Korra is the title lead character in Nickelodeon's animated television series The Legend of Korra (a sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender), in which she is depicted as the current incarnation of the Avatar, responsible for maintaining peace and balance in the world. She is the immediate reincarnation of Avatar Aang (title character and main protagonist from the original series). The character was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and is voiced by Janet Varney.
Korra debuts in the first episode of The Legend of Korra, "Welcome to Republic City", originally airing on Nickelodeon on April 14, 2012. At the start of the series, she meets Bolin and Mako after arriving in Republic City, where she first experiences independence after living a secluded life of training, led by the Order of the White Lotus. The series' final scene, indicating the beginning of a romantic relationship between Korra and fellow female character, Asami Sato, was unprecedented in its representation of LGBT persons in western children's television.
|Avatar: The Last Airbender / The Legend of Korra character|
|First appearance||"Welcome to Republic City"|
|Last appearance||"The Last Stand"|
|Created by||Michael Dante DiMartino|
|Voiced by||Janet Varney
Cora Baker (child)
|Species||Human (Bonded with Raava, the Light Spirit)|
|Nationality||Southern Water Tribe|
|Eye color||Light blue|
Unlike her predecessor Aang, Korra is described by her creators as "very tough, very headstrong, and not scared to get into a fight." Although she is talented, her stubborn and hot-headed personality prevents her from easily learning airbending or connecting with the Spirit World. The Avatar traditionally has the greatest difficulty mastering the element diametrically opposed to the Avatar's personality. For instance, Avatar Roku - a firebender - took longer to learn waterbending and Aang - an airbender - took longer to learn earthbending. The waterbender Korra, on the other hand, had little difficulty with firebending but had considerable trouble with airbending, a situation noted to be spiritual and not elemental. Her best friend and animal guide is a polar bear-dog named Naga, whose strength helps Korra out of many dangerous situations. Although wild polar bear dogs were originally feared and hunted by Water Tribes, Korra is the first person to ever tame one.
Korra's character develops and matures during episodes 11 through 12 of the first season when she is confronted with detachment from her main three bending skills, leaving her only with airbending, which she had unlocked to save Mako from Amon. Later, she connects to her spiritual self through Aang. Once the connection to her Avatar predecessors is established, Aang is able to bestow energy bending upon Korra (as well as her main three bending skills lost earlier). Although Korra is able to bend all four elements, while being capable of entering the Avatar State, Korra is still in the process of perfecting her airbending skills as well as having a true connection and understanding of her spiritual self to complete her training as a fully realized Avatar. Combined with the events of seasons 2 and 3 placing her in life and death situations, the former having her no longer able to contact her past lives for advice, Korra begins to suffer post traumatic stress by the events of Book Four: Balance while doubting her abilities as the Avatar to maintain balance after those she faced have each disrupted the order she was struggling to protect in massive ways. But ultimately, once able to let go of the pain she went through and realizing the significance to her past suffering, Korra returns to her usual self while becoming a more compassionate person from her ordeals.
Korra is good friends with her pro-bending teammates, the brothers Mako (her romantic interest in seasons 1 and 2) and Bolin. She also develops a strong friendship, and later romance, with Asami Sato, a wealthy industrialist.
Korra is the only daughter of Tonraq(father) chief of the southern water tribe and Senna(mother).Korra also has strong relationships with the family of her previous life: Having learned waterbending from Katara and then airbending from Tenzin, Tenzin's children look up to her as an older sister, and Kya and Bumi regard her as a friend. Korra is generally on good terms with her own parents, but has little contact with her uncle or cousins, whom she considers weird (and her father considers dangerous). Korra is unusual amongst her past lives in that she is technically royalty: her father Tonraq was in line to be the chief of the Northern Water Tribe before being banished and relocating to the South.
Korra has impecable athleticism and acrobatics, shown being capable of simultaneously lifting Tenzin and his children with relative ease. She has surprising speed that go along with her agility and reflexes, which make her a skilled combatant in and of themselves. Her physical strength and stamina makes her capable of swimming across large bodies of water for days, or lift and throw significantly larger opponents. She can punch with enough force to break iron pipes or shatter large chunks of ice launched at her. Her dexterity and balance allows her to skillfully dodge a large barrage of projectiles and easily leap across long distances and over high obstacles from a stationary position. She is shown to be quite flexible, able to bend and twist effectively enough to attack from various angles or squeeze through tight spaces.
- Bending the elements
As the Avatar, Korra is capable of bending all four elements (air, water, earth and fire). At the start of the series, she is proficient in water, earth and fire, having been able to bend them with ease since she was a young child, but struggles with airbending. Korra relies on fire more than any of the other elements due to her aggressive nature and offensive maneuvers when entering physical confrontations. She also tends to use firebending when she is angered or acts with hostility towards an opponent, as she demonstrated when threatening the Red Lotus when expressing outrage with Zaheer for apparently murdering her father.
After learning energybending following her defeat of Amon, she becomes capable of restoring bending to those who had lost their abilities thanks to his actions. Her duties as Avatar and her personal feelings towards people did come into play with the restoring power, as she did not grant bending abilities back to individuals with backgrounds in crime. She is able to use energybending to connect with her inner spirit and gain cosmic energy from the universe.
As the Avatar, Korra is as a bridge between "Material World" and the "Spirit World", the plane of existence where the universe's disembodied spirits dwell. As her training under Tenzin progressed, she had slowly reconnected with her spirituality, seeing visions and accessing various memories from her past lives. Korra is able to purify "dark spirits" by balancing the energy within them. 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.
- The Avatar State
Her most powerful ability is the Avatar State, which allows her to access bending techniques she would not have learned during her own lifetime but throughout that of her predecessors. In addition, she also receives a massive boost in raw power, enabling her to easily overcome any opponent that tries to fight her head on. The form is activated by Korra being in a predicament that she will either not be able to combat with her current skills or when her life is in mortal danger. While speaking in the Avatar State, Korra's voice becomes in-sync with that of Raava's as a testament to their connection. Her weaknesses in the state is that she vulnerable, and if killed, then this would cause the Avatar to cease being reincarnated.
Korra for the first three seasons is depicted with long hair that is usually kept in a ponytail, though she has it down on several occasions such as when attending festivities, while entering the Avatar State by the Red Lotus and during her battle with Zaheer shortly afterward. Korra is so rarely seen with her hair down that DiMartino wrote that whenever the character had her hair down, "you know something bad has happened." She maintains the hairstyle for the next three years as she recovers until shortly after regaining her mobility, at which point she cuts it. The character was returning to her roots by sporting a bob cut similar to the one she was given by Dos Santos in his original concept for her, Konietzko adding that the alteration was carrying on a tradition in the Avatar franchise to have hairstyle changes over the course of a series. Korra's initial clothing in the fourth season is purposely designed to mirror that of her Water Tribe attire in the previous seasons, consisting of a sleeveless shirt and baggy pants, DiMartino finding it paramount that it resemble her prior clothing due to the duration for which she wore it. Korra gains another outfit midway through the fourth season. This outfit's boots are based on an existing pair of faux suede flat winter buckle boots.