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In The Legend of Korra 4x02, "Korra Alone", Korra meets Toph for the first time and they have this exchange:

Korra: A spirit led me here and told me I was supposed to find someone. Is that you?

Toph: Beats me. But if your Avatar senses called you here, you should probably listen to them.

Korra: Wait, you recognize me?

Toph: In a manner of speaking. We were good friends in your previous life.

Korra: I can't believe it ... Toph?

Toph: Nice to see you again, Twinkle Toes.

But how did Toph know that Korra was the Avatar?

She is blind and recognizes people through her "seismic sense" of using earthbending to feel vibrations in the earth, so had she met Korra in the past (e.g. when she was a child), it's likely she would have recognized her by the sort of vibrations that she gave off. However, Toph's dialog indicates that she recognizes Korra because she knew the last Avatar (Aang), rather than from them meeting in the past.

The issue is that Korra is the reincarnation of Aang (i.e. same spirit, completely new body), and I'm pretty sure that one's reincarnated spirit wouldn't give off vibrations that Toph could recognize because it's not a physical thing. Furthermore, the two Avatars have very different personalities, so it's not likely that Toph could have recognized Korra by that.

So how did Toph know that Korra was the Avatar?

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    There's also the fact that by the time Korra meets Toph, Korra no longer even has access to Aang's memories and experiences. For all intents and purposes, Korra is the first Avatar all over again. – Ellesedil Mar 22 '16 at 21:47
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Toph Beifong knew who Korra was because of the roots of the banyan-grove tree which swept the entire forest reporting everything back to Toph's highly developed senses.

  • Being the Avatar, Korra has a unique relationship to natural and spiritual forces both of which are evident in the banyan-grove, Toph is taking refuge in. Toph's mentions her relationship with the swamp lets her know everything, everywhere because she is connected through the roots of the swamp.

  • It was this same sense of being connected Toph wants to share with Korra later hoping it will help her restore her sense of self. It also helps Jinora and Korra find each other with their spiritual awareness.

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In 174 AG, Toph guided Korra to the tree in order to help her move on from her past enemies. As they arrived at the base of the tree and climbed its root, Korra commented on how beautiful the tree was. Toph explained that the roots spanned out for miles in every direction, connecting the entire swamp. She revealed that she had known about Korra's presence due to being connected with her surroundings. REF: Avatar Wikia: Banyan-grove tree

  • Gotcha. You linked to two articles, and it wasn't clear whether you were citing one or the other (or some third reference). Also, it would be even better if there was a direct quotation from the episode that explained this, rather than a summary from a wiki (every once in a while, I find that fan wikis say things that don't actually agree with the episodes). – Thunderforge Nov 2 '14 at 0:23
  • She does mention her connectedness with the forest IN the episode. I just don't have time to run around finding scripts. If I don't happen to agree with a wiki, I won't use the reference. I strive for internal consistency as well. – Thaddeus Howze Nov 2 '14 at 0:40
  • Found a transcript of The Calling, which the episode where the tree appeared, on the same wiki, but I don't see any dialog indicating that "[Toph] revealed that she had known about Korra's presence due to being connected with her surroundings." Am I missing something? – Thunderforge Nov 2 '14 at 1:09
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    Try this one: Korra Alone. Korra has a fight IN the forest with her spirit self that alerts Toph to the Avatar being there. Toph says," I'm pretty tapped into the goings-on around here. What brings you to the swamp, anyway?" – Thaddeus Howze Nov 2 '14 at 1:30
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I think it is more about the energy they give off..remember everytime Korra touches the spirit or uses the energy that links to someone..she somehow knew where the person is..and that's probably how Toph senses her as she was basically looking for enlightenment and probably achieved it..because once you are an enlightened individual you are more connected to the spirit world and can sense the spiritual side of Korra (which is her being Avatar)..just like Jinora..she is one of the enlightened individual..but maybe Toph just have a strong instinct that Korra and Aang is one person..because they may have different personalities but Korra is still a reincarnation of Aang..so that's probably why she recognizes Korra and called her twinkle-toes (Aang's nickname given by Toph)..and also the fact that her feet is her eyes to see the outside world but now much stronger as she is more connected to her surrounding and able to keep an eye on Zaofu via the vines of the Swamp that's when Toph saw Suyin and her family were captured by Kuvira...but you know I am more curious to why is Suki not mentioned in Legend of Korra..as she is also part of the Team Avatar..she helped them many times and even had a relationship with Sokka..

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Or maybe she hasn't lost the link and it was never resolved.

The series closed quickly and without a budget.

Had they went to a 3rd series it would have opened up the past.

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    Could you add more details? – Adamant May 30 '16 at 0:56
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    ...and cite sources. – Null May 30 '16 at 1:17

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