Headscratchers pertaining to new Team Avatar of The Legend of Korra. Return to the index for more.
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How badly Korra got owned at Pro-Bending
- Korra is a Master of Water Bending and the Avatar besides so why does she get beat on so badly? Pro-benders stay light on their feet and use smaller, quick attacks. Did no one ever use these before? Did benders never think of speed as an important factor? Were all the people in Last Airbender moving in slow-mo? I'm sorry but 12 year old Aang defeated whole troops of soliders of veteran soldiers but Korra, who is older and stronger, can't defeat a couple of athletes? Having only a small amount of water to bend with never slowed Katara down. And the small ring size wouldn't effect Toph who was quite an imobile fighter. It makes Korra and the Avatar look weak.
- Korra is a Dojo-trained fighter thrown into the UFC ring. She has literally missed out on the development of an entire new mixed-arts school while training in highly scholastic, traditionalist forms while isolated in a compound, under no real-world threat, while Katara and Toph experienced free-form no-holds barred threat-of-death combat in the real world. Despite this, after only one match she's an Instant Expert, and starting to beat three on one. This is weak?
- Korra's been playing in Training Mode all her life. Then she tries to fight a bunch of guys who are literally professionals. Of course she's going to lose.
- Agreed with the two previous posters, and I'd add that Korra was also handicapped by not being used to moderating herself. As Episode 1 demonstrated, Korra favors raw power over finesse, and close-quarters combat. Pro-bending doesn't allow that behavior at all. It's a tactical game, one where you have limited resources and must fight from a specific distance to your opponent.
- Aang had the advantage of airbending which absolutely nobody knew how to combat. The soldiers he was fighting were also unlikely to have had experience fighting benders. Remember the Fire Nation had been in charge for about 100 years by that point with most non-firebenders shipped off the concentration camps.
- No benders probably didn't thinking of pro-bending style attacks. Much like the real martial arts they're based on the TLA bending styles are strongly rooted in philosophical teachings that are passed down from teacher to student. Note that Tenzin's problem with pro-bending is not that it's dangerous or violent but that it strips away the spiritual side of bending that is so important to him.
- To clarify even further, Korra isn't losing in the first match because she's weak; she could beat all three of her opponents at the same time effortlessly. She's losing because she doesn't know the rules, and either accidentally breaks them, or concentrates on them so much that she can't concentrate on the fight itself.
- This is all but explicitly pointed out when Korra blasts somebody out of the ring with ease, but is slapped with a penalty. Her success in Pro Bending is partly about her bending skills, but also about her ability to play within the rules and work with her teammates. Aesop anybody?
- Well, which kind of bending is all about being light on your feet? Airbending. What is Korra really bad at? Airbending. Funnily, Korra is learning the exact opposite of what Aang learnt: When Aang learnt earthbending, Toph told him repeatedly to widen his stance. Korra is told that her wide stance slows her down. Also, remember the episode with the Blue Spirit? Two guards were talking about how the airbender is extremely fast, and one of them said that it was just Fire Nation propaganda. Cue Aang running past them at top speed. Not to mention that Korra is the "face stuff head-on" type, which Aang wasn't. Under usual circumstances, she'd block the attacks with ease. Look at how she fights. She jumps right into the attack of her opponent, which she can't do in the pro-bender matches. And even though she was born in the water tribe, I'm not sure how right it would be to say that waterbending is what she's best at. After all, even from young age, she's relied on three elements, which probably gave her many advantages, but also gives her the disadvantage of relying too much on the other two.
- I don't think the issue is really that. Compare Mako's 3v1 victory to Korra's 2v1 assaults. Mako was able to hold his own because he was concentrating on evading attacks, whereas Korra was concentrating on blocking them. It goes back to the lesson of the episode; be the leaf. When Korra stopped trying to meet force with force she stopped getting owned. Also, I'm not so sure that Tenzin's qualm with pro-bending is merely it's lack of spirituality, it appears that pro-bending suffers from a lack of strategy that an airbending master might find repugnant. Think about it, waterbenders should be able to fulfill and amazing role as supporters to their team. Ensnaring opponents, shielding allies, creating veils of fog to mask ally attacks, but it seems they're only allowed to slap water at the enemy team. To be fair, we've only seen this sport in one episode and I'm sure we don't know all the rules to it, but the fact that we've seen four different waterbenders compete and none of them thought of any of these tactics makes me suspect it's in the rules, which really makes pro-bending seem like a hollow shell compared to the traditional styles of bending.
- Their limitations are part of the rules. Just as Mako isn't just throwing constant streams of flames, waterbenders can't bend giant amounts of water or change its state. Earthbenders are just stuck using those little disks. Part of what makes it fair is limiting their skillset.
- If one wants to have a sense of just how powerful a waterbender Korra is, just consider her very first move in the match, where she effortlessly lifted up her opponent with a giant wall of water and tossed him off the side. Which of course, was against the rules. The rules are specifically designed so that one can't just abuse overwhelming power to win.
- Additionally, pro-bending's rules make sense for modern urban combat in a way that the traditional bending Tenzin is familiar with doesn't. What happens when Korra goes all-out against those thugs in Episode 1? She causes a crapload of collateral damage, like when she ripped up the street to attack that getaway car. Pro-bending's tactical fighting — emphasizing small, discrete elemental attacks instead of big powerful ones — minimizes collateral damage while still taking out your enemy. Which is something the city's authorities might want to encourage via the sport, considering what happens if, say, someone accidentally damages an underground gas main while earthbending. If you look at it from that light, pro-bending isn't a hollow shell of the traditional styles, it's just a necessary adaptation to Republic City's urban environment.
- Tenzin's disapproval of the Pro-Bending is likely to stem from the fact that the sport uses Bending simply as means to an end, rather than a part of spiritual lifestyle.
- Episode 6 shows Korra is definitely no slouch in a straight-up fight. The problem is, of course, she's often either playing a sport with rules and limitations (pro-bending), or gets ambushed (episode 4).
- "And The Winner Is..." shows us quite clearly moves that are illegal in Pro-bending, and many of them are moves that Korra(or any bender in a fight, for that matter) would use. For example, two benders are not allowed to combine attacks, sustained attacks(shooting water like a hose or fire like a flamethrower) are disallowed, and Waterbenders cannot restraing the opponent with Icebending. When all's said and done, Pro-bending is not a combat sport proper. It has elements of it(knockouts, ringouts), but it's mostly about zone control, like American football. Think of it this way: an Olympic wrestler would probably have a hell of a tackle in the football field, but he's not gonna be suplexing anybody.
- I can back this up. My former martial arts instructor used to tell us that it was extremely easy for a mixed martial artist to beat a boxer in a match because boxers are extremely predictable in their movements. They may be good at boxing, but a mixed martial arts match is an entirely different fight with different rules. Just because you have mastery in one thing doesn't mean you can pick up something related and be an instant master in that too. There's alot you have to learn/re-learn.
- Also, lets just face it, the combat is much more realistically portrayed in Korra than it was in the original series. None of the teenaged heroes are as powerful as their adult, veteran counterparts, one or two chi-blockers are a significant threat even to the main protagonist and there is simply no such thing as a One-Man Army.
- I'm just going to throw in my two cents and go with the above posts that Korra prefers raw power over finesse and how she's never pro-bend before, along with the fact that she's going against professional, so of course, she's going to suck. However, there's also that she's trying to restrain herself, since she has to stick to one element. If she could, then she could have shook the arena and blasted the opposing team into the water.
- Not to mention that, having lived in a compound all her life in a world without TV, Korra had never SEEN any pro-bending before she sneaks in to watch the Fire Ferrets. She might have read about it or heard it on the radio, but hearing the calls isn't the same as seeing how people manage movement within the zones, knowing what excessive force LOOKS like, how much water counts as "hosing", etc.
Mako and Bolin's apartment.
- They are supposed to be poor, and barely make the ends meet. So how on earth do they afford the bachelor pad of dreams with huge open space, high roof and the best view in the city? Few people even from upper middle-class background could afford anything like that in Real Life, especially in a city like New York, which the Republic City remembers. Makes you think that they could move to more modest lodgings and actually get themselves decent savings in a few months.
- It was stated in Episode 2 that they live in the attic of the bending arena, doing odd jobs in exchange for living there. I'm not completely sure what rent was taken out of their winnings, but Toza (the man who threatened to turn Korra over to security) is their "landlord". It is a pretty sweet crib, though.
- However nice it looks at a glance, it isn't that good. Look at it objectively. It's just an attic. There aren't even any beds up there. They have to sleep somewhere else or on the couch. They have to be using the on-site facilities because there sure aren't any in that room. It has a heater, which is nice, but that room has to have shitty insulation. It must be cold as hell at night.
- Indoor facilities weren't really a thing in the early 20th century even for majority of the citydwellers. Hygiene was a real issue until the 1960's or so. I'd expect things to be similar in the Republic City, though plumbing is unlikely to be featured in the show. I expect that the brothers have futons tucked somewhere for sleeping. But seriously, the space and the view alone would make it worthwhile to renovate the place to a proper apartment and rent it at top prices.
- But even with a nice view, I doubt a lot of people would want to live inside the attic of a pro-bending arena. It would constantly be loud, not to mention all those bright lights might be annoying.
- They're staying at the Republic City version of a room at the YMCA. Not sure what the big deal is.
- Another note; They freaking live in the world of Avatar and everything is beautiful, even the hobo camp looked pretty gorgeous and they were probably a little bit poor.
- And somehow in Season 2 it's looks like they've stepped down.
Why doesn't Korra carry a water skin?
- I get that firebending suits Korra's style of fighting, but she uses it extensively over her other two elements, and doesn't even have any way of carrying water with her to bend - outside pro-bending, I'm sure I can count the number of times she has manipulated water on one hand, and seeing as she IS Water Tribe, it stands to reason she'd carry a water skin as Katara did.
- She's the Avatar. She has other elements to fall back on. Waterbenders do that because they'd be defenseless otherwise.
- also she might've picked up getting water from air.
- Not to mention, despite being born a waterbender, Korra doesn't seem to have a particular connection to waterbending. Out of all the elements she's mastered she's used waterbending the least, even when near sources of water. When checking to make sure she could still bend she automatically used fire, as opposed to water or earth. It makes sense; her personality and style are agressive and forceful, which doesn't work as well with water. Same reason she struggles with airbending.
- Original poster: I was going to say something that she isn't giving each element a balanced use, then it occurred to me that that may be the point - she's not that balanced a bender, seeing as she doesn't focus on the spiritual side of things. However, it would be cool to see the "water from air" thing given more uses.
- I think the water-from-air technique is a little shaky with regards to Korra. On one hand, considering she was trained as master waterbender by Katara, its awfully hard to believe she wouldnt know that technique, but during her fight with Tarrlok she says You dont have any water left, pal. Which means it clearly didnt occur to her that he could pull water from the air or bloodbend, obviously. Then again, she was worked up and in the middle of a fight, so it could go back to her not instinctively turning to water as her element of choice, even though its her native element.
- Another thing to keep in mind is she's only been away from the south pole for, what, a couple weeks? She's lived her entire life in an environment filled with water and ice for her to use. The idea that she'd need to carry water around with her to use it probably hasn't sunk in yet. That and, as noted, she has other elements to fall back on. If Katara was caught without her waterskin, she was in big trouble. If Korra's caught without a source of water, she's still got plenty to work with.
- Also, Korra prefers to overwhelm her opponents. Kinda hard to to with only like, what, a quart of water?
- Actually she does carry one. There is a waterskin attached to Naga's saddle, seen in episode three.
- Unlike Aang who was younger and didn't really know anything besides Airbending at the beginning, he was pretty proficient at it so it became his main skill. Korra on the other hand was shown to learn three of the bending skills at an even pace leading to her not developing an affinity for a particular one.
How strong is Korra?
- Think back to Aang. Within a year he had mastered all four elements, capable of performing jaw dropping feats at the drop of a hat, even without using the Avatar state, which is even more amazing when you consider that he was constantly on the move while learning. Meanwhile, Korra has been kept away in a stronghold where all she did was learn to bend, and the most we have seen her do is is flip a car in the air. Really, she hasn't done anything that your average bender couldn't do him/herself. How does that work out? It could be her lack of interest in the spiritual part of bending, but even so, you think she'd manage to pull something impressive off via brute force, considering she was bending three elements before the Order of the White Lotus came knocking.
- Aang's skills came from using bending in real-life battles and threatening situations. So far Korra has had few opportunities to hone her bending in such situations. Also, as someone noted above, Aang mostly exerted his bending in open air and on the countryside, where he was relatively free to do "big" bending moves. Korra has to operate in the limited space of a busy city, where she has less chances of doing big moves, unless she wants to risk causing collateral damage something which she obviously wants to avoid, as her very first bending battle lead to her getting arrested for damaging property.
- Question for the OP: When have we seen Korra need to do anything big and impressive looking? The really huge feats of bending we saw Aang do were when he was in life or death battles, or had to stop something like a volcano. We've only seen Korra launch a car because she didn't need to level half the city to stop it.
- True, I suppose. Well besides that, shouldn't she be a bit more knowledgeable about bending? For example, the earth armor that Aang was able to create shortly after learning to earthbend. It certainly would be a help against chi blockers.
- From what, exactly, and when would she have the opportunity? She'd have to tear up the street just to do it, for starters. She didn't know who she was fighting the first time, and the second they ambushed her. She hasn't needed to use any big displays of bendings. And honestly, why are you complaining when it's only been four episodes? The biggest display of power in equivalent time in ALTA was Aang doing a waterspout. Have some patience.
- I'm not complaining, I am enjoying the show and would do so even without those displays. I was just wondering about the difference in power.
- To answer the question literally, she's proven herself quite strong. Obviously she's a physical force to be reckoned with and her natural leaning to that allows for the three bending arts she does have down, to hit with a lot more oomph so to speak. Not to mention, strictly as an Avatar, she's by default stronger than Aang what with being to channel his power now along with everyone else, which we probably won't see until she hits that state, but the rules of the nature of Avatar make that solid. So yea, I can't attach a number per se but she is very powerful. It's only her circumstances that make it hard for her to display just how powerful she really is. As stated by everyone else, we'll get there. After all...she can't do a lot of power demonstrations under the restrictions of pro-bending...OR in the city lest she wants to tango with the Chief all over again.
- Keep in mind that Aang was also under tons of pressure to fully develop his abilities before Sozin's Comet returned, or else the Fire Nation would decisively crush its enemies and win the war once and for all. Korra's training was rigorous, but she was just not under that kind of time pressure.
- Aang also didn't master all of the elements in a year. In "Sozin's Comet: Part I," both Toph and Zuko said that he still had a lot to learn about earthbending and firebending. It also seems that Aang didn't learn to use any of the special sub-skills of the other elements, like lightning-bending (although he did learn lightning redirection), bloodbending or metal-bending. It's explicitly stated that Korra is the first Avatar to learn metalbending. In a year's time Aang just learned the other three elements to an acceptable level of skill so that he could activate the Avatar State and defeat Sozin, but it's likely he continued training extensively after the Hundred Year War.
The trio's escape in Episode 6.
- So, the Lieutenant ties the trio, including 2 Firebenders, up with rope — normal, average, every-day, chewable rope — and doesn't bother to block their chi, given how Korra goes into action a minute or two later. They didn't need Pabu's help to escape at all. Why didn't Korra or Mako just burn their way out?
- Bending requires arm movements (unless you're Combustion Man).
- Also Azula has been shown firebending with just her mouth.
- Those are super-badass masters. Most benders cannot bend with their face.
- But Firebenders can bend with their breath.
- Sit down, with your back against something like Mako and Korra were. Look down, how you'd have to in order to breath fire on those ropes. Fire isn't a precision instrument. Burning hot enough to sever rope quickly is going to lead to you torching your own stomach and—perhaps more importantly—your own crotch. When the plan results in char broiling your own groin before you even make contact with the enemy, it's a bad plan.
- Not if you were Avatar Roku, who could send an ultra large blast of fire that simultaneously blasted Zhao and his mooks, and melted metal chains off the Gaang without even the slightest scratch on their skin.
- Avatar Roku is a special case, being an Avatar, having potential access to the combined wisdom and skill of the Avatar Cycle, and being a spirit at the time he took down Zhao.
- Except a) We see at the end of Episode 8 that Korra is perfectly capable of firebending with just her breath, b) Iroh demonstrated in the original show that he could superheat his metal handcuffs and cause immense pain to an earthbender captor with precisely zero negative effects to himself, so there are obviously some aspects of being a firebender that cause heat and/or fire to not be as much of a bother, and finally c) Zuko repeatedly demonstrated that controlling the intensity of candle flames was a form of exercise during peaceful meditation... moving absolutely no part of his body at all. Same thing with Aang when Jong Jong had him try and prevent the leaf from burning. Even Iroh did something similar just before the White Lotus began retaking Ba Sing Se, by causing a surrounding fire to expand just by inhaling and exhaling. Like he was flexing a muscle. The idea that simply restraining a bender's limbs somehow renders them completely helpless is just something they carried over from the original show because they need something to create a sense of drama, even though when you stop and think about it, it really makes no sense. Katara completely froze herself and Azula during the finale, yet somehow thawed just herself to move enough to chain Azula down. Given this, how would it ever be possible to restrain a waterbender in ice, like Paku did during the first season? Toph completely surrounded herself in metal, wearing it like a suit of armor, even though doing so should have made moving all but impossible. If she can do this it should not be possible to restrain her with anything made of metal, or earth. Despite this, she and Aang were somehow "captured" by the Dai Li. Aang even lampshades this in the episode where they meet the Earth King by floating the rocks they bound him with for a few seconds before going back to pretending to be helpless. It pretty much boils down to the writers playing fast and loose with their own rules and going out of their way to establish as little as possible so they can do cool things when they want to without having to explain themselves later.
- Zuko is living proof that being a firebender does NOT make you fireproof. Lighting yourself on fire to burn through some ropes generally sounds like a bad idea to me.
- Plus getting electrucuted probably has an effect on bending for a while...
Asami staying at Airbender Island?
- Why? I mean, yes, her father's considered a criminal now, but wouldn't his assets go to her? Or at least the house?
- I guess she could stay in the mansion with Mako and Bolin, but maybe Tenzin and Pema could provide her with the comfort of a family that Asami no longer has, as her mother is dead and her dad turned out to be a criminal? Plus she'd just started to bond with Korra too, so maybe this whole surrogate family on Airbender Island would be better for her than just the three of them in the mansion? Not to mention that the Equalists may want revenge on her for being a non-bender who turned against her own father to protect benders, so she should be safer living in the same place as Korra and Tenzin.
- Option A = living all alone except for servants in a house the size of a mall that's not only full of memories of your dead mother and evil father but a known site of significant terrorist activity, in fact owned by a high-ranking member who has a knack for creating secret tunnels and rooms where who-knows-what could be going on and who-knows-who might show up = neither physically nor psychologically safe. Option B = living with friends, training and planning with them to end the war = safer, more enjoyable, and makes tons more sense.
- Repeating the above, "a known site of significant terrorist activity". The police likely would have the mansion closed off until they could fully investigate all of it, knowing it already has at least one secret tunnel. Yes, she could stay at the mansion, but Asami would have to wait weeks until her father's dealings were fully investigated and she was actually allowed back into it.
- As for money, Hiroshi's public assets are definately going to be frozen, and that probably includes Asami's trust fund, or whatever way her father used to treat her to luxury.
- Since I guessed that Hiroshi would be the suspected ally, I wondered for a while whether Asami would live with them or maybe get her own apartment somewhere in Republic City. I was quite surprised that the former happened, but it does make sense. She's probably in the top ten list of enemies, so she wouldn't be safe alone. And who could she hire to defend herself?
- Staying on the island is also a way for Asami to avoid the press.
- Seeing how Asami most probably isn't of age yet, she just might be legally unfit to hold/govern her father's assets even if they weren't frozen.
- The age of majority in the Avatarverse is sixteen, and she's most definitely at least that old.
- In addition to all the above, with her father and who knows how many other collaborators who had/have easy access to the mansion still at large, Asami may not be safe staying alone there.
- Pretty much. As far as we know, Hiroshi might want to take his daughter back, even if it has to be by force. If she stays on Air Temple Island, she has people to protect her.
- You're all forgetting the main reason why she wanted/had to live on Airbender Island. She even states it when she first arrives in her room; she doesn't want to be reminded of her father. Living in the mansion alone surrounded by memories of him would grieve her and she doesn't want to deal with that.
Isolated upbringing equals Great Avatar?
- Was Tenzin and the Order deliberately trying to raise Korra in the worst possible manner? The series seems to imply that she's been constantly confined by the Order for years and only taken to new places just to learn different bending styles. How was this supposed to prepare her for serious and complex issues human society has? In the first episode she clearly had no idea how to handle herself in the city. Were they training her with the expectation that she would never actually go anywhere and do anything?
- That was kind of the point: Tenzin and the White Lotus (save Katara) didn't think Korra was ready for the city and didn't want her to go. Katara (apparently) thought such things were best taught by experience and this was something she had to do on her own. And unlike Aang, Korra had no convenient way to travel to a big city and back again. (Southern Water Tribe: Ain't no cities) And unlike Roku, she wasn't practically an adult, living in a big city when she was tapped as the Avatar. Whether or not they were being too conservative with their approach, the White Lotus clearly intended to give Korra urban experience eventually.
- It was basically a bunch of people taking Aang's words entirely the wrong way. Half of the conflicts that arise in the first few episodes happen because Korra is so sheltered and inexperienced with people.
- I saw it the same way as parents who spoil their kids rotten. They want to keep her safe but at the cost of real world experience. I'm sure they had good intentions, but were just misguided.
- That is still a very dumb decision on their part. Like Korra is suppose to be the great ambassador of both the human and the spiritual world so why oh why did they think it was a good idea to keep her in the same location with no learned socialization for 17 years? All the previous Avatars traveled to learn their non-native elements which doing so would help them understand both people and how the elements work. Maybe another reason why Korra struggles with airbending is because air is the element of freedom which is something she does not have. Furthermore isolating her like that caused her to never develop an identity outside of being the Avatar hence why she is so adamant about it. She does not know how to be just Korra like how Aang and Roku had their own identities. She never grew up to form one. What really just confuses and upsets me is that no one has acknowledged that they fucked it up, that isolating her was a bad bad idea. Maybe that will change as season 2 goes on but wow way to totally screw up Korra's life.
- They did have good intentions for keeping Korra there. In season 3 we learn a group of VERY POWERFUL criminals (including Magma Man(the earthbender), Armless waterwhip lady, Mr. Badass nonbender, and Combustion girl!) tried to kidnap toddler!Korra for then unknown reasons. Seems like a good reason to me. (But at the time it seemed weird to this tropette too).
- Season two makes Korra's anger over being locked up in the compound and lied to about it a major motivation for her rejection of her father and Tenzin. Keeping her safe from the Red Lotus may have been necessary, but there's no doubt that keeping the truth from her and outright lying by saying Aang wanted her to be sheltered did more harm than good.
The Main Cast seem pretty stingy in using their better techniques
- Mako can shot off two lightning blasts in a row while standing on a speeding car, no-sweat. Why didn't he zap some Equalists before, like oh, say at the Arena, the mansion, Amon's demonstration, or while fighting the Liutenent or those two Mooks on the street in episode three? Also, Tarrlok can freaking Bloodbend, at anytime too it looks like, I'm sure that could be of use while on patrol. These guys have access to techniques considered to be unique or guarded secrets in the last series, but are common knowledge in their series, (Korra does show some knowledge of how Bloodbending works, implying Katara shared it with at least a few, they can at least use them more now that they are open to the public.
- Lightning bending, unless used at the power plant, is a killing technique that can't be countered unless you are a firebender. And considering Mako's personality and past he probably doesn't want to kill anyone. Notice how when he did uses it in "When Extremes Meet" he was aiming at the motorcycle not the rider. As for Tarrlok's blood bending, it's probably taboo and/or illegal to use it. Katara would never teach Korra how to use it and probably only warned her about it.
- Tarrlok obviously doesn't want anyone else knowing he's a bloodbender. Notice how he makes sure everyone else is gone from the Council building before he begins the battle with Korra.
- Each time Mako's used lightning, he's had time to prepare. Lightning takes longer to warm up than firebending does. He wouldn't get many chances to use it in real combat. Even though he can generate non-fatal lightning (there are clearly five chi-blockers arrested in "When Extremes Meet", so he zapped the driver of the truck), he can't do it in an instant.
- Well, he can do it in an instant, but probably not without grievous motivation.
- It's mentioned in Out of the Past and again in Skeletons in the Closet that bloodbending was made illegal after the events of the first series. Not to mention, Tarrlok had spent his life trying to shed his father's bloodbending legacy and find power in his own way, which is why he didn't use it until Korra pushed him past his breaking point.
Korra's visions and the Avatar State
- Am I the only one who's noticed that Korra's visions occur at just that time where you normally expect the Avatar state to kick in? Every time she's knocked out flat - even in the flashbacks of Aang we see the Avatar State activate when he's put out of commission (or so it seems). In Korra's case, instead of an Avatar state kicking in, she gets her visions instead. What could be the reason for this?
- There are theories that there's something's wrong with Korra's Avatar spirit; this would explain why Korra can't go to the Avatar state, or learn how to airbend. If that's the case, the visions could be Aang trying to explain what the problem with her Avatar spirit is, and what Korra should do to fix it.
- I'd say it's because of her lack of spirituality. Or maybe there's something that needs to be unlocked? Maybe something permanent happened during that fight with Yakone.
- It's heavily implied to be the result of her lack of spirituality. Remember, Aang was a very spiritual person, he was raised by monks in a highly spiritual culture. If kicking into the Avatar State requires some level of spirituality, which it likely does, it wouldn't have been a problem for Aang. Remember, the Avatar State is a state of being where the Avatar is suddenly connected to every single other Avatar at once, which means connecting to past lives.
- Do I need to remind again that Aang did not go into Avatar state every time he was losing a fight or was knocked out? He usually only entered it when his friends, especially Katara, were in mortal peril. No such thing has happened so far. There is no reason for Korra to have entered the Avatar state yet. But she is receiving messages from Aang, like Aang was receiving from Roku.
Was Korra planning on straight up killing Tarrlok?
- What was Korra's endgame? If Tarrlok hadn't bloodbended her, that last blast of firebending was going to hit, very probably killing him, or at least doing some major damage. Even though Tarrlok threw the first attack, there were definitely going to be some repercussions. Also, for all intents and purposes, Tarrlok was disabled, since he had no water to bend. Why even throw that last attack on a helpless foe?
- It's possible. Avatar Aang was peaceful and preferred non-violent forms of confrontation, and couldn't even imagine killing a person, but remember, there were many Avatars who were perfectly willing to kill if it meant maintaining the peace and balance in the world. The Avatar is pressured with the duty to maintain peace and balance. There was obviously no reasoning with Tarrlok, and there was no peaceful way to stop him since he had so much power and influence.
- If not kill him, Korra certainly did not plan to leave on anything other than a brutal beatdown. You can hear it in her voice. She wasn't about to back down simply because he was helpless. The fact that Tarrlok had been pressing her buttons all day (or two) certainly didn't help.
- Rule of Drama. Tarrlok's bloodbending wouldn't have looked so "What in the world?" if Korra had just stood still or walked away. Your wonder what Avatar Kyoshi would have done in such a situation. Probably destroyed the whole building. Korra's a lot like her when it comes to cracking the whip, and hard!
- It looks to me that Korra was going to blast fire on Tarrlok's both sides to really scare him into submission. Korra is hot-blooded, but so far hasn't shown real killer instincts.
- Probably. It does make sense. Tarrlok has shown that he is willing to lethally attack Korra, so she can't exactly let him go. He has shown that he controls the police force, so she can't deliver him to the police. She probably doesn't want to drag Tenzin into this, so she can't bring him to airtemple island.
- What makes you think Korra had "an endgame" in mind? We haven't exactly been shown that she's any kind of planner. If she had any plan at all, it probably amounted to, "Beat up Tarlokk until he stops being a dick."
- This. She was acting out of irrational anger and her "plan" basically amounted to: "1. Confront Tarrlok in his office. 2. ??? 3. Profit!" If Tarrlok had just stayed calm throughout this, he could have just waited it out — since she obviously wouldn't kill him — and then he'd have enough evidence to legally throw her in jail. But once he revealed his bloodbending, he had no choice but to cover it up.
- Whether it was to save himself from getting killed or horribly burned/beaten up, the intro narration for the next episode outright states Tarrlok resorted to bloodbending to "save himself." At the very least he beleived Korra was not bluffing with her attack. What that says about Korra is another matter, but we see in later parts of the series that she is quite willing to kill if she believes it is justified.
Wait, someone's missing from the group, someone very important: where's Pabu?
- But seriously, Equalists invade, Team Avatar escapes and go into hiding and... where's the fire ferret gone? If Bryke wanted to shoo out the clowns and leave him behind on Air Temple Island or something, I would have expected a scene (which could have been played for laughs) where Bolin says it's time for Pabu to go, just like Aang before facing Ozai.
- Dead. Bolin's Roaring Rampage of Revenge will be so great that he will destroy the Equalists single handedly.
- He went to get Ace the Bathound, so Ace will alert Bruce that Republic City is in peril.
- Pabu is with the rest of Team Avatar at the end of the episode. Were you really watching?
- Just before the second airship arrived at the island, Pabu is around Bolin's neck. When they're escaping, I can't see hide nor tail or him, then he crops back up in the sewers. I'm gonna put it down to an animation oversight.
- Or Bolin was keeping him in his pocket/under his shirt.
Did Mako and Asami ever break up?
- They do make a brief amends at the beginning of the finale, but nothing's said about the ultimate fate of the relationship. It's fairly open-ended, with Mako apologizing and both of them saying they still care about each other. Without an official, concrete break-up, the ending gives me real moral pause. It's hard to be happy for Korra when, by all appearances, Mako and Asami haven't formally split yet.
- Would it really be happy if two of her firends break up because of her? These kids go thorugh enough crap already and a broken hear and love problems are not needed right now.
- I feel as if the part where Mako apologized to Asami and they parted equitably was the moment where the relationship ended. I don't think either of them walked away from that expecting there to be a future in store for their romantic relationship.
- That was pretty much how I took it. And they don't seem to be together anymore while they're waiting for Katara to come out and report on Korra.
- I have the same reservations. Besides the fact that Mako neglected Asami when they were definitely in a relationship to concentrate on Korra, we are never given a definitive answer other than that Mako said that he cared for Asami. I'm not going to assume that they broke up because the writers seemed more concentrated on getting Makorra together than really thinking of the ramifications of Mako getting with Korra like that. The fact that it's so unclear is a failure of planning on their part. I really don't think that the couple will last. When we get a second season I hope they break up because of the sloppy writing of their relationship borders on breaking Show, Don't Tell.
- I would like to think that they did break up. The reason I think this is because Asami kisses Mako on the cheek before the groups split up. If they were still together I would expect a mouth kiss. A kiss on the cheek can be seen as platonic and I think that the scene shows they are parting on semi-good terms. If not I can guarantee that the ramifications of this will pop up in season 2.
- Also Mako told Asami "I care about you" while he told Korra "I love you" so I think we probably did in fact see them break up, but it was maybe too subtle.
- See, most of my friends I've talked to actually took that scene as a reconciliation between the two. They both admit they still care about each other, and the conversation ends with a kiss. Not a full-on lip kiss, because things aren't repaired that much yet, but a tender, hopeful one on the cheek. If it was intended as a break-up, I have to say that was really unclear.
- Yeah, that cheek kiss had very heavy "we're just friends now" vibes to it.
- No, they never officially break up on-screen. There is nothing to contradict them breaking up off-screen but nothing to confirm it either, making it "hard to be happy for Korra when, by all appearances, Mako and Asami haven't formally split yet." It's especially grating because Mako refused to formally split when Asami gave him the perfect opportunity in Episode 10, implying he didn't want to end his relationship with Asami. When did he change his mind? We don't know; it's never explained, shown, or implied, except possibly for Mako's statement at the end of Episode 12 where he claims he realized his feelings for Korra when she was kidnapped — that is, before Asami asked him point blank how he felt. So when did he finally tell Asami the truth and formally split? If it happened at all, it's never shown, which does indeed make it hard to be happy for the final couple. I can picture Mike and Bryan reading fans reactions' to the finale and smugly saying, "Be Careful What You Wish For."
- According to commentary apparently the "I care about you" scene between Mako and Asami was meant to be them breaking up, it just was too subtle for many fans.
Korra becoming the fastest Fully Realized Avatar in history
- While the scene of Aang restoring her bending and her connection to the past Avatars as well as Korra restoring Lin's bending was awesome, just how could Korra connect to her spiritual side with just a few tears and 30 sec later, become the fastest fully realized Avatar in history?
- Whenever Korra has been at her lowest moments, that's when she becomes spiritually stronger. It was going on right from Episode 2 where she got the knack of the airbending movements when she was totally cornered, right up to that scene in the box where she connects with Aang when she has no way out. Again when she lost connection with the other 3 elements, her spiritual connection became strong enough to airbend. When she was totally devastated over the fact that she was no longer the Avatar, could she summon enough emotion to connect with her past lives and access the Avatar State. The Avatar connects with their past lives when they reach their emotional breaking point, and it takes something very particularly strong to render Korra helpless enough for her to start relying on the spiritual side.
- Korra by the way has been unsuccessfully trying to train spiritually for several years, and it's very likely that all that effort didn't go in vain. Her spiritual side was considerably developed, but she couldn't connect to it because she felt she didn't need it, being so Badass already. Her only problem was pride.
- Compared to Roku, Aang needed only one day to open up his chakras and he gained control over the Avatar state once he had energybended Ozai. What happened to Korra was rather exceptional for an Avatar, with her physical connections to 3 out of 4 elements severed, so energybending was the only way out. We've seen Amon lock a chakra with bloodbending, so it's easily possible that Aang opened up all her chakras at once with Energybending, in the process, making her fully realized.
- All it takes to become a fully realized avatar is to master all 4 elements(the chakra unblocking thing Aang did was an alternative to mastering the avatar state without learning firebending) Even though Korra couldn't actually airbend because of her spiritual block she had still managed to master the forms of airbending so once that block was gone she was already a master airbender without actually doing it before, and once her other elements were restored she became fully realized.
- Who said she's the fastest thus far? Hell, compared to the avatar prodigy that is Aang, she's a laggard! Remember, most avatars don't even know they're the avatar until age 16. She knew at age four. She's been training her entire life to get there, and it's still eluded her for that long. Aang, by contrast, found out he was the Avatar at age twelve. He became a fully realized avatar four years or so BEFORE Korra did, and spending much less time doing so.
- If you go on technicalities, Aang took the the longest - this however factors in the years he spent as a self induced Human Popsicle, capping his ascent to fully realized Avatar at a whopping 'literal' 112 years. That said, he is still officially the youngest known Avatar to hit full realization, so you are right there. Credit where credit's due though, Korra's no slouch herself, since she figured out on her own who she was at FOUR - it can be safe to assume she started her training as soon she was able and was deemed a master of three out of four elements at the age most Avatars are told of their destiny. That means the she became a fully realized Avatar at a point where most of her predecessors were only just getting started. Granted, like Aang; her ascent while official in terms, it's partial in ability, Aang was only a legitimate master of Airbending at his realization with at best great skill for the other three (Zuko and Toph both testify to this in-series). Korra is the opposite, a recognized master of everything but Air, which she only just managed to harness short of her realization, which i'd say puts her at a strong second-place. To answer the actual question posed, her head start gave her a monumental advantage- as said, she wasn't pressed for time and practiced her skill to the point where all she needed was one last push (ie- something to force her to connect fully to the Spiritual allowing her access to the Avatar State AND Airbending all in fell swoop), granted it was the hardest and harshest push, but considering what she went through - I think it was all she needed.
- We saw a montage of Roku becoming a fully realized Avatar in the last series. He started at 16, and when he was done, looked to be in his mid-to-late twenties, maybe early thirties. I'd say Korra taking 12 years to do the same is about right.
Why didn't they properly explain just how Korra successfully connected to her spiritual side?
- The finale ending didn't explain how Korra just suddenly connected with Aang and all the past avatars out of the blue and mastered the Avatar state. The Fridge Brilliance page has a huge amount of info on how Korra managed to connect with her spiritual side which includes how she subtly opened her chakras as the series progressed without realizing it - she's been through a lot of Character Development. There's also some detail on why she didn't enter into the Avatar State till the end, because she was unknowingly unlocking her chakras and couldn't access it until she unlocked the last one. It all fits into how she gained her Airbending skills out of nowhere and how it all built up towards the ending.
As an example, the scene where she tells Mako to leave her forever is and runs away is where she abandons attachment and only wants Aang to take her to the spirit world, now that she is a broken avatar — that's where she let go of attachment and opened her final chakra, allowing her to connect with all the past Avatars and gain access to the Avatar State. Aang then used the spiritual side of the Avatar State to energybend Korra and restore her bending at the physical level, allowing her to become fully realized. Unlike Aang, Korra responded to her experiences in a way that automatically opened the chakras. Also the way she was able to master the Avatar state was exactly the opposite of how Aang had got there, if you observe. Aang's spiritual connection was broken and restored by physical means, allowing him access to the Avatar State. Korra's was just the opposite, her physical connection was broken and restored by spiritual means. That was so much more elegant.
But how come none of this was properly explained or even pointed out at the end? It would have been a Fridge Brilliance masterstroke if they had. It would have taken just 5 minutes to explain it with brief flashbacks from the past episodes, and the viewers would understand just how brilliant and subtle Korra's spiritual development actually was and how it led up to this moment, rather than thinking the whole felt like an Ass Pull. Does anyone feel that just one more episode could have helped the finale a lot and sort the matter out?
- Also, Korra has been trying since the age of 4 to get a hold over the spiritual side of the Avatar and it's highly unlikely all that effort went in vain. Her real block was her pride. She felt she never needed the spiritual side because she was so badass already. In all the moments where she is properly humbled, she becomes open to the spiritual side and her abilities are on par with Aang's in Season 3, even without the help of the Solstice. This could have been explained in just 2 lines, and yet why did they not hit the nail on the head?
- I remember one of the White Lotus members saying that Korra didn't even try. Ever since you were a little girl youve excelled at the physical side of bending but completely ignored the spiritual side. And given what we saw of her in the show, that's not hard to believe.
- Yup. Very true. They just basically decided to Ass-pull the show right back to the beginning.
- Unless, of course, they explain it next season. And at the beginning of the show, Korra wasn't able to Airbend, she didn't have the Avatar State, she didn't have several months of personal growth, and her only real friend was Naga. She also understands her role as the Avatar much better.
- Check the Fridge page, there's this whole theory she was unlocking her chakra's throughout this season (also helps explain why Korra didn't go into the Avatar State during critical moments; because she was physically incapable of doing so). Of course, it could still be a next season thing to explain.
- Or it must have been the fact that with 3 out 4 elements gone, she was truly not any different from a normal bender and the impact must have broken her pride, which was actually causing her spiritual block. Anyone reminded of a certain Gautama Buddha, whose spiritual turning point came about when he realized despite the rich prince without a care in the world, he too was not above old age, death and disease? The rest was history.
- Maybe the writers just know that their viewers aren't idiots and don't feel the need to spell out the beautiful symbolism behind the plot, which would cheapen the effect.
- OR B) The creators messed up (yet to be seen if they'll ever release a statement about the "chakra opening") and this "fridge" is just fans' way of trying to convince themselves otherwise. That was just a disappointing conclusion to an otherwise awesome season.
- The latter seems to be the more likely option. Remember that the chakras are never even mentioned in The Legend of Korra. Even if (and that's a big if) the writers did intend all this supposed Fridge Brilliance stuff about the chakras to be there, it's still a case of lazy writing if the information crucial to the climax of your series is not in the series itself, but in another show.
- Aang sums up this odeal: "When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change." We don't need to be spoonfed an explanation.
- But she did not even jump from the cliff. Her lowest point merely revealed what a low character she has without most of her bending.
- Jumping from the cliff would not be her lowest point. That would be called suicide. Contemplating it is her lowest point.
- Do you really think that interrupting the narrative flow and breaking the drama of the final scenes with a technical explanation would actually have improved things? First rule of narrative in any visual medium. You show, not tell.
- The technical explanation could've been done earlier in the series; AtLA devoted a whole episode to it, and it worked fairly well, even though it was mostly "tell, don't show". Because episodes 311 of TLoK didn't really bother to illustrate how Korra progressed to overcome her airbending block, the finale actually had a worse example of telling and not showing than AtLA: the explanation by Aang came only after the climactic moment of Korra defeating Amon with airbending, thus robbing the climax of its emotional poignancy and making it feel like an Ass Pull with no proper foreshadowing.
- Except it had been foreshadowed throughout the series. When was Aang finally able to start making contact with Korra before? When she was at her lowest points. She didn't start having flashbacks until she suffered defeats in battle. She was only able to learn the entire story of Yakone when she was trapped with no apparent way out. So yes, they were foreshadowing this throughout the series.
- What I meant is that they didn't foreshadow Korra being able to get past his airbending block. Aang sending messages about Yakone doesn't really foreshadow Korra's airbending progress, even though they're both vaguely related to spirituality. Before the finale, there were plenty of Wild Mass Guesses that Korra will to the Avatar State as Amon is about to debend her; if that had happened, then the visions Korra would've been examples of foreshadowing, as they showed Korra was gradually getting better at contacting previous Avatars. However, even though airbending is somehow connected to spirituality too, learning it and contacting previous Avatars are never treated as interchangeable skills. That's why Aang's visions are not proper foreshadowing. If the writers had wanted to properly build up to the climactic moment, the statement that "when we are at our lowest, we are most open to change" should've been said by someone (Aang's spirit, or maybe Tenzin) long before Korra learned to airbend. Then we would've understood how she reached that point as it was happening, which would've given the scene more emotional weight and made it seem less like an Ass Pull. Now all we got was an after-the-fact explanation.
- Why should they have to repeat something that was made explicit in the previous series of 60 episodes and reinforced repeatedly in this one? They already told us explicitly that Korra's flashbacks were Aang attempting to contact her. Should they really need to repeatedly explain something they were pretty much already telling you through both actual dialog and showing you through Korra's experiences? And for that matter, just hitting Avatar state in the climactic fight would have completely overshadowed her finally learning Airbending, which was far more important to the plot of the show. On top of that, skipping the step of her learning Airbending would have meant that Korra was suddenly going from "not spiritual enough to airbend" to "so spiritual she can do ANYTHING." I'm not sure how much more foreshadowing they should have used that wouldn't have just stopped the plot cold to give a pointless technical explanation for those that can't read between the lines.
- I don't think you understood my point above. I merely tried to say that the flashbacks did foreshadow and build up to Korra meeting Aang's spirit in the end of the finale, but they didn't really really foreshadow or build up to Korra suddenly learning to airbend. We see Korra training airbending in the first three episodes, and after that the subject is dropped until the finale. The visions are not tied to her airbending progress in any way, and before the end of the finale, the idea that Korra needs to reach her lowest point in order to airbend is not brought up in any way. That's why the sudden airbending felt like an Ass Pull, because there's no proper build-up to it, and the possible explanation for it was only mentioned after the fact. In contrast, when Aang had his earthbending block, we learned the cause of the problem and could deduce the solution to it before he overcame the block. This gave the moment when he learned how to earthbend deeper emotional resonance, as we could see how he reached that point while he was getting there. With Korra, it seemed the writers were more interested in surprising the viewers than making us understand Korra's learning process, which makes for a better Plot Twist but less satisfying storytelling.
- Aang also learned how to earth bend in one episode. The justification? He just needed to "stand his ground". No big technical explanation with copious foreshadowing - just a quick, simple resolution. So, in the series, we were explicitly told or shown that Korra needed to A) become more focused and B) become more spiritual. She got the first one down over three episodes, and the second one over the entirety of the series. Suggesting that Korra spend the entire series on Airbending when we already established that she needed to learn the forms (she did) and become more spiritual (shown through the greater ease of contact with Aang) goes beyond asking for more "foreshadowing" and asking that every episode stop the plot cold to waste more time on explicitly telling us things we already know. Even the original series didn't do that.
- If all Korra needed to be able to airbend was to become more focused and more spiritual, then she should've learned airbending after she managed to contact Aang's spirit via meditation in episode 9. Since that didn't happen, obviously there was something else that needed to happen for her to overcome the block. When she did finally overcome it, the reason why she could airbend had nothing to with spirituality. That reason wasn't foreshadowed in any way, it was only explained by Aang after the fact, which is why it felt like an Ass Pull.
- Korra hadn't tried to airbend before the moment she actually does it, though. And why would she? Until the moment she actually needed to, she'd essentially just relied on three other elements that she decided were more important. Given the correct motivation sooner, maybe she would have been able to.
- There is slight foreshadowing before the finale when Korra realizes they must wait. Tenzin compliments her for exercising patience, an important quality of airbending
- Not true: Korra had lamented in an earlier episode that she'd mastered all the airbending forms, but couldn't generate so much as a light breeze. She was trying; just failing.
- I meant after she became more spiritual, not during her training sessions. It's reasonable that when faced with life and death combat with the Equalists, she'd rely on the tools she knew she had (water, fire, and earth) and not trying to use tools she didn't yet possess. When she does airbend, she has has nothing else to try.
- It doesn't look like she's trying to airbend in the finale either. The form she makes when the airbending happens looks like a firebending attack, there's nothing to indicate she was trying to airbend rather than just generally trying to hit Amon.
- True, we only see Korra practicing airbending in the first few episodes. But it would be easy to presume that she carries it on throughout the series when she's not actually fighting. Because watching her constantly practicing wouldn't make for an entertaining show and would waste valuable air time which is needed for the main action. Secondly, when she's fighting, she makes no attempts to airbend because that's running a huge risk. When she's in an intense battle with an important outcome, she wants to use the elements she knows she can rely on, not play some insane gamble based on something she's only practiced and has yet to succeed at. When Amon severs her connection to the other elements, she's lost that luxury and can't turn to the other elements. And when Mako is about to have his bending taken away, she's so desperate to save him that she's willing to run the risk because it's her only option.
- Have to agree with the first post here. There was some interesting stuff going on that wasn't stated outright, and the showrunners have certainly shown themselves to be capable of writing stunning and downright elegant character development, but I think in this case the fact that they were basically saddled with a short season, a major plot to wrap up, and the possibility of a second season still shaky made for an uneven finish. The entire finale had some pacing issues, from Tarrlok's backstory exposition to the relationship wrap-up between Korra and Mako to the spiritual revelation and bending restoration. I don't think it's so much an Ass Pull as it is the fact that writers — particularly writers for television — aren't always free to tell the story as well as they would like to.
- This might be a little WMG, but her problems with Airbending almost seemed like a Batman Gambit on the part of the Avatar spirits. We've seen prophecy as being at least semi-accurate in Avatar. And if Korra had gained the physical aspect of Airbending, even to a slight degree, she might never have developed her spiritual connection. And if she had all four bending types when confronted by Amon, she might have been sealed away forever since she wouldn't have the spiritual growth to fully connect to Aang.
How did Korra pull out the Stops on Airbending?
- Was it because Amon's physical blocks could not affect air, the most spiritual of the elements? Or was it because Korra didn't have a connection with air for Amon to break?
- There's some Fridge Brilliance here. Korra managed to airbend to save Mako. Which of the Chakras is opened by love? The Air Chakra. This strongly indicates that there is a connection between chakras and the ability to bend the physical elements they represent.
- It may even be that the various elemental chakras are connected to different sets of chi paths, each giving control over a separate element. Genetics determines which of these will be activated. Only the Avatar can use all of them, and the fifth channel that goes up to the crown chakra controls the Avatar State and energybending. Healers can feel chi and it's possible Amon has developed some sort of "blood sense" - he senses which paths are active and severs them. But he would be able to find an inactive path and so he missed the "airways".
- Another possibility is that Amon had to figure out how to block each form of Bending individually, and since he'd never encountered an Airbender before, he hadn't learned how to block their abilities yet. This leaves us with two possibilities for Tenzin's family: 1) He expected to have plenty of uninterrupted time in which to figure out how to block their abilities, or 2) He was planning to straight-up murder them.
- Why bother murdering them when he was about to take away their airbending?
- Because he might not have known how to take it, and murdering them leads to the same desired result of eliminating airbending.
- My rationalization was that perhaps Amon could only depower benders who had already connected to their element, so his power would be ineffective against a potential, untrained bender. Korra was not yet an airbender when he depowered her, she only opened her connection to air later.
Bolin was peeing in front of Mako...
- Why couldn't he hold it like his brother said?
- I'm not sure if this is some kind of Values Dissonance, but generally, peeing in the presence of someone you're very familiar with, especially if you really have to, is kind of acceptable.
- Plus, they had no idea how long they'd be there for. If Lin hadn't come to break them out, they might've been in there for weeks (and that's being optimistic). Holding it in really wasn't an option.
- Bolin must have been a toddler when their parents were killed. Since then Mako's been like his parent. Bolin is actually rather immature and childish for his age, so it's probably to show that he's more of an Manchild, especially towards Mako. Besides, Mako wasn't looking.
- And for what it's worth, he does tell Mako to cover his ears.
- And if you've ever used a urinal in a men's room, you've peed in the presence of complete strangers. Why should it be any harder with your brother?
How did Mako Lightning Bend Amon while being Bloodbent?
- So I don't have a problem with Mako Lightning Bending, but in the finale Mako is being Bloodbent and hits Amon with some Lightning Bending. Now it's established that Firebenders have to separate the energy and put it back together (if I remember correctly). We see Lightning Bolt Zolt do this in "The Revelation", we see Mako do this in "When Extremes Meet", and we see General Iroh do this in "Endgame". So why did Mako just have to point his fingers and then fire? It just seems to blatantly break Magic A Is Magic A despite the fact that the show has been pretty consistent on that. Is there an explanation?
- The modern lightningbending motions (particularly Mako's) have always looked quite low-key to me. I guess it's part of the new philosophy. I wouldn't be surprised if Mako, who lived on the streets, wasn't taught to "separate energy and put it back toether", but probably something else that works. Perhaps that's why it's weaker. Another theory that goes purely into speculation is that he did separate the energy between himself and Amon. This is vaguely based on how InuYasha had to hit the point where his and his enemy's energies meet with his sword.
- I did think that he had some different form, because when you see Lightning Bolt Zolt and General Iroh Lightning Bend, they both do the full motions, and when Mako uses it he does a quicker motion that doesn't make any sparks. But even if he had a more modern and low key style, he still had to do motions. But when he used it on Amon he didn't do any motions. I just don't see how he did that.
- Amon does mention right afterward that he's impressed and calls Mako a rare talent. Maybe Mako is to lightning-bending what Amon is to bloodbending—an exceptional talent who can pull it off without the usually-necessary trappings.
- It's also possible that he did make the necessary movements, albeit not with the usual wide arm arcs that Iroh showed us in ATLA. Having just watched the scene again, I noticed they make a point to show Mako twitching around under bloodbending influence a few times even while dealing with the Lieutenant...specifically his hands. When Amon approaches Mako to try and take his bending the first time, Mako's hands are also very close together. It's possible he was able to get just enough movement to separate the energies and touch his fingers together under bloodbending influence without doing it in a 'psychic' manner.
- Additionally, in the ATLA episode when we first learn about bending lightning, Iroh mentions that 'you may wish to try a movement' for redirecting lightning after explaining the theory of how to channel it. Presumably this means that lightning can be handled entirely with mental concentration and manipulation of chi, and that hand and arm movements make it simpler...but might not be necessary.
- I rewatched "Bitter Work," where Iroh explains Lightningbending and Lightning Redirection, to brush up on it. I was under the impression that the movements (and a calm, peaceful mind) were required for generating Lightning, but the mental aspect was more important with the Redirection, since you have to channel the Lightning through the body (Hand -> shoulder -> stomach -> shoulder -> hand) without killing yourself. And the "You may wish to try a physical motion to get a feel for the pathway's flow" thing that Iroh says is referring specifically to the pathway that the Lightning must travel in order to properly redirect it. Iroh was teaching Zuko, so he made sure that Zuko understood the path since it was so dangerous.
- I watched that scene again, too. Mako didn't move any more than anyone else did when Bloodbent. It was just some twitches. There weren't any moments that looked like deliberate Lightning bending. As for the "pyschic Lightningbending", that would mean Mako is some sort of Firebending prodigy, beyond what Azula ever was. I'd have a hard time swallowing that.
- He very deliberately moves his fingers into the "two-finger point" pose that is synonymous with lightning-bending. The scene goes out of its way to focus on the fact. Mako's also repeatedly demonstrated that he doesn't need the flashy arm spins. He can point and shoot.
- Well, yeah, he pointed his fingers, but he didn't move separate the energy. Even when Mako Lightningbends in "When Extremes Meet" he does the motions to separate the energy and put it together. And if Mako is able to break the established rules of Lightningbending it'd be nice to have some explanation. That's what bugs me about "psychic Bloodbending." There aren't explanations.
- The motions are just to get a feel for it, like hand motions for telekinetics. It's a focusing aid, not an absolute necessity. Mako's in a sufficiently desperate situation that he could do it without needing to move much. Earlier in the same episode he is able to fire a shot at the stage with nothing more than a quick thrust. And frankly, I don't see why it's so hard to believe he could do it prone when we've seen examples of earthbending by face, and airbending and firebending by mouth. If the fancy moves were absolutely required to do bending at all, neither of these things would be possible. Like any mental superpower, physical movements are ultimately only a crutch to make it easier. Benders have just come to rely on them so much that very few can do it without them. Mako's one of those few.
- I still find it hard to believe that Mako could even pull that last one off. I think I remember Azula doing quick movements, but just pointing and shooting can't be done.. Even the Eartbending, Airbending, and Firebending by face required movements. And I thought that movements were required. When was bending a mental superpower? You don't see Toph Metalbending with her mind. And still, those were all basic elements. Lightning was supposed to be a complex and difficult art. I'm cool with more people learning it since Zuko's reign, but you still have to manually separate the energy. Unless we get a definitive answer from Bryke, I'm calling hax.
- Azula has done similar thrust shots like Mako has, albeit comet-enhanced. And pointing and shooting is hardly impossible. If you honestly believe that squinting, face-scrunching, and breathing count as "movements" on par with martial arts, then you're deliberately marginalizing Mako's own minimal actions to make your point work. Moving doesn't do the chi-separation thing anymore than Iroh's redirection training technique does the work of actually redirecting the lightning. It's a technique to train the mind to do the work without actually concentrating on doing so. Toph is self-taught, a veritable impossibility if the techniques you cling to were so essential to bending. Pro-bending would not be possible if the techniques were set in stone. Mako couldn't palm a flame or nonchalantly burn tickets, Iroh couldn't breathe fire, Zuko couldn't blow up a campfire unintentionally, and so on and so on. You're so latched on to the trappings that you're ignoring the actual skill.
- Looking at another series entirely might help this make sense: magic in The Dresden Files. In that series, most wizards use foci (wands, staffs, etc.), incantations, and magic words not because they're necessary, but because they help the wizard visualize and give shape to the magic. For the main character, throwing a gout of flame at someone seems easier and more natural if he can visualize the flame coming from the end of his rod while he shouts 'Fuego'. He can and has cast magic without any of those accoutrements, but it's a lot harder.
I figure bending is similar—the movements help the bender visualize and control what they want the element to do, but they may not be entirely necessary if you're good and/or desperate enough.
- Also, in the comics, I believe Azula was able to Lightning Bend (though it may have been Firebend) while strapped into a straight jacket with just one hand barely free.
- That was an exceptional case. Apparently when chi-blocking wears off, you're briefly ridiculously flexible, which is how she managed to get the hand free in the first place.
- It looks like there might be signs of a flame war on the horizon here. Can we some some MST3K Mantra please?
- OP here. Let's just agree to disagree.
- isn't it more of a Lightning War?
Why didn't Korra know about the Yakone incident?
- Okay, we know that Katara was Korra's waterbending teacher. We know that Korra was aware of bloodbending's existence before Tarrlok used it on her, as she recognized what he was doing as bloodbending. Given that Korra had lived in that isolated White Lotus compound ever since she was four, it seems almost certain Korra learned about bloodbending from Katara. Why, then, didn't Katara tell her about the incident where a freakishly powerful bloodbender defeated her friends and almost killed her husband? One would assume that's something the current Avatar should know about, especially since the last time it happened it took the previous Avatar to defeate this freakish bender. On top of that, Yakone escaped from prison, and Katara must have heard about it from Toph or her brother. Since powerful bending is obviously at least partially inhereditary, it should have crossed Katara's mind that Yakone might have had kids who inherited his bloodbending. Even if she didn't think of that, the existence of Combustion Man and Yakone was proof that abnormally powerful benders can sometimes appear, and surely that is something the Avatar should know about. So why didn't Katara tell Korra about Yakone?
- I guess it just didn't seem relevant. Korra may have heard of Yakone, like from a story, but since it happened 40 years ago, nobody really thought about it. It was more than 20 years before Korra was even born. I don't know about criminals from 40 years ago. Though I do agree, Korra should have been told about it. It would be like Aang not being told about Sozin until the third season. Katara done goofed.
- I'm sure you've heard of some criminals from the past, like Al Capone? I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say Yakone was the Al Capone of Republic City. Also, like I said, it just wasn't just some random story about a random criminal: it was a story about a criminal with a superpower that almost defeated the Avatar, so surely the new Avatar should have known about it? Apparently Katara had the time to tell Korra other stories that were much less relevant to being the Avatar, such as the story of what happened to Zuko's mom, but for some reason Yakone wasn't worth a mention?
- I know of Al Capone, but I couldn't tell you any details about his life or the history surrounding him. It's not completely out of the realm of possibility that Korra would know of Yakone, but not any of the details about what happened to him.
- Well yeah, the details were exactly what Katara should have told her.
- Why? Katara is prescient and knows that Katara's going to face Yakone's progeny that Katara doesn't know exists? Yakone was a past threat who was gone and dealt with, who hadn't resurfaced in any way, shape, or form for 40 years. Even if Katara expected Korra to go to Republic City to police it, how could she have expected her to need that information?
- Also, Katara wasn't even present for Yakone's trial, and she might have been too busy dealing with Kya and Bumi's antics to pay attention to Aang telling her about his exciting day at work taking down the psychic bloodbender.
- You guys are all forgetting - Yakone escaped from prison. It's very likely that he staged his death or something similar to avoid people getting suspicious and setting up a manhunt for him, which is arguably backed up by the fact that only his sons ever found out his true identity. Therefore, you can't really blame Katara for not telling Korra about Yakone - it's not like she was going to say "Hey Korra, there was this guy from decades ago who was an evil criminal who was put to prison and died there. In the off chance that he somehow escaped without anyone realising and started up a family and you one day have to fight his children, let me tell you about him."
- Why did Korra stop Naga from stealing food from the food stand, but immediately tried to procure something to eat without payment? Stealing was probably the lesser of two evils, but trying to buy something without any money was just as foolish.
- "Lesser" of two evils? I'd say that asking first is better than stealing. In any case, the point was most likely to subtly show Korra's reckless personality to the audience; she most likely remembered she didn't have any money the moment she was asked for payment.
- Well, maybe she thought that everybody would give her food because she's the Avatar, but the old lady drove her away before she could play that card. Don't forget, Korra is insanely sheltered and probably never had to worry about food or a place to stay.
- As mentioned above Korra was provided with everything she needed by White Lotus so she has no concept of money and its value. (It was also common with Real Life royalty who could see the big picture (state economy) but were helpless in small since they never had to personally buy their everyday needs.)
- Also, the next course of action Korra takes is to fish. Most likely, it never occurred to her that there would be rules against hunting because the South Pole is too harsh to avoid it.
- She probably thought she could do some work in exchange for the food- surely there was something the merchant needed done that the Avatar could do fast.
- Korra thought the fish-from-a-lake was hunting/fishing, not stealing.
- The Water Tribe are based off the Inuit (more or less), and one aspect of Inuit culture is food sharing. Food hunted or collected is considered property of the community and not the individual, and so food is distributed communally. Letting someone go hungry when they have no other options is beyond the pale. Basically, what we're seeing between Korra and the vender lady is a clash of cultures, the capitalistic Republic City model and the quasi-communistic Water Tribe one. This may also be why Korra shares her fish with the hobo in the next scene, aside from basic goodwill.
- Another simple answer is that she's aware of how terrifying seeing a creature three or four times the size of a human suddenly appear and eat everything in sight can be. It's also usually considered bad manners to have your pets snatch food off plates meant for human consumption.
Why doesn't the Avatar State trigger when Korra is captured by Amon?
- If the Avatar State is supposed to be a defense mechanism, intended to protect the Avatar when he or she is in mortal danger, why doesn't it activate at the end of "The Voice in the Night?" It certainly seemed like Korra was in danger of death, if not in the literal sense, then in the spiritual and metaphorical sense.note She was also obviously in the throes of severe emotional distress, as her subsequent breakdown and admission indicate. Why then, when it would be most reasonable to do so, does the Avatar State not activate?
- 1) The Avatar State is a back-seat until a handle on the other elements is acquired. It isn't meant to be A defense mechanism but THE defense mechanism. Even more-so, if the avatar is defeated in it, bye-bye Avatar forever. If it activated every time things got stressful, that would be horrible. 2) Korra is not really spiritually active, instead relying on matter over mind. Since the Avatar State requires spirituality, it would be difficult for someone not spiritual to use it. 3) The most powerful emotion to activate it, barring spirituality, is anger. Korra doesn't restrain her emotions that much so it wouldn't be active that much - she might even be in a mini-avatar-state. Aang put aside his anger even when he was justified to be any amount of angry so he would go into it frequently as that emotion built and then exploded out.
- Aang's almost universally been angry when the Avatar State was triggered. Korra was frightened, but she was also trying to keep it in check. There's also Korra's lack of spirituality to consider. Aang was spiritual to begin with, which may have made his transitions more natural. Korra may be so grounded (so to speak) that she might not be able to access it without a really big push.
- True. Remember how after she was captured she had those Aang flashes. Maybe it was the Avatar state trying to be triggered only she didn't/couldn't let it take over. She did seemed for a moment to think she was saved by Aang, which is exactly what would have happened if he would have taken control
- I think it would have been triggered if he'd tried to take her bending away. When Aang took Ozai's bending, their spirits were basically fighting. When Amon took Lightning Bolt Zold's bending, this fight presumably happened too. Or not, if we assume that his "energybending" is not genuine. The point is, though, that it takes a bit of time, it doesn't happen within a second. So before he'll be able to take away her bending completely, the state would be triggered and he'll be flying across the room. However, since he didn't even try, it wasn't enough to trigger the state.
- This may well be one of the reasons he didn't do it - he wasn't sure if he would be successful if the avatar state triggered and he found himself in a battle of wills against the entire collective memory of all the Avatars that have ever lived (especially the last Avatar would actually knew energy bending, Aang). Far more effective to soften up Korra with some psychological manipulations.
- Remember what kept Aang from going Avatar State for the third season? His chi was blocked by a locked chakra. When Korra's tied up, she's just been chi blocked. If the chi paths have to be opened and flowing for the Avatar State to occur, then it makes sense if being chi blocked would prevent it.
- But Aang had specifically gone through a process that would leave him without the Avatar State if any of his chakra were locked. Far as anyone can tell, Korra has gone through no such process. We don't know for sure if chi blocking is enough to block the Avatar State from triggering. Which makes me wonder if a fully-realized Avatar could resist chi blocking?
- Err, no none of Aang's chakra's were locked up in the sense that energy couldn't go through them; they were locked up by the issues he had but the energy still went through them. The Guru's comparison with the pools of water sums it up pretty well - with the Chakra's locked like they were each pool still had water in it, but it's path was been restricted. Azula's cheap shot was essentially filling in one pool with rocks; it stops the flow of water (energy) from reaching any of the pools after it. Chi blocking would still work on a fully-realised Avatar the same way that blocking all the blood vessel's to their hand would stop them from being able to use it.
- The real question for me is why it didn't activate while she was being bloodbent by Tarrlok. Tarrlok had been seen by her past lives as a big enough threat that Aang was sending her visions, and Aang knows that (one of) the only things that can resist bloodbending is the Avatar State. Yakone was a big enough threat to require it, his (more intelligent) son isn't?
- Exactly as said. Yakone was powerful enough to bloodbend an entire room without so much as a gesture and directly said he was going to kill Aang. He warranted about five seconds of the Avatar State. Tarrlok wasn't even in the same league. Further, what Aang knows is inconsequential, as Korra's inability to enter the Avatar State and inability to speak with her previous incarnations as the Avatar is the crux of the entire show.
- As noted, with it all wrapped up for now, I think it really was just as simple as her lacking a spiritual connection as well as already being quite capable in and of herself. Aang prior his session with Guru Pathik went into the Avatar State involuntarily, generally out of anger. Being already of the most spiritual of the nations, he had no issues forming a connection at all; however he also was forced into many situations where he couldn't get by with just Airbending alone. As I see it, the Avatar State more or less picked up the slack for him until he could get by, and had Azula not shot him when she did - he could've reached full realization one element short (this is going by, realization = ability to blink in a out of the state at Will). For Korra, this wasn't necessary until the grand finale as she already has near mastery over every other element and for all intents and purposes didn't really need the State at all. Once everything had essentially hit rock bottom for her, it was then that she was able not only make a connection; I'd almost reason to say that the Avatar Spirit helped her bring out her own ability to Airbend as proof. Aang himself points this out to her, now that she finally faced something she truly could not get out of, her spirit called out for help; and in turn she became fully realized without having to have lapsed into the Avatar State unwillingly. Perhaps the Avatar Spirit has a minor degree of omniscience.
- Let's see. In the entire series, Aang unintentionally enters the Avatar State five times. Twice to save himself from drowning, and the other three times as a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against a perceived loss of someone dear to him (Gyatso, the moon spirit, and Katara). So perhaps in Korra's case, the Avatar State would have activated against her will if either she or someone dear to her was in mortal danger that she would have no way of preventing otherwise. But such situations never occur in the entire Book One! Neither Amon nor Tarrlok intend to kill either her or her followers, and simply being captured or depowered is apparently not a serious enough predicament to warrant such intervention.
Where is Katara when Korra's parents are on trial?
- Wouldn't she feel obligated to do something or at least try to prevent a civil war?
- She is an old lady with no real authority. So no, not really.
- No authority? Katara was a major participant in the Hundred Years War, wife of the Avatar, the world's greatest healer, and technically a (former) princess of the Southern Water Tribe. She should at least have some influence in the tribe.
- Judging by her absence in the flashbacks of the Gaang from Season One, she was never very politically active. She undoubtedly does have some influence on the Southern Water Tribe, but not the Northern Water Tribe. Once Unalaq took over and set up a Kangaroo Court whatever she likely couldn't do anything to help, other than heal Southerners who were injured fighting Northerners.
- Being famous is not the same as having authority. I wouldn't want Brad Pitt presiding over my trial. Being a healer is not the same as having authority. I wouldn't want...Perry Cox presiding over my trial. Being Aang's wife is not the same as having authority. I wouldn't want...Vivian Banks presiding over my trial. Being a quasi-princess of a podunk settlement that only grew to the size of a small city in the last few decades or so most certainly doesn't entitle her to any authority. Katara has literally no claim to any degree of authority, and if she does have any, it would not matter in any way under normal circumstances, far less so when it's blatantly rigged by a guy that openly despises the South.
Asami The Lord of War
- Shouldn't someone in the cadre of the people in the know be concerned that by selling mecha-tanks to the Southern Water Tribe Asami just became a "Former Reds With Rockets For Sale" style Arms Dealer?
- In this same episode, Korra is trying to make the United Force's navy her own Private Military Company. Avatar Aang she clearly is not. Why doesn't she simply unleash the avatar state at full power, which would probably do less damage and be faster than the options the heroes have considered so far is anyone guess.
- The South Pole is a big place and all of it is under siege; she can't be everywhere at once in the Avatar State, which isn't invincible and she's still inexperienced with.
- It's definitely odd that the series doesn't explore this more. Korra trying to suborn the Republic City military for her own purposes is a big NO in a democracy, and Asami happily jumping into war profiteering doesn't seem to have registered as a "Hey, wait a minute, I'm getting rich off selling Korra's tribespeople weapons". I mean, is Team Avatar supposed to be the good guys or what?
- In my head it's less of a "Asami is now an arms dealer" situation and more along the lines of a Lend Lease style action, at least in terms of implications. The difference between an arms dealer, and a legitimate businessperson is sometimes a bit hazy but I don't think that Asami's sale of arms to the Southern tribe falls in the same category as modern real world arms dealers. The Southern Tribe is a nation, and like any other nation has the right to purchase military hardware to outfit its own armed forces.
- It's a bit more complicated than that, however. Prior to season 2 finale, the southern water tribe exist as a political extension of the northern water tribe. Korra's father is only considered the de facto chief, because his power is legally nonexistent. Technically, when Unalaq move troops on the the southern water tribe, he is moving troops on his own turf. Of course Raiko and others fully realized the prodigious hypocrisy of the situation, especially since the southern tribe was originally founded as a way to get away from the conservatism of the northern tribe. However, they don't legally have a leg to stand on that would allow an attack Unalaq's troops. Point being, Asami is supplying ""rebels"" troops with weapons. But said rebels are against a government that has established diplomatic ties with the other and is considered to be legitimate by the other nations, which not only prevent for the time being those governments to act, because doing so would be an act of war, but also mean Asami is supplying enemies of the Republic (ie: if Unalaq's government is technically allied to Republic city's, then by giving weapons to the rebels, you're indirectly giving weapons to enemy of the city). Furthermore, how is Tonrak supposed to pay for that metric fuckton of mecha? Either he is that full of cash, or he is going to steal money from Unalaq's government. So that's even worse.
Korra's difficulty with airbending
- For Aang and Roku, the most difficult element to learn (earth and water, respectively) was the direct opposite of their native element (air and fire, respectively). Why, then, does Korra find airbending, rather than firebending, the most difficult to learn?
- Because her personality is the opposite of an airbender's.
- Expanding upon that previous point, every other Avatar we've seen has had a personality that fits with their native bending style. Korra, presumably due to the changing state of the world and the four nations, and her unique childhood, doesn't fit the typical waterbending archetype, instead being closer to a firebender, which is the opposite of air.
- No, Earthbending is the opposite of Airbending. Korra's problem is that she appears to be a profoundly physical person, and air is metaphysically the least physical.
- I always got that she was closer to an earthbender with her mindset, very little interest in spirituality, preference to meet the problem head on and beat it to submission... She thinks like earthbender and fights like firebender. It makes sense that if she has earthbender mindset she has problems with airbending, which philosophy goes against her mindset.
- It may (in addition to all of the above) be a nod to the diminishment of Air after the Air Nomad genocide. Destiny may have chosen an Avatar who would have a personal fight to learn Airbending and thus, symbolically, fight to bring the nearly lost art Airbending "back into the world".
Does Bolin not understand the concept of acting?
- It doesn't seem like Bolin is method acting or is lost in character since he acts like Bolin (as opposed to Nuktuk) outside of filming the movie and none of Nuktuk's mannerism carry over outside of filming. But whenever he is with Ginger he seems to think that because Nuktuk and Ginger's character are a couple it means that he and Ginger should be one too. And he also says at one point "But Nuktuk is Bolin." I know Bolin is rather dense but he's not stupid, how does he not understand that one's character is separate from who that person is?
- I think it's part Ego (being a big mover star may have convinced him that no woman could resist him), part denial and part Ginger being a very convincing actress. He probably convinced himself that Ginger's acting is coming from a real place, (Good acting doesn't really seem like acting at all and I can see someone as inexperienced in acting and just all-around naive as Bolin falling for the illusion.) and he's brushing off her off-screen behavior as playing hard-to-get or denying/repressing her own feelings for whatever no-doubt hairbrained reason he dreamed up. It may sound crazy, but Love Makes You Crazy is a trope for a reason. (Albeit to a lesser extent here.)
Did Bolin REALLY love Eska?
- He had an Anguished Declaration of Love in the finale for her just to save his and Mako's skin, and Mako, as well as viewers out there, most likely thought Bolin was just acting. But he wasn't? What the hell did Bolin love about Eska, anyway? All she did was abuse him and treated him like a servant.
- Well, as they both admitted, they were facing the end of the world. Heightened emotions and such. But beyond that, it's been clear for a while that Eska does genuinely have feelings for Bolin, she just has a really weird way of showing it (possibly because of the whole evil father thing). Maybe her feelings finally got through to him, or he thought she'd be less abusive the second time around. And considering that she decided to let him go at the end, he might have been right.
- That, or maybe it wasn't wholly about love at all. Think about it: the twins held them hostage. Mako and Bolin NEEDED to get to Korra by any means necessary, and there was just no way out of the ice. Bolin, probably knowing that there were more important things at stake, decided that lying to Eska about his feelings for her may have been the only way for the twins to release them so they could get to Korra. Plus, if he DID tell Eska that he left her because of the way she treated him, she'd probably freak out and kill him, like she almost tried to when they saved Korra's dad and the rebels. Maybe he really was acting after all. Plus, it's not implied that they'll ACTUALLY get together.
- It's outright stated in the same scene that he wasn't lying though or heavily enough implied when Mako compliments him on his acting skills. In addition he's quite happy to see Eska when she comes to save him. It's possible that it was end of the world heighten emotions for them both though but that's not a lie.
- Bolin is a teen after all, so he's still learning what he likes in a woman. Thus it probably just took a while for him to realize that he actually enjoys being objectified as Eska's boy-toy. It's more about infatuation (based on Eska's treatment of him) than love (based on Eska's personality). And at the season's beginning he found Eska attractive, so it seems that Eska is his "type" even if he hates the commitment of being around her all the time.
- I read that as Bolin lying up until the point where Eska kissed him. Because the idea that he was always fine with the way she treated him is pretty ludicrous and blatantly contradicts his behavior in the beginning of the season.
- It's also possible that he really thought she'd changed by that point (Eska does free him and Mako, and she does act a bit more mature when they talk about whether or not they'd work out). So, Bolin may have thought that they had a better chance together by then and therefore thought that if Eska was going to treat him better, then he actually would've liked her.
What happened to the spirits of the past avatars? Is it possible to create a fresh connection to Korra's past lives?
- When you think about it, it's very disturbing to consider the possibility Aang, Roku, Kyoshi, Kuruk, and especially Wan were destroyed with Raava in Ep. 13. Although Raava has re-emerged it appears those connections are gone forever. However when you look at Season 1 Korra had no connection to her past avatars until the very end and it was only after she finally managed to contact Aang that the connection was established. So when we saw the past Avatars disappear, does that refer to the connection formed at the end of last season being broken one after another? If so then it should be possible for Korra to create a new connection to her past lives provided she can find the spirits of the past Avatars. If not, then there's some nasty Fridge Horror in the scene where we saw Aang advising Tenzin. That was probably be the last time we got to see his spirit before he (and every avatar up to Wan) was gone for ever...
- It's not clear. Maybe they're gone forever in the normal human afterlife. But based on what Korra was saying, it was just the connections. One of next season's plots might be about finding them again and reforging that connection.
- The "Cycle of the Avatar" is about reincarnation, a religious belief in many civilizations and, although details vary, the main concept is the same: a spirit (or soul) begins a new life in a new body after death. The memories of the previous life are all erased, allowing the spirit to start over in a neutral state, neither good nor bad. Spirits linked woth strong bonds in one lifetime may be drawn together in another. The reason that the Avatar is able to remember all past lives is revealed to be Raava. Wan was a human, so the aforementioned rules apply to him. However, he fused his spirit/soul with Raava, the spirit of light. Raava does not get reincarnated every time the Avatar dies; instead, she follows the soul to the new body. When the new Avatar achieves a connection with her, either through meditation or by entering the Avatar state, she gives him/her the memories of his/her past lives. However, in the fight with Unavaatu, she died and was born again. Only time (and the writers) will tell if there is a way to restore her memories.
- Albeit the way reincarnation is presented in Avatar seems far from the standard. Aang's past lives seemed to exist independently of Aang and in fact could be off doing other things in other places (i.e. Avatar Kuruk is seen to still be searching for his wife in the spirit world). Season 2 of Legend of Korra placed great emphasis as well on the fact Korra had her own spirit/soul independant of the avatar.
Season 2 finale fight
- I actually find Korra ridiculously weak and loses fights where she clearly should not be losing. For example, there is actually no good reason for her losing to Unalaq since there's no evidence or statement that Raava is weaker than Vaatu. If their concept follows yinyang, then they should be equal in power. Also, Unalaq can only bend one element while Korra can bend four. Why did Korra lose again? Also, Vaatu pulled Raava out of Korra, but as I said earlier, there's no reason for Raava to be weaker than Vaatu, so why didn't Raava pull Vaatu out instead?
- Yes, Raava is weaker than Vaatu. A lot weaker. As the light weakens the darkness grows and all that. So basically it was a fight between Korra with a dash of Raava against Vaatu with a dash of Unalaq. Note also how the fight was going: Korra was winning pretty decisively except for one or two moments—until she went into the Avatar State at the wrong moment and Raava got ripped out. Vaatu had been thinking about how to win for ten thousand years; physically ripping Raava out was always his finishing move. He was just waiting for her to expose herself within range of such an attack. The rest of the fight was just stalling for time.
- Although Wan and Raava managed to neutralized Vaatu inside the tree of time, they never actually defeated him. So Vaatu was still as powerful as he was before being trapped while Raava remained in the same weakened state.
- It's not about Vaatu's strength vs. Raava's. (And neither was Korra exactly decisively winning if you consider how close she came to being crushed in ice). Korra should have had the bending skills, experience and power of all her hundreds of past lives at her disposal and there's no way that Unalaq even with Vaatu's power could have matched that. In the end, the actual fight was more like a "Wan vs Unalaq" (now that would have been a pretty matched fight) and not "Korra vs Unalaq". Logically speaking, had the fight been more like an "Aang vs Ozai" Curb-Stomp Battle, No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, (until a desperate Vaatu somehow found an opening to pull Raava out), it would have been more convincing.
- Actually, it does come down to Raava and Vaatu's strength. Unalaq was only one human, but Vaatu was explicitly the most powerful of the two spirits when he was sealed; there is no indication this (radically) changed before/during the finale. Korra was a human with Raava's considerably-weaker strength, plus all the power and skill of the numerous human Avatars (Raava being the half-spirit aspect for all of them). The power gap between Korra+Raava and Unalaq+Vaatu was practically nonexistent in this case, so it makes sense they were even imo, in all aspects until Vaatu ripped Raava out of Korra.
Fighting minor dark spirits
- How did Avatar state Korra lose against random dark spirit at beginning of the series? If the Avatar state Wan can defeat Vaatu, there's really no good reason for Korra to lose against random dark spirit.
- Because Korra had never fought dark spirits before and had no idea what she was doing. The Avatar State has always been shown to have the current Avatar piloting, even while using the powers of all past Avatars. Most Avatars never fought dark spirits, so she used tactics that would work on a physical enemy, but not intangible ones.
Korra's bending without Raava
- Can Korra bend all four elements without Raava inside her? It was made clear in Beginnings : Part 1 that Wan (or anybody for that matter) could only bend one elment at a time without Raava. When Raava is removed from Korra's body, how does she airbend when going into the Tree of Time? She clearly airbends next to Tenzin before meditating.
- Yes, she can, because she's not human anymore. When Wan fused with Raava during the Harmonic Convergence, he became a half human/half light spirit, and that is what gave him his bending abilities (which was passed down through all his reincarnations, down to Korra). As seen with his half tree friend and the hunter possessed by the Aye-Aye Spirit, humans retain these mutations even after the spirit leaves. So Korra never needed Raava to bend all four elements, she just needs her to access the Avatar State and her past lives.
- Why is Raava still so weak? Even 10,000 years of being connected to all the avatars doesn't seem to have done anything to strengthen her?
- Because Vaatu is still strong. Sealing him away didn't weaken him at all, which means Raava didn't get any stronger.
- But since Raava was travelling the world with the Avatar, trying to bring peace and understanding wherever she went, shouldn't the world have become a more peaceful place, thus giving her more power? The world certainly looks less chaotic than it did in Wan's time, so you'd think Vaatu would have less negative energy supporting him.
- With Unalaq having started a civil war and Varrick stirring the shit in order to make a quick buck, and Vaatu's very presence being Fisher King material. Not to mention Korra being an astoundingly shitty peacekeeper. There's lots of reasons for Vaatu to be stronger.
Avatar state and elemental sphere attack
- More questions. Why does the Avatar state not trigger reflexively? And why did Korra not use the extremely powerful elemental sphere attack from ATLA against Una-vaatu which would have given her some protection as well?
- The Avatar state doesn't trigger reflexively because doing so exposes Raava to danger. Exactly like what happened in the finale. As for the elemental sphere of protection, it appears that the Dark Avatar was just too strong to let her pull off a trick like that. He kept siphoning off her water and attacking her, she didn't have time.
- I meant, why not the usual involuntary control that we have seen before in ATLA Season 1 and Season 3 finales? Is it because the Dark avatar was far more on an even footing with Korra than any human opponent?
- Because the Avatar State does not trigger reflexively once it's mastered, which happens either by mastering the four elements or unlocking the chackras. Korra mastered all four elements at the end of season one so after that it wasn't going to happen.
Korra's spirit stronger than Unavaatu? Are evolved humans on par with spirits?
- How could Korra overpower the Dark Avatar at the start of the Godzilla fight? This was Unavaatu - Unalaq fused with Vaatu at full power with no Raava to maintain the power balance. And on the other side there was just Korra's own spirit with no support of Raava or hundreds of Past Avatars. And up till the point where she let her focus off the fight in an attempt to find Raava (which left her open to attack and resulted in her getting trapped), she was clearly having the upper hand, even besting Unavaatu in the beam clash and sending him flying right into a mountain AND knocking him out cold for a while! In fact it's likely she might have won if she wasn't so concerned about Raava. Now just how did she get so insanely powerful that she became stronger than the Avatar State and the all powerful spirit of Darkness fused with an insanely powerful and spiritual Unalaq?
- She unlocked all her chakras (like what Aang was supposed to do in the first series, but gave up in favor of going after Katara) and got a power boost from the Harmonic Convergence. Unalaq only used the energy of the Convergence to catalyze his transformation into the Dark Avatar, and then was drawing purely on Vaatu's (not inconsiderable) power.
- Or maybe the writers have a point to show here that humans are in no way inferior to any spirit (even a force of nature) when they have the right connections to harness their own spiritual powers and cosmic energies. In fact having access to both physical and spiritual powers, they may actually be far more capable than just spirits. Rather than depend on Raava or Vaatu to decide the fate of their world, this represents the first time a human independently determines the fate of the world.
- ...and fails, needing to be saved by Raava and Jinora ex Machina.
- Raava didn't do anything except respawn, so it still holds. Now as to just how Jinora could be stronger than the Dark Avatar...<scratch head>
- To me, it seemed far more that Jinora didn't 'overpower' Unavaatu so much as disrupt his attempt to destroy Korra's soul. Then she simply revived Raava as we saw, and that was it - as for how? Korra did just explictily draw on the cosmic power of the universe... who's to say Jinora didn't do the same general thing? She has the spiritual ability, for certain, and possibly felt her way through it by instinct. note
- "Beginnings" tell us that when a spirit merges with a human being and then departs, attributes of theirs remain with that human even afterwards - meaning Korra was still partly light-spirit even after Vaatu forced Raava out of her. That's what gave her the power to challenge Unalaq.
What does the death of Vaatu mean for the Avatar?
- In "Light in the Dark", Korra manages to defeat Unavaatu by using the spirit control technique Unalaq showed her to destroy Vaatu. However, in "Beginnings", Raava said the the two great spirits co-exist and if one of them gets destroyed, he or she will be reborn inside the other. So, eventually, some Avatar, maybe even Korra, will bring Vaatu back to life. But what does that mean? Will that Avatar be evil? Will all the Avatars until Vaatu's rebirth be more likely to commit evil acts?
- At the next Harmonic Convergence, Vaatu will be reborn out of Raava — just like how Raava was reborn out of Unavaatu in this one. Killing one of these spirits is only temporary, but if killed, they will stay dead until the next Harmonic Convergence. So the descendants of Korra's generation have ten thousand more years to spare.
- Is Harmonic Convergence really necessary in order for the "dead" spirit to be reborn? Raava leaves it pretty vague.
- No, it's not necessary, neither spirit requires the full 10, 000 years to be reborn, that was a misunderstanding made by the fans.
Asami's new airship
- That girl's company was on the verge of bankruptcy not two weeks ago. Where in the world does she have the money to waste buying a giant airship stocked with all the amenities, not to mention time enough to up and suddenly leave town and make a weeks long trip across the Earth Kingdom to stay in Ba Sing Se for an extended period?
- Given her company was bought up prior by Varrick, it seems probable she made off with a lot of Varrick's assets when he went to jail.
- Confirmed. Asami states that all of the assets went back to her after Varrick's incarceration and escape. She totally made off with it, and the publicity boost from helping the Avatar probably gave her more business.
- Imagine the headlines: "Asami Sato fought in the front lines with Avatar Korra and stopped an Eldritch Abomination that wanted to destroy the world". You can't get better publicity than that. Business is probably booming for her.
- The big reason the company was flopping was that "Future industries supports Equalists" hit their reputation hard. Having the new CEO basically be a superhero without powers really gives the PR department alot of material.
- And who's to say that after this publicity boost, the Earth Kingdom (and other places) didn't buy the designs of the airships for a lot of money?
- As was pointed out in the Fridge Brilliance page, the Earth Queen has a fleet of airships that look similar to ships that could've been manufactured by Future Industries. That's probably what happened.
- This particular explanation is Jossed in "Long Live the Queen." The airships are from the Cabbage Corp.
- The simplest explanation is that she didn't buy the airship, but rather that she, or the company already had it prior to that. The only reason we don't see it prior to this is that her companies troubles in Book 2 probably kept it grounded. But now, the money from getting control of Varrick's company plus any goodwill her involvement in saving the world from Unavaatu have probably allowed them to get it off the ground again.
Northern Water Tribe
- Why did Korra just allow the Northern Tribe to station an army at the south pole and clearly oppress the southerners when she got mad about Tarlock pulling the same stunt against non-benders in season one (which was more justified given that the equalists were made up of non benders.)
- Because it was her uncle doing it and he had a good excuse, at least in her opinion. That and he kept manipulating her.
- Yeah, that makes sense, just came off as weird given her reaction in season one.
Rushed or Carefully Planned Out?
- Out of no disrespect to what an awesome of and momentous ship this is- does Korrasami feel a bit, um, unexpectedly rushed at the end? Perhaps the show was ending a bit too soon, but it seemed like Korra and Asami were romantic rivals for the same guy and then suddenly at the end were in a relationship. They didn't even have too many scenes in private together prior to season 3 before they became an obvious couple in 4. Were there other moments in the show that can explain their gradual that might have gone unnoticed/ can further explain their relationship in another context? Were the characters always Bi to begin with or did they gradually discover their feelings for each other over the course of the show? Or is it possible they were in denial and never felt any attraction to Mako at all and simply realized they were with the wrong person? Again, no disrespect.
- Nickolodeon's Standards and Practics doesn't allow explicitly same-sex relationships to be disclosed onscreen, meaning that a) the writers were only allowed to leave the implication at the end and b) could only use subtext to further the idea without stating anything outright. There's loads of subtext between the two of them in Seasons 3 & 4, some of it obvious but much of it very subtle. Keep on the lookout for it and you'll start noticing little things like Korra absentmindedly gazing at Asami in the desert, or Asami standing directly behind her at Jinora's ceremony in a shot that otherwise includes only Korra and her parents, or Korra blushing from Asami's compliments (something only Mako made her do previously).
- According to the creators, they realized + planned out to do this by the end as early as Book 3. So all those scenes with them together, starting from their car ride together at the beginning of Book 3 is the start of it all - and it only develops when Korra feels she can talk to Asami but not Mako/Bolin after she's poisoned.
- Also Bryan Konietzko (one of the writers) describes himself as the first Korrasami shipper, before they had released any character details to the public. So even way back in season 1, while there wasn't any actual Ship Tease, there was enough friendliness between the girls to set things up for seasons 3 and 4.
- The story doesn't end with them getting married or declaring undying love for each other — it ends with them upgrading for the first time from friends to a couple. It's the beginning of the process for them, not the end. There's nothing rushed about the two of them deciding (after everything they've been through since they met about four years ago) to take that next step now and give it a try (there's no telling how long it'll last or where they'll ultimately end up — speculate away on that). What does feel rushed is how quickly they became best friends in the first episode of Season 3, after two seasons of almost no interaction. There, it looks like the writers realized they'd flunked the Bechdel Test and (rightly) felt they needed to fix it, but they didn't have enough episodes to show the two girls gradually becoming friends like they should have been showing for two seasons prior and so just started showing them as best friends out of the blue. Their progress from best friends to a couple in Seasons 3-4 isn't rushed, taken on its own, but their progress from rivals/allies to best friends off-screen between Season 2 and 3 was very rushed, so what came after (which is paced just fine on its own) seems rushed, too.
- That said, it's not like, at the end, they're just going out for coffee or something. Taking a vacation with someone is generally considered a fairly serious step in a relationship, and the way the final scene is shot and scored is clearly meant to evoke a dramatic relationship moment. Then there's the follow-up comic, which takes place immediately after and has Korra and Asami repeatedly profess how they are the most important people to each other. While Korra and Asami apparently have very strong feelings for each other by the end, next to nothing is done to build that up. If you watch the show without Shipping Goggles, it's difficult to find even a moment of Ship Tease between them before the Season 3 finale. Then comes Season 4, and beyond a few random moments, there is, again, very little done to develop their relationship (given that you can count the number of actual conversations they have on one hand). Yes, Korra writes only to Asami because she's the only one she can talk to. Except there's nothing to show why Asami is suddenly closer to Korra than anyone else. Yes, Korra blushes when Asami compliments her hair. Except she also blushes when Bolin compliments her while asking her out in Season 1. Tiny moments like those do not a relationship make. It would have been nice to see a genuine same-sex relationship in a kid's show, even if it had to be understated. However, the show doesn't do a good job of establishing that Korra and Asami are particularly close, let alone that they have romantic feelings for each other. It just tells us that they are, and that they do (if that). And that's unfortunate, because visibility of same-sex relationships in children's media is actually important. As in, important beyond making the Fan-Preferred Couple canon.
What did Bolin see in Eska?
- Putting aside simply that it's, you know, Eska, it also just seems rather inconsistent with his usual tastes in girls, having shown interests in the much more grounded and personable Korra and Opal otherwise. Plus, you know, ESKA. In addition, I've heard the common fan theory that the twins have Asperger's, which, as an Aspie myself, not only kind of makes sense, but actually just makes it more confusing as well. We REALLY don't tend to get a lot of attention from the opposite sex.
- She's hot. Or, he thought so, anyway. He's a teenage boy, that's really the only logic that was involved there. By the time he realized she had a horrible personality (which didn't take him too long), she had already decided that she liked having a boyfriend/slave.
- But then they reach the season finale, and it's all "I love you, let's face the end of the world together!" Because she was hot!?
- This is explained up in the folder "Did Bolin REALLY love Eska?" Basically: Maybe it developed into something real, or maybe it was just emotions running high.
- Part of Bolin's personality is that he's always looking for an authority figure to tell him what to do. Having grown up as an orphan on the streets, it makes sense he would seek the feeling of security that one gets from following authorities. For a long time his primary authority figure was Mako, then later on he latches onto dictatorial leaders like Varrick and Kuvira. Perhaps this also explains why he's attracted to strong, forceful girls like Korra and Eska? He may protest it, but maybe he still subconsciously enjoys being ordered around by Eska? It's only during season 4, when Bolin goes through some character growth and realizes he can be his own person and not a follower, that he's able to form a healthier, more reciprocal relationship with Opal.
Why didn't Korra give leadership of Team Avatar to Asami?
- I don't understand why Korra just didn't give leadership of Team Avatar to Asami while she recovered. To begin with, it became pretty clear the world needed a dream team of Team Avatar's unique skills to take on the world, especially more than ever due to the chaos in the Earth Kingdom, or the Red Lotus threat, considering that Team Avatar is the closest the Avatar World has to the Justice League of America or The Avengers. Besides that, it just seemed like a missed opportunity to test Asami's leadership skills, given that she's always sidelined and hardly accomplishing anything on her own onscreen. Asami could have brought Team Avatar in a new direction, she could have led them on missions to prove she is more than just Avatar Korra's "Second In Command" as well as showing she can be an accomplished hero without the Avatar. Doing so would have made a great Author's Saving Throw, especially given the reception Asami has for being sidelined and such. Plus, it just seemed like disbanding Team Avatar was done as an afterthought.
- Three reasons: 1. It's Team Avatar. It's literally just the Avatar's close friends helping her out. It's centered around the Avatar — it's not like the Justice League or the Avengers, it's more like Lois, Jimmy and Perry surrounding Superman. 2. Team Avatar didn't even really exist after season 1 anyway. 3. Korra isn't a military squad leader who's concerned with maintaining her unit. There's nothing official or formal about Team Avatar, and recovering from a crippling injury that left her depressed really doesn't put her in the "think tactically about everything" mindset.
- First of all, Korra used the name "Team Avatar" in Season 3 as if it were official by pushing Mako to come with her by telling him "he's part of Team Avatar" during one of the first episodes of that season. Bolin talked about it as if it were official in Book 2, and Asami talked about it as if it were official in Book 4. Also, wouldn't Korra being injured or depressed be her reason for giving Asami leadership? If a leader were in that same position as Korra, he'd give leadership to whoever he can trust, and thinking tactically is more Asami's thing. Korra, being injured, could just simply say the words "Asami...Team Avatar...is in your hands". Plus, knowing Asami and her loyalty, it's what she'd do to honor Korra. Don't members of Team Avatar fight, not for Korra, but rather because Korra gave them a sense of purpose and something to believe in? Mako said Korra inspired him to live and fight for others because it's the right thing to do, Bolin believes in helping the helpless, and wanted to continue doing that, and Asami has Undying Loyalty to her cause. Wouldn't their beliefs and determination have been enough to make the group stronger than any individual that makes it, including the Avatar? There's a saying that the whole of a team is greater than the sum of its parts.
- It's four teenagers who tried to fight crime together, not an elite paramilitary group. Them calling it "Team Avatar" doesn't make it any official thing, any more than a bunch of kids calling themselves the Hole in the Chalk Gang makes them an official entity of any kind. After Season 1, they were all doing their own thing. Mako was a cop, Bolin stuck to the Probending then was a movie star, and Asami had her company to run. They weren't some cohesive unit that was absolutely essential. You're really making a bigger deal out of "Team Avatar" than it actually was. Team Avatar simply did not matter in the way you seem to think it did. At that point, "leadership" of an extremely loose group that didn't really exist anymore and was centered around a single person who wasn't around at all didn't matter.
- A group of teenagers fighting crime together? Sounds like Teen Titans to me. Then the better question is why didn't it matter? I mean Zuko stepped up and took leadership of Aang's Team Avatar, and they tried to fight the Fire Lord without Aang. Aang came back, but at least they were willing to try. In Legend of Korra after Book 2, Korra's Team Avatar still remained a team. From a writing perspective, why didn't Asami take leadership of Team Avatar and how would making Team Avatar staying together minus Korra look? Like I said earlier, didn't Korra give each of them something to believe in that they each reflected on in the final book?
- Aang's situation was completely different. There was a huge problem that needed to be solved right then and there whether the Avatar was around or not. When Korra's gone after Book 3, there isn't, and there's really nothing that Asami, Bolin, and Mako could have done as a "team" to solve the issues that are there. The two situations are just not comparable. From a writing perspective: The show is about the Avatar. Listen to anyone who isn't on the team — they don't ask for "Team Avatar" to solve a problem, they call for the Avatar to solve it, and her friends tag along. "Team Avatar," if it has any importance as being a coherent unit, is pretty much just important to those four people — and they're four adults, with other responsibilities and lives that are moving apart from one another, which is exactly how the real world works. Asami has her company, which clearly demands a lot of her time and attention. Mako has his police work, a very demanding profession. Bolin is with Kuvira and doing the work he thinks is right. They can't be a "team" without each of them giving up things that are just plain more important than calling themselves "Team Avatar (minus the Avatar)."
- Actually, there were things Asami, Mako, and Bolin could have done as a team—hunt down the rest of the Red Lotus, or go to various villages to curb crime that resulted from the anarchy. In the series, things like the One-Hour Work Week trope is almost always in effect, as it is in most fiction. I mean, just like Asami, Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark had companies to run yet they still have time to be with their respective teams. Plus, doesn't the structure of the story send a Broken Aesop about teamwork? It feels like they don't give others a chance to be heroes and let Korra hog the spotlight. A major lesson Korra's been trying to learn is that it's not always about her, and the fact that the writers don't make people call for "Team Avatar" kinda sends a negative implication that Korra's companions are nothing but mere sidekicks, and from what we've seen, they're more than that. Mako and Bolin don't just follow the Avatar, they follow her example, and they've both EXPLICITLY stated in Book 4 that they fight for others because it's the right thing to do. One of the messages the writers frequently give out is that you don't have to be the Avatar, or a bender, to be a hero. Doesn't not giving the other members a chance defeat that message?
- The Red Lotus apparently weren't a problem. Three people aren't going to do jack that the whole new nation of Airbenders isn't already doing. One-Hour Work Week is clearly not in evidence in this series, as we're shown directly that Mako's time with the police keeps him busy — to the point he's sleeping in his office at times and has to specifically get time off to go to the South Pole in Book 2 — and Asami has to rebuild her company more or less by herself. A lot of Asami's screen time shows her directly doing that. And Mako and Bolin do fight for others — as a cop and as one of Kuvira's people, albeit Bolin realizes he's misguided, he's trying. They had plenty of chance, and did, become their own people when Korra was away. Again, these are adults with lives and responsibilities other than being Korra's partners, especially when Korra isn't there. And that is really what "Team Avatar" is.
One of the messages the writers frequently give out is that you don't have to be the Avatar, or a bender, to be a hero. Doesn't not giving the other members a chance defeat that message? What makes you think they didn't have a chance? They had plenty of chances to be heroes, and they were. They just didn't need to hang onto the name of the Avatar to do it. They're doing their own things, bettering the world in their own way. The series is about change, moving on and growing up, which is exactly what all three of them did.
- First of all, Mako was never shown asking for time off. That's how the trope works. He only slept at his office because Vaatu destroyed his apartment. Plus, Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark have companies to run, and yet they still have plenty of time to be part of their respective teams, so why can't it be done the same way for Asami?
But, let's go back one of the first points I made when I asked this question. What is known is that many people complained that Asami was sidelined to the point it made her look almost insignificant, and to the point she was kept out of most of the action. Wouldn't letting her step up as team leader be one way to rectify said complaints?
- Unless I'm mistaken, Mako mentions having time off, or the chief gives it to him, before they go to the South Pole. He's shown sleeping in his office in Season 2, before Vaatu even shows up. Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark have extremely big, established companies that were up and running more or less on their own before they ever took over, while Asami has to rebuild it after Hiroshi tarnished the company's name by associating with a terrorist, and Asami is directly shown doing just this. Remember the reason she went to Varrick? So he would invest in her company. Remember the reason she gets involved in the Water Tribe civil war? To make money for her company. Remember the reason that she teams up with Mako in Season 2? To try and save her company. Taking care of her company is a huge part of the character. Again, something more important to her than leading a gang of three people who, themselves, have other things to do.
They don't write the whole series just to "rectify complaints." They write the series to tell their story, not to try and satisfy every individual viewpoint to do a plot point that does not make sense for the character.
- Actually, it might not be a stretch to say that leading a team of heroes is a part of Asami's character. If anything, one of Asami's strengths is leadership, and in Book 3 while Korra was meditating, Asami would assume leadership while protecting Korra. She also exhibited good leadership while preparing the hummingbird suits against Kuvira. Additionally, I've seen lots of stories and saw lots of shows with heroes and said stories/shows have all asserted that nothing is more important than fighting for truth and justice. The Avatar franchise has always been about fighting for truth and justice. It's pretty much the natural instinct and progression of taking up the sword—once heroes come together (without expecting it to be an ongoing thing), they become world renowned heroes. Once they earn that renown, it makes them realize they carry a huge responsibility they cannot turn back from. Why? Because it feels good. Sure, these people may have lives, but their renown means that "heroing" is a new obligation they have to adapt to their lives. To abandon heroing would be a shirk of your responsibility to truth and justice, and even Captain America or Superman know that.
Could the Avatar go rogue?
- Sure, people have been shown to worry about benders going rogue, but rogue benders aren't anything unusual with criminals and such. That said, why aren't people worried about the Avatar going rogue? I mean, you can't really blame someone for questioning the wisdom of letting an immature child who wields power that can allow her to do anything from creating a skyscraper sized version of herself, to leveling entire cities and creating/destroying landmasses. With Korra, who was stated to lack restraint and is quite immature and unpredictable, people would have the right to be concerned. But is it possible for the Avatar to go rogue?
- Well, it depends on what you mean by 'going rogue.' Could the Avatar do something the governments don't like? Yes, in fact, Korra and Aang spend most of their series doing exactly that. If you mean is it possible for the Avatar to become completely evil, then probably not, since the Avatar is the reincarnation of thousands of people before her on the side of light. And even without those, Korra is still the reincarnation of the Great Spirit of Light, so the Avatar probably will not go rogue in that sense.
- I'm talking more like the same kind of fear of Superman turning against the people. Like, say going Knight Templar.
- Avatar Yangchen sounds like the closest candidate. Despite hailing from the pacifistic Air noamds, she saw it as her duty to put aside her own people's beliefs in order to maintain order in the world. Supposedly, the world was at near-total peace during her time as Avatar due to her extreme measures.
- When Bolin is captured by the Equalists along with Iroh and Asami, he tells them that he doesn't know how to metalbend. However, during the search for Hiroshi in "The Aftermath", he bends a pillar up from a metal floor in order to knock out a police officer. How did he do that if he can't metalbend?
- Because the floor's not made of metal, aside from the door to the secret tunnel. It's either stone or concrete, both of which Bolin is capable of bending.