Legend of Korra: Book Two, Spirits is set to premiere on Friday, and in preparation we’re exploring a number of events and areas in the Avatar universe that could be crucial in the future of Korra! Today we’re looking at the things Korra really needs to learn from Avatar Aang, her predecessor, as she continues to forge her own life and legacy as the next Avatar.
Young Avatar Korra is certainly rough around the edges, and while she discovers many things in Book One, she has a great deal more to learn yet. We finally see Korra able to connect with her spiritual side, through Avatar Aang, toward the end of Book One, and this experience will enable her to learn and grow from Aang and the other past Avatars.
So, just what can Korra learn from Aang and why is Aang a good choice to teach her?
Patience and restraint are two of the most important qualities of the Avatar. As the spiritual leader of an entire world of people, the Avatar must be able to maintain their composure, never anger, and show the utmost patience when dealing with issues – from trivial to life-threatening.
Korra can stand to learn just that from Avatar Aang. In Book One, we see her rush into many situations, often without any real plan of action, and while that has occasionally worked out well, there have been many situations in which it has gotten her into trouble.
Though she is from the Water Tribe, her personality seems to be closer to the impulsive nature found in Fire benders. Aang also had a very playful nature, but with the help of his friends and those they encountered on their travels, he quickly learned when the need to plan ahead and to be patient in their dealings, rather than rushing headlong into things.
Korra is an independent person, and while that isn’t always a bad thing, teamwork is very important when it comes to leading the world as the Avatar. Book One shows us how important teamwork, and relying on others to help her, is when it comes to bringing Amon to justice and disbanding the Equalists.
Book One brought us a number of situations in which Korra rushed into various situations where she should have brought her friends with her. It was only through her friends, or Naga, that she was able to be rescued or eventually be able to accomplish her goal.
In Avatar: The Last Airbender, we saw Aang struggle trusting in himself and his abilities, but in the end Katara, Sokka, and Toph were always there to give him a boost.
On numerous occasions throughout Book One, we’re stuck seeing Korra struggle with self doubt, or the doubt of those around her. Trust goes hand-in-hand with teamwork. We need to see Korra, arguably the most powerful bender in the world, gain trust in her own abilities so that she can better know her limits. We see Korra grow throughout Book One as she begins to gain some self-confidence and hopefully we continue to see that confidence grow.
We also hope to see Korra learn to trust in the abilities of her friends, and to rely on them more often. This is a lesson Aang learned early on in The Last Airbender: he cannot accomplish everything alone, and together with his friends and allies, many impossible feats are possible. Aang definitely has a lot to teach Korra about teamwork. Sokka, Aang, Katara and Toph certainly made an amazing Team Avatar in their day, overcoming many obstacles along the way, and Korra, Mako, and Bolin have the promise to become just as powerful and effective
Korra’s hot-headed nature has led the young Avatar to say and do things that have gotten her in some really hot water, including nearly getting caught by Amon on at least two occasions. She wasn’t capable of admitting her fear of Amon, and as a result was manipulated into challenging him to meet her one-on-one. She almost lost to him that time, and has several close calls throughout Book One. Korra’s lack of caution even lead to her losing all of her bending – a devastating lost for any bender, but especially the Avatar. Being more cautious in these moments would have betterserved her interests as Avatar and the interests of those in Republic City and around the world.
Aang and crew learned the importance of caution time and time again. Carefully planned, carefully executed missions allowed the team in and out of places and situations that would have otherwise resulted in capture. It was a hard lesson to learn, but planning and caution beat the Fire Nation, and Aang should do all that he can to relay this lesson to Korra.
Humility and discretion… Korra struggles with both. There are times where Korra has relied on her Avatar status to try to get her out of trouble, mostly with Chief Beifong. This shows arrogance and a lack of humility, and is unbecoming of the Avatar. Additionally, Korra needed to use discretion when dealing with Councilman Tarrlok, as it may have kept her out of many tricky situations. Her lack of disrection lead to uncomfortable run-ins and eventually, her capture.
Aang was not always the most humble of Avatars in his early days of The Last Airbender, but he quickly learned that flaunting his Avatar status wouldn’t benefit him. He also showed discretion when, instead of killing Fire Lord Ozai, he took away Ozai’s fire bending for good. Though many of his friends thought he was insane when he said he wouldn’t kill Ozai, it was the right decision to make at the time.
Aang had a fairly carefree nature. We saw him try to find the good in any situation, no matter how daunting, and he was a master at defusing hightension situations. Aang may have had a somewhat odd sense of humor at times, but he did his best to keep everyone around him in good spirits. Korra tends to comeacross as overly serious about her Avatar training and the pressures that accompany it. The only time we’ve truly seen Korra let loose was during her Pro-bending matches. Between Aang’s memories and Bolin’s fun-filled personality, we should see her loosen up some in Book Two.
Korra has struggled with love, though we did see her and Mako come together at the end of Book One. Her impulsive nature led her to rush into proclaiming her affections, causing a bit of a rift to form between Korra, Mako and Bolin. Korra’s passionate nature causes some jealousy issues when Mako begins dating Asame, but in the end, even Asame realizes Mako belongs with Korra.
Aang can teach Korra about being open to love and being careful with her heart. Katara, if she were with Korra, could also teach her about dealing with jealousy issues. Katara was rather jealous of the girls on Kyoshi Island at the beginning of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and the attention Aang was giving them (and vice versa). Aang eventually realized just how much he cared for Korra when he thought that she and Zuko may have had sparks between them. He didn’t want to lose her, but was also willing to let Katara be happy, even if it meant losing her
Aang can help Korra understand that it’s okay to love and be loved, even if it means your loved ones may be put in danger. Aang and Korra both have people they love deeply, but those people are also strong benders who can take care of themselves should the need arise. Katara proved that many times to Aang, and we’ve seen Mako and Bolin prove to Korra that they know what to do in combat situations. Korra must learn that love is not a weakness, but a strength.
Korra shows a lot of personal growth throughout Book One, and while she has a long way to go in progressing toward being a learned Avatar, we must remember her age, and what she has accomplished in just a few short years. Korra is an amazing person with many strengths and a great group of friends to help her along the road to serving and improving the lives of the people of Republic City and the world.
Now we ask: What do YOU think Korra can stand to learn from Aang in Book Two and beyond?