Some people, like myself, consider The Legend of Korra to be superior to Avatar: The Last Airbender. Granted, a majority of people will say that these people (and me) are nuts, because obviously, Avatar: The Last Airbender has the more traditional story—A reluctant hero who learns to believe in himself and then trounces the bad guy in the end? That’s pretty much storytelling 101. But just as The Legend of Korra is different from Avatar: The Last Airbender, so is The Legend of Korra ending compared with that of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Because The Legend of Korra, if anything, is a story about internal growth. The change that Korra undertakes is not the same change that Aang undertakes. Whereas Aang learns to be a hero, Korra learns more about how to overcome her own limitations. Some people hate this story arc, while for others, it’s the reason why we love Korra so much as a character. And while many may cry foul that the last scene of the series comes out of nowhere, there’s still so much more that occurs in the final episode that demands discussion. So, let’s discuss it. Oh, and major spoilers up ahead.
Korra Made Kuvira Surrender And Also Found Love
Kuvira, the big bad in Season 4, is controlling a giant mecha that’s destroying Republic City. It’s seriously like something out of a Godzilla movie. While the other heroes are doing their best to take down the mecha, Korra takes on Kuvira head on. It’s an emotional battle since Korra’s gone through so much trauma this season, but it’s also what made her stronger.
Korra wins the first battle in the mecha, but Kuvira refuses to give up. Kuvira uses a spirit gun to blast Korra, but it’s too powerful and it’s about to hit Kuvira instead. But Korra jumps in the way of the blast, initiating the Avatar state. The blast creates a portal to the spirit world, bringing Kuvira and Korra into the explosion. It’s in the spirit world where we learn why Kuvira did the deeds that she did, and Korra accepts her actions. With the battle over, Korra takes a much-needed vacation…with Asami! The last scene shows them going into the spirit portal together, holding hands.
What’s interesting about this final scene is that it was quite unexpected at the time. Fans have given Korra and Asami’s relationship the portmanteau, Korrasami. And while we don’t get to see more of their courtship on the show, we do see it in the follow-up comic, Turf Wars. Here’s what Korra’s voice actress, Janet Varney, had to say about their relationship:
I don’t know if things would have been that different if the finale was ending tomorrow. That’s more a question for Mike and Bryan [the creators of the show]. But I think it made sense the way it played out, and I’m just so happy that they continued with the graphic novel to tell the story that Korra and Asami had together.
So if you want to know more about what happens with Korrasami, read Turf Wars. It’s pretty great.
Bolin Helped Stop The Mecha And Also Officiated a Wedding
Bolin and his brother, Mako, fight to stop the lower chambers of the mecha while Korra fights Kuvira up top. Bolin lavabends (so cool) and cuts the mecha open, and ends up fighting one of Kuvira’s minions. He then tries to shut down the mecha with a lever, but the lever doesn’t work! So Mako says he’ll blast it himself. Bolin tearfully says goodbye to his brother since it seems like a suicide mission. Bolin then gets the other people out to safety. He may have been the comic relief on the show, but Bolin was damn heroic when he needed to be.
Everything turns out alright in the end, though, and down the line, Bolin actually officiates Varrick’s and Zhu Li’s wedding, refusing to read one of the lines about Zhu Li having to clean Varrick’s feet twice a week once they get married. In the end, Bolin remains as funny as ever. He may not have been this show’s Sokka, but so what? Bolin still rocks.
Mako Sacrificed Himself For The Greater Good… But Lived Anyway
“The Last Stand” is one of my favorite episodes of the entire series, and Mako is one of the reasons why. Mako kicks a lot of ass in the ending as he and Bolin try to shut down the mecha’s engine. He uses firebending to avoid capture, and shoots lightning at some vines to shut down the mecha, which is pretty much a suicide mission. Once he blasts the vines, there’s a huge explosion. But he keeps on blasting! Because he’d rather die than see Republic City perish.
But he survives, of course. And afterward, when Korra is victorious against Kuvira, Mako, her former flame, says he will follow her into battle anywhere, which is touching. Especially since both of his former girlfriends (Korra and Asami) end up together.
Asami Lost Her Father But Gained Korra
If we’re talking all 4 seasons of The Legend of Korra, I would say that Book 4: Balance, is a pretty good one. Sure, Korra goes through a lot of change, but so does Asami, who really comes through for Korra in a major way. But tragedy strikes Asami since her father, Hiroshi, dies trying to save her life.
And while her father wasn’t the best of people, he truly loved his daughter, and Asami loved him. She even tells Korra how she couldn’t lose both her father and Korra in the same day. And if there’s one consolation, it’s that she now has Korra in her life as a future partner. Thus beginning the age of Korrasami.
Tenzin Made His Father Proud
And lastly, Korra’s airbending instructor, Tenzin (voiced by J.K. Simmons) and his children, Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo, would have made Aang proud with how they handled the siege on Republic City, as they tackled it like true airbenders, making sure that nobody got hurt.
Tenzin congratulates Korra on her training, but then gets tricked by Asami when she tells him that Verrick wants to jump off a building with his glider. Not cool, Asami. Not cool. But I get it. You wanted some alone time with Korra. It’s still a dirty trick, all the same.
And that’s what happened to all the major characters. We did also get to see Lin Beifong and Suyin grow as sisters, and also witnessed Zhu Li “Do the thing” when she married Varrick, but they were more side-characters than anything else. Still, in the world of Avatar, everybody's important, which is why certain minor characters have such a huge fan base. I know you’ve already watched the finale, but why not watch the episode again on Netflix? It’s just as great as you remember.