The Avatar world is split into two different series: Avatar the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra. They about the Avatar, a person who can control not just one element but all four of them (water, earth, air, and fire). Avatar the Last Airbender is about Aang, an air nomad who had been trapped in a ball of ice for 100 years. The Legend of Korra is about a water tribe girl learning how to be the Avatar and connect with her spiritual side. Both series revolve around a team of fighters who gather in order to defend the world against evil.
Incidentally, both series have a comic continuation which expands on some of the characters, specifically the central characters. Some are made deeper and better by these comic continuations, and others are made worse.
Both of these series are fan favorites, quickly becoming hits on the television channel Nickelodeon. However, despite how well liked the animated series was received there were still the occasional characters that had an opposite effect. Although not all fans agree on which Avatar characters are the worst or that they wish they could forget, there are some which have a majority agreement in the fan community. The most heated discussion among fans is about the central characters such as Korra and Aang, many liking them and many not liking them. Others are almost universally disliked with only a smaller community finding them interesting or likable.
Here are 15 Characters From Avatar (And 10 From Legend of Korra) That Fans Are Trying To Forget.
Perhaps one of, if not the most, disliked character of the Avatar world, Admiral Zhao is an officer within the Fire Nation army. He climbs through the ranks as the shown progresses, eventually reaching Admiral. All the while seeming like his character's only purpose is to be a more villainous antagonist than Zuko.
Not many fans missed this overly aggressive firebender when he was ultimately dragged into the Spirit World’s Fog of Lost Souls by the ocean spirit. The most interesting part of the character is his very brief appearance in Legend of Korra when he thinks Tenzin is actually Aang.
Uncle of Avatar Korra, member of the Red Lotus, and chief of the Northern Watertribe, Unalaq is an experienced waterbender who attempts to bring an era of chaos to the world by fusing with spirit Vaatu and becoming a Dark Avatar. Fortunately his plan was foiled by Korra. Unfortunately his character never quite lived up to its potential. At first, viewers are given the sense that Unalaq is a villain for one season, but it came off more like he was a puppet for the actual villain, Vaatu.
It would have been interesting to see Unalaq’s personality and philosophy more fleshed out like Amon, Kuvira, and Zaheer were. Unalaq just seemed like he wanted power for power’s sake, the goal of uniting the tribes providing little, if any, camouflage to that “burn the world” attitude.
The cabbage guy is a love or hate character that was a running gag throughout Avatar the Last Airbender, with a small cameo in the Legend of Korra as a guy running a corporation called Cabbage Corp., but was never otherwise used. No one knows his name, story, or the point of his character in the series other than to bring an occasional laugh. All he does is yell “My Cabbages!”
Some fans enjoyed his presence in the series, but many others found it to be a needless tangent. A filler, if you will, because that episode was short on humor.
Orphaned at a young age by Fire Nation soldiers, Jet is a self-proclaimed freedom fighter who stopped at nothing to make the Fire Nation pay for what they did. Be it children, women, men, innocents, or soldiers, it didn’t matter to Jet. You were his target simply for being a citizen of the Fire Nation. His revenge gets him into trouble with the Dai Li after entering Ba Sing Se, trouble which quickly leads to his death. Or, at least, we believe he died. It’s not really clear.
What is clear, however, was that he tricked Aang and Katara into almost killing a village full of innocent people and attacked Zuko because he witnessed Iroh drinking heated tea. It’s not that his anger and rage is far fetched considering his situation, but the character comes off as an itch that no one wanted to scratch.
A lot of fictional leaders are simply figureheads, and the Earth King of Ba Sing Se fit that bill to the tee. Behind him stood the Grand Secretariat, Long Feng, who commanded the Dai Li, Earth Kingdom’s secret police force, and concocted plans of mind control under the Earth King’s nose.
Unlike a lot of the villains in Avatar the Last Airbender, Long Feng was less physical and more mental. A master manipulator. He even caged Appa, Aang’s flying bison. Who knows what would have happened to the Avatar’s animal guide had Zuko not freed it. Needless to say, Long Feng is one of those villains you just can’t wait to see get their comeuppance.
While technically two characters, Lo and Li are twins who are almost always shown to be mirroring the other’s actions or speaking at the same time. They’re basically the same character, a trait made humorous when Azula decides to banish only one of them but isn’t able to tell them apart.
As mentors to Princess Azula, Lo and Li follow her wherever she goes even if they never really give any substantial advice to her. The two went so far as to join Azula, Zuko, Tia Lee, and Mai on their “vacation” to Ember Island. Lo and Li just seemed to be there in order to reinforce the fact that Azula is a princess.
Master waterbender of the Northern tribe and ex-fiance to Katara’s grandmother, Master Pakku is the man who eventually teaches Katara how to waterbend. Due to Master Pakku being stuck in the more traditional ways when he first appeares, however, he refused to teach Katara waterbending.
Not because she wasn’t talented or unworthy, but because he didn’t teach girls. Thus he redirected her to the healing hut because that’s just how things were done. Despite him eventually getting over that backward mindset, it took Katara fighting him head to head before he realized his faulty preconceptions.
Throughout the Avatar series, Fire Lord Ozai was held up to be the ultimate villain, the root for all the evil and unbalance in the world. But Ozai’s reasoning and character was never truly expanded on. Perhaps it was slightly touched upon, but there was never any real depth added to Fire Lord Ozai. He was always just the final boss.
As the series’ supposed main villain, he was, without a doubt, overshadowed by Azula who was much more developed and active in stopping Aang. The Avatar the Last Airbender comic continuations expanded a little bit more on his character, but not enough to make him a particularly interesting character.
Princess Yue was the princess of the Watertribe and Sokka’s first love. As a child she was sick, so her parents took her to be healed by the moon spirit. When Admiral Zhao severely wounded the moon spirit, Princess Yue had to give up her life in order to bring it back and restore harmony.
It was a touching and short-lived romance for Sokka, but many fans found her character to be a Mary Sue. Or, in other words, an overly perfect character.
There isn’t much to say about the boulder except that he is the picture perfect example of what “all brawn and no brain” tries to express. Always speaking about himself in the third person, The Boulder is the first person viewers see try to take on Toph.
Despite The Boulder supposedly being one of the top earthbenders, he is easily defeated by Toph. Twice. And is only ever seen again during the invasion in Day of the Black Sun Part 1 and Part 2. Though most fans never particularly liked this character, Sokka certainly enjoyed his fights leading up to his battle with Toph.
Out of all the characters in both Avatar the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra, Mai is most likely the most emotional withdrawn. Having grown up under strict parents that expected her to follow the rules, Mai has difficulty expressing her emotions to others.
This makes her character, while perhaps relatable to some (specifically the nihilism phase most teenagers go through), it also makes her forgettable compared to the characters of Azula, Zuko, and Ty Lee that she’s most associated with. And Mai’s combat abilities, knife throwing, didn’t find much use when fighting against powerful benders. Though there was the occasional usefulness, like when she helped Zuko and Sokka escape the Boiling Rock prison.
Haru is a young earthbender that Team Avatar helped free from Fire Nation captivity early on in the series. He was never exactly powerful and didn’t show much potential, but he did seem to have a good heart. At that point, Haru was an okay character. There wasn’t much depth to him but there wasn’t anything that made fans want to forget about him.
However, when he was shown again during the invasion, the animators gave him a little mustache and soul patch that just looked ridiculous on the character design. No one really wants to remember that.
Forget about the Earth King or Long Feng, the Legend of Korra’s Earth Queen Hou-Ting takes the cake as being one of the most annoying characters in the series. To some extent, she takes up a similar position within the world that Dolores Umbridge took in Harry Potter. Using her authority, Hou-Ting captures and enslaves all the new airbenders and starts training them to become a secret military branch at her command.
When Korra and co. manage to free the airbenders from her captivity, she puts a bounty on them for treason against the Earth Kingdom. Even her death wasn’t really honorable, always using her position as an attempt to lord over people.
The first time President Raiko is shown to the viewers, he’s held up as a figure of authority. Intelligent, decisive, and a good heart, among other qualities, is expected of him. But as the series goes on, Raiko fits into less and less of the qualifications that would make him a good leader, constantly making the wrong choices and leaving Korra to fend for herself against opposing parties.
It gets so bad that in the Legend of Korra continuation comic, President Raiko loses the election to Zhu Li. Forget about being a bad president, this guy was just an awful leader in general.
Wan Shi Tong is a giant spirit owl that rules over a library with hundreds of thousands of books. Its name can be loosely translated to mean He Who Knows 10,000 Things. Though its library has played relatively important parts in both Avatar the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra, Wan Shi Tong always ends up fighting Team Avatar in some way.
It has a hatred for humans and shows no remorse in giving them what it considers to be their just deserts. Unfortunately, this led to Wan Shi Tong teaming up, if only momentarily, with Unalaq in the Legend of Korra resulting in the capture of Jinora (Aang’s eldest granddaughter).
A classic villain pretending to be a good guy, Hiroshi Sato is the father of Asami and one of the richest people in Republic City. At first, he acts like the good guy, giving Korra, Bolin, and Mako a safe place to hide from the Equalists. Soon enough, however, Korra catches him conspiring with the Equalists and a lot of drama ensued from that.
Hiroshi is later explained to hate benders because his wife was killed by one of them and so he wants them removed to protect those he loves, mainly his daughter, from falling prey to them as well. But when Asami sides with Team Avatar, his hatred is all consuming and he attacks even her- the person he’s supposedly doing all that to protect. In the final season, he dies helping Asami and some fans see this as him redeeming himself, but his character still has rather conflicting core values.
Tahno was never a true antagonist, he was just a character put there to make Korra angry. With his arrogant and cocky attitude, he not just succeeded in annoying Korra but also the fans. He made several appearances through the Legend of Korra, starting off by being the captain of the champion pro-bending team called White Falls Wolfbats.
His team cheated their way to the victory of Korra, Bolin, and Mako before becoming the sixth known person to have their bending be taken by Amon. His personality took a major beat down after he lost his bending, but eventually shows up again playing music in a band.
When Zuko was still trying to kill the Avatar, he hired someone to track and destroy Aang for him. It turned out that the man being hired was a unique bender who basically explode stuff with his mind. Sokka initially dubbed this man “Sparky Sparky Boom Man” but later changed it to Combustion Man after finding Sparky Sparky Boom Man to be an unfitting name. And who can blame him?
Not only the name long, but it’s a bit too comedic for a silent killer. Though this character had a lot of potential to be an interesting antagonist, he came off as much too powerful. His only weakness, after all, was getting hit in his third eye.
Viewers knew from early on that Katara and Sokka’s mother had been killed by the Fire Nation, but that was about it. In the episode The Southern Raiders, however, we learn that the man who killed their mom is Yon Rha, the previous commander of the Southern Raiders. Katara and Zuko then go to find and, maybe, kill him but Katara ends up choosing not let him live.
Her reasoning is that Yon Rha is just an empty shell, he has no personal desires or ambitions. He was just an evil man who followed evil orders without a shred of hesitation. He wasn’t worth getting her hands dirty on. Yon Rha was definitely not what fans were expecting. Most fans expected the mother’s killer to be strong and outright evil, but he turned out to be a coward.
Where Earth Queen Hou-Ting was a bad ruler, Prince Wu was just useless. He was the dictionary definition of a spoiled royal and it showed in his behavior, especially his treatment of Mako. Despite that, however, Prince Wu had some nice character development over the fourth season and he ended up deciding to install a republic in the Earth Kingdom instead of a democracy.
He also helped the citizens evacuate during Kuvira’s attack. So, in the end, he wasn’t completely useless, but his character held nothing that was particularly unique. Had the writers removed his character and put in someone different, nothing would have really changed other than having one less spoiled brat.
After the rather large build up of how bad and edgy the Triple Threat Triad are, especially their leader, “Lightning Bolt” Zolt, it was unfortunate to see how quickly they were dealt with by Amon. Zolt, one of the supposed criminal overlords of Republic City, was a firebender (he preferred using lightning though).
He was also the first person to be shown have their bending taken away by Amon. This led to him quickly losing his position as head of the Triple Threat Triad to Viper.
Popular in the northern watertribe, Hahn was a non-bending soldier engaged to Princess Yue. This, obviously, created quite of bit of discord between Hahn and Sokka. The issue with Hahn that a lot of fans didn’t like was his slick looks and arrogant attitude. Plus it didn’t help his case that he was the main obstacle between Sokka and Yue. Well, at that time.
Her turning into the moon spirit became a pretty big wall. His character was further made into a joke when he was easily pushed off a warship by Admiral Zhao, neither he nor Iroh paying much attention to the young soldier.
June was a bounty hunter who was first introduced to help Zuko and Iroh track down Aang. Then again when Zuko needed to track down Iroh. Other than that she was never seen. Because of her very particular usage, it struck fans as odd. Almost as if she was only introduced to give a logical explanation for how two groups of character meet up with each other.
Though her strong and gold-oriented personality had a lot of potential, it was overshadowed by her character being equal to a tracking device. A little bit more on that character would have gone a long way to making her connect with the audience.
Really the only point of Lu and Gang was to show how good of a detective Mako was. As head detectives, they should have been veterans and highly intelligent in deduction. Instead, they were your stereotypical dumb cop that just sits around eating donuts.
It was a relief when police chief Lin Beifong fired both of them for being useless and almost letting Varrick get away with blaming the bombings on the northern watertribe. Maybe when Mako went off to work for Prince Wu they came back after some retraining.
Kai was the first airbender to join up with Tenzin and Korra during the search for people newly granted with airbending. A thief and a con artist, Kai used Tenzin’s desire of recreating the Air Nation to escape from local law enforcement and later steal jewels in Ba Sing Se. He even steals the wallets of Mako and Bolin, leaving them trapped in Ba Sing Se’s Outer Ring.
Granted, that led them to discovering their long last relatives, but Kai certainly didn’t steal from them expecting that to happen. Of course, Kai progresses as a character, even saving Jinora and becoming her boyfriend later on in the series. Still, he was just kind of there. Just another example of how airbending could be granted to the good, the bad, and the in-between.
Do you have any characters from Avatar or Legend of Korra that you dislike? Let us know in the comments!