The Avatar Article: Korra is annoying, Aang is adored, why?
Well, fantastic news for Nickelodeon’s Avatar fans. The trailer for Book Three of the Legend Of Korra has been released and well, it looks absolutely stunning. With so many new elements being introduced (does Lin Beifong have a sister?) and so many returning elements. (Oh my God is that Zuko!?) everybody has been so excited about the return of everyone’s favourite spiritual warrior, or is she? I would like to put this question to every fan out there, why do so many fans find Korra annoying? If you looked at all the reviews of last season you would see a recurring element, reviewers and fans alike hated how Korra reacted to situations and treated other characters, it was usually the least interesting part of an episode during season two. Voice actor Janet Varney wasn’t the issue, in fact she was totally fantastic especially in the emotional moments. A lot of fans, myself included, thought this came down to some poor characterisation on the writers parts but I don’t think that is the case. If you’ll allow me I will explain to you why everyone loves Aang and hates Korra, at least in season two anyway.
Why is it that we loved Aang and find Korra so annoying? It’s pretty simple actually, it all has to do with the age of our lead. Aang was at possibly the most fun and interesting stage in his life, he had only reached his teens so he had none of the problems that are associated with that stage in their lives and that’s where Korra comes in. She is at the height of teen angst, of relationships and various other issues that teens have. She’s broody, full of issues about her identity and how people view her, Aang on the other hand doesn’t care because he hasn’t reached that stage of his life yet. All he cares about is adventure and his friends and doing the right thing, he’s flawed yes but he listens to his peers when he believes he’ll be the better for it. Korra goes against every good idea she is given and this usually causes a lot of problems for her and her allies.
Korra never really seems to grow, always aggressive, always contradictory and at times kind of mean while Aang clearly becomes a stronger, more confident individual by the end of his series. Korra at the end of the first season has a genuine and spiritual moment which deeply moves her and seems to give her a huge moment of growth. She learned to relax, to breath and to become a more mature individual, then season two hit and to perfectly exemplify how immature she is what did she do when Mako dumped her? She kicked his desk through a wall. Now to be fair to her Aang did something similar in season two of his series though this was due to Appa being kidnapped by some Sandbenders and being shipped off to Ba Sing Se, this was without a doubt the most heart wrenching grouping of episodes in all of Avatar history.
To further my point all you have to do is look at the second season episode “A New Spiritual Age” where Korra goes into the spirit realm and is transformed back into her younger self. When this happens she becomes funny, endearing and adorable and she does everything she is told, she makes decisions that may be tough but are also necessary which is impressive for a four year old. Then there is Aang’s few appearances in The Legend Of Korra where he is around the age of forty, he’s wise, he’s thoughtful and he’s now got that fatherly aura which makes him the ultimate hero. What’s funny is Aang isn’t immune to this treatment either, the comics which bridge the gap between season three of The Last Airbender and The Legend Of Korra show an older Aang who is learning to deal with the changes in the world. In this comic Aang seems to get the same treatment as Korra, the teenage treatment I call it. He’s lost some of his charm, he makes some stupid decisions and literally turns his back on someone who is trying to help him.
In the end it seems like the writers of the Avatar series can handle a lot of archetypes except for maybe teenagers, there are exceptions of course, Zuko, Sokka and Wan spring to mind but at the end of the day if you’re looking for an answer to that nagging feeling which makes you feel like Korra is acting a bit annoying look no further. This funnily enough doesn’t detract from the excellence that is the Avatar series, if anything it gives us a huge and varied cast of characters to talk about. Let us know here, do you get annoyed at Korra, do you adore Aang and do you agree with my theory of the teenage treatment? Book Three of The Legend Of Korra is coming soon.