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Recap / The Legend Of Korra S 2 E 8 Beginnings Part 2

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We are bonded forever.

Korra, still submerged in the subterranean pool of spirit water, became the topic of discussion as one of the Fire Sages question if she should be pulled up, to which the Shaman responded that she is connecting with her deepest Avatar memories and that she must confront her own past. Korra returned her attention to Wan's story, where he was debating with Raava about humans' interference with spirit matters.

Later, Wan discovered some people with the ability to airbend, and was thrilled to see other humans for the first time in two years. Frightened, the airbenders fled and Wan tried to follow them until he approached a cliff which he could not traverse. He noticed one airbender running toward him, but was surprised when he saw the nomad floating towards a lion turtle that was floating in the air. Wan eventually made his way onto the lion turtle and introduced himself to the Nomads. Vaatu gained control the spirits on the island and began to terrorize the inhabitants, before revealing his presence, which the airbenders questioned due to the absence of Raava. Wan tried to fight off the spirits with firebending, when Raava arrived. After gloating how he would destroy Raava, Vaatu fled with the dark spirits. Confused, the people living atop the air lion turtle asked why the spirits attacked. Wan explained himself and resolved to beat Vaatu by asking the lion turtle to grant him the power of air. Initially, the lion turtle declined but Wan was determined to undo the damage he had done. The lion turtle agreed to grant Raava the ability, who would pass it to Wan when he was ready.


Raava warned Wan that every time Vaatu gained power, her strength waned, and she goes on to say that in one year, the Harmonic Convergence will occur and Vaatu will destroy everything around them. During the next year, Raava helps Wan master firebending and airbending as well as water and earthbending. Near the end of the year, Wan and Raava found a ravaged section of forest; it was discovered that Wan's friends had left their city to create their own but were being attacked by spirits. Wan recognized several of the spirits from the oasis but they were soon corrupted by Vaatu, forcing him to fight them off with Raava. He ultimately fails in the attempt, and all the humans are wiped out by Vaatu's forces.

Raava, in a severely weakened state, asked Wan to travel to the southern portal for the convergence. In the final battle with Vaatu, Wan is severely beaten despite his bending abilities and fusing with Raava. Though her presence puts a great strain on his body, Wan refuses to give up. As the convergence begins, Wan, in a desperate gamble, touches the southern portal, absorbing the energy, permanently merging himself and Raava into one entity, creating the Avatar Spirit. After beating back Vaatu and imprisoning him with all four elements inside a tree, Wan makes it his mission to bring peace to the world while acting as the bridge between spirits and humans to avoid another disaster. To do so, he has all of the spirits leave the material world, and return to the spirit world, at which point he closes the spirit portal to ensure no human would be able to physically enter the Spirit World and free Vaatu.


Many years later, an elderly Wan, seconds away from death, is seen laying amidst a war-torn battlefield. He laments that despite all his best efforts, chaos and destruction still exist in the world even with Vaatu locked away. Raava tells him that she will always be with him for all his lifetimes. Wan then passes away and the Avatar cycle begins.

After this, Korra awakens with her memory intact and the elderly woman asks her who she is. Korra replies that she is the Avatar and knows what must be done. The head sage takes Korra outside to a herd of sky bison that were saved after the Hundred Year War. Korra is gifted one and flies back towards the South Pole with the knowledge that Harmonic Convergence will occur in only a few weeks.


  • The Atoner: Wan spent the rest of his life trying to make up for freeing Vaatu and creating wide-scale conflict between humans (and the different human factions) and spirits.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Vaatu boasts that no human can defeat him several times during the battle, and quite awesomely too.
    Vaatu: I lived ten thousand lifetimes before the first of your kind crawled out of the mud! It was I who broke through the divide that separated the plane of spirits from the material world! To hate me is to give me breath. To fight me is to give me strength. Now prepare to face oblivion!
    • Wan gets one as well.
    Wan: Haven't you heard the legends? I'm not a regular human anymore.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Wan breaths his last breath on an unknown battlefield. As Raava leaves him in that breath, she tells him that she will always be with him, and they'll keep fighting. When the screen fades to white, a baby is heard crying, symbolizing that the Avatar cycle has begun and the second Avatar has been born.
  • Black Comedy: When Wan happens upon the airbenders and they see him firebending, the first thing they do is run for it.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: It is implied Vaatu's corruption is this to spirits. When the spirits, led by the Aye-Aye spirit, confront the firebenders destroying their forest, they are initially fine, if angry. Moments later all spirits become corrupted with Wan stepping in to try to stop the fighting. For a moment, the Aye-Aye spirit recovers from the corruption and asks what happened, implying he was not aware of his actions while a dark spirit.
  • Call-Forward:
    • The people who live on the Air Lion Turtle have tattoos similar, though not completely the same, as those belonging to the Air Nomads.
    • On the battlefield where Wan passes, there are some of the discs used by Earth Kingdom warriors during the previous series. The season two artbook says this is intended to be the same battlefield Zuko passed through in Avatar: The Last Airbender "Zuko Alone".
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Averted. The problem is with both the humans and the spirits. When they conflict, Wan and Raava attack them both to make them stop. Then there's the fact that Wan definitely argues with Vaatu.
  • The Corruption: Dark spirits are created from ordinary spirits tainted by Vaatu.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Humans with fire bending versus a horde of dark spirits. Vaatu comments to Wan the humans had been destroyed, off-screen.
  • Dawn of an Era: Wan ushered in the age of bending, in addition to putting an end to a world filled with dangerous spirits where humans had to live on cities sheltered by lion turtles.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Wan eventually becomes the first Avatar and defeats Vaatu. It's justified because he's merged with Vaatu's opposite and then gained a further boost from the Harmonic Convergence.
  • Doomed by Canon: While it was a given that Wan was eventually going to die given his status as the first Avatar, it's still a gut punch that, given the state of how the world was even when Kyoshi and Roku were alive, that Wan was going to fail to maintain balance.
  • Evil Gloating: Vaatu doesn't skimp on it, that's for sure.
  • Fairy Companion: Raava becomes this for Wan by traveling with him and aiding his training.
  • Fusion Dance: Wan and Raava eventually fuse together permanently, becoming the first Avatar.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Aye-Aye calls Wan's friends fire-tossers. A tosser is British slang similar to the word bastard.
  • Heaven Above: The end of the episode sees the god-spirit Raava leave the mouth and fly into the sky upon the death of her first incarnation, Avatar Wan. Since she's going to the body of her next incarnation, you'd think she'd fly left or right into going straight up, but we gotta get across divinity somehow.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: The world was far from being in balance when Wan died tragically. However, somewhere among those who would be the Air Nation eventually, a child would be born who would continue what Wan started.
  • In Harmony with Nature: Unsurprisingly, the ancient Airbenders are shown to get along with spirits just fine, and plenty live on the lion turtle with them.
  • Kick the Dog: After Wan fails to stop his spirit friends from fighting his human friends and brother, Vaatu shows up just to tell him that the humans all died in the battle.
  • Lamarck Was Right: Now that the Lion Turtles have stopped giving people bending, it seems as if it has become genetic.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • For Wan, it was inspiring people not to accept things as they are, he's started a cycle of conflict between humans who decide to use violence to change things. Before, the turtles kept them protected and isolated.
    • For Korra it was opening the spirit portal. Turns out Wan sealed them for a good reason.
  • Powers as Programs: Due to the way elemental powers works, Wan is incapable of wielding more than one at a time, instead having to swap them out with Raava's help as necessary. It's only when he fuses with her that he gains the power to wield all four at once, and he gets the Avatar State once their fusion is made permanent.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Vaatu is sealed in a tree in the spirit realm, and in turn Wan sealed the portals at the poles to keep humans from ever freeing him.
  • Theme Music Powerup: The Avatar's leitmotif returns when Wan enters the Avatar State, and defeats Vaatu.
  • The Reveal: The Portals were closed by Wan, in order to create balance in the world and make sure no one could reach Vaatu's jail and should have remained shut.
  • The Time of Myths: The story takes place in a long time, when humans are hiding of the spirits and live in the cities of the giant lion-turtles, and the wilderness is dominated by the spirits.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Wan trains himself to master all four elements, within a year, and gains the ability to stand against god-level spirits. He also becomes a stronger person in general.
  • Tragic Hero: In the end, Wan, despite wanting peace and unity for the world, couldn't prevent war and violence. He died on some random battlefield, believing his mission a failure. However, his death began the Avatar Cycle.
  • Tree Buchet: Wan uses one to get to the air lion turtle.
  • When the Planets Align: This happens during the Harmonic Convergence (when Raava and Vaatu battle for the fate of the world).


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