I barely remember ATLA, and have heard a little of Korra.

I know that at some point in Korra, Non-Benders begin 'popping up' as Air Benders.

Using content from these two shows, are there any Air Benders who don't identify with the Nomads, and are completely disassociated from the Nomads?

When the spoiler happened, did only those who emcompassed the Nomad way of life change?

  • Spoiler warning! Only finished Season 2!
    – user31178
    Jan 11, 2015 at 1:49
  • I hadn't known how to add the spoiler feature, sorry if I spoiled anything. Jan 11, 2015 at 5:20
  • yes during season 3 there was a merchant who got air bending but didnt want to become a nomad Sep 5, 2021 at 18:25

3 Answers 3


There were no other Air nomads (or airbenders) besides Tenzin's family so anyone who ended up with air-bending as an effect from the Harmonic Convergence was a non-bending citizen of another nation. Adding insult to injury many of them would not leave their homelands to restore Tenzin's idea of the Air Nomads as they were traditionally.

  • Avatar Aang was the last airbender during his period of the Avatar series. There were no other airbenders (as far as the show depicted) with the entirety of the Air Nomads being wiped out by the Fire Nation leaders.

  • Many of the newly formed airbenders found the ascetic lifestyles of the Air Nomad culture a bit repressive and resisted joining Tenzen. Many of those who resisted were eventually captured by the Earth Kingdom queen and placed in her dungeons as part of some scheme she was concocting before her untimely demise.

  • Are there still other airbenders who have not taken sides or joined the Air Nation? Likely.

  • Tenzin's plan for the New Air Nation is to have them roam the countryside helping to bring balance to the world, recruit new airbenders as possible and assisting the Avatar in her duties.

  • It was related that Tenzin might change a bit of the air-bending traditions but many of them served a purpose that the new benders learned over time, i.e. shaving the heads of airbenders made them more sensitive to the movement of air and aided them in their defensive fighting techniques.

  • Tenzin also changed the uniform of the Air Nation into a more flight-friendly design which did not require a kite-staff (used by Aang and Korra) to glide effectively.

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  • Why would it be insulting for them to not want to give up their whole lives and adopt a way of life they know nothing about?
    – user71875
    Sep 22, 2016 at 13:48
  • @DerekClinton In this context it's a turn of phrase. "To make matters worse" gives the same meaning.
    – user40790
    Sep 22, 2016 at 15:33

Jesa was a rogue Air Bender in the time of the original Air Nomads.

She fell in love with an Earth Kingdom criminal, inspiring her to leave her people. She went on to become a crime lord.

"I don't know much about her early life other than she became a master at a young age and was highly regarded. [...] Then, on a journey through the Earth Kingdom, she met my father in a small town somewhere. [...] He dragged her into a scheme, and she fell in love with both him and the life of an outlaw. [...] She became a relatively big figure among daofei, more so than my father. But her airbending suffered from a spiritual taint. Or so her journal says. Letting herself be absorbed by worldly concerns, and greedy ones at that, caused her power to dwindle." — Kyoshi telling Rangi about Jesa's life, The Rise of Kyoshi


Before their resurrection, Air bending was cultivated among the Air nomads. Better question is did any Air Nomads leave their respective sect for life outside? To which there is little to no evidence or confirmation.

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