Obviously, the star of this show is Korra. She is the Avatar. She’s the girl we’ve been rooting for since episode 1. We as the audience have been with her through her highs and lows—and for the most part, she’s a really lovable, relatable character. She really is.
But…you wanna know who I think the actual “unsung” hero is?
The girl lost her mom to a firebender, but that doesn’t stop her from being a fan of probending. She, unlike her father, does not generalize all benders as bad people, and this is what makes her character so phenomenal later on.
Not only does she love probending, she apparently loves, or loved, Mako—a firebender, the same type of bender that took her mother. Their relationship, if it was ever given the chance to play out, could have been an amazing example of loving someone for the person they are, not group them based on an ability they were born with. Keep in mind that Asami was doing just fine in the relationship with Mako until the Korra issue came up; she had no qualms with Mako and seemed to genuinely care for him up until the very ‘end’ of their relationship.
If it wasn’t bad enough that she lost her mother at a young age, her father joined the Equalists. If that still wasn’t the cherry on the sundae that was her tragic family history, her father goes off the deep end and decides to kill her. I repeat, her father tries to kill her using one of his own weapons, no less. She admitted even before then that she and her father could never be a family again, but can you just think about what that did to her? How would anyone feel seeing their father figure—the last bit of family you had—thrash at you with a metal monster?
And keep in mind, she went against her father and stayed on the right side despite everything that benders had done to her: kill her mother, arrest her for being a nonbender, cheat on her, try to take her boyfriend from her…Her morality never wavered, not once. She never let her personal life affect her, because she’s too strong of a character to let these petty things get in her way.
I’m gonna quote Asami here: “I like Korra.” Really, I do. As I said earlier, Korra was a strong female character, however, when I think of what Korra sacrificed, and then what Asami sacrificed, I can’t help but think that Asami’s story was far more admirable.
Korra lost the ability to bend three elements. That obviously shook her up, but she still had some form of bending. It didn’t matter, anyway, since her bending was returned about three minutes later. But in the meantime, Korra had so many people there supporting her. She has both her parents. She has Tenzin and his entire family. She has the Bending Brothers, both of them having confessed to her throughout the course of the season. She has Katara. She has Lin. She has Asami. Everyone traveled there just to see if Korra would be ok. She still has this amazing support system, and that includes every past Avatar ever. Korra temporarily lost her bending, yes, but in the long run, what exactly did Korra sacrifice?
We saw Korra cry one tear, literally. How many tears did Asami cry when her mother died, or when her father showed his true colors, or when she finally realized Mako didn’t care for her like he did for Korra? Aang showed up and instantly gave Korra everything she wanted back, and she got Mako, too. Asami doesn’t have a fairy god-Avatar to instantly restore everything she’s lost. She’s literally just left there, standing in the cold. She doesn’t even get a nice final shot or anything.
Asami was the girl who had every reason to hate benders. She was the girl who had everything in the world, and that means she had everything to lose—and she lost it. Asami was the girl who gave up her entire world for benders, again the people who hurt her most throughout the season. But, she was also the girl who knew how to put her feelings aside and look at the greater good. Whether it was her father, her lifestyle, her feelings, her own boyfriend…the choices she made were hard, but she knew they were the right ones. I’m not sure any of the other Krew members would have stood their ground so solidly and so consistently have held onto their beliefs.
But does she ever get acknowledgment for what she did? While everyone and their mother—quite literally—is worried over Korra and her bending, does anyone ask about Asami? Even Asami’s (ex?-) boyfriend completely dismisses her and goes straight to Korra. Who even is left to ask about her? I mean, she’s lost everyone she cared for one way or another.
Then again, she’s proven to be the character that doesn’t need acknowledgment. She knows what she did, who she fought with, who she let go…those were all the right choices, and she doesn’t need a hut full of people and their support to continue being the type of character she is.
So once again, I like Korra, really I do, but, she still has her parents, she has Mako now, she has all four elements to control at her will. Korra didn’t really give up anything. Her story ended on a very positive note with new friends, a new love, a new family, and new abilities.
That is precisely why I don’t think of Korra as the greatest female on the show. Korra gained a whole new world and, like anyone, loves it and appreciates it. I’m happy for Korra; she deserved it… Though, what about the girl who was resilient and strong after losing her entire world?
Asami, in my opinion, is the greatest hero of season one. Too bad she’ll never be credited for it.