This archived article was written by: Katrina Wood
Vaatu has been sealed for another 10,000 years. The portals have been left open. The Avatar has changed the world. But are the inhabitants of world willing to change with it?
After The Legend of Korra’s rushed ending from book one and overall shakiness in book two, most fans were reluctant to jump on for book three. Many fans of the original Avatar: The Last Airbender series were unwilling to overlook the faults present from the first two books of The Legend of Korra, and lost interest and dropped the show during the second book’s airing. Following the finale of book two, most fans declared Korra a lost cause… but not this Avatar fanatic.
While most fans found themselves incapable of comparing the two series and criticizing Korra, I looked forward to book three with hope. I knew for a fact Korra could redeem herself and prove she was the Avatar the world needed, and I also knew she could do it in the most spectacular, breath-taking fashion the Avatar could. And you know what? I was right. Book three made up for the first two book’s short-comings with fantastic story-telling, brilliant character development, fascinatingly dangerous villains and an emotionally striking finale.
The third book of The Legend of Korra, Change, begins two weeks after Harmonic Convergence. Republic City is in a state of chaos after the battle between Avatar Korra and Unavaatu, and her choice to leave the portals between the real world and spirt world open.
With no way to properly deal with the destruction of the city or arrival of new neighbors, the spirits, the city’s inhabitants and leaders quickly push the blame to Korra. The young Avatar is swallowed by the over-whelming disapproval of her actions until suddenly, airbenders start appearing all over the world, thanks to the energy shift during Harmonic Convergence.
The occurrence takes the crew on a journey around the world in a hope to build the air nation anew; but little do they know that not everyone who inherited these new bending abilities intends to use them for good.
Within his prison cell, Zaheer discovers he can airbend. Before anyone can stop him, he escapes and frees his friends from their prisons around the world, and begins a desperate chase after the Avatar. As a member of the Red Lotus, an organization bent on restoring balance to the world, he leads with a purpose that will leave Korra defeated, lost and changed.
From its first moment to its tremendous finale, book three of The Legend of Korra confirms itself as a masterfully crafted, visually stunning experience. It boasts an overabundance of pros that the previous two books were unable to match, and keeps viewers sitting on the edge of their seats demanding to know what happens next. It’s beautiful, hilarious and heart-breaking, and it left most fans tearbending by the end.
Overall, it’s hard to pin-point everything that made this book so gripping. The plot flowed fantastically, the characters clicked completely, the villains proved lethal and the failures destroyed us. Everything about the show connected and worked together in a way Korra never had. But what exactly about Korra’s third installment pulled us in?
In my eyes, the answer is as simple as the title of the book. Change. Korra’s victory no longer felt like a sure-fire guarantee. She relied more on her friends and family, and even though she remained the fiery, sharp-tongued Avatar she is, she was more than willing to keep an even head when the situation demanded it.
On a broader scale, the show was willing to take chances and try things it hadn’t before, while keeping itself rooted in what made its predecessor a success. It told the story with a whimsical and hopeful tone, but reminded us that as in real life, things don’t always end happily.
The third book of The Legend of Korra was an incredible installment to the Avatar universe. It was reminiscent of the original series enough to draw us in, yet unique enough to keep things interesting. It ripped our hearts apart and broke down our heroine, and it left her with a question that will change her forever: does the world need or want her as the Avatar?
Book three has left fans of Korra in shambles, but with the shocking announcement of book four premiering this October—less than two months after book three’s finale—Avatar fanatics won’t have to wait long before they get to see Korra back in action.