Avatar The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra are two of my favorite shows because there’s just so much deep lore and history to both series. You, of course, couldn’t have the follow-up show, The Legend of Korra, without the preceding series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, but Korra adds just as much to Avatar as Avatar adds to Korra. And that’s the purpose of this article—to show just how closely the two shows are tied together.
Personally, I prefer The Legend of Korra over Avatar, which makes most people think I’m crazy, but I’m such a fan of both series (you should really see my Avatar Funko Pop collection) that I can appreciate everything the world of Avatar has to offer. Especially when the characters seep into both shows, which I’m about to detail now. I live for this stuff!
At the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang goes into his Avatar state and defeats Fire Lord Ozai and takes away his firebending abilities, which is totally badass. He also gets a kiss from Katara, which is important in The Legend of Korra since the two of them eventually get married and have children together.
Aang has already died at the start of The Legend of Korra, but he had three children with Katara who appear in The Legend of Korra—Bumi, Kya, and Tenzin. Bumi is a nonbender, just like his uncle, Sokka (though, he did get airbending abilities in Book 3 of Korra). Kya’s a waterbender, like her mother, and Tenzin’s an airbender, like his father. Tenzin, who’s voiced by J.K. Simmons, is also Korra’s airbending teacher, and very much a mixture of both his parents since he tries to remain zen like his father, but tends to get angry like his mother. If you don’t believe me about Tenzin, then watch Avatar: The Last Airbender again and pay close attention to Aang and Katara. It'll be streaming in America on Netflix on May 15th.
At the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sokka was destroying some Fire Nation air fleets with his girl, Suki, and his friend, Toph Beifong. Sokka and Katara also reunite with their father, Hakoda, by the end of the show.
Sokka, who is voiced by Chris Hardwick on Korra, is also dead at the start of The Legend of Korra, just like Aang. But we learn in a flashback that he became a representative for the United Republic Council and sentenced a bloodbender named Yakonne to a life in prison. He also helped prevent Korra from being kidnapped by criminals with Zuko when she was just a child.
Katara, the waterbending master, played a crucial role in preventing the Fire Nation from taking over the world when she defeated Zuko’s younger sister, Azula.
At the start of Korra, Katara is Korra’s waterbending teacher. Katara’s death is actually predicted on Avatar: The Last Airbender when the fortuneteller, Aunt Wu, prophesizes that Korra will die after the birth of her third grandson. But her son, Tenzin and his wife Pema, only have two boys by the end of The Legend of Korra, so… to be continued?
The earthbending master, Toph, helped defeat the Fire Nation’s air fleet alongside Sokka and Suki at the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Before the events of Korra, Toph became the very first chief of police for Republic City (A position that would later go on to her daughter, Lin Beifong). Her other daughter, Suyin, was one of the architects behind Zaofu, a city made of metal. Toph is an old woman in Korra, and has settled down in a swamp just like Yoda, which is very Toph-like.
After the defeat of his father, Fire Lord Ozai, at the hands of Aang, Zuko became the new Fire Lord, where he immediately set off on a quest to locate his mother. This story spills over into the first Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novel, The Promise, which I won’t spoil for you since you should read it. It’s really good.
When it comes to The Legend of Korra, Zuko and Sokka both helped prevent Korra from being kidnapped when she was a child, and Zuko helped create the United Republic of Nations, which is fitting, since the Fire Nation helped split up the nations in the first place. He had a daughter named Izumi, who he bequeathed his title of Fire Lord to, and a grandson named Iroh (After Zuko’s uncle), who would become a general.
Iroh was always a grounded member of the Fire Nation, and after his brother, Fire Lord Ozai, was defeated, he decided to open a tea shop. Because why the hell not?
Iroh is long dead before the events of Korra, but he was so zen that he decided to just up and leave his body and transcend into the Spirit World, where Korra meets him and aids him in serving cakes and tea to spirit frogs. Because again, why the hell not?
The Cabbage Merchant
Say it with me. My cabbages! The cabbage merchant from the Earth Nation just couldn’t get a break on Avatar: The Last Airbender, as he was always having his precious cabbages disrupted or knocked over whenever Team Avatar showed up.
But as we see in the graphic novel, The Rift, big things come to those who wait, since the cabbage merchant, intrigued by what he sees of the Earthen Fire Refinery, founds his own company in Cabbage Corp. They produce cars, of all things!
And that’s what happened to all the major characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender (And yes, any Avatar fan will tell you that the Cabbage Merchant was a major character) in The Legend of Korra. Some played more prominent roles than others, but again, one of the main reasons I love the series so much is because there’s so much rich history that goes along with it. Which character from Avatar: The Last Airbender do you wish made it into The Legend of Korra? Make your voice heard in the comments.