|“||No matter what happens, no matter how crazy things get, I'll always try to restore balance.||„|
Korra is the titular Avatar of the television series, Avatar: The Legend of Korra. Korra is the successor to Aang, main-character of the previous series Avatar: The Last Airbender. All benders in Korra's world are innately born with the power to manipulate an element and these traits are randomly passed down along societies they grow up in, whose nations have taken on names based on their people's talents as such there is an Earth Kingdom. Fire Kingdom and a Water tribe, there also used to be an Air Tribe but it was wiped out in a previous generation by the Fire Nation. The avatar is unique in that he/she can manipulate all the elements but needs to dedicate his/her life to mastering these abilities in order to use them. The avatar's role is to maintain a balance between all other elements/nations, the spirit world and the living world and sometimes between mortals and nature itself. Being Avatar has granted Korra world-wide recognition and in addition to her spiritual responsibilities she must also deal with being a public figure.
After the death of Avatar Aang, at the age of 66 and the proper morning period the Order of the White Lotus began their search for Aang's reincarnation. The monks of the White Lotus would find the new avatar born to Tonraq and Senna of the Water Tribe. When found, Korra had already mastered earth, fire and waterbending. Aang's widow, Katara, was also a member of the tribe and so after finding her late husband's reincarnation among her people, took it upon herself to help with Korra's instruction in bending over her life.
By her teenage years, Korra, was advanced enough in controlling her powers to receive outside help and train with Tenzin, Aang and Katara's youngest son, and himself one of the last airbenders. Tenzin lived in Republic City, a city built on the site of Avatar Aang's final battle with the mad despot, Fire Lord Ozai, in the previous show's climax. Republic City was populated by members of all the Tribes as a place to escape previous pressure's of culture and start anew as a cosmopolitan society. Due to it's founding members being from all different tribes and it's boarders remaining open to immigration Republic City has all forms of benders. The series starts off with Korra and her spirit animal Naga, the Polar-bear-hound, exploring this new society and making it her new home while pursuing Tenzin as a student.
Exploring Republic City, Korra is initially taken in by the new blended culture. Despite her excitement, she finds Republic City is over-run with troubles, such as gangs made up of Benders who use their powers to steal from non-benders and divided up the city with criminal territories. Additionally the police-force is overwhelmed and Korra's attempts to help only see her as interfering, resulting in her being bought in to police-chief Lin. Korra soon discovers Lin is actually the daughter of one of Aang's friend, Toph Beifong. Lin has mastered her mother's refined brand of earthbending - metalbending and it is now standard issue for the police department, which maintains control thanks to even other earthbenders being unable to learn it on their own without a teacher. Lin recognizes Korra is the Avatar however she is clear in that Korra will be given enough lee-way to be given a warning about disturbing the peace but she will not be excused if she outright breaks the law. Korra is then sent to Tenzin's retreat to trian with him.
Tenzin lives with his wife Pema, his daugters Jinora and Ikki and his son Meelo. Tenzin is already anxious with Pema pregnant, the city council trying to pressure him into helping with law-enforcement and dealing with cultural research but prioritizes Korra's training. Despite being initially excited about training with a master airbender Korra finds herself unable master airbending and Tenzin is at a loss for how to deal with someone raised by a completely seperate mind-set than the one he was trained with. With bending being tied to emotional-control/indulgence, there is always one element the new Avatars have trouble with that conflicts with their current life's cultural upbringing, for Korra it is airbending. Neither Korra or Tenzin seem to have any idea of how to integrate the lessons into her. Tenzin simply believes it will take many years of rigorous training but Korra's frustrations cause her to walk-out on the lessons.
While trying to find herself Korra happens upon a game called Pro-bending making a sport out of bending where teams competed in the Pro-bending Tournament. A member of the team The Fire Ferrets, quits, frustrated at the team appearing to go no-where. Leaving remaining members Mako and Bolin unable to compete with only two people. Korra, taking a liking to the game and eager to make new friends offers to join. Bolin is excited at the prospect of still being able to compete and make a new friend but Mako is a bit more warry, still with no other choices Korra is soon accepted as the thrid member of the Fire Ferrets. Korra soon finds the two are brothers, and as children of inter-tribal parents, Mako was a firebender while Bolin was an earthbender. In addition to her time playing Pro-bending as a sport, Korra finds it hones her powers. Upon going in to check on her, Tenzin sees her integrating his lessons into her movements in the Pro-bending matches and both concluded she will get more playing the game than she will with the more formal lessons Tenzin would teach her.
At first Bolin has affections for Korra and tries dating her. Korra gives the relationship a try but quickly finds she is attracted to Mako. Bolin, though heart-broken at first eventually overcomes his heart-ache. Mako mean-while meets a girl named Asami Sato, a non-bender member descended from the fire-tribe. Mako and Asami begin dating at the same time Korra is getting up the courage to tell Mako how she feels and Mako is caught between Asami who he has a real connection with, and Korra, who he had been attracted to but did not act on due to thinking she had no interest in him. Mako ends up shifting back and forth trying to figure his feelings out. Despite a great deal of drama in figuring out the romantic side of things, the four become regular friends. Though Asami feels like she is a fifth wheel at first and somewhat resenting Korra when she finds out about the attraction between Mako and her, she and Korra eventually become very close as well.
Korra ends up fighting a strong array of benders, starting with Amon, head of the Equalists. A group of domestic terrorists who are upset at how differently benders and non-benders are treated. Amon organized the Equalists as his own army of outraged citzens. Amon's end goal was to take-over the city as a unified criminal gang leader. Amon has the power to take away a person's bending abilities. He claimed to be an agent of change to bring balance to the masses. With the entire city robbed of benders, everyone would be equal and as it happens many positions such as police officers would have no qualified members, leaving Amon as the sole bender in the city.
In her pursuit of Amon, Korra would meet with a member of the city council, Tarrlok. Councilman Tarrlok was set on putting a stop to the Equalists once and for all. However over her time on Tarrlok's response force, Korra finds Tarrlok is willing to resort to extremes to stop the Equalists, including locking up entire neighborhoods or locking up anyone suspected of being an Equalist with no proof. When confronting Tarrlok about his overreach Korra discovers Tarrlok is not merely a waterbender but a bloodbender. Bloodbening is a rare type of waterbending only encountered once before by Aang and Katara, however it appears Tarrlok had picked up the technique. Bloodbending allows the user to manipulate the very water in the blood to move others around like puppets despite their frantic struggling to resist. Korra must deal with Tarrlok as both an over-reactive official and a powerful bloodbender.
Amon and Tarrlok both meet their end but with the trouble in Republic City over them, the head of the water tribe, Unalaq comes to visit the City and make his intentions clear to clean-up the remnants of the corruption. Additionally Unalaq offers to help Korra as a mentor. Korra finds Unalaq a teacher very in tune with her own learning methods but soon discovers a darker-side. Unalaq is interested in becoming an Avatar himself, and has reached out to the primordial spirit Vaatu. Vaatu is a cruel spirit and Unalaq is all too happy to indulge his requests to become a second, dark-Avatar.
Vaatu the evil opposite of the spirit Raava, which Korra later finds is the spirit that inhabits her body and makes up the ki of her and all her previous incarnations. Raava let's Korra know that Vaatu cares not for controlling the elements but unleashing them. Vaatu is corrupting the spirit world as well, making the usually passive spirits hateful and confrontational. Under Vaatu's influence normally friendly spirits become overwhelmed with evil and he seeks to use Unalaq as a human Avatar just as Raava has had her Avatars up to that point. Though Vaatu is eventually defeated, Unalaq's plan to open a solid portal to the spirit world is not only achieved, but following his defeat. Korra decides to leave the portal open. With no Vaatu to corrupt the spirits, Korra sees allowing the spirit world to overlap with the living world as just another way to balance the worlds.
Opening the spirit world has an unintended consequence and many non-benders are incarnated as freshly awakened benders. This allows a rebirth of airbenders but also gifts an imprisoned radical named Zaheer with airbending. Zaheer overcomes his newly under-qualified restraints and frees his previous allies from their prisons. The band is The Red Lotus, a break-off group from the White Lotus, who found Korra in the first place. The Red Lotus is made up of members of, now with Zaheer, each of the four tribes and each not only a master but of specialist in variants of normal bending. Unlike previous antagonists Zaheer's goal is anarchy. The Red Lotus see a great zen in inflicting chaos on a world so repellent of the concept and themselves as balancers of the world by unraveling it.
Though Zaheer is eventually imprisoned, this time in restraints qualified to hold him, and the rest of the Red Lotus end up dying, their path of destruction needs to not only be attended to, but prevented from ever happening again. Kuvira, head of the Earth Kingdom's army acts as an anti-terrorism unit. After Zaheer, Kuvira gets leeway to opperate in other territories as well. Bolin ends up joining Kuvira to help make the world a safer place all the while Mako has been reassigned as a body-guard to the new Earth Prince. However the inexperience of the prince, combined with Kuvira's increasing distrust of the world governments to hold back major threats leads Kuvira to eventually overthrow the Earth Kingdom. Korra has gone into hiding since Zaheer's defeat, unable to bend well with bits of jagged metal caught in her arms that prevent her from concentrating enough to bend. Korra eventually recovers thanks to the help of Toph and goes to confront an increasingly power-mad Kuvira.
Korra is an enthusiastic extrovert even as a child. She does not shy away from her powers and takes great pleasure in being a Bender. As an Avatar she slowly comes into the role, she thinks of being the Avatar as being a super-hero and so sees helping people as her quest in life. Over time Korra begins to take in how much responsibility she has to the world at large and the importance of keeping it balanced. Each of her opponents teaches her something about herself. Amon teaches her to empathize with non-benders more. Tarrlok teaches Korra to remain self-aware of how her actions to stop evil affect innocents. Unalaq teaches Korra the real weight of what goes into being the avatar. Vaatu enlightens Korra into the origins of her powers and allows her to comune with Raava. Zaheer makes Korra realize the world will never follow any order supposedly inflicted on it. Kuvira teach Korra the value of compromise but also the line between compromise and submission.