In the new episodes of The Legend of Korra, (Beginnings, 1 and 2) it tells the story of the first Avatar, Wan and how he got his bending powers. He traveled to various lion turtles and got the elements from them, but in the new era they stopped giving people bending powers.

Wan, the first Avatar, used the light spirit Raava, to bend all four elements. He fused with Raava to become the Avatar and the Avatar state is the light spirit's power. Wan beat the dark spirit and sealed him away.

My question is: Would it be possible for a bender to free Vaatu and gain the ability to learn to bend more than one element?


4 Answers 4


Given the premise that Raava has joined her spirit to a human soul, creating the Avatar, (and making it possible for the Avatar to bend more than a single element) it is perfectly reasonable that the currently imprisoned Vaatu could do the same.

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The only thing preventing it is that Vaatu lies imprisoned within the a tree in the Spirit World completely inaccessible to humans. Being the egocentric thing that Vaatu appeared to be, I can't imagine him joining himself to a human being, unless it was the only way to be free of his prison.

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But first, for him to escape, the Avatar would have to open both the Northern and Southern spirit portals, and she would never do that...

To ensure Vaatu's imprisonment for eternity, Wan closed both the Northern and Southern spirit portals so no human would ever be able to physically enter the Spirit World again and release Vaatu. REF: DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (October 18, 2013). "Beginnings, Part 1". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.

  • 1
    Actually, my reading of it was that either portal being opened allowed people into the spirit world, meaning that Vaatu could currently be freed.
    – rsegal
    Oct 25, 2013 at 12:49
  • 1
    YIKES. But no one would be foolish enough to go there and treat with such a treacherous being, would they? Oct 25, 2013 at 20:38
  • It would be pretty awesome to have a Dark Avatar story arc, with the two Avatars facing off in an epic bending battle.
    – Omegacron
    Oct 20, 2014 at 18:53

I doubt it; Raava herself didn't possess any of the four elements. She was made the vessel of Air, Earth, and Water for Wan, each until he could safely take up the power on his own. They were originally gifts of the Lion Turtles, just like how Wan got Fire from them and Aang got Spirit.

The Avatar State was an accidental discovery of Wan's, resulting from how Raava lent out each element's power to him; she possessed him. When she was was possessing Wan, he unexpectedly had access to her strength along with the Lion Turtle elemental powers that she had custody of.

tl;dr is no, without those particular circumstances Vaatu couldn't create a (literal) Dark Avatar. He could create a dark-empowered bender, we presume, and it's quite a good theory that the climactic battle of the series will be between Raava's Avatar and Vaatu's single-element Dark Avatar.

  • say the person had the four elements already then could it be possible? the lion turtles are instinct but if some found few living ones or found dna and cloned some then release and fused vatuu with the person to make anti avatar. do you think is a possibility or would there still be no way?
    – matt
    Oct 26, 2013 at 1:41
  • Hypothetically, we can imagine that if all of those technologies were accessible, such an event much be possible, but cloning is way out of their league, for example.
    – rsegal
    Oct 26, 2013 at 14:32
  • And the lion turtles aren't necessarily extinct: one at least is alive during Aang's time, there's no reason to think the others aren't still alive, just hidden under the sands and swamps and up in the clouds.
    – Nerrolken
    Jan 27, 2015 at 18:04

I personally think that as of now (Spirit, episode 8), this is exactly what Unalaq is trying to do.

Unalaq seems to know a lot about the Spirit world. Most probably enough to know the significance of the portals, and what is hidden between their openings in the spirit world. I doubt that he considers them as just a bridge to the spirit world or a possible quick way to get from the North pole to the South (to better keep a unified Water Nation).

It is no coincidence that he is attempting to get both portals open around the time of the harmonic convergence. If he can get both portals open, he may be able to free Vaatu, in hopes of bonding with him. Though Vaatu's distaste for humans may just lead to him destroying Unalaq after being freed. Then again, Unalaq seems to have great control over spirits (he may even have induced the chaotic spirits to attack the South to strenghthen his political position), and may be confident about controlling Vaatu so that they can merge. Once they merge, he may be able to destroy the Avatar, and possibly be in a position to rule the world.

Unalaq was also seen coming out of the Southern portal in Spirit, Episode 6 (Sting). This may indicate an ongoing collaboration between him and Vaatu. (Update: As of S02E08, this part is confirmed)

However, this "Dark Avatar" may not have all four bending abilities, just a lot of power. Wan got his bending from the lionturtles, bonding with Raava just gave him the ability to use them all at once.

EDIT: As of S02E12, I was correct in judging Unalaq's intentions! Yay!


It is highly unlikely that Unalaq would become the Avatar in the same sense as Korra (though the trailer for the finale seems to suggest something of the nature) since Vaatu didn't receive the elements like Raava did, but it could be possible. The easiest way is for the writers to say that Raava and Vaatu being connected means Vaatu will always be equal making it a battle of wills more than strength so he gained the elements over the time between convergences. The only other way would be if Unalaq had already learned the bending from other spirits and just needed the catalyst of Vaatu's power to allow him to do it. Since there don't really seem to be spirits who can bend though that we've seen, that's not really likely unless he found the lion turtles in the spirit world and convinced them to give him bending somehow. I think it's more likely that his existing bending will get supercharged and allow him to manipulate water in more states, maybe in ways that allow him to simulate air and earth bending using water in them in it's gaseous and liquid states. When he said that he would become the Dark Avatar it's more likely he meant the embodiment of Vaatu rather than being able to bend all elements though, since the theories above being used would be stretches or just coming out of left field.

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