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Repairs, Retrofits and Upgrades is a The Legend of Korra fanfiction written by Progman taking place immediately after the end of the series. After their vacation in the spirit world, Korra and Asami are forced to deal with the aftermath of Season 4, with the Earth Kingdom/Empire/Republic/Confederacy/Federation/Whatever in pieces despite Kuvira's surrender, Republic City dealing with refugees and damaged infrastructure, and Asami trying to counter spirit energy weapons while the United Forces oppose Earth Empire loyalists.

The story is actually Part 7 of the Spin the Rails series, which also includes Seeking Sato by Ficsandmusings, but constitutes the entirety of the post-series content while also containing numerous references to other works within the series. It is recommended the preceding 6 stories be read before this one, since each one is a gap filler for different points in the canon timeline proper.

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Be warned, this takes place post-finale, so expect spoilers for the series.


Repairs, Retrofits and Upgrades contains examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: The Red Lotus sandbender is particularly vulnerable to lightning and combustion bending.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Asami has to keep Artana occupied, who is fully aware of what she's doing, by playing Pai Sho with her. It ends with Asami getting her arm broken and thrown out her office window.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The Red Lotus sandbender is completely concealed by their robe.
  • Amplifier Artifact: When Asami got the letter from Korra about her inability to go into the Avatar state, she created a suit that uses tiny acupuncture needles placed along chi pathways, along with the first five chakras, to amplify bending strength (or, more specifically, making the act exponentially more efficient). However, extended use leads to Power Incontinence. For example, Mako set himself on fire, Tahno nearly drowned himself by pulling water out of the air, Lin destroyed a full city block, and Jinora almost bent a small village into the sky. Artana, however, has managed to master its usage.
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  • Apocalypse How: Metaphysical Annihilation as a result of the barriers between the physical and spirit worlds falling apart.
  • Apocalypse Wow: The effect of the breaches in the fabric of reality arcing across the sky is gorgeously colorful.
  • Author Appeal: Nuclear weapons, Cold War politics (or rather the lack thereof), and mutually assured destruction all come into play for this reason.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Discussed regarding the Colossus. It was apparently a massive pain to engineer, despite the simplicity of just attaching the spirit energy weapon to one of the many, many airships available, but Kuvira wanted a psychological weapon and personal control.
    • Lampshaded by Asami. She improved upon the original concept, to see if she could, and designed a bipedal tank, which would have been a fraction of the original's size and cost had she ever constructed it.
  • Babies Ever After: Opal has had at least one child after the three year Time Skip to the Distant Finale, and is pregnant again.
  • Badass Bookworm: Besides the canon examples (namely Asami), Artana is both an engineer and an earthbender, and has used the fact that most people don't expect an engineer to be a bender to her advantage before.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Even though Artana's plan to smash the spirit world and the mortal realm together is stopped, and the Red Lotus destroyed, the Red Lotus goal of a world where the nations are less divided is achieved.
  • Battle Aura: Asami gets one when she unlocks her chakras.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Asami opens her chakras to get enough power to fight Artana without actually achieving enlightenment, with superhuman results, though technological application and intellectual problem solving, working around the time and effort normally needed to do so.
  • Big Bad Friend: Artana, who'd been thus far working with the rest of the cast, is actually the cloaked glass/sandbender and the most prominent physical threat.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Zaheer. He thinks and acts like he's playing a pivotal role, but the rest of the Red Lotus regard him as an expendable idiot.
  • Birds of a Feather: Bolin and Opal.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Krew manages to come out on top, but a lot of people still die, and spirit vines are still an issue in the Distant Finale.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 22.
  • Brick Joke: Early on, it’s mentioned that Tenzin got a long-corded telephone, since he likes to walk around while on the phone, and it’s openly asked how long it’ll take for someone to trip on it. He finally trips on it and breaks it in chapter 18.
  • Call-Back: Many, including to other works in the "Spin the Rails" series, as well as canon.
    • This moment stands out:
    Asami: What is this?
    Korra: What's what?
    Asami: Us. This.
    Korra: I don't know. But won't it be interesting to find out?
  • Cast from Hit Points: Another drawback of the bending suit is that it causes the wielder to burn through their reserves faster than normal.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: It was intentional, but the story gets noticeably darker after the first few chapters.
  • The Chessmaster: Artana, who not only manipulated The Krew (and friends/acquaintances/the general public), but the Red Lotus itself.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Happens to Asami during the final fight with Artana. Even then, the result doesn't look half bad.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Red Lotus Sandbender is a big fan of guerrilla tactics, which annoys Korra to no end.
  • Cool Plane: The Satohawk, a VTOL craft designed by Asami.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Varrick not only has a lawyer for everything, he's been paying for Bolin and Opal's wedding every three weeks for three years straight.
  • Crossover: The story overlaps with other Legend of Korra fics, though it is not a shared continuity:
    • Varrick's backstory, and by extension Zhu Li's, corresponds to that depicted in Icarus and the Sea.
    • Korra hallucinates a conversation with the Republic City Blues version of Asami while in the swamp.
    • In Chapter 19, Keisai, the lawyer from Ironclad has taken a job working for Varrick.
    • Ginni, Asami's former publicist from Seeking Sato, appears in Chapter 22 to offer some meta-commentary on the direction the plot took.
  • Cyanide Pill: Or to be more precise, a spider-rat poison pill. Kuvira issued them to high-security personnel with orders to take them if captured, and Lee takes one after he's exposed as The Mole. Same goes for the Red Lotus defenders at the Boiling Rock.
  • Cyborg: One of the visions Kuvira has in the swamp shows a version of her that was made into one by Bataar after a severe injury.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Lampshaded and subverted by Asami when 'Hiroshi' (a projection of Asami's subconscious) appears to her in the final act, with his 'presence' being the final piece of the puzzle towards beating Artana.
  • Death by Irony: Varrick's mother, a waterbender, drowned, in a Shout-Out to Icarus and the Sea. Asami's mother, Yasuko, almost killed Hiroshi by running him over in a Satomobile.
  • Decapitated Army: After Artana uses the EE navy to get to the northern spirit portal, Kuvira sends out orders for troops to kill their own commanders as traitors. Of course, the one person anyone actually wants dead survives.
  • Demoted to Extra: Tenzin, big time, as opposed to his role in the show.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Asami managed to con Wan Shi Tong when she visited the library (though, as she lampshades, he's not as smart as he likes to let on).
  • Distant Finale: The final scene in the story takes place after another three year Time Skip.
  • Double Standard: A species variation. As Asami points out after their visit to Wan Shi Tong's library, humans have respected spirits (for the most part) for millennia, and spirits have got to start respecting humans in turn now that they're closer than ever.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Though there is a lot of hardship along the way, the Krew manages to defeat the Red Lotus and save the world.
  • Easily Forgiven: Kuvira, politically if not personally. Team Avatar still loathes her for what she did, but her status as former head of the Earth Empire and her knowledge of spirit vines making her too valuable to kill or isolate. Played straight with Baatar, who was pardoned after Asami strong-armed Raiko so she would have access to his engineering knowledge, and acts (relatively) informal with the main cast.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Due to a complicated metaphor comparing the development of modern civilization to soup, Asami is "noodles".
    • Inverted with Korra who, thanks to that very same metaphor, is "hot water". Needless to say, she very much enjoys the double entendre...even if Katara made the same 'joke' over fifty years prior, and nobody laughed.
  • EMP: Satohawks can use these offensively.
  • Empathic Environment: The Spirit World, as usual. At one point, Asami's fear (the effect of which is amplified by her hanging onto Korra) causes a few spirits to turn dark, and the plants around the Republic City portal apparently really liked Asami and Korra kissing.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: The potential devastation to the Spirit World brings Koh the Face Stealer down on the Earth Empire forces.
  • Failsafe Failure: Zigzagged with the Unity Defense System. As it turns out, while it did reduce the damage of the Omashu and Fire Nation Capital bombings, it's more effective against a spirit beam, which is focused in one direction, than the omnidirectional energy blast produced by a spirit vine bomb.
  • Fantastic Nuke: Spirit vine weapons are the Avatar-verse's version of nuclear weapons.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Korra threatens to destroy Zaheer's seventh chakra, thus rendering him unable to find inner peace, fly, or enter the Spirit World unless he cooperates, which would be this to him.
  • Flashback Fail: Varrick's description of Kuvira's forces advancing on Ba Sing Se. Bolin (who wasn't there) destroyed the wall with lavabending (they flew over in airships) but were attacked by sandbenders who destroyed their mechs (which weren't invented yet).
  • Forgot About Her Powers: Korra's tendency to go without waterbending skins and metalbending cables comes up a few times, with the former being explained in-depth.
  • Friend to All Children: Korra’s skill with the Airbabies is lampshaded when she manages to calm them down after they’d been driving Tenzin nuts all night.
  • Generation Xerox: Yasuko met Hiroshi by nearly running him over, then took him out to dinner. Like mother, like daughter (sort of).
  • Green Rocks: In addition to the liberties taken with platinum in the series, making it far more common and durable than the real world on top of being bending-proof, now it's also resistant to spirit energy beams (since otherwise the cannon blasts would have burned through the barrel whenever Kuvira tried to fire it).
  • Having a Blast: The Fire Nation has a combustion bender Special Forces unit.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Asami says a variant of the famous quote when telling Artana off for her actions.
  • Hope Spot: After the development of the Unity Defense System, things start looking up. Then a spirit bomb is detonated in the Fire Nation capital at the same time one is set off in Omashu, killing over 200,000 people and taking out a third of the latter city.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Bataar Jr. says that if Bolin ever does anything to hurt Opal, and doesn't marry her, he'll dedicate himself to inventing machines to make Bolin's life a living hell. Bolin finally proposes in Chapter 18.
    • Korra makes a similar threat to Kuvira when taking her to the Swamp with Asami, complete with Avatar State eye glow. While the former dictator is reasonably sure Korra’s bluffing, she doesn’t push it.
  • In Medias Res: Chapter 12, which starts off with Team Avatar, Varrick, and Zhu Li (along with Kuvira and Artana) preparing to fight the Earth Empire loyalists attacking the Sato estate.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Jinora spirit-projects herself to Korra while she's taking a bath with Asami.
    • The reverse occurs when Korra checks in on Jinora via the Spirit Vines in a panic for fear that she and her family may be in trouble. Or worse. She ends up 'walking in on' her and Kai. Jinora promptly lampshades this when she spirit-projects herself back to Korra, just to deliver a quick, frustrated reminder that it's not so fun being on the other side.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: President Raiko, for all his scheming, is working against the very real threat of spirit vine weapons, the Earth Empire and the Red Lotus.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The Swamp shows Kuvira a vision of her doing this, trying to Take Over the World instead of just reclaiming the United Republic for the Earth Empire.
  • Just a Flesh Wound: Korra reacts this way to some glass in her arm (since, of course, she's a healer).
  • Ki Attacks: The bending-booster suit allows this ability in non-benders, such as Asami.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Zaheer gets hit with this pretty hard, first by Artana berating him for his failures and then Korra using bloodbending to render him unable to enter the Spirit World.
  • Killed Offscreen: Asami has Kuvira kill Artana so Korra won't be tempted to do it herself when she's done fixing the rip in the worlds.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Varrick is creating a mover version of the series’s events, called “The Legend of Avatar Korra”.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Kuvira didn't know the specifics of Korra's battle with Unalaq, or the nature of Vaatu and Raava, because she got her information about it from the mover (which she didn't really understand).
    • Played more seriously when she finds out that Raiko had been lying to her for months, telling her that Bataar Jr. was dead because she killed him.
    • Prior to the pilot getting torn to shreds by glass, Kuvira had no idea that the Red Lotus sandbender could bend glass.
    • Koh's been under a rock in the spirit world, apparently, because the cycle being reset was news to him.
  • The Lost Lenore: Nilani, Artana's wife, whose name she used as an alias.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Raiko, who attempts to manipulate Korra and Asami to have Future Industries supply weapons to the United Forces, and uses Kuvira as bait for a loyalist attack on the Sato estate. The first item fails, but the second does get Future Industries involved in the war effort, just not Asami personally.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The heroes believe that the Red Lotus is back, strategically aiding Earth Empire forces to prolong the fighting and maintain anarchy across the continent, and there’s a hint or two that they’re interfering in the Fire Nation too.
  • Mercy Kill: Artana viewed her destroying the world as preferable to living in a Cold War scenario where Mutually Assured Destruction was only ever a moment away and fear gripped the nations.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: Zaheer with his ability to travel into the Spirit World as he pleases (which is also useful for escaping torture and allowing him to still lead the Red Lotus), if not his flight. Korra threatens to take this away from him to get him to talk.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Zaheer again. In addition to his killing the Earth Queen allowing Kuvira to come to power, the fires from the riots killed Artana's wife Nilani, and although they managed to use the impression to mislead their foes, they aren't happy with him for revealing their existence to the world like he did.
  • The Mole: Lee turns out to be a Red Lotus spy.
  • Mood Whiplash: The end of chapter 18 goes from Korra and Asami talking with Opal over the phone about Bolin finally proposing to a spirit bomb attack on the Fire Nation capital.
  • Mutually Assured Destruction: Unfortunately, this trope, while explained, is not in play with spirit vine weapons, because of the Red Lotus.
  • NGO Super Power: The Red Lotus possesses their own base and a sizable array of military hardware, including their own submarines.
  • No Body Left Behind: Part of the reason it was so hard to narrow down the number of casualties after the bombings is the fact that the spirit bombs that decimated the Fire Nation capital and Omashu vaporized anyone caught in the blast.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Not only does the damage to Republic City not just go away after the battle is over, there are refugee camps formed by people who fled the Earth Empire around the city, since Raiko won't let them in.
    • While the attacks on Omashu and the Fire Nation capitol weren't as bad as they could have been, thanks to the Unity Defense System, they still killed a combined total of about '230,000 people, and the one in Omashu destroyed nearly a third of the city.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Spirit vine weapons are quickly proving to be the Avatar version of nuclear weapons, and trying to find a way to counter their spread and use is a major concern for the heroes.
  • Not Me This Time: Well, Not Me That Time. Kuvira didn't order Prince Wu kidnapped in "Reunion", her agents took the initiative, apparently.
  • Not Quite Flight: One function of Asami's Airburster suit.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Asami lampshades how Varrick tends to get up in everyone's face.
  • Not So Above It All: Developments in Korra and Asami's relationship seem to be entertaining Lin to no end.
    • Later, when bringing in Kuvira and Bataar after the attack on the Fire Nation, she slaps a metal strip over Kuvira's mouth and leaves it there for a while.
  • Not So Different: Korra repeats this sentiment about Kuvira.
    • Observant readers have also noted the same applies to Asami and Artana.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Raiko at first is getting kind of annoyed with how his door keeps getting demolished, but he seems to be moving more towards this by chapter 19.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Asami is probably the sweetest, kindest character in the entire franchise. That is not the case here.
    • Korra is also more than willing to support Future Industries producing weapons if it means crushing the Red Louts, on account of how they threatened the Air Nation, and the continuing threat to her family.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: After Asami gives up on working on means to stop spirit vines, further progress being impossible, Artana decides to destroy the world as a sort of Mercy Kill to prevent a Cold War scenario with Mutually Assured Destruction just a button push away at any given moment.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, as both Irohs are present and mentioned in the same conversation.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Operation: Make Asami Forget About the Thing, where said thing being Korra's contact with Kuvira. Said operation being Bolin telling her he plans to propose to Opal.
  • Out of Focus: Thanks to his severe arm burn, it takes six chapters for Mako to do much of anything.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Asami makes it to the Satohawk with just enough time to escape the destruction of the Boiling Rock..
  • Police are Useless: While Lin and Mako are pretty competent, and Lin tries to keep the rest of her men up to snuff, it's a bit of a Running Gag in the series that (partly thanks to Cabbage Corp airships) their response time is crap.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Part of the reason the damage to the capital caught everyone off guard is because Raiko ignored Asami's statement that the beam weapons and bombs functioned differently, and made her use a beam in the UDS's demonstration.
  • The Power of Love: Invoked and lampshaded explicitly several times as the means Asami used to go Beyond the Impossible and defeat Artana, complete with her own Battle Aura. The villain is less than amused.
  • Race Against the Clock: Once Team Avatar starts working on their battle plan, they have about forty hours left to save the world.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Asami is in a world of pain over her father's death, and finally starting a relationship with Korra and going on a vacation won't fix that (though Korra is able to support and help her through it, and she's slowly getting better as time goes on).
    • Kuvira may have given up, but her army is still massive and will uphold her former ideals even if she won't. It seems Suyin's belief they were a Keystone Army of unwilling conscripts was inaccurate. They're also entrenched throughout the territory and fortresses which resisted the Fire Nation for a century, and won't be beaten easily.
    • The Colossus was an engineering and logistical nightmare which worked partly due to dumb luck, and used so much metal, acquiring enough material to build a new one isn't possible.
    • A major plot point is the fact that, just like nuclear weaponry in our world, spirit vine weapons aren't just going to go away, and the ease which they can be made is recognized as a serious problem that isn't just going to vanish either, with terrorists trying to steal them, and Asami and Varrick spend a not-insignificant amount of time trying to find a way to solve the issue before an Apocalypse How situation occurs.
    • When Asami finds out that Raiko had been lying and telling Kuvira that she had killed Bataar Jr. when she fired the spirit beam on the warehouse, she gets him to forget Kuvira's Freak Out! (prompted by her finding out her fiancee was still alive) and pardon Bataar to help organize Future Industries's weapons development by pointing out that what he did is pretty much psychological torture on a prisoner of war, and it would not look good for him if it came to light (to the point that he'd face legal charges, and Asami would ensure that he got convicted).
    • The Red Lotus didn't just disappear because of Zaheer's recapture, and now that the Earth Empire has fractured, they're crawling back out of the woodwork to prolong the fighting and anarchy.
  • Really Gets Around: Korra admits to Asami that she wasn't exactly celibate during her trek throughout the Earth Kingdom.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Artana gives one to Zaheer, explaining how he's been abandoned by the Red Lotus for how useless and incompetent he was, giving rise to the Earth Empire and exposing their secret society to the world.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: All over the place with Kuvira. Korra recognizes her as her Shadow Archetype and tries to be kind, but isn't her friend, Asami absolutely hates her with good reason, the rest of Team Avatar dislike her but recognize her efforts to improve as genuine, while Baatar has mixed feeling about her given how she destroyed their relationship, but is sympathetic when he learns his "death" was used to break her, and may have lingering feelings. We don't hear it directly, but Raava has contempt for her as well. Inverted with her loyalists, who refuse to believe she isn't their Great Uniter anymore, and would gladly take her old dictator self back.
  • The Remnant: Kuvira's army is divided and leaderless, but still trained, armed and intent on preserving the Empire. And they're royally pounding the United Forces.
  • Required Secondary Powers: As Asami points out, platinum's ability to block spirit energy is this, since if it didn't, the spirit ray would have burned through the barrel of the weapon every time Kuvira tried to fire it.
  • Running Gag: With the monarchy abolished, the Earth Placeholder has yet to be given an official name, with characters betting on what it will be.
    • The fact that the bad guys keep using tunnels.
    • Team Avatar and co. knocking down Raiko’s door.
    • Asami complaining to Lin that she needs to work on the RCPD's response time.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The sandbender is Artana.
  • Secret Test of Character: The Krew brings Kuvira to the swamp when trying to investigate how it grew back so fast because according to the information they have, it'll only show her a vision if she's genuinely trying to improve herself. It works, and they get the confirmation they wanted. They just didn't expect it to show them stuff too.
  • Self-Deprecation: Chapter 22 has a scene pointing out the state of several Aborted Arcs, such as the development of the Satohawk and Kuvira's legal standing, which fell by the wayside as the Spirit Vine plot came into full swing.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The Red Lotus rig their Spirit Vine energy generator at the Boiling Rock so it does this, as they'd been informed that they were compromised. Asami is unable to stop it from going off (though she does delay it long enough for the attacking force to escape) and the entire island is destroyed.
  • Serial Escalation: What is at stake if the Krew fails continually rises.
  • Sex for Solace: Apparently Korra did this, and more than once, when she traveled through the Earth Kingdom. Needing a place to sleep sometimes factored into it too.
  • Shipper on Deck: Presumably everyone who won the Side Bet, but Bolin and Opal are the most enthusiastic when it comes to Korra and Asami.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The second Asami hallucination that Korra encounters in Chapter 11 is in fact an alternate version of the Asami from Republic City Blues.
    • Apparently, while the UDS development team (Asami, Varrick, Zhu Li, and Artana), along with Kuvira and Bataar Jr., were arrested and questioned on suspicion of perpetuating the spirit bombings of Omashu and the Fire Nation Capital, Mako was trapped at the grand opening of Cabbage Corps' new high-tech headquarters, Nakatomi Tower, by a group of terrorists who, as it turns out, were actually thieves looking to steal a cache of gold from a heavily fortified vault on the top floor. Yippie-kye-yay.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The author put quite a bit of thought into how spirit vines work.
    • Korra seeking Sex for Solace during her trek throughout the Earth Kingdom is something that isn't uncommon among those suffering from PTSD.
    • During the times (both in the main story and the prequels) that the Krew is going to other locations, the author uses the official Avatar world map to make sure their travels are accurate, and lampshades the amount of detail it has.
    • All of the sand/earthbending moves are compliant with the information on the wiki, save for the whole glass trick. And in the commentary, the author points out that glassbending would be even easier than lavabending, since glass forms at lower temperatures than lava.
  • Show Within a Show: The "Future Gadget Hour", a 'never ending' romance-radio play from the Fire Nation about two scientists.
  • Side Bet: Many characters regarding Korra and Asami getting together, which was started after Lin noticed how close the pair was getting in Zaofu. Exact amounts aren't disclosed, but Lin won big (she is a detective, y'know) and Mako is tight for cash.
    • The group then makes another bet, this one about what the Earth Kingdom's new name will be. Opal wins with "Earth Federation", taking the pot they'd added to over the years.
  • Sixth Ranger: Opal is effectively a member of Team Avatar in this story, and Kuvira comes with them into Earth Empire territory on a mission.
  • The Slacker: Lee, a White Lotus member indicative of their lowered standards.
  • Smash Cut: Several in Chapter 18.
  • Soft Glass: Averted, and the sandbender turning sand into glass is a very dangerous technique because of it.
  • Spirit Advisor: Raava occasionally talks to Korra, giving her advice on things like navigating the swamp, helping her sense a spike in negative energy and not having sex with Asami in the Spirit World.
  • Strapped to a Bomb: The Red Lotus does this to Two-Toed Ping with a vine bomb in an attempt to attack Raiko's press conference.
  • Sub Story: The Red Lotus manages to create mass-produced submarines with their own engines.
  • Take Over the World: Kuvira is shown a vision of herself doing this by the swamp, attacking the other nations with the Colossus despite originally being interested in the Earth Kingdom's old territory only.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Artana, a nomadic earthbender and former-Earth Empire engineer employed by Asami, has several tattoos of varying significance to her along the right side of her body.
  • There Was a Door: It's become a Running Gag for Team Avatar (and others) to burst through Raiko's door, even destroying it.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Asami, unfortunately, as her father's death has not done wonders for her mental health. The fact that Kuvira is still walking around and seemingly making pals with her girlfriend doesn't help matters.
  • Torture Is Ineffective: Zaheer can easily avoid the pain by going into the Spirit World, making any interrogation useless.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: Korra and crew realize that Zaheer's information about the Red Lotus base at the Boiling Rock is likely a trap (though it's proven to be true when they arrive, regardless of it being a trap or not), but feel that they don't have any other option.
  • Undying Loyalty: Kuvira's supporters still fight for her vision, regardless of what she tells them.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Varrick, as usual.
  • Unwanted Rescue: Kuvira's supporters attempt to take her back, and won't accept her Heel–Face Turn.
  • War for Fun and Profit: Asami has the resources to supply the United Republic with superior war machines, for considerable personal gain, but can't stand the thought of the blood on her hands. There's also the problem of the Earth Empire holdouts being aided by the Red Lotus posing a threat to the United Republic and to Korra specifically. Eventually, the war becomes destructive enough for her to delegate the task to Baatar of all people. Varrick also refuses to participate on account of that shiny new conscience he got.
  • Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Much of the plot revolves around controlling the spread of spirit-vine weapons, no small task seeing as they can be made with a vine and a small electric current. Vines which literally grow on trees and regrow very, very quickly.
    • They eventually create special pillars that redirect the energy of a spirit vine bomb or weapon back into the spirit world, called the Unity Defense System.
  • Wedding Smashers: Averted and briefly lampshaded for Bolin and Opal's wedding in Chapter 22. While nothing derailing occurs, the main cast is still keenly aware that nearly every celebration and/or event they've attended has ended this way, even going so far as to remember that the Probending Arena, where the wedding takes place, doesn't have the best track record when it comes to big events. However, as Varrick points out, none of those instances were weddings. Which apparently makes all the difference.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Korra admits that Jinora is wiser than she was when she first came to Republic City.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 18, which has Bolin finally propose to Opal right before a spirit bomb attack on the Fire Nation capital.
    • The next episode reveals that not only did the attack (which Korra, Asami and Naga barely survived) destroy 10 blocks of the Fire Nation Capital City (with the pillar system only limiting the damage) and kill 30,000 people, but the Red Lotus (who were apparently behind the attack) set off a second bomb at Omashu simultaneously, which destroyed a third of the city, killing 200,000 people. Also, Zaheer is communicating with someone via the Spirit World.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In keeping with the pattern established in the series proper for their antagonists, Artana is one as well.
  • Wrong Context Magic: The Red Lotus, as usual, in this case a powerful sandbender who can somehow turn their sand into glass and mimics other bending styles.
    • Artana also appears to earthbend without moving.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Artana, and by extension the Red Lotus, have been operating under one of her own design.
  • You Cannot Kill An Idea: Asami intends to do just that by erasing all information about spirit vine weapons, and wiping out all members of the Red Lotus.
    • While they succeed in the latter, many of the ideals that the true Red Lotus fought for (according to Artana) turn out to be the same ones that the world chooses to follow after all is said and done.

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