waterbending master

  • The male benders in ATLA: Really good. They worked hard to get where they are skill wise and while it hasn't always been easy, they are capable and can hold their own in a fight. One of them was even the Avatar, which is pretty impressive since he mastered the elements at age twelve, rather than start learning at 16 like most Avatars.
  • The female benders in ATLA: Inarguably the most powerful and unmatched humans in the entire world. Prodigies, masters, and creators of subbending styles. One was compared in skill to the Fire Lord at age EIGHT and able to perform one of the rarest and most difficult forms by 14. She couldn't be defeated by another's (even the Avatar's) bending alone. Only faced defeat when fighting two other master benders while on the verge of a complete mental breakdown (officially being defeated by different female bender). Another held an entire city up by a single turret while standing on unstable ground, and then went on to invent her own bending style at the age of twelve. One mastered her element in mere WEEKS, mastered bloodbending and defeated the woman who INVENTED IT the FIRST TIME SHE EVER ATTEMPTED IT, held her own against a master waterbender without ANY TRAINING, and fully healed someone from a fatal wound, making her a master at two vastly different forms of waterbending at the age of 14. A female Avatar quite literally reshaped the planet and created her own ISLAND. AND MOVED IT ACROSS THE SEA. These women shown in the show are not only the most powerful and talented females in their universe, but also in almost any known piece of television or fiction, all while being completely fleshed out and complex characters, not being defined as nothing but 'strong'. Each has their own personality, strengths, and weaknesses.
5

I always loved aang’s reaction

no jealousy, no misplaced avatar superiority complex, no wtf I just spent the entire afternoon trying to move that stupid puddle and she picks it up in 0.534 seconds what is this

he’s just so impressed and happy for katara and all “oh my god my girlfriend is the greatest waterbender in the world look at her go she could punch me in the face and I’d thank her holy spirits

honestly what a snowball

Avatar Aang, Feminist Icon?

“Who’s your favorite character?” I hear that question come up a lot over Avatar: The Last Airbender, a show particularly near and dear to me. Iroh and Toph get tossed around a lot. Zuko is very popular. Sokka has his fans. But something I’ve noticed? Aang very rarely gets the pick. When he comes up, it’s usually in that “Oh, and also…” kind of way. Which is strange, I think, considering he’s the main character, the titular airbender, of the entire show.

I never really thought much about it until a couple weeks ago when I finished my annual re-watch of the series and found myself, for the first time, specifically focused on Aang’s arc. Somehow, I never really paid that much attention to him before. I mean sure, he’s front and center in most episodes, fighting or practicing or learning big spiritual secrets, and yet, he always feels a little overshadowed. Katara takes care of the group. Sokka makes the plans. Zuko has the big, heroic Joseph Campbell journey. Aang…goofs around. He listens and follows and plays with Momo. And yes, at the end his story gets bigger and louder, but even then I feel like a lot of it dodges the spotlight. And here’s why:

Avatar casts the least traditionally-masculine hero you could possibly write as the star of a fantasy war story. Because of that, we don’t see Aang naturally for everything he is, so we look elsewhere.

To show what I mean, I want to talk about some of the show’s other characters, and I want to start with Zuko. Zuko is the hero we’re looking for. He’s tall and hot and complicated. He perseveres in the face of constant setbacks. He uses two swords and shoots fire out of his hands. He trains with a wise old man on ship decks and mountaintops. Occasionally he yells at the sky. He’s got the whole 180-degree moral turn beat for beat, right down to the scars and the sins-of-the-father confrontation scene. And if you were going into battle, some epic affair with battalions of armor-clad infantry, Zuko is the man you’d want leading the charge, Aragorn style. We love Zuko. Because Zuko does what he’s supposed to do.

Now let’s look at Katara. Katara doesn’t do what she’s supposed to do. She doesn’t care about your traditionally gender dynamics because she’s too busy fighting pirates and firebenders, planning military operations with the highest ranking generals in the Earth Kingdom, and dismantling the entire patriarchal structure of the Northern Water Tribe. Somewhere in her spare time she also manages to become one of the greatest waterbenders in the world, train the Avatar, defeat the princess of the Fire Nation in the middle of Sozin’s Comet and take care of the entire rest of the cast for an entire year living in tents and caves. Katara is a badass, and we love that.

So what about Aang? When we meet Aang, he is twelve years old. He is small and his voice hasn’t changed yet. His hobbies include dancing, baking and braiding necklaces with pink flowers. He loves animals. He doesn’t eat meat. He despises violence and spends nine tenths of every fight ducking and dodging. His only “weapon” is a blunt staff, used more for recreation than combat. Through the show, Aang receives most of his training from two young women – Katara and Toph – whom he gives absolute respect, even to the point of reverence. When he questions their instruction, it comes from a place of discomfort or anxiety, never superiority. He defers to women, young women, in matters of strategy and combat. Then he makes a joke at his own expense and goes off to feed his pet lemur.

Now there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this, and it’s the one that shielded Aang from the heroic limelight in my eyes for ten years. The reasoning goes like this: Aang is a child. He has no presumptuous authority complex, no masculinity anxiety, no self-consciousness about his preferred pastimes, because he’s twelve. He’s still the hero, but he’s the prepubescent hero, the hero who can’t lead the charge himself because he’s just not old enough. The problem is, that reasoning just doesn’t hold up when you look at him in the context of the rest of the show.

Let’s look at Azula. Aside from the Avatar himself, Zuko’s sister is arguably the strongest bender in the entire show. We could debate Toph and Ozai all day, but when you look at all Azula does, the evidence is pretty damning. Let’s make a list, shall we?

Azula completely mastered lightning, the highest level firebending technique, in her spare time on a boat, under the instruction of two old women who can’t even bend.

Azula led the drill assault on Ba Sing Sae, one of the most important Fire Nation operations of the entire war, and almost succeeded in conquering the whole Earth Kingdom.

Azula then bested the Kyoshi Warriors, one of the strongest non-bender fighting groups in the entire world, successfully infiltrated the Earth Kingdom in disguise, befriended its monarch, learned of the enemy’s most secret operation, emotionally manipulated her older brother, overthrew the captain of the secret police and did conquer the Earth Kingdom, something three Fire Lords, numerous technological monstrosities, and countless generals, including her uncle, failed to do in a century.

And she did this all when she was fourteen.

That last part is easy to forget. Azula seems so much her brother’s peer, we forget she’s the same age as Katara. And that means that when we first meet Azula, she’s only a year older than Aang is at the end of the series. So to dismiss Aang’s autonomy, maturity or capability because of his age is ridiculous, understanding that he and Azula could have been in the same preschool class.

We must then accept Aang for what he truly is: the hero of the story, the leader of the charge, who repeatedly displays restraint and meekness, not because of his age, not because of his upbringing, not because of some character flaw, but because he chooses too. We clamor for strong female characters, and for excellent reason. But nobody every calls for more weak male characters. Not weak in a negative sense, but weak in a sense that he listens when heroes talk. He negotiates when heroes fight. And when heroes are sharpening their blades, planning their strategies and stringing along their hetero love interests, Aang is making jewelry, feeding Appa, and wearing that flower crown he got from a travelling band of hippies. If all Aang’s hobbies and habits were transposed onto Toph or Katara, we’d see it as a weakening of their characters. But with Aang it’s cute, because he’s a child. Only it isn’t, because he’s not.

Even in his relationship with Katara, a landmark piece of any traditional protagonist’s identity, Aang defies expectations. From the moment he wakes up in episode one, he is infatuated with the young woman who would become his oldest teacher and closest friend. Throughout season one we see many examples of his puppy love expressing itself, usually to no avail. But there’s one episode in particular that I always thought a little odd, and that’s Jet.

In Jet, Katara has an infatuation of her own. The titular vigilante outlaw sweeps her off her feet, literally, with his stunning hair, his masterful swordsmanship and his apparent selflessness. You’d think this would elicit some kind of jealousy from Aang. There’s no way he’s ignorant of what’s happening, as Sokka sarcastically refers to Jet as Katara’s boyfriend directly in Aang’s presence, and she doesn’t even dispute it. But even then, we never see any kind of rivalry manifest in Aang. Rather, he seems in full support of it. He repeatedly praises Jet, impressed by his leadership and carefree attitude. Despite his overwhelming affection for Katara, he evaluates both her and Jet on their own merits as people. There is no sense of ownership or macho competition.

Contrast this with Zuko’s reaction to a similar scenario in season three’s The Beach. Zuko goes to a party with his girlfriend, and at that party he sees her talking to another guy. His reaction? Throwing the challenger into the wall, shattering a vase, yelling at Mai, and storming out. This may seem a little extreme, but it’s also what we’d expect to an extent. Zuko is being challenged. He feels threatened in his station as a man, and he responds physically, asserting his strength and dominance as best he can.

I could go on and on. I could talk about how the first time Aang trains with a dedicated waterbending master, he tries to quit because of sexist double standards, only changing his mind after Katara’s urging. I could talk about how Aang is cast as a woman in the Fire Nation’s propaganda theatre piece bashing him and his friends. Because in a patriarchal society, the worst thing a man can be is feminine. I could talk about the only times Aang causes any kind of real destruction in the Avatar state, it’s not even him, since he doesn’t gain control of the skill until the show’s closing moments. Every time he is powerless in his own power and guilt-ridden right after, until the very end when he finally gains control, and what does he do with all that potential? He raises the rivers, and puts the fires out.

Aang isn’t what he’s supposed to be. He rejects every masculine expectation placed on his role, and in doing so he dodges center stage of his own show. It’s shocking to think about how many times I just forgot about Aang. Even at the end, when his voice has dropped and his abs have filled in, we miss it. Zuko’s coronation comes and we cheer with the crowd, psyched to see our hero crowned. Then the Fire Lord shakes his head, gestures behind him and declares “the real hero is the Avatar.” It’s like he’s talking to us. “Don’t you get it?” he asks. “Did you miss it? This is his story. But you forgot that. Because he was small. And silly. And he hated fighting. And he loved to dance. Look at him,” Zuko seems to say. “He’s your hero. Avatar Aang, defier of gender norms, champion of self-identity, feminist icon.”

one of my favorite things about a:tla is that everyone knows uncle iroh. everyone. the blind girl you just added to the gang? had tea with him once. that flower seller? yup. your ten-ton six-legged five-stomached flying bison? probably. that girl on the streets of ba sing se? he sent his nephew on a date with her. a whole tribe of thought-to-be-extinct sun warriors? nbd. your cranky waterbending master? they go way back. that dramatic deserter? your bro’s sword instructor? your 112 year old nuthouse friend? the next avatar 54 years later? sure

friendly reminder that katara, with no formal training, held her own against a waterbending master at age fourteen by being perseverant, strong-willed, and unyielding.

friendly reminder that sokka, without leadership from his father, held his own in a group of benders as the strategist, planner, and warrior by being inventive, adaptable, and hardworking.

friendly reminder that katara, with a few weeks under pakku’s tutelage, mastered waterbending and could best any man or woman in the northern tribe.

friendly reminder that sokka, with days under the guidance of piandoa, mastered swordsmanship, forged his own sword, and bested the master himself.

friendly reminder that katara, a waterbender, took down the fire nation princess during sozin’s comet with the aide of her wit and skill.

friendly reminder that sokka, a warrior, took out a fleet of fire nation airships with the aide of his wit, his skill, and his friends.

friendly reminder that katara, the girl who took on the role of her mother, held together a band of misfits in the most trying times. 

friendly reminder that sokka, the one who thought was not special, stuck by his sister and his friends through everything.

friendly reminder that these two characters stand as amazing veterans from a tribe where no one thought twice about bowing down to the fire nation. 

friendly reminder that these two characters traveled the world with a twelve year old and his bison because they took a chance on destiny.

friendly reminder that these two characters are role models to children all over the world.

friendly reminder that these two characters stuck by the theme of the show: they took control of their own destiny and saved the world.

now remind me, friends, what makes katara and sokka so replaceable? 

Voltron/Avatar AU

Okay, okay, okay, so I know this has been done a million times by now, but I wanted to tackle the idea from my own personal narrative perspective. So, here we go –


 Characters:

 Shiro – Gifted earthbender that was raised inside Ba Sing Se and was being trained as a member of the Dai Li before he was abducted by firebenders and taken prisoner. His abduction was a result of a plan by the Fire Nation to secretly infiltrate the Earth Kingdom and take down its most gifted benders. Before he was realized as being talented and brought in to train for the Dai Li, he lived in the lower ring of the city with Keith, who’d he’d long since adopted as a younger brother. They found out during their youth, however, that Keith was a firebender, which Shiro told Keith had to be kept secret. He encouraged Keith to learn his talents nonetheless, if only for self-defense. After he’s kidnapped, he loses his arm and his tortured, etc, and eventually develops metalbending out of sheer desperation to escape. Metalbending is what allowed him to create and use a metal arm as replacement for the one he lost. He eventually gets away—after learning that the Dai Li has been corrupted and secretly overtaken by firebenders—and goes back to the city to find Keith. But when he returns to Ba Sing Se, he comes home to find that Keith is gone and clearly has been for some time.

 Keith – Firebender. A very good firebender, in fact, but too ashamed of his talents to really do much with them. He grew up with Shiro in the lower ring of Ba Sing Se—basically poor—and grows so distressed when Shiro disappears that he lashes out at the Ba Sing Se law enforcers. His status as a firebender is revealed and he has no choice but to flee the city. He’d planned on leaving anyway to go looking for Shiro, and so it becomes his mission to find his older brother—even if he has to search the entire world. Unbeknownst to Keith, however, he was tossed out of the Fire Nation palace as a baby because he was an unwanted bastard son to the Fire Lord. Also, spoilers, he’s the Avatar as well, but is unaware of the fact due to how subdued he’s been forced to keep his talents his whole life. Lots of drama for Keith, haha. Poor child just wants his brother back. Oh well.  

 Lance – Waterbender from the Northern Water Tribe. Prince, though he’s nowhere near being in line to become chief. Still, there are plenty of responsibilities he has, but he decides to run away in search of adventure instead, wanting—more than anything—to be a hero and stand out, basically. He’s had this plan since he was a child—was his dream to see the world—and so he spent a lot of time not only mastering waterbending, but the spiritual connection and teachings of the Northern Water Tribe, as well as healing despite the fact that, as a male, he wouldn’t normally know how to heal. Though he wasn’t the most gifted waterbender, he spent most of his youth studying and practicing in preparation for his big leap out into the world. As a result of being a healer and having studied the spirits extensively, he’s very knowledgeable, but generally keeps these things to himself (wants to be a lady’s man, not a nerd, basically). He is a bit spoiled nonetheless, and doesn’t have a real realistic idea of what’s going on in the world. He and Keith are both opposites and foils as a result of their upbringing and positions.

 Pidge – Waterbender from the Foggy Swamp Tribe. Her father was an inventor from the Earth Kingdom, however, who found himself studying the energy levels of the swamp area before meeting her mother and promptly falling in love. Her brother and father are earthbenders, while she and her mother are waterbenders. And while she is trained in the techniques of swamp people waterbending, Pidge is far more interested in technology and the things her father studies. Her father and brother make regular trips into the earth kingdom—for research supplies, etc—and eventually end up abducted by the Fire Nation for being meddlers or something. Which inspires Pidge to leave her home in search of them, determined to rescue them much like Keith is aiming to rescue Shiro. She isn’t one to be trifled with, however. While she doesn’t have much interest in bending, she is trained and is more than capable of defending herself, as well as using the plants around her to her advantage. She and Lance practice very different types of waterbending as a result, but this doesn’t come between them or anything. They probably bond over it, actually.  

 Hunk – Earthbender. He’s from a small village to the north that is occupied by the Fire Nation and generally has no interest in getting involved with business outside of it. However, when Lance shows up and causes a ruckus (no doubt by accident), he gets caught up in it and ends up wanted by the fire nation and unable to return home because, if he did, he’d be putting his family in danger (they’re already in danger from the Fire Nation, but Hunk is kind of sheltered and naïve). So he ends up tagging along with Lance, deciding that he’d simply go to the Fire Nation higher ups and explain the misunderstanding, thus clearing his name and allowing him to go home. Obviously, he learns that this isn’t really going to work and that the conflict is much larger than he and Lance really realized. Upon seeing how people are suffering because of the Fire Nation, Hunk vows to do all he can to stop it.

 Allura and Coran – The last two airbenders in the world. They were originally part of a secret society that—after the airbenders were basically destroyed—vowed to find the new avatar (who was murdered during the airbender raids) and return balance to the world. However, the society has basically died out and so Allura and Coran are all that’s left. They’re still going around the world, searching, but to say the mission has kind of become hopeless is a bit of an understatement. Still, they’re determined, convinced that if they can find the Avatar, they can stop the Fire Nation.

Story:

 And so we have our misfit team of heroes whose paths eventually cross. Lance and Hunk come together first, and then probably end up with Pidge as a result of trying to help her (likely when she doesn’t need help), before those three maybe meet Keith in a prison where he’s searching for Shiro (they’re there because Pidge is looking for her family in the same place). Meanwhile, Shiro is hunting for Keith, knowing more about him than he realizes (Shiro knows Keith is the avatar, which is half the reason he was so protective over him. He probably saw him accidentally bend earth or something, but then lied and said he’d done it instead). He meets up with Allura and Coran, and as they have a shared interest in finding the avatar, they team up. Likely the two teams meet up as the finale of season 1 or something, where it’s revealed during a dramatic battle or something that Keith is the avatar before they all make a break for it.

 Hunk and Shiro end up as Keith’s earthbending teachers, Allura is his airbending teacher, and Lance is his waterbending teacher (though neither are happy about it. Pidge doesn’t really have the knowledge to teach waterbending, or so she claims, though she does end up teaching Keith a thing or two as well). Water ends up being the element Keith has the most trouble with, which of course spurs antagonism between him and Lance. And when it’s revealed that Keith is actually a bastard prince from the fire nation, this makes things between him and Allura rather tense as well. While all this is happening, Lotor is around causing trouble like Azula did and we’re getting a more in-depth look at what Fire Lord Zarkon is really aiming to do. Basically he not only wants to take over the world, but the spirit world as well (which Haggar, his right hand lady and spiritual expert, thinks is silly—he should be content with the normal world, obv). Zarkon is looking for the avatar not to kill them, but to somehow remove the spirit of Raava and merge with it himself. This is becoming increasingly more difficult for him to do, however—especially with Keith getting stronger—and so he learns instead (maybe from the owl library that he forced his way into) about Vaatu being imprisoned and decides to instead merge with that spirit. Which is kind of what brings us to the season 2 finale. Probably the main group has split up because they’re fighting and they all get reunited in the end, where Keith tries to fight Zarkon and fails. And it’s Lance, who maybe shows up last, that uses his knowledge of spirits (which has basically been lost to Allura and Coran, despite them being airbenders) to separate Vaatu from Zarkon before a dark avatar can really be created. But as a result, he, Lance, ends up attached to Vaatu. Why? Because he and Keith were painted as foils for a reason, that’s why.

 So basically Lance is all sorts of fucked up now, and is dealing with some pretty dark shit that Keith has to help him with, which kind of allows a friendship to form between them where there previously hadn’t been one. Through a lot of interaction and development between all the characters, they eventually come to understand that Vaatu being attached to a human is similar to having him imprisoned and that, so long as Lance remains uncorrupted, he should be able to function as a second avatar. After all, it’s about balance in the end, dark and light, yin and yang, and so while Keith and Lance seemingly oppose each other, they also complement each other. Thus Lance is the first Dark Avatar, a new avatar that will be reborn along with the original and will need to be trained in how to master the evil inside them or something like that. He gets to learn all the elements too, but probably isn’t a master by the time we reach the end of season 3, unlike Keith. Meanwhile, Zarkon is pissed and is like, fine, I don’t get an avatar spirit, I’ll create my own and he basically uses secrets taught to him by Haggar to harness raw spirit power for his own gain. Now he’s really dangerous and threatens all the worlds with potential destruction. And yeah, all of team avatar(s) have to work together to stop him!

I can’t decide if I should do a more in-depth outline for this or not. Like, one that reflects the importance of all the other characters, not just Lance and Keith, haha! Because, obv, they’re all crucial. I mean, clearly Shiro needs to have a personal connection to Zarkon, maybe even some kind of connection to the spirit world. And, like, I was thinking of trying to incorporate the lions as spirits of some kind too. I dunno–we’ll see XD

Originally posted by planced

8

Iroh and Mai setting boundaries on what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. 

swatztj  asked:

Talk to me about Korra dealing her trauma post book four and how Asami fits into her long term recovery bc I cannot get enough

Oh man, you’re basically asking me to spill out my soul. I could go on forever about Korra’s recovery arc as well as Asami in general (hence why it took me FOREVER to respond to this – !!! I’m so sorry @swatztj​ !!!). Let’s see where this goes… (warning - word vomit below)

* * * * *

Korra’s recovery arc was one of my favourite about the entire series. While it’s amazing to know that Korra and Asami are off living happily together (korrasami forever <3), I always do enjoy seeing individualistic aspects of these two characters and how their unique traits can complement each other. But, let’s dive into Korra’s arc first.

Korra was first introduced to us as the freaking Avatar, master of all four elements - we had to deal with it. We saw her as a very strong, physical being who mastered her waterbending, earthbending and firebending at a young age. Her demeanor was brash, loud, aggressive and direct, used (in many cases) as a tool to hide insecurities.  She was more of a punch first, think later sort of gal and all she ever wanted to be in her life was the Avatar, there was no question about it… that was, until the aftermaths of Amon, Unlaq and Zaheer transpired.

*Though since this about Korra’s trauma in Book 4, we will focus more on the post-Zaheer conflicts*

Korra was kidnapped, chained, poisoned, forced into the Avatar State, smashed against mountains and stripped of the air within her lungs. She was at her most vulnerable moment and completely out of control.

Some of us believed that Korra would get right back up after Suyin removed the poison from her system. After all, it didn’t seem to take too long for Korra to spring back into action after briefly losing her bending in addition to her connections with the past Avatars (though, this isn’t to say that she didn’t endure any pain, grief, self-doubt or negativity during those periods).

However, at the end of Venom of the Red Lotus, we saw Korra as an empty shell – incapacitated, quiet and unresponsive to the outside world. Internally, a whole other battle was being fought. 

She was told that the airbenders would return to their nomadic roots while she recuperated. She was told that they would work together to end discord and restore peace and balance. The woman who had always dreamed of being the Avatar, master of all four elements and bridge between worlds, was no longer needed. Her physical power and self-identity was gone.

* * * * *

I’m trying to understand why this happened to me. But nothing makes any sense. I’m tired Katara. I’m so tired.” ~ Korra (B4:E2)

In the beginning events of Book 4, we see Korra detached from her friends and family. She could barely sleep or eat and spent much of her wakeful moments in silence. When see was faced with times of sleep, she would constantly be plagued with the intrusive horrors she endured by herself in Book 3. This trauma caused Korra to fall into a depressive state as well as develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and hope faded away from her at every passing second. With the little sliver of willpower she had left, she finally made the decision to visit Katara – the first step needed to begin her recovery arc.

After months of being incapacitated, the steps needed to regain mobility took time and patience for Korra. We slowly but surely saw her become more and more active. A quick toe twitch turned into a few walking steps with Katara’s guidance. While these were fantastic accomplishments for someone wheelchair-bound, things moved a bit too slow for Korra’s tastes. We saw her lash out in anger/disappointment at Katara as well as Tenzin when he visited the compound to see her spar. Though Korra made progress, it doesn’t spark enough hope for someone who had been eager to get out in the real world her entire life.

While she was healing physically, Korra was still faced with phases of “fight, flight or freeze” throughout her recovery. Certain triggers continued to appear when she began to walk, spar and bend again, which caused flashbacks to flare up at unexpected moments. Her body would lock up and her mind became fixated on her traumatic past. She still felt as though she was being attacked, reliving the effects of the poison and suffocation over and over again. This caused Korra to hit a wall – she didn’t quite understand why those flashbacks and freeze ups kept happening, but she truly believed that she needed to expose herself to action again. Here is where another key element to Korra’s recovery arc comes in – exposure.

* * * * *

The mind can be a powerful ally or your great enemy.~ Katara (B4:E2)

Originally posted by yipyipmotherfuckers

The opening shot of our Avatar in Korra Alone was very indicative of the condition of her mental state – shattered, distorted, unstable, but not necessarily unrepairable. After embarking on a voyage to Republic City, we saw another confrontation between Korra and her past trauma; this time in the form of an eerie apparition. She turned away from her destination (Republic City) to walk an anonymous life in the Earth Kingdom with the hope of reconnecting with herself and her Avatar spirit.

Throughout Korra’s journey, she constantly struggled with hallucinations. Sometimes she visualized Raava – with whom she ran towards - but other times (more often than not) she faced with her own ghostly shadow – with whom she backed away from. These apparitions only seemed to become stronger whenever Korra fought them. Her “punch first” tactics remained ineffective as her hallucinations constantly countered her with bending and chains. Even when she was in combat with other opponents, they morphed into her ghostly visions, forcing her to constantly fight with herself and lose each battle in the process.

This, understandably, got quiet infuriating. A part of Korra knew that her visions were not real, but she couldn’t escape them as they seemly controlled every aspect of her day-to-day life. She had enough, making the decision to finally chase after these phantoms as opposed to fighting them. Little did she know that her decision would lead to the familiar face of Toph Beifong.

* * * * *

“…You need to face your fears. You can’t expect to deal with future enemies if you’re still fighting the old ones.” ~ Toph (B4:E4)

Unsurprisingly, Toph hadn’t changed one bit. Her demeanour remained direct, harsh, taunting and honest and this seemed to take Korra by surprise. After all, she was used to being met with looks and words of sympathy (understandably so) after her horrible incident. The bluntness used by our old metalbender, while unexpected, was another step that helped Korra towards her recovery.

Toph was able to quickly realize that Korra was very detached from the world; instead of looking forward she would always looked back in the past:

If there’s one thing I learned on the beat, it’s that the names change but the street stays the same.

Yes Korra did hold Avatar title, but she was still a person – a human being who could only accomplish and change so much within her own lifetime. Other Avatar’s would come and go and so would other acts of evil.

What was great about this confrontation was that little spark of defensiveness and enthusiasm we were used to seeing in Korra before the Book 3 finale. Korra knew of and believed in the accomplishments she achieved throughout her life as the Avatar. She challenged Toph on this exchange, but in a less angry and hostile way that we were used to seeing in the first few Books. 

This ultimately led to the two characters sparring, where Korra seemed to be having moments of excitement despite losing the battles. It was quite a refreshing site to see, in my opinion.

Originally posted by avatar-satos-spirit

Not only did Toph confront Korra on these issues, but she also detected small amounts of liquid metal circulating throughout the Avatar’s body. She attempted to rid this metal of her system, but Korra resisted, letting her fears and flashbacks take over again. This would be a task that Korra would have to do on her own; and it is one that she would successfully complete.

Korra used Toph’s advice to metalbend the liquid out of body and release some of those fears that she held close, tapping into her Avatar state. Toph was able to ground Korra back to the world again and make her feel more in tune with reality.

While this helped her physically, Korra’s battle was not over as she experienced yet another hallucination while facing Kuvira for the first time. Now, Korra needed to revisit her biggest nightmare of all face-to-face – Zaheer.

* * * * *

That poison should have killed you. But you were able to fight it off. You think your power has limits. I say its limitless.” ~ Zaheer (B4:E9)

Originally posted by yumighoul

Korra’s confrontation with Zaheer immediately began with an act of determination and fury. She finally stood before the man that traumatized her life and boldly claimed how he held no power over her anymore. That daring and direct demeanor she showed to Zaheer was reminiscent of her persona back in the earlier Books. However, just like in the past, these defiant acts were used as a way to cover her insecurities.

Zaheer lunged towards Korra with the intent of triggering her fears once again. Despite his chained position, Korra backed away in panic and this ultimately broke the belief that seeing him bound would make her unafraid. Korra was terrified of not only him but of being perceived as useless and of not being the person she used to be again.

Zaheer challenged these fears and claimed that neither of them were the same since the events that happened years ago; he was chained despite learning to fly and she was limitless despite holding herself down. Korra would never be the same person again as she would have to carry the trauma  with her for the rest of her life. 

However, instead of associating said trauma with pain and weakness, she could use it for strength. As Zaheer had said, the liquid metal should have killed Korra, but it didn’t. She was the one that survived despite all odds pointed against her. She had won the battle in the end and he had been the one who lost. The fact that she remained alive points to the idea that she had no limits.

We have to remember that Korra was alone in her showdown with Zaheer. None of her friends or family could aid her. Her severed connections to the past Avatars left her alone to fight against Zaheer and the poison in her most vulnerable state. Korra resisted the poison by resisting the Avatar State for as long as humanly possible. When she could no longer hold off that particular battle, she fought for her life as well as Raava’s, despite how painful and agonizing every second of it was. She was truly unstoppable and she had yet to recognize or consider this amazing feat.

Korra had to accept what happened to her and while this meant acknowledging the bad, it also meant acknowledging the good. Instead of fixating on the moments of suffocation and powerlessness, she had to let the scene play out entirely - focusing on the future and not just the past. The past was not something she could change.

For the first time in nearly three years, Korra gained control over her fear. She accepted what happened – the pain, the exhaustion as well as the endurance. She had made it and in the process, connected back with her spiritual energy.

Originally posted by yipyipmotherfuckers

Korra reached an understanding with her trauma. While her past was not something that she could simply shrug off or ignore, it could be used as a tool of recognition in which Korra could connect with others at a deeper level. As Toph had said in the swamp:

Sounds like you’re carrying around your former enemies, the same way you’re still carrying around that metal poison. You maybe consider you could learn something from them?

Which can be coupled with Tenzin’s own words of:

It’s true, there will always be new conflicts and enemies to face. But the important thing is to learn from your enemies and better yourself over time, which you have.”

Korra learned from her painful struggles and was able to use new-found knowledge to reach out to others – including her own enemies. She greatly opposed the methods used by Kuvira to unite the Earth Kingdom, yet she still related to and understood her at a personal level, even going as far as to risk her own life to save the dictator. She understood Kuvira’s emotions of fear, abandonment, vulnerability and lack of control and this level of empathy displayed wasn’t something we saw Korra use towards Amon, Unalaq or Zaheer.

Originally posted by giffingkorra

Korra truly found inner peace once she found her way out of the dark tunnel. She proved to herself and others that she was more than just a symbol of physical prowess. She had found inner peace with herself and her trauma, drawing meaning from it which will ultimately help to make her become even stronger in the future.


Korra fought, learned and recovered from some of the darkest moments in her life. She will always carry the scars left behind from the incident that happened in Book 3, but she made herself an even better person by pushing forward instead of holding back. Korra became a beacon of hope for so many of us and remains a character that we will always hold near and dear to our hearts.

* * * * *

“I want you to know that I’m here for you. If you ever want to talk or… anything.” ~ Asami (B3:E13)

Now, I’ll try to make the Asami part quick because this response has gone on for far too long :p.

I think Asami took the role of Korra’s anchor and voice of reason, even if neither of them fully realized it from the get-go.

Asami bore witness to it all – Korra’s gravely injured body smashing into rocks as well as her diminishing hope and sense of self. She saw her best friend falling deeper and deeper, but if there’s one thing we know about Asami Sato, it’s that she will always have your back.

Asami took on the role of Korra’s caretaker; she helped her dressed, pushed her wheelchair around, made conversation and she presumably helped her bathe, eat and sleep. She was truly there for her despite her other responsibilities of being the CEO of one of the most prestigious companies in the world. Korra was her priority. Heck, the woman was even willing to drop everything and accompany Korra while she recuperated in the Southern Water Tribe.

Originally posted by korrafreakingsami

These feelings of sadness and hopelessness were quite familiar to Asami. We know that she’s had a pretty difficult life from the start - her mother was murdered, her father sided with the equalists, she had to take command of a large company at age 18 and overall, she had a lonely life. Due to these unfortunate events, it was likely that Asami understood Korra and her depressive state at a far deeper level than anyone else who was close with Korra. Asami neither pushed nor prodded and instead gave an open invitation for Korra to talk with her whenever she was ready

Korra did end up taking Asami’s offer up as we see her communicate to her via a letter in Korra Alone. Korra opened up quite a bit to her, explaining how hard the past few years had been, how she couldn’t tap into the Avatar State, how she kept having hallucinations and how she feared that she would never fully recover again. There was a reason why Korra contacted Asami and not Mako, Bolin or the others. She knew that Asami would understand her at that vulnerable time and felt comfortable enough to expose a very fragile part of her life. Asami was the rock that Korra could hold onto and I’m sure that she felt some relief and comfort after sending her letter off.

This comfort continued in Remembrances. Korra expressed her same worries again, but Asami’s consistent support, admiration and belief in Korra and her abilities shined through during the exchange.

And finally, we know that what goes around, comes around. After Kuvira’s attack on Republic City, Asami lost her father for good. This time, Korra was the one who took the initiative to provide emotional and physical support for her. She apologized for her three year absence and suggested taking a vacation where the two of them could finally relax and take care of each other without any interruptions (…besides the big rock spirit thing…). 

Korra and Asami had seen each other at some of their darkest moments and while they were strong and developed individually through their past traumas, they would and always will be stronger together and persevere through any obstacle thrown at them.

Originally posted by otterbender

The. Freaking. End :)