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WMG / Korra The Equalists And Other Villains

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

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     The Equalists 

The Equalists are the Avater-Verse's communists
C'mon: it's the roaring twenties and you have people declaring that they want everyone equal.

The Equalist's goal is pointless.
I'm assuming that Tarrlok was born after Aang took his fathers bending away for this one. My theory is that even if you take away a Benders ability to bend you don't remove their genetic predisposition for it. Meaning that even if Amon and the equalists succeed they will have to deal with it all over again in a generation because a bunch of new benders will be born. Basically this is "Lamarck was wrong: The WMG!"
  • In light of what was learned in the Finale, Noatok/Amon should have known this. He inherited the prodigious waterbending power from his own father, who was debended before either he or his little bro Tarrlok were even conceived.
  • They can use Eugenics to eradicate the bending gene.
  • The only way around this is to use his bloodbending to wreck their reproductive abilities while de-bending them.
The Equalists will receive a "The Reason You Suck" Speech by the heroes.
In countless media where Fantastic Racism is served as a theme, there might be a speech involving on how hypocritical the Equalists are Not So Different to the so-called "bending tyrants" they are fighting against. They might also be called out that "Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right" that just because a few benders treated them badly, they shouldn't blame all benders as a whole. Bonus points are shown that they show "good benders" helping the non-benders out (Waterbenders to put out the fire, Earthbenders clearing out debris, and Firebenders providing heat, light, cooking, and so on) while the Equalists do nothing to help out the non-benders and because they are attacking Republic City, their image ended up making it worse. More Bonus points are given if it was Bolin who is giving out the speech considering that he can be serious at times, or Shiro Shinobi announcing the said benders helping out the non-benders. If it was Asami to her father, she would ask him if this is what mom wanted.

The Equalists originated from the Freedom Fighters of Jet's old gang. Amon is probably Smellerbee
Let's look at this possibility - we know the colonies will be turned into a new nation (or at least a new independent city) which won't be completely accepted by the Freedom Fighters and a lot of others (Just go read the Promise). Add to this they would be unhappy at the discrimination issues in the colonies based on bender status. So someone comes up with the idea that the whole art of bending is what led to all this mess and the solution is to stop people's bending. Oh yeah, and that's the point where they'd go fully against the Avatar as well. Of course, we know Jet and gang already fell to the principle of He Who Fights Monsters in ATLA, so by extension it won't be long before the Equalists turn the city into a Shout-Out to Old Communist Russia. The roaring 20s setting does make sense after all.

The Equalists started with the Kyoshi Warriors.
Since Ty-Lee joined them, she probably taught them her chi-blocking techniques. Some of the warriors would grow to resent their lack of power compared to benders both in combat and in social terms. These warriors would break away and become the Equalists. While the Kyoshi Warriors were all female, the Equalists would likely recruit any nonbender that supported the cause.

The rise of the Equalists is Aang's fault.
Having discovered the ability to depower benders, Aang decides to use it on every bender that threatens peace (Azula+ followers). Some of the depowered benders come to the conclusion that if they can't bend, no one deserves to bend. They start to spread anti-bending propaganda within the non-bending population to turn the people against the benders. The people Aang depowered will end up leading the anti-bending revolt (as Badass Normal) with the goal of killing every bender that still lives.
  • I semi-support this
  • I fully support this! And to add more of an edge to Aang's "Peaceful Alternative", Bryke could use the opportunity to add some Deliberate Values Dissonance between the Humans and Spirits over it:
    • Energybending from human POV: Meh, not that bad, Ozai deserved it.
    • The same from the Spirits: O_O!! Did you see that?! The Avatar Raped and / or MURDERED that poor man!!
      • Granted, this probably won't be the case. But still, something always seemed fishy about that Energybending business to me.
      • Actually, that could be why the Spirits, assuming Amon was telling the truth, taught Amon, a nonbender and NOT the Avatar(who, according to the extras, is the only person capable of such a feat), the ability to energybend. Bear with me: Spiritbending was apparently the means of attack and defense prior to the elements and the Avatar("In the Era before the Avatar, we bent not the elements but the energy within each other."), and the Avatar, seemingly, was instituted by the Spirits to probably enable the bending of the Elements, in the process also removing most people's(aside from the Avatar, who is probably capable of the feat because of their deep-seated connection to the spirit world and the world at large) ability to bend energy. Spiritbending/Energybending/Soulbending then became something of the Avatar universe's Dangerous Forbidden Technique, and thus when the Lion Turtle taught Aang Energybending and Aang used it against Ozai, the Spirits witnessed this event and were outraged, at least some of them. And, thus, they hatched a plan to remove bending as a whole from the world as punishment, so they taught Amon energybending as a means of doing just that. Why, you ask? The spirits fear energybending, which could conceivably be used in the Spirit World, where the earthbound Elements are irrelevant and without substance, and they fear an Avatar capable of using energybending because of their simultaneous connection to the Spirit World AND the Mortal World, while a mortal man like Amon is no real threat to them, spiritbending or no.
  • One other thing to point out is that this draws a nice parallel between the two series. The conflict in ATLA could have been stopped before it started if Roku had simply killed Sozin when he could have. Having the conflict in ATLK be caused by Aang's refusal to kill anyone would be perfectly ironic.
    • Maybe that's a general pattern: one Avatar deals with the problem his predecessor has created, but in the process creates a new problem for his successor.
      • That is possible. Take Avatar Kyoshi. She dealt with Chin the Conqueror pretty early on in her life; it's possible that Chin was someone who had thwarted the previous Avatar. Or perhaps the last Avatar didn't see Chin coming.
  • OR When news gets out that Aang ended the war by removing Ozai's firebending, people get the idea that bending was the cause of the war, therefore, bending is bad.
  • In a way, it WAS Aang's fault. If he had killed Yakone instead of simply removing his bending, Noatak/Amon would never have been conceived and would never have developed the hatred of benders that came from Yakone's mistreatment of him. Essentially, the seed of the Equalist movement really was planted by Aang's principled stand against killing people, and debending them instead.

The Equalist Movement is Republic City's fault
The four (seven counting foggy swamp, sun warriors and Omashu) nations are all centred around a specific element and live with it, with some people learning the art of bending. The anti-bending movement is unlikely to have started in either fire-, earth- or water nation because in the first two there is a ridiculous amount of benders, making sure everyone grew up alongside benders, and in the last benders don't seem to be privileged (both the northern and southern tribes were lead by non-benders). Republic city however is not aligned with any element, so there is a chance it is impossible for benders to be born there in the first place. What would be a better breeding ground for anti-bending sentiment than a nation that has little first-hand experience with benders, instead only hearing about them as foreign supersoldiers. You could even take this further. The amount of benders in the world has decreased due to republic city. There are supposed to be 4 nations, 4 elements, 4 seasons. But suddenly there are 5 nations, disturbing the connection with the spirit world. The amount of bender births as drastically decreased, with some among the already living losing all their power as a result (no chi-enhanced live for the Gaang). Bending could even fracture the border between the spirit world further, allowing creatures like Koh to enter the world at will. What is a better situation to create anti-bending sentiment than a few super-powered individuals incidentally summoning monsters?
  • Sorry, I don't buy it. The Giant Lion Turtle as much as said that there was a different balance in the past. The world does not hinge on there being 4 nations, 4 elements. After all, for a hundred years, there were only 3 nations. And even now, 70 years later, there couldn't be more than a few hundred Airbenders. So it's rather hard to say that the Air Nomads have returned. The world did not collapse into anarchy, with spirits coming out of the woodwork or screwing up bender births or other such eventualities.

The Equalists are not just a political faction, or social movement, but a cult
And they worship/revere Koh the Facestealer, hence the masks. Amon, their charismatic leader, is his agent in the material world. After all, he did say that he and the Avatar would meet again. Alternatively, they are dedicated to the idea of bringing about a unity of the peoples of the world (and so oppose bending for its inherently divisive nature), possibly also in a spiritual sense, to take the world back to the good ol' days before the Avatar.

The Equalists will have some spiritual or religious issues against benders.
In the show, bending was always shown to have deep spiritual connections. The Equalists will have something against the spirituality connected with bending, maybe the result of having alternate religious or spiritual beliefs.
  • So the Equalists are atheists?

It's in their name, they want equality. They will probably be supported by civilians.
  • It's not good-guy-ish if you achieve equality by tearing down those superior to you.
    • That is a pretty big YMMV right there.
    • If those "superior" to you have repeatedly abused their powers and have rubbed their inherent abilities in your face for centuries? Why the hell not? Still, this seems to simplistic. I have a feeling the portrayal will be more nuanced than a simple good guy-bad guy dichotomy.
    • Referring to one group of people as "superior" to another due to inborn abilities is filled with Unfortunate Implications.
    • The Equalists have Hiroshi Sato on their side. He's richer and smarter than everybody else in the series. Obviously the benders are now suffering from Tall Poppy Syndrome because they're trying to stop a superior person from harming them.
  • Just because they have a benevolent sounding name doesn't mean they can't be all out evil. For example, Communism. North Korea, one of the most oppressive and tyrannical regimes in the world, is officially called the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The majority of the Equalists are pacifists and genuinely want peace between benders and non-benders.
I doubt with their name they want to get rid of bending, when they're called Equalists. The Equalists are possibly in par with the Real Life Expy of the Civil Rights Movement with peaceful protests and non-violent demonstrations. The ones Korra and her friends are facing are a small number of radical fanatic extremist Communists.
  • Amon is only ever seen de-powering benders with status such as government officials, cops, White Lotus guards, pro-benders, and gangsters.

The Equalists will use a combination of steam-powered weapons, badass normals, and maybe one bender.
  • When you're fighting people that can control the elements, you'll need all the advantage you can get. Taking a cue from the creations of the Mechanist and the Fire Nation, the anti-benders will construct steam-powered weapons and gadgets, some of which can be handheld (useful for one-on-one fights) and some of which is incorporated into vehicles (like the Fire Nation tanks). This eventually will culminate with a steam-powered Powered Armor/Mini-Mecha, which Korra will have to fight in the finale.
  • The Badass Normal is no stranger to the Avatar verse, so this is kind of a no brainer. Expect some of them to take cues from Ty Lee by disabling bending, and for there to be at least one Empowered Badass Normal.
  • The bender is a little more of a stretch, but remember there are at least two characters who saw a form of bending as inherently evil when it wasn't. (Jeong Jeong and Aang, though Aang got over it.) This bender will have similar problems, and crippling self-esteem issues (which is why they would willingly go along with such a thing.) He/She will be a sympathetic villain for obvious reasons, and will attempt to use as little bending as possible during combat. The rest of the movement may not even know he/she's a bender, because it's a closely guarded secret. (If they do know, it's because they made an exception because of his/her usefulness.)
    • An airbender would seem logical then. Enhanced agility and speed without visual effects. Maybe a descendant of a survivor of the air nomad massacre, or Aang's second child.
    • OR Aang's Tyke Bomb grandchild.
    • The idea of an anti-bending/bender group does seem inspired by the non-canonical character "Lian, The Maker" from the first licensed game for the original TV series. And creating an army of steampunk element-bending robots was basically her primary plan for destroying all benders...
      • Then in some other time and space, I bet Lian is laughing her butt off over the fact that her plan is being realized all these years later, and that even the Avatar is in danger from it! Talk about having the last laugh...
      • Confirmed! There is a bender among the Equalists. And it's none other than their leader Amon. Who is really Tarrlok's brother. And is a waterbender.

If the Equalists use steam-powered weapons, (as many have guessed), their first real plot will be kidnapping Waterbenders.
Really, they're the biggest threat to their greatest weapon.

The Equalist will use Chi-Powered Mechs
They found a way to steal chi from benders to power their Mecha Fighting machines. Stealing waterbending & firebending aka steam power or Lightning bending aka proto-Cyber Punk mechas.
  • Doesn't everyone have chi? If so then just use volunteers and get generic energy to power the mechs.
  • Well, they're trying to get rid of the bending "menace" so why not get rid of bending power while making your war machine?
  • Yeah because having the enemy power your machines can't possibly go wrong...
  • An alternate power source could be some sort of Green Rocks native the Avatar world, maybe the same kind that powers the electricity in Republic City. The Equalists will be trying to secure as much of it as they can with Team Avatar and the police getting in their way.
    • Faraday Electromagnetic Generators just like in Real Life.
  • The first licensed game for Avatar: The Last Airbender did have a chi-powered mech, the Ultimation, that was able to use the energy from a Waterbender, Earthbender and Firebender to mimic the effects of all three at once.
    • Sort of confirmed. They may not be chi-powered, but there ARE mechs.

the Equalists. will exploit Pro-Bending's image as a recruiting tool
There's some pretty blatant Unfortunate Implications to Pro-Bending. Namely, that non-benders by their nature can't compete in it, which conveys the hidden message to the masses that only benders are worthy of celebration and praise. Even if non-benders have their own fighting league, it won't be as popular as Pro-Bending. The Equalists will use the lingering resentment this inspires in young people to recruit them to their cause.
  • Confirmed. In Episode 6, Amon speaks out against pro-bending, with the reasoning that bending athletes shouldn't be treated as heroes. He also uses the cheating nature of one team to further demonize bending.

the Equalists orchestrated the Pro-bending matches.
It essentially marks the benders as easy targets for the Equalists to kill off, and the staff behind the Pro-bending matches are completely unaware of this.

The Equalists kidnapped Hasook
He didn't abandon the Fire Ferrets just because he and Mako had been arguing, but because he's currently being held captive, and is in legitimate trouble.
  • Alternate Theory: Hasook was murdered by the Equalists. Because their fighters need to practice on something. Who better than bending pros?
    • Alternate Theory jossed. Hasook makes a cameo in the Book 4/series finale as a member of a wedding band. So he's still around.

The Equalist Movement will escalate to a bender genocide on the level of the Holocaust.
As in hunting down benders and executing them/sending them to concentration camps. Some of the dialogue in the trailers is a bit...disturbing. "No bender is safe!" "I'm saving you for last." "The world doesn't need you anymore." Plus, there's Korra's implied breakdown. ...They probably won't go so far as to have actual death camps, but I still get that vibe.
  • And a main character nearly gets killed because of this.

The Equalists will attempt to kill off Tenzin's family in order to wipe out Airbending.
There are two reasons for this: 1) Out of all the four nations, the Air Nomads are easily the weakest. Hell, calling them a nation at this point is very generous. As such, they are a very easy target, at least in theory. 2) Non-benders only come from the other three nations, and all Air Nomads are Airbenders. As such, the Equalists probably aren't too keen on the idea of an entire nation of benders, and will try to snuff that out early. This plan would inevitably fail (seriously, about seventy-five percent of the known Airbenders are children) and would primarily serve as a gigantic Kick the Dog moment.
  • Confirmed in the finale.

The Equalists will feature Psycho Rangers versions of the original Gaang
Hotheaded teen on a quest with a bad ass Grandpa as a guide and mentor. Sound familiar?To make this go even further the antagonists of the series, Antibenders/new freedom fighters, will be the counterparts to the Gaang, starting with two or three recurring troublemakers then adding members as the series goes on.
  • To take this idea further:
    • Aang's counterpart will be happy-go-lucky in a Joker-type way. He'll be constantly carefree, but also sociopathic and disconnected from the worries of others.
    • Sokka's counterpart will be sarcastic and laid-back like he is, but in a sort of "I don't care" way. Similar to Mai.
    • Katara's counterpart will retain her concern for the welfare of others, but she blames benders. The most likely candidate for a leader of the group.
    • Toph's counterpart will come in later in the season, and will be a huge man like the original design for her (and Ember Island version) was.
    • Momo and Appa will have counterparts that will be more sinister in design.
    • At the end of the series, Korra will have to seek this group's help.
  • To elaborate on this further (because we can) and offer an alternative:
    • The Aang analogue will be a screwball character who, like The Joker, will do horrible things for a good laugh. He, like the above example, will be a sociopath, but in a homicidal way.
    • Sokka's counterpart will be the Deadpan Snarker and the Smart Guy of the group, but he doesn't care for the Equalist cause and is only a hired gun
    • The Katara of the group will be more like Harley Quinn: she will be in love with the Aang character and give the group a feminine voice, but she will be possessive (a dark parallel to Katara's Mama Bear tendencies) and jealously "protect" her teammates by horribly maiming anyone who opposes them, and, to top it all off, she will be sensual as opposed to loving.
    • Toph's counterpart will actually be female and disabled in someway, but unlike Toph, will selfishly use her (dis)ability to get her way, and lead her targets into a false sense of security. Unlike Toph she will be refined and educated, and enjoy taking advantage of her high social status
    • Suki's analogue will be the only one loyal to the Equalist cause. She will be assertive like Suki, and will attempt to keep the others in line but will lack Suki's compassion, and she will also be ruthless and uncaring about the needs of others, only the mission at hand. However, she takes Suki's vengeful streak to the edge, and will never let grudges go.
    • The Zuko analogue will be one of the main heroes who will come over to the Equalist cause. If he is not, he will be a handsome classic, "brooding" character, much like Zuko. Unlike Zuko, he will be a sadist who gained his sadism from his father. He will be blazingly handsome, and will lack any physical scars, unlike Zuko. However, his mental scars will be greater than Zuko's, and he will take his rage out on others.
    • The Ty Lee counterpart will be a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass that flanderizes Ty Lee's own ditzyness, but who is actually the most experienced anti-bender fighter in the group. She'll be a psychopathic womanchild in contrast to Ty Lee's perkiness.
    • Mai's counterpart...will be a ninja. Because ninja's are cool. She will be silent and stoic, but a ruthless chess master in opposition to Mai's original personality. She will be the one closest to Amon personally and the only one completely aware of his plans and will manipulate the rest of her team, and the new Team Avatar to her will. She would be based on actual historical kunoichi (alluring seductresses and assassins) instead of the popular myth.
    • The Momo character will be small and cute (like Jack the Monkey from Pirates of the Caribbean) but also mischievous and a thief.
    • The Appa analogue...will be a Cool Car.
    • All of these characters may or may not be redeemed when its all said and done.

The Equalists' True Purpose is to Fight Koh the Facestealer
  • Which may explain why all the Equalists wear masks.

The Equalists are all really ugly
  • Which may explain why all the Equalists wear masks.

In terms of methodology, Amon is basically an evil Batman, while the Equalists are a kid-friendly and fantastical version of Fight Club.

The Equalists are Anonymous in the distant past
  • Think about it. Amon sounds similar to Anon (the shortened form of Anonymous) and is an Egyptian word meaning "hidden". Equalists have only been seen wearing a mask, assuming their public identities aren't known. They are working to destabilize the government (which is mostly based around bending and benders). IT MAKES SENSE!
    • I support this.
  • Hey, guys, look what I found.

The Equalists are being led by Sparks.
The Mechanist was only the first in the line of many newly born Sparks that have advanced the Avatar World's technology a thousandfold. Many benders don't appreciate this though, feeling threatened due to this new power and it's replacement of the old ways. They soon attempt to crack down on the Sparks, but this just makes the conflict escalate into the revolt mentioned in the synopsis.

The Equalists wear masks in order to honor Amon.
It fits with Amon's status as a Dark Messiah. "Our savior Amon cannot show his face. To honor him, we will sacrifice our faces as we enter his service."

The Equalist movement is a direct result of the technological advancement.
In the first series, a LOT of stuff was heavily dependent on benders. War, transportation, and various types of technology were controlled and powered by benders. As technology advanced, there was less and less need for benders. As a result, bender crime became more common because it was a power they could easily use to take advantage of non-benders. The Equalists see benders as people that are no longer needed, people who have power that doesn't help the world and can only be used to hurt. To the Equalists, there is no longer any reason these people need to have any power, and that it only places them above the non-benders. Amon directly says there's no place for benders in the world, indicating this belief.
  • This exact same WMG has already been added here months ago, see above.
    • Not to mention it's practically canon as of episode 6.

Amon or another prominent Equalist will be a bender.
  • Corallary: Amon was a bender, until he met Aang.
  • Confirmed in the finale. Amon is a waterbender and a bloodbender.

Once Amon is defeated, the Equalists will either become a reformed group dedicated to peacefully resolving bender and non-bender conflicts, or they devolve from Well Intentioned Extremists.
Since the Equalists are heavily based around Amon's cult of personality, once he is removed from the equation, they will be forced to redefine themselves. Either they'll team up with Korra and the gang in order to help combat an even larger threat, or they become even more vicious and violent in order to avenge the defeat of their leader.

Building on the above theory, the show will eventually introduce a moderate Equalist character who disapproves of the disproportionate power benders hold but prefers peaceful reconciliation and disapproves of permanently depowering benders.
Nickelodeon is clearly aware that the Equalists are at least partially sympathetic, as evidenced by their "Are you a bender or an Equalist?" poll. This new moderate Equalist could either be Asami or a new character.

Most of the metal benders are loyal to the equalists
Look at episode 6. The metal benders did a sweep of the stadium, yet no one reported the massive numbers of equilist flags. Amon enters through the main arena entrance, but since the arena can only be entered from the bridge, he needed to already be there (and have a deal with the sweeping team) or be smuggled in later (which means he needs to fight past guards, which would surely create a lot of noise). Finally, the equalist zeppelin manages to take out five metalbender zeppelins, but doesn't appear to have any weaponry. Since even a single metalbender could do massive damage to the equalist zeppelin, the metalbender zeppelins were probably infiltrated and destroyed from the inside.

One of the Equalists will be a former bender that wanted to lose his abilities
For unknown reasons, one of the key Equalists that will be introduced will be someone who personally went up to Amon to remove his bending. The reasons can vary from disliking their destructive potential or just wanting friends and allies even at the cost of their elemental powers.

The Equalists bribed the refs to give the match to the Wolfbats.
The Wolfbats didn't do the bribing themselves, but were informed by someone posing as a rich fan that if they were to play dirty, the refs would look the other way. Naturally they jumped at the opportunity and didn't think further. Amon deliberately gave them the match to support his point about bender bullying and oppression, and incidentally so he could de-bend the winners without breaking his plan to save Korra for last.

Amon's Lieutenant is The Starscream
Promoting him to Big Bad later on, because it'd be a waste of Lance Henrickson's talent to just be voicing a nameless lackey.

Amon's sob story may be a little true,but it's still his fault
He probably did get his face taken by a firebender,and perhaps his parents were extorted,but I doubt they were killed,and/or the benders had a legitimate reason to want the money. Anyway Amon was like the Evil Counterpart to Korra and directly confronted said firebender himself.

Councilman Tarrlok is supporting the Equalists
Everything Tarrlok has done so far has had the ulterior motive of gaining power. I really started to become suspicious of him when he changed his vote on closing the pro-bending stadium after Lin said she would take full responsibility for the incident. I wouldn't past him to be supporting the Equalists in order to scare the city into giving him more power. Of course, this will come back to bite him in the ass later when he realizes that he underestimated Amon and the Equalists...
  • Or it may come to bite the Equalists in the ass. It's notable that out of all the benders on the show, Tarrlok's the only one who's displayed a fighting style that could take down Amon no matter how good he might be at dodging. After passing a series of draconic laws which leave Equalists with unprecedented levels of support Tarrlok could take out Amon, suddenly leaving non-benders without revolution or freedom.
    • People tend to forget that when Amon responded to Korra's challenge, he brought a bunch of chi-blockers to surprise attack her. Who's to say that would eventually happen to Tarrlok?

Amon's Lieutenant is secretly manipulating things behind Amon's back. He will either be the main villain in season 2, or will turn out to be The Dragon for Tarrlok, who will become the next Big Bad.
In episode 6, when Korra defeats the Lieutenant, he falls down from the pro-bending arena dome, seemingly to his death. Yet in episode 7 he is inexplicably alive, and doesn't even seem to have suffered any injuries. The most logical explanation is that he's secretly a bender, and used his bending powers to save himself. But why would a bender join the Equalists? Obviously he has a hidden agenda, and is secretly manipulating things behind Amon's back. Like someone pointed out above, getting a well-known actor like Lance Henriksen to play such a minor role wouldn't make sense, unless there are further plans for the character.

An alternative explanation is that the Lieutenant is not working for himself, but is a mole planted by Tarrlok. That would explain why Tarrlok can anticipate the Equalists' moves so well, so he can use them to further his own goals. By the end of season 1 Tarrlok will win the war against the Equalists, with the help of his mole, and will use this victory to crown himself the king of Republic City. Tarrlok will be the main villain for season 2 (Amon and Korra will possibly even have to work together to defeat him), and the Lieutenant will be his dragon.

  • Jossed The part about being Tarrlok's dragon Amon and the Lieutenant confronted Tarrlok, who bloodbended them, but Amon still defeated him, de-bended him, and took him away. The Lieutenant didn't seem to be working for him, and I seriously doubt Tarrlok will be the next Big Bad.

Tarrlok is deliberately serving as a strawman for Amon.
Tarrlok secretly supports the Equalist movement, and wants to help Amon achieve his goals. How does he do it? Why, he uses his lofty position of power and his bloodbending abilities to do so. He is deliberately portraying himself as the very thing Amon is against in order to gather support around the Equalists. Amon himself may or may not actually know about this, hence the possibility that Tarrlok will be the next target on the list, provided of course that's not actually what he wants.

Airbending will become the Equalists' Weaksauce Weakness once Korra learns it.
One of the Equalists' big advantage against the more common bending forms is that they seem to have Uncanny Dodging Skills against them. But... how exactly do you dodge air?

Some of the benders who lost their bending will learn how to use the Equalists' own weapons and fighting styles in order to fight them.

Amon let Korra get away.
He didn't even bother lowering his voice when he told the others to electrocute the cage, not to mention that there was no need for him to carry Tarrlok himself (except Ho Yay?)

The Lieutenant is just in it to cause pain.
He's not with the Equalists to spread equality, or any other lofty ideal, he just wants to hurt people, and starting a war gives plenty opportunities for that. The glee he takes in hurting Korra is some proof, but most of this guess comes from him being voiced by Lance Henrikson, who voiced a Psycho for Hire from both Avengers Earths Mightiest Heros and Transformers Animated.
  • Jossed When Amon is revealed as a bender, the Lieutenant confronts him, saying that he had believed in the cause, and how he felt betrayed. He probably is a little sadistic, but he did believe in the cause.

Amon is directly responsible for the death of Mrs Sato
It's just too perfect for the Equalists that Hiroshi is on their side. He is easily the most powerful non-Bender in the city. He's poured a lot of money into this that we know of (mecha, taser gloves, and probably the airships since his company makes them for the police) and without him Amon's plans would be nearly impossible. When this come out Hiroshi will defect and reveal critical weaknesses in his technology.

The Lieutenant is actually an android
This one's mostly just for fun. And for further Actor Allusion points, his real name could be revealed to be "Bishop".
  • He was bloodbent fairly easily. If anything, Amon is the android.
    • Nope. Amon is a psychic bloodbender like Tarrlok, thus why he was able to resist.

The Equalists will try to wipe out the Air Bison, Badgermoles, and possibly the dragons (if they knew they were alive)
They were the original air, earth, and firebenders, who taught humans bending and Amon wanted to erase bending from the world. Of course, Amon can't exactly murder the moon, but is willing to take out the others.
  • But Sato might be willing to kill the moon.

Wan Shi Tong was the one who taught Amon Energybending
He has a huge collection of knowledge, which may include Energybending. He would know how much of the wars were fought due to bending. He's basically mad that the world has no respect for anything anymore, so he's going to get back at the mortal world.
  • Jossed. Amon never knew Energybending.

The Lieutenant will take over the Equalists if Amon dies.
It seems pretty inevitable that Amon will fall at the end of the Book 1 finale, but the Equalists' beliefs will not die so easily. The Lieutenant will escape with the remnants of the organisation, and he'll either take up the mask and become the new Amon (a la V for Vendetta), or move their operations underground and vow to continue the fight for equality from the shadows— via covert infiltration of Republic City's government, much like what Darth Nihl did with the One Sith at the end of Star Wars: Legacy.
  • Well, the finale's come and gone, and it seems that in spite of Amon's treachery, the Lieutenant really did believe in the cause, given how hurt and angry he was at Amon being revealed as a bender. And it didn't really seem like he died when Amon bloodbent him into those wooden beams...considering that he himself was able to escape with Tarrlok, it's not implausible that the Lieutenant and some chi-blockers could have fled underground as well...

The Equalists' ace in the hole that Hiroshi Sato's letter from the official website mentions is a chemical weapon.
This letter refers to "something" that the Equalists have waiting for the United Forces, which will "send them running like the cowardly dogs they are". Assuming it's not just referring to the airplanes that we already saw in the trailer, perhaps he's referring instead to something like chlorine or mustard gas— the introduction of chemical warfare would certainly fit with the WWI parallels we've seen so far.

The Lieutenant is Tahno's father
Both have pale skin, dark hair, silver eyes, and deep voices (Not sure if that's inherited, but I just thought I'd point it out). Plus the Lieutenant seems to be the right age. As for how the second in command of the Equalists ended up with a Pro-Waterbending son...I have no idea.

The Equalists will appear in Season 2, but as a legitimate protest group instead of a terrorist organization
Some members, such as the Lieutenant, truly believed in the cause, even though Amon was revealed as a fake. The ones that joined because they felt bender oppression was real won't be deterred, but without Amon encouraging and enabling extremist measures, they won't do anything criminal, and the heroes will even decide that they have a point. The main conflict with the new Equalists might even end up being that even though they're right and they're not a harmful group, much of the leadership committed crimes with Amon that they haven't faced justice for yet.

The Lieutenant will continue the Equalist movement's war.
Nobody killed or arrested him, nor was he converted, so what's stopping him from continuing the Equalists? Furthermore, since the Lieutenant can't take away people's bending, he has no reason to show restraint and not use deadly force.

Hiroshi Sato will take over the leadership of the Equalists and become the Big Bad of Season 2.
He wasn't confirmed dead after Asami defeated him. He is a fanatical supporter of the Equalist movement to the point that he tried to kill his own daughter for supporting the Avatar, he is a famous non-bender whose wife's murder was probably all over the news, so the rest of the movement knows he's more trustworthy than some mystery dude in a mask, and he built all of their technology, so he probably holds a position of power and respect within the movement.
  • Jossed. Neither he nor the Equalists appeared in Book 2, whose Big Bad was a spirit.

The Lieutenant is Ty Lee's son.
Both are confirmed to be Badass Normal (even if he does have a lot of The Worf Effect) who are dedicated to the cause of their superiors, even though they both eventually feel betrayed. Both fight through taking bending away temporarily and/or incapacitating. He also has some Fire Nation features, but lighter eyes than most of them, just like she does.

The writers are lying about Amon, or will get around him being dead and feature him again in some capacity.
Come on, it just seems such a waste of a character!

The Equalists are a cult.
There was no widespread non-bender oppression until Tarrlok showed his true colors, and that was in responce to the equalist violence. Look around: we don't see or hear any specific forms discrimination. During Amon's speeches and Protester's rants, they claim that benders oppress non-benders but never say how. All the supposed discrimination we hear about comes from the fans, not the show. The Satos and the Cabbage Guy don't seem to have it too bad (thought I'm willing to acknowledged that they might be the exception, not the rule). Both Amon and Hiroshi were motivated by revenge, so it's entirely possible they're making up problems that don't exist in order to justify their hatred of benders. Or they're just crazy and really do believe in problems that don't exsist.

If there's no real oppression, it would make sense for it to be a cult. Cults have a twisted view of reality, are led by someone charismatic and great at making speeches, and can amass huge numbers of devoted followers who are willing to go to extremes for their leaders. That sounds exactly like the equalists.

  • The non-bender discrimination is not as rampant as Equalists are trying to say, but the main lure of the Equalist movement is that the Republic City apparently has a problem concerning organized bender crime (bending triads) and while benders can protect themselves mostly fine, non benders are having much harder time.

The Lieutenant joined the Equalists in revenge for once being bloodbent
  • His blue eyes point to Water Tribe ancestry, and he knows EXACTLY what it looks like when done to other people, and knew immediately that Amon was bloodbending Korra and Mako. He may have experienced it before, at the hands of evil waterbending gangsters. That started off a desire for revenge, protection, and knowledge of how to defend himself... so he found Amon, who in addition to being a hypocritical waterbender himself, is also a gifted bloodbender. That would be some very sad irony, indeed.
    • Also related: We'll also get to know the Lieutenant better in later seasons, whether he's truly dead or not.
The Lieutenant will make Heel–Face Turn in 2nd season.
  • In the finale of the first season we find out that he was more of Well-Intentioned Extremist than straight up evil and it is possible that he would have worked with the establishment if he was given a chance (I guess he was turned down from the police on grounds of being non-bender) but since then he shown that he is able to hold his ground to most of the benders so I guess that he will be given a chance to make amends as Lin Beifong's right hand man.

The Lieutenant will die in Season 2
He's voiced by Lance Henriksen. The only more certain death sentence would be if he was played by Sean Bean.
  • Jossed. He never appears again after Book 1.

The Equalists will discover a more powerful form of Chi-Blocking.
Much like the bending disciplines, chi-blocking will be revealed to have more advanced, dangerous techniques. Some possibilities are

Amon is being set up
When he's at the height of his power and even as Korra and her friends are racing to stop him in a desperate plan he'll be holding one of his routine demonstrations...and then one of the prisoners will kill him with his very first shot, free the other prisoners and set them on the equalists en masse, and Korra will arrive to find him leading an all-bender crowd. This mysterious savior will then become the season 2 villain, heading a movement to create harsh restrictions making it impossible for non-benders to do what they did again - as was his plan all along.

There will be a subplot including Airbending Equalists
There will be confusion, but some will want to keep their new Airbending powers, while some will try to contact Korra demanding to be Debended. Tenzin will be heartbroken at the latter.

Hiroshi Sato will go Dragon Ascendant and become the new Big Bad of Book 4
It is said that Hiroshi Sato will return, and he might become the new main antagonist of Book 4.
  • Jossed. The Big Bad of Book 4 was metalbender Kuvira. Hiroshi was temporarily released from jail in the series finale to assist Team Avatar in breaking into Kuvira's colossus mech, but he dies in the attack.

For Book 4, the United Republic will use Hiroshi as a Boxed Crook.
In exchange for a pardon, Hiroshi will design weapons for the United Republic to help fight off an invasion from Kuvira.
  • He is released in the series finale, but it's a last ditch attempt to get help in fighting Kuvira's giant mech. He was meant to return to jail when the battle was complete, but he dies at Kuvira's hands instead.


    Yakone and Tarrlok 

The previous threat to Republic City 42 years ago is a Chekhov's Gun.
The council was mentioning a slight incident in the city where someone named Yakone was big enough of a threat that Aang had to deal with him personally. Possible that he is either The Man Behind the Man for Amon or will be Season 2's Big Bad that wants revenge and shows that he was the one who is behind Aang and one or more Gaang member deaths. For added flavor, Amon will suffer The Worf Effect when introducing Yakone as alive and kicking.
  • Quite possibly confirmed. In episode 8 Tarrlok uses bloodbending on Korra, who notes it's not the full moon. Her trauma-induced-visions show Sokka, Toph, and Aang being affected by a bloodbender in broad daylight at a trial, with the defendant/bender implied to be Yakone. So there might be a connection between Tarrlok and Yakone.

Yakone is still alive, and will come face to face with Korra at some point in the future.
Regardless of how heinous his crimes were, It's perfectly in character for Aang to leave him alive and locked up somehwere (possibly energybended), as well as block any attempts for Republic City to institute the death penalty. Yakone will escape from prison and battle the new Avatar.

Yakone is related to Tarrlok.
The two always looked similar, in terms of facial features and clothes, but the recent revelation that both of them are/were bloodbenders, coupled with the fact that Korra had another Gaang flashback while in Tarrlok's presence in which Yakone was clearly visible, makes a familial relationship between the two quite feasible. My guess is that Tarrlok is his son, and that his actions against Korra in the present are a result of him harbouring hatred toward the Avatar for Yakone's death (assuming Aang did actually kill him, that is).
  • Confirmed as of Out of The Past. Tarrlok is Yakone's son.

Tarrlok has mastered bloodbending to such a degree that he can even force people to speak against their will.
Don't ask me how it works, but it seemed strange that Chief Saikhan, whom we know from his bio to be utterly loyal and devoted to Lin Beifong, would just suddenly allow himself to become Tarrlok's toady and carry out his every amoral command without question. Perhaps, given that Tarrlok can somehow bloodbend without a full moon, he has become so powerful with it that he can essentially remotely control a person from a short distance away, even making them say whatever he wants.
  • It seems more likely that Saikhan's just being controlled by fear. The perceived (or explicit) threat of bloodbending torture may be enough to keep him from trying to oppose Tarrlok.
  • Saikhan seemed to be unaware of Tarrlok's bloodbending abilities and was quick to turn the whole police force on him, though he was being used by Tarrlok as a puppet and seemed to be threatened or pressured regardless.

Tarrlok is genetically related to Yakone.
It isn't too far off the possibility that he could be a relative of the late Yakone or was a deep follower of his ideals.
  • Confirmed. Tarrlok is Yakone's son.

Adding to the above, Tarrlok and Amon are Yakone's sons.
Yakone was a racist, convinced of his own superiority as a gifted waterbender and decided that people without his gifts were not deserving of the same rights he had (and possibly not even the same air he breathed). Then Amon comes along, this nonbending freak of a child, and he (and Tarrlok, who came along a few years later: both Amon and Tarrlok seem like they're more or less the same age) abuse him to the point where Amon sees that taking out bending entirely would be better than living in a world where benders could treat non-benders like shit. After Aang deals with Yakone (let's say de-powering him), the two of them react in two different ways. Amon sees Aang's power and dedicates his life to finding out how he too can take away a person's bending. Meanwhile, Tarrlok holds onto his father's ideals: hating non-benders and reflecting that hatred in his politics and demeanour, hoping to eventually control Republic City and persecute non-benders unchallenged. It explains why he had such a breakdown (seriously, half-baked or not, you do NOT attack the freakin' Avatar) when Korra compared him to Amon: the freak, everything his father ever warned him about nonbenders realized (and too messed up to see that it was because of Yakone and him that Amon is the way he is). It also draws parallels to the Fire Nation Royal Family: the abusive, monstrous father; the outcast firstborn who forges his own destiny away from his family's influence; and the extremely gifted but mentally unhinged secondborn.
  • I was just thinking about this! It would definitely add a layer to Tarrlok's anger at being compared to Amon.
  • To go even further, Amon is a rejected member of Yakone's family due to being an illegitimate son.
    • Sort of Confirmed as of episode 11.

Tarrlok IS Yakone
Same ideas as the above entry about being a racist, but one wonders just how much use Blood Bending could have. Like maybe changing one's appearance by manipulating their own body? It could explain the similarities between Tarrlok and Yakone, as well as a dislike for the Avatar.
  • But Yakone's trial was 42 years ago,Tarrlok is clearly the youngest, oh sure bloodbending can do wonders, but c'mon it has limits, I highly doubt it can make a 100 year old or whatever appear to be in the forties.
  • Jossed. Tarrlok is Yakone's son.

Tarrlok was somehow mentored by Yakone
[[Spoiler: A flashback showed Yakone bloodbending in the courtroom and Tarrlok can to without a full moon]],so what if Tarrlok learned from Yakone, like I dunno he passed it on through a book, it's highly unlikely that he was personally mentored since the trial was probably before Tarrlok was born, still it's not completely out there.
  • Confirmed. Tarrlok learned bloodbending from Yakone.

Tarrlok has been using Blood Bending
(or the threat of it) on the Council the whole time.It would explain how things always get voted 4 to 1 in his favor. Being a really smooth talker and politician only gets you so far, even if you do include bribes (monetary or other). However, fear is a great motivator, and I don't think after the events of Episode 8 we can say that Tarrlok wouldn't do this to get his way.
  • Seems to be Jossed as of episode nine. The council was largely unaware of his bloodbending abilities, and they were quick to turn on him once it came to light that he had been using an illegal technique (which Tarrlok himself regards as a poor way to rise through the ranks in order to control the city). Tarrlok's messenger, however, was afraid of this threat and might have been threatened previously by Tarrlok.

Tarrlok's real name is A. Firebender
  • And he was the one who killed Mako and Bolin's parents, Asami's mother, and Amon's family.

Tarrlok is the Hitler while Amon is the Stalin

Tarrlok and Yakone both are part of a larger organization of Bloodbenders
Probably called the Order of the Crescent Moon or something like that. Once he's done using Amon's revolution to get enough power they'll appear in force.

Yakone was the founder of a bending triad, namely the "Red Monsoons", and was put on trial for the crimes that he and his gang committed.
A beautifully outlined explanation for this WMG can be found here. Until episode nine confirms/denies this, it still holds a lot of water as a reasonable backstory for Yakone and Tarrlok.
  • Somewhat confirmed, though Yakone was never named as the founder of a triad, only the ruler of the city's criminal activity. And no other bloodbenders nor Katara appeared, and Sokka was still left alive after this encounter (expectedly). Other than that the WMG was pieced together fairly accurately.

Tarrlok will form a bloodbending Secret Police
Imagine the reign of terror he could usher in with that, especially since bloodbending is no longer bound to the full moon.
  • However, like the Fire Nation before it, after Tarrlok's fall, it will be reorganized into something less sinister. As horrible as bloodbending may seem, it's really effective at subduing people, and those with less malicious intent could probably learn to deal with people without killing or permanently harming them.

Tarrlok is somehow connected to the Moon Spirit
  • This is why he can bloodbend without a full moon.

Tarrlok is of the Northern Water Tribe's royal bloodline
The connection Tarrlok has to the Moon Spirit is this: he's a descendant of the Northern Water Tribe's royal family. As such, he has a deep connection with the Moon Spirit(since the royal bloodline were, and probably still are, the caretakers of both the Moon and Sea Spirits, and one of the bloodline IS the Moon Spirit now). So by family blood, he derives much more power from the Moon Spirit than any Waterbender could. Also, being part of the royal bloodline might also explain his huge political influence. A relative of the Earth King or Fire Lord would probably have similar political power within the council, and only Tenzin(the Avatar's son) is willing to oppose him at his level.
  • Worth pointing out that Tenzin is also the patriarch of the Air Nomads, which puts him on equal terms with royalty.
    • The Air Nomads have always seemed fairly egalitarian in the flashbacks; it's unlikely that they have anything resembling an absolute ruler.
    • That logic only applies when the man in question isn't the father of an entire nation.

Tarrlok will be the Big Bad for season 2
  • He's bad, and powerful, but also too well connected to touch. Season 2 may be about bringing him down.
    • Almost certainly Jossed. He's not shown having any connections that wouldn't be cut by his reveal of Bloodbending. Even the Chief of Police who was willing to follow his questionable orders turns on him as soon as this comes out. And now he's powerless, to boot.
      • And he's dead. Definitely Jossed.

Tarrlok works for the Dai Li
At the end of "When Extremes Meet" he is driving Korra to be brainwashed to either forget the encounter they had or to be a puppet for his actions.

Tarrlok hates the equalists a lot because his father, Yakone, was energybended by Aang and he hates the Equalists because he knows the consequences of losing one's bending.
Yakhone must have suffered greatly (and consequently Tarrlok) because he lost his bending and all his power - not unlike Lightning Bolt Zolt. Tarrlok is himself paranoid of the equalists for the same reason and that's why he wants to destroy them even to the point of Fantastic Racism against innocent people. It also explains his anger against Korra and why he's crazy enough to eletrocute himself and give him a serious injury and blame the Equalists when Tenzin arrives.
  • Tarrlok being Yakone's son, and Yakone being energybended by Aang, are both confirmed in "Out of the Past".

Tarrlok will be defeated by Katara coming to Korra's aid.
Knowing how dangerous it is, Katara mastered a way to counter Bloodbending/is equally as powerful with it as Tarrlok. She won't fight him with Korra, but neutralize his Bloodbending so he's forced to face Korra without it.
  • Jossed. Katara is still at the South Pole, and Amon ended up finding Tarrlok and debending him.

Korra's first use of the Avatar State will be to defeat Tarrlok.
  • Jossed. Tarrlok was defeated by Amon. And Korra's first use of the Avatar State was at the finale when all was said and done.

For some reason, bloodbending can't be used to kill from the inside. Or at the very least, it is a great strain on the bender.
Why else would Yakone only decide to kill Aang when he was cornered and basically alone with him? Plus, its shown that while Yakone can easily blood the whole courthouse into unconsciousness easily, he's sweating and trembling trying to kill one person. Tarrlok himself acts similarly when he knocks out the council, Lin, and the rest of team Avatar. Maybe trying to kill with only bloodbending would cause some kind of chi backlash or something. And even if it would be easy enough to just drop the person onto something sharp, pointy, and deadly, none of the bloodbenders would think about this kind of solution because they're all so confident in their abilities.
  • I took it that bloodbending the entire court took it out of Yakone, in addition to crashing at quite high speeds, plus it takes longer to kill someone with bloodbending than to knock them out. As for Tarrlok, he could just be less skilled at it than his father.

Tarrlok was at one point in league with the Equalists, or at least their predecessors.
He wanted to secretly create a problem that he would fix and be lauded as a hero so he funded a militant anti-bending group. Unfortunately, Amon turned out to be much more dangerous than he ever expected, especially when he went after him.

Tarrlok was taught how to bloodbend using the same metal box he imprisoned Korra in.
Yakone put him through a similar ordeal to the one Hama endured—water deprivation and confinement with the only escape through bloodbending.

In connection with the above WMG, Tarrlok will not handle being imprisoned by the Equalists well.
He's being imprisoned again, but this time he doesn't have any waterbending to save him.

Tarrlok will wind up with a tragic backstory, his motives for being such a massive jerkass will be well explained, and his angst-o-meter will skyrocket.
All to do with relationships with Amon, Yakone, and genuinely trying to save Republic City.
  • Confirmed. His backstory is indeed tragic.

Tarrlok was part of the Red Lotus.
His job was to destabilize Republic City. The Equalists were originally believed to be a natural response to his actions, and he wanted to inflame things worse, but it ended up biting him in the ass when it turned out Amon AKA Noatak was behind things.

Kuvira is an undercover member of the Red Lotus.
There is a hint of the Red Lotus Leitmotif that plays after she introduces herself. Her character design also stands out, and her introduction in itself was conspicuous. She was a mere background character suddenly elevated to Mauve Shirt.

    The Triads 

The Triads will be the main villains of the second season.
After the fall (or reformation) of Amon the next season of LoK will feature the triads as the main villains and taking down their operations as the conflict of the season. It will go deeper into the nature of each of various triads that we've been introduced to, with each triad mirroring a modern gang. These criminal syndicates will each be headed by a powerful bender who will act as a psycho rangers expy of one of the members of the Gaang from the last series.

  • The Agni-Kais will be an analogue for modern day skinheads and domestic terrorists. They will be a Fire Nation supremacist group that specializes in smuggling and protection rackets. Their members will dress in streamlined versions of the Fire Nation military uniform from the last series and will practice in secret compounds and camps set up in Republic City's industrial district. They will retain the Fire Nations' Social Darwinism and will induct members through a beat-in where only the strongest are accepted.
    • They'll be led by the Zuko expy, a disgraced Fire Nation general who was scarred when he and his forces tried to resist Zuko's reforms. Like Zuko he will be obsessed with both his honor and the restoration of the Fire Nation to it's former glory. He will also claim that he is loyal to the Fire Nation and that the current Fire Lord must be defeated to bring it back to prominence. He will also know how to redirect lightning and will use this against both Korra and Mako.

  • The Red Monsoons will be an analogue for street gangs like MS-13 and the Latin Kings. A dangerous gang of Water Tribe youths who grew up poor or came from difficult households. Each member will know Bloodbending thanks to their leader. They will specialize in human trafficking and prostitution (although the references to the latter will be heavily downplayed). They will also make an effort to recruit street urchins, promising them protection and a surrogate family. They will operate out of Republic City's slums.
    • The Monsoons will be led by the Katara expy. Like Katara she also lost her parents at a young age and was forced to take on a lot of responsibility but where Katara was merely bossy the Monsoon leader will be controlling. She will insist that she is the gangs mother and will be extremely creepy around her own "kids" and other orphans (like Mako and Bolin). She will also be a powerful waterbender who was able to discover bloodbending on her own. She'll use it to threaten or punish anyone who refuses to join or tries to leave her "family".

  • A new Earthbending triad will be introduced who will serve as an analogue for biker gangs. They'll specialize in drug-running and bootlegging and will have no particular base of operations, instead opting to frequent the various bars around republic city. They will also use Earthbending to assist in their escapes by making ramps during car chases or digging and closing off tunnels in the mountains. They will be strongly opposed to the Metalbending police force and authority in general. Both their members and their leader will insist that rules only get in the way.
    • Their leader will be a Badass Biker Toph expy. Like Toph she grew up in a controlling family, in this case a family of police officers, and struggled to assert her independence. Unlike Toph, she will rail against all forms of authority and insist that anarchy is the only way to go. She will only care about her own personal freedom and will be shown casually damaging property and injuring shop owners. She will also be a Metalbender, thanks to upbringing in a family of cops.

  • The Triple Threats will reemerge under new management as an expy for large scale organized crime. They will be the largest and strongest of the various triads thanks to their policy of acceptance. They still accept members from every ethnicity but now insist that those members downplay their individual nationalities for the sake of the gang. The Triple Threats deal in high level illegal activities, everything from money laundering to the numbers game. Their goal is the unification of the other gangs under the Triple Threat banner and they will be based near Central Station to facilitate easy access to benders of every nation.
    • The new leader of the Triple Threats will be an Aang expy. Like Aang he is also cheerful, friendly and determined to foster peace between the opposing elements. However he tries to do this by forcing those benders to assimilate into his gang. He will be a water bender but his style of bending will be radically different from the Katara expy. He will use an extremely hybridized style that borrows from all of the bending disciplines, for instance using earth bending stances to better control ice. He will also be covered in Maori style tattoos as a callback to Aang.

Expect a lot of dark echoes to the Gaang in their lines. For instance the Katara expy might tell one of her cronies "We're your family now" while Bloodbending him into her arms.

  • It seems the Katara Expy would want Korra to join because she is a waterbender from one of the Poles like her. The Aang Expy sounds like the type who wants Korra to join and be the poster child for the balance ideals.
  • And maybe the Zuko Expy would want Korra to join because who better to take on the current Fire Lord than the Avatar?
  • Also, The Toph Expy would probably try to appeal to Korra's rebellious side.
  • Cool idea, but jossed. They ARE still a supporting antagonist, though.

The Triple Threat Triad is lead by or was founded by a former Fire Nation Officer.
When Zuko took the throne and changed the Fire Nation's ideals towards equality, not everyone was happy with the decision. Before this the Fire Nation were the strongest people in the world, top of the food chain. Now the banished honorless prince is tearing down all they've built up over the last hundred years. One officer will have resigned in disgust, and fall into the shadows to plot how to usurp power back to the Fire Nation from the underground. Years later with Republic City being built up, the small crime gang would start recruiting Earth and Waterbenders, because there are those all over the world who seek power. Fast forward to the present day, and this small group is now an Organized Criminal syndicate with ties and power in every city in the world. So while the Triple Threat Triad may be lead by a mix of powers, at its heart, it would be the Fire Nation returning to superiority and power. The trio Korra met on her first day were simply new recruits or bottom of the rung. The senior members or higher ups will present more of a challenge.

The Red Monsoons are a Bloodbending gang.
The street urchin Mako paid to tell where his brother was mentioned a number of Triad names, including the Red Monsoons. Monsoon is rain, which hints towards Waterbenders, but Red Monsoon? They've developed a way to tear blood right out of their opponents bodies. Ofcourse this being a kids' show, this threat is only alluded to, not actually shown. But their leader can actually control people too, during the full moon.
  • Now that we know that Tarrlok and Amon/Noatok are bloodbenders, the possibility of there being note  bloodbenders seems more likely.

The Red Monsoons and the Agni-Kais are enemy gangs, and an analogue to the Crips and the Bloods
The Red Monsoons will mostly be bloodbenders, dress in red and hostilly attack any firebender they find in their territory. Agni-Kais will specialize in lightning bending/blue fire, dress in blue and will attempt to subdue any waterbender they meet. Korra will wind up in Agni-Kai territory and/or Mako will be caught by the Monsoons, and of course hilarity ensues.
The Triple Threat Triads and the other bending gangs mentioned are heavily involved in the distribution of cactus juice.
The turf war that Skoochy mentioned in the third episode was going down because of it.

Lightning Bolt Zolt is an ancestor of Mako and Bolin.
The same style of Unusual Eyebrows can't be too common now can it? Maybe he is their grandfather, and one of his children (Mako and Bolin's father) did not want to follow their life of crime, so he put a hit out on the family, and the "mugging" angle was a cover.
  • According to the Welcome to Republic City game, he's 51.

We will see an Airbending triad soon
Due to Harmonic Convergence creating more airbenders.

Following the above WMG, the airbending triad, formed from airbenders who refused to join the New Air Nation, are a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to The Mongol Empire.
Keeping with their historical counterparts, their leader is a Genghis Khan Expy, and they're currently fighting a gang war with the earthbending triad.

After Book 1, The Equalists turned into a nonbenders only triad.

    Unalaq, Vaatu, and their allies 

Wan Shi Tong will return
Stuck beneath the sands, Wan Shi Tong will eventually go neurotic, since his only form of entertainment was destroyed. He will proceed to rape, kill and assimilate the scholar and the foxes, and he will break free from his prison by shooting into the sky like a deranged goose. He will then go on a rampage and assimilate everything in his path until he becomes a giant mutant owl abomination and a third level Kaiju. Republic City will have to deal with Avatarverse's Rodan.
  • Confirmed! Well, the part about him returning, anyway. Raping foxes has yet to be confirmed or jossed.

Unalaq is a Water Tribe supremacist who will attempt to co-op Korra.
So far we've seen family betray family for the Avatar, but never the Avatar being required to go against family.

The Big Bad of Season 2 will be The Dark Spirit, who is actually the ghost of Azula.
Grey DeLisle tweeted that she'll be playing a character called The Dark Spirit, and that doesn't sound like a particularly nice character. Considering that Book 2 will deal primarily with spirits, and that Dante Basco was brought back to voice Zuko's grandson, it seems likely that DeLisle was chosen for the role because the Dark Spirit is actually the spirit of Azula (who most likely died in that sanitarium), who will become the Big Bad of that Book. And they will milk the idea of a vengeful, psychotic ghost of Azula for all the horror they can get out of it (which is a lot).
  • So Azula basically becomes a Silent Hill boss? ...That's okay, I wasn't planning on sleeping this week anyway.
  • Alternatively, the Dark Spirit could be a fragment of Azula's soul stored inside a Soul Jar (in other words, a variant of a Horcrux. How this came to be will be explained via flashback). When the gang end up finding said Soul Jar, chances are that the Dark Spirit/Azula will possess Korra or Asami in an attempt to return to life once again; or she could just settle with using Korra/Asami's body as a vessel, possibly one of many future vessels as some sort of master plan to regain a physical body of her own.
  • The Dark Spirit That Grey Delisle voiced ended up being a spider in the Spirit World. A much bigger Dark Spirit named Vaatu, who was voiced by Jonathon Adams and was male, was indeed the Big Bad.

Unalaq is the Big Bad of Season 2.
Unalaq is will be the Big Bad of Season 2. He's the one behind summoning the spirits with possibly Desna and Eska as his Co Dragons. He may be trying to manipulate Korra's status as the Avatar to further his own goals or to spread his own beliefs of spirituality and to do this he has to get Korra on his side. Solution? Create a problem where seemingly be is the only one who can give Korra the knowledge to overcome it (as demonstrated by his special waterbending abilities which seem to soothe the angry spirits) and at the same time he can alienate her from Tenzin and her other mentors so she is put further under his influence.
  • And it could backfire on him when the spirits turn out-of-control. Or maybe he struck a deal with the Dark Spirit.
  • If this is true, perhaps his goal for summoning the spirits is a slightly more pedestrian one of proving himself right to the Southern Tribe and conquering them with the spirits' help. It's quite possible, given that he basically initiates an Anschluss at the end of Chapter 2.
  • This could definitely happen. Tonraq's right about how Korra shouldn't team up with him. Did anyone catch his ominous lines during the Book 2 premiere? "I have great plans for you"? And what about the fleet of Northern ships he sent to the Southern Water Tribe? Unalaq obviously wants to conquer the South and is going to use Korra as his pawn to do so (starting a Civil War between the tribes). I've got a theory that Unalaq has a hidden motive for Korra to master her spiritual side. Korra is the human incarnation of the Earth's Spirit, and if she gets in touch with this side of herself, Unalaq may be able to manipulate her just as he did with the other spirits, thus turning Korra into a Human Avatar Bomb in his quest for total domination (sort of like what General Fong tried to do with Aang in The Avatar State).
  • Very much confirmed. Unalaq is part of a Big Bad Dummvirate with Vaatu, and desires to fuse with him to become the Dark Avatar.

Various people will be acting for the Dark Spirit via Demonic Possession
Korra will have to exorcise spirits that come out from the spirit world and take over various people (some including Mako, Lin, and even one of the Airbender kids). Later, combined with the above theory, it'll be shown Unalaq was possessed all along.

The ultimate origin of the Dark Spirits will turn out to be a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds Sealed Evil in a Can with a hate-on for humanity
Fitting the Buddhist idea of Tulpas, they will be revealed to be incarnations of hate, pain, and grief thought into existence by a very old, very powerful spirit who has decided that, for whatever reason, that Humans Are the Real Monsters and wants to destroy them all. He was imprisoned beneath the glacier by a previous Avatar, but the seal has grown weak and now he can send tendrils of his malevolent intentions into the world. And showing his past will be a Tear Jerker.

Branching off from this is the idea that Unalaq has made contact with this spirit and is now his human pawn or doing everything in his power to placate his rage and bitterness (which of course, won't work-the spirit isn't capable of forgiveness any more). As fitting Tulpas, the Dark Spirits will be able to inflame negative emotions and turn humans into Brainwashed and Crazy cultists, to fit with the Cosmic Horror Story aspects of such a being (which could be really freaky as one of Korra's friends falls under his influence and gradually transforms into an Ax-Crazy Straw Nihilist screaming about how the world doesn't deserve saving and how everyone should die).
  • Vaatu seems to fit the bill quite nicely, but his past is pretty much glossed over. Also, he does things FortheEvulz

The Spirits that were attacking the ships were actually protecting The Southern Water Tribe. Specifically, from the Northern Tribe's ships.
It seems mighty convenient that Unalaq brought a bunch of battleships to the south pole all the way from the north pole, just as he and Korra pacified the Spirits in the Everstorm. Also, the only argument he gave that convinced Korra to help him was that they spirits were attacking ships (Naturally, as the Avatar, she's compelled to help people). Also, something seems mighty fishy about the backstory of Tonraq's banishment: If he was originally from the Northern Tribe, and he was banished because he messed around with a forest close to the Northern Tribe's city... Why do they need to pacify The Southern Spirits? Shouldn't The Northern Spirits be the ones that are angry?
  • As far as I can tell all the info we've got on the angry spirits is a one-minute prologue and Unalaq's word. Then again, it's possible that spirits hold grudges and some Northern ones figured out where Tonraq went, ran into the Southern spirits and got them upset as well.
  • Unalaq says that Korra opening both spirit portals will connect both tribes together and allow them to travel between the two in a matter of seconds. The angry Southern Spirits could be the Northern Spirits, just having followed Tonraq.

The spirits' real target is Unalaq
Unalaq thinks the spirits have a grudge against Tonraq for destroying their sacred forest and at the Southern Water Tribe for becoming less spiritual, but the one they really hate is Unalaq, possibly because:
  • His fundamentalism is splitting/has split the Northern Water Tribe from the spirits instead of bringing them closer. For example if he made his people to fear the spirits' rage instead of actually getting along with them the only result is terrified people and confused spiritsnote .
  • If he can calm spirits down and make them leave he might be able to rile them up and maybe even get them to target people.
  • They sense his ambition to (forcibly?) unite the tribes, and possibly more; on the Character page he's considered the Shadow Archetype of the Fire Lord (fire powers and modernization vs. water powers and spiritualism); there's also a future episode description about Korra's parents being "unjustly imprisoned", though it doesn't say by whom and they don't like it. The spirits everyone believes are mindless berserkers being healed are actually desperate fighters being "hypnotized" into leaving and possibly disintegrating for real.
  • As revealed in "Civil War, Part 2", they may indeed have a grudge against Unalaq because he hired the mercenaries to hide in the sacred forest. The spirits know it wasn't Tonraq's fault, and may have also had the Avatar be reborn as Tonraq's daughter.
    • I should point out that Unalaq having hired the mercenaries doesn't make the destruction of the forest any less Tonraq's fault.
One of Korra's parents really was plotting to assassinate Unalaq.
Come on, someone was bound to make a WMG like this after tonight's episode; it would definitely be one heckuva doozy. I sincerely hope I'm wrong, though. ...But if I'm right, it's totes Senna.
  • Fortunately jossed. They had nothing to do with it, but Unalaq had them arrested anyway (and even tried to have Tonraq executed) because of his grudge against his brother.

Eska has an undiagnosed case of Borderline Personality Disorder
Well, that would naturally be the case in a world that hasn't discovered the science of psychology yet, but other than the label, it's almost scary how well her personality fits the profile. From the way she falls madly in love with Bolin almost literally at first sight, to her deadened emotional reactions (which are heavily implied to be the result of her father's emotional abuse of her - a very common origin/trigger of BPD) to her spectacular emotional outburst when she believes her boyfriend to have left her/be cheating on her, to her obsessive need for him to, at times, literally worship her. In a more modern setting, she'd almost certainly be seeing a therapist and (in her case) likely medicated.

Avatar Unalaq would have gained each element of the cycle with each reincarnation had he not been killed by spiritual means.
He only knew Waterbending as himself. But had he died of natural causes, he would've reincarnated as an Earthbender with his past life's Waterbending. Then a Firebender, then an Airbender, finally completing what would've been the Dark Avatar Cycle.

Unalaq started with genuinely good intentions but was slowly corrupted by Vaatu
Unalaq was a once kinder water bender healer who had a very close connection with the Spirit World. Unfortunately, because the North Pole is very close to one of the Spirit portals where Vaatu was imprisoned, Vaatu used his influence to slowly corrupt Unalaq over the span of many years. Playing on his emotions and deep connection with the spirits, he convinced him that the Avatar made a mistake in sealing the portals between the Spirit and mortal world (as is expected since the Avatar contains Raava, his eternal enemy). And being the spirit of darkness and chaos, Vaatu also fed on Unalaq's inner insecurities, while masking them by making him believe that his indirect involvement in the rampage of the spirits to usurp power from his brother, deception of his neice Korra, and ill treatment of his children, Desna and Eska, was justification for bringing justice to the world by allowing humans and spirits to live together in harmony. Furthermore, Vaatu exploited Unalaq's empathy towards spirits by subtly manipulating him into believing that he was a poor, suffering spirit condemned into eternal imprisonement simply for doing something that was simply part of his nature, and which were an integral part of the Ying-Yang balance of light and dark. Rather than being a self-righteous prick, Unalaq is a poor deluded victim with good intentions twisted by the words of Vaatu.
  • Doesn't explain the Red Lotus connection unless Vaatu was also using them...but this being Vaatu, I wouldn't be surprised in the least.

Unalaq DOES think the spirits are evil.
He doesn't want to 'purify' them, he wants to eliminate them. The opening of the spirit portals is meant to allow him and his soilders to destroy the spirit world. To reference the parallels of him and Loki, the Spirit World is his Jotunheim. Leading his brother to destroy the sacred forest was probably to either weaken the spirits or see if they really could be destroyed. It was a failed mission, which is where the spirit bending comes in: to weaken and possibly wipe them out if possible.

Varrick and Unalaq are/were in cahoots
Unalaq wanted the Avatar's support, and his brother out of the picture. And despite being a very skilled waterbender, he managed to be taken down by a nameless rebel. That seems suspect to me. Unless he's working with Varrick and the civil war is a front to justify the North moving in on the South, while Varrick makes a killing on movers and weapons (not to mention the fact that he just got Future Industries for, quite literally, a steal). Varrick is there to keep tabs on the Avatar and prevent her from actually getting backup (hence why the twins knew exactly where to find Korra... the ocean's a big, big place), as this war has ultimately been profitable to him.

Unalaq is trying to release Vaatu
The first Avatar sealed him away in the Spirit Realm then closed the portals so nobody could repeat his mistake. Now the Harmonic Convergence is only weeks away and Korra needs to close the Spirit Portal before that happens. Unalaq probably made contact with Vaatu by accident while meditating and Vaatu figured if he could trick a human into freeing him once, the same trick could work again.
  • Makes sense considering he had Korra open up the southern portal.
  • Confirmed. Unalaq plans to fuse with him to become a Dark Avatar.

Vaatu will possess Unalaq and give him the ability to bend all four elements
Vaatu will try pulling a similar thing Raava did, but take over Unalaq entirely. Once the harmonic convergence happens, they will be permanently fused and Korra uses this chance to seal them again, rendering Unalaq immortal and in agony.

Eska really does love Bolin.
Having been raised as a Tyke-Bomb, however, has inhibited her ability to properly express herself, so she comes across as domineering and frightening to Bolin.

Unalaq's Evil Plan is to become the Dark Avatar.
By merging with Vaatu, much like Wan merged with Raava, to prove himself better than Tonraq, and in extension, his daughter Korra. Vaatu agrees because he thinks that Raavu "Cheated" him out of the last victory with a human and seeks to even the odds.
  • Confirmed in "Harmonic Convergence."

Vaatu is Koh.
The Tree Vaatu was sealed in resembles Ko's tree. Ko does not leave his tree to acquire more faces, which could indicate he's bound insideit. Ko also seems to have no material equivalent (like the forest for the panda bear). In addition, Ko seems malign, but he doesn't fit the typical dark spirit aesthetic (partially transparent and deformed) seen in Korra.
  • Except Koh left his tree to steal the face of Avatar Kuruk's wife (and seemingly lots of other people). Presumably, anyway, I assume she wasn't just randomly wandering about in the Spirit World and happened to stumble upon Koh's tree.

Wan Shi Tong is younger than the Avatar.
Several things have happened in both Avatar: The Last Airbender and this show to show that yes, spirits are born and they do die. We don't know when Wan Shi Tong was born. He claims to know everything, but it's clear that he doesn't. Some of it could be explained by sinking his library into the sand 70 years before the invention of radio, but surely he would know why collaborating with Unalaq to free Vaatu in time for the Harmonic Convergence is an absolutely terrible idea? This means that he's younger than the Avatar, and wasn't born until the Legend of Wan was long forgotten. Nobody was around to give him the knowledge of Raava and Wan— hell, Aang probably never even knew, and I don't think it was ever stated if the last Avatars before Aang (Yangchen, Kuruk, Kyoshi and Roku, at least) ever visited the library.

Vaatu is a Reaper.
He's a god-like Eldritch Abomination who very fifty thousand...ten thousand years attempts to return from Dark Space...the Spirit World to destroy all life because that's just what he does, and only Commander Shepard...The Avatar can stop him. Plus the sound he makes when he fires his Death Laser sounds a LOT like the sound effect Reapers make when they fire THEIR Death Laser, and Unalaq could easily be a stand-in for either Saren or The Illusive Man.
Zhu Li is the real villain.
Varrick's behavior was just his normal behavior (see 2 theories above this one). However, this isn't completely unintentional: his suspicious acts and behavior were actually just taking "advice" from Zhu Li.

Vaatu is going to betray Unalaq
Vaatu is using Unalaq and take him over.
  • Vaatu does fuse with Unalaq but it's entirely voluntary.

Vaatu, in a Satanic Archetype fashion, is a Leaking Can of Evil subtley affecting the world
I am admittedly making a reference to Satan in a show entirely based on Asian traditions, but hear me out: Since Book 2 started, a lot of characters have been... Off. Korra lost a lot of characterization from later in Book 1, Lin, who was intelligent and worldly if cold in Book 1 is now a jerkass who seriously believes Mako, the same Mako who fought alongside the United Forces and was directly involved in defeating Amon, could be preparingto betray her and the city, and to top it all off Asami, whowas never anything but a friend to Korra and called out MAKO for his What the Hell, Hero? behavior is now making romantic advances ar him again. Does it seem like the universe is conspiring against our heroes at every turn? Because maybe IT IS, especially considering there's a God of Evil behind the scenes.
  • This idea is reinforced by Tenzin's behavior in The Guide: refusing to acknowledge that he cannot enter the spirit world, and taking out his frustration on his own family.
  • Think of Vaatu as Angra Mainyu instead of Satan, and it's a bit more setting-appropriate.

Because of Vaatu, Korra is now the Last Avatar.
  • After Vaatu destroyed Korra's past lives, which made the Avatar cycle what it was, the Avatar Cycle ends with her. Meaning that once Korra dies, there will be no more Avatars, EVER.

Eska and Desna will completely turn against their father, going on to join, or at least aid, the Krew
Considering the events of The Guide, this is almost certain to happen to some extent. Unalaq, like his Shadow Archetype Ozai before him, is by all indications a horrible father, seeing his son and daughter as nothing more than tools for his purpose. He displays no concern whatsoever at Eska's genuine grief and anger that her husband-to-be left her at the altar, and doesn't even look back when Desna receives a rather serious injury. Unalaq's "parenting" might well be a Freudian Excuse for the twins' behavior.
  • During the confrontation, Eska - and perhaps Desna as well - will unleash a magnificent Calling the Old Man Out on him, likely prompting a Jaw Drop from Bolin and/or Korra.
  • Confirmed. They do end up changing their ways and fighting alongside Team Avatar against Vaatu's forces.

Korra didn't hallucinate Vaatu.
  • Vaatu put in an appearance in the Book 3 finale, apparently a hallucination brought on by Korra being poisoned, as he appeared alongside Unalaq and Amon. However Vaatu actually exists within Korra, and he gets the most speaking lines of the three. It's possible it really was him trying to get her to give up.

Korra's mysterious Enemy Without in "Korra Alone" is Vaatu.
Vaatu is already back having killed Raava in the process of making his grand return and will be the final villain of Book 4.
  • Doesn't seem to be the case. And the final villain of Book 4 was Kuvira.

Vaatu was reincarnated as an Airbender.
If we consider harmonic convergence gave a large number of people airbending, but doesn't appear to give anyone the ability to bend any of the other elements, this could have been Vaatu's death knell so he would have an airbender baby to reincarnate in. If Vaatu is the opposite of Raava, it's logical to assume that he reincarnates through the nations in the reverse direction (i.e. Water -> Air -> Fire -> Earth instead of Water -> Earth -> Fire -> Air).
  • Does that mean that if someone dies in the Dark Avatar State, they will be reborn, but if they die outside of it, the Dark Avatar Cycle will be broken? Because all these "Dark Avatar will reincarnate" theories always fail to take into account that Unalaq died in his Dark Avatar form.
  • Una-Vaatu was also killed by the spirit-calming technique. Does spirit-calming kill the original dark spirit?

    The Earth Queen 
The Earth Queen intends to invade the United Republic
Thinly veiled contempt of the United Republic, and a belief that it's still Earth Kingdom Territory? Dai-Li agents rounding up Ba Sing Se's new Airbenders to form an Airbending battalion for the Earth Kingdom army? The Queen's gearing up for war with the United Republic.
  • Is this a WMG? I could have sworn she came flat out and said this.
  • She was likely planning to, but got asphyxiated before she could make anything of it.

Season 3. The Dai Li's New Leader is...
A certain old man around Zuko's age who uses wields hook-swords very proficiently and has an endless loathing for fire-benders.

The Earth Queen will cross the Moral Event Horizon
Or at least Jump Off The Slippery Slope, and while she's Obviously Evil to begin with, she may use her captured and brainwashed Airbending Army to capture all Airbenders in her kingdom.
  • Jossed, unless you count eating Bosco. Zaheer kills her before she gets the chance.
  • Her entire rule was across the horizon already. Not that that made her death any less horrific.

The Earth Queen will face a Humiliation Conga
So badly in fact, she may invoke an Alas, Poor Villain to Korra and even to the audience.

The Earth Queen is Azula's daughter.
Think about it. Femme Fatalons? Cruella to Animals? Perfectionist tendencies, especially when they enable her to harass her own servants? She also has a significantly rounder facial shape than her father did...reminiscent of Azula's face, perhaps?

Obviously, Zuko would never have arranged a marriage such as this, so Azula had to have got to Kuei somehow and convinced him that she was in love with him. Pretending to love someone was not her strongest trick, but she could have practiced a little bit...and Kuei was a little bit oblivious, so pulling this off would not be too impossible. Then, she married him, pretending to have reformed, and raised her daughter to hate Zuko for "taking advantage of her father's weakness." The girl would grow up and decide to attack Republic City, the Fire Nation would come to the city's aid, and the entire world would collapse into chaos once Azula just the distraction she needs to attack her niece and usurp the throne, stabbing her own daughter in the back. Season 4 will deal with getting rid of Azula once and for all.

  • Impossible. Kuei was around 25 by the time of the first series, and Azula was only 14. Unless the guys at Nick believe pedophilia is OK, Hou-Ting being Azula's daughter is impossible.
    • Not necessarily. The show takes place 70 years after the first. Azula might have waited a few years, at which point it becomes only slightly creepy as opposed to intensely. We don't actually know Hou-Tin's age, she could easily be late 50s, giving ample time for Azula to physically mature.
    • Hou-Ting could have been in her early sixties, and that would still place her date of birth at when Azula would have been in her twenties.

The Earth Queen cannot brainwash people for some reason.
The show's been going to a lot of effort to make us hate the Earth Queen. Yet as horrible as she is, we've yet to see her break out Long Feng's brainwashing techniques. There is a reason for that. Either 1) Aang and Zuko set up international laws preventing that sort of thing, forcing her to be cautious in implementing it or 2) the Earth Kingdom simply doesn't have that resource anymore for whatever reason.

The Earth Queen didn't eat Bosco.
Not that she wouldn't, it's just that she looks late middle-aged when this show takes place 70 years after the last one, and bears don't live particularly long. Given King Kuei's spoiling of him, he probably died of heart disease when she was young. People mistook her lamentations of not having the chance to eat Bosco as a confession of her having done it.

The Earth Queen didn't eat Bosco...
She ate another bear that Kuei kept as a pet after Bosco died.

The Earth Queen did eat Bosco...
... but Bosco's remains took over her mind and body from within. The Earth Queen you see currently actually has the mind of an angry bear bent on vengeance upon humanity.

Zaheer didn't kill the Earth Queen.
We see him stop the air ball just before she passes out and she is able to grab at the air escaping before falling down. Given the lack of statements about how she died and how relatively short he kept the effect on her, it's possible that Zaheer didn't actually finish the job. However, it was not by any sense of mercy. Given his anarchistic outlook, Zaheer simply felt it was the for the citizens of the Earth Kingdom and Ba Sing Se to render judgement upon her. So, whether they lock her up in a dungeon, rip her apart, or have a French Revolution-style execution for her has yet to be determined.
  • Jossed. Zaheer taunts Tonraq with the words "Say hello to the Earth Queen for me!" before throwing him off a ledge, leading Korra to believe he killed him (He survives). I don't think he'd say that if he had left the Queen even barely alive. That's telling this troper he DID finish suffocating her. He also later tries the same airbending killing technique on Korra. The episode Remembrance confirms the Queen is dead.

The Dai Li will take advantage of the chaos in Ba Sing Se to abolish the monarchy and establish a police state
We never really found out what happened to the Dai Li after Hou-Ting's death, beyond the eight whom the Red Lotus brutalized. They might have been hunted down by the Red Lotus, but they also had plenty of places to go to ground. If so, this would give the Red Lotus' revolution a certain irony; in attempting to free the people, they merely left them vulnerable to a more cunning tyrant.

The Earth Queen will not be the Queen for long.
She's a bloody tyrant and it's clear that she's gearing up for a war against Republic City. She has a very North Korea-like grip on Ba Sing Se, but outside of it everyone is quite free to talk smack because there's no Dai Li agents listening in. There is absolutely no way in hell she's still going to be Queen after this season. Either the Earth Kingdom citizens will overthrow her, or become a constitutional monarchy where she has to deal with a Parliament. The Dai Li will be disbanded and its agents imprisoned.
  • Well, mostly right; she's not the queen anymore�

Earth King Kuei was abused by his wife.
Given Kuei's isolation and meekness, it seems probable that he married for political reasons rather than love. His bride, an aristocrat disappointed by the mild manners and general lack of agency, verbally and physically abused Kuei in private during their entire marriage. This gives Hou-Ting somewhat of a Freudian Excuse — Her personality is the result of her both picking up some of her mother's worst habits, and straining to be as different from her pushover dad as possible in order to avoid ever living the miserable life of an abuse victim.

    The Red Lotus 

Before he received his airbending, Zaheer was a master chi blocker.
Even without airbending, Zaheer was as feared as any of his three cohorts, all of whom are master benders with unprecedented powers. Chi blocking would help explain why benders were so terrified of him, and the knowledge about chi he'd get from this would also go a way to explain his Instant Expert status.

The Irregular Benders were imprisoned for attempting to kidnap or kill young Korra
According to P'Li, she's been in prison for at least thirteen years. Korra is between seventeen and eighteen, and was revealed to be the Avatar at age four. Zaheer intends to bring around the end of the age of the Avatar. This almost certainly adds up to the Irregulars having made a - thankfully prevented - attempt on Korra.
  • This would also explain why Korra was kept locked up in the White Lotus compound by Tonraq and Tenzin until she had mastered the elements.
  • Confirmed- They tried to kidnap Korra.
  • Part of this was jossed, since they didn't want to kill her as previously suggested.
    • At least not yet. When the plan to use Korra fell short, they decided to go with Plan B: End the Avatar cycle.

Team Avatar are going to have to fight Brainwashed Airbenders, including Kai.
Since the Dai Li were fond of brainwashing 70 years ago, It wouldn't be too surprising they've kept up the practice.

The Magmabender killed Mako and Bolin's Parents
It would be very easy to mistake what he does for firebending. And it would be horribly ironic if an earthbender who blurs the line with firebending killed the parents of an firebender and earthbender sibling duo.
  • Oh my God. What's even worse is that this theory does have some credence. When Mako first told Korra about his parents his exact words were that his parents were "cut down by a firebender." What was the first thing he did with his magma shuriken? That's right, he cut the prison bars.
  • While this is a very cool theory, Jossed because Ghazan would have likely been in prison at the time.

In addition to Mako and Bolin's parents, Ghazan also killed Asami's mother
He's the "A. Firebender" that has killed a lot of people's parents.
  • That can't be! A. Firebender is a waterbender!
The Irregular benders will be boss characters in the Legend of Korra game developed by PlatinumGames
Come on, Ming-Hua is already gimmicky enough to be a rejected Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance boss.
  • The game is supposed to take place before Book 3, so chances are this is Jossed.

The Irregulars are anarchists or revolutionaries of some kind
Zaheer states his intention to bring down both the Avatar and the White Lotus, two valuable institutions of bender society, and is working for some kind of cause which indicates he and his crew aren't just mere criminals. With the increase in airbenders as a result of the Harmonic Convergence and the current social unrest in Ba Sing Se, Zaheer could be looking to launch a revolution similar in scope to the Equalist rebellion in order to tear the old world down.
  • Confirmed in Episode 9. They regard the division of humans into nations as unnatural as the division between the physical and spirit worlds.

P'Li is actually Azula
Honestly, there's no concrete proof for this one, but it's certainly possible.
  • 1) Zuko's still alive, so it's not unreasonable for her to be.
  • 2) Azula was already capable of impressive bending feats, one of only a few firebenders who mastered lightning bending. Who's to say she couldn't have improved her bending skills since?
  • 3) The show was very careful not to show her whole face. Episode four will likely be the big reveal.
    • While not impossible, keep in mind it's been 70 years since the original series. Katara was a very old lady when Korra started, Azula probably wouldn't be much different. Also, Azula's voice actress is already voicing Ming-Hua.

P'Li is descended from Azula and/or Combustion Man.
P'Li looks a lot like Azula, but she's also a very tall lady. Combustion Man was also a really big dude. Perhaps Combustion Man had a son before he died, who would later end up fathering P'Li with Azula. Having a background like that could explain how P'Li ended up the way she is and where she is, the daughter of a psychotic ex-royal and the grandchild of a powerful mutant hitman.

Zaheer is a descendant of two Air Nomads who survived the genocide.
Many fans believe that Aang was not the last Air Nomad, nor the Last Airbender... just the last that anyone else knew of. But really, every Air Nomad is an airbender? There had to be a few rare non-benders... and one, maybe two of them survived the Air Nomad genocide. Of course they would have a child once they escaped (if they hadn't already). The theory above that Zaheer was a master chi blocker not only explains his Instant Expert status, it might be a hint as to his ancestry. Zaheer is also an Arabic name and a lot of Air Nomads/benders have names from Middle Eastern and Indian languages (Aang, Tenzin, and Monk Gyatso are probably among the few exceptions).

Now think back to ATLA's Wild Mass Guessing pages and read up on Ty Lee and her chi-blocking skills. A lot of people thought she had some Airbender blood in her because of those abilities (and also because she had gray eyes like Aang). Zaheer is either descended from Ty Lee... or both are descended from Air Nomads and they're unrelated. It would explain where Ty Lee got the knowledge of chi-blocking from, and where Zaheer did as well. The Air Nomads knew a lot about chi and would know how to block it. The few non-bending Air Nomads would probably have picked it up. This means that yes, there were non-bending Air Nomads, there are descendants of Air Nomads out there who aren't related to Tenzin, and we're about to see something we all wondered about in Book One: a bender who knows how to block chi (without bending like Amon did).

  • A lot of background material states that all Air Nomads were Airbenders. However, he might be the descendent of Air Nomads who survived the genocide, but who didn't inherit the functional airbending probably because they lost their spirituality due to the cynicism that genocide will often engender. The population still maintained their traditions in secret.

Alternatively, Zaheer is a former Air Acolyte.
This would also explain why he knows so much about an ancient airbender guru, and why that he's airbending like a master with what appears to be actual airbending techniques (lot's of spinning, acrobatics, dodging and misdirection). Given the genocide of the air nomads 170 years prior, it would be hard to find information on their teachings. The Air Acolytes would be the most natural group for a nonbender like Zaheer to learn about airbending from prior to getting imprisoned by the White Lotus.
  • Adding to this theory, perhaps Zaheer holds some resentment towards Aang and Tenzin for not treating him and other Acolytes like "real" air nomads because they weren't benders.

Ghazan's abilities include transmuting earth and metal into different forms
For example, he could turn coal into diamonds by exerting extreme pressure or turn lead into gold.
  • It's easy to believe that he could do former, since he's already been shown changing the molecular structure of earth pretty handily, though being able to make diamonds and the ability to make jewels is not necessarily the same thing. But the latter would require him to alter the structure of matter on a subatomic level, and basically be a living nuclear reactor. That seems less plausible considering the limits of Bending we've seen so far. And even if he could, he would release huge amounts of radiation while doing it, and Benders aren't immune to elements; he would give himself a cancer in a short order.
    • Then again, the fact that he's magma bending despite not being the Avatar indicates that he's doing something to create heat inside the rocks he bends without fire bending. The possibility that he's using nuclear reactions to generate the heat to melt rocks can't be ruled out.
    • The magmabending isn't that hard to guess at. Either he's vibrating it to the point the rock heats to molten levels, or he puts it under volcanic pressures to superheat it.

Some or all of the Irregular Benders will break up at some point.
This season is all about change, and there's the possibility that the group dynamics within Zaheer's group will change as well. It's also entirely possible that some of them might even preform a Heel–Face Turn.

Most likely, Zaheer will probably betray the group. The big thing about him is that he's obsessed with Laghima's teachings, especially that "Let go of earthly attachments" bit. He's also in a romantic relationship with P'Li. What are the chances that this is going to be severed?

  • Jossed. They fought as a team right until the very end.

the Irregular Benders aren't really villains.
For one, they actually have redeeming qualities... unlike every other villain seen in both this series and ATLA. Ozai, Zhao, Azula, Amon, and Unalaq are never shown to care about their families or friends, they're all egotistical sociopaths (well, you could argue that Amon was neither, but still) who are very, very dangerous because they're egotistical sociopaths or extremists or whatever. We actually see the Irregular Benders have some funny moments and P'Li and Zaheer clearly love each other. Sure, they attempted to kidnap Korra, but their motives are totally unclear. Even when they were defeated and imprisoned, they never said just why they wanted Korra. There's one line from Zaheer about wanting to end the age of the Avatar, but that might not have to involve actually harming a five-year-old Korra. Their biggest mistake was trying to kidnap a child Avatar and not tell any of her guardians what they wanted to do with her. They probably still don't have the best intentions for Korra, but it's not out of any desire to actually harm her, it's because they're Well Intentioned Extremists who, in a misguided way, think they're improving the world. They're probably going to be Anti Villains.
  • That being said, the Irregular Benders flat out killed people on screen. Ghazan created a shuriken made of magma that behaved like how a lava shuriken would in real life: it cut through sturdy two-by-fours like butter and lit them on fire. He used this shuriken to cut down White Lotus members, at least one of them pretty deeply, so it's not likely they survived it. And in Ming-Hua's escape, they deliberately threw multiple White Lotus off the catwalks, which if you remember has an open pit of magma at the bottom. In addition, they were all interrogated for thirteen years and never surrendered their intentions to the White Lotus, which is essentially the Avatar Fan Club. If they are sympathetic, they're going to be brutal Knights Templar at the very least.
  • It is notable that they're given some decent qualities such as friendship, but that characterisation doesn't necessarily mean they're good people. They're just written with a bit more...humanity, or more facets to their personalities. They may lack the one-dimensional 'obviously evil' approach of several of the other villains, but they are still brutal opponents - potentially killers, as noted above - who thought nothing of kidnapping a young child.

The Irregular Benders' abilities come from actively studying techniques outside their own element.
The Irregular Benders have strange powers, that much is clear. But how did they develop them? Perhaps by applying other bending arts' teachings to their own acts.
  • Ghazan's ability to create magma involves the manipulation of heat and energy, something firebenders usually train at.
    • Though it involves heat, Ghazan is really just changing the physical state of the rock he manipulates, something waterbenders consider fundamental to their own art.
  • P'Li's explosions require manipulating air (indirectly here, though applying energy creatively) as much as fire.
  • Zaheer is shown shrouding his fellows' approach in a massive snowstorm; a manipulation of air that utilizes water (in the form of snow) to grant stealth and extra power.
    • In general, Zaheer's fighting style is very aggressive, more reminiscent of a firebender.
  • While many waterbenders use constructs, it's typically only for brief attacks. Ming-Hua has a special reliance on creating and maintaining stable constructs, especially her arm-tentacles; the teachings of earth could help teach her to maintain stability.
    • When she fights Desna and Eska she makes two ice pillars erupt from the ground to encase her opponents. It looks more like what an Earthbender would do.

Zaheer's plan is to manipulate the Avatar Cycle for his own benefit.
As the Evil Counterpart of Team Avatar, Zaheer's little cabal is in a prime position to kidnap Korra, keeping her locked up while Ming-Hua or P'li carries a child to term. It would, of course, have to be a child by Ghazan for the plan to work this way, but it would be a relatively simple matter of keeping Korra barely-alive and secluded until the 9 months are up, and kill her just as the child is born. Raava would be drawn to a new Earthbender, and Zaheer's team could raise the new Avatar however they see fit.
  • I doubt it; why would Raava select an Earthbender that's in such risk for corruption, or however the next Doct- Avatar is selected?
    • It doesn't appear that Raava has any direct control over where and to whom the Avatar re-incarnates next, only that the next Avatar must be an Earthbender.
  • This idea is far too fucked-up to ever plausibly be allowed on a kids' show. Besides, Zaheer said he was going to bring about the end of the Avatar, which this wouldn't accomplish.

New Team Avatar will fight the irregular benders in one-on-one duels
As Zuko mentioned, the four benders are way too powerful to be fought together, they're way too powerful. Zuko would already know and share this, so Korra would try a divide and conquer strategy.
  • Korra herself would fight Zaheer, being the only one with enough knowledge of airbending to probably deal with one
  • Mako would have to face Ghazan. As a lightningbender, he'd be best suited to destroy Ghazan's rocks, and could redirect the heat from his magmabending in order to make it inert
  • Bolin would deal with Ming-Hua. She's extremely agile, but her combat tentacle style involves grabbing high vantage points in order to swing. Bolin could very easily keep his attacks low and attack her footing if she's unable to swing around.
  • Asami would have to deal with P'Li. Her explosion bending would mean anyone dealing with her would need to be agile and in close combat, since P'Li isn't immune to her own explosions. Asami fits both of these criteria better than anyone.

Motivations of the Red Lotus
  • The Order of the Red Lotus was a splinter group from the Order of the White Lotus, and Zaheer and the other irregular benders are major members of this group, if not founding members. The White Lotus serve the Avatar, but the Red Lotus instead seek to coerce the Avatar in order to use her to shape the world as they see fit. This is why they attempted to kidnap Korra, as they sought to force her into their ranks as their pawn. Since that failed, now they just want to kill her, as she's the biggest threat to their philosophy.

Zaheer assassinated Aang
  • Zaheer was responsible for Aang's death, by poisoning him in some way. However, no one else knew this was the case, and so the whole "his time in the iceberg caught up with him" thing was the reason everyone thought was the reason Aang died young of what appeared to be natural causes. This will be revealed by Zaheer or one of the other Irregular Benders later in the season, perhaps in a "I've killed one Avatar, and I will kill another" kind of line. This would be a good way to top Vaatu and the Dark Avatar as a great villain, by being a much more personal threat this season.

The Irregular Benders killed Sokka
  • We know Sokka is dead as of Book 1, but Tenzin mentioned that "Chief Sokka" assisted in protecting Korra from the Irregulars, proving that Sokka didn't die by Yakone's hand. So, my theory is that Sokka died when the Gaang protected Korra from the Irregular Benders. This would also be a good reason why Zuko fears their power even though they apparently only fought the heroes once and lost.

Lin's right. Korra would be safe in Republic City because Zaheer and Co. don't have any agents there.
Remember how they were hiding out in an abandoned apartment and had to hijack a van to get out of town? That's because, unlike in Zaofu, Zaheer and his gang don't have any allies in Republic City. That was the only real option they had.

Zaheer's gang will eventually join forces with the Earth Queen, only to betray her at the opportune moment.
It's just something I could see them doing.
  • Partially confirmed. Zaheer offers to trade the location of the liberated airbenders for the Avatar. When things hit the fan, Zaheer shows the Queen what happens when an airbender isn't a pacifist. Although it's clear this was always his intention, whether or not the timing moved up.

Zaheer will tattoo himself.
He is pretty much a master airbender now, in terms of skills and knowledge and spirituality. He'll need to show that, once he feels he can afford doing something so conspicuous and easily-spotted.
  • Jossed.

Suyin is the secret leader of the Red Lotus, or at least involved with them.
When Aiwei is outed as a traitor, Suyin's reaction is incredibly suspicious. Note her shifty eyes. Her decision to secretly defy Lin and help Korra escape also reeks of a potential trap. Her assisting the group against Zaheer complicates this theory, but it's possible she decided to nix the kidnapping after their cover was blown. Better to abduct Korra without her friends hot on her trail.

Now that we know the Red Lotus is after anarchy, Suyin's comment about the idea of a queen being "old-fashioned" screams involvement.

  • Darn, I made a similar prediction in the General-folder; I thought of putting it here, but decided not to, since I don't believe that she's a villain. I think that she's affiliated with the Red Lotus, as well; Zaofu is basically a very successful anarcho-capitalist commune, after all. But I don't think that she's allied with Zaheer, at least currently; she could have helped his gang to capture Korra quite easily in her city, but instead she saved Korra and drove them away. I believe that the Red Lotus split right after its forming into radical and peaceful factions, and Suyin represents the latter, trying to change the world through example rather than violence.
    • Anarcho-capitalist? Where was it said that Zaofu has no government?
      • Anarchistic communes typically do have some sort of governing structure in spite of the name. It just provides minimal interference and all the citizens get equal, direct representation. My original assumption that the city runs on anarcho-capitalist policy is based on Suyin's anti-authoritarian streak and their laissez-faire attitude towards inviting in convicted criminals from other nations, like Varrick, if they have talent to offer.
  • Jossed. She has no connections to the Red Lotus.

The real leader of the Red Lotus is actually Toph.
It has not been confirmed that she is dead yet so it is possible she is still alive since Katara is as well. Now what first tipped me off was when Aiwei said that she left to seek enlightenment; from a spiritual standpoint enlightenment is awakening to the true nature of reality and with the revelation that the red lotus is an anarchist group and that Aiwei was one of them this seems to me that his definition of enlightenment, that "the natural order is disorder' I think that could be a hint. Building on that is the continues references to that Guru guy (don't remember his name) that Zaheer follows who seemed to find enlightenment via a similar philosophy it seems the show is heading in a direction were the enlightened villains advocate for chaos.

Also if you seen the show and read the Rift you know that Toph has a very strong anti-authoritative streak to her resulting from her parents. and so raised her children with few rules. This came to a head when she covered up her youngest criminal actions. Lin said her grief caused her to quit and she was right but it also made her question her dedication to law and order. After many years she came to believe what she did was right as the free spirited Suyin has created a successful anarcho-capitalist commune and the authoritative Lin refused to reconcile with them and if she had followed the law Suyin would be in jail and none of the good would have happened. This lead her to join the Red Lotus and became it leader and made the story about seeking enlightenment as a cover.

Yakone was also a member of The Red Lotus.
The Red Lotus appears to be made up of people with rare bending abilities. It would not have been surprising at all if they had bloodbenders among their ranks. However, its possible that Yakone defected from this group because he craved power too much to be associated with them.

Red Lotus plan to kill Korra in the Avatar State
Their original plan to mold Korra into an Avatar that would embody their ideals while she was young and impressionable. It would take too long to get Korra to come to their views. Simply killing her and trying to start over by finding the new Avatar could take years and there is no guarantee they would find the next Avatar before the White Lotus or take him or her from them. Zaheer told Korra he felt Wan was foolish for getting involved in Raava and Vaatu's internal struggle. It's not a stretch for him to feel that Wan's influence corrupted Raava's true purpose and that Avatar is corrupted. Red Lotus plan to free Raava from human influence by killing Korra in the Avatar State, knowing it will end the cycle, but that Raava and Vaatu will reborn with time and continue their struggle again. This would end the age of the Avatar as Zaheer mentioned in the first episode of the season and goes with their ideology. Avatar protect governments and establishments. It would explain why they need to take Korra alive right now. They need to make preparations to force Korra into the Avatar State and how to safely deal with her and be in position to kill her while in the State.
  • Confirmed! At least as far as wanting to kill Korra in the Avatar State. It's unclear to what extent, if any, they are aware of Raava and Vaatu, and if they gave them any thought in their plans.
    • The awareness of Vaatu and Raava is confirmed as well, as Zaheer states they believe Avatar Wan getting in the way of the spirits' eternal battle was what first threw the world out of balance.

At some point, the Red Lotus will attempt to destroy the walls separating the three rings of Ba Sing Sei.
This season made a point of reminding us how Ba Sing Sei was laid out and how unequal lives in the outer and inner rings were. As the Red Lotus is all about ending separations between people, the walls of Ba Sing Sei would be an ideal symbolic target.
  • Confirmed in "Long Live the Queen".

Tenzin will be the one to bring down Zaheer
And he will use the same breath-bending technique that Zaheer used to kill the Earth Queen, much like how his mother Katara was forced to use bloodbending to bring down Hama.
  • Jossed. He's severely incapacitated after getting hammered by the entire Red Lotus, leaving his fellow Airbenders to assist Korra in defeating Zaheer. Also, Zaheer survives, and is recaptured.

Zaheer is Guru Laghima.
Guru Laghima somehow found the answer to immortality, and continues to preach his beliefs in the present as "Zaheer." For some time, he either feigned being a non-bender or his airbending was truly taken away, but Harmonic Convergence was the perfect moment to unleash his true power or gain them back. In the many moments where Zaheer is seemingly quoting his greatest inspiration is, he is actually just quoting himself.
  • Alternatively, reincarnation is a thing. Perhaps anyone with a high spirituality can remember their past lives, not just The Avatar. He has awakened his past life.

Ghazan and Ming-Hua are siblings
During their conversation with Bolin, he guesses that Ghazan was raised by an older sister or that the two share an unspoken attraction, and Ghazan's comment indicates at least one of those is correct. The two then share an awkward glance. Ming-Hua looks older than Ghazan, the two share similar skin tone and facial features, and them being different benders from a mixed-nation family would make them counterparts to Bolin and Mako, adding another parallel between the Red Lotus and Team Avatar.

The Red Lotus' endgame
The final goal of the Red Lotus is to do more then remove all world governments, it is to completely remove any differences between humans and spirits by turning all of humanity into spirits. What made me think of this is a passage from Guru Laghima: Let go of your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind. So what I see this as saying is; remove physical desires, enter the void (whatever that means, not sure), and become something else. In this case a wind spirit. I think in the episode Enter the Void Zaheer, or all of the Red Lotus will succeed in that and each become an elemental spirit and will try to use the avatar to make it happen to everyone else.
  • Jossed. The phrase refers to how Laghima achieved enlightenment and learned how to fly, which is exactly what Zaheer did in the episode.

The Red Lotus ends to reunite Raava and Vaatu
This would explain why they want the Avatar and fits with their ideology of removing divisions.

Zaheer has a brother named Zathair.
Just for Pun.

If Suyin is a member of the Red Lotus, she will reveal her ideology with words akin to "All who serve governments are slaves. They obey. I choose."
She created a city encased in domes dedicated to the advancement of science and art without government oversight and populated with former criminals. Sound familiar?
  • Jossed; Suyin isn't a member of the Red Lotus.
    • As far as we know of, anyway, as it seems that the Red Lotus storyline isn't quite done. She clearly isn't supporting Zaheer's plans, though.
      • Very safe to say this is jossed. Su killed one of them. P'Li, in fact. Quite messily as well. And considering how on the up-and-up Lin is on things, it's quite probable Lin is a White Lotus member. Su and Lin may come to blows during bouts of Sibling Rivalry, but the two Lotus groups have much more lethal intent towards each other.

Zaheer is going to be executed.
He has a resolve that is unbreakable (he held out for 13 years) so trying to pump him for information on other Red Lotus members is pointless, has no earthly ties (his ability to fly is directly connected to that), his primary plans have been revealed (destroy the nations, permanently kill the Avatar), and is damn near impossible to contain given he can fly and is an airbending prodigy. It might just be easier and safer to just execute him and be done with it.
  • Jossed. He's kept in a high-security mountain prison by the White Lotus.

Zaheer wasn't going to kill P'Li.
In Fridge Horror, someone suggested to remove his earthly tethers, Zaheer would have killed P'Li, since she's his last earthly tether. However, I find it unlikely. Zaheer still had goals, and the ability to fly without a glider, while useful, doesn't seem worth sacrificing a powerful and loyal ally and lover just to be able to be weightless.

Ghazan will pull a Heel–Face Turn
After the events of the season 3 finale, it's left unclear whether Ghazan and Ming Hua are dead. If Ghazan isn't, he will eventually come around to the good side— perhaps due to some bargain to keep him out of prison— and then become Bolin's lavabending teacher.

  • Jossed. Word of God confirmed his death and Ming-Hua's.

Zaheer wants to become the Avatar
He may have found something in his studies of Air Nomad culture that led him to believe that he could first become an Airbender through spiritual enlightenment, and then ultimately gain the Avatar State through deep meditation and letting go all his 'earthly attachments,' like what Aang was told to do to unlock his chakras and control the Avatar State in the previous series. It's why he and his gang tried to go after Korra, so they could induce the Avatar State and kill her so he would absorb it somehow. Zaheer would see him getting airbending as a sign from the spirits that he has been chosen due to his diligence with Air Nomad teachings.
  • That's basically the same plot Unalaq concocted last season, though. Seems unlikely that the show would have two successive, unrelated Big Bads with the exact same goal.

Zaheer can travel to the spirit realm
That is how they can travel so fast. Or he is Batman.
  • Confirmed. Though this doesn't seem to have anything to do with the way they travel, since their physical bodies remain in the same place.

About the remaining Airbenders and Red Lotus

Maybe the Red Lotus started out as a black ops wing of the White Lotus before going rogue
  • Given the secretive nature of both groups, the Xai Bau probably started the Red Lotus as a black ops wing in order to not only maintain secrecy, but to also do things behind the White Lotus' back. They sought to maintain balance, but using methods that are in direct violation of the White Lotus' laws, then they split from the Red Lotus and became anarchists after they were caught.

Red Lotus is Unwitting Pawn for Vaatu and Unalaq
  • Think about it. Can they to manipulate Red Lotus to bring chaos in the world in even more dramatic version than before? Though Vaatu is defeated, he is a spirit of chaos, so Red Lotus actions can empower him in case he will lose to Raava again.

The Red Lotus doesn't exist.
Everything Zaheer told Korra in Xai Bau's Grove was a lie. Zaheer and his crew aren't part of a larger organization. Zaheer just told Korra that they were to stall for time so his allies could snatch her body while she was listening to his story. Aiwei was simply a corrupt official that Zaheer bribed into letting him into Zaofu. The Red Lotus sentries in "Venom of the Red Lotus" were simply mercenaries that Zaheer payed off with gold he stole from the Earth Queen's palace. Unalaq was never affiliated with them — he was simply the chief in the North at the time Zaheer was arrested, that Zaheer added to his story in order to sound more impressive, knowing that Korra would believe her uncle was capable of anything. Xai Bau is not the order's founder, nor even a real person who was ever in the White Lotus — rather, he's a Line-of-Sight Name based on the grove they were in that Zaheer just name-dropped to beef up his story. Why did the Red Lotus not appear in season four, you ask? Because they're not real, aside from Zaheer and his gang.

Xai Bau is Iroh.
Yes, really. Late in his life, Iroh came to regret "outing" the White Lotus, and fashioned himself an alternate identity to form a new order that could continue where it left off. He became increasingly discontent with the new directions Aang and Zuko were taking the world, and formed Zaheer's anarchist principles because of it. When his body grew too frail, he dodged death by meditating into the Spirit World — not to gain any kind of transcendence, but so he could continue to direct the Red Lotus from beyond the grave. That's why Zaheer kept meditating into "Xai Bau's" Grove in the Spirit World — so he could communicate with his master, Iroh! Which also explains why Iroh just happened to be in the grove when Korra meditated there in "The Ultimatum". Everything Iroh did for Korra in the series was aimed at furthering the Red Lotus agenda: He helped her in "A New Spiritual Age" so she could make it to the Spirit Portals, where Unalaq was waiting to coerce her into opening them. In "The Ultimatum", Iroh subtly manipulates Korra into giving herself up as a hostage to Zaheer. Making Iroh the true Magnificent Bastard of the series.

Bolin was actually 2.5 correct.
Ghazan was raised by his sister and Word of God confirmed the moustache theory, but he doesn't realize that Ming-Hua does have a thing for him.

The Red Lotus' plan to kill Korra was all Unalaq's fault

Unalaq, as the most prominent politician of the known Red Lotus members, was actually the head of the Red Lotus at the time. He's also one of very few spirit-benders.

13 years ago before their imprisonment, the Irregular Benders would have been much more idealist. Even if willing to kill the Avatar for good, they would first have had Unalaq try some sort of spirit surgery on the young Korra to remove Raava from her, reuniting it with Vaatu.

Not only would this preclude any plans on Unalaq's part to become the Asshole Avatar, he also plain couldn't be arsed to do it. And Zaheer's clique would have been quite able to overpower Unalaq in direct confrontation back in the day. To top it all, Zaheer & Co. wouldn't have tolerated Unalaq's plan to become the Dark Avatar - it's already too much with one, non-evil avatar, kthxbye.

So Unalaq snitches on them and commits to first becoming the Dark Avatar and then figuring out what to do with the regular Avatar.

When the Irregular Benders break out of prison they are hard pressed for time, have no spirit bender to resort to, and Korra isn't a three-year-old they might have been able to coerce into having Raava removed from her. Hence the only way out of the Avatar Cycle is killing her while in Avatar State.

I think the first step in Zaheer & Co plans wasn't exacting revenge on Unalaq simply because he was already dead.


     Earth Empire 

Kuvira is the real leader of the Red Lotus.
We know that Zaheer has stated that the revolution had already begun and that the Red Lotus has agents everywhere so why wouldn't the real leader be hidden as well?...
  • Probably not. She's actually quite young, at least young enough to be engaged to Bataar Jr. who has to be in his (late?) twenties. She would have been a child when the Red Lotus was active prior to Zaheer et. al.'s imprisonment. Even if other members of the Red Lotus remained active in Zaofu, it's unlikely Kuvira was a member, considering that her goals are the exact opposite of those of the Red Lotus.
  • Likely Jossed. Zaheer, at any rate, is shown to disagree with Kuvira's goals, enough that he actively helps Korra to give her a better chance of beating her.

Kuvira is evil.

Couldn't be more obvious. They wouldn't use a Celebrity Voice Actor for someone who wasn't going to be significant in Book 4. So either Kuvira is evil or she's going to be part of a Your Cheating Heart subplot with Tonraq.

  • Nicktoons released a Book 3 trailer with a couple shots of Kuvira that are obviously from Book 4. Suffice it to say that this WMG became a lot more popular from what little is shown.
  • Confirmed.

Kuvira is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who will turn the Metal Clan into a Fascist Regime and will attempt to start a second Hundred Year War.
Based on the newly-released trailer, it looks like Kuvira is going to usurp control of the Metal Clan from Suyin (or else reduce her to a powerless figurehead while she controls its army) and reorganize them into the Avatar world's version of Fascists, probably to subjugate the Earth Kingdom which is still embroiled in conflict since Zaheer killed Hou-Ting. She'll probably do this out of a twisted sense of "bringing balance", to contrast Zaheer and the Red Lotus' anarchistic leanings and desire to bring down the world's governments (which he also believed would bring balance to the world). She won't stop at the Earth Kingdom either; she'll probably want apply her new militaristic political philosophy to the rest of the world in the name of order/balance. This will also reflect the biggest challenge Korra has faced since Kuvira and the now militarized Metal Clan will threaten to plunge the world into a second hundred years war (with the Metal Clan taking the role of the Fire Nation), and she has to fight to prevent that from happening.
  • You're right aside from the "take over the rest of the world" part... for now. Who knows what she'll do once she figures out how to make spirit-nukes?

Kuvira is going to be Chin 2.0
Not just in a meta sense, we're talking in a full-fledged "people are going to explicitly call her that, or some variation".
  • Supposedly Kuvira strikes some poses that were similar to Chin in Kyoshi's flashback. Whether or not anyone brings up Chin in universe remains to be seen, it's possible that Kuvira being a modern Chin is deliberate.
    • Wu grants Kuvira the Kyoshi Medal of Freedom, and Kuvira crushes it in her speech announcing the creation of the Earth Empire. In addition to the obvious symbolism of Kuvira crushing a symbol for freedom in the moment cementing her as a ruthless warlord, there's another symbol. The medal named for Kyoshi. And you know which other ruthless warlord was famously defeated by Avatar Kyoshi? Chin.

Kuvira will use the retracting walls of Zaofu to keep residents from leaving.
Those walls could be used to keep people in as well as keep people out.
  • Jossed. She had those lotus pod esque walls dismantled for them to make up her giant spirit-vine powered Colossus mech, which she brings to Republic City in the finale.

Kuvira is running a False Flag Operation with the bandits.
One of the things one of the bandit ladies said sounded suspicious, especially given how quickly Kuvira shut her up. I think Kuvira has put plants in the bandit groups and is giving them material aid to make them more dangerous than they are. At least, she's doing so in the regions she has a personal interest in.
  • A fan has noticed that the bandit who steals the box of supplies from Kai and Opal near the end of the episode looks very similar to a Zaofu citizen who appeared in the episode The Metal Clan. It's looking like this WMG is very likely.

Kuvira knows more about the Red Lotus than she lets on, but she isn't a member.
She might have discovered the Red Lotus and considered using them at some point, but she didn't join them. Her goals appear to be a military coup, which seems antithetical to the Red Lotus' goals.

The surviving members of the Red Lotus and the Avatar are going to do an Enemy Mine situation against Kuvira.
  • (note: not the OP) On the one hand Zaheer would still has his wind/flight powers since Korra couldn't take them away and he would be a good match for Kuvira; on the other he probably was executed since I can't think of any safe way isolate him from air (coma maybe? Help me out, SCP Foundation people!).
    • Confirmed technically, in that Zaheer helps Korra fully reconnect with Raava because he is no more fond of Kuvira than the Avatar is.

Varrick is the real mastermind of the Earth Empire's conquering spree.
Varrick has proven a master of manipulating well-intentioned and otherwise intelligent people into serving as his puppets — remember how easily he made Asami Sato into a pawn for his war profiteering schemes? It's quite possible he's manipulating Kuvira similarly.
  • Varrick doesn't seem to have much in the way of actual political aspirations, though. He only got involved in the Water Tribe Civil War to make money. He could exploit Kuvira for his own gain, though, which seems more in-character. But Kuvira is a woman in her late(?) twenties, so she's got the advantage of maturity and would be harder to take advantage of. Remember, Asami was only about 18 years old and quite vulnerable after the events of Book One.
  • Jossed after Kuvira pulls an Eviler Than Thou on him in "Enemy at the Gates".

Kuvira is going to go after Omashu.
Because I'm a fanboy who wants to be nostalgic during an Omashu episode.
  • Jossed. The Calling confirms that Zaofu is the only remaining city in the empire outside Kuvira's control.

Kuvira wasn't evil until recently
I was reading through the character sheet (updated as of After All These Years), and someone noticed that in Book 3, Kuvira is warm and friendly, yet in Book 4's first episode, she is cold and unsmiling. There could be any number of reasons why, but my WMG is that 'something' happened to Kuvira to turn her from ambiguously evil to an evil conquerer at some point between Books 3 and 4.

Kuvira will invoke Not So Different with Korra
Seeing as Kuvira was designed as a Shadow Archetype to Korra, it seems highly likely. Korra will not immediately retaliate with a Shut Up, Hannibal!, Kirk Summation or Talk to the Fist, but listen and perhaps even agree.
  • Confirm but also jossed. It's Korra that does this to Kuvira to help talk her down.

Kuvira is using Baatar Jr. and Bolin as shields and propaganda
For someone pretending to be a benevolent uniter this makes perfect sense. With Baatar Jr. she receives someone to use against a superior metalbender and with Bolin she gets someone to protect her against both the Avatar and the Air Nation. Plus the fact that their has been a split between families for the members who are trying to do what they believe is right is a wonderful story to gain public support. Not to mention that the best way to keep someone hostage is to make them want to stay.

Zhu Li is a Fake Defector
While it's obvious that Zhu Li meant some of what she said about Varrick being an ungrateful prick to her, I REALLY have my doubts that she'd be so willing to betray him just like that to Kuvira. Notice how she doesn't seem to be panicking at all when faced with the prospect of being sent off to a re-education camp, yet after it's mentioned that Varrick is going to be kept around to continue conducting his experiments, her demeanor changes and she chooses then to pledge fealty to Kuvira and renounce Varrick. I think she's basically pledging her loyalty to Kuvira in order to get Kuvira's guard down and be able to later save Varrick and Bolin, and getting to tell Varrick how much of a jackass he's been to her was something that served the purpose of maintaining the charade, and it was helped because she was genuinely venting her frustration at him as well.
  • Going further with this, Varrick is aware of this and the whole thing is one of their contingency plans.
  • Confirmed.

Kuvira's ultimatum on Zaofu was a calculated move to make Suyin appear like a bad guy in the eyes of the world.
Many people have complained that Kuvira appears to contradict herself by first urging Baatar Jr. to avoid a violent confrontation with Zaofu, but subsequently threatening Suyin with invasion within 24 hours just a bit later. But Kuvira knows Suyin, she knows that her former mentor will not sit idly by when she can make the first move. And Suyin does just that, going out to attempt to assassinate Kuvira with her sons. But this plays straight into Kuvira's hands, as she can present Suyin as the aggressor and perfect justification for violent occupation of her city. Just as planned...
  • Just as planned indeed. This is confirmed. As a matter of fact, Kuvira set up a trap for Suyin and her sons with Zhu Li in her bed, giving her the perfect bargaining chip to take Zaofu through unconditional surrender. Korra almost ruins this, but her Enemy Within returns, resulting in Korra, the airbabies, and Opal fleeing back to Republic City while Kuvira moves into Zaofu.

Kuvira's insistence on the Spirit Vine weapon will be her downfall.
The eventual weapon will be a lot more powerful than she anticipated, and it will quite literally blow up in her face, a fitting downfall for somebody who's such a Control Freak.
  • It'll go critical and she'll refuse to leave, seeing the weapon as her ultimate achievement— she'll even tell Baatar Jr. to his face that she cares more about it than him, scorning the poor guy as he tries to convince his fiancé to evacuate.
    • Half-confirmed. The Spirit Vine core does exploded (though she survives), and while she loses control of the gun during her final battle with Korra, she survives, albeit only because of Korra.

Kuvira is a Dark Avatar
Admittedly this one is harder to support since two seasons ago they got rid of the concept, but hear me out. The cycle goes Air>Water>Earth>Fire>Air right? The last dark avatar was a Waterbender and thus the next in the cycle is an Earthbender, but what if being unlike Raava who comes into a new being and then adds it to the collective the dark avatar goes into an established being and then corrupts it? Now at first this makes no sense because of how this would mean that Vaatu would have had to enter Kuvira before she was all heroic earlier, but consider that Korra was very close to death in the avatar state. What if this reformed Vaatu in this world and then gave him a chance to go into someone near by. Go into someone mostly unknown and then raise them up to be the weapon he needs. Perhaps its even just the seed of Vaatu, making Kuvira preform methods she believes will help people in ways that are much more violent than what we have seen from her before. The clincher will be when Kuvira finds out she can water bend but not fire or earth bend, Leading to legitimacy in terms of expanding her influence to the whole world.
  • Why stop at plain old waterbending? If this does turn out the case she'd likely be dabbling in Bloodbending instead.
    • That is some pretty blatant power over the people right there for Kuvira. Though considering its connotations she probably doesn't share that aspect with people outsider her inner circle.
    • This is highly unlikely, unless the Dark Avatar Cycle needs people to die in the Dark Avatar State to pass on to the next person in the cycle.

Prior to the Battle of Zaofu, Kuvira had heard about Korra's inability to enter the Avatar State
This is why she was so eager to challenge Korra, and dared her to enter the Avatar State. She believed Korra couldn't, and wanted to rub Korra's face in the fact to throw her off whatever game she had from recovering. That Korra had regained the Avatar State was simply information too new for Kuvira's intelligence services to have found out, though she'll be much more cautious around Korra in the future to account for this change.

Kuvira will end up having a Villainous Breakdown to rival Azula's.
Kuvira is utterly dedicated to her cause, and shows definite signs of being a massive Control Freak as well. Though her behavior has mostly been a display of discipline and calm, collected control, there have been several moments when a crack has appeared in that image, bringing out a more murderous and destructive side to her. Those instances occurred when the situation was no longer completely under her control: Varrick refusing to obey her orders, and Korra tossing her halfway across the field and nearly crushing her beneath a boulder. If things start going badly for Kuvira's plans, things are likely to start going bad with Kuvira.
  • She does have a breakdown, but maintains civility, unlike Azula.

Kuvira and Bataar - and perhaps other members of the Imperial Army - will have visions of their own in the Swamp.
It would be a fine way to explore their personalities, motivations and pasts, and could possibly set at least one of them on the path towards a Heel Realization.

Kuvira's Gambit is...
  • A bid to outmaneuver the United Forces, attacking from an unexpected direction or otherwise taking them by surprise.
    • The gambit is sacrificing something important in order to achieve a bigger goal. The episode title is reference to Kuvira sacrificing Bataar Jr.

Kuvira has been possessed by the ghost of Earth Queen Hou-Ting.

Kuvira will toss Baatar Jr. aside at some point.
At some point, his lingering concern for his family's well-being (note how he refused to blow up the target town with the spirit cannon when he knew Opal was there) will come up again during the final battle (since they're now free and will undoubtedly be fighting against the Earth Empire forces), and Kuvira will declare "You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness" and have him thrown in prison or killed. Showing that she's willing to screw over even her own fiance would make for a pretty good Kick the Dog moment to show that Kuvira really is that evil.
  • Partly confirmed as of "Kuvira's Gambit"— Baatar gets captured and Kuvira elects to try (unsuccessfully?) to kill him and his captors rather than try to rescue him.

When Kuvira is finally defeated, she'll beg Korra to finish her off, but Korra will refuse.
She'll tell Korra to martyr her for the Earth Empire, and that dying for her cause is the ultimate honour, but Korra will say no— that Kuvira must instead live with the guilt and the realization that everything she did and everyone she murdered was for nothing.

Kuvira never performed any sort of ethnic cleansing
No explanation was ever given for why she was rounding up non-earthbenders and anyone not of Earth Kingdom origin, nor does it fit her character. And for what it's worth, she never even rose an arm against the Air Nomads that had been operating in former Earth Kingdom territory either. The only source we get that she even was imprisoning non-Earth Kingdom people were from non-Earth Kingdom people that had been arrested (and escaped). Already, the credibility of their claims is called into question, both from how knowledgeable and honest they actually are. Because Kuvira is willing to send anyone to the prison camps for any crime big or small, it would be natural for innocents to assume they were victims of bigotry, and/or for genuine criminals to claim they were simply victims of racism in order to make themselves look innocent.
  • It fits her character just fine. Kuvira's a devoted nationalist who's obsessed with bringing the Earth Empire to a very specific vision she has for it, one that among other things includes no interference or integration with the other nations. We never saw her harm any airbenders, but except in the first episode before she even officially took power, we never saw her meet any airbenders aside from Opal and Jinora at the Battle of Zaofu.

The reason why the Earth Empire was engaged in ethnic cleansing
In an eerie parallel to Sozin's genocide of the Air Nomads, if Korra dies the next Avatar in the cycle would be of Earthbender lineage. Had she killed Korra, Kuvira would have undoubtedly sought to find the next reincarnation and indoctrinate him/her in similar fashion to the Red Lotus. By creating a racially homogeneous state through imprisoning and/or expelling all citizens of non-Earth Kingdom origin, it would make it considerably easier for Kuvira to locate the next Avatar before the White Lotus could, thus ensuring the Empire's hegemony as the world superpower.

Kuvira wiped out the Red Lotus' remaining cells during the three year timeskip
It explains why they had no noticeable presence throughout Season 4 despite them having been acknowledged as a continuing threat in the Season 3 finale.

Kuvira has some sort of spirit control
When Kuvira's in the giant mecha suit, she pulls the levers with metalbending, making the appropriate motions. However, to fire the spirit cannon, she makes a fist. Why not just metalbend a button? Because she has some control over the spirit vines. Additionally, when Mako severed vines with firebending, they didn't just regrow. They reconnected the severed part to the rest. Kuvira, however, managed to subdue them to a certain extent, and thereby make them regrow, allowing harvesting. She proceeded to make them direct their anger at Republic City to spare her people and weaken the enemy. Then, in her last fight with Korra, they escape her control and try to kill her, causing her to reconsider her methods once she's through the portal.

Kuvira is Asexual
Since Kuvira was written specifically to be a foil to Korra, and the finale revealed that Korra is Bisexual, to further their status as foils, Kuvira should be asexual. It even fits with her previous characterization, considering that Baatar Jr. was always the one to initiate romantic declarations, while Kuvira herself never did more than briefly hold his hand. And while she may have loved him on some emotional level, she didn't ever seem to indicate a physical desire for or attraction to him.
  • Plus, her only declaration of love was promptly followed by a blast from her mech's spirit cannon and an apparent detachment of the relationship by not once inquiring about her fiance's survival or showing any further concern beyond that initial deep intake of breath. Perhaps she only grew close to Baatar Jr. to become "an official member of the Beifong family", as Baatar himself substantiated once they were married. Her general lack of romantic expression does fit the profile of asexuality.

Kuvira and Suyin were at some point in a relationship

As pointed out here, some of the word choices are rather odd for a daughter-mother bond, and Kuvira clearly never fit into the Beifong family. Suyin probably had an extramarital affair with Kuvira, which was clearly was not very serious for her while it probably was to Kuvira. On top of all the abandonment issues, this only added to the pile of resentment. It also makes her relationship with Baatar Jr. far darker.

     Dark Avatar Korra 

Korra's Enemy Without is an embittered/corrupted Raava.
Whether it's because she's frustrated at what she sees as Korra's continuous screw ups (she's lost her bending twice, got the Avatar Spirit utterly crippled from its former glory, and nearly got it killed again), or because Vaatu's essence is making her more angry and violent, Raava is now lashing out at Korra. The latter might explain why the other spirits can see it but not recognize it as Raava.
  • Alternate theory: it's been demonstrated before that bodily harm can damage one's chi (such as when Aang got locked out of the Avatar state when Azula struck him with lightning), and Korra was in the Avatar State for some time while the poison was killing her. It could be that Hallucination Korra is Raava, now damaged and insane, stalking Korra. Raava probably needs healing as much as Korra does.

Dark Avatar Korra is Raava's attempt at Tough Love.
Raava would likely be able to sense the bits of metal still inside Korra and realize that she is using the physical impairment to avoid being the Avatar. So Ravaa would see the ideal solution as creating something that would force Korra to resolve this issue. When Korra finds about this deception it will lead to an argument with Ravaa about why she was chosen as the Avatar and ultimately lead to a Heartwarming Moment where Ravaa will inspire Korra to remove the metal by herself.

There will be a cameo from Zaheer when Korra goes to visit him.
  • Even though Zaheer's been defeated and (presumably) locked away again, Korra is still badly affected by her fight with him and what he did to her. As part of the recovery process, she'll have to face Zaheer again. Not in an actual battle, but she'll have to face him and stand up to him and learn to not fear him anymore in order to break the hold Zaheer has over her.
    • Confirmed. Towards the end of Book 4, Korra confronts Zaheer for these reasons. She's finally able to get over it.

Dark Korra is Korra's subconscious attempt at suicide.
  • Plenty of people have pointed out the suicidal undertones in the S1 finale, so we have precedent. It fit's with her general decline in mental health since the last season. And the Dark Korra definitely wasn't pulling any punches when it fought her in the Swamp.

     Other Villains 

Azula will make an appearance as a sane, kind old woman...and then promptly try to usurp Zuko's throne.
Because old habits die hard and Azula will take the first chance she gets to try and become the Fire Lord, capping off a years long plan that begun when Aang was killed by the Big Bad.
  • Er, Zuko is dead. Azula likely is too......This is highly doubtful.
    • ^Yeah, because WMG has to be plausable....
    • Zuko isn't dead. Though he's not the Fire Lord anymore, his daughter is.
      • As far as the actual show, Jossed. Azula isn't even mentioned in The Legend of Korra. Unless the theory about her being the elderly fire sage in the Beginnings episodes are true, which still busts the second half of this theory.

Due to the "technologization" of the Avatar world, and a disregard to spirituality that grows each day with the anti-bender movement, the spirits will be more hostile against humans. (Koh might be a prime villain this time around.)
The creators have openly stated that they are huge fans of the works of Miyazaki, and this is one of his preferred themes. Possibly another homage to him?
  • Pretty much confirmed in Book 2

One of the villains will be a young Corrupt Corporate Executive Magnificent Bastard with a grudge against the Avatar.
With industrialization taking place in the Avatar world, it isn't hard to see someone rise to the top through deceit, wicked planning skills, e.t.c. It would also not be hard for that villain to come to hate the Avatar, someone who was born gifted while he/she had to fight tooth an nail. Perhaps this Magnificent Bastard will use the anti-bending revolution as his catspaws to try and take out the Avatar.
  • And this person will be voiced by Clancy Brown.
  • Or possibly (s)he'll start the movement because the benders (especially the Avatar) insist on non-polluting forms of technology and/or conscientious clean-up/disposal of industrial waste, which is far less profitable than just ignoring the environment altogether. Corollary, he'll blame the Avatar/benders for the inevitable Spirit attacks.
  • Partially confirmed. Varrick is a villain though he does not seem to have any grudge against the Avatar.

A dark mirror of the Foamy Mouth Guy will appear as a recurring villain.
But instead of a goofy screw-up, he will instead be a fanatic berserker who is taken over by an Unstoppable Rage anytime he thinks he's seen the Avatar. The fandom will not let these similarities slip by.

The firebender that killed Mako and Bolin's parents as well as Amon's family and Asami's mother is the same person.
Because wouldn't it be awesome to have an episode where our heroes and Amon grudgingly team up to take down the one guy that ruined all of their lives?
  • Alternate Theory: Everything above holds true...with the addition that Amon was a Self-Made Orphan.

One of the future antagonists will be a Bending evangelist.
Opposite Amon's plan to get rid of Benders, this character will view the inability to bend as symptom of spiritual sickness and will aspire to turn everyone into a bender (or just be a con-artist).* But what would be the downside of giving everyone the ability to bend?
  • Well, there's that con-artist thing. Also, what if this character has people doing something that might potentially hurt themselves but still have them believe that it will give the ability to bend? Yeah, I don't know.

The Spirit(s) that taught Amon his de-bending technique will indirectly serve as the Big Bads of the second season by using a bender agent to serve as their Dragon
They'll off Amon for fulfilling their purpose to mature the Avatar's personality and break down the Equalists near the end of the first season before focusing on their real goal: wiping out Republic City because its culture why most benders are turning away from the Spiritual aspects. They want it because it's straining relations between the physical and spiritual worlds and is threatening the existence of bending itself, acting as a Foil to Amon wanting to rid the world of the practice. As for the bending agent in question, they will be the Foil to everyone else abandoning/forgetting the spiritual side and will show it by outclassing multiple with his/her own.
  • Jossed. Amon's de-bending technique was bloodbending. He was a waterbender all along, and learned bloodbending as a child, without spirit assistance. He's also killed in a double-suicide that his brother Tarrlok pulls. The Big Bads of Book 2 were Korra's uncle Unalaq, and the dark spirit Vaatu, nemesis to the Avatar Spirit herself, and neither of them had anything to do with Amon.

The Firebenders that killed Amon's family, Mako and Bolin's parents, and Asami's mother
Are descendants of the Rough Rhinos (if the ones from the original series weren't still alive). The Rough Rhinos were firebenders that had a history of killing families (Jet, anyone), but after that revelation, they were pretty much never spoken of again and got away with it.

The killer of Amon's Family, Mako and Bolin's parents, and Sato's Wife are one of the same.
To relate both theories above and below, it's too much of a coincidence for them being killed by a Firebender, and not a Waterbender or a Earthbender. Major points if the Firebender was the same killer, and even better is part of a group of Ozai Loyalits. Perhaps forcing both the Benders and the Equalists in Republic City to put away their differences against a common foe.

There is a reason why so many character's parents were killed off by firebenders
Possible foreshadow for season 2 villain? Firebending may be the most destructive and emotion-fuelled bending, but it seems odd that it has caused so many deaths while there's no mention of waterbenders and earthbenders doing the same.
  • On-screen that is...
  • In a more serious manner, this might play up the ruthlessness of the firebending triads in the series when the second season starts, being outdone by the other two triad types. Earthbending and Waterbending cruelty potential (especially the latter) hasn't truly been highlighted yet.

The next Big Bad will be a Bender who Amon took bending from and motivated by vengeance.
  • Amon was motivated by revenge for his father's Bending related abuse, which in turn resulted from Yakone wanting revenge for Aang taking his Bending. The Cycle of Revenge wasn't ended by Amon and Tarrlok's deaths and will continue into the future.

Alternately, the next Big Bad or a future villain will be someone attacking people looking for Amon for the same reason
  • Only to finally discover, possibly with involvement from the spirits, that Amon was killed and his vengeance is meaningless.

The firebender(s) that killed Mako and Bolin's parents and Asami's mother are part of a Fire Nation supremacist group.
Mako and Bolin are obviously mixed, and there's a good possibility that Asami has both Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom blood in her too. Just as interracial relationships and people with mixed ancestry are met with fury by racists in the real world, why wouldn't the same be true for some racist firbenders? The deaths were, therefore, hate crimes.

Big Bad speculations for season 2
  • Hiroshi Sato ala Dragon Ascendant
  • A Big Bad that will use the Chi-Blockers as his/her own personal army ala Mook Carryover.
  • A Big Bad that will take the mantle of Amon ala Legacy Character.
  • The Remnant of Fire Lord Ozai's old regime
    • The leader will have the title, Phoenix King.
  • The person (or spirit) who taught Amon how to debend, and his (its) disciple(s), who are also able to debend.
  • These two. They have the dead eyes and slouched shoulders of Creepy Twins who are up to no good. And the girl is capable of wearing a psycho expression worthy of Azula.
    • Alternate theory: The twins could be Co-Dragons for the actual Big Bad, through spirit brainwashing or something.
      • The twins were co-dragons, but none of the other villains above appeared. The Big Bad was the twins' father, Unalaq, with dark spirit Vaatu as the Greater-Scope Villain.
The Triple Threats are designed in squads of three with a bender from each nation intentionally
Who ever was the crime boss/es of the Triple Threats wanted to have all advantages that all the elements offered, yet didn't want infighting between the beinding "races." The solution? FORCE the elements to work together. Assigning his/her/their mooks in groups of three in any work that only requires a small number of people. His gang had to work together and trust each other.

The Blue Spirit reappears as just another Villain of the Week
Ealy in Season 2, a Badass Normal criminal appears in a Blue Spirit mask. He's played up as a dangerous psycho and, although they'll never show it, more than happy to kill people, probably with an Establishing Character Moment of him beating up a bunch of benders in a bar fight. In a story told from Lin Bei Fing's point of view (A Day in the Limelight for her), he rampages through Republic City before she eventually corners him and brings hm in, then she takes off his mask to reveal... just a random Mook we've never seen before with no connection to Zuko or the Gaang, he's just a nutcase who thought the mask looked cool.

The Big Bad of Season Two is a fallen Avatar.
We get a Dark Avatar instead.

Koh will act as a villain for this story arc.

The Big Bad of Season Two is an Anti Avatar.
The Dark spirit is a dark version of Avatar set free by Azula when she killed the Avatar for a few seconds. And Koh will be its Mook.
  • Not the [[Bigbad]], but rather the FinalBoss. The Anti Avatar was EXACTLY what Unalaq became when he fused with Vaatu at the end of the Book.

The big bad of season two and/or the series will be Zhao
instead of being killed at the end of book 1 in the first series he was taken to the spirit world. He previous experience there will allow him to survive and in the the end will come out far stronger (perhaps because of of another spirit like Koh). when he does return his goal will be the same as before, to destroy the ocean spirits and destroy waterbending and the others as well.
  • Jossed, his time in the spirit world drove him mad, he makes a cameo at the end of Season 2.

It will be a Running Gag that the Bending Gangs and Criminal Underworld will be the Butt-Monkey that gets worf'd in the first two seasons by the Big Bad

The first season implied that the Equalists single-handedly dismantled the criminal underworld of bending because of Amon debending them all. The second season will try to play them up as a serious threat once more, only to be trumped or be the first victims of the Dark Spirit. The third season will have the same occur, but gets subverted in that a trio or quartet of bending superpowers are a serious threat that must be dealt with. The fourth will simply have what appears to be the last of the bending gangs, but is really an organization with more grandiose goals in mind because their leader is a unique type of bender from a different world.

Various groups will claim they know why spirits are attacking and what people will do.
Much like how Tarrlok tried to use the equalist uprising to his political advantage. The Equalists will claim spirits are attacking because they are angry at benders. Bending supremisists will say it's because of the equalists. Traditionalists will say it's because the spirits are angry about technological progress. And maybe more groups.

There is no Big Bad in Book Two.
There will be antagonists, but each will have legitimate points the conflict will be depicted as morally grey. Korra's goal is to achieve peace between the mortal and spirit worlds, not beat down some evil spirit monster.
  • Jossed. The Big Bad of Book 2 is Vaatu.

Varrick is an Unwitting Pawn for Zhu Li.
Specifically, she's manipulating him into inciting civil war between the two Water Tribes by subtly encouraging him to support rebellion against Unalaq's regime and impressing upon him the need to get out of the South Pole so his business doesn't collapse. Varrick being Varrick, doesn't recognize that Zhu Li is actually manipulating him and thinks the ideas she's implanting in his head are his own, because right now she tends to fade into the background (which is an image she deliberately cultivates so she's always overlooked). So Zhu Li sits in the background, pretending to be nothing more than Varrick's quiet, unassuming secretary so that when he takes the fall for the Rebellion, she'll be able to step in and take control of all his very vast business holdings. Zhu Li's not the Big Bad and probably doesn't have anything to do with the Dark Spirits or anything; she's just an opportunist who sees a situation she can exploit for her own benefit.

The Northern Tribe will declare war on Republic City and the other nations.
Korra will be heading for Republic City to get involved. Who knows how Unalaq will react to that?

Desna and Eska are somehow related to Mai
Just rest your eyes on this list:
  • They have her Emotionless Person tendencies, as well has her penchant for loudly expressing boredom in provincial locations (most locations, anyway).
  • Eska, at least, seems to have a thing for Mai's Pseudo-Goth/Emo style.
  • The fact that they are waterbenders means they are capable of throwing ice knives.
  • Eska has a thing for a guy in the Avatar's entourage
  • They are possibly part of the Quirky Miniboss Squad for Season Two's main villain, like Mai was for Azula.
  • And, they seem to be less antagonistic than their father, meaning they could possibly be turned to Korra's side.
Perhaps Mai married into the Water Tribe royal family after she broke up with Zuko...but I like to think she got back together with Zuko and one of their children married into the Water Tribe. That explains where Eska can get that crazed lunatic expression she wore at the end of Civil Wars Part 2 - Auntie Azula's genetics simply refuse to go away.

The dark spirits really are malevolent
Unalaq said that spirits are like humans who have both darkness and light in them. Considering there are plenty of power-hungry humans willing to destroy everything that opposed them, there might be spirits that are equally malevolent and petty.

Cheif Beifong knows a bit about Wan Shi Tong
Her mom probably mentioned the epic library incident at some point (especially since it involved a serious moment for Toph having to make a tough choice) and told her how the others in the Gaang went to deal with a "cranky owl spirit". Bonus if somehow the info is interpreted incorrectly, wither by Lin or Korra.

Varrick hired the Agni Kai Triad to blow up the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center
Varrick isn't interested in helping the Southern Water Tribe out of altruism. He sees its potential for War for Fun and Profit (considering he encouraged Asami to do the same with Future Industries' Mecha Tanks and openly endorsed the idea of using war to make money). And it's already rumoured he deals with the Triads anyway; he calls in a favour, gets the Agni Kai to blow up the Cultural Center during the protest to make it look like Northern extremists, in order to be able to sell weapons to the Southern rebels to create a massive payday.
  • Confirmed in Episode 6- and he was using the triads to help him perform a hostile takeover of Future Industries while making himself appear to Asami as an angel investor.

Hiroshi Sato will escape from jail and become the Big Bad in season 3.
Jossed. He's still in jail as of Book 4. And he dies at the end of Book 4.

Zhu Li doesn't know about all of Varrick's plans.
Even his personal assistant doesn't need to know everything, and he isn't inclined to tell people things they don't need to know.

Zhu Li is a badass Girl Friday, possibly either a waterbender or a Badass Normal.

Zhu Li was once an ingenue heiress like Asami who lost her corporation to the same predations that are ensnaring Future Industries from Asami.
As a "consolation", Varrick kept her on as his eternally abused assistant. This, along with the loss of her family business to Varrick, is why she acts dead inside. Unless Mako gets damning evidence that Varrick can't weasel out of, Asami may end up just like Zhu Li.

Varrick doesn't have anything to do with the bombings and robberies.
His apparently shady behavior is just part of his unhinged personality and the veiled threats just red herrings, and the remote explosives were used in the crimes without his knowledge. Mako isn't right after all. Of course, Varrick's still an opportunist who seeks to profit from the civil war, but not to the extents we are led to believe.
  • Jossed. He was arrested and he confessed in "Night of A Thousand Stars."

The next villain will be a human infused with power from 2 Lions Turtles namely Earth and Fire Bending.
The Lion Turtles said Humans couldn't handle 2 bending powers at once so it's likely they would be consumed by said 2 Elements and become an Elemental Embodiment of said Elements. A being corrupted by Fire and Earth would be so much like [[Warcraft Ragnaros]] that it would be a shame to not have villain of that style.

At some point in the future, we're going to have a villainous Air Bender.
We've already seen villains from each of the other benders. Waterbending gave us Unalaq, Amon, Tarrlok, Yakone, and to a lesser extent, Hama. Earthbending gave us the Dai Li, Long Feng, and Chin the Conquerer. Firebenders made up the majority of the major villains in the previous series. And we don't need too much about the various street gangs in Republic City. But we have yet to have a villainous Airbender on screen. Perhaps an escapee from The Fog of Lost Souls, either driven mad by his experiences or banished there for his transgressions. We've already established that spirituality is no barrier to villainy in the Avatar-verse, thanks to Unalaq. And now, without her past lives, Korra likely no longer has a god mode trump card (not to say the new Avatar State isn't powerful, but it doesn't have 10'000 years of experience backing it up).
  • Confirmed. Harmonic Convergence ends up giving airbending to a villain in Book 3.

The villains of "Changes" will be kaiju-like spirits
The world will be dealing with the "changes" in the world due to Korra's decision to not close the spirit portals and let humans and spirits live side-by-side.
  • Jossed. It's a team-up of irregular benders, with the Earth Queen as another adversary.

Azula has a son who even more twisted then she is
Being impregnated by a con artist/thief, Azula despised the boy and abused him. Growing up he not only inherited his mother's psychotic nature but also her twisted ideas of the world including survival of the fittest. He lives off the land eating anything that he sets his sights on and takes in any travellers into his "family" becoming a Charles Manson like cult leader. He also killed Mako/Bolin's parents and wishes to set the whole world on fire.

The Firebending villain in Season 3 is the one who murdered Mako and Bolin's parents as well as Asami's mother.

Book 4 will heavily involve the Fire Nation, and present a major firebending villain.
It's just the Avatar cycle repeating itself. Book 1 represented Air, was set in Republic City - the home of the only family of airbenders - and while Amon was a waterbender most of the focus was on how he and Tarrlok were inhibiting peoples' freedoms in their own ways and thus opposing air. Book 2 was mainly set in the Water Tribes, and featured many Water Tribe villains. Book 3 currently features a trek across the Earth Kingdoms, has an antagonistic Earth Queen, deals with Toph's very earthy family, and the Red Lotus are all divergent benders who have talents that are supposed to be impossible for them (also reminiscent of Toph). The Fire Nation has to come next.
  • Jossed. Sorry, but the cycle has been shattered. Book 4 stays in the Earth Kingdom, now the Earth Empire under Kuvira, a metalbender. Besides a few appearances from the Fire Lord and one scene in a volcano in "Korra Alone," the Fire Nation is never seen. Also, none of the enemies were firebenders.

Aiwei is the Head of the Dai Li
And the Earth Queen sent him to spy on the Metal Clan, giving her information on Su Yin in particular. Who better to act as the 'trusted' advisor of the Beifong family than a person who can tell when someone is lying? After the events of last week's episode, he escaped back to Ba Sing Se, to inform the Earth Queen on the location of the escaped Airbenders. My guess is the Dai Li are going to infiltrate the Northern Air Temple, and this time they'll be fully prepared.
  • Jossed. He was a mole, all right, but to the Red Lotus, with no connection to the Earth Queen, whatsoever.

President Raiko will become a Hitler figure.
First, realize that every villain in The Legend of Korra follows an ideology that was popular in the early Twentieth Century:
  • Amon and the Equalists were Communists. They believe there should be no divide in classes and that Benders and Non-Benders (wealthy and workers) should be on the same level. Communism is most notable from a revolution in Russia, 1917.
  • Unalaq follows Occult ideas that were popular in Germany and Austria from 1880 to 1945. He believes that people should get closer to the Spirit World (no clear analogy here).
  • Zaheer and the Red Lotus are Anarchists. They believe the world shouldn't be run by leaders (pretty straightforward, there).
With all this uncertainty in the world, Republic City elected someone to make things more stable in the United Republic. Likewise, Fascism grew because of all these other ideologies. People wanted stability and national unity through a strong and charismatic leader.
That's how Hitler came to power.
That's how Raiko came to power.
President Raiko for Führer.
  • I think that you have something with the whole rise of Fascism thing, but I think that you're barking at the wrong tree. President Raiko is more like the ineffectual democratically elected leaders of the early 20th century who took the brunt of the people's ire towards their weak regimes and were replaced by opportunistic dictatorial parties with promises of strong leadership and easy solutions. Considering that it's the only location not shown yet from the original series, I also believe that the last season will take place predominantly in the Fire Nation, and the conflict will be between Zuko's daughter and reactionaries with Fascist leanings trying to restore the old glory of the Fire Nation, as it was under Ozai's reign.
    • Or maybe the fascists will be in the Earth Kingdom, restoring order after the Earth Queen's assassination left the Earth Kingdom in utter chaos.
    • From what we've seen from the first episode, Kuvira looks like she'll become Avatarworld's Hitler, doing exactly what the troper above me said.

There's an Overarching Villain out there, and all of the seasonal villains are his unwitting pawns.
  • And I'm just gonna say it: It's probably Raiko, or someone close to him.
    • First of all, the presidency only exists because of the equalist crisis. Raiko could easily have pulled a Palpatine, quietly creating a disaster to advance his personal agenda. As a non-bender with political aspirations, he could easily have been Amon's speechwriter and philosophical mentor.
    • And you might remember that Raiko was conspicuously (and, to some extent, arbitrarily) unwilling to help when Unalaaq took over the Southern Water Tribe. Maybe Raiko WANTED the North to invade the South. It's hard to say how, exactly, but that war could have benefited him. Maybe he wanted the Water Tribes to weaken each other so he could take control of them. Maybe he wanted to keep Korra distracted while he did something diabolical in Republic City.
    • And Book 3? Well, it's pretty obvious that the Earth Queen was planning a military campaign to retake the United Republic's territory. I bet that would really ruin Raiko's day. How convenient, then, that Korra was banished from Republic city, and thrust like a wrench into the Earth Queen's machinations. And maybe Raiko interfered with the United Forces' attempts to track the Red Lotus down. Maybe he wanted them to escape to the Earth Kingdom, and take out the queen.
    • Book 4 shows that he's aiming to put Prince Wu on the Earth Kingdom's throne as a Puppet King while advisers that he selected do the actual governing, showing that he really can be as underhanded as a politician should be.
Kuvira almost established a monopoly on uniting people.
  • Luckily, the good uniter stopped her from doing this.

Hundun was directly responsible for the creation of the Red Lotus as a revenge tactic against the Avatar.

As this post postulates, Hundun met the Red Lotus founder Xai Bau in the Spirit World and convinces him that the current order and the Avatar were not good for the world so that there would be an organization to oppose the current incarnation of his eternal enemy. The biggest piece of evidence is the symbol on the front of the Hunden's Nice Hat, it's almost identical to the Red Lotus symbol. When he was freed after the portals were left open, the top members of his organization were imprisoned or in hiding, so he used the Triads and Equalists instead.

     Main Villains in General 

Most main antagonist groups in the Avatar saga are stand-ins for political ideologies discredited in the 20th century

  • The first series' Fire Nation during the hundred-year war clearly represents old-school imperialism.
  • Equalists are communist-like stand-ins.
  • Tarrlok would be McCarthyism.
  • Unalaq is among the lines religious fundamentalism.
  • The Red Lotus (minus Unalaq) are pretty obvious anarchists.
  • Kuvira's Earth Empire is blatantly a totalitarian pseudo-fascist analog.


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