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WMG / Korra Avatar Metaphysics And Reincarnation

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For theories about other subjects, see The Legend Of Korra Wild Mass Guessing Index.

The next season (book) will involve the existence of multiple Avatars

I'm guessing the Avatar cycle can be tricked into recycling itself if the current Avatar is falsely declared to be dead. After Aang was frozen, the Avatar cycle was splintered into various branches.

  • Arguably a third branch was created by Avatar Kuruk. He supposedly entered the spirit world to kill Koh for stealing his girlfriend's face, remaining there too long tricked the cycle again. Combustion man is a result of the Kuruk branch.
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  • I doubt that Aang being frozen would trigger it, since he was using the Avatar State the whole time.
  • With Raava being the Avatar spirit, it's possible that Vaatu could become a second avatar. Of course, bending was bestowed by the lion turtles, so how Vaatu's host would actually gain those powers is still a mystery
    • Confirmed, though Unavaatu can still only water-bend.
  • Maybe Korra will use Spirit Bending to super-empower someone for support, and then Vaatu will wind up taking that person over. Though I guess that doesn't make much sense since Wan needed Raava to switch between bending styles.
  • There was another Avatar this season, but otherwise this theory has been jossed.

The reason Korra has trouble airbending is because of the lack of balance in the world

Oh sure, she is hot heated and materialistic, but those are personality traits that came afterwards. She originally could only firebend, waterbend and earthbend (at least consciously) because, of all elements, air was the one most absent from the world, what with there being only one airbender in the world when Korra was born. If the airbenders had not been killed off, there would had probably been enough "air energy" to prevent this kind of thing from happening.

  • It's actually because the creators of the original avatar wanted something completely different from what we'd seen from the original series, hence the opposite. Aang only knew airbending and needed to learn the rest of the elements. Korra only knew the rest of the elements and needed to learn airbending. Aang and co. had to Walk the Earth. Korra stays put in the City of Adventure.
    • Hand Wave and plot don't excuse the fact that an Avatar is unable to bend an element. Also; this troper posted pretty much the same thing on the Korra WMG page.
      • Sorry, but Wordof God states it. Bryan Konietzko specifically at the San Diego 2011 Comic-Con International Public Developer interview. I've also never even been to that WMG page. If that isn't enough proof for you, in the show Tenzin states "Often, the element that's most difficult for the avatar to master is the one most opposite to the avatar's personality. For Aang, it was Earthbending". Not only is that more proof but a stand alone reason why your theory (although quite elaborate) is Jossed.

Gyatso, Iroh, and Tenzin are the same person, reincarnated
Basically, using the speculation that in this universe a friendship can span beyond lifetimes:One of those "friends" of the Avatar is always a Cool Old Guy mentor figure rather than a peer.Gyatso was "it" before the cycle was interrupted.A few generations later this spirit still hadn't kicked the mentoring habit, so Iroh took this role with his son, then later Zuko, and starting around the season 2 finale, Aang.Iroh could have died around the same time that Tenzin was born...
  • Possibly Jossed, Momo was supposed to be Gyatso reincarnation, the episode wasn't made.
  • Iroh is fire and would reincarnate into Tenzin, who is air. This matches the avatar cycle. That means there must be two Cool Old Guys somewhere between Gyatso and Iroh that never got old enough to be Cool Old Guys.
    • Aang was in ice for a hundred years, they probably just lived til about middle age and then died when the universe realized there still wasn't an Avatar around for them to be Cool Old Guys to.
      • There's a problem with eh avatar-cycle parallel. Gyatso should have died 100 years before the start of the main series during the genocide. At the start of the series Iroh was what, seventy? If Iroh is Gyatso's reincarnation there must have been another between them who only lived to be about 30. If there were two of them at least one must have died during childhood. Its possible, but it kills the Cool Old Guy deal and does lend itself to some Fridge Horror.
      • That isn't strictly neccesary. While we know that the avatar reïncarnates instantly, the same may not be true for other people.
    • Cool Old Guy Earth=Bumi,Cool Old Guy Water=Pakku.
      • It doesn't quite count as reincarnation if they are alive at the same time. Also, personally I would like to think that there are cool old ladies to match.
  • Jossed. Iroh's body died after Tenzin was already born, and his spirit certainly didn't reincarnate.
    • Well, the Avatar's reincarnations each get their own spirits, so I imagine anyone else's would, also.
    • Do they? They don't usually appear to anyone except the current Avatar or through the current Avatar, making the existence of separate spirits for the reincarnations dubious at best.

When an Avatar dies, their Spirit Advisor takes the form that they most identify with.
Take a look at the four Avatars before Aang. Yangchen, Kuruk, and Kyoshi all look to be in their late thirties to early forties. Since Kyoshi lived for over two hundred years, it's unlikely she looked that good when she died. When an Avatar dies, their spirit takes the aged form that they always saw themselves as truly being. Roku chose his appearance due to his guilt over Sozin, Kuruk chose his form because he was that old when he was to be married (in order to spite Koh) and Yangchen and Kyoshi chose their forms because they just liked looking younger.Of course, the main reason for this guess is so it'll be plausible when Korra talks to Aang for the first time, and Aang looks and sounds the same as he did in the first series. (Don't worry, you'll still get to see old Aang in flashbacks.)
  • Alternatively, Kyoshi looks that way cause it was when she accomplished the most (put down a rebellion, stopped Chin, etc.).
    • There is evidence that a spirit takes the form of how the character likely thinks of themselves in their head, in the episode with Roku and Sozin's backstory, Aang's spirit is bald and is wearing his clothes from books one and two.
  • That would be awesome, but Zach Tyler Eisen is already way older than 12 now.
    • In the opener it looks as though Aang is a bearded early-middle aged man. This is probably when he was feeling his happiest, with a nice big family and a Shining City growing as he watched.
    • Alternatively, Aang could have taken the form when he was in his late teenage years for whatever reason (Maybe he first established Republic City when he was 18?). That way Zach Tyler Eisen can reprise his role as an older Aang.
  • This is more or less Jossed in the Season Finale. Aang appears to Korra looking about the same as he did in the flashback, when he was 40.

The Show will Finally Explain how People become Benders
The original show was really vague on how exactly people become benders. The Legend of Korra will have to explain how the Air Nomads were repopulated and the Southern Water tribe of benders. It'll probably have to do with energybending, finally justifying its awful asspulliness.
  • That's a lot of energybending, and this troper isn't sure if energybending can give bending, because all those benders were either captured or killed, and we don't know if the captured waterbenders were ever freed. Seems like a long shot...
  • Explaining Bending will be a bad idea; it would be like the Midi-Chlorians from the Star Wars prequels.
    • I agree, to an extent. My theory is that people have a genetic affinity for one element, and some people might not exhibit any bending ability without at least some training. Yes, the Air Nomads were basically wiped out, it doesn't mean there weren't any people left with the POTENTIAL for Airbending, it just means that the ACTIVE Airbenders were wiped out. Sky Bisons were supposedly wiped out, too, and Aang manage to find a herd of them, who's to say that descendants of Airbenders weren't found in present day? Maybe some of the monks shown in the Air Temple are descendants of Airbenders. Just because Tenzin and his family are the only Airbenders we see doesn't mean they're the only ones that exist. There's also precedent for this: in the original series, Katara was the only Waterbender left in the Southern Water Tribe, yet Waterbending is alive and well there by Korra. As long as the genetic potential's there and there's teachers available, the art can come back. Likewise, people with the potential for Airbending can exist, but there haven't been any teachers available until Aang restored the Air Nomads. Also, keep in mind that name, Air NOMADS. I wouldn't be surprised that, when there's a few more of them, they'll start wandering the Earth to look for those who can Airbend and slowly bring their numbers back up.
    • Actually, the Acolytes are not airbenders, but, like it was well explained above, it doesn't change genes at all, just watch Tarrlok's backstory. And about the Southern tribe, in A:TLA, Pakku says he and some other people are traveling to the South to help rebuild. Who's to say some of the benders who came stayed and, you know, met get the idea.
  • Er... We already know how people became benders. It was explained in the original series. The Fire Nation, Earth Kingdom, Water Tribe and Air Nomads all learned from other things/animals already innately able to bend an element (albeit in there own natural way). The Fire Nation learned from the ancient tribe of Sun Warriors who learned from the Dragons. The Earth Kingdom learned from Oma and Shu, who were a woman and man who learned how to bend the earth from badger moles so they could meet each other in caves. The Water Tribe saw how the Moon pushed and pulled the tides, and learned how to do it for themselves. The Air Nomads simply learned from Flying Bison.
    • Yes, and they may keep this explanation as cannon. However, note that all of these explanations were oral histories, or cave paintings, or the like. They all had the feel of the "just-so" stories common the world over, such as "how rabbit got it's spots" "How the bird was burnt and is now black", so on and so forth
      • Of course, Toph was personally taught by badgermoles and Aang and Zuko were personally taught by dragons, so the likelihood that those creatures didn't originate bending is pretty low.
      • Bending was shown as possible before, in the time of Avatar Won without the help of those creatures/celestial objects. It's possible that, like martial arts IRL, the styles for controlling these elements, how they were used and the stylistic fashions and traditions of their use, were originally inspired by badger-moles, dragons, sky bison, and the moon pulling and pushing the sea.
  • Beginnings reveals that there were Lion Turtles for each element. Who granted the abilities to humans. However they werent thought how to bend. There is a remarkable difference in ability and skill between Wan after being thought by a dragon, and the other fire users we see. At the end of the Era, the Lion Turtles said they were no longer needed and left. This was probably before people themselves learnt how to properly bend the element they formerly were related to from the Lion Turtles from the animals of each skill.
The Avatar cycle goes Male Female
But not through each incarnation, through each element. So Aang male Air, last Air Avatar female Yangchen. Korra female, last Water Avatar male Kuruk.
  • Except that the unnamed Fire Nation Avatar before Roku was male.
    • What if the Fire Nation Avatar before Roku WAS female and just looked really manly/hid it? The character is unnamed and I don't recall hearing their voice or even getting a good look at their face.
      • This is essetially jossed with Roku and Aang: Male/Male. Every now and again, an avatar has a previous incarnation of the same sex. There may be a pattern including these "Gender cold boots", but what it is has not quite been established.
      • Read the OP's entire WMG again, including the parts outside the header. "Through each element," as in: the last water avatar was male, the current water avatar is female, the next water avatar will be male. Aang and Roku do not break this pattern as they are not the same element.
      • I actually thought about this theory when I was cooking up my theory on the inherited conflicts Avatars face. Since the Avatar is a position meant to represent balance, it'd make sense for the cycle to switch genders every time it goes through an element. That'd mean that the next Avatars would be a male Earthbender and a female Firebender. That has AWESOME written all over it :)
    • Most likely jossed as of this frame in Endgame, where the Firebender Avatar before Roku (next to Yangchen) was male. Unless she was really manly.
      • Maybe it flips after every five instead of every four? Besides, while it may just be because they're in the background (and thus small and hard to figure out placement), it looks like there are two Water Tribe Avatars next to each other (near the left side of the picture).
  • Looking closely at the picture, it seems random. The two Air Avatars before Yangchen are definitely male. The fire avatar before her is also definitely male. You'd also have to look VERY closely for a female Water Avatar before Kuruk, and while there is a female Fire Avatar before the one before Yangchen, there's clearly more men. The only element that appears to go male-female is Earth.
    • That being said, the Avatar Spirit probably reincarnates into someone who is both easy to find and who, in the society they're born in, can get things done. Of course the Avatar wouldn't reincarnate male/female into the rather sexist Water Tribes, at least not until Korra. A female SWT Avatar would have probably been found before Korra's time, but a female NWT would be entirely ineffective unless she started bending the other elements on her own. Otherwise, if she thought she was merely another bender until the magical age of 16, she'd be stuck only mastering half of Waterbending and probably nothing out of the other elements, as none of the NWT men would believe a woman could be an Avatar.

People other than the Avatar can reincarnate, but don't have to follow the cycle.
Mako and Bolin are the reincarnations of Zuko and Sokka, respectively.
  • Partially Jossed. Zuko is confirmed to be alive in retirement from being Fire Lord.
  • Or maybe it actually does follow the cycle and Mako is Toph?
    • How can Mako be Toph? Mako is the firebender. Do you mean Bolin?
      • No, I mean that potentially, people other than the Avatar follow the cycle, which is Air->Water->Earth->Fire->Air. Therefore, Toph would be reincarnated into the fire element. Right now, a lot of the firebenders from around ATLA are non-benders because there aren't enough people with airbending genetics.
  • I remeMber someone suggesting Ikki and Jinora are Ty Lee and Mai reincarnated (assuming they died). This would follow the cycle.

The Avatar cycle follows the Four-Temperament Ensemble, with two twists.
The traditional correspondance is Air=Sanguine, Water=Phlegmatic, Earth=Melancholic and Fire=Choleric. But it is subverted here, running the opposite cycle than the Elemental Nations' one. Instead, the cycle goes Phlegmatic-Sanguine-Choleric-Melancholic, but with another twist: each time we pass from a Fire Nation Avatar to an Air Nomad, the cycle skips one temperament.
  • This gives: Phlegmatic Airbender (Yangchen), Sanguine Waterbender (Kuruk), Choleric Earthbender (Kyoshi), Melancholic Firebender (Roku), -New cycle: Sanguine Airbender (Aang) and Choleric Waterbender (Korra).
    • In addition, note that Avatars from the same nation follow the same pattern. Naturally, this means that the aforementioned Avatars were, for example, preceded by a Choleric Firebender, and that Korra should normally be followed by a Melancholic Earthbender.

The United Republic is the nation of Energy
When Aang removed Ozai's powers, he brought back Energybending into the world - a fifth form of bending, previously unknown and/or dormant. Later, he and Zuko created the United Republic - in essence, a fifth nation. Where previously there were four nations and four corresponding forms of bending, now there are five of each. Amon's new Energybending powers are just the tip of the iceberg. This also means that in order to become a fully realized Avatar, Korra will have to master Energybending as well.
  • Bloodbender. Amon is a bloodbender.

Bloodbenders are as commonplace as benders of lightning and metal
Hama said that bloodbending could only be used during a Full Moon, but she may simply have been mistaken. First, what if she just wasn't that powerful of a waterbender? She figured out a new technique, certainly, but Katara owned her at bloodbending on the first try. Second, what if Hama was convinced that blood could only be bent during a Full Moon without experimenting further? A more powerful waterbender might be able to do it on the nights around a Full Moon. And third, what about scale? Hama was one woman, using bloodbending for a single purpose of vengeance. No experimentation, no other bloodbenders to push the art forward in new ways. Compare Toph and metalbending. During the first series, Toph could only metalbend in a very brute manner. During the new series, metalbenders are just a bottomless bag of tricks. Which isn't to undermine either woman's genius at their art, but a single person can't come up with every possible innovation.
  • Bloodbending could be very useful in medical treatment, especially surgery. Perhaps there's a bloodbending hospital in Republic City with a statue of Katara in front?
    • I can totally see a master Bloodbender being the Avatar equivalent of a Combat Medic or Emergency Medical Technician. Bleeding is the primary cause of death in the battlefield, a trained Bloodbender being able to keep a victim's blood inside their body to keep them alive would be a very worthy use of the power.
    • What if waterbender healing is actually basically blood (and other body fluids) bending on an unconscious level, and Hama simply discovered how to use it differently?
    • What use would be a medical skill that only works during the full moon?
      • More useful than something which never works? Besides, it might work normally without a full moon if you had a few benders co-operating.
    • Honestly, bloodbenders would make an excellent police force. All they probably need is line of sight and effect, and they could subdue opponents with even less collateral damage than the metalbending police force. However, it will probably be the most difficult to enter police force, because you don't want to teach headcases bloodbending. Unless the police force becomes corrupt. Or has Tarrlok using it as a Secret Police.
  • Halfway confirmed. Bloodbending is not common, per se, since it's still implied to be a BIG taboo. Still, Tarrlok is able to pull it off without a full moon, and he's probably not even on par with Katara power-wise.
  • My own personal guess is that bloodbending is difficult not because it's actually difficult, but because of people's perceptions and own mental restraint. People do not go walking around, seeing others as the collection of organs, cells, and water we really are. Blood bending requires you to see everyone else in this way. It requires extreme amount of stress and emotions to lose such empathy to look, feel and really understand that you can make anyone your puppet. Hama might of just happened to crack the night of a full moon, and thus created a new mental barrier, that bloodbending is only possible under the full moon. Further experimentation in the matter was halted by the extreme social taboos and LAWS the GAANG put in place.

The Avatar cannot have his or her bending taken away.
The Avatar is totally defined by her ability to bend. Said ability cannot be taken away because it would completely upset the balance of the universe, so the Avatar is immune to this because spirits protect her.
  • Alternatively, taking his/her bending away could be as damaging as killing him/her in the Avatar State, it could be one of the ways to break the cycle. If so, Amon could be MUCH more of a threat than he seems, if his ability to take away bending is legit.
  • Alternatively, Amon knew that he couldn't take Korrra's bending and that is the real reason he didn't try. His goal was to scare her with the possibility.
    • Original poster here. It should also be noted that energybending is sort of a battle between the two spirits. Whoever has the strongest will wins. The Avatar is someone who has a very strong will. Amon may be able to easily and casually take bending away from the average person, but could he do the same to someone as strong and powerful as the average Avatar?
      • In the finale of the original series, it’s implied that Ozai’s will came extremely close to overpowering Aang’s when Aang was taking away his bending. We know Aang had a very strong will: being the Avatar, being very determined to defeat Ozai, and to do it without killing him. It could even be argued that the stakes were higher for Aang than they are for Korra, which could give him higher resolve at a stretch. While Korra is older than Aang was, she's shown that fear is something she struggles with when facing Amon, which could potentially weaken her will in that kind of a situation. This troper highly doubts she’d get her bending taken away in the course of the actual show, but doesn’t think it’s an impossibility within the bounds of canon, however catastrophic.
      • Jossed. Amon was able to take Korra's bending away, but he also inadvertently unlocked her airbending, which she uses to take him out.

Getting rid of the Avatar spirit would have drastic spiritual consequences.
The Avatar serves as the connection between the spirit world and the mortal world. Getting rid of the Avatar spirit by killing the Avatar while s/he's in the Avatar State, or taking away the Avatar's bending, will have drastic spiritual consequences, possibly in the form of cutting off the mortal world from the spirit world.
  • I assume it's Confirmed. Since if the Avatar is gone, then when it's time for the Harmonic Convergence to roll around, possibly leading Vaatu to Take Over the World.

The Avatar is reincarnated into a place that has had an effect on the previous Avatar.
Avatar Roku learned airbending at the Southern Air Temple, where he found a best friend in Monk Gyatso. Aang was either born there, or left by his parents to train there. Aang himself was discovered by Katara and Sokka of the Southern Water tribe, and the people of that tribe were the first ones he met after a hundred years. He even went on to marry Katara. Korra was born into the Southern Water tribe, so it's possible that the Avatar spirit seeks out a place that was important in its past life.
  • I like this theory. So we can expect the next Earth Avatar to be born in Republic City?

The different elemental Avatars also inherit a pattern to the conflicts they face, and acting upon their element's nature is what allows them to resolve these conflicts.

Bear with me, this is a long, LONG theory.

So far in the series, we have seen two elements repeating amongst the Avatars: Air(Yancheng/Aang) and Water (Kuruk/Korra), so I can't really talk about the other elements in-depth, just speculate. However, we already see many similarities in the conflicts that these Avatars face, and I've come to the conclusion that each element in the Avatar cycle presents the Avatar with similar conflicts. Let's tackle the Avatars by element:

  • Yancheng and Aang (Air): Both Yangchen and Aang were Avatars during times of great conflict, and they both managed to secure peace afterwards. Although Yangchen's methods were more extreme than Aang's, they both still dedicated their lives to bring peace to a chaotic world. Also, from at least a superficial point of view, Yangchen was the most spiritually awakened of the previous cycle's Avatars, just as Aang was, when compared to previous avatars and Korra, much more spiritually aware. Thus Air Avatars tend to be powerful in spirit, but destined to live through times of great conflict.
  • Kuruk and Korra (Water): Both Kuruk and now Korra have lived/live in times of peace which were brought upon by the previous Air Avatar. As much conflict as there is in Republic City, the fact is that the Avatar World at large is experiencing great peace after Aang finished the war with the Fire Nation, and Kuruk had an easy time of being Avatar because of the peace established by Yangchen. Thus, both Kuruk and Korra have shown similar attitudes to being the Avatar: they have basically shown an entitled attitude to the whole thing, and been arrogant and cocky. They also have had three major sources of conflict: their arrogance, their lack of spiritual awareness and their love life. Kuruk's arrogance and lack of spiritual awareness is part of what made him attack Koh(not realizing how BAD an idea it was) and this led to Koh taking Kuruk's wife away from him, dooming him to an eternity of unhappiness and seeking vengeance. As for Korra, we have already seen that her cocky attitude has landed her in trouble, and that her lack of connection to the spirits has already affected her: she has not been able to perform even the basics of Airbending(the most spiritual of the four basic bending disciplines) and has reached young adulthood without being able to connect even ONCE with her past lives. She has even been in moments of mortal danger and not been able to enter the Avatar State. Also, her main enemy, Amon, claims to be guided by the spirits in his mission, which if it is true, then Korra is at a disadvantage to face him because of her lack of connection with the spirits. Think about it, would Aang have been in doubt about Amon's connection to the spirits? No, he'd have meditated, astrally projected and confirmed the truth himself. Korra is unable to do this. Finally(phew!), there's their love life. Both Kuruk and Korra have been caused great grief by their love life, Kuruk by his wife being taken away from him and Korra for having Mako(at least for the moment) taken away from her.

So as you can see, both Aang and Korra have faced similar circumstances to their predecessors within their element in the Avatar Cycle.

Now, let's analyze the elements themselves, and how the show so far has portrayed their strengths and the characteristics of their nations:

  • Air is the element of spiritual power and inner peace. Airbenders tend to strive for enlightenment and bringing peace to their world, and the Air Nomads are peaceful and given to monastic pursuits.
  • Water is the element of healing and nurturing. Waterbenders are most powerful in service of others, specifically in protecting them and healing them, and the Water Tribes value family and community.
  • Earth is the element of stability and order. Earthbenders tend to favor law and order, and the Earth Nation is powerful in its adherence to tradition and law.
  • Fire is the element of passion, physical power and action. Firebenders are most powerful when being decisive and proactive, and the Fire Nation has long been a nation of ambitious individuals.

Finally let's compare the Avatars we know to the characteristics of their elements:

  • Yangchen and Aang (Air): Both Yangchen and Aang had what we can call successful lives. They both followed the characteristics associated with Air, and it served them well. They both brought lasting peace to the world and had fulfilling lives. In Aang's case, he even brought back Airbending from extinction.
  • Kuruk and Korra (Water): Both Kuruk and Korra(at least so far) have had unsuccessful lives. Instead of being nurturing and willing to serve, they have been egoists, which has both led to them being too linked to earthly concerns to be able to connect with the spiritual and has led to loved ones being hurt.
  • Kyoshi (Earth): From what we saw of Kyoshi, she was a staunch defender of justice and order, and she thus had a successful life. She is widely recognized to have been an excellent Avatar.
  • Roku (Fire): Roku was indecisive, conflicted, and preferred to live away from earthly concerns, and thus he had an unsuccessful life. Distancing himself from his responsibilities and hesitating on doing what was necessary(killing Sozin) led to one hundred years of bloody war.

So that is my theory: each Avatar faces similar challenges to Avatars of their same element previously in the cycle, and the way they can be successful at tackling said challenges is to be true to the nature of their primary element. While every Avatar must master every element, it is the element of their birth that truly defines them and serves as a path to better serve the world. When Avatars serve their element's nature, they achieve great things, while going against their element's nature causes them much grief. Part of my theory is that, yes, the Avatars must master all the elements of Bending, but they also must serve as representatives of their element, show why their element is necessary. Also, the next theory here is a second theory that complements this one.

  • This is a very in-depth analysis and I can agree with everything. Right now, as the series is progressing, Korra is showing the Character Development to being an excellent Avatar with the lack of an ego in late episodes and even has been showing a nurturing side as to suggesting Mako be there for Asami to have a shoulder to cry on. Is this sort of why Tenzin gave Korra the task to babysit the children?
    • I don't know if Tenzin is aware of it, but it wouldn't surprise me, and I do think that Korra's character development will turn her into a more nurturing and protective person, we're already seeing shades of that. Korra's been blessed with, apparently, being a prodigy amongst Avatars in how quick she's been able to master the elements, but she lacks purpose right now. I think that protecting Republic City and her friends is what will drive her to be a paragon of what a Water Avatar is, and give her the tools to awaken spiritually and have a sense of purpose and responsibility. That's part of the reason I suspect Katara will have a much bigger role than just her cameo at the beginning of the first episode, especially when Korra gets serious about mastering Airbending. Not only would she able to commune with the Avatar spirits and meet Aang, she can also learn from a woman who was his wife, who lived through what he lived through and who can give a different perspective of his achievements(through the eyes of a Waterbender). Also, my theory is that one of Korra's friends being in mortal danger or getting seriously hurt is what will finally trigger her Avatar State.

An Avatar does not only bring balance between the elements, he/she also brings balance between Order and Chaos

In the current history of consecutive Avatars that we know of(Yangchen, Kuruk, Kyoshi, Roku, Aang and Korra), we can see another pattern emerging: Avatars also serve as agents of balance between Order and Chaos, not just the elements, and when an Avatar takes it too much in one extreme, the next Avatar takes it in the opposite direction. Let's analyze each Avatar individually:

  • Yangchen: Yangchen, as mentioned in the series, was an excellent Avatar who brought an era of unprecedented peace to the land. However, I think she might have made things TOO peaceful. After all, she made things SO peaceful, her successor basically didn't have ANYTHING worthwhile to do during his tenure.
  • Kuruk: I believe Kuruk, in neglecting his duties as Avatar, let the world go into a state of Chaos. Without the threat of the Avatar to stop them, many people fell into corruption and crime, and the Avatar himself fell into great grief because of it. This shaped the tenure of...
  • Kyoshi: Kyoshi was a fierce defender of law and Order, and brought many a villain to heel during her time as Avatar. She founded the Kyoshi Warriors, one of the most respected and trusted groups of martial artists in the entire Avatar world, and she is widely regarded as an excellent Avatar. However, like Yangchen before her, she took it to the extreme: she created the Dai Li, which with the passage of time became one of the most corrupt organizations in the Avatar world, and who ruled Ba Sing Se with an iron fist under the illusion of maintaining order. This also stifled Ba Sing Se, making them become culturally stagnant and isolationist.
  • Roku: Roku brought Chaos through inaction. By not being willing to face his friend Sozin, he let the Fire Nation become the expansionist country it is by the events of the series. It became SO chaotic that there was the very real possibility that the Avatar cycle would be permanently disrupted.
  • Aang: Aang is the first Avatar we see reaching a balance between order and chaos. He was the one who managed to stop the expansion of the Fire Nation, but not through conquering it, but by giving it a fair ruler who's willing to coexist harmoniously with the other nations. Aang's tenure as Avatar was characterized by peace, yes, but also by great change and development in culture, politics and technology. With the creation of the Republic and the founding of Republic City, Aang created an environment where all the nations could coexist and feed of each other. It is a perfect balance of order and chaos: order as a guiding force to maintain peace and chaos as creative drive and diversity.
  • Korra: During Korra's time, we interestingly see imbalance on BOTH sides of the spectrum. We could consider Korra's time to be "balanced", but in reality it is a time of extremism towards both sides with no middle ground. On the Order side we have the Council, who try to maintain order in Republic City but by dubious methods, being generally led by ambitious and manipulative Tarrlok. On the Chaos side, we have the Equalists, led by Amon. At least superficially, Amon's motivation has merit: Benders ARE too powerful and have too much power over politics and society. However, his violent methods and "end justifies the means" philosophy bring nothing but chaos and fear to the populace, and his genocidal agenda against benders threatens to destroy the cycle as we know it. In between them, we have corrupt companies trying to make a profit by stamping their competition and rampant crime. This has caused all citizens, bender and non-bender alike, to live in a constant state of fear. It falls on Korra to bring both extremes back to the center: raise and inspire the non-benders and make the benders be responsible and judicious with their powers to benefit all, not just themselves.

So as you see, the Avatar is not merely a manifestation of the spirits in this world, he/she also serves to rectify extremes in Order and Chaos so that the world does not lose direction nor becomes stagnant.

  • So does this mean that Avatars Aang and Korra are the ones we are watching is because they are the ones who will succeed where all other Avatars failed?
    • Well, yes, according to my theory, that is most certainly the case. And I made this theory before Tarrlok's reveal as the bastard he is, which shows that indeed the world is becoming one of extremes(hell, the EPISODE ITSELF is named "When Extremes Meet"), so I think this gives even more credence to my theory. Also, remember that woman amongst the non-benders that were being taken away by the police? "You're OUR Avatar too!" Yes she is, yes she is.
      • Confirmed, as of episode 8 of Book 2, where it looks like Korra has to fight the Spirit who basically is the embodiment of Chaos.

Bending has a spiritual component which gets taken away when one's a victim of Energybending
Bending is not simply the ability to control the elements, it is the user using his spiritual power to bend them to his will(hence the name). When one's a victim of Energybending, one LITERALLY loses a piece of one's self. Look at the victims of it so far(Ozai, Lightning Bolt Zolt and Tahno). They're more than distraught, they're downright DEFEATED. They have literally had their very soul violated. This gives Energybending a much more urgent and sinister quality. I certainly can't see Aang ever doing it again. He only used it on Ozai because to him the alternative(killing Ozai) was even worse in his mind, but he can't possibly have not felt regret over it, especially since he actually made contact with Ozai's very essence when he did it. He sure as hell didn't teach it to anybody.

If Amon's Energybending is legit, then him using it so casually takes on a whole other level of horrifying.

  • Well, bending is a highly spiritual thing.
    • Amon was actually using Bloodbending.

The ability to bend is not a genetic trait and doesn't depend on a person's spirituality but on the spirits themselves
There are two different ways this could work:
  • A person gets the potential to bend from the local spirits, for example if a spirit is present when a child is born they can chose to "bless" the child with the ability to bend whatever element the spirit is associated with. The child would learn how to bend from either an animal that was also "blessed" by the same type of spirit (badgermoles, sky bison, dragons, ect.), a physical form of the type of spirit that "blessed" them (the moon, the lionturtle,ect.), or another human who already learned how to bend. That is how only one of the identical twins from the previous series could bend but not the other, the spirit could only give their gift to one of them. Whether or not the parents could bend may help increase the chance of a spirit giving them the gift but it would be due to them having the ability to teach them as oppossed to genetics. That's also how Amon learned how to bend from a spirit, the spirit gave him the gift before hand and taught it to him later since no one else could just like how the lionturtle had to teach Aang spiritbending himself. It's also why we see very spiritual people with no bending and benders who are not spiritual people, it all depended on the spirits to be present and what they decided to do.
  • If bending tied into a process like the avatar cycle than it could also be a case of an individual spirit chosing to live as a mortal with the same skills they had as a spirit, much like how the moon spirit lived inside Yue. The spirit is born into whatever population of the species of their chosing (human, badgermole, skybison,dragon,ect.) that lived in the local area they were in, and many spirits of the earth, water, air, and fire elements chose to be humans. If a species died out, like what almost happened to the dragons and sky bison, they couldn't be born into it anymore so many spirits chose to be human due to its large numbers and it was the least likely to be wiped out. The earth, water, and fire spirits feel safe enough to continue to be born as humans despite the previous war but the air spirits chose to stay into the spirit world because they are still traumatised by what happened to them as airbenders, with the exceptions of the ones who chose to be desendents of the avatar himself since that would be the safest postion they could think of. This second theory may also explain how Amon thinks he can completely get rid of bending, if spirit bending is like an exorcism that returns the spirit to the spirit world without killing the human they were born into he might be trying to make the spirits scared to live as humans anymore due to the persecution they would face like what happened to the Air Nomads.

    • Almost entirely {{Jossed]]. It's heavily implied that bending is purely genetic. Firebenders all descend from people who lived in Lion Turtle cities and were granted Firebending; the same holds true for Airbenders, Waterbenders, and Earthbenders. Non-benders could come from any city, as any people who chose not to become benders are "non-benders." It seems that bending is handed down from parent to child, but the trait to bend is not guaranteed, thus why Benders can have non-Bender children. So far, all evidence shows that (for example): a firebender and an earthbender may have a firebender, earthbender, or non-bender children; from there, the descending lines continue as such, but a firebender and non-bender cannot have an earthbender, even if a grandparent was an earthbender. This has been proven true with Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi, and inferred heavily with Mako and Bolin; however, there is no absolute proof with Mako and Bolin, as though their mother was stated to be Fire Nationish, it hasn't been revealed whether she was a firebender, the descendant of a firebender, or just a pure non-bender.

All Avatars have an animal guide.
Aang once commented that Fang the dragon was Roku's animal guide, just like Appa is to him. This implies that an animal guide is either common or mandatory. I propose a theory that all Avatars have an animal guide, though the animal doesn't necessarily have to be a bending one. Remember that the Avatar serves to connect the spirits, the people, and nature. Having an animal guide gives them that connection with nature.

Airbending will have its own new branch of bending at some point in this series.
Like how firbending has lightningbending, earthbending has metalbending, and waterbending has healing, plantbending & bloodbending. Maybe it will be developed by Tenzin, or Korra, or possibly even one of the kids. My bet is on sound bending. After all, sound is just the vibration of molecules in the air, right? Plus, it'd be cool to see someone use sound bending to do things like unleashing sonic booms, incapacitating their foes with high pitch sounds, and disorientate people by messing with the fluids in their ear.
  • This idea has a lot of credence, in my book. In the first series, Aang had a tendency to be incredibly loud at times. (PENGUINS!!!) One could also use an ability like this for stealth: making one's footsteps softer (we've also seen Aang do this) or even dampening all ambient sound in a room (which we might have seen Aang do). The possibilities are endless; expanding them into something a little more concrete wouldn't be that big a leap. The only downside is that we now have Meelo fartbending...not so cool.
    • More plausible, considering Aang once amplified the range of his bison whistle in "Tales of Ba Sing Se"
  • I wonder if the morally ambiguous airbending technique turns out to be vacuumbending.
    • Taking the air out of someone's lungs... eardrums ruptured...
  • There could also be Thermobending, where the Airbender can control the temperature in a certain location through an advanced application of airbending to affect atmospheric pressure and create cold and hot fronts in an isolated area. But since Airbenders are mainly pacifists, any overtly offensive and destructive advanced Airbending techniques would not have been created.

What if we've already seen Airbending's "new branch"? In the Eastern cultures Avatar is based on, Air is the element of spirit and energy. We already know that the Air Nomads were considered the most spiritual nation, and Aang had a very close connection with the spirit world all along. Energybending is actually spiritbending, and it's the "secondary" branch of airbending.This also explains why all Air Nomads were Airbenders, when this wasn't true for any other nation. The Air Nomads, through their connection with Energybending and the spirit world, were able to ensure — consciously or unconsciously — that all of their offspring developed the ability to Airbend as well.

  • CONFIRMED. We've been introduced to flight (Zaheer) and astral projection (Jinora).

Pema's next child
  • Isn't the Avatar reincarnated at the exact moment of birth? In which trimester is Pema during the series? What if Korra dies and Reincarnates in the 4th son of Tenzin?
    • The avatar cycle doesnt work that way, Air was the last element and Earth is the next. So unless Korra dies and the next two avatars are stillborn or sucumb to SIDS that's not gonna happen
      • Well, it could still be possible if Pema had earthbender blood in her.
      • Katara specifically states that the unborn child is an airbender.
      • She just said the kid would be another bender, she didn't specify an element. Though airbender is still the most likely, since Tenzin, the father, is an airbender, airbender genes would likely be the most prominent. (depending on how bending genetics work)
  • Jossed in any case. As of episode 10, Pema has had the baby and Korra isn’t dead. We still don’t know which element the baby bends, although most presume it’s Air.

The Avatar Spirit is dying, and Azula is to blame
When Azula killed Aang, the only reason that he and the Avatar Spirit continued to exist is because of Katara's timely healing. However, Katara could only fix so much. Azula's lightning blast caused significant damage to the Avatar Spirit, which is worsening over time, like a festering wound. Korra's problems with spirituality are a symptom of this. Eventually, the damage will become too much, and the Avatar Spirit will die. Maybe not during Korra's lifetime. Maybe not during the next Avatar's lifetime. But soon.
  • However, if they manage to figure out something's wrong, they might be able to fix it. Perhaps relearning Spirit Bending might help.
    • Given what happened in Darkness Falls and Light In The Dark, I think this position is kind of moot. Whatever Azula did would be like the equivalent of contracting a terminal disease that will kill you in 5 years, only for Vaatu's actions to be the equivalent of getting run over by a car halfway through.

Avatars can't lose their bending.
Their power comes from the spirit of the planet, which is how they bend all four elements. Aang wasn't in any danger of losing his bending when he de-bended Ozai, but of being corrupted, losing their soul, or dying. At no point did the Lion Turtle tell Aang that he would lose his bending. If they do lose their bending, they're no longer the Avatar; the planet's spirit moves on to someone else. It will be impossible for Amon to take away Korra's bending, because then he's dicking around with THE PLANET. Though if he manages to, Korra might be mentoring her replacement.
  • Hand Wave. Korra's great fear of Amon due to the possibility of taking her bending away is a frequently used plot device to increase his natural presence as the Hero Killer. To later reveal she was never in any danger of losing her bending with such a flimsy explanation would probably spoil Amon's characterization.
    • A more plausible explanation: Avatars can't lose the spiritual aspect of bending, but they can lose their physical aspect of bending. It's the difference between taking something away and breaking it. You still have the broken object, but it's no longer usable. Amon didn't take away Korra's bending, but rather permanently disabled it. Perhaps in time, Korra and Amon's other victims could have recovered, but it would take years if not decades of research. Instead, Korra got her Energy Bending and there was no need for any of Amon's innocent victims to worry any more. The criminals might have some incentive to develop their alternative means.
  • The WMG, by the way, is jossed. Korra lost most of her bending. MOST.

No one has any idea where the first Avatars were from
More specifically, they don't know what order the first four Avatars went in. While most Avatars are historically documented, the first few are figures of legend. All they really know is that while each of the four were awesome and powerful Avatars, the fourth one did something incredibly awesome, through the first recorded use of the Avatar State. Each nation has their own story on how things happened, ultimately favoring their native Avatar. (For example, ask a Water Tribesman, and he'll tell you that the order went so: earth, fire, air and water.) Only the Avatars know how things went down, and they're not telling.
  • Alternativly, the first Avatars were from older cultures. We know that the Sun Warriors predate the Fire Nation. Something similer could have been the case for all the nations.
    • Jossed. The first Avatar was a firebender, and at there is still some memory of his adventure.
    • i don't recall anything in the show that said that the true events were well known. sages and monks might know some of what happened but normal people would be unlikely to. during and after the war anyone outside of the fire nation that did know would be very reluctant to admit that a firebender was the first avatar and they probably wouldn't be happy to admit that their element wasn't it even before that.
By the end of the series, the Avatar Spirit will be altered so that for one month per year, Korra and all subsequent Avatars temporarily lose their bending.
The purpose of the Avatar is to maintain balance. While that originally referred to balance among the four elements, a major theme of the new series is the imbalance between benders and non-benders. To correct this imbalance, Korra will make it so that Avatars must understand what it is like to be a non-bender.
  • Jossed.

An alternative to the above theory: Korra will give everyone the ability to bend.
A twist on the villains' idea of "equality."
  • Jossed, for the moment at least.

Korra will learn to Airbend after Amon captures her.

After Amon captures Korra as seen in the finale trailers, she loses her ability to bend... Water, Earth and Fire. Since she hasn't yet *learned* how to airbend, her airbending won't be taken away, giving us a montage of Roku, Kyoshi, Aang, Gyatso and Tenzin using their airbending. Korra will be forced to use airbending at the same time unlocking the Avatar State; which, since it allows the Avatar to use all four elements at once, will restore the other elements to her. When Amon is defeated, the energy he received from the benders he victimized will disperse across Republic City, where the once-depowered benders will use their newly-regained abilities to drive away the Equalists; all that will be left of Amon will be his cloak and mask, dropping to the floor of the air temple.

And yes, I realize making WMG's 2 hours before the season finale is a bad idea.

  • Partially confirmed in Endgame- Korra (temporarily) loses the ability to bend Water, Earth, and Fire, but learns Airbending in the nick of time. Everything else was a no, though.

Avatars who die in childhood and/or before achieving enlightenment do not appear in certain past-life manifestations
All the past Avatars that appeared to Korra were in order from Aang until the bearded earthbender. Why is it suddenly out of order afterwards? Because past Avatars who died before achieving the Avatar State and thus being Fully Realized Avatars were not included. Perhaps they died as children or while they were in-training. Look at the picture again. It shows two Water Tribe avatars standing side by side. That means the Avatar spirit went a full cycle without becoming a Fully Realized Avatar.note 
  • The show has been fairly consistent that the Avatar state will activate automatically when the Avatar is in mortal danger, even if it does jack-all when they're only in danger of injury. An Avatar, even one that hasn't started any bending training, is unlikely to die young. Besides, after Kuruk's row, the order stops fitting the cycle. It looks like the guys back there were just milling around instead of bothering to get into order.note 
  • I can't help but notice the female Fire Nation Avatar in the third row, specifically the very Fire Lady/Princess crown, an ancestor of Zuko's perhaps? Of course that would mean Zuko's descended from two Avatars, maybe he was even named after her. (I would put this in WMG on it's own but I have no idea where it would go)
    • Zuko may not be related to her at all; that Avatar could have just been from a different dynasty. There are *centuries* between that Avatar and Zuko.
  • Actually, judging by the fact that Aang went into the Avatar State and stayed in it for an entire century, Raava is a Mama Bear who is not going to let a child die if she can help it. There's not a whole lot she can do to stop Aang from being punked by Ozai, Azula, or Zhao during a battle, but she will not just move on to the next one if a child Avatar is at risk of drowning, freezing to death, or succumbing to illness.
Now that Korra can access the Avatar State...
...she'll get lots of spirit advice from Kuruk in Season 2. Or at least they'll become good buddies or something. As mentioned in a previous WMG on this page, they do seem to have some similarities personality-wise, not to mention it's at least strongly implied that Avatars of the same base element have stronger connections (as Aang had initially been exited to talk to Yangchen). Aang will probably get a decent amount more flashback/spirit time, of course, but it would be nice to hear more from Kuruk as he barely got any screentime in the original series.
  • Jossed. Kuruk never showed up, and the past-life spirits are permanently gone as a result of the Avatar Spirit temporarily being destroyed.
    • Kuruk actually does show up once, for one line at the start of the Beginnings episode. "Go back. Return to the beginning. Find Raava."

The past Avatars continue to advise each other after death
Being the Avatar and being the Avatar's Spirit Advisor are two totally different things. Just because you can do one doesn't mean you'll be any good at the other. So, Roku is still Aang's advisor, only now he's advising him on how to be a spirit advisor. Likewise, Kyoshi is advising Roku on how to advise someone on how to be a spirit advisor, Kuruk is advising Kyoshi on how to advise someone on how to advise someone to be a spirit advisor, and so on back to the very first Avatar, who's basically just winging it (or back until one of the past Avatars tells his predecessor "I've got this, thanks," whichever comes first).

The Avatar is the only person who doesn't fully reincarnate.
As in, a part of the Avatar remains in the Spirit World. This is so that the living Avatar will be able to connect with his or her past lives. Everyone else in the Avatar world (with a few potential exceptions) reincarnates after death, but an Avatar will remain in the Spirit World. If the Avatar spirit is killed, the past lives will leave the spirit world and reincarnate.

The next Avatar.
From what we know of the Avatar cycle we know it will be an earthbender, though whether it will be a boy or girl we do not know. However if the level of technology continues at the rate it is now (and assuming Korra doesn't die young) her successor will be born into a time period roughly equal to our own. Korra delt with someone who could take away people's bending, what if by the next incarnation the Avatar has to deal with a new technology that allows ANYONE to bend? With some new surgical techniques (or possibly nanomachines if they're far enough in the future) a non-bender can now firebend, or perhaps an earthbender can also waterbend. Maybe a few people have altered themeselves so much they can bend all four elements. Picture what the Avatar would need to do. Is it okay that anyone who wants to can bend? Does this subvert the spirituality inherent to bending? This would bring up a load of issues for the Avatar to deal with.
  • I love this idea so much. You need to be on the writing staff.
  • Alternatively, it could be that the advancement of technology made bending and spirits obsolete, thus removing the importance of the avatar and destroying the balance. The avatar would have to find a way to re-establish the importance of bending and coexistence with the spirits.
Eventually, bending genes will be mixed enough that there can be the possibility for benders to bend more than one element
For example, Mako and Bolin's parents are two different benders, one fire and one earth, hence why the brother's bend different elements. In the future, or possibly sooner than we think, the bending can genes evolve in a way that the child can inherit both forms of bending from their parents. And even further down the line, the child of an Earth/Fire bender and a Water bender can give birth to a triple bender. Perhaps it will be weaker (no metal or lightning bending for example) or it can give rise to a power hungry villain thinking s/he can overthrow the avatar.
  • Except that the lion turtles said that it was impossible for a single human to have more than one element at a time; the Avatar can only manage it because of Raava.

Wan became the first Avatar through Energybending
The Lion Turtle did state that, before the time of the Avatar, humans bent not the elements, but the energy within themselves. A theory directly from a friend, if the Avatar is the spirit of the planet, incarnated in human form, then perhaps Wan managed to energybend the planet itself, thus imbuing the planet's very essence and his together. And in doing so, since reincarnation would recycle his very soul, every Avatar would be able to connect with the planet, thus why they can bend all four elements.
  • Part Jossed, part Confirmed.
    • Wan did gain the power of the elements through energybending, but it was done to him by Lion Turtles. Later on, the idea comes up when Tenzin tells Korra to connect with her own spirit, rather than that (the Light Spirit Raava) which makes her the Avatar. Tenzin almost quotes the Lion Turtle word-for-word about energy-/spiritbending, but does so in the context of the Avatar understanding his or her own character and how that allows Korra/Wan/each incarnation to do great things.

Korra will be the Last Avatar
For whatever reason, maybe because the world is steadily evolving to a point where the Avatar won't be necessary, when Korra dies, the Avatar Spirit will not reincarnate. This will be a source for much angst for Korra, knowing that she is going to be the Last Avatar, and there is nothing she can do to prevent that. I have two reasons for this; the first is the room in the Southern Air Temple containing statues of all the previous Avatars. Notably, they're set out in a spiral pattern starting at the very top of the tower with Wan's wooden statue, then down along the walls before getting to the floor and creating a more concrete spiral that terminates (currently) at Aang's statue, which is fairly close to the center. Now, I know the Air Nomads are long gone, but what exactly were they planning on doing when they ran out of room for more statues? Create a whole new wing of the Temple for more statues? Or did they (or at the very least, their elders) have a sense that the Avatar would eventually disappear from the world? The other is that Korra will be meeting the spirit of Avatar Wan in the Spirit World for undisclosed reasons. Maybe the reason is symbolic; the First Avatar meets with the Last to explain the termination of the cycle. Either way, Korra represents the end of the Avatar, and this may be a plot point in the later seasons.
  • ...This makes more sense than I might be comfortable with.
    • This troper also agree's to the discomfort of how much sense this makes. Wan was responsible for the imbalance and spent the rest of his life (and is spending the rest of his reincarnations lives) maintaining balance. Now we find that the spirit of Darkness is obviously coming back (the evil spirits look the same as the one's currupted by him). The avatar is locked in an almost eternal struggle to maintain a balance they threw off at the beginning and now its time for the harmonic convergence again. If the avatar loses, everything becomes chaos. If she truly wins this time, the purpose of the avatar will be fulfilled and atoned for, and they can finally pass on. Ending the cycle.
      • If there are Avatars after Korra, it will be because of a renewed cycle in the far-flung future. That said, there wasn't really balance even before the Avatar cycle came about, considering spirits made the world so dangerous that humans could only survive by being granted bending. So while the Avatar Cycle as we know it might end, a new kind of Cycle might begin.
  • But who's to say the air nomads didnt just move every statue over one when the current avatar dies If I remember correctly Roku was in the position near the center when Aang visited. Besides it's easier to build up.
    • Partially confirmed! Korra temporarily loses Raava, and Vaatunalaq uses the opportunity to beat the past lives out of her. Korra's both the last Avatar and the first Avatar of a new cycle.

Nuktuk, the hero of the south, is the reincarnation of Wang Fire.
There is no way something this golden can be false.

The field where Wan died is the same field Zuko rode past in "Zuko Alone"
People took notice of the giant round "Chinese coin" statues that Wan rests on when he dies [1] are the same sort Zuko passed by in the Last Airbender episode "Zuko Alone" [2].Is that the site of a 10,000 year old battlefield? The same site? It might be a battle Wan tried to intervene in between other humans and the Earth Kingdom's predecessors from the lion turtle city, such statues are seen in battle when General Kong forced Aang into the Avatar State [3]

  • (same troper here) To joss my own WMG, it might only be an old earth kingdom battle with the fire nation when Iroh invaded there, given that the statues are still used in the present by the Earth Kingdom in Aang's time. (see video reference above)

Vaatu will create his own version of the Avatar.
This "dark Avatar" might have a way to negate bending or even prevent the reincarnation of the Avatar.
  • Building on the theory, the "Dark Avatar" will be the main antagonist in Book 3.
    • Confirmed! Vaatu fuses with Unalaq to create a Dark Avatar. He gets dealt with fairly quickly, though.

Vaatu has been manipulating every major enemy of the Avatar in the series.
Sozin, Ozai, Tarrlok, Amon, and Unalaq as well as the enemies of other Avatars like Chang the Conqueror.
  • I think that would cheapen the show an awful lot.
    • Depends on how they play it. If it's just Vaatu forced these nice people to be evil, yeah it's just a cheap out. But if they go into detail about how these people were had a choice, how they gave into temptation, and Vaatu only planted the seeds and these people had a choice. It all comes done to the writing, which this season has either been incredibly thought out or completely hopeless.

A new Avatar Cycle will emerge.
An earlier WMG suggested that Korra would be the last Avatar. However, the Avatar cycle came about as a result of the weakened Raava merging with Wan, and if they defeat Vaatu, then the purpose of the Avatar is supposedly fulfilled. But, prior to the Avatar, things weren't in balance. Spirits had hedged out humans to such a point that they could only live in Lion Turtle cities, despite humans being from this world and spirits not. So, to prevent this from happening again, there might be a new Avatar Cycle, meant to keep the rest of the hostile forces in check. If Raava is renewed and Vaatu defeated, then she might be able to empower multiple avatars come the next cycle.
  • Sort-of confirmed. Vaatu manages to separate Raava from Korra, destroying the Avatar Spirit. Even after it's reformed, Korra can't contact her past lives anymore. The Cycle has to start over, with Korra as both the last Avatar of Wan's Cycle and the first Avatar of a new one.

The second Avatar was a southern airbender boy.
Since Wan's statue appears in the Southern Air Temple and we know that the second avatar was a native airbender, it stands to reason that the airbender in question was a boy from that region, as the Air Nomads segregate themselves by sex.

The Fire Sage was the reincarnation of Wan's lemur friend
Or... something. Her necklace was the same as the lemur's. Alternatively, when Sages were first created, they were given that necklace because Wan considered it a sign of his closest friends.

Aang could have lived longer
  • Aang was 66 when he died, but really he could have lived another 20 years. 10 at least. Why didn’t he? Cause Ravaa needed someone to be ready for the Harmonic Convergence. If Aang would have lived to be older, he might not have been able to fight Vaatu and win. Additionally he needed to live long enough so that the new Avatar would be fairly young and strong when the HC came about. It could be why Korra showed signs so early of being the Avatar. Raava allowed it, knowing that Korra was on a time constraint, knowing that this girl has to be ready and trained, in a little over a decade to save the world.
    • Considering that being a badass forever is more or less the norm, Aang at 83 would probably be able to fight Vaatu as well as Korra at 17. Consider Bumi was about 110 or so during the previous series and was arguably the strongest Earth Bender in the world. Heck, Kyoshi lived to 230. No word on her fighting prowess at that age, but still.
      • Aang wouldn't have to fight Vaatu because he wouldn't be manipulated so easily by Unalaq and be goaded into opening the portals.
  • Judging by the stress that fusing with Raava/having her pass through him put on Wan's body, I think this is Jossed. Raava kept Aang alive in the Avatar State for a century, but there's only so much Raava can do to keep the Avatar alive. Most Avatars seem to live well beyond 100 anyway; Aang was actually 166 when he died. Past a certain age the Avatar would be too physically weak to keep Raava inside him or her, and eventually yes, that century inside the iceberg did catch up to Aang (possibly making him age more rapidly?)

The events of 'Light in the Dark' will begin a Dark Avatar cycle
  • If Raava can allow reincarnation then why not Vaatu?
    • Because Vaatu was destroyed. For the Avatar Cycle to persist, the spirit must escape when the current Avatar physically dies (as shown with Raava leaving Wan). Korra didn't just kill the Dark Avatar, she destroyed the spirit. Now the world has ten thousand more years until Vaatu is reborn in the next Harmonic Convergence.
      • In other words, it's the "Die in the avatar state" thing that was alluded to in the original series.

When connecting with the universe, Korra did what Aang couldn't
You are supposed to let go your earthly attachments to do that, right? That's why she broke up with Mako in the end.
  • I think this is not so much WMG as something explicitly shown on screen. When Korra meditated in the Tree of Time, she appeared on the same glowing space catwalk where Aang was in "The Guru". Only Aang snapped out of it before going into the light, unwilling to let go of his attachments, while Korra went all the way through.
    • They never did bring up the consequences of the act, however, so the bit about losing her attachment is not explicitly confirmed. Hence, WMG.

The previous Avatars are still around.
The loss of the Avatar spirit merely severed the connection, but the Avatars are not destroyed. They're alive and in the spirit world, though they will never be able to form the connection they once had. If she wants to reconnect with a past life, she's going to have to manually do it.

The Avatar Spirit resets itself every 10,000 years, creating a new lineage of Avatars.
As demonstrated by both Wan, and more importantly Korra, Korra losing the connection to her previous lives was not an accident, but what is supposed to happen when an Avatar defeats Vaatu during the Harmonic Convergence; the Avatar Spirit has to be reset and a new lineage of Avatars begins. Korra didn't realize this because this is only the second Harmonic Convergence that an Avatar was present for, and thus the first that would actually lose her connection to her previous lives. This is because, regardless of the outcome, Harmonic Convergence represents the "end" of the world, and the "beginning" of a new one, and as a result, this creates a new lineage of Avatars to safeguard it. Korra must now stand on her own, because her old lives were part of a world that no longer exists, one where the human and spirit worlds were separate. She must now serve as a guide to all the Avatars who will come after her until the next Harmonic Convergence, and the emergence of another world (at which point she will be separated from the Avatar of that time just as the Avatars of the previous 10,000 years were lost to her).

The reason a non-Avatar Human con't handle being given 2 bending abilities is because they'll become an Elemental Embodiment.
So Earth and Fire creates a Magma Man and crossing the other Elements has similar effects.

Vaatu isn't dead, and is inside Raava/Korra
It was stated that Raava and Vaatu can never truly destroy each other, and was in fact why Korra was able to "pull Raava out" of Vaatu after she was seemingly destroyed. Something similar will likely happen to Vaatu. This could mean that there is currently a "darkness" within the Avatar that was not there before.
  • This actually makes a lot of sense. It also opens up a lot of possibilities, and may in fact be necessary for true balance. After all, if the Avatar is supposed to keep the world in balance, how can they do that if they're all order and no chaos, or all light and no dark? I suspect that Vaatu will fully regrow in the Avatar as they reincarnate, until Harmonic Convergence comes again. This time, however, the battle will not be without, but within; the Avatar will have to choose who to listen to, and in the end, will walk their own path, listening to both Raava and Vaatu for guidance. I suspect Vaatu won't agree to this, but will instead be forced to remain inside the Avatar. In this regard, the Avatar will become balanced within themself, and finally be able to bring true balance to the world.
  • Confirmed. Word of God says he is within Korra, but is far too weak at present to influence her.

There were dozens of lion turtles, but they only give access to the four elements
It was stated that their are dozens of lion turtles that humans lived on, but we only see humans bending the four elements. Well, there are multiple lion turtles, but each only could gift five things. The four elements, and energy bending. Humans could only normally handle controlling one of the former without breaking apart, and only one could control the latter. So that why we don't see other elements, or Aang just didn't get extremely lucky finding the one lion turtle that could give him energy bending ("I need a way to take the Firelord down without killing him!" "Here, have the power of fire.")
  • I'm pretty sure it's been stated somewhere that there are more elements than the bendable ones.
  • In theory, there might once have been dozens of elements, of which only four survive today. We assume that Wan traveled the world, collecting every element he could get his hands on—but what if he was more selective? What if he encountered lots of elements, but only bothered to acquire the ones that would give him a significant advantage in combat? All the others were either impractical or useless in a fight, which would explain why they were all wiped out in the ensuing age of warfare. Survival of the fittest.

If Unalaq died, there wouldn't really be a Dark Avatar cycle. A new one would just get reborn in the Water Tribes.
Unalaq never bothered getting the other bending arts, so no cycle. So whenever Unalaq died, Vaatu would just seek out a replacement in the Water Tribes.

All future airbending avatars are Aang's descendants...
... but hypothetically once the next firebending avatar dies and there isn't a new airbender born afterwards (if you consider the future airbenders at that moment, didn't have any new babies on the way at the time of said firebending avatar's death), then how will it affect the Avatar Cycle?
  • Never mind, this theory can't possibly happen because a group of people gained the ability to airbend. Still I do wondered how the creators would visualize this scenario.

Vaatu is no longer evil
When Korra disperses the spirit of Vaatu she says “be at peace.” Instead of killing or destroying Vaatu what she did was cleanse him. Darkness in and of itself is not bad and is essential for life. Many animals and plants thrive in darkness and our bodies need darkness to be healthy. Maybe Vaatu was not originally evil. He and Raava could have existed in tandem (sort of like Castor and Pollux) and the first harmonic convergence caused them to cross paths. I’m not sure what exactly would have happened to make them fight but after Vaatu was imprisoned by Raava he spent ten thousand years being driven mad by hate which twisted him into the evil spirit he is at Wan’s and Korra’s times. When Korra cleanses him she heals him of all of the hate and anger that had been infecting him (and bleeding out to temporarily infect the spirits around him) turning him back into a benevolent or at least neutral spirit of darkness who will live in harmony with Raava/the avatar.

Neither Raava nor Vaatu are inherently good or evil.
Going off the above theory, Raava and Vaatu represent Order and Chaos, not Good and Evil. As such, Raava has the potential to become Lawful Good or Lawful Evil while Vaatu has the potential to be Chaotic Good or Chaotic Evil.

Vaatu is blocking Korra's connection to the other avatars.
Raava's death weakened but didn't wipe out the Avatar line - Vaatu's did. Raava explained that since light and darkness cannot exist without one another, Vaatu will just regrow within her if ever destroyed, as she did within him. Vaatu is using his new position within Raava to block the connection somehow, much like chi paths could be blocked, so removing him from Raava will reestablish the line between Korra and Aang/Wan/everyone between.

Zaheer is Guru Laghima's reincarnation.
This would explain his sudden mastery of airbending and why he is always talking about him. either that or he is Laghima somehow granted immortality and lost his airbending in the past.
  • unless the avatar is a special case, reincarnation doesn't work that way. Aang and Korra couldn't be more different.

The Avatar State has a Bad Wolf mode.
The Avatar State can transcend time to bring forward all past avatars, and can even be brought back from destruction. It would not be a surprise to find that it can also restore life to another person and even perceive all of time and space.

Korra's Avatar State is the weakest it has been since Wan
The power of the Avatar State is derived from the previous Avatars. Therefore, an Avatar's successor will have a stronger Avatar State. For example, Aang's Avatar State would be somewhat stronger than Roku's, as, in addition to pulling from Roku's (and all other previous avatars') strength, he can pull from his own.

This would even be true with Korra, up until Harmonic Convergence. Once she loses access to her past lives, her only source of strength for her Avatar State is herself. Korra is a rather powerful bender in her own right, and the fact that the Avatar State is still useful hints that it may also temporarily unlock the user's own hidden potential (such that, if Korra ever reached her full potential, going into the Avatar State wouldn't really do anything), but one person simply can't make up for the loss of around 10000 years worth of other Avatars.

Following Harmonic Convergence, Korra's Avatar State is pitifully weak compared to what it used to be.

This parallels with Wan, the first Avatar, who likewise could only pull from his own strength.

Korra's tear is an indicator that she's not cut off from previous Avatars after all.
She's witnessing the anointment of the first airbending master since Aang's death. Aang would of course be proud of his granddaughter. Having reached her lowest point, she's opening herself back up to reconnect with Aang.

Avatars tend to be highborn.
It's because of Blue Blood or anything like that, it's so that they can more easily get in touch with whatever national spiritual mentor that exists more easily. Korra was the daughter of the Southern Water chief and Rokku was well off enough to be close to Crown Prince Sozin. Granted, we don't have any knowledge of Avatar Kyoshi and Kuruk, while Yangchen and Aang were monks. That said, the latter isn't a contradiction to the original WMG, since the Air Nomads were a small population with large numbers of monks and nuns, so screening the entire populace would be easy compared to the vast populations of the Earth Kingdom and the Fire Nation.

Korra will recover the link to the previous avatars by the new balance the whole world needs.
The reason she lost her link is because the Ravaa inside her right now is not the original, but rather the reborn version retrieved from Vaatu, which means that currently, the part of Ravaa that kept the spirits of the previous avatars is actually part of Vaatu, which sort of was scattered in pieces all over the lands. The "dark ghost" that keeps following Korra is actually a manifestation of the previous avatars trying to reconnect with her from random fragments, but corrupted/confused by Vaatu's anger and chaos or simply for being utterly incomplete.

The fire avatar who looks like Jafar was transgender.
Keeping with the WMG that the cycle alternates male and female avatars based on nation, Raava chose a female body for that avatar, but he proved to have a male mind.

Lightningbending is easier to do when using original-style, non-corrupted firebending
According to various people who should know, lighting creation requires calm rather than strong emotion. The corrupted form of firebending practiced in the Fire Nation under Ozai was powered by rage and other negative feelings, which are less compatible with calmness unless you're a psychopath like Ozai and Azula were. Once Zuko and Aang reintroduced "true" firebending the emotional spectrum associated with it became broader, so lightningbending became available to sane and morally-decent people again instead of being basically Sith Lightning.

Dark Korra was Raava trying to reach through.
However, since Korra was pretty emotionally messed up by the poisoning and battle with Zaheer, Raava was hamstrung by the same mental block that prevented Korra from entering the Spirit World (and caused nasty flashbacks to the battle with Zaheer), and caused her to instead manifest to Korra as Dark Korra.

Example of: