism that sends him into Super Mode.
  • Super Speed: He can give himself a boost with a tailwind, thanks to his airbending.
  • Survivor Guilt: From the Air Nomad Genocide.
  • Teens Are Short: According to the art book, he's about 4 1/2 feet. For comparison, Katara is not even 5' and she's still about a head taller than Aang.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: This becomes a plot point in the finale, where he's torn up by the possibility that he will have to kill Ozai for the good of the world.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When first met, he is a scared boy who, from his perspective, just learned he was to be the Savior of the World and must leave home from the only man he knew as a father. Now the world is in danger and so he shirks his responsibilities. Less than a year later, he is a fully competent Avatar, Master of All the Elements. Even without using the Avatar State, he can hold his own against a super-powered Phoenix King Ozai. When he finally activates the Avatar State, it is a no holds contest.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: "The Great Divide" reveals Aang has an intense liking towards egg custard in a tart.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Aang enters the Avatar State, he seems perfectly serene. Unless he's in a raging fury instead.
  • Troll: Becomes a rare benevolent one in "The Deserter". He trolls the HELL out of Admiral Zhao by using his lack of self-control against him. It's actually very effective: Zhao accidentally destroys his entire fleet in the process.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Being a pacifistic monk, he is inclined to do this. Unfortunately, this mindset is what makes learning earth bending so difficult.
  • Underestimating Badassery: He's a 12 year old goofball with the ability to master all four elements and restore balance to the world. Not to mention that if you piss him off enough, he'll enter his Unstoppable Rage superpowered Avatar State.
  • Unstoppable Rage: While in the Avatar State. He's not quite unstoppable, just insanely powerful, and dying in that state would end the Avatar Cycle.
  • Uptown Guy: Zig zagged. While Aang is the Avatar (a position considered equal to or higher than royalty) fell in love with Katara (a girl from the struggling Southern Water Tribe). However, since Katara is the daughter of the Southern Tribe Chief, this technically makes her a princess.
  • Waif-Fu: Aang is a Gender-Inverted Trope of this. While Toph is about the same size as he is, she's much more smashy with her fighting technique. Aang is the lightest and smallest fighter in the whole series, whose biggest physical talent lies in a fighting style that emphasizes speed and grace. Naturally, being the avatar, he can kick more butt than anyone else on the show.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Because of the Fire Nation's Stern Chase.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In the later half of Season 3.
  • Warrior Monk: All Airbenders are this.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Aang could be considered this, especially before he learns the other Bending skills. Airbending itself mostly relies on evading. Bumi taunts him with this;
    Bumi: Typical Airbender tactics, avoid and evade. I was hoping the Avatar would be a little less *kicks a rock at the Avatar* PREDICTABLE.
  • Weapon Twirling: A Justified version, since he uses his staff to create wind attacks (or defenses) this way.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Aang starts off this way. But being shouldered with the weight of the Avatar Spirit, his entire people dying, Appa's kidnapping and the horrors of war quickly got rid of it.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Katara. They Do.
  • Wise Beyond His Years: Balances this out by being a Wide-Eyed Idealist as well.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Aang isn't evil or villainous in any way, but it is scary when he gets upset and goes into the Avatar State.

    As an adult 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_nd8dafc5ua1rss05ao1_500_7029.png
"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.


  • 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 Beard: A Lincoln-esque beard, in the style of Michael Dante DiMartino 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, he was a major force of stability and diplomacy in the world, having co-founded Republic City with Zuko.
  • 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.
  • Deader Than Dead: His soul was erased from Raava along with the other previous Avatars by Vaatu.
  • Disappeared Dad: Towards Kya and Bumi for most of their lives; who were both raised almost solely by Katara. Aang was busy with his Avatar duties and favored Tenzin over them because he was an airbender. This led to Aang hardly ever being at home and taking only Tenzin on his journeys.
  • 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.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: Avatar Aang attains this status in The Legend of Korra, having been the one who originally founded the United Republic alongside Fire Lord Zuko and being Korra's direct predecessor. However, because of Korra's issues with the spiritual aspects of being the Avatar, his role as Spirit Advisor is limited to giving her dreams of his battle with Yakone 42 years prior, and restoring her bending at the end of Book 1. In Books 3 and 4 he's unable to help Korra because he and all her other past lives had their connection to her severed by Unalaq managing to kill Raava.
  • Guttural Growler: A minor example. When he appears to Tenzin in the Fog of Lost Souls, he has a more gravelly voice than he did in previous flashbacks. Justified since he's clearly older than he was when he defeated Yakone, and we are likely seeing Aang at the age he died, and how Tenzin last saw him.
  • Harmless Freezing: Subverted. While there are no significant physical effects in the original series, supplementary materials state he died of complications resulting from his being frozen in an iceberg for 100 years.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Zuko. As Iroh put it, their relationship started out "a little rocky", but they became lifelong friends.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Aang's reputation looms so large that his son Tenzin and successor Korra feel enormous 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.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Aang is usually a very happy-go-lucky kid. He's very peaceful and spiritual, and has stated repeatedly that he doesn't eat meat. Then in "The Desert", his best friend and pet since he was a kid, Appa, is stolen by Sandbenders. The normally cheerful Aang spends the entire episode being cranky, aggressive, and angry. He even kills a wasp-buzzard that tried to take one of his other friends even after the threat it posed was gone. When they run into the Sandbenders who stole Appa, you know they're in for a world of hurt.
  • Our Founder: Has a massive statue in the bay, and his face is printed on the Yuan.
  • Parental Favoritism: Towards Tenzin, his only Airbending child, than with them, taking him on many travels around the world without the other two. Aang even writes a book for Tenzin and thinks of him as his legacy, he does not do the same for his other two children.
  • Parents as People: Aang was a husband and father of three but he was also an Avatar with the duty of ensuring the Airbenders did not go extinct. In that regard he spent a lot of time away from home and a lot more time with his only Airbender child, Tenzin. He was preparing him to carry the the burden of resurrecting an entire race after all. Unfortunately this meant his other two children seen a lot less of him and that Tenzin was perceived as the favoured son.
  • 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. The Air Acolytes were not even aware that Aang had other children apart from Tenzin and assumed that Kya and Bumi were servants instead.
  • 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 any 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 (as well as the involuntary life-saving mechanism coming into play).
  • 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. An almost angelic rendition of the theme plays during his final appearance in the series, when he appears to Tenzin in the Book Two finale.
  • 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." Word of God is that his chronic use of the Avatar State also shortened his lifespan. 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.

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Avatar Korra

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/korra_book_1.jpg
"No matter what happens, no matter how crazy things get, I'll always try to restore balance."
Click here to see her Book 4 appearance. 
Voiced by Janet Varney,
Cora Baker (as a child)note 

Korra is the current Living Avatar, successor to (and reincarnation of) Aang. Born in the Southern Water Tribe to the Waterbenders Tonraq and Senna, she is a teenage girl from the Southern Water Tribe with a brash, pugnacious personality. Over the course of the series, her fetters and flaws are broken down, enabling her to grow and become one of the most world-changing Avatars in history.


    Tropes #-E 
  • The Ace: Even more so than Aang, or most known Avatars for that matter:
    • Korra learned to bend three of the four elements without any training by the age of four, and picked up airbending incredibly fast once she got over the spiritual block that prevented her from using it. She's also learned numerous sub-skills, most of which she picked up within days: healing, spiritual waterbending, metalbending, and energybending.
    • In addition to bending, Korra has considerable physical prowess, enough to easily lift Tenzin and his children at the same time. Korra is also a highly proficient unarmed fighter, able to defeat several chi blockers before being rescued by Naga.
    • While she started out with an extreme lack of spirituality, she ultimately developed a stronger spiritual link than even Aang, who excelled at that. Tenzin lampshades how much of an Ace she is in the series finale.
    Tenzin: Korra, you've managed to transform the world more in a few years than most Avatars did in their lifetimes.
  • Achilles' Heel: If she dies in the Avatar state, the entire cycle will cease to exist.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Catches a bit of this at the start of Book 2 when she becomes convinced that she has already mastered airbending and dismisses Tenzin's teachings because she defeated Amon. After she gets in touch with Raava again she realizes she was being a jerk and apologizes.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Justified example. The finale of Book 2 had Tenzin stress that being the Avatar wasn't all there is to Korra, but that lesson didn't quite stick through Book 3, since she's been identifying herself as the Avatar since she was four, and it's hard for someone to move past that easily. The fact that she can't ask her past selves for advice anymore probably doesn't help. However, she does get better by the end of the series.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Korra naturally falls for the dark, brooding, distant Makonote  instead of his cheerful, approachable younger brother Bolin. It doesn't last.
    • Averted in the end as Korra ends up dating the sweet and kind Asami.
  • All Loving Heroine: For all the jerkassery she is capable of, Korra always does her best to help and save the people around her.
  • All Your Powers Combined: As with all Avatars, Korra has access to all four elements, and the Avatar State gives her access to the collective knowledge and power of her past lives. As of the Book 2 finale, Korra's connection to her past lives has been severed, preventing her from calling upon past Avatars. She is still, however, perfectly capable of kicking some serious butt even without that connection.
  • Amazonian Beauty: She has a realistically proportioned athlete's build with a well toned back and arms, and she looks realistically stocky (especially by animated standards, and has a note on her model sheet specifically telling the animators not to draw her legs too skinny). This is why she is considered attractive by at least three male and as of the finale, one female characters in the series.
    • In Book 4, following the Time Skip, while she's still very toned and has a swimmer's wide shoulders, Korra is noticeably more lithe than Books 1-3. This is intentional, both due to several years of relative inaction causing her lose a bit of bulk in-universe, and, in a meta sense, a physical representation of how Korra has gone through a major pacifistic maturation, now preferring to mediate and generally refrain from fighting until nothing else is possible (whereas before she practically defined "gunboat diplomacy").
  • Amicable Exes: Zig-Zagged. She and Mako eventually break up since they realize they just don't work as a couple. Korra moves on surprisingly well and tries to convince Mako to try to remain good friends and teammates despite the whole mess that their relationship was. While Mako doesn't bear any negative feelings against her, either, he feels just too awkward around her to even be friends with her anymore... especially since she's now gal pals with his other ex-girlfriend, Asami. They get better, eventually, and re-establish their friendship.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • She might be a bit brash, arrogant and hot-tempered, but her heart is always in the right place, she always fights for what's right, and always tries to help people out whenever possible. Push her too far though and she will show the anti-hero side, as she did to Tarrlok whom she appeared ready to kill or seriously injure (the narrator later outright saying he resorted to bloodbending to "save himself" from Korra's attack).
    Tarrlok "See, that's what I admire about you Korra, your willingness to go to extremes to get what you want."
    • Really kicked up a notch in "Civil Wars, Part 2", where she publicly threatens to kill Judge Hotah when he sentences her father and a group of rebel southern water tribesmen to death, then later (after the sentence was reduced to life imprisonment) used Naga to intimidate him into reversing his decision. Once she discovered that the trial was a set-up, she threatened to have Naga eat him if he didn't spill everything he knew.
    • Goes even further in the finale of Book 3. Believing that Zaheer has killed her father and understandably enraged, she vows to kill every Red Lotus member in front of her, though she ends up focusing her attention on Zaheer.
  • Arrogant Kung Fu Girl: In Korra's first present-day scene, her teachers complain that she is amazingly good at learning the physical sides of bending, but amazingly bad at learning the discipline and spirituality that goes with it.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Korra is a HUGE fan of pro-bending and officially became a pro-bender herself after joining the Fire Ferrets.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In the Book 2 finale, she's able to use the cosmic energy of the universe to project her spirit as a giant in order to match Unalaq's One-Winged Angel form.
  • Badass Adorable: There is no denying this. Girl can go from kicking ass to making you want to hug her with her infamous pout. This is especially true in the pilot, where she was already bending fire, earth, and water at the age of four.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Does this pretty well. It helps that her usual outfits don't have sleeves.
  • Badass Bisexual: She was attracted to Mako and she is also attracted to Asami, whom she starts dating post-Season 4. Also, she's the Avatar who can kick your ass from here to Ba Sing Se.
  • Badass in Distress: During "When Extremes Meet" and "Out of the Past" when she's been kidnapped by Tarrlok. Also when she's briefly captured by Zaheer and his gang in "The Terror Within", then later in "The Stakeout" by the Earth Queen's forces.
  • Battle Couple:
    • With Mako, at least when they were together.
    • And with Asami at the series end.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • She got a long scar on her face from her fight with Tarrlok, and it hadn't been attended for at least a day. On the day following her escape, it's nowhere to be seen. Justified because Korra is a skilled healer and the cuts, despite being ugly, were not deep.
    • Averted in the Book 3 finale. After nearly being killed by the Red Lotus poison, Korra is still out of action two weeks later. She's confined to a wheelchair, looks pale, has bags under her eyes, and is just a complete mess.
    • Averted still in early Book 4. Korra spends much of the non-flashback time in Chapter 2 "Korra Alone" nursing the injuries she took in the Earthbender fight ring, most noticeably a swollen eyelid.
  • Belated Love Epiphany:
    • It isn't clear exactly when Korra started loving Asami, but one popular theory contends that Korra fell in love slowly during the three years she was away from Republic City. This is also the belief held by Janet Varney.
    • In Turf Wars, Korra tells Asami that she started realizing the depth of her feelings after her poisoning, but wasn't in any state to process them at that point.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Korra and Mako have a bit of this going on in the first half of Book 1, but they later subvert it by admitting their feelings and stopping the arguing.
    Mike: The earlier episodes had set up that Korra and Mako were kinda at each other's throats but they also kinda have a little attraction to each other.
    • Subverted later when after they begin dating in season 2 the arguing and getting on each others nerves comes back stronger than ever, then gets added to both putting their jobs first, eventually lead to their break up. Both admit that while they make great friends they don't really work as a couple.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Hurting innocent people or anyone close to her is a good way to entice a beatdown. And God help you if you actually succeed in harming someone seriously...
    • She gets sore whenever anyone mentions that they "stole" the Earth Queen's airbenders.
  • Better the Devil You Know: Though Korra doesn't like the Earth Queen and knows how terrible a human being she is, she doesn't agree with Zaheer's plan to kill her and the other world leaders. As bad as she is, the chaos in her absence would be worse. When they succeed in killing her, Korra's concerns are shown to be justified. And the chaos is finally brought under control, but it's through Earth Emperor Kuvira, a former Zaofu captain turned ruthless dictator who is even worse than the Earth Queen, and who serves as the Big Bad of Book 4.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • The Veronica (Blood Knight Avatar) to Asami's Betty (Spoiled Sweet nonbender) for Mako's Archie.
    • She's also the "Archie" for Bolin's "Betty" (the sweet-hearted, Big Fun) and Mako's "Veronica" (the aloof, Grumpy Bear). In the Book One finale, she is with Mako...only to break up with him by the Book Two finale.
    • She finally ends up the "Archie" to Mako's "Veronica" and Asami's Betty.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Jerk-ish tendencies aside, Korra is very easy to get along with, is a Cool Big Sis to Tenzin's children, and will help anybody in need. But push her Berserk Button, and it quickly becomes apparent that "pacifist" in any flavor is not part of her definition of being the Avatar.
  • Big Damn Kiss: She and Asami have two in Turf Wars: Part One. The first is just before they decide to leave the Spirit World. The second is right after Asami gets hit and Korra is glad to see she's okay. Notable as the second time is in front of their friends, who didn't know they were a couple yet.
  • Big Good: As the Avatar, she is supposed to be this. However, her position has often been compromised because she has extremely poor restraint when upset. Not to mention her being manipulated by Manipulative Bastards or Well Intentioned Extremists.
    • The increasingly complex politics of her era, compared to the monolithic military states that existed before, also make it difficult to be simply the Big Good of the setting.
    • By the end of the series, after Korra's Character Development, she is mature and confident and appears ready to fulfill this role to the best of her ability. She happily promises Prince Wu that she will help him reform the Earth Kingdom.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Gains a protective streak for Jinora after the young airbender becomes her Spirit Guide. Korra most likely has the same feelings for Meelo and Ikki.
  • Bi the Way: The show's final scene makes it about as clear as possible under Nick's S&P that she and Asami are involved. Not only does the end of the whole series center around the two of them, but they hold hands and look lovingly into each other's eyes as they head off to a private vacation in the Spirit World. Later confirmed by the creators to be their intention.
  • Blessed with Suck: She manifested as the Avatar far younger than normal, so she got even less of a normal childhood than Aang. Something that repeatedly bites her in the ass in Season 1, as she commits faux pas after faux pas in Repbulic City. Then, in Season 3, we find out that the White Lotus didn't just sequester her in a Southern Water Tribe compound because they misinterpreted Aang's final request to protect the next Avatar: Korra's abnormally young Avatar status emboldened an anarchist offshoot of the White Lotus (The Red Lotus) to try and kidnap her, so they locked her away for her protection, not knowing how many more potential kidnappers there were. Add to that the implication that Korra's prodigy status left her so reliant on her physical abilities that her spiritual ones atrophied to the point where she couldn't even activate the Avatar state out of fear or anger, not Airbend, nor contact the spirit of Aang or the other Avatars. note 
  • Big Damn Kiss: With Asami in Turf Wars: Part one. Actually two examples. The first is just before they decide to leave the Spirit World. The Second is when Asami just got hit and Korra is glad that she turned out to be okay. Notable as the second time is in front of their friends and their friends didn't know they were a couple.
  • Blithe Spirit: She's certainly making an impact even in the constraints of Republic City. Though it's deconstructed when most of the authority figures dislike her recklessness or outright manipulate her for personal gain.
  • Blood Knight: A tamed example.
    • During the early part of the series, she enjoyed fighting, but she was capable of showing some restraint.
    • In Book 3, Korra lets out steam over Queen Hou-Ting lying to her by doing sparring practice with Asami.
    • After her recovery in early Season 4, Korra is still willing to fight, but she denounces simply going into a fight as something the "old [her]" would do and tries to diplomatically stop Kuvira.
  • Blow You Away: She initially can't airbend, but Amon's attempt to De-Power her unlocks it.
  • Blue Blood: Season 2 reveals that her father Tonraq is brother to the Northern Water Tribe chieftain, and in fact used to be in line for the position himself, being the elder brother. At the end of season 2 Tonraq is elected chief of the Southern Water Tribe, making Korra technically the southern tribe's princess.
  • Blue Is Heroic: Korra is from the Southern Water Tribe, by default the main color scheme for her outfits are blue. There's a period of time where she takes time off from being a hero to try and find peace with herself, during this time she tends to wear greens and browns. It's only when she's ready to become the Avatar again that she puts a new blue outfit on.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: She rarely fights out of outright malice; it's simply her preferred way of dealing with conflict.
  • Boobs of Steel: Korra is one of, if not the most physically capable character on the show. She is also very well endowed. Someone did the math (For Science, of course) that based on her height and measurements, she'd had to be sporting a 36D in her teens and that's without factoring in whatever support she's wearing (see Hidden Buxom below.) below). This gets downplayed in Book 4 as she's lost body mass from her years of relatively inactive recovery.
  • Boyish Short Hair: After her Important Haircut, she sports short hair throughout the rest of the series.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: Downplayed. Korra wears a tan-colored, fur-trimmed pelt around her waist and a parka while at the South Pole. While in Air Temple vestments, she still wears a few of her Water Tribe accessories.
  • Brains and Brawn: Korra is the brawns to Asami's brain. She's the more combat experienced of the two.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Korra's Establishing Character Moment is when (at four years old) she demonstrates her ability to use three of the four elemental powers that she's not supposed to manifest until she's sixteen, busting through a wall in the process.
    Korra: I'm the Avatar! You gotta deal with it!
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Though not actually related to Tenzin, his status as The Stoic and Team Dad and Korra's Hotblooded nature means they frequently butt heads, so Tenzin sometimes sees her this way. Tenzin even begs his children at one point not to grow up to be teenagers like Korra. Jinora declares she will make no such promises.
  • Break the Cutie: At the end of Book 3, being poisoned by the Red Lotus, coupled with hallucinations of her past foes telling her that she's no longer needed, leaves her broken physically and emotionally. Though she's said to be recovering, she is in a wheelchair and looks utterly worn down. It's especially notable that, unlike the past two Books, Korra doesn't snap back at the end of this one. It ends with her still depressed.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • In "The Voice in the Night". The idea of having her bending taken from her is so terrifying that she is afraid to fight back until her bravado forces her to try. Amon just made it worse by easily capturing her and taunting her about how he's saving her for last.
    • The first five episodes of Book 2 causes this as well. She asserted her independence from her father and Tenzin, but was manipulated by Unalaq. This directly led to her father almost getting sentenced to death, a budding civil war that could turn bloody at any moment, all the people who could help her being unable to due to politics, and breaking up with her boyfriend due to said politics.
    • All four seasons involve a breakdown of all of Korra's foibles, usually near the end of the book. Only in the last season's finale does her spirit become unbendable like Aang before her, and she couldn't have achieved this indomitability without having been broken so many times before.
  • Broken Ace: While she had some slight leanings towards trope in the first half of the series, due to a combination of her Friendless Background making it difficult to interact with people initially (and unintentionally be jerks to them) and her Inferiority Superiority Complex about being the Avatar allowing her to be manipulated by her enemies and suffer Heroic BSoD whenever they get the drop on her, she was steadily moving past these traits and getting closer to being a true Ace. Then come the end of Book 3 and almost dying from mercury poisoning leaves a huge damage for her physically and mentally. It takes about two years of intense physical therapy and Toph's help for her to recover, and she becomes a bon a fide Ace by the end of the series.
  • Broken Bird: At the end of Book 3 she almost dies of mercury poisoning, which leaves her severely traumatized. It takes her about two and a half years of intense physical thereby to start walking again and during that time she starts suffering from PTSD which manifests in the form of flashbacks to her fight against Zaheer. A combination of her PTSD and being stuck in a wheelchair for so long means that it takes Korra a while before she is capable of fighting properly and even low level thugs can kick her butt. If that weren't bad enough, she starts hallucinating about her Avatar-state self attacking her. By the time we see her again post Time Skip she is lost, scared and confused while trying to find her way in life. However, during the second half of Book Four, once she lets go of the shame and fear she feels from all the pain she suffered at the hands of her enemies and accepts what happened to her, she evolves out of this state by the end of the series. She even states after accepting what happened to her, she feels whole, and it will make her stronger, which she proves by defeating Kuvira and becoming the hero she was born to be as well as finding happiness with Asami.
  • Brought Down to Normal: When in the spirit world through meditation, she has no bending except for her ability to open and close the portals. Except possibly not, if what Raava said is true about being "most powerful" in the Spirit realm.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: She is willing to put aside her immature and arrogant attitude in order to save people's lives.
  • Brutal Honesty: Justified due to not having much of a social life, so she really doesn't know how to take people's feelings into consideration.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Does this to her father after learning that he and Tenzin were responsible for her being locked up at the White Lotus Compound. She was still upset they didn't tell her the entire truth, which she eventually finds out in Book 3.
    • Does this to Unalaq after she learns the truth (the above was meant to be a wedge Unalaq wanted to drive between her and his brother), which doubles as a "Reason You Suck" Speech: Unalaq is one of the reasons why the spirits are out of balance since he manipulated Tonraq into destroying the Spirit Forest to get him banished and purposely makes things worse between the tribes by occupying the South. When he tries to justify his actions, Korra throws them in his face since the only thing he cares about is power.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Inverted among Team Avatar. Korra is The Leader who is rough, hot-headed, more straightforward in her actions, but still cares for her teammates, whereas Asami is the Number Two who is refined, polite and is compassionate towards her friends.
  • Cat Smile: She has these moments with her friends.
    • She sports one, at the begining of Book 2, when she's sharing a cotton candy with her boyfriend.
    • During the series finale, she sports one after Asami tricks Tenzin into leaving them alone.
  • Character Development: Throughout each Book, Korra has matured greatly.
    • Korra begins the series as rather bad at controlling her anger and keeping calm, but shows a greater deal of self-restraint with each successive Book. She is putting more effort to negotiating ways out of violence, and isn't so quick to resort to excessive force during fights. Even during her more pragmatic moments in "Civil Wars, Part 2", she only uses the Avatar State as a means to help the group break the blockade and escape and didn't resort to killing her uncle on the spot. After meeting Wan and regaining her memories, Korra goes through another development where she is calmer and, most importantly, begins apologizing to her mentors like Tenzin for how she acted before. This development also shows physically when she is finally able to calm the dark spirits—showing she has gained a bit of inner peace. More than that, the spirit world showed that Korra deep inside was a scared, helpless little girl whose growth was stunted ever since she imposed the identity of being the Avatar over herself. Only when she found her own light and individuality did she symbolically grow up. By the end of Book 2 she redefined the role of the Avatar and ushered a new age where humans and spirits live together. In Book 3, she proves much more receptive to Suyin's metalbending training than she did with Tenzin's airbending training, demonstrating a willingness to learn that she didn't have two seasons ago. Taken to its logical conclusion in the Grand Finale. Here, Korra finally beats Kuvira by showing the latter compassion and understanding. Compare this to the Korra from the earlier books who would have more than likely simply opted to try to beat her up more until she surrendered.
    • Korra lowers down her Hot-Blooded nature and Leeroy Jenkins tendencies to the point she can verbally threaten someone into doing what she wants (e.g., Baatar Jr. into concinving Kuvira to surrender or she'll [Korra] will make it her duty to keep him away from his true love.)
    • Her relationship with Asami had a great development, on Korra's part. Initially, Korra disliked her because she was Mako's girlfriend and presumptuously thought of Asami as the "prissy" type. By episode seven, a cutthroat race on the Sato Manor racetrack dissuaded her of this notion. They grow closer as the series progresses and the two of them become lovers in the series finale.
    • Korra transformed into an eloquent public speaker. She was initially nervous when she had to speak in her first press conference in Republic City. During the gala, Korra's brashness got the best of her after being pitted against a group of reporters, haphazardly giving empty threats to Amon to cover up her fear of him. Over time, Korra became more confident and composed when it was required of her to speak publicly, considering her words before saying them. This was exemplified when she declared the independence of the Southern Water Tribe and her decision to keep the spirit portals open.
    • Throughout the first three books, everytime Korra was scared of her enemies she would deny it. But by Book 4, she finally learns to accept her own fears and that it's not something to be ashamed of.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Korra embodies this trope to a degree unusual even within her franchise. In addition to being able to wield the four elements and having a Super Mode that can expertly crack continental plates without mussing anyone's hair, her sheer brute strength allows her to effortlessly pick up and fling around grown men taller than her. In the Book Three finale, she becomes so enraged that she breaks apart unbendable platinum chains by nothing but raw strength.
  • The Chief's Daughter: Her father is effectively the chief of the Southern Water Tribe, even though her paternal uncle Unalaq is actually the chief of both tribes. Played straight once the tribes formally split at the end of Book 2, leaving Tonraq as the chief.
  • Child Prodigy: Even more so than Aang; she could already bend water, fire, and earth before the White Lotus even confirmed her as the Avatar. She has, however, admitted a lack of understanding when the spiritual aspects of bending and being the Avatar come up.
  • The Chosen One: She is the Avatar, but her journey is about realizing just what this truly means.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Blue, though her personality fits the typical red.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: One of her most defining traits from the beginning of the show; Korra seems to have an almost obsessive desire to help people around her whenever she can, sometimes at her own expense, which is evident during her first fight with the Triple Threat Triad.
  • Closet Key: Mutually with Asami.
  • Combat Medic: She fights with any bending she deems appropriate and heals with her waterbending.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: She has powers far beyond any single bender and is tasked to maintaining balance in the world. Because of this, she's hunted by people who want to hurt her, hated by people she doesn't or can't help, and is often used as a pawn, threat, excuse or justification in the political machinations of the adults around her.
  • Contralto of Danger: Korra has a deeper voice than some of the other female characters, like Asami or Pema. This gets Turned Up to Eleven when she enters the Avatar state, which makes her voice deeper still and more intimidating with a reverberating echo.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: She's designed to be the "anti-Aang". Her official bio even says she couldn't have less in common with Aang if she tried.
    • Aang didn't want to be the Avatar and spent much of the series coming to terms with that identity; Korra quickly embraced the role and struggles with learning not to be defined by it.
    • Aang became an airbending master at a young age but had difficulty mastering the other elements; Korra was easily bending water, earth, and fire as a child, but struggled to learn airbending in her later years.
    • Aang was told he was the Avatar when he was 12, 4 years before they're supposed to learn so; Korra discovered it for herself when she was 4, 12 years early.
    • Aang was deeply spiritual; until near the end of the series, Korra is not.
    • Aang was a pacifist who refused to kill; Korra is always ready for a fight and is willing to kill if she must.
    • Aang only had eyes for Katara from the moment they met; Korra juggles several suitors and love interests.
  • Cool Big Sis: While not biologically related to Tenzin, she is a live-in student and eats at the family table instead of with the Air Acolytes. Meelo and Ikki have imitated Korra whenever she's frustrated, which does not please Tenzin at all. But Tenzin also cares about her on a personal level.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: In one episode she decides to try out that "powdering your nose" thing she's heard about. Sinister music plays as she suspiciously picks up the puff, only for powder to explode all over her face. This probably hints as to why she prefers to go au naturel.
  • Country Mouse: Korra spent her whole life at the South Pole and is amazed when she sees Republic City for the first time.
  • Crush Blush: Happens a few times over the course of the series in regards to Korra's two main love interests.
    • In Book One she sports this a few times around Mako the two most significant times being during their Sleep Cute moment in "The Revelation" and their Big Damn Kiss at the end off "Endgame."
    • She also gives an adorable one in Book Four during "Reunion" after Asami compliments her new hair cut.
  • Cursed with Awesome: As previously mentioned, she is potentially a more powerful bender than even Aang, but she's often manipulated or threatened by events outside of her control, some of which have been festering long before she was born.
  • Cute Bruiser: She's not particularly tall, but she is capable of lifting men much taller than herself. With one arm. And lifting Tenzin's entire family in a bear-hug without even realizing she's doing so.
  • Cutting the Knot: Korra is prone to attempt to solve the problems she faces by attacking them head on with brute force or threats to use brute force. She grows somewhat out of this in the later seasons as part of her Character Development.
  • The Cynic: In contrast to Aang, who was the definition of a Wide-Eyed Idealist, Korra is rather cynical at times. Where Aang always believed that conflict could be resolved without violence, Korra tends to assume that enemies can't be reasoned with and jump right to fighting. She starts growing out of this is Book 4, thanks to the teachings of Toph and reconnecting with Raava.
  • Daddy's Girl: Korra has a close relationship to her dad.
  • Dance Battler: Korra sure loves flips and kicks. It's also evident in the way she navigates the Airbending obstacle course. Jinora's demonstration is fairly clinical: she turns on a dime but keeps her upper body rigid. Korra uses a lot of spinning to do the same.
  • Darkest Hour: Happens Once a Season.
    • In Book 1, this comes after the Equalists have been defeated, Korra has been debended by Amon and only retains the airbending she spontaneously learned afterward. Even Katara, the greatest healer in the world, is unable to undo the damage, and so we see Korra alone at the edge of a cliff back in the South Pole. Things get better when Aang shows up and restores her bending.
    • In Book 2, she briefly loses Raava and thus her connection to the Avatar Cycle. She is then able to reclaim Raava and become the Avatar once more, though her past lives are permanently severed.
    • In Book 3, the Red Lotus uses a metallic poison on her in an attempt to end the Avatar Cycle. Though she survives, the poison leaves her wheelchair-bound and her hallucinations cause her considerable distress, such that she barely shows any emotion. Unlike the last two books, there isn't an easy fix for this one. The season's final shot is her looking completely broken and shedding a single tear. The following season shows that it took two years of intensive therapy for her to even walk again, and then another to come to terms with everything that had happened and come back to full strength.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not often, but every now and then she's sarcastic.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Seems to have hit this by the Season 4 premiere. She eventually returns from this through Character Development by reconnecting with her friends and overcoming her PSTD.
  • Destructive Savior:
    • In "Welcome to Republic City", she quickly puts down a trio of gang members. However, it results in greater property damage than the gang members themselves would have caused. This puts her and Lin Beifong at odds. In "When Extremes Meet", she and the new Team Avatar similarly tear up large sections of the street in pursuit of the chi-blockers. Tarrlok tries to call her on it, but lacks the force of personality to keep her in check.
    • Gets worse during the Water Tribe Civil War — Korra's decision to support the South instead of remaining neutral or pushing for peace causes the situation to escalate even further. Mako even calls her out for it, which leads to him breaking up with her.
  • Determinator: She never stops trying to reach her goals. Korra doesn't do things in halves.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • A notable trait of her character at first, something that Amon takes advantage of.
    • This really bit her when she came into the spirit world through meditation, leaving her defenseless against Unalaq, who came in through the portal and could thus bend. The fact that Vaatu can track Raava, who resides within the Avatar, didn't help either.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • Occurs in "Endgame". Amon takes away her current bending abilities... but in doing so unlocks her airbending and previously suppressed spiritual side. The latter allows Aang to finally speak to her in person, and with his help she not only regains the rest of her abilities, but achieves the Avatar State and learns how to restore the bending of everyone else Amon has hurt.
    • And again in "Light in the Dark". Unalaq and Vaatu extract Raava from her, ending the Avatar cycle. Tenzin, however, shows her how to draw in the cosmic energy of the universe, allowing her to fight the pair on equal terms and get Raava back, starting the cycle anew.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Infrequently employed by Korra, due to the collateral damage it causes in an urban area.
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: Occasionally has visions of her past life as Aang, when knocked unconscious.
  • Drives Like Crazy: She "parked" Asami's car by smashing it into a lamppost near the docks and netting about 10 tickets in the process. She immediately points out that she does not know how to drive. Bolin compliments her on doing that well, given the circumstances. Asami later gives her a lesson, and ends up screaming at her to hit the clutch. In season 3 it turns out that despite her Hot-Blooded personality she drives excessively slowly and cautiously.
  • Dude Magnet: Bolin, Mako and Prince Wu are attracted to her. Tahno offers to show her how a "real pro bends." It makes it ironic when Korra ends up in a relationship with Asami at the end of the series rather than any of the male characters.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Even if she is the Avatar, her Northern cousins, Desna and Eska, still look down on her. They're somewhat better about it after their father is defeated.
  • Dynamic Entry: See Establishing Character Moment. Also, in the Book 2 finale, she greets Unavaatu with a spirit laser to the face.
  • Easy Amnesia: After being swallowed whole by a gigantic Dark Spirit, Korra wakes up days later on a beach with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She recovers it a couple episodes later.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift:
    • While hugging Tenzin, Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo, she manages to effortlessly lift them off the ground. All at once.
    • Also easily lifts a man several inches taller than her by the collar, with one arm, and holds him in the air for a while.
    • Then, during Episode 6, she hangs onto the edge of the ring with one hand, holding onto the very tall Mako with the other, and throws him back into the ring with one arm.
    • She lifts up Bataar Jr, who is strapped to a chair, over her head with one arm, meaning she's lifting both Bataar's entire mass over her head, as well as the chair which was probably a solid quality piece of furniture.
  • Elemental Eye Colors: Though she's the Avatar, and thus can wield all four elements, she is still natively a water tribesman and has vibrant blue eyes.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Airbending at the end of Book 1. Then she gains the power to restore the bending of Amon's victims. In the Book 2 finale, she is able to tap into the cosmic energy of the universe and project her spirit as a giant on par with Vaatu/Unalaq.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Korra has inherited Aang's nickname of "Twinkletoes" from Toph.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: The heart-on-her-sleeve emotional to Mako's and Asami's cool-under-pressure stoicism.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: Korra has great difficulty with the spiritual aspects of being the Avatar, which is a problem because her ability to consciously access the Avatar State depends on spiritual enlightenment. When Korra realizes that the loss of her bending does not make her any less valuable a person, Aang appears and gives it back to her, as well as the ability to restore anyone else's bending. In the Book 2 finale, she also learns to access the cosmic energy of the universe to project herself as a giant spirit. In the Book 4 finale, she achieves a new level of this trope when she tanks the Spirit Ray Cannon firing out of control; a device that has previously been shown blasting holes through mountains. She then disposes of all that spirit energy by opening a third Spirit Portal in the middle of the city.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Her entrance. She Earthbends a wall across the room, loudly and proudly proclaims herself the Avatar, and demonstrates by bending three elements at once. She's four.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Korra, after the Trauma Conga Line at the end of book three, cuts her signature ponytail off and leaves her hair loose at chin length (as well as wearing Earth Kingdom Green clothes) so that people won't recognize her as the Avatar while she's still weakened and struggling with her flashbacks and Enemy Without.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: Thanks to tutelage from Suyin Beifong and her twin sons, Korra has become the first Avatar to acquire the Earthbending skill subset of Metalbending.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: While she attracts the attention of a number of different men throughout the series, Asami eventually becomes attracted to her, and Korra reciprocates.
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    Tropes F-K 
  • Failure Hero: Zigzagged - While Korra has been successful in saving the day, there are times when she plays this trope straight. Her journey through the series could be considered her eventually being able to subvert this trope.
    • Korra makes a lot of mistakes over the first two seasons which is partly due to her growing up in isolation due to how the White Lotus raised her. However, she is able to defeat the Big Bads of those seasons and put an end to their plans. Additionally, she also understands that they also had a valid point which affects some of her decisions and gives her Character Development.
    • During Season Three she begun to mature and learn from a number of her mistakes. She finds out that her actions during Book Two has caused a number of new airbenders to emerge in the world and she plays a vital role in helping Tenzin reestablish the Air Nation. Unfortunately, this trope is mostly played straight toward the end. The Red Lotus capture her twice, and her plan to rescue the airbenders almost completely failed. After she is poisoned by the Red Lotus, she is able to prevent them from killing her in her Avatar State right away, but she ultimately needs help from Jinora and the other airbenders to defeat Zaheer. As a result of being poisoned during her capture, she is crippled and it takes her three years to fully recover.
    • During Season Four, after finally recovering her ability to walk (which in itself was a struggle), she is unable to get back into the swing of fighting right away. This leads to her getting beaten up on multiple occasions in the first half of the season, including by Toph, Kuvira, and random earthbenders.
      • Ultimately, Korra subverts this trope during the second half of Season Four between saving Prince Wu from Kuvira's forces, managing to overcome her PTSD by facing Zaheer, saving multiple people, including Jinora, from the Spirit Wilds, taking up a leadership position against Kuvira's forces, and ultimately defeating Kuvira and convincing her to surrender.
  • Fangirl: Of pro-bending.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pre-Character Development, her confrontational nature coupled with immaturity has nearly costs her life.
  • First Girl Wins:
    • Sorry Asami. Subverted after her break-up with Mako.
    • Sorry Mako. In the end, it turns out Korra and Asami are "First Girl" to each other.
  • Fish out of Water: A big part of Korra's development in the first season. Moving from an isolated compound in the South Pole (which was already slower to develop than the other nations) to the booming urban center of Republic City causes a lot of problems.
  • Fisher Queen: The spirit world reacts to people's positive and negative energy, especially the Avatar's.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: In Turf Wars, Korra admits she realized her feelings for Asami because of the way Asami took care of her after the poisoning. However, she was still so messed up from her trauma at that point she didn't know if her feelings were real or not.
  • Fluffy Tamer: The first person to have ever tamed a polar bear dog.
  • Foil: To Mako, Asami, Avatar Wan and to an extent, Tenzin.
    • Korra and Mako — Korra is the dark-skinned native from the Southern Water Tribe, and is of Mixed Ancestry because her parents were born into different Water Tribes (Mother-Southern, Father-Northern). Her parents were with her entire life, and admitted that other people (her parents and the White Lotus) were always taking care of her. Before a huge amount of Character Development, she was prone to emotional outbursts and never was afraid to let people know what she thought; Mako is a light-skinned native from Republic City. His and Bolin's parents were killed when they were quite young, and since then, they had to always try to make ends meet. Mako is the "cool-under-fire" guy, meaning he doesn't let his emotions cloud his judgement, making it hard to express his real feelings. Then there's the way they operate in missions: Korra leads Team Avatar freestyle, with no rules, while Mako plays by the book.
    • Korra and Asami — Korra is the brash, confrontational Womanchild Tomboy, a powerful bender (Avatar, to be exact), and undergoes an enormous amount of Character Development; Asami is the polite, mature levelheaded Girly Girl, a nonbender (still Badass Normal), and is more of a well-rounded character.
    • Korra and Avatar Wan — Korra is the current Avatar, continuing to maintain balance in the world. As of Book 2 season finale and onward, she is the first Avatar of a new cycle and was born into the Southern Water Tribe; Avatar Wan the first Avatar, who unknowingly disrupted the balance in the world. Wan was the first Avatar of the old cycle and was a native of the (future) Fire Nation.
    • Korra and Tenzin — Korra is the dark-skinned, hot-headed teenage girl who uses force rather than reason; Tenzin is a light-skinned, levelheaded man who tries to instill peaceful solutions than violence. Also, both are of Mixed Ancestry, Korra's is from her parents being from one of the two Water Tribes, while Tenzin's is from both parents being born into two different nations.
  • Force and Finesse: Korra falls under Force, being blunt, hotheaded and takes the straightforward approach to doing things. Asami falls under Finesse, fighting smarter and not harder. Asami is level-headed, strategic, and relies more on versatility and precision attacks.
  • Forceful Kiss: Plants quite the good one on Mako. He reciprocates.
  • Fountain of Youth: She becomes temporarily de-aged during her journey through the Spirit World.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric — Brash, rude, stubborn, but also quite laid-back and confident (and a bit braggy).
  • Friendless Background: Growing up in an isolated compound populated strictly by teachers and guards, Korra's only friend before arriving in Republic City was her polar bear dog.
  • Friend to All Children: Shows natural skill for them given her interactions with Tenzin's children.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Being the Avatar, all animals have a liking towards her. She was the first person to ever tame a polar-bear dog. Pabu, also, quickly warmed up to her.
  • Gainaxing :Happens a lot due to her boobs of steel.
  • Gasshole: After taking one sip of an unspecified fizzy drink, she's able to belch with enough force to visibly blow back Bolin's hair and collar from a few feet away and horrify everyone else at the bar...before she learns how to airbend.
  • Genki Girl: If there's one quality she and Aang share, it's energy.
  • Gilded Cage: She lived in a White Lotus fortress and wanted for nothing. They provided her bending masters, supervised her training since she was young, and protected her from possible harm. However, they also restricted who could see her and for how long. She was watched even when she went on runs with Naga. In the end, she had no freedom.
  • A Girl And Her X: A Girl and Her Polar Bear Dog. Naga was her only friend prior to her journey as the Avatar.
  • Girl Next Door: She's a down-to-earth tomboy type and very athletic, but she's also a natural beauty. Though she prides herself on her bending ability and her role as the world's Avatar instead.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: In the Avatar State.
  • God in Human Form: As the Avatar, she can bend more than one element, making her a formidable opponent. The Avatar State boosts her bending to levels no mortal can match. Book 2 reveals that the Avatar is actually the spirit of Order, Raava, bonded to a human soul, which is where all that power comes from.
  • Goo Goo Godlike: Most Avatars don't discover their potential until they are told at age sixteen, and Aang learned four years early only because the Fire Nation posed that grave a threat at the time. Korra had discovered her ability to bend three elements with no formal training at four years old and was immediately flaunting her Avatar-ness.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Unlike Aang, Korra doesn't shy away from violence, is willing to attack defenseless opponents, and has outright threatened to murder people several times. At the end of Book 2, she has the distinction of being the first hero in the Avatarverse to deliberately kill her opponent, even if she regretted it coming to that.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Toward Asami at first.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: She (like all Avatars) is a human mutated by fusing with the light spirit Raava, which is why she can bend all four elements. Even when separated from Raava, she retains her bending powers.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted. While Korra is quite talented, she has also been shown regularly practicing on her own.
  • Healing Hands: Katara taught her to use Waterbender healing.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: With Bolin during their first meeting and later she catapults Jinora and Ikki for guessing she likes Mako.
  • Held Gaze: The series ends with Korra and Asami looking lovingly into each other's eyes which represents the beginning of their romantic relationship.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: As she wasn't able to leave the South Pole, Naga was her only close friend.
    Mako: Your best friend is a... polar bear dog. Somehow that makes perfect sense.
  • Heroic BSoD: Once a Season.
    • In the finale of Book 1, after Amon took her bending away. According to Aang, it was what finally allowed her to unlock her spiritual side.
    • In the finale of Book 2, when the spirit of light, Raava, is taken from her and destroyed, making her the last Avatar. Korra managed to get her back, though, as Raava cannot truly die.
    • In the finale of Book 3, the trauma of nearly dying, hallucinations caused by a potent poison, and a slow recovery leave her emotionally drained, barely having the will to smile. It takes most of Book 4 for her to fully recover from that one.
  • Heroic Build: Korra's quite powerfully built, much like her father.
  • Heroic Resolve:
    • Korra, after being stripped of her other stable elements, finally unlocked her airbending when she witnessed Amon about to take Mako's bending and manages to defeat Amon.
    • In the Book 2 finale, after being severed from Raava, she harnesses the cosmic energy of the universe to project herself as a giant spirit who can battle Unalaq and Vaatu combined.
    • During Book 4, Korra travels in the world, so she can recover which partly works.
  • The Heroine: She is the Avatar and main character.
  • Hero on Hiatus: She gets sidelined at the end of Book 3 from the heavy toll the metal poisoning has taken on her body. In the meantime, Tenzin promises that the new Air Nation will follow her example and strive to maintain balance wherever they go. It takes two years for her to physically recover, and even then she doesn't return because she's lost access to the Avatar State, which results in her disappearing on a quest to reconnect with Raava. Her absence ultimately had consequences, as her team disbanded, the world handed over the Earth Kingdom's infrastructure to Kuvira, and in turn, there was no one to stand in Kuvira's way. Eventually, she returns to position as the Avatar to defeat Kuvira.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • After the Book 2 finale, her approval rating drops because she can't deal with the spirit vine infestation. After rescuing the airbenders from the Earth Queen, she and her friends have a bounty placed on their heads.
    • In the three-year Time Skip, however, Republic City learned to live with its vine problem and began to coexist more peacefully with the Spirits partly due to Asami helping incorporate the chances in the city. They began to recognize her as the hero she is, and erected a statue in her honor which placed in Republic City Park which they also renamed after her.
  • Hidden Buxom: To an extent. She already has Boobs of Steel, but on the one occasion she is seen out of her athletic martial arts outfit, and in a formal evening gown, her bust is shown as much larger than normal, suggesting her normal outfit is designed to compress her chest for practical reasons. So she stands as a already busty character who is actually hiding a much larger bust.
  • Hidden Depths: In spite of Korra's Hot-Blooded nature (especially pre-character development), Korra has keen instincts under pressure, demonstrating capable tactical and escape skills, such as using her armband as an insulator against the Lieutenant's electrical assault, and faking unconsciousness in order to catch the Equalists by surprise. On a more personal note, she encourages Mako to be with Asami after her father was revealed to be with the Equalists, saying Asami really needs him, despite how she felt about Mako. She also never makes another move on Mako until after he ended things with Asami, even turning away from him while sitting together in the underground. She's not as selfish as she seems pre-character development.
  • Honor Before Reason: Despite being terrified of Amon and being coerced into joining a task force, she goes on a raid rather than go back on her word. Later, she challenges Amon to with a one-on-one duel, which ends badly when Amon ambushes her with dozens of chi-blockers instead of arriving alone.
  • Holding Hands: Book Four ends with Korra and Asami holding hands as they begin their vacation in the Spirit World.
  • Hot-Blooded: This is likely why she took to firebending so well, despite being a native waterbender.
  • Humble Hero: Eventually grows into this trope throughout the course of the series. After witnessing Wan's story of how he became the first Avatar, Korra becomes more humble and mature. This line in the Grand Finale sums it up.
    Tenzin: Korra you've managed to transform the world more in a few years then most Avatar's did in their lifetimes.
    Korra: But I feel like I've only just begun. There's so much more I want to learn and do.
  • I Have Your Wife: An interesting variation: Korra and the airbenders take Bataar Jr. hostage and use the threat of keeping him from Kuvira for the rest of his life as leverage to convince him to talk her down, all while trying to play the trope straight against Kuvira. In the case of Bataar, it works, who ends up breaking and submitting to Korra's demands. Kuvira, however, isn't so sentimental.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Notable in that she already is badass; she's simply desperate to get others (especially Tenzin) to respect her. A recurring theme throughout the series is Korra's belief/fear that nobody takes her seriously.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Korra defines herself so much around being the Avatar that she can't bear the thought of being Brought Down to Normal — even "merely" an airbender, the rarest kind of bender in the world. Or even living a normal life with mom and dad, while still having all her powers.
  • I'll Kill You!: Twice with the judge in "Civil Wars, Part 2". And given how she behaved with Tarrlok, there's no reason to believe she wasn't serious about the threat. Done again later with the Red Lotus; since she thought they killed her father, she really meant it.
  • I'm Not Afraid of You: An attitude she needs to adopt in the Spirit World, otherwise, being the Avatar, her negative emotions can cause its environment and inhabitants to become dark versions.
  • Important Hair Cut: She got one between Books 3 and 4. While the tangible reason was that she had to keep herself from being recognized as the Avatar, this is supposed to signify that she has changed dramatically (and also indicate a Time Skip).
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: She has already proven to be horrible when it comes to excuses. Her explanation for leaving in episode 7 takes the cake, though.
    Korra: I'm supposed to air sit, I mean baby-bend, I- I mean, babysit the Airbending kids!
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: She usually acts very cocky and self confident, but she later begins to show a great deal of insecurity about her skills and fear to her enemies. In particular, her greatest fear seems to be losing her identity as the Avatar, or simply not being needed as one anymore. Being the Avatar is everything to Korra, and even after a lot of trials where she learned her value is independent of that role, it remains something she greatly fears losing.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Part of her spiritual weakness is that she's almost completely oblivious to other people's feelings, most obviously in episode five where she goes on a date with Bolin, then forces a kiss on Mako the very next day. She doesn't really get that this is a problem until she sees Bolin's reaction.
  • Instant Expert:
    • Korra was able to bend fire, water and earth without any training at a very young age. Airbending, on the other hand, came especially hard to her.
    • In Book 2, Korra manages to duplicate Unalaq's spirit-calming waterbending style after seeing him do it only a couple times. However, while she can copy the style at first, it takes her several tries to get it to work properly.
    • She also picks up metalbending extremely quickly in Book 3 and can go toe-to-toe with Suyin's kids.
    • In Book 4, she learns to detect the energy of different people and "see" them through spirit vines from Toph, and all it took was a single try. While still unsure about what her limits are, Korra quickly proves she can even use the ability without directly touching a spirit vine (though its likely she does need them to be nearby).
  • In-Universe Catharsis: In the finale of Book 1, this finally helps her unlock the Avatar state.
  • Irony: She originally disliked Asami and thought of her as being a prissy, rich girl and considered her a romantic rival for Mako's affection. Eventually, she becomes friends with Asami, spends more time with her than her other friends, and develops romantic feelings for her. Eventually, they become lovers at the end of the series.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She lets Mako be with his girlfriend Asami, partly because Asami needs his support. Considering her character, this is actually a pretty big deal.
  • I Work Alone: Korra has this attitude in the episode "When Extremes Meet" when refusing to rejoin Tarrlok:
    Korra: Well, I got news for you. You need me, but I don't need you. I'm the Avatar.
    • Subverted in general, however. While Korra wanted to fight the Equalists on her own terms, she still worried that she would go about being a hero alone. She eventually puts together her own team.
    • Comes back in "Peacekeepers" with Korra deciding that she doesn't need Mako's help on how to deal with her situation after he ratted her out. Granted though, she was too emotionally driven to see that Mako was only trying to make sure she doesn't make a mistake with disastrous consequences. However, Korra feels like the "help" Mako is giving her is betraying her family.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is immature, a bit arrogant, sometimes a bit of a jerk, not above using her powers for pranks and not unappreciating attention... but if people's lives are on the line, she will throw away everything to save them. Though as the series progresses her Jerk tendencies become less and less prominent and her Gold tendencies get emphasised instead to the point that, by the time of the series finale, there's very little jerk left in her.
  • Jumped at the Call: In stark contrast to her predecessor. Deconstructed, as it's this attitude that serves as the root of her emotional problems. Korra defines herself as the Avatar, even to the detriment of herself as a person, and the villains of the first three books have all sought to eliminate the Avatar as a concept, rather than personally targeting her. The idea of failing in that duty does a number on her self-esteem. By the end of the series, Korra has regained her self-esteem and is a mature, confident young woman who is ready and willing to embrace her role as the Avatar. She happily tells Prince Wu she will help him change the Earth Kingdom's government to a democratic system.
  • Kung-Fu Kid: Korra was waterbending, earthbending, and firebending when she was just a little girl, way ahead of when she should have been able to.

    Tropes L-Q 
  • The Lad-ette: Loves fighting and engages in burping contests with gusto.
  • Lame Comeback: Becoming a pattern with her. "You're oppressing yourself!" most notably.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: After being eaten by a spirit and washing up on an island. She goes into a deep meditative trance and connects with the first Avatar, Wan, which fixes it...mostly.
  • The Leader: Korra is the leader of Team Avatar. However, she doesn't always listen to others when they disagree with her notions. Over time, she learns that being a good leader means knowing when to sometimes follow. During the Book Four finale, Korra more or less becomes the leader against Kuvira's forces. Her decisions and leadership abilities are part of the reason for Kuvira's defeat.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Zig-zagged. Korra has a tendency to dip into this, though her friends help keep it in check. Most of the time. By Book Four, she no longer exhibits this trope.
  • Legacy Character: As the latest Avatar, Tenzin refers to her as Aang's legacy.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: In two different flavors.
    • She wears her hair down for formal occasions, such as Tarrlok's party in "The Voice in the Night" and Jinora's master airbender ceremony in "Venom of the Red Lotus". Since she's cut her hair short in Book 4, she instead puts it up for formal occasions.
    • She also gets her ponytail knocked loose, resulting in an involuntary version of this trope. The first is in "Harmonic Convergence", where she's flung from Oogi's back. She spends the rest of the finale with her hair down. The second is in the Book 3 season finale, where she loses the ponytail along with her shoes, skirt, and armband when the Red Lotus chain her up in preparation to poison her.
  • Light 'em Up: She learns how to infuse water with light energy, which pacifies spirits.
  • Light Is Good: Is fused to the spirit of light and peace, Raava.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Now that Korra is getting the hang of airbending, it has given her unprecedented evasive skills. She still can hit like a freight train, though.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: As a warrior, Tonraq was brash and hotheaded, relying on his physical strength to protect the tribe, and was never particularly connected to the spiritual world, much like his daughter in her performance of her Avatar duties.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: It is heavily implied that, at the end of the series, Korra has become this for Asami. After her father's Heroic Sacrifice in stopping Kuvira's giant mech from destroying Republic City, Asami mentions to Korra at a wedding that she couldn't have handled losing her father and Korra in the same day. From this scene it is implicated that Korra is Asami's main reason for living after the loss of her family. Although, their relationship in no way is portrayed as unhealthy as Korra is more than happy to be there for Asami - especially after all of the care, kindness, and warmth Asami showed her while she was recovering from her poisoning, PTSD, and depression.
  • Living MacGuffin: In Books 2 and 3. In Book 2, Unalaq needs her to open the spirit portals, and then has to destroy Raava within her. In Book 3, the Red Lotus needs her so they can force her into the Avatar State then kill her, thereby eliminating the Avatar forever (at least for the next 10,000 years) and allowing anarchy to triumph.
  • Little Miss Badass: She could bend water, earth, and fire by the age of four.
    "I'm the Avatar! You gotta deal with it!"
  • Lovable Jock: During her time as a pro-bender for the Fire Ferrets. Despite her occasional immaturity, she was excited and all for being on the team.
  • Love at First Sight: Korra fell in love with Mako the moment she saw him which eventually gets deconstructed when their jobs and temperaments cause their official break-up in Book 2.
  • Lower-Class Lout: Her cousins look down on Korra as a rube, despite being the Avatar, due to her being from the Southern Water Tribe. After the apocalyptic battle against Vaatu, she and her cousins are now square.
  • Making a Splash: Her native element.
  • Mama Bear: Inverted. It's worth noting that every time Korra has outright threatened to kill someone, it's because they harmed her parents in some manner.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: In "The Spirit of Competition", she agrees to go on a date with Bolin, and then forces a kiss on Mako the very next day. Justified due to her lack of social skills.
  • The McCoy: To Mako's Spock and Bolin and Asami's Kirk. She's the Leeroy Jenkins and uses brute force to get her way.
  • Meaningful Name: When anglicized, Greek "Kore" reforms as "Cora", with both names meaning "maiden". Kore is also another name for Persephone, Greek goddess of the underworld, who is described by Homer as a "formidable and powerful young queen". The last meaning makes sense given how Korra being a powerful bender and the Avatar which can be just as equal or higher than a queen. Kore/Persephone was also famous for being perpetually dragged in and out of hell...
  • The Medic: Katara taught her how to utilize the healing properties of water.
    Korra: Relax, I'm a healer. I learned from Katara, the best there is!
  • Messianic Archetype: A varation, instead of being like the Christian Messiah, Korra instead follows in the footsteps of Gautama Buddha. Like the Buddha, Korra was raised in seclusion. Both their fathers wanted to shelter them from the outside world. Both dive straight into trying to solve the ills of the world once they discover it, but only to limited success. Both eventually achieve enlightenment through meditation. In fact, Korra is able to tap into the cosmic energy of the universe while meditating under the Tree of Time in much the same way the Buddha achieved enlightenment while meditating under the Bodhi tree.
  • Mighty Glacier: In Season 1 Korra is relatively slow, especially compared to the pro-benders, and favors strength over speed. Tenzin's training focuses on counteracting this weakness, and as time goes on the trope is averted after she unlocks her airbending and begins to integrate dodges into her combat style, without sacrificing power to do so.
  • Misery Builds Character: Korra mentions to Tenzin that the suffering she went through after being poisoned by Zaheer helped her to become more compassionate to other people including her enemies. This is in line with one of the core tenants of Buddhism, knowing compassion through suffering, and is also a Call-Back to a similar speech that Avatar Yangchen gave to Aang in the first series which stated that being born human, and thus making mistakes and suffering, allow Avatar's the ability to relate to other people around the world, in sadness, anger, joy and happiness.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Her mother is a native to the Southern Water Tribe, but her father is an immigrant from the Northern Water Tribe. Even though they were both officially one nation before the end of the Civil War, the show treats both tribes as distinct nationalities, as shown by the make-up of Republic City's council.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • She uses the Avatar state to beat Tenzin's kids in an air scooter race. Tenzin is not amused with her using it as a toy.
    • She uses her bending to play with Naga, first by using her airbending to throw a ball great distances and later raising floor tiles with earthbending akin to having a dog chasing a laser pointer.
  • Naïve Newcomer: At first, she was surprised to find that not everyone in Republic City was rich. A cheerful old hobo corrects her.
  • Neck Lift: As also demonstrated with Effortless Amazonian Lift, those muscles aren't just for show. In one instance, she hoists the Equalist protester in the park right off his feet. She later does this again to Bataar Jr. while he's tied to a chair, lifting what is likely well over 200 lbs. With one arm.
  • Nice Girl: Fully becomes this after going through a few Break the Haughty moments leading to her showing compassion to her enemies.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Trusting Unalaq in Book 2 ultimately caused a huge amount of problems that Korra could have easily avoided.
  • The Nicknamer: "Pretty boy", "Mr. Heartbreaker", "Mr. Hat trick", "City boy", "Cool guy", "Team Captain"... Mako seems to be the prime victim of these, as he owns the last four.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: Prone to it. Tarrlok gets her to join his task force by having a reporter suggest that she's afraid of Amon.
  • No Social Skills: Being raised by the Order of the White Lotus, and with her spiritual nature rather stunted, Korra is often completely unable to read social cues. This leads to lame comebacks and her trampling people's feelings by accident.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Korra has tried this twice, once when daring Amon to fight her and again when confronting Zaheer in prison. Both antagonists are more than happy to demonstrate that it does not work.
  • Not a Morning Person: States that the morning is "evil". As she is a native Waterbender, she grew up in the south pole, where both nights and days may last for many months at a time; and gets an energy boost from nighttime. Also justified by the fact that she's still in her teens; an age group that typically does not do well in the mornings.
  • Not Good with People: Nearly a perfect example of the more primal type 2 (adept at hunting for food, managed to tame an enormous wild animal at a young age, with a loose regard for rules), except that the reason she is bad with people is because she was isolated from them. While she is clearly lonely without human peers and makes an effort to socialize, she still seems more comfortable around Naga and Pabu.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Korra stumbles into this repeatedly.
    • In "Welcome to Republic City" when she discovers and tries to argue against an Equalist protestor decrying benders as an oppressive establishment, he easily manipulates her confrontational attitude to make her look like the bad guy in front of a large audience of listeners.
    • Later in the same episode, she's incredulous when police insist she be arrested for causing property damage during her well-meant Curb-Stomp Battle of a trio of gangsters. Instead of coming along quietly to explain her presumption of Hero Insurance, she flees the police, fighting as she bolts, and forcing them to use an airship to bring her in, which earns the enmity of Chief Beifong.
    • Matters worsen in "The Revelation" when, desperate to find a friend kidnapped by Equalists, she shakes down the same protestor for information in public, smashing his megaphone, flipping his table and hoisting him by the shirt, and must again flee the police when he wails (quite rightly) that he's being oppressed.
  • Not So Different:
    • What brings her and Mako together (at first) is that, at their core, they have similar personalities: they're both really driven by competition, have strong feelings of truth and justice, are protective of their families, are ultra-stubborn and extremely determined.
    • Korra and Asami may have different temperaments and backgrounds, but they have plenty in common as well. They're both prodigies (Korra with her bending, Asami with her technological skill), they both have huge responsibilities (one's the Avatar, the other the heir to a technological juggernaut), they both know what it's like to deal with having to start from the bottom again (Korra with her physical condition, Asami with rebuilding Sato Industries), both are big fan of sports (and fans of the Fire Ferrets even before meeting Bolin and Mako), love speed (Asami in her cars, Korra running with Naga), both are fast learners (with the exception of airbending, Korra learns pretty fast any bending form, meanwhile Asami can pilot and drive anything) and get pretty angry when the people they love hide things from them. They are also VERY protective of their loved ones and each other.
    • In the finale, she explicitly says this of herself and Kuvira, and Kuvira realizing this is true is part of the reason why she ultimately agrees to surrender.
  • Not Wearing Tights: Korra essentially takes on a superhero role in Republic City, but has no secret identity. She even announces her arrival and status as the Avatar at a press conference.
  • Official Couple:
    • With Mako after the finale of Book 1, until they broke up in Book 2.
    • In the series finale, it turns out the show's real OC is her and Asami.
  • One of the Boys: She likes to play sports alongside her guy-friends and best them in Burping Contests.
  • One of the Kids: Gets along well with Tenzin's children, having an air-scooter race with them at the beginning of Book 2, or asking Jinora and Ikki for advice on how to talk to Mako in Book 1.
  • One Woman Army: Korra is the link between the spiritual and physical world, and sole possessor of the power to master all four elements. As such, she can kick just about anyone's butt.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: During the events of Book 1, Tenzin is very surprised by Korra's refusal to join the anti-Amon task force. While he was glad she didn't, he recognized that her unwillingness to charge her enemy head-on was very uncharacteristic, and (correctly) guessed that Korra was truly afraid for the first time in her life.
  • Opposites Attract:
    • She and Mako have wildly different backgrounds and ways of dealing with conflict. Which is probably why it doesn't work out. However, they learn to appreciate their differences, and it's those differences that make them stronger not as a couple, but as a team.
    • Later on, this and a good dose of Tomboy and Girly Girl applies to her and Asami. While they had similar privileged childhoods, one is a brash, tomboyish Avatar, and the other is an elegant, girly Badass Normal.
  • The Paragon: Her actions over the course of the series have inspired her teammates and other allies to follow her example of making the world a better place. This came across strongly by the end of Book 3: Korra is severely injured after fighting Zaheer, but Tenzin is inspired to have the new Air Nation follow her example.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: She loves pro-bending and always wanted to see a match since she was a child.
  • Persona Non Grata: Raiko banishes her from Republic City for not dealing with the spirit vines, even though she saved him and everyone else just weeks beforehand. After rescuing the new airbenders from the Earth Queen, she and her friends get bounties placed on their heads. Raiko reverses his decision after Korra beats the Red Lotus, and the Earth Queen is no longer around to pay the bounty.
  • Personality Powers: The cause of Korra's knack with three elements and issues with airbending in particular, as explained by her airbending teacher:
    Tenzin: Often the element that's most difficult for the Avatar to master is the one most opposite to the Avatar's personality. For Aang, it was earthbending.
    Korra: Yeah, well, I'm about as opposite an airbender as you can get.
  • Physical God: With emphasis on physical. Technically, she's a mortal combined with Raava's spirit carrying the spirits of her past lives. This trope is most triumphantly exhibited when Korra deflects the Spirit Ray Cannon's blast, which obliterated anything else it was shot at.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: As a tiny four-year-old child, she was already bending three elements.
  • Playing with Fire: Despite water being her native element, Korra seems to default to fire when frustrated.
  • Plucky Girl: Korra may have her Break the Haughty moments, but she still manages to get back up and fight.
  • Pragmatic Hero: When driven over the edge, she might get overly-aggressive. Case in point, "Civil Wars, Part 2" has her resorting to the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique for information and going back on the promises she made to her parents as soon as it became too much for her to tolerate. She also has no problem using lethal force, unlike Aang.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Korra was already a skilled Bender from the start, but she didn't fulfill the "Princess" part until the Southern Water Tribe has their own chief, who was Korra's father, Tonraq. Even before that, Korra was so pampered and secluded that upon visiting the city, she was surprised she needed to pay for food, which had the advantage of making people underestimate her before a fight.
  • Pride: Throughout the first season, she struggles with the many responsibilities that come with her being the Avatar, especially at points when her overconfidence and fear get the best of her. In the book 1 finale, her pride is what allows Amon to capture her and remove her bending. Korra's pride also gets in the way of her asking for and accepting help from others, especially in season 4, while she is attempting to recover from mercury poisoning and PTSD.
  • Protagonist Title: The Legend of Korra.
  • Proud Warrior Race Girl: While this is true for most of the people from the Water Tribes, Korra stands out the most, because to her, she has a warrior spirit that can't be contained and thus lives to fight. However, she later learns that there is more to being the Avatar than fighting.
  • Pure Energy: Like Aang before her, she learns Energybending at the end of Book 1. At the end of Book 2, she is able to project herself as a massive spirit to fight Unalaq and Vaatu. In the Grand Finale, she uses said Energybending to stop a blast from Kuvira's spirit cannon...Up to Eleven in that she's blocking the combined power of the entire spirit wilds in Republic City, the result of which obliterates downtown and tears open a new spirit portal. It goes to show just how far she's come since struggling with learning airbending early on to being able to manipulate such a devastating amount of spirit energy at once.

    Tropes R-Z 
  • Rage Against the Mentor: She cuts ties with Tenzin in Book 2 for two reasons: she doesn't think he can teach her how to deal with the spirit crisis, and she just learned that he was partly responsible for putting her in the compound. She pulls this on Unalaq three episodes later when she discovers that he conspired to get her father banished from the North, and then put together a Kangaroo Court to get him jailed for life. She makes amends with Tenzin afterwards. Unfortunately for her, Tenzin hadn't been in the spirit world enough.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Before her Important Haircut, Korra's hair reached to her back.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives quite an epic one to Unalaq on his backstabbing ways. She even calls him out for setting Tonraq up to get exiled and trying to get her parents in prison. She tops it off by saying that he's mad at Tonraq for being the father of the Avatar.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The brash, rough-and-rumble red to Mako's stoic and Asami's calm blue.
  • Reincarnation: Of the spirit of light and peace, and most recently Aang.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Develops this relationship with Asami during Book 3 and spends more time hanging out with Asami than other members of Team Avatar. This eventually leads to Korra developing actual romantic feelings for Asami and becoming an Official Couple with her during the series finale.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: As the Avatar, she is looked at as the defacto leader when it comes to her friends and protecting Republic City. That said, it is clear early on she doesn't have any experience in leading and it is Mako who leads the Fire Ferrets.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: The Order of the White Lotus, on Aang's instruction, protected her while bringing in teachers to nurture her Avatar abilities. Consequently, Korra has poor social skills but is an extremely powerful bender.
  • Save the Villain:
    • As much as Korra hates the Earth Queen, Korra knows letting her die is a tempting, and shortsighted solution as the Earth Nation is barely holding together. As a result, Korra can't afford to look the other way so she still tries to warn her about the threat of the Red Lotus. However, her captors don't believe her, and in the process of trying to escape, Zaheer ends up assassinating the Earth Queen when he feels working with her no longer serves a purpose.
    • In Book 4, Korra protects Kuvira from her own spirit weapon blast, the act of which creates a new spirit portal right in the heart of Republic City. She later talks Kuvira into surrendering herself to the custody of the United Republic.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: The loud, full-of-energy Energetic Girl to Mako's cool-under-fire Savvy Guy.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: A rare heroic example, though she is still willing to do it if it overlaps with Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!. She is the Avatar, after all. This is evident in episode 8, where Korra attempts to intimidate Tarrlok into releasing her friends. This is actually supposed to be the point of the Avatar, as demonstrated by Kyoshi and Roku, but doesn't work so well in a modern setting, yet Korra doesn't let that stop her.
  • Second Love: For Asami. Ironically, the first loves of both of them were the same: Mako.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: In "The Voice in the Night", tomboy Korra wears a dress with her hair down. No one comments on it in the show, but she does manage to pull it off quite nicely.
  • She Is All Grown Up: A platonic variation. Korra gets this reaction from Tenzin in "Welcome to Republic City", when he and his family show up at the South Pole.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: Came within spitting distance during Book 2. After her father was arrested on charges of conspiring to kill Unalaq and sentenced to life in prison, Korra arbitrarily decided the judge was corrupt and chased him down after the trial, threatening to have Naga crush his skull if he didn't tell her what she wanted to know. In fact, this was exactly the type of behavior Mako wanted to prevent.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Apparently, Korra pairs Kai and Jinora together, saying to the latter she knows they have a "connection".
    • She seems to like the idea of Bolin and Opal together.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Korra starts to go this route after a disastrous relationship with Mako, which included his habit of cheating and lying to her and Asami when he was with one of them; her eventual Second Love is someone sweet and loyal who is there for her at her weakest moment. The "man" part, however, doesn't fit; that someone is Asami.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: Korra is skilled in three of the four elements, but due to her sheltered upbringing, she's socially inept when she goes to Republic City and discovers the enemies that call it home.
  • Skirt over Slacks: A variation. She wears a Showgirl Skirt-like fur-trimmed pelt over her pants.
  • Sleep Cute: With Mako in "The Revelation". Cue awkwardness and blush.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: She rarely wears sleeves, with the exception of formal occasions. She even tries to roll up her airbender uniform's sleeves. Tenzin does not approve and slides them back down.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Sure, Korra may look like an Idiot Hero, and she's not a genius like Asami, but she's quite clever and resourceful in certain situations, especially in Book 4.
  • Smug Super: Downplayed. Korra is inclined to brag and gloat, and doesn't hesitate to use her status as the Avatar to intimidate others if necessary. It isn't appreciated by the authorities, and Korra isn't as quick to do so in later seasons.
  • Spanner in the Works: To Kuvira's plans who initially dismisses Korra as obsolete. Despite losing to Kuvira during their first fight, Korra manages to become a thorn in Kuvira's side. She manages to prevent her forces from kidnapping Prince Wu, captured Bataar Jr before he can get President Raiko to surrender Republic City, takes up a leadership position to combat Kuvira's forces, and she personally manages to best her in combat during their second fight. Eventually, Korra manages to convince Kuvira to surrender. Not bad for someone that Kuvira referred to as obsolete.
  • Spirited Competitor: She picks fights for no reason, whereas Aang was a Martial Pacifist.
  • Start My Own: Forms her own team after disagreeing with Tarrlok's methods, which almost immediately is branded "New Team Avatar".
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy:
    • Korra is a tough-as-nails master of the four elements who almost always tries to solve any problem with figthing, while Mako is a much more thoughtful and rational guy with an analytical mind that is often highlighted when he comes up with smart plans.
    • She can also be considered a rare same-sex version of the trope with Asami. While Korra is a strong Boisterous Bruiser who knows pretty much nothing but fighting, Asami is a practical thinker and a Wrench Wench, able to repair and construct vehicles with limited resources.
  • Super Mode: The Avatar State.
  • Superpower Lottery: She's the Avatar. It's in the job description.
  • Super Strength: While in the Avatar State, she can break platinum chains with nothing but her muscles.
  • Superior Successor: Comes with the territory of being the Avatar. Due to how the Avatar cycle works each Avatar has access to the experience and wisdom of all the previous Avatars and is incrementally more powerful with each new life. By the end of the series Korra is capable of spiritbending, energybending, and metalbending in addition to being able to bend the four elements, something no other Avatar before her has achieved.
  • Swallowed Whole: During her battle with Desna and Eska, a dark spirit shows up to swallow her. This ends up wiping out her memory and putting the Avatar spirit itself in danger.
  • Sympathy for the Devil:
    • She states that Amon and Tarrlok's backstory was one of the saddest stories she had ever heard.
    • At the end of Book 4, being able to empathize with Kuvira is a big part of how she's able to talk the Earth Emperor into surrendering and facing justice for her actions.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Rather than fight further, she manages to talk Kuvira down after they are sucked into the spirit world.
  • Taught by Experience: Korra seems to cop up to this since her arrival in Republic City. On her own, she learns to adapt to new situations when dealing with enemies, exhibiting a level of creativity and improvisation. When Amon removes Korra's bending, Korra finally gains the ability to airbend, even though she hadn't completed her training.
  • Teens Are Short: Averted, Word of God has stated she's above-average for a woman at 5'7". But people often get this impression of her because her father towers over her (because he towers over everybody), and both of her love interests are taller than her: Mako is 6'2", and Asami is estimated at around 5'10", not counting the heels she often wears.
  • Tell Me How You Fight: Korra navigates an airbending training obstacle course with lots of energetic spinning.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted. Unlike her predecessor, she is in fact willing to use lethal force, though usually only as a last resort (unless she's really pissed).
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: She's aggressive and in-your-face and overall doesn't act very "girly", contrast to Asami who is more reserved and wears make-up and such like.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She's loud, abrasive, and has no shame getting into burping contests with one of her best friends to name a few Tomboy elements. However whenever she puts on a nice dress for a formal party or ball she can look quite elegant and stunning. And since she never seems embarrassed by being seen in public in a dress she may just like it to.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Her primary hair style in the first three books combined with sidetails, so we're ruling out a girly girl, here. In one scene, we see a young male waterbender wearing the same style, so it could have been a masculine hairstyle.
  • Tomboyish Voice: Korra has a deep voice to match her tomboyish personality.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not that she wasn't plenty badass at the start, but Korra had trouble with connecting to the spiritual side of her Avatar powers making it very hard for her to master airbending. Come Book 4, Air is her second most used element and she was able to energybend the spirit vine cannon blast when it's powered by the entire Spirit Wilds, ripping a hole in reality and creating a new spirit portal.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Sure, she was always cheerful in Book 1, but was hit so badly in later books. After overcoming her PSTD, she becomes far more cheerful and hopeful for the future again. This partly leads to her and Asami becoming an Official Couple.
  • Took a Level in Idealism: Korra initially held the belief that any enemy that she faced could not be reasoned with and just needs to be taken down with force. By the series finale, Korra understands that defeating enemies can be solved by connecting with them.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: For about the first half of Book 2, Korra grows progressively moodier and more violent, first due to increasing frustration with both Tenzin and her father, and then with the war between the Southern and Northern Water Tribes. She takes on a With Us or Against Us attitude, lashes out at anyone who disagrees with her slightly, and alienates people around her, to the point where Mako outright breaks up with her. Only after "Beginnings" does she soften up again and realize the error of her ways.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Korra herself realizes in the finale that, after her experiences throughout the series, she is now more open to understanding others and their problems. This is put into practice when she defeats Kuvira not by punching her out, but by relating to her fear of losing control and convincing her to surrender.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Many of Korra's mistakes are a result from not thinking of the possible consequences that her actions could bring. Fortunately, character development had her finally learn.
  • Tranquil Fury: In "Civil Wars, Part 2", she manages to stay calm even though she was beyond pissed off that Unalaq manipulated her and essentially tried to use her dad as a hostage. Strangely enough, this ends up as even more terrifying than her Unstoppable Rage towards Tarrlok.
  • Trauma Conga Line: In the Book 3 finale. In order: watched her father (apparently) die, was kidnapped and poisoned by the Red Lotus, had to deal with the pressure of possibly being the last Avatar ever, nearly died, and wound up in a wheelchair with terrible depression after everything was said and done. To say it went poorly would be an understatement. She eventually becomes a Type A after she recovers as she herself states that after she finally accepted and moved on from what happened that she'll become stronger and her growth is shown in the series finale.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Korra tends to do this whenever she's feeling down. For example, she does it in "When Extremes Meet" after Tarrlok mocks her for being a "half-baked Avatar in training".
  • True Companions: What she, her teammates, and Asami have become by episode 8.
  • Tyke-Bomb: While her parents and Tenzin were more interested in keeping her safe than in using her for their own ends, their decision to have her raised in a secluded compound with no peers effectively turned her into a perfect weapon. Working through the consequences of that is the focus of her character arc. It was presumed that The Red Lotus tried to kidnap her in order to deliberately raise her into one of these, though Zaheer denies that motivation when Korra calls him on it. They actually intended to kill her, and nearly do so.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Korra's look is natural and she's stocky, but that hasn't stopped Mako and Bolin (and, eventually, Asami) from crushing on her. Even Tahno couldn't resist a cheap come on when he first saw her. Further emphasized in "Out of the Past", where despite being somewhat disheveled from Tarrlok kidnapping her and a narrow escape from Amon, her appearance is barely affected.
  • Unknown Rival: Asami is completely oblivious of Korra's feelings for Mako and jealousy towards her until "When Extremes Meet".
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Mako during Book 1. Episode five took this and ran it Up to Eleven. Resolved in the Book 1 finale.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • In "When Extremes Meet". Look at Korra's picture above, and look at this.
    • Happens again in "Venom of the Red Lotus", when she enters the Avatar State involuntarily. Much like Aang, she becomes a force of nature, focused solely on killing Zaheer. Were it not for the large amount of poison she was given to make her this way, she almost certainly would have succeeded. She was tossing mountaintops at Zaheer.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In "Long Live The Queen", Korra refuses to allow herself be brought to the Earth Queen as a captive, accidentally crashing the airship which was bringing her to Ba Sing Se. In the process, the captain radios Ba Sing Se to inform them of her escape. The Red Lotus, having come to Ba Sing Se to get Korra for themselves, learn of her escape and decide to bring Korra to them instead. To this end, Zaheer kills the Earth Queen and tells the citizens of Ba Sing Se that they are free to do as they please, throwing the city into chaos, then gives a message to Mako and Bolin to deliver to Korra.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Korra seems to have a problem with playing into the hands of crafty waterbending chessmasters, and one Corrupt Corporate Executive from either Water Tribe region.
  • Uptown Girl:
    • Korra, Avatar and (future) daughter of Southern Chief Tonraq, is a couple with Mako, a former Street Urchin turned professional Pro-Bender struggling for money to off-duty cop. However, due to personal reasons, they break up.
    • Played with, after becoming an Official Couple with Asami. While Korra is the Avatar (a position possibly higher than any Queen/King, or more accurately, outside of any social class), Asami is the head of Future Industries.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Korra has a tendency to be this.
  • Walking the Earth: Tries this in order to reconnect with the Avatar State and get out of her funk.
  • Warrior Therapist: Not as much as Aang, but she shows signs of it in The Last Stand. Korra finally gets Kuvira to admit defeat and accept her the punishment for her crimes by relating to her, especially in their regards for feeling vulnerable.
  • We Help the Helpless: As the Avatar, is this a broad definition of Korra's purpose.
  • Welcome to the Big City: The criminals she encounters even ID her straight away as being "fresh off the boat."
  • What Does He See in Her?: A platonic example: Korra doesn't understand why Bolin would develop a crush on her cousin Eska, since she has always found Eska and her twin brother rather creepy.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lays one on Lin for acting hostile towards Opal (who wanted to meet her aunt) and says that with that attitude, she'll end up being old and alone. Surprisingly, Korra's words actually strike a nerve, for Lin sheds some tears after being left alone.
  • Who Are You?: Asked this after learning of Wan's past. When she answered, she finally understood her purpose and duty.
  • Why Can't I Hate You?: Before getting to know Asami well, Korra sees her as a prissy rich girl mainly because of her jealousy of her relationship with Mako. After they start bonding in a race, Korra apologizes for having her pegged wrong. Ironically, the two eventually end up in a relationship with each other.
  • With Us or Against Us: She has this attitude in Book 2, interpreting anyone disagreeing with her as the enemy and anyone showing any degree of sympathy for them as taking their side and not hers. Highlighted in Book 4's Clip Show, which shows all the times she accused Mako of siding against her in rapid succession. Thrown against her by the rest of the Southern Water Tribe when she tries to play peacemaker, since they're angry at the Northern Water Tribe for their dictatorial behaviour.
  • Womanchild: Played for Drama, unlike Bolin. She's immature and as of Book 2, feels like the people she's close to should be on her side. She grows out of it.
  • Worf Had the Flu: She's the Avatar; the strongest member of her team, able to bend all four elements with unrivaled power. As such, if Korra needs to lose, she'll usually be handicapped in some fashion, the most notable example involving almost getting killed in the Avatar state due to being poisoned with mercury and needing the help of her allies to win. Other examples include; dealing with unfamiliar or unblockable techniques (chi-blocking, bloodbending), new technology (Mini-Mecha, bomb-equipped biplanes), or just being outnumbered or attacked while her guard is down.
  • Working with the Ex: With Mako.
  • You Are Not Alone: In episode 8, when she cries about not being able to take the burden of saving the city alone, Mako, Bolin, and Asami come along and remind her that Aang was not alone and neither is Korra. They are there to help her save the city. She has to be reminded of this again after her long convalescence after nearly metaphysically dying at the hands of Zaheer and the Red Lotus in order to fully recover from the ordeal.
  • You Didn't Ask:
    Bolin: Why didn't you warn me your cousin has the power to reach into my heart and crush my soul with her bare hands?
    Korra: Uh... because I thought it was pretty obvious?
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: She hallucinates an image of herself in the Avatar state, but the hallucination attacks her and causes real injuries, even when it's not superimposed on an actual person.
  • You're Nothing Without Your Phlebotinum: Korra seems to feel this way about Raava, believing that Raava is what made her and every Avatar a hero. After Vaatu rips Raava right out, Korra despaired that she's powerless to stop him without her power. Tenzin later reminds her that Wan became a legend not because of Raava's power, but because of who he was.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Avatar — comes with the turf. Although Korra hands herself huge problems even reaching the state, it just makes getting there a bigger deal when she does. However, even without it, it's still not a wise move to annoy somebody who can mix things up both physically and with bending like she can.

Previous Avatars

    In general 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PastAvatars_846.png
Clock-wise from top left: Roku, Kyoshi, Kuruk and Yangchen.
Voiced by: James Garrett (Roku), Jennifer Hale (Kyoshi), Jim Meskimen (Kuruk), Tress MacNeille (Yangchen) (original); Sergio Schmied and Carlos Carvajal (Roku), Maureen Herman (Kiyoshi) (Latin American Spanish)

The four Avatars that came before Aang, listed in descending order. Even after their deaths, they serve as Spirit Advisors for the current Avatar, and can lend Aang their power through the Avatar State. Since Roku is the one that came directly before Aang, he does most of the advising.


  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Roku is Phlegmatic; best shown by his dealings with Sozin, he was kind, forgiving, and placed great stock in peace and harmony. Blames himself for the Hundred Year War.
    • Kyoshi was Choleric; very task-oriented and exhibited greater leadership in her role as Avatar, dictating terms to the Earth King and created the Dai Li to protect the Earth Kingdom's cultural heritage.
    • Kuruk was Sanguine; he was extroverted and people-oriented, very friendly and a "go with the flow" kind of Avatar. Unfortunately, he was also impulsive and self-indulgent.
    • Yangchen was Melancholic; she doesn't seem to have cultivated any close relationships, and like Kyoshi, she was very task-oriented and dedicated to keeping things hunky dory. By force if necessary. Of all the Avatars, she displays the most willingness to use violence if no other options present themselves.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Goes with the territory; an avatar's eyes glow when they enter the avatar state.
  • Killed Off for Real: Well, they're all dead by the events of the series, but when Unalaq merges with Vaatu and destroys Raava, all the spirits of the past Avatar's were destroyed and did not return when she did. Meaning that Korra and no future Avatar may ever consult or see Aang or any of the previous Avatars ever again.
  • Men Act, Women Are:
    • Genderflipped. It's the two female Avatars, Kyoshi and Yangchen, who unambiguously endorse the option of Aang killing Fire Lord Ozai, while the two male Avatars, Roku and Kuruk, only give him vague suggestions about "being decisive" and "shaping your own destiny," respectively.
    • Likewise, Roku allowed Sozin to live, and openly regrets not killing him when he had the chance, and Kuruk admits he was a "go with the flow" Avatar, which worked against him. Kyoshi, on the other hand, openly defies Chin the Conqueror and lets him fall to his death (and bluntly admits to it), as well dictating terms to the Earth King himself; Yangchen, implied both through the show and the comics, was very pro-active and unrestrained in dealing with threats to the world's balance and peace.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: See above. More to the point, Kyoshi is the only shown Avatar with a confirmed kill to her name (even if Aang would rather not see it that way.)
  • One-Man Army / Person of Mass Destruction: A fully realized avatar has god-like power. Aang, when he was a child and only mastered one of the four elements, wiped out fourteen ships without the avatar state. These guys have all four elements and a lot more practice.
  • Reincarnation: All of them are Aang's past lives. Aang himself is Korra's past life.
  • Spirit Advisor: Every past avatar becomes one of these to the current-living-avatar. Aang talks to Roku the most because he is Aang's immediate predecessor.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Avatars normally enjoy an extended lifespan, such as Kyoshi (who lived to be the oldest Avatar, at 230). However, they are still vulnerable to violent deaths, such as Roku who died in a volcanic eruption at age 70. Aang is a more complicated case; chronologically he's 112 but biologically 12 and dies when he is biologically 66 because of the time he spent frozen in the iceberg, Averted with Kuruk, who only lived to be 33. It's unclear whether or not he died of natural causes.
  • Women Are Wiser: Yangchen has the most successful tenure of the four and Kyoshi ended hers without regrets because the Da Li weren't corrupt under her watch. note  On the other hand, Kuruk is still making up for his mistakes three generations later and Roku is riddled with guilt.

    Avatar Roku 
Roku is a Fire Nation Avatar and the one directly preceding Aang. He blames himself for the war, and with good reason — he was close friends with Fire Lord Sozin and was unwilling to kill him in order to put a stop to Sozin's imperialism before it got out of hand.

  • Appeal to Force: Scares Jeong-Jeong into training Aang, against the other man's better judgement.
  • Badass Beard: Roku has one, fitting in with the "wise old mentor" visual.
  • Berserk Button: It seems he hates being called "weak". When Jeong-Jeong says Aang isn't strong enough to learn firebending, he immediately appears, berates Jeong-Jeong, and tells him that he will teach Aang firebending.
  • Cool Old Guy: Technically speaking, all of them qualify to one extent or another, but Roku fits the spirit of the trope the most. Aside from helping Aang out the most, he is the only one who chooses to appear as an older man (his appearance when he died) instead of his appearance when he was younger and in his prime.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Roku is the Avatar seen bending all 4 elements in the opening then vanishing.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: According to Roku, he states that if he had killed his friend Sozin instead of letting him off rather easily, then the Hundred Year War would never have happened.
  • Cryptically Unhelpful Answer: Roku's advice to Aang when he was consulting the preceding four Avatars for advice on how to deal with Ozai was only to "be decisive".
  • Dragon Rider: Roku's familiar was a dragon.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Roku is the shadowed Avatar in the beginning of the series bending all 4 elements.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Roku and Sozin had their friendship strained after Roku warned Sozin that he would kill him should he start the war. Though they were still friends with each other while they were helping to evacuate the villagers from the volcano eruption, that is, until Sozin realizes that Roku is vulnerable and leaves him to die on the island while he fulfills his ambitions of his world conquests.
  • It's All My Fault: Roku regrets not killing Sozin when they fought, as doing so would have prevented the war.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Roku is the maternal great-grandfather of Prince Zuko and Princess Azula. It's uncertain whether or not he knows this, but it's probable - certainly, he freed the chained up Zuko as well as Sokka, Katara and Shaiyu while possessing Aang, when he demonstrated sufficient precision with his firebending to knock the Fire Sages over, and instantly melt the chains without harming those chained up in them, all in one go. As of The Promise, it's explicit that Roku was in fact aware of this.
  • My Greatest Failure: Roku blames himself for not dealing with Sozin when he had the opportunity, believing that if he had acted more decisively instead of just assuming the matter was settled, then Ozai wouldn't be a problem.
  • Nice Guy: Spared Sozin because they were friends and is consistently kind to Aang.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Aang's firebending accident with Katara came about as the result of Roku manifesting before Jeong Jeong and strong-arming him into training Aang, thanks to his desperation to get Aang ready to face Ozai. However, this may have been because Aang needed a blunt lesson in the dangers of uncontrolled firebending.
  • Parental Substitute: To Aang, to an extent, weird as that may seem. He's kindly and patient with his successor when advising him, though also willing to be firm, and he and Aang seem to care for each other very much, something elaborated upon in the comics when Aang tearfully cuts himself off from Roku after strongly disagreeing with Roku's advised course of action, on the grounds that he thinks that Roku's views are stuck in the past and only holding him back, then the emotional reunion after he reconnects with him, something that has all the vibes of estranged family members reuniting. Going by the other past Avatars shown and Aang's relationship with his successor, Korra, they're unusually close, with the former being cryptic and unhelpful, and the latter being kind enough, but distant.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Like all former Avatars, he qualifies, but he deserves particular note - while Kyoshi moved an island, he blew one up while possessing Aang.
  • Stealth Pun: Roku is the one who gives the 'Previously, on Avatar...' speech, because he IS the previous Avatar.
  • Tragic Hero: Roku betrayed by his best friend yet spared his life out of friendship. Then, he's betrayed a second time by the same friend in his moment of weakness and need.

    Avatar Kyoshi 
Kyoshi is from the Earth Kingdom and the founder/creator of Kyoshi Island. She is best known as the creator of the Dai Li and the inspiration for the Kyoshi Warriors. She is also on record for the most triumphant demonstration of the power of the Avatar State, as she used it to alter plate tectonics.

  • Bi the Way: In The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part 1 it is revealed that Kyoshi "...by all accounts loved men and women."
  • Brutal Honesty: Kyoshi, if the two instances in the series involving her are anything to come by. Such as blatantly admitting to the crime that could get Aang killed if he was declared guilty and flat-out mentioning her opinion about how to deal with Ozai by killing him right then and there.
  • Contralto of Danger: Avatar Kyoshi has a deeper voice than some of the other female characters to portray her as powerful and dangerous.
  • Dance Battler: Kyoshi and her fans. She founded the Kyoshi warriors.
  • Iron Lady: Kyoshi is a true earth avatar; strong, unmoving, formidable, unrelenting, etc.
  • Lady of War: Kyoshi has a very regal and imposing presence due to her physical size, calm deep voice, dress and ability to earthbend an entire island. Her followers, the Kyoshi Warriors, are Non Elementals but all look and act the part.
  • My Greatest Failure: Downplayed compared to Roku, but according to The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part 1, the Earth Kingdom in her time was too stubborn and militaristic to be more open-minded to queer people despite years of effort, which considering her lifespan was a considerably long time.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Kyoshi created the Dai Li. We all know how that turned out. Then there was that time that she admitted guilt for the crime that almost gets Aang executed... though he was likely gonna be executed before she said so anyway, and her confession indirectly bought time before the upcoming attack.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Kyoshi did not enjoy violence, but was willing and ready to ruthlessly use it the most when it was the necessary action.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Discussed when Aang points out that Chin fell to his death due to refusing to surrender his ground, even as it crumbled beneath him, not a direct attack from Kyoshi herself. Subverted when Kyoshi bluntly states she sees no distinction between killing him either directly or indirectly and was willing to kill him without regret at that point.
  • Shoot the Dog: Kyoshi was a proponent of Aang killing Ozai.
  • Somebody Else's Problem: During Kyoshi's life, Chin the Conqueror took over nearly all of the Earth Kingdom. Kyoshi didn't bother doing anything about it until he came to her doorstep with an army. Her general reaction was to tell him to buzz off, then separate what would become Kyoshi Island from the mainland. Chin only dies by accident and his own stubbornness, not because of any direct action against him on Kyoshi's part (unless one includes using airbending to rip off his clothes).

    Avatar Kuruk 
Kuruk is a member of the Water Tribe, and being alive during a relatively peaceful era led to him not taking his job as Avatar too seriously. This came back to bite him when Koh took his wife from him to punish him for his irresponsibility. When not advising Aang, he spends his time searching for Koh for vengeance.

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Kuruk was one to the point where Koh had to kidnap his fiancée to remind him of his duties as an Avatar.
  • Ascended Extra: Kuruk first appeared in a tie-in online game. He made his show debut during the finale.
  • Badass Beard: He had one.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Despite having the skill of powerful past Avatars like Yangchen, he was self-described as a "go with the flow" Avatar that generally let problems solve themselves and generally lazed around and flirted with women.
  • The Casanova: Kuruk's tenure was a peaceful one so he was more interested in flirting than his duty.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Kuruk was a flirt before he fell in love.
  • Screw Destiny: In response to the claim that it was Aang's destiny to kill the Fire Lord, Kuruk advised him to "Actively shape your own destiny".
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: In-Universe. He died at the age of 33, even younger than Aang, who lost a lost of time because of his time in the iceberg.

    Avatar Yangchen 
Yangchen is an Air Nomad, and can give Aang insight the others can't due to their shared heritage. However, she believes that Aang's pacifism is detrimental to his job as Avatar. Case in point, her tenure as Avatar was so successful it allowed for multi-generational peace; the reason Kuruk had all that time to take it easy? HER.
  • The Ace: Unlike the other incarnations, (Wan and Korra included) Yangchen was said to have been pretty much perfect, having left the world without regrets (like Kuruk and Roku) nor leaving behind anything that would later come back around to bite her in the next life (like Kyoshi and Aang). It could be argued she did her job too well.
  • Ascended Extra: Like Kuruk, she debuted first in a tie-in online game, and makes her show debut in the finale. She also gets alot of backstory in the comics.
  • Lady of War: She's implied to be one from her demeanor.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Yangchen stands out due to the advice that she gives Aang: That while the monks' teachings were wise and sacred, it was pushing him into Honor Before Reason and that as the Avatar, such restraint would hurt the world he is bound to protect. Considering her tenure as the Avatar was the most successful, it was implied that she sacrificed the monks pacifist teachings herself and did whatever it took to protect the world.
  • Warrior Nun: While it's not stated if Yangchen was a nun at the Air Temples, she definitely qualifies. Even though she was an Air Nomad like Aang, she still advised him that killing Ozai was the only other option.
  • Shoot the Dog: Yangchen was especially supportive of Aang killing Ozai much to Aang's distress.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Unlike Kuruk, she believed Aang would inevitably have to sacrifice his pacifist beliefs like she once did to protect the world and didn't advice Aang to try to find a compromise.

     Avatar Wan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/avatarwan_2686.jpg
"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. When he intervened in a great battle of forces he did not understand, he set out to correct his mistakes and went on a journey to become not only the most powerful being in the universe, but a legend in his own right.


  • 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 it 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.
  • A Boy and His X: A Man and His Cat-Deer. Mula served as Wan's animal companion. After Wan first freed her from a trap, saving her life from the humans who tried to eat her, Mula became close friends with Wan, accompanying him on many of his travels.
  • 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.
  • 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 and stable, 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.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: Avatar Wan counts as this, as the very first Avatar who separated the human and Spirit Worlds and sealed the spirit of darkness Vaatu inside the Tree of Time for 10,000 years. By the time of The Legend of Korra, so much time has passed that very few apart from the Red Lotus and later on Korra herself even know of his existence.
  • 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.
  • Legacy of the Chosen: The rich history of the Avatar begins with him.
  • 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 Jesus: 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.
  • Punny Name: He's the first Avatar, i.e. Avatar One.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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