Here there be spoilers...

In the final episode of season 2, "Light in the Dark" Tenzin urges Korra to connect with her own spirit in order to defeat Unalaq. While meditating in the Tree of Time, she manages to tap into the energy of the universe and astrally projects herself, instigating a fight with Unalaq at Republic City. (this description comes from the Avatar wiki, so I don't use it as a definitive resource in this case...unless it happens to be right...)

What was that power she used to battle the fused Unalaq?

  • Was it energy-bending?
  • Was she harnessing the power of the harmonic convergence?
  • Was it more powerful than her normal Avatar state or merely different?

As a bonus question: Did Unalaq/Vaatu seem significantly more powerful than Korra/Raava or was it all in my mind?

  • I think it couldn't have been Avatar state, because she wasn't Avatar at that point. So I'm not sure how could you compare the two.
    – svick
    Dec 3, 2013 at 16:04
  • 1
    This might be pure speculation on my part but I think Korra used her own spirit to basically became her own avatar. She advanced the level of the avatar by no longer needing Raava's strength; she relies on her own strength now. Is that energy bending per se? I'm not sure. And yes Vaatu was significantly more powerful because as darkness grows the light fades and vice versa. A great episode all around though. I also liked how it was also about Tenzin's growth as well.
    – djm
    Jan 26, 2014 at 12:01
  • I don't have access to the episodes right now, but isn't there a line from Tenzin specifically about harnessing the "cosmic energy of the universe" or something? If anyone can go back and watch the scene before Korra starts meditating in the Tree of Time, I think they tell us exactly what energy she is using.
    – Nerrolken
    Jan 28, 2015 at 22:16

2 Answers 2


Korra was stronger than Unalaq merged with Vaatu at that time, but I think Korra was just too fixated and distracted in finding Raava she just wanted to kick his butt and merge with Raava again as soon as harmonic convergence ended.

This is one of Korras weaknesses, she lacks pace and loses focus too much. She just wants things to get over and done with.

And only korra could turn into that blue giant. Unalaq can't/couldn't because he wasn't destined to be the avatar so he has no cosmic energy, he just has Vaatu as a boost and at most times Vaatu took control over Unalaqs body that is how they both almost beat Korra.


The power that she used was an astral form of her spirit. She was able to connect with here inner spirit in the tree of time. Energy bending is the power to restore or strip the ability of bending and is possible only by the Avatar or blood bending. I am not sure if it made here more powerful or not as Vaatu had tipped the scales of good and evil. Unalaq/Vaatu did seem significantly more powerful than Korra/Ravva, even in the Avatar State.

  • 1
    I don't think energybending is just the power to remove or restore bending. That is the main way we've seen it used, but that doesn't mean that's all there is to it. Also, the Avatar isn't the only being that can energybend. We know that lionturtles can energybend as well. In fact it was a lionturtle that gave the ability to energybend to Aang. Finally, bloodbending (most likely to block chakra points) is not the same thing as energy bending.
    – numaroth
    Sep 4, 2014 at 21:12

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