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In the beginning of Avatar: The Legend of Korra, we see Korra, as a child, bending water, earth and fire, without training to do that. She was born in the Water Tribe, so isn't she supposed to know only how to bend water? Like Aang, who knew only wind and trained a lot to master the other three elements?

  • The story is too compressed – maseru Aug 31 '13 at 4:03
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The key I think is 'to master'. Both Aang and Korra knew how to bend all four basic elements from since they were born, but required training to get control over such powers (that's why they are avatars; they know how to bend all elements).

She was born in the water tribe, so, isn't she supposed to know only how to bend water?

So, I would answer no to that. She, just like Aang knows how to bend all the four basic elements.

One possible 'proof' is that Aang used his water bending skills (although never being trained by any water bender) when he got lost in the storm and that was how he got into the iceberg in episode 1 in the first place.

As for why Korra has greater mastery over bending than Aang, there was no specific reason mentioned as far as I remember, but I would say that it's just a talent, just like it can be a talent for someone to know how to play piano without actually getting someone teach them while one can say that other people need a push so they can develop certain skills.

  • Yes, it makes sense, I totally forgot the first episode and the iceberg – Rikkin Aug 29 '13 at 18:43
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    The iceberg was done in the avatar state. When he channels all of the power and knowledge of the previous avatars. Aang did not know how to waterbend on his own before Katara started teaching him. – Madara Uchiha Aug 31 '13 at 12:42
  • @MadaraUchiha I still think it's a matter of controlling as opposed to knowing. If everyone could learn how to bend like that, everyone would be able to bend every element. Instead, some people know (maybe a better word is 'can') how to bend certain elements, except the avatar. It's then just a matter of learning how to control that bending. Zuko once could not bend as he did before. Did he 'forget' how to bend? I believe it's more about learning to control that bending. Still, it's mere speculation! – Jerry Aug 31 '13 at 19:47
  • @Jerry: The only physical difference between the avatar and the rest of the people is that the Avatar has a chi connection to all four elements, as opposed to other people, who only have one or none. It's not about controlling, no one is born with the knowledge to bend (Katara knew she was a bender, but without a teacher, she couldn't). As for Zuko, firebending is very emotional based. Zuko used his rage before he joined Aang's group, once that rage towards the Avatar disappeared, he needed a different emotion to "fuel" his fire. That would be the desire to help the Avatar restore balance. – Madara Uchiha Aug 31 '13 at 19:50
  • @MadaraUchiha Erm, in the episode where Katara suggested Aang she would help her learn waterbending, Aang could waterbend better than her even if that could be considered to be basic and I can't say that she taught him much at this point. About Zuko, that doesn't change the fact that he knew how to firebend but couldn't! It's just he had to find another approach to control his bending. – Jerry Sep 1 '13 at 12:15
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Korra was designed to be Aangs polar opposite. He is calm, peaceful, and prefers to solve things without a fight, he prefers to avoid the enemy rather than counter or bide.

Korra on the other hand, is hot-headed, a fighter, prefers to pulverize an enemy rather than avoid a battle.

Airbending is considered to be a very "spiritual" type of bending, it requires one to be connected to his inner spirit. All airbenders were monks, meditated a lot, etc.

The rest of the bendings are more "physical" bendings.

As part of Aang being the exact opposite of Korra, he was familiar with airbending at the beginning of the series, and she was familiar with everything but airbending.

As to why she was able to bend 3 elements at the age of 4-5, that wasn't explained, but we can assume it has to do with pure talent. (She is very good with the "physical" world, but has no talent with the "spiritual" world. An avatar needs both to be "complete".

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It is possible that she had some masters over at the South Pole to teach her. After all, Katara commands quite some respect.

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