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The Legend of Korra[Age]:
Just as she witnesses Northern troops landing on the shores of the Southern Water Tribe (End of Book 2, episode 2)[History]: Her page on the Avatar wiki[Personality]:
Korra is a young woman who has grown up in a place where she is the center of attention. An entire compound was built simply to house and protect her during her years of training as the Avatar. She has the notion that being the Avatar makes her above the rules, and this leads her to have a lack of respect for authority, more often for worse than for better. When she grows frustrated, she blames her inadequacy on someone else if it's a matter of something she feels she should be good at. See: airbending. This upbringing also makes her believe that being the Avatar is the most important thing she could possibly ever be. Being the best bender is everything. Her self worth is centered around the idea of being the Avatar. She says herself that her personality makes the spiritual side of being the Avatar extremely difficult, and that she becomes easily frustrated because she is used to everything coming naturally to her. Spirituality and airbending are anomalies. Even when she attains spirituality, it was not through her own efforts, but through her struggles and losses. One major thing that she still needs to grow out of is that the world does not revolve around her, even though in her world, while living in the compound, it did- for better or for worse. Her immature stubbornness that should technically have gotten her into trouble several times just ended up helping her get her way: When Tenzin, her mentor, said that he had to help in Republic City rather than teach Korra, she ran off after him despite his objections. Tenzin ended up letting her stay. When she was arrested for causing massive damages to public and private property, Tenzin let her off and agreed to pay for the damages. When she openly disrespected Asami and Mako's relationship by making repeated advances toward Mako, Asami directed none of her anger at Korra and Korra ended up with Mako anyway. When she recklessly ran in on Amon and ended up with her bending taken away, it was restored quickly by power that wasn't even her own. Korra often thinks herself above consequences, and this makes her completely fearless in an unhealthy way. The exception to this is her attachment to her bending and her duty (or at least her incomplete view of it) as the Avatar. This is why Amon terrified her so much. Again, her bending is her everything, and she is at her most vulnerable, understandably so, when her sense of identity is threatened. This is when the fear shows. This impulsiveness and following of her gut instinct is starting to be seriously called into question: She made a poor choice to follow Unalaq, and now he's staged a military occupation to fulfill his radical beliefs of the South Pole's spirituality crisis. The moment she sees the Northern Tribe ships landing on Southern shores, she knows that she made a bad choice.
Korra's lack of fear also gives her a sense of independence that isn't as true as she thinks. When she dashes off to Republic City, she is shocked to realize that she can't just take food from a vendor. She often goes off on her own, with varying levels of success. She is obviously very impulsive, this being drawn partially from her sense of self-centeredness as well as from her nature. She sometimes doesn't pay attention to the feelings of others, and will often speak and act without thinking. Her actions have put both herself and others at risk, but again, because her actions never had any lasting ill effects, she never learns to be more careful. Korra is never afraid to speak her mind, even if her words would be impulsive or tactless, or even sometimes hypocritical. If she has a problem with something, she'll let everyone know. She lacks a speech filter. This can be both good and bad, but is a flaw that has never truly worked against her favor.
This fearlessness is, however, something that she is starting to shift away from. Once the chaos of the Equalist Rebellion is all said and done, she can begin to properly reflect on her actions throughout that chaotic time. She begins to realize that she did indeed make her fair share of mistakes, and that sometimes she cannot do everything by herself. A major example of this is the Equalist attack on the Probending Arena. She, along with her teammates, pushed for the match to take place that night in spite of Amon's promise that he would stage an attack on the arena. She feels very much responsible for all the people who got hurt that day. It was a wakeup call for her- proof that she isn't always going to make good decisions, and that there can be very severe consequences when she doesn't consider her actions seriously enough. This message is starting to sink in; it sits at the back of her mind and influences much of her decisionmaking when it comes to putting other people at risk. She won't be making that sort of mistake again.
Korra has a very clear-cut view of what is strong and what is weak. If you can fight, you have her respect. This goes for her view of herself, as well. Upon meeting Asami, Korra quickly judges her as weak and "prissy." This is not only fueled by jealousy over Mako, but also by the fact that Asami is very "girly." It is only after Asami shows Korra her skills as a driver and her passion for mechanics that Korra respects her. But even in her admittance to Asami that she had had her pegged wrong, Asami still had only earned respect because of her skills. Korra's actual views of strength never changed, as was obvious in the wording of her apology to Asami. Again, this is shaky ground upon which to base analysis due to Korra's jealousies, however it is safe to say that Korra, buy and large, treats physical strength and skill as a very high priority in her personal views of others. She is very physically and, by effect, violently orientated. Action first.
A very crucial aspect of Korra's personality that is touched on in the beginnings of Book 2 is that Korra is at a point where she is sick of being told what to do. Her sheltered and heavily dictated life may have given her a feeling of "specialness" because of her title, but it has also exhausted her. Many of her rebellious decisions and tendencies spring not only from her natural personality, but also from her upbringing. She has recently learned that the heavy dictation of her entire life was not Aang's will as she has been told, but a combined decision by Tenzin and her father. This has led her to mistrust both men, whom she has been very close with her entire life. She is calling into question, now more than ever, her entire upbringing. She is starting to realize, both through her own observations and the words of others, that she was "ripped off," in a sense, as the Avatar. Her parents had hoped for a normal life when "all [Korra] ever wanted was to be the Avatar." The Avatar is supposed to travel around the world, learning about each element in the environment of its corresponding culture. She,
on the other hand, has been trapped within a compound- likely as long as she can remember, given that her identity as the Avatar was uncovered when she was 4. This also brings about another important aspect of her life as the Avatar: Korra discovered her identity at an extremely young age. By the time she was 4, she was tossing around earth, fire, and water without a problem. This is very different from most Avatars, who are notified of their identities when they are older. (For example, Aang at age 12 and Roku at age 16) Korra never had to learn to accept that she was the Avatar. It has always been a part of her. This comes with both positives and negatives. She did not have to deal with the shock of learning her identity, since it was always there. There is, however, a repressed sense of lonesomeness that she herself does not fully realize she hasn't yet dealt with. She is the only person alive who knows and understands her situation. Even Aang grew up in such a wildly different world that she does not feel fully comfortable in turning to him. This is a feeling that she has gradually come to deal with, turning mostly to Mako and Tenzin for guidance when she feels necessary. Korra says herself that "it's tough being the Avatar," and that is a notion that has been becoming very
real to her since she left the South Pole for the first time. It's not just a title or a special power. It's a way of life, and it can be lonely and hard and the world expects everything from her. A teenager. Now that this notion is sinking in, Korra can go through moods in which she is lost and confused, and can easily become angry and irrational. These are the times when she will open up the most. Because of her recent issues involving her father and Tenzin, Mako has become her most important outlet. This does not always work out for the best, and when Korra doesn't get an answer she wants she will get frustrated and easily storm away, leaving Mako speechless and confused. She's still not so great at the whole "advice" thing, though the fact that she is honestly trying is a positive sign that she is working toward being a more open-minded young woman. Korra can very easily attach herself to somebody who puts faith in her. Because she often makes mistakes and asks brashly, or simply because she's a teenage girl, authority figures rarely put trust in her. So when somebody consults her and respects her, she doesn't know quite how to react. She's pleasantly surprised, and is more likely to take that person's "side".
Korra's view of being the Avatar is shaped by her own strengths and weaknesses. Water, earth, and firebending all came naturally to her, so she thinks them to be important. She struggles with airbending and her spirituality, and becomes angry when Tenzin mentions that she needs to practice. At one point, she flairs up and claims that maybe she's struggling with them so much because they're old-fashioned and that the Avatar doesn't need them anymore. That being said, she considers it the utmost importance that she maintains the image of the Avatar she thinks she should be. She uses her incredible physical prowess to her advantage, sometimes nearing the point of being a bully when she lets herself get carried away. Korra is quick to pick a fight and to prove herself as a strong Avatar and person to be taken seriously. When her strength is questioned, she is quick to act to dispel that idea. For example, when she turns down a position on Tarrlok's task force, the media explodes, asking her why she refused. Korra knows, deep inside, that it is because she is afraid of Amon. So she joins the task force anyway, going one step further and publicly challenging Amon. She had to convince not only to everyone else, but also to herself that she wasn't afraid of him. When this failed, she broke down completely in Tenzin's arms, because she had never truly experienced such paralyzing fear in her life. Amon represents her absolute greatest fear- the loss of her bending and thus the complete loss of her definition of what the Avatar needs to be.
Despite Korra's flaws brought on by both her natural personality and her upbringing, she is a very outgoing and passionate young woman in everything that she does. When she becomes invested in something, she will stick to it and put in 110% effort, though she becomes discouraged and upset when something doesn't come naturally to her. She is eager to make friends and is always willing to put herself out there, sort of "making up for" the fact that her lifelong best friend is a polar bear-dog. She has a sense of optimism brought on by her incredibly high self confidence. (The same self confidence that brings about many of her flaws, and that can sometimes be a mask for insecurity) She is, now more than ever, comfortable with the way she is, and wouldn't want to change a thing, especially now that her spiritual block is broken and that she has figured out how to airbend. What she considers her two greatest "weaknesses" are broken.
Another positive trait is that she devotes her entire self to a role she feels she must fulfill. The most obvious role is as the Avatar, or at least her definition of what the Avatar ought to be. In addition to this, she takes her position as the Fire Ferrets' waterbender very seriously, and puts in considerable time and effort to train. When people are counting on her, she makes it a personal duty not to let anybody down. She expects only the best from herself, which can lead to great disappointment in the face of failure. This was what led to her emotional issues when faced with her inability to airbend or connect with her spiritual self. Korra puts her entire being into her duties. Because of this, she is also a very devoted friend. Even when she doesn't know what the best option truly is, Korra will maintain her loyalty to those she cares about. She is starting to recognize that she is, in fact, a bit socially awkward thanks to growing up in isolation, and is trying very hard to fix that. At the end of the day, her devotion to the people she cares about is very fierce. She is willing to go to any extent to keep her loved ones safe, and is perfectly willing to threaten those she considers enemies with death. She doesn't even sugarcoat it to herself. She sees justice as a matter of eye for an eye.
All in all, Korra is in the middle of a transition from the naive child she used to be into the young woman and Avatar she will become with time and diligence that she must learn through her mistakes rather than through the direction of others. Her character is, first and foremost, focused on discovering her own path as the Avatar and not letting someone else do it for her- for better or for worse.[Abilities / Strengths & Weaknesses]:
Korra is a bender,
a person capable of controlling natural elements through a process combined of martial arts and magic. Since she is the Avatar, the incarnation of a spirit devoted to maintaining balance in her home world, she is capable of bending all four elements: Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. Most people are only able to bend one element- the one matching their ethnicity.
Waterbending, the first style Korra learned, is a fluid and defense-based style that focuses heavily upon turning the opponent's power against them. It becomes more powerful at night because of the moon. The movements of traditional waterbending are similar to the real-life martial art T'ai Chi Ch'uan. It is a balanced and stable art with graceful, flowing motions in the hands of a master. A waterbender can manipulate water by using their chi to mimic gravity, the water naturally adapting and following the path of least resistance thanks to the bender's direction. Korra has been competent with waterbending (fire and earth, as well) since she was very young.
Earthbending was the second style Korra mastered. Its forms are sturdy and strong, based on the Hung Gar style of kung fu. Earthbending is patient but decisive and stubborn. An earthbender is capable of lifting, hurling, and breaking large amounts of rock, dirt, sand, or even metal with much practice. Not all earthbenders are metalbenders, however. Korra, though knowledgeable of its existence, is incapable of metalbending and lacks the practice of sandbending. If she were to try either at this point, she would be unsuccessful.
Firebending also comes very naturally to Korra. Its traditional forms resemble the Northern Shaolin style of kung fu, involving strong, successive attacks and powerful, immediate bursts of energy. Firebending is unique in that it is the only bending style that can conjure its own element from thin air. Firebending is based heavily on breathing and a strong grasp of inner energy. Where waterbending is defensive, firebending is aggressive and offensive. A powerful and well balanced firebender is capable of creating lightning, however Korra has never successfully bent lightning or redirected it in canon, so it is assumed that she does not know how. Korra is more likely to turn to firebending than to any other element, especially if she feels particularly threatened.
Airbending is by far Korra's weakest element. Thanks to recent tampering of her chi by Amon, she has only just 'unlocked' her ability to airbend. Traditional airbending is similar to the art of Ba Gua, otherwise known as 'circlewalking.' Airbending is based upon the idea of evading oncoming attacks with swift, fluid motions like a leaf in the wind. An airbender must be emotionally and spiritually flexible- something that Korra is not. She rarely implements airbending, and when she does, it shows no sign of mastery. Her form is terrible - based more on firebending forms than airbending ones - causing her attempted blasts of air to be weaker than they should be. She attempts to bend air like she bends fire- quickly and forcefully, focusing on attack rather than evasion and opportunism. Though most airbenders are capable of flight with the assistance of a glider, Korra is not. She can,
gain enough control to use an Air Scooter, a technique the creates a strong 'ball' of air below the bender on which they can ride. The technique only works on solid ground. Korra uses airbending as a last resort, and will not implement it unless she absolutely has to. It is by no means a "reflex" for her to airbend.
In addition to her bending abilities, upon which she puts most of her focus, being the Avatar also gives Korra a spiritual connection with her own world as well as the Spirit World. She can 'move' her own consciousness into the Spirit World, leaving her own body behind. In addition to this, she can call her past lives before her and speak with them face to face. In a combination of her spiritual and physical abilities, Korra also possesses an ability known as the Avatar State. This is a 'defence mechanism' that temporarily provides her with the wisdom and power of all the previous Avatars before her. It can be triggered if she or a loved one is in great danger, through great displays of emotion, or if she balances herself spiritually and calls the State through her own self.
Korra's biggest weakness is her own fear of the loss of her bending, and thus, the way she sees it, the loss of her identity as the Avatar, as mentioned above in the Personality section. She will never,
however, turn and run in the other direction. Her first instinct will always be to fight, though in a dire situation, she can be convinced to fall back.
She is also efficient at fighting without the use of her bending, though it is never an automatic course of action for her. If she needs to be stealthy, though, she's efficient in self-defense techniques to neutralize her opponents without setting things on fire or tearing open the ground. She is a very resourceful fighter, and will take great advantage of her surroundings in a conflict. Althought she often resorts to brute force, Korra knows how to hold herself back when she is in a fight she doesn't want to be in. She will resort to more nimble and evasive tactics if the situation absolutely calls for it. It is also notable that she is an extremely physically strong young woman. This is played up for humor's sake in canon, but I won't have her doing anything superhuman while playing her. [Limited Powers]:
Korra's bending will exhaust her to the point where she would be unable to do it continuously for extended periods of time. This would make giant, overpowered fights impossible for her to handle on her own, and she would be unable to travel from island to island via waterbending or any other crazy method she might come up with. Just get a boat, Korra, srsly.
And if she somehow gets better at airbending, she sure as hell won't be sailing any ships on her own.
Because she is not in her own "universe," Korra will not be able to access the Spirit World through meditation. She will also be unable to hold conversations with her previous incarnations or access the Avatar State. [Other Important Facts]:
She will be bringing Naga
into the game with her (with permission) as a puppy! All the friendship
and peeing on the floor
without the whole riding her around bit.
This is more for my own personal reference than anything, but Water Tribe handshakes are different from typical Western handshakes. The participants grasp each other by the forearm rather than by the hand. This is Korra's usual method of greeting, though she will also bow to an important figure. It is also notable that in a Water Tribe solute, a person rests a fist over their heart with the back of the palm facing outward.[Samples]:
♦ Thread: Test drive shenanigans!
Hey, everyone, I'm uh... looking for a team. Crew. My name's Korra.[A pause.]
I know we've all pretty much got our sights set on the same thing, and I really have to get home. I can fight... I know you guys don't have benders around here, but I'm a pretty powerful one, back where I come from. [There's confidence gradually fading into her voice now that she's getting a little more used to this.]
I've spent plenty of time on the water, and I promise
I don't get sea sick. I don't know how I can prove myself through this... journal thing, but I'm willing to meet up with people if you wanna talk face to face!Canon Update to Post-Book 2:
Korra grows a lot as a character in Book 2, especially toward the very end. She is starting to learn patience, starting to learn that she cannot expect to run headlong into everything and have it go her way. She now knows that her gut instinct isn't always the right one, and that just because somebody supports her doesn't mean they're on her side. She has become a more mature young woman, though her fiery spirit remains. Korra is also now a killer, and has displayed that she is fully capable of going to extreme lengths when triggered to do so, such as when she twice
very openly threatened to kill a judge who sentenced her father to prison. While the potential emotional repercussions of her ending Unalaq's life have not yet been explored in canon, it is likely that she will think on it extensively. She has also become a much more powerful bender, having been shown using more advanced techniques throughout the final battle even without the aid of the Avatar State.
Her final confrontation with Unalaq and the events leading to it have meant a lot of changes for Korra, and not just because she had to end his life. She has witnessed the story of the origin of the Avatar, and now knows that her abilities are thanks to Raava, the spirit of light who merged with Wan, the first Avatar. This becomes important later, when Unalaq merges himself with Vaatu, the spirit of dark, and tears Raava right out of Korra, permanently severing her connection with the past Avatars. Korra must then invoke the last and most powerful trait she has at her disposal: herself. She must channel her own spirit, her own cosmic energy, and take on Unalaq. There is no Avatar Spirit to boost her or guide her or give her all the answers. No deus ex Aang. No falling back on her identity as the Avatar and parading it like a title. Just Korra.
This is a huge moment for her and for her sense of worth as a person. When she lost her ability to bend when fighting Amon, she immediately got it back, only reaffirming that yes,
being the Avatar is the most important thing she could possibly be. When she saves the free world from chaos through nothing but her own personal strength and energy? That changes everything for Korra's personal view as herself. After the battle, she willingly gives up her role as the bridge between humans and spirits, leaving the entrances to the Spirit World open so that the two worlds may permanently link. This is a long ways away from the obnoxious kid who paraded through Republic City, toting her title as an excuse for destroying property in the name of vigilante justice.
Korra is now a young woman independent from her Avatar self. She still accepts her title with enthusiasm, but it is no longer everything that she is.
Her personal relationships have also changed and evolved. Obviously, her positive ties with Unalaq have been completely severed. She thinks him to be a power-driven crazy man at this point, and kicks herself for ever trusting him in the first place. Korra has truly realized what a valuable mentor Tenzin has been to her, and the two are on better terms than ever. Her relationship with her parents has also healed in the wake of her father's name being cleared of any guilt involving the spirit attack on the Northern Tribe. She has severed romantic ties with Mako completely, having realized that their relationship "doesn't work."
It is also important to note that she has
been rebound with Raava, so she is again capable of bending the four elements. She still cannot, however, access the connection to her previous lives.