|“||No matter what happens, no matter how crazy things get, I'll always try to restore balance.||„|
Avatar Korra is the titular main protagonist of The Legend of Korra (sequel series to Avatar: The Last Airbender) and is the immediate successor to Avatar Aang, who died at age 66 from a side-effect of being frozen in an iceberg. By the time The Legend of Korra premiered, Korra had already mastered water, earth, and firebending, and was currently trying to learn airbending from Aang and Katara's youngest son, Tenzin.
Korra later visited her home in the Southern Tribe when it was invaded by the Northern Tribe, led by her uncle Unalaq. When visiting the spirit world, she discovered that he had teamed up with the evil spirit Vaatu in preparation for the Harmonic Convergence. Unalaq merged with Vaatu to become a Dark Avatar and separated Raava from Korra, destroying her memories of her past lives in the process. Korra was able to defeat him and reunited with Raava, although her previous incarnations were still lost.
Later on, she and Team Avatar went on a journey to find new airbenders after they gained airbending following Harmonic Convergence, but was targeted by the Red Lotus. Following her near-death battle with Zaheer, Korra was debilitated and was confined to a wheelchair, entering a state of depression.
After spending time recovering, she decided to travel the world for six months. During which she met up Toph Beifong, who helped rid the remaining metal poison in her body. She then made it her mission to stop Kuvira and her Earth Empire from conquering the world.
Korra was born to Tonraq and Senna in the Southern Water Tribe following the death of Avatar Aang in 153 AG. At the age of four, Korra proudly introduced herself to the Order of the White Lotus by performing water, earth and firebending before them. A year later, Water Tribe Chief Unalaq came to learn that his own niece was the Avatar and constantly sought Tonraq's permission to train Korra in the spiritual ways of the Water Tribe, which was actually a ruse to indoctrinate her in the ways of the Red Lotus and coerce her to reopen the long-dormant spirit portals to release Vaatu,but his estranged brother shot down his offers. With this, Unalaq, who was secretly a member of the Red Lotus at the time, commissioned four of its members named Zaheer, Ghazan, Ming-Hua, and P'Li to kidnap her to train her in the ways of the organization. However, due to the efforts of Tonraq, Chief Sokka, Fire Lord Zuko, and Councilman Tenzin, the attempt was thwarted and the criminals were apprehended. After the incident, Tonraq and Tenzin, Korra's eventual airbending master, came to a decision to have the Avatar secluded in the Southern Water Tribe compound, away from the public eye as she pursued the bending arts. Over the next thirteen years, Korra demonstrated a prodigious talent which allowed her to quickly master the arts of waterbending, earthbending, and firebending, as she completed her training of the latter by 170 AG. During her youth, she met and tamed a female polar bear dog, whom she named Naga and who served as her animal companion.
At the age of seventeen, Korra had mastered all the elements save for airbending, which she was set to be taught by Tenzin as soon as he moved to the Southern Water Tribe. However, after Tenzin's move to her home fell through, Korra took matters into her own hands and stowed away on a ship, traveling to Republic City. Roaming though the city in search of Air Temple Island, she discovered that the bustling metropolis was not all that she was told to be; she learned that there was a great deal of imbalance among its citizens with triads and Equalists running around. After defeating some members of the Triple Threat Triad, she found herself in trouble with Lin Beifong and her Metalbending Police Force. She was cleared of all charges due to Tenzin's intervention, and eventually was allowed to stay with him at the air temple to commence her airbending training there.However, progress was slow, and the Avatar grew frustrated. To unwind, she joined the Fire Ferrets pro-bending team, and befriended her teammates, the brothers Mako and Bolin.
When Bolin got kidnapped by the Equalists, Korra helped his brother to find him. They tracked him down to an abandoned warehouse where they witnessed firsthand Amon's ability to strip a bender of their bending abilities.Although they managed to save Bolin, Amon left a deep impression on Korra, who grew fearsome of the Equalist leader. Regardless, she joined Councilman Tarrlok's task force.
Soon after, Korra discovered that Hiroshi Sato had ties with the Equalists, and as such, she invited both Asami Sato and the bending brothers to come live with her at the island. There, feeling insecure about herself as the Avatar, she and her friends formed a team with the purpose of patrolling the city and apprehending Equalists. As such, she angered Tarrlok, and the Councilman broke up their team by arresting all of Korra's friends. When she confronted Tarrlok about his actions later on, the discussion erupted into a duel. As the Avatar was about to overpower the councilman, Tarrlok revealed himself to be a bloodbender and subdued her with the ability. Korra was locked up in a secluded cabin in the mountains surrounding the city. In isolation, unable to escape, she meditated and connected with Aang, discovering the truth about Tarrlok's heritage. However, when Amon and his Equalists ambushed the cabin, she managed to escape.
In the aftermath of her escape, Amon launched his grand attack on the city. Korra and her friends fought back for a while, but the sheer number and power of the Equalists forced them on the run. Korra retreated into the tunnel system of the city, where she would await the arrival of reinforcements in the form of General Iroh and his United Forces. However, he too proved to be no match for the Equalists machines, and Korra pulled the injured general out of the water. After this incident, she vowed to take the battle to Amon, and together with Mako, she set out to confront him. After having learned that he truly was a waterbender from the Northern Water Tribe, they eventually found him at the Pro-bending Arena, where he was holding a victory speech. The Avatar freed Tenzin and his children, though when she faced Amon, the Equalist leader managed to take away her bending. However, as she witnessed Amon on the verge of taking Mako's bending as well, she unlocked her airbending and managed to overpower Amon.
After the Equalists' defeat, Korra traveled to the Southern Water Tribe, hoping that Katara could undo Amon's action. The old healer was unable to, however, and a heartbroken Korra ran off to grieve on her own. There, she finally managed to connect with her spiritual side, and as such, Aang and the other previous Avatars helped to restore her bending, as well as bestow upon her the ability to restore other people's bending. Having regained her bending and mastered the Avatar State, Korra and Mako became a couple.
Although Tenzin wanted her to accompany him on a journey to visit all the air temples, Korra was adamant about first attending the Glacier Spirits Festival. However, after she learned there from her uncle, Unalaq, that it had been Tenzin and Tonraq's decision to keep her secluded in the compound, she broke with her airbending master and accepted Unalaq's offer to become her spiritual guide. As a first step in her training, Korra journeyed to the South Pole an opened the Southern spirit portal, causing the spirit lights to return to the South. When they made their way back to the Southern Tribe, Korra discovered that in the meantime the Northern Navy had arrived and occupied the harbor.Although Unalaq claimed it was an attempt to reconnect both tribes, the Southerners were not pleased with the Northern presence and Korra was forced to mediate between her own people, causing her to be seen as a traitor by some.
Korra and Team Avatar journeyed back to Republic City in an attempt to persuade President Raiko to deploy the United Forces fleet to aid the South. With tensions rising between the two tribes and the pressure to do something on Korra increased, she also began to have relationship troubles with Mako and, after he had informed Raiko of her plan to go to General Iroh behind his plan, they broke up. In a last attempt to gather support for her tribe, Korra left for the Fire Nation to ask the Fire Lord for help. However, she never reached her destination as she was first attacked by her cousins, Desna and Eska, and later ambushed and swallowed by a dark spirit.
Having gathered reinforcements in the form of Team Avatar and Varrick's battleship, Korra made her way to the South to enter the Spirit World through the portal there and close the portals from the inside before Harmonic Convergence started. Although there initial attempt to breach through the Northern defenses at the portal ended up with their capture, the Team managed to escape due to Bumi's intervention. While Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi would look for Jinora, Mako and Bolin would hold Tonraq back while Korra closed the portals. She did not manage to close them in time, however, and Vaatu managed to escape at the start of the celestial event. Although she tried to re-imprison the spirit of darkness, she could not prevent him from fusing with Unalaq and becoming the Dark Avatar.
With the fate of the world at stake, Korra engaged Unalaq in battle, though knew her defeat when Vaatu extracted Raava out of her and destroyed the Light Spirit, effectively severing Korra's connection to all her past lives. Upon Tenzin's instance, Korra meditated within the Tree of Time to connect with the cosmic energy and astral project an enormous apparition of her own spirit. Traveling via the spirit lights toward Republic City, Korra engaged Unalaq, who had taken on enormous proportions as well and was laying siege to the city. During the fight, Korra searched the Dark Avatar for a sign of Raava, as she knew that dark could not live without light and upon the destruction of one spirit, it would always live on in the other. However, she could not find a trace of Raava and the Dark Avatar took advantage of her unguarded moment to trap Korra's soul within a spiritual waterbending move. Right before Korra's spirit was on the verge of being corrupted, Jinora's spiritual projection appeared and revealed Raava within Unavaatu. Korra pulled the Light Spirit out, before employing the pacification technique to purify Unalaq, destroying him. With Harmonic Convergence nearing its end, Korra, Raava, and Jinora returned to the Spirit World, where she and Raava fused back together as the convergence ended. Even though they did, the victory came with a price: Korra's connection to her past lives was severed for all time. Upon her return to the physical world, she declared the Water Tribe Civil War over and the South as an independent nation with Tonraq as its chief. She also announced that she had left both portals open, ushering in a new era in which humans and spirits coexisted.
Shortly after the Unalaq Crisis, Korra, Mako, and Bolin participated in a pro-bending tournament orchestrated to help raise funds to repair the damage Republic City sustained from the Dark Avatar's attack. During their match, the distracted brothers were quickly thrown into the water, leaving Korra to fend for herself. Despite the odds stacked against her, she managed to win the match with a knockout. While walking home after the fight, she noticed some Triple Threat Triad members with an old man in a dark alley. Believing the mobsters to be threatening the old man, she approached, causing the Triple Threats to flee. Korra turned her attention to the old man to verify if he was all right, though he only laughed evilly while vanishing in the shadows, much to the Avatar's confusion. Caught off guard, Korra was attacked by chi blocking darts, which rendered her unconscious.
Korra later awoke to hear the old man ordering the chi blockers to finish her while she was still weak. As the old man disappeared, she attempted to bend at the chi blockers, though failed and was forced to run. With only hand-to-hand combat skills at her disposal, she fought off the Equalists while navigating the back alleys. Although Korra deduced that the old man was leading the chi blockers since Amon was gone, she had no idea why she was being targeted. The Equalists eventually outnumbered and overpowered her, though she was saved when Naga came to her rescue and they sped away to safety. Korra headed toward Air Temple Island, hoping that Tenzin could help her out since her bending was still blocked.
Although Korra discovered Air Temple Island to be deserted, Jinora's spirit appeared to her, as the young airbender had sensed Korra's distress and came to help. In an effort to help the Avatar regain access to her waterbending, Korra was advised to find jars containing spirit water on the island, though this task proved difficult as they were mixed with jars of regular water. Before Korra could locate enough water, however, she was shocked to learn that the Equalists and Triple Threat Triad had arrived on the island and were working together to defeat her. Despite these threats, she managed to find enough spirit water to regain her waterbending and with it, Korra purged Air Temple Island of chi blockers and Triple Threat Triad members. Still in need of answers as to what happened to her bending, she pursued them back into the city.
After traversing the city, which had been riddled with holes caused by the spirit vines, Korra encountered an Equalist mecha tank. During the battle, she was once again aided by Jinora's spirit, who suggested to stand her ground and counter the opponent's moves in order to regain her earthbending abilities. Following up on the advice, Korra successfully accessed her earthbending and used it, along with her waterbending, to destroy the mecha tank. When more chi blockers showed up, she angrily asked how they got a mecha tank before quickly defeating them. The Equalist threat was replaced by a triad one, as Viper, Two Toed Ping, and an earthbender appeared to fight her. After she defeated them too, Korra was told by Jinora's spirit that the answer to how her bending was taken could possibly be found in the Spirit World. Before she could make her way to the Southern spirit portal, however, she was attacked once more by a mecha tank. After destroying it, she questioned the pilot and learned that the old man she had seen earlier was now leading the Equalists and had a plan to steal her chi to create order from chaos. After casting the pilot into Yue Bay, Korra headed for the Southern Water Tribe.
Upon arriving at the South Pole after a week's journey, Korra encountered more Triple Threats and Equalists, who had been waiting for her. During this battle, Korra was once again aided by Jinora's spirit, who helped her unlock her firebending by tapping into her aggression with relentless attacks and combos. Using the three elements at her disposal, Korra defeated all of her opponents and continued her journey to the spirit portal. Arriving, she found the old man accompanied by dark spirits and was promptly attacked by the dark entities and more chi blockers, while the elder entered the Spirit World. During the fight, Korra unlocked her airbending by following Jinora's advice of utilizing evasive maneuvers. Although she defeated the chi blockers, she was launched into the spirit portal by the dark spirits.
In the Spirit World, after making her way past several dark spirits by purifying them, Korra was able to confront the man in front of the Tree of Time. He introduced himself as Hundun, an ancient king and master of the Chaotic Attack who had amassed a vast fortune. Korra was trapped in several illusions by him with the goal to have her soul tormented for eternity. Korra managed to break free, however, and faced the dark spirits the fallen king sent to attack her. Listening to Jinora's words again, Korra was able to tap into greater levels of the Avatar State's power and easily repelled all her attackers.
Korra was forced out of the Avatar State, however, as Hundun used his powers to lift the ground they were standing on into the air. As he calmly told her of his plan to extract her chi, she defied him and managed to defeat his remaining dark spirits. His allies beaten, Korra threatened Hundun to either retreat or be destroyed, a choice he laughed away. Telling her that she had yet to meet his brother, Korra noticed, to her shock, an extra pair of feet behind Hundun's, which turned out to be of his conjoined twin brother. Korra was attacked by the brothers and, under the power of their Chaotic Attack, she was pressured with great physical strength, earthbending, dark energy blasts, special barriers, and even dark energy pools from which more dark spirits emerged. However, Korra was eventually able to enter the Avatar State again, with which she easily repelled her opponents. With the brothers weakened enough, Korra used her spiritbending on them, causing them dissipate.
After accepting that leaving the spirit portals open would lead to many unexpected events to come, Korra returned to Republic City. Later, she, along with Mako and Bolin, made it to the finals of the pro-bending tournament where they had a rematch against the White Falls Wolfbats and won.
Rebirth of the Air Nation
In the following week since defeating Hundun, Korra continued to struggle with the changes that Harmonic Convergence brought. The spirit vines created by the Dark Avatar remained and had taken over parts of Republic City, leaving countless citizens homeless. Despite numerous efforts, Korra remained unable to remove them, causing her approval ratings to drop dramatically to eight percent. She also clashed with President Raiko, who, facing his own low approval ratings, attempted to shift blame onto her. Regardless, the Avatar understood why she would have such ratings, believing she should be able to fix the situation.
Later, at dinner, Korra learned that Bumi had developed airbending abilities and witnessed them firsthand. The next day, while watching the retired commander attempt to replicate the feat, Korra wondered if it was because of her actions during Harmonic Convergence. Mako and Lin soon arrived on the island, explaining there were other reports of airbenders within the city. She also questioned Mako as to why he did not just live on Air Temple Island, but the firebender dodged the question.
Korra and Asami soon went out for a drive, which the young Avatar struggled to do. The two had a discussion about Mako and what happened while they were involved with him. Korra was glad he did not come between them and was glad to have a girlfriend to hang out with. She soon drove up to a vine and quickly stopped before being confronted by an angry spirit. She soon got an idea to rid the city of the vines after the spirit told her they were one and the same. However, Raiko and the press soon approached, and Korra demanded they ask no questions. She subsequently entered the Avatar State and began using the spiritual cleansing technique, which appeared to have initial success as the vines receded into the water. Just as the press began asking her questions, however, the plants quickly regenerated and became even more numerous. Korra quickly evacuated a nearby building, flying up on herglider to save a boy who was trapped in an upper level. As its top spire began to collapse, she saved the boy by rapidly gliding him down, and spared the citizens of further injury by catching the spire with earthbending and easing it to the ground.
That evening, Korra attempted meditation to reach her past lives, but was unable to do so before Tenzin approached. She feared she had ruined everything by leaving the portals open, but her master assured her that she did what she thought was best, and things had changed as a result. She only further lamented her low standing with the city, but Tenzin further advised her that her duty was to the world's balance and that some would be happy and others not; the airbender was happy because the decision had given a second chance for the Air Nation, which in turn could only help to restore balance. Korra wished she could be wiser, and as Tenzin advised her wisdom would only come as one accepts things as they are, Bolin rushed in, alerting them that Mako had called, and the new airbender had been found, but refused to come down from the top of Kyoshi Bridge. Korra decided to forget the "Avatar wisdom" talk and help to rescue him; the group flying to the bridge on Oogi.
The airbender, Daw, refused to come down, believing himself to be dangerous; he blew away several metalbender officers who tried to reach him. Korra flew up to where he stood, wishing to talk to him. Daw revealed that he was scared, having no idea what he was doing, something with which she sympathized. She explained that these changes were her fault and that he was not alone. She could not "make it stop", as he requested, but instead offered to take him to Air Temple Island and help explain things, reaching out a hand. As he tried to take it, however, Daw slipped from the bridge, but just before he hit the ground, Korra caught him with her glider, much to the delight of a gathered crowd. Raiko, however, showed up and was infuriated, demanding if such crises would be the new norm. The Avatar told him that he would just have to deal with it, because such changes were there to stay. Raiko responded by saying she would not be there, demanding she leave the city, to which she angrily agreed. Approaching Tenzin, she promised to help find the new airbenders and rebuild the Air Nation.
Searching for airbenders
The next day, Korra and her allies gathered at Air Temple Island's entrance as Asami brought a Future Industries airship for the group to travel to Ba Sing Se with. Just before they left, Mako arrived with a map showing where airbenders were being sighted in the Earth Kingdom. Korra wanted him to come along, reminding the firebender that he was still a part of Team Avatar. Mako declined, though was later convinced by Bolin to join the journey. Seeing the map, the Avatar believed that they were about to bring the Air Nation back from the brink of extinction.
Arriving at the first village, Korra's group was welcomed by its leader and invited for a dinner with the airbender, Kuon, and his family. However, when the man refused to go with Tenzin, Korra tried to convince him and his family otherwise, saying he needed to learn about his culture, but she too was rebuffed. After leaving, Korra stated that she believed that it would play out differently. After Tenzin failed to recruit any other airbenders, Korra, Mako, and Bolin tried taking matters into their own hands. They met a twenty-two-year-old, Ryu, who was still living with his parents. Korra told his mother that he would have the chance to go to the Northern Air Temple, exciting her. Ryu, however, was not interested. Korra responded by taking him by the collar and throwing him into a kitchen chair, saying he had a responsibility as a world citizen, regardless of if he wanted to be an airbender or not. After he continued to state his lack of care, she seized him by the collar again and tried to drag him out the door, his mom trying to assist Korra. However, Ryu escaped her grip with an air blast, and before she could try and take him again, Bolin and Mako dragged her away.
Korra was disappointed by the results, thinking there would have been more enthusiasm among the airbenders to join their group. Bolin and Bumi both suggested an "air show", which Korra thought to be ridiculous but had a chance to work. With Tenzin willing to try "anything", the group arrived at a town and performed their show. Korra's role was to apprehend Mako, playing a firebending convict, using airbending. She lifted Mako onto a tornado, much to her and Asami's joy. Upon the show's completion, only one young orphan boy, Kai, desired to join them. He managed to convince them with a story that involved the murder of his parents by outlaws. Before they left, they were confronted by the alleged outlaws, whom Korra managed to fight off. In reality, they were members of the town's police force, and Kai was a young thief who stole his foster family's savings. The young airbender defended himself by saying that it was the old him, and his new abilities had prompted him to change. Before the officers took him to prison, Korra decided to take Kai in, believing they could give him the guidance he needed, though she warned the boy to "not make [her] regret it". After a group hug, they continued onward to Ba Sing Se.
Arrival at Ba Sing Se
As they finished their journey into the Earth Kingdom capital, Korra expressed her excitement to be on a diplomatic mission and asked her mentor what the Earth Queen was like, to which he said that she could be demanding, much to her worry. They went directly to the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace and were welcomed by Grand Secretariat Gun, who led them to their quarters while giving them a lengthy list of rules, confusing Korra. Upon arrival, the rest of the group went to their rooms while the Avatar followed Gun to meet the queen, Hou-Ting. When she first saw the queen, she was demanding her servants around before turning to Korra. Hou-Ting quickly berated her for the actions of her predecessor and Zuko, as they had forced Kuei to cede Earth Kingdom land for the United Republic, leaving the nation in ruin. Korra tried to apologize, though the monarch ignored her and continued to boss her servants around. When asked if she had problems with her servants, the Avatar replied she did not have such people in her stead. She proceeded to ask the queen for help finding Ba Sing Se's airbenders. Before accepting her request, Hou-Ting demanded Korra retrieve the kingdom's tax revenues from a vault in a town south of the capital due to barbarians constantly stealing it. The annoyed waterbender accepted and shoved Gun out of the way as she left.
Korra, joined by Asami, ventured to the town in the Future Industries airship, trying to ease her friend's worries about them going alone by saying that Royal Earthbender Guards awaited on guard and that the queen just enjoyed bossing her around. After arriving at the town, the Avatar did not like the looks of things, but informed the guards on duty to load the tax money onto the ship. At that moment, the girls saw a flare, followed by Gombo and his gang of barbarians riding in to surround them, causing Korra to rethink her decision to go without everyone else. Nonetheless, she and Asami took up their challenge. After tripping up the gang leader, she earthbent at them, launching their motorcycles into the air and also protecting Asami from a potential attack. The Avatar also airbent at another motorbike, defeating the two men riding it. After Asami defeated the last two gangsters, Korra knocked down Gombo with a slab of rock, causing the gang to retreat. As they left though, Gombo shouted at the Water Tribe girl that she was on the wrong side, and the money belonged to the people, leaving her feeling that he may indeed be right.
After returning to Hou-Ting, the task having been completed, Korra wondered if she could meet the city's airbenders. The queen told her, however, that a search of the city by the Dai Li came up empty, and thus her group could leave. Angered, Korra called out Hou-Ting on her extortion of the citizens and said that she knew there were airbenders in the city. The monarch simply ordered Korra be escorted out of the palace, but the Avatar again pushed Gun aside and declared to her that the situation was not over as she left angrily.
The next day, Korra vented her frustrations over the queen to Asami while punching and kicking practice pads on her arms. At that moment, Mako and Bolin returned; the latter breathlessly explained all that had happened to them. Mako clarified that they had heard about the Earth Queen rounding up airbenders, confirming Korra's suspicions. She was about to say what she would do to her, but Asami quickly alerted her that the monarch was coming. Hou-Ting arrived alongside Gun; the Grand Secretariat informed them that airbenders had been found in the Yang province. Korra thanked her but remained suspicious. Hou-Ting told the group they could leave by evening, but the Avatar attempted to tell her that they could not; Asami covered for her by saying they needed another night to repair their airship, for which Korra thanked her friend.
Later, the group reconvened at their home, where Korra expressed her frustration, believing the queen had no right to do what she was doing. She also assured Jinora, who was fearful of Kai being captured, that they would find him; they just needed to know where to look. Mako suggested Lake Laogai because the Dai Li formerly had an underground base there. With Jinora assuring the group she could spiritually project into the base, Korra and Tenzin joined her on a trip to the lake. They watched as Jinora meditated to perform her technique, but were soon disappointed when she returned to inform them that the base was abandoned. Korra asked Jinora where else the airbenders could be, but was given almost every possible location under the city. The Avatar tried to help her by asking how she found her during Harmonic Convergence. After Jinora said she had felt a connection between her and Korra, the waterbender advised her to focus on the connection between her and Kai.
Korra and the others found out the airbenders were being held underneath theEarth Queen's Temple, angering her because they were "right under [their] noses the whole time". The group discussed a plan to free them before hearing a knock at the door. Believing it was the queen, Korra advised them to act normal, but to their surprise, it was actually Lin who had come to visit, informing the Avatar and Tenzin of the escape of four dangerous criminals who were after Korra. Not knowing who they were, Korra asked the two about them. Tenzin explained that shortly after finding out she was the Avatar, the criminals plotted to kidnap her, but were captured by him, her father, Zuko, and Sokka, and detained in four special prisons. Korra soon understood that this threat was why she was sheltered in the compound. Lin insisted Korra return to Republic City, but she refused, saying she wanted to get the airbenders first; Lin promptly agreed to join the mission, and Korra told her their location.
That night, the group made their way to the temple and, after easily overcoming two Royal Earthbender Guards, reached the underground hold. Korra went with Tenzin and Bumi to free the majority of the airbenders. She explained to the confused airbenders that she was the Avatar and was there to free them. Upon reaching above ground, Korra checked to make sure the coast was clear. Believing it was, she told the group to move, but they were soon confronted by Hou-Ting and several Dai Li agents. Korra protested that the airbenders should have the freedom to make their own decisions, to which she was warned by the queen that taking them would be considered an act of war and result in the force of the Earth Kingdom bearing down on her. Korra still refused to turn them over, prompting the queen to order the Dai Li to attack them. Upon their attack, the Avatar and Tenzin helped provide a burst of air to hold the agents off as Lin's airship arrived to retrieve the airbenders. While they made their way to the airship, Korra helped blast Dai Li forces off the scaffolding of the queen's temple before she and Tenzin were able to get away on Oogi. After seeing Bolin, Mako, and Jinora emerge with Kai, Korra directed the bison toward them, allowing the four to launch themselves onto its saddle, thus completing the full escape.
The next morning, outside the city, the escaped airbenders chose to join Tenzin en route to the Northern Air Templeto train as Air Nomads. Before separating, Korra wished her master good luck and an assurance to send more airbenders his way should they find them. She also expressed her concerns of making new enemies everywhere she went, to which Tenzin assured her she made friends too and told her she had done well. The Avatar embraced the airbender, saying this was only the beginning. She soon went with her friends and Lin in the police airship to continue the search for airbenders.
Arrival at Zaofu
During a pit stop, Korra played a game of fetch with Naga, using airbending to launch a ball for her companion to chase. She urged the worried Lin to relax, saying no one beyond them knew where she was. When Naga brought the ball to Lin, Korra told her that she wanted the chief to throw it. At that point, Mako and Asami emerged from the airship, telling them about a report of an airbender in the city of Zaofu, home to the Metal Clan. Korra asked Lin if she knew about it, but after receiving a negative answer and instead being told return to Republic City, the Avatar brushed Lin off, saying they would look for the airbender.
Upon their landing in Zaofu, Korra asked why Lin would not go with them nor wanted anyone telling the city about her, but Lin refused to tell, prompting Korra to call her "Chief Crankypants". They were greeted by the city's emissary, Aiwei, who led them on a train through the city. Korra stood in awe of the statue of Toph Beifong as they passed it by and listened as Aiwei told them of what happened to her. They made their way to the airbender's home, but first, they met her mother and the city's matriarch, Suyin Beifong, who had been practicing for a dance recital with her troupe of dancers. Suyin was pleased to meet her, but was soon told by Aiwei that she had been lying about the number of people who had come with her. Korra asked Aiwei how he knew she was lying, to which she was told that he was able to detect lies. The Water Tribe girl confessed that Lin was with her, but was soon shocked to learn through Suyin that not only did she know Lin, but the two were siblings.
They all returned to the airship, where Korra asked Lin why she never told her about Suyin. The Avatar was again shocked to find out that they had not spoken in thirty years and wondered why, but the half-sisters just argued with each other. Suyin ended the argument and told Korra that her daughter was thrilled to meet her, and Korra told Lin that her niece was the airbender. The group ventured to Suyin's estate, where they were introduced first to Wei and Wing, followed by Huan, and finally the airbender, Opal, whom Korra was pleased to meet. Suyin suggested Korra train Opal, but the latter believed the airbender could learn more at the Northern Air Temple, where they planned to transport her. Suyin dismissed the idea because Zaofu was the only home her daughter knew, and Korra conceded, saying she could give Opal a starting point. She also explained Lin's impatience by telling Suyin of the threat of the criminals pursuing her, to which the matriarch explained that Zaofu was the safest city in the world. Korra asked Lin what her problem with Suyin was and believed they could at least stay a little while.
Before dinner, Korra began a basic training session with a nervous Opal, who said she was not very good, but Korra said they were in the same boat because she had never taught before. The Avatar showed her student some basic movements and stances, and the two moved around in a circle while gathering some basic swirls of air. The Water Tribe girl was impressed with Opal, calling her a natural.
At dinner, Suyin told Korra about her husband, Baatar, who had helped her design the city, but could not join the group for dinner because of a breakthrough on a construction project. When asked by the matriarch how the search for airbenders was going, Korra explained how they had freed several of them from the Earth Queen's captivity. Suyin discussed her dislike for the monarch, saying that she believed she could what she wanted and her reign was outdated. Korra said she had not thought about it, to which Suyin advised her to do so as the world was changing. The waterbender soon watched as Lin stormed out of the dinner, urging her to come back, but to no avail.
Afterward, Korra made her way to Suyin's office and gazed wondrously over a model of Zaofu, telling her that the city was amazing, thanked her for being welcoming, and apologized for Lin's behavior before asking her what happened between the half-sisters. Suyin told Korra about how they did not know their fathers while Toph was busy being police chief, and they had freedom to do what they pleased. Korra called it a good thing, but Suyin remarked it was in a way, but they wound up fighting for Toph's attention. As the Avatar listened to Suyin's story about how she eventually decided to build Zaofu and raise a family, she stated that Suyin appeared to have built the perfect life, but was upset to learn that the matriarch wanted Lin to be a part of it, but gave up hope on her coming around.
Korra decided to look for Opal and found her having a moment with Bolin. She broke it up by clearing her throat and told Opal she needed her help with something. The two made their way to Lin's room, explaining she had brought someone who wanted to talk to her. However, when Lin coldly dismissed Opal's desire for her to join the family, an angered Korra asked Lin what her problem was, telling her not to blame Opal because she asked her to talk to Lin, believing it would help the chief break out of her funk. Lin simply told her to fix the world and not her family, and the annoyed Avatar answered by saying that Suyin was right and Lin would remain a bitter, lonely woman before storming out and slamming the door.
The next morning, the group, sans Lin, gathered for breakfast, which Korra believed was because she was sulking in her room. Wei and Wing turned up to grab bite their power disc match and asked Korra if she would like to join. The Avatar said she would not be of much competition because she was not a metalbender, to which Suyin asked why Lin never trained her. Korra gave a short summary of her many preoccupations back in Republic City, though chuckled at Suyin's belief about Lin being a bad teacher. The matriarch subsequently offered to train her in metalbending, to which she excitedly agreed. The diners soon ducked quickly as their dishes were all yanked from them by Varrick's magnetic suit.
Suyin began Korra's training with a piece of a rare meteorite. After watching her demonstrations in amazement, Korra began concentrating on the piece on her hand when she spotted Bolin spying on them. Bolin tried to say he was searching for Pabu, to which Korra said he was on his shoulder. Korra re-focused her attention on the meteorite and, using Suyin's advice to focus on the pieces of earth with the meteorite, she was able to morph it into a small shape. Korra later visited Lin again, suggesting that she apologize to Opal, but soon noted that the police chief was not in good shape, though her concerns were dismissed by Lin as she got up and walked away.
Korra instead returned to metalbending and successfully perfected the technique, which resulted in Suyin congratulating her for being the first metalbending Avatar. The group was joined by a now-eager Bolin, but just as he declared his desire to learn, they were interrupted by Lin, who wanted to take out her repressed anger at her half-sister. The Avatar watched as their verbal argument escalated into a physical fight. Korra asked Bolin if she should intervene, but the latter told her that fighting was a means of healing sibling tensions. Opal soon arrived to break the siblings up, and when Lin passed out from exhaustion, Korra caught her before her head hit the ground.
Sixteen hours later, Korra, Bolin, and Mako made their way to Lin's room. The former two were hesitant to knock on Lin's door, so Mako went ahead. Lin soon opened her door and greeted them with a more pleasant demeanor, much to their surprise.
Korra later radioed Tenzin at the Northern Air Temple to inform them about the recent developments at Zaofu, including their finding of Opal and that she would be sending her to Tenzin, though the radio was briefly taken from her by Bolin who, much to the Avatar's annoyance, used the time to fawn over Opal. After getting the radio back, Korra asked Tenzin how training was going, and was answered with his frustration about the airbenders' lack of interest in learning about their culture. Korra suggested that he take a break, suggesting the kids and even Bumi, because of his experience in commandeering military units, could help. Though believing Tenzin's remark about Bumi being his worst student to that point, Korra suggested he could take more responsibility by making him believe the idea was his. Tenzin complimented her for becoming a wise Avatar, to which she said conflict resolution was what she did.
Attempted kidnapping and investigation
Sometime later, Korra tested her skills against Wing. She dodged two meteorite fragments and attempted to attack him with cables, but was taken down when her opponent stomped on them and bent them back at her, entangling Korra and knocking her down. She got back up, however, and managed to defeat Wing by tripping him up with the wire and declared herself metalbending champion in celebration.
Korra later joined her friends, Suyin, and her family for Opal's farewell dinner. During the meal, Varrick showed her and Asami his airbender finder, to which she asked about if it really worked. She subsequently joined in raising her glass in a toast to Opal and watched the airbender leave for the Northern Air Temple. The Avatar also laid a hand on an upset Bolin's shoulder as they made their way to their rooms for the night.
As she was sleeping, Korra soon found herself awoken when Naga was paralyzed by shirshu-spit darts shot by Zaheer. She jumped from her bed and tried to attack, but was hit in the leg by a dart, instantly leaving her defenseless and surrounded by Ghazan and P'Li. The former carried her as the Red Lotus faced resistance from the estate's guards, Bolin, Mako, Lin, Suyin, Wei, and Wing. She was left to watch behind the foursome as the fight raged on. However, after Bolin blocked P'Li's chi, Korra was able to be rescued by Lin via metal cable. After the Red Lotus left, Korra was taken to Suyin's room, where she laid on a couch while Aiwei gave her antidote to remove the effects of the spit dart. She rose and expressed her belief that one of the guards had to have tipped off her enemies as to how to reach the estate.
Discovering the truth
The next day, Korra watched as Aiwei questioned the guards and even Varrick about the night. Upon Lin's suggestion to question Suyin, Korra promptly dismissed her, saying Suyin had nothing to do with it, but the matriarch decided to allow for questioning, much to the Avatar's concern. When Suyin asserted her innocence, Korra declared the questioning a waste of time and asked for the next guard. At the discovery of a guard, Hong Li, having been lying about his innocence, the waterbender glared at him and assisted in the search of his house for evidence. When Mako found something, she walked over to him as he read a rendezvous message while Asami presented a book of the guards' logs. The Avatar concluded that Hong Li knew everything and that it was time for him to talk, but Aiwei suggested they wait for him to break.
After returning to the estate, Team Avatar walked around the scene of the battle. As Mako discussed his doubts over Hong Li's guilt, Korra felt the evidence was overwhelming; Varrick appeared at that point as he was collecting pumice stones. She and her friends were left grossed out at the sight of Zhu Li rubbing the industrialist's bare feet with them. He went on to explain to them that if one was trying to construct a conspiracy, they would single out someone as guilty and plant the evidence on them. When Mako realized that the only one who could keep such a secret was Aiwei, Korra and the others made their way to his house to search for clues.
Once they sneaked in to the empty house, Korra tried looking at some books and by windows, but made her way across the living room when Mako found that the bookshelf slid open to reveal an entrance to a secret tunnel. Korra asked what was down there, to which Mako believed it was the way the Red Lotus got in to the estate. They ran back when Asami alerted them about Aiwei's return to the house, but where they were found by the emissary. The Avatar answered by saying that things did not add up and they wondered if he had answers. Sitting them down and giving them tea, he asserted to Team Avatar that Hong Li was guilty, and asked them if they believed he himself had anything to do with it. She replied that they were merely looking for answers, to which she was told she had no idea what was coming for her. Aiwei promptly raised a metal wall and began to run. Korra slowly but surely was able to bend an opening in the wall, leading the team down the secret passage. When she opened the door, however, she found a bomb that promptly detonated. She quickly shielded herself and her friends with a sphere of air. They took a couple steps forward before realizing Aiwei had escaped, though Korra noticed a small opening in the wall, which she and Bolin revealed by bending the rubble out of its way. Upon Suyin and Lin's arrival, Korra alerted the former about the emissary's betrayal, deception, and escape, while noting that the tunnel allowed the Red Lotus to enter the estate.
The group regathered in Suyin's office. Korra decided to suspend their search for airbenders and track down Aiwei instead, noting Naga could follow his scent. Lin refused, wanting her to return to Republic City for her own safety, but Korra believed she would not be safe anywhere and that she had to stop them. She rebuffed Lin's belief that it was too dangerous and that tracking Zaheer and his associates down was her job. Suyin rose and suggested she listen to Lin, promising their foes would be brought to justice. Korra reluctantly gave in to these words and returned with her friends to their accommodations.
Later, Korra heard a knock at their door. She answered, seeing it was Suyin, who asked her if Naga could track Aiwei, which prompted an affirmative response. The matriarch handed her keys to a fully-supplied and readied jeep, confusing the Avatar. Suyin explained she wanted the group to hunt down Aiwei, adding that her earlier words were only what Lin wanted to hear and instead a plan to buy time. Korra embraced Suyin in gratitude before they left, the Avatar riding on Naga as they began their search.
Tracking down Zaheer and capture
Team Avatar, through Naga tracking down Aiwei's scent, made their way to just outside the Misty Palms Oasis; Korra complimented her companion on her abilities. They made their way to a tavern to find that the Earth Queen had distributed wanted posters of them because of their theft of airbenders. Korra defended her actions by saying they were not hers to keep while beginning to threaten her, only for Asami to alert her that the patrons were glaring at them, ready to attack. She gestured at them as the team left.
On the oasis' outskirts, Naga led them to a rock, which Korra earthbent to reveal Aiwei's jeep. The Avatar also realized she forgot to bring treats for her pet, which resulted in her getting slapped in the face with Naga's tail. When Mako proposed going back in to find Aiwei, Korra expressed her desire to go with Mako and Bolin, but was told to stay with Asami in case he came back, while also wanting to avoid attracting too much attention to themselves. As she watched over the oasis, she expressed her frustration about not knowing Zaheer's intent, but soon joined Asami when she found a note in Aiwei's vehicle, informing him to be at a place named "Xai Bau's Grove" at sundown, which the Avatar deduced as where the emissary and Zaheer would meet. The two, however, were not able to find the location on the map. Mako and Bolin soon returned to inform them they found Aiwei at an inn, Korra proposed busting into his room and demanding answers, but Mako rebutted by saying it would cost them their element of surprise, instead suggesting a stakeout. Korra agreed, saying that Aiwei could lead them right to Zaheer.
The team made their way to the Misty Palms Inn, but the innkeeper initially refused them service because teenagers had trashed a room last time. At that moment, they were found by two people named Lily and Macao. Because of their intimidating presence, the friends took an aggressive stance, Korra drawing fire knives. The two, however, instead revealed themselves to be fans of Bolin's mover, The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South, and were seeking his autograph. Upon learning their friend's status, the innkeeper relented and gave them a room. However, in seeking the room across from Aiwei's, they wound up in a small space, largely crammed in. Korra and Mako looked out the window, watching for any movements. While doing so, Bolin asked Korra to set official rules for the game ofPai Sho. Annoyed, she said she would "put it on [her] list" after her other priorities. Mako asked what they would do after they found Zaheer; Korra declared she would make him talk. An unsure Mako warned her they had not done do for thirteen years and would not start because they were threatened by bending. Still annoyed, the Avatar asked what they should do, to which she was answered to just keep spying.
After several hours of no apparent movement, Korra wondered why Aiwei had not left. She decided to go over despite Mako's warnings, but the group instead found him meditating. She soon realized that spirits who had tracked her and Asami down earlier were telling them Xai Bau's Grove was actually in the Spirit World. She meditated in herself, deciding to track him down. She quickly found Aiwei being confronted by Zaheer. Upon seeing the airbender grab him, Korra called out, but Zaheer promptly vanished. The Avatar, however, was soon reproached by her foe. She confirmed his suspicions of Aiwei having led them to him and asked what he did with him, to which she was told the emissary was thrown into the Fog of Lost Souls, leaving the two of them. Korra threatened him, but was instead calmly allowed to ask any questions she desired since neither of them could fight anyway.
Asking who they were and why they were threatening her, Korra was told Zaheer and his group were part of the Red Lotus, a group which broke away from the White Lotus because of the end of their secrecy and becoming servants of the Avatar and the four nations. Not satisfied, she asked why they had tried to take her as a kid; much to her shock, she learned it had been Unalaq's idea as they all wanted to reverse Wan's "foolish" decision to close the portals. Connecting the dots, she realized Unalaq and Zaheer had planned all along to use her to open the portals while teaching her the Red Lotus' ways, a plan she interpreted as an attempt to brainwash her to further their own goals. Though Zaheer told her that is not really true as the Red Lotus is more interested in radically changing the world feeling that it is imbalanced the way it is.
As this was happening, Ghazan and Ming-Hua came to the Misty Palms Inn. Korra's meditating form was taken by Asami, aboard Naga, to safety as Mako and Bolin held the criminals off.
Meanwhile, Korra wondered how her uncle escaped punishment, to which she was told he had backed out of the plan, instead working to cover his own involvement and pursuing his own goals. Learning that the Dark Avatar was not in the Red Lotus' plans, she asked what it truly was. The Avatar suggested their plans for balance were not the same, but her opening of the portals was actually a beginning. Zaheer told her the worlds should not be separate, nor should the nations be ruled by governments, such as the United Republic's presidency or the tyranny of the Earth Queen. Despite the problems she had encountered, Korra said taking out the governments was not the answer as it would bring chaos. She was told by Zaheer that this was the Red Lotus' goal, and was shocked to learn that the man who suggested that "new growth could not arise without the destruction of the old" was the wise airbender, Laghima. During this, Korra's meditating form, Naga, and Asami were soon captured in an earthen prison.
The Avatar tried to convince Zaheer to turn away from his goals, suggesting he could make a positive difference in the world especially now that he is an airbender. Korra did understand her foe's dissatisfaction with the state of the world, but did not believe overthrowing governments was the way to solve the problem. Zaheer told her change was a force that no one, not even the Avatar, could stop. Frustrated and losing patience, Korra said she was not interested in his "philosophical mumbo-jumbo" about change, instead asking to know what they would do to her when she was captured. She was told that she would know soon enough as the Red Lotus had likely captured her by that point; nonetheless, she tried to chase his vanishing form. When Korra returned to her body, she discovered both she and Asami were in chains, believing Zaheer had tricked them. When she asked Asami where the organization was, she was instead informed they were captured by the Earth Queen's forces and were on their way to Ba Sing Se.
Escape from the airship and the Si Wong Desert
At Fort Bosco, Korra and Asami were loaded onto a Ba Sing Se airship for transport to the capital city, where she tried to convince the captain about the Red Lotus' threat and her conversation with Zaheer in the Spirit World, but was dismissed as insane. A guard, Arik, chained her to a wall in the ship's prison hold. She tried to ask for water, but was told she could not have that, rocks, nor fire, and would not be released until they reached Ba Sing Se. Afterward, the Avatar, worried that Bolin and Mako had not come for them, hoped they were okay. She also Asami that they had to get out before reaching the queen, to which she was assured that her friend had a plan. After Asami got out of her hold and dug below the floor for the keys, Korra was instructed to call for help in five minutes. The waterbender subsequently followed the instructions, thus distracting Arik while Asami, now holding the keys, knocked him out. She was promptly freed from her containment.
The two made their way to the cockpit, where Korra airbent the co-pilot into the control panel, damaging the ship's controls and causing it to descend rapidly. When the co-pilot came after her, the Avatar again airbent him back, sending him into the captain and breaking the radio system. When Asami made note of this, Korra said it was not her fault that the airship was a "hunk of junk" before being told to hang on to something as they crashed into a sand dune.
The two made their way to the ship's roof, where Korra asked Asami if anything could be done to get it going, to which she was told it would be challenging because, even if the Avatar metalbent the propellers into place, it would need to be dug out. As the ship's crew came to the roof, Korra asked if they were all right, though told an angered Arik she had to get free because there were dangerous forces at work they did not know about. The captain urged them to sit tight as he had radioed Ba Sing Se for another airship, but Korra stated they needed to leave at that point. The captain soon told them they were going nowhere and the two girls were still prisoners, angering Korra, who warned them she was the Avatar. However, upon seeing something moving under the sand, Kong suggested it may be a spirit, which Korra angrily guessed was her fault too. She asked them if they wanted to get the ship fixed or wait for to meet the creature, which convinced the crew to do the former.
The Avatar used her airbending to elevate the ship out of the sand and ultimately to clean all the sand from the engine room. She asked Asami of her progress, to which she was told the ship was operational again. However, just as Kong got the engine started again, the creature, a sandshark, emerged from underneath the sand and destroyed the airship. Recovering from the initial shock, Korra and the rest of the group ran as the ship and its supplies fell around them. Korra realized that the creature was not a spirit, but it did appear to be gone temporarily.
Korra asked how far they were from the desert's edge, only to be told it was out of walking distance. She decided to accept Asami's suggestion of constructing a makeshift sand-sailer out of the remaining metal. Upon completion and seeing the creature reproach them, the group began their trek, the Avatar using her airbending to propel the sailer. She was briefly able to distance them from the creature, only for it to close in on them and attempt to swallow the group. Korra used a firebending blast to throw the beast down, allowing them to flee and thus reach the Misty Palms Oasis. There, she apologized to the captain for stranding them. He joked that the conflict between her and the queen was about his pay grade before the two shook hands and was wished good luck with a salute. The young woman was soon approached by Naga, who tackled and licked her.
Korra and Asami made their way to a tavern, where they found Tonraq, Lin, and Lord Zuko. She embraced her father and was reintroduced to the former Fire Lord, whom she was glad to see. She also apologized to Lin for ditching her back at Zaofu and asked how they found them, to which she was sarcastically reminded by Lin that she was a detective. The girls were also informed about Mako and Bolin's capture and Tonraq asked them if they knew what happened to the Earth Queen. After hearing a radio report that the queen had been overthrown and Ba Sing Se was in chaos, the Avatar realized it was the Red Lotus' doing, informing her unsure father that it was the group who was after her, while ominously warning their actions against the monarch were only the beginning.
After Naga and Pabu found that Bolin and Mako had made their way to the Misty Palms Oasis, Korra and Asami emerged from the tavern. Korra hugged Mako tightly and told him and Bolin she was glad to see them. She was soon introduced by Mako to his and Bolin's grandmother, Yin, who remarked that the Avatar was rather muscular for a woman. Off-guard, she sheepishly said Yin had the same. Mako and Bolin subsequently helped explain what happened to them to her; Korra was soon warned about Zaheer's message he had them deliver to her: she turn herself over or he would wipe out the new Air Nation. She realized they needed to warn Tenzin about the risk he and the airbenders faced, but there was no suitable radio nearby. Korra resolved they needed to return to Zaofu to access a suitable signal; thus, the group went on their way.
Once there, Korra asked Suyin if they had any luck reaching the Northern Air Temple, only to be told she did not; despite a usable signal, no one was answering. They ventured to the radio room, where the operator continued to struggle in getting an answer. The frustrated Avatar knew she had to do something with time of the essence. She decided she would meditate into the Spirit World and over to Xai Bau's Grove, knowing Zaheer spent time there. She assured Lin she would be fine and left to meditate as Asami watched over her body.
Reaching the grove, Korra demanded Zaheer show himself. Upon seeing a shadowed presence, she initially believed it was Zaheer, but it turned out to be Iroh instead, much to her surprise. She explained to him that the "maniac" was threatening the Air Nation and she had no clue what to do, lamenting the loss of her connection to her past lives. Iroh told her of Aang and Zuko's close friendship, which prompted Korra to talk to Zuko about her situation. She thanked Iroh and realized he was correct about the Spirit World: One could find something they were not looking for and she expressed her gladness to find him. Upon return, she told Asami of her experience and went to talk to Zuko.
Korra was surprised to find Zuko with his dragon, preparing to leave, but understood it was for the need of protecting his daughter, the Fire Lord. She asked him for advice as to what Aang would do if faced with the situation before her. Zuko told her Aang would be proud of her and would sacrifice anything to protect the rebuilt Air Nation. Although Zuko was unsure if Aang would sacrifice his own life, the retired Fire Lord emphasized that Aang cared for all people of all nations and knew better than anyone that the world needed its Avatar in times of turmoil. Korra thanked him and told him about speaking with his uncle in the Spirit World. At that moment, Mako came out to inform them they had gotten through to the Northern Air Temple.
In the radio room, seeing Bolin starting banter with Meelo over baby sky bison, Korra shoved her friend out of the way and demanded Meelo retrieve Tenzin. Once Tenzin responded, Korra warned him about Zaheer approaching the Northern Air Temple and to evacuate, only to be told it was too late as, at that moment, Zaheer and the Red Lotus arrived.
Capture by Zaheer
Aboard the Zaofu airship bound for the Northern Air Temple, Korra sadly looked out the window as her friends, father, Suyin, and Lin discussed plans for attacking the Red Lotus. She believed there was nothing they could do as the Red Lotus would wipe out the airbenders upon sight and realized she had no choice but to give herself up. She told her friends the world needed the Air Nation back and they could not let Zaheer destroy everyone they loved, asking them to save the airbenders before saving her. After being assured by Tonraq and Suyin they would support her, Korra went to the ship's radio room to inform Zaheer she had agreed to his terms. She was instructed by Zaheer to go to the top of Laghima's Peak at noon alone; at that point, he would release the airbenders. After informing her allies of her decision, the Avatar went over to Suyin, who informed her of a plan to get both Korra and the airbenders out safely.
At the base of Laghima's Peak, Korra was given a radio by Lin. Afterward, she embraced Asami and Mako before being hugged by Bolin, resting her head on his. Before leaving, she assured Tonraq she would be safe and embraced him while receiving words of praise. Korra told her father she loved him and, after separating from the hug, advised him to watch out for Zaheer because he was not fond of world leaders. She was simply told just to focus on her mission before they went their separate ways.
Korra flew up to the top of the peak on her airbender staff and used the radio to ask Mako if her friends found the airbenders yet, to which she was told they had not. She found Zaheer and P'Li waiting for her; the former ordered the Avatar to drop her staff and surrender. Upon being told by Mako that Ghazan was with the airbenders, she demanded Zaheer tell Ghazan to stand down, but was refuted and ordered to surrender again. After Zaheer told Ghazan to wipe the captives out, Korra decided to surrender. She approached P'Li, dropping her staff and radio while raising her hands. P'Li shackled her wrists and ankles with platinum chains. Just as she was being led to the airship, however, Mako called out on the radio that they had been double-crossed. Korra jumped up and used her airbending to blast Zaheer and P'Li away for a moment. Limited to just the bottom of her feet for bending, she attempted to duel the former, but her attacks were dodged and she was knocked over by a blast of air. Zaheer began leading her to the airship again, but Tonraq, using water tendrils to ascend the peak, jumped up and threw him back. Korra briefly fell from the cliff when her enemy shoved her aside, but was saved when her father used his tendrils to freeze her wrists and pull her up. She promptly firebent at Zaheer and teamed up with Tonraq, resuming the duel.
Korra tried kicking rocks at Zaheer, but her attacks were blocked or dodged. She cried out in horror for Tonraq when he was thrown off the cliff by Zaheer's airbending. However, when her foe was left stunned by P'Li's death, she attacked with firebending, but she again could not land a blow and was knocked out by a blade of air. Her unconscious form was taken by the airbender, who was able to unlock the rare ability of flight, to an underground prison hold. She was suspended in chains and, upon being approached by Zaheer, Ghazan, and Ming-Hua, firebent at them, believing Zaheer had killed Tonraq. At that moment, a Red Lotus member brought a bowl of poison in to the hold.
Korra threatened to wipe out the Red Lotus, but was unable to free herself from the chains that snared her. She was told the poison would force her body into the Avatar State; the Avatar realized in horror that, once the substance killed her, the Avatar Cycle would end. The poison was painfully metalbent on and into her body, starting the process of triggering the Avatar State. As she tried to fight if off, she had a vision of Zaheer, Ghazan, and Ming-Hua warping into Amon, Unalaq, and Vaatu respectively, each telling her her time was over and she should just give up. Upon the full activation of the state, the Avatar used her buoyed strength to rip out the earth that her chains were tied to and throw Ming-Hua aside and airbend the lava Ghazan had made at her. She separated from the bonds and began fighting Zaheer once more, using jets of fire to launch herself at him as he tried to fly away.
Once outside the prison hold, Korra charged at Zaheer, but was thrown down a stone pillar. She was able to maintain her balance with earthbending and charged again, using large fragments of rocks to attempt attacks. Jumping from rock-to-rock with occasional propulsion to keep up, she was able to pursue but her attacks wound up dodged. Korra was soon thrown back by air blasts and rolled down the mountain for a moment, but again recovered and used her enhanced bending to lift a large boulder at her foe, but he again dodged and came at her again. Descending into a pond, the Avatar used water whips and was able to freeze his ankle, causing Zaheer to descend rapidly. She used the opening to fly at him again, but her state was weakened by the poison and she fell onto the side of a cliff. She tried to recover, but was blasted down the cliff by the airbending criminal.
Falling to a stone pillar and left unable to fight, Zaheer surrounded her in air and began attempting to suffocate her by removing her breath and covering her head in a ball of air. At that moment, however, the freed airbenders used a tornado to release Korra and ensnare Zaheer in his attempt to escape. She used her chains to pull him down with her, leaving him to be captured. Despite her victory, Korra was left on the verge of death due to the poison within her. She was cradled by Tonraq as, after Jinora recognized the poison to be a metallic solution, Suyin tried to bend it out of her. After she had done so, Korra awoke, realizing her father was alive and was pulled closer to him. The battle, however, had left her confined to a wheelchair and in a physically and emotionally weakened state overall.
Two weeks later on Air Temple Island, Korra was given assistance by Asami in preparing to appear at Jinora's airbending master ceremony. Upset over being in such debilitation, Asami assured her no one expected her to bounce back so soon, telling her to enjoy the day for Jinora and adding that she was there for her. Korra decided to go and was wheeled out to meet with her family and allies. She was hugged by Senna and complimented on her appearance both by Tonraq and Tenzin before Raiko officially welcomed her back, thanking her for defeating the Red Lotus. However, she only responded with a noncommittal dip of her head. She did smile, however, when Ikki and Meelo approached her, the latter jumping on her lap.
Korra watched as the ceremony took place; she was praised by Tenzin for reviving the Air Nation and her willingness to risk her life for it. She was also vowed to that the Air Nation would follow in her footsteps and help provide balance to the world, slightly bowing her head with a smile upon her airbending master bowing to her. The Avatar's eyes watered as the ceremony reached its conclusion and she shed a single tear.
171 - 173 AG
After Jinora's ceremony, Korra changed into her normal attire and was set to board the ship heading toward the Southern Water Tribe, together with her parents and Kya. Before boarding, she was given a letter by Bolin, who expressed his delight over becoming pen pals with her. Although Asami inquired if she would be fine on her own as the business woman would be happy to accompany her, Korra declined the offer, stating that some weeks by herself to heal would do her good. Tenzin reassured her that he, Jinora, and the Air Nation would try their best to take care of things in her absence so she could focus all her energy on healing.
Three weeks later, while staying at the Southern Water Tribe Royal Palace, Korra had a nightmare about Zaheer asphyxiating her. She woke up, severely distressed and breathing heavily. Korra went out on the balcony for some fresh air and to look at the spirit lights, where she was found by her mother. Senna approached her, worried about her well-being, and urged her to seek help from Katara. She agreed and received a hug from her mother, who expressed her love for Korra.
While being healed by Katara, Korra was told that the mercury poison had caused considerable internal damage. Inquiring if the elder could fix it, Korra was told that her recovery was dependent on her own efforts, though Katara would help her guide her through. Korra expressed her desire to recover and was urged to visualize her big toe moving a feat she managed to accomplish, much to her delight. Korra subsequently moved to the parallel bars in order to try walking. Leaning heavily on the bars, she managed to keep herself erect, though before she could take a step, she was overwhelmed by the memory of herself being poisoned by the Red Lotus, causing her to lose her balance and fall down. Although Katara comforted her, emphasizing that she was safe there and urging her to use her mind to overcome her pain, Korra refused to try again, declaring herself done for that day. Throughout her stay in the South, Korra received and read the letters sent to her by her Asami, Mako, and Bolin.
Korra kept up her intensive physiotherapy training, though nearly six months later, she lost patience due to a lack of significant progress. Lamenting about her inability to take more than a few steps without collapsing, she snapped at Katara in her frustration over being dependent on others for everything, while her friends were helping the world and the elderly woman could not heal her. Immediately realizing that she should not have addressed Katara that way, she apologized and was told to let go of her anger and frustration. Upon admitting that she was tired of her situation and the senselessness of it all, Katara tried to comfort her by sharing the sense of loss Aang felt over losing his entire culture and telling her he had tried to find meaning in the suffering and eventually even succeeded to find peace. When Korra asked what she would find, she was offered the response that whatever it was, it would be interesting to find out. Korra subsequently tried to walk again with the air of the parallel bars and managed to walk the short distance toward Naga, falling happily against the polar bear dog's chest.
Korra continued to improve and by the time Tenzin arrived at the Southern Water Tribe compound, Korra had improved to the point where she could once again run around and fight. As the airbending master climbed off Oogi, she warmly embraced him, exclaiming how much she had missed him. Upon receiving the compliment that she looked great, she dragged Tenzin off toward the training grounds, eager to show him how much she had improved. She sparred against three firebenders and although she started strong, she was knocked down after she was once again overcome with a vision of Zaheer flying down upon her. Helped back to her feet by Tenzin who declared the sparring match to be over, she angrily stated that she believed she had been ready. As Tenzin tried to put her at ease by pointing out that there was no shame in taking the time needed to make a full recovery as her duties as the Avatar could wait, Korra asked about the Earth Kingdom, since she knew it was still in chaos. Hearing that the situation had been stabilized by Kuvira, she grew sad, stating that the metalbender was doing her job. Before Tenzin could tell her that she merely needed to be patient, Korra glared at him, threatening that if he would voice the thought, she would "water-smack" him in the mouth. Frustrated about the situation, she left the sparring ring.
For two years, Korra continued her training and recovery at the Southern Water Tribe. At one point, she wrote a letter back to Asami, in which she apologized for not having written before. She revealed that the past years had been the hardest of her life and even though she had recovered physically, she still could not enter the Avatar State and was often plagued by memories of Zaheer and the Red Lotus attack. She admitted that she worried that she might never fully recover, despite her best efforts. Korra implored Asami to not inform Mako and Bolin about the letter, as she did not want to hurt their feelings and felt like they would not understand her as opposed to Asami.
While having a meal with her parents, an absent-minded Korra was playing with her food until her mother's inquiry about her well-being snapped her out of her thought. She expressed her desire to return to Republic City, hoping that it could speed up her recovery due to it being the place of action and where her friends were. Korra declined Tonraq's offer to get the White Lotus to prepare for her departure, insisting on going alone as it would give her the chance to clear her head.
En route, Korra briefly stopped at a beachside village to purchase supplies. Upon requesting the local fishmonger for two lobster cabs, she was recognized as the Avatar and asked to pose for a picture, just like Avatar Aang had done decades before. The man's ramblings about Avatars were cut short when another vendor shouted about a robbery in progress and the fishmonger pushed Korra to intervene. Although she intercepted the thieves, the two men easily defeated her, leaving Korra lying on the beach in shame. Korra eventually made it to Republic City, though as she neared Air Temple Island, she saw herself in the Avatar State standing atop one of the rocks near the island, glaring menacingly at her. Unsettled, she turned her boat and left Yue Bay and docked somewhere in a deserted area, where she obtained Earth Kingdom clothes, shed all her Water Tribe identifiers, and cut her hair.
Korra traveled to the Spirit World through the northern spirit portal and made her way to the Tree of Time. Her meditation in the hollow of the tree was interrupted by chattering spirits, who were debating among themselves whether or not she was the Avatar. When Korra verified her identity as such, she revealed to them that she had been away for a while due to sustaining severe injuries in her last big battle, which had left her unable to contact Raava. She admitted to meditating in the Tree of Time since the last time she had done so, it had shown her a myriad of images and she had hoped it would be the case again, figuring it could help her to reconnect with Raava and access the Avatar State. When it proved to be unsuccessful, she declined the spirits' help, deciding that she needed to figure it all out on her own since the help of others had not borne any fruit so far.
In order to keep people from worrying about her, Korra wrote letters to her parents, telling them she was pleased to have returned to Air Temple Island and see her friends again. In reality, however, Korra was roaming the physical world by herself, crossing icy seas, hiking up volcanoes, and traversing the desert, all the while seeing an apparition of herself in the Avatar State. While she was wandering the desert, Korra saw Raava atop a nearby dune, though by the time she had scampered to the top, the Light Spirit was gone, having been only a mirage.
Six months after having left the South Pole, Korra made her way to a small Earth Kingdom town at night, where she was once again haunted by her Avatar apparition. When the apparition turned away into an ally, Korra followed her, determined to end the haunting. Chasing the vision, she found herself in a warehouse where earthbending cage fights were being held. Seeing the apparition standing in the fighting ring, Korra asked the organizer how to enter the ring and was subsequently permitted to fight. She sparred with a female earthbender, although Korra envisioned the woman as her Avatar self. She was barraged with several rocks and pushed around with an earth pillar. Panting heavily, Korra challenged her apparition, which spurred on her opponent to intensify her attacks. Although Korra tried to retaliate, she was knocked down by a direct hit and collapsed on the ground while staring at herself in the Avatar State. After all the spectators had left, Korra made her way to the stands and unwrapped her wrists and forearms. The organizer of the match walked up to her and threw her a wad of cash, for which she thanked him in an uninterested manner. As she grabbed the money and her bag and stood up to leave, the man stated that she looked like "that Avatar girl", though Korra dismissed the recognition as something that she got a lot. When the man asked what had happened to the Avatar, she replied that she did not know and continued walking off.
Korra made her way to a public restroom to clean herself up. Briefly staring at her reflection in a broken mirror, she used the water from the sink to start healing her wounds, though was interrupted by a man urgently needing to use the facilities. She left the restroom and started wandering the streets again, lost in thought and her gaze trained on the floor. As such, she was nearly hit by a car, managing only to dive out of its way at the last second. Stumbling to a nearby ally where she steadied herself by holding on to the wall, breathing heavily while clutching her head, Korra saw her Avatar self again and called out to the apparition. She was subsequently attacked with the chain attached to the apparition's right arm. Although she retaliated with her firebending, she ended up knocked down with the chain ensnaring her left wrist. As the apparition stalked closer, Korra yelled at her to leave her alone and engulfed the ally in fire. However, as the fire clear up, it became apparent that she had been alone, prompting bystanders to offer help, though she brushed them off.
As it neared twilight, Korra was walking along the streets, where she found a puppy in the middle of the road. She squatted down to pet it and was surprised when the dog started growling and barking at her Avatar apparition, who had appeared in front of her once more. Put at ease by the animal's actions, believing that she was not going crazy now, Korra erected herself to face the apparition, though when it disappeared, she turned to the puppy, asking it in disbelief how it had managed to drive off her Avatar self. As the dog ran off, barking at her, Korra decided to follow it.
Korra was led out of the town and by the time the sun was well into the sky, they arrived at a swamp. There, the puppy transformed into a light spirit whom Korra recognized as the spirit that she had met at the Tree of Time. Although she was not pleased by having been deceived, she acknowledged the spirit reasoning that she would not have followed him otherwise. When Korra asked what she was supposed to find in the swamp, the spirit replied they were there for a "who" and not a "what". As it flew off into the thicket, Korra gave chase once more, though as she burst out of the vegetation, she found herself falling into a shallow pond where her Avatar specter was awaiting her as opposed to the spirit. She fearfully backed up, telling herself that the apparition was merely a figment of her imagination, though she was subsequently flung against a tree by a powerful firebending attack. Barraged with water, fire, and earth attacks, Korra was forced on the run. Trying to escape up a tree, the apparition hooked its chain around her leg and pulled her down, both disappearing in a hallucinatory pool of mercury.
Korra later awoke in a cave where an old woman was stirring a pot. When Korra inquired what had happened to her, the woman merely reflected the question back to her, stating that she did not know anything beyond the fact that she had found Korra lying unconscious in the mud. Upon being asked why she had ventured into the swamp, Korra told the woman that a spirit had urged her to find someone there and wondered if it might have been the woman. Although unsure about that, the woman urged Korra to listen to her Avatar senses if they had called her there. Surprised to be recognized as the Avatar, Korra inquired how the woman had known, to which she was told she had been great friends with her predecessor. Korra walked over to her and illuminated the cave with her firebending. She was surprised to recognize the woman as Toph Beifong, and in turn, she was addressed by Toph as "Twinkle Toes."
Extracting the mercury
The following day, Korra requested Toph to help her get back into her "Avatar fighting shape", as she was currently in no condition to help the world, which she believed to need her. However, she was promptly told to get over herself as Toph believed the world did not need her at all. Defending herself, Korra pointed out that she had stopped some major conflicts during her time as the Avatar, though her accomplishments were waved off as insignificant, since Toph believed that crime could not be stopped. Despite this, Korra grew excited when the elderly earthbender agreed to train her. When she surged forward to give the old woman a hug, however, she ran face-first against the earthen slab Toph erected and fell down, being told that if she wanted to hug something, she could go find a tree as they were there to work.
Korra faced Toph in a sparing match, during which she barraged the elderly woman with three airbending strikes and a water attack, before knocked down with a mud pillar after Toph easily sidestepped all of her assaults. As Korra was gathering her bearings, shooing off a frog squirrel that had jumped on her shoulder, she was asked to reflect on what she had done wrong and was told to stop thinking during battle. When Toph turned her back on her and ordered to go again, Korra subjected the elderly earthbender to an elemental barrage, though was defeated with one mud pillar once again. As Korra laid in a shallow water pool, she was berated for her "pathetic" performance and declared to be by far the worst of the two Avatars Toph had ever worked with. Korra defended herself by pointing out that it merely looked like Toph was enjoying having someone around to beat up, which the elderly woman agreed with. Changing the subject, Korra inquired why Toph had chosen to disconnect herself from the rest of the world, though was promptly corrected by Toph who said that she was more connected to the world than Korra would ever be. As the elderly woman declared she was able to see everything, Korra attempted to test that statement by attacking her from behind, though was knocked down with a mud stream before she could execute her attack and stated to be the blind one compared to Toph.
Walking through the swamp, Korra dejectedly noted that her sparring with Toph was "terrible" as she had been tossed around like a rag doll the entire time. Frustrated, Korra lamented about her inability to recover her old form, feeling as if she was constantly a step too slow, tentative, and out of sync. She was surprised to learn that there were still traces of mercury in her body, for which Toph berated her once again for "truly" being the worst Avatar ever. Although she had been under the impression that Suyin had extracted all the poison, Korra excitedly latched onto Toph, asking if the elder would be able to remove the mercury, though she was pushed away by an irritated Toph, who was peeved about the fact that Korra even needed to ask about her abilities.
Returning to Toph's home, Korra laid down and was ordered to relax in order for Toph to be able to complete a successful extraction of the residual mercury. Although Toph commented that Korra's body was tense like a "twisted tree trunk", the Avatar snapped at the elderly woman to commence with the extraction. The moment Toph started, however, Korra shot up and grunted in pain, which prompted Toph to berate her for not being relaxed. Being ordered to stop fighting, Korra hotly denied that she had been fighting Toph. When the elderly earthbender tried again, Korra was plagued by another vision of Zaheer trying to asphyxiate her in the Avatar State. Gasping in pain, Korra curled up, which resulted in Toph stating that Korra would have to bend the metal out herself, since she was adamant about keeping it in her body for the time being. Perplexed, Korra asked why she would want to keep poison in her body and only managed to halfheartedly denounced Toph's theory about her using it as an excuse to forsake her duties as the Avatar out of fear of getting injured again as ridiculous. As Toph walked away, unwilling to deal with the Avatar's issues, Korra asked what she was supposed to do and was promptly deferred to the spirit that brought her to the swamp in the first place. Additionally, she was told that if she wished to find a place where she could disappear, she had come to the right swamp.
After doing nothing for two days, Korra grew restless and asked Toph what the plan was for that day. When the elder hinted that they would not be doing anything that day either, Korra did not care for that plan and asked Toph to relay the tale of how she taught Aang to earthbend. As the earthbender retold the story in three sentences, a surprised Korra noted that she thought there would be more to it. Undeterred, she asked to hear the story of how the old Team Avatar had taken down the Fire Lord, though when Toph once again relayed the story in three sentences, Korra labeled the woman a bad storyteller and merely sighed when Toph defended herself by stating that it was Korra who was bad at listening to them. Bored, the Avatar started tapping her foot on the ground, which resulted in Toph sending her away to collect mushrooms for their dinner.
As she made her way through the swamp, Korra was haunted by visions of her old enemies once again. While pushing aside some vines, she suddenly found herself in the Pro-bending Arena where Amon took away her bending. Turning around in fear, she gasped in horror upon witnessing Unalaq ripping Raava out of her. Falling back, she witnessed herself struggle to stay out of the Avatar State while being the prisoner of the Red Lotus. Korra screamed in horror, causing Zaheer and the Red Lotus sentries to look at her. Moments later, she found herself in the swamp once more, resting on her hands and knees in the middle of a small creek.
Korra retreated to a tree root, where she was eventually found by Toph. She admitted to have had visions of all the times her past enemies had hurt her. When the elder revealed that she had expected the swamp to play tricks with the Avatar's mind, Korra called Toph a "twisted old lady" for willingly subjecting her to those images, though was calmly told that the swamp could sense that she was out of balance and wanted teach her what she needed to learn if she were willing to listen. Upon being asked why she thought she kept having those visions, Korra mused that it was because Amon, Unalaq, and Zaheer had caused much suffering for the world and herself. Although Korra believed the swamp might have been affecting Toph's mind as well when the elderly earthbender offered the advice to learn from her past enemies, she listened to Toph walking her trough her visions and the ideologies of each former enemy. Korra acknowledged Toph's reasoning that their problem had been that they were out of balance and took their ideologies too far, though still did not understand why she was haunted by their visions. She was told she needed to face her fears and stop fighting her old enemies if she ever wished to be able to deal with future enemies. As Korra revealed that she did not know how to do that, Toph told her to stand up and follow the elderly earthbender to the banyan-grove tree.
Arriving at the heart of the swamp, Toph explained to Korra that the roots of the banyan-grove tree connected the entire swamp and that her problem was that she had been disconnected for too long from those who loved her and from herself. Placing her hand on a root of the tree, Korra saw a vision of Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo in the swamp, much to her happiness. As the three young airbenders found her at the base of the banyan-grove tree, Korra shed some tears of happiness. Warmly embracing the threesome, Korra admitted to have missed them, before asking how they managed to find them. After hearing it had been combination of Jinora's spiritual sensing ability and Ikki employing the help of soldiers due to Meelo, Korra introduced them to Toph. Upon being asked to return home to stop Kuvira, Korra was hesitant, as she believed she was not the Avatar that she used to be, especially since she could no longer access the Avatar State. Regardless, she was begged to return, as the three children believed the world needed her.
The five of them returned to Toph's dwelling in the swamp, where Korra told Toph that she was ready for the mercury to be removed, though was promptly reminded that she had to do so herself. Korra took on a firm stance and was instructed to close her eyes and clear her mind in order to focus her energy and find the metal. Starting the extraction process, she was haunted by the vision of Zaheer trying to asphyxiate her once again and broke her stance while panting in pain. As Toph reassured her that the vision she was seeing was of a fight in the past and that she needed to release the fear connected to it, she focused one more and managed to bend out some of the mercury. Repeating the process, she succeeded in bending out all of the residual poison out of her system and moved it toward Toph, who enclosed it into a rock. Being complimented on her achievement, Korra briefly entered the Avatar State. Exciting the state, Korra wonder about how much lighter she felt without the poison weighing her down. Thanking Toph for all her help, she requested permission to hug the older woman, which she was granted, as Toph believed she had now earned that right. Korra mounted Pepper along with Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo and after saying their goodbyes to Toph, the foursome left the swamp.
Although Tenzin had desired for her to return to Republic City, Korra told Jinora to set course for Zaofu, as she was determined to let Kuvira and the rest of the world know that the Avatar was back. When Meelo grew excited over the prospect of Korra battling the metalbender, she quickly corrected him by pointing out that she believed Kuvira could be reasoned with. Arriving at the home of the Metal Clan and witnessing the amassed forces camped before the gates of the city, Korra hoped they were still in time.
Making her way into the city, Korra was warmly embraced and welcomed by Suyin. Waving off the matriarch's questions about where she had been for the past years, she asked how she could help. Korra and Suyin took a walk together, during which she asked the older woman how the relationship with Kuvira had grown sour. Korra received a brief history lesson of how Kuvira believed that Zaofu should share its knowledge about modern progress with the rest of the world, which led to her leaving the city and commencing her quest to stabilize the Earth Kingdom using all means necessary. Although Korra expressed her desire to fix the situation, she was averse to the idea of directly fighting the military leader, as she believed that conflict had only made things worse in the past.
Korra left the city again in an attempt to reason with Kuvira. Baatar Jr. guided her to the military leader, who greeted her warmly, stating it was an honor to meet her again. Korra asked Kuvira to retreat with her army, emphasizing that she could not stand by and let her take the city. When Kuvira asked why she should treat Zaofu, the last state standing in the way of a united Earth Empire, differently from any other state, Korra avoided answering the question by posing that what Kuvira was doing was not right. However, she wavered in her resolve to get the army to back down when she realized that Kuvira had made some tough decisions to stop the world from spiraling into chaos while she had been absent to heal. Sympathizing with the reality of having people be angry due to a decision made, Korra was urged to return to Suyin and convince the matriarch to give the city up, with Kuvira promising to not attack until Korra had returned.
Returning to Zaofu, Korra learned from Baatar that Suyin had left with Wei and Wing in order to sneak into Kuvira's camp and deal with the threat themselves. As Opal and Jinora learned of the matriarch's plans as well, she was urged by the master airbender to stop Suyin before she did something terrible. When Opal declared that they should be helping Suyin, Korra stated that they were forced to wait since they had no idea what the matriarch's exact location and plan was, pointing out that an intervention on their part could invoke unwanted consequences by exposing the threesome. When Kuvira announced over the city's communication system that Suyin and the twins had been captured, a distraught Opal turned to Korra, pleading with her to undertake action as she could not let the army commander get away with the arrest. Korra tried to reason with her, pointing out that Kuvira had only been defending herself against Suyin's sneak attack. When Baatar asked what their next course of action was, she revealed that she and Jinora would attempt to negotiate with Kuvira at dawn, promising to do everything within her power to keep the peace. Although she allowed Opal to join her, Korra refused to let Ikki and Meelo tag along as well, explaining to the children that she could not risk anyone else being captured. Entrusting them to Huan and Baatar's care, she emphasized that the men needed to make sure that the children would return safely to Tenzin if something went wrong.
At dawn, the three women walked up to Kuvira and Korra inquired for a way for them to resolve the brewing conflict. When the army commander demanded they turned over Zaofu, Korra declared that she could not just let the city be taken, a comment for which she was chastised for interfering with internal Earth Empire business and letting herself be guided by her personal feelings as opposed to reason. Opal urged her to take Kuvira down as that was the right thing to do and when the army commander made it clear that she would only be stopped if Korra physically opposed her, the Avatar stated that she had no choice. As Kuvira challenged her for a one-on-one duel for the fate of Zaofu, declaring she was no longer relevant to bring balance, Korra accepted the challenge. Upon being asked by Jinora if she was truly ready to fight the army commander, she told the airbenders to stay back and let her handle it, as she had a lot of pent-up rage that she could use in battle. She was warned by Opal to not play around, as the master metalbender was too skilled for that. Advised to finish the battle quickly by utilizing the Avatar State, Korra declared that she would only employ the state as a last resort.
Kuvira allowed Korra to use every element at her disposal as well as the Avatar State, baiting the younger woman by stating that she knew the Avatar was a "little rusty". Although Korra fiercely charged Kuvira, barraging her with elemental attacks, she failed to find an answer to the army commander's agility, swift changes between metal and earth attacks, and fast counter strikes. When Opal wanted to intervene after Korra had been knocked around a few times, she ordered the airbender to stay back, stating that she could handle the fight, although it had already taken a heavy toll on her. After she was knocked down again and Suyin urged her to enter the Avatar State, Korra entered the state and managed for the first time to land a blow. Pushing Kuvira back with airbending, she lifted herself up with an airspout while levitating a large boulder. On the verge of crushing Kuvira with it, Korra hesitated, which gave the dazed army commander the time to crawl to her knees and look up at Korra. As she did so, Korra was beset by another sudden hallucination in which Kuvira's face was substituted with her own with the eyes aglow. Shocked, she fell out of the Avatar State and tumbled down, where she needed a moment to gather her bearings. Although she still charged Kuvira, Korra was easily caught by the wrists with two metal strips and suspended in the air. After Kuvira smacked her down to the earth, she was rendered unconscious and easily encased in earth. As Kuvira moved to kill her, she was saved by Jinora and Opal, who held incoming soldiers at bay while Korra regained consciousness and broke out of her earthen prison. When Ikki and Meelo arrived on Pepper, Korra was helped on the bison by Jinora and Opal, where she lay unconscious as they all escaped from Zaofu.
A tense reunion
Having recovered on the way back to Republic City, Korra excitedly waved and called to Naga as Pepper approached Air Temple Island. When the bison touched down, she jumped off and was momentarily lifted off the ground by her polar bear dog, with whom she happily reunited. Their cuddle session was cut short with the arrival of Bumi, who swept her off her feet as well in a tight hug. Returning the greeting, Korra was subsequently welcomed home by Tenzin, whom she stated to have missed during their time apart. When she needed to debrief what happened at Zaofu, Korra dejectedly noted that she had thought she was strong enough to take on Kuvira, though now felt like a failure for being unable to stop her.
After changing back into Water Tribe clothing, Korra traveled down to Republic City, where she met up with Asami and Mako at a restaurant. Finding the engineer reading a magazine, Korra approached her and asked if she had been waiting long. When Asami good-heartedly jabbed that she had only been waiting for three years, the two women shared a hug. Expressing their joy over reuniting with her, Korra thanked Asami for complimenting her new, shorter hairdo and returned the favor by pointing out that Asami looked "snazzy as always". She was led inside the restaurant to meet up with Mako, who had reserved a table for them. Korra warmly embraced him as well, though their reunion was cut short by Prince Wu. When she revealed to him that Mako had not told her anything about him, the prince placed an arm around her shoulders and escorted her toward their booth, much to her surprise and discomfort. Korra soon grew annoyed with Wu and firmly told him off when he asked her to enter the Avatar State so he could see her eyes glow. When Asami asked if she had regained the ability, adding that she had been worried when Korra had written to her that she could not, Mako felt excluded and asked for an explanation. After exchanging glances with Asami, Korra revealed that she had been in contact with Asami during her recovery at the South Pole and had asked her not to tell him, as she had not known what to say to him. Korra apologized for not staying in touch, though added that she was back and wanted to know everything about their lives. As Asami revealed that she had visited her father for the first time since his imprisonment, Korra asked if she was sure he could be trusted and was not just manipulating Asami again. The question rubbed the engineer the wrong way, however, and she snapped at Korra that it was not her place to second-guess Asami's actions and decide what was best for her, since she had disappeared for three years. Korra defended herself by pointing out that she had not planned to be gone that long, though had merely never felt ready before to return. Their brewing argument was interrupted when Prince Wu announced he needed to go to the bathroom and snapped his fingers at Mako to spur him to action. As the firebender told the prince to go by himself, Korra asked him if he always accompanied Wu to the bathroom, though halfway through Mako's explanation that he normally stood guard in his general vicinity, he decided that he did not want to talk about it.
When Wu stayed absent for a suspicious amount of time, the team made their way toward the bathrooms, where Korra and Asami remained in the hallway while Mako inspected the men's restroom. Via an open door, Korra noticed restaurant personnel loading laundry into a truck. Telling Asami she would be right back, she approached the men and asked if they had seen Prince Wu. When the man told her he had not seen the royal, Korra noticed the prince roll out of the laundry. Before she could take action, however, she was catapulted in the air with earthbending. Korra told Asami and Mako, who had come running upon hearing the ruckus, to get the car while she gave chase to the vehicle that contained Wu. She ran on the street and tried to halt the truck with her earthbending, but it managed to evade her attack. When Asami pulled up, Korra jumped into the car and they gave chase. Although the kidnappers momentarily managed to shake them, they found them again and when driving parallel to the truck, albeit a level higher, Korra jumped out of the car and atop the moving vehicle. She pried open the roof with her metalbending, though upon finding the vehicle deserted, save for the driver, she quickly incapacitated him with airbending and brought the truck to a stop. Korra dragged the kidnapper out, where Mako interrogated him about the prince's whereabouts, though without success. Not knowing where to start looking for Wu first, Korra approached a spirit vine and placed her hand on top of it, tracking Wu's energy via the vegetation. Deducing that the kidnappers had moved him to a smaller Satomobile and were taking him to Central City Station, she spurred her friends to action and they too made their way toward the train station. En route, she explained to Mako and Asami that Toph had taught her how to connect to people's energy via the spirit vines. When asked what the old earthbender was like, she good-heartedly described her as a "cranky, more miserable version of Lin".
Arriving at the station, the threesome ran inside, though upon witnessing a multitude of waiting trains without any clue on which one Wu was taken, they split up. Regrouping after an initial futile search, Korra sensed for Wu's energy once again and urged them all the hop aboard the 4:15 leaving the station forOmashu. Searching the wagons, she told an irritated Mako that she was not certain the prince was on that train, but that she had a feeling he was. When he voiced his skepticism over having to trust her "Avatar feelings", Korra snapped at him, pointing out that he would not have to trust her if he had guarded the prince like he was supposed to. Making their way to the luggage cart, Korra stated that it certainly was not her fault Wu had been kidnapped. Asami broke up their bickering by ordering them to silence, which enabled them all to hear a tapping coming from inside a chest, which turned out to be caused by Wu. With the prince released, two of Kuvira's agents attacked them, however, prompting Korra to defend the group by knocking the metal strips fired at them away and incapacitating the aggressors with her airbending. Noticing more argents starting to close in on them, Korra bent open the roof of their cart and ordered everyone out. When Wu refused to go out there, she grew annoyed and unceremoniously airbent him atop the roof of the next wagon, before rising to the top with airbending herself and helping Asami up. Jumping on the next cart, she caught Wu, who was tossed at her by Mako and dragged him along. When one of Kuvira's agents shot a metal cable at the prince, she intercepted the object and twirled it around her own arm, holding the agent in place. She was released when Mako forced the assailant back with his firebending, though they had nowhere to go when the agents started to curl the roof of their cart toward them. Before they were completely cornered, Korra encircled their little party with air, grabbed Asami and Wu, and jumped against Mako to push them all off the moving train and down a bridge, where they all made a safe landing due to the air bubble.
Wu bowed to Korra in gratitude for having saved his life and asked her out to repay her. She quickly rejected his offer, however, and made her way to her friends, noting that the rescue mission was not exactly how she had expected their reunion to be. When Asami stated that it reminded her of their old times, minus the "getting on each other's nerves part", Korra smugly looked at Mako when he good-heartedly jabbed that annoying and be annoyed by her was normal for him. Korra apologized for the earlier tension, noting that there was no place she would rather be than with them, and the three friends shared a hug. When Wu wanted to join in, Korra kept him at bay with a hand to his face. Breaking the embrace, she asked what they were going to do with Wu, noting that it was too dangerous to bring him back to the Republic City Four Elements, upon which Mako took them all to the Sato estate, where the prince would stay with Mako's family already residing there.
Reminiscing about the past
Korra traveled back to Air Temple Island with Asami, where she retreated to the meditation pavilion. Lost in thought, she was approached by Asami and offered a cup of tea against the cold. When asked if she was okay, Korra revealed that she had been thinking about Toph's statement of the Avatar being redundant and it being basically pointless to try and stop Kuvira. As Asami firmly told her that was a ridiculous notion, Korra stated that she did not believe it either at first, writing it off as Toph being cranky, though after reflecting on her past, she came to see reason in the statement, as she concluded that the world seemed to always be out of balance, regardless of her actions. To clarify her point, Korra explained that she had grown up anxious to be the Avatar and change things in the world, though meeting Amon had shattered her hopes when he had taken hers and others' bending away. Although Asami countered her self-deprecating thoughts by highlighting all the good things she had accomplished, such as decapitating the Equalist movement and allowing for free election to be held in the United Republic, which increased the representation of nonbenders, Korra remained distant, as the hope she had given people had not last due to Unalaq's actions. She felt guilty over having betrayed Tenzin due to her uncle and for opening the portals, which threw the human and spirit worlds into chaos. She blamed herself for the creation of the Dark Avatar and the destruction of Raava. Korra countered Asami's uplifting words of her restoring the Air Nation and causing a positive shift in the world by pointing out that by bringing airbending back, Zaheer had also been given the power and used it to nearly kill her and cause the world to be more out of balance than ever. Exclaiming that nothing had changed, Korra was surprised to find that Tenzin agreed with her. After the airbending master explained that while she would always have new enemies to face, he pointed out that she had learned from her past enemies and bettered herself, maturing from a hot-headed and slightly selfish person to a thoughtful young woman who placed the needs of others before her own and had become an inspiration to the world. Touched, Korra thanked both Asami and Tenzin for placing things in perspective for her, announcing that she would never stop trying to bring balance to the world.
Releasing her fear
While having some leisurely playtime with Naga, Korra noticed Opal standing sadly sulking by herself and asked if everything was all right. As the young airbender vented that no one but her seemed to care that Kuvira had her family, Korra reassured her that everything would turn out fine. Their conversation was interrupted by Jinora, however, who alerted them of the strange surge of energy she had felt emanating from the Spirit Wilds. Convinced something was wrong, the three women set out to investigate. After an initial search resulted in nothing out of the ordinary, Jinora speculated that something might have befallen Ryu and his tour group, since they should have encountered them, though Korra interjected that since it was Ryu, the tour group could have left the wilds. Although she could not sense how strange the energy around them was, Korra could get a reading of the plants and saw a vision of Kuvira harvesting roots from the Foggy Swamp, deducing that to be the source of the strange energy surge Jinora sensed. While Jinora continued the search for Ryu and his group, Korra and Opal headed to City Hall to alert President Raiko about their discovery.
Korra and Opal barged into the council room, though Korra was surprised to find that they had walked in on a meeting between the world leaders, sans the Water Tribes' representatives, and grew annoyed upon learning that she had purposely not been invited. Raiko angrily chastised her for having barged in, though before the conflict could escalate, Bolin and Varrick ran into the room as well and alerted everyone present of Kuvira's plans to build a super weapon. Korra completed their story by stating that it had something to do with spirit vines, as her vision had learned her that much. As the meeting was concluded with the United Republic fortifying its borders, Korra and Mako met up with Bolin outside of the building. Approaching him, she confirmed Mako's statement that they were glad he was back as they had been worried about him and embraced him warmly. When Bolin stated that he hoped he could regain Mako's trust after having rejected his advice last time they met, Korra tried to make him feel better by pointing out that if anyone had lost people's trust, it was her, since she felt like no one wanted her around ever since Kuvira defeated her at Zaofu. Mako cheered her up, however, by stating that if no one else, at least they wanted her around, before they all shared another embrace.
When Bolin left, Korra and Mako continued talking to one another, though their conversation was interrupted by Jinora's spiritual projection, who called for help as the spirit vines were taking her captive. They hurried toward the spirit forest, though found its entrance under police surveillance. Korra asked Lin to be granted access, stating that even though she was not the Avatar she used to be, she was capable of saving Jinora. Although Lin was reluctant at first, she let Korra and Mako in after a spirit vine had shot out of the wilds, emphasizing the dire situation the captured people were in. Searching the vegetation, Korra and Mako were attacked by more vines and after saving Mako from being dragged off by a vine, she led him inside a nearby building, sealing it with her earthbending. There, they found several glowing pods and, upon learning that they contained the bodies of the captured people while trapping their souls in the Spirit World, Korra tried to open them with her spiritbending. After that failed, she attempted to meditate into the Spirit World. She never made it there, however, as she was transported back to her fight with Zaheer. She was shocked to learn that she once again suffered from the poison, which left her vulnerable to Zaheer's asphyxiation attempt. Gasping for air, she broke out of her meditation and confided in Mako that Zaheer's memory had been bothering her for years, preventing her from attaining any peace and meditating into the Spirit World.
Concluding she needed to face Zaheer if she wanted to save Jinora, Korra asked Tenzin to be granted clearance to visit the prison. When he refused, however, Korra sadly noted that he too had lost faith in her, just like everyone else. As Tenzin clarified that he was merely worried about Jinora and could not bear the thought of something happening to her as well, she emphasized that she would be all right and hugged him when he gave her the permission she needed.
On the verge of entering the prison, Korra confirmed her readiness to face Zaheer to Mako, noting that she hoped she would realize he was no longer a threat to her by seeing him in chains. Entering his cell by herself, she told the airbender that she had come to look him in the eye and tell him that he had no power over her, since she would no longer be afraid of him. Her statement was debunked, however, when she cowered back in fear when Zaheer flew straight toward her, even though he could not reach her due to his chains. Believing her visit to be a mistake, Korra started to leave, though when Zaheer declared he knew why she was there, she angrily snapped at him that he did not know anything about her. She was surprised to learn that he knew she had been unable to meditate into the Spirit World, outing her incredulity over him being able to cross over from his cell, since it was not very spiritually charged. When Zaheer declared that her problem was her inability to tap into the spiritual energy around her, Korra snapped at him that he was her problem, blaming him for having ruined her by poisoning her, since people no longer believed that she was capable of anything. She sadly noted that she had hoped to put an end to her troubles by facing him and added that it was perhaps time she accepted that she would never be the same. Zaheer pointed out, however, that neither of them were the same as before their encounter; he had learned how to fly, though was bound by his chains, and while Korra had all the power in the world and the freedom to use it, she chose to hold herself down. Korra countered that she was not holding herself down, though that her powers merely had limited. She was corrected by Zaheer, who explained he believed her powers to be limitless, since she had been able to fight off the mercury poison that should have killed her.
Korra shrugged off the notion of her block being a conscious choice and sarcastically thanked him for having created the "worst dictator the Earth Kingdom [had] ever seen" by killing Hou-Ting. Since she was powerless to stop her due to her mental block, Zaheer offered to guide her into the Spirit World. Although Korra initially refused his help, noting he could not be trusted, she relented after Zaheer pointed out that she had no other options left. As she assumed a lotus position, she was urged to focus on the sound of his voice and clear her mind, though she was soon plagued by the same vision again of Zaheer trying to asphyxiate her. Gasping for air, she was told to let the vision run its course. As she noted with a pained expression that she could not do that, Zaheer calmly told her that she could and that she merely needed to accept what had happened to her, as opposed to holding on to a fear of what might have been. Noting that she had no control, she plummeted down toward the ground in her vision, though was urged by Zaheer to not be afraid and hold on. As her body crashed through the ground, the large chunks of earth morphed into spirits and Korra noted in surprise that she had made it into the Spirit World with Zaheer's guidance. Asking him if he knew where she could find Jinora and the others, he replied that she already knew that, before fading back to the physical world.
As Zaheer left, Raava's spirit lit up within Korra and she fondly asked where she had been, as she had missed her. After learning that Raava had always been inside of her, she asked the spirit for help with finding Jinora, to which she was taken to another place in the Spirit World, where the souls of the group were trapped in a spherical force field. Asking how she could release them, Raava told Korra that she needed to bend the energy within. When she pointed out that she was powerless in the Spirit World, Raava corrected her, stating that she was at her most powerful there, since she was connected to all the spiritual energy. Following the advice, Korra placed her hand on the sphere and entered the Avatar State, bending the energy within and releasing all the trapped souls.
Upon returning to material world and leaving Zaheer's prison, Korra told Mako that she felt whole again, as she was finally able to accept what had happened. Although she would never forget what Zaheer did to her, Korra could move on with her life and believed the experience would make her stronger.
Asking the spirits for help
Korra was later present at a meeting with Raiko, Mako, Wu, Tenzin, Varrick, and Asami, during which the latter two presented their plans to manufacture flying mecha suits to protect the city against a possible attack of Kuvira. When Raiko demanded the two inventors to create spirit vine weapons for him, Korra sternly told him off, reasoning that it was Kuvira's harvesting of the plants that made the city's Spirit Wilds turn hostile and abduct people. Although she also refused to harvest the plants herself in her capacity as the bridge between the two worlds, she did offer to talk to the spirits and ask them to help with defending the city, since it had also become their home.
After Raiko accepted her idea and ordered everyone to give him daily updates about their progress, Korra retreated to the Spirit Wilds, where she hoped to track down some of the spirits living there. Finding one, she asked if they could have a word, though before a conversation could unfold, the spirit vanished, much to her dismay. Noticing more spirits doing the same, Korra sadly concluded that they were abandoning the city.
Korra made her way back to the meditation pavilion on Air Temple Island, from where she meditated into the Spirit World. Arriving at the base of the Tree of Time, she noticed several spirits gathered there and addressed them in her official capacity as the Avatar. She reasoned that since spirits and humans had coexisted peacefully in Republic City ever since the spirit portals were left open, they should help defend it as opposed to flee to the Spirit World. When a beaked, dragon-like spirit told her that spirits did not get involved with human wars, Korra noted that they had worked with Unalaq and added that while she did not wish to force the spirits to do anything they did not want to do, she hoped they would want to come to the Avatar's aid to defend the new world they all shared. As the spirit answered her negatively and vanished, she pleaded with the other spirits to listen, emphasizing that it was necessary for spirits and humans to work together if they were to live together. Korra dejectedly accepted defeat, however, as all the spirits vanished on her.
Defending Republic City
Some time later, Korra sat in on another meeting with Tenzin, Mako, Wu, and Raiko to discuss the evacuation of the city. She asked Wu about his progress and was shocked to learn that not even eighteen families out of the millions of people residing in Republic City had been evacuated. When their meeting was interrupted by Bolin, Suyin, Lin, and Zhu Li, Korra was pleasantly surprised to see the Zaofu matriarch again and moved in to embrace her while apologizing for her failure at Zaofu. Asking how she had escaped her imprisonment, Bolin told her that he, Lin, and Opal rescued the entire family and Zhu Li added that Kuvira planned to attack Republic City two weeks later. As Lin noted that Kuvira was likely coming by rail lines, reasoning that was the only way she could transport her spirit energy cannon, Korra suggested to destroy the tracks, something Raiko immediately agreed with, and she reassured the president that she would not let Kuvira take the city.
Later, after talking it over with the rest of Team Avatar, Korra announced to Raiko, Tenzin, and Lin that they wanted to travel behind enemy lines to take out the spirit energy cannon before it got too close to the city. Raiko supported their idea and although Tenzin believed it to be too risky, he allowed them to leave on a flying bison.
The next day, Korra was surprised to learn that Kuvira had already crossed into United Republic territory, a week before they had been expecting her. Her shock magnified when she laid eyes upon the enormous mecha suit that was used to transport the spirit energy cannon. Upon Bolin's panicked cries, she steered their bison away from the machine and managed to dodge two energy beams fired at them. They returned to Air Temple Island as soon as possible, where Korra alerted Tenzin and Raiko, along with Pema, Suyin, Wei, and Wing, that Kuvira's army was only hours away from the city and that the spirit energy cannon was being transported via a mecha suit that stood over twenty-five stories tall. While Pema increased the evacuation efforts and Asami, Mako, Bolin, Suyin, Wei, and Wing headed toward Future Industries in order to get at least a few of the hummingbird mecha suits airborne, Korra traveled toward the front line that General Iroh had erected. She was shocked to see Kuvira sink the United Forces' battleships in a matter of seconds and, after Raiko surrendered the city, Korra grew angry upon hearing Kuvira demand that he turned over his troops and the Avatar to her. Telling Iroh that she was not surrendering, he urged her to return to the city before Kuvira saw her and figure out a way to destroy the spirit energy cannon.
Reuniting with her allies at the Future Industries factory, Korra alerted everyone that Raiko had surrendered and that it was up to them to stop Kuvira from conquering the city. When Varrick stated that Baatar Jr. was a better inventor than he had thought for being able to manufacture such an enormous mecha suit, Korra had the idea to kidnap the inventor and force him to reveal the weaknesses of the machine to them. To that end, she enlisted Tenzin, Bumi, Kai, and Jinora to be part of her airbender stealth team. As a hurt Meelo asked who he was passed over, she calmly explained to him that they needed to be quiet during their mission and that his farts were just too much of a wild card, something he could agree with. While Jinora and Kai stood guard atop Baatar Jr.'s airship, Korra, Tenzin, and Bumi infiltrated the vessel. Avoiding detection by a guard, she bent open the metal doors to Baatar Jr.'s quarters and while she and Tenzin held the nonbender down, Bumi placed him in a bag, before he and his brother carried him toward the factory.
Korra initially tried to force Baatar Jr. to talk under the threat of hurting him physically while in the Avatar State, though after he called her bluff, she vowed to make it her life's mission to keep him from ever seeing Kuvira again. He relented and Korra helped him to contact Kuvira by holding a portable radio to his head. After Kuvira seemingly agreed that taking Republic City was not worth sacrificing their life together, Korra untied Baatar Jr. and told him that they would release him as soon as they had worked out terms with his fiancée. As Mako alerted them that Kuvira was taking aim at the factory, Korra frantically ordered everyone to evacuate, though they were too late to escape the energy beam.
Korra managed to survive the explosion and emerged from the rubble with everyone else when Bolin lifted the large slab of concrete imprisoning them. Although Tenzin warned them that Kuvira was heading their way with a battalion of mecha suits and Bolin opted to let Kuvira take the city until they could come up with a way to beat her, Korra refused to give up on Republic City. She reasoned that the world was not safe as long as Kuvira wielded the power of the spirit energy cannon, a statement which Lin Beifong supported. Korra told Suyin to take Baatar Jr. and the other wounded back to Asami's office, where the Sato heiress and Varrick would adjust the prototypes of the hummingbird mecha suits in order to provide air support for the benders who would try to take down the spirit energy cannon in the meantime.
Tenzin and the other airbenders first distracted Kuvira by coating the windows on her mecha suit with paint; Lin and Suyin wrapped metal cables around the suit's legs, and Bolin created a lava pit underneath its feet; finally, Korra, while in the Avatar State and with the airbenders' combined efforts as well, created a gust of wind aimed at knocking the suit over. However, Kuvira and her giant quickly regained their footing and blasted Korra and the others with the cannon forcing them to retreat.
Korra returned to Asami's office with the others, where they scrambled to come up with a new plan. Lin then walked into the room with Asami's father, explaining that she knew "we need all the geniuses we can get". Hiroshi suggested they approach the situation as would an infection: destroy the suit's heart and brain from the inside. The new plan became to equip the two remaining hummingbird mecha suit prototypes with plasma saws and cut a hole in Kuvira's suit big enough for a person to fit through and then destroy the suit from the inside.
Korra used her waterbending to encase Kuvira's suit in ice, thereby immobilizing it long enough for Hiroshi to cut the hole and for Korra, Bolin, Suyin, Lin, and Mako to get inside the suit. As Mako and Bolin headed for the suit's engine room to cut the power and Suyin and Lin acted to disable the cannon, Korra made her way to the bridge to confront Kuvira.
Once she reached the bridge, Korra and Kuvira immediately began to duel, but their fight came to an end when Mako overloaded the suit's engine, causing it to detonate explosively and destroy the giant mecha suit. Both of them injured and exhausted, Korra helped Kuvira out of the mangled cockpit and was ready to accept Kuvira's surrender, but Kuvira refused to give up and, suddenly and unexpectedly attacking Korra, limped off toward the city's spirit wilds.
Korra pursued Kuvira, yelling after her to give herself up; she found Kuvira standing on the spirit energy cannon, which had become detached from the mecha suit and was hanging from vines in the trees. Against Korra's adamant objections, Kuvira immediately fired the cannon at Korra. As it continued to fire, the cannon unexpectedly began drawing energy from every spirit vine in the city, and it quickly became uncontrollable; Kuvira was thrown from the wildly swinging cannon, and as it swung around toward Kuvira, Korra threw herself between the dictator and the death ray, energybending the beam and causing a massive outward expansion of energy which culminated in its collapse and the creation of a new spirit portal.
Pulled through the portal, Korra and Kuvira awoke together in the Spirit World; Korra realized that the excess of energy from the cannon had been powerful to the point of tearing a hole between the two worlds. Korra then realized how alike her and Kuvira were, and she explained how she understood Kuvira's motivation: having been completely and totally vulnerable and helpless, and psychologically scarred as well, after Zaheer poisoned her, she understood that Kuvira, having been an orphan abandoned by her parents, had sought to create a place where she and her people could feel safe. Korra persuaded Kuvira to admit her defeat, and they returned to the physical world, where Kuvira willingly turned herself over to Lin and Suyin.
Vacation in the Spirit World
Later, Korra attended the wedding of Varrick and Zhu Li on Air Temple Island, where she learned from Wu that he was seriously considering abolishing the monarchy of the Earth Kingdom in favor of a democratic system of government like that of the United Republic; Korra offered her support toward the venture. When Wu left for the dance floor, Korra stuck up a short conversation with Mako, who told her that he would stand by her, no matter what the eventuality. Later, standing alone by the gate and staring out over the water at the portal, Tenzin walked up to her and told her of Raiko's impending announcement regarding the expansion of Republic City and the abandonment of the district now occupied by the portal. After a short conversation about the meaning of suffering in life, Asami walked up to them, telling Tenzin that Varrick was looking for a glidersuit with which to jump off the island's tower, leading Tenzin to depart and leave Asami and Korra by themselves. They sat on the steps together, where Korra apologized for being gone for such a long span of time. Asami told Korra that there was nothing to apologize for, and they embraced as she tearfully told Korra that she was just glad that she came back, and that she survived the battle with Kuvira, as she was unsure that she could have handled the loss of both her father and Korra on the same day. As they separated, Korra wondered aloud what they would do next, indicating the dance floor as an option; Asami, not in the mood for dancing, remarked about her desire to take a vacation. Jumping at the idea, Korra offered to take her anywhere she wanted to go; when Asami suggested the Spirit World, Korra accepted, saying the idea "sound[ed] perfect." Later that night, the two journeyed to the spirit portal in the city. As they approached the portal across the vine-covered waste, they locked hands and stepped into the golden light. They turned and gazed into each other's eyes, marking the start of a romantic relationship between them.
By 174 AG, Republic City Park had been renamed Avatar Korra Park in commemoration of Korra's acts of heroism and a statue of her was erected there as well.
On the surface, Korra is fierce, independent, and pugnacious, but beneath her tough exterior, she possesses a strong loyalty toward her friends and duty as the Avatar. She also has an admirable compassion and devotion, demonstrated when she expresses love toward things such as her family and friends. Her offensive battle style means that she is always quick to initiate or rise to a challenge, and is similarly quick witted and impulsive, especially in heated situations. As an "Avatar-in-training", she lacked perception toward the damage her bending is capable of, and her rash decisions often resulted in her accidentally insulting others.
True to Korra's character, Lin once stated to Tenzin that it was "hard to believe [his] sweet-tempered father was reincarnated into that girl". Her personality is, in many ways, the opposite of her past life's; Aang was a peaceful, diffident, nomadic airbender, whereas Korra is tough, impatient, headstrong, sarcastic, and assertive. She has a habit of getting close-up to people when confronting them, sometimes grabbing them by the chin when trying to get her point across. Additionally, while Aang was initially reluctant to be the Avatar, to the point where he ran away to prevent his responsibilities as the Avatar from disturbing his life, Korra fully embraced her position as the Avatar from a young age, reveling in its power. However, similar to Aang, she also has a good sense of humor and enthusiasm, and a vulnerable teenage charm.
Being initially unable to connect with her spiritual side proved to be a stumbling block in Korra's training, and she admitted that her personality is the opposite of the typical airbender's; as Tenzin noted, Avatars tend to struggle with the bending art most opposite their personality. Due to the lack of a spiritual center in her life, Korra is impulsive and therefore has a hard time hiding her true feelings; this could be seen in her reaction to learning thatAsami Sato was Mako's date during the gala Tarrlok threw in her honor, where she immediately expressed her jealousy by being rather hostile toward Asami and short with Mako.
Due to her concentration on the physical side of bending, Korra was initially quite worried when she saw "the revelation" of Amon's true abilities during his demonstration, a fear which expressed itself in Amon's words in the nightmare she had soon afterward, "Once I take your bending away, you will be nothing." This and her later encounter with Amon revealed this fear. She tried repressing these fears for the good of Republic City when she joined Tarrlok's task force, but had trouble staying her usual upbeat self and became rather reclusive, and eventually made the rash decision to call Amon out in a one-on-one duel. This indicates that she is ruled by her emotions even when she tries to pretend they do not exist, leaving her vulnerable to Amon as shown by the results of the said encounter.
Like her immediate predecessor Aang, Korra places a high priority on her position as the Avatar, despite their different approaches. Although at first Aang was uncomfortable with having to use outright violence to bring balance to the world, he eventually developed an unrelenting determination toward following his age-old destiny. Korra, on the other hand, takes a non-conformist stance over her Avatar training. For instance, after trying out pro-bending, she stated to Tenzin that the reason why she had been unable to airbend was because the Avatar no longer needed it and was instead meant to focus on modern styles of fighting. Tenzin quickly stamped her proposal out as preposterous, reminding her that the Avatar is destined to master all four elements at all costs.
Upon learning that she was kept locked away from the world by Tonraq and Tenzin, Korra became quite irate toward them, being hostile whenever they tried to speak with her. Korra expressed more hostility for her father after learning about his past in the Northern Water Tribe. However, when she found out that Tonraq was not involved with an effort to overthrow Unalaq, she forgave him quickly. Korra has no qualms intimidating or threatening whomever has offended her friends and loved ones, as exemplified when she struck fear to the Equalist protester to find out Bolin's whereabouts, and when she threatened to feed Judge Hotah to Naga if he would not comply to her wishes. After learning the truth about her father's banishment, Korra developed an animosity toward Unalaq, which caused her to dismiss him as her spiritual mentor. Once she realized that Unalaq had been using her to try to free Vaatu from his prison in the Spirit World, her animosity toward her uncle increased in intensity.
After learning the origins of the Avatar Spirit through the life of Avatar Wan and regaining her memories, Korra became more patient and humble, as exemplified when she thanked Tenzin for his undying loyalty to her.
After the Harmonic Convergence, Korra demonstrated a more patient demeanor yet still retained her impulsive nature. This is evident when she tried to physically force Ryu, an airbending slacker, into becoming a part of the new Air Nation against his will, with Mako and Bolin eventually forced to drag Korra out to stop the mayhem.
Korra's temper and rage, once provoked, could border on murderous, as during her captivity by the Red Lotus and still believing that Zaheer had killed her father, Korra declared that she would be free and none of the Red Lotus would survive. She fully intended to kill Zaheer, showing her righteous fury, but a dark and wrathful side to her as well.
After barely surviving her encounter with Zaheer and having the poison removed from her system, Korra was placed in a wheelchair during her recovery, which left her traumatized and in a state of depression. She still showed compassion and pride for her friends throughout, however, and was present when Jinora received her airbending tattoos, crying during the ceremony. In the following years, she struggled to recover, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and being haunted by flashbacks to her encounter with Zaheer. Although she recovered physically, her emotional struggle led her to embark on a journey to reconnect with her Avatar Spirit while hiding her identity as the Avatar, going against her tendency of being prideful about it. After an elderly Toph helped her to face and overcome her fears of her past enemies, Korra bent the residual mercury out of her body and reconnected her with the Avatar Spirit. This proved to be insufficient to make a full recovery, however, as she continues to hallucinate herself in the Avatar State, which prevents her from fighting at her full capacity.
AbilitiesAs the Avatar, Korra has the unique ability to use all four elements, and has the potential to become the most powerful bender in the world. Furthermore, since she was a child, Korra has always had a remarkable affinity for the physical aspect of bending. She also quickly took to the three different styles of pro-bending with simple instructions from her teammates, greatly impressing them after only a week of training to ultimately become a highly capable member of the Fire Ferrets. While in the Avatar State, Korra is able to use an air spout to raise herself into the air while unleashing all four elements in rapid succession. Later after more training, Korra becomes able to easily enter this form with complete control, even during intense competition.
WaterbendingKorra's waterbending abilities manifested at a young age, before she had even been recognized as the Avatar by the Order of the White Lotus. Subsequently trained formally in the art for over a decade by Katara, arguably the greatest waterbending master alive, Korra has demonstrated a high level of skill in this art in addition to its various techniques. She is capable of creating large walls of ice and powerful water whips. She can also launch herself high into the air and maintain the height on a gigantic waterspout easily, fight off several aerial attacks with various water attacks, and propel herself plus another person through the water at high-speeds to avoid attacks. She used her waterbending abilities to procure herself a spot on the Fire Ferrets pro-bending team, referring to herself as a "top-notch waterbender". While she was taught Northern and Southern style waterbending, which both employ fluid motions, Korra has quickly adapted to Republic City's more aggressive, straightforward waterbending style. Korra is also able to draw a sufficient supply of water from the air for her bending. She is also able to propel several water waves large enough to reach the chest of a giant mecha stated to be over twenty-five stories tall, pushing it back, and freezing the water to restrain it. Korra also has sufficient knowledge of bloodbending to fully understand the nature of its application, despite having never used the outlawed skill.
During her waterbending training, Korra was also taught the advanced skill of healing. As Katara was well-regarded as the best healer in the world, Korra herself became highly skilled in the art, something she takes pride in. By using a small supply of water as a catalyst on the targeted area, Korra is able to drastically increase the healing rate of injuries. Korra's skills were great enough to quickly soothe away the pain on Bolin's injured arm, and mitigate the severe burns on General Iroh's arm, leaving no trace of scars.
Despite her short time studying under her uncle Unalaq, a spiritual expert, Korra managed to learn his technique of spiritbending, which involves changing negative energy into positive energy in spirits in order to pacify them. While she only managed to understand the mechanics in the beginning, Korra eventually successfully performed the technique and was able to calm countless small spirits at once. She was even able to use the technique to destroy Unalaq and purify the dark spirit Vaatu when the two were fused together as the Dark Avatar. Following her uncle's death, Korra became the only known living practitioner of the skill.
Korra's earthbending abilities also manifested at an early age. Spending many years of intense training, Korra has gained great mastery in this art. While regularly using traditional earthbending tactics in combat, she quickly learned the basics of pro-style earthbending from Bolin, able to attack more akin to a firebender with light footwork and quick jabs. Her prowess is great enough to easily take control of earth targets levitated by other earthbenders. She has demonstrated her adept skill and ability in earthbending on several occasions, notably launching a member of the Triple Threat Triad several stories into the air. Korra's earthbending is also able to affect a considerable radius, upturning and demolishing everything in the area. As seen when pairing with Bolin, Korra is able to effectively synchronize her earthbending with another person to increase the versatility and control of her target.
MetalbendingDuring Korra's stay at Zaofu, Suyin Beifong offered to train her in the art of metalbending. Suyin started Korra on a meteorite as a beginner and she quickly adjusted to the metallic body and learned to mold it into various forms. As such, she became the first Avatar to learn metalbending. Korra quickly became more versed in metalbending, being able to skillfully wield metal cables with great dexterity and fluidity in her movements and ensnare her opponents, even more experienced metalbenders, with the said cables. She can also tear through a large, thick metal wall obstructing her path, albeit with some difficulty as she is still somewhat new to this skill. Korra's control eventually became of such a level that she was able to remove residual traces of mercury out of her own body and could easily pry open the roof of vehicles.
As with earth and water, fire too manifested at a young age, and it became the element Korra most prominently utilizes. Due to the fact that she relies on offensive maneuvers when under pressure, Korra uses fire more than any other element. Her firebending training was finished when she passed the test impressively at the age of seventeen, having learned various advanced techniques such as the breath of fire. Against other firebenders, she can easily deflect and disperse the enemies' attack. Her control is so fine, she is able to produce a small yet intense flame at her fingers that she can maintain to melt through metal chains. She can likewise produce daggers in each hand for close-range combat. She can propel herself through the air with firebending in short bursts, and use these bursts to run along a wall. Contrary to the usual difficulty an Avatar has with learning the opposite of his/her native element, firebending has become second nature to her. Korra tends to utilize firebending before any other element when provoked, frustrated, or attempting to assert dominance, such as when she falls back on firebending a newspaper cut out of Lin after failing to do so with airbending. Tenzin attributed this unusual combination to her innate personality being quite fit for the art thanks to her natural assertiveness and fiery spirit.
Unlike the prior three elements, airbending did not come easily to Korra. Tenzin explained that it was due to its innate nature of being the most opposite to her personality. While initially having difficulty with airbending's fighting style and battle tactics, during her first pro-bending match, she was able to employ basic airbending movements to dodge the opposing team's assault and ultimately tire them out to win the match for her team. As her training has progressed, her understanding of its moveset greatly improved, and she was able to quickly and gracefully progress through the gates and ultimately learned all of its physical maneuvers; she later applied these tactics against the Lieutenant, effectively dodging all his attacks.
After Amon severed Korra's connection to her first three elements and was about to take Mako's firebending, Korra's emotional build up allowed her to fully connect with her spiritual side to utilize airbending. Despite only knowing the theory and practice of its forms, Korra has shown considerable skill and power in airbending: being able to create air blasts from punching and kicking movements, which were strong enough to send Amon flying several yards through a window. Although she has shown great power in her offensive use of airbending, her style of airbending varies dramatically from other airbenders, employing straightforward offensive movements similar to firebending while lacking the more characteristic circular and spiraling movements. Six months after the Anti-bending Revolution, she has nearly mastered the art, employing traditional maneuvers, such as gliding, and is able to proficiently use several advanced skills, such as the air scooter. After learning from Jinora, Korra became able to separate her spirit in astral form and travel to the Spirit World through meditation. Ultimately, air has become Korra's second most used element and she is confident enough in her prowess to at least teach the basics to other airbenders.
When lamenting the fact that Amon had removed all but her airbending, Avatar Aang appeared to Korra alongside previous Avatar incarnations during her lowest moment. At this point, it became clear that she had finally broken the barrier between the spiritual and physical world, something that had been beyond her abilities ever since she was born. Aang subsequently used energybending to restore her ability to bend all of the elements as well as impart the knowledge of energybending. With this new ability, Korra was able to freely restore a person's bending, as she did so with Lin Beifong's earthbending. Following the Anti-bending Revolution, Korra extensively used energybending to restore the bending of those benders whom Amon victimized with his bending severing bloodbending technique, except for a few who used their bending for crime, such as Shady Shin.
She is also capable of using energybending to connect with her own inner spirit, giving her access to the cosmic energy of the universe, creating a giant astral projection of herself. In this form, she can unleash energy blasts from her chest that can overpower the Dark Avatar's in a direct clash. Although disconnected from her physical body, Korra remained capable of waterbending. She is also able to divert a beam powered by spirit energy.
In addition to bending, Korra also has considerable physical prowess. Her impressive raw strength allows her to easily lift Tenzin and his children at the same time. Likewise, she can easily leap across long distances and over high obstacles from a stationary position, as well as effectively traverse various terrains and vertical surfaces with great speed to hoist herself easily up and off rooftops. She can easily throw a much larger and heavier opponent against a set of pipes with enough force to break them, and can shatter large chunks of ice launched at her with a single punch each. She is also capable of swimming across large bodies of water.
Korra is also quite fast and agile with sharp reflexes, able to easily dodge a much larger opponent's assault in a narrow area or a metalbender's launched cable from close-range. Her dexterity and balance are also considerably high, allowing her to skillfully dodge a large barrage of projectiles nearly unscathed, further aiding her in battle. She has impressive acrobatic skills; akin to parkour and free-running, she can slide across surfaces with great control, perform mid-air flips and twirls, run up and across walls. She is also quite flexible, able to bend and twist effectively enough to attack from various angles or squeeze through most spaces. Korra can also be quite precise in her attacks, detaining several skilled Southern waterbenders without inflicting any major injuries.
Korra is also a highly proficient unarmed fighter, able to knock out opponents with a single kick, simultaneously dodge an attack while sweep-kicking the enemy's legs, and once subdued a man using only Mako's scarf. Even against an expert weapons-wielder like the Lieutenant, Korra skillfully parried and countered his close-range assault. Furthermore, with a combination of bending attacks, she was able to create openings and land powerful physical blows, ultimately defeating him. Even without her bending, she was able to defeat several chi blockers before being rescued by Naga.
Korra also has keen instincts under pressure, demonstrating capable tactical and escape skills, such as using her armband as an insulator against the Lieutenant's electrical assault, and faking unconsciousness in order to catch the Equalists by surprise. Her resilience is also considerably high as she is one of few who canceled and broke free from a bloodbending grip, albeit with some difficulty.
Korra is also an eloquent public speaker. She was initially nervous when she had to speak in her first press conference in Republic City. During the gala, Korra's brashness got the best of her after being pitted against a group of reporters, haphazardly giving empty threats to Amon to cover up her fear of him. Over time, Korra became more confident and composed when it was required of her to speak publicly, considering her words before saying them. This was exemplified when she declared the independence of the Southern Water Tribe and her decision to keep the spirit portals open.
Having lived in the South Pole all her life and with Naga as her main means of transportation, Korra never learned how to drive prior to her arrival in Republic City. She gradually learned to do so under Asami's tutelage, though she still struggles between the clutch and the brake. Korra is also capable of piloting a speedboat.
As the Avatar, Korra also has the capacity to act as a bridge between mortal world and the Spirit World, the plane of existence where the universe's disembodied spirits dwell. Despite this, Korra had always struggled with the spiritual aspects of being the Avatar, initially being unable to connect with her past lives or enter the Spirit World on her own. As her training under Tenzin progressed, she had slowly begun to connect with her spiritual side, seeing visions of her past life as Aang. Later, after her encounter with Amon, all of her active bending abilities were taken away, but this allowed her to finally break free from her airbending block and defeat Amon. Upon sinking into despair after Katara was unable to restore her lost bending, Korra's was finally able to connect with her past lives, which restored all her bending abilities, as well as passing on to her the ability to energybend. With her newfound spirituality, she can enter and leave the Avatar State at will.
After being attacked by a dark spirit, Korra was forced to undertake a spiritual journey to rediscover herself. She ultimately gained a deeper connection with the Avatar Spirit and her past lives, all the way to the original Avatar, Wan. With this strengthened connection, Korra is able to purify dark spirits by balancing the energy within them, as well as access various memories from her past lives, including Avatar Aang's memory of Iroh and Toph, and Avatar Wan's memory of his personal teapot. Following the events of the Harmonic Convergence in 171 AG, Korra lost her connection to her past lives by being temporarily separated from Raava, who was destroyed. Due to some residual traces of mercury in her body after her battle with Zaheer, Korra lost the ability to contact Raava and was unable to enter the Avatar State for three years. However, after she bent the remaining mercury out of herself in 174 AG, restoring her power to enter the Avatar State, though it was only after facing Zaheer and releasing her fear of him and the near death experience she suffered that she was able to contact Raava again. She also learned to connect to people's energy via spirit vines.
- Korra shares similarities with Ben Tennyson from the Ben 10 franchise:
- Both are The Chosen One in their respective universes.
- Both get their abilities from a powerful macguffin bonded to them: Korra gets the ability to bend four elements as well as spirit powers from being fused with Raava, while Ben is bonded to the Omnitrix, which grants him access to many different powers.
- Both are shown as being impulsive and hot-headed and act somewhat childish.
- Both have a non-powered sidekick who is smarter and/or mature than they are: Ben has Rook, while Korra has Asami.
- Both act very cocky and arrogant.