‘The Legend of Korra’ Season 3 Premiere Review: Change Is in the Air

Published 10 months ago by

the legend of korra season 3 premiere korra header The Legend of Korra Season 3 Premiere Review: Change Is in the Air

[This is a review of The Legend of Korra season 3 premiere. There will be SPOILERS.] 


Amid the controversial whispers of why The Legend of Korra season 3 (Book 3: Change) premiered ahead of schedule, one might wonder if the quality of the series would suffer for it? Fortunately, team avatar has never looked better in this spectacular three-part premiere.

It’s still too early to say how the show’s ratings will be affected, with such a short window for the network to promote the new season, but for fans (this reviewer included) seeking answers from last year’s thrilling finale, this is a blessing we didn’t see coming. With nearly 90-minutes of content to feast our eyes upon, it’s now time to start asking new questions about what awaits our heroes in this new era of change.

The first episode, titled ‘A Breath of Fresh Air,’ sets our players in motion as we’re introduced to a Republic City two weeks after the great battle between Korra and Vaatu/Unalaq. It was a joy to watch Korra use her air-glider to get around the city (Aang would have been proud).

Advancements in technology have always been a focus during Korra’s stay in the metropolis, and unlike her predecessor, she has to worry about poll numbers and talking to the press every time she tries to help people. Tenzin’s pep-talk is emotionally stirring, as the wise airbender informs Korra that her role is not that of a politician, but as a savior who is supposed to bring balance to the world.

According to Tenzin, that balance has shown up in the form of new airbenders scattered across the Earth Kingdom. Korra’s banishment from the city could not have come at a better time, as many of you have been looking forward to exploring the various kingdoms again. Republic City was a brilliant creation by creators/executive producers Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino; bringing to life a sprawling city set in a roaring twenties jazz-age atmosphere provided a backdrop for some great adventures.

With that being said, Tenzin’s words hit home, as the Avatar is not just the protector of one city. It’s time for her to meet the rest of the world.

the legend of korra season 3 premiere korra tenzin The Legend of Korra Season 3 Premiere Review: Change Is in the Air

At the end of the first episode, we are introduced to a new villain named Zaheer (Henry Rollins). Harmonic Convergence has given this dangerous criminal the ability to airbend. What’s interesting is how much control Zaheer has over his new gifts.

The miscreant claims that “instinct is a lie,” or an excuse not to discover one’s true potential. Is our new antagonist more focused and disciplined than the other individuals who have just learned of their new power? Well, whatever the case may be, Zaheer is one intimidating dude, and his three companions appear to be equally ferocious as their leader.

The last two chapters of this stellar premiere, titled ‘Rebirth’ and ‘The Earth Queen,’ showcase why The Legend of Korra is king when it comes to action set-pieces.

One of Zaheer’s companions, a woman named Ming-Hua, has what is one of the more spectacular character introductions in recent memory, by using waterbending to give herself arms. Who else could properly give voice to this deadly beauty than Azula herself, Ms. Grey DeLisle? Her melodic yet menacing tone is perfect for this new villain, who will undoubtedly give team avatar a run for their money. Since this premiere is the gift that keeps on giving, Ming-Hua was not the only interesting character to grace us with their presence.

Even more than Aang, Zuko was the character from Avatar: The Last Airbender whose arc drastically changed the most from season to season. From exiled dark prince of the Fire Nation to the bringer of peace alongside the original team avatar, Zuko was the wildcard no one knew quite what to expect from.

Even as an old man, the brooding Lord shows little emotion, other than an urgency to stop these criminals who want to destroy the Avatar and the Order of the White Lotus. Hopefully, we will learn more about what has happened to Zuko over the last several decades. Has our weary hero found peace, or is he still haunted by the demons of his family’s past?

Legend of Korra First 5 Minutes Released Team Avatar The Legend of Korra Season 3 Premiere Review: Change Is in the Air

With all of the tension in air, The Legend of Korra still finds plenty of time for moments of levity. Mako and Bolin have a heartwarming reunion with their uncle, cousins, and grandmother in Ba Sing Se. The two young men have been orphans for most of their lives, so going through old family photos and swapping stories with loved ones was a pleasure to watch. Perhaps they will uncover more truths about their past as the season progresses?

Even Kai (Skyler Brigmann), who Bolin has quickly adopted as his new brother, seems like he’ll fit in well with team avatar as the first member of the new order of airbenders. Unfortunately, Kai’s mischief gets him into more trouble than he could imagine, as he will now be forced to join the Earth Queen’s secret airbending army. Will his new family save him before the inevitable brainwashing begins?

If the first three episodes are any indication, then we’re in for one exciting season of team avatar adventures. As always, we’d love to see what theories you come up with regard to what might transpire over the next several episodes.

What were some of your favorite moments from the premiere? For us, it was great to see Asami and Korra come together in an exciting battle with the Earth Kingdom bandits. The whole “will they or won’t they” motif concerning Mako was getting tiresome last season, so it’s nice to see two strong female characters just kicking some butts as friends.

The Legend of Korra seems to favor one or two major villains per season, as opposed to having one singluar objective, like Aang had with Fire Lord Ozai. Do you prefer this new formula, or would you like to see Korra have a more singular goal? Either way, keep watching to see what thrilling spectacles await in the weeks to come.


The Legend of Korra continues with ‘In Harm’s Way’ on Friday, July 11th @8pm on Nickelodeon.

Follow David Griffin on Twitter @griffinde
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  1. I don’t mind the seasonal villains but personally I prefer the to have a more singular villain like Ozai.

    Regardless, the premiere was just spectacular. Can’t wait for next week’s episode.

    • It doesn’t seem that different from the first series considering Ozai didn’t have much of a presence at all until the last season. You had Zhao and Zuko in the first season and Long Feng and Azula in the second as ‘seasonal’ villains.

  2. a Cool female Hero MC is Back nough said

  3. Loved the 3 part premier. Super excited to see more of these mysterious villains. And Zuko is back! He was my favorite character! The only thing I’m worried about is that they’ll make Korra all immature like they did in season 2 even though she transitioned by the end of the first season.

  4. It was awesome, but what happened to Zuko’s voice?! Why does his grandson have his voice now… But anyway worth the short wait.

    • haha, well I guess it’s a bit weird alright but I reckon it would be even weirder if 86 year old Zuko still sounded like he was 16. (that’s a long time to wait for puberty to hit in)

      • Lol, I guess I’ll have to get used to the change.

  5. Loved every minute. Some brilliant episodes to start the series off. The humour was especially great and the introduction of the new villains was fantastic.

    Is it wrong that I’m a 30 year old male who quiet enjoys this show? Sometimes (well most of the time to be honest) the writing and storytelling in the Avatar shows seems better than a lot of live action television series or movies for that matter.

    (For example, I’ve seen episode’s of LOK or ATLAB that are 100 times more mature and make way more sense (better plot and character development also) than say, a certain episode of Agents of Shield or even The Walking Dead. Yet my mates would take the p**s simply because it’s a cartoon.

    Anyway, to each their own I guess, can’t wait for the next episode.

    • It is definitely not wrong! Don’t let ignorant others stop you from enjoying quality entertainment!

    • not wrong at all…I personally think ATLA is one of the most entertaining and well-crafted television series of all time

    • Nahhhh I’m 26 and I have friends who are 19 to 30 who watch avatar and korra. I’m just not into the other TV shows which are on right now because they just seem like trash.

      • @adamstorm97, @jeff @the avatar

        Cheers, you guys are awesome.

    • 30, your 30 and still watching cartoons……

      Good on ya fella,

      I be 37 which means I am what I am, my personality is set.

      I’ll be watching cartoons and anime and sci-fi and wearing my genre t-shirts and socks and paying for dinner with my marvel wallet and checking the time on my Wolverine watch till some bugger puts me in the ground.

      I’m sure there’s loads of things your mates do that you can take the p1ss back with.

      If what your into gives you joy then that’s all that matters….. unless is vivisection, that’s just weird.

  6. Indeed! I’m 18 and I agree with you! Zaheer is the best villain so far and P’Li sounds like she’ll do her fair share of tyranny in book 3! Can’t wait! Hope Book 4 is called Energy and we see Wan Aang and Lion Tirtles again!

  7. Tenzin: “When your son is older he’s body will be covered with tattoos like me.”

    Door shuts in face.

  8. I love the fact how they modified the pacing so that we have more time to digest a little bit more of everything. Awesome animations and figthing scenes.

  9. Loved mako’s and Bolin’s cousin and his moldy fruit. I wasn’t impressed with book 1 and 2, something felt missing. But I’m loving book 3! Feels like the original avatar again. It has the comedy, heart, and bad*** fight scenes again. Love seeing Ba sing Se and the dai li.

    Zuko is awesome as always. But I must point out he aged waaay better than katara did.. He’s all handsome even though he’s old and she’s all fat and wrinkly… I know i know its just a cartoon and she had babies… But just saying..

  10. I’m getting a 4 Horseman Vibe from the villains. There are hints that this season will be a war for the hearts and minds of benders, and that Zaheer is very much the REAL Bender version of what Amon was masquerading as for non-benders.

    His aptitude with bending seems almost on par with Amon.

    I called Kai as young Nathan Drake from Uncharted 3 (Naughty Dog) even before I knew he was a thief, and he will be the pivotal heart/mind in the series. Zaheer will want him and so will Tenzin/Korra.

    Zuko was a nice start, but the series desperately needs to tie family histories from ATLA to the present (good or bad).

    Zuko looking like the fire nation Avatar is no accident.

    I sorely miss AMON. I want to see him return, Dr Doom style, with real burns and K’oh backing him from the spirit world, though unable to harm him.

  11. I like these three chapters more than the most of the second book.

    Zuko’s appearance gave me goosebumps, I hope Mai, Ty Lee, Suki or Sokka are alive, you never know, I initially thought Zuk was dead too, Toph and Aang could be the only (teenage) members of the TLA that aren’t alive, imagine if Azula was alive and crazier than ever!

    My favorite bit of the remiere was Zuko, Desna & Eska discussing their failed attempts to kill Aaang and Korra respectively, it was hilarious, and to me it felt like a meeting in the “Villian’s Pub” of HISHE YouTube channel.

    • Sokka was confirmed to die. The kyoshi warriors (suki and ty lee) were bodyguards of zuko. I don’t see them around so most likely dead. I don’t see mai either so she could also be dead, or zuko just left em behind.

  12. How badass is it to have Henry Rollins voicing Zaheer. I got chills knowing the “four horsemen” are getting the heavy metal treatment, at least in appearance anyway. Oh yeah, then as a gift from the animation gods they’re all competent fully realized benders who use their powers efficiently. Let’s hope they maintain that level of efficiency throughout the season.