What better way to introduce the new Avatar, and let fans know exactly the kind of character Korra is, than with her literally announcing herself after busting into a room? Korra isn’t Aang and where he ran from his destiny, Korra fully embraces hers with impeccable confidence and strength.
By seeing Korra crash through a room, it’s clear this new Avatar is ready to fight, audiences understand her journey is going to be different from Aang’s. She may not be fighting a war (yet) but she’s definitely much more headstrong than the airbender before her – and that will bring her unique challenges that Aang didn’t face.
14“Oh, I’m Sorry. Did I Put You In A Difficult Position By Fighting The Giant Force Of Pure Evil That Was Going To Destroy The Whole World? Maybe Your Administration Could Have Handled That.”
One of the most consistent parts of Korra’s story is how much more politics interferes with her work as the Avatar compared to Aang. Every time Korra tries to do what she thinks is the right thing, a council, mayor, police department, or other government leader interferes with her work.
This is especially true in Republic City where Korra bases her operation for a long time. When she’s finally had enough of the leadership in town talking badly about her, this quote is the result – in the middle of a press conference, no less.
13“Oh, You Implied It.”
Korra isn’t one to allow anyone to use her to further their reputation or make themselves look better, even on a small scale. She’s more than willing to call them out, even if she just met them.
When Korra first meets Bolin, it’s when he covers for her as she walks inside the pro-bending gym in Republic City. He tells the workers questioning Korra’s presence that she’s with him, implying that they’re together, though he immediately denies that to Korra after the other people walk away. Korra doesn’t take the nonsense from him, but she’s more amused by him than angry, and the two hit it off. This line is the start of a great friendship.
12“… He Hasn’t Mentioned You At All.”
Korra and Asami Sato’s first meeting doesn’t exactly hint at how close they’ll become. Instead, it starts a bit of a love triangle as Mako has feelings for both women. Though Mako talks with Asami at length about his friendship with the Avatar, he doesn’t tell Korra about this new woman he’s met, which doesn’t sit well with her.
While Asami is warm and excited to meet Korra, Korra is immediately hurt and suspicious, and doesn’t waste time, using the stereotypical, “he hasn’t mentioned you” to make things a little awkward for everyone. That awkwardness continues for the next season, but eventually, everything works out for the best. While a lot of fans disliked the love triangle, this line shows how much Korra is hurt early on.
11“So, I Sort Of Started A Civil War…”
Korra is headstrong. She frequently rushes into situations without having all of the facts, and once she makes up her mind about what she’s going to do, it’s tough to change her mind. That impulsive and stubborn nature can lead to some difficult situations for her – like when she trains under Unalaq, only to be betrayed by him.
When Korra attempts to explain everything that’s been going on to Tenzin and the rest of her allies, she speeds through an explanation that includes Unalaq’a betrayal and the civil war that results in the water tribes. It’s a lot of information, but, “so, I sort of started a civil war,” is the epitome of consequences for Korra.
10“Even Though We Should Learn From Those Who Came Before Us, We Must Also Forge Our Own Path.”
This particular line of Korra’s is made in reference to her decision not to close the portals to the Spirit World, but it’s actually a great summation of her character’s journey as a whole. Korra isn’t someone who connects well with her past selves, even though she strives to be as good at her “job” of being an Avatar as they were. She tries to learn from the actions they took.
The truth, however, is that Korra is very different from all of the Avatars before her – and the masters who train her. She can take the lessons she’s learned, but she still has to find a way to do things that makes sense for her in the context of her changing world.
9“Well, I’m About As Opposite An Airbender As You Can Get.”
Once again, this moment serves to illustrate how much Korra is not Aang. When she says this quote, it’s the stone cold truth. She struggles with the spiritual side of being an Avatar, and of course, the Avatar State.
It was one of the challenges Tenzin had with teaching her – trying to get her to learn meditation, to slow down, and to think like an air bender. Korra is argumentative when she’s wrong and when she’s right, she is headstrong to a strength and fault as she dives into conflict and, especially at the beginning of her journey, she is always ready for a fight.
8“It’s The Avatar State, And I’m The Avatar. Who Appreciates It More Than Me?”
Korra loves being the Avatar and that’s great and she can, on occasion, use it to her advantage. At least in this moment, it’s for a more humorous reason. In the season two premiere, ‘Rebel Spirit,’ Korra uses the Avatar State to beat Tenzin’s children at an Air Scooter race.
The kids say it isn’t fair and Tenzin is inclined to agree, going so far as to both be shocked that Korra is not treating the Avatar State with the reverence he thinks it should be, saying she “doesn’t appreciate it.” Korra, in typical fashion, responds with the fact that she’s the Avatar and therefore does and can use it how she likes. The scene only grows in its fun as the kids continue to argue – as do Tenzin and his brother, Bumi.
7“I Am So Sorry For Turning My Back On You As My Mentor.”
“I need you now, more than ever,” Korra says to Tenzin in ‘The Guide,’ after learning her Uncle was a villain all along. The relationship between Korra and Tenzin, had it’s ups and downs, with the two pushing each other both to be better and just plain pushing each other’s buttons but ultimately, they were family.
Throughout the series, their conversations were often enlightening and moving, and had humor and heart. But it’s here when Korra apologizes to Tenzin for turning from him that their relationship takes another important step on the journey, especially after he says, “I won’t let you down,” and he doesn’t.
6“Well I’m The Old Avatar And My Era Is Not Over Yet.”
Queue the boss battle music as Korra faces Vaatu (Unalaq fused with Vaatu) in ‘Darkness Falls,’ with the fate of the world to be determined by this fight.
Vaatu is taunting Korra, that her and the Avatar’s time is over, it’s darkness’ time to rule, but Korra isn’t having it. When Unalaq announces that he will lead a new age, “of humans and spirits,” as “the new Avatar.” Korra very confidently, giving off big hero vibes, tells him “I’m the old Avatar and my era is not over yet.” It’s awesome.
5“I Don’t Know What I’m Supposed To Be Doing Half The Time.”
“It seems like I should be…wiser,” Korra says to Tenzin as she doubts herself, and her actions as the Avatar. By the end of season two Korra has decided that she, as the Avatar, will no longer be a bridge between the human and the spirit world.
While this is a hope to bring balance – true balance – as humans and spirits can now interact at will, people are not happy about it. Korra doubts herself, but it’s Tenzin who reminds her that she brought back the Air Nation – which can only be a good thing – and then he follows that with, “true wisdom begins when we accept things as they are.”
4“Okay, Swamp, I’m All Ears.”
By season four, Korra has been poisoned and defeated by Zaheer, and in trying to heal, she ended up finding Toph out in a swamp. However, Korra still can’t heal and find balance once again because she’s haunted by the past.
Toph, being Toph, is blunt and tells Korra that maybe she doesn’t want to be healed but the swamp will show Korra what she needs and help her find balance and learn to heal herself. In typical Korra fashion, she remarks with the above quote, and it’s enough to let fans know the old Korra is still there and Toph is going to help her out by giving some hard truths.
3“Fighting Is Something The Old Me Would Do. That Always Made Things Worse.”
Korra has learned some hard truths about herself after being poisoned, and has questioned everything about who she is and who she used to be. But she has grown from someone who would readily welcome the fight – even being a pro-bender – to someone who is willing to talk to her enemy and try to reason with them.
Korra seeks to understand Kuvira as opposed to seeking to destroy her, and it’s a significant character growth from the young Avatar who announced herself and told others to, “deal with it.” She’s not rising for a fight, and has learned that it’s not always the best option – and that’s growth.
2“I Needed To Understand What Real Suffering Was, So I Could Become More Compassionate To Others.”
“…even to people like Kuvira,” Korra says to Tenzin in ‘The Last Stand,’the final episode of Legend of Korra. Tenzin (and fans) is more than happy to hear Korra filled with hope and wanting to return to being the Avatar.
Korra was broken and traumatized by Zaheer but after suffering, she learned to understand that even bad guys are deserving of compassion. After defeating Kuvira and letting her live, Korra’s found herself in a new and better place as the Avatar
1“Let’s Go On A Vacation, Just The Two Of Us. Anywhere You Want.”
Korra says this to Asami right before she picks the Spirit World and off they go, holding hands, into the light together. It’s become a momentous line for shippers around the world, with the “vacation” being referred to as “the honeymoon” for Korrasami.
It’s nice for Korra to actually get a vacation, get to smile, and get the girl. By the time the episode fades out and Korra’s journey (at least on television) finishes, her character growth is tremendous and frankly, Korra deserves to relax and find some happiness after everything she’s had to deal with.