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    In General 
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Southern Water Tribe borrows from various Polynesian and Native American cultures, specifically the Inuit culture, while the architecture of the Northern Water Tribe capital also adds a heavy dose of Chinese and bits of Nordic influence.
  • Foil:
    • The Northern Tribe is more of a city, with a more structured outlook on life and has more waterbending tutors available, due to not being as involved in the war.
    • The Southern Tribe is more of a hut village, has a more loose outlook on life and has lost more people to the war by the start of the series.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: There are elements of this existing in the series between members of the Northern and Southern Water Tribes where Northerners view the Southerners to be low-class slobs and peasants while the Southerners view the Northerners as elitist snobs and oppressive aristocrats. This boils into a civil war between the two tribes in the Legend of Korra storyline.

Southern Water Tribe

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Characters Avatar The Last Airbender Southern Water Tribe

Northern Water Tribe

    Princess Yue 

Voiced by: Johanna Braddy (original), Ximena Marchant and Keyros Guillén (Latin American Spanish)

"I wish we could just be friends. But I like you too much, and it's too confusing to be around you. I'm marrying someone else."

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kind_yue.png

Princess of the Northern Water Tribe, Yue was born a sickly baby. In an effort to cure her, her father prayed to the Moon and Ocean Spirits for her health, and the Moon Spirit obliged, giving her a part of its life. Years later, she fell in love with Sokka, but felt conflicted over it due to her Arranged Marriage with another Water tribe warrior. When Zhao killed the Moon Spirit, Yue used the life energies the Moon Spirit used to heal her to bring back the moon, losing her life in the process. She now acts as the new Moon Spirit and occasional Spirit Advisor to Aang.


  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: The Moon Spirit gave some of its power to Yue to save her when she was born. On her sixteenth birthday, Zhao kills the Moon Spirit, forcing Yue to sacrifice her life to restore balance.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Well, white hair anyway.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Yue later gives the moon spirit's power back to become the moon spirit after Tui is killed.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: She's referred to as a princess, even though her father's rank is Chief.
  • The Fettered: Yue is very concerned with what she perceives is her duty.
  • First Love: Sokka's.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Her primary outfit has a lot of purple.
  • The Gwen Stacy: After her Heroic Sacrifice, she becomes this to Sokka.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrifices her life to restore the Moon Spirit after Zhao kills it.
  • The Ingenue: Her sweet and kind disposition is her defining trait.
  • Laugh of Love: She tends to laugh when she's with Sokka (and they eventually kiss), but not with her betrothed.
  • The Lost Lenore: For Sokka.
  • Lunacy: The moon spirit Tui gave part of her power to heal Yue when she was going to die.
  • Making a Splash: She becomes a waterbender after she died, as shown in "The Awakening".
  • Meaningful Name: "Yue" means "moon" in Mandarin Chinese and "tragic accident" in Japanese. It's traditionally used as a name for infants that are expected to die.
  • Mystical White Hair: Her hair color is a plot point. She was actually born (or rather still-born) with dark hair like everyone else in the water-tribe (and pretty much everyone in the four nations). When the moon-spirit saved her infant life, her hair turned pure white and remained that way all her life.
  • No Body Left Behind: Her body faded away after sacrificing herself.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Yue falls for Sokka because he is shown loving her for who she is and genuinely wanting to make her happy, in contrast to her fiance (who brags about the "perks" that come with marrying the princess, prompting Sokka to call him "a jerk with no soul").
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Sokka.
  • Temporary Love Interest: To Sokka.
  • Uptown Girl: A princess who falls in love with a commoner of the Southern Water Tribe. Technically Sokka has the same position as Yue, the Chief's eldest child and heir, but the Southern Tribe is so destitute that he's basically a peasant.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Appeared in a whooping two episodes before she died, and hasn't reappeared since then outside from visions in "The Swamp" and "The Awakening".
  • Winter Royal Lady: Downplayed; she manages to fill a lot of the trappings of the trope, but all the "Winter" parts are basically portrayed as coincidental - she's treated as a relatively normal princess than an exotically mystical one (even if she does have some mysticism in her story).
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: She's willing to do what is best for the Water Tribe, even if it means marrying a man she doesn't love or making a Heroic Sacrifice to resurrect the moon spirit.

    Master Pakku 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pakku.jpg
Voiced by: Victor Brandt (original), Marco Antonio Espina (Latin American Spanish)

"You want to learn to fight so bad? Study closely!"

One of the greatest Waterbenders in the world, and well aware of it, Pakku is a Waterbending teacher from the Northern Water Tribe. In his youth, he was engaged to a woman named Kanna. Though he loved Kanna, she was put off by his arrogance and fled to the South Pole. Since then, Pakku has been bitter towards women in general, believing that female Waterbenders should stick with healing. Naturally, he came into conflict with Katara. While Pakku was ten times the bender Katara was at the time, Katara "won" by unknowingly revealing that Kanna was her grandmother. Confronted with what could have been if he had not been so arrogant in his youth, Pakku changed his mind enough to give some Waterbending lessons to Katara and Aang. Also a member of the White Lotus.


  • Arranged Marriage: With Kanna in the past. While he did love her, she didn't (or rather, she valued her desire to make her own decisions more than her affection for him) and ran away.
  • Badass Beard: One of the most impressive in the series. Being pure white, it makes him look older, which only serves to make his actual badassery seem all the more impressive.
  • Character Development: He goes from being a Straw Misogynist to Katara's instructor within two episodes. He even states that Katara has become one of his best students in years.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He's one of the benders in the opening sequence for the show and he's also the first of them. This makes him the first character ever seen on the show, despite not actually being a part of the show until near the end of the first season.
  • Cool Old Guy: One of, if not THE, strongest Waterbenders alive and not afraid to show it off. Also became literal when he married Sokka and Katara's grandmother.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    Katara: I didn't travel across the entire world so you could tell me "no"!
    Pakku: No.
  • December–December Romance: With Kanna. While they were engaged when they were young they didn't marry until they were old.
  • Foil: To Iroh. Both elderly master of their respective art, both have a strong (but ultimately not absolute) commitment to tradition, however, while Iroh forgives Zuko's every misstep, Pakku forces Katara to earn his respect. Iroh's Nice Guy contrasts Pakku's Jerk with a Heart of Gold almost as neatly as fire contrasts water.
  • An Ice Person: As a waterbender, he can turn water into ice and vice versa.
  • In the Back: Katara attacks him from behind when he refuses to duel her and tries to leave.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a jerkass, but is not unwilling to admit he is wrong and change his mind accordingly.
  • Making a Splash: Waterbending master.
  • Noble Bigot: Courtesy of Deliberate Values Dissonance, as much of Northern Water Tribe culture follows the same paths. He refuses to teach waterbending to females, as in the Northern Water Tribe, female water benders are healers only.
  • Straw Misogynist: Comes off at this at first, before his Freudian Excuse is revealed - Katara and Sokka's grandmother was the love of his life and supposed to marry him via an arranged marriage, before she just upped and left one day, without warning (it was because of the cultural Stay in the Kitchen attitude, as it happens). While it doesn't exactly excuse him, something like that is bound to sour your outlook on life in general.

     Hahn 

Hahn was Yue's fiance. During the Siege of the North, he led a group of Northern Water Tribe soldiers infiltrating the Fire Nation fleet.

  • Disney Villain Death: Thrown off a Fire Nation ship's bridge by Zhao.
  • Epic Fail: His assassination attempt on Zhao, which consists of revealing his presence (while wearing an outdated uniform), not getting Zhao's name right (calling him Admiral Choi), and charging at Zhao with a spear. It's so bad, Zhao doesn't resort to firebending to kill him.
  • Glory Hound: Hahn did not want to be denied the glory of assassinating Admiral Zhao, that he recklessly charges against Zhao, only to get pushed into the sea.
  • The Infiltration: His task during the Siege of the North is to infiltrate the Fire Nation fleet.
  • Jerkass: He's an incompetant Glory Hound who is only interested in Yue for the political perks.
  • The Rival: To Sokka over Yue. Hahn is betrothed to Yue, but Sokka has her heart.
  • Upper-Class Twit: He insults Sokka because he is from the Southern Water Tribe, stating that Sokka wouldn't understand the "political complexities" of the Northern Water Tribe; said complexity is marrying Yue for political reasons. His feud with Sokka begins when Sokka notes the discrepancies with current and past Fire Nation Navy uniforms. Hahn also can't be trusted to learn the Fire Nation admiral's name: Zhao.

     Malina and Maliq 

Both of them

  • Brother-Sister Team: Malina and Maliq are siblings who are leading the North's efforts to rebuild the South.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: When their true motives are revealed at the festival Malina tries to calm the villagers by owning up to it and claiming she changed her mind; Maliq on the other hand has a bit of a freak out and rants that the Southerners are too primitive while Malina desperately tries to get him to shut up.
  • Mistaken for Romance: Sokka mistakenly assumes that Malina and Maliq are married. They're actually siblings, and Malina seems to be in love with Hakoda.
  • White Man's Burden: The North originally wanted to colonize the South for their oil reserves. Ostensible to help the South recover, because the North believes the South can't handle becoming a worldwide economic power yet. Malina rejected these ideas after falling in love with Hakoda, Maliq didn't.

Malina

  • Heroic Sacrifice: Thanks to Gilak last desperate attempt to kill her, she, Hakoda, and Aang almost end up following him down the mountain, but Malina decides Aang and Hakoda are more important so after telling him she loves him Malina lets go of Hakoda's hand to fall to her death, luckily though Katara saved her instead.
  • Love Redeems: While we don't see it, she herself says she wasn't much better then her brother when she first came to the southern tribe, but her relationship with Hakoda made her change her way of thinking about the south.
  • Making a Splash: She is a waterbender but not very skilled in combat as she mostly uses it to help with construction.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Hakoda himself is in love with her. While Sokka is mostly okay with it, Katara can barely stand the woman, it's not until Malina almost sacrifices herself for Hakoda that she is even willing to allow a begrudging acceptance of her fathers new girlfriend.

Maliq

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Downplayed at first, but Maliq's affability tends to crack when things don't go the way he wants. When Katara and Sokka fail to recover his briefcase or capture the thieves, he gets angry, and condescendingly remarks about how the South's law enforcement is so lax compared to the North, which wouldn't have allowed the criminals to escape. Gilak also suggests that he and Malina have something sinister planned - and he's over half-right. There's a ridiculous amount of oil in the South, and Maliq and Malina want to nationalize it. Malina just changed her mind after meeting Hakoda.
  • Call-Forward: Like the Equalists, he believes that technology is needed to put benders and non-benders on even footing, which is what makes him and Sokka get along at first.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Though he does, barely, but maybe telling an entire army of angry soldiers as well as every southerner in ear shot that they are uncivilised scum who deserve to be taken advantage of isn't the best move.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: When Katara defends him from Gilak's brutes, Maliq says that he knew she "wasn't one of them". Malina tells him to shut up.
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    Unalaq 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/unalaq_9534.png
"I have spent my life studying spirits and learning their ways. All of this knowledge is lost in the South. But I could teach you everything I know."
Voiced by: Adrian LaTourelle

Korra's uncle and the chieftain of the Northern Water Tribe. He serves as her spiritual mentor early on in Book 2, before his less than noble intentions come into the light and drive a wedge between them.


  • Abusive Parents: He's not physically abusive, but he's definitely neglectful and emotionally abusive. When Desna was injured during their joint attempt to open the northern spirit portal, Unalaq ignored his plight and pressed on.
  • Always Second Best: His brother was like this to him. He was oldest and next in line to become chief, so to subvert this Unalaq got him banished. But during his banishment, Tonraq sired Korra, the Avatar, double subverting it.
  • Ambition Is Evil: It's made clear that Unalaq cares for power beyond all else except his goal of bringing back the spirits and desires to gain more for himself no matter the cost. He also can't stand the idea of someone having power that he doesn't which is the main reason he hates his brother, who was to become chief of the North Pole and later fathered the Avatar, and is implied to be one reason why he merged with Vaatu.
  • The Anti-Christ: He acts as Vaatu's herald and merges with him to become the new Dark Avatar, the equal and opposite to the Avatarverse's Messianic Archetype.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: After fusing with Vaatu and destroying Raava, the two transform into a massive humanoid version of Vaatu's spirit form.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He's no slouch in combat, easily besting his brother one-on-one and later holding his own against Mako and Bolin.
  • Ax-Crazy: He takes a savage joy in destroying Raava.
  • Badass Preacher: He's the Avatar-verse equivalent of a high priest and a very skilled waterbender.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Because Korra renounced the role of the Avatar to act as a bridge between humans and spirits by choosing to leave the spirit portals open, he technically accomplished his goal of intermingling humans and spirits.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: He's a deconstruction stating why this philosophy is not a good thing. He plans to release Vaatu and bring human-spirit balance to the world on his terms. Secondly, he becomes a Dark Avatar in contrast to the previous Light Avatar who has existed without an evil opposite for thousands of years. Thirdly, Vaatu's Evil Plan will create a balance of nothing by destroying everything.
  • Bait the Dog: He takes Korra's advice and agrees to let the rebels who just tried to kill him have a fair trial. In his very next scene, he arrests Korra's parents. And the trial turned out to be rigged anyway. Hell, this could be considered his whole character arc.
  • Big Bad: At first he appeared to be the main villain of Book 2, seeking to conquer both of the Water Tribes and open the Spirit Portals.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Unalaq wanted to do more than just that and he was not the only one; he is technically in service to Vaatu, and is behind the Dark Spirit attacks. Furthermore, the Water Tribe Civil War was but a distraction. All of this was leading up to becoming the new Dark Avatar through a fusion with Vaatu.
  • Big Little Brother: Looking at Tonraq and Unalaq, you wouldn't peg Tonraq as the older brother. The difference is made more apparent by flashbacks, where Tonraq looks almost identical to his present-day self, while Unalaq looks much more youthful.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: After the reveal of his true nature in "Civil Wars", Part 2", and Varrick was the only one who caught on. Though even then it isn't until "The Guide" and "A New Spiritual Age" that the full extent of his evil is revealed (before he just came across as a jerk. After "A New Spiritual Age" it's pretty clear the guys pure evil.)
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Korra realizes he's just power-hungry and spiteful once she learns that he deliberately rigged her father's trial and orchestrated his banishment from the Northern Water Tribe.
    • His children eventually let go of their devotion to him when it becomes clear that he doesn't care for them at all. In the end, they admit to Korra they hold no grudge for her defeating him and that they won't miss him.
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain to Tonraq's Abel, as he intentionally discredits and screws over his brother at every turn.
  • The Cameo: During Korra's Mushroom Samba in the Book 3 finale, she witnesses Ghazan's head twist around 360 degrees and turn into Unalaq's. He mocks her plight:
    "The time of the Avatar is over. Give up."
  • Chest Blaster: In his One-Winged Angel form, Vaatu's Eye Beams are fired from his chest.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: His only loyalty is ultimately to himself, or rather to Vaatu whom he doesn't betray. He secretly betrayed Tonraq in order to become chief, hid his involvement with the Red Lotus after they failed to kidnap four-year-old Korra and even worked with his enemies, the White Lotus to imprison P'Li, and in addition to screwing over his brother a second time, abused Korra's trust while using her to further his own ends.
  • Classic Villain: Shows signs of Ambition, Pride, and Envy. Ultimately somewhat zig zagged, however, since he consistently remains a Knight Templar, though his projects of uniting with Vaatu do invoke classical villainous traits of Satanism.
  • The Corrupter: Within the spirit world, his presence is enough to turn normal spirits dark.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He delivers one to Tonraq. Tonraq puts up a terrific fight but Unalaq defeats him with barely any effort.
  • Dark Is Evil: A variant of his healing technique, characterized by purple instead of yellow/gold, allows him to corrupt (in the case of spirits) or destroy whoever mortal he uses it on, as he attempted to do on Jinora and Korra.
  • Dark Messiah: Even more so than Amon—his ambition is to become the new "Dark Avatar" and he is willing to sacrifice anybody, even his own children, to do this.
  • Dark Shepherd: He'll bring unity whether his flocks want it or not. To this end, he set Tonraq up to destroy the spirit forest in the North so he would be banished and Unalaq would be first in line, and worked to free Vaatu, the universe's equivalent of Satan, so they could fuse and become the equivalent of the Anti-Christ.
  • Deader Than Dead: Both he and Vaatu were purified by Korra and turned into nothingness. While Vaatu will be reborn, it seems unlikely Unalaq will be joining him.
  • Death by Irony: He's beaten (along with Vaatu) when Korra uses his own spirt pacification technique against him. His previous advice to Korra to "find the light in the dark" is also echoed when Korra meditates in the Tree of Time to connect to the cosmic energy of the universe.
  • The Dragon: To Vaatu prior to their merging, if they do not count as a Big Bad Duumvirate. The reveal that he was serving a bigger evil did not make him any less dangerous.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Although Vaatu was more powerful than him, Vaatu couldn't do much while being trapped, so Unalaq served as this until Vaatu was freed. After Vaatu was released and they merged as one being, Unalaq commanded most of Vaatu's power even though their personalities coexisted at the same time.
  • Driven by Envy: Korra speculates that the real reason why he arranged his brother's banishment is because he envied his brother's position. She also suggests that his desire to train her stems from further envy that Tonraq sired the Avatar.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: He enjoys his merger with Vaatu, since it gives him so much power.
  • Evil Counterpart: By fusing with Vaatu, he becomes the Dark Avatar.
  • Evil Former Friend: Amusingly enough, it's hinted that he's considered this by Zaheer, who was his comrade in the Red Lotus when they were both teenagers. In season three, he considers Unalaq a traitor who perverted their cause for his own selfish goals.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Invoked by Tonraq, but averted; despite many warnings that Vaatu is too powerful to be trusted, their arrangement ultimately goes exactly as planned.
  • Evil Is Petty: While Unalaq has higher goals, he still manages to go out of his way to ruin his brother's life just out of envy and spite. He framed him despite knowing full well that Varrick was the one who masterminded the assassination/kidnapping attempt.
  • Evil Mentor: To Korra, briefly, before she realized he was evil and called him on it.
  • The Evil Prince: Arranged his brother's banishment so he would be next in line as Chieftain. And that's just step one.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Strayed from the Red Lotus' ideals and betrayed their mission. The Red Lotus just wanted spirits and humans to exist without laws and boundaries, but Unalaq wanted to take it a step further and enslave humanity.
  • Evil Uncle: He set his brother up to be banished so he could become chief, uses Korra's trust in him to manipulate her into furthering his goals, and ultimately plans to fuse with Vaatu and become the Dark Avatar.
  • Exact Words: Unalaq tells Korra that it was her father's and Tenzin's decision to keep her secluded in the White Lotus Compound. Korra even chewed them out, especially her father on it. It turns out Unalaq wasn't lying, but that was only half the truth; they did so in reaction to the Red Lotus trying to kidnap her when she was four. Unalaq was the one that suggested the idea.
  • Expy:
    • He has many similarities with Fire Lord Sozin. Whereas Sozin tried to forcibly spread technology and industrial advances to the other nations of the world, Unalaq is trying to return to the old ways and spiritual roots to the Southern Water Tribe... by landing his army in his brother's city. He is also similar to Sozin in trying to manipulate the Avatar to his own profit and/or their own nation above all others, or forcing to doing it.
    • Eventually he becomes a straight expy of Fire Lord Ozai. He tries destroy the entire world in a misguided attempt to usher in a "new age," proclaims himself the Dark Avatar (like Ozai proclaims himself the Phoenix King) and confronts the Avatar in a cosmic event.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He very briefly pretends to be a benevolent, if rude, man that seeks to bring balance to the world. Doesn't last long.
  • Flanderization: In universe. Varrick's moving pictures have him portrayed as a over-the-top villain with a waterbending doomsday machine. Strangely, the actor looks a lot like Actor!Ozai from "The Ember Island Players". Funny thing is, the propaganda films weren't that far off, apart from hamminess of the actor of course.
  • Fluffy Tamer: A rare villainous example, as he is able to corrupt and control Dark Spirits that he either creates himself, or that Vaatu corrupts. He leads an army of his corrupted spirits against the Southern Water Tribe's La Résistance and curbstomps them.
  • Foil: To Jinora. Unalaq is an adult man with years of training himself in spiritual matters, while Jinora is a preteen girl whose natural affinity with spirits makes up for her lack in experience. Jinora befriends spirits; Unalaq only pretends to be a friend of spirits and will use force to control them to reach his own goals. And while Unalaq practically, but smoothly forced his way into becoming Korra's spiritual mentor, Jinora didn't and only became her Guide when things got serious. There's also the kind of the relationship they have with Korra: Unalaq is her distant uncle who only wants to use her, but Korra and Jinora have close sibling relationship (along with Ikki and Meelo).
  • The Fundamentalist: He does not compromise with his view of Water Tribe spirituality and practices. Because of this he comes off as a jerk. It's later revealed that he actually is a jerk, as he manipulates Korra to get her on his side when he takes control of the South, and uses his position to settle a personal grudge against his brother on the side. It comes off as a subversion, he's working on freeing the evil Vaatu for the Harmonic Convergence, and plans on destroying the Water Tribes and every nation afterwards so that there is only one world where spirits and humans are under one banner.
  • Genre Blind: Subverted. Despite being called on how unwise it is to work with Vaatu, everything went according to plan and Vaatu never betrayed him.
  • God-Emperor: His ultimate goal is to fuse with Vaatu and become the Dark Avatar, ushering in ten-thousand years of darkness with himself as the ruler of humanity.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: Not as pronounced as Zaheer, but still, he is a Waterbending master with an affinity for the spiritual, who specializes in appeasing and purging Dark Spirits. Doesn't prevent him from working with this universe's God of Evil and trying to become The Antichrist.
  • Good Shepherd: He's the verse's equivalent of a priest and he's big on fasting, meditation, and other self-discipline practices and he can calm angry spirits and send them back to the Spirit World. However, all thus turned out to be an excuse for executing his final plan.
  • The Heavy: While the Dark Spirits and Vaatu are the overriding Big Bads of the season, Unalaq is the more direct threat. Since Vaatu can't do anything until he's free, the leg-work is left to Unalaq.
  • The High King: Unalaq is technically Chief of both tribes, but the South sees him as a mere figurehead to their council of elders. This creates quite a bit of friction when Unalaq decides to assert his authority by force.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He's ultimately defeated by his own spirit-bending technique. More subtly, it is also Unalaq's own previous advise to Korra to "find the light in the dark" that makes her realise she can extract Raava from within Vaatu.
  • Holier Than Thou: Gives off vibes of this when he is ranting about the Southern Tribe lacking in spirituality. Then he calls in the troops to take over the Southern Tribe in order help them spiritually, though his subsequent actions end up belying that claim. This extends to the entire world in general, as he believes that the Avatar has failed in maintaining balance by keeping spirits out and intends to personally rectify that problem.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Forced Korra to open the portal by threatening to destroy Jinora's soul.
  • Humanoid Abomination: After becoming the Dark Avatar by fusing with Vaatu, then destroying Raava, they go One-Winged Angel and become a giant, humanoid Vaatu.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Talks about spiritual balance, yet he caused a spiritual imbalance in the North in order to get Tonraq banished so that he could be chief. He also plans on releasing and merging with Vaatu to become the new Avatar, but in this case he still believes he can bring balance, just under his tyrannical rule.
    • He had also treated his children coldly, yet he had the nerve to call Tenzin a bad father for letting Jinora be Korra's guide into the spirit world. Jinora calls him out on this.
    • He accuses Korra of causing chaos when he's trying to release the spirit of chaos and is deliberately corrupting spirits to further his plans.
    • Book 4 reveals that the spirits were forced to serve him thanks to Vaatu, showing that despite his supposed respect for spirits, he has no problems enslaving them for his goals.
  • Irony: He sought to fuse with Vaatu and break down the barrier between the spirit world and material world so humans and spirits could coexist. After Korra beat him, she decided he had a point and left the portals open, allowing the two worlds to connect once more.
  • It's All About Me: Unalaq doesn't just want to see his ideals realized, he wants to be the one to realize them. While the Red Lotus shared his goals, fusing with Vaatu was not part of the plan. Ultimately, they were just one more step to achieving what he believes is his destiny.
  • I Want Them Alive: When he sends Desna and Eska to capture Korra he explicitly reminds Eska that he needs Korra alive. Given Eska's current Yandere state this is a very smart move. He was none too pleased when he found that the Avatar was presumed dead.
  • Jerkass: When you take the opportunity at a Southern Water Tribe festival being held in your honor to complain about their lack of spirituality, and ultimately lying about it, you qualify for this. That and also betraying comrades to your mortal enemies.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Subverted. All his supposed compassion and care is an act put on to keep Korra from turning on him.
  • Karmic Death: After countless atrocities, Unalaq is finally done in by the own spirit pacification technique.
  • Knight of Cerebus: A case where a villain gets darker as the season progresses. He started off as a Jerkass Holier Than Thou at the outset of the season, but as his true colors are revealed, the season begins to take a darker turn. And when he fuses with Vaatu, things really get dire.
  • Knight Templar: Initially, he was showed as a fundamentalist antagonist who wanted to unite the water tribes and bring balance... at any cost. Indeed, the last part of his goal is actually true. He plans to fuse with Vaatu to become the Dark Avatar, then use that power to rejoin the human and spirit worlds, restoring balance to both. He sincerely believes in his rhetoric, even if to a truly horrifying extreme.
  • Lean and Mean: To contrast his brother's Heroic Build.
  • Leave Him to Me: When Desna and Eska move to engage Tonraq, he tells them to back off, wishing to fight his brother himself.
  • Light Is Not Good: Is a self-righteous preacher that can infuse water with bright golden light and appease spirits... who launches a mass scale invasion to force his ideals on his Southern brethren, and who set his brother up to be banished, and framed him as having taken part in an assassination attempt on Unalaq, using a judge who was working for him to ensure Tonraq got a conviction. His powers most certainly don't reflect his personality, aside from his spirituality.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Unalaq moves surprisingly fast and hits hard.
  • Making a Splash: He is a master waterbender.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • He plays on Korra's role as the Avatar to guilt her into going along with his plans, even when she doesn't agree with them. After an attempt to kidnap him is foiled by Korra, he agrees to a trial to seem reasonable, but then rigs it so they're found guilty and sentenced to death. He then "convinces" the judge to bump down to life imprisonment to seem merciful.
    • He also did this to the Red Lotus, giving them the idea to kidnap Korra and train her themselves. Though they shared the same idea of balance, Unalaq had greater plans and was simply using the Red Lotus to realize them.
  • The Mentor: To Korra in Book Two... at least for the first few episodes.
  • Moment Killer: He has a bad habit of cutting into otherwise heartwarming moments. It's even become a minor meme.
  • Mook Maker: He can corrupt spirits, which will then do his bidding.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Korra learns to copy his spirit pacification technique after watching him perform it a few times, which proves to be his undoing when she uses it to defeat him and Vaatu in their One-Winged Angel form. In addition, his needless attempt to screw over Tonraq only served to alienate Korra before she had opened both spirit portals, causing him a whole lot more grief than he needed to deal with.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Subverted. As part of his new world order, Unalaq covered Republic City in spirit vines. Though he's stopped, these vines continue to be a problem in Book 3, since not even Korra can figure out how to get rid of them and their presence is seriously affecting city infrastructure.
  • Not Even Human: After his monstrous transformation after fusing with Vaatu. This is probably why the show got away with killing him.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The outset of the season portrays him as a fundamentalist Jerkass with a Holier Than Thou attitude towards things, but not outwardly malicious. The rest of the season, however, sees him jump off the tracks and head into Omnicidal Maniac territory real fast.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: The only Big Bad of The Legend Of Korra who qualifies (not including Vaatu, who is evil incarnate itself). He wants to unleash the spirits and is willing to cause a civil war and destroy any relations with his family to do it. Korra rightfully calls out that he doesn't truly care about uniting the material and spirit worlds. It seems any point or good intention he ever had became a sham when his desire for more power got the better of him.
  • Not Worth Killing: It would be trivially easy for the North's forces to wipe out the Southern resistance, but Unalaq is content to leave them bottled up in one area while he dedicates the majority of his resources to securing the spirit portal. He doesn't kill Tonraq after beating him down since he's not worth killing and he wants to gloat. With few exceptions, he doesn't resort to killing his enemies because he'd rather keep them around suffer by watching him bask in victory.
  • Obviously Evil: He has a Lean and Mean Villainous Cheekbones appearance and shares a lot of traits with Tarrlok and Fire Lords Sozin and Ozai. This made The Reveal as an enemy a lot less surprising as a result. Even in-universe, Tenzin was wary of him, but didn't think he would go so far.
  • Oh, Crap!: Has this expression when Tonraq is only inches away from punching him in the face. He manages to waterbend Tonraq away before the hit lands, though.
  • One-Winged Angel: When Raava is destroyed, he and Vaatu turn into a giant, humanoid version of Vaatu.
  • One World Order: He plans to fuse with Vaatu and create a world where there are no nations, just humans and spirits united under his "new world order".
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: He orders his children to stop attacking Tonraq so he could beat him himself.
  • Parental Neglect: He isn't openly or outright abusive, but his children seem afraid of him and he cares very little for them beyond their usefulness to him. When trying to breach the Northern portal with their help, he shows no concern when Desna is injured by the backlash from a failed attempt, though to be fair, part of it was due to Unalaq knowing Vaatu might kill him for failing to produce results. Tonraq's attempt to appeal to Unalaq's Papa Wolf mentality likewise falls on deaf ears.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Though his decisions fell more into Pragmatic Villainy. Years ago, when the Red Lotus were causing trouble, he helped Zuko by creating the secret prison to hold P'Li. He even kept it a secret from everyone, including his own children. Then it turns out he was just using them for his own ends, and it was in his best interests to keep them locked up. In the present, he tries to invoke this to stay on Korra's good side, but it falls apart quickly.
  • Rebellious Rebel: In a sense. The Red Lotus was itself a Renegade Splinter Faction of individuals who rebelled against the Order of the White Lotus and whose purpose was in direct opposition to them, but Unalaq had greater goals which the Red Lotus wouldn't have approved of, and he used them as so to achieve this. When they failed, he then left them to rot.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He chews out the Southern Tribe for its spiritual decay and decadence in the middle of a banquet in his honor, saying it is their fault the spirits are attacking. Ultimately, his words were nothing but excuses for his real cause. In fact, He was actually behind the attacks. He's not trying to stop them, but rather, the opposite.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: As the Dark Avatar, his eyes glow in a fiery red light when he uses his version of the Avatar State.
  • The Resenter: His brother was next in line to become Chief, so he set him up to be banished in order to take the position for himself.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: On account of being fused with Vaatu, when he fell prey to it.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Unlike his older brother, Unalaq is ambitious, focused on spiritual concerns, and feels driven to lead his people.
  • Slasher Smile: Shows a nasty one often after freeing Vaatu, and displays it again when beating Raava to death. Even before that, he's smirking like a madman when he threatens Jinora.
  • The Sociopath: Another trait he shares with Fire Lord Ozai: Unalaq displays a distinct lack of empathy towards anyone, including his own brother and children, callously manipulates anyone he needs to, is completely self-centred and arrogant, and has virtually no regard for the lives of anyone beyond their usefulness to him.
  • Super Mode: As the Dark Avatar, he has his own Avatar State which has glowing red eyes.
  • The Unfettered: He will bring about unity between spirits and humans by any means necessary, no matter who or what he has to sacrifice to do so.
  • Villain Ball: Unalaq might have succeeded were it not for his petty desire to screw over Tonraq. Doing that turned Korra against him before he could complete his plan. His heavy-handed invasion of the south didn't do him any favors, either. If the intent was to make sure no one entered the portal and found Vaatu, he could have easily sent his men to guard just the portal, or summon dark spirits from the portal, as opposed to a full-blown occupation.
  • Villain Has a Point: Korra agrees with him that the Avatar wasn't meant to be a bridge between the spirit and human worlds and that Wan may have made a mistake when he sealed off the spirit portals, so she leaves them open after he and Vaatu are defeated and resolves to find a way for humans and spirits to live together in harmony.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: Has very pronounced cheekbones, and he's not the nicest guy.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Has one when Korra reawakens Raava and extracts her.
  • Villainous Legacy: He was a member of the Red Lotus and proposed the plot to kidnap Korra when she was a child. However, he was never caught and covered up his involvement.
  • Visionary Villain: He intends to change the world. He plans to do this by releasing Vaatu and fusing with him to become a Dark Avatar, in order to create a world where there is no barrier between the spirit world and the material world.
  • White Magic: Engages in a holy form of waterbending that allows him to pacify spirits by turning negative energy into positive energy. The water also glows with golden light. Becomes a case of Good Powers, Bad People after The Reveal. He has a Black Magic variation on this ability which infuses dark energy instead of light, which can kill human souls if used on them.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Threatens to wipe out Jinora's soul in the Spirit World to force Korra to open the portal, and would have done the same to Korra if not for a timely rescue.
    • As part of the Red Lotus, he was the one to suggest the plan to kidnap Korra as a child. While they (seemingly) were genuine in their desire to train her under their ideals, his plans for her would have brought harm to her eventually.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He tells Korra this when she thinks he needs her to open the northern spirit portal because she was needed to open the southern one. He's actually lying, but he thinks it will help him control her, which backfires. Later played straight in "A New Spiritual Age": as soon as Korra opens the second portal, Unalaq tries to erase her soul. He also did this to the Red Lotus, leaving them to rot in jail after they failed to kidnap Korra.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Was second in line for the North's chieftainship, but became first in line for the throne after Tonraq's banishment. Turns out that this case of the trope involved cheating on the part of the youngest child, however.

    Desna and Eska 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/desna_and_eska_56.png
Eska is on the left (note hair decs) and Desna on the right.

Voiced by: Aaron Himelstein (Desna) and Aubrey Plaza (Eska)

Korra's twin cousins and Unalaq's children. Desna is the boy and Eska is the girl.


Tropes that apply to both twins

  • Ambiguous Disorder: Both almost emotionless and speak in a creepy monotone. Eska has occasional emotional outbursts, and an abusive treatment of Bolin and violent reaction to him running out on the wedding. She isn't exactly rational, either, as she blames Korra for the ruined wedding, even though it's rather clear in the show that she and Bolin are Just Friends and Korra is way more interested in Bolin's brother Mako. Like Azula, the twins didn't have the best upbringing; their daddy is the season's Big Bad. Unlike Azula, they were not shown to have been just the same when little, so maybe when you've lived their lives the world really is just that dull.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As a team, they are able to beat Tonraq, and later Mako and Bolin. Ming-Hua easily defeated them, however, helping to establish her skill.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • When they are pressed into trying to open the spirit portal and Desna is injured, Eska shows she cares more for him than she does for aiding her father's ambitions.
    • Not quite love but definitely a better relationship then before: in the finale, Eska uses Bolin's name ("NOT MY BOLIN!") and when they part she calls him "my turtle-duck" instead of "my feeble turtle-duck".
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Bolin was getting swarmed by dark spirits, he gets a timely rescue from the twins.
  • Big Good: After their father's death, they become the chiefs - and this trope - of the Northern Water Tribe.
  • Break the Haughty: Eska gives this impression at the end of "Civil Wars, Part 2" when we see her chasing the boat Bolin is on looking like she is about to kill him.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Eska appears to think an insincere statement followed by an explanation of how it is insincere is side-splitting sarcasm. Desna apparently agrees with her.
  • Character Development: Eska maturely decides that she and Bolin were not meant to be together at the end of Book 2.
    • It takes a while, but Desna finally manages to realize what type of person his father is, and lets go of his blind loyalty to him just in time to help protect Korra in the finale.
  • Character Focus: Out of the two of them, Eska has gotten the lion's share of character development, while Desna was mostly there for Creepy Twins jokes and to act as extra muscle for the bad guys.
  • Co-Dragons: They become this to their father in "Peacekeepers". "Harmonic Convergence" reveals that he also leaves the minutiae of organizing his army to them when he knows that a battle is coming.
  • The Comically Serious: Both of them are hilariously deadpan to everything.
  • Creepy Monotone: How they both talk. As a result, it's even hard to tell if they are sarcastic or serious. It's even present when they laugh.
  • Creepy Twins: They're described as "androgynous creepy twins" by the writers. Korra echoes this sentiment.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Desna and Eska look like they stand around and do nothing but be creepy, but in "Peacekeepers" they're able to fight Korra as a team and hold their own (before a Dark Spirit interrupted).
  • Dance Battlers: Their fighting style includes a lot of acrobatics.
  • Emotionless Girl: They don't seem to be given to emotion. Even when jealous of Bolin hugging Korra, Eska doesn't break from her usual monotone (though she does raise her voice ever-so-slightly).
  • Easily Forgiven: Especially from their cousin.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • When Desna gets injured during Unalaq's attempt to open the Spirit Portal without the Avatar, Eska defies her father's order so she can take him back to the real world and have him healed.
    • They also apparently really care about their mother, seeing as the only thing bugging them about their father's death is how they'll break the news to her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Despite being eager to kill her first cousin, Eska does seem to care a lot about her brother. She thought he was much more important than trying to help her father.
    • Averted with Desna; when he does find out about his father's plan to release Vaatu, he believed his father even when Eska seemed to be having doubts. Later on, he and Eska decide that there was nothing to gain from serving Vaatu.
  • Evil Duo: After Eska goes crazy, she and her brother become this trope, with Eska as the Id and Desna as the Superego.
  • Expy: They resemble Mai from the original show by personality and expression. You could include status, but Mai was the daughter of a Fire Nation governor while these two are a prince and princess. Eska is also reminiscent of Azula in several ways, acting essentially as an examination of what would have happened if she had found a date in "The Beach", complete with horrifying laugh and devolution into a complete lack of composure at a companion's betrayal.
  • Flechette Storm: They use a version of this with ice needles in their battle against Ming-Hua.
  • Foil: Desna and Eska seem deliberately as opposed to Princess Yue (the last Northern Water Tribe heir we witnessed) as possible, being tactless, ruthless, and relishing their status to Yue's compassionate nature. Eska's relationship with Bolin especially contrasts with Yue's relationship with Sokka: Sokka worried he wasn't worthy because of his lower status and Yue wanted to be with him, but was bound by her engagement to Hahn; Eska exploits Bolin's lower status to domestically abuse him into slavery and puts her desire to be with him before his own emotions or input.
  • Half-Identical Twins: One is a boy and the other a girl, but they still look very similar. Bolin even thinks they're both girls at first.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The two show slight hesitation and reluctance to some of their father's orders, but still believe he was doing what is best for all. Bolin's Anguished Declaration of Love turns Eska around, at which point they let Mako and Bolin escape. They swear Unalaq off for good when they witness his transformation into the monstrous Unavaatu, and don't even care when he dies. In Book 3, they aid Tonraq and Zuko in trying to prevent P'Li's escape. They're beaten, but at least they tried.
  • Hime Cut: Both have this, befitting their status as the children of the chieftain of the Northern Water Tribe.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: A few.
    • Desna's coat has a straight hem. Eska's has a V shape.
    • Desna has wide leggings, while Eska has narrow ones.
    • Eska has blue hair ties and eye makeup, neither of which Desna wears.
    • Eska's jaw line is an angular V-shape, whereas Desna's is a flatter U-shape.
  • Incest Subtext: In Republic City, a hotel staff member apologizes to them, believing that there has been a mistake: they've been booked for a single room with only one bed. Eska tells him that no mistake has been made. (Granted, she immediately follows it up by saying that Desna sleeps in the tub.)
  • Jerkass: They come across as condescending, but Eska especially rubs people the wrong way, due to her insistence in bossing Bolin around.
  • Jerks With Hearts Of Gold: Both do have a human side, which they show only to each other. Plus, before they make an official Heel–Face Turn, the twins did have misgivings about their father's demands.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: In comparison to Vaatu.
  • Lightning Bruiser: They hit hard, they hit fast, and when on large stretches of water like the ocean or the snow-covered South Pole, they can use a waterbending technique that makes them go faster than a speed-boat or a plane.
  • Making a Splash: They're both Waterbenders.
  • Morality Pets: Eska and Desna are this to each other. They listen, respect, and genuinely love each other, while acting like jerks to others.
  • No Social Skills: It's implied very heavily that they don't know how to interact with other people other than family members. Eska actually hissed at Bolin when he first talked to her.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Especially Eska. She was first shown as merely a creepy Jerkass princess with comedic flaws. After Bolin ditched her, she later works up to becoming one of the most dangerous villains, as Korra finds out in "Peacekeepers". In the final act of the season, they (besides Vaatu's Dark Spirits) tend to be key to Unalaq's plans by removing threats that neither him nor his army could take out.
  • Royal Brats: Both of them look down on Korra's Southern Water Tribe heritage, thinking she is a "rube", despite being the Avatar (and their cousin). After Harmonic Convergence, they're square.
  • Run or Die: As they lack their father's training in the spiritual arts, when they see a dark spirit coming after Korra over open water, they keep away from the fight until it is over.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Both have the same emotionless and snarky personality.
  • Spock Speak: They frequently engage in this. In fact most of their lines are delivered in a eerie monotone.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: They're good enough to pull this on Bolin and Mako at the end of Book 2.
  • Theme Twin Naming: They are named after rivers. Desna is a river in Russia and Ukraine that flows into the Dnieper. Eska is a river in southern Alaska.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Among the world's leaders, after becoming the new chiefs of the Northern Water Tribe. Their reaction upon learning they have a secret ice prison is to be chagrined they didn't know about it sooner so they could be throwing people into it.
  • Twin Telepathy: The two of them are able to communicate from just glances without speaking.
  • Victory Is Boring: Now that they both rule the Northern Water Tribe, neither of them enjoys their new positions and would rather be fighting. They're more than willing to drop everything when they learn Zaheer is on the way to break P'Li out.
  • The Worf Effect: In Book 2, Tonraq loses to them, and they manage to beat Mako and Bolin. In Book 3, they're just not as deadly as they used to be Ming-Hua beats both of them with practically no effort.

Tropes that apply to Eska

  • All Take and No Give: Eska takes advantage of Bolin's attraction to her and turns him into a servant for herself and her brother. Deconstructed, as he quickly wants out of the relationship. Eventually, Eska stuck out for him in the end.
  • Amicable Exes: Eska and Bolin decide to be this at the end. By The Coronation, Eska apparently does not mind Bolin finding another girlfriend (actually that was his boss, but it's the same for her).
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Eska tries to force Bolin to marry her when even she recognizes that he wants out of the relationship.
  • Ax-Crazy: Eska's insanity rivals Azula's after being rejected. Though she seems to have calmed down by the episode "The Sting". However, she still maintained a grudge towards Bolin.
  • The Chief's Daughter: Eska is the daughter of the chieftain of the Northern Water Tribe and thus essentially a princess like Yue.
  • Classic Villain: Eska has come to represent Envy, Wrath, and Lust after Bolin "rejected" her.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Eska. Her reaction to Bolin hugging Korra was to restrain him in ice and drag him back to her. She later remarks that Korra "stole" Bolin from her, blaming her cousin for the entire thing.
    Eska: Why are you initiating physical contact with another woman?
  • Dark Action Girl: One of the Co-Dragons to the Big Bad and a very lethal waterbender in her own right.
  • Declaration of Protection: Eska tells Bolin she will protect him after he becomes afraid of dark spirits... in her own way.
    Eska: I will protect you, my feeble turtle duck.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Eska, pun intended; it happens when Bolin apologizes for ditching her during her wedding. Bolin's Anguished Declaration of Love caused Eska to defrost — both literally (she had trapped him in ice) and figuratively.
  • Domestic Abuser: She treats Bolin like a servant.
  • The Dreaded: To Bolin, who is terrified of her.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Very, VERY subverted. Things go south after Bolin jilted Eska.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Eska forcibly makes Bolin her fiancé and declares they will be married at sunset. Bolin runs. Very fast.
  • Hair Decorations: Eska wears beads in her hair.
  • Leitmotif: Not so much of Eska's alone, but her and Bolin's. A Scare Chord is heard whenever Bolin's scared of her. Which is to say, often.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Eska is the masculine to Bolin's feminine.
  • Mathematician's Answer: When Eska said she would make Bolin hers, he asked if as a boyfriend or slave. She just said yes. Turns out there's little distinction between the two in her eyes.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Eska is the one we've seen speak more frequently and the one more likely to make demands. She's also the one more prone to hunting down men who break up with her. It is, however, possible that Eska only seems more verbose than her brother because she's given more attention, being the one dating Bolin. Both seem to be equally competent fighters.
  • Nightmare Face: Eska gets a rather terrifying one after Bolin tries to ditch her. Even Unalaq's commander was freaked out.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: she claims to enjoy the sweet scent of desperation.
  • Not So Stoic: Eska takes Bolin breaking up with her... poorly. In a more down-to-earth example, when Desna is injured while they're trying to open the Northern spirit portal, she shows immediate concern, even ignoring Unalaq's orders so she can get Desna to a healer.
  • Opposites Attract: Bolin attempts to start a relationship with Eska, Despite the fact that Bolin himself is Big Fun (in every sense of the trope) and that Eska has all the warmth and charm of a glacier. Though the "attract" part disappears rather quickly. At least, from Bolin's side.
    • Reconstructed in the Book 2 finale, where he admitted he always loved Eska, but just felt too overwhelmed by the thought of marriage.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: Eska quickly shows herself to be domineering, possessive and insensitive to Bolin's feelings. Bolin, for his part, is too intimidated by her to ever stand up for himself or breakup with her. This hits its peak when Eska tries to bully Bolin into marrying her with Bolin only responding by sobbing at the prospect then fleeing as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
  • Power Born of Madness: After becoming an Axe-Crazy Yandere Eska comes off as far more vicious and dangerous than her brother.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Eska already showed Yandere tendencies before Bolin broke up with her and left her at the altar, but after the break up she completely drops her emotionless personality and becomes a full-blown Ax-Crazy Woman Scorned out for her cousin for "stealing her husband".
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Eska's behavior after Bolin's leaving her (and her behavior before when you realize she seems to have actual feelings for him) has revealed that underneath her icy exterior she does have something in common with him—she is a rather sheltered individual with a fairly childish view of the world. Unfortunately, where Bolin's childishness is sweet and innocent, hers is domineering and insane...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Eska has shifted into being the Red Oni after being rejected by Bolin, leaving Desna as Blue Oni and Only Sane Man.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After Bolin apologizes to Eska for ditching her, Eska and Bolin were able to reaffirm their feelings for each other, they join the heroes later on (albeit late to the party), and commend their cousin for defeating their father. Then they both reach the conclusion that the whole thing was just something caused by the heat of the moment; Eska breaks up with Bolin on good terms, saying he's still special to her.
  • Uptown Girl: Bolin starts pursuing a romance with Eska, who, as the daughter of the chieftain of the Northern Water Tribe, is essentially a princess.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Eska when she protects Bolin from dark spirits.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Eska sees Bolin as an uncultured man and by the way she treats him, he wonders whether she sees him as a boyfriend or slave. Eventually deconstructed, as the relationship is unhealthy, Eska treats Bolin like an object (and plans to take him home to the Northern Water Tribe without asking), and Bolin wants out desperately.
  • Woman Scorned: Bolin skipped town on his wedding to Eska and she is pissed. Granted, he didn't want to get married in the first place, but he still ran away without confronting her, so you can kinda see how that might upset someone.
  • Yandere: Eska is one woman you don't want to see scorned. She informs Bolin that should he try to break-up with her, she will freeze him in a block of ice and feed him to dolphin-piranhas. And when he does break up with her... she looks ready to commit murder. Later, when their father tells the twins he wants Korra found alive, Eska showed visible disappointment. But by the episode Harmonic Convergence, she seems to have gotten over it.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Eska while pursuing Bolin after he breaks off their engagement and it stays that way, until the episode The Sting.

Tropes that apply to Desna

  • Agent Peacock: Given his noted feminine appearance and waterbending skills.
  • Blind Obedience: Desna is confident that, no matter how bad his father's plan sounds, it can't possibly be for anything other than the greater good on the grounds that Unalaq is the wisest man Desna knows. He gets over it by the next episode.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Desna shows some skill at this in "Civil Wars, Part 2".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Played for Laughs. When they find out about the super secret ice prison, Desna comments that he wants to throw his tailor in there for messing up the sleeves on his coat.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Desna and Eska have nearly identical clothing and hairstyles, so naturally Desna comes off as this. Bolin even mistakes him for a girl in "Rebel Spirit".
  • Hidden Depths: According to supplemental material, Desna is a skilled tailor.
  • Meaningful Name: Desna means "right hand" in an old Slavic language. He's one of his father's right-hand men alongside Eska and he's very often placed on the right of his father whereas Eska tends to be on the left.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: In "The Coronation" we are told he sleeps in the bathtub. We aren't told if it's normal for him, or if it's just Eska claiming the only bed in the room for herself. In either case, it seems to suit his character.
  • Only Sane Man: One can't help but get the vibe that Desna is this, given his father's obsession with the spirits and Eska's downright psychotic obsession with Bolin.
  • Pretty Boy: Desna is a definite pretty boy, so much that he's mistaken as an "attractive lady" by Bolin in "Rebel Spirits".
  • Real Men Wear Pink: It turns out that Desna happens to be good a tailoring.
  • Satellite Character: Desna has virtually no characterization outside of a couple snarky one-liners, being there to be the creepy twin that makes them Creepy Twins.
  • Tempting Fate: Desna dryly exclaims there's no way anyone could break out of his father's secret ice prison. Zuko cautiously warns him not to underestimate Zaheer and his cabal, reminding them of their breakouts. Desna learns this the hard way in the next episode.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Implied with Desna. He thinks his father is the wisest man he's ever known and uses this as his reason for helping Unalaq fuse with Vaatu. He gets over it in the end.

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