When one thinks of great animated shows that are worth a watch, it goes without saying that Avatar: The Last Airbender is a name that passes through the lips of anyone that has seen this brilliant show. It's easy to see why the series has become one of the most popular series of all time — after all, the fact of the matter is that there are very few shows that have managed to weave a fantasy tale like The Last Airbender, which utilized the flexible medium of animation to deliver a tale of the ages that has stayed in the minds of viewers years after they bore witness to it. In fact, the show ended up being so popular that Nickelodeon greenlit a sequel known as The Legend Of Korra to satiate the fanbase.
Whether the sequel was better than the original is a debate saved for another day. However, one simply can't argue with the fact that The Legend Of Korra was a great show in its own right that managed to do justice to its predecessor, in more ways than one. Featuring its own lively cast of characters and a story that explored the various facets of humanity, the show was unfortunately marred by a number of unresolved mysteries and plot holes that certainly did affect the quality of the series as a whole. So, let's list out 25 of these most egregious mistakes in the series that warrant a closer look.
The Beifong family certainly enjoyed a lot of screen time in The Legend Of Korra. Lin, Suyin, and Toph ended up playing important roles throughout the course of the series, steering the plot in their own way. However, there is one pressing question that still hasn't been answered when it comes to this family — just who did Toph have her kids with?
Lin's father is apparently a mysterious man named Kanto, who's not even mentioned twice for some indiscernible reason. Meanwhile, the identity of Suyin's father isn't even hinted at throughout the course of the entire series. This explanation isn't remotely satisfying, and it would've been great if the writers had devoted more time when it came to fleshing out Toph's love life.
Amon was certainly a pretty cool villain for a variety of reasons. His charismatic persona and devilish attitude provided viewers with a great antagonist to start off the new series. Perhaps the biggest draw of this character was the fact that he had the ability to energybend, which is probably the most unique power that any antagonist has had in the entire series.
However, a closer look at this power brings forth a bunch of questions that have been left unanswered, the biggest one of them being — just how did Amon manage to receive such an amazing power in the first place? After all, the Lion Turtles have simply disappeared, and it would definitely be a huge stretch to say that Amon somehow discovered a Lion Turtle, who was generous enough to give this power to him. I mean, come on.
The technology present in the Avatar series is certainly not underdeveloped by any means. In fact, it seems that the world currently living in an age of what can only be described as a weird amalgamation of industrial technology and bending power. However, even though technology has gone so far, for some reason firearms have not been developed yet.
This makes absolutely no sense. After all, the whole reasons why the Equalists were formed was due to the fact that non-benders felt that benders had an unfair advantage over them, which is true. But if that's the case, then wouldn't guns have evened the playing field somewhat? Instead, these non-benders would have to frustratingly live under the shadow of their bender counterparts.
Although now that we think about it, maybe this sentiment wasn't all that prevalent. After all...
Non-benders had been facing a lot of injustice from benders in Republic City for a while, and understandably they were tired of staying under the thumb of benders who could abuse their power as they wished, without any consequences whatsoever. Amon recognized these sentiments and provided people with the opportunity to fight against this injustice. Obviously, these repressed people jumped at the opportunity to give benders a taste of their own medicine through Amon's energybending abilities.
However, when Korra successfully revealed Amon to be the fraud that he was by making him waterbend in front of his loyal fans, the movement was completely destroyed. However, this doesn't really make any sense. These people would still harbor hatred against benders, regardless of who their leader would be. Why wouldn't another charismatic persona rise up and take charge instead?
The Everstorm was a massive blizzard that was initiated by angry spirits, which tormented the South Pole for several decades after the Hundred Year War had ended. The reason for this fury was due to the fact that the Southern Water Tribe had neglected the spiritual traditions for their own selfish causes. As punishment, they decided to whip up a torrential storm, that stopped only when Team Avatar reopened a dormant spirit portal at the heart of the South Pole.
However, it had already been established in the original Avatar series that spirits didn't really care if people happened to be spiritual or not, to begin with. After all, the only time when we witnessed the anger of the spirits was through Hei Bai, when a forest was completely razed by the Fire Nation. It doesn't really make any sense that the Southern Water Tribe would be punished simply because they failed to follow some meaningless rituals.
It seems like the inclusion of Raava and Vaatu in the Avatar series has led to a number of complications when it comes to the history of the Avatar. Oh well, what's done is done.
The Avatar has always had the ability to communicate with their past selves if they wished for guidance. Both Korra and Aang have taken the wise sayings of these past Avatars to heart... but there's one notable voice that has remained silent throughout.
The Legend Of Korra revealed that Raava was a spirit present in the incarnation of every Avatar. If that's the case, then why didn't Raava speak every time any of the Avatars wished for some advice? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to keep silent when your host is desperately searching for answers.
Speaking of Raava...
We've already talked about the story of Avatar Wan before, and it goes without saying that the retelling of this epic is — without a shadow of a doubt — the highlight of Book Two. However, there are a number of inconsistencies that arise when it comes to this particular story. Some of them have already been discussed, and we've saved the best — or worst, depending on your viewpoint — for last... er, second last.
It was already mentioned beforehand that a spirit who possesses a human for too long will lead to the death of said human (to add the icing on the cake, this explanation was provided in the episode itself). The convoluted explanation about Wan touching the Harmonic Convergence — or something along those lines — to avoid this fate did nothing to resolve these lingering doubts.
I guess the plot wants what the plot wants.
After losing the fight with the Dark Avatar UnaVaatu (god, that's a horrible name), Korra was forced to watch in horror as Raava was yanked out of her body and destroyed. This meant that Korra lost the 10,000-year-old connection she had with the past Avatars, and rendered her useless for a while. At the end of the day though, this didn't really matter, since Korra ended up recovering Raava anyway. However, the connection remained broken... or did it?
Even after losing the knowledge of the past Avatars, Korra was still able to enter the Avatar state without any problems. This makes no sense, since the whole point of the Avatar state is to draw upon the bending knowledge of the previous Avatars. The severed connection meant that Korra should've been unable to draw upon this power, but — as we can clearly see — she had no problem doing so.
Poor Bolin. He's been the victim of many writing goof-ups, but it must be said that he still managed to be a pretty strong character.
It seems that the writers didn't really know what to do with Bolin during the early moments of The Legend Of Korra. Perhaps they wanted him to replicate Sokka as much as possible, but — realizing that the character had already been pulled off before — decided that he'd develop a crush on Korra instead.
This was quite unfortunate, especially since Korra preferred Mako over the bumbling earthbender. Thankfully, the writers quickly realized that they were taking Bolin down the wrong path when it came to his character development and dropped the love triangle as quickly as it began.
The swamp where Toph had decided to live out the rest of her days was home to a banyan-grove tree, whose roots housed impressive spiritual power. This attracted the attention of Kuvira, who sought to take these roots in order to make her own superweapon. She decided to employ mecha-suits that made short work of these roots and was ultimately successful in accomplishing her selfish goal.
However, it's certainly baffling as to why the spirits didn't retaliate to make up for this grave injustice. After all — as we've already mentioned before — they certainly didn't waste their breath when the Fire Nation razed the forest in the original series. So, why did they choose to stay their hand, given the circumstances?
A rare, supernatural phenomenon that occurs once every ten thousand years, the Harmonic Convergence served as the focal point of Book Two in The Legend Of Korra. The sheer gravity of this event was not to be taken lightly, and the fact that Korra almost lost her powers during the ensuing battle just shows that the world was on the brink of pure chaos.
So, if the Harmonic Convergence was such a big event, how come there's little to no mention of it in Avatar: The Last Airbender? After all, the importance of this event had been established beforehand, and Aang should've received a small tidbit of knowledge about this particular event from his mentors. However, it seems that wasn't the case, and the fact that these spirit portals would fuse in such a dramatic fashion remained a mystery until the sequel to this series came out.
Speaking of which...
The spirit world was one of the biggest mysteries in the original Avatar series, and inquisitive minds who wanted to know everything there is to know about this dimension would've certainly jumped at an opportunity to explore this world on their own. However, according to The Legend Of Korra, a way to visit the spirit world was already present — that too on the North and South poles, no less.
These spirit portals would've proven to be exceedingly useful in Avatar: The Last Airbender, for a multitude of reasons. However, for some reason, the existence of these gateways wasn't even mentioned, which is certainly quite weird. The fact that they existed since Wan's time is also quite suspect, since we're pretty sure that the residents of the Northern and Southern Water Tribe wouldn't have missed a giant beam of light in their own backyard.
The existence of thes spirit portals brings forth another contradiction that needs to be addressed.
In the original Avatar series, it had been specified beforehand that only enlightened individuals — and the Avatar... obviously — had the ability to traverse the spirit portal. This shrouded the spirit world in a cloak of mystery, and communicated to the viewers about the special nature of this realm.
However, in The Legend of Korra, it turns out that any run-of-the-mill human being can make their way into the spirit world, without having to reach a state of enlightenment. If that wasn't bad enough, spirits could also travel over to the normal world without any problems.
These spirits also act rather weird in other ways as well.
This is a mistake that is present in both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend Of Korra, and needs to be addressed by the creators at some point.
Anybody who has even the faintest idea of science would know that at the poles, days and nights don't go by as normal. However, for some reason, in the Avatar series, the days and nights go by like always. In fact, in the original series, an entire siege on the North Pole that was planned by the Fire Nation was meant to happen at night, which makes absolutely no sense.
One of the explanations that have been given by the fans of Avatar is that the world itself is flat, and not a globe. This would add a semblance of logic when it comes to the cycle of day and night that's present at the poles. However, the creators have stayed mum when it comes to this, so this assumption will be nothing more than what it currently is — an assumption.
It was revealed in The Legend Of Korra that the Lion Turtles were responsible for providing people with the ability to bend in the first place. They're also responsible for teaching energybending, as seen in the finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender when Aang was bestowed with this power by the last surviving Lion Turtle.
However, in the sequel to this series, the Lion Turtles are never even seen once, which raises a whole host of questions. Where did the Lion Turtle from the original series disappear? Is it dead or in hiding? Are the Lion Turtles extinct? The sheer numbers of questions that arise are numerous in nature, and the series provided no answers at all.
Another question that arises when it comes to the disappearance of these Lion Turtles is that...
There are many special forms of bending that are available to prodigies all over the world of Avatar. These abilities are actually explained properly and in detail — well, for the most part — making it a worthy addition to the bending abilities that were already present. However, one such special form of bending that has remained frustratingly cryptic has to be combustionbending (it also happens to be quite a mouthful).
In case you happened to forget what combustionbending was all about (which is completely understandable), it's a modification of firebending that utilizes chi to launch an explosive beam, generally through a third eye of sorts. Only two people in the series have used combustionbending in the entire series — Combustion Man and P'Li. This makes this form of bending all the more secretive, for the wrong reasons.
Speaking of specialized bending techniques...
Surprisingly enough, one of the characters in The Legend Of Korra that probably received the deepest character development — aside from Korra, obviously — is Bolin, who initially starts off as a character meant to provide non-stop comic relief. However, later on, he came into his own as a solid character, while still retaining his funny side. One of the major contributors to this change of image was when he received the ability to lavabend, which was undoubtedly quite badass.
However, there's one major problem when it comes to the power of lavabending that most fans prefer to ignore. In fact, this is a problem that has plagued various forms of entertainment since time immemorial — people simply cannot stand close to lava. The temperature is just so hot that Bolin would've been charred to a crisp the moment he decided to summon lava in the first place.
And, since we're already on the topic of Bolin...
Varrick and Bolin come together to provide some of the funniest exchanges in the entire series, which is to be expected — after all, both of them are pretty big goofballs in their own special ways. However, there's one moment in the series where the events that unfold make absolutely no sense whatsoever, once a person happens to take a closer look.
In the fourth book, both Bolin and Varrick start out working for Kuvira before realizing how corrupt she actually is. They escape their predicament and decide to flee, but are taken into custody just minutes afterward. However, what doesn't make sense is that the guards actually saw their face on a wanted poster, which couldn't have been printed out and posted in such short span of time, to begin with.
When it comes to wasted potential, the one thing that comes to the mind of every person who has seen The Legend Of Korra has to be the United Forces. With their vast military power, this group should've had the power to completely change the course of the story whenever they saw fit to do so.
Instead, all we see are glimpses of this vast army, and General Iroh (the second one, obviously) looking cool... and nothing else. His appearances in Book One, Two and Four seem completely unnecessary, and one must wonder if the whole point of their existence was to simply show the sheer numbers of their army, and nothing else.
Speaking of absolute wastes...
Time to enter the realm of the bizarre.
The original Avatar series had no shortage of characters that provided comic relief, so one can understand if you happened to forget who Bosco was. To refresh your memory, the bear was the pet of Earth King Kuei. Unlike the other animals in the series who were a combination of familiar creatures, Bosco was a simple brown bear that had his moments during the series.
However, when The Legend Of Korra came along, Bosco was nowhere to be found. The natural thing to assume was that he passed away due to old age, but the truth might actually be harder to stomach — the diabolical and vile Earth Queen Hou-Ting actually ate the animal to demonstrate her hatred of animals to the entire kingdom.
Suffice to say, she ended up going a bit too far.
Zaheer is the primary antagonist of Book Three, and his powers are certainly nothing to scoff at. The former leader of the Red Lotus, his martial arts prowess was already impressive enough. However, after the Harmonic Convergence, he also attained the ability to airbend, making him a fearsome adversary that the Avatar managed to overcome — but not before sustaining some long-term damage.
Zaheer was certainly a very knowledgeable person, and knew everything there is to know about many subjects. However, it's his in-depth knowledge of the Air Nomads that's somewhat unbelievable. After all, the Air Nomads and their cultural significance were completely annihilated by the Fire Nation in the original series. Just how did Zaheer manage to dig up so much information when it came to these individuals?
And this isn't even the end of it...
In The Legend Of Korra, it had been mentioned time and time again that only one airbender had attained the rare feat of unassisted flight. It's an art that required a lot of discipline and patience to unlock... with the exception of Zaheer, who managed to attain this power after losing P'Li.
In fact, the airbending prowess of Zaheer is certainly very suspect in itself. It took a while for Korra to even learn airbending, let alone master it. But somehow, Zaheer ended up being an airbending prodigy from the get-go, which is pretty suspicious, to say the least. The explanation of him losing all his earthly attachments after P'Li died doesn't exactly clear up any doubts either.
The history of how bending came to be is expanded on in The Legend Of Korra through a story that spans two episodes. It's beautifully animated, and shows exactly what happened before the age of the Avatar, and how the Avatar himself came to be. This story adds to the lore in multiple ways, but there's one issue — among many — that must be looked at.
According to the story, the art of bending fire, water, earth, and wind were taught by the dragons, moon, badgermoles and air bisons respectively. However, the exact manner in which these bending arts were taught requires a better explanation. Also, how did these animals (and in the case of the moon, a celestial object) learn to "bend" these elements in the first place? Isn't it a part of their natural ability?
The spirit of Raava is revealed to be the catalyst that provides the Avatar with his/her powers, and The Legend Of Korra molds certain events beautifully to accommodate her and Vaatu into the overarching story. According to the plot, the powers of Raava were transferred over to the Avatar once they fused, allowing the enlightened individual to bend the four elements with ease.
However, if that happens to be the case, then there's one problem that needs to be rectified. We've seen Raava and Vaatu fight time and time again, and some of their attacks include the use of energy bolts. Why is it that the Avatar (or even Unalaq) doesn't have this ability? After all, aren't they meant to obtain all the abilities of the spirit inside of them?
That's not the only problem when it comes to the fusion of humans and spirits...
In the Avatar series, we've seen people bond with spirits before. It's nothing new, and the human body actually changes somewhat to reflect the spirit that is inside of him or her. It seems like an easy thing to follow, but then one look at either Unalaq, Korra, Aang or any of the Avatars will completely shatter this notion.
Let us go back to the previous point — if the appearance of humans change when a spirit inhabits them, then why do all the Avatars look completely normal? If they and Unalaq were possessed by Raava and Vaatu respectively, then shouldn't there be a visual indicator of sorts to reflect this change? Perhaps — and this might be a bit of a stretch, so bear with us here — these individuals should've sprouted some tentacles or something of the sort. Just a thought.