It’s finally back! The Legend of Korra premiered last Friday on Nickelodeon and we all rejoiced! Well, maybe some of us rejoiced and maybe SOME of us went on TUMBLR and GRIPPED about the premier. If you don’t know what Tumblr is, don’t worry. As soon as you figure it out you will waste too much of your life there. If you haven’t seen the premier yet you still have time to watch! I’ll be posting about it tomorrow. If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, but want to know more, keep reading and learn all about the most awesome and amazing cartoon masterpiece ever created.
So let’s start from the beginning. And don’t worry, this is just some basic info to give you an idea what the show is all about.
But basically you need to go watch it ASAP.
In 2005, a series called Avatar: The Last Airbender premiered on Nickelodeon. The series was created by Michael Dante Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko, the same two also created The Legend of Korra. Basically, theses two guys set out to create an anime type cartoon for kids that adults could also appreciate. What actually occurred was a show that is deeply loved by people of all ages. Why, you may be wondering? Because of Team Avatar of course!
The setting of the story takes place on an alternate Earth with humans and weird hybrid animals. The picture above shows Momo the sky lemur and Appa the Sky Bison. Its a carton…just go with it. In the Avatar Universe, all humans are divided into the four kingdoms: the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, the Water Tribes (Northern and Southern), and the Air Nomads. As you can probably tell by now, the four kingdoms are named after the four elements. In the Avatar Universe there are people called “benders” who can actually manipulate the elements. Benders in the fire nation can produce and manipulate fire, the water nation can manipulate water in all its forms, and so on and so forth. Now, there are non benders too. If you look at the picture you will notice Sokka is wielding a sword. That’s right, he’s a nonbender.
To keep the world in balance there is an Avatar, or a bender who can master all four elements. Only Avatars can master all the elements, normal benders can only manipulate one element. Avatars are reincarnated after their death, meaning the line of Avatar reaches back thousands of years. Now the Avatar reincarnation goes in cycles: Water, Earth, Fire, and Air. In the show, Aang (the kid with the arrow) is the Avatar and an air bender. Since Avatars are reincarnated, they can enter into the Avatar state (see glowing eyes below). The Avatar state not only allows them to connect with their past lives, but also gives them ultimate power. If an Avatar dies in the Avatar state, the reincarnation process stops and another Avatar will never be born. After disappearing for 100 years, Aang must master the elements and save the world. You see, without an Avatar the Fire Nation began attacking the other kingdoms, leading to a very long war.
Sokka and Katara, a brother and sister from the Southern Water Tribe find Aang, who is unknowingly being chased by Zuko, son of the current Fire Lord (king of the Fire Nation). Zuko has been exiled from the Fire Nation unless he can bring back the Avatar. A few years earlier, Zuko spoke out of turn during a war meeting and to teach his son a lesson, Zuko was forced to participate in a duel. When Zuko finds out he is dueling his father, he refuses and his father burns his face. Once Sokka and Katara realize they have the Avatar they know they must take him to the Northern Water tribe in the North Pole to learn water bending. Unfortunately, Katara is the last water bender in the Southern Water tribe due to Fire Nation raiders killing all the others.
On the way to the Northern Water Tribe, they stop at Aang’s home, the Southern Air Temple. Aang gruesomely discovers that he is the last air bender, the others were killed in a Fire nation attack. Eventually, Aang connects with Avatar Roku, his previous reincarnation. Roku tells Aang that 100 years ago, shortly after Aang went missing, a comet strengthened the Fire Nation’s bending abilities. (Basically, a comet is fire, fire makes fire stronger.) The Fire Lord at the time took this opportunity to attack the other nations and kill the new Avatar, who everyone knew was an Air Nomad child. Luckily and not so luckily, Aang disappeared and inadvertently saved his own life. Had he been at the Air Temple, he would have been killed and the Fire Nation would have been able to kill the next Avatar (Water) and so on until the Avatar was reincarnated into the Fire Nation. Zuko tells Aang that the comet is returning and he must defeat the Fire Lord and restore balance to the four nations. Whew! This is the end of season or book 1.
After beating the Fire Nation in a battle at the Northern Water Tribe, Sokka, Katara, and Aang go to the Earth Kingdom and meet Toph, a blind earth bender who is basically one of the best earth benders ever. Toph is so awesome that she can “see” with her feet and learns to bend metal.
Zuko and his uncle Iroh, who has been traveling with Zuko since his exile, have become fugitives from the Fire Nation after Iroh attempts to attacks a Fire Nation Admiral. Iroh was attempting to prevent the Admiral from throwing the world off balance even more. Basically, Iroh is spiritually enlightened and understands the need to restore balance to the planet, even if that means stopping the Fire Nation. Iroh cares deeply for Zuko and wants his nephew to find peace. Iroh see’s Zuko as a kind young man who wants to do good in the world, rather than a prince of the Fire Nation hell bent on destroying everything. Iroh and Zuko head to the Earth Kingdom to start a new life and make tea. Eventually Zuko goes through an existential crisis and becomes good, for a while. Then Zuko’s evil sister Azula, convinces Zuko to double cross everyone and become a hero to the Fire Nation again. In the final battle of the season 2, Azula kills Aang in the Avatar state. Katara is able to save him with special healing waters she got back in the Northern Water Tribe. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Katara is a healer. Some water benders, mainly female benders, become healers. So not only is Katara an awesome water bender, but now a healer. Girl power, party of AWESOME.
To end this story before it gets any longer, Zuko eventually becomes good for real this time. Thanks to Iroh he understands his true self. Zuko joins Team Avatar and teaches Aang Fire bending. (I know I’m skipping a lot, but just watch the show.) Team Avatar finds out that Iroh is a leading member of the Order of the Lotus, which is basically some bad ass old dudes who are bad ass. Together, everyone including friends Team Avatar made during their adventures, defeat the Fire Lord and work to restore balance in the Avatar Universe.
On Wednesday I will discuss The Legend of Korra and continue the story of Team Avatar. I hope you enjoyed this quick guide to Avatar! Come back on Wednesday and see what Korra is all about.